Life is like a poker game and any time you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.
Duopoly – Party Politics – Plutocracy
THE NATION AND THE POLITICS OF WEALTH
- A short-sighted plutocracy of enormously wealthy, all-powerful elite global corporate oligarchy is destroying the American capitalist democracy. It began after the Second World War, accelerating under Reagan in the 1980s, handing off to neoliberal Clinton in the 1990s to lock power into a permanent cross-party subordination of government and its institutions to the corrupted needs of what’s become a deeply embedded confederacy of organized kleptocrats.There is little hope of breaking the stranglehold of big capital interest given it is deeply embedded in the root and branch of the American federal, state, and local governments. It will need a national citizen awakening to push back against the ruling elites, but the rich and powerful are aware of this threat and have taken steps to consolidate.
Any chance of a democratic revolution grows less likely with each passing year. The ruling elites control the media and the messaging. Education and expectation are closely controlled, conditioning the population to submit passively to living out a degraded present and a bleak, unknowable future.
Entrenched power defends itself aggressively against attempts to limit or regulate its reach. Meanwhile, the nation’s ruling elite exploits every opportunity to consolidate influence and increase its wealth, ring-fenced by a complex monopoly on institutional force, brutal policing one of its many means to control America’s diverse, sprawling population. Uti possidetis.
Americans are serfs ruled by a globalist corporate oligarchy who loot the U.S. Treasury and pay little or no taxes. The ruling elite has perverted the police and the judiciary, neutered the media, and used the legislative branches of government to strip civil liberties from the individual while giving big business the freedom to commit financial fraud and theft.
Democracy is a stage show, played out every few years by a cast of hired snake-oil politicians. Failure to stay docile is met with violence by police. Security agencies (e.g. FBI) have devolved to protect the exclusive interests of a tiny, ruling criminal class. Rule of law is a fiction. The innocent poor get handed harsh sentences, especially black and brown Americans whose role in the oligarchy is cheap labor ideally incarcerated. The criminal rich get to buy their way out of accountability.
Three options exist: reform, revolution, or tyranny. The path of least resistance is tyranny. The direction of America since the Eisenhower administration has been entirely authoritarian. The more things deteriorate, the more the elites feel threatened, the more brutal the police, the National Guard and the organs of state security will become.
Tyranny is our destination, if nothing is done to prevent it. If the mafia state is not overthrown, then America will become a naked police state where any opposition, however tepid, will be met with censorship, exclusion or force. Journalists will be swept up in the oppressive measures and protest will be met by physical force, arrests, tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and divide-and-rule smears like “terrorists” or “anti-American anarchists”.
The huge social divides, largely built around race, will be used by authoritarian power to divert any legitimate rage from the betrayed working class to set neighbor against neighbor. Neo-fascist “patriots” will be unleashed like attack dogs against “enemies” of the state. America’s founding ideals of inclusion and diverse liberty will be turned on their head, to make Untermensch targets out of people of color, Muslims, feminists, intellectuals, artists, the media and liberals. Dissent, even nonviolent protest, will become treason.
The uprisings triggered by the sadistic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis aren’t only a protest about the murder but a frantic reaction by millions to the daily reality of life in America as a person of color or a person without wealth. It goes beyond police brutality, though a thousand citizens are murdered by police annually, almost all unarmed.
Half the country lives in or near poverty. The working class and the working poor are mostly without healthcare. Their schools are unfit for purpose, their food substandard mass-produced sugary carbopoison. Eviction is prevalent, decent jobs scarce, debts accumulating just to keep a head above water punished by collections that never let go. Mortality rates are 15 times higher, life expectancy five to ten years less, coronavirus fatalities disproportionately higher among poor and black Americans. Is it any wonder young black males are drawn to the gang and the life of profitable petty crime?
Incarcerated, a single prisoner can generate as much as $60,000 a year for the multitude of corporations, including the for-profit medical services, food services, money transfer services, commissary services, phone services, private prisons and prison contractors, not to mention corporations and state governments exploit the cheap slave labor of 1 million of America’s 2.5 million prisoners.
Make no mistake, the prison system is a multi-trillion dollar industry with lobbyists in state capitals and Washington to make sure human capital remains caged or recidivist. The neo-slavery of the American justice system – police, court, judges, bail, prisons, parole, disenfranchisement – is the corporate model envisioned for the entire nation.
- The media and the slowly shrinking white middle and professional classes remain in thrall to the fiction of election cycles. By and large they cling to a hope for better times based on the better times of the 20th-century.Lower classes lurch from emergency to emergency with little time to think about politics. The pandemic has intensified their struggle, bankruptcy looming large for millions and potential for up to 11 million evictions (once the moratorium expires) and 25% unemployment. Successive administrations have stripped relief to bare bones. 48% of front-line workers are ineligible for sick pay, 43 million Americans had employee-sponsored health insurance in January but have it no more. Tens of thousands of families feed themselves only with the help of food banks and charity handouts.
The coronavirus pandemic has intensified the activity of the ruling elites too. The kleptocrats had learned much from the 2008 bailout under Barack Obama (and Joe Biden) and what had taken a couple of years in 2008/2009 took only a week in 2020. In Washington D.C. the representatives of corporate oligarchy swept $4 trillion taxpayer revenue away from helping lower and middle-class Americans, where it could have kickstarted the economy, into the greedy embrace of a small but incredibly wealthy, influential globalist cabal.
The CARES Act handed out trillions in funds or tax breaks direct to the biggest corporations. Beneficiaries included the oil companies, $50 billion to the airline industry, cruise ships, $170 billion for the real estate industry, private equity firms, lobbying groups, the meat industry, big food, big pharma, and a hundred multinational companies with offshore accounts to avoid U.S. taxes.
Most Americans got little or no stimulus funds as big business contrived to steal money intended for small businesses, while millionaires enjoyed 80% tax breaks and an average of $1.7 million stimulus checks. received little or no stimulus funds, emerge from coronavirus lockdown in much-depreciated state; ripe to be swallowed up by capital-rich mega-corporations.
The CARES Act also authorized $454 billion for the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund, a massive slush fund doled out by Trump cronies to corporations that, when leveraged 10 to 1, can be used to create a staggering $4.5 trillion in assets. The act authorized the Fed to give $1.5 trillion in loans to Wall Street with no plan for repayment. The persistent rise of the stock market indicators despite the lockdown and pandemic panic should no longer be a surprise.
It has not only been corporations benefiting from the pandemic redistribution of wealth. In total, American billionaires have added $434 billion to their net worth since the pandemic. Jeff Bezos, whose Amazon corporation paid exactly zero federal taxes in 2019, accumulated $34.6 billion onto his personal wealth; not to mention the growth Amazon itself will have enjoyed by dint of the lockdown closing so many of its competitors.
- Wirts mirt bud?
- Mirt bud?