LaRouche Speaks for the 80% of
Voters Being Ignored by the
The following is Lyndon H. LaRouche's opening statement to a webcast Wilmington, Delaware town meeting attended by 200 people on Feb. 4, the eve of state's primary election.
There are two things I'd like to start with as observations on recent developments. First, on the lessons to be learned in general from the recent New Hampshire primary, both the Republican and Democratic primary; and secondly, some rumblings which have broken out in the middle of this week, which portend another great financial crisis, resembling that which struck New York during August and September of 1998. I'll comment on both to set the stage for what we have to consider tonight, in terms of the realities of the immediate moment.
The New Hampshire primary
Now, in an election like the New Hampshire primary, if you have at this stage--if you're accurate within 5% of the total vote, you've got an unusually accurate count. But if you take that margin of error into account, certain things are very obvious to us.
First, that on the eve of the election, the polls taken on behalf of the Republican and Democratic parties indicated a very close race, with Gore with an advantage on the Democratic side, and Bush and McCain more or less equal on the Republican side. Now, this poll was based on the core Democratic and Republican voting machines, not on the general population of New Hampshire as a whole.
But then, as you know, after the election results were reported, McCain had clobbered Bush by a landslide, and Gore had a slight advantage--perhaps. We don't know yet, because the vote isn't fully counted--but a slight advantage over Senator Bradley.
Now, behind that story, is a very important development: the independent voters of New Hampshire. First of all, for example, the Democrats expected 50,000 voters to turn out for the Democratic primary. About 90,000 are reported to have turned out. So, therefore, what you saw, with the near overturn of Gore's candidacy by Bradley, was the turnout of independent voters who voted, on the Democratic side, to block Gore.
On the Republican side, you have an overwhelming turnout of independent voters to destroy George Bush's candidacy. And people in New Hampshire were more terrified of the prospect of a George W. Dumb Bush, than they were of a Gore. They'd rather be covered with Gore than ruled by Bush; that was sort of the sentiment among the independents.
Now, what that shows, is a national phenomenon which those of you in Delaware know something about: that the lower 80% of the American public, which was technically eligible to file to vote, and do vote, is increasingly unrepresented by both political party machines, and by elected officials, especially at the highest levels.
Most people in the lower 80% of the family-income brackets, have been cut off from any really effective representation. In the lower brackets, you are permitted to choose among the propositions presented to you by a controlled, or a Wall Street-controlled, or a London-controlled mass media. You're not allowed to introduce your own agenda!
Then the politicians come out before the news media, they answer "Aye," "Yes," or "No," or "Maybe," on the questions posed by the news media, and it's over.
For example, in this situation, we are now faced with the greatest financial crisis in modern history, certainly in the past hundred years. We don't know exactly when the bust is going to come. It could come tomorrow morning or Monday morning, or Tuesday. We don't know. But it's coming on, and it will hit. And in its present form, it can't be stopped. This system is going down.
So you have people talking about a big, fat tax bonanza for the coming years. They're talking about how to cut up this great bonanza, and to cut taxes for the rich, not for the poor, but for the rich, on the basis of this tax bonanza. It's never going to happen!
They say that the country is more prosperous than ever before, but they say we can no longer afford the health care we used to afford, we can no longer provide the Social Security we used to pay, we can no longer provide the education we used to guarantee, we can't maintain our public streets and so forth, and our schools and neighborhoods. A few things, which are mostly tar paper shacks with Hollywood pretensions of grandeur, are tacked on. Houses that you wouldn't buy 20 years ago, are being sold for $300-500,000, $600,000 mortgages today, because we don't employ people who know how to build houses. We employ labor that's very cheap and unskilled. It's cheaper. And the suckers will buy the houses, because that's what they've got.
So, we're in a mess. But the lower 80% of the population, in terms of family-income brackets, know this. They just feel the situation is hopeless, and they have to learn to find alternatives within what the boys on top will offer as alternatives. They are not in there saying, "This is wrong, the policy has to change." They're saying, "Please give us some relief from the horrible things you're doing to us. And maybe if we support this bozo, maybe this bozo will give us better treatment than the other bozo will, or maybe we have an in with a friend of this bozo, who will do us a little favor." That's what we've got.
