Steve Keen interview with Max Keiser

Quote

Steve Keen interview with Max Keiser 

Published on Sep 21, 2013

In this 500th episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, discuss what the economy and financial sector look like five hundred episodes later. They find an economy where the wealth and income gap is the highest ever, median income has collapsed and the mainstream media alleges the government is ‘assaulting’ JP Morgan with all the fines for the bank’s many criminal activities. In the second half, Max interviews Professor Steve Keen about banking and leverage five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

“The great tragedy is that it should have been a final stop message for the global economy when the crash happened, but because the politicians have become so locked up in the belief that you can’t have a viable economy unless you have a large financial sector, they’ve spent their time reviving the financial parasite rather than reviving the economy that the parasite has actually brought to its knees.”

Steve Keen (one of the heterodox economists who correctly predicted the 2008 crash)

Keiser Report: Crimes & Cracks of Capitalism (E500) 

http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/episode-503-max-keiser-437/

It starts halfway through, but Max and Stacy’s review of the financial sector over the 500 episodes of their RT show is well worth listening to, as well as Steve Keen.

Robbing The People – The Ultimate Theft

Quote

Robbing The People

The Ultimate Theft

Growing up in the fifties it was customary to leave the back door open in many homes. Friends and neighbours would pop in and out, sharing resources and helping each other out. Material possessions were few.

Such practice is unusual today. Locks and alarms are fitted to houses, cars and even garden sheds. We live in a world of envy; we live in a materialist world where things matter, and it seems people don’t any more. Advertisers feed on greed, along the lines of “Be the Envy of your Neighbourhood, Buy Me!”.

A mobile phone is safely tucked away. Insurance companies grow ever richer by our need for Things, our need to keep Things safe, and our mistrust of one another. Front doors are firmly locked against potential thieves – that’s everyone as no one trusts anyone any more. Meanwhile, through the back door, those assets we treasure most are stolen. Theft of our most basic needs, and of our right to access them is The Ultimate Theft. It is no accident that social housing, public utilities – Water (1) and Energy (2), transport (3), Elderly Care (4), The NHS (5), Hospitals (6), Schools (7), the Post Office (8), Fire Service (9), Prisons (10), Probation Service (11) – everything is being wrenched away from us, handed over to private Bankers, at home and abroad, in order that the rich elite can accumulate riches more than they can ever need. It’s real, it’s still happening now. We can ask why and how it has happened, and what we can do to stop it, for stop it we must.

What drives the Ultimate Theft?

Why do the very rich who possess more than they can ever need crave more and more? Like a drug gives a false happiness, addiction is a replacement for some missing need.

????????????????????????????????????????

You may recall The Who’s lyrics from Tommy:

“The Who‘s lyrics proved so spot-on that a pleasurable dopamine hit convinced me to feature them in a second post about self-actualisation

From: The Dopamine Project (12)

“I’m free, I’m free, and freedom tastes of reality
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiahs point you to the door
No one had the guts to leave the temple.” : The Who

The glitch that keeps us from reaching our true potential can be traced to primitive ancestors who cultivated natural cravings into addictions to food, sex, safety, power, acceptance, approval, attention, esteem, and status. To complicate matters, our more recent ancestors added unnatural addictions to dopamine-triggering substances, beliefs, and behaviors, e.g. money, religion, and drugs. Then they bequeathed their addictions to newborns who were indoctrinated by societies controlled by of out-of-control money, power, status, and/or religion addicts.

Since we’re talking about the same dopamine that junkies trigger with heroin, it’s no surprise that the symptoms are the same, i.e. self-deception, denial, and the dishonesty that allows addicts to continue doing the only thing addicts care about = vigilantly protecting dopamine flow.

Freedom tastes of reality = honesty = self-actualization.
Dopamine addiction tastes of delusion = dishonesty = denial of self-actualisation.

George Monbiot observes that “The politics of Envy is keenest among the very rich. (13)” The means justifies the end. There is no pleasure in attainment and as drug addicts self control is minimal.

In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. The welfare state is dismantled. Essential public services are cut so that the rich may pay less tax. The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra-wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.

Think Left’s article “Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the ultimate and arching for every politician and party (14) ” emphasises that unregulated markets do not make people happy. Indeed, it seems very few people achieve happiness from unbridled capitalism. It is like a computer virus let loose, like a parasite which, while neglecting its host’s well-being is doomed. Parasites are what the very rich are. They make nothing. They do nothing. They just consume, and leave their toxic waste in their wake. In consuming their host which produces or modifies necessary resources, they cannot thrive. So, the driving factor of the ultimate theft is an obsession, a madness in pursuit of unattainable happiness. Such a habit has been proven to be a disaster to the world and its inhabitants which is totally out of control. Like the emperor who wears no clothes, we all know it is flawed, but no one dares say so.

How was the Ultimate Theft Achieved?

The Ultimate Theft has been premeditated and manipulated. It has been meticulously planned since Thatcher and Reagan started their Neoliberalist Experiment. There is considerable evidence that the current government, whilst claiming to protect front line services had this intent. Think Left’s “Who said the NHS will be shown No Mercy (15)”, and the Independent’s recent “Secret Memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for Privatisation of Academies (7) ” refer to this, and there are countless other examples of evidence. Lack of clarity, and vagueness in plans is typical, and since election manifestos did not make such policies clear, the Coalition have no mandate.

