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Cronyism In The 21st Century

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Authored by Mark E. Jeftovic, CEO easyDNS Technologies; originally posted at DollarVigilante.com,

Ghandi was once asked, "What do you think about Western Civilization?" to which he famously replied "I think it's a good idea." He may as well have been talking about free market capitalism.

Capital in the 21st Century has hit the world like a new teen idol sensation. Everybody is drinking the Kool-Aid and it's being held up as the most important book ever written on the subject of how runaway capitalism leads to wealth inequality. Paul Krugman of course, loves it. As does every head of state and political hack in the (formerly) free world. A text-book sized brick that can be condensed down to a couple bullet points:

  • that unchecked capitalism leads to increasing wealth inequality, and
  • this can be fixed through government management, most notably more taxes and higher minimum wages.

What's not to love?

There are many other refutations of Capital circulating, most of which address the numerous factual errors and flawed research methodologies in the book, and countering the income equality assertions with observations around how the standard of living generally increases across the board during periods of free(er) market capitalism (such as England during the industrial revolution under the classical gold standard or wider Europe during the High Middle Ages).

The age we live in today is not an example of this. I submit that the modern run of standard of living increases, say from end of WWII to present is not an example of "free markets given room to run", but rather a crack-up boom fuelled by credit expansion (cheap money) and cheap energy. This era is now drawing to a close, as the cost of energy inexorably rises and the global debt super-cycle finally hits a wall. After decades of government targeted inflation, after the better part of a decade of ZIRP, after increased regulations in every aspect of our lives, after civil liberties being for the most part abolished (after all, the government is allowed to assassinate any one of us and we are all under continuous pervasive surveillance) what is difficult to fathom is that political economists can still make hay in the world by blaming its problems on capitalism gone wild and runaway free markets. Put simply, true capitalism requires free markets, free markets require a free society and we do not live in a free society.

So let's do something different here and accept a core premise of Capital, and say that wealth inequality is increasing, and that it's a bad thing. Where the point is completely missed is in what causes it (ostensibly "free market capitalism") and what to do about it (increase government control, induce more inflation and raise taxes).

The point of this essay is to assert that it is not unchecked capital or runaway free markets that cause increasing wealth inequality, but rather that the underlying monetary system itself is hard-coded by an inner temple of ruling elites in a way which creates that inequality.

We'll see that wealth doesn't "run away" in a logarithmic fashion (perhaps hinted at by Pareto and captured in various "1% memes") but rather can be best visualized as a vortex, like a tornado, or more accurately, a black hole, a centre swirling around a political/monetary/cronyist nexus that sucks wealth into it from the periphery (the rest of society). Society itself is hard-wired to facilitate this in such an entrenched and subtle fashion that we have arrived in a zeitgeist in which the key facets of this system (the nature of money itself) is out-of-scope. It's not even part of the debate because almost everybody in society is oblivious to it's machinations. (This is the reason why in my writings I do not refer to underclass or overclass but rather, the "outer-class" and the inner elites.)

Because the nature of money itself has been so, for lack of a better word, "esotericized", I need to include Stephen Zarlenga's seminal work "The Lost Science of Money" in our expose. While Zarlenga blesses us with an exhaustive study of money and banking practices throughout history, and does a superb job deconstructing the perniciousness of central banking and debt based money systems, he erroneously arrives at conclusions favouring direct government creation of fiat money (he even came out in favour of that whole "Trillion Dollar Coin" idea because to him it signalled a tacit admission that the government doesn't really need the Federal Reserve). However even his arrival at this seemingly (to us) off-base solution tells us something vital about the system within which we are all immersed.

This is what it tells us: if smart, scholarly people happen to believe that government fiat money is both feasible and beneficial to society, and they put serious thought into devising such a system, what they will not come up with is one run by private central banks issuing debt-based money. They just won't. Any critical analysis would grasp that such an architecture would become a parasitic cancer on the entire society. When you realize this, it's hard not to posit a far-reaching conspiracy to institutionalize inequality. While I am a big believer in the maxim "never ascribe to conspiracy what can be explained by stupidy" it to me falls short in this case. When we look at the structure of the entire monetary system and realize that it's the worst way possible to design a such a system if you have the best interests of the wider society in mind then you can't help but ask in whose interests was it designed and implemented?

As such, the system within which we find ourselves seems to be one that isn't designed to be in the best-interest of most of us reading this (and would remain true even if you were inexplicably reading this on Huffington Post, Slate or Business Insider).

If we want to understand where wealth inequality comes from, "The Lost Science of Money" is a good place to start  for two reasons: 1) his book is an exhaustive history of money, even if one disputes some of his takeaways from it) and 2) like many libertarians and an-caps, he understands the pernicious, malignant effect of private central banking. His ideal solutions may not fly (government controlled fiat, because governments will always inflate and debase) but his exposure of the fraud is convincing. Zarlenga's main thesis can be put briefly that the primary arena of human struggle throughout history has been mainly over the monetary control over societies. If Zarlenga had to put it in one sentence, which he did, it would be this one:

"It is by misdefining the nature of money, special interests have often been able to assume control of society's monetary system, and in turn, the society itself". (emphasis added, and you'll see why soon). He broke his book (almost as big as Capital) down into sections, examining that:

  • The Main Obstacle is The Mystification of Money
  • Monetary History Has Been Ignored
  • Monetary History Has Been Censored
  • Monetary Data is Often Misinterpreted

All of which is correct and explains why a book like Capital is on the New York Times Best Seller List. The premise that wealth inequality is caused by unchecked capital formation (a.k.a runaway free markets or capitalism gone wild) derives from the biggest misinterpretation of them all. It's not only monetary data that is misinterpreted, it's the entire framework around monetary policy itself which leads to these increasing imbalances. In other words, it is the structure of our monetary system itself which institutionalizes accelerating wealth inequality. Thus, taxation, intentional inflation, credit expansion, money supply injections and central planning all exacerbate income inequality, they do not alleviate it. Pikkety is a political economist (as is Krugman) and Zarlenga calls political economists the "Priesthood of the Bankers." Among the Priesthood I'll again list off Zarlenga's bullet points but this time I'll inject my own interpolation of their meaning in today's climate:

Ideas rule:

Here we mean academic political economists with no real world financial, market or business experience devise elegant theories which look good on a blackboard, will earn them Nobel Prizes and become ensconced into the prevailing orthodoxy of conventional economic thought. Governments can then utilize these theories (or self-serving adaptations of them) to justify monetary polices that enable them to live beyond their means or otherwise further their own interests and those of their cronies.

 

These policies are utterly backwards in that they posit what economic forces should do according to some model, instead of trying to understand what they actually do based on observed results. When you do unleash Nobel laureates with their theoretical constructs on the real world, you don't get "green shoots", you get LTCM.

Economists as propagandists.

Two words: Paul Krugman.

Economics degenerates from the scholastics

Even the untouchable pillar of Keynesianism is a bastardized caricature of what Keynes actually said, which was that governments could smooth out the business cycle by deficit spending during bust years by running surpluses during the boom years. In it's most basic form this just means saving for a rainy day. But governments don't do that, because (as people like Krugman opine) "the government doesn't have to pay it's bills". Thus, it's all deficit spending, all the time. The last US president to actually run a surplus and pay down debt was Eisenhower (the so-called Clinton era surpluses were a sleight-of-hand fiction). The last president to pay off the debt was Andrew Jackson.

Fostering a disdain for the lessons of history

You can look at almost any financial panic, especially over the last hundred years, and you'll see the same thing play out repeatedly.

 

For example, if you go back and look at the S&L crisis and the policy response to it, one is stricken with the similarities between then and now, how nothing was actually resolved in the policy response to S&L, in fact just the contrary, how bad behaviour and incompetence were rewarded instead of allowed to be punished via free enterprise rules of engagement.

