TERRORISM IS AS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE THREAT WE FACE FROM AN ENEMY WITHIN—A PREDATORY FINANCIAL SECTOR THAT HAS DISTORTED OUR ECONOMY AND IS PRETTY MUCH OUT OF CONTROL
I find it ironic that we worked ourselves up into a positive frenzy after 9/11—to the point of thirsting for blood, whereas our reaction to the greatest blow yet inflicted upon the U.S. has primarily been fatalistic acceptance combined with resentment of the new president who was expected to clean up the mess. To be fair to him, he did, albeit imperfectly(I have strong views on this subject), and at the price of vastly increasing the National Debt—as if he had any other choice. For thanks, he has been blamed for increasing the nation’s indebtedness by the very same party which helped to create the problem in the first place. Such behavior raises the arts of hypocrisy and ingratitude to new heights.
The greatest blow, of course, was THE GREAT RECESSION which inflicted staggering damage on this country on a scale which most of us still do not yet seem to have grasped. It destroyed millions of jobs, gutted savings, created untold misery, and undoubtedly, by way of stress induced illness, caused the death of far more people than were killed on 9/11. It also created a level of debt which will haunt our children for generations, and and contributed to yet more neglect of our already crumbling infrastructure. In terms of significance, it might well be thought of as the economic equivalent THE BLACK DEATH which ravaged Europe in the Middle Ages. It was, and remains, that serious. Its effects continue; and will be felt for generations.
A number of contributing factors led to the Great Recession, but the primary villains are the major banks and related financial institutions which so dominate our economy. Were they prosecuted en masse or attacked with Hellfire missiles fired from drones? Not a bit of it. Instead they were re-financed with taxpayer money--our money—and are now even bigger and more powerful than ever. Beyond that, the Federal Reserve is making unprecedented sums available to the major banks at minimal interest rates – thus ensuring that savers receive minimal interest on their accounts as well. In effect, subsidizing the banks equates to a tax on the average American who has the good sense to put some money aside. And as for the retired, well, they just have to take their lumps--because the typical interest they receive currently is less than inflation. In effect, the real value of their savings is steadily eroding.
The Financialization of our economy (Big Banks) is closely linked to the Corporatization of the economy (Big Business)which, in turn, is connected to the corruption of Congress (Big Bribery), and our political institutions in general, through unprecedented sums of frequently anonymous money.
The net result of all this, apart from democracy becoming little more than a façade, is a lopsided economy where a few – the 1% if you will – get richer and richer (and further corrupt the process) and the vast majority of American see their earnings drop every year.
The man exaggerates, I hear you cry! Would that I was. Unfortunately, what I am saying is absolutely true – and can easily be checked if you are so inclined. Hedrick Smith’s book WHO STOLE THE AMERICAN DREAM? is a good place to start.
My business is writing thrillers, as you probably know. To that end, years ago I outlined a financial thriller in which a foreign agent set out to undermine the U.S. Economy—as being the best and only way to destroy a country of this size and innate resilience. My working title was GAMES OF BLOOD & GOLD. I may write it yet, though I fear events are overtaking me.
As I examine the figures right now, I see that a foreign agent has not been required. We are doing a pretty good job at destroying the economic viability of this Great Nation – as far as most Americans are concerned -just by ourselves.