Saturday, May 16, 2009

How War Caused the Crash

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

US government crimes against the people of the US amount to organized high treason! Millions are now out of work amid declining prospects. US troops still occupy Iraq, a war of aggression that the US has not begun to pay for. Unfortunately, neither people nor media have made the connection. Even worse, the US has yet to either win or pay for any war waged since World War II. Since World War II, Republican regimes have run up the highest debts and deficits in US history. What John Maynard Keynes stated the US has proven: war transfers wealth upward! Wealth flowing upward equals economic depression.

Democrats have meanwhile become GOP-lite. Nevertheless, it was GOP regimes that compounded the problem by cutting taxes but only for the rich. That means that it is only a tiny elite of some one percent of the population that benefited or shared the booty! You got stuck with the bill.

The GOP cut taxes first for the upper quintile and, later under Bush Jr, it was only the upper one percent who benefited. This is how the rich elites have literally forced the people of the US to finance and wage wars of naked aggression from which only the rich and privileged benefit. Examples include Korea, Viet Nam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Iraq I and now Iraq II. None were won! None were ever paid for!

GOP regimes compounded the problem by cutting taxes first for the upper quintile and, later under Bush Jr, it was only the upper one percent who benefited. The rich elites wage wars of naked aggression from which only they benefit. It is the poorer classes who pick up the tab.

Debt was simply rolled over --but so were you! The rich were given a tax cut and everyone else got the bill and the accruing interest! As Gen. Smedley Butler put it: "War is a racket!" You were rolled over, screwed and ridiculed by the leaders of the 'right wing'! You are not expected to be smart enough to understand when you have been fucked over!

I've written about how various extra-governmental and irresponsible, non-elected entities orchestrate and conduct the ongoing auction of the US government. I've written about how the US government is clearly more responsible and responsive to foreign nations than it is to American citizens, a situation that may be high treason by any recognized definition. If you have not yet gotten 'it' -- just one percent of the nation's population benefit from the whoring out of America. Like Hitler's 'Third Reich', the whole thing has been a scam.

In times past, traitors were hanged or beheaded. Today they are allowed to barricade themselves behind several multiple rings of secured walls in exclusive 'neighborhoods' and bank their booty offshore untaxed. One might conclude that these elites are fortified and actually prepared for revolution.

Millions are now out of work amid declining prospects. US troops still occupy Iraq, a war of aggression that the US has not begun to pay for. Unfortunately, neither the people or the media have made the connection. In fact, the US has probably yet to pay for any war waged since World War II. It is not coincidental that neither has the US actually won a war since WWII. It's not about winning. It's about getting rich and richer.

At the Nuremberg trials following WWII, the US stood for a principle that no nation had the right to wage aggressive war against another. The US, it is said, prosecuted from 'the top down'. The criminals were the architects of genocide, the brass who gave the order, the architects of atrocities and mass murder. Today, we repudiate those principles if we declare ourselves above them. You cannot have it both ways. If it is the US position that international laws apply only to Nazis or Muslims, then the laws apply to no one. The US position is idiocy on its face and a recipe for international anarchy and lawlessness. There are no exceptions for the U.S.

The term victor's justice is associated with Herman Goring! Now --we have become Goring or, at least, the best evidence that he was correct. We have become the hypocrites he said were were. Our so-called 'government' has done this by lying to the world, to us and to itself. Lying to the American people, however, betrays the social contract between government and the sovereign people! If the US government is prosecutable under the principles we established at Nuremberg, then we have become the Nazis. If we fail to prosecute Bush and complicit members of the US government, then we will have become Nazis. We will have have lost World War II. We will have met the enemy and --to our everlasting shame --embraced him.

The ruling one percent got rich with unjust tax cuts affecting only their 'class'; it did so by defrauding congress, funding and/or buying right wing politicians, supporting the use of illegal 'weapons that melt the skin off children' or poisoning them in the womb. The US became a Nazi nation by targeting civilians, journalists, and hospitals. The government did it with your money. The government believed it their right to shake you down! The ruling elite pays no taxes. Paying taxes, supporting US atrocities with money --that's YOUR job!

