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Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Quotation from 2008, Still Apt for the Obama years

"never has one generation spent so much of its children's wealth in such a short period of time with so little to show for it as in the Bush years. Under GW Bush, America has foisted unto future generations a huge financial burden to finance our current tax cuts, wars, and now bailouts. Just paying off those debts will require significant sacrifices. But when you add the destruction of wealth that has taken place the last two months in the markets, and the need for more bailouts, you understand why this is not going to be a painless recovery. We're all going to have to pay, because this meltdown comes in the context of what has been perhaps the greatest wealth transfer since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. It is a wealth transfer from the future to the present."


author and foreign policy specialist Michael Mandelbaum, December 2008

7 Replies

Re: Quotation from 2008, Still Apt for the Obama years

Absolutely. Not much has been done. No wonder Congress has a 8% approval rating. It needs some shaking up. The tea bagger experiment has only made things worse. No Pres with approval ratings as low as Obam's at this stage of the game has ever been re-elected. And yet nobody who is running for the job on the other side has any advantage over him. And it looks like there is a real strong move afoot to nominate the one among those with a chance at teh nomination whom he could probably beat the easiest.


It's not that we don't need change...but in what directoin?...which brings up the biggest problem. No agreement on that. Some fairly good stuff out there on what needs changed...your  Mandelbaum quote does that.  But nowhere close to any on how.


I'm generally a big critic of mainstream GOP NYT columnist D. Brooks, but heard him on the radio yeasterday noon. (disclosure: NPR) saying that we don't have the ability remaining in this country to hold the sort of convesations that would be necessary to solve or repair anything. That civil discourse has sunk to a low that can't be come out of . Like quicksand.


Only hope i can see is getting money completely out of politics, but it would take the beneficiaries of that system to pass legislation that could make that happen. And even if they did, whatever they came up with would run smack dab into the Citizens United ruling.


Biggest public trends that I can see happening will be a gradual but significant but barely detectable on any given day erosion of support on the moderate conservative/GOP side for the oligarchs/plutocrats/MIC elements who make up the 1% or 5% or .01 percent or whatever the heck it actually is that are pretty much running everything as those personally conservative people come to discover that they are very bit as much of a target of and have been dupes for those elites. It won't be covered or reported, but just plain happen organically and one day somebody will take a nose count and discover that it has.


 Not sure how that plays out but it may be that the Obama camp senses it and will continue to ramp up the populist stuff. Only trouble there is that they aren't staffed or equiped to do anyting about it and sure as he!! don''t have any support in the leadership of their own party for it becaue of the aforementioned money in politics situation. The only things that possiblysaves them is that the Gop congressional delegation as awhole  is simply horrid. the Dem side is just feckless.


Especially enjoy the Holidays.....2012 could easily be one of those watershed years....



BTW Red...if you get up to St. Paul anytime between now and Feb. the 1968 exhibit at the Minnesota History Center is really, really good. Took it in over Thanksgiving weekend.



Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Re: Quotation from 2008, Still Apt for the Obama years

actually will be in the twin towns at least three times in the next month or so, couple times overnight. What is in the 1968 exhibit that makes it interesting? Was that a year of riots against vietnam and assasinations? I have a book somewhere that is titled 1968, year of revolution or something, but I never opened it and read it. Probably should.

Re: Quotation from 2008, Still Apt for the Obama years

He is exactly right. But I think he is speaking, or should be, in the context of our whole economy, not just the Federal deficit.


Not saying this for a hit, just saying. Take "successful businessman" Mitt Romney who got rich basically by taking over companies, loading them with debt and then extacting the cash by taking them public- with them sometimes dying later as a result.


That, with other variations, is the game in a nutshell and the real reason behind the wealth inequality problem, much more than taxes- the masive use of financial debt to create wealth- although once the wealthy began to multiply they certainly bought a political system that treated them favorably in that regard.


The Thatcher political game in the UK is an excellent example of how a senescent imperial power could but a few more decades of prosperity by becoming the hub of a world of financial shenanigans. And with enough money flying around, extract enough taxes to keep the government funded even at lower rates. In fairness,  hitting North Sea oil didn't hurt any either, but now that is mostly gone and they are back to being an importer.


There isn't an easy way out of this- our economy sits on a mountain of debt and any serious shrinkage will create a landslide.


In one of those "file away because it might make sense at some future date" things, it is interesting to me that the only time between 1981 and 2008 when the rate of increase of total US debt slowed was during the GHW Bush years. In my fevered mind I've always looked for a reason why the PTB threw him overboard but I will say that it took right off again under Clinton.

Re: Quotation from 2008, Still Apt for the Obama years

Yes. but more. Vietnam, assasinations, Kent state, a heated and close Presidential election  after a war for the Democratic nioiation highlighted by Daly's cops going Gestapo at the convention  in Chicago...alot of that sort of stuff..because there was so much of it. It actually became compressive as a news consumer and as a young person worikng on making his or her way  through the world and trying to figure out just what it was that had just lit it on fire.


But also a bunchof interesting entertainment ,culture and consumer displays and interps. Never had an idea of just how many movies that are considered to be classics today were made or relaeased in 1968.  I turned 19 in'68. Impressionable age. You were probably just a little feller' or maybe even still in the concept stage then.



Check it out if you like. Just thought I'd mention it. I think it was $15 and we found it well worth it.


Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Re: Quotation from 2008, Still Apt for the Obama years

Bush Sr was probably the man most qualified to be POTUS that we have seen before or since for many years. So was Nixon if he had not had the paranoia, and that was probably due to JFK cheating him out of the 1960 election. I voted for Bush Jr thinking he would bring with him the old man's advisors. Never foresaw the neocon zionists taking over the way they did.


We have been playing in the craphouse ever since Bush Sr.

Loan guarantees blocked by HW

   "In my fevered mind I've always looked for a reason why the PTB threw him overboard but I will say that it took right off again under Clinton."   


  It was because of HW blocking $10 billion in loan guarantees around 1990 until Israel stopped stealing Palestinian land and importing Russian criminals to colonize it.   The lobby worked to undermine him in congress and defeat him in the next election sending a message to future Presidents and reinforcing that treats by undermining Carter.

Re: Loan guarantees blocked by HW

Yes, and you know, back in those days when I was still a (centrist) republican I had a high regard for the Bush 41 admin. Some excellent people did serve particularly Brent Scowcroft as FP advisor.


Only with the passage of time do I realize that the coup that overtook our country began there- or actually out of the VP office in the Reagan Admin although the covert activities that brought the SU down came out ot there so not entirely bad.  But the shadow government that now rules really took hold there.


Then came Clinton and I'm fairly certain that at least part of what has been said about his corruption in Arkansas etc. was true. But he had as much on them as they had on him so it was an 8 year standoff. He knew about Mena and probably a lot of other things too.


Then the secret government et al really wanted back in the game- poured hugely unprecedented money into GWB early and squeaked him in twice.


Quite a time we've lived through although I don't think I can be proud about losing the Republic on our watch.