Sunday, August 14, 2011

Corporations and Rich Interests Created this Economic Mayhem

Today's must-read. A very good piece in the Washington Post by Steven Pearlstein, an intelligent writer about markets and money, and one who lives far enough from Wall Street not to be in thrall to it.

As I watch the stock market drop like a stone, again, fueled downward by panic selling by small investors, whose retirement will materialize or not depending on what happens in five minutes, and then zoom just as quickly upward, lightened by the absence of thousands of little people who got off at the bottom, I think of the "bounce effect".

The "bounce effect" is a term I invented to describe something I overheard on television: the "useful elimination of investors who have no business owning investments." Here I'm quoting a "market expert" explaining creative destruction on one of the television stock market programs. This was years ago now but it's happening again and worse than ever. The economy drops hard and bounces back up, without thousands, millions, of poor losers.

When bad things happen to little people, big people will explain why it's a good thing. Ever since Reagan restacked the deck against all little people in America we've had no explanation of the bad events except ones that let the big investors, the big market manipulators, the "market makers" off the hook.

This cannoning stock market and these three years of a bad economy are the lovechild of Wall Street and K Street. Americans need to begin asking their Republican representatives and their corporate bosses who pay for the Republican campaigns, "Is this the economy you wanted?" I believe it is. I believe they are privately very happy for most Americans to be fearful and impoverished because a worried workforce works harder for less, and a worried electorate is more obedient.

They are happy to impoverish the government because they hate it. Without a democratic government there is no one to boss them. Without government spending there is no spending right now, and no help for this economy. Meanwhile they are giddily tearing down useful institutions and replacing them with nothing. This is what revolutions are made of, only they are the revolutionaries and we are the innocent bystanders.

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