Category: Economics & Finance
According to Salvador Astucia, the singlemost important reason behind the assassination of JFK was JFK’s attempt to establish détente with the Soviet Union. Let’s see why this was a big issue.
Posted by R-news on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 01:54 PM in Books, Economics & Finance, Education, Global Elitism, History, Media, Military Matters, Political analysis, That Question Again, U.S. Politics, World Affairs
Given the ‘ecological turn’ recently in this corner of cyberspace I recalled a thought that I had some time ago on using ecological concepts heuristically in connection to political analysis.
I came upon the work of Frederick Parker-Rhodes in my quest for the ideal computer language, which I have elsewhere on MR discussed in relation to Heidegger’s “as” structure and GW’s ontology project. Recent work in theoretical physics has provided empirical validation to his “wildly eccentric” views—which managed to provide a priori derivations of the dimensionless scaling constants of physics from his ontology detailed in his book “The Theory of Indistinguishables”. To be brief, there is his “combinatorial hierarchy” that derives from FRP’s attempt to find the underlying mathematical structure of what he called “wholesight”.
Below the fold is an excerpt from “Wholesight: The Spirit Quest” by Frederick Parker-Rodes…
Posted by James Bowery on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 01:08 AM in Art & Design, Christianity, Economics & Finance, Environmentalism & Global Warming, Global Elitism, Globalisation, Science & Technology, Social Sciences, The Ontology Project
ZionCrimeFactory, one of the people behind the prothink network I recently promoted, has taken issue with the claim that international bankers funded Hitler and the NSDAP into power. He said:
Let’s look at the matter.
Posted by R-news on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 11:10 PM in Economics & Finance, Marxism & Culture War, National Socialism, Political analysis, Revisionism, That Question Again, World Affairs
In response to the conventional economic slavishness of an article at the Telegraph titled “Only by tackling spending will we ever tame the debt monster” I posted a comment which sums up what little progress I have made in putting some detail on my economic ramblings. It ain’t much - still the shell of an idea. But it is an attempt to, if not actually resolve the problem of inflationary money supply that bedevils the notion of thin-air money as the creation of the state, at least identify a direction in which to look.
My comment is below the fold.
Hitler’s Unforgivable Crime
During a recent visit to Les Invalides, I encountered a large government sponsored exhibition about the history of the Second World War. The museum’s title for the exhibition was “The War of German Aggression, 1939 -1945.” Nowhere in the exhibition was it mentioned that it was France and the United Kingdom who had declared war on Germany.
Since it was France and Great Britain who insisted on unleashing the most destructive war in human history, the natural question is: why did they do so?
Arthur Kitson published a book, A scientific Solution of the Money Question, in 1895. It’s accessible for free. This is a very interesting book because he’s a strong proponent of the free market, even using the analogy of natural selection in arriving at the form money should take to maximize the welfare of as many people as possible, and comes down hard on any sort of monopoly regarding the creation of money, arguing against both banker and government control of money. With this kind of attitude, the capitalists, or socialists, or free market proponents can’t dismiss his arguments right off the bat.
He has a very nuanced discussion on wealth, value, standard of value, price, purchasing power, the wisdom of keeping money scarce, etc. This book needs to be summarized, but for now, the most interesting parts will do.
The price of something for sale is dependent on supply and demand for this thing. It’s also dependent on the supply and demand for money. So there’s plenty of room for bankers to make a profit. Now let’s add a third variable, which is to base money on a commodity. Now, the commodity on which money is based can be hoarded, exported, imported, cornered or thrown upon the market, and thus the purchasing power of money affected. Now you know why some people insist that money should be based on a commodity. The third variable plays into the hands of the bankers. Obviously, the bankers have no interest in proposing a commodity to base money on that’s plentiful. They propose a commodity that’s scarce, such as gold, because a scarce commodity is easier to manipulate.
Kitson cites numerous examples of a gold standard being forced upon people, and shows that a free market would never accept money based on gold. Kitson’s thesis is a devastating critique of basing money on a commodity. Kitson followed with an addendum or reply to critics in 1917, titled A fraudulent standard : an exposure of the fraudulent character of our monetary standard, with suggestions for the establishment of an invariable unit of value.
