Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Glass Broke Itself. The Jobs Moved To Another Country. The Democrats Blew It.

I took Spanish language classes beginning in the 4th grade. I loved being able to speak another language with my classmates, however limited we were in vocabulary and grammar. The sentence structure is different. That's why they teach you not to try to translate from English to Spanish. Just "think" in Spanish, and it will be easier. One of the things I loved about the language was the lack of blame. Instead of saying "Mary broke the glass," we were taught to say "the glass broke itself." I thought that was such a terrific idea. The shoe lost itself, the pants covered themselves in grass stains.

I've seen the same structure become a part of our current information-delivery process from the Democrats in control of our country. The Democrats who promised they would help us, but who have only helped themselves to bigger bribes, more illegal and unconstitutional wars of aggression, more cover-ups and theft. Those Democrats, the ones we got elected and who have been spitting in our faces ever since.

For example, let's talk about unemployment. "Real" unemployment is reported at around 11% by the Labor Department but, when the people who have been thrown off the unemployment rolls are included, and the people who lost their jobs but get part-time or temporary work here and there, but not enough to support themselves are included, the "real" unemployment rate is generally considered to be around 17%. This does not actually cover the whole group of unemployed, however, because it leaves out all the self-employed, independent contractors, whose work has all but disappeared in the last few years.

As many companies became more sophisticated in how to crush their workers, they fired employees and hired contract workers that they paid per hour, but no benefits, no paid holidays or vacations, no pension, no guaranteed work beyond day-to-day. When those independent contractors, many of whom are professionals, are not given anymore work, they are not included in the figures of the unemployed, because among other things, they don't qualify for unemployment insurance. So it is entirely possible that our actual unemployment rate is over 20%.

We are told that many of the jobs are not coming back. The jobs left the country, just like the glass broke itself. We are told that a manufacturing job making cars, for example, got up and got a passport and moved somewhere else. As if "Jobs" as a category have self-will, decision-making abilities.

No. The jobs did not leave the country. The U.S. corporations took the jobs out of the country and gave them to slave labor in third world countries. The U.S. politicians encouraged and assisted the corporations in taking the jobs out of the country. Who else remembers Bill Clinton explaining that Nafta was good because even though all these jobs would leave the country, we would all be so rich we wouldn't have to work for a living -- we'd just spend our days monitoring our stock portfolios and trying to decide how to spend all that money. Didn't quite work out like that, did it.

Tech was a bust, of course, a big fraud on the public. And when the market burst at the turn of the century, Greenspan decided to create another bubble, this one in real estate, by lowering interest rates that are paid by banks to the U.S. government to borrow money. And Clinton and Rubin eliminated many of the financial regulations which were in place to prevent the financial institutions from stealing all our money. The result was that real estate ballooned, the cost of housing tripled, loans were made to people who did not qualify, people could no longer really "afford" to buy a home except with funny loans that temporarily led them to believe they could afford to buy, and now we have foreclosures, empty neighborhoods, an entire industry (real estate) in shambles, and many peoples' lives are ruined.

I haven't even mentioned the fact that entire states are on the edge of bankruptcy. What will be the effect when California declares bankruptcy? Its current expenditures are grossly in excess of its income, partly because its citizens are out of work, its businesses are closing down, so nobody's paying taxes to the state. Arnold, the typical Republican, wants to sell off all the assets of the state: sell the lakes, sell the forrests, sell the water, sell the land, sell everything to his wealthy friends, and leave the state permanently broke, much like a third world country whose assets were stripped away and the people left with nothing.

Beyond that, what happens when states are bankrupt? Services are cut. Schools will be closed. Teachers are laid off, so class size will double or triple. Police and fire will be let go, libraries closed. Roads will not be maintained. The courts are already shutting down one day/month to save money, but what happens when it's one week/month? No more justice system, or at least not one that works. Parks will be auctioned off to Arnold's rich friends. It would be ironic if the only profitable industry in the entire state turned out to be the Medical Marijuana stores. With this level of misery among the citizenry, who could blame people for just lighting up and zoning out.

I wake up every morning thinking I'm on a lower deck on the Titanic, and I wonder what all that screaming from the other passengers is about. Then I remember: it's not a boat going down, it's my country.

What are the Democrats doing to help the people of this country in the worst depression since 1929? Nothing. They did not create the problem. But they told us for years that if we would get them into office, they would fix the problems. Instead, they have simply started grabbing up the bribes for themselves. They're just like Republicans: liars, warmongers, corrupt to the bone.

And this isn't a question of the public not giving the Democrats enough time. Time to do what? Every single proposal they have come up with since they took office is designed to further crush the American people. Giving hundreds of billions to Wall Street, no strings attached? They claim they needed to save the banks, but even assuming that was true (which I don't believe) why wouldn't they attach strict conditions to any assistance? Like slash salaries, no bonuses, pass usury laws, things like that. No, this wasn't to save the banks -- it was just another giveaway of public money to the companies on Wall Street that funded the Democrats in the 2008 elections. The same Wall Street businesses that have created this international financial disaster were given money by the Democrats. They should have been thrown in prison and had their assets seized.

