Markets tumbled one per cent or so on news of S&P's downgrading US sovereign debt, which, however, for the moment retains triple A status. But for how long?
How will the shift to a negative rating affect US corporate socialist welfare?
Probably not very much. The one or two percent of Americans who control as much wealth as the combined wealth of 40 per cent of its fellow citizens [serfs? who labour and struggle so that the rich get a pass in paying their fair share and taking responsibility for the duties that wealth bestows].
Will Congress slash the military budget which operates on the principles of 'Parkinson's law'. Let's quickly visit the opening salvo of Cyril Northcote Parkinson's book: an astute observation of how the British Colonial Empire shrank, its budget went up. Alexander Cockburn echoes this finding in the way it relates to the bloated US defence department's outlays as the military slims down, three wars notwithstanding. The defence budget is a vehicle for corruption, cost over runs, and buoying up the bottom line of America's military industrial big shots. George W. Bush fed this Pantagruel by privatising warfare.
One sure way to tame the bloated defence establishment and its gypsy troupe is to slash the military budget. Who reads today Seymour Melman's 'Pentagon Capitalism'?
The Republican shils fronting for the rich want to go after Medicare, Medicaid, and other educational and social programmes that would weaken America's economy, laying the burden on the shoulders of the least who can afford to pay without pushing them down to edges of spreading misery. Oscar Wilde famously quipped that 'the rich are [simply] different'. Different in that they can buy their way through life?
So isn't it time to raise the tax on the rich to where it was during the halycon days of Dwight Eisenhower's presidency, an era that the Tea Party fanatics put on an altar to worship before? And what about the 'globalised' US corporations who pay no US taxes, send work outside the country whilst the US employment figure skates on the thin ice of nine per cent, although the wags would double it and wouldn't be far off the truth!? The elected representatives of the American people on the whole have the stomach to challenge the hand that feeds their electoral campaigns?
And where is the need for a change of values? The Tea baggers have driven the US popularist reflex to the edges of proto corporate style fashion which bore fruit in the 1920s. And where is the protest on the mild US left?
Oh sure, on the grassroots level there is some action, but it doesn't translate to a national pull. And then the crushing blow of the economic recession triggered by the big bracket banks which the US government gave its fat economic teat to restore to health and more, has had depressing reverberations on the US population with the attendant plague of high unemployment, no health assurance to speak of for they are priced out of the market by the rapacious insurance industry, the collapse of US education, now harnassed to the model of private initiative and ownership under the guise of 'charter schools'. [The rich buy their children charter schools to play with and at the same time make money!]
So the S&P downgrade won't force the hand of the robber barons that run the US. Eventually even their wealth will be threatened and the mood they are in, they will look for a man on a white horse to lead them, throwing US democracy to the winds, to save the most tender past of their collective body on which they sit and from which they produce their 'wisdom'.