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Comments on the Recent Unrest in England

August 17, 2011

I have often wondered why those who most support the tooth and claw morality of the market place get so upset when it is brought out into the streets. Instead of sending representatives of government into the streets, shouldn’t we allow the miracle of the market to operate? Obviously after everything is looted, the riots will stop, the aggressive and vigorous will amass wealth as they should, and we who sat idly by are left to pick up the pieces as always.

Recently Russel Brand commented on the current flare ups in Britain.

Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, “mindlessly”, motivated only by self-interest?How should we describe the actions of the city bankers who brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind?

But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that’s why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.

These young people have no sense of community because they haven’t been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron’s mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there’s no such thing.

If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together.

Why indeed? The prevailing economic mythology in the US and England as espoused in the US, primarily by the Republican Party and by some in the Democratic Party, appears to be that the looting of peoples futures, if accomplished by men sitting around a boardroom table, even if illegal, is ok, as long as the looting is large enough that an ordinary person finds in difficult to comprehend.

Of course, the boardroom barbarians, loot enough to employ hundreds if not thousands of consultants, lobbyists, attorneys, flacks and accountants to engage in their depredations in relative safety and comfort.

Just today I read an article by David Degraw extracted from his report entitled, Analysis of Financial Terrorism in Americain which he he reports:

“According to an extensive study by auditing and financial advisory firm Deloitte, US millionaire households now have $38.6 trillion in wealth. On top of the $38.6 trillion this study reveals, they have an estimated $6.3 trillion hidden in offshore accounts.” “Deloitte’s analysis predicated, based on current trends, that US millionaire households will see a 225 percent increase in wealth to $87.1 trillion by 2020. Accounting for wealth hidden in offshore accounts, they are projected to have over $100 trillion in total within the next decade.”

“To further demonstrate how the mega-wealthy have seized control of our political process, consider that the richest 400 Americans paid 30 percent of their income in taxes in 1995, but they now pay only 18 percent.”

“In fact, 1,470 Americans earned over $1 million in 2009 and didn’t pay any taxes.”

“The average tax rate for millionaires was 22.4 percent in 2009, down from 30.4 percent in 1995. The average millionaire saves $136,000 a year due to reduced tax rates.”

“To call what is happening a “financial terrorist attack” on the United States, is not using hyperbole, it is the technical term for what is currently occurring.”

He then quotes from an astonishing analysis recently published in Who Rules America by G. William Dornhoff:

“Unlike those in the lower half of the top 1%, those in the top half and, particularly, top 0.1%, can often borrow for almost nothing, keep profits and production overseas, hold personal assets in tax havens, ride out down markets and economies, and influence legislation in the US. They have access to the very best in accounting firms, tax and other attorneys, numerous consultants, private wealth managers, a network of other wealthy and powerful friends, lucrative business opportunities, and many other benefits.”

So what? None of this is new. Don’t we all know the rich and powerful live if not outside the law than above it?

But isn’t that just the moral crisis that Russel Brand identifies? If our moral and political leaders maintain that aquisition of wealth and goods is a good thing, a moral thing*, what is wrong with boosting a TV set, especially if you can get away with it?

*Televangelist James Robison a backer ot Gov. Perry, recentlyhosted Daniel Lapin of Toward Tradition on a recent program of Life Today. Lapin is promoting his new book, “Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money.(See Here.)

Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that it’s citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom, to those without wealth, income or power?

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