The Psychological Trauma of the George W. Bush era

I realize now that I’m coming out of having a nervous breakdown of the most mild order. That George W. Bush era, full of fear mongering and a false war with a subprime-bailout BIG FINISH, left me with a lot of anger and frustration. During that time I was in New York City getting my Master’s in journalism from Columbia University, then reported on Wall Street, but I knew I was just helping the rich get richer at the expense of the average American. Wall Street doesn’t care about making this country great; all they care about is maximizing profits or squeezing every last penny out of whatever company or asset is in front of them. It could be an oil company, semi-conductor company, a donut shop. They don’t care what it is or if it has a positive or negative effect on society.

In one week reporting on IPOs (Initial Public Offer of stock), I reported on a chain of donut stores and a company that manufactures medicine for type-II diabetes, which can be caused by obesity due to poor diet. So one company makes us fat and the other company feeds us pills when we get too fat to be healthy. Wall Street contributes to a self-inflicting cycle of damage sometimes. Oh, the donut shop did better on its IPO than the biotech stock.

Full disclosure: I have had many pleasurable moments with a donut accompanying my coffee, although it is a rare occasion these days.

When sitting next to an investment banker at a bar in Greenwich Village in early 2006, I brought up the fact that our country has little to no manufacturing base anymore and wasn’t that troublesome. The investment banker told me that he agreed. He also told me that wasn’t his concern. He said that if it’s cheaper making products in China, that’s what he advises his clients to do. Then he talked about the new foreign sports car he bought with his bonus money. Yeah, totally true. Apparently it was a sensational experience going through the gears!

In 2006 I moved back to California, the nation’s leader in CO2-free energy use, for the purposes of selling solar electricity and helping my fellow Americans to take control of the cost of running their homes. I wanted to do a little good and make a little money, rather than what I considered myself doing on Wall Street: doing a lot of bad and making a little money. Because it was clear that helping average Americans was not Wall Street’s concern, despite what the dissembling CEO of Goldman Sachs believes when he stated that Wall Street does “God’s work.”

I was in the San Francisco Bay area for almost two years, then moved to LA to represent a solar company with a lease option. When the Wall Street banks went bankrupt, the credit markets froze up. No more lending, no more lease, no more job.

Reference “The Crisis of Credit Visualized”…http://crisisofcredit.com/

People are angry and scared, and understandably so. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans were not paying attention during the Bush years when most, if not all, of the mechanics that led to the Great Recession were happening. Now they just see the after-effects. A lot of people got blindsided by this economic downturn, and they’re blaming the wrong guy. Obama, the Democrats and the rest of us have to clean up the messes (plural) left behind by the Bush White House and the Republican-majority Congress from 2001-2006. During this time period the majority of the damaging policies were put in place. Most catastrophically, the Bush Securities and Exchange Commission allowed self-regulation by the Wall Street banks concerning the buying and selling of subprime securities, or otherwise known as “toxic assets.”

The Bush White House and the Republican majority Congress were too busy funneling billions of our tax dollars to a very select few (military contractors like Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the Bush-family-sponsored Carlyle Group, for examples) during the WMD-scare-fueled invasion and occupation of Iraq: a country that posed us no threat, had nothing to do with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and had no ties to al Qaeda previous to our invasion.

Lurking in the background was the Subprime Financial Crisis…the free-market threatening the economic stability of the world. That same “free-market” required $700 billion-plus from taxpayers, in order to save itself from bankruptcy. We, the People, did not get anything in return for the Bush-Paulson bailout. All that money went to plug up the holes on Wall Street. The banks were supposed to lend the money back to the American people, but the banks did not lend the money. As a result the credit markets froze up and unemployment increased. In essence, the banks used the bailout money to pay themselves billions of dollars in bonuses: bonuses they do not deserve for causing a cataclysmic meltdown of our economy.

I’ve been unemployed for over a year, trying to get back in the photovoltaics industry. Now I’m looking at training to install solar electricity, because I really believe it is one of the major solutions to improve our economy, stabilize our energy costs, provide for our energy independence and help to protect our environment.

We are at a crossroads in the history of the United States of America. Either we continue down the road of sophism and demagoguery exemplified by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin and Fox News…or we talk with our fellow Americans based on fact & evidence with the aim to benefit the majority of Americans. Instead of a select few behemoth military contracting companies and politically connected oligarchs in the corporate world propagandizing their oppressive ideas through the likes of dogmatic individuals like the aforementioned individuals above, We, the People, can take control of our country again.

In the coffee shops, at the gas stations, in the supermarkets, across the hedge and around the kitchen table…my hope is that we keep talking with each other.

Fande = Fact & Evidence; Cande = Conjecture & Exaggeration

Bring your Fande, leave your Cande!

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