Guest Post: Poverty In America, Part I

Tyler Durden's picture

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eureka's picture

Anyone who thinks they can separate social entitlements from rich-banker-military entitlements is an idiot - so don't blame bureaucrats and the poor.

toady's picture

But thats what they continue to do...

I'm starting to think that they won't figure it out.

eureka's picture

Seems Mr. Charles H. Smith hasn't even figured it out.

I repeat, all money printing, bail-outs and ponzi exists solely for the sake of US Empire - that is to say: for the sole sake of the rich and their goons at the Fed & PentaGun. Everything else is trickle-down shut-up-money - and consequently it is moronic and irrelevant what the motives of "the left" might be etc etc etc  scape-goating ad nauseam.

Libertarians - including all zerohedge bloggers, readers and commentators must realize that the only solution to all US problems is complete dismantlement of US Empire.

mayhem_korner's picture

I hope you're not insinuating that all ZHers are libertarians.  That'd be a large miss.

Braindonor1's picture

You should have read the article before commenting. The writers is addressing the 'shut up money' issue.

eureka's picture

My comments go way beyond the "shut up money" issue; that is, if one reads contextually.

Unlike I, Mr Smith, does not address the root cause issue: US Empire - because that, is taboo.

Most US citizens of any stripe love US empire, which is an expression of vacarious living; a collectivist, tribal substitute for individual, creative living.

All Empire, is an instinctive attempt to fill the void of an empty soul - subconsciously hoping to escape one's own individual ignorance, provicialism and anti-intellectual materialism, in a grand collectivist display of supremacy over other tribes/nations.

Just completing an incomplete analysis. That's all.

LFMayor's picture

you're damn right I love refridgeration, medical care and motorized transport.  Without this empire you decry the goddamn boots would have been on our throats generations ago.  You'd be hoeing arugula for the elites instead of pontificating on this electronic communication marvel.

The Empire, like any other bureaocracy, has ossified and is about to collapse under it's own weight.  Such developments are inevitable, because fucking weaklings get into the system and like termites erode it from within.  It's just he way it is, as natural as jacking off.

What we need to do now is set up another Empire.  Maybe we'll get another 150 or 200 year run out of it before it too collapses.  The reason the Romans took a 1000 years was the fact that their communication and transportation systems were more primitive.  Given the internet the Romans would have buckled within 300.  They get the 100 year punt because they didn't worry much about political correctness.

SWRichmond's picture

This comment, and the one above it from eureka, move the discussion in an interesting direction.  I agree and disagree with parts of both.  Empire is not the problem; empire is merely a symptom of the problem.  Central banking is the problem.  And the problem with central banking is that it appears to work for awhile.  First, by providing funding of last resort, it introduces moral hazard into the financial system and starts the expansionist "bad decision making" ball rolling.  It enables the welfare / warfare state by directly and indirectly financing it.  Further, it allows, through credit, an economy to grow beyond its ordinary means and commandeer more resources than it otherwise would be able to.  And so, people like it, at first, and as long as the inherent problems with it can be effectively blamed on someone / something else.  People like it because it brings home the goods.  It necessitates empire, and funds it as well.

So, here's the problem as I see it: what happens to us if we delete central banking, but our enemies do not?  Will their economies grow faster than ours, enabling them to spend us into oblivion before they themselves blow up in a giant fractional-reserve leveraged printed-money credit derivative mushroom cloud?


It's the blow up part that people don't like.  They like everything else.  And if they can be induced merely to not understand it just enough, then it is here to stay.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

All this bickering about what is actually the real problem reminds me of the scene in Braveheart where the nobles are in a hall and they just won their first fight against the British and all the nobles cared about was who would ascend to the throne of Scotland.


Central banking, empire, welfare,'s like picking the king of Scotland.... who gives a fucking shit?


We should figure out a better way of living, a better way of organizing ourselves as a country.

Dugald's picture

I just had a vision of Benanke being "Hung - Drawn - and Quartered.....what nice thought........

Rhodin's picture

He may deserve it,  but it is not a nice thought.  If there was still a position to fill, it might lower applications though.

MacGruber's picture

People often say that it's the fault of central banking but I think that too can be a scapegoat as much as any other. It does play a role in feeding the inequalities but mostly as an excellerant - speeding you down a path you are already on. The main cause is the capitalist system; a system that already tends towards concentration of money and power.

The basic concept of capitalism make the rise of monopolies, oligarcy and economic inequity preordained. Money begets more money and less money begets even less, it's a natural force. Just an example: if I have $1 million dollars and invest it at 5% and pay 15% capital gains, I have $42k to live off of if I choose to, this frees me or my money to do other things. If I have 2 million, I can compound the earnings of the 2nd and become even richer through time with zero productive labor of my own.

If on the other hand I MAKE $42k per year, I must work and I will never have any appreciable free money or time(a week vacation to FL to see your in-laws doesn't count) unless I save some of my current spending for the future (in essence a self tax). Through time my wealth will stay the same or progressively decline. Now you can say that the Fed giving the Elites leverage at 0% makes this incrementally more unfair, but the premise is still the same - capitalism creates the condition under which this inequity can breed.

I'm no pinko commie, I believe capitalism is the best we have. However, the only thing that can save this cascade of wealth inequity are purposeful controls on wealth. I know it's not popular here but regulation and taxation are the only countervail forces against the natural progression of capitalism. That said, I feel currently we are too far down the road, and a "reset" is needed to resolve the inequity that has already been created.

PaperBugsBurn's picture


That's why it's gonna be sumpin to see when it all blows up!

blunderdog's picture

Most of the self-proclaimed "libertarians" who post here don't really believe in the libertarian core tenets.  Kinda like Ron Paul and his pro-life view.  If you don't go all in, you're not much of a libertarian. 

The real libertarian is committed to some pretty simple principles: open the borders, dismantle the welfare state, ditch all policies of government enforcement of social norms, and end aggressive militaristic policy.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

I junked you because pro-life and libertarianism aren't mutually exclusive.

In fact, holding abortion out to be murder is supported by the tenets of non-aggression.

blunderdog's picture

It's pretty hard to make any case that unborn babies can be viewed as moral agents, thus cannot be citizens, thus government has no legitimate authority to grant them "rights," thus pro-life LEGISLATION is unsupportable as a libertarian policy.

As a social norm, or desired moral imperative, or whatever, it's all fine.  But not as a legislated policy.  It all hinges on crafting an argument which makes unborn babies "people" in the eyes of the law.  And unless they can own property, good luck with that.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

That makes absolutely no sense.  It's a human being.  Don't kill human beings.  What the fuck are you talking about???

blunderdog's picture

You're not prepared to have a legitimate conversation on the subject.  Disregard.

eureka's picture

Blunderdog wins this argument handily.

A merely weeks old brainless fetus is neither a human being nor a moral agent.

It's just that some pseudo Libertarians and some anti-Fed'ians still LOVE to tell other people and other countries what to do - and therein lies the rub of all US misery, empire and decay.

sgt_doom's picture

Thanks to eureka for stating the obvious, and what should be obvious to anyone who understands the facts, the arithmetic, and especially the math!

I mean, Smith makes this assertion:

"The Power Elites cannot understand why making credit cheap isn't creating jobs."

Along with some others, which makes one wonder if he was born just yesterday???

I can't really improve upon eureka's comments, except to restate the obvious:

They (the Transnational Capitalist Class, power eiltes, senior dark pool owners, etc.) have offshored the production assets (factories, jobs, etc.), and offshored the capital assets (investments, federal stimulus, QE-up-the-wazoo, etc.).

End of story.

This is a really silly post of the ignorant for the ignorant.

Urban Redneck's picture

How and why have they moved production assets and capital assets? 

For the answer see the previous -

Claiming transnational capitalist class, power eiltes, senior dark pool owners, etc. (TBTF, MIC) are the entire US economy is rather large oversimplification.  

AnAnonymous's picture

Libertarians - including all zerohedge bloggers, readers and commentators must realize that the only solution to all US problems is complete dismantlement of US Empire.


As I stated many times, the US is not the solution. The US is the problem.

Rhodin's picture

the US is not the solution. The US is the problem


Yes and no. 

The banksters and cartels run well over 3/4 of the world now.  The US is the problem in about the way that muscle and assassins are problems, if you have a beef with a mafia.  US is chief enforcer.  If/when US collapses before a successor is prepared, likely a war will decide who is the next enforcer.  If we (humans) are very lucky, (worldwide financial collapse, jailed bankers, PM or commodity money, etc) there may not be a war or a successor, but no bet there. 

rufusbird's picture

If Congress addressed and responded the issues of their constituency instead of the bloated Lobby industry we would not have most of these unresolved issues we are discussing.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

I agree with Eureka, not Rufusbird.  He, I junked.

oddjob's picture


They are the worst of the lot, chronic enablers of the current system, just receiving a larger welfare cheque.

eureka's picture

Perhaps, but they are only in place to serve the rich. You must learn to hate the rich and the empire - or - accept the bureaucracy they control.

You must go to the root of evil: the rich - the originators of empire.

mayhem_korner's picture

Why can't one be rich without being corrupt?  Too many here like to pigeon-hole everyone irrevocably into classes.  That's not reality.

Vergeltung's picture

(psst! don't confuse him with reality. he won't like that)

Almost Solvent's picture

When he says rich, I think he means uber-wealthy, the types that make billionaires look like chump-change.


And you might not see their names listed in Forbes every year . . .

toady's picture

I like to make a distinction about the rich. There are many who create valuable things and get rich selling them: Bill Gates, Henry Ford, etc. Sure, they aren't saints, but they created something that made alot of money for them, and others.

