Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Looting of America

This video is worth watching. A former Assistant Housing Secretary for George H. W. Bush explains how the American financial sector has come to resemble a criminal enterprise. How the too-big-to-fail financial giants (who taxpayers bailed out) have systematically looted the middle class, with the protection of the Republican wave of deregulation. It's an interesting cool-headed rant. How valid are the allegations? I don't have the expertise to judge. They square with the events and the trends of the past thirty years, since Reagan inaugurated Voodoo Economics and started dismantling regulations. (The regulations that had safeguarded the longest period without a financial panic or significant downturn in American history, between 1937 and 1974––and the '74 downturn was caused by the 1973 OPEC oil embargo.)

While watching this I had the definite feeling that this played one way, leftward, away from corporate power, toward better government regulation, better enforcement of transparency and fairness...

...but then I find a very aggressive, Tea Party, Obama-bashing website that endorses her video too. (I find no progressive sites commenting on this interview.)

Question is: does common ground exist to overcome the hatred felt by the right wing populists toward this president, toward good-government types, toward Democrats and progressives? Can the Tea Partiers agree that the financial crisis was caused by financiers and speculators, not by the homeowners they ripped off?

Probably not, as long as they are funded by Wall Street billionaires like the Koch brothers and inspired by the manipulative rhetoric of FoxNews and talk radio. The rabble needs to be roused, and they tend to conform to their learned loyalties. Call it team spirit. Or herd instinct.

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