Posts Tagged ‘deficit’

Dark Plutocracy: Kanun of Man

March 31, 2014

What do plutocrats want? They want a lot of the problems the socio-economy is experiencing today. In other words, we are getting what plutocracy wants. In the conventional view of hell, beings down there inflict suffering. Forever.

Plutocracy wants the starvation of the People’s economic activity, prospects and condition. That allows to increase the gap between the haves and have-nots, which is the plutocracy’s raison d’être, and ultimate value.

Hence the obsession fabricated by the Main Stream Media against deficits. In truth, the deficits are directly related to the plutocracy being not taxed enough.

Hence also the insistence by the MSM that the People has no skills (thus, presumably the unworthy People ought to be starved in all ways, including access to public education, so that, somehow, it would be enticed out of laziness to develop skills…).

Even The Ottomans Could Not Rule Those Mountains

Even The Ottomans Could Not Rule Those Mountains

Workers ought to be punished. Otherwise they would demonstrate that merit can be rewarded. But in a plutocracy, money, power and success come to those who don’t deserve it. It’s the basic moral principle of this inversion of all values.

Paul Krugman deplores that “the belief that America suffers from a severe “skills gap” is one of those things that everyone important knows must be true, because everyone they know says it’s true. It’s a prime example of a zombie idea — an idea that should have been killed by evidence, but refuses to die… by blaming workers for their own plight, the skills myth shifts attention away from the spectacle of soaring profits and bonuses even as employment and wages stagnate. Of course, that may be another reason corporate executives like the myth so much.

So we need to kill this zombie, if we can, and stop making excuses for an economy that punishes workers. …”

Krugman is generous: he believes the zombie idea lives on, just from mental inertia and from peer pressure. My explanation above is much more sinister: many nefarious ideas live on, but not by accident. Instead they live on, mainly because they inflict pain and subjugation.

Where does this cruelty come from? Well, for millions of years, the greatest enemy of man was man, and this environmental fact had plenty of time to become psychobiological.

This can be observed in the mountains of Northern Albania, where the Kanun of Leke rules. The Kanun killed more than 10,000 people since the end of the Albanian dictatorship. The highlanders of the northern Albanian mountains recognize no other law. It was transcribed in the fourteenth century by a Roman Catholic priest (in spite of the Ottoman trying to turn everybody Muslim). The code regulates a variety of subjects, including blood vengeance (a young eye for a young eye, etc.).

Even today, many Albanian regard the Kanun of Leke as the supreme law of the land. The Kanun primes honor over life. The strength of the Kanun, found all over in First Nations, reveals the nature of human psychobiology. Civilization learned to turn around all this psychobiology, with sophisticated laws, engineered to manipulate knowledge efficiently.

Our present plutocratic organization may look far from what has been going for so long in Northern Albania, but it’s not.

A way around? Let citizens suggest their own laws, by forcing to national referendum any proposed initiative that muster four million signatures (say in the USA; this is the proportion used in Switzerland: 100,000 signatures for 8 million).

That would prevent the plutocrats and their oligarchic servants to make laws that, primarily, serve themselves. An example? Chinese President Xi’s family has maybe a billion dollars in overseas property (and hundreds of millions in luxurious residences in Hong Kong alone).

Patrice Aymé

Plutocracy Rising, Demos Sinking

December 13, 2013

Oligarchy: the rule of the few. What we have.  Democracy: the rule of the People. What Switzerland has, legislatively speaking.

Civilization is first rendered possible only by another type of organization. Civilization is an increasingly complex machine, that works only because of the nature of a sophisticated hierarchy of laws. This was known by the time of Babylon’s Hammurabi, 37 centuries ago. Thus the state of law is a necessary pre-condition for civilization. However, to have a state of law, one needs a state. That’s shrinking in the USA… just when it should be expanding:

If the USA Government Shrinks Enough, So Will Law

If the USA Government Shrinks Enough, So Will Law

[This covers all governmental spending as percentage of GDP: local, state, federal.]

In a related development, Obama’s own Food & Drug Administration, just woke up, and decided to do something about the feeding day in, day out, of all meat animals in the USA with enormous amounts of antibiotics, as I had requested, with my usual subtlety of crashing asteroid. See: “Fish Rots By The Head”

One has to explain the graph above a bit. The strong peak of spending at the time Obama took power (so to speak) was related by the failure of corporations, such as General Motors. Saving General Motors cost 50 billion dollars at the time, but saved 1.2 million jobs (because of all the car parts makers). Final cost was ten billions. The rescue of AIG cost 180 billion, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs 60 billion each, and so on. All these programs were started under GW Bush, Obama extended them.

