One Can't Help But Gloat 1
Some thirty years ago Reagan and Thatcher launched the current1
'me first' culture on the world, one that in the UK oversaw the collapse of the coal mining industry, the rash spending of the North Sea Oil revenues and the sell off of state assets, such as council housing, in order to settle debts
The movement of paper was the new creed for investment banks to sell dreams. The vision was about quick profits, the notion that you can have it all now, and damn the wider community, the poor suckers who weren't part of this game. Gamblers Anonymous
experienced an upsurge.
'Free trade' and 'globalisation' became buzz words bandied around and a new lexicon blossomed. 'Human resources' replaced people or 'personnel', the much kinder, personal word for employees or staff. But then the notion of 'rights' of workers, rights which had been long and often acrimoniously fought for over generations, were eroded as the interests of 'shareholders' became paramount.
And who are these self-appointed owners of slices of financial pie?
The majority of them have bought into the dream that placing one's hard earned income in an investment trust or pension fund is much wiser than paying taxes which will provide the government, your government, with a safety net for hard times. And who sold this dream?
Mega-corporations who bought politicians
These are oil companies
eager to extol the virtues of the 'freedom of the road' whilst destroying the freedom of countries.
These are tobacco companies
who move into so-called 'third world' countries fully aware that they are dealing in death.
These are pharmaceutical companies
who fix prices2
way beyond the means of the neediest patients in the name of 'research and development' costs, yet who hire lobbyists and bribe doctors because they are aware of the ineffectiveness, even toxicity, of their drugs.
These are agri-businesses
in league with food manufacturers and supermarket chains which control what we consume, at the cost of land fertility, food sovereignty
, our rain forests and their indigenous communities
Few mega-projects are funded from resources owned by the companies concerned. Borrowings underpin the economies of the majority of countries and the collateral has been provided through the export of raw materials or through growing 'cash crops' at the expense of food self-sufficiency. This cash, and that of 'ordinary' people elsewhere being sold mortgages and spending up to the hilt of their credit cards, has been the grease that has turned wheels.
The 'wealth' created has finally proved to be an illusion and now the world at large is expected to wallow in further debt. Except, there may be good news emanating from the Good Ol' U.S.of A as the proposed $700 billion bail-out of their banking industry moguls has been rejected by the elected representatives
, even though President Bush and the Senate
, who are not directly elected by the public, have by-passed them
In the long run, this can only be a good thing. I'll tell you why I'm gloating in a later post.Could it be revenge?
........................................................................................1 Politicians generally say that this is OK with God too. Prosperity Theology has become the norm, although this is by no means a new phenomenon.
Church and State go hand in hand with Greed and Hate
When the Dutch envoy to the court of Charles X of Sweden (1622-60, reigned 1654-60) ventured to remark about the freedom of religion, the king is said to have pulled a golden rixdollar from his pocket and brandished it in the diplomat's face, remarking, "Voilà votre religion."
fr. Notes to Batavia's Graveyard by Mike Dash pub. Three Rivers Press 2002
.........................................................................................2 This week, Dan Ariely of Duke University, USA, was awarded one of this year's Ig Nobel Awards for demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine.
I don't see this as a justification for the practices portrayed in John le Carré's novel The Constant Gardener