Before I comment much I want to let you know a bit about me. I left home in 1968 at the age of 15. I spent much of the next few years working to help end the Vietnam war. The first presidential candidate I voted for was McGovern. I have voted in every election both local, state, and federal since then voting the straight democratic party ticket in the general elections and for the most progressive candidates in the primaries. I was an early supporter of Howard Dean, helped organize his local organization and even became a Democratic Party precinct chair for my neighborhood. I contributed $6000 to his campaign. I traveled to Iowa to block walk for him. I felt good when Obama won since he was able to do so to some degree by building on the efforts Dean made to reform the party. Then I felt betrayed by Obama when he did not hang some bankers and support meaningful banking reforms. I feel like I have some inkling of what you are feeling after Bernie not winning the primary.

For many years I believed that politics was the process by which people of overall good intent negotiated how precious government resources would be spent; and that if only the middle and lower classes would vote in greater numbers and get more involved in the party then they would be able to increase both social and economic justice.

Along the way, I completed a degree in finance and had this gut feeling that the system ran on insurance and credit and that if one properly borrowed they would be successful. Through most of my life that was true. I would smugly advise younger people, “Work hard, live within your means, and use credit and insurance wisely; and you will be successful.” Then bubbles created by unsound monetary policies began to pop. The Savings and Loan junk bond bubble, the dot-com bubble, and the mortgage bubble just to name a few. I noticed that the pain of each of these events was making it so that the generations coming behind me would be less economically stable. Finally, the direct pain I experienced from the mortgage bubble myself made me re-examine my premises.

I finally figured out that there were two root causes of the continuing degradation of our system: The discovery of large amounts of easy to extract petroleum in the early 20th century and the replacement of gold-backed dollars with petrodollars in 1971. Due to these factors, everything else you complain about has been “baked into the cake”.

…to be continued…

(I’ll come back and add edit in detail after I see that you have read this far.)

SGI Buddhist, Loves Irish and Latin American Literature, History buff, knows a great deal about Medicare

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