Saturday, September 27, 2008

Longing for Reason

From where comes this notion that it's necessary to suspend democracy in order to deal with crises?

I'm concerned, but certainly not in shock--who could be shocked?--over the current financial disaster. Democracy is strong and flexible, and if we, Americans and our representatives, all take a big breath, sit down, study the problem and do what we do, that is, discuss and debate, we'll produce a far better plan for righting the situation than if we run around like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off--chickens with apparently vast wallets from which to toss out billions of dollars.

We responded to Bush's shock doctrine after 9/11, and we are still reaping the rewards of that disaster, not the initial blasts, but the mistakes made while in shock. We forfeited our constitutional rights in the Patriot Act, permitted Bush to aggregate more power in the executive and ignored the U.N. in order to engage in a war, which has killed thousands of our troops (our sons, daughters, fathers, sisters...), Iraqis and allied troops, wounded many thousands more, tainted our international reputation, cost a kajoogle dollars ($10 billion/month! $600 billion so far!) and reduced our ability to respond militarily to all threats to our security by spreading our resources thinly. Ending up, then, in actually reducing our national security!

No more shock therapies.

To all parties involved, I say, "Calm down." It does absolutely no good at all to panic. Clear heads are needed now. At least allow democracy, both strong and flexible, to work at its best before throwing our good money after bad. Isn't that how we got in this mess in the first place, tossing good money after bad?

Below in a youtube vid is Ralph Nader's plan for dealing with the financial crisis, along with some words of wisdom at the end for how to comport ourselves with reason and calm. There are times and reasons for the waving of banners and shouting in streets (or hallways of Congress as McCain did this week), but this isn't one of them.

I must add one more thing. My family's financial situation is closely linked to the economic welfare of the country, Wall Street specifically. The current crisis intimately effects my household for it is from Wall Street that we make a living. From this position, we also have the advantage of seeing that many, many ordinary Americans are gravely effected through their investments, mortgages, retirement accounts, etc. So it is with utmost gravity that I urge for calm. We and our representatives must make the best decisions we can given the information we have. The more information, the more accurate our predictions of the consequences, the more probable it is we will correct or, at least, ameliorate the crisis. It is unacceptable to act rashly when the economic stability of the U.S. is in peril.

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