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Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Money Privilege and loot

There are three kinds of property that determine society's prosperity. These are Land, Capital and labor.

  • Land
  • “The entire material universe exclusive of people and their products.”
  • Capital
  • “Wealth used in the process of production, which includes wealth in the course of exchange.”
  • Labor
  • “All human exertion in the production of wealth and services.”
    http://www.henrygeorge.org/def2.htm

These are the kinds of property that produce wealth.

Wealth and Treasure

However, for individuals, especially Westerners, what seems to be important is portable wealth. The more portable the better. The acquisitiveness of western people's is world in-famous. Tales of indigenous people pouring molten gold down the throats of captured conquistadors illustrate how others sometimes reacted to European adventurers seeking gold.

Treasure and Loot

Treasure acquired by theft, usurpation, conversion or warfare is also known as loot. Piracy and warfare, in search of exchange goods, led to colonialization, creation of factories for growing trade goods, and later to factories for automated production. All this was designed to create loot for the pirate captains. The west coined a word for legalized piracy, it was called privateering. It is said that if you scratch the history of almost any family, you find pirates and crooks as the founders. If English speaking people look down on Mafia, it's not because we never had our own. It was known as the English Aristocracy, and later, the brotherhood of the coast. The first Navies for both the Brits and the USA were pirate fleets. Spanish & Portuguese power was driven by privateering. It was called colonialism, but it was really an outgrowth of piracy. The Spanish had no claim to America, they came in to loot it. The Dutch and other European Powers all sailed the world in search of riches. When they engaged in labor or capital expenditure, it was after loot, not the greater good.

Security Versus Loot

People derive their sustenance and prosperity from a combination of ownership/rule and labor. Lincoln noted that capital comes from mixing labor with items taken from nature's bounty. "Labor is prior to Capital." Wealth is produced by such labor. Wealth is fixed to land; houses, buildings, improvements to property in general and put back into producing things. Wealth devoted to production is capital. When people own their own tools and property the result is widely spread modest prosperity. A society with a large middle class is secure and prosperous. There is room for wealthy people in a healthy society.

Wealth versus Greed

Wealth that is portable and exchangeable is known as "treasure". It may be used as capital, exchanged for consumable goods, or used to buy land properties. Henry George conceded that those who create wealth through capital have a right to enjoy the fruits of their labor. He considered the fruits of exertion or capital to be "earned income." Economic rent is unearned income. When people monopolize property and then charge rent to use it, that too is mostly unearned. Wealth acquired by fraud, usurpation or theft is also unearned. Indeed it is unmerited.

Yet vast wealth comes from lending, either directly or through investment. Accounting wealth involves the creation of theoretical instruments that produce fixed amounts of returns, "interest". Sometimes that wealth has nothing to do with reality except as a demand on others. When individuals do it, it's called usury, when States do it, it's called war, embargoes, or invasion. In any case, it's bad news, and has been known as such for centuries:

Aristotle is attributed to explaining it:

“The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of any modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.” [Quantum of Power]

Privateering

Pioneers in Economics laid out the benefits of a well governed economic system years ago. But people prefer to fight, play king of the hill, and lord it over others. A well governed system under Democratic, Republican and Commonwealth principles is boring compared to one where people are always fighting. So there are always folks who prefer to be pirates and have it all, manipulate crews to fight for them, then bury the loot because they don't know what to do with it otherwise. Private people acting as government are privateers. Privateers are like the Tongue Eating Louse that eats the tongue of a fish and then takes a bite out of everything the fish tries to eat. Privateers create corporations that tried to rule the world: Rhodes in Rhodesia, the East India Company, J. P. Morgan. They become oligarchs because they are rarely competent to rule a country. They want loot, they don't really want the common-wealth of a country, the common business of a republic or a federation, or the annoyances of democracy.

Now the privateers of the United States are trying to implement oligarchy by dominating the GOP and raising one of their number to the Presidency.

I've got a lot more to say, but that's enough for this post.

http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/07/an-ideology-of-privateering.html
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/06/pirates-and-privateers-of-americas.html
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/06/franklin-as-modern-money-advocate.html
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/08/pirates-loot-and-east-india-company.html
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/02/two-generations-of-pirates.html
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/07/hamilton-on-money.html
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/03/corrupt-court-and-undue-influence-and.html
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/whigs-and-tories-guelphs-and.html
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/03/hamiltons-bank-plan-from-1781.html
Definitions:
https://www.henrygeorgefoundation.org/the-science-of-economics/economic-rent.html

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Right's Dirty Little Secret

"Free Things == Lower Taxes

The right wing in the United States have a number of dirty little secrets. But the biggest dirty secret, is that the wealthy are dependent on government welfare for their wealth and privilege. They love to talk about the mob "demanding Free Things", but it is all projection as it is our wealthy and connected who assume privilege and demand "free things" from Government. Case in point is the con about our Corporate taxes being "higher" than other countries. The truth is that:

  1. Our effective tax rate is already among the lowest.
  2. The cons point to the nominal rate, but the nominal rate is based on the principle of marginal taxation, which differentiates between actual capital, encourages it, and loot, which should be taxed. When they point to closing "loopholes" that is a distraction, as taxes should always be on net income after legitimate expenses and compensation, and most "loopholes" are legitimate except when they are purchased by corporate lobbyists.

