Tag Archives: social media democracy

The Constitution Creates an Abundance of Alpha-ness

lionsAt every age, there have been the elite, those the control the majority of the world’s wealth and power, as it is defined by the time. Since it has been this way from the dawn of time, it must be a natural law. And just like, in every lion pack, the alpha male rises from obscurity, challenges another for his role, lives to dominate for a time, and then is driven from his power and perks, so it has been in the human kingdom.

Now with our species, this rivalry and domination ritual comes with the downside of killing masses for the pleasure of feeding one’s instinctual urges. The majority of us find ways to satisfy our domination traits without having to kill. We would rather live out our lives in relative peace than to have to take up arms for the supreme alpha. Yet, throughout recorded history, there have been those that have ridden in packs on chariots with swords and spears and atomic weapons to beat their chests and roar down at their fallen opponents.

In 1789, some very bright aristocrats came together and noted that this instinctive ritual of death might be halted if we could freeze the motive and drive in animation. They recognized that wealth is but one way for man to show his dominance and that freedom is the ultimate display of alpha-ness. If we are all masters of our own domain, we do not have to necessarily dominate another’s.

The Constitution froze this power sharing in place to allow all to hopefully forever manage their own motives free from the bondages of others, whether they be in the majority or minorities in their thoughts. However. it also recognized a massive power that contained an evil which must be broken in the future, slavery.

Slavery not only denied alpha-ness to millions of people, it was also the major source of wealth in the nation at the time, and one built on an immoral principle. Every man in that chamber in Philadelphia knew that the foundation of this Constitution was built atop a base of sandy soil and that without addressing slavery, it had no real chance of eternal survival. Still the decision to address it head on was delayed for 50 years.

That power and wealth was not to be redistributed without a civil war and bloodshed of 620,000 Americans. We now have a situation through which the power and wealth sharing envisioned by the Constitution has been thwarted by the elite. My hope is that it can be returned to a balance of suspended animation without the bloodshed that usually has accompanied such shifts throughout recorded time.

It took 72 years for our predecessors to decide that the power to eradicate slavery power and wealth misalignment could only be shifted by a bloody civil war. Rather than go through such a three generation cycle that seems to be the course of such radicalism, my belief is that the power to regain stability in America rests with the voice and the vote.

We now have the power of social media democracy as was demonstrated not only in Barach Obama’s harnessing of its power within conventional politics, but also in the Arab Spring. This medium will find its way toward supplying the engine for power restructuring for America’s future prosperity as well. It is the engine that will be needed to overcome such a powerful adversary as wealth. Yet combined with the simple tool of the Constitution, it has the ability to reverse our course and to create the symbiotic power sharing stability once envisioned by our forefathers.

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Filed under American Governance, American Media, American Politics, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory, War

America Must Default Now

Remember the classic story of the leak in the dike? A young boy hiking along a dike in Holland stuck his finger in a leak that threatened to collapse the dike and let the waters of the North Sea rush in to destroy his village. He stayed the night holding fast to his duty until the men of the village came to find him and to repair the leak. The legend goes that this small boy, acting on his sense of duty, saved his community with his single act of bravery and that all of Holland might have perished had he not. Perhaps not the prime moral of the story but as important, had the village leaders not found this young patriot and quickly repaired the dike, he would have perished and his bravery would have been in vain. It took a village to ultimately stop the dike from collapsing.

The Tea Party has been America’s little Dutch boy. Tea Partiers claim that America’s debt is as ominous as the stormy North Sea bearing down on the dikes of Holland, threatening to destroy our economy. They also suggest that just as the dikes of Holland held back the seas, America’s economy must hold strong against our national debt to keep it from limiting our future. Seeing our historic deficits as powerful enough leaks to collapse our nation’s credit, in 2010, the Tea Party rose up to stick their finger in the dike, pledging to stop America’s excessive public debt from growing further until we could agree on a path for recovery. In the meantime, other leaks have sprung up on America’s dike.

