Posts Tagged ‘Capitalism A Very Special Delirium’

The consent of the masses can at all times be controlled.
R.I.P to every human who has died in all conflict.


http://wps.pearsoncustom.com/wps/media/objects/2429/2487430/pdfs/lippmann.pdf

Part 1: Chapter I. THE WORLD OUTSIDE AND THE PICTURES IN OUR HEADS – Lippman, W. 1922. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/lippman/ch01.html

(They trusted the picture in their heads.)

“There is an island in the ocean where in 1914 a few Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Germans lived. No cable reaches that island, and the British mail steamer comes but once in sixty days. In September it had not yet come, and the islanders were still talking about the latest newspaper which told about the approaching trial of Madame Caillaux for the shooting of Gaston Calmette.

It was, therefore, with more than usual eagerness that the whole colony assembled at the quay on a day in mid-September to hear from the captain what the verdict had been. They learned that for over six weeks now those of them who were English and those of them who were French had been fighting in behalf of the sanctity of treaties against those of them who were Germans.
For six strange weeks they had acted as if they were friends, when in fact they were enemies.

But their plight was not so different from that of most of the population of Europe. They had been mistaken for six weeks, on the continent the interval may have been only six days or six hours.
There was an interval.
There was a moment when the picture of Europe on which men were conducting their business as usual, did not in any way correspond to the Europe which was about to make a jumble of their lives.
There was a time for each man when he was still adjusted to an environment that no longer existed.

All over the world as late as July 25th men were making goods that they would not be able to ship, buying goods they would not be able to import, careers were being planned, enterprises contemplated, hopes and expectations entertained, all in the belief that the world as known was the world as it was.
Men were writing books describing that world.

They trusted the picture in their heads.

And then over four years later, 1918, on a Thursday morning, came the news of an armistice, and people gave vent to their unutterable relief that the slaughter was over.

Yet in the five days before the real Armistice came, though the end of the war had been celebrated, several thousands of young men continued to be slaughtered on the battlefields.

Looking back we can see how indirectly we know the environment in which nevertheless we live.
We can see that the news of it comes to us now fast, now slowly; but that whatever we believe to be a true picture, we treat as if it were the environment itself.

It is harder to remember that about the beliefs upon which we are now acting, but in respect to other peoples and other ages we flatter ourselves that it is easy to see when they were in deadly earnest about ludicrous pictures of the world.
We insist, because of our superior hindsight, that the world as they needed to know it, and the world as they did know it, were often two quite contradictory things.” – Walter Lippman.

“Behold! human beings living in a sort of underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all across the den; they have been here from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them; for the chains are arranged in such a manner as to prevent them from turning round their heads.
At a distance above and behind them the light of a fire is blazing, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have before them, over which they show the puppets.
I see, he said.
And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying vessels, which appear over the wall; also figures of men and animals, made of wood and stone and various materials; and some of the prisoners, as you would expect, are talking, and some of them are silent?
This is a strange image, he said, and they are strange prisoners.
Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?
True, he said: how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?
And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would see only the shadows?
Yes, he said.

And if they were able to talk with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?” –The Cave Analogy, The Republic, Plato, Book Seven. (Jowett Translation.)

There are Nosferatu’s shadows on the walls of Plato’s cave – Robin Ince, author/comedian.

 

 

…Walter Lippmann, The major progressive intellectual of the 20th century. He wrote famous progressive essays on democracy in which his view was exactly that.
“the public must be put in their place,”
So that the responsible men can make decisions, Without interference from the “bewildered herd.”
They’re to be spectators, not participants. Then you get a properly functioning democracy,
Straight back to madison and on to Powell’s memorandum, and so on. And the advertising industry just exploded with this as its goal…
Fabricating consumers. – (56 mins in) Noam Chomsky, Requiem for the American Dream, 2015

Anarchism is “the ultimate ideal to which society should approximate.” Structures of hierarchy and domination are fundamentally illegitimate. They can be defended only on grounds of contingent need, an argument that rarely stands up to analysis. – Bertrand Russell on Anarchism.

