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Fannie and Freddie’s Double Whammy

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Posted on Sep 9, 2008
Paulson and Lockhart
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, left, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart swap places during a news conference Sunday in Washington announcing the bailout of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

By Bill Boyarsky

With a stunningly vicious pair of blows, the faltering world economy—the Godzilla of this year’s presidential race—has made the candidates look small.

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain were reduced to media irrelevancy Monday morning after the federal government took over the huge mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This development followed Friday’s bad news that the unemployment rate rose from 5.7 to 6.1 percent in August, with 84,000 jobs lost.

The candidates’ comments were not major parts of the either story. This was particularly noticeable in accounts of the takeover of the big mortgage companies. At best, Obama and McCain were mentioned far down in news stories or toward the end of broadcast news accounts.

The federal government created the two companies decades ago to supply mortgages and extend homeownership to millions of middle-class and working-class Americans. Eventually, the companies became private and have now joined others in suffering from falling home prices and mortgage defaults.

Fannie Mae is the commonly used name of the Federal National Mortgage Assn. and Freddie Mac is short for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.  As Alana Semuels explained in The Los Angeles Times on Monday, both are crucial to Americans’ ability to borrow money to buy homes. “Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac buy mortgages from savings and loans, banks and other lenders to generate more cash for those lenders to make more home loans,” she wrote.  Selling investments in themselves—stocks and bonds—to individuals, mutual funds and foreign central banks and governments finances the two companies. When the housing market collapsed, their troubles had worldwide implications.

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Financial papers and blogs, along with CNBC, have extensively covered the growing problems of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

But these problems haven’t been part of the presidential debate. The Democratic National Convention was heavy with talk of economic woes, but not this particular one. Nor did the economy figure into the Republican National Convention, which was instead obsessed with reviving the national culture wars.

The real action was taking place elsewhere. Federal Reserve officials mapped out solutions at their annual meeting at Jackson Hole, Wyo. Then, on the Labor Day weekend, after the Republican National Convention had adjourned, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and others met at the Treasury Department, according to accounts in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and agreed on the takeover.

Obama and McCain sounded almost like spectators when they commented Sunday.

“We need to keep people in their homes but we can’t allow this to turn into a bailout of Wall Street speculators,” said McCain.

Obama said the federal action was necessary to “prevent a long-term, much bigger crisis.”

Why hasn’t this looming crisis been part of the presidential debate? After all, it affects millions facing foreclosure or harboring hopes of buying a home.

To start with, the issue is too complicated for the current political debate. The feuding “war rooms” of the presidential campaigns are incapable of reducing the mind-bending complexities of the mortgage crisis to digestible sound bites.

Furthermore, they know there is nothing they can do about it.

Financiers, not politicians, run the global economy. People protest. Boeing workers are on strike against outsourcing their work to other nations. But Wall Street, London’s City and Russia’s oligarchs and other powerful people make the decisions, not members of Congress or even the president. Under the financiers’ guidance, the huge economy rumbles on. National boundaries mean little to these internationalists, nor do the concerns of individual workers and homeowners.

I certainly don’t know the solution. Years ago, my wife, Nancy, and I wrote a book, “Backroom Politics,” a scathing attack on how business runs government. Sam Kushner, writing for the Communist Party paper People’s World, liked the book and praised our analysis.  But he noted we didn’t have the guts to advocate the next logical step, dismemberment of the capitalist system.

I still don’t. State socialism failed in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba and wherever else it has been tried. No matter what the system, human venality seems to triumph.

But a decision to take over Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac—whether it’s right or wrong—shouldn’t be made in a Treasury Department conference room in secrecy on a Saturday by a group described by The Wall Street Journal as “dressed mostly in business casual khakis and shirts.”

As it reached into the broader economy from that conference room, their decision affected many more Americans than anything that happened at the two national political conventions. If they succeeded in opening up the mortgage market, housing jobs will revive and the unemployment rate will go down. If they failed, who knows what will happen.

I don’t know if there is a better way of doing things. But speaking as a reporter writing about the presidential campaign, when the weekend ended I certainly felt that neither I nor anyone else assigned to the presidential race had been covering the real action.

 

 


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By sophia, May 18, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am not that aware about the issues about politics because they just give me headaches. They talk about their plans for the future in which not all of it will happen. Politicians keep on promising, promises which never happens in their term.

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By Folktruther, September 14, 2008 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

I say again, KDelphi, I don’t think you’re in any way an idiot.  You are intelligent, sincere and courageous, and if the US and the world will be changed, it will be people like you that transform it.

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By elo, September 14, 2008 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

A perhaps slightly unconventional way to look at whatever new shape/functiion Freddie and Frannie may take in the future: Dr. Tantillo (‘the marketing doctor - http://blog.marketingdoctor.tv) did a post naming Freddie & Frannie this week’s ‘brand loser(s)’ and calling for what he terms a “brandover,” arguing that marketing will need to play a key role if F&F;are too be successful in the future—and that they should be renamed.

“Like Alleghany Airlines changed its name to US Airlines to reflect that it was no longer a regional, but a national brand, Freddie and Fannie must get out from beneath the toxic weight of their own names —which never really reflected their brands’ core features in the first place— and be re-named.”

Here’s a link to Tantillo’s full post: http://blog.marketingdoctor.tv/2008/09/12/brand-winners-and-losers.aspx

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By KDelphi, September 13, 2008 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

folktruther—Thanks again for an imformative post, that challenges what I currently belive without insisting that my views must be idiocy.

A post like that makes you want to look into it further.

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By Folktruther, September 13, 2008 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

The Dems do not fight hard enough, KDelphi, because they are not a real opposition: they are a fake opposition.  Just as some TV and radio shows get a patsy progrssive to bleat a few progressive notes while being attacked by a neocon, so the Dems posture and spew vacuous rhetoric to help nuetralize the progressive rank and file population.

The function of elections is not to promote democracy, but to prevent it.  The population can’t promote their own power interests unless they have true information and a meaningful background frame to process it.  The the mass media, like both parties, are owned by the ruling class, and the idea of both is to divert attention and inculcate power delusions to deceive, intimidate and distract the population.

The Gops promote some outrageous program and the Dems sweetheart up to it, with a few minor caveats.  Then the next election the Gops promote a more right wing one, and the Dems sweetheart up to THAT one, leading the population ever to the right.  The mass media legitimates the process, treating elections like sports contents, ignoring the issue implications for the population.

Change only comes by mobilizing the population against the power system, and thus against BOTH parties.  In 1932 the depression mobilized the working class against the corporations to form unions, which Roosevelt than enacted into law because of the threat to the power system.

The Dems now, as complicit enablers of the Gops, is to deconstruct all New Deal reforms, including social security, while pretending to be for it in their ineffective way.  Both Dems and Gops are turning the US into a third world country to compete in globalization, this being necessary because deregulized capitalism is so inefficient.  Since the US can’t compete economically, it has turned to high tech war and mercenaries to maintain its power.  The first victim of war is truth.

The major enemy of the US power system is the US population.  It is necessary to unite the population against the US power system to fight back, and this can only be done by their seeing the electoral process for the fraud it is.  This doesn’t mean that one should not vote for one or another of the candidates, but to vote without illusions that it will make much difference.  And as you say, they cheat anyway.

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By KDelphi, September 12, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

The exit polls, the “right in your face’ voter caging and challenging—Ohio was stolen in 2004. Gov. TAFT (who got to leave office with a $3000 fine and an “apology”!)helped buy the Diebolds. Tubbs-JOnes and Boxer filed briefs about it, Waxman had a hearing—and nothing happened. Kerry bowed out before the tally was even in.

Gore did not fight hard enough in 2000. McKinney, Tubbs-Jones—hell the entire CBC—tried to stop Gore form handing the gavel over to Cheney. Gore just said, “C’mon, guys!”. It was excruciating to me

Brunner and Strickland did a few things—not enough. Gov Strickland just announced budget cuts AGAIN, yesterday. He is NOT cutting the vote budget, but it is still not enough. We dont even have school buses in Dayton anymore. A small school levy is on the ballot for November—one 3x as big just failed a year ago.

