Greenspan: Patron saint of America�s affluentocracy
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jul 24, 2008, 00:17
No gold watch for Alan Greenspan as he retired from serving
the elite -- we can hardly call it public service! After almost two decades as chairman
of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, this Robin Hood for the rich
and powerful was bestowed, as he was about to step down, the highest honor in
the land -- now shrinking in prestige at about the same pace as the United
States dollar -- the Medal of Freedom.
Now, two and a half years later, as this nation is mired in
a recession which is likely to turn into a prolonged economic disaster,
something which Mr. Greenspan almost single-handedly brought about, the
laudatory decibels for this low talker, and mumbler, have gone down
considerably. Of course, he�ll never lose the admiration and gratitude of those
he ended up serving so well: the powerful elite and the aspiring
affluentocracy. Americans in those two groups, flag pins on their lapels, still
consider him an economic wizard. But more than a wizard, he should be dubbed as
the rich man�s Santa Claus.
Wizard . . . what a crock! An accomplished musician turned
into a mediocre economist at best, but with the bootlicking capacity of a male
courtesan to American presidents, from Reagan to Bush Son. A prestidigitator
with a facility for gentle criticism; a coiner of cute names for dire
situations; misleader via inappropriate numbers and gobbledygook, Greenspan was
not the economic genius Wall Street and government leaders portrayed him to be
. . . far from it. He was definitely no economic rainmaker for America, only a
charlatan with a dowser! Let�s just say that as inhumane as Shrub�s foreign
policy has been towards Palestine and the rest of the Middle East, the former
saxophone player�s economic policy has proven to be just as genocidal;
something the American citizen is finally beginning to experience. And they
have barely let the lions out of their cages at the Coliseum!
Already six to nine months into the recession, government
leaders are still telling us that it is just a period of slow growth, a pit
stop in this economic race that we�ll eventually win, so to worry not, my
friend. That explains to us what �garbage numbers� government is using to
rose-color the state of the economy in terms of growth, unemployment and
inflation. We are probably the most lied to people by their government on the
planet, at least among presumably developed and educated nations. Gullible us!
No matter what Bernanke, Greenspan�s successor, or Treasury
Secretary Paulson tell us, we have already entered an epic bear global market
the likes of which take us back three generations. But then WWII was able to
bail us out since our economy was half of the world�s . . . and we were the
international creators of wealth and credit, our economic and social well-being
then based on savings, not just spending. Now we produce weaponry, and little
else, on a planet which certainly doesn�t need it . . . and in a global economy
where we appear to be an increasingly less important player. Months we are told
before things will start to turn around. Optimists, you say? Try liars!
And, please, don�t just point the finger at the subprime
mortgage loans, house flippers and proverbial greed in the real estate
industry. That was just the catalyst, for our entire economy was out of control
or, rather, lacking in proper controls. Home ownership as part of the American
dream has always been a questionable policy before, and one completely
foolhardy as our nation adopted globalization. Sure, realtors and politicians
gained by proclaiming such idiocy -- and still do -- but the reality is quite
different as it only redistributes wealth via tax sheltering; creates a less
mobile society, worsening unemployment; and really slams the brakes on economic
growth. People have been brainwashed to think this simple shelter should be
equated to both savings and investment in a truly disproportionate way; and
that�s the kind of mentality that got us to where we are today. Not just the
abandoned, foreclosed homes, but there still remains a multi-trillion dollar
overvaluation in �normal� housing, pseudo-wealth, which because of owners�
psychological inelasticity to the �loss of wealth� will be either eroded slowly
by inflation, or lost overnight as people are forced to sell . . . whatever the
Even Britain has phased out in a two-decade period of
tax-sheltering in housing . . . and we seem to be among the last in the world to
accept its regressive concept. Let�s face it, these misnomers of �ownership
society� and �popular capitalism� are but the elite�s way to confuse and
enslave an already servile society . . . simply with clever PR.
There were a few of us during the past decade who questioned
Greenspan�s sanity in going overboard granting easy credit to stimulate the
economy solely through housing; a good chunk of the money used unrealized
interest from savings seniors had faithfully accumulated during a lifetime;
seniors de facto forced to be donors to an industry which turned out to be not
just obscenely greedy but predatory as well.
I hope this to be the last time I write about Mr. Greenspan
. . . he has proved to be all the negative things I always wrote he was. That doesn�t
make me a visionary . . . but makes him either a fool or a practitioner of
deception; or maybe both.
Can anyone fathom greater recent blunders than Paul Bremer�s
disbanding of the Iraqi army when he was made �governor� of Iraq . . . or Alan
Greenspan�s monetary policy during his last five years as head of the Fed? Well,
if you are an American and can come up with one, even if of lesser magnitude . .
. there is a Medal of Freedom waiting to be bestowed on you. At the Kennedy
Center in Washington DC . . . by George W. Bush!
� 2008 Ben Tanosborn
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.
Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor