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Why the Brits voted to leave the European Union

Beyond Money - July 10, 2016 - 02:01

No, it’s not xenophobia, as the elite propaganda machine would like us to believe. It’s the same phenomenon we’re seeing in American. Quite simply, people in Britain, America, and elsewhere are finally getting wise to the neo-liberal agenda which seeks to disempower people and their elected governments and place power in the hands of the unelected, undemocratic, global banking and corporate elite. As I said in an earlier post (What do Trump supporters and Sanders supporters have in common?), people are sick and tired of:

  • Politicians who promise one thing but deliver another.
  • “Political correctness” that interferes with our ability to debate the deeper issues and concerns.
  • The rich getting richer and ever more powerful while the middle class is being destroyed.
  • Big banks that are “too big to fail” yet refuse to provide adequate financing to small local businesses.
  • Legislation that favors big corporations over small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Fiscal policies that reduce taxes on corporations and the rich while forcing states and municipal governments to assume ever greater burdens.
  • Trade agreements that cede power from sovereign governments to transnational corporations thus undermining democratic government, the rights of labor, and environmental protections.
  • A disastrous foreign policy of interference in countries around the world that kills thousands of innocent people and stirs up hornet’s nests of resentment that manifest as massive displacements of people and acts of terror against the U.S. and its European NATO allies.

And as I concluded in another recent post, “Since the debt crisis of 2008, Americans of all classes and ideologies have finally begun to wake up to the facts that the game is rigged against them and that they have been manipulated and exploited by the Wall Street-Washington nexus. The next American revolution will happen when liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, Americans of all religions and races, stop being seduced by “hot-button” rhetoric and come to realize what their common interests are and are able to work in harmony toward the common good.”

In the following video, British filmmaker John Pilger expresses similar thoughts with regard to Brexit:

https://youtu.be/anht7KXQHBM


Categories: Blogs

Interledger for the credit commons?

Matslats - July 9, 2016 - 03:04

Lucas Huber suggests that the Interledger Protocol would be a suitable technology for implementing the credit commons. This post is a space to explore that more fully.
Credit commons was originally conceived as a ledger between the all the ledgers on all the separate platforms of the complementary currency movement, and the actual function of the interledger protocol is the same, to ensure that one transaction in one ledger is equivalent to another transaction in another ledger, thus that money/credit are not created/lost by mismatches in ledgers.
However when we regard money as credit relations between members of a trusted group, rather than as a commodity actually changing hands then the interledger protocol seems less suitable to me.

  1. With the mutual credit approach, there is really only one ledger in the middle which embodies the single contract which all members have entered into. But I think Interledger implies that connectors have to be set up between every possible pair of ledgers. As the network grew, an exponentially growing number of connectors would be needed. That means only within Community Forge Community Forge that would mean managing potentially thousands of connectors, many of which would never be used.
  2. That array of connectors would then need to be running a with a common policy around minimum and maximum credit limits, which would need to be updatable.
  3. Since Interledger doesn't create a ledger of ledgers, the nesting described in the Credit Commons white paper would be impossible.
  4. Interledger uses escrow methodology and assumes that transactions are irreversible, which is how money-as-a-commodity works in law. This approach just seems inappropriate for managing credit relations.
Categories: Blogs

Ripple, reciprocation and the Credit Commons.

Matslats - July 1, 2016 - 08:36

For a long time I have marvelled at the elegance of the Ripple protocol, which allows members of a network to extend trust to one another and for payments, or at least virtual payments, to ripple through the resulting mesh along pathways it finds.

Ripple was originally designed as a sort of abstraction of mutual credit. Instead of people forming groups, each account extends a line of trust to several other accounts to form a mesh. Each account is then in its own virtual group. This takes away the mutuality, and effectively puts each user their own circle.

In Ripple, mutual credit systems can be simulated when an account is created to sit in the centre, and all members trust that account according to an agreed formula and that account trusts them. This was all a bit inelegant and to be implemented with surety would have required some script to be able to control the trust vectors of other users' accounts.

For this reason I stopped asking how we would implement the Credit Commons in Ripple and started dreaming instead about what the credit commons requirements actually were. This was productive because it allowed me to to develop the governance ideas better.