Clearly, our Federal budget is not the only ill that is afflicting us. Another little Dutch boy, the Occupy Wall Street movement, with just as much valor and patriotism as the Tea Party, has now climbed the dike to stick its finger in political leaks as equally important as our federal deficit. Occupiers have identified the illicit bond between Wall Street bankers and our politicians that threatens to diminish America’s future and they pledge to remain on the dike until all of America can persuade our leaders to relieve both the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Streeters from their patriotic duties.

Unlike Holland, where village leaders relieved the little Dutch boy’s first aid plugging of the leak by repairing their dike, our nation’s leaders have been conspicuously absent in rushing in to relieve our patriotic Tea Party and Occupy Wall Streeters from their first aid missions. Our President and presidential candidates are reluctant to present bold reformation plans, Congress’s Super Committee is unable to compromise on material Federal budget reductions, the rest of Congress is unwilling to put forth substantial jobs bills or to work on restructuring a healthier business environment, our state and local governments are dangerously close to insolvency by refusing to resize to fit lower tax revenues, our banks are refusing to restructure upside down mortgages that are stagnating America’s private economy, and our multinational corporations are unwilling to reinvest in America’s workforce.

Without substantial and coordinated efforts by all in leadership to increase our national productive output, to support corresponding jobs that can sustain a right sized government budget, and to reduce our public debt that is stagnating economic growth, America’s dike will collapse. Whatever we do going forward to solve our leadership crisis, whatever the terms of restructure, Our leaders must know that Middle America will not complacently wither through decades of high unemployment nor will our military complex accept the eventual severe lack of domestic military resupply capability that will result from such languishing. America must now face the inevitability of “DEFAULT”.

The word default is an enemy of the state yet its effects are already sinisterly invading our country. Our Federal government has already defaulted on the value of the dollar with its stimulus and quantitative easing. Our state and local governments have already defaulted on public services to keep bloated public employees in place. Our multinational corporations have already defaulted on America employment by slashing work forces to sustain profitability through the monetary collapse. Our bankers have already defaulted on their obligations to provide financial liquidity, first by choosing to bet against America and then by creating the monetary implosion that sent millions of Americans into foreclosure and bankruptcy. Now, the American people must join in this cacophony of defaults by forcing a restructuring of America’s business and political environment to sustain our families and our country into the 21st century.

Americans must default on our support of indefinite extensions of trillion dollar budget deficits that reflect commitments to unsupportable baby boomer ideals of social justice and vast military dominance. We must default on our submission to government policies supporting unrealized promises that free trade and globalization would enrich all Americans. We must default on our acceptance of the status quo shenanigans of a financially democratized two party system that places the overwhelming benefit of the few over the welfare of the many. And as importantly, we must default on subservience to the mountain of debt that has been yoked to our economic future for the benefit of bankers, multinational businesses and political parties.

Ultimately, the legal power of Americans to default rests in Government acting on our behalf. However, rather than focusing on these transformative needs of the electorate, America’s government representatives are locked in an addictive trance, fixated on meeting the desires of powerful masters. To constitutionally affect change, we will have to break the grotesque relationship between Wall Street, multinational corporations, and Congress; one in which Congress depends upon bankers’ and businessmen’s’ financial elixir for re-election, where Congress has the power to dole out favors, contracts, tax breaks, and laws in return for their election fix, and where bankers have the power to print money to support Congress’s illicit behavior. If America is to ensure an equitable solution in which our Congress, bankers and businesses help to fix the mess they’ve made, we must forever sever our enabling support for this addictive relationship.

If we do not act to break these addictive bonds, our Federal Government will most certainly continue to provide cover for banks and businesses while authorizing massive deficits that expand its growing $15 trillion dollar debt. If not forced by the Tea Party or international credit rating agencies to finally face its unsustainable lack of institutional moral fiber and financially driven dearth of governing judgment and foresight, Congress will recklessly inflate our dollars beyond any semblance as a safe store of value. But private debtors do not have the luxury to print money. Private debts can only be repaid by the output of our people. We now have to decide if our output will be used to invest in America’s future or to pay our mounting Federal debt.

