In these times of chaos and confusion, it is important to know who has your back. However, it is not always so easy to know. Everyone from corporate executives to politicians, to social media ‘influencers,’ claims to have your interests at heart. High sounding ‘mission and goals’ statements belie various special interests in so many institutions and among so many supposed leaders. So, who’s got your back? None of the usual suspects, that’s who.
Interest Rates and Pricing
Lets face it. Prices rise for many reasons. Supply and demand, bla, bla, bla. Crises bring shortages and opportunities to price-gouge. Meanwhile, the mainstream economic pundits merely parrot the myth of progress through endless economic growth (on a finite planet), when growth is the very problem that threatens both planet and people. Sure, some live very comfortably because of their position in the expanding global industrial consumer economy. But ask the billions who live in food insecurity as well as consumer-goods depravation and climate peril.
Prosperity has concentrated in the US and other industrially developed nations, fluctuating with the ‘business cycle.’ Yet, recent economic perturbations indicate that business as usual may no longer apply. The COVID pandemic is a small harbinger of instabilities to come as the climate-ecological emergency intensifies. Politicians would have you believe that price inflation and unemployment can be controlled by raising and lowering interest rates. Yet, increasingly larger systemic disruptions play a much bigger part. And on that front, nobody is watching the store.
Don’t look to the Fed to protect your buying power, your job, or a decent wage. It looks after “the economy,” not you. Of course, political elites define the economy as the economic environment in which the investment banks and corporations operate. You see, it is the system with which they are concerned, not you. The real economy operates around the everyday exchanges in our lives.
I am just as outraged about the genocidal Russian war on the people and nation of Ukraine as I am about the genocidal Saudi war against Yemen. The US has contributed so many weapons to the Saudis, along with hundreds of air-strikes supposedly to target al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and militants associated with the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Moreover, the US government authorized our ‘defense’ industry to sell many weapons to the Saudi’s, thereby implicitly sanctioning the brutal killings of so many Yemeni civilians. All in the name of the ‘war on terror,’ terror is committed, and so often indiscriminately. Americans pay more attention to the Russian war against Ukraine because it is such a simple case of barbaric behavior by Putin, which the American corporate media cover so thoroughly, unlike their scant coverage of the brutal Saudi war on Yemen.
So, the US and the EU have instituted economic sanctions against Putin’s Russia. Fine, well, as far as it goes. Except for all the loopholes and exceptions that allow the flow of gas from Russia to the European nations that have come to depend on it since Russia became more integrated into the global economy. Fossil fuels still rule.
Oh, by the way, what ever happened to the climate emergency? Who’s got your back on that really big one? Why hasn’t Joe taken executive action to ramp up production of clean energy technologies to replace the fossil fuels taken off the world market by the sanctions? That would advance the lagging feeble US efforts to reduce carbon emissions, not continue to increase them, and help release the Europeans from dependence on Russian fuels.
Instead, Biden wants to take a gas-tax holiday, increasing the national debt along with oil company profits in hopes that Big Oil might reduce prices, or at least slow gasoline price inflation. Why should the nation pay for reducing gasoline prices when it’s the oil companies who are price gouging. Well, with record oil and gas profits, I remain doubtful. Corrupt though he was, Nixon at least had the cojones to impose price controls when things got out of hand way back when. The gas tax you won’t pay will be added to the national debt. Neither the federal government nor the oil companies have your back on this one.
Insurrection and Mealy Mouthed Media
I’m just as interested in the January 6 insurrection hearings as anyone. I want to know exactly how the wannabe autocrats attempted to steal our democracy. It is not only astounding to see just how far a megalomaniacal narcissistic sociopath who was able to lie his way into the White House in the first place, could take his criminal enterprise on a journey to autocracy before being stopped, just barely. Nor how many sycophants would do his bidding.
I never expected to like Liz Cheney. However, she has shown a high form of political courage that the great majority of today’s Republicans are entirely unable to muster. Some Republicans—like Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who refused Rudy Giuliani’s insistence that he illegally ‘decertify’ Arizona’s 2020 Electoral College ballots—have the courage of their convictions. However we may disagree on matters of policy, these folks have a moral center that frames their behavior. I can respect and work out problems with anyone who displays a moral compass. They can be trusted. Dishonorable people, like most Republicans in Congress, cannot be trusted to have your back.
As all the corruption and crime are exposed via the hearings of the Select Committee, we hear news-media commentators ruminating not just on whether the evidence is sufficient for the Justice Department to indict the Fake President, but whether to do so might “further divide a divided nation.” The media talking heads need a moral compass too. They worry too much over possible fallout from doing the right thing.
Oh, please! How in the world can a people have confidence in our democratic institutions if their government refuses to prosecute the most criminal president of all time, out of the fear that the fringe radical right (borderline fascist) element may be upset? They are already upset! The idea of a ‘divided nation’ is a ruse to help legitimize the anti-democratic would-be fascists rising in response to the fake president’s direction.
Why should the rule of law stop at fear of disturbing the already disturbed, the politically violent faction that has already attempted to overthrow democracy and remain ready to flout the law and every principle of human decency by inflicting violence and electoral decertification to get their way? That’s just what bullies do.
Who’s got your back? We’d all do well to take a very close look, and act accordingly.