Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kingdoms of Greed
By David Glenn Cox

Image: GREED by Geoffrey Colin Thorton

The standing stones of the just have fallen, even their shadows are no more. It galls me and irritates me like sand in my teeth this fantasyland America; a Nightmareville, a dream gone horribly wrong. What sort of country is this that just abandons its own people? Sentences them to a slow death and poverty all to protect the private kingdoms of greed.

My god, this country once built more automobiles than anyone else on earth and now its factories are shuttered as its name plates vanish, replaced by imports manufactured by workers earning $5.00 per hour. Last year a record low in new cars sales at thirteen million or one new car per thirteen workers. Deduct fleet sales and government purchases, it is more like one new car per twenty five workers or even, fifty workers.

One million less new cars sold this year than will be placed on the scrap heap, shredded and sold as junk to Asia where remorseless hammers pound out new products in slave wage factories.

One million more homes in foreclosure and the politicians have no answers. The banks have answers though:

Bloomberg - Bank of America Corp. (BAC) was accused by a top official at the Iowa attorney general's office of engaging in a divide-and-conquer strategy by undermining support for the settlement of a nationwide probe into foreclosure practices, a person familiar with the matter said.

The bank tried to get attorneys general to break away from those supporting the proposed accord, Iowa Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan said during a recent conference call, according to the person. A second person familiar with the settlement talks said the bank sought to sow dissent among the states, eight of which have publicly criticized the proposal's terms.

The banks which acted illegally now look to subvert the process which lets them off with a slap on the wrist. The sufferings of millions of men, women and children are subverted and discounted all in the name of greed. This is what America is about. Only here; only in this place could such a thing be possible.

Bloomberg - Even with last month's gains, housing may remain a weak component in the economic recovery that began in June 2009 as unemployment, falling property values and stricter loan rules push foreclosure filings to a record level.

"We continue to just tread water along the bottom," said John Herman, a senior fixed-income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston. "The housing market is fairly depressed. We think home prices will fall further."

"Fairly depressed"? Home prices have fallen further and for a longer period than in the last Great Depression and yet they dare to speak of recovery. How can that be? Two thirds of all wealth in America is held in real property and as the market slowly bleeds to death they dare to speak of recovery.

They speak of recovery while out of the other side of their mouth they talk of budget cuts. They talk of birth certificates instead of building the economy and spending cuts while the two corporate parties whisper to one another with a wink; tax cuts. The truth is they don't want to build the economy. They like this one just fine the way it is.

Exported jobs means high unemployment; high unemployment means lower wages and falling union membership. They are bleeding the economy like a medieval physician in hopes to keep the patient alive but too weak to fight about it. An economic coup d'etat, a nation of hamburger stands and Wal-Mart greeters.

A nation of Eloi reared on psychotropic television, waiting for a recovery that's not coming while holding the bag wide open expecting fresh snipe for dinner.

The other day the durable goods report showed an increase for the third month in a row based primarily on aircraft orders. Aircraft which increasingly are built with imported components so rather than manufacturing aircraft they are merely assembling them. If I import shoes from China and shoe laces from Mexico what has been accomplished? Those thirteen million American new cars are built in increasing numbers in Mexican factories? These American automakers have plans to double their production in Mexico by the end of the decade while the Obama Administration proposes using America's international trading bank to co-sign loans for Mexican car buyers.

So called Free Trade is the hammer which drives the pin in your shackles. There is nothing free about it. Rather than bringing the scabs to the coal mine they have simply taken the coal mine to the scabs. American meat packers place help wanted ads in Mexican newspapers and feign innocence as the illegal workers are hauled away as criminals. Maybe they were hauled away just before payday? I suspect it would be so in this economy.

Demonize the workers not the criminals. That's the standard operating procedure. Turn one worker against the other. Buy up both political parties and then pit them against each other in a show business Wrestlemania spectacular. The Republicans want to have you shot immediately but Obama has offered a compassionate conservative compromise where you won't be hung until dawn.

