Reconstruction For Everyone!!: A perspective of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

A POLITICS 24/7 guest editorial by Mike Duminiak
  Bookmark and Share  In 1867, Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act. Its purpose was to force the re-engineering of society in the Southern States and to redistribute the wealth in that region. reconstructionOn the first count, it was entirely a failure and actually resulted in a backlash that undid the progress made in 1865-66 and resulted in a worse position for blacks for nearly 100 years than they had during the immediate post-war period of local reconstruction. On the second count it succeeded, but not in the way the people had expected. Rather than redistribute the wealth to the poor and former slaves, instead all the wealth in the South was transferred to banks and various businesses owned and operated by Northern industrialists and financiers. When the decade of forced reconstruction finally ended, the South was bankrupt, the people were betrayed and the society was driven to social radicalism for the next 90 years.

In 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Its purpose is to force the re-engineering of the economy in the United States and to redistribute the wealth in that nation. Its ultimate outcome has yet to be written, but the beginnings of its implementation may be a strong indicator. It is the banks and large corporations that are the beneficiaries of the redistribution of wealth. To them is going the tax revenue of generations. We see also that it is filled with pork barrel spending on projects that are politically connected to major campaign contributors and businesses with financial ties to politicians.

It is yet to be known whether this new era of Reconstruction will also require the use of troops to force its implementation when the people start to complain that it is doing more harm than good. It is yet to be known whether this new era of Reconstruction will result in the same backlash as the first when opposition forces eventually regain control of government. It is yet to be known just how bankrupt the national treasury will be and how grossly enriched the banks and corporations will be when this new era of Reconstruction ends.

The deciding factors on those issues will be what else this radical Congress pushes through. The radical Congress of 1867-68 passed numerous acts that combined to result in all the immediate destruction and later retribution. If this radical Congress also continues down its current path and adds more fuel to the fire, the damage and the reaction will be all that much stronger. If this radical Congress pushes its agenda to the breaking point of the average citizen as the radical 1867-68 Congress did, this nation could see a massive shift in political power equal to or even greater than the 100 years of single party control that resulted from the first major attempt at re-engineering and redistribution.

While we will all pay the price for the reckless and truly criminal transfer of wealth from the people to the banking and corporate interests, conservatives may come out the big winners. If history repeats itself (and it is doing a pretty good job so far), strong conservatives will capture the government and hold it for a long period. Even moderates on the right may be unpopular as the public will shifts radically away from the policies and ideology that raped their treasury, increased their tax burden, destroyed their economy and curtailed their liberty.

As the economy worsens and the true face of the current actions of Congress becomes apparent to the people, we should all pray that the kinds of insurrectionary vigilantism that cropped up in 1868-1870s are not repeated in the modern era. However, desperate people can often resort to desperate actions. Should the unemployment rate continue to climb and the banks continue to profit off the government treasury, the probability of renegade violence will escalate. Even the current supporters of the radicals now in power are likely to turn violent when the promises fail to materialize, as happened in the first Reconstruction era when the former slaves were left to literally starve to death without jobs, homes or food while banks and corporations raided the various State treasuries under U.S. control. Riots may not be far off when all the impossible promises that fail to materialize combine with worsening economic conditions. We should all pray that violence is avoided, but that may not be enough.

A large segment of the population believed that the “bottom rail was on top” with this past election. Yet, if anything, the bottom rail is being stomped down further by bad economic conditions while the top rail is being elevated with government bail-outs and pork spending. Right now the blinders are still on most citizens, but they are coming off in increasing numbers. When the inevitable inflation comes from the insane creation of money that was done and given to the banks, the true result of the current radical Congress’s actions will be apparent to everyone. The first Reconstruction was bad for everyone except the banks and corporations. This one will be no different except that the whole country will suffer under it instead of just one region.  Bookmark and Share

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