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News Link • Corruption

Goldman Sachs and “War Profiteering”

• The Globalist
 
Why doesn't Goldman Sachs order its senior executives to wear silk top hats and 19th century long jackets with tails, and encourage them to kick beggars in the street with cable TV news teams covering them? They seem to be doing everything else they possibly can to discredit the capitalist system and make it despised after it has done so much to enrich the world.

Today's Country and Western music echoes the fierce anger in popular culture in 1920s Weimar Germany towards war profiteers.

 
 
 

 
 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This has not gone un-noticed in American popular culture. One of the biggest Country and Western musichits of the past year, sung by John Rich, has the evocative title, "Shuttin' Detroit Down." It had the even more revealing and politically charged lyric, "They're livin’ it up on Wall Street in that New York City Town / "But in the real world, they're shuttin’ Detroit down."

 

Country and Western music is not usually a medium of social protest in the United States. It is highly patriotic, socially conservative and celebrates family values. The huge success of Rich's song, however, echoes the fierce anger in popular culture in 1920s Weimar Germany towards the major business figures who were popularly perceived as having profited from the horrors and heartbreaking losses of World War I.

 

The memory of that torn social fabric, the pain and anger it generated and the chasm of cynicism and dangerous radicalism it opened up, can be seen in the searing caricatures of George Grosz and Otto Dix. Substitute "banker" for "war profiteer," and John Rich's audience would understand.
 

So far, indeed, the political ripples from the worst U.S. financial crisis since the Great Depression and the worst jobs crisis in a generation have been remarkably mild. As far as the two venerable parties on Capitol Hill go, it's business as usual.

Republicans are confident they can make major gains at the Democrats' expense in the November 2010 mid-term congressional elections. The Democrats are focused not on bold, long-term reform programs, but on looking statesmanlike, reassuring and moderate to centrist voters and containing the GOP drive.

Neither party as yet widely fears any popular, angry surge of white working class and lower middle class voters driven into hard times by the failure of both Bush- and Obama-era policies.

However, if things don't get better over the next year and the executives of Goldman Sachs and their colleagues keep handing out more billions to each other, that may finally change.

Washington has bailed out many, though certainly not all, of the sinking financial institutions and banks of Wall Street after the great financial crisis of September 2008. Trillions of dollars of taxpayers money was printed and poured into the effort. President Barack Obama gave the bailout his own stamp of approval, making veteran Wall Street insider Timothy Geithner his Treasury Secretary and keeping Bernanke on for another term at the Fed.

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