Certainly our multinational corporations have been given free rein to invest where they will and to employ whom they will. Because of substantial market opportunities to the East, America’s ignorance in creating a hostile business environment at home, and our bankers, businessmen, and politicians’ complicity in exploiting both, our multinational corporations have chosen to invest overseas. Yet somehow, America’s politicians hoped that our businesses, which are made up of citizens of this great country, would also act as model “virtual citizens” making business decisions in the best interests of all Americans. Our government even went as far as to dictate from the decisions of our Supreme Court these hopes. The Federal Government’s complicity with bankers and multinational corporations would be much more guilt free if they could imagine businesses having a patriotic conscience, but alas the vast majority do not. Our businesses are hardwired for maximum, risk adjusted profit and for the reasons previously mentioned, maximum profits exist offshore.

No American Dutch boy movement has yet risen to force government to soberly recognize business’s profit nature. Until such a movement pressures Congress, it most likely will not create laws to protect the public from the more destructive nature to our economy of business’s international profit motive, nor will it attempt to find win-win solutions to harness this profit motive for the mutual benefit of both multinational businesses and our people.

Certainly America’s bankers have created their own free rein to conduct at will commerce by the power of their purse. Unfortunately, this rein has been out of alignment with America’s domestic interest for decades. Now that our bankers have indebted America beyond our ability to pay, they will fight any attempts by others to loosen their financial hold on our political system. America’s bankers would have Congress force us to stagnate in debt for decades while China surges past us into the new millennium, and why not?

Bankers used our debt to place investment bets on China’s rising over the past three decades, and in so doing shorted America’s future. They now are counting on Americans to pay this historic debt to protect their clients’ and their own disproportionate, concentrated, and increasingly risky investments in China. Because they placed their mountain of eggs in one basket, A sure bet is that our banker’s actions going forward will be singularly focused on ensuring that America complies with the terms of our debt obligations, whether or not they are in our best interests.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has become the little Dutch boy in defense of America’s interests against international bankers and they have rightfully begun asking if we should follow the terms that have been structured by America’s bankers. Our bankers set the initial terms of indebting America beyond its means to repay. They reneged on terms of protecting us from over indebtedness and covered up their own complicity in doing so. And now that they have extracted maximum debt from America, our bankers are threatening to destroy our economy if we even question their bastardization of the American financial system.

Occupiers are rightfully asking why our bankers set lending terms to soar America’s debts to levels that they knew through historical ratios could never expect to be paid without a high degree of default. Why were bankers comfortable in doing so? Were they hoping that the American ethic of fiscal responsibility would hold even when seduced into unchartered waters of financial servitude? It seems that betting banks’ fortunes on mere hope would be too risky. Did they expect that banks could dictate to our government that it subordinate the will of the electorate to that of America’s financially elite, even if excessive debt deteriorated America’s future? This strategy was successfully exploited before and therefore less risky, but given the emergence of social media democracy, it is becoming self delusional. Whatever their reasoning at the start of the housing Ponzi, bankers’ fortunes are now so dependent on maintaining the status quo that they will defend it with all available measures, even if exposed to the light of day.

Given the stagnating wages of our citizens for the past three decades, Occupy Wall Streeters are right to question why bankers did not meet their obligations to protect America from excessive debt. The prime reason that America awards bankers the right to charge us interest is because we expect our bankers to discern who is capable of repaying debt, and to judiciously discriminate by providing loans only to those that meet repayment qualifications. It is for this sole risk mitigation responsibility of protecting America from excessive debt that we pay America’s bankers such a disproportionate percentage of America’s wealth. Otherwise, we could pay technicians much less to merely print and distribute money.

Occupy Wall Streeters are right to question our bankers why in the height of the frenzy they threw away loan ratios that historically protected Americans from default. Why as America’s debt began to dramatically climb beyond the safety of these ratios did our bankers ignore warning signs and press for even more debt? Why did they pass out credit cards like Halloween treats? Why did our bankers create even more, no income verification, zero money down, speculative debt instruments to extend this bubble to unprecedented heights? Why when some Americans asked why loan ratios were no longer employed, did America’s bankers tell them that we had entered a new economy in which the old ratios no longer applied, one in which appreciating real estate values now dominated the loan equation?

