Armageddon is a wonderful spectator sport
There's far too much going on to ignore, so in absence of us doing anything interesting recently, we present to you ... the world gone mad: collapsing banks, record bailouts and a presidential pantomime.
Firstly, don't believe any of these repeated assertions that the current financial crisis is because of the US sub-prime mortgage fiasco. Of course, that didn't help things, but what we're seeing now, without a doubt, is the result of 30 years of greedy, short-sighted, neoliberal policies, started by Thatcher and Reagan, coming home to roost.
The new breed of aggressive economists trumpeted that the market was king and yet those same people couldn't help themselves interfering in the market with "free trade agreements", tax breaks and other protectionist policies which all ensured that wealth flowed from the bottom up. The market was never trusted at all. Add a healthy dose of greed, embezzlement and dishonest accounting and you have the ingredients for global economic meltdown.
In a rare show of passion and genuine concern for people's rights, Senator Marcy Kaptur of Ohio (no, I hadn't heard of her before either) has given two fantastic speeches in Congress over the past couple of weeks regarding the criminal 700bn 'bailout' plan (otherwise known as the 'reverse Robin Hood' plan). Highly recommended viewing: here and here.
Also, if you can stomach it, here's a 50 minute talk by economist Dean Baker on how the 'free market' economy really works.
In the middle of all this, we had the two presidential candidates going head to head last week in possibly the most boring debate ever. The only fight we saw was the scramble to claim the middle ground first.
There are also delightful rumours going round that the Republicans have been doing anything they can (in vain, it appears) to stall tomorrow's (vice) presidential debate because of the small matter of Sarah Palin not being able to understand what she's saying unless it's written down and explained to her syllable by syllable.
Posted by Andy S on 1 October 2008 - 0 comments