As an admittedly enthusiastic supporter of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, I will be the first to acknowledge that the message emanating from this grassroots populism is lacking in sophistication. This is neither surprising, nor in any way does it denigrate the noble intent of these people.
Having written extensively on the massive economic/social injustice which permeates our societies along with the reasons of how and why this injustice exists, I understand precisely why the protesters of Occupy Wall Street all know that “something” is seriously wrong, but they cannot precisely identify what that something is. Part of the deliberate intent of our economic oppressors was to plunder our wealth using two vehicles which the vast majority of us find totally incomprehensible and absolutely boring: banking and taxation.
If you want to put someone to sleep, or drive people away from you at any/every social gathering, simply start to discuss the massive deficiencies of our monetary system or our taxation system. Indeed, I live with this frustration on a daily basis.
It’s quite easy to attract an audience these days by documenting the scope and magnitude of the massive economic injustice in our societies – which has now reached an all-time extreme. However, begin to detail precisely how our monetary system and tax systems have been “rigged” in order to rob us blind, or even expressly point to the actual solutions to these problems and interest dwindles.
The lack of willingness among the majority of the population to learn about these issues because they are “too complicated” or “too boring” is, of course, a reflection of the endemic apathy which has gripped our societies for several decades now. Sadly, this is a natural symptom of the affluence which existed in the decades prior to our economic exploitation. Even more tragically, this mass-apathy has been ruthlessly capitalized upon by the “top 1%”, or as I regularly label them: the ultra-wealthy.
One of the eternal lessons of history, however, is that “greed” is always short-sighted. The same people who have devoted every waking minute to how they could plunder as much of our wealth as possible were too intellectually-stunted to devote a single minute of serious thought as to how they would keep all of the wealth that they had misappropriated and hoarded.
Systematically stealing from a population of affluent-but-apathetic drones does not require much skill or even effort when our entire economies have been turned into one, giant rigged casino – with the banksters as “operators”. Conversely, with the vast majority of our populations now having been impoverished by this relentless plundering, the masses are no longer apathetic, and are finally ready to pay attention.
Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy are about to learn the same lesson which has been “taught” to those on top over and over again, throughout (at least) two thousand years of history (but never learned by these parasites): it is much easier to steal from the people than it is to keep what you have stolen.
Their obsessive, excessive greed blinds them to the simple arithmetic which has always doomed such acts of excessive plundering. When the ultra-wealthy steal and hoard too large a portion of overall wealth, the hollowing-out of the economy dooms it to inevitable collapse. That collapse, in turn, generates the “political will” (in one form or another) to take back a portion of what was stolen and then redistribute it among the general population.
Then this whole, futile cycle of greed starts all over again.
Emphasizing how old this “game” is, and how many times we have repeated this cycle of futility, two thousand years ago Greek philosopher Plutarch wrote these immortal words:
An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all Republics.
While some level of wealth-equity is obviously an issue of social justice, it is just as much a matter of simple arithmetic and elementary economics. We frequently hear economists and other experts use the analogy of the global economy being an “engine”. As with any engine, it requires fuel in order to operate.
In a capitalist economic system, obviously that fuel is “capital” – i.e. the collective wealth of the global population. When a tiny sliver of that population parasitically sucks-up and hoards the vast majority of that wealth, the “engine” runs out of gas and stalls. Of course our reality is much, much worse than that simple analogy.
As the ultra-wealthy have quietly stolen all of our wealth (i.e. capital) over the past several decades via banking and taxation, they substituted debt for actual capital – stealing more and more wealth, and piling on more and more debt. This has also reached an all-time historical extreme.
Western economies have literally been transformed into nothing but a collection of debt Ponzi-schemes, designed to funnel as much of our wealth as possible for as long as possible into the hands of the bond-parasites (via interest payments) – until the inevitable collapse occurs. Thus the reason the devious, deceptive bankers are so terrified about the global economy “stalling” (i.e. sinking into recession/deflation) is because all of these debt Ponzi-schemes are about to implode like a row of economic dominoes.
While it may already be too late to prevent the complete collapse caused by the economic psychopaths who have been allowed to rule over us, at the very least we must cease to move in the wrong direction, and begin to implement the few and obvious solutions which present themselves.
Fix a broken system:
We must smash all of the “too big to fail” banks into little pieces, since it is an elementary principle of capitalism that such oligopolies should have never been allowed to exist in the first place. The easiest way to do this is to simply allow them to drown themselves in their own debts, frauds, and Ponzi-schemes.
The global derivatives market must be completely abolished. All derivatives must simply be ruled null and void. People must understand that all the derivatives market ever was, and all that it is today is a gigantic casino to literally turn every aspect of our economies into massive, competing bets. Worse still, because the size of this casino has been allowed to swell to more than twenty times the size of the global economy itself, these derivatives have become (as Warren Buffet prophetically predicted) “financial weapons of mass-destruction”.
When Warren Buffet first made his remarks, his statement was theoretical. With the systematic destruction of the debt markets of Euro nations now a fait accompli, we see the damage which these financial “WMD’s” can cause when used – in this case via the fraudulent manipulation of the credit default swap market.
Put people to work:
Our massive, structural unemployment has now reached such an extreme that more than 50 million people across the Western world are not allowed to work. This unemployment has been malicious and intentional, the goal being to use massive, permanent unemployment to permanently depress wages and thus dull the inflationary impact of the banksters’ excessive money-printing.
The game was simple: while the bankers and those on top enjoyed all the benefits of their “inflation” via the printing press, those on the bottom made 100% of the sacrifices, through permanently depressed wages (for those lucky enough to have any job at all). What makes this heinous reality a “crime against humanity” is that our governments have always had the capacity to end this unemployment any time they wanted – at zero cost to themselves (i.e. us).
For 200 years, improving technology has eliminated labour faster than it creates new employment opportunities. And for nearly 200 years, every time that structural unemployment became a problem, our governments shortened the work week. This divided-up all the available labour among the whole population, until our current generation of Western governments ceased to do this, deliberately creating all of this hardship and misery to exclusively benefit those on top. We need to immediately transition to a four-day work week.
Tax back what was stolen:
All “income” taxes and all “consumption” taxes will inevitably (over time) transfer all wealth in an economy from those on the bottom to those on top. This is a matter of simple arithmetic. For absolute proof, we merely need to note that roughly half of the U.S. population now pays no income tax at all. After 100 years of this system of taxation oppression, roughly half the U.S. population now has nothing left to tax.
Meanwhile, these forms of taxation allow those on top to relentlessly accumulate larger and larger hoards of un-taxed wealth. Again the evidence is overwhelming. There has never been such a concentration of wealth among the top-1% in all of modern history.
The only means of fair taxation where everyone pays into the system (except the absolute poorest-of-the-poor) in equitable proportions is via a flat wealth tax. Introduce this system of taxation, and suddenly the $10’s of trillions in wealth currently sitting in the idle hoards of these misers would be exposed to taxation for the first time in 100 years. Gradually these extreme hoards of wealth will dissipate over time – unless the ultra-wealthy actually put that capital to productive uses, so that it starts to generate income and jobs (and thus fuels the global economy).
The Occupy Wall Street movement is the first, tentative step in a process which 2,000 years of history teaches us is absolutely inevitable. Whether it is this movement which (eventually) facilitates real, equitable changes in our economies, or whether it is ultimately replaced by something bigger and better, the “message” which these people are sending is simple: the pendulum of history has begun to swing back.