Tag Archives: Democracy

Democracy’s Folly

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

At his Democratic National Convention speech in 1984, Walter Mondale said to a stunned America, “Let’s tell the truth. It must be done, it must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did”. In the election, Mondale went on to lose the largest Democratic landslide loss in history winning only the District of Columbia and his home state of Minnesota.

In the absense of a winning strategy for jobs, which NEITHER party yet comes close to presenting, who would Tocqueville and Mondale say will win the 2012 election? The Republicans say they will cut everyone’s taxes while the Democrats will raise taxes for some. The Democrats then say the Republican’s plan doesn’t add up, that they must be planning to raise taxes, cut deductions or balloon the debt. But Tocqueville says so what! Both parties say the other will raise taxes. Will the clutter ever become clearer? What is clear is that both parties are attempting to tag each other with the Mondale card.

Tocqueville’s observation was right about the weakness of democracy. We are all secretly weighing this election through the prism of it’s cost to us personally and party politics will pay billions to pander to our selfish motives. Will the selfish promise of lower taxes and more services win out over a noble call of sacrificing for the next generation. Most likely….

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Cautious Worldwide Win-Win Solutions Should be Sought

Vaclav Havel, Former Czech President, Commencement address at Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 1995

The problem with the premise of Vaclav Havel’s speech stating that we have essentially reached a single global society is that he contradicts himself throughout as if to say that it is merely his hope for future global achievement. I do not see evidence that mankind is evolving toward his ideal. Havel idealists can point to certain social structures and advances in the precedence of laws to suggest that we are progressing as a species. For instance as of 1981, all nations on earth have passed laws against slavery. And yet, others would point out that the earth contains more slaves in 2011 than at any other time in the recorded history of mankind.

We can point to the relative peace that has been achieved since WWII but this peace is not without precedence and has been at the extraordinary cost of the United States as hegemonist spending more than all other nations combined on military assets and personnel and creating technologies that could destroy the world many times over. And yet, with all this extraordinary expense of national will power, the number of battles has not decreased nor has the atrocities committed by nations or men.

We can point to the evolution toward democracy intertwined with capitalism as a trend away from the captive ideas of feudalism and mercantilism, yet where on Earth does true democracy exist? Globalism has reversed any trend toward economic and social freedoms envisioned by those that espoused the virtues of free enterprise of capitalism back toward even larger geographies of quasi-feudalism and mercantilism.

The nature of man is unfortunately not evolving at any measurable pace. The capacity of all is toward evil although 99 percent seek our better natures. The 1 percent who are ruled by their own sociopathic desires find positions of power when opportunities arise with which to pursue societal evil played one nation upon the other. The tools with which to accomplish this evil are unfortunately far outpacing mankind’s social progress.

To protect ourselves from those evil doers who have successfully harnessed other nations or societies, our societies have evolved to nation states and even larger civilizations of shared histories, shared cultures, and shared socioeconomic futures. However, because of the nature of mankind, we are far from evolving to a society that encompasses the entire world.

So mankind must cautiously move forward accepting as best we can winning compromises that allow others to win as well. Cautiously because we do not know if like all other bubbles of this period, that relative peace and cooperation are a bubble as well.

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Filed under American Governance, European Crisis, National Security, social trajectory, War, World Sustainability

Kyoto Protocols Would Have Accelerated China’s Plan to Reverse-Exploit EurAmerica

In 1978, the year China emerged onto the world stage with its four modernizations, China, a country with four times the population of the United States, had a paltry gross domestic product of $216 billion, less than eight percent of the United States. China exposed her strategy of four modernizations to the world as if to say,”Please invest in China and we will ensure that our workforce is educated, and that our business infrastructure is stable for your investment.” Yet, this openly expressed strategy, that may have seemed to the rest of the world as a difficult but noble goal for China to achieve, was only the tip of China’s Grand Plan, and only the part she wanted the world to see.

EurAmerica’s history with China was one of gunboat diplomacy, exploitation, and forced trading. When China opened her borders again in 1979, EurAmerica’s merchants were enthusiastic to exploit an opportunity once again. Yet, China had not forgotten EurAmerica’s role in the Opium War, the Sino-Japanese War, and the Boxer Rebellion. China would never open her border again to be exploited. When she finally opened her border in 1979, it was from a position of power, deep strategy, and long lived planning that suggested EurAmerica was finally ripe for reverse exploitation. China’s grand plan was to emerge as the 21st century world power.

What boldness of purpose China must have felt as she aligned her nation’s efforts to that decade’s long task. Looking back today on her impossible achievements, one must give pause to the monumental economic goal she set for herself in 1978, indeed greater than America’s technical goal of landing on the moon early in 1961. Yet, with such a miniscule $216 billion GDP and few material assets how could China possibly build her empire to surpass that of the United States?

Through a hybrid statist-capitalist political structure, China would create a conduit through which American businesses would willingly draw down the wealth of Europe and America and transfer it to China in order to share in the prosperity of that wealth transfer. Through the centralized imposition of forced savings on its people, China would provide low cost labor to sell goods at low enough prices to cause EurAmerica to look the other way as their neighbors’ jobs went to China. Through low interest loans, China would entice EurAmerican politicians to spend beyond their means to temporarily ease the pain of EurAmerica as China’s sucked away their life force. These were the basis of her strategy.

Similarly to how a business cycle contains early adopters and late stage laggards, China planned a capital extraction cycle for EurAmerica, in which China would extract capital in multiple phases, each phase having an optimal extraction strategy. First extraction would be through the early adopter “gold rush” investors rushing into China to stake a claim. China would also plan for early majority, late majority and laggard’s capital extraction.

