Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mitt Romney = Thurston Howell III-- How Will That Go Over In Euro-Zone?


If you're too young to remember Gilligan's Island don't worry. It doesn't matter and anyone who reads DWT already knows Mitt Romney was born into the 1% and has made himself an icon of that set. But the video above will give you a little idea about ole Thurston; too bad he wasn't named Willard. But this is a serious post and I'm going to stop clowning around... right now!

With the Euro-- if not the whole Eurozone-- circling the toilet, Obama, at least for domestic consumption, says "we're" not bailing their banksters out. We'll see who underwrites the IMF.
The annual meeting between U.S. and European Union officials came amid growing fears over the future of the euro. Experts say that without drastic action, the euro could be days away from collapsing, a scenario that could cause more financial damage to the already shaky American economy.

While Obama offered no specifics on how the U.S. may be willing to assist Europe, he said failing to resolve the continent's debt crisis could damage a U.S. economy saddled with slow growth and 9 percent unemployment.

"If Europe is contracting, or if Europe is having difficulties, then it's much more difficult for us to create good here jobs at home," Obama said at the conclusion of the day-long summit.

While Obama has offered support to his European peers, the U.S. believes the Europeans have the financial capacity to solve the debt crisis on their own.

Sounds fishy and it's inconceivable that U.S. taxpayers won't be called upon to shoulder part of this burden-- a burden entirely created by... Wall Street, the same gang of well-dressed crooks and thugs that has gone unpunished for preying on Americans the same way they've preyed on the rest of the world. The Germans are being told to man up and save Europe-- something than can bring it's own peculiar set of problems for people who like their own national identity and stuff like democracy. Germany has already nixed democratic participation for Greece and Italy in exchange for some quick, grudging cash.
Germany is the only country in Europe that can act to save the eurozone and the wider European Union from “a crisis of apocalyptic proportions,” the Polish foreign minister warned on Monday in a passionate call for more drastic action to prevent the collapse of the European monetary union.

...Yet their calls were met by a stubborn insistence in Berlin that only EU treaty change to forge a “stability union” in the eurozone would revive confidence in the markets.

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, rejected calls for the European Central Bank to act as a “lender of last resort” in the eurozone, and for the introduction of jointly guaranteed eurozone bonds to relieve the pressure on the most debt-strapped members of the common currency such as Greece and Italy.

Germany was not big enough to support the rest of the eurozone on its own, Mr Schäuble told foreign correspondents in Berlin. The way to win back the confidence of the markets was to complete monetary union with a “stability union” based on strict budget discipline enshrined in the treaties of the EU.

In a startling comment for a senior Polish minister, Mr Sikorski declared that the biggest threat to his nation’s security was not terrorism, or German tanks, or even Russian missiles, but “the collapse of the eurozone."

“I demand of Germany that, for your own sake and for ours, you help it survive and prosper,” he said. “You know full well that nobody else can do it. I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity. You have become Europe’s indispensable nation.”

Yet he backed Germany’s drive for deeper integration in the EU and the eurozone. The member states faced a stark choice between “deeper integration or collapse,” he warned, challenging the UK government to support reform, or “risk a partial dismantling” of the union. “We would prefer you in, but if you cannot join, please allow us to forge ahead,” he said.

His call for the EU member states to decide whether they wanted to become “a proper federation” is in line with the German government’s insistence that only much closer political integration is essential to underpin the existing rules of the eurozone.

So how is this Wall Street's fault. Good question. And let's turn to a real expert to help answer it-- Professor David Korten, an economist whose new book, Agenda For A New Economy actually has the answer... many answers. In 2005, he cites Forbes as reporting that the world has 691 billionaires. Just three years later that number had risen to 1,250-- with a combined net worth at $4.4 trillion. According to a United Nations University study, the richest 2% of world’s people now own 51% of all the world’s assets. The poorest 50% own only 1%.
An extreme and growing concentration of privatized wealth and power divides the world between the profligate and the desperate, intensifies competition for Earth's resources, undermines the legitimacy of our institutions [Europe's too-- big time], drives an unraveling of the social fabric of mutual trust and caring, and fuels the forces of terrorism, crime, and environmental destruction.

...As Wall Street exported its modernization plan to the world, the wealth gap widened almost everywhere. The export process began with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund [IMF] encouraging poor countries to fund their development with foreign borrowing. Local elites loved the access to cheap credit and the opportunity to skim off fees and bribes. Foreign contractors got lucrative contracts for large loan-funded projects. And big banks had new customers for loans. It was a win-win all around-- except for the poor who only got the bill.

