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Bill Buckler On How The US Morphed From A "Global Beacon Of Freedom" To A Symbol Of Political And Economic Repression

Tyler Durden's picture


In his latest edition of the Privateer newsletter, Bill Buckler confirms that he is one of the premier politco-economic commentators, with one of the most devastating expositions on how America, once the land of the brave and the home of the free, and truly a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world, has entered the death spiral of its cilivizational curve, which "beginning of the end" started in 1913 with the introduction of the income tax and the ascent of the Federal Reserve, and now, a century later, has morphed into what can poetically be called the "ending of the end." Recent events in the Middle East and Africa only underscore how rapidly the sun is setting on the world's once undisputed superpower. That China is merely biding its time before it disconnects its mutual life support system to the US (which contrary to conventional wisdom, is far more important to the US than vice versa, now that the Fed is by the far the biggest owner of US debt), and ends its symbiosis with US fiscal and monetary policy, should not be a reason for optimism to anyone. With each passing day, Chinese superiority is becoming ever more palpable (even despite the massive loan bubble currently in process in China), even as desperate US attempts to cling to the last trace of its former superpower status are getting increasingly ignored by virtually everyone. If Buckler is correct, the final nail in the US superpower status coffin could come as soon as the unwind of events in MENA, where the people have made it all too clear the US is no longer welcome. What happens next will indicate just how rapidly the complete fall from grace for the US will transpire: "The Middle East is again in strife. This time, the conflict is between
the regimes which have been installed and supported by the US government
in their march to empire and the people who those same regimes have
ruled with an iron fist. To these people, the US is not looked upon as
an “exemplar” of anything - except political AND economic repression.

There is much more in this week's full Privateer newsletter, but the following segment should be read by all

“They Hate Us For Our Freedom”:

There are two supremely ironic aspects regarding that now famous statement made by President Bush as his justification for everything from the “war on terror” to the Patriot Act to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. In the first place, it was made almost 100 years too late. In the second place, it was aimed in precisely the wrong direction. In both cases, that statement and the actions of the US government which it “justified” have come back to haunt the present US government both internationally and at home.

In 1913, the final nails were driven into the political coffin of what was once the nation which approached the ideal of freedom more closely than has any nation before or since. The time was right for those who would wield power OVER the people as the world reeled unthinkingly towards the catastrophe which was to become WWI. In 1913, the US government introduced an income tax, thereby asserting a FIRST CLAIM upon the lives and freedom of their citizens. Later on that same year, the US government set up a central bank - the Federal Reserve - thereby asserting the right to full control over the medium by which a previously free people could exchange with one another. There was opposition to both these engines of government aggrandisement. The opposition was overcome. The rest is history, a history made inevitable by the simple fact that these two acts of government, above all others, made a mockery of any pretense by the US government that they presided over a free country.

Because they were not directly affected by these two events, the US remained a “paragon of freedom” to the rest of the world long after 1913. It was not “hated” by the downtrodden masses. It was hated by their rulers, all of whom feared above all else the example that the US set by simply existing. That hatred survived until the aftermath of WWII, but not for much longer. At the end of WWI, the US troops came home. At the end of WWII, they did NOT. That was the second turning point.

The Global Dissolution:

By the end of the 1960s, the global beacon of freedom which the US had held aloft to shame the tyranny engulfing most of the rest of the world was growing very dim. The US had not joined the League of Nations set up after WWI. It HAD joined the United Nations (UN) set up after WWII. By the late 1960s, the UN had comprehensively proven its hypocritical impotence. The US government was up to its neck in Vietnam. Tragic and ill-fated revolts both inside the Soviet Union and behind the “Iron Curtain” had come and gone with nothing more than pious platitudes emanating from Washington DC.

Twenty years later, at the beginning of the 1990s, the US had what proved to be its last chance to redeem the legacy of the great men who presided over its birth. The “enemy”, the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern Europe, collapsed like the “dominoes” that US policy had warned against for decades.

So what did the US government do? They could have led the rejoicing for the (almost) bloodless liberation of hundreds of millions of people from the yoke of Soviet rule. They could have taken the opportunity, as they actually did after WWI, to systematically wind back their military spending and thereby their chronic deficits. They could have removed their physical presence from the rest of the world and with it the growing resentment of peoples living under regimes propped up by the US.

The US government did none of these things. Instead, they chose to consolidate an empire which the Soviet Union could no longer contest. Their means was a war in the Middle East to “liberate” Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. This was done six months after a US State Department official assured Saddam to his face that the US government: “...Had no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts”.

The US won the war. Again, they did NOT go home. Ten years later, the inevitable “blowback” occurred with the 9/11 tragedy. Ten years after that, the Middle East is again in strife. This time, the conflict is between the regimes which have been installed and supported by the US government in their march to empire and the people who those same regimes have ruled with an iron fist. To these people, the US is not looked upon as an “exemplar” of anything - except political AND economic repression.



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Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:27 | 1024803 living on the edge
living on the edge's picture

We really are "living on the edge" bitchez.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:45 | 1025036 alpds
alpds's picture

I cannot understand why ZH, who is so skeptical of leading financial news, fed and gov., is so naive!

US Government's mandate since inception:

John Jay: "The people who own the country ought to govern it." 

Beacon of hope? NO BEACON OF BS!

James Madison, father of the constitution: 

"The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge the wants or feelings of the day-laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, — when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability."

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:50 | 1025047 alpds
alpds's picture

This frame work of people who own the country ought to govern it has existed since inception. Current policies simply make it much more blatant. Let's not glorify the past and call a spade a spade, TD! If you doubt the statement above please read Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787. It is available for free on google books.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:27 | 1025120 alpds
alpds's picture

"once the land of the brave and the home of the free, and truly a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world..."

TD, do you believe this? Since inception of the union government BY, OF and FOR "minority of the opulent!"

It is one of the freest countries on earth but let's not forget who has ALWAYS governed it. 


Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:04 | 1025222 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

does it help to have a $1.2 trillion military budget?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:42 | 1025289 thefedisscam
thefedisscam's picture

+ 1 million!! very well said!

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:20 | 1028447 essence
essence's picture


There were differences of opinion amoung the founders of the U.S.
John Jay was at one extreme. So too (albeit.. to a lesser extent) was James Madison

Why make them seem mainstream of the opinions at that time.
Anyone can pick a founding father closest to their philosophy and run with it.

Let's focus on the article by Buckner as he (rightfully) calls the institution of the Fed and Income Tax as dreadful mistakes.

And he's correct... they were/are mistakes.
The federal government became insufferably powerful at that point.

So why don't we finally correct those mistakes and restore balance.

The Federal government is a failure. It's project creep on a massive scale.
Time to downsize and the best method is to defund it by axing the fed.





Mon, 03/21/2011 - 17:25 | 1083286 alpds
alpds's picture

Why don't you look at who framed the constitution and wrote Federalist Papers for support of the union, then answer your own question?

Did the government of the founders resemble that of the people? The founders were some of the wealthiest men in the country. 


Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:36 | 1024818 Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

We hold these truths to be self-evident.....

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:40 | 1024826 knavechild
knavechild's picture

How do I get off this ride?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:27 | 1024980 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Get.Gold.Now! and silver as well.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:44 | 1025178 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


"Get.Gold.Now! and silver as well."

Yes, gold is a good investment, but only after you’ve covered your "basic bases", when food and shelter and access to water are taken care of. And when you can afford to sit on it for 5-10 years, or even longer. That will work for some of us, but not for most. Sitting on gold when you're hungry, cold, or thirsty doesn't make a lot of sense.

Our point of view at The Automatic Earth is that in the near future there will be far too many people who hold gold, but will have to sell to cover losses and/or necessities, and into a buyer's market to boot, to keep the price of gold up. Not a popular view, we know.

Where and how do we differ from the 'priests of gold'? It all comes down to the extent to which the world as we know it today is going to change. That extent is in our view greatly underestimated. In the world of finance, there is hardly any recognition of even the mere possibility that owning stocks, bonds, or even gold may not necessarily be the best way to go forward.