But what happened in New Hampshire, shows that that is not the way things are necessarily going to go. When the 80% of the lower income brackets of the families of America, begin to turn out and vote against intrinsically corrupt political machines that run the Democratic and Republican Party from the top, when that happens, you say there's a sign of something rumbling underneath; when the voters have a chance to express their view.
Now, there has to be some optimism, otherwise they won't do it. Despite what they tried to do to me in New Hampshire and my candidacy, we did break through. I was totally blacked out. You mention to the news media that I exist, and they'll walk the other way, walk to the other side of town, and pretend that that day didn't exist when this happened. That's the kind of treatment I was getting.
But nonetheless, we were busy campaigning. People were laughing about my ads on radio up there, comparing this collection of clowns to a bunch of bozos, saying, "What--is the American public so dumb they'll vote for these bozos, instead of getting a real candidate!? "
And most people agree with that. Most ordinary people agree. These are bozos! Everybody knows George Bush is the dumbest man in America of any notability, that Gore lies. They all know it. They all know what these guys are. But they sit and they say, "What can we do about it?"
So, once the American people, in a time of crisis, get a smell that maybe there's a little opening to express the truth--as I've said many times, as you know, most Americans lie. It's considered polite lying. Company comes, the hosts lie to the company, the company lies to the host, and they both go away smiling, both knowing they lied, but both very happy to have had the evening together, eh? That's typical Americans: They go along to get along.
And they lie about everything, because it's expected of them. That's how you get along, by lying. But somewhere within you, you smell the truth. And you may smell at least what is not true, even if you don't know what the truth is. And that's what happened in New Hampshire.
Rumblings in the financial markets
Now, in the meantime, we had some rumbling. We haven't gotten to the bottom of it now, but we know it's big. In the derivatives market and in the bond market, there's a big rumbling going on internationally. And it's centered on the question of U.S. Treasury bonds.
The big money is running out of the speculative things they were going into, like derivatives; and they're running in to buy 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds and similar so-called quality paper. They're running out of the junk, out of the junk bonds, out of the junk stocks, out of the mutual funds, out of the other gambling, financial gambling, like the Internet stock bubble. They're getting scared, at least at the top layers. And something is going on. A big Tiger Fund, some other fund, some other big fund, is about to go under, or something like that.
Now, this does not mean that that's the beginning and end of the problem. In fact, the whole world is collapsing.
Let's just take a quick inventory. I've gone through this before, but it's a good idea to go through it again.
What's happening in the Americas? As you know, Ecuador is disintegrating. As you should know, Venezuela is disintegrating. Colombia is disintegrating. Brazil is ready to explode. Argentina is disintegrating.
All of southern Africa, with a few pockets of exception, is disintegrating in one of the worst genocides in modern times. In Asia, Indonesia, one of the largest nations of the world, is disintegrating under IMF policies.
Then look at the pattern since 1998, the summer. When the crisis broke out, the financial crisis, or the Russian bond crisis, and the Long Term Capital Management crisis, and the Al Gore crisis--because Al Gore was up to his neck; he was owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by Long Term Capital Management--that when this crisis broke out, wars began to break out.
The first war that broke out, was that Al Gore and his friends, while the President was tied up with this crazy Starr Chamber proceeding in the summer of 1998, Al Gore and his friends inside the administration, launched a bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, for which there was no justified reason. This was a crime. It was done by Al Gore and his like-thinking people in the administration, behind the back of the President of the United States, Bill Clinton.
Then, in September, you had a major crisis, when the truth about the Wall Street crisis and the bailout of Long Term Capital Management, occurred. Then, although President Clinton had said, in September, in an address to the New York crowd, that he was thinking about revamping the international financial system, they came down on him hard. In October, he capitulated to that crowd.
