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The Purchase Of Our Republic

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The massive consolidation of wealth, combined with the removal of any limits on money in campaigns, has allowed for the purchase of our government.

Today I am publishing a comprehensive and important guest essay, The Purchase of Our Republic, by longtime correspondent Y. Falkson.

Americans know that something is wrong, deeply wrong. They see signs of the problem everywhere: income inequality, growing concentration and power of mega corporations, political donations/corruption, the absence of jobs with decent salaries, the explosion of the US prison population, healthcare costs, student loan debt, homelessness, etc. etc. 

However, the true causes and benefactors behind these problems are purposely hidden from view. What Americans see is Kabuki Theater of a functioning form of capitalism and democracy, but beyond this veneer our country has devolved into the exact opposite.

Those who benefit from this crony capitalist state go to extreme lengths to paper over the reality and convince Americans that the system works, the American Dream is still a reality and that American democracy is in fact democratic.

Below I hope to begin to outline some of the underlying dynamics and trends that have evolved in recent decades and led us so far from what we once were. As fun as it would be, the answer is not some evil conspiracy by the Illuminati, but rather the unfortunate result of three long term and mutually reinforcing components that have been attacking the fundamental roots of the structure of our Republic.

The first is the increased concentration of corporate and private wealth. Both of which are quickly yelled down in the media as anti-free market and class war hysteria.

The second is the use of this wealth to capture all three branches of government in order to ensure the continued extraction of capital from the many and to the few.The rich might have climbed the ladder because they earned it, but they have then purchased government to pull up the ladder behind them.

The consequence of the first two components is a democracy in name only that represents the very few.

1. Faux Capitalism = Wealth Consolidation / Income Inequality

Corporate Wealth:

While there is no true beginning to the story, we can start with the incredible build up and concentration of wealth among corporations in recent decades. The USA now boasts a cartel-like set of corporate titans in almost every industry. It goes beyond, but certainly includes, our Too Biggerer To Fail banks, merged from what was 37 banks in 1995 into a Frankenstein’s monster like 5 (Citigroup, JP Morgan-Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs).

In agriculture, Monsanto alone controls over 85% of all corn and soy bean crops, four companies control 83% of the beef market, 66% of the hog market and 58% of the chicken market. So while shopping at the grocery store might appear to be the manifestation of capitalism at its finest, it doesn’t take much digging to look behind the curtain to see how little competition truly exists.

When the average American goes to pick up some groceries, they are shopping at Walmart and buying something from P&G that is mostly made of Monsanto corn. Is that true choice?

The same story plays out with our news and media (and other industries) where we have gone from 50 companies in 1983 to the big 6 which control over 90% of all media. Is choosing to watch one of 30 news channels, all of which are owned by News Corp (Rupert Murdoch) a real choice? This is not capitalism and they are not competing, not in the true sense of the word.

Along with this consolidation of corporations in recent decades, their senior leaders have taken up a larger and larger piece of the pie at the expense of their employees. In particular, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay has increased 1,000 percent since 1950. Unsurprisingly, Walmart is both the largest employer in the country and the worst CEO pay offender with a ratio of over 1000:1. This is at a time where worker productivity has increased significantly, something that historically correlated with increased pay. But no more. It’s a new twist on the old Soviet saying “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us”, but now it’s closer to “we do all of the work and they pretend to pay us”.

illusion of choice 

Private Wealth:

As a consequence of the royal tribute we pay to the C-suite class these days, we have likely surpassed the pre-Depression Roaring Twenties in terms of inequality.

This, amazingly, has only accelerated since the crisis in 2008 in thanks to bailouts, Quantitative Easing and other gifts from Congress and the Fed. The wealthy 1% and in particular the .01% have now grown their fortunes to levels that tax comprehension and even their ability to spend it (the decisions by a few billionaires such as Bill Gates to essentially donate his fortune is a tacit acknowledgement that our current system over provides wealth to a select few).

So what is an incredibly wealthy capitalist CEO of a mega-corporation do once they control their industry and have essentially limitless wealth? Well in a competitive market, the only way to go from the top is down and the only thing that can make that happen is competition. Consequently, competition must be avoided whenever possible.

To squash or prevent competition, the oligopolies and oligarchs target their resources on the one place that can make competition illegal, our government.Something to keep in mind the next time you see a corporate billionaire grandstanding about the importance of “Free Markets” when their strategy is quite the opposite.

As this capture of the government has taken place we have essentially shifted from capitalism and to crony capitalism. So we now have industries that have mastered the art of faking capitalism by turning our government into one that fakes democracy.

This government takeover took time, but the purchase of all 3 branches of government has almost been completed by 2014. You don’t have to take my word for it, luckily that has now been empirically proven in an analysis of over 20 years of government policy where the clear conclusion was that policy makers respond solely to those in the top 90th percentile and essentially ignore the large majority of Americans.

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens

Wealth Inequality in America (6:23 video) 

2. Wealthy Purchase of Government Institutions / Elections

Purchase of the Executive Branch:

Let’s take a step back and take a glimpse at how the government was purchased, beginning with the executive branch. In 1980, Reagan’s election cost less than $300 million. When Bush beat Kerry in 2004, it cost almost 3x times as much, almost $900 Million. 4 years later, the 2008 election cost a record $1.3 Billion. It was in this election where Obama hammered the final nail in the coffin for government funded for elections.

Obama, more so than any other candidate in recent decades had the widespread support of millions of small donors, but in the end I guess it wasn’t enough. So when Obama “leaned to the green”, it forever set the precedent that you can’t win without the backing of our nation’s oligarchs. Consequently, the money has only gushed in since as the cost of Obama’s reelection in 2012 skyrocketed to an unfathomable $7 billion.

Needless to say this is slightly above the rate of inflation. Our Presidents are now preselected exclusively by a tiny fraction of Americans can have the money to fund what has become necessary for a legitimate run.

Summary: Candidates spend years courting the super-rich to build up a multi-billion dollar war chest. Only those who succeed can actually run a campaign that an average American will be aware of. Then Americans get to choose one of the pre-selected “candidates”. No wonder voter turnout is so low…

Executive branch, check!

– Note that media corporations benefit doubly as they can use their cash to fund elections, but are also the beneficiary of all that money as it is used for campaign spending.

Purchase of the Legislative Branch:

The process has progressed similarly in Congress. In 1978, outside groups spent $303,000 on congressional races. In 2012 that was up to $457,000,000. That is over 1,500 times the level in 1978. It would be funny, if it was so blatant and terrifying. By many accounts, our “leaders” in Congress spend 50% or more of their time working the phones or fundraisers rather than trying (and failing) to actually do the “people’s business”.

Let’s also take a minute to appreciate the hypocrisy of anyone that pretends that the money doesn’t influence our government. Businesses do not give to politicians for charity. This is a payment for services that has proven exceedingly reliable and profitable. The ROI for money invested in purchasing Congressman is what CEO dreams are made of.

No wonder the incentive is to invest in Congress rather than R&D or marketing. There are very few places in the world or times in history where you can find ROI’s in the thousands, or even the tens of thousands.

In addition, increasingly those who work on Congress (and regulators) were previously employed by these large corporations or expect to work there later. A recent example is Chris Dodd who left the Senate the head lobbyist for Hollywood at the MPAA, the guys behind SOPA and PIPA, but there are many many others.

Review: Congressmen beg for money to get elected, make sure to vote the way your benefactors would like, consequently get more money to get elected again. If at any point they do lose or quit, they take the big payday to work for those who have been paying them all along.

Legislative Branch, Check!

Judicial Branch Endorsement of the Purchase of Government:

Last but not least, we have the enabling Judicial Branch. It only took a few purchased presidents to ensure the appointment of a majority of “free market” and “pro-business” judges. For instance, and disgracefully, Clarence Thomas was once legal counsel for Monsanto, but has not once recused himself from any cases involving Monsanto and always votes in their favor.

These radicals have now fully endorsed and enabled the influx of money used to purchase the other branches. Specifically, 2 major decisions have completely opened the floodgates, Citizens United and McCutcheon. The first allowed unlimited contributions of corporate money into elections and brought us the notorious declaration that “corporations are people” and that “money is free speech”.

This was more recently followed up with the private wealth equivalent in McCutcheon. In this ruling, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said as part of his majority opinion (presumably with a straight face) “… nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner influence over or access to elected officials or political parties”.

And with this, the Supreme Court has fully endorsed both major sources of immense wealth to purchase our elections and consequently our government.

Review: The rich fund Presidential elections, Presidents nominate “business-friendly” judges and then the bought Congress approves their nominations. New judge then votes to ensure even more money is allowed to purchase elections.

Judicial Branch, CHECK!

3. A Faux Republic Dependent Upon the Funders and Not the Voters

The Founder’s Hope and the Sad Reality:

Acknowledging where we are as a country, it is often helpful to look to where we started for some perspective. Unsurprisingly, this type of problem was not overlooked back in the 18th century. In 1776, James Madison stated that his goal was to design a republic in which “powerful interest groups would be rendered incapable of subdoing the general will”. Madison hoped, perhaps naively, that factions would be thwarted by competing with other factions.

Sadly, we are now in a time where factions (aka wealthy special interests) subdue the will of the people and ensure the government responds to them alone on those issues where they have a “special interest” and consequently asymmetric stakes in the game (Charles Hugh Smith). As a result, these groups essentially collude to allocate their resources to their own issues, but do not “thwart” or compete with other factions as they do the same. It’s a pretty great system, as long as you’re one of the wealthy few who can use their money to drown out the poor and voiceless many.

And just like that, what was once a Republic has become a corrupt shell of its past self. All the signs are still there; votes, elections, campaigns, branches of government, etc., but behind the scenes the only ones represented are those who can afford to be heard.

Summary: This massive consolidation of wealth, combined with the removal of any limits on money in campaigns, has allowed for the purchase of our government, or as Dick Durban once stated, “frankly they [the banks in this case] own the place”. If money = free speech, then those with all the money, have all the free speech.

What Might Help?

Now that I have likely and thoroughly depressed the reader, let’s bounce around some ideas for what can be done. As stated in the beginning, this is not an unknown problem and many people are promoting a number of ways to fix or at least ameliorate the problem. I will briefly describe just a few which I think provide some direction any of us could easily implement or support.

Change the Rules: Laurence Lessig of Harvard Law has put forward a visionary proposal for re-writing the way that campaigns are financed in his book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It.

Put simply, he would like to empower every voter with a stipend, say $150 per election to give to whatever candidate or candidates they prefer. If you would like to accept this money, you would need to forgo any other contributions or support (one would hope including the indirect PAC kind). This would actually provide even more money than is used in current elections, but would effectively democratize the funding process. While there would still be a “funding election” that takes place before the actual election, the funding would not be unequally provided.

Lessig’s work has only begun, as this sort of bill or likely constitutional reform is nearly impossible to achieve, but he has undertaken and I assume will continue to implement many brave and creative ways of bringing about the change all American’s should support.

Most recently he has suggested we begin to fund, ironically enough, a Super PAC to end all Super PACs. It would be funded with the solitary goal of changing how money impacts our elections.

Please support them here:

Change Our Day-to-Day: At the more micro level, Charles Hugh Smith believes that we will inevitably see our overly centralized and inefficient system erode away as it is replaced by more resilient, local and efficient businesses and societies outside of the current system. With that in mind, he recommends that “all anyone can do is the basic things--lower our energy footprint, stay healthy and avoid unnecessary medications and procedures, support local businesses, organic food growers, etc. In other words, what we can do is support local businesses that are part of the emerging economy rather than support corporate cartels.”

Your Vote Does Matter: Do you live in Ohio, Florida or New Hampshire? Probably not. Despite what we are told every 4 years, there are actually states outside of the “swing states”, and even more surprising, the very large majority of Americans live in those states where your “vote doesn’t matter”. New Yorkers an Californians all know their state will turn Blue no matter who the candidates are and either don’t vote at all, or often vote for the Blue team in order to feel like they are on the winning side.

The truth is that if you see the election as Red vs. Blue, you vote probably doesn’t matter. But here is the trick, if all the people who think their vote didn’t matter decided to vote for whom they might actually believe in, then their votes just might matter.