But in recent days I was pulled back to the question. Ripple bypasses the governance problem by letting each user be responsible for their own credit - wouldn't it be much easier just to plug everybody in to Ripple and forget about circles within circles of mutual credit?

And today the answer came to me. No. Governance may not be needed for individual transactions, but different rules apply accross the network as a whole. Any system of exchange needs a way to manage situations when reciprocation isn't perfect and credit/debt start to clog up the system and reduce liquidity, which eventually leads to defaults. If every Ripple account was equally connected to every other account, as in the diagram on the left, then the onus would be all on individuals to give and receive in equal measure. However in the real world we would expect the network to have clusters of people trading with each other, as in the diagram on the right, and for clusters collectively to have reciprocation issues.

So if my balance is way above zero I may be able to trade it down, but if all my usual trading partners are also approaching their upper limits they won't be able to sell me much. It becomes incumbent on the whole cluster to spend outside the clusters, preferably towards other clusters who are collectively below zero. Ripple provides no way to identify these clusters, so they could communicate or formulate trade policies to solve the problem.

The current credit commons proposal puts each account in one and only one group and invites groups to create meta-groups until payments could go between any two account holders in the same top-level group. This is much more restricting because individual accounts can only be issued credit by members of their immediate group. But it also means that, at each level of grouping, there is a space for policy and relations with neighbouring groups.

With the LETS and timebanks and business barter systems that will be fine, because they already work like that. In the wider economy however, solidarity, self organised groups are rare, which is of course a large part of the original problem!

So I think current fractal design for the Credit Commons is appropriate, but I'm reminded that members will need to be educated about how to use it.

Categories: Blogs

Brexit and the prospects for Europe and the world

Beyond Money - July 1, 2016 - 03:34

It’s very difficult to know what the tactics and specific manipulations of the global elite might be from day to day. The Brexit vote surprised almost everyone, including me. But it’s hard for me to imagine that Brexit might be something the elite want because they have engineered the terms of European union to concentrate ever more power in their own hands, which is what they’ve been up to for decades, if not centuries.

Therefore, I expect a lot of foot dragging and I do not expect the referendum to be acted on with any haste. Instead, terms of union will be renegotiated with the apparent, but not real, return of some sovereignty to the Brits. Then “stay” will be sold to them and another referendum held to legitimize remaining in the union.

In the meantime, the ongoing financial crisis is approaching another tipping point which may throw the banking system into a chaotic state with which governments will be unable to cope.[i] It may then be a case of “every nation for itself” as people demand that their respective governments “do something” to prevent breakdown of their domestic economies, and to hell with EU regulations. That will mark the de facto disintegration of the European Union.

Of course, I may be completely wrong, but it will more likely be an error of timing, as I see the breakup of the UE and the demise of the global money and financial regime as inevitable. –t.h.g.

[i] According to a recent IMF report, “…Germany’s contribution to ensuring the success of the new European financial stability architecture is crucial for fostering its domestic financial stability and the success of the European reform agenda.” (IMF Country Report No. 16/189. GERMANY FINANCIAL SECTOR ASSESSMENT PROGRAM, FINANCIAL SYSTEM STABILITY ASSESSMENT). But an analysis of that same IMF report by Tyler Durden, (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-29/imf-deutsche-bank-poses-greatest-risk-global-financial-system) concludes that “Deutsche Bank poses the greatest systemic risk to the global financial system.”


Categories: Blogs

Brexit, the funny side of “stay”

Beyond Money - June 24, 2016 - 00:23

While meant to be humorous, this as the ring of truth to it.


Categories: Blogs

Conversation with Vrillissia timebank, Athens

Matslats - June 17, 2016 - 01:58
I sat down with Athens' newest Timebank, Vrilissia, and Luke Flegg to talk about cooperation in Austerity-riddled Greece. Download conversation Your browser does not support the audio element.
Categories: Blogs

Final Workshop Announcement—Innovative Finance and Exchange

Beyond Money - June 13, 2016 - 02:32

Society is Exchange! – Frederic Bastiat.

