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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/12/09

Take off the Rose Colored Glasses

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   9 comments
Message Jeffrey Rock

It is interesting to observe the Wall Street talking heads and the Obama administration claiming we have rounded the corner on the economic crisis when, in fact, we have done nothing of the sort.  How can they get away with it?  Because the stock market has slightly rebounded?  This illustrates the fundamental fatal flaw in not only the right wing lap dog media one-liner sound bites, but also in Obama's understanding of economics.  He's fallen prey to the same Friedmanesque gobbledygook the neo-conservative and neo-liberals practiced that got us here in the first place.


First, the financial market is NOT the economy.  The financial market is a subset of the overall economy and should never be confused with the economy itself.  Its not necessarily even an "-indicator' of the health of the economy.  It is a serious lapse of logic to say when the market is doing well the economy is also doing well.  Worse, it is a very dangerous and insidious concept.  Why?  Because it ignores the human value. It reveals the total lack of any human values in our economic structure and risks massive human suffering.


An economy exists to serve the people and not the other way around.  This is the most fundamental value that should create the foundation of any economic system.  However, in the view of the neo-economists who have completely infiltrated both parties, the economy is far more important than the human beings it is supposed to serve.  In the view of neo-economists, humans are just a commodity, like so much chattel. 


That is why Obama and the oligarchs can make such ludicrous claims.


Today there is a massive oversupply of labor.  As the laws of supply and demand dictate, an oversupply of any commodity results in a decline in the price of that commodity.  Accordingly the value of labor is appallingly low.  In most places in the world human labor is purchased for a few dollars a day or less.  The result is horrendous human suffering and misery on a global scale never before witnessed.  When an economic system lacks values and exists only to serve itself, the impact of human suffering is neglected.  Its not even part of the economic equation.  On the other hand, when we demand that our economy exists to serve the people the unemployment rate is the most important factor.


As long as one confuses the underlying values and assumes the economy exists to serve itself, it paves the way for ignoring the unemployment figures.  In spite of accelerating unemployment Obama states that the economy is turning around simply because Wall Street has rebounded.  Please tell that to the hundred thousand people who lost their jobs last week and who have no possibility of finding a new job anytime soon.  Until unemployment stops growing there is no end in sight to the economic crisis.  To say otherwise is to spit in the face of Americans who have worked hard their entire lives but lost their jobs because of the deregulated banking industry and other similar pro-corporate legislation.


It is interesting to note that almost every piece of corporate friendly legislation was approved by large majorities of both parties.  When both parties agree, LOOK OUT!!  When no opposition opinions are voiced there is no debate.  And so it was.  Without much debate or public discussion, our economic system has been totally re-structured over the past twenty-eight years.  We are now reaping the results of this handiwork.  It's called the New World Order.  Translated it means unemployment will stay very high and your wages and salaries will continue to slide downwards until they are competitive with third world nations.  That is the true meaning of "removing trade barriers."-  This fact became inevitable when Clinton signed the Republican written NAFTA in his first days in office in 1993.  Stabbing the backs of the very people who voted him in, Clinton single-handedly is responsible for more lost American jobs than any other President in our history.  Yet many on the left still adore him.  It is no secret that Americans vote against their best interests almost without fail.,  Clinton was just another example of this.


Moreover, the backdrop of the world economy is in a drastic state.  Consider our real condition.  There is a global war over the earth's remaining resources between China, the US, Russia, Europe, Japan, Korea and the developing nations, particularly India and Brazil.  Those nations without power are unable to even join in.  They can only sit idly by and either be raped of their resources or, if they have none, suffer.  Growing shortages of every essential resource reflect a global human disaster in the making..


Furthermore, the climate is changing so rapidly that the very life support system on which we all depend is collapsing at an alarming rate.  The powerful oligarchs and despots around the world could care less.  Their only concern is more profits and more power. Climate change is heralding in a new era of disease, starvation, misery and death.  And if the recent economic crisis is any indicator, our leaders will wait until things are far too late before responding.  When the major continent's ecosystems begin to collapse, our national and world leaders will sing the inevitable refrain, "Who could have known?"-  It will then be far too late to do anything but go along for ride, wherever climate change takes us.


Adding to the uncertainty of our future, biogenetic firms have unleashed genetically modified DNA into the life cycle.  We know almost nothing of the long-term effects of these synthesized genes, but new studies (Australian and Austrian) indicate GMO products are very harmful to both our immune and reproductive systems.  In our valueless economy, the plight of humanity's health is relegated to last place on the list of priorities, thank you Milton Friedman and all those who followed your insanity.


De-forestation, dead zones in our oceans, pollutants in our water and food, decay in our infrastructure, education and health sectors, and increasing wars around the globe are but a few of the hundreds of serious situations we confront today.  Any one of these could blossom into a full-scale human emergency.


Its time we take off the rose colored glasses and as W.C Fields once said, "Take the bull by the tail and face the situation."-  Get with it; we are up the creek without a paddle, stranded at high tide, can't see the forest for the trees, and are sawing off the branch on which we sit.


"Well that's a fine mess you've got us into, Ollie."-



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An economist for 34 years I have remained committed to social justice and economic equality for as long. As long as we keep voting in Tweedly-Demos and Tweedly-Repugs nothing will change. The only way we can affect the political structure is to (more...)
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