BARE MARKET REDUCES MAN TO GREED & GRIND. CIVILIZATION IS RICHER.
[[A security problem at WordPress prevented reproducing half dozen graphs crucial to the essay below; hopefully at a future date. Better a mangled publication than none! Essays explaining with historical maps and reproductions of incriminating documents how Turkey's and Germany's poorly digested pasts caused their friendliness to the Libyan dictator and his family of murderous thugs, are delayed.]]
Abstract: The USA used to be mainly composed of “whites” and “blacks“. (“Black” in the USA is (still!) defined as any, even the smallest, contribution of African ancestry. Is it the Mark of Cain? According to the Pope, yes.)
The USA was mostly made of “whites“, and still is. There are 196 million of “whites” in the USA, according to the latest census. Now the largest and fastest growing minority, by far, is “Hispanics” (54 millions). The “whites” used to comprise the middle class, and they have been suffering: their real income has been going down, while the cost of accessing to the upper class, education, has become stratospheric. So “whites” are getting poorer, less educated, the latter feeding back on the former.
A consequence is that the deeply unhappy, insecure “whites” are collapsing demographically. The latest census shows that the total population of white children (0 to 18 years) has gone down 10%. In a decade. In other words, the population of what used to be the United States of America is collapsing. Extrapolating these rates, the USA will turn soon into Mexico. Indeed this seems to be the aim of the plutocrats: is not it true that the world’s richest man, Carlos Sims, is Mexican?
Serious: the Mexican tax income is 10% of GDP. The US federal tax income is 9% of GDP, the rest is borrowed from the objective accomplice of American plutocracy, the Chinese dictatorship (hey, what are friends for?)
I will argue that the Will-To-Lower taxes is actually the expression of the will to go down, indeed. Lowering taxes to nothing is an attempt to reduce man to fear and greed. It is a will to reduce man to crocodile. In the guise of reducing the deficit, the American right wing is reducing the USA to increasingly nothing. Reducing man to fear and greed is no way to have a sustainable civilization. It is an ominous fate. It has no future value.
PAUL RYAN, SCREAMING TODDLER FROM THE ABYSS:
The American right wing is frighteningly stupid. Its leitmotiv, as Obama pointed out, is to give even more power to its sponsors, the hyper rich. Obama took the case of his own tax cuts, as proposed by the US Congress headed by Ryan and company: 33 seniors would see 6,400 dollars more in taxes, so that Obama could play with another 200,000 dollars. That, Obama rightly points out, is outrageous.
The American wealthy love to claim they are philanthropists. Let’s help them by enforcing that (Obama presented that idea in a more sneaky, psychologically correct way: the rich want to give, if we only would let them do it).
Europe’s richest person is Frenchman Bernard Arnault, a self made man, formed as an engineer at Polytechnique. He is worth $41 billion, making him the fourth richest man in the world (excluding despots, such as the Mubaraks, Kadhafis, and other Putins). Ryan the ignorant would say that Arnault is the victim of France, a welfare state: Arnault pays more than 50% in taxes. He thus has the satisfaction to have the French state provide him with the service of being made more philanthropic than his American colleagues.
Plutocrats have names. Two Wall Street housewives, Christy Mack and Susan Karches, got 220 million dollars from the Federal Reserve bank (which they did not have to reimburse: the loans were “non-recourse”).
Their husbands were big guys on Wall Street, getting even more money from the government of the USA. Dozens of hedge funds with Cayman Island addresses (so paying no US taxes) got billions of dollars. From the always so generous, albeit unknowing, US taxpayers. Basically, all the richest people in the USA were given free money from the Federal Reserve bank. To support the economy: in the USA, according to the operating wisdom, the rich is the economy. All this was supposed to stay secret, but an act of Congress (thanks to Senator Sanders from Vermont, the Senate’s lone socialist) just revealed the enormity of what is going on.
