Dandelion Salad has one of the best posts up I’ve seen in awhile. Of course, I’m partial to Ralph Nader, having written in his name in 2000 (along with 26 other brave souls in my neocon hometown)…he is still sharp as a tack. And as far as Nader being a “spoiler” that took away votes for Gore that would have kept Bush out of office — as the article states, those votes would not necessarily have been given to Gore. I would not have voted for neither Gore nor Bush. Now the power controllers in Indiana have made it more difficult to write-in candidates.
But they’re all for your right to vote, you see….
…just as long as you’re voting for their pre-approved candidate.
Okay, on to the radio show —
Chris Hedges is so edgy that I have found myself taking a step back from his assertions. But I like that he states he is for non-violence. That’s good. But he also brings up religion without talking about it in context. He fails to mention the dominionist/evangelical movement that is not following Jesus’ example and even advocating breaking Commandments to further their agenda. This is not, in my opinion, true Christianity, but using the label as a way to find an opening through the natural defense mechanism to get people to agree to something they would not normally do.
And I agree on Bernie Sanders. My gut feeling was that I did not like him and my gut has bore that out. He’s like all the rest who talk the talk, but when the fit hits the shan, he caves like a deck of cards.
I also don’t like the talk of Marx. I have not found one of the intellectual economists who had a grip on the whole picture. And trying to pigeonhole people has always rubbed me the wrong way. We are way too complex and none of the models of economics — be it socialism, capitalism, communism –can work as they are presented. They all have flaws because as we are seeing — when power is concentrated in the hands of a few, that power is corrupted. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. In my lifetime, I have seen each of these economic systems collapse due to corrupt powers.
Professor Ashford points out that what is happening in Greece is connected to the 2008 collapse in the U.S., and for the same reasons — banks loaning money to people that could not pay it back.
It was a harsh tone that stings because of my own situation. I was not buying a “new” home, I was trying to hold on to my own home that I had been in for seven years. There are a lot of factors at play that contributed to losing my home — property taxes nearly doubling (who set the property tax rates? Gov’t.); being ill from mercury poisoning that is a known neurotoxin that interferes with brain function (who allows a toxic substance inside the mouth that must be treated as hazardous material outside the mouth? Gov’t.); staggering interest rates on credit cards of 25% +- (who allowed these usury interest rates? Gov’t.) and finally, most importantly, stagnant wages. When I say stagnant wages, I want to clarify that I was getting “raises” …but curiously enough was that I would get a wage hike that would cover the hike in insurance premiums, but no more. So my take home pay was the same even though the paycheck was higher.
So to say that it simply was a factor of people living way beyond their means, in my case at least, it was just surviving. By the time I had refinanced my house, I had stopped all magazine subscriptions, cable TV, 2 newspaper subscriptions, memberships in Sierra Club and American Association of University Women, and anything else that was not a necessity. (Sadly, I see the AAUW has now swallowed the Education Kool-Aid and endorsing STEM. Sigh. If I were still a member, I would now be resigning my membership. When I first joined, I found this group to be inspiring and intellectually uplifting. Now when I look at their webpage, I see dumbing down mindset of sheeple. This is not what Sojourner Truth, Shirley Chisholm, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and just recently, Freda Huson, of the Unist’ot’en tribe in Canada are/were about. )
As Professor Ashford notes, it was those that caused the collapse — the banksters that were bailed out, NOT the mortgage holders. I mean, with staggering interest rates on credit cards that the banks controlled, and their predatory lending, they created this mess…then they profited off of it. They are saying this is happening in Greece.
The banksters were not willing to renegotiate and accept lower terms. My own personal story is the same. I called daily, begging the bank to compromise with me. I never got to speak to a human being, all I got was a recording to ‘leave a message”. They played this cruel game of calling me back when I was gone at work during the day to leave a message to call them back. Once again, I would call hoping to talk to someone who would help me. Again and again, I kept getting a recording. I tried to make deals with them to put what I owed on the back of the mortgage, to be paid along the line. The last call I made I begged them not to do this. Nothing. Never got to talk to a human before they gave my house to the sheriff for sale. They sold my $85k house for $57k to a nice neocon Christian couple. I wasn’t going to church at the time, so you can read into that any way you like. Given what I know now about the evangelical/dominionist movement…I have to wonder at taking away the assets of someone who believes in following Jesus’ example rather than using religion as a way to have power and control over others. Those are some stats I would love to see — how many people of my like mindset lost their homes, compared to neolibs/dominionists/evangelicals…? And how many neolibs/dominionists/evangelicals/libertarians bought homes lost by people like me?
Next Professor Ashford discusses the growing middle class in China….and we now see where the American middle class went…and I agree that our own disappearing middle class notwithstanding, the impact on the environment will be huge. They already have an issue with coal contamination. Someone I know from there has remarked on how “dirty” China is now compared to before this industrial boom.
It was heartwarming to hear of Greece’s resolve. They are sticking together and those that have the money are taking care of those that don’t…instead of blaming them for an economy they did not create, like we have here in the U.S. Americans would rather blame the poor for the bad economy than Wall Street or Congress or the Kochs or anyone else that has a hand in this disaster.
Dr. Ashford’s contact information: nashford (at) mit.edu or website ashford.mit.edu