The Sun Chairman, What's Future Is Prologue, And Why The Second French Revolution Is Coming To America

Tyler Durden's picture

For our closing post of the day we once open the floor to Sean Corrigan who proves that just when we thought all historical comparisons to the current deplorable economic miasma have been used up, a new one springs up, this time perhaps the one most indicative not so much of the past but of the future. Indeed, if history is any indication, and it is, America's catastrophic and untenable position is worse than even that of one Louis XIV, better known as "The Sun King", whose rule set the stage for the downfall of the French monarchy and which ultimately culminated with the French Revolution of 1789. For arguably the best indication of historical parallels to the present, and yet another confirmation that there really is nothing new in this world, especially in the world of central planning of monetary affairs, we present the following summary of the practices of Louis XIV which is verbatim applicable to the actions of the current central planning cartel: "The administration of the finances appears to have practised a subtle and ingenious tactic… [and] by modifications in the monetary unit, attempted to influence economic phenomena. Changes… were made to prepare for the issue of loans or to audit the circulation of the treasury notes, or to regulate exchange, to modify the balance of trade… to effect a redistribution of wealth, to influence the price level of commodities, perhaps to attenuate economic crises and famines…"

It may come as a surprise to some that the very same type of central planning that Bernanke, and his central banking brethren, are trying to inflict (and failing) upon the world, was the same that was attempted on so many occasions in history, most poignantly, and catastrophically in the late stages of the French monarchy. Needless to say the attempts by one man to control a far simpler French economy well over two centuries ago failed, yet ironically, not even then did the economy reach our current level of collapse. Which begs the question: how long until our own "Sun Chairman" finally forces the hundreds of millions of great unwashed out of their hypnotic trance following the realization that their "equity" in the great American experiment, their pensions, lifetime accrued benefits, retirement funds, and of course savings, have been completely wiped out, and another historic 'storming', only this time not of the Bastille, but of the Marriner Eccles building, the focal point of all that is broken with not only America but the world, finally ensues. Just as over 200 years ago, the longer the wait, the greater the ultimate loss for the working class... and the bloodier the ultimate outcome for the modern day iteration of the clergy and aristocracy, also known as contemporary politicians and bankers. And to those saying we are getting ahead of ourselves, we borrow a phrase from the lexicon of unconventional wisdom: "this time is never different."

From Sean Corrigan: If It's Broke, Don't Fix It

In Elgin Groseclose’s magisterial ‘Money and Man’, the following, eerily contemporary quote appears in his chapter on paper money:-

“The administration of the finances appears to have practised a subtle and ingenious tactic… [and] by modifications in the monetary unit, attempted to influence economic phenomena. Changes… were made to prepare for the issue of loans or to audit the circulation of the treasury notes, or to regulate exchange, to modify the balance of trade… to effect a redistribution of wealth, to influence the price level of commodities, perhaps to attenuate economic crises and famines…”

So, we are told, wrote Albert Despaux of the practices of the French regime under Louis XIV during the final, disastrous twenty-five years of his reign. Indeed, upon first examining the accounts, after seven decades of chronic warfare and costly ritual, the incoming administration was to discover that matters were even more dire than they had originally been led to believe – even without a helpful Wall St. broker-dealer to help anyone cook the books beforehand.

As the Duc de Noailles – the new chief of the Council of Finance– wrote to the dead king’s chief concubine, in the autumn of 1715:

“We have found matters in a more terrible state than can be described; both the king [i.e., the ‘public sector’] and his subjects ruined; nothing paid for several years; confidence entirely gone. Hardly ever has the monarchy been in such a condition, though it has several times been near its ruin.”

Plus ça change, one cannot refrain from remarking.

Though we must factor a larger margin of error into his accounts than we must apply to even our own governments’ dubious estimates, it seems that the sunset of le Roi Soleil was accompanied by an annual expenditure of the order of 236 million livres – of which some 86 million was interest payable on the debt – against which revenues of only some 150 million livres could be found. Total debt amounted to perhaps 3 billion livres, implying an average interest rate just south of 3% which is, ironically, much the same as that enjoyed by Uncle Sam today.

