Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ground and Pound On Global Ponzi Capitalism

Paul Farrell went all in against Ponzi Capitalism. Then Shedlock went after Farrell - essentially telling us that "true" capitalism works great, but government is the root of all evil.

So now, I will rebut Mike Shedlock...

First off, as always, the key facts were never refuted:
Paul Farrell asserted that there was a 340% increase in the number of billionaires in just the past 13 years, even as the poverty statistics for the U.S. went similarly parabolic. Shedlock made no defense of that statistic. Apparently that's not an issue.

The first point Shedlock made was that Paul Farrell "does not know what free market capitalism is" - apparently  "the free market would not allow fractional reserve lending".  

My comment: None of us know what "free market capitalism is", because fractional reserve lending came into being in 1913 - 100 years ago. We've all lived "in the bubble" our entire lives.

Then Shedlock blamed the Fed - rightly so - for creating distorted incentives. But he never tackles greed. He never tells us how to control that problem in whatever system we devise. I ask this fundamental question - did Hush Puppy-wearing clueless academics in positions of power in the U.S. create the underlying corruption in this system. Or was it special interest groups seeking untoward gains and massive short-term profits, that corrupted the system? This is the fundamental question at hand. The bureaucrats in Washington are merely the errand-boys for industry; industry now has an army of 14,000 lobbyists and untold capital at its disposal to drive whatever policies it desires . Furthermore, governments didn't outsource jobs and industries to foreign countries and otherwise turn capitalism into a corporate estate sale - a process by no coincidence that went into overdrive in the past 13 years. All of that was caused by an all-consuming culture of greed. Never before in history, have so many had so much and done so little with it. It's a story of rampant obsessive consumption that eventually self-cannibalized itself. And it was all driven by a nihilistic culture that no longer believes in right or wrong because traditional morality has been inverted from "do unto others" to "do unto yourself". I realize that  many, if not most, don't want to see it that way, but archaeologists digging down through a mile of rubble will get the story straight, of that we can be sure.

Worst of all, Shedlock never mentions Globalization. He never tells us how American workers are supposed to compete with Chinese wage slaves who have no environmental or labour standards and who are trying to commit suicide, but can't because there are fucking trampolines installed around their buildings. But it's all good when you are fat and happy and living large - we get that message broadcast daily, loud and clear.

I don't go in for these philosophical debates, and clearly we are talking about two different things. Paul Farrell and I are excoriating Ponzi capitalism such as it exists today and has existed for the past forty years. Shedlock is yearning for some bygone era that has never existed in his lifetime, but almost certainly exists in a Ron Paul speech.  The bottom line is that you can tell me all day that some version of "true capitalism" is great, but then you better figure out how to feed the children when the greed monster gets off its leash. Because only a deluded out-of-touch apologist for greed doesn't know what happens to a society if you don't feed the children. And while we are at it, we need a system that rewards hard work. Because clearly the globalized ponzi scheme rewards the hardest-working people the least, another factor the apologists for the current system never address. In the end, what ideological "ism" this eventually system gets us to, is strictly a philosophical diversion.

And lastly, we don't live on The Little House on the Prairie, so this idea of dialing everything back 150 years is a case of - careful what you wish for. If we go back that far in history, you better own a dozen AR-15s and known how to use them, because you can bet your neighbors will...