 

The pattern is as follows:

  •     poor policy, credit expansion, government management of the economy (i.e. housing bubble) and insulation from consequences by special interests (bankers, etc) leads to a panic.
  •     government bails out bad actors at public expense
  •     massive wealth transfer from public to elites occurs
  •     free markets and runaway capitalism blamed
  •     additional regulations imposed restricts range of operations of non-elite players while enabling elite cronies to externalize losses
  •     additional controls over economy enacted (ZIRP, new regulations, etc)
  •     increased government debt (stimulus, etc)
  •     next wave crack-up boom induced

The cycle repeats each time ensuing bubble and subsequent meltdown increasing by an order of magnitude. Which brings us to Vincent LoCascio, probably the most under appreciated commentators on our monetary system of this era. If ever there was a pair of "must" read books about what really causes wealth inequality in our society it is his Special Privilege: How the Monetary Elite Benefit… At Your Expense, and The Monetary Elite vs Gold's Honest Discipline.

In Special Privilege,  a chapter entitled "The Recurring Nightmare" enumerates the serial financial panics of the 19th and early 20th centuries (to wit: The Panic of 1819, The Panic of 1837, The Panic of 1857, The Panic of 1873, The Panic of 1893, and the Panic of 1907, whose policy response led in a straight line to The Federal Reserve Act of 1913). LoCascio poses the question "Isn't There A Lesson Here?"

"The 19th century and early 20th century  panics were so uniformly accompanied by the liberal extension of credit for speculative purposes that any serious reviewer of these events could not possibly fail to hypothesize a likely causative relationship.

 

Little if any attention, however, was focused on the role the prior euphoria played in causing the resulting panic. Rather, attention was focused on the panics themselves and the virtually unanimous conclusion by those in position to bring about reform, was the great elasticity of currency would ameliorate, if not eliminate, the panics."

He went on to observe,

"During the 50 years of the National Banking System, currency had increased from roughly  $1 billion to $3 billion --or, by a factor of 3. Bank loans on the other hand, grew from roughly $0.5 billion to $13 billion--or by a factor of 25. This provides a rough numerical measure of the tendency (which continues to this day) that money creation has been tied to debt creation by banks."

LoCascio published Special Privilege in 2001 (he died in 2006), but large swaths of his work could easily be cut and pasted into the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis and no doubt, will be highly germane during the forthcoming, next crisis. The only difference being that after the next, inevitable (possibly imminent) wave of financial panic, it may be impossible to kick the can down the road yet another time. We may have finally, collectively come to the end of the line on "the great fiat monetization of everything" and be barreling toward the brick wall of unsustainability at the end of the runway.


 

This is what is so maddening about the irony of a book like Capital, chock full of fallacious data and erroneous conclusions makes Pikkety hotter than Justin Bieber, while brilliant historians such as LoCascio die in obscurity. The fact is that financial panic, followed by institutional wealth transfer (and confiscation) is systemically ingrained into what is called "conventional economic thought"

The big question around wealth inequality is this: why does wealth inequality increase as the distance from the nexus of political power increases? Why does wealth concentrate toward the centre? When asked this plainly, the answer becomes just as obvious: because the system is rigged that way.

Because that is wealth inequality in action. When looked at from this angle you are able to see the underlying flawed assumptions that are otherwise considered "out of scope."

Whether you don't believe in a classical gold standard (Zarlenga) or you do (LoCascio), whether you think bitcoin is viable or lunacy, where all these schools of thought intersect is at the point that finds private, fractional central banking a blight on civilization that leads to cronyism oligarchy between banksters, career politicians and corporate/kleptrocrat elites and this is the point that is most vociferously relegated out-of-scope in any kind of dialog around today's central, pressing issues of the time.

As LoCascio predicts,

"The ultimate crisis will occur when the situation is so thoroughly perverted that the defenders of the status quo can no longer resurrect confidence in the system."

What Pikkety has succeeded in is proving that we are not there yet. The propensity of the masses to rally behind this shows that confidence in the system is still long and strong. But what we are seeing are fissures in the logic - not only in books like Capital in the 21st Century but in entirely new and nonsensical economic schools of thought seemingly conjured out of thin air for the sole purpose of justifying and explaining away the otherwise unavoidable distortions and non-sequiturs of our economy (such as Modern Monetary Theory and Modern Monetary Realism - more on those in another post ).

People are still very willing to believe in Unicorn Economics, the emergence of crypto-currencies such as bitcoin point to a widening rejection of that, but it will likely not achieve critical mass until the wheels come off the current system altogether.

Postscript:

As I completed writing this essay, the ECB announced negative interest rates, in other words NIRP. This is sold to the public as a mechanism to spur bank lending to - again - stimulate the economy. What nobody asks is how the financial system can be so distorted, so perverted that policymakers can simultaneously implement negative interest rates while holding on to claims of legitimacy around their ability to "regulate" or "manage" the economy, or that the wider society is actually benefiting from these policies. If you think - and I know some otherwise highly intelligent people who do - that this is just some highly abstract financial smoke and mirrors that doesn't really mean much in the real world, remember where you read this first: when NIRP fails to stimulate lending, the next Big Idea in Unicorn Economics will be to target money velocity and put expiry dates on cash. It's the next logical step once you've entered the Twilight Zone as we have, and that's also what you get when a global monetary system based on perpetually expanding debt approaches the end of the runway. (Or as as Fiat Paper Money author Ralph T Foster put it,  "Reading history is a harmless pastime, reliving it is another matter.")

 

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Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:08 | 4881834 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

What we have today is what happens when sociopaths gain control.  Want survival of the fittest?  Want the strong to survive?  Want people who love Ayn Rand running the show?*  Corruption and cheating and self-dealing are in their nature.  They talk a good game.  But the game we get, is this one.

*Alan Greenspan comes to mind.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:24 | 4881883 deflator
deflator's picture

global debt supercycle makes me hungry. lol good thing I cut up a wholr bag of potatoes in that soup

i made yesterday...

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:45 | 4881925 strannick
strannick's picture

Let them drink Kool Aid, Ill be buying gold

''You can avoid reality, but not the consequences of avoiding reality''

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:46 | 4881927 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Gold is about the only solution for little fishez who do not want to risk being killed in street demonstrations.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:02 | 4881956 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

I have been wondering when things will actually get "fucked up enough" to finally break.  My guess, and it is only a guess, is it will be quite a bit longer than anyone thinks.  War will spread,  people will get fatter, and the Kardashians will be on the rag mags for a long time. 

FGB

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:48 | 4882020 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

It's Gandhi, not Ghandi, FWIW (very little if you know the man).

And cronyism is the same, only now it's cloaked in technology.

So easy to rip off the world when you own THE GLOBAL CROSSING!

That is cronyism in the 21st century.

Who owns Global Crossing?

They own Data. The king...

Follow this story:

http://rense.com/general96/global3.html

Other dataesque thoughts...

http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/data-is-an-addiction-and-some...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:56 | 4882038 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

The information economy.

Own the medium of information flow/storage, own the information, own the world.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:54 | 4882109 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Precisely Terminus.

Whatsapp for 20 billion worked for someone, for some reason.

Worthy of pondering outside of yelps of Bubble 10.0 and other sundry jokes...

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 04:21 | 4882217 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Is Karl W. B. Schwarz a disinformation agent or is he actually so stupid as to not see the problem with what he wrote?

"The Deutsche Boerse bought out a Luxembourg entity named Cedel International S.A., for societe anonym. That is sort of like an LLC but it is easy to conceal who the real owners are if proper steps are taken."

The problem with Clearstream has never been "ownership" per se, as opposed to the flow information about the flow of funds, or lack thereof.

Stock is a fools' errand. Look at the 12T money stock (M2) -- it is smaller than the US debt held by the public, infinite money creation by the banks is just as laughable as MMT. Follow the flow...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:04 | 4882287 Truthseeker2
Truthseeker2's picture

Corrupt, Corporate, Crony Capitalism is DEAD --->

 

The FOUR HORSEMEN Herald the Death Knell of Predatory Capitalism

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:38 | 4882100 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Maybe we should be talking barter.

