Sunday, January 4, 2009

Backlash Afoot?

"The government is doing a lousy job helping distressed homeowners. And according to John Dugan, the Comptroller of the Currency, the little that's been done has had surprisingly little effect. ... What's going on? It's hard to know for sure, because the homeowners who have qualified for help so far were supposed to have been fairly good credit risks to begin with. ... It wouldn't surprise me if many of these Americans were starting to look at the size of the bailouts of Wall Street and the bailout of the Big Three--at the executives, well-paid professional employees, upscale creditors and shareholders, and even well-paid blue-collar workers, who are the major beneficiaries of this federal largesse--and conclude that a fundamental principle of fairness is being violated. These Americans aren't revolutionaries. To the contrary, they're conservative. They've worked hard, but their hard work hasn't paid off. Some have tried to save, only to see their savings disappear. ... They never expected anything like this. This is the angry soil in which populist backlashes can take root", Robert Reich (RR) 8 December 2008 at http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2008/12/are-we-courting-populist-backlash.html.

"under normal preconditions, this would be an angst-filled time. at a time when american middle-classmen are in an unparalleled state of indebtedness and have watched the assets on which their families' well-being in predicated on decimated by a continuing epic financial market collapse, something more incendiary is altogether possible. ... 'as unemployment grows, displaced workers are starting to protest. In Chicago, employees of Republic Windows & Doors occupied a factory earlier this month after Bank of America Corp. of Charlotte, North Carolina, forced the company out of business by cutting its credit line. ... 'With nothing left to lose, militancy gave them their one hope,' said Harley Shaikin, a labor relations professor at the University of California, Berkeley. We'll see more rather than less of this'," gaius marius (gm), 23 December 2008, link: http://declineandfallofwesterncivilization.blogspot.com/2008/12/militancy.html.

"My gut reaction comes from watching the growing brutality and lawlessness of immigrant areas in various parts of Europe, about which the civil authorities do virtually nothing. ... The reaction of the lawfully-constituted governments is to ignore or play down the problem or pretend it really doesn't exist, and to give the young thugs at most a slap on the wrist. In Britain, anyone who dares to point out the extent of the crisis and criticize it may be charges with the crime of 'racism.' ... So I have to admit to a guilty and illicit thrill at the thought of vigilantes on my own ethnic persuasion taking back the mean streets from the invaders. ... On the other hand, what will be the alternative? This is the awful dilemma which is gradually confronting us. ... In a free society, people voluntarily give up a portion of their liberty in exchange for the protection of the state. This is the basic social contract. ... Maybe we as a society would rather be 'nice' than be protected from violent thugs. ... Maybe we are too morally sophisticated to protect ourselves. But not everyone feels that way, and eventually some people are bound to respond in the same manner that the Russian vigilante groups are responding, by adding their own murder and mayhem to the mix", my emphasis, Baron Bodissey, 23 December 2008 at http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2008/12/adding-lawlessness-to-lawlessness.html.

I usually find myself disagreeing with RR, our former Labor Secretary. However, I agree with him here. See my 20 October 2008 post, http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/10/agents-of-influence.html.

I go further than gm and believe the US is in a pre-revolutionary state, like 1780s France.

The concept of law is collapsing in the West.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

1780s France...

What enormous imbalances in that society... Versailles... the garrets and hovels of Paris... starvation...

"...Calonne initially spent liberally, but he quickly realized the critical financial situation and put forth a new tax code. The proposal included a consistent land tax, which would include taxation of the nobility and clergy, and the meeting of the Estates was planned for May 1789; a signal that the Bourbon monarchy was no longer absolute..."

Uhmmm... a financial crisis started shaking the foundations of France... Louis was so weak... the monarchy was debauched... but we must give them create for funding the colonists... funny how it lead to their demise...

Law collapsing out west IA?

Say it ain't so...

Independent Accountant said...

Anonymous:
I meant the entire West, i.e., the US, Canada and Europe. Welcome to Peronist Argentina.

The Duckling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Junior said...

When people have been conditioned to accept certain uncomfortable aspects of daily living (high taxes, crime rates, etc...), they'll continue to accept them as long as they are allowed to believe things are "ok".
The collapse of our economic foundation puts their comfort level in serious risk.

I don't have faith enough in my fellow Americans to believe that they would even be capable of "revolution" - so the only natural reaction to what is going on right now is panic under the guise of revolution.

Jr

(whoops, used the wrong blogger account. Delete that other one, Pop?)

Independent Accountant said...

Junior:
I agree with you. However, desperate people do desperate things. I doubt even 5% of Russians in 1917 were Bolsheviks. So? It still was the end of the Romanoffs.

"Pop"

Anonymous said...

Paulson did his Wall Street compatriots a disservice...

Cause those that see --- see that it was a Wall Street bail...

And liquefying the nations balance sheet won't fix it either...

The financialists are digging into a deep hole...