Last night, the top Democrats and Republicans in both Houses of Congress, the Treasury Secretary, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission met in Washington D.C. to plan the nationalization of a trillion dollars worth of bad debts held by U.S. financial institutions. What do you call such a group? The executive committee of the ruling class, you nincompoop, Marx would have said.
The idea of the executive committee (Excom) is to shift the bad debts of the avaricious and the greedy onto the shoulders of the people, in a bailout that will cost about as much as the Iraq War, maybe more. The meeting of the Excom was respectful, somber and courteous–no accusations of elitism in this crowd.
Against the backdrop of the biggest global financial crisis since the Great Depression, our leaders continue racing from region to region (with the exceptions of "One Time Zone Gilles" and "Via Rail May") to get their images on the six o’clock news. By now the media team following them looks distinctly unwell, low on deodorant, high on cholesterol. A health care announcement here, a get-tough on crime announcement there.
Not one of the leaders has said anything insightful about the financial crisis. Harper says he’ll keep us out of deficit; Dion says Harper has squandered the surplus; and Layton says he ready for the top job.
Meanwhile, on the great issue, that will shape our lives for years to come they display no wisdom, no clarity.
If human life is a cosmic joke, against the backdrop of the great meltdown, our election campaign has become a cosmic farce.