In 1978, China assessed America’s assets:
• America’s most valuable assets were intellectual capital that resulted from 200 years of publicly funded primary and publicly subsidized secondary education
• America’s physical assets included business assets, commercial, and residential real estate worth $7 trillion in addition to public assets of land, buildings, and infrastructure
• America produced 26% of the world’s GDP at $2.8 trillion and consumed a quarter of the world’s goods
• America’s debt was as low as it had been since WWII as a percentage of GDP and its 110 million workers were capable of doubling their loans to provide China more capital
• America’s Baby boomers were entering a peak spending phase followed by peak saving
• America’s constitutional republic allowed a relative few capitalists to control the direction of her economy

By 1978, multinational corporations had steadily grown in number and size for two decades. China’s success depended on corralling MNCs through direct foreign investment to create massive inflows of capital quickly monetized as hard assets and infrastructure.

China would entice merchants to invest by offering access to the future potential purchasing power of its people. However, given China’s low household incomes, market penetration would be low to start. Therefore, to entice the early adopters, China would create special economic zones that provided the perfect investment opportunity of cheap educated labor, loose regulation, low taxation, strengthened business law, and enhanced infrastructure and transportation, in which businesses could produce goods at very low arbitrage costs to sell back to their home countries for high margins.

With low cost of goods from special economic zones, early adopter businesses were highly profitable and banks poured investment into China as a result. But, China could not complete her Grand Plan to multiply her GDP 50 times by enticing early adopter investors alone. She had to implement a plan timed to extract maximum dollars from EurAmerica at each phase of her exponential growth.

During the next stage, the early majority stage, China manipulated baby boomers’ peak spending phase:
• China’s low prices secured America’s baby boomers as loyal customers
• Prior to America noticing a substantial loss of jobs, China secured free trade agreements, and mined American businesses for their intellectual capital.
• She reinvested profits back into America’s debt to keep America’s interest rates artificially low in order to spur on higher levels of consumer spending and government borrowing.
• China supported lobbying of America’s mass investment vehicles to fund MNCs. 401Ks and IRAs, created in ‘80and ’81, funneled money through the stock market into MNCs for investment into China.

Then, America was drawn into the late majority stage as America’s baby boomers entered their peak saving years. 401Ks and IRAs artificially fed the stock market frenzy. Baby boomers sensed they knew how to invest in a bubble market that kept rising. With access to low interest rate loans kept low by China’s reinvestment, speculators borrowed money to bet on the rising stock market. America ultimately increased its debt to pump up stock values to build more Chinese factories.

Inevitably, the stock market bubble burst, leaving America’s baby boomers with lower retirement savings. The stock market that seemed destined to go up forever finally reversed rapidly decreasing valuations. However, the debt that had funded its escalation remained.

During the late majority phase:
• More businesses began to invest in China just to remain competitive with businesses that had moved offshore earlier.
• Tens of thousands of businesses transferred factories to China to obtain low cost labor
• Millions of Americans lost jobs
• With a generation of education completed, China now was able to take more advanced jobs as well as factory jobs. America’s bastion of protected, more technically competent jobs was not a bastion after all.
• American retail outlets for Chinese goods grew exponentially
• China continued to loan its excess profits back to the American government to keep interest rates low.
After having lived through the weakness of the stock market, real estate appeared to be the baby boomers’ best retirement savings alternative. In the early stages of the Great Ponsi, housing prices went steadily up. With low interest rates, Americans could now borrow on the value of their homes to continue funding China’s growth. China’s final stages of extraction saw the housing bubble increase beyond what had ever been experienced before.

Even though American jobs were increasingly being driven offshore, the frenzy of increased housing prices allowed additional borrowing from Americans, feeding the China gold rush further. This behavior was not unexpected, following a pattern of historical boom-bust cycles and was part of China’s planning. As a result of the stock bubble and the housing bubble, America’s total debt had risen to over $55 trillion. With such exuberance in the housing market, secondary debt markets participated in credit default swaps to the tune of an additional $42 trillion. China now had extracted close to the maximum of America’s value, leaving America with the corresponding debt.

So China extracted maximum value, first in trade secrets and early adoptive money, then by IRAs and 401Ks, then by stock market and home equity loans, then by 2nd mortgages and housing speculation. China monetized the massive cash flows as quickly as possible, building infrastructure and excess manufacturing capacity, while leaving America holding debt in exchange.

Without any other rising asset values to borrow from, America has tapped out its debt. Having maxed its debt, America can only print money to finance its trade deficits. Without further real debt derived money extraction to give China for infrastructure investment and without a real ability to pay for low cost Chinese goods, America is fast losing her worth to China as an infrastructure vehicle. Recognizing that maximized extraction and rapid monetization of America’s wealth is nearing its end, China is now finalizing the implementation of her strategy, that of pulling out of American debt before other countries that maintain reserve currencies create a run on the dollar.

In thirty short years, China was able to accelerate her GDP from $216 billion to $11 trillion. She amassed reserve capital of $3 trillion. She reversed America’s fortunes from the greatest creditor nation to the greatest debtor nation. She gutted America’s factories while creating the world’s largest manufacturing base in her own country. A measure of output that highly correlates to GDP is energy consumption. In June of this year, 2011, China surpassed the United States as the largest consumer of energy on the planet. While the U.S consumes 19 percent of the world’s energy, China consumes 20.3 percent.

In 1992, the world came together to discuss the impact of climate change resulting from energy consumption. The talks resulted in Kyoto protocols being initially adopted in 1997 that attempted to create a framework for reducing greenhouse emissions. The protocols called for 33 industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gases to 1990 levels and then to maintain emissions at those levels. Although it called for emerging countries like China to voluntarily lower levels, it did not require them to be mandated.

