Funny, the description of Jordan sounds just like here.

It’s time Americans paid attention to our future- as played out in the Arab republics. While we wave the flag and claim ourselves a “democracy” there is very little democratic process in our elections which generally provide power to the highest bidder.

How we have a congress full of millionaires is one of the mysteries that voters ignore. We’re being gamed- and we refuse to acknowledge it. But- listen to this conversation from American Public Media’s Marketplace- and replace Jordan with here and the monarchy with our political class: (I’ve put the key phrases in bold)

Oraib Al-Rantawi, a political commentator says, most of the Arab world’s been infused with a new spirit.
Oraib Al-Rantawi: We are living in the Tunisian, the Egyptian moment. This is the spirit. Nobody will stop it!
It is, he says, a spirit of rebellion against state-sponsored theft. Across the Middle East, many people believe their autocratic leaders have been robbing them blind.
Labib Kamhawi: When you don’t have democracy, you have no accountability, no transparency and then you have corruption.
That’s Jordanian businessman Labib Kamhawi. He says that like most Middle Eastern countries, Jordan is run by a clique of wealthy families and individuals — politicians in cahoots with business people. Kamhawi says many of them plunder the public purse, hog the best jobs and try to skim a bit off every government contract.
Kamhawi: The corruption really covers all aspects of life which left people who don’t belong to this class helpless.

Not everyone agrees that Jordan is a hotbed of corruption. Local economist Yusuf Mansur.

Yusuf Mansur: There is corruption, there is corruption. However, as an economist, I don’t see it as massive or as widespread as in other countries.That does not reassure critics of the system. One of them claims there’s an unofficial poverty line for corrupt individuals: If they don’t manage to rip off more than $50 million during their careers, they’re not doing well.

But Jordan is an undemocratic monarchy. King Abdullah hires and fires his governments. Critics like Labib Kamhawi do have a question to answer:

Beard: Is the king and his family profiting personally from this corruption?

Kamhawi: The law punishes anybody who talks about the king or the royal family. So we cannot talk. You ask the king. You don’t ask me.

The king declined an invitation to appear on this program. But one expatriate Jordanian journalist is not so reticent. He’s been circulating over the Internet an open letter addresses to Queen Rania.

Letter, read aloud: What gives you the right to celebrate your birthday with a party costing $15 million? And for the king to give you a yacht costing $83 million in a poor country that has no oil, lives off aid and cannot buy milk for its children?

Around half the Jordanian population lives on less or little more than $2.50 a day.

via Jordan’s elite stifles economic opportunity | Marketplace From American Public Media.

How is it not “State-sponsored theft” when the checkout girl at the Piggly Wiggly in Atlanta, making minimum wage who pays her taxes- has those hard earned tax dollars siphoned off to NCR and Bill Nuti- who has routinely made over $4 million a year- for losing 2/3 of the company’s value?

How is it that so many members of Congress are now millionaires- despite- a life of “government service”- does anyone really want to look at how John Boehner pays his tanning bill? The cost to run for office is soaring- and the only way to reach elected office is to raise huge sums of money- typically from wealthy special interests- and then to serve your money masters.

Is this country run by a clique of wealthy families? The recent events in Wisconsin- where the Koch brothers are funneling money into Governor Walker’s campaign and his attempt to dismantle organized labor? Or are the families who are so worried about the “Death Tax” which affects so few Americans- yet gets so much press? Or- let’s talk about the guys on Wall Street making $5 billion plus a year (over 25 of them in ’09)- yes- that’s with a b- by packaging our home loans- and playing financial roulette with money that’s not theirs?

Let’s look at how many billions we’ve had to spend to bail out Wall Street- yet- we still see crooks like Countrywide’s Angelo Mozilo walking free with a multimillion-dollar golden parachute- instead of prison time.

There is a political disconnect in this country- as great or wider than that between the rulers of these Arab oil republics, yet, we still believe that because we are free to discuss things without the threat of imprisonment- we’re somehow better off.

The reality is- this country is becoming one huge prison- both the literal kind- where we lock up petty criminals by the boatload, and one where the working class has the odds stacked against it. However, as the plunder continues- and our housing values and our currency continue to drop- and our unemployment rate stays high- and decent jobs continue to get replaced with minimum wage jobs– we will eventually see another American Revolution (and it won’t just be the Tea Party people.)

The people in Washington should be worried. Because unlike Egypt, Tunisia and the rest of the monarchies that will soon fall- our people have access to something that isn’t readily available in Turban land- guns.

When the riot comes- it won’t be as easy to write off as the riots we’ve had in the past- LA’s back in the eighties was just a street brawl compared to what’s coming.

Just wait.

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6 Responses

  1. Rick Kaczmarek February 23, 2011 / 11:55 pm
    David, I say this with love: “You’ve lost your flippin mind.”

    America is not as you describe it. You are delusional.

    I am not saying these things to dismiss you. I am saying them to describe how your rantings make me see you.

    Seriously. Simply stated, you’ve gone round the bend.

    What is happening in Wisconsin and Ohio and other states to come is sorta like what is going on in the Middle East, only in reverse. In the Middle East, the working class are revolting against an insolated class of folks in the government who steal from the masses. In Wisconsin and Ohio, it is the Public Employees Unions who are stealing too much from the masses, and the revolt just happens, in the USA, to be led by democratically elected folks who campaigned on these very issues.

    In Egypt and Libya, the working class did not have the option of peacefully electing a reform minded Governor and Legislature to gut the system wherein the “public servants” have a better life than their employers. In America, we do. We did.

    It’s insane. Nearly 9 out of 10 families who do not derive their income from the taxpayers have experienced layoffs, real income reductions, and increasing burdens with respect to shared health care, pensions and other benefits. Public Employee Unions insist that they should not be subjected to the same conditions. While you and some other nuts may buy this unsupportable line of BS, the masses will not.

    What we are witnessing here is peaceful, orderly, democratic hope and change.

    It’s awesome.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Shortwest Rick February 24, 2011 / 12:52 am

    It’s some cold a$$ sh1t coming, Americans will be the last in because they are complacent in their superiority. While the rest of the inhabitants of earth band together, reject the few enslaving them 50% of Americans will continue to vote for politicians who campaign on emotional issues and rob them blind.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. David Esrati February 24, 2011 / 5:21 am

    @ Rick K- I’m not sure you get it- what is going on in Wisconsin and Ohio is nothing- it’s what’s going on in the entire country. Our problems aren’t how much people working for the government are making- where the payroll tops out at $400K a year or so- it’s the people making literally billions a year- and then buying favor.

    I addressed the real solutions to the issues in Ohio and Wisconsin a few days ago- maybe you missed it:

    The collective bargaining clusterduck

    There are real solutions to these problems- but no one is talking about them.

    You want a travesty of public tax dollars wasted- look at the CEO of CareSource- who pays herself $3 million a year- all out of our tax dollars- to run a company that rations out health care to the poor. She supposedly deserves this huge sum because she is more efficient at doling out our dough than a public employee would- yet- if you really want to make American’s healthier-

    try reading this post and following through to the site:

    We are what we eat

    I’m not sure what planet you are on- but, as Shortwest mentions- something is hig is coming- but we’re too comfortable in believing our system isn’t as corrupt as those in Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Russia etc.

    We’ve got a pay to play system. It’s as corrupt as any third world banana republic. Our education system is broken, our infrastructure is becoming third world (no high speed trains, no high speed internet, no national health care)- and we’re still whistling dixie and arguing about the right for homos to marry.

    Yep- you’ve got some wakin’ up to do.

     

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  4. Ice Bandit February 24, 2011 / 11:22 pm
    David, I say this with love: “You’ve lost your flippin mind.” America is not as you describe it. You are delusional. (Rick Kaczmarek)
     
    ….yessir, dear Rick, your diagnosis would receive a lusty second by the entire membership of the American College of Forensic Psychiatry. Of course, if hyperbole were an Olympic event, David would be wearing a Gold Medal and his likeness would adorn boxes of Wheaties. And because not once in his narrative did David mention the voices in his head, perhaps we should err on the side of exaggeration before we prescribe a regimen of Thorazine cocktails and a rubber room…….

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  5. joe_mamma February 25, 2011 / 8:19 am
    “How is it not “State-sponsored theft” when the checkout girl at the Piggly Wiggly in Atlanta, making minimum wage who pays her taxes- has those hard earned tax dollars siphoned off to NCR and Bill Nuti- who has routinely made over $4 million a year- for losing 2/3 of the company’s value?” –DE
    Nuti is a pitiful CEO, but a large portion (25%) of the 2/3rd decline in value of NCR is due to the spinoff of Teradata.  Meanwhile, Teradata now free of NCR has doubled their value in 3 years….

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