Lila York, February 26, 2012
The Katrina debacle was a warm-up act. So was the mortgage fraud with its 30 million foreclosures and resultant homelessness. So is the lifetime indebtedness of young people seeking a college degree.
What is ahead is more of the above, multiplied by a million. What US banks did to third world countries for decades they are now doing to the people of western industrialized nations - including our own. Just as bankers lured millions into home loans they could not afford with malice aforethought, those same bankers lured nations into loans they could not afford. That is what they do and always have done. It was easier to ignore when those nations were Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay. (See John Perkins' must-read book, "Confessions of an Economic Hitman".
You will forgive me if I have omitted nations - the CIA and the bankers are relentlessly busy). Now many of those nations are prospering and free of indebtedness to US bankers - probably forever. (They barter oil for other commodities in order to avoid the US dollar completely). So what was a greedy banker to do? He had to find new victims.
At the center of this Armageddon are the banks on the dole from the Federal Reserve: JP Morgan (and its investment arm, Morgan Stanley), Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo, all of whom trade derivatives worth more than the GDP of the entire world. Their modus operandi is to lure nations into low-interest loans they know with certainty cannot be repaid, thus forcing bankruptcy and allowing them to storm in like a flock of vultures and seize every asset the nation has - every mine, railroad, monument and public utility - at pennies on the dollar; then drive up prices for a massive profit, forcing the population into ruinous poverty. That scenario was instigated and played out in every country listed above beginning in the 1960's, and it is being enacted now.
Greece is only the most recent carcass. Next on their list: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, France and finally, the United States, where the Fed has finally done it - printed money in excess of the entire GDP of America. (As of January of this year, the national GDP was 15 trillion and 816 million dollars; the national debt rose to 15 trillion plus 65 billion dollars.) Fed policy is confusing, even for those who follow it, but suffice it to say that if all of that newly- created cash had not been siphoned into stock and commodity speculation - ending up in the Cayman Island bank accounts of corporate CEO's and bankers - but instead had gone into the economy - jobs, education, clean energy and infrastructure - the entire debt situation would look much better, since millions more Americans would be paying income taxes and be off of the food stamp rolls.
Instead it is in the stock market, oil speculation and US treasuries. That is where they put it. The nefarious purpose of this blatant act is not to "stimulate the economy" (since little of it was invested in the economy) but to allow members of Congress and corporate insiders to sell out of their stock holdings at record highs (which they are doing) assuring them of infinite wealth, before the market crashes again, as it always does after these rigged market rises. Wonder why gasoline is now 4 dollars a gallon when world demand is in fast decline? It is the Fed. Again. Free dollars drive up the price of everything priced in it. (Free to bankers only.
The rest of us pay between 8% and 30% for those same dollars) Dodd-Frank supposedly outlawed Goldman's oil speculation plots, but the law is not enforced. Why? Because the Republican House of Representatives refused to provide the funds to the regulatory body charged with enforcing the law. Their Plan B, their ace in the hole when all of this money printing fails? Global war, initiated by the bombing of Iran. Hey, it worked in 1940, didn't it? Doesn't war always end recessions?
Where is this plot headed? What is their final, final objective? Wealth in the trillions for that handful of bankers and slavery for the rest of us. In the end, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs will own every inch of real estate and every hard asset on the planet. That is their objective. They will become the new Hitlers and Mussolinis of the planet, dictating their will to governments. They are well on their way. As European nations fall to bankruptcy they are sucking up the spoils of their financial war. In fact the prime ministers of Greece and Italy were just tossed out and replaced by (drum roll) Goldman Sachs bankers !! Unelected bankers now rule two European countries and are being given near-dictatorial powers in how they "restructure" the economies and sovereign debt of those nations.
The oligarchy rules on all fronts: Corporations now pay Chinese workers a dollar a day instead of paying union labor in the US a living wage. They have imported tech workers from India at half-price and Mexican labor to supplant the last unskilled workers left in the U S. The only remaining obstacle to the total enslavement of Americans is the public sector unions - unions that represent the only jobs that cannot be shipped to the slave factories of Asia. Look at the number of Republican state legislatures and Republican governors erasing those unions from existence at record speed, as they ram through "right to work for pennies" laws.
