Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Coming Showdown with the Oligarchs

I am not talking about the Russians or the Mexican drug cartels or the latest band of terrorists, I am referring to the oligarchs, the small number of elites, who control our government.  The showdown will come in three distinct fights.  

1. The Obama Adminstration is going to have to get Goldman Sach's hands out of the US Treasury.  They have taken billions directly and indirectly through AIG, orchestrated their own bailout through their men placed in our government, famously Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and even used its influence over our government to decide which entities should fail and which should be bailed -- competitors fail, entities which owe them money get bailed out.  Yet the economy is still rotten for most people.  It will be near revolutionary if President Obama can extricate these thieves from our government.

2. The climate fight is upon us.  Congressman Henry Waxman has introduced a fairly weak version of his once fine principles to address global warming.  The energy industry is either opposed, like ExxonMobil, or open to dealing with climate change as long as the regs are weak and the taxpayer loot that flows into its coffers is huge, like Duke Energy.  Can we stop global warming AND avoid the blackmail from these corporations?  Again, it will be quite a feat if Congressional Democratic leadership can give us a bill fair for Americans that is also based on the science.

3.  Health care reform.  Large hospitals now employ hundreds of administrators to avoid paying for various medical procedures, on a par with the insurers who take premiums but don't want to pay your medical bills, caught in the middle are the Americans ensnared in the health care system.  The drug companies have damaged a generation of people by pushing drugs they knew to be unsafe and for symptoms they can't help.  Health care reform means health care based on the needs of people and their health care practitioners.   Not HMOs, not lawyers.  

Three big fights.  One weak democracy.  

1 comment:

  1. Environmental issues won't hit the front burner until people are secure once again (I hope) in their view on the economy.

    If things were done correctly, fixing some of the environmental problems could create a better economy - but that just makes too much sense to work.

    Health care reform - that's my personal pet peeve. Man, we have the most screwed up health care system ever. Need to unlock the insurance companies death grip on the system to get that rolling in the right direction.

    The Obama crew has some serious fights ahead of 'em. It's only been 100 days or so. I haven't lost all hope yet.