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Historically, this could be as significant as any one of the twenty-three separate liberations of Umm Qasr. The London FINANCIAL TIMES reports that the Group of Seven industrialized countries, the IMF, and the World Bank came together in Washington this past weekend to tell us that the world is in the midst of a financial recovery. The G7 Ministers, according to the London paper, “said the tentative recovery should accelerate in the second half of the year with the return of consumer and business confidence” in the wake of Hussein’s ouster. French Finance Minister Francis Mer even claims that the G7 crew is “cautiously optimistic about the world economy.” The piece goes on to make claims about pent-up consumer demand globally that I for one would’ve expected to have been discredited by now.
But of course such claims are never finally discredited. Even if they momentarily are disproven by the harsh facts of economic correction, governments just inflate the money supply and find ways to consolidate control over resources, desires, and demands. The hope, of course, is to create a sizable minority of the population that can afford the trappings of affluence, to be enslaved to mortgaged homes with property taxes that increase with a geometric fervor. Not to mention fifty thousand dollar SUVs and other luxuries unimaginable to the billions who harvest cooking water from puddles outside their hovels or from even more unimaginable sources.
Pent-up consumer demand. A pretext for “American corporations” to cut some deals with Eritrea or some other place God forgot so that they can make clothes for us, or at least buy our obsolete weapons systems on credit. So more garbage can be marketed to us by those corporations — all of it, of course, wrapped in the familiar packaging of Old Glory — with advertisements showcasing whatever perversions can be gotten away with under the guise of being avant-garde.
It’s hard to take the economists [and their hangers-on] in DC seriously as anything other than managers of the current economic order. Their interest is in making sure nothing challenges the current order, that nothing makes their nations losers in the short-term. If they are to compromise their own nations’ positions, they would rather do it in the long term. Better to be dead, I guess, than to be proven a liar and a fake while one’s heart still beats.
ANTHONY GANCARSKI, a regular columnist for CounterPunch, accepts email at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com