Clause 39 of The Magna Carta, in 1215. (16)

states: “We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right”. The Guardian reports that some privatisation of the Courts System (17) has already been planned, and there is confusion as to what will be sold off.

The justice secretary is a huge fan of outsourcing, and has a talent for ignoring troublesome evidence, however compelling. He also regards anything which smacks of rights – constitutional or human – as an irritant, an outmoded obstacle to thrusting reform, and to be dispatched as swiftly as possible. Certainly an 800-year-old prohibition on the sale of “justice or right” is not going to stand in his way. Not when there is money to be made by big business.

  • One tactic to achieve the Ultimate Theft was to divide the working class by brainwashing them into believing that it was in their interests to buy shares into something they already owned (18). Like Pyramid Selling, the politicians themselves are bought by lobbyists to adopt policies to which they themselves have a conflict of interests – and yet the reality is that everyone is doomed by the continuation of a capitalist system which cannot work.

George Monbiot: continues: Politicians justify these changes, when not reciting bogus arguments about the deficit, with the incentives for enterprise that they create.

Behind that lies the promise or the hint that we will all be happier and more satisfied as a result. But this mindless, meaningless accumulation cannot satisfy even its beneficiaries, except perhaps – and temporarily – the man wobbling on the very top of the pile.

  • The myth that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector is yet another myth which we are invited to believe. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Indeed, the simple fact is that the first responsibility of private companies is to their shareholders, and so the quality of service is secondary (Think Left Public Service or Private Profit (19). The attempt to justify this is to frame the argument that a service is failing, and then seek to take it over.
  • Governments cite “research” by Right Wing ‘Think Tanks’ funded by the rich, such as this recent article which justifies prison privatisation (20). The Huffington Past articles contradicts the claim. “ Privatisation will not Rehabilitate our Prisons (10)”
  • The attempts to control the means of communication of the Press and the media is not new. The BBC is in itself owned by the people of Britain, yet did not and does not present a true picture of the plans to privatise public services such as the NHS.
  • Creating distractions in the “News” is a well-used tactic, populist ideas of relive unimportance, celebrities and TV shows grab the headlines, burying bad news and hiding the Truth.
  • Alarming and frightening the public is often a deliberate tactic. “The Shock Doctrine” (21) or disaster politics (22) will have people running into line, like lemmings off a cliff. As Herman Goering (23) observed “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”.
  • It is a natural instinct for a social animal such as mankind to feel pride in one’s family, in ones’s community. It may be 1.8 million years since some of us began to migrate out of Africa (24) , and we became divided, but today, communication and travel has brought us together again. Politicians abuse the idea of patriotism for their own ends (Remember the Falklands?), and so divide the working people, so each blames the other. I have heard UKIP supporters claim that there are too many people in this country. There is plenty of land. The truth is that there are not enough jobs, because the global capitalists just want the cheapest labour available. Oxfam states (25) that the richest 100 billionaires could put an end to global poverty four times over.
  • Then there is the argument that we cannot afford public services because we cannot afford it, because of the Deficit. They say that Gordon Grown spent all the money. This is an argument based on lies, reinforced by the media (see Osborne and Cameron’s big deficit myth(26). It is the banks who are seen to have developed such a powerful system , a plutocracy that they can bring down an entire country at will. (Gordon Brown didn’t spend all the money- the Banks did! (27)

The same applies to collective growth. Governments today have no vision but endless economic growth. They are judged not by the number of people in employment – let alone by the number of people in satisfying, pleasurable jobs – and not by the happiness of the population or the protection of the natural world. George Monbiot

One of the first actions of this parliament was to set up a fixed term parliament. Unable to achieve an overall majority, they knew it would be a one term parliament.

Nevertheless, their actions now are planning for further cuts beyond the next General Election. Signing up to US/EU trade agreements would mean that the sell off of valued services such as our NHS would be lost forever. The warning from US officials is, if Britain leaves the EU, US trade agreements would be a risk. A Europe signing such agreements will surrender But in return, Europe would have to give up existing protections on its agriculture, film industry and public services. (Guardian). (28)

Where is the democratic process? The British people did not vote for this and do not want this. It must be openly discussed by our media. Is it?

The Ultimate Solution:

The madness is unsustainable. Money, by itself has no value, or meaning. It is just a token by which we can register exchange of labour, resources or skills. We can do the same by barteringsee example (29) If I grow some cabbages for your table, will you teach my child to read? These days, money is just a figure on a computer somewhere in the world. If all the computers in the world were to crash, would we then starve? It would depend on the labour of those of us who can grow food as to whether we can eat. Bankers would be redundant. They wouldn’t be missed!

The Labour Party must make a break with the madness of neoliberalism which Blair had continued , and be truthful about the deficit, and debt. Labour must pledge to reverse the privatisation of public utilities and services. Labour must work for tax justice, put an end to tax avoidance and support country-by-country-reporting, if not go it alone. Our elected representatives must work for the interests of people, not rich bankers. Britain does not need to accept control from global banks. This is not democracy. With our own currency, it would be possible to wipe out any debts by a Modern Jubilee as suggested by Steve Keen. (30)That is the way to put this at an end.

The modern “debt jubilee” is characterised as “quantitative easing for the public”. It has been boiled down to a procedure where the central bank does not create new money by buying the sovereign debt of the government. Instead, it takes an arbitrary number, writes a check for that number, and deposits it in the bank account of every individual in the nation. Debtors must use the newly-created money to pay down or pay off debt. Those who are not in debt can use it as a free windfall to spend or “invest” as they see fit.

