Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Rihanna, Education, Administration, Empire

July 26, 2017

Rihanna is another miracle on legs similarly to the hyper blonde Colombian Shakira, or Beyonce a very pretty package who incorporated tricks invented in places such as 1950s strip bars, all over. I must recognize she seems to have more brains and more advanced, more intelligent and controversial passions.   

63 million of children are known to not go to school in developing countries But the delightful future billionaire exhibitionist Rihanna, expert in sideways glances, eyelids down, wants to help.

Rihanna‏Verified account @rihanna  Jun 23   bonjour @EmmanuelMacron, will France commit to #FundEducation?

Glad to see Rihanna cares about getting educated, this site is all about education. Rihanna has pretty violent videos out there, which meet, of course, my approbation, as thoroughly educative programs. I approve of showing violence, because violence there is, and it festers more if it can stay stealthy. Making it obvious deprives it of stealth, hence surprise, half of a successful aggression.

https://www.vevo.com/watch/rihanna/bitch-better-have-my-money-(explicit)/QM5FT1590005

Rihanna has sold more than 250 million records, and was named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year (so, apparently Harvard doesn’t mind so much the violence anymore…). Intriguingly, Rihanna’s latest boyfriend, Hasan Jameel, is a wealthy plutocrat (two billion dollars plus), a Saudi heir. No doubt she can improve his education, open new perspectives on the worth of woman.

So the pulpy Caribbean native may get money for education, but the problem of poorly-developing countries do not arise because not enough money has been thrown at education. One problem is that throwing money at developing countries just enrich plutocrats, local or global. If a country is headed by plutocrats, feeding them is like feeding crocodiles in a crocodile farm. 

Rihanna, here in Paris, July 25th 2017, to feed Macron fleshy perspectives top pop to pop top.

Poorly developing countries have fundamentally the same two problems:1. bad administration arising from dictatorship and, or wrong ideology. 2. Not being part of an empire. It goes without saying that self-described good people will view such views with a jaundiced eye, because their own “good” logic tells them developing countries are good and empires are bad.

Take Islam, where women are legislatively, half of men, cloistered and forbidden the freedom human ethology gives them. They end up somewhat stupid and acculturated. As women are frontlines for educating children, the next generation of Islamist children will be more  stupid and uneducated than they would be otherwise.Hence a vicious circle.  

When Lebanon and Syria were administered by France, they were doing well. They didn’t do good before that, under the Caliphate, or after that, under the dictatorships.

National education without appropriate administration to make it sustainable is a non sequitur. One can’t have an appropriate administration without proper command and control. In other words, an appropriate empire.

When thinking of empire, people tend to think of malevolent empires on military rampages; the invasive Caliphates, the Mongols, Napoleon, etc. But the greatest civilizations were, and are, empires. China formed giant empires and owe its persistence to empires (as its brush with annihilation when Genghis Khan conquered it shows). The Greco-Roman world defined an empire which in turn defines today’s civilization, when properly extended to its roots (Egypt, Phoenicia, Crete) and its successors (the Franks who created the “Occident” in which we all bathe now).

Right now, whether we like it or not, we are in a world empire. It’s called the United Nations, and it’s not a democracy. And that’s very good as some nations proved culturally unable to distinguish between civilization and genocide (of Japan, Germany, Italy and their allies we think).

The UN is composed essentially of two components: the West, and China. (Russia and the USA are two colonies of the West; Russia, from the Vikings, plus back influence from the Greeks mostly; the USA is the double descendant of France, as England herself was a Franco-Frankish creation.)

The UN empire has not been extended in all corners. Actually “decolonization” was more of a de-administrationalization substituting often a republican form to more dictatorial variants. For example, under the french, Algeria was arguably under the (defective and unjust) administration of various (French) parties, some on the right, some on the left. Since “independence”, Algeria has been under the administration of just one party. Actually, the present president of Algeria, Bouteflika, was one of the principals of the Algerian “revolution”, so he has been in power personally for nearly 70 years…  Yes, he is in a wheelchair, and gets repaired periodically in France.

Now the empire needs to be re-extended in all corners. It is in these distant corners not under direct imperial control that war and lack of education, rule. An example is the confines of Congo where an unsavory interaction between Rwanda military, and plutocratic corporations anxious for minerals, brought five million dead, let alone poor education.

Other muscular interventions are needed. Interpretations of Islam which subjugate women more than men need to be discouraged much more (although with Saudi Arabia in charge of enforcing this at the UN, the situation has become surrealistic…)

It’s a violent world. The violence is supported by, and supports, a violent lack of advanced, all-encompassing education. Unfortunately impositions of mass violence are nearly never solved pacifically, contrarily to legend(those who are already rolling out Gandhi and Martin Luther King, as they read this, are rolling out people who didn’t make the main effort: the Brits were pulling out of India, anyway, Gandhi arguably made things worse; MLK came long after military force was used massively to end racism in the USA, by president Lincoln, and Eisenhower…)

Lack of education is an imposition of mass violence (teaching is not very costly, so the obstacle to education is not cost, but will, will to impose brutishness). Thus it has to be solved with massive power, the power of proper administration, on the heels of imperial intervention (imperial intervention does not necessarily start with special forces, it can start with judges and accountants).

I don’t doubt Rihanna’s sincerity, which is more than eleven years old. I don’t doubt that micro and local humanitarian help is important. However, it’s little relative to the big picture. When France decolonized itself out of Africa, there was a hospital every one hundred kilometer. France left, the hospitals are mostly gone. In a related phenomenon, the growth of literal Islamist schools directed to very small children, at the detriment of real, secular education, has been all over. Consequence? Islamist invasion and military counter-offensives from the French Republic. Some will whine: leave them alone. But then they contradict themselves. Children don’t chose to die and be uneducated: it’s imposed on them by local potentates, symbiotic with global plutocracy (to which they extent access to resources). Once again, the framework already exists: the UN, with its mighty Security Council. 

Want a correct, massive world educational system? Impose a correct, appropriate world empire!

Let Rihanna sing about that!
Patrice Ayme’

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ADDED VALUE IN THE XXI CENTURY

March 9, 2015

PRODUCING SUPERIOR THINKING TO IMPROVE NOT JUST WORLD SOCIO-ECONOMY, BUT SURVIVAL:

Capital Exponentiate, Decapitate Wealth To Feed Minds:

Piketty’s “Capital In the XXI Century” argues that the return on capital is greater that that on labor: r>g. All economists from the pseudo-left fell on their knees, astounded by the depth of that observation. They obviously never studied history, let alone archeology.

In truth, Piketty’s big deal inequality, that r>g has been known for 12,000 years, as I have emphasized in countless essays, for years. I have even explained the mathematical-psychological reasons why r>g. Piketty has smirked that he discovered r>g when he wrote the book. (A case of arrogant ignorance buttressed by colossal stupidity: that r>g ought to have been the first law of economics. That it took centuries for economists to discover this cannot possibly be a matter of stupidity, but of the will, on the part of economists of not understanding how the masters who fed them got their power from.)

So Piketty claims he just discovered that r>g: maybe economists are not idiots, but they play some on TV? (Some are bound to think that Piketty should be my ally, and thus I should be nicer to him; however, correct philosophy tends to be done by being only friendly to truth.)

Homo Thrived In This Cold Climate For 2 Million Years (Georgia, Tusheti NP.) Thanks To Science & Technology

Homo Thrived In This Cold Climate For 2 Million Years (Georgia, Tusheti NP.) Thanks To Science & Technology

It was so well known, that the return on capital was higher than that on income, r>g, that all reasonably sustained societies had colossal, decapitating taxes on wealth.

By law, hook, or crook. And when this was not the case, when wealth became hereditary in an exponential way, disasters happened. Generally invasion and destruction.

This happened to all the plutocratically corrupt Chinese empires when Genghis Khan’s Mongols came down.

The peaceful variant is revolutions such as 1789 (for twenty years the king had been meekly trying to make the aristocracy pay enough taxes).

When a great Native American, or great Viking chief died, much of their possessions (it could thousands of horses) would be redistributed.

Time to re-learn the wisdom of the ancients.

***

SUPERIORITY OF THE WEST?

Why did the West become so superior? Or China, for that matter?

Technology. Superior technology. Coming from superior thinking. Both the Greeks and the Chinese had colossal contempt for barbarians. (In both cases it went so far that the Greeks lost everything, and the Chinese came very close to annihilation).

Around the year 1000 CE, the Vietnamese (it seems) invented new cultivars of rice, which could produce an entire crop, twice a year. The population of East Asia exploded accordingly.

A bit earlier, the Franks had invented new cultivars of beans. The Frankish Tenth Century was full of beans. Beans are nutritious, with high protein.

Homo is scientific and technological. Thus, two million years ago, pelt covered (tech!) Homo Ergaster lived in Georgia’s Little Caucasus, a pretty cold place in winter. And the population was highly varied genetically (showing tech and travel already dominated).

***

A GREATER OBSESSION WITH FREEDOM MADE THE WEST SUPERIOR:

Here is the very latest. Flour was found in England, in archeological layers as old as 10,000 years before present. It was pure flour: there were no husks associated. The milling had been done, far away. How far? Well the cultivation of wheat spread to Western Europe millennia later. The flour had been traded, and brought over thousands of miles. Most certainly by boat. Celtic civilization, which would rise 5,000 years later, was expert at oceanic travel.

What’s the broad picture? Not just that prehistoric Englishmen loved their flat bread, no doubt a delicacy. Advanced technology has permeated Europe for much longer than is still understood now by most historians. Remember that the iceman who died in a glacier, 5,000 years ago, was not just tattooed, and had fetched in the lowlands a bow made of special wood. More telling: he carried antibiotics.

China and the West diverged, because the philosophies of the Franks and the East were different. The Franks had outlawed slavery four centuries before the great divergence started. This helped freedom, especially the freedom to think of new technology and science.  (Frank = Free.)

The more enslaved a population, the less inventive. It is not just a cultural-psychological phenomenon. It may be epigenetic. The Franks were more ethologically correct, and that enabled to unleash full human epigenetic.

