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Bipartisan Pathologies

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert Cogan       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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I'll bet there are a lot of Republicans and Democrats like me. I retired in 2003. I worked hard and well for 40 years. I had modest successes. I have had good health. I've had good luck and many people have helped me. I've been married only once for 38 years, to a great woman. We have two kids who are healthy, whose college education is paid off and who are decently paid. We have lived, since 1976, in a mortgaged 50 year old house and drive two small, older cars. We've lived comfortably, and made no excessive expenditures. We saved regularly, and diversified my retirement nest egg prudently, with professional advice. But I'm watching with mounting fear and anger as our nest egg diminishes and our children's future is dimmed by "centrist" national (federal) Republicans and Democrats (R&D's). I'll try in no great order to diagnose (and number as "Pathology1," etc.) some of the sicknesses that contribute to my situation that afflicts many Americans.

Pathology 1. Now is Deregulation and Nonfeasance; R&D's repeal laws that regulate financial transactions, and simply fail to enforce those that exist. That's destroying my nest egg, and risking another Great Depression at the bottom of the mortgage and credit crisis.

Pathology 2: "Tax and Overspend" Democrats have in common with "Borrow and Overspend Republicans" an economic policy I'd name after the Popeye character Wimpy. Wimpy's policy was "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Today's process of endless deficit spending is the corollary: "I'd gladly make your kids pay next Tuesday for some Bridges to Nowhere, Bailouts, and Wars I fight today." Call it "Wimpynomics."

The accumulating national debt from taxpayer bailouts of gambling banks and brokers, principal and interest, has to be paid back by our kids! Please read the "Fiscal Wake Up Tour" on the web site of the Comptroller General of the United States web site, or better, the letter of Karl Denninger to Paulson and Bernacke on the FedUpUSA site.

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We should add "Terror Wars of Aggression" as Pathology 4 and "Free Trade" as Pathology 5. They greatly add to our debt load. Gotten any cheaper gas since we took over Iraq? I haven't. Having projected all our ground forces into Iraq and Afghanistan, whether the U.S. and/or Israel bombs Iran or doesn't bomb Iran are both lose-lose propositions. Bombing won't produce "regime change," and we don't have the ground forces to occupy Iran as well as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The point of "Free Trade" was to allow R&D's to serve global wealth, Chinese, Japanese, Arabs, as well as American wealth concentrations, even though that has lowered the wages of millions of Americans and adds to the national current account deficit. Eventually the China market will be served by Chinese manufacturing itself, maybe with low wage labor from India or Africa. Financial Myopia on this is Pathology 6. R&D's just can't look ahead and see that this is unsustainable.

Contribution Addiction is Pathology 7. If campaign contributions were made in rock cocaine, R&D's would be almost literal crack whores. Their financial booty calls on lobbyist-johns to establish, with gerrymandering, almost hereditary districts. And yet another Pathology, 8, is Democraphobia, a fear of democracy so great that they keep elections restricted to one workday, with absurdly higher petition requirements for independents and small parties.

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It will take stronger medicine than changing Republicans for Democrats to recover from this debilitating set of pathologies. That's why I advocate two things: first, withdraw from the Republican and Democratic parties. Re-register Independent, Unaffiliated, Libertarian or Green. Sufficient numbers of withdrawals would introduce a level of uncertainty that would cause the biggest contributors to hold back and defund the R&D parties. Second, since 1945 America has been turned into a giant consumption machine. Many Americans have much more debt than they can pay off. We need to rebel against advertising and endless personal consumption; reduce, reuse, recycle, drive 55 mph. maximum, and participate in Buy Nothing Days, like Saturday, November 29th of 2008.




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I could be Bernie Sanders older brother by similarity. I was born in Manhattan, 1940, he, about a year later, in Brooklyn. I too am a white male American. A retired college professor of philosophy. We both were born of Jewish parents. I was (more...)

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