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Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's a Just a Rant Folks, Move Along, Nothing To See Here...

Faith Collapsing mp3, Ministry, The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste

Ashes In The Fall mp3, Rage Against The Machine, The Battle For Los Angeles

fuck it, buy the damn music folks!

There's a time and place for being really pissed off about politics and economies and newscasters and pundits and television. And today I'm deciding that time is now and that place is here. So scoot off to another happy blog if you want some cheery trip down memory lane about a great pop song from the 90s cause it ain't gonna be here folks.

See, the thing that gets me about this mess is that it's nothing new. It's nothing that no one with their eye on the financial markets didn't see coming. It's nothing that your average real estate broker didn't know about two or five years ago. It's nothing that anyone in the business of predicting retail sales didn't know, in the business of advising college students on future careers didn't know, many of us knew that we were living in a bubble. And without blame, we forgot. Like the wife with the cheating husband who brought home a great bouquet of flowers every Friday night and remembered all the kids' birthdays and was there for every holiday, we "forgot" about the indiscretions. We see what we want to when times are good folks, admit it. We see what we want to when we live lives that are privileged enough to allow us to do so.

Now, those of us who don't have that privilege, (I can't truthfully count myself in that class any longer, I have been fortunate and have benefited from others' wealth) can't choose to see life the way we want. And it becomes impossible to turn the other way when that husband cheats or it becomes impossible a lot sooner for us than for those who live in privilege. So, who's noticing that $700 Billion right now? Students whose loans aren't going through, people who soon won't get food stamps, folks who need to move to take a job in another locale and can't get a mortgage or can't get a buyer who can get one, or find their house devalued so much that they take a serious hit. That cheating husband becomes a real bastard mighty quick.

And that cheating husband is us. It's all of us who have lived with clean drinking water and free elementary and secondary public education, and a relatively safe air traffic control system, and an expectation that the food we eat won't kill us... while at the same time AND AT THE EXPENSE OF other countries (whose labor we import to maintain our privilege) who live without these standards of living. Did I lose you there? Do you feel blamed? I'm sorry, but I mean it. It's my rant, remember? We live with these standards of living because we make them live without them. Yeah, I'm making it be that simple. Politically, economically, morally, it's a zero sum game on the big capitalistic scorecard because individual competition mandates that I win at your expense. Collaboration reduces profit.

Yes, our politicians have done it to us, for us. No, it's not just an American (no -- strike that, make that US because ya know what? There's a whole continent down there that's called Central and South AMERICA and we're just the United States up here), problem/issue. It's all of the industrialized world who live at the expense of the "emerging" countries. Well they've emerged to some extent now.

This "crisis" is in most ways a realignment of financial and economic and credit markets that simply reflects the fact that we can no longer enjoy our position as a buyer of credit and a buyer of imported labor and goods at a cheap rate. We are jockeying for position and have little to no capital spend. The masses are beginning to realize that we are now in the passenger seat, we're the sellers and what product will we offer?

McCain, and his flying monkey, Caribou Barbie, hopes to sell the public on our patriotic duty of "rooting out terrorism and killing the enemy" which is an age-0ld trope, using nationalism to unify and strengthen morale and thereby increase consumer confidence as well as confidence abroad in our markets. Too bad it's a 20th century strategy in a 21th century world. And every poll (from 2005 to today) shows that the majority of people in the US want out of the war business.

Obama and Biden hopes to sell the public on our technological ability to transform our world ecologically and industrially in order to become independent of oil, and to preserve our environment. Perhaps with our country's resources they will enable us to sell that technology to the world. I support the Democratic party in this, it's the lesser of two evils right now. And I've put my money and my time where my mouth is on this. I encourage you to do the same.

At the moment, President Bush is selling our nuclear capabilities to India. That sentence alone frightens me.

As you might have guessed, I'm no Democrat, I'm no supporter of the capitalist system, and what I see happening right now is a whole lot of economists running about trying to figure out how to run most wisely, head long, into a long dark tunnel and that's all they know -- it's a long dark tunnel. Look to Social Scientists for help here, see what historians, Political Scientists, Sociologists and other people who read and study how Japan and Sweden and Russian dealt with and are dealing with financial crises. Consider why England has nationalized 8 major banks yesterday and why Russia's RTS index is down 67% year-to-date. China is also cutting interest rates on one year loans and yet the average Joe thinks Russia and China will bail us out? I'm mystified. No one will put money in our market when there's no hope of getting something back, no matter how many times McCain bellows "The American workers are the best in the world!"

The theme of this rant: people get educated. Ask some fucking questions. Don't pull your money out of the market if you are lucky enough to have any. Sit tight, and ask why these supposed answers are answers in the first place?

Oh, and have a good day, xoxo
regular Tart posting resumes tomorrow, rant over. That Ministry track has been going through my head for about two weeks, I hope this exorcism helps, it's pure, industrial genius, let it seep into your psyche and then let Rage take over ;)


meatpocket said...

wow lovey... your brilliance is intimidating and awe-inspiring....

*swoon* :)

Highlander said...

Power to the people tart!

a Tart said...

Glad you popped in for a read, highlander xoxo!

JC said...

And who said you were just a pretty face???

Great stuff

a Tart said...

ty JC, do tell me who that was who told you, I'd be interested ;)

FiL said...

Whew! I'm all agog. Neither Moscow nor Washington, but International Socialism. But make it Tarty , please...

I think it all boils down to greed: the greed of the banks and other FIs keen to push credit and make a profit, and the greed of a large swath of the US/European population who took on the corresponding debt to satisfy their sense of entitlement to material goods and luxury experiences.

Er, sorry if that's bogueing on your rant...

a Tart said...

No, not at all Fil, and yes greed... the driving force of individual competition. It only looks at immediate, personal gain and not at what's immensely good for the whole of the world.

However, in the international market and in this restructuring of positions, it's not just interpersonal relationships and greed on that level but market forces of corporate gain which can't be reduced to a psychological concept such as greed. It's not just the leaders of Goldman Sachs finding juicy jobs for one another in our government, Capitalism transcends that I think. We can't see the international markets as a "good ole boys club" really, can we?

And my revolution will most certainly be Tarty ;) To each according to her need and you all know what is needed!