I have talked about this for years, as indications here and there, showed that this was the case. The same holds in Europe, with the deliberately mislabeled “Euro Crisis”, which is, in zeroth order, simply a money grab by the plutocracy. Thugs grabbing candy from children, ready to eat whatever from whoever. Hopefully the Icelanders have called off that charade, and normal people, in the rest of Europe and America, will realize that they don’t have to pay for plutocrats. Twice. And that it is time to force obdurate oligarchs to join their role models, the Mubaraks, in jail.
Why the American crisis? Here:
[Non reproduced graph showing a collapse of taxes on the richest in the USA in the last 20 years. Krugman's "Tax Facts" has two of the graphs I used.]
Notice the drastic lowering of taxes under Clinton, from 30% down to 22% for the 400 richest. So much for Clinton being a democrat. Correct spelling: demoncrat. Then Bush, from a billionaire family, in an ambush, lowered the tax rate of the hyper wealthy down to less than 17%; by comparison in high tax areas such as New York City, the upper middle class can pay 50% or more, in taxes… making the middle class a shadow of its former self, and the tax burden not much different from that of European “welfare” states… without the advantages.
IS THIEVERY WHAT FASCISM WAS ALL ABOUT?
So say some recent analyses of the Nazis; they mostly killed the Jews, because they wanted to steal them. Hatred was a convenient truth, but not the strongest motivation.
One has to remember that German fascism was essentially an alliance of the hyper wealthy, and hyper powerful, among the Prussian aristocracy, other grandees, and some industrialists. After trying to grab Europe in 1914, that constellation of arrogance was defeated in World War One. Those worthies then allied themselves with American plutocrats, thugs, children of criminals against mankind, such as Hermann Goering, and revanchards low lives such as Adolf Hitler, creating Nazism.
Meanwhile in Italy, Mussolini, a repented socialist, made explicit the alliance between corporations and the state, a version of plutocracy he called “fascismo”.
Fascism is not always a product of plutocracy, and is far from being always bad, as those who invented the concept, the republicans of Rome, would be the first to point out. For the genuine Romans, fascism was the symbol of the judicial power of the republic, and the French republic still uses the concept in that exact way, 25 centuries later.
Fascism is the ax of the People’s ultimate power, when the many wind around the force of simplemindedness. However an ax can be misused.
Plutocracy always use fascism, and uses it badly, deliberately. What Paul Ryan and company propose is a naked version of what Mussolini implemented in Italy, and what laid subterraneously in Nazi Germany (as Ernst Julius Röhm found out in the last few hours of his life).
ONLY THING THEY KNOW IS THAT THEY HATE THE STATE:
There is no deficit problem in the USA. There is a plutocratic problem. True the Federal government takes 18% of GDP while the Federal tax receipts are 9% of GDP. But that is deliberate. The plutocracy does not want to pay taxes, just as it did not want to pay taxes in the Late Roman empire. Plutocracy wants wealth to rule. And only wealth. And Pluto. Plutocracy does not want the law, or the state to rule. To kill the state, plutocracy kills taxes. This is why, in the Late Roman empire the law, the state, and even the army collapsed (instead the Franks, Visigoths and huns were privateley contracted).
Just like in the Roman empire, plutocracy has created an ideology to sabotage the country, the state, whatever does not satisfy its cult of personal power. In the Late Roman empire, rabid Christianity was the ideology that plutocracy used. Now the ideology is the so called “free market”. According to that ideology, only the “free market” produces anything of value.
Ryan and the right wing economists who support him are amazingly ignorant. Being scoundrels, as Krugman pointed out, no doubt further their ignorance. They know nothing about a few dozen European countries, and still other countries, such as Japan, which completely contradict his ideas, with explicit examples, here, there, and everywhere. For example the Swedish health care is much better than the American one, and is much cheaper. As soon as one studies the Swedish system, one understands why.
And why is it that Germany, with 45% of GDP as state spending is doing better economically than the USA, with 18% of GDP for Federal spending? Overall, Europe is doing great economically (except for some overextended peripherals), and all European states have an AVT of at least 15%, and state spending between 40% and 55% of GDP. Way above the global state spending of the USA of 30%. One also has to keep in mind that the private sector in the USA is very inefficient, which bloats GDP: energy usage in the USA is only 33% efficient, whereas it is above 80% or 90% in the Western Europe, or Japan.)