  3. The economy does better when the nominal rate is higher!
  4. Our economy has done better when the nominal rate was even higher. Corporations do not hire people, pay higher compensation or any good deeds in any quantity, out of the goodness of their hearts. Lowering the rates means more stock buy backs, dividends and more money for the CEO, but almost none will "trickle down". The hucksters advancing this fraud are lying.

  5. If you want higher pay for employees, then subsidize payroll and punish substandard wages.
  6. Don't give more money to Oligarchs. It is a simple as that. If you want corporations to be better citizens, put it in the law and punish them financially when they break it. If you don't want them to cheat, hold cheaters liable, incentivize whistle blowers and auditors, and make it profitable to do the right thing. Simple things like a finder fee on reporting fraud. Of course our current corporate climate incentivizes bad behavior.

So the first dirty little secret is that the corporate culture in our country thinks they own the government and can loot the treasury with impunity.

Allying with Nasties

The second dirty little secret is that the business right allies with those who will distract the general public and let them loot with impunity. Thus they have traditionally supported hard right causes, sometimes because it is in the financial interest of the CEOs, but more often because economic power is easily converted to political power and political power buys more loot than productive capital does. After all actual capital has to be spent to produce any gains. A politician can be bought for a few thousand dollars. Imagine making a million dollars and only spending 1000$? It's no wonder that whenever we get oligarchic ownership of business we get oligarchic features in our government.

https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/10/29/tax-cut-fraudulence-the-usual-suspects/
https://www.npr.org/2017/11/13/563420070/is-a-corporate-tax-cut-really-what-the-economy-needs-right-now
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/4/in_1898_white_supremacists_killed_60

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mafia State Patriarchs, Oligarchs, Poligarchs

Masha Gessen writes in the New Yorker, an Article titled:

"The Poligarchs, Oligarchs, and Stooges of the Paradise Papers":

The subtitle of which is:

In Russia, Vladimir Putin has created a mafia state, with him as the patriarch.

I liken these dictators and wannabe dictators to Pirate Captains, but Mafia Dons works as well. The analogy M. Gessen uses compares them to Mafia organizations, which makes sense, since the Sea Dogs of Britain, the Netherlands, France and Spain are the Mafioso of those lands. Gessen draws on the work of Bálint Magyar, who compares them to Mafioso. Marauding Invader's works as well. The analogies to Vandals and Goths might apply too, except these people are integrated into their societies and emerge from within.

A Hierarchy of Fear, Oppression and Tyranny

Gessen describes a hierarchy of Putin's Russia, with it's "Poligarchs", who always have a chief, an extended family. The chief is the patriarch, who provides unified direction and keeps the bloodthirsty "family" members from offing each other. A Poligarch is a political chief. Gessen writes:

"The word “poligarch” combines “political” and “oligarchy”; the poligarchs are first endowed with political power, which they use to procure material wealth."

But in the Polygarch Scheme, the oligarchs get their wealth and power from those with power, and in return must do as they are told. In Putin's Russia, Hitler's maxim of not nationalizing Industry, but nationalizing the Industrialists, has become a reality. Oligarchs either bend to Putin's rule, or they find themselves losing everything. Politicians can draw wealth and hidden power from the Oligarchs, and the Oligarchs exercise power from behind the scenes.

And Always the Stooges

And below them are the stooges. Always the Stooges.

He also writes on the Paradise Papers, which details the corrupt money relationships between Putin, his pet politicians "polygarchs", and oligarchs. All of whom are bound by secret stashes of money in Caribbean and Mediterranean Islands.

The point is that Trump wants that system for here.

For more on this read:

https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/
https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-poligarchs-oligarchs-and-stooges-of-the-paradise-papers

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

If Trump were Mexican

I was trying to get into Mexico. Somehow I was trying to get over the wall into Mexico, but there were police and military Guarding the boarder to keep the Gringo's out. I couldn't do it. But then you know how it is...

