Friday, October 3, 2008

An extraordinarily and historically sad day

Our government has dramatically increased the public's subsidization of the banking and financial services industry. A major victory for the business party comes shortly after another one of the coordinated, public-affairs events the business party's warring factions stage quadrennially. Some thoughts from former chief economist of the Senate Banking Committee, Robert Johnson (he also plays a mean guitar):
I think this bill, five weeks before an election, is illustrating for the American people, when there are two currencies of power—votes and money—that even at this time, when the power of votes is at its cyclical high, meaning just before the election, they are almost laughing at the American people, in the—by the nature and structure of this bill. This is a very sad result.


They can, what I would say, use the crisis anxiety of the market fragileness to, how would I say, accomplish their aims on behalf of money and do no service for the public. We have no mortgage relief in this bill whatsoever.


They always say in the headlines now, it was “heads they win, tails you lose,” like that’s something looking backwards. It’s heads, Wall Street won yesterday; tails, the taxpayer lose now. But the structure of this bill, which depends upon buying overpriced assets, means heads, tomorrow, in a recovery, the banking industry wins again, and the population, the taxpayers who supported them in this bill, don’t go with them.


[The bailout] went up by roughly $150 billion for those kinds of special pork-related projects. Now, what you’re seeing is the Congress and the Senate are daring the American people to get mad and throw them out. As David Sirota said in his first book, Hostile Takeover, this isn’t about choosing between Rs and Ds; this is about a bipartisan money machine working against the population. They’re daring you. They’re daring you to turn out in five weeks and, in essence, support challengers against incumbents, because the incumbents are the ones responsible for doing this bill.
John Kenneth Galbraith wasn't kidding when he said, "in America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich."

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