Treasury Secretary Geithner proposed a $1 trillion plan to help Wall Street make a killing buying “toxic assets” with our tax dollars and guarantees. And he proposed a complex regulatory scheme to keep huge financial institutions from wrecking our economy once again.
But there’s a better and simpler solution: break up those huge financial institutions. If they’re “too big to fail,” then they’re too big to exist.
Sign our petition to Congress:
Returning to the banks and insurance companies that existed before the Reagan era would not hurt our economy. As Paul Krugman writes, “that boring, primitive financial system serviced an economy that doubled living standards over the course of a generation.”
Our friends at A New Way Forward have a plan:
NATIONALIZE: Insolvent banks that are too big to fail must incur a temporary FDIC intervention – no more blank check taxpayer handouts.
REORGANIZE: Current CEOs and board members must be removed and bonuses wiped out. The financial elite must share in the cost of what they have caused.
DECENTRALIZE: Banks must be broken up and sold back to the private market with new antitrust rules in place – new banks, managed by new people. Any bank that’s “too big to fail” means that it’s too big for a free market to function.
Sign our petition to Congress:
On Saturday April 11, A New Way Forward will lead protests all across the country to demand these changes. Find one near you:
And if you’re in New York City on Friday April 3, join the National March on Wall Street:
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A Word About Easter Island And Other Calamitous Feedback Loops
by Don Williams
Stone faces of Easter Island gaze on as anthropologists, mythologists and space cadets endlessly debate their meaning. Measuring up to 28 feet high and more than 80 tons in some cases, the stones have elevated a ruined island paradise to the status of icon in the realm of cautionary tales.
Either Easter Island’s decline was brought on by smallpox and slave trade courtesy of Europeans who arrived there in the 1700s or else, shortly after sinking roots around 1200 CE, the islanders began destroying their own world by killing their verdant forests in a vain effort to avert disaster.
It’s an article of faith among tree-huggers–including me until I read up–that Easter Island fell prey to a cult or three. For centuries, the natives built enigmatic stone heads in tribute to dead chiefs. Such ancestor worship helped ward off trouble, they believed, and grew their clans’ prestige, but transporting the stones and erecting them used up lots of logs, adding to the decline of forests. This caused a shortage of wood for building boats and a shortage of trees for birds to nest in, and so the seafood and fowl that provided sustenance began disappearing from their diets. Soon this once proud and accomplished civilization turned to eating rats, even to cannibalism, the record shows.
One theory goes that, as the decline began, leaders commanded their subjects to accelerate the building of statues. More than 1,000 have been counted, many left abandoned in quarries or by the roadside. The idol boom was a vain attempt to call down the favor of Gods. In short, by the middle of the last millennium, they’d mostly destroyed their own environment by creating a feedback loop that spiraled out of control. More cutting, less food, more cutting, even less food. Or so the story goes.
If true, we’re wise to embrace this cautionary tale, for our leaders ask us repeatedly to feed our sustenance to idols they erect.
Idols to commerce, high finance, fossil fuel, the military-industrial-media complex. All bask in dogmas bordering on religion.
Behold Wall Street, where numbers rise like stone edifices. Today we’ve passed 9,000. Can 10,000 be far away? Is 12,000 once again within our grasp? Now watch as towering numbers tumble.
“More capital!” implore keepers of the Dow. $700 billion should do. No, toss in 150 more to prop up that idol, 200 for the one down on Main Street.
Be not deceived. We’ve rendered such sacrifice before. In the 1980s, the savings and loan industry failed, and we the people poured our sustenance into it. Behold! Wall Street recovered, then faltered. For a time leaders suggested feeding Social Security and perhaps, one day, all such safety-nets to Wall Street.
Yes, feed the mighty Dow your pensions.
Yes, feed it Medicaid.
Yes, let’s have another war–there’s a trillion we can feed Westinghouse and Boeing and General Electric and other makers of armaments. There’s how we’ll restore Halliburton and the Carlyle Group and other entities in which Bushes, Bakers, bin Ladens and others lay money on the bet that wars they insist we fund continue to pay dividends.
And so it goes.
Hear the people chant, “Drill here! Drill now!” Drill anywhere at all!
Yet deep ecologists tell us the wealth of nations is founded on the shaky ground of drawing down deposits of natural energy placed in this earth by the sun over billions of years. In this, “the last syllable of recorded time,” to quote Shakespeare, we’re drawing those deposits down ever more rapidly, turning them into money and ruinous greenhouse gases.
England stripped her landscape of most primordial forests in a couple of centuries and then turned to coal, mostly in the 19th century. Then, along with America, Germany and many other countries, she discovered the power of oil, bestowing prosperity on millions, yet contributing to wars around the world. It’s been little noted that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in part because of our oil embargo against that country.