 


 

(Q&A of the movie held at Rochester University with the Directors: https://youtu.be/qk9aSQwkMck?list=PLlSs01hL39FCi1–61s66BqZ_x7UEv3A_ )

subtitles transcript for the documentary:

Noam Chomsky – Requiem for the American Dream, 2015.

1
00:00:48,714 –> 00:00:52,450
During the great depression,
which I’m old enough
to remember there was–

2
00:00:52,452 –> 00:00:55,619
And most of my family
were unemployed working class…

3
00:00:55,621 –> 00:00:57,354
There wasn’t– it was bad,

4
00:00:57,356 –> 00:00:59,756
Much worse
subjectively than today.

5
00:00:59,758 –> 00:01:02,725
But there was an expectation
that things were going to get
better.

6
00:01:04,360 –> 00:01:06,494
There was a real sense
of hopefulness.

7
00:01:06,496 –> 00:01:07,795
There isn’t today.

8
00:01:17,638 –> 00:01:21,407
Inequality is really
unprecedented.

9
00:01:21,409 –> 00:01:25,611
If you look at total inequality,
it’s like the worst periods
of american history.

10
00:01:31,651 –> 00:01:40,156
The inequality comes from
the extreme wealth in a tiny
sector of the population,

11
00:01:40,158 –> 00:01:41,390
A fraction of one percent.

12
00:01:44,827 –> 00:01:48,162
There were periods like
the gilded age in the ’20s

13
00:01:48,164 –> 00:01:50,197
And the roaring ’90s and so on,

14
00:01:50,199 –> 00:01:52,732
When a situation developed
rather similar to this.

15
00:01:53,800 –> 00:01:56,168
Now, this period’s extreme…

16
00:01:56,170 –> 00:01:58,770
Because if you look
at the wealth distribution,

17
00:01:58,772 –> 00:02:03,307
The inequality mostly
comes from super wealth.

18
00:02:07,211 –> 00:02:11,246
Literally, the top
1/10th of a percent
are just super wealthy.

19
00:02:12,781 –> 00:02:16,316
Not only is it extremely
unjust in itself…

20
00:02:16,318 –> 00:02:20,419
Inequality has highly negative
consequences on the society
as a whole…

21
00:02:22,722 –> 00:02:28,393
Because the very fact
of inequality has a corrosive,
harmful effect on democracy.

22
00:02:34,232 –> 00:02:36,833
You open by talking about
the american dream.

23
00:02:36,835 –> 00:02:39,268
Part of the american dream
is class mobility.

24
00:02:39,270 –> 00:02:47,142
You get rich. It was possible
for a worker to get a decent
job, buy a home…

25
00:02:47,144 –> 00:02:49,877
Get a car, have his
children go to school.

26
00:02:52,213 –> 00:02:53,279
It’s all collapsed.

27
00:03:07,860 –> 00:03:12,830
Imagine yourself in an outside
position, looking from mars.

28
00:03:13,765 –> 00:03:14,798
What do you see?

29
00:03:40,657 –> 00:03:44,793
In the United States,
there are professed
values like democracy.

30
00:03:51,566 –> 00:03:56,202
In a democracy, public opinion
is going to have some influence
on policy.

31
00:04:00,840 –> 00:04:05,543
And then, the government
carries out actions determined
by the population.

32
00:04:05,545 –> 00:04:07,311
That’s what democracy means.

33
00:04:11,849 –> 00:04:15,985
It’s important to understand
that privileged and powerful
sectors

34
00:04:15,987 –> 00:04:21,223
Have never liked democracy
and for very good reasons.

35
00:04:21,225 –> 00:04:24,993
Democracy puts power
into the hands of
the general population

36
00:04:24,995 –> 00:04:26,627
And takes it away from them.

37
00:04:28,830 –> 00:04:32,632
It’s kind of a principle
of concentration of wealth
and power.

