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Monday, July 18, 2011

the future

My blog header says "Vaughn Trapp's blog, Music, Economics, Politics, Songwriting, Songwriters and Gear"...a strange mix.... 
Money is a subject that underlies all others. Just ask a homeless man how high up on his list of concerns "Gay Marriage" is, or the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan (and soon Iran(?)), his thoughts on gun control, school vouchers or affirmative action. Ask a church in bankruptcy or a University or City Manager faced with 30% budget cuts....

I got interested in economics about 4 years ago when i started following a right-wing day trader's blog called "the TickerForum" (I'd been a DailyKos habitue' before that and like most americans knew precisely squat about economic matters). The housing bubble had reached ridiculously unsustainable heights and drawn to the "story behind the story", I began listening to the few voices on the internet ringing alarm bells about the likely aftermath of america's drunken credit (debt) spree. 

Prior to and during the crash and panic of '08, reading Tickerforum in particular, was like following the battle of Britain from the control tower. Those day traders had the fastest news cycle of anyone else on the planet (and why wouldn't they? After all, they had money on the line) I'd often read about events days or even weeks before seeing them mentioned in the mainstream media. In fact a timely warning about IndyMac bank allowed me to remove my money a month before they went belly up!
At the time no one realized the desperate tactics that would be used to prop up our economic system, the legalization of Enron style accounting practices for the big banks, the bailouts of wall street's banks at Main Street's expense, the "buying" of our own i.o.u.'s. (bonds) with printed money, the upward manipulation of stock markets, statistical deceit, the further degradation of our currency, etc....Our econ system now stood revealed to me as a massive Ponzi scheme, a Potemkin charade of Debt and Credit masquerading as "wealth" and "growth". 
Professor Michael Hudson, President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, recently spoke of the Left's move BEYOND the Right in servicing the true masters of Amerika, "You don’t hear very much at all in America, either in the Socialist parties, the Democrat parties, or in Europe about financial issues and economic issues. It’s about cultural issues, minorities, sexual equality, but it’s not about the economic issues. So almost without anybody preparing a political alternative you’ve had a transformation of what began as an economic democracy into a financial oligarchy. This is going to be the main problem for the century – how to cope with the emerging financial oligarchy that has been empowered by the financial bubble and most of all, by the bailout." and....
"The American government is going to look just like Greece and just like Ireland. They’re going to be told, ‘The states can’t pay, there’s no federal revenue to share with Minnesota or Wisconsin or the city of Chicago. They’re going to have to sell off their roads, sell off their streets, sell off their infrastructure, sell off their public utilities, sell off their business. The government will sell whatever it has, the Postal Service, to essentially buyers who will now borrow the money from the banks making a huge new market for banks and investment bankers, in privatizing and cutting up what used to be the public domain and turning it over to the wealthiest 10 percent of the economy. So people realize yes, the class war’s back in business. We’re going into a depression. We’ll buy back all these stocks after they go (down again) but meanwhile, the game’s over. Let’s grab what we can and just bail out. And that’s what’s happening now."

Remember, Bush AND Obama gave $13 trillion to Wall Street’s managers in one form or another to "save the system"...How's that system look these days? Wall Street and Corporat amerika's profit systems look GREAT! How's yours? 
I named this album and blog "Songs Of The Great Depression" purposefully...
"Recession, "Soft Patch", "The Great Recession"...are what we're told this is, but
we are in fact IN a new global depression with much more pain to come and with many of the same reactions/responses from western governments arriving intact from the last go round with fatal credit excess from nearly 80 years ago...
My wife and i started reading "Hard Times",( an oral history of The Great Depression written by Studs Terkel in the early 1970's.) Many of the interviewees wondered how america would fare in another go round with global depression in "these hard hearted 70's" (!)...How instead WILL we fare in these times, our times, of near universal entitlement, bitterness and national resentment?

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