It is not what they argue that
thunders, but the results:every group speaks as an advocate—consider the
arguments of the tobacco industry.The results have been an erosion of income
including job benefits for the masses, reduction in social programs, a shift of the tax burden from corporations and those
of great wealth on to the masses, and a take over of the media and political system. Unfettered
capitalism is not in the public’s interest.Labor has become more productive, yet the worker’s share of the wealth produced has steadily dropped.
(one of 3) mean spirited winged women who are best known in the Greek legend for constantly stealing all the food of king
Phineas and defecating upon his table. Neoliberals are the harpies set against
the working class.
By jk 6/07
There is an evil afoot, neoliberalism (called neoconservatism by U.S. media).It is neither new nor liberal.It is
a theory of unregulated economics (laissez faire capitalism), expanding debt, and the privatization of government services.Milton Freedom, of the University of Chicago’s
School of Economic, has won a Nobel prize in
economic for his contributions to neoliberal economic theory.Neoliberalism is
back by the multinational corporations and international banks, The international corporations and banking have found this
theory useful for promoting their financial goals, and through the IMF (International Monetary Fund), WTO (World Trade Organization),
and the World Bank have effectively promoted them.In the U.S. their goals
have been sufficiently realized so as to produce a second age of the robber barons.The flat worlders (from a book The
World is Flat by Thomas Friedman) have been the principle contributors to the politicians and parties that support the
removal of economic and trade restrictions, and the social safety nets.They
even plan to privatize government services such as the water works, social security, post office, schools, and even the military.Bit by bit they have been accomplishing these goals.
Money talks and bull shit walks.Political
contributions are just one of four tools; treaties, loans and the corporate media are the other three. In the third world
they make loans through the WTO, IMF, and World Bank to those governments who support at least in part their agenda which
consists of opening up the resources, the media, the utilities, the banking, the borders, and their very market places to
foreign buy outs and competition.They call it deregulation. The flat-world
policies are also packaged as international treaties with acronyms such as NAFTA, CAFTA, AFTA, MEFTA, etc., which are
signed by both underdeveloped and developed nations.(The Iraq war is about
MEFTA—opening up the Middle East markets including the oil fields).In NAFTA there are 900 pages of clauses.Among them are clauses requiring
the overriding of national environmental, safety, drug, labor, commerce, and tariff laws; and NAFTA sets up their own court system to accomplish
this!National sovereignty has been sold.Today’s new Robber Barons are not the monopoly capitalists like Rockefeller, Gould,
and Morgan, but a much bigger global fish.Business ethics hasn't changed, only
monopoly capitalism is now played upon a board that covers our planet.
These flat-world (neoliberal) policies have resulted in the out sourcing of jobs, the flood
of cheap tariff-free goods, the flood of undocumented workers, the reduction in the pay for skilled and unskilled labor, the
breaking of unions, the reduction of social services, and a shift of the tax burden from corporations (many of whom have moved
to tax-free heavens and avoid U.S. taxes) and the rich to the bottom 98%. In the past 35 years productivity has gone up over
45%; yet real wages (including benefits) have gone down, way down.Why aren’t
workers getting a share of their increased productivity? Family income has remained
level because now two earn the income of one.In 1950s, there were very few working
mothers. Through their media, the new Robber Barons paint a rosy picture, but the facts thunder a different storm.
In the pursuit of
their short-term and global interests, the neoliberals have us revisiting 1930:they
have brought about the economic collapse.Their Federal Reserve policy[i] of flooding the banks with funds based on their 10% equity requirement has led to unsound loan policies through their need
to turn these funds over.Most of these loans have been bundled and sold to other
institutions which have but 3% equity at most.World wide speculative banking
and shadow banking bubbles have burst.Almost every developed nation has a very
high total debt.In the U.S. it is over 360% of GDP.It is more than was held by those nations that have had an economic crisis in the last 2 decades (Mexico, Argentina 1995, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia,
South Korea Laos and the Philippines during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis).Servicing government debt is now the second biggest item (over $412 billion
in 07) in our budget.It is funds that should have stimulated our economy.Our nation is being bought up by foreigners made fat
by our trade deficit ($817 billion in 06, and rising).The manufacturing
foundation of our economy has been eroded to less than 12% of employment[ii].Now the entire developed world is imploding.
to 7/15/08, the dollar has depreciated against principle
foreign currency the EURO by 48% (26% since 1/02/06 to 8/23/08).The principle
cause is the need to sell t-bills—the falling dollars entails more T-bills per Euro.In 2006 the total value of the EURO in circulation surpassed the USD.U.S.
prices rise because foreign goods and resources take more dollars.