The annual deficit, therefore, amounted to some 43% of revenue, or 30% of outlays – still below the Bernholz accelerating inflation threshold of 66% and 40%, respectively, even if not exactly a testimony of rude fiscal health. Things had been deteriorating for quite some time before this, so that, overall, the grand Bourbon’s debt rose twentyfold in thirty years. By way of comparison, the imperial presidency in Washington has allowed its own count of obligations to climb a not wholly incomparable fifteenfold in a like period of time.

It is of note, then, that the abject financial state to which Louis’ vainglory had reduced his realm compares fairly favourably with that produced by a similar threescore years-and-ten of military welfarism in his successors’ populist republic, where the latest €150bln deficit represents 54% of receipts and 35% of expenditures – and the old satyr‘s performance looks even more attractive beside the newly ex-AAA United States’ tally of 60% and 38%.

Moreover, whereas the currency doctoring of which Despaux so disapproved was the culmination of a 66-year process during which the livre was devalued 40% in terms of gold and 35% in terms of silver (for a mean inflation rate of 0.8%!), that same proportionate loss of gold value has occurred to the livre’s paper descendants in just the last sixteen-eighteen months – much less the last six-seven decades. Moreover, in the same, two-generation period up to the present, the US dollar has lost 98% of its gold and over 99% of its silver value, with the franc putting up an even poorer showing beside it.

Even in CPI terms, the US dollar buys only 8% of what it did in 1945, a 3.8% annualized drop whose overall extent it has taken successive French governments something of the order of fifty years to accomplish at the compounded 4.7% rate prevailing in l’Hexagone. 

The consequences of the penury of the early eighteenth-century French state are well known to students of human folly, for these were the all-too familiar circumstances in which the regent, the personally extravagant Duc d’Orleans - eschewing both politically unpalatable alternatives of swingeing austerity or outright default - turned to the twisted, Scots genius of John Law, that patron saint of underconsumptionist currency quacks and the honorary founding-father of latter-day central banking.

The broad thrust of the insanity and wastefulness unleashed by this pecuniary Pandora are perhaps too well known to bear overmuch repetition here, but what should be emphasised is that Law – like Bernanke – at first tried to argue that he was not some crude inflationist, but merely arranging an asset-swap of paper money for mortgages. He also held, like all of his ilk who have succeeded him, that the panacea for a nation groaning under an insupportable burden of debt and famished for a lack of productive capital was the emission of more and more money.

This age old error of confusing the medium of exchange with the object of exchange is one we continue to commit. It as if a man’s thirst can be slaked by giving him a box of drinking straws or his appetite sated by kitting him out with a shopping basket.

Soon, enough, for all his astuteness, the malign side-effects of Law’s scheme made themselves felt, not the least of them, the distress occasioned to the ordinary household by the rising price of necessities in a world simultaneously subject to the blatant vulgarities of the rising mob of instant, speculative ‘millionaires’ (as the new phrase had it). Just as we have learned all over again, such disadvantages came rapidly to overwhelm the largely incidental fillip the inflation accorded to genuine economic activity.

Unabashed, our Caledonian conjuror could only plunge ever further into a maze of bewildering – and often contradictory – expedients of his own construction, blurring the lines between state debt and public equity, between common stock and bank money; banning, then re-instating the use of gold and silver and altering their official parities with mind-numbing speed until all trust in his System – its specious virtues so recently extolled to the heavens – collapsed and France lay broken alongside it.

So, too, do we – the voluntary legatees of John Law – face a world which is seemingly broken, in its turn.

Sauve qui peut!

With the PR-man’s trained ear for a catchy phrase, that emptiest of empty suits, UK PM David Cameron declared, in the aftermath of this week’s appalling display of mass barbarism, that society in the unhappy land over which he shakily exercises power was ‘broken’ – to the ill-concealed schadenfreude of much of the continental press, many of whose own cities still bear the scars of similar irruptions of the Noble Savages whom their Provider States have so successfully reared in the moral wasteland of their sprawling favelas and seething bainlieues.

Painted in oscillating shades of red and green on our dealing screens, we can also see the full, epileptic frenzy of our broken financial markets, no longer evidence of the rational allocation of hard-spared capital to the enriching process of patient and diligent entrepreneurship, but a wild, computer-driven video arena where countless billions swarm into and out of the sea of tickers from one micro-second to the next, with each successive ebb and flow of this leveraged flood further reducing the informational content of the associated prices and so defeating the very purpose of the capital market itself.

Many disparate classes of ‘assets’ had spent eight months trading ever more closely bound to one another on the wave of Bernanke’s last, fatuous, Rooseveltian ‘experiment’ of QEII. So it was that the expiry of that nakedly cynical programme, at a time when the underlying macro-data had rather predictably started to turn sour, left a vacuum behind the broken-record promises of the stock promoters. Unfortunately, the milling Herd to whose members they exist to whisper their blandishments – much like Nature herself – absolutely abhors a vacuum.

A long time ago, we first wrote about what we had come to recognise as the bipolar tendency of financial orthodoxy to undergo opposing, Kuhnian revolutions of its Groupthink every six to twelve months, or so.

Typically, the players first persuade themselves of the validity of an often arbitrary, but usually bullish, scenario which, by dint of constant repetition and uncritical mimicry comes not only to serve as a dogma, but one which each believer professes to have discovered for himself. Along the way, all objective data and governmental statistics which can possibly be construed to support this scenario are talked up and re-transmitted in confirmation of the first idea: those which cannot be so re-interpreted are simply ignored as ‘outliers’ by all except the small cluster of much-derided contrarians and habitual Cassandras.

Eventually, as the trend matures and its espousal becomes near universal, it begins to lose its onward momentum. Now, for the first time, the dissonant evidence, which has long been accumulating, begins to excite a certain uneasiness in the Jungian mass consciousness.

Finally, the trend turns – sometimes to, but often absent, the accompaniment of some unanimously-recognised trigger event – and the first losses start to be taken by those latecomers caught in the reversal. As each successively lesser, Greater Fool sells out, cursing himself that he always buys the top, as he does, he encourages another of this time’s Smart(er) Money men to quit while he’s ahead, too. So, each initial trickle dislodges more and more of those clinging precariously to the edges of a now-vertiginous slope below, until the first, trivial setback snowballs its way into a screaming avalanche of head-in-the-hands liquidation.

Now, at this point of maximum dislocation and mental discomfort, all those inconvenient developments which should have long since called the move into question are suddenly rediscovered and - lo! – they crystallise instantly into the foundational themes of a counter-trend of equal and opposite conviction.

Sadly for them, the earlier naysayers will find no belated applause for being right, being despised for their pusillanimous refusal to play the game if they say, ‘I told you so’ and being anyway doomed to seeing their premature insights co-opted shamelessly – and without the slightest attribution - by the post hoc rationalisations of a consensus-hugging crowd soon avidly blowing themselves an anti-bubble to replace the inflated soapskin of ill-starred hope which has just imploded all around them.

So it has been here, too, with the Shock! Horror! Hoocoodanode? of the downwardly-revised US GDP numbers; the farce of the WWF grand slam which was the Federal budget dispute; and the ritual slaying of the sacred cow of that nation’s undeserved prime credit rating.

Up until that point even the yawning cracks opening up around the foundations of the Eurozone could largely be ignored in the eagerness to buy a small section of Blue Sky, but, once sufficient self-doubt was ignited in some corner of that Gordian tangle of correlated and cross-margined trade in which the near-free leverage of QE-II had enmeshed everyone, that ongoing turmoil also became one of the defining features of the new bearishness and its expression in market pricing became violently intensified as a result.

So the first sparks of panic were struck to find a ready kindling among the garish paraphernalia of illusion piled high behind the flats and tableaus which comprised the backstage clutter in the Theatre of the Absurd where the ‘Great Global Recovery’ play had been enjoying its unbroken, 15-month run.

In time-honoured fashion, a mad rush for the exits soon followed.

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JW n FL's picture
  • Unleaded gas prices are up 45%.
  • Heating oil prices are up 46%.
  • Corn prices are up 71%.
  • Soybean prices are up 26%.
  • Rice prices are up 13%.
  • Pork prices are up 31%.
  • Beef prices are up 25%.
  • Coffee prices are up 38%.
  • Sugar prices are up 48%.
  • Cotton prices are up 13%.
  • Gold prices are up 42%.
  • Silver prices are up 115%.
  • Copper prices are up 23%.

