[-empyre-] On Currencies, Capitalism, and the Fed

jeff pierce zentrader at live.ca
Wed Apr 15 06:32:51 EST 2009

The only thing that is "clear" is that you enjoy very much expressing your opinions and judging others. If it helps you sleep at night to classify and put people into tiny pegs so you can formulate the many reasons why you dislike them, then that is your right to do. Far be it from me to tell you the best way for you to get through your day. I just think it's sad.
I've never labled my political views (luckily I have you to do that for me) as I've never had much interest in politics to begin with, and truth be known I still don't. I never once stated that I wanted to get rid of "big gov't", but rather I feel that government should be getting smaller. The bigger it is, the more it costs to run it's day to day operations, salaries, especially when you look at the military budget. And where do you think they get that money? If you don't believe that taxes are going to rise considerably from today's levels you are delusional. Is that what you want? Does it make you feel patriot to pay taxes that go to cover the interest alone on the debt the government owes to the Federal Reserve? At some point this ponzi scheme is going to break, and I think we're beginning to see the stress cracks in the dam now.
Tell me Brian, do you support this war on terror? Do you feel safer now that Homeland Security is on the case, protecting us from an invisible enemy, listening to our phone calls, probably reading our emails as well. I know I sure don't as I think it's a waste of money trying to fight an enemy that doesn't even exist. Maybe if we stopped policing the world and started worrying about our people others would leave us alone. You don't win a war with more violence, everybody looses. Just like you don't end a recession with excessive money printing. Again, everybody looses. The government says that they need to recapitalize the banks so they can start loaning again. Do you see anybody lining up to borrow money? I sure don't and I have some decent connections that are confirming this information.
Another reason why I don't affiliate myself with any one particular political view is by accepting those beliefs you limit your own ability to see the good or bad in all parties. I see absolutely no difference between Republicans or Democrats, as far as I'm concerned they both are inept. I think it's high time we have more than 2 political parties to choose from. If Obama is a one term president, and Hilary Clinton wins, we'll have had 2 families controlling the last two decades at the White House. In what reality do we live in that this even makes sense? Out of 300+ million people these are the best we can come up with? Wake up and see that our leaders aren't elected, they're selected.
Again, you felt the need to label me a "social darwinist." If you wouldn't have let your anger get in the way you would have seen that my view is that the government has no right to pick and chose which companies it saves, (Citigroup vs. Lehman), bailout the industries that are directly responsible for millions of dollars in campaign money, and reward corrupt behavior at the expense of the taxpayers. Companies fail all the time, and at some point Citigroup would have been bought when perceived value was seen in the company at no cost to the government or the taxpayers. That's how free markets work. The government has no right to spend money which it doesn't have. It's this kind of mentality that has gotten us where we are today. The "gotta have it now" syndrome. If the state of the US deficit was in better shape, then we may have a different argument on our hands, but as it stands now we are drowning in debt (public and private) I really see no way out of this situation we find ourselves in. 
The only reason I can figure your so angry is that you must have lost a lot of money in your retirement account and you're looking for somebody to blame it on. Well, don't blame me, because if you would have been reading my blog, you would have been in cash last August and sat out the entire crisses stress free. Who knows, you may have become one of those evil short sellers that the government is out to get because everybody knows this entire crises is their fault.    ",

> Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2009 22:47:43 -0500
> From: brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au; davinheckman at gmail.com; zentrader at live.ca; jtabbi at gmail.com
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] On Currencies, Capitalism, and the Fed
> [third try posting this - in other words, unwanted message/filtered list?]
> joseph tabbi wrote:
> > Re. 'neo-liberal bullshit.' Nothing in the posts by Jeff Pierce
> > supported a neo-liberal stance, that I could see.
> But clearly you haven't looked, either into the post itself or into the 
> history and definitions of neoliberalism. The first and most obvious 
> thing is that Jeff Pierce wants to get rid of "Big Government." This 
> was the rallying cry of the two politicians who led the neoliberal turn, 
> Thatcher and Reagan. They needed votes from the many to support policies 
> crafted for the few. A key group duped by this rallying cry were the 
> libertarians, who think you can live without government -- every man for 
> himself in a Wild West sort of way, with guns in the cupboard and, I 
> guess, offshore bank accounts. The fact, as Mr. Pierce points out, is 
> that governments have continued to get larger since the time of Reagan 
> and Thatcher - only those who have effected the full neoliberal program 
> now devote very little of the budgets they extract from taxpayers to 
> help the poorest of society, or even the middle classes. Instead, under 
> the guidance of ideologists like Miton Friedman and Gary Becker, and 
> under the administration of people coming directly through the revolving 
> door with the corporate sector, the "big" thing they got rid of was 
> every kind of social solidarity. They have progressively individualized 
> and monetized all social relations of care, so that everything is run by 
> contracts between individuals. The result in the US is that we have the 
> worst healthcare of developed countries, and now everyone has lost a 
> good chunk of their retirement, invested by themselves or their employer 
> on the financial markets in accord with government policy. This has been 
> done in the name of getting rid of "Big Government" - the classic 
> rhetoric which I feel totally justified in calling neoliberal bullshit.
> At the same time, Pierce, visibly a day trader and proud of his social 
> darwinist beliefs in the "survival of the fittest," is afraid of a 
> conspiracy to replace paper fiat currencies with stateless electronic 
> money. But what money does he think banks and hedge funds create every 
> day when they transform debts into assets and sell them on the 
> electronic markets? Since the "monetary turn" initiated by the Federal 
> Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker in the late 1970s, the many forms of 
> credit money have swollen to the tremendous sums now bandied about, for 
> example, 1.144 quadrillion dollars worth of derivatives (listed and 
> OTC). It is the growth of these kinds of markets, initiated by the two 
> leading neoliberal states, the US and Britain, that has made electronic 
> day trading into a reality for millions of small-time punters whose 
> belief in the efficiency and justice of the financial markets 
> constitutes the social basis of legitimacy on which the whole neoliberal 
> structures rests. Or rested anyway, until this system began to fail last 
> fall.
> It is now important to find a way to get the trading to classes to shut 
> up for a while, and to make banking boring, as Krugman recently put it. 
> In the US this applies particularly to the people currently running our 
> country, the Summers and Geithners and Bernankes who are dictating 
> monetarist neoliberal policies which, if pursued to their bitter end, 
> risk impoverishing whole new swathes of the middle classes and throwing 
> the entire country back on its only remaining industrial base, the arms 
> industry, supported lavishly by Reagan and the Bush oligarchs. Yet I 
> would also like to see the libertarians shut up, all the way from the 
> heights of the Cato Institute to the depths of small-time day traders 
> giving us their hard-guy wisdom about how good the stock market is for 
> society. I realize that these people are now definitively against the 
> mainstream corporate elite who duped them earlier on (Ron Paul, a 
> Hayek-reading neoliberal and early supporter of Reagan, now attracts a 
> lot of disgruntled Republicans with his libertarian rhetoric) but I am 
> not sure that their reasoning powers have improved in the slightest -- 
> they still think that they can go it alone, an absurdity for someone 
> involved in electronic gambling. For years, I and so many others on the 
> left have pointed to the dangerous inequalities created by casino 
> capitalism, which during this decade have driven the US and Britain into 
> war, while also sparking anti-immigrant campaigns around the developed 
> world. When I hear or read naive celebrations of the social utility of 
> the financial markets along with further calls to "liberate" them, it 
> makes me angry. Angry about the mess that deluded egoists have made out 
> of an irrevocably interdependent world.
> best, Brian

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