Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Watching the Wheels Go Round

It will be interesting to see how long Democrats fight to stop “golden parachutes” and to help out homeowners... because they’re preparing to fall in line, as anyone who’s been expecting this bailout knows they have to. I’d say we have an almost unanimous approval of the buyout plan, give or take some token concessions, by midweek.

I hope that the American people start thinking about when and why Congress comes together, almost unquestioningly—after 9/11 with the Patriot Act, two calls to war and the S&L bailout, before the largest bailout and market restructuring since the Great Depression--not to save the rich individually (they may well cut those golden parachute strings), but to save the power structure. That’s their job.

But I think we could redefine the job. I think we could demand that our pooled taxes guaranteed healthcare for all and an equal quality of education, including higher education, for all.
Senator Bernie Sanders called the current situation “socialism for the rich and free market capitalism for the poor.” That’s really been the way for over a century, and despite a few decades of growth, the net result is that the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. When are we going to re-evaluate our priorities as a country?

At the beginning of the decade, the Labor Party proposed a $168 billion dollar transition plan to provide health care to all Americans. It's still the best plan anyone's come up with, and it costs about a fourth of what we're about to fork over to save the stock market.

A friend of mine recently pointed out that the government could have paid for all of the foreclosed houses in 2007 and 2008, and the cost wouldn’t match what the loan guarantees of the past few months.

That was before the $700 billion dollar measure that will pass in no time at all.

If we can't immediately begin to rethink health care and higher ed for all, just in the name of need and fairness, could we at least begin to recognize faith in the free markets for the mysticism that it is?