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March 25, 2009

Let The Structural Adjustment Begin!

There's been a common phenomenon in the third world over the past three decades or so. A country's financial sector, in collaboration with the larger financial world, would create some type of gigantic economic fuck up. The IMF would then (in collaboration with the local financial elites) step in and provide loans in return for what was called "structural adjustment." Structural adjustment involved getting rid of any kind of social spending that made life bearable for everyone else.

In other words, the country's financial elites would use the catastrophes they'd created themselves in order to do what they'd always wanted to but couldn't get away with in normal times. They took the profit, and then imposed all the costs on everyone else.

I've long believed U.S. elites would attempt to do this for America as soon as they had the opportunity. Here's Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today at the Council on Foreign Relations having a jolly laugh with moderator and investment banker Roger Altman about the process now getting under way—all thanks to propaganda assistance from investment banking billionaire Pete Peterson.

For those without a decoder ring, "everyone" being a fiscal hawk means that due to the current financial disaster, they'll soon be coming after Social Security and Medicare:

GEITHNER: Of course, we are all fiscal hawks now because of Pete Peterson. (Laughter.) There are no doves left on the fiscal side. (Laughter.)

ALTMAN: And he deserves credit for that.

Yes, the coming massacre of American lives will be quite funny indeed. (Laughter.)

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 25, 2009 07:14 PM

Medicare/Medicade are not mentioned anywhere in the SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. They are a matter of public policy NOT public law. They should be divorced from the SS TRUST FUND.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 25, 2009 07:39 PM

Thank you, Mr. Meyer. I'm sure those actually in charge of federal health policy will soon heed the call of someone who doesn't know how to spell "Medicaid" and TYPES CRANKISHLY in RANDOM CAPS.

Posted by: Daniel M. Laenker at March 25, 2009 10:45 PM

Daniel M. Laenker: THANK YOU for pointing out the mispelling and the capital letters, BUT U never know, I call Pelosi @1-202-225-0100 EVERYDAY, "they" may be listening. (DC business hours only, I call OFTEN, and I spread it around)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 25, 2009 11:19 PM

Sure, we have our disagreements, but experience tells me that if those in power listened to Mr Meyer more often we would all be MUCH BETTER OFF.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at March 26, 2009 12:31 AM

I just found this site through a link to a three-year-old post on here about Nixon's "Jew counter"/barbecued dog-enthusiast Fred Malek. I decided to check out some recent posts, and this was caught my attention. I can't believe I didn't think of this scenario in terms of structural adjustments. I've read both of John Perkins' books, and I'm familiar with the conservative's "starve the beast" governing philosophy, but I guess I didn't think of the United States as a victim of such similar tactics to the ones we've used in Latin America and elsewhere around the globe. I'm not prone to paranoia, but I'll remember the history of economic crises, international finance, and structural adjustments in future domestic policy debates. I'm not too worried, however, as our current government is very unlikely to go along with any of these really objectionable policies. The next step would be to have President Obama die in a tragic plane accident, but since Obama appointed the head of the CIA, I'm not worried about that. Thanks.

Posted by: Brendan M. at March 26, 2009 12:38 AM

Oh, and I guess capitalizing "CIA" doesn't really comply with the trendy meme on this thread, so let me make up for that. TELEPROMPTERZ SECRET MUSLIN HUSSEIN RON PAUL UN BLACK HELICOPTERS ILLUMINATI PURITY OF ESSENCE PRECIOUS BODILY FLUIDS = WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!1!!111! See? I can speak wingnut, too.

Posted by: Brendan M. at March 26, 2009 12:46 AM

Funny how all the other Western nations can fund healthcare, not only for the old people, but for everyone; and their economies have not yet collapsed. Over here, though, the conservatives swear that allowing the government to help old people avoid having to eat catfood and get their diabetes medication is going to take us down the road to ruin.
Here's an idea: how about we buy fewer guns so we can buy more butter? Do we really need to spend more money on our military than the entire rest of the world put together? Is a bearded guy living in a cave in the mountains that big a threat to our way of life? Are there that many brown people just waiting to kill us in our beds?
Jeebus, what a country-- that yawns at the cost of a (counterproductive, btw) three trillion dollar war, but gets all twitchy over buying grandpa's pills.

Posted by: doggril at March 26, 2009 01:01 AM

doggril, you forget the true cost of socialism: our souls. And I'm all for fewer guns, but can we make it more soy butter?

Posted by: Brendan M. at March 26, 2009 01:17 AM

Man, there is a real influx of douches here lately. I guess it means you made it boys! when the scumdogs of the universe come trolling. I kind of wonder what they want. gotta be real dubious. I'm guessing that at the end of the day that they would be happy with just adult sized genitals.

Hmm medicaid. Was watching Frontline last night. Seems Bush's plan D prescription thing (Republican vote whoring) is the most expensive thing in history. Yea, good luck getting that unicorn payed for. Granny, just cuz you and your generation are civic RETARDS don't mean you get a blank check from me. Or a god damn thing for that matter. Except two middle fingers blazing at your stupid old ass.

