Naomi Klein: Financial crisis part of Bush 'shock doctrine'
The bailout of Wall Street’s largest players by the federal government is another example of the Bush administration pursuing a corporate agenda at the expense of average Americans, a prominent author argued on Friday.
In a Friday night interview on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Naomi Klein said President Bush’s $700 billion proposal to rescue the financial sector stems from a profiteering streak that has dominated the last eight years.
"The disaster is far from over," Klein said. "The disaster was on Wall Street and they have moved the disaster to Main Street."
Referring to the bailout, Klein said the "bomb has yet to detonate" and that the real crisis will strike when tax payers are overwhelmed when faced with the debt from the bailouts.
According to Klein, the bomb will detonate if Sen. John McCain becomes president and "rationalizes" that it is necessary to privatize government programs like social security and healthcare because neither the government nor Americans can afford them.
"The real disaster has yet to come; the real disaster is the debt that is going to explode on American tax payers," Klein said.
Klein’s book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," outlines how crises, real or perceived, have been used by governments, especially the United States under George W. Bush, to strong-arm a disoriented citizenry into accepting changes to its rights, and its government, that it wouldn't otherwise accept.
But Andrew Sullivan of TheAtlantic.com disagreed with Klein that a few "demonized" companies were at fault when the real culprit behind the mortgage crisis has been the willingness of Americans to
"[The American people] have spent and borrowed more than they could actually support," Sullivan said. "…To some extent, the American people are responsible for the crisis they are currently in."
Klein quickly shot back her own rebuttal.
"The reason why this bubble was allowed to inflate is not because the American people demanded it, it was because it was spectacularly profitable for Wall Street," Klein said.
This video is from HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, broadcast September 19, 2008.
Download video via RawReplay.com