The '08 Campaign And the Crash

by Robert Crisman

     Here's the '08 presidential campaign in a nutshell:
     The Dems couldn't dredge up a white guy that even the dead in Chicago would vote for, so they went with Obama. Meanwhile, the GOP couldn't dig Reagan up try as they might, and all they had left that ever even seemed human was one other dead guy, McCain.
     McCain sort of dribbled and drooled, so the Oil Guys, Republicans at heart to a man, hedged their bets and duked the Obama camp large chunks of change.
     Meanwhile, to prop McCain up whenever he'd start to fall over, the GOP conjured this Ilsa-Koch-Barbie-Doll ding-dong for Veep, Sarah Palin.
     Palin winked and talked nonsense and sewed up the peckerwood lard cans, and kept the race tight going into October.
     Then the fucking economy tanked. On the GOP's watch. McCain went tits up.
     The pocketbook dictates at nutcutting time.

     It could have been Dems who were steering the ship when the crash came. Both parties had prints all over the dereg bamboozle that kicked the economy over the cliff.
     All those banks choked with shit markers...
     Next stop a black hole in space!
     And sure, the Bush monkeys, stockholders all, pushed the dereg. The point was to free up the credit, get folks to buy, and thereby fatten portfolios, right? To kick those stocks skyward, right fucking now. And, don't forget, to make sure that their homeboys on Wall St. could grab all that bonus cash lying around for making those year-end reports dance and sing.
     Billions and billions and billions of bonus bucks, baby! For Lear jets and yachts, household slaves, hot nights in Paris, and all of the rest of the high-living horseshit that gives all those Wall St. homunculi hard-ons.
     Freeing up credit enabled the sharpies to shoehorn all sorts of folks who can't pay into houses and stuff. Buy now! they all said--and then neglected to mention they'd snatch the stuff back down the road when all those variable interest rates blew past the moon.
     Hate to skin ya, they sniggered, but we need your hide...
     So, yeah, the Bushrats pushed dereg like smack. And so did fat dogs tucked in with Obama--they own stocks too, right?--who tell us now that they've got a plan to fish us all out of this mess.
     The plan?
     Get credit moving again!

     Quick quiz: what's the reason those dipshits dereged in the first place?
     You got it in one!
     Americans have to buy buy buy buy! But they don't have the cash to buy popsicle sticks. And so, credit--or our service economy grinds to a halt; also, the goods that companies used to make here, but now get produced by yesterday's peasants in China and places like that, will pile up and rot in some warehouse. Not long after that it's black hole in space time again.
     By the way, the fact that production of goods got shipped overseas, and with it most of the well-paying jobs, is one reason Americans don't have the ducats to pay off their credit-card debt, which--are you ready?--is one reason why all the banks are awash in shit markers.  
     But no matter! Even folks who can't pay have to buy buy buy buy--til it's time once again for a meltdown.

