"Good" Government

The smart money is now betting that capitalism is dead.

David Remer, in a response to my last article, states the following-

"The government is a non-profit organization organized to serve the American people. Other large organizations like Lehman Bros., AIG, and Bear Stearns are for profit corporations who serve a very small subset of the population called their employees and shareholders."

This statement is a good recitation containing a number of dubious tenets of liberalism.
Implied: Non profits are better than profits. Why? Are the people in them not seeking to improve their own lot in life as they see fit? In fact they are, just as are people in the private sector. They have just as much incentive to conform their "customers" to their convenience as do the employees of for-profits.
Implied: For profit corporations only produce profits. How? If their customers saw no benefit in working with them why would they cast away their own resources? If for-profits do no service they have no leverage to produce profits, whereas government has the power to seize resources by force.
Implied: The intent expressed in the Constitution is realized in the actions of government. Polling, which Remer is happy to resort to in denigrating the president, would seem to indicate the people feel otherwise.

To doubly emphasize this inherent trust among liberals in government Stephen Daugherty then adds the following-

"Lee Jamison-
Sometimes the ability of a government to do better than a private individual in confronting certain problems has less to do with the relative wisdom of the regulators or legislators, and everything to do with the authority they wield under our constitution, as our government."
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 16, 2008 04:42 PM
Implied: Government's great powers are inherently good.

Presumably, then, when government is given a free hand to exercise great power, as seems to be the zeitgeist these days, good will be the natural result. Do the lessons of history support this conclusion for highly regulated, centralized economies?
Let's take a look.

An article by David Boaz, inspired by the Meyerson article noted in my header, takes a look at the fruits of the great moral adventures of directed economies. He asks a key question-

But let’s think about the comparison that Meyerson is making. Some intellectuals once supported communism, and that failed. Some intellectuals, we’ll concede for the moment, were just as enraptured with capitalism; and that system, too, in Meyerson’s view, has failed. Are these equivalent failures?

Thia is a good question, because the assumption is that an unregulated capitalism is failing and that we are comparing that to the failure of Communism. Boaz continues-

Communism’s failure involved Stalin’s terror-famine in Ukraine, the Gulag, the deportation of the Kulaks, the Katyn Forest massacre, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Che Guevara’s executions in Havana, the flight of the boat people from Vietnam, Pol Pot’s mass slaughter — a total death toll of 94 million people, according to the Black Book of Communism. Prominent American leftists — from Lillian Hellman and Dalton Trumbo and lots of other writers to Alger Hiss of the State Department and FDR speechwriter Michael Straight, who became the publisher of The New Republic – were members of the party that did these things. And that party had total control in the countries that it ruled. There were no opposition parties, no filibusters, no election-related maneuverings that prevented the party in power from getting what it wanted.
On the other hand...
In the United States, on the other hand, economic and political outcomes are always the result of jockeying between parties and interest groups. So even if Ronald Reagan and his advisers wanted to give Americans “unregulated capitalism,” they had to deal with Tip O’Neill and the Democrats, and with critics in the media, and with many other players. As these forces played out, in the late 1970s and early 1980s some deregulation did occur, along with some tax-cutting. And indeed there was some financial deregulation in the Clinton years as well.

The truth is that, if for-profit companies fail to serve the people, or do so irresponsibly, only the intervention of the govenment can keep them from dying. That may cause much suffering, the very reason there were bailouts in the cases Remer mentions above, but that does not make HIS point for him. If they did no service outside their employees and shareholders failure would be, as it was in the case of Enron, an option.

When governments serve themselves rather than the people, people suffer and die like grass before the fire. The governments themselves, though, DON'T.

Government regulation was a key component of the financial crisis we have faced. That currently goes ignored.
So we will advance the pawl of government power a few notches, stepping a little closer to the sort of "non-profit" that killed 94 million people in the 20th century.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at October 17, 2008 10:58 AM
Comments
Comment #267178

In a voting nation, government is a reflection of the voters.

Our government is not for profit?
HMMMMmmmmm … I wish I could give myself a raise like Congress did 9 times between years 1997 and 2007 (supposedly, for the wonderful job they’ve been doing), get sweetheart loans, gifts, home remodeling, boats, houses, billion$ for campaign war chests from a tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters (one-simple-idea.com/OpenSecrets_DonorDemographics.htm), perpetual re-election, superior benefits, healthcare, and numerous perks, etc., etc., etc.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at October 17, 2008 11:45 AM
Comment #267179

And weren’t the tax payers recently told that the tax payers will receive a profit from the purchase of trillions of toxic debt?

Seems to me that government is trying to be everything under the sun, and doing most (if not all) of it badly.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at October 17, 2008 11:48 AM
Comment #267183

Lee,
Did communist economic philosophy result in 94 million deaths? Using the same criteria, capitalism has resulted in similar numbers, if not far worse. For example:

“Post-1857 India also experienced a period of unprecedented calamity when the region was swept by a series of frequent and devastating famines, among the most catastrophic on record. Approximately 25 major famines spread through states such as Tamil Nadu in South India, Bihar in the north, and Bengal in the east in the latter half of the 19th century, killing between 30-40 million Indians. The famines were a product both of uneven rainfall and British economic and administrative policies, which since 1857 had led to the seizure and conversion of local farmland to foreign-owned plantations, restrictions on internal trade, heavy taxation of Indian citizens to support unsuccessful British expeditions in Afghanistan (see [Anglo-Afghan War]), inflationary measures that increased the price of food, and substantial exports of staple crops from India to Britain. Some British citizens such as William Digby agitated for policy reforms and famine relief, but Lord Lytton, son of the poet Edward Bulwer-Lytton and the governing British viceroy in India, opposed such changes in the belief that they would stimulate shirking by Indian workers.

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/British-Empire-in-India

As a result of British economic policies, namely laissez-faire capitalism, 30 - 40 million died in India. Over the centuries, India experienced droughts as a result of El Nino’s, but rarely faminie. This was due to the practice of stockpiling grain to tide the population through hard times. Under the Raj, stockpiling was seen as interference with the free market price of grain, and it was forbidden. The results were catastrophic for Indians, but good for British business.

Should we discuss the experience of native populations in Tasmania and Australia under British rule? Or the people of the Congo under Leopold (see “Heart of Darkness” by Conrad)? The sad legacy of mercantilism and colonialism in South America? The extermination of native populations around the world?

The history of capitalism is drenched in blood. The same can be said of 20th century communism.

The blend of socialism and capitalism, developed after the disaster of the Great Depression, has proven to be the most humane economic philosophy from both a pragmatic and a humane point of view. It may not make theoretical purists happy, but it works.

Posted by: phx8 at October 17, 2008 12:14 PM
Comment #267189

Disraeli was not perfect, in regards to india ,he did keep the russians out of the balkins and one member from the other side said of him his party has done more for the working class than the labor and liberal party in last 50 years.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 17, 2008 12:52 PM
Comment #267191

Capitalism died when it was decided that corporations were citizens. That they had the same ‘rights’ under the Constitution as Americans. On that day, capitalism became a nonentity.

