Let’s start with the depth and size of the underlying financial crisis, which is almost in the realm of hyper-reality. In 1997, for example, the total value of annual financial transactions worldwide was an already-staggering 15 times greater than global GDP. Today, it is 70 times greater . (1) In 1995, the six largest US banks controlled assets worth 17 percent of annual GDP. Today, the figure is 64 percent . (2) Again in 1995, the global total of outstanding derivative debt obligations was $17.7 trillion. By 2010, at nearly $470 trillion , outstanding derivatives were 741 percent of global GDP . (3)
This wholesale financialization of the US-led global economy has burdened the public sector with the task of propping up unregulated speculative debt in the private sector that is 7.4 times our annual productive capacity. Add US deficit spending for three wars since 9/11, and major cuts in the top tax rates, and the burden becomes unsustainable. The difference is being made up in the guise of austerity, as everything we own is liquidated, from personal and retirement savings, to homes and public-sector assets that have been built up over generations.
In the US, the inexorable logic of this process is embedded in the numbers that comprise the national debt. By most estimates, the national debt is at least $15 trillion .(4) Here is one way to understand where the money went.
- The US government spent $7.4 trillion on bank bailouts. (5)
- It then spent $5 trillion for three elective wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. (6)
- It simultaneously incurred $2.8 trillion in lost revenue due to the Bush tax cuts for the top income brackets. (7)
The $15.2 trillion total of reckless government giveaways and war spending equals the national debt. Where did this money come from? It came from we the people. During the current economic downturn:
- US citizens suffered $14 trillion in lost stock market value , declining home values and lost pension fund values . (8)(9)
- Workers lost $1 trillion in wages due to long-term unemployment. (10)
The total losses to citizen wealth are also $15 trillion.
From this perspective, the ongoing financial crisis of the past few years is a giant swindle that transfers wealth from low- and middle-income citizens to bankers, defense contractors, real estate speculators and the wealthiest 1% via the US Treasury, which is acting as an agent for upward redistribution.
From the start of this Reagan-Thatcher revolution, the “trickle down” theory of wealth was accompanied by promises of a smaller, less intrusive state, except for a strong military. Fast forward through 30-plus years of nearly uninterrupted neoliberal policymaking – Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were deregulating neoliberal champions – and not only do we have the most expensive, heavily militarized, war-prone, increasingly inequitable and intrusive state in US (and British) history, it is also the most indebted.
While those at the top with access to policymakers reap enormous financial benefits from their embrace of neoliberal theology, many of those at the bottom who stand to lose the most economically join forces with them because of political appeals to their utopian religious and patriotic beliefs. Neoliberal presidential candidates from Ronald Reagan to Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have come before voters as kindred utopian spirits, true believers couching their self-regulating market utopianism in the familiar and compelling language of patriotism, individual freedom, mom and pop entrepreneurism and religion. (‘Believe in America.’) Utopian faith thereby trumps the pain of ugly reality.
And the ugly reality is that neoliberal markets – unlike the elegant models of classical economics – are rigged. And rigged in favor of the wealthiest members of society. Income disparity between the bottom and top 20 percent in the US has more than doubled since 1979. (15) Income for the top 1 percent grew by 275 percent from 1979 to 2007, while income for the bottom 20 percent grew just 18 percent. (16)
The US now has 49.1 million people living in poverty, the highest level since the Great Depression of the 1930′s. (17) Yet among true believers at both ends of the economic spectrum, the powerful emotional pull of a shared utopian vision transcends the homely realities of the fact-based world.
Also born to wealth, Ryan was a youthful devotee of neoliberal founding fathers von Mises and Hayek, supplementing his market faith with the culturally corrosive, ego-centered atheism of Ayn Rand, until the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, representing his professed Catholic faith, publicly objected to the cruelty and inhumanity of his 2011 US budget proposals.