Based on our bankers’ logic, housing prices could just continue to inflate forever without end. The fallacy in their folly to forget fundamentals was that underlying debt has to be paid by the wages of America’s citizens, and these wages were not rising but were in fact stagnating. When the housing bubble burst, we sadly realized that there was no new economy, but instead that greed had only temporarily supplanted old ratios and finance fundamentals. In the wake of America’s monetary collapse, with ratios now re-established, and with debt far exceeding them, America is now faced with the reality of choosing between stagnation and default!

Finally, Wall Streeters are right to ask why America’s bankers are threatening that if we do not honor our public and private debts then they will destroy our economy. What a spurious argument! Were not our bankers complicit in driving America to this debt precipice of their own making? And now that we have arrived at this critical juncture, are not these same bankers arguing that if we fail to honor the predicament in which they placed us that they will cut us off from future credit and capital? Yet theirs is a hollow threat, because it is only by America’s authority that America’s bankers are even given the right to create credit and capital from thin air on our behalf.

Without the self delusional support of a Fed like central bank to cover their losses, European bankers do not need to be cajoled by an Occupy Wall Street movement to accept partial responsibility for excessive European debt in order to stave off full absorption of a complete default. When German led banks first told the Greeks that they must surrender their livelihoods and enter into decades of an austerity program to repay their bank debts, the Greeks simply said “NUTS!” European bankers have since struggled but have finally and responsibly put forth their newest Greece restructuring plan including a bank “forgiveness” of 50% of Greece’s debt held by the banks. And Greece will most likely not be the last to see its debt reduced as other European countries will ultimately demand equitable treatment as well.

America’s bankers are not ready to accept default. Surrounded by the Fed and both political parties, they are well hidden from public view. Yet America’s little Dutch boys are on the dike exposing their defenses. The Tea Party will continue to press Congress to stop the spending. Without the cover of political largesse to mollify the masses, many of America’s politicians will then be forced to take sides, either openly exposing their support for globalist policies in a vain attempt to gain financial backing for re-election in the face of the electorate, or retreating from previous indefensible positions to save their political feathers from the onslaught of social media exposure. As more Dutch boy politicians are elected, America’s bankers will be left exposed in the open.

Occupy Wall Streeters will continue to root out America’s bankers, exposing unpatriotic profiteering. They should have no illusions that banks will respond to sit-ins or even to riots by agreeing to absorb debts as did the European banks. Yet in clarifying through their movement for the American people our bankers’ complicity, America’s social democracy will build political will to force a realignment of political power that will insist on equitable treatment of debt in America just as elsewhere across Europe.

For what other choice will our bankers have in the end really? When debt becomes so excessive that it strains the ability of a nation to repay it, then it loses its character of debt. If a nation defaults on its debt and international banks cannot force it to repay, then the banks have only the choices of either forfeiting their debt, as the European banks have chosen to do, or exchanging their debt for equity if allowed by the nation and as I have proposed in my set of solutions.

Once America’s little Dutch boys persuade America’s leadership to join Europe’s leadership in returning our nations to economic health, our bankers will have no choice but to join the ranks of the disillusioned and disheartened elite. America’s bankers will finally meet Europe’s bankers in dispassionately determining how they will discharge our excessive debt. When America’s banks accept their partial responsibility for America’s failure to thrive, Americans’ debt of $54 trillion dollars which threatens to stagnate our economy for decades, leading to even greater job losses and further threatening our national security, will be held back behind the water tight dikes of a renewed and prosperous future.

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Filed under American Governance, American Media, American Politics, China, European Crisis, Job Voucher Plan, Multinational Corporations, National Security, Social Media Democracy

Washington and America’s Media Elite Would be Wise not to Dismiss “Occupy Wall Street”

Washington’s elitism was palpable this week. Political pundits smugly interviewed “Occupy Wall Street” participants, trapping them in contradictions to demonstrate their lack of knowledge and organization surrounding the issues, while Washington’s political leaders either dodged association or overtly condemned their sit-ins and disruptiveness. Our media elites’ condescension suggested an inept disconnect with Middle America, baring its biased attraction to Washington’s’ political power for all to see. While America doesn’t yet know what to think of this awkward beginning of a political movement, 30 million underemployed citizens are not as ready as Washington’s elite to dismiss its credibility.

