Feb 032015
 
 February 3, 2015  Posted by at 12:06 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,


Harris&Ewing House-Capitol tunnel, Washington, DC Feb 3 1939

It’s all still about Greece, and that makes sense, if nothing else Syriza is a breath if not a tornado of fresh air. But those too pass. The question at the end remains: did anything really change? It’s quite possible, don’t get me wrong, but Tsipras and Vanoufakis are busy looking out for the people who voted for them, not the rest of the Europe, or the world for that matter. And neither should they.

They’ve already gotten good response from Obama, from France and Britain, and if only for that reason they will get more. But you have to understand what they are trying to do: getting a better life for their own people, and that’s hard enough all by itself. The best they can do for now, hopefully, is that. But Greece is merely a symptom of something bigger and deeper that is going wrong.

There’s an ideological battle happening between money and wellbeing, between people and banks. Western leaders have so far chosen to protect money and banks, instead of people and their wellbeing, and that’s why we find ourselves where we do. Choosing money before people can only end in the demise of the system that makes such a choice. That, however, is apparently terribly hard to comprehend.

And that got Greece where it is. That’s why Europe set up a ‘union’ that shares a currency but that has no provisions to transfer funds from – even temporarily – weak regions from stronger ones. Even the US has that, or it would have imploded long ago. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder if maybe the EU wasn’t set up from the start so Germany could exploit the Mediterranean.

But even that is not the core issue. It’s money over people that is. And Brussels should not just be ashamed for what they’ve done to Greece, they should be driven out of town with tar and feathers. That’s not how they see it, though. Brussels, in the voice of Eurogroup head Dijsselbloem, when he met with new Greek FinMin Varoufakis, had the audacity – and stupidity, his job is up for grabs – to point out that much progress had been made. As the troika demands have turned Greece into a third world nation. That’s known as progress.

If you think about it, it’s not much different from how US policies have turned Detroit, and many other places, into semi-hellholes. It’s fine if there’s a difference between West Virginia and the Hamptons, it’s just about how big that difference gets.

It all comes down to a system that is failing spectacularly. Failing, that is, even if it’s intentional: there are plenty Darwinists and neo-liberals who would swear the poor only get what they deserve. Just as Brussels apparently saw the Greeks: let ’em bleed, let ’em suffer, let ’em die, it’s only because they borrowed too much.

I can’t seem to figure out the logic there: if they borrowed so much, why are they unemployed and miserable and without health care? The answer to that of course is that they didn’t, it’s 90%+ money that flowed into western banks to make up for their gambling losses. It should by now be a non-issue, because it’s so glaringly obvious, but the narrative is strong.

This is not about Greece, this is about ideology, about economics as a belief system, a system so blind it sacrifices real people and proclaims that is a good thing: ‘much progress had been made’. Some people are saying: you need to help these people who end up on the wrong side of the economic tracks, while others invoke Darwin.

But you need to ask how they got where they are, or you’ll never solve the issue, you’ll just need up murdering people. And whether they deserve it or not, murder is not legal, Mr. Dijsselbloem. And neither is using your job to put people into misery, not even if your economic beliefs say that’s alright.

In the US, a lot of people complain about how the country has turned into a socialist bastion. And even taking into account that the word has a very different connotation stateside than it does in Europe and other parts of the world, it’s simply not correct, it doesn’t fit.

The US, like western Europe, is in the midst of a massive failure of its brand of capitalism. There are no free markets, no price discovery, there are asset bubbles being blown with money that belongs to our grandchildren as people are thrown into despair, while others attain unparalleled riches, and the whole grossly distorted movie is fed to everyone by a well-oiled spin machine.

Yes, 40 million Americans are on food stamps, 100 million are not even officially in the labor force, and perhaps as much as most Americans are receiving some sort of government assistance, but that doesn’t make it socialism. It makes it a failed capitalist system. Socialism is supposed to be about a society that cares, and that’s not what those US government handouts are about. They’re about keeping people quiet in a failed system.

Europe understands the ‘caring society’ definition of socialism much better. Or it used to. Now it has to face the ‘New Greeks’, elected to stand up against a Europe that does not care one bit. That only wants Greece to obey its budget and bailout rules, over the bodies of its own people. The Greeks have democratically voted not to take that anymore.

Can you imagine what would happen in the US if the government pay-outs were halted? If there were no more foodstamps? The epic failure of the economic system would come to light in too many ways to mention. But one thing’s for sure, it would create one big mess of chaos and unrest that would sweep across the streets of the country like a tidal wave.

Nothing to do with socialism, that’s a political ideology, like capitalism is. There’s not much between them, once you put people first in either.

Still, for now, we all live in a failed economic system, and we refuse to admit it, edged on by our self-serving leaders and media. But how is it not obvious? It is in Greece, after all.

Home Forums Is It Socialism or Just Failure?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  jal 4 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #18843

    Harris&Ewing House-Capitol tunnel, Washington, DC Feb 3 1939 It’s all still about Greece, and that makes sense, if nothing else Syriza is a breath if
    [See the full post at: Is It Socialism or Just Failure?]

    #18844

    Greenpa
    Participant

    Please do not confuse Ayn Rand and Charles Darwin! Heavens!

