It almost seems as if “they” planned this recent global economic collapse to coincide with the ubiquitous U.S. presidential election. While all of us were obsessing over Sarah Palin’s oversized lapel jewelry, “they” pulled a fast one on us. “They” don’t want us to know The Truth. Who’s “they?” The Belgians? The Vikings? No, no. The pinkos. The commies. The crazy, left-wing, you-thought-we-were-done-for, good ol’ Midwest-style American socialists.
Hot damn, their fingerprints are all over this steaming turdpile of a mess we’ve got on our hands. Or didn’t you know it?
This seems to be the cry presently emanating from some sectors of the far-right and all sectors of the conspiracy theorists’ community. It was all planned. This sounds pretty familiar because it’s the same shit we hear every once in awhile from “9/11 Truth” organizations, who always seem to disrupt my pleasant Sunday stroll to Tam Tams. Not only is the American government an inept cabal of narcissistic morons, but it’s also chock full of fascistic neocons who will do anything for power.
I think it’s a pretty ridiculous assertion, not to mention overly flattering to the narcissistic morons. Please. They didn’t plan this, but they might as well have. In both cases, September 11 and September 2008, they merely took advantage of external circumstances to tighten their control of the political and economic institutions that previously acted as impediments to their dreams of global domination. And, honestly, World: What’s so wrong with that?
First off, there was the $700-billion gift to the financial industry. If anyone reading this can provide me with a concise, Financial Bailout for Dummies lesson, please have a go at it. Until then, I will continue to consider the bailout as the last Soviet-inspired straw that broke the back of the Great American Free Market. Even this apparently did not get the job done.
And then in the span of a few days last week, the global bank buy-in (somehow prepositionally different than a bailout) was proposed, debated, adopted, and enacted. Following the example of Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the world decided that this would be a last-ditch effort to save the global economy. Since when does the world take its marching orders from Britain? I vehemently (and rightly, I think) shun anything the Europeans call a final solution.
In essence, the banks refuse to lend to each other because they do not know which are stable and which are unstable, so they don’t know if they’ll get their money back. The “final solution” is to forcibly inject capital into every bank, even if they don’t want it. The goal is to create a level playing field (sounds familiar?) so the less stable banks will not feel ashamed to take the money. So, to sum up: the stated goal of this program is to invest in wobbly banks, some of which we know are too unstable – because of their own malpractice – to survive in a free market. And the executives of all these institutions, stable and unstable, get to keep their comfy black leather chairs. Congratulations, taxpayers, meet your new employees.
And yet nobody has the chutzpah to call this nationalization. That is what really gets me: the Orwellian doublespeak. The free-market conservatives of the world appear to be oratorically as flexible as they’ve proven to be ideologically. When Venezuela does it, it’s nationalization; when we do it, it’s an intervention. Yes, that’s it. George Bush told us “Wall Street got drunk.” Well, doggonit, they need an intervention. Now that’s something Bush would know a little bit about, n’est pas?
Who knew that when the Red Revolution finally swept the globe with a wave of socialist fanfare, the most eager flag-bearers would be those imperially naked denizens of the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Ricky’s column appears every Monday. Send your edition of Bailout for Dummies to firstname.lastname@example.org.