"I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson (S. Padover Ed. 1953).
A bit off topic, but that is the name of the blog, isn't it? I got a little fired up debating with a friend I regularly spar with over politics. Here's my 2 cents ($1.00 with inflation), for whatever it's really worth, about the current economic situation, because I'm not wise enough or self-restrained enough to keep my big mouth shut. Economics, though, of course is related to every profession, because we all need jobs, jobs that pay for the stuff we need.
As far as writing/literature goes, I heard once bad economies are good for book sales, that during the Great Depression, book sales went up. But this isn't the 1930s, and there's way more competition in the escapist media category. It seems obvious when money's short, art is the first and hardest to suffer; easy choice between art and food, and them "evil" government programs that support the arts are the first and favorite targets.
Anyway, here's my unfiltered, unedited response to a friend who tried very hard to defend Koch Industries, which I find unconscionable since Koch is the very symbol (and huge source!) of the rampant corproate greed and powerbroking systematically dismantling the balance of powers. I'm not sure why I post it here, other than to feel like I'm saying something, that I've made my protests known, that I've utilized my freedom of speech while it still exists. Enjoy, or go read politics you like better.
"The speculators and type of exotic derivatives that crashed the housing market, drove up oil and gas prices, and resulted in food and energy inflation? Courtesy of the saintly Koch brothers:
" Yes, I’m aware the title of the site is 'Think Progress.' The same type of exotic derivatives, by the way, are being used to buy up farm land currently, fooling farmers into thinking it’s a good deal until suddenly, as designed, they lose all their land to the company. The saddest result: only a few seem to be noticing/commenting; only a few have noticed how creating artificial bubbles benefits only the ones who create them and leave everybody else holding empty bags. The cyclic bubbling combined with a fiat system means they don’t have to outright steal to create their plutocracy; all they have to do is hire the best fancy mathematicians and buy up the most sophisticated modeling and predictive computer programs, and it’s no longer a gamble, it’s a guaran-damn-tee.
"The Phil Gramm connection is important, too. In addition to gutting any regulatory agency daring to challenge Big Oil or Wall Street in general, Gramm authored the removal of in-place-since-the-Great-Depression-for-a-reason barriers between commercial and investment banks back in 1999. This is where we can hate Bill Clinton together, who signed both Gramm bills (oil and banking) into law. Bush & co. continued weakening the SEC and every other oversight agency until they were completely toothless. The Supreme Court sold everybody out by allowing corporations to count as people, and suddenly BP is contributing boatloads to Tea Party candidates because theirs is just the right kind of philosophy to abuse for greedy ends. Everything goes to crap, but somehow it’s all Obama’s fault, according to conservative commentators, and 'government spending and regulation' is the preferred demon, which is just simple misdirection perpetuated by a corporate media. As if.
"I’m willing at this point to line Clinton up next to Bush, and if Obama doesn’t stop allowing harmful (neo-con) policies to go forward (like Clinton did), if he doesn’t replace those removed protections that safe-guarded our economy for 70 years, if he doesn’t ever repeal the Bush tax cuts, then he deserves a place next to the other two and all the other corporate political sellouts.
" What we’re seeing, brudda, is the late 1920s growing into a monster we may not be able to crush as easily as FDR did in the 1930s. There is some consolation. When it reaches the point there are 8 or 10 billion starving poor people and a few thousand fabulously fat and wealthy, who do you think will get eaten first?"