    #18845

    Professorlocknload
    Participant

    Syriza is looking out for those who financed it’s campaign, not those who voted for it.

    But then, in the beginning, populists always seem so egalitarian, don’t they.

    #18846

    Ken Barrows
    Participant

    Not a good day for Syriza. Greek govt is backing away (for now) from demanding debt writedowns. I wonder if supporters of Syriza think it can be 2007 again. If they do, they shouldn’t.

    #18847

    Chris M
    Participant

    “Western leaders have so far chosen to protect money and banks, instead of people and their wellbeing, and that’s why we find ourselves where we do.”

    To call them leaders, is to give them too much credit. They are not leaders. They follow the wishes of the elites. True leaders look out for the wellbeing of their countrymen. They have courage. We generally don’t have leaders in the west.

    “Choosing money before people can only end in the demise of the system that makes such a choice. That, however, is apparently terribly hard to comprehend.”

    Comprehension is something we don’t do very well in the west either. Today I happened to run across a copy of USA Today when I was in the lobby of a hotel. Now, I have to admit, I don’t know how many people actually read that publication, but something caught my eye on the front page. There was an article by Trish Regan of Bloomberg Television.(https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2015/02/02/oil-price-stocks-economy-consumer-gas-prices/22584385/) Here is something Trish “says”:

    “Enough, already. Has everyone forgotten that consumers represent nearly 70% of the entire U.S. economy?

    Apparently, many have.

    So here’s a primer: Lower oil means lower prices at the gas pumps, which means more money in consumers’ pockets. Yes, the same consumers’ pockets that fuel our U.S. economy.”

    To me, the ignorance of this statement is staggering. It is a misnomer to say consumers “fuel” the economy. Demand is created by supply if the supply is priced at par in the first place. At less than parity the income needed to consume the production is not created. Supply without effective demand cannot be consumed.

    In perhaps simpler terms, if oil is priced below the cost of production, there isn’t the money created to consume it. Unless…..unless….we create the money by monetizing debt. Thus our problem, is it not?

    The ignorance of our public is astounding. The reason we have such journalism, is that the public is easily fooled.

    I am reminded of a passage of scripture (Hosea 4:6) “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

    Ilargi, you are right. We have a failed capitalist system. As I look at what is happening in Greece and Europe, I often wonder when change will come here, in the USA. I am tempted to think that things just haven’t gotten bad enough. As you say, we have mastered the ability to put a veneer over things and pacify the public.

    Yet, I think when things get bad enough, a leader will arise. But who will he or she be? Will he or she have a heart for the people?

    #18848

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    Syriza needs time to find wider support from the other peripheral countries. They have two choices. They can use the 30 day playbook or they can use the 150 day playbook.

    If they engage in brinksmanship too soon, they risk loss of ECB support at the end of February. If they can get past the end of February, the next looming deadline will be in June.

    They need to drag this out. Yanis is a great spokesman. Come March 1 I would rather see him making impassioned speeches to his fellow Europeans rather than scambling to impose capital controls and hastily roll out the new dranchma.

    #18849

    william
    Participant

    I have been studying computational chaos for about a year now. Looking to see how this effects the markets. I think what is going on with bailouts causes a different problem.

    To explain how this fits a short bit of history. Computational chaos is under the field of fluid dynamics. Leonardo da Vinci ran an experiment. He build a stream added a rock. At a low flow everything stayed at a steady state. Up the flow and after the rock a vortex appeared. Even greater flow and the vortex moves further away from the rock. When a larger flow occurs the vortex jumps from between the two states. Infact a greater flow creates four states the next jump is to 8.

    Increases will cause mutliple vortexes and double of the previous state. Further confusing the issues is if a vortex tries to form before the old has ceased. In this cause the old vortex influence the position of the next.

    What does this have to do with Greece and bailouts? Bailouts are like increasing the flow of water. The vortexes are like price discovery.

    Its not an issue of socialism its an issue that nothing is going to work. Further aid destablizes prices. Look at oil. I read an article that oil has stabalized at $50 but the next day its at $45. Then there is an article that oil will bottom out at $40 and the next day oil is at $48. Its a jumping vortex with multiple stable states.

    All of the best of math can’t predict the position of the vortexes. They can predict states that are attracted and repulsed. No one can predict the timing though of a change.

    The new norm is that rather than QE not having an effect its the opposite. QE has an ever increasing destabilizing effect. Ironic the very thing present to cause the solution causes the problem.

    #18850

    Hotrod
    Participant

    “Yet, I think when things get bad enough, a leader will arise. But who will he or she be? Will he or she have a heart for the people?”

    If history is any guide we will not be very lucky. The potential leader is likely to be a sociopath-or worse. That’s why we may all rue the change we advocate for. It could easily get even more Fascist than now.

    #18851

    Raleigh
    Participant

    Hotrod – I think the current leaders are already sociopaths and, yes, I think it will get more fascist as time goes on.

    William – “What does this have to do with Greece and bailouts? Bailouts are like increasing the flow of water. The vortexes are like price discovery.” Really good description! I think you are bang on!

    #18857

    jal
    Participant

    I got to repeat it.

    We have a failed capitalist system.

    Let’s move on and try a system that works for everyone.

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