(Being endowed with full human capability, is perhaps why G.W. Bush was incredibly brazen when he became president, going to invade Iraq, whereas Obama was subdued, and just worked, under Summers’ orders, to save the established plutocratic order, like a little boy, obsequious servant of the great white masters; OK, Obama did not descend from slaves, yet he was exposed to the black slave culture, throughout, and somewhat clueless about it.)

The Germans had been obsessed with freedom since ever, and, since in particular, their first contacts with the Romans. All that Germanic freedom led to population explosions, and invasions of Greco-Roman lands, which, for centuries, were systematically cut down by hyper-disciplined Roman armies.

All this was brought into one mold by Consul Clovis, who, as Roman Imperator, and himself son of Roman Imperator Childeric (also elected king of the Salian Franks), made the soldiers of his army understand that they would have to be extremely disciplined too, under the penalty of death (Roman style, a revolting notion for free Germans).

Militarily, the Franks by combining freedom and discipline, were an undefeatable force ever since (the Mongols knew this all too well, thus did not send their scouts west of Croatia; then allied themselves to the Franks to capture Baghdad and Damas).

Free peasants had no slaves, but they needed help: domesticated beasts and mechanical advantage were thus evolved by Frankish society. When Europeans made it to China, they were astounded that people did everything, without using machines or beasts.

So not too many children, but then communal living: Middle Ages villages in Europe were commune-ist regimes. Exploitation of property was divided according to how many could work.

The end result was strong philosophical pressure for ever more advanced technology. Although China was ahead in some tech, as soon as Europe heard of it, it captured it greedily. That philosophy permeated all of Western European society. Peter the Great, emperor of Russia knew this so well, he went to study incognito as a worker in Dutch naval shipyards.

***

AMERICAN ECONOMIC DISCOURSE: A TROJAN HORSE

Does the drive to advanced tech dominate now?

Not as much as it used to.

Why? American plutocracy. And the “Nobel Prizes” of a whole army of obsequious plutophile servants thereof.

Because the spirit of all-conquering technology has been displaced by Capital in the XXI Century. And more specifically its USA monopolistic operators (such as the insufferable Bill Gates, and cohorts of financial operators). Technology is, and will stay, of course, the main and ultimate capital of humanity. That’s how Homo colonized the Caucasus, two million years ago.

Piketty, in his book, brushes technology off. Absurdly, he believes that tech can provide only a 1% return. That’s thoroughly stupid: inventing full Quantum Computers, for example,  would have tremendous consequences, as any device could be made hyper intelligent.

Yet, this sort of attitude makes Piketty an object of admiration in USA Academia.

Why? Because USA Academia is plutocratic through and through. Piketty’s ideas do not threaten plutocracy. Quite the opposite: they will allow it to survive. Diminished, true, but alive. My ideas would destroy plutocracy. Let alone the fact that it would take a long time to implement Piketty’s scheme. My schemes, being multi-dimensional, could be implemented faster, and start to bite right away.

(I do agree with several of Piketty’s propositions, such as a world cadastrum, and progressive taxation on capital: I have advocated them for more than a decade!)

***

PLUS OULTRE:

However, a European solar plane just took off from Dubai. It will go around the world on solar power alone. The main force behind this project, the inventor and pilot, the engineer Picard (scion of ancestors just like him) asserts that the global adoption of such technologies would lower energy waste by half.

Europeans, following the Europeans who had migrated to North America, were the richest, most powerful, better nourished people in the world, for five centuries, because their economies produced more ADDED VALUE than any other economies (in particular, better guns).

To re-establish relative riches, Europeans need to focus on what produced that superiority in added value production. That means technological superiority, and this is fed by a more educated population. More educated scientifically, and thus philosophically.

Philosophy, done in a humanly ethologically correct way, is the metaphysics of science. It all fits together. Anything else is an amputation of the possible. Of the humanly possible.

China understands this very well. At least the science part. (Not too sure about the philosophical part; without it, China may well follow the path of fascist Germany. It’s going that way, with a military budget bigger than France, Britain and Japan combined: $145 billion.)

How to do this?

How to add so much value from mind that superiority is re-established?

Well establish the correct philosophy, put it in power, teach it, finance free maximum quality education, free at all ages.

Pay by taxes on wealth, and large incomes, fortunes, in such a way that there would be a practical cap on wealth, as the Roman Republic used to have, when it really worked.

Decapitating wealth is important for the youth: it will show youth that material wealth to excess is such a bad thing, it had to be made unlawful. It will replace mind at the apex of what youth ought to aspire to, and be programmed by.

***

KEEPING A CIVILIZATION GRADIENT WILL SAVE BILLIONS:

Billions of lives, that is.

The usual partisans of insignificance, nihilism and masochism will no doubt whine that Euro-American economic ascendency is a bad thing. They prefer to be haughty slaves than responsible masters.

European scientific superiority led to a reasonably stabled world order. (Except for some populations of the Americas who got exterminated, thus clearing the lands for Europeans.)

In a world where everybody has the same weapons, and ecology is collapsing (still not raining in California, fourth year in a row, in the greatest drought in several millennia), it is to be feared that disorder will express itself as it has in the past: the sort of massacres that make entire populations disappear. That is what Netanyahu is thinking of…

So defining properly Capital in The XXI Century is not just economically and socially important. It is morally important, in the apocalyptic sense of “moral”.

Superior mind is the ultimate capital. Obviously hardly a notion that comes naturally to economists. As what is called “economics” is mostly a fake science, and famous economists are mostly people who have learned to lie about that fact.

When Piketty claims he just discovered r>g, 10,000 years after most of our ancestors, he demonstrates that. More generally, the same critique can be directed at entire fields such as most of theoretical physics and even mathematics, as funding from plutocrats has become ubiquitous. By buying the hierarchy, the plutocrats bought the thinking. That’s what they wanted. Thinking to be directed incorrectly.

We have see this before: this is how Aristotle, or more exactly his sponsors, nearly destroyed civilization. The difference? The stakes are much higher now.

Can I be more specific in my critique, give a hint of what is wrong with Academia? Most thinkers in Academia are too specialized. Right, much science requires hyper-specialization. Say when one is studying Pluto’s atmosphere (the Solar planet not the god of planet finance). One needs hyper-specialized science. However, there is also the science, and the thinking, about big questions. In those fields, hyper-specialization, unguided by the broad picture, can lead to error: look at much of theoretical physics, much of philosophy, much of economics.

It is precisely because Thomas Piketty is obviously pretty ignorant of history, that he believes he just discovered r>g. After 10,000 human societies made the  notion central to their cultures. It is also why economists do not even know that, during most of humanity’s history, money creation was not farmed out to private individuals (the bankers). So they cannot even feel that there is anything wrong with the present money creation system.

Ignorance allows the devil to hide in the details.

Patrice Ayme’

Summers Summits Summits of Hypocrisy

March 8, 2015

Some people all they want is power, and will do whatever it takes to get it. Larry Summers is the ultimate example of this. Summers version 2015 just found that the mood is changing, and condemns 100% Summers, version 1990s, when he was Secretary of the Treasury under that class act, Bill Clinton (from dirt poor to dirty rich).

Two immediate family members of Summers were Nobel Prizes in economy.

Summers was part of a clique of young PhDs in economics who studied how to get rich and influential at MIT and Harvard around 1979. Paul Krugman, one of them, lauds them all the time. I sent a scathing comment on the whole mood of economics as the golden calf. It did not get published.

FDR’s Powerful Family Crest: Who Plants, Preserves

FDR’s Powerful Family Crest: Who Plants, Preserves

FDR planted a mighty tree, the separation of money creation from financial conspiracy. Larry Summers uprooted it.

Here is my suggestion for Larry Summers’ Family Crest: Who Uproots, Destroys. Summers uprooted the financing of the real economy, and thus destroyed it. As corruption went up, innovation (true innovation, science based) went down.

Corruption is a barrier to innovation, warns Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, in Nature. Greater scrutiny of public spending is needed if science and technology are to fulfil their potential, she intones. However, there is more pernicious than that: when private spending and practice is deregulated by government.

After, deregulation of private practice is how, around 1620, slavery was made lawful in the future USA.

Another of the Harvard-MIT economist conspirators was Mario Draghi.

All these plotters literally knew each other, saw each other, talked to each other, learned form each other… How to please their masters. Mario Draghi got his PhD from MIT, in 1979. Later Draghi became vice chairman at the financial conspiracy outfit Goldman Sachs, and “trustee” at various USA plutocratic institutions of high repute (Brookings, Princeton, etc.).

Draghi is now in charge of giving money to giant private European banks. So they can become richer: then the money will trickle down to European pigeons, and they can thrive, eating the crumbs.

American plutocrats know and trust Draghi. Europeans don’t know anything about him, except they believe he is European (I know better: plutocrats belong to Hades, not the real world).

Larry Summers was put in charge of removing all regulations that this traitor to the plutocratic principle, or, more exactly, trickle down, Franklin Roosevelt, had instituted in 1933.

What had FDR done?

Basically banks create money. So they are agents of the government. Thus they ought not to intervene all over the economy, and, in particular, finance, without important limits to their powers.

Summers removed these limits.

The effect on High Finance was absolute power, thus absolute corruption.

The green light given to bankers to corrupt all of society had an effect on other mighty economic actors.

Those worthies felt a green light had also been given to them, implicitly: if the bankers could use their money creation capacity mandated by the government, to enrich themselves and their friends to infinity, why not the same for all?

Why could not fossil fuel plutocrats corrupt scientists and the media, and claim it was totally OK to augment CO2 in the atmosphere by

The democrats were in power in Congress starting in 2006: they did not stop Bush. The democrats were in absolute power just after Obama got elected: they pursued the program of rescue of the plutocracy, complete with tax cuts for the hyper rich.

Obama, to get elected, needed to mobilize those who do not usually vote, because they do not believe that whatever they do will change anything.

Nowadays so-called “democrats” in the USA are in a bind: to get their champion elected, they need the champion to mobilize those Obama mobilized, and who got very little in exchange.

Moreover, the plutocracy got entrenched in the meantime. To change this would require a revolution. Re-evolving.

Re-evolution is something the People may support, if it believed in it. To avoid it, it’s called “Populism” (sounds like Nazism, Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, Nationalism, Islamism, all pejorative notions).

