One Can't Help But Gloat 2"I'm all for globalism. I mean, if you're talking about the sort of globalisation that says, Stuff whatever you people voted for, you'll let us privatise your water1 and hike the prices five hundred per cent or else, then no. Exclude me in.
What I'm for is the globalism of the United Nations, imperfect though it may be, the globalism of arms treaties ... and the globalism of anti-pollution measures. And d'you know why? Because the winds know no boundaries."
Iain Banks - Dead Air pub. Abacus 2002
In OCHBG 1
, I asked if my feelings of 'serve you right, you bastards' was a matter of revenge. If we take the theory of 2008 Ig Nobel Awards2
winner Dan Ariely seriously, in part it is. And why not? Basically he says that revenge is sweet because it gives us pleasure.
I'd go further and say that we are taught this from an early age. We're taught to know our places and that pride comes before a fall. In pre-school playgrounds children play King Of The Castle - "Get down you naughty rascal."
So the question arises as to whether bailing out banks is a matter of sticking bandaids on Humpty Dumpty or just leaving banks as, ahem, shells of their former selves.Those in charge of the "cure" are the ones that caused the problems..... Make the rich pay.
That is the overwhelming message
coming out of American, and one that could sweep Obama into the presidency
because he isn't - yet - tainted by the misdeeds
of his 'elders' in the Senate, the House of Representatives or the two political parties.The Wall Street financiers and firms whose problems have prompted the $700 billion federal bailout are no strangers to Capitol Hill or to politics. Since 2001, eight of the most troubled firms,
(which) include investment bankers Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, insurer American International Group and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have donated $64.2 million to congressional candidates, presidential candidates and the Republican and Democratic parties, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics
All but Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been bailed out by the government.
At long last, seemingly everyone is aware of how corrupt the American government is. The current administration is but a continuation of those which, since the end of the Cold War, have lectured other countries on the necessity of sound finance. Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina and several African states endured severe cuts in spending and deep recessions as the price of aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which enforced the American orthodoxy
Yet, the fiscal prudence enforced on other countries has not been practised 'back home'. The USA has borrowed to fund the military complex with its wasteful and unsuccessful commitments and to fund tax cuts in favour of the rich.
This is a situation which has been building for a long time, since, in the UK, to the arrival of Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago. Her mantra, and that of her good friend Ronald Reagan, of allowing the 'market' to determine societal direction and, supposedly, meet needs, is being proven to be a powder puff. The market is but a hall of mirrors.
As Les Abbey in Bangkok writes
: Market forces are spoken of in almost mythical terms and the idea of their supremacy followed with a religious fervour. There is no science to it. The people in the City who swear by it have either degrees in such as ancient Scandinavian languages or very rich fathers who worked in the city before them.
Why should we think that the market force of competition should give us better railways, cleaner hospitals or more efficient school exam markings? There were no guarantees except short-term cost savings.
The disappearance through privatisation of public services and utilities, which has been glossed over with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), has surely been a gross abrogation of the democratic process by the representatives of 'the people'. .
If shareholders have precedence over electors, then it is the shareholders who must be the ones who take responsibility for the mess they've allowed to be created. It's no good them pinning the blame on the directors and chief executives alone because it's the shareholders who've allowed these greedy cheats, corruptors and thieves to get away with their unethical acts for too long.
The shareholders voted them in, have had good times and now they must take the bad, which includes corrupt politicians being voted out.
Given that Indonesia has yet to fully recover from its ten year long krismon
, it is probably better placed to ride the continued collapse of Western capitalism. There will be inevitable changes in outlooks, philosophies and procedures. Expect my musings and prognostications in due course.
..................................................1 Can anyone tell me why one of the companies responsible for the patchwork of appalling water services in Jakarta is PT Thames Water?
2 This isn't relevant but an Ig Nobel Award was given to one team that proved that Coca Cola is a spermicide, and to another team which proved that Coca Cola isn't.