All the perplexities, confusions and distresses in America arise not from defects in the Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, as much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.
– President John Adams, from a letter to Thomas Jefferson (1787-08-25), in The Works of John Adams

As the time grows near I want to remind everyone that my workshop on innovative finance and exchange is set to begin in about 10 days time at Kalikalos Holistic Summer School in Greece (http://www.kalikalos.org/exchange-finance). It will start on the evening of 24 June and conclude on the morning of 1 July.

While it is described as a “course,” the format will be that of a workshop/colloquium in which everyone plays an active role in an intensive process of inquiry, discovery, sharing and collaboration aimed at:
1. achieving a deeper understanding of sound principles of credit, finance, and the exchange process, and,
2 developing action plans for the design and implementation of robust systems that can be widely proliferated and quickly scaled up to global dimensions.
3. assembling a knowledge base that can provide guidance to others on the same path toward achieving more equitable and sustainable economic structures.

There is still space available for those who feel moved to participate.
Details about the course, fees, and booking are at http://www.kalikalos.org/exchange-finance.
Some of the areas that we will explore include:

  • The essence, function, and forms of money
  • The concepts of currency, credit, credit clearing, liquidity, monetization, and basis of issue
  • Various models of private currencies and moneyless exchange
  • Value measurement and units of account
  • Exchange networks and inter-trading

Don’t let finances stop you as will be able to offer a limited amount of bursaries. Please write an application for that to our team at rachaeldavson@gmail.com.

We offer Greek participants who take part in the week-long workshop a discount of 30%.
The weekend Saturday, 25 and Sunday 26 is being offered to Greeks on a Gift Economy basis which means that you offer what you are able to give. If you want to participate on these terms please send a mail to: rachaeldavson@gmail.com.

I look forward to working with you.  –Thomas


Categories: Blogs

Greenbacks, monetary reform, or revolutionary innovation?

Beyond Money - June 9, 2016 - 03:22

I have long argued that the likelihood of getting government to do anything “good” about the money problem is near zero because the controllers of the present monetary regime are able to buy the kind of government they want that will keep in place the system that enables them to consolidate their power and increase their wealth.

Even if your proposal to restore the Greenback could be legislated into actuality it would only be a stop-gap measure and there would be negative side-effects. FDR ameliorated the 1930s crisis in a somewhat similar way and managed to get some progressive legislation passed, and WWII provided the excuse for massive government deficit spending (along with rationing and “bond drives” to control consumer demand).
Massive increases in productivity enabled a flood of consumer goods to enter the market after the war, and people had the money to buy them.

But in today’s world the old tricks will not be sufficient. We need a totally new system of money, banking and finance, one that is decentralized and interest-free. This will emerge by the design and deployment of relatively small credit clearing exchanges in which it is possible to build trust through personal relationships (verified identity and reputation of all parties, along with organizational transparency), and to allocate credit to members based on that and the market value of their output. At the same time, these credit clearing exchanges can be networked together to enable non-monetary payment on a global basis–a payment system that I describe as “locally based but globally useful.”

We will have an “exchange revolution” that is analogous to the IT revolution. Our micro-computers were initially isolated and had limited capabilities; now we have tremendous power right at out fingertips to do many useful things, and our local devices are linked through the internet giving us unprecedented access to each other almost anywhere and anytime, and almost unlimited amounts of information on most any subject.

Realization of this vision is close at hand.–t.h.g.


Categories: Blogs

Greetings from Athens

Beyond Money - June 6, 2016 - 03:33

I’m excited to be back in Greece and reconnecting with my colleagues here. The mood here seems to be more subdued as the people try to cope with asset privatization, wage and pension cuts, higher taxes and other conditions imposed from outside. I’m told that mortgage foreclosures will begin soon, which may trigger some popular reaction. The metro workers in Athens have announced they will be striking for several hours each day over the next few days. Fortunately the hours of service disruption have been posted so one is able to plan accordingly.

All of this underlines the urgency of designing and implementing systems that are capable of devolving power to the national, community, and personal levels. For me, the most effective strategy seems to be reclaiming the “credit commons”. That is what we will be working on during my workshop on innovation in exchange and finance from 24 June thru 1 July, 2016 at Kalikalos Holistic summer school near Volos, Greece.