Fast forward to the New York Times. A long ode to Summers called “Establishment Populism Rising.” by Thomas B. Edsall. Here is how it starts:

Larry Summers, who withdrew his candidacy for the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve under pressure from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party in 2013, has emerged as the party’s dominant economic policy strategist. The former Treasury secretary’s evolving message has won over many of his former critics.

Summers’s ascendance is a reflection of the abandonment by much of the party establishment of neo-liberal thinking, premised on the belief that unregulated markets and global trade would produce growth beneficial to worker and C.E.O. alike.

Summers’s analysis of current economic conditions suggests that free market capitalism, as now structured, is producing major distortions. These distortions, in his view, have resulted in gains of $1 trillion annually to those at the top of the pyramid, and losses of $1 trillion every year to those in the bottom 80 percent.”

One has to pinch oneself. Summers has of course zero credibility. Trusting him on economics and social questions would be trusting an enemy. Summers put the entire planet on the wrong trajectory. He is part of a coterie mainly centralized on Harvard, which insisted on raping, pillaging, and letting Russia being devoured by plutocrats created ex-nihilo, because, for Harvard types, plutocracy is an absolute good, just as for Saint Louis Catholicism was an absolute good worth killing the world for.

The destruction of the Russian economy (more exactly a lowering of Price Purchase parity, within Russia, of at least 40%) was just one facet of their maelstrom of destruction these USA based public-private plutocrats visited on the world.

The result, in the case of Russia, is the rise of Putin, someone who advocates using nuclear weapons on Warsaw if his conventional attacks get in trouble. Why? Because, as the entire West propaganda and governments lauded, for more than twenty years (time flies), the Rubin-Goldman-Sachs-Summers-Clinton-Greenspan view of the world, Putin just got mad with rage. Rightly so.

But the damage is not confined to Putin. All over the world, from Xi to Assad, to all and any politicians in Brazil, Larry Summers and his ilk preached. They preached that corruption and plutocratization ought to have no limits, as long as the gullibility of We The People went along.

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”

— President J.F. Kennedy.

The elite is fearing the hatred, which is growing. Even in the naturally rich USA. The rapacious elite wants to marshal the anger, to drive it to a safe place. Safe for itself to keep on enjoying Earth a little bit more, as its feudal domain. It is a race between knowledge and folly.

Patrice Ayme’

AUSTERE BONDAGE TO PLUTOCRACY

October 18, 2014

GOVERNMENT IS BANK, EMPLOYER, ENTREPRENEUR OF LAST RESORT. No Need To Beg The Rich For Money, Work, Or Anything.

The will to austerity is justified by the on-going financing of governments with the selling of bonds. No economist disagrees with this dark scheme. I propose to turn on its head that Conventional Wisdom, and propose instead that both austerity and bonds are entangled plutocratic conspiracies. They form one of the ways enabling present governance to betray We The People (while hoping to share the spoils, as the Majors, Schroeders, Blairs, and Clintons did).

There is no need to beg the rich for work: if We The People were in command, we could just elect to work on whatever we deem worthy to work on. By just making it so.

RIGGING BONDS FOR PLUTOS, THE INCREDIBLE HEIST:

In the present financial system, governments borrow from those who have money. Then governments turn around and pay back those who have money, making them even richer. This was tried before. At least one Republic came and went that way:

Superb Warning Against Plutocracy: Florence's Republic Collapse. Basilica (Built 1294-1436) World's Largest Dome Until Then

Superb Warning Against Plutocracy: Florence’s Republic Collapse. Basilica (Built 1294-1436) World’s Largest Dome Until Then

All economists, politicians, and opinion makers find borrowing from the rich to make them even richer, entirely normal. They are that despicable, ill-informed, on the take, or astoundingly ignorant and not very smart. Paying interest to the world’s richest men is a sort of inverted tax, the world upside down… until one realizes that this is a marker for plutocracy, and that was is an abyss for democracy, is a summit of achievement in the inverted value world of plutocracy.

In democracy, the richest gets taxed enough so that they won’t become too rich, in plutocracy, the richest, are never rich enough, and the government makes it so.

In other words, Western governments have an official, in-your-face program to make the rich richer. And its name is austerity, and low deficits.

Why low deficits? Because they insure the value of bonds the rich bought in the past.

Do we need this program of borrowing from the rich? No, as it makes the rich richer. Quickly.

Filthy Wealth Is On Its Way Back, Thanks To Rotten Governance

Filthy Wealth Is On Its Way Back, Thanks To Rotten Governance

[France has the best statistics. Similar graphs hold for other major Western powers. In the case of the USA, hyper wealth was about half of that of the Europeans in the 19C. See note below on this wealth graph. Plus a quote from Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” where it comes from.]

Are there historical precedents of this financing of the state by the richest? Plenty. Bankers became all powerful, when they financed Francois I and Charles Quint’s war with each other. Francois I’s hotel bills went directly to his bankers, as he went around France and Italy.

Similarly with the Rothschilds when they financed both sides of a whole slew of wars in the decades around 1800.

An even more striking example is the Republic of Florence. Florence, founded by Iulius Caesar, was formally a subset of the Imperium Romanum (Roman Empire; the term “Sacrum”, holy, was introduced later). Florence was one of the many states which, during the Middle Ages, tried to re-establish a Roman style republic.

To defend herself, Florence financed its army with bonds. However that made the rich ever richer, and, after centuries of this, Florence ended as a total plutocracy. Between the revolution that established the Florentine Republic in 1115 CE and the de-establishment of the Republic and appointment of a Duke by the Pope to rule it, in 1532 CE, 417 years elapsed. Nearly twice as long as the USA: view this as a warning.

How come we tolerate this government bond based system to make the rich ever richer? Where are the youth, when a revolution is needed? Oh, sorry, I forgot they were too busy borrowing from their rich masters to finance their own studies: revolution is the first thing they learn they cannot afford.

ALL WE NEED IS WORK

We need work. We need infrastructure. We need massive, cheaper, more ecologically correct housing. We need a new energy system. We need more research in biology (as the thoroughly avoidable Ebola epidemics shows), physics (no replacement for the present, unacceptable base load energy system, worldwide). We need more investment in mass, free education (as was the case in the 40s, 50s, 60s).

We need the government to organize all this employment. To compensate the newly employed citizens, the government could, in exchange, give them money. How? “Print”!

No need to tax. No need to ask plutocrats for money. Because that’s all what the “government bond” system is: begging plutocrats and money managers for money. Begging them some more is not needed. They have been paid enough. Actually, one should stop paying them, in this emergency situation, as soon as they have been compensated for their initial lending: default on the interest.

The entire “austerity” machine consists into claiming that those-who-have-money should be well compensated by governments. It is mission number one.

It is high time to break this vicious circle. Italy should default. France should plan for a 6% deficit.

Instead France is asking the European Commission to plan a 4.5% deficit each year for the next two years. Or do Merkel and the European Commission want to send an air force they don’t have in half a dozen war theaters in Africa and the Middle East?

A study of the German Air Force showed that Germany does not have more than 45 (forty-five) combat aircraft which could be flown (France has hundreds, battle tested over Africa and the Middle East, in the last few decades of uninterrupted warfare). War, and the Military-Industrial complex to support it, is expensive. The weaker one gets, the more the miscreants, imperialists, and the like, will be ready to pounce.

The entire aerospace domain, in countries such as France, Britain and the USA, is the object of more or less obvious subsidies. Why? World War One and Two are the answer. Air supremacy (by France in 1918, the USA and UK in 1945) brought victory.

When people get on a plane, the engines are not made in China, Russia, or North Korea. They are made by French, American and British industry. Exclusively. By itself the Franco-American company CFM International sold 27,000 CFM56 engines (found on more than ten thousand jumbo jets).

After he came to power, President Roosevelt ordered the construction of 24 fleet aircraft carriers. Having devalued the dollar by 33%, he had plenty of money. Just made it so. (The 24 carriers came in handy in 1941; Japan had only 10.)

Now we are engaged in a much worse war, one to save the biosphere, and try to prevent the planet to go Jurassic. Thus governments ought to be supporting not just aerospace, but new energy systems (see preceding essay), positive energy housing, efficient high speed trains, etc.

As populations age in the West, medical science to mitigate, or even reverse, aging, ought to be pushed (advances from 2014 show this should be possible).

How to do all this? How to do all what needs to be done? All what could be done?

Just make it so. Governments by We The People, for We The People, have just to support whatever enterprise is worthy… By financing it. No need to beg the rich.

Independent powers such as North America and Europe could live as complete autocracies (certainly the USA does not need anybody). Then money can be created by the government, and directed at whichever activity the government deems worthy. This strategy was the core of Marxism-Leninism, and in complete opposition to free market capitalism (not that the latter ever existed!).

The Nazis thought that was impossible. Rich plutocrats had financed Hitler. However, in December 1941, the Nazis reached, with difficulty, a subway station in Moscow. In the distance, they could view the gold cupolas of the Kremlin that Napoleon had brought down.

Facing the Nazis was the Soviet system, which just decided to create money, and work, out of thin air, without begging the rich. In this case the Soviet system was churning thousands of the very efficient T34 tanks. With horror, the Nazis discovered that their best tank, the Panzer IV, could only destroy the T34 at close range, from behind, hitting its engine.

Extraordinary industrial achievements by the USSR command economy were replacing the staggering losses suffered over the summer of 1941 (up to 21,000 Soviet aircraft had been destroyed).

In front of Moscow, 1.4 million Soviet soldiers counter-attacked 2 million Nazi soldiers. Losses and casualties were up to 1.7 million.

The USSR won. Decisively. Governmentalism won, decisively.

Definitively, it was proven that the command economy of a government could crush a for-profit, rich plutocrat system.

What was next? After Tojo and Hitler declared war to the USA, Roosevelt duplicated the Soviet machine, the Soviet way of organizing the economy, in the USA (in truth he had started in 1933). To organize the economy according to the diktat of the state, he named a young, but towering, Canadian economist as Czar, John Kenneth Galbraith.

We are in those sorts of times again.

The economists who put us up the (dry) creek of the present disaster will scoff that the so-called “free market” has proven superior. Not so. It’s not the free market which won World War Two, but putting We The People, massively, to work. In the USSR, the USA, the UK.