Posted by: tim at March 26, 2009 01:45 AM


Seriously Jonathan, do you expect me to read that transcript? HOLY SHIT no.

If I was the SECTREAS I would be all about trying to make myself look innocent. But no, the looting continues....

Posted by: tim at March 26, 2009 01:52 AM

There's video and audio available, tim, for people who might not be big fans of reading. Judging by your thoughtful and articulate comments, you may fall into that category.

Posted by: Brendan M. at March 26, 2009 02:21 AM

Socialism, for the record, exists where the state is the owner of all means of production, manufacture and distribution. In a socialized state, there is no private property ownership at all.

The USA is as far from socialism as Pluto is from the Sun.

However, the treasury has been looted, and soon, the rest of America will be swept out with the tide. The only ones left standing will be the obscenely rich globalists. American should study Latin America circa 1953-200 to see what's in store for all of us. Soon, the USA will join the ranks of other third world countries that have been razed, pillaged, plundered and destroyed by these financial borg.

Posted by: marblex at March 26, 2009 12:16 PM

Well sheee ooot, the last thing I wanted to do is sound like an totally illiterate fool instead of someone who posts links to troll websites. The height of erudition you are Wonkette. I love reading, but hate reading paragraphs like the one you wrote Brendan. You know, the one with lots of words but scarcely any meaning?

You want less guns? I suggest you try and start with mine. Let's not forget the real cost of socialism, you want my shit. So come get it.
I mean don't your dumbass realize we fought wars over this shit? Or should I say some people fought wars that you paid for?

This about sums it up for me

marblex: Giving trillions to private companies for nothing might not be your idea of socialism, but ain't it funny how all attempts at socialism end up this way? Keep on dreaming the dream you pinkos, and don't expect much help keeping your dippy asses out of the gas chambers.

Posted by: tim at March 26, 2009 01:22 PM

Capitalist? Socialists? Face facts, AMERICA IS THE JAMES GANG IN MASSE, out for an afternoon of drinkin' and a train to rob. THERE IS NO ism to describe THIS CROWD.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 26, 2009 02:40 PM

@tim: "Giving trillions to private companies for nothing might not be your idea of socialism, but ain't it funny how all attempts at socialism end up this way?"

Name one.

Posted by: Andrew at March 26, 2009 05:06 PM

Bailouts are not part of capitalism or socialism: they're simply a blood transfusion for a dying economy.

Posted by: Andrew at March 26, 2009 05:09 PM


@tim: "Giving trillions to private companies for nothing might not be your idea of socialism, but ain't it funny how all attempts at socialism end up this way?"

Name one.

By "this way," I mean few profiting from many. Would you tell me that's not "the way" it is now?

So I turn your question back to you; name one that didn't.

Posted by: tim at March 26, 2009 10:10 PM

The few (educated, ruthless, or well-connected) profit from the many in every economy. The difference is that in socialist countries, the few are 10x richer than the many, whereas in capitalist ones they are 10,000x times richer.

I'm not sure what sort of "attempt at socialism" you're thinking of. Canada's switch to universal healthcare in the 60's reduced per capita medical costs, improved health and life expectancy, and increased the salaries of health care workers. How does that lead to the few profiting from the many?

Posted by: Andrew at March 27, 2009 11:12 AM

Andrew, Canada doesn't work as an example, and neither does any country in the world right now. The simple reason is that every one of them has 'bought into' the the global economic policy of the federal US.

Posted by: tim at March 27, 2009 03:14 PM

Well, gee, Tim, maybe that's the point. You can have effective and affordable "socialized" healthcare without having a totally socialist economy. Probably you can have a lot more effective and successful government interventions -- public works and utilities, public education, public R&D without actually becoming a pure socialist society, which is probably as much a figment as a pure capitalist one. And a pure capitalist society is not the same, be it noted, as a pure laissez-faire society.

Remember: the difference between capitalism and socialism is that under capitalism, man exploits man. Under socialism, it's the other way around.

Posted by: Duncan at March 27, 2009 05:12 PM

@tim: "Andrew, Canada doesn't work as an example, and neither does any country in the world right now. The simple reason is that every one of them has 'bought into' the the global economic policy of the federal US."

You asked about "attempts at socialism" and I gave you one. Canada (even though it belongs to the WTO, IMF/WB, and dollar-zone) has several successful socialist programs. Since Canada's not socialist enough for you, I could point to Cuba's health care system: despite being much poorer than the US, they have longer life expectancy and export doctors throughout South America.

I asked you for an example to support your case... can you find one?

Posted by: Andrew at March 27, 2009 09:43 PM

Duncan, Andrew, you guys are full of nothing but shit and poor logic. Please fucke off, this dead thread is more than you deserve.

Posted by: tim at March 28, 2009 01:50 AM

Tim @ Mar 26 1:22PM posted a virus "This about sums it up for me" that link is a virus.

Posted by: anon at March 28, 2009 08:20 AM

heh, yeah mind virus you coward

Posted by: tim at March 28, 2009 12:19 PM

No, a computer virus.

Posted by: anon at March 28, 2009 12:24 PM