Memo To Professor Piketty: Its The Central Banks, Stupid!

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Posted on 26th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via David Stockman’s Contra Corner

By Hunter Lewis

Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old economist from French academe has written a hot new book: Capital in the Twenty-First Century. The U.S. edition has been published by Harvard University Press and, remarkably, is leading the best seller list; the first time that a Harvard book has done so. A recent review describes Piketty as the man “who exposed capitalism’s fatal flaw.”

So what is this flaw? Supposedly under capitalism the rich get steadily richer in relation to everyone else; inequality gets worse and worse. It is all baked into the cake, unavoidable.

To support this, Piketty offers some dubious and unsupported financial logic, but also what he calls “a spectacular graph” of historical data. What does the graph actually show?

The amount of U.S. income controlled by the top 10 percent of earners starts at about 40 percent in 1910, rises to about 50 percent before the Crash of 1929, falls thereafter, returns to about 40 percent in 1995, and thereafter again rises to about 50 percent before falling somewhat after the Crash of 2008.

Let’s think about what this really means. Relative income of the top 10 percent did not rise inexorably over this period. Instead it peaked at two times: just before the great crashes of 1929 and 2008. In other words, inequality rose during the great economic bubble eras and fell thereafter.

And what caused and characterized these bubble eras? They were principally caused by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks creating far too much new money and debt. They were characterized by an explosion of crony capitalism as some rich people exploited all the new money, both on Wall Street and through connections with the government in Washington.

We can learn a great deal about crony capitalism by studying the period between the end of WWI and the Great Depression and also the last 20 years, but we won’t learn much about capitalism. Crony capitalism is the opposite of capitalism. It is a perversion of markets, not the result of free prices and free markets.

One can see why the White House likes Piketty. He supports their narrative that government is the cure for inequality when in reality government has been the principal cause of growing inequality…..

In 1936, a dense, difficult-to-read academic book appeared that seemed to tell politicians they could do exactly what they wanted to do. This was Keynes’s General Theory. Piketty’s book serves the same purpose in 2014, and serves the same short-sighted, destructive policies.

If the Obama White House, the IMF, and people like Piketty would just let the economy alone, it could recover. As it is, they keep inventing new ways to destroy it.

 

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This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Mises Daily : Mises Institute on Austrian Economics and Libertarianism. To view original, click here.

ANTI-CAPITALIST or ANTI-CORPORATE FASCIST BANKING CABAL?

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Posted on 12th December 2013 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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How can he be against something we don’t have? Free market capitalism does not exist in the world today. If the pope is against what we have in the world today, then he is against the corporate fascist state controlled by ultra rich banking and corporate interests. I read his words and I don’t see a socialist message. I see a message of giving the average person a chance to succeed instead of being trapped in a web of lifetime debt. When I see the reaction of bloviating idiots like Limbaugh, I think the pope must be hitting the right notes.

 

Pope is an anticapitalism socialist — thank God

Commentary: Conservatives right to worry about ‘radical’ Pope Francis

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Thank God, Pope Francis really is an anticapitalist, socialist and revolutionary. Read his lips. He smiles. He drives a Ford Focus. The Vatican police report that he sneaks out at night wearing black, meets strangers, society’s rejects, the “homeless, addicted, refugees, indigenous, the elderly, migrants,” the unemployed.


Reuters

 

Pope Francis waves as he conducts his weekly general audience at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican last month.

Yes, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Paul Ryan are right: Conservatives should be very worried about the pope’s radical message. Read his “Apostolic Exhortation,” his mandate to change the world. Read the original. We did — all 66 pages. Read and discover for yourself 10 things about this pope you don’t know. Even before the pope’s manifesto was posted, a New York Times headline read “Conservative U.S. Catholics feel left out of pope’s embrace.” Now they must want him impeached.

But read his words. See for yourself what the 76-year-old pontiff is actually thinking, his core principles, convictions, mission, mandate. His words are clear and unequivocal. See why Francis is the most radical pope in centuries. He knows a revolution is coming. And know he’s the leader — in fact on Wednesday he was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.”

Read his words. I read them with the cold eyes of my earlier days practicing law, reviewing SEC documents at Morgan Stanley, as a hard-nosed Marine sergeant serving Mass for Catholic chaplains. Yes, conservative commentators are right.

Conservatives everywhere — from the GOP, Wall Street bankers, Big Ag and every climate denier, to union-busing politicians, Big Oil billionaires and traditional growth economists — every conservative should be concerned about this gentle pontiff’s deceptively disarming charm, his happy smile. He says he has no “political ideology.” He’s that good a diplomat. Yet his own words clearly brand him an anticapitalist, a socialist and a leader with a revolutionary mission. Thank God, because the world needs him.

The pope has a divine mandate to radically alter American politics

The pope’s words clearly reveal a man who’s been on top of financial, economic and political trends for a long time, worldwide and in America. This pope promises to radically transform an American political landscape that for many years has been dominated by the conservative capitalist ideology of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan and Ayn Rand. Yes, Pope Francis is challenging generations of right-wing conservative ideology.