By the time the Nazis understood that plutocracy was not their friend, but rather their drug, and the free market was a bad joke played on them, not a machine, it was too late. The Nazis produced one tank when their adversaries produced one hundred, and one barrel of extremely expensive oil, when their enemies produced one thousand.

The truth about Nazism is that it was a puppet government; plutocrats were pulling the strings. Even with those strings attached, that government was weak.

It is time to understand that there is no strong economy without a strong government. It is time to understand that asking the plutocrats to pull the strings of the bond markets, while they require us to be on a diet, when not outright dying from ebola, makes for a weak government, and a weak economy.

Patrice Ayme’

Notes on the graph: Thomas Piketty, in his book “Capital in the 21st Century” stated the obvious:

“Whenever the rate of return on capital is significantly and durably higher than the growth rate of the economy, it is all but inevitable that inheritance (of fortunes accumulated in the past) predominates over saving (wealth accumulated in the present)…. Wealth originating in the past automatically grows more rapidly, even without labour, than wealth stemming from work, which can be saved.”

Yet, I doubt Piketty points out that the governmental bond system is rigged to insure that wealth grows faster than GDP: that could compromise his cute little career of official thinker.

The wealth graph above, if it were extended to earlier times would show roughly the same level. In other words, we are quickly going back to Medieval inequality of wealth. We are bringing back the world of serfs and lords. That world was characterized by injustice and stagnation. We don’t need it. The rich are too rich already; we need to make the rich poorer.

 

When A Child Fights Evil Well

October 10, 2014

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2014 peace prize on Friday to Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India. Excellent. The teenage Pakistani known around the world for fighting sexist terror, and an Indian veteran of campaigns to save from slave labor  “tens of millions of children” were celebrated jointly.

A sober moment: only three countries or so do not recognize the right of children NOT to work (be it only so that they can concentrate on studying). The USA is one of them. One of the violators of this UN law. Obama, who can’t close Gitmo, a prison where people are held unlawfully, and force-fed as if they were geese, did not even have the force to evoke that gross violation, in the six years he spent being honored as a great leader.

Hey, otherwise the agriculture of the USA would not be as profitable!

Have You As Much Courage? As Much Brains? That's What The World Needs.

Have You As Much Courage? As Much Brains? That’s What The World Needs.

This 2014 Peace Nobel is obviously a good award. Not a half silly one as the BLUE LED award in physics (why did the inventor(s) of the green LED not get the Nobel, and even earlier, those who invented the RED LED? Oh, because the Nobel clowns don’t give more than three awards? Do you have any other superstitions to impose on us, Nobel guys, to educate us further in the irrational?)

Ms. Yousafzai, 17, the youngest recipient of the prize since it was created in 1901, got a bullet in the head, courtesy of the Islamist terrorist known as Taliban, for advocating secular schooling, rather the medieval superstitious stupidities they read in the Qur’an and the like.

To announce her award, she was taken out of a chemistry class, in Birmingham, where she was treated for her grave injuries and stayed, ever since. (There are probably Taliban foaming at the mouth in gleeful anticipation of pumping her with more bullets.)

The committee’s chairman said: “The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism…”

This is wishful thinking: troops from Pakistan and India exchanged artillery and machine-gun fire across their disputed Himalayan border in the last few days. The last duel killed 11 Pakistani and eight Indian villagers.

“Children must go to school and not be financially exploited,” Chair Jagland pursued. “It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.”

That’s the problem of the Islamists: as women are maintained in a state of oppressive violence, subjugation, stupidity, torpor, and ignorance, they bestow these qualities to their children. That’s why the Muslim empires have been down and out for at least eight centuries (occupied by Franks, Mongols, ruled by Turks, liberated by the French, British… and now invaded by the Jews, in a supreme irony, considering the anti-Jewish character of the Islamists’ most sacred texts. All of this humiliation and degeneracy submitted constantly under indigenous plutocratic overlords.)

Malala has much more intelligence and courage than the many pseudo-intellectuals in the West who have imposed the wrong mood (“Islam is peace”) by sheer greediness (Political Correctness sells!), cowardice, and blatant ignorant stupidity. Some variants of Islam are peace (say West African Islam, circa 1950). But the Qur’an is not. Consider the (extreme, astounding) Violence In Holy Qur’an.

Patrice Ayme’

Finance & Imbecility Supreme

May 9, 2014

 

Animal minds started with bacteria orienting themselves towards food sources.  What are the youngest parts of human minds? Reason, the will to find reasons for everything, including the reasons hyenas may have to act the way they do.

Speaking of hyenas, officially speaking, less than 100 individuals own more property than half the population of the entire planet combined. And the truth is way worse.

A particularly odious subset are the money changers. Here is Krugman in “Now That’s Rich” finally waking up to the nefariousness of Finance Supreme. After extensively relating Krugman’s belated coming of age, not to say wisdom, I will take off in the last few paragraphs, with the really big picture.

Hyenas Are More Social Than Hedge Fund Managers

Hyenas Are More Social Than Hedge Fund Managers

Krugman fired a broadside against hedge funds mangers, where the ugly splurge at the trough of conspiracy unchained. It is such a pleasure to have Krugman focus finally on what I have attracted his attention about, for years, that I will quote him extensively. He does not say anything I did not say in substance, say 6 years ago, but he has an incomparably louder and more respected voice:

“Institutional Investor’s latest “rich list” in its Alpha magazine, its survey of the 25 highest-paid hedge fund managers, is out — and it turns out that these guys make a lot of money. Surprise!

Yet before we dismiss the report as nothing new, let’s think about what it means that these 25 men (yes, they’re all men) made a combined $21 billion in 2013. In particular, let’s think about how their good fortune refutes several popular myths about income inequality in America.

First, modern inequality isn’t about graduates. It’s about oligarchs. Apologists for soaring inequality almost always try to disguise the gigantic incomes of the truly rich by hiding them in a crowd of the merely affluent. Instead of talking about the 1 percent or the 0.1 percent, they talk about the rising incomes of college graduates, or maybe the top 5 percent. The goal of this misdirection is to soften the picture, to make it seem as if we’re talking about ordinary white-collar professionals who get ahead through education and hard work.”

In truth, the concept of “hyena” comes short as an insult: hyenas are ecologically useful, they are part of the balance of a super-organism that evolved over the eons, part of which is simple grass, that herbivores ought not to eat too much.

Money changers, though, have no ecologically utility. Quite the opposite. The essence of humanity is learning, thus, first of all, the beautiful art of teaching. Yet, as Krugman reminds us:

“But many Americans are well-educated and work hard. For example, schoolteachers. Yet they don’t get the big bucks. Last year, those 25 hedge fund managers made more than twice as much as all the kindergarten teachers in America combined. And, no, it wasn’t always thus: The vast gulf that now exists between the upper-middle-class and the truly rich didn’t emerge until the Reagan years.

Thus by letting money changers earn much more money than teachers, the corrupt government of the USA (that includes the corrupt lawmakers assembled in a corrupt, money drenched organization called Congress), have decided that money changing is much more important than teaching. Or, in other words, that a sort of recent conspiracy of a few oligarchs mattered more than the essence of humanity, learning.

Krugman exposes in his own way what some of the money changers of the hedge type do:

“ignore the rhetoric about “job creators” and all that. Conservatives want you to believe that the big rewards in modern America go to innovators and entrepreneurs, people who build businesses and push technology forward. But that’s not what those hedge fund managers do for a living; they’re in the business of financial speculation, which John Maynard Keynes characterized as “anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be.” Or since they make much of their income from fees, they’re actually in the business of convincing other people that they can anticipate average opinion about average opinion.

… hedge funds are a bad deal for everyone except their managers; they don’t deliver high enough returns to justify those huge fees, and they’re a major source of economic instability.”

Amusingly, Krugman used to want many currencies, hence many currency changers, inside Europe. And that, in turn, to prevent, precisely those instabilities, is why the European currency, the Euro, was created. But let’s let that awkward observation glide away, in a spirit of communion…

It’s such a delight to have Krugman making famous these theses long obscurely exposed on this site, that I will quote him some more:

“More broadly, we’re still living in the shadow of a crisis brought on by a runaway financial industry. Total catastrophe was avoided by bailing out banks at taxpayer expense, but we’re still nowhere close to making up for job losses in the millions and economic losses in the trillions. Given that history, do you really want to claim that America’s top earners — who are mainly either financial managers or executives at big corporations — are economic heroes?

Finally, a close look at the rich list supports the thesis made famous by Thomas Piketty in his book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” — namely, that we’re on our way toward a society dominated by wealth, much of it inherited, rather than work.”

Bloomberg View’s Matt Levine points out, these days a lot of top money managers’ income comes not from investing other people’s money but from returns on their own accumulated wealth — that is, the reason they make so much is the fact that they’re already very rich.

And this is, if you think about, an inevitable development. Over time, extreme inequality in income leads to extreme inequality of wealth; indeed, the wealth share of America’s top 0.1 percent is back at Gilded Age levels.

There is a more general problem here. Ultimately income reflects the worth some values are perceived to have. By making finance, that is, money changing, more valuable than, roughly, anything else, we have money changing, that is, nothing, more valuable than anything else.

I sent a comment, that Krugman published right away. Here it is, slightly modified. It attracts attention on how Finance Supreme causes a global collapse, economically, morally, socially, and even genetically:

Hedge fund managers earn unfair amounts of money. Fairness is very important in primates. Confronted to injustice, even the simplest monkeys, experiments have shown, start to throw things at the heads of experimenters rather than working. So one will guess that an unfair society is not just abusive (and that’s bad for the genes themselves!), but also economically inefficient (if apes can’t throw things, maybe they drive dangerously, attack others, do drugs, and the couch potatoes).

Let me now add further dimensions to the complaint against the hyper rich. As is well known, as they can’t spend it all, they just store servants (slaves), land, anonymous companies (thus an entanglement of conspiracies worldwide, all the money in Dark Pools). Meanwhile worthy jobs (such as teachers) go starving.

Still another aspect is that, as they hold all the power, only those oligarchs are consulted to steer the world. We saw what it gives in Russia: a dictatorship harking to the most vicious tribalism, when the herd charges ahead to gore and trample whoever they have been told threaten it.