Thus Bush was not just the self-described “decider”, but also the rescuer. (This emergency spending is not in the graph, by the way.)

To be taken ever more seriously, Krugman makes a point of lauding Obama always. However he says:” You can see that there was a brief, modest spurt in spending associated with the Obama stimulus — but it has long since been outweighed and swamped by a collapse in spending without precedent in the past half century.”

Krugman in :”Unprecedented Austerity” then draws the inescapable conclusion: “a strange thing has happened on the fiscal policy front. Intellectually, the case for austerity has pretty much collapsed, having been reduced at this point to the Three Stooges Theory: we’re supposed to consider austerity a success because it feels good when you stop, or at least let up. At the same time, however, austerity policies continue to be imposed, on both sides of the Atlantic.

And amid the punditizing over the latest budget deal, it’s worth considering just how unprecedented US austerity has been….to do this when the private sector is still deleveraging and interest rates are at the zero lower bound is just awesomely destructive.”

[Notice that this is the very respectable, very serious Krugman saying this, not the horrendous Tyranosopher.] What is going on? The Three Stooges?

No. The Wolf and the Lamb is the fable that depicts our times best.

An example of wolf-lamb interaction is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). As Prof Krugman points out, the GDP impact of the TPP shall be infinitesimal. So why bother to negotiate it?

A hint about the TPP’s true purpose is that the Trans Pacific Partnership is negotiated secretly. This habit, secrecy, is not compatible with democracy. So the TPP negotiation is another trick to weaken democracy.

This is confirmed by the fact the corporations have 600 lobbyists negotiating the TPP, whereas each state has only three (3!) negotiators.

In other good news, the democrats, to make a budget deal, negotiated the cutting of unemployment subsidies to millions. The more rags dress the rabble, the greater the lords. Austerity for the rabble, is what the Wolves of our ages, our Lords, want. However, we are in a nominal “democracy”, where the “Demos” redistribute quite a bit of the Lords’ money, to itself. A way to stop that redistributive non sense is by imposing austerity to the government, that is, to The People (who theoretically rule in democracy). The hyper rich have never paid fewer taxes (relatively to their global income), on this side of the Middle-Ages. And that’s directly related to this will to shrink the government.

Why are the rich reducing government spending? Superficially, because it enables them to pay fewer taxes.

The fewer taxes the hyper rich pay, the more their wealth grow, and the more they can eat their way through representative “democracy” by buying influence among the few elected officials who are deciding our destiny.

It’s a vicious circle.

But, even deeper than this circle, the plutocrats want to return society to the law of the jungle. The more they transform society into a jungle, the more they justify their demonic tendencies, that is, themselves. Those who are vicious can only feel welcome in a vicious world.

It provides them with satanic social security.

It’s an even more vicious circle. Dante’s Inferno revisited. And down we go. In America, and in Europe.

Patrice Aymé

***

Note: A country cannot be a democracy without first being a state of law, an état de droit a Rechtsstaat. Athens tried it, and crashed. The USA and Great Britain before it, both following the orders of ther West Country Men, tried to do without, and it worked great so far (that’s why South Africa, the USA, Canada and Australia all developed Apartheid, under the guise of multiculturalism…).

In truth, the common ideology in the Anglo universe, revised by the West Country Men,  was relentless exploitation, of whatever could be exploited.

That’s why the USA Supreme Court is not really a Constitutional Court (see Bush versus Gore), and Britain added only a Supreme Court thanks to liar Blair.

Constitutional Crisis

October 11, 2013

BEYOND THE DEBT CRISIS, A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS:

What’s the problem with the debt of the USA? Well, it can be viewed as worse than the debt of most European countries whose debt led to confidence crises (see the second paragraph below).

This debt crisis has become a government by the fools, for the fools, and it is starting to look foolish, even to the fools. It’s also bringing up constitutional questions, namely on the constitution of the USA, which is really very different from that of other democracies.

It’s no happenstance that no country has a constitution similar to that of the USA. A situation like the present one is simply impossible in other democracies, because new elections are automatically called when a budget cannot be passed. Generally it does not even get to this stage, because a no confidence vote is called well before that (as just happened in Italy).

It’s only normal that the legislative branch would be called to execute the law. However, in the USA, the legislature does not have to govern.

A legislature that does not have to govern does not have to be realistic.