The main thought remains that if you have enough of something "fungible", you can always trade it and buy whatever it is you need. But that's not necessarily true. It may be the model we have grown up in, but it's by no means universal. Besides, even if you own a ton of gold, and you have water and food covered, but those around you where you live have not, what exactly is it that you have bought yourself? A prison?

Our western economic thinking is Flatland 1- (or maybe 2-) dimensional, in the sense that we think we can always buy what we don't have or can't make. That's not how it works, though. In Sri Lanka, or Guatemala, or some small town in the US in the future, you can't just come into a community and offer them a bunch of gold in return for the scarce or only water they have. There are circumstances in which water trumps gold, hard as that may be to believe living in Flatland. In a world in which water purification plants are ever more energy extensive and that energy ever more hard to come by, communities even in locations (think cities) in the US will find it increasingly harder to maintain them.

One question: where you gonna get your water? You can go weeks without food (in my case more like a year; in fact I’d probably be better off after starving for a year or so) but you need water every day. Let’s take California. Last I heard there were 24 million people in So Cal. You know where they get their water? From a tap, yeah; but when the taps stop flowing? Flick that ball socket faucet in your townhouse and a spider drops out? That’s what’d scare me, not armies of zombies or gangbangers.

There are no rivers in So Cal. Ever see the LA River? Sure you have; it’s in about a million movies. It’s where they stage those fake drag races, where T2 drove that semi. It’s a culvert with a trickle at the bottom. 23 million yuppies are going to go from worrying about hydrating every hour to slurping algae from the last puddle in that culvert.

When I was a kid there was a crazy old Okie named Cecil who used to dig wells. I haven’t heard about that job in a long time. If anyone lives long enough and has something to pay them with, the last surviving well drillers will be kings. “Here, how about I trade you my daughter here for a well, sir, your honor, your crustiness?”?I don’t even know where Fresno gets water from; I’ll google it now, see what I get. (Better google while you can, too; internet access will be restricted when the power dies.)

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:52 | 1025206 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

Good points that fall on deaf ears in many of these forums. Gold is a meaningless commodity without a working exchange market and price discovery. In situations where the "market" consists of several armed men and one goldbug, the goldbug may discover that the current exchange rate equals one human life, namely his.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 02:37 | 1025444 trav7777
trav7777's picture

huh?  gold functioned for centuries without exchanges.

Price discovery self-expresses...thus, "discovery."

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 13:57 | 1026650 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

That's the curse of these finance people.  They can't imagine a world without a constantly moving stock ticker and a chart to tell them what the current price of something is.  There's will be a populous hell.

Think of it this way: if you've been awake, conscious, and sane over the past several years, you have no excuse for not being prepared.  You have no excuse for not owing even one ounce of gold, or a bag of seeds, or some form of protection.  You have none.  People from all walks and corners of life have been braying incessantly for years now about the impending doom.  Come time for the hammer to fall, if you get caught unprepared then, quite frankly, you not only should perish, but you deserve it!  When common sense called, you shouldn't have let it go to voicemail.

So yeah, there's going to be a lot of hurt, and a lot of hate, but I did my part, and I tried to warn you.  So as I'm sitting atop my pile of canned and dried goods, guarding over it with a shotgun while my wellpump fills my tank and my animals graze peacefully in the meadow, just remember that I have an angry trigger finger, and I will remember those who scoffed and mocked.  No, not the ones who didn't prepare: hunger, disease and madness will be your reward.  No, I will remember in particular those who scoffed and mocked when I warned them that the road of Empire ultimately ends at the Abyss.

The good news: it's not too late.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 13:57 | 1026654 akak
akak's picture

Pure poetry.

Social and financial Darwinism, bitches!

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 13:59 | 1026662 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  C'mon, tell us how you really feel.... 

I am reminded of a great movie about the birth of the oil industry

"There will be blood"

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 17:18 | 1027409 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

You know I heard about some guys living on a life raft for months with a hand pumped reverse osmosis water filtration system but I for the life of me cannot find one. Do these things actually exist?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 17:22 | 1027428 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:37 | 1028476 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Why thank you sir. I'm sure we have the same taste in movies.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:40 | 1024831 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

i've told my adult children to get ready for a new way of life.  .... that the life they knew as children, full of easy times, easy money, houses & cars was over  ..... i've discussed all of us leaving the country together ......... no where to run .       SIGN ME UP FOR THE REVOLUTION.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:45 | 1025188 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

I sincerely hope they listen.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:41 | 1024832 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

I just wonder when States start seceding due to economic conditions.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:43 | 1024838 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

China, yeah, right. Cheap disposable labor under a layer of toxic filth. Yeah baybee, China is winning the kewpie doll! LMAO!

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:59 | 1024877 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture


..... " On a per capita GDP basis, China remains a poor country. As rated by the CIA on a PPP basis, the China per person GDP is $7,400 per person. This ranks China at number 128 out of 230 countries. If the official exchange rate were used, the ranking would be even lower. China is thus ranked on a per capita basis with countries like Albania, Algeria and Turkmenistan. This is hardly anything to get excited about.

The reason for the large Chinese GDP is simple: China has the largest population in the world. It is therefore rather easy for China to have a large aggregate GDP. On the other hand, it is difficult for China to have a large per capita GDP. Pushing true wealth down to the people is one of the challenges China faces over the next ten years. This provides a partial explanation for China’s continued strong growth rate. China continues to grow from a very low base. It also explains why foreign companies have an interest in the Chinese domestic market. Prospects for growth appear to be unlimited within the normal business planning time frames.

• China is not only a poor country; the distribution of income is extremely uneven. Income disparity is measured by the Gini coefficient. The higher the number, the greater the disparity. As measured by the United Nations, the Chinese Gini coefficient is 46.9. This number indicates a high disparity in income distribution. For comparison, the Gini for Japan is 24.9 and the Gini for Germany is 28.3. Even the U.S., a country of great income disparity, does better than China with a Gini of 40.8. China’s 46.9 Gini ranks it number 94 out of 128 countries measured by the UN. This places China much worse than the U.S. and on the level of countries such as Rwanda and Guinea-Bissau.

China thus faces two significant issues in the area of income. The first is that on an absolute level, the per capita income of the Chinese people remains quite low. The second is that the distribution of the meager income that is earned is distributed in a very unequal manner.This issue is discussed with great clarity in a recent article by Professor Huang Yasheng of the MIT Sloan School of Management, entitled "Rethinking the Beijing Consensus." Figure 2 on Page 11 of this article uses China's own statistics to show a truly shocking development: In Guangdong, from 1992 to 2008, real GDP per capita increased by a factor of ten. However, real income of factory workers did not increase at all. In other words, the increase in GDP did not benefit the workers. " .........


Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:05 | 1024900 reader2010
reader2010's picture

The China Story is what the Street wants the Sheeple to buy. China is a fucking joke and a timebomb. Last time I checked, they even block access to Wikipedia.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:21 | 1024919 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture


.......... " ( March 4 2011 ) - All internet phone calls will be banned apart from those made over two state-owned networks, China Unicom and China Telecom. “[This] is expected to make services like Skype unavailable in the country,” reported the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist party. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are already blocked in China and Google closed down its Chinese servers last year after heavy government pressure." ................


While the arguable non-story of China’s “Jasmine protests” enjoys excited and widespread coverage internationally, boiling over into a tug-of-war over the very real harassment of foreign journalists in China, there is one potentially great big story missing from everyone’s agenda — the mysterious death of Chinese college student Zhao Wei (??). And yet, the chilling story of Zhao Wei, who was very possibly murdered by railway authorities on his way home to Inner Mongolia during the Spring Festival rush more than a month ago, goes to the very heart of the issues and anxieties that are of most immediate relevance to all Chinese, and could contribute to demands for change.

For those of you fishing around for another news hook, let us remember that China’s powerful Railways Ministry,subject right now to one of the biggest corruption probes in memory, is involved in Zhao’s case too. They are, Xinhua reports, now charged with the official investigation, despite the possibility that their own local authorities in Daqing are culpable.

