When the American people finally realize that they no longer have the spending power because of huge debts, loss of using their home as an ATM machine, increasingly insecure jobs and low paying jobs, losing the security of their pensions or retirement savings devastated by the greedy and sometimes illegal steps taken by bankers to enrich themselves even more at a gut level, Demagogues of both the far right and far left can gain power as it happened in Germany and Russia in the 1930s and 1917s respectively.
One of the reasons we seem to largely ignore the French Revolution on television occurring soon after ours is that it might happen here.
A remarkably short book on economics by Robert B. Reich, former Labor Secretary for Clinton, After-Shock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, Sept 2010, pp 146, describes how a very successful businessman helped FDR save American during the Great Depression. If business and Americans stop spending, only the government is left to spend and save the economy. Suffering Americans made the same mistake now as in 1936 where House Republicans were voted in and cut spending sharply. We went back to a full blown Depression in 1937. The enormous spending in World War II got us out of the Great Depression and in 1950, the decision was made to make the military part of our economy. It now occupies every state, every county, and just about every district. Over 300 colleges are supported by the Pentagon. The late (2010) Chalmers Johnson, once with the CIA and a Professor at University of California, Berkeley, wrote the Must Read The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic. WE HAVE OVER 1,000 BASES SECRET OR NOT OVERSEAS!
Following Milton Friedman’s Proposal, Reich proposes a reverse income tax for the middleclass to boost their income, a reemployment system rather than an unemployment system similar to what FDR did, college loans linked to subsequent earnings, Medicare for All, (Polls agree), public goods transportation, parks, recreational facilities, and public museums and libraries, take the money out of politics. He explains how these changes can be implemented.
Other books talk about the economic mess we are in when economic powers take over a society. The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers are Going Broke, With Surprising Solutions That Will Change Our Children’s Future by Elizabeth Warren (Rules to keep a check on banks.), Third World America: How Our Politicians are Abandoning The Middle Class and Betraying The American Dream by Arianna Huffington, Free Lunch: How The Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You With The Bill by David Cay Johnston, Staying Alive: The 1970s and The Last Days of The Working Class by Jefferson Cowie, and The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett are only some of the recent books you might consider reading.
The chief aim of corporations is to keep the American people alone so they think based on what they hear on the Media contradicts what they should think. I thought social media might help Americans learn more, but so far it has not. Very few Americans use the Internet to gain more knowledge about what the powerful are doing to us to keep us down and to make us feel powerless.
The reason our government and major media lies about Cuba and Venezuela is that they have a system of government that teaches everyone to read and think what government would favor their needs. Their literacy rate is arguably higher than ours with the help of Cuba teachers and medical doctors so the poor now gets medical treatments and the literacy rate is now considered 100 percent.
I recently saw the documentary film by Oliver Stone, Spanish with English subtitles South of the Border from Netflix. I was shocked at how frank the leaders of Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Ecuador talked about the USA government policies in Latin America. Bush built a military base in Columbia to keep a sharp eye on oil, gas, and minerals in South America.
It seems that Americans are about the only people who do not know the truth about what we did down there. Yes, murder in Panama because the leader did not follow our directions during the G.H.W. Bush Presidency. Similar things happened in essentially the countries in Central and South America.
Stephen Kinzer, now at Northwestern University, recently wrote a comprehensive book of what we have done in Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. He is author of All the Shah’s Men about our 1973 coup of a democracy in Iran to keep oil in western hands and installed the Shah as dictator. We also installed the Party that gave us Saddam Hussein. Remember Rumsfeld hugging Saddam Hussein in the early 1980s. Why did we invade Iraq in 1991? We wanted to control the oil again which Hussein nationalized in the 1980s. No, it was not about the invasion of Kuwait!
Yes, Bush, Jr knew about the CIA note warning Bush in Texas on August 6, 2001, that Al Qaeda was going attack the World Trade Center revealed once on MSNBC recently. Condi Rice said often that the only way we can develop an aggressive foreign policy is for a large attack on the USA. She also repeatedly said that "No one knew that Al Qaeda would attack the World Trade Center! This entire August 6, 2001 note has to be kept secret!
Jim Kawakami, Jan 17, 2011, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
Economics of Happiness To many of us, a society where no one goes hungry, where there is no unemployment, where people are happy and they have spacious homes and lots of leisure time seems like fantasy. But it's not a fantasy for Helena Norberg-Hodge -- she saw it firsthand in the tiny Himalayan region of Ladakh, a remote mountain community that borders Tibet.
During the course of 35 years there, she also saw what happened when Ladakh was suddenly thrown open to the outside world in the 1970s and subsidized roads brought subsidized goods to the region. The local economy was undermined, the cultural fabric was torn apart. Unemployment, pollution and divisiveness emerged for the first time.
"This was Ladakh's introduction to globalization," says Norberg-Hodge. The "story of Ladakh can shed light on the root causes of the crises now facing the planet."
The account of Ladakh's transformation opens the new film, The Economics of Happiness, created by Steven Gorelick, John Page and Norberg-Hodge, the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture. As Bill McKibben says early on in the film, according to a poll conducted every year since the end of World World II, happiness in the U.S. peaked in 1956. "It's been slowly downhill ever since," he says. "But in that time we've gotten immeasurably richer, we have three times as much stuff. Somehow it hasn't worked because that same affluence tends to undermine community."…
1. Globalization makes us unhappy. More stuff and more wealth has meant less contact with community, rising levels of depression, jobs with longer hours, more time spent working at home and longer commutes. "Lonely people have never been happy people and globalization is creating a very lonely planet," says author and activist Vandana Shiva.
2. Globalization breeds insecurity. Corporations are raising our children and driving what they eat, buy, wear and what they care about. Identity that was once shaped by one's culture and language, molded by community leaders and family, is now filled by marketers. … http://www.alternet.org/story/149552/vision%3A_8_reasons_global_capitalism_makes_our_lives_worse_--_and_how_we_can_create_a_new_kind_of_economy_?page=entire