Neoliberalism redux

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darbikrash
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Neoliberalism redux

 

Unenlightened Self-Interest: Deficit Hawk Down On Tax Cuts and Financial Reform

 

"Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man." Henry Hazlitt

The argument that 'tax cuts for the wealthiest few stimulates growth' aka the trickle down theory needs to be buried alongside the 'efficient markets hypothesis' and the other principle beliefs of voodoo economics that have brought the US from the world's greatest nation to third world status in a generation.

It was the irresponsible tax cuts enacted by Bush II while increasing military spending on two wars, one highly discretionary, along with the increasing financialization of the economy through deregulation, fraud, 'one way globalization,' and crony capitalism that have undermined the foundation of the American economy.

The banks must be restrained, the financial system reformed, and balance restored to the real economy before there can be any sustained recovery.


h/t The Economist's View for the cartoon

The following charts are from the ContraryInvestor but all annotations and comments are mine.

Think about what this chart below is saying. Will a return to the status quo through Fed intervention 'work?' Is austerity directed at the middle class the answer, as in the suffering endured by the many in the Great Depression?

What would happen if the economy 'recovered' with the same fundamentals in place? Fundamentals such as an overly large financial sector, increasing wealth disparity, and a stagnant median wage?

Can 'the many' continue to borrow to maintain a constant standard of living? Can a democracy be maintained in conditions that start to resemble a third world country? How long before a 'strong man' rises to take control of the political situation on behalf of the national society of workers? And how long after that would it be before the industrialists and oligarchs lose control of this strong man, as they always seem to do?

Can the US afford to maintain 800 overseas military bases while the domestic tax base continues to erode through a parasitical transferal of wealth from the many to the few based on leverage, speculation, monopoly, asset bubbles and fraud?

Closer View of the Rise of Neoliberal Economics and the Ponzi Economy

US Federal Debt Only as a Percent of GDP Since 1792

What the US needs right now, more than ever, is a coherent industrial policy and a national strategy focused on the median wage, a serious reform movement, a reduction in its military spending, and a set of encompassing social principles with a longer term vision for the country as its goal.

Americans may not trust government as a recent tenet of dogmatic faith, but in doing so they are entrusting their futures to other people's governments, and soulless multinational entities who are in fact using globalization and the 'free markets' to aggressively advance their own ends and benefits, which are probably antithetical to yours.

Bringing a dogmatic neo-liberal bias for "free markets" (ironically promoted by political neo-conservatives) into a game where every other major country is executing a well thought out industrial policy based on increasing net exports is like bringing a knife to a gun fight, and then stabbing yourself in the back as an opening move.

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Re: Neoliberism redux

I am not certain I grasp your use of the term neo-liberal in your last paragraph.  I understand (and agree) with a good portion of this post.  And I get the dogmatic bias for free markets as a it is used,  just not neo-liberal.  Would you be willing to clarify?

Also, your comment on the soulless entities really hits the mark.  People miss the fact that what we have now is essentially governance by corporate feat.  And corporations, are by definition, immortal, immoral sociopaths.   Their job is to survive and profit.  They have no need for a social conscience other than that which looks good to the public.  They have no need to consider long term consequences as each group of individual leaders is simply trying to get his chunk of the pie and get out.  But, the entity survives.  They can simply wait out most lawsuits or buy out any laws.  

Are we on the same page?

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Re: Neoliberism redux

Mention of Chris Martenson ZH article:

In a Nutshell: Our economy is really an insane asylum run by lunatics.

Common Sense: No problem can be fixed before a solution is formed. No solution can be formed until the underlying problems are clearly identified.

The officials in charge of fixing the economy have not articulated the underlying problems. Worse, many of these officials - directly or indirectly - created or contributed the underlying problems.

It is shear lunacy to expect that the people who screwed up the economy have any chance at fixing what they destroyed.

Identification of the  Underlying Problems

Income: Average Real Weekly Earnings, (read: incomes adjusted for inflation), are below what what what they were in 1973. Income wise the average American family is worse off now than they were 37 years (4 decades) ago.

The Dollar’s Value: And it isn’t like we have a stronger dollar now. If we did perhaps we could get buy with less money. No, Uncle Buck is worth 95% less than he was 84 years ago when the “Creature From Jeckyll Island” (read: the “Fed”) came into existence.

Money is supposed to be a store of value. When you boil economics down to it’s core you are left with one law: Supply and demand. Increase the supply of anything and it’s value goes down. Our monetary system is flawed because if it isn’t expanded it collapses and when it is expanded the store of value is obliterated. The Fractional Reserve System is another example of a moronic idea created by greedy lunatics, It was doomed to failure upon inception. Debasing a currency only creates an addiction to debt.

Employment: In 2008 there were about 150 million workers. Today (U3-U6) unemployment is at 22%. The largest problem plaguing unemployment is the fact that most of the jobs lost were jobs that were created because of consumers binging on credit. For instance, in 2008 Americans tapped their home equity for stupid purchases. The best example of this is from Jim Quinn's 2008 article: Consumers borrowed $9,000,000,000.00 (9 billion) dollars (from home equity loans) JUST to blow it on 4 dollar coffees at Starbucks, which has since closed 900 stores. Debt to expand a business or debt to purchase a home is sound debt for an economy. Debt to buy expensive coffees at “Fourbucks” won’t be economically sustainable (as proved by 900 closed stores).

We had a booming economy that was built on a foundation of sand.

Drof/Globalization: (Read: packaging up factories and off-shoring them and the manufacturing jobs that went with them) equated to workers here competing against some poor individuals who make $2 bucks a day in some emerging country that has no work rules or standards). Globalization was an asinine idea. A blueprint for lowering standards here and raising standards there. We can capitalize the “a” in asinine if we consider the ramifications of high oil prices caused by Peak Oil (read: 80 - 150+ dollar a barrel oil).

Backwards: In 1914 Henry Ford helped spur the middle class by paying Ford workers $5 bucks a day (double what the average wage was then). Ford increased the demand for what he was manufacturing by creating a class of workers (read: the middle class) who could afford his product.

Drof: Ford’s plan spelled backwards. Drof is globalization. Removing manufacturing jobs. Borrowing from China et al to replace the lost manufacturing surplus and sticking the tab (read: tax bill for the deficit) on the class you are screwing all while blasting wages backwards by four decades and expecting to have any semblance of a strong economy is an entirely moronic idea dreamed up by lunes.

It is absolutely insane to think you take the blueprint for what created prosperity turn it upside down and expect prosperity. If these lunes were architects they would have built buildings upside down butting roofs underground and basements at the peak of the structure.

Lunatics and we are paying for their insanity now.

Massive Government: The government doesn’t produce anything. Government, while necessary, has an associated cost. The larger it is the greater it’s cost. Our government is now the largest that it has ever been. In no way, shape or form is this efficient.

Corporatocracy: In a nutshell: Corporatocracy has replaced capitalism. I wrote about this in my last article “Why We Are Totally Finished”. Corporatocracy has permitted corporations to influence (bribe and control) the government which then rewarded select sectors for criminal activity. Fraud that led to our economy blowing up. The sectors which literally blew up the economy in 2008 was saved when they should been left to fail. TBTF translates to not regulated correctly to begin with. Nothing holds a gun to our head. Too big means too unregulated to be permitted to grow too big.

Resource Scarcity: As we approach a population of seven billion every resource from water to oil will be taxed to it’s maximum. The driving thrust of www.PeakProsperity.com‘s "Crash Course" is how economies mine the earth for resources and sell them. Growth of 2-4% per year compounds exponentially proving the economic model of the world unsustainable.

Enron Accounting: Really that isn’t fair, the accounting our government uses would actually make an Enron accountant blush. Our off balance sheet liabilities dwarf our federal debt. All together we have: 13 trillion in public debt, 18-19 trillion if you count the GSE debt (and you should), another 109 trillion in off balance sheet liabilities. 128 trillion between the two.

In Short: Retro wages four decades, rob the currency of 95% of it’s value, take thirty three million jobs away removing as many consumers, do the exact opposite of what built this nation’s economy, make workers work eight months to pay for a bloated government, allow lobbyists to remove voters rights and replace capitalism with corporatocracy, collapse the debt that people had access to use as a bridge between what two incomes bought in and what they need and you can forget about any economic recovery.

Fugetaboutit.

The Fix

The fix is amazingly simple: In a nutshell our elected officials must wake up to the fact that fudging unemployment numbers with bogus Birth Death Models, not counting U6ers or hiring temporary enumerators doesn’t inject money into the economy through consumer spending. Lying about GDP or keeping off balance sheet debt doesn’t fix anything either. And relying on the lunes that created the mess to fix the mess is even more insane.

They need to fire those who created the mess. Pigs will fly before Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke, or Turbo Tax Cheating Timmy Geithner fix anything and everything they broke or failed to regulate.

Then admit we are broke: Everyone but the nitwits on CNBS know this. We spend more than we take in and can borrow put together. Devalue the currency with an official bring us 10,000 old dollars and get one new dollar. All foreign, domestic, public and private would be wiped clean.

Use our problems to create our solutions: Create a Manhattan Project and determine how best to use our remaining resources like oil especially and how to transition to energy sustainability and resource sustainability. Get people like Dr. Chris Martenson, Dr. Al Bartlett the poineers of this phenomena and put them on the project. Bartlett was literally on the actual Manhattan Project. Put people to work creating producing solutions here not in China or Indonesia or India. Globalization was a failed plan modeled 180 degrees opposite of what built our country and made it great.

Shrink government: Stop creating entitlement programs in exchange for votes. Stop looting Social Security, turn it into Fannie and Freddie, let renters become buyers, let buyers pay Grandma’s Social Security - that’s how you fix the funding gap between less workers and more retirees. Stop spending half of our budget on the military industrial complex.

Back of the envelope scratch: Social Security in 2009 had fifty three million people receiving benefits. Thirty six million retirees, ten million disabled workers and six million survivors. About 156 million people paid Social Security taxes during the course of the year and $686 billion in benefits were paid out. There are about seventy million primary homes. Let’s say that fifty million of them want a mortgage, and or a HELOC. If the debt service averaged $1,500.00 a month that would bring in $900,000,000,000.00. If they needed more for other entitlements they could generate credit cards.

If you are going to en-debt us when money is created than at least have that debt go to paying student educations and or grandma’s social security. We don't need to be paying communist China interest. We don’t need to be taxed like we are. We spend about eight months working to pay taxes. Want more money in the economy? Want to increase employment? Give consumers more than four months of earnings to spend on themselves.

Both the mortgages and the interest on consumer credit cards could be at low rates. Dismiss the banks, they dismissed the economy in 2008. The Federal Reserve system is a failure, responsible for the boom to bust yo-yo boom to recession nightmares, theft of our stored value in dollars and an unconstitutional disaster. America should not tolerate failure to make a few people richer than God.

Can the lobbyists: Implement term limits. Restore capitalism and democracy. Bribing politicians is not democracy. Also, politicians need to eat what they bake. No special retirement accounts. There are those who (Ron Paul and Paul Ryan and the few like them excluded) can loot our pension fund with no legal ramifications. Also, the entire election process needs to be democratized. Politicians should only be able to blog. We need election spending limits so we can get servants (read: not bribed whores) elected.

Stop teaching Keynesian economics in all but two universities: It’s wrong. Dead wrong. That is why 99.9999% of the economists didn’t see or hear the locomotive coming. Heck, they didn’t even recognize the train tracks. If my kid had Bernanke in Princeton for economics I’d be on the dean’s door demanding a refund.

Change the accounting, put everything on the books: Off balance sheet accounting should have been put to death with Enron.

In Summary: Letting lunatics run the asylum called an economy will have one result and one result only. We will find ourselves living in a loony bin and calling it a capitalistic democracy won’t change what it is.

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Re: Neoliberism redux

 

Who Rules America?

Who Rules America?

By Phil of Phil’s Stock World

Professor William Domhoff has updated his excellent study of wealth distribution in America and the results are just as sickening than they were in 2005!

We looked at the uneven distribution of incomes when I wrote “The Crisis of Middle-Class America” earlier this month and I’ll re-post the main chart here as it’s important for the readers to get a fix on where they really are on the economic food chain.  When I talk about the need for more taxes, I’m generally (like our President) referring to the top 1%, the 1.4M people in this country who earn more than $393,000 a year - where 10% more tax ($40,000) may force them to skip a vacation vs. the alternative of taxing the bottom 90%, who earn $30,000 a year, which would force them to skip heat, food, clothing, etc.

The chart above EXCLUDES capital gains, which are over 70% of the top 0.01%’s incomes so it grossly understates the situation but it does give you a clearer idea of what was going on in the lower brackets leading up to the crisis.  Go ahead, do the math – adding up the total wages of the bottom 90% against the total wages of the top 10% give you a real idea of what a “fair and just” system we’re participating in:

14,836 people earn $17,271,381 in average annual income ($256Bn),

133,525 earn $2,569,388 ($343Bn),

593,444 earn $760,680 ($451Bn),

741,805 earn $393,583($292Bn),

5,934,440 earn $188,513($1,119Bn) and

7,418,050 earn $117,688($873Bn)

while the the wages of the bottom 90% are

133,524,900 people earning an average of just $30,173 ($4,029Bn).

So interesting fact number one is that the 13M people in the top 10% earn (not including capital gains, which make up the bulk of their true income) salaries of $3.3Tn while the other 133M schlubs earn $4Tn.

We are NOT going to be able to “fix” this country until we recognize that this is fundamentally unfair.  Even for those of us in the top 10%, we need to recognize that those other 133M people are our customers, in the very least.  If they have more money to spend, then we will, in theory, be able to make more money serving them.  What’s really gone wrong in this equation is that the top 0.01%, including our multi-national corporate citizens, who control 34.6% of our nation’s wealth (very good chart series here) have already effectively pulled up anchor and are sailing away to warmer waters.

In Robert Frank’s excellent book “Richistan,” he points out that “The wealthy weren’t just getting wealthier — they were forming their own virtual country. They were wealthier than most nations, with the top 1% controlling $17 trillion in wealth. And they were increasingly building a self-contained world, with its own health-care system (concierge doctors), travel system (private jets, destination clubs) and language. (”Who’s your household manager?”) They had created their own breakaway republic — one I called Richistan.”  I gave my take on this crowd in 2007’s “The Dooh Nibor Economy (that’s “Robin Hood” backwards!).”

 

Our friends in the top 10% already have 93.3% of the business equity and own 98.5% of all Financial Securities (in case you ever wonder why “Main Street” doesn’t give a damn about “Wall Street“) but they only have 79.4% of the trusts so they love to use “Death Tax” to appeal to the little people who do sometimes get an inheritance.  Due to 401Ks, the poor do own 18.8% of the stocks although that number has been dropping all year as they flee the markets and the wealthy already own 87.8% of all non-residential real estate so nothing left to steal there. (See also Zero Hedge’s 16th Sequential Equity Fund Outflow Takes Total To Over $50 Billion YTD; Retail Boycott Of Stocks Continues)

The gap between the top 0.01% and everyone else hasn't been this bad since the Roaring Twenties

What can a rich man do to increase his pile of cash?  Well the bottom 90% still have 42.3% of all the cash on deposit so not paying them interest is a good way to start.   They also have 40.8% of the money in Pension Accounts because, as the top 1% know, pensions are for suckers.  The bottom 90% also own 61.5% of the nation’s residential wealth and that is being taken away from them as quickly as possible with 5M foreclosures already in progress and another 5M homes 90 days or further behind on their mortgages with the HAMP program helping a grand total of 37,000 of them last month – what a joke!

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Re: Neoliberism redux

WOW Darbikrash 

Great thread. It goes hand in hand with my point that left and right  are ridiculous concepts used to manipulate and control the multitude on the bottom. The great America lie " You too can be Bill Gates". THe numbers show otherwise. 

A very good read on Neo Liberalism is Naomi Kleins book Shock Doctrine.

Keep em comin

V

ps Why is it every time I hear trickle down economics I feel like I am being urinated on?

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Re: Neoliberism redux

darbikrash post:

Bringing a dogmatic neo-liberal bias for "free markets" (ironically promoted by political neo-conservatives) into a game where every other major country is executing a well thought out industrial policy based on increasing net exports is like bringing a knife to a gun fight, and then stabbing yourself in the back as an opening move.

land2341 responded:

I am not certain I grasp your use of the term neo-liberal in your last paragraph. I understand (and agree) with a good portion of this post. And I get the dogmatic bias for free markets as a it is used, just not neo-liberal.

land2341 - maybe this perspective will help:

  -complete article link

  George Monbiot

How the neoliberals stitched up the wealth of nations for themselves

A cabal of intellectuals and elitists hijacked the economic debate, and now we are dealing with the catastrophic effects

For the first time the UK's consumer debt exceeds the total of its gross national product: a new report shows that we owe £1.35 trillion. Inspectors in the United States have discovered that 77,000 road bridges are in the same perilous state as the one which collapsed into the Mississippi.

