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02.14.14

A Defunct Economy That Systematically Passes Wealth to the Rich

Posted in Finance at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The myth of “trickle down”

Pierre Omidyar and Richard Branson
Pierre Omidyar and Richard Branson, photo by Pierre Omidyar

Summary: Excess debt is created by the rich, who then use it to confiscate public property (austerity) and further increase their personal wealth at the expense of the public

“Central banks around the world,” explains Der Spiegel in a new report, “are pumping trillions into the economy. The goal is to stimulate growth, but their actions are also driving up prices in the real estate and equities markets. The question is no longer whether there will be a crash, but when.” The article is titled “Feeding the Bubble: Is the Next Crash Brewing?”

As explained by many people before, this so-called ‘crisis’ is a crisis of economic distribution; there is no “lack” of money (a man-made concept anyway) and resources are more then sufficient to give everyone on Earth a tolerable lifestyle without debt slavery (neither personal nor national). “Stagnation by Design” [1] is a recommended new article about this. It was written by a famous professor of economics.

It is easy to see that there is no real crisis when bankers get bailed out, CEOs of corporations receive state subsidies [2], and benefits to the public are slashed or eliminated [3] (leaving the vast majority helpless and hopeless [4,5]). The problem is not just the currency [6,7], it’s the system. This trend is spreading everywhere including Europe [8,9]. Corporations are being given welfare [10] instead of people receiving welfare [11] (some children end up in hunger in the US, in part due to this [12]). It’s the “trickle down” fiction. The US spent a great deal of time attacking competing models [13], alienating many nations to its south, so even professors of economics in the US are not speaking out against the US model [14,15], which currently confiscates what’s public [16] and gives it to just a few people [17] — so few in fact that they fit on a double decker bus and own more than the combined ownership of 3.5 billion people on Earth (that’s how unjust and wide the divide has become). Under the leadership of the Tories, the UK heads down the same path.

It was recently reported that the banking cartel now refuses to give people money they deposited [18], putting yet more barriers in this process after using economic warfare to kill people’s banks [19].

Last month we explained why Pierre Omidyar has no credibility when it comes to talking for the poor. He is himself a very rich person and despite claims that he tries to support journalism it finally turns out, based on The Intercept‘s introduction, that he is only in it for the money. Coverage of NSA files has mostly dried up as of late (reiteration of old news and smears against Snowden dominate the news). It’s like Omidyar bought off those who were capable of leading a reaction to a system of looting and oppression.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Stagnation by Design

    The basic point that I raised a half-decade ago was that, in a fundamental sense, the US economy was sick even before the crisis: it was only an asset-price bubble, created through lax regulation and low interest rates, that had made the economy seem robust. Beneath the surface, numerous problems were festering: growing inequality; an unmet need for structural reform (moving from a manufacturing-based economy to services and adapting to changing global comparative advantages); persistent global imbalances; and a financial system more attuned to speculating than to making investments that would create jobs, increase productivity, and redeploy surpluses to maximize social returns.

  2. Crop subsidies kept secret by Congress in new farm bill

    When President Obama signs the farm bill today at Michigan State University, it’s unlikely he’ll mention how the new law undermines his own promises of transparency.

    The new farm bill vastly extends the taxpayer-supported crop insurance program while deliberately keeping recipients of those subsidies secret. Indeed, the final version of the law even dropped a bipartisan provision that would have at least required members of Congress and Cabinet officials to disclose such benefits.

  3. What Will 2016 Political Landscape Look Like? USA Today Has No Clue

    That the actual circumstances under which candidates ran for office in 2008 didn’t at all resemble the situation in early 2006 shows the futility of trying to pontificate about elections almost three years before they happen. But that isn’t going to stop the political press corps.

    In fact, Page is already predicting the policies the next president will have to pursue. Surprise! They involve cutting Social Security…

  4. The American Dream is Dead

    Pessimism, pessimism, and more pessimism. It’s like the whole country is on the brink of despair. Maybe Phil Graham was right, after all. Maybe we are just a nation of whiners. But I kind of doubt it. What’s really going on can be summed up in one word: Frustration. People are frustrated with the government, frustrated with their jobs, frustrated with their shitty, stagnant wages, frustrated with their droopy incomes, frustrated with their ripoff health care, frustrated with living paycheck to paycheck, frustrated with their measly cat-food retirement plan, frustrated with their dissembling, flannel-mouth president, frustrated with the fact that their kids can’t find jobs, and frustrated with the prevaricating US media that keeps palavering about that delusional chimera called the American Dream.

  5. Obama Killed the American Dream
  6. Bitcoin Enables Drug Dealing, Just as Major Banks Do

    Two weeks ago, Pascal Reid and Michel Abner Espinoza were arrested by police in Miami and charged with using the virtual currency Bitcoin to launder money. The week before, Charlie Shrem, co-founder and chief executive officer of BitInstant, was arrested in New York getting off a plane from Amsterdam. Shrem was charged by federal prosecutors with conspiracy to commit money laundering linked to alleged sales of more than $1 million in Bitcoins to people who wanted to buy drugs on Silk Road, a now defunct online marketplace.

  7. Russia Outlaws Bitcoin

    Russia’s Prosecutor General has declared use of bitcoin illegal in the country, charging that the currency is used for money-laundering and other illegal purposes.