Some will say: so what? The history of the USA show an incapacity to adapt to progress. The Civil War in the USA was, by far, the most deadly civil war in the West since the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (it killed an order of magnitude more than the French revolution, relative to population). Adjustments could not be made in Congress, until a full blown war.

After the war, it took a century to get rid of institutionalized racism. And I have advocated the point of view that, for a century, plutocracy in the USA has been gathering steam. It leveraged World War Two, and related events leading to it, and following it, that it organized. Now global, the plutocracy installed the 2007 crisis, making the People pay for it, before, during and after.

Right now, sequestration is already a disaster (say on long term scientific and medical research). The evolution of employment, and of the median income, are also disasters. All what the plutocrats want is to starve the beasts, and the beasts are us, the Public.

For the plutocrats, the Republic, as long as it exists, is only a machine to make the richest thrive. And bonds, and Quantitative Easing, are crucial that way.

***

MORE DETAILS, & A DEEPER ANALYSIS:

USA debt: The total debt of the government of the USA is 16.7 trillion dollars (more than GDP; the number can look smaller when one looks only the debt “held by the public”, but that’s obviously not the important number).

The cash deficit, under Obama, reached 12.5% of GDP. Now it’s 5% and shrinking, thanks to unsustainable “sequestration”, a sort of amputation of the brain to make the patient lose weight. That, realized the bipartisan research arm of Congress, will actually augment the deficit. Very soon, considerably, and durably.

Many take for granted that a country like the USA cannot default, because its debt is in its own currency. That statement is so absurd, so anti-factual, it’s hard to answer. Countries which defaulted in their own currencies are legions. A recent major example is Argentina, which defaulted in 2001-2002. Notice:

1) the banks of the USA operating in Argentina made like bandits from that default.

2) Argentina is still trying to recover from that shock.

The reason why a damaging default for the USA is hard to imagine are the following;

1) The USA is completely self sufficient in nearly everything. The USA is the largest fossil fuel and gas producer in the world (with 22 million barrels a day). It also has the largest sea empire (slightly larger than France’s!), and resources therein.

2) The USA has by far the most powerful, most autarkic military, perfectly capable of protecting 1)… And more.

3) The dollar is the world’s reserve currency (although a second one has appeared: the euro!) The dollar is also low relative to the euro. Thus a serious down swing in the dollar is unlikely, and anyway, irrelevant, as planet USA is totally self sufficient (see 1))

But, precisely, that makes it possible for the USA to default!

It reminds me somewhat of the relationship between Spain and… China. China needed Bolivian silver (from Potosi), to strike a currency worth something (after disastrous paper inflation under the Yuan). China had silk and many other precious goods.

The interface between the co-dependent empires, was next to Manila. The Chinese established a powerful Chinatown. Way too powerful: the Spaniards at some point took umbrage, and annihilated it, killing all. What did the Chinese do? Well, they came back, and established another mighty Chinatown, crucial to the Spanish empire. And then the Spaniards had enough, and annihilated it, killing all. And the Chinese came back.  

There always will be USA bonds, they will always come back, as long as there is a Pentagon, and it’s mightiest. But there will not necessarily be a democracy in the USA.

Examples are plenty, in history, of republics that became plutocracies. It happened to Sparta. It happened to Athens. It happened to Rome. Even the European empire of the Franks, initially successful because it was less plutocratic than Rome, became riddled with plutocracy, seven centuries later. Florence, started as a republic, also evolved, after two centuries, into a plutocracy. The people loving, enlightened monarchy of Henri III and Henri IV, turned, within a generation, into the horrendous plutocracy of Louis XIV.

Progress can definitively go backwards. History clearly show that republics are the exception, and plutocracies, the rule.

***

Patrice Ayme

Comic Relief?

November 8, 2010

 

AGAINST MEDIOCRITY, THE PHILOSOPHERS THEMSELVES CONTEND IN VAIN:

We hear everywhere that Barack Obama is a very smart man, an intellectual, and that makes him aloof, and misunderstood by the "folks".

