Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bye Bye American Pie, Verse 2

Okay. I'll admit he's a gloom-and-doom guy. Jim Kuntsler. But his blog is one I never miss, and I can say that about very few actually. Kuntsler's interested in energy, specifically oil, and he's been beating the drum about the coming demise of suburbia and the "American way of life," "American dream," call it what you want, for a long time.

His take on the Wall Street implosion is arresting. First of all, he lays the blame where it belongs, squarely on the Republican party, "the party that wrecked America," in his words. (About 75 percent of the national debt, calculated in trillions, belongs to Reagan and the Bush dynasty.) And he points out as he has many times, that this country's been living in a dream world for a long, long time. Since about the mid-1970s, actually, when the U.S. stopped producing anything of real value--that was being done by other countries then fully recovered from the horrific wars of mid-century--and instead seized on a series of phony labels such as information economy, consumer economy, high-tech economy that simply disguised the fact that the real economy was going down the shitter. The last of these farcical fakes was the "financial services industry." Which was essentially a vehicle to perpetrate a raft of swindles on the American public. But so finely constructed and complicated were these swindles that it took 20 years for them to reveal what they really were. With the collapse of housing prices and the mortgage crisis, everything came tumbling down. The jig was up.

What we're talking about here basically is the drying up of just about everybody's wealth. (Don't worry about the richest in our society. As always, they will be fine. It's the rest of us, 98 percent of the country that will suffer.) I don't have a lot of confidence that the American people are going to be philosophical about wholesale loss of jobs, value of homes, value of investments, disappearance of retirement savings and plans, and all the attendant evils.
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