Friday, July 26, 2013

2013/1984, Part 5

Trey Smith

Going on the idea that "a poor, weak populace is easier to rule over than a wealthy, powerful" one, the Ministry of Plenty, in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, insures that the only abundance goes to the top one percent! For everyone else, supplies are tight and the quality is puny.

The various agencies of the US federal government that deal with economics -- Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget, Council of Economic Advisers and Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the quasi-independent Federal Reserve -- are not that much unlike the Ministry of Plenty. These bodies and many others work to insure that most of the benefits and little of the responsibility flows to the corporate elite.

When the financial elite behave badly, the agencies who supposedly serve as the watchdogs of public monies go out of their way to shield and protect the wrongdoers from harm. When they lose billions of dollars, taxpayer funds are used to bail them out. When they engage in criminal activity, they are not prosecuted and the most they can expect is a bit of bad press and a meager slap on the wrists. When they are caught committing fraud or malfeasance, not only are they not prosecuted, but they get to keep most or all of their ill-gotten gains.

But when it comes to protecting the interests of the unwashed masses, these agencies are out to lunch! Lost your pension because some Wall Street giant gambled away your money? Too bad. Investments are risky, they opine. Lost your home due to illegal robosigning? We feel your pain, they say, but you ain't getting your house back! Losing out on basic services because of decreased federal spending? Everybody needs to sacrifice, they say, while making sure that their corporate benefactors somehow aren't included in the definition of everybody!

And what about jobs? Both corporate parties SAY that getting Americans back to work is a top priority, but neither one of them is working on any type of meaningful legislation to fix the problem. Like the Ministry of Plenty, they are determined to keep the vast majority poor and weak.

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