We saw what consulting that handful of oligarchs gave worldwide: a head-on rush to a catastrophe for the biosphere, unequalled in 600 million years, complete with a run-away greenhouse, acid ocean, and hypoxia.

In other words, the reign of hedge fund managers, the reign of Finance Supreme, and, more generally of oligarchy and plutocracy unchained, is the reign not just of unbounded greed, but the reign and rule of complete imbecility.

Human beings, and democracy, are smarter, when they are free to think and decide. Minds in chains have little worth, and we all end up poorer. This world needs more than 100 of the greediest, to think for us all, as if they were the greatest. In truth, we need all the minds we have.

Patrice Aymé

GDP Doesn’t Produce Life

March 10, 2014

One of my not so sophisticated jokes is that GDP stands for “Gross Demonic Product”. I have long compared France and the USA in economic matters, as the two republics are highly comparable. Paul Krugman is now of this opinion. As he puts it:

“I think I can usefull [sic] phrase my concerns in terms of my favorite comparison on these matters, which is between the United States and France.

The GDP Economy Roars Ahead In the USA: Nowadays, Americans Pay For everything

The GDP Economy Roars Ahead In the USA: Nowadays, Americans Pay For everything

Why this pair? Because we’re talking about two advanced countries that clearly have similar levels of technological competence but have made very different social choices; in particular, France not only does much more redistribution, it has expanded its redistribution over time, limiting the rise in overall inequality, while the United States has not.

So how have the countries’ destinies compared during the New Gilded Age? French growth actually has been somewhat slower, although hardly the catastrophe the country’s incessant bad press might lead you to expect.”

Overall French GDP is about 20% less, per capita than that of the USA.

However, it’s not clear that it means a lesser way of life.

Take medication: the French can buy the exact same drug, from the exact same manufacturer (French, American, or German), and the same package, and pay a fifth the cost. That’s fifth LESS contribution to GDP. The money contributing to GDP ends up, overseas, in some tax haven. How does that help well-being? By helping tax dodging plutocrats?

Take education: there is more than a trillion dollar of student debt in the USA. That’s a trillion dollar of contribution to GDP… of inextinguishable debt. The French GDP is terrible that way, because there is NO contribution to GDP, in France, from over indebted students.

Take transportation. Contemplate an American going around with his car. The car uses much more GDP per mile than the High Speed trains millions of French use every week. So GDP tells us the greater the efficiency of fast, modern transportation, the poorer a nation.

The USA’s economy has much improved since 2007. Thanks to fracking. Now the USA is the greatest fossil combustible producer in the world, even beating Putin’s petro-state. Fracking the planet to death since 2007 is great for the GDP of the USA. However, scientific studies in 2013 show that methane leaks all over much of the USA: that’s not so great for the planet, as CH4 is twenty, or more, times more of a greenhouse gas than CO2. (CO2 itself acts as a trigger for H2O, itself the prime greenhouse gas.)

The French, in vacation all the time and retired, early on, enjoy life outrageously. That brings a lower GDP. OK, so the French GROSS product is lower than it could be. Does that mean that French refined product is low? Of course not, quite the opposite: the grosser, the less refined.

Is a slave working the GDP per capita of his master up, better off?

France has been handicapped in recent years by artifacts related to her refusal of some methods, such as OGMs. The result? France went down from the world’s second food exporter to fifth. France has also outlawed fracking. An efficient crack-down on corruption (by contrast to corruption perception) has led to the loss of many contracts overseas.

What is GDP? The sum of all moneyed transactions. Thus, when a young French retiree works exclusively in a non-profit fashion, no GDP is generated. But that does not mean nothing is produced. Instead what’s produced is too precious to be moneyed.

In general, in an economy, what is the most precious, cannot be bought, or sold. That’s one thing free market naïfs don’t get.

It’s not a coincidence that Doctors Without Borders, Journalists Without Borders and the like got started in France.

Patrice Aymé

Indebted To Lies

February 12, 2013

LIVING IN DENIAL ABOUT DEBT A PLUTOCRACY MAKES:
Abstract: Too many illusions governing, and a civilization dissolution guaranteed. A vast conspiracy extending from the financial right to the self conscious “liberal” elite, including the honorable conscientious liberal, Paul Krugman, claims that there is not that much of a debt problem in the USA.

Yet, a careful examination of the numbers and concepts involved shows that the esteemed pundits who howl urbi et orbi that there is no debt problem, coolly propose to steal Medicare and the Social Security Trust Fund.

This is pretty typical of the eerie manipulations that the powers that be engage in. Official progressives living in mansions end up in total solidarity with the plutocracy. One shudders at the possibilities.

Servicing Our Lords

Servicing Our Lords


Servicing too much debt is servicing plutocracy too much, and denial is its prophet.
***

UNDERESTIMATING DEBT IS AN ECONOMIC DRAG:
Why did the presidency of Obama bring only change that we can’t see? Bush has been gone more than 4 years. Yet, the giant tax loopholes for the hyper rich are still in place (including “carry interest“!).

Not to worry, say many of the self proclaimed liberals and progressives opinion makers. In their latest tactic, they claim that there is no debt problem in the USA. They observe contently that interest rates have never been so low, that the deficit has disappeared from places such as the state of California, and that Obama’s reforms have been the “f… big deal“, as the robust Biden said, and Krugman confirmed.

What that self satisfied elite omits is that interest rates are low because the economy is not recovering. In a self amplifying loop, total debt (also called “leverage”), so easy to acquire with low interest, so stifling to serve later, is obviously a factor.

Because debt is accompanied with interest, too much debt means too much interest paid. At the limit, the debtor owns nothing, the debtor pays interest all day long, and the debtor becomes a serf.
***

WHEN DEBT EXPLODES INTO SLAVERY:
Servitude from debt did not just happen in the Middle Ages. And it does not just happen to individuals.

In 2011 and 2012 Italy’s real economy was doing rather well: a bigger industrial sector than Great Britain, and no PRIMARY deficit (the USA primary deficit is 7% of GDP). Yet, Italy was engulfed in a catastrophic debt crisis.

How come? International investors asked for unsustainable interest to renew Italian debt.
Why they got in that mood, pouncing on Italy instead of Britain, say, is very complicated; but one of the factors is the madness of crowds; another, of course, is that the plutocracy has had a multi-generational conflict with France, and the Eurozone, or even the EU, is viewed as a dangerously French amplification machine.

During that crisis, Italian deficit (that is how much debt is added each year) came to be caused entirely by added interest on very old debt. (Total Italian debt was 121% of GDP when the interest rates charged to that country exploded.)

Greece went through something similar, just way worse (some Hellenic interest rates went above 100%).
Long ago, I advocated that Greece should default. This is what was done, in the end, because there was no other choice (although the default involved most of the governmental debt, Greece still owes hundreds of billions of euros, something that will have to be reduced further).

The European debt crisis abated in the second part of 2012 thanks to three factors. The most important factor was that unambiguous signals were given that France and Germany would do whatever it took to preserve the European banking system.

Thus the European Central Bank (ECB) was given a green light to stretch its mandate, and resort to USA style “Quantitative Easing” (QE). (The Europeans use another term than “QE”, in the hope that one does not feel they are just Americans infeodated to private finance as the government of the USA is!) QE consisted into sending a trillion euros to private banks, in the hope that they will show a profit. In the USA, QE has given to the banks more than 8 trillion dollars (about half of the yearly GDP). (See note on liabilities.)

The other cause of the abatement of the European debt crisis has been a ferocious crack down on deficits. Italy has no primary deficit, Germany has no deficit whatsoever. Even France is breaking hard to try to bring her deficit around 3% in 2013. Spain’s unemployment, now at 26%, keeps climbing, but the government helps ever less (after years of a delirious construction binge).

As Europe imports much of its energy, the climb of the euro, a consequence of these healthier finances, is viewed positively (it forces European industry to excell, a ball Switzerland and Germany got rolling, to great success.)
***

WHEN DEBT CUTS INTO THE BONE:
Many countries are overdoing the austerity: Germany has no deficit, but it’s interior demand has long been very weak, as it rested on the likes of Greek and Iberian madness. Now the German economy is contracting. In Great Britain, savage cuts are proving self defeating: the deficit is still above 7%, the country is rolling again in recession, with long term GDP numbers worse than in the depression of the 1930s.

David Cameron, an extremely rich scion, Britain’s chief, thinks smart to duplicate the degeneracy that afflicts the USA, ever since Reagan imposed Voodoo economics. Thanks to Cameron, it can cost 10,000 euros to attend public university in the UK. Such cuts, should they stick, guarantee that the historical strength of the West, intellectual power, will sink in England, as surely as the Titanic.

California does not have a deficit, Paul Krugman boasted. Sure. Because of horrendous cuts, through the muscles, into the bones. Say in education: the, supposedly public, University of California charges California residents more than $12,000 in tuition, about a quarter of the median USA family income. Another sneaky deficit fighting measure is to let children enter primary school a year later. Meanwhile health costs considerably more to the public, thanks to genial Obamacare.

No more education, no more health, while Paul Krugman, self proclaimed “conscience of a liberal”, extols California as an example. The hyper rich have something to celebrate, many of the richest of the elite still pays no taxes, thanks to loopholes that the media never talks about (while the working stiff pays nearly as much tax as in France, without any of the free stuff there).
***

LET’S LIE ABOUT FEDERAL DEBT: WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Paul Krugman, much of the New York Times and much of the official left, claim that there is no debt problem in the USA: the debt is only 73% of GDP (less than France or even Germany). This chorus has recently been joined by the Congress Budget Office (CBO) and the Wall Street Journal.

And yet… The debt ceiling has been broken through. The ceiling was at 16,4 TRILLION. Total debt is now crossing $16.5 trillion. The USA GDP is around 15 trillion. Thus the debt is 111% of GDP, as the IMF says, it’s not 73% as many democrats claim.

USA Debt/GDP Worse Than During WWII

USA Debt/GDP Worse Than During WWII

(The green line above depicts what would have happened if Reagan had balanced his budget instead of practicing the Voodoo Economics that debt did not matter.)

