Sarko In Sarcophagi!

ONE PLUTOPHILE DOWN? MORE TO GO!

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Abstract: Hysteria against French socialism by plutophiles is exposed. The last, and by far most important section of the essay, shows that an economy rests on three superposed turtles. But the mightiest one, the only fundamental one, is the state. A state without a free market is a choice, a free market without a state is no choice. A free market has laws, and that means a state. Therein the error of Europe.  

***

HOLLANDE: FROM HOLLAND, THE ECONOMIST, FROM PINOCHET:

The French presidential election’s last stage is a confrontation between the plutophile Sarkozy and Mr. Hollande, for eleven years the head of the Socialist party, MP, mayor, and president of a region (the equivalent of an American state). The magazine The Economist got hysterical about the prospect of Hollande leading France, calling him “rather dangerous“. (The “rather” being added to sound British, somewhat detached, above the fray, a cover-up for hysteria.)

Verily, The Economist, like Milton Friedman, used to love Pinochet. That was not “rather criminal”, but definitively criminal. I have never dug up their utterances in Hitler’s times, but I am sure unsurprising surprises lay thereabout.

A lot of the British upper class, up to 1936, was pro-Hitler. After signing a shameful military-economic treaty with the Nazis in 1935, and, after seeing Hitler and Mussolini attack the Spanish republic, propelled by Texas oil, equipped by American plutocrats, Britain operated a U-turn (rather than having to operate U-boats later). If The Economist supported the business side then, it would have supported Mr. Hitler.

Many were afraid, including yours truly, that Mr. Hollande would be rather boring, but, apparently he can defend himself. I hope he bites Obama next week, or, at least signify to him haughtily that he was just elected on a clear mandate: get out of Afghanistan’s Islamist state.

One of Hollande’s dangerous suggestions is to foster the European Investment Bank (a PUBLIC bank, twice the size of the World Bank). The EIB can leverage itself enormously, to build infrastructure (and may have much more impact, that way, than, say, Citigroup, which 7 times the assets.)

Verily, what could be more dangerous than to make normal banking plutocrats irrelevant?

A London banker confided to me that bankers don’t lend to normal people and companies anymore. No need. Profits are with non society directed activities (as provided by Quantitative Easing and hedge funds). I asked him: why then banks should not be nationalized? He told me that, indeed, nationalization is what should be done, if one wanted to return to a normal economy.

Meanwhile The Economist claims that: “The Socialist who is likely to be the next French president would be bad for his country and Europe.” And why is that? The Economist presents a jumble of facts disconnected from sense:

“FRANCE IS half of the Franco-German motor that drives the European Union. It has been the swing country in the euro crisis, poised between a prudent north and spendthrift south, and between creditors and debtors. And it is big. If France were the next euro-zone country to get into trouble, the single currency’s very survival would be in doubt.”

And a jumble disconnected from plausible emotions. Imagining the anti-European plutophiles at The Economist waking up in the middle of the night screaming about the Euro, would not happen because they worry about its survival, but because they worry that the euro has swallowed the pound. As it will, someday.

I personally want France to DEFAULT on her debt. Actually I want all states to default, because the present financial system  is a gangrene, and like all good gangrenes, it has to be amputated.

(The financial transaction tax Hollande wants to implement would go a long way towards destroying much of the financial gangrene.) See:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/to-save-the-world-please-default/

However, I am fanatically pro-European, and I think deeper in socio-economic matters than The Economist. In truth the busy propagandists at The Economist know very well that the banking crisis has nothing to do with the principle of a single currency, but everything to do with the fact it was conceived as a SLAVE TO PLUTOCRACY.

Accusing the principle of a single currency, the euro, is a classical case of blaming the victim. But the economists at The Economist won’t say: their salaries depend upon not saying that.

In general, Western democracy is under attack from the fact the Western socio-economy has been made slave to plutocracy… Just as happened when the Roman republic got in trouble. Rome failed because the socialist policies proposed by the Gracchi were not adopted. The plutocrats killed the Gracchi and their supporters. Thousands of them.