So money established by law, a concept going back as far as Aristotle, is sound as fiat money, i.e., money not backed by a commodity. But who should issue it? Kitson comes down hard on bankers issuing money, as well as a government monopoly on the issuance of money, citing instances of government corruption. Keep in mind that the book was published in 1895. From 1866 to 1886, the volume of money in America had been reduced by almost 80%, causing a depression. Superficially, the government did it by removing greenbacks (debt-free government-issued money) and silver from circulation. Silver was also removed from circulation in many European countries around this time. The actual reason was the bankers had used their control over the governments to bring this about because they wanted to force a gold standard. The American dollar went on a gold standard in 1900.
So who should issue money? According to Kitson, money should be issued by the people! He proposes a mutual banking system. Mutual banks are owned by communities. They create money for loans, out of thin air, against any commodity or IOU (someone promising to pay back the loan). There’s a service fee but no interest. At any given time therefore, the amount needed for repayment of loans doesn’t exceed the amount created as loans, and no one’s forced to default. Money created in this manner goes through an accounting cycle, the same as under commercial banking today: it’s created when a loan is made and destroyed when the loan is paid. The money for the service fee is created out of thin air when a loan is made and used by the mutual bank for its operations.
There are four important differences between Kitson’s proposal and how commercial banks currently operate:
Under Kitson’s proposal, there’s no shortage of money and no inflation. Abuse is prevented via internal policing, rotation of mutual bank employees, non-hereditary appointment of mutual bank employees, and random external audits by a central authority that can only intervene in the case of fraud.
How will a government obtain the money for its needs? Taxes.
Whereas the government can create its own money, if the government is dependent on the people to pay for its expenses and the people control the money supply, the people decide the nature of the government.
In the special case of advanced technology replacing a lot of human labor with machines, which creates a scenario where specialized factories can produce goods at great initial cost but the displaced don’t have the income to buy these goods, whereas the government may create money out of thin air to extend as social credit to the displaced, since it’s desirable that the government obtain money from the people, the central government should be taking money from mutual banks to extend to people as social credit, in which case the mutual banks make an exception by creating the money out of thin air but not as a loan.
The mutual banking system proposed by Arthur Kitson is clearly superior to the solution that I’ve been promoting for a couple of months, which is that money should be created in a debt-free manner and issued by a government, in which case money that’s created truly circulates as opposed to going through an accounting cycle whereby it’s created and destroyed. The accounting cycle under the charge of mutual banks is easily able to achieve a level of fine tuning to needs that circulating debt-free money created by a government can’t. Technically, mutual banks could be extensions of the central government’s Treasury, in which case the government will be the sole authority creating money, and this wouldn’t require a Constitutional Amendment in nations such as the U.S., where the Constitution only grants Congress the power to create money, but the argument that placing control of money in the hands of a society that uses it is better than a few hands controlling money holds, even if the few hands compirse of an elected and accountable government, and therefore mutual banks had better be community owned.
Now, there’s no way to go from the present system—where commercial banks create nearly all money as debt and people are indebeted to private bankers to the tune of tens of trillions of dollars—to a mutual banking system. This reminds one of the 25-point program of the NSDAP. At the outset, they emphasized the necessity for a strong central government to undo the damage caused by the bankers, noting that the 25 points of the program were temporary. At present there’s a need for a central government to take full charge of the creation and issuance of money, creating debt-free money to retire the national debt and prohibiting private banks from creating money in any way. After a few years, one could transition to mutual banking for the masses and the government only creating money for its own needs. This can transition to a government solely relying on taxes for its expenses and obtaining money from mutual banks for social credit money. But activists don’t have to wait for government control of money before attempting to implement mutual banks. The problem needs to be attacked from many fronts, and one can work on mutual banks right now [to be discussed].
So I need to overhaul the money FAQ and note that the solution offered there as of the date of this posting should be regarded as an intermediate solution, not the final solution.