So, property values go down , even lower (hard to imagine) and it is a spiral of poverty that has peole hanging on by their eye teeth.

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By samosamo, September 12, 2008 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

By Stephen Smoliar, September 12 at 9:38 am

I say it wasn’t a manipulation of the electorate in 2000 & 2004, those are both fraud and criminal corruption in my eyes and a lot other people’s eyes.
What brother jeb and his sec. of state did to ensure that well over 100k votes were not counted just to make sure the vote was at least close for a recount where the supreme court illegally stopped the recount before it favored gore is as I believe Vincent Bugliosi spelled out in his book ‘The Betrayal of America’, could be considered manipulation of the electorate but I agree with bugliosi, it was 5 justices committing a criminal act.
The 2004 election is documented as being manipulated by then ohio sec. of state blackwell by obfuscating the voters especially in the democrat districts as to where and when and how to vote, ballots printed differently. There is a book ‘What Happened in Ohio?’ that explains this.
And I don’t doubt that for at least the last 2 decades with the electronic voting machines that are controlled by ardent conservatives that the republican’s massive take over of congress in the 90s was part of this kind of fraud. I mean, what does the head of diebold saying in 2003 that he is committed to giving w ohio in the 2004 election mean? He was going out stumping for w or raising money for w? No, and as independent research has shown these electronic voting machines are very easily rigged to go so far as casting a vote for w when the voted selected kerry. And why would any democracy that decided on electronic voting machines EVER accept these companies’ demand that the software is proprietary. CRAP, that spells fraud in my book and/or a very unattentive democracy.
You’re right, be it manipulation or fraud or whatever, there is no obvious landslide for democrats in november. But also, don’t forget republican tricks where they may have you or me and others convinenced that the polls show a neck and neck race all the way to election day just to be able to pull that ‘magic’ repub win out of the hat. The 70-80% disapproval may be a smoking gun if mcpalin win in november just as exit polls showed kerry winning in 2004 by 2 or 3% but w pulling out a win with an amazing 5+% win that just did not compute with the exit polls which were then abandoned as a measure of our elections.

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 12, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

samosamo, how it could be otherwise would be from the Democrats underestimating the skill the Republicans have in manipulating the electorate.  This is the legacy of Karl Rove.  We know of at least one Rove disciple on the McCain team.  It would not surprise me if we did not know of others!  Given how close the poll numbers are (as they were in 2000 and 2004), this is the kind of situation in which Rove strategy thrives!

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By samosamo, September 11, 2008 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, September 11 at 9:05 pm \

Thanks for the link, makes me feel a little better about voting for him which if it is a landslide for obama(how could it be otherwise with 70-80% of americans thinking the US is going in the wrong direction) I’ll vote independent or whoever else may be on the ballot and the rest will go towards getting my representative and 2 sentors kicked out of office.

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By cyrena, September 11, 2008 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Hi Samo,

Interestingly enough, I’ve just come across a YouTube video of Obama addressing questions on the CFR and the NAU. (alleged North American Union).

His comments seem to square with what my own research has turned up, but this was the first time I’ve heard him address these questions, so I found it helpful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwXiGjFzeZE&feature=related

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By cyrena, September 11, 2008 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Stephen,

Thanks so much for your post. Very educational, (at least for me…stuff I wanna know). You’re right that I did blur the tales of the Toad and he Mad Hatter, which is actually more than a nit, so you were diplomatic in your response. It’s obviously a symptom, (on my part) of that dysfunctional thinking imposed by Disney. (it can happen to the most conscientious among us)

As for the zero sum game, I appreciate that you’ve re-introduced that to my conscience as well, particularly here,

•  “…Stripping away all of the mathematics, the underlying principle of the zero-sum game is:  Anything YOU have is something *I* do not have, and anything I do not have is something I want!  As you may know, there is a fair amount of literature on the origins of zero-sum thinking in terms of whether or not it emerged through a Darwinian selection process at the sociobiological (if not biological) level of the development of the human species.  In an environment of sparse resources, zero-sum thinking clearly has survival; and, guess what?  Excessive zero-sum thinking is now gutting our environment of its natural resources, thus creating conditions in which further zero-sum thinking will again be necessary for survival!


I have in fact been sub-consciously aware of the Darwinian selection process in this 21st Century environment, though I’d admittedly not attached it to my own long ago learned concept of zero-sum theories. So, this is a revival of that consideration for me, and it’s perfectly appropriate, because that’s where we’re at. This gutting of our shared environment and natural resources, which can (and already is) only make for the same conditions that further the same survival ends.

It’s depressingly real.

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By cyrena, September 11, 2008 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

“... And I think tagging groups to groups and agendas in not that bad of an idea because for example, my confusion and ignorance of the what, whyfors, hows and whys, I have been very mystified by the actions of the members of congress and their seemingly total complicity in the things we elected them to do or stop or undo, especially in the 2006 election where they have been a very big disappointment for me and others. At least they could have done more.
And who is to say what influence is being brought to bear on them to keep the status quo? Lobbyists for one, who could actually be acting for some of these groups…”


Samosamo,

I do see your point here, and I mostly agree with it. In fact, I did before. I’m sure there are others that we’ve not even heard of. My primary association with the Council on Foreign Relations actually came about as a result of my academic pursuits. I’ve generally read their publications along with several others dealing with exactly that, (foreign relations) because that is the broader area of my own study.

But, I specifically began ‘tracking’ the CFR when I was ‘tracking’ Noah Feldman for a paper I was preparing a couple of years back. He just sort of appeared from (IMO) out of the blue, as a scholar of all things scholarly, and shot right up the ladder though an internship at CFR to a hot professor at NYU School of law. and now he’s at Harvard in the same capacity, but he’s been at Yale and others as well. Anyway, he’s a hot shot of the CFR, and I’ve had multiple quarrels with his scholarship on a number of issues, but specifically his weigh-in on anything Islamic. And, when I learned that he too was park of the same Kennebunkport enclave, (and he’s a young guy) I figured something was up. I still do.

But, I also personally know, or at least am familiar with many other scholars who have now, or have had in the past, some affiliation with that organization. And, the agendas share little in common.

Still, that said, there’s no doubt that we have been living with the most secretive administration, (under Cheney and Addington) that we’ve ever encountered, so anything is possible.

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By samosamo, September 11, 2008 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

cyrena,

Yeah the waltons do need consideration and scrutiny but curiously, there is no listing of them as participants in a bilderberg meeting.

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By samosamo, September 11, 2008 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, September 11 at 2:25 pm

You are right on the cfr & tc in that they are relatively transparent. Daniel Estulin’s ‘The Bilderberg Group’(you really should read it) does a bit of positing of those groups in the grand scheme of ‘elitism’ and the agendas they all strive for, and surely neoliberal/neocons are in the mix. So much so that estulin claims that what you find on either the cfr or tc web sites is just what they want you to see and know, but they are in complicity with the ‘elitist’ groups such as bilderburg. As a matter point of estulin’s book here is his connection of the bilderberg group and similar groups, one being the ‘Round Table’ of which a branch of that is the council of foreign relations even though the cfr was formed in 1921 by Edward M. House. According to estulin, cfr must have come under some kind of influence of the bilderbergs after their first offical meeting in 1954. Here is a link to a site with information about the round table:
http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Commentary/Elite.htm
and another:
http://www.whale.to/b/shadow.html

I haven’t delved into these sites as I am just looking up a connection in estulin’s book. I am going to read ‘the bilderberg group’ again once I finish with klein’s ‘shock doctrine’.
And I think tagging groups to groups and agendas in not that bad of an idea because for example, my confusion and ignorance of the what, whyfors, hows and whys, I have been very mystified by the actions of the members of congress and their seemingly total complicity in the things we elected them to do or stop or undo, especially in the 2006 election where they have been a very big disappointment for me and others. At least they could have done more.
And who is to say what influence is being brought to bear on them to keep the status quo? Lobbyists for one, who could actually be acting for some of these groups.
As I have stated before on this site, I would love to have my vote to be the final deciding vote for my representatives in washington as I would send them down the road packing. The seats in congress are at least as importance as the presidential election. Never mistake that.

