31

Brain Dropping #31

 
    This country is going “down-the-tubes!”  As my mentor George Carlin asked: “Which tubes? Where are these tubes and why is there more than one?”  This was part of George’s funny routine on figures of speech.  But it is no joke – we, the United States of America, the supposedly richest, most god-blessed, most exceptional society the world has ever known is “going down the tubes.”  If you’re not deeply in denial the evidence will bite you on the ass.  The increasing misery of  the ninety percent of our population – the long term unemployment – the declining wages for those who do have a job – the attacks on our pensions – the 1.2 trillion dollars in student debt – the tens of millions of mortgaged home owners still under water  –  the increasing number of bankruptcies because of medical bills – the outsourcing of hundreds of  thousands of jobs to low paying third world countries –  our outstanding debts in the trillions to China and other countries –  the corruption and decline of our military prowess so evident in the Afghanistan and Iraq fiascos- the growing acceptance of criminality with impunity of our banks and financial system – the almost total incompetence of the Congress and the President – the seemingly unstoppable power of the obscenely wealthy oligarchs – a Supreme Court ruled by sectarian fanatics breaking down constitutional law and…… (take a breath)   a broken public educational system in the throes of re-segregation, whose reformers in their idiotic attempts to improve the academic performance of poor, disadvantaged students, force well-meaning teachers to lie about test results to keep their jobs. 
 
    So yes – “down the tubes” we go, and from my point of view the palliatives voiced by well-meaning reformers will not slow our decent. To underscore this admittedly “gloom and doom” scenario, American corporations,like the proverbial rats leaving the sinking ship, are fleeing to countries with lower tax rates in a process called “financial inversion,” depriving our coffers of hundreds of billions in corporate taxes.  American world financial hegemony, fostered by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, both creatures of American capital interests created after WWII in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, is being threatened by an alternative world development fund independent of U.S. influence and more agreeable to the needs of the developing world.  Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the so-called BRICS countries will underwrite this new fund.  If successful, the new fund will seriously limit  the extortionate policies of American capitalism and further impoverish our formerly affluent society which historically has been subsidized by the misery of the developing world.  I think George would smile sardonically and nod his head in agreement:  “Yes indeed! “Down the tubes.”  
 
For an important contributing factor for our ‘tube slide’ click here:http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/thomas_frank_an_ineffective_and_gutless_preside
Al Salzman
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