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Old story:

 Third world nation experiences hard times. A costly war has drained its coffers. Publicly owned resources---gold, oil, coal, natural gas---were given away to private companies. Corrupt politicians abused their power to line their own pockets and those of their wealthy supporters. Eventually, foreign loans were needed to continue funding the costly war. However, most of that money actually flowed into the hands of the rich. The result----the country is up to its eyeballs in debt, with no hope in hell of ever repaying any of it.

That is where the international creditors step in. The working class is told “You elected the government that wasted all that money. It’s your responsibility to repay it.” A bunch of rich businessmen across the ocean tell mothers and fathers that their kids will have to get by without a publicly funded education. Schools are a luxury that only solvent countries can afford. Healthcare is a luxury that only solvent countries can afford, too. From now on, both schools and hospitals will be owned by foreign countries---who will expect to be paid for their services. Utility companies will need to be sold (for pennies on the dollar) and the proceeds from those sales applied towards the debt. The nation’s water supply will also be forfeit. Folks who can not pay their bills do not deserve to get water for free. The workers of the impoverished nation are told they will have to work longer hours for less pay. Why? Because they have to repay their creditors across the ocean.

The creditors live in countries where the folks have public schools and government managed health insurance. Their citizens work 40 hour weeks and take three week long vacations every year. They have maternity leave and sick leave. They have lovely parks and exquisite museums. They boast that they fund their relative affluence by being hard working. In fact, for centuries they have reaped the profits of colonialism. The creditors who bleed the third world nation dry pump their ill gotten gains into their own country, and their countrymen praise them for being so generous. The creditors become national heroes.

Never expected it to happen here, did you? Why the hell not? Countries like China and India were bled dry by colonials. Oil rich middle eastern countries were robbed by Standard Oil and Dutch Shell. Why shouldn’t they adopt the vulture capitalist strategies that made Great Britain so rich? Did you think that the world’s wealthiest businessmen would content themselves with the rape and plunder of Africa? Hell no! There is money to be made in the United States, enough money to keep all the wealthy businessmen in the world in yachts, limousine, caviar and diamonds for the next hundred years. Remember, we were once a colony of Great Britain. Who is to say it will never happen again?

It’s the multinationals that make it all possible. Ordinarily, a French company could not expect to feed off the gravy train called “Defense spending.” But partner that company with an American firm and give it a plant somewhere in the U.S. where it can make “jobs” and Washington will gleefully send all the profits overseas. Ordinarily, a company lead by a former member of China's Peoples Liberation Army would not get a warm welcome from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and a lucrative Pentagon contract. But hey, the company is multinational with partners in Europe. That makes it ok.

Corporate welfare is not just for American business anymore. Medicare Part D, with its nasty little “no price negotiations” clause, enriches European owned pharmaceutical companies who use that excess profit to slash drugs prices at home---making themselves national heroes. So called “American” banks and insurance companies are now globally owned. That means when the Republican Congress abolishes Social Security and forces you to invest your pension with a private bank, that money will enrich Switzerland, which might well decide not to keep its part of the bargain in thirty or forty years, because hey, that is Swiss money now. Your mother’s Medicare? That is easy money in the pockets of the (now international) health insurers. Since 75% of Medicare recipients are so healthy that they only spend $3000 a year for medical care, the private insurers will be more than happy to write policies for these folks----for $5000-$10,000 a year, most of it paid for by U.S. government vouchers. The sick 25%? No problem. They will be so financially devastated by their medical bills that they will qualify for Medicaid.

Public education is a huge source of public spending---and therefore it will almost certainly attract the attention of vulture capitalists around the world. Our water supplies are dwindling. That makes water a hot commodity. With the ranks of the employed thinning and tax coffers running dry, your state will be mighty tempted to sell off its water to a foreign investor or fire all of its teachers and buy some cheap Indian computers to replace them, if it allows the governor to run for president on a “balanced state budget” platform----

Which brings me to an important point. The decisions which are being made now are short sighted. They are designed to make a small number of individuals as rich as sin, while leaving the rest of us broke. No problem. There will be no need for consumers, not in the traditional sense. We are talking supply side/voodoo economics on steroids. When the internationals own our water, our utilities, our homes, our schools, our health care, our retirement, we will have to buy their products---at whatever price they chose to set.

