"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.
They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."
As you go about your day stop for a moment to reflect upon the Dalou family murdered by an Israeli air strike in Gaza utilizing weaponry supplied and subsidized by the US government. See here for relevant updates.
The current election season has been just as predictably devoid of issues relevant to the public as I'd imagined it would be. How could it possibly be otherwise? Both "oppositional" political parties, or more accurately to borrow the memorable phrase of the late and sorely missed Gore Vidal, "the Business Party with two right wings" are of one voice on the matters of critical importance to the public. So, there will be no meaningful prosecutions of the Wall Street hustlers whose greed and fraud collapsed the world economy, a financial transaction tax on the Wall Street speculation that has replaced its original function of raising capital for productive enterprises is out of the question, in fact raising revenue via tax levees on the wealthy and their corporations to help the nation climb from the crater they dug for us is a non-starter, two thirds of tax revenues the government does receive will continue to flood the coffers of military contractors, and there will be no move to implement a national health insurance program along the lines of Medicare for All or a single payer system as in the the rest of the developed world. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the government will not step in to address the demand deficit caused by the deflation of the housing bubble and the 1.2 trillion dollars in lost GDP it represented. I short, Barrack Obama dares not run for re-election on his record.
The current White House occupant has managed to accomplish in just under four years what I'd imagined would have taken at least a dozen to accomplish. He has single-handedly resuscitated the Republican Party, that other wing of the Business Party which alone sets the parameters of the political spectrum in the United States. How, one wonders, was it at all possible after the Bush administration initiated two ruinous illegal wars, watched impassively as an American city drowned for five days following Hurricane Katrina, and stood by in dumbfounded amazement as the greatest financial collapse in eighty years wiped out eight trillion dollars of (admittedly faux) wealth could Obama have failed to the extent that he clearly has? Recall that the Obama administration entered office with a powerful mandate from the public for meaningful change, the control of both houses of Congress including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and no expectation from the public for detente with the Republican Party that it had just overwhelmingly rejected. What went wrong?
These are intriguing questions on the surface, however, a moment's reflection provides the answer. Clearly this was the intended outcome of the Obama administration and its actual constituency---Capital and the corporate sector generally by which the .001% have commandeered the levers of power and virtually all wealth. The performance of the Obama administration has been a classic example of what has been called the Ratchet Effect in the American political system. I highly recommend that you follow the link above for all the interesting details but here's an illuminating excerpt:
Over time, the Democratic Party has assumed the role of ensuring that the countervailing pressure from the Left doesn't happen. The party contains and neutralizes the Left, or what there is of it. Left voters are supposed to support the Democrat, come what may -- and it's amazing how many of us have internalized this supposed obligation -- but they are not allowed to have any influence on the party's policies, either during the campaign or during the Republicans' infrequent holidays in opposition. The key function of the Democratic Party in our nation is to preserve the system of power and privilege from the democratic impulses of the population in general, its primary victim. This explains Obama's "failures" and "cave-ins" to his "opposition" and all the play-acting that passes for political debate this election cycle. These efforts are geared towards the single goal of dissuading the public from considering any viable alternatives such as those proposed by this reasonable man.
After my long hiatus I thought this presentation by Prof. Richard Wolff would serve as a nice segue into at least some semi-regular posting. My thoughts have been consumed by our economic devolution of late here in the US and any suggestion of alternatives will manage to catch my attention. Look for more like this in this space: