Monday, April 6, 2009

Resist or Become Serfs: Chris Hedges Calls for Change that WE Can Use

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(Very special thanks to Lou Reed)

"Bankrupt corporate capitalism is on its way to bankrupting the socialism that is trying to save it. That is the end stage. If they no longer have socialism to save them then we are into feudalism. We are into private police, gated communities and serfs with a 21st century nomenclature."
-Ralph Nader

Imagine if you could put all the lawyers (no empty seats), greedy corporate overlords and their political enablers on a big, fat bus (I know, it’s a big bus) headed for a cliff and told them that they weren’t getting off it until they came up with a plan to stop the legalized looting of America’s middle class? For all of the millions of immigration attorneys who profit from teaching corporations how to not hire American workers and handing American jobs to imported workers that has contributed to the demise of our economy and America’s educated middle class, imagine the positive, corrective value this segment alone could make toward restoring and rebuilding the economy and broken society? Maybe some like Cohen & Grigsby could even do it pro bono as a form of retribution to the American public.

But for all of the much needed remedies to rebuild our economy and heal our society at the hands of these greedsters, America needs, among other things, a national put an attorney to good works program. And a busload of faith to get by.

In his article Resist or Become Serfs, Chris Hedges writes about how the bank and corporate bailouts are intended to make the wealthy wealthier and loot the middle class. He describes how this administration is lying to us about job statistics, and by now only cretins and Groupthinkers would ignore the fact that our government officials have made it JOB ONE to sell off American white collar jobs to the third world. With greedy American corporatists pining to become feudal slave lords, America’s casino culture of corruption has got to stop. Hedges quotes Ralph Nader, who observes that the trillions of dollars in bailout money is being woefully misspent:

“The Justice Department is overwhelmed. It doesn't have a tenth of the prosecutors, the investigators, the auditors, the attorneys needed to deal with the previous corporate crime wave before the bailout started last September.

So, if the DOJ is understaffed, why not take some of that bailout money and instead define a program that recruits highly skilled American lawyers to defend the employment rights of discriminated against citizens against lawyers who train American corporations how not to hire Americans? Where is the bailout money to benefit American citizens who, as Hedges points out, are the victims? Why not take some of that bailout money and apply it instead towards compensating highly skilled lawyers to throw these corrupt bankers, politicians and corporate crooks in the slammer? Why not? The way I see it, as long as we’re going to have a corporatocracy, surely, there are a few lawyers out there who would be willing to step up to the plate and redefine their business models for the greater good of our society? Remember, It’s Not the Economy, Stupid. It’s YOUR JOB.

Hedges reaffirms what we are witnessing, how America’s “anemic democracy” is devolving into a third-world nation as its idle citizenry does nothing to “immediately halt our elite's rapacious looting of the public treasury” while our government rapidly transforms into a police state as the direct result of “unchecked corporate capitalism.” After all, the stimulus and bailout plans were and are, after all, not designed to save the citizens of this country:

“The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us. Tens of millions of people, brutally controlled, will live in perpetual poverty. This is the inevitable result of unchecked corporate capitalism. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them. We can resist, which means street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations, or become serfs.”

As trillions of dollars are budgeted for bank and corporate bailouts without oversight or public approval, Chris Hedges notes that the Obama administration, rather than chart a new course, is intent on re-inflating the bubble that will complete the wealth redistribution trickling-up scheme designed to rob America’s middle class:

“The trillions of dollars of government funds being spent to sustain these corrupt corporations could have renovated our economy. We could have saved tens of millions of Americans from poverty. The government could have, as consumer activist Ralph Nader has pointed out, started 10 new banks with $35 billion each and a 10-to-1 leverage to open credit markets. Vast, unimaginable sums are being placed into these dirty corporate hands without oversight. And they will use this money as they always have-to enrich themselves at our expense.”

Hedges cites how the U.S. has been in a steady economic decline for decades, and how previous administrations have resorted to lies in order to enable their corporatist, feudal lord paymasters:

“Our actual unemployment rate, when you include those who have stopped looking for work and those who can only find part-time jobs, is not 8.5 percent but 15 percent. A sixth of the country is now effectively unemployed. And we are shedding jobs at a faster rate than in the months after the 1929 crash.”

Solutions, solutions…The Institute for Policy Studies came out with a twelve step program to end Plutocracy here, well worth reading. And for all of the corruption and greed that needs to go, Hedges is right. Americans must “resist” the Neo-Frat Boy corporate state. How and what to specifically do?

TARP schmarp. If American taxpayers are footing the bill, let’s get some bang for our dwindling bucks. “Bailing out” the bankers and corporate crooks by looting middle class taxpayers without demanding our labor rights reforms to get our jobs back is the stupidest thing Americans could allow. No wonder the world, particularly the third world - disrespects and laughs at us, because America has slid into third world status and the plebes STILL allow the politicians to steal our jobs for personal profit.

As I have said before, economic depressions can be survived as long as people have jobs to afford them, and the stealing of American jobs by these corrupt corporate overlords and politicians so that they can profit has got to end by halting The Cash Cow of Indian Outsourcing, the importation of cheap, third world labor.



Peter of Lone Tree said...

Jim Kunstler:
Strange Days:
The socio-political fallout from the inherent anger and disappointment in all this is liable to be severe. The public is already warming up for it, with cheerleaders such as Glen Beck on Fox TV News calling for the formation of militias, and gun sales moving out-of-sight. One mistake that the banking elite and their lawyer paladins made the past decade was their show of conspicuous acquisition -- of houses especially -- in easy-to-get-to places where anyone can see them, for instance an angry mob in Fairfield County, Connecticut, or Easthampton, New York. Unlike the beleaguered elites of South Africa (where I visited recently), who live behind layers of fortification, the executives of Citibank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and a long list of hedge funds, will be found cringing in their wine-lockers behind a measly layer of privet hedge when the tattooed minions of Glen Beck come a'calling.

2Truthy said...

And who do you think JHK's pay masters are? Santa and the Tooth Fairy? JHK (who I used to like very much and find engaging, insightful) has loyally slid into the smug, lefty cushy zone of I Got Mine, whose survival is dependent upon bashing the likes of the "tattooed minions of Glen Beck". Cheap shots from presumably esteemed people at desperate people discredits them. And JHK is sounding more like the arrogant, insulated windbags he used to profess to abhor every day.

People on the left and right are hurting, and elitist JHK uses the straw dog of Beckish idiots to prop up as targets to deflect from the corporate looting going on at the local levels in our towns. Predictably, the media paint the bankers of Wall Street as THE BIG BAD BOOGEY MAN but at the end of the day, corporations are withholding hiring people and firing good local people so that they can keep up their appearances within the walls of their layered "fortifications." It's the stuff of Comedy Capers, 'he went thataway' as the grifter picks your pocket.

When JHK can leave the hubris zone, I will start reading him again.