A Cup of Conversation – February 2016

I studied economics in college. Almost every macro-economics professor used the Great Depression as a model in explaining modern theory. Today, honest analysis tells us there isn’t much difference in real market and index markers than during the worst financial crisis in this nation’s history. The only reason why our severe economic dysfunction hasn’t devoured us whole is because our money is no longer tied to the value of our gold reserves. We now technically print unlimited dollars and export its crippling inflation to the rest of the world through our currency exchange, trade and massive treasury debt. This is why things seem better than they actually are. The reason why our global trade partners play this game is because they currently have little choice. Our dollar is the world’s reserve currency and those trading in oil (meaning almost everyone) must first convert their currency to dollars to buy or sell energy. That is a stripped down version of how we pull it off. One day sooner than later that will change. When it does, the entire nation will know the real face of desperation and have to answer for unprecedented recklessness, waste, deception and greed.

For all of us not working on Wall Street, living on Pennsylvania Avenue or posturing in Congress, yet sitting out state and national elections, there is a reckoning. Apathy towards what our politicians are doing is the iceberg that pierced the Titanic. Trusting a vastly corrupt fourth estate (news media) is dancing to the music on the decks while the Grand Lady sinks. I heard one of the few remaining respected members in government say we are one national election away from not recognizing this once great nation. Let me spend the last of my seven-hundred words here painting a picture of what that means for you and me.

On September 18, 2008, Hank Paulson, Treasury Secretary of the United States and former chairman of Goldman Sachs, the world’s largest investment bank, called an emergency meeting of select members in Congress. He plainly stated we were 72 hours away from complete economic collapse. The unregulated trading of toxic yet extremely lucrative mortgage derivatives called credit default swaps had come to systemic crisis. Hank said unless Congress authorized an immediate $700 billion taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailout, the good faith and credit of the US dollar would come to a screeching halt. Our stock exchanges would suspend trading, banks would close doors, checks would stop clearing, ATMs would stop working and Social Security and government welfare would be unavailable. Before the end of that first week, our mess would spread to the rest of the world markets. His words, not mine. The unthinkable would actually happen. The humiliating admission was a severe indictment of his personal fiduciary failure to oversee our nation’s Treasury and the utter moral failure of his kind allowing it to happen. Wall Street received their golden lifeboats but there was no room for the millions of families who lost homes and savings. We have since over doubled our tsunami debt and debauched our currency with an inflationary deluge of digitally created wealth 99 out of 100 will never hang on to regardless of whether you bleed red or blue. Hank sailed off into the sunset very wealthy and no one went to jail. Get the picture?

So when you go to the polls this November, remember two things. Firstly, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Every politician comes with two agendas, personal and ideological. Both must be securely tethered to a Main Street reality and held accountable by an INFORMED electorate. Lastly, the only free thing in life is a clear conscience; everything else has real cost. Those promising free stuff in exchange for your vote have deep-seated control issues. They lust for power to control your life with your hard-earned dollar and call it compassion. Think about that for a moment.

If overwhelmed by it all, simply vote character and integrity. Bread lines, anybody?