Thomas Friedman blows a whistle

It’s interesting to see that even some stalwart liberal Democrats are beginning to see that this isn’t a Democrat-Republican problem:

Many Egyptians were convinced that they lived in a deeply unjust society where the game had been rigged by the Mubarak family and its crony capitalists. Egypt shows what happens when a country adopts free-market capitalism without developing real rule of law and institutions.

But, then, what happened to us? Our financial industry has grown so large and rich it has corrupted our real institutions through political donations. As Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, bluntly said in a 2009 radio interview, despite having caused this crisis, these same financial firms “are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they, frankly, own the place.”

Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.

I came up with a better term for the evil alliance between Washington and Wall Street in the column that will run tomorrow. The Washington-Wall Street Axis of Oligarchy is the real enemy of both the Tea Party Republicans and the Occupy Wall Street Democrats. And both the TP and OWS will have to give up their delusion of Republicans/Democrats good, Democrats/Republicans bad before anything positive is even possible.

I am nearly certain it is too late for any curative measures already. The contraction is already well underway, while risis and collapse appears to be guaranteed. The only serious question is when it will occur in an unmistakable manner. But even if that is the case, it’s still worthwhile helping people understand the true source of the trouble.