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The US has become a banana republic

DCblogger's picture

That process began under Reagan, accelerated under the Starr Chamber, and came to fruition when the Supreme Court did not scruple to steal an election in front of the whole world and we weakly went along with it. We have been living in a banana republic since.

And it has only gotten worse under Obama. Just look at the way activists and whistle-blowers are persecuted while fraudsters, forgers, and money launderers, and torturers go free. Not quite Argentina under the dirty war, but we are close, we are getting close.

We have seen a series of budget disasters in the states. There was the time in California under Pete Wilson where the legislature did not pass a budget and for weeks state workers were paid in script and people dependent upon state benefits did without. And Californians pay a much higher interest on their bonds as a result. I seem to recall other states had similar disasters, but I cannot recall which ones. The point I am trying to make is that anyone who thinks that common sense will prevail is whistling past wind. That is one of many reasons we need to keep talking about the platinum coin. There is no reason for the feds to default, except for willful arrogance.

Recently I have been watching videos of the old TV miniseries, Fall of the Eagles, which traces the events leading up to World War I. One thing I am struck by is the way the Very Serious People backed them into the disaster they were all trying to avoid. Their oh, so, sophisticated real-politic diplomatic arrangements dragged them over the cliff.

Repeated political failures and clashes over money are classic indicators of a pre-revolutionary society.

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par4's picture
Submitted by par4 on

I say the chance of a revolution in the U.S. is between zero and none. I doubt this populace could muster enough will for food riots if they were starving.

diptherio's picture
Submitted by diptherio on

"...anyone who thinks that common sense will prevail is whistling past wind."

Um...whistling past the graveyard, maybe? (Or pissing in the wind...) Or maybe you've just got different idioms out there in DC.

I would like to think that the increasing blatancy with which the kleptocrats are doing their looting signals the beginning of the end for our uber-unsustainable system. However, I think we may end up "circling the drain" for a lot longer than one might expect.

How much immiseration will the American people put up with before they actually demand change from the system and make it happen, when the PTB inevitably fail to? We're going to find out, methinks...

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

this paragraph captures what I was trying to say:

Fake Problems
Just the occasional reminder that we spend most our time creating and occasionally solving fake problems instead of dealing with real ones. People need jobs. People need decent health care. There's been an increase in catastrophic weather events. We're a country of immense wealth. These things shouldn't be hard.

that is what struck me a parallel with the lead up to the first world war. the royal houses and their courts were living in a world of their own with no clue as to what their people were feeling.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Pete Wilson served as the California governor from early January 1991 until early January 1999. See this historical chart and the notes below it.

Now for the bad news. According to this chart from this article, last summer California was offering a 42 basis point higher return on its ten year debt (in English, less than half a percent higher return) than the average on offer from other states. Paul Krugman points to this Calculated Risk post to for some recent good news.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I know that the wilson admin was a long time ago, but I consider it and indicator or complete dysfunctionality. but it seems it did not have the consequences I would have thought it would.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Pete Wilson served as the California governor from early January 1991 until early January 1999. See this historical chart and the notes below it.

Now for the bad news. According to this chart from this article, last summer California was offering a 42 basis point higher return on its ten year debt (in English, less than half a percent higher return) than the average on offer from other states. Paul Krugman points to this Calculated Risk post to for some recent good news.

Submitted by jawbone on

7. The government does not respond to the needs of its society.
8. The leaders of the government and the ruling class begin to doubt themselves. Some join with the opposition groups.
9. The government is unable to get enough support from any group to save itself.
10. The government cannot organize its finances correctly and is either going bankrupt or trying to tax heavily and unjustly.

Hhhmmmm....

And, of course, the leaders focus on fake, made up problems in order to enhance their own well-being. Or, at least, what they perceive as enhancing their well-being.

Submitted by jawbone on

but it might be full blown facism, reconizable as such, before there is any actual rebellion by the lower economic quintiles.

Our great and glorious leaders and Powers That Be want to concentrate on Austerity and cutbacks to governmental actions, whether it be to destroy the social safety net or to avoid taking actions which will make the general population better off.

All they want is what they can get for themselves and what will serve to bamboozle the voters temporaily as they do so.

But our great and glorious leaders and Powers That Be want to concentrate on Austerity and cutbacks to governmental actions, whether it be for the social safety net or for taking actions which will make the general population better off.

All they want is what they can get for themselves and what will serve to bamboozle the voters temporaily as they do so.

We are so fucked.

So, let me point to President Nobel Peace Prize, who will be damned by future generations as having done nothing while the world burned. And people drowned. And froze unexpectedly from lack of energy which can be used safely. And starved. And died of thirst.

Oh, yes. He will be a “transformative” president, perhaps the last who COULD have done something and did nothing. He will be “on watch” while the world actually transforms into an inhospitable planet for human and other life.

For that his name and lack of actions will live in infamy.

Has he simply no idea of what the effect of his bad words will be, his bad lack of good actions??? Is he so besotted with desire for approval from the PTB and their money that he cannot see what he is doing by doing nothing or next to nothing?
as havine done nothing while the world burned. And drowned. And froze unexpectedly from lack of energy which can be used safely. And starved. And dead of thirst.

Oh, yes. He will be a “transformative” president, perhaps the last who COULD have done something and did nothing. He will be “on watch” while the world actually transforms into an inhospitable planet for human and other life.

For that his name and lack of actions will live in infamy.

Has he simply no idea of what the effect of his bad words will be, his bad lack of good actions??? Is he so besotted with desire for approval from the PTB and for their money that he cannot see what he is doing by doing nothing or next to nothing?

But, indeed he will be "known," just for things he doesn't seem to recognize.