Economic Crisis: You finally noticed?

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I will admit that there's a frightening part of me enjoying the officially agreed upon international economic crisis, for two reasons.

First, we have had an international economic crisis since there's been an international economy. Most people have been royally screwed since the royals were directly in charge. Knowing this, and watching the media constantly act like everything is fundamentally OK, and most people go along with it, has been a painful tragic comedy. Now, despite the large headlines announcing the worldwide financial meltdown, the rest of the coverage is pretty much the same fluff and nonsense-- but this time everyone's in on the joke.

Second, I have expected the imaginary economy of trading finances and exchanging currencies to come crashing down for ten years, and of course lots of Marxist have been expecting it for far longer. More and more of the economy becomes about making rich people richer and less and less about meeting the needs of most peaple. That is fundamentally unsustainable. The only reason, in my book, that we haven't continued the boom and bust cycle of depressions that culminated in the Great Depression 80 years ago is the enormous flywheel effect of Social Security and other government, in particular military, spending has put on the economy. That is money . But with the deregulation of banks and brokerages and such, undoing the very laws put in place because of the Great Depression, this was very, very predictable, and predicted.

Which is why the credit card companies and car dealers and everyone else in the business of getting people to spend money they don't have began lobbying, in an ultimately successful ten year effort, to make it impossible

And that's where there is no enjoyment. Despite all the reasons, despite the utter deligitimization of the Republican and Democratic parties, exposed both as representatives of the grossly rich and as incapable of actually solving any real problems (in other words exposing the grossly rich as too greedy and incompetent to truly safeguard even their own long-term interests), we are not organized to save ourselves. All the institutions of the wealthy most responsible for the current disaster should be on the run, from the Chicago School of Economics and Harvard Business School to Citibank and Bank of America to Wal-Mart and ExxonMobil to the government itself, and they are not. Now almost everybody is being kicked in the face and we're too stupid to listen to the people who have been kicked in the face so long they've figured out who is doing it.

An unfair economy is a bad economy, is an unstable economy, and the fix is clear-- make it fair by redistributing accumulated wealth, that by the very nature of monopoly and bargaining power unfairly accrues more easily to the already wealthy, and so to keep things fair needs to be regularly redistributed. At least two percent a year would have very little direct impact on the wealth of the very rich (and of course most people would have a net gain) but the effects of more fairness would be radical. The concept of minimum wage would be obsolete, because no one would work for insultingly little, just as no wealthy person would today. It's a matter of bargaining power, and in addition to life being better at work the resources to start a new business or organization to meet some need or desire of people you know, or not -- and them having money to pay you with -- means that much more good things will be done and every business will have more competition. It is this fairness that the selfish wealthy oppose desperately, not any redistribution itself, which is why public control of natural resources, for instance, is always fought.

Money is just a way of organizing people though. To really have the power to put that kind of fairer economy in place, we're going to need to be so well organized we can meet many of our needs directly anyway, whether or not there are any central governments involved.