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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/30/18

Banker hegemony: Pax Lemmus

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Lemmings commit harikari too with boom-bust cycles
Lemmings commit harikari too with boom-bust cycles
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So are the banksters all right after all?

Nope. All there is to show after 400 years is a kind of Pax Hamstera, or better, Pax Lemmus. The horrors of the 19th-20th centuries, now going off the horror chart in the 21st century. We run faster and faster, inventing and marketing ever new gadgets, and the standard of living, we now realize, is plummeting, not so much in dollar terms (that, yes) but in terms of all the 'external economies' that come along with those gadgets, and the lifestyle of homo hamsterus.

Keynes gave us a banker's version of the basic income -- government debt in order to stimulate demand, but to be financed based on taxation and government deficit, not on government-created money, as C.D. Douglas wanted. Bankers do not want to give up their power, and Keynes was their boy. Probably it will take another 1917 to do that, and the prospects are poor, given the fact that the bankers defeated the Bolsheviks in the end.

Reinventing the Wheel

But this is intuited by smart politicians, even if they do little to fight back.
America was created out of fiat money created by the colonists. The entire history of the US is framed by the battle over control of money. It was probably JFK's greenbacks that did him in. The much-reviled Nixon was actually the last of the FDR-inspired leaders to try to fashion a 'capitalism with a human face'. He was planning a Basic Income for the nation* (he didn't try JFK's greenbacks -- given his and Lincoln's fate). Is it possible that this and his detente with Russian and China were his real 'crimes', with Watergate a free pass to get rid of him?

In Canada, a 1974 pilot project in Manitoba under the New Democrat socialist government provided a guaranteed minimum income for all the residents of Dauphin. Good results: only new mothers and teens stopped working, the former to spend more time rearing newborns, the latter to study, showing higher test scores and lower dropout rates. There was also an increase in adults' continuing education. The period saw a reduction in rates of psychiatric hospitalization, and in the number of mental illness-related consultations.

Ontario's pilot project, started by the Liberals in 2017, in Lindsay, Hamilton-Brant and Thunder Bay, was shut down midway through its three-year trial by the Conservatives, not interested in giving capitalism a 'human face'. Before the cancellation initial results were similar, with some participants going back to school, and lots of home improvements, putting the money directly into the local economy.

How many times must we reinvent the wheel? And these experiments could have been conducted without creating any new debt, if the governments were willing to do what they have the right to do, despite the hysteria from bankers fearing they will lose their cushy scam: unearned money from creating and then 'servicing' the debt.

The economic crises, especially income distribution, unemployment and the environment, are multiplying, and they are all directly caused by our debt system, inducing obsessive 'growth' and money-based consumerism. 2008 looked like the moment when the bankers could have been lined up and shot, but instead, they got trillions in "quantitative easing" and million-dollar bonuses.

Then the Panama Papers of 2016, when offshore accounts finally were called on the carpet. Much (most?) of bank profits are whisked to these tax havens, bypassing governments, who gave the banks their money in the first place, and who use people's taxes to pay the banks for the national debt interest that are the foundation of these bank profits. Wow.

It's very hard to keep a step ahead of the banks, just as the banks must keep one step ahead of the economy, lending money to keep the economy rolling.

BI - Thin Edge of the Wedge

C.D. Douglas cut through the fog with his theory, muddled though it was, and solution: estimate the gap between current production and necessary demand, and use Basic Income to fill it. Maybe there's no need for 'growth' in the economy, or (heaven forbid) it might be better to have negative overall monetary growth. This is no longer up to the gods. The needs of the economy can be calculated.

Maybe a more demonetized life would be better, with people not bothering to work for a slave wage. How about reviving crafts, getting more education, enjoying more leisure before you're too old to enjoy it? Use social decisions-making to regulate money, not haphazard forced loans, interest-rate fiddling and recession.

Borrowing from Marx again, BI is a kind of death knell (or at least warning) that can put a stake through the capitalist beast, leading the way to government-created money and onward to socialism!

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Eric Walberg Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Eric writes for Al-Ahram Weekly and PressTV. He specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs. His "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games", "From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization" and "Canada (more...)

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