Capitalism failed in America when corporations like Wal*Mart sold us on cheaper is better, even if it is manufactured in communist nations whose laborers have no voice in their own wage.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 17, 2008 12:58 PM
Comment #267192

Rodney,
Tens of millions of people starving to death in the name of laisez-faire capitalism is “not perfect”? His policies may have helped British laborers, but it was on the backs of exploited populatons elsewhere, with horrendous consequences for the countries and populations which gave up their people and resources. The success of capitalism is a history of who managed to steal the most, the fastest.

Posted by: phx8 at October 17, 2008 1:09 PM
Comment #267204

Honestly, Phx8, what in the world are you talking about?

Can you even begin to explain how British companies that were granted monopolies by “Royal Charter” from the British Crown were in any way practicing “laissez-faire capitalism” when they exploited at gunpoint the resources and labor of the colonies of the British Empire?

Just what mental gymnastics and warped logic is being used here? Is it even POSSIBLE to have an economic system which is farther from laissez-faire capitalism than one that is dictated and controlled by an unelected king or queen?

You’re using an example of the most EXTREME type of centrally-controlled economy and calling it “laissez-faire,” when it is actually the exact opposite. It’s pretty ridiculous.

Did the British companies in India show up and start competing with the locals in a free market? The very idea is laughable. They showed up with superior firepower and simply raped the local economies, getting everything they could grab. It’s even more laughable when you consider that these companies didn’t even have to compete with other BRITISH companies since they were granted these “royal charters” by the British crown that allowed them to operate monopolies. There was no competition or free market whatsoever. Absolutely everything was centrally dictated and controlled.

Posted by: Loyal Oppostion at October 17, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #267205

Alright Phx8 The policies were a disaster towards India ,I am not arguing that with you but as always in you seem to cherry pick your View’s with a slant if you have read my posts throughout the years i try to use some balance and please enough of the Blame game, How many people died as a result of french and American involvement of Vietnam and the Khmer rouge and as i recall Eisenhower would not involve the troops their, I’ve never seen you speak out against the policies of Kennedy and Johnson and if i missed it i Apologize.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 17, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #267209

Rodney,
I don’t think communism is innocent. Neither is capitalism.

LO,
Do you think monopolies are inconsistent with capitalism and the free market? I would argue just the opposite; that monopolies and oligopolies are the natural and inevitable result of capitalism and the free market system. We see it in almost every country which has ever practiced mercatilism, capitalism, and colonialism. Today, in the US, we see a handful of corporations control their varioius areas of commerce.

In capitalist systems, corporatism becomes the rule. As industries develop, they consolidate into a few large companies which ultimately control and depress or take over competitive start-ups. In addition, large centrally organized governments are also a hallmark of capitalism. Without exception, the larges organizations within captitalist societies are the government.

We see the same concentration of wealth occur in society. CEO pay is just one example. Today, in the US, we see roughly 400 families in possession of as much wealth as the lower 150,000,000. Among the wealthiest of the wealthy, about 2/3 is inherited wealth. Not created. Inherited.

This rambling comment points towards the necessity of regulation upon corporations, which is obvious, as well as distribution of the wealth among individuals. It’s not “re-distribution.” The wealth has already been “re-distributed” when it becomes so concentrated in such a small segment of the population. One way or another, wealth will, in fact, be distributed. The only question is, what is the fairest way to distribute it?

Posted by: phx8 at October 17, 2008 2:38 PM
Comment #267210

””“”“The Government of India Act 1858, actually entitled An Act for the Better Government of India, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (21 & 22 Vict. c. 106) passed on August 2, 1858. Its provisions called for the liquidation of the British East India Company (who had up to this point been ruling India under the auspices of Parliament) and the transference of its functions to the British Crown.[1] “”“”“”“Lord Palmerston, then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, introduced a bill for the transfer of control of the Government of India”“”“”“”” from the East India Company to the Crown, referring to the grave defects in the existing system of the government of India.

Main provisions of the bill:

The Act declared that the Company’s territories in India shall vest in Her Majesty, and the Company shall cease to exercise its power and control over all these territories. India will be governed in the name of the Queen.
The Queen’s Principal Secretary of State shall have all such powers and perform all such duties as were exercised by the court of Directors. A council of fifteen members were apponted to assist the Secretary of State for India. The council became an advisory body in India affairs. For all the communications between England and India, the Secretary of State became the real channel.
The Secretary of State for India was empowered to send some secret despatches to India directly without consulting the Council. He was also authorised to constitute special committees of his Council.
The Crown was empowered to appoint the Governor General of India and the Governors of the Presidencies.
It also provided for the creation of the Indian Civil Service under the control of the Secretary of State.
All the property of the East India Company was transferred to the Crown. All treaties, contracts, etc. made by the Company remained binding on the Crown.
Thus, the passing of the Government of India Act 1858 ushered in a new period of Indian history, marking the end of Company rule in India and the start of the of direct rule by the British Crown, in an area defined as British India, under the British Raj. This era would last until independence was granted to India and Pakistan in August 1947.


[

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 17, 2008 2:48 PM
Comment #267211

Lee - while I agree wholeheartedly that communism is a bad idea, a really bad one as probably everyone on both sides of our political spectrum would argue. It is a Utopian philosophy and Utopian societies are all doomed to failure (you can read Kenneth Lockeridge’s book, A New England Town for a good example of the life of a Utopian society). That being said, unfettered capitalism is potentially and historically more cruel, leads to more suffering than communism as phx8 pointed out. As someone who has studied our industrialization period from the 1850s-1920s pretty extensively and even wrote my master’s thesis on a coal miner rebellion in West Virginia, I wouldn’t wish the cruelty and hardships faced by working men and women in this period on anyone but that is exactly what is happening around the world so WalMart can bring you cheap plastic crap.

If fact, I could argue that the current behavior of the “for profit” sector is doing more to make Marx’s vision come true as wealth gets concentrated into fewer and fewer hands and the middle class disappears causing the chances of a worldwide revolution increase. For profit companies exploit illegal workers at home, they make deals with shady governments to the ruin of whole populations of people abroad, and their short-sighted greed has caused a global financial collapse. For more reading, I think everyone should read Das Kapital not as a guidepost to a better economic system but as a warning of what will happen with capitalism run amok.

I don’t think socialism is the answer any more than laissez faire capitalism is. We don’t need a return to the late 19th century and not only horrid, inhumane labor practices but large scale labor violence. I also don’t think that this whole idea of running government like a business works very well either. Governments interests are not the same as a for profit business and they should be different even a little antagonistic although there are lessons both sides can learn from each other.

Posted by: tcsned at October 17, 2008 2:49 PM
Comment #267212

L.O.,
Wonderful analysis! Absolutely, there is so little difference between the operations of British government in colonial India and the operations of, say, Mao’s government in its rape of China that to call one one thing and one another is comedy.