Modern Germany was built on a debt jubilee, this is the way to end the madness. In recovery, we should be planning for full employment, democratically owned and monitored public services, and building a just and more equal society, as Atlee’s government began in the Spirit of 1945. We need a new Spirit of 2015.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

(Dopamine Project) “The self-deceptions, denials, and dishonesty we “re-lie” on to protect dopamine flow keep us from being here now, self-actualizing, experiencing true freedom, and fully comprehending what it means to be human beings sharing an impossible, incomprehensible, mystical, unfathomable, amazing, spiritual experience.”

References and Further Reading

  1. Watered Down Morality (Water Privatisation) Think Left
  2. The Energy Trap: Think Left
  3. Renationalise the Railways: Think Left
  4. Guardian: Privatising Care will inevitably lead to lower standards
  5. Left Futures: EU Health Regulations – improving patient’s rights pr more NHS privatisation?
  6. Weston Mercury: Hospital put up for sale sparks fight to protect it
  7. Independent: Secret Memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for privatisation of Academies.
  8. Huffington Post: Post Office Privatisation
  9. Daily Mirror: Fire Service Privatisation
  10. Huffington Post: Privatisation will not Rehabilitate our Prisons
  11. Guardian Ministers accused of dismantling Probation Service
  12. When, What, Why, and How the Who knew about Self Actualisation (Dopamine Project)
  13. George Monbiot: “Why the Politics of Envy are Keenest among the very rich.
  14. Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the ultimate and arching for every politician and party
  15. Who said the NHS will be shown No Mercy
  16. Clause 39 of The Magna Carta, in 1215.
  17. Guardian: Privatising the courts system: the public are not customers, they are citizens.
  18. If you see Sid, Think Left
  19. Think Left Public Service or Private Profit
  20. BBC: Right Wing Think Tank – Private firms better at running Prisons
  21. “The Shock Doctrine”
  22. Cameron and Co Demonstrate the Art of Disaster Politics
  23. Herman Goering: Quote
  24. Man’s Migration out of Africa: (Wikipedia Early Human Migrations)
  25. Oxfam states that the richest 100 billionaires could put an end to global poverty four times over.
  26. Osborne and Cameron’s big deficit myth
  27. Gordon Brown didn’t spend all the money- the Banks did!
  28. Guardian: EU Exit would put US trade deal at risk, Britain warned.
  29. Independent: Bartering: “Go swapping, it’s good for your wallet, and health
  30. Modern Jubilee as suggested by Steve Keen
  31. Pascale Bruckner: Happiness is a moment of Grace: Guardian
  32. Think Left: Academisation and the Demolition of our Education System
  33. Think Left The Penalities of Ostrich Politics and the Demolition of Welfare State and the NHS
  34. Web4Health: Causes of addiction and Eating disorders

The Ultimate Theft

How Britain’s Family Silver was Stolen Through Open Doors 

The Ultimate Theft

Growing up in the fifties it was customary to leave the back door open in many homes. Friends and neighbours would pop in and out, sharing resources and helping each other out. Material possessions were few.

Such practice is unusual today. Locks and alarms are fitted to houses, cars and even garden sheds. We live in a world of envy; we live in a materialist world where things matter, and it seems people don’t any more.  Advertisers feed on greed, along the lines of “Be the Envy of your Neighbourhood, Buy Me!”.

A mobile phone is safely tucked away. Insurance companies grow ever richer by our need for Things, our need to keep Things safe, and our mistrust of one another. Front doors are firmly locked against potential thieves – that’s everyone as no one trusts anyone any more. Meanwhile, through the back door, those assets we treasure most are stolen. Theft of our most basic needs, and of our right to access them is The Ultimate Theft. It is no accident that social housing, public utilities – Water (1) and Energy (2), transport (3), Elderly Care (4), The NHS (5), Hospitals (6), Schools (7), the Post Office (8), Fire Service (9), Prisons (10), Probation Service (11) – everything is being wrenched away from us, handed over to private Bankers, at home and abroad, in order that the rich elite can accumulate riches more than they can ever need. It’s real, it’s still happening now. We can ask why and how it has happened, and what we can do to stop it, for stop it we must.

What drives  the Ultimate Theft?

Why do the very rich who possess more than they can ever need crave more and more? Like a drug gives a false happiness, addiction is a replacement for some missing need.

????????????????????????????????????????

You may recall The Who’s lyrics from Tommy:

“The Who‘s lyrics proved so spot-on that a pleasurable dopamine hit convinced me to feature them in a second post about self-actualisation”

From: The Dopamine Project (12)

“I’m free, I’m free, and freedom tastes of reality
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiahs point you to the door
No one had the guts to leave the temple.” : The Who

The glitch that keeps us from reaching our true potential can be traced to primitive ancestors who cultivated natural cravings into addictions to food, sex, safety, power, acceptance, approval, attention, esteem, and status. To complicate matters, our more recent ancestors added unnatural addictions to dopamine-triggering substances, beliefs, and behaviors, e.g. money, religion, and drugs. Then they bequeathed their addictions to newborns who were indoctrinated by societies controlled by of out-of-control money, power, status, and/or religion addicts.

Since we’re talking about the same dopamine that junkies trigger with heroin, it’s no surprise that the symptoms are the same, i.e. self-deception, denial, and the dishonesty that allows addicts to continue doing the only thing addicts care about = vigilantly protecting dopamine flow.

Freedom tastes of reality = honesty = self-actualization.
Dopamine addiction tastes of delusion = dishonesty = denial of self-actualisation.

George Monbiot observes that “The politics of Envy is keenest among the very rich. (13)”   The means justifies the end. There is no pleasure in attainment and as drug addicts self control is minimal.

In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. The welfare state is dismantled. Essential public services are cut so that the rich may pay less tax. The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra-wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.

Think Left’s article “Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the ultimate and arching for every politician and party (14) ” emphasises that unregulated markets do not make people happy. Indeed, it seems very few people achieve happiness from unbridled capitalism. It is like a computer virus let loose, like a parasite which, while neglecting its host’s well-being is doomed. Parasites are what the very rich are. They make nothing. They do nothing. They just consume, and leave their toxic waste in their wake. In consuming their host which produces or modifies necessary resources, they cannot thrive. So, the driving factor of the ultimate theft is an obsession, a madness in pursuit of  unattainable happiness. Such a habit  has been proven to be a disaster to the world and its inhabitants which is totally out of control. Like the emperor who wears no clothes, we all know it is flawed, but no one dares say so.

How was the Ultimate Theft Achieved?  

The Ultimate Theft has been premeditated and manipulated. It has been meticulously planned since Thatcher and Reagan started their Neoliberalist Experiment. There is considerable evidence that the current government, whilst claiming to protect front line services had this intent. Think Left’s “Who said the NHS will be shown No  Mercy (15)”, and the Independent’s   recent “Secret Memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for Privatisation of Academies (7) ” refer to this, and there are countless other examples of evidence. Lack of clarity, and vagueness in plans is typical, and since election manifestos did not make such policies clear, the Coalition have no mandate.

Clause 39  of The  Magna Carta, in 1215. (16)

states: “We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right”. The Guardian reports that some privatisation of the Courts System (17) has already been planned, and there is confusion as to what will be sold off.

The justice secretary is a huge fan of outsourcing, and has a talent for ignoring troublesome evidence, however compelling. He also regards anything which smacks of rights – constitutional or human – as an irritant, an outmoded obstacle to thrusting reform, and to be dispatched as swiftly as possible. Certainly an 800-year-old prohibition on the sale of “justice or right” is not going to stand in his way. Not when there is money to be made by big business.

  • One tactic  to achieve the Ultimate Theft was to divide the working class by brainwashing them into believing that it was in their interests to buy shares into something they already owned (18). Like Pyramid Selling, the politicians themselves are bought by lobbyists to adopt policies to which they themselves have a conflict of interests – and yet the reality is that everyone is doomed by the continuation of a capitalist system which cannot work.

George Monbiot: continues: Politicians justify these changes, when not reciting bogus arguments about the deficit, with the incentives for enterprise that they create.

Behind that lies the promise or the hint that we will all be happier and more satisfied as a result. But this mindless, meaningless accumulation cannot satisfy even its beneficiaries, except perhaps – and temporarily – the man wobbling on the very top of the pile.

  • The myth that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector is yet another myth which we are invited to believe. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary.  Indeed, the simple fact is that the first responsibility of private companies is to their shareholders, and so the quality of service is secondary (Think Left Public Service or Private Profit (19). The attempt to justify this is to frame the argument that a service is failing, and then seek to take it over.
  • Governments cite “research” by Right Wing ‘Think Tanks’ funded by the rich, such as this recent article which justifies prison privatisation (20). The Huffington Past articles contradicts the claim. “ Privatisation will not Rehabilitate our Prisons (10)”
  • The attempts to control the means of communication of the Press and the media is not new. The BBC is in itself owned by the people of Britain, yet did not and does not present a true picture of the plans to privatise public services such as the NHS.
  • Creating distractions in the “News” is a well-used tactic, populist ideas of relive unimportance, celebrities and TV shows grab the headlines, burying bad news and hiding the Truth.
  • Alarming and frightening the public is often a deliberate tactic. “The Shock Doctrine” (21) or disaster politics  (22) will have people running into line, like lemmings off a cliff. As Herman Goering  (23) observed “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”.
  • It is a natural instinct for a social animal such as mankind to feel pride in one’s family, in ones’s community. It may be 1.8 million years since some of us began to migrate out of Africa (24) , and we became  divided, but today, communication and travel has brought us together again. Politicians abuse the idea of patriotism for their own ends (Remember the Falklands?), and so divide the working people, so each blames the other. I have heard UKIP supporters claim that there are too many people in this country. There is plenty of land. The truth is that there are not enough jobs, because  the global capitalists just want the cheapest labour available. Oxfam  states (25) that the richest 100 billionaires could put an end to global poverty four times over.
  • Then there is the argument that we cannot afford public services because we cannot afford it, because of the Deficit. They say that Gordon Grown spent all the money. This is an argument based on lies, reinforced by the media (see Osborne and Cameron’s big deficit myth(26). It is the banks who are seen to have developed such a powerful system , a plutocracy that they can bring down an  entire country at will. (Gordon Brown didn’t spend all the money- the Banks did! (27)

The same applies to collective growth. Governments today have no vision but endless economic growth. They are judged not by the number of people in employment – let alone by the number of people in satisfying, pleasurable jobs – and not by the happiness of the population or the protection of the natural world. George Monbiot

One of the first actions of this parliament was to set up a fixed term parliament. Unable to achieve an overall majority, they knew it would be a one term parliament.

