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Greed is go(o)d, or will it Destroy America?

thetrader's picture




 

From www.thetrader.se

If the “free-market” theories of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman were correct, the United States of the last three decades should have experienced a golden age in which the lavish rewards flowing to the titans of industry would have transformed the society into a vibrant force for beneficial progress.

Direct Action for Single-PayerAfter all, it has been faith in “free-market economics” as a kind of secular religion that has driven U.S. government policies – from the emergence of Ronald Reagan through the neo-liberalism of Bill Clinton into the brave new world of House Republican budget chairman Paul Ryan.

By slashing income tax rates to historically low levels – and only slightly boosting them under President Clinton before dropping them again under George W. Bush – the U.S. government essentially incentivized greed or what Ayn Rand liked to call “the virtue of selfishness.”

Further, by encouraging global “free trade” and removing regulations like the New Deal’s Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks, the government also got out of the way of “progress,” even if that “progress” has had crushing results for many middle-class Americans.

True, not all the extreme concepts of author/philosopher Ayn Rand and economist Milton Friedman have been implemented – there are still programs like Social Security and Medicare to get rid of – but their “magic of the market” should be glowing by now.

We should be able to assess whether laissez-faire capitalism is superior to the mixed public-private economy that dominated much of the 20th Century.

The old notion was that a relatively affluent middle class would contribute to the creation of profitable businesses because average people could afford to buy consumer goods, own their own homes and take an annual vacation with the kids. That “middle-class system,” however, required intervention by the government as the representative of the everyman.

Beyond building a strong infrastructure for growth – highways, airports, schools, research programs, a safe banking system, a common defense, etc. – the government imposed a progressive tax structure that helped pay for these priorities and also discouraged the accumulation of massive wealth.

After all, the threat to a healthy democracy from concentrated wealth had been known to American leaders for generations.

A century ago, it was Republican President Theodore Roosevelt who advocated for a progressive income tax and an estate tax. In the 1930s, it was Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt, who dealt with the economic and societal carnage that under-regulated financial markets inflicted on the nation during the Great Depression.

With those hard lessons learned, the federal government acted on behalf of the common citizen to limit Wall Street’s freewheeling ways and to impose high tax rates on excessive wealth.

So, during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency of the 1950s, the marginal tax rate on the top tranche of earnings for the richest Americans was about 90 percent. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the top rate was still around 70 percent.

Greed was not simply frowned upon; it was discouraged.

Put differently, government policy was to maintain some degree of egalitarianism within the U.S. political-economic system. And to a remarkable degree, the strategy worked.

The American middle class became the envy of the world, with otherwise average folk earning enough money to support their families comfortably and enjoy some pleasures of life that historically had been reserved only for the rich.

Full article, Greed will Destroy America

 

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Thu, 06/30/2011 - 11:41 | 1415668 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 13:28 | 1416089 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Anyone who quotes Ripley from "Aliens" is AOK in my book. :>)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s1MspmfEwg

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 10:44 | 1415489 sasebo
sasebo's picture

I feel that ABCT covers all of this pretty well. They are the only discipline that succintly predicted the subprime crisis. All Keynesian models failed, including obnoxious, pompous Bernanke's at the Fed.

So lets just sit back & watch the political, financial & economic panjandra drive the current failed US monetary system off a cliff. Then we can replace the failed fiat, fractional reserve monetary system with a gold standard, 100% reserve (ABCT) system & eliminate the Fed from the face of the earth forever. Purge all pompous, pretentious Keynesian economists & TBTF bankers from positions of power and replace them with Austrian School economists.

And just as importantly purge the political panjandra. This should be much easier with a ABCT monetary system. 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 10:27 | 1415385 Jimmy Carter wa...
Jimmy Carter was right's picture

All of the arguments mean nothing with gas at 3.75 a gallon.  That is the stranglehold.  Not the gubmint, the left or the right.  The US prospered exponentially because it had cheap fuel at the right time.  Yes, and a lot of hard work too!  All empires have their moment, we've had ours.  Along with all the cheap fuel came all the BS.  Everybody sueing everbody else to get ahead.  If you take the lazy route with the cheap energy you get lazy, and fat.  Look around, we're huge.  I can't work and my back hurts, I'll sue the town I worked for and grew up in, great.  Cake time?

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 14:09 | 1416247 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

How do you think we'll do when it's $5.75?

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 11:14 | 1415568 Turkey
Turkey's picture

+1

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 10:07 | 1415319 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

"Why steal Less, when you can steal More."

The Wall STreet Mantra.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:57 | 1415284 White.Star.Line
White.Star.Line's picture

Corporatism eliminates any ideas of "free market" capitalism, through the systematic elimination of competition.

Humans lose in this paradigm as they are perceived only as pesky labor costs.

When corporatism reaches it's apex, all humans will be eliminated, except for the company CEO, who must then kill himself in order to reduce the last remaining labor cost, and maximize profits to 100 percent......

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:47 | 1415227 oldmanagain
oldmanagain's picture

Modern day Austrianism is not paying taxes. The great provider will then take over.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:33 | 1415176 Turkey
Turkey's picture

Can someone explain to me how fixing one exchange rate (aka gold standard) will cure all of our problems?  

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:51 | 1415228 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Currency tied to a physical limitation such as gold restrains printing and devaluing of curency.

If the paper can be exchanged for gold or silver there is a physical limitation imposed upon transactions - the gold must be there, be available, be exchangeable.  It has weight, it is valued worldwide, it can't be created with keystrokes out of thin air.

A gold standard is an anchor, it prevents the boat from drifting or floating up into the sky.  The boat may float about the radius of that anchor, but everyone knows the boat won't dissapear if they go for a swim.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 10:05 | 1415298 White.Star.Line
White.Star.Line's picture

Currency tied to a physical asset takes power away from thieves.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:52 | 1415253 Turkey
Turkey's picture

See I think transparency is the only way to go.  The gold standard artificially limits the economy to some size, a size which is completely arbitrary, based on the rate of exchange and the total quantity of gold.  Inevitably that constraint will be too big or small, and the rate of exchange will have to be changed.  Gold is valued worldwide at an exchange rate that varies depending on the currency.

