Monday, October 10, 2011

American Banks

Here is the intro to a provocative post on Washington's Blog:
Virtually all independent economists and financial experts agree that the economy cannot stabilize or recover unless the giant, insolvent banks are broken up (and here and here). And the very size of the big banks is also warping our entire political system.

Politicians are wholly bought and paid for. As famed trend forecaster Gerald Celente writes in the current Trend Alert newsletter:
Politics today is little more than legalized prostitution. While a streetwalker gets busted for selling her body to a john, politicians get rewarded with campaign contributions for selling their souls to a corporation or lobbyist. With all of the whoring going on – the money exchanged and the pleasures lavished – the only one actually getting screwed was John Q. Public.
But the chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University (Donald J. Boudreaux) says that calling politicians prostitutes is inaccurate – because it is being too nice. Specifically, Boudreaux says that it is more correct to call politicians “pimps”, since they are pimping out the American people to the financial giants.

So the state of banking and politics in America is grim, indeed. But do we really even need banks or politicians? Or can we cut out the middle man?

This post looks at whether we can use alternative financial arrangements to cut out the big banks as financial middleman. In a separate essay, we look at whether we can use Direct Democracy to cut out the corrupt political middleman.
Go read the whole post and get the embedded links.

I don't buy into the specifics of this post because it takes a libertarian political/economic stance. I accept the broad criticisms, but the trouble with American society is not a need for radical dissolution of the few remaining human relationships to be replaced by a purely individualistic contractual relationship. The real solution is to cut economics and the right wing philosophies of economics down to size so that human relationships and human institutions again have room to thrive. Government needs to be revived to regulate capitalism and to allow human institutions to flourish. For too long everything has been razed to bare earth to make the land "prepared" for the financialization of everything.

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