What if all the growing number of “Independents” (who usually still vote Blue), chose to vote for a third party? What if a third party candidate won a state like New York or California? What if that candidate was one whose primary promise to the voters was to champion a change to the role of money in government (perhaps in line with what Lessig proposes)? Would you vote for such a person?
I would argue you should. If California alone (with 55 electoral votes) were to vote for a 3rd party that would likely prevent either Red or Blue candidate from winning the requisite 270 electoral votes.

Think about the message that would send to both parties. I would predict that both sides would start to bend over backwards for an endorsement from that 3rd party and they would have to get it by taking up the same primary cause for reforming money in government. Consequently, at the root of our corrupted system which is perpetually ignored as both sides might suddenly become the big issue of the election. Then maybe we might begin to turn things around.

Sources: Charles Hugh Smith (oftwominds, Surivival+, etc.), Yves Smith (Naked Capitalism, Econned), Laurence Lessig (Republic Lost, multiple TED Talks), Matt Taibbi (blog at Rolling Stone and now at The Intercept), Zero Hedge, John Robb, Max Keiser, Clay Shirky (Cognitive Surplus), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, Brave New World Revisited), George Orwell (1984), Michael Lewis, Daniel Kahneman (Thinking Fast and Slow), James Richards (Currency Wars), Han Joon Chang (23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism) and Joseph Stiglitz (Mismeasuring Our Lives) 

Thank you, Y. Falkson, for a comprehensive presentation on the capture of the political machinery by enormously concentrated financial wealth.


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Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:03 | 4827639 Squid Viscous
Squid Viscous's picture

brave new world...

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:15 | 4827675 CH1
CH1's picture

Collapse, yes.

Defeat, no.

My identity is not tied to any state. I waiting for the collapse to get the thugs out of my way.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:21 | 4828108 outamyeffinway
outamyeffinway's picture

WRONG! Changing the rules on these fuckers changes nothing. WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE WAY WE LIVE, DOPES!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 19:15 | 4828420 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

this article completely misses the point. the purchase of our republic took place in 1913 when a traitorous congress and president signed the federal reserve into existence. Giving the powers of money to a group of private bankers, and soon after bringing the income tax into the mix to pay the interest we were racking up. this has been inevitable ever since then

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 19:37 | 4828483 I need Another Beer
I need Another Beer's picture

Dead on the mark Carl ! The other aspect is lack of real education in Junior , High School and College. There is no civics or history being taught anymore.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 00:08 | 4829080 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

No mention at any point of the hold that government workers have on state and local government through their union political contributions.

The US had campaign financing of presidential candidates through the tax check off system.  That died when Obama dropped out of it to spend a half billion to buy the election.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 07:00 | 4829358 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

These radicals have now fully endorsed and enabled the influx of money used to purchase the other branches. Specifically, 2 major decisions have completely opened the floodgates, Citizens United and McCutcheon. The first allowed unlimited contributions of corporate money into elections and brought us the notorious declaration that “corporations are people” and that “money is free speech”.

Yeah, sorry, you're an idiot like everyone else whose made that completely incorrect and demonstrably false statement.  There is no such statement anywhere in the Citizens United decision and in fact it has been the case since their very inception that internet for fucks sake and educate yer god damn self before you make yourself look like a complete ass again.

How can you make a cogent argument if you don't even understand the words you're using?

I am Chumbawamba.

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 10:32 | 4832307 Bollixed
Bollixed's picture

It could be noted that the meme for 'Corporations are People' might have it's basis in Judge Stevens dissenting opinion where he states (emphisis mine):

"It might also be added that corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their "personhood" often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of "We the People" by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."

In essence it appears he was arguing that the majority opinion was a defacto recognition of Corporations as People.

I don't have a dog in this fight, I just thought I'd throw this out there because even though the opinion of the SCOTUS does not specifically use that term as you have rightly pointed out, it doesn't negate the fact that the decision handed to Corporations a voice equal to and on par with 'people' regarding such a voice in electioneering.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 20:25 | 4828594 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

The truth.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 06:26 | 4829324 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

"It works, Mughead!  All we had to do was put the balls on the other end!" -- Firesign Theatre

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 05:53 | 4829301 homonohumanus
homonohumanus's picture

That was just a consolidation type of act, the issue is older in America and elsewhere.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 14:37 | 4830770 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

Nothing changes as long as they can print money out of nothing.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 01:25 | 4829169 Adahy
Adahy's picture

Head of nail, meet hammer.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:15 | 4827676 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Just not today. S&P up another 12 handles. Goldman's 1950 target (raised from 1900 just last week) is only 11 points away.

This is getting silly. Last year looked like the blow-off top so I guess this year is the top on top of the blow-off top.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:16 | 4827681 CH1
CH1's picture

Reality has been suspended.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:20 | 4827693 john39
john39's picture

amazing what you can do with total control of the printing press...

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:31 | 4827722 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

"The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again." —Josiah Stamp, director of the Bank of England

[possibly a fake quote, but true nonetheless]

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:01 | 4828050 kito
kito's picture

last i checked, tapering hasnt slowed down the market, so its not printing alone...its the manipulation through rates that is as important.....the markets are up because there is no other place to park liquid assets and see some type of return....thanks to nirp....burp...........

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 20:27 | 4828601 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

The taper isn't real.  Bonds are being bought and QE as commonly discussed only applies to .gov.  There seems to be just a bit of private Fed to Banks QE as well. 

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 18:10 | 4828227 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

and to think, i felt pretty smart a few weeks ago getting my IRA out of s&P at 1894. oh well, better a year early than a day late.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:19 | 4827683 Squid Viscous
Squid Viscous's picture

"within the next generation, I predict that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons...and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience" - Aldous Huxley

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:54 | 4827823 whoisonfirst
Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:50 | 4827801 whoisonfirst
whoisonfirst's picture

Without over reaching government, businesses would sink or swim on their own. Without the fed and fractional banking, banks would lend up to the amount they had on deposit.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:12 | 4828081 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

Gummint:  ctrl-alt-del

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 01:16 | 4829158 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

No.  It is the New World Order you fear, and rightly so.  Why does everyone focus on the symptom and not the cause?  The cause is the government, the article says so in the first few lines.  It is the tyrannical state that rules the people, and herein lies the problem.  The only solution is Liberty, when the people rule over their government.  You can read about it next week at for free.  The Science of Liberty: American Reformation & Renaissance will come out with its first few chapters, and then added to it every week or so a few chapters at a time. or   SERFS UP AMERICA!