Then Al Gore and others began to push for a renewed bombing of Iraq, for no good reason. The President resisted in November. But, under the pressure of the impeachment, Al Gore and his friends got it through in December.
In the meantime, Al Gore had gone to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and insulted the Prime Minister of Malaysia, in a way which in Mexico would get you shot. He stormed in, delivered a lying, filthy speech, and stormed out, with Madeleine Albright behind him, both ways.
Then Al Gore and his friends got the bombing of Iraq started. Then, the impeachment goes on. In the middle of the impeachment process, while the President is tied up, the same crowd begins to push for a war in the Balkans, under British pressure. And Al Gore and his girlfriend, Madeleine Albright, are pushing with the British for it. So we got an unnecessary, avoidable war in the Balkans. As a result of that war, the situation in the Balkans is far worse than it was before the war. The conditions of people in that area are far worse. It was a mistake.
Now, following that war, there's a spread of war from the Balkans into Central Asia, and into the North Caucasus region. That is, a group of terrorists, controlled from London, tied to the Iran-Contra operation of George Bush and Company back in the 1980s, these terrorists, who used to be on George Bush's Iran-Contra payroll, were deployed into Central Asia and into North Caucasus as terrorists from Chechnya, to invade neighboring Dagestan.
All right, this set forth an operation of war, which I've referred to in earlier, publicized televised reports. At the same time, the same crew, based out of Pakistan and so forth, the same Iran-Contra mob, directed from London, deployed terrorists into Kashmir against India and got a near-war started between India and Pakistan. Following that, you had the overthrow of the government in Pakistan, and then you have, now, an escalation of an attempt to get a war started between India and Pakistan, the same kind of process.
If you look around the world, you see, with these kinds of problems, you have on the one side, economic and financial crises. On the other side, you have the spread of war. In between, you have the rumblings that the whole financial system may come down, and you have a President who is scared to death and capitulating to the pressures of the people who nearly threw him out of office, and still want to put him and his wife and child, if possible, in prison as soon as possible, maybe kill them. That's the kind of problem we have.
The real issues are being ignored
In this mess, where the whole system's about to come down, then what do they get? You get the New York crowd steps in, and gives you George W. Bush, the dumbest man of notability in America, a mass killer. The whole Bush League--you've got the father, who's crazy, and the sons, who are a pair of thugs. And both dumb, one dumber than the other.
So they took the dumbest one, George Bush, and they decided to make him President. Who wants to make George Bush President of the United States, in the face of the worst crisis the United States has had since the 1930s and World War II? Who would do a thing like that?
Who wants to take the crookedest man in the Democratic Party, Al Gore, and make him President of the United States under these kinds of circumstances; a man who wants to start war, who lashes out, who is emotionally unstable, dangerously, emotionally unstable? Who wants to do that?
Well, the New York crowd wants to do that. The machinery at the top of the party wants to do that. People who should know better in the Democratic Party, go along to get along, the way the pressure goes. For example, about 1,700 people were deployed, under the direction of the National Committee of the Democratic National Committee, into New Hampshire, to try to organize a fixed vote among what they thought were going to be 50,000 eligible New Hampshire voters. Seventeen hundred people, including Federal officials, sent, under DNC direction, sent in to try to rig the results of the election among 50,000 voters in the state of New Hampshire. And they got a little surprise, because 90,000 turned out.
Who would do that to us? Who would say, "The American people are no longer to be trusted with examining the political figures put before them for the highest office in the nation"? Who is it that, when we have the worst military, financial, economic crisis in recent history in the past 30 years, would want to put these kind of bozos into power by rigged ballots? Who says that under these circumstances, the American people have no right to discuss the real issues that may determine the fate of themselves, their children, and grandchildren?
Who says that health-care is a problem, simply because of this or that, when we know the whole system has been destroyed from the top, by people that nobody is challenging? They're talking about who's going to give it a little money for this, give them a little money for that. But the basic thing that was done, is not challenged.
