Strip-Mining The World
The richest vein in the history of predatory mining is just about played out.
A gigantic mine engages in every conceivable destructive practice—strip mining, heap leaching, tailings dams and ponds and so on. It pays such low wages its workers only make ends meet by borrowing from the company at usurious rates. The mine has befouled the air and poisoned the water. Many workers are chronically sick and their children are afflicted with birth defects. The mine’s absentee owners know that the mine is played out and the tailings dam is structurally unsound. They close the mine, count their profits, and move on. A month later the dam gives way. A deluge of noxious sludge inundates the town below the dam, sparing no one and rendering the area uninhabitable.
The government is a strip mining operation, plundering the dwindling residual value of a once wealthy America. Forget ostensible justifications, policy is crafted to allow those who control the government to maximize their take and put the costs on their victims, leaving devastation in their wake.
Wars are no longer about defending the country or even making the world safe for democracy. They are about appropriations, not to be won, but profitably prolonged. The Middle East and Northern Africa have been a mother lode. You would think their sixteen-year war in backward and impoverished Afghanistan would be a shameful disgrace for the military and the intelligence agencies. It’s not. They’ve milked that conflict for all its worth, and now brazenly talk about a “generational war”: many more years of more of the same.
We can also look forward to generational wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. The strip miners are agitating for an Iranian foray. That’s got Into The 22nd Century written all over it, a rich, multi-generational vein, perhaps America’s first 100-year war.
The only rival for richest mother lode is medicine. Health care is around 28 percent of the federal budget, defense 21 percent. Medical spending no longer cures the sick; it’s the take for insurance, pharmaceutical, and hospital rackets. The US spends more per capita on health care than any other nation (36 percent more than second-place Switzerland) but quality of care ranks well down the list.
In education there is the same gap between per capita spending (the US ranks at or near the top) and value received, in this instance as measured by student performance. What’s paid is out of all proportion to what’s received, especially at a time when computer and communications technology should be driving down the costs of education across the board.
Indoctrination factories formerly known as schools, colleges, and universities dispense approved propaganda. For students, higher education is now on the government-sponsored installment plan. There’s a litany of excuses why Johnny, Joan, Juan, Juanita, Jamal and Jasmine can’t read, compute, or think, but lack of funding and student loans don’t wash. Education dollars fund teachers’ unions, their pensions, administrators, and edifice complexes; learning is an afterthought. This vein will play out as the pensions funds, and the governments that have swapped promises to fund them for educators’ votes, go bankrupt. Probably around the same time as the student loan bubble pops.
Money itself has become a faith-based construct, a strip mining operation jointly owned by the government, the central bank, and the banking cartel it supports. Replacing gold with paper promises, monetizing debt, interest rate suppression, inflation of the money supply and the central bank’s balance sheet, macroeconomic meddling, maintenance of a bankers’ cartel, and insider dealing within the cartel have immeasurably increased the wealth and power of the entire banking complex.
Twenty trillion dollars in debt, two-hundred-plus trillion in unfunded liabilities, and an economy that has barely cruised above stall speed for eight years are core samples indicating the mine is exhausted. The tailings dam has sprung visible leaks. However, the townspeople below the dam remain willfully oblivious to the danger.
Recognizing reality and doing something about it are hallmarks of mental toughness, once considered a virtue. Now, in various tangible and virtual sanctuaries against facts and logic, the demand is made for reality to conform to the delusions of those who refuse to confront it. In the safe space between their ears, the only danger is someone warning of danger.
Lower even than the level of mental fortitude is physical toughness. When the dam breaks, the obese, opiated, otiose endomorphs resting their girths on couches across America will have no chance of escaping the sludge, even with their motorized carts. President Kennedy christened the President’s Council on Physical Fitness to address what he saw as a soft and flabby America. Fifty years later, America is exponentially softer and flabbier—physically, intellectually, and spiritually. Most Americans are in no condition to handle the emotional and physical stresses crises will bring.
It’s viciously ironic that many of them will look to the strip miners for salvation. A captive government that has turned America into a field of rackets, its string-pullers extracting power and wealth while ordinary people have seen their incomes stagnate, their meager savings dwindle, and opportunities shrink, is somehow going to make financial and economic catastrophe all better.
In one sense Hillary Clinton’s use of the term “deplorable” was unfortunate, in that it implies that the strip miners care enough about the townspeople to deprecate them. They don’t. The townspeople have had their uses, but they’re expendable once the mine is played out. Let someone else worry about pulling them from the sludge, or just leave them buried. The strip miners chose America first because it had the richest vein, now exhausted. The strip miners will move on to other, albeit less lucrative, lodes. That is what is meant by globalization.