U. S. Representative Michael C. Burgess
WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
1224 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
P: (202) 225-7772
F: (202) 225-2919
Monday, September 22, 2008
RE: Vote NO on Bailout
My Dear Congressman:
If ever this letter finds you naked with embarrassment over this obscene bailout package, let me be the first constituent to advise you to vote it down. And don’t think, for one minute, George Bush is in some kind of bargaining position to dictate the terms of this rescue. In fact, we could have cared less if AIG and the whole finance industry went under.
What vested interest do poor people have in finance? How many have a surplus in their bank accounts, a house rent-free, gas in their tanks, and food on the table?
When I came to you last year, with hat in hand, begging members of Congress to raise the minimum wage rate to provide some relief for the poorest of the poor, you lectured me about the virtues of the Free Market system and the law of Supply and Demand, and letting natural economic forces determine the labor market’s wage levels. If a person were was not satisfied with his or her wages, I recall you saying, he or she was “free” to seek employment elsewhere.
If these are not your exact words, they were clearly your sentiments. Now that this over-glorified Free Market system is bankrupt and on life support, as evidence by this massive nationalization of the financial industry, what have you to say about today’s $25-a barrel spike in oil? Why not just finish the job by nationalizing the oil industry, not to mention the auto industry? Then we would truly be a socialized oligarchy, letting the private sector reap all the profit while the taxpayer underwrites all the risk.
Not only would the government raise the debt ceiling in order to print more money, but flooding the market with more dollars, only dilute and devalue the dollars already in circulation. Next thing you know, we’ll be printing million-dollar denominations like Zimbabwe. The costs of commodities would skyrocket, not because the prices would actually go up, but because the diluted dollar would go way down in value.
Wall Street is all about saving Wall Street, not the average American consumer. Never mind the thousands whose homes were lost in foreclosure to mortgage companies, financiers, and bankers. When 99% of the nation’s wealth increasingly gravitates into the hands of fewer and fewer, we all find ourselves economic slaves of the one percent.
They hold the mortgages to our homes. They hold our money in the vaults of their banks. They hold our credit card debts and our car notes. They hold our retirement accounts. They hold our jobs, our livelihoods, our children’s future, and all our security. Now we are forced to dance to their music.
Indeed, there is the possibility that one day we could wake up and not be able to get our cash out of our ATMs or use our credit cards. There is also the possibility that our mortgage insurance would have gone through the roof and house note payments untenable.
This is not the working of free market laissez faire capitalism. This is the inevitability of the law of capital accumulation.
In other words, to them that have more is given; and to them that have not more is taken away, even as much as they have and more. Those with the most capital attract the more capital. Those with the head start in economic advantage and gain can only increase its lead over those left behind. That is why we are all wage slaves of the rich.
The proliferation of credit has put all of us in debt. We buy food and pay with our credit card. We buy gas and pay with our credit card. Almost everything we have is financed by credit. And, whatever little nest egg we have accumulated is offset by our debt, and our income is eaten up by interest and taxes.
On the surface, we may look like a prosperous nation. But underneath, our net worth is zero or less. Middle class America is no more. We are a myth of our own existence. The eternal struggle in the distribution of international wealth is no longer between rich and poor, but between the rich and the super-rich. The rest of us are sidelined in poverty.
Why should those of us who have already been eaten by the sharks care about the super-rich gobbling up the mediocre rich? We should have never bailed out Wall Street to begin with. They should have been forced to bite the bullet like the rest of us.
The rich has been leveraging the money of poor people all along. They take our payroll deposits and then gamble it on Wall Street. In good economic times, they give us a fraction of what they reap, albeit in the form of interest. We, in turn, are satisfied with the security of our deposit. And, for the most part, financial institutions have made good on their promissory, knowing that consumer deposits are backed, to some degree, by government-backed insurers.
But debt is leveraged upon debt like a house of cards. Financial institutions bank upon future consumer payments. Therefore, they capitalized consumer debt by borrowing against future payments, only to gamble more money in the stock market. When the consumer can no longer pay the debt, the financial institutions can no longer pay its debt. The big fish eats the little fish; and the bigger fish eats the big fish, and the biggest fish eats the bigger fish, and so on. The wealth of the nation is accumulated into the hands of fewer big fish.
It’s as natural in a capitalist economy as the law of gravity. But capitalism has reached its apex. Big capitalists are eating up the little capitalists.
It is no wonder that the slave can never accumulate the level of wealth of their slave masters or their descendants. Even going from chattel slavery to wage slavery, freemen still produced more wealth for their former slave masters than they could every possibly produce for themselves. A five percent raise for a CEO will always be exponentially greater than the same five percent rate hike for a wage earner. It is economically impossible for the wage earner to catch the CEO. It is economically impossible for slave descendants to catch up with the descendants of slave owners. Likewise, it is impossible for the worker to catch up to the financiers of consumer debt.
However, if the house of cards should fall, we would all, at least, go back to square one, to the days of the caveman, where the law of the Survival of the Fittest would apply equally to all. The slave then becomes equal to his slave master. The worker and CEO are in the same unemployment boat. Rich and poor would stew together in the same pot.
This was not the way it was meant to be. We are gregarious by nature, or so we say. We should be helping each other survive. But is this the way financiers treated homeowners on the brink of losing their humble abode? Did they step in to help; and, in helping, also help themselves? Not so!
They evicted without mercy, throwing homeowners onto the streets, and putting their houses back on the market to be resold and refinanced. However, now when they realize that they have glutted the housing market with foreclosed properties they can not resell, they cry to the government for a bailout, and the government wrings the pockets of the taxpayer and gives Wall Street whatever it wants.
Never have we seen a shift in burden like this since the days of kings and lords and dukes, when the peasants were enslaved by royal land owners. To live on the land and produce food for survival, peasants had to pay rent in the form of commodities which, in turn, supported the lavish lifestyle of the nobility. And, during economic hard times when crops failed, the same landlords evicted peasants off the land without mercy.
No sir, this is not free market laissez faire capitalism. This is medieval serfdom, a step back in time in the direction of caveman days. Will we revert to brute rule or a police state?
The vote before you and Congress is a Damned If You Do – Damned If You Don’t situation. Dig your way out of this hole, and then let’s talk about Socialism and nationalization instead of the Free Market and fairy tale laissez faire capitalism.