The American left is truly embracing the Occupy Wall Street moment. Here we have the ever reliable Paul Krugman in the conclusion to his article titled, “Panic of the Plutocrats”:
So who’s really being un-American here? Not the protesters, who are simply trying to get their voices heard. No, the real extremists here are America’s oligarchs, who want to suppress any criticism of the sources of their wealth.
Then there’s this story, “Democrats Seek to Own ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement”. This is how the article begins:
A consensus is emerging among Democrats that the ‘Occupy’ movement is worth tapping into, even helping along and joining with in some instances.
‘I support the message to the establishment,’ House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ ‘Change has to happen. We cannot continue in a way that does not — that is not relevant to their lives. People are angry.’
And then there is this with the interesting title, “Communists hijacking ‘occupy wall street’ movement?” Absolutely unsurprising, of course, but the opening para does add some charming detail:
Not to be outdone by the likes of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who claimed there is ‘horrible repression’ of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters or by an Iranian commander who called the demonstrations an ‘American Spring,’ Communist Party USA wants in on the ‘Occupy’ protest action.
And to join with the Marxists is the Democrat Party itself which is found to be saying this:
Protestors are assembling in New York and around the country to let billionaires, big oil and big bankers know that we’re not going to let the richest 1% force draconian economic policies and massive cuts to crucial programs on Main Street Americans.
Out-of-touch Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he is ‘increasingly concerned by the growing mobs.’ Mobs? That must be what Republicans refer to as the middle class, or maybe the millions of unemployed Americans across the country.
As Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters, ‘The message of the American people is that no longer will the recklessness of some on Wall Street cause massive joblessness on Main Street…’
Help us send a message straight to Eric Cantor, Speaker Boehner, and the rest of reckless Republican leadership in Congress.
The Democrats cannot run on their record. But if they can shift responsibility somewhere else, in this case to those Wall Street bankers, then they are ready to roll. Republicans, having retained a scruple or two, cannot so readily abandon markets and free enterprise whereas it is less than nothing for any Democrat, and especially the President who holds every anti-market sentiment known to man in depth and detail. He may be nervous about the political implications in expressing his true beliefs in the open, but his “share the wealth around” attitudes are never far from the surface.
The politics of the Occupy Wall Street moment are a deadly poison but potentially as effective as any political scam in history. The Republicans may have shoveled an insane amount of money into the banks in 2008 but the Democrats are taking that money back with interest by painting those self same banks as the blackest of villains from whom Americans can only be saved by voting Democrat.
And the thing about banks is that there is not a citizen in a hundred who could tell you what the banks do. I have an article up on Quadrant Online where I try to explain at least some of it. How much even bankers understand their role in a market system you may have to wonder, but this is part of what I wrote:
This is a dangerous moment and it is being fed and fueled by the President. This is part of what is a very clear desire on his part to increase the central direction of the American economy.
The notion that Wall Street is just one large casino with money poured through its channels essentially no different from the roulette wheels of Las Vegas is something easily peddled to those who know nothing about the role of finance in directing economic activity.
In roulette, there is no risk involved until one chooses to bet. It is the betting itself that creates the risk. In finance, the risk is in the world. It is always there. What finance attempts to do is provide avenues for businesses and individuals to unload or at least share some of that risk with others.
No matter what the American President does, the riskiness of running a business or financing activity will not disappear. But what may well disappear is the ability for Wall Street banks to take that risk on themselves.
The speed of descent into a socialised economic mess is astounding. That 60s generation I am part of has completed its march through the institutions and the result is devastation, morally and intellectually, to go along with the economic wreckage they have left behind for which only worse is to come.
When the health system stops working around the same time that the banking system seizes up, there will be no going back. The US will never untrack from the problems that have been created and there will be no saving it or us after that. We are living in the midst of our own fall of the Roman Empire. Will some future Gibbon be able to understand even the half of it.