Kitson wasn’t the first to propose mutual banks. Others have proposed a similar system. The Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) works on a similar principle. John Turmel has shown the mathematical soundness of LETS or Kitson’s proposal. I believe the same idea is described in Paul Grignon’s Money as Debt volume 3 video. Islamic banking—not to be confused with banks operating under the auspices of international bankers in the typical Middle Eastern or predominantly Muslim nation—incorporates one of the proposed principles, too, such as not charging interest.
It was recently noted that Europeans will be increasingly experiencing what the Third World has to experience when bankers start enforcing austerity measures because Europeans governments borrow money from bankers, at interest, money that the bankers create out of thin air. Here are recent mass protests against austerity measures (more taxes, less benefits, increase in retirement age, etc.) in Belgium that shut down large parts of her.
[submission by Genotype]
Murray’s thesis is higher cognitive abilities lead to greater economic productivity and thus higher salaries. This is merely an update to Ayn Rand‘s update to Horatio Alger’s “rags to riches” legends.
Murray and his jewish employers at AEI have two transparent goals:
1.Describe what anyone with an IQ > 90 can see has happened and continues to happen economically.
2.Gain control of the discourse by eliminating all references to “The Other” from the universe of permitted explanations for #1.
The undergrad degree data don’t support Murray’s proposed explanation for the Great Divide. Undergrad science and engineering majors that might lead to advanced science degrees are grossly underrepresented in the 1% group. They are so underrepresented that this data alone falsifies Murray’s primary explanation.
“Biology” obviously serves as a proxy for “pre-med.” Humanities majors of the kind that comprise “pre-law” curriculums are heavily over-represented. History, “economics,” and political science are obvious pre-law programs. What to make of zoology and physiology, except failure to make the cut for “pre-med”? Note that mathematics and physics are on the bottom. Computer science and mechanical/electrical/civil engineering didn’t make the list.
Posted by R-news on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 06:59 PM in Blogs & Blogging, Economics & Finance, Education, Global Elitism, Political analysis, Social Sciences, That Question Again
A recent discussion of problems with Apple using humans as machines to build iPhones, iPods and iPads prompted two arguments. One concerning mounting a challenge to globalization has been partially discussed. This post addresses the other issue, of 3D printing solving the problem of exploiting humans in this case by replacing human labor .
3D printing is still expensive for the masses (a few thousand dollars for a unit; example: the Fab-at-home projects), and whereas these can take care of building enclosures for smart phones or hand-held computers, make cables and even print basic circuits, it’s a totally different ball game to make microcontrollers, NAND memory chips, microprocessors, or VLSI units in general (VLSI = Very-large-scale integration [of transistors, which are electronic switches]). Bankers will prefer to establish fabrication units for VLSI products where labor costs are minimal and the government has been bribed or corrupted.
Apple can easily automate robots to make iPhones, iPads and iPods, but has decided to use humans as machines for reasons already discussed. This can be considered in a more general context.
With advances in machinery and automation, human workers are easily replaced with much more efficient worker units. The problem with computerized machines or robots replacing humans is that the initial cost of manufacturing increases sharply and it must be recouped in the prices of the manufactured products, but the increasing amount of people losing their jobs to machines also have less disposable income to buy these products. At some point, even cheaper-than-present 3D printers will be too expensive for people increasingly displaced by machines. How does one address this problem?
Clifford Hugh Douglas and other proponents had an elegant solution: social credit. It was never implemented because it requires debt-free creation of money by a government. The proposal is that if people through no fault of their own (e.g., not lazy or unwilling to work) are only able to pay, say, 25% of the cost of a product because they’ve been replaced by machines, the government should provide the remainder to them so that they can obtain the product.
The first objection was that this would cause inflation, whereas the social credit proponents showed that this is a bogus objection because demand and supply are being matched by money that simply needs to be created out of thin air by the government [prohibit private bankers from creating money and there wouldn’t be inflation].
A second objection would be abuse. How does one take care of the lazy? It’s a simple matter, easily done by computers nowadays, to take into account job availability, work history, prior income, disability status, etc., and determine if an applicant deserves social credit.
