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Wednesday Spotlight: “The Choices Government Makes, and the Courage to Make Them”

Tally ho!

Welcome to Wednesday, the hermaphrodite day that is both part of the incline and decline of the week. I hate Wednesday. It probably doesn’t help that I lay down for a nap at 6:00pm last night to counteract my poor sleeping earlier in the week, woke up at 1:30am and then couldn’t get back to sleep until 5:30am, a full half an hour before my alarm went off. So yeah, I’m a little cranky.

But, in better news I came across a really essential piece on Crooks and Liars around 3:00am, which I wanted to speak about briefly and then encourage everyone to read in entirety. Mike Lux takes a look at the bare reality of socio-economic-political culture, and spells out plainly the biggest smoke-and-mirrors scheme going on right now: that our real enemy (and I use that word at face-value) isn’t the Republican Party or Teabaggers or Charlie Sheen, it’s multinational corporations. Beginning with a look at current economic conditions in light of the “free market!” rally cry,

In the country and world we live in today, companies have become so big and powerful that they can manipulate and badly distort markets, and they can wield such outsize influence over governments that it wreaks havoc with countries as a whole — and sometimes the worldwide economy, per the economic crisis of the last three years. So while markets still work pretty well for some things in some contexts (the best new technologies will win a lot of new converts quickly, the best restaurants in a given metro area will get a lot of customers, etc.), the free market for the economy and society as a whole doesn’t really work very well in this era.

No surprises there. I can’t imagine anyone who would read this doesn’t understand that corporations have become so powerful that they literally write the laws. But even further, we shouldn’t be surprised that the corporations which write and hughly influence legislation in this country have no reason to care about this country, as

companies this big are pretty much all multinational in scope. They have almost no loyalty to the country they happened to be incorporated or based in. Their employees and executives, their factories and offices and outlets, their markets, their profits, and their shareholders are scattered all over the world.

But the next turn is where things get concrete. In speaking about the housing/foreclosure crisis (which is my industry–Foreclosure Intervention), he points out the general absurdity of the economics which follow in the effort to assist homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. Government, which is supposed to protect American and generate sensible policy for Americans, instead decides to side with multinational, non-American interests. Somewhat like how Gingrich thinks that NAFTA was a success because it created jobs in Mexico.

Again, this is a choice government has to make: side with middle-class homeowners, or side with the big Wall Street banks. The former is the correct moral choice, and better for the economy by far. The latter is easier politically because of the banks’ enormous power and money.

And so we’re left with a completely dysfunctional system. Our elected officials are beholden to corporations which create wealth, and that’s hardly ever in the interests of the American worker. This isn’t some protectionist screed or lauding of “America-First” type hollering, it’s the simple divide between whose interests the government was created to and are tasked with serving and the actual interests it promotes. As long as we place the interests of corporations whose profits rest on globalization above those of Americans, we’re slaves to our own economic success.



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