Commentary: This is a continuation of a series of exchanges between myself and conservatives who have taken issue with comments that I have made through FB. I call it: Letters from the Left to the Right". If I think they are justifiably angry but wrong on the facts of the issue I put the name calling aside and try to engage them in a rational dialogue.
In response to an article in The Huffington Post about how small businesses are suffering while global giaints' prosper in the wake of the financial meltdown I posted a comment that we had nationalized the Banks Debt but didn't Nationalize their profits or cap their bonuses and that that is exactly what we should have done Nationalize the Banks starting with the Fed. I got an angry responses from a man I didn't know and he accused me of being a radical socialist and that i was anti American. After reading his response I took a chance and wrote him directly on his FB page. The following is a series of exchanges that took place over several weeks.
Michael February 18 at 11:23am
Sorry you have misconstrued my meaning. I am talking specifically about globalized corporations and large monopolistic banks that brought this country to its knees with their phony "too large to fail" excuse to rob the American taxpayers. All the players in that scenario were Wall Street insiders. The reason the average American worker is out of a job is that globalized corporations have found cheaper labor in foreign countries and they get paid by the American taxpayer to do it. I am not a champion of Communism. I am a champion of restoring the balance of power. In The Federalist #10, James Madison said the most destructive thing a republic could face is an imbalance of power where one faction imposes its will to the detriment of everyone else. Certainly just an objective observation by anyone of the current American political scene shows that in the past 30 years that power has shifted heavily in favor of the super rich. They pay no taxes to speak of in fact their are the main beneficiaries of the tax cuts over the past 30 years. All of those tax cuts are borrowed money and are being paid for by you and I. Today in this nation 1% of the population control 95% of the wealth. If you have ever played Monopoly as a kid you know that when everyone else is bankrupt you are the winner and the game is over. In real life that means families become homeless and are torn apart. I know that the propaganda of the Right is appealing, but I challenge you to find one program they endorse that will help create jobs. They claimed that the tax cuts for mega rich would create jobs. In fact their mantra of more and more tax cuts have had the opposite effect, there have been an exodus of jobs. The playing field is not level its been tilted by the influence of corporate lobbyist who have sold Americans a toxic mix of poisonous propaganda and bought every politician that has no morality. I am an ardent student of American history and have read many of the documents that were the underpinnings of this democratic republic. most of the claims made by the republicans are contrary to what the founders intended. They didn't want a small government as the Republicans insist, the wanted a large robust government that protected the people from the tyranny of the majority or minority. Why would they rewrite our history? When someone lies to me I start looking for their ulterior motives. It usually comes down to greed. Why did they want to deregulate the banks? They got their wish and look what happened within ten years the banks bankrupted this country. In closing I hope you will take an objective look at the current American political scene and reconsider what is really going on in this country.
Charlie February 18 at 4:42pm
The extremes you speak of are not the answer. But a Deli closing portending the end of the world is .....well......way too fanciful.
Michael February 20 at 5:18pm
Thanks for the reply, however I would take exception to your assertion that my ideas are extreme. For example, if you think my idea of Nationalizing the FED is extreme or radical it might interest you to know that there were other American Extremists who thought that it was a good idea—they were: Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln—from a book by Andrew Hitchcock "The History of Money Changers"
James Madison stated,
"The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did. They always will ... They will have the same effect here as elsewhere, if we do not, by the power of government, keep them in their proper spheres."
Jefferson later made the following statement,
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations which grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
President Jackson vetoed a bill to renew the Charter of The Second Bank of America and in his veto message he stated the following,
"It is not our own citizens only who are to receive the bounty of our Government. More than eight millions of the stock of the Bank are held by foreigners ... Is there no danger to out liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country?
Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence ... would be more formidable and dangerous than a military power of the enemy. If government would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower the favor alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.
In the act before me there seems to be wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles."
After the Bankers refused America credit to fight the war and Lincoln began issuing "Greenbacks" Lincoln said:
"The Government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is in the Government's greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles ... the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity."
In A History of American Banking under the Title:
Deregulation, Bank Failures, and New Technology
it states that:
Several deregulatory moves made by the federal government in the 1980s diminished the distinctions among various financial institutions in the United States. Two major changes were the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (1980) and the Depository Institutions Act (1982), which allowed savings and loan associations to engage in often-risky commercial loans and real estate investments, and to receive checking deposits. By 1984, banks had federal support in buying discount brokerage firms, and commercial banks were beginning to acquire failed savings banks; in 1985 interstate banking was declared constitutional.
Such deregulation was blamed for the unprecedented number of bank failures among savings and loan associations, with over 500 such institutions closing between 1980 and 1988. The Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC), until it became insolvent in 1989, insured deposits in all federally chartered—and in many state-chartered—savings and loan associations. Its outstanding insurance obligations in connection with savings and loan failures, over $100 billion, were transferred (1989) to the FDIC.
Further deregulation occurred in 1999, when Congress overhauled the entire U.S. financial system. Among other actions, the legislation repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, thus allowing banks to enter the insurance and securities businesses. Supporters predicted that the measure would permit U.S. banks to diversify and compete more effectively on an international scale. Opponents warned that this deregulation could lead to failures of many financial institutions, as had occurred with the savings and loans.