What if a company decided to establish a factory to produce smart phones with a hexa-core ARM processor having six times the cache, gold plating and diamonds? Should a government take it upon itself to provide its citizens with such a smart phone? No, the task of the government is to assist with maintaining a minimum acceptable quality of life for the citizens. A single-core ARM processor with a sixth of the cache of the hypothetical unit and no gold or diamonds does a fine job at computing and communications at present, and suffices for government assistance.
What if manufacturing can potentially ramp up production to satisfy just about as much demand as can arise, but the products are negative for the environment beyond a certain volume? In this case, the government can limit social credit to a certain number of individuals. If 3 million qualify and only a million should be supported, the million are chosen from the qualified applicants at random.
This can be extrapolated to population size. Maintaining a higher quality of life for a larger population depletes a lot of natural resources. The government can hence tie social credit to not exceeding a maximum family size:
Do you have at least two biological children and desire social credit? Well, you meet other requirements, but need to subject yourself to vasectomy or tubal ligation or else you’re not getting any social credit for big items.
Do you have one or no children and desire social credit? Apparently, based on your records, you qualify for social credit but we’ll just help you with rent and won’t put in the remainder to buy you a house unless you’re so old that it’s unlikely that you’ll be having [more] children or have had yourself vasectomized or your tubes ligated.
I think the reader should get the idea.
A recent discussion of problems with Apple using humans as machines to build iPhones, iPods and iPads prompted the argument that “A major problem in mounting a challenge to globalization is that it delivers the goods” and that it’s unlikely that people will give up their iPhones. The situation isn’t bleak. People can adopt a few strategies, as individuals, to lessen the problem.
The first is to buy smart phones, music players and hand-held computers from smaller manufacturers. Let’s say there are 10 companies, all using Chinese human labor to make such products. How does it benefit one to go with a smaller manufacturer?
This is how. Bankers love large companies making a lot of profit as advertising can make their products highly desirable, and the profits entice investors to buy the large company’s shares. Then it’s a matter of bringing down the company and raking in the loot... naive investors lose, bankers win. Now, if the consumer were to prevent any company from getting large by buying products from smaller manufacturers, bankers have less to gain by bringing down a small company here and there, and can only benefit by bringing down an entire industry or the stock market in general, which they can’t do very frequently or else investors will lose confidence in the stock market.
Notice that buying from smaller manufacturers may also cost less as there’s no premium paid for a top-notch brand name. Also note that the extras that come with some top-notch products aren’t worth the price. Would you rather pay a $200 premium for a smart phone with 1080p video playback capability when the screen size makes this functionality useless and the functionality is useful only if you connect it to a 1920 X 1080 monitor, in which case you might as well use any computer built in recent years to send 1080p video to the monitor, or upgrade the graphics card of an older computer for a lot less, or buy, for less, a blu-ray player capable of playing mkv, mov, divx, mp4 and other formats from a plugged-in USB drive?
The second strategy is do-it-yourself projects. The ARM-based computer board at the hear of smart phones and hand-held computers can be purchased separately. The open-hardware beagleboard and beaglebone, for instance, sell for $150 and $89, respectively, and offer 720p video playback and muscle for ordinary computing tasks equivalent to the first generation of iPad. Other alternatives, some even cheaper, comprise of the leopardboard, craneboard, pandora, etc.
Now, it may be a hassle for some to separately buy a capacitive touch screen, cables, etc., and find a suitable enclosure for the computer board, but there are some people who’ve already done the job, like the Grégoire Gentil group at always innovating, who offer a ready-made smart book based on open-hardware, and they even offer, for free, a multi-boot system allowing one to switch between four open-source operating systems, depending on whether one wishes to use the unit as a smart phone or as a general purpose computer.
To use the unit as a phone, you can use voice-over-IP (VOIP) technologies such as skype (avoid google talk). To get cell phone functionality, you’re better off obtaining a barebones cellphone, which service providers will usually throw-in for free, using things along the lines of Grégoire Gentil’s products for your other smart phone and hand-held computer needs. Or maybe solutions comprising of a dongle that will let you use your unit with cell phone networks already exist.
Aside from these individual steps, there’s always organizing in specific ways to target the bankers.
