Monday, March 30, 2009

The Big Takeover

The other day I read Matt Taibbi's The Big Takeover at Rolling Stone's website.

It is simultaneously one of the most interesting and most scarifying articles I've read on the current state of the economy.

As complex as all the finances are, the politics aren't hard to follow. By creating an urgent crisis that can only be solved by those fluent in a language too complex for ordinary people to understand, the Wall Street crowd has turned the vast majority of Americans into non-participants in their own political future. There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power. In the age of the CDS and CDO, most of us are financial illiterates. By making an already too-complex economy even more complex, Wall Street has used the crisis to effect a historic, revolutionary change in our political system — transforming a democracy into a two-tiered state, one with plugged-in financial bureaucrats above and clueless customers below.

If you are feeling too optimistic, too upbeat about the current state of affairs, this article is a good antidote. It's something to read while our society self-destructs.

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  1. You should read his response to Jake DiSantis's letter to the NYT. I don't have the link to it, but you can find it through the latest post on Airing of Grievances in my bloglist. That dude is fucking awesome...

  2. matt taibbi is the only guy with balls left in the media. no one writes angry stuff like he does.i read this last week and shared with everyone everywhere

  3. Which dovetails perfectly with my argument that there is really only one party in Washington... the Party of Incumbency. Oh sure at election time both sides will spout the normal crowd dividers... pro abortion anti abortion pro wall street anti wall street... but, in the end there's no difference between Sen. Dodd and Sen. Specter.... both two peas in the re-election pod. And the current economic "crisis" allow all members to add to their war chests with favors for stimulated constituents.

  4. I think we mentioned exactly this in our conversation. This should not be read as a OMG I cannot understand how they are screwing me, but OMG I need to understand it and be more informed. We can only become part of the political process by truly understanding the underlying issues. I remain optimistic.

  5. I hope you're right, Logtar. (Hey, look at that. Obama DID bring me more hope!).

    But in reality, I have a feeling that the pending crisis in Social Security and Medicare is going to make this sub-prime mess look like a day at the beach.

    Time will tell.


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