Of course, all of the countries who had no requirements to reduce their emissions signed the agreement. The United States, under scrutiny from environmentalists and others did not sign. China did sign. This was an additional strategy perhaps not envisioned in 1978 that nonetheless would have assisted in accelerating America’s slide had we signed.

GDP highly correlates to energy usage. In 1990, America’s real GDP was about $8 trillion as compared to $14 trillion in 2011. Kyoto would have caused America to either:
• Invest billions in the attempt to lower our energy usage per dollar of GDP
• Pay billions to other countries to have them produce less so that we could grow our GDP from $8 to $14 trillion
• Or, maintain our GDP at 8 trillion

In the meantime, China’s GDP in 1990 was $1.3 trillion and has since grown to over $10 trillion. China’s energy use has correspondingly grown as well until the point that this month, she overtook America as the greatest polluter. Kyoto was a grand idea that was doomed from the start because of the flaw that allowed the now greatest polluter to play by different rules. It attempted to cap the economic growth of America while allowing other countries to grow unfettered.

China had a Grand Plan that has been executed with the finesse expected of a centrally planned economy. Kyoto added nicely to that plan. America has been thwarted by China’s plan but now has the ability to reverse course. Given China’s size and growth rate, she will pass us soon if she has not already and her stride will be too great for us to catch her. However, by avoiding traps like Kyoto, and understanding that economic gamesmanship can accomplish a much greater destruction of a nation’s wealth than warfare ever could, perhaps America can once again right its course.

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American Slavery Forebode the Loss of Our National Sovereignty

America’s historical bias for property rights of individuals and corporations was influenced by centuries of institutional support for slavery from multiple factions. This bias has led to the gutting of our industrial base that now promises to lower the living standard of every American and, more importantly, threatens to destroy our national sovereignty.

Our 370 year struggle against slavery demonstrates the severity of misjudgment that America’s courts and legislatures have been capable of, and the extremes to which government and business leadership has denied universal freedoms in the pursuit of profits. The denial of individual freedoms over the course of American slavery is now being paralleled by the denial of individual economic freedoms resulting from corporate globalization profiteering and forebodes a loss of national sovereignty that could result from the pursuit of profiteering in the coming manipulations of carbon cap and trade.

America’s struggle against slavery pitted the property rights of individuals pursuing financial gain with the universal rights of freedom for all Americans. From the 1500s, when European governments and businesses conspired to enslave Africans as property to be transferred across international boundaries for financial gain until modern times, our courts, legislatures, and businesses have been forced by the American people to slowly progress toward a greater acknowledgement of the equality of mankind.

In a continuation of the history of slavery, seventeenth century EurAmerican governments and businesses were lured by greed to pursue international slave trade. By 1641, in the midst of multinational corporations establishing charter colonies to exploit the Americas, the Massachusetts legislature enacted the first colonial law establishing slaves as property, and Virginia courts followed suit two years later by declaring children of slaves to also be property.

By 1730, England aggressively entered the slave trade selling to thriving slave traders in New York, Massachusetts and South Carolina. Yet the corrupted idea that humans should be property of other humans was not universally accepted by all colonies. As early as 1676, enlightened Quakers prohibited slavery in western New Jersey. With their influence, in 1780, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania compromised a gradual taking of “private property” from slave owners with their understanding that all men of differing complexions have the mercy of universal civilization under the hand of the almighty, by passing the Gradual Emancipation Act which gave freedom to all Pennsylvania slaves over a seven year period. Knowing that their ability to cash in from the sale of slaves was about to end, slave owners starting crossing the border to sell their “property” in slave states. In 1788, the Pennsylvania Quakers once again stood forward in history to stop cross border selling of “slave property” by forbidding removal of blacks from the state.

The 1791 invention of the cotton gin made slavery a much greater financial temptation and aligned state governments and businesses according to slavery’s financial benefits, with states taking sides up until the Supreme Court declared in the 1857 Dred Scott decision that even free blacks could never be citizens of the United States.

Dred Scott led to the American Civil War, where 600,000 Americans gave their lives to resolve the issue as to whether America would ever consider people property again. When the war ended, Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery in 1865 and the landmark Fourteenth Amendment that defined American citizenship, including former slaves and free blacks as citizens in 1868.

After the milestone of the civil war, African Americans would then endure another 100 years of deep-rooted bigotry until additional legal and legislative milestones of the 1950’s and 1960s prepared America for forty years of healing leading to the election of President Barack Obama in 2008. America demonstrated through the election of President Obama that over a period of centuries, with the participation of millions of citizens in protests and debates, organized societies and civil disobedience, sit-ins and marches, black churches and underground railroads, publications and uprisings, political activism and yes, civil war, we could affect a positive change from our courts, legislatures, and businesses toward the concept of universal individual freedoms over the rights of individuals and corporations to claim property rights for profiteering.

As the milestones for individual freedoms were accomplished in the 1960s, a paralleling long struggle for national sovereignty began. The eventual need for this movement was set in motion in 1861 by the invention of oil refining which provided the basis for the industrial revolution. Through hydrocarbon driven machinery, EurAmerica replaced the enslavement of mankind with the subjugation of energy. A gallon of gasoline that could do the work of 500 men became the new slave of the industrialized world. Certainly, western countries continued to subjugate millions in emerging countries, first through colonization and then after WWII, when Europe was forced to decolonize, through financial hegemony of IMF and World Bank loans, subjugating emerging countries to low wages and sub-value payments for commodity exports. However, hydrocarbons enslaved much more motive force than human slavery ever could.

It was in this environment, accelerating from 1978 until the world’s Great Recession of 2008, that wealthy individual and American multinational corporations claimed property rights of trillions of dollars of American financial capital and many trillions of dollars more of intellectual capital, that has yet to even be realized, and transferred them across international borders in the pursuit of personal and institutional gain. In the process, millions of American jobs were lost and American industry was gutted. Over 40,000 factories have been transferred to China in the past decade alone.

However, unlike the millions of Americans that organized in so many ways to fight for the abolishment of slavery, during the last thirty years of transferring American property across international borders for personal gain, America has stood by while our national sovereignty has been weakened. For the mere exchange of “glass trinkets”, our multinational corporations have transferred to other nations countless innovations and trade secrets that have in the process given away a decade’s long, perhaps centuries long, stream of jobs and an exponential advancement of innovation to other nations. While the proverbial horses by now have trotted far out into the foreign fields, it is still not too late to close the barn door and to begin rebuilding an American future of protected ingenuity.

The institution of slavery destroyed the lives and individual freedoms of millions of African Americans and its vestiges continue to impact suffering in the African American community. In the three centuries preceding the 1978 Great Gold Rush to China, it also forebode the economic suffering that would eventually harm all of America, affecting the African American community worst.

Slavery shaped America’s concepts of property rights, what is the property of the individual versus what is to be protected by the state. In that struggle, the ideas born by persons employed in corporations became the property of corporations to be transferred freely to other nations, with the exception of ideas that clearly pertained to national security. However, that view of property rights lobbied by America’s businesses, has allowed the historic gutting of America that has collectively created a national security risk now threatening the economic sovereignty if America.

Even as American businesses participated in the simultaneous building of China’s future industrial infrastructure while gutting America’s future, China pursued the development of hegemonic hydrocarbon contracts for her needed growth. She is developing military strength to prepare for harboring of petrol shipping lanes and implementing strategies to wrest control of diminishing oil reserves from western empires. It now appears that Americans may live through violent shifts of world economies as the East gathers control of the West’s petrol-power.

In the last three great wars in which America has participated, the deciding factor was not the size of America’s military at the start of war, but rather the capacity of America’s overwhelming industrial base that quickly transformed to support the endurance of our freshly formed military. The United States now has the greatest military footprint ever assembled but Japan showed the world that our existing strength was vulnerable to first strikes. Our ability to turn our nation’s industrial strength toward military response was our greatest threat to would be rivals. Thirty years and tens of thousands of factory transfers later, our concept of property rights has allowed America’s responsive industrial strength to wither, jeopardizing our entire nation’s freedom.

Through the morass of 300 years of biased property rights legal precedence, America asked our courts and Congress to ensure that the historic temptation of businesses to transfer massive values of property to China and other developing nations would not interfere with the rights of all Americans to the fruits of American ingenuity, innovation and prosperity, paid for with the blood of our forefathers in the wars and struggles for human freedom and universal rights. We came up short.

America has but a limited view of sovereign protections regarding property rights. We are now debating the premise of saving the planet by trading to other nations our rights to consume hydrocarbons through a carbon cap and trade program. Make no mistake, oil is the modern slave of all mankind and will be consumed until it is fully depleted by one country or another without regard for our planet. Cap and trade will allow those who have polluted in the past to claim property rights to future pollution and transfer those property rights to other nations. In so doing, cap and trade will take remaining economic sovereignty away from the people of the United States and give it to a few businesses to trade our ability to enslave remaining decades of hydrocarbons to other nations in exchange for a few more glass trinkets.

As America enters into our coming economic crisis, remember we can strengthen our barn and rebuild. We can protect against further gutting of business through comprehensive property rights reform. We certainly can protect America’s sovereignty by protecting our abilities to responsibly consume hydrocarbons. The struggle against slavery shows that what is entailed in reversing America’s plight is epic. However, our coming economic struggle will be cause for such epic proportions.

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American Predator and Prey Must Rise together Against The Cattlemen

June is the month when the plains of the Serengeti face drought and massive herds of wildebeest begin their migration to sustaining grazing areas. 1.5 million strong, their great migration is followed by predators that feed off the weak, young, and elderly of the herd. Yet the wildebeests produce a swarm intelligence, defending the herd as one against the onslaught of those that would attempt to separate the weak from the rest. This herd instinct protected the wildebeest through thousands of years of predatory balance with lions, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards and crocodiles, yet the wildebeests were not prepared for man and his fences. Between 1950 and 1984, the species lost 94 % of its numbers in South Africa, when fences blocked its migratory paths.

We continue to hear about the dwindling American middle class, our great herd migrating through the political seasons. The Great Middle of America continues to be the food stock of political predators, yet it faces a much greater danger of shrinking from foreign fencing placed by international banking and multinational corporations. If our Great American Middle is to survive, we must now use our swarm intelligence not only to protect from our common political predators, but to rise above the fate of the wildebeest and overcome the greater threat to our ecosystem.

Just as lions run through a herd of wildebeest to separate out the weakest prey, our political extremists seek to divide the herd through stereotypical “Willie Horton” attacks and to prey on the weakest of us. It is the nature of the American two-party political wilderness. For any extremist to succeed, they must find the balance within the Great Middle and tip it through distortions and spin through herd mentality to their view if they ever expect to feast on wildebeest.

Charging headlong into the herd, they slander race and religion to divide and conquer. Education, color of collar, age, sexual orientation, status, income, even patriotism has come under verbal attack to effectively divide. These are the ideological tactics to scatter the herd of Great Middle to the edges so that predators of extreme ideology may tear apart the flesh of the weakest for sustenance. As the Great Middle scatters, it diminishes.

Stampeding wildebeest confuse their predators by their sheer numbers. As we migrate through the political seasons, the Great Middle’s swarm intelligence must overcome political extremists’ use of herd mentality to separate. Stampede the herd! Test extremists as to their proximity to the constitution, and the furtherance of our country, by their neglect of our downtrodden and of the voiceless in America, and by their common defense against fencing.

The great migration of wildebeest and predators is an ecosystem threatened by fences built to deny its very existence. Cattlemen wanting to protect graze lands for financially motivated cattle herds foreign to the Great Plains, erected fencing for their narrow self interests. As the health of the wildebeest herd diminishes, so too does the health of predators. Lions are endangered with numbers dwindling below thirty thousand.

The American ecosystem, with its Great Middle and extremists must now also be protected. We sense endangerment, yet distracted from the predation of extremists, we do not yet have the tools to protect America from foreign fencing put up to disrupt our political migration. With international banking and MNCs redirecting markets, production, financing and wealth away from America, both extremists and middle America must rise above instinctual predator and prey responses to defend our country against foreign invasion and financial treason or our Great Middle migration will end and the American ecosystem will fail.

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Mr. President Stand Empathetically with Birthers

In 150 years, our country has gone from inhumane slavery, to segregation, to 40 years of economic improvements for African Americans, to a young generation that sees the race issue as settled and who are seeking similar improvements for the LGBT community.  Yet many were left behind, and most of our society has remnants of racial fears.   

Within this landscape, America was attacked by radical terrorists who are still tacitly supported by many of their disenfranchised civilization, a civilization that has not benefited from globalization, and is threatened by America’s secularism.  

As America suffered her worst Recession since the Depression, President Obama rose to power, a son of an African Muslim.  While the country sank deeper into debt with rising unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures, not wanting to waste his greatest opportunity to change America (as is always the case during the first two years) the President focused more on healthcare.

In the depth of suffering, again as is always the case, Americans turned more mistrustful and more nationalistic.  Rather than empathetically quell their fears that he was not a globalist and that of course he had a legitimate birth certificate, the president heightened concerns, albeit with strong leadership in repairing America’s relationship with Muslim nations, but with unnecessary secrecy over the long form.  

While providing future seeds of better relations with our Arab neighbors, the President’s timing of improving relations during our greatest recession was bound to bring out frightened prejudice.  Why the President withheld the long form birth certificate is less clear.

Cynics might suggest that he purposely held out to shine a negative segregating light on those who cling to guns and religion. Supporters might say that it was wrong for a large minority to prejudice the president through steps no other president had to endure.  

Nonetheless, to suggest that Birthers are simply racist is to reduce a complex issue into dumbed down, racially and politically charged sound bites.  Unfortunately, racism among all civilizations will always exist and will be an issue for all Presidents, now and into the future. Tolerance, empathy, and leadership is required by our President, the leader of the free world.

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Trump will Most Likely Feed His Detractors Some Political Slop

While I am not sure Trump would make a great president, I have enjoyed his forthrightness and his deliberate speech. He is, however, pandering to the masses when he says things like go in and take the oil, that’s what empires do, and when he plays up the Obama birther controversy.

However, the politics with which he was invited to the correspondents’ dinner just to be made the object of bitter ridicule may prove to be painful to those who so successfully plotted. As they say, revenge is best served cold, and Trump has chillers hidden in one of his big towers just so that he can store up the enormous cold revenge necessary to play with the big boys in these high stake games.

I enjoy the special brand of joke politics played at these dinners and have watched with slight attention and amusement. This year, both Seth and the president crossed a line in attempting (and probably succeeding) in embarrassing Trump.

Trump cannot cattle call, as is his usual retort, against these gentlemen for picking on him in a roast that is intended to poke fun at Washington politics. By responding publicly to the President’s jokes, or even more so to Seth Myers’, Trump would look petty and foolish.

No, he has to wait,… and plot,… and steam, …and find the perfect, cold plate of political slop to feed the president, and to impact a seemingly disconnected harm to Seth’s career many months from now.

My Independent Observation……

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How Could America Have Squandered the Gold of Ancient Egypt and the Incas?

Gold has been the store of human endeavor since ancient times. While each ounce of gold can hold only a finite amount of labor, perhaps 1,000 hours in non-industrialized nations, some of the gold locked in Fort Knox has touched millions of hours of labor from civilizations untold. For gold’s greatest benefit, as with all money, is not its storage of value but its lasting ability to temporarily hold value in the exchange of non-coincidental barters.

For millenniums, money was the interchange commodity for simple trades as between farmers and herders. The farmer gave the herder a coin in winter for meat, and the herder returned the coin at harvest time for a bushel of vegetables. Farmers and herders relied on the value of gold because precious metals took effort to mine and purify, were tested for weight and purity, and could be stamped, coined and carried. With such a universal appeal, precious metals became synonymous with storage of value and dominated the world’s choice for money.

At one point, America held within its coffers 70% of all the gold that has ever been purified from ancient Egypt and the Incas through modern times. But it was our misjudgment as to the true value of gold that robbed our forts of ingots and brought America to the precipice of ruin. As history’s greatest superpower, why did America not learn from ancient empires that tumbled down the path to insignificance, and why did we allow our government to amass more debt than has ever been owed by every other soul that has ever lived?

1964 marked an accelerating turning point in America’s misfortunes. In 1964, President Johnson was elected to enact Great Society reforms just as America was increasing her involvement in Viet Nam. Baby boomers were entering the work force just as multinational corporations were beginning an upsurge of direct foreign investment and the transfer of jobs to overseas markets. America’s use of oil was peaking just as political undercurrents were coalescing around oil as a geopolitical force.