  8. “Breathtaking” Corruption In Europe

    A recent article at the BBC discusses the findings of a report by EU Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem on corruption in the EU. According to the report, the cost of corruption in the EU amounts to €120 billion annually. We would submit that it is likely far more than that (in fact, even Ms. Malmstroem herself concurs with this assessment). This is of course what one gets when one installs vast, byzantine bureaucracies and issues a veritable flood of rules and regulations every year. More and more people are needed to administer this unwieldy nightmare of red tape, and naturally the quality of the hires declines over time due to the sheer numbers required.

  9. Anglophilia and the Lure of Neoliberalism in Finland

    There has been much discussion recently about international educational standards and league tables, particularly following Finland’s recent alarm over lower than expected PISA results. However, as Pasi Sahlberg of the Ministry of Education noted in an article published in The Guardian on 8th December 2013, market-based educational reform is proving damaging across the globe. How to read such results seems not entirely straightforward, and Finland’s excellence in education is, nonetheless, still upheld by the results of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

  10. Pence mum on plans to cut tax on business equipment

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is keeping quiet about negotiations underway to cut the business equipment tax, a proposal that a new report shows might only bring slight economic growth to the state.

  11. AOL chief cuts 401(k) benefits, blames Obamacare and two “distressed babies”

    AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong Thursday offered a number of unusual explanations for why his company pulled back its 401(k) benefits for employees this year. The first reason: Obamacare. The second: two women at the company who had “distressed babies” in 2012.

  12. Utah School Threw Out Students’ Lunches Because They Were In Debt

    According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the child nutrition manager’s original plan was to withhold lunches for kids whose parents hadn’t paid. But cafeteria workers were unable to distinguish who was on that list before serving. Once the food had been dished out, food safety codes say it can’t be given to another student and must be thrown away.

    The children were given milk and fruit instead of a full lunch — the meal that the school says it gives any child who isn’t able to pay.

    “So she took my lunch away and said, ‘Go get a milk,’ ” recalled one student, a fifth grader named Sophia. “I came back and asked, ‘What’s going on?’ Then she handed me an orange. She said, ‘You don’t have any money in your account so you can’t get lunch.’”

  13. Latin America summit wraps up in Cuba on note of peace

    Thirty-three countries from Latin America and the Caribbean are winding up a two-day summit in the Cuban capital Wednesday with the noteworthy absence of the United States and Canada.

  14. Political Corruption and Capitalism

    Nearly daily, mass media report political corruption across the world. Government bureaucrats, from local to national to international, are exposed for having abused their offices for personal gain. That gain is usually financial, but can involve career advancement. Much of that corruption is driven and financed by capitalist enterprises. In that kind of corruption, officials enable tax avoidance, provide subsidies, make purchases and sometimes sales, and decide many other “public” matters (e.g. locating roads, zoning cities, constructing state facilities, repressing strikes, investigating corruption, negotiating international agreements, etc.).

  15. Janet Yellen and I were taught to revere capitalism. But it’s a failing system

    Janet Yellen, the United States’ Federal Reserve’s new Chair, and Iwere graduate economics students around the same time at Yale University. The professor who shaped the macroeconomics we learned was James Tobin. He taught us to be Keynesian economists: that is, to accept capitalism as the sole object and focus of our studies, to celebrate it as the best possible system, and to preserve it against its own serious faults. Keynesian economics teaches that to secure capitalism’s blessings requires systematic government intervention in the workings of the economy.

  16. Costs of Privatization Hidden in Plain Sight

    Privatization is often sold as providing higher quality services and infrastructure at lower cost. In fact, important costs are regularly overlooked. In other words, services and infrastructure have been privatized, even though keeping them public is the better choice.

  17. State of Power 2014: Exposing the Davos Class

    The Transnational Institute is proud to launch its third annual ‘State of Power’ report as the World Economic Forum meets in Davos. This anthology exposes and analyses the principal power-brokers, members of the “Davos class”, who have caused financial, economic, social and ecological crises worldwide. Unless we know which elites control our wealth and resources, understand how they influence political and social processes, and can identify the systems, structures and policies by which they maintain their power, TNI believes our hopes for advancing social and environmental justice are slim. Justice demands a recalibration of power and that requires us to better understand it.

  18. Bank Run Fears: Customers Being Forced to Provide Evidence For Why They Need Cash

    In early 2013 the country of Cyprus locked down private banking accounts and restricted access to depositor funds. It was the first widely documented instance of a “bail-in,” as bank officials and European regulators determined that bad loans taken on by the banks were now the responsibility of the banks’ customers. This led to a country-wide confiscation of 10% or more of all customer funds. In the heat of the Cyprian financial panic banks limited cash withdrawals to around $300 and ramped up security to prevent angry Cypriots from breaking down the doors.

  19. How economic warfare killed the People’s Bank

    US Investigative Journalist Michael Hastings told an incredible story when he returned from his 2010 trip, embedded with US general Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan. The Pentagon, he revealed in his award winning book ‘The Operators’, spends $4.7bn of public money annually employing 27,000 psychological operations, marketing and public relations staff around the world. Their daily mission: to push the Pentagon line into the West’s national newspapers and broadcast bulletins.

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