|Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:58 pm Post subject: "Is the U.S. headed for another Great Depression?"
|Yesterday the Globe and Mail web site ran a story entitled "Is the U.S. headed for another Great Depression?".
The following link will take you to this article:
The following is a copy and paste of the 5 highest rated (scored) comments for this story at the time of this post:
Chris Hedges: Zero Point of Systemic Collapse
We stand on the cusp of one of humanity's most dangerous moments.
Democracy, a system ideally designed to challenge the status quo, has been corrupted and tamed to slavishly serve the status quo. We have undergone, as John Ralston Saul writes, a coup d’état in slow motion. And the coup is over. They won. We lost.
We will not, especially in the United States, avoid our Götterdämmerung. Obama, like Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the other heads of the industrialized nations, has proven as craven a tool of the corporate state as George W. Bush.
Our democratic system has been transformed into what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin labels inverted totalitarianism. Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, a free press, parliamentary systems and constitutions while manipulating and corrupting internal levers to subvert and thwart democratic institutions.
Political candidates are elected in popular votes by citizens but are ruled by armies of corporate lobbyists in Washington, Ottawa or other state capitals who author the legislation and get the legislators to pass it. A corporate media controls nearly everything we read, watch or hear and imposes a bland uniformity of opinion. Mass culture, owned and disseminated by corporations, diverts us with trivia, spectacles and celebrity gossip.
In classical totalitarian regimes, such as Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics. “Under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true,” Wolin writes. “Economics dominates politics – and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness.”
The ideology of globalization, like all “inevitable” utopian visions, is being exposed as a fraud. The power elite, perplexed and confused, clings to the disastrous principles of globalization and its outdated language to mask the looming political and economic vacuum. The absurd idea that the marketplace alone should determine economic and political constructs led industrial nations to sacrifice other areas of human importance – from working conditions, to taxation, to child labor, to hunger, to health and pollution – on the altar of free trade.
“A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial,” Orwell wrote. “That is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” Our elites have used fraud. Force is all they have left.
Our mediocre and bankrupt elite is desperately trying to save a system that cannot be saved. More importantly, they are trying to save themselves.
A no-growth economy is like a game of musical chairs. When the music stops, someone has no chair.
The elite shareholders and bondholders at the top of the pyramid expect to retain their thrones, regardless of how much wealth they've removed from the game. For the everyman with no property - destitution, anger, and revolution are his fate.
It remains to be seen whether the state and private security guards can keep the wealthy elites safe in their gated communities, sitting on their deeds of ownership.
As in revolutions past, the poor just want back in the game.
If the US calculated their unemployment rate the same way it was done in 1994, it would be 22%, or about the same as what was experienced during the Great Depression.
The crash in housing prices is used to mask the real inflation rate, since housing prices figure largely in that calculation. But not food or gasoline - they're "too volatile".
47 million Americans are on food stamps - and that number continues to grow.
Our US cousins - along with Canadians, and everybody else - are being lied-to by politicians of every political stripe. And the politicians - all of them - lie every time that they draw breath.
We are NOT headed for another Great Depression - we are IN IT...
Of course it is, because its wholly-corrupt government keeps assuring them they shouldn't make any of the structural changes needed to prevent another crash, just expand the schemes that created this mess, be happy with this broken system, and sit and wait for the current bubble to burst.
- And because the public coffers were already emptied in order to pay for the excesses and corruption of the Ruling Class and corporate greed, we won't be in any position to respond.
There is no doubt that the schemes created behind closed doors, lines of riot police and the military, and the mantle of 'globalization' has failed miserably. They systematically removed regulations and hard-won protections that had eliminated incentives for corruption, and this laid the foundations for the crash of the so-called 'global economy'.
Only the corporations that championed and profited from these policies of ruin continue to act as of the verdict isn't already in.
In his book, 'Globalization and Its Discontents', Nobel Laureat and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, says that the continued implementation and expansion of the schemes created under the guise of 'globalization', considering the wealth of evidence of its negative effects, proves a malicious intent on the part of those officials and institutions involved.
Read that again, and really think about what that means.
Perhaps it's time we stop listening to the people, like this author, who championed the policies of ruin that laid the foundations for the crash they failed to predict, and start listening to the people who risked everything to try and prevent this, and faced state repression trying to warn us about was this would lead to - you know, the people the corporate media slandered collectively as 'violent anarchists' for 15 years.
Speaking from personal experience with the forest industry, I would not be surprised to see one. I suspect we missed the iceberg by inches. Gwyn Dwyer says about 200 economists he had talked to felt it was very close. I wouldn't predict one yet but getting work at ten dollars an hour in difficult and expensive. Multi-nationals seem to pocket tax gifts and cut jobs to improve share price. If this policy worked then why so many unemployed? I am no expert and expect a tongue lashing but it's not working. This begs the central question: What is an economy for? Who is to benefit and how is the loot to be divided?
In my mind this is just a daring stickup, conducted in broad daylight. All that's missing from a CEO's wardrobe is an eye patch and a parrot. We have an economic system based on Ayn Rand's mystic notion of Greed and Selfishness Posing as Human Virtue. The media is spin, dogma and outright propaganda. Debate and public education consist of press releases, reading like bumper stickers, and ministerial denials, which consist of 'the Liberals did it' .
The spooky thing is that papers such as this one promote this concept as being the best. It's quite Victorian, which is promoted as progress. This, I can assure you, will become a nation of two solitude's split by economic circumstance. Poverty destroys lives, it destroys societies. This is a discernible fact, yet these policies are the equivalent of bloodletting. There is a price to be paid for these greedy, selfish elites that believe they are exempt for anything they wish. It seems as though the ambition of this class, is to turn us all into hot dog vendors by day and janitors by night, that would provide the cannon fodder for endless colonial misadventures, which we'll consume on TV, watching commercials for products we can't afford but stir military glories which don't exist.
Who are these people and why do they insist on destroying everything in their view?