Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Over the past several months, we in our 'capitalist' nation have saddled ourselves with a huge problem.   When any bank or company is officially deemed ‘Too Big to Fail’, that is the base acknowledgement the entity has the power to put our entire nation in jeopardy.  What else could it be?

The situation may be compared to a lollipop so big it will choke its user.  Or, to a check so big it overdraws the account it is written upon, or to a load too heavy for its boat.  Whatever, it is simply,  TOO BIG.  And dangerous.  And, out of balance. And, it needs to be corrected.

How did this happen?  I believe the source of our problem is pretty simple when boiled down to it’s essential cause:  GREED.  And, it has happened before.  Many times in fact.  Whenever the fetters are removed and greed is unbridled, it inevitably results in economic disaster in the end.  The most recent example is the 1929 depression.  Unbridled and uncontrolled capitalism created an enormous economic bubble which burst.  All bubbles must burst, or at least ‘deflate’ in the end.  Politicians of the time, recognizing the basic causes, established controls through regulatory measures to prevent such an occurrence again.  Wish that we still had their wisdom, acquired through experience.

But, our legislators, of tragically short memories and imagination under Reagan, and later Bush I, then Clinton, and finally Bush II, removed almost all of the regulatory controls.  ‘Greed’ in the form of unfettered capitalism  ‘reared its ugly head’ in Sarah Palin’s immortal words.   The dire consequences of allowing the ‘free market’ to have its way, unrestrained by regulation is now familiar to all.  Trillions of dollars of wealth world-wide disappeared into thin air, and people lost homes, businesses, savings, pensions and their social safety net.  It is a crime of monstrous proportions, putting Bernie Madoff's scams to shame.

And greed in conjunction with the ability to buy legislation through campaign contributions has resulted in 'capitalism' morphing into what can only be called a ‘Corpocracy’  - a social welfare system for big business.  The ridiculous extremes to which this has gone is evident to everyone who witnessed the multimillion dollar ‘bonuses’ given to the very people who created the problems in the first place.  Bernie Madoff must be looking on from his cell in bitter envy - cooling his heels in federal prison while the architects of the biggest Ponzi scam in the history of the world are happily sailing merrily around the playgrounds for the rich in their megayachts.

The corporate giants in the finance industries over the past decade went on an uncontrolled rampage which ran the international economy in the ditch.  The fix?  The common man, in the form of the taxpaying public is now saddled with the enormous costs of restoring stability to our economy - including ‘bailouts’ to the very businesses who created the problems in the first place.  Our descendants, down to our grandchildren are now mortgaged on the alter of big finance.  It amounts to economic enslavement of the majority of our public.

I see only two ways to correct this imbalance.  One is to enact legislation to control the excesses which created our current problems.  There is some movement in this direction, but far too little, and very obviously, far too late.  I fear because of the death grip financial industries and big business have on our legislation we will never be able to enact real and meaningful reform.  Especially needed is Campaign Finance Reform.  There IS NO LOGICAL REASON an industry,  company or corporation should ever be permitted to be considered a ‘person’ and have the same first amendment rights of an actual person as now is the case.  None.  No non-person entity should ever have the right to donate money to a political candidate or PAC.  Never, no time.  Corporations’ rights as ‘persons’ should be limited to their contracts and activities in commercial business.

Giving corporations rights as persons is a form of ‘double representation’ wherein both the corporate owners individually, and the corporations themselves are counted as persons.

The other possible way to correct the current enormous imbalance is a popular revolution of some kind, which I fear is what we will actually see at some point unless things change appreciably.  People can only be subordinated for so long before they rise up to throw off their yokes and hang their perceived masters from lamp posts.  We have seen this many other times in history too.  I am surprised the perpetrators of the current frauds upon the public don’t perceive this danger.  I hope I am wrong.  Revolutions are so messy, disruptive, and so, well, revolting.

When the possible failure of a bank or insurance company, or combination, or any other entity can cause intolerable damage to the nation’s economic structure that entity has then become, ipso facto, “Too Big to Exist”.  That should be self-evident on the face of it to any reasonable person not blinded by ideological dogma.

And, that entity must be broken up into component parts, less dangerous to the public at large!

If you are interested in educating yourself on this subject, I highly recommend the current, and very topical book "BAD MONEY" by Kevin Phillips.  It is eye-opening in the extreme.

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