Booming inequality threatens to create the most divided societies the world has seen since before the first world war. Now a financial crisis caused by unregulated lending could turf hundreds of thousands out of their homes and trigger a cascade of economic troubles.

These problems appear unrelated, but they all have something in common. They arise in large part from a meeting that took place 60 years ago in a Swiss spa resort. It laid the foundations for a philosophy of government that is responsible for many, perhaps most, of our contemporary crises.

When the Mont Pelerin Society first met, in 1947, its political project did not have a name. But it knew where it was going. The society's founder, Friedrich von Hayek [Austrian Economist], remarked that the battle for ideas would take at least a generation to win, but he knew that his intellectual army would attract powerful backers. Its philosophy, which later came to be known as neoliberalism, accorded with the interests of the ultra-rich, so the ultra-rich would pay for it.

Neoliberalism claims that we are best served by maximum market freedom and minimum intervention by the state. The role of government should be confined to creating and defending markets, protecting private property and defending the realm. All other functions are better discharged by private enterprise, which will be prompted by the profit motive to supply essential services. By this means, enterprise is liberated, rational decisions are made and citizens are freed from the dehumanising hand of the state.

This, at any rate, is the theory. But as David Harvey proposes in his book A Brief History of Neoliberalism, wherever the neoliberal programme has been implemented, it has caused a massive shift of wealth not just to the top 1%, but to the top tenth of the top 1%. In the US, for instance, the upper 0.1% has already regained the position it held at the beginning of the 1920s.

So the question is this: given that the crises I have listed are predictable effects of the dismantling of public services and the deregulation of business and financial markets, given that it damages the interests of nearly everyone, how has neoliberalism come to dominate public life?

The first great advantage the neoliberals possessed was an unceasing fountain of money. US oligarchs and their foundations - Coors, Olin, Scaife, Pew and others - have poured hundreds of millions into setting up thinktanks, founding business schools and transforming university economics departments into bastions of almost totalitarian neoliberal thinking. The Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and many others in the US, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith Institute in the UK, were all established to promote this project. Their purpose was to develop the ideas and the language which would mask the real intent of the programme - the restoration of the power of the elite - and package it as a proposal for the betterment of humankind.

But the most powerful promoter of this programme was the media. Most of it is owned by multimillionaires who use it to project the ideas that support their interests. Those ideas which threaten their interests are either ignored or ridiculed. It is through the newspapers and TV channels that the socially destructive notions of a small group of extremists have come to look like common sense.

Neoliberalism, if unchecked, will catalyse crisis after crisis, all of which can be solved only by greater intervention on the part of the state. In confronting it, we must recognise that we will never be able to mobilise the resources its exponents have been given. But as the disasters they have caused unfold, the public will need ever less persuading that it has been misled.

Larry

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Re: Neoliberism redux

Larry,

You must not want this thread to stay upstairs.  Your Mont Pelerin Society link to a site about Ron Paul's Illuminati Hand shakes and the Protcols of Zion is not particularly helpful to your cause.

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Re: Neoliberism redux

Sorry goes, I picked a quick link without studying the associated content.  Let the Guardian article stand on it's own and if others are interested in the Mont Pelerin Society they can investigate on their own.

The important point that George Monbiot makes is that the move to neo-liberalism was well financed by uber wealthy people, banks and a number of foundations with an agenda.  And, I agree with him that the media has been the biggest proponent.  If you watch TV, you will get the impression that only Keynesian and Austrian economics exist - we should chose between them as we must chose between democrats or republicans.  The "political economy" and the "American System" evidently never existed though they represent truly fresh ideas and real solutions as an alternative to the BS and lies that we are fed daily. 

Ironically, neo-liberal policies have been pushed the hardest by people who consider themselves to be "conservatives" and "libertarians."  I don't think these groups would sincerely back neo-liberalism if they understood the details and history.  Unfortunately, the media fixates society on present time reactions to chaos while keeping people quarantined from the past. 

Neo-liberalism is often marketed as neo-classical economics (Keynesian and Austrian for example).  Neo-classical sounds good, it makes one think that it is grounded in ancient Greek or Roman philosophy - but of course it's not, it is derived from the dark ages of medieval feudalism.

Thanks for pointing out the troubled link...if a moderator thinks its best to break the link, that's fine by me.

Larry

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Re: Neoliberism redux
V wrote:

 

ps Why is it every time I hear trickle down economics I feel like I am being urinated on?

It's a veritable golden shower of hits. 

A recent New Yorker article outlines in great depth the financing and think tank antics that contribute to the propaganda machinery allowing these asymmetrical wealth distributions to flourish.  Just like any manufacturing company producing a product, there are discrete life cycle states. Investors, R & D, Prototyping, and Production are all necessary to refine and distribute the finished "product", which is conditioning the public to embrace ideologies and policies that will allow the unequal distribution of wealth to continue.

A few names and think tanks pop up consistently, this article deals with one of the most egregious and most common, Koch Industries. (Emphasis mine)

As the first anniversary of Obama’s election approached, David Koch came to the Washington area to attend a triumphant Americans for Prosperity gathering. Obama’s poll numbers were falling fast. Not a single Republican senator was working with the Administration on health care, or much else. Pundits were writing about Obama’s political ineptitude, and Tea Party groups were accusing the President of initiating “a government takeover.” In a speech, Koch said, “Days like today bring to reality the vision of our board of directors when we started this organization, five years ago.” He went on, “We envisioned a mass movement, a state-based one, but national in scope, of hundreds of thousands of American citizens from all walks of life standing up and fighting for the economic freedoms that made our nation the most prosperous society in history. . . . Thankfully, the stirrings from California to Virginia, and from Texas to Michigan, show that more and more of our fellow-citizens are beginning to see the same truths as we do.”

While Koch didn’t explicitly embrace the Tea Party movement that day, more recently he has come close to doing so, praising it for demonstrating the “powerful visceral hostility in the body politic against the massive increase in government power, the massive efforts to socialize this country.” Charles Koch, in a newsletter sent to his seventy thousand employees, compared the Obama Administration to the regime of the Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez. The Kochs’ sense of imperilment is somewhat puzzling. Income inequality in America is greater than it has been since the nineteen-twenties, and since the seventies the tax rates of the wealthiest have fallen more than those of the middle class. Yet the brothers’ message has evidently resonated with voters: a recent poll found that fifty-five per cent of Americans agreed that Obama is a socialist.

Americans for Prosperity, meanwhile, has announced that it will spend an additional forty-five million dollars before the midterm elections, in November. Although the group is legally prohibited from directly endorsing candidates, it nonetheless plans to target some fifty House races and half a dozen Senate races, staging rallies, organizing door-to-door canvassing, and running ads aimed at “educating voters about where candidates stand.”

and

And David Koch, in a recent, admiring article about him in New York, protested that the “radical press” had turned his family into “whipping boys,” and had exaggerated its influence on American politics. But Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

and

A few weeks after the Lincoln Center gala, the advocacy wing of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation—an organization that David Koch started, in 2004—held a different kind of gathering. Over the July 4th weekend, a summit called Texas Defending the American Dream took place in a chilly hotel ballroom in Austin. Though Koch freely promotes his philanthropic ventures, he did not attend the summit, and his name was not in evidence. And on this occasion the audience was roused not by a dance performance but by a series of speakers denouncing President Barack Obama. Peggy Venable, the organizer of the summit, warned that Administration officials “have a socialist vision for this country.”

Five hundred people attended the summit, which served, in part, as a training session for Tea Party activists in Texas. An advertisement cast the event as a populist uprising against vested corporate power. “Today, the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests,” it said. “But you can do something about it.” The pitch made no mention of its corporate funders. The White House has expressed frustration that such sponsors have largely eluded public notice. David Axelrod, Obama’s senior adviser, said, “What they don’t say is that, in part, this is a grassroots citizens’ movement brought to you by a bunch of oil billionaires.”

 

and

A Republican campaign consultant who has done research on behalf of Charles and David Koch said of the Tea Party, “The Koch brothers gave the money that founded it. It’s like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud—and they’re our candidates!”

and here it comes:

According to Doherty’s book, the Kochs came to regard elected politicians as merely “actors playing out a script.” A longtime confidant of the Kochs told Doherty that the brothers wanted to “supply the themes and words for the scripts.” In order to alter the direction of America, they had to “influence the areas where policy ideas percolate from: academia and think tanks.”

