A crisis of political legitimacy

Discussing Matt Taibbi's masterful expression of outrage, in Rolling Stone last month, over the series of crisis spawned by Goldman Sachs and the domination of the United States by "gangster economics," Robert Johnson, Director in the Economic Policy Initiative of the Roosevelt Institute, writes that

Taibbi’s rage is filling an emotional void. It is a reaction to what is missing after this profound speculative episode that the IMF suggests will cost over $4 trillion in losses on balance sheets and untold trillions in lost output. It is fury over a crisis that is, by any measure, the most profoundly damaging episode since the 1930s.

Johnson notes the

scale of losses that the taxpayer has been forced to absorb, along with disappearing funds for future roads, bridges, healthcare, schools and a tax drag on wealth creation. It is into the void created by the tepid media coverage of this horrid and costly episode that Mr. Taibbi has screamed. . . . 

The problem now is that the experts and leaders from finance have failed us miserably. They have let us down and we know it. We do not trust in the system. . .  Even with losses and bailouts, we have to fight over bonus payments to those who feel entitled, despite the cost they have imposed on their stockholders and, more importantly, society.

. . . . The financial sector, and other large patronage donors, spend billions of dollars on lobbyists and campaign contributions. Politicians then run their expensive election marketing campaigns with the proceeds. And finally, the contributors buy downside loss protection from the politicians and their appointees.

Who provides that downside protection? You and me. The taxpayer. The body politic. We get used by this refracted process, and our system is mislabeled as a representative democracy. And, to add insult to injury, we are forced to endure the the horror of the awful marketing campaigns of politicians using the their payoff money to protect donors with our the tax base. The media is on the take, too, collecting advertising revenue from financial companies and from political campaigns. Far be it for them to step outside this circular flow of funds that impedes our political system from incorporating feedback from evidence of its own dysfunction.

We are amidst a crisis of political legitimacy.



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The Rage of Taibbi

Taibbi's rage and Johnson's quotes merely point out the administration's deep ties and collusion with Wall Street. There are several posts out there which document the "Golden Sacks" alumni that have infiltrated all economic advisory and regulatory posts on Capitol Hill from Rubin to Summers to Paulson to Geithner like a revolving door over several administrations.

It truly must be obvious to anyone in America able to read and think for themselves that this Federal government, bought and paid for by Wall Street DOES NOT HAVE the best interests of the average taxpayer in mind. Not when we are being sucked dry by the continuing bailouts, which do nothing but place the middle class backbone of this country into a debtor’s prison of taxation, reduced social services, pay cuts, lost jobs, tighter credit, and with no end in sight to the greed and excess of the profit-obsessed, predatory money changers they serve.

My suggestion for your readers is that we let the rest of the world deal with the White House. We have an opportunity to collectively take action at the level of the States, where politicians are still accessible and many still remember what it’s like to be true public servants.

Your posters are angry and concerned and it sounds like they would take appropriate actions if they could. One step in the right direction for concerned citizens is here:


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In 1933 and 1934

The United States saw a crime wave like no other, as people tried to use illegal activities to recover from the crash of 1929.

I have to wonder if "recovery" without employment will produce a similar effect this time around.
Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.