The Fierce Urgency of Now!

I heard an interesting programme on The BBC World service called The Forum, where they were discussing the long term v. the short term which raised some very interesting issues regarding the US economy and capitalism. Not that many of the things they talked about were revelations, since I say them quite a bit, but they were something which needed to be said somewhere other than this blog. The problem is that USMSM is far too simplistic, even US Public Broadcasting which imagines that it is on par with the BBC.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: short term thinking imprisoning capitalism and justice.

First off, the US media simplifies the issues, in particular, regarding the US budget. There is too much of an emphasis on making things black and white when the world exists in 256 greyscale. The same goes to US v. THEM in the myriad versions of that theme. Especially when one puts the US v. THEM in religious context. That makes it that WE are RIGHT and THEY are EVIL in a sense of religious fervour. This is why republican lawmakers can take an oath promising “no new taxes” even if it leads to economic Armageddon.

In this viewpoint, the enemy is weak and WE are strong. Compromise is a sign of weakness, not a virtue. So, the lawmakers left and right are obstinate in their positions and not dealing with the issues.  It’s easier to say something is “socialism” and not address the issue than deal with the complicated problems which face the United States.   US Politics has become soundbites:  Bumper Sticker solutions to complicated problems.  Simplistic solutions are meaningless.

You can’t have a sustainable economy when 5-10% of the people own 95% of the assets. The people who own most of the assets will topple the economy if they see it in their best interest.  They are not interested in the public at large.  That is part of the reason that “trickle-down”, “supply side economics”, or whatever you want to call it does not work.  That theory does not factor in greed and selfishness. Anything that addresses the inequality is labelled “Socialism”, or worse, which leads the low information voter to vote against their self-interest.

Michelle Alexander raises some interesting issues on the War on Drugs, in particular that this results in black men losing the civil rights that were gained forty years ago: voting, serving on juries, etcetera. Furthermore, drug crime is on the wain, yet this get tough on crime rhetoric works to channel the systemic racism in the US. This is because “crime” is a code word for “inner city blacks”. Even though Barack Obama is president, there is still systemic racism in the United States.

Next weeks Forum sounds pretty good as well—it’s about political elites!  Of course, that’s another topic that sets me off which is related to this post as well.  Although, the write up says that this programme is about dictators, whereas the US is an oligarchy posing as a democracy.  The masses have been dulled so far into a stupor that they don’t see this.

See also:
BBC World service’s The Forum: 23/07/2011
Wisconsin State AFL-CIO–The Right Wing Agenda

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