The crony weasels seem to have hopelessly polluted the PM markets with pieces of toilet paper. And the CBs have all targeted gold for their ponzi machinations. No one has any idea how much gold is out there either. Its all smoke and mirrors. So the lack of transparency means the little guys still get killed.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 06:30 | 4882281 Bro of the Sorr...
Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

i believe talking barter or gold gets you on BHO's sunday afternoon drone list and homeland security's terrorist list faster than you can say NDAA.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 08:23 | 4882344 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

Definitely, Bill. In addition we should all look into time trade groups in your area or start one if not available. "Time Trading is an organized exchange system through which members earn hours (time credits) for time spent helping other members. One hour of service earns one hour of someone else’s time, no matter what the service."

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:09 | 4882681 nidaar
nidaar's picture

Bullshit. What makes an hour work of neurosurgeon equal to a pizza delivery. This will never work for the same reasons as the communism's failure.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 20:41 | 4884163 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

It doesn't necessarily work that way. You may choose or not choose to do something. Many may choose not to do their paid profession. For example, maybe someone needs help moving some furniture or in the garden. They post it on the site. You help them for an hour. That gives you an hour in your bank for someone to help you with something.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 04:45 | 4882229 shouldvekilledthem
shouldvekilledthem's picture

Bitcoin is the only solution. You can only sit on physical PM and wait for the total fallout. Bitcoin can be used to bring change and stand up against the "system".

Wake up peasants! 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 13:00 | 4882959 Dane Bramage
Dane Bramage's picture

@strannick

Let them drink Kool Aid, Ill be buying gold

''You can avoid reality, but not the consequences of avoiding reality'' 

****

Damn skippy.  Why argue with idiots?  Actually, worse than idiots; doublethinkers!  Because you can't have capitalism without capital.  What could be further from capitalism than a government monopoly fiat-currency based economy?

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:38 | 4881914 Da Yooper
Da Yooper's picture

Alan Greenspan is the epitamy  of evil

 

he & those who followed him

 

screwed the many

 

for the benefit of the 

 

few ( the bankers ) at great cost to the US public

 

I pray that God will judge them accordingly & may they rot in hell for all time

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:10 | 4881971 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

If there is an afterlife, why would anyone think things would be any different than they are right now?  The bankers will have bought penthouse suites in hell, complete with supermodels and air conditioners until the end of time.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:42 | 4882024 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

He who sells his soul first sells it best.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 02:55 | 4882165 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Fish Gone Bad - I love the teaching of Christ for practical wisdom (love thy neighbor mitigates death toll of elite and commoner alike in longer term)

However, I equally love Bhudda and Paul for promoting logic and reasoning.

This article is one of the best I have ever seen in detail. Aristotle made these arguments many moons ago. He fled Athens to avoid being put to death by corrupt elites.

If you didn't win the vagina lottery your chances of success are low. Knowledge is power so that gives you better odds to prosper by educating oneself and the Internet is great to do so. But if you fuck too much with there rackets you die. Better to let them collapse and get out of there way.

Some Christians won't like what I say next. I believe Christ did not have to die by impalement. The empire as corrupt as it was argued against his death. Emporer Constanine adopted his teachings even if it was for political means and to his benefit!!! His teaching of pursue something else when the government robbery cycle was at its peak was bang on. But tipping over the money changers just got him dead real fast.

Tell me, where is the Roman empire now? Where are the Pharisees now? Ceasar respected the logic of Paul so much he invited him to his palace. But the Herods wife, a Jew had him put to death. Christ was a Jew with a great and simple longview about prospering by loving your neighbor as yourself. Put to death by his fellow Jews (btw I am 1/4 jewish).

Christ told them " I am just trying to spare you the prophecy of Daniel and being trampled on for the next 2,000 years. Daniel was the first quantum theorist. If you read it, you can take a calculator and use his math to the reformation of Israel to 1947. Ya, ya he was off by one year 3,500 years ago... The Jews in charge dont practice the concepts of the Torah, no different than why and how they went from a superpower to Daniels time in a couple hundred years when the Babylonians conquered them and Daniel made his quantum prediction of being trampled on for 2,000 years (and happened). You dumb fucks are repeating history. If you do not give back to your community locally or globally you eventually get and die too.
The answer to inequality is not intellectual, it is conceptual. During the 2,000 years of repression of Jews was other heinous oppressors so it is an illustration because the Jews have become a superpower again. Yes anglos rule governments as well but are subservient to the lender (creating money from nothing and stealing value).

I am illustrating the concept of failure to learn from history and strive to attempt (as we all are imperfect and fail) to "love they neighbor as oneself".
We think in 3D, a pyramid. We build literal ones, illustratives ones like food charts and inequality, create 3 branch governments like the USA etc. etc. 666 in Revelations are dimensions 6x6x6. It standa for a pyramid or monarchy. The answer to inequality is humility before one another. Love the orientals bowing to one another and concepts of Ying and Yang.

Sadly, we learn by pain more than anything else and government at the core learns last but these will relearn as well, the hard way.
I am not going to waste my life being Aristotle or Christ. I can learn from there caring nature or when to retreat but all lessons combined in science or philosophy tell me to get the hell out of the way and let it collapse, try and make an honest wage in-between because you make more interesting companions this way. Thank you for allowing me to share some conceptual thought. The issues and details in the thought pyramid beneath them are secondary and thirdly considerations. I love you all. My shit stinks too sometimes also :/)

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:27 | 4882004 litemine
litemine's picture

How is the Study of Economics a Science, when it is a study of political and historical effect from the Past? The FED Chairperson an Economist, thru QE-Infinity has changed the Matrix. I bet the shares of the Banks that Own the Fed have Increased exponentially for the Profits of the Elite. The profit (30%) for administering then has full Insider Trading Rights…….Audit, and then END the FED

People who abuse their position of Trust need to be accountable for Abuse of Power.

"During the 50 years of the National Banking System, currency had increased from roughly $1 billion to $3 billion --or, by a factor of 3. Bank loans on the other hand, grew from roughly $0.5 billion to $13 billion--or by a factor of 25. This provides a rough numerical measure of the tendency (which continues to this day) that money creation has been tied to debt creation by banks." Quote from article.

They may not believe in GOD. At least the one you do. People need to judge and pass sentence.......................Then follow the money trail and convict those that knowingly profited from these Crimes.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:56 | 4881944 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Sociopaths always take control when control is given. Centralized power provides an irresistible lure for those who would seek to control using the excuse of saving or protecting us from ourselves, or at least those deemed to be a threat. We have never seen a larger, more controlling governance covering the entire planet. Wealth disparity as well as fear grows as a result of the corruption afforded those with unaccountable power, yet their answer is yet more power, more regulation, more surveillance, more TBTF.

The fittest will ALWAYS survive, so its about time we get our game up a bit and stop waiting for some higher power, be it God or Government, to save us. As long as we insist on pursuing the collectivist dream, we only weaken our resolve to retain our own personal strength. Can you not see the inherent risk of dependency? This all we have become. Absolutely dependent. Our very lives and livelihood are in these people's hands and any resistance is illegal. How can anyone ask for more of this?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:07 | 4881953 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

They've already won, Oldwood, because people like you believe that the collective power of the people ("collectivism") is the problem as opposed to the solution.  The Founders of this country did not win because of some bullshit economic model.  They gathered the people together and formed a government of the People, for the People.  Sad that this idea is now considered some kind of communist threat.  I wonder who planted the seed that collective governance by elected representatives is the problem?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:20 | 4881992 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

There is a vast difference between gathering together for a common cause or objective and being FORCED to do so, especially when it is painfully obvious that our forced actions are not in our best interest, being constantly told that we must "sacrifice" for the greater good, or spread the wealth around like an oft quoted hero of some has said. Rand outright rejected the concept of sacrifice, especially for unknown persons and for unknown purposes.

The strength of collectivism is its voluntary nature. Once the collectivised power has been harnessed through fear, greed and propaganda, it becomes pure corruption. There is no alternantive but to minimize collectivism to it base voluntary core.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:35 | 4882009 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So you reject America and that for which it stands in favor of Rand, an author who spawned Greenspan?