Six simultaneous assaults on the American dollar joined to fuel the American financial malaise; a lack of fiscal adherence to a gold standard, military excursions in support of American interests, funding of the great society, a lack of will to respond to oil cartels, multinational corporate indifference to the plight of the American worker, and a financial industry gone wild.

America did not Steward Its Gold

Even though, for 600 decades of recorded history, gold was the stable base of transactions, the world has temporarily abandoned this gold standard for the last 5 decades. Our abandonment was not because of the world’s enlightenment that gold is an unnecessary physical impediment to the electronic age of finance. It is because, with no viable alternative, the world has clung to the hollowed out American dollar that inflated beyond the discipline of the gold standard.

In the 20th century, industrialized nations twice attempted to redistribute wealth through great wars that left all of Europe bankrupt. Afterward, America held 70 percent of the world’s processed gold, and became through Bretton Woods the gold-backed, paper money guarantor of the free world. During the next 15 years, America squandered her gold to cover currency imbalances, until by 1960 the dollar lost its legitimacy. Interestingly, it took Spain over a hundred years to squander its 20,000 tons of Inca gold.

From 1971 until now, America and the rest of the world have had little choice but to allow our currencies to float, giving up the imperfect discipline imposed by a gold standard. As a result of America’s freewheeling monetary policies, it is now encumbered by a spend drunk Congress and an obliging central bank that have conspired to reduce the value of America’s 1971 fiat dollar to a mere 17 cents today.

Scholars suggest that the reason for the dollar’s fall was the inevitable Triffin dilemma which requires America to carry a current account deficit to provide the world with reserve currency. Yet debt financed trade imbalances are not required to provide reserves. Reserves could just as well have been sold to other countries as given to them through trade shortfalls. No, America’s post war monetary policies quickly gambled away the historical hegemony that was bestowed on us at the end of two world wars.

This five decade hiatus from a gold standard will prove only temporary. Gold’s appeal as the engine of financial growth has not been lost on China. At the end of World War II, U.S. gold reserve was over 18,000 tons but has since reduced to 8,000 tons. China is executing a strategy of purchasing approximately 250 tons per year and, as the world’s largest producer of gold, producing 320 tons per year, and now has surpassed all but the U.S. as the second largest holder of gold with 2,000 tons.

Military Excursions Drained America’s Coffers

Without the ability to borrow vast moneys, earlier civilizations relied on warring, exploration and conquest to quickly expand their stores of gold. This strategy was not without consequences. To fund war, Rome engaged in coin clipping and smelting with lesser metals to reduce size and value of denarius in attempts to pay soldiers with coins of veiled value. After 200 years, the Roman denarius reduced from 100 percent silver to only 5 percent just prior its army leaving Rome unprotected from invasions and fall. Interestingly, it has taken less than 100 years for America’s dollar value to plunge that amount.

As all empires have before, America found that its wars must be financed with inflation. The Fed supported an excessive expansion of the money supply (dollar clipping), creating debt to fund each of America’s wars. The Civil War added 2.8 billion. WWI added another 21 billion. WWII created another $216 billion. The Korean War was financed with taxes. Viet Nam increased the debt $146 billion. Cold war expenditures cost 1.6 trillion. The first Gulf War cost a mere $7 billion. In contrast, Iraq cost $786 billion and Afghanistan cost $397 billion. Not including the 700 foreign soil U.S. military bases that contribute greatly to America’s balance of payments deficit, her major wars added a total of $3.4 trillion dollars of carried debt.

The Great Society Became the Broke Society

President Johnson outlined The Great Society in his State of the Union Speech on January 4, 1965, saying “The great society asks not how much, but how good; not only how to create wealth but how to use it.” Notwithstanding the good that was done by these programs, they drained America’s future potential GDP growth and the money that would fuel her economic engine.

46 years later, Great Society initiatives touched education, health, urban renewal, transportation, arts and culture, Medicare and Medicaid, the Food Stamp program, Project Head Start, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and federal aid to public education for a total expenditure of $9.5 trillion dollars.

America’s Addiction to Oil Made Us Slaves to the Oil Cartel

Oil enabled powerful nations to create a world order that flowed money from agrarian nations to those that controlled hydrocarbon powered machines. Oil was the catalyst that propelled the 20th century’s world leaders into fortune and thrust the world into war. Oil is a finite fuel, controlled by a few nations that are barely separated geopolitically and have common ancient civilizations and modern goals.

Already struggling from Viet Nam and Great Society debts, America found herself the object of a politically motivated oil embargo in 1973. Fuel prices soared and supplies tightened to cause the 70’s stagflation in America. From then until now, America has not found the political will through fluctuating fuel prices to organize an intervention away from oil dependence.

Since the embargo, America has consumed 250 billion barrels of oil at a total cost of $11 trillion dollars. This debit line in our national budget has only one trade, oil for dollars. Had America given our energy war a smidgeon of the effort of placing a man on the moon, we could have easily reduced energy consumption by 20 percent for the same productive output, transportation, and environmental comfort, and saved 2.2 trillion dollars. Surely, the costs to achieve such a modest conservation would have to be netted from the gross, but those costs could have been internally generated and added to America’s GDP.

America’s Multinational Corporations (MNC) were Indifferent Citizens

While America fought the war on poverty, her political leaders surrendered to the war on American jobs. Certainly, with the relative world peace supported by America’s military, globalization was bound to occur. With the risk of direct foreign investments reduced, the last five decades have unleashed an acceleration of money flow and intellectual capital from America to other countries.