That's from a objective third party. What bothers me is that when deregulation failed and brought about the "financial crisis" that has brought this country to near ruin—the Republicans didn't bat an eye or even acknowledge that their policies to deregulate had failed—they brazenly stuck to their guns and blamed everyone except themselves and tried to block legislation to Banking reform, which is the primary function of government to regulate "special interests" or as Madison referred to them "factions".
The Fed creates money and gives it to the banks interest free the banks turn around and charge you and I as much as 20-30%. That my friend is why we are up to our eyeballs in debt. Its private banks that set the interest rates, its not the, poor who need help with heating oil, teacher unions in Wisconsin or any other targeted group the Republicans go after. Its the banks and the corrupt politicians they own. We bailed them out and now they are sitting on boatloads of money and they won't lend it to keep the economy afloat. That should tell you something about their morality or lack thereof. I don't know about you but, I am a Christian and the oppression of the poor leaves me enraged.
Charlie February 20 at 6:32pm Report
Mike....you are amazing me with the stuff you are aware of. The unions are being targeted by Republicans for a good reason.....their benefits are out of whack.
Michael February 21 at 1:57pm
WOW! I am almost speechless I just laid out why the bankers have nearly ruined the economy with "credit default swaps" and how the Republicans have given the banks a pass and tried to block new financial reform and you say the Republicans need to regulate unions because their benefits are out of whack. So in essence your telling me—Republicans are willing to regulate teachers and firefighters wages but not monopolistic predatory banks—who are the real cause of this mess. I have a news flash—the unions are not the cause of the economic problems that face this nation—the Republicans are attacking unions because they are part of the democratic base and they are trying to eliminate any and all Democratic support. Charlie I am sure you are a good decent man, but let me just say that the downfall of this Nation will not come from the Left and some "commie plot" it will come from the Right just like it did in pre war Germany after Hitler disbanded all political opposition. This Nation as the Founders intended it —a democratic republic—is already dying and is in its last days—if the Republicans have their way, we will all be servants of the "upper class" and I will stake my life on the fact that the "upper class" does not include me or you and our families or anyone that you or I associate with. They think Americans are stupid and will blindly follow them when they spout their simplistic propaganda and hatred. They counting on Americans being prejudiced, lazy and ignorant. There is a reason Rush Limbaugh refers to his audience as "dittoheads" In his arrogance he is telling them they can't think for themselves—so as he might—say—"let me do your thinking for you". It is a reflection of the real distain he has for people that are swayed by him. I urge you my friend to really pray about this instead of blindly supporting the people that are going to destroy this country. As a veteran I pledged an oath to defend this country from enemies—outside and inside—this country, the real enemies as I see it are NOT Unions, but the people who want to suppress them.
Charlie March 3 at 8:00am
Jesus said "The poor you always have with you". By seeking to replace jobs with redistribution the Feds have spent trillions to no avail. The tyrannical bouguise is now the university-government elites who are NOT the super rich but make millions and billions feeding at the government trough. If you want someone to fight against.... fight against that entangled web of bureaucrats and tenored socialists.
Michael March 3 at 9:40am
Are you talking about the bourgeois causing this crisis? I am having trouble with understanding how the middle class are the culprits in this financial meltdown. The Banks were deregulated and started creating predatory loans that have put middle class families into foreclosure and bankruptcy. Tenured "socialists" and government bureaucrats—whoever they are—didn't do that.
Just so there is no mistake and I understand you—the word "bourgeois" is defined as a noun:
1. A person belonging to the middle class.
2. A person whose attitudes and behavior are marked by conformity to the standards and conventions of the middle class.
3. In Marxist theory, a member of the property-owning class; a capitalist.
as an adj.
1. Of, relating to, or typical of the middle class.
2. Held to be preoccupied with respectability and material values.
Is that correct? If that is the definition of "the bourgeois" you are talking about, isn't that the American Dream to become a property owner? A person of respectability? A contributor to society? A person of means? Are you saying the American Dream is dead? And only the the mega-rich should survive?
Furthermore, the context of the quote—"the poor will always be with us"—was the night of the Passover Seder or the Last Supper as we Christians refer to it. A poor woman came in and anointed Jesus with expensive oil which the disciples objected to as a "waste of money"—that could be given to the poor.
Please note that if the money hadn't been spent on the oil it would have been given to the poor instead.
Jesus chastised them and said, he would not be around much longer, but that the poor would always be in need of charity. He didn't mean to say what you seem to be implying that we should ignore the poor because they are an endless affliction on society. To the contrary his entire mission was focused on the poor, the sick, the downtrodden, and sinners like me and you.
By the way the full quote about the poor is found in Mark 14:7
7“For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me.
In fact in one of his most famous teachings about who will be saved Jesus said:
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these , you did not do for me.’
The "least of these" are: the poor, the sick, the hungry, the naked, everything the democrats have done in the area of public policy—health care, social security, food for the poor, heating oil subsidies, education programs to lift the children of the poor out of poverty, are a in proper alignment with what Jesus commanded us to do—love one another as I have loved you. We've spent trillions on the poor and there are still poor—so to hell with em? What?
You sound like a man of principle and a christian—if what Jesus said is true and you believe him as I do—then my advice to you is—if you have one crust of bread left give it to someone that has none. Because my friend, you can't lay up earthly treasure that will help you where we are all going. "What profit a man who gains the world and loses his soul?"