I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time and in light of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate money into the political system, I think it’s time.
Yesterday’s decision makes the US a soft fascist state. Roosevelt’s definition of fascism was control of government by corporate interests. Unlimited money means that private interests can dump billions into elections if they choose. Given that the government can, will, and has rewarded them with trillions, as in the bailouts, or is thinking about doing so in HCR, by forcing millions of Americans to buy their products the return on investment is so good that I would argue that corporations have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to buy out government – after all if you pay a million to get a billion, or a billion to get a trillion, that’s far far better returns than are avaiable anywhere else.
And no politician, no political party, can reasonably expect to win when billions are arrayed against it.
The one faint hope is that politicians in the Senate will panic, know they have 10 months to do something and ram something through. Of course, that will only be a stopgap measure, until the Supremes overthrow it, but in the meantime, maybe Dems will get serious about the Supreme Court and not rubber-stamp radical right-wingers like Alito and Roberts.
That is, however, a faint hope.
Add to this the US’s complete inability to manage its economic affairs, and its refusal to fix its profound structural problems, whether in the financial system, the education system, the military, concrete infrastructure, technology or anything else and I cannot see a likely scenario where the US turns things around. The US’s problems in almost every area amount to “monied interests are making a killing on business as usual, and ologopolistic markets and will do anything they can to make sure the problem isn’t fixed”.
Even before they had the ability to dump unlimited money into the political system, they virtually controlled Washington. This will put their influence on steroids. Any congressperson who goes against their interests can be threatened by what amounts to unlimited money. And any one who does their bidding can be rewarded with so much money their reelection is virtually secure.
This decision makes the US’s recovery from its decline even more unlikely than before—and before it was still very unlikely. Absolute catastrophe will have to occur before people are angry enough and corporations weak enough for there to even be a chance.
So, my advice to my readers is this.
If you can leave the US, do. Most of the world is going to suffer over the next decades, but there are places which will suffer less than the US: places that have not settled for soft fascism and a refusal to fix their economic problems. Fighting to the very end is very romantic, and all, but when you’re outnumbered, outgunned, and your odds of winning are miniscule, sometimes the smartest thing to do is book out. Those who came to America understood this, they left countries which were less free or had less economic hope than America, and they came to a place where freedom and opportunity reigned.
That place, that time, is coming to an end. For your own sake, and especially for the sake of your children, I tell you now—it is time to get out.
I am not the only person thinking this. Even before the decisions, two of my savviest American friends, people with impeccable records at predicting the US meltdown, told me that within the next few years they would be leaving.
There’s always hope, and those who choose to stay might stop this terminal decline.
But you need to ask yourself, seriously, if you are willing to pay the price of failure: if you are willing to have your children pay the price of failure. Because it will be very, very steep.