Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pimping Out Your Wallet

These days, we no longer look to sacrifice our first born on the altar of unnameable greed, but instead our wallets. The rescue plan which has funneled tax dollars into the pronounced, if a bit frayed, pockets of all the major U.S. home savings and loans has also left town with our savings.

When our friendly ancestors came in on the Mayflower, (make that your friendly ancestors; mine came through Ellis Island, and were not all that friendly), they couldn't have imagined that someday we'd be walking depositories, existing solely for their mercantile (read mercenary) approval.

The guy who penned "The Declaration of Independence" had this to say back in 1802: "Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

But, even Thomas Jefferson couldn't have predicted that the predators would have been this prolific, or that global economic collapse could happen about as fast as it takes to make your average cheeseburger. Arguably, too, were he able to say so, Mr. Jefferson might tell big banks, and investment companies, like JP Morgan, to forget about their toxic assets and get their toxic asses out. His idea of rescue might be more Napoleonic---exile! (How many chief executives of these behemoths have already taken refuge in Swiss bank accounts may never be known)

Every time Uncle Sam decides to manufacture greenbacks in the name of rescuing you from financial ruin, it's like a pimp trying to persuade a judge he was just trying to secure enough money to pay the college bill for one of his wards. It's flat out usury, plain and simple, and usury, like war, alas, has often proven to be president-proof.