US crimes that you have supported because the elites have left to you the burden of paying taxes include murder, assassinations, propaganda, violations of the Hatch Act and the Voting Rights Act, warrantless spying, unlawful detentions, the imprisonment of children, obstruction of justice, torture, misprision of felony, exposure of classified information, treason, unconstitutional use of the military domestically. That's an incomplete list.

That the use of torture was debated at all is a travesty. That question was settled with the Nuremberg Principles and trials, various Federal Laws and numerous court cases affirming US treaty commitments. Most prominently, US Codes, Title 18, Section 2441 specifies the death penalty for the very crimes Bush ordered. Why has Bush not been indicted and/or bound over for trial? Why is this federal law never mentioned on TV or the so-called 'mainstream media'?
I've written about how various extra-governmental and irresponsible, non-elected entities orchestrate and conduct an ongoing auction, a 'pimping' of the US government and sovereignty. I've written about how the US government is clearly more responsible and responsive to foreign nations than it is to American citizens, bordering if not outright high treason. Moreover, just one percent of the nation's population benefit from the whoring out of America. In times past, such traitors were hanged or beheaded.

Liberals, the media, the 'left wing' are demonized in a transparent smokescreen while those who are enriched by the industries of mass murder, war and war crimes get away with it. The 'real killers' are the MIC [prominently: Halliburton, KBR et al], K-Street, political whores in Congress, Bush Jr, the Bush crime family and anyone else who has made a crooked buck lying about US intentions and actions in Iraq.

Our current problems are often compared to the situation just prior to the crash of 1929. At that time, John Maynard Keynes blamed conservative economic policies for Britain’s economic problems. High un-employment, specifically, inspired two great works: A Treatise on Money [1930] and the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money [1936]. Keynes favored a unified monetary policy and scandalized 'Classicists' with the proposition that a national budget is not merely an accounting of government revenues and expenditures but an instrument by which a national economic policy may be effected. Classicists and laissez faire ideologists were horrified.

Keynes became famous at the end of World War I when he strongly opposed what he considered to be outrageously excessive reparations that the allies had proposed be assessed Germany.
Now ordinary experience tells us, beyond doubt, that a situation where labour stipulates (within limits) for a money-wage rather than a real wage, so far from being mere possibility, is the normal case. Whilst workers will usually resist a reduction of money-wages, it is not their practice to withdraw their labour whenever there is a rise in the price of wage-goods. It is sometimes said that it would be illogical for labour to resist a reduction of money-wages but not to resist a reduction of real wages. For reasons given below (section III), this might not be so illogical as it appears at first; and, as we shall see later, fortunately so. But, whether logical or illogical, experience shows that this is how labour in fact behaves.
--John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Chapter 2, The Postulates of the Classical Economics
Clearly, Keynes understood the mechanism by which wealth is transferred to the elite and privileged classes. Keynes understood the 'insanity' of building an economy upon war profits. Keynes understood that 'war booty' trickles up --not down. Keynes understood and stated that war profits make the wealthy, wealthier increasing income and wealth disparities. Such economies, leveraged by debt, are increasingly fragile and subject to 'bust'. The US has arrived at that point and is vulnerable to financial crisis.
In practice, postwar policy usually consisted of measures to promote saving and investment. The first was wholly inconsistent with Keynes, based instead on the neoclassical loanable funds view that saving “finances” investment; the second was based on a multiplier view, that, while somewhat consistent with Keynes’s explication of the determination of the equilibrium level of output, relied on overly simplistic views of entrepreneurial expectation formation while ignoring important stability questions.

Second, attempting to maintain full employment by stimulating private investment would shift the distribution of income toward owners of capital, worsening inequality and thereby lowering the society’s propensity to consume—one of the problems addressed by Keynes in Chapter 24 of the General Theory. One of the main areas addressed by Post-Keynesians has been distribution theory and implications of heterogeneous saving rates on distribution. Further, work based on Kalecki’s profit equation shows how higher investment rates generate higher profit rates, and shifts the distribution of income toward entrepreneurs and away from workers. There are also two kinds of sectoral issues raised. A high investment strategy will tend to favor capital intensive industries, shifting the distribution of income toward higher-paid and unionized workers. The sectoral balances approach implicitly adopted by Minsky (1963) in his earliest work, and developed in detail by Wynne Godley, carries the Kalecki analysis further by examining the implications for financial balances implied by spending growth.
--L. Randall Wray, The Levy Economics Institute and University of Missouri–Kansas City,The Continuing Legacy of John Maynard Keynes
Unfortunately, the US media is not only ideologically biased, it is essentially ignorant of the principles of economics. There are no intelligent discussions of 'economics'' in the mainstreatm media. The role of the FED, for example, is never adequately described. The workings of the FED might as well be written in ancient Celtic script, illuminated and hidden away in a monolithic stone circle amid tales of knights and the long, lost secret formulae of wizards, warlocks and witches. The ruling elites --it would appear --have committed the perfect crime, a crime in which the victim does not understand what and how was done and by whom!

Now, lest anyone should get the idea that I am making no distinctions between the GOP and the Democratic party, let me hasten to add that I OPPOSE the two party system. I rarely agree with any party. But that's not the point! The point is that unless you have millions, perhaps billions to spend buying representation on K-Street, the U.S. government DOES NOT give a crap about you. That is the case whether you have been brainwashed by the right wing OR if you simply vote Democratic and hope for the best!

The effective choice that is given us by virtue of this 'system' is absurd when only one percent presume to rule. Nevertheless, given the limitations of this inherently crooked system, Democrats are the lesser of two evils one of which is IRREDEEMABLY evil. Let's take a look at the history before it gets re-written:
  • Any Democratic President has presided over greater economic growth and job creation than any Republican President since World War II.
  • When Bush Jr took office, job creation was worst under a Republican, Bush Sr, at 0.6% per year; best under a Democrat, Johnson, at 3.8% per year.
  • Economic growth under President Carter was far greater than under Reagan or Bush Sr. In fact, economic growth in general was greater under Johnson, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton than under Reagan or Bush.
  • The job creation rate under Clinton was 2.4% significantly higher Ronald Reagan's 2.1% per year.
  • The "top performing Presidents" by this standard, in order from best down, were Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy. The "worst" were Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush being worst with Reagan in the middle.
  • Half of jobs created under Reagan were in the public sector--some 2 million jobs added to the Federal Bureaucracy. Hadn't he promised to reduce that bureaucracy?
  • Reagan, though promising to reduce government and spending, tripled the national debt and left huge deficits to his successor.
  • By contrast, most of the jobs created on Clinton's watch were in the private sector.
  • Put another way: Any Democratic President beats any Republican President since World War II.
Along the way, Reagan made up a whopper --his story about a Cadillac driving welfare gran'ma. It became his administration's rationalization for cutting back social programs. Then there was the attack and invasion of tiny Grenada. Does anyone remember how Grenada became an imminent threat to U.S. security such that a war of aggression against it was necessitated or justified under international law?

One of the most harmful myths coughed up by the cult of Reagan is the myth of Reykjavik about which it is believed that Ronald Reagan put total nuclear disarmament on the table. In fact, it was Mikhail Gorbachev who raised the stakes. It was Reagan who folded, blinked and turned down what might have been our last chance to rid the world of nukes. If the world should wink out in a nuclear winter, you will have Ronald Reagan and the GOP to blame.
If, that is, the ensuing “Great Society,” to borrow a term from JFK’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, were laid low by a nuclear attack on an American city (or seven, if al Qaeda had its way).
This is the territory into which Gorbachev launched his most daring raids. First, in 1985, he announced that the Soviet Union would no longer deploy intermediate-range nuclear forces (INFs) in Eastern Europe. Later that year, he proposed that both his country and the US slice their nuclear arsenals in half.
The next year, at the memorable Reykjavik summit, Gorbachev got Ronald Reagan to agree in principle to his plan for removal of all INFs from Europe, as well as to draw them down worldwide. Caught up in Gorbachev’s enthusiasm, Reagan expressed a willingness to join Russia in eliminating all nuclear weapons in 10 years.
In the end, though, Reagan clung to his blankie, the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars). Gorbachev feared SDI would lead to nukes in space, not to mention leave the Soviet defense establishment with the impression he’d been played. Their dreams of saving the world came crashing back down to earth.
--It’s not a new JFK we need in Obama, but the next Gorbachev
Reagan was a typical Republican, that is, he said many things and did the opposite. That's because every Republican has two stories to tell: one they tell to their base via "code words" like "family values"; the other, they tell to the world. This second category often consists of lies and pure BS. In this case, Reagan had talked the talked --world peace, nuclear disarmament, etc. When Gorbachev raised the stakes --total nuclear disarmament --Reagan blinked and Atlas Shrugged. Suddenly, Reagan recalled his base, the clique, the Military/Industrial complex, the moneyed class that "brung 'em"! He blinked!

