Thursday, October 9, 2008
George W. Bush and the End of Capitalism: or, Osama bin Laden Wins
Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin predicted the eventual downfall of capitalism. In the words of Marx, "if you give a capitalist enough rope, eventually he will hang himself." This week, their predictions came true. So too did Osama bin Laden's prediction that US capitalism would fail. Osama bin Laden has won. George Bush and his "new world order" cronies have achieved their objectives as well. The big losers are the American people. In order to substantiate these opinions, one has to prove a) that "free market capitalism" is indeed dead and b) that George Bush's policies were responsible.
The US stock market has crashed before. This is nothing new. What is different this time is the reshaping of the entire US financial landscape as a result of the financial "crisis". Recently, the US government has taken over Bear Stearns (a publicly traded investment firm), nationalized the nation's mortgage system, and is now in the process of taking over the entire banking system. AIG is now owned by The Federal Reserve (which, by the way, has no juristiction over insurance companies - but after you throw out the Constitution, I suppose anything goes). In addition, the Fed has unilaterally endowed itself the power to acquire equities through its "special new liquidity facility". United States Secretary of Treasury Paulsen has demanded middle class taxpayers purchase ill-liquid open-ended securities from the likes of his former employer - and these securities are so toxic that "free markets" cannot even price them.
It is logical to ask "how did we get to this point?" How on earth did socialism (albeit socialism for the rich, or, as I prefer to label it - fascism) take firm root in the US during George W. Bush's (a self-proclaimed "conservative republican") reign in office? (Note: "reign" as in King).
The problem is hypocrisy: George W. Bush is NOT a "conservative republican" from Texas. I should know this, I am a REAL conservative repubican. George W. Bush, has been, and is, a blue-blood skull-and-bones Yankee from Connecticut and the most radical president in the over 200 year history of the United States. He, like his father, are British subjects whose first allegience is to the crown of England, the powerful European Oligarchs and the Illuminati. Consider:
Conservative republicans are supposed to believe in small government. Yet, after President Clinton trimmed the size of the federal payroll back to the size of the Kennedy years, Bush has ballooned the size of the US government payroll to its largest size ever. Doing so, Bush doubled the US fiscal debt in just 8 years from $5 trillion to over $10 trillion. What is "conservative" about big government?
Conservative republicans are supposed to believe in a strong currency. The US dollar has dropped close to 40% since George Bush took office. If devaluing the currency was the road to financial success, Weimar Germany would still be around today. Instead, Germans in those time burned the currency to keep warm in winter. What is "conservative" about massive currency devaluation?
Conservative republicans are supposed to believe in the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and in protecting individual freedom (as opposed to just giving speeches about "freedom"). Yet, in supposed knee-jerk reaction (i say supposed, because it was planned years prior) to the attacks of 9/11, the Bush administration crams the "Patriot Act" through a republican controlled House and Senate. Nothing in the history of the United States has submarined the US Constitution and Bill of Rights more than the "Patriot" Act. John Adams and George Washington must have rolled over in their graves. What is "conservative" about taking away freedom and individual rights?
Conservative republicans are supposed to believe in military action as a last resort. Yet, in another wrong-headed supposed knee-jerk reaction (again I say supposed, because it too was planned prior) to the attacks on 9/11, George Bush declared war on Australia. Errr, I mean Iraq. Might as well have been Australia for all the sense it made. The hijackers of 9/11 were mostly Saudi Arabians with a few Egyptians thrown in. Why attack Iraq? One reason: skull & bones wants American troops on top of high quality easy to produce and refine Iraqi oil. Yet, for the money spent in Iraq, the US could have had a world-class health care system for all Americans and a real energy policy to prepare us for the post cheap oil world. Instead the US is piling on yet more debt building schools, roads, hospitals and infrastructure in Iraq while its own citizens back home go without these same improvements. Meanwhile, Iraq sells its oil and has $90 billion dollars in the bank. What is "conservative" about irresponsible militantism and oil empire building?
Conservative republicans are supposed to respect the US military and intelligence agencies. Yet, after 9/11 Bush's first priority was to organize an airplane to fly his Saudi Arabian buddies out of Florida back to Saudi during the supposed airspace lockdown. These Saudis were known to have had contact with the hi-jackers, yet they were not vetted by the FBI or CIA before being airlifted out of the country. Further, when the media questioned Bush on this issue, he first *lied* and said no such flight took place. At a press conference the following day, Bush admitted the flight indeed did take place, but admitted this fact only after evidence was presented by reporters that proved it had. Bush then explained that he was worried about the safety of these people (!?). Can you say treason? Can you say impeachment? What is "conservative" about these actions? What is "conservative" about outing a CIA agent because her husband warned about the administration's wrong-headed policy of attacking Iraqover the excuse of WMD's? What is "conservative" about allowing torture? What is "conservative" about paid contractors like Blackwater carrying automatic weapons, flying military style aircraft, and killing Iraqi people with no direct reporting structure into the US military command? Isn't this similar to the British "Black and Tan" thugs that terrorized the Irish people for years? These are not "conservative policies"! This is a most *radical* departure from previous US presidents and from any moral obligation to uphold the US Constitution.