To sharpen the point, I’m also drawing a parallel between government and any other corporation (Listen up Marysdude!), such that, as anyone who can get past the artifice of human definitions can see, organizations made of people and given carte blanche will behave odiously in the pursuit of their prerogatves. That stands, no matter who set them up or how honorable their original stated goals were.

Operationally, ideology, in one of these one-party farces is simply an excuse for limiting the disruptive power of dissent. It becomes, effectively, the theology of the state religion.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2008 2:50 PM
Comment #267214

tscned,

What has happened in China alone has put more resources in tha hands of more people than all the tightly directed economies in the history of the Earth since 1975.

That was from a loosening on the economic controls so people could be more entrepreneurial. has it made more people rich? Yes. But I would argue that far more of the “wealth” you claim to be concentrated in the hands of the “rich” is in the form of conceptual wealth, paper money, stocks, ownership of resources that the lower classes actually make use of to produce goods and services.

The lower classes become more, not less, useful to people with these resources, particularly as they develop skills. Witness the fact that in China a city person is worth five times as much as a country peasant when one is sued for damage to the other. (I have seen a source for that , but will have to get to it later.)

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #267216

Phx8, monopolies that are granted by government dictate, as was the case with the European empires, is ABSOLUTELY inconsistent with capitalism and the free market.

These are the kinds of state-controlled economies that you’re attempting to blame for tens of millions of deaths while calling them “free markets.” You might as well blame laissez-faire capitalism for all of the deaths in the USSR during collectivization, so irrelevant are they are to free markets.

Now as for the tendency for monopolies to arise in totally unregulated free markets, that’s a completely different subject. I’m aware of nobody but the most extreme libertarian types who advocate for completely regulation-free economies. What’s more, government inhibition of monopolistic behavior has—in modern history—been used to encourage competition, not hinder it. As was the case with the breakup of Ma Bell some years ago, and before that, ending the anti-competitive behavior of the nineteenth century robber barons.

In most cases, however, you will find that monopolies in modern times, when they arise, do so because some corporation enjoys some sort of legal protection not available to their competitors—these situations are therefore not examples at all of what might happen in a “laissez-faire” economy.

Take, for example, Microsoft’s “monopoly” of the MS-DOS operating system. Is this an example of an “uncontrolled” free market in action?

Absolutely not. To preserve such a monopoly, Microsoft requires a whole body of government regulations, namely of their intellectual property rights. Take away that regulatory structure, along with the government’s enforcement of it, and Microsoft no longer has a monopoly that anyone is required to respect.

When we talk about “free markets,” it’s a relative term. No Republicans, no matter how economically conservative, want markets that are truly unregulated, which would actually mean a completely lawless society. Without “regulations” of some kind, we wouldn’t even have property rights.

Anybody bigger and stronger than you could just kick you out of your house and steal all your stuff. THAT is the kind of thing that actually happened in these colonial economies you’re talking about—systems which were about as far from free markets under the rule of law as you can get.

Posted by: Loyal Oppostion at October 17, 2008 3:13 PM
Comment #267217

>Operationally, ideology, in one of these one-party farces is simply an excuse for limiting the disruptive power of dissent. It becomes, effectively, the theology of the state religion.
Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2008 02:50 PM

Lee,

Okay…and???

Posted by: Marysdude at October 17, 2008 3:14 PM
Comment #267221

Loyal Opposition said: “Phx8, monopolies that are granted by government dictate, as was the case with the European empires, is ABSOLUTELY inconsistent with capitalism and the free market.”

Man, talking about turning an argument upside down. Loyal Opp, the goal of business in a pure capitalist system IS MONOPOLY. Have you not read your Adam Smith? Apparently not. Capitalism has but one motive, greed. Capitalism has but one goal, monopoly which permits maximum revenue (no competition) at least cost (consumers have no choice regarding quality as a result of monopoly). The means and method toward monopoly is mergers and acquisitions. In the U.S. capitalists, prevented from outright monopoly by law, have created back doors to group monopolies for which the word, oligopoly was invented. Where law prevents one business from controlling the whole market, a small group of companies achieve maximum monopolization allowed and then with winks and nods amongst themselves, they fix prices in concert and quality standards which are not competitive for the mutual maximization of profit, while maintaining the facade of competition by virtue of more than one business providing the product or service.

Your comment has the truth and reality standing on its head.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 17, 2008 3:31 PM
Comment #267223

Lee - how did China achieve this level of individual wealth? Through human suffering, forced labor, oppression, and selling their people to corporations like Walmart. I wouldn’t use them as an example for anyone to follow. In addition, you rightly mention “loosening” regulations not removing them. I think that we need a balance of smart regulation and giving people the freedom to be entrepreneurial. Through a balance of these two opposing forces we can achieve both economic prosperity and human rights. Right now we are sorely short on both at home and around the world because, in part to this imbalance.

Posted by: tcsned at October 17, 2008 3:47 PM
Comment #267224

People have been trying to use the government for their own profit since before Roman times. Our system, with so many layers of government, provides the great opportunities for interested parties to use the government to their own advantage, instead of for the interest of the population.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 17, 2008 3:48 PM
Comment #267230

>you’re talking about—systems which were about as far from free markets under the rule of law as you can get.
Posted by: Loyal Oppostion at October 17, 2008 03:13 PM

LO,

Free Markets…under the rule of law? Come, come, now…law is the very antipathy of free markets. That’s why they are called ‘free’ markets…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 17, 2008 4:38 PM
Comment #267231

“”Rodney,
I don’t think communism is innocent. Neither is capitalism “”I Agree Ph8x . “”“”” andI think that we need a balance of smart regulation and giving people the freedom to be entrepreneurial. Through a balance of these two opposing forces we can achieve both economic prosperity and human rights. Right now we are sorely short on both at home and around the world because, in part to this imbalance.”“”“” I also Agree, tcsned ..

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 17, 2008 4:41 PM
Comment #267249

tscned,

Ask any chinese citizen if he or she wants to go back to the way it was. Even when the thought police aren’t looking. They don’t

Do I want to live in China? Hell No.

Mines, for example, in China are so bad that they lose more than 1000 times as many miners to accidents each year than we do in America, even accounting for population differences. You know Why that is? Because our “less regulated” economy is BETTER REGULATED, less corrupt, and more efficient than the more burdensomely regulated system in China.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2008 5:42 PM
Comment #267256

Lee - I think you are right about the Chinese but living in a cruel totalitarian state and starving and living in a cruel totalitarian state and barely eeking out a living working ridiculous hours for very little pay while others enrich themselves on their labor are two pretty crappy choices.

How can you be sure that it is the regulation or lack of regulation on the economy that is the variable? I would think that it is a government that doesn’t care whether or not their people live or die and will exploit them for economic gain that is the problem.