Zhao Wei’s story drew a firestorm of interest online earlier this week after a link to an open letter written by his desperate parents emerged through Sina’s microblog, or “weibo,” platform [WARNING: this link includes a photo some may find disturbing].

*Zhao, 23, a fourth-year student at Hebei University of Technology, boarded the 1301 train from Tianjin bound for Inner Mongolia on January 22, 2011. He sat in Car 12. A classmate and companion sat in Car 11.
*According to Zhao’s classmate, Zhao was taunted by a train attendant over the issue of a seat change. Zhao complained about this matter to the train conductor. *Later that night, Zhao traded seats with someone in Car 11 so that he could sit next to his classmate. He told the classmate it seemed he had somehow gotten on the train conductor’s bad side.
*At around 3 a.m. the railway police came and led Zhao away from Car 11. Zhao’s parents received a call at around 8 a.m. on the morning of January 23, 2011, saying that Zhao had jumped from a building at the Daqing Railway Station and was being treated. Unable to get clear confirmation of the hospital where their son was being treated, the parents went directly to the Daqing Railway Station, where police told them their son had already died.
*Zhao parents asked to see police photographs from the report on the alleged jump — the police said there were none and the crime scene had not been properly secured. The parents asked to see video surveillance footage — they were told the station was not equipped with video surveillance (which apparently is false).
*When family members were finally allowed to view Zhao Wei’s body, they found wounds that apparently could not be explained by his alleged jump from a building.
*All attempts by the Zhao family to petition various government offices in various jurisdictions for further investigation failed.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:40 | 1025017 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

horrible story.  why is it that our president, building on the prior president, seeks powers so similar to these and indeed asserts most of them already?  probably not for an attempt to change a train seat but perhaps for trying to tell the people of the crimes of their servants.  ask bradley manning about this, if you can. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 09:06 | 1025652 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

they were told the station was not equipped with video surveillance (which apparently is false).


same as the pentagon on 9/11...


             just looks like there are a hundred cameras covering every angle..

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 11:56 | 1026170 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

As George Bush said "dictatorship is great... as long as I'm the dictator".

That is how these asswipes think.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:47 | 1025043 akak
akak's picture

May I suggest you change your handle here to "CutandPasteMaster"?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:52 | 1025049 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

If you change yours to "No•insight•or•helpful•info•just•trolling"


Are you Chinese or a Socialist ?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:56 | 1025065 akak
akak's picture

If you change yours to "No•insight•or•helpful•info•just•trolling"

You clearly have problems with reading comprehension, or have not been paying attention --- but of course that much was already abundantly obvious.

Are you Chinese or a Socialist ?

Random neuron misfires are such a bitch.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:39 | 1025175 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

he's is such a punk, that one......smarty-pants, too. Quite the Mr. Know-it-all for a kid, huh?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:31 | 1025270 Michael
Michael's picture

Thanks for the story Spalding. This is the only way some of us get this kind of news. You just keep posting whatever you feel needs to be said and they rest of you who don't like it, Fuck Off.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 02:55 | 1025456 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

You can't surf the net? Are you handicapped or just a fucking douchebag?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:42 | 1025288 Michael
Michael's picture

The Street wants everyone to have China Envy. Why in God's name would anyone want that?

Here's my China Envy.

printing money to make the stock market go higher

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:09 | 1024906 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Good stuff. I don't care how much clownbux or technology China accumulates, the bulk of their people will always live in squalor. Even the top 1% over there don't live as well as I do and never will imo.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:23 | 1024967 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Huh. How do the top 1% in China live? I don't know much about China. How do you live?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:27 | 1024981 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

The top 1% in China have tons of cash. I think they have the most millionaires in the world. 

But its the other 1.45 Billion who live like dogs.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:35 | 1025005 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

There's that Gini Coefficient!

I wonder, though, if that metric even makes any sense. Look at the map: it's all those crappy socialist European countries that have the low coefficients:

Maybe it's better to be purple. 

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:43 | 1025031 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

thank you.  bookmarked.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:43 | 1025033 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

Wowzers ...

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:35 | 1025009 reader2010
reader2010's picture

You fucking kidding me? China has the most billionaries in the world?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:42 | 1025029 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture


Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:29 | 1025146 reader2010
reader2010's picture

In Zimbabwe, everyone is at least a fucking millionaire.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 03:55 | 1025502 MountainLotus
MountainLotus's picture

Not True. Though, Chinese government is communist, when they do a good job - give them credit, when they do something bad - give them critic. Don't always look away from the truth just only that they are communist.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 09:26 | 1025703 Breaker
Breaker's picture

"...Chinese government is communist..."

No they aren't. They are fascist. In fact, it's fair to say the world system is converging on fascism as the most common way to structure political and economic power. The US has moved hard in that direction over the post 4-6 years.

Regrettably, it's almost impossible to use the word fascist precisely. The word has been so misused by the Western left over the years to describe anyone who disagrees with them about anything. Fascism is a form of socialism in which private ownership of corporations is allowed (and large profits therefrom are allowed) as long as the "owners" do what the government wants or, more nobly put, as long as they conform their behavior to the social and economic goals of the state. Also, large chunks of those profits need to end up in the pockets of those who govern. It's is therefore, a much more lucrative system for the ruling class than traditional socialism.

It should sound familiar to anyone living in China or America.





Mon, 03/07/2011 - 09:41 | 1025732 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Nicely put.... Unions are also put under pressure in fascism...

An easy way to visulize it is as a three-legged stool consisting of

1) State

2) Corporations

3) Labor

Communism is when you kick out 2),  Fascism is when you kick out 3)

The success of modern Germany is in part due to the rough balance between all three legs...

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:58 | 1025064 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

How do you live?

Well. It isn't always a matter of money, also, I don't have to fork over my fortune to keep from being executed:

I would not trade places with any of the millionaires who live in nyc most of the time.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:15 | 1025110 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

But, but, but I thought in one year they would be the new reserve currency. 

Forget the lack of a social safety net, forget about the cooked books in all the businesses, the lies, the human right issues. I thought the world was ready to make them a safe haven, they would expand their military around the globe, oil would back their currency, commodities would be traded in yuan in the global market place, forex, letters of credit from all the top global banks would use the yuan ???

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:19 | 1025124 akak
akak's picture

You make jousting with strawmen look like such fun!

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:37 | 1025170 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

That comment was joining me in mocking the author.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:08 | 1024907 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Maybe China is a giant swarm of carnivorous bees and the United States is a great and powerful wolf who has collapsed in the forest (next to the hive of the giant swarm of carnivorous bees) due to some malady or maybe blood loss due to a large sliver in its paw? Or maybe not.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:27 | 1024966 JonTurk
JonTurk's picture

doesnt matter China is poor or rich... what matters is that they are feeding you stupid joe sixpacks by supporting your toilet paper fiat. but it is going to change sooner than later. when Middle East falls and oil is gone, kiss goodbye to the Empire... keep watching the safe heaven status of your USD while drinking your beer

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:05 | 1025019 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

I have no debt, I don't drink beer and Ben owns the press for the US Dollar. China funded the treasury purchases with an equal amount of yuan debt. Also, 60% of GDP is from construction ( bubble ). Trade net imports only 5% of China's economy. Investment driven economy, one building is done being built, they must build another. ( bubble ) China 70% of economy driven by investment. Expanding credit 3 times faster than the economy ( see video below ) -


Total loans outstanding in China at the end of 2009 was well over 40 trillion RMB

• ( Local Debt ) •To be sure, I now think most of this debt will not realize by YE 2011 also. However, it would not be far-fetched to think that most of this debt will be realize by YE 2012. This estimate is not "baseless" as it comes from the hundreds of lines of credit that banks have granted to local governments. As long as banks more or less adhere to these lines of credit, they will lend this amount to local governments at some point in the future.