The bishops described Ryan’s budget as being antithetical to their call to create “a circle of protection” around the poor and vulnerable. With his tea-vangelical base of support threatened, Ryan quickly discovered St. Thomas Aquinas as a more appropriate religious vehicle for channeling his market utopianism. (18)
The presentation of the Romney-Ryan ticket by the Republican Party tells us that the path to utopia is stony and difficult, as it should be. Reaching the neoliberal Promised Land requires sacrifice. In order to scale the utopian summit, we must cast out the unbelievers (Obama, Democrats, liberals, environmentalists, feminists, et al.) and balance the divine books with the purifying fire of “austerity,” the neoliberal equivalent of self-flagellation.
Austerity-mandated cuts in vital public services must be accompanied by ever-increasing tax reductions for the top income brackets – aka, the priestly class of “job creators” – thus intentionally accelerating the insolvency of the iniquitous public sector. Someone has to pay for the extravagant incomes, lifestyles and war profiteering of the oracular speculative class in order to keep the swindle going, and it turns out to be us.
I wonder a lot.
Nobel laureate leaves US cancer research project over corporate hijacking
Nobel laureate Phillip Sharp and six other leading scientists from Texas have walked out of a $3-billion cancer research project for ethical reasons, saying politicians have hijacked the study, placing commercial interests before science. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is one of the US’s biggest recipients of federal aid in its field. Now the CPRIT is being accused of making funding with a “suspicion of favoritism,” Sharp wrote in his resignation letter. Those who left say CPRIT commercializes projects by pumping out new drugs instead of funding good research.
Another example of the error of capitalism. When it is all about money, well then, it is all about money.
Is it legal? Probably. Is it right? I hope you know the answer to that. It is not enough that the pharmaceutical industry keeps inventing diseases to sell drugs. No, they want to find ways to pull a sleight of hand to make more money; at our expense.
A pharmaceutical company stands accused of putting profit before patients after withdrawing a drug used in the treatment of a chronic debilitating disease – ahead of relaunching it at a price predicted to be up to 20 times higher.
Three of Britain’s leading neurologists have written to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to protest at Genzyme, part of the multinational drug company Sanofi, halting supplies of the drug alemtuzumab for multiple sclerosis.
The drug is currently licensed for the treatment of leukaemia. But it has been known for 20 years also to be effective in MS patients suffering from an aggressive form of the disease.
A very small yet conscious minority has come to the realization that the current world regime is one giant corporate infomocracy that needs to be terminated with “extreme prejudice”, disengagement being the weapon of choice. The next revolution will not be carried out by mobs of angry people, guerrillas, terrorists or, god forbid, politicians. It will be accomplished by a small (10%) militant minority that will simply unplug the matrix.
A Very Condensed Case for RevolutionAn enormous, dictatorial corporate cartel is ruling the world through its proxies in government, banking, academia and media. Our entire western culture has become an insidious farce with the sole purpose of maintaining the enslaved masses in their conjured up democracies, religions and histories. Two developments have increased its control exponentially: globalisation and the information revolution.The world is entering the final acts of a great social, political and economic shift. The international currency regime, the keystone of control, is peering into the abyss; the middle east is being turned upside down; the bankrupt United States government is fighting several wars and maintaining more than 560 military bases in over 120 countries. The insatiable greed and desire for world control have created a breach in the system. People are becoming aware while their masters scramble for control as the chaotic climax approaches.Violence, crackdowns, massacres and all out wars are erupting from Libya to Bahrain. As Yeats put it , “the centre cannot hold”. The Arab Spring will soon reach the Wall in the West Bank and when it does the possibility of a large scale conflict and the eventual involvement of Iran are almost inevitable. How the west reacts when this conflict erupts upon us will be the inflection point for the entire period.The great strides made in western liberal societies since the Enlightenment have been firmly based on the Greco/Christian tradition. It should be no surprise that the purveyors of consumerist agnosticism firmly reject this tradition within the western democracies. By pulling the spiritual rug out from under Euro/American culture, they have left a black hole that can only be filled by their circus and gadgets. We have not only paid, but have in fact indebted ourselves, to worship at the feet of their