the obasm budget is out, and as predicted it takes aim squarely at the trough at which the needy grub for a handout. the banksters were made whole in 2008 when they should've taken a bath -- if held to the same standard they hold others to -- but those lacking in wherewithal to purchase life's necessities will just need to make other arrangements.
is there something fundamentally askew with this picture? speaking of honesty in political discourse, why don't we simply declare that when we talk about "painful" budget cuts and austerity, that what it means in plain terms is that millions will suffer grinding poverty amidst the splendor of their overlords in the corporate state.
how bad are we willing to tolerate it becoming before there is a backlash against a fundamentally lopsided social and financial arrangement in the USA? is the point to suffer an egypt-like malfunction before there's a honest discussion of where we're headed as a nation?
the momentum since the beginning of the reagan revolution has been on the side of the economic neoliberals. ending progressive taxation on the wealthy and revoking government regulation on business has been the twin tines of the fork to skewer working-class people. trickle-down theory was going to send not shit, but big money, rolling downhill to the groveling millions. but it never happened. instead, government became an appendage of corporations, which milked the government for every loose dime that could be pilfered and wasted boosting somebody's bottom line. what was sold as a movement to shrink the size and cost of government was exceptionally proficient at sending both through the roof.
the public has by and large countenanced this profligacy because in tandem with the corporate raid on the treasury for wars and subsidies and no-bid contracts, the common folk were given easy access to credit -- funny money, as it were -- which allowed us ape a lifestyle we couldn't honestly afford.
indeed, if you look at the trajectory of the nation's fiscal binge, it's been enabled by mad money coming out of the FED that has lubricated this ersatz perpetual motion machine and led us to the current fiscal precipice. there's so much money out there, so much debt, that up until now has made everyone's wildest dreams seem tantalizingly within reach...
well, now the grapes are suddenly been whisked away, and all that's left are grubby hands reaching out to the thin air. get used to a fistful of air, sucker!
this project on the part of the banker class has been underway for a lot longer than 30 years, incidentally. it's been going forward for better than a century. it was only interrupted for a couple of generations by the unfortunate events of the 1930s. it's simply, however, a dream deferred.
the wealthy are always looking for a way to maximize profits, and corner markets on whichever assets they currently have their eye on. the whole funny money game being run on wall street is just a sideshow to a bigger racket that has its eye not on a bunch of essentially worthless paper, but on real, tangible assets with real intrinsic value.
after you have mortgaged yourself to the banksters, they take your real property -- anything they can add to their possessions that was obtained by your labor. this is how they convert your life to their profit. making an entire population serfs to serve their feudal overlords has a long and distinguished history in the annals of human endeavor.
when we think in terms of human progress, the evolution of society has been moving toward the goal of providing security, order and in general creating an environment and institutions to enhance the lives of all its members. it's been a long, slow process, but we've been getting there. over historical epochs we've moved from one form of organization to the next, from monarchy and authoritarianism, to democratic republican governments. we almost universally consider that a highly evolved, enlightened society will provide for the general welfare of its citizens. that has been at least the theory since the enlightenment.
now, however, after the various isms of the last century, mutated that goal into a more animalistic, winner-take-all mentality -- a law of the jungle, in effect, as a reaction to the humanistic goals of the enlightenment.
i think we're being herded into a state of heightened anxiety, so when our overlords make the call, we can be stampeded over a cliff. this is the work of the propaganda arm of the reactionary movement, the FOX news hawkers, who sell fear and resentment to people over-invested in paranoia.
they blindly call for "cuts" to the federal budget, but are oblivious to where the ax falls. they're mesmerized by the auto-erotic conspiracies outlined by beck, and fatally misdirected against saps who are worse off than they are. they'll get no balance, either in their budgets or their news, from FOX.
the real cuts are coming, and it won't be in taxes, but in paychecks and standard of living. that's what austerity really is, the siphoning off of what little the little people have, which is being sent up the line to those who have it all.
i'm on the left, being left-handed and left behind just generally not among those who have a lot to protect. (i think that's kind of what it comes down to.) i'm not exactly livid about these cuts, however. if anything, i find them slightly amusing.
it's a shell game, at best. nothing substantial gets cut, the money just gets reallocated to other, more pressing demands. the banks, which are responsible for the largest chunk of deficit spending through both their bailouts and the interest payments, are both raising the red warning flag, but also holding a hand out to be showered with even more of society's largess -- there are bigger bailouts yet to come!
that, in the final analysis, is what makes me really livid. this crisis, such as it is, has been manufactured and cultivated over decades by wealthy interests, and sticking the rest of us with the bill. they have dragged us through a series of pointless overseas adventures and obscene cost, which is amalgamated through the system of corporate "privatization" of pentagon and government generally. they have used the bloated and malevolent military machine to terrorize and exploit millions around the world, in order to expropriate the wealth of other nations, again at our expense.
if you were honestly looking for cuts, and for a more sane and rational ordering of national priorities, these seem like nice, fat targets one could easily zero in on, but of course they are untouchable.
on the other hand, take the single government program that i have utilized, and have derived the most benefit from: a university education at modest cost through a state institution. this has given me the skills and opportunity to benefit not only myself, but society generally, through my productivity and tax payments.
this is, instead, the type of program that will be brutalized by the coming austerity. not the institutions themselves, as my alma mater is now a behemoth, a huge brick-and-mortar blight on the landscape -- all parking decks and monolithic structures plastered by their sponsors' corporate logos. students enter eagerly, and leave burdened by unconscionable loads of debt. it is quickly becoming a terrible deal to waste one's mind becoming a slave to bankers.
i feel truly fortunate that i got my degree without a cent of debt to dog me for the next decade of two of my life -- unlike those who followed.
the contrast is stark, where against the backdrop of these megalithic structures stand lines of the homeless and hungry, waiting for a handout from people looking to earn brownie points in heaven. i mean, it's better than nothing, but how can we reconcile these disparate worlds that coexist in our midst, and inevitably will accelerate into a bifurcated society of have-somes and have-nots.
living as refugees in one's own country, in squalor amidst opulence, is a better reason to be livid.