Heads in the Sand

It amazes me that the rich are still stealing from the poor (that is, the taxpayers) and although some do notice, they are nevertheless getting away with it.  In today’s (9 Apr 09) New York Times (All the news we see fit to print) a front page article is headlined “Small Investors May Be Enlisted in Bank Bailout.”  This scam is a transparent ploy to placate taxpayers while pretending to give them influence over the Wall Street giveaway.  The Obama administration is supposedly asking large investment companies to create something akin to mutual funds of toxic assets.

It’s just another way to put even more of our money under the control of the bandits of finance capitalism. President Obama may be taking a few seemingly progressive actions, but au fond the government continues to pick our pockets.  So Obama is in thrall to big money interests every bit as much as George W. was.  Of course, we shouldn’t forget that Georgie became wealthy (or rather wealthier) when land was given to him by eminent domain.

Somehow, the American people have come to the conclusion that the rich are admirable by the mere fact that they have a lot of money.  They don’t seem to care how that money was obtained, whether it was acquired by ruining god knows how many others, or even simply by inheriting it.  When Warren Buffet gave away (or said he would) 85 percent of his billions we were all supposed to be grateful.  What a guy.  Poor guy, he will only have 6 or 8 billion or so left over to tide him over.  Nobody needs 6 or 8 billion dollars. Nobody.  The question should be, why does he have so much money in the first place?  I’ll tell you why.  He is a ruthless investor without a care as to who he destroys in the process of getting more, and he is a beneficiary of the largesse of a government that takes from the poor(or at least the not-so-rich) and gives to the rich.  He needs more because the rich never have enough.  They always want more.  There is a pathology involved in this sort of thing.  Ironically, since the rich never have enough, they live a life not of plenty but of scarcity!  That’s why being rich can’t add to one’s happiness.

We hear from some quarters that this all began with Ronald Reagan and his “trickle down” economics.  According to adherents of this idea, the “Founding Fathers” established a republic that offered freedom and democracy to all.  This is patent nonsense.  The Founding Fathers were all rich, land-owning white men, most of whom either owned slaves or kept indentured servants in chains.  No women invited.  No unlanded invited (which meant tradesmen and such).  Slaves weren’t even counted as people, but as chattel.  But slaveholders pulled a clever scam by counting each slave as 3/5 of a person for purposes of the census, giving Southern slaveholders such as the sainted Jefferson more power.  At least one of our present Supreme Court Associate Justices who wants to interpret the Constitution as the Founding Fathers supposedly wanted it would not even be a person were that to really happen!

This process has been going on for a couple of centuries.  Still, Reagan did say that government was the problem, not the solution.  What little legal restraints government had established Reagan said he wanted to eliminate.  Small government and limited spending would bring about paradise on Earth.  What he really wanted was not to merely eliminate restraints but to actively promote the interests of the rich, and reduce “welfare” provided to the lazy masses.  Not to limit spending, but to increase it, but making sure the increased spending went to the ruling class.

This ideology, this religion, really, which had been an objective of nearly all U.S. governments since the revolution, simply became overt policy after Reagan was first elected.  Well, as Ollie Hardy would say, “here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.”

What causes me consternation is that even now that this economic scheme, a scheme that controverts Adam Smith, the patron saint of the market economy, in nearly every respect has failed, we still allow the government to take even more money from common taxpayers and give it to the plutocracy.  Plutocracy it is, too, because we may have the vote, but we don’t get to decide who runs.  We just get to choose from the tiny list of candidates who have enough rich donors to allow them to run in the primaries.

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