Mr. Hollande is a chance to start the arduous task of extirpating the plutocratic gangrene. OK, Obama talked change too. But Obama’s change was about “change you can believe”. Indeed: none. Hollande proposes:”Le changement, c’est maintenant.” (“Change Now”.)  Hollande has 60 specific proposals, and several of the early ones are definitively anti-plutocratic.

Whereas Obama became quickly an extremely rich man, even before he wrote his first book, a typical “golden boy” story (or should I say black boy?), Hollande, seven years Obama’s senior, is no millionaire. Hollande has what he earned from salary, and not from fabulous book advances, American pre-payment style… The mark of huge money, very young, from nowhere, that’s the mark of Pluto. It’s all over those around Sarkozy (like his immensely rich and New York influential brother; I wonder if it has anything to do with a Sofitel hotel in New York…)

Hollande was a student at top rated ENA (where one enters only through a competitive examination, not through “legacy“, that means plutocracy, as one does at Harvard, this parody of an academic institution).

The Economist: “one thing seems certain: a French president [Hollande] so hostile to change would undermine Europe’s willingness to pursue the painful reforms it must eventually embrace for the euro to survive. That makes him a rather dangerous man.”

What seems certain to the crocodile, does not have to be so, for higher forms. The sort of euro that The Economist wants to survive, the plutocrats’euro, is the sort democrats ought to discontinue.

***

HOLLANDE CHANGE, SARKOZY, PLUTOCRACY:

Contrarily to what The Economist asserts, vague familiarity with the candidates’ programs shows that it is Sarkozy who wants to change nothing. And that it is Hollande, who proposes change. So the entire analysis of The Economist is built on a false premise. And why Sarko, a weak mind, belongs to his sarcophagi.

To this, a reader from Brazil, Felipe Coelho replied to Tyranosopher May 5th:

“Yes, Sarko did not change anything, breaking his electoral promises of leading France out of the State Capitalism model and releasing the energies of her society. Almost certainly Hollande can do a better job, even tiny steps will be better than nothing.

The problem is that both French Right and French Left love State Capitalism, for distinct reasons. In Brazil we have the same sort of consensus, selling Petrobras (the largest oil company) or Banco do Brazil (the largest bank), selling railways, ports or airports, ending the gigantic bureaucracy, all this is unthinkable. Instead of Louis XIV and Napoleon one has here the heritage of the State monopolies of the House of Avis XV century kings. The consequence for Brazil is the same, our growth during the last decade was ridiculous, equal to the average of Latin America. Brazil is the eternal country of the future. Cardoso made slight changes in that consensus and sold some mining, telephonic and electrical companies, but Lula did not dare/wish doing anything like that. Perhaps Hollande will, forced by circumstances, be more akin to Cardoso than to Lula. Let’s hope!”

My answer: Brazilian growth has actually been excellent. After going up by 50% in 15 years before 2006, it seems to be averaging 5% a year since. The first problem with Louis XIV and Napoleon, is that they were tyrants. (True they used French economic power, until they ruined it, but that’s besides the point.)  

Brazil has been mimicking not brainless, let’s throw money at the rabble, Keynesianism, but deliberate, let government intervene in free market, Colbertism. (China does the same.) See:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/colbert-good-keynes-not-so-smart/

More recently, Merkel practiced a sophisticated form of Colbertism. See:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/welfare-state-fares-well/

***

AN ECONOMY RESTS ON STATE, & FORCE; MONEY IS A LUXURY:

I do not believe that Sarkozy loves state capitalism. And the love of France for state capitalism is much exaggerated as an exclusively French passion. For example the French Post office is privatized, not so the American one.

In the USA many giant “private” companies are little more than wards of the state. Northrop is an example: it was able to sell subsonic bombers at two billion dollars apiece. Yes, two billions. Yes, subsonic: easy to catch. OK, they call those bombers “stealth“: a marketing ploy. All combat aircraft are “stealth“. The truth is that the Northrop B2 was a subsidy program.

