24 September 2008


Thanks to Frances for this very informative post on the perilous situation Congress now faces. I could have used it last night when I was trying to explain to my father what a bind Congress is now in over the bailout legislation. 

He, quite reasonably, wants to be able to say, buck fush, don't give the corporations billions of taxpayers dollars, but instead let them all lose as much money as is humanly conceivable. It's an appealing sentiment, but, alas, capitalism doesn't work that way, because it's not an "opt-in" system. Very very few of us can find a way to get outside of it, and thus when the corporations lose most of what they have, a lot of people making very little money could lose everything (house, job, retirement - in economic terms, that's pretty much everything). 

In other words, we DO have a "trickle down" economic system. This is a lesson I learned at a very early age from my father's wisdom. It's the two rules of plumbing: 1) payday is on Friday, 2) shit runs downhill.

I grow increasingly convinced that today capitalism simply IS  a pyramid scheme, but with one crucial twist. In a standard pyramid scheme, the creators of the scheme convince a lot of people to start signing up to it. The creators get rich, the very early adapters may make money, and the late entrants all get screwed. But in today's cowboy capitalism, you are either rigging the game or your are conscripted into it. There's really no way to stand outside of it and laugh at the idiots who thought this sort of thing could go on forever. Because knowing it will collapse isn't really very funny. When it collapses for them, it takes those laughing down as well. Worse still, the rich will lose millions in the collapse, but they will still have a few million left. Those who didn't start with millions could be in big trouble. 

Hmm...almost makes you wonder if there's not another option to rigged corporate capitalism. ...Oh, sorry, I forgot, 1989 proved beyond all doubt that there are NO OTHER options. Too bad about that.

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