If one tried to point to that fact, the 111% debt, the New York Times censorship bureau was long in the habit to find such news unfit to print, and would censor them immediately. They did this to me, dozens of times. I amused myself seeing the liberally correct establishment crack down on this apparently anti-liberal notion. the real extent of the debt. Another trick was to publish unfavorable comments informing me that I “did not know what I was talking about”, and should “do [my] homework“.

The Economist, apparently recognized that there was something good in this conspiracy to underestimate the debt. So it nebulously recognized that the debt was “actually 25%” higher than 73%. That is 100% of GDP.
But, as I said, the total USA debt is above 111% of GDP, and growing by 1% every two months. Not exactly a viable proposition. Those who deny this are, on the face of it, just sycophants of the present economic-financial system. As it is, the USA cannot apply to the European Union, on financial grounds alone. Ironical.

Debt is not computed in the same way in Europe and the USA. First, one has to distinguish “gross” public debt and net public debt. Net public debt subtracts fiscal assets (cash, bonds, shares) owned by the government.

When Europeans talk about the debt their states owe, they talk about the gross debt. That makes a huge difference due to the many assets owned by European states.

The French government could argue French debt is not that bad, because it owns shares in Renault, EADS, etc. The Greek government is busy selling various assets it owns to reduce its debt (countless islands, etc.).

But this is not the mentality ruling the bean counters in the USA. There those who want to under-estimate the debt of the government of the USA, far from being rigorous as the Europeans, go to the opposite extreme. They do NOT take into account the money borrowed FROM Medicare and the Social Security “Trust” Fund. Those who want to underestimate the debt of the USA do not count government bonds owned by the Social Security Fund since it is seen as one arm of government having a claim on another arm of the government.

This sleight of hand reduces the debt/GDP of the USA from 111% down to 73%. In other words, according to this subterfuge, the government general fund does not have to reimburse the five trillion dollars it owes to Medicare and Social Security. Paul Krugman and many at the New York Times and the CBO find this conscientious and liberal.
***

LITTLE DEBT, IF WE STEAL SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE:
The debt situation shows that many of the many prominent American liberals are actually not liberal at all. They just play one on TV. Because the most important message they have about the Federal debt of the USA is that, the money owed to Medicare and the Social Security TRUST Fund is actually ZERO.

It’s cool with the New York Times, Krugman and company, if the government stole five trillion dollars to We The People. How conscientious and liberal is that?

But why should we be surprised? Did not the same crowd embrace Obamacare’ public subsidies to private healthcare plutocrats?

Some say that there is no danger. They assume that government bonds will stay as worthy in the future as they are now. Yet this will happen if, and only if the Greater Depression we are in extends indefinitely. If the economy happens to improve significantly, there is no way that the present bonds, with their extremely low returns, would interest investors. So the bonds would lose most of their value.

As the money those bonds used to represent would still be due to Medicare and Social Security, it could either be stolen outright, from The People, or it could be raised from taxing The People once again, for the same thing as they taxed for, before.

Hence ignoring the part of public debt held by the… public, through public institutions is sustainable, if, and only if, the economy keeps on sinking. How progressive.
***

TAX FREE RIDERS, TAX CARBON, SPURN UNPRODUCTIVE DEBT, EMBRACE JOBS:
So? Are the loud progressives dominating the media actually regressive? Would that be, by any chance, entangled with their membership in the plutocracy serving oligarchy?

By underestimating the debt problem, the problem of the present economy can keep on being underestimated. A huge deficit can insure that money can keep on been thrown at the People. And that the free riders will keep on riding for free.

Whereas what we The People need, to be fully satisfied, is jobs. Jobs don’t just bring money, but empowerment, pride, satisfy the instinct of utility, mental, and physical activity. A society where People work is fully human, a society where People don’t work, is not.

By realizing how severe the crisis is, jobs can be brought over to bear on the peoblem. Just to make sustainable energies work, millions of jobs have to be created.

Because those jobs would be profitable by definition, they are worth getting indebted for.

Take for example power lines. Power lines are needed because sustainable energy tends to jump around in space and time; lots somewhere sometimes, and then somewhere else, another time. Germany has wind in the north, sun in the south. Washington State has much hydro power in early summer, and not enough power lines to get it out. Much power line work is needed all over.

Windmills work. Especially the latest types, offshore. A problem, though, is that the wind does not blow all the time, or when needed. The same problem affects solar energy. Power lines cannot solve it all. But dams can remedy the rest.

In the case of offshore wind, the solution is obvious: artificial, multibillion dollars islands, to turbine up water in artificial reservoirs, when demand is slack. To build all these islands will surely be a lot of work.

Mandated weatherization of homes and buildings is another obvious target (that is done in some European countries such as France, but not in the USA, where the Obama administration just gave subsidies to weatherize one million homes; a completely different activity, as it redistribute taxpayer money, instead of leveraging private economic activity… without using any taxpayer money).

So here we are: face the debt problem. It’s enormous. Debt ought not to be used for everyday expense, but only for worthy investments, as used to be the case.

And if there is too much debt, the solution is not crushing taxes on salaried people (top tax margin in California is 52%, although the truly hyper rich still pays nought, as they are not salaried…) Nor is the solution savage cuts. Instead the tax system ought to be overhauled: make the richest individuals and corporations pay tax, and make the richest economic activity pay tax too (for example financial transactions ought to pay tax, like all other transactions do; 11 countries of the Eurozone have decided to do so.

Another obvious revenue generator is a worldwide carbon tax. If the USA cooperated with the European Union there, instead of opposing it ridiculously, the tax would become reality so fast it would have a positive economic effect right away. Verily the least carbon burners can do is to pay for the damage they are causing to the biosphere.
***

SERVICING CAPITAL IS LESS IMPORTANT THAN SERVICING NATURE:
On the most macroscopic scale, debt services the most wealthy persons, those who have the capital. That’s OK, civilization needs capital. For worthy investments. It’s not OK, when it gets out of control, and debt becomes a way of life.

By insisting that Federal debt of the USA is only 73% of GDP, one lives in denial. One more denial in a web of illusions. Too many illusions governing, and a civilization dissolution guaranteed.

At this point, we can emulate the immense Khmer empire around 1300 CE. We can refuse to change so long, that we cannot change when we are forced to. With one million inhabitants, the capital, Angkor, was perhaps the world’s largest city, larger than China’s Hangzhou. However, the Khmer devastated their ecology, precisely by doing as we do now: using up all the carbon around. That deforestation caused a massive drought, combined with intense floods, and the combination killed the capital of Angkor.

Maybe the Khmer were paralyzed by the debt they were servicing, and, certainly, they were paralyzed by the plutocracy that they were servicing.
What they needed to do was to repair the giant reservoirs they depended upon, that were fillong up by debris from the floods. And stop the deforestation. And they needed to do this in timely manner, when they still had the power. They waited too long, weakened, and were invaded.

The Maya also waited too long in a huge ecological crisis they contributed to, along the same lines. So it was with Sumer: deforestation, drought, salination, biblical (literally!) flood…

Rome went through something similar, long enough to debate the problem. However, the plutocracy barred the way to go further than that.

It’s always the same pattern: not working hard on the ecological problems, when they could still be solved, because one is paralyzed by a self obsessed plutocracy.

Why underestimate the debt difficulties of the USA, while maximizing bad rhetoric about those of Europe? Is there a pro-American cult out there? Not really. It is more a cult of capital, and underestimating the debt one owes to capital is part of it.
***
Patrice Ayme
***

Note on liabilities: Liabilities are more general than debt. Although this is too arcane to deal with here, QE extends the liabilities of the central banks, and one can view it as augmenting considerably, maybe 50%, German or French debt… But of this no one never talks. For example although USA debt is nearly $17 trillion, all the liabilities of the government of the USA go beyond $62 trillion…

Ideas For Democrats

October 17, 2012

So here we are. Romney has a plan, in five points. Obama says Romney’s plan is just one point: the rich should play with different rules. But what’s Obama’s plan? What is Obama’s point? Nothing. Except more of the same. And the same does not work.

The democrats have zero new ideas. After he was elected president, Obama spent two years on his knees, begging republicans to change tone. Apparently he was elected president to beg for love: Obama did not need republicans, in the first few months, as he enjoyed a supermajority. [See note.] Did he want to do nothing more than Bush, in the hope he would be rewarded, like Clinton (or Major, or Blair, or Sarkozy)? Giving six figure speeches to the powers that be.

I long pointed out that the economy is worse than in the 1930s, in some dimensions. Not too many celebrities point that out on the left: their power & wealth depend upon the present corrupt intellectual scheme.  I want to meditate this graph:

French & German Private Companies Research & Development.

A consequence is this graph:

German Industrial Production Is Higher Than Ever. Because Research and Development in German private companies is higher than ever.

Why to brandish France and Germany in the context of the election in the USA? The European Union is an excellent place to test policies. What we see above is that Germany did something right, and France the exact same thing, wrong. With dramatic consequences (jobs are disappearing by the thousands in France every day it seems). Something resembling what’s done in Germany is basically the only solution for the West. And that’s real progressivism.

Germany is doing great economically. Germany has an unemployment rate of 5.5% although she accepted no less than one million new Eurozone residents, who came to work, in the last year alone. A spectacular way to solve the… German problem… Now something more about a dying birthrate.

Many leaders, political, academic or intellectual, on the left are more corrupt than on the right, because their minds are twisted. They are not what they seem. They are the opposite of what they claim. Those pseudo leftists are plutocrats, or next to plutocrats, or serving plutocrats… while claiming to serve the People. At least the Koch brothers, when they do their machinations, are really trying to influence public opinion the way one expects them to.

Whereas plutocrats such as (chief of the democrats in Congress) Nancy Pelosi (personal worth perhaps as great as Romney, about 200 million dollars), or (Senior Senator) Dianne Feinstein (personal worth up to twice Romney) claim to care about the plebs… Which is fine. However their historical record is that they did nothing when they controlled Congress, except for extending Bush’s tax cuts, Bush’s wars, and an ObamaCare who looks (to me) more like BuffetCare than anything else (Buffet is a notorious investor in HMOs and the like). So they are not what they seem.

