Politicians lie. They will not answer a direct question, and they will never tell you their true objectives. There is what they say, and then there is want they mean. Occasionally they will say something that is “technically” true. Remember “it depends on what the meaning of is, is”, or any number of other statements from our political elite. Many say this has always been the case, I can relate history going back to the Roman Republic. So you can’t believe any politician and you never could. This still leaves the question of why is America losing ground, why is the middle class disappearing? Why are we falling behind on every positive measure available if all political leaders everywhere are equally bad? The answer is that for a small number of the American elite, the people in charge, things are very good indeed. Any problems that you or I have are just not a consideration for the elite. Poaching money from the middle and the bottom is the source of their wealth, the destruction of my wealth is the creation of their wealth. Economists call this “rent seeking”, the collection of extra fees without any attendant benefits. A monopoly can use pricing power to charge higher prices while cutting quality. Today’s American banks have a better safety net that the average citizen, the banks received more in bail outs than all the unemployment benefits paid by all government agencies combined. The banks received $12.8 trillion in bail outs, unemployment totaled $76.8 billion, and this means for every $1 in unemployment paid the banks got $166. The same industry that caused the problem received large rewards, and the people who suffered the effects of the recession received the bill. The same politician that claimed giving money to the unemployed made them unproductive and lazy would simultaneously tell us bailing out banks made them more efficient and harder working. As time passed after the 2007 financial sector debacle even the politicians had trouble covering for the banks, they are changing their rhetoric but not their policies.
Now we learn that banks manipulated the LIBOR rate. The American press has been able to keep this quite. I have to watch the foreign broadcast after midnight to get any information. Rigging the LIBOR is stealing from every middle class American with a credit card, a mortgage, a car loan or any form of debt. The British political class is making a large issue out of LIBOR price fixing by the Barclay Bank, while the American political class is ignoring the Bank industry thievery. Why is the British politician more attuned to their middle-class? The British don’t practice one dollar one vote, they don’t have gerrymandering. The British system is less rigged than the American system.
Over my life time I have watched America move from being the leading industrial democracy to the back of the pack. Is it my fault? Yes. I was busy raising a family and working as an engineer when I should have been monitoring the politicians and voting with my brains. I thought politicians could be trusted.