Here is what Reagan himself said about the threat of nuclear war.
The Russians sometimes kept submarines off our East Coast with nuclear missiles that could turn the White House into a pile of radioactive rubble within six or eight minutes. Six minutes to decide how to respond to a blip on a radarscope and decide whether to unleash Armageddon! How could anyone apply reason at a time like that? There were some people in the Pentagon who thought in terms of fighting and winning a nuclear war. To me it was simple common sense: A nuclear war couldn't be won by either side. It must never be fought. Advocates of the MAD policy believed it had served a purpose: The balance of terror it created had prevented nuclear war for decades. But as far as I was concerned, the MAD policy was madness.
--Ronald Reagan, The Official Site
So, if that's how Ronald Reagan really felt about nuclear madness, why did he blow what is perhaps our last chance at peace? The answer is simple. Reagan was not his own man. Iran/Contra almost gave the game away. Ronald Reagan, playing stupid and senile, beat a high treason rap. The source of this treason against the people of the US lay in GOP efforts to get the US government to fund the "Contras" in Nicaragua despite a US prohibition on such military assistance. In a convoluted scheme that involved what seemed like most of the Reagan administration, arms were sold to Iran --then on the State Department's list of enemy states. Then, in violation of US law, the proceeds were funneled to the 'Contra' rebels in Nicaragua. Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh concluded that the sale of arms to Iran violated the Arms Export Control Act, the Boland Amendment ban on aid to military activities in Nicaragua, and the entire procedure had been "fully reviewed and developed" at the very highest levels of the Reagan Administration. Walsh clearly believed Reagan himself complicit in this treasonous scheme.
The underlying facts of Iran/Contra are that, regardless of criminality, President Reagan, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and the director of central intelligence and their necessary assistants committed themselves, however reluctantly, to two programs contrary to congressional policy and contrary to national policy. They skirted the law, some of them broke the law, and almost all of them tried to cover up the President's willful activities.
--Concluding Observations, Investigations and Prosecutions, Lawrence E. Walsh, Independent Counsel, Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters
Clearly --Walsh believed Reagan guilty. How did he escape indictment? The fix was in, of course, but who was behind it? Nevertheless, thirteen high level officials in the Reagan administration either pleaded guilty or were indicted, including Caspar Weinberger, Oliver North, and John Poindexter. Duane Claridge and Weinberger were pardoned! Ronald Reagan got off with a scolding paragraph at the end of Walsh's lengthy, detailed report, in which it is clear that Walsh thought Reagan, himself, personally involved with what many considered a treasonous act --that of arming an avowed "enemy" of the US. Now, Bush is credibly reported to have promised Israel that it will join an Israel nuclear attack on Iran, a nation that had been armed by the United States during yet another GOP administration. Does it get any more crooked than this?

In addition to the panoply of lies and crap, Reagan, as Albert Speer said of Adolph Hitler, rallied the bigoted, the extremist, the fascist with his seemingly endless fussilade of utterly meaningless platitudes, slogans, and high sounding catch phrases.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you at your very best again Cowboy! I hope your recovery go's wel and that your quest for justice and decency shall be rewarded with justice and decency!

Maby its to soon to judge, and I fully agree with you that the GOP is the 'greater evil' in the US political system, but Obama has imbedded many a pathologic GOP symptom within his internal and external policies sofar.

