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Market Oracle FREE Newsletter


The Great Society is Dead

Politics / US Politics Mar 15, 2013 - 11:07 AM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci


The complicity by both US political parties in a collaborative zeal to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is now "on the table" for all to view after each group unveiled their budget plans during the week of March 11. As a senior citizen, once an executive making three figures per hour and now living below the poverty line, constricted by multiple sclerosis in a US state run by a Tea Party Express Governor, Mr. "X" says he feels like someone living on death row.

In his eyes, what he represents to right-wing "bean counters" is a "burden" on their taxes. What he represents to the muddled middle class is a "nobody" - out of sight, out of mind. What he represents to Dems/Libs/Progs is a gadfly because of his published criticisms that soiled their pristine illusions of the man now living in the White House. What he represents to the libertarian and evangelical Christian is someone refusing to take "personal responsibility". Because of his eclectic spiritual beliefs, what he represents to Christians is a New Ager, and to New Agers, a Christian. What he represents to conservatives is a socialist, and to socialists a member of the petty bourgeoisie. Of course, none of these boxes actually fit - they never do. Or, maybe they all fit?

* * * *

Former Vice-Presidential candidate Paul "the Reaper" Ryan is America's budgetary technocrat, and an angel of death to Mr. "X".  Ryan vomits over Jack Kennedy and points to "intergenerational" conflicts over future Social Security funding, all solvable through his proposed privatization schemes. Meanwhile, he performs fancy footwork to avoid reminders that his very name is associated with "death panels". Presumably, Ryan the Reaper reflects opinions of his generation who wish a world where one takes responsibility for no one except themselves ("a selfish and individualistic mindset"). Where markets and profiteers dictate and control public policy ("unregulated financial capitalism"). Where the word "liberty" rises above all others in right-wing lexicons while the word "democracy" is scarcely uttered for fear of what it might produce. Perhaps Ryan the Reaper was too busy in back-room spreadsheets to read the words of his religious leader Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2013 deploring "rampant capitalism", warning good Catholics like himself (like Paul Ryan!) about "hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor" which grow out of "the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism". Too busy, perhaps, in the service of "rampant capitalism", engineering the destruction of The Great Society.

* * * *

The time will come when the "working class" will see the light, come together and confront their plight together, says "X". But beforehand, they first must turn-off Bill O'Reilly, FOX News and Rush Limbaugh on the one hand, union leaders and the Democratic Party on the other hand. The Dems/Libs/Progs must turn-off The New York Times and Huffington Post. The libertarians must turn-off Ron and Rand Paul. The muddled middle-class, now offered temporary immunity from austerity by President Obama and Congress, must realize that the safety nets removed today from seniors, the poor, disabled and unemployed won't be there for them tomorrow - and they will need them, for a time will come when this frigid sea water rises from stowage class to their cabins.

As the far-right advances in power within the Republican establishment, as the entire political spectrum under President Obama continues to veer further right-of-center, the Dem/Lib/Progs will be seen more clearly as enabling members of the "party of Chamberlain" - and "X"s implication here is in stark opposition to one promoted by the American Right. He has no doubt that both established political parties will meet and now are meeting days of reckoning: the Republicans today and the Democrats tomorrow. The far- and ultra-right will dominate one sphere; but who will dominate the other, he asks, since hot cannot exist without cold, and right cannot exist without left?

More people than Mr. "X" fear civil conflict too, delineated not by state geographic boundaries or uniform colors; but demarked by ideology and ultimately resulting in brother against brother, sister against sister, neighbor against neighbor, child against parent, et. al. Meanwhile, alongside the continuing dissolution of America's families, of intergenerational cohesion, of overall communities and society - of which all have been sliced and divided by competitive and powerful self-interests - the US markets might sustain euphoria; creditors might get paid; and the US news media might continue in diverting public attention away from harsh facts to escapist headlines about gadgets, billionaires, sports stars, Hollywood scandals and distorted economic reports from Washington. "If you want to know the actual weather outside," says "X", "turn off your TV and internet and open your windows." "If you want to know which way the wind blows, check your canary."

* * * *

March 1, 2013 marked a watershed event in American history, and on that day the media, markets and people yawned. The contrived budget war is over and the GOP/tea party WON!!! Conservatives and tea party provocateurs gained their greatest leap toward "small government", aimed for since the administration of Ronald Reagan.

Contrary to Rightist "spin", President Barack Obama and Democrats in this century permitted the Democratic Party to become a branch of Republicanism, enabling the GOP to move quickly to the right and sprout further into the far-right tea party, a now separately branded anti-government movement. America became thoroughly right-of-center.

The sequestration order of March 1 that "no one wanted" includes targeting the weakest, poorest, oldest and most vulnerable for sacrifice to the gods of finance, military and markets. The additional cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid proposed since March 1 by both parties confirm the duplicitous as well as conspiratorial character of both political parties.

The rich get to keep their money and, for now, the middle-class feels immunized.

I ask: Who are you America? What do you want? What do you worship? Where do your values lie? The battles still ahead will answer these questions.

* * * *

"Hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor" which grow out of "the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism". - Pope Benedict XVI

For better or worse, Athens 2010 arrived in America on March 1.
The Great Society is dead.
Gatsby lives!

(And yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and its name is Justice, with a capital "J". But if you don't see it during your present lifetime, you will in the next.)

By Michael T Bucci


Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at The Market Oracle. He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous.

    © 2013 Copyright Michael T Bucci - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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