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:17 | 4882076 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Really, that is your fall back position? The general welfare clause? Right, I guess they didn't print up the social security cards and food stamps and section 8 vouchers at the same time they were signing the constitution because they ran out of ink.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:26 | 4882081 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Sorry for the quote from the Constitution.  I guess that answers my question about what you reject.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 03:44 | 4882190 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

LetthemEatRand - Our rulers have stated the constitution is just a piece of paper. The Founders knew and made statements that only a moral people can keep a Republic.

Bill Clinton is a rapist and murderer. But he is still revered by many to this day, although those know about the rape fetish (but don't cars) and not Arkanside or drug profiteering. I bet they still wouldnt care.

The founders also told us to expect revolution as they understood human nature. In this day and age revolutions are manipulated. You withdraw consent, play along a bit but limit productivity so at least you can have some happiness by other hobbies or interests outside of financial gains as corruption dwindles those or play them at there own game to attenpt to break financial gravity but plan to spend money on modern soldiers, lawyers and tax professionals to avoid robbery.

This batch from the 60's that rule and said "tune in and check out" are attempting to block even those exits. Family law as indirect tax has to be the worst policy in history I have ever seen perhaps outside of Mao's "smile you get punished" policy. Rand was a disciple of Aristotle. Greenspan did not follow there belief system in the end. Nor did Rand appear or fellowship with Greenspan when he became Fed chairmain.

The Republic known as United States is dead. Life will go on, it will restructure with pain for all but less so for elite. Look at Russia, 65% of the state Duma continued governing after the fall of the Soviet Union. Life has improved there (not fantasitically but better) and will improve here again also.

The only argument in my mind is the death toll in percentages before that happens. Meanwhile, I'll dance to the music stops and hedge best I can. I educate and do what I can, help the needy best I can.

The wheels on the bus go round and round...

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:05 | 4884821 goldsansstandard
goldsansstandard's picture

The general welfare was promoted by enumerating limited specific powers and reserving all others to the States and people.

That is the context.
The general welfare clause and interstate commerce clause are the pivot points to pry open all the limits in the remainder of the constitution ,not to mention the declaration of Independance.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:06 | 4881962 Da Yooper
Da Yooper's picture

A fair market is one thing

 

A rigged manipulated market is another & is pure evil

 

we have been taken advantage of by people who are pure evil & who the laws dont seem to apply.

 

The fittest dont survive

 

Those who are connected to the evil survive

 

Those who are dependent on the evil survive

 

The fittest go bankrupt

 

 


Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:16 | 4881983 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Those who are connected and dependent to evil survive

and that my friend is your answer.  Either join their club, or don't play the game.  As their club is fairly exclusive, it is probably best to find one's own happiness.

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:30 | 4882006 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

There have been those who did not see survival as their primary cause in life. Those that do are likely the most susceptible to your "pure evil".

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:48 | 4882031 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Rand preached personal survival and selfish happiness as the only goals worth pursuing.  She died, and her legacy is ....

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:13 | 4882070 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Well, I don't know, but I'm not seeing a lot of "Objectivists" running things these days. Everything looks pretty much as she predicted it if you ask me.

The problem we have is that any of us can follow the logic of almost any "ism" out there. It always in the implementation of it that things start going badly. While I'm not an Objectivist, I see a lot of solid thought in it.

Abandoning our rational mind is suicide, by following any "theory" unproven, relying only on faith or hope.

I also believe that prosperity comes from only one source and that is productivity. If we pursue any theme that seeks to punish those who produce and reward those that do not, regardless of how warm and self satisfied it may make me personally, is destructive to the prosperity of the entire society.

But I'm not God and neither are you, so we will just have to set back and watch, I suppose. Unfortunately, regardless of outcome, there is enough propaganda in existence to sustain any theory, no matter how badly it fails. Thinking keynesian.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:18 | 4882079 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"But I'm not God and neither are you..."

We agree on something.  And if there is a God, I hope he does not measure everyone by their "productivity," and that he does not measure human beings by economic metrics.  Here's hoping there's more to life.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 05:58 | 4882265 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

I'm pretty sure the 21st century "God" measures us by quarterly profits...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:43 | 4882616 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

LTER, Your unrestrained hatred of Ayn Rand is like a lover that has been dumped and it's residual effects has caused a caustic retort in the form of vengeance. Liberals have that nasty characteristic because they passionately believe government should be in control of the people even though government is presently destroying the economy and society along with it. The government run American welfare State controlled by the Nation destroying bureaucrats is exactly what Ayn Rand understood with clarity and with surgical precision pulled their covers like no other. 

Minds who cannot wrap around Ayn Rands brilliant objectivisim haven't the unbiased critical thinking skills to see reality, because they live in an alternate reality, an alternate reality built on lies and deceit. Look at the Obama Administration, they pursue a manufactured idea based on Marxism that has always, throughout history led to dictatorship, economic slavery, then destruction!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:30 | 4882720 juangrande
juangrande's picture

To me, "belief" in ANY and ALL systems is the fundamental flaw in human consciousness. Belief leads to or is the by-product of false self indentifying. Belief is, quite simply, the result of programming. People should endeavor to peel away the programming to see what is real. From there, we have a chance.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:39 | 4882750 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"People should..."

People should mind their own business and not make sweeping statements about what other people should do.

A dictator says "You go and do...l"

A great leader says "Let's go and do..." And he or she also listens to, considers, and adopts good advice.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 12:32 | 4882887 juangrande
juangrande's picture

Isn't telling people they should mind their own business, telling  people what they should do?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 14:42 | 4883271 Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis's picture

Now you're just being silly.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 14:26 | 4883218 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

+1

And what good does it do to put "expiry dates" on money people don't have???

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:01 | 4882530 Marco
Marco's picture

There's a risk to interdependency, but I kinda like having the internet and modern medicine ... lets try to keep it going till after I die, despite all the whining (my own included) I still like it better than a return to subsistence farming.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:01 | 4881950 Wild Theories
Wild Theories's picture

Cronyism is the opposite of competition of the fittest and survival of the strong.

More often than not you need weak uncompetitive line-toeing morons to maintain the status quo.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:37 | 4882095 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Not at all true.  The strongest and fittest have built this very model.  Much, much smarter than the old Kingdoms.  It cracks me up that so many here don't see that.    This is what you guys wanted.  And you are so entrenched in your philosophy that you think moar is better.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:45 | 4882755 Wild Theories
Wild Theories's picture

I think you and I are diverging on which stage we are in a crony system. You are stuck on step 1, I'm talking about the whole thing.

It's true the first cronies would be created by the strong to maintain their power and influence, but after the first generation, every generation afterwards becomes a little less capable than the previous one, as each generation would put in place one less competent than themselves so the new will always kowtow to the old and lick their ass to get there.

 

Cronyism is the antithesis of a meritocracy, the best and most capable can not rise to the top in a crony system, a crony candidate is never the best and most capable candidate.

 

There is also nothing special or complex about cronyism that requires a lot of smarts to 'set it up', even a retard knows how to pick someone who'll lick his ass and do as he says. It only requires a little motivation in the way of selfishness and greed by those in power and will occur naturally.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 13:08 | 4882981 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

We are on the fourth generation of bankers now. 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:41 | 4882021 Par Contre
Par Contre's picture

Enough of this ZIRP and NIRP, it's time for a new acronym. I propose that the monetary policy of today should be known as Progressively Insane Monetary Policy.

 

The PIMP!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 14:46 | 4883279 Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis's picture

Yeah! Beyonce for Treasury Sec!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:53 | 4882034 August
August's picture

 >>>Want people who love Ayn Rand running the show? Corruption and cheating and self-dealing are in their nature.

I have a certain fondness for Rand's ideas, though I'm no "objectivist".  My impression is that most Rand-boosters envision themselves as bursting with the highest integrity and complete, though blunt, honesty;  they neglect to consider that they are also human beings, and have their own faults, in spades.