Nevertheless, their actions now are planning for further cuts beyond the next General Election.  Signing up to US/EU trade agreements would mean that the sell off of valued services such as our NHS would be lost forever. The warning from US officials is, if Britain leaves the EU, US trade agreements would be a risk. A Europe signing such agreements will surrender  But in return, Europe would have to give up existing protections on its agriculture, film industry and public services. (Guardian). (28)

Where is the democratic process? The  British people did not vote for this and do not want this. It must be openly discussed by our media. Is it?

 The Ultimate Solution: 

The madness is unsustainable. Money, by itself has no value, or meaning. It is just a token by which we can register exchange of labour, resources or skills. We can do the same by bartering  – see example (29)  If I grow some cabbages for your table, will you teach my child to read? These days, money is just a figure on a computer somewhere in the world. If all the computers in the world were to crash, would we then starve? It would depend on the labour of those of us who can grow food as to whether we can eat. Bankers would be redundant. They wouldn’t be missed!

The Labour Party must make a break with the madness of neoliberalism which Blair had continued , and be truthful about the deficit, and debt. Labour must pledge to reverse the privatisation of public utilities and services. Labour must work for tax justice, put an end to tax avoidance and support country-by-country-reporting, if not go it alone. Our elected representatives must work for the interests of people, not rich bankers. Britain does not need to accept control from global banks. This is not democracy. With our own currency, it would be possible to wipe out any debts by a Modern Jubilee as suggested by Steve Keen. (30)That is the way to put this at an end.

The modern “debt jubilee” is characterised as “quantitative easing for the public”. It has been boiled down to a procedure where the central bank does not create new money by buying the sovereign debt of the government. Instead, it takes an arbitrary number, writes a check for that number, and deposits it in the bank account of every individual in the nation. Debtors must use the newly-created money to pay down or pay off debt. Those who are not in debt can use it as a free windfall to spend or “invest” as they see fit.  

Modern Germany was built on a debt jubilee, this is the way to end the madness. In recovery, we should be planning for full employment, democratically owned and monitored public services, and building a just and more equal society, as Atlee’s government began in the Spirit of 1945. We need a new Spirit of 2015.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

(Dopamine Project) “The self-deceptions, denials, and dishonesty we “re-lie” on to protect dopamine flow keep us from being here now, self-actualizing, experiencing true freedom, and fully comprehending what it means to be human beings sharing an impossible, incomprehensible, mystical, unfathomable, amazing, spiritual experience.”

References and Further Reading

  1. Watered Down Morality (Water Privatisation) Think Left 
  2. The Energy Trap: Think Left
  3.  Renationalise the Railways: Think Left
  4. Guardian: Privatising Care will inevitably lead to lower standards
  5. Left Futures: EU Health Regulations – improving patient’s rights pr more NHS privatisation?
  6. Weston Mercury: Hospital put up for sale sparks fight to protect it
  7. Independent: Secret Memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for privatisation of Academies.
  8. Huffington Post: Post Office Privatisation
  9. Daily Mirror: Fire Service  Privatisation
  10.  Huffington Post: Privatisation will not Rehabilitate our Prisons
  11. Guardian Ministers accused of dismantling Probation Service
  12. When, What, Why, and How the Who knew about Self Actualisation (Dopamine Project)
  13. George Monbiot: “Why the Politics of Envy are Keenest among the very rich.
  14. Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the ultimate and arching for every politician and party
  15. Who said the NHS will be shown No  Mercy
  16. Clause 39  of The  Magna Carta, in 1215.
  17. Guardian: Privatising the courts system: the public are not customers, they are citizens. 
  18. If you see Sid, Think Left
  19. Think Left Public Service or Private Profit
  20. BBC: Right Wing Think Tank  – Private firms better at running Prisons
  21. “The Shock Doctrine”
  22. Cameron and Co Demonstrate the Art of Disaster Politics
  23. Herman Goering: Quote
  24. Man’s Migration out of Africa: (Wikipedia Early Human Migrations)
  25.  Oxfam  states  that the richest 100 billionaires could put an end to global poverty four times over.  
  26. Osborne and Cameron’s big deficit myth
  27. Gordon Brown didn’t spend all the money- the Banks did!
  28. Guardian: EU Exit would put US trade deal at risk, Britain warned.
  29. Independent: Bartering: “Go swapping, it’s good for your wallet, and health
  30. Modern Jubilee as suggested by Steve Keen
  31. Pascale Bruckner: Happiness is a moment of Grace: Guardian
  32. Think Left: Academisation and the Demolition of our Education System
  33. Think Left The Penalities of Ostrich Politics and the Demolition of Welfare State and the NHS
  34. Web4Health: Causes of addiction and Eating disorders

I’m just angry at the government.

Quote

DanThom writes:

I’m posting this everywhere so sorry if you’ve read it before or know all of these ideas which are not really my own, I’m just angry at the government.”

How could we resist not giving a helping hand?  The unassuming DanThom says:

If the amount of money in the pockets of both the working and unemployed middle and working classes is held down or cut by greedy capitalists or an economically illiterate government then the private sector gets damaged. The Condems may try to hide or spin figures but demand for the goods and services of small businesses spirals downwards when money gets into fewer hands.

Infrastructure spending is good it creates jobs – however, partly paying for it by attacking the most vulnerable in our big society is not only morally wrong, it offsets a lot of the benefits that infrastructure projects can bring.