38
00:04:48,348 –> 00:04:52,384
Concentration of wealth
yields concentration of power…

39
00:04:52,386 –> 00:04:57,021
Particularly so as the cost
of elections skyrockets,

40
00:04:57,023 –> 00:05:03,627
Which kind of forces
the political parties into the
pockets of major corporations.

41
00:05:03,629 –> 00:05:08,465
And this political power quickly
translates into legislation

42
00:05:08,467 –> 00:05:11,401
That increases
the concentration of wealth.

43
00:05:11,403 –> 00:05:14,937
So fiscal policy
like tax policy…

44
00:05:14,939 –> 00:05:17,906
Deregulation…

45
00:05:17,908 –> 00:05:22,644
Rules of corporate
governance and a whole
variety of measures…

46
00:05:22,646 –> 00:05:27,782
Political measures, designed
to increase the concentration
of wealth and power,

47
00:05:27,784 –> 00:05:31,618
Which, in turn,
yields more political power
to do the same thing.

48
00:05:33,721 –> 00:05:35,521
And that’s what
we’ve been seeing.

49
00:05:39,592 –> 00:05:42,460
So we have this kind of
vicious cycle in progress.

50
00:05:47,766 –> 00:05:54,338
You know, actually,
it is so traditional that it was
described by adam smith in 1776.

51
00:05:54,340 –> 00:05:56,506
You read the famous
“wealth of nations.”

52
00:06:00,544 –> 00:06:04,013
He says in England,
the principal architects
of policy

53
00:06:04,015 –> 00:06:06,015
Are the people
who own the society.

54
00:06:06,017 –> 00:06:09,818
In his day, merchants
and manufacturers.

55
00:06:09,820 –> 00:06:14,989
And they make sure
that their own interests
are very well cared for,

56
00:06:14,991 –> 00:06:19,560
However grievous
the impact on the people
of England or others.

57
00:06:21,829 –> 00:06:24,530
Now, it’s not merchants
and manufacturers,

58
00:06:24,532 –> 00:06:27,432
It’s financial institutions
and multinational corporations.

59
00:06:28,767 –> 00:06:33,570
The people who adam smith
called the “masters of mankind,”

60
00:06:33,572 –> 00:06:38,808
And they’re following the vile
maxim, “all for ourselves
and nothing for anyone else.”

61
00:06:41,845 –> 00:06:46,815
They’re just going to pursue
policies that benefit them
and harm everyone else.

62
00:06:46,817 –> 00:06:52,720
And in the absence of a general
popular reaction, that’s pretty
much what you’d expect.

63
00:07:03,631 –> 00:07:08,401
Right through american history,
there’s been an ongoing clash…

64
00:07:08,403 –> 00:07:14,472
Between pressure for more
freedom and democracy coming
from below,

65
00:07:14,474 –> 00:07:19,643
And efforts at elite control
and domination coming from
above.

66
00:07:24,415 –> 00:07:26,148
It goes back to
the founding of the country.

67
00:07:29,852 –> 00:07:31,953
James madison, the main framer,

68
00:07:31,955 –> 00:07:37,124
Who was as much of a believer
in democracy as anybody
in the world in that day,

69
00:07:37,126 –> 00:07:41,128
Nevertheless felt that
the United States system
should be designed,

70
00:07:41,130 –> 00:07:44,898
And indeed with his
initiative was designed,

71
00:07:44,900 –> 00:07:48,835
So that power should be
in the hands of the wealthy…

72
00:07:48,837 –> 00:07:52,872
Because the wealthy
are the more responsible
set of men.

73
00:07:52,874 –> 00:07:56,742
And, therefore,
the structure of the formal
constitutional system

74
00:07:56,744 –> 00:07:59,611
Placed most power
in the hands of the senate.

75
00:07:59,613 –> 00:08:02,614
Remember, the senate was
not elected in those days.

76
00:08:02,616 –> 00:08:04,849
It was selected
from the wealthy.

77
00:08:04,851 –> 00:08:09,753
Men, as madison put it,
“had sympathy for property
owners and their rights.”

