February 13, 2013
I watched Philippe Levasseur's America's Broken Dreams on Four Corners on Monday night. Close to 20 million Americans remain unemployed or underemployed. Older boomers are retiring, but the major cause for this level of unemployment is simply the lack of jobs and low economic growth.
This is the unintended consequences of the elite bankers on Wall Street becoming wealthy by looting financial institutions with little risk of prosecution. This widespread fraud and looting was not aberrant, as Wall Street had created for themselves a legal system that authorizes looting and a moral code that glorifies it. It was called deregulation and it was designed to enable the emerging financial oligarchy to encircle Washington and have its political leaders essentially do the bidding of the finance capital.
Levasseur showed that when you lose your job in the US today there is very little to protect you. In 2008 the global financial crisis hit the poor first, but now America's middle class is being devastated from being laid off from either a full-time or part-time job and the impoverishment of the American middle class is brutal. The picture created was reminiscent of the 1930s .
Yet the political class the Washington beltway is consumed with debt and deficits, as if high debt is responsible for slow growth and joblessness. For them the federal budget deficit is America's most important problem. Their focus is not the joblessness, falling real wages, economic insecurity, and widening inequality that continue to dog the nation, even these are the overriding concerns of most Americans.
Jobs, improving wages, and economic growth is what is needed in the US. Deficit reduction moves in the opposite direction and that means less consumer spending.
President Obama's in his first State of the Union message of his second term attempt to shift Washington's attention back to jobs and economic growth. But similar White House moves to address jobs and the economy over the past four years have been half-hearted and politically feeble.
It is likely that the jobs message delivered by Obama will be overshadowed and weighed down by the endless and destructive partisan battles over our long-term budget position and Washington’s misguided plans for budget austerity and fiscal contraction. A fiscal policy intervention aimed at economic renewal on behalf of the jobless and the struggling is very difficult in a Washington environment that is steeped in a culture of corruption, high-powered lobbying by vested interests and elite indifference to the problems and aspirations of ordinary people.
Wall Street wants to control directly and indirectly, the monetary system ie., the operations of the central bank in setting interest rates and supporting banks in making credit available to consumers, local governments, other financial institutions, and businesses. private lending policy”
This strategy involves straitjacketing the spending and taxation policies of government, to allow a larger political and economic space for maneuver for finance capital (the banks and insurance companies).