Since my discovery, after my close encounter, that the US government was engaged in a massive program of lying and denial, I have not taken much interest in conventional politics. My interest has been directed toward finding out why it has chosen this route, and in my new nonfiction book, coming out next year, I am going to lay out exactly why this coverup has taken place, and what is needed to change the situation.
Right now, though, I have been watching the midterm elections with what is, for me, an unusual amount of interest, and I have to say, I just don't see much hope for our country right now, and I'm pretty down about it. We're in a depression, in danger of losing our place as the world's leading nation to the dreary, monolithic and culturally arid nation of China, and trapped in foreign wars we should not be fighting at all.
There are three parties in America: the Democrats, the Republicans and the Tea Party. The Democrats have concentrated on inappropriate and ineffectual programs that are designed to help big companies and banks, not the average individual. Meanwhile, foreign money is pouring into our country, most of it in support of Republican and Tea Party candidates, so that doesn't look very hopeful, either.
I thought that somebody in this election might bring some useful change, but what I think that they are going to bring instead is the addition of foreign influence to corporate influence, and that really, really scares me.
The Democrats made two fundamental errors that make it clear that they are no more of a choice than the rest of them. First, they continued the socialistic Bush program of throwing money at big banks to resolve the mortgage crisis. What should have been done was simple, but it involved helping the people rather than running up a huge deficit for our children to pay, and therefore would not be considered by any administration, Democrat or Republican--or Tea Party, as far as I can tell.
What should have been done are two things: first, normalize all mortgages to a consistent fixed interest rate that would amortize over however many years it would take for homeowners' current payments to pay it. This would have gotten rid of all those fake mortgages and the wholesale theft that went with them, but kept people in their homes. Second, the FDIC should have guaranteed all mortgages.
Some of those mortgages would have been foreclosed anyway, but it would have been a trickle compared to the massive amount of debt we ran up to enrich the banks whose greed and stupidity caused the crisis in the first place.
Doing these two things are light years away from the socialistic practice of using public money to support private enterprise, a practice that was begun by a Republican administration and continued by a Democratic one.
Why? Because Washington wants to give money to whom it cares about--not small business, which is the largest enterprise in American, but to big companies and big banks, where the wealth and power are concentrated.
Had the mortgage crisis been solved in the right way, would have meant that all the exotic assets created by the banks out of bundled mortgages, which caused the problem in the first place, would have had consistent value, and the whole banking crisis would have ended without the need to drop trillions of dollars into the coffers of these incompetent institutions.
But nothing like that was even considered, not by Bush, not by Obama. And why not? Because the Tea Party is right: Washington DOES NOT CARE ABOUT AMERICA. We never should have put our capital in a special city. It should be in Philadelphia or New York or Chicago, where our leadership would be living and working in the midst of the people, as is true in most of the world. Isolating them in a city of their own is a fundamental mistake, but one we obviously have to live with.
My problem is that the people who understand what is wrong, the Tea Party candidates, are getting money from big companies and secret foreign sources, just like the rest of the US political world, and I think it is safe to assume that they are going to bring us nothing but more politics as usual.
When I heard Obama announce that he was going to reform health care, I knew that his administration was a failure. Not because we don't need health care reform, but because we had a depression to get through first. It showed that he was completely out of touch with reality. He was indifferent to the central reality that PEOPLE NEED HOMES AND THEY NEED JOBS.
The Democrats are supposed to care about such things. He doesn't. What he cares about is an agenda he created for himself without the slightest reference to what we the people actually need.
This country is facing a terrible dry rot. Foreclosed homes ruin property values all around them. What is worse, in general, the banks are engaged in a foreclosure scam. Did you know that, when you buy a foreclosed home, as often as not you do not buy the house at all. You buy the old mortgage and all the obligations that come with it.
This is why foreclosed homes don't sell. Who wants to pay a hundred thousand dollars to take over a four hundred thousand dollar mortgage at an outrageous interest rate?
This abuse is common but not universal. Some foreclosures are clean, but it general banks want to carry the houses on their books at inflated valuations so that they won't appear to be insolvent.
