"The things that used to matter don't mean much any more -When the ease of the disease is more seductive than the cure." --Paul Geremia Gamblin' Woman Blues 1
According to economists and politicians in Washington DC, many of whom are responsible for the current collapse of the US economy, there is a unified mantra: "Bail out the financial institutions, or America as we know it is doomed."
But maybe America "as we know it" is not something the American people may want to keep!
For the hundreds of thousands of workers who have lost jobs over the last ten years, and the just as many retirees who were robbed of their pensions by transnational financial institutions, or for those on social security or Medicaid who struggle with the decision of whether to half-dose their medication so they have money to eat, while wondering why CEO's of failed financial institutions are set to receive millions of dollars in rewards for bankrupting America, maybe America as we know it has already failed.
These are the people that are most affected by this crisis, but who don't have high paid lobbyist to "sell" their case to the media and politicians. The only hopes they have to be heard are by those they have elected to serve them . It is sad to say that they have been forgotten except in sound bites of political advertisements about "main street." For them, maybe America "as we know it" is already a lifeless corpse.
So what is the so-called solution? Spend more taxpayers' money to bail out speculative institutions that have failed because of the finite reality that "money is not productive?" The question of who controls the reins of these institutions is irrelevant. Whether the US government or private business control the bailout, the bailout itself does nothing to eliminate the base problem of corporate capitalism-expand or die.
This is not about greed, but about a system that forces corporations to expand its market and increase profits by reducing costs, or risk being consumed by another that will. This form of global cannibalism, or as others call it global capitalism, has forced those companies that do in fact produce products to move from country to country looking for the cheapest labor and the most lax government control. Speculative capital, which is often described as investment capital, has become the main source of wealth for those seeking to make money from money.
As David Korten, a well respected economist says:
"Each day half a million to a million people--primarily Western Europeans, North Americans, and Japanese--arise as dawn reaches their part of the world, turn on their computers, and leave the real world of people, things, and nature to immerse themselves in playing the world's most lucrative computer game: the money game. As their computers come on line, they enter a world of cyberspace constructed of numbers that represent money and complex rules by which those numbers can be converted into a seemingly infinite variety of financial instruments, each with its own distinctive risks and reproductive qualities. Through their interactions, the players engage in competitive transactions aimed at acquiring for their own accounts the money that other players hold.
Players can also pyramid the amount of money in play by borrowing from one another and bidding up prices. Indeed, the money game players have been so successful in creating play money that for every $1 now circulating in the productive world economy of real goods and services, it is estimated that there is $20 to $50 circulating in the world of pure finance--"investment" funds completely delinked from the creation of real value. In the international currency markets alone, some $800 billion to $1 trillion changes hands each day--unrelated to productive investment or trade in actual goods and services.... the play money it generates can be exchanged for real money to buy things from people who work in the real world. Unfortunately for the rest of us, though it is played like a game and the transactions involve nothing more than moving numbers from one electronic account to another through a global web of computers, the money game has enormous real consequences."2
Take this recent U.S. economic crisis as an example.
For productive capitalism in the US we can see the results. Those who have produced are unemployed. Even the weapons and armament for U.S troops is outsourced to other countries. We see the growing number of unemployed who had previously worked, and the growing level of poverty amongst the elderly and retired. America's productive economic base is disappearing and with its disappearance is the demise of the "American Dream", the belief that if you are honest, work hard, and persevere, you one day can have a better life for your family than you had . This belief, in providing something better for the next generation, has been the driving force not only of the economic development of the U.S, but more importantly the moral development of the American people.
But don't worry we are told, productive work is for the poor of other counties, as Americans we can make our money off money. Investments, pension plans, IRA's etc. However the money that was actually earned BY productive labor and invested in this get rich quick scheme.. well.. just read the papers.. it is getting worse.. our earnings that we made in productive and honest labor is disappearing within smoke and mirrors. As unemployment grows, and the opportunity for even minimum wage jobs disappear, the millions who never made enough for pension plans and stock options, and who over the years never benefited from the corporate tax breaks find themselves asking, " When we asked for a bailout when our jobs took flight oversees, did the government bail us out? No! When our children were sick and we had no jobs and couldn't afford health care for our kids, did the government bail us out? NO. When catastrophic illness of a of loved one forced us to make a decision- what little we owned or their life, and we asked the government to help us, did they stay up into the early hours of the morning negotiating in our interest to bail us out..No!
So what is the alternative? Three simple letters W-P-A!
Suppose we didn't bail out the banks and financial institutions? What is the worst that would happen?
According to the pundits of the bailout the economy will fail. For many if not most of America the economy has failed already. We don't have jobs, or we have TWO jobs we take in order to get insurance for our families, even if they pay nothing) and then second jobs in order to pay our bills (these are the fortunate ones, sad to say)