78
00:08:12,490 –> 00:08:14,958
If you read the debates
at the constitutional
convention…

79
00:08:16,727 –> 00:08:20,496
Madison said, “the major concern
of the society has to be

80
00:08:20,498 –> 00:08:23,799
To protect the minority
of the opulent against
the majority.”

81
00:08:27,670 –> 00:08:29,470
And he had arguments.

82
00:08:29,472 –> 00:08:32,039
Suppose everyone
had a vote freely.

83
00:08:32,041 –> 00:08:35,742
He said, “well, the majority
of the poor would get together

84
00:08:35,744 –> 00:08:38,978
And they would organize
to take away the property
of the rich.”

85
00:08:38,980 –> 00:08:42,781
And, he said, “that would
obviously be unjust,
so you can’t have that.”

86
00:08:42,783 –> 00:08:46,117
So, therefore the constitutional
system has to be set up
to prevent democracy.

87
00:08:57,928 –> 00:09:02,965
It’s of some interest that this
debate has a hoary tradition.

88
00:09:02,967 –> 00:09:07,736
Goes back to the first major
book on political systems,
aristotle’s “politics.”

89
00:09:09,872 –> 00:09:13,140
He says, “of all of them,
the best is democracy,”

90
00:09:13,142 –> 00:09:17,143
But then he points out
exactly the flaw that
madison pointed out.

91
00:09:20,714 –> 00:09:23,515
If athens were a democracy
for free men,

92
00:09:23,517 –> 00:09:26,150
The poor would get together
and take away the property
of the rich.

93
00:09:27,986 –> 00:09:31,655
Well, same dilemma,
they had opposite solutions.

94
00:09:31,657 –> 00:09:35,659
Aristotle proposed what we would
nowadays call a welfare state.

95
00:09:35,661 –> 00:09:37,494
He said,
“try to reduce inequality.”

96
00:09:42,599 –> 00:09:45,500
So, same problem,
opposite solutions.

97
00:09:45,502 –> 00:09:48,903
One is reduce inequality,
you won’t have this problem.

98
00:09:48,905 –> 00:09:50,704
The other is reduce democracy.

99
00:09:57,678 –> 00:09:59,779
If you look at the history
of the United States…

100
00:09:59,781 –> 00:10:03,015
It’s a constant struggle
between these two tendencies.

101
00:10:03,017 –> 00:10:07,152
A democratizing tendency
that’s mostly coming from
the population,

102
00:10:07,154 –> 00:10:13,258
And you get this constant battle
going on, periods of regression,
periods of progress.

103
00:10:13,260 –> 00:10:18,630
The 1960s for example,
were a period of significant
democratization.

104
00:10:23,668 –> 00:10:25,068
[crowd clamoring]

105
00:10:33,076 –> 00:10:37,112
Sectors of the population
that were usually passive

106
00:10:37,114 –> 00:10:41,883
And apathetic became organized,
active, started pressing their
demands.

107
00:10:46,955 –> 00:10:52,825
And they became more and more
involved in decision-making,
activism and so on.

108
00:10:54,093 –> 00:10:56,861
It just changed consciousness
in a lot of ways.

109
00:11:03,969 –> 00:11:08,037
If democracy means freedom,
why aren’t our people free?

110
00:11:08,039 –> 00:11:11,340
If democracy means justice,
why don’t we have justice?

111
00:11:11,342 –> 00:11:15,711
If democracy means equality,
why don’t we have equality?

112
00:11:15,713 –> 00:11:20,949
This inhuman system
of exploitation will change,

113
00:11:20,951 –> 00:11:24,986
But only if we force it to
change, and force it together.

114
00:11:24,988 –> 00:11:26,721
Concern for the environment.

115
00:11:26,723 –> 00:11:29,023
[walter cronkite] a unique day
in american history is ending,

116
00:11:29,025 –> 00:11:34,594
A day set aside for a nationwide
outpouring of mankind seeking
its own survival.

