Commentary fron an American member of Socialist Aotearoa

My Two Cents
By Laura Hardin

As with any presidential election, the American pubic will once again be asked to head to the polls to test which campaign slogans proved more effective. We can either vote for the fairy tale of “hope and change” or we can cast our vote for the “Maverick’s from Main Street.”

The McCain/Palin ticket has just recently been trying to lure the middle class with their new Main Street myth, an attempt to portray themselves as sympathizers who understand how this economic crisis is affecting the majority of America. In the Vice Presidential debate last Thursday Palin said that credit markets is where "mainstreeters like me" would feel the effects of the meltdown. And earlier last week, presidential nominee John McCain said of the bailout, “The first thing I’d do is say, ‘Let’s not call it a bailout. Let’s call it a rescue,’ Because it is a rescue. It’s a rescue of Main Street America.”

You know what you’ll find on most Main Streets in most American towns? You’ll find strip malls. You’ll find McDonalds, Burger King, and Starbucks. You’ll find banks and gas stations. Americans don’t live on Main Street, they don’t live on Wall Street either. Corporations live here. So in that regard McCain and Palin are true in their claims to be “mainstreeters” They are wealthy, greedy, corporate mongers. This bailout is as far from “financial socialism” as my house is from Main Street. I don’t consider giving my hard earned (earned in New Zealand) dollars to bankers and financiers a progressive redistribution of wealth. Robin Hood didn’t steal from the poor to give to the rich.

William Greider of The Nation wrote "If Wall Street gets away with this, it will represent an historic swindle of the American public -- all sugar for the villains, lasting pain and damage for the victims." The plan currently has no clauses to monitor the effective reduction of foreclosures, bankruptcies and job losses. It’s a big check, and essentially a blank one, as there appear to be no rules or regulations. Happy Birthday Wall Street! Don’t spend it all in one place! Socialism this is not, this is yet another $700 billion spent to bailout capitalism.

“The only thing we ever truly pay for in this world is a lack of generosity.”
-Speed Levitch


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