Paul Craig Roberts: The West Is Being Reduced To Looting Itself

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

I, Michael Hudson, John Perkins, and a few others have reported the multi-pronged looting of peoples by Western economic institutions, principally the big New York Banks with the aid of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Third World countries were and are looted by being inticed into development plans for electrification or some such purpose. The gullible and trusting governments are told that they can make their countries rich by taking out foreign loans to implement a Western-presented development plan, with the result being sufficient tax revenues from economic development to service the foreign loan.

Seldom, if ever, does this happen. What happens is that the plan results in the country becoming indebted to the limit and beyond of its foreign currency earnings. When the country is unable to service the development loan, the creditors send the IMF to tell the indebted government that the IMF will protect the government’s credit rating by lending it the money to pay its bank creditors. However, the conditions are that the government take necessary austerity measures so that the government can repay the IMF. These measures are to curtail public services and the government sector, reduce public pensions, and sell national resources to foreigners. The money saved by reduced social benefits and raised by selling off the country’s assets to foreigners serves to repay the IMF.

This is the way the West has historically looted Third World countries. If a country’s president is reluctant to enter into such a deal, he is simply paid bribes, as the Greek governments were, to go along with the looting of the country the president pretends to represent.

When this method of looting became exhausted, the West bought up agricultural lands and pushed a policy on Third World countries of abandoning food self-sufficiency and producing one or two crops for export earnings. This policy makes Third World populations dependent on food imports from the West. Typically the export earnings are drained off by corrupt governments or by foreign purchasers who pay little while the foreigners selling food charge much. Thus, self-sufficiency is transformed into indebtedness.

With the entire Third World now exploited to the limits possible, the West has turned to looting its own. Ireland has been looted, and the looting of Greece and Portugal is so severe that it has forced large numbers of young women into prostitution. But this doesn’t bother the Western conscience.

Previously, when a sovereign country found itself with more debt than could be serviced, creditors had to write down the debt to an amount that the country could service. In the 21st century, as I relate in my book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, this traditional rule was abandoned.

The new rule is that the people of a country, even a country whose top offiials accepted bribes in order to indebt the country to foreigners, must have their pensions, employment, and social services slashed and valuable national resources such as municipal water systems, ports, the national lottery, and protected national lands, such as the protected Greek islands, sold to foreigners, who have the freedom to raise water prices, deny the Greek government the revenues from the national lottery, and sell the protected national heritage of Greece to real estate developers.

What has happened to Greece and Portugal is underway in Spain and Italy. The peoples are powerless because their governments do not represent them. Not only are their governments receiving bribes, the members of the governments are brainwashed that their countries must be in the European Union. Otherwise, they are bypassed by history. The oppressed and suffering peoples themselves are brainwashed in the same way. For example, in Greece the government elected to prevent the looting of Greece was powerless, because the Greek people are brainwashed that no matter the cost to them, they must be in the EU.

The combination of propaganda, financial power, stupidity and bribes means that there is no hope for European peoples.

The same is true in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK. In the US tens of millions of US citizens have quietly accepted the absence of any interest income on their savings for seven years. Instead of raising questions and protesting, Americans have accepted without thought the propaganda that their existence depends upon the success of a handful of artificially created mega-banks that are “too big to fail.” Millions of Americans are convinced that it is better for them to draw down their savings than for a corrupt bank to fail.

To keep Western peoples confused about the real threat that they face, the people are told that there are terrorists behind every tree, every passport, under every bed, and that all will be killed unless the government’s overarching power is unquestioned. So far this has worked perfectly, with one false flag after another reinforcing the faked terror attacks that serve to prevent any awareness that this a hoax for accumulating all income and wealth in a few hands.

Not content with their supremacy over “democratic peoples,” the One Percent has come forward with the Trans-Atlanta and Trans-Pacific partnerships. Allegedly these are “free trade deals” that will benefit everyone. In truth, these are carefully hidden, secret, deals that give private businesses control over the laws of sovereign governments.

For example, it has come to light that under the Trans-Atlantic partnership the National Health Service in the UK could be ruled in the private tribunals set up under the partnership as an impediment to private medical insurance and sued for damages by private firms and even forced into abolishment.

The corrupt UK government under Washington’s vassal David Cameron has blocked access to legal documents that show the impact of the Trans-Atlantic partnership on Britain’s National Health Service

For any citizen of any Western country who is so stupid or brainwashed as not to have caught on, the entire thrust of “their” government’s policy is to turn every aspect of their lives over to grasping private interests.

