Guest Post: American Eulogy
The Founding Fathers described the kind of country they were shaping
on July 4, 1776 with the most well known sentence in the English
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
- Declaration of Independence
In 1776, America was an idea born of noble intentions. An idea that
every citizen had the opportunity to succeed, prosper and achieve based
upon their hard work and abilities. The government did not provide
advantages or a safety net for its citizens. People were free to succeed
or fail based upon their own merits. America had a frontier spirit
because it was still a frontier. Individual effort, intellect and
willingness to sweat allowed you to move up the socio-economic ladder.
The government provided a National Defense, and very little else. In
1794, the country had a population of 4.4 million and a GDP of $310
million. Government spending totaled $7.1 million, or 2.3% of GDP, and
was split between Defense and interest on the Revolutionary War debt.
Today, Federal Government spending totals $3.7 trillion, or 25% of GDP.
James Truslow Adams in his 1931 Epic of America described the America that once existed in reality, but only exists as a phantom today:
“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should
be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each
according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the
European upper classes to interpret adequately, also too many of us
ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of
motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which
each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature
of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what
they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or
“The American Dream that has lured tens of millions of all
nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of
material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has
been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as a man and
woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the
older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed
for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any
and every class.” - James Truslow Adams - Epic of America
His assessment of the American Dream was made in 1931. He saw signs
that the American Dream had begun to die. He was right. The American
Dream began to develop a terminal illness in 1913 with the creation of
the Federal Reserve and the passage of the 16th Amendment to the
Constitution, creating a permanent income tax.
Song of the Century
Sing us a song of the century
It sings like American Eulogy
The dawn of my love and conspiracy
Forgotten hope and the class of 13
Tell me a story into that goodnight
Sing us a song for me - American Eulogy - Green Day
At the outset of the last century America was still a vital, free,
growing country on the rise. The song of the century began as a joyous
ballad and ended as a funeral dirge. The creation of a Central Bank,
which could create inflation on demand, and allowing politicians the
ability to buy votes through pork spending, paid for with ever
increasing taxation, have sucked the life out of the American Dream.
According to the Federal Reserve’s own website, their mandates were
clear. Below are those mandates and an assessment of their success.
Conducting the nation’s monetary policy by influencing
the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum
employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.
- Due to loose monetary policy in the 1920′s, the Federal Reserve
created a stock bubble, a stock market crash of 89%, a decade long Great
Depression, and unemployment of 25% in the 1930′s.
- Due to loose monetary policies in the 1970′s, the Federal Reserve
created raging inflation that reached 14% in the early 1980′s and needed
to raise interest rates to 18% in order to break the back of inflation,
resulting in unemployment surging to 9.7% in 1982.
- Due to loose monetary policies in the early 2000′s, the Federal
Reserve created the largest housing bubble in history, with the
subsequent collapse bringing the financial system to within hours of
collapse, and driving unemployment to 9.9% in 2009.
- Due to the loosest monetary policy in history, today, inflation has
begun to rage across the globe, leading to riots, protests and bloody
revolutions, with more on the way.
- The Federal Reserve has achieved their stable prices mandate by
inflating away 96% of the purchasing power of the US dollar in less than
100 years. The price of gold continues to soar, as faith in the US
dollar diminishes by the minute. I guess stability is in the eye of the
Supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure
the safety and soundness of the nation’s banking and financial system
and to protect the credit rights of consumers.
- The Federal Reserve’s supervisory and regulatory expertise can be
observed in the graph above. This graph doesn’t do the Fed justice, as
it begins in 1934. Sixteen years after its origination, the Fed managed
to let 10,000 out of 25,000 banks in the country fail between 1929 and
- Their glorious history also includes residing over the failure of 2,800 banks during the 1980′s S&L crisis.
- While protecting their mega-bank Wall Street masters, the Fed has
allowed over 300 small banks to go under so far. There are 900 banks on
the troubled list that will eventually meet their maker.
Maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets.
- Generally, maintaining the stability of the financial system and
containing systematic risk doesn’t include allowing the worldwide
financial system to come within hours of collapse as described by Rep.
“On Thursday [the 18th], at about 11 o’clock in the morning, the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous drawdown of money market accounts in the United States to a tune of $550 billion being drawn out in a matter of an hour or two. The
Treasury opened up its window to help. They pumped $105 billion into
the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We
were having an electronic run on the banks.
They decided to close the operation, close down the money
accounts, and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there
wouldn’t be further panic and there. And that’s what actually happened. If
they had not done that their estimation was that by two o’clock that
afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market
system of the United States, would have collapsed the entire economy of the United States, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed.
Now we talked at that time about what would have happened if that happened. It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it.”
Providing financial services to depository institutions,
the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including
playing a major role in operating the nation’s payments system.
- It seems this is the only mandate the Federal Reserve has taken
seriously is providing services to its owners, the banks. Did the
bankers and politicians that met on Jekyll Island to mastermind this
Central Bank envision that those services would include: buying $1.5
trillion of toxic mortgages from the banks; allowing the mega-banks to
borrow from the Fed at 0% and reinvest those funds at 2.5% risk free;
pumping $600 billion directly into the stock market through their QE2
scam; allowing banks to falsely overstate the value of their mortgage
and commercial loans; and never ever enforcing basic risk management
- While providing Wall Street banks with billions of unearned risk
free profits, 0% interest rates further impoverish the savers and senior
citizens of the country. The Federal Reserve has fulfilled their
unstated mandate of enriching bankers at the expense of middle class
To strengthen U.S. standing in the world economy.
- The Federal Reserve’s affect on the world economy is best revealed in a pictorial tribute to their policies:
The Federal Reserve has not been alone in killing the American Dream.
Politicians since 1913 have done their part in suffocating the dream.
The tax code consisted of 400 pages in 1913 and tax rates ranged from 1%
to 7%. In less than a century politicians of both parties have carved
out 70,000 pages of payoffs, entitlements, and bribes for their
contributors and constituents. Tax rates now range from 10% to 35%.
Those 70,000 pages of rules, regulations and tax breaks do not benefit
the average middle class American. They benefit those who had the money
and power to buy off a Congressman.
The Federal Reserve and the US Tax Code bastardized the American
Dream, created barriers to economic advancement, and supported the
accumulation of wealth and power by a select few. The ruling elite have
used their power and control over the media to convince the majority of
Americans that the American Dream is about accumulating material
possessions with debt. The American Dream no longer meant attaining the
fullest measure of your capabilities, but living in the biggest
McMansion, driving the nicest BMW, watching the biggest TV and wearing
the latest fashions, all acquired with debt. America is dying.
Red alert is the color of panic
Elevated to the point of static
Beating into the hearts of the fanatics
And the neighborhood’s a loaded gun
Idle thought lead to full-throttle screaming
And the welfare is asphyxiating
Mass confusion is all the new age and it’s creating a feeding ground for the bottom feeders of hysteria
Hysteria, mass hysteria!
Mass hysteria! - American Eulogy - Green Day
Green Day captures the essence of America since the turn of the
century. The country has been in the throes of mass hysteria since 9/11.
The once independent, self sufficient individualists that populated
this country have become dependent, government reliant, quivering
shadows of the frontiersmen that created this country. In the name of
safety and security, the American people have allowed their government
to accumulate complete control over every aspect of our lives. Only a
country in the grip of mass hysteria would allow their leaders to run
the National Debt from $5.8 trillion to $14.1 trillion in less than 10
years. Only a country in the clutches of mass hysteria could believe
they could get rich by trading internet stocks and houses to a greater
fool. Only a country seized by mass hysteria would allow its leaders to
promote democracy at the point of a cruise missile as we continue to
fight $3 trillion wars in the Middle East, while nearly tripling the
amount spent on Defense to more than $1 trillion per year.
