Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Uberwelt War Machine

America is at war, it appears, and against its own citizens in some cases; at least the unimportant ones.

Wars between nations are generally over territory and resources. Driven from the top, war focuses on some power or wealth at the expense of others. Individuals become progressively less valuable, more expendable and insignificant as you move down the chain of command. They matter less. 

Interestingly, we find that same wealth and power are the focus on Wall Street and in the international markets.  Lacking the freedom of former despots to invade a region and kill the residents, financiers create new ways to extract wealth and resources from others.  Others who matter less.

Wall Street and the EU spent two decades leading to the crash of '07/08.  Too big to fail, they were rewarded by governments at the expense of citizenry.  At the periphery, millions died.

Many things that happen on Wall Street and in London’s financial
district are “socially useless,” says Lord Adair Turner,
chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority
“Globalization is the result of powerful governments, especially that of the United States, pushing trade deals and other accords down the throats of the world’s people to make it easier for corporations and the wealthy to dominate the economies of nations around the world without having obligations to the peoples of those nations.” — Noam Chomsky 

There is neither accountability nor yet reasonable awareness of what's been done.  
Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency ..."

Wall Street and the international financial community, whom government serves unfailingly, have created an uberwelt, an over-world of imaginary wealth and imaginary plays.  It has virtually nothing in common with the real world, the source from which it extracts wealth.  For the moment, the financiers and their political playmates have the upper hand.  The gap between the wealthy and everyone else is widening as it has for decades, now at an impressively accelerating pace.  The inherent instability in such a structure is becoming clear as is the greed and arrogance of those who would facilitate their dream of luxury by burdening the poor to do so.

In 1988, then-Fed chairman Alan Greenspan stated, "What many critics of equity derivatives fail to realize is that the markets for these instruments have become so large not because of slick sales campaigns, but because they are providing economic value to their users."  But not everyone had a good feeling about this financial instrument. In his 2002 Berkshire Hathaway letter to shareholders, company chairman and CEO Warren Buffett expressed his concern with derivatives, referring to them as "weapons of mass destruction."  He wasn't worried enough.  The 'Great Recession' followed.

Didn't the banks pay back the bailout funds with interest!  Spokespersons for government and industry point to the payback as justification, somehow, for their irresponsible behavior that caused the death of so many. 

  • The middle-class lost a percentage of what they had; it will be another decade before they've reached the break-even point; did the payback cover that?  It's only the middle-class; they matter less.
  • The poor lost ground and the safety net is strained beyond capacity; did the payback cover that?  It's just those poor; they matter less.
  • Elsewhere in the world, the price of corn doubled as a result of government mandates for ethanol and Wall Street's misbehavior; five years later, it has yet to recover.  Did the payback cover that?  Oh, never mind; they died; by the hundreds of thousands up and down the east coast of Africa, they starved.  But it's OK, they matter less.  At least to Wall Street and their government playmates, they don't matter at all. (do not follow the link without parental permission)

What goes around comes around, sadly.  If you plant, you harvest.  We needn't concern ourselves with providing the punishment that the greedy deserve; absent a radical change of heart, they've already bought it.
Of great concern though is the suffering caused among the less fortunate in our own country and around the world.
Feel free to shift sails and join in.  It's a radically different world than it was just a few years ago.