Before there can be an examination of the flawed fundamentals of the American economy, it is imperative that the Fed’s second quantitative easing, QE2 (the purchase of long term government debt) and the raising of the debt ceiling must both happen. That is the only way to provide breathing room so that further action can be taken in a context of deliberation rather than hysteria.
That said, a failure to extend unemployment benefits to those whose benefits are scheduled to run out would be the most Scrooge-
like action the Republican’s in the House and Senate could take just before Christmas. Proud working people would be obliged to seek relief from Social Services and go on welfare, relying as well on food stamps at the same time the Republicans force an extension of the Bush tax cuts for America’s wealthiest.
In advising the American poor what to do in such circumstances one might do well to revisit Jonathan Swift’s satirical work, A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR PREVENTING THE CHILDREN OF POOR PEOPLE IN IRELAND FROM BEING A BURDEN TO THEIR PARENTS OR COUNTRY AND FOR MAKING THEM BENEFICIAL TO THE PUBLIC. In it he suggests that the way to eliminate the melancholy spectacle of such miserable poverty is for the Irish to eat their own children. One can easily imagine the jowly, bespectacled Mitch McConnell, surrounded by Lamar Alexander, John Kyle, John Thune and Jim DiMint, making this suggestion on television at a news conference. He would, most certainly, invoke his Christian faith as a justification for such a proposal, with the aforementioned senators nodding solemnly in agreement.
In the face of such hypocrisy, professing faith while denying the very teachings of Jesus, they might wish to consider a particularly relevant passage in the Gospels, Luke 19:17: “And as for those who were against me, who would not have me as their ruler, let them come here and be put to death before me.”
Who amongst the Christian Right would step up to the plate and do the job? Glenn Beck? Oh, yes, they don’t believe Mormons are Christians, so he would not do. Jerry Falwell is dead and Pat Robertson is old and feeble, so it would have to fall on others. Perhaps George Reckers, who took a rent a boy with him on a trip to Europe, would be appropriate. Or maybe Frank Schaeffer, Johm Whitehead or Cal Thomas. No, they won’t do either because they have all recanted. Thomas because the Christian Right has allowed itself to become an appendage of the Republican Party. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, might do but he has retired. And besides, he still endorses the most hypocritical Republicans imaginable.
Because they won’t do it, that leaves the poor and unemployed themselves. They should start asserting their Second Amendment rights, as the Christian Right insists, the ones who bring guns to church as a sign of their devotion to the Prince of Peace. They should arm themselves and take the first bus to Washington, where they should demand the extension of their unemployment benefits. Once that is accomplished, they should start marching to the headquarters of America’s wealthiest corporations, including the banks, and take them over, passing out the cash and giving themselves jobs. Then, en masse, they should call on all elected officials and judges to resign, guaranteeing that neither legislation nor judicial action could declare their actions to be illegal and no one would be able to call out the national guard to stop them. As for the police, there are far to few of them to stop it. Besides, aware as they must be that drastic cuts in their salaries are in the cards, they would most likely be persuaded to join the unemployed, amongst whose ranks some of them are destined to be once the axe falls on the budgets when aid to the state and local governments is eliminated. And so on, and so on.
Of course, for those who are unaware, “What Is To Be Done” was the title to a pamphlet written by Lenin in 1901, inspired by the novel of the same name by the nineteenth century Russian revolutionary, Nicolai Chernyshevsky. In it, Lenin argued that Marxists should form a political party or “vanguard” of dedicated revolutionaries to spread Marxist political ideas among the workers. Well, we all know how that ended up and it would end up the same way here. But with jerks like Mitch McConnell running things, desperation could lead to this. Besides, Jesus advocated much the same thing. Welcome to the new world of Leon Trotsky.