Monday, January 19, 2009

Nothing to fear...

We all know the famous quote from FDR's inaugural speech, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself..." How many know that the sentence finishes, "...nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

To me the latter part of that statement is more powerful that the first. "...nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes..." Barack Obama is the calm, still voice leading us out of that terror.

One problem remains, and it is a big one. Again from FDR's inaugural,
"Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men."

The "rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods" have not admitted anything, and they have not abdicated. They roam the halls of Congress today, even as we speak, corrupting everything and everyone they touch. They have extracted $825 Billions from us already, and they seek more. Their practices do not "stand indicted in the court of public opinion" because they have obscured those practices in rhetoric and deception.

As FDR described them then, they remain today,
"Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish."

The dismantling of anti-trust was part of the deregulation that failed us. Big banks swallow little banks and then, without competition, they swallow people. And in their hubris, "too big to fail," they extort government, and the circle is complete.

Calmness in the face of disaster is necessary, curative, healing; but it is not enough. Unless the power of the "rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods" can be curbed a calm demeanor will avail us little.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Woo Hoo.. you tell 'em... your description was a bit of a surprise at first.. but then not surprising because of your well known love of Congress (ha ha).

    But you mad espme good points... and I agree and second that.