THE DAILY COMPLAINT

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Gordon Hilgers

Gordon Hilgers
Location
Dallas, Texas, United States
Birthday
July 22
Bio
Born in Denver, Colorado, 1950s-era capitol of the Beat scene, Gordon Hilgers was exiled to Dallas, Texas, in 1963, and Dallasites were so angry that another 9-year-old Democrat had entered the city that they killed Kennedy. From there, Gordon began writing poems and stories, eventually received a BA degree in newswriting, has written for The Dallas Morning News, despite the fact he was far too Liberal for the likes of William F. Murchison and John Birch, worked as an advocacy journalist and is partly responsible for the City of Dallas' public homeless shelter--where poor people can go to find jobs rather than getting told that because they've forgotten to embrace Jesus that God made them homeless.

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Salon.com
NOVEMBER 7, 2012 12:47PM

THE ALL-TOO-WELCOME END OF THE REAGAN ERA

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Here’s a secret: I was on ‘shrooms when I voted for Reagan in 1984.  That’s right.  I was hallucinating.  While I did have some serious fears, fears coincidentally stoked by the most anti-Communist president we’ve ever had, I was too young to understand the economic complexities brought forward by uber-conservative Ronald Reagan. 

I remember telling my manager at a public library that I thought we needed Reagan “simply to scare the Commies”, and she shook her head and said something indecipherable-to-me about his sense of economics. 

Looking back, I realize she was absolutely on-the-beam with her contempt for the ultimate Capitalist pig.  Reagan “unleashed” the banking industry and caused the savings and loan scandal.  He’s incorrectly given credit for defeating the Soviet Union because anyone who knows anything about why the Soviet Union went bankrupt knows that it was the U. S. –led boycott of any and all trade with the Soviet Union that caused the totalitarians to go kaput. 

I’m not defending the Soviets, but I do kind of miss them, mainly because they served an underappreciated role of “conscience” for America’s Capitalist imperialist tendencies.  As long as we had an unholy beast breathing down our necks, our commercial community was perfectly willing to behave its collective self.  Then, in 1989, when the pieces began to fall, the commercial community returned to the same old behavior that, before the New Deal, had so stoked American workers that the Communist Party U.S.A. held approximately 13 percent of the electorate in 1912. 

Of course, in 1980 and again in 1984, America was pretty tired of the Cold War.  Reagan already had his “street cred” in battling Communism—mainly by snitching on all the Hollywood actors he, Reagan, believed were Commies, thus ruining dozens of careers while hiding behind the secrecy of J. Edgar Hoover; and then again in labeling as Governor of California all the anti-war protesters at UC-Berkley in the mid-1960s, thus ruining the lives of hundreds of perfectly decent college students.  And all for political gain. 

But Reagan’s biggest “contribution” to the economic cluster-bomb that went off in 2008 was his disdain for economic regulation and government control.  “Government isn’t the solution,” he said, “government is the problem.” 

Hmmm.  How patriotic is that?  For the next 30 years, regulations fell like dead soldiers at a punk party.  The economic sphere did roar to life, which was a good thing as long as we were combatting an empire that wanted to bury us, but when the Cold War ended, the economic sphere had grown out of control. 

That’s where we are today, and Ronald Wilson Reagan started it all.  The John Birch Society, a group of nutcases we all laughed about in the 1960s, is now mainstream.  Every time the U. S. Government tries to address a problem, the same nutcases, this time in the form of the Tea Party, scream “Socialism!”

Then they all go shopping at WalMart, China’s biggest American customer of goods.  It doesn’t make much sense to me anyway.  The Soviet Union was a totalitarian movement that had more in common with today’s Religious Right than any mainstream media commentator is willing to get comfortable with—mainly out of fear that the zealous zombies will rampage.  Meanwhile, the social democracies of Europe are among the happiest places on earth to live.  Far from falling victim to Goldman Sachs’ grifting, Europe’s social democracies have remained stable during the European version of the 2008 downturn. 

I’m willing to go out and say that the Reagan Era is now officially over.  The free market so lauded by its victims and collaborators has failed.  We now have a commercial sphere that is absolutely out-of-control.  People are getting hurt, too.  Ask the 11 million Americans who received foreclosure after being cheated by the commercial sector.  Ask the millions more who lost approximately 38 percent of their net personal worth because of the cheats on Wall Street. 

My hope is that newly-reelected President Obama will now push to get those dead-end kids back in line.  Wall Street hedge fund managers are nothing but overgrown frat-boys who, if Daddy won’t let ‘em play like they wanna play, end up asking Ma if it’s OK to play Animal House for the rest of their lives. 

The effect on people’s economic freedom is a disaster, and you know what?  Stalin would be proud. 

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Comments

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Wow! Never had a Vulcan mind-meld before, tho I must tell you in all candor I was never fool enough to fall for Voodoo Economics. But my brother did.

I should also make mention of a fact most Americans are blithely unaware of, and that is that the New Deal was largely conceived of not so much out of care for poor and downtrodden, but as a way to blunt the growing interest in Communism. I liken it to capitalism taking a small dose of poison to build up immunity to a fatal dose.

We shall see how much socialism centrist/moderate Barack Obama is able to push thru in the next four years, but I suspect that barring disaster, the long-term trend will be toward European socialism rather than backward toward European feudalism.