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By cyrena, September 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

By samosamo, September 11 at 2:06 am #

SamoSamo,

Yes, yes, I do hear you on the IMF and the World Bank. They (being part of the Milton model for global economic destruction) are certainly part of the nucleus as well. A huge part of the apparatus.

In all honesty, I didn’t become aware of just HOW huge this apparatus was until maybe 7 or so years ago, which is actually what brought me back to academia 5 years ago. I needed some serious help FIGURING THIS SHIT OUT! Like the historian that folktruther cited, that was me. I couldn’t make sense of what the hell was going on, and I didn’t make the connection, (at least at the beginning) to milton friedman economics, because that was only something I learned about way back in the day, (because it was required) and then promptly forgot. (which is bad, but that’s what happens).

But, I damn sure know it now!! And yes, the Naomi’s Shock Doctrine is an excellent work to get the rest of us up to speed, even if we weren’t paying much attention back when this thing really kicked off. Actually, everytime I ‘ponder’ this disaster, I waiver over a ‘beginning point’, because I’m still not certain where it should be. Guess it depends on what PART of the disaster we’re talking about.

I think my concern with the tagging of the CFR and the Trilateral Commission is that they seem to have become associated with the multiple ‘actors’ in the so called New World Order. And, I have problems with some of the propaganda surrounding this. I’m not dismissing it out of hand, because I see some things that are in fact realities that cannot be denied by sane people. However, I think we run a risk of blurring the lines or missing the lines, when we naturally engage in a ‘sorting’ exercise of sorts. Like, “who belongs to who”, and” what is she to him” sort of thing. 

So, while I don’t know much about this Bilderberg Group, aside from what I’ve read from the NWO peeps, I am far more familiar with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, if only because of an academic project that I put together a few years ago. Once you get into that sort of research, (and it will kind of suck you in, but nothing wrong with that) you find out all kinds of stuff that we either wouldn’t have otherwise known, or even thought to look for.

But I only said that to say that I don’t find either of those organizations to have been ideologically based, (from the beginning, because these are not ‘new’ organizations) in the NOW mentality. That said, I suspect that based on the collection of neo-cons who have paraded through that organization, and accomplished some sort of affiliation with them, (if you consider it an accomplishment) is the reason for the mostly mythical connection between them and the NWO. And, there have been several of them associated with the CFR at least, if only as publishing scholars or journalists.

Now it COULD be the case that these organizations have been hijacked by the same Cabal that highjacked our government nearly 8 years ago. I’m sure some of them are. But that wouldn’t put the entire organization(s) in on the full ‘project’. So I only think that we just have to be very careful in a time of such alternative realities, to make sure that there’s some sort of substance or link between entities before we start forcing them into the same ideological space.

For the NWO folks, I think the Carlyle Group and a few others, (the Wal-Mart family) deserves far more scrutiny than the CFR or the Tri-Lat, and should be considered in the same terms as the IMF and the World Bank. Now I (personally) see a connection *there*.

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By Folktruther, September 11, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

I think you are right, Cyrena.  It was not the whole ruling class but a cabal within the ruling class, they and their professional agents and truthers, who organized the decades-long ideological project that brought the Bushites to power in the 2000 coup d’etat.

The ruling class consists of multi-billionaire families, or perhaps hundreds of millions, who own or control the means of production, including the means of truth production, i.e. the learned and mass media.  They compete with each other within the Elite consensus, but unite against the population to promote their own common interests.

If groupings within this Elite consensus, say the oil cowboys and the Zionists, unite to promote the neocon-neolib agenda, then they would tend to dominate the unorganized ruling class memebers. I remember Soros, a Jewish, non-Zionist, Dem, billionaire, writing in the NY REVIEW OF BOOKS, that he would be attacked if he opposed Zionism forcefully.  And since he is a speculator, this attack mught interfere with his making money.

So, in effect, he goes along with it. And since he gives many millions to Dem candidates and MoveOn, they go along with it too.  And once the US power system is committed to the wars through the 9/11-anthrax false flag operation, one must go along if one wishes to stay in the ruling class power consensus.

This is actually a brillint strategy, assuming that one is politically insane to begin with.  It commits the ruling class and their agents to what Stephen Smoliar has called a zeor sum game, increasing class inequality of the population, which must be regulated by a Democratic police state.  So what is being played out historically is a project initated by homicidal megalomanics with billions of dollars, to privatize the American power system, to make wars,  and to support apartheid Israel.

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 11, 2008 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

cyrena, as a point of departure, let me pick a literary nit with you:  The “wild rider” is not the Mad Hatter but Mr. Toad in Kenneth Grahame’s WIND IN THE WILLOWS.  Remember, Toad is the aristocrat of the tale;  and he embodies the destructiveness of the self-centered ruling class.  Just to make it more interesting, the primary instrument of his destruction is the automobile.  From the Wikipedia entry:  “Toad has crashed six cars and has been hospitalized three times, and has had to spend a fortune on fines.”  Through his cars he is destructive to everything in sight in what would otherwise be a perfect pastoral setting, and the only good news is that the law DOES catch up with him.

As an aside in the matter of propaganda, consider the implications of turning the misadventures of this witless aristocrat into a children’s ride at Disneyland!  Grahame could apply his light touch as readily to the dark side of human nature as he could to his pastoral ideals.  Disney taught us how to ignore the message Grahame was trying to send!

However, even if we hold up Toad as a metaphor for today’s ruling class, Grahame knew better to take on that “why” question.  My personal opinion (no more than that) is that the prevailing mentality within the ruling class is the belief in a zero-sum game:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2007/08/war-against-poor.html

Stripping away all of the mathematics, the underlying principle of the zero-sum game is:  Anything YOU have is something *I* do not have, and anything I do not have is something I want!  As you may know, there is a fair amount of literature on the origins of zero-sum thinking in terms of whether or not it emerged through a Darwinian selection process at the sociobiological (if not biological) level of the development of the human species.  In an environment of sparse resources, zero-sum thinking clearly has survival;  and, guess what?  Excessive zero-sum thinking is now gutting our environment of its natural resources, thus creating conditions in which further zero-sum thinking will again be necessary for survival!  As I recently wrote on my own blog, “were I not serious in my atheist convictions, I would be only too happy to acknowledge God as the Supreme Ironist.”

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/09/god-ironist.html

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By samosamo, September 11, 2008 at 3:06 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, September 10 at 10:20 pm #
2 of 2

How are you? From what I am reading right now I failed to mention the World Bank and the IMF which for many years or several decades have been something like an enforcer/rule maker for destroying countries that don’t toe the ‘unfettered free market’ of Milton Friedman. Klein’s book ‘shock doctrine’ is bringing me up to speed on this and though he was a or the inventor of the free market system he certainly got a bunch of not even ‘elites’ at the time to jump on his ideas and ride them to wealth and so called ‘elitism’. From what I have read, Friedmen may just be unmatched in the death, destruction and misery his ideology has wrought, more so than anybody else in history that I can think of, hmmm maybe stalin. And the tactics in his strategy are so… well it is called shock or disaster economics.
All in all, it seems to me to be a get rich, super rich scheme for very few people because it does not create or stablize old markets to the new. And when it can be forced on a country and the people it is relatively easy to move huge amounts of money everywhere but where it needs or should go. But for me, it all adds up to grand larceny on a massive and destructive scale. So much so that it is like piranha going for bloody meat. And the end game, probably isn’t one but as I put in my earlier comment, depopulation could be one, the ‘lords & serfs’ another.