The sweatshops Apple runs in China have recently come up in the news. Instead of using machines to assemble iPhones, iPods and iPads, Apple is using humans as machines. A factory in Shenzhen employs 430,000 people who work in halls with up to 20,000 to 30,000 people each. Workers aren’t allowed to talk to each other, there are no recreational breaks and people work under video surveillance. Some of the workers are children in their early teens, who are kept away from sight when inspectors arrive. Whereas the official work day is 8 hours, the standard shift is 12 hours, which commonly extends to 14-16 hours, at 70 cents per hour.
People asking for overtime are shrugged off and blacklisted; if they resign in protest, they’d have a difficult time seeking another job. Seeking to unionize is an imprisonable offense.
Occupational hazards include exposure to neurotoxic agents used to polish glass, such as hexane, whereas safer cleansers aren’t used because they take longer to evaporate. Monotonous, repetitive work leads to carpal tunnel syndrome and other disabilities. Those with disabling injuries are out of luck.
Many of these human-bots haven’t even seen in person, let alone held, a complete, functional iPad or another Apple product in their hand to evaluate what it is that they’re building. And when they sleep, they do so in cubicles packed with bunk beds, like prisoners in a crowded facility.
And to think that some people would describe this despicable situation as a wealth transfer from the the West to the East in terms of manufacturing and other jobs sent abroad! Superficially, the earnings of these workers have easily quadrupled compared to their working in rice farms earlier, but look at their living conditions, and watch as the purchasing power of money keeps going down because the government borrows from bankers, at interest, money the bankers create out of thin air.
If the Chinese masses work in farms, produce enough food for themselves, produce surplus food to barter against petroleum, medicine, etc., and the government creates it own money without debt, the Chinese can live independently and can sustain themselves, whereas now their economy’s in the hands of the international bankers while many of their people work like machines, sustaining mechanical injuries and damage from exposure to toxic chemicals.
The West doesn’t benefit either. Many Western consumers are precluded from buying bling bling such as iPads because of a lack of disposable income, and a good proportion of those who buy such bling bling do so by borrowing money, for which they’ll pay dearly in terms of interest.
Apple could technically improve worker conditions by cutting its profit margins, but is unable to do so because it’s a publicly traded corporation, and financial corporations have enough of a stake in it to dictate policies, the bottom line being increasing profit to attract investors. When the time’s ripe, these financial corporations will bring down the stock market, thus effecting a wealth transfer from the masses of naive investors to the bankers behind the financial corporations.
Many of the financial corporations having a stake in major non-financial corporations in major economies such as America’s are located offshore as well as many of the bankers. This diminishes the odds of a successful political revolt against the bankers. And we can see that the outsourcing of manufacturing and numerous other jobs from the major Western economies is further insurance against the same as weakened Western masses are less capable of revolt.
It was claimed that the devastation of the Third World by bankers creates plenty of would-be economic immigrants. The retort was that this is a Judeo-Marxist canard used to induce ‘white guilt’ and justify various ‘aid’ and ‘refugee’ programs. The retort added that parts of Africa in 1812 had yet to see the wheel, the implication being that Third world nations have been built or economically enhanced by the West. The retort also blames slaughters and devastation in the Third World on their natives alone.
Let’s see. Civilization shouldn’t be confused with economic security. An isolated hunter-gatherer tribe living in a jungle typically has sufficient food to eat, clothing and living structures; they are willing and able to provide for themselves. Whereas in a modern civilization such as the U.S., tens of millions are unable to provide food for themselves, in spite of being willing and able to work, and must depend on government handouts such as food stamps, and there are millions of homeless people.
The reason for the economic problems of Western nations is that malicious bankers issue and control money, which is also the case for nearly all Third World nations. So how does the Third world fare under banker control?
For a while now, this is how the international bankers have dealt with the Third World [some things apply to some Western nations also]:
Naturally, Third World nations will experience significant emigration pressures. Residents of some European nations will better understand what the Third World experiences when austerirty measures in their nations become more severe to pay the interests on loans they need from banks.
