In January 2006, Alan Greenspan resigned from his position as chairman of the Federal Reserve where he had reigned for more than 18 years. During that time he took on the mantra of the High Priest of Mammon and his public utterances were pondered with the same reverence bestowed upon the Pope when he speaks ex cathedra as Greenspan muttered and grumbled almost unintelligibly, straining the ears and boggling the brain of his rapt listeners. Now, from his exalted position in Valhalla. Greenspan offers his opinion on the causes of our present fiscal distress. The op-ed can be found in the Wall Street Journal, the house organ of the World Corporate Church.
In discussing this matter, he says, "The crisis, (the mortgage loan crash) was just an accident waiting to happen." This is the first mistake in his article. The truth is that it is the foreseeable end of the corporatocracy's effort to bleed the last ounce of financial blood from the veins of the working class of America.
But Greenspan was right in saying that "the root of the crisis...lies back in the aftermath of the Cold War." That would be about the same time Ronald Reagan appointed Greenspan the guardian of our fiscal possessions -- the time when the Republicans began the movement to establish a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that would allow American corporations to move their factories to the fertile low-wage worker field south of the Mexican border. This was followed by other "trade agreements" with underdeveloped nations unable to pay for our exports but who had lots of inferior stuff to exchange for the American dollar.
In return, they loaned many of those American dollars back to us until they owned more of the United States fiscal liquidity than Americans did. Now we have no choice but to tolerate the contaminated pet food, the poisonous food products, and the poisonous toys with which they flood our marketplaces because, should they decide to cash in all those dollars by calling our loans, we will be bankrupt. However, the economists have a handy answer for that -- merely repeal all the entitlements, safety nets, and educational programs that flow from the government and grow a whole new crop of child laborers and low-wage slaves on our own shores.
The average American of the wage-earner class may not understand all the maneuvers of the mind of this great fiscal guru, but we do understand one thing. This man who discovered an affinity for numbers during his college years was obviously lacking in his study of the humanities. The numbers with which he has played all these years are more than just numbers. They are the lifeblood of American citizens and the welfare and future of American children. The wealth that American workers create by their labor is drained off by greedy corporatologists as they suffer from each of the fiscal decisions that have been made by the Federal Reserve since Greenspan ascended the throne.
Anyone with any knowledge of sociology would have realized that the American working class was still buying into the canard that the American dream was still alive, that life was on an upward slant as it has been for generations. They really believed that two years down the road, their financial conditions would be improved so they could increase the payments on their dream homes enough to pay down the principal. Instead, they found the value of their homes decreasing while the purchase prices remained the same and the interest-only time clock kept on ticking. Some are saying, "It was their own fault," while others maintain that optimism is patriotic.
As for the tightening of the stock market, that too had to happen. With the outsourcing of jobs and the decrease in average worker earnings, coupled with the strain of the taxes with which the wealthy were no longer encumbered, there was a limit to the funds that could be gouged from the productive class. Pension funds disappeared and disposable income dropped while inflation inched up and the number of investors dwindled. It had reached the point that the money was just being shuffled from one rich person to another as they gambled to gain the upper hand. Working America retreated into "survival" mode, ducking and covering to ride out the balance of this disastrous administration. Remember Jimmy Carter and the "lingering national malaise" of 1972?
The one thing Greenspan cannot comprehend is that he, more than any other single person, is responsible not only for the collapse of the housing bubble and the home-loan industry, but for the greater collapse, which is bearing down upon us as the rich become bloated with wealth and the poor only get poorer. It does not matter how much money there is circulating in the world if that money does not create a better life for all its inhabitants. Greenspan sees everything through the eyes of the corporate bosses while remaining blissfully ignorant of any effect of his decisions upon the insignificant human beings who are forced to live with the consequences.
There was a segment of the old television show, "Happy Days," wherein Fonzie, the tough guy, made a big mistake and was required to admit it. The poor lad began with "I was...I was...I was..." but literally choked on the word "wrong." Try it, Mr. Greenspan. Go ahead, say it! "I was wrong." Try it again -- "I was wrong." Okay, you work on that for a while, and then try to say, "I'm sorry."
We will be listening.