The economic sacking of America
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Apr 22, 2008, 00:17

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 economic stimulation.

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 Freedom.

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

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at

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