This drop in the dollar keeps foreign dollars in this country.Property and securities become a bargain when foreign currency is strong.Our government must sell new T-bills to raise the funds to replace those that have matured.Foreign corporations, nations, and banks hold over $2 trillion in T-bills. Moreover with their trade surplus
they are buying our industries.Our instability is making the Euro the global
currency.But the flat worlders have a global agenda.
Since 1972 disposable
income of workers has steadily dropped[iii], even though their productivity has increased 45%--where has this gain gone?The U.S. now
ranks 4th in GDP per capita,
yet is 92nd in distribution of key benefits—UN stats.All this has occurred to our nation because neoliberal policies have rolled
back the wisdom that got us out of the Great Depression and carried us forward following WWII: tariffs, limited immigration,
and unions.A prosperous working class buys lots of durable goods, while those
at the top primarily speculate in the markets.
corporations have been changing through political alliances, the soil of government regulations; thus like a foreign weed
they are chocking out native industries mainly with their cheap imports.These
corporations, many of them homegrown, are no more American than Toyota and Shell Oil.They have moved their corporate head quarters off shore
to avoid taxes, and their factories overseas for its cheap labor.Yes, a flat
world is good for them, but not for our nation.
The market place needs regulations:regulations for safe and effective drugs, clean air and water, safer work places,
honest advertising, product safety, accurate news reporting, etc.Capitalism
needs tariffs, regulations, and unions to assure a decent wage, medical benefits, retirement benefits, and decent working
conditions.It needs to regulate industries to prevent price fixing, and of banking
to assure sound policies.All these regulations affect costs, and business is
about maximizing profits.There is a fundamental conflict between short-term
profits and long-term economic growth.And there is a conflict with the public
weal.But the treaties our government has signed have done away with tariff laws,
environmental laws, labor laws, etc.NAFTA is about globalization.
Neoliberals tell us of the virtues of unrestricted
capitalism.They promise developed nations cheap goods and more technocratic
jobs, and they promise the third world peoples more manufacturing jobs through exports tariff free to the developed nations
and technocratic jobs based upon outsourcing by the developed nations.They promised
better pay, cheaper goods, a strong economy, and whatever else needed to sell globalization.They and the politicians whom are in their fold (Bush 1 & 2, Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher being the most brazen)
have no regard for the truth.They haven’t delivered prosperity even though productivity is up over
45%.Low wages in the third world continue and we too are heading that way.Thirty years of stagnation and worse
proves the case against them.
Where is our 2-party system? in bed with
the Robber Barons.The Democrats passed NAFTA, and Bush & Chaney sleep with
Wolfowitz—whom they made head of the WTO.The combination of political donations
and corporate media has made political success dependent upon the support of the neoliberal Robber Barons.
Greed is greed, and what benefits one group
comes at an expense to the remainder of society.They have fed the people a false
data basis.Our corporate media have sold the public on the virtues of neoliberalism
and the elimination of economic regulations.The nation’s richest 1 percent
of the population holds financial wealth (which excludes equity in owner occupied houses) that is more than four times as
much as the bottom 80 percent of the population.Through their media the economic and social consequences of globalization are
given a false face, and the masses have been lulled by their message into believing that their greed is in our best interest.Propaganda and advertising work.
A start towards a cure would be kick big
business out of politics through campaign reform funding and out of the media by turning it over to educators.(This article is on the web at http://skeptically.org/wto/id13.html).
NNP figures in billions for fiscal budget 08:military $598, health $428, and debt $412.
[i]The Federal Reserve is not a government agency, but one chartered
through our government, and for whom we from the banking community select their leaders.
[ii]The government figure of 15% is derived by including the fast-food
industry, and others non-factory jobs.