So conservatives like Limbaugh, O’Reilly and Ryan should fear this pope, not just because of his radical message, but because he can deliver on it. He demands action and is commander-in-chief of the world’s largest, most dedicated army: 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, including 78 million Americans in 17,645 parishes, inspired by a mission to change the world’s political economy and backed by an “officer corps” of 200 cardinals, over 5,000 bishops, 450,000 priests and deacons all dedicated to carry out his mission.

But far more dangerous for American conservatives, this new pope’s message will be regularly delivered by those clerics to America’s power elite: Six of the nine members on the Supreme Court are Catholics, including the chief justice. Three Catholics are in the direct constitutional line of succession if the president dies. Twenty-four of our 100 Senators are Catholic. So are 163 of the 435 members of the House. Add in their Catholic spouses, children, parents and friends, and this new pope is himself a global superpower. His radical, revolutionary “exhortations” will be influencing billions of all faiths worldwide, demanding not pious rhetoric but action to solve world problems.

Here are his 10 most radical beliefs, unedited, quoted, in Pope Francis’s own words from his “Apostolic Exhortation” manifesto. Decide for yourself: Is he the radical anticapitalist, socialist, revolutionary leader that conservatives will fear for many years?

1. Economic inequality is the root cause of all the world’s problems

The pope: “Inequality is the root of social ills … as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. … The majority of our contemporaries are barely living from day to day, with dire consequences. A number of diseases are spreading. The hearts of many people are gripped by fear and desperation, even in the so-called rich countries. The joy of living frequently fades, lack of respect for others and violence are on the rise, and inequality is increasingly evident. It is a struggle to live and, often, to live with precious little dignity. … The current model, with its emphasis on success and self-reliance, does not appear to favor an investment in efforts to help the slow, the weak or the less talented to find opportunities in life.”

2. ‘New tyranny’ of capitalism concentrates wealth, increases inequality

The pope: “While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.”

3. Capitalism’s ‘worship of money’ is the new ‘golden calf’ idolatry

The pope: “Money must serve, not rule. … One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. If we really want to achieve a healthy world economy, what is needed at this juncture of history is a more efficient way of interacting which, with due regard for the 
sovereignty of each nation, ensures the economic well-being of all countries, not just of a few.”

4. ‘Invisible hand’ of capitalism can’t be trusted, increases inequality

The pope: “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the ‘invisible hand’ of the market. Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programs, mechanisms and processes specifically geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality. … The economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the workforce and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded. … I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.”

5. Capitalism’s ‘trickle-down’ economics is a failed ideology

The pope: “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. … The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”

6. Capitalism promotes excessive consumption, undermining society

The pope: “Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. It serves only to offer false hopes to those clamoring for heightened security, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an ‘education’ that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries, in their governments, businesses and institutions, whatever the political ideology of their leaders.”

7. Capitalist economics excludes the masses, killing public solutions

The pope: “Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape. … Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion.”

8. Capitalism sees humans as ‘consumer goods’ to be exploited

The pope: “Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a ‘throw away’ culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised, they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the exploited but the outcast, the leftovers.”

9. Capitalism’s individualists reject ethics, increasing inequality

The pope: “Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement. Ethics — a non-ideological ethics — would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order.”

10. Conservative individualism is undermining the common good.

The pope: “In a culture where each person wants to be bearer of his or her own subjective truth, it becomes difficult for citizens to devise a common plan which transcends individual gain and personal ambitions. … I am interested only in helping those who are in thrall to an individualistic, indifferent and self-centered mentality to be freed from those unworthy chains and to attain a way of living and thinking which is more humane, noble and fruitful, and which will bring dignity to their presence on this earth.”

Waiting for a Fourth Turning Prophet

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Posted on 27th November 2010 by Reverse Engineer in Economy

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The recent flare up of the long running conflict in NK-SK led me to thinking about all the Proxy Wars that have been fought since the end of WWII in all the “undeveloped” nations of the world, including all the African and South American ones along with the Southeast Asian ones.

Now of course I don’t know exactly what the state of the Politics in any of those countries was prior to WWII, but as far as I know from the history books following colonial expansion, most of these countries were more or less stable, not really nation states as we think of them now but rather rough geographic areas “claimed” by one of the original colonial powers but for the most part the people living there lived as they had for centuries, in a semi stable Feudal kind of manner balanced against local Tribal interests.

The Post WWII period though began the real period of Globalism, as Corporate interests sought to acquire the resources of each of these portions of the Globe not yet part of the Global Banking system. It is at this point in each location the societies bifurcated. Along what lines? Basically, Haves and Have Nots, where local Haves wanted to Join Up and become a part of the Big Ponzi, and local Have Nots who weren’t going to get any benefit from having their land raped for resources.

So in most of those countries since this was a Haves v Have Nots battle, the Have Nots were supported by the Global Communists, either Russia or China at the time. The Haves of course were supported by the Global Capitalists, led by the Anglo-American Illuminati for the most part. For Americans growing up through this period, this was the Cold War and the fight to stop Communist Dominoes from falling in all these countries, a fight to bring them Freedom and Liberation from Oppression. It was of course precisely the opposite, to enslave all these countries under the economic slavery of Capitalism.

