Globalist, Predatory Capitalism BS vs. Socialism BS

Why be afraid of socialism

How Faux Capitalism Works In America

Authored by EconomicPrism’s MN Gordonannotated by Acting-Man’s Pater Tenebrarum,

Stars in the Night Sky

The U.S. stock market’s recent zigs and zags have provoked much squawking and screeching.  Wall Street pros, private money managers, and Millennial index fund enthusiasts all find themselves on the wrong side of the market’s swift movements.  Even the best and brightest can’t escape President Trump’s tweet precipitated short squeezes.

The Donald mercilessly hits the shorts with a well-timed tweet. But as it turns out, this market is in a really bad mood at the moment. [PT]

The short-term significance of the DJIA’s 8 percent decline since early-October is uncertain.  For all we know, stocks could run up through the end of the year.  Stranger things have happened.

What is also uncertain is the nature of this purge: Is this another soft decline like that of mid-2015 to early-2016, when the DJIA fell 12 percent before quickly resuming its uptrend?  Or is this the start of a brutal bear market – the kind that wipes out portfolios and blows up investment funds?

The stars in the night sky tell us this is the latter.  For example, when peering out into the night sky even the most untrained eye can identify the three ominous stars that are lining up with mechanical precision.

These stars include a stock market top, followed by a monster corporate debt buildup, and a fading economy.  In short, the stock market’s latest break is presaging a corporate credit crisis and global recession.

BofA/Merrill Lynch US high yield Master II Index yield – this looks like a quite convincing breakout, impossible to tweet down. In other words, the corporate debt build-up is beginning to bite back – and rather bigly, if we may say so (ed note, in case you’re wondering: the little poems are from a Spectator competition in which people used phrases from actual tweets to put together Donald haikus and poems). [PT]

The last time these three stars aligned in this sequence was roughly a decade ago.  If you recall, that was when the DJIA crashed 50 percent coincident with a mega credit crisis and recession.  We suspect that the disaster that’s approaching will be much larger, and much more destructive than the disaster of a decade ago.

Bad Habit

Astute readers will be quick to point out that government debt was not identified as one of the three ominous stars lining up in the night sky.  This is not an oversight.  Rather, it is an insight.

Without question, government debt has burgeoned way beyond what even the most doom and gloom pessimists could have envisioned just a decade ago.  In fact, November marked the widest one month budget deficit in U.S. history.

Over a one month period – a month with just 30 days, not 31 – the U.S. government spent $411 billion while it only received $206 billion.  By our rough back of the napkin calculation, the U.S. government spent nearly double what it took in.  That difference, of course, was made up with debt.  Roughly, $6.83 billion of new debt was added each and every day.

At best, spending more than one makes, like smoking or swearing, is a bad habit.  However, spending more than one makes with no intention to pay it back is a moral failing.  What’s more, running up untenable levels of government debt with the implied intent of inflating it away at the expense of the citizenry is downright evil.

It’s definitely a tremendous pile of debt… and the slope of the mountain has steepened quite dramatically in recent years…  [PT]

Day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, the U.S. government has racked up close to $22 trillion in debt.  Throw in unfunded liabilities of social security, Medicare (Parts A, B, and D), federal debt held by the public, and federal employee and veteran benefits, and the U.S. government’s on the hook for over $115.8 trillion in debt – or nearly $1 million per taxpayer.  How about that?

Of course, as the population ages, and the ratio of workers to retirees balances, these debt figures will go vertical.  As you can see, government debt is more than just an ominous star.  It’s the essential star.  Moreover, it is a dying star on the verge of collapse.  Quite frankly, it may not have enough energy to backstop the financial system during the next downturn.  Here’s why…

How Faux Capitalism Works in America

Our guess is that the real squawking from investors won’t begin until mid-2019.  That’s about the time corporate America becomes acutely aware that pumping gobs of borrowed money into grossly overvalued stocks was an act of financial suicide.

Just look to General Electric, IBM, and Citigroup for an early indication of the forthcoming catastrophe.  For instance, over the last decade GE spent $46 billion buying back its shares.  In 2016 and 2017 alone, at a time of mushrooming debt, GE pumped $24 billion into share buybacks.

