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Is Our Economy Being Artificially Maintained and Propped Up? If So, How and Why?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Richard Clark       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   12 comments

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(Article changed on December 27, 2012 at 11:27)

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(Article changed on December 25, 2012 at 17:51)

Smoke and mirrors are used to make us believe the U.S. economy is authentic, robust and sound, all of which is an elaborate illusion.

Out of one side of the establishment's mouth we hear excitement about "green shoots," and out of the other side comes breathless warnings of fiscal cliffs and the urgent need for unlimited bailouts   by the Fed in the form of ongoing "quantitative easing," which consists of the Federal Reserve Bank creating $85 billion a month out of thin air, and using it to buy two things:   1) huge amounts of government bonds from the US Treasury Department, and 2) huge amounts of near-worthless mortgage-backed securities from private banks (i.e. banksters).     What this amounts to is a kind of ongoing bailout and gift, which, at its core, is an ongoing transfer of wealth to rich banksters and other Wall Streeters, from the rest of us.    

We hear about ever more people begging for jobs and the politicians promising them.   But short of another WPA/CCC program, or massive funding for a national infrastructure bank (neither of which House Republicans would ever permit), politicians can't (except by way of the military-industrial complex) create jobs in any significant number, despite the 32 million souls who are either unemployed or underemployed.     

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Meanwhile, we see people camped out to buy stuff on Black Friday, indicating that the consumer economy is thriving -- only to find out that practically everything is being bought on credit . 

The corporate media does their best to distract us from seeing very much that's real or truly important.   We see it glorify Kim Kardashian who recently got front page coverage on Huffington Post because her cat died.     Meanwhile the financial media makes the economy seem complicated, and they ban from their airwaves anyone who might speak truthfully and simply about it.   Financial media pundits and commentators speak a kind of special language known almost exclusively by MBAs.   

Is it any wonder then why ordinary folks are angry and confused about the economy?   Hopefully the following insights will help to begin to clear up some of that confusion.  

A.     Superfluous-goods-sector Jobs:   It's not just that the "official" unemployment numbers are a fraud , most of the actual jobs are in some important sense fake as well.   Ask yourself how many workers today actually produce something of core value.   And then understand that 80% of all jobs in the USA could disappear tomorrow and if it were the right 80% of them, it wouldn't affect basic human survival or happiness in the least -- provided everyone had enough money to buy the products and services that were still being produced -- products like food staples and basic housing; services like basic health care, education, public transit and utilities.   Yes, in our society we need money to survive, and jobs provide that money,   but that doesn't mean that any and every "job" necessarily provides any core benefit to society.     To wit:  

B.   Problems Create Jobs;   Real Solutions Don't: We can't possibly fix problems in the most rational and effective ways because that would destroy millions of these "superfluous, make-work jobs" that keep money flowing into the hands of the consumers, who must receive it (and spend it in sufficient amounts) in order to keep the economy from collapsing.   Examples:    

1.  We couldn't possibly end all our wars and military occupations, and bring all of the troops and other personnel home when the jobless rate is already intolerably high.  

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2.  For similar reasons we can't end the War on Drugs because where then would the DEA agents, prison guards, courtroom staff, parole officers and the rest of their support staff go to work?    

3.  We can't simplify the tax code in any radical way because then millions of bookkeepers, CPAs, accounting professors, and tax attorneys would all go unemployed.  

4.  We can't greatly reduce the bureaucracy of government, or streamline healthcare with a Single Payer system, because most of these redundant paper pushers (employed by competing HMOs for example) have very few other skills.   

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)

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