Subject: American History
Recently there has been a wealth of bitching about the control that Wall Street has over the politics in this country…everyone sees them as the enemy, but no one ever warned us of the extent that this would have to the country……well that is not completely accurate.
From the very beginning of this great nation, some people saw what was coming and what it would do……
[I] shall rest satisfied with observing that our European manners which, probably, are, at this period, too common in America, will enable money (or, in other words, the rich) to usurp and to maintain an absolute dominion throughout the several states. To prevent it from striking root, some weak and feeble efforts will arise; and, perhaps, it may not prove impossible, by a multitude of precautions, to prevent this empire from becoming actually tyrannical. If feeble laws have not the power to hinder the commercial bodies from seizing upon all authority; if the public morals present no succors to the people; but, strive, in vain, to set some limits to the rage of avarice, I must tremble at the prospect of the final rupture of all the bonds of your confederation.
Who was that masked man on such foresight?
Those words were written to John Adams by Frenchman Abbe de Mably in 1785. Some saw into the future and if you look at it he was CORRECT in his prediction….Wall Street, i.e. the wealthy, run this country as it always has from the very beginning. And how good was this guy…he also predicted that the government would do little to stop the seizing of power by the “elites”….all the efforts would be anemic and the wealthy would always control the government.
Oh you think I am mistaken? Then look at the “Founding Fathers”…….name one that was not wealthy….okay Sam Adams was in debt to his ears….but he is seldom mentioned in most history books…even though he was a pivotal character in the movement for independence. They, the “patriots”, were trying to break the bonds of mercantilism…… and they did……I will repeat that…..it was more about breaking the bonds of mercantilism…..not necessarily freedom…..that took the pen of an idealist.
Keep in mind that….it was seldom about what was best for the people….but rather what the founders thought was best for them and their commercial endeavors….and that has seldom changed through the decades and centuries of the American experience.
It has been a hectic couple of weeks and most of my notes have made it into posts but there is always something that will not make it.
1–Octomom has been offered 7 figures for the tape of the birth of the 8 puppies.
2–I read recently that some banks were charging large fees to cash unemployment checks.
3–Perpetual candidate, Alan Keyes has called Obama a “radical communist”. He is a Repub that could explain his ignorance.
4–Blago to get 6 figures for a “kiss and tell” book on his choices for the Obama seat in the Senate.
5–Blueprints for the president’s chopper, Marine One, has been found on a website in Iran.
6–The US is spending more money on AIG than it has on a war.
7–NBC polls shows that if people were given money by the government that they would save it, not spend it.
8–Obama’s plan for the housing crisis will assist 1 in 9 home owners…that is about 11% of the people with mortgages.
9–It is March and yet another Nicholas Cage movie.
10-The Iowa House has approved a bill changing the name of the Department of Elder Affairs. If the legislation is signed by Gov. Chet Culver, the agency will be known as the Department of Aging — or DOA.
Silliness just keeps getting deeper and deeper.
Does anyone besides me get tired of the political rhetoric and use of buzzwords to gain political points? Last week’s was “pork”. Here is a news flash for all of you–ALL spending is pork to someone, somewhere!
Now there is a word that has got a bunch of play in the last 3 weeks or so. But what is “pork”? Is there really a such a thing as “pork”?
First of all there is a political saying, “it is not pork unless it is someone else”s district”.
“PORK” is a purely subjective word, depends on your point of view. If you want to be accurate then ALL spending can be called pork even the billions upon billions the Defense Dept. receives. It is a complete bullsh!t word that is used in the theatrics of Washington.
Pork comes from the term “pork barrel spending” or spending for pet projects of the representives in their home state. Spending is helping some body somewhere with a project that is needed at least appears to be needed. But think about this….how much military spending has been labelled pork? Very little….that is one of those sacred things in Washington.
How about earmarks? These are when a member of Congress tries to bring the bacon home to his/her home district. These things are what gives the members of an appropriation committee their power. These are to obtain federal money for projects back home…oh yeah..it is also called “PORK”.
In essence ALL spending could be called pork at some point. We will see if the Dems counter-attack when the bills for the military comes up…these bills are where many Repubs attach pork for their home districts….will the Dems play the tit for tat game with the Repubs? My guess is they will!
All the chat about the economy and the taxes and the policies of Obama have been called the “Swedish Model”. Media pundits, talking heads and even some McCain surrogates have said the economic policies of Obama are socialism and some even said it is the model mentioned. But what does the “Swedish Model” mean? Is it socialism, is it something to be avoided or is it a myth?
All that said, just what is the Swedish Model? Here is your answer.
Health care–all citizens receive high quality health and dental care with modest co-payment. The quality is so hight that even the wealthy opt out for public health care.
Education–Free education is provided to all citizens at all levels, including college, vocational and adult education. The quality of education is so hugh that even the KIng’s children attend public school.
Job Training–Free training is provided to all citizens who desire it.
Employment–the Swedish government feels that all citizens has the right to meaningful work. Unemployed people receive benefits, retraining or a job in a public works project. The unemployment rate in Sweden is about 2.4%.
Social Security–All Swedish citizens will receive a pension from the state, which pays them 75% of their income at the time of retirement.
Housing–For citizens that cannot afford a house, they are given a housing subsidy. There are no homeless in Swedish because of their housing and anti-poverty programs have been so successful.
So far I have not seen where that is such a bad deal for the people of Sweden. The US wishes it could provide such benefits to its citizens. Screw ideology–the people should be the priority of the governement and you may call it whatever you would like.
