I can’t get excited anymore by the bizarre mixture of bad news and Wall Street’s opportunism, up and down.  I noted the dog-and-pony show Ben Bernanke put on The News Hour, defending the Federal Reserve’s right to call itself Federal, while refusing to end its secrecy. This secrecy, the Fed says, is necessary. We cannot name names. Any woman sexually abused or threatened will recognize this line.

A group of international, private bankers got Congress to put the U.S. Treasury and us taxpayers in bed with the Fed, but if you’re like me, you’ve begun to suspect it’s an abusive relationship. It’s all beginning to sound like blah, blah, blah, when I know damned well women citizens and taxpayers had better not trust them.

Gloria Steinem, in a talk to about 500 Vermont Woman readers, there for the newspaper’s 5th anniversary, http://www.vermontwoman.com/articles/0609/pubmessage.shtml added a short note of caution to a celebration of what women have wrought in a generation’s time. She asked us to remember what we’d learned from the domestic violence movement. The most dangerous time for any woman in a violent relationship comes when she’s ready to leave.

Take a look at women’s “economic” relationship with the U.S. We continue to be the majority of the poor. Our pay in the job market continues to lag behind men’s, particularly if we are mothers. Clustered in the lower income rates, we get fewer tax advantages, and see half our tax money spent for guns and weapons at the Pentagon. When viewed closely, this economy seems essentially rooted in violence, not only buying and selling weapons to wage war—a very profitable business—but with public policies that arm the rich all over the world—and rob and exploit women and our planet.

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Worldwide, whether the war is economic or literal war, women get overrun, disregarded, or when hurt or killed, counted as “collateral” damage, if at all. Victims, women get blamed and discounted, whether for giving birth, or giving birth to the wrong gender—or as, here, for  not demanding higher salaries, or for being hurt and misshapen by a multi-million dollar advertising industry that “targets” us.

Try drawing a few parallels between physical violence and economic violence, as you look at the Wheel. Male Privilege prevails on Wall Street.  Using Coercion and Threats—that was Paulson’s method for getting TARP money, and now Bernanke is trying to Isolate us,  refusing us information we have a right to know.  You could say Blue Dog Democrats (almost exclusively white males) are Using the Children, calling a public healthcare plan “unaffordable.” These are methods many men will recognize, too. It’s not how healthy relationships or healthy economies function. It is anything but a democracy.

As women grow more economically and politically “independent,” watch out for danger and backlash. Women are much more than victims. We’re survivors and remarkably resilient, in a better position than ever to begin to make a difference in how our economy shapes up in future. Obama has put together a more diverse team in Washington than usual, but we women who aren’t economic wonks also need to put our heads together and do some safety-planning. We may need to build some economic shelters of our own.

For some bad but honest news about the economic perps, see Max Keiser’s July 28, 2009 article


For hopeful policing, see Rep. Bernie Sanders’ letter to the Fed’s Ben Bernanke and his bedfellow, Timothy Geithner. The Fed has made 2.2 TRILLION available to international financial firms since Bears & Stern and Bernie wants to know—to whom did it go?  He suspects Goldman & Sachs paid back its TARP funds so it could give out outlandish bonuses—in other words, The Fed may have made money available to them under the Fed table, to pay bonuses to the guys who hit us with the latest crash.