Corruption, cheating and self-dealing are in everyone's nature, usually justified as just taking care of family and friends in a difficult world.  Objectivists might be slightly different, though, if only because so many of them seem to lack family, or friends.  Still, in a Randian world, the 0.0001%ers would act just like the ones we already have, and they would be utterly convinced of the morality of their actions. Being, as it were, sociopaths.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:01 | 4882049 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

As they always have. The power of a huge centralized government where virtually no one is held accountable for ANYTHING, has got to be their greatest wet dream ever!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:05 | 4882388 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Want people who love Ayn Rand running the show?

Don't blame Ayn Rand.  She correctly made the point that cronyism is a direct consenquence of Socialism or Communism.  Whenever you get a bunch of elite bureaucrats picking economic winners or losers, cronyism is inevitable.  Would anyone here argue that isn't true?

Ultimately, only a Market [that isn't tampered with] picks winners and losers efficiently.  The trouble is that, sometimes, we don't like the consequences.  For example:  Americans choose foreign cars because they like the styling and quality.  But these choices increase the trade deficit, hollow the manufacturing base and eventually erode the Middle class.  We know buying American is good for us long term, we just choose not to do it because we get better (safer) stuff in the short term.

The fact that some of Rand's followers did not actually stay true to her principles is not her fault--it does not make what she said any less true.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:47 | 4882762 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

And don't forget, Greenspan may have just been shrugging to speed the course of events already set in motion to their logical conclusion.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:16 | 4882567 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Excuse me LTER, answer us a simple question: Who and what are the engines that run the world?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 15:16 | 4883348 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Everyone is human.  All humans are subject to human nature.  Build any system that allows top-down control and human nature will inject corruption, cheating, and self-dealing.  Speaking of which, your statement above is a decent example of that.  What we have is not capitalism but you blame it on Ayn Rand types.  What we have is an economic dictatorship by corporations, government, and banks.  You are just like Obama with your bullshit strawman attacks.  The saddest part is simple minded fools read you and think that all sounds just like their college professor in the women's studies told them.

So your answer is some sort of control based system with 'the right' people in charge making 'the right' decisions for everyone else?  We've already got that you lying moron.

No thanks.  Fuck you.  Come get some if you think you or anyone else is the best judge of how I should or should not live/work/spend/save/borrow.  Don't like that?  Gonna rely on big government to send some goons to stick guns in my face in order to compell me to obey?  How is that any better or different than what the sociopaths are doing today?

Sometimes you say witty things.  Sometimes you are just another useful idiot for the enemy.  Maybe that can be condensed.  Maybe it's just that you are the enemy.

Edit:  This rant is an example of what happens when I see someone use the same false argument over and over despite being corrected multiple times in the past.  His arguments are lies meant to decieve those innocent souls who just are not armed for a battle of wits - kids from the American public education system.  I wonder at which school this guy teaches. 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 15:52 | 4883451 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Yes. The silliest people posting here are the ones that think the control freaks in power are bad but their control freaks are good.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:04 | 4881855 litemine
litemine's picture

The trouble is not entrepreneurship, it's the people in positions of trust.....eg. Government that abuse that trust for profit, greed or they may have been threatened areblackmailed.   Then it is not entrepreneurship, it is CORRUPTION. That is the system we live in. That is the system that needs to change.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:25 | 4881885 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Entrepreneurship absolutely is not the problem.  It is the solution.  Sociopaths are parasites.  In the U.S., they always say they are in favor of free markets and capitalism.  In the former Soviet Union, they said they were in favor of a workers' paradise.  What they do is quite different from what they say.  But for some reason people listen to them and believe them, and wish to model economic systems around their words.  And the same people invevitably follow the words of some other idealogue who promises another macro solution.  

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:43 | 4881923 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

 

 

Mi amigo LTERand writes:

"Entrepreneurship absolutely is not the problem.  It is the solution.  Sociopaths are parasites."

Said one entrepreneur to the other.

Next stop: FEMA Camp 116!

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:53 | 4881941 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

We are the enemy of the State aka the mega corporations.  We don't work for them.  We are the last competitors left.  Keep up the good fight.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:05 | 4881954 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Alas, most of our suppliers ARE mega corporations.  But at least at least three of them are owned by ONE individual:

KBC, part of Schaeffler Group (sales +/- $3 bn, maybe more), ONE owner (Mrs. Schaeffler, who else?)

Iljin, sales of at least $1 bn, ONE man (Korean) owns it

MBS, owned by Mr. Maekawa himself.

Our Chinese supplier, who knows, not us!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:14 | 4881982 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

You're still self-employed.  No safety nets, literally or figuratively.  They hate that.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:56 | 4882040 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

You remain totally clueless about corporations being the product of government, not the other way around.

Government allows any entity that gains control of it to lord over all who are under its control.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:28 | 4882718 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

..."it's the people in positions of trust.....eg. Government that abuse that trust for profit, greed or they may have been threatened areblackmailed.   Then it is not entrepreneurship, it is CORRUPTION. That is the system we live in. That is the system that needs to change."

That's basically what I believe, and what I believe will never happen. But for the sake of hope, which I don't have, I think confederation would be better than constitution. Yes, I know therre's a downside, as there is with 100% everythinhg.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:06 | 4881864 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

If we play chess and I cheat every time, you will never beat me. Only when you start cheating , can you win.

The TRUST has been broken. It cannot be put back in the box.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:23 | 4881888 alexcojones
alexcojones's picture

To me, America is the Land of Opportunity-

Opportunity for Sociopaths, and Especially a Huge Opportunity for the "connected" (Yes, like Mafia Dons), the well-connected & protected Pschopaths to lead the sociopaths who control the sheep.

Of course, I see things with rose-colored glasses.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:26 | 4881894 Pairadimes
Pairadimes's picture

This is not hard to understand. If the playing field is truly level, then no one rises above their capabilities, and real, decentralized markets and competitors act as a countervailing force against those who are able to accumulate wealth. If, however, a large central authority with a monopoly on violence is introduced into the mix, then the rich and powerful will invest in their control over it, as it will always be easier to take wealth from others than to make it.

This is true of the origins and current behavior of the Federal Reserve, just as it is true of the current state of the largest, most powerful corporate organization in the history of civilization, the U.S. federal government.

The wisdom of the Constitution, in which the power and authority of the federal government were expressly and narrowly limited, has been ignored, and these are the direct and inevitable consequences.

This is the heart of the matter, and so-called experts pitching any other bullshit are wasting your time.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:32 | 4881903 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Hear, hear. 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:20 | 4882082 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Did you really, hear I mean?

"The wisdom of the Constitution, in which the power and authority of the federal government were expressly and narrowly limited, has been ignored, and these are the direct and inevitable consequences."

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:23 | 4882086 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes.  You are the one who wants no government.  I am the one who wants the one the Constitution envisioned.  Or have you changed views and want an elected government aka collectivsim?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:54 | 4882110 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Talking in circles. I have never said I wanted no government. I too want a constitutional government that limits the power of the federal government and allows states to retain the powers they were initially granted. We will NEVER eliminate all corruption. I contend that the larger the government the more corruption we will have....so lets keep it small. If people want welfare as we currently see it, then they should be able to vote for it on a state by state basis. Same with healthcare and most other issues. These are states rights that have been subverted or outright been done away with. This massive centralization has been enabled by a voting public that perceives that those benefits they are granting themselves will be paid for by someone else. If this was left as a more local matter, those delusions would not be allowed to persist for long. Especially considering states can't print money.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 05:05 | 4882247 Ckierst1
Ckierst1's picture

I think these are reasons why we need to enshrine laissez faire centrally in the Constitution as a core principle. We also have to break the back of John Marshall and Alexander Hamilton who were bear operators for liberty.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 15:01 | 4883322 malek
malek's picture

Good old LTER, when she has argued herself into a corner, she accuses others of things they never proposed

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:45 | 4881926 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Pairadimes

Our recent rulers have laid waste to the Constitution.

NONE have gone to jail.

NO ONE calls them out on it.

#FreeJonCorzine!