TAXING FACTS SHOW THAT HIGH TAX STATES DO BETTER:
[Absent graph showing the tax rates of many countries, the total tax load of the USA being near the bottom, between half and two-thirds of the European tax loads.]
I have harped for many years that taxes are not high enough in the USA. Moreover, they are skewed very badly. To advantage the rich. To encourage waste, and discourage savings and conservation. As energy costs have increased recently, the French government was able to reduce by 10% the tax loads of poor professionals who depend upon transportation. High tax countries have freedom of financial engineering. If production oil prices doubled, European governments would be able to swallow the increase. Not so in the USA.
Aside from the low-tax status of the United States, it’s interesting to note that all the European debt crisis countries have relatively low taxes by European standards. This is a causal relationship. and it is well understood in Europe. To help fix its crisis, Greece has augmented its VAT up to 23%, and is now trying to tax the (rich) Church.
This puts the lie to those claiming that big welfare states were somehow responsible for the crisis: the four countries at the top, the top welfare states, with the highest tax rates, are doing splendidly. According to the IMF and the CIA, Norway, Denmark and Sweden have higher GDP than the USA.
This, in spite of the high inefficiency of the economy of the USA, which augments the ratio GDP/AWE. (AWE, Absolute Worth Energy, my own concoction, measures the efficiency of energy usage according to its true worth, as its name indicates.)
SOCIETY DOES NOT REDUCE TO THE MARKET:
Adam Smith, building on the French physiocrats, and Dutch financial engineering, mentioned the “invisible hand” of the market. Four times. And he wrote more than one big book. Smith was not obsessive about the “free market” as the American plutocratic propaganda has been. The latter is obsessive, because it wants to hide the fact that the plutocrats are government sponsored, government financed, and government owning. They are foxes complaining of being pecked by the chicken they eat.
The market responds to profit. But what does the rest of society respond to? Should a doctor be primarily motivated by greed or survival? Or should a doctor be primarily motivated by care?
Do these people who talk about “free markets” all day long know what they are talking about? The free market? Do they know what a market is, have they seen one? I advise them to go to France this summer, say Southern France. All cities and villages there have exuberant markets, generally twice a week, half a day. Really free markets, in the street. OK, not completely free: emplacements in a free market are in high demand, and each spot is tightly regulated.
In the USA, the French have the reputation to be welfare addicts. In truth, the French know real free markets very well: they are wildly popular, and all French in good standing use the market; produce are fresher, direct from the producer, and often of higher quality, and, or, cheaper. However, precisely because they use the market so much, the French know that the market is not the one and only place to run a society from. Financial profit as its only motivation carry a civilization only that far. Because, by definition, it can only be concentrated on the richest. The rich became more than twice richer in the last thirty years in the USA: after-tax income of the richest 1% went from 7% of total income to 17%.
The plutocratically inspired, misleadingly labeled American “republicans”, though, demand that only the profit motive would move society. Thus they want to reduce all and any emotion to greed. Or a somber struggle for survival. But no civilization reduced to greed survived very long.
MONEY IS JUST ONE MOTIVATION AMONG OTHERS FOR A FAIR AND BALANCED CIVILIZATION:
People are active for some reason(s). It is often simply because otherwise their basic needs would not be satisfied, and by working enough, they can get enough money to satisfy those needs. Call that the survivalist motive. People can be also be active out of greed, when their needs are satisfied, but they want more money than they need.
However, some people act from parental love. So it is for all and any parent in good standing. People can also act out of the goodness of their heart, or because they have passion for a task, be it engineering, a sense of justice, curiosity, poetry. These motivations don’t have a price, and they are not engaged into because they bring money. People can act out of a mix of the preceding motivations, with one of them dominating, or not. In any case, all these motivations contribute to economic activity. It is non financially rewarded economic activity, thus, it is not measured by GDP, but it is economic activity.
