THE UNIVERSAL ECONOMY UNIT VII: THE FINANCIAL WAR ENSLAVING AMERICA
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” – Warren Buffet – one the world’s 8 richest men whose combined net worth equals more than the bottom half (3.6 billion people) of all humanity.
“What we are seeing now is a fight for what is going to be the rest of the 21st century by creating a new kind of class, a new class much like the invasions of Europe a thousand years ago. A thousand years ago, invaders from the north and from Italy would grab land and grab public utilities by military means.” “So, what you have today is a new kind of a war. It’s a financial war. You can get by privatization and financialization what armies used to get by force of arms.” – Michael Hudson – Wall Street financial analyst, and distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.
There is, indeed, a war destroying and enslaving the people of America. But it is not being waged by terrorists, or Russia, or any other external force. It is being waged by the richest financial manipulators and their two political parties, the Republicans and the Establishment Democrats. More effectively than any military force could have hoped for, they have subjugated and impoverished the masses.
Gone are living wages, gone are pensions, gone is job security, gone is affordable health care, gone is a secure retirement. Seaports, airports, roads, water utilities, public schools, state owned universities, prisons, parks, public lands and public resources are being privatized at historic rates. Social security and Medicare/Medicaid are in the crosshairs. Students are left with lifelong debt to private banks before graduating from college. “Democrats” Pelosi, and Schumer fight side by side with Republicans Ryan and McConnel to stop universal healthcare and protect the price gouging of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. “Democrats” join Republicans in refusing to effectively regulate the fraud and corruption of Wall Street banks. Virtually all gains in productivity over the past 40 years have gone to the rich. Virtually all tax laws passed over the past 40 years were written for the rich. “News” media and the Orwellian message controlling the masses is now owned by a handful of wealthy corporations. No army could have conquered working Americans so completely.
The war on Americans has, of course, been going on for decades. It first came into full view when President Ronald Reagan uttered the expertly crafted, emotion grabbing, poll tested words: “Government isn’t the solution to the problem, government is the problem.” Few understood it at the time, but this was the formal Declaration of War on the working people of America and on the noblest, most democratic, and most egalitarian government humanity had ever formed. Greed, power lust, and, in truth, the forces of evil, began to assume their dominance. Government of, by, and for the rich began to assume control.
Through their attacks on worker’s unions, their endless deregulation of corporations, and their tax cuts for the wealthy, the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush lead the attack of the rich on the people and government of America. But it was President Bill Clinton who fulfilled their wildest dreams. In the words of author Thomas Frank:
“Clinton had five major achievements as president: NAFTA, the Crime Bill of 1994, welfare reform, the deregulation of banks and telecoms, and the balanced budget. All of them—every single one—were longstanding Republican objectives.”
Clinton’s “achievements” were actually, of course, the longstanding objectives of greed, power lust, and the rich. Since that time there has been but one political party. The Party of the Financiers. It can be labeled Republican or Democrat. It doesn’t matter. Either way the Financiers win.
Following Clinton, the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama continued the war on America. Bush expanded tax cuts for the rich and willingly did the bidding of terrorist Osama Bin Laden and the oil and arms industries by lying the U.S. into the “forever,” “generational” wars that for nearly two decades have been impoverishing working Americans and reaping unimaginable profits for the wealthy. And it was Barack Obama who labeled two of the world’s most predatory, parasitic bankers, Jamie Dimon (CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase) and Lloyd Blankfien (CEO of Goldman Sachs), “savvy businessmen” and made fraud and corruption legitimate by bailing out the Wall Street banks at the expense of working Americans losing their homes. It was Obama who made closed door deals with insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and for profit hospitals (i.e. with greed, power lust and the rich) to give us the “Affordable” Care Act rather than the truly affordable single-payer public health care system operative in virtually all of the other industrialized nations.
Now we are dealing with Donald Trump, the logical outcome of the financial war on America. Hillary Clinton would have been more politically astute and, at least domestically, less hate filled and brutal. But the economic outcome for working Americans would have been the same had she been elected. Both Trump and Hillary are card carrying members of the Party of the Financiers.
The super-rich are now implementing the final stages of the war on America – the austerity stage. Working Americans must be falsely convinced their government is “broke,” has “overspent” and must be sold off to the Financiers. The final looting and theft is underway.
Victory for the financiers is not inevitable. It can be stopped. But to do so we must understand the financial manipulation being used to wage the war. Unit VIII of this series will discuss the strategies being used by the rich in waging war on America and working people. By understanding these strategies, we can defend ourselves and return our nation to an egalitarian democracy where all can share in prosperity.
Unit VIII will discuss: Strategies of the Rich Class Waging War on America
Suggest reading for understanding the financial war on America: