Friday, October 03, 2008

Is the Bailout the Chinafication of America?

Did the recent financial crisis--punctuated by calls for ramming through a bailout bill to save banks and fund capital budgets--actually open the door to consolidation of executive power at the U.S. Treasury? David Sirota argues that in gaining a bailout bill, we may have lost a democratic economic system:
The United States has always struggled to balance its capitalist economy with its democratic ideals. We've spent the last many years telling ourselves that the two go hand in hand, only to watch capitalism thrive in China in the absence of democratic freedoms. Indeed, if there's been any lesson the last few years, it is that authoritarian capitalism - rather than democratic capitalism - may be the dominant ideology of the 21st century ....

We are trying to economically compete with anti-democratic forces that can make financial decisions without any public input at all. As we saw with the debate over the bailout bill, the transnational corporate elite tell us our democracy and its careful deliberations are hurting our ability to make quick decisions in this global market - and therefore that democracy must be subverted to the will of capitalism. Thus, a bill is rushed through Congress in a week that hands 5 percent of our entire economy to one man, Hank Paulson ....

Capitalism is trying to euthanize democracy in the name of economic competitiveness - and that is going to make this country a very different - and in my opinion, a much scarier - one from what it once was.
The $700 billion approved and signed at the federal level today is a threat to democratic process, and it will likely be a gateway fix to future bailouts, so might we be witnessing the beginning of the slow erosion of American progress?

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