Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Ocean of Red Ink...

Most interesting line I've seen today - "We're just drowning in an ocean of red ink."

I don't know why I found the latest Michael Moore film to be so inspiring. His movies are generally one-sided and predictable, but very much true and compelling, and the latest is no exception. Maybe it's just because he believes in and fights for the same things I want.

The bailouts (referring to Bush's 2008 bailouts orchestrated by the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008," pre-Obama Presidency. Both Obama and McCain wanted the plans to include getting that money back. There's been recent talk of it. Let's hope that happens.) I think to some extent certain ones may have been necessary at the time, if only to counter the domino effect all over the world we saw when American banks began to fail and/or prevent the situation from becoming a full-blown depression. Anything more than that... well, if you're going to play by "free-market rules," have fun with the crash and burn. Unfortunately, those idiots at the banks/car companies/etc. dragged the rest of the country, and the world, down with them. I remember sitting in Contemporary Social Problems with my Blackberry, reading the news headlines to my professor. We were discussing the domino effect, and how the banks got us into the situation to begin with. Someone had said to me that it was all because of the people who had gotten themselves into loans and mortgages they couldn't afford. My response? Who got them into those loans in the first place? Who convinced them to sign up for things they didn't need and tricked others into falling into the trap? Who signed them up for a loan and upped fees and interest rates after it was too late to get out? That's how banks operate! That's how they make their money! By putting people in debt. That's why the credit card business is so lucrative, why Wall Street is so successful. Stepping on the little people to get what you want, no matter what it takes. The banks, the corporations - they do it to themselves. Corporate greed is a nasty piece of work. If we could do away with capitalism entirely, I'm all for it, because basic trade has been twisted and dehumanized and contorted into the exploitative, profit-driven mess that is dragging this country and the world's economy down. Yet the media, run by corporate America, will continue to spout its lies; and the corrupt in our Congress will continue to accept their bribes and cater to the collective will of the corporate elite, while the rest of us "Main streeters" suffer at their hands.

I've been reading around in forums again, non-partisan and such for the most part, to see what others are saying. It seems there is a growing Independent base who feel a lot of people are being ridiculous in their demands about government spending, especially regarding healthcare reform - low taxes, no spending that raises the deficit, but the government can't cut spending anywhere else. So where the hell do they expect the money to come from then? Let's run over to our "evil communist friend" and beg for more money! No, that's not an option? China has already loaned us over $1Trillion and of course we're still in debt. What the fucking hell do you expect the world to do? Unless the banks give back the bailout money (WHICH THEY SHOULD! It should be a loan, not a gift!) and corporations stop outsourcing, there will always be more money going out than coming in, and more of it in the hands of the wealthy than middle and lower-class America.

I'm honestly starting to wonder if it's in our best interests for the economy to completely collapse. Start from scratch, tear down corporate America and go back to small business. Over the past 20 years especially, we've seen the government deregulate and . What more proof do we need that government regulation is necessary? It's weird saying this, as a socialist/anarchist (in terms of idealism; and leaning towards progressive democratic socialist in terms of realism), but it's why the government exists. To protect our rights, to ensure our livelihood in a society where "Might is Right" in every sense of the phrase. We are a society motivated by greed, founded by institutionalized inequality/racism/sexism/classism, disregard for other cultures and existing systems of natural governance, disregard for nature, and an unwarranted sense of moral superiority. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need government, laws, checks and balances... because the things that keep us down wouldn't exist. What else can we do to make this world better, working with what we have? What if Jefferson's idea of America had been the path taken, instead of Hamilton? Would we been in this mess right now? Would so many be homeless, destitute, etc, if our country were based on agriculture instead of industry and profit? I know all too well that it's pointless to wonder what could have been, and that we're better off working for what could be. When possible, I would rather do something than do nothing at all. Problems don't go away by ignoring them, they get bigger.

Hope for change means nothing without OUR action. We can't rely on other people to do things for us without chipping in.

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