Friday, October 3, 2008

Thoughts From A Pissed-Off Voter

October 2, 2008

They call it a “financial bailout”. I call it a promissory note to continue the economic enslavement of the American taxpayer for generations to come. It is paying homage to the slave masters, the plantation owners, the oil tycoons, the corrupt financiers, the multinational CEOs and all those who have ever exploited the poor and vulnerable for their labor and ingenuity. This time, our own government has finally exposed itself as the greatest purveyor of economic injustice on its own people.

The United States government has drug its feet in terms of justice since its inception. From slavery to native sovereignty, from women’s rights to voting rights, from civil rights to human rights, our government has fought against its populace tooth and nail. However, the people have always prevailed. We forced the lawmakers to see that wealthy white men are not gods. They are not the only people who deserve justice, prosperity and happiness. We have won every battle except for one; the battle for economic justice. The financial levers and means of production of the U.S. have always been in the hands of a few disgustingly wealthy individuals. And they will stop at nothing to maintain their wealth and power and to build up the system that ensures that the masses of citizens will continue to be subservient to the monetary needs of the wealthy few. The famous quote from banker Meyer Rothschild, “Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws,” is truer today than ever. Now it is evident that our Senate and Congress will also do whatever it takes to maintain the disparity in our economic system. They too are here to serve only the wealthy of this globe.

At the precise moment when the inherent flaws in the so called “free market” are being exposed and a legitimate dialogue about the structure of our nation’s economy should be at the forefront, our government has decided to continue with business as usual. Actually, it’s business that is much worse than usual. It’s a perverted scheme to rob the taxpayers of our money and put it in the hands of the very people who caused the near financial collapse in the first place. To make it even worse, they caused the crisis by preying upon innocent families who simply wanted to own a home. Is this what we voted for? Is this what we deserve from our elected officials? You can blame Bush and Cheney all you want for creating this mess, but now even our most trusted officials are selling the American people and our unborn children into financial slavery. We are already trillions of dollars in debt, how could they conceive of putting us further in the hole? I am still waiting for the national discourse on why the system failed. I don’t blame the predatory lenders, they were just doing their jobs. They are supposed to bring in as much capital as possible with no regard to the human condition. They played their part to perfection. We, the zombie consumers are to blame for allowing this atrocity of an economic system to stay in place. Unregulated capitalism will eventually end up as slavery; that is the goal of the system. Economic slavery is almost as dehumanizing as physical slavery and it lasts longer because our children will continue the cycle of debt and poverty.

I have more respect for the Republicans who voted against the bill because it did not hold true to the ideals of capitalism (a company that can’t survive in the free market should just fail), than I do for the cowardly Democrats who voted to pass the bill out of the fear for their own legacy or fear of a financial collapse. The system they are protecting is the very system that crushes their constituents under the weight of low wages, long hours, no healthcare, and over-priced commodities. Those Democrats (Obama included) then try to tell us that “there was no other solution, the consequences would have been much worse if we did nothing.” No one is asking them to do nothing. But why is it that there is only one solution to this catastrophe? To give a blank check (sorry, a $700,000,000,000.00 check) to the greedy, incompetent, blood-thirsty bandits who caused the problem to begin with; without any mandates or regulations to keep them from doing the exact same thing again for the next twenty years. We are a country full of gifted and talented people. Are we to believe that no one could come up with any other solution to this problem? There must be tens if not hundreds of ways to find a solution. I have an idea. Why don’t we give only ten billion to the hundreds of thousands of families whose houses have been foreclosed? We could reinstitute their mortgages and reinvigorate the banks and the housing market at the same time. That’s my humble contribution, but I guess that won’t happen, why would our elected officials ever look out for the people who elected them?

The truth is that this bill is a top-down adrenaline shot to the economy. Top-down is another name for “trickle-down economics”. It’s the oldest trick in the book. They tell us to give them our money and just wait. Eventually it will come back to us. We’ve been waiting for the trickle since the Reagan era. Meanwhile they sell us hope, faith-based programs, fear, and other intangible nothings. A strong economy is built from the bottom up, not the top down.

The fact that our society is based upon debt is backwards to begin with. If you are considered “middle class” in America, that means you are probably in debt for about $100,000.00 at least. It also means you are about 6-8 paychecks away from poverty. Just to enter into the mainstream of society by getting an education, you have to incur debt. We bombard college students with high-interest credit cards and socialize our children that it is natural to be in debt. Small businesses start out in debt and many never get out.
I say let the markets fail, wipe all debt clean, let’s start fresh with a massive redistribution of wealth so that everyone has a healthy productive life, not just the super-rich and those that aspire to be them.

Young people, we must refuse to pay for this ransacking of our tax dollars! We must stand up to the elected officials and let them know that if they vote to pass this bill then they have positioned themselves as our enemies. I for one, refuse to stand with any politician who supports this bill of enslavement!

-Brian Lozenski a.k.a. Brihanu

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Little Reality Check and an Update

So, just as I wrote the blog entry before this one in the morning, the "bailout" was on it's way to failure. It's an interesting turn of events, because the Democrats and the Republicans who voted against the bailout did so for very different reasons. This creates one hell of a chasm between the two parties, who after all are "two wings of the same vulture." Well, the bill went down in flames, thanks in part to a few Democrats with some balls and a conscience, and a few totally crazy right wing Republicans who are so against socializing anything other than stock market losses that they actually voted against it. I know, sad state of affairs.

