THOSE WHO BROKE IT HAVE NOW FIXED IT?
(Oct. 1, New York, New York) In the brilliantly written 1990 book Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, authored by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, their detailed account of the meltdown, hostile take over attempts and efforts to save a hulking corporate sinking ship are well chronicled. The story they tell in detail of what was, at the time, the largest failure of an American corporate giant in history, appears to be a work of fiction, a fairy tale compared to the financial crisis we face today. We find ourselves on the precipice looking into the abyss of a full blown depression. Not since the stock market crash and subsequent run on banks that resulted in a decade known as “The Great Depression”, has our country faced such a monumental financial crisis.
In Oliver Stone’s movie Wall Street depicting the life in the fast lane 1980’s orgy of wheeling and dealing at the highest levels, the main character, a ruthless investment banker named Gordon Gekko, says at one point, “Greed is Good.” Obviously most of the CEO’s of the major financial, banking, lending and investment institutions not only have agreed with that statement but, by having actually vigorously pursued it, they have brought this country, our economy and, perhaps the entire global economy perilously close to total collapse.
Complicit in this rabid hunt for personal wealth has been our MBA President, the moronic George W. Bush, his cronies and the scum that have served in Congress the last eight years. They all laid the ground work, literally paved the way over the lives of working class Americans, for their own gain. The Ponzi schemes, sub-prime mortgage practices, the avalanche of deregulation , complete absence of oversight of every component of the mechanics of our economy designed by K Street lobbyists, constructed by the criminals in Congress and signed into law by imbecilic George, have brought us to this point. And now , this very same cast of characters claims to be able to fix it? As Maureen Dowd of the New York Times commented, they are like “the arsonist who wants to put out the fire.” The applicable metaphors and analogies are too numerous to waste time on. The average American knows all too well that our economy has been in trouble for years.
The Republican Party has ruled the country for the majority of the past eight years. What have George W. and company brought us? The largest expansion of the federal government in over 40 years, the largest federal debt, trade imbalance, increasing prices across the board from milk and groceries to gasoline. They have been more business friendly than any administration in memory and have presided over a spending spree that is so astronomical it is difficult to even understand. Trillions, trillions and more trillions and billions spoken about as if they were bingo chips.
Unemployment is higher than it has been in 18 years. Bush and his boss Dick Cheney inherited a budget surplus of several hundreds of billions of dollars yet, these fiscal conservatives have basically had to borrow from foreign lenders to such a degree that much of our nation is owned by those very same foreign nations
Finally, sadly it has come to this. We, too, are somewhat complicit in this catastrophe because we the people have put these bastards in office. Maybe folks will begin to think twice about how “political issues” do in fact impact their lives directly, indirectly and over a lon period of time; a period of sufficient length to impact the lives of their children and grand children.
We have all been astounded to learn that the average CEO makes at least 4000 times more than the average employee in their company. We have been equally astonished as our pensions, retirement plans and home equity have eroded or vanished completely while the richest of the rich, the very people who put us out of jobs and squandered our pensions had easy access to “Golden Parachutes.”
If we were all paying attention we would have noticed that the big oil giants raked in record breaking, stupendous profits while we paid up to four dollars for a gallon of gasoline. Big oil has profited to the tune of $600 billion dollars since the former Texas oilman, Shrub moved into the White House. Gasoline averaged $1.56 per gallon when George W. came into office. What does it cost now? The list of crimes, misdemeanors, no-bid, self-serving contracts and the almost infinite other travesties this crew are guilty of is stunning in its scale and scope.
Then, to watch on TV as these scumbag Congressmen hold self congratulatory press conferences patting themselves on the back for actually having accomplished something, is enough to make any informed citizen vomit.
During the Great Depression, then President Franklin Roosevelt addressed the nation in a speech containing the famous line,“All we have to fear is fear itself.” That is certainly not true today. Today all we have to fear is our elected government officials and their unquenchable thirst for power,influence and greed. We also have to fear paying the bills and trying to make ends meet.
We have damned good reasons to be cynical and here, among The Brooding Cynyx, we are absolutely disgusted over what has transpired during the tenure of George W. Bush and are extremely cynical that the 26 year member of Congress, a product of Congress and inside the beltway politicking, schmoozing with the lobbyists and helping deregulate everything that should have had some modicum of regulation and oversight related to the economy, fiscal policy and Wall Street, is willing, capable or even could be forced to make any realistic change that will have a positive impact on all the masses of non-barbarians who lay awake at night wondering, how the hell did this happen?
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