Swag

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The Changing World Of Work I: America's Nine Classes





The conventional class structure is divided along the lines of income, i.e. the wealthy, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class and the poor. But this 3.5-class structure did not capture the changing nature of employment, income and wealth/political power; which more appropriately subdivides into America's socio-economic spectrum into nine classes. This is neofeudal, a term we use to describe a society and economy dominated by financialization and the apex of wealth and political power that wealth buys. The classes below this apex are either tax donkeys, Upper Caste technocrats serving the apex, or the lower classes that are bought off with social welfare and various modern iterations of bread and circuses.

 
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Solutions Start With Innovation And Transparency





Just as everyone supports "solutions" until the solutions crush their share of the swag, everybody supports innovation and transparency until it disrupts their share of the swag. Then they scramble to hide the ugly truths and suppress the spread of threatening innovation. This parallel rejection of swag-crushing solutions and innovation/transparency by vested interests is not coincidental: innovation and transparency are the heart of real solutions.

 
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Forget The $1 Trillion Platinum Coin - Here's The $10 Trillion Stone Coin





If creating money is such a good idea, why not let all of us do so? Why not let everyone print as much as they need to get what they want? The answer is of course runaway inflation, as money that can be issued by everyone in unlimited quantities is instantly rendered worthless. The point we're making with the $10 trillion stone coin is that if money is a social contrivance, then it should be distributed to those creating goods and services, not those with influence over easily-bought politicos.
 
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Failed Discipline, Failed Reforms And Grexit: Why The Euro Failed





It's not that difficult to understand why the euro is doomed to fail. Given its structure, there is no other possible outcome but failure. Greece's exit (Grexit) will simply be the first manifestation of the inevitable structural failure of the euro. To understand why this is so, we have to start with two forms of discipline: the market and the state.
 
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The Lesson Of Greece: Only Collapse Makes Real Change Possible





When the illusion that the Status Quo can fulfill all its promises to everybody dies, the Status Quo starts the terminal slide to effective collapse.

 
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The Federal Reserve Has Declared The Winner In The Generational Financial War





The policy of safeguarding Boomer benefits with asset bubbles will lead to the destruction of the unprepared, the unwary and those who foolishly trusted our "leadership" and central bank to tell them the truth.

 
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Which Cities/States Will Be The First To Default When The Economy Rolls Over?





The vice will close on some cities and states sooner than others, but it will eventually squeeze every city and state with declining revenues and rising fixed costs into default.

 
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End Of The Empire





If the top 1/100th of 1% crowding airports with their private jets isn't afraid of impoverished, disenchanted debt-serfs with pitchforks, they should be.

 
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The Sources Of America's Political & Financial Dysfunction





The way to preserve great wealth is to buy political protection of that wealth. The way to protect great political leverage is to grease the machinery of governance with cash.

 
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Protecting Power & Privilege Has Doomed Regimes Throughout History





If you want to pinpoint the one dynamic pushing the global economy into not just a prolonged recession but a parallel period of massive social instability, look no farther than the social and financial stagnation that results from optimizing the system to benefit the Elites and the entrenched incumbents who protect them from competition and the dispossessed debt-serf classes below. The incestuous embrace of privilege and power by entrenched, socially isolated Elites characterizes failed states and brittle, doomed regimes throughout history.

 
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Nobody Wins Elections Promising to Trim Waste/Fraud And Simplify Regulations





The problem in representative democracy is that every instance of waste, graft, fraud and monopolistic racket is somebody's fat paycheck or government contract. Promising good governance guarantees a losing campaign for public office. To avoid the political pain that would result from trimming waste/fraud/ rackets, the state prints money to keep the swag flowing. Since the state can't create real wealth, it prints claims on wealth and passes off the paper as "money." The only thing that is infinite about the state is the hubris of those at the controls and the narrow self-interest of those at its capacious feeding trough.

 
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Our "Make It Look Good" Economy Has Failed





The essence of the U.S. economy is make it look good: never mind quality or long-term consequences, just make it look good today, this week, this month, this quarter: make the pink slime look like meat, make the company look profitable, make the low-quality product look good enough to close the sale, make the unemployment rate low enough to justify re-electing the toadies currently in power, make the body count of bad guys look good, and on and on--just makes the numbers look good now, the future will take care of itself. When rigged numbers are the basis of our success, we have failed.

 
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A Productive Economy Is A Trading Circle





The destructive consequences of a parasitic Tyranny of the Wealthy and Majority have yet to play out, but they will, and sooner than most believe possible.

 
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America's Nine Classes: The New Class Hierarchy





There are many ways to slice and dice America's power/wealth hierarchy. The conventional class structure is divided along the lines of income, i.e. the wealthy, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class and the poor. We suggest that a more useful scheme is to view America through the lens not just of income but of political power and state dependency. Sadly, eight of the nine classes are hidebound by conventions, neofeudal and neocolonial arrangements and a variety of false choices.

 
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This Is How Empires Collapse





This is how empires collapse: one complicit participant at a time.

 
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