[2.5.18 update] The market plunged 1,500 points today as this voodoo economy is teetering. Read this article in light of the latest development on Wall Street.
Charles Dickens wrote a Tale of Two Cities, a novel set in the days leading up to the French Revolution. Dickens masterfully depicted the dual realities of struggling commoners and the wealthy aristocracy which eventually birthed reign of terror. The excesses of the moneyed gentry gave rise to guillotines and mass slaughter of those who lived atop society while the vast majority of people were struggling to feed themselves. A Tale of Two Cities is a book that makes billionaires and people in positions of influence shudder and gives them night terrors.
In the novel, the adversities felt by the citizenry were evident. Dickens captured the frustrations of a people who felt imprisoned by hopelessness and the eventual blow back that witnessed horrors being visited upon the upper crust of society. This particular exchange perfectly portrayed the conditions that kept an insurrection at bay up and enshrined the status quo up until the moment change arrived by way of sharp objects:
“Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend,” observed the Marquis, “will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof,” looking up to it, “shuts out the sky.”
History repeats itself like Obama without a teleprompter—even Dickens could not imagine the travesty of two nations we have become. America, and the world by extension, has been turned into a dual reality where the uber wealthy lead lives of embarrassing riches while the vast majority of the working and middle class have become the property and possessions of corporations. If our nation was a bell curve, on one tail of the wealth curve reside the billionaire class and the wealthiest 1%. On the other tail of the curve reside the homeless, indigent and people who live below the poverty line. The rest of us exist in the middle, afraid to join the huddled masses we see daily on the streets as we chase our tails trying to join the gilded class we will never be a part of.
The hope of being rich and the fear of being poor have always been the sedatives that kept a revolution at bay. This sedative is slowly wearing off as a once vibrant middle class is disappearing quickly in the rear-view mirror. Even those who are making six figures are mired in perpetual state of financial anxiety. Nearly 60% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved in their accounts and the vast majority of us are living paycheck to paycheck. In this paradigm, almost all of us are but one or two missed paychecks away from homelessness—I write about this from experience.
The American Dream has been eviscerated thanks to the steady fleecing of the public by banking institutions and corporate interests. The model of corporate capitalism makes a virtue out of greed and short term thinking; the race to make the next marginal dollar comes with a most insidious cost. Imagine a toothpaste tube, in order to feed the appetite of plutocrats like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and Co, the tube has to be continually squeezed from the bottom to push wealth up. After laying waste to the poor and working class, the middle and upper-middle class are next up as they get their turns being suffocated by institutional greed and incorporated gluttony.
This is not trickle down economy, what capitalism has become is strangle up extortion. The Great Recession of 2008 was not an accident; economists who were not on the Wall Street dole and financial experts who actually have a soul were warning about the mortgage crisis years before the derivatives bubble collapsed and took the life savings of tens of millions of Americans with it. The collapse was intentional; recessions happen every seven to ten years on purpose as a means to redistribute wealth from the masses into the pockets of the oligarchy.
People with little savings and wiped out investors are forced to part ways with their assets through firesales as vultures buy up assets pennies on the dollar. When recessions appear, there to harvest distressed homes and devalued commodities are the very rich who vacated the markets before the shit hit the fan and hoarded cash in order to take advantage of once comfortable American who all the sudden became poverty-stricken. Even though the US economy swoons on a regular interval like clockwork, the recession of 2008 was not just a run of the mill correction—it was an implosion of historic proportions. The housing collapse should have witnessed a mass uprising. But the oligarchy did not get super wealthy because they are stupid; they had a spade card in reserve for the implosion they created and they knew was coming.
His name was Barack Obama and he was marketed as “hope and change” in order to save the same criminals who bludgeoned the world into an economic depression. He gifted Wall Street handsomely and gave nothing but rhetoric and platitudes to his most ardent believers. History will judge Obama for the charlatan that he was; he handed over $14 trillion to the banking mafia by way of monetary schemes like Quantitative Easing, Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) and a sea of bailouts. CEO’s who cratered our economy were given golden parachutes while the rest of us were given anvils and were told to swim on our own.
History is about to repeat itself. Just like the run up to the Great Recession of 2008, Wall Street is at record highs. Just like then, corporate bought and sold economists and mainstream media pundits are giving rave reviews of our economy. As inside investors and degenerate gamblers on Wall Street—otherwise known as fund managers—are placing bets using our money as guarantees for their profits, the foundation of this unsustainable economy is yet again cracking on the quick sand it is built on. The next market correction will make the Great Recession of 2008 look like child’s play.
The markets keep climbing to record highs not based on fundamentals but based purely on adrenaline and momentum. This is a classic bubble that we are in, the same way herd mentality is pushing the markets up, when the herd gets spooked and makes a B-line for the exits, watch out! The Federal Reserve can’t stimulate the economy by lowering interest rates (it’s already near 0%) and there is no political appetite in Congress to spend trillions on Keynesian policies.Unbridled exuberance will lead to irrational fear; record highs give way to another Great Depression.
Of course the rich will have gotten out of the markets long before another Black Thursday snuffs out the savings and livelihood of countless millions of Americans. Who will be left holding the bag will be us, the regular Joes and Janes, as the aristocracy retreat behind their gated communities and walled off chalets. This is why we have a carnival barker spinning us into perpetual derangement with his sophomoric tweets and his petulant antics. There to fan the flames of Trump and distract us from the coming disaster is a corporate media that is more interested in making profits than they are in speaking truth to power—repression has become our only lasting philosophy.
It is ironic that Donald Trump is in Davos at this exact moment as he gathers with his fellow world puppets to take instructions from central banks and the plutocrats who own them. The rich would do wise to read a Tale of Two Cities tonight; the same way hubris prevented the aristocracy in Paris from knowing their own limitations, greed and arrogance is blinding the gentry to the suffering of the vast of humanity. God have mercy on the poor when the next economic downturn arrives at our doorsteps. Likewise, may the poor have mercy on the rich when the middle class join the impoverished in collective destitution. #2NationTravesty
“Injustice in the end produces independence.” ~ Voltaire
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Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss how we can empower ourselves instead of depending on the very few who repress us with their greed and gluttony.
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss the alternative of the future that awaits us. I am not an advocate of revolutions, I advocate we empower ourselves by building up our communities because justice is not birthed by way of bullets and bloodshed.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.