Back in 2008, capitalism went belly up. Remember that?
Credit markets froze. Banks failed. Hell, banks couldn't even figure out what assets they actually owned and what they owed to others. The mortgage system completely collapsed. The markets stopped working.
But the United States government (that is, we the people) bailed out the capitalists because, gee, we didn't really seem to have any choice. Nope, no choice, but to hand them hundreds of billions of our hard-earned dollars (and euros and yen and....).
And in return for that desperate, generous action....we the people have been totally screwed.
I woke up this morning to find that Standard and Poor's had downgraded the credit rating of the United States to AA+, which could cost us, the people, another $100 billion in interest costs per year. And why did SandP do this? Because they didn't think we'd cut spending enough.
Cuts to spending were (and are) a Republican political position, with many a position of extremism to the point of disloyalty to their own citizens (in terms of the impact). As polls have showed again and again, a majority of Americans did and do not approve of the path taken by the Congress and the President.
How is it possible then that a private company can simply decide that it doesn't think the government went far enough, and push us closer to an economic failure?
SandP is not some mysterious entity. It is owned by McGraw-Hill and is led by specific, individual human beings. These people made this decision. They did not have to do this. The other two credit ratings agencies (also private, which really makes no sense at all, correct?) did not change their rating.
Capitalism died. We resurrected capitalism, and then the capitalists waged (well, to be honest, continued to wage) war on the citizens of the United States for their own personal enrichment. Millions lose jobs, health care, health, quality of life, homes. Millions upon millions, and the Tea Party, backed by extremely wealthy capitalists, keeps pushing our economy and democracy to the brink of outright failure.
They hate our government, the government of the people (not corporations). They want to be free of government constraints, and we (some of us) have elected/invited these destructive, greedy people into our government so they can destroy it.
So who are the individuals at SandP/McGraw-Hill who took this action? It's time to focus some outrage on the bastards who are destroying America. Here's a link to the McGraw-Hill board of directors. Here's a link to the SandP executives.
Enemies of the People of the United States
Deven Sharma, President, Standard and Poor's
Paul Coughlin, Executive Managing Director, Corporates and Government Ratings, Standard and Poor's
For a much more intelligent (less rant-rich) analysis of the role of Standard and Poor's, check out this Nation article.