As of now, people are rioting over gas prices in Nigeria, but before one brings in the violence proneness of blacks, take a guess at what’s caused the rise and toward which purpose. One has to wonder how many other instances of rioting in Third World nations have their root cause in what the international bankers do, not in violence that would occur no matter what. These international bankers are behind numerous wars in the Western hemisphere, and they surely haven’t left the Third world in peace.
Notice that some black African nations are resource-rich but the masses live in poverty. Is this due to the corruption of their elite? They have corrupt elite, but if this were the reason, there would be lots of black billionaires [U.S. dollars] in some African nations, whereas the natural resource-related wealth is siphoned out by the international bankers, in the manner detailed above, and scraps, in comparison, are given to the corrupt elite.
People complain about me focusing on money and the community disproportionately controlling it when there are serious immigration issues to be discussed, but what’s causing the immigration issues? It takes more than merely opening Western borders to immigrants; Third Worlders need an incentive to emigrate en masse, too.
Will the masses be willing to go to a land far, far away where people speak a different language and have a very different culture if the masses have a reasonable income/sustenance where they live, and live in a relatively peaceful society? Will the masses be willing to give up the security of their existence for discordance, learning and re-learning skills in a foreign nation and the uncertainty of having a similar level of economic security there? These are important questions to reflect on. A desire to emigrate will be true of some individuals, but not the masses if there’s basic economic security [food, shelter, clothing, base medical facilities] and no warfare or civil strife.
But economic devastation provides a strong incentive for mass emigration pressure in the Third World. And thus we have the demand and supply of contemporary mass immigration into Western nations:
So is it wise to complain about immigration levels and focus on blacks, Hispanics, Muslims----like Amren, Vdare, the masses of the “alternative right” or “Third position” crowds----or is it wise to aim for the root cause, which lies in malicious bankers controlling the money supply? And is it wise to just focus on the money issue or also expose some of the other major crimes of these people, such as 9/11? They bring in all these immigrants to undermine ethnic cohesion in the West. Complaining about immigration doesn’t help and exacerbates division. But the money issue and 9/11 are of universal significance and unite the divided against the bankers. And some people complain of conspiracy and detraction from the important issues, such as immigration and multiculturalism, when 9/11 is brought up!
I’ve taken flak for describing Ron Paul as controlled opposition. Here I’ll discuss his stance on money. I was pointed to the following overview of Ron Paul on the money issue to correct my alleged misrepresentation of his stances.
Ron Paul argues against more regulation [on the part of the government] and pitches for a free market economy by saying that the Fed should not be given more power, whereas giving the Fed more power means less regulation by the government as the Federal Reserve banks are fully private; the more power the Fed has, the greater the influence of the “free market.”
Ron Paul addresses the housing bubble by saying that Congress and the Fed encouraged the housing industry... finally the bubble burst and “we” [government] try to [pursue stupid policies] such as stimulating the housing market, cash for clunkers.... as a result “we” have no confidence in the market economy.
Reality check: the housing bubble and its busting was caused by the bankers a.k.a. the “free market”:
Boom: generously give out loans, which are funded out of nothing, to earn interest off of nothing...
Laughing all the way to the bank: make money by selling debt that can’t be paid off to investors, make money by selling insurance against the probability of defaults, make money by gambling on the probability of defaults...
Bust: loan less and cause a recession; acquire houses for pennies on the dollar.
Another reality check: The only money created by the government comprises of coins. Stimulating the housing market and cash for clunkers is just the bankers getting the government and hence the people more under debt.
The larger a commercial bank, the greater the shrinkage of the money supply it can singlehandedly cause by loaning less. This is the reason why bankers prefer fewer [and thereby larger] commercial banks and there’s a long-term trend of bank mergers. You can do your part to slow down the bankers and counter the trend by closing your accounts at large banks, using credit unions or small/community banks instead. Use this resource for more information, including how to motivate others to move away from big banks: http://www.newbottomline.com/move_our_money
Alexander has launched an e-petition on the Downing Street website proposing the end of the private fractional reserve system:
This constitutes an attack, in Britain at last, on the third great pillar of globalisation - the enslavement in debt of all the European peoples. I hope you think it is worth disseminating knowledge of the petition wherever appropriate and worth signing yourself, of course.
