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No Nation Can Long Endure Half Bankrupt

by : Daveparts
Tuesday March 3, 2009 - 17:38

By David Glenn Cox
http://theservantsofpilate.com

JPEG - 79.3 kb

I take no joy in saying the things I say; I wish I could write about happy puppies loping through the warm grass in the summer sunshine. Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly? I take no pleasure in the things I see; I become angry to the point of outrage, not at the right, no, not at them, they are acting as you would expect spoiled children to act. My anger is with the left, or the lack of the left.

Have we become so desensitized as a people that we no longer understand what it is that the government is supposed to do for us? I voted for Obama and I want him to perform well, but when he doesn’t, or when I don’t think he does, I will go after him just as strongly as I would George W. Bush and for the exact same reason.

Some among us are so partisan as to take offense that I would impugn Mr. Obama’s administration. Point blank, Mr. Obama’s change so far has been to the right of Bill Clinton, “The Centrist.” I wrote about the 6,500 American families losing their homes to foreclosure each day, and I got this as a response: “Houses are overvalued. Their prices must decline.” Many people like this just don’t know any better, after being raised in the Reagan revolution, but how is that response any different than George W. Bush’s response to hurricane Katrina?

It’s just a benign acceptance of the ruin falling upon the heads of our neighbors, from sheep that think if they stay close enough to the flock and bah like they’re real tough, then it won’t happen to them. The Morlocks devour the Eloi, don’t they? Many of those so willing to sacrifice the futures of their fellow Americans have never, ever, even heard a real Liberal speak.

“The result of this loss of purchasing power is that many other millions of people engaged in industry in the cities cannot sell industrial products to the farming half of the Nation. This brings home to every city worker that his own employment is directly tied up with the farmer’s dollar. No Nation can long endure half bankrupt. Main Street, Broadway, the mills, the mines will close if half the buyers are broke.”

I’ll repeat that because it bears repeating,

“No Nation can long endure half bankrupt. Main Street, Broadway, the mills, the mines will close if half the buyers are broke.”

“Closely associated with this first objective is the problem of keeping the home-owner and the farm-owner where he is, without being dispossessed through the foreclosure of his mortgage. His relationship to the great banks of Chicago and New York is pretty remote. The two billion dollar fund which President Hoover and the Congress have put at the disposal of the big banks, the railroads and the corporations of the Nation is not for him.”

The banking bailouts, and bailouts of AIG, are not for you!

“His is a relationship to his little local bank or local loan company. It is a sad fact that even though the local lender in many cases does not want to evict the farmer or home-owner by foreclosure proceedings, he is forced to do so in order to keep his bank or company solvent. Here should be an objective of Government itself, to provide at least as much assistance to the little fellow as it is now giving to the large banks and corporations. That is another example of building from the bottom up.”

Duh! Ding,ding,ding,ding,ding!

The Obama stimulus plan offers a $500 tax credit at a cost of $65 billion, while at the same time giving AIG an additional $30 billion on top of the $180 they’ve already got. Citigroup added $52 billion in tarp funds. The administration plans on asking Congress to authorize another three-quarters of a trillion dollars to continue to funnel cash into the banks. I’m not like the Republicans whose attitude is to throw up their hands and say, “fuck it!” My opinion is like that of FDR. “Here should be an objective of Government itself, to provide at least as much assistance to the little fellow as it is now giving to the large banks and corporations.” Why?

“No Nation can long endure half bankrupt. Main Street, Broadway, the mills, the mines will close if half the buyers are broke.”

The Republicans tear at their clothes and roll in the ashes over a fear that government will nationalize the banks. They fear government will mismanage the operation. In all honesty, is that possible? After all, it has been the Republican theme for years that if government would just allow free enterprise a free hand, all would be well. And now look at us! Yesterday was the first business day of the month and the banks were swarmed with retirees cashing their Social Security checks. The checks arrived on time, just as they do every month. And who did that? The government did, every month, just like Roscoe. The mail gets delivered, the highways are maintained, and just in case you forgot, there are American flags dotting the moon, and government did that, too.

We, the millions of regular, hard-working Americans, are suffering from the fallout of private enterprise’s joy ride at the public expense. We endure headlines such as, “Bernie Madoff wants his seven million-dollar Manhattan townhouse and sixty two million dollars exempted from seizure because it was in his wife’s name.” You can’t blame the guy for trying, and with the society that we suffer through he will probably get his wish. Republicans fear nationalization yet accept the Bernies of the world with almost a quiet admiration. It’s like baseball, it’s all right to steal as long as you don’t get caught.

These same Republicans argue that the millions of Americans who have lost jobs to outsourcing and globalization should now lose their homes as well; that American life is one big spin of a roulette wheel. Bernie should keep his house, but you should lose yours. The Republicans hated Franklin Roosevelt and still hate him. The wisdom of his words, “No Nation can long endure half bankrupt. Main Street, Broadway, the mills, the mines will close if half the buyers are broke,” is wasted on them.

“What we must do is this: revise our tariff on the basis of a reciprocal exchange of goods, allowing other nations to buy and to pay for our goods by sending us such of their goods as will not seriously throw any of our industries out of balance.” True liberalism is like a breath of fresh air; there are no hooks or caveats. No dual meanings, just an honest trade policy spelled out in forty-two words.

It’s the financial system that we are trying to prop up, when it is the financial system that brought us here. We are trying to save the cancer while we ignore the body. America’s largest banks quickly lined up for TARP money, and a host of other financial service companies quickly changed their charters to become eligible and then stuck their hands out. The banks then used the money to refinance their own debts and to make purchases of other banks. Do you know why they did that?

“The two billion dollar fund which President Hoover and the Congress have put at the disposal of the big banks, the railroads and the corporations of the Nation, is not for him.” It’s not for you, it’s more trickle down; if we fix the banks then the banks will fix you.

Well, that they did. They lowered mortgage interest rates and raised fees; they raised credit card interest rates but you still can’t get a car loan, or a mortgage loan, without 20% down. Ah, it’s back to the good old days of banking! It is the system which fails us over and over again, yet it’s the system we seek to save because they scare us with, “Government will ruin everything. Do you want your banking system run like Amtrak?" Well, Amtrak gets to its destination without going off the rails, which is more than I can say for our banking system. I’ve never heard of an Amtrak engineer who stole fifty billion dollars and then asked a judge to let him keep his seven million dollar house and sixty two million dollars. You couldn’t fit in the locomotive with balls that big.

“The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

Jobs for those who can work.

Security for those who need it.

The ending of special privilege for the few.

The preservation of civil liberties for all.

The enjoyment — The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.”

Quotes are from, “The Forgotten Man,” Franklin Deleno Roosevelt April 7, 1932
And “The Four Freedoms” January 6, 1941



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