If there was ever a show of evidence to demonstrate the ineptitude and disrepair into which the US Congress has collapsed, it must surely be the abortive attempt to pass this latest finance bill. While no-one can say with certainty how effective an injection of $700billion into the financial markets would be, all those with experience in the field agree it is necessary.
Now, is neither a time for spurious political idealism, nor for making a play of listening to voters. Isn’t it so obvious an election is looming? Now, is the time for both political parties to thrash out the most efficient manner in which to handle this crisis, with least pain to the taxpayer, and just as importantly devise a set of regulations, complete with the necessary enforcement machinery, to ensure the greed of Wall Street is not allowed to create another crisis further down the road.
Those Republicans who chose Nancy Pelosi’s speech as a reason to vote against the bill yesterday, displayed an immaturity of ideals that should cost them their political careers. Pelosi spoke the truth. For eight years the Republican party has allowed a free-for-all in the markets, with lobbyists for the big finance houses holding sway over Washington. Sadly, though Democrats shake their heads and wag their fingers at the other side, they too have been equally guilty by association.
One factor, above all others, to surface from this financial mire is the gaping holes in the capitalist system. Republicans yesterday wept over the necessary injection of “Socialism” into their otherwise pure and virginal capitalist republic.
What utter rubbish! What crocodile tears are these?
As George Monbiot succinctly pointed out in the Guardian newspaper yesterday, socialism has been alive and well, and living beneath the floorboards of capitalism in the US for years. In 2006, he writes, the US government subsidized businesses to the tune of $92billion.
How many Americans have even heard of the “Foreign Military Financing Program” which, according to Monbiot’s sources:
“……gives money to other countries to purchase weaponry from US corporations. It doles out grants to airports for building new runways and to fishing companies to help them wipe out endangered stocks.”
Probably few Americans are aware their government spends $20billion taxpayer dollars each year subsidizing executives’ pay, or that Walmart has received over one billion dollars courtesy of the taxpayer.
So why are Republican politicians reduced to sackcloth and ashes, beating themselves with whips and shedding copious tears? The answer’s very simple. It’s all for show; to convince the grassroot rednecks they are sincere, when of course, they’re not.
Nevertheless, it’s not all the fault of the Right. Clinton’s administration was just as culpable when it came to doling out socialism in the guise of under-the-counter business subsidies. Congress has been controlled by the Democrats since last November, but not a left-wing breath of objection has been raised against such practices in the last twelve months.
It’s not even so much that it’s wrong. Government subsidies can be beneficial to everyone under the right circumstances. The immorality stems from a dishonest burying of such matters under the political floorboards, so Mister Joe Average American has no idea its happening and blissfully assumes his nation’s God-given capitalist system is functioning to perfection.
The American economy probably couldn’t survive without socialist practices. Government intervention in the marketplace is vital. All the talk one hears in this country of “smaller government”, less of it, is nothing more than hot air. It’s not less government this nation needs, it’s more efficient government, capable of regulating the excesses capitalism breeds.
What has a “free-market” done for the country? It’s raped and pillaged the middle classes; reduced infrastructures to archaic ruins. The roads, bridges, and flyovers of America are falling apart. The power grids are in chaos; one heavy storm is enough to black out thousands of homes. Railroads lack the investment needed to maintain safe standards. Food safety is constantly compromised by a lack of supervision and inspection; government departments, relied on to regulate these industries, are pared away to skeleton staffing levels.
America has become a disgrace. Compared to Europe, it’s standards are no better than a banana republic; all resulting from, not too large a government, but too inefficient a government. US Politicians are corrupt, grasping, lazy. They work for the corporations and lobbyists, not the people.
Little wonder Mister Joe Average American wants “less government”. He sees the government he’s got, and is not happy. Neither should he be. Unfortunately, Mister Joe Average American, it was you who put it there. It was you who cast your vote.
You voted George Bush twice into office. You sat in front of your TV and drank your beer while the hit-movie “Shock & Awe” played out on CNN. You thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Did you complain about your government then? No, it was entertaining you.
Sadly, the movie didn’t go as planned. It began to drag. The heroes got killed; the villains were winning. Did you complain to your government then? No, you couldn’t be bothered, you just changed to the football channel.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the dollars in your pocket contracted. Your bills became harder to meet. Gas prices soared. Did you complain to your government then? Oh, yes, then you complained. And how you complained. In your droves you battered down the doors of your representatives demanding no $700billion bail-out.
You left it too late. You should have complained sooner. The damage is done. The horse has bolted and the stable door’s wide open. You should have realized it wasn’t a movie. The killing was real, but it wasn’t your death, or your friend’s death, or your relative’s death. It was only a bunch of anonymous marines and a few hundred thousand sand-niggers. You don’t complain about that. Only when it effects you personally, or your bill-fold, will you complain.
I beg your pardon? Oh, I’m sorry. I offended your sensibilities by calling them sand-niggers? Don’t criticize me; at least I cared when they died. You, Mister Joe Average American, did not.
The hypocrisy lives right there. In America all goes on under the surface, but little is expressed openly. Racism is alive and well; sexual deviancy is rampant; capitalism is the one true God, but only under the surface.
US hypocrisy has allowed greed to flourish, beneath the floorboards disguised as religion, welfare, the ultimate, modern, capitalist society that provides America with everything it needs. The satiation of that greed is at the core of the financial crisis facing this country today.
The capitalist system has provided almost everything for Americans.
It missed out on only one: The Truth.
 George Monbiot’s Guardian article, “Congress Confronts Its Contradictions” is available to view via the Sparrow Chat “Hot-Link” in the right sidebar.
Filed under: Capitalist crisis chaos