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gridJoseph Cornell

This week the stock markets, following the pattern of the last months, edged higher, to 9,300+, apparently encouraged by the flush of trillions of dollars of newly minted money printed by the Obama administration to stave off a Great Depression. To the dismay of rigorous market-economy rightists this government intervention, celebrated by economists as Nouriel Roubini, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman as a proper Big Government action, has momentarily righted the sinking ship, giving the appearance of some stability. While applauding this correction, none of these economists are so sanguine as to suggest we are out of any woods. The stock market reaction is tainted with the reality that much of that crisp new money was slipped in the form of bonuses directly into the pockets of the very persons at AIG, Goldman Sachs, etc., whose reckless leveraging produced the crisis in the first place.

dow one year 08-09Dow Jones 2008-09

So, for the moment, instead of a headlong crash to the 5,000 Dow scale level, the market has crawled back from near 6,000 upward to the new figures. Congratulating themselves on surviving this near-death experience, the honchos of Wall Street are already rewarding themselves with bonus figures rivaling those of the glossy years of yore – a year or two ago. Their motto is surely Take While the Getting Is Good.

On Main Street it is another story, of course, though through the warped vision of Washington and the moneyed canyons of Manhattan, that story is celebrated as well:   this past month job losses were “only” 270,000, considerably down numerically from the 700,000+ losses of some months ago. As DC and the Street would have it, things are improving, though those quarter million pink-slipped families might not see it quite that way. And further, so say the economists, the official (farcical) unemployment rate improved a little, from 9.5% to 9.4%. Rah rah!

What they don’t tell you is that this little statistical burp occurred because a mere 450,000 on-paper Americans quit looking for work which they knew damned well wasn’t there, and in this act of ceasing to beat their heads against a wall, they erased themselves from the unemployment figures. Go figger. While it is only a rule-of-thumb, we can bet (unleveraged) that the real unemployment figures in the USA are double the official one, at minimum. Wall Street and the Beltway are whistling past the graveyard, but, just to be safe, grabbing while there’s something to grab. Bonus up, boys.

Meantime US consumer credit card debt is 2.7 trillion, a little hiccup in the balance sheets which recently has emerged as the next big threat after the housing bubble. Of course this makes a certain circular sense – many people, with their fantasies of ever more valuable assets in the form of a bubble-house, were given a free rein and duly spent, running up sizable debts. According to latest statistics, this cumulative debt is lessening as some pay-off.  August reports say this consumer debt is 10 billion less as credit card holders pay up. 10 billion is a very tiny slice of 2.7 trillion.  On the other hand banks just announced they’d made a killing mere 40 billion or so on over-due fees. When the jobless, houseless, credit-card-indebted new tent-dweller can’t be squeezed anymore, bankruptcy declaration or not, these trillions of minus money will tilt the bank ledgers once again. More dog-chases-tail.  Another too-big-to-fail bailout for the banks?   Meantime, to compensate for these fiscal fantasies, in exchange for the 7,000 square foot popcorn house bought with a subprime loan, many recently middle-class (so they thought) professionals are moving into 50 square foot tents in these temporary towns sprouting up all over.

tent city

As noted by some commentators, there is no evident end to this cycle, short of some kind of radical overhaul of America’s philosophy about how to go about life. As the recent ugly “town hall” fracases have shown, there is little space to maneuver for substantive “change” in this. While the drug makers and health-service-for-profit companies shell out to defeat any reform from their bonanza business, their shills shouting “socialism” to still all argument, there is scarcely a visible politician able to succinctly articulate what is really going on. Walk in most American’s home, make a bee-line for the bathroom cabinet, and open it or pull a drawer. There you will usually find a vast compendium of mysteriously labeled drugs, all “legal” to which the citizenry has long since become addicted habituated, and for which they run up $400 average annual, per capita (2002), in bills. Need we say this is skewed since a lot of people don’t have that money (perhaps because they spent it on multiple 6-packs of Hamms) so many are spending much much more than that. Bottom-line is that prescription drugs are just like the illegal ones, except they are socially sanctioned and pushed by massive advertising programs, but do just like the dealer’s do: they get you hooked. And like the corner dealer, the big pharma guys like to get you on and then drive up the prices and make a bundle thereby.

hirst drug store

Worry not, the doctor who prescribed for you this magical substance is on the take. The “health” business is the same except that being a “life or death” matter, the stakes are higher. And in turn, so is – in a culture which prizes profit over all else – the tendency to jack up the price. You really really really need this care, so you are told, and it’s going to cost you since you really really really need it. The sales pitch is clear. At the same time some corporate entity is selling you this line, its subsidiary has been busy peddling you the salt/sugar encrusted, scientifically calculated-to-addict-you hunks of puffed air for maximum profit for them and maximal damage to your bodily system to you. Dog chases tail again. The doctor’s office is open. If you have insurance.

muybridge_galloping_horseEadweard Muybridge

In old cowboy movies the good guys would mount their horses, cluster together, and someone would utter “Cut ’em off at the pass” and all would gallop away for a final shoot-out in some dead-end canyon. High Noon in the sage brush. These days the ambush comes from Rushbo’s and Glenn Becker’s, shrieking about government take-overs of your doctor, your guns, and (subtext) niggers screwing your daughters or rising beyond their station and getting fucking uppity. They’re cutting ’em off at the pass, and so far doing a good job of it, since the American political system is unable to have a meaningful conversation in a world in which the media is owned and controlled by the same people who run about everything else. We are the United States of Corporations, and the aim is maximum profit for an elite little few, and apparently, so myopic are these troglodytes of the grand Market Economy ideology, that for a short-term killing they’re game to lay waste to the entire nation. Presumably they’ll private-jet themselves to some South Pacific paradise at the end, while their army of ignorant shrieking goons cite the 2nd Amendment as they lay down a curtain of fire worthy of Armageddon.

gunshop

There is in this scenario, nothing new. America has, since the outset, been going in this circle. We have always had our mad sects, our elites, our immigrants, our “only good Indian is a dead Indian,” our Elmer Gantry, our bizarre phobia against all things “socialistic” while we’ve wielded for some time the biggest stick around, nosing in on the bedroom, the neighboring continents, and proclaiming our “national interest”  to be any place there’s a fast buck to be made by buggering the natives. This B  US.

peace-is-our-professioncon

Pandora-box Iraq, as the US military withdraws to allegedly non-urban enclaves and turns its attentions to nearby Afghanistan, resumes its Shia-Sunni-Kurd bloodletting (all in the name of the recently acquired Bush mandated “democracy”) and the new military consul in Kabul calls for 40,000 more troops to add to the mix, announcing we’ll be there a long time. Elsewhere in our Maginot Line of some 700 golf course equipped bases sprinkled about the globe in the name of Eisenhower’s feared military-industrial complex, our privatized army of mercenaries goes nuts, committing suicide while, as usual, politicians mumble about honor and duty and patriotism and sacrifice.

1235786046-27coffins2_450

Of officially acknowledged US military deaths in Afghanistan are listed, as of August 11, 2009 as 763.

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One Comment

  1. Who is stupid Max Benser!!!
    1. I am Mark Deuteronomovic!
    2. Deuteronomy+Mark=Genocide+Jesus!!!
    3. Deut. 7:1., Deut.7:22.=John.10:30.
    4. Jesus+Hitler!!!
    5. Psalm 144:1.=Hitler!!!
    6. Psalm 144.1.+John. 10:30. Jesus+Hitler
    7. Military Bible+Mein Kampf
    8. Deuteronomy is a Hitlers Mirror!!!

    Atheist 100%


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