Posts Tagged ‘Power’

Tax Power Absolutely

December 9, 2014

The following reflections were inspired by recent meditations from Bill Gates (‘Good guys like me should not be taxed, because we are so good), Vlad Putin (‘I will not say I will be president for life, because I may not want it, when the time comes’). Paul Krugman will be spared today, as he just declared: “Just to be clear, I’m not calling the Obama-era economy a success story.

Light is finally reaching the long winter which has been Krugman’s mind.

And the good professor to explain: “We needed faster job growth this time around than under Mr. Bush, because the recession was deeper, and unemployment stayed far too high for far too long. But we can now say with confidence that the recovery’s weakness had nothing to do with Mr. Obama’s (falsely) alleged anti-business slant. What it reflected, instead, was the damage done by government paralysis — paralysis that has, alas, richly rewarded the very politicians who caused it.”

And first among those were, with all due respect, Mr. Obama, Pelosi, and company. They were actually consulted, and decided, upon the measures to be taken, even before Obama became president (Bush had washed his hands of the whole thing: although the crash happened below his watch, the real decisions which had led to it, were taken under Clinton, thanks to massive deregulation).

So the economy may be improving, but for whom?

Having more slaves employed makes a better economy for plutocrats, but not necessarily for common folks. Similarly, greater riches, if they only go to the .1%, may boost GDP, but not the average family.

Actually, the more powerful the plutocrats, the worse the society. Thus one has to look not just to the employment rate, but also to how much common folks earn. The employment rate stays deeply depressed, and so does median income.

Economics without the correct social indicators, is only ruin of the soul.

Bill Gates believes he uses power better than others. In: Wealth and Capital. Why Inequality Matters, Bill explains why he should be taxed less:

“But rather than move to a progressive tax on capital, as Piketty would like, I think we’d be best off with a progressive tax on consumption. Think about the three wealthy people I described earlier: One investing in companies, one in philanthropy, and one in a lavish lifestyle. There’s nothing wrong with the last guy, but I think he should pay more taxes than the others.”

I propose, instead, a more general sort of tax. And a much more powerful one:

Tax power directly, and absolutely.

Bill Gates has much power than his wealth simply suggest. By heading a giant foundation, the Bill and Melinda, Gates doubles what the money he controls can buy. Plus, he gets to meet with whichever leader he wants to meet. If he wants to meet with Obama, Xi, or Putin, he just can hit Skype any time he wants.

Money buys power. Even political power.

When asked whether the president’s chair was with him “forever,” Putin told TASS: “No,” adding: “This is not good and detrimental for the country and I do not need it as well.” Apparently, too much criticism causes even Putin to melt…

Yet, even after Putin steps down, will his wealth (at least 40 billion), and his network of plutocrats and secret service types step down? Not a chance.

And what about Bill Gates’ control of immense wealth and networks? Will they step down, those wealth, networks, and power structures? Not a chance. Here is Bill again, deploying his stem argument:

I fully agree that we don’t want to live in an aristocratic society in which already-wealthy families get richer simply by sitting on their laurels and collecting what Piketty calls “rentier income”—that is, the returns people earn when they let others use their money, land, or other property. But I don’t think America is anything close to that.

Take a look at the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans. About half the people on the list are entrepreneurs whose companies did very well (thanks to hard work as well as a lot of luck). Contrary to Piketty’s rentier hypothesis, I don’t see anyone on the list whose ancestors bought a great parcel of land in 1780 and have been accumulating family wealth by collecting rents ever since. In America, that old money is long gone—through instability, inflation, taxes, philanthropy, and spending.”

Bill is (deliberately?) naïve. Or even downright silly. Look at the Congress of the USA. Many among the richest inherited their wealth. Actually the richest Senator is Jay Rockefeller, and he is an heir of the oil tycoon by the same name. If one added all the wealth and influence of the Rockefellers heirs, one would get astonishing numbers: there are lots of heirs.

The Roman Republic had an absolute cap on the wealth a family could own. It also had varied caps on absolute power. So it lasted 5 centuries, the absolute record for a Republic, so far.

What we have to limit is power. Gates has too much power, Putin has too much power. He seems to understand this. Power sucks in, it’s a disease of the soul. In general, plutocrats are too much power.

Even Paul Krugman has too much power. He talks, he talks, and then the New York Times makes readers believe comments have been allowed. But actually all my comments are severely inspected, many are censored (be it only because they don’t fit the mood that the New York Times wants to impart; say, a few years ago, that Obamacare was perfect). Most are delayed until noon the next day (so nobody reads them).

Krugman and the New York Times are just a tiny part of a gigantic problem: if we want truth to be blossom, the right of answer has to be systematic against any authority whatsoever. The enormous computing power we have at our disposal would allow to classify objections by categories and dimensions, bringing forth the most substantive critiques. Then those ought to be debated.

Elect ideas, not people. And use the right of answer to do so. That right of answer, by any citizen, was viewed as fundamental for Athenian democracy, in the National Assemblies. It even had its own name.

That was 25 centuries ago. Some progress is in order. The Christian Apostle Luke sniffed with disapproval that “the Athenians spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.“(So Luke hated novelty, thus secularism, no surprise there.)

Well, we are heading in an ever newer world every day, we need to debate it ever more, and in novel ways. And a few minds, be they Bill, Paul, or Vladimir Vladimirovich, are just not smart enough to replace the massive debates which are needed.

The most important product is not oil, or money, but truth. We cannot get to it, without limiting individuals’ power, when it extends beyond truth.

We have to limit power, and that means to limit how much power a single mind, physical or moral, can express without democratic challenge.

Patrice Ayme’

Even Vladimir Vladimirovich seems to come to realize that he has been collapsing under his own enthusiastic self-admiration, and metastatic power: he would have cut at the last moment some blistering criticism of the Ukrainian Republic, in a recent speech.

Plutocrats Want You To Love Putin’s Nipples, & Hate Yours.

November 2, 2014

PRECISELY BECAUSE LOVING ONLY PUTIN’S NIPPLES IS AN UNSAFE &  SEXIST DISTRACTION

Sexism can provide with comic relief, when it goes over the top. I went to a gym where guys would flaunt their naked chests, mighty muscles rippling. Women trying the same trick would be promptly arrested.

Getting “stopped” by the police, or, better, arrested, in the USA, is a serious thing. It is a test everybody undergoes, to see how you respect the Authority Principle. The slightest non-strict observance of police officers’ orders results in much higher charges… If one does not get terminated outright.

By age 23, 41% of USA citizens have been arrested at least once. Black guys tend to fail the test, and get addicted to incarceration. Strange? Things are getting stranger quickly: We now have a sort of plutocratic corporate moral police emerging. It determines what is “safe”, and what is not. Ravenous, ever more powerful billionaires are in the lead. They decide that their friend Putin’s chest is glorious, while female chests are “unsafe”.

Naked Truth: Safe, Handsome Putin, Ugly, Unsafe Female Breasts?

Naked Truth: Safe, Handsome Putin, Ugly, Unsafe Female Breasts?

[On left, showing a real man, maybe gay, and certainly evil, but that’s alright. On right “unsafe” female according to great philosopher Zuckerberg, owner Facebook, NSA collaborator. Glorious dictators, OK, unsafe females, not OK.]

The gym finally decided everybody would wear a shirt. The old practice, naked men, veiled women was discontinued.

Truly, any time a group is allowed to do something others are not allowed to, is a discrimination. It better have a good justification. (Justified discrimination exists: forbidding drunk people to drive is justified, for example.)

Chelsea Handler (an actress I never heard of before), poked fun at the photo of Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin, by posting the topless photo of herself on a horse above. Handler warned, alongside her photo: “Taking this down is sexist. I have every right to prove I have a better body than Putin.”

Female nudity goes against the Facebook-owned Instagram posting rules: the picture was removed. Silicon Valley’s silicon men have no problems with “gays”, but mammals are something else entirely.

“If a man posts a photo of his nipples, it’s ok, but not a woman? Are we in 1825?” Handler responded. Instagram removed the picture again, with the consummate hypocrisy of plutocratic mind control: “Please read our Community Guidelines to learn what kinds of posts are allowed and how you can help keep Instagram safe.

Keep Facebook safe from female skin! Safety is big in the USA ever since Bush flew bin Ladens around the USA in 2011. Presumably to keep safe, Bush flew dozens of feudal relative of bin Laden out of the USA. Plutocrats’ safety comes first, in the USA. Somehow, female breasts threaten it.

Why to keep the USA safe from female breasts? Are we not named after those? “Mammal” comes from the Latin mammalis “of the breast”. (In Latin, breast is “mamma”.)

In truth, safety is not the paramount consideration. As we will see, quite the opposite. One plutocratic principle consists in creating fake problems, so that nobody has ever enough energy to address the real ones.

That’s why, when the financial sector exploded from plutocratic abuse, we were told that the problem came from We The People spending too (although real salaries have not augmented for a generation in most of the West).

That’s also why, confronted to an exponentiating CO2 density curve, the plutocrats tell us the weather has always changed, and our uneducated paranoia is making us attach unwarranted importance to insignificant problems, such as seas rising in level and acidity, 2014 being the warmest year ever, while permafrost starts to explode on a titanic scale in Siberia.

That’s why Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wants to keep the world safe from female breasts, but not from his Chinese (his wife and her mother are Chinese).

Both subjects, Zuckerberg’s obsession with breasts, and himself as a person, are insignificant, but brandishing them presumptuously is highly significant: it preoccupies minds with crushing insignificance. Exactly as planned by those masters of pettiness, the plutocrats.

And Putin is their hero, the brazen way he seizes whatever he can grab, from Crimea, half of the Black Sea, and the entire educational industry of Russia, as the New York Times exposes in a gigantic, detailed “Special Report”, November 1, 2014. “Putin’s Way. Putin’s Friend Profits in Purge of Schoolbooks.”

I am sure Mark Zuckerberg is drooling about Putin’s power, and manly ways.

Chelsea Handler did not quit, and rightly so: “If Instagram takes this down again, you’re saying Vladimir Putin has more 1st amendment rights than me. Talk to your bosses.”

Talking to Mark Zuckerberg is like talking to a NSA robot: it will go nowhere. (The head of the NSA was recently saying yes and no all over about the Snowden divulgations, making sure nobody could get a handle on his mind.)

The so-called “media service” removed the photo again. Handler left Instagram (she went to Twitter, which does not censor what is lawful). Hopefully her 994,000 Instagram followers will follow.

Instagram is owned by Facebook, the firm owned by a number of major plutocrats, some of them looking like total robots, others singing about how good they are (“Bono”)… And all of them giving dozens of millions to charity (to show they are good robots).

If I were the new Caesar, I would make them pay billions of dollars in taxes, instead (but then they would have me assassinated, just like they did Julius: can’t win). American plutocrats in general paid at most 15% tax, for more than a decade (now they pay nominally a bit more, but they cheat thoroughly through Dark Pools and “charities”).

The ever greater power of plutocrats to tell us what is “safe” to see, or think, is entirely due to them paying not enough taxes, and getting ever more monstrous, from their gathering power (a typical exponential: it feeds on its own growth).

My take? “Social media”, when large enough, ought to respect existing laws, and not impose their own rules. I am not aware of a USA Federal Law against female torso nudity.

Am I discriminating against large media outfit? Yes, I am. But I have a justification. Big is different. Any time that a company becomes huge (and it could be Facebook, Amazon, Google, TOTAL, BP, whatever), it becomes an institution.

Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook is treated like a king: wherever he goes he meets with heads of state (all knowing the CIA, NSA, and the likes of Lawrence Summers, Clinton and Obama administrations, and the entire American plutocratic machine is behind him).

In a democracy all institutions ought to be democratic institutions. That means they ought to respect the law, the whole law, and nothing but the law. They cannot invent their own laws. Because, if when they do, they are imposed on a vast part of the world.

Zuckerberg and his kind are closer to the Saudi religious “police” than the futuristic do-gooders they pose as. They have banned authors from Facebook, just on the ground that they believed the obvious, namely that there were no direct historical or archeological evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ. As I explained above, this sort of behavior, on Facebook part, ought to be unlawful.

In the second part of this essay, I will show that discriminating against females is extremely unsafe for civilization.

So the anti-female propaganda of Facebook (“female flesh is not safe”) is not just distasteful, borderline hate speech, but also outright a threat for life on this planet. Because life on this planet is what is presently threatened by the rise of the uncontrolled chain reaction of plutocracy untaxed.

I deliberately cut the essay in two, because the second part is actually more important than the preceding one. Experience shows that the scattered brains we are all becoming nowadays, have not enough attention span to go through what is even more important after already reading 1333 words.

Patrice Ayme’