117
00:11:34,596 –> 00:11:39,899
[dr. Benjamin spock] I say
to those who criticize us
for the militancy of our dissent

118
00:11:39,901 –> 00:11:42,234
That if they are serious
about law and order,

119
00:11:42,236 –> 00:11:45,003
They should first provide it
for the vietnamese people,

120
00:11:45,005 –> 00:11:48,206
For our own black people
and for our own poor people.

121
00:11:48,208 –> 00:11:49,907
Concern for other people.

122
00:11:49,909 –> 00:11:51,976
[dr. Martin luther king]
one day we must ask
the question,

123
00:11:51,978 –> 00:11:54,712
“why are there 40 million
poor people in america?”

124
00:11:54,714 –> 00:11:57,715
When you begin
to ask that question,

125
00:11:57,717 –> 00:12:00,718
You’re raising a question
about the economic system,

126
00:12:00,720 –> 00:12:02,953
About a broader
distribution of wealth,

127
00:12:02,955 –> 00:12:07,490
The question of restructuring
the whole of american society.

128
00:12:07,492 –> 00:12:09,291
These are all
civilizing effects…

129
00:12:12,728 –> 00:12:14,161
And that caused great fear.

130
00:12:29,810 –> 00:12:34,780
I hadn’t anticipated
the power–

131
00:12:34,782 –> 00:12:38,483
I should’ve, but I didn’t
anticipate the power
of the reaction

132
00:12:38,485 –> 00:12:40,952
To these civilizing
effects of the ’60s.

133
00:12:40,954 –> 00:12:46,256
I did not anticipate
the strength of
the reaction to it.

134
00:12:49,827 –> 00:12:51,127
The backlash.

135
00:12:59,902 –> 00:13:04,205
There has been an enormous
concentrated, coordinated…

136
00:13:04,207 –> 00:13:06,941
Business offensive
beginning in the ’70s

137
00:13:06,943 –> 00:13:10,544
To try to beat back
the egalitarian efforts

138
00:13:10,546 –> 00:13:12,779
That went right
through the nixon years.

139
00:13:12,781 –> 00:13:20,119
Over on the right, you see it
in things like the famous
powell memorandum…

140
00:13:22,255 –> 00:13:25,156
Sent to the chamber of commerce,
the major business lobby,

141
00:13:25,158 –> 00:13:28,159
By later supreme court
justice powell…

142
00:13:28,161 –> 00:13:32,229
Warning them that business
is losing control
over the society…

143
00:13:35,266 –> 00:13:38,434
And something has to be done
to counter these forces.

144
00:13:38,436 –> 00:13:41,036
Of course, he puts it
in terms of defense,

145
00:13:41,038 –> 00:13:43,471
“defending ourselves
against an outside power.”

146
00:13:49,377 –> 00:13:54,180
But if you look at it,
it’s a call for business to use
its control over resources

147
00:13:54,182 –> 00:13:58,250
To carry out a major offensive
to beat back this democratizing
wave.

148
00:14:08,360 –> 00:14:12,162
Over on the liberal side,
there’s something exactly
similar.

149
00:14:12,164 –> 00:14:17,934
The first major report of
the trilateral commission

150
00:14:17,936 –> 00:14:21,470
Is concerned with this.
It’s called “the crisis
of democracy.”

151
00:14:23,372 –> 00:14:26,240
Trilateral commission
is liberal internationalists…

152
00:14:26,242 –> 00:14:29,343
Their flavor is indicated
by the fact that

153
00:14:29,345 –> 00:14:31,545
They pretty much staffed
the carter administration.

154
00:14:35,917 –> 00:14:40,520
They were also appalled by
the democratizing tendencies
of the ’60s,

155
00:14:40,522 –> 00:14:43,923
And thought
we have to react to it.

156
00:14:43,925 –> 00:14:47,593
They were concerned that
there was an “excess of
democracy” developing.

157
00:14:51,164 –> 00:14:56,334
Previously passive and obedient
parts of the population,

158
00:14:56,336 –> 00:14:58,502
What are sometimes called,
“the special interests,”

159
00:14:58,504 –> 00:15:02,506
Were beginning to organize
and try to enter the political
arena,

160
00:15:02,508 –> 00:15:06,409
And they said, “that imposes
too much pressure on the state.

