Monday, September 22, 2008

Our ideological danse macabre

Dear George,

What I love about ideologues is their self-destructive bent. They look at an ideology and see a rocket that will take them to the moon when, in reality, ideology is an anchor that will plunge them to the bottom of the sea.

Hank Paulson was an ideologue’s ideologue when he made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows to shill his $700 billion bailout plan for our Wall Street bumpkins.

As soon as the plan surfaced, Democrats started with their “loyal opposition” song and dance by insisting that any Wall Street bailout plan should include protection for the public, which is drowning in our financial tsunami.

Nancy Pelosi, that brave warrior of battles as symbolic as they were empty, called for “independent oversight, protections for homeowners and constraints on excessive executive compensation.”

Ever the loyal free-market ideologue, Paulson told ABC, “We need this to be clean and quick.” In other words, free market ideology calls for the bailing out Wall Street while leaving the public to fend for itself, because if Wall Street isn’t bailed out, there will be no more trickle down and the public will find their wages flat as their cost of living rises.

Then Paulson got to the crux of his argument when he warned that doing nothing would “make it harder for consumers to get the credit they need for car loans and other purchases.” And there’s the problem: with seventy percent of our GDP addicted to an ongoing consumeristic orgy, we must force the public further into debt if the system is to survive. According to Paulson, if a drop of poison makes you sick, the antidote is more poison.

House Republican Leader John Boehner has dismissed Democratic attempts to help Main Street as “playing games”.

Part of the bailout package calls for increasing the national debt from $10.6 trillion to $11.3 trillion. This would increase our need for foreign capital to keep our Ponzi scheme afloat and would bring us even closer to achieving the junk bond status that would cut off this inflow of foreign capital.

One way of preventing this would be to bring our unregulated shadow banking system under the regulatory tent, thus showing the world that we were serious about cleaning up after ourselves. However, such a move would be offensive free market ideologues that cling to the belief that the mythic invisible hand of the market will save us. This is why neither Democrats nor Republicans have brought this up.

No doubt there were passengers on the deck of the Titanic, as it slipped beneath the waves, who thought God would save them.

Gotta love those ideologues.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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