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:50 | 4881938 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

#BringCorzineHome.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:57 | 4881945 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

#Better!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:54 | 4882036 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

#BringBackOurCorzine

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 06:14 | 4882266 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

Au contraire, the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation specifically to grow the power of a centralized Federal Government.

 

From Wiki:

 

On March 4, 1789, general government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the U.S. Constitution.[2][3]The new Constitution provided for a much stronger federal government with a chief executive (the president), courts, and taxing powers.

 

Other sources will tell you the same.

In response to:

"The wisdom of the Constitution, in which the power and authority of the federal government were expressly and narrowly limited"

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:13 | 4882559 Marco
Marco's picture

" If the playing field is truly level, then no one rises above their capabilities, and real, decentralized markets and competitors act as a countervailing force against those who are able to accumulate wealth."

How do you keep it level with inheritance and rent income on land and other productive capital?

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:14 | 4884830 goldsansstandard
goldsansstandard's picture

""The wisdom of the Constitution, in which the power and authority of the federal government were expressly and narrowly limited, has been ignored, and these are the direct and inevitable consequences.
"

Yup, the general welfare sucks because limits set by the Constitution were gutted long time gone.

Sat, 06/21/2014 - 23:42 | 4881922 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

History is a never ending story of those having great wealth projecting their power. Clausewitz pithyly expressed the idea taken to its logical conclusion. The only solution is limit the wealth individuals my control, a very had pill to swallow....

The other maxim is the Free Markets abhor the Human Condition...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:09 | 4881970 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Is there any greater wealth than that possessed by our centralized government? Are they not "projecting their power"? Is not their goal to "limit" the wealth of individuals? You and me?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:22 | 4881998 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

In case you missed the show, the western world is for the most part, corporations projecting their power through the state to the mutual benefit of all those involved. And it has been going on for very long time....

I thought "centralized goverments" were insolvent and broke, now they suddenly have "great wealth", so exactly what is it?

Now, I argue that the world would be a much better place if no individual had more than ~$200,000,000 of assets. Are you going to argue that is wrong? That allowing individuals no limits would result in a better world? 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:39 | 4882016 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Remind me again who it was that bailed out the banks and AIG? Who is it keeping all of the banks and big businesses afloat in the EU? China? The thing you must understand about corruption is it cannot survive without the legitimacy that governments bring. Yes multinational corporations rule the world, but only at the will of our governments. Law is what they use.

Your suggestion that there be some limit to a persons earnings or wealth falls perfectly in line with the power that they seek. Power that is all that matters and to be able to tell someone how much they can earn is all the power anyone needs. Our income tax was supposed to be 1% on the top .1% of earners. Where are we now? And you want more "RULES"?

We have so many now that no person knows what they all are, even within the IRS, and they don't even know what their own people are doing and when asked lose the data...oops!

It is simply preposterous to suggest such as you do. There is only one way and that is competition bounded by common law. Everything else has been to to subvert or ignore common law and our constitution. And you want moar!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:42 | 4882025 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Yes multinational corporations rule the world, but only at the will of our governments. Law is what they use."

So let's hand them the keys?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:59 | 4882044 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Their corruption will not stand once the protection of the government is removed. Their is NOTHING that they do that is not without the full accordance of our government. Regulations are being used by these corporations to eliminate competition. You surely are aware of how voluminous the law scripters are working currently on Obamacare. Thousands of pages of law and regulation that will take untold years to even comprehend. Do you think these are pure as the driven snow. You think they are not written to a specific purpose that may not be as it first appears. How many laws are we witnessing right now that are being perverted or flatly ignored.

Government is a cover for corruption. Its that simple.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:04 | 4882053 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Name one time in history anywhere in which sociopaths did not rule the people?  The only time I can think of is Representative Government in the earlier days of the U.S.   

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:24 | 4882090 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Exactly. A small narrowly defined role for our federal government, where states still had significant power. All of that is gone. We can't even defend our borders any longer.

We obviously need more laws to protect the weak and simple minded.. Its been working great so far. More in poverty and a greater disparity in wealth. But at least we have the feds and their ability to print endless streams of money..money..money...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:29 | 4882093 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So now we've resorted to that?  I've repeatedly said end the Fed and shrink the government.  Do you hereby renouce your view that all government is bad and that we should have pure free markets?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:46 | 4882104 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Never said all government is bad, simply a large concentrated seat of power will always lead to corruption. Free markets are not without laws. The laws should apply to all equally, rich and poor, black and white, women and men. Instead we seek to treat this person one way because of how much they earn, another differently because of their relationship with lawmakers. The corruption is everywhere. To be honest I'm not sure what you want other than to punish anyone who falls within a certain criteria of wealth.

Sure money drives corruption, but it corrupts those at the bottom of the income scale just like it does those at the top. To me the money is irrelevant. What matters is productivity, and when we stifle that with corruption, on any level, it brings us all down. We need everyone working, not laying back because they have been told the whole thing is corrupt and there is no point. I don't blame them, but if this continues, it all comes down in my opinion.

We used to be inspired or motivated by wealth. It provided incentive to many, but today it only incentivises more corruption. We don't need to criminalize or demean wealth, we just need to punish the actual crooks.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 04:46 | 4882232 Ckierst1
Ckierst1's picture

600 years of the Swiss Cantons until a late popular vote put their banksters in control.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:41 | 4882751 juangrande
juangrande's picture

"Name one time in history anywhere in which sociopaths did not rule the people?  The only time I can think of is Representative Government in the earlier days of the U.S. "

 

Umm. Africans might disagree with you. 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:17 | 4882571 Marco
Marco's picture

The individuals running those corporations own more land than you ... they've already won, the current situation is just increasing their gains.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:03 | 4882051 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

The world is about power.  Post modernist philosophers talk about human interaction as a series of power relationships.  The Contitution of the US was a document designed to limit power of government and those who feed off of it.  However, any form of power nexus will grow over time, despite checks and balances, to the point at which it becomes terminal for the host 'organism' (society).  Same as it ever was.

The only solution is a systemic 'reset' or as Jefferson so eloquently stated, "The tree of liberty..."

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:19 | 4882577 Marco
Marco's picture

Nothing which respects property can be called a systemic reset of course

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:56 | 4882315 Jstanley011
Jstanley011's picture

So if someone piles up $200,000,001, then you're going to initiate violence against them to take away the disallowed dollar? Using the state as your proxy, of course. Nice.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:03 | 4881958 Wild Theories
Wild Theories's picture
At least cronyism is easy to measure. Cronyism always begets incompetence, you can measure the amount of cronyism that exist by observing the amount of incompetence that exists.
Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:14 | 4881980 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

True. A competitive environment does not tolerate incompetence for long and corruption uses incompetence as its life's blood, rewarding the least productive behaviors.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:36 | 4882000 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yet you believe in unlimited inheritance?  5 of the 10 most wealthy people in the U.S. are the children or spouses of the Waltons.  They never worked a day.  And they can't lose it from incompetence because it's largely in trusts.  Long live the Kings and Queens.  If you like the Billions you inherited, you can keep it.  Period.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:54 | 4882035 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

If you earned fairly and paid the taxes as it is earned, damned straight! If our country was ruled constitutionally and wealth was not allowed in influence governance, I believe there would be no issue.

People such as yourself are constantly trying to fix the symptom rather than the cause. Money isn't the issue, it is money's influence on the law. Monopolies were outlawed to maintain a level playing field, yet we know even then there will be winners and losers, but there is supposed to be a rematch, another chance, and then another. But the corruption of monopoly stops all that.

Stop the monopoly, not a free market. And if you want more laws, make laws that harden government from monetary influence and corruption. Eliminate insider trading would be a good place to start.

What we have seen is a government that enables corruption and monopoly and then sets forth to demonize wealth as the devil. They use this to tax people who make $250K, like they are the problem, while the teet sucklers are still warm in our government's embrace. Those who bite a little too hard on the nipple may get a slap now and then, maybe a sizable fine that represents a small percentage of their haul, and use them as an example to go out and audit mom and pop businesses. They are using anything that looks like wealth as a strawman and then proceed to take a bat to the sides of our "collective" heads.