Mining history is something I know a lot about (especially in these parts of Southwestern VA and West Virginia) and when the industry was pretty much unregulated from the 1880s to the 1930s it was the most dangerous job in America. It was also subject to the most cruel and violent treatment from mine owners and the site of the largest armed labor uprising in US history with an intervention by the US Army bringing tanks, airplanes, and mustard gas to quell the rebellion of its own citizens. Mine owners were raising private armies, private law enforcement, and killing local law enforcement if they sided with the miners. Do we want to return to these days? Hell no.

The recent mine disaster (in Utah in think) was a company that was slacking off on safety due to a lack of oversight from the Bush Administration who appointed someone to oversee mine safety that didn’t believe in oversight.

Posted by: tcsned at October 17, 2008 6:33 PM
Comment #267265

tscned,

When we talk about “free” enterprise we are not talking about anarchy. There are two ways to get anarchy. One is to eliminate government and go to what we imagine the Wild West to have been like. The other is to place government in control of the means of production so it has no incentive to control itself.


There, in a nutshell, is the fundamental fallacy of total government control, such has been seen in Communist countries and in Fascist countries as well.

I don’t think anyone, even my most liberal antagonists on this site, seriously want to go to that level of totalitarian control. I do, however, think they seriously underestimate the damage that can be done by the caprice of allowing government officials to decide how much is enough.

I personally have not read Adam Smith in depth, so I can’t comment on Remer’s statement about capitalism being about the achievement of monopoly. My own understanding of how capitalism functions well comes from my study of evolution and human comprehension.


Evolution functions in a marketplace of competing demands- from the most basic thermodynamic laws to the essential requirement that the reactions carried forward by the process be programmed in such a way as to be replicable for as long as an energy supply can be found, to the imperitive that niches within the environment can be exploited in a sustainable manner.

Human intelligence appears to function by a series of algorithms that establishes problems as environments and rewards functions that can master the environments well. In such a system novelty can be an expensive waste, so we often utilize, and sometimes advance, algorithms we see having success among others.

In both systems set, successful patterns develop and are altered in a competitive environment. Novelty is often helpful, particularly incremental imporvements on old forms. Sometimes large organisms or habits develop which “monopolize” a given environment, only to be too inflexible to deal with rapid changes in the environment.

There you will see my foremost fear about big organizations (organisms) of any kind, and the seat of my prejudice away from large human organizations, particularly those like government that can insulate themselves from the immediate pain of economic realities.

The analogy is imperfect, but not uninstructive.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2008 7:49 PM
Comment #267275
Loyal Opp, the goal of business in a pure capitalist system IS MONOPOLY. Have you not read your Adam Smith? Apparently not. Capitalism has but one motive, greed.

David, it’s been quite a while since I read The Wealth of Nations, but I remember enough to know that you’re distorting Smith’s views. Smith talked about the DANGERS of monopolies, the ways in which they distort markets, and he described much more subtly than you have how both government and private behavior can lead to such undesirable situations.

Monopolies are certainly not the goal of the entire capitalist system, according to Smith, but the goal of the MIDDLE MEN who buy and distribute goods. If you control distribution, you can both underpay those who produce goods and overcharge those who purchase them, leading to false market values for these commodities. For the market to find its natural and desirable level, monopolies have to be prevented. In any case, there’s a lot about Adam Smith, really, that doesn’t account for and isn’t applicable to a modern global economy (because Smith could never have envisioned such an overgrown behemoth in the 1700s).

Far more often than not, it is government which causes the existence of monopolies—if they are not themselves the monopolists. Where do you the largest monopolies in the world today? How about the oil industries in Venezuela, Cuba, or Mexico? And in socialist states, when it comes to any industry, the monopolist is always the same entity—government.

As for “greed” being behind capitalism—well, duh. But show me the economic system which is NOT based on greed. The beauty of capitalism is that acknowledges human nature and harnesses it instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist.

I’m not saying that such people don’t exist, but I have personally never known a liberal who, once they had enough money to pay their bills and live a comfortable lifestyle, gave the rest of their money to those who needed it more.

I’ve got liberal friends who live is some VERY nice houses and have very large bank balances. And you know what? All of them want to make their bank balances even larger and spend a great deal of energy trying to advance that end, and many of them are hoping to buy and live in even nicer houses.

It amuses me to no end when such individuals start railing against how awful it is that we have an economic system based on “greed.”

Posted by: Loyal Oppostion at October 17, 2008 9:21 PM
Comment #267286

Loyal,

I found a source indicating that the four wealthiest U.S. senators are Democrats, and, adding up the minimum wealth of the group very roughly, one finds that the Democrats have $572 million of the $691 million represented there.

I guess it pays to be liberal.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2008 10:11 PM
Comment #267288

Lee good article.
You and other conservatives seem concerned that “liberals” will come to power and cause the demise of capitalism. I don’t think that will be the case as capitalism is and has been in control of our democracy for some time. Strange thing is it is the conservatives that have put the knife to the the throat of democracy in the name of capitalism while espousing democracy.

The capitalists will be taking care of the corpse of our democracy should capitalism continue on it’s present course. The liberals and the conservatives will just stand by and watch as it happens. Myself, I prefer democracy over capitalism when it comes to government and I believe we need to fight to take back our representative system of government from the capitalist that seek to destroy out government.

Just like the USSR saw their communist economic system of the past century turned into a totalitarian controlled government we in this country are witness to the capitalist economic system turning our country into a totalitarian government. That is not what liberals nor conservatives want but that is what is happening as we speak. It is bigger than liberal or conservative, and neither will control the government.

Marysdude is right to a certain point, IMHO, when he refers to capitalism being lost when corporations were given natural rights. However I think it was democracy that was lost not capitalism. To me the problem we face today is capitalism has grown to big and democracy is to small to contain the excesses of capitalism. In fact capitalism controls our system of government, not we the people. Who gets elected without corporate support? Whose lobbyist control the outcome of the work of the congress?

We need a return to a system of government that we haven’t had in the past 3 decades, a democracy. A strong democracy should put capitalism into it’s place as a economic system that has it’s limits, at which time the liberals and conservatives can argue over the finer points, until then it makes little difference.


Posted by: j2t2 at October 17, 2008 10:31 PM
Comment #267289

Rool Call has a “fifty richest legislators chart”. It’s interesting, too. Half of the list is senators. Of course Democrats lead that list, but Republicans lead the representatives with $447 million of the $537 million on that list.

Different dynamics at work in the two houses one can say. The Senate looks like the House of Lords…

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2008 10:32 PM
Comment #267291

j2t2,

Yeah, I said it backward didn’t I? However, the more I think about it…we probably lost both, in one fell swoop…capitalism and representative democracy at the same time.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 17, 2008 10:45 PM
Comment #267292

j2t2,

Because my son is a history major who was studying Russian history last year, I know a few tidbits about the communist ideal I never heard in school. Lenin was originally a GERMAN spy seeking Russia’s withdrawal from W.W.I. He became a double agent playing both sides against the other, later using a similar tactic within Russia to deal with the factions warring there.

