The markets are falling! The markets are falling!
The world is apoplectic because markets around the world are in crisis.
Let's be clear. Markets are made of investors. Investors are people who already have enough money to live and want their extra money, that they don't need, "invested" to make even more money.
Used to be that investors helped build factories, start companies, create jobs. Now, more often than not, they fund "financial instruments" that are all smoke and mirrors. You know, like bundling bad mortgage debts, reselling them, and taking out insurance policies in case they went bad - which they did. The insurance policies protected them from risk and loss. Or the taxpayers bailed them out, because the financial institutions who caused these calamities were "too big to fail."
It's all about money making money.
And, workers be damned. To protect their bottom lines, U.S. corporations have gone global, eliminating American jobs, hiring cheap, exploited foreign labor, increasing overseas consumerism, decimating worker pension funds, eliminating negotiating rights, weakening health benefits and trying to subvert health, safety and environmental regulations.
These investors no longer need American workers or consumers. Their exploitation has become worldwide. First they robbed the planet's physical resources. Now they are harnessing and breaking its struggling people.
Used to be that governments held reign over the bad behavior of investors. Our government protected us from the unfettered greed and irresponsibility of corporations with sensible regulation and oversight.
That has all been turned on its head. Governments themselves are now succumbing to the overwhelming power of the banks.
Italy and Greece have seen their national elected leaders replaced with "economists" in order to placate their markets. Citizens no longer matter, only investors.
And now, the 27 members of the European Union (sans Britain) have agreed on a new treaty that essentially puts central banks in charge of their budgets. Power has moved substantially to the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and something called the European Council - all extra-governmental entities.
Europe is becoming "of the banks, by the banks and for the banks."
First and foremost, these entities will work to protect the investors and their markets. You know, those folks who already have more money than they need. Of lesser concern will be the citizenry. There will be less taxpayer money devoted to education, health care, environmental safety, protection of worker benefits, quality of life, law enforcement and justice.
Money will rule all, including the people working hard to earn a living, to feed and educate their children, to provide for their retirement and to enjoy the fruits of their life and labor.
All this, while the Arab world is in revolt, the African continent is in a humanitarian crisis, China is building its economic and military might, terrorist networks are closer to really getting nuclear arms and the American political system is in decline and disarray.
These indeed are truly dangerous times. The wealthiest of the wealthy have a tight grip on the reins of power. We horses need to bridle. Or else we are in danger of once again becoming a worldwide feudal society of lords (the investors), vassals (the military) and serfs (the rest of us).