from Jesses Crossroads Cafe:
As economist Simon Johnson put it so aptly, there was a ‘financial coup d’etat’ in the States. It was the result of a longer term and well-funded effort as documented by PBS Frontline and others.
People forget all too quickly what has happened, even things that happened less than twenty years ago. Perhaps it is easily forgotten because there are so few counterexamples of honesty and decency these days in government and business to hold up in comparison. The UK and Canada are following in lockstep, as well as the central government for Europe in Brussels.
The Clintons, along with a large group of Republican Congressmen and compliant Democrats, put a ‘for sale’ sign not only on the Lincoln bedroom as you may recall, but on the rest of the White House and the Capitol, and indeed, the well being of the people of the United States.
They certainly did not do it alone, as it was a bipartisan effort to overturn the protections established in the darker days of the Great Depression. But the money was good, and it was there for the taking, and with it the enormous power to threaten or reward those around them.
And it became the thing to do in Washington and New York, to partner up with big money to take the public for a wild ride, as we have not seen since the beginning of the last century. Once again capitalism was unfettered, and became the rawest, the worst kind of short sighted and self-dealing ‘capitalism’ that is more corrosive looting than productive asset allocating. And so the New York – Washington metroplex enthusiastically engaged in a program of fabulous gains for themselves, and longer term pain for the country.
I do not have to read Robert Scheer’s account to understand it; I saw this happening with my own eyes, almost in slow motion, as one might watch the events leading up to a train wreck. The actions of the participants were deliberate, and focused solely on amassing enormous fortunes for themselves and their friends, and damn the people and the consequences.
What the Clintons did was not to invent soft graft of political contributions and gratuities, sinecure positions after public office, and ridiculously generous payment for speeches and appearances. No, what they did was take what had been reviled as the worst of politics in craven service to big corporate interests, which had been largely but not exclusively the hallmark of their political opponents who were well established as servants to the corporate interests, and make it not only acceptable for establishment liberals, but downright fashionable.
Why would the Clintons, that wonderfully privileged and intelligent couple, do such a coarse and craven thing? One might think of about $130 million reasons offhand. Is anything just that simple? And what would you do if you were offered $130 million in easy money for you and your family to make a few key decisions, to look the other way at times, while having no fear of punishment, with all your many sins forgotten, excused, and ignored by a compliant press?
Oh yes, you are an angel and would of course say no, even if the corruption was unrolled slowly, one step at a time. But what do you think that the fellow next to you would do? The ones who cut people off in traffic, makes the rules for themselves, wishing to have their own way, to have power and a place at the highest table?
Is this a system likely to be honest, just, and sustainable? Is it designed for fairness and rewarding the best and most productive behaviour?
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