B. Although the State Council has called for more caution in lending to local investment vehicles, we still see local governments aggressively trying to raise money from the banks. Hubei, for example, has an investment plan worth 12 trillion RMB, and plans on investing 6 trillion RMB between now and 2012 (please see Of the 6 trillion, at least 3 trillion will come from bank loans and other forms of debt. If Hubei is able to realize its ambition, we are already 1/4 of the way toward my 12.7 trillion estimate. Thus, unless the central government harshly restricts overall credit, I think local governments at the provincial and municipal levels will have no trouble borrowing an additional 12.7 trillion by YE 2011 or 2012.To be sure, I now think most of this debt will not realize by YE 2011 also. However, it would not be far-fetched to think that most of this debt will be realize by YE 2012. This estimate is not "baseless" as it comes from the hundreds of lines of credit that banks have granted to local governments. As long as banks more or less adhere to these lines of credit, they will lend this amount to local governments at some point in the future.
B. Although the State Council has called for more caution in lending to local investment vehicles, we still see local governments aggressively trying to raise money from the banks. Hubei, for example, has an investment plan worth 12 trillion RMB, and plans on investing 6 trillion RMB between now and 2012 (please see Of the 6 trillion, at least 3 trillion will come from bank loans and other forms of debt. If Hubei is able to realize its ambition, we are already 1/4 of the way toward my 12.7 trillion estimate. Thus, unless the central government harshly restricts overall credit, I think local governments at the provincial and municipal levels will have no trouble borrowing an additional 12.7 trillion by YE 2011 or 2012.



• ( Video ) •

Chanos: 'China's real problem' ,,,



Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:52 | 1025053 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Keep telling yourself that over and over. LMAO!!

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:40 | 1025286 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

When the elite are through with China they'll be beating feet to India or somewhere else.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:44 | 1024842 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Holy oil batman

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:45 | 1024843 fragrantdingleberry
fragrantdingleberry's picture

When you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.

- An old saying from another war America lost

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:46 | 1024850 wintermute
wintermute's picture

The UK is going the same way.

Individual freedom is under attack as never before. The government is so large that it wants to intervene in every aspect of people's lives - from cradle to grave.

The surveillance society is as bad as anything George Orwell wrote about. Walk across London and you will be recorded on 1,000 video cameras.

The internet is a beacon of hope to stem this malaise. But is that enough?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:02 | 1024895 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The Internet is but a tool. Tools don't build or fix things. People with tools build and fix things.

The Internet by itself can be a powerful tool.......but ultimately "we the people" must look within and summon our courage, then pick up this and many other tools and take back what we essentially willingly handed over.

Got courage?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:10 | 1024913 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Thanks, C.D.!

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:31 | 1025156 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Cognitive Dissonance

"The Internet by itself can be a powerful tool.......but ultimately "we the people" must look within and summon our courage, then pick up this and many other tools and take back what we essentially willingly handed over."

Dude I think you misunderstood the quality of those using the internet.

Ponder this, before the internet there was no NSFW. That's right NOT SAFE FOR WORK didn't exist as a concept. Sure individuas may have come to work high or drunk or even slipped to the bathroom to read. But they had the COMMON SENSE that certain things were not done because you were there to WORK. Now it's so common a term had to be created.

And that doesn't include those who MERELY post while at work.

We have had a serious decline in the quality of the American populace.

This quote from Millennium sums it up nicely.

Frank: Do you mind my asking: you're writing a book, yet you don't believe any of the prophecies?
Jose: At the start of the nineties, they predicted major breakthroughs for the neurosciences: the 'Decade of the Brain'. Instead, it was the decade of ... body-piercing. Now why should the millennium predictions be more accurate?"
Frank: "The religious component. Do you not believe in God either?
Jose: Oh, there are times when I've been a devout believer. And there are some times I have been a staunch atheist, and there've been times when I've been both ... during the same course of the same sexual act.
Frank: Don't be dark. Personally, I think this is a very significant time in mankind's history.
Jose: But that's what every man throughout history has said about his time.


Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:55 | 1024869 reader2010
reader2010's picture

They are willing to trade liberty for their lifestyle. 

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:13 | 1025106 ehildret
ehildret's picture

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin


ZH'ers are keenly aware of this quote but, it never goes out of style.


This quote has been posted in my home for several years.  Trying to get the meaning of it into my two teens' brains... they say " ya I got it dad"  "not again -ugghhh."

I think they do get it on the surface, maybe a level beyond.  


The events we discuss here, at ZH, they aren't quite ready for... I've tested the water and know they are not ready- they need more history and wisdom.  Helping them with it every day.


My boys are strong and smart (every parent says that I know)... I do consider if a draft will be enacted and our reaction to it should WWIII be declared by our corrupt congress.  I hear Vancouver is a nice place to live!  Just can't fight to the death (sacrifice my boys) to defend corruption.  If it became about defending liberty-we might not move to Vancouver


We have been making preparations since late 2010.  Got silver at $27.25 avg, and many other items to endure the 'great transition' that is coming our way.


Don't believe in mad max scenario.  Something a lot less catastrophic but still painful for those not prepared.


Like most of you- people I know can't/won't hear any truth. In fact, they defend the status quo and use the same phraseology we get from TV- pick any network.



Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:46 | 1025169 reader2010
reader2010's picture

Forget about Canada. When the shit hits the fan, the entire North America has already become one soverign nation aka the NAU. All boyz will be drafted to die for the oligarchies and that's for sure. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 05:17 | 1025516 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Keep teaching them to think right!  I'm of a similar mind and we've got our SHTF pad all ready to go, but it is considerably further away that a 20 minute drive from the WA border.  Vancouver is beautiful but if .gov starts getting more grabby than it is already (i.e. drafting) they'll have to travel a bit further for my kids.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 21:55 | 1024870 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture


Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:01 | 1024880 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

It's a rambling article that tries to connect the dots between loss of 'freedom', wars, the declaration of independence and income tax. It's a stretch. Any time historians try to portray anything in the deep past as inherently "good" and "innocent", they're just falling prey to a naive human impulse. We all believe that the "golden age" occurred when we were roughly between the ages of 6 and 12. 

The world is complex, life is messy, there is very little black and white but mostly shades of gray. What is considered just and right at one point in time may not be true later or before. 

The US has made the voyage from what we now call a "frontier economy" to a "developing nation" and emerged as a global power near the turn of the 19th century. Yes, there is a life-cycle and it's at a mature stage. 

When looking back there will be more mistakes than victories, more defeats than triumphs. Is that a surprise? Most people go though life this way as do societies. 

The key question is: can you as an individual stand to share part of your national prosperity and living standard with rebels in the MENA? Are you willing to give up a good deal of the luxuries and privileges you take for granted in the name of freedom for someone half a world away who may profess to hate you? 

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:03 | 1024897 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

The 'golden' age is happening for me now! Buy gold!

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:08 | 1024904 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Sh*t yeah. We're 'golden' around here :-)

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:09 | 1025101 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

personally i think the golden age was about 1964 to 1980, but it had precious little to do with fiscal or monetary policy.  military, perhaps.  vietnam turbocharged things early on and gave it all a moral resonance (in opposition, of course).  

but the actual screws in the coffin, imo, were the domestic changes wrought by the world wars, the cold war and the war on terrorism.  imo the national security state and the powers it demands are more dangerous than an income tax or a central bank, however a central bank run by private banks is exceptionally scary (as is reading the first amendment as giving unlimited power to corporations to fund politicians who write laws affecting them).

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:13 | 1025102 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

p.s. i think c e above means turn of the twentieth century (always the new).

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:17 | 1024937 VyseLegendaire
VyseLegendaire's picture

I'm an anarchist myself, so I don't think the US government was ever 'truly free', but I think the author is right that 1913 was the beginning of the end.  There was no 'golden age' but at least entrepeneurs had some sort of chance here, versus the poverty they faced at home.  

Now thats all fading away.

I don't see government/social cycles as life cycles as you appear to. There didn't have to be any government at all.  Its only our repeated mistakes that have led to the repeating disasters we see throughout history.  If we free enough minds, the world may reach an equilibrium without massive, man-made social breakdowns and upheavals.

Flame suit on. 

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:38 | 1025015 JohnG
JohnG's picture

No flames here.

The ending of large civilizations just don't work like that.

Never have.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:35 | 1025166 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


"I'm an anarchist myself,"

Which kind?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:25 | 1025257 gwar5
gwar5's picture

No need to be sad. Party like you're Charlie Sheen now.