 

Here's a fun exercise.  What should the exchange rate be?  I'll make it a bit easier, how should we go about discovering what the exchange rate will be?  What is the process?How long do you think that exchange rate will hold?

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 10:27 | 1415412 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

You are so stuck in a beaurocratic mindset!  Here's an exercise - eliminate fiat currencies.

I bet you've never heard of yard/garage/tag sales, have you?

A gold standard wouldn't limit the size of an economy.  In fact, if the economy expands faster than gold availability, you get...wait for it...increased purchasing power!

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 11:09 | 1415564 Turkey
Turkey's picture

So, your idealized world is a bunch of garage sales?  That's going to build the Brooklyn Bridge?  I'm arguing for 100% transparency in currency creation.  It's not the fact that they can simply print money that's the problem, it's the fact they can do it without any accountability or transparency.

I find it ridiculous that people want a fixed exchange rate in order to have a "free market".  Here's what happens every time.  Without transparency and accountability they print more money then they have in gold, because otherwise the total amount of money everyone has is limited, the usual economies of size and barriers to entry are created in industries where they can be created, the top accumulates wealth, and by definition the bottom 95% get less and less.  The economy slows down, the government or people begin to make their own money so shit can get done, and so it goes.

 

I hate to break it to you, but sometimes there is no easy solution, and it just requires more and more work, until you die, and your kids do the same shit.  Yes governments become currupt, then god willing the people figure it out, get pissed, and clean house.  You need a culture that does not reward or approve of corruption. 

Every man for himself rewards and approves of corruption, because corruption is not a bad thing, it's the inevitable result of not caring about anyone but yourself.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 12:47 | 1415929 Bob
Bob's picture

Actually, in the world harkened by a gold standard, growth and productivity increases still live, but prices fall as a result and those genuine gains are enjoyed as increased purchasing power.  Bogus growth/misallocation of capital via monetary expansion are severely limited (in theory).  It has legitimate appeal, in spite of the ideological baggage that often accompanies it. 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 12:55 | 1415965 Turkey
Turkey's picture

Ok now do me a favor and describe the mechanics of the gold standard.  Do we all just walk around with coins that are .002% gold?  Or is paper money exchangable at a fixed exchange rate at fixed locations at set times of day (normal banking hours or some such)?

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 13:07 | 1415987 Bob
Bob's picture

From a user perspective, nothing changes.  Internationally, with the various sovereign currencies still existing, central banks settle foreign trade/currency accounts in gold.  It keeps each nation honest, in the realm of money creation at least. 

Just because it's referred to as a "gold standard" doesn't mean it should be interpreted so concretely, my friend. 

And I'm not an advocate.  Just explaining it to you as I understand it.

I gotta say it sounds like a real improvement, though.  The problem would be clawing back the money stolen under the old system if/when we were to make the change, imo. 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 13:16 | 1416048 Turkey
Turkey's picture

Bob I'm totally with you.  I'm a huge fan of rational, calm conversation.  While I detest the Fed as much as any other poster here, I'm far from sold on the gold standard because fundamentally it's simply fixing an exchange rate.  We all agree that fixing prices never lasts long.  The gold standard argues that fixing one exchange rate will make everything better, and I'm just not buying it.  The exchange rate will be changed over time.  Each time it has to be changed will be a sht show.  It will cause runs on the dollar, etc.

 

I see the fundamental problem with our current system being a select group of individuals have the God given right to make money, to birth it on the planet, without any accountability at all.  This leads to a class of super rich that have not necessarily contributed anything to society at all.  They are given unlimited power without having shown judgement.  We have effectively circled back to kings and lords.

 

Therefore I see the lack of transparency and accountability to be the root of the problem.  A true market system in my mind would involve each government printing money (omgomgomg), in a completely transparent and verifiable manner.  The strongest currencies would be those where the faith in the economic facts are strongest.

 

Either that or energy, we just need a way to store it in dollar bill form.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 17:37 | 1417021 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

a select group of individuals have the God given right to make money, to birth it on the planet, without any accountability at all.  This leads to a class of super rich that have not necessarily contributed anything to society at all.  They are given unlimited power without having shown judgement.  We have effectively circled back to kings and lords.

Revoke their f'ing breathing privileges.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 13:47 | 1416156 Bob
Bob's picture

I don't think that a gold standard necessarily fixes an exchange rate between currencies. Currencies could float with respect to one another.  If a state were to want a stronger currency or larger money supply, they would need to purchase more gold to back it.  Sure, there's that question of what the values are when the initial change occurs, but same with any new system.  As for rigging the system, that possiblity is inherent in any system.  I like transparency as much as the next guy, and in theory it could work, but the undeniable beauty of a foundation peg to a severely limited resource, e.g., gold, is that lying is almost impossible.  Even if you try to, you can't create gold out of thin air.  That's a transparent truth that you can reliably bank on. 

I like the idea.  I wish it were all we need to do.  We should be so lucky. 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 13:51 | 1416185 Turkey
Turkey's picture

But if currencies float against the dollar, isn't that just what we have now?  Or the government could constantly, say on a daily or second be second basis, change what the dollar could be redeemed for at the local post office.  Am I following you?  I question the "lying is almost impossible", because at the end of the day the govt could always say it has more in the vault than it does.  Heck we don't even have a gold standard and many believe they are lying about what they have now!

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 14:02 | 1416238 Bob
Bob's picture

Float was a very bad choice of words!  Adjust would be appropriate, say at a given time each day, with "floating" limited to bets placed on those values prior to daily currency-gold settlements.

Lying . . . seems to me that the best we can do is force frame the question in terms that are most difficult to misrepresent, like that gold or transplutionium.  Transparency is good for everything, though. 

In a world increasingly dominated by the Corporate Person, however, I think we're just pissing up a rope by ignoring the psychopath in the room. 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 15:50 | 1416642 Turkey
Turkey's picture

+1,000

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:46 | 1415216 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

your money will be backed by something rather than being worthless bit of toilet paper with no promise but Bennys middle finger ... it also holds politicians to spending only what is backed by hard assets, rather than as you've no doubt noticed, being able to call up Benny the Crone to print (trash) the currency because they're bankrupt (again) and have no control of their spending (are moronic parasites)

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:35 | 1415171 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

TheTrader

You're living in LaLa Land right? How is it there up in your ivory tower, let me guess 'just delusional' !!

"If the “free-market” theories of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman were correct, the United States of the last three decades should have experienced a golden age.."

If we'd had a free market. Instead we have your beloved State fuking everything up for 3 decades (see healthcare, US housing, strangled energy markets, over-regulated banking all of which are toxic dump zones and totally bankrupt). You have noticed that heaven't you pinhead? 

"We should be able to assess whether laissez-faire capitalism is superior to the mixed public-private economy that dominated much of the 20th Century"

Yes we can. Every and any "public-private" partnership is one thing only, a pile of total bollocks. They are all bankrupt business models, can't stand on their own two feet without State handouts (other peoples money pissed away propping up these schemes/scams). This is a 'no contest' shut and dried case: the free market wins hands down everytime (take a look at the toxic bankrupt carnage in both US healthcare and housing for the total shambles public-private esults in: the stink is even big enough for you who has trouble seeing past your own nose)

"..the government imposed a progressive tax structure that helped pay for these priorities and also discouraged the accumulation of massive wealth."

In the previous sentance you were bemoaning the middle class didn't contribute to profitable businesses. In the above sentance your own puzzle, because the Govt has been milking society of its wealth and pissing it away on every nonsense under the sun. You could have joined the dots, but no you're way too stupid to connect chicken toan egg

"After all, the threat to a healthy democracy from concentrated wealth had been known to American leaders for generations."

You're referring to the dangerous threat from "concentrated wealth" (and power) in the hands of the biggest monoply in society, Govt aren't you Einsteain? These American leaders are heads of the most ignorant, inept, destructive, murderous and wealth destroying institution in every society right across the planet... that's the biggest danger to society isn't it msh-for-brains, concentrated power in a monopoly institution, Govt?

"..government policy was to maintain some degree of egalitarianism within the U.S. political-economic system. And to a remarkable degree, the strategy worked"

You are off-your-tiny-rocker certified delusional. Govt has only one tax policy, to rob the productive to feed their unproductive parasitical arses. And robbing society of its wealth has zero positive benefit for society, it is entirely a huge negative (the destruction of other peoples wealth). Govt policy has no direction on the economy except as a big drag destroying (other peoples) wealth

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:38 | 1415178 Turkey
Turkey's picture

Can you provide one example of a free market?

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:45 | 1415191 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

farmers markets, much agricultural produce, most clothing, most small business and the biggest and best examples of how brilliant (for suppliers and consumers) and self-regulating (no Gov't, policing or bunch of consumer protection laws/arseholes behind desks required) is the black market (see drugs, hash, contraband, cigarettes etc)

Fri, 07/01/2011 - 05:00 | 1418081 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

farmers markets,

 

If you mean by that subsitence markets, then they are not free markets. On the very contrary.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:48 | 1415232 Turkey
Turkey's picture

Starting from the back, the black market only exists because of government regulation so let's skip that one.  

 

Farmers markets, small biz and the rest exist because there is a common currency we all accept, and an infrastructure upon which to provide there services.  So at a minimum  we need government, or some other entity which you can call whatever you like, to provide 1) basic police services, 2) basic infrastructure 3) a court system to resolve disputes and to prosecute fraud, and of course a common currency.

 

All of those things require rules to use, so any market isn't completely free, rather it's bounded by the rules we agree upon.  (drive on the left, selling a potato and calling it a tomato is illegal).

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 10:27 | 1415392 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Farmers markets, small biz and the rest exist because there is a common currency we all accept, and an infrastructure upon which to provide there services.  So at a minimum  we need government, or some other entity which you can call whatever you like, to provide 1) basic police services, 2) basic infrastructure 3) a court system to resolve disputes and to prosecute fraud, and of course a common currency.

Wrong.  You do not need a common currency to effect transactions.  Barter happens all the time.  Two dozen eggs for a peck of zucchini.  Police services?  Talk to Dr. Remington and Mr. Winchester.

Start getting used to the idea of society without your 1), 2) and 3)...

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 11:12 | 1415576 Turkey
Turkey's picture

Yes, life is great in poor undeveloped countries.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 10:23 | 1415384 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Turkey Shoot

I'd like to introduce you to reality sometime, let me try this long shot!

"the black market only exists because of government regulation so let's skip that one."

You mean let's "skip" reality right? A black market exists because there is consumer demand which the Govt, through its usual pig-ignorance and biggotry, deems adults must not have. Check out the drugs trade, you'll find the same results as alcahol Prohibition in 50's America. The Govt is being slaughtered day in day out.

The drugs business runs rings rings around the dumbber-than-mud US authorities, their defeat is so complete not a single high security prison in the US (or Europe) is free from drugs.

If the US Govt cannot secure their own 4 high barbed wire walls with wall-to-wall guards and cameras what chance the country? Yep you've guesed it, the Ronald McDonald of society continues its self-humiliation losing "The War on Drugs" every day of every dumb year for every dumb decade it has waged it. The dumbest institution in the world just gets dumber

"So at a minimum  we need government.."

You might but every moment of my adult life i've never once needed any help from those bankers rent-boys in Washington, Westminster or Brussels. The only time i come across Govt they thieve my income, block my free movement across borders, try to tag me with passports, Tax No's, Insurnace No's because, despite i know who i am, they are too dumb because they are a faceless stupid big institution (see any Big Corp like banks) and make an absolute farce of everything they touch.

You might need these pontificating useless parasitical Ronald McDonalds in suits but the rest of us can well do without 

"..or some other entity ..to provide 1) basic police services.."

Have you not noticed private business already had private security for shopping malls, clubs, warehousing and property guarding? That's because you local Police are absolutely useless, like every Dept of the State. A Marine on a blog recently called his local Police "thieves with badges". From America to Europe to Asia that's exactly what these twats are, robbing the herd of scoiety with petty fines, robbing drug dealers of their drugs and cash for their own use, bully boys of the State not the protection of society. Wake up some time dipshit

"2) basic infrastructure"

However did we get around before the State? All those cross-land and cross-ocean routes were developed by whom? ...not the State, they couldn't find $60bn they lost in Iraq. The private sector has always provided the leading edge of all transport systems. The State, well those idiots still prop up buses and trains, twp ssytems that passed their sell-by-date for the private sector 70-100 years ago

"3) a court system to resolve disputes and to prosecute fraud.."

How's your State system prosecuting the national mass-fraud of MBS's buddy? You believe in resting your ideology in some monopoly institution like the Judiciary but as we know high power/monied parasites always corrupt such a simple single structure. The JP Morgans and Kennedys were never prosecuted for the mass frauds in the 30-40's and they're not being proescuted again.

Your monoply authority system is one almighty 'FAIL', decade after decade. Ho hum, reality bites home again

Society is a self-regulating mechansim. We have ways of dealing with frauds after the event because one of the biggest nonsenses of Police, law and the Judiciary is that it prevents crime. It never has and never will, they're way too dumb for that and way too dumb even after the fact

"..and of course a common currency."

We do not need another State monoply to provide currency. Currency has been Copper, Silver and Gold coinage for centuries, way longer than the usual worthless frauds of Govt controlled paper monopoly money. We need a free market in money, competing coinage, competing systems. Only the free market works out the good from the garbage though competition, trial and error. There is no better system known to man than the free competitive market. Period

 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 11:06 | 1415545 Turkey
Turkey's picture

Alright!  For a moment I thought no response was coming.  The war on drugs is an evil, we agree, my point was that by definition a black market only exists when the government bans it.  If it wasn't banned it would be in the farmers market category.  So how about we lump it into the farmers market category.  It’s free, but so far my drug dealer won’t accept silver.  He must be socialist, fascist, or something in between.

“a faceless stupid big institution (see any Big Corp like banks)”

Look at that I agree!  Huge institutions of any sort can provide subpar services due to their size and unwieldiness.  However certain tasks require big entities.  Certain tasks no private entity would ever take on (I know, I know, the Panama Canal is pure evil).  Private enterprise is often incentivized to bullshit (do I really need to provide examples?), and a good government identifies and prosecutes the bullshit.  Certain monitoring is necessary, and no profitable for anyone to do (how do those gulf oysters taste)?

“That's because you local Police are absolutely useless, like every Dept of the State. A Marine on a blog recently called his local Police ‘thieves with badges’.”

Ah yes, corruption.  Seems to happen everywhere.  One thing is for sure, private companies are never corrupt.  Would you really want your local police force to be a private entity?  Life would be better in America if there were no state sponsored police?  Can you name one place that doesn’t suck  where there are no state sponsored police?

“However did we get around before the State?”

Are you saying that private enterprise built the roads?  I’ve had this conversation too many times to take it seriously.  What’s the IRR on the road which your address is?  Negative one billion guy.

“How's your State system prosecuting the national mass-fraud of MBS's buddy?”

Yes, corruption sucks and must be fought.  If only humans were perfect beings.  Waaaaa.  So you’re telling me before the government there was no fraud?  Frauds were prosecuted by civilians with extra time on their hands?

“We do not need another State monoply to provide currency”

If you think the economy would be better off without a common currency you’re just dumb.  Please name one place, at any time in the past 1,000 years, where things were great, improving, and there was no common currency.  Doing a density check on every coin that comes into my shop is simply not efficient.

Competitive Free markets have their place, but there is no such thing as a completely free market.  A completely free market is called war.  Someone with a gun starts taking someone else’s shit, an Somalia here we come.

Free markets rarely, if ever, build infrastructure, and when they do they take as much rent as possible stifling the economy until the people get together and start the government thing all over again.

“Society is a self-regulating mechansim.”

Yes.  So let’s influence and regulate each other.  Pretending that we don’t need any organization that ties us all do accomplish things that do not generate 20% or 7% “risk free” returns simply has no bearing on reality.

Name a place and time where there was no government and things didn’t suck.  It never happens because we are human and need to organize our sht so things don’t suck.  Corruption always appears in public and private enterprise.  Mandating everything be public makes no sense.  Mandating everything be private and there be no overarching structure or rules to GOVERN our behavior makes no sense.

I find this all or nothing idealistic tripe to be just that, tripe.  Name a place and time where there was no government and things didn’t suck. 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 14:49 | 1416230 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Tukey

"..by definition a black market only exists when the government bans it."

By definition, I don't care. My point is these markets operate with no Law, no consumer law, no law of contract, no judiciary, no pinheads behind desks (lawyers, regulators, consumer ponces and morons like Barack Obumma pretending to be a consumer champion). Day in day out, year after year for decades these free (black) markets operate smooth as silk turning over $Billions.

And like all free markets in history they self-regulate (consumers are happy, suppliers are happy, when they're not they change to competitors). The free market sorts the good from the garbage, unlike all State regulated markets which prop up crap, excuse incompetence and whitewash corruption (see Fukinshambles, Japan)

Govt and its shambloic clown apperatus is NOT required.

"a good government identifies and prosecutes the bullshit."

You're dreaming again mate and completely delusional

Govt has never regulated anything properly in its entire existence. I've already stated the banking criminals (and elite families) were not prosecuted in the 30's/40's banking scandals and are not being prosecuted again today either. 'SNAP'. How much evidence do you need to pile up on the InTray of your desk before it sinks in regulation and the Law is a protection racket not a justice system???

