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Avaritia mala est - Greed is bad

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Straight from the Shoulder of Michael Shelby

Avaritia mala est - Greed is bad

"Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply transferred from one perception to another." So says the First Law of Thermo Economics. A more descriptive corollary reads, "Wealth is never destroyed . . . it just changes location."

What the world is experiencing now is just a more massive and pervasive transfer of wealth to the "rich" from everyone else than ever witnessed, even in 1929. None of this is accidental or just the free market or lack of regulation or whatever other smoke screen you choose to delude yourself with. The destruction of economies so that a greedy few can buy it back on the cheap has been a time honored tradition--verifiable, repeatable, and documented.

Think! How is it that we have family dynasty's such as the Rockefeller's, Rothschild's, DuPont's, Kennedy's, Bush's, just to name a few of the more visible members (I'm a little nervous about Gates, Buffet, and Soros, but they may be too new) of the perpetually rich and powerful. How is it that the "usual suspects" continue to appear, disappear, then reappear during financial booms and busts?

Just as capitalism and "free" markets can be regulated for better results, so can they be manipulated in an environment absent of any rational oversight or regulation. This has been the plan for over forty years of Republicanism that coincided with the establishment of neo-conservatism and radical Islam. This more accurately described as neo-liberalism (not to be confused with the liberal/progressive movement of today) saw the blossoming of its implementation under Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton. I don't think the planners wanted W. to push it quite this far, so fast and so visible, but "the best laid plans . . ." John McCain is just another tool in the box.

So bend over and get ready. The pain is just beginning and, unless real, substantive change is made this weekend, we are all in for a global depression that will make 1933 look like a recession. The next to go will be the state and municipal pension funds followed by your company sponsored pensions. The credit that has dried up won't be back for years, the real estate market down for a decade, and a devaluation/revaluation of the dollar within the next 9 to 18 months. I experienced a similar economic meltdown in 1997 when I witnessed the fall of the Asian currencies while working there. The indigenous personnel who worked for me lost 25% of the purchase power of their money overnight - eventually it fell 47% before a recovery began.

"Those who don't remember history . . . just haven't been paying attention." 1873, 1929, 1945, 1971, 1980, etc. you can look at what happened then and make reasonable connections and conclusions to what is happening now. Only now it's much, much worse.

The good news is that with this crisis of "biblical" proportions there are potential avenues for recovery and unparalleled growth. A new democratic administration fully engaged in cooperation and mutually assured self-preservation with other nations, turning to environmental technology and infrastructure rebuilding to create millions of sustainable jobs, and a return to rational regulated capitalism is all possible and doable. If we choose to return to one of the precepts that this country was founded upon, the common good, the idea that "We all do better when we all do better," then we have a shot at redemption.

Full disclosure. I made up the First Law of Thermo Economics from the line of fictional character Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's movie "Wall Street". The corollary was refined by a friend who is brilliant in the ways of money. Still, it fits and explains a lot.

Credit for the title of my article belongs to today's NYT Op/Ed by Maureen Dowd (click here


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Michael Shelby serves democracy as an aggressive progressive and "equal opportunity abuser". An independent election integrity activist in Arizona, he is also an active member of Progressive Democrats of America. A veteran of Vietnam era antiwar (more...)
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Avaritia mala est - Greed is bad


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