    Waffen's picture

    Anyone who sites CPI-U as their source for a lack of inflation is a fool, idiot or liar.

    spiral_eyes's picture

    i used CPI-U because it's the easiest one to get a quick and dirty graph of, and it's nothing like as much a fudge as U1 vs U6. even if i use MIT BPP it's only a percent or so higher. even if i use "anti-core" inflation (stripping out consumer goods and services and leaving food and fuel) it's never been higher than six percent, and has also still experienced some spots of deflation. the inflation of the monetary base has been over 100%. hyperinflation would be inflation in the hundreds if thousands of percent to match or exceed to growth in the monetary base. austrian accounts don't really account for this, and don't really account for japan's lost decades. debt-deflation combined with a bit of biflation (food & fuel higher on malthusian pressures, consumer electronics lower on china manufacturing more) does.

    worse, the u.s. IS vulnerable to hyperinflation, but the threat is different than peter schiff, etc says. if the entire hyperinflation debate centres around peter schiff and austrians who have been wrong multiple times then the real threat (china) will be entirely overlooked 'til the shit hits the fan.

    so keynesians are partially right. austrians are partially right. deflationists are partially right. hyperinflationists are partially right. it's time we started looking at the full picture. krugmanites call me an inflation hawk. austrians say i'm using faulty statistics. i wouldn't have it any other way.

    Waffen's picture

    Hyperinflation is the real threat and it is not caused directly by government it is caused by the velocity of money increasing as I assume you are aware.

    We will have hyperinflation when either countries lose faith in the dollar, its people do, national banks do or all three simultaneously.

    Yes we might have inflation, deflation, inflation, deflation, high inflation, but it will end in hyperinflation.   Those that point to the increase of the monetary base as the sole source of hyperinflation would be wrong true; we already had enough money before this latest increase to set off hyperinflation, this merely made it triply worse.   The gun is loaded and its just a matter as to when its going to be fired.

    spiral_eyes's picture

    Of course the Keynesian death spiral ends in hyperinflation. But the underlying dynamic is actually almost always the breakdown of the underlying productive economy — often because all the John Galts are chasing ridiculous immaterial financial wealth, or through exporting all manufacturing to a country that now refuses to export to you,or through occupation, or war, or confiscating productive farmland and giving it to people who are not farmers. That is essentially what happened in Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe, and the rest. The billions and trilions tend to come from government desperately trying to stimulate the productive economy through printing, which just doesn't work, and makes the situation even sadder. 

    Snidley Whipsnae's picture

    "Hyperinflation is the real threat and it is not caused directly by government it is caused by the velocity of money increasing as I assume you are aware."

    How will the velocity of money increase with unemployment at near record highs and with consumer sentiment reflecting the poor jobs market and the current inflation in CPI?

    Acheiving hyperinflation would be much easier if the US was near full employment, unions had strike power, and wages were rising and reflecting competition among employers for labor.

    How is velocity of money to increase if consumers are maxed out on credit and unable to borrow more?

    How is velocity of money to increase if banks balance sheets are impared with enormous amounts of bad loans, thus causing banks to be unwilling to lend to any but the most creditworthy borrowers? The velocity of money would be even lower if many consumers did not have money that they were spending on mortgages now being spent on necessities.

    ...imo, the factors that could cause hyperinflation are not in place at this time... regardless of how much debt/FRNs the Fed sells into markets. Of course conditions could change but this would probably be caused by fiscal; jobs programs, tax holidays, etc. If the Fed saw hyperinflation in the immediate future they would (imo) attempt to drain excess reserves from the banking system. For the Fed to allow an episode of hyperinflation would be to destroy their organization and a probable collapse of the government.

    RiverRoad's picture

    Exactly.  And the oligarchy has everything to gain and nothing to lose by keeping the people jobless and money frozen in the banks.  All going as planned.

    j0nx's picture

    Behold, someone who sees the light! You forgot global wage arbitrage though. Good luck passing that inflation on to your paycheck when Hop Sang in China is willing to work for 1/20th of your salary. If the world depegs from the dollar as the RC then hyperinflation could take hold here at some point but certainly not until. For now your salary will remain flat, the price of staples will go up and the things you own and want will drop in value - for the most part.