I was suddenly in Mexico. But it was too late. The People's paradise of Mexico had just elected Donaldo el Trompetista and the Gazpacho were everywhere in their red Vans blowing their Trumpets. We ran til they stopped along the road and took out their red bowls, ate Gazpacho soup and took a siesta. We stopped at the Tavern and the La Resistencia started drinking Sangría azul. Our fight was between the red and the blue here too!

His cry "Make Mexico Great Again!" And "Throw the Gringos out was very popular. But today the fighting was done. Mañana! I needed a break anyway.

I wandered around the country, and all the common folks were out wearing traditional garb and saying "how did we elect such a maleducado our president?" And I heard him on the TV in the Cafe:

Trump: "I really respect my country! I want to make it great again!"
Trump: "I think you need a strong leader, and I'm here to lead you!"
And the Announcer said:
"We've already had too many Caudillos. We don't need another."
Trump: "Get him out of here!"
That is when I remembered, Trump is our Caudillo, and woke up sweating. The Mexicans have already had their share of cheesy Caudillos. This one is our mess.

That is what I get for eating Gazpacho soup late at night.

Please Vote. We don't need a Caudillo!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Voter Turnaway not Low Turnout

Snopes will tell you that there is no evidence that three hundred thousand voters were turned away at the polls due to voter ID requirements. Given that turnout in the USA is often abysmal, it is likely that the numbers were 300,000 more or less. There is no evidence they weren't either. We will never know how many were turned away, so the honest answer is "unverifiable." Blame the voter critics count people discouraged due to improper ID or caged, as "no-shows", most just don't show up. There is no doubt that approximately 16,800 in Milwaukee County and Madison’s Dane County. Extrapolated to the rest of the state the numbers probably come out to nearly 300,000.

When people know they'll be turned away when they show up to vote, many will simply not show up. Election dates and times are designed to suppress the votes of working people. Republicans don't like attributes of democracy, because they claim that most of us are too stupid to act like anything but a mob when we are allowed to assemble. Since that attitude also justifies manipulating voters, they wind up the ones stoking fear, anger and bigotry in mobs. We Democrats believe in participation. Republicans used to. Voter suppression is designed to intimidate people not to show up and vote. They want to turn away voters, but they don't want to appear to be so.

But what they are doing is voter turn away. not low voter turnout. We combat it by turnout. They combat turnout by voter suppression:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/10/wisconsin-shows-how-to-do-voter-suppression-right/?utm_campaign=socialflow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social
http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/26/wisconsin-voter-id-law-deterred-nearly-17-000-voting-uw-study-says/702026001/

Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump's Practice of the Big Lie

The Big lie is an old technique. I've written about it so many times in blog posts and similar I hardly need my references anymore: Orwell, Hannah Arendt, and of course the practitioners; Hitler, Stalin, Orwell, etc... The practitioners of the big lie are cagey about what they are doing. They will talk about it, but always in the context of defaming opponents. But Hannah Arendt:

Trump isn't that different from those who came before him. He calls his version of the Big Lie "Truthful Hyperbole". To him if it is supposed to be true one day, or he thinks he might be able to make it true. Then it is "Truthful Hypberbole." He calls it "truthful" because he can carry off the affectation of "truthiness" while telling his abusive lie. Lies are lies, not hyperbole. But to Trump...

...well who knows?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mnuchin Subverts These United States

Steve Mnuchin stated;

"We can't have the Federal Government keep subsidizing the states."

Which is a very unconstitutional thing to say for two reasons:

  1. The States fund the Federal Government.

    The Federal Government is a Federation of "The several states" and it has always been the regulatory arm of "them." So this is a very anti "states rights" statement... and abusive.

  2. The States ceded the power to coin money in the Constitution and the power to issue notes as money. This was a delegation for the sake of efficiency and common-wealth.

Therefore the money power rests with the Federal Government, which in the Constitutional Government scheme is in service to These, not their tyrannical overseer. The Federal Government under the 14th amendment has some oversight rights as the collective will of the whole body of the people of the United States, but because states don't have the independent power to issue notes to pay their debts it should be the role of the Treasury through a well constituted Federal Reserve to front the money. Then taxes can collect any unmerited or unearned incomes from their spending on infrastructure and other citizens needs. Mnuchin's schema would treat them like Greece, allowing taxes and Wall Street to siphon off wealth and then punishing them for the vanishing tax receipts from a vanishing tax base. It would push all the costs of government onto States while continuing to let Wall Street eat the revenues.

Mnuchin's plan treats States as Colonies. He and Trump seem to be testing it on Puerto Rico. The combination of centralization and wealth siphoning by loan is toxic. We need to stop him. Mnuchin's idea is poisonous.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/treasury-secretary-mnuchin-says-state-and-local-tax-breaks-a-major-loophole-that-were-trying-to-close.html

I've got a lot more to say so I may update this post later with more information.