There were no bank failures this week that I know of, so it appears we have another week of suspense to see if last year's total will be topped. The bank failure situation, like damn near everything else in our economy, and in our political life, has reached the point of what, in the internet community, has become known as Epic Fail. George W. Bush was Epic Fail personified, but he was not the cause, and probably not even the worst example of it. Epic Fail has been building up in our economy, or government, our whole society, because of one thing: the two party system. When power is concentrated into the hands of a few, as it currently is with the Republican and Democrat parties, it is far easier for the mega-rich to buy influence, and thus have a "get out of jail free" card. This is becoming painfully obvious as the mega-banks have been proven to have conducted fraudulent, and probably felonious, behavior during and after the housing bubble, yet have been "punished" by being handed billions of dollars in tax money, while the Federal Reserve holds interest rates artificially low to liquify the banks at your expense, leaving your children and grandchildren a staggering debt. And it hasn't mattered which party was in power, has it? From 2002 to 2006 the Republicans were given a chance by the voters to right the ship, but they failed. The Democrats were then handed the duty in 2006, and equally failed. In 2008, we elected someone who was not only inexperienced, but a black guy to boot, because we were desperate for radical change. What did we get? More of the same. Epic Fail.
I once heard a Libertarian candidate (for what I don't remember) describe the difference between Democrats and Republicans like this: "One wants to drive us off the cliff at 100 mph, the other wants to drive us off at 95 mph." This pre-election rant isn't meant to influence anyone's voting, but if you do vote this week, my recommendation is vote for a third party candidate. Any third party candidate, even if he is a wingnut. Then, in 2 years vote him out and vote in another third party candidate. If we do that long enough, there will be enough political parties in Washington that buying them all off will become a very expensive proposition. If we don't, and we keep ping-ponging between Democrats and Republicans, we will end up arguing over crap like abortion and gay marriage while the banks continue to pillage the U.S. Treasury. Then in sometime around 2025, there will be a big banner, somewhere near the picture of Chairman Mao in Beijing, with a picture of the American flag, and the caption "Epic Fail".