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United States: Largest Third World Country?

Posted by Rick · April 7th, 2005 · 2 Comments

According to George Bush, the United States of America — once a proud leader of the world and still its number one bully — is actually just the largest Third-World Country.

On Tuesday…he visited the office of the federal Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg, W.Va. He posed next to a file cabinet that holds the $1.7 trillion in Treasury securities that make up the Social Security trust fund. He tossed off a comment to the effect that the bonds were not “real assets.” Later, in a speech at a nearby university, he said: “There is no trust fund. Just i.o.u.’s that I saw firsthand.” — “Shameless Photo-Op” (April 7, 2005) New York Times.

Just IOUs. From the government of the United States of America.

Bush is taking great pains to convince Americans that Social Security is in deep trouble. He knows — polls has repeatedly shown — that Americans aren’t buying his plan to turn Social Security over to the same Corporate Interests that gave us Enron, Worldcom and Halliburton.

Enron, of course, was the company owned by Bush’s friend (and one of his most effective fundraisers), which went belly up, then sank out of the public consciousness, taking hundreds of millions of dollars in employee 401(k) retirement accounts with it. Worldcom — similarly “off the radar” for most Americans — lost misappropriated stole billions of dollars of investors’ money before the Bush Administration awarded them a $45 million no-bid contract for providing cell phones to Iraq. (That’s just a fraction of the $772 million WorldCom was given as “the prime contractor to federal agencies.”) And Halliburton…uh, Dick Cheneyoil executives…10-year no-bid contract…gasoline expected to hit $3 per gallon this summer in the United States — need I say more?

The last time corporations had this much power in America was right before — and directly caused — the Great Depression. That Great Depression at one point resulted in twenty-five percent of Americans being unemployed. One official U.S. Navey website puts the number of unemployed as high as thirty-three percent and notes that people who were lucky enough to have jobs worked 12 to 16 hours a day, up to seven days a week. People lost not just their jobs, but their homes, savings, sometimes they died and many of those who didn’t depended on charity to stay alive. (Meanwhile, the lives of the rich improved even while the middle-class was practically destroyed.)

And even after the stock market collapse, the United States government continued to assure people that the economy was improving.

It’s ironic, then, that one of the programs established to ensure the ravages seen in the Great Depression would never starve retirees to death again is currently under attack — by the same kind of corporations that caused the Great Depression in the first place.

And the President of the United States.

But Bush knows that the only way this is ever going to happen is if he can convince Americans that the United States is really a Third-World Country.

Social Security takes in more money than it needs to pay current beneficiaries, and the excess is invested in the Treasury securities that Mr. Bush was discussing. They carry the same legal and political obligations as all other forms of Treasury debt, every penny of which has always been paid in full and on time. — “Shameless Photo-Op” (April 7, 2005) New York Times.

“The same legal and political obligations as all other forms of Treasury debt.” And Bush says they’re “not real assets.” They’re “just i.o.u.’s.” Back when the United States was part of the First World — in fact, the leader of the First World — the United States government always paid its debts. An IOU from the United States — well, the only thing better than that was gold.

But the United States is, apparently, according to President George W. Bush, no longer that First World country. Like other Third World countries, an IOU from the United States is worthless. IOUs from the United States are “just i.o.u.’s.”

Categories: The Decline of America


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sean // Apr 14, 2005 at 3:45 am

    This could sound severe, but it’s a hard-nosed fact: I might wonder if it would do the nation any good, to go through a national economic depression. I might wonder if such would formally remind the entire nation, “the trough of material stuff is not bottomless” and indeed, “money does not grow on trees”.

    I cannot imagine as if “corporate marketers” would allow the common population to believe it, however, if the nation ever was in another great depression. “My, how it would hurt sales.”

    On second appraisal, I doubt that it would greatly help any political situations in the nation, if we were to realize any wide-area economic difficulty.

    “Regardless, oranges still grow on trees”, heh. I guess that I’ll practice at being less worked-up about social scenarios, either.

    This Fresno area seems awfully plain, despite how much may seem awfully surreal, all around.

    Trying to tie this comment to a conclusion. failing. ended, in short, with appreciation.

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