Thursday, February 05, 2009

Billionaire executive trashes Social security and medicare

According to Roger Hickey:
At a press conference today by Wall Street mogul Peter Peterson, he and his invited speakers informed Americans who are losing their jobs and homes in record numbers that our nation’s biggest problem is the national deficit—and that the solution is to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Who is Peter Peterson? Here's what Wikipedia has to say about him:
Peter George Peterson (born June 5, 1926) is an American businessman, investment banker, fiscal conservative, author, and politician whose most prominent political position was as United States Secretary of Commerce from February 29, 1972 to February 1, 1973. He was Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations until retiring on June 30, 2007, after being named chairman emeritus. He is the Senior Chairman of the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group. In 2008, he was ranked 149th on the "Forbes 400 Richest Americans" with a net worth of $2.8 Billion. In 2008, he established The Peter G. Peterson Foundation with a $1 billion endowment.
But the most important piece of information (besides his $2.8 billion net worth) is:
In 1951, he received an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, before returning to Market Facts as an executive vice president.
That, of course, was the height of the influence of Milton Friedman's laissez-faire economic theory at the University of Chicago. Laissez-faire is the basis of
monetary policy, taxation, privatization and deregulation [which has] informed the policy of [right-wing] governments around the globe, especially the administrations of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Margaret Thatcher in Britain, Ronald Reagan in the US, Brian Mulroney in Canada, Roger Douglas in New Zealand, and (after 1989) in many Eastern European countries.
Or as Ronald Reagan more popularly put it: " In this present crisis Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."

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