When the the music stops you'll have something to talk about after the dance.





Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:19 | 1024939 Jake3463
Jake3463's picture

It really isn't a choice on the matter of are you willing to take a lower standard of living and freedom for people half the world away that hate you.


The math is rather simple, the US no longer has power to protect the despots, bribe their people, or even take the despot down.


It is what happens to all Empires eventually, a life cycle of them.


Spain was the largest power in Europe for all the gold it looted during the exploration phase of the looting of the Aztec and Inca civilizations in Central America and Mexico, problem is that after the looting was done and the gold was exhausted the Spanish were never really able to turn the places to profitable enterprises and they lost a naval war with the British that everyone thought they would win because the British adopted different naval tactics and there was some horrible weather, next thing you know the sun never sets on the British empire.


Great Britain was propped up by the colonies it created where raw materials were exported and manufacture in England 


America was built on innovation, cheap food, and lots of space.


After WWII the British no longer had the ability to keep the natural resources flowing.


As for who is the next great power, it is the power that has the ability to project force and impose its will on its neighbors, than on countries further away.


China has certainly started flexing its will in Asia, question is does it get out of Asia. 



Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:55 | 1025211 zaknick
zaknick's picture

I think you might be correct. I was reading an article by Ray McGovern on DoD secretary Gates (a Bush stooge all his life) where he says something like,
"Anybody recommeding sending an army onto the Asian or African continent should have their heads examined".

You'll notice he didn't mention South America. Colombia's last resident, Alvaro Uribe Velez, was a C!A approved paramilitary drug trafficker and his last act in office was to award a huge no-bid ckntract to build a superhighway to Panama, making it possible for the first time to drive from Texas to the Patagonia.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 11:18 | 1026050 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

It's a rambling article...

I just finished reading my own copy of The Privateer, which I pay an annual subscription to receive.   What you read is a small part of 12 pages of coherent commentary.  I'm wondering if there is anything to be gained by ZH by posting a tiny morsel of a larger feast.   Bill Buckler has been spot on, however early, since I subscribed a forgotten number of years ago.   I continued to accumulate gold and silver since I became a Privateer fan as far back as 1998.   I sold all stocks and closed my IRA just a couple of months before the tech crash and converted the funds into metals.   Buckler has helped me keep my eye on the ball in spite of the naysayers for years.   So, your criticism of the "article" is valid, but see it for what it is: It's only one fleeting thought in a larger mental picture.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 12:01 | 1026193 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

"The US has made the voyage from what we now call a "frontier economy" to a "developing nation" and emerged as a global power near the turn of the 19th century. Yes, there is a life-cycle and it's at a mature stage. "


The US is the only great world power to go from barbarism to decadence with no period of high culture in between.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:03 | 1024891 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Netherlands too. Uncontrolled hangouts for artists being closed down, ever increasing number of cameras, with face recognition software on it. Bare nonsense from the MSM, about world events, and especially the economy. It only points to one thing:

They messed up, all of it, before they could finish the NWO control machine, it's all going to hell, and they're shit scared. (And so they should be!)

GMO pathogen bitchez!!

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:03 | 1024894 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

Also watch The Century of The Self & The Trap, two excellent BBC documentaries on Pshycoanalysts and their long relationship with corporations and politics. Most of the 20th century has been a big mindfuck, led by people who don't really know what they're doing.



Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:19 | 1024946 Milton Waddams
Milton Waddams's picture

Thank you for recommending The Trap. I have seen Century of Self and found it incredibly illuminating. A hilarious and terrifying tidbit on The Trap from wikipedia:

Curtis's narration concludes with the observation that the game theory/free market model is now undergoing interrogation by economists who suspect a more irrational model of behaviour is appropriate and useful. In fact, in formal experiments the only people who behaved exactly according to the mathematical models created by game theory are economists themselves, and psychopaths.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 02:56 | 1025457 trav7777
trav7777's picture

it's deeper than that.

The abundance and miraculous nature of oil have led masses of people to believe things which simply aren't true.

I mean, jeez, look at the population charts...look at what the age of the machine has led to.  You used to have to have real live animals lug you or else walk to get anywhere.  Either way, some living, breathing, shitting lifeform was doing it.  Once coal was harnessed and geniuses like Watt gave us steam power, overnight it was possible to do the unimaginable.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:05 | 1024903 Twindrives
Twindrives's picture

And we still have Frick Obama and Frack Biden in power in the U.S. 

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:14 | 1024922 living on the edge
living on the edge's picture

Yep, and Frick and Frack are disgusting jokes. Fitting leaders for a dying empire.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 09:14 | 1025676 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

but can they fiddle?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:17 | 1024936 billwilson
billwilson's picture

"With each passing day, Chinese superiority is becoming ever more palpable"

Now that is a pretty crazy statement! Modern China is built on a base of sand. One good shake and look out.  Sometime within the next 3 years look for a major Chinese crisis. You simply can't grow as fast as they have done without exploding at some point. I first went there in 1983, so I know how far and fast they have come, but I also know how unstable it all is.

As somone pointed out there have only been two times when a country has had FX reserves as a percentage of world GDP at higher levels. - the US in 1929 and Japan in the late 80's. We'll see,.


Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:22 | 1024964 Jake3463
Jake3463's picture

Superpowers spring up by first enforcing their will on their neighbors.


England was not a contender till the Spanish Armanda sunk.


England was not the world superpower until Waterloo.


Frankly, the Chinese have to dominate a smaller neighbor like Japan and than totally sink something like India before they are even a superpower, let alone the superpower.


Fact is on this, the US has no longer been able to control it's mideast puppet states as easily as they were in the post WWII era.  We've had hicups in the region for years.  Whether this is a hicup or the start of a long decline in America all depends on where the new leaders look to, to supply arms for crowd control when the revolution doesn't result in the utopia the serfs thought they were getting. 

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:54 | 1025061 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

could your military explanation (the armada, waterloo, the implicit u.s. emerging from ww2 nearly unscathed economically) have been made obsolete by nuclear weapons?  certainly the lessons of warfare since ww2 make invasion and occupation look like a net negative for the invader (china dominate japan and sink india). 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 05:32 | 1025517 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

I agree.  People (who don't study Chinese history) mistake China for a rising superpower when a better definition would be "hegemon."  They seek CONTROL and military projection ismerelythe crudestand most expensive way to make this happen.  Nukes are the dream of a Chinese geo-political strategist because they allow for the explicit focus on other means of control.  Certainly they enlarging their military, but are they a threat to their neighbors?  Taiwan and Tibet are cultural considerations and proof that China only expands VERY cautiously.  Does anyone contend that China is conquering threat to Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Japan?  No the PRC is only a threat to their own people.  Napoleon, Hitler, or Manifest Destiny would have made mincemeat out of the aforementioned nations.  The Chinese are content to pull the strings, collect the tribute, and run the show.

And as for China being an economic basket case, I say:  so?  They'll still pull through better than anyone else in what's coming.  The USSR was a nightmare in the 20s and guess who just kept on growing through the 30s?  I realize this is a simplistic argument and that China is more interconnected and the Soviets had massive setbacks like the man-made famine in Ukraine.  My point is that totalitarian states run differently and are more resilient than you can imagine - especially if they have been stockpiling commodities and weapons for decade, sealing up resource pits across the globe and have the world reserve currency by the short hairs.

On second thought, Russian Far Easterners may want to bone up on Mandarin in case I'm wrong.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 10:09 | 1025794 trav7777
trav7777's picture

the USSR had oil.

So did the US

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 05:57 | 1025523 Jake3463
Jake3463's picture

Nuclear weapons work great as a deterrent to an action.   As a mechanism of control over other populations not so much.


The ability to project power Nuclear weapons are only good for convincing another party that if they try to take you out, you will end them as well or do damage in some suicidal gesture.


The ability to project power, is the ability to get other people to do what you want them to do.  Frankly the wealth myth right now in America, complete with Michael Moore delusionally telling a crowd of angry overpaid teachers that America is not broke.


