In our historical readings of eastern and western
civilizations, we have been exposed to the many sacks by invading armies
against both lives and possessions of those living in great cities and enclaves
that may have offered resistance, but most often did not, to the invading
hordes. Rome was sacked several times; Jerusalem was besieged, then sacked by
the Crusaders; and, yes, so was Baghdad by the Mongols seven and a half
centuries before Americans would do the same, this time marching under the
banner of democracy and the laughable pretense of trying to liberate a
�dangerous,� faraway land.
But of all the sacks perpetrated throughout history, the
economic sacking of America is perhaps the greatest of them all. And the most
incredible part is our lack of outrage!
I need not be corrected, I am well aware of it! The heading
for this piece is boldly inaccurate, for it is not America that�s being
pillaged, but 80 to 90 percent of Americans who are, with the remaining 10 to
20 percent of our brethren-citizens being the looters, and that�s precisely
what the problem is. Unlike old times when city-nations were razed by foreign
invaders, the robbers and abusers in this case are already in our midst,
sufficiently large in number . . . and in possession or control of every tool
of power, from government, to the press, to the instruments of wealth, to the
spiritual brainwashing of the poor, ignorant and oppressed. Granted, not all
Americans are being sacked, but I had to turn the bright lights on, draw
attention to the plight of most, not all, Americans.
America is not being sacked by enemy hordes crossing our
borders. Our looting is taking place internally. In fact it has been going on,
solidly and nonstop, for a quarter of a century although the more blatant
pillaging has taken place since our constitutional watchdog, the Supreme Court,
made Bush �The Younger� distributor-in-chief as well as head tax collector of
this nation�s wealth. Since then, it has been continuous thievery and
flagellation of the middle class and poor via tax breaks in the trillions for
those who already have the bulk of the wealth, all under the pretense of
To please his master at the White House, Fed Chairman Alan
Greenspan burned a few billion dollars in interest from the hard earned savings
of older Americans to light up a fire in housing which, when left uncontrolled
by a conservative government that thinks of greed as the greatest of all
virtues, became a full-fledged bonfire. That, added to the tax breaks for the
wealthy, and the cost of warmongering activities in the Middle East, is
bringing to ashes America�s entire economy. Well, that part of the economy that
houses, feeds and clothes 80 to 90 percent of this nation�s population.
Capitalist America, of course, continues to venerate this scoundrel and is
ready to elevate him to sainthood after having bestowed on him the Medal of
What a great performance, this one-act farce, by this Alan
Greenspan and his cast of thieves! For almost a decade I have contended, and
have done so in writing, that he was nothing but a Pied Piper of economic
hocus-pocus and absolute idiocy covering up for a thieving wealthy elite, although
I used restraint by not calling him a fraud until three years ago
(Greenspanomics: Beyond Oz and into Bubbleland, July 2005).
One thing for sure, this sacking of America is one from
which much of America will never recuperate. This is not another economic cycle
we are looking at, but a true forever razing of much of America�s middle class.
Americans have been thrown out of their privileged position, vis-�-vis other
people in the world, thanks to a forced injection of globalization which was
imposed by their brethren-citizens who only deal with capital and technology
and could care less about labor. Finally, the real truth of globalization
presents itself before our very eyes: competition driving wages lower, caused
by an extraordinarily large undocumented labor force within the nation, and the
flight of well-paying jobs exported overseas because they can be performed at a
lower cost for an insensitive corporate master.
Most Americans could not fathom a generation ago that their
children might be in head-on competition with people from countries like China
or India. Ridiculous, they would say! So they voted for Ronald Reagan . . . and
this is what their good uncle gifted them. Americans, in their
capitalism-before-all ways are going to start seeing soon the ugly results:
Americans going hungry in inexcusable numbers . . . who would have thought!
Right now, nothing makes sense! Real estate prices may have
come down in some areas, but in others they continue from high to
stratospherically high for no good, long-term. apparent reason, other than the
influx of capital from overseas. Let�s face it; the continual erosion of the
dollar surpasses even inflation; so those greenbacks held in other countries
might be seeing their way back over here to buy overvalued real property and
corporate equity before their value is limited to wallpaper. Meantime, the
government, including politicians of the two brands -- and their candidates to
the presidency -- continues throwing gasoline to the housing fire, which does
nothing other than bailout financial institutions and builders taking the
nation into an even greater level of impoverishment.
Discussing this very issue last week with a friend who
teaches political science at an Argentinean university, he posed the question
as to why average Americans consent to this Bataan Death March, asking me why
there was no revolution or civil war brewing. Could it be, he sorted out
himself, that the powerful in America have everything on deck well tied down to
the mast to withstand any storm? I wonder . . .
And the sacking of 80 to 90 percent of Americans (not
America) just keeps on, even as many of them have yet to realize it.
� 2008 Ben
Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA),
where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.