And then there is what we hear, from the horse’s, or shall we say, the ass’ mouth (the ass being, appropriately enough, the symbol of the "democratic" party in the USA). Obama gave a long interview on "60 minutes" [November 7, 2010]. Here is a sizable extract, for people to appreciate the astounding mental meandering of Obama’s flabbergasting rambling:

"60 minutes" Interviewer: People have made the argument you lost control of the narrative. You’ve let other people define you. That you haven’t sold your successes well enough.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think that’s a fair argument. I think that over the course of two years — and I mentioned this during the press conference — we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that we stopped paying attention to the fact that we yeah, leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone. And making an argument that people can understand. And I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully as I go forward.
You know, now I will say that when it comes to some of my supporters, some of my Democratic supporters who express some frustration, part of it, I think, is the belief that if I just communicated things better, that I’d be able to persuade that half of the country that voted for John McCain that we were right and they were wrong.
And, you know, one of the things that I think is important for people to remember is that, you know, this country doesn’t just agree with The New York Times editorial page. And, you know, I can make some really good arguments defending the Democratic position, and there are gonna be some people who just don’t agree with me. And that’s okay. And then we’ve got to figure out a way to compromise. But even as we acknowledge that, this is a big country. And that, you know, there are conservatives who are good people, who feel very strongly about their ideas. That I’m never gonna persuade on some issues.
I think what’s still fair to say is that I can do better than I’ve done in painting a picture for people about where we need to go. That pulls people together as opposed to drives them apart. And that’s one of my central tasks over the next couple of years."

What did the great man say? He said he did not make an argument that people understand. That, indeed is hard, to make an argument that people can understand, when there is no argument at all.

Asked why he did not nationalize the banks, as Scandinavian countries did in the 1990s, Obama laughed, and gave Summers’ talking point: Sweden had only 4 or 5 banks. So Obama called on a basic racist argument: let’s make fun of the foreigners. A xenophobic slur replaced a serious financial and economic debate.

Conclusion: 5 trillion dollars, for the banks, and counting. and an economy thrown to the plutocratic wolves, among which the Wall Street types (unjustifiably rescued with people’s money in 2008 and 2009) gave themselves about 300 billion dollars in bonuses, in two years, from, ultimately, people’s money.

The truth: Sweden had 147 banks, and the rest of Scandinavia, much more. Sweden nationalized only two large banks (and made hefty profits selling them much later). Great Britain nationalized much more giant financial institutions in the last 3 years. The USA nationalized around 2,000 banks during the Saving and Loans crisis two decades ago, and that inspired the Scandinavians to follow suit, when their own bust, also caused by a housing crisis, happened a bit later.

The truth: the economy of the USA is stuck, because all the money is going to 19 giant banks and their hyper wealthy co-conspirators (the other 8,000 banks are too small to profit from the largesse of the Fed). The support for these financial vultures is on-going, and about 5 trillion dollars so far, as I said (more than a third of GDP, about 7 times TARP, which is used as a lying decoy). Obama paid for nationalizations, many times over, and keeps on paying. Or, more exactly, the American people does. And, in a sense, the entire planet (as the US payments to giant private American banks create global financial imbalances more responsible countries have to work hard to counteract).

What did the great intellectual say? He said that his supporters are "frustrated" (Obama’s preferred emotion) because Obama did not "persuade that half of the country that voted for John McCain that we were right and they were wrong".

Why would Obama’s supporters want Obama to persuade those who did not vote for him "that we were right and they were wrong"? Why would the supporters want that? Does Obama think his supporters are crazy? Obama thinks his supporters voted for him because they hoped that, once elected, he would persuade those who did not vote for him that they were wrong??

What does Obama think a leader is supposed to do once elected? Persuade those who did not vote for him that they should have voted for him? Does not Obama know that the election actually happened, and is over with?

The truth: People who voted for Obama hoped that Obama would rescind many of the policies of Bush.

In truth, Obama’s only serious deviation from Bush was about Afghanistan, where Obama more than tripled the war, while extending it clumsily to Pakistan. Even Bush was not that dumb. On the rest, be it the giant bank holding companies, or Wall Street, or Iraq, Obama followed Bush’s policies.

The truth: Obama is not the only one culprit: in four years of controlling Congress, the democratic asses have proven unwilling to augment the extravagantly low taxes of the top financial manipulators (those low taxes for plutocrats are around 10% on their highest rate, using technicalities such as "carry interest" and converting all their incomes into long term capital gains). This is not just unfair, their activities, in conspiracy with the banks, monopolize the money creation process, starving the rest of the economy.

The truth: Nancy Pelosi is a socialite, not a socialist. Among other things, she owns a ski resort in California, and has known money, politics and privilege all her life (she was a wealth riser for politics before running for office herself). The top democrats never wanted to change the system. Whereas the basic Tea Party and Obama supporters do; they have nothing to lose. But of course, both the Tea party (Koch brothers) and Obama had major plutocratic supporters. And the agenda of the later is generally at odds with the base.

The great man is completely obnubilated by compromising with "conservatives who are good people, who feel very strongly about their ideas. That I’m never gonna persuade on some issues…there are gonna be some people who just don’t agree with me. And that’s okay. And then we’ve got to figure out a way to compromise."