GE wasted $46 billion on buying back its shares – with nothing to show for it except a collapsing share price. This was an astonishing misallocation of capital – very likely the company will eventually have issue new shares  to prop up its equity, at prices far below the prices it paid for buying them back. [PT]

Over this time, the price of these shares dropped from about $30 to $16.  And even with Thursday’s 7.3 percent boost, on word of a surprise JPMorgan upgrade, GE shares trade at $7.20.  In other words, shares GE bought back during the early part of 2016 have lost 75 percent of their value.  What to make of it?

The 2008 financial crisis helped clarify how faux capitalism works in America.  That when the big corporations and the big banks get in trouble, the people on top quickly absolve culpability while appropriating public funds from their friends at the Treasury for the purpose of private bailouts. This, in effect, socializes the losses across bottom rungs of society and concentrates profits across the top.

No doubt, the aftermath of the great corporate stock buyback craze of 2009 to 2017 will be a text book example of faux capitalism in action.  First, massive financial bailouts will be disseminated to crony banks and corporations with purpose and intent.  Then, a colossal river of monetary liquidity from the Fed will be diverted into credit markets, and into direct stock purchases of government preferred corporations.

Bailout progression – it continues until it cannot continue anymore, i.e., until the “running out of other people’s money” moment arrives. [PT]

The size and scope of these fiscal and monetary bailouts will utterly dwarf the TARP, ZIRP, and QE policies of the last crisis.  Assuming this doesn’t blow up the Treasury’s balance sheet, or vaporize what’s left of the dollar’s value, a certain end effect will take shape.  The middle class will be reduced to a notch or two above poverty, and wealth will be further concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.

We don’t like it.  We don’t agree with it.  But we can’t stop it.  This is the world we live in.  A world where justice has been debased and rectitude has been sullied.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-15/how-faux-capitalism-works-america

Socialism Always Ends in Destruction

Every attempt at socialism has failed miserably. Venezuela is only the latest country that has tried to implement a socialist paradise, only to inevitably crumble and crash before our eyes. Socialism, and its natural progression, communism, has caused the deaths of 100 million people since its inception 100 years ago.

Just a few decades ago, Venezuela had massive oil reserves and an abundance of other resources. It enjoyed wealth and an excellent standard of living. Today, Venezuelans have no food, no medicine, and the country is driven by corruption and fear. While a starving population is in despair, many are desperately trying to flee paradise. The army, supported by President Madero, is in the street, ready to brutalize any dissenters. Madero and the military are not starving.

Socialism can only survive through corruption and intimidation. It’s a system tailor-made for corruption. And corruption may be Venezuela’s largest industry.

Despite that fact that every socialist paradise on earth has turned into hell, many American politicians, and their supporters are calling for socialism for America. Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris are self-declared proud socialist, loudly singing its praises. Younger newcomers such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum are joining the chorus.

Read More: http://www.goldtelegraph.com/socialism-always-ends-in-destruction/

Hitler’s Economics

10/27/2018Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

[Originally published August 02, 2003.]

For today’s generation, Hitler is the most hated man in history, and his regime the archetype of political evil. This view does not extend to his economic policies, however. Far from it. They are embraced by governments all around the world. The Glenview State Bank of Chicago, for example, recently praised Hitler’s economics in its monthly newsletter. In doing so, the bank discovered the hazards of praising Keynesian policies in the wrong context.

The issue of the newsletter (July 2003) is not online, but the content can be discerned via the letter of protest from the Anti-Defamation League. “Regardless of the economic arguments” the letter said, “Hitler’s economic policies cannot be divorced from his great policies of virulent anti-Semitism, racism and genocide.… Analyzing his actions through any other lens severely misses the point.”

The same could be said about all forms of central planning. It is wrong to attempt to examine the economic policies of any leviathan state apart from the political violence that characterizes all central planning, whether in Germany, the Soviet Union, or the United States. The controversy highlights the ways in which the connection between violence and central planning is still not understood, not even by the ADL. The tendency of economists to admire Hitler’s economic program is a case in point.

In the 1930s, Hitler was widely viewed as just another protectionist central planner who recognized the supposed failure of the free market and the need for nationally guided economic development. Proto-Keynesian socialist economist Joan Robinson wrote that “Hitler found a cure against unemployment before Keynes was finished explaining it.”

What were those economic policies? He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public-works programs like autobahns, protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national healthcare and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The Nazi interventionist program was essential to the regime’s rejection of the market economy and its embrace of socialism in one country.

Such programs remain widely praised today, even given their failures. They are features of every “capitalist” democracy. Keynes himself admired the Nazi economic program, writing in the foreword to the German edition to the General Theory: “[T]he theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under the conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.”