 No doubt we are in a hole; some policies could be very dangerous like going to the bond markets for more money. So is it time for some radical ideas?

 1) How about a modern debt jubilee as proposed by the economist Steve Keen? Perhaps this could work by giving every UK domiciled adult £10k of printed money on the proviso that any debts to the banks (loans, credit cards and mortgages) are paid first before spending on consumption.

 This would recapitalise the banks meaning that banks would be able to start lending to small businesses again. Small businesses would also benefit from an increase in demand because of increased consumption of those who are released from the burden of debt or who had no debts and are free to spend their £10K.

 The scheme could be audited by the banks as they would be the ones who would benefit from the increase in liquidity, and would know who has got debts that need to be paid. If you’re worried about inflation then perhaps this would be an ideal time to renationalise the energy companies and the railways to keep some of it under control


 2) If idea 1) is implemented then perhaps that would be a good time to raise the minimum wage? By getting employers to pay higher wages at the bottom less tax credits would be needed – “QE for the people” will boost consumption therefore it would be an ideal time to increase the minimum wage because any jobs lost will be offset by increased demand. Remember the more money in more hands is good for small businesses.


 3) How about a tax on land with planning permission? This will create jobs and growth. I’ve heard that planning permission has been granted for over 400k houses in the UK. The tax will speed up building and stop those who bank land waiting for the perfect time to maximise profit. It may even mean this kind of land falls in value, so the government or housing associations can buy the land cheaply and build affordable and social housing.

 4) Rather than forcing people (many of whom work) out of the south east in to areas where there are less jobs via the benefits cap perhaps a temporary social rent cap can be made that could be used to get capital for building social housing? This would involve creating a law that would force landlords of people on housing benefit to keep their tenants for a few years with a small cut in the rent they receive. This would create millions of savings on spending which could be used to build more social housing. Combined with idea 3) it could be very effective.

 5) How about stopping tax dodging and evasion? I wouldn’t normally call this radical but it seems that way at the moment. If you’re worried that tax inspectors just increase spending, how about employing them on commission? 


How about ending the multinationals tax avoidance scam? All companies should pay the same corporate tax rate on their actual profits, not hide profits with royalty payments to themselves via a subsidiary in a middle country that has lower taxes. Every country a company trades in should have HQ that pays corporate tax on its profit before sending their after tax profits back to the main HQ which for Starbucks, Google and Amazon is in America not Luxemburg or any other middle country scam.

6) Now if we get to grips with idea 5) perhaps we could put up taxes on the rich? How much money does a rich person need? How many jobs does their money employ? Currently lots goes into speculating on the stock exchange rather than creating jobs in the real economy. This hurts small businesses and the working class.

 7) Although personally I’m not convinced how about the Tobin tax/ Robin Hood tax? The banks are partly to blame for the crisis we are in, so they should pay more to fix it. Put a charge on every financial transaction this will raise billions for deficit reduction and infrastructure spending and has the added benefit of making the economy more stable. The downside/upside is the rich might run away to the likes of Singapore.

 I can think of more ideas but the rentiers won’t like them.

Great ideas … I could vote for DanThom’s manifesto!

I particularly like the idea of taking the railways and energy back into democratic ownership.  I would also be delighted to see Steve Keen’s debt jubilee implemented but not because it would help the banks to lend, but because the banks trade in ‘debt’ so that level of repayment of loans would curtail their risky speculative activities wonderfully.  DanThom is absolutely right to not want government to borrow from private banks/bond market.  But then why have we been doing so?  We are a sovereign nation and have the capacity to print as much money as we need… just as we’ve seen with the £375 bn of QE to buy back gilts.  Obviously, if there were full employment, printing money might be inflationary but currently we have enormous wasted capacity with 8m unemployed or under-employed.  It is the work of people that creates the wealth, not speculative ventures from the City and Wall Street.

PS. There is a tremendous opportunity for UE* in mitigating the effects of climate change – reducing energy demand and the microgeneration of renewable energy.  (* Unemployment Easing).

Related posts:

https://think-left.org/2012/10/10/cameron-and-osborne-dwell-on-bullshit-mountain-uk/

There’s No Money Left?

https://think-left.org/2012/07/25/a-modern-jubilee/

https://think-left.org/2012/08/25/why-does-the-structural-deficit-remind-me-of-libor/

https://think-left.org/2012/07/27/simon-says-qe-is-the-biggest-confidence-trick-of-all-time/

https://think-left.org/2012/08/18/what-is-george-osborne-playing-at/

Cut out Cuts – Leave the Eton Mess Behind

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Jim Grundy

The 0.7% second-quarter fall in GDP in 2012 brings a calamitous verdict on George Osborne’s policy, with the UK economy now smaller than it was in 2010, and double-dip recession longer than in the 1970s.

The latest bad news on the economy will surprise no-one (I hope, other than your average BBC journalist). Isn’t it time that we adopt the line that all the talk of cutting spending to lower borrowing, to cut the deficit and lower the national debt was, and remains, a simple lie? Who in their right mind could fail to see that sucking billions out of the economy could have any other impact than shrinking the economy, lowering revenue from taxation and increasing costs through higher welfare payments (even if these are being cut)? And what do we see now – rising borrowing, a deficit that is not being cut and debt that is not being paid off!