Take the illegal drugs market, it is safer than the legal drugs market. 80% of drug overdoses in US hopitals are LEGAL drugs. When legal drugs are dangerous, like Pfizers stop-smoking Champix (it drives people into a crazy rage - how did that get past the Drug Amin i wonder?) the Regulators conduct the usual denial, lying slieght of hand and cover-up. Pfizer is still selling the piece of dangerous shit because the Regulator is in the Big Drugs Corpse pockets (who the fuk do you think sets these protetion rackets up in the first place?). Oh and Champix is you've guessed it available on State subsidy

When Gordon Browns Health Scientist stated legal drugs like alcahol were worse by his classification than many illegal drugs he sacked him (a crone must know his pace in Govt, it is to peddle the lies of the biggots afterall).

When the Socialist State of Britains NHS hospitals were exposed for killing and maiming people, and being so sloppy they kept no track of their own carnage, the Health Dept (!) said the survey was bogus, the sloppy-arsed Regulator asleep at the wheel (aren't they all?) also dissed the survey and the Health Trust running the killer hospital threatened to sue. Don't mind the patients eh!

This is typical behaviour patterns of all public or private monopolies, they produce garbage.

"Certain tasks no private entity would ever take on (I know, I know, the Panama Canal is pure evil)"

If you'd like to compare building large canals, or any large project, Big Corp versus lots of small ones, I'd be delighted to teach you a lesson. Maybe you can point out a single large bank on the planet you'd call 'good' at anything, including Job No.1 being a safe place to deposit your hard-earned. Hard isn't it? That'll be because all Big Banks are, by sheer 'co-incidence' you'll argue, bankrupt.

Big Govt beds with Big Corpse to build Big Projects. Big faceless schools, big power stations, big airbases, big water projects and big damns, big dinosaur projects for big bloated egos. Left to the free market all of these would be small, local, personal, flexible.

Imagine i wanted to take out Americas power supply? 100 missles would do it. If I had to target a free market energy market I'd be pissing my pants trying to target 1,000's of small local power stations. This is the inherent weakness of all big corporations, they're easy to target, easy to bring down and as big banking has shown one stupid way to do anything. Having lots of brains finding many varieties of solutions provides systemic flexibility and safety in numbers. 

US and European banking is a crisis of its own making. Being big and stupid propped up by that other big dumb institution par excellence, Big Govt. They've systemically crushed the free market in banking, credit cards, financial markets with zillions of regulations to kill smaller smarter competitiors and got precisely what they deserved, a bloated fat uncompetitive beast that colapses at the first sign of a virus of its own making 

"Are you saying that private enterprise built the roads?"

Seen Barack Obumma or Ray La Hood with a shovel recently? Who do you think builds roads, would it be private contractors? Think so, that'll be because Govt has zero expertise at anything, it is devoid of any skill or commercial discipline to complete anything, but it is rammed to overflowing with pontificating morons

"..how do those gulf oysters taste?"

No idea. But Obumma had his "100 best Govt scientific brains on the job" he assured (bluffed) America. How did they do? I heard they did sweet Fanny Adams. Because BP had the only commercial skill to sort the matter out and Obummas team of experts (academic Govt crony morons) rubber stamped everything BP requested

"Yes, corruption sucks and must be fought.  If only humans were perfect beings."

Pardon me but weren't you saying Govt and regulation was neccessary and here you are shrugging your shoulders when your beloved system fails. It doesn't just fail once like it's an exception. Govt regulation fails in banking, finance, autmobiles, pensions, drugs and healthcare, mortgages, oil, nuclear energy.. in fact every regulator in every country has failed everytime. But you keep dreaming, i can see how much you need it to keep floating these Statist delusions (reality sucks when it doesn't go to plan, at any point in history, ever!)

"Please name one place, at any time in the past 1,000 years, where things were great.. and there was no common currency."

I don't know if you noticed but there's already about 360 currencies in place worldwide. There's 2 more called Gold and Silver. And there's a host of new ones coming online such as Beanz, Bitcoins, barter still exists in many places (Africa, Columbia etc). The problem isn't having a common currency, the problem is we have a monopoly given to central banks and like all monopolies, they always vandalise and trash the system.

That's why we need this criminal State monoply removed and a free market in money. Let the free market decide, its proven to better and outwit any central bwanker, any politician and even what you think.

"but there is no such thing as a completely free market.  A completely free market is called war."

Back in delusion land. Even when presented with a totally free market (drugs) you ignore reality, not once but twice!! 

"Someone with a gun starts taking someone else’s shit, an Somalia here we come.."

Yeah shit happens sometimes. Of course Somalis have a real reason for some civil war infighting. Meanwhile Abraham Lincoln had no good reason for starting his murderous civil war, far bigger and more bloody than Somalia. All the human scumbag (railway lawyer thug) wanted was to force the Nation State on an unwilling free Southern State that wanted self-determination (freedom).

And the murderous bloody American State has continued on that same path (so much for peace brealing out with democratic Govt!). Again where the US citiznes had no beef or interest with Vietnamese, Iraqis and Afghans your murderous sociopaths fabriacted lies to wage war (all 3 of which they will ultimately lose). So you're in 3 wars which i make 2 more than Somalia, how is your peaceful State being more peaceful than Somalians do tell?

"Free markets rarely, if ever, build infrastructure.."

Check out Brunel. He built the trains, the tracks to go with them, the bridges to span rivers and valleys (the Govt copied him, the Govt bought it off him). Same happened with Americas railways, private enterprise developed. If Govts worldwide would get out of transport the free market would surpass anything that shit hole the State has to offer (see massive congestion - cause systemic incompetence, bottlenecks and inept planning - in every town and city worldwide.. another State balls-up)

"Pretending that we don’t need any organization that ties us all do accomplish things that do not generate 20% or 7% “risk free” returns simply has no bearing on reality."