Who is actually talking about what has to be done in education, to provide our young people an actual education, as opposed to who's going to give somebody a voucher to pay some shark to give them a bum education, because parents are terrified of sending their children to a school where they may get killed? So, they'd rather send them to a place where they get no education and where they think they're safe--many parents.
These issues are not addressed. They talk about guns in the street; that's not the problem. It wasn't guns in the street that caused the problem at the Columbine School in Colorado. It was the programs going on in the school itself, programs being pushed on the Internet, like Nintendo-type games programs, which train people to learn to kill by instinct, with no compunction.
The children who were involved in this, were subjected to precisely that kind of training, partly in the school and partly as after-school entertainment and training. And they went in, not because of the guns. They went in because they were determined to kill. A gun never, of its own volition, killed anyone. Somebody had to use it. Guns are dangerous, only when the wrong person is using it with the wrong motivation.
Who is turning the children in our schools into killers with Nintendo-type games on the Internet or other means? Why don't we address these problems? Parents know this is going on, parents are frightened and terrified by the fact that they know this is going on. They're frightened about what's going to happen to their schools. They're frightened about what's happening to their children.
And people are talking: "Should we give vouchers?" Sure, the citizen wants a voucher, to send their child perhaps to a school where there won't be a shooting. But it will go there, too. And the real issue about educating our population is not addressed.
The American people have to take charge
So, what do we require? What we require, is, the American people are going to have to take charge of their own country, or we're not going to make it. Because, despite all our weaknesses--and our strength as a nation is greatly exaggerated--we have the ability to bomb a lot of people, but we really don't have war-winning quality of military strength any more. So, talking about the United States going to war, is going into a bloody charade, not winning a victory over anything. We don't have it. We still have the power of a nation, however. We are a key nation. We have a history. That history is respected, although often our present government is not. But our history is respected around the world, as I can tell you, as I deal with these things in many countries.
But people around the world, wish us to return to the legacy of our history, our struggle for freedom: the legacy of Lincoln, the legacy of Roosevelt, which is what the best people in the world think of the United States as its legacy. They wish we would go back to that, and would use our power as a nation, to help create the situation, in cooperation with other nations, to solve some of the problems of the world at large. That's what they wish.
It's what people in Mexico or other parts of Central America or South America wish. What do they want from the United States? They want the same thing that the image of Benjamin Franklin evokes to them, the same image of Lincoln; the image of Franklin Roosevelt, with his Good Neighbor Policy. The image of Jack Kennedy as President with his policy toward the Americas. They want that kind of cooperation.
What do people ask of me in Africa, from southern African countries? They want the same thing. What do people in Europe want from us? The same thing. What do people in Asia want from us? The same thing.
If we become that again, we have great influence and great power in bringing nations together in forms of cooperation which are necessary for the benefit of us all. That's our power. That's what the Presidency really represents.
Now, we, the American people, have to take that power back. We have a precedent for doing that in this past century, when Franklin Roosevelt, coming out of a situation in the 1920s where the top income brackets were just as crazy, or almost as crazy as they are today, in which most of the people of the United States, as I'm old enough to recall, were poor, were suffering, were neglected, were what Roosevelt called in his 1932 campaign for the Presidency, "the Forgotten Man."
Well today, we don't say "forgotten man," we say "forgotten man and woman." The people in the lower 80% of the family-income brackets in the United States, are the forgotten men and women of the United States today, as they were in the time that Roosevelt ran for election in 1932.
And they don't count. You hear it from the politicians, you hear it from Al Gore. Al Gore says, "We go to the middle in politics." What does he mean by "the middle"? "The middle" for Al Gore is the upper 20% of the income brackets. Not the top 2%, but the 18% below the top 2%, the people who rely upon Wall Street financial windfalls for the credit in which to go so deeply into debt as they do.
They say they want to keep things the way they are. They don't want to change. They don't want people in the lower 80% of the population, threatening their way of life, their "shareholder value" way of life.
And we see in health care, we see in education, we see in Social Security, we see in tax policy, the effort is to cut, cut, cut the welfare of the lower 80% of the family-income bracket, the forgotten men and women of America. Let them suffer to protect the way of life which the upper 20% believes they have.