In 1997 Labour inherited a national debt (as a % of GDP) lower than that seen in 2010, so the narrative that “all the money has gone” was always nonsense. It was and remains a simple pretext for the demolition of the public sector, the NHS, pensions, welfare programmes, anything and everything that has been gained through struggles going back generations. The Tories are our ‘Tea Party’ who are capable of delivering one thing and one thing only – blind ideological obedience to the interests of large corporations.

The “cutting too fast and too soon” line has won us no friends – quite the opposite, I would argue. It’s time we put the case for investment, for growing our economy, for delivering the new jobs, homes and for better public services so desperately needed now more than ever. To do anything else risks the unkindest cut of all – a reduction in voter turnout and growing voter antipathy to the whole process. And we all know whose interest that serves.

It’s time to change the record. Cuts are not the answer – well, they are but the question is not how we make sure we can live in a fair society, where people pay their way, get support when it’s needed and the interests of the many come way ahead of the private profits of a few. Time to leave the Eton mess behind. Time to give people hope that a real alternative exists.

Sue Davies adds:

We are fed a lot of nonsense about ‘there being no money left’.  This is a complete misunderstanding about the fundamentals of money and taxation. There is no limit to government spending other than in its capacity to cause inflation if the UK is operating on full throttle .. but at the moment, the real fear is of deflation, and there is plenty of spare capacity in the economy with the current high levels of unemployment.  This lack of inflationary effect is evidenced by the fact that £325 billion of QE has had little impact.

Labour should be aiming for full employment, not only by investing in a new green deal but also by lowering the pension age and shortening the working week.  A new green deal could be aimed at reducing energy demand and boosting renewable energy production. This would create new jobs, apprenticeships, new manufacturing, which in turn would cut the benefits bill, raise tax receipts, create demand and reduce the structural deficit. 

The UK desperately needs more social or council housing to be built, and this offers the perfect opportunity to provide sustainable homes, with heat/water conservation measures and the capacity for the microgeneration of renewable energy. Furthermore, a mass insulation programme of the existing housing stock would cut ordinary people’s heating bills and, with the declining cost of renewable energy, their electricity bills.  It would reduce cold-related illness/deaths, cut climate-changing gases and mitigate oil dependency.  On a political level, it would usefully break the power of the big six energy companies, who currently hold government to ransom over the development of renewable energy sources.

Steve Keen’s debt jubilee is an ingenious solution because it would both massively curtail the casino arm of the banks whilst also relieving the enormous debt problems of individuals/small businesses and creating demand in the economy.

Labour must abandon ‘too far and too fast’.  There is no rational argument for even a partial programme of austerity.  It doesn’t make any sense.

As Michael Meacher writes:

So why is this madness still continuing?   When the IMF, not normally a trendy lefty organisation, says the UK government must kickstart the economy with a boost to spending and increased investment in order to avoid a long depression and a “permanent loss of productive capacity”, even this bunch of far-right Tory ideologues should take notice and discover they have a reverse gear.  

 So why not?   Saving Osborne’s face?   Never under-estimate politicians’ vanity, but no Cabinet will hang on to a loser.   But caught between the markets still demanding death-defying cuts and the IMF now on the side of growth, Osborne can still Houdini-like find a way through.   With no increase in public borrowing, launch a big jobs and growth programme, funded by taxing the near-half trillion pounds amassed by the top 1% in the last 3 years.  

 http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2012/07/are-osborne-co.-insane-deluded-or-just-suicidal/

We need investment in a new green deal, in new housing, to create employment and to fully nationalise (at least) the bailed-out banks.

Think Left April 2012: Double Dip Recession: Don’t say you weren’t warned George

Think Left: How to End the Recession: A Modern Jubilee (CJ Stone)

Think Left: Gordon Brown did not spend all the money – the Banks did

Ed Balls Responds

Larry Elliot: Guardian: Osborne’s Blundering Incompetence made UK sicker

BBC: UK Recession Deepens after 0.7% Fall 

The Independent Shock as GDP shrinks by 0.7% 

Guardian in worst UK Recession for 50 years

 

A Modern Jubilee: How to End the Recession.

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A Modern Jubilee: How to End the Recession 

According to Economist Steve Keen

By CJ Stone, previously published on HubPages

As we all know, this was the year of the Queen’s Jubilee. How can anyone have failed to notice?

Have you ever wondered where the word comes from? Obviously it denotes a celebration, a time of jubilation. But the question is, what is it we are supposed to be celebrating exactly?

Originally the word represented the ancient practice of debt forgiveness (1). In the Bible this took place at the end of seven times seven years, that is in the fiftieth year, when all debt was cancelled, all slavery was ended, and all property returned to its original owners.

As it says in Leviticus 25:10 (2): “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.”

The practice was also undertaken by Bronze Age kings (3) and the Roman State. Whenever the debt burden became too great, the kings would declare an end to debt, thus ensuring the loyalty of the people. The debt ledgers would be burned and a clean slate declared.

Often this was done on the King’s anniversary. This was something seriously worth celebrating. No wonder they called it a “jubilee”.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is precisely our problem now. The world is so deeply in debt that it would take several lifetimes to pay it back. Meanwhile, the people we owe it to – the bankers – are so wealthy that it would take them several lifetimes to spend it.

The debt is greater now than at the onset of the Great Depression (4).

We have seen a massive redistribution of wealth, from the less well off to the wealthiest. The people who created the banking crisis have been rewarded, while the rest of us are suffering.