Of course the alternative they actually had of the kind of Communism run by Russia and China was itself a form of slavery and Totalitarianism, so they were pretty much between a Rock and a Hard Place. Lots of nice peaceful folks, subsistence farmers mainly forced to choose between two Evils, being Raped by Capitalists or subjugated to the will of the State in Centralized Communism. Once these two juggernauts got rolling, there no longer was a real choice possible to have a small Goobermint for your local area, you had to side up with one or the other of the Big Boys. No other source of weapons you could fight with that would be effective in maintaining your Freedom of course.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the transformation of China from Communism to a hybrid Mercantilist model left the whole philosophy of communism high and dry as pretty much a failed system. In the heady days for Capitalistas following the fall of the Berlin Wall, they appeared to have successfully won the battle of who has the Better System, and Euphoria was at an all time high. I remember some academic declaring it was the “End of History” with Pax Americana. Talk about being WRONG WRONG WRONG. LOL.

However, now with the World as their Oyster, the Capitalistas did what they do, which is to build bigger Ponzis all the time, and they revved up the Loan making bizness to a level never seen before in the entire history of Homo Sapiens on Earth. “Investment” and big money loans went out to every ex-Commie country in Eastern Europe, Brasil turned into a Resource mine to suck dry and even Ruskie Gangsters got their share of Illuminati Investment turning ex-KGB apparatchiks into Billionaires virtually overnight. I remember reading just a couple of years ago that Moscow had more Billionaires than any other city on Earth. Imagine that! In just a little over a decade, Mother Russia long the home of Communism was making more Billionaires then the FSofA, home of Capitalism!

Well of course it wasn’t the End of History, and this huge expansion of the Ponzi to encompass every last square inch of the surface of the Earth is now rapidly collapsing as all those loans which created all that “wealth” aren’t returning on the investment. Why? Because the whole paradigm was based on a never ending source of cheap energy, Oil. Black Gold. Texas Tea. It wasn’t a more sustainable system than Communism, it was just a more successful system at sucking what wealth there was in the earth up faster, and so Communism went into Failure mode first.

The current failure of the Capitalist model now leaves a real Vacuum on a philosophical and economic level in all the countries that were either one or the other for a while, and whose internal populations have been fighting battles ever since base on the Capitalist-Communist dichotomy of available systems. NK is a relic of the heady days of Chinese Communism; SK is a relic of the heady days of Capitalist expansion. The country got physically divided with the Haves on one side of the line, the Have Nots on the other. Now as Capitalism fails, the Have Nots over in NK sense weakness, and besides that are being used as a Proxy by the Chinese on a geopolitical level.

Thing is here, on both sides of that line, nobody really knows what they are fighting for anymore. No real vision of the future has been presented by the leadership on EITHER side of these battle lines to give J6P or Chen Rice Wine a reason to fight anymore. For the typical Proletariat in the Communist society, Communism failed miserably. For the typical Consumer in the Capitalist society, Capitalism failed miserably. Just look at the pics in JimQs Black Friday post. If that isn’t EPIC fail, I don’t know what is.

So here we are, on the Cusp of another World War, and nobody knows what the hell they are fighting for anymore, other than personal survival. At least as of yet, there is no great Movement of people drawn to Philosophy they can fight for with passion. No Great Leaders, no Prophets of the Fourth Turning kind have emerged yet on EITHER side to provide a real vision of the future people will line up to fight for. Oh sure, on both sides here J6P and Chen Rice Wine will be conscripted up as Cannon Fodder, but do you think any J6P is going to go into Battle here the way his Grandfather in the Greatest Generation did, feeling Righteous about saving the world from Totalitarianism? J6P himself is now just a machine part in the Totalitarian State run by the Illuminati, and he KNOWS it. Every time his children get on an airplane and are frisked down to make sure there isn’t a bomb secreted in their private parts he knows it. Soon to be every time you board a subway train or bus also.

Of course he will for the most part still go into battle, his battle juices revved up into high gear by some false flag, a few Car Bombs driven into Elementary Schools around the country one day soon. How are TSA Scanners going to stop that one? Its utterly stupid to think you can prevent a terrorist attack, there are just too many targets. Besides, your REAL Terrorists are the Intelligence Agencies like the CIA and MI5 which have the resources to make any kind of event like this happen anytime they want to, as a means to push around the psychology of whole populations.

For the time being, until a Prophet does arrive here, for most everyone on either side of the old divide of Capitalism and Communism, the only reasonable choice is to run away from this battle, as far as you can, as fast as you can. There is no good justification to fight for either side in this battle. The only solution is to hunker down and wait until the fighting comes to your neighborhood, and then fight for what is truly important, family and community. Then you can go out and fight with passion for something you truly believe in. Then you can go out with GLORY, and in the end win this battle against Evil which so consumes us now. For the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth. Right AFTER the Meek get Very, VERY ANGRY.

RE