"Our country is bankrupt. It's not bankrupt in 30 years or five years," warns economist Larry Kotlikoff, "it's bankrupt today."
Economist Peter Morici: "Capitalism is broken, America's government is two bankrupt political parties bankrupting the country."
David Stockman, Reagan's budget director: "If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians" the "tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing."
BusinessWeek recently asked analyst Mary Meeker to run the numbers. How bad is it? America really is bankrupt, with a "net worth of a negative $44 trillion." Bankrupt.
And it will get worse. Unfortunately, nothing can stop America's self-destructive Wall Street bankers. They simply do not care that their "doomsday capitalism" will ultimately destroy their businesses from within, as it simultaneously bankrupts their country and ends democracy as we know it.
America's worst 10 years start now
The rich exist in a different world from the rest of us. They live privileged lives in gated communities. They meet for holidays at the world's elite resorts. The richest aren't worried about today's economy like you and I are. They don't need to be worried. Their issues revolve around which elite resort has the best masseuse, best Pilates teacher, best concierge medical doctor, which private school to choose, what investments they are making at this time, etc. Folks at the top are not concerned with the underlying deterioration of America, except in the abstract, because they aren't and won't be directly affected by it (barring something quite unforeseen) -- at least not in any significant or worrisome way. That's why no amount of new information will ever change what they do. To them, such news is irrelevant. When things for the rest of us totally fall apart, they will simply pick up the pieces, at bargain prices, just as they did after the Great Depression, put it all back together the way they want, likely with even more power and control for themselves, and carry on as before. At least that's their plan.
The four ticking time bombs that will ignite the Wall Street revolution, according to MarketWatch analyst Paul B. Farrell
Yes, the rich live in a different world. And no new information will change them. But a revolution would. Revolutions build slowly over a long time. Then, suddenly, a critical mass, a flash point, and something totally unexpected ignites the ticking bombs.
As you know, it happened recently in a remote Tunisian village. Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old college graduate, unable to pay bribes, set himself on fire to protest police confiscation of the scale he used at his unlicensed vegetable cart. That triggered a revolution. And his horrible suicide rapidly led to the collapse of a 24-year dictatorship.
Today we have four time bombs soon to make history; any one of them could easily start ramping up the revolution that's already killing Wall Street and America from within.
1. Wealth gap: the super-rich, the class war, and the death of democracy
The gap: In the space of one generation, America's wealthiest 1% have almost tripled their share of our country's income, from 9% of it to more than 23% of it. Meanwhile, middle-class income has stagnated. Even Warren Buffett admits that "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making the war, and winning it."
The rich just don't care about the losses the large majority of us are taking as a result. They live by a very self-centered credo and are lacking a moral compass. The public welfare is honored by them only if there are tax benefits in it for them.
The wealth gap continues to widen, no steps are being taken to stop that widening, and soon enough something unpredictable will ignite a Wall Street revolution because of this ever widening gap.
2. Wall Street's doomsday capitalism and its movement toward anarchy