Well, it appears unanimous. Whether you look right, straight down the middle or left, there's agreement: it's broke. The e whole damn thing is broken, busted, kaput.
We can argue when things started coming loose; Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II. And we can argue about who drove the knife home Bush II or Barack. But everyone seems to agree the deed appears done.
America has changed in my lifetime from a genuine shinning light on a hill to .... what? That's where the agreement ends. Those on the right see an emerging socialist America. Those on the left see a corporate fascist America. Those of us in the middle see nothing but trouble all around; lost jobs, lost careers, lost savings, lost homes, lost health care and a their very life-staining natural environment disappearing at an alarming rate.
There was a time, back in the 1960s, when I was young and naÃ¯ve, when I believed the arms race would be the end of us. Well, it was the end of a lot "us," but -- at least so far -- universal mayhem has not erupted. Since then it's become older, wiser. I now know where the real problem lays. Now, put your pen down and don't nominate me for a Nobel for this revelation. Trust me, you will not be impressed. We all know, or by now should know, whats at the bottom of all this trouble.
Everything .... let me repeat EVERYTHING... behind all the trouble, all the messes, all the fighting, all the political demagoguery and pain is -- money.
But it's not just some money, but all the money; obscene amounts of money, money piled high and higher but never high enough.
If that makes me sound like some commie, forget about it. I love money. But, when I had made enough of the stuff to live the rest of my life in modest comfort, I retired that same day. And so it goes with hundreds of millions of other ordinary working folk around the world. They are not the problem. A successful businessman once told me that the most important thing in maintaining a robust business environment was to moderate greed. "Leave something on the table for the next guy," hey said.
But there are men. women and institutions out there -- numbering in total probably in the low thousands -- for whom millions, billions, even trillions of dollars are not enough. They not only want to clean off the table, but they want the table as well. They are mindless wealth consuming juggernauts. They are the ebola viruses of civic and civil society. They are parasites who have somehow convinced their host that they are beneficial parasites -- when in fact, we now know, they are not. They're just parasites.
So, have they finally done enough damage this time to get them purged from our system? Nope. They're still in control:
Wall St. Relieved on Finance Reform
Let's hope the House and Senate silence this when they go to committee: The New York Times says that there was a "sigh of relief" on Wall Street after the Senate passed financial-regulatory reform last week. One investment banker explains, "It'll crimp the profit pool initially by 15 or 20 percent and increase oversight and compliance costs, but there's no breakup of any institution or onerous new taxes." A Goldman Sachs analyst seconds the estimate that profits will initially drop by 20 percent. "The health care bill is going to transform the structure of health care exponentially more than this legislation on financial regulation is going to change Wall Street," says Roger C. Altman, the chairman of Evercore Partners and deputy Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration. "It's not even close." (New York Times)
"Too Big to Fail" is not the only problem. These people, hiding behind corporate personas, have become Too Big to Jail, as well:
No Prosecutions in AIG Case
The U.S. Justice DepartmenU.S. abandons case against AIG - reports t has concluded its criminal probe into AIG and will not pursue charges against the insurer or its senior executives, according to published reports. (Source: money.cnn.com )
Well, at least we still have that unity thing. Everyone agrees the whole damn governing thing is busted. And everyone is right about that.