    SWRichmond's picture

    We have to be careful about definitions.  AFAIAC, the loss of confidence in the purchasing power of a currency, or its deliberate destrcution by its issuer, causes symptoms that most would describe as "hyperinflationary."

    So, silly B-school questions about "velocity of money" are irrelevant.  Consumers be damned, we can achieve hyperinflation through debt overload, if the debt overload is sovereign.  As the economy collapses ever more, the sovereign's revenues collapse, making it harder and harder to pay debt service while maintaining the welfare state.  This situation is of course exacerbated by the particular sovereign's status as global imperialist and issuer of the reserve currency.  Some kind of purchasing power destruction is always the result.

    The most recent experience of the U.S. with catastrophic economic collapse is known as a "Depression," but that event was characterized by the government's response: a step change in the purchasing power of the "money," by reducing its purchasing power by 70%, in one day, at the stroke of a pen.  If that's not hyperinflation I don't know what is.

    Waffen said: "Those that point to the increase of the monetary base as the sole source of hyperinflation would be wrong true..."

    I disagree.  They would be correct.  Absent the current and inexplicable widespread accceptance of monetarist theory, the mere existence of the extra printed money, whether in circulation or not, would be recognized as immediately debasing all then-existing money; everyone would normally understand that it had been created for a reason and was going to be "used," whether immediately or sometime later.  Besides, when the Fed used it to buy assets, they put it into circulation.  Claiming it is hidden in "excess reserves" is a canard, one that people are far too willing to accept.

    DonnieD's picture

    IMO, you don't necessarily need velocity of money for hyperinflation, if you define hyperinflation as a lack of confidence in the currency. Rather the velocity of money could come after confidence in the currency begins to fall apart. You would also likely need an alternative to the dollar. Gold/Silver could provide that alternative (see Utah). Of course, the government will do everything in its power to prevent that from happening. I agree that we definitely aren't close to hyperinflation at this point, but I'd keep my eyes on it happening for reasons that don't come out of a textbook. Nor would I expect the Fed to recognize it when it begins to happen.

    Dry Drunk's picture

    Ass hole is too good a name for you, but that's all you have.

    Dry Drunk's picture

    Ass hole is too good a name for you, but that's all you have.

    Maniac Researcher's picture

    There are real problems with the historical "analysis" being presented here.

    No present reality is directly comparative to a past historical reality. The word "verbatim" being used is meant to add perceived empirical weight to a weakly supported claim.

    France of the late eighteenth century does not resemble the U.S. of the twenty first.

    If any of you are going to delve seriously into comparative history, I suggest you take heed of the words of Marc Bloch:

    "Misunderstanding of the present is the inevitable consequence of ignorance of the past."

    Bloch expressed the need to vigorously cross examine sources and be critical of those who loosely toss around historical comparison for political gain.

    He noted, "...even we are most anxious to bear witness, that which the text tells us has expressedly ceased to be the primary object of our attention today."

    "the moment when we are no longer resigned to purely and simply recording the voices of our [historical] witnesses, from the moment we decide to force them to speak, even against their will, cross-examination becomes more necessary than ever."


    Think critically, people.

    Withdrawn Sanction's picture

    Of course no analogy is perfect.  That is in the nature of things.

    Your critique suggests a focus on the individual trees and how they are different would be more productive (accurate).  Corrigan's focuses on the forest and how trees share similarities.  Which approach is correct?  Neither and both depending on the context of the problem under study.

    A meandering criitique that offers no alternative intrepretation but rather devolves into an argument from authority is not very helpful either.  (Sorry about that, but I was thinking critically.)

    Dry Drunk's picture

    Stupid me or stupid zerohedge. I wanted to abuse those guys with their websties, After serohedge moved all those messages down I just abused. Well, that's ok, better not be too Dry Drunk but better to lust. Trash your TV, destroy it, and then you won't pollute the serohedge message board.

    Dry Drunk's picture

    Ass hole is too good a name for you, but that's all you have.

    Payable on Death's picture

    Hey, didn't they read Louis' poo back then? Isn't that like listening to Barney Frank queef on TV?