After the 1980 election, Charles and David Koch receded from the public arena. But they poured more than a hundred million dollars into dozens of seemingly independent organizations. Tax records indicate that in 2008 the three main Koch family foundations gave money to thirty-four political and policy organizations, three of which they founded, and several of which they direct. The Kochs and their company have given additional millions to political campaigns, advocacy groups, and lobbyists. The family’s subterranean financial role has fuelled suspicion on the left; Lee Fang, of the liberal blog ThinkProgress, has called the Kochs “the billionaires behind the hate.”

Only the Kochs know precisely how much they have spent on politics. Public tax records show that between 1998 and 2008 the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation spent more than forty-eight million dollars. The Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, which is controlled by Charles Koch and his wife, along with two company employees and an accountant, spent more than twenty-eight million. The David H. Koch Charitable Foundation spent more than a hundred and twenty million. Meanwhile, since 1998 Koch Industries has spent more than fifty million dollars on lobbying. Separately, the company’s political-action committee, KochPAC, has donated some eight million dollars to political campaigns, more than eighty per cent of it to Republicans. So far in 2010, Koch Industries leads all other energy companies in political contributions, as it has since 2006. In addition, during the past dozen years the Kochs and other family members have personally spent more than two million dollars on political contributions. In the second quarter of 2010, David Koch was the biggest individual contributor to the Republican Governors Association, with a million-dollar donation. Other gifts by the Kochs may be untraceable; federal tax law permits anonymous personal donations to politically active nonprofit groups.

 

Complete article

 

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Re: Neoliberism redux

See terminology is such a tricky thing sometimes.  See, everything I have read about this period of time in which the free market rules over everything regardless of outcome was spawned by the neo-conservatives.   

Much of this thinking here in the US came from Milton Friedman and his acolytes who later became leaders starting with people like Cheney and company.  This school of economic thought was what was being taught to students like Summers and Bernanke at most schools of economics.  He became linked with religious conservative movements (despite the apparent contradiction between these economic policies of dismantling public safety nets and the whole christian love they neighbor thing)

So, forgive me for my ignorance,  I am really just trying to understand when the term "liberal" got attached to economic conservatism?  Hayek is called a conservative by most sources I have read.  Keynes was the liberal economist.  I am not trying to be counter productive,  but terms like this carry great weight, and if we are not defining them in the same manner, we are all talking at cross purposes as we mean different things.  I am going to look for the Harvey book,  but I recommend you check out the documentary The Trap by Adam Curtis.  I'll post a link to it later.  

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Re: Neoliberism redux

This is 3 hours of film in total.  It was actually shown on the BBC so as the films need to recap the week before's material there is some repeat from week to week.  But the overall story is worth every minute.

 

 

The Trap - F*** You Buddy

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=404227395387111085#

 

The Trap -The Lonely Robot

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=404227395387111085#docid=-1087742888040457650

 

The Trap - Whatever happened to our dreams of freedom

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=404227395387111085#docid=8389886774314947871

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Re: Neoliberism redux
darbikrash wrote:

Mention of Chris Martenson ZH article:

Hello DarbiKrash: Thank you for posting my recent write, that despite it's grammar and spelling ZeroHedge was kind enough to run. I try to mention Chris's work (and Al Bartlett's and Jim Quinns) as often as possible. Since this is a hobby and I have nothing to sell I don't have a blog (virtual home) so I hang at Chris's most of the time. Take care

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Re: Neoliberism redux

To argue against my own point about Hayek being considered a conservative is Hayek himself:    (the highlight is mine)

 

http://www.fahayek.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46

Hayel articelon WHY I AM NOT A CONSERVATIVVE

 

1. At a time when most movements that are thought to be progressive advocate further encroachments on individual liberty,[1] those who cherish freedom are likely to expend their energies in opposition. In this they find themselves much of the time on the same side as those who habitually resist change. In matters of current politics today they generally have little choice but to support the conservative parties. But, though the position I have tried to define is also often described as "conservative," it is very different from that to which this name has been traditionally attached. There is danger in the confused condition which brings the defenders of liberty and the true conservatives together in common opposition to developments which threaten their ideals equally. It is therefore important to distinguish clearly the position taken here from that which has long been known - perhaps more appropriately - as conservatism.

 

edit

 

This difference between liberalism and conservatism must not be obscured by the fact that in the United States it is still possible to defend individual liberty by defending long-established institutions. To the liberal they are valuable not mainly because they are long established or because they are American but because they correspond to the ideals which he cherishes.

 

edit

 

This brings me to the first point on which the conservative and the liberal dispositions differ radically. As has often been acknowledged by conservative writers, one of the fundamental traits of the conservative attitude is a fear of change, a timid distrust of the new as such,[5] while the liberal position is based on courage and confidence, on a preparedness to let change run its course even if we cannot predict where it will lead. There would not be much to object to if the conservatives merely disliked too rapid change in institutions and public policy; here the case for caution and slow process is indeed strong. But the conservatives are inclined to use the powers of government to prevent change or to limit its rate to whatever appeals to the more timid mind. In looking forward, they lack the faith in the spontaneous forces of adjustment which makes the liberal accept changes without apprehension, even though he does not know how the necessary adaptations will be brought about. It is, indeed, part of the liberal attitude to assume that, especially in the economic field, the self-regulating forces of the market will somehow bring about the required adjustments to new conditions, although no one can foretell how they will do this in a particular instance.

 

As you can see Hayek here is using these terms quite differently than many people currently do.  Or at least as many people currently understand them.  If one can make either term fit the mold,  how do we communicate effectively?  'What we are talking about is a very fundamental miscommunication by poor labeling.  We have people,  of all categories, lumping people and ideas into categories which do not fit across the spectrum.  It does explain a few things I had not understood so thank you for prompting me to study the issue.

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Re: Neoliberism redux

Land2341:

You’re right, the terminologies are confusing. There is nothing at all liberal about Neoliberalism, it is in fact the domain of the conservatives. The liberalism component refers to liberal economic policies, an example would be “laisse-faire capitalism” and other free market ideals, in which liberal means to not intervene.

Wiki  gives us 10 identifying doctrines of the Neoliberalism convention:

Broadly speaking, Neoliberalism seeks to transfer control of the economy from public to the private sector,[4] under the belief that it will produce a more efficient government and improve the economic health of the nation.[5] The definitive statement of the concrete policies advocated by Neoliberalism is often taken to be John Williamson's[6] "Washington Consensus", a list of policy proposals that appeared to have gained consensus approval among the Washington-based international economic organizations (like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank). Williamson's list included ten points:

Fiscal policy Governments should not run large deficits that have to be paid back by future citizens, and such deficits can only have a short term effect on the level of employment in the economy. Constant deficits will lead to higher inflation and lower productivity, and should be avoided. Deficits should only be used for occasional stabilization purposes.

Redirection of public spending from subsidies (especially what neoliberals call "indiscriminate subsidies") and other spending neoliberals deem wasteful toward broad-based provision of key pro-growth, pro-poor services like primary education, primary health care and infrastructure investment

Tax reform– broadening the tax base and adopting moderate marginal tax rates to encourage innovation and efficiency;

Interest rates that are market determined and positive (but moderate) in real terms;

Floating exchange rates;

Trade liberalization – liberalization of imports, with particular emphasis on elimination of quantitative restrictions (licensing, etc.); any trade protection to be provided by law and relatively uniform tariffs; thus encouraging competition and long term growth

Liberalization of the "capital account" of the balance of payments, that is, allowing people the opportunity to invest funds overseas and allowing foreign funds to be invested in the home country

Privatization of state enterprises; Promoting market provision of goods and services which the government can not provide as effectively or efficiently, such as telecommunications, where having many service providers promotes choice and competition.

Deregulation – abolition of regulations that impede market entry or restrict competition, except for those justified on safety, environmental and consumer protection grounds, and prudent oversight of financial institutions;

Legal security for property rights; and,

Financialization of capital.

 

It is widely accepted that Neoliberalism first came into dominance in the US during the Reagan administration. Overlaying the tenets outlined above with the current economic state of affairs, we can see an erosion of principal that causes many (myself included) to re-examine if these ideals are at all meaningful.

The first (and perhaps most profound) indicator of a problem is the income and wealth distribution data as previously posted (and reposted below):

 

 

 

Chris Martenson posted a similar chart in a "Martenson Report"

 

 

The economic polices of the Reagan administration were specifically “designed” to incentivize the creation of wealth through reduced taxation of higher income brackets and increased deficit spending primarily through a defense (military) build up.