And there is the air, and that’s OK, and I will compromise, and breathe water, and that’s okay too.

You want more platitudes? The great man never runs out of them: "But even as we acknowledge that, this is a big country. And that, you know, there are conservatives…"

I can say even worse; and there is the universe, it’s a big country, and we will compromise, the folks will be frustrated, but you know, there are conservatives.

Obama was elected by his supporters, obviously, so that Obama could only think about the "conservatives". Or, at least, that is what Obama thinks. Thinking may be too strong a word. I will have to take heed from the great man, and become more conservative in the way I express myself, looking forward.

The truth? What is needed is someone who knows what ideals to fight for, and loves combat. The greatest beliefs, and the right ones, and the greatest fights.

Health care could have been done in 5 minutes: just sign an executive order expanding and opening Medicare. That would have killed four birds with one stone (financing Medicare, separating health insurance from employment, converging towards making healthcare universal and cheaper, weakening the healthcare plutocracy).

From the point of view of a seducer of the conservatives, a drawback, naturally, would have been the ire of the plutocracy, as it would have seen some of its income vanish.

The financial reform could have been done in five minutes too: just sign an executive order to separate BANKS FROM SPECULATION. That is called an IDEA. President Roosevelt had it in 1933.

Summers demolished that idea during his great career as the ultimate plutocratic agent, under presidential puppets and actors, starting with his boss Ronald Reagan (oh yes, because Summers, as Reagan’s demonic adviser, also collapsed the Saving and Loans, through his usual trick of deregulating. Interest? It served Summers’ master, Rubin, head of Goldman Sachs, creator of Citigroup, treasurer of Clinton, one of Obama’s puppet masters).

Generations of religiosity worshipping plutocracy, decerebration and castration have resulted in producing a timid "leader", obsessed by not appearing to be an "angry black man". A leader of the sheep, anxious to extend kindly his little hoof to the really dark plutocratic wolves, in the hope that accommodating them is the essence of wisdom.

Obama has been surrounded with sycophants who thrived at his expense. Obama really believes Summers "in all fairness, did a heckuva job", and that his health care bill (to be reversed in a few weeks) is "historical" (although it cut Medicare).

In the same "60 minutes" interview, Obama proudly informed everybody, that the little austerity the Tea Party wants is nothing. Obama intends to out Tea Party the Tea Party, by being more austere, and "cutting entitlements".

So Obama intends to be more conservative than the craziest conservatives themselves. Maybe he could get a job at Goldman Sachs (Goldman, although not a bank, was rescued as if it were a bank, because Goldman has a lot of friends; cut Medicare, by 550 billion over ten years, but don’t cut the Goldman bonuses, which, over ten years, are, unbelievably, of the same magnitude… Medicare, Obama can do less of it, Goldman, never enough).

So what does the great leader do? He goes to Los Angeles to play to see Jay Leno, a xenophobic humorist, but he has nothing to show, except that he is a "black" man with an enormous smile. Then Obama flies back in Air Force One, watching five hours of basket ball… Straight. With the CIA Afghanistan specialist watching too. Obama hid the CIA guy inside the plane so that the generals at the Pentagon would not know he wished to form his own opinion about the war. But, in the end, the generals needed not to worry: to a boy, basketball is more interesting.

Does Obama know who is the boss?

The entire scene reminds me of Louis XVI of France, a simple man fascinated by locks. A simple man who meant well, and bankrupted France. A simple man who had the courage to make great economists such as Turgot and Necker finance ministers. The philosophers applauded.

Once they were appraised of the unfolding economic catastrophe, both Turgot and Necker opposed the American war, because it was ruinous. But Louis XVI was also a simple man who did not have the intellectual courage, or comprehension, to oppose the plutocracy, or to show the real cost of the American war (which was kept secret, hidden in secret books, for ten years, because France would have been bankrupted the next day, had the real cost been revealed). So Louis XVI preferred to sack Turgot, Necker, and the truth, rather than reform, and oppose the conservatives!

Louis XVI kept on compromising with the conservatives, and not engaging in the needed reforms to repair the catastrophic deficit (by rising taxes on said conservatives and plutocrats). In the end, pleasing the conservatives led the simple man to high treason of the new constitutional monarchy he himself headed. The simple man climbed the scaffold very courageously, though. He meant well. He was just in well above his head. It’s all about the head.

Against mediocrity, the philosophers themselves clamor in vain.

Patrice Ayme