By seeing the rapid decline of the GOP, with now only 21% of the US electorate in favor of them, I hope you will also adress the 'lesser evil' but equally corruptive democrats who've accomplished a total dominance in US politics with both Senate Houses and the Administration, but refuse (sofar) to really change the (war)criminal status-quo that George W. Bush and his Neo-Conniving Maffia-Cabal have created.

And to underscore my point here's a link to Obama's 'Begin & Endgame'.

Jacob. (The Netherlands)

Len Hart said...

Jacob sez...

By seeing the rapid decline of the GOP, with now only 21% of the US electorate in favor of them ...There was a time when there were 'liberals' in the GOP. Nelson Rockefeller (whom I met and interviewed)considered himself a 'liberal'. But the reality eventually caught up with them. The GOP made a Faustian bargain which was, in the short term, a bonanza. In the longer term, you are correct. As a viable party they are probably finito!

What progressive bloggers must do, then, is to identify the failed ideologies which have infected both parties and expose them. Otherwise, millions of 'refugees' from the failing GOP will try to find safe haven inside a Democratic party that has not been able to define itself since Ronald Reagan's so-called 'revolution'.

The danger is that the Democratic party will move rightward to embrace the GOP riff-raff. That will remain a problem as long as the US continues to embrace an 'electoral college', absurd primaries, and many other trappings which have the effect of winnowing out dissent, third parties, or real debate.

Sadly, there is very little chance of the Democrats ever becoming a 'liberal' party as long as rich people finance campaigns.

Lee said...

I am glad to see you blame both parties for the mess we are in. I am so sick of Republicans blaming Democrats and vice versa. Nobody gets that certain agendas can be accomplished while the Republicans are in office and the next agenda item can be fulfilled when a Democrat is in office.

We have become a bailout nation, where nobody believes they have to work for anything. Americans sense of entitlement sickens me, our "home-ownership society" instigated by Bush II shouldn't exist. You deserve a home when you work hard for it, not because government takes money from someone else to make it more affordable for you. Fannie, Freddie, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, AIG, are all abominations that should have went the way of the Dodo bird, Lehman Brothers, or Circuit City. But no, I as a taxpayer will pay for their failures as well as the failures of city, county, state, and federal governments. It's unfortunate but I have lost all faith in Americans, our work ethic has been long gone, now all we are concerned about is reality tv and vacations, electronics and our hot new cars that we cannot afford but expect someone else to pick up the tab.

We have a culture problem as much as an out-of-control government problem. And as long as we elect politicians to keep things the way they are instead of changing things, I see no hope for the future of this country.

Keep the information flowing Len, it is our only weapon.

A big fan of your blog.

Len Hart said...

Lee said...

I am glad to see you blame both parties for the mess we are in. BUT -- we must guard against the simplistic: 'but Democrats are just as bad!' 1) it is a reductio ad absurdum; 2) it provides the GOP with non-debatable cover for a wide range of crimes and sins for which they alone are responsible; 3) it ignores several qualitative DIFFERENCES between the parties.

Those differences are telling: 1) the GOP is well-financed because its natural constituency is but ONE PERCENT of the US population, ie, the 'elite'; 2) the GOP will pursue a policy KNOWING that it is wrong and wrong/headed [what Sartre would have called 'bad faith']; 3) the GOP is essentially authoritarian, a completely different mentality. As Will Rogers once said: "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat!"

The problem is that MONEY elects both politicians. Statistically, the candidate raising the most money usually wins. In a nation in which most wealth is at the top, it is not surprising that the GOP can just buy offices. Democrats will never have that luxury. As the elite gets even richer, the differences between parties will continue to blur unless a REAL revolution should rise up in reaction. I don't see that happening anytime soon. So --in effect --the 'Democrats' are reduced to playing the GOP game.

The Democrats may have already become 'GOP-lite' but for reasons different than those motivating the hard-core GOP.

A nation in which just one percent of the population owns more than 90 percent of the rest of us cannot possibly be 'Democratic' in the philosophical (not political) sense of the word.

We have become a bailout nation, where nobody believes they have to work for anything. Americans sense of entitlement sickens me, our "home-ownership society" instigated by Bush II shouldn't exist.That's a by-product of elitism when 'elitists' have convinced themselves that merely moving money around is productive in the economic sense of the term. Therein lies a difference between mentalities --if NOT parties. This is where the real political battles will be fought. A rule by privileged elites is an oligarchy and it may require a real revolution to change things.

But no, I as a taxpayer will pay for their failures as well as the failures of city, county, state, and federal governments.

As wealth trickles up, 'misfortune' trickles down. The GOP will blame its victims.

Keep the information flowing Len, it is our only weapon. can count on it! In fact, I am now inspired to work up an article about Democrats v Republicans. Simplistically, the idea that Democrats are 'just as bad' was first floated by the GOP. In politics, one can play defense AND offense --just like football.

A powerful team like the old Steelers could simply take it to you. But a 'lighter' team, trying to play the Steelers' game, would just simply get their asses 'whupped'. More later.

Jim said...

Len, yours is the second piece I've read this week on the theme of perpetual war and its economic impact on society and the health of this nation. Chris Hedges has diagnosed this malignancy, as well:

Since at least the aftermath of WWII, when Truman, desirous of a militarized economy, agreed with the fear tactic of assuring easily manipulated Americans that the Russians were coming for us, perpetual war as been a principle which we refuse to abandon. The events of September 11th have made sure that it will remain so indefinitely. Or, until it and our other over-arching principle- greed- take this country down, completely. It won't much matter, because as we're collapsing, we'll probably just unleash hell, to make certain we don't go out alone.

BrianM said...

It isn't just the GOP or Bush. clinton was as bad. The Democratic Party is the exact same thing. Otherwise, I love your analysis.

Len Hart said...

BrianM said...

It isn't just the GOP or Bush. clinton was as bad. The Democratic Party is the exact same thing. Otherwise, I love your analysis.Nope! Sorry, BrianM. The DEMS are NOT the 'exact same thing' as the GOP.

That's the propaganda line that the GOP promotes. It levels the playing field; it's the ONLY fuckin' chance that these lyin' bastards have. It's a line that Herr Goebbels would have been proud of.

There are NUMEROUS QUALITATIVE differences between the DEMS and the GOP.

For my taste, the DEMS are way too conservative. I have other problems with them. But the idea that they are the same as the GOP is SIMPLY NOT one of them.

My BIGGEST problem with the Dems are that they are entirely too polite in their treatment of the GOP --party that is, in my opinion, the paid representatives of a TREASONOUS ELITE, an elite which owns more than 90 percent of the rest of us combined. For example, on the very first day in office, OBAMA should have instructed his JD to prep a capital crimes case against GWB and half of his administration.

More on the GOP later in a heavily documented article.

I appreciate your post. But --honestly --the idea that the DEMS are the 'exact same thing' as the GOP is incredibly naive and just plain wrong.

Making the case, however, requires a book! But --for now --I'll try to summarize the single most egregious, substantive difference in a single sentence: the GOP is the official party of a ruling elite of JUST ONE PERCENT of the entire population. Laws and Constitution mean absolutely nothing to them and they don't give a shit about you unless you have descended from Vanderbilts and Rockefellars.

And NO --Clinton was NOT 'just as bad!'. In fact, the enrichment ie, the payoff to this ruling clique REVERSED under Clinton. Keep in mind that Clinton got the White House after two consecutive GOP regimes did nothing but empower CIA abuses, make terrorism much, much worse (three times higher than under Clinton, for example) and enrich the ruling one percent.

The Democratic party has held executive power and legislative agenda but EIGHT of the LAST THIRTY YEARS. The GOP OWNS the deterioration of American infrastructure, the commission of capital crimes, the deterioration of American standing abroad, the impoverishment of the middle class, the SELLOUT of the US to China et al.

And --as this article supports --the GOP OWNS the War in Iraq and the subsequent economic collapse. Read Keynes. War is a racket from which ONLY the ruling elite benefit. The rich (read: GOP) get a bonus; the poor get an only son sent home in a box.

More later.