The underlying political justifications were both economic and philosophical. The economic side of things was straightforward, reduce taxes, reduce regulation, increase military spending and let the benefits “trickle down” into the economy at large. The philosophical side was not so straightforward, and invoked a belief system that proposed that taxation of the wealthy was not only fiscally damaging, but immoral as well.

It also introduced the moralistic judgment into mainstream thinking that regulation was bad, and government (in loose terms) was the enemy. Of course we can see from the data that the trickling down never happened, in fact quite the opposite happened, and we are left with the stigma of a moralistic argument which is now deeply entrenched in the mass psyche, who will fight any attempt at reversing this failed policy not on facts and data, but on deeply seated moral judgments.

It must be said that at least part of the philosophical blame has to go the (Ayn) Randian school of Objectivism, which built a popular and widely accepted cover story that created the political cover for Reganomics and other Neoliberal strategies. This school advanced the idea that society was comprised of individuals who were either high value producers, and worthy of deification, or alternatively, lazy non productive individuals which were to be shunned and denied benefits or privilege.

In effect, this was an inversion of the basic principles of Marxism, with the characters and roles exactly reversed.

It served to provide an attractive and appealing moralistic component to the nascent Neoliberalism part of Reganomics, and is an artifact that we still deal with today.

 

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Re: Neoliberism redux

Neo-classical economics were concocted by moneyed aristocrats claiming to be neo-liberals.  In actuality, these people wanted a return to feudalism and a two class system - serfs and rulers.  Monopoly capitalism, communism, fascism and nazis were spawned from feudalism.

Free people would never knowingly approve of feudalism in any form.  Unless of course, they could be led to believe that a duck is a frog.  And so it began in the late 1800's; economics as a discipline of social science was deliberately destroyed and replaced with belief systems secretly rooted in feudalism.  Neo-classical economics were developed by unscrupulous people who were bribed to obfuscate legitimate economics.  Their theories were heavily funded by controlled foundations at universities and they quickly were accepted as conventional.  This is a big reason why modern economists seem incapable of diagnosing problems, forecasting trends and finding solutions.

To be more specific, let me use Mises and Austrian Economics as an example:

"Many readers may be surprised to learn the extent to which the Graduate Institute and then Mises himself in the years immediately after he came to United States were kept afloat financially through generous grants from the Rockefeller Foundation. In fact, for the first years of Mises’s life in the United States, before his appointment as a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University (NYU) in 1945, he was almost totally dependent on annual research grants from the Rockefeller Foundation."  - The Life and Works of Ludwig von Mises

Mises wife, Margit Herzfeld, wrote in her biography of Ludwig Von Mises:

"that he participated in Count Coudenhove-Kalergi’s Pan Europe movement in 1943. He had been brought to the U.S. in 1940 by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation of $2500 a year to work at the Natl. Bureau of Economic Research, which grant was renewed in 1943."

"Hence his [Montagu Norman, Governor of the Bank of England] campaign in favour of completely autonomous central banks, dominating their own financial markets and deriving their power from common agreement among themselves. They would succeed in taking out of the political realm those problems which are essential for the development and prosperity of the national financial security, distribution of credit, movement of prices. They would thus prevent internal political struggles from harming the wealth and the economic advancement of nations.

In short, Norman wished to see the imposition of the World Order over the financial affairs of the nations. It was this agreement among the central banks, rather than the front organization, the League of Nations, which became their final instrument of power. Crucial to these arrangements was the monetarist school, the Austrian School of Economics, an outgrowth of the Pan-Europe movement."  - Eustace Mullins,  "The World Order, A Study in the Hegemony of Parasitism"

If you're interested in learning more about the Austrian and Keynesian fraud, see my post "Austrian & Keynesian Theories Vs. Mathematical Facts"

Larry

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Re: Neoliberism redux

From a sociologic perspective I tend to look at the development of certain ethos which spread ideas that people cling to as "truths" ie freedom is great, hard work is a virtue etc.  These ideas are so entirely embraced that few people question precisely what they mean and where they came from.

In the US we have developed a fairly toxic mix at this point.

1. Calvinism which says that if you re wealthy it is because god loves you (see annual report from Valero for examples of this thinking)

2. Hortion Alger stories of rags to ---- comfortable secure working class was how it originally went it wasn't even really middle class in the stories,  but we devolved it to rags to riches which means if you aren't wealthy it is because you are not smart enough or did not work hard enough.  There is no room for luck or having advantages given to you.

3. John Nash (A beautiful mind)  a paranoid schizophrenic during the cold war, deep in the realm of America's paranoid season, develops a game called F you buddy.  The game, recoined as Game Theory, was intended to determine when an enemy would make an aggressive move.  It was meant to anticipate times of potential attack.  Somehow,  through a series of initiatives that boggle the mind,  this theory became applied to everything from economics to marriage counseling!  It is an inherently selfish construct, paranoid and decietful by nature,  yet it became the very lense through which much of America's policies were developed.

4. Milton Friedman - throw in Ayn Rand and Hayek's version of free will and freedom and you get - f you buddy, you are on your own, and I don't owe you jack.

Stir well and season liberally with patriotic catch phrases and a very twisted version of religion and you get where we are.

Both sides screaming about freedom with neither meaning it in the same way at all.  Both sides calling each other names such as liberal and conservative without really knowing what they mean.  

We Americans love to spout off about freedom,  but we rarely are willing to discuss the idea that freedom to do what we want may leave us sacrificing our freedom from oppression by those who are simply doing what they want.  That taking certain rights away from some people may actually preserve more rights for the rest of us.  I would appreciate it if you take the right to freedom of movement from the rapist as I would like the freedom to not be raped.  This extends to banks.

So what do we need to do?  Issue a dictionary?  Request that people be more specific in their use of terminology?  Good luck with that.  

 

 

 

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Re: Neoliberism redux

Again and again I see the same data and charts being published in different articles by different people- with the same conclusions. Looking at the data cuts through the definitions, no matter how you count , the numbers say the same thing.

The shrill explanantions by those that stand to profit are wearing thin, the limits of propoganda are in sight. The ugly conclusions of these asymmetrical income distributions is long past the flag waving and table banging- the proponents are left only with leaning out the window and advising the masses to eat a particluar type of baked goods.

 

You Call This Capitalism?

Capitalism is supposed to be an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are not made by the government; Profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses. The American economy is in no way a free market capitalistic system. It has become a oligarchic consumer capitalist society that is manipulated, in a deliberate and coordinated way, on a very large scale, through mass-marketing techniques, to the advantage of Wall Street and mega-corporations.

When you hear the Wall Street class on CNBC argue against tax increases for the rich, they hark to the fact that small businesses would be hurt most by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. There are 6 million small businesses in the US, with 90% of them employing less than 20 employees. These are not the rich. The vast majority of these businesses earn less than $1 million per year. There are only about 134,000 people in America who make on average $2.5 million per year. There are another 600,000 people who make on average $760,000 per year. Out of a workforce of 150 million, less than 1 million rake in over $750,000 per year. These are not small businesses. They are the Wall Street elite, corporate CEOs and the privileged classes that control the power in NYC and Washington DC.

1920′s Redux

The parallels between the period leading up to the Great Depression and our current situation leading to a Greater Depression are revealing. When you examine the facts without looking through the prism of party politics it becomes clear that when the wealth and power of the country are overly concentrated in the clutches of the top 1% wealthiest Americans, financial collapse and depression follow. This concentration of income and wealth did not cause the Stock Market Crash of 1929 or the financial system implosion in 2008, but they were a symptom of a sick system of warped incentives. The top 1% of income earners were raking in 24% of all the income in America in 1928. After World War II until 1980, the top 1% of income earners consistently took home between 9% and 11% of all income in the country. During the 1950′s and 1960′s when average Americans made tremendous strides in their standard of living, the top 1% were earning 10% of all income. A hard working high school graduate could rise into the middle class, owning a home and a car.

From 1980 onward, the top 1% wealthiest Americans have progressively taken home a greater and greater percentage of all income. It peaked at 22% in 1999 at the height of the internet scam. Wall Street peddled IPOs of worthless companies to delusional investors and siphoned off billions in fees and profits. The rich cut back on their embezzling of our national wealth for a year and then resumed despoiling our economic system by taking advantage of the Federal Reserve created housing boom. By 2007, the top 1% again was taking home 24% of the national income, just as they did in 1928. When the wealth of the country is captured by a small group of ruling elite through fraudulent means, collapse and crisis becomes imminent. We have experienced the collapse, while the crisis deepens.

