Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, has apparently had enough with the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy. In a perplexing outburst, given his previous support of Neoliberal policies, professor Sachs ripped into the American economic and political system as a charade by the rich and powerful, ultimately introducing the possibility of an Egypt style revolution in America due to wealth inequality and a lack of substantive democracy.
What's happening with this country? We give up massive tax cuts at the top then we turn around and squeeze the poorest of the poor...the rich have had 20 years of the greatest boom in the history of this world there is more wealth in this [New York] city, more billionaires, more people who have sheltered all their income, and we're turning around we're just going to keep driving down the poorest of the poorest of the poor and that's where we are. This is a game that's going to come to an end in a bad way. Do we really have to have our own Egypt here in the United States? Or are we going to understand that we have a society where half the people have no voice in this country at all.Watch the Video of the Interview Here.
Sachs moves past just budget mismanagement to claim the political system is completely corrupt and that their is no real difference between the Republican and Democratic party when it comes to the rich and powerful.
Both parties are financed by wealthy people... President Obama needs to get a billion dollars in his kitty running for reelection. The Republicans are doing the same. Everyone caters to the top, then we hear how hard it is at the bottom.Sachs then points out that America is in decline, a loss of prestige around the world, crumbling infrastructure, and a general lack of competitiveness. He says he is echoing Obama.
The President says all these things and he's right about it but then he can't back up his own ideas with real money because there is no money in the account.Sachs then identifies an essential aspect of the FIRE economy, it's global. FIRE could not care less about America.
At the top everyone is fine because the world economy is booming and if you're rich and you have money to invest, you're investing in China, you're investing in India, you're investing in other places. Our country has become two completely different countries. One is at the top and THEY run the politics and finance the campaigns of both the Democrats and Republicans so these parties - they aren't quite indistinguishable, they are both what we would call center-right parties. It's weird, we don't have a center-left party, especially when talking about the poor... our politics is just driven by the top.Sachs then points out the only thing actually being cut in Obama's budget is education, community services and science.
It's basically saying forget government other than social security, medicare, medicaid and the military.Sachs says the important problems with the environment and energy aren't addressed due to special interests power.
It's a game. I don't approve what either party is doing because both are on the take. Because all of this is campaign financing games...pretend the problems don't exist then act surprised when there are problems all over the world.Do we have to have our own Egypt here in the United States? It's the FIRE economy. Burn baby burn.
Sachs from an interview earlier this year: