Posts Tagged ‘Inequality’

Of Those Who Mind Minds

October 12, 2015

Polls show that two-thirds of Americans want taxes to be raised for taxpayers earning more than a million dollars a year. It’s not happening. Obama is pushing for the TPP, the Trans Pacific Treaty, which democratic presidential contenders oppose. All over, public opinion has been cornered into impotence: the public wants one thing, they tolerate the opposite. The public’s mind has been made into boiled pasta: easy to gobble, no backbone.

Angus Deaton just got the Nobel in economics. Here is an example of his prose: “There is a danger that the rapid growth of top incomes can become self-reinforcing through the political access that money can bring. Rules are set not in the public interest but in the interest of the rich, who use those rules to become yet richer and more influential… To worry about these consequences of extreme inequality has nothing to do with being envious of the rich and everything to do with the fear that rapidly growing top incomes are a threat to the wellbeing of everyone else.”

Where Does "Austerity" Comes From? The Richest Are Sucking Us Dry Through Debt Service

Where Does “Austerity” Comes From? The Richest Are Sucking Us Dry Through Debt Service

As I have explained for more than a decade, this is nothing new. This exponentiating growth in wealth, and thus power, for the few is how the Roman REPUBLIC was destroyed (and replaced by the despicable and stupid Roman plutocracy, aka “empire”).

The same phenomenon also happened when the Imperium Francorum (Empire of the Franks) went from the mild plutocracy known as the “Renovated Roman Empire” to the hard, abusive and demented plutocracy of the Late Middle Ages, “Renaissance”, and “Enlightenment”.

158 families, some of them not even bothering to reside in the USA, are busy buying themselves a president of the USA. Hey, why not? This has been working ever better for nearly half a century, ever since Mr. Nixon using public money to boost Mr. Kaiser’s health maintenance scheme (the President and the Kaiser: quite a program!). Say NYT’s Confessore, Cohen and Yourish, October 10, 2015:

“They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy.

Now they are deploying their vast wealth in the political arena, providing almost half of all the seed money raised to support Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Just 158 families, along with companies they own or control, contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, a New York Times investigation found. Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign, most of it through channels legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision five years ago.”

Notice that the New York Times admits that the Supreme Court has “LEGALIZED” ways to channel the power of the few. Notice that Judicial power legislates. Notice that a new form of power has appeared: it’s expressed not just by the wealthiest, by a subclass of the wealthiest, a subclass which profited from the reorganization of the ultimate values of the USA:

“These donors’ fortunes reflect the shifting composition of the country’s economic elite. Relatively few work in the traditional ranks of corporate America, or hail from dynasties of inherited wealth. Most built their own businesses, parlaying talent and an appetite for risk into huge wealth: They founded hedge funds in New York, bought up undervalued oil leases in Texas, made blockbusters in Hollywood. More than a dozen of the elite donors were born outside the United States, immigrating from countries like Cuba, the old Soviet Union, Pakistan, India and Israel.”

Something the New York Times does not imagine is that these people became so rich precisely because they changed the laws first. An example is the entire financial industry, because of the dismantlement of the Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall). Hedge funds get money from banks and shadow banks, and that would not have happened before Clinton. If the New York Times does not understand it, those politically connected “donors” do, as the New York Times itself observe:

“But regardless of industry, the families investing the most in presidential politics overwhelmingly lean right, contributing tens of millions of dollars to support Republican candidates who have pledged to pare regulations; cut taxes on income, capital gains and inheritances; and shrink entitlement programs. While such measures would help protect their own wealth, the donors describe their embrace of them more broadly, as the surest means of promoting economic growth ….”

Obama went to a hall in Los Angeles. It cost only $33,400, per person, to be there. A fracking family (family making money from fracking), gave $15 million to a particular Republican candidate. Another family, which made a fortune from a hedge fund, gave eleven million dollars. And so on. Even French TV is taking note, and discovers “it’s a threat to us all“. What? No appreciation for a short and brutish life as in the Middle Ages, serving great lords of finance and drinking fossil fuel water?The New York Times admits wealth prevents democratic expression. Actually the paper seems to be a bit confused between the notion of “democracy” and “demography”:

“In marshaling their financial resources chiefly behind Republican candidates, the donors are also serving as a kind of financial check on demographic forces that have been nudging the electorate toward support for the Democratic Party and its economic policies. Two-thirds of Americans support higher taxes on those earning $1 million or more a year, according to a June New York Times/CBS News poll, while six in 10 favor more government intervention to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly seven in 10 favor preserving Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are.

Republican candidates have struggled to improve their standing with Hispanic voters, women and African-Americans. But as the campaign unfolds, Republicans are far outpacing Democrats in exploiting the world of “super PACs,” which, unlike candidates’ own campaigns, can raise unlimited sums from any donor

What does the concentration of wealth at the top do? Mostly shape minds in a way which serves the top guys.

The degree of manipulation of opinion is astounding, and obviously deliberate. (Media are mostly owned by plutocrats: so it’s no surprise!) One could call it a science. A technique is to write an article relating scientific, or sociological facts, say about global melting of ice, or medical care, or guns, and then allowing only commentary derisive of the article. (The Daily Mail in the UK apparently does this to a particularly obvious extent, I observe.)

Another technique is to (implicitly) present banks, and the money-changers as the savior of humanity (the New York Times’ Krugman does this), while not talking about Too-Big-To-Fail banks, Shadow Banking, or the dark connections between banking, derivatives, and politicians.

Angus Deaton, the Nobelist from Princeton University, has looked at the Dark Side: he observed that a lot of financial help to poor countries backfires, as it makes more sustainable for governments to mismanage the society and economy they rule. So the problem with development is more governance (what I call “empire”) than anything else.

Governance is failing worldwide, and this explains why 80 plutocrats are richer than the rest of the world combined.

New Middle Ages Rising

New Middle Ages Rising

The recipient of the “Prize of the Bank of Sweden in Economic Science” is a harsh critic of economic aid from rich countries, like the United States of America, to poor countries. “I have come to believe that most external aid is doing more harm than good,” he wrote in his 2013 book, “The Great Escape.” “If it is undermining countries’ chance to grow—as I believe it is—there is no argument for continuing it on the grounds that ‘we must do something.’ The something that we should do is stop.” The Scottish born Deaton, indeed, is not afraid of controversy: he questions the widespread presumption that rising inequality is always a bad thing.

In other words, Deaton dares to say aloud that the hysterical pursuit of wealth may be good for economic activity. But Deaton claims to have found evidence that wealth brings happiness… until an income of $75,000 income. After which it starts to backfire.

Patrice Ayme’

Morality Is Contagious: Draco, Nazism, USA CEOs

May 16, 2015

Brains learn, that is, become, the examples they see, hear, feel. What brains are exposed to is what they become. So what we decide to be exposed to, or engaged in, is itself a moral choice. [For the meat of this essay, my opinion, see the second part.]

This is in particular true for morality. The word “moral” was coined by the lawyer, Consul, “new man”, progressive, and philosopher Cicero. Cicero was looking for a word originating from Latin that would adequately translate the Greek “Ethikos”. That latter word, in turn related to ethos, the disposition, habitual character, ‘genius’ of a people. So Cicero went for “moris” genitive of mos (same meaning as the Greek ethos; mos is related to a Proto-Indo-European mood, mode, Mut (German for courage), etc.).

Here is an example of a recent degradation of morality:

We Are Headed Back To Middle-Age Inequality, Led By USA CEOs

We Are Headed Back To Middle-Age Inequality, Led By USA CEOs

[Economics Nobel Prize] Paul Krugman relates in “Broken Windows And American Oligarchy” how Chief Executive Officers’ drive to grabbing all the money for themselves, may have come from watching American football stars earn enormous compensation for euphorically bashing their brains in public, while on drugs, wearing pantyhose.

I have long thought, for decades, that it is literally immoral to watch American football (and I liberally despise those who do; this includes family members tight with Obama, I want them to know, lest they are too comfortable).

Instead of re-iterating my venom about this American football horror, complete with latent homosexuality in denial, drug abuse, couch potato spirit, and money for doing nothing good, and everything bad, let me I highly recommend Krugman’s little essay. Let me quote him:

….”it’s all the fault of Monday Night Football.

[A business man’s] story went like this: when games started being televised, the financial rewards to winning teams shot up, and star players began being offered big salaries. And CEOs, who watch a lot of football, noticed — and started saying to themselves, “Why not me?” If salaries were set in any kind of competitive marketplace, that wouldn’t have mattered, but they aren’t — CEOs appoint the committees that decide how much they’re worth, and are restrained only by norms about what seems like too much. Football, so my conversation partner averred, started the breakdown of those norms, and we were off to the races.

By the way, the timing is about right.”

I am happy to see that my psycho interpretation of history is gaining ground. No, ladies and gentlemen, please do not believe that your everyday little activities, down to drinking beer, do not have to do with your highest ideas.

Napoleon, rightly, pointed out that an army marched on its stomach, and Nietzsche, that one thought, with one stomach (something rediscovered by 28 year old Giulia Enders, whom TV networks love to show in detail how pretty she is; she sold already more than one million of her book on the stomach… “with charm).

Krugman was encouraged, he says, by an “interesting post by Vera te Velde on tests of the “broken windows” theory, which says that people are more likely to break social norms if they see other people violating norms, even if there’s no direct connection — you grab handbags if you see graffiti, you litter if you hear people ignoring noise ordinances, etc.. As she notes, there is now overwhelming experimental evidence for that theory. So it’s not crazy to think that CEOs might start violating pay norms because they see quarterbacks getting big checks.”

It helps that Vera is a fellow economist, thus honorable (and same observation as with Giulia). I sent the following comment which Krugman published within minutes (Krugman was in Oxford at the time):

***

ONE IS EITHER MORAL, OR ONE IS NOT SO:

At least, this is what the Ancient Greeks and Romans thought. The very idea of morals recognizes that lack thereof will lead to the contagion of immorality. Thus that immorality propagates like a plague has been recognized for more than 26 centuries. Then the Athenian legislator Draco set-up a legal system which punished most offenses (such as stealing a cabbage) with the death penalty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draco_(lawgiver)

The notion can be fruitfully used today: minor offenders can be arrested and their DNA can be documented. As big offenders tend to start as small offenders (that’s the point when they become immoral), as they commit a big crime, their DNA collected during their previous small crime will often allow to identify them. Hence the increasingly fast and accurate detection of big crimes nowadays. This is discouraging for would-be big time criminals, so the big time crime rate is plummeting.

However, internationally the effect can play the other way: when states see that aggression by other states is not punished, that immoral behavior is in plain sight, and nobody does anything about it, then immoral states so far rather innocuous tend to join in mayhem. This is why, in the 1930s, war and bad actions by states spread around the planet in a few years.

In the same spirit, the Nazis executed 200,000 handicapped people, starting in October 1939. The idea was not just to see if they could get away with it, but also to habituate the population to general moral depredation: their cooperation would be needed when millions were to be assassinated at their doorstep (an extermination camp such as Dachau was in Munich’s suburbs, and so were many camps next to urban areas; there was an astounding 20,000 Nazi concentration and extermination camps!).

More generally this is why one war does not generally happen alone, and why tolerated international abuse tend to lead to apparently unrelated wars in the same time frame.

Hence a war such as the one in Syria has a general deleterious moral effect for all those who hear about it, or watch it, and learn to tolerate it.

It is no coincidence that Putin decided to invade Ukraine after he saw his domestiques in England saw nothing wrong with their investor, Bachar El Assad, and Obama called off the Franco-American strike against Syria with minutes to spare.

***

IF YOU WANT TO AVOID WAR, EXHIBIT A HIGHER MORALITY:

The lessons of 1930s is that imperial racist aggressions from fascists in Italy, Germany, Japan (and also the USSR, and a few other smaller powers) would not have been allowed to propagate, if Great Britain and the USA had stood with France. Instead, they stood with Hitler, and Mussolini (through various treaties, and investment, combined with an anti-French attitude). Seeing this, the Japanese high command, and Stalin, felt much encouraged (and secondary fascists in Eastern Europe, Portugal, and Spain).

Thus, right now, it is important for democracy to bark in a timely manner. And to show some bite. The fascists of the 1930s really believed (headed by Hitler) that democracy was weak. That impression ought to be dispelled in a timely manner. Lest we want mayhem.

Those who want a better morality long towards love, conversation. Due to their will to goodness, they tend to forget that all which exists is the result of force. The kindest type of force is debate (from the Thirteenth Century French debatre, to beat completely).

However, morality is always imposed by force. Cicero himself, as a Consul, came to that conclusion. In the aftermath of the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy, Cicero, unfortunately (?) executed the five main conspirators without due process. Later, before and after Caesar’s assassination, Cicero tried to use force for the best, in his attempt to save the Republic. First supporting Caesar, and, then, as the most Senior Senator Octavian (against the much more fascist Marc-Antony).

Marcus Antonius had Cicero’s hands and head nailed on the Rostra, for all to see. After Marcus Antonius’ wife had repeatedly stabbed Cicero’s tongue with an hair pin, to extract vengeance from his power of speech.

After such horrors, the path was paved for 2,000 years of plutocracy, and the rise of American football, and how it impresses weak minds, and made greed into the only morality worth having. Meanwhile, just as impressed, by this generalizing degeneracy of morals, the North Korean dictator is piling as many nuclear bombs and intercontinental missiles as he can, while the USA president plays golf, and obsesses about free trade for his wealthy friends.

This requires discipline. So the dictator fed his uncle, who had put him in power, to dogs (some say it is not true; official pictures, though, show that the uncle was definitively not happy, humiliated and uncooperative). Now the young, “Western educated“,  dictator, has been betrayed by the lack of respect of his Defense Minister, and he, as dozens of other North Korean officials, was executed (possibly with anti-aircraft guns, in the presence of many officials).

In such a moral ambiance, who can doubt that the present North Korean dictator will not order the execution of whoever, even millions, perceived to be in his way?

As examples teach, and create minds, one should not forget that plutocracy inside the West causes much more vicious plutocracy out there. But, out there, is much capacity for mayhem, thanks to weapons of mass destruction.

Such weapons of mass destruction do not have to be gross. Canada’s just announced perfidious CO2 targets are an example of mass violence with a hopeful face. In truth, Canada, whose CO2 emissions have constantly augmented in the last few decades, is exactly giving the worst example: it will soon produce 40% of its CO2 emissions from just one province, Alberta, out of greed, producing tar sands oil.

Canada used to be a nation propounding peace. Now it propound CO2 and tar, all over the planet. Canada has become the symbol of greed and mass criminality, triumphing above reason. (And Canadians do not have the excuse of, say, Israel. With ten million square kilometers for a population smaller than Spain, Poland, or California, Canadians cannot claim to be scared and destitute.)

One should expect dictators and plutocrats to pay attention, worldwide, to Canada’s immorality, and triumph of Earth slapping greed. And to be inspired accordingly.

Patrice Ayme’

Picking Piketty Peeks

February 13, 2015

Thomas Piketty, a young and successful French Science Po economist wrote “Capitalism in The XXI Century”. I bought it ASAP, and then did not read one page. The reason is that there was a waiting list. By the time I got the book, it was clear it was rehashing part of what I have been saying for years.

For example, to my knowledge, I was the first to make the rapprochement between the present situation and the Ancient Regime. The Nobles (2% of the population) did not pay (most) tax.

Piketty recognizes that he just discovered “his book’s principal idea” that the “taux de rendement du capital” (return on capital) was higher than return on work. “Moi je ne le savais pas avant”. I have been pounding that fact for a decade or so.

The Higher The Return On Capital, The Lower the Growth (Piketty)

The Higher The Return On Capital, The Lower the Growth (Piketty)

It is nice to see Piketty saying these things I have been saying, now, but I have moved on, long ago. I condemn the very way money is generated (by the private-public banking system).

It is first obvious to whoever has studied past societies. Plutocracies are basically those societies where, at some point, taxation on the wealthiest has not been applied enough to limit the EXPONENTIATION of capital.

I do not find alluring to listen to my old observations. Not to demean Piketty. Others such as Saez in Berkeley, also French, had published enlightening research on inequality, for years.

I agree with all what Piketty proposes. Yet, many of his answers are all too mild.

In the period from Roosevelt to1981 (arrival of Reagan), the upper marginal tax rate of the USA averaged 82%. It applied above one million dollar income (constant dollars). Growth was maximum.

What Piketty did not say: In the next 20 years the maximum margin on the richest came down to (less than) 15%. Yes, less than secretaries.

Piketty wants to rise the upper margin tax rate of income millionaires to 80% or 90%. I agree.

To this critics of Piketty, in France or the USA, reply that will kill innovation. A French cutie interviewer told Piketty that with rates like that the robot who heads Facebook (OK, she did not use “robot”) would not have been motivated to invent Facebook.

Who cares?

As it is, Mr. Z from Facebook stole an idea from France. Besides, Facebook-like companies already existed (Myspace). There is also plenty of evidence Facebook was a government operation (the protégé of Larry Summers, parachuted to the USA government under Clinton, was parachuted to Google, and then parachuted to Facebook).

Piketty vaguely mumbled something about the research which really mattered was public. But he was weak and indecisive.

Why? Well, after all, Piketty teaches at Science Po, a place full of young arrogant greedsters who think they are becoming qualified to lead the world. They live according to a principle that Piketty himself condemns: politics as a profession. Piketty said that the fact Hollande had been in politics all his life was a problem (the same is true for roughly all politicians).

Professional politicians should not be condemned to clean the toilets exclusively, but certainly ought to be left to sort out the details, of the laws passed by the People, like they increasingly have to, in Switzerland. That’s the only exclusivity they should pretend to.

In truth, business creators are nothing much. Business creators motivated first by money are even less.

Piketty to Bill Gates: ‘If 30 years ago, one would have told you: you will earn one billion dollars, not 50 billion, would you have refused to invent Windows?’ Of course not says Piketty, answering his own question.

Piketty: Without counting that all these innovations rest on an ecosystem of public research.

Piketty missed the obvious remark that France was at the forefront of the electronics age: transistors and CPUs (chips), and even the Personal Computer (PC), were all invented, and produced first in France. He probably does not even know this.

And the fact he does not know is testimony enough to the dirty ways of money.

The hard creative work is from engineers, scientists and the philosophers who back them up, not forgetting the historians, sociologists, writers, artists and poets helping to inspire the preceding crowd.

All the world of lasers and the like came from publicly funded lab in Paris. In 1953, Kastler invented optical pumping:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/genius-irreplaceable-jobs-follow/

The same lab has made more Nobel prize winning work founding outright a completely new field: how to see light with atoms (my own formulation, don’t accuse Serge Haroche!)

Such labs are now starved by austerity.

If you ask people at Apple Inc. why they are so good, they don’t say “Steve Jobs”. It’s not just that Steve has experienced technical difficulties, it’s that Apple engineers feel empowered. Apple has $700 billion in market cap (twice Google).

After a level of inequality, it has no effect on the motivation of individuals: why to pay traders millions of Euros? Say Piketty.

What I say is that much of trading itself, should not exist.

Much of what Piketty says about Europe and the Euro Zone is correct. One should homogenize the core part of the Euro Zone, and those who don’t like it, like Luxembourg, can stay out.

Right now in Europe, large companies pay less tax than medium and small ones. It’s even worse with middle class people versus the wealthiest.

A point Piketty makes is that inequality is not everything, but opacity also matters. He mentioned that Carlos Slims (world’s richest man) obtained juicy contracts from the government. (Piketty is careful not to say that this was a case of obvious corruption; he obviously knows this, but he wants to be keep on being invited in the power circles, and his books to create the buzz that brings millions of sales).

An objection made to Piketty is that the classification of the richest people has changed over 30 years. To this, Piketty has not clear retort, but I do.

That is indeed a silly objection: The founder of Walmart passed away. His heir have, all together, more money than Bill Gates.

More historically, under the terrible Roman plutocracy, the richest of the rich changed all the time, for similar reasons. But, although it was hard to maintain just as high a status, it was easier to maintain one just below. The Curial class (= local plutocracy) survived for 4 centuries.

Karl Marx? Piketty rightly points out that Marx wanted to cancel private property, but did not think about what would happen the next day.

Piketty suggests to create new notions of property, including hybrids between public and private property as conceived now.

Piketty was asked why he was so keen, him, such a young guy, to go all around the world, to be received by Obama, to be admired by all, etc. … Instead of being working hard? Especially with the crisis we have now?

Piketty replied he believed in the power of ideas. He believes politicians are just into doing what they believe is the dominant thinking We The People (he did not use that expression) go by. So, in the democratic debate, one should try to modify this dominant opinion.

Notice the naivety: one is very far here from my Satanic interpretation of common human behavior, especially at the leadership level

The answer to this is simple: some play, some think. Real thinkers are not in the White House, they are in distant caves, watching the sea. Occasionally, when not thinking deep.

Piketty points out that oligarchic regimes bring social problems, thus scapegoats, thus nationalist drift, and then, ultimately, like Hitler, or Putin, war.

All right, truth be told, Piketty did not mention Hitler, but he did mention Putin. Not a word on the problem of banks. Out of 29 extremely dangerous banks, the equivalent of potential super-novas on the verge of explosion, four are French. BNP is roughly the same size as French GDP. Those banks are the main engines of inequality, besides the fact any of them, by imploding would make the situation instantaneously worse than in 2008.

Those banks are still allowed to engage in a form of trading which is the modern equivalent of slavery. Piketty does not mention the problem, which is at the core of the money generating-austerity craze.

And he is not afraid to say that many of the time honored ways of economics are actually outright insanity (he repeatedly uses the word “delirium”). Piketty is no genius, but he makes an excellent impresario.

Patrice Ayme’

Plutocratic Planet

January 2, 2015

Plutocrats control the thinking, thus the law. In the USA, it is unlawful for Medicare, the public health insurance for seniors, to discuss the price of drugs with (private) providers. If a drug company asks for an outrageous price for a drug, Medicare has to say yes.

However, private insurers can negotiate all they want. I asked a health care executive if this was fair. He smiled sardonically: “It’s the law.”

Krugman is increasingly discovering that plutocracy is a problem (although he is careful to not use the word too much, as it smells, literally, of sulfur). He wrote an excellent editorial in the New York Times, January 2, 2015 (time flies, happy New Year!)

Income to 2008. Return of Feudalism: It Has Got Worse Since.

Income to 2008. Return of Feudalism: It Has Got Worse Since.

Says Krugman: “What you see is the surge by the global elite (the top 0.1, 0.01, etc. would be doing even better than his top 1%), plus the dramatic rise of many but not all people in emerging markets. In between is what … I’d say corresponds to advanced-country working classes in general, at least if you add post-2008 data with the effects of austerity. I’d call it the valley of despond…”

I sent a comment putting things in historical perspective. The New York Times censored it (I am on the NYT’s official watch and censor list). Here is my comment below. I will comment more on what Krugman said, after it.

Patrice Ayme (censored by NYT): “Agreed to all. Let me add more perspective. Plutocrats rose after World War One, especially in the USA, by acquiring effective control of Germany, through the good offices of Dr. Schacht (Germany’s top banker, a pawn of JP Morgan), Henri Ford (financing Hitler massively), IBM (monopoly of computing in Germany).

This allowed to turn around the anti-monopoly laws of Teddy Roosevelt. One could argue that Hitler’s Reich was an American plutocrats’ puppet. By 1945, the USA was master of the world.

However, the US army (16 million young soldiers trained to kill), had to be pacified, so GIs were treated like kings (thanks to a 93% tax on the wealthy). The economy boomed.

However, what plutocrats want is to rule: that means they want the Commons despondent. Their world domination could be accentuated by repeating, worldwide, what they had done with Germany, Italy and even the USSR between the wars. They invested far away from Western workers.

The same situation exactly led to the implosion of the Roman economy. But, first, by voiding the core of the empire of work and power, Roman plutocracy insured for itself several centuries of rule.

The same psychology is at work today: plutocrats want to deprive of power who could take it away: the Western Middle Class. “Austerity” is a just a ruse that way. Its true validity is that it diverts money and power from We The People to the richest people in the world, by fiscally means.

Wealth organize its subjects’ minds all over. No hope?”

No hope to see such ideas in the New York Times: the preceding was censored, as deserved for doubting the goodness of the institutions and history our masters have set-up. By censoring such facts, and ideas, the plutocrats insure that their satanic conspiracy can blossom ever more. The facts above are correct, and there are much more, thousand more, like them (I have detailed them in preceding essays).

One can literally said that American plutocrats used Nazism as a tool.

I talk all the time to very educated Americans and Europeans who are persuaded that the USA did all it could against Hitler: the cover-up has splendidly held. So they have no idea of what we see today is a continuation of a process started a century ago. And that it can lead to the worst, because it already did.

Some American friends I had for years called me an uneducated Satan for evoking such facts, and have not talked to me once ever since. It is the world upside down, the inversion of all values.

The collaboration between American plutocrats, and the government they control went on, during and after the World War. Both institutionally, and individually: IBM made itself busy helping the Allies after the Nazis capitulated (they had the monopoly of organizing in Hitler’s Reich). Tens of thousands of Nazis escaped under USA supervision.

The other day, I saw a documentary on TV explaining to me how great the Nazi engineers who built rockets were, and how they got to the moon. Yes, they got to the moon (Saturn V employed more than 100 Nazi engineers). The documentary forgot to mention the tens of thousands of slaves who died in underground rocket factories managed by the same characters.

Klaus Barbie, well known to have tortured to death around 5,000 people in Lyon, personally, and having boasted about it lyrically, was in CIA employ for decades afterwards; the French arrested him in Bolivia and brought him to trial later. Barbie had tortured to death tens of British agents, of both genders, not just the French. Maybe he killed some Americans from the OSS too, I don’t remember. The CIA knew this very well, but it was headed by lawyer Dulles, who represented 1,000 Nazi companies before WWII.

In TWIN PEAKS PLANET, Krugman opines that:

“In 2014, soaring inequality in advanced nations finally received the attention it deserved, as Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” became a surprise (and deserving) best seller. The usual suspects are still in well-paid denial, but, to everyone else, it is now obvious that income and wealth are more concentrated at the very top than they have been since the Gilded Age — and the trend shows no sign of letting up.

But that’s a story about developments within nations, and, therefore, incomplete. You really want to supplement Piketty-style analysis with a global view, and when you do, I’d argue, you get a better sense of the good, the bad and the potentially very ugly of the world we live in.”

The potentially very ugly has been seen many times in the past, all over the world, from Japan to Central America: feudalism, and, or, giant war(s), sometimes for millennia.

Even the Roman Republic, which was extremely aware of the plutocratic problem, and had been built around the idea to not fall into it again, fell into it, after a long degeneracy,  with “Senatus Princeps” Augustus. (Princeps evolved in the word “Prince”).

The rest of Krugman’s essay is a rewording of what I have been saying for more than a decade in writing. A delight to read, and I will comment on it in another essay, because I do not have the time now, and readers tend not to have time for long essays, either.

Krugman finally pays attention to the thought control the greedy oligarchies have achieved. The power is in the discourse. (As Foucault, and others, noticed.)

So see you soon, and, again, Happy New Year!

Patrice Ayme’

USA: Rich Plutos, Poor People

April 22, 2014

The New York Times is waking up, and smelling the roses, Here is an extract of:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.html?ref=economy,

followed by my further seeing remarks. By the way, before I unleash the New York Times, the numbers the NYT uses about the USA’s median income are way more optimistic than the official ones. Here is the real situation:

This Is Reality. Real, Inflation Indexed Dollars For Median Family Income

This Is Reality. Real, Inflation Indexed Dollars For Median Family Income

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The numbers, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time. They suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.”

I sent the following comments, to pursue the New York Times’ education:

***

The reality is way worse: one has to take into account what taxes provide with. In the USA, taxes provide the rich with even more services. In Europe, taxes provide the Non-Rich, with even more basic services.

Some services, such as health care, education, or helping the poor, should be viewed as basic human rights.

Take the case of the French Republic. On the surface, French median income, after tax is significantly lower than in the USA. However, those French taxes pay for crucial services that then come for free, or are heavily subsidized in France. For example in health, education, retirement, etc.

France has the highest taxes, with Denmark, about 56% of GDP. However, those taxes are used for massive redistribution. Thus health care is first class and basically free in France.

Education too is free, in France, all the way to the doctorate.

Preschool is also free, and toddlers can be left, for free, in the care of the specially trained health care providers much of the day, for working moms.

In many European countries, parents get massive support, not just from day one, but from the day of pregnancy (then the care is free and intense; parents get extended parental leave, sometimes years).

***

Plutocracy is a redistribution of wealth, power, income, from We The People to a small minority of controlling parasites. Plutocracy paralyzes the minds with a warped case of inverted decency. Plutocracy is neither optimal for the society, nor the economy.

Plutocracy affects the USA more than Europe, and the minds, even more than the stomachs. The fact that average Americans feel that they are much better of than in the rest of the world reinforce the plutocratization of the USA. Including astounding tolerance for the amazingly corrupt so called Supreme Court (Supremely plutocratic!).

I'm "Black", Mom Was White, & Thus We're In The Black.

I’m “Black”, Mom Was White, & Thus We’re In The Black.

 

***

For more on how plutocracy has corrupted minds, see:

http://panterragolo.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/class-mind-in-the-usa/

Patrice Aymé

The Satanic Imperative

January 24, 2014

I explained in Black Hole Inequality that if inequality grows too much, a society will be sucked by it as if by a Black Hole. Such collapses typically conclude with war, invasion, or a natural calamity: Jin, Song, Yuan, Ming dynasties, & the “Fall” of Rome, or the Maya are examples.

The situation we have today possesses unparalleled perils we are not addressing because we are not in democracy, and the ruling elites are doing their best to distract themselves with corruption, in a fit of psychology reminiscent of the Nazi elite stealing treasure and art all over, while the Great Reich was falling. (See below for the Chinese elite’s theft of at least 4 trillion dollars, a pale imitation of what the American elite has been doing since it has been hiding behind the Bushes.)

Inequality is born from the exponential growth of power (in particular capital), that’s a purely mathematical effect. It became possible when capital appeared. That is, when artifacts appeared rendering life comfortable… Two million years ago (first stone tools). In conjunction with a failure of taxing said growth of capital enough, capital will grow exponentially.

In turn, inequality, being widely perceived, experiments show, as insufferable by primates, has to be covered-up under a thick layer of lies and dissemblance, to be entertained further by those who profit from it (Note 2). Even madness is not far, because those who rule have want the rabble believe that white is black, and black is white. Indeed, ethics is absolute, but, in an unjust society, it’s those who rule, who want to be absolute.

Hence the greater the inequality, the worse the emotions, the more satanic the behavior of those at the top. This is why the reign of the rich brings up the Dark Side, Satan, Pluto. That insight was reached by the Greeks at least 26 centuries ago (and later reinforced by the mythical Jesus).

Hence inequality is not just about injustice, and diminished economic opportunity for the average citizen. It’s also about a society increasingly led by fewer and fewer people gathering all the money and power, and ever more so, as long as a strong mechanism to block further inequality is not put in place.

But, even more horrifyingly, a society where inequality grows is a society where the leaders learn to increasingly lie and use the worse methods for their class to keep on ruling.

As inequality grows, so does the Dark Side.

***

KRUGMAN KEEPS ON DISCOVERING INEQUALITY:

Inequality is the drama of the Obama presidency, his signature achievement, even more than Romneycare. Obama’s is the Inequality presidency. Obama lowered taxes (mostly to the non rich) thus allowing him to leave untouched taxes on the hyper rich that were way too low. (So Obama used the former to hide the latter, a nice magician trick; Note 1.)

Krugman, his lower eye on his rather dim readership, and his upper one on his masters, wrote a less grand, but still educative editorial in the The Populist Imperative:

“The outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes.”

John Maynard Keynes wrote that in 1936, but it applies to our own time, too.

If, as has been widely reported, President Obama devotes much of his State of the Union address to inequality, everyone should be cheering him on.

They won’t, of course. Instead, he will face two kinds of sniping. The usual suspects on the right will, as always when questions of income distribution comes up, shriek “Class warfare!” But there will also be seemingly more sober voices arguing that he has picked the wrong target, that jobs, not inequality, should be at the top of his agenda.

Here’s why they’re wrong.

First of all, jobs and inequality are closely linked if not identical issues. There’s a pretty good although not ironclad case that soaring inequality helped set the stage for our economic crisis

…Yes, we’re a nation that admires rather than resents success, but most people are nonetheless disturbed by the extreme disparities of our Second Gilded Age. A new Pew poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans — and 45 percent of Republicans! — supporting government action to reduce inequality, with a smaller but still substantial majority favoring taxing the rich to aid the poor. And this is true even though most Americans don’t realize just how unequally wealth really is distributed.

By contrast, it’s very hard to communicate even the most basic truths of macroeconomics, like the need to run deficits to support employment in bad times. You can argue that Mr. Obama should have tried harder to get these ideas across; many economists cringed when he began echoing Republican rhetoric about the need for the federal government to tighten its belt along with America’s families. But, even if he had tried, it’s doubtful that he would have succeeded.”

Krugman is funny: a man can’t teach what he does not understand. There is this famous saying that: give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish, feed him for life.

In his unforgettable books, the irreplaceable Obama teaches that life is all about… navigating. I did not see Obama teaching values such as employment, or how to do anything productive, such as fishing and thinking.  Obama is not the Old Man and the Sea. It’s the Young Man and the Pot of Gold.

Obama’s confused policy in science and technology is a testimony to that. Obama wasted 150 billions (said his guy in charge) supporting friendly capitalists like the Elon Musk. That augmented inequality: Musk is just a filthy rich South African immigrant, who did not need all those billions from the USA president.

So Obama wasted those 150 billion, while carefully starving the science missions of NASA, including some international collaborations. The science budget at NASA is only 5 billion a year., but that makes work lots of workers and engineers, let alone scientists.

And Krugman to conclude: The point is that of the two great problems facing the U.S. economy, [employment and inequality], inequality is the one on which Mr. Obama is most likely to connect with voters…

So I hope we’ll hear something about jobs Tuesday night, and some pushback against deficit hysteria. But if we mainly hear about inequality and social justice, that’s O.K. “

It never hurts to listen to the birds singing in the trees, either. It’s more troubling when we have been navigated into a disaster by a guy who knew only to navigate to the masters. As I showed, after tax corporate profits have never been higher under Obama. But don’t worry: he will sleep well. He is not Magellan (who died pierced by arrows in the Philippines).

***

PLUTO HAS BEEN A GOOD MASTER FOR SOME:

So let me repeat slowly: plutocracy central is the USA, As I explained in USA, Den Of Thieves. USA plutocrats have been the world’s mightiest and most durable ever since the Kaiser bit the dust. Kaiser Wilhem II of Germany, that is. USA plutocracy was the indispensable Deus In Machina that has ruled for more than a century, although sometimes through servants and collaborators: Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, are examples (even Mao was helped by USA plutocracy, not just in the 1940s, but by Nixon).

Obama does not know much, but he knows that the big corporate actors of the USA don’t pay much tax. That’s not a violation of the law, because they are the law (that’s the way he has got to see it, according to his “navigation” morality). At least so he was told, or decided, in 2008.

The way many strategists in the USA (be they in think tanks, the intelligence agencies, the military and rarefied pluto circles, Davos style) figure it out, rogue plutos and their corporations made the empire of the USA, by leveraging the world wars. And the struggle for world domination is not over. Just as they made German plutos an offer they could not refuse, a century ago, they made Russian plutos and Chinese plutos similar offer, that they could not refuse.

We are witnessing an attempt to implement the same trick. (However, that can work, see: Note 4.)

***

CHINESE PLUTOCRACY, PART OF THE WORLD’S PLUTO MACHINE:

The corrupt, not to say satanic, Chinese leadership has hidden at least 4 trillion dollars in the Caribbean and other balmy places, for more than 22,000 tax havens clients, including 15 of the apex political animals in China.

This is what the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists announced this week.

Those files come from JUST two offshore firms — Singapore-based Portcullis TrustNet and BVI-based Commonwealth Trust Limited — that help clients create offshore companies, trusts and bank accounts.

(That’s part of a cache of 2.5 million leaked files that ICIJ has sifted through with help from more than 50 reporting partners in Europe, North America, Asia and other regions.)

PricewaterhouseCoopers, UBS and other Western banks and accounting firms are middlemen helping Chinese plutos setting up trusts and companies in the British Virgin Islands, Samoa and other tax havens. Example: giant Swiss bank Credit Suisse helped Wen Jiabao’s son create his British Virgin Island company while his daddy was leading China and terrorizing Tibet.

Obama loved to golf with the aptly named Wolf, head of UBS USA. Meanwhile UBS was found by the USA to have engaged in criminal conduct, but strangely enough, no American banker ever goes to jail (though the USA has no apparent problem jailing Swiss bankers, meaning that the USA is after market share, not justice).

A century ago, except for one large republic, France, Europe was dominated by plutocrats who all knew each other very well. War was the answer they found to the questions We The People asked, especially in Germany.

Right now, we have a somewhat similar situation developing: a new plutocratic Internationale has developed, and entangled all the world’s leadership systems. “democracy” is just a word they use to hide corruption. That they all know each other is not reassuring is anymore than in 1914. Just as in 1914, it makes them too confident and tolerant of the Dark Side.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, an agent of Putin, gives interviews at the plutocratic conference in Davos, implying that he will keep on killing protesters, as needed.

Meanwhile, the Earth’s affairs are not attended by these golden clowns. A major catastrophic development in the CO2 crisis could happen any day, and then what? Everybody is unprepared to take intelligent, drastic countermeasures (remember that fundamental research budgets were actually reduced because of the 2008 plutocratic crisis… which makes sense in plutocratic logic!).

The first counter-measure? Increase educational levels. And that means increase funding for the likes of NASA or the Department of Energy, DOE (because, after all, there would be no CO2 crisis if we had more advanced energy sources). But the rumor is that Obama wants to save on laser fusion research (so he can give more money to his hyper wealthy “friends”?)

By refusing intelligent and soft counter-measures to rising inequality, we are preparing the worst.

Hence inequality is not just about giving in to the Dark Side, it’s about making the bed of war. And no doubt, among those who have nearly all and want to give nothing, war is always better than any alternative they can think of. Thinking is not their forte.

Patrice Aymé

***

Note 1: Obama, the Changeling, not to be confused to Chinese Princeling, brought us change we can believe: the greatest corporate profits ever, after tax, relative to GDP.  To compensate, he talks about inequality more than ever.

This is the State of the Union: schizoid (= a form of schizophrenia, being of two minds on one thing).

Note 2: Chimpanzees or Baboons have a strong sexual dimorphism, and thus a greater tolerance for injustice. Humans are closer in dimorphism to Capuchin Monkeys, who detest injustice.

Note 3. The graph of higher education hides a worse truth: a lot of the public spending helps actually fund the plutocratic (“private”) universities.

Note 4: Repeating exactly the same trick can work: the fascist German army defeated twice the French at Sedan (1870 & 1940). Even better, a more than 10,000 strong Persian army allied to Macedonia held the Thermopylae, just as the Spartans had done before, and, just as before, the Roman army took the same mountain path to crush them from behind.

Propaganda: Cruel, But Efficient

January 18, 2014

I subscribe to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The Economist (among others). Of the three, the New York Times is, by far, the most efficient propaganda tool of the hyper rich. It’s done in subtle ways. For example Krugman ran a blog post: “January 18, 2014, 12:11 pm. The Myth of the Deserving Rich.

You would think that Paul Krugman would show a graph of the growth of inequality that is recent. Problem: if he did, all fingers would point towards Barack Obama, the great Dark Trojan Horse. So Krugman shows an old graph that safely finishes with the Bush era. (Implicit message: Bush = Inequality.)

Here is a more recent graph about (after tax!) corporate profits.

Obama's Plutocratic Wealth Breakthrough!

Obama’s Plutocratic Wealth Breakthrough!

As you can see, corporate profits, even under plutophiles Clinton and Bush, just, in the end, tracked GDP.

However, under Obama, there has been a breakthrough in after tax inequality. True, Obama controls profits not, but he controls tax (and, looking at the fine print, one sees the jump occurred when the democrats had a super-majority in the Senate and Congress: no hiding behind the Bush!).

Why inequality has grown is not complicated: the hyper rich financiers stole the financial institutions that they were supposed to manage (2008 “Bush Crash”).

Instead of recovering the money from the thieves he was golfing with, Yes-We-Scam Obama found the money in the Public purse. The thieves got to keep what they stole (see Fuld and his two friends at Lehman Brothers, who stole a cool 5 billions between them, while taking out the world financial system).

The exact same trick was implemented in Europe, thanks to the ignorance of the flabbergasted public.

(That’s why the recently proclaimed banking Union in Europe piously asserts that it will not happen again: next time the hyper rich steals everything, they will pay for it, it’s a promise!)

Don’t expect Krugman to explain any of this to you, as long as pitchforks are not visible from his Princeton office. Speaking of Krugman, here he comes in that post I started to describe:

“Many influential people have a hard time thinking straight about inequality. Partly, of course, this is because of Upton Sinclair’s dictum: it’s hard for a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

Part of it is because even acknowledging that inequality is a real problem implicitly opens the door to taking progressive policies seriously. But there’s also a factor that, while not entirely independent of the other two, is somewhat distinct; I think of it as the urge to sociologize.”

Sounds good? But what is this “sociologize”? And what with that old graph? Did Krugman saw nothing new ever since The One became president and had dinner with him?

Notice that the corporations’ “profits” in the graph I posted are what’s left after the CEO class has been paid pharaonic salaries. Marissa Maier, a blonde at Yahoo, just gave a severance package to a man she had recruited a year ago, for a fortune. It’s in excess, that severance, just that severance, not the signing bonus, of 42 million dollars.

Marissa has done well, and will receive her own colossal severance one of these days soon. Then, now that she is hyper rich, she can go to another hyper salaried CEO job, or do her duty and become a “philanthropist”, or a politician.

Did Barack Obama visit Marissa Meier’s Silicon Valley mansion? Of course. Slept there, ate there, beamed giant smile, etc. The whole gamut: people of wealth, and taste. That was when Marissa was at Google, an apparent subsidiary of the NSA. Hey, she was just at the White House, to talk about that with Barack. No blood, no foul.

By “socializing” Krugman means the theory that the poor  is poor, because it deserves to be poor, as it lives badly (dysfunctional families, drugs, unwillingness to learn, etc.). Krugman concludes disjointedly, by adopting some of what I said over the years:

“This is, by the way, why the Occupy slogan about the one percent is so brilliant. I would actually argue that the number should be even smaller. But one percent is an easy to remember number, and small enough to make it clear that we’re not talking about the upper middle class.

And that’s good. The myth of the deserving rich is, in its own way, as destructive as the myth of the undeserving poor.”

I sent the following comment, among the early ones.  Although more than 100 comments were published, mine was not. One has to know the New York Times is owned by the same plutocratic family since the Nineteenth Century.

Not publishing my comment allows the New York Times to claim I need to be watched, and carefully censored, as I am what it calls “unverified”. I am indeed, officially under a surveillance program at the New York Times! Here is my censored comment:

There are some people who earn their lives well, and then there is the plutocratic phenomenon.  The two concepts are distinct.

One would assume that most creatures contributing regularly to Krugman’s  blog live well enough to find the time to do so (I have contributed more than $10,000 to the New York Times’ coffers over the years).

The plutocratic phenomenon is something completely different. It has to do with the exponential growth of wealth and power. It can only be prevented by punishing taxes at the very top (the .1% and .01%). Eisenhower had a 93% tax bracket, at the very top.

As it is now all these myths Krugman talks about, and condemns, live on because plutocrats control the media, and are, unsurprisingly, plutophile.

For example, California Governor Brown organized, and won, a referendum to rise a tiny bit taxes on the 1%. Last week California papers had front page stories about the rich fleeing the state. In big black capital letters. Spending the time to read the article (it was basically the same article all over) showed nothing of the sort. But, to the common citizen in the street, what was impressed was the flight of the hyper rich due to a 1% augmentation of tax on the 1%…

That was, of course, a propaganda operation. The sob stories about the hyper rich selling their commercial centers to flee a 1% tax are just implausible.

Effective propaganda is subtle enough to not be seen by Common Wisdom. Thus we have to keep on digging in to find out how it is that the serfs willingly serve the great Lords.

This was my censored comment. At first sight, it does not look that terrible. The question is: what was so subterraneously, unconsciously terrible in my comment above that was worth censoring?

The fact that, having got a subscription for decades, at the same street address, the New York Times persists in calling me “unverified” is a lie? And that all can see this lie, as I allude to the extravagant cost of my decades of subscription to the NYT?

Or is it the terrible fact that had had to be censored, the sob stories about the hyper wealthy fleeing California. And claiming that they are obviously planted?

Or did I gravely sin when I proposed to follow republican president Eisenhower’s leadership?… And tax the hyper wealthy 93%?

Einstein famously said, a little bit fast, albeit in the context of Quantum Theory: ”Subtle is the Lord, but he is not cruel!”

Well. Einstein was not inclined to be so forgiving for the Germans who had killed the Jews. At least that’s the way Einstein put it to his dear friend Physics Nobel laureate Max Born, when the latter returned to Germany from England. Einstein was not happy that Born acted as if everything had been forgiven.

By refusing to forgive, Albert Einstein recognized something which is true: cruelty is a central part of the human character. Those who deny that are not just stupid, but dishonest and dangerous. Same as the righteous, pseudo-“liberal”, but truly plutophile, New York Times. (That has been splendidly embodied by frantic NYT propaganda for the plutophile health trick set in Massachusetts by Romney, now known as… Obamacare.)

Plutocracy is a phenomenon that rises mechanically when taxes at the top are not colossal enough (Apple pays 2% global tax, the local bookstore, if it has not been devoured by tax dodging Amazon yet, around 30%). Then plutocracy becomes an obvious injustice. Yet, primates are genetically engineered to hate injustice.

So how does the injustice persist? Through sophisticated tricks, as above, motivated by sheer cruelty, will to power, and viciousness. It’s cruel and vicious to censor my rather innocuous comment, but it’s of the essence of those who crave power.

Subtle are the plutocrats, and they are cruel. Cruelty is actually the essence of plutocracy. Welcome to reality.

Patrice Ayme

ESSENCE PLUTO CRISIS

December 16, 2013

[Just a reminder, and refrain.]

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” allow civilization to function optimally (as they put all brains in parallel). The Greeks were rightly obsessed by them, especially Liberty, and various notions of Equality (several of which we have lost).

However, time and time again, in history, civilization collapsed into Slavery, Inequality, Hatred, Mayhem. How? Generally, through the plutocratic phenomenon. That’s when greed takes over any other inclination, to become the organizing principle of society.

90,000 pages of the tax code of the USA have been written to insure that the greedier, the less taxes one pays (99.99% of the People use only .01% of that tax code: the inverted percentages are no accident, but design).

Absent a progressive taxation that is sufficiently steep enough, the exponential growth of wealth guarantees that the plutocratic phenomenon will occur. The mathematics of interest enforces this. In simple language, the richer they are, the easier it is for the rich to get richer. (This was known throughout the Neolithic by societies which left a trace; it’s not known in the present USA, because the plutocrats have captured the collective cognition and reflection).

The plutocratic phenomenon, plutocracy, comes in two phases: first, an oligarchy confiscates most of the wealth and most of the economy. This is happening now, and is facilitated by the capture of political power. (1)

Secondly, this unjust rise of wealth for a few is accompanied by an implosion of the character of the oligarchs, down into the black hole of the Dark Side. Why? As their rule gets ever more unjust, the richer and more powerful they get, the plutocrats need ever more devious means to stay in power by force and lies. That, in turn, makes plutocrats ever more satanic. (2)

In other words, past a point, the only way plutocracy can grow, is by harnessing the Dark Side, big time. Satanism grows on itself, just as, in the early stage, wealth grew on itself.

This growth of global and overreaching Satanism is one of the (overlooked) consequences of plutocracy.

What does this mean in practice, in the situation we are?

The first thing to do is to break the enslavement of money creation to Wall Street (instead of Main Street). In normal circumstances, most of the money is created by private banks under a mandate from the government. Franklin Roosevelt knew this, and that’s why he passed the Banking Act of 1933 (3).

Secondly wealth ought to be detected: put in place a worldwide system to detect where and what all of wealth consists of. Break through all these shell companies and holdings.

Third, tax the hyper rich enough to block the confiscation of all wealth and power by just a few. Republican president Eisenhower instituted a 93% tax on the upper tax bracket. The same, worldwide, inflicted to all and any wealth above the billionaire level, would instantly re-establish civilization, and its prospects.

Patrice Ayme

***

Notes: A good way to get out of plutocratic service is default on debt (by the states). Contrarily to what many of my contradictors on the Internet, especially the Krugman blog, claimed, the USA did default on its debt several times (about 6 times). As usual when there is a default, it’s later erased from collective memory by semantic calibration.

For example FDR’ 1933 default, or the Argentinian or Greek defaults are called by other names. Generally one calls default “restructuring the debt”.  

A reason for the popularity of Wall Street style financing in the USA is the stability of the country, an island, just like Britain. Continental financial exchanges have a less good track record, due to invasions. The debt default problem is tightly related to this.

(1)    The seizure of an economy by oligarchs, under order from the USA, happens. This could be observed in Russia in the 1990s under Yeltsin, when Harvard academics, in a crafty plot, advised the naïve president, that a modern economy could not exist without a plutocracy.

(2)    Satanism: this is why Obama tells us that, to lower healthcare costs, one has to bring those who want to make a profit, and that’s why, when the democrats could do it, they refused to even consider enabling Medicare to negotiate the prices of drug in G.W. Bush Medicare Part D plan…

(2)’    Satanism: Just watch the NSA and the like. It’s not so much about “terrorists” that they are after, than just establishing a police state hooked on large corporations, that is, the plutocracy (which owns and control them). Don’t forget the CIA fabricated Bin Laden.

(3)    The so called “Volcker Rule” is a pale reminder of FDR’s Banking Act of 1933: it just requires banks to inform customers when they steal their money.

And now for what Dominique Deux said about the necessity to find out, where, what, how and who about wealth:

Dear Patrice, as usual your comment, far from dwelling in Utopia, is full of small seedlings which only need some nurturing and watering to bloom into perfectly feasible programs/policies. 

One such is “Break through all these shell companies and holdings.” 

Merely stopping to consider this opens huge venues. 

First of all, we’re supposed (ordered) to believe that this is a technically impossible task, and stop there. That is pure unadulterated BS. Government spying is both rife and efficient worldwide, but tracing back an oil tanker’s ultimate owner, or a holding’s ultimate paymasters, is claimed to be impossible due to that tired, low-tech trick of shell post boxes with copper plates in tax havens. Aw, come on. 

