As the guardians of the economy have slowly woken up to a reality that anyone living in less than three homes can describe from experience, there has been a recent avalanche of "assistance" coming from the
government treasury American taxpayers in the form of cash infusions in a desperate, haphazard effort to resuscitate the staggering US economy. As the Fed meets again to decide if any pain should be inflicted on investors, or just dump it all on the consumer, and the Senate debates another attempt to minimize the carnage wrought by unchecked greed in the housing market to the tune of a mere $4 billion, I thought it would be a good time to see just how much CPR the economy has received lately, and whether it's doing any good.
Short answer; It isn't.
Maybe it's time to pronounce.
Cause of death (with links) is under the sheet.
Just in the last few months we have seen:
- A massive bailout of Bear Stearns, in direct violation of the sacrosanct market principles of viability, (how much did that cost, again?)
- An unprecedented proffering of $200 billion in loans to help the most advantaged money-changers get out of the mess they put themselves in.
- A 2008 remake of the Great Giveaway of 2001, which has removed almost $71 billion from the nation's coffers (so far)and done little to help the economy.
- Speaking of giveaways, remember that the three rounds of tax cuts for the wealthy were supposed to pay for themselves? Here's how that's been working out.
- Of course, there are two rather expensive, ongoing, apparently endless wars to pay for, which is now at a burn rate of twelve billion dollars a month, triple what it cost in 2004. And is being "paid for" simply by refusing to actually pay for it. So the cost of the most expensive undertaking in human history is not included in:
- the largest debt in human history, of which the astronomical federal budget deficit is only the current balance due. (There's a substantial previous balance, too). It sure is racking up interest, currently $240 billion per year, and growing like cancer.
Since our national nightmare began in 2001, the ideologues of free market capitalism, the party of fiscal responsibility, the idolators of the individual have pursued nothing more than massive welfare for the least deserving in society, and punished misbehavior with more and more free money. It has collapsed the US dollar, driven the ever selfishly opportunistic investor class into commodities like oil, and led to the greatest income distribution inequalities since just before the last Great Depression.
And still they hunch over the motionless patient, knowing, just knowing, that the next, bigger jolt will bring the cooling corpse back to life. And still no one among the Serious Class is even asking if there is a flaw somewhere in the assiduously pursued "philosophy" of reverse-Robin Hood and wealth-capture economic policy.
The American people, meanwhile, are starting to make the arrangements for the funeral.
Maybe it's the daily reminder that we can't afford to get to work much longer with gas prices on an exponential curve, and they are figuring out that killing ANWR and their favorite beach won't do much to help five years from now, let alone anytime soon.
Maybe they feel that food isn't just getting way too expensive, or way too poisonous, but might actually become scarce.
Maybe it's that the American Dream is turning out to be more like a drug-induced hallucination.
Even old reliable, the government, is cutting jobs.
Congratulations, george bush.
Congratulations, disinformation media.
You have done what almost no one thought possible just a few years ago.
You have killed the golden goose.