    Plumplechook's picture
    The fall of free market capitalism rushes towards us, accelerated by the greed and stupidity of those in charge. The rot began in the '80s with the Reagan-Thatcher embrace of supply-side economics, the iron follies of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman's Chicago economists. It has been spreading ever since.

    Any lingering notion that a deregulated market operates as an efficient allocator of the means of production, distribution and exchange has been crushed by the convulsions we've endured since 2008.

    Eventually, with the decline of the American imperium, the Chinese will take over. If you want to know how the world will look then, think Singapore on a global scale. There will be a glittering facade of free enterprise and quasi-democracy controlled from above by a flinty oligarchy in Shanghai.

    In the meantime, the lunatics are running the asylum. The world must be mad when greasers like Silvio Berlusconi or the gun-totin' Momma Grizzlies of the American Tea Party get anywhere near the levers of power. Barack Obama, cried up as the new Franklin Delano Roosevelt, turns out instead to be the new Jimmy Carter - well meaning but hopelessly ineffectual.

    The panic that followed Standard & Poor's downgrading of the US government's credit rating to AA+ was beyond bizarre. These turkeys were up to their necks in the crash of 2008, willy-nilly dishing out their AAA approval to junk investment "products", sub-prime housing debt and the like. To hear them posturing now as an arbiter of financial purity is a thunderclap of cognitive dissonance, akin to learning that Anders Behring Breivik has come out for gun control.

    trembo slice's picture

    so, you're saying you think the state of the world shows the failure of the deregulated/unregulated market?

    cpnscarlet's picture

    ..greasers like Silvio Berlusconi or the gun-totin' Momma Grizzlies of the American Tea Party...

    Like a good Leftist, you never miss an opportunity at biggoted attacks and slurs. The system hasn't failed because of free market capitalism, but from a lack thereof. It failed from the weight of creeping collectivism that started with Wilson, was increased by FDR, signed sealed and delivered by LBJ, and now readied for the torch by Obama. If capitalism, sound money, and Liberty were the path taken, we wouldn't need a website like this.

    So take your Italian "greaser" slurs and sh... th.. up your a.., you GD commie pinko.



    tmosley's picture

    Exactly.  This is a failure of "mixed" markets that went very far toward the socialist/fascist side.

    Plumplechook's picture

    Wow.  You're defending Berlusconi.  Says everything really.  Good luck with your dream of a free-market,  sound-money, capitalist utopia.  I don't believe in utopias.  A Chinese oligarchy-run deformed version of capitalism is our future.  I don't welcome it - in fact it will be even more hideous than what we have now.   But get ready for it.

    PaperBugsBurn's picture

    It started with Nixon abandoning the gold standard but accelerated under "Reagan-Thatcher" bs.. you're half right. Reagan was a puppet -Bush was always the real power there.


    Jimmy carter was not ineffectual - he was a creature of Rockafuckers Trilateral Commission and Brzezinski.


    This is why I understand the "financial markets" better than you investor folks - I got here by way of the banksters crimes and know their crimes intimately. they are just an extension of their Wall Street shenanigans with the economy.

    Michael's picture

    This colloquially speaking, I just found this discussion from last night, a conversation of art.

    by Michael
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 13:30


    We don't need a change in Washington DC, we need to completely restructure the Federal governing model. The US government is what's broken.

    by cranky-old-geezer
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 16:36

    The federal government does what every government does, extend its power and control as much as possible.

    It's not the structure at fault. It's the people at fault. Those government mentalities.

    When someone goes to work in government, any government, at any level, their thinking changes. They start thinking they're in control now. They feel the euphoria of being in control over people.

    That feeling of control gradually morphs into predation. They become a predator. Uncaring. Spiteful. Even hating the people they're governing. Yes, deep down many in government hate the people they're governing, viewing them as second-class, even sub-human.

    The seething hatred among government people for the public would shock you if you knew how bad it is. Government people despise the rest of us. Thy hate us with a passion.

    That's what happens in the average human mind when you give someone control over other people. It progresses from not caring to outright resentment to seething hatred.

    America's leaders can barely conceal their seething hatred of the American people. It's why they have no problem looting and plundering the American people. They'd like to kill us all off, but it would take away their fun looting and plundering.