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By cyrena, September 10, 2008 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

This is not only my question, but that of the noted historizal Eric Hobsbawn.  He says, in his latest book, p. 57:

“Frankly, I can’t make sense of what has happened in the US since 9/11…”

Why did the ruling class embark on this ruinious adventure which was so contrary to their own interests not to mention the people of the US and the world.  Why did they do it.  Why?
~~~~~~~~~

Ah Folktruther…FINALLY, there is some common ground to our inquiries, which assumes that we are certainly on the same page in so far as the recognition that we have been the victims of this ruinous adventure by the ruling class. But like the historian that you cite here, MOST of us have been unable to make sense of what has happenend in the US since 9/11. In fact, that’s what SO MANY of us have been trying to figure out. And, I’ve not heard from ANYBODY that has managed to figure it ALL out, but some have come close.

My own admittedly tortured comprehension is that this actually happened *before* 9/11, though at least one very well known author/professor/expert from whom I’ve had the honor of a mentorship of sorts, frequently reminds that “9/11 changed EVERYTHING!!” I’m more inclined to take it back a bit though, to The Election/Judicial Selection Coup of 2000 as the beginning of this horrific adventure. The Mad Hatter’s Wild Ride. (no offense to Lewis Carroll, since this is far more in tune with Orwell). In my view, that’s where the destruction began. And I say that to try and put into proper perspective, the concept that this didn’t come about because the *entire* ‘ruling class’ was in on it, at least in the planning.

That’s why it’s been difficult to understand, because the entire ‘ruling class’, even though they make up only that 1%, isn’t on board with the destruction. Only a handful of them are. (and of course I mean ‘handful’ as relative to that 1%). From the very beginning, this has been a CABAL, and a radical one, lead by a pack, with people like Dick Cheney way at the top of the cell. (it’s true, they’re no different than any other highly sophisticated terror cell, the type that overthrow governments, and know well how to do it.) But I still don’t think that it has involved that entire ruling class, because it IS against their own interests.

But, that isn’t the case with the Cabal, who represent the worst kind of Kleptocrats that history has to cough up. Remember Mobutu of the former Zaire, and Mugabe of the current Zimbabwe…both Kleptocrats in the vein with all of the other traits that come with an Authoritarian regime. These are as much kleptocracies as they are any other authoritarian strain, and it’s not such an unusual thing to find if we look back to other dictator of fascist regimes. Hitler did the same thing, in respect to the total ruination of the Germany economy, and in the end, the global economy took a dive as well, resulting in WWII.

But that’s not what the entire ruling class has wrought. The CABAL carried it much further, (since this kleptocracy has been in effect for a long time now, once the Corps became the Government) with the tyranny that 9/11 allowed for. 9/11 became the perfect way to completely dissolve the rule of law that would have otherwise acted as a safeguard against this very complete takeover by a relatively small bunch. (fascists and totalitarian regimes ALWAYS use ‘national security’ as a means to grab uncontrolled power).

It’s still very difficult to comprehend on all levels and at every channel. But, at least folks are finally beginning to understand that something terrible has occurred. I don’t know if it’s too little too late though. It would seem that way.

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By cyrena, September 10, 2008 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2

I’m far less inclined than others to put the CFR and the TLC at the center of this though. MAYBE the Bilderberg group, and that’s not to say that there are not ‘elements’ of the CFR or the TLC included. But I still don’t see the first 2 at the center of this. So, while it’s certainly helpful to be AWARE of any of these groups, we can easily become distracted by red herrings. I’m far more concerned about The Federalist Society and the Judges they’ve produced than I am with the CFR or the TLC. Both the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations are very old and transparent organizations. The Bilderberg group is far more shadowy, but that could be what makes it such an easy hit for a conspiracy…it may very well be as some theorists are claiming. Because…SOMEBOD(IES) had to plan this, and well in advance, just as the very long and involved language of the Patriot Act was planned well and long in advance.

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By samosamo, September 10, 2008 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, September 10 at 7:38 pm

***Why did the ruling class embark on this ruinious adventure which was so contrary to their own interests not to mention the people of the US and the world.  Why did they do it.  Why?***

That I venture to say would take you into the secret, secret world of the ‘elites’(or people who have an innate need for all the money whether by hook or crook)because no matter how you look at it, these are the people that do not want to have someone else with more money than them telling them what to do. If you look into the bilderberg group, council of foreign relations, the trilateral commission and a few other ‘elitist’ groups you may find some indications of the whyfors, whatnots, and hows and whens; even then the ‘elites’ don’t altogether see eye to eye and and are not above fucking each other over(a natural human trait), but in the end it is power which they gauge by the amount of money they control.
In my readings I have run across a depopulation of the human race and a feudal system of old to allow the ‘elites’ the better and finer places in the world. And I am sure anyone can find other reasons. Whatever their agenda and purpose, they don’t care about what happens to the majority of the people which puts it at a war having been declared on the serfs and peons.

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By Folktruther, September 10, 2008 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, samosamo, and diamond all agree that the Gops were economically and militarily irresponsible to a point where the US is on the point of colapse.

But the Gops are the agents of the ruling class, and could not do so without ruling class consent.

My question is: why did the ruling class do it?  No matter how big the profits, is t worth runing the coutnry you rule into the ground, and jeoprodizing your rule, for them.

This is not only my question, but that of the noted historizal Eric Hobsbawn.  He says, in his latest book, p. 57:

“Frankly, I can’t make sense of what has happened in the US since 9/11…”

Why did the ruling class embark on this ruinious adventure which was so contrary to their own interests not to mention the people of the US and the world.  Why did they do it.  Why?

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By samosamo, September 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Here is some revealing body language. Check out the grins on both paulson and lockhart’s faces in the photo. Says it all almost but especially it says, ‘why worry, we are going to get away with it again’.

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By samosamo, September 10, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

By diamond, September 10 at 3:29 pm

Yes, the economic collapse is very real and very possible and all brought to us by the conservatives, at least the radical extreme criminal republicans. It is about our turn to experience the shock doctrine to totally turn our country over to the draconian methods of civilian supression to the free market system.
Wiping out any last vestiges of democratic controls and the complete privitation of all public services. So far it has been piece meal changes but with a full blown howling depression which Milton Friedman’s school of economics preaches the whole of the U.S. will be in a state of shock uncomparable to Pearl Harbor, 9/11 and our attack on Iraq. And when we come out of it, we will truely be in ‘1984’ or wish that we were.
After all, this whole process of milton’s has been used by the World Bank and the IMF to dictate to the many many countries that have been blessed with the ‘totally free market’ forced down their thoats for the enrichment of the few by grand larceny so why wouldn’t the U.S. be next?

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By KDelphi, September 10, 2008 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, samosamo, for a real answer to a question/comment. I will have to do it tomorrow—I may have seen it, but I never tire of her. The INtraffic is just too bad tonight—that;s good—but I have an old pc with little RAM and HD. It’s slow as the last 6 mos of the Bush administration!

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By diamond, September 10, 2008 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

The real point here is that the American economy is on the brink of collapse. The Republicans know that it’s inevitable that the economy will go into a really steep recession but they’re desperately trying to defer it until Bush is out of the White House so that they can find a way to blame the Democrats. I saw an American economist talking about it on TV last night. He said that the huge deficit (biggest in US history) created by the Republicans didn’t even use the money to boost productivity or create wealth. It was used to fund consumption and war. So now all there is to show for it is empty houses, failed military adventures and plasma TVs. He said America has borrowed money from the entire world and the world is now realizing that the US is not good for the money. This, if you’ll pardon the pun, is the elephant in the room. Not the pitbull in lipstck. She’s just a distraction from what the Democrats should be targeting relentlessly. The incredible irresponsiblity of this administration which has brought America to a state where its military is stretched to breaking point and its economy’s about to fall over. Bill Clinton won twice on economic management and this is where the Democrats should put their attention, not on trying to counter Sarah Palin who has been put there specifically so that the punters have the spectacle of a black ‘liberal’ attacking a white ‘hockey mom’ who just happens to be an extreme Christian fundamentalist made to appeal to Southern Democrats. The choice of Palin was a desperation move but it wasn’t a careless choice. The point is, she’s not the issue so don’t make her the issue. That’s what the Republicans want. That way the Democrats exhaust themselves trying to answer that age old question:
‘So, when did you stop beating your wife?’ McCain intends to give more tax cuts to the rich, continue the insane wars and American occupations of foreign countries and remain wedded to coal and oil and the failed policy of deregulating everything, including war. All of this is disastrous for Americans. That American economist told Australian viewers, ‘If you have any US stocks sell them.’ If that’s not a case for ‘change’ I don’t know what is.

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By hippy pam, September 10, 2008 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

in a perfect world…there would be good jobs,health care,great educations and FREEDOM…OH-I FORGOT….WE LIVE IN THE AFTERMATH OF “BULLSH*Ts” POLITICS and his USELESS WAR….there are NO JOBS-HEALTH CARE-EDUCATION-FREEDOM…..Only the LEGACY OF LIES AND MURDER that “BULLSH*T”  would LEAVE US[we-the people] TO DEAL WITH…....

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By samosamo, September 10, 2008 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, September 10 at 11:29 am #

I listed all those commenters as being the ones that commented after my comment to blackspear that nailed it right about ‘deregulation/privatization mindset’ and that is what klein really describes quite well. I had no doubts that at least some have read this book but some showed a bewilderment and rightous disgust in the taxpayers bailout of fred and fannie that showed maybe they had not read it and were wanting more answers or information. Thus giving a pass to the crooks that have enriched themselves at the people’s expense, to the point that one has to look at it as an unwritten law that these mega thieves are not to give up what they have stolen.
I think I found a C-span interview with naomi about ‘the shock doctrine’. The interviewer is a bit irritating but it is interesting:

http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=8652&SectionName=After Words&PlayMedia=Yes

I don’t think this link works so go the C-spans web site, go to series, go the book tv, go to ‘search book tv, enter ‘naomi klein’ in the name part and it should take you to the interview.

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By Simon, September 10, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

All good points, but the big question is whether, at some point, the Treasury loses its credibility. It took decades to build credibility, including Clinton’s tax increase when it made economic sense. Moral hazard, the idea that debts must be paid, has become quaint and old-fashioned with this latest $200 B bailout. Now there’s only two political views on offer because they’re the only ones deemed marketable: Tax and spend; Or don’t tax.. and spend.

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By KDelphi, September 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

I agree with almost everything in it. Calling Friedman a “curmudgeon” is much too kind. What have al these people you listed said that would not be in accord with Klein’s book? I’m not being confrontational—I really would like to know. Thanks

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By KDelphi, September 10, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

samosamo—I just finished it.

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By samosamo, September 10, 2008 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

By Big B, September 10 at 10:12 am
By KDelphi, September 10 at 9:37 am
By Folktruther, September 10 at 9:19 am
By Eric L. Prentis, September 10 at 9:02 am
By rogeroverandout, September 10 at 6:11 am
By Fahrenheit 451, September 10 at 2:54 am
By kath cantarella, September 9 at 10:16 pm

I will say it again, Naomi Klein has it in her book ‘The Shock Doctrine’ for all to see, read and comprehend. I would think this book could be used by ‘concerned and vigilant’ procecutors to bring these bastards to justice but that ain’t happening.
And the whole goddamn motive is grand larceny on the grandest of scales. Devised by that curmudgeon MILTON FRIEDMAN, the plan ‘says’ it brings equality and stablization through unfetterd free markets(that have been set up by the people that reap the real rewards, unimaginable amounts of money). But it is pure robbery and as much as a proper mix of socialism and capitalism works, the one big factor involved here is the GREED or love of easy money when the deck is stacked in your favor - meaning the neoliberals, better known as the neocons.
GET THE BOOK AND READ IT, THERE IS NOT MUCH THAT KLEIN HAS MISSED FROM WHAT I HAVE READ. AND I DOUBT THERE IS ANY UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE THAT WOULD DARE TO GIVE SO AN ENLIGHTENING COURSE IN !!!REAL!!! HISTORY!!!!!

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By Big B, September 10, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Well, it’s come to this. The taxpayers are once again expected to come to the rescue of the US banking system “Save us from ourselves, or we’re taking you down with us.” has become the battle cry from wall street and the federal reserve. Whoever is in the white house will ride in on a white horse, and save the (rich) white people. to hell with the rest of you.
Here is a modest proposal. Nationalize every mortgage in the US! There will be no more private mortgages. That way we the people will benefit not only from an “ownership society”(a repug wet dream) but we will profit from the intrest collected as well. Of course capitalists and conservatives alike will scream foul, claiming a government bureaocracy could not possibly run a system that large. The answer to that of course is, how’s it going right now?
Dept is beginning to crush the US. While our public(government dept) is famously approaching 10 trillion dollars, privatly held dept is even more! Add that to the fact that we have no public or private savings, we write IOU’s to the social security adm, we print money to fight wars, we use our homes and businesses as ATM’s in that never ending quest to get to, or stay middle class.
The piper is coming. He comes in the form of a mortgage crisis, a trade deficit, an auto plant closing in Ohio, or Michigan, or California. He comes as a medical bill too goddamn big to pay. An old person buying medecine, and going without heat. He comes as a large automobile company or airline going belly up and leaving their employees and retirees without insurance or pensions, and then we have to print more money to help pay for them.
The fat is in fire. The hog is in the tunnel. It has come to the point that only truly radical thinking and action will save the experiment that is america.
Do you think McCain, and his stay the course attitude will fix it? Do you believe Barry’s tinkering and neoliberal clintonian economic theories will save the day? They are both beholden to their corporate masters(as are we all)
The time for sacrifice has come.
Do you think we have it in us?

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By KDelphi, September 10, 2008 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Thanks for support. If I am too enthusiastic—teh Am. populace is too apathetic—so I try to make up for it. (LOL) Why dont you guys check out SP-USA? (Wish I knew how to link it) It’s not a terribly active site—we need more members. If enough people get angry and let the govt and its pawn candidates know that we have had enough—change can happen. Do it for your kids. I dont have any—but I love them. I’d like to see the human species stick around for awhile—but we need to stop basing everything on consumerism.

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By KDelphi, September 10, 2008 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Capitalism cannot be benevolent, under its current definitions. CEOs (thieves) say over and over that their responsibilites are to their “shareholders”. If that is true, if they have to make a decision about something that will hurt the general public, but benefit the shareholders—what woudl they do? Its only logical, really.

We have to stop pretending that corp. are “human beings” (with an unalienable right to shit on you)“lobbying money” is “free speech”, and that we are “living in a ‘free mkt” economy”.
Also, metros, since when does property=happiness? Once you have what you need (and a limited amount of what you’d “like”) studies show that more money does not make people “happy.” Neither does more “stuff”. US citizens seem to think that the only freedom owed them by their govt is “freedom to choose goods”.

We invade other countries to provide access to the “mkts” by intl corp. Corporations have no feelings, no conscience, no sense of honor.If the ‘capitalists” dont start reining in these “free marketeers” (thieves, murderers) , you will not have a “market” . How much crap do you think the former middle class will take? (Apparently a lot!) But, everyone has limits. I’ve reached mine—where is yours?

The capitalistic “free” market, causes death (by de-regulation and no control over services that are necessary for life)); war; and degrades citizens into “consumers”. And the Am. people are so “terrified” of “communism” or ‘socialism”, that they prefer to choose for others ,so that others may die in the streets. But, you can choose from many corporations where to buy your clothes, cars, etc.They are all by the same mega-corporations, but, what the hell. Shopping is so FUN! Oh, wait—it’s all Chinese now—they’re ‘capitslists” right? They’re “free”, right? The author—“like socialists in China”—well stop borrowing money from them and buying all their “stuff” then.

People need to, at least, stop kidding themselves about what we have here.

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By Folktruther, September 10, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Great post, KDelphi.  European welfare capitalism, where the unions are mobilized, differs from the unregulated capitalism of the US.  And the centralized capitalism of China, which is growing at a rate four times faster than both Europe and the US, is different from both.

It is apparent that the seige socialism of the communist countries are not viable as economic entities.  Therefore we have to develop a new form of socialism that allows a market system to develop within human and humanized constraints.  And it is people with passions like yours that will develop it, KDelphi.

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By Eric L. Prentis, September 10, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the Bush Administration is a shockingly blatant transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. As a result of the lax regulation of the financial system, the rich made all the money on the way up during the housing bubble. Even the equity holders were not wiped out in this transparent cover-up of graft and corruption by the plutocracy. Our politicians and those in the banking system are the real crooks and should all be in prison rather than being given a free gift of more taxpayer money.