Let's put things in perspective here for a moment: When the UK's Bradford & Bingley (huge national bank) went down today, there was not any debate about whether or not the tax payers should "bail out" the banks. Instead, the debate was on whether or not these banks should be "nationalized". In other words, taken over and owned by the tax payers. A tragedy tuned into an opportunity to change the circumstances of the markets to benefit the people instead of stick them with the bill. Here's the story:

As of now, the stock market has had the largest point fall ever, and the overall global capitalist market establishment is beginning to freak out. The real test will be in what the respective governments do in response. What will we do?

Note to OBAMA: Your vote for the "bailout" is the loss of my vote for you

I am one of those people who has on many occasions, disagreed with others on whether or not they should make their voting decision based on only one major issue, whether it be the environment, abortion, religion, or any other issue. I've always touted the idea that one's decision should be based on a very broad spectrum of criteria, and only after analyzing all of them individually and then collectively, can you effectively decide whether a candidate is worthy of office.

Well, I am now prepared to throw all of that out the window. If Barack Obama votes yes on this bailout package, I will withdrawal my decision to vote for him. Why? This is the wholesale sellout of the American people being handed to the world on a golden platter. But don't take my word for it, read the proposal for yourself:

In the words of Dennis Kucinich: "When a jeweler's eye is applied to this bill, this bill is about Wall Street." He went on to say that Goldmann Sachs has a hell of lot to gain in this bill too, since our man Henry Paulson - the Secretary of the Treasury - has massive holdings in his past employer. If this doesn't reek of a conflict of interest, you need to have your nose checked. Paulson is literally bailing himself out with this bill.

Even beyond the conflict of interest, and the general worry that we should all have about any massive bailout that does not include some kind of dividend check given to every American tax payer below a certain income (because those above a certain income barely pay taxes in this country anyway, and they have most likely benefited from the fleecing the people), the most frightening thing to me is the overuse of words like "may" and "shall", and "encourage to" in regard to helping homeowners. The word "mandate" or "shall" appear far too infrequently. "So there's no help for homeowners in this bill", according to Kucinich. Additionally, there is no requirement to revisit the bankruptcy laws that the Bush Administration has passed during the past 8 years. Even Obama himself has said that should not be in the bill. He's made a case for it, and it is somewhat sound, but the fact is, if the American people are footing the bill for these banks, who cares if it fits within the confines of legislative manners! Damn the rules and the past precedents on this one Obama!

Basically, this whole bill, and I read a good majority of it early this morning, is simply a bailout for the rabid, greedy bastards who got us into this mess in the first place, otherwise known as speculators. They are the reason home prices became criminally over-valued, making the banks do whatever they had to in order to get more loans out to more people, so that they could collect more interest rates. By inflating the value of these homes on the market, they were able to loan more money with increasingly ridiculous interest rates that were "flexible." In the end, what this meant was lower to middle-income people deciding to take a risk by getting a "sub-prime" mortgage. There are only two reasons why a person with an income of like $40,000 made the silly choice to buy a $200,000 house: One, the bank pretty much guaranteed them they would get the loan, even though the payment would be nearly half of their take home pay every month. And they probably didn't say a damn thing about the bubble which they all knew was about to burst. Two, they were consistently reassured that real estate is the safest investment one can make. Usually, it was a combination of the two things that made folks want to buy when they shouldn't. Hell, we have been told for a century that real estate is the most solid investment. If you are a poor or lower-middle income person, you want in on that, because you might actually see something for your investment, something you can't say about anything else you spend money on, right?

Anyway, point is, we got had on a multitude of fronts. And we are about to bend over and take it again, unless enough Democrats and Republicans for that matter, decide to vote against this thing. Obama is wrong when he says "the consequence of doing nothing is more dangerous than the bill we have on the table." To hell with that logic. The reality is, there is nothing in this bill that MANDATES that the American tax payer is truly going to gain from this package. The only thing that is mandated is that the bankers, speculators, and fraudulent real estate investors are going to get out of this one just fine. Meanwhile, the American tax payer is going to enjoy the worst economic situation since the Great Depression.

In conclusion: This bill IS important. It is something that we should be negotiating. However, we should be utilizing these negotiations for a much larger effort: To completely reform the entire banking system in the United States. And while we are at, instituting some real controls on the capitalist market. The fact that we are even debating a bill like this is evidence that nothing but fraud "trickles down" and the dream of "free market capitalism" became a nightmare a long time ago. We are only seeing the effects now.

If Obama votes for this bill, he is simply saying to the American people that the fatally flawed economic premise under which we all suffer is more important to save than the soul of the American people. There is no guarantee, and in fact far from a guarantee, that this bill will keep us from entering a full-blown "depression". Multiple Nobel Prize winning economists have already come out and said we are there, and there is no turning back. We ought to listen to them, and in the meantime, rethink and rebuild the socioeconomic foundation on which this country operates.

If Obama loses this election as a result of folks like me refusing to vote for ANYONE who is in support of this bill, let it be a lesson to us all.

- Christopher R. Cox