    So they settle for looting and plundering. They want to steal everything we have, leaving us in poverty.

    If they can't do it via taxes, they do it via inflation, printing currency and spending it or giving it to their government friends.

    That's exactly what we've been seeing since '08. Printing mountains of currency and spending it or giving it to their government friends.

    And no, it's not going to stop. It's going to get worse.

    by Koffieshop
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 19:18

    Some structures are easier exploited the others.

    For example, if you would allow one of the Houses to be elected based on percentage of votes instead of a winner-takes-all type of deal, you will find yourself having more then just 2 political parties (If he Green Party collects 10% of the votes, they take 10% of the seats, etc..) This will make it a lot harder to buy/corrupt all house members.


    I'm not claiming I have all the answers,  but there is no doubt in my mind that you can fight corruption by ajusting the rules of the system. The trouble ofc. is that no one in the established system wants changes that undermine their own position.



    by New_Meat
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 20:45

    Coffie guy: Please elucidate on your political system theories. <and ya gotta' get back to them English books and figure our basic gramma, don't cha' know>.

    a) extra credit: where, in history, have your alternative views proven themselves over a period of <n> years/decades?

    b) which frosh poly science section did you learn about alternative voting schemes?  I'm  even betting that you don't  know why RAH had proposed similar schemes.

    c) compare-and-contrast the German/French/EU view of political partiez in "coallition governments" vs. U.S. republic/executive model.  Demonstrate effectiveness and ineffectiveness situations of each.

    Don't worry, i'll be an honest and straightforward evaluator/critic/responder.  That is, I'll back up my assertions with data and contracict your comments with facts.  Or not--I might be wrong and, since I'm trying to slim down, that would be a way to avoid i) a fat chance, and ii) Ol' Rusty's smoker.  But, well, I never know.

    But, well, I agree with you that in Chi-town, Boston, SF, <list goes on> your assessment that the corruption is embedded.

    And don't do the stupid thing about "I'm not claiming I have all the answers" again.  Makes u look jejune to any adult who is watching.  fwiw

    - Ned

    by Koffieshop
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 22:19

    English is not my first language and the Chrome spell checker seems broken on this site.

    Anyway, the system I am most familiar with is the Dutch one and I have seen events unfold there that would be impossible in the US election model.
    The electorate occasionally 'revolts' and massively votes for a newcomer with views incompatible with the established parties. The 'revolutionary views' get absorbed into the mainstream thinking and balance is gradually restored.
    This happened with Pim Fortuyn and Geert Wilders recently.

    The door for this kind of process seems shut in the US. A candidate is either acceptable within the 2-party-system, or has very little chance of getting anywhere.
    If the US had the Dutch election system then Ron Paul would have no problem running under his own flag instead of getting approved by the Republican Party first.

    Now, you can demand I produce some essay, make fun of me for not using the right nomenclature..... or you could just explain where you think my reasoning goes wrong.

    by Real Estate Geek
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 23:31

    Well played.

    by wilburpup
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 20:28

    And if they can't do it by any of the means above, they--49 states-- resort to lotteries to exploit the statistical ignorance of the poor and the stupid with the unbelievably cynical justification that it's all for "education."  It's a positive feedback loop---the more "education", the more people to exploit!  Now we are to be treated to state-sponsored internet gambling.  It's the next best thing to taxing Amazon transactions.

    by AmCockerSpaniel
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 21:47

    "It's the people at fault."   You can stop there! No enterprise is any better than it's people. They deceive us, but only after they deceive them selves.

    by European American
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 21:56

    Government is an innocent reflection of the collective quality of the people.

    by knowless
    on Sun, 08/14/2011 - 21:58

    by Michael
    on Mon, 08/15/2011 - 00:45

    Very well said, cranky-old-geezer. See what we started?

    That's exactly what we've been seeing since '08. I'd also add, since NAFTA.

    Pizza spaghetti and mandolino's picture

    ... Wow. You're defending Berlusconi. Says evrything really.

    What you know of Berlusconi is, let me guess, what you read in the Anglo-Saxon press. Is that right ? If so, good luck to you. Berlusconi will save Italy (well, actually let Italy survive the NWO).

    rjsand's picture

    lol "pinko"  I agree w/ your assessment about our country and the collectivist path that we have taken.