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 06:20 | 4829320 doctor10
doctor10's picture

A Federal Judiciary,with term limits, elected by the state legislatures in their district, could probably find their nutsack and manage to read and apply the Sherman -Clayton Anti-trust Acts.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:06 | 4827645 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Fuck democracy. Fuck government.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:39 | 4827762 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Agree with the second stament there and disagree with the first. We no longer have a democracy here, we have an oligarchy.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:50 | 4827793 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

If only we had the right dictator.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:02 | 4828051 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

Actually, we do have a democracy now: rule by the vocal mob.  We used to have a constitutional republic.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 18:44 | 4828334 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

We are ruled by oligarchs who have purchased the government for their own purposes. If this is mob rule, then the 0.001% are the mob.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 20:07 | 4828554 TheRedScourge
TheRedScourge's picture

It is both. A vocal mob who are heavily propagandized by an elite few. Because the propaganda is not absolute, they have to find convoluted ways to get buy-in like political correctness, but often it is contradictory and so they don't win every PR battle immediately, but as they're patient, they'll win em all eventually.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:09 | 4827652 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture
. "Americans know that something is wrong, deeply wrong."

Yes, but for many reasons, not just what CH-S writes.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:55 | 4827822 sleigher
sleigher's picture
If the American people knew what we have done,  they would string us up from the lamp posts.  -George H.W. Bush
Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:08 | 4827654 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"The purchase of our planet" --  FIXED.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:12 | 4827662 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

I've been an entrepreneur basically since college. I must be getting dumber as the years go by. As its currently almost impossible to do anything or risk capital, without total failure or theft by a bigger Corp. And/Or the public takers. 


It's Gault for me, the rest of my trip on this rock. FUCK THEM !!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:14 | 4827672 CH1
CH1's picture

If I held Galt's motor in my hands, I certainly wouldn't release it to the goons that run states.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:12 | 4827664 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Sociofascist Crony-capi-commi-kleptoligarchy.

All the dark traits of each former definition, none of the good.

Brave New 1984 World cooking real people at 451 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:56 | 4827827 Rainman
Rainman's picture

that fabled fabian socialist patience really paid off for them big.

Owning it all seems a little piggy , but they say it's for the good of the peoples.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:13 | 4827669 JRobby
JRobby's picture


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:31 | 4827731 mastersnark
mastersnark's picture

Don't have to. 2014 is an election year, so we can totally fix this in November.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:37 | 4827752 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

2014 election is already 'fixed' you can take that to the central banksters at negative interest!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:40 | 4827764 cossack55
cossack55's picture

LOL....thats some funny shit.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:57 | 4827835 sleigher
sleigher's picture

"Have to. 2014 is an election year, they have totally fixed November."


Thought I would fix that up a bit for you.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 18:18 | 4828254 Monty Burns
Monty Burns's picture

That's funny.  You'll get to choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee in each and every election. If elections really changed anything they'd be banned.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 22:18 | 4828856 Redneck Hippy
Redneck Hippy's picture

Tweedledum and Tweedledumber.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:14 | 4827670 JailBank
JailBank's picture

Would this election stipend be able to be withdrawn at stipclubs, casinos, bars? I would donate $150 to Cheyene down at the Playhouse to get elected to office, maybe comptroller, who knows.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:24 | 4827684 gdogus erectus
gdogus erectus's picture

"There is no vast conspiracy!" Ummm, ok
"Candidates seek out rich folks to fund their campaign!" Yeah, no stooges are vetted, bribed, picked and blackmailed in a vast conspiracy.
"Just vote in some good guys!" Ok, I wrote in Ron Paul in the last two elections. I saw what the machine did to my votes.

We are well beyond "voting out the bad guys."

Don't get me wrong, Falksen got it half right. He's figured out how "they" get their useful lieutenants to reach their objectives, he's just missing what's under the water's surface.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:20 | 4827695 Budd aka Sidewinder
Budd aka Sidewinder's picture

Superior article

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:29 | 4827725 mastersnark
mastersnark's picture

This article seems important as it has a lot of charts and stuff. I should read it after later at the earliest.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:35 | 4827744 mastersnark
mastersnark's picture

This was all done via the consent of the People a.k.a "The Tree of Liberty has been deprived of its bloody food source."

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:36 | 4827746 RaiZH
RaiZH's picture

So you are telling me, ever since that barbarous relic was demonitized ... average Joe hasn't benefited relatively from increases in productivity? Amazing.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:39 | 4827760 Dick Gazinia
Dick Gazinia's picture

Who runs Bartertown?

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:14 | 4828094 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

"Break a deal, face the wheel"

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:40 | 4827765 SofaPapa
SofaPapa's picture

"What if all the growing number of “Independents” (who usually still vote Blue), chose to vote for a third party?"

You said it above, but missed its importance.  The MEDIA!  This is the lynchpin.  Third parties cannot break into the media space to let people know they are even there.  Look at how Ron Paul was treated in the last cycle.  Pravda has moved west with a vengeance.  The good news, however, is that in the long run, as you also pointed out, regardless of the message being sent, a large number of people have caught on.  Just as in the former USSR, eventually the population recognizes propaganda for what it is.  Once they are exposed as liars (and boring idiotic ones at that), TPTB are living on borrowed time.

Many of TPTB also know this and are preparing their exits, but boy are they good at stealing everything they can in the meantime!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:16 | 4828099 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

That's how  "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." sexual predator clinton got elected... the third "party" candidate split the votes and a sexual lying miscreant got elected....  but it depends on the what the definition of is is....

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 18:52 | 4828354 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

If you think the various places Clinton put his dick were under reported by our media, then you are a special kind of idiot.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 19:17 | 4828426 SofaPapa
SofaPapa's picture

The way your comment is written, it appears you believe the fudamental story would have changed had either Bush I or Bob Dole been elected as opposed to Clinton.  It wouldn't.  We would still today be living in a country run by a small elite who are in control of the media and the currency.  Your missing the trend by being sucked into the personality contests they have made of the elections.  The trend of how we got here, however, goes back long before Clinton...

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 18:54 | 4828366 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

When the oligarchs control our mass media, their candidates get built up, while everyone else either gets ignored or worse.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:41 | 4827767 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

It cant be saved, never mind the purchase of the 'World' as we know it, we are entering uncharted waters with NIRP.

We are fucked, period.

Keep a lazer like focus, and remind others why, and how we arrived here at this historic point in human evolution.

The reckoning is upon us, let the good folk of ZH record this event for future posterity, as we know, we didnt cause this, but lets remind ourselves as a collective, us fuckers will have the job of putting the wrongs, right.

This is not a time for sorrow my friends.  We know, and we are not alone.

Inthemixes No' 1 rule for the post western ponzi, anyone, and I mean anyone anywhere near finance at a medium plus level is terminated, no trial, no leniancy, no excuses.  You brought this 'To' 'Us'.  You get back with 'Interest', what you paid in.

You wanted, or caused this catastrophic event to effect the whole of mankind, you 'Will' pay for it.

No'2, any, and all politicians associated with said ponzi go the same way, including your kin as over here the war criminal B.Liar is setting his son 'Euan' up in a safe 'Liebour' seat as we speak.

You fucking criminally insane cunts are going to pay a price worth more than gold.  Money has no meaning where you lot are concerned, and money wont help you when the time of reckoning comes.

People like the insignificant 96 will not forgive, we will not forget, and we will serve vengence.  And there isnt just one 96 you cunts.  We are legion.

Bank on it.



Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:56 | 4827831 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

The reckoning is upon us, let the good folk of ZH record this event for future posterity, as we know, we didn’t cause this, but lets remind ourselves as a collective, us fuckers will have the job of putting the wrongs, right.

Here's my prognostication:

Many, many more years of bread and circuses and a shrinking middle class, who will nonetheless think they are middle class, and continue to support the system, and continue to fight to the death over important things like homosexuality, and continue to be glued to the TV and to the Facebook.

I predict 50 more years, at least.


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:06 | 4827878 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

Fair play my friend.

I have mentioned this more than once, I clean windows and mix with folk from coucil estates (section 8 in your neck of the woods I believe), to millionaires.  This past year has seen a shift here, a massive shift.  30%+ have voted for a party called UKIP, what might better be called a sea change, something that hasnt happened for 100 years.

People are angy Rex.  Not just angry, but fucked off.  If peacefull change is denied, which they are trying their best here to stop such, what else are you left with eh?

I call dibs on this, as I did here at the turn of the year.  Right here on ZH.  2014, it kicks off.

Take care out there mate, things are about to get 'Interesting'.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:38 | 4827974 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Section 8 - precisely.

Hey - the fact is, I'm almost never right.

I followed the Euro elections and they were remarkable.

You're angry, I'm angry, everybody's angry, but I'm just old and tired at the same time.

You take care, too.

I always enjoy your comments - I've been an Anglophile since I was a little kid.

Please don't take that in a gay way. ;)

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:24 | 4828117 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

And niether am I Rex.

All over the world, from sea to shining sea my friend, we are all much the same then..

Lets give these cunts who rule us exactly what they deserve.

And I didnt take that in any which way than what you meant it.

Take care mate, who knows, one day we may see each other face to face, like others on here and laugh at what we faced.

Nothing but the best your way friend.


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:13 | 4827907 AsIseeIt
AsIseeIt's picture

There are many, the same as you, who are patiently watching and waiting for the right time.  You are not alone.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

John F. Kennedy

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:57 | 4827833 gwiss
gwiss's picture

This article didn't go deep enough.  It starts with rising income disparity, presuming that this is causative.  It is not.  It is instead itself reactive to the real long term problems, which are twofold:


1) The rise of a misunderstanding about the nature of money, such that we have confused debt and credit with money.  An inflating money supply always leads to rising income disparity, as those who are able to position themselves to take advantage of the flow of fake money are able to make headway while the rest struggle in the foam of rising prices and slowly ride lower and lower in the water until they drown.  This flow of fake money is made much easier by its use to purchase the regulatory and legislative levers of power, which occurs due to the second long term trend, which is:


2) Confusion about the nature of freedom.  Our Constitution is not a charter.  It is instead a statement about human nature, that statement being that human nature consists of an irrevocable and inchangeable separation from all other humans due to the existence of consciousness within and only within our heads.  It is this granular nature of consciousness that makes group resources impossible to share without conflict, and thus the nature of consciousness is what dictates the necessity of private property.  It is the permanent separation of our consciousnesses from each other and from nature that dictates that learning must be done via feedback of consequences in response to choices, and that also dictates that interruption of this feedback loop always results in misunderstanding the true nature of the reality we inhabit, the result of which is the voluntary creation of systemic instability and eventually collapse.  Freedom thus represents allowing an individual full and uninterupted access to the consequences of their own choices.  It cannot exist any other way.  Keeping government small is thus not magic -- it simply allows the necessary and perpetual process of societal learning and maturation to occur without interruption.


But, because we misunderstand money and freedom, we crank distortions into our society under the mistaken impression that we are "improving" it.  Thus we hand government more and more responsibility under the mistaken impression that we are making the system more stable, when in fact we are making it less so.  We try to issue fake money and debt under the impression that it makes our system more stable, while in fact suppression of economic volatility represents the muffling of feedback that keeps the system stable.  We destroy the system ourselves in our attempt to improve it.


Only one thing will fix it all, which is to allow the house of cards to fall and position society much closer to the cause and effect of reality.  Of course, those who have used the power of fake money to purchase the levers of power will never allow this to happen voluntarily, which is why the inevitable result of allowing fake money and fake philosophy into a society is war.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:04 | 4827861 flowlessflow
flowlessflow's picture

Well said.

Sadly our world is not focus on Value creation but rather deceive people into slavary. 


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:50 | 4828168 goneYonder
goneYonder's picture

Very good post. I equate the "full and uninterupted access to the consequences of their own choices" to the cryptic "pursuit of happiness". I'd appreciate reading more of your thoughts. Keep posting.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 19:14 | 4828417 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

Counterproductive nonsense. Instead of dealing with the real problems highlighted by the article, you propose we ignore them. What you write of is oligarch pushed propaganda. Instead of less government, we have to take control of the government back from the oligarchs.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 03:22 | 4829167 gwiss
gwiss's picture

Well, there's two ways to think about that, isn't there...


On the one hand, yes, you could have a much stronger government, run by those with a real passion for smashing and eliminating corruption.  The problem is, that power always corrupts.  In fact, there was just a fantastic piece posted on this very site about the current incestuous nature of our government and business spheres.  Here's the link to the Matt Stoller article it references:


What is ironic about the point of view of the strong government folks is that it was the very same strong government they champion that allowed the oligarchs to buy their golden parachutes out of the crisis.  Had we honest money and small government, they would have gone bankrupt and been shown the door.  We would have had a massive deflation, and then reset and come roaring back, once again lean and hungry and capable, while those whose bad steering caused the crisis would have been given such a stinging slap in the face that they shut up and sat down and perhaps learned something.   That's how honest money crises work.  Honest money crises hurt everyone, but they hurt those who are most leveraged the worst, which is how honest money prevents excessive credit inflation from harming the economy -- it periodically prunes those who are reaching out too far.


Where this leveraged, speculative, "hot" money harms society the most, however, is when it is used not just to stimuate malinvestment and profit from it, but to purchase the levers of power.  Because what has essentially happened is that we have had a leveraged buyout of our country.  The typical private equity MO, a la Romney, is to purchase failing companies, quietly prune them of productive resources, load them up on debt, spray paint a new spiffy exterior on them and sell them to an unsuspecting public.  By the time the paint wears off and the whole thing implodes, private equity has exited stage left and claims that they had nothing to do with the failure, and blame the whole thing on the incompetent management that followed them.


This is also what has happened to our country.  Our levers of power have been bought on credit, and those steering have done their best to spay paint a picture of a recovery on what is actually just a massively increased pile of debt from which much of the productive capacity has been pruned.  And what those doing this type of steering have discovered is that steering the ill gotten gains of debt to both the oligarchs and the poor and marginalized simultaneously is a dynamite combination, an iron traingle really, because this is a coalition that has both a political majority and the financial resources to keep control of the levers of power.


Of course, this dynamic duo never ends well, as the triumphant alliance between the incapable and the unscrupulous is the end game of all collapsing empires, which is why I prefer the other option, which is to let nature take its course, both when it comes to society as well as the economy, because then the crisis brings about healing and restoration of balance rather than being hijacked into becoming the opening stanza of a terminal swan song.



Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:00 | 4827842 flowlessflow
flowlessflow's picture

Look the Growth of hourly production and compensation chart!

Where did the trend change for the wage? er.. roughly 1978..

What happend that year? er... Gold Standard....

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:02 | 4827854 Imminent Collapse
Imminent Collapse's picture

Decent article but denying that the Illuminati are behind this is shortsighted when they print the money that is corrupting everything. Look deeper. Once money is king, look to see who controls it. There reside the puppetmasters.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:06 | 4827869 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Possession of an asset means that you control that asset.  When Bill Gates gives his money to a "non-profit" corporation that he controls he is not giving the money away or donating it.  That should never be allowed by the tax code.


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:49 | 4828014 CH1
CH1's picture

That should never be allowed by the tax code.

There should never be a tax code.

Taxation is organized theft.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:36 | 4827964 bh2
bh2's picture

Voting is no more than a decision about who will be the outsource for responsibility which only citizens can exercise by vigilance. If the government (and its allies) are dirty, mean, corrupt, and incompetent, it's only because voters agree to perpetuate them in power. People get the government they deserve. They may be fools, of course -- but they are not victims.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:38 | 4827975 Vidar
Vidar's picture

Money in government is only a derivative. The real problem is power in government. If the state did not have the power to effect economic outcomes than no one would waste their money buying politicians. There were rich people in the nineteenth century who certainly wanted to eliminate competition and do all the other things the current crop does, but they had to look for other ways to do it because the people would not accept government interference in the economy. Eventually they figured out how to hide their agenda behind populist/socialist slogans and we got the "Progressive Era" and the growth of state interference in the economy. The current situation is the inevitable outcome of that event. We are most likely too far gone to change anything now. The system must collapse in order to be rebuilt. What intelligent people need to focus on is making sure there is a hard core of individuals who understand the absolute need for separation of economy and state that can rebuild a successful society from the ashes.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:55 | 4828023 CH1
CH1's picture

The real problem is power in government.

And the real problem with that is that people always obey, no matter how evil the guv may be.

The problem stops when we stop obeying.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:45 | 4828002 venturen
venturen's picture

I think article is somewhat true but the massive increase in spending on government workers isn't something to sneeze at. The public unions are performing the coup de grace on tax payers. Remember with sompanies and banks you can keep your money away...with taxes they just take it! The average fireman in NJ makes $95k before benefits. Probably goes on 2 calls a week where they do something beyond a donut run or cat in a tree....park by an ambulance or car crash! Police retire at 45 with "20 years" working 120 hour weeks the last year to juice the pension and then hit the disability jackpot of taxfree pension income for life! 

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:49 | 4828016 PresidentCamacho
PresidentCamacho's picture

Get rid of the Kabuki theatre and just slap some stickers on candidates like nascar, Hell my middle name is mt. Dew and i'm the best president ever

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:12 | 4828080 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

The jackpots are getting scarce.

Soon to be a fond memory.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:13 | 4828088 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"Those who benefit from this crony capitalist state go to extreme lengths to paper over the reality and convince Americans that the system works, the American Dream is still a reality and that American democracy is in fact democratic."


Democracy is nothing more than tyranny of the majority.  Just look at France.  Obama wants to fundamentlally change America into a socialist country that fails, not a free market economy that works.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:19 | 4828104 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

Standing round of ovation for a job well done by the arrogant narcissistic illegal indonesian kenyan muslim sociopathic liar in chief ignoramus...

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:24 | 4828115 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"If money = free speech, then those with all the money, have all the free speech."


