Lost in all the Obama furor, the world's leading economic powers — the so-called G-20 nations — are quietly laying plans for a November 15th summit in Washington, D.C., that may effect a revolution in world finance and global governance, a revolution with potentially much greater long-term impact on America than anything on President-elect Obama's agenda.
It's no surprise that U.S. automakers are in trouble. Facing massive costs for health insurance, falling demand for mainstay products like trucks and SUVs, and skittish consumers worried about the economy, the Big Three face an uncertain future.
On October 28, as the Treasury Department announced a series of steps to begin delivering infusions of a $250 billion government bank-recapitalization plan, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino used carrot-and-stick language to convince the nation’s banks to lend more money.
First Wall Street bankers. Then government lending agencies known as Fannie and Freddie. Next in line for federal handouts was the international insurance company A.I.G. It begins to look as though the recipients of the hundreds of billions in bailouts will include virtually everyone. While the federal gravy train is still dispensing its favors, state governments are now looking to Washington to cover their huge deficits.
In testimony that surprised many observers, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan professed a "state of shocked disbelief" over the unfolding global financial crisis. Where once Greenspan regarded himself as a champion of untrammeled free markets, now, Greenspan told the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he believes he was "'partially' wrong to resist regulation of some securities."
The Bush administration announced today that the first of what will be a series of global financial summits will be held in Washington, D.C. on November 15. Vowing to take steps to fix the world's allegedly broken financial system, leaders from all the world's leading industrial nations will convene to determine "the underlying causes of the financial crisis, the global response and the principles that should guide any reforms," according to an Associated Press report. Also on the agenda of the first meeting will be the creation of working groups to prepare policy recommendations for subsequent summits. The Bush administration, in what will be one of its last acts, will host a dinner for the dignitaries.
The ideas of Karl Marx are alive and well — in the U.S. tax code. One of the planks of the Communist Manifesto, which states the conditions necessary for a transition from a capitalist to a communist society, is "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax." A progressive tax system is one in which the tax rate increases as the taxable amount increases. Since the permanent adoption of the income tax in 1913, the United States has always had a progressive tax system.