While over 4 trillion dollars have been invested overseas by American uberwealthy, America has also been a receiver of investment, so that the net outflow has only been 0.7 trillion. However, the loss of America’s wealth and jobs has been much greater, contributing to a stagnant workforce where one in four able Americans has been idled. MNC direct foreign investment has indirectly added $4 trillion dollars to America’s debt.

The Fed Financed MNCs and Saved Banks but Failed to Keep America Employed

During most of the 17th century, Europe embroiled itself in wars that killed 30% of its population. Some of the world’s largest banking houses failed as royal debtors defaulted, including England in1672. Finally, in 1694, the king agreed to give the Bank of England authority to print all of England’s bank notes in exchange for bank loans to support his war with France. The newly created Central bank, having transferred its risk of loss to British subjects, profited simply by printing money for the monarchy. However, this excess printing did not stop the emptying of England’s coffers.

After America revolted to escape the monetary control of the Bank of England, Hamilton, the United States’ Secretary of the treasury, proposed a charter to a create a similar central bank for America. Against Thomas Jefferson’s insistence, the First Bank of the United States became the precursor to America’s Federal Reserve. Some say major banks manufactured a bank run in 1907 to destabilize the Treasury and instigate support for the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 establishing the Fed, a quasi-agency, private enterprise with a quasi-public board.

From the establishment of the Fed until today, many have argued that major Fed decisions have enriched banks at the expense of the American People. An example is the erroneous decision the Fed made to keep interest rates high for an extensive period of time as America and the World clearly were entering the Great Depression. Also of heated debate was the decision to bail out the banking industry at the start of the Great Recession.

Nonetheless, Fed decisions combined with lobbied efforts to reduce financial regulations, allowed Wall Street to orchestrate multiple financial bubbles that consecutively destroyed value in American portfolios. It cost taxpayers $88 billion to bail out the S&L crisis. The boiling and bursting of the dot.com bubble evaporated $5 trillion dollars. Notwithstanding that the credit default bubble lost the world $30 trillion in value, it has thus far cost America $51 billion in bank bailouts, $787 billion in stimulus, $1.5 trillion in quantitative easing, $5 trillion in lost property values, and with over 5 million bankruptcies and 5 million foreclosures, ruined trillions of dollars worth of wealth generating credit.

In Conclusion

Adding up the numbers versus our $15 trillion dollar debt, it is amazing that the resiliency of the American economy is thus far holding ground:

10,000 tons of gold: $0.5 trillion
Wars: $3.4 trillion
Great Society: $9.5 trillion
Lack of Energy Policy $2.2 trillion
MNC DFI: $4.0 trillion
Banking Debacles: $12.4 trillion +
Total $32.0 trillion

The idea of currencies unsupported by gold reserves is not in itself troublesome. Whether Crowley shells, tally sticks, or paper money, if the market has trust in its role as a place holder for non-incidental barter, any money will do. However without the external discipline imposed by a gold standard, America must instead substitute gold’s imposition for a President strong enough to stand for American sovereignty, a Fed subjugated to defend a stable currency, a Congress selfless enough to impose its own financial discipline, and a willingness of American businesses to defend American jobs. Otherwise, America’s five decade reign over this short lived worldwide fiat money dollar system will come to an end.

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Filed under American Governance, China, Federal Reservre, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Full Employment, Multinational Corporations, U.S. Monetary Policy, U.S. Tax Policy, War, World Sustainability

The Periodic War Between Carbon and Silicon has Begun

What an abundant element this carbon is and yet what trouble it presents the world. So many deaths have occurred trying to control it. Prior to the industrial era, kings compiled great armies, sometimes exceeding a million men, who thrust swords and spears supported by thousands of slaves and serfs drawing up carbon from the earth in foodstuffs to supply these fighting masses with the energy needed to control the earth’s wealth.

With the industrial revolution, the ready supply of liquid carbon could easily be transformed by machines to produce goods that used to require the energy of thousands of men. Industrialists could now produce great wealth without logistical and political control of millions of people. Carbon concentrated wealth and power in the hands of a few “robber barons” who lacked political structure but who learned how to harness this plentiful element. They used their newfound wealth to transform and influence the new politics of the 20th century.

The greatest multinational corporations of the early 20th century, the oil conglomerates, were the first and only to be tried for treason against the United States directly after WWII. When it was found that the American federal government was complicit in their treason, the trials ended quietly, forever establishing carbon’s place as the greatest influencer of industrialized national politics throughout the 20th and early 21st century.

Now, the world is attempting to stand up against carbon’s combustion consequences as scientists finalize their debate of its cataclysmic environmental destruction effects. Thankfully prior to the industrial age, the earth was able to recapture the carbon used by man faster than he could combust it. However, since the early 1900′s, industries and transportation have accelerated combustion, and disasters have been escalating both in size and number in direct correlation to carbon’s excess formation in our upper atmosphere.

While governments continue to debate its impact on our environment, their concerns will be of little consequence to its continued use. Because great concentration of wealth requires great emission of CO2, and because consolidation of the world’s wealth is still in its infancy, the political and business powerful will continue to accelerate carbon combustion to amass wealth, even exacerbating environmental consequences by transferring production assets miles and oceans away from the ultimate consumers through globalization.

The acceleration of carbon emissions into our atmosphere has not only rapidly transformed world politics, a majority of scientists claim it has rapidly transformed the environment, leaving the world little time to compensate, e.g. melting polar ice caps. I suggest that it has deteriorated the earth’s living organisms just as rapidly because Darwinism cannot compete with its detrimental effects.

The human body consumes carbon to live and the brain has a set point that tells us to exhale when carbon reaches its upper limits in our blood stream. However, since the tobacco industry’s escalation of carbon into the lungs quarter of the world’s population, now a quarter of all deaths in the world occur as our body’s carbon exhaling mechanism fails because of smoking and we slowly suffocate to death through the ravages of COPD brought on through years of inhaling carbon.