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By heavyrunner, September 10, 2008 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

If you want these issues discussed, broaden the debate to include all the candidates.  Include Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and Ron Paul.

Barack Obama is a civil rights attorney and John McCain is a “war hero.”  Neither of them have a background in explaining macro economic issues.  Ralph Nader would probably be the most knowledgeable in that regard.

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By KDelphi, September 10, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Blackspeare has it in a nutshell. “State socialism” is NOT the only alternative to unregulatd capitalism. As the Aussie said, (although JOhn Howard helped about as much as Dubya)socialist democracies produce the best standare of living for the most people.The only people who would be against it, are either brainwashed capitalists (that think the only socialist countries have been “USSR” -not-China-not-Eastern Europe-not-Cuba—not without elections!!)or the very rich.Try Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, even France (Sarkowzy wont be around long if he starts privitizing everything—the French peole have more guts than that!)

Fannie/Freddie did NOT “just become private”—it was done intentionally, people! It has been pushed by Nixon, Reagan, Clinton et al.And what has it wrought? It is hurting the entire world.When you ask a capitalist why he didnt consider the larger consequences, he wil say , that his only responsibility is to make money for his shareholders (and , of course, his giant salaries that are the laughing stock of the world!)WHY would you entrust someone thinking like that to deliver services to low-income people? It just doesnt make sense.If you dont care about the low-income people—how do you like bailing these basterds out every few years? Socialism for them—unregulated capitalism for us. It needs to stop.

This , I guess, had to happen, but it shouldve never been de-reglated.. But, the people that were scammed wil hardly be helped at all. We have more people in foreclosure than—well, ever! “WELFARE is gutting the Am taxpayer”!!! they all scream—yeah it is. CORPORATE welfare. Put these guys in jail. Take their $$—they take ours!

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By rogeroverandout, September 10, 2008 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Faren451:

Thanks, but I don’t understand a word he spoke and, frankly, I doubt “economists” understand the economy either.  But, I guess everybody’s gotta have some sort of work.

The supreme court doesn’t understand the constitution.
Our politicians don’t understand our governemt.
Educators don’t understand schools.
Medical people don’t get medicine.
The police and lawyers don’t understand crime.
John McCain doesn’t understand war.
Barack Obama doesn’t get the electorate.

But they all get paid, handsomely.

Maybe the geniuses in Switzerland accelerating atoms at each other will finally figure it all out.

There is a god.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 10, 2008 at 3:54 am Link to this comment

Instinctively, I know this is a rolling disaster; but I fail to see the pragmatic affect on us.  I’m posting a link which you all might find interesting.

This is from the Financial Times out of Qatar
Huge Consequences’
of the Nationalization of
Fanni Mae, Freddie Mac ...
John Authers of
the Financial Times

http://www.ft.com/cms/bfba2c48-5588-11dc-b971-0000779fd2ac.html?_i_referralObject=848480182&fromSearch=n

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 10, 2008 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

@ OGP;

Yes, the bailout was required because there were already countries starting to sell their financial investments in the U.S.  If that had continued it, quite literally, would have bankrupted this country.  We’d be down so much, the bottom would look like up.  Unfortunately there will be no indictments to follow.  Nobody seems to be able to tell us how this will affect us everyday citizens.

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By kath cantarella, September 9, 2008 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The right mix of capitalism and socialism works, as it did here in Australia for decades, before deregulation and privatisation of essential services destroyed us.

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By samosamo, September 9, 2008 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

By Blackspeare, September 9 at 8:51 pm

Amen Blackspear. Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ is sure bring this to light for me. And it is nothing but pure grand larceny

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, September 9, 2008 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

It’s getting late so I’ll make it quick.  This whole economic mess belongs part and parcel to the deregulation/privatization mindset.  And being involved for a while in a regulated business, I can tell you, without hesitation, that deregulation/privatization does the consumer little good in the end!!!

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By samosamo, September 9, 2008 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

The issues are not debatable, they are off limits. Only the personalities and the negative campaigning is what we are to see, hear and debate/discuss. And milton friedman’s laws of world economics are not to be questioned or criticized. Making the idea of intellectual discussions of issues a very moot point.

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By OGP, September 9, 2008 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Saving Fannie and Freddie is the right thing to do, no matter how much we detest paying the bankers for their bad decisions. In 1929, the FED, new to the game, decided NOT to bail out the very same banks that had made the very same mistakes. The result was, of course, the Great Depression.

Boyarsky is right - the bankers run the world, not the politicians, and certainly not the people. And, by and large, they have done a pretty good job. That is, until the regulations established in the 30s to keep future crashes from happening were dismantled. I’m referring to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act, passed in 1933 and repealed in 1999, signed off by that great Democrat, Bill Clinton.

Karl Marx, who knew capitalism better than anyone else in his time, said that it sowed the seeds of its own destruction. Well, this is what he meant. It destroys itself from lack of regulation. Capitalism MUST have a strong regulating mechanism or it will crash. It always has.

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Paolo's avatar

By Paolo, September 9, 2008 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

Americans in general tend to hold two mutually-contradictory ideas: that homes should be available to everyone at a reasonable price, and that home values should increase every year.

Folks, you can’t have it both ways.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

metros:  You wrote “We must not allow the wealthy to claim an absolute right to their wealth.  The majority of it was attained, after all, through fortunate happenstance or inheritance.  The sanctity of unlimited accumulation of wealth is a ruling class myth akin to the divine right of kings.”

Let’s also remember that much wealth, even inherited wealth, in this country has been acquired on the backs of rank and file wage and salary earners and even minimum wage help.  Our government and often owners and managment have trouble remembering that.
After owners acquire their wealth, more often then not, in order to keep it, they outsource those jobs, with the blessing of our government.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

I would strongly suggest listening to Tuesdays Democracy Now program.  After hearing economist Max Fraad Wolff; if you aren’t panicking then you just don’t get it.  America is a 747 in a nose dive 1 foot from the ground!  Add to that McCain/Palin and this is truly the end times.

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Allan Krueger's avatar

By Allan Krueger, September 9, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

ADD Lehman and you have the Criminal Capitalism, Trifecta!

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By yellowbird2525, September 9, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

gosh folks: scheduled right on time in 1 week is going to be the huge exposure of the legalized to steal which is the name of a book that exposed all of this: how Wall Street has been with consent of the Gov using funds for THEIR benefits! and golly gee willikers you MIGHT be asking yourselves THESE questions: what good will it do to put “safe guards” on banking & housing when they were in place after the depression? why did Ronald Reagan, Farrah Fawcett & multiple others go to GERMANY to get treatment for cancer when even 17 years ago & more the technology was readily available HERE but wouldn’t make THEM as much $ in THEIR pockets? and again, why have they never given the Indians what THEY promised to them? Tribe after tribe after tribe: one they claimed they “lost” $100m; another http://www.democracynow.org they have never given a cent to; why do all other countries BAN floride in water? why was it put there in the 1st place? (Hitler); our country brought top Nazi’s here to discover HOW they did it; all those are actively working in place here today folks: this is NOT a “democracy” it is a DICTATORSHIP making you THINK that you are “free” when in reality you are & have always been enslaved to Corps & wealthy greed; compliments of your lawless claiming to be lawmakers; & “this is a nation of law”; it is NOT; might want to know that all your food supply has been tainted along with everything else they could possibly do like formaldehyde deadliest toxin on earth or one of them; put in everything from clothes, to food, (thank you Donald Rumsfeld); to baby shampoos, why do you THINK the baby death is so high here? oh, must be those not good prenatal care of pregnat 10 years olds; like the global warming is caused by cows right? like all those millions & billions of buffalo, & other wildlife that roamed here b/4 we came didn’t do it right? where is your BRAINS!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 9, 2008 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

How can you, on the one hand damn big government and socialism and on the other, applaud the takeover by the government of Mae and Mac?

Throw this in the faces of the republican ticket next time you see them and watch them rationalize their position and then watch all the right-wing voters applaud their BS.