Space is still available if you would like to participate. Details about the course, fees, and booking are at http://www.kalikalos.org/exchange-finance. Don’t let finances stop you; we will be able to offer a limited amount of bursaries (Please write an application to our team rachaeldavson@gmail.com).

Special arrangements for Greek participants provide them (1) a discount of 33% on the full course, or (2) for those who can participate only on the weekend of 25/26 June, an invitation to do so on the basis of a free will offering.

This will be a workshop/colloquium in which everyone plays an active role in an intensive process of inquiry, discovery, sharing and collaboration aimed at:

  1. achieving a deeper understanding of the principles of credit, finance, and the exchange process, and,
  2. developing action plans for the design and implementation of robust systems that can be widely proliferated and quickly scaled up to global dimensions.

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Categories: Blogs

Request for Information II (published at CES)

Matslats - May 25, 2016 - 10:04

This was published at: https://www.community-exchange.org/docs/smalladsrfi.html
This request for information is seeking partners and friends to work on an open directory of ads to support grass roots economies. The requirements are almost exactly the same as my 2011 RFI, but now with the added weight of CES.

AttachmentSize SmalladsRFI.html8.5 KB
Categories: Blogs

MOOC Alumni newsletter

Matslats - May 23, 2016 - 09:10

Greetings Alumni of the Money and Society MOOC,

Jem and I decided to keep in touch with you with this new Biannual newsletter. It includes some headlines I found interesting, and other tidbits about what Jem and I are doing.

Our news

The MOOC will continue as long we get new people, and we think the best promoters are the people who have done it. Please have a think about which of your friends, colleagues and social networks should know about the MOOC, and send them to this link. http://iflas.blogspot.co.id/2014/12/money-and-society-mooc.html Thanks!

Last month I published a white paper showing what a decentralised credit network would look like using modern technology and pointing out that such a thing could be built from the grassroots up and would be highly appropriate during a time of recession. Check out the 16 page pdf on the Credit Commons web site.

I've been working with Alumnus Pal Graabein on a new HTML5 media format for the MOOC, so that we can be more open source and interoperable and consistent. We have drafted up lesson 1, but all the slide contents need to be transposed by hand into the new format and beautifully arranged. I reckon anybody who is good at moving files around in windows explorer could do it. Would someone like to volunteer a few hours to do that?

This winter I read Felix Martin's book, Money: The Unauthorised Biography, and learned lots of new things! As a classical scholar he describes how money originated as a combination of the accounting systems in Babylonia and systems of social obligations in Greece, entirely avoiding slavery and conquest so prevalent in David Graeber. He also explains the origin of the bank of England very well, as a marriage of the Sovereign's need for credit with the need of commerce to issue credit with the ultimate backing, taxes!

Money & society news

The way that money works in society is changing all the time, now especially as the zero-interest regime is becoming the new normal. Mixed up in that discourse is the need to eradicate cash, and all the privacy and convenience that cash implies; obviously the banking system would collapse the moment everyone tries to withdraw cash because bank credit loses value. There are many arguments being made against cash but few for. Cash is expensive to handle, carries diseases, enables money laundering (by non-bank actors), and would be hoarded out of circulation if bank deposits have negative interest.

Yannis Varoufakis the former Greek Finance Minister, is very busy these days promoting a new vision for Europe. In this important article he says we should pick up Keynes' model for a global economy which was rejected at Bretton Woods.

UK do-gooder celebrities Joanna Lumley and Brian Blessed participated in an anti-cash PR campaign. The language is very interesting. Don't forget that credit card companies 'lose out' on 2-3% of the transaction value whenever we pay in cash. Here is a robust defence of cash from an Austrian perspective.

Catalonia is flexing its separatist muscles, here seen threatening to use its debt to the Spanish government as a bargaining chip, or even a weapon. Bloomberg calls it a game of chicken: if Catalonians defaulted their banks and cash machines would quickly lose access to Euros. To withstand such an attack they would need an alternative currency. Unfortunately the one we know about isn't getting much traction.

Not only Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece & Spain, Puerto Rico and Catalonia are having 'liquidity' crises, but Saudi Arabia is suffering from low oil prices. As a last resort, the government might issue IOUs, which some would say is what all governments should have been doing all along.