People do not, in general, make a financial profit of of curiosity. So in France, for example, the state had to step in to pay archeologists. Otherwise the archeology would not get done. A country such as France is heavily covered by not-for-profit “associations” which practice a myriad of activities, and which are somewhat supported by the national collectivity known as the “state”.
To all this, the fascists reply that only greed and survival are motives worthy enough, to be encouraged, and even paid for, by the government. Hence the extravagancy of welfare for billionaires in the post-Bush USA. As the historian Fernand Braudel pointed out, the capture of the state by a rich minority has been a classical feature. Most of the time, Egypt was organized that way, starting with the times of the pyramids. Tellingly, some of the best Egyptian science was done before that. When all you think about is greed and survival, or submitting to the masters, you don’t think much.
When the right wing friends of the plutocrats proffer economic advice, they claim that economic activity comes exclusively from greed and survivalism. It tells something about them that these are the only motivations they can imagine people to have.
It also mean that they reject a society where anything else than greed and survivalism reign. Historically, though, such small minded, selfish, man eat dog societies have not proven sustainable. By contrast, the Oriental Part of the Roman empire, Constantinople, survived very well with absolutely enormous taxes, for more than a millennium.
The other motivations for activity do not depend, cannot depend, upon making a profit. By definition. But they are necessary to have a society open to all the motivations of the open heart, and the open mind. Thus they have to be supported by the public. That public support is the government sector. An open question is how much of GDP it needs. The answer of the post Reaganites who reign now has been 9% of GDP, while spending 18%. The answer of the European governments has been above 40%.
Why so much more? The greedy have become more greedy, as greed has been brandished as the way. There is a competition of greed, in an ecology where greed gets no competition. More greed means more profit right away. Thus anything bringing profits later, even if more considerable, long term, is eschewed to the profit of profits now. Hence all serious infrastructure projects have been spurned in the USA. But not so in Europe. Or China. Hence the need for more government spending in Europe. (China’s banks are much obedient to the government, so their private goals coincide with government goals.)
To get to 40%, to get to a fully open economy, the economy of the open mind, the USA will have to raise new revenue, out of taxes on energy and consumption, like in the EU. In the EU a minimum 15% Added value Tax is the law. Anyway, that is the price of the mind, and heart, in full. Otherwise the USA will keep on shrinking, in mind and heart, as it reduces increasingly just to survivalism, and greed.
RACIAL FRAGMENTATION PREDIGESTS SOCIETY FOR PLUTOCRACY:
Why is the USA so vulnerable to plutocracy? It is a consequence of racism. Let’s not forget that the USA had the world’s most racist society (by comparison Rome had slavery, but was not racist: Septimus Severus, who founded the dynasty which bears his name, was a Libyan, and Rome had at least one Arab emperor, Philippe). Genetically founded slavery is rare, although India was submitted to it for 35 centuries, until the British colonized that primitivism with their advanced Western European civilizational ideas, and outlawed the infamy of the genetic caste system.
The fragmentation of American society is at the root of the crisis of the USA, and even of the world’s plutocratic crisis. (As American plutocracy has been busy finding itself allies overseas, yesterday Nazism, today China.)
The plutocratic effect always fragments a society, by definition, as it increases the gap between haves, and have-nots. This is what caused the morbidity of republican Rome. But the racial past is an aggravating ingredient at play in the USA, which did not exist in Rome.
As plutocracy appeared in the USA in the late nineteenth century, plutocratic fragmentation was at play. It was decisively corrected by the two president Roosevelt. Now, of course plutocracy tended to surface also in France, Britain (and was particularly nasty in Belgium, as the king went berserk with Congo).
In Germany plutocracy pushed Europe straight into world wars, various holocausts, and racial dementia. The plutocratic insanity had been amplified by something in common with the USA: institutionalized racism.
“Black” in the USA is (still!) defined as the smallest contribution of African ancestry. African ancestry was generally felt by “whites” to be a powerful poison. So a dividing principle was instilled in the society of the USA. It became institutionalized, venerated.
