The authority of the U.S. federal government has eroded to the vanishing point. No longer do the three branches of government possess significant authority. Their collective ability to right the listing ship of empire has been negated by forces large and small.
Whereas the president used to have considerable power, primarily through his position as commander-in-chief of the most lethal killing force in the history of the world, that power has slipped away. Oppression abroad is a primary tenet of American Empire, but our ability to oppress is diminishing rapidly, and the role of the military in a world heavily influenced by non-state actors is marginal at best. The president’s ability to negotiate with other nations is sliding away as the world’s largest economy is widely recognized as a banana republic. The U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency, for now, but the president does not control the strength of a once-strong currency that is rapidly circling the drain. Finally, the president’s ability to enforce obedience at home, another primary tenant of American Empire, has taken some serious body blows. The president’s approval rating is low and sinking. Now that his own party has lost control of Congress, you can expect the president’s ability to accomplish to plummet even faster than the value of the U.S. dollar.
If the executive branch is wounded, the congressional branch is dead on arrival. Congress hasn’t displayed even a passing interest in the lives of “ordinary” Americans for decades. Now that the latest version of gridlock has arrived on Capitol Hill, few people expect Congress to accomplish anything of significance. Because Congress has been intent upon transferring financial wealth from the masses to the wealthiest Americans, we should be cheering congressional impotence. The less the fools accomplish, the better.
Finally, there is the judicial branch. From the Supreme Court to the local courts, the judiciary has abandoned any appearance of fairness. They’ve become part and parcel of the ruling corporatocracy (i.e,. fascism). And without fairness as a guiding doctrine, the courts are worse than worthless. Although we incarcerate a greater proportion of our citizens than any country in the history of the world, our crime rate is stunningly high. Economic status and race are predictive of incarceration rates, making a mockery of the judicial branch. Although most people in this country fear the courts, few respect the courts or the judges. As with the other two branches of government, the masses have largely lost their confidence in the judicial branch.
When the citizens no longer respect the government, who is in charge? What prevents chaos from carrying the day? All the time, I mean, instead of periodically.
So far, I suspect chaos has been forestalled only by confidence in fiat currency. The Federal Reserve controls the printing presses. By buying U.S. Treasury bonds with Federal Reserve Notes (i.e., dollar bills), the Fed is able to flood the industrial economy with an increasingly worthless currency. As David Stockman, former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, says, “the Fed is injecting high grade monetary heroin into the financial system of the world, and one of these days it is going to kill the patient.” Each dollar entering the money supply represents a dollar of debt owed to the Federal Reserve by the U.S. government (i.e., taxpayers). For example, the recent $600 billion infusion cost everybody in the U.S. about $2,000. But you already owed more than you’ll ever be able to pay, so what’s a few more dollars, especially if they’re worth less and less, and then nothing at all?
Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is effectively king of the United States. His tenure as chair ends in 2014, and his appointment to the Federal Reserve board expires in 2020. In other words, we’re stuck with King Ben until the ongoing economic collapses reaches completion.
In theory, the Fed is accountable to Congress. But in practice, nobody is Congress is particularly interested in exposing the Fed as a sham, so Congress whistles by the graveyard and looks the other way as the Fed conducts its business on behalf its owners. The Fed has been the de facto operator of the U.S. money system since it was established by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
Who are those owners? The Federal Reserve is privately owned, but ownership is a closely guarded secret. As a result, conspiracy theories are rampant. MSNBC has concluded the Fed owns itself, whereas many pundits raise the specter of ownership by the Bank of England or financial elites such as the Bilderberg group, the Rockefellers, or the Rothchilds. I doubt we’ll ever know for certain, in large part because the owners do not want to be known and Congress is not interested in the truth. So we will continue to cede authority to King Ben — and whom or whatever underlies his power — as long as the empire stays afloat.
The Fed, working collaboratively with the executive branch, has created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world. King Ben keeps pumping air into the bubble because he believes his mandate is to destroy downside risk in the stock markets, regardless of the damage to the dollar or the resulting cost of commodities (note the rising prices of oil, gold, and silver as Benny Bucks look for a place to land). There is little doubt $200 oil will kill a crippled industrial economy regardless how we get there, so Bernanke and the Fed are simply rushing us to the point of collapse with every bankster bailout. The latest dash of $600 billion cash is widely recognized as yet another bank bailout, but collateral damage includes increased prices of everything based on the U.S. dollar. There is no question this bubble will pop: the only questions are when and how loud. But this example of fraud is one many examples of a worldwide racket that is large and growing by the day.
It’s time to kick back with some popcorn and enjoy the show. Even the New York Times has figured out, finally, we’re headed for an economic apocalypse. The exciting parts are on the way. First up, if all goes well: the banksters’ last meal.