I refer you once again to the reality of the drugs market. We do not need centralised organisations to represent us which they can never do. The consumer, as an individual, decides what best suits them. Competitors compete for business. The mass of consumers decide which are winners and which either shape-up or ship-out. 

So the free competitive market is 100% self regulating. Namely it solves all problems that occur. No Govt, no organisation required at all. And it regulates itself for FREE

"Name a place and time where there was no government and things didn’t suck."

Name a Govt in history that didn't suck?

Name a Govt in history that isn't shit at everything it does?

Name a nation that is better with Govt than without?

Ask why a bunch of arseholes and parasites i don't know, that i never voted for, that i don't need in my life if i live to 150, has a 'right' to know my private income, tag me with State red tape and numbers that i couldn't give a fuk about, check my movements at broders and treat me like a potential terrorist though i'm nothing of the sort and generally create havoc in society and wage murderous war across the globe???

I can give you 100 solid as rock reasons why i don't want nor ever need the State nor any desire to be 'governed' (by corrupt clowns, what am i missing?). Give 1 solid reason why i need this parasitical, now bankrupt, incompetent system we see right across the globe and throughout its shambolic history?? 

Fri, 07/01/2011 - 04:00 | 1418062 Turkey
Turkey's picture

I came back for a retort to see if you were a serious person, but you are not.

Fri, 07/01/2011 - 09:18 | 1418381 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

i was on the beach (time zone Europe) ..reply above ^

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 15:50 | 1416618 Turkey
Turkey's picture

I think we are talking past each other, and I think you use the term government to mean any concentration of power.  The government isn't making the legal drugs you rant about, private industry is.  If the government didn't exist, private industry would be making the same snake oil shit they did before the FDA.  The fact that regulatory captures has occured, as always occurs, is predictable.  The good fight never ends.

 

Big Banks aren't the government.  The have formed an elite structure squeezing everyone else, they use the government to their ends, but they aren't the government.  Big banks squeezed people well before the Fed existed.

The government redistributes cash (steals it from your broke ass) to pay peopel to build roads, so your broke ass can drive around.  The government forces the utilities to provide rural customers electricity.  Alas we evolved that way, because small generators did not exist in a mass produced quantity back in 1850, or 1920.

 

The government didn't cause the BP oil spill.  The government does cause a lot of wars, but certainly not becuase the majority of America wants them.  When the government represents the people, it gives the people what they want, and it usually works.  When it doesn't becuase the elite have erected barriers and hurdles preventing accountability, it doesn't.

Concentrations of power cause problems, be it in government or big banks, big pharma, or any of the other non-government entities you rail against.

 

There isn't any place without government because when you get enough people living close together, they are going to have to figure out how to get clean water,  and live civilly.  Free markets rely on rules to guide them.  I have heard of the various currencies in the world, and in each case they are produced and sanctioned by some government.  If you are a proponent of Free Banking fine, but you don't seem to mention the concept.

 

In conclusion, half your whining is against monopoly power.  Monopolies exist with or without governments.  No entity is perfect, particularly when they are large.  Without certain regulations fraud runs rampant, and there are no examples of a society spontaneously fixing itself in a completely unorganized manner.

 

Finally, chill out on the meth, it's making you not a happy person.

Fri, 07/01/2011 - 06:57 | 1418120 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Turkey


"I think we are talking past each other.."

Yes I deal in reality you deal with ideas (that don't and have never worked) and too many liberal assumptions which ignore reality (ie. don't work and have never worked). See a pattern emerging?

"..and I think you use the term government to mean any concentration of power."

Government be it totalitarian (Marxists, fascists etc) or democratic is the same resting/hoarding of power/economic authority or previously the authority rested upon itself of Royalty. It's all the same system, monopolising 

"The government isn't making the legal drugs you rant about, private industry is."

Agreed. Except Govt has excessive controls of what drugs do and don't come to market. They strangle competition and with authroity rested in their regulations/regulators, prevent a real market system developing to warn of dangerous drugs or dangerous Doctors, hospitals, companies. 

"If the government didn't exist, private industry would be making the same snake oil shit they did before the FDA."

Your Govt system does not prevent shit being made, nor does my free market. Mistakes or fraud etc can only be exposed after the event under both systems. Prevention of anything is a nonsense, but only Govt claims its system of gorvernance prevents mistakes occuring. But this is a lie (see Pfizers dangerous anti-smoking - roadrage - drug Champix) 

"Big Banks aren't the government."

Their interests look remarkably similar, almost so's you wouldn't notice the difference, Mmm?

"The have formed an elite structure squeezing everyone else, they use the government to their ends, but they aren't the government."

You're arguing against yourself there, done my job nicely, thanks  

"Big banks squeezed people well before the Fed existed."

Yes the only point in the Bible Jesus Christ lost his temper was chasing off the money changers (for-runners of bankers) from the temple steps. And during this Roman period it was the central Roman bank that progressively trashed their coinage, hllowing out every more Gold and Silver replacing it with knickle. We have a pattern forming in history yes?

"The government didn't cause the BP oil spill."

Let me see the US Govt bans onshore drilling and shallow water drilling forcing oil companies to only drill in deep waters (high risk trying to control your drill bit 1 mile underwater). I think the US Govt had a huge contribution to the highest risk of errors in the spill by forcing only the greatest difficulty (high risk) oil exploration

"The government does cause a lot of wars, but certainly not becuase the majority of America wants them."

Yes you've made my point, the Govt does not represent the people, it repèresents itself and its most active vested interests, including murderous deranged loons. Govt is the biggest toilet of humanity in society (which is by nature peaceable)

"When the government represents the people, it gives the people what they want, and it usually works."

No Govt does not represent people, it deals with that triviality by spinning what they want to hear to get elected. The business of Govt is its elite and most aggressive vested interests between elections, not wider society. Govt is a minority group persuit.

"When it doesn't becuase the elite have erected barriers and hurdles preventing accountability, it doesn't."

Isn't that pretty much all the time? Would it not be more democratic if Govt gave me an option, rather than threaten my person, to make voluntary contributions of tax? It could make it so, but it doesn't. It forces State healthgcare down my throat, why not allow much more choice/competitiomn in the market and Govt butt out, it is afterall absolute garbage at providing healthcare!

"Concentrations of power cause problems, be it in government or big banks, big pharma..."

Yes and what is Govt if not the biggest concentration of power (in a monopoly institution) in society? So are you 'surprised' Govt causes problems when any monopoly, public or private, throughout history always produces crap and creates problems? Only competition weeds out crap, because it gives end-users (consumers or citizens) the power to change what system they are using. Another word for choice is freedom. No choice is a monopoly, hoarding power. And we wonder why Govt is garbage but many still vote for the same inept monopoly system of governance!!

"..get enough people living close together, they are going to have to figure out how to get clean water, and live civilly."

this is where your assumptions run counter to reality, a reality you could 'discover' if you sat down and thought about your own reality, instead of the nonsense hed-fuk ideas you've been taught to swallow like a good zombie. How do you manage to get by in "close urban areas"? Is it by Govt guidance, local political advise, or by your own inherent animal instincts?

I don't need 'governance' to walk around the local community, trade in a farmers market, parent the kids, drive a car, organise my money matters. Do you? What %percentage of your daily routine and annual time is spent under political governance? Mine is 0%, I've never needed those bankers rent-boys in my life.

I don't even know what the politicians guidence is on how to live "civilly". Like a shoal of fish in the sea, a flock of birds, a herd of buffalo, I get along day after day, the odd dispute here and there before i'm right back on track. If you watch a collection of animals, which we are, they get along in exactly the same way as humans. Wow it's almost like we're related! Herding and pack rules, natural instincts, baked into our very souls

The behaviour of human individuals and individual behaviour in packs or communities, like a group of Dolphins are remarkably 'civil'. But you think we need the dumbest creatures on Earth, politicians, to get along? You've been sold another big flappy kipper mate. We've existed for 2 million years as a species weithout politicians, we don't need them, the biggest lie ever told is we need Govt to get along

And regards "organising water" again just let the market work its wonders. It solves all human needs/problems in a far more efficient, effective and productive way than those inept tossers in Govt. Fancy a 500bhp sportcar, a 16Gb phone, a choice of 8 red peppers for lunch, a flight into space? The private sector will get it sorted for you because if you left it to Govt you'd be totally f**ked

"Free markets rely on rules to guide them."

No they don't. That's the beauty of the free market, there are no rules, you make it up as you go along which is why it's so innovative, so ever-changing and so vibrant.

"Without certain regulations fraud runs rampant.."

Again slap this delusion up against reality and you'll find under regulation fraud runs rampant. Indeed with the addition of more laws, judges, lawyers, more regulations and more regulators the fraud curve actually increases, not decreases

To understand why you need to ditch your liberal academic dross/ideas and ditch your belief in organisations (liberal ideas that justify centralising and monopoly) and take it down to individual human character traits. If i gave you 20 rules to follow what would i be? A bit of an arsehole is the answer. If I gave you 100 rules to follow what would I be? A complete arsehole is the correct answer.

Who are the biggest rule makers (arseholes) in society? Politicians. How many rules have they made for society to follow and to tell businessmen how to run their business? Thousands, warehouses full of rules (see Frank-Dodds latest 2,500 pages of fuking crap).

And then we arrive at reality, a behaviour pattern that holds true. 'The Biggest Rule Makers are the Biggest Rule Breakers". This is because they are the biggest arseholes.

This is why in the same day Washington will tell you you cannot park 2 minutes overtime on a public road (because they've made a rule you can't) and will fine you for it at the same time waging 2 getting on 3 wars in foreign countries in direct contravention of their own international Laws that you cannot wage war unless you are defending your nation

At the same time the State says you cannot pickpocket (petty theft) without jail they allow banks to commit mass national mortgage and accountancy fraud (mega theft) with not a single bwanker jailed in 3 years since the fraud was exposed

"..there are no examples of a society spontaneously fixing itself in a completely unorganized manner.."

Society does not need 'fixing' because it is self-regulating (no Govt required), because we as individuals 'fix' our own enviroment all by ourself (part of being an adult). The revolutions in history are all about purging the parasites (rotten Govt, Royalty etc).

"Finally, chill out on the meth, it's making you not a happy person"

I couldn't be happier with my lot, I've never been freer or more flexible or more focused. But we live in times of truly historic change, and a truly historic Great Depression, and I'm railing against what needs changing and what is the cause for much of it, democratic Government, the worst institution on the planet

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 14:30 | 1427263 Turkey
Turkey's picture

“Government be it totalitarian (Marxists, fascists etc) or democratic is the same resting/hoarding of power/economic authority or previously the authority rested upon itself of Royalty. It's all the same system, monopolizing” 

Agreed that monopoly power breeds inefficiencies and abuse of that power.  All your complaints revolve around this concept.

“Prevention of anything is nonsense”

This is a retarded statement.  You seem to be arguing that without any government regulation at all modern medicine would bloom, and flipper babies would never occur, or better yet, Pfizer wouldn’t sell Champix.

You know what this entire conversation is nonsense.  In another thread you take issues with someone’s definition of anarchy.  What is your definition of government?  What is the great evil you would get rid of?  Do me a favor and let me know what you would keep on this list:  Local roads, the FAA, the military in any form (we have previously agreed that our current military is way out of control), any insurance such as medicare etc, water?

“this is where your assumptions run counter to reality, a reality you could 'discover' if you sat down and thought about your own reality, instead of the nonsense hed-fuk ideas you've been taught to swallow like a good zombie.”

Your insults notwithstanding, I am acutely aware of where my clean water comes from.  It comes from 300 miles away in gigantic pipes that would not exist but for my local government.  Large cities were shitholes without the government.