     Here's some history for all of those people who think that the bill won't come due.
     Remember old Marx, the guy you thought finally went down for the count when Gorbachev threw in the towel? Turns out he's still kicking. And this is the guy who had kapital covered, all the way down to the dime.
     Marx looked at meltdowns a long time ago and found they were rooted in overproduction of goods. A capitalist gongo has to keep making whatever it is that he makes--widgets, Dodge Rams, porno, linguini, biblical tracts-- then sell sell sell sell 'em, to fill up his share of the market and more if he can, or some other hotshot will fill it up quick and he'll wind up eating in dumpsters. The same goes for every last one of these clucks--which means that they all try like hell to glut up the markets, which eventually kills sales dead, at least in big ticket items--how many houses and cars do you need?--and, when that happens, everything starts to die on the vine and, crash, bam, boom, bam, all the way down the stairs into hell.
     Yep, overproduction--the kickoff from feast to capitalist famine.
     Sounds right to me...
     Economists these days however maintain that Marx was full of dinosaur shit. Big business, they say, found some ways past that roadblock: ads, obsolescence, and credit.
     Oh yeah, and corporate welfare whenever the pores start to clog...
     First off, the ads, 24-7 attacks on our frontals that tell us we'd all better brush, floss, perfume our pits, then suck up a Bud and test drive a Beamer, or we can forget getting laid for the rest of our miserable lives.
     Everyone wants to get laid, am I right? Damn skippy they do--and this has enabled the hucksters to turn us all into buy-or-die junkies. They make it, we snatch it right up. We shop til we drop--all the more given that most of the shit that they sell us rolls over and dies in a hot New York heartbeat, and we've got to hop down to WalMart or Target every six minutes if we want to stay in the game.
     The ad shit really got started way back in the '20s when we Americans jammed into cities. There we were, yokels fresh from the prairies and woods, without the first clue how to make it. Proud Ma and Pa and their kids who'd milked cows on their own fucking farm had to learn a new game--go to work for The Man and buy all the shit that they used to make for themselves. They'd grown their own food, for Chrissake, and now it came in a can from Somebody Else, and they had to rustle up shekels to get it.
     The ad guys turned Pa into Dagwood and Ma into Blondie and junior and sis into...Dagwood and Blondie, the Next Generation. The old gods had failed these folks, so the ad guys gave them a new one, one that spewed out his wisdom in magazines and on billboards and radio shows--and this god delivered the goods. Food, clothes, cars, houses--any damn thing you could think of! Plus, this god promised you heaven on earth, presuming that you bought the ticket.
     Heaven was there for no money down and cheap, easy payments. Such a deal, n'est ce pas? And if you didn't snatch it, well, fuck you, you know? You were one lame cocksucker. Your breath and pits reeked, you stole all your clothes off some wino asleep in a doorway, and they'd bury your ass in a dumpster somewhere and forget that you'd ever stunk up the breezeway.
     People bought stuff  like never before in the '20s, on credit, of course; their paychecks didn't quite make the spread. Businessmen also bought now and paid later, so they could grow quicker than weeds in your garden and wrap up the world by next week.
     Credit greased glut like never before--overproduction again, am I right?--and debt piled sky-high. And then came that wonderful day when the widget king or whoever it was fell way short, and couldn't come up with the nut that he owed to the guys down the line, who in turn had to make their excuses to guys who held all their markers and--domino city, crash, bam, boom, bam, all the way to the basement! By the end of the decade the on-the-come Big Dogs all closed up shop and lined up to jump out the window.
     The whole ball of wax rolled over the cliff and onto the hard rocks below.
     Came the '30s. It sure looked like rain. No one had jobs. The markets were toast. Production of goods lay dead in the water. It looked like...the end...
     Then John Maynard Keynes came along. The Man With a Plan. He told the mints to print money, albeit backed by nothing at all, to give to the guys who churned out the goods so they'd stay afloat until people could buy stuff again.
     Fuck a depression, Keynes said. We'll paper it over with corporate welfare!
     This novel approach kept the Big Dogs afloat in the '30s. It didn't end the depression, however. The world economy'd sunk to the bottom of the sea. To get things moving it had to produce in order to sell and--who the hell was there to sell to? Folks had no jobs, which put a big crimp in plans the Dogs had to try and reopen the markets.
     But hey, what the fuck, you know what I mean? The war came along and spending to kick out the bombs and the bullets put folks to work at long last. And after the war the Gongos kept right on churning out ammo, which kept people working--war spending in peacetime could do that back then--and this gave the fuckers a huge, pent-up market and thereby the chance to unload all kinds of stuff and get fat as the '50s revved up.
     Meantime, ads on TV, like those in the magazines back in the '20s, told the folks over and over, day in and day out, and year after year after year: buy shit by the boatload or die like Eleanor Rigby, alone and unmourned with your face in a jar by the door. Folks bought it alright, and, by the end of the decade they had Mighty Joe Young on their back.
     Of course, they didn't have all that much cash; inflation pushed wage gains deep in the shade, but--no problem! The hucksters just mailed them plastic and turned their ass loose in the malls.
     Buy now and pay pay pay later!
     A seemingly infinite market was born! Permanent overproduction took hold, you might say. Glut City for sure--but this was a throwaway world filled up with buy-or-die junkies. The glutters kept right on glutting and racking up bank.
     A bit later, of course, a lot of them jumped overseas where labor comes cheaper and profits are higher--thereby ensuring that all the American junkies they "downsized" could not pay their debts and--
     All those banks stuffed with shit markers and so forth...
     And now here we are in 2010, a sword to our throats and aware at long last that credit means debt up the ass.
     Of course, all the Wall St. and Washington hot dogs are saying the check's in the mail.
     It'll be here tomorrow...
    In 2008, tomorrow showed up a day or a year or forever too late and--what was that sound?
     Bear Sterns going over a cliff, tattered and broke-dick like Wile E. Coyote.

     Yup. Ads, obsolescence, credit up the yazoo. All of the shit that the Big Dogs have so far come up with to end-around over-production and keep themselves out of the soup. Didn't work.
     Nonetheless! On the off-chance they might be able to unmelt the meltdown, Obama and all the rest of those ratsucking bandits gave the banks eighty-three godzillion bucks, along with your house and your car and your mother, to get credit moving again. The banks used the money for Lear jets and yachts, household slaves...
     George Bush. Obama. Same-old, same-old...
     It would help if folks, so rightfully mistrustful of wolves, would stop sending foxes to keep the hens safe.