M.Collins: The Money Party (5)
“Us versus Them”
We have been warned again and again that seeing the world as an “us versus them” proposition is a fatal error. It’s polarizing. It leads to “class warfare.” It absolves “us” of the collective responsibility we all have in a democracy. Can’t have it, not allowed.
Well, here’s some news for “them”. It is precisely an “us versus them” world. We live in a nation where tremendous wealth calls the shots without respect or regard for the public will, fails miserably again and again, and then hides behind “collective responsibility.” We’re supposed to believe that somehow “we all allowed this to happen.”
This point is critical: If “we” all allowed it to happen then “they” aren’t responsible, ever. They have the ultimate “Get out of jail free” card. Kill, maim, steal, lie, cheat, etc. etc. and all they have to do is say everyone was in on it; therefore, they are not responsible. Starting a war based on lies that breaks the bank of the federal budget while the richest 1% get tax cuts is just one example of the fraud perpetrated by our “public servants.” Did you have anything to do with that?
Now the “D” word is being used – we’re on the verge of a major depression or, at least, a calamitous recession, take your pick. How did this happen? See if you can identify your role. How will they blame us in order to survive and do it all over again?
In 2001 the loser won. We had a president selected by the U.S. Supreme Court. The prevailing justices stopped a state recount, defying their long-held bias in favor of states’ rights, a position they’d held before and returned to following their presidential intervention.
Then the looting began with a stunningly consistent display of greed and avarice bringing us to these perilous times.
- Right out of the gate, the top 1% of citizens, those with incomes averaging over $1 million a year, got income tax breaks worth $250 billion through the Bush tax cuts started in 2001. By 2010, 50% of the tax breaks, $120 billion, will go to just 1.4 million citizens. The tax cuts continued in various forms for the fortunate 1%. Is that shared sacrifice by those who benefit the most financially? Did you have anything to do with these decisions? (Annotated links)
- Banks can write mortgages that are so risky they’re referred to as “sub prime” and Wall Street can bundle them up and sell the lot of them as premium investments. Home buyers are suckered at the front end and holders of retirement funds (401K, etc.) get to subsidize the flawed scheme at the other end. Top economists warned against these huge risks to citizens and the nation, but were ignored. Did you have anything to do with these decisions?
- “Derivatives” are a risk filled stock market product allowing investors to “bet” on the future value of a commodities, interest and exchange rates. The face value of over the counter derivatives went from $100 trillion in 2002 to $516 Trillion in 2007. As a point of comparison, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States was $14 trillion in 2007. Investment genius Warren Buffett characterized their risk when he called derivatives a “financial weapons of mass destruction.” Despite an early warning of real risk in 1995, by Buffett in 2002, and others like bond expert Bill Gross, nothing was done to regulate their sales which are widely held by retirement funds.
The subprime crisis is destroying your home value. Will derivatives and other risky stock market schemes wipe out your retirement? Did you have anything to do with these decisions?
- The cost of the Iraq war is considered “off budget.” This means that the $500 billion spent so far and the $2.4 trillion estimated total cost of the war don’t show up in the annual budget approved by Congress. The war profiteers get hidden government subsidies without having to bid for major contracts, all at our expense and that of our children. This kind of behavior by any private business would be called fraud. Did you have anything to do with these decisions?
- The Bush administration claimed it would rescue New Orleans from the destruction of hurricane Katrina and pledged billions to the effort. The contracts for this effort were handed out without competitive bidding. Guess who got them – the “made men” of The Money Party, many of whom got no-bid deals in Iraq for that “rebuilding.” The city has a whole slew of luxury properties but continues to destroy good low cost housing. The 200,000 evacuated in 2005 are now largely gone. Did you know that? Did you have anything to do with those decisions?
- Iraq war veterans are committing suicide at a rate of 120 per week. Sixty thousand have post traumatic stress disorder, and tens of thousands have permanent disabilities. More than one million Iraqi civilians are dead as a result of violence and civil strife predicted by experts in our government and elsewhere to follow the U.S. invasion. There are now five million orphans in Iraq. Our country’s reputation in the rest of the world is at its worst ever. The war was based on lies. Did you have anything to do with these decisions? (Also, see these links.)
So gear up, get in shape, and be ready to hear that we are to blame for this worst of all possible worlds created by The Money Party and its minions. They’ll soon be blaming us for this on a regular basis at a major media outlet near you. As the economy continues its collapse and the truth about Iraq and other national “security” lies emerges, you’ll hear stories about a great national soul searching and reflection on how “we” got where we are.
But consider this: People can’t make rational decisions on major matters without a free flow of information on the topic at hand. We have had nearly zero accurate information on vital issues and events since 9/11 and we had very little during prior decades.
Those of “us” who supported this war did so based on wildly misleading information. Those who opposed the war, without a full understanding of the lies and carnage, did so at a level which was also based on limited information.
Those who face foreclosure after buying homes with an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) did so with bad information. Those who invested in a financial structure riddled with “a weapon of mass destruction” called “derivatives”, did so while information was withheld about the exceptional risks involved.
We’re all in the same theater of illusion created by The Money Party “Imagineers.”
The mainstream media was just doing its job as the public relations shop for corporate America. The Bush economic plan was a pyramid scheme from the start. The various details were all offered to make more money for the very few at the top. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a fact easily discernible with just a little research. But there were huge profits to be made chasing those phantoms. The human sacrifices in deaths and injuries are no surprise either. Who in power honestly believed that U.S. troops would be welcomed in a nation that we’d bombed and starved for over a decade?
The subprime loan scheme was a loser from the start and the investments offered in the form of aggregated subprime loans were almost laughable. Yet the regulators and press said very little to question this practice despite ample evidence of danger.
You don’t sell garbage and call it a great investment. You don’t create a financial house of cards that benefits the few and call it an expanding economy. The lack of reporting on this wasn’t a matter of “errors of omission.” We were told a series lies which were repeated again and again.
Financial schemes that benefit the very few are a common theme in most modern wars. Yet as it relates to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, this issue was barely covered or discussed. The profit motive behind the new endless war rarely if ever made the OpEd pages.
Those who claim that average Americans bear responsibility for this array of tragic mistakes fail to acknowledge the massive lockdown of accurate information which was replaced by false story lines which deliberately mislead and deceive.
We’ve had sparse information, relentless propaganda from the White House, and a timid Congress. Despite that, a majority of citizens have learned enough to know the nation has been headed in the wrong direction for years. Even though the mainstream media are now “embedded” as an ally to war and destruction, 70% of citizens oppose the war based on their own information gathering and evaluation.
Despite the many lies told again and again, without any alternative sources of information to reveal the truth, the “us” segment of the population has lost almost all faith in the current political rulers. That’s why a recent poll showed the president with a 77% disapproval rating. The people have done their homework and their decision is in: The Money Party has reached its lowest point ever. It is a miserable failure.
It’s time to speak up and state the truth – the massive failure of this government, at home and abroad, is a man-made national tragedy. All of those involved in the planning, execution, and continued funding of these activities must step down. We need truly fair, open elections under citizen control and without private money (i.e. corporate and other contributions). This will allow citizens to determine their own fate. Nothing less will work. We can no longer pretend to cast meaningful votes and they can no longer pretend to get elected.
No more masquerades, no more financial bubbles, no more self-serving schemes, wars, or staged events designed to distract the people. To those responsible: Admit your errors, correct them, and leave. There are nearly 300 million who would stand in your place and honestly serve the needs of the country and respect the will of the people.
Special thanks to Mike for clarifying a key point in this article and to Jill Hayroot and Susannah Pitt for their input.
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