Same for the Raptor, F22, at 200 million dollars apiece: it was never engaged in combat. Not once in ten years. It can’t take the rain, or something. One was shot down by an old French Mirage, in mock combat. More humiliating than that, hard to do, and a question: how come the tremendous waste of taxpayer money? Is not the same done again with the F35? On an even larger scale?

Many of the private companies trying to make money out of space access, are heavily subsidized.

The entire “private” healthcare industry is ward of the state. At least half of its business is with the state (most with Medicare).

Sarkozy’s failure was trickle down economy. Be nice to the rich, the rich shall reward you well, say the naive, and they twitch.

Now Sarkozy insists that it was a “lie” and a “calumny” to say that it’s all what his policy amounted to. Not satisfied with the previous invectives, he called Hollande a “little calumniator” for suggesting as much.

The way I look at it:

1) the “free” market, private capitalism, is a playground set, regulated, protected by the state. It furthers economic activity by exciting the profit motive (having more than the other guy).

If the hormonal situation is such that having more is dwarfed by other motives, the free market is irrelevant. This is what happens in case of very serious, invasive, war. Brazil, to my knowledge, just as the USA, has never known such a war.

France, per her location at the crossroads of three major trade routes, in the middle of Western Europe, has known many such invasions. Even before the Huns, monstrously crushed in 451 CE. The invasions have modified the national character. When French children learn French history, they learn that, the state is not just the lender, but the savior of last resort.

2) State capitalism insures the safety of the state. It was always strong in France, following the greatest Roman tradition. The argument can easily be made that, because of a plutocratically induced collapse of the tax base, Rome got invaded so badly that the economy imploded. The Roman state collapsed first, and was unable to defend the People. Plutocracy is not just infamous, it is lethal: if it does not kill you outright, it will make sure to die with you.

The USA has also an enormous state capitalism. The weapon-making part of the American military-industrial complex is nominally private, but it’s the equivalent of Roman weapon manufacturing. Practically, the crucial state industry.

The free market is a luxury. State capitalism, the real thing.

3) There is even a higher, ultimate system. Economy is managing a house. Bottom line, an economy has nothing to do with money. Money, too, is a luxury.

Barter and mandates can do it all. Some of the greatest civilizations worked that way. Sparta showed the way. It refused to use a currency beyond iron. That idealistic society then helped Athens re-establish democracy (510 BCE).

Barter and mandates is how Athens built a fleet capable of resisting Persia, how the Roman republic rose, how Diocletian re-established the Roman empire. Barter and mandates is how the Inca empire functioned, it’s how president FDR stabilized the economy of the USA in the 1930s, and how the war effort, after 1941, re-established it.

Those who believe in money first could have looked at FDR’s budget in December 1941, and say that the USA could not afford one more aircraft carrier. Instead, the USA’s command economy built dozens of such carriers, and thousands of other ships, let alone more than 400,000 aircraft.

Right now the problem is that the state has been captured by banksters, and their servants. The solution is not to get out of that nightmare, with better dreams. It is to wake up, and use force to roll back that plutocratic tsunami. Starting with destroying its ideology is how it will be done. Hollande’s 75% taxation above one million euro income is a good start to strike terror in those who believe too much in the Golden Calf.

Right now the problem is not too much state, it’s not enough democratic state.

***

Patrice Ayme

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24 Responses to “Sarko In Sarcophagi!”

  1. JRich Says:

    En attendant la faillite, les fonctionnaires plus payés, mon rêve!, les
    retraites aussi.
    Certes il y a des ploutocrates, comme il y a des folliculaires (=journalistes)
    alléchés par l’odeur du sang mais un e fous leur cible détruite, contre qui
    vont-ils se retourner?
    Restent les ploutocrates, en réalité les gestionnaires des fonds de pension à
    l’anglo-saxonne, qui ont prêté et veulent un retour sur investissement. Quoi de
    plus normal?
    La faillite ou bien la faillite, comme la Grèce!
    Jacques

