No group of legislators is entitled to threaten to crash the United States economy if its demands aren't met. But the biggest surprise in the current debt ceiling standoff is the silence of American business and Wall Street, who have the most to lose.
It's somewhat surprising that we really haven't had a lot of protest music over the past few decades. So when I was told, "If you write the lyrics, we'll record the songs," I went for it, and here's the result.
If there are any powerful people cackling with glee at the misery they're cynically inflicting on the rest of us through free trade, they're probably few and far between. Never attribute to evil what can be adequately explained by ordinary greed.
Americans need to respond to chronic unemployment with sympathy and righteous indignation. And from this moral stance we need to resist the political tsunami that argues that corporate rights trump those of individuals.
Reality based assessments of the United States' economic predicaments should begin with a set of bedrock questions. What is the country's actual wealth? How is it distributed? Why is it distributed in this way?