[iii]It has dropped much more than official stats.In the 50s the blue collar husband could support a family reasonable
Neoliberalism and neoliberals have various other labels:globalization, corporatism,
flat worlders, neocons,neoconservatives and the one I prefer,
the new Robber Barons.They stand for a form of laissez-faire capitalism,*
which only they, like members of a church, tout as the way and path—reason and evidence are damned.The phrase, robber baron, was used to describe the situation
that existed in many parts of the world.Common to many regions consisting of
small fifes, the local young men under the head of a chief would exact from a group of travels a fee for passing through their
territory.Robber baron in this country was first applied to railroad
magnates.It appears in an 1880 anti-monopoly pamphlet for farmers in the Kansas region.It soon was extended to the powerful U.S. capitalists of the late 19th
century who in the pursuit of wealth exploited labor, formed alliances with legislators and judges, manipulated financial
and trade markets, polluted the environment, and eliminated competition.Their
goal was to maximize profits.This label for leading capitalists continued in
common usage until the 1950s.
like the written history of a war devoting considerable space to the generals, similarly is the history of U.S. industrialization following the
Civil War about the Robber Barons.The ruthless tactics of these barons of trade
were described by the economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899).Veblen compared the powerful industrialistsand bankers
to the barbaric barons, for they lived off the spoils of conquest.Their care
of and for their workers he compared to that of farmers to their farm animals.He
also devoted considerable space to the conspicuous consumption of the leisure class.Wit and insight made his book a best seller; and it became required reading for several generations of college students.
journalist Matthew Josephson in 1934 wrote the Robber Barons, another bestseller (still in print) that exposed their
world.He stressed their business practices and in the last chapters their
conspicuous consumption.I borrowed this book from my elementary school library,
and 30 years later from a local library.
haven’t changed that much, except the consciousness of the masses, for now we don’t call the CEO’s of major corporations robber barons.The robber-baron era is a history that our
corporate press has rewritten.The continuing abuses chronic to capitalism are barely covered in their press.There has been a de-evolution of mass consciousness:conspicuous consumption and robber barons ought to still be in common
usage.That which is against the common weal ought to be a pressing concern of
the common people.
*Adam Smith was not one of them, and the usage
theymake of him is totally unjustified.
As given in lecture by noted British Economics
Professor Lionel Robins:
Popular writing in this connection is far
below the zero of knowledge or common decency.On this plain not only is any
real knowledge of the classical writers nonexistent, but their place has been taken by a set of mythological figures passing
by the same names, but not infrequently invested with attitudes almost the exact reverse which the originals adopted.These dummies are very malignant creatures indeed.They are the tools or lackeys of the capitalist exploiters.I think that
has the authentic stylistic flavor.They are extremely indifferent to the well
being of the working classes.Hence when a writer today wishes to present his
own point of view in a special favorable setting, he has only to point to these constructs with the attitude of these reprehensible
people and the desired effect is produced.You’d be surprised how many
well-known authors who have resorted to this device.—Lionel Robins—1939, Lectures for the London School of Economics.Found in Books on Tape Disc II, track 1,
ff., The English Classical Economists.
The English classical economists included
the 2 great Scottish philosophers David Hume and Adam Smiths, and their followers.Among their followers are Thomas Malthus,
David Ricardo, and John Stuart Mill.Smith was a champion of the masses.He observed that whenever government interfered with free trade it was at the behest of a special interest group, and
the burden of such legislation fell heavily upon the laboring poor through higher prices.He was deeply moved by their plight.If government followed Jeremy Bentham’s
standard of utilitarianism and thus promoted the common weal as their primary duty, Smith would have written much differently,
There is a conflict of interest when the legislators are dependent on election funding upon the very parties whom the
policies they pass affect.And in particular international corporations and finance
have very, very deep pockets.
The Canadian government
has addressed the problem that funds buy the votes of politicians through covering the costs of elections.First the Broadcasters Guidelines and CRTC rules require that each broadcaster make available up to 390
minutes for political parties to purchase.These 390 minutes is divided according
to voter’s registration—there are 4 substantial parties in Canada.Second a limit on spending is set per district (riding) according to the size of the electorate and the
number of districts with candidates.The 4 major parties each had a limit of
$18,278,278.64.In 2004 the law was amended so that if a party received more
than 2% of the national vote and 5% in the ridings it contested, then it would qualify for payment equal to 60% of its election
expenses (22.5% in 2000).There is in addition a limit on donations made by third
parties (individuals and groups) to $3,000
We need to win back the Democratic party, and or make the Green Party a challenger
have repeated commented about the link between neocons, the WTO, and the effects of globalization.Among the effects is the ability to over ride national interest, labor laws, environmental laws, public services through decisions made by the WTO and empowered through trade sanctions and fines. It is the power of finance that has created them as the shadow government. Watch The Money Masters at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H56FUHgqRNE