Hope? Change? It is almost comedic now isn't it? A Democratic President in favor of a less draconian form of the dismantling of Medicare and Social Security.

Who would have thought such a thing was possible that an American government could take on Stalinized programs to starve its own people; to deprive them of jobs, education and opportunity: Herbert Hoover and the anti-New Deal. Who would have thought that a nation which claims to love peace would be at perpetual war, and even more so, unable to win even a single campaign, where the head of the defense department becomes the head of the CIA and vice versa? That is a stunning policy that reverberates with totalitarian resonance. A nation at war with the world and at war with its own people.

The battle on the home front is fought with photon tubes and flat screen life-like color. Drone attacks on the cerebral cortex, a jangling of the nerves and excuses built in advance. Why is the economy struggling? High gas prices, why are gas prices so high? Libya, does America get any oil from Libya? No, we don't. Is Gaddifi a danger to America? Not as dangerous as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Goldman Sachs as they profit from your misery and soak up the succor that is rightfully yours in this anti-New Deal environment.

In the last Great Depression, the economy as a whole recovered in ten years but it took the banks more than twenty years to recover. In this Great Depression, the opposite is true; massive aid was supplied to the banks and the balloon was reinflated. The banks appear prosperous while the recovery on Main Street is nowhere in sight. The trouble that the banks now face is that a quarter of a percent interest rates are now depressing the market.

As the old loans are paid off at the higher interest rates, there are fewer new loans to replace them. These fewer new loans are at lower interest rates which means less profit for the bank. One in six Americans no longer even have a bank account and the credit card business has shrunken by twenty percent. The banks have only Wall Street and that balloon can only be inflated so much and for so long before the grim reaper's sickle returns again for the harvest.

Corporate Fascism is where the leaders seek to do what is expedient for the corporation rather than what is correct for the country. They have added trillions to the national debt to save the banks but only temporarily for the little engine of greed is running out of steam. The machine of war is making America a pariah state.

Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet was "not selected for procurement" by the Indian Defense Ministry in a possible $11 billion dollar deal neither was Lockheed's F-16 fighter aircraft and the official reason given was,
"A remaining uncertainty is that the defining nature of the U.S.-Indian strategic partnership might trump the purely operational and technical considerations" that have given an advantage to the European companies."
This means America's relationship with Pakistan and Indian calls for trade concessions including unencumbered nuclear fuel sales. Our policies are alienating nations all around us.

Bloomberg -- "Obama led a delegation of CEOs, including Boeing's Jim McNerney, on a November visit to India in which Obama urged increased trade between the two countries that he said will support tens of thousands of U.S. jobs."

The President of the United States prostrates himself for the military industrial complex but to the Indian government, the Europeans look much safer to bargain with and less likely to interfere in their politics. How does the corporate state react to such a loss? The US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer promptly resigned;
"I have been personally assured at the highest levels of the Indian government that the procurement process for this aircraft has been and will be transparent and fair," Roemer said today. His statement was released by the U.S. Embassy hours after it announced that he has offered his resignation for "personal, professional and family reasons."
He failed the corporate state's masters where results are all that matters. A corporate state which puts profits over its people's well being. What would you call that? If the Taliban cut off a surgeons hands in Afghanistan what would you call that? Terrorism? How is that terrorism any different than closing a plant in Indiana? The corporate state practices economic terrorism and economic treason as they unlock the gates to drag in the Trojan horse and sell you into bondage.

Average bonus for a Wall Street employee $128,500 in 2010
Porsche sales up 29 percent in 2010
Cadillac sales up 36 percent in 2010
Rolls Royce sales up 171 percent in 2010
Tiffany & Co. profits up 29 percent in 2010

One in five American children live below the poverty level.

Forty four million Americans are on food stamps almost double the 2007 number.

The US economy has ten percent fewer middle class jobs and wage growth for working people has been flat for a decade.

Half of all American workers earn $25,000 per year or less.

Meanwhile, the President and the Republican's in Congress are pushing three more free trade agreements.

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