Around January 11th of 2009, President-elect Barack Obama began to backtrack from his campaign promises. “President-elect Barack Obama said reviving the U.S. economy will require scaling back on his campaign promises and personal sacrifice from all Americans,” reported Bloomberg news. (“Obama Says Recession Requires Scaling Back Promises (Update2)”, by Edwin Chen. Bloomberg, Jan. 11, 2009)
“I want to be realistic here, not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace we had hoped,” Obama said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program.
The U.S. had lost almost 2.6 million jobs in 2008. And the unemployment rate had jumped to 7.2 percent in December 2008, “the highest level in almost 16 years.” (Bloomberg, op. cit.)
The Bloomberg report of January 11, 2009 has Obama hinting at the “shared sacrifice.” This turned out in reality to be an Animal Farm rule: “All are equal, but some are more equal than others.” (Sacrifice for some, but not for others.)
Coincidentally, Patrick McGoohan, creator of the cult classic, “The Prisoner”, dropped dead. “The Prisoner” was a 17-episode British television series broadcast circa 1967-1968. Starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan, it combined spy fiction with elements of science fiction, allegory, and psychological drama. The series follows a British former secret agent who is held prisoner in a mysterious coastal village resort where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job. (“The Prisoner”, Wikipedia, Feb. 6, 2013)
Coincidentally, Obama announced a “delay” in his campaign promise to close the Guantanamo prison. (Is Patrick McGoohan being held secretly a prisoner at Guantanamo? Is he “the man in the iron mask”?)
Amidst all the coincidences, the nation’s largest banks were “hemorrhaging”, reported the Associated Press. Bank of America and Citigroup were among those damaged by “toxic assets, souring consumer loans and the sinking economy.” (“Dismal bank earnings presage more trouble ahead”, by Stevenson Jacobs. Associated Press, Jan. 16, 2009)
But more federal rescue money is on the way, assured AP. And Ben Bernanke of the “Federal” Reserve was certain to print gobs of cash to paper things over.
The “deflation” fears were growing. (That is when prices drop instead of rising.) But why is that bad? What is so bad about milk prices dropping to $1 per gallon? What is so bad about apartment rents going down instead of up? For one side, higher prices (inflation) is what they want. But another group would love to see lower prices (deflation). Ben Bernanke is on the side of those who want higher prices, and so he keeps printing paper dollars. The “news” fakers are obviously on the side of the higher prices gang. Jeannine Aversa of Associated Press reported on January 16, 2009 about “fears that the country may face a dangerous bout of deflation.” She had obviously taken a side on the matter. (“Deflation concerns grow as consumer prices shrink”, by Jeannine Aversa. AP, Jan. 16, 2009)
Jeannine Aversa of AP admitted that “Falling prices sound like a gift at first – at least to consumers.” Ah, but this could cause declining wages. So what? If the prices have declined, then lower wages won’t matter. But ah, said Ms. Aversa, the house prices would decline if there were deflation. So what? If the house prices decline, then homeless people might be able to afford a house. Isn’t that what a house is for, to live in?
Whrrr… Clang! Whrrr… Clang! In a sub-basement of the “Federal” Reserve could be heard the sound of Ben Bernanke running the printing presses.