Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The credit crunch versus the income drought

Robert Reich's Salon article "The politics of an economic nightmare" and tons of articles on the same topic are doing a very nice sleight of hand using the age old tactic of misdirection.

The real heart of the problem we are facing is that greed has been allowed to run amok causing a stampede of brainwashed "individualists" to believe they too can have a lifestyle of the "Rich and Famous" while the real institutions of civic democracy have had the rug pulled out from under them. This includes our own government which is now owned and run by the mega-rich and uber-wealthy.

The real drain has been the exporting of jobs overseas and the resulting lack of a decent income for millions of people in America. What jobs remain for these workers pays a pittance that no amount of credit can make up for.

Those who are still in the middle class making more than $60k/yr are a different story for they have no excuses for being in debt up to their eyeballs. Perhaps they are the greatest engines of greed having become so enthralled as "consumers" chasing visions of rich and famous lifestyles they forgot or never learned that restraint and impulse control is the first sign of maturity.

The root of all of this comes from a mindset that profit is the end all, be all of existence. And when one's humanity is subverted and lost in the process it goes unnoticed in the same way Scrooge lost his and had to be reminded of it by the intervention of four ghostly spirits who visited him one Christmas Eve.

I do not think America will be as fortunate as Scrooge in rediscovering its lost humanity. I think it will take the actual destruction of our country as a nation before the spoiled brats who occupy this country will know true suffering and the requirement of each of us to treat others as we would wish to be treated. There is no "us v. them" when the sorrow and grief and the stench of death is in every household.

Only then do I see the true consciousness of our interdependence penetrating the hard shell of selfish individualism. Only then do I see the possibility of the great masses of the people throwing off their chains of wage enslavement and mental thralldom to reclaim their souls and turn their energies to restoring the life and health of the land, their bodies, their families, and their communities.

The powers that be that have enslaved the entire planet to their ideas have soiled the nest for everyone and risk all our lives for their own petty desires. They have ensured that the peasants remain poor, that true democracy is never exercised, and that their profits are given holy sanction at whatever cost to the rest of humanity and to the life-giving properties of this planet. I just hope when they get sick and die that they will know that they did it to themselves.

As for the rest of us, we do have a choice to make. Either to go along with their view of life and existence or use our sovereign powers as morally acting human beings and give them the finger. If the powers that be are incapable of growing up then it is up to the rest of us to show them some of that tough love they like to espouse for others. To me, the first step is to pay what you can, ignore the interest rate, and when you think you've paid fairly and equitably for what you got, then turn off the spigot. Usury is evil. We the people must once again assert our sovereign right to live, to be free, and to pursue what little happiness can be found in life. It is time to wake up.

In other words, you cannot squeeze blood from stones. No amount of credit can make up for not enough income for workers. And as we can see, without a decent income, real savings, and a real valuation of the common good, the whole thing is a house of cards and everyone suffers when it falls down.

To make the point even shorter, no rain means no crops and no harvest and everyone starves.