Then there are 'the masters of the universe', the ones that push paper from point a to point b, all while ratholing percentages and saying how inovative thier scams are... These are the rich that have destroyed the world.

earnulf's picture

The truth is that there are some who are well off, even rich by standards, who do give a damn about others and make an attempt to be a responsible human being.    That's about the same percentage as the top income earners in the US (about 1%).

It is far too easy to be seduced by the power of fiat money, it opens doors, it makes people do things for you and if you are rich enough, you can live better than 99.999% of the planetary population.    People who hit the lottery, or sign the sports contract/movie contract/etc, find themselves suddenly "rich and famous" without the grounding necessary to deal with wealth.   It's the old "I can't be overdrawn, I still have checks" syndrome where you party hearty until the money runs out, then wonder what happened.

Those who have either "gotten religion" or just come to their senses, can even be a strong positive force in the world, at least when it comes to their "pet" projects.   Our elected leaders on the other hand, haven't found the bottom of the (pork) barrell and don't realize that we ran out of money 14.3 Trillion and counting ago.

Just as you can't say all Republicans are conservative and all Democrats are Liberal, one can't lump everyone in with a label, although that tends to be the best way to separate opinions....But like someone said, Opinions are like a--holes, everyone has one.

Bitch Tits's picture

Hahahahahahaha. Rich, but not corrupt? Hahahahahahaha. Who is confused about reality?

fallout11's picture

Because with wealth comes power, economic (and often political and social) power.

And power, as we know from Lord Acton's famous quote, corrupts.

Sociopaths crave power. Lots of sociopaths and would-be sociopaths in the upper echelon.  Plato discussed plutocracy (and the tendency for nation states to become one)some 2500 years ago. Not much changes, unfortunately.

Isotope's picture

"In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power. Love of power is not connected with goodness, but with qualities that are opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning and cruelty."
- Leo Tolstoy

"Power intoxicates men. When a man is intoxicated by alcohol, he can recover. But when intoxicated by power, he seldom recovers."
- James F. Byrnes

smore's picture

Eureka, you seem to be in the grip of some black and white dogma which I can't identify.


Rich = Bad = Originators of Empire?


Is this teenage Marxism, or are you just a huge George Lucas fan?


Urban Redneck's picture

Hatred is born of fear.

You present a false dichotomy.  Is it because of a sense of envy or inferiority to those you would have others hate, or because you are their loyal servant seeking to maintain their dominance.

Tsukato's picture

Are you for real?! Are you a woman? Why not blame all the parasites which also include bureaucrats and the poor? You're a real piece of work. A product of leftie uni propaganda at its finest. Do you also lose sleep over the plight of blacks and hispanics?

max2205's picture

Didn't you hear Ben said he didn't spend one dime to pump the markets.....

baby_BLYTHE's picture

definitionally he is correct since the FED doesn't have real capital to 'spend', they create it out of nothing.

kito's picture

as reported on zh, import prices does that jive with this?

The Axe's picture

Ben has made a profit on every trade, every purchase, every sale...not one loss....he is fucking amazing....not even the giant squid can approach his greatness..... 

eureka's picture

Who do you think Ben works for? He takes orders from Blankfein - his ex-roomie at Ivy-Ilk - who takes orders from the Rockefellers et al.

TruthInSunshine's picture
by The Axe
on Wed, 07/13/2011 - 13:56


Ben has made a profit on every trade, every purchase, every sale...not one loss....he is fucking amazing....not even the giant squid can approach his greatness.....


Give me license to mark my assets to whatever value I damn well please, and then give me a printing press to complete the process, and I can do a HELLUVA lot better than The Bernank!

Prepare to be amazed!

I only kill chickens and wheat's picture


You are receiving This As ur final warning congress To Obey the Debt ceiling increase& Thisis your last warning You Embecille,s.Sam The dOG

Vic Vinegar's picture

Great stuff as always.

The Power Elites are slowly losing their grip on the middle class. Once people no longer have a stake in the Status Quo, then they might become dissatisifed with the cheap bribes to stay home and rot away, consuming Pringles and "entertainment" on the telly.

Cheap bribes, Pringles and the telly aren't so bad, however.  They really aren't.

Elliott Eldrich's picture

I'm starting to have a real problem with the term "elites" being used to describe those on the very top of this system. Their short-sightedness, their craven greed, their endless crimes of force and fraud, their utter refusal to admit to any error whatsoever, their complete inability to recognize or admit to any harm done by them and their reflexive willingness to blame the victims whenever possible makes me to want to come up with a better, more accurate term to describe them.

The best one I've come up with is "spoiled brats." I'm open to suggestions.

fallout11's picture

Clinical psychology used to calls them sociopaths, although that term is now out (with the IV classifications)