I"m overjoyed that Barack Obama will be our next President, but I know that he has an uphill battle to fight. Quite possibly, the steepest uphill battle ever, because he's not just fighting to recover the economy, he's fighting those who want the economy fixed, but only for themselves. You know, my perennial bugaboo, the Rich.
I don't believe, in fact that we actually live in a democracy at this point. We live in a democratic plutocracy. Government of the country by the Rich, for the benefit of the Rich. There's not even anyone left who seriously believes that anything will ever "trickle down" to the rest of us, is there? And anyway, for all of the disdainful talk of "spreading the wealth around", wasn't that what Trickle Down Economics was supposed to do in the first place? Wouldn't that make Saint Ronald Reagan the biggest Socialist President in the history of the United States?
When I watch the news, and I see the pundits obsessing over the Dow Industrials Average and the Standard and Poors average, all I see is the Rich obsessing over whether they are making obscene amounts of money quickly, when the markets are "up" or making slightly less obscene amounts of money slowly, when the markets are "down". These people have more money than they could ever spend on themselves and their families in their entire lifetimes, indulging their every whim and crying about how much they have "lost" in the markets at the same time. My heart bleeds for the person who now only has 5 or 6 million left in the bank, down from 10 or 12 million. How ever will they survive? And the executives of the auto companies have the gall to come to the government and demand billions of dollars to save their industry, but refuse to promise any changes, until "after" the money is given to them. It sounds fishy to me. But you know me by now, I just can't stop ranting about how the Rich have become so disconnected from reality that they can't understand why we should all have to suffer as much as they feel that they are suffering right now. Never mind that because of their greed, the rest of us were suffering in the first place. So we have to bail them out for their failures, and what do they give us in return? Nothing but their scorn. God, I'm a bitter S.O.B.
But I do have a little bit of hope. When Bill Clinton took office, I didn't see how he could possibly fix the economy, as the Republicans had screwed it up so completely for everyone except for the rich, but he took us from the largest (yet) deficits in history, to the largest budget surplus in recent memory. And Barack Obama is inheriting an economy and deficit that makes the situation Bill was left with looking positively sunny. Honestly, W could not have done a worse job and left more disastrous problems for the country unless he was actually actively trying to destroy America. But I have hope that things can only get better. Please let it be so.