Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Back in the '80's -- Reagan Era -- the banks decided it would be in their interests to foreclose on family farms so as to enable farm conglomerates to scarf up properties at low prices and drive individual farmers out of countryside. Several thousand, perhaps tens of thousands, of family farm properties were involved, and it was a fairly simple process: deny the farmers credit for planting and equipment, raise the interest rates on previous loans, wait for the farmers to default, move in, foreclose, take the farm, re-sell to conglomerate, dispossess the family farmer, or sometimes keep them on as tenants, but usually just add the property to other holdings.
Protests were mounted all over the country, fundraising concerts were held to help the farmers stay on their land, banks were excoriated, some were even shamed into backing off -- at least temporarily -- and some family farms have been saved from the sheriff.
Farm Aid concerts are still going on, even though the situation now is somewhat different than in 1985.
Today, millions of Americans are seeing their homes foreclosed on year in and year out, in waves and waves of defaults, foreclosures and evictions, and nothing at all is being done about it by government or lenders -- except perhaps for making the situation worse for many, and there are no concerts, no fundraising efforts, no marches on Washington with torches and pitchforks, nothing.
Millions of Americans are being thrown out of their homes every year.
And the expectation is that this will go on for many more years to come. Some state governments have tried, rather ineffectively, to intervene. The Federal government, while dumping trillions upon trillions of dollars into the laps of the banks and the lenders, absolutely and rigidly refuses to do anything substantive to assist homeowners facing foreclosure, despite the fact that most of the economists say the fundamental problem with the economy is all those foreclosures which continue to drag down house prices.
The answer has been repeatedly stated: help the homeowners first. And top to bottom, the lenders, government agencies, and Congress refuse. They have been refusing for years.
And the People do nothing. They sit passively in front of their Big Screens, a take and bake pizza at their side, while millions get thrown out of their homes every year, millions more are thrown out of work, the overall economy swirls down the toilet, and the Plutocracy -- Kakistocracy, Kleptocracy, what have you -- sucks up every last dime there is in the whole world.
And nothing is done...
At least in Reagan's time, people actually did resist, and sometimes their resistance actually did change the course of some events.
Now, some fellow throws his shoes at Bush in Baghdad, and it's on endless loop on the Big Screens, entertainment for the masses. That's all it is, entertainment. Because Bush was amused, so must we all be.