In the midst of a governmental crisis he used the most bizarre gall I have ever seen in non-fiction to, in essense, negotiate himself into the leadership of the Russian government. It appears in the stuff I’ve seen to have been essentially a flip of the coin whether he led Communists (the Red Army) or “other” (the White Army).

He was the most apallingly brilliant salesman in the 20th Century, and the tenets of Communism worked to his advantage.

Caveat Emptor, all those who think the government will give you a good life.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2008 10:46 PM
Comment #267293

Lee,

Good attempt at standing up and then knocking down a straw horse. If Republicans continue these phony issues, perhaps they’ll kill the party entirely before it’s all done.

Posted by: googlumpugus at October 17, 2008 10:48 PM
Comment #267298

“Caveat Emptor, all those who think the government will give you a good life.”

Lee It is not the responsibility of the government to give me a good life, however it is my responsibility as a citizen, not a consumer, to make sure we have a government that will allow for the “pursuit of happiness” for all and not just the moneyed few.

Myself the only thing I want from the government is to protect itself from the excesses of the corporations that seek to ruin this democracy of ours in the name of capitalism. I prefer “we the people” to be “we the people” not “we will do as the CEO directs”. Which is what you get when you think capitalism is a system of governing.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 17, 2008 11:36 PM
Comment #267300
I prefer “we the people” to be “we the people” not “we will do as the CEO directs”. Which is what you get when you think capitalism is a system of governing.

Who says that capitalism is “a system of governing?” It’s not. It’s merely the engine of our prosperity, and if anyone posting here isn’t prosperous according to world standards, then I assume they must be posting on Watchblog from a laptop they found on the park bench where they spend their nights. If that’s the case, as Governor Palin might say, “Well, bless your heart.”

For people who keep ragging on capitalism, I say this: What would you prefer?

Just because our system isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that there’s a better one. Look around yourself in whatever room you’re sitting and you’ll see all kinds of stuff that people made not out of generosity but to turn a profit. You go to work to get the money you bought that stuff with, and unless you’re a bank robber, you were either hired because some hated capitalist saw fit to give you a job, or because some capitalist paid taxes to the government.

Or maybe (shudder), you yourself have discovered a nice little way to turn a profit in our economy by using your own skills and talents and don’t have to answer to a boss at all!

If you’re as loathsome and despicable as me, perhaps you even hire people and give them money that they then turn around and use to support not only their families but any number of unspeakable vices—like buying luxury goods and taking vacations to socialist countries where the socialists carry their bags and serve them drinks on the beach.

Complain all you want about the excesses of capitalism—complaining is a fine old American tradition. But don’t let it stop you from cashing your pay checks! Something I rarely see any of well-fed anti-capitalists failing to do come pay day.

Posted by: Loyal Oppostion at October 18, 2008 12:48 AM
Comment #267303

LO,

So socialist don’t get paid?

Posted by: googlumpugus at October 18, 2008 5:27 AM
Comment #267304

LO,

Many of the most successful capitalists in America are and were Democrats. Where ya’ll get off referring to Democrats as Socialists is beyond me. The difference is we see that capitalism has a few weaknesses, one of which is leaving some of ‘we the people’ behind, and in many cases deliberately. We merely wish to fill in those gaps, and try to bring everyone along for the ride. It is not easy, and some take advantage (ya’ll should understand the term ‘taking advantage’, it is the one that drives the engine of capitalism), but not all, and it is not cheap, but neither is capitalism. You see, we are closer in philosophy than you think…Democrats care, and Republicans don’t care for others, but gee, whats a little play-on-words?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 18, 2008 5:48 AM
Comment #267309


Oh no, the government is buying stocks in the banks. It is the end of capitalism.

When Obama moves into the oval office, the first thing he will be told is that the government has to do whatever the banks want it to do or else. Anyone who thinks that the opposite is true is mistaken.

Capitalism is the means by which the few can buy virtually everything, including governments. The few then use the power of government to enhance their profitability such as in Rule Britania, Banana Republics, Oil Sheikdoms and in our case an Apple Pie Republic.

IMO, a representative form of government is one in which the people elect someone to represent them in government. The Representative has an obligation to vote on bills in accordance to the will of the Representatives constituents. Unfortunately, our representative government doesn’t work this way.

In our form of representative government, a tiny few constituents, even foreigners in some cases, can use money to influence the way a representative votes. Most often, the Representative will vote in favor of the few wealthy constituents and in direct opposition of the many constituents, as if what is in the interest of the wealthy constituents is in the interest of all the constituents, all the time.

Although a Representative may vote in opposition to the will of his constituents on many, if not most occasions, the Representative can pass out a little pork, tell a few lies, make a few promises and get reelected.

One would think that, eventually, the constituents would wise up. There is no sign of that happening.

Posted by: jlw at October 18, 2008 9:00 AM
Comment #267313

“Who says that capitalism is “a system of governing?” It’s not. It’s merely the engine of our prosperity,”

I couldn’t agree more LO, it is not a system of governing. However when the corporations and capitalist run the representative government then they are using capitalism as a system of governing. That is the problem. Our economic system has overpowered our system of governing. Political bribes are called free speech by those that say capitalism is a system of governing. Lobbyist that write laws and determine the language of the laws for our elected representatives think capitalism is a system of governing.

“Just because our system isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that there’s a better one.”

Couldn’t agree more LO. It does me good to see that you can concede that capitalism just like other economic systems is not perfect. What it appears most of us are saying is fix the parts that don’t work, call it what you want, and keep it in perspective, we are citizens even more than we are consumers. If you look around you hyper-capitalism is what we are suffering now and it is causing our system of governing damage.

“Complain all you want about the excesses of capitalism—complaining is a fine old American tradition. But don’t let it stop you from cashing your pay checks! Something I rarely see any of well-fed anti-capitalists failing to do come pay day.”

LO like most conservatives you seem to see the world as black or white, either I am 110% for capitalism or I am 110% against capitalism. Us of a more liberal bent seem some gray and can say capitalism is a good system with flaws that need to be fixed in order for other systems affected by our economic system to operate correctly. We can even go so far as to feel that perhaps combining parts of a socialist economic system with capitalism as has been done elsewhere and with good results should be given serious consideration considering the damaging effects capitalism is having upon our political system.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 18, 2008 9:32 AM
Comment #267320

The first rule of capitalism is that those with the gold (capital) rule.

Posted by: googlumpugus at October 18, 2008 10:13 AM
Comment #267323

I just Don’t see Jay Rockefeller and Diane Finestein as put in a box Term, if you look at their voting records they are very close about right next together, right at 15th from the most conservative voting Democrat.d.a.n had a test on watchblog a few years ago on a ideological scale I took it and was very surprised.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 18, 2008 10:47 AM
Comment #267361

Googlumpugus,

I’m not sure what you mean by the straw horse. I am concerned that government, given its druthers, woulf rather conform us to it than let us conform it to us. The constant press to make for-profit service to the people appear evil while supposedly non-profit entities (excepting, of course, the Catholic Church) are held up as bastions of service and morality is simply an insult to our intelligence.