Finally here is an attempt to hack banking and money from a legal point of view. It will take you a good 10-20 mins to get the idea. References to 'off-planet helpers' aside. could there be any substance to such attempts? Does it depend on their ability to win something in court, or on their ability to create belief?

All for now,

Matthew

Categories: Blogs

WHERE DID THE GREEK BAILOUT MONEY GO?

Beyond Money - May 9, 2016 - 19:06

An academic study from the European School of Management and Technology highlights the utter futility of the bailout programs in pulling Greece out of the quagmire of debt bondage and economic depression.The report concludes:

“This paper provides a descriptive analysis of where the Greek bailout money went since 2010 and finds that, contrary to widely held beliefs, less than €10 billion or a fraction of less than 5% of the overall programme went to the Greek fiscal budget. In contrast, the vast majority of the money went to existing creditors in the form of debt  repayments and interest payments. The resulting risk transfer from the private to  the public sector  and the subsequent risk transfer within the public sector from international organizations such  as the ECB and the IMF to European  rescue mechanisms such as the  ESM still constitute the most important challenge for the goal to achieve a sustainable fiscal situation in Greece.”

See Rocholl *, J., and A. Stahmer(2016). Where did the Greek bailout money go? ESMT White Paper No. WP–16–02. http://static.esmt.org/publications/whitepapers/WP-16-02.pdf


Categories: Blogs

Bitcoin, Blockchain Technology, and Crypto-Currency

Beyond Money - April 25, 2016 - 10:40

There has been lots of chatter lately about bitcoin, blockchain technology, and crypto-currency. Everyone, including me, is trying to wrap their head around it all. This is what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Bitcoin is a virtual commodity that is created by running some obscure algorithm. The people who get rewarded are the “miners” who burn up enormous amounts of computer time and electricity to create Bitcoin. That makes it akin to mining gold or silver—not a very useful pursuit, and like any commodity, people will prefer to use it as a savings medium or hedge against inflation rather than circulating it as a currency. Bitcoin is NOT the answer to the money problem.
  2. The important thing about blockchain technology is what it can do, what functions it can perform. You hear a lot about “smart contracts” and a secure trail of transactions. It seems to be something that is needed when using digital forms of contracts and transactions conducted over the internet, but provides no new functions compared to what has always been done with paper trails and records, but maybe I’m missing something.
  3. The term “crypto-currency” is ill defined and there is much confusion about the characteristics of such a currency and what it can achieve.
  4. The fundamental principles of reciprocal exchange still hold. The substance of a currency or payment medium is CREDIT. Claims still need to be authenticated and promises need to be guaranteed.

My grand, audacious vision is this:

TO ENABLE ANYONE, ANYWHERE TO USE WHAT THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR WHAT THEY WANT.

What they might have is skills, abilities, products, services and credit that is advanced by a circle of people who know them and trust that they are ready, willing, and able to deliver value on demand in the near term.

I have argued that the truly disruptive technology of exchange is a global network of small credit-clearing circles that provide “a means of payment that is locally based and controlled yet globally useful. It makes money and banks, as we’ve known them, obsolete.

My talk in Malaysia in October at the International Forum on Inclusive Wealth (http://ifiw.my/) will be on that topic and will build upon the framework that I laid out in my book chapter, https://beyondmoney.net/excerpts/chapter-17-complete-web-based-trading-platform/. –t.h.g.

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Categories: Blogs

Newsletter—Spring 2016

Beyond Money - April 18, 2016 - 10:07

Upcoming Agenda

Europe. I’ve booked my flight to Europe. I’ll be landing in Milan, Italy on 31 May, will remain there for 2 or 3 days, then travel onward to Athens, Volos, and Pelion.

As I mentioned in my January newsletter, I will be conducting a weeklong course in innovative finance, exchange, and economics from 24 June thru 1 July at the Alexandros campus of the Kaliklos Holistic Summer School. This collaborative and problem-centered course titled, Exchange and Finance for the New Economy: Principles and Practice, is intended to stimulate the development and deployment of community currencies, moneyless exchange system, and equitable finance, and is designed especially for social entrepreneurs, enthusiastic agents of change, government officials, and serious students who are ready to co-create a new sustainable and convivial economy from the bottom up. Besides learning and co-creation, courses at Kalikalos also provide participants with opportunities for community building, personal growth, and recreation.