In the UK the postal service was sold at a nominal price to politically connected private interests. In the US the Republicans, and perhaps the Democrats, intend to privatize Medicare and Social Security, just as they have privatized many aspects of the military and the prison system. Public functions are targets for private profit-making.

One of the reasons for the escalation in the cost of the US military budget is its privatization. The privatization of the US prison system has resulted in huge numbers of innocent people being sent to prison, where they are forced to work for Apple Computer, IT services, clothing companies that manufacture for the US military, and a large number of other private businesses. The prison laborers are paid as low as 69 cents per hour, below the Chinese wage.

This is America today. Corrupt police. Corrupt prosecutors. Corrupt judges. But maximum profits for US Capitalism from prison labor. Free market economists glorified private prisons, alleging that they would be more efficient. And indeed they are efficient in providing the profits of slave labor for capitalists.

Here is a news report on UK Prime Minister Cameron denying information about the effect of the Trans-Atlantic partnership on Britains’ National Health.

The UK Guardian, which often has to prostitute itself in order to maintain a bit of independence, describes the anger that the British people feel toward the government’s secrecy about an issue so fundamental to the well being of the British people. Yet, the British continue to vote for political parties that have betrayed the British people.

All over Europe, the corrupt Washington-contolled governments have distracted people from their sellout by “their” governments by focusing their attention on immigrants, whose presence is a consequence of the European governments representing Washington’s interests and not the interest of their own peoples.

Somthing dire has happened to the intelligence and awareness of Western peoples who seem no longer capable of comprehending the machinations of “their” governments.

Accountable government in the West is history. Nothing but failure and collapse awaits Western civilization.

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Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:06 | 7123579 opt out
opt out's picture

I think this article would play better as an interpretive dance. 

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:34 | 7123604 BuddyEffed
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" However, the conditions are that the government take necessary austerity measures so that the government can repay the IMF. These measures are to curtail public services and the government sector, reduce public pensions, and sell national resources to foreigners. The money saved by reduced social benefits and raised by selling off the country’s assets to foreigners serves to repay the IMF. "

That sounds like the civilized version of appropriating another countries resources away from it's general populace.  

The uncivilized version drives the general populace out of the country as refugees or through attrition.

It might be that the version you get depends in ways on the speed of the need.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:53 | 7123752 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

I'm willing to cash in some of my stack to buy rope.  Anyone have a tree?

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 01:58 | 7124031 Zero-Hegemon
Zero-Hegemon's picture

Para cord

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 07:14 | 7124331 Scooby Dooby Doo
Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

I got bit 3 times yesterday. I think I have Zika I'm running a fever and have muscle spasms around the infection sites.

This might be it for me Hedgers. The Zika got me. I'm trying to find a specialist. My head hurts I think it's shrinking. It's happening fast, this may be my last post before my head totally shrinks and I get the brain damage. Tell everyone that Scooby was a good

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 07:32 | 7124351 Scooby Dooby Doo
Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

Don't cry for me, Zero Hedgers
The truth is, I never left you
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I kept my promise
My Zero Hedgers
Don't cry for me, Zero Hedgers!

Ah, my fingers are starting to spasm, my eyes are fire red and my ears are starting to ring. It's starting to

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 07:49 | 7124371 Scooby Dooby Doo
Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

OMG I have shortness of breath. Shallow breathing, hurts to swallow. Eyes are red, burning itchy.

Please tell the team that I might not make it to work

Zika virus

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 08:11 | 7124394 Serfs Up
Serfs Up's picture

"I'm willing to cash in some of my stack to buy rope.  Anyone have a tree?"

No, but I'm working on a design for a rotary lamppost.  Better throughput, easier loading.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:55 | 7123761 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

PCR makes me want  to kill myself, but he has it about correct.

Tue, 02/02/2016 - 05:14 | 7128576 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

except those "private" corporations are actually "the tribes" corporations

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 02:10 | 7124054 Crush the cube
Crush the cube's picture

Invasion by a derived nation with a derivative army.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:51 | 7123744 August
Mon, 02/01/2016 - 01:26 | 7123973 IronForge
IronForge's picture

"I think this article would play better as an interpretive dance."

 

Then SVU/Vice will have to Intervene whenever it is Performed.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 01:56 | 7124030 holgerdanske
holgerdanske's picture

We the peoples.

