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Mon

27

Oct

2008

The Illusion of Democracy
Monday, 27 October 2008 14:26
by Timothy V. Gatto

There is so much that I want to write about that I imagine that this will be a long article. The truth is that I have been very angry with the direction our nation is going in and there isn’t really much I can do about it. I’m sure that most of you reading this feel the same way. The issues we face are not right or left, or a liberal-conservative, but moral issues. It seems like the power elite have forgotten that the government is responsible to its people, first and foremost. It matters not if we can trim the national deficit or trim the budget or have a surplus in the economy if people in this country are going hungry and homeless.

I just finished interviewing Richard C. Cook on my radio Liberalpro (where you can hear the podcast). He talked about how the economy was and has been since the eighties, a top-down economy that is based on debt. In an article called” How to Save the Economy” Cook states; “The cause of the financial failure is that the producing and consumer economy is “maxed out” and is unable to repay existing loans much less new ones. This is because purchasing power in the U.S. has collapsed”. He also states that; “The problem is not the collapse of the stock market which simply reflects the deflation of the bubble economy. The problem is the oncoming recession/depression caused by the absence of an economic engine to generate new producing power”.

He has devised what he aptly calls The Cook Plan to stimulate the economy and get us back on the right track and also stop this debt-based economy that we are trying to survive in. Here is “The Cook Plan”

1. Non-taxable vouchers should be issued at the rate of $1,000 per month per adult and $500 per month per child which may be used for food, housing, fuel, communications media, utilities, and educational services provided at outlets within the U.S. Distribution of vouchers may be delegated to state and local governments. 2. Vouchers will be deposited by service providers and vendors only in a new network of local chartered savings banks—one for each county in the U.S. Deposits will be made to the bank in the county of the local point-of-sale. 3. Banks will lend locally at zero-percent interest using voucher deposits as capitalization. The banks may create loans at a 1:10 reserve ratio with borrowers paying administrative fees only. Borrowers must provide a 20% down payment as collateral or purchase default insurance at 2% of the loan principal. 4. Lending will be made only to business entities, including family or commercial farms, operating from an established location within the county.

This plan is light years ahead of the way we do things now. It seems like the citizens of this country should be enjoying the proceeds of the largest economy on Earth. Instead, 1% of the families in the United States own 54% of its wealth. This is up from 38% last year. Basing an economy on debt and then subsidizing the very people that profit from that debt is outrageous. One of the main reasons that we are in the predicament that we find ourselves in is that politicians in Washington rely on advice from those that have an inherent interest in the status quo. These politicians are the Democrats and Republicans that take campaign financing from corporations, the Military Industrial Complex, and the lobbyists’. This situation will not change until the whole house of cards falls down around us. There are those that understand the dynamics of a sound financial system, but they are excluded from presenting their views by the corporate duopoly of the Democrats and Republicans. A great example of the power of these two political machines is that The Presidential Debate Commission that sponsors the Presidential Debates is made up of the former chairman of the DNC and RNC. That does not bode well for a representative democracy that should be able to present other visions and ideas to keep this nation on track. Over the years the United States Congress has grown into a kind of “private club” that has its own institutions and customs that the average American knows nothing about. It has turned into a “Good ‘Ole Boy” system that plays on the “You wash my back and I’ll wash yours” mentality.

The people that have lost their homes while the government has bailed out the financial institutions that caused this mess stand in abject disbelief as 700 Billion dollars are earmarked for the very same institutions that foreclosed on their homes. This is one of those things that can truly be described as adding insult to injury. How much longer is the government going to borrow from tomorrow so it can pay its bills today? When the piper needs to be paid as in the case of The Peoples Republic of China, what will happen? Will we start a war with China so as not to pay them back because for all intents and purposes we are bankrupt? This is a genuine concern according to Cook, who told me about an international defense meeting in Budapest, where western military experts agreed that China was the next probable enemy because of the debt we owe them and can never pay back.

Watching the debate between Obama and McCain brought to mind Pete and Repeat. Both their economic plans for this nation do nothing to solve the economic reality that the people of this country have lost much of their purchasing power. Unless we have a customer base for the things we produce, the corporations will go out of business. This is just common sense. Merchants cannot depend on the 1% that holds 54% of the countries wealth to drive their sales. These people probably own anything that they are trying to sell anyway.

I put the blame for the coming recession/depression on the two corporate political parties. In a world as complex and diverse as this world has become, two entities with an almost parallel view of how things should be does not bring about a healthy discourse on where we eventually want to go. The time for a two party system is over. Two parties that are nearly identical in their world view do not give us the range of ideas to grow this nation into what it could be. Not only does the two-party system discourage alternate views, but it also encourages corruption.

This is what I believe has happened to the United States. The Military Industrial Complex has become an easy way to keep a labor force working, regardless of whether we need it or not. It has become a jobs program to keep our economy going. This can’t continue and we are watching the entire economic model of John Maynard Keynes with his top-down model of an economy.

I really believe that this country needs new leadership and new political parties to get away from those Democrats and Republicans that have learned to manipulate the system for their own gain. There should have been more oversight on the financial markets and this is the fault of BOTH parties. The shame of it all is that third party candidates will never be heard or become a force for change in America in the near future. We will still have these tired old Democrats and Republicans that feed out of the same corporate trough. They have rigged the political game so that only they get media coverage and air time for their debates. They exist only to provide an illusion that we have a democracy and a real choice. The facts are that there isn’t a dimes worth of difference between either corporate parties. This is our albatross, the chains we wear. The only thing that will bring about real change is the will of the people to demand that change. The fact’s are that it is the only thing that has ever brought change.

I don’t care who you vote for but I will say this, voting for a Republican or a Democrat will only contribute to the status quo. Real change has to come from outside these two corrupt and self-serving political parties. The charade needs to end.

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