Politics and the Economy

8 02 2010

While the intents and purposes of this blog remain central to expanding my (and your) knowledge of the realm of mythology, I couldn’t help but to add this contribution. For the last month or so, I’ve been on-and-off reading Hoodwinked by John Perkins (a few of you may know him as the Economic Hit Man) and, with Perkins’ guidance, I’ve had several scattered thoughts on the current state of the economy. Any seemingly random points (I assure you) are actually not as off-topic as they might seem, so bear with me.

  • It seems completely contradictory to me that those in favor of small government can still give the thumbs up for our unprecedented levels of military spending.
  • The Pentagon seeks (or has already attained) a $50 billion budget for their secret fund…I can only hope that these dollars are saving American lives.
  • Yes, there are legitimate threats to our livelihoods, but like we did with communism, we are allowing terrorism to distract us from other very real problems which must be addressed.
    • Look to some of the CEO’s and high-ranking executives of some corporations, perhaps they’re the criminals and terrorists in how they conduct business and achieve their goals of maximizing profits at any expense?
      • We must replace this emphasis on maximizing profits with an intent to still earn profits without compromising our environmental and social values.
    • The balance has swung from the people to corporations.
      • CEO’s and lobbyists are the ones resisting the changes that we need. They are the wall Obama keeps running into in his efforts to take action on issues such as health care, climate change, and our deficit among others.
  • We must set up rules and regulations which prevent us from engaging in activities that melt the glaciers, pollute the oceans, and fill our air with toxins.
    • Did you know that while total carbon emissions in China have recently surpassed the United States, we still have more per capita greenhouse emissions than China?
      • Also, while I am a firm proponent of democracy, their more centralized government allows for them to actually take actions in response to this climate threat, whereas our bureaucratic practices have impeded any efforts made by Congress or the president. And yes, China has taken steps to begin the reversal. Whatever we have accomplished has not been enough, and we cannot continue holding off while using China and other developing countries as an excuse not to reform and act more responsibly. So much for being trendsetters and examples for the rest of the world.
      • Do not forget the actions of Chevron/Texaco in Ecuador. If you’re not familiar with this: Google, Yahoo, or Leapfish it please.
  • We should consider forgiving some of the debts owed to us by developing countries which spend more paying off the interest on their loans than they are able to spend on education and infrastructure.
    • Must stop setting other countries up for failure by bullying them into accepting unjustifiably big loads for relatively unimportant projects.
      • ie. Indonesia.
  • I had some more points to make about how we need to stop being paper pushers and actually be involved in the production of good with importance and substance and include commentary on our consumer practices of purchasing goods from sweat shops *cough Nike cough* but I do not want to distract from my main points.
  • Direct quote from the book: “We are Goliath, and now David has taken us down. Like Goliath, empires eventually collapse.”

If at the very least I’ve drawn attention to these topics, I will be pleased, though we only really effect change with direct actions. If you’re interested in learning about more about anything I’ve mentioned you can either leave a comment or check out the novel by John Perkins.

Good night and good luck.

UPDATE: Click here for a related article from BBC News.
UPDATE #2: China (this is not entirely accurate) actually produces goods of value, skyrocketing their exports. Click here for the BBC article covering a recent report.