• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    campskunk on History will judge the co…
    Catscatscats on General Mattis’s Statement
    William on General Mattis’s Statement
    riverdaughter on Who is paying for Donald’s new…
    riverdaughter on Who is paying for Donald’s new…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Who is paying for Donald’s new…
    jmac on Who is paying for Donald’s new…
    Catscatscats on General Mattis’s Statement
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Who is paying for Donald’s new…
    Willkam on General Mattis’s Statement
    riverdaughter on General Mattis’s Statement
    Lady V on General Mattis’s Statement
    riverdaughter on General Mattis’s Statement
    HerStoryRepeating on General Mattis’s Statement
    HerStoryRepeating on General Mattis’s Statement
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    April 2020
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Who Gets to Be Violent and Why?
      The people who need to a good shit-kicking are most politicians, CEOs, and senior civilians. Well, and cops, obviously. And they need to know the cops can’t protect them from another one. The President, the mayor of New York, the Governor of New York, almost everyone who works for the Federal Reserve, all senior Wall […]
  • Top Posts

Covid-19 and the Irish Potato Famine.

Today we found out that we are shipping PPE to Thailand and Trump administration officials said they didn’t know about it. Also, FEMA is taking a hands off approach to companies selling PPE supplies to other countries who bid higher.

Day by day, the grip on the situation deteriorates. I have a certain degree of schadenfreude for people who are relying on “scientists” to save us. We’ve been undermining and underfunding science for two decades now all in the cause to privatize absolutely everything. Scientists are indeed amazing people. But they aren’t Superman. They have to follow the dictates of their profession. This means a cure is not on the horizon any time soon. It takes time and rigor to get the right results. I feel for the frontline lab rats who have to do the testing and the high throughput screening on compound libraries. They are little islands of sanity and dedication but they can’t save the world on their own. It takes a concerted effort from our government officials.

I think what most people are forgetting is we have been subjected to a relentless campaign to undermine the federal government for 40 years now. Have we forgotten about states being able to set their own rules and laws without the intervention of DC elites? How about shareholder value to the exclusion of anything else. It’s almost illegal to prevent the private market from making excessive profits at our expense. We’ve deregulated and fired whole pieces of governmental infrastructure. We haven’t made it better. It’s just gone. Does anyone recall the CPA authority in Iraq that squandered billions of dollars to turn that country into an experiment in unfettered free market capitalism? Not just plain old capitalism with some rules in place to keep people from being screwed unfairly. No, we are talking about whatever the market will bear capitalism whether it has any long term advantage or not.

None of the ideological agenda of the ruling party benefits the average American right now. We are in the hands of a disorganized bunch of speculators and ruthless predators right now. It would be entirely appropriate to say to the GOP that they need to set aside their incredible greed, opportunism, and lust for power for just a moment in order to save the country from devolving by degrees into a lawless, poverty wracked place.

Instead, we get “journalists” desperately trying to get Trump to take this moment seriously by praising his change in tone. Word to journalists: narcissists do not change. They do not see the world like you do. You are objects in the narcissists world. You either please him or you suffer the consequences. It may take awhile for many of you to get the narcissists point of view. But once you do, you will not be able to look at the situation we’re in the same way ever again.

The closest historical event I can think of where a natural disaster combined with ideological and inept government policy lead to societal catastrophe is the Irish Potato Famine of 1846-1849. All the usual suspects are there. The laissez faire capitalists, the shipment of resources away from those in need only to have them return at greatly inflated prices, the cruelty of landlords, the paucity of the social safety net, the callousness of the politicians and wealthy towards the starving who were accused of “laziness and ingratitude”.

It lead to years of misery, starvation, death and mass emigration. It so scarred the Irish that whenever and wherever there is a famine in the world, the Irish NGOs are on it.

Our country has been subject to exploitative profit mining for decades now. Some of us accepted the consensus reality that the federal government was the problem. Some of us see the federal government as the one entity we have that can coordinate a mass effort, assist in the relief of suffering and stop unconscionable speculation. The former believers, a minority government, now has the power to do whatever misguided and selfish thing it wants to us.

I don’t know if we can wait until November. Anyone who has read about the famine knows what inhumanity is coming.

One Response

  1. That was very well said, RD. Yes, this is really a culmination of the shredding of government regulations in he effort to allow completely unconstrained free market capitalism. 1987’s loan debacle did not stop it, the virtual collapse of the banking system in 2008 did not. The people who control all the levers of power (except the House, and they just work around them) are robbers plundering the Treasury, the land, and everything else. I remember that some, even supposedly intelligent people, were not sure what Trump represented; some thought he was a populist. No, he was at the top of the robber baron heap, someone to whom everything else is an object to be plundered or stolen.

    How any of this is to be stopped is very problematic. Trump ordered that the gun stores be kept open as performing an essential service. Devolving into Mad Max or Waterworld is very possible. We’ve got the numbers, but they’ve got the guns, to invert Jim Morrison, and they’ve got more of them than existed in 1968. Anyone who has actually studied and understood American history, will know that most of it involved greedy, soulless people stealing everything they could, wrecking everything else, and then retreating for a few years when people couldn’t stand it any more, and voted in a reformer. We talk about “The American Dream,’ but maybe the real metaphor in Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel was not Jay Gatsby, but Tom Buchanan.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: