A note about our current economic crisis: This is the very scenario about which Naomi Klein in her book, The Shock Doctrine, warned us. To wit: During social chaos (sometimes manufactured) there are oligarchic forces at work to take advantage of the crisis situation and rake in billions (trillions?) of dollars, as they diminish freedoms and livelihoods of ordinary people and permanently restructure governments, economies, and societies to their lasting benefit.
This is one of those times, such as what happened to Russia (the Chicago School of shock capitalism), the U.S. (post-9/11 with the freedom-diminishing Patriot Act and 1984/Brave New World permanent warfare, etc.), Iraq (privileging of U.S. construction and private-contracting companies, etc.), New Orleans (post-Katrina dismantling of public education), and others. In each case, a crisis was used to ratchet up oligarchic control with subsequent losses of freedom and concomitant economic takeover. And, now the U.S. economy.
Times are dire; and evil forces, I would sincerely say, are at work. They strike during chaotic times when social defenses are down. Chicago-School economist Milton Friedman was quite clear when he set up the principles for the methodology of economic blitzkrieg during crisis. This week, Newt Gringrich et al. have already been promoting a plan. In fact, plans are always awaiting the crisis. That crisis time is now.
Forgive my dramatic tone of gravitas, but $700 billion should indicate how menacing and serious is the takeover attempt by the oligarchs. (Is this a form of state capitalism, reminiscent of the Soviet Union?) Now is the time to make democracy, both economic and political, work for the benefit of the huge many--or it, I'm afraid, will soon be slipping away.