8.5 trillion reasons why we’re screwed

I know I’ve written about this before, but today’s Pacific Business News report saying that the current $8.5 trillion in taxpayer-supported bailouts is more money than that spent on all U.S. wars since the Civil War demands some kind of comment.

It seems like only yesterday (it was nearly 20 years ago actually) that the Berlin Wall came crumbling down and pundits across the land were hailing the triumph of mighty God-Fearing Capitalism over cursed, atheistic Communism. Flushed with confidence over their perceived success, Wall Street’s biggest financial institutions began bankrolling a sweeping move to open markets across the globe.
How far we’ve come in such a short time. Today non-governmental organizations (some of them deemed “terrorist groups”) are shattering nation-states all over the world. In response, developed nations like the U.S. and Israel increasingly lash out, blowing apart already depressed cities with million-dollar missiles.
As for the Great Captains of Industry who helped spread our uniquely American hubris around the world and got very, very rich doing it, they’re now largely bankrupt–busted by crooked practices and raw greed–and now beg for money at the door to the U.S. Treasury.
Now before we taxpayers write yet another check for a few billion dollars, backed by the full faith and credit of generations not yet born, let’s look for a moment at the society and way of life we’re rushing to save:
• Hospitals, doctors and drug companies that treat health care as a commodity, with the best care doled out to those with the most money.
• Millions around the world going hungry while we debate with crops make the best automobile fuel.
• Anti-crime legislation that includes vast sums of money for prisons and uniformed police and precious little for even cursory examinations of root causes.
• A cabal of corporations that control virtually all media across the globe, limiting coverage and viewpoints in the name of “access” and “freedom.”
• Manufacturers and energy-producers dumping frightful quantities of harmful toxins and pollutants into the air, soil and water.
• Automakers who promise “freedom” while our roads get even more congested and, except for a few cities, clean, reliable mass transit remains non-existent.
Forgive me for all this, but earlier this afternoon I was gardening. For some reason, doing something resembling manual labor tends to make me even more critical of the wealthy and powerful.
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