“We've existed for 2 million years as a species without politicians”

I see history isn’t your strong point.  Once again, name any time, any place, where some form of government didn’t exist, and we weren’t living like the monkeys we are.  Any time, any place, in recorded history.   You previously asked me to name a place where the government works.  I’m a huge fan of western civilization.  It has given me 24/7 electricity cheap, clean water, and the ability to fly pretty much wherever I want.  Of course it’s been corrupted and cleaned over and over, it’s a collection of humans. 

Quite simply, I live better than King Louis XIV, or any of his predecessors, or anyone in any previous time period, period.  If you believe you can lay on the beach drinking your kool-aid without any community connection you’re simply not that quick.  Take 200 people who need to get something done (let’s all shit in the same place so we don’t drink our shit, shall we?) and viola you have a government.

5 rules that make me an asshole:

1)      Don’t shit upstream

2)      Don’t steal someone elses shit

3)      Don’t kill each other

4)      Don’t sell shit that isn’t what you say it is

5)      Don’t block my free passage

Finally, the irony of someone whining about government and pin head phds on the internet is too much for my eyes to handle.  The stupid burns.

Yes “the biggest rule makers are the biggest rule breakers”, we should err on the side of less rules.  We should stay out of each others business.  BUT WE SHOULDN’T SHIT UPSTREAM,  guay.

So what do you call government?  Is having one person assigned to prevent morons from shitting upstream a government?

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 16:23 | 1416791 Turkey
Turkey's picture

Actually one more, I hate the whiny ass titty babies who bitch about everything when anyone age 10 to 65 living in a western nation hit the humanity jackpot.  Life on this planet sucked balls for about all of it until say 1947.  Thank God every day your whiny ass wasn't born in 1540, or anywhere else on the planet, and quite frankly if you think somewhere else is government free and awesome, no one is stopping you.  As an American you can charge your one way flight there an never worry about a thing.

I want suggestions for actions, enlightenment, or a blow job, and you sir are giving none of those to me.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:48 | 1415218 Bob
Bob's picture

You left out my kid's lemonade stand.  Now there's a model we can all believe in. 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:53 | 1415260 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

and it works Bob

if the Govt ran a lemonade stand you'd need to show your passport, fill in a form, join a cue (Big Govt like Big Banks loves people in cues), lemonade would be one flavour only, very dull, the EPA would remove any chemical which if you licked for 40 years non-stop might give you a blister and the stand would be bankrupt in 3 weeks

Compare 80 years of un-interrupted supply of one of the biggest industries in America, the unregulated hash market..

...to the absolutely bankrupt and total fuking shambles of both US property and healthcare

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:57 | 1415283 Turkey
Turkey's picture

And if your kid is born with flippers, tough titty.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:29 | 1415161 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

By slashing income tax rates to historically low levels – and only slightly boosting them under President Clinton before dropping them again under George W. Bush – the U.S. government essentially incentivized greed or what Ayn Rand liked to call “the virtue of selfishness.”

This is a total miss.  Greed is not incentivized...it exists and is facilitated or forestalled by the economic structure.  But the big miss here is that it's not that tax rates have been too low, it's that interest rates have been too low.  If you don't have real interest rates to curb otherwise un-economic investment, it acts like helium.

(Some) people are selfish, have no conscience, and will seek wealth accumulation for the sake of status and self-deification.  That existed before and will exist after any transient tax and political system.

I don't care a hoot how much wealth others are able to accumulate.  What I care about is whether the system is aligned or not; whether it constrains the opportunity for folks to reap the spoils of their labor.  It hasn't been aligned since 1913, and it's coming to roost now. 

 

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:41 | 1415200 Turkey
Turkey's picture

As a rule those who accumulate wealth often use their wealth (power) to prevent others from accumulating wealth, and worse to steal from those who labor.  Intellectual property law abuse is a great example of this.  Government regulations that only the little guys have to follow are another (see, the SEC, CFTC, etc.)  So the powerful usurp the structures that were put into place to make the market fair.  A theme on this site is that it's all the governments fault, as if without a government those with accumulated wealth wouldn't be doing the things they are doing with government.  It's an accumulation of too much power that leads to poor decision making, and a weakening of the system.  It allows for papering over mistakes, and rewarding failure.  See BoA for example.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:39 | 1415145 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

A preponderence of individuals acting with greed is the problem.

Crony capitalism and ham-fisted socialism working in tandem to punish the middle class and responsibility while rewarding greed and laziness.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:20 | 1415107 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

This is complete nonsense. We have not had free market capitalism at all. In free market capitalism I have the right to succeed and the right to fail.  If we had free markets, a lot of businesses would have been allowed to fail. And they should have failed. If these banks,brokerages, insurance companies, and car companies had been allowed to fail that would have taken care of the greed and excessive risk. But since we continue to bail out companies and notch up the moral hazard we allow more risk in the system.

This is not a failure of capitalism this is a failure of government distortions in the market.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 09:10 | 1415076 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

If you are going to cut and paste articles from elsewhere, don't you think you should give the actual author top billing? Instead you give your web site that honor. At the very bottom you finally link to the full article by Robert Parry that was itself reposted on CommonDreams.org from the original posting on Consortiumnews.com.

At least CommonDreams.org gave proper attribution.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 15:09 | 1416477 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Yep.  And before all the ultra-conservatives jump on this bandwagon, a reading of the last paragraphs is in order:

Tea Partiers, in demanding even more cuts in government help for average citizens and even more tax cuts for the rich, represent only the most deluded part of middle-class America. A recent poll of Americans rated Reagan the greatest U.S. president ever, further enshrining his anti-government message in the minds of many Americans, even those in the battered middle class.

When a majority of Americans voted for Republicans in Election 2010 – and with early polls pointing toward a likely GOP victory in the presidential race of 2012 – it’s obvious that large swaths of the population have no sense of what’s in store for them as they position their own necks under the boots of corporate masters.

The only answer to this American crisis would seem to be a reenergized and democratized federal government fighting for average citizens and against the greedy elites. But – after several decades of Reaganism, with the “free market” religion the new gospel of the political/media classes – that seems a difficult outcome to achieve.

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