Ask the Right-wingers where the money is coming from for paying off the $30 billion Keating/McCain 5 con job.  Then ask where the couple $trillion is coming from to pay for the war.  Then ask if it’s even possible to saddle the already sucked-dry American worker with a few more trillion to bail out Bear/Stearn, Mae and Mac and other failed banks.  They’re sucking everything dry.  This country is becoming arid.  The taxpayers, the economy, the military, small business, everything.  Hand them a piece of paper and ask them to write down, so you’ll have it, where they think all this money is coming from.  No new taxes.  Give the middle class a break and don’t raise their taxes. (Don’t raise the wealthy’s either.)  GD tax and spend Democrats!!  If you don’t call bailing out failed banks @ trillions and buying a war @ trillions “spending” then what word do you use?????  I’d like an answer to that, No-New-Taxes Right Wingers.  I’m listening.  If it is indeed spending, then you’re hypocrites and liars.  If it isn’t, what is it?????

If it’s “spending,” where’s the money coming from?  If you borrow it, how do you pay it back? 

I want another GD Stimulus payment.  I demand it.  And no piddling $1200, either.  I demand a half-million now, right now, and another in a year, GDit.

I think it’s time for a general siesta, don’t you?

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By yours trulyj, September 9, 2008 at 11:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another World Not Only Is Possible, It’s Doable

“Based on?”

“Fahrenheit 451’s suggestion about our setting up a new paradigm online.”

“No meetings, leafletting, conventions, etc. etc?”

“Strictly online.”

“And then what sort of world?”

“It’ll be up to us.”

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By felicity, September 9, 2008 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

All I can say is ho hum, business as usual.  Remember Neil Bush who, as a director of the failed Silverado Savings and Loan ended up costing us tax-payers $1 billion - it cost him $50,000, even though it was proven in court that as a director he had committed fraud, among other crimes.

“Too big to fail” guarantees in a capitalist economy that no matter what you’ve done, if you’ve done it under the cover of a giant corporation, you’re probably home free and the tax-payers will pay the bill you’ve run up.

There were never truer words spoken than when Deep Throat told Woodward to “just follow the money” because it’ll always lead you to the sources who are really running the big show.

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By wfairbrother, September 9, 2008 at 11:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not, like to come in too heavily with the S word here… I’ve lived in a Capitalist ’free’ market state, and I’ve also lived in a Socialist welfare state (to name a few)…  these both have huge problems… it would be impossible to upload socialistic principles onto the American Healthcare system… it’s not the people with the power, but the machinations of government plus the businessman who has a stake… just won’t happen… there is no possibility of a universal health-care program erupting in America.

In an environment which demands more profit every year, not only from businesses but from government itself – there is no way out – someone has to suffer… maybe, as the number of suffering grows, there will be an uprising… ah, I don’t think so… who is more marginalized? – a person being evicted in NYC, or an orphaned child dying of AIDS in Botswana… they’re both weak in spirit and body… the latter have the numbers but not any power…

I like conspiracy theories… this is exactly what the terrorists of 9/11 wanted to happen… a slow erosion of America… they only killed 3000 – hell, America kills 3000 in a month… for years… we’re following their plan…

America has gotta loosen up a little, quit flexing the muscles so much, look around… be a neighbor in the world instead of the supreme commander of the world… ‘cuz in the end, well, you know how that went for Hitler, for Helioglobus, and for Alexander the Great… not to mention Napolean…

Capitalism can work – it’s just taken a dive in the world… it must be benevolent at heart, look after its workers as well as its consumers, protect the environment…

There are too many evil men in charge… all they want is money in their pockets

We can point them out and send them to menial jobs, but only if people stand up

w.

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 9, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Gdubya=MiddleClassHammered, the system of checks and balances is an instrument of governance (THE instrument of governance in our Constitution), while the open market is an economic concept.  They are like apples and oranges (although both sound government and a sound economy should be part of our metaphorical balanced diet).  At best, the system of checks and balances can regulate those who are required to make decisions about who sets our country’s economic strategy.  Boyarsky’s point is that economic decisions are made by some “power elite” (as C. Wright Mills put it) that is, for all intents and purposes, ABOVE our government’s system of checks and balances.  The significant difference between that “power elite” and those of us who have to live with the decisions they make lies at the heart of the mess we are now in.

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By Growl Loudly, September 9, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did anyone notice that the man annointed to be the new head of Freddie is a Carlyle Groupie, David Moffett?  Why yes, the Carlyle Group (baker, carlucci, Bush, bin Laden, John Major are names associated with it) had a tentacle called Carlyle Capital, which failed in March. “By yesterday the fund had defaulted on $16.6 billion of debt and said it expected to default soon on its remaining debt. The fund’s $21.7 billion in assets were exclusively in AAA mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, traditionally considered secure and conservative investments, which it was using as collateral against its loans.”
So apparently we have a weasel watching the henhouse, which comes as no surprise. 
In the no surprise department, Herb Allison. “He served as national finance chairman for U.S. Senator John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign.” “After joining TIAA-Cref, Mr. Allison fired 500 employees, or about 8 percent of the work force, in a round of cutbacks that employees nicknamed Herbicides.”
Sounds great, doesn’t it?

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By msgmi, September 9, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Fed and its layers of incompetent oversight departments, Wall Street profiteers and gov’t appointed financial CEO’s failed to monitor the financial institutions sub-prime irregularities & criminal activities within are all complicit in the GREED FACTOR.  The Beltawy has failed the public trust.

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By Big B, September 9, 2008 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

You’re right, Fahrenheit. And they didn’t even buy us dinner.

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By yellowbird2525, September 9, 2008 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

BTW, our LAWLESS leaders (all of them) including Gov’s who have been meeting with Bush: this has been a strategically long term goal for political parties: with a great deal of malice in their hearts for the citizens of the USA; they have operated outside of the laws of the USA, Congress, & international laws: laws & safeguards were all in place for this not to happen: last night they were talking of “putting in laws & safeguards” to prevent this happening again: folks: hear me loud & hear me clear: THEY have been in place since the last depression. So were the usury laws: which have been around since banking began to protect the people; any & every single thing to protect the people of this country: have deliberately been ignored; deleted; etc: re credit cards: the Fed Reserve said the rates & fees were CRIMINAL & FRAUD which is Deceptive Business Practices; add to that: big Corps went to colleges; PAID them just like the doctors are paid: to USE their companies: which cost more & add more fees than other companies did: promoting them as “the best” value for your $; and even giving the “visas” etc with the name of the colleges on them. All known by & acceptable by the Gov of the USA; who sits down with the Corps to be told what to do next; AGAINST the people of this country. It is CRIMINAL; so since THEY are operating outside of the laws: feel free to NOT pay taxes, etc; say whatever you want to say: that you do not agree with the war; be aware that every single transaction you make with bank, credit/debit card, etc; is monitored;

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By yellowbird2525, September 9, 2008 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

We have been told it is THIS (the way this country is run which has been for the Corps, the wealthy, and the PEOPLE counted as cattle, to rob, steal, kill, using poisons, & exploiting them to the max. OR communism. THIS way is DICTATORSHIP & CRIMINAL. Get your thinking STRAIGHT. SEE thru the LIES; other countries many of them have freedoms: yet THEY are not exploited, lied to, deceived repeatedly; THEY have multiple benefits, etc; for their taxes. Just got an email from ACLJ; our “poor policy”: read deliberately deceiving & conniving politicians who sold out the people of the USA years ago: who APPEAR to be sincere: but are sincerely dishonest: have written a law stating that “christian” schools (and I am sure it will also be homeschooled) “do not meet the requirement” for college admission. TRUE folks: our states are following the LEAD of the feds: rebuilding & renewing America: claiming THEY own the land: well, now they do, don’t they: and THEY own the water (giving it to the most evil company fittingly along with the most evil Gov in the world) Monsanto: next is going to be any & all savings etc you might have. http://www.naturalliving.com is giving you a lot of information on how to handle what is coming.

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 9, 2008 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

“But a decision to take over Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac—whether it’s right or wrong—shouldn’t be made in a Treasury Department conference room in secrecy on a Saturday by a group described by The Wall Street Journal as ‘dressed mostly in business casual khakis and shirts.’”