Many of the critiques Romney has been making, I have been making over the years, to wit:

1) the lowering of the median family income by more than $4,300 (roughly 10%, in constant dollars). This is actually (one of) the main argument I historically made to qualify the present slump as the “Greater Depression”. (There are other arguments, now reinforcing, such as the decrease of life expectancy.) 

2) that health care costs are out of control. Romney said they increased by more than $2,000 under Obama, and independent evaluators have forecast a proximal augmentation of the average family health insurance bill by as much as ObamaCare kicks in fully by 2014.

To put health care under control the only way is to make the basic plan public (as this takes the profit motive out of the cost of rendering care to the otherwise moribund). OK, Obama could push for that later.

3) the lack of jobs. Romney say he will get tougher with China, for currency manipulation (Obama already did this quite a bit), and Intellectual Property theft. IP theft is the big one. The West has been like a baby while the Chinese Communist Party and its plutocratic agents have been stealing IP right and left to the West.

The democrats have no plan, but Romney came up with one: take out all the deductions, beyond $25,000 total, do not tax capital gains below $200,000. And of course, reduce taxes all across the board, except, overall, for the top 5%.

How come the democrats do not have a plan? OK, tax the rich mandatorily 30%. That’s their would be plan. Good luck forcing Pelosi and Feinstein to pay 30% tax. The average Congress person and senator is a high multimilionaire, I do not see them taxing themselves. Moreover, taxes do not mean jobs, as Constantinople demonstrated for a millennium.

The same critique can be made to, say, the French Socialists. There the proposed tax is 75%. But entrepreneurs in France revolted, and used exactly the same argument as Romney: small companies create jobs, a lot of the pseudo millionaires actually re-invest massively in their companies, creating employment. A really progressive agenda has to take this into account. Bitten by critique that way, the French Socialists accepted that Romney/Silicon Valley argument, and operated a strategic retreat. And now they are sitting on their haunches, thinking harder and deeper… (Notice that the Socialists are in total control of France: Presidency, Senate, Parliament, most large cities and regions; what they have is an intellectual, not political problem.)

This argument, that multi-millionaire entrepreneurs create jobs, is correct, and close to the heart of Germany’s economic success. I would argue that small entrepreneurs should be taxed ZERO on the portion of the money they make that they reinvest in R&D.

German entrepreneur-owners in the Mittlestand (Middle Stand) re-invest massively in their companies. OK, they are tough with their employees, but is it better to have a sadistic boss rather than having no income whatsoever? OK, it depends how sadistic, it’s all about 50 Shades Of Grey (Feldgrau in this case…).

Thus it would be good for USA democrats and French Socialists to have a system similar to that Angela Merkel presides over. The Mittelstand invests massively in research and development.

In 2011, Germany obtained three times more patents than France (which has 83% of the population of Germany). Here are the numbers from 2008:

Rank Country No. of Patents Granted
1  Japan 239,338
2  United States 146,871
3  South Korea 79,652
4  Germany 53,752
5  China 48,814
6  France 25,535
7  Russia 22,870
8  Italy 12,789
9  United Kingdom 12,162
10  Switzerland 11,291
11  Netherlands 11,103
12  Canada 8,188
13  Sweden 7,453
14  Finland 4,675
15  Australia 4,386
16  Spain 3,636
17  Belgium 2,948
18  Israel 2,665
19  Denmark 2,347
20  Austria 2,306

The classification is very different for patents in force, and for applications. Comparing all, it seems some countries, presently in economic difficulty are seeing their patent position decay quickly. Digging a bit deeper, one can see that research and development led by private companies has exploded in Germany, while it has decayed in France.

The bottom line is this: people in the developing world earn at most 5% of what they would earn, with the same job, in the developed countries. Reciprocally this means that most employees, in developed countries, are paid twenty, and often thirty times too much, or at least would be if the communications were free.

The way out is for developed countries to develop jobs that cannot be replaced at a distance. Except for low lives’ jobs, such as pushing carts around and shining shoes in airport, this means jobs depending upon knowledge most countries cannot endow their citizens with. Firms with a persistent R&D strategy outperform those with an irregular or no R&D investment.

European Countries With Higher R&D Do Much Better

So, to provide with employment, developed societies should be oriented towards research, to develop further. The target should not be 3%, but 10% of GDP. A good way to do this would be to make all research and development go tax free. $6.6 billion of research tax credit has been claimed recently in the USA, a very small fraction of the total R&D, so there is a lot of room to spur research using taxation!

It goes without saying that forcing the banks away from derivatives, and back into the real economy would help. One can easily argue that three quarter of world finance is actually a criminal organization. How? Simple: the world used to work with 8% of corporate profits in finance. Now it’s 40%. Those 32%, one third of world profits, can only be explained as parasitism of some sort.

So let the left talk about these things. That would be more constructive than the specious arguments Obama used in the debate to mark points with the silly ones [See note]. If Obama is elected without an effective plan, the situation is pretty sure to disintegrate further, and when things get too desperate, the fascist instinct always gets in gear.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note on Obama’s specious arguments: the 47%. And the Benghazi fiasco. Obama said he used the word “terror” the next day. But I thoroughly documented that the White House administration prepared declarations at the time accused those who “denigrated Islam”, not a deliberate Salafist attack by a commando (which is what really happened). Instead a video describing the Qur’an according to itself (!), and a French magazine with two silly drawings (one representing a Jew and a Muslim, and the other that I reproduced). I would actually suggest that Clinton sacrifice herself, and resign. Time to man up. After all, there was a massive Salafist base next door (since then destroyed by inhabitants of Benghazi in retaliation for the attack on the Consulate of the USA).

***

Note on supermajority: I sent a comment on the Krugman New York Times editorial (another freaky attack accusing Romney to have lied about what he did in next year). I pointed out Obama did nothing when he could have done everything. exceptionally, the NYT published it, jointly with a reply that I was deluded because Obama had a super majority of 60 in the Senate for only 14 weeks (as the rest of the time, the reply argued, poor Ted Kennedy was idiotically “housebound“, meaning Teddy, a specialist of swimming against the current, preferred to help the republicans by eating pancakes at home, rather than facing his destiny, and resigning).

That was doubly idiotic: first of all, the democrats controlled Congress for four years, during which, they did preciously nothing. Secondly, even if it’s all the fault of poor rich Teddy boy eating pancakes at home, 14 weeks is a long time. In less than 14 weeks, the French Socialist government has passed an enormous amount of legislation, including a European financial rescue mechanism, an FDIC for Europe (that required sorting things out with 26 other Congresses!), a 75% tax on income, a financial transaction tax, and the French Socialists passed countless other laws.

Face it guys: Obama hid behind Oblahblah, also known as George W. Bush III… And plutocrat Pelosi, his prophet.

So the New York Times published my comment which mentioned just in passing “supermajority”, joined with a reply already “approved” by 108 people (!) In other words, a lot of money is deployed to cheaply twist reality. How could have these people read by stuff, reply to it, and have 108 people read the reply, and approve it? All in one nanosecond?

Why French Parents Are Superior.

February 5, 2012

IT’S ALL ABOUT REASON:

“While Americans fret over modern parenthood, the French are raising happy, well-behaved children without all the anxiety. Pamela Druckerman on the Gallic secrets for avoiding tantrums, teaching patience and saying ‘non’ with authority.”

Such is the abstract of the article “Why French Parents Are Superior” found in the Wall Street Journal on February 4, 2012. [See notes.]

To say “non” with authority, one needs to have intellectual authority to start with. The French develop the latter through a love of mental jousts (many of them about politics, sociology, ecology, history, geography, science, poetry, litterature, etc…). That intense Gallic practice of mental activity leads typical young French adults to have gone through at least 10,000 hours of intra familial debate by the end of their teenage years. So they are expert at it. They are also expert at being interesting, and being able to answer inquiries the little ones will have from all directions.

Inasmuch as the WSJ author tried her best, three years of study she says, she extracted very little from it: talk a bit firmer, sound more self assured. Step by step under the direction of a 34 year old French mom. Pathetic. To see why she so thorougly failed, keep on reading.

In truth French parents develop in their children a greater ability to present, develop arguments, and respond to them intelligently. This is done mostly through the intense practice of speech. That, in turn, comes from the love of speech, which is also imprinted, right from the start.

French parents talk more, with a richer speech between themselves, and back and forth to their children. Children are taught to not interrupt the conversations adults are having with each other. Learning not to interrupt, is viewed not as an exclusion, but an instruction, a fundamental part of education.

Speech also allows to communicate values. A child endowed with higher values, and the perspective of even the higher ones grandes personnes are responding to, understands that orders given by parents have themselves reasons. Those reasons have to be mastered to access to higher learning. It’s all about reason.

I asked two Californian parents who live (very well) in Cambridge, England, with their two American children, if they saw a difference between American and European kids. They immediately replied that European children were much better educated. This corresponds to the main difference the Wall Street Journal reporter saw in France, when she pondered why her own child was ruining her outings:

“After a few more harrowing restaurant visits, I started noticing that the French families around us didn’t look like they were sharing our mealtime agony. Weirdly, they looked like they were on vacation. French toddlers were sitting contentedly in their high chairs, waiting for their food, or eating fish and even vegetables. There was no shrieking or whining. And there was no debris around their tables.

Though by that time I’d lived in France for a few years, I couldn’t explain this. And once I started thinking about French parenting, I realized it wasn’t just mealtime that was different. I suddenly had lots of questions. Why was it, for example, that in the hundreds of hours I’d clocked at French playgrounds, I’d never seen a child (except my own) throw a temper tantrum? Why didn’t my French friends ever need to rush off the phone because their kids were demanding something? Why hadn’t their living rooms been taken over by teepees and toy kitchens, the way ours had?

Soon it became clear to me that quietly and en masse, French parents were achieving outcomes that created a whole different atmosphere for family life. When American families visited our home, the parents usually spent much of the visit refereeing their kids’ spats, helping their toddlers do laps around the kitchen island, or getting down on the floor to build Lego villages. When French friends visited, by contrast, the grownups had coffee and the children played happily by themselves… a 2009 study, led by economists at Princeton, comparing the child-care experiences of similarly situated mothers in Columbus, Ohio, and Rennes, France. The researchers found that American moms considered it more than twice as unpleasant to deal with their kids. In a different study by the same economists, working mothers in Texas said that even housework was more pleasant than child care.

