Naomi Klien is more right then even she knows. The sole measure of success in today's world is wealth. How it is created and how it is spread, no one seems to worry too much about. The search for quarterly profits on Wall Street has created an unsustainable culture of short term thinking.
According to Naomi, the Right sees this as an opportunity to Nationalize everything with tax payer money so that they can subsequently privatize everything by selling these same Assets to the privileged few at low prices and make them even richer. First the rich are bailed out and then made richer still. There is a pattern in these activities which justify what Klien is claiming.
The lurch from one bubble to another creates an opportunity for the Capitalist which is a God send. Only a few are equipped to profit from these disasters and they do and these are the very people who control Congress, the Regulators, Wall Street, The Rating Agencies, The Media,the White House. We have all become victims of a society that will ensure the enrichment of the few at the cost of the millions. The millions in America are happy because even if they do not compare well to the rich, they compare well to the billions outside America whose share of wealth they are happy to usurp. So far the American Army has made sure of this. Armed exploitation of countries once rich in resources and proud of their heritage and history have turned these countries into rubble so that the American standard of living can be maintained.
I believe we are seeing the last of these bubbles. The Economy is so broke that it is not repairable. The exploitation of other countries is about to come to a halt because they have dug in and are resisting like mad. We are witnessing a great society crumble under the weight of its own greed.
PS. Please watch both videos.
--- On Tue, 9/23/08, Naomi Klein's Newsletter
From: Naomi Klein's Newsletter
A Note from NaomiI wrote The Shock Doctrine in the hopes that it would make us all better prepared for the next big shock. Well, that shock has certainly arrived, along with gloves-off attempts to use it to push through radical pro-corporate policies (which of course will further enrich the very players who created the market crisis in the first place…). But here’s the thing: these tactics can only work if we let them. They work when we give in to our fear and our desire for “strong leaders” – even if they are the same strong leaders who used the September 11 attacks to launch the Disaster Capitalism Complex. Sadly, there are no saviors in this crisis, and the only hope of preventing another dose of shock politics is loud, organized grassroots pressure on all political parties.In this newsletter, Debra Levy, who runs www.shockdoctrine. org and was my closest colleague in researching The Shock Doctrine, has compiled my recent writing and interviews on the crisis, as well as information about an upcoming protest in New York. We also have the gory details of how the right wing think tanks are already using the market shock to push for some old fashioned economic shock therapy.We send this with an urgent request: please, don’t be silent. If you have read the book, you know that this is precisely the kind of moment in which we stand to lose (or gain) it all. If we are slow, the radical changes will be locked in; if the Bush Administration gets its way, the actions taken this week will not be subject to repeal or to any legal challenge. So write letters to the editor, call your elected representatives, contact the Obama campaign, and let them know: the way to solve a crisis born of deregulated capitalism is not with more gifts and giveaways for Wall Street!
BE AWARE: Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich Is At It AgainYesterday, Gingrich laid out 18 policy prescriptions for Congress to take in order to "return to a Reagan-Thatcher policy of economic growth through fundamental reforms." In the midst of this economic crisis, he actually called for the repeal of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which would lead to further deregulation of the financial industry. Gingrich also called for reforming the education system to allow "competition" (AKA school vouchers), strengthening border enforcement, creating an immigrant guestworker program, and his signature move: allowing offshore drilling.It would be a grave mistake to dismiss this conservative wish list for how to “solve” the financial crisis. Don’t forget that Newt Gingrich's 527 organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, is still riding the wave of success from its offshore drilling campaign, "Drill Here, Drill Now!" As Naomi wrote in her last Nation column, just four months ago, offshore drilling "was not even on the radar" and now the US House of Representatives has passed legislation. In fact, Gingrich is holding an event this Saturday, September 27 that will be broadcast on satellite television to shore up public support for these controversial policies. So friends, get ready! We must start putting forth our own alternative proposals and not shy away from a tough debate.
