it is beyond my capacity to understand how americans have so wholly lost control of our country. not just in the little ways, but the big and meaningful ways that are made up of the billions of little ways. how we didn’t pay attention to the loss of small farms and the loss of agricultural knowledge that went with them- leaving only pesticides and petro-chemical fertilizers in their wake (and in our diets). how we didn’t care that for every cheap thing we buy at wal-mart we make it necessary for those workers to only shop there because they can afford nothing more because of the crap pay, lack of full time hours, and absence of insurance. and as for politicians…i’m not even sure where to begin.

i could lament the loop-holes that have become as standard as the double speak that politicians have adopted as their mother tongue. the yesnomaybe that at some point in the lifespan of the comment will be all of those things and nothing. sometimes a yes often a no and when necessary a maybe.

and so it is that i find myself reading frank rich of the new york times today and want to scream (actually…i did a little bit). his scrutiny of madoff’s ultimate ponzi scheme and how it relates to our special form of capitalism boggles my mind. what we have watched happen…been silent and sometimes unwitting partners to…is depraved. and yet we are still asleep at the wheel.

had madoff not confessed we still might not know that $50 billion…that is BILLION…dollars is gone. vanished from philanthropic groups who thought they were being smart. and there will be no bailout for them. unlike the auto industry and major banks who fly around in private jets and have half million dollar parties in the wake of their begging for money.

if i don’t watch my savings i will be living with my sister and brother-in-law…my money is good enough to help big business but not enough to help myself were i to need it.

but even that got me to thinking…as we write these checks for billions of dollars as if we were the tooth fairy or some states mega lottery. it isn’t any more real than madoff’s checks. he wrote and people cashed but at some point it was revealed…the emperor has no clothes – er – no money. and yeah it is a mixed metaphor but i’m raging inside.  george bush is writing checks that my generation and the one after mine won’t be able to pay. the money is absent in any real sense.

we are playing an even bigger ponzi scheme than madoff…taking money from some future schlep (me, my kids, even theirs) to pay for right now. and right now is spending money like they earned it.

and i keep reading articles discussing how americans have lost faith in our capitalism and how important it is to revive it. but losing faith in something that doesn’t work seems to be the smartest thing americans have done as a collective in a really long time.

we are a short sighted nation. maybe watching our government throw good money after bad will help us to think more down the road. of course for that to happen we’ll have to wake up…god i hope we wake up.

1 Comment on i wonder if my IRAs will be worth anything – ever…

  1. Kendall says:

    Very insightful view of our current economic times.

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