We know that man’s internal set point for carbon in the bloodstream has been constant for millions of years but so has his lower set point. On a macro level it appears that higher atmospheric CO2 is causing global melting. On a micro level, since environmental CO2 has edged to a slightly higher concentration in the air we breathe, how are our Darwinian body systems compensating?

Whether or not carbon combustion is destroying our ecosystem or our biological compensation, this element carbon in its liquid form will be the engine of mass transfers of wealth and world destabilization for years to come. The international banking system will continue to support capital flow in pursuit of carbon transfers. And America’s quantitative easing II has only helped to clear a temporary but sizable log jam in the carbon transfer system, while destabilizing America’s future.

The common man, unorganized against the concentrated power of carbon, lost his voice. Governments have been transformed to a carbon base. While impossible for the masses to fight fire element with fire element, another element on the periodic table has risen up in defense. As seen in recent North African demonstrations and less recently in the American Tea Party movement, the common man has begun to rally around the element, silicon.

Only second in prevalence to oxygen, silicon is the 21st century answer to carbon, connecting a diverse human race in a social network, more energy rich than its carbon based industrialized political nemesis. From the garages of Silicon Valley, the silicon chip has risen on an accelerated path of discovery and development to harness the ideas of man and to create libraries of digital thought that each year promises to double our collective recorded knowledge. Based upon this sea of infinite intellectual capacity, the common man has learned to communicate through fiber highways in such a way as to connect the very synapses of millions, nay billions of individual brains into a virtual organic computer focused on the survival of mankind.

In fact, the word computer has become obsolete, as silicon has enabled this virtual organic mass to connect through the internet’s social gateways to become an analyzer, a discerner, a communicator, a wisdom generator, an emotional synthesizer, a political organizer, a voice harmonizer, unifier and amplifier. The word computer has, in fact, only been a fuzzifying place holder as mankind is only now rallying the true potential of this siliconic instrument.

The common man has now emerged as a metamorphosed political force that can no longer be contained by traditional carbon party constraints. Individual social media democrats have slid around conventional party politics like sand through a sieve to rally through non-party power dynamics like the American tea “party” and mass North African freedom rallies to demand and garner political change. Not to be outdone, carbon is racing to concentrate further through MNC networks to cement its worldwide dominance on the periodical table. The race between carbon and silicon is being played out as we speak, and individuals around the planet are taking sides in this great battle. My bet is for silicon to edge out carbon in years to come.

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Filed under Multinational Corporations, Social Media Democracy, World Sustainability

Trade you an Ounce of Gold for a Haircut?

I was the last customer to receive a haircut from my barber so after paying him, we both walked out to our cars. As he drove away in his Ford sedan, I thought that people all around the world give haircuts and that most of the barbers in our world cannot trade their services for an automobile. The mere birthrights of an empire’s citizen enable him to receive empire benefits from his participation in its economy. A rich country’s citizens trade the gold acquired through the ages from other nations with each other to receive small comforts of life from each other.

The bible tells the story of a rich man that asked Christ how he could obtain heaven and Christ told him to give away all his belongings to the poor. The man went away saddened by Christ’s answer but kept his belongings. A citizen of a wealthy nation by virtue of their birth fits the parable of the rich man. While I do not think the story truly means we have to give away our wealth to enter heaven, it certainly lends itself to the hypocrisy of a wealthy nation’s citizens denouncing the hegemonic advances of their country while indulging daily in the relative benefits of their happenstance.

Obviously all democracies are not hegemonists but democracy is the only form of government that has shown any semblance of restraining hegemony’s corruption, or corruption from petty tyrants that squeeze the little wealth of the citizens of African nations for their own aggrandizement for that matter.

Certainly there are wealthy elites in Europe that will benefit from spurring on America’s involvement in Libya just as there are financial lobbyists that attempt to sway every decision made in Washington and every decision made by politicians worldwide. One benefit of Democracy is that countries somehow occasionally rise above the incessant lobbyist barking to do the right thing, and in this case it was to give the people of Libya their own voice against a maniacal bully who has vowed to commit wholesale slaughter of anyone and all who dare to speak of freedom.

As America leaned socialist during the great depression to begin a redistributive process of allowing the common man to share in the wealth of its nation without destroying its capitalist core, so will African nations and others find their way. Revolution seems to destroy economic engines. Democratic evolutions can point a nation’s capital in the direction of the good of all its people.

When I hear cynicism about America’s justification for entering Libya, I am more sympathetic to the argument of isolationalism and protecting our military from harm when the threat to our country is minimal than I am to insinuations of the U.S. bombing to prop up our empire or of us forcing our failed form of democracy on the continent of Africa in this case.

I understand the continued economic injustices that have occurred in Africa after their decolonization movement failed to give them the freedoms they desired when despotism, supported by industrialized nations, proved too strong a force to overcome for the next several generations. I understand that they have many reasons to distrust nations that have exploited their continent for a century and now say they want true independence for Africans.

But now is the time that countries like Libya could use oil to invest in infrastructure to build opportunities for their nations, or for countries like Egypt, whose population is educated, to take on economic growth. My push for democracy is that any nation is subject to tyranny by the few on the many, and that no matter if it is America or Libya, democracy is needed to defend against corruption.

In my barbershop scenario, perhaps the 22nd century chinese barber will be given title to a barbaric fuedal city in Europe as the price for his haircut. Perhaps the concentration of national wealth will create the ultimate in barter exchange between the birthright entitled. ( barbaric stretch of the imagination, agreed)

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Middle East prosperity, Social Media Democracy