corporatist liberalism: the wise men’s christmas gift to america

i like what I think that means.  Well, I don’t really like it, but I like that it describes a lost and forever meandering democratic party that certainly is not my father’s oldsmobile; god, it is not my father’s democratic party either.  It is neither democratic nor a party.

The last decade, the first decade of the 21st century is not off to a very good start.  With enroning, and iraqing, afganistaning, and now providing health care mandates that institutionalize the health of the insurance industry, we are not in very god shape at all.  Earlier in the year when I wrote about the potential revolution that might emerge from looping off 20 % of the middle class and letting them fall into the fault line of the economic earthquake we just went through, I got hate mail back suggesting that I ought to leave the country of I was not satisfied with how things were done here…

I could venture a guess at what party affiliation they might have, I would not want to insult the many friends I have from the other side of the aisle.  I am aware now more than ever that it is no longer a republican thing vs. a democrat thing, it is a have and have-nots thing.  The lobbying industry which represents by an over whelming majority the mega rich and the corporate obtained wealth, are running the show.

The senator from Philip-Morris yields to the senator from Wall Street.  We have a House of Lords and a house of commoners.  I am represented by a house of commoners elected official who never returns phone calls, does not have an assistant return phone calls, but regardless of what i say into the phone or by e mail, I can be certain to receive a stamped form letter thanking me for my interest in government and directing me to all his accomplishments that i can witness on his constituent funded web-page.

I waiver between feeling as if I am cynical and pessimistic and on the other hand thinking that I have a vision of a failing American Empire that might have a sliver of a chance of being saved if enough people get on the same page and recognize that we ought not let the America of our father’s and fore fathers be hijacked by the wealthy aristocrats of greed, and ego induced policy makers.

Don’t you dare–don’t you dare tell me that I ought to leave this country.  Who do you think you are to automatically assume that I do not love America as much as you do–and maybe even more because I understand that not all enemies of our nation are riding on camel backs in the middle east.  We have enemies to our national good right here under our noses.  They are the people who because of their current financial margin of comfort, have no ounce of compassion for the poor, the homeless, the aging sick, the families who have lost all to enron, or lost all to fraudulently administered gate-keepers of the health care system.

Here is one good example.  A decent hard working family man with a high score on his financial reports payed his monthly bill on line.  He paid it after 2:00 p.m. on a Friday.  The bank created a policy that anything posted after two on a friday would not be “technically” posted until 2:00 p.m. the following Monday.  In the mean time, he thought he was safe since his money had been deposited so he proceeded to make several business purchases, as well as several small purchases, like a $2.00 coffee, a few items at a grocery store and, a prescription at a pharmacy.

Because his payment was posted after he made these purchases over the weekend, he was charged a $35.00 fee for each item over his card limit….This created something like three-hundred and fifty dollars worth of over draft charges.  You would think that that would be enough to drive one over the edge, considering that all the purchases amounted to perhaps under $50.00.

Here is the kicker.  The interest rate on his 6.5% credit, RETROACTIVELY, got raised to 29%……

Why is congress not angered by this?  Because the banks are too big to fail.  We did not fully understand what that meant when we spend a trillion dollars recently helping these poor bankers out of a jam.  You would think that if anyone had a boot strap to pick themselves up with, it would be the banks….

Too big to fail means simply this–they are bigger that the government, they have no law of the land to answer to.  They are new members of a global aristocracy and America can not stop them.  They are too big to fail.

So corporatist liberalism is that faction of democratic legislators who small minded-ly propose limited, ineffectual laws that are not so much designed to help the american people as they are designed to get them re – elected.

When you get up Christmas morning and see your new health package under the tree remember to thank a congressman with a vote of confidence even if it actually a worst plan that the one we suffer with now…Or as David Brooks wrote in The New York Times earlier this summer,

“[Obama and Clinton] Democrats learned never to go to war against the combined forces of corporate America. Today, whether it is on the stimulus, on health care, or any other issue, the Obama administration and the Congressional leadership go out of their way to court corporate interests, to win corporate support and to at least divide corporate opposition.”

Merry Christmas, and Oh yes—–ooh, ooh ooh all the way to the corporate banks…