ethics politics

why the “economic stimulus” is a load of bull…

The US of A just spent $168 billion…

(or 152, depending on sources)

Might wanna read that again…

What did they spend it on?

Shopping… that’s right, shopping…

This makes me want to release a torrent of various expletives…

Each tax-paying American recently received hundreds of dollars to –yes– go shopping. The ridiculous rhetoric used for this was that of (as seen in the picture) ‘boosting our economy’. Why are they all smiling? Because you can rest assured, they all got rewarded (i.e. paid-off) wonderfully well by the various corporations that no doubt pushed this one through.

Millions of American ‘consumers’ (a label I refuse to be applied to me, nor do I think anyone should tolerate such objectification of human beings) will flock to various places of business (I’m thinking Wal-Mart will do splendidly…) and buy various things they don’t need and probably can’t afford (instead of… oh… I don’t know… maybe paying off a little of that credit card debt?)…

Why am I so disgusted by this?

Two main reasons…

1. The ease with which the US government spent these billions to ‘stimulate the economy’ compared with the constant fighting, delaying and avoidance with regard to dropping third-world debt is nothing less than murderous. The number of billions to ‘stimulate the economy’? Over 150. The number of billions given (or is it really just promised?) to debt-relief? Only in the single-digits. But hey, after all, apparently the empty stomachs of those in other parts of the world are less important than the peace-of-mind of American business-owners…

This is horridly and clearly illustrated in the following quote from Nevada Senator Harry Reid (leader of the Democratic majority party in the U.S. Senate – emphasis mine).

The bipartisan plan the president signed today will help millions of Americans who are struggling in an uncertain economy. …Congress promised to act quickly and effectively to help those who need it most, and this law represents a promise kept to the American people.(source)

What an utter load of horse manure. “Those who need it most”, you say? Forget about silly notions of ‘promises’ to the ‘American people’; what about our human responsibility to the poor!!??

(1b. The utter dehumanisation of summing up human beings as ‘consumers’, as if the main thing about being human was spending money!)

2. I am not a capitalist. But, apparently president Bush (and especially the corporations putting cash in his pocket, no doubt) is. The article (or should I say propaganda?) at ‘’ reads (again, emphasis mine):

In signing the bill, Bush reaffirmed both his commitment to pro-growth governmental policies and his faith in the strength and resilience of the U.S. economy. “Over the past seven years, this system has absorbed shocks — recession, corporate scandals, terrorist attacks, global war. Yet the genius of our system is that it can absorb such shocks and emerge even stronger,” he said.

More horse manure. Putting our hope in the ‘rising tide’ of the ‘global economy’ (to quote Derek Webb) is “not just murder, it’s suicide.” There’s nothing ‘genius’ about greed; and that’s precisely what this junk is all about. US politicians (and the corporations padding their wallets) are trusting in the greed of Americans to make all things well.

That’s not ‘strength’, it’s abuse

That’s not ‘growth’, it’s cancer

While I’m quoting Derek Webb, I think the lyrics of ‘A Savior on Capital Hill’ seem appropriate here…

I’m so tired of these mortal men
with their hands on their wallets and their hearts full of sin
scared of their enemies, scared of their friends
and always running for re-election
so come to DC if it be thy will
because we’ve never had a savior on Capitol Hill

you can always trust the devil or a politician
to be the devil or a politician
but beyond that friends you’d best beware
’cause at the Pentagon bar they’re an inseparable pair
and as long as the lobbyists are paying their bills
we’ll never have a savior on Capitol Hill

all of our problems gonna disappear
when we can whisper right in that President’s ear
he could walk right across the reflection pool
in his combat boots and ten thousand dollar suit

you can render unto Caesar everything that’s his
you can trust in his power to come to your defense
it’s the way of the world, the way of the gun
it’s the trading of an evil for a lesser one
so don’t hold your breath or your vote until
you think you’ve finally found a savior up on Capitol Hill

(Derek Webb – from album ‘The Ringing Bell’)

Rant ended…

6 replies on “why the “economic stimulus” is a load of bull…”

Consider the global priorities in spending ($US billions) in 1998

Cosmetics in the United States 8
Ice cream in Europe 11
Perfumes in Europe and the United States 12
Pet foods in Europe and the United States 17
Business entertainment in Japan 35
Cigarettes in Europe 50
Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105
Narcotic drugs in the world 400
Military spending in the world 780

And compare that to what was estimated as additional costs to achieve universal access to basic social services in all developing countries:

Basic education for all 6
Water and sanitation for all 9
Reproductive health for all women 12
Basic health and nutrition 13

Need we say more . . . yes we do . . and do more with less . . .

Cheers, Damian.
A good dream.
I’m perplexed by it all.
Helpless people who cannot protect themselves need to be protected by others. Those with the power to protect them should do so. Power (even military power) can be a good thing…
But the current use of military power around the globe (on ALL sides) is far from a good thing… (with several exceptions, thankfully!)
These issues are always so darn clouded.

Good post, mate. We are facing a global food crisis… a crisis of monumental proportions that could probably be solved with a figure a lot less than this and Americans are being encouraged to buy new TV’s etc.

Thanks mate,
Incidentally, the increase in TV purchases will be (perhaps at least initially) prompted by the US switching from analogue to digital signal. The curious thing is whether or not the US government timed the ‘economic stimulus’ to coincide with this switch (as it just happens to)…

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