No they don't.  The politicians are scared to death that the people will throw them out of office.  The people just keep voting the same politicians back into office.  In the recent primary, i voted against all the incumbants.  With the internet, people can get behind those who are not running to climb into the pocket of big business or other special interest groups.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:45 | 4828157 grekko
grekko's picture

"Laurence Lessig of Harvard Law has put forward a visionary proposal..."  The inmate of the Ivory Tower has a plan.  Wonderful!  The problem is that it is too late.  90% of America have been put to sleep.  They won't wake up, I know, I tried!  The only thing left is collapse.  When that happens, these Oligarchs and their lapdog politicians and judges are finished.  I won't forgive, I won't forget.  It will be open season.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 18:02 | 4828197 kellycriterion
kellycriterion's picture

The US political class are the biggest OPM operators in the world. Their well organized heavily armed men are by far the best armed in the world. But somehow they can't quite overcome their errand boy status.

I'd bet on Gates children as superior resource managers over charities.

Weak central governments, little or fragmented political organization, these are conditions where rigorously defined oligarchy has been dominate. Capitalism, Socialism, Oligarchy, they seem to mean whatever the speaker wants them to mean. Why bother with distinctions? Well maybe because there aren't infinite organizational models and there's bound to be considerable overlap.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 19:08 | 4828402 dot_bust
dot_bust's picture

There's a shockingly simple way to turn things around and end the corporate-government fascist business model:

  1. Stop state governments from giving tax breaks (aka "business incentives") to companies that don't create jobs in the U.S.
  2. Require companies that filed their incorporation papers in the U.S. to use Americans inside the U.S. for 98% of their workforce. If they fail to follow that guideline, revoke their American incorporation status and slap heavy tariffs on goods that they manufactured outside the country and tried to bring into this country.
  3. Stop subsidizing oil companies and pharmaceutical companies.
  4. Stop pharmaceutical companies and hospitals from price-gouging.


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 19:42 | 4828496 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Stop giving federal contracts for banking to TBTF/TBTJ Banks like including Food Stamps to JP Morgan.

Hm... Maybe we could force the Federal Reserve to cancel the membership of TBTF banks as Dealers, National Dealers that get preferential treatment. Like the Discount Rates of ZIRP. And Bond Buy back of QE infinity.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 20:00 | 4828538 kellycriterion
kellycriterion's picture

5. You can't fix stupid.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 19:13 | 4828413 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

Caveats Relating to Productivity

Productivity is determined using monetary criteria, and does not recognize outsourced man hours – in other words, if a business cuts half of its workforce by outsourcing a sub-component or sub-service, this would be a 50% productivity improvement.

It will take me a couple of hours to work through this article. But in the mean time I wanted to post some FRED Charts that seem to be missing data. So, it is June 2014, why are fed data stopping on 1-1-2014 in many cases. (FDIC Failures) (RTC Failures thou terminated data didn't propagate) (all institution failures) (total Banks)

People (Gini Ratio/Coefficient, what? discontinued?) (Median household income, what? discontinued?) (Personal savings)

Investment Foreign Investment Domestic Investment

Money (Up to Date, but looks like Crap, eh?) (M1 seems to increase with Mortgages) (M2 seems to show different bubble perhaps) (MZM seems to show peak in Economy 1981) (Total Debt) (corporate profits, 1-1-2014)

Corporate Taxes end of 2013 = 273.5 Billion (Treasury data end of Fiscal year Sept 2013)
Corporate Profit end of 2013 = $1.9045 Trillion

$273.5/1,904,5 = 14.4% Corporate Tax

Speaking of Taxes interesting looking at recovery from the Recession between Individual Tax Revue & Corporate Tax Revenue. I may not be as well read as others. Maybe someone can explain how Individual Taxes took a Dive, then recovered but Corporate Taxes Did not???

Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 1998 = $ 188.7 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2002 = $ 148.0 Billion (Recession)
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2006 = $ 353.9 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2007 = $ 370.2 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2008 = $ 304.3 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2009 = $ 138.2 Billion (Recession)
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2012 = $ 242.3 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2013 = $ 273.5 Billion

Individual Income Taxes Receipts 1998 = $ 828.6 Billion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2002 = $ 858.3 Billion (Recession)
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2006 = $1.044 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2007 = $1.163 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2008 = $1.146 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2009 = $ .915.3 Trillion (Recession)
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2012 = $1.132 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2013 = $1.316 Trillion

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 19:18 | 4828431 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Let's see who really owns the Republic when it comes down to holding territory against armed American insurgents. You can own anything on paper until men with rifles come repossess it.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 09:04 | 4829623 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Interesting thing about lead - it leaves marks on a myriad of things, including paper.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 20:26 | 4828598 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

You know the government is scared shitless when they concentrate on removing guns and ammo, but they arm themselves to the teeth and then they have this shit of an AG stoking a race war.


Thu, 06/05/2014 - 21:31 | 4828740 q99x2
q99x2's picture

We need a 100 million person march on Washington D.C. to return to democracy. And while we are at it, replace them with open source software.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 21:25 | 4828743 billw
billw's picture

This guy is just another typical socialist. He does not deal in facts , but just his socialist worldview which is the worst thing that can happen to the average working American. It has been well established that the Democrats are the party of the rich. George Soros groups alone have donated $5 billion in the last ten years to the Democrat side, but no mention is made of that. He mentions Rupert Murdoch's news stations, but does not mention that they are outnumbered by at least 4 to 1 by the Democrat leaning mainstream media. This man is totally incompotent just like Barack Obama!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 21:35 | 4828760 ramacers
ramacers's picture

aka : "freedom is just another word for nothin' else to lose" ?

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 21:50 | 4828799 3rd Pig
3rd Pig's picture

The whole world had its money stolen, on Sept 11th 2001 at the ‘World Trade Centre Bank’ (The world’s biggest bank, gold vaults included) they just didn’t tell us at the time.

What we are witnessing today is the LAUNDERING of our money – so now it becomes their money, see... they even have receipts.

What they should have said was...  from the Pulp Fiction Script.

{Scene One: Diner}

·        Pumpkin:  Everybody be cool this is a robbery...

·        Honey-bunny:  Any of you fucking pigs move... and I’ll execute every mother fucking last one of you...