Beginning some thirty years ago, Carl Sagan, J. E. Lovelock and other scientists began warning that burning fossil fuels would result in a greenhouse effect. Yet the same faith-based “conservatives” who ignored the need to conserve, applauded as Ronald Reagan stripped solar panels from the White House and clean energy incentives from the national budget. Now hear the pathetic chants from their benighted tribe:
“Drill here! Drill now!”
And so such chants resound. Death to terrorists. Build more bombs. More ships. More planes. Support the Troops! They’ll keep us safe.
In the next fiscal year we’ll throw nearly a trillion dollars at the military, counting supplemental funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s more than the rest of the world combined will spend on all things military. Some among those nations have signaled they’ll raise their defense spending in response, prompting a cry for still more from us. And so the military feedback loop spirals onward, mesmerizing the faithful.
Few pause amid the clamor to consider truths that might set us free.
Here’s one: For the cost of one cruise missile or one aerial drone, we could build 80 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, whence terror springs. Yet we feed the god of cruise missiles while starving the benign spirit of education.
Here’s another: Osama bin Laden told the world why he launched a jihad that most people agree included the terror of 9/11. It was because the feet of infidels trod sacred ground. Osama mostly won. We withdrew from Saudi Arabia as he and the house of Saud demanded. We linger in Iraq, oblivious that our presence recruits more terrorists for the likes of bin Laden.
Here’s one more: Clean energy cannot compete against Big Oil and Big Coal unless nurtured, yet the President and Congress spent the last eight years giving tax breaks to gas companies, while mostly ignoring wind, solar, geothermal and other sources.
On Easter Island, the stones stand looking, silent as voices of the faithful who built them so many years ago.
Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist for Knoxville Voice, a blogger for www.knoxvoice.com and the founding editor and publisher of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of literary stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Michigan Journalism Fellowship, a Golden Presscard Award and the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize. He is finishing a novel, “ORACLE OF THE ORCHID LOUNGE,” set in his native Tennessee and Iraq. His book of selected journalism, “Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes, the Best Writings About People” by Don Williams, is due a second printing. Along with Greg Palast, Marjorie Cohn, Norman Solomon, Will Durst, James Secor and others, he is a contributing editor to Media With Conscience (www.mwcnews.net) and his commentary frequently leads the page at www.opnews.com. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the NMW website at www.NewMillenniumWritings.com.
| Tags: 19th century, Carl Sagan, Carlyle Group, Easter Island, Fossil fuel, Pearl Harbor, United States, Wall Street |
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1) Is the Federal Reserve Engaged in Acts of Economic Warfare Against America?
“If the actions pursued by the Federal Reserve were being masterminded by Al-Qaeda, they would be denounced as acts of war. In World War II, such actions were deliberate acts of war. Targeting the economy for destruction by flooding the money supply with counterfeit currency is, by any measure, a threat to any nation.”
2) Meet the World’s New Reserve Currency: The Chinese Yuan
“Surely, the present financial malaise which has its roots in Wall Street and at the Federal Reserve, has demonstrated that the dollar must be replaced as the world’s “reserve currency” and that America must be deposed as the de facto steward of the global economic system. Leadership implies responsibility and the US must be held to account for its failings. It’s time for a change.”
3) Zeitgeist: The Addendum
“Zeitgeist: Addendum, attempts to locate the root causes of this pervasive social corruption, while offering a solution. This solution is not based on politics, morality, laws, or any other “establishment” notions of human affairs, but rather on a modern, non-superstitious based understanding of what we are and how we align with nature, to which we are a part.”
If people’s beliefs are invested in lies and delusions, how will they know the truth when they hear it? And how do you inform people when they refuse to believe the truth?
IT’s TIME FOR an ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to watch ‘”Zeitgeist: The Addendum”
- the follow-up to the “Zeitgeist” video. Though the 2-hour video is
freely available on their web site, I purchased the DVD for $7.00 (which
includes postage) and after watching it – purchased an additional 10
copies for friends and family. Even if you haven’t yet seen the initial
“Zeitgeist” video – be sure to check out the sequel for a superb
behind-the-curtain look at how and why the current monetary system is in
reality a crime against humanity. And though I still believe that
technology is the product of a cosmic virus infecting our program – after
watching “The Addendum” – I can now see a theoretical cure for the
contamination. But the bottom line is still the same: All the old corrupt
institutions need to totally collapse before any new spiritual programming
can begin. And the only way to insure this result is for everyone to stop supporting these activities by refusing to pay taxes.
CherylEconomics | Tags: Al-Qaeda, Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve System, United States, United States Economy, US, Wall Street, World War II | Comment (0)