In almost every enterprise, the plutocracy has enjoyed opportunities for private gain at public expense. Government nurtures private capital accumulation through a process of subsidies, supports, and deficit spending and an increasingly inequitable tax system.(Michael Parenti)
It so happens that at the moment I'm reading Parenti's classic book, Democracy For The Few, which puts forward the thesis that America since its inception has been a plutocracy, rule for and by the rich. Needless to say, I was prepared to learn of Obama's capitulation with regard to extending tax breaks for the rich that would add to America's staggering deficit.
From the perspective of a progressive, outrage seems appropriate at Obama's lack of resolve to resist the Republicans's attempt to use those who are close to exhausting their unemployment benefits as hostages in order to get the tax breaks for the wealthy.
So much for the slogan: "change we can believe in."
The notion that the extension is just for a period of two years is complete nonsense. Does Obama really believe that the segment of the population that votes infrequently but came out in record numbers to support his presidential bid will cast their ballots for him in 2012? Fat chance.
However, if you look at the turn of events from the perspective that the US is a plutocracy, there is no reason to be alarmed. This is the way the political system in America works.
Some may object that even for a plutocracy that tries to pass itself off for a democracy, this stretches the quaint assertion that America has a government of, by, and for the people beyond what is credible.
But what is the average American to do? The electoral system gives a virtual lock on political power to the monied class. Apart from the hollow rhetoric that distinguishes Democrats from Republicans, both parties are wholly dependent on financing from wealthy Americans. So, at the end of the day, aside from some political gesturing, the political process produces the same economic results regardless of who is the White House and who rules Congress.
God bless America. A nation where corporations enjoy record profits while millions of Americans are without jobs and homes and where the rich stick it to the poor any chance they get.