Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Only Suckers Play By the Rules"

Is that ever true these days. I truly believe the best days of America are already behind it; things began to go down the toilet the minute Ronald Reagan and his gang of Friedmanite cultists took power and started destroying the country's social and economic fabric, and this has continued to the present day.

No matter how much neoliberalism has been proven to be a failure and proven to be destructive in all countries where it has been tried, our politicians still continue with ruinous policies which are teetering this country on the brink of ruin.

The elites, of course, are doing better than ever, but they are doing better only because everybody else is doing worse.

It's all by design, not coincidence.

Washington politicians are really the enemies of the American people.

The large currents of the past generation – deindustrialisation, the flattening of average wages, the financialisation of the economy, income inequality, the growth of information technology, the flood of money into Washington, the rise of the political right – all had their origins in the late 70s. The US became more entrepreneurial and less bureaucratic, more individualistic and less communitarian, more free and less equal, more tolerant and less fair. Banking and technology, concentrated on the coasts, turned into engines of wealth, replacing the world of stuff with the world of bits, but without creating broad prosperity, while the heartland hollowed out. The institutions that had been the foundation of middle-class democracy, from public schools and secure jobs to flourishing newspapers and functioning legislatures, were set on the course of a long decline. It as a period that I call the Unwinding.

In one view, the Unwinding is just a return to the normal state of American life. By this deterministic analysis, the US has always been a wide-open, free-wheeling country, with a high tolerance for big winners and big losers as the price of equal opportunity in a dynamic society. If the US brand of capitalism has rougher edges than that of other democracies, it is worth the trade-off for growth and mobility. There is nothing unusual about the six surviving heirs to the Walmart fortune possessing between them the same wealth as the bottom 42% of Americans – that's the country's default setting. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are the reincarnation of Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie, Steven Cohen is another JP Morgan, Jay-Z is Jay Gatsby.

However, the elites engineered this whole thing; it is not a natural order of things or the way things always were. It was important for them to create fake think tanks and buy up media in order to persuade people to vote against their own best interests. Now they own the politicians and they are trying to take over public education, though people are slowly waking up to the class war. Whether or not it is too late remains in question.

My feeling is the elites can't continue because they are far outnumbered, but once people have had enough, that will be it, but it may wind up being a bloodbath before things can ever be righted again.

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