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."