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View Diary: Founding Fathers and Wealth (56 comments)

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  •  Even Though Some of the Framers Worried That (11+ / 0-)

    manufacture and trade would be the engine of creating economic aristocracy, their system is utterly wide open to it. And so the American economy has been a dangerous casino our entire history except when we added an entire second system of government on top of it to regulate individual wealth and the economy.

    A quick google of panics some months ago popped up this list.

    The Panic of 1819
    Panic and Depression 1832
    Panic and Depression 1836
    Six Year Depression 1837-1843
    The Panic of 1857
    Panic and Depression 1869-1871
    The Panic of 1873
    The Panic of 1893
    The Panic of 1901
    Panic and Depression of 1929

    I can remember it was very common in the middle of the last century to talk of the need for government to protect society from wealth and market concentration. The propaganda war against that began in the mainstream public eye with the Reagan admin but had already been going on with the mobilizing of evangelicals years before.

    The Democratic Party hasn't and doesn't oppose Reaganomics so whatever the ownership structure is, yes it's both parties.

    America is Libya not Egypt. 40% of the people are solid backers of the rich, a number that would need mass starvation to drive down much below 30%. If there is unrest it'll be civil war and fascism will win in a few days.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 01:36:19 PM PDT

    •  an interesting observation... (14+ / 0-)

      Oliver Stone was interviewed after Wall Street 2 came out. Stone said that we the people aren't interested to make the rich accountable. Quite the opposite... we the people love them, want to emulate them: want to have the money, be the Koch brothers or the Real Housewives of LA, NY or whatever.

      It's time to move on. We are the planketon in this food chain. We have power. Just don't know how to use it. But be assured, once we are bled dry, those powerful few, those "haves" will crumble, finally. Power is relative.

      Influence is something more interesting.

      It'd be nice to make some attempt at getting some of us not driving on Sundays, tearing up oil company credit cards, car pooling to all after school sports... we could do it, too. one person, a couple of neighbors at a time.

      things go viral for a reason. hope you are doing okay, goose.

      i've opted out for a long time now. overwhelmed at the sightlessness of humans.

      but it's time to try to make better use of our resources, our time, and our lives.

      •  Disagree. That 2% are just not that into us (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melo, Nada Lemming, vets74, bnasley

        anymore, and in fact have diversified globally.

        In terms of investment, they are barely recognizable as Americans.

        Change will not come because they have already sucked all the working capital out of this country. The bastards have the entire world at their disposal.

        Their power is now unchecked. Creation of generational wealth of these new global oligarchs is what's on their mind.

        This is America! We have vast wealth. Much of which was just legally stolen from the middle class.

        by DavidHeart on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:28:57 AM PDT

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        •  They can't "run the same playbook"... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nada Lemming, vets74, bnasley

          ...in most other places. And the places where they can (Switzerland, Cayman Islands, etc.) simply don't have the "Global Muscle" to protect their interests. Our Financial "Wild West Show" is pretty much unique: big enough such that even as the foundation is crumbling, it is still robust enough to keep the wheels turning for at least another generation with no additional real investment on their collective end.

          They may want everyone to believe that their holdings and equity are 100% fungible and transferable, but a diminished US Government and society makes them immediately much less wealthy and powerful. They need the "full faith and credit" of this nation more than they will ever admit.

          The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

          by Egalitare on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:44:36 AM PDT

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    •  Right about civil war. (8+ / 0-)

      The rich have private armies available and scads of well-armed, and trained, idiots enthralled to racial / religious / randian dreams of their superiority. Plus the rich've taken care to do the first thing radical revolutionaries do: they've seized the presses (media).

      (There's a tip for the alert progressive, btw.)

      • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

      I know that many, and think that all, of the Panics and Depressions you listed followed upon unrestrained speculation in various markets. As have those of recent memory.

      They don't call "greed" a deadly sin for nothing. Odd, with all our problems, that nobody in authority has thought to tax speculative trading heavily, whether from fiscal responsibility or from morality.


      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 09:42:07 PM PDT

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    •  In addition to the previous replies, I would (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, TracieLynn, luckydog, bnasley

      encourage you to look more closely at the "panics and depressions" you've listed. Specifically, look at the big picture numbers and effects.

      Prior to 1929, the first of the ongoing series of induced boom-bust cycles brought about by the legislated structure of the federal Reserve Act, the effects on the nation at large were mostly limited to those that actively participated inside the so-called financial industry. Additionally, they resulted in relatively minor fluctuations (by today's standards) in the national economy and monetary valuations. IOW, you will find that, like the "Tulip Mania" and crash of the 17th century, it was the disproportionate participation of a relatively few speculators that wreaked the havoc.

      The early America banking model, or rather the lack of it, did serve to limit the destructive effects of the practices of the few insanely avaricious manipulators of those disparate systems. We had a "national bank" in name only as the overwhelming number of banks were private, local enterprises that were utterly dependent on extremely conservative financial practices for their existence.

      Prior to the establishment of the Fed, the economic fluctuations resulting from these various crashes and panics never exceeded 6%. It was only through the capture of the entire national economy by a cartel that the wild, and exploitable, nationwide boom-bust cycle could yield the extraordinary profits and losses we view as normal today.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

      by Greyhound on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 05:56:17 AM PDT

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