Saturday, May 30, 2009

The wealth of 'useful idiots' ~ By Ellis Washington

By Ellis Washington © 2009
"Oprah is rich, Bill Gates is wealthy. If Bill Gates woke up tomorrow with Oprah's money, he'd jump out a f---in' window and slit his throat on the way down saying, 'I can't even put gas in my plane!'" ~ Chris Rock, "Never Scared" (2004)
I remember 30 years ago as a senior in high school being at the Detroit Public Library struggling to read a reference copy of Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." While I didn't understand much of Smith's opus, I learned a valuable lesson in perseverance. I didn't give up and got a good grade in my economics class. About a year earlier in my American history class I learned that the Constitution's framers considered Smith's treatise on economics as their bible in deriving the fundamental precepts of national wealth-building and economic policy in America. Alexander Hamilton, America's first and greatest secretary of the treasury, put in place critical financial structures like a free-market economy, a stable currency based on the gold standard and an economic system based on supply and demand. Like our government, America's early philosophy of economics were all under the rubric of natural law – an inseparability of law and morality. People provide goods and services to each other not by government altruism (welfare) or legislative mandate, but out of their own self-interests, natural rights and the law of human nature where people naturally seek to better themselves. Adam Smith summarized these ideas with this famous aphorism from his book:
The Butcher, the Baker, and the Brewer provide goods and services to each other out of self-interest; the unplanned result of this division of labor is a better standard of living for all three.
Because the Constitution's framers embraced the capitalist principles of Adam Smith, a financial revolution was inaugurated that transformed and moved America's economic system away from the backward feudalism and mercantilism systems of Enlightenment Europe and toward becoming the greatest, richest economy in the history of the world. All that came from Adam Smith's economic capitalism, yet at present we have forgotten this singular genius and the principles of economic liberty he championed. In modern times, under the fascist President B. Hussein Obama, who scrupulously followed the lineage of several unremarkable predecessors over the past century – Woodrow Wilson, Hoover, FDR, LBJ, Carter, Bush 41, Clinton and most infamously, Bush 43 – under whom America's economy has been driven to the brink of the Great Depression, Part II. [Keep reading]
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1 comment:

  1. We are not getting out of this depression anytime soon. Its going to get a lot worse for most of us. It didn't have to be this way. Greed ruins everything.

    "As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption; mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth -- not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced -- to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation's economic machinery. Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-30 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence, as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped."

    Marriner Eccles, FDR's Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank - 1959

    In other words, the first Great Depression was caused by greed. The rich couldn't settle for reasonable pay. They had to have more and more and more. That caused a shift in buying power from the majority to the rich. When the majority lost their buying power, they lost their ability to support the economy. Einstein said basically the same thing in 1949.

    Its even worse now. Ordinary people havn't only lost their relative buying power. They have also lost their savings, home values, pensions, and benefits. This didn't happen overnight. Its been happening gradually for the last 30 years. Meanwhile, the rich have become super incredibly rich. The richest 500 Americans are worth about two trillion dollars. More than the bottom 40% of American housholds combined. The richest 1 percent are worth about 15 trillion dollars. More than the bottom 95% of American households combined. Thats just insane. I don't care how much work for humanity the rich claim to do. Its nothing but a cover for their own greed. We don't need anymore rich people to entertain us or create jobs or make donations for charity. We need them to get reasonable about how much money and assets they keep for themselves.

    Don't believe their excuse about paying more income taxes. They don't pay enough. For every tax they pay, they get an obscene profit, bailout, or kickback from our government to cover it. We had a progressive tax system that worked for over 40 years. It prevented too much wealth from accumulating at the top. In 1976, the middle 80% owned about 2/3 of America's total wealth. Reagan lowered taxes for the rich. Bush lowered them again. Now, the richest 5% own about 2/3 of America's total wealth. The lower 95% own about 1/3. America's wealth has been transfered from poor to rich.

    Don't believe it when the rich claim to be getting poorer. Property values have gone down for everyone. Thats because of the concentration of wealth and income. When the economy slows down, property values tank. So when rich people complain about lower net worth, thats a trick. They still have the same buying power on average.

    Everything that is happening with the economy is happening because the wealth has been taken away from the majority and concentrated into the private vaults of rich people. The same ones on TV and radio telling us how much they want to help the world. Its a big lie. Just another way to promote their own business and get more of our money. Rich people don't want to help the world. They want to own it.

    Now, the economy is ruined. Obama can't fix it because the rich won't let him. There will be no bailout for the people because the ones with all the money just won't give it up. They want more. Its going to get a lot worse. Say goodbye to the American dream and hello to the American nightmare.