During the Egyptian revolution, cardboard signs touting the words “A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition” were held by some demonstrators. A.N.S.W.E.R. is a U.S. based, blanket group of anti war organizations, mostly anti-imperialist, Muslim, Arab and Latin America focused, initiated by the activist group, International Action Center (IAC), and founded by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark that opposes all U.S. military interventions, and by the Workers World Party (WWP), a U.S. based Marxist-Leninist organization closely associated with IAC that strongly supports communist states. It is this same group that organized the Occupy Wall Street rally that has continued as a sit-in for the past two weeks.

Notwithstanding the fact that this rally was envisioned by Marxists, and is now attempting to be co-opted by union organizers and some in the Democratic Party for their own purposes, this nascent movement is beginning to gain strength and a voice of concern over the connection between Wall Street, Washington, and our citizens’ resulting lack of representation to fix America.

Occupy Wall Street’s awkward missteps and disarray have been correctly assessed by our political and media elite as an early snap shot of a group that has no leadership and little clarity of message. When interviewed, its participants have seemed inarticulate with skewed and contradictory messages. Yet, there they sit camped out and building the articulation and clarity that will slowly incite others to join them.

It would do well for those so inclined to publicly disparage Wall Street’s occupation to revisit the humble beginnings of the Arab Spring, a movement that was directly tied to the same worldwide economic calamity. Some say the Arab Spring was influenced by local political dissident groups while others have gone as far as to claim that it was inspired and manipulated by America’s national security forces to disrupt the region. Most believe that decades of impoverishment spurred by the West’s economic collapse caused unbearable economic conditions that finally reacted to the spark of a single street vendor lighting himself on fire as the kindling of a disorganized, organic, and leaderless movement that erupted into a flame, ending in the overthrow of multiple oppressive governments.

On December 19, 2010, Moahamed Bouazizi, one of the 30 percent of jobless college graduates in Tunisia, was attempting to feed his family by selling vegetables in the street when Police seized his cart. In desperation, he set himself on fire and later died. At this point in the Arab Spring, only a few hundred completely disorganized young Tunisians took to the streets to protest police actions. Some voiced an opaque anger over unemployment and a few others smashed some windows and cars. The protest, however, was generally peaceful.

However, ten days later on December 29th, the bit slow to react Tunisian President, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali addressed his nation promising more jobs but vowing to crack down on the protesters, who by this time had grown to about the size of the 1,000 Occupy Wall Streeters. Still disorganized, a few protesters reacted by chanting for the President not to seek re-election in 2014. A multitude of social ills being voiced began to coalesce around the unemployment that plagued young Tunisians.

On January 2nd, a different catalyst sparked demonstrations in Egypt when a terrorist bomb blew up outside of a Coptic Christian church killing 21. In Algiers, 5 days later, protesters took to the streets over a completely different issue, high food prices. Looking back at how these disparate bands of protestors merged into the Arab Spring to overthrow them, these country’s leaders most surely would have subdued their arrogant dismissals and defiance that spread the movement to other cities. On January 9th, police killed 11 people in Tunisia and 3 in Algeria. In the frenzy, American media could only note the demonstrators’ disorganized voices speaking out against a lack of jobs and a host of other social ills, but had yet to fully comprehend the accelerating revolution.

On January 14th, similarly to Eric Canter’s seemingly ignorant grasp of world events that fed his derisive comments this weekend condemning “Occupy Wall Streeters” and their supporters, Libyan President Muammar Gaddaffi issued his first defiant condemnation of the protesters in Tunisia and Algeria, signaling the ill fated stances he would later take rather than addressing his country’s ills as a statesman. That same day, the Tunisian president fled his country for Saudi Arabia.

On January 13th in Algeria and on January 17th in Egypt, men copied Tunisia’s now martyred street vendor and set themselves on fire prompting Egypt’s Nobel Peace prize winner El Baradei to call on his nation’s leaders to take prompt action to avert a catastrophe. While being careful not to lend his political support to the movement, he nonetheless beseeched his nation’s politically elite to implement urgent reforms, claiming that Egypt was “yearning desperately for economic and social change” and that without drastic measures, Egypt would experience a “Tunisia-style explosion”. Grassroots activists surpassed El Baradei saying “This is not just about creating a clean parliament and a fair Presidency, it’s about the daily bread and butter of the Egyptian people.”

On January 25th, opposition groups organized protests similar to “Occupy Wall Street”. Certainly because of regime change in Tunisia on January 14th, they now had the surge of realization that they too might replace their own corrupt regimes, yet they still had no realization of their efforts. “We hope it will be big, very big” said Ahmed Salah, one of the demonstration organizers. “The people move for democracy – not for religion, not for elite interests, not for private loyalties.” He denounced the politically elite’s spin of the movement as a choice between Mubarak’s oppression or religious fundamentalism, claiming theirs was a “false choice”

The American people instinctively know that Wall Street organized and implemented a historic transfer of wealth to the East that now holds most of America hostage in the grip of punishing debt. Americans’ collective wisdom also knows that our politicians bent to the will of the financially powerful and created legislative loop holes for their corporate and banking contributors. While the occupiers of Wall Street are not yet able to articulate it, their gut feels inspired enough to camp out leaderlessly as they search for a coherent voice.

America will not experience a regime change such as the Arab Spring. But given the Obama ground swell in 2008 and the Tea Party revolution of 2012, is it really beyond belief that with 30 million disaffected, underemployed Americans desperate for direction out of our morass that this social media movement could also swell into a 2012 election tsunami? Those that would arrogantly dismiss Occupy Wall Street based on a current snap shot of its disorganization should look again to the timeline of the Arab Spring and wisely recalibrate their thinking.

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Filed under American Media, American Politics, Economic Crisis, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory

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

Whether Hot or Cold Governance, Middle America Seeks Change

Ah the pleasure of food that is either cold or hot! Place ice in coffee and it becomes lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, to be spit out of the mouth. Since the time that Barry Goldwater and Mao Zedong coexisted, perhaps the world’s economic and political systems have globalized into a lukewarm concoction, unappealing to the senses, pulled headlong by a decentralized mass of multinational corporations.

As America’s current leadership struggles to redistribute wealth, some in the administration, have reflected admiringly on the ideals of Mao. From Anita Dunn, who said that Mao was her favorite philosopher to President Obama, who was influenced by Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the American administration points its ship in the direction of a distant socialist star. In stark contrast, elected Tea Partiers in Congress, repulsed by the mire of Washington’s lukewarm beauracracy, are waving the libertarian flags of Goldwater’s limited government.

Meanwhile, as America’s governance continues to linger in lukewarm languidness, China’s political class is struggling to keep ahead of mass entitlement implied by a move toward socialist capitalism. While a mildly heated temperature can still be felt in China’s economic success, as the acceleration of the Chinese economic miracle begins to fade, the vast middle of China will feel the lukewarm effects of unfulfilled promises as well.

As the great middle of each in our societies is impacted by our own brands of lukewarm politics, some will yearn to spit them out in favor of a fond memory for hot and cold.

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Filed under China, Multinational Corporations, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory, World Sustainability

The Great Bear is Angry

If the Republicans are Elephants and the Democrats are Donkeys, then I see the American middle class as a Great Bear, mellowed by decades of ‘elephant ear’mark treats, but now wounded by globalization and no longer tamed by either political party.

The three beasts have been thrown into a grudge cage and are gnawing and clawing for survival. Gone are the glorious decades of one party supremacy. The Great Bear gave the Donkey two years to strip irresponsibility from the wealthy elite, but instead the Donkey wasted its political capital on special interests. With one fell swoop, the Great bear has thrown the Donkey against the rope, and is giving the Elephant the chance to take down the excesses of the Donkey’s social welfare desires.