It's the same problem. More vicious today than it was when I was a young fellow, but it's the same problem. And it's the same solution.
Revive Roosevelt's policy
Today, what we have to have, is a revival of Roosevelt's essential policy. Now, there are many things that Franklin Roosevelt did, I wouldn't agree with. But that's all right. The point is, he had a central policy. The policy was, that the foundation of the principle of law on which the United States was founded and must continue to exist, is the principle of the General Welfare. This was a new principle of law, first introduced into European civilization in the 15th century, the latter part, with Louis XI of France and Henry VII of England after him.
This is the policy that government has no legitimate authority, except its duty to its responsibility to protect and promote the General Welfare of all present living persons, and posterity; to develop the land area, to develop the population, to protect the process of development, for all of the people.
That's the moral authority and responsibility of government. That is what's enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution as promotion of the General Welfare.
So, President Roosevelt came to power, fighting for the General Welfare, using the intrinsic authority of the government under our Constitution, to defend the General Welfare against Wall Street and people like that. And also the Supreme Court of the time, which was almost as bad as it is today.
And that was what Roosevelt's fight was. And about all the things he did, whether they were good or bad, in particular, the essential goodness of Roosevelt, is that he was committed to the Constitutional principle upon which the United States was founded, which we represent in the world, more than any other nation historically: a commitment to defend all of the people equally, and their posterity.
We must go back to that. Now, what is the foundation of that? The foundation of that is the citizen who is willing to rise above greed and special advantage, and say, "What we want" is the same thing that Martin Luther King did in leading the civil right movement. He didn't say "We want this for black people, that for black people." He said, "No, you must have justice for the African-American. But the way you get that justice, is by fighting for the same rights for all people. We must make these rights efficiently universal rights."
And we must fight for the General Welfare in that way. That's what it is today.
The problem lies inside ourselves
What we have to do, is to get you people, and people like you, who represent, predominantly, by sheer numbers, the lower 80% of family-income brackets. You have to cooperate with your neighbor, who may be African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, labor organizer, or simply a retired citizen, which is almost an oppressed race these days in the United States. You have to turn to that neighbor and say, "Let us join together to fight for the General Welfare." And if we defend the General Welfare, and have a government that defends the General Welfare, then we can turn to that government, and present to them our case for our particular issue in the General Welfare. And if we have that kind of government, that plea will be heard and be honored.
If we mobilize the majority of the American people behind the idea of coming together around the principle on which the nation was founded, the principle of the General Welfare, we have the power, despite the mass media, despite all other kinds of forces, to take this government back again, as Roosevelt led in taking the government back some years ago.
So the problem lies in ourselves. As I said the other day in a webcast with some people predominantly in Delaware, that when I look at the American people, I see them in front of their television sets, instead of in the streets or instead of in politics. I see them sitting there, in their misery, in front of television sets. And what do I see?
My mind goes back to the time of the Roman Emperors, and just before, in the first century B.C., and then under the Emperors later, up through Diocletian. And what I see, is the Roman proletariat, that is, the lower classes of these subjects of the Roman Empire, especially in the city of Rome, marching regularly to get their bread, their dole, their pass-out, their welfare, and marching into the Colosseum, into the grandstands in the Colosseum, where they, many of them Christians, would watch the lions eating Christians, for entertainment.
Now, if you look at what you're seeing nightly on the television set, whether it's called "movies" or whether it's called the "nightly news," whatever it is, what you're seeing is an American citizen, usually in the lower 80% of family-income brackets, frightened and bored, trying to escape from reality, from the reality of horrible circumstances around them, to try to dull their minds with games: watching sports games, like World Class Wrestling. That's a real uplifting moral exercise, eh?
One thing that happened in Minnesota: They got one guy out of the business and made him governor. Took him off the screen.
But in any case, it's this violence. It's sex and violence, blood and violence. What is it? How different is television today, from the average Americans sitting in front of the television set, how different from that of a proletarian, a Christian, sitting in the grandstand, and watching the lions eat Christians for entertainment in ancient Rome?
The problem is that you, who represent or typify the lower 80% of the family-income brackets, have withdrawn from the idea of yourself as a citizen, who has inherently the right and power to shape government, by organizing yourselves as the majority to march into the polls and select government, and to select the issues on which this government will be selected.
You instead, are allowing yourself to be entertained, to sit in front of a television set, to watch election campaigns, exactly as the Romans watched Christians being eaten by lions. To watch the nightly news that way, to watch the nightly campaign news that way, to watch entertainment that way, to watch the talk shows that way.
You're not there. You're a spectator sitting in the grandstands, until you walk out of the grandstands, and they get you in the streets, and you say, "We made a mistake in the election."
So the problem here is, we have to put you back in the arena, where you belong, where you outnumber the enemy, outnumber the opposition. You've got to organize yourself, take over.
Leadership in the impending crisis
Now, all I can do as a candidate, is I can provide the catalysis, the lessons, the ideas, the conceptions, and the leadership, to help you do what you can not do without such leadership: Pull yourselves together around ideas that work. Force the discussion of ideas that work.
And on the basis of you, not on the basis of the polls, not on the basis of what the news media tell you, not on the basis of what the political machines tell you, on the basis of you yourself having the good sense and guts to meet with your neighbor, who may represent a slightly different constituency than you associate yourself with, to unite in a common cause for the General Welfare of all, and to tackle our problems in that way.
Now, what do we have to do, specifically? We don't know the date, as I said, we don't know exactly how or when. There are too many political ifs, ands, or buts as to how the crisis will occur. That the crisis will occur, is certain. It is already occurring. It's occurring around the world, the news media just doesn't tell you.
You have the President of the United States saying, "We've got a bonanza, a multitrillion-dollar bonanza, and we have to carve this bonanza up to give it back to the taxpayers, give it back to the taxpayer." There is no bonanza to give back! It doesn't exist, it never will. It's a lie, it's a big lie. It's the lie that was spread at Davos, at a conference where the President spoke this past week. It's a lie. It's not true. But the President's afraid to tell anything but lies. He gets in trouble if he doesn't.
Because he has no support from you. You saw that the time when the President was in trouble, my wife and I and others, did things internationally, as well as in the United States, to try to mobilize the American people, especially the Democratic Party, to stop the impeachment process against the President. It worked. We stopped it.
But you see, that without that kind of role, from us and people like us, the President has no base of support. He has no real base of support in the Democratic National Committee, in the political machines that run the Democratic Party top-down. There's liars and racists and whatnot that run the party from the top-down. He has no support from those quarters.
He's terrified, that without their support, without their backing, he doesn't know what's going to happen to him, his wife, and child, after he leaves office. What if Bush were to become President? Well, don't you think that Hillary and Bill would end up in prison, maybe killed? Don't you know that's true?
What support does the President have from the people? Only occasionally, when some of us mobilize it. And they try to get us out of the picture, because without our intervention, I tell you, without our intervention in August through September of 1998, the President would have been impeached. The little we did, in getting many Democrats to mobilize and others to mobilize against that frame-up, saved the President from impeachment. And without that, it wouldn't have happened.
If you don't have that factor in politics of leadership, the President can't function. A President can not function up in thin air, disembodied. The President must have a base of support in the American people, not in the so-called middle, not in the so-called suburban vote, but among ordinary American people. And he foolishly has cut himself off from that, under influence of Al Gore.
Okay, what are we going to have to do? Assuming the President doesn't make the mistake that Clinton has made in recent times, since 1996, when he went along with this welfare reform with Gingrich, as demanded by Gore; assuming that mistake is not made; assuming I'm President, what do we do?
We're in a crisis. Well, what does Clinton do if he knows that I've got a chance of winning, and he doesn't have to worry about being framed up when he goes out of office? What do we do?