Keynes’s comment, which may shock many, did not come out of the blue. Hitler’s economists rejected laissez-faire, and admired Keynes, even foreshadowing him in many ways. Similarly, the Keynesians admired Hitler (see George Garvy, “Keynes and the Economic Activists of Pre-Hitler Germany,” The Journal of Political Economy, Volume 83, Issue 2, April 1975, pp. 391–405).

Even as late as 1962, in a report written for President Kennedy, Paul Samuelson had implicit praise for Hitler: “History reminds us that even in the worst days of the great depression there was never a shortage of experts to warn against all curative public actions.… Had this counsel prevailed here, as it did in the pre-Hitler Germany, the existence of our form of government could be at stake. No modern government will make that mistake again.”

On one level, this is not surprising. Hitler instituted a New Deal for Germany, different from FDR and Mussolini only in the details. And it worked only on paper in the sense that the GDP figures from the era reflect a growth path. Unemployment stayed low because Hitler, though he intervened in labor markets, never attempted to boost wages beyond their market level. But underneath it all, grave distortions were taking place, just as they occur in any non-market economy. They may boost GDP in the short run (see how government spending boosted the US Q2 2003 growth rate from 0.7 to 2.4 percent), but they do not work in the long run.

“To write of Hitler without the context of the millions of innocents brutally murdered and the tens of millions who died fighting against him is an insult to all of their memories,” wrote the ADL in protest of the analysis published by the Glenview State Bank. Indeed it is.

But being cavalier about the moral implications of economic policies is the stock-in-trade of the profession. When economists call for boosting “aggregate demand,” they do not spell out what this really means. It means forcibly overriding the voluntary decisions of consumers and savers, violating their property rights and their freedom of association in order to realize the national government’s economic ambitions. Even if such programs worked in some technical economic sense, they should be rejected on grounds that they are incompatible with liberty.

Read More: https://mises.org/library/hitlers-economics

The System: Inching Toward Corporate Fascism for a Hundred Years or More

america the corporatocracy

Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism

Chris Hedges  Nov 02, 2015

Sheldon Wolin, our most important contemporary political theorist, died Oct. 21 at the age of 93. In his books “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism” and “Politics and Vision,” a massive survey of Western political thought that his former student Cornel West calls “magisterial,” Wolin lays bare the realities of our bankrupt democracy, the causes behind the decline of American empire and the rise of a new and terrifying configuration of corporate power he calls “inverted totalitarianism.” …

…Inverted totalitarianism is different from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state. Our inverted totalitarianism pays outward fealty to the facade of electoral politics, the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary, and the iconography, traditions and language of American patriotism, but it has effectively seized all of the mechanisms of power to render the citizen impotent.

“Unlike the Nazis, who made life uncertain for the wealthy and privileged while providing social programs for the working class and poor, inverted totalitarianism exploits the poor, reducing or weakening health programs and social services, regimenting mass education for an insecure workforce threatened by the importation of low-wage workers,” Wolin writes. “Employment in a high-tech, volatile, and globalized economy is normally as precarious as during an old-fashioned depression. The result is that citizenship, or what remains of it, is practiced amidst a continuing state of worry. Hobbes had it right: when citizens are insecure and at the same time driven by competitive aspirations, they yearn for political stability rather than civic engagement, protection rather than political involvement.”

Inverted totalitarianism, Wolin said when we met at his home in Salem, Ore., in 2014 to film a nearly three-hour interview, constantly “projects power upwards.” It is “the antithesis of constitutional power.” It is designed to create instability to keep a citizenry off balance and passive.

Read More… https://www.truthdig.com/articles/sheldon-wolin-and-inverted-totalitarianism/

Identity Politics (called Social Justice) is a Sign of True Fascism on the Rise

Kurt Vonnegut from Harrison Bergeron
Are Whites Being Setup For Genocide?

Paul Craig Roberts

Identity Politics has responded with outrage against People Magazine’s choice of white male country singer Blake Shelton as “sexiest man in the world.” According to adherents of Identity Politics, the choice indicates that People Magazine is itself racist and part of the white supremacy movement to elevate white people above people of color. The choice is doubly outrageous because, according to a writer in Salon, it reinforces and celebrates toxic white male sexuality and elevates a white man to a position of popular acclaim.

