[Before reading today’s blog, please devote a few minutes to the following brief excerpts from today’s broadcast of DemocracyNow! featuring two impressive candidates for the U.S. presidency, the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein and the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson, each responding to last night’s presidential debate -- in real time, thanks to Amy Goodman’s innovative “expanded” coverage. Discussing the economy, the two MSM-arginalized (and corporate debate commission-barred) candidates both strongly endorsed the single most obvious approach to ending America’s deficit woes: adopting a Medicare-for-All/single-payer healthcare system (saving nearly $300 billion annually per a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and in all likelihood dramatically improving health outcomes for Americans).]
And now you know why these two outstanding candidates were prohibited from participating in the “presidential debates” controlled (more rigidly than ever, it seems) by a corporate commission created and run by the national Democratic and Republican parties.
Unlike Romney and Obama, Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson are not actually on board with the .01%’s program to privatize, outsource, and break the United States and its middle class with “austerity” over the next decade, needlessly slashing entitlements and deliberately sabotaging public institutions like the Postal Service and America’s public school system (with so-called “education reform” a Trojan horse for union-busting privatization that has broad bipartisan support across our pay-to-play government). Unlike Romney and Obama, Stein and Anderson do not ignore sensible, proven approaches to resolving the crises in employment, education, and our crumbling infrastructure. Nor do they share the establishment candidates’ zeal for economically suicidal trade deals that decimate American jobs and erode national sovereignty.
But sadly, all indications are that either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama is going to be president for the next four years: the Ultimate Soulless/Predatory “Trust Me” Charlatan or the Ultimate Wall St. Pawn/Middle Class-Civil Liberties Sell-Out. Either prospect is genuinely terrifying and deeply depressing, representing a profound failure on the part of the American people to perceive and forcefully resist the near-total corruption of our politics and leading institutions by those who are clearly working against our interests (those trying to deftly manage/manufacture the permanent contraction of the American middle class while they shrink/eliminate/privatize public services and reduce consumer/worker/citizen protections under the law in order to further the already ludicrous advantages enjoyed by rapacious corporations, hedge funds, and the insanely wealthy, generally).
Obama and Romney have both amply demonstrated their intent to continue thinning America’s middle class with SHOCK DOCTRINE “austerity” and creating new generations of American poor while the gravy train rolls on for the MIC and Wall St. (with Obama growing the defense budget every year he’s been in office, while millions lost their jobs and homes — with his administration still bailing out the banksters, to the tune of $85 billion/month, four years after the 2008 crash). And the economic fleecing America has endured over the last four years has been compounded with an endless assault on our civil liberties and the rule of law — all on behalf of the .01%, the corporatocracy that America helped create, but which no longer serves its interests… if indeed it ever did.
Like many a plutocrat (see Mitt Romney), nominally American corporations are starving the U.S. of revenue in myriad ways, but particularly by keeping some $2 trillion in wealth offshore (no patriots, these). A recent study reported in Forbes indicates that some $21-31 trillion has been offshored by wealthy tax evaders the world over, depriving revenue to governments from America to Europe and beyond, even while the West’s economies are facing historic challenges (again, where are the patriotic plutocrats?). Our government’s owners are also aggressively promoting the aforementioned trade deals that have hemorrhaged millions of American jobs. And they are stifling (through the establishment media and politicians they control) practically all discussion of the painfully obvious solutions to America’s economic woes: KEYNESIAN investment in infrastructure, FDR-style; and transitioning to MEDICARE-FOR-ALL (not to mention revising those trade pacts and taxing the rich in a manner that comports with America’s history of fair, reasonably progressive taxation).
These remedies should be no-brainers. Only in America we are no longer allowed to discuss in establishment circles the policies most likely to actually help our economy recover in a meaningful way — because today’s discussion is focused almost entirely on AUSTERITY (which has done wonders for Europe, no?). The establishment has clearly decided that it is time for America to recede; the country’s true owners will not tolerate any national discussion of long overdue banking reforms or non-industry-authored healthcare reforms. With four presidential debates behind us, neither the moderators nor the candidates dared broach such topics; nor did they touch on America’s cruel, counterproductive, and fundamentally racist Drug War (so profitable for so few, so costly for the rest of us); nor did they discuss the virtual slave labor taking place in America’s prisons, making a mockery of our proclaimed values. And they did not begin to question the wisdom of America’s grotesquely stupid national security strategy, no matter how much evidence accrues that the post-9/11 U.S. approach to fighting terrorism — global, boundless war, with ever-diminishing civil liberties (the Romney-endorsed Bush-Obama approach) — has been absolutely bankrupt, intellectually and morally, since its inception, metastasizing global terrorism and damaging America’s reputation and national interests from the very start (something that most of the nation’s voting citizenry soon realized and articulated strongly in consecutive national elections in 2006 and 2008, voting largely against torture and the Bush/Cheney approach to war, including the assault on our civil liberties… which President Obama proceeded unnecessarily to cement and expand).
…and that’s enough bitching about the status quo for now, I suppose.
NEXT: Part II, Practical Election Advice & an Endorsement!