Archive for the ‘Capitalism’ tag
Jamie is sick, but here’s a new (short) Citizen Radio! Egyptian President Morsi’s power grab,thoughts on Black Friday, and not too much vomiting.
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(Originally aired 12/23/09) Citizen Radio interviews author, activist, and former Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, for the full hour!
As an EHM (Economic Hit Man), Perkins’s job was to convince Third World countries to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development—loans that were much larger than needed—and to guarantee that the development projects were contracted to U.S. corporations like Halliburton and Bechtel.
Once these countries were saddled with huge debts, the U.S. government and the international aid agencies allied with it were able to control these economies and to ensure that oil and other resources were channeled to serve the interests of building a global empire.
Perkins is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and the new book, Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded–and What We Need to Do to Remake Them.
Also check out Perkins’ website (http://www.johnperkins.org/) and add him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/economic_hitman).
He joins Citizen Radio for the full hour to discuss his job as an EHM, US-led assassinations, his accurate predictions that Iceland’s economy would collapse, the dangers of hyper-Capitalism and global Corporatism (including how America’s domestic banks, the IMF, and The World Bank enslave people with debt,) and the EHMs’ treatment of Iran, Bolivia, and Venezuela.
Perkins shares the success stories of people fighting corporate takeovers like the Bolivians’ fight with Bechtel, the huge corporation that privatized Bolivia’s water supply, the lawsuit Ecuadorians have filed against Texaco, which has since been purchased by Chevron, and Latin and South America’s social revolutions that reject predatory Capitalism.
Finally, Perkins explains why government regulation is important, how Obama’s economic team are “scum,” China’s role in the new world, and what citizens can do to make Capitalism more egalitarian and humane.
Citizen Radio is a member-supported show. Visit http://wearecitizenradio.com to sign up and support media that won’t lead you to war, and to keep CR Productions growing!
You guys, I never realized how hilarious Alan Greenspan is…
Today’s competitive markets, whether we seek to recognise it or not, are driven by an international version of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” that is unredeemably opaque. With notably rare exceptions (2008, for example), the global “invisible hand” has created relatively stable exchange rates, interest rates, prices, and wage rates.
Yeah, except for that incident in 2008 where the word’s economy plunged from the heavens like a fiery meteor, everything has been awesome. Oh, and apart from all those other times that happen around “every three years,” according to Larry Summers.
Over the past 20 years major financial disruptions have taken place roughly every three years, starting with the 1987 stock market crash; the Savings & Loans collapse and credit crunch of the early 1990s; the 1994 Mexican crisis; the Asian financial crises of 1997 with the Russian and Long-Term Capital Management events of 1998; the bursting of the technology bubble in 2000; the potential disruptions of the payments system after the events of September 11 2001 and the deflationary scare in the credit markets in 2002 after the collapse of Enron.
And I suppose wages have indeed been stable if by “stable” Alan means stagnant inside the United States for over thirty years. Also, too, international prices are stable unless you’re a poor brown person looking to buy bread, in which case stab your neighbor and try to steal his flour because the invisible hand of the market is coming to crush you.
Alan must have temporarily blacked out and forgotten he already confessed back in 2008 that he placed too much faith in the ability of markets to correct themselves, and that his belief in deregulation had been shaken. Somewhere between 2008 and 2011, however, the markets went back to being God’s perfect tools.
Of course, I think Alan means the invisible hand has created relative stability for a small clan of plutocrats while everyone else throws elbows to secure the crumbs left behind.
By allowing banks to kick people out of their homes using fraudulent creative paperwork, this kind of fraud is inevitable.
A sign in the front of a building on West 39th Street tells visitors that it’s the Unicredit Debt Resolution Center in Erie.
Once debtors got inside, they were fooled into believing they were in a courtroom with a judge, but the whole thing was a fake, according to a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania attorney general.
Team 4′s Jim Parsons reported that Unicredit America is accused in the lawsuit of deceiving, misleading and coercing hundreds of consumers into paying off their debts.
Well, why not? Banks used hairdressers and Wal-Mart floor workers with no formal training as “foreclosure experts” in order to make millions of Americans destitute because their exploitive loans are now worth more than their homes. After all, indebted people are stupid, and they deserve to be taken advantage of.
I do have to give Unicredit America points for creativity, though.
The Attorney General’s Office told Team 4 that Unicredit lured debtors to the building by sending employees who appeared to be sheriff’s deputies to their homes, implying that they would be taken into custody if they failed to appear at the phony court hearings.
So much of what the elite business class does is pure illusion. Grab a couple hairdressers and call ‘em “foreclosure experts.” Clean up some of the fellas at the bus stop and they’re “sheriffs.” Sell some poor people shitty loans and call them “subprime mortgages.”
When the underclass does this, it’s called fraud. When the elite does it, it’s called Capitalism.
The WSJ published a ridiculous article yesterday that claims Capitalism saved the Chilean miners, and opens with a boldface lie when writer Daniel Henninger proclaims, “It needs to be said.” Does it, Daniel? Does it really?
Henninger believes the rescue of the miners is a smashing success for free market Capitalism because without that nifty drill bit, which was the only tool capable of freeing the workers, those blue-collar suckers would still be trapped in the belly of the earth with Satan and his fiery army. You see, the drill bit was developed by a company for a profit, which obviously means regulation and anything else that stands in the way of the righteous free market, is are killing Chilean miners. Or something.
In reality, Capitalism helped contribute to the mine disaster. That is, hyper-Capitalism, the most warped version of Capitalism, which sacrifices regulation in the name of profit, led to mine disasters that culminated with 33 men being trapped deep below ground in darkness for 69 days.
Dick Blin, a spokesman for the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions in Geneva, says the Chile accident is a sign that the workplace safety culture needs to change in Chile. As proof, Blin cites the fact that the San Jose Mine was closed down for safety violations in 2006 and 2007.
I find it disturbing that a major city being put on lockdown in order to accommodate the international elite and suppress the underclass has become standard — and acceptable — procedure.
Right now, the leaders of rich and developing nations are in Toronto, and the authorities anticipated that there will be a series of protests during the conferences because there are always protests during the G8/G20 meet-ups.
Capitalism is particularly unpopular right now because the US has unleashed a steroid-filled version of it unto the world, and this economic system has failed to provide for the majority of people. It has, however, created a dwindling elitist echelon who control a vast majority of riches. In the year of Hayward and his yachting adventures, there’s no reason to doubt there will be any fewer protests against the douchiest rich people among us.
Toronto was ready to suppress such dissent, and shape a nice, pleasant narrative for the city’s visitors, by implementing a complete and total lockdown.
The “lockdown” of central Toronto includes a 3m-high (10ft), 3.5km (2.2-mile) concrete and metal fence enclosing the G20 meeting area and a huge security presence. Banks and theatres will be closed, as will one of Canada’s most famous tourist attractions – the CN Tower.
It’s important to remember that the supposed goal of the G20 summit is “to continue the work of building a healthier, stronger and more sustainable global economy.” And what better way to express that kind of egalitarian unity than to build a 10-ft-high, 2-mile-long fence to keep out the serfs?
These kinds of global gatherings have also become a playground for authorities to experiment with their newest, shiniest crowd control devices. Last year, I reported that Pittsburgh police demonstrated the latest suppression technology on protesters near that year’s G20 summit. The weapon du jour were sound cannons.
Lately, the charter school craze has been widely criticized for reinforcing segregation. Researchers led by UCLA education researcher Gary Orfield have found that black students make up most urban charter schools in the US, but that in western states, white students are a near-majority of charter school enrollment.
Obviously, segregating schools based on race has been illegal in this country since Brown v. Board of Education, but segregating schools based on class is still permitted.
Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, says although public schools have become much more segregated since the Supreme Court changed the law in the 1990s, charter schools are vastly more segregated, and class, along with race, is a discrimination factor.
It’s segregation not just by race, but also by poverty; and that there are not only segregated black schools and some segregated Latino schools, but there’s also segregated white schools that overrepresent whites in some states, including California.
But class warfare isn’t just the province of charter schools anymore.
In a series of diabolically stupid video manipulations, a cabal of anti-poverty filmmakers have performed an elaborate slander of the World Economic Forum, showing its “leading lights” taking a dramatic departure from the litany of meaningless pledges they usually make at the annual gathering in the Swiss resort town.
In response, WEF spokesperson Adrian Monck could barely contain himself. “The only defense to satire is common sense!” he sputtered, before racing back into the WEF war room to deal with the burgeoning crisis.
Fortunately for the WEF, few media outlets picked up on the WEF’s fantastic but fictional approach to world poverty (“World Leaders Pledge Strategy to End Poverty Now”). Instead, the media was dominated by coverage of a real WEF press release warning of “Over Regulation of the Financial Sector” (sic).
The Yes Men are culture-jamming activists who practice “identity correction.” They pose as powerful leaders and create fake websites as a way to strip corporations of all their PRspeak and expose the heart of corruption.
Think of this as a form of protest Americans (and their media) actually pay attention to. Pickets and rallies are all well and good, but TYM are theater, and America loves to be entertained.
I was asked by Davis Fleetwood to write up a brief summary of what I believe to be the “most important story of the past decade.” Picking just one story is a pretty daunting task considering the list of possible choices: the ongoing Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan assaults, torture, poverty, and global warming. However, I chose to write about Hypercapitalism.
Money tends to be the source of most conflicts, and Hypercapitalism, in my opinion, is the most destructive economic force the world has ever encountered.
The Age of Hypercapitalism
No other economic system in the history of the world has inflicted so much damage to the environment, society, culture, and the lives of billions of human beings as Hypercapitalism.
While Capitalism has been with us ever since humans first determined labor should be compensated with pay, Hypercapitalism is a fairly new phenomenon that involves massive overleveraging by financial firms and widespread deregulation by the government. Hypercapitalism is also known by another name: Corporatism, or Fascism, which simply means the combination of a radical and authoritarian nationalism with a corporatist economic system.
NEWARK, Del. — Finding character witnesses when you are 6 years old is not easy. But there was Zachary Christie last week at a school disciplinary committee hearing with his karate instructor and his mother’s fiancé by his side to vouch for him.
Zachary’s offense? Taking a Cub Scout utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school. He was so excited about joining the Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch. School officials concluded that he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary now faces 45 days in the district’s reform school.
When great tragedy happens in this country (say, planes flying into towers or two young men shooting up their high school,) Americans typically react in the following fashion:
- Freak the fuck out
- Believe whatever the loudest politician tells them
- Assign blame to a convenient, but usually incorrect target
- Participate in a reactive, hyper-totalitarian government policy
- Repeat at next tragedy
The list applies to the post-9/11 hysteria, but it also applies to post-Columbine America. “Zero-tolerance” policy arose from the string of shooting sprees in American high schools. As usual, schools did not thoughtfully analyze what kind of school environment (complete with hierarchical sects and rampant bullying) is inspiring such horrific shootings. Rather, schools followed steps 1 through 5, and opted for a hyper-totalitarian state within a state where children are all treated as suspects, including little Zachary Christie.