materialist God. This has nothing to do with theology and everything to do with culture. The West is paying a very dear price for having stopped thinking critically and educating its children.The great European experiment (much more than simply the EU), thought by many to be the light of the world, is sinking like the Titanic. With a total disregard for traditional culture, the ruling elites have turned our schools, universities, arts and mass media into a giant propaganda machine promoting political correctness, pseudo history & economics and the new world religion: debt based consumerism. Anyone who questions their version of science, world history or monetary policy is immediately branded as a malcontent and removed from the public discourse. They control the message by controlling the money.Many look at the twentieth century as a time of great economic and technical advance, but history, while recognizing the the technical innovation, will condemn this century as the most vile in man’s history. The miracle that began in Greece, expanded in Rome, flourished in the Renaissance & Enlightenment and finally found its modern form in the western liberal democracy has been been gutted by a century of materialism, enslavement, slaughter and greed.The Corporation and Infomocracy
There is no better example of fascism in today’s world than the major corporation: decisions made by a select group of insiders, bureaucratic conformism, communications ripe with propaganda, and the cult of power. There is nothing democratic about the boardrooms of these behemoths, so how can we expect the governments they rule to be democratic? They have created a two party charade with news programs, talking heads and opposing media facing off in faux battles to conjure up their infomocracy.The corporations control the creation and distribution of our money, our foreign policy, entertainment and news. The only way to put a wedge between these monoliths and the liberty of individuals is to completely disengage from them. They manipulate news and opinion to the extent that actual issues are never discussed, only the distractions are debated.Two Examples – Health care and IraqThe United States has by far the most expensive health care system in the world, and a decidedly unhealthy population. Something is clearly wrong with this system. The debate is carefully divided into those who want to maintain the status-quo – Republicans, and those that want to enhance the status quo – Democrats. All of the actors fall into line and go either shirts or skins, but the truth is never discussed.The Federal Government subsidizes the corporate health care system and the over payed doctors by regulating the market out of the system and creating a closed corporate hegemony over the industry. The media and academic shills stick to their subsidized scripts and the real solution is never discussed because that solution would destroy the bottom lines of the corporate players.Simply deregulate. Remove ALL regulations on who can practice medicine and how. Any drug can be sold in the US, period. End the FDA. Private FDA’s will sprout up, vouching for the validity of drugs. Some will be better than others, but the consumers will decide which ones work. Any doctor can practice medicine and many private organizations will appear vouching for their credentials. As long as there is a judicial system that can pass judgement on reasonable claims, the system will work out its kinks and we will have, without a doubt, the cheapest most effective health care system in the world. It’s that simple. The only thing the government is doing in healthcare is subsidizing corporate profits.Those preferring universal health coverage can certainly make their case at the local level without imposing it on a nation of over 300 million people.The war in Iraq was started by taking advantage of the fear and confusion from 9/11 with the intention of creating a safer Middle East for the state of Israel. While this idea is far from novel, it’s not allowed to enter the mainstream discussion of the issue. The truth is taboo because the consequences of accepting it would be beyond the pale for those who conceived of and pushed the country to war; too much blood to be laid at the feet of the guilty. The motives and consequences of Vietnam were argued in academia and the mainstream media ad nauseam, but you will not see a Pentagon Papers come out of The New York Times regarding Iraq because the repercussion would reverberate too close to home. How can the purveyors of morality be nothing more than war mongers?THE CONTROL MECHANISMSArtificial ScarcityWhy is there a world ‘economic’ crisis? Is it a lack of able-bodied workers, natural resources, factories, or infrastructure? Absolutely not. It’s a lack of liquidity and/or too much debt, however one decides to slice it. The most important myth supporting the system is the belief in fractional reserve money as a valid store of value and means of exchange. The banks are allowed to create the money out of nothing, and charge interest for turning the trick while the masses have to earn it. The right to create money is the right to leverage, and it’s that financial leverage that hoists