Defense Budget Breakdown for 2011
|Defense-related expenditure||2011 Budget request & Mandatory spending||Calculation|
|DOD spending||$721.3 billion||Base budget + “Overseas Contingency Operations”|
|FBI counter-terrorism||$2.7 billion||At least one-third FBI budget.|
|International Affairs||$10.1–$54.2 billion||At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget|
|Energy Department, defense-related||$20.9 billion|
|Veterans Affairs||$66.2 billion|
|Homeland Security||$54.7 billion|
|NASA, satellites||$3.4–$8.5 billion||Between 20% and 50% of NASA’s total budget|
|Veterans pensions||$58.4 billion|
|Other defense-related mandatory spending||$7.5 billion|
|Interest on debt incurred in past wars||$114.8–$454.2 billion||Between 23% and 91% of total interest|
|Total Spending||$1.060–$1.449 trillion|
If you had told someone on September 10, 2001 that ten years later
America would be running $1.5 trillion annual deficits, fighting two
wars of choice in countries that despise our presence, and had not only
not addressed the $100 billion of unfunded welfare liabilities but added
billions more with Medicare D and Obamacare, they would have thought
you were a crazy doomster predicting the end of the world. They would
have put you away in a padded cell if you had further predicted that
politicians would cut taxes three separate times, that the Wall Street
banks that leveraged themselves 40 to 1 and destroyed the financial
system were handed $2 trillion of taxpayer funds so they could pay
themselves multi-million dollar bonuses, and that the Federal Reserve
would triple its balance sheet to $2.45 trillion by running its printing
presses at hyper-speed and handing the money to those same Wall Street
What caused the mass hysteria that has destroyed the soul of America?
Was it just the madness of crowds? Or was it something more sinister?
True sounds of maniacal laughter
And the deaf-mute is misleading the choir
The punch-line is a natural disaster
And it’s sung by the unemployed
Fight fire with a riot
The class war is hanging on a wire because the martyr is a compulsive liar
When he said “it’s just a bunch of niggers throwing gas into the ….” – American Eulogy - Green Day
Whenever an act doesn’t make sense and seems irrational, you need to
ask yourself, “who benefits?” Who has benefitted from the hysteria? The
answer is in plain sight. The moneyed interests benefitted. The military
industrial complex benefitted. The Federal Government bureaucracy
benefitted. Wall Street bankers benefitted. Mega-corporations and their
CEOs benefitted. The top 1% ruling elite gained more wealth and more
power. They created the mass hysteria with the assistance of their
corporate owned mainstream media and completed their pillaging of the
middle class with the cooperation of regulators, rating agencies and
their ultimate weapon, the privately owned Federal Reserve bank, that
has enriched its owners while impoverishing those whose only aspiration
was to do an honest day’s work, raise their families, and live in
relative comfort, safety, and happiness.
I Don’t Wanna Live In The Modern World
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I am a nation without bureaucratic lies
Deny the allegation as it’s written (fucking lies!)
I want to take a ride to the great divide
Beyond the “up to date” and the neo-gentrified
The high definition for the low resident
Where the value of your mind is not held in contempt
I can hear the sound of a beating heart
That bleeds beyond a system that’s falling apart
With money to burn on a minimum wage
I don’t give a shit about the modern age – American Eulogy - Green Day
The modern world in no way resembles the world James Truslow Adams
wrote so passionately about in 1931. Green Day’s version of bureaucratic
lies, high definition TVs for the poor, contempt for those who use
their minds, and a debt flooded system that is falling apart is an
accurate assessment of America today. The modern world is ruled by the
few with wealth and power, sustained by government. The misinformation
and propaganda dished out by the mainstream media creates a smokescreen
that obscures who wields the true power in this country. The corporate
mainstream media has done such a good job spreading the Big Lie that a
vast number of Americans actually admire and worship the ultra-rich.
Most Americans still believe the fairy tale of the American Dream,
that no matter how humble your beginnings, everyone has a fair chance to
become rich in America. The truth is that the wealthy ruling class owns
the country. The top 1% control 43% of the financial wealth of the
nation. The top 10% control 83% of the financial wealth of the nation.
There is a misperception that the ultra-rich earn their wealth. The
facts show otherwise. In 2008, only 19% of the income reported by the
13,480 individuals or families making over $10 million came from wages
and salaries. Remember the financial crisis of 2008-2009 that wiped out 7
million jobs, cut the value of many homes in half, and required a
taxpayer bailout of Wall Street? According to research done by economist
Edward Wolff, ”there has been an “astounding” 36.1% drop in the wealth
(marketable assets) of the median household since the peak of the
housing bubble in 2007. By contrast, the wealth of the top 1% of
households dropped by far less: just 11.1%. So as of April 2010, it
looks like the wealth distribution is even more unequal than it was in
Source: William Domhoff
The bottom 90% own less than 19% of stocks and mutual funds in the
country. Reality is that the 10% richest Americans own the country. The
top 1% control 50% of the investment assets and only 5% of the total
debt in the country. The bottom 90% control 12% of the investment assets
and are burdened with 73% of the total debt. You can clearly see that
the Wall Street bailout and the current Federal Reserve QE2 plan to
boost stock prices have only benefitted the top 10% richest Americans.