Barak Obama’s mother was white as snow, but his father was from Kenya, so he dutifully classifies himself as “black”. The Bible calls this sort of things a “Mark of Cain“, an indelible mark placed there by God to warn of the criminal past of the perpetrator. Having a few genes of African origin is the Mark of Cain in the USA. (Another gift from the Bible which was applied to the Jews in the Middle Ages, by Christians and Muslims alike! In the same spirit, in the Middle Ages, the Pope decided that it was OK to enslave “blacks”)
A symbolic detail: “Blacks” use the word “nigger” among themselves (and do it all the time), but if a “white” uses it, it’s an unbearable insult. This cultural apartheid fragments society, and makes fragmentation honorable. Thus, when plutocracy imposes its own fragmentation, it can plead that fragmentation is honorable, and those who resist it are “class warriors”, who are implicitly equated with “race warriors”. The Wall Street Journal editorial board, and the giant Fox and Newscorp machinery attached to it uses this argument many times an hour, day in, day out.
An idiotic and dishonest story on CNN claimed that France had 12 million hidden Muslims and Africans, and they breed frantically and will overwhelm France by 2025. France’s situation is quite different, because apartheid is not venerated there, but republican integration is (see the “Burqua”/face mask law). By the American definition, some of Napoleon’s generals were “black”, and so was Alexandre Dumas. But most French people are unaware of that, and if they were, they would ask you what’s your problem. In a non racist society, Négritude is not like Plutonium, and a little bit does not change everything.
BESIDES LOSING ITS MIND, IS THE USA DYING OFF?
The Nazis claimed to be patriots. Their fascism killed a bit more than 10% of ethnic Germans, in 12 years. The collapse of the white population in the USA is just as swift. But its cause, American plutocratic fascism, differently from the German fascists, has not been extirpated.
A state such as California, essentially white a century ago, is now majority minority. In California one can meet American citizens who speak less English than a French peasant. This is compounded by the fact that the public school system is collapsing, to the racist satisfaction of the plutocracy (remember, they dream of Mexico). This is what lays under the American socio-economic crisis; it’s a plutocratic crisis multiplying a racial crisis. Basically the few rich whites don’t feel any solidarity for the colored tide of low lives that their very policies have brought about. All they want is private jets, gated communities for their servants, more than two millions incarcerated, and about eight million others under judicial supervision. Hundreds of millions walloping in misery will only augment their glory, the way they look at it.
SURVIVAL OF THE SMARTEST:
Obama understands all this, all the more since he has one foot in it. Now that he has proven a great warrior in Libya, fighting for justice, in spite of everything, he seems more bellicose. The fight in Libya is not fundamentally different. In Libya a small clan of thugs captured the state, and then the country, 42 years ago, with minimal bloodshed. Then. No wonder that Qaddafi was upset when he saw his plutocratic colleague in Tunisia, ben Ali, come down, and flee to plutocratic Saudi Arabia. Now he and his eight children killed more than 10,000. Instead of fighting a few resistance fighters, the murderous thugs now confront the might of the leading democracies. No wonder that Putin is upset. No wonder that those who captured Tibet are upset. No wonder that those who kill indigenous peoples to get rare earths are upset. No wonder that those who spoil the Indians of Amazonia worried that democracy may come after them too.
Leading democracies cannot be the world’s police force, nor should they leave democracy undefended.
It was not easy for Obama: as he landed on planet Washington DC, he landed in Plutocracia Magna. Forgive my neo Latin. When surrounded by wolves, it is difficult not to howl with them. However, as he engages in real combat, Obama is growing, and may be will turn into a tiger: He does need to meekly howl with inferior canids.
Obama just brought to bear some logic on the ignorant Paul Ryan and his associated scoundrels. Obama’s liberal base may be ready to see again in him the courageous leader, the friend of sanity, it thought it voted for in 2008.
Thus it may come to vote in November 2012, after all. Then the decerebrated servants of the infamous Pluto will go back to the well deserved abyss they belong to, walloping in their reductive view of man. The ignorant can bellow. History does not listen.
The People of Rome did not wake up in time and numbers when plutocracy took over. Maybe “We The People of The United States Of America” will do so, after all. Hope is good, when it shows up.