    AnAnonymous's picture

    So before that, that was free market economy. Asking because free marketeers are such flip floppers. When they are US citizens, things do not get better.

    So it was free market economy before that?

    AnAnonymous's picture

    It failed from the weight of creeping collectivism that started with Wilson,

    So it means it was free market before, right? Just asking because free marketers are just so flip flopers. If they are US citizens, it does not help things.

    So it was free market before?

    Advoc8tr's picture

    by the post hoc rationalisations of a consensus-hugging crowd soon avidly blowing themselves an anti-bubble to replace the inflated soapskin of ill-starred hope which has just imploded all around them


    Nice try .... you would make the spin-misters proud.

    We have not had free market capitalism since .... 5 minutes after the term was phrased. Free market means NO intervention. No tarrifs, taxes, tax breaks, compliance laws, eternal corporate structures, free money to some - crushingly high compounded interest to others, money created out of thin air, etc... etc.. etc...

    You are right about the lunatics running the asylum and the hilarity of the likes of Berlusconi, Palin etal being considered serious leaders.

    Blorf's picture

    We don't have deregulation.  We have regulatory capture:  banks control the money supply, commodity brokers run the CFTC, etc etc.  One hand washes the other.


    What we need is a healthy dose of capitalism.  As Friedman said, the most important part of capitalism is the "loss", not the "profit".  Companies that do stupid things and people who invest in AAA sewage are culled from the herd through natural selection.  Instead of reckless companies heading for the trashbin, we have Dr. Bernankenstein keeping undead banks in an animated state, feasting on the flesh of people's savings through ZIRP to keep them going.

    We'll never be out of this mess unless we stop propping up the system.

    DaveyJones's picture

    Well said. This is about corruption of systems, people, and institutions. It has very little to do with political, economic, or organizational theories. It has more to do with warnings our founders gave and us as a ruled group getting fat, fed and lazy

    AnAnonymous's picture

    That is natural selection? What does Nature care about profit and loss?

    That is human selection and the consequences of it, not natural selection.

    jimijon's picture

    Very well said. There is no Natural Selection. There is abundance everywhere. All one has to look and see how much abundance there is out there. Everywhere... food, death, more food, bugs, tiny tiny creatures, everywhere, happily living and eating and shitting and not giving a rat's ass about man's belief.

    DormRoom's picture

    The Far Right doesn't care.  A financial collapse will help more people find Jesus.

    Jesus&#039; Son's picture

    "Après moi le déluge" bitchez!

    docj's picture

    The fall of free market capitalism rushes towards us...

    Amazing how you could cram so much utter silliness into one little phrase, totally ignoring that the entire world, and most of the US, is a collectivist/redistributionist nightmare. But indeed, BRAVO! for the attempt.

    Free market capitalism was mortally wounded in 1913 (and was never really around much prior to that, truth be told), breathed it's last under Hoover and was burried for good by FDR.

    I mean, you assess The Teleprompter as "well meaning", for Pete's sake. Do we really, honestly need to know anything else about you?

    AnAnonymous's picture

    Free market capitalism was mortally wounded in 1913

    So before 1913, that was free market capitalism right?

    docj's picture

    Did you even read the next, like, 10-12 words I wrote after that phrase?


    pepperspray's picture

    They'll just turn off the WiFi

    Almost Solvent's picture

    Never ends well, at least not during the last 3,000 years 

    Manthong's picture

    “A baited banker thus desponds,
    From his own hand foresees his fall.
    They have his soul, who have his bonds;
    ‘Tis like the writing on the wall.”

    “The Run Upon the Bankers” (1720), Jonathan Swift
    Quoted by Mark Steyn “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon”, (2011),  p2


    zorba THE GREEK's picture

    I call dibs on being Guillotine operator on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    PaperBugsBurn's picture

    Ah, come on man... I wanted to do that full time -at no charge. I guess I can share but man do I ever wanna chop some heads off. These are evil bastards responsible for the death and suffering of millions so no problem with chop sueying their asses.

    James's picture

    These are setup in Israel.

    Comin'to get you Bibi Antoinette!

    Barry Mcokiner's picture

    I will take Monday and Wednsaday, but can I bring my own mask?