We respond to the crisis, when the American people wake up to the fact that it's here. And instead of saying, "Let's hope it never comes" (which is what most people are telling themselves now), when they reach the effect of the Pearl Harbor effect, the day the "bombs" drop on Wall Street, they say, "It's happened. You can't pretend it didn't happen."
And they turn to Washington, and they say, "Save us! Save us!" And they turn to their government, and quite rightly say, "Save us!" What does government do, as Roosevelt did when he announced the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the 7th and 8th of December 1941; what he did when he first became President: "There's nothing to fear but fear itself."
Government leadership must take responsibility for assuring the American people that something will be done, that it can be done, and that there are understandable solutions to be applied. And there are.
Once the American people, the 80% especially, are assured that they have a President who will use the powers of the United States government, with their support, to save them from what they fear, the American people will know exactly what to do, as they did in World War II, or any other great crisis of our nation. That kind of leadership.
Now, that's the first rule. Under those conditions, there's nothing about this financial crisis we can't solve.
A New Bretton Woods System
Go back to 1944. Look at the conditions in 1944, as a group of people under Franklin Roosevelt's sponsorship, were meeting in Bretton Woods, a hotel under the shadow of Mount Washington, to form what became the first postwar international monetary system.
At that time, it was obvious by 1944, that the world's economic situation was a shambles. It was a hopeless situation. And Roosevelt acted, together with other governments, to design the principles of a postwar monetary system, which, with all its faults, worked. It is the system which enabled Europe to recover, it enabled the United States, through Marshall Plan aid, to export to Europe, which is how the U.S. economy recovered in the postwar period; and it enabled Europe to recover, and spread some good in other parts of the world, though not enough.
It worked through 1958-1959, it continued to work as long as Kennedy was President. And then, shortly after Kennedy's death, it began to fall apart. In 1971, it came to an end. . . . And then, with Carter, the whole thing went down the tube, with his deindustrialization; all the Carter reforms, which were Trilateral Commission reforms.
And then the Trilateral Commission policies were continued, under the Reagan administration. And they were continued, in a more exaggerated form, under Trilateral Commission former member George Bush. And they've been continued, under inertia, under President Clinton.
The world situation is becoming progressively worse and worse. That's what our problem is. This system, especially the post-1971 international financial and monetary system, is finished. It's going to break down, it's doomed. Nothing can save it.
What do we do? The President of the United States goes back to 1944, turns to you, the American people, and says, "We used to have a system that worked. It had many faults. Many mistakes were included. But it worked. Since 1971, we have evolved a new financial system, which does not work. Now you see the disaster you have as a result. My proposed action, emergency action today, is to go back to the system that worked as a starting point, and to cancel the system that didn't."
That's what we mean by a New Bretton Woods System. Now, if the President of the United States, in the time of a world crisis--I can tell you, if I were President of the United States today, this would work. I can assure you. Because people around the world know me, people of relevance. In France, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, India, other countries where I'm well-known, or Mexico or South American countries where I'm well-known--do you think, that if I stood up as President of the United States, and said, "I want to do this, I want you to join me in doing what we did in 1944 at Bretton Woods, only correcting a few of the mistakes that were made at the same time," do you think they wouldn't come running? You think we wouldn't get a deal, we wouldn't get an agreement?
We'd get an instant agreement, and it would succeed. And it would succeed if you, the American people, were inspired to believe it was going to succeed. Because with hard work and difficulties, we can accomplish the kinds of miracles we accomplished in the 1930s and coming out of the Depression; we can accomplish the kind of economic miracles, which enabled us to win World War II, and rebuild the postwar economy. We can do it again. And we have the friends, who are willing to cooperate with us, who desire to cooperate with us, in other countries, who would help us to make it work.
And all the people in most parts of the world want, is simply a better world. And we have the means of doing so. We don't have to invent some totally newfangled idea which nobody's tested to do that. We simply have to recognize, one thing worked, another didn't. So let's learn our lesson, go back to what did work, and start from there, to make the improvements and changes that have to be made.