What is good for Wall Street is not good for Main Street. The American
middle class has been lured into debt by the purveyors of debt, the
ultra-rich elite who control the financial industry. The further into
debt the bottom 90% descend, the greater the enrichment of the ruling
class. This is why Wall Street shysters, political hacks and the
corporate mainstream media have urged Americans to whip out those credit
cards and “Save America” by spending money they don’t have, again. It
is reminiscent of President Bush’s heartfelt plea to the American public
to defeat terrorism by buying a GM car with 0% down.
The propaganda that is constantly pounded into the brains of
Americans about “death taxes” and the rich paying more than their fair
share of taxes is part of the Big Lie perpetrated by the powerful ruling
class. The “huge” issue of estate tax impacts only the few thousand
richest Americans. According to a study published by the Federal
Reserve Bank of Cleveland, only 1.6% of Americans receive $100,000 or
more in inheritance. Another 1.1% receive $50,000 to $100,000. On the
other hand, 91.9% receive nothing (Kotlikoff & Gokhale, 2000). The
richest families in the country provide the funding for the mainstream
media propaganda needed to eliminate estate taxes.
The lies about the ultra-rich paying more than their fair share of
taxes are refuted in the graph above. The top 1% actually pays a lower
percentage of their income than the next 9%. The tax code isn’t 70,000
pages for nothing. The ultra-rich have used their wealth to great
advantage by having loopholes and tax dodges inserted into the tax code
by their bought off congressmen. The average American can’t afford high
powered tax specialists and lawyers to help them stash their wealth in
off-shore tax havens in the Caribbean and Switzerland. The consistent
theme in America today is that the middle class gets screwed and the
ultra-rich ruling class accumulates more wealth and power.
The Death of America
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts,
and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit
suicide.” – John Adams
Two hundred and thirty five years ago, our Founding Fathers declared
that we all had the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness. These rights have been restricted and bastardized over two
centuries. Liberties have been severely restricted as your government
tracks you through your social security number, is able to monitor your
phone and internet communications, and regulates your education,
healthcare, business, and a thousand other daily activities. The right
to happiness was based upon James Treslow Adams’ view that we were free
to attain ”the fullest stature of which they are innately capable”.
The happiness of becoming a success through your individual exertion,
intelligence and efforts has been subverted by the happiness of material
goods acquired through the use of debt, peddled by the ruling class.
The American Dream where every person had the opportunity to live a
richer and fuller life began to die in 1913. Every generation born in
this country had an excellent chance to live a better life than their
parents. Relentless progress was the American way. I have three teenage
sons. Based on the actions of this country’s ruling oligarchy, I doubt
that my sons will live a richer and fuller life than myself. The debts
are too extreme, the military overreach too excessive, the looting by
the financial class too great, the political corruption too extensive,
and the opportunities too few. The dream of a social order where
everyone could rise to the highest level of their capabilities
regardless of their birth has been systematically squashed. With 66% of
households making less than $65,000 and college costs out of reach for
80% of Americans without incurring crushing levels of debt, the chances
for most Americans to climb the social ladder through educational
advancement are nil. Even if they do graduate from college, the CEOs in
corporate America, who “earn” 300 times the average worker, have
outsourced their jobs to China and India.
The ruling class provides their children with private schooling and
necessary preparation to keep their place in the social order. Wealth
begets wealth. The elite send their kids to the elite Ivy League schools
and use their connections with their fellow ruling elite to get them
jobs on Wall Street, the prestigious connected corporations or
government jobs in Washington DC. The wealth of the few has erected
barriers to advancement of the many. America has progressively become a
stratified class oriented society that has begun to spiral downward as
the ruling class has gone too far. The revolutions flaring across the
globe are occurring because the ruling class went too far and took too
much. The ruling class in America should take note. They have shattered
the American Dream and the retribution from those who have been swindled
will be unexpected and violent.