Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming
Aliens Among US
All through this Second Great Depression that began in 2007, I have been thanking God/Goddess, whatever; that there was no Hitler waiting in the wings to fuel the fascism that lies below the surface of American society. But now that tranquility has changed. History has finally caught up with US: Ted Cruz.
An opportunistic foreigner, Adolph Hitler was an Austrian, not a German, has entered our liberal democracy, just as he did the Weimar Republic, and threatens to overturn our constitutional democracy and threatens to replace it with T-Party fascism.
Historians and political scientist were and are still awed by what occurred in the 1930s in a sophisticated society like Weimar Germany, whose constitution was more liberal than ours. But it was the greed of the Industrialists and the economic stress brought on by the American 20th century Great Depression that helped Adolph Hitler and his Fascist that he called Nazism into political power. And in 2016 may bring Cruz to power.
In the case of the United States, it is the Invisible
Hand and the T-Party that is responsible for the rise of our American fascist clone.
Douglas R. Casey in Media, Mania & the Markets: How to Turn Media Hype Into Investments Profits (1995) writes in about “What Every Politician Learned From Hitler and Mussolini.” He posits that the fact that politicians use the media to gain power is nothing new. Have you ever seen those old, black-and-white news clips of Hitler leading thousands of Germans in a “Heil Hitler” salute? Or legions of Hitler Youth goose-stepping through the streets of Berlin?
At one time, Hitler was a vagrant sleeping on the floors of Austrian coffeehouses. By 1933, he was the self-appointed [elected] dictator of the 2nd largest economy in the world—which he turned into a cruel police state that eventually presided over the extermination of 6 million European Jews.
How did such a twisted man get such a firm grip on the minds and hearts of the German people? The same way Mussolini took over Italy in 1922. They shared the same secret agenda—to win power. To get what they wanted, all they had to do was create a banner and get the people to march behind it. Politicians today use the same technique to get elected and then stay in office [and shutdown the US Government].
IT’S EVEN WORSE THAN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THINK
Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein
Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein in It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How The American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics Of Extremism (2012) declare that the young guns have taken over the House and are bent on declaring Armageddon over the Debt Ceiling.
Mann and Ornstein declare that as the result of the 2011 debt limit fandango was by no means preordained. The Republican Party leaders did not have guaranteed votes to pull out just in time, nor were they playing the usual political games to gain more traction on the argument for greater fealty to fiscal discipline. For the first time, major political figures, including top congressional leaders and serious presidential candidates, openly called for default or demanded dramatic and unilateral policy changes in return for preserving the full faith and credit of the United States. For some members, including but not limited to Tea party freshmen, the real threat of Armageddon was a way of spurning “politics as usual,” of showing they would operate outside the old-boy-network of standard Washington practices.
For Republican leaders, the hope was that the genuine threat of breaching the debt limit would force the president to cave, giving them both a substantive and, more importantly, a political victory over a weak president forced to bend to their will. They were joined by major outside opinion leaders like hedge fund manager Stan Druckenmiller, a staunch conservative, who told the Wall Street Journal that he had no far of default—that he was more uneasy about a deal between the parties that would compromise his ideology.
Mann and Ornstein relate that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell declared July 13, 2011, his own reflections on why Congress needed to avoid default, not because it would cause serious economic hardship, but because it could damage the Republican brand, just as the blowback from the government shutdown at the end of 1995 had done:
I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy. If we go into default, he will say that Republicans are making the economy worse and try to convince the public—maybe with some merit, if people stop getting their Social Security checks and military families start getting letters saying service people overseas don’t get paid. It’s an argument he could have a good chance of winning, and all of the sudden we have co-ownership of a bad economy. That is very bad positioning going into an election.
McConnell’s statement indicating a desire to cut a deal and avoid default changed the dynamic, but as he said, it was not because he feared the economic consequences for the country, but because the failure to do so would damage the Republican brand. The clear implication was that if default brought economic hardship and the president and Democrats got blamed, that would be just fine. That kind of calculus—putting partisan advantage ahead of problem-solving, with the stakes for the country being sky-high—was not politics as usual, at least not as we have seen it practiced through several generations of party leaders.
Widening Income Gap 'Concerns' Obama
4 min 11 sec
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
In our talk yesterday with President Obama, he said he will not make concessions to Republicans who quote, "threatened to burn down the house." We are hearing parts of the interview throughout today's program.
Amid the latest political crisis, our economy keeps evolving. And so we used part of our conversation in the Oval Office to ask the president about the longer term trends.
You've talked a lot during your time in office about the widening gap between the rich and everybody else. This is a decades-long trend. But a good part of that trend has now taken part - taken place on your watch. There was a study I was reading: 2009 to 2012, overwhelming majority of the increase in income in this country went to the wealthiest 1 percent. Why is that happening on your watch?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, it's one of my biggest concerns. And part of it has to do with the fact that these long-term trends have accelerated. Globalization, combined with technology, have stripped away a lot of the basic security that middle-income people had because a lot of those middle-income jobs have left. Either they were moved overseas, they were replaced with technology - whether you're talking about a bank teller; a travel agent; a high-level administrator in a lot of companies; if you go to many manufacturers, it's all robotized. So some of the - that's part of the trend. But...
INSKEEP: Are your efforts not helping with this?
OBAMA: Well, there's no doubt...
INSKEEP: The law was passed under a Democratic Congress.
OBAMA: Well, no - there are no doubts that what we've done has helped. So for example, the changes we made in the tax law that increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans while locking in tax cuts for middle-class Americans, that helped. That made the tax system more progressive.
INSKEEP: The economist Tyler Cowen was on our program the other day. He'd written a book about income inequality. And he argued, based on his analysis, that it's really inevitable, it's going to get worse, and the thing for public officials to do is to adapt to it rather than try to change it.
OBAMA: Well, I don't accept that. America is always been at its best when everybody who's willing to work hard has a chance to succeed. There is no doubt that these trends are powerful and they're global. I mean, we're seeing the same trends in Scandinavian countries that historically were - prided themselves on great equality. We've seen it magnified in less developed countries and emerging markets. So these are global trends that we're going to have to fight against.
But if we are educating a workforce that has the skills they need to compete, if we have a tax system that is fair and not rewarding those who can afford high-priced accountants and lawyers, if we are rebuilding our infrastructure in this country, not only to make us more competitive but because those create jobs that can't be exported, if we are increasing a minimum wage so that it's reflective of the same purchasing power that existed many years ago, if we're creating more ladders of opportunity for people who are locked in neighborhoods that have been abandoned and small towns where factories have closed - if we do those things, then we can lessen the impact of these broader market forces.
But what is true is that globalization and technology are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they create a situation in which consumer goods are cheap and they create a situation in which we can have access to goods and services that we would never have had before. On the other hand, it does create a situation in which a lot of the jobs that are created are at the very top, high-skilled, you know, creative work that can't be replicated; or at the bottom, low-skilled jobs. What we don't have are those jobs in the middle that we have to really focus on building, because we can out-compete anybody when we have smart policies.
INSKEEP: And that's part of our interview with President Obama yesterday afternoon at the White House.
Elsewhere in the program, he talks about the government shutdown in the debt ceiling fight to come. And you can find a transcript of the full interview at npr.org.
INSKEEP: This is NPR News. http://www.npr.org/2013/10/01/228050098/widening-in-income-gap-conc...
Copyright © 2013 NPR
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