161
00:15:06,411 –> 00:15:08,878
It can’t deal with all
these pressures.”

162
00:15:08,880 –> 00:15:14,082
So, therefore, they have
to return to passivity
and become depoliticized.

163
00:15:14,084 –> 00:15:15,950
[chanting]

164
00:15:15,952 –> 00:15:18,919
They were particularly concerned
with what was happening
to young people.

165
00:15:18,921 –> 00:15:20,987
“the young people are getting
too free and independent.”

166
00:15:20,989 –> 00:15:23,122
[young man] none of us will
beget any violence.

167
00:15:23,124 –> 00:15:27,326
If there’s any violence,
it will be because
of the police.

168
00:15:27,328 –> 00:15:31,330
[noam chomsky] the way they
put it, there’s failure on
the part of the schools,

169
00:15:31,332 –> 00:15:33,665
The universities,
the churches…

170
00:15:33,667 –> 00:15:37,969
The institutions responsible
for the “indoctrination
of the young.”

171
00:15:37,971 –> 00:15:39,403
Their phrase, not mine.

172
00:15:44,509 –> 00:15:47,911
If you look at their study,
there’s one interest they
never mention…

173
00:15:47,913 –> 00:15:53,216
And that makes sense, they’re
not special interest, they’re
the national interest,

174
00:15:53,218 –> 00:15:55,585
Kind of by definition.
So they’re okay.

175
00:15:55,587 –> 00:16:00,089
They’re allowed to, you know,
have lobbyists, buy campaigns,

176
00:16:00,091 –> 00:16:03,092
Staff the executive,
make decisions, that’s fine.

177
00:16:03,094 –> 00:16:06,662
But it’s the rest,
the special interests,
the general population,

178
00:16:06,664 –> 00:16:08,163
Who have to be subdued.

179
00:16:08,165 –> 00:16:09,397
[clamoring]

180
00:16:15,670 –> 00:16:17,237
Well, that’s the spectrum.

181
00:16:17,239 –> 00:16:21,241
It’s the kind of ideological
level of the backlash.

182
00:16:21,243 –> 00:16:25,178
But the major backlash,
which was in parallel to this…

183
00:16:25,180 –> 00:16:27,480
Was just redesigning
the economy.

184
00:16:41,694 –> 00:16:48,599
Since the 1970s, there’s been
a concerted effort on the part
of the masters of mankind,

185
00:16:48,601 –> 00:16:50,567
The owners of the society,

186
00:16:50,569 –> 00:16:54,237
To shift the economy
in two crucial respects.

187
00:16:54,239 –> 00:16:59,641
One, to increase the role
of financial institutions,

188
00:16:59,643 –> 00:17:03,411
Banks, investment firms,
so on…

189
00:17:03,413 –> 00:17:05,579
Insurance companies.

190
00:17:05,581 –> 00:17:09,749
By 2007, right before
the latest crash,

191
00:17:09,751 –> 00:17:13,252
They had literally 40%
of corporate profits…

192
00:17:16,389 –> 00:17:18,289
Far beyond
anything in the past.

193
00:17:26,697 –> 00:17:30,433
Back in the 1950s,
as for many years before,

194
00:17:30,435 –> 00:17:34,236
The United States economy
was based largely on production.

195
00:17:34,238 –> 00:17:38,473
The United States was
the great manufacturing
center of the world.

196
00:17:45,346 –> 00:17:49,716
Financial institutions used
to be a relatively small part
of the economy

197
00:17:49,718 –> 00:17:54,686
And their task was
to distribute
unused assets like,

198
00:17:54,688 –> 00:17:58,389
Say, bank savings
to productive activity.

199
00:17:58,391 –> 00:18:01,258
[man] the bank always has
on hand a reserve of money

200
00:18:01,260 –> 00:18:03,760
Received from
the stockholders
and depositors.

