Sunday, May 29, 2016

The fascist future

Capitalists of the world, unite!

The other night I watched The Greatest Cable News Program That Absolutely Ever Was. The host was extolling the virtues of capitalism, repeating the claims you can read in The Economist or Wall Street Journal; that capitalism has lifted many millions  out of poverty world wide.

The same broadcast also reported that most Americans “could not lay their hands on $1,000” in an emergency. That figure may be on the high side. Other published reports put it at $400, including what may be available on a credit card.

The program host missed the contradiction. You can’t be a capitalist without capital. The overwhelming majority of Americans don’t have any, and are completely excluded from the “benefits” of the capitalist system he extolled.

Capitalism is not a form of government. It is a system of wealth management. It does not create wealth, but only allocates it. It is indifferent to the welfare of people. It has no social purpose. Private profit is everything.

Over several decades, as millions in Asia and elsewhere have seen living standards rise, tens of millions of Americans have seen theirs fall dramatically – low wages, and lost jobs  – in a massive re-allocation of wealth abroad from the once large and prosperous American middle class.

In order to mask the growing poverty in America, the capitalists introduced massive credit, debt and propaganda to sustain the illusion of prosperity among enough Americans to head off a revolt against an economic system that clearly no longer works for them.

Americans are now drowning in debt: families, students, businesses, state and local governments and school districts.
20th Century capitalism is like a sun burning out, collapsing in on itself, consolidating into global monopolies to reduce competition and maintain private profit.

In order to form and protect monopolies, capitalists must dominate governments. These monopolies were once national in scope. Now they are global. The form of government that capitalists have always favored is fascism – the integration and primacy of corporate interests in the government, for which the military is an agent.

Think Nazi Germany. Its purpose was not military domination or even control of individual liberty. These were incidental to the first purpose: the global primacy of German corporations and the German 1 percent.

The point of World War II, from the German perspective, was that after the war, Daimler-Benz would be the world’s largest car manufacturer, Krupp and  Thyssen would be the dominant steel manufacturers, IG Farben  would be the dominant chemical and pharmaceutical company and Deutsche Bank would lead world banking and finance.

It didn’t work out that way. The U.S. destroyed the physical plant of both Germany and Japan – our two main commercial rivals –  and U.S. manufacturers and banks had a field day.  The American middle class boomed.

But the Germans and Japanese rebuilt with modern technology and began to compete with the outdated American physical plant. U.S. unions resisted modernization that cost any jobs and U.S. manufacturers began to relocate overseas into modern and more efficient facilities. Then modern container shipping slashed the cost of distribution from foreign to U.S. markets and American manufacturers brought other nations into the game.

As the accumulated wealth of the American middle class was re-allocated abroad by the capitalist system, the capitalists began the drive to eliminate the drag on profits of global competition by consolidating into global monopolies.

That is the purpose of the Trans Pacific and Trans Atlantic “trade” deals promoted by U.S. President Obama, British Prime Minister Cameron and the global cartel of banksters they represent, who provide the financing (debt) to enable the capitalists to compensate each other for lost future profits when one is aggregated into a new and larger monopoly by another.

But the serfs on the neo-feudal debt manor are finally now in revolt . One battle is the vote in the United Kingdom on an exit from the European Union (EU). A dissolution of the EU undermines  the Trans Atlantic deal and threatens the Trans Pacific deal and the entire fascist future of the New World Order

Another battle is the U.S. presidential elections and Donald Trump’s assault on these deals.

So Obama went to the U.K. to lay down the law and explain the dire consequences of any resistance to that New World Order. Then he went to Asia to deliver the same message. He will push for a vote in Congress on the Trans Pacific deal as soon as possible, while he still has the support of the pre-Trump GOP of Paul Ryan.

Capitalists of the world unite! The fascist future is in reach.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bubba's back !!

What to expect in another Clinton White House

Bucks County Courier Times
May 22, 2016

What to make of Hillary Clinton’s announcement that, if elected president, she will put President Bill, “Bubba” Clinton in charge of the economy, because he did so well with it when he was president?

First, the claim that Bill Clinton led the U.S. into the “good old days” of the U.S. economy in the 1990s is largely bogus.

Writing in AlterNet, Conor Lynch points out, “The economy was inevitably going to boom [during the Bill Clinton presidency] with new technologies and the fall of global communism—which had opened up new markets around the world… Financial innovations also played a major role in the decade’s economic boom, though they would eventually lead to the 2007-08 financial crisis.”
The revenues of the earlier Bush tax hikes and budgets, the effects of which kicked in for Clinton, had as much to do with balanced budgets and lower deficits as anything President Bill did. As the Financial Times noted, “The record shows that the 1990 budget deal was extremely effective in reducing deficits; the budget surpluses of the late 1990s owe much to the policies put in place by George H.W. Bush.
Lynch concludes, “[Clinton] was lucky to be president during this period, just as Obama was unlucky to inherit the worst economic crisis in 80 years.”
What Hillary does not want to discuss is that President Bill set up the horrendous crash of 2007 and the Great Recession, and grew the vast gap of income and wealth between the already wealthy few and everybody else.
Bill Clinton signed the Riegle-Neal legislation which removed restrictions on interstate banking, leading to creation of the mega banks; then pushed the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which made the mega banks into the Too-Big-To-Fail banks  that failed.
Team Clinton and his Wall Street benefactors then pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which created the derivatives market that was at the heart of the crash.
High fives on Wall Street. Literally. Sandy Weill, CEO at the serially criminal Citi Group crowed to his cronies, “We just made the President of the United States an insider.”
Finally, Clinton pushed NAFTA and began the evisceration of American manufacturing and massive job loss.
Only banksters and 1 percenters have any reason to be nostalgic about the good old Clinton days.

Second, there is the irony of Hillary (“I am woman, hear me roar”) Clinton looking to the man of the (White) house to take over what will arguably be her biggest job. Maybe she figures that will free her up to focus on foreign policy, and find another country to reduce to ruin and chaos.

But it certainly answers the question, what is the most important quality of a Hillary Clinton vice president: the ability to play second fiddle to Bill Clinton, who will be back in the White House as the clear de facto number two.

And maybe a great deal more, and that’s dangerous.

The danger is, everybody and their brother – allies and enemies foreign and domestic, the vast bureaucracies, staff, politicians and mega donors – will play Bill to get to Hillary. And he will be delighted to play.

Never mind the somewhat unseemly physical changes to the White House – a cash register by the front door and one by the Lincoln Bedroom – there is a real danger of a two headed presidency and competing centers of power in the Executive Branch.

Imagine the dreaded 3 AM phone call.

“It’s the Secretary of Defense. Wake President Clinton.”

“Which one?”

This is why, when in 1980 it was suggested Ronald Reagan take former President Ford as his running mate, he wisely declined.

With the co-dependent First Schemers back in the White House, everybody will be working on private servers, to keep their dirty deals out of sight. The intrigue will rival ancient Rome of the debauched Caesars and the amoral Florence of Machiavelli and the Medici’s.

Bubba’s back !!