After 9/11, a "cabal of extremist billionaires" escalated a class war that has crushed the American people and threatened the world, Gerald Caplan writes in the Globe & Mail. "There are more filthy rich folks now than at any other moment in history," he writes, but wounded war veterans have been neglected, and 9/11 first responders nearly lost their health care when the GOP made a politically scary gamble to save the Bush tax cuts. "Writ small, this is the history of the post-9/11 world."
Drawing on ideas of Naomi Klein, Caplan sees radically free market policies dominating the world since 9/11, from Iraq oil reserves to private mercenary armies to public facilities closed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Then came "the catastrophic economic collapse engineered by the geniuses of Wall Street," and "the latest elite consensus"—austerity programs—which have hurt people even more. "Osama bin Laden inflicted a terrible crime on the American people," writes Caplan. "America’s elites and their allies have done the rest."