Every white person needs to read this article — http://www.unz.com/article/the-end-of-white-celebrity/ — to understand how they are being demonized and marginalized to the point of oblivion. By focusing primarily on white heterosexual males, Identity Politics tries to split white women off from white men by the use of the pejorative “misogynist”, but, as the article reports, white women, such as Taylor Swift, are also publicly demonized for their whiteness.

Reading this article in The Unz Review reminded me of an article I read last November in a Texas university newspaper that declared white DNA to be an abomination. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/30/texas-student-newspaper-blasted-over-anti-white-your-dna-is-abomination-column.html

Think about this for a minute. Suppose the writer had said “homosexual DNA is an abomination,” or “black DNA is an abomination,” or, heaven forbid, “Jewish DNA is an abomination.” Anyone who declared homosexuals, blacks, or Jews to be an abomination would be instantly fired, sued, charged with hate crimes and driven so deep into the ground that they would never reemerge.

The article in the student newspaper was a bit too much for Texas and produced a furor of its own. Lost in the furor was the realization that the writer was correctly interpreting the Identity Politics that today defines the liberal/progressive/left. Hillary Clinton herself expressed Identity Politics when she declared Americans who rejected her as president to be “deplorables.” CounterPunch printed an essay by its radio host that concluded Trump’s election was not legitimate because he was elected by racist, sexist, homophobic white male Trump deplorables.

In other words, Identity Politics cannot be dismissed as some sort of idiocy on the part of a few kooks. It is institutionalized in American politics and culture and is becoming a habitual way of thinking. The growing demonization of white people parallels the demonization of the Jews and can result in marginalization and physical destruction.

Read More: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/01/06/whites-setup-genocide/

Meritocracy is a ‘tool of whiteness,’ claims math professor

A math education professor at Brooklyn College contends in a recent academic article that “meritocracy” in math classes is a “tool of whiteness.”

Laurie Rubel implicates both meritocracy and “color-blindness” as ideological precepts that hold back racial minorities from succeeding in math classes in an article for the peer-reviewed Journal of Urban Mathematics Education.

Rubel, who taught high school math for nine years before becoming a professor, argues that while meritocracy is commonly linked to hard work and talent, it also “functions as a tool of whiteness” because it “ignores systemic barriers and institutional structures that prevent opportunity and success.”

Color-blindness, too, can be an issue for math teachers, according to Rubel, who asserts that “Teachers who claim color-blindness—that is, they claim to not notice the race of their students—are, in effect, refusing to acknowledge the impact of enduring racial stratification on students and their families.

“By claiming not to notice, the teacher is saying that she is dismissing one of the most salient features of the child’s identity and that she does not account for it in her curricular planning and instruction,” Rubel adds, citing education theorist Gloria Ladson-Billings.

Read More: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10342

Capitalism—A New Idea

Capitalism—A New Idea by Jeff Thomas – International Man

Capitalism, whether praised or derided, is an economic system and ideology based on private ownership of the means of production and operation for profit.

Classical economics recognises capitalism as the most effective means by which an economy can thrive. Certainly, in 1776, Adam Smith made one of the best cases for capitalism in his book, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations(known more commonly as The Wealth of Nations). But the term “capitalism” actually was first used to deride the ideology, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in The Communist Manifesto, in 1848.

Of course, whether Mister Marx was correct in his criticisms or not, he lived in an age when capitalism and a free market were essentially one and the same. Today, this is not the case. The capitalist system has been under attack for roughly 100 years, particularly in North America and the EU.

A tenet of capitalism is that, if it’s left alone, it will sort itself out and will serve virtually everyone well. Conversely, every effort to make the free market less free diminishes the very existence of capitalism, making it less able to function.

Today, we’re continually reminded that we live under a capitalist system and that it hasn’t worked. The middle class is disappearing, and the cost of goods has become too high to be affordable. There are far more losers than winners, and the greed of big business is destroying the economy.

This is what we repeatedly hear from left-leaning people and, in fact, they are correct. They then go on to label these troubles as byproducts of capitalism and use this assumption to argue that capitalism should give way to socialism.

In this, however, they are decidedly wrong. These are the byproducts of an increasing level of collectivism and fascism in the economy. In actual fact, few, if any, of these people have ever lived in a capitalist (free-market) society, as it has been legislated out of existence in the former “free” world over the last century.

So, let’s have a look at those primary sore spots that are raised by suggesting that collectivism will correct the “evils” of capitalism.

Read More: thedailycoin.org/2017/08/28/capitalism-new-idea/