This is not hard to see. As our government grows, so does the waste, corruption and destruction of the middle class. But no one is so blind as one who refuses to see.

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:01 | 4882046 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Oldwood, the guys you defend are the ones taking money from us.  There is no free market.  Thousands of years of history should have taught you that.  What you espouse is to give the power back to the sociopaths, who already have it.  We are living your philosophy and you don't see it.  Sociopaths always take over.  They've taken over our elected government.  The answer is not to give up what is left of a Constitutional Republic and give it back to them as Rand advocated.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:27 | 4882092 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I'm not defending anyone. I'm simply saying guns don't kill people, people do. Quit trying to make rules and regulations that stifle free people from doing perfect fine and legal things just so you can stop criminals that are using the power of our government to rob us. You are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 15:08 | 4883340 malek
malek's picture

 There is no free market.

The only problem is you're constantly proposing things in a two-wrongs-to-make-it-right style.

You will never understand that your line of thought "there will never be a perfectly free market, therefore I [LTER] give up on even trying to get to an as-close-as-possible free market [the cause], and now I propose meddler's 'solutions'as fixes [at best attempting to cure the symptons]."

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:16 | 4881984 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

Today a big topic is the huge growth in inequality. Those who look closely understand that it is not the 1% at the top stealing the icing off the cake, but the much smaller .1% or .01% that are skewing the numbers and overreaching.

I contend the biggest problem is the massive growth in crony capitalism and corruption in Washington. Much of this can be attributed to the ability of those in control "changing the rules" and positioning themselves to benefit at every corner. In our busy and complex world we have found it impossible to watch all the moving parts. More on this subject in the article below.

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2014/05/how-empires-collapse.html

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:45 | 4882028 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

OK, crony capitalism out of DC and NYC does indeed represent a huge problem.  And it is the 0.01% as the Tylers have written about.  But the elites are not united, IMO:

http://goo.gl/XjxYGl  (2012 -- many of you have seen it)

How we (99%) defend ourselves, buying hard assets, I review the latest issue of American Hard Assets below:

http://goo.gl/5H2aw5

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 02:02 | 4882117 UselessEater
UselessEater's picture

Enjoyed the read DCRB.

The "elite" probably are not united within their own ranks (power struggles and holding power bases in nations targeted over decades for demise - like the USA can be dividing). Their networks of institutions and secret societies are old and deep state; they are united, perhaps conflictually, against the common man, there in lies our problem. Their internal conflicts may serve to delay even de-rail grand plans, but you and I are still the common enemy. If they want their way, we get horrendous false flags (permitted and/or instigated) WW1, WW2, 911....etc.

If one considers Catherin Austin Fitts discussion about black budgets, 'privatised' military power and privatised space/military technology that reaches into our financial, corporate and online systems we may not have the full picture on the mite these sicko's have and which faction can unleash mayhem... do they toe a line to stay within the fold? The author of Babylon Banksters seems to IMO imply they do toe a line to a certain extent.

Hard to read the likes of Jim Willie, Skousen, Coleman, ZH etc and not see the obvious tilting of the hat to the East, that has taken some serious coordination over decades and is accelerating today; "elite" "dissenters" would be well aware of this tilt occurring over time and the purpose -what is their dissent worth to us I wonder?

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 00:44 | 4882012 Aquarius
Aquarius's picture

It is too bad that Morons like Krugman have such strong influence,

and that most Morons gang together to "govern" or manage the Recursive scam of the public.

It is also unfortunate that we let them criminalize us while removing our productivity,

But human incarceration is also unsustainable,

Just as all gangs, political parties, governments are unsustainable.

And as they should be, as stated by Thomas Jefferson all governments profit from being sanitized by revolution. And revolution can be translated etymologically as being 'The Word/Grace of God'

All - despite what Krugman and his crony cultists believe.

But the most deplorable fact of this depraved lot of knuckle-dragging pre-Palaeolitic throwbacks, that refer to themseves as Economists, is, that not one of them understands actually what "money" is.

http://verbewarp.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/on-money.html

Money is the aggregated Integrity of each of the Party's to a contractual interchange; despite the specie and or fiat/ metal or object utilized. Or, IOW money is not paper, coin or matter.

Talking about "govern" (above) this is just another improper term to describe the Management of the Policy of the Recursive Scam, permitted by the Bankers in return for centralizing the energies of the global humanity to the Bankers convenience and benefit, by the political scum that infests mankind..

http://verbewarp.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/recursive-game-is-policy.html

Yes, war, the extension  of politics, is about creating and protecting wealth by the political. Those who favour war, despise humanity but more to the point, Terrorism is the tool used ONLY by the politically orientated.

Words, and the comprehension thereof, are important.

To ignore the  power of language, is to be delussional

http://verbewarp.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/delusional-economics.html

Ho hum

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:31 | 4882094 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I think the term that morons who gang together like to use is "consensus". You see, if you have a "consensus" of your peers, well then, you just have to be right.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 13:27 | 4882791 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus. Ford Hall Forum, 1965.

How the “cult of compromise” is moving America toward a fascist form of statism.

http://www.moremagazines.net/servlet/the-42731/AYN-RAND-The-New/Detail

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:05 | 4882055 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

Superb piece.

More of his writing on ZH, please.

Well done, Mr. Jeftovic.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 01:32 | 4882096 roadlust
roadlust's picture

The book documents the flow of money in Western countries that inevitably happens when elites are in control of law making and law enforcement.  It's doesn't necessarily prescribe fixes.  It's most important element is that it provides factual data to back up what most of us intuitively already knew. 

The rich are getting richer, and everybody else is getting poorer, and we've baked it structurally into our cake. 

2009 was our chance to rid ourselves of the old oligarchy which feeds off the inequalities built into our economic system.  We blew it.  No telling when that chance will occur again.  At least before the Revolution.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 05:05 | 4882246 James-Morrison
James-Morrison's picture

Live simply.

Live honestly.

The current bad times will look like the good times, based on the fate that awaits us all...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:14 | 4882290 Jstanley011
Jstanley011's picture

"Unchecked capitalism"? What "unchecked capitalism"? There has been no "unchecked capitalism" in the United States since Hoover at least. So the premise of the book is a lie.

What we're suffering from is unchecked Keynesianism -- as practiced by the masters of the house, who after poisoning all the guests, are now pointing fingers and shouting, "The butler did it!"

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:41 | 4882304 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

An interesting cross-reference for those who believe Snowden is an elaborate limited hangout:

"The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1% - ex CIA spy"

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/19/open-so...

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 07:57 | 4882316 Metal Minded
Metal Minded's picture

Andreas Antonopoulos- Bitcoin threatens kleptocracy and through that bitcoin saves capitalism(7:01): http://youtu.be/jaHqtXvGxy4 via @YouTube

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:03 | 4882536 messymerry
messymerry's picture

DUDE!  That was excellent!  Thank you.  Mr. Antonopolous is right on the money...no pun intended..

About Bitcoin though, Cryptocurrencies are still in the process of being born.  I suspect that some form of peer-to-peer OTC cryptocurrency will rise up and become what Andreas is describing.  Whether that currency will be Bitcoin or some other offshoot remains to be seen.  TPTB will not allow this to happen without a fight. Rest assured, they will go down swinging.  There will be cooptions, subversions, and all sorts of dirty deeds to discredit any threat to fiat money.  Expect some real fireworks.  If anybody has some sense of how this will all wash out, I am keen to know.  Please share it with us here at ZH.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:07 | 4882353 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Cronyism in the 21 st century : Thats a recurrent trait of humanity which has not changed since the first Triumverate of Rome. 

Its not specific to the 21st century.

As the 20 th century precedes the 21 st its legacy cannot be neglected.

