what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Apocalypse Soon???

It’s Davos time again - a (generally missed) opportunity for “movers and shakers” to come together and discuss the state of the world – even although I understand that quite a few campaigners for a more just world can and do cough up the 40,000 euros registration fee. Somehow I don’t think they will be hearing the sort of frank and tough analysis you can find on John Ward’s blog - to which I drew readers' attention last September .
He surpassed himself a few days ago with an incredible summary of present socio-economic trends - putting together the various developments in a menu he calls The Top Ten Takeaways.
  • Slurp; The money we used to earn from giving our money to banks has been taken away.
  • Tax. Every type of tax we pay (using everything from personal allowance caps to upped speeding fines) has been increased.
  • Welfare. The credits, services, and subsidies that save most of us money have been reduced, and in some cases removed.
  • Quantitative Easing. The currencies we use to buy goods and services are having their value eroded by sovereign debt, QE, and in some cases direct money printing.
  • Energy. The forms we use to cook, heat, drive and light up the darkness are increasing in price at a rate far beyond anything justified by either demand or conservation.
  • Credit. Aside from the odd piddling and wastefully managed government scheme here and there, credit to purchase durables and property has largely dried up. By definition, this reduces one’s current and future standard of living.
  • Food. Media owners and distributive opinion leaders are giving us clear warnings about the price of food being hiked substantially in the near future. They just haven’t explained why yet.
  • Wages and salaries. Aside from the top 3-5%, the great majority (over 80%) of ‘middle class’ consumers have seen their real salaries eroded since around 2003. That fact applies whether we’re talking the US, the UK, or Greece.
  • Market fraud & manipulation. QE has indirectly caused those with a bearish view about stocks in 2010 to have been proved expensively wrong. The Libor rate was manipulated after 2007 globally to save the banks and cheat the investor. The price of gold has been capped, and that process is now becoming all-encompassing in the light of central banker plans for the metal. Because of smoke, mirrors and bollocks on the subject of sovereign debt, the bond market yields are artificially low, further reducing a fund’s ability to create decent returns for the retired….already hit by slurp, QE and capped gold.
  • Both upstream and downriver, governments are reducing the individual’s ability to save for later life, and/or live off what they have saved. The UK has once again removed some tax advantages from pension savers. The US has effectively embezzled at least half of its public sector pension funds. Free healthcare is being phased out for the elderly. The Greek and Spanish national pension reserves have ceased to exist. Every French bank is guaranteed by the taxpayer: when they start falling over, French citizens will be powerless to stop their State pensions dwindling back to nothing. UK pensioners have been told they will lose inflation indexing, and probably winter fuel allowances/free prescriptions.
Listen to the vast majority of mainstream Western politicians, and you will find very few who would even admit that this process is taking place, let alone speculate about what its ramifications will be. Bromides like ‘We’re all in this together’, ‘Yes we Can’, ‘Your friend in hard times’ and so forth offer nothing beyond onanist drivel spurting across the airwaves to placate the proles. Honourable and honest exceptions like Austin Mitchell, Ron Paul, and Alexis Tsipras are straight with those who bother to listen. But as the American Spectator wrote this week, ‘Obama’s empty inaugural address offers nothing but more blind leadership’. It’d be a nice turn of phrase – if he really was a leader.
 What they calculate is this: to compete with Asia and South America, we need to cut wage costs; to pay off debt we need to inflate currencies; to take on credible new debt, relaunch currenci(es), and repair the banks’ balance sheets, we need gold to be almost completely appropriated by the sovereign banking system; to reduce political incompetence we need to have more technocrats and fewer elections; and to ensure no opposition to any of this gets off the ground, we need a two-speed, heavily regulated internet via which ISPs and the security services can monitor what everyone’s up to 24/7.
Then, they figure, we can get some serious growth under way, keep the East in check, reduce taxes caused by debt, write off the banking system’s debts, and return to Business as Usual….provided our view holds sway in 90% of all public media.
I’m not for a second suggesting it’s a fully written up plot hatched by the Elders of Davos, because the world doesn’t work like that…and the egos involved here are so Viagrad out of shape and proportion, there’s no way you could get even a fraction of these truly disturbed materialists to sign up to such a plan, even if it existed. But a general direction is there for all to see, and there is a growing Right Commentariat which thinks it just dandy as a potential road to salvation.
The discussion thread is also interesting with one respondent linking us to a fascinating financial consultant’s report entitles Perfect Storm which contains apocolyptic stuff you never expect to see in such publicly available reports.
Another giving his own summary of events -
The greedy money worshippers have realised that the law doesn’t see fraud and white collar crime as something to either understand or bother about. So there is no cultural restraint on wholesale theft by financial people. If they get caught, they can pay the lawyers and bribe the lawmakers. Who is going to stop them.
They are not happy with stealing all the money, they want it all. They know the middle classes are not organised, so they will take all their savings from them, and make them take on unpayable debts. The middle class is doomed. There will only be two classes, the proles and the gentry. SOme of the proles will do anything they are told for a few crumbs off their master’s table, and they will be commoner-law enforcement and the like. We will get a Brute-Squad before long.
Everything is connected; the privatisation of NHS is part of the same theft of wealth; the reduction in welfare is to allow them to keep paying for a massive, supine public sector (they need the votes); the strangulation of small, independent business is to force everyone to work for large, bullying corporations and forget their freedoms; the planned conversion of coins and notes into debit cards is to allow them to tax and seize all your money; the weakness of leadership in government is to stop anyone acting on their grievances; the useless infantile press and tv who want raise a peep in objection; the stealth taxes on energy, transport, leisure, VAT, inspection charges, licenses, red-tape.
I think this has been a long time coming, but is basically opportunist. I reckon the bankers can’t believe how this has fallen into their laps, but now they are going all-in for everything. Westminster won’t stop them, it is up to the lukewarm frogs.

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