Dear America, What the HELL?…

Have to say, I’m totally bemused by American politics. A banking crisis caused by a too-lightly regulated financial system totally screws the economy under a dumb Republican administration… and then the Democratic one subsequently voted in is punished for not fixing it quickly enough, battered by a movement who want… much lighter central control.

Give Obama a chance, I say. From this side of the pond he’s doing his best to sort out the sins of Bush. And stop presenting socialism as some sort of evil. Sharing stuff and mucking in to help one another is pretty close to Jesus’ manifesto if you ask me. Not quite sure he was a ‘help myself and screw the rest of you’ right-wing, gun-toting, consumer capitalist. But maybe I’m reading my leather-bound, words in red Bible wrongly.

BTW, I wrote you a letter… but that’s enough ranting for now. Just…don’t vote in Palin, please. We’re begging you.


7 responses to “Dear America, What the HELL?…”

  1. Kester,

    I just thought you might appreciate this exit poll research, where the Pew Research Center says that this recent election is a clear rejection of the status quo, not a vote of confidence for the GOP:

  2. There are some really nice tweets from andytfield on this subject…

    “surely the loaves and fishes is the ultimate articulation of a centralised welfare system.”


    “Jesus did look upon the traders and he said ‘Good. This is exactly what we need to encourage a stable and prosperous temple.’”

  3. sean leroy

    The case could actually be made, and has been by numerous folk, for a housing market – Fannie and Freddie – that was already over-regulated, and attempted to be cleaned up by the prior admin, but as with other socially related sacred American cows, they were told in effect, “Hands off!”…and now here we sit. I’ve lost equity in my home to the point that I wonder if I’ll ever be able to recover – and no, I didn’t and have never had a “junk” loan. The real question, I’m affriad, is are we in this mess because of under-regulation, or over-involvement by those that are supposed to lead us be being out of the way?
    As for Obama, he still does have a chance in years (two more), but not in hell. The vote “against” him, has more to do about what he has done (tax and spend, and set up faux programs like “green”) than what he’s yet to do (fix the economy – which no president can really do in a free market; they can only screw it).
    Finally, socialism is not “sharing stuff”…The market based approach, employed by the US, has “shared” more stuff and helped more people than any Socialist leaning society I’m aware of.

  4. i have to say, speaking from the bowels of a country which was on ‘Socialism Max’ for a long time, it’s by no means the panacea to the US’s unfettered Bu-shite free-marketism. However, I do agree, they aren’t exactly giving him a chance when he inherited the can of worms that he did. it’s not like every other country is now on the pigs back after this downturn. perhaps it says more about the culture of ‘i want it, and i want it now’, which exists in the US? patience is a virtue, one the US appears to be losing?

  5. Sean, it does sound grim – and I’m glad of your comments because I freely admit my lack of knowledge about the details of what’s going on.

    On the socialism though… I’m always intrigued by the ferocity of the attacks on those who, while not even attempting to be ‘socialists’ in a moderately European sense, are simply advocating a shared responsibility to care for those less well off. To have a country when ‘socialist’ is comparable to ‘nazi’ as a term of abuse is quite extraordinary. Like McCarthy never went away. I don’t think people are using it in an intelligently critical way of socialist/communist governance – which is where Si’s point comes in – but as a slapdash term for anyone proposing that helping others by sharing the burden through distributive taxation is a good thing. Why do you hate taxes so much?

    And in terms of sharing more ‘stuff’ – sure, you may be a wealthy country, or were… but look at the bottom end. Chronic problems with size of prison population, millions without access to basic healthcare, infant mortality rates way below those of far less developed nations.

    You may have more shit with your ultra-free-market, but… the price is the amount of shit you’ve got to deal with.

  6. “but as a slapdash term for anyone proposing that helping others by sharing the burden is a good thing”

    No, this is not what they mean. Not even close. At least not the folks I’ve met. Most people I know who think anything close to this believe that anything the government touches doesn’t work and that charity/sharing/etc. should be done freely by individuals. Freedom is negative freedom. The word “socialist” is used as a general term for big government, not as an indictment against helping others.

    From my view, Obama and the democrats are just as wrapped up in consumer capitalism as the right. In addition both the right and the left (going back to at least Clinton) were complicit in the lightly regulated financial system and so in no way can be blamed on a dumb Republican administration (as true as that may be). That the financial crisis is a sin of the Bush administration is just a talking point of the Democratic party and you would be wise to not repeat it.

  7. Any economic system taken to an extreme is inherently wrong. There has to be a balance. We need free-market, but we also need shared responsibility. I get annoyed at those who say Obama has done nothing to stimulate the economy when Kester is right, the man inherited a shit-load of problems. Americans have bought into the idea that capitalism will save us in the end… the free-market, left unfettered, will help us. But they fail to see that pure capitalism is anything but freeing. Just ask the millions of Americans saddled by excessive debt, who were promised if they just spend more, buy more, then the economy will improve, and more jobs will be created. We are enslaved by corporations… who masquerade as the “free-market”