Down here in Costa Rica, I’m (thankfully) far-far away from the clang, clatter and cat fights of the last months that have transformed Washington, D. C., into a giant litter box, badly in need of cleaning. But the area where I’ve lived and worked for the last eight years, Manuel Antonio on the central Pacific coast, attracts a lot of money and a never ending gaggle of the wealthy, the wannabe wealthy and the hyper opinionated.
Over the last month or so, I’ve been hearing some pretty alarming buzz in the local watering holes about a cabal of nameless, ultra wealthy, ultra conservative honchos in the corporate/banking/investing/stock market communities who are allegedly, actively doing whatever they can to make sure that nothing the Democrats and Obama does to fix the economy will work before the next election.
The Standard & Poor’s downgrade just by itself has the potential to wipe out pretty much everything that the most recent, relatively limp attempt to lower the debt managed to accomplish via higher interest rates in the future. An accident? A strategy? I found it interesting that although S&P acknowledged a $2 trillion error in the debt calculations, they STILL executed the downgrade! (Way to shake off that goal line fumble, guys!) And the selloff on Wall Street? As we’ve seen far too many times, mini market Armageddons like these are easily detonated, and as always, someone made a boatload of cash on it, and the conservatives get to make great political hay in the process.
Maybe I’m naive. Maybe this kind of economy bashing goes on all the time and is a standard operating dynamic of the election cycle. (I mean after all, the party on the outs doesn’t want the incumbent to look like he knows the difference between his buttocks and a beach ball when it comes to economics, do they?) But it’s painfully obvious that there are millions of arch conservatives in the U. S. who would be more that willing to see the economy go fully in the tank again as it did in ’08 if it gets Obama out of the White House. They’re all rich enough to ride out the hard times that would follow, and if the middle class gets crushed in the process, that’s just another reason for people to abandon the Democrats in favor of the Republicans and return both the Senate and the White House to the conservatives.
With the Republican contenders for the nomination self-destructing every time they open their mouths/with the Tea Party doing it’s best impersonation of an albatross around the neck of the Grande Old Party, who knows what can happen/what the ultra right is capable of? Hard to know if you’re not wealthy enough to be in the loop. It’s hard to know even how to begin to mitigate the monumental mess. Maybe American voters should consider electing adults instead of children?
It goes without saying that another crash/recession up north would be a devastating blow to the already anemic and staggering economy of Costa Rica, and would very likely push the government here into the arms of the drooling, energy addicted Chinese who fully expect to be rewarded with oil contracts in return for a silly little soccer field and promises of a better future for Ticos.
No matter what the truth is about the shameful, thumb-in-the-eye political scrum we’re witnessing, which clearly puts people, families, their fortunes and the futures way down there on the priority list, it would make one helluva fine screenplay for any conspiracy theory buff! A mini series maybe? A highlight would have to be the wildly Orwellian attempt on the part of the Republicans to convince middle-class Americans who are drowning in debt, that protecting tax breaks for the rich is actually good for the salt of the earth. Easily one of the best pitches since people sold snake oil off the back of horse drawn wagons.