In the 20 th, a bit like what transpired in the 19th, Pax Americana destroyed in front of our very eyes--some say since the invention of the FED-- the model of American capitalism that became under Reaganomics the ultimate avatar of financial despotism. In 2008 we repeated this dystopian cataclysm of 1929 crisis of capitalism, as if once was NOT one too many !

Just as a reminder :  in the 19 th century nascent capitalism under Pax Britannia, the original avatar that inspired the American model; post Jekyll Island concoction; we saw the Colonial-industrial model go down in flames in the Armageddon of two world wars. 

We are seeing the "free market Reaganista model", aided and abetted by Maggie and shitty City, do the same; aka go down in flames in post Lehman debacle. 

So to resuscitate the Free Market as the Harbinger of future of Humanity, once rid of the so called sins of Cronyism, is like saying : Imperial Rome was fine if ONLY Caesar had not demolished the Senate.

You can't have it both ways and US capitalism has once again crossed the Rubicon.

The free market meme is as dead as dodo the bird and no amount of huffing and puffing will put Humpty Dumpty together again. Its written in stone now.

Its time to move on to another paradigm where markets are just that : a vision of whats possible, not the be all of whats civilization.

The problems that face civilization in the 21st have nothing to do with pumping the price of a dodo called the assets of WS and the Dow Jones. It will take time but one day people will understand, just as one day people understood that religion was not the gateway to progress.

That step occurred in the West sometime between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

Its about time that the East refound that thread, instead of rubbing dogmatic shia beard against sunni beard-- with the help of local monarchies, dyed in the wool despotisms, and western, cynical "divide and ruin" machiavellism practiced by "the greatest show on earth" nation state, so called democracy, practising hegemonical power plays  around the sacred oil patch. 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 09:11 | 4882424 Apostate2
Apostate2's picture

Gandhi Mr Jeftovic

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 09:15 | 4882434 Last of the Mid...
Last of the Middle Class's picture

Don't ever call what we have capitalism. That ended long ago with a group of private busisness men gaining control of the money printing machine called the Fed then proceeded to print them and their friends money to eternity. THAT is not capitalism and as a result we have the completely incompetent people in power today in our political system that are there. Everyone of those politicians R & D give me the willys when I look at their faces. Disgusting is probably the best word to describe it.

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:16 | 4882688 falak pema
falak pema's picture

capitalism was invented by venice a republic and the state coined the first silver coin accepted as universal money, the Grosso of Enrico Dandolo, who would lead the capture of Constantinople in 1204. It became the Mark or Ducat of Venice when Venice became king of Mediterranean.

Yes, minting money was a state function until battle of Waterloo and a certain Rothschild who became Mr Moneybags of Rule Britannia. 

But, East India Company and Queen Victoria were crony in rulling that Empire. 

So what the Warburgs, Morgans and Rockafellas did on Jekyll Island was no different from what British Capitalism had been : a mixture of private enterprise and state, that goes back to the age of Francis Drake and the Sea pirates of the Spanish Main who sunk the Armada. 

Anglosaxon capitalism has always been private sector oligarchs leading and state following; unlike France and Germany or old Byzantium and Rome. 

the FED is quintessentially the face of 20th century american capitalism. 

 

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:32 | 4882725 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"..capitalism was invented by venice a republic and the state coined the first silver coin accepted as universal money..." etc.

May be time to return to barter system only, scrap money. Yes, there is a downside, one being that everyone would have to work. I think everyone should.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 09:29 | 4882468 Harriet Wanger
Harriet Wanger's picture

The problem is that even if we moved to a new system, such as mutual credit, or credit clearing, in which money is created and destroyed interest-free by individuals, we are still conceptually locked into the pattern of largely self-sufficient, parochial groups that trade their excess among one another and distribute goods and services to group members on a non-monetary basis.

The last vestige of this was the single-earner family, which pretty much disappeared in the 70s.

We don't live that way anymore and we likely never will unless we de-industrialize.

So what's the answer? Beats me.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 09:52 | 4882506 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

 

P's book could also be called, "How to Steal Capital in Any Century."

From the first principle of money as identified by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics, we can conclude that the alliance of global "bankers" do not have a monetary policy. They have a counterfeiting policy. The gods of counterfeit have built their power structure on the lie that money is the "medium of exchange."

"The more often the lie is repeated and uncontested then the louder it resounds and waxes. The louder and longer the waxing then the more the lie becomes accepted only to gently wane into a friendly whisper and then transcribed into the unquestioned authority of text books, dictionaries, and news outlets, which is then constantly reinforced by tyranny's stool pigeons, called modern economists, who are busy fluttering their distractions at the twenty two primary dealers, the universities, and media chains." - OC Sure 

For anyone interested, I have carefully defined in a few short essays how the definition of money and counterfeit must be obfuscated by the tyranny of modern economics in order for them to maintain control.

http://ocsure.blogspot.com/2014/06/tyranny-of-modern-economics.html   

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:30 | 4882591 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Thanks, a good read.

As you correctly point out, as more of us depend on dividing the spoils of theft rather than the production of wealth, the system falls ever deeper into corruption that the dependency corruption fosters.

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 10:33 | 4882597 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

The black market economy is growing for a reason. It is honest, buyer beware, for one thing. Another is no taxes or fees. It is another form of decentralization that the fascist oligarchy fears. 

Any decentralized "product" is a threat to those IN power. Solar panels? Threat. Own garden? Threat. See how it works?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 11:36 | 4882741 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"What makes an hour work of neurosurgeon equal to a pizza delivery."

Barter system corrects this. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus accepted, among other things from an indigent client, a sack of walnuts.

Works for me. Walnut pie, anyone?

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 13:25 | 4883039 Monetary Lapse ...
Monetary Lapse of Reason's picture

I am sorry not to see more recognition of the works of LoCascio in the comments... so I will do so.  Very well done Mark on your connecting of the dots as well!

If I had not picked up a copy of "The Monetary Elite vs. Gold's Honest Discipline" as summer beach vacation reading in 2006, I would never have gotten started on the road to understanding what is happening.  I owe a huge debt (pun intended) of gratitude to Vincent for taking the time to document, in 2003, what amounts to a template for everything that has happened since.  He saw it all so clearly.

My favorite term from LoCascio that I use to this day is, "scarcity integrity".  From the book, "Monetary Elite..."  

Inflation is perverse solely because increases in the money supply are distributed unevenly and unfairly.

If meaningful reform is not forthcoming, a financial crisis dwarfing all pervious crises is probably in the cards.  One cannot know when this will occur but one can know why:  the lack of scarcity and distributional integrity in the monetary unit.

Again, excellent essay Mark... It would be a pleasure to meet you someday.        

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 15:45 | 4883437 malek
malek's picture

Great article, thanks!

Sun, 06/22/2014 - 18:31 | 4883841 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

"These policies are utterly backwards in that they posit what economic forces should do according to some model, instead of trying to understand what they actually do based on observed results."

Yes, yes, and yes.  Someone finally gets it.  This is a problem that transcends economics and is the stuff of all modern science, especially in the wake of the "computer revolution," which has allowed for the creation of massive mathematical models creating hypothetical scenarios for all manner of phenomena.

The very definition of science has changed from empirical observation, experiment and observation of Real-World phenomena, and the empirical construction of reality to the construction of theoretical models, experimentation with these models, then application of the results of these "studies," without any concern for whether or not the models are in accord with reality or not.  This is most clearly observed in "climate science" where the lack of any real global-warming for 17 years demonstrates clearly and without question that the models that are used in these "climate studies" have little or no relation to empirical, observed reality.  Yet on they go, spinning new theory after new theory and new political agenda after new political agenda, to apply the results of their "models."

Much of this is owing to the "computer revolution."  Some is due to the need to publish something, anything- especially something that can be immediately "applied" by some government agency or program (as this will lead to grant money, fame, celebrity, and power for the intellectual).  Finally some of this is due to misunderstanding Thomas Kuhn and what he was saying in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Now, if we could only convince the Austrians and the laissez-faire people that "theories" and "models" are not reality and that Murray Rothbard, just like Karl Marx, did not explain the world with some grand unifying theory in 250 pages.

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