Fact is, the smart intel and law enforcement community is carefully kept busy chasing red herrings, and barred from joining that specific fray. No means, no results, it’s as simple as that. 

Year in, year out, hundreds of extremely proficient finance professionals are churned out by business schools and universities worldwide. French graduates, due to their high mathematical level, are among the best and at a premium, but they’re not the only ones by far. 

Let Governments start large recruitment programs, with a view to be as replete with financial intel capacity as they are now with anti-terrorist and economic spying capacity. This means decently paid analysts with decent career prospects. Tracing back clandestine ownership should no longer be a judge-ordered effort, using up spare capacities on a few idiots who made the mistake of getting conspicuous, but a blanket policy, with enough hardware and personnel to spare.  

The costs would be offset, by several orders of magnitude, by the obvious fiscal gains. Other advantages would unfold, some unforeseen. 

Of course the bright school and U alumni are all vying to become seven figure traders, sell swords in gilt armor for the masters of the world. Yet a two pronged approach of (a) offering decent earnings, status and government careers, along with the satisfaction of working for the common good, and (b) ruthless and exemplary treatment of the “golden boys” who somehow fall foul of justice, would make quite a lot of these bright young men (and women) think twice before selling their souls. 

(It’s a bit like prostitution: when attractive young women are given a real choice between gratifying work and selling their bodies, only a hardcore minority will keep to the latter. But the choice has to be real – no Wal-Mart till pseudo-jobs.) 

When I say “Governments” I do not mean all of them. A few relevant ones would be enough. Along with international agencies. 

You’re fond of reminding us of the greatness of WWII warriors. So, here it is: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

Uniformly Sprawling Atrocity?

July 29, 2013

Abstract: Sprawl has a long, multi century history in the USA. It’s at the core of inequality, inequity, and much worse.

***

It’s always astounding to see 16 year old children of the USA driving themselves 50 kilometers to a private school costing about the median family income of the USA. Seems like the road to hell. Not just for them, mindless cogs, but for the whole planet. Yet this folly is viewed as completely normal and reasonable for those unfortunate children’s parents in the professional class of the USA (the upper middle class of lawyers, doctors, etc.).

I have known (very well, over decades) American children who spent, everyday, three hours commuting inside cars. Three hours at the very least. More when traffic was bad. Their parents were offended when told that was wrong. (Could not Clinton/Bush/Obama just bomb more oil out of where it came from? I have to guess?)

To my eyes, this rabid commuting speaks of racism. As does the finally “balanced” California budget (balanced by cutting services viewed in the past as fundamental, such as schooling for preschool and kindergarten; turns out the children who can’t go to school anymore are of the wrong color. Mostly. Oops. Never mind. Change conversation, what about sport scores?).

I was happy to discover that a New York Times article has discovered sprawl and Paul Krugman now shares my long held opinion: “A quarter-century ago Mr. Wilson, a distinguished sociologist, famously argued that the postwar movement of employment out of city centers to the suburbs dealt African-American families, concentrated in those city centers, a heavy blow, removing economic opportunity just as the civil rights movement was finally ending explicit discrimination…

These days…traditional families have become much weaker among working-class whites, too. Why? Well, rising inequality and the general hollowing out of the job market are probably the main culprits. But the new research on social mobility suggests that sprawl — not just the movement of jobs out of the city, but their movement out of reach of many less-affluent residents of the suburbs, too — is also playing a role.

As I said, this observation clearly reinforces the case for policies that help families function without multiple cars. But you should also see it in the larger context of a nation that has lost its way, that preaches equality of opportunity while offering less and less opportunity to those who need it most.”

I sent the following to the NYT which published right away:

The recovery of the USA experienced now, the real one, not the fake one from financial engineering (zero interest rates, QE, Goldman Sacks and its ilk) rests mostly on fracking (and a low $/Euro ratio). Break the ground, get gas and oil. Plenty of it. In some places, the reserves have jumped by a factor of ten.

This plentiful of cheap carbon energy is doubly fraught; it allows the USA to keep on going the wrong way, wasting energy, and encourages urban sprawl, a segregation that does not need to say its name to be efficient.

Urban sprawl exposes the USA in case the fracking gets itself fracked. That could well happen from a combination of ecological reasons and bad Return On Investment: wells tend to leak as the concrete ages, and the cost of fracking itself is not clear. Or in case the CO2 crisis becomes so bad, that even the deluded government of the USA submits to the evidence, and cracks (fracks?) down on it.

In Europe, it’s different. Europeans have known for at least 700 years, that urban sprawl was worse than bad: it encroached on arable land, and precious forests, it increased the cost of transportation, it prevented the synergy of cities.

Not so in North America. It was just the opposite. Why? Because, modulo exterminating the natives, there was always a lot of land to misuse. Sprawling encouraged, and enabled, the extermination of the pesky natives, it was synonymous with it. When general Jackson attacked Cherokee land, in spite of contrary orders from Congress, he was imposing the superiority of sprawling over civilized behavior (the Cherokees had settled into european-like farms, to Jackson’s alarm).

How to do something about sprawl? First raise tax base of cities, and punish sprawling by putting a significant carbon tax/gas tax, while making public transportation irresistible in city centers (what Europeans have been doing). Otherwise? Strategic danger, long-term: one cannot de-sprawl overnight…

Ilene Bilenky of Littleton, MA, directly dared to contradict me. She said: “People lionize Europe for supposedly knowing better to live in towns/cities with trains, etc., while ignoring the fact that Europe developed centuries before cars existed, and the U.S. grew along with the coming of the car (and the space for them). I am not saying I like sprawl or favor the U.S. mess that we all live in- I am saying that Europe is different for historical reasons and circumstance, not superior assessment.”

And I answered in turn:

Ilene: With all due respect, you are wrong, it’s not about who is smart, and who is not. Laws against sprawl were passed in Europe 700 years ago, because sprawl caused very severe problems. So cracking down on sprawl was from superior assessment in full consideration of the facts.

(By the way, in case you ask, the government of Edward III, grandson of Philippe IV le Bel of France, passed laws against coal burning in London, around 1335 CE, because it made the air hard to breathe: another correct European assessment!)

By contrast, sprawl was intrinsic to the birth of the USA. No, I will not insist on a silly joke such as Uniformly Sprawling Atrocity (although it’s close to what happened!… So maybe I should…).

Seriously, (European!) settlers wanted to sprawl beyond the frontiers set by the French and British, into Indian lands, to dispossess, and generally murder and exterminate the Natives. It’s because of this precise point, more than about the cost of tea, that some colonists in the USA revolted.  

Those colonists made the (entirely correct, logically speaking) assessment that there was a continent to steal, “from sea to shining sea”, as long as the USA sprawled. The program was mostly implemented by Washington, Jefferson and Jackson who stole lands of the order of Western Europe itself.  

Please try to not underestimate the assessment of some enterprising citizens of the USA when it comes to fracking, fracturing and fricasseeing a continent. Sprawling is a mood that served them, and their descendants, well. Hence sprawling is perceived to be a victory, a success, just like the 5,000 square feet mansion that for the landscape of the suburban USA, at the cost of roughly everything else.

Sprawling is the fruit of a long, dark evolution. American sprawl struck the Nazis as eminently just, and they translated it into “Lebensraum”. The rest, as they say, is history.

***

Patrice Ayme

 


SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism