hapless SAPs, and the user pays - and pays and pays ...
[neoliberalism/globalisation, Greece++]

.. as always ...

  .. it's not what they say - lies? ...

    .. but what actually they *do* - that counts

[This post may evolve; update 1.]

Preamble: IMHO, the biggest problem by far, is liars and their lies. They lie only to deceive; nothing at all worthwhile needs a cloak of deception. "All politicians lie!" - thanks, but "No, thanks!" to JWHoward. But not just him; consider so-called 'professional' economists as a class; we the sheople, pretty-much the world over, are being thrown ever deeper into the financial shit, partly due to economists' lies. And it's not even them lying on their own behalf; although many economists may be 'comfortably off,' it's the already obscenely rich - the idle rich, the utterly useless rich - who have been the main beneficiaries of the economists' lies.

The main lies are well coordinated, the worst involve money and war and are spruiked by politicians and other nasty patsies; the lies are channelled to us via, and actively augmented by the (Western) world's media, aka the MSM. We can term the lie-cloud as the pushed-propaganda paradigm, and qualify the media as corrupt and venal. Sadly, some public broadcasters are up to their bottom lips in this filthy lie-lake. Say "Et tu?" to aunty AusBC, for example.

The 2nd biggest problem by far, is that far too many believe the lies. Belief is what some people do in the absence of facts; no person can satisfactorily run their own life, let alone a democracy, based on a lack of facts and/or a belief in lies.

Disclosure: Some people are less well-off, and others outright poor; my circumstances are other. Some people may claim that complaining about the disgusting depredations of the already filthy-rich is 'wealth-envy,' but that's not my impetus. I complain - mainly, bitterly - about injustice. End of preamble.


Discourse; war: Lies relating to war are many and nefarious. Consider only three current wars, the ostensible reason(s) given are lies and mask the actual purpose (briefly):

1. Alien invasion and brutal occupation of Palestine, 1947+.

Ostensible reasons: a) some Js lived there before & b) some g*d promised it to them.

Actual purpose: a vile grab for Lebensraum, aka murder for soil.

2. Alien invasion and brutal occupation of Afghanistan, 2001+.

Ostensible reason: Bin Laden, alleged plotter of 9/11 lived there.

Actual purposes: murder for pipeline routes, US hegemony.

3. Alien invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq, 2003+.

Ostensible reasons: a) disarm & b) tyrant, etc..

Actual purposes: 'help' Zs, murder for oil.

That's almost enough on war for now; suffice it to say that IF any so-called 'leader(s)' act beyond their remit, i.e. without fully and honestly informing their electorate and receiving informed consent in return, THEN that is tyranny (... arbitrary use of authority [POD]). The regimes of the Anglo/Judaic bloc, aided by the NATO sell-outs tell us, we the sheople, their warmongering lies. IF we support the warmongers THEN we are responsible for the deaths of the victims in the targeted lands. If we do *not* support the warmongers then those warmongers are murdering tyrants - all on their own. Well? How do *you* vote? Is *your* chosen party at war? (Tip: Under Aus' preferential voting, everyone putting Lib/Lab last would *guarantee* some 3rd party candidate with the most #1 votes being elected. A parliament full of non Lib/Labs *could not do worse*.) The final war-words here are these: What of the hapless victims? How on earth did they ever 'deserve' to be plundered if not murdered?


Discourse; money: We resume where my "sensible, reasonable approach" left off, namely from «... a religious cult [of] Friedmanite/Randian voodoo economics... they have to be stopped before they destroy the earth and everything on it, including us.»

The topic is neoliberalism/globalisation (aka economic rationalism; such fine, high-sounding words...) with accent on Greece at the moment; the other PIIGS could be next and then any country, Germany or Aus, say... even the US (we could be so lucky...)


Interlude: The first signs of trouble that I personally experienced were during the Whitlam interregnum (of course that's a v.strange word, 'interregnum', but that's how it now feels, seen 'from here.') On the one hand, Whitlam made a stupendous breakthrough, and had (as far as I knew) all the correct policies. At the very least, far, far better than the stodgy, dodgy pro-war, anti-worker Liberals (they never changed, except for the worse), then there were wonders such as Medibank. But on the other hand, the 'establishment' went absolutely *mad*, 'led' by (expletive redacted) Murdoch's theAus and the bratty 'born to rules' both. We'll never know how good it could have all been (for us, we the sheople) - but it was savaged, sabotaged, torpedoed, destroyed. Destroyed by people who were mostly well-off, secure and under no real threat; again, nothing much has changed, except for the worse. Medibank still exists although split and mutilated, but not for much longer if Abbott gets in. Trying not to anticipate the next section, we can see exactly the same sort of spoiled-little-rich-kid behaviour by the Libs and miners vis-à-vis Lab's currently proposed minerals resource rent tax (MRRT - after PRRT, also Resource Super Profits Tax, RSPT). Swan has already explained the situation; Aus' return on minerals has fallen from about 1/3 to 1/7. Q: Whose bloody resources are they, the fat-cats' or ours, we the sheople? End of interlude.


Trigger article:

May 21, 2010
Greek tragedy
By Henry C K Liu
  «Following misguided neoliberal market fundamentalist advice, Greece abandoned its national currency, the drachma, in favor of the euro in 2002. This critically consequential move enabled the Greek government to benefit from the strength of the euro, albeit not derived exclusively from the strength of the Greek economy, but from the strength of the economies of the stronger eurozone member states, and to borrow at lower interest rates collateralized by Greek assets denominated in euros.» 

Comment: The article is long, and is only part 8 of a series not yet complete. Obviously, I can't do Liu justice by quoting 'snips;' as usual, one should read the lot. However, long-story-short; if we just take a few secs to 'look out the window,' we can see that across the world, 'the system' is failing. The lies they told us are becoming *self-evident* lies; the 'rising tide lifting all boats' isn't, and 'a smaller slice of a larger pie' is *not* bigger than what we had before. Evidence: all these governments 'falling' deeper into in debt, all those privatised utilities now costing us *more* - with lower 'performance metrics' to boot. Apart from that, the sheople almost everywhere are poorer, sadder & far more fearful about their economic security. How can this possibly be called progress; is this really the best these effing economists can conjure?


Terminology: The Washington consensus; neoliberalism/globalisation, economic rationalisation. World Bank, IMF, WTO. All associated, all 'leading' us to disaster; significantly, any 'social compact' has all but been abandoned to so-called 'market forces.' What it did and is still doing, is giving licence to the crooks, the rip-off merchants. Here from wiki:

  «Neoliberalism is an ideology favoured by establishment politicians and financial sector economists[1], ... [from] A Neoliberal’s Manifesto, Neoliberalism is an ideology that asserts social progress can occur as a result of economic liberalism.[4] ... Broadly speaking, neoliberalism seeks to transfer control of the economy from public to the private sector,[7] under the belief that it will produce a more efficient government and improve the economic health of the nation.[8] ...» 

Comment: This and others in this wiki-group are growing 'obtuse,' aka over-complicated. Possibly, they've become yet anther 'victim' to the economist 'pros' - who seek, so it seems, primarily to obfuscate.

So back to Liu:

Greek tragedy (cont.)
  «Financial capital growth is to be served at the expense of human capital growth. Sound money, undiluted by inflation, is to be achieved by keeping wages low through structural unemployment. Pockets of poverty in the periphery are deemed as the necessary price for the prosperous center. Such dogmas grant unemployment and poverty, conditions of economic disaster, undeserved conceptual respectability. State intervention has come to focus mainly on reducing the market power of labor in favor of capital in a blatantly predatory market mechanism.» 
[atimes/Liu, ibid.]

For a list of the 10 neoliberal points, see [1].
[Any white space preceding the table is due to a blogger HTML bug.]

Now, Occam's razor: We can see that many parts of neoliberalism do not work - *for* us, we the sheople - in dismal fact, quite the opposite. In my "sensible, reasonable approach", I discussed 'Natural' monopolies vis-à-vis utilities such as water, elec. & 'phone, etc.. Handing these over to the private sector - privatising, flogging off functioning services built up using the people's money, sold for peanuts and then squeezed for profits by radically down-sizing the work force, out-sourcing, sub-contracting; all the sleazy, anti-worker tricks, has not brought us better or less expensive services - and then note the imported Telstra management complaining that they couldn't 'leverage the monopoly.' Decoded, this means that the government disallowed some proposed rip-off of us, we the customers. Neoliberalism's deregulation is designed to free such crooks from all control. Why? Everywhere one looks, one can find shonks; it's why we yearn for honest cops.

Then, consider #3; "tax reform to lower marginal rates and broaden the tax base." In practice, this means new, regressive taxation directly enabling the transfer of tax liability from the richer to the poorer. How filthily iniquitous??! And the people were 'convinced' (but misinformed, aka allow themselves to be deluded) to vote for the Libs' GST. Offered 1st, note, by Lab - see note below about no choice, aka bipartisan. We can see the results in Greece, try this from Hudson: "The wealthy won’t pay their taxes, so labor must do so."

We hardly need to list the squillion ways globalisation/neoliberalism is failing, then recall Perkins' "Economic Hit Man." The IMF *forced* neoliberalism onto 3rd world countries tricked/trapped into deficits. Some governments (like in Aus, *both* Lib & Lab) have *voluntarily* applied, *are still* applying neoliberalism - a system now seen to be a failure. Then along comes Merkel & the EU + IMF - forcing a SAP (structural adjustment program) on Greece. Despair!

The questions are becoming increasingly critical:

Q: Why aren't we the (voting) sheople a) properly informed then b) given the chance to reject being subjected to neoliberalism? Voters simply cannot fulfil their democratic obligations if misinformed. Further, IF both parties in a two-party system pursue the same policies (bipartisanship) THEN that gives us no choice at all; no choice = un- and anti-democratic = tyranny.

Q: Did the originators of neoliberalism a) know what they were doing all along and therefore lied to us (moral failure) - or were they b) genuinely mistaken (intellectual failure), and whatever the answer to those two, c) when will they admit their error, and allow us to begin the roll-back (i.e. correct all failures)?


Fazit: TINA vs. Einstein. We should have known, when we heard it from Thatcher, then came Reagan; the newest Merkel: "There is no alternative!"

Oh, but of course there is.

Einstein said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Repeating misguided neoliberal market fundamentalist policies will only give more of what we're already getting: economic disaster.

The alternative is quite obvious: Return to a properly progressive taxation system (Q: Why do crooks rob banks? A: Because that's where the money is.) Sooo, we all know who to properly tax - for the slower ones, start taxing the rich. Squeeze them almost dry - that's exactly what neoliberalism has been doing to us, we the sheople; so sauce for the (golden) geese.

When do we start preferring Einstein to erring, rip-off TINA?


PS Note neoliberalism's "secure private-property rights." How (and when!) should this be applied to the hapless ELO/Os (erstwhile legal owner/occupiers) of Palestine?

[Update 1; 23May'10.]

Supporting article:

Obama pledges new era of cooperation
Posted May 23, 2010 14:30:00
  «Though he did not explicitly revoke the Bush Doctrine, he emphasised the need to prevent attacks through multilateral cooperation with intelligence agencies "working seamlessly with their counterparts to unravel plots".
He also asserted that the only reason US forces continued fighting in Afghanistan was because "plotting persists to this day" there by Al Qaeda militants behind the September 11 attacks on the United States.»

Comment: 'The only reason ... 9/11 ... Al Qaeda ... plots,' eh? No pipeline wishes? No hegemony? Tell it to the dumbed-down sheople.

Supporting article:

May 21 - 23, 2010
What Happens When Deficit Hawks Set Policy
Meltdown in the EU
  «Deficit cutting during a downturn creates bigger deficits, higher unemployment, greater economic contraction, and more suffering. Every country that follows the IMF's prescription for belt-tightening, undergoes a mini-Depression. That's because it’s bad economics (or, rather) politically-driven economics. By weakening the state, private industry and speculators hope to grab public assets on the cheap and force privatization of public services. These are the real objectives behind the austerity measures.» 
[counterpunch/Mike Whitney]

Comment: The IMF&Co, plus Merkel here, are economic vandal/vultures.


[A table follows; any white space preceding it is due to a blogger HTML bug.]

Neoliberal '10 commandments;'
according to Liuaccording to wiki
1) fiscal discipline;
1 Fiscal policy Governments should not run large deficits that have to be paid back by future citizens, and such deficits can only have a short term effect on the level of employment in the economy. Constant deficits will lead to higher inflation and lower productivity, and should be avoided. Deficits should only be used for occasional stabilization purposes.
2) redirection of public-expenditure priorities toward fields offering high economic returns;
2 Redirection of public spending from subsidies (especially what neoliberals call "indiscriminate subsidies" and other spending neoliberals deem wasteful) toward broad-based provision of key pro-growth, pro-poor services like primary education, primary health care and infrastructure investment[*]
3) tax reform to lower marginal rates and broaden the tax base;
3 Tax reform– broadening the tax base and adopting moderate marginal tax rates to encourage innovation and efficiency;
Interest rates that are market determined and positive (but moderate) in real terms;
4) interest-rate liberalization;
0 Financialization of capital.
5) competitive exchange rates;
4 Floating exchange rates;
6) trade liberalization;
5 Trade liberalization – liberalization of imports, with particular emphasis on elimination of quantitative restrictions (licensing, etc.); any trade protection to be provided by law and relatively uniform tariffs; thus encouraging competition and long term growth
7) liberalization of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows;
6 Liberalization of the "capital account" of the balance of payments, that is, allowing people the opportunity to invest funds overseas and allowing foreign funds to be invested in the home country
8) privatization;
7 Privatization of state enterprises; Promoting market provision of goods and services which the government can not provide as effectively or efficiently, such as telecommunications, where having many service providers promotes choice and competition.
9) deregulation;
8 Deregulation – abolition of regulations that impede market entry or restrict competition, except for those justified on safety, environmental and consumer protection grounds, and prudent oversight of financial institutions;
10) secure private-property rights.
9 Legal security for property rights.

[*] Comment: Note that the numbers don't match (specifically at/from #4), and I had to 'correct' wiki's #2. Note also wiki's long-windedness - I suppose nothing can be nice and simple, eh? Given the seriousness of the matter, you'd think there'd be an accepted 'standard' version (St. Wall's perhaps?)


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