I believe that it was Ronnie Reagan who believed in this strategy in dealing with the USSR. He believed that the way to cripple and eventually destroy the USSR was to make them spend billions upon billions trying to keep up with the US in its pushing of military and foreign policy spending. And as predicted the Soviets tried to keep up and it finally bankrupted them and it slowly rolled over and died. But wait! That death gave birth to the ravenous Russian bear, that may be more dangerous than the USSR ever was. But that will be a post for another day.
Now Ronnie’s technique is coming back to haunt the US. How you ask? Al Qaeda. THey would like the US to continue spending billions upon billions to make the world safe. They even endorsed McCain, in a half handed way, as president, because they know that he would continue the runaway spending on national security. AQ has to keep the US engaged and spending uncontrolably. AQ has to keep the US fighting on as many fronts as possible that way AQ can bleed dollars from the US until it eventually bankrupts itself. Looks like someone in the AQ hierarchy is a student of history. The Ronnie Axiom.
The problem is, this could happen, the US economy is close to being bankrupt now and any further bleeding of funds from the economy could push it closer and closer to that threshold of bankruptcy. It is reasible that AQ could win this battle. I know not many want to hear this talk. Just think about what is happening in the world and now think about our fragile economy. What do you think?
The idea of the ‘crisis of the working class subject’ takes the analysis one step further, saying in effect that class consciousness has declined to such a degree that the overwhelming majority of working class people have no consciousness of themselves as part of a class that has its own interests other than those of the ruling class; using Lukacs’ distinction the working class is a “class in itself” but no longer a “class for itself”.
The idea that the working class is no longer a “class for itself” is an exaggeration, but like most caricatures is based on aspects of reality that workers have to identify and integrate into their strategy and tactics. Consciousness, especially mass consciousness, is a dynamic factor that is subject to change and sometimes, in periods of crisis, is subject to abrupt shifts. So any attempt to capture and interpret mass working class consciousness is likely to be partial and one-sided. Before we get into the detail of that we have to say something about the changing structure of the working class.
John Major in 1996 argued that “we are all middle class now” – in other words working class living standards have risen to such a degree that the difference with middle class people have become blurred. However Cumbria University academic Phillip Bond has recently argued the precise opposite – the ‘middle classes’ are being forced into the working class.
“The facts are astounding. Contrary to the delusions of the free-market fundamentalists, the Reagan revolution has come at a great cost to the working and middle classes. In the US, the top one per cent have seen a 78 per cent increase in their share of national income since 1979 with the bottom 80 per cent of the population experiencing a 15 per cent fall.
Wage earners have coped with this structural shift by taking on unprecedented levels of debt, working more and asking their partners to join the workforce. Family life has suffered; children see less of their parents than at any time in the last 100 years and since nobody has any time, civic life has virtually vanished.
Class consciousness may have declined in Western countries, but a decline does not denote an absence. To truly become a ‘class for itself’ the working class, has not just to fight for its immediate interests but to fight for an historical alternative.
So my answer is–NO! The working class is not disappearing, it is however, in a coma. The current economic crisis may be the jolt needed to bring them out of the vegetative state.
People are losing their homes, cannot afford to eat, or drive to work, but yet McCain spends all his time worrying about and talking about foreign policy. What is McCain doing? Will the struggling voter actually care about what happens in the Phillipines?
The same question is being asked by the LA Times.
This week, when Barack Obama campaigns in Ohio and Colorado, John McCain will be visiting Colombia and Mexico. It’s an unusual path for McCain to follow. But even more, it’s a risky strategy for his presidential campaign.
For starters, and most obviously, there are no electoral votes to be had in Latin America or Canada, another country McCain recently visited. Even more puzzling to observers is McCain’s emphasis on national security and foreign affairs — Saturday he met with the leaders of Iraq and the Philippines — at a time when domestic matters have surged to the fore of voter concerns.
So when McCain sits down with foreign leaders to talk about terrorism, the thinking goes, it helps voters envision him as commander in chief. When he travels to Colombia and Mexico, it highlights his record as a free trader and his moderation on immigration and, perhaps, garners favorable publicity in the Latino community back home.
But that strategy has provoked consternation and confusion among some fellow Republicans. There is, after all, the cautionary lesson of 1992, when President George H.W. Bush lost his reelection bid. One big reason was that voters believed Bush — who was partial to foreign policy — was less attuned to their pocketbook pain than was his more domestic-minded opponent, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.
McCain’s greatest political strength has always been his reputation as someone willing to go his own way when principle demands. He started running for president in 2007 as a conventional candidate, and failed miserably. He reverted to a more freewheeling form and, against a weak field, rallied to win the GOP nomination.
For good or ill, McCain is clearly determined to wage a different sort of general-election campaign, even if it leads him far from the well-trod path or away from the issues voters say they care most about. It may be unconventional. But given voters’ contempt for Washington, the Republican Party and the incumbent president, it might be McCain’s best chance of winning.
Americans are having a problem with the payment of mortgages, credit cards, etc……it is a credit crunch. But there is a bigger problem looming on the horizon. This does not mean that a person’s problems are not important just that the other could be diasterous to ALL Americans.
we all know about the war, right? This is the first time since the Revolutionary War that the US has financed totally on credit. At the beginning of the war the US was already operating in a deficit and basically had to borrow money to wage its war.
From the beginning the US had to borrow monies but from where? Here is the “good” news–40% of the funds for the war were loaned to the US by China. This will not happen, but what if that marker is called in? What will it do to the US? This is not the way to run a country!