But scrap this thing. It was a big mistake. When a firm goes bankrupt, what do you do? You put it into bankruptcy. What do the bankruptcy judges and others do, if they're not corrupt? (And unfortunately, many are; but that's another story.) What do you do? You say, "What part of the firm is viable? What part of the firm or the bank is necessary for the community? We're going to save the part of the bank or other business which is necessary for the community. We're going to keep it functioning. We're going to keep the depositors alive, if it's a bank. And on that basis, then we're going to proceed to rebuild the viable part of the operation, get it back on its feet, make it grow again, and we're simply going to write off, in bankruptcy, the part that can not be salvaged."
And you'd do the same thing with economic policies. We have a bankrupt system, you have over $300 trillion of worthless assets sitting on top of the whole system, short-term assets, like derivatives. It has to be just plain written off! We have to write off--imagine!--we have to write off, by governments, write off $300 trillion and more of short-term and related purely speculative financial paper, and get that off the back, sucking the back off the system. We have to get that off.
And we have to get back to bone, reorganize debts that should be paid, like government debt. Make sure they're paid in the future, secure the family savings of families, keep local businesses going, make them grow, build up some infrastructure, get people out of worthless jobs into jobs that actually create some wealth, do these things we've learned how to do before. And let things grow again.
There's no paradise involved here. It's just the chance to get off a road that leads into the swamp, the sewer, and get back into a way which means something.
`We come like an angel'
There's one final thing about this: motivation. What makes people small, is an obsession with personal physical pleasure, or other kinds of pleasure as such. Entertainment pleasure.
Because, as we know, we're all born, and we're all eventually going to die. So, if we're smart, we sit down at times, as most parents and grandparents do, when they think about their grandchildren and what comes after that. And we say, "What does our mortal life mean? What is there in this business between being born and dying, that means something of importance about us? What is worth dying for?" What is so important to your life, that you'll die for it? The question that many a soldier has had to face. Not whether the corporal would shoot him, but there were other reasons involved.
Because we as individuals, through the fact that we contribute something from the past by adopting the best ideas from the past, using those and passing them on to the future, and adding something useful to what was given to us to pass on to the future, that we've become a necessary person in the connection between past and future.
And therefore, we come like an angel. We're born, we accomplish something, and we pass on. But what we bring with us, in that kind of life, endures forever.
Now, to be a citizen, is to think like that. To be a happy citizen, especially, is to think like that, is to accept the circumstances of mortality, but to use that mortality in such a way that you can die with a smile on your face, knowing that you came like an angel, you did what was necessary, what you were there to do, and you moved on. And the world and humanity are better for your having lived. And therefore, you have a permanent importance in all eternity. That's what a true citizen thinks.
So, you come to a time like this, a time of great and dangerous crisis. Think of the mass death in Africa that's going on now. Just the AIDS alone is enough to horrify you. Think of what's happening in Venezuela, Colombia, other countries of South America. Think what's happening in various parts of Asia.
Think of these conditions, and say, "Do we have something to do?" Of course we have something to do. Don't be pessimistic. We are angels. We are come to do some good for humanity. And let us be happy with the fact that we're here to do it. And as long as we're doing what we can do with our individual lives, we have nothing of which to be ashamed. We have nothing to fear, in terms of our sense of personal identity. And we have no reason to fear that we shouldn't be respected by people around us.
We should have a sense of equality: All angels are equal. Forget the color of skin, forget all this nonsense that is used to try to divide one from the other--forget it! We all should be angels, in that sense. And if we can approach this crisis before us with the sense, we are going to stop being fools, we're not going to sit in front of television sets and degrade ourselves, acting like proletarians, sitting in this grandstand in the arena, watching lions eat Christians.
We are at this point, at this point, we are going to take this terrible world, we are going to get out of these chairs, we're going to get out from behind that television set in its present form, and we're going to do something to make this world better, because we have only a few years--decades, perhaps, but only a few years, left before us. And we're going to do something with that life of ours, that means something.
And now, instead of trying to find pleasure from cheap entertainment, we'll take joy from being alive. Thank you.