I am ugly, but I can buy the most beautiful woman for myself. Consequently, I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness, its power to repel, is annulled by money.(...) I am a detestable, dishonorable, unscrupulous and stupid man, but money is honoured so also is its possessor. Money is the highest good, and so its possessor is good. Besides, money saves me the trouble of being dishonest; therefore, I am presumed honest. Third Manuscript of Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, Karl Marx, 1844*
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You may wonder, as I often do, why characters like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman. Glenn Beck and now, Donald Trump are literally crawling out of the political woodwork these days. What is the force that draws people who would make Huey Long look like Abe Lincoln into the limelight? What power is it that allows seemingly serious consideration for the highest offices in the land to men and women who, not so long ago, would have been simply laughed off the stage?
The power of money of course... terror stricken money.
Why is money, the most powerful of man-made forces afraid?
Basically because today's rich people are in very serious danger of having to pay taxes again and they have gotten out of the habit of doing so.
With today's economic crisis we are looking at what appears to be the terminal phase of what Bush "the elder" called "Voodoo Economics" and most academics refer to as "Supply Side Economics":
Supply-side economics is a school of macroeconomic thought that argues that overall economic well-being is maximized by lowering the barriers to producing goods and services (the "Supply Side" of the economy). By lowering such barriers, consumers are thought to benefit from a greater supply of goods and services at lower prices. Typical supply-side policy would advocate generally lower income tax and capital gains tax rates (to increase the supply of labor and capital), smaller government and a lower regulatory burden on enterprises (to lower costs). Although tax policy is often mentioned in relation to supply-side economics, supply-side economists are concerned with all impediments to the supply of goods and services and not just taxation. Wikipedia
Well, we have seen the final result of massive deregulation of the economy and radical tax cuts for the wealthy: the USA, supposedly the richest nation in the history of humanity, is courting bankruptcy... Being warned by Moody's and the IMF, like traditionally impoverished Greece and Portugal are today and banana republics were in the recent past.
If another and even worse crisis isn't to ruin the country once and for all, then the way forward is fairly obvious... in fact, much too obvious for some people's taste.
The way forward would basically involve revoking the policies that caused the crisis is the first place.
It would include very detailed and rigorous national and international regulation, the closing of offshore tax havens and of course raising taxes back to where they were before Reagan began to tinker with the economy.
This (naturally) has the wealthy in a panic, they would pay off the nation's debt by laying off policemen and firemen and reducing support and entitlements for America's elder citizens and a long list of the vulnerable and needy and of course these solutions are so psychopathicly antisocial, that if the American people were allowed to think straight for even a moment they would tar and feather the people who propose them... and raise those taxes, close all the loopholes and regulate a more robustly crisis-proof system... so obviously anything that muddies the water, distracts from something so clear and simple will find ample funding and echo in the media whose owners just happen to be belong to the super rich themselves.... And having Caspar Milquetoast in the White House isn't helping one bit. DS
PS. Just for fun, here's another quote from the same text that tops this post:
Let us assume man to be man, and his relation to the world to be a human one. Then love can only be exchanged for love, trust for trust, etc. If you wish to enjoy art you must be an artistically cultivated person; if you wish to influence other people you must be a person who really has a stimulating an encouraging effect upon others. Every one of your relations to man and to nature must be a specific expression, corresponding to the object of your will, of your real individual life. If you love without evoking love in return, i.e., if you are not able, by the mere manifestation of yourself as a loving person, to make yourself a beloved person, then your love is impotent and a misfortune.