Full article

 

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Re: Neoliberism redux

darbikrash wrote:

Again and again I see the same data and charts being published in different articles by different people- with the same conclusions. Looking at the data cuts through the definitions, no matter how you count , the numbers say the same thing.

The shrill explanantions by those that stand to profit are wearing thin, the limits of propoganda are in sight. The ugly conclusions of these asymmetrical income distributions is long past the flag waving and table banging- the proponents are left only with leaning out the window and advising the masses to eat a particluar type of baked goods.

A truly remarkable post...you have done a fine job of keeping your OT on track by simultaneously discovering and teaching the subtle but powerful influences that form the world that we inhabit.  Nation states long ago gave way to the move towards internationalism.  Propaganda (mind control) has deceptively re-branded the American system from the inalienable rights of the individual to the perceived greater good of all.  In this mixed up juggernaut, we are all to suffer equally under the boots of the few.  Welcome to feudalism.

Yes, the limits of propaganda are in sight...but they are being replaced by totalitarian tyranny.  Soon, if not already, our opinions and preferences just won't matter.  Unfortunately, the voices of the "opposition" are totally owned and orchestrated.  Communism was counter attacked by phony economic theories that are rooted in the same feudalism.  The Hegelian dialectic has won the day.

I wish I could say otherwise, but it looks like we have been conquered by the international bank cartel.  They own/control almost every nation state on the planet; most especially the U.S and Israel.  Soon, our children and grandchildren will become one with the children of Fallujah.

I hate to sound so negative and rest assured I will continue to fight, but your thread is a heavy dose of reality.

Larry

[Moderator's note: Interesting though the subject may be, the existence and nature of an international banking cartel is not an appropriate subject for discussion on the main forums.  We have made this policy and the reasons for it quite clear.]

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Re: Neoliberism redux

[Moderator's note: Interesting though the subject may be, the existence and nature of an international banking cartel is not an appropriate subject for discussion on the main forums.  We have made this policy and the reasons for it quite clear.]

No problems, I’ll comply with the policy but I respectfully request a clarification. You mentioned discussing “the nature” of the bank cartel and I agree that is a speculative issue. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you also meant that the existence of a private, international bank cartel is questionable?

Their existence is beyond question as it a matter of public record and thoroughly well documented. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first, a definition: cartel – “an international syndicate, combine, or trust formed esp. to regulate prices and output in some field of business. 2. a coalition of political or special-interest groups having a common cause, as to encourage the passage of a certain law.”

"In 1912, a special subcommittee was convened by the Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee, Arsene P. Pujo.  Its purpose was to investigate the "money trust," a small group of Wall Street bankers that exerted powerful control over the nation's finances.  The committee's majority report concluded that a group of financial leaders had abused the public trust to consolidate control over many industries.  The concentration of financial power was then able to fool the public by transition from the damning Pujo Committee report to manufacture even greater control via the Federal Reserve Act of 1913."

After the death of J P Morgan, people were shocked to learn that America’s most powerful bank was over 60% owned by the foreign House of Rothschild...but let's move on...

** Source: A Study of Corporate and Banking Influence. Staff Report, Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing, House of Representatives, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, August 1976.

Chart 1; Who "owns" the Federal Reserve

Chart 1 reveals the linear connection between the Rothschilds and the Bank of England, and the London banking houses which ultimately control the Federal Reserve Banks through their stockholdings of bank stock and their subsidiary firms in New York. The two principal Rothschild representatives in New York, J. P. Morgan Co., and Kuhn, Loeb & Co. were the firms which set up the Jekyll Island Conference at which the Federal Reserve Act was drafted, who directed the subsequent successful campaign to have the plan enacted into law by Congress, and who purchased the controlling amounts of stock in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1914. These firms had their principal officers appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Advisory Council in 1914. In 1914 a few families (blood or business related) owning controlling stock in existing banks (such as in New York City) caused those banks to purchase controlling shares in the Federal Reserve regional banks. Examination of the charts and text in the House Banking Committee Staff Report of August, 1976 and the current stockholders list of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks show this same family control.

Link to Ownership Flow Chart

Things have changed a little since 1976; for example in 1997 the Federal Reserve reported that its three largest member banks were Chase Manhattan, Citibank and J.P. Morgan Guaranty Trust. In 2000, J. P. Morgan (Rothschild) and Chase Manhattan (Rockefeller) merged to become J.P. Morgan Chase Co. If you look, you will find that the same people own or control over 100 central banks, the IMF and the BIS.

I can understand why people do not realize that the world’s wealthiest and most powerful financial entity is the international bank cartel – no one in the MSM will talk about it.  Even the few and shallow congressional reports that have taken place have been quickly buried.

I don’t think that I am over-reaching in saying that the international bank cartel is the third E (economy) and that they control another E (energy).

I’m loyal and respectful to the mission of CM.com and do not want to damage the cause.  Where else can you learn how to grow a garden, store food, become more self efficient, learn how build communities and get news and financial opinions from such a fine leader and group?   I can only contribute in a narrow band of issues but like many others, I quietly grow by paying attention to the full gamut.

I will not pretend that something as big as the international banking cartel does not exist.   That said, I understand that my subjective opinion of their nature as SOBs may be out of line; I will check my fire if that’s preferred by the mods and community.

I’m sorry to disturb your excellent thread darbikrash. Hopefully, Jason (one of the moderators) or someone else will tell me what to do.

Larry

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The Trap ~ Television Documentary Series ~ Adam Curtis
land2341 wrote:

This is 3 hours of film in total.  It was actually shown on the BBC so as the films need to recap the week before's material there is some repeat from week to week.  But the overall story is worth every minute.

Hello Land,

I noticed your earlier links to The Trap series and wanted to second my respect for them as compulsory viewing, and totally relevant to this thread. I've reproduced it below from the original I posted on the  "Important films, books or internet pages we all should study"  thread. Enjoy ...

The Trap ~ Television Documentary Series ~ Adam Curtis

[quote=]

Wikipedia Review

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom is a BBC documentary series by English filmmaker Adam Curtis, well known for other documentaries including The Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares. It began airing in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 11 March 2007.

The series consists of three one-hour programmes which explore the concept and definition of freedom, specifically, "how a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures led to today's idea of freedom."

Adam Curtis (born 1955) is a British television documentary maker who has during the course of his television career worked as a writer, producer, director and narrator. He currently works for BBC Current Affairs. His programmes express a clear (and sometimes controversial) opinion about their subject, and he narrates the programmes himself.

"F**k You Buddy"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=404227395387111085

"The Lonely Robot"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1087742888040457650

"We Will Force You To Be Free"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4486343328817737043

~ VF ~

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A Brief History of Neoliberalism ~ by David Harvey

Land,

Here's a copy of the book you wanted to read in question: -

 A Brief History of Neoliberalism ~ by David Harvey

[quote=]

Wikipedia Review

David Harvey (born 31 October 1935, Gillingham, Kent, England) is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). A leading social theorist of international standing, he received his PhD in Geography from University of Cambridge in 1961. Widely influential, he is among the top 20 most cited authors in the humanities. In addition, he is the world's most cited academic geographer (according to Andrew Bodman, see Transactions of the IBG, 1991, 1992), and the author of many books and essays that have been prominent in the development of modern geography as a discipline. His work has contributed greatly to broad social and political debate, most recently he has been credited with helping to bring back social class and Marxist methods as serious methodological tools in the critique of global capitalism, particularly in its neoliberal form. He is a leading proponent of the idea of The Right to the City.

{Continued...}

~ VF ~

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Re: Neoliberism redux
DrKrbyLuv wrote:

I’m sorry to disturb your excellent thread darbikrash.

Larry

As far as I'm concerned, the input you have provided has been useful and appreciated.

With respect to the moderators and regarding the constituency of the upper 1% of the wealth distribution curve, personally,  I'd frame it by mentioning that the banking and financial sector are shall we say, well represented in the data, but let's be sure and leave room for some of the other jubilee attendees, such as the oil company CEO's, and various and sundry other high level pillagers and plunderers from all manner of industries.

Plenty to go around for all,  I'd just hate the see the financial crowd get all the "credit".

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Re: Neoliberism redux

VF Thanks for linking the movies I really appreciate it.  I think there is such good info there and so few people willing to watch it

 

Even fewer willing to do anything about it.  

