Thursday, July 17, 2008

Disaster Prone

I confess, I have what used to be called a sunny disposition. It isn't easy for me to see dark and horrible things going on, and I don't like to look at them. Yesterday at Crooks & Liars I participated in a conversation with Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine.

Ms. Klein
Alan Greenspan has stated that he let the subprime crisis continue after he saw it coming, because he thought the effects would be widespread and dispersed, admitted he was wrong. Do you think he really is admitting a mistake, or passing off his real reasoning, that economic disaster would mean getting more control? What his successor is asking is essentially a centralization in one agency of the now somewhat scattered powers of regulation of the finance sphere.

[Nicole Bell] Good question, Ruth. The sub-prime mortgage crisis is another area I’d like to see you expand on the impact of disaster capitalism. It is a crisis that I think was actually created, if you look at how mortgage companies were encouraged to issue loans to people who might not have qualified in more cautious times.

[Naomi Klein] Absolutely it was created, and the directions came from the very top. This was the centerpiece of Bush’s now discredited “ownership society” idea. Here is a quote from Oct 2004: “We're ownership society in this country, where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, welcome to my house, welcome to my piece of property.” It was the president who told the lenders to give away mortgages and don’t worry about whether they can be paid, it was political strategy to try to win low-income and minority voters over the Republicans, plus it created a nice little bubble for speculators.

[Me, though time ran out and she never got back to this one.] 'Welcome to my piece of property', indeed. Of course, as I mentioned to Nicole, the diminution of salaries disables previously cautious buyers/consumers as well - and recent runups in price are taking the economic legs out from under huge portions of the previously stable, planned, public. So I hear rumblings of an "October surprise" to bring the election back into the GOP hands. Is that paranoid?

Frankly, I am still ruminating on this. Would appreciate your thoughts.

That this regrettably gullible electorate would be used so badly is hard for me to take. Ignorance isn't a crime, except when it has the vote. Then it can impose conditions on this country that are past bearing

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether it was a natural disaster or a Bush created calamity makes very little difference to the pain and the remedy.

Bush is like a serial killer who has killed untold number of people and then you realize that you find more bodies.

At this stage we need a government by adults and this is going to happen in 2009 whoever wins.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Sincerely to be hoped that we get adults in high office, but it won't if McCayn gets in, more of the same is all we'll get then.

2:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home