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Bonjour Jacques!
      En cette dure journee pour toi, je compatis. En fait je peux pas voter pour mon petit camarade, parceque je suis cramponne’ a l’Alpe homicide, et pour voter, faudrait etre au bord du Pacifique… Donc je suis tel Ponce Pilate… Comme la Marine a remarque’, c’est un peu des chats siamois. Simplement Hollande donne a Merkel une raison de faire marche avant sur la croissance…

      La faillite est deja la. C’est une chose faite. Je recommande d’arreter de payer (il y a plusieurs facon de faire, y compris par inflation soigneusement trafiquee). Je reconnais que c’est pas tout la faute a Sarko. Si il avait recopie’ Merkel plutot que Clinton-Bush-Obama, il en serait pas la ou il en est. Et il le sait, et cela le rend plein de rage.

      Mais Merkel elle fait ce qu’elle appelle “social democratie”… [SIC!]

      C’est pas 12,000 enseignants de plus par an qui vont ruiner la France. Tout depend des taux d’interet. Ils pourraient tres bien baisser, a cause du relevement d’impot sur les ploutocrates…

      Les fonds d’investissements: j’ai rien contre. Les fonds serieux sont pas vraiment ploutocratiques.

      Les hedge funds: je suis tres contre. Il y en a… 20,000!!!!!
      Les deriveees: je suis a 98% contre. 12 fois le PNB mondial!
      Ce sont ceux la les vrais ploutocrates, branches sur les banques, comme j’explique depuis des annees…
      PA

      Like

  2. Old Geezer Says:

    Previous empire comparisons are invalid. The Roman Empire was built on the sweat of human slaves. The American Empire is built on the incredible power of machines powered by oil.

    And that oil is CONTROLLED by the American Emperor.

    And to buy it you must use the coin of the empire – US DOLLARS.

    And that is what enabled Wall $treet to grow so large, and ultimately, to take over the political system.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP: Interesting idea you have. Roman empire failed because slavery failed? Is this a crucial link in your reasoning?

      It seems not so to me at all. Christianity did NOTHING against slavery (until centuries later, and as an afterthought of Frankish legislation). The empire failed militarily at (H)Adrianopolis (378 CE). There was no recovery. Rome fell to the same Goths, 22 years later. Meanwhile the Christians had pursued the dismantlement of the mind, burning books, intellectuals. Christianity added to imperial fascism made the leadership of the USA Roman empire a rabble of conniving, stupid brutes… with very few exceptions (Julian and an Augusta, roughly).

      Now some have said that slavery was becoming less important in the Late Empire (that would support your thesis). However, I think the explanation is simple: the final rise of plutocracy coincided with the invasions (which devastated society and economy, thus tax base). In a devastated economy, few could afford slaves. So there was a switch towards serfdom. I intent to write an essay on Rome’s collapse. The latest archeology research fits my notions very well… But has been controversial… All the more fun.

      It seems to me that the plutocratic devastation theory is completely trans-civilizational. Nothing to do with which slavery type, which energy type.

      I do agree completely with your analysis on the USA, though. Final point: the oil is not just waning, American control on overseas oil is itself waning, on top of that.

      On second thought, now that I think of it, there was, in connection with invasion of Gallia by German tribes, a super massive slave revolt (that of the Bagaudes, led by a doctor and a lawyer… It lasted a long time)
      PA

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  3. Old Geezer Says:

    I did not mean to imply that Rome fell because slavery failed. Rome failed from corruption. Also, all those great roads that Roman slaves built made for easy traveling by the Huns.

    BTW: This just in – – Hollande 51.9%, Sarkozy 48.1%

    Vive La France!

    Back to oil:

    Each of us effectively has about 50 “oil slaves” doing our heavy lifting. There is about 2000 man-hours of tough physical labor in each barrel of that stuff.

    We grow fat because we do so little physical work. I am a fine one to talk as I sit here typing.

    But the Romans build a physical empire with roads and aqueducts produced by humans; America produced hers with oil.

    And don’t be too quick to write off America’s control of the oil fields as well as the sea lanes required to transport it.

    Saddam Hussein in September 2000 told the world they could buy his oil with $$$ or with Euros. He didn’t care. At the time, the Euro was worth 82 cents, so most EU countries used Euros.

    In 2003, that policy was reversed. I understand Saddam came to a bad end.

    It’s not smart to screw around with the forces of Wall $treet.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Le Changement, c’est maintenant! Mais va falloir changer beaucoup. Trop beaucoup not a danger.

      The forces of Wall $treet have indeed been mighty, and the efficiency of their conspiracies, admirable. However, two things:

      1) It used to be that an opposition was made between “capitalism” and “communism”. That was a false confrontation. A civilization without capital, that’s called a collapse.
      Moreover what used to be called “communism” was a form of mass murdering fascism.

      In these conditions, the choice was between the mild (inside the USA) tyranny of Wall $treet, presiding the world’s richest society, and digging the great northern canal, for the “little father of the peoples”, before an humiliating, despairing death. Not really a choice.

      2) Now, as Wall $treet maneuvers, say with the European fascists, become better known, and as the present crisis gets dissected deeper (Krugman has to learn to see beyond Quantitative Easing!), wall $treet won’t have it so easy.
      Also the USA in 1941 was, by far, the world’s richest country.
      Now it’s not the world’s largest assemblage (as the EU still exists!). And it is in the PRC’s crosshairs. Moreover it’s clearly the swan song of fossil fuels… As you said, the essential prop of the USA.
      One of France’s parties used the slogan, 40 years ago:”In France we don’t have oil, but we have ideas!” OK. The idea production better become a gusher soon!

      Now off to French legislative elections!
      PA

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP: Roman roads were built by legions. Not legions of slaves, legions of paid legionnaires, the professional elite of the Roman army, each the equivalent of highly trained special forces, capable of running the whole day, backpack and weapons strapped on.

      Also the canal of Provence was built by Marius’ legions, as they were killing time waiting for the three invading German tribes, the Teutones, Cimbri, and Ambrones. The latter were annihilated north of Aix en Provence, in a fight that started by a river, between cooks fetching water. But Roman cooks in the army, were highly trained. Soon 35,000 Ambrones, the fighting elite of the invasion, were dead.

      And, as far as the Huns were concerned, they prosper because of the lack of a serious Roman army. The Huns were first shadowed by the Franks, who then wasted their allies. Only then did Aetius’ legions and the Goths came to the rescue.
      In 732, the invading giant Arab and Berber armies expected the Frankish army to come down the (Roman) road from Paris to Tours. The Franks knew this, so their enormous army travelled off road, surprised the Arab main body, and occupied favorable ground, as their enemies gathered marauding troops from all over in the next few days.
      PA

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  4. Dominique Deux Says:

    The way The Economist has been playing up the issue of the French election is disturbing indeed, with two cover page articles and a number of blog threads whipping up the froth as dissenters helped feed it (I confess to being one of them). Trolling not being the magazine’s style, I can only ascribe this behavior to genuine fear. France is indeed a key country to lose or to gain in the ongoing battle between economic approaches. And Germany is next; there is little time left to punish France as an example, as GWB or one of his cronies once said. Hence the call to arms.

    Being a contrarian let me dissent on your assessment of hedge funds and derivatives. Hedge funds and futures markets were created not to foster, but to prevent financial speculation, by enabling a company which, says, produces widgets, to plan its purchases of raw materials and its sales of finished products without having to take into account currency fluctuations – thus earning its profit on its core skills, not on its financial officer’s gambling acumen. These instruments were picked up by speculators and wielded with reckless abandon, as the powers that be bleated about self-restraint and self-regulation.

    Picture scythes and sickles being commandeered by highwaymen to plunder the countryside. Once the culprits were duly strung up, it would make sense not to commit the tools to the fire, but to regulate their use and restrict ownership to farmers. A simplistic picture to be sure, but you get my point:

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: It is hard for me to picture the staff at The Economist cowering in terror to the point of babbling incoherently. Their elders knew what they were doing when they were supporting Pinochet. Pinochet was real real bad, and that was totally obvious, at the time. Pictures of military jets bombing the Moneda presidential palace went around the world. Thousands disappearing was a known fact then.

