Saturday, November 06, 2010

US Austerity aka Structural Adjustments Part 2

                                               From The Ramparts
                                              Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                          Structural Adjustments Are Here Now

    “The rich, aided and abetted by the two wings of the Money Party, have bankrupted the government. The economic crisis is pulling back the curtain of democratic pretense to expose the brick wall of a callous system that ignores social needs to satisfy the whims of a parasitic ‘opulent minority.’ And  while ‘...Wall Street has extracted $13 trillion in bailouts just since October 2008, the thought of raising taxes on wealth to pay just $1 trillion over an entire decade for Social Security or health insurance is deemed a crisis that would lead Wall Street to shut down the economy.’ Wall Street is demanding that governments around the world makeup for the profligacy of the financial sector by taking what little they left to their victims through higher taxes and slashing or eliminating social programs. This is the basis of the global financial "crisis." It's the mechanism of corporate colonization coming home to roost. This time the US is the economic colony du jour. The middle class in America is being crushed and brushed off the economic banquet table like crumbs, while wealth continues to shift to the ‘opulent minority’ waiting at the top of the wealth pyramid, calmly sipping mint juleps as they arrange all the repression they'll need to put down potential unrest. Deja vu. We're right back where we were when King George III and the British East India Company were in charge.”  Social Inequality in America: Widening Income Disparities. Workhouse Nation
Vi Rensal

