I used to tell people that BushCo was wrecking the US economy, but now I recognize that that was an over-simplification. What we are witnessing is a precise, controlled demolition. America is being efficiently demolished and sold for scrap. The wreckage will collapse neatly on those who are least prepared to bear the suffering, and the looters and scoundrels will largely be spared.
Consider Bush himself. His nest-egg and retirement benefits will pay his bills while his book deal (a guaranteed sale among Kool Aid drinkers) will earn millions. If things get really rough for him, he may bug out to Paraguay or some other refuge, but in terms of assuring his own future comfort, it’s MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
Consider the war profiteers. The next (Democratic) President may slow the tempo of the Iraq war, but US defense spending has been locked into the highest levels seen since the cold war. More importantly, the concept of meaningful oversight has vanished from defense contracting, as more and more projects are funded irrespective of their functionality (e.g., Osprey, missile defense, and next-generation spy satellites). Only national bankruptcy can stop the weapons gravy train.
Consider the corporate elite. The outsourcing of everything that can be pushed through a high speed data line will continue unabated, resulting in the steady emptying out of the US service economy. Manufacturing has already been decimated. Companies like GM and Ford will succumb to bankruptcy and takeovers, then pay huge severance packages to their incompetent former managers. Each payout to a failed CEO is more shocking than that last. But there will be no parachutes for ordinary Americans, just very hard landings.
Consider the media moguls. The sinking fortunes of the average citizen will keep entertainment a booming industry. Just as in the Great Depression, movies and electronic diversions will be popular escapist medicine for the sickness of declining living standards. Perhaps we will even see a revival of voyeuristic fixation on the rich, just as drab depression era movie-goers watched films of the wealthy cavorting at their lavish parties. (Just substitute billions for millions.)
In short, when predators rule the nation, they never suffer. Just as they swindled and stole on the way up the economic cycle, they will swindle and steal on the way down. The rest of us are simply their fodder. Those who expect America’s “leadership” to pull us out of an economic slump will soon learn that the nature of leadership has changed for the worse. Our leaders will compete with each other to see who can grab what remains to be stolen.