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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-10 01:23 PM
Original message
The Financial Crisis and America's Political Duopoly
Charles Ferguson
Director of the Wall Street documentary 'Inside Job'
Posted: November 12, 2010 03:31 PM

What unites the midterm election results, the recommendations of the bipartisan deficit reduction commission, the Federal Reserve's decision to spend another $600 billion to keep interest rates down, the failure to address the foreclosure crisis, and America's worsening relations with its G-20 partners? And, more generally, what explains the Obama Administration's toothless response to the financial crisis, in particular its reversion to status quo regulatory and economic policies over the past two years?

In making my documentary on the financial crisis, Inside Job, I obsessed over these questions. Some argue that President Obama, as a matter of individual personality, is averse to confrontation; others say that, lacking financial experience while being forced to confront the most severe crisis since the Great Depression, he was hostage to his campaign advisers, who happened to be Clinton-era insiders who had helped cause the crisis. Gradually, however, I have come to a different conclusion, one based on a more fundamental, structural problem in American politics.

My answer is this: far from being in an era of brutal partisan warfare, as conventional wisdom holds and as watching the nightly television news might suggest, the United States is now in the grip of a political duopoly in which both parties are thoroughly complicit. They play a game: they agree to fight viciously over certain things to retain the allegiance of their respective bases, while agreeing not to fight about anything that seriously endangers the privileges of America's new financial elites. Whether this duopoly will endure, and what to do about it, are perhaps the most important questions facing Americans. The current arrangement all but guarantees the continuing decline of the United States as a nation, and of the welfare of the bottom 90% of its citizens.

First, consider Obama Administration policy. The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates down, which greatly enriches the financial services industry. The bipartisan budget commission, whose Democratic head is a former investment banker, recommended raising taxes on most Americans while reducing taxes on corporations. And while, to its rare credit, the Obama Administration has sought to repeal some of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, it has avoided any serious attempt to tax or control financial sector compensation, to recover any of the massive amounts taken by bankers during the bubble, to penalize or prosecute those who caused it, or to reverse the extraordinary rise in inequality that has transformed America over the last generation. The Republicans go even further in catering to the wealthy and the financial sector, but the differences are relatively minor.

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pretzel4gore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-10 01:47 PM
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1. i wish jon macain (aka Mister Magoo) had won the election!
Barack's just pretending he likes us ...wasting time until times wastes us
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sasha031 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-10 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. how desperately we need an FDR....
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-10 02:02 PM
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3. Well, he omits the whole "defence" and "security" discourse,
Edited on Sat Nov-13-10 02:03 PM by bemildred
and also the "welfare", "crime", "race" and "drug war" complex,
but yeah.

But as the level or oppression becomes higher, the situation becomes more obvious and overt, so I am confident that the situation cannot continue as it is forever.
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-10 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. Here's more of that same shit equating the two sides.
Repukes are the villians here. Democrats are not fighting back hard enough. But that doesn't make them as bad as repukes. This country is divided because REPUKES sent the message they are angry, cruel, selfish, violent, and irrational. Fighting back against them does not create the divide. Fighting back against them is the only sane thing to do. I just wish that President Obama would start to fight.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-10 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. Saw that Movie last night at our "Arts Cinema." It's good watch if it comes to your Neighborhood to
see. Check it out on Google.
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