Otherwise spot on.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 07:58 | 7124376 doctor10
doctor10's picture

Criminally ordered governments always turn on their people. Its all about preventing accountability to the rule of law.

11/22/63 is the hinge point for the American Oligarchy in that reqard

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:09 | 7123588 __Usury__
__Usury__'s picture

rape pillage plunder........been going on a long time....

 

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/25/winston-churchill-britains-greate...

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:39 | 7123700 ThirteenthFloor
ThirteenthFloor's picture

Sophocles said some 2600 years ago...
"There's nothing in the world so demoralizing as money."
As western culture is proving so elegantly today.

Just think Sophocles, had no idea about derivatives, bonds, fiat, fractional reserve, or credit cards, all he knew of was coinage. But alas, nothing's changed with man.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 01:59 | 7124035 Zero-Hegemon
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Now you give me special price, or I seek super exciting discount!

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 08:25 | 7124410 CPL
CPL's picture

"I drank what?"

-Socrates

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 00:43 | 7123887 __Usury__
__Usury__'s picture

Ann Coulter giving it to fox news..........a must read

''Fox has made a habit of insulting Trump — provided he's not there to respond. After the first debate — which, incidentally, all the polls say Trump won — Fox let it be known that the moderators had been prepared to forcibly remove Trump from the debate if he failed to follow the rules. Brett Baier even revealed their cute little speech before they would escort him to the elevator: "We don't want to have to escort you to the elevator outside this boardroom. But we're locked and loaded."''

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/267300-trump...

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 00:46 | 7123893 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

And the guy didn't even get into Churchill's genocide of the Germans in WWII.

But then, he calls Obma "the world's most powerful man", so I ain't so sure about his credibility.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:15 | 7123612 Two Theives and...
Two Theives and a Liar's picture

"...and the truth is there ain't no hope for the future...and they wonder why we're crazy.."

--Tupac Shakur

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:16 | 7123615 stant
stant's picture

They have already took whats not nailed down . Coming back with a crowbar

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:20 | 7123623 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

We the Sheeple, are going to be clipped, sheared, shorn and then eaten by the Big Bad Wolf.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 00:34 | 7123866 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

And we're fucking proud of it!

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:20 | 7123627 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

After seeing the banks/corporations/insurers bailed out in 2008 I'd be happy to see the West collapse, and I have no allegiance the Kleptoligarchy of the U.S.S.A.

Fuck you people.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 09:14 | 7124525 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

I hear you! But then they use the collapse as a reason to get more control. If a collapse is to happen the people need to make sure what follows is in our best interest not the bankers.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:22 | 7123629 MASTER OF UNIVERSE
MASTER OF UNIVERSE's picture

Western civilization was built to collapse when the Committee To Ruin The World repealed Glass-Steagall. All on Z/H know that America is going to Hell in a handbasket, Dr. Roberts. We all have front row seats for the Shit-Show(tm) on Internet, and we all have PopCorn & beer at the ready.

 

Tell us something we don't know, eh.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:22 | 7123632 Chuckster
Chuckster's picture

In other words....he just woke up and noticed this?

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:36 | 7123686 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Care to share your resume along side PCR's?

Because he's writing it now it doesn't necessarily follow that he just now figured it out.  PCR is quite sharp and experienced.  His observations, wisdom and writings are important.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 01:27 | 7123974 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

So we're measuring dick size? PCR's resume' is special? Look, I've been reading the dude for 3 years. It's the same tired old schtick. He'll be writing the same stuff next year. If I'm supposed to be impressed by his former career as an insider- forgive me. He's just one more bum on the doom bus. Save him a seat.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 02:14 | 7124062 Crush the cube
Crush the cube's picture

His job is to get you to choose a side, just because it smells better don't mean he ain't working for the same ends.  So few who wake to walk the middle path.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 07:27 | 7124346 kev the bev
kev the bev's picture

PCR, very decent man, very well connected, very well educated and sticking his neck out to hopefully inform the unimformed. You sir, may well have been "reading the dude for 3 years", but you have learned nothing.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 09:07 | 7124508 Bob
Bob's picture

He's been saying it for a very long time in both articles and books.  Likewise for Michael Hudson. 