After all when you think about it, even the entire taxation argument, what do the wealthy really own?  Shares in fraudulent bankrupt state enterprises, worthless $ IOU coupons and some foreign assets that will be repatriated rather quickly the minute the foreigners think that the US Military is incapable of helping the wealthy here from enforcing their property claims. 


The world is run on energy.  2000 years ago Rome was great because they had the agricultural base and infrastructure to deliver food to armies to control most of the known western and middle eastern civilizations and exert taxes.


Right now, the US is the power because our currency, our worthless IOU coupons from our government are used as the means for nations to purchase oil, the modern day equivalent of grain because it moves all the machinery that makes food or produces goods that buys food.


At the end of the day, the only thing we have is our worthless government coupons to trade for the energy product and the tinpot dictators who we propped up in the region to take our worthless coupons to purchase a few guns to control their serfs and a few blonde prostitutes to polish their nobs are having trouble controlling their serfs because the worthless IOUs we send them get them less food to pacify the serfs. 

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:53 | 1025204 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

Steve Jobs likes it there. They make him oodles of those IPADS and he ships them here and dumps the chinese made junk on us. etc etc etc.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:19 | 1024938 Rockford
Rockford's picture

Tyler with all due respect, take us to the next chapter. Speaking for myself I do not require more charts, graphs, symbols, buzz words, analogies, videos, or bears with English accents to tell me the U.S. is finished.

Arg.. the solution to my capthcha is a number only divisible by prime numbers. The Illuminati win again.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:18 | 1024942 Misean
Misean's picture

Looks like the second stage has just kicked in. Buh Bye 36?

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:19 | 1024944 mynhair
mynhair's picture

Reward bad behavior - vote Obama in 2012.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:41 | 1025024 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Dude, are you trying to get junked or are you just wierd?  Perhaps you've been drinking?

This ain't Marketwatch.  :)

Think before posting.  Ensure that it is relevant.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 02:52 | 1025453 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Dude, are you trying to get junked or are you just wierd?  Perhaps you've been drinking?

Weird, definitely weird!  I'm reading a beach chair's response to a cat! :>D

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:20 | 1024948 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture


...didn't mention the gold/dollar seperation in '71.  its huge since the OPEC embargo was not that long ago.  many arabs in power today were alive when the dollar was however briefly, worthless.  so they really DO know what can happen....and will happen when you devalue a currency.  and are stunned and angry the US is doing exactly that.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:10 | 1025234 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Seems I read that OPEC has also been secretly paid a percentage in gold under the table all these years to ensure they keep oil priced in dollars and they buy UST with petrodollars in a money pump.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 11:29 | 1026082 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

There was mention of the events of 1971, Nixon, etc.   ZH can't publish the whole 12 pages.   Here is a taste of that part:

The “Market” For Money:
All that changed on August 15, 1971. On that date, the US government did not “devalue” its currency, it eliminated the means by which creation of ever increasing amounts of the currency could be held in check. Under the Bretton Woods system, a deviation of more than 1.0 percent from the “par” values of currencies against the US Dollar and hence against each other was a trigger for action by the IMF and/or the World Bank to take steps to force the offending nation to bring its borrowing and spending policies back into line. When the US government abandoned the fixed “par” between the US Dollar and Gold by making the US Dollar no longer redeemable in Gold by ANYBODY, it destroyed any pretense that governments intended to honour their obligations in terms of a medium of exchange whose purchasing power was beyond manipulation. That led directly to a new phenomenon. Instead of money being the fixed item in the setting of market prices, the world entered an era of “floating” currencies in which “markets” set the exchange rates of money. The result was then and continues to be monetary chaos.
The era of 1947-67 was one of low interest rates because the purchasing power of money remained comparatively constant. Over that entire 20-year period, US consumer prices (which were much more honestly “measured” than they are today) rose by a total of 2.6 percent. The era of 1995 to date has been an era of low interest rates because the gargantuan debts piled up over 40 years of “floating currencies” can only be serviced at such low rates. But today, the push is on for central banks to raise rates

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:21 | 1024958 knavechild
knavechild's picture

I was terrible at math in school, but this end-of-the-world stuff is easy. Fiat=worthless, pm's=precious. I knew I'd get the hang of it eventually.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:25 | 1024975 LongShortSally
LongShortSally's picture

Michael Moore in Wisconsin - 

Don't know about his claim that "America is not broke" - I may beg to differ on that point, but check out his speech, including this little tidbit: 

"Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true."

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:08 | 1025100 Jake3463
Jake3463's picture

The wealth myth in America.

Frankly those 400 people are in a shit load of trouble.

Many years ago gold and silver could be used to buy food which in turn could be converted to energy either by feeding pack animals to do manual labor or human beings.  The original clean energy.  Grain was the oil before the internal combustion engine came about.  Gold and silver while having some purposes were mainly just a store of value that could be exchanged.


Our economy is totally fixed on a resource that the largest reserves are held in nations that have hostile populations to our worldview.  


Whether there is an alternative, we should drill more here, etc are things that are open for debate.  Simple fact is that, the $ is nothing more than a government IOU which can be given to a foreigner to get energy which provides the resources the government needs. 


What you have right now is not 400 people who hold the keys to supply of the energy source the economy runs on, you have 400 people with access to the most US government issued IOUs that can be in turn traded for energy.


Since wealth is measured in $ right now, and all $s are is a commitment to the US Government, wealth is measured in your connection to the political system and its decisions.  


What you have is 400 people with the most access to the political system, which is what wealth is.   Sure some of them may have diversified into Gold and Silver and other traditional stores of wealth, but for the most part their entire access to wealth is the ability of them to convert government IOUs to something foreigners want in exchange for their energy.  Food, sports cars, watches, gold etc.


You could tax those 400 people 100% and it wouldn't mean a lick of difference in the "wealth" problem.  


Fact is we took the energy we pulled out of the ground and used it on stupid shit and we are having trouble convincing the people who take our IOUs backed by nothing to take as many of them for the commodity.


What we have in the US right now is the problem Louis XVI had in France prior to the revolution.  Massive debt, a nobility under him that had no interest in sharing, and a population of serfs he had to cut the rations.  He had an overall wealth problem as well as he and his predecessor had squandered mostly on wars with the English.





Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:01 | 1025220 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Michael Moore is an oversized gravy boat. He has a high school diploma to prove he knows nothing. 

He stiffed the studio unions so he's a bad communist too. Of course were broke.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 03:02 | 1025458 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Moore makes multi millions on this stuff. His credibility is shot.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 12:08 | 1026215 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Yeah ha ha. Like Ralph Nader, great champion of other peoples' employees. His own employees, not so much.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:27 | 1024976 monopoly
monopoly's picture

It is a process. Not gonna blow up all at once, in a week, month or year. It is a slow decline of a once great power. We can no longer be the peace keeper of the world, we are broke.

We can no longer assert our will on peoples that despise us. Many still correctly blame this country for many of the ills that have occured the last 3 years. Here, we do not even hold up our own laws and take to task those responsible for this financial carnage.

We are losing our esteem, our status on the planet, we are lying to our citizens, advising all is much better. We have politicians that are no better than the slime of the earth. Give me my 35 million, fresh flowers, re-elect me and I will give you whatever you want. 4% of the population control most of the wealth in this country. Our middle class is slowly being wiped out. You lose your job for $120,000.00 get another for $45,000.00 and you are gainfully employed. That does not show up on govt. statistics.

Keep the people ignorant, tell them what they want to some point the march of the drums will rule. But it is going to take time. But for now we BTFD!!!

Most of us over 40 may be ok. But what about our kids. For them it may be over as we know it.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:51 | 1025052 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

my thoughts exactly.   anyone who reads my comments is familiar with the lament "what about our kids & grandkids ?" ........ what about the elderly, what about the little ones, what about the 25-year olds ...........fucking mess, this is where i become so livid.  

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:50 | 1025192 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

Well with Obama care, the elderly will be taken care of.........

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:50 | 1025195 gwar5
gwar5's picture

I agree, but also think we're being robbed right here, right now.

Debasement of the USD is stealing from everybody right now while most people are still asleep in their beds and don't realize what is happening. Kids and grandkids will get a debt reset, but it will put them in a 2nd world nation. They'll blame us and become full time plug pullers.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 05:38 | 1025519 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

It's a familiar lament that needs to be heard.  I've got very little ones of my own but my alter ego is a teacher and it actually rips my stone cold heart out sometimes and on occasion causes it to beat when I have to kick their butts into the "Real World" to be screwed and no generation has been screwed before them.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:35 | 1025276 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Were we really the peacekeepers of the world?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 01:28 | 1025308 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

One way to salvage what little is left of our national honor, while simultaneously liberating our children and the world...

Guillotines, bitches!

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:27 | 1024979 kato
kato's picture

this is a weak piece. i was looking forward that the author might have actually had some points to make and back up. instead, blather. too many negative writers are just baying at the moon and throwing out a few anecdotes. next...

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 11:34 | 1026106 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

The "piece" is incomplete.  As I stated above, I see little benefit in publishing a small part of the larger picture that was laid out in the current issue of The Privateer.   There isn't much to be gained from the narrow view of the "piece" when it is taken out of context.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:39 | 1025020 Jake3463
Jake3463's picture

America is still fighting yesterday's war.  A common occurrence in nations that reach our status.  Like the French building a fortified wall on their border with Germany during the 1920s and 1930s.


The US ceasing to be the symbol of freedom in the world is more result of the symbol of repression, the Soviets disappearing from the world stage.  Our behavior hasn't changed that much radically as a nation in 100 years on the international stage.  We were nicer to areas we occupied than the British and we were nicer than the Soviets in the post-WWII era.


Problem is right now, there is no Soviet boogyman in the world.  Frankly the Russians were our greatest gift, we got more shit out of people offering to protect them from the communist.  Without a russian boogeyman, the prospect of controlling the rest of the world got harder. 




Sun, 03/06/2011 - 22:43 | 1025030 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

hey i recal a country that made such crap food people died eating it, they had to invent a food and drug admin, to over sea food production so scrupulous business men didnt  poison the masses.


i recal a country that didnt like copywright laws so freely stole english books and published them as their own.  a great writer, charles dickens went on a tour of america, as it was the only way he could get cash for his books, as americans wouldnt pay intelectual copywrite to his publisher.


seems karma is a a bitch

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 10:12 | 1025809 trav7777
trav7777's picture

you can recall this country?  WTF are you, 190 years old?

Enough with this "sins of the father" shit...

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:34 | 1025162 kdervin
kdervin's picture

Something else happened in 1913 too:  the size of the House of Representatives was locked in at 435.

It's a lot easier to buy and own representatives when you keep the number under control.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 09:25 | 1025697 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 Very astute observation...IIRC, actually it was 1911. If the House had the same ratio as as it did in 1833, the number of reps would be 10000.

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:43 | 1025181 gwar5
gwar5's picture

The Federal Reserve Act did us in. We was robbed, they ran a sneak play on us to get it passed. America has been conscripted to fight wars for the banks ever since. 

Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:57 | 1025187 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Chinese superiority !!!!!

OMFG can it possibly get any more sublime around here?

The ignorance is astounding-

think America is full of selfish grown children?

well the single child policy in China makes the latest generations of Americans look overtly generous.

besides as the population ages it is a blueprint for socio economic disaster. How will that work exactly? Massive money printing there is no other way.

think power and wealth are concentrated in the US?

the chinese doling out of assets to loyal commie lieutenants, one guy I am familiar with runs the local power company, chemical company, paint company, paper company and does not have one single ounce of formal education- makes US corruption seem benign.

where does this staggering ignorance come from exactly?

maybe from anything but first hand experience?


Chinese superiority? They building the world's largest amusement park and laying all the concrete via three man crews, if one needs electricity, the patch into hot wires and a guy stands there manually fanning the splice,

to get electrical components means going into people';s homes where 8yo's are assembling them to the ceiling.

the country is massively overbuilt but they cannot stop because it is 60% of the economy.

ever heard of the chinese cough? go there you will get it.

chances the yuan become the world's standard bearer are between zilch and none and sorry without a replacement for the dollar world commerce is still 65% conducted in them and willl remain so.

their problems make the US look grander than ever.

maybe the first ammendment should be repealed so anyone can invent any old story about what the fukk is actually going on in the US.


BTW as an aside I do think it is wonderful how liberal social silicon valley is supporting one of the most oppressive regimes in the world with their technology. 







Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:00 | 1025218 Misean
Misean's picture

Sounds positively Dickensian. A powerful country could never arise of such squalor.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:26 | 1025232 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

To these people, the US is not looked upon as an “exemplar” of anything - except political AND economic repression."


 They are unabated experts at political and economic repression to suggest otherwise is beyond asinine.

They rent white people to lend credibility to their enterprise.




Deal with the Chinese for two days, I dare any person who thinks China is anything but a corrupt as hell 3rd world dunghole who exploits the crap out of their people. Sure the coasts are developed and modern but the interior is caveman like.


more empty office space in Beijing than there is office space in Manhattan. But they can't stop building more and more. Unfortunately a Beijing U finance prof had a blog but they yanked him offline when he posted that gem.


how about this one, they building a paper recycling plant,

they need recycled pulp to run it,

Americans tried to import it but after bribing 15 people,

hiring a famous newscaster to face the enterprise,(find out quickly with audiences in the hundred million plus range newscasters/talk show people have immense power-between them the politicians and the local commie lieutenants who are assigned control of the assets they run just about the entire show-likewise these fabled governed by think tanks are a myth, they are like a slow moving enormous ship, takes decades to change course)

shipping the crap halfway around the globe they faced news headlines-American's shipping trash to China.

The plant still isn't running despite being ready to go 24months ago.


or this, in one  city, the government controls the coal which controls the heat-they will not turn it on until it is below 0degrees C for three consecutive days and even then they keep the local factories cold because the local commie believes cold workers work harder.

they are not allowed to burn wood to heat themselves,

the entire town basically freezes it's collective ass off until the dictator says otherwise? I wonder if he has any heat.


They have all the money, all the resources supposedly,


so where is the state of the art innovation? Where the Chinese drugs? Where is the chinese technology? Where is any kind of return to mankind for all this money and resources they are accumulating? At least Japan and Germany before them used our money to innovate a little bit. Most scaffolding is bamboo to the clouds.

Doesn't exist-they have cheap ass exploitative labor and that's all folks, they have state of the art manufacturing equipment but it is almost all imported technology. These are westerners setting up western plants with western equipment being run by exploited labor.


Mon, 03/07/2011 - 00:45 | 1025296 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Truthfully folks, the world has become a much more complicated place than the guy who wrote this piece cares to consider.

I have traveled all over the place during this period. It is simplistic to assert Americans are universally disliked. Buzzwords like beacons of freedom and global oppressor don't work in a wired world. Americans who don't fly around in helicopters for a living are still very much liked just about everywhere.

Those "freedom fighters" in MENA all love Big Macs, iPhones, Hollywood and uTube. Who is the good guy saving them from the evil USA? Mark Zuckerberg?

You need to drill deeper to construct a model explaining what is happening. It has lots to do with empowerment of the crowd. And the crowd does not seem to be screaming for or against anything specific other than getting rid of corruption and obscene greed.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 01:26 | 1025371 reader2010
reader2010's picture

all they want is sex, drugs and rock-n-rolls.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 01:51 | 1025407 Hillbillyfreak
Hillbillyfreak's picture

".... getting rid of corruption and obscene greed."  Coming soon to a country near you?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 01:58 | 1025413 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

good to get some fresh blood in here, WmB7 - everybody else going to bed here in US. you are spot on... I read your last sentence as "get the fuck off me and give me a chance to better my life"

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 03:05 | 1025462 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

I read your last sentence as "get the fuck off me and give me a chance to better my life"

It's time for ALL U.S. citizens to say the same thing to their so-called Govt!

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 07:49 | 1025559 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Very nice WB7.  Nothing beats front line experience.

I haven't a clue how the US can emerge from its current critical state;  if it is even possible, I have less idea how China can come through in any way short of disaster.