 

This has been a wonderful thread and I have learned alot thank you all.

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Re: Neoliberism redux

Land,

It's a pleasure!!

 Darbikrash and Larry are highly respected by me at cm.com. We've shared many a sandbox here, and by bouncing history back and forth as sounding boards, I've learned a great deal ...

One of the central tenets of many a thread for me is the work and life of Isaiah Berlin, opened bare and raw by Adam Curtis with his series, The Trap. Now, one of the most diverse threads (there have been many mind) to ever find its way into cm.com is { ... This One ... }. It takes some unseemly twists and turns, a few false starts, plus a couple of trips into the dark side, then back out into the light again. It was also a few months before your time here, and is so deserving of you, I offer it as a gift. Thoroughly, it is food for thought; spicy enough to draw tears, yet not so offensive so as not to draw on another bite of the dish; some of which, as can be seen, is both 'served cold', and at times, draws its measure of blood. Be warned mind, this is a Kaleidoscope - up is down, south is north and rights have left ...

A little taster :-

~ VF ~

P.S. Take these in with you ... Wink...

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Re: Neoliberism redux

Larry,

In response to your request for clarification:

DrKrbyLuv wrote:

Their existence is beyond question as it a matter of public record and thoroughly well documented. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first, a definition...

That's fine.  The existence of species of archaebacteria that can survive at temperatures and pressures far higher than previously thought possible for any life form to exist at is also beyond question.  But that is -- much like the international banking cartel -- beyond the main scope of this website.

Granted that in the absence of further guidance from us on the subject a plausible argument could be made that the international banking cartel is related to the 3E's.  But we have provided that guidance; we have asked that discussions of conspiratorial material be limited to the CT folder, and our reasons for doing so have been made clear. 

We intend to focus on the individual, and individual and community preparation for a different future.  Discussion of international conspiracies is a huge time drain from the perspective of what this site hopes to accomplish in the way of motivating personal and community responsibility.

DrKrbyLuv wrote:

I will not pretend that something as big as the international banking cartel does not exist.   That said, I understand that my subjective opinion of their nature as SOBs may be out of line; I will check my fire if that’s preferred by the mods and community.

  You need not pretend that they do not exist: just stop discussing it.  By "it" I mean the international banking cartel, the House of Rothschild, and any other federation of people who putatively own and control nations.  Stop trying to inject these ideas into your discussions.  Stop alluding to them.  In fact, if you start coyly referring to them as "TPTB" (wink, wink) even without elaborating further, you will be violating our directions.  I know you feel that the subject is important, but as a veteran user who posts frequently,  we need you to assist us in guiding the content and discussion of the site in the direction Chris would like it to go, to areas that he feels are most ripe for productive discussion.

Statements such as, "I wish I could say otherwise, but it looks like we have been conquered by the international bank cartel.  They own/control almost every nation state on the planet; most especially the U.S and Israel," are the essence of material that belongs in the CT folder, and only in the CT folder.

Because we have communicated with you several times about this in the past, I suggest that you back well away from the line on this issue, and steer far clear of CT discussions in the main forums, because if you make any posts that come close to the line, you will not get the benefit of the doubt.

Thank you for your help.

Jason

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Neoliberism redux
Moderator Jason wrote:

Larry,

In response to your request for clarification:

DrKrbyLuv wrote:

Their existence is beyond question as it a matter of public record and thoroughly well documented. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first, a definition...

That's fine.  The existence of species of archaebacteria that can survive at temperatures and pressures far higher than previously thought possible for any life form to exist at is also beyond question.  But that is -- much like the international banking cartel -- beyond the main scope of this website.

Granted that in the absence of further guidance from us on the subject a plausible argument could be made that the international banking cartel is related to the 3E's.  But we have provided that guidance; we have asked that discussions of conspiratorial material be limited to the CT folder, and our reasons for doing so have been made clear. 

We intend to focus on the individual, and individual and community preparation for a different future.  Discussion of international conspiracies is a huge time drain from the perspective of what this site hopes to accomplish in the way of motivating personal and community responsibility.

DrKrbyLuv wrote:

I will not pretend that something as big as the international banking cartel does not exist.   That said, I understand that my subjective opinion of their nature as SOBs may be out of line; I will check my fire if that’s preferred by the mods and community.

  You need not pretend that they do not exist: just stop discussing it.  By "it" I mean the international banking cartel, the House of Rothschild, and any other federation of people who putatively own and control nations.  Stop trying to inject these ideas into your discussions.  Stop alluding to them.  In fact, if you start coyly referring to them as "TPTB" (wink, wink) even without elaborating further, you will be violating our directions.  I know you feel that the subject is important, but as a veteran user who posts frequently,  we need you to assist us in guiding the content and discussion of the site in the direction Chris would like it to go, to areas that he feels are most ripe for productive discussion.

Statements such as, "I wish I could say otherwise, but it looks like we have been conquered by the international bank cartel.  They own/control almost every nation state on the planet; most especially the U.S and Israel," are the essence of material that belongs in the CT folder, and only in the CT folder.

Because we have communicated with you several times about this in the past, I suggest that you back well away from the line on this issue, and steer far clear of CT discussions in the main forums, because if you make any posts that come close to the line, you will not get the benefit of the doubt.

Thank you for your help.

Jason

Jason,

I have great appreciation for your work in moderating this leviathan of a site, but I'm highly suspicious that by creating such a gagging order on Larry, no matter that he is at times obsessively impassioned will, in effect, close down all and everything that he has to say from every facet of his studies and his enthusiasm in sharing what is, in truth, a vast amount of study and knowledge.

I can see that there are necessary areas that need to be quelled, yet this is more in politically protecting Chris from future mainstream judgement. What can be done about Larry' 1982 previous posts that are fully archived. Surely they would have a dire effect, and would be highly noteworthy for any journalist worth their salt?

The Creature From Jeckyll Island, one of Dr Martenson' books that he recommends is, by virtue, all of the groundwork that our long-term writer DrKrbyLuv has framed himself within. Therefore, as of cause and effect, both Larry and the previous guidelines of the forum and what has gone before are suspect and contradictory.

My Best,
Paul

Christopher H's picture
Christopher H
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 29 2009
Posts: 148
Re: Neoliberism redux

V wrote:

Why is it every time I hear trickle down economics I feel like I am being urinated on?

There's a great line from the beginning of the classic Western, "The Outlaw Josey Wales," that sums this up.  "Fletcher", after convincing his comrades in a band of Missouri rebel holdouts to come into a Union camp and lay down their arms in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War only to see them gunned down by the Union troops has the following exchange with Kansas Republican Senator Jim Lane, who approved the slaughter:

SENATOR LANE: There's an old saying, Fletcher: "To the victor belong the spoils."

FLETCHER: Where I come from we also have a saying, Senator: "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining."

I think that saying applies pretty well to the idea of "trickle-down" economics as well.  You're far from off-base on this one, V.

darbikrash's picture
darbikrash
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 573
Re: Neoliberism redux

From that bastion of higher education, "Let Them Eat Cake University":

Article Link

 

Death By Globalism—Economists Haven’t A Clue

By Paul Craig Roberts 

Have economists made themselves irrelevant?  If you have any doubts, have a look at the current issue of the magazine, International Economy, a slick endorsed by former Federal Reserve chairmen Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, by Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, by former Secretary of State George Shultz, and by the New York Times and Washington Post, both of which declare the magazine to be "ahead of the curve."

The main feature of the current issue is "The Great Stimulus Debate" [PDF] Is the Obama fiscal stimulus helping the economy or hindering it? 

Princeton economics professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman [Email him] and Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi [Email him] represent the Keynesian view that government deficit spending is needed to lift the economy out of recession. Zandi declares that thanks to the fiscal stimulus, "The economy has made enormous progress since early 2009"[PDF], an opinion shared by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and the Congressional Budget Office. 

The opposite view, associated with Harvard economics professor Robert Barro and with European  economists, such as Francesco Giavazzi and Marco Pagano and the European Central Bank, is that government budget surpluses achieved by cutting government spending spur the economy by reducing the ratio of debt to Gross Domestic Product.

This is the "let them eat cake” school of economics.

Barro says that fiscal stimulus has no effect, because people anticipate the future tax increases implied by government deficits and increase their personal savings to offset the added government debt. Giavazzi and Pagano reason that, since fiscal stimulus does not expand the economy, fiscal austerity consisting of higher taxes and reduced government spending could be the cure for unemployment.

