Wednesday, February 11, 2009
August 1, 2008 - Construction in my neighborhood. I think a lot of this is done by now and the interiors are being done. Don't know who's going to live in them in this economic climate.
It's on the news now that the NY stock market just plunged after Geithner announced reforms in how the bailout package will be managed. Maybe it's too early to say, but it sounds to me it's a sign that Wall St. can't handle government regulation, even when it's begging Washington for bailout money. They think they should be able to receive the American people's tax money and use it without regulation and with impunity. They can't process that the way they've been using their own money without regulation and with impunity has caused the current global economic crisis.
I see it as a disease, a mental illness on Wall St. Like when AIG received bailout money and the first thing they did was take their top executives on a luxury spa retreat. They don't get it. It's the same as a compulsive gambler who doesn't realize there's a problem. There's no reflection involved, no urgency felt to act prudently. They receive bailout money and they use it the only way they know how - for their own selfish, indulgent interests. All of Wall St. is the same, and so it's no surprise that when Washington announces that they are demanding accountability, that if they are receiving taxpayer money, they have to report exactly how it's being spent, they go running like cowards.
I remember when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, some people proclaimed it a final victory for capitalism. One famous commentator even remarked it was the "end of history", which I not only didn't understand, but found short-sighted and arrogant, and right then and there I predicted that someday capitalism would likewise fail. I had no idea how or when, just that it would, and that some enlightened sustainable hybrid of socialism and capitalism would need to arise.
I don't know if we're facing the collapse of capitalism, but as commentators are arguing that the fundamental basis of capitalism is intact, and that this crisis is an exception, I would suggest that this crisis is the natural result of free-wheeling capitalism. This is no exception.
1. Johnny Too Bad (Taj Mahal)
2. Ceremony (Rainer Maria)
3. Workin' for T.V. (Southern All-Stars)
4. Electric Relaxation (A Tribe Called Quest)
5. The World at Large (Modest Mouse)
6. Boogie With Stu (Led Zeppelin)
7. Pledging My Time (Bob Dylan)
8. As Long As He Needs Me ("Oliver!")
9. Capacity (Deadweight)
10. Workin' Man (Stanley Clarke)