Here we are with an election year chugging along and billions being spent while ,for you and me there's an economy that one day we are told is recovering and the next is either stagnant or sluggish again. Both sides say their ideas to help pull us out of the economic hole are sound and strong. Each claims to have different ideas – the right ideas - about what to do regarding what comes after Election Day. But what about either a liberal or conservative strategy, if they would implement policies that in action were really that divergent, would put us back on track? Have we seen real differences?
The party that doesn't have control of the White House currently claims to be the party that would radically move in another direction, or at least enough of a different direction so as to correct the course we're on using what they describe as sound principles adhered to by their party. The party currently in the White House says they have implemented the kind of policies that will pull us out of our rut, and that their policies simply require a matter of more time to correct the economic issues faced by our nation.
For the party wishing to get into the White House – this year's party of the plan B candidate – to convince us they have the right solutions for our nation's problems, some honesty would be nice. I mean if they know how to pull us out of our current problems, they need to explain better why they got us into them. It's been a little over three years since the current president took office and when he did he inherited an economy shopping cart racing out of control downhill fast. The problems came from the house of cards built by financial firms on Wall Street over the course of eight years and never acted upon.
Heck, in some ways there really was no way to act on them as enforcement agencies had been drastically reduced and cut back making oversight of the myriad daily transactions impossible. If a financial daisy cutter bomb was being constructed there was no one to sound the alarm before it could be launched or dropped. Financial institutions would collapse and then we, the shrinking middle income and ever poorer lower income Americans, would have to pick up the tab in the way of a bailout to get those institutions out of their predicament.
I mean if someone were to plan a way to rob the taxpayers and get away with it, simply taking away all the financial cops and removing the laws that kept the most risky investment practices in check, while keeping in place rules stating that no matter what, US taxpayers like you and me would bailout those institutions were they to fail, they couldn't have thought up a better way to do it. And guess what? That's exactly what happened. It worked and we paid – not them.
While we were stuck paying the tab, losing jobs, which we're still losing many of us having given up on even trying to find any jobs in record numbers, these guys made billions on risky investment practices until they failed, knowing they would then get billions more in fresh cash to cover their losses. Who held them accountable? Not Democrats, not Republicans. When a grass roots conservative movement complained, they were co-opted, diluted, marginalized and kicked to the curb like a once useful MacDonald's bag. When a grass roots progressive movement complained they were beaten with batons, tased, pepper sprayed, arrested, infiltrated, portrayed as filthy, smelly, know nothing hippies in the media and crushed that way. (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1111/15/pmt.01.html)
With those billions from our pockets the Wall Street financial firms that pulled off the caper simply kept on doing what they had done and increased their wealth by billions. All the while the rest of us that never involved ourselves in those practices lost out. This was done not merely by manipulating existing laws but by lobbying to set up the chain of events that was to make this happen.
That manipulation and removal of security guards happened primarily on the watch of a Republican administration and Wall Street even got the credit ratings agencies to rate junk stocks key to the scheme with a AAA rating. The guys that downgraded our national rating were in on it too.
That all happened, including the initial stimulus known as TARP, on the watch of the party wishing to get into the White House this election – the plan B party. They really should level with us and tell us how exactly their policies won't ruin us again.
The current party came into office saying they were going to instill policies that would put people back to work including public works projects like FDR's Works Progress Administration that literally created jobs and helped push America through the great depression. That did not happen. Instead they gave out more money to financial institutions – the same ones that they decried while running for office in 2008 - and even appointed people that worked for some of the worst offending companies, during the time the financial house of cards was being built, to major positions in their administration. Where was all that hope? There were no real economic policy changes with regards to insider access. Why the lies?
They have gone around the nation talking up how well things have gone and even going so far as to imply Detroit's roaring back and rocketing back to a new golden age or something. The fact is Detroit's finances are so bad they just nearly missed bankruptcy – just – and are negotiating the details of an outside financial oversight committee to oversee their finances. The city faces a state mandated takeover if they can't get it straight. (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0405/Detroit-and-Michigan-come-to-term...)
They have stopped public services to certain sections of the city and are encouraging residents to move away from certain areas to amalgamate people into certain sections – those people that haven't just left altogether – to save money. It is teetering on the brink of emergency state takeover. Roaring back? Better than ever? Did somebody forget to check their daily news aggregator? Now those are people that could have used a Works Progress Administration. Instead, entire sections of the city are left to go fallow some sections have seemingly regressed from Industrial Revolution to almost pre-agrarian.
Where were those jobs programs? I don't even see much infrastructure construction happening in my state. Anyone else? I know there are huge online lists of financial institutions that got stimulus money, but Works Progress Administration type programs? Many out of work college grads could have used those. I'm sure many people in general across the nation would love to get on board with those. Why did all those people from all those corrupt financial institutions get appointed positions in the current administration after being so vilified?
The two parties really aren't that much different. In fact it was outgoing Bill Clinton that started the ball rolling with the legalization of derivatives trading, believed to have been responsible for most of the financial damage in 2008 as most of the money was believed to have gone towards covering those derivatives (or bets which is what they were). Those bets on the idea the house of cards would fall could not be covered. This was because so many insiders bet so much of the money they got from the scam with legitimate financial giants like AIG, that the taxpayers were forced to bailout financial institutions when the bets taken were higher than the cash on hand needed to pay them off.
His party is supposed to protect, defend and stand up for the middle class through more than just lip service, yet when union rights to collective bargaining were under attack across the nation he and his party on a national level were more silent than mice on Christmas night that had been fed cheese laced with tranquilizers.
Truth is, for whichever party gets in, and the current party is the establishment favorite, it will most likely do what the current administration did when it got in and just continue the policies of the last administration. On the campaign trail they will say what they think the people in front of them want them to say, sure. But, once elected they do what the people behind them have told them to do. Same thing new faces.
To get real change we need real changes to the system. The two party system has failed us and only by opting for some fresh new choices at the level of Congress will we begin to see accountability and real change. With two or three new parties in addition to the two we are currently stuck with, holding significant percentages to sway votes and upgrading our system, will we see real action and changes? We just need to do the one thing we can to make it happen. That will be, over the next twenty years or so, to begin electing people from other parties to Congress. Hope and change; those are things that definitely should happen. Real hope and change – not the kind dreamed up as a marketing scheme meant to be slapped on bottles of the same old cheap cologne, but merely sold as new fancier stuff.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.