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:25 | 7123644 Lord_wotton
Lord_wotton's picture

Dr. Roberts is no doubt a well-educated fellow, but I equate his warnings to George Soros saying stock up on non-perishable foods and ammo.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:29 | 7123655 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Because money by its nature allows one to quantify outcomes it has generated its own justification as being the rightful arbiter of those same outcomes.  The neocons and neoliberals are in agreement on the assumption that wealth accumulation equals righteousness ("greed is good") and they have the wealth to hire mercenaries who play the enforcers.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:31 | 7123674 ZombieHuntclub
ZombieHuntclub's picture

Just like when Rome fell there were too few centurions to protect the city any longer. The barbarians didn't have to break down the gates. The citizens opened them and welcomed their sacking horde. America will get what it deserves and history will have fulfilled its repetitive prophecy once again.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:32 | 7123678 stonehands
stonehands's picture

The west allows women to vote.Women are liberals, you idiots. Then the pill is introduced. Then abortion. And then complete acceptance of homosexuality. Men every where refer to themselves as "straight" instead of normal,giving the enemy credibility- and voila- we have a generation of indesisive effeminate neuters. I think western values are not worth defending. Let the women and homos fight the bankers and their proxy muzzies- I ain't got your back....that goes for the fag military and any other institution that purveys this degenerate filth.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:56 | 7123766 swamp
swamp's picture

The West is comprised of women. The West doesn't 'let' women vote. The West lets men vote, but hopefully not for long.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 02:03 | 7124042 Zero-Hegemon
Zero-Hegemon's picture

What is it about their emotional appeals that you are not understanding?

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 02:08 | 7124049 Ace006
Ace006's picture

I believe you have nailed it.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 06:23 | 7124283 Gold Eyed Cat
Gold Eyed Cat's picture

I'm clearly biased, but I don't think women are the problem right now.  I think TAXPAYERS are getting outnumbered by the FREELOADERS.  And politicians do whatever they are told by the bankers that own them, like the depraved lyin' whores they are.

But that's just my opinion. And my female southern friends are all Duck-Dynasty-Christian-Conservatives.  Ya'll want some pecan pie?

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 06:58 | 7124310 Lea
Lea's picture

"The west allows women to vote.Women are liberals, you idiots. Then the pill is introduced. Then abortion. And then complete acceptance of homosexuality."

What a fool. Women vote in nearly every country under the sun, yet what you talk about is what ails THE WEST. It's not because "women are liberals", it's because your mainstream culture is led by market needs. Ever wondered why Goldman Sachs, which is not a feminist association by any stretch of imagination, is in favor of same sex marriage?
Did you know homosexual people spend about three times as much as straights? There is your reason to develop that segment of population. Did you know oral contraceptives and abortion are huge businesses? There are your reasons to develop feminism.
The "women" who are derailing your society wear short hair, grey suits and neckties, sit at corporations boards of directors and carry calculators, you dummy.

The worst thing is that people like you think they are going to solve the problems of the West with yet moar unbridled capitalism.

Ain't no cure...

 

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 10:17 | 7124682 detached.amusement
detached.amusement's picture

yeah, amazing how much "spending" money one has when there are no children to provide for

 

what's that about "spending" again?

 

 

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:36 | 7123691 tarabel
tarabel's picture

 

 

I'm afraid Mr. Roberts is a litle slow in his recognition of the facts.

Many western societies have been living off the surplus loot piled up over the past several centuries. In some cases, the loot is running low, while in others it still has a way to go before it is all burned up.

In any case, added production is no longer the goal for these insane people, but rather the careful, managed decline into a Nottingham-like existence where the government plunders the few remaining pockets of prosperity and a handful of doughty rebels hang out in the forest.

Robin Hood was not robbing from the rich to give to the poor. He was stealing back the plunder that had been confiscated by a government hell-bent on paying Richard the Lionheart's exorbitant ransom.

It's bad enough to be a sheep in a land of freezing bureaucrats, but it gets worse when they wake up with a craving for lamb chops.

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:57 | 7123769 swamp
swamp's picture

1913 comes to mind.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 00:47 | 7123895 bid the soldier...
bid the soldiers shoot's picture

 

most people I know wake up with a craving, but not for lamb chops

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 01:22 | 7123966 tarabel
tarabel's picture

 

 

Coffee?

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 01:38 | 7123993 brockhardman
brockhardman's picture

I'm gonna go with vagina for $500, Bob.

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 02:04 | 7124043 tarabel
tarabel's picture

 

 

Dang, that was my next guess.

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