But, in fact, carrying them at those values is as much a scam as the fake mortgages were in the first place, and it is bashing the American people in the head, and the government is allowing it.
All foreclosed houses need to be detached by law from existing mortgages and sold free and clear into a free market. Banks should not be allowed to value them, to list them in MLS listings, or to do anything to pretend that they are more valuable than, in fact, they are.
The reason that this is essential is that they would rather let these houses--and the neighborhoods around them--sink into ruin while they claim false valuations, than do a single thing to preserve the value of the nearby homes that people are still living in.
Of course, if foreclosed homes are sold at bargain prices, the value of surrounding homes will suffer temporarily. But if those neighborhoods are healthy, full of lived-in homes, the valuations will recover.
Right now, somebody who is sitting on a block full of foreclosed homes is trapped. They can't sell at any price. And this is the fault of the way the banks are handling foreclosure, and the fact that Washington is interested ONLY in corporate welfare and national defense, not in the needs or lives of Americans.
And I mean all parties. We actually don't have a viable political party at this time, I don't believe. Living in California, I cannot imagine voting for the corporate shark Christy Whitman. She will be a brutal, exploitative governor, just as she was a brutal, exploitative CEO. But look at my choice--Jerry Brown. Talk about a tired old horse with tired old ideas. So either I vote for a pirate who is going to open sesame to let big companies and banks continue to turn this into a third world country, or I vote for a sixties liberal who is living in an ivory tower and will continue to let this state drift into insolvency.
Across America, we are being forced to abandon education because collapsing property values are bankrupting our cities and states. Our future rests in education. We have maintained our presence in the world because excellent education has made us the most innovative country in the world. Lose that, you lose it all. And we are certainly losing it.
Our political parties are all out of touch, although in different ways. The Democrats have no idea what to do or they would have done it. The Republicans are offering things like the abandonment of Medicare and phasing out of Social Security as a means of balancing the budget.
In other words, abandon our old people. Make them save for their old age. But where? Last time I looked, the same bank that is allowed to charge me 15% interest on my credit card is offering to sell me a CD that returns .7% interest. And Wall Street is a joke for the small investor. It is there to take our money and give it to the big guys. You cannot win with stocks, not when, looking back over the past 25 years, you find that an average stock portfolio has hardly risen in value at all.
I might mention, as an aside, that the Democrats left the one thing out of their credit reform act that we really needed: limits on interest rates. The banks claim that they need high interest rates to pay for defaults, which I am sure they do, but it's THEIR FAULT for giving credit to people who couldn't afford it in the first place. Their fault, their problem.
Our big companies are anti-socialism until socialist practices suit them, then they're eager for a little socialism.
If credit card interest was rolled back to where it was in 2007, a massive amount of money would suddenly be available in this economy. Instead, the banks were actually allowed to MASSIVELY INCREASE these interest rates during a recession, while our government spent its time worrying about passing health care reform that a country in desperate financial trouble is not going to be able to afford. It is said to be 'deficit neutral.' Why? Because vast numbers of Americans who cannot pay because they are broke are going to be required to pay.
I am sorry to return to this issue, but why any president would concentrate on a program that increases people's financial burden during hard times just defeats me. I cannot figure it out.
I am going to keep journaling about these topics. In my next edition, I'm going to talk about the American Empire, and what happened to the conservative movement wanting to keep us at home where we belong? I very well remember, as a boy, conservatives warning against foreign involvement. But there is not now a single Republican or Tea Party candidate I can find who doesn't favor a strong defense and continued involvement abroad. Certainly, the Democrats favor it or we wouldn't be nearly as heavily engaged as we are.
There is a better way for America, that does not involve any of our current political parties. We have Democrats and Republicans, both in slightly different ways devoted to a system that is turning America into a third world country. We have the Tea Party with its noble ideals and its 'more of the same' cash in its hip pockets. And there are a few irrelevant fringe parties.
That's what we have. So we have a problem. Our problem is, IT'S DAMN WELL NOT ENOUGH! We need smart, capable and independent candidates whose focus is on the American people, not on how to further exploit the American people, whatever ideological window dressing they may choose to put on it.
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