The money issue, specifically how it’s created and who controls its supply, is arguably the most important of all issues discussed at or relevant to MR. Tired of malicious individuals spreading disinformation on money and banking, I finally posted a Money FAQ. This should’ve been here from Day 1, but better late than never.
Preservation, survival; quality of life
Some of the discussion here’s been about preservation and survival. But survival can occur in a coma, and an endangered species can be preserved in a cage-like setting. Quality of living goes beyond mere survival or propagation, and money’s central to it for most practical purposes.
Higher order aspects of living such as the pursuit of special knowledge, philosophy, non-work-related attempts to improve ourselves on our own initiative, the indulgence of passions, etc., require financial stability, discretionary income and spare time. But people in Western nations are increasingly drowning in debt and face a not-too-distant future where the majority of us live in poverty, like most people in the Third World. The overwhelming, singular cause for this is that our money’s created, as debt [out of nothing], by bankers, and it’s these bankers who’re in control of the money supply, which they manipulate to their advantage.
So what is Max Keiser about? OK, he’s the best in the media on the power and criminality of the banks. No question. But is he just a left-leaning enemy of the money-changers? I think probably so.
Some comments on an essay by Susie Green at VDARE.com.
On 6th April this year Katerina Kitidi and Aris Hatzistefanou released their documentary Debtocracy into the gathering popular protest in Greece. Public viewings were organised in the central square of most Greek cities, and the film has played its part in educating Greeks to the nature of the neoliberal project and its system of credit, debt, and endless payment. It contains some damning commentary. But it is shot through with the hypocrisies of the socialist left. It does not visit the destruction of personal freedom and the end of self-improvement which debt-slavery implies, these not being issues of interest to radical left intellectuals. In the same vein it does not venture an opinion upon neoliberalism’s sister project of the Third Worldization of European peoplehood. Even with a partial political analysis, though, it is plainly the left which will gain when the demos withdraws political legitimacy from the current political class. Nationalism is not competing at this heavyweight level.
The film is 1 hour 14 mins, but it bowls along at a good pace and will repay your time. Its message, in the end, is simple: don’t pay.
by Graham Lister
The latest phase of the liberal world-order is best described as neo-liberalism. However as recent events have suggested the neo-liberal order appears to be rather unstable. One key issue is the burgeoning disparity between the declared self-conception and aims of neo-liberalism and its real-world consequences. With Greece in mind, I have jotted down some thoughts.
1 – The neo-liberal state is expected to allow markets to operate without interference yet pro-actively create a good climate for business and behave as a competitive entity in global affairs. In its latter role it has to work as a collective corporation, and solve the problem of how to maintain citizen loyalty. Nationalism is an obvious answer, but in all forms, is profoundly antagonistic to the neo-liberal agenda (Globalization etc.). The serious forms of nationalism required for states to remain as functional entities gets in the way of global ‘universal’ market freedoms more generally.
2 – Coercive and authoritarian enforcement of market discipline sits very uneasily with ideas of individual freedoms. The more neo-liberalism veers to the former the more it undermines its legitimacy and reveals its profoundly anti-democratic character. This contradiction is paralleled by the ever greater asymmetries in the power relations between corporations and ordinary individuals in both the workplace and our living space (or life-world). It is one thing to maintain that my health-care is my personal responsibility but quite another in practice if the only way I can satisfy my needs in a rigged market is by paying exorbitant premiums to inefficient, gargantuan, highly bureaucratized but also highly profitable corporations. When these companies have the power to decide what illnesses they will and will not cover and can even define new categories of illness to match new drugs on the market, something is very wrong indeed. If things start to go badly this balancing act is highly likely to topple.
by Alexander Baron
According to a recent UK survey, four people out of five polled believe the long-term unemployed should be compelled to do (unpaid) community work to qualify for their benefits – an idea known to Americans as workfare, and one that has long been more than a belief on the other side of the Pond. Now that Nick Clegg’s alternative vote idea has been well and truly routed, and David Cameron’s hand has been strengthened, there is a real possibility of something like this happening. The concept of the undeserving poor is of course one that predates workfare by a fair few centuries, and was what resulted in a now thankfully long defunct institution known as the workhouse.