I am excited to be returning again this year to Greece and to be working with course participants to achieve some truly revolutionary outcomes. We’d be pleased to have you join us.

Details about the course, fees, and booking are at http://www.kalikalos.org/exchange-finance. One or two bursaries may be available to qualified low income participants.

Greek participants are being offered (1) a discount of 33% on the full course, or (2) for those who are able to participate only on the weekend of 25/26 June, an invitation to do so on the basis of a free will offering.

Malaysia. I’ve accepted an invitation to speak in October at the International Forum on Inclusive Wealth (http://www.ifiw.my/) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The subject of my presentation will be a revolutionary plan for the creation of a global exchange network based on locally controlled credit clearing exchanges. This will be an elaboration of ideas I first laid out in a chapter of my 2009 book, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization.

_____________________________________________________

The Panama Papers: The secrets of dirty money

The rich and powerful have for a very long time used shell companies and secret numbered bank accounts in tax haven countries to not only avoid taxes, but to hide their gains from illegal and immoral activities. Now, thanks to yet another courageous whistleblower, the general public is getting a glimpse into this world of hidden wealth and malfeasance.

The so-called Panama Papers that have recently been disclosed by the media were first delivered by an anonymous whistleblower about a year ago. Since then additional documents have been provided and the trove of data now consists of 11.5 million documents that total 2.6 terabytes of digital files. This leak is said to be a bigger bombshell than even Edward Snowden’s revelations of U.S. government’s spying on citizens and allies.

It will take a long time to sift through all that material but a few startling revelations have recently been made. I have to wonder though, why it has taken so long for any of the contents to be reported in the mainstream media, and why the initial focus has been on Russia, Iceland, and FIFA? Why have we not heard about names of any Americans turning up in these documents? Surely we have more than our share of crooks in the USA, the greatest of all tax havens. MSNBC has something to say about that, which you might want to read. I wonder, might something in these documents have implications for the 2016 Presidential election? Hey, you journalists, let’s get cracking on that.

If you wish to dig deeper into this matter, a good place to start is on the website of Süddeutsche Zeitung, http://panamapapers.sueddeutsche.de/en/.

_____________________________________________________

Geopolitics—Why was Qaddafi murdered?

The US-NATO attacks on Libya and the overthrow of its government is by now old news, but very few people are aware of the real reasons behind the intervention. Ellen Brown, in a recent article, Exposing the Libyan Agenda: A Closer Look at Hillary’s Email, has done a good job of exposing the real agenda in Libya, and to the rest of the world for that matter. She concludes, “violent intervention was not chiefly about the security of the people. It was about the security of global banking, money and oil.” The fact is that anyone who is perceived to be a threat to the dominance of the global money and banking regime will be ridiculed, discredited, or eliminated.

_____________________________________________________

Living in Community

As I grow old(er) I’m feeling the need to be a bit more settled than I’ve been in recent years. Although I’m in pretty good health and still independent, my nomadic lifestyle is becoming more difficult. I’m seeking to connect with others of like mind to invent new ways of aging together and supporting each others’ independence and whatever good work we still hope to accomplish. To that end I recently posted an ad on the Fellowship for Intentional Communities website. Here’s what I said:

We are seeking to organize a group of independent seniors (and maybe a younger or two) who are still actively engaged and working in various ways to make a better world. We don’t like, or cannot afford retirement homes. We think a better way is to cooperate and share in a cooperative household where we can have the privacy we need while working together and providing each other with companionship and support.

The community might be located anywhere but our focus right now is on Tucson and southern Arizona which offers a delightful climate, a relatively low cost of living, and all the amenities that one might desire. Large houses in this area can be leased for quite reasonable rents.

If you have any interest, please let me know at thgreco@mindspring.com.

