The Coastal Post - August 1999

Summer Of Scam

By Frank Scott

Our warming planetary atmosphere is matched by over-heated rhetoric from our consciousness controllers. Hot weather drains energy, and brains as well. Mind managers distract us from summer discomfort with tales of success and prosperity, occasionally breaking for media orgies in celebration of celebrity death.

According to these sources, we have recently enjoyed, humanitarian victory over a powerless eastern European nation. Further, trillions of dollars of funny-money have been discovered by economic witch doctors. And we approach the millennium with two richly financed heirs fighting over the narrow political center in their race to the White House, with indications that the issue is decided, though we won't vote until next year.

Immorality and stupidity are a lethal combination. Nothing proves this more than the slaughter of innocents in Europe, which has created a human and environmental crisis still not fully understood. And the forecasts of continued government surplus are worth as much as any market prediction; It goes up, and then it goes down. The notion of eternal economic bonanza involves zealous belief far more than sound bookkeeping.

Even with a budget surplus, the national debt still tops 5 trillion dollars and soaks taxpayers for more than 229 billion a year in interest payments, most of that going to an investor class which somehow got money we printed and loaned it back to us.

Still, more people are employed and less are on welfare. But there isn't much of welfare left, and the working population is putting in more hours in order to achieve less comfort . Many who have left the welfare rolls for employment are actually doing no better, having lost health benefits in the move. And more than 14 million Americans are still living below the poverty line.

Of the vast working middle, most are in debt, and that debt keeps growing. In fact, it is responsible for the excessive life styles enjoyed by the affluent minority. Those investors reap a fortune in stock market profits created by the debtor class as it carries the burden of consumption and buys everything it cannot afford.

A system that demands analysis and for which none is supplied, is creating even more global poverty. The world has added 200 million people to its roster of poor, with the total number of impoverished humans now 1.5 billion. Meanwhile, market hucksters forecast bountiful futures for all if we simply embrace the internet, drive SUVs and worship old, failed economics given a new, trendy name.

The current economic picture began to develop in the late 19th century, when capitalism made its first acknowledged appearance on the global stage. It has not changed in essence, but simply moved from a form of mechanical imperialism to one of electronic globalization. The early ravaging of industrial workers and colonial subjects has not ended; it has merely entered a new phase. Now those people are free to operate as employee pawns on a global chessboard. The company store has been replaced by the corporate bank; the plantation owner by the foreign investor. The physical chains of slavery and serfdom have been converted to financial bondage that still means peasantry, poverty and debt for most.

The U.S. debtor class now owes as much privately, through consumer borrowing, as it does publicly : more than 5 trillion dollars on each side of the ledger. But government can print new money when it runs low; individuals cannot. And the surplus discovered by our book-jugglers is a direct result of cutbacks in government spending which have placed new burdens on those already over-worked debtors.

Services once public have been turned back to private sources, with attendant propaganda teaching that individualism is good and government is bad. Government has been an anti-democratic enemy of the people, because it has done the bidding of the minority which runs it, at the expense of the majority which pays for it. But government haters want to make it even less, not more democratic.

And now that government wallets are allegedly filled with more dollars, will they be invested to upgrade public services for that majority? And in communities where poverty, unemployment and lack of education insure destitution?

After seven years in office, the CEO of America discovered that poor people were humans, and not just welfare chiselers. On a photo-op tour of ghettos, he called for private investment to create jobs and the good life. But the communities deformed by the casino economy need an infrastructure of social stability before they can truly gain from private investment.

Schools, housing and health care need to be created, so people can become something more than low wage workers who simply fill the tills of capital, while being emptied of personal values beyond buying more and living less.

Over heated market rhetoric matches a dangerously over heating planet, with environmental problems increasing. Summer weather has become hotter over the decades, and the intensifying heat waves seem to have affected not only the earthly balance of nature, but the unearthly balance of political power. Not to worry. Corporate science tells us that hot weather is natural, as is the noxious gas pouring out of cars, factories and politicians during this season of scams.

The Republicans have introduced terms like kinder, gentler and compassionate into their lexicon, joining the Democrats in honoring the word at the expense of the deed. Both wings of the corporate party have always been especially kind, gentle and compassionate to their minority financiers of the investor class. But it is the majority debtor class who desperately need representation, before they and the earth itself become too hot for any result but combustion.

Coastal Post Home Page