Monday, November 15, 2010

"a paradise for high-class thieves"

"If you want to understand why America" is the above, says Matt Taibbi, "just look at the way a manufactured movement like the Tea Party corrals and neutralizes public anger that otherwise should be sending pitchforks in the direction of downtown Manhattan":

There are two reasons why Tea Party voters will probably never get wise to the Ponzi-scheme reality of bubble economics. One has to do with the basic sales pitch of Tea Party rhetoric, which cleverly exploits Main Street frustrations over genuinely intrusive state and local governments that are constantly in the pockets of small businesses for fees and fines and permits.

The other reason is obvious: the bubble economy is hard as hell to understand. To even have a chance at grasping how it works, you need to commit large chunks of time to learning about things like securitization, credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, etc., stuff that’s fiendishly complicated and that if ingested too quickly can feature a truly toxic boredom factor.

So long as this stuff is not widely understood by the public, the Grifter class is going to skate on almost anything it does -- because the tendency of most voters, in particular conservative voters, is to assume that Wall Street makes its money engaging in normal capitalist business and that any attempt to restrain that sector of the economy is thinly disguised socialism.

Spot. On. I do think that a lot of rightthink is governed by a kind of foolish synedoche wherein all forms of profit-generating activity—including unproductive frippery like day-trading and the kinds of hyperfinancialized abstractions that Taibbi notes above—are mindlessly lumped together under the general category of "business," restriction of which can only be motivated by something ghastly like COMMUNISM!!#! of course. And the vampire squid class exploits this synecdoche for all it's worth.


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