      I have long subscribed to The Economist, decades, and I do now. I intent to keep on doing so. To the best of my historical knowledge, plutocracy was behind Nazism, and other fascist movements. I was led into that explanatory field because of my family’s history (there was a vast spectrum of opinion; and some experience were dreadful: people were killed in combat or by the Gestapo; my childhood was bathed by those who were not there anymore… And there was a redux, because of the Franco-Algerian civil war, or war of independence of the FNL… Complete with deaths and properties stolen).

      My interpretation of the incoherent babbling at The Economist is malicious: they hate Europe, they love their submission to high, piratical finance, and they know very well that much more Europe is the way out.

      Now as far as hedge funds, Quantitative Easing, Banks Too Big To Fail (BTBTF), derivatives, all what you say is correct, but that’s not what we have. Lungs help to breathe, but when cancerous, they kill.

      One of the reason of the fall of the Roman empire is that all the equivalent of The Economist (bishops from their pulpits) wanted the empire to go down (Iesus was supposed to come back after apocalypse). In particular, they wanted highway men and pirates not to be executed anymore. This made the roads impossible.

      I think we do agree, except about The Economist cowering in terror. It may not work either, because most of Hollande’s measures are not bad for government bonds’ prospects.

      PA

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  5. Bernard M Says:

    J’espere que tu n’a pas oublié de refermer le couvercle pour qu’il ne fasse pas une ressortie a la Berlusconi!

    Like

  6. Dominique Deux Says:

    Dear Patrice Ayme, I was not envisioning Economist staff cowering in terror. A better word would be concern – not for Europe, of course.

    A recent Economist cover speaks volumes – helmeted City gents crouching behind sandbags, manning the Bofors. Obsidional fever is the country-scale face of paranoia. It has been recurrent in Britain ever since the 100 Years War, even though they invaded rather more often than the reverse.

    Thus the Economist’s frenzied response to Hollande’s election is not panic-driven. Let’s credit our Brit friends with keeping their cool under fire and not being afraid to slug it out when necessary. They may let St-Georges’ Cavalry do most of the work, but they will do honor to any battle field with their presence – when necessary again.

    This not necessary yet; “investors” are doing the dirty work.

    The much reviled markets are made of ordinary people defending their savings. Their bewildered masses are today’s equivalents of the plodding legions which criss-crossed Europe in the Napoleonic wars. Those received their orders and encouragements through sophisticated musical signaling – French fifes and drums, technologically better than British ones, helped win the US Revolutionary War, and bagpipes were designated as war weapons, their players duly strung up, by the British kangaroo courts at Culloden. The Economist is today’s modern, if acoustically less satisfying, battle drum. The stampeding herds are being given their orders: short French bonds, quick, as a warning to German voters.

    Glad that you likened pirate finance to a cancerous growth. That is exactly the image I use to my friends: when a vitally useful organ gets bloated, stops fulfilling its function, consumes huge amounts of nutrients to the detriment of other organs, sends off toxins, and colonizes the whole organism with its own equally nefarious scions, the diagnosis is easy. It’s cancer.

    You propose to take the knife to it by defaulting. But we don’t have a donor for a graft, assuming one were feasible. Long-term chemo, starting (as a first line, in oncologist jargon) with transaction tax, is IMHO a better alternative.

    The outcome is never guaranteed. We civilizations know that we are mortal, Paul Valery wrote. If ours was to pass away, one thing we can be sure of: in whatever human structure survives, if any, moneymen will enjoy a richly deserved leper status.

    That would be a mistake. They are needed, On a short leash, of course.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: Just saw this comment of yours. Not only I am travelling, but it’s with the full she-bang, and now I have a handicapping case of tourista… I probably talked about diseases too much, and the gods have decided to remind me what it is about.