them to the top of the pyramid. Without this leverage they would not be able to create such massive amounts of wealth and control. The only way to destroy this system and create fair money is by creating awareness. Once people understand the “trick”, the whole house of cards begins to collapse.One simple thought experiment is to imagine what would happen if the the mega banks and the Fed came to an agreement to cut all personal debt by 50%, send a credit card with 20K to every American while at the same time paying off all government debt (federal, state and local). In this experiment everything would be paid for by quantitative easing and removing bank reserve requirements for bad debts. The “crisis” would be over in about three months: anyone who wanted to work would be able to find job, factory capacity would surge and the entire world economy would rise on a massive wave of prosperity. The only trick would be keeping inflation at bay by reducing government spending to a balanced budget and keeping interest rates high enough. This is not to say that creating money out of thin air and giving it away is the answer, but it does point out that the entire crisis is abstract and contrived and the supreme charge of the government is to protect those that live off interest and leverage. The debts pushed on the 99% by the powers that be are its main source of leverage and wealth, and by overburdening the productive population with debt they killed the proverbial goose.People out of work, factories shuddered, fields unploughed, students without teachers, children without food – all because of digital debt money. Why can’t a man with a strong back and a working brain simply go out, work, create something and exchange it for money? That would be too easy. First someone has to create the money, with interest. The fractional reserve system, by design, creates artificial scarcity, allowing the ruling banker class and their political puppets to skim enough off everyone’s work and turn abundant, productive labor and private property into a giant banker-run slum- turf wars included. They put massive claims on future production until, at the end of the cycle, their debt chickens come home to roost.PropagandaWhy is this basic truth not shouted from every newspaper, college classroom, church pulpit and street corner? In a world of brands, they control who is deemed appropriate. Anyone who states the truth is isolated, blacklisted or demonized as inappropriate, which is now just another word for honest. An entire caste of over-educated shills dominate media, film, the arts, literature, and academia. Organized religion, when not protecting pedophiles and apartheid states, spends the rest of its moral capital railing against the basic pleasures of humanity that have yet to be monetized and securitized by Wall Street.They tell us to kill and we kill. Current fashion is that it is okay to kill Yemenis, Bahrainis, Palestinians, and some other assorted Muslims. Libyans have been put on the no kill list and Syrians may soon find themselves on the same list. That list means only NATO can kill them (see Afghanistan). Iraqis have the special honor of being the exclusively killed by Americans since May 2011Education, Religion & CircusOne of the most amazing feats of the regime is how they coerce young people to go into extreme amounts of debt to be brainwashed and taught not to think before they ever even have a career .Mainstream and not so mainstream religion generally tries to sell people on a hodgepodge of fear and fantasy, with a big pay-off for the self righteous who drink most from the sacred well of Kool-Aid. What must never be attempted is to actually have an authentic spiritual experience, for this would cause the subject to run from the dogma and quite possibly bring most of the remaining parishioners with him. Real consciousness as much an anathema to religion as critical thinking is to academia.But even if one can escape the grasp of schools and universities, dodge the churches, few can evade the tempting trap of the circus. The television, music, the press, spectator sports, movie stars and the like have an almost hallucinatory power over the sheeple. Not only do these pastimes steal the money of the masses, they brainwash them to boot. The regime’s mantra: pay the master for the right to be enslaved.SOLUTIONS
In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato compares the awakening process to realizing the shadows on the wall are only reflections from lanterns in a cave, but he points out that there is a period during which the eyes need to get adjusted, in these moments the person can see neither the shadows nor make out the real images soaked in sunlight.Those who awaken go through many stages, one of which is the strong desire to plant bombs and slit throats. As Plato points out, there is a period of disorientation as one meanders out of the cave. While violence is the most appetizingly simple of choices, it is also the most counterproductive. Anything one does that can be utilized by the masters to fire up their destructive paraphernalia is a mistake. In fact, anything that even breaks their laws is harmful to the cause and will only create