After the borrowing countries were loaded up with loans far beyond their ability to repay, the World Bank and IMF stepped in as debt collectors and told them:
Sorry, but since you can't repay, we are here to restructure your economies so we can get back the money you owe us. Eliminate social spending. Cut taxes on the rich to attract foreign investment. Sell your natural resources to foreign corporations. Privatize your public assets and services. Gear your agriculture and manufacturing to production for export to subsidize consumption in rich countries. [Of course they didn't use the term subsidize. They probably talked about comparative advantage.] And open your borders to foreign imports...

Almost every element of the “structural adjustment” worked to the favor of global corporations.

Eventually the Wall Street players realized they could use multilateral trade agreements to circumvent democracy and restructure everyone's economy at the same time. It worked brilliantly.

Korten wrote that last year. It's actually working-- if not "brilliantly," depending on perspective of course-- right now. This week... today. Teabaggers and Republicans "warn" they don't want to see the U.S. turn into another Greece. But that's exactly what the hidden-- and not so hidden-- string pullers have always been aiming for... and the useful idiots are still shouting their mass-market researched slogans for them on the mass media outlets the 1% entirely own. Go Thurston! Go Willard! Remember Charles Pierce's fantastic book, Idiot America a few years back? More recently he's been trying to figure out what's up with all this Romney-hatred in the GOP. And he's an expert. He gave Esquire the scoop.
I've cast my memory back as far as I can, and I cannot recall a major politician of either party who causes so many members of his party to spit (metaphorically, one hopes) at the simple mention of his name. And this is not a recent phenomenon. One of the few insights worthy of anyone's time in that horrible Game Change book was the fact that, by the end of the 2008 presidential cycle, all of the other Republican candidates had come to despise Willard. (John McCain was apoplectic on the subject, even by McCain's standards, which are considerable.) This now has seemed to transfer itself to the Republican electorate in general. Nobody likes this guy. To hell with drinking a beer with him. If they'd got stuck in a bar with Willard, the only way they'd drink hemlock with the man is if he let them go first.

On the surface, this elemental loathing seems disproportionate, even if you take into account how much of the GOP's Jesus-jammin' base distrusts the extended coven into which Romney was born. As governor of Massachusetts, Willard was relatively unobjectionable. He wasn't as much fun as Bill Weld and his amber-colored liquids, or Paul Cellucci and his love of the track, to name only two of his immediate elected Republican predecessors. But nobody much minded him, especially when he sort of gave up on the job midway through his one term. Now, it is true that Willard is something of a foof who spends all his time falling a few yards short of sincerity. He speaks a form of trust-fund English that can be off-putting. He is as utterly unprincipled as a politician can be, and he's about as trustworthy as a puff adder. None of these are an automatic disqualification for a presidential candidate. Even taken together, they add up to little more than Newt Gingrich with a silver spoon in his jowls. There has to be something more at work here.

As I've said, I've thought long and hard about this. Obviously, people in one party can work up a good hate for candidates in the other party. But, as far as hating one of their own the way so many Republicans hate Willard, and in the way they hate him, I can't come up with a relevant parallel. Bill Clinton was pretty slick, and some Democrats distrusted him for it, but, when Newt and the impeachers made a federal case out of Clinton's penis, Democrats largely rallied around it, and him. There was a lot of anger aimed at George H.W. Bush, when he helped save the economy by going back on his 1988 acceptance speech, thereby making Peggy Noonan out to be a liar, but I never got the sense that it was as personal as the anger at Romney is. (The elder Bush, it should be noted, was sufficiently patrician to make Romney sound like a member of P-Funk, but I digress.) Republicans didn't like Nixon much, but then, it should be said, nobody really did, which was half the problem. (Dislike was the white noise of Richard Nixon's entire life.) A lot of Democrats really, really hated LBJ, but it took an entire bloody war to do that. All Romney's done is change his position on a whole host of issues, and talk like the guy who's come to repossess the family farm.

Public Policy Polling released this morning seems to back up the assertions that almost everyone hates Romney and that that trend is growing the more voters get to know him. His net favorability among Republican primary voters-- sure they're mostly insane, but they're the deciders for now-- is plummeting.
On average Romney's favorability with primary voters was 54/25 in these 13 places at the begininng of the year. Now it's only 50/35. His problem is partially that his positives have gone down but more than that it's that as his name recognition has increased, most folks moving off the fence have gone into the negative column.

What's most remarkable about the decline in Romney's popularity is how uniform it's been-- he's less popular now than he was at the start of the year in all 13 places where there are polls to compare. And in 11 out of the 13 places that decline in his net favorability has been at least 14 points-- the only places with more modest declines are Maine and North Carolina.

This is why as Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry and Herman Cain have risen and fallen Romney hasn't seen any increase in his support-- GOP voters just simply aren't warming up to him at all-- in fact they're going in the other direction.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home