And, meanwhile, nothing is being added to the world’s wealth. Bankers are not engaged in manufacture, in innovation, or in research and development. Really they are little more than administrators who happen to have the keys to the safe.

They are administering our money, and then gambling with it for their own profit. Or as the title of a famous book by William K Black (5) has it: “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One.”

There was a story (6) in the Daily Mail recently about self-employed auto-electrician Daniel Bond who converted a double-decker bus into a home.

This is not new, of course. It’s exactly what New Age travellers were doing over thirty years ago: turning buses, lorries, horse boxes, vans, trailers, army trucks and other vehicles into mobile homes. It was one of the reasons the travellers got so comprehensively trashed back then.

It’s exactly what gypsies and Irish travellers are still doing, only their preferred type of live-in vehicle is a highly polished trailer with glittering cut-glass windows and hundreds of knick-knacks all over the place.

Irish travellers and gypsies are also still being comprehensively trashed to this day (7).

Daniel Bond’s double-decker home cost £11,000 to convert and has all the mod-cons, including a fitted kitchen and a fully-functioning bathroom. He did it because of the ridiculous house prices, he said.

 

Everyone knows that house prices are grossly inflated. Between 1998 and 2007 house prices went up, on average, by 168%. Much of the reason for the current recession has to do with the banks’ aggressive lending over this period, driving up house prices to many times average earnings and fuelling a speculative bubble.

Meanwhile the banks continue to reap the benefit of their irresponsible lending in the form of interest on over-priced mortgages. A mortgage, which once took only one person’s income to service, now often takes two.

Our whole world is creaking under the weight of debt. As economist Michael Hudson (8) said: “Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be paid”. Expect to see more live-in vehicles on our roads as the recession begins to bite and people start to lose their jobs. Not all of the vehicles will be as nice as Daniel Bond’s home.

Famously, at a briefing by academics at the London School of Economics (9) on the credit crunch of 2008, the Queen asked: “Why did nobody notice it?”

Actually, some people did.

One of the most notable amongst them was Steve Keen (10), professor of economics at the University of Western Sydney (12). Professor Keen predicted the credit crunch as early as 2005 but was ignored. He was known as “the prophet of gloom” because of his consistent warnings that levels of debt were getting unsustainably high and that this would inevitably lead to depression.

“Depression” note, not “recession”. Professor Keen argues that we are in a depression now, which is as great, if not greater, than the Great Depression of the 1930s. He also says that if current policies continue it will take at least fifteen years for us to get out of it again.

The reason that conventional economists failed to predict the crisis was that their models of how the economy works are false.

Specifically they have ignored the role of the banks. According to these economists, banks merely transfer the savings of one part of the population, which then become the borrowings of another. Thus savings become debts and cancel each other out.

This is untrue. In fact the banks drive up debt, multiplying the amount they lend by many times the original savings. People borrow because rising asset prices make it seem that they cannot lose; but in fact prices are only rising because demand is rising, pumped up by borrowing.

This is what is known as a bubble, and bubbles always burst in the end. It was the end of the housing bubble in the United States which brought about the credit crunch.

Now, here is the strange thing: Steve Keen wasn’t listened to when he predicted the financial crisis, and he isn’t being listened to now. The very same people who failed to predict the crisis are the one’s prescribing the solution, in the form of austerity.

In fact austerity only serves the banks, as the economy shrinks and companies go out of business, allowing the banks to buy up their assets at rock-bottom prices. In case you haven’t noticed yet, the shift in wealth is all heading in the same direction. The rich are getting richer, while the rest of us are getting shafted.

Currently the government is propping up the banks by creating money out of thin air – “quantitative easing” (12) – and then handing it to the banks in the hope that they will lend it to us. In other words, the government wants us to take on even more debt.

Debt is the fuel that feeds the banking system. Recent revelations (13) have shown us just how corrupt and self-serving the banks are. We don’t want more debt, we want less. If the government can create money out of thin air to give to the banks, then it can create money to pay off people’s mortgages and to build affordable housing instead.

This is Steve Keen’s solution, what he calls a modern Jubilee.

He says that rather than government creating money and then giving it to the banks, it should be giving it directly to us, the people.

We would then pay down our debts, the banks would go out of business, and we could end the depression overnight.

We’ve tried conventional economics and they have failed us.

Isn’t it time we tried unconventional economics instead?

Videos:

 Steve Keen on Hardtalk

Steve Keen on Capital Account:

Links: 

Steve Keen’s Debtwatch

Analysis of the global debt bubble and the prospects for a Great Depression

William K. Black

Bill Black is an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007.

Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson’s official website on finance, real estate and the powers of neoliberalism. A critical interpretation of global economic trends through the eyes of Classical Economy.

 Notes and links:

(1)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilee_(biblical)

(2)  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+25%3A10&version=NIV

(3)  http://michael-hudson.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/HudsonLostTradition.pdf

(4)  http://www.rapidtrends.com/private-debt-is-much-higher-now-than-during-the-great-depression/

(5)  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-k-black/

(6)  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2166028/Property-developer-spends-11-000-turning-double-decker-bus-new-home-priced-housing-market.html

(7)  http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/dale-farm

(8)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Hudson_(economist)

(9)  http://www2.lse.ac.uk/home.aspx

(10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Keen

(11) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Western_Sydney

(12) http://cjstone.hubpages.com/hub/Useless-Idiots

(13)  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18847180