useless opposition. All forms of violent resistance only generate energy which they use to manipulate news and events in order to create fear and reactionism. They thrive on our anxieties and use the very energy generated against them as the impetus to foment division among their opponents.Enlightened DisengagementThe enlightened conscious man needs no school to raise his children, no church to know his God, no banker to validate his work and no government to choose his enemies. He is free to do as he pleases, when he pleases and how he pleases. His liberty allows him to need almost nothing, which is how the great evil matrix becomes undone: in a great fire of awareness.Money – Use fractional reserve money only for what is needed in the short term. Have no savings denominated in their dollars. All savings in hard assets.Work & Corporations – Avoid, to the greatest extent possible, working for and using corporations. Actively pursue locally owned alternatives and self-employment. As a consumer, avoid all corporate products whenever possible. This includes clothes, food, religion, news, etc.Bread & Circus – Cancel all cable subscriptions immediately. Sell all your televisions and take your best friend out for a night on the town with the proceeds. Stop participating in the corporate entertainment network. If you love baseball, follow a local independent team. If you love dramas, frequent your local theater. Read independent news services. Always know the source of what you are consuming. Avoid corporate food at all costs. Pay the premium for locally, independently grown and prepared food.Follow the Law to the Letter – That means paying all taxes, following all regulations, and submitting to all their rules while they are still in force. The cause is not advanced by having militants ensnarled by the criminal justice system. All their efforts must be fully dedicated to disengaging themselves, their families and their friends. Moves must be calculated to maximize strength and staying power, even if it means remaining “attached” to parts of the system longer than one would like. A financially sound, secure militant family disengaging and evangelizing is their worst enemy.Politics - The obvious thing to be done is abstain from participation. In most cases, this would be the clear strategy. However, with an iconoclastic candidate like Ron Paul still in the running, it makes sense to give him support. The more the mainstream avoids him and dances around his campaign, the more he should be backed.The Magical 10%We don’t need to convince the whole village, we only need 10% of them. A recent study has confirmed that once an idea reaches the 10% threshold and that 10% is demonstrably fixed to the idea, the majority will quickly follow.“Three conditions are key: a majority that is flexible with their views, a minority that is intractable, and a critical threshold wherein about a tenth of the population advocate the minority opinion. They also saw that the time it takes to reach social consensus drops dramatically as the minority grows past this tipping point”The focus must be on the best and the brightest, the rest will follow. There is no need to dummy down the message; on the contrary, the highest level of argumentation and language should be implemented to capture the critical thinkers, leaders and trend setters.A Well Sharpened Blade
There is only one path to freedom, and it is terribly straight and narrow. To navigate it one must shed prejudice, education, political correctness, patriotism, greed and fear. Realizing the profound depth of the deception can be frightening; a slew of long-held beliefs will come tumbling down. Much of the truth is, by design, diametrically opposed to what we have been “taught” to consider moral, ethical, even decent. Whatever term one wishes to apply to consciousness, revolution without it is simply exchanging masters. The enemy is ignorance in all its insidious forms.The real revolution needs no leaders, banners, or platforms. Each awakened man’s consciousness is his own guide. Those looking for a place to sign up are simply looking for more enslavement. The controllers are well aware of the danger to their pyramid and will surely toss out some interesting schemes to hold on to power. The enemy of awareness is distraction, but the antidote is simple: close out, turn off, unplug and ignore.
This article was edited by Jim Horky
Of course they find ties. Whether they are real or not. They need Syria for their plan.
It doesn’t matter who you vote for. The true terrorists will remain in power.
As you can see from the chart below, in the post-World War II era whenever a recession has ended the percentage of working age Americans that have jobs has rebounded substantially. But this has not happened this time….
The employment-population ratio fell to levels not seen since the early 1980s and has stayed there.
During the 70s, 80s and 90s the employment-population ratio kept increasing because a lot of women were entering the workforce.
But now our economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for everyone. Our economy is dying and the labor market has come to resemble a really bizarre game of musical chairs.
If you lose your job in this economy, you might be out of the game for good.
If you can believe it, today there are 100 million working age Americans that do not have jobs.
In all, there are 242 million working age Americans.
Only 142 million of them actually have jobs.
The rest are either taken care of by someone else in their family or by the government.
Since the year 2000, the U.S. population has increased by over 30 million.
But the number of Americans that have jobs has only risen by 4.7 million.
Something doesn’t add up.
Destroy the GlobalistsOne Fat-Cat Corporation at a Time.
by Tony Cartalucci
Bangkok, Thailand April 14, 2011 – We’ve told you who, in “Naming Names,” now it’s time to tell you how. Many may ask, “How exactly can we boycott the globalists when they control everything?”
The answer is by systematically boycotting and replacing them with local alternatives. You can actually start today, by boycotting corporations you may not have even considered part of this nefarious agenda and corporations you not only can certainly live without, but would be better off for it. It requires absolutely no money at all, in fact, it will save you money in the long run and if you decide to replace them, you may learn a valuable skill-set in the process.
The focus will fall first on Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Two very similar corporations which populate both the Brookings Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations, unelected, extra-legal conglomerations that conspire and contrive world policy, world wars, and the means to implement them for the sole benefit of its corporate membership, entirely at your expense both in blood and treasure. (See: War is a Racket by Smedley Butler.)
What’s Wrong with Pepsi & Coke?
Conflict of Interest: Pepsi and Coke are both corporate members of the Brookings Institute, who for example, published “Which Path to Persia?,” a 156 page report detailing methods to institute regime change in Iran. These methods range from foreign funded color revolutions and covert military operations, to arming terrorist groups (including MEK which has killed Americans) and all out invasion.
Even if you believe Iran represents a clear and present danger, wouldn’t it be the job of our elected representatives to determine a course of action? Couldn’t these “experts” be assembled into a committee under the watchful eyes of representatives elected by the people, even if they required a degree of secrecy? How does any functioning democratic society then tolerate a corporate funded organization comprised of unelected “experts” with absolutely no oversight and the ability to ultimately steer American policy? Because, indeed, much of what was written in “Which Path to Persia?” has already become a reality, without the consent, and in many cases, without the knowledge of the American people.
Another example comes from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), to which Pepsi and Coke are also both corporate members. Many of the reports coming from the CFR end up becoming public policy. Again, unelected businessmen, bankers, and policy wonks funded by corporate special interests steer American policy, including the myriad of laws, rules, regulations, and tax structures that protect megalithic monopolies like Pepsi and Coke.
The “Building a North American Community” report from 2005 spelled out in detail the integration of Canada, the United State, and Mexico into a European Union-style superstate. Incrementally, and against the will of the American people, this agenda has been slowly unfolding into what has become the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), another cleverly named stepping-stone to supernationality.
You will find not only Pepsi and Coca-Cola as corporate members of these clandestine, meddling organizations, you will find their people sitting in as individual members as well. Just like JP Morgan during the robber baron age, these people end up running corporations not for their love of their trade, railroads and steel for Morgan, in Pepsi and Coke’s case, bubbly beverages, but rather to exploit the immense amount of wealth they produce with their national and global monopolies.
These corporations rival the size and prosperity of some nation-states. Collectively, the Fortune 500, through their coordination via organizations like Brookings and the CFR, comprise a “dark nation” that exists beyond borders and the typical limitations of the traditional nation-state. However, technology has made it possible to live without most of these overgrown corporations, where local businesses can most certainly accomplish anything they can, sometimes more.
Certainly, however, in the case of beverages we as individuals and as communities are more than capable of creating, exchanging and enjoying beverages without any corporation involved at all. Why then do we insist on pooling our collective resources in their hands to give us flavored sugar water? Many would cite regulations and taxation that prohibit us from producing and selling locally, such regulations born from these immensely influential corporations in the first place. This is all the more reason to boycott them and put them out of business.