Monday, October 13, 2008

A Fisking of Howard Zinn

I enjoy a good fisking…..Comments in Red

Let's not waste $700bn on a bail-out, but use 'big government' for what it's best - shaping a society that is fair and peaceable In whose image?

This current financial crisis is a major way-station on the way to the collapse of the American empire. I have read similar articles from around the time of the Great Depression, Vietnam War, Watergate etc. - Clearly they were premature just as Zinn is with this alarmist statement – this line is more of an attention grabber than a meaningful statement. The first important sign was 9/11, with the most heavily-armed nation in the world shown to be vulnerable to a handful of hijackers. 911 was a wake up call reflecting the extent that the Jihadists will go to in the struggle against the West – it however only represents a potential milestone in a collapse if we fail to take heed of its importance – which many leftists, liberals and paleo-conservatives have done.

And now, another sign: both major parties rushing to get an agreement to spend $700bn of taxpayers' money to pour down the drain of huge financial institutions which are notable for two characteristics: incompetence and greed. I’ll give him this point at least part of it….both are characteristic of financial institutions…… however this is not the full story….Many financial organizations were also forced to make loans to unsuitable candidates to avoid ‘discrimination’ based litigation. The financial organizations are not the only greedy party here.
There is a much better solution to the current financial crisis.

But it requires discarding what has been conventional "wisdom" for too long: that government intervention in the economy ("big government") must be avoided like the plague more low growth Keynesian economics? , because the "free market" will guide the economy towards growth and justice. It has with economic growth – the jury is still out with respect to Justice…but them again socialist systems have failed on both accounts

Let's face a historical truth: we have never had a "free market", we have always had government intervention in the economy, true – libertarians would argue that the lack of a true free market is the actual problem and indeed that intervention has been welcomed by the captains of finance and industry sometimes but not always….I am not sure that ATT welcomed the break up into the Baby Bells or Microsoft – the anti-competition investigations by the attorney general during the Clinton years They had no quarrel with "big government" when it served their needs. Of course – big business has no shortage of hypocrites – but then so does big labour...

It started way back, when the founding fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft the constitution. The first big bail-out was the decision of the new government to redeem for full value the almost worthless bonds held by speculators. And this role of big government, supporting the interests of the business classes, continued all through the nation's history. Fair enough – However it also saves Jobs as it did with Chrysler in the 1970s – Isn’t an expansion of big government a bailout in and of itself at least as far as the taxpayer is concerned?

The rationale for taking $700bn from the taxpayers to subsidise huge financial institutions is that somehow that wealth will trickle down to the people who need it. This has never worked. Based on what evidence? The 700 billion is needed to add liquidity to the market and ensure future loans...Zinn is more ignorant of economics than Jack Layton (Canadian Federal NDP leader)...and that is saying much
The alternative is simple and powerful. Take that huge sum of money and give it directly to the people who need it. Let the government declare a moratorium on foreclosures and give aid to homeowners to help them pay off their mortgages. Good Point - but this is easier said than done...Create a federal jobs programme to guarantee work to people who want and need jobs doing what? and for whom "the free market" has not come through.

We have a historic and successful precedent. Roosevelt's New Deal put millions of people to work,rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, and, defying the cries of "socialism", The current thinking is that the New Deal may have also prolonged the depression delaying the recovery – WWII is what finally turned the US economy around
that finally kickstarted the US established social security. That can be carried further, with "health security" - free health care free health care is an illusion…someone still has to pay for it,,,,Zinn is starting to believe his own feel good propaganda - for all.

All that will take more than $700bn. But the money is there. In the $600bn for the military budget, What will happen to all those who are let go from the myriad of Industries AND spin offs operations that benefit from military spending…telecommunications…computers….medicine etc ? I guess Zinn will put them all on social security….great plan…????once we decide we will no longer be a war-making nation. Somebody should maybe tell the enemies of the West this...without the US there is no arsenal for democracy.... And in the swollen bank accounts of the super-rich such as George Soros, JK Rowling and Oprah Winfrey , by taxing vigorously both their income and their wealth. They will just move their money abroad and invest in other markets…The US isn’t the only show in town

When the cry goes up, whether from Republicans or Democrats, that this must not be done because it is "big government", the citizenry should just laugh. Its hard to laugh when you lose your job….not everyone has university tenure like Zinn and his fellow elitists

And then agitate and organise on behalf of what the Declaration of Independence promised: that it is the responsibility of government to ensure the equal right of all to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" Pure dramatics… What does this really mean anyway? …yes it sounds great…but is ultimately a very broad statement and in this context empty…

Only such a bold approach can save the nation Saved from what? - not as an empire, but as a democracy This is language that George Lucas would be proud of...
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