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{Empty title} | The Nation

The high rollers of finance contribute a lot of campaign cash to both political parties, so it's no surprise that laws are written, rewritten and ignored in their behalf. The only solution to that problem is a reform of the campaign finance system, which is, so far, completely off the political and media radar.

We can argue endlessly about the details of the government bailout of private, uninsured financial institutions, but the fact is that once the decision was made to prevent their insolvency, all the other bullshit was inevitable.

The decision to concentrate public resources in private enterprises instead of a broad dispersal of those resources to the general public--in the form of mortgage relief, principal writedowns, lowered rates on revolving credit accounts, debt forgiveness and any and every other method possible to put cash into the pockets of citizen consumers--sealed the fate of the economy and put it on a downward spiral.

Cash to consumers is the key to short-term stimulus. Rewriting trade laws to insure that American workers compete on a level playing field is the long-term solution to trade imbalances and high unemployment. Import tariffs are the stopgap until trade terms can be renegotiated.

The solution to our economic problems is not rocket science. Our difficulties have more to do with a political class that is in thrall to their campaign contributors.