Human organizations are human organizations. Period. They should all have to prove themselves more or less constantly.

Posted by: Googlumpagus at October 18, 2008 3:21 PM
Comment #267362

Sorry, Goog. I was typing too fast to read my own name.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 18, 2008 3:22 PM
Comment #267363

Rodney Brown, Here’s that test.

Here’s J. Rockefeller’s political compass based on OnTheIssues.org’s VoteMatch Quiz.

Here’s Feinstein’s political compass based on OnTheIssues.org’s VoteMatch Quiz.

Here’s mine (One-Simple-Idea.com/PoliticalCompass20050625.jpg):
Economic (Left/Right=Liberal/Conservative) = -0.5
Social (Up/Down=Libertarian/Authoritarian) = -3.85

——————— Populist/Authoritarian/Facism/——————————
-10-9—8—7—6—5—4—3—2—1—0—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9-10
10|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|10
09|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|09
08|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|08
07|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|07
06|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|06
05|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|05
04|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|04
03|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|03
02|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|02
01|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|01
00|Left————————————-+————————————Right|00
01|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|01
02|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|02
03|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|03
04|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|x-|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|04
05|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|05
06|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|06
07|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|07
08|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|08
09|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|09
10|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|10
-10-9—8—7—6—5—4—3—2—1—0—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9-10
——————————- Libertarian/Anarchism———————————

Posted by: d.a.n at October 18, 2008 3:39 PM
Comment #267385

In spite of my apparently arguing with myself:),

Greed is a sin, I guess, if your of that bent, or it is simply amoral, as I believe.

The beauty of capitalism is that harnessing greed can be done with a win-win for society and the individual. It is not inherent in capitalism to do good, however. As David noted, even Adam Smith recognized this fact.

What is dead is the meme that only greed or profit matters and government always gets it wrong. If that were true, heroin dealers would be the top dog, and slavery would still be just fine. Somalia is an example of that, today. It matters what a society does to direct greed toward the overall good of society, without quelling that ever human desire to own and control it all. Adam Smith had a specific idea in mind for capitalism versus mercantilism. Both were capitalistic in nature. Raw materialism, will not get us to our goals.

We must not forget where unbridled greed can take us.

Posted by: googlumpugus at October 18, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #267401

Greed.

And other human tendencies.

However, I believe good barely tips the scale.

Otherwise, there would be no progress at all.

However, the U.S. has been going backward for decades, and the pain on the way will be serious.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 18, 2008 8:01 PM
Comment #267412

Thank you d.a.n.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 18, 2008 9:57 PM
Comment #267423

It surprises me how many people think that a ‘free market’ means no regulation at all.

Fraud, theft, etc are all protections that need to be exercised for the market to be free. As such so does a lack of monopolistic alteration of the market.

Free, in this context, does not mean without rule but the ability for the market to move as it should by the laws of supply and demand without forces altering that. A monopoly alters those forces and should be prevented from doing so.

I’m a libertarian and can understand that (though many anarcho-capitalists who pose as libertarians can’t) so it surprises me when liberals start misrepresenting their opponent’s views while crying that they are misrepresenting progressive views as socialist or communist…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 18, 2008 11:24 PM
Comment #267427

Good Government?

Definitely not today, as the number of abuses increase the deterioration of numerous economic conditions.

These bank/corporate bail-outs is socialism (socialization of debt) and it won’t only fail, but will make things worse, because more debt, borrowing, money-printing, rampant pork-barrel and spending, may delay the pain, but amplify inevitable pain and misery, and the original problem which is a dishonest, usurious, inflationary monetary system which is nothing more than a classic pyramid scheme, which is doomed morally and mathematically to eventual collapse.

The mathematical flaw is that money is created as the PRINCIPAL portion of DEBT.
But DEBT = PRINCIPAL + INTEREST.
QUESTION: So where does the INTEREST come from?
ANSWER: From the creation of more PRINCIPAL, which produces more INTEREST, which produces the need for more money to pay the PRINCIPAL and INTEREST, and so on, and so on, and so on, … .

The new money is created at a huge ratio of 9-to-1 out of thin air.
Thus, the DEBT grows ever larger, as evidenced by $54-to-$67 Trillion of nation-wide debt that has been growing larger every year since this creation of the pyramid scheme.
For example:

  • $55.0T |—————————————-D (Debt~$54 Trillion)

  • $52.5T |—————————————-D

  • $50.0T |—————————————-D

  • $47.5T |—————————————-D

  • $45.0T |—————————————D-

  • $42.5T |—————————————D-

  • $40.0T |—————————————D-

  • $37.5T |————————————-D

  • $35.0T |————————————D—-

  • $32.5T |———————————-D——

  • $30.0T |———————————D——-

  • $27.5T |——————————-D———

  • $25.0T |——————————D———-

  • $22.5T |—————————-D————

  • $20.0T |—————————D————-

  • $17.5T |————————-D—————

  • $15.0T |————————D—————-

  • $12.5T |———————D——————G (GDP~$13.9 Trillion)

  • $10.0T |—————-D—————G
  • ——-
  • $07.5T |———-D————G
  • —————-
  • $05.0T |-D——-G
  • ——————————
  • $02.5T |-G
  • —————————————
  • $00.0T +(1956)————————- (2008)YEAR

  • D=Debt

  • G=GDP
    • The DEBT pyramid has been growing for many decades.

    And that $54 Trillion of nation-wide debt (shown above) does not even include the $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby-boomer bubble approaching (which if included, would place the nation-wide debt at $67 Trilion ($219,672 per person for all 305 Million Americans).
    How much bigger do you think the nation-wide debt and federal debt can grow?
    Especially when we are already borrowing and printing the money to merely pay the INTEREST alone?
    Yet, some believe more borrowing and money-printing is the solution! ? !
    Does that make sense?
    Many systems are going to fail because of this one problem, which destabilizes all sectors of the economy.
    The result of this circular problem (the DEBT pyramid) is incessant inflation, which is economically destabilizing for most people, because it erodes their their savings, their entitlements, their purchasing power, and their incomes. What was once affordable becomes unaffordable (e.g. education, healthcare, food, electricity, fuel, etc., etc., etc.).

A fiat, funny-money system can last for a long time, depending on level of excessive money-printing (which shortens the cycle), but eventually, since the INTEREST doesn’t exist when the PRINCIPAL portion of DEBT is created (out of thin air at a 9-to-1 ratio), it is doomed to eventual collapse.

Therefore, not only is there (a) a moral problem with usury, but (b) there is a mathematical problem with INTEREST, which is mathematically guaranteed to grow DEBT ever larger.

How did we get such a screwed-up monetary system?
Ask the bankers and there puppets.
Ask yourself who benefits most from such a system?
It must be nice to create money out of thin air at a 9-to-1 ratio (i.e. only requiring 10% in reserves), and charge INTEREST on it too.
And then, when it collapses, the tax-payers are imposed with attempting to bailing out the banks, which will still fail, since printing more money will simply amplify the problem.