The idea that the majority or a large minority of the unemployed are “scroungers” is a mindset that is hard to dispel, but there are distinctly unpleasant consequences of endorsing it. If the unemployed are put to work for a pittance, then real wages are depressed and real jobs lost; the unions have long realised this, which is the major reason they have always opposed such schemes here.
David Cameron’s much vaunted “big society”, a concept which only he seems to understand, is based on the same philosophy. When he talks about people volunteering, what he really means is working for nothing. A graphic example of that has recently come to light with the revelation that many senior police officers who have been forcibly retired by West Midlands Police have been invited back. As unpaid special constables.
When Margaret Thatcher succeeded James Callaghan as Prime Minister in May 1979, one of her first acts was to award the police a massive pay rise, probably sensing she would need them on her side in the coming confrontation with the unions. It may be now that the police officers who were enthusiastically bashing heads on the anti-G20 protests have a change of heart.
All this is a matter of record and speculation, because what the unemployed need is not jobs but livelihood, indeed, we already have far too many jobs. One of the first things the new administration announced was the axing of 192 quangos. Which begs the question, if we don’t need them now, why did we need them before?
by Alexander Baron
Back in the 1990s I spent a considerable amount of time reading the entire backfile of the Jewish Chronicle for the Nazi era, mostly but not exclusively at Colindale. Although I skimmed over a lot of the advertisements and local news, I read and took in most of the significant stories from 1933-45. Actually, I went back to the 1920s and beyond, and forward into the 1950s and beyond the other way, but the story with which I am concerned here appeared in the issue for October 25, 1935. On page 9, an editorial called Scrap the Transfer Agreement! made one of the most bizarre claims against the Nazis I have ever seen.
No, it had nothing to do with “gas chambers”, not at this early date, nor with pogroms, nor was it the usual whining and wailing about how wonderful are the Jews and how everybody has it in for them. No, it was something much more profound than that. The wicked Nazis were accused of engaging in a most sinister plot to undermine Palestinian Jews … by subsidising them.
Here is the offending paragraph:
by Martin Hutchinson
A poll last week showed that 71% of Americans don’t want Congress to raise the debt ceiling from its current $14.3 trillion, a level that the total of outstanding debt is expected to hit in March. According to conventional pundits, this is extraordinarily irresponsible, leading to a U.S. default on its outstanding debt. Yet as with many ideas the Beltway pundits claim are irresponsible, when examined more closely the idea has some merits for ordinary people.
For a start, while the Fed’s policy of quantitative easing is in effect, with the Fed buying $75 billion of Treasuries each month, the debt limit does not need to be increased in respect of these purchases. Instead of buying Treasuries in large amounts, and printing money in order to do so, the Fed can simply hand the Treasury the money it prints and allow it to spend it as it wishes. That doesn’t actually require Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to back a truck up to the Treasury building and unload box after box of $100 bills – everything is done by book entry. (If it did mean that, and a provision was made that the Fed chairman himself had to schlep the boxes, we might finally have a proper control over money creation – of course the politicians would simply respond by nominating a professional weightlifter as Fed Chairman!)
This would not work for very long; within a year or two it would produce hyper-inflation, turning the U.S. into the 1923 Weimar Republic. It should be emphasized however that economically it represents no change in policy from the current one. In the old days, there would have been a difference in that the Treasury would under the current system have printed up $75 billion worth of beautifully engraved bonds per month, giving employment to worthy printers and engravers. In today’s book-entry world, even this minuscule economic difference would be lost. If current policies continue, the Weimar Republic’s fate lies ahead of us anyway.
A second alternative response to the debt ceiling, with a similar economic effect, would be to fund government spending through subprime mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since these would be guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie, not technically part of the government, they would not count against the government’s debt ceiling. It might be objected that financing say a tank or a road through Fannie and Freddie would be outside their legal mandate, and that a tank in particular would be unlikely to make the mortgage payments.
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