If one overlooks the real world and the need of life for sustenance, one can become engrossed in this debate. However, the minute one looks out the window upon the world, one realizes that cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies when 15 million Americans have lost jobs, medical coverage, and homes is a certain path to death by starvation, curable diseases, and exposure, and the loss of the productive labor inputs from 15 million people. Although some proponents of this anti-Keynesian policy deny that it results in social upheaval, Gerald Celente’s observation is closer to the mark: "When people have nothing left to lose, they lose it."

The Krugman Keynesian school is just as deluded.  Neither side in "The Great Stimulus Debate" has a clue that the problem for the U.S. is that a large chunk of U.S. GDP and the jobs, incomes, and careers associated with it, have been moved offshore and given to Chinese, Indians, and others with low wage rates. Profits have soared on Wall Street, while job prospects for the middle class have been eliminated.

The offshoring of American jobs resulted from (1) Wall Street pressures for "higher shareholder returns", that is, for more profits, and from (2) no-think economists, such as the ones engaged in the debate over fiscal stimulus, who mistakenly associated globalism with free trade instead of with its antithesis—the pursuit of lowest factor cost abroad or absolute advantage, the opposite of comparative advantage, which is the basis for free trade theory. Even Krugman, who has some credentials as a trade theorist, has fallen for the equation of globalism with free trade.

As economists assume, incorrectly according to the latest trade theory by Ralph Gomory and William Baumol, that free trade is always mutually beneficial, economists have failed to examine the devastatingly harmful effects of offshoring. The more intelligent among them who point it out are dismissed as "protectionists."  

The reason fiscal stimulus cannot rescue the U.S. economy has nothing to do with the difference between Barro and Krugman. It has to do with the fact that a large percentage of high-productivity, high-value-added jobs and the middle class incomes and careers associated with them have been given to foreigners. What used to be U.S. GDP is now Chinese, Indian, and other country GDP.

When the jobs have been shipped overseas, fiscal stimulus does not call workers back to work in order to meet the rising consumer demand. If fiscal stimulus has any effect, it stimulates employment in China and India.

The "let them eat cake school" is equally off the mark. As investment, research, development, etc., have been moved offshore, cutting entitlements simply drives the domestic population deeper in the ground. Americans cannot pay their mortgages, car payments, tuition, utility bills, or for that matter, any bill, based on Chinese and Indian pay scales. Therefore, Americans are priced out of the labor market and become dependencies of the federal budget. "Fiscal  consolidation" means writing off large numbers of humans.

During the Great Depression, many wage and salary earners were new members of the labor force arriving from family farms, where many parents and grandparents still supported themselves. When their city jobs disappeared, many could return to the farm. 

Today farming is in the hands of agribusiness. There are no farms to which the unemployed can return. 

The "let them eat cake school" never mentions the one point in its favor.  The U.S., with all its huffed up power and importance, depends on the U.S. dollar as reserve currency. It is this role of the dollar that allows America to pay for its imports in its own currency. 

For a country whose trade is as unbalanced as America’s, this privilege is what keeps the country afloat. 

The threats to the dollar’s role are the budget and trade deficits. Both are so large and have accumulated for so long that the prospect of making good on them has evaporated. As I have written for a number of years, the U.S. is so dependent on the dollar as reserve currency that it must have as its main policy goal to preserve that role. 

Otherwise, the U.S., an import-dependent country, will be unable to pay for its excess of imports over its exports.

"Fiscal consolidation," the new term for austerity, could save the dollar. However, unless starvation, homelessness and social upheaval are the goals, the austerity must fall on the military budget.

America cannot afford its multi-trillion dollar wars that serve only to enrich those invested in the armaments industries. The U.S. cannot afford the neoconservative dream of world hegemony and a conquered Middle East open to Israeli colonization

Is anyone surprised that not a single proponent of the "let them eat cake school" mentions cutting military spending?  Entitlements, despite the fact that they are paid for by earmarked taxes and have been in surplus since the Reagan administration, are always what economists put on the chopping block. 

Where do the two schools stand on inflation vs. deflation? We don’t have to worry. Martin Feldstein, [Email him] one of America’s pre-eminent economists, says: "The good news…is that investors should worry about neither." His explanation epitomizes the insouciance of American economists. 

Feldstein says that there cannot be inflation because of the high rate of unemployment and the low rate of capacity utilization. Thus, "there is little upward pressure on wages and prices in the United States." Moreover, "the recent rise in the value of the dollar relative to the euro and British pound helps by reducing import costs."

As for deflation, no risk there either. The huge deficits prevent deflation, "so the good news is that the possibility of significant inflation or deflation during the next few years is low on the list of economic risks faced by the U.S. economy and by financial investors."

What we have in front of us is an unaware economics profession. There may be some initial period of deflation as stock and housing prices decline with the economy, which is headed down and not up.  The deflation will be short lived, because as the government’s deficit rises with the declining economy, the prospect of financing a $2 trillion annual deficit evaporates once individual investors have completed their flight from the stock market into "safe" government bonds, once the hyped Greek, Spanish, and Irish crises have driven investors out of Euros into dollars, and once the banks’ excess reserves created by the bailout have been used up in the purchase of Treasuries.

Then what finances the deficit? Don’t look for an answer from either side of The Great Stimulus Debate. They haven’t a clue—despite the fact that the answer is obvious. 

The Federal Reserve will monetize the federal government deficit. The result will be high inflation, possibly hyper-inflation and high unemployment simultaneously. 

The no-think economics establishment has no policy response for economic Armageddon, assuming they are even capable of recognizing it. 

Economists who have spent their professional lives rationalizing "globalism" as good for America have no idea of the disaster that they have wrought.

 

darbikrash's picture
darbikrash
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 573
Re: Neoliberism redux

Won't be long now.........

Article:

From Brussels to Latvia, neoliberal planners have expressed the hope that lower public-sector salaries will spread to the private sector. The aim is to roll back wage levels by 30 percent or more, to depression levels, on the pretense that this will “leave more surplus” available to pay in debt service. It will do no such thing, of course. It is a purely vicious attempt to reverse Europe’s Progressive Era social democratic reforms achieved over the past century. Europe is to be turned into a banana republic by taxing labor – not finance, insurance or real estate (FIRE). Governments are to impose heavier employment and sales taxes while cutting back pensions and other public spending.

“Join the fight against labor, or we will destroy you,” the EC is telling governments. This requires dictatorship, and the European Central Bank (ECB) has taken over this power from elected government. Its “independence” from political control is celebrated as the “hallmark of democracy” by today’s new financial oligarchy. This deceptive news speak evokes Plato’s view that oligarchy is simply the political stage following democracy. The new power elite’s next step in this eternal political triangle is to make itself hereditary – by abolishing estate taxes, for starters – so as to turn itself into an aristocracy.

It is a very old game indeed. So it is time to put aside the economics of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the Progressive Era, to forget Marx and even Keynes. Europe is ushering in an era of totalitarian neoliberal rule. This is what Wednesday’s strikes and demonstrations were about. Europe’s class war is back in business – with a vengeance!

This is economic suicide, but the EU is demanding that Euro-zone governments keep their budget deficits below 3% of GDP, and their total debt below 60%. On Wednesday the EU passed a law to fine governments up to 0.2% of GDP for not “fixing” their budget deficits by imposing such fiscal austerity. Nations that borrow to engage in counter-cyclical “Keynesian-style” spending that raises their public debt beyond 60% of GDP will have to reduce the excess by 5% each year, or suffer harsh punishment. The European Commission (EC) will fine euro-area states that do not obey its neoliberal recommendations – ostensibly to “correct” budget imbalances.

The reality is that every neoliberal “cure” only makes matters worse. But rather than seeing rising wage levels and living standards as being a precondition for higher labor productivity, the EU commission will “monitor” labor costs on the assumption that rising wages impair competitiveness rather than raise it. If euro members cannot depreciate their currencies, then they must fight labor – but not tax real estate, finance or other rentier sectors, not regulate monopolies, and not provide public services that can be privatized at much higher costs. Privatization is not deemed to impair competitiveness – only rising wages, regardless of productivity considerations.

The financial privatization and credit-creation monopoly that governments have relinquished to banks is now to really pay off – at the price of breaking up Europe. Unlike central banks elsewhere in the world, the charter of the European Central Bank (ECB, independent from democratic politics, not from control by its commercial bank members) forbids it to monetize government debt. Governments must borrow from banks, which are create interest-bearing debt on their own keyboards rather than having their national bank do it without cost.

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