The Supreme Court has accelerated the process of the re-colonization of America. In Citizens United v FEC they decided that foreigners had a constitutionally protected right to infuse unlimited amounts of money into U.S. federal elections. Recently the Koch Brother boasted that 32 people had each donated a million dollars to one of their Super Pacs. Anyone know who those 32 rich people are? Six of the world’s richest people are from other countries. Now, I am sure that gazillionares in Brazil are no worse and no better than gazillionares at home. However, when the profits flow into the hands of someone from India, he will just naturally want to lavish that money on India, out of a sense of national pride. He will not give a flying fuck about the U.S., except as a blood donor. Forget about trickle down prosperity that is supposed to make capitalism so healthy for a nation.  All that "prosperity" will trickle down on the far side of the globe. Forget about infrastructure projects in the U.S. Forget about museums, parks and symphony orchestras. As the victims of colonialism, we will be expected to give away our wealth and receive nothing in return. It will be 1775, and we will work until our fingers bleed and someone far across the ocean will lap up the blood and say "More! More!" And if we complain, they will laugh and say "It is your own damn fault for having such an easily corrupted political system."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 1-)

    "A dog starved at his master's gate/Predicts the ruin of the state" Blake

    by McCamy Taylor on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 04:46:45 PM PDT

  •  I find your analysis confusing. (0+ / 0-)

    You start out saying that the rich and multinationals around the world are all equally bad and greedy, screwing over the working class and everyone else at every opportunity.  Then you say that somehow non-American capitalists are the real problem.  And this statement

    Forget about trickle down prosperity that is supposed to make capitalism so healthy for a nation.

    makes it sound like you have or had some faith in trickle down capitalism as at least good for the national economy.

    •  Colonialism is a meaner form of capitalism. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When capitalists identify with workers, they are more likely to acknowledge their human needs. When the worker is considered  "other"---say a pagan African or a stupid American pig---it is much easier to justify exploitation.

      "A dog starved at his master's gate/Predicts the ruin of the state" Blake

      by McCamy Taylor on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:07:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still not clear to me. When you say that (0+ / 0-)

        "when capitalists identify with workers" what do you mean exactly?  Identify with them in what sense?  

        •  The identify with them (0+ / 0-)

          because they have similar facial features, the same religion, the same language. People will always have more sympathy for those whom they identify with. This is basic human nature.

          America's melting pot gives it the benefit of cultural diversity which allows us to draw upon the strengths of many different cultures and discard their weaknesses. However, there is just one problem with the melting pot, which Engels pointed out a long time ago. As long as employers can divide workers along ethnic lines---say Irish versus Italian-- there will be no worker solidarity of the types that is necessary for a socialist revolution.

          Nope that in Western Europe, they are importing people of other ethnicities precisely because they want to be able to copy US union bashing strategies. The goal is to give workers less---and get them to blame it on Turks rather than their greedy (multinational) CEOs.

          "A dog starved at his master's gate/Predicts the ruin of the state" Blake

          by McCamy Taylor on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:48:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So any foreign companies doing business (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in US are occupiers? Nice. You should join the Birch Society or smth with your freaking nativism.

  •  I understood perfectly. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I frequently refer to Americans as Colonists because they do not own their own natural resources and have been asset stripped by Plutocrats since the "nation" was founded. Foreign or otherwise.

    We have far more in common with Nigeria than say a real nation like Norway, where the profits from the people's ownership of their own oil pays for their social security and many commonwealth improvements.

    I think bringing foreign ownership into your essay is confusing for readers -- and foreign involvement in the debt has only become an "issue" since the Reagan administration and the destruction of citizen-protective regulations along with Plutocrat tax stripping from government revenues.

    It was then our reality as Colonists became absolutely transparent -- especially with the refusal of our Overlords to invest in the "commonwealth" -- something that colonies do not have.

    When a people do not own the resources of their own nation, they are Colonists working for the "man" and shopping at the "company store."

    Nothing that happens in Washington will change this.

    It is a structural problem, not a political one.

    •  Oh, tipped and recommended (0+ / 0-)

      ...for expressing a very good understanding  of the essential problem that Americans face -- despite the clumsy inclusion of the "foreign" element.

    •  I'm trying to understand all this, but (0+ / 0-)

      still am unclear about what's being said.  

      Why do you say that Norway is a more "real nation" than Nigeria?  By whose judgment?  I'm nor sure what you mean here.

      And when you write

      I frequently refer to Americans as Colonists because they do not own their own natural resources and have been asset stripped by Plutocrats since the "nation" was founded. Foreign or otherwise.

      what do you mean by saying that Americans "do not own their own natural resources"?  Do you mean Native Americans?  

      Sorry, I'm really not trying to be obtuse, but these statements don't really make sense to me.  Thanks in advance for clarification.