      I roughly agree with all you say. Although one of the commenters (the well named JRich) pointed out, as you do, about the poor little investors trying to save their keep… Well, I am an investor myself (and I have even traded options… even short!). I want to cry on my fate too. Swim in a sea of my own tears…

      The main activities on the financial markets are not those of nice little people like me, or of Mr. J Rich (Mark Rich was an all together different case!). It’s high frequency trading, CDS, etc. Roughly all these activities ought to be made criminal. ASAP.
      My next essay will explore this subject further, by blasting Warren Buffet and its “Sage of Obama” cult position.
      PA

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  7. Stace F Says:

    I suppose you are happy with the election results! Hollande is
    indeed an interesting figure: we shall see what happens with Europe.
    I am torn as I’m rather tired of the Eurozone austerity measures and
    bailouts, and being asked to sacrifice here and there-when the German
    economy is going quite well, … Hollande comes across as a bit
    ‘socialist-scary’: a 75% tax on the rich? Ouch. I hope he doesn’t
    reverse too many of the reforms of Sarko-I’m not sure all of them were
    so bad (OK, my friends in Alsace-i was there last week-are a little
    conservative, but had some ‘Angst’ re: Hollande’s policies towards
    small business owners). In any case, Hollande was a far better choice
    than Le Pen!

    France’s result is also interesting considering the revolt in
    yesterday’s Greek elections as well. Also interesting down there;
    very very tough conditions for most. I have no idea what the answer
    is for them. Exiting the Eurozone seems to offer greater flexibility
    to control at least some of the numbers via currency adjustment. But
    the crisis has highlighted rather unsavory tax evasion practices there
    in addition to the massive government ‘bloat’.

    Uncertain times, that’s for sure: I may move to Guernsey depending
    on what happens 🙂 I think Merkel is on the chopping block next year;
    she lost power in one of the Northern DE States yesterday.
    StaceF

    Like

    • Old Geezer Says:

      For far too long, the “rich” and the Corps have been getting away with enjoying the privileges of a modern state without paying their share.

      I for one think a large tax (pick your own number) on the rich (pick your own income level) is appropriate.

      Especially on UNEARNED income and CAPITAL GAINS.

      RIght now, the working class is carrying these folks on their backs.

      Like

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear OGP: Entirely my opinion. Time to renew with the ideas and practice of that old commie, USA president Eisenhower. He explained that there was a lot of war debt to pay, so taxes ought to be brought up to an upper margin rate of 92%. He implemented that.

        I don’t see why unearned income and capital gains could not be zero for small fry, and 92% for the big fishes. Also the real dammage is caused by “shadow banking” and other SHADOWY practices. Crooks say they could not be stopped, being shadowy. But nothing is further from the truth. Ultimately money rests on the sword.

        I was strolling along the port of a fancy ritzy resort, maybe the fanciest on the Med, and casually noticed few registrations of yachts from fiscal paradises. That used to be the case, with half the giant boats from the “Cayman islands”. Apparently the caymans got hungry. The People of the West need to use force.

        It’s not clear what is going to happen in France. The legislative elections are coming in June. If, miraculously, the socialists establish a majority, there is a hope for reform. At least breaking the paradigm of trickle down. Of course, president Hollande’s official program is a small fraction of what is needed.

        The small investor and saver class is also carrying the giant financial vultures on their backs. It’s not just the working class. Another calamity Krugman refuses to look at…
        PA

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  8. Stace F Says:

    Oh, just read your last few passages. Very poignant indeed!

    Unfortunately, I do need a little bit of money I fear: Well, just enough to travel to, and experience, beautiful little corners of the world (unfortunately can’t barter with Lufthansa)… and (I must confess) eat well! … and for us, we also treasure a good wine cellar (just picked up some yummy passengers in Alsace last week, supporting the little guy!).

    If the Euro goes bye-bye, I think we’ll all be OK… after a while. At least I have a few US dollars stashed away—and some DMs in the cellar!