It’s a classic pyramid scheme in which the DEBT grows and grows, until it can’t grow any larger, and the system collapses.

To make matters worse, the federal government and Federal Reserve have been monkeying around with the way inflation is measured, to fool Americans, and hide the ever-increasing inflation:

  • ___________________ INFLATION RATES ___________

  • 16.0% |———————————————————-

  • 15.5% |———————————————————3 (15.6%)

  • 15.0% |———————————————————3

  • 14.5% |——————————————————-3-

  • 14.0% |——————————————————-3-

  • 13.5% |——————————————————3—

  • 13.0% |——————————————————3—

  • 12.5% |——————————————————3—

  • 12.0% |——————————————————3—

  • 11.5% |——————————-3——————-3—-

  • 11.0% |——————————3-333—————3—-

  • 10.5% |—————————-3——-3————-3—-

  • 10.0% |3————-3———33———3——-33-3——

  • 09.5% |-3———-3 3——3————-3—33—3——8 (9.8%)

  • 09.0% |—3——-3—-3333—————-3-3———-8-

  • 08.5% |—-3—-3——————————3————8-

  • 08.0% |——333——————————————-8—

  • 07.5% |——————————-8——————-8—-

  • 07.0% |——————————8-888—————8—-

  • 06.5% |—————————-8——-8————-8—-

  • 06.0% |8————-8———88———8——-88-8——

  • 05.5% |-8———-8 8——8————-8—88—8——c (5.37%)

  • 05.0% |—8——-8—-8888—————-8-8———-c-

  • 04.5% |—-8—-8——————-c———8————c-

  • 04.0% |c—-888——————-c-ccc—————-c—

  • 03.5% |-c————————-c——-c—————c—

  • 03.0% |—c———-c———cc———c————-c—-

  • 02.5% |—c———c-c——c————-c——cc-c——

  • 02.0% |—-c——c—-cccc—————-c-cc—c——-

  • 01.5% |——c—c——————————c—————

  • 01.0% |——-cc————————————————

  • 00.5% |———————————————————-

  • 00.0% |———————————————————-

  • _______2——2——2——2——2——2——2——2—A

  • _______0——0——0——0——0——0——0——0—U

  • _______0——0——0——0——0——0——0——0—G

  • _______1——2——3——4——5——6——7——8—-

  • WHERE:

  • 3=Pre-1983 Inflation measurement method

  • 9=Pre-1998 Inflation measurement method

  • c=Current Inflation measurement method

Inflation today is actually 15.6% based on the pre-1983 inflation measurement method (not 5.37%).

Regardless of which inflation measurment method used the U.S. Dollar is falling fast (One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm).

  • _________ U.S. Dollar to EURO Rate_________

  • 0.95 |——————————————————-

  • 0.90 |x——————————————————

  • 0.80 |-x—————————————————-

  • 0.85 |—x——————x——————————-

  • 0.80 |——-x———x——-x—————————

  • 0.75 |————x——————-x———————

  • 0.70 |——————————————-x———-

  • 0.65 |————————————————-x—-

  • 0.60 |——————————————————-

  • 0.55 |——————————————————-

  • _____—2———2———2———2———2———2

  • _____—0———0———0———0———0———0

  • _____—0———0———0———0———0———0

  • _____—4———5———6———7———8———9

  • ____ U.S. Dollar to British Pound Rate _________
  • 0.650 |——————————————————-
  • 0.625 |x——————————————————
  • 0.600 |-x—————————————————-
  • 0.575 |-x—————-xxx——————————-
  • 0.550 |—xxx——-x———-x—————————
  • 0.525 |———-xxx—————-x———————-
  • 0.500 |————————————-x——-xxx—-
  • 0.475 |——————————————x————
  • 0.450 |——————————————————-
  • 0.425 |——————————————————-
  • _____—2———2———2———2———2———2
  • _____—0———0———0———0———0———0
  • _____—0———0———0———0———0———0
  • _____—4———5———6———7———8———9
  • _________ U.S. Dollar to Chinese Yuan _______
  • 0.84 |——————————————————-
  • 0.83 |xxxxxxxxxxx—————————————
  • 0.82 |——————x————————————
  • 0.81 |———————-x——————————-
  • 0.80 |—————————x—————————
  • 0.79 |——————————x————————
  • 0.78 |———————————x———————
  • 0.77 |————————————x——————
  • 0.76 |————————————-x—————-
  • 0.75 |—————————————x—————
  • 0.74 |—————————————-x————-
  • 0.73 |——————————————x————
  • 0.72 |——————————————-x———-
  • 0.71 |———————————————x———
  • 0.70 |———————————————-x——-
  • 0.69 |————————————————x——
  • 0.68 |————————————————-x—-
  • _____—2———2———2———2———2———2
  • _____—0———0———0———0———0———0
  • _____—0———0———0———0———0———0
  • _____—4———5———6———7———8———9
  • _________ U.S. Dollar to Swiss Franc _______
  • 1.40 |x——————————————————
  • 1.35 |-x—————————————————-
  • 1.30 |—-xx—————x-x—————————-
  • 1.25 |—x—-x———x——-x————————-
  • 1.20 |———-x—x—————-x———————
  • 1.15 |————x————————-x—————
  • 1.10 |——————————————-x———-
  • 1.05 |————————————————-x—-
  • 1.00 |——————————————————-
  • 0.95 |——————————————————-
  • _____—2———2———2———2———2———2
  • _____—0———0———0———0———0———0
  • _____—0———0———0———0———0———0
  • _____—4———5———6———7———8———9

For example, below shows how much $1 U.S. Dollar has been eroded since year 2000 for all 3 inflation measurement methods:

  • Year: __ Pre-1983 _____ Value

  • _______ Inflation ______ of $1.00

  • _______ Rate __________________

  • 2000: ___ 10.0% _____ $1.00

  • 2001: ___ 07.8% _____ $0.92

  • 2002: ___ 09.0% _____ $0.84

  • 2003: ___ 08.0% _____ $0.77

  • 2004: ___ 09.5% _____ $0.70

  • 2005: ___ 11.0% _____ $0.62

  • 2006: ___ 10.0% _____ $0.56

  • 2007: ___ 11.7% _____ $0.49

  • 2008: ___ 15.6% _____ $0.42

__________________________________________________
  • Year: __ Pre-1998 _____ Value

  • _______ Inflation ______ of $1.00

  • _______ Rate __________________

  • 2000: ___ 6.20% _____ $1.00

  • 2001: ___ 3.95% _____ $0.96

  • 2002: ___ 5.80% _____ $0.90

  • 2003: ___ 4.15% _____ $0.87

  • 2004: ___ 6.00% _____ $0.82

  • 2005: ___ 6.40% _____ $0.76

  • 2006: ___ 5.90% _____ $0.72

  • 2007: ___ 7.70% _____ $0.66

  • 2008: ___ 9.80% _____ $0.60

__________________________________________________
  • Year: __ Post 1998 _____ Value

  • _______ Inflation ______ of $1.00

  • _______ Rate __________________

  • 2000: ___ 3.38% _____ $1.00

  • 2001: ___ 2.83% _____ $0.97

  • 2002: ___ 1.59% _____ $0.96

  • 2003: ___ 2.27% _____ $0.94

  • 2004: ___ 2.68% _____ $0.91

  • 2005: ___ 2.39% _____ $0.88

  • 2006: ___ 3.24% _____ $0.85

  • 2007: ___ 2.85% _____ $0.83

  • 2008: ___ 4.28% _____ $0.79

  • “Only small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.” - Marshall McLuhan, media “guru”

  • “The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.” - John Kenneth Galbraith, Economist

  • In 1913, the struggle for a better monetary system was lost when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, giving the privately owned international banking cartel the power to create the United States money. Later, Woodrow Wilson stated: “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world, no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men. - Woodrow Wilson, President of the U.S. 1913-1921.