Thu, 06/05/2014 - 21:58 | 4828817 intric8
intric8's picture

Consciousness is changing in the country. Sheeple are generally distracted and dumb, but they sense that our country has become very ill. This translates in the forums. I notice that BI's comments section is now growing with sceptical, apathetic critics of the sites sly support of anything obozo. Reddit has virtually shitcanned worldnews posts because recent world events expose u.s. aggression and reveal growing anti-american sentiment. Hence, the liberal internet push to pin such activity on kremlin hired trolls.

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 23:05 | 4828905 Dan'l
Dan'l's picture

For a much better source of information on this topic, without a heavy dose of lefting nonsense from MotherJones, read this short article from the the Manhattan Institute:

Any article that uses Mother Jones as a source is coming right from the commies. The big problem today is that Ted Kennedy's chain migration immigration reform of 1965 has replaced traditional Americans with a commitment to Western Civilization and it's values with third world people, who are poor, uneducated, easily manipulated, depend on massive subsidies from tax payers for the education, feeeding and encarceration of their gang banger kids. Not all of these third worlders are like this, just the vast majority. Because the depend on the government and have brought their love of corrupt nations like Mexico, they are replacing traditional American values with the values of easily swayed ignorant masses that have been brain washed into believing that America owes them. Combine these millions of illegals and the rolling amnesites and the traditional American underclass and you now have completely changed the American demographic and mulitply that by the brainwashing of our schools from PC speak through hate America PC thought and you have an America that is totally dysfunctional.

Solution is the shut the borders for the next 50 years and make it impossible to illegal aliens to get jobs. Arrest and deport them and eliminate the bogus anchor baby 14 Amendment leftist interpretation and begin to retake the education system by turning education back to parents and out of the hands of the Feds. Pass a 10% flat tax, eliminate all special tax breaks and we can go a long way to restore America before the ticking demographic time bomb explodes. 

Both US political parties are totally corrupt and we need to get rid of all incumbents and put in term limits and have all that run for office sign a legal contract to never work for anything that can be construed, as working for a lobbyist firm. I know this is more complicated, but unless we make these changes soon, I don't see a peaceful ending for the looming disaster ahead. Just don't buy a lot of the leftwing pablum in this article. Truly free markets are the only way out and we know we don't have those today, because everything has been sold off and it really gained steam under Bush I and Clinton. Clinton sold our missle technology to China for a lousy $250k donation from Bernard Schwartz the head of Loral. Even the lefties at the Washington Post were forced to investigate this traitorous sell out:

This was only the start of the total selling out of America. Note that Clinton also caused the financial housing crisis by using the CRA to force banks to lower their lending standards that caused the housing crisis and the whole, "too big to fail", TARP crisis that we still find ourselves in today. 

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 00:35 | 4829079 malek
malek's picture

The article takes a completely one-sided view.

One has to also ask the question how many of the "non-guilded" peasants in this country would sell out their beliefs, morals, and principles in a minute if the price was right.
The answer is unfortunately almost everyone nowadays.
And of the remainder a lot would not sell-out because they are stuck in some clouded ideology of their own, where they could never answer the question "what would need to happen, for you to change your mind?" in all seriousness - we see examples here in the ZH comments every day.

With all that said, the elite will never one day "come to their senses" and then lead the sell-out peasants in the right direction, instead of towards another, different wrong direction.
In other words unless the majority of low- and middle-class rediscover sound principles and stick to them, this is not going to change for the better.

Exercises like this article are mostly fingerpointing to deflect from the masses' blame.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 00:17 | 4829095 RichardParker
RichardParker's picture

"The transition from aristocracy is to oligarchy, resulting from the badness of the rulers.  They distribute the city's goods in conflict with people's worth, so that they distribute all or most of the goods to themselves, and always assign ruling offices to the same people, counting wealth for most. Hence the rulers are few, and they are vicious people instead of the most decent."

-Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 04:39 | 4829267 Victor999
Victor999's picture

Americans know that something is wrong, deeply wrong. They see signs of the problem everywhere: income inequality, growing concentration and power of mega corporations, political donations/corruption, the absence of jobs with decent salaries, the explosion of the US prison population, healthcare costs, student loan debt, homelessness, etc. etc.


This has been obvious for years.  The American people are zombies, and have no excuse for not only the loss of the middle class but of the destruction of their Constitution.  In my opinion, they have it coming to them as they deserve the worst for letting it happen whilst they watch the latest TV shows and stuff their faces with frozen pizza.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 07:24 | 4829391 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

The purchase of our Republic was complete on March 4, 1789.

Alexander Hamilton may have signed the check.


All the rest since has been the shuffling of deck with it.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 07:51 | 4829412 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

I recently found myself thinking about the decline or collapse of great empires and realized that it is often hard to predict when or how their demise will occur. One sign of the end is a massive growth in crony capitalism and corruption. Many analogies can be taken from this idea, the empire need not be great and timing is always hard to correctly gauge.

The signs of decline may be everywhere but that does not guarantee the end is near. As the foundation crumbles away it is not uncommon for those in power to extend their rule by many tricks and changing the rules in order to gain a new lease on life. More on the subject of how empires collapse in the article below.



Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:51 | 4831065 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

The "money" in politics has become a totally metastasized cancer.

This article was the typical 90% good analysis, followed by 10% of irrational hope for some series of political miracles to provide solutions for those problems. I guess that is the only thing that anyone ever bothers to write and publish, because there is no practical point in a comment like mine, that concludes our civilization has become TERMINALLY corrupt and crazy.

In the Canadian context, I spent the last 30 years working on the issues of the funding of politics, including two long court cases against the government about the laws that control the funding of political parties. Furthermore, I continue to work on the project now through Canadian Electoral District Associations. As well, I have always followed American politics as much as Canadian, due to the ways that what happens in America tends to control later Canadian events. Therefore, I have a lot of experience regarding these topics. My conclusion is that North American society is terminally sick and insane. Of course, I sympathize with those who run around looking for some series of political miracles cures, since I continue to do that too. However, the way that "money" has become a totally metastasized cancer makes it practically untreatable.

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 02:28 | 4832065 Element
Element's picture

RM, a reply/comment from a week old discussion topic.

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 22:26 | 4833588 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Well thought through reply, Element!

I responded to that, on that thread.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!