Reading the excellent articles on the intrepid wanderer, Socialist, ex-pat, Science Fiction writer, Mack Reynolds, in the latest issue of eI by Earl Kemp, and was amused by the anecdotes of the Insti
Does anyone seriously think the current economic collapse is surprising? There is a reason that Reagan’s first term in office spawned the “me” generation, and a reason that the wipeout of the Savings and Loan industry happened almost overnight. It all began with Reagan’s strict deconstructionism of the regulatory systems that protected us from predatory Wall Street sharks. Just to keep our facts straight, vicious greed is nothing new to U.S. financial circles. Read Mathew Josephson’s The Robber Barons, if you have a strong stomach for exploitation and naked avarice. Of course, if you prefer you can just stick your head in the rubbish bin and pretend that our leaders are all beneficent “industrial statesmen.” Nonetheless, after the misery of the Great Depression years, some reasonable barriers were raised to prevent excessively over-leveraged cash-to-debt ratios, which causes banks to collapse. Reagan, of course, would have none of that! According to Reaganomics, aka trickle-down economics, aka voodoo economics, the only thing we ever need to worry about is how fast the rich become richer. Remember Michael Milken, anyone? Or Gordon Gekko? When the dot-com meltdown finally occurred, after the decade long run-up of irrational exuberance, did it take anything more than a micron of brain-matter to see that the frenzied flight of assets from stocks into real estate was not a good idea? Apparently, as long as the brokers and other sharks can make their dime, it is a trifling matter if the entire economy is banked on fantasy, zero-collateralized debt based on hyper-inflated prices. Brilliant! You see that broken down flea-bag dump, with flapping chunks of old asbestos siding falling off the termite-ridden particle boards? It can be yours for only $879,999, today! No money down! Sign here!