But while the Bear may not have the memory of an Elephant, it has the anger of a Bear, and after the Ass’s clock is cleaned, the Bear will gnash at the stoic excesses of the Pachyderm, taking back the tax break that was so selfishly placed at its feet as a token of appreciation for subduing the Donkey. The Great Bear has been caught in a steel trap of trade deficits, tax deficits, and technology transfer deficits, and is fighting to free itself.

It is not wrong for America to reduce its social programs. We cannot eat what we have on our plates. It is not wrong for America to reduce its government size. We cannot carry that much social administration. It is not wrong for America to reduce the burden of its entitlements. We did not create a future generation large enough to carry it. It is not wrong for America to insist that the wealthy pay more to move our country forward. They have gained true wealth for the last three decades while the Great Bear has lost true wealth in the same period. It is wrong for the Elephant, the Donkey, and all their special interests to force the Great Bear into a grudge cage just to see a future for its cubs.

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Defense of Freedom Pragmatically Mitigates National Security Wars

To put our servicemen and women into harm’s way, America must be guided not only by lofty ideals but by self interest and most importantly national security. Our incentives in Korea, Viet Nam, and even the Cold War were guided by a combination of the three. Obviously in recent years, human atrocities have occurred in places like Darfur without our intervention, and we have backed governments that, while lacking protection of human rights, have supported our interests in a hostile environment. While I am sometimes discomforted by our hegemonic decisions, I try to understand the complexities.

The demonstrations begun in Tunisia have now spread headlong into Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, our chief military and economic allies of the region. Our support for Libyan freedom fighters cannot be seen as a support in the eyes of our Allied kings for continued violence against regional leaders. I see the complexity. However, Muammar is a crazed dictator responsible for Lockerbie and state sponsored terrorism. He is a despot that has fairly easily differentiated characteristics from our allies. His willingness to turn military against his own people places his regime in a category of its own.

We are now policing Iraq, at war in Afghanistan, and allied with Israel in an embroiled region that is critical to our national security and standard of living. As the consumer of a quarter of the world’s oil, disruptions from the region will have dramatic effects on our economy. (As an aside, people are not yet speaking of the Step change down in Japan’s energy dependent economy because of its permanent loss of about 6% of its power output that will take several years to replace) So does Libya, who produces less than 3% of the world’s oil supply, pass the ideal, self interest, and national security hurdles?

I say yes, with the understanding that there are risks of enforcing a no fly zone but they are minimal. We placed a similar zone above Iraq, who had a more advanced military, without material losses. None-the-less, the risks of not supporting Libyan freedom fighters is the long term ill wind against America that will blow across the new governments of Northern Africa.

Our resistance to support Sudanese, Iranians, Tunisians, Algerians, Egyptians, Yemenis, Bahrainis, Saudis, and now Libyans while securing Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and our friend Israel will have long lasting detriment to our economic security that could be mitigated by some show of support for the democratic ideals that all people see as America’s beacon. If our economy is severely threatened by loss of oil, infinitely more loss of American lives will ultimately be shed.

This old man believes in ideals. Some might fear I forget that ideals are an old man’s folly and war a young man’s end. I believe that given the pragmatic alternative of spending some effort today to secure the historic democratic alliance of a critical world region versus the alternative of major military conflict later with great loss of lives to secure safe transit of oil amidst a resentful coalition, I cautiously prefer the former.

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America Must Now Repay the French with Our Support of the Libyan Freedom Fighters

There are those in America and elsewhere that claim America has no right to enter the sovereign space of a country to determine the outcome of its civil war.  They claim that America’s time as the policeman to the world has ended, and it is time to get our own house in order.  While I do not disagree that our economy is in disarray and that our main focus should be to revive our economy, I fear we will make a grave historical error if America does not voice its alliance with the freedom movement ongoing in Northern Africa with a show of military support, if only to enforce a no fly zone.

Rather than the right to determine the outcome, we have the obligation to support the will of all people to have self determination.  America needs to be on the correct side of history in supporting the will of Northern Africa to be free of non-representative government.  This historic shift in human sentiment requires our firm commitment. Unfortunately, our economic future is tied to energy concerns that have caused our leadership to quietly sit out a movement that will remember our lack of resolve centuries into the future.