201
00:18:03,762 –> 00:18:06,295
On the basis of
these cash reserves,

202
00:18:06,297 –> 00:18:11,433
A bank can create credit.
So besides providing a safe
place for depositing money,

203
00:18:11,435 –> 00:18:16,471
A bank serves a community
by making additional credit
available for many purposes.

204
00:18:16,473 –> 00:18:20,107
For a manufacturer to meet
his payroll during slack
selling periods,

205
00:18:20,109 –> 00:18:23,110
For a merchant to enlarge
and remodel his store,

206
00:18:23,112 –> 00:18:27,347
And for many other good reasons
why people are always needing
more credit

207
00:18:27,349 –> 00:18:29,782
Than they have
immediately available.

208
00:18:29,784 –> 00:18:31,817
[chomsky]
that’s a contribution
to the economy.

209
00:18:33,286 –> 00:18:35,353
Regulatory system
was established.

210
00:18:35,355 –> 00:18:37,555
Banks were regulated.

211
00:18:37,557 –> 00:18:40,291
The commercial and investment
banks were separated,

212
00:18:40,293 –> 00:18:46,596
Cut back their risky investment
practices that could harm
private people.

213
00:18:46,598 –> 00:18:51,701
There had been, remember,
no financial crashes during
the period of regulation.

214
00:18:51,703 –> 00:18:54,437
By the 1970s, that changed.

215
00:19:03,646 –> 00:19:08,349
You started getting that huge
increase in the flows of
speculative capital,

216
00:19:08,351 –> 00:19:10,651
Just astronomically increase,

217
00:19:10,653 –> 00:19:13,253
Enormous changes
in the financial sector

218
00:19:13,255 –> 00:19:17,490
From traditional banks
to risky investments,

219
00:19:17,492 –> 00:19:22,394
Complex financial instruments,
money manipulations and so on.

220
00:19:22,396 –> 00:19:27,865
Increasingly, the business
of the country isn’t production,
at least not here.

221
00:19:29,601 –> 00:19:32,869
The primary business
here is business.

222
00:19:32,871 –> 00:19:36,172
You can even see it
in the choice of directors.

223
00:19:36,174 –> 00:19:41,544
A director of a major
american corporation
back in the ’50s and ’60s

224
00:19:41,546 –> 00:19:46,482
Was very likely to be
an engineer, somebody who
graduated from a place like mit,

225
00:19:46,484 –> 00:19:48,550
Maybe industrial management.

226
00:19:48,552 –> 00:19:52,787
More recently, the directorship
and the top managerial positions

227
00:19:52,789 –> 00:19:54,889
Are people who came out
of business schools,

228
00:19:54,891 –> 00:19:58,392
Learned the financial trickery
of various kinds, and so on.

229
00:20:00,228 –> 00:20:04,397
By the 1970s,
say general electric
could make more profit

230
00:20:04,399 –> 00:20:08,801
Playing games with money
than you could by producing
in the United States.

231
00:20:12,639 –> 00:20:14,873
You have to remember
that general electric

232
00:20:14,875 –> 00:20:18,443
Is substantially
a financial institution today.

233
00:20:18,445 –> 00:20:23,748
It makes half its profits just
by moving money around
in complicated ways.

234
00:20:23,750 –> 00:20:28,819
And it’s very unclear that
they’re doing anything that’s
of value to the economy.

235
00:20:28,821 –> 00:20:32,789
So that’s one phenomenon,
what’s called financialization
of the economy.

236
00:20:35,793 –> 00:20:38,728
Going along with that
is the off-shoring
of production.

237
00:20:56,379 –> 00:20:59,280
The trade system
was reconstructed

238
00:20:59,282 –> 00:21:02,883
With a very explicit
design of putting

239
00:21:02,885 –> 00:21:06,486
Working people
in competition with one
another all over the world.

240
00:21:08,455 –> 00:21:13,425
And what it’s lead to
is a reduction
in the share of income

241
00:21:13,427 –> 00:21:16,895
On the part of working people.

242
00:21:16,897 –> 00:21:20,531
It’s been particularly striking
in the United States,
but it’s happening worldwide.

