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Re: SC50

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September 12, 2007 01:49PM
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6750

Economic Crisis: The U.S. Political Leadership Has Failed

.........As the 2007 economic collapse picks up speed, it’s time to take a hard look at the performance of the U.S. national political leadership in meeting some of their most fundamental responsibilities. It’s time to face the fact of serious failure over the last quarter century.

During this time, the leaders of both political parties and of major institutions such as the Federal Reserve have presided over the abandonment of some of the most solemn obligations of constitutional government. They have done this in order to embrace an agenda favorable mainly to the financial, corporate, and government elites............

............ Our political leadership has let us down in the following critical respects:

Going back to the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established an economic system—the New Deal—that pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression, enabled us to fight World War II, and created the world’s greatest industrial democracy. He did this largely through programs that, taken together, were based on the principle of low-cost credit treated as a public utility. This persisted into the 1960s and 70s, when it was replaced with the system of monetarism, whereby the economy is now regulated by the Federal Reserve ( which is a private organization created by elite world banking entities, and is not part of the US government despite popular misconceptions that it is ) through raising and lowering of interest rates. This system, with interest rates much higher, on average, than during previous decades, has been catastrophic for the U.S. economy. It has enriched the financial industry at the expense of everyone else through what can only be called institutionalized usury. Under this system, every period of economic growth since 1983 has been a bank-created bubble, while the general population has become steadily poorer. The Federal Reserve claims that it raises interest rates to reduce inflation, when in fact higher interest rates cause inflation by making every transaction more expensive. Under the reign of monetarism, the U.S. dollar has lost over eighty percent of its value. In fact, government policies are designed to generate inflation, because this makes it cheaper to pay down the national debt and while augmenting tax revenues.

It has been well-documented that since the early 1980s the federal government has acquiesced in every respect to economic policies that have resulted in the steady erosion of our manufacturing base, elimination of millions of skilled industrial jobs, creation of a crushing burden of household and individual debt, crumbling of our physical infrastructure, privatization or elimination of public services, failure to meet such crises as the Katrina disaster, export of jobs to low-cost foreign labor markets, unfair distribution of taxation, and toleration of the influx of millions of illegal aliens who keep wages low within the domestic economy.

Since the Clinton administration, the government has misled the public through distortion of economic indicators. Calculations of the GDP are too high and exaggerate the growth of the economy. The consumer price index on which government cost-of-living adjustments are based has eliminated such items as food, fuel, and home buying. Actual inflation is running at a rate of three times what the government estimates; i.e. closer to ten percent than the three percent which is claimed. Regarding the money supply, the Federal Reserve has stopped reporting one of the most important indicators, which is M3—the amount of money available to the largest institutional investors. Data which are available today show without question that the producing economy—that is, the everyday world of people who work for a living—has been in recession for over a year. Meanwhile, the financial economy that lives off the producers as a parasite continues to float on rollovers of mega-loans originating with the Federal Reserve and its policy of allowing banks to capitalize the massive amounts of repurchase agreements generated by electronic funds transfer.

Insufficient attention has been paid to the disastrous effects of NAFTA in destroying family farming in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. On top of this has been the diversion of agricultural products into bio-fuel production with the attendant inflationary effects. Meanwhile, our food supply has been taken over by agribusiness and the financial markets at the same time that two-thirds of the nation has been in the grip of long-term drought. The high interest rates of the monetarist regime have worked to make farming at the local level impossible and have destroyed the production of entire regions, such as the once-great Idaho potato industry. Unless local farming can be revived, there is a real-danger of massive food shortages breaking out under a prolonged economic crisis.

Finally, there are our failed foreign and military policies. After the U.S. lost the Vietnam War, we had reason to believe that our political leaders might have learned a lesson about military adventures abroad, particularly land wars on the continent of Asia. Instead, starting in earnest with the "Reagan doctrine" of endless proxy conflicts on every continent, the U.S. has embarked on a policy of world military conquest. The Iraq War, the planned permanent occupation of that country, and the designs being formulated against Iran, are part of a policy of military control of the Middle East that has been ongoing for almost twenty years. The dual objectives of this policy are to control Middle Eastern oil and advance the interests of Israel. Talk of the "surge," troop drawdown, etc., are nonsense, because the U.S. plans to occupy permanent bases and control the remaining oil reserves in the region. These wars are being paid for by sale of Treasury bonds to possible future adversaries such as China, while the U.S. bubble economy that is backing up our military forces overseas is deflating. Clearly something has to give, either through exhaustion of our military capability abroad, economic collapse at home, or the catastrophe of a world war. The denouement seems to be drawing closer as foreign governments dump their U.S. dollars which are declining in value due to the twin trade and fiscal deficits. What our leaders should now be doing is recognize the fact that we live in a multilateral world where conflicts can only be resolved by nations acting as equals under the umbrella of the U.N.
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