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NYTimes: Frank Rich on how "the Fix is in"

Link.

What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand, from commercial transactions as trivial as the sales of prime concert tickets to cultural forces as pervasive as the news media.
This describes my sentiments particularly well, in which case I am typical. One thing I think is frustrating is the unacknowledged fact that ridiculous fortunes were made purely on Wall Street speculation. Not only are those people walking away with billions, they are still making money thanks to the bailouts, which have maintained an unsustainable status quo. The pro-corporate Republican Party orientation (taken on circa the 1890s) has been passed on to a Democratic majority -- the party where once upon a time a politician could, without wink-wink irony, rail against corporate raiders, speculators, and exploitation. A new status quo is in operation; the defenders of the New Deal like Tip O'Neill are long dead; Ted Kennedy barely hangs on. Basic human rights-style laws that defend the working masses have slowly corroded: inflation has made the minimum wage a disgrace, corporations spy union-building like hawks, usury has become encouraged. Nothing is worse than the way millions of people face complete financial ruin -- or even death -- through job loss or denial of health care from a giant insurance company because of a "pre-existing condition." Corporations -- owned by anonymous stockholders -- pump money to politicians to maintain their special interests. It's a simple premise, generating infinite examples: the easiest way to make a profit is not to create value or a better product, but to manipulate government policies and stab workers in the back.

If history holds true, as it did during the FDR era, an unsustainable status quo will lead to more economic freefall, and finally policies that benefit the many instead of the few. I voted for Obama because I thought he was that man; when the circumstances change, he may indeed become a defender of the people. But for now he's been bowing to the special interests.


No profanes - sacred
 
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