Oligarchy: the rule of the few. What we have. Democracy: the rule of the People. What Switzerland has, legislatively speaking.
Civilization is first rendered possible only by another type of organization. Civilization is an increasingly complex machine, that works only because of the nature of a sophisticated hierarchy of laws. This was known by the time of Babylon’s Hammurabi, 37 centuries ago. Thus the state of law is a necessary pre-condition for civilization. However, to have a state of law, one needs a state. That’s shrinking in the USA. just when it should be expanding.
In a related development, Obama’s own Food & Drug Administration, just woke up, and decided to do something about the feeding day in, day out, of all meat animals in the USA with enormous amounts of antibiotics, as I had requested, with my usual subtlety of crashing asteroid. See: “Fish Rots By The Head”
One has to explain the graph above a bit. The strong peak of spending at the time Obama took power (so to speak) was related by the failure of corporations, such as General Motors. Saving General Motors cost 50 billion dollars at the time, but saved 1.2 million jobs (because of all the car parts makers). Final cost was ten billions. The rescue of AIG cost 180 billion, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs 60 billion each, and so on. All these programs were started under GW Bush, Obama extended them.
Thus Bush was not just the self-described “decider”, but also the rescuer. (This emergency spending is not in the graph, by the way.)
To be taken ever more seriously, Krugman makes a point of lauding Obama always. However he says:” You can see that there was a brief, modest spurt in spending associated with the Obama stimulus – but it has long since been outweighed and swamped by a collapse in spending without precedent in the past half century.”
Krugman in :”Unprecedented Austerity” then draws the inescapable conclusion: “a strange thing has happened on the fiscal policy front. Intellectually, the case for austerity has pretty much collapsed, having been reduced at this point to the Three Stooges Theory: we’re supposed to consider austerity a success because it feels good when you stop, or at least let up. At the same time, however, austerity policies continue to be imposed, on both sides of the Atlantic.
And amid the punditizing over the latest budget deal, it’s worth considering just how unprecedented US austerity has been..to do this when the private sector is still deleveraging and interest rates are at the zero lower bound is just awesomely destructive.”
[Notice that this is the very respectable, very serious Krugman saying this, not the horrendous Tyranosopher.] What is going on? The Three Stooges?
No. The Wolf and the Lamb is the fable that depicts our times best.
An example of wolf-lamb interaction is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). As Prof Krugman points out, the GDP impact of the TPP shall be infinitesimal. So why bother to negotiate it?
A hint about the TPP’s true purpose is that the Trans Pacific Partnership is negotiated secretly. This habit, secrecy, is not compatible with democracy. So the TPP negotiation is another trick to weaken democracy.
This is confirmed by the fact the corporations have 600 lobbyists negotiating the TPP, whereas each state has only three (3!) negotiators.
In other good news, the democrats, to make a budget deal, negotiated the cutting of unemployment subsidies to millions. The more rags dress the rabble, the greater the lords. Austerity for the rabble, is what the Wolves of our ages, our Lords, want. However, we are in a nominal “democracy”, where the “Demos” redistribute quite a bit of the Lords’ money, to itself. A way to stop that redistributive non sense is by imposing austerity to the government, that is, to The People (who theoretically rule in democracy). The hyper rich have never paid fewer taxes (relatively to their global income), on this side of the Middle-Ages. And that’s directly related to this will to shrink the government.
Why are the rich reducing government spending? Superficially, because it enables them to pay fewer taxes.
The fewer taxes the hyper rich pay, the more their wealth grow, and the more they can eat their way through representative “democracy” by buying influence among the few elected officials who are deciding our destiny.
It’s a vicious circle.
But, even deeper than this circle, the plutocrats want to return society to the law of the jungle. The more they transform society into a jungle, the more they justify their demonic tendencies, that is, themselves. Those who are vicious can only feel welcome in a vicious world.
It provides them with satanic social security.
It’s an even more vicious circle. Dante’s Inferno revisited. And down we go. In America, and in Europe.
Note: A country cannot be a democracy without first being a state of law, an état de droit a Rechtsstaat. Athens tried it, and crashed. The USA and Great Britain before it, both following the orders of ther West Country Men, tried to do without, and it worked great so far (that’s why South Africa, the USA, Canada and Australia all developed Apartheid, under the guise of multiculturalism.).
In truth, the common ideology in the Anglo universe, revised by the West Country Men, was relentless exploitation, of whatever could be exploited.
That’s why the USA Supreme Court is not really a Constitutional Court (see Bush versus Gore), and Britain added only a Supreme Court thanks to liar Blair.