In these deeply troubling times, we need to now face a hard reality and stop worrying about convincing President Obama of anything. We need to convince his bosses, Goldman Sachs and a few others on Wall Street that what's good for the republic is good for them. We need to convince them that Warren Buffett is right. Tax the rich. Tax the rich and save Social Security, Medicare, the public school system, the physical infrastructure of this once important beacon of democracy and dynamic capitalism called the USA.
And We, the People, need to stop believing what we learned in elementary school about the "balance of powers." Otherwise we're all going down the drain of history, a drain that (as we also learned when we were young) is not a lot of fun. It's brutal and chaotic and if We the People go down that drain, so too will Goldman Sachs, with all its billions in bonuses.
Because no amount of money ultimately protects you against the collapse of a nation, against raging compatriots in the streets too desperate to care anymore. Look at Rome, Greece, Rwanda, Russia (twice recently -- the Czars, then the Commies). Take a look at Gaddafi, Hussein and all the other leaders in the Middle East who have been feasting off their people.
And if it all comes unglued here in the US you can bet your billions in bonuses that it isn't going to go all that well anywhere else in the world.
A new world war in our lifetime; nuclear weapons used indiscriminately with radiation leaving no corner of the globe untainted; riots of hundreds of thousands, even millions (not to mention global warming, tsunamis and the rising waters of another hurricane devastating lower Manhattan next time)?
When the floodgates of history kick in (natural or unnatural) they can kick in real big.
Does Goldman Sachs really believe it's immune from history just because a lot of its executives got real high SAT scores; have been able to plunder pension funds, etc. with impunity and got bailed out in 2008 by the taxes of We the People?
And do We, the little People beneath the boot heel of Goldman Sachs et al, have the luxury anymore to imagine that we have anything other than a titular president? Do we have the luxury to remain deaf to our forefathers who, when they set this whole thing in motion, warned us of blood in the streets every twenty years or so to keep a thing like democracy going? (I never like that part of their revolutionary message. We've been able to more or less slip by those kinds of blood baths with the exception of nearly a million deaths during the Civil War) But please remember that American Civil War, you brilliant men (and a few women) of Goldman Sachs, remember the possibilities of what history can bring with even one hand tied behind its back.
Remember and think hard and meanwhile I'll pray for every one of you that works down there in Lower Manhattan. Maybe others will pray for you too. This is no laughing matter anymore, because what comes next (if you guys -- and a few gals -- make the wrong choices) could well make the blood baths of the past look like child's play. So tax the rich, save Social Security, Medicare, the infrastructure, education and most important -- I guess -- yourselves...
And if you do come to your senses -- please pass it on to our president.