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America's Folly

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I recall a conversation with a refugee from Vietnam several years ago. It was that period when many "boat people" sought refuge in the United States. I was a social service provider charged with services delivery to this group of Indochinese refugees.

The gentleman speaking to me said, "Anderson, (many Southeast Asian cultures refer to one another using the last name first) you Americans put business on top of your culture and education fourth or fifth. In Vietnam, teachers are first and businessmen are fourth or fifth."

Having thought long about this, I've come to a conclusion. Giving the reins of this nation's economy to the likes of Geithner and Bernanke is tantamount to giving the nation's highway system over exclusively to Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley owners. First, there are very few of them. Secondly Porsche and Jaguar owners need not apply. And the people piloting these vehicles are not race car drivers either. There is no Formula One or even NASCAR skill here. No proven racetrack test drivers to methodically test and solve problems along the way. The plasmasphere here is relatively "dense" and culturally speaking, pretty low-energy. These are just a bunch of yahoos with accelerator feet and the most expensive gear, driving our freeways with no true skill and no sense of a collective purpose.

This is the mentality that I contend now abounds the business community. In the process, their 180 mph escapades have made no allowance for all those delivery trucks that need to be on the roads. Extending the metaphor, while Wal-Mart is positioned to pay reduced tolls, the Republican mantra sounds something like, tighten the belts, up gas prices and keep the riff-raff off the roads through austerity measures and deficit reduction. Austerity measures and deficit reduction is right-wing business analyst code for "having the poor pay for the messes that the rich have made." Meanwhile, the Bentley guys are conducting a "promenade" on Washington's "Beltway" system while the Ferrari "dudes" are holding a "rally" on the Los Angeles Freeways.

Tim Geithner and his Dartmouth College buddy Daniel Zelikow, while breaking no laws, in sharing gratis living space have created (or rather re-created) the perception that there are significant differences between foreclosure for me and "rent-free" for Timothy. I don't understand! Does Timothy Geithner need the kind largesse of a friend who's provided him living space for free? Did he not give himself a bonus? Did he not receive the memo about foreclosures for the "little people?"

Frankly, to turn a society over to business interests in any economic distribution system is folly to the nth degree. There are too many inducements to personal gain focused decision making versus the greater good associated with collectivity. Mr. Obama's decision-making in this regard has been beyond questionable to those who sought change, much less change we can believe in. The change required in America today de-limits this very imbalance in corporate access.

But Americans have been sold a bill of goods for more than two hundred years. For example, the War of 1812, the between great conflicts war, has been described as everything from a maritime disagreement to the annexation of Canada. What is seldom mentioned is the European banking community's interest in taking charge of American currency. It goes against Hoyle to suggest that European business interests "called a threatened war" on the United States finally fulfilling their promise with the establishment of the Federal Reserve System, the "Fed," in 1913. As we know, "the Fed" is not a federal agency but rather a privately held entity. If I've gotten the unwritten history wrong here, someone will certainly write and correct me.

But there has been a tethered relationship between business, and especially large business, and the policies of the American government for some time now. So much so that when one suggests that this relationship is both unhealthy and "unholy" the faithful scream "off with their heads." But I offer that any economic system that leans solely on the one legged pillar of business, is riding for a fall. I'm reminded of a statement related to me by Steven Gary Nystrom, one time Associated Student Body President at San Diego State University. Known as "B.J." Mr. Nystrom said to me, "One day, the San Diego State football team will have a student body that it can be proud of." Will the same be true for Bear Stearns someday?

It is clear that when especially large business concerns become involved in the workings of any government, the tail soon wags the dog. This is problematic because over time, what may have been the organic meshing of ideas and objectives morphs into an adversary relationship between business and the government that it ostensibly serves. This is what has come to pass over the last thirty years (and longer) in the United States with the American worker being caught in the cross hairs of both groups.

Suffice it to say that I do not endorse America's and American media's tacit endorsement of "anything business." It is the death knell of civilization and civility. And the coming generations will pay for our adherence to the propaganda offered by the two hundred year old plus entrenched elite. We've created a headless life form that feeds on its own organs. It is heartless as well, deferring to the language of "bottom lines" and "best case scenarios" while as efficiently as allowed, goes about the work of destroying the fabric of the noble American experiment.

I'll debate one-on-one or as a group, any Supreme Court Justice who believes the Founding Fathers were preserving the conditions that saw eight people shot, of which four died, in an upstate New York dining fiasco. The Founding Fathers made their reputations in being discussant about varying ideas. The purposeful stagnation of government, which allows the status quo to role on unaltered, is guaranteed by the monied interests that can stop the progress of government with a simple ad campaign.

So the next time you hear someone spouting on about his "Freedom," ask him if he is "free" to do anything that is not sanctioned by the existing order? He will most likely not understand the question, but its locus still remains. Business runs government. And business can never be expected to oversee and control its inclinations. After all, a snake is a snake. One never expects a snake to be a philanthropist.

When my dog takes after a rabbit, it is not the reason derived from his "invisible paw" that holds him back from running into traffic. It is my external and booming voice that stops him. Robert Rice said it well. "Crime is the logical extension of the sort of behaviour that is often considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business." And the Old Russian saying, "Man exploits man. Under Communism, it's just the opposite," addresses that flutter that beseeches all national flags.

And those Ferraris and Bentleys don't even have working brakes most of the time!