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It's the Economy, and I'm Stupid

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What can any of us do if we do not fully understand the scope of the problem that we are facing? If we do not realize the connections between everything monetarily and how economically they all combine to have dire effects for us, than we stand mute unable to speak the truth about what’s happening.

The Nevada debate awarded to three of the five remaining Democratic candidates for president by General Electric had one thing good come out of it: a question was asked connecting foreign money to home foreclosures. It brought forward slightly (I believe) the idea that outsourcing and offshore tax havens have had an effect on how loans are conducted in America. It also linked those evasions of American policies to the scandal going on with the subprime loan industry.

It didn’t go any further. It left Americans like me who are in the dark on the whole scope of the problem with the economy still thinking compartmentally. It left us unaware that fixing home foreclosures can only happen if you reexamine bankruptcy laws. It ignored taking a look at the credit card and banking industries, which graciously allow this mess to be wrought upon us all. It ignored hedge funds, which to tell you the truth I wish I could look my father straight in the face and explain to you how those work but despite all my research, he does not know because I cannot coherently tell him what hedge funds do.

“It’s the economy, stupid” was a fitting phrase during the 1990s and the age of Bill Clinton or Clintonomics. Now, a better phrase might be, “It’s the economy, and I’m stupid so…” And the dot dot dot or ellipses signifies a trailing of thought, a trailing that occurs because we are ashamed that we cannot fight this because we do not understand this and don’t know how to understand this.

We don’t know how to convey the scope of this problem to the American people because it is reported to the American people in fragments and connecting it all together makes everything seem like a conspiracy. Conspiracies don’t happen in America (that’s what the history books children get their education from would like us all to believe, right?).

Without being able to comprehend the scope of the problems with our economy, how can we as a nation know who does and does not out of the field of candidates understand fully the subprime loan scandal and all the other issues with our economy? When they tell us they get it, how do we figure out if they do or do not?

It's a sad thing to suggest that we are incapable of electing the right man but it's a definite possibility that America has reached a point where we truly are blind to the defects of our leaders. It's even possible we do not know what defects look like in a leader anymore.

Having watched Chairman Dennis Kucinich run Domestic Policy Subcommittee hearings on urban America and discuss the economic turmoil we are in, which directly addressed the subprime loan scandal in America, I am almost there. Having heard of hedge funds numerous times from him in speeches, I think I am getting closer. And hearing about foreign investment in Dubai having effects here that are not good, I might be just shy of connecting the dots and producing a fine exposé for you all to read.

Connecting the dots via Google or however you seek to gain your information is the best thing we can do if we seek to fix the economic problems in this country. I have the LexisNexis at my disposal since I am a college student. Combined, there is no reason I cannot know of the filthiest and dirtiest dealings in America unless the powers that be have succeeded in keeping them hidden.

But for those who do not have Internet or LexisNexis access, where do they go? We’ve uncovered the Poverty of Knowledge in America. It combines with the Poverty of Understanding and Education in America to allow for mainstream corporate media to be the only source of information we tap into. That poverty results in Americans not realizing they aren’t being told the full story or not hearing certain stories. (I also know people who are afraid of the CIA or FBI harassing them if they knew the whole truth and so they are okay with being kept in the dark.)

My uncle didn’t know a New Hampshire recount was happening when it was reported on the Internet it had been awarded to Dennis Kucinich and Albert Howard who would each be paying for it from their campaign funds. And yet, when I told him, it’s not like he made the decision to never watch cable news again and just get information from the Internet or some public access television show like Democracy Now!.

The Poverty of Knowledge and the Poverty of Understanding and Education is perhaps primarily generational but it is also financial. Those struggling to get by haven’t the time or opportunities to muckrake---to go through endless amounts of information and put the pieces together for people to think seriously about.

So, it becomes the duty of people like me and you (if you write articles and get Diggs or Reddits) to connect dots for them, write about it, and find ways to get our articles or ideas published in the mainstream corporate media. 

In my connecting of the dots for others who cannot, I came across the idea that bankruptcy reform bills passed in the past seven years have brought forth this sub-prime loan scandal or made it way worse than it would have been.

I started here at a place called Impact Lab where it says “2005 Bankruptcy Law Changes Causing Subprime Loan Scandal.” I continued on to a Business Week article titled, “Bankruptcy Reform Bites Back.” Then I came across the great CommonDreams.org where an article titled “36 'Democratic' Senators Vote For Credit Card/Banking Industry's Bankruptcy 'Reform” was published six years ago. It shows that John Edwards and Hillary Clinton both voted for it along with other Democrats who sold out the American people. And then I see Citigroup was involved in Tom Daschle’s district…

…Citigroup has invested hundreds of thousands in Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. John Edwards has Citigroup invested in him but the amount has not been disclosed on WhiteHouseforSale.org.

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)
 
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No, you aren’t stupid! In fact, what you ha... by Sherwin Steffin on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 5:54:48 PM
But I do wonder about your making this seem like t... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 6:41:39 PM
I would take issue with a couple points you make h... by Tom Chechatka on Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 at 7:45:33 PM
Time I educated myself on this as well, and so I h... by Steven Leser on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 9:07:01 PM
"To K. and T. -- and to all young people like... by Edward Ulysses Cate on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 at 1:53:28 PM
"One of the great American industrialists of ... by Tom Chechatka on Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 at 6:07:18 PM