America’s history books will forever endear the French, not because they took over our war as another battleground with the English, but because they stood with us at York fending off the British fleet giving Cornwallis no alternative but to surrender to General Washington.  America does not need to defeat Gaddafi and be the arbiter of regime change.  We just need to fend off the overwhelming superiority of his planes with a no fly zone for history to be remembered for our part on the right side of freedom.

When Marquis de Lafayette lost his life during the French Revolution, America was unable to come to his rescue in time. Having remembered his assistance to our revolutionary cause, when the Americans arrived in France in WW I, General Pershing said, “Lafayette, we are here.”

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Baby Boomers Force Dramatic Shift in American Social Contract

I was born in the census year of 1960 at the tail end of the baby boomers. A half century later, I frankly submit that our nation was naïve about the consequences of this historic generation’s path through American history. In 1960, as our boomers entered the workforce, they became the focus of capitalists worldwide, and their economic and social decisions shaped what appears in 2011 to be our nation’s retreat from world leadership.

In 1960, America’s bustling population was 179 million. Economic times were good. Even though the number of workers per retiree to support the New Deal social contracts of Medicare and Social Security had dwindled from 42 in 1935 to only 16 in 1960, the purchasing power of the average family had more than doubled in that time. While government spending had increased from 20 percent to 28 percent to support our strategy of world military dominance, solid economic growth still seemed inevitable for generations to come.

America’s social awareness was growing as well. Led by the likes of Kennedy, King, and Johnson, America began to advance government to rectify historical social ills, and to cause capitalists to pay for their social impacts of growth. A decade later, influenced by the seeming senselessness of Viet Nam, in an attempt to ferment President Johnson’s Great Society, boomers began an expansion of government that would grow from 30 percent of GDP in 1970 to over 43 percent today. In that effort, Americans diverted capital into government social programs, slowing economic growth to a level that could not sustain boomers’ retirement years.

In 2011 looking back, it seems that our representative democracy left us unprepared to support the boomers’ last stage of life. Even though the 2010 census swelled to 309 million Americans, our worker to retiree ratio dimmed to 3.2 and is falling still. And while rising wages from 1940 to 1960 lessened the impact of changing demographics, wages during the last forty years stagnated, leaving middle class boomers inadequately funded for retirement, and leaving young people with inadequate income to support them. While these changing demographics knowingly loomed for years, America failed to plan. As a result, a socially divisive wedge has been driven between the boomers and our youth.

This view of our boomer dilemma leaves me with unanswered yet glaring questions such as:  Why did our government levy social impact costs caused by our capitalists but not fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to levy financial impact costs on capitalists’ MNC investments?  Why did our government create only limited regulated retirement investment opportunities to funnel our boomers’ frenzied savings into stock investment bubbles?  Why did we then deregulate debt financing to further funnel now desperate boomers’ savings into mortgage derivatives?  Why did we allow capitalists to siphon these boomer funds into overseas investments without creating sustainable good paying employment in America for the young people who would be called upon to support our boomer retirees?

 Why were American capitalists allowed to lobby for free trade, and transfer boomer wealth overseas without paying forward the retirement impacts of those investments?  Why were our primary educational systems, designed to feed an earlier industrial economy, allowed to fail a third of our future taxpayers as our capitalists instead focused on funding adequate primary educational systems in emerging countries.  Why were our secondary educational systems allowed to inflate the real cost of college education by 150 percent during the last 30 years, beyond the reach of many Americans, when our government’s stated strategy to combat emerging economies was to use innovation of college graduates to create new high paying jobs?  What is the responsibility of our wealthiest Americans to the rest of our society in creating a feasible path through what will most likely be less than golden years for our boomers?

 Answers to these questions need to be transparently debated as we now prepare for the legacy of our extraordinary generation.  The paradigm of entitlement that gave boomers false hopes and that now embolden our youth to vote for change will soon end.  We now are at pivotal moment in American history in which our diminishing demographics will change America’s societal paradigm forever.  In its place will be the painful national discussion that must take place to pave a way forward.

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Filed under American Governance, American Innovation, social trajectory