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We already had a class war; they won

I just read a thought-provoking essay at that progressive snake pit, alternet.org, entitled Our Economy Was a Scam and Now We’re Dead Broke. It does a great job of summarizing my own pessimism about our economy and the sustainability of our national way of life.

His [Obama’s] economic team of free market billionaires and financial hotwires includes most of those who helped Bill Clinton sell the theory that Americans didn’t need jobs. Actual labor, if you will remember, was for Asian sweatshops and Latin maquiladoras. We, as a nation one third of whose population is functionally illiterate, were going to transmute ourselves into an information and transactional economy. Ain’t gonna sweat no mo’ no mo’ — just drink wine and sing about Jesus all day.

… the current regime’s definition of a recovery is more of the same as ever. A return of the mortgage market and credit to its former level — the level that blew us out of the water in the first place. Ah, but we’re gonna manage it better this time. There is no one-trick pony on earth equal to capitalism.

Somewhere in the smoking wreckage lie the solutions. The solutions we aren’t allowed to discuss: adoption of a Wall Street securities speculation tax; repeal of the Taft-Hartley anti-union laws; ending corporate personhood; cutting the bloated vampire bleeding the economy, the military budget; full single payer health care insurance, not some “public option” that is neither fish nor fowl; taxation instead of credits for carbon pollution; reversal of inflammatory U.S. policy in the Middle East (as in, get the hell out, begin kicking the oil addiction and quit backing the spoiled murderous brat that is Israel.

Sure, it’s just a progressive’s laundry list of woes that no electable representative would ever endorse (Kucinich and Paul notwithstanding). But damned if it didn’t entice me to buy his book, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War. Judging from the reviews, it might just be more preaching to the choir, but we’ll see if I agree.

The idea that our economy of the last 30 years was a massive credit scam is being articulated in a growing number of places, notably James Howard Kunstler’s Long Emergency. Kunstler makes the argument that the housing boom was the only thing keeping our economy afloat as the manufacturing base moved to China and India; now it’s gone forever and those jobs aren’t coming back.

Of course, it’s easy to blame the shadowy “elite,” that one percent of the population we imagine has its foot on our throat. Don’t get me wrong — the foot and our supine posture are in no way strictly metaphorical. But they had help.

If you need me, I’ll be busy converting my wealth to beans, bullets, and bibles.

Posted in Politics.


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