Everybody's getting stressed out about the Republican shutdown of government, and the threatened debt default. The whole world is getting worried, especially since they feel so helpless to effect any resolution that will protect their economic interests.
TOKYO — Japan’s finance minister urged the United States on Tuesday to avoid a default that could cast the global economy into turmoil and hurt the value of Japan’s enormous holdings of United States Treasury bonds, a day after similar warnings from China, which has an even larger stake in American debt.It's surreal.
It really demonstrates the character of the Republicans, and, by extension, of the American people, that a political party could try to negotiate a budget deal by threatening to damage the world economy.But he rejected the president’s call for Republicans to vote to raise the debt ceiling before any negotiations could begin.“What the president said today was if there is unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk to us,” Mr. Boehner said. “That’s not the way our government works.”
How is that even legal? It's not even a protection racket; it's just a stickup. Most mainstream corporate media don't even dare to report the anomalous character of these "negotiations." A lot of the public sees no wrongdoing in the Republican tactics, and merely blames both sides equally for the impasse.
For these reasons, I believe there will be a default, and it will crash the economy, and our social contract and political system will melt down, starting in a couple of weeks. The Republicans are only willing to bring things to this point because, actually, that is what they want. They can get everything -- almost-- that they really want, that they've worked for for the last thirty-five years -- by defaulting now. A default would gut the bulwark of social and economic structures on which our society has been built for the last eighty years, in one fell swoop.
I don't believe it's a prize they are capable of resisting, whatever the consequences. And most people don't believe at all that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the Department of Labor, the EPA, all banking and finance regulations, student loans, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, Health and Human Services, and dozens--if not hundreds, thousands, even--of other Federal programs and laws are suddenly going to come to an abrupt halt and shatter. It's unthinkable, so nobody's really doing anything to prevent it.
A lot of people know it's what the Republicans really want, but not enough people to make the public aware in time.
By Thanksgiving our government could consist of the military, Congress and the White House. Civilization as we know it would disintegrate quickly all over the world. The suffering, waste and desperation would be unlike anything since the Russian or Chinese Communist revolutions. But our military would remain the sole organizing force in the world. It's power might even be enhanced vis-a-vis countries like Russia and China. The super rich, with their media and financial monopolies, would be left in complete control of every office of American government.
You don't become a billionaire by putting the public's interests first.
And now the billionaires are in control of the House of Representatives, and they're in a position to have the IRS and the Department of Commerce virtually expunged overnight.
On The Other Hand
There are a lot of people much smarter than I am who must have thought about this whole problem and come to better, kinder, gentler conclusions. Surely there are too many people with too much to lose to just stand by and watch and let the Republicans blow the whole system up.
But that would potentially be the best solution, because it would give humanity one last chance to save the earth's species from the imminent mass extinction we're causing.