Conservative republicans are supposed to be for fiscal prudence and balanced budgets. Yet, the Bush economic plan cut taxes for the ultra-rich, while effectively raising taxes on the middle class. The result has been a concentration of wealth at the upper end, the erosion of the middle class, and further fiscal deficits. What is "conservative" about massive fiscal irresponsibility? Even Warren Buffet, a man who benefited more than any other from these idiotic policies, adamantly spoke out against them.
Conservative republicans are supposed to be for less government red-tape and regulation. On this issue, George W. Bush gets an A+. However, what has been the result of the Bush administration's particular implementation of the de-regulation of the financial industry? Although both political parties deserve their fair share of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacles, two very simple mechanism have led to the downfall of the these two government agencies and the current financial turmoil: the non-regulation of hedge funds, and the "AAA" debt ratings of repackaged sub-prime loans by the 3 major ratings agencies (Moodys, S&P, and Fitch). To non-regulate financial entities with the size and power of the hedge funds was simply ludicrous. Lay on the tax breaks which most of them operated under (basically, the hedge funds paid no taxes) as well as the lack of any leverage limits, and we had a situation ripe for abuse. But, they needed a free source of funds. That's where the three ratings agencies (Moodys, S&P, and Fitch) stepped in to provide the gunpowder. Some financial genius figured out, hey, if we take 10 sub-prime loans and repackage them, the chances of default are much reduced and therefore we can slap a "AAA" rating on them. Well, now we have "legal" way to make sub-prime loans, collect fees, and *trade* them to bond funds and foreign investors to remove the liability from the loan originators. Worse yet, the hedge funds were able to pile leverage on the higher interest rates these "AAA" rated securities yielded. If you don't believe this statement, consider the numbers being thrown around for the "bailout", and divide it by the total numbers of homes in the United States. The math doesn't work out. Now, was the Bush administration aware of this fraud and its consequences? Yes, absolutely. Bill Gross of PIMCO said on CNBC that he personally went to the Bush administration, and both Greenspan and Bernanke, as early as 2004 and 2005 and explained his concerns. Bush and his cronies knew all right. This was the mechanism that allowed Bush and his buddies to rape the wealth of the US Treasury, put it on the backs of the middle class taxpayer, and use the "crisis" to allow implementation of the "new world order" his father first spoke of years ago: consolidation of the US financial system by the US government, develope tighter financial links with other major foreign countries, and therefore move ever closer to the "new world order" in which, you guessed it, the skull and bones crew that turns the financial control knobs are in complete and total control of the financial system, energy, and food production and distribution. Welcome to 1984 in 2008. What in the world is "conservative" about this? Meanwhile, as Bush and his buddies implement socialism for the rich, or fascism, paid lackeys like Limbaugh and the talking heads on TV tell us we should be worried about Obama getting elected because he would turn the US into socialists!? Hello!! It is happening right before you eyes today under Bush!
Despite the wonderful work of paid hacks like Rush Limbaugh and the talking heads on CNBC, George W. Bush is not a "conservative" republican. Bush is the most radical president the US in the over 200 year history of the United States. His administration will be remembered for putting the final nails in the coffin US capitalism and transforming the United States from democratic (well, semi-democratic....) capitalism to dictorial fascism.
Osama bin Laden proves correct. Osama wins. Bush and his cronies achieve their objectives and win. America, its Constitution, and the world lose.
We face a future in which the fascist leadership of America will bump heads with Communist China in the final show-down for world domination. This will happen in a post peak-oil world. I hate to say it, but I put my money on China. Why? First, China has better long-term strategic thinkers and planners running their show. China is run by engineers instead of professional (and greedy) politicians who simply sell their souls to lobbyists with short term profit motives rather than what is best for the country. Secondly, China owns huge mounds of US debt. China can crater the US any time it wants by simply selling all the US Treasury notes it holds all at one time. This would cripple the US currency and the US government. China won't do this now, because currently it would hurt China as much as the US. But in the future? Don't count out this scenario. I predict China will use its US dollar holdings as a threatening lever to obtain oil from OPEC and Russia by devaluing the US dollar, and thereby making it more advantageous for the oil producers to sell to China instead of the US. The biggest downside China faces is environmental. That said, the US has pretty much destroyed it's waters and much of its air, so I don't think the US has any particular advantage on the environment. In fact, the majority of American states don't have one single lake, river, or stream in which fish can be eaten safely due to the high mercury levels after years of burning coal in the most dirty way possible (that is, cheaply) despite technology being available to do so relatively cleanly. But, we must make sure the utility executives get as big a bonus as possible. You see, it's all about money in America. Money and greed.
In the words of Star Trek's Mr. Spock "The good of the many out weigh the good of the few. Or the one". Not in America. Not any more. For me, I'd rather have socialism in the way of Canada or Scandanavia than the Bush style socialism for the rich. That is simply FASCISM.
Meanwhile, the drop in oil prices due to short-term demand destruction brought on by the financial crisis will be bad news for the US if it get seduced by lower gasoline prices (again) and stop making progress on the transition away from oil based transportation. (Don't count on GM's Volt as it appears GM will be going bankrupt...)As I said a few paragraphs ago, China holds alot of US debt instruments, and will use these to their advantage when push comes to shove on who will get the oil each country will so badly need. Unfortunately, the legacy of financial devastation left behind by the Bush administration will put the good ole USA behind the black oil 8-ball.