I might add that in my several decades of time living in Asia, I have not found that the Chinese have endeared themselves to anyone.  Every emerging power has its "ugly" stage;  China's came early and it lingers.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 11:41 | 1026121 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Truthfully folks, the world has become a much more complicated place than the guy who wrote this piece cares to consider.


Love ya, William.   Wish you could have enjoyed all 12 pages of the "article".   Buckler covers the U. S., Europe, MENA, Australia, and China.   It all fits together as a piece, but the "article" above ain't it.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 01:13 | 1025351 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Wheres Thomas Jefferson when you need him...?

Hopium is not cutting it.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 03:47 | 1025474 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression. "



this would be called neo con by today's standards,

the fed as the largest employer, lender, borrower, consumer, landlord, renter, real property owner et al is why free market capitalism is a failure just ask around.

Who was Bernie's biggest partner? Who is Wall St and the banks biggest partners? Who makes the most from gasoline and every other commodity?

They can post about the bankers and big business greed till their fingers fall off-without crass commercialization many things would not be available to the masses-if the commies or Arabs had discovered air travel for instance would their goal be to make it available to as many as possible to make as much money as possible or would they have kept it for the elite as long as humanly possible? 

it is nothing compared to how the FED has swallowed up this country. Look at health insurance a classic example, the fed does anything but promote competition, instead they have been used by the existing industry to make it virtually impossible for competition to enter the market by erecting insurmountable barriers to entry-by using state rights to limit competitors and uniformity, like if every state had a differing cell phone protocols, the costs would prohibitive. Why are the insurance companies profitting from every single office visit instead of just insuring catastrophic risk? Because of the medicare model why else?


The corruption is largely borne off of the size and scope of the federal government if it was significantly smaller, the corruption would be significantly less, the competition more and the consumer benefitting greater as much as the neo marxists want to deny it. Every added beaurocrat not only increases the potential for more corruption but it makes every other beaurocrat less accountable. Just look at what happened with the economic implosion, what agencies are too blame? FDIC, SEC,FHA, Fannie and Freddie, SIPC, the state and federal insurance regulators, state banking regulators,  could go on for a day and half and in the end no one pays the price for any of the misdeeds everyone is too busy pointing the finger elsewhere. Hell the commission designed to figure it all out was full of people knee deep in it to begin with and if they weren't they were shills for people who were.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 02:34 | 1025441 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

this is a superb but flawed assessment of the transmogrification of the usa from a free nation to a repressive arrogant totalitarian state. it is just desserts that the bankster installed puppet president of the usa is an indonesian citizen represents the bohemian grove club's complete contempt for america....

the flaw is that 9/11 was not a was planned, executed, and covered-up by the bohemian grove set with allies in the bildeberger group and trilateral commission - and apparently mossad. these assholes used the cia and the bush crime syndicate to justify a fake war on terror and the patriot act...

but americans love their fucking little lies - e.g. that lee oswald killed jfk....belief in that lie should be a litmus test for voting for any politician....

i hope you stupid hyper-ventilating neo-cons go fuck yourself.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 04:03 | 1025503 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

40yrs ago you people were insisting the moon landing was staged, many more  years ago that the earth was flat.

 maybe just once one you conspiracy dingbats tell me why they didn't plant WMDS in Iraq?


please it is fukking killing me how any paranoid delusional can believe the stupid ass 9/11 conspiracy shit but cannot answer that one extremely simple question.


Did they forget? Surely if they and the Bilderberg group, the Bohemian Grove the Butane Syndicate  et al were capable of 9/11 they were capable of planting WMDS since the entire war result depended on finding them. So answer the fukking question just one single time mindless moronistas.



Mon, 03/07/2011 - 07:43 | 1025534 Seer
Seer's picture

"maybe just once one you conspiracy dingbats tell me why they didn't plant WMDS in Iraq?"

Well, I'm no "conspiracy dingbat," but I'll answer your question: There was NO need to, everyone bought it without having to plant potentially lethal weapons in the midst of invading (US) troops: yeah, imagine the US government being pegged as being anti-Troops! (that would surely be the end)  Even with power mongers and corruption in the midst, I'm not thinking that the upper-crust of the mlitary establishment would have gone for this.

And I have a question for all those who believe in the BIG LIE: how do buildings come down at near free-fall speeds if not cut off at the base?  Fucking fail!  Keep waving your flag.  As a matter of fact, wrap yourself up in it!

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 10:18 | 1025830 trav7777
trav7777's picture think WTC1 and 2 were collapsed at the base?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 02:37 | 1025443 working class dog
working class dog's picture

Shut down the central bank and let the treasury issue the currency. Cut out the primary bank insider shadow banking good ole boy network, and eliminate the IRS, Eliminate defunct elected officials from taking lobbyist jobs, DODD and the Hollywood connection-example. Eliminate the pork, and lobbyists co-opting officials, by implimenting a flat tax, also term limits, and arrest the bankers and fed people responsible for the Mortgage bubble and ripoff. Claw back all bonuses from the financial system, shut down the OTC credit default swap markets. Bring back glass-stegall and mark to market. Reign in the speculators on the commodities markets. Impliment an energy policy of using Natural gas and nuclear energy, step it up before it is too late. Shut down the ethanol industry. Reward companies for striking a balance of allocating their profits to a proper ratio of growth and prosperity, and social responsibility for the environment. Eliminate the legal identity of Corporation, and go back to total asset risk business, then you will get responsible credit risk to reward business deals.

Just some of my wish list. Oh yes prohibit elected officials to washington from visiting Washington DC for more than one week per quarter, and the rest of the year they are to be in their home state attending to the people who elected them. Shut down Washington DC. we dont need it. When the officials have to meet quarterly they can rent a convention center.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 06:31 | 1025536 Seer
Seer's picture

So, back to growth as usual?  Grow-or-die, meet the new System, same as the old System...

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 04:14 | 1025505 Privateer
Privateer's picture

Thanks for the post TD.  And yes, permission was requested and given.

It's quite fascinating how far afield the "comments" can range from the argument in question.  To those who have been tangenitally referring to 1971 or China etc, I can only say that what is posted here is one page out of twelve.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 11:46 | 1026134 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I'd look forward to an occasional concise and focused one-pager from you to be posted here at ZH, Bill.   These snippets are frustrating to those of us who get the whole picture in those fortnightly 12 pages.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 06:39 | 1025538 Seer
Seer's picture

In reference to the claims (which I have no reason to doubt) about the corruption in China, I inform my wife that the US is the MOST corrupt nation: she's from the Philippines and left there because of the corruption.  People confuse novice corruption as being MORE corrupt.  The US is so polished at it that it's actually ingrained in law.  Power corrupts.  And given the US has the MOST power, it follows that it's the MOST corrupt.

In no way in defense of China, but they actually MAKE shit, albeit, "shit".  In the US it's all about NOT making things (other than virtual crap, crap that spreads like cancer and kills- think of all the great shit that the US's number one sector -the financial sector- has given us).

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 06:46 | 1025540 Brick
Brick's picture

The US is not looked upon as an “exemplar” of anything - except political AND economic repression.
Thats a big assumption and those people from the middle east and other countries I have spoken to would not agree. I don't propose to speak for others, but I can speak about the impression I get which is a bit different to what is claimed here.
The US and the Western World is looked on as an exemplar for its free speech,by women for its attitude towards women and that there are no limits placed on what you can study and learn.
It is despised because it weakens the family bonds, it encourages selfishness, allows incompetance and crime to go relatively unpunished, with voilence almost celebrated. They do think we are suppressed, but it is through conditioning and culture.
Many have said they would choose to be educated in the western world but could never live there permanently.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 07:37 | 1025556 Bitch Tits
Bitch Tits's picture

People are the same the world over and here's some news: they always have been.

The "Golden Age" never was. It is simply that the victors write the "history".

Perspectives of the losers might be quite different, as the losers were more than likely not among the privileged, anyway.

Money wins and writes history. U.S. history was written by thieves and psychopaths who paid to win.

End of story.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 20:35 | 1028018 lsjcma
lsjcma's picture

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