  • “Fiat money is the cause of inflation, and the amount which people lose in purchasing power is exactly the amount which was taken from them and transferred to their governments by this process.” (G. Edward Griffin, “The Creature from Jekyll Island”)

  • “A fiat monetary system allows power and influence to fall into the hands of those who control the creation of new money, and to those who get to use the money or credit early in its circulation. The insidious and eventual cost falls on unidentified victims who are usually oblivious to the cause of their plight. This system of legalized plunder (though not constitutional) allows one group to benefit at the expense of another. An actual transfer of wealth goes from the poor and the middle class to those in privileged financial positions.” (Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), “Paper Money and Tyranny”)

  • “When the President [Woodrow Wilson] signs this bill [converting to a fiat-money system], the invisible government of the monetary power will be legalized … the worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill.” (Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. 1913)

  • “Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money.” (Daniel Webster)

  • “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” (Lord John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), renowned British economist).

  • “All the perplexities, confusion and distresses in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” (John Adams)

  • “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” - David Rockefeller, in an address to the Trilateral Commission meeting, 1991.
  • At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 19, 2008 7:26 AM
    Comment #267435

    d.a.n.,

    Just curious, if the media has kept quiet, where did that Rockefeller quote originate from?

    Posted by: googlumpugus at October 19, 2008 10:02 AM
    Comment #267461

    We only believe in free markets when they benefit us. We like authoritarian governments in other countries when that workis to our benefit:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqXOcdYMl60

    On how we have been kissing up to the Saudis since FDR, regardless of which half of the duopoly is in power.

    Posted by: ohrealy at October 19, 2008 3:05 PM
    Comment #267535

    Hi everyone, it is nearly election time in the US. So it’s time for you to send your message to American voters by posting a photo message in the hope of a better world.


    Time is running out, and it might be the last chance for you to raise your voice.

    Please do not hesitate to post your message or if you did so already, just send a message to your friends to view our page or site.

    Take part in making OUR world better, take action now,

    Give US a hope

    GIVE USA HOPE!

    www.giveusahope.com

    Posted by: giveusahope at October 20, 2008 10:36 AM
    Comment #267544
    googlumpugus wrote: Just curious, if the media has kept quiet, where did that Rockefeller quote originate from?
    The quote (below) by David Rockefaller was in year 1991:
    • “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” - David Rockefeller, in an address to the Trilateral Commission meeting, [JUNE] 1991 [cofounded by G.H.W. Bush(41)].

    Where or who said the Main Stream Media (MSM) has been quiet since after 1991?

    Ever heard of the internet?

    The Main Stream Media can’t control the internet, and the internet began to flourish after year 1991.

    David Rockefeller also said:

    • “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” — David Rockefeller

    Secrets are not hard to keep from some people,
    but secrets are hard to keep from all people.

    You can fool some of the people all of the time,
    but not all of the people all of the time.

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 20, 2008 10:55 AM
    Comment #267550

    d.a.n.

    Those quotes from Rockefeller are the most frightening thing I can imagine from people in power.

    What utter contempt for ordinary people, and even NATIONS!

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 20, 2008 11:51 AM
    Comment #267551

    Another site, seedoftruth.com says that quote from David Rockefeller, came at a June 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 20, 2008 11:57 AM
    Comment #267552

    Here’s the link again.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 20, 2008 11:59 AM
    Comment #267604

    Lee Jamison, thanks for that link.
    Yes, I’ve seen that web-site, and I’ve seen many other things about David Rockefeller’s deeds and positions.
    That web-site contains some quotes that are very wise and valuable advice.

    However, some of them are despicable, such as David Rockefeller’s (now age 93) statements.

    David Rockefeller also said:

    • “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.” — David Rockefeller

    And here is another statement by David Rockefeller, in his “Occasional Letter No.1”, detailing his plans to mold the people, reduce national intelligence to the lowest common denominator, destroy parental influence, destroy traditional values and customs, and eliminate science and real learning, “in order to perfect human nature” so that he could make them more useful for the wealthy elite like himself:

    • “In our dreams, we have limitless resources and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their childen into philosophers or men of learning, or of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, editors, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, statesmen, of whom we have an ample supply. The task we set task before ourselves is a very simple as well as a very beautiful one, to train these people as we find them to a perfectly ideal life just where they are. So we will organize our children and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way, in the homes, in the shops, and on the farm.”

    Lee Jamison wrote: Another site, seedoftruth.com says that quote from David Rockefeller, came at a June 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany.
    Yes. The Bilderberger and Trilateral Commisions are secret societies. That fact alone is quite revealing.

    I agree.
    It is disturbing.
    And what is more disturbing is that there are people in key offices in our government and high positions in corporations who are little (or no) different.
    Today, some are treated by many as gods, such as the chair person of the Federal Reserve (the biggest pyramid scheme in world history); the Treasurer of the United States (in-league with the Fedearl Reserve and corporations; the FOR-SALE Congress who are puppets for the wealthy puppeteers who fill their campaign warchests and secure their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies; a gang of over two million in the largest branch of government (the executive branch) who are unaccountable persons that are neither seen nor heard as they irresponsibly throttle our freedoms and prosperity; subtly growing and securing more and more power; one of the first steps toward totalitarianism, is the destruction of the parliamentary/legislative branches of government; the banks around the world, who create fiat funny-money out of thin air, and charge interest on it, and them confiscate real property, land, and assets when they foreclose on debtors; etc., etc., etc.

    The greedy are so greedy that they are not content to co-exist like some parasites.
    The greedy are more like stupid, gluttonous viruses and parasites that also destroy their own existence by killing their hosts in the process.
    That is what is very likely, with $54-to-$67 Trillion of nation-wide debt, and the gods of finance, the banks, and the U.S. Treasury trying to solve massive debt, rampant borrowing, money-printing, debt, pork-barel, and spending, with more of the same, which will risk making the problem much worse by crashing the currency.

    In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount.
    The voters are going to get their education one way or another.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 20, 2008 6:17 PM
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