How the US Became a Banana Republic
Crony capitalism in its hubris got us here. Our economy, parodying the crises formerly seen in developing countries, remains in freefall largely because it has been all but taken over by the finance sector which continues to run things. Simon Johnson, former chief economist at the IMF, provides a good analysis of the crisis in The Quiet Coup. His solutions echo the austerity programs inflicted on developing countries and, from the point of view of saving capitalism, may be sound. What he fails to consider is the inevitable double whammy on already failing economies of impending climate change, and the results of citizen reaction - especially when manipulated by those in the ruling class who refuse to take the dictated bitter medicine, ie, a possible rise of dictatorial fascism much of which is already legally in place. In order to avoid a calamity of untold proportions resulting in a brutal police-sate distopia, Obama must break with the ruling economic elite, sever the influence of finance over policy, nationalize and re-regulate banking and build the foundations for an economy that can withstand and adapt to the very different scenario of the future. Even if he is willing to do that, he may not be powerful enough to overcome the entrenched power of these corrupt interests. Meanwhile the right is busy building its angry base of hate groups. The corporate media can be counted on to spread fear and reaction.
We must use the short time allotted us to push Obama in a realistic direction and build support for real progress. We must also do all we can to build our own mutually supportive communities around progressive principles. We too must prepare for the worst.