Thursday, August 21, 2008

Depression? All Part of the Plan

This guy thinks we've got the big D word in our future. It's hard not to ignore the warning signs:

America the nation currently has an outstanding debt of about $10 trillion dollars, and has more than doubled in the last ten years. But this number is not the real total, because it does not count all the "promises" (read: entitlements) that people have been told they will have. Those "promises" are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, in the main. They total, approximately $90 trillion dollars in current liability.
...and yet we do nothing. Why?

It was part of the plan all along. Article on lobbyist and ideologue supreme Grover Norquist from 2001:

"My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years," he says, "to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."
When you think about it, it all starts to make sense. Why would a supposedly fiscally conservative party/platform run up the biggest debt/be the biggest spender/and support policies that cripple the dollar? To leave no money behind for social programs.

He/They have done a bang up job. I call it treason and something else:

Antisocial Personality Disorder is characterized by a pervasive disregard for the law and rights of others. Deceit and manipulation are considered essential features of the disorder.
No one can argue that there hasn't been misplaced appropriations in the past, both sides of the aisle can be blamed for pork and misspending. I, of all people, could be considered fiscally conservative in the classical sense of economics, which is why I support Obama (along with about a million other reasons). We expect a return on our investments.

Investments don't always mean immediate returns or even financial returns. Proper government spending ensures high quality education. But, what is the return on that? Ideologues like Norquist are so simple-minded (which is why I intentionally avoided deeming him "mastermind") they only see the minus in the balance books. An educated populous means less crime - which means less spending on policing, prisons, reformation, etc.

It also means an educated workforce that drives the economy; jobs and ideas that lead the world. And most certainly it means an educated electorate that votes in its best interest. But, they wouldn't want that would they?

There are two end games for their dream world. First, we end up fully and completely in an ownership society. As the first article puts it:

Your employer cuts medical benefits or expects you to pay more. You grumble or, if you're unionized, you might actually strike. You end up capitulating anyway, then your job gets shipped to China.
In other words, the workforce has NO power and your wages become competitive with Chinese children (are these the most Effed up Olympics since Munich '36 or what?). How did we get to a place where you were either pro-union or pro-corporate? We have to get back to an understanding that they should have equal standing (and the right to form unions - although the rights of corporations are covered in detail in author/radio host/and former "penpal" Thom Hartmann's excellent book Unequal Protection).

The other scenario? Our economy does wobble if not crumble, but through American ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit/and a healthy dose of acutely prescribed Keynesian economic policies that retrain an underqualified workforce and put us back to building/creating/and fixing this House of Cards, rebuilding bridges, homes, cities, railroads, and renewable energy systems.

That kind of policy will really drive Norquist insane. But, hey, he created it.