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Stace:

      “If the euro goes bye-bye”, Europe and the little guy will not be OK, because it would a triumph for the empire centered on Wall Street. It would be a disaster for Germany, and it won’t happen because:

      1) France will go on with the euro, no matter what.

      2) The Germans surrendered to the French on May 8, 1945. Since then, they went from fascist to democratic. To surrender to fascism (Wall $treet) would be to start hostilities with France again, and that will, simply, not happen. Germany has finally learned its lesson well enough. In 1939, France was half of Germany, and had few young people (so many potential fathers having died in 1914-1918). Nowadays the young population of France is larger than Germany’s, and the 70 million in France will pass the 80 million in Germany, relatively soon. It’s not Merkel, who has no children, and do not seem to have tried too hard, that will change this.

      That’s the bottom line.

      Ah, another detail: the crazy way the euro was set-up, following the (French) Franc in 1973, is a service to plutocrats. But that does not mean all and any version of the euro has to be thus. The crisis we have now is, first of all, a banking crisis, doubled with a sovereign financing crisis. Nothing prevents to solve the crisis overnight by jacking up taxes (on the rich), cutting the free riders, and defaulting on the banks.
      Please notice none of this has to do with the euro.

      I travel with my mind. I am too attached to the notion of comfort for doing anything less. However, I will get to know the charms of Lufthansa again Sunday…

      I also would love to see fuel being fully taxed (full real cost and eco dammage included!) I am way worse than Hollande and his mickey-mouse tini tiny reforms… Including jet fuel (that causes up to 5% of total CO2) man made emissions).

      PA

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      • Old Geezer Says:

        The Euro will not go bye bye. There is no Euro crisis; there is no EU crisis.

        There is a banking crisis, mainly with the stupid French and German banks that loaned money to Greece and Spain to build homes in the sun belt for the French and Germans to go in the winter.

        Then Lehman tanked and there are a lot of vacant homes.

        Why should the average Greek or Spanish citizen bear the burden of this stupidity?

        As for stopping shadow banking, lots o luck. The reason it is called “shadow” banking is because it is hidden from regulations and regulators.

        Hoping Obama makes an issue out of Romney’s 15% tax bracket for totally passive income.

        Hoping Obama makes an issue out of HOW Romney made all that income – by buying up other businesses and FIRING people to make more profit.

        But I doubt he will.

        Like

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear OGP: To my dismay, all too many Europeans in authority are talking about expelling Greece from the Eurozone. However, I have not followed the arcane details of under what conditions of Greek reform the money was lent by the rest of the Eurozone. As it is really rich people, including hyper rich shipping magnates, and the hyper rich church, pay no tax. Meanwhile taxpayers in the rest of the Eurozone are paying, IN THEIR STEAD.

          Kicking Greece out of the Eurozone is technically possible, it could be done overnight. The hole for European banks would be about one trillion Euros. Aside from striking terror into the Peoples with Wall $treet awe (disguised as Eurozone awe), it would have no purpose.
          PA

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  9. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Merkel has said “We will not renegotiate the fiscal pact.”

    Hollande got elected on the basis that he WOULD renegotiate it.

    Next week Hollande goes to confront the immovable object hoping that his force is irresistible.

    My money is on Merkel ……

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Chris: Money can’t buy love, intelligence, morality and democracy. Hitler had the plutocrats’ money. Yet, democracies’force drove him to extinction. BTW, Merkler has no democratic legitimacy, at this point. She keeps on losing elections. Hollande was just elected on a very clear mandate. Merkler, like Hitler, can claim to be a creature of peace. But facts have a truer message. We are on the edge of the abyss.
      PA

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  10. 3 expensive financial myths- reform bureaucracy, dollar collapse, crisis is complex « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci Says:

    […] Sarko In Sarcophagi! (patriceayme.wordpress.com) […]

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  11. Margarita Says:

    Hello! This iss my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    tell you I really enjoy reading your articles. Can you suggest
    any other blogs/websites/forums tat go over the same subjects?

    Thank you!

    Like

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