      •  Natural resources are not nationalized in the US (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hannah, BYw

        Thus, they are owned by individuals not the people. That makes the people colonists, not citizens.

        For example, 93 percent of the oil in the world is nationalized and the profits go to the citizen's commonwealth -- unless under a dictator.

        In the US, that is not he case. The people do not have a share of the nation's bounty.  Same holds true for Nigeria.

    •  It also makes it difficult for readers to respond (0+ / 0-)

      in a genuine dialogue if the diarist makes changes and deletions from the original diary instead of defending or responding to a question about the original diary's claims.  

  •  I'm going with Pluto on this one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, BYw

    Your Diary demonstrates an excellent understanding of Corporatism and Colonial type exploitation.

    The problem is it's not easy to work out quite which points you are wanting to use to draw a narrative.

    The Diary would be more effective were it to draw from just a couple of strands and lead the reader through to the conclusion you draw.

    I'm trying to be positive here ... I really do enjoy your contributions.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:39:02 PM PDT

  •  The only place I disagree with you is that I (0+ / 0-)

    may think things are worse than you do.

    Here's a small twist. Being a wealthy person in a poor society is always a good thing (for the wealthy person, that is). Here, we have many wealthy people, but the game has evolved so that being a wealthy person on a poor planet is where the real opportunities for exploitation are at today. And being able to live in the U.S. is a great thing if you are wealthy. Air pollution and water pollution, not so good. Petrochemical mega complexes, not so good. Damming the Grand Canyon, geothermal power plants in Yellowstone, and tract homes in Jackson hole, not so good. This meseum or that museum staying open, whatever, because who really needs them when you can buy the original antiquities where they sit for a song, and go visit them when you need to fly out of the U.S. to sign a contract in Greece, or whereever.  

    And promoting further economic development of the U.S. only tends to degrade the things that bring the wealthy here in the first place, while the natives are the only ones who really need it.

    Give it a hundred years and we'll all have jobs wearing costumes and playing some version of a quaint historical event to keep our owners (or do I mean bosses?) happy.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:12:29 PM PDT

    •  Wrong. Being a wealthy person in a poor (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw, Pluto

      society sucks.  Not only is the wealthy person subject to being ripped off at every turn but, because nobody's self-sufficient and the wealthy have fewer natural talents than most, they're dependent on people who despise them.

      People who accumulate money, for the most part do it by theft and because they don't know how to sustain themselves any other way.  Jobs and Gates are exceptions.

      by hannah on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 05:17:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Mnemosyne

    In fact, net capital flows over the past 10 years have predominantly been from developing to developed nations in the form of investment in the debt of wealthy nations who continue to live high on the hog and beyond their means, including a disproportionate consumption of the world's natural resources.

    That so much of this has bee capital squandered on things like wars or MacMansions is really a pity but that is what happened.

    Blaming this all on multinational corporations not merely inaccurate but intellectually lazy. Part of the picture, facilitators no doubt, but at the end of the road were consumers pretty much getting what they asked for.

    The day of reckoning is here, but the message isn't "we got screwed" but rather "the party is over".

    The citizens of wealthy debtor nations need to wake up and adjust to a new reality where they don't get whatever they want and certainly less than what many of their parents had.

    And that is a simple political fact American Liberals need to accept and adjust to, that seems to be a very difficult pill to swallow although I do believe lots of people are beginning to realize it.

    And something American Conservatives seem to be a million miles from recognizing, if ever.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 03:40:09 AM PDT

  •  Money is like fever. It is a symptom of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    disease (insecurity, incompetence), as well as useful in itself.  Also like fever, when there's too much money, it is a sign of obsession and becomes self-defeating.

    Money, ideally, is a measuring stick.  It tells us how the economy is working, or not.  Because there are some people who are still convinced that money is inherently valuable, like the mercury in a thermometer, perhaps, the money is being hoarded, sequestered, in hopes that it will be worth more later.  That might have been true when money was tied to gold, but as Gaddafi's hoard of gold clearly demonstrates, even gold is worthless now if nobody wants to have anything to do with you.

    While it is true that America has been built on the extraction and exploitation of natural resources and many are privately owned, the failure to provide appropriate stewardship is bringing about a reversion of those assets into the public store.  Indeed, that's one of the things being resented by the likes of Koch--that their control of what they perceive to be their resources and assets is not absolute.  They are no longer free to waste and wreck destruction at their leisure. So, they're behaving like a suckling being weaned.

    by hannah on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 05:27:07 AM PDT

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