Friday, April 6, 2012

The First of Many Martyrs

Greetings, Fellow Inmates of Planet Arkham.

Every time I sit down to write about something light-hearted and goofy, I hear a news report that makes my intentions seem vapid and irresponsible in comparison.  Kinda like watching the Pauly D Project while The Cove is on another channel.

On the morning of Wednesday April 4'th a seventy-seven year old retired Greek pharmacist named Dimitris Christoulas got up, locked his apartment door, calmly walked down to the Syntagma square in front of the Parliament building in Athens, shouted "I'm leaving because I don't want to pass on my debts!", took a gun out of his pocket and shot himself in the head.  

Why would "a gentleman" described as "decent" and "dignified" take such extreme and desperate measures?

The answer came in the form of a hand-written suicide note:

"The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state.  And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance.  I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945"

Translation: "Insanity is a sane response to an insane world."

Back in July of last year, I talked about how governments all over the world let profit-drunk banks and financial institutions off of their collective leashes by doing away with regulations.

"Government intervention has curtailed free enterprise for too long!" they cried.  "When we do away with all of these draconian laws the global economy will experience a Utopian level of economic confidence and prosperity like we've never seen before!"

Yeah, too bad this didn't account for the following two truisms:
  1. The owners of these organizations are human beings.  
  2. Sometimes human beings can be greedy, evil mother-f#@%ers who, like vampires, regard the average human being as a mobile blood bank.
If you and I both know that the two points listed above are self-evident then I can only assume that the government did as well.  In order words, as more and more protective regulations were stripped away, there must have been some elements within the government that could see the writing on the wall.

Ron Paul sure as hell knew it back in 2003...

And here's economist Peter Schiff in 2006:

So, exactly how much of a schmuck does Art Laffer feel like now?

I think its safe to assume that at least some elements within the government knew exactly what they were doing when they put the foxes in charge of the chicken coop.

This is why a responsible government, fearful of the masses, has to serve as the higher authority here.  Someone has to act as the conscience for big banks, big corporations and bog finance because, clearly, if we set them loose in a climate of laissez-faire they can't be trusted to behave ethically or responsibly.  

Yet we still have these blowhard Conservative/Republican douchebag assholes prattling on about how government has no right interfering in the business sector and how regulations are borderline "socialist".  At this stage in the game, the only people I can possibly see arguing this point are either (A) the monumentally stupid or (B) creeps who are still looking to profit directly or indirectly from deregulation.

Honestly, arguing for fewer regulations after the 2008 economic crisis would be like buying your kid a puppy after they've let a half dozen goldfish starve to death.

I don't know a whole lot about finance but if someone had explained to me what was going on in the housing market just prior to 2008 even I could have predicted that it was all going to end in much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Which leads to me to believe that there were elements in the global governance who knew that the world-wide economy was being systemically dismantled.

This also goes to great lengths to explain why no-one's ever been prosecuted for the sort of gross negligence that resulted in things going completely shit-house.  Hell, some of them even got promotions.  I don't know about your workplace, but in my experience, this sort of gross incompetence usually ensures that the guilty party never works in this hemisphere again.

Now, I can hear a few of you out there asking: "C'mon, Dave.  Why would anyone willingly let this happen?"

Because I firmly believe that there's a cabal of powerful, influential and cruel people on this planet who really want to lord over a population of desperate, indebted, dispirited serfs.

And I think that Dimitris Christoulas believed that as well.   

EPIC  "Greek suicide seen as an act of fortitude as much as one of despair..."

FAIL  We need to see this 24-7.

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