    Last week we pointed out the US economic crisis is part of a criminal global banking scheme  whereby bribed politicians, financial thugs and phoney “economic scholars” who shill for the banksters induce governments to get themselves into massive debt, while they surreptitiously collapse the financial system, then force the taxpayers to ante up to pay for it. The goal is to rob  us of all our assets, leave us economically anemic, in debt up the wazo then steal the infrastructure for pennies on the dollar to complete the heist.  Unlike during the 1930's when FDR came to the rescue of the farmers, factory owners and home owners, today  there is no hero coming to our aid. Obama has been exposed as a hoax and dud and he is done nothing to help the little guy. The populous movement is impotent. The country is too dumbed down, distracted, disunited and discombobulated to realize what’s going on. All Joe and Jane Sixpack, Pookie and Shananay know is they are barely keeping their heads above water or they are drowning in a sea of debt.  They are not alone. So are most states, county and local municipalities.
And the federal government is the worst offender of all. “Falling property values result in lower property taxes to cities. As a result, cities are beginning to declare bankruptcy as they find themselves unable to pay fixed costs such as pensions promised to retired police, fire fighters and other municipal employees. States are slashing their budgets and asking the federal government for help as tax revenues decline. However, tax revenues are declining for the federal government as well, with a big hit coming with the 2008 tax year when capital gains are replaced by capital losses, plus declining income taxes due to business losses and rising unemployment.
    U.S. corporations are being manipulated into bankruptcy so they can dump their pension plan obligations onto the taxpayer. Upon emerging from bankruptcy, these companies are better able to compete with other companies around the world that do not carry these burdens. However, it is unlikely that the coming generation of taxpayers will be able to pay all the obligations that it will inherit. The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) has had a deficit each year since 2002. Revenues to all levels of government are declining, and the costs of the unfunded social safety nets are just beginning to soar.” Is The US Economy Teetering On The Brink of Collapse
The economic crisis is forcing many local governments to sell off their assets: public property, toll roads, bridges and buildings just to keep their lights on. This is exactly what the IMF World Bank and other international vampires demand of third world countries when they set them up for economic ruin. Read the book Confessions of An Economic Hitman by John Perkins to learn how it works. What we are experiencing in the US is the international money changers doing the same thing to Europe and the US.  This is getting closer to home. Last year New jersey governor Jon Corzine actually proposed selling a toll road and Pennsylvania contemplated selling its turnpike. “As it turns out, the Pennsylvania Turnpike deal almost went through, only to be killed by the state legislature, but there were others just like it that did go through, most notably the sale of all the parking meters in Chicago to a consortium that included the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, from the United Arab Emirates. There were others: A toll highway in Indiana. The Chicago Skyway. A stretch of highway in Florida. Parking meters in Nashville, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and other cities. A port in Virginia. And a whole bevy of Californian public infrastructure projects, all either already leased or set to be leased for fifty or seventy-five years or more in exchange for one-off lump sum payments of a few billion bucks at best, usually just to help patch a hole or two in a single budget year.” Our cash-strapped country is auctioning off its highways, ports and even parking meters, finding eager buyers in the Middle East By  Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone Magazine
     “What are financial markets? And why must every country be at their mercy? A financial market is anyplace the super-rich invest their money. It can be done through a bank, hedge fund, or a private equity firm, etc. The rich demand that their investments are safe and therefore are especially “skittish” at the slightest hint of inflation or other economic distress. The rich who dominate financial markets advocate only one solution to balancing budgets: reducing or eliminating social programs. They ignore the other solution— a massive public works project— because it directly affects them in a negative way: raising taxes on the wealthy. This raises another issue. The investors who control financial markets know that a day of reckoning is coming: the massive debt that was pushing forward the world economy for years needs to be paid back, and those who own the banks don’t want the responsibility. Better for millions of workers to sacrifice social services, pensions, wages, etc., than for thousands of rich investors to be taxed.” Stimulus or Austerity The People vs The Banks
 Of course the money changers don’t want to pay any more taxes than they have to so we will foot the bills and bite the bullet as they scale back our safety nets, steal our savings and reduce us to peons. “There will be no option but to find ways to increase revenues and decrease payments for Social Security, Medicare and the PBGC. In the years ahead Social Security and Medicare are projected to be underfunded by many trillions of dollars. These numbers assume the economy continues growing at the same rate as it did in the debt-stimulated past. How likely is this?  Insurance companies and private pension plans expect a certain return on their equity, bonds and real estate investments in order to fund annuities and pensions. If expected investment returns do not materialize, these companies will be unable to meet their obligations. Defined benefit pension plans may soon be unavailable. In their place will be defined contribution pension plans. You put your money in, but there is no way of knowing what you will receive. With this type of pension plan there is a great incentive to supplement your pension with additional savings... The $2 trillion social security trust funds were ‘invested’ in U.S. government treasury bonds and spent by the government. When we say that the social security program is unfunded, this is another way of saying it is likely the coming generation will be unable pay the many trillions of dollars of debt and other liabilities that are presently being accumulated by the U.S. government. A great danger of massive borrowing by the U.S. government in order to bail out the economy is that the credit worthiness of the government itself is declining. The end result of continuing on this path could be a massive default of government debt. Before this happens, however, you can expect the government to confiscate any assets it can get its hands on (Roosevelt confiscated all gold held by Americans, Argentina recently confiscated the assets of private pension funds), plus hyperinflation and restrictions on the movement of money out of the country.”
        “Our economy is designed to ‘increase injustice, inequality and exploitation,’ in order to perpetuate the dominion of the ‘opulent minority’ over us. And the deregulation of every sector of the US market was a deliberate policy decision by these stunningly insane, sociopathic, genocidal maniacs, who kept our economy alive by consumers more debt/credit in order to enrich themselves with the interest payments. Now the economy is getting intravenous bailouts of taxpayer money while it languishes on life support. And how low can they go? Check this out. ‘The United States is one of the few countries that allow the sale of human blood plasma for profits. Across the country, countless workers are selling the yellowy substance found in their blood to the pharmaceutical giants of Wall Street.’”
This gives a  whole new meaning to the words vampire and leech. The recent elections will make matters worse. “In a comment that is particularly significant coming on the eve of a long trip to Asia, including a G20 economic summit in South Korea, Obama said, ‘The most important contest we face is not the contest between Democrats and Republicans. In this century, the most important competition we face is between America and our economic competitors around the world.’ This suggests an appeal to the Republicans to join forces for an aggressive program of economic nationalism to promote the interests of American corporations against their international rivals. A key element in the Obama administration’s campaign for ‘export-led’ growth is to lower the wage levels of American workers so that American corporations can become more competitive in the world market.”    In other words don’t look for any change or help from Obomba or the government. Their plan is to lower our wages even further! Their agenda is to help the corporations make us poorer and more destitute.     Is this our destiny, is this what we have to look forward to? Not necessarily. We can best improve our personal and collective lot by getting out of personal debt no matter who long it takes. The best way to do that is by creating a realistic budget, save as much as you can and change your lifestyle from debt based consumer peonage to one of economic freedom. We’ll discuss other options in future articles.



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