Granted, Bill, so, in the words of Juvenal’s reflection on Plato’s REPUBLIC, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”  Who SHOULD make the decisions that guard the soundness of our national economy, whose fate, for better or worse, now resonates throughout the global economy?  It is interesting to see how Plato took on this question.  The following comes from the Wikipedia entry for the “Quis custodiet” quote at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custodiet_ipsos_custodes?>:

Plato’s answer to this is that they will guard themselves against themselves. We must tell the guardians a “noble lie.” The noble lie will inform them that they are better than those they serve and it is therefore their responsibility to guard and protect those lesser than themselves. We will instill in them a distaste for power or privilege; they will rule because they believe it right, not because they desire it.

This is, indeed, a clever strategy;  and that concept of the “noble lie” appears frequently as a plot device in literature.  However, just about every plot based on the “noble lie” has to do with how everything unravels when the lie is revealed, after which resolution can come from a tragic end to all those involved, the decision to establish a “new order,” or the imposition of that “new order” by some DEUS EX MACHINA (which, in other cultures, may be read as “messiah”).

Yesterday I suggested that, rather than relying on our own “expertise” that has led us into this mess, we might do better to look at what is happening in Brazil:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/09/recognizing-b-in-bric.html

Brazil has just been visited by an interesting DEUS EX MACHINA in the form of the discovery of potentially vast deepwater resources of hydrocarbons.  Blessed with what is likely to be a new source of wealth, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has begun to rethink the very nature of governance, particularly in terms of the relationship between the government and the governed.  What has interested me most about the reports from Brazil is that Lula seems more interested in resolving existing problems of education and poverty than he is in turning his country into the next “engine of economic growth.”  If Boyarsky is depressed that the media are not addressing what our Presidential candidates have to say about a major economic decision being made by a closed council of high priests, he should worry just as much that those media seem to be living in a self-imposed oblivion of what is emerging in Brazil.  Lula may be the first major leader with both the will and the power to do something about the War Against the Poor;  but we can probably count on the media to ignore him (at least until the CIA tries to overthrow him).

The bottom line is that the “noble lie” will almost always trump what Boyarsky calls “the real action.”  This may be because those decisions that advance that “real action” are actually grounded in a “noble lie;”  and it is not really in anyone’s interests (probably even that of the American electorate) for the lie to be revealed.  After all, if you have no idea how you are going to pay the mortgage, put food on the table, and take care of your health, you are not in the best of positions to question the morality of living under such a lie!

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By Chris, September 9, 2008 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve noticed Obama and McCain have said little or nothing regarding this raw deal the taxpayers have received. I’ve also noticed they haven’t said much about the huge deficit either.

I really don’t want to think about what happens if this fails : (

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 9, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Okay, last comment; the Boston Tea Party…remember?  It started this whole process that is us…the U.S.  This could be the equivalent, a 21st century American Tea Party.  A tax revolt; you think that wouldn’t get some attention?  Ha ha, I’ll probably end up in jail for even suggesting it…what will be will be…so, what will you do?

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By GW=MCHammered, September 9, 2008 at 7:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So much for checks and balances in an open market system and globalization’s promise of lower prices and world-wide prosperity. If our current policy executioners and we were wolves, we’d turn on them and feed their flesh to our pups. Their ravenous vampire-like greed is ruinous. Natural Selection, where are you?

It’s A Sucker’s Rally
t’s a trap, warns Roubini, because investors face a severe recession well into 2009, and both consumers and financial institutions are still massively leveraged.
http://www.forbes.com/finance/2008/09/09/fannie-freddie-roubini-pf-ii-in_rl_0909croesus_inl.html

‘Help Wanted?’ Forget It.
Hiring across the globe is down significantly
http://www.forbes.com/leadership/2008/09/09/manpower-china-work-lead-cx_tw_0909jobs.html

Gdubya=MiddleClassHammered

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 9, 2008 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Addendum;
Jeez, do you all realize whose financing all of this shit:  WE ARE!!  Stop paying!!!  Choose!!!  Don’t follow like some zombie!

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 9, 2008 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

@ Big B;

May I suggest that unregulated (criminal) capitalism is a rape job.  Carefully regulated capitalism (aka responsible) is not a bad thing.  The Robber Barons got control and deregulated everything; so we got fleeced, screwed, f*&ked;, and handed our asses.  It will be a long and dangerous road but we could get our lives back by banding together and taking away our support: Support is spelled DOLLARS!  We need to take control of what, how and where we spend our money!  Oh yeah, it might mean some sacrifice…never mind!

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By Big B, September 9, 2008 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

Has anyone noticed that in our nations history big businesses have always decried taxes and regulation?
The government should promote capitalism by stepping aside, and letting “business do what business does”, is the mantra spouted by every CEO from John Rockefeller to Bill Gates.
The problem with this philosophy is obvios. Every time busines in america has gone unregulated it has raped the land, taken advantage of the workforce, and run the economy into the ground! And after they completed this disasterous trifecta they always did the same thing, cried to the US government for a bailout. “Save us from ourselves! if we go down, we’re taking you with us!”
It seems to me that either capitalism works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then it should be allowed to fail. Then maybe we could put a system in place that mixes the best aspects of reponsible capitalism and socialism. But that would mean america would have to face some hardships for awhile.
I don’t think we’re that tough anymore.
But we did make it through the 1930’s. And how did we do it? Government bailout!

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, September 9, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

“But a decision to take over Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac—whether it’s right or wrong—shouldn’t be made in a Treasury Department conference room in secrecy on a Saturday by a group described by The Wall Street Journal as “dressed mostly in business casual khakis and shirts.”

But it was, remember Voodo economics, Mr. McCain?

Sadly, those that have caused the current mess are still in charge. Still so certain of their delusions, that they can fix this mess with the same rememdy’s that caused it.

Just like physicians in the middle ages who bled their patients to death by applying leaches, their destruction of our economy will continue.

Next will come the bail out of the big three auto makers with about 50 billion dollars in loans. Then the Credit card companies.

Privatization? Socialism for the Rich, capitalism and free enterprise for everyone else.

And what will be the ultimate out come of this? Forget about Recession, we’re headed for a deep depression, the end of the dollar, the collapse of America’s econommy with a bottom somewhere out there in 2012.

Welcome to Fire sale America, everything must go!

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By tomack, September 9, 2008 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

KISS has it right, privatization! This has been in the making for some time and the inflated realestate price tags tipped it over the edge.

The reason the candidates don’t mention it is because they haven’t a clue as to how to fix it—except by mentioning “regulation”. And that’s a commie pinko term to be avoided if you want to win the big seat.

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By tommy, September 9, 2008 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I truly wasnt even aware that there was any type of discussion going on at all in this election year, just empty soundbytes and promises like always. Lets try not to act like children and think that this is about any kind of issues.

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By JohnT, September 9, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My observation is that campaigns do not discuss real issues. Instead of issues, campaigns spew red herrings.

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By KISS, September 9, 2008 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

Now you know that Senator Dodd, he is in charge of senatorial finance, is right on top of almost understanding this fiasco. Of course he was on top of this many years ago when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were privatized so those Financial Empires could loot the treasury and never see the inside of a jail. Reverse Robin Hood politics works again….every voter should have a Tee Shirt emblazoned with SUCKER front and back.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 9, 2008 at 4:37 am Link to this comment

As another poster on an other thread said; we should vote with our wallets.  Boycott, in an organized way, all businesses that operate under criminal capitalism.  The very tool we use here to blog, is the organizational tool at our disposal.  Home ownership may be an obsolete concept.  Renting means not having to pay for maintenance and general upkeep.  There is a view that home ownership is really not financially sound, even before this disaster.  We need a new paradigm; one that embodies thought and creative imagination.  Let the bankrupt bastards play in their own sand box and we’ll play in ours.  Things like this are the power we still have.  It’s like a parallel society.  The black market operates much the same way, though illegally.  This would be totally legal and smart.  Since money is the name of the game; with our collective, unified wallet, we become a financial force to reckon with…not victims.  Think about it.

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