Naomi Discusses the Financial Crisis on Real Time with Bill Maher Watch Naomi discuss the economic crisis and Wall Street bailouts with Bill Maher, conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan, and musician Will.I.Am. She also spoke last week about the role of unregulated capitalism in the credit crisis on BBC Newsnight.
Naomi Klein's Latest ColumnFree Market Ideology is Far from Finishedby Naomi KleinSeptember 19, 2008
Whatever the events of this week mean, nobody should believe the overblown claims that the market crisis signals the death of "free market" ideology. Free market ideology has always been a servant to the interests of capital, and its presence ebbs and flows depending on its usefulness to those interests.During boom times, it's profitable to preach laissez faire, because an absentee government allows speculative bubbles to inflate. When those bubbles burst, the ideology becomes a hindrance, and it goes dormant while big government rides to the rescue. But rest assured: the ideology will come roaring back when the bailouts are done. The massive debts the public is accumulating to bail out the speculators will then become part of a global budget crisis that will be the rationalization for deep cuts to social programs, and for a renewed push to privatize what is left of the public sector. We will also be told that our hopes for a green future are, sadly, too costly.What we don't know is how the public will respond. Consider that in North America, everybody under the age of 40 grew up being told that the government can't intervene to improve our lives, that government is the problem not the solution, that laissez faire was the only option. Now, we are suddenly seeing an extremely activist, intensely interventionist government, seemingly willing to do whatever it takes to save investors from themselves.This spectacle necessarily raises the question: if the state can intervene to save corporations that took reckless risks in the housing markets, why can't it intervene to prevent millions of Americans from imminent foreclosure? By the same token, if $85bn can be made instantly available to buy the insurance giant AIG, why is single-payer health care – which would protect Americans from the predatory practices of health-care insurance companies – seemingly such an unattainable dream? And if ever more corporations need taxpayer funds to stay afloat, why can't taxpayers make demands in return – like caps on executive pay, and a guarantee against more job losses?Now that it's clear that governments can indeed act in times of crises, it will become much harder for them to plead powerlessness in the future. Another potential shift has to do with market hopes for future privatizations. For years, the global investment banks have been lobbying politicians for two new markets: one that would come from privatizing public pensions and the other that would come from a new wave of privatized or partially privatized roads, bridges and water systems. Both of these dreams have just become much harder to sell: Americans are in no mood to trust more of their individual and collective assets to the reckless gamblers on Wall Street, especially because it seems more than likely that taxpayers will have to pay to buy back their own assets when the next bubble bursts.With the World Trade Organization talks off the rails, this crisis could also be a catalyst for a radically alternative approach to regulating world markets and financial systems. Already, we are seeing a move towards "food sovereignty" in the developing world, rather than leaving access to food to the whims of commodity traders. The time may finally have come for ideas like taxing trading, which would slow speculative investment, as well as other global capital controls.And now that nationalization is not a dirty word, the oil and gas companies should watch out: someone needs to pay for the shift to a greener future, and it makes most sense for the bulk of the funds to come from the highly profitable sector that is most responsible for our climate crisis. It certainly makes more sense than creating another dangerous bubble in carbon trading.But the crisis we are seeing calls for even deeper changes than that. The reason these junk loans were allowed to proliferate was not just because the regulators didn't understand the risk. It is because we have an economic system that measures our collective health based exclusively on GDP growth. So long as the junk loans were fuelling economic growth, our governments actively supported them. So what is really being called into question by the crisis is the unquestioned commitment to growth at all costs. Where this crisis should lead us is to a radically different way for our societies to measure health and progress.None of this, however, will happen without huge public pressure placed on politicians in this key period. And not polite lobbying but a return to the streets and the kind of direct action that ushered in the New Deal in the 1930s. Without it, there will be superficial changes and a return, as quickly as possible, to business as usual.This article first appeared on The Guardian.