Spring flowers and fragrant blossoms refresh my spirit, I hope they do the same for you,

Thomas


Categories: Blogs

America’s yeoman class revolt

Beyond Money - April 9, 2016 - 10:36

Here is a comment I posted in response to an article, Donald Trump and the Ghost of Christopher Lasch: America’s yeoman class revolts, that appears in The American Conservative. –t.h.g.

Yes, there is a yeoman class revolt, but the characterization of the elite as “liberal” is in error. The elite class spans the socio-political spectrum. They have a hidden agenda which they advance by pandering to the sentiments of both social liberals (mainly by Democratic politicians) and social conservatives (mainly by Republican politicians), but both parties have been moving us inexorably toward a “new world order” that is anti-democratic and neo-feudal which concentrates ever more power and wealth in their own hands.

Their primary instrument of control is the global system of money, banking, and finance which they have constructed over a long period of time without any public debate, and with the help of politicians, academic economists, journalists, and others whom they have invited to the table to share the spoils.

Since the debt crisis of 2008, Americans of all classes and ideologies have finally begun to wake up to the facts that the game is rigged against them and that they have been manipulated and exploited by the Wall Street-Washington nexus. The next American revolution will happen when liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, Americans of all religions and races, stop being seduced by “hot-button” rhetoric and come to realize what their common interests are and are able to work in harmony toward the common good

Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

 


Categories: Blogs

What do Trump supporters and Sanders supporters have in common?

Beyond Money - April 2, 2016 - 10:33

It has been said that “all TV is entertainment.” Whether a program is labeled “news” or a “candidates’ debate,” that characterization still applies. Well, the current Presidential campaign has sure been entertaining, with Donald Trump’s bombast and Bernie Sanders’ grandfatherly populism, in contrast to Hillary Clinton’s bland appeal to feminism and her (dubious) record of achievement.

Hillary is clearly the favorite of the establishment, the darling of Goldman Sachs and big corporate business, and the standard bearer for the status quo and continuation of Obama’s policies.

On the Republican side, it seems that no establishment candidate has so far been able to derail the Trump march toward the nomination. The last best hope for them at this point seems to be Ted Cruz. While Cruz has been trying to portray himself as being against the big banks, the fact is that his wife, Heidi, is an investment banker and a longtime employee of Goldman Sachs. Furthermore, his 2012 Senate campaign was financed in part by a sizeable loan from Goldman Sachs. For the details on all of this see John Cassidy’s New Yorker article at http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/ted-cruzs-goldman-sachs-problem.

Despite the evident philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats and the outdated characterization of political sentiments as being either right or left, conservative or liberal, the phenomenon of massive popular support for the two apparent anti-establishment candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sander, reflects a deeper concern that is shared amongst their supporters.

They are sick and tired of politics as usual and the course this country has been on for the past three decades.

They are sick and tired of:

  • Politicians who promise one thing but deliver another.
  • “Political correctness” that interferes with our ability to debate the deeper issues and concerns.
  • The rich getting richer and ever more powerful while the middle class is being destroyed.
  • Big banks that are “too big to fail” yet refuse to provide adequate financing to small local businesses.
  • Legislation that favors big corporations over small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Fiscal policies that reduce taxes on corporations and the rich while forcing states and municipal governments to assume ever greater burdens.
  • Trade agreements that cede power from sovereign governments to transnational corporations thus undermining democratic government, the rights of labor, and environmental protections.
  • A disastrous foreign policy of interference in countries around the world that kills thousands of innocent people and stirs up hornet’s nests of resentment that manifest as massive displacements of people and acts of terror against the U.S. and its European NATO allies.

Can either Trump or Sanders, or anyone else for that matter, remedy any of those concerns from the White House? Given the present political structures and dynamics of power based on the control of money, that seems very unlikely. Reversing the destructive anti-democratic trends will take a massive popular movement, one that makes clear to people what their common interests are, and is able to get them to work in harmony toward common goals.

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Categories: Blogs

Fwd: [New post] Bitcoin: The Political ?Virtual? Of An Intangibl

New post on IJCCR [http://0.gravatar.com/blavatar/e876bc9b5f8c89d41a78d1172407014f?s=32&ts=1366371469]
Categories: Blogs

December 31, 1969 - 17:00
Categories: Blogs, Economics