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All over the world people are standing up to corrupt kleptocracies. In Greece and Iceland, the people took to the streets to resist the looting of the public sphere by banks. The dictator of Tunisia has fallen and Mubarak is on they way down. Americans, however, are as docile and obedient towards our masters as ever.

New York's Democratic Governor is considering laying off 10,000 workers. Califonia is raising college tution by 8% in the fall of 2011. At the same time as the states are eliminating public jobs and services, the Federal government and the Federal Reserve are tranferring trillions of dollars to the biggest and most connected financial institutions.

The Fed is funnelling cash to the banks through zero percent interest rates and the scam that is quantitative easing. Quantitative easing involves the Federal Reserve buying Treasuries, essentially monetizing U.S. sovereign debt. The Fed, however, doesn't actually buy any notes from the Treasury. Instead, it buys them from banks like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan at a mark-up. So, when the Fed monetizes a trillion dollars of debt, the banks get to skim about $20 billion or so off the top. They then get to leverage that $20 billion back into trillion dollars or more.

All of this free money that our government and the Fed are bestowing upon the big banks has to go somewhere. Right now, a lot of it is being used by speculators to drive up the price of commodities. This is why oil is back over $90 a barrel and gold is over $1300 an ounce.

Speculation made possible by the Fed's generosity to the big banks is also the driving force behind skyrocketing food prices. Global grain prices rose 30% in the last half of 2010 despite no change is supply or demand. The rising price of food, along with a lack of decent jobs, has propelled the people of Tunisia and Egypt to revolution.

Americans, however, seem content to just bend over and take it. We have had some modest private sector job growth (mostly shit service jobs and not nearly enough to keep up with population growth) over the last couple of months, and so we seem quite willing to just stand aside as public sector jobs are slashed.

While the Egyptian and Tunisian people got angry in response to their elites engaging in extravagant luxuries while life deteriorated for everyone else, Americans treat the annoucement of record Wall Street bonuses for 2010 as not even newsworthy.

In 2008, the American people, outraged by 8 years of pointless wars, tax breaks and giveaways to the rich, and declines in wages and employment, voted out the ruling party in favor of a candidate who promised change.
Was that the last gasp for the dignity of the American people? Today, all the key foreign and economic policies of the previous administration remain in place, but there are no protests, no challenge to the President from the left.

While the Egyptian people are fighting off hired thugs in the streets of Cairo in order to have a shot at a decent, fair, democratic society, we here in the U.S. are sitting on our asses as America turns into a corrupt, bankrupt, Third-world oligarchy. What the fuck is wrong with us?

Originally posted to wannabe hermit on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 11:56 PM PST.

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