It should be obvious to anyone how dysfunctional and twisted the Empire has become: about 80 Representatives in one branch of the government are holding the economic health of the entire world hostage. These Representatives are all members of the Republican Party, but more accurately they belong to an ultra-reactionary right wing subgroup called the Tea Party. They stubbornly and ignorantly cling to their ideology of slashing and burning government, which effectively transfers authority to the hands of billionaires and multinational corporations.
There was no crisis. Not until the Republicans decided to create one over the issue of raising the debt ceiling. The government effectively uses credit cards to make purchases, and has the power to raise its own credit limit. The purchases were made. The time came to raise the credit limit. The Republicans took this opportunity to extort everyone else, though they are the minority party. They demanded vast cuts to programs that help the sick, aged, and poor and utterly refused to cut one penny from the tax returns of the rich.
These rich are people like Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News, which spews distorted propaganda full of hate. Mammon-serving bullhorns like Fox have poisoned the minds of a large slice of the population. Murdoch and his minions are in trouble in England, where they have spied on the private communications of a family mourning the loss of their daughter to a horrible and lewd crime. All to make a buck.
How did the intransigent Tea Party ideologues get into power? When the economy crashed in 2008, the people voted wildly and naively for candidates outside the norm who promised vast change. Enough votes were cast to get 80 dangerous politicians into the freshman class of the House of Representatives. When the Republicans decided to extort the government, and the world, by creating a standoff over the debt ceiling, these 80 dug in their heels and refused to cooperate with even their own GOP members, let alone the Democrats.
Why did the economy crash in 2008, creating the Tea Party? It was Wall Street, the financial center of the Empire. It became so corrupt that it encouraged the practice of granting bad mortgages wrapped in complex jargon. It made bets called derivatives on the collective fate of those mortgages. The money came rolling in to the banker’s coffers, but the train of greed, as always happens, slipped all control. There was a sick deceit at the core: the bundled mortgages were effectively junk but they were being rated as very high quality investments by the corrupt Wall Street appraisers (who were in collusion with the bankers).
Bad times breeds dangerous and fanatic politicians. And so, as the world watches, several dozen Tea Party fire-eaters are leading billions of human beings into misery and grim peril.
We are caught in the jaws of Greed and Stupidity, one and all.