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332 Landslide

332 Landslide

September 24, 2008

Now Is the Time to Resist Wall Street's Shock Doctrine

While the collapse of this country’s financial system continues to send shock waves around the world, we speak to the bestselling author of The Shock Doctrine. Naomi Klein says the public should be wary of the Bush administration trying to use the crisis to push through more of the radical pro-corporate policies that helped cause it in the first place." Naomi Klein with Amy Goodman - Democracy Now!

NAOMI KLEIN: "Well, the thesis of my book, what I mean by the “shock doctrine,” is that it is in times of crisis, it is in times when people are panicked, when we've seen again and again the right push through radical pro-corporate policies, what they call “free market reforms,” precisely because it is in a crisis where the space for debate rapidly closes, and you can invoke this state of emergency to say we have no choice.
And I think we’re seeing a very dramatic example of this tactic right now with this really extortionist kind of tactics playing out in Washington. You know, “Sign this blank check, or we’re all going down, or Main Street is going down, or taxpayers—you know, the sky will fall in on them.”
I’m also arguing that this is only stage one of the shock doctrine. They’re getting this—they’re lobbying for this huge bailout, obviously, but this bailout is a kind of a time bomb, because it’s all these bad debts, and they are going to explode on the next administration. I mean, we know that the Bush administration has already left the next administration with huge debt and deficit problems. They’vejust exploded those, expanded them. And what that means is that whoever the next president is is going to be inheriting this economic crisis that is being exacerbated by this bailout. "

"Yeah. I mean, there is pressure being put on Congress from Democrats who—you know, we’ve heard the proposals to cap executive pay and to have a moratorium on foreclosures. It’s coming not from all Democrats, but from some. But there’s something going on on the Republican side, where you have people like Newt Gingrich, and you also have the Republican Study Committee, which is a group of very influential Republican lawmakers who are saying that they’re opposed to the bailout, and they also have their wish list. And I think it is that it’s not that they’re going to oppose a bailout completely; it’s that they want economic changes, right-wing, pro-corporate economic changes, attached to a bailout. So, Newt Gingrich has his list. He’s got eighteen demands. But I think even more important than that is the Republican Study Committee, and I raise this because they’ve just issued their ransom list. It starts with suspending the capital gains tax, privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, suspending mark-to-market accounting, which is the rule that requires companies to assess their assets at current market values."

"So, what’s so stunning about this, Amy, is that here you have a crisis that everyone seems to agree is borne of deregulation, and they’re actually calling for more deregulation. We have a situation where the debt is exploding on American taxpayers, and they want to suspend corporate profits—sorry, corporate taxes, which is actually what might defray some of those costs from regular taxpayers. So it’s an incredible display of opportunism. And this is what I mean by stage two of the shock doctrine. The first stage is just the bailout, but the second stage are all of these radical reforms that are going to be invoked in the name of the crisis that the bailout is creating, whether it’s pushed through right now or whether it’s pushed through later. "

AMY GOODMAN: "You see this happen right after 9/11 with the USA PATRIOT Act being pushed through. You saw it with the vote in October of 2002 for the invasion of Iraq. It’s speed and the idea of an imminent threat."

Please click through and read the entire common sense filled article, or listen to the interview.

I'm of the opinion that this is actually stage 2, with stage one having supposed to have been war with Iran. In the face of that failure to launch thanks to cooler heads, stage 1b was the Georgia- Russia debacle. It seems even that non-starter has been doused by more reasonable minds. Perhaps the planmakers underestimated the damage a 7 year war based on lies, thrown at the American people like propaganda against an enemy, would do to the credibility of the people needed to push through the remaining stages of the plan.

"Well, uh.. crap....uh... plan A didn't work. Er uh.. and plan 2 didn't work either... but those money people.. uh.. they're expecting.. I mean, we promised to bail them out at the end.. uh.. what should.. move ahead with stage 2.. well.. what's... OH! yeah.. hehe.. stage 1, stage 1b, yeah. Stage 2, move ahead!"

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