Rest assured, I certainly don’t suffer from a pro-France bias. Au contraire, I’m not even sure that I like living here…”.

I will explain why she cannot like to live in France; it is directly related to her child trouble.

I asked a mother born and raised in the USA who considers herself ‘fortunate‘ that her parents, although American from a young age, were not American born. She has also lived and worked in France, and has a child who has never thrown a temper tantrum, even at the age of two and a half: “Why Are French Parents Superior?

She was haughtily irritated by the question and did not try to hide it. Talking to me as if I were a dimwit she had little time for, she blasted the following reply:

“Why French Parents Are Superior, you ask? For the same reason as French are generally superior.

The key is that one has to provide reasons to the child, and, most importantly, those reasons have to make sense. These are two necessary conditions.

Americans would say that they do that. But, instead of telling the children what to do, and why, they let the children decide. But children don’t know anything, they are just children, they can’t decide, using reason. Or then American parents make up stories that don’t make sense, and, or, are not truthful, and lose all credibility that way.

You see that in adult conversations all the time, so it naturally shows up in adult-child conversations. It is in fact the lazy man’s way of communicating. Hence the continual usage of non sequiturs and constant sport analogies. As far as I can tell, only Americans do this.

When American parents say “no”, they just say “no”. They don’t say why they are saying no, they don’t explain to their child why the child’s behavior or request should be denied, and if they do, they don’t wait for the child to articulate an answer, which can take up to ten minutes. They lose all credibility that way.

American parents also expect children to throw temper tantrums, so when one happens, they rarely try to explore why. When American children ask their American parents why? or, why not? the parents typically don’t make a genuine effort to provide an understandable and coherent answer. They just think that asking someone for their reasons or motivations is hostile. It’s a cultural limitation that cannot be overcome.

And when one tells them that they should provide children with reasons, American parents think that you do not understand parenting, children just behave like that. And if your child is different, she was born with a different character, and you are lucky.

Americans, in fact, view questions about their reasons and motivations as hostile interrogation. So, when children attempt to explore that with them, they view it as an hostile inquiry, unlike the French and many other cultures. Rather than try to cultivate that form of inquiry, as French parents do, Americans try to suppress it.

And why do you ask me all these questions? There is no hope, Americans don’t have the concepts!”

I suggested that it was a bit like explaining the Hahn-Banach theorem to someone who does not know there is such a thing as functional analysis. The francophile American mother threw a Gallic shrug:”Yes, for Americans, reason is like a foreign language they never encountered before!

If anything her very French like reaction showed that Americanization is fully reversible. 

Here is Pamela from the Wall Street Journal again:

“France is the perfect foil for the current problems in American parenting. Middle-class French parents (I didn’t follow the very rich or poor) have values that look familiar to me. They are zealous about talking to their kids, showing them nature and reading them lots of books. They take them to tennis lessons, painting classes and interactive science museums.

Yet the French have managed to be involved with their families without becoming obsessive. They assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children, and that there is no need to feel guilty about this… French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are—by design—toddling around by themselves…

Of course, the French have all kinds of public services that help to make having kids more appealing and less stressful. Parents don’t have to pay for preschool, worry about health insurance or save for college. Many get monthly cash allotments—wired directly into their bank accounts—just for having kids.

But these public services don’t explain all of the differences. The French, I found, seem to have a whole different framework for raising kids. When I asked French parents how they disciplined their children, it took them a few beats just to understand what I meant. “Ah, you mean how do we educate them?” they asked. “Discipline,” I soon realized, is a narrow, seldom-used notion that deals with punishment. Whereas “educating” (which has nothing to do with school) is something they imagined themselves to be doing all the time.

One of the keys to this education is the simple act of learning how to wait…

After a while, it struck me that most French descriptions of American kids include this phrase “n’importe quoi,” meaning “whatever” or “anything they like.” It suggests that the American kids don’t have firm boundaries, that their parents lack authority, and that anything goes. It’s the antithesis of the French ideal of the cadre, or frame, that French parents often talk about. Cadre means that kids have very firm limits about certain things—that’s the frame—and that the parents strictly enforce these. But inside the cadre, French parents entrust their kids with quite a lot of freedom and autonomy.”

Authority is one of the most impressive parts of French parenting—and perhaps the toughest one to master. Many French parents I meet have an easy, calm authority with their children that I can only envy. Their kids actually listen to them. French children aren’t constantly dashing off, talking back, or engaging in prolonged negotiations.”

[—Adapted from “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting,” to be published Tuesday by the Penguin Press. ]

***

PHILOSOPHICAL DEEPENING OF THE PRECEDING:

Well, what to dare add for more enlightenment? Fasten seat belts, we are going to philosophical warp speed. The problem with American parenting is deeply entangled with a formal superficiality which is devouring American society, and reason itself. This decerebration is, of course, very comfortable for the “masters of the universe” based in Wall Street.

The USA is supposed to be a democratic republic. The law is the skeleton of such a state, and it is the paradigm of mental organization, collective and individual. The American parenting deficit is a manifestation of an American cultural deficit and its nexus is a sense of justice (or lack thereof).

That cultural deficit is of foremost importance, worldwide, considering the military-economic importance of the USA.

The article in the New Yorker “The Caging Of America” laid the blame of the dismal American “justice” system on the “Bill Of Rights“. That Bill is inferior, experts say, because it emphasizes formality, formalism, and superficiality, in other words, justice as fairness (something Rawls and his “liberal” followers got all confused about).

Instead justice ought to be justice as justice. The Declaration des Droits de l’Homme insisted simply on that:”Be Just!” For the Declaration, justice is a primary notion, not a derivative notion. Who speaks of justice speaks of judgments, sentences, reasons, causes, attenuating circumstances, discovery… Justice begs for strong, inquisitive, rational, well informed minds, in other words, minds toddlers will respect.

Toddlers respect good judgment. Toddlers instinctively rebel against bad judgment, and any mockery of the nobility of the human spirit, such as a travesty of reason.

The New Yorker points out that formalism has devoured true justice in the USA, and has made the incarceration mood pervasive throughout American society, from individuals covered with tattoos to clothes mimicking prison garb, to shoes without laces.

But formalism has devoured other things, all the way to parental facial expression, and viewing any explanation as a conflict to be avoided absolutely.

The emphasis on formalism throughout American society is striking. Murderers bathing in the blood of their victims have walked free, in the USA, because the police had no warrant (don’t try that in France!). A Chinese contractor formally presents a lower bill for a giant bridge, it gets formally accepted. Never mind that the USA loses industrial substance as a result. Etc.

Formalism, in the beginning, looks pragmatic, because it is easy to bestow. Formalism is reason reduced to its most basic. Formalism is a parody of rationality.

Toddlers have a deep instinctive dislike of irrationality. They observe, early on, that reason makes them strong, whereas irrationality assaults them. Parents choosing irrationality choose the Dark Side, as far as toddlers are concerned.

Exerting formalism blocks the exertion of reason as much as exerting justice requires. In any case the reign of formalism is how outrageous American meta principles such as “don’t be judgmental”, “don’t argue”, “stop rationalizing” have appeared.

How can a toddler sit in judgment of his own behavior, if his parents refuse, or are incapable, to do so? And, even worse, if they have not learned to exert enough judgment to establish the cadre of what is acceptable, and what is not?

And sure enough, the toddler in chief could not bring himself to find reasons to judge bankers, because it was a case where he had to find within himself, enough to transcend the formalism of formal politeness he owed to his sponsors. Looked at it formally, the USA is doing OK. Looked at it in all justice, not that much.  

And why can’t our Wall Street Journal reporter like to live in France, in her present state?

I went back to the francophile American mother who knows France much better than the WSJ reporter. She told me:

“Living well in France is all about loving reason, more than authority.

Instead, the WSJ reporter feels it’s all about French parents having more authority. She does not understand authority has a foundation, and its name is reason. She completely misses the mark, even after three years of studying it intensely. Why? Because she is American. Case closed.”  

France’s main pastime is not cheese and wine, it’s contradicting authority with reason.

This was already the case in the Middle Ages during the “Jacqueries” (14 C), and before that, when the philosopher Abelard (and the people behind him) opposed the religious, crusading fanatics led by Saint Bernard and the papacy (12C). Actually French history is all about a perpetual war between authority and reason.

The very foundational act of “Francia”, by the Franks, in 486 CE, was the act, tried persistently by the Franks for two centuries before that, to pry reason out of the jaws of fascist and theocratic authority (these notions were at the heart of the conflict between Greco-Romans and Celto-Germans, for a full millennium prior).

Submitting, and boosting, authority with reason is the master value of French culture. Thus it should show up on French children’s playgrounds, and it does.

Another related command: only reason can contradict authority, and authority is full of reason. (The resulting respect for authority sometimes backfire in French society.)

Thus, when authority is exerted, it better be full of reason, so it is full of reason. French toddlers learn this, and if they perceive the authority, they know reasons are not far behind, and they plead no contest, as it is the path of less effort.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note 1: Yes, the Wall Street Journal is francophile nowadays. (Amazingly, Murdoch’s WSJ does not censor me, and publishes me within three seconds, whereas the New York Times does all sorts of naughty things to my comments: thus, I have nearly stopped commenting in the NYT. This to point out that the NYT is not as “liberal” as the mob has it.)

***

Note 2:

French Lessons [Wall Street Journal]:

Children should say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. It helps them to learn that they aren’t the only ones with feelings and needs.

When they misbehave, give them the “big eyes”—a stern look of admonishment.

Allow only one snack a day. In France, it’s at 4 or 4:30.

Remind them (and yourself) who’s the boss. French parents say, “It’s me who decides.”

Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Kids have to learn how to cope with some frustration.

Further French Lessons [Tyranosopher]:

Children also have to learn delayed gratification and being satisfied with what they have. Otherwise they would end up, or rather down, like Americans, with debts up the wazoo, enslaved by banks and Wall Street.

Inasmuch as speech with the vocal chords is important, facial and body language are even more readily understood, by the little ones. The “big eyes” the Wall Street Journal reporter is obsessed by is only part of the story. The rigid, expressionless faces of all too many American women go a long way to explain their dysfunctional relationship with their children.