Sarah Palin? She's a red herring. Khalid Sheik Mohammad? Red herring. Tea-baggers? Red herring. Glenn Beck? Red herring. Republicans, Boener, the drug addict on the radio? All red herrings. The Democrats are in complete control of the government. They have the majority in both houses of Congress and the president is a Democrat. The Democrats in Congress can pass any law they want, and Obama will sign it. They are simply choosing not to help the people. That's why we hear so much about the red herrings. It's a diversionary tactic.

I keep getting e-mails from Democratic groups, Obama groups asking me to give money to help keep the Democrats in office. They've got to be kidding. Why would I? What have they done for me? Not a thing. But the e-mails are hysterical talking about how awful these other people are, what a danger to society. I don't know about that. I'm beginning to think that somebody who is openly nuts like that crazy Bachman lady is less a danger than somebody who is slick and deceitful. At least with the first category, you can see them coming and try to duck. With the Democrats, we're all so stupid we not only invited them into our homes, we actually gave them our money. And then they partied with Bernie and all the other con artists, and laughed at us behind our backs.

The Democrats are pursuing the corporate foreign-war agenda of Bush and Cheney. Not only are we staying permanently in Iraq (or at least for 30 years, until all the oil has been stolen) but we're escalating the war in Afghanistan, we're secretly conducting a war in Pakistan, are planning a war against Iran, have just staged a coup against a democratically-elected president in Honduras and are funding the fascist who took over, a man we trained at the School of Americas, we are in the process of taking over 7 military bases in Columbia from which the U.S. plans to attack and overthrow the governments of Venezuela (Hugo Chavez), Bolivia (Evo Morales), Nicaragua, maybe Brazil. Why would the U.S. want to attack those countries? Because U.S. corporations have been running those countries and stealing their resources for years now, but populist movements have led their governments to take back control of their own resources.

Billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars of our money, often borrowed money, being spent to have our military occupy, destabilize, murder, bomb, destroy countries all over the world. You know what they say: a billion here, a billion there, eventually it really begins to add up. All that money being spent on the military should be spent here in the U.S. to create jobs for Americans. Instead, we get nothing but the hatred of people all around the world because we are killing their people and stealing their resources.

Even this stupid healthcare. What a joke it's been. The Democrats keep telling us that they can't give us anything because the Republicans won't let them. But the Republicans have no power. The Democrats could have used 51 votes to set up a national healthcare program, and give every American the opportunity to buy into a non-profit healthcare system. But before the first word was spoken in D.C. about healthcare, Obama held secret meetings with the health insurance industry, the hospital owners, the drug sellers, and the doctors' lobbies, and cut a deal with them. What's that deal? Well, why do you think the meetings were secret? To prevent the public from knowing what really went on. My best guess it that the Medical Industries have all promised to pay big bucks to the Democrats in exchange for the Democrats failing to provide the people with a national healthcare system. At least that's a reasonable inference. Secret meetings; public announcement there would be no single-payer; lots of talk about a "public option," which turns out to be less than nothing; no restrictions on insurance premiums or other charges. Thanks for nothing.

The Democrats broke themselves. They deserve to lose the elections in 2010 and thereafter. They are not doing anything to help us, and the sooner that progressives realize that, the sooner we will get down to the hard business of creating a new political group that will really represent the working people in this country.


  1. If politics are a matter of emotion, as Hitler said, the brainwashing of the public still voting seems pretty secure.
    I keep on hoping that those who do not vote,(50% or thereabouts), can be united by some old fashioned ideas about the commonwealth, justice, economic security, organising labor, all the progressive ideals which once had some clout in this benighted nation.
    Lord knows, there are plenty of people who can see very clearly that the system does not encourage real participation in the political circus which breezes through each electoral cycle.
    I am old enough to remember the terror which racial equality inspired back in the days of MLK and the push for civil rights. The difficulty in showing people that we are all less if any of us is mistreated is a puzzle which still has me stymied.
    There are real issues which are urgent to the point of life or death, the environment, corporate control of biological patents, the list is endless.
    The main stream will not address these issues as they are flunkies for the very powers which perpetuate the problems.
    At some level, I must believe, there is an awareness of the monstrous injustice of the present social organisation.
    How to spark a response and bring about involvement is not in my vision.
    I do hope that an idea, a perceptual shift, will change things in the world.
    Thanks for this well written article.
    Don Smith

  2. Thanks, Don. Good points. I don't understand the lack of outrage among Democrats, liberals, progressives, whatever they may be called, labor, trade unionists, the sick, the poor, all excluded, all beaten down. Probably what will happen is that there will be an incident, or one person will do something, and that will get things going. Hopefully.