USA 2008: RIP?
November 24, 2008
As a longtime economics and financial correspondent, I am just stunned reading today’s news. Totally and completely flabbergasted. November began with us watching the global financial system starting to melt down. But it is ending with what appears to be the near-total collapse of the U.S. economy itself, along with many of the most basic and important rules, customs and practices that once made it the envy of the world. How on earth will an ethical bank ever compete with the unethical and usurious Citibank now that Citibank has the federal government as a full silent partner? How will new auto companies and new technologies compete with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler after those companies get billions in operating subsidies from the feds? Will state and local governments ever build or maintain a single decent new road once it becomes possible for rich drivers to push poor drivers off our existing roads in the name of congestion pricing? We are witnessing much more than the economy in free fall. We are watching the destruction of the American way of life. That system, the one we learned about in school, was based on free enterprise and taxpayer support for basic infrastructure that everyone needed. In its place we are getting a new version of fascism, call it American Fascism, characterized by an incestuous relationship between big government and big business and involuntarily financed with taxes extracted from working men and women. Who is getting help in Washington today? Industries with lobbying muscle. Wealth is being served. With our money. As the Beatles used to say, “I read the news today…Oh, boy.”