Friday, March 17, 2006


Like garlic to a vampire

Kevin Phillips is getting pretty creaky, but his new book looks to be interesting. He has an excellent description of the Republican Machine: The political corollary—fascinating but appalling—is the recent transformation of the Republican presidential coalition. Since the elections of 2000 and especially of 2004, three pillars have become increasingly central: (1) the oil–national security complex, with its pervasive interests; (2) the religious right, with its doctrinal imperatives and massive electorate; and (3) the debt-dealing financial sector, which extends far beyond the old symbolism of Wall Street....the rapid ballooning of government, corporate, financial, and personal debt over the last four decades goes a long way to explain why the finance sector, debt’s toll collector, has swollen to outweigh the manufacture of real goods. We are in the midst of one of America’s most perverse transformations. People are searching for a name to describe this. I would call it the Vampire State. They drain the blood of your kids and those of foreigners, they commit daily sacrilege with Christ's blood, and they drain productive potential from the United States to render it into debt slavery. Time for Americans to hold that old Yankee proverb close to their hearts: "Use it up, wear it out. Buy it new or do without." Staying debt free, as an individual or a nation, is like garlic to these vampires. And that includes moral debts, like those we owe to the developing world.
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