Given the new Obama administration, there have been plenty of Republican cries of “socialism.” Especially, coming from no less than Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli. The very idea that gvt must intervene in the economy: “socialist.” The very idea that the gvt must begin passing out checks to restart the business of jobs creation: “socialist.” The very idea that gvt must bail out home owners: has to be met with protest rallies, of course. And pregnant women wearing t-shirts that declare my baby is paying your mortgage. In short, the so-called “right” being fresh out of compassion for those made newly impoverished, or is there an undergirding fear of their own mortality when it comes to jobs, homes and health care lost and therefore it becomes necessary to scapegoat your neighbor who has already fallen on hard times, and not necessarily of his or her free will.
I watched “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in full this morning having missed part of it the night before, Jon Stewart had something to say about Rick Santelli beefing on the Chicago trading floor about the general population having to take over toxic loans through their tax dollars. Of course that is literally true, it would have to happen that way. But the same taxpayers have to pay to put props under such sinking companies as AIG, Citibank, and etc. What Mr. Stewart went and did was to look back of old video files of CNBC, Fox and etc. from 2007 and 2008 when the CEOS were claiming nothing but sunshine and roses for their respective companies, the same respective companies that went belly up. Such as Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros and etc. At the same time, news channels such as Fox and CNBC failed to ask these CEOs any kind of hard questions. He made it plain in the first part of his show that Wall Street wasn’t bothered with taking all that taxpaid for bailout money. Santelli just had heartburn that those who got burned over subprime mortages shouldn’t get part of the bail out pie. However, before companies such as Countrywide disappeared into the ether were known to have encouraged home buyers to use their existing property as a credit card. Just as, so Mr. Stewart noted, people were being told they could invest in companies and literally trust the people who ran them (into the ground, incidentally) with their money, and yes, lost. Bernie Madoff comes to mind. Literally, the news media was in the tank for the business world and failed to take note of obviously troubling signs already evident in the real world. Mr. Stewart would later ask a business columnist for the New York Times all about that… So, is it “socialist” to see gvt as lending assistance to the common people according to those who once ran the gvt that aided the rich and richer?
Harold Meyerson took a look in the history books to describe what Communists and Socialists were in fact doing back in the 1930s, literally, the destruction of capitalism. Of gvt that ultimately controlled and nationalized everything. Which did happen in the then Soviet Union, China and etc. Just because Obama is pushing money out the door and seeking new regulations to keep businesses fairly stable and profitable, does not mean that he is pushing for a pure nationalization of the private sector, and Meyerson knows this. Businesses have managed quite well with regs and taxation. They began to fail when those regs were relaxed or went unenforced. Just as they would fail when they decided a disconnect could exist between the American consumer and American labor. When actually, they are one and the same. In the case of GM, now facing the prospect of financing bankruptcy charges, health care costs for workers was cited as one cause of their losing billions in money. Even exorbitant pensions. What wasn’t cited was high oil prices and the better competition from foreign imports. In short, the American consumer/labor was to blame for the failings at the corporate level. The failure of decision making to make use of cutting edge technology to produce hybrid cars, perhaps even electric cars and keep them on the road after the late 70s oil shock was over with. Only in the last few years did American auto companies begin changing over all car design. But that was long after foreign car makers had already done so. Behind the curve, and then the latest oil shocks of just 2008 alone and the American consumer suddenly found it impossible to have to decide between a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk and which was more affordable. Businesses literally started shutting down because of that oil shock, fueled in part by rapacious speculators, and the bad economic news only got worse from there. No rules, right? And the global economy started shutting down. So, lawlessness=capitalism? And the consequences of lawlessness, well the bankruptcy that already did happen. But, it took all of 8 years and a new administration before Fox News, Lou Dobbs and etc. could cotton onto it. Now that the new administration isn’t GOP, of course.
I guess that Meyerson got a little tired of the tirades and so as a confessed Democratic Socialist said what he knew of his particular political persuasion. That what Obama was doing was simply trying to revitalize capitalism, of course under a new set of rules. A gvt that begins looking out for the people—as Lou Dobbs once begged it to do—is now assaulting our liberties!!! (Circa 6 March 2009, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart). What Dobbs was really railing about was new gun laws or bans on sales of guns sold across the border and possibly into the hands of narco terrorists. And that is an assault on the American right to keep and bear arms? Uh, excuse me, but why would we arm narco terrorists who are definitely engaging in wholesale slaughter of their own people and mowing down Americans north of the border as well. Well, why would we? Wonder if Dobbs ever thought that President Obama might have been paying attention to his 180° terrorcast about narco terrorists and illegal aliens over 2008? And yes, proceeding to protect American citizens by banning the sale of such weapons. Suddenly, the NRA is more important than narco terrorists getting their hands on heavy firepower developed in this nation. Or the protection of the American people along the Mexican border. You just have to wonder.