They are not going to stop until every last nurse, teacher and policeman is working for a dollar a day, confirming a new normal of impoverished misery for America. Advanced college degrees will soon only be held by the children of the richest .01% of Americans. And the ultimate coup - The Fed stated in comments of its last meeting that it is planning to devalue the dollar by another 33% over the next twenty years. Mind you the dollar has already lost over 30% of its value, so that totals up to a 63% loss of purchasing power over a thirty year period.Translation: A Depression economy coupled with hyperinflation driving up the cost of living to unseen levels.
Okay. What do we do about this? Are we all just helpless pawns in this scenario, doomed to horrible lives? First of all, understand that A) the bankers at the center of this are evil and immoral and do not care a whit for the future of the planet or anybody on it. (See Thom Hartman's article on why CEO's and bankers get paid millions to do middle class jobs: Because they are sociopaths); and B) Nobody in Congress, the White House or the courts is interested in stopping them. They own Congress, the White House and the courts, so forget petitions and phone calls to your reps. They don't care either. (There are exceptions - Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, for one, described the bank bailout as a "financial coup d'etat" carried out in the middle of the night without consent of Congress).
I would go further. It was a hold-up. Hank Paulson pointed a gun at Barney Frank's head and threatened to pull the trigger unless he handed over every last dime in the United States Treasury. When the House voted down the bailout, he held true to his threat and tanked the Dow another 700 points overnight. In the end, Paulson got every last dime in the US treasury. And since he was not required to account for what he did with it, we can only assume it went to bonus pay for the bankers who destroyed the lives of 350 million Americans.
So what do we do? The obvious solution is to throw most elected reps out of office in the next election. That assumes that voters are allowed to vote, which means voters must carry the specific forms of photo ID their state now requires; and that assumes that electronic voting machines without paper receipts are actually counting votes and not making up numbers out of fantasy. (To vote at all in the state of Georgia is a total waste of time. There has not been an honest election in Georgia in twelve years.) That also assumes that the vote totals will not be wired into Republican National Headquarters to be altered before they are published, as happened in the 2004 presidential election. Big assumptions.
We need Tahrir Square. I recall a segment on CNN when Occupy Wall Street first hit the media. A reporter on the scene was asked, "Is this Tahrir Square?" He responded, "Oh, no. Nothing like that. Just a bunch of frustrated kids. Nothing to worry about". Nothing for who to worry about? The bankers at Goldman Sachs? Yes, that is what he meant. We need to give them something to worry about. They actually are terrified of us, the people. Why else cancel Posse Comitatus and build all of those concentration camps around the country? Why else pass legislation nullifying all rights guaranteed to the people by the US constitution, including habeas corpus and the right to a trial? Yes, we need to give them something to worry about. How many millions in the street will that take? Many. Many millions. And all of that must happen before this next election. If the relatively discrete demonstrations of the Occupy movements changed the conversation in Washington and led Obama onto a new path, what would a Tahrir Square accomplish? Much more.
And there must be demands. Not only "break up the big banks " but shut them down and send the bankers to prison. Not only limit corporate bribes to campaigns, but remove ALL money from the electoral process and enact a law providing for publicly-funded elections. Not "reform" gerrymandering but eliminate it; Not add paper receipts to voting machines, but throw out ALL voting machines installed since Bush's hilariously-named "Help America Vote Act" corrupted the electoral system. Return to mail-in ballots or hand-written, hand-counted ballots, ballots that must be counted with representatives of all candidates present. Lastly we must dissolve the Federal Reserve and return to sound money printed by the US Treasury, not by a small group of private banks.
If we could accomplish those goals, before the election, we would not have to eliminate lobbyists because they would disappear. There would no longer be a reason for them to exist. As it currently stands, to call America a democracy is a joke and a lie. The people have NO say whatsoever - about any decision made in government. The corruption of all three branches of the US government is total and endemic. They are rotten and drowning in maggots. We need to get our say back. We need a real democracy. Will that take a full-out revolution? I hope it does not come to that. As Occupy Wall Street's Jesse LaGreca said in my interview with him published here, click here; "Revolution is off the table". We will face what comes. Or we will leave. But if we, the people, lose this battle and they, the bankers, win, it will hardly be worth staying alive.