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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Belated “Thank You” (In Jest?)

This is meant to be a belated “thank you” to the overwhelming numbers of Independents and Seniors who helped elect the substantial number of Republican/Conservative/Tea Party candidates to the House and the Senate.  You have enabled us to “take back” our failing government and to set this country on its proper course toward smaller and less interventionist government.  And, to think it was so easy to do (especially with all that money that flowed into the Party’s coffers, and that “soft” (often outsider) money that ended up in districts where we needed a bit of help defeating those nasty Democrats).

You have become, perhaps unwittingly, part of a Master Plan to revolutionize this country’s government, and more especially its economy.  This Master Plan has been worked on for years now, going all the way back to that American hero, Ronald Reagan.  It was tested in several countries before being unleashed here with a vengeance during George W’s wonderful tenure.  Some of those countries were in South America, others in the Middle East, and still others in Africa, but perhaps most determinately, in Iraq.

One of the basic requirements for realizing this Master Plan is some sort of shock to a country’s operating systems, through which people’s fears can be exploited.  In this country, some shocks that could qualify would be: 9/11; Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; Hurricane Katrina; the BP oil spill; attempted terrorist attacks like the Christmas bomber.  All of these probably had some effect upon your vote because all have been exploited, not necessarily to get you to vote one way or another, but to raise your fears about government intervention, and government inadequacy, and to help the economy along at the same time by building up large businesses and consulting firms around each of these events and their aftermath.

By now you might be asking: what is this Master Plan?  Good question; it deserves an answer. That answer goes all the way back to the New Deal under FDR’s administration, in the sense that this Master Plan is essentially a counter-revolution to all that comprised the New Deal, especially government control of the economy, the restrictions placed on corporations, and the re-distribution of wealth  through corporate taxes and workers’ salaries.  What was needed was a return to a pre-New Deal form of capitalism even less regulated than before the Depression.  The single-minded message was that with the New Deal everything went wrong; the country got off on the wrong track.  To get back what had been lost, a book titled Capitalism and Freedom became the global free-market rulebook, and would eventually form the economic agenda for the neo-conservative movement so evident in the Reagan and Bush years.

The book, by Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago’s Economics Department, laid out a Master Plan for that needed return to economic (capitalistic) freedom.  It is well-summarized in the book, The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein:

“First, governments must remove all rules and regulations standing in the way of the accumulation of profits.  Second, they should sell off any assets they own that corporations could be running at a profit.  And third,  they should dramatically cut back funding of social programs.  Within the three-part formula of deregulation, privatization and cutbacks, Friedman had plenty of specifics.  Taxes, when they must exist, should be low, and rich and poor should be taxed at the same flat rate.  Corporations should be free to sell their products anywhere in the world, , and governments should make no effort to protect local industries or local ownership.  All prices, including the price of labor, should be determined by the market.  There should be no minimum wage.  For privatization, Friedman offered up health care, the post office, education, retirement pensions, even national parks…. Friedman’s vision coincided precisely with the interests of large multinationals, which by nature hunger for vast new unregulated markets…. Friedman’s war on the “welfare state” and ‘big government” held out the promise of a new font of rapid riches-- only this time, rather than conquering new territory, the state itself would be the new frontier, its public services and assets auctioned off for far less than they were worth.”

If any of this sounds vaguely familiar, it is because this is exactly the Plan that holds sway amongst the newly elected conservative Republicans and Tea Party congresspersons to “take back” our government and to enrich the economic standing of our multinational corporations.  And, dear Independent and Senior Citizen, YOU helped make it happen by your votes.  Thanks again.

And by the way, your votes have done something that is precedent-setting for these United States: not only are the multinational corporations a virtual fourth branch of government (as the New York Times asserted), but they are now the government itself, represented by the majority of millionaires in the legislative branch and the  Supreme Court (the Executive branch has been run by millionaires for decades); the Court that recently gave the corporations carte blanch in terms of funding our elections.  Not only that, but the facile transfer of billions more of taxpayer money into the hands of the large corporations, and large “consulting firms,” through lucrative non-competitive contracts with few if any restrictions, is now assured.

Thus, the diversionary propaganda of WMD in Iraq, of socialism in the Executive branch, of government takeover of health care, of  tax increases if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, of the harm to small businesses if the tax cuts are not made permanent, of the transfer of taxpayer money to the welfare state are all a part of the bamboozling of the electorate to draw attention away from what is actually happening: the control of government by the rich, the enriching of multinationals, the contracting of government services to the very men and women who are actually running the government (or were recently in power). 

Independents and Seniors: YOU have helped all this to happen, and we cannot thank you enough.  Who would have thought that it would be this easy to enact our Master Plan and to take control of the very entity that will enhance and protect our profits.  Thanks to you the New Deal and the welfare state are on their last legs.  We will not let you down; our goal is clear.