243
00:21:20,533 –> 00:21:23,467
It means that an american
worker’s in competition

244
00:21:23,469 –> 00:21:25,835
With the super-exploited
worker in china.

245
00:21:29,372 –> 00:21:32,841
Meanwhile, highly paid
professionals are protected.

246
00:21:32,843 –> 00:21:37,512
They’re not placed
in competition with the rest
of the world. Far from it.

247
00:21:37,514 –> 00:21:40,581
And, of course,
the capital is free to move.

248
00:21:40,583 –> 00:21:44,985
Workers aren’t free to move,
labor can’t move,
but capital can.

249
00:21:44,987 –> 00:21:48,755
Well, again, going back
to the classics like adam smith,

250
00:21:48,757 –> 00:21:52,325
As he pointed out,
free circulation of labor

251
00:21:52,327 –> 00:21:55,895
Is the foundation of
any free trade system,

252
00:21:55,897 –> 00:21:58,764
But workers are
pretty much stuck.

253
00:21:58,766 –> 00:22:01,633
The wealthy
and the privileged
are protected,

254
00:22:01,635 –> 00:22:03,801
So you get obvious consequences.

255
00:22:03,803 –> 00:22:06,002
And they’re recognized
and, in fact, praised.

256
00:22:09,673 –> 00:22:12,574
Policy is designed
to increase insecurity.

257
00:22:13,909 –> 00:22:16,844
Alan greenspan.
When he testified to congress,

258
00:22:16,846 –> 00:22:21,481
He explained his success
in running the economy

259
00:22:21,483 –> 00:22:26,752
As based on what he called,
“greater worker insecurity.”

260
00:22:26,754 –> 00:22:32,023
A typical restraint on
compensation increases has been
evident for a few years now,

261
00:22:32,025 –> 00:22:35,926
But as I outlined in some detail
in testimony last month,

262
00:22:35,928 –> 00:22:39,796
I believe that job insecurity
has played the dominant role.

263
00:22:39,798 –> 00:22:44,433
Keep workers insecure,
they’re going to be
under control.

264
00:22:44,435 –> 00:22:48,603
They are not going to ask for,
say, decent wages…

265
00:22:48,605 –> 00:22:50,905
Or decent working conditions…

266
00:22:50,907 –> 00:22:55,643
Or the opportunity of free
association, meaning unionize.

267
00:22:55,645 –> 00:23:00,514
Now, for the masters
of mankind, that’s fine.
They make their profits.

268
00:23:00,516 –> 00:23:02,949
But for the population,
it’s devastating.

269
00:23:05,018 –> 00:23:08,854
These two processes,
financialization and off-shoring

270
00:23:08,856 –> 00:23:13,491
Are part of what lead
to the vicious cycle

271
00:23:13,493 –> 00:23:16,760
Of concentration of wealth
and concentration of power.

272
00:23:25,669 –> 00:23:29,471
I’m noam chomsky
and I’m on the faculty at mit,

273
00:23:29,473 –> 00:23:32,574
And I’ve been getting more
and more heavily involved in

274
00:23:32,576 –> 00:23:34,876
Anti-war activities
for the last few years.

275
00:23:41,616 –> 00:23:45,118
Noam chomsky has made
two international reputations.

276
00:23:45,120 –> 00:23:50,123
The widest is as one of the
national leaders of american
resistance to the vietnam war.

277
00:23:50,125 –> 00:23:52,925
The deepest is as a professor
of linguistics,

278
00:23:52,927 –> 00:23:57,195
Who, before he was 40 years old,
had transformed the nature
of his subject.

279
00:23:59,798 –> 00:24:02,533
You are identified
with the new left,
whatever that is.

280
00:24:02,535 –> 00:24:05,501
You certainly have been
an activist as well as a writer.

281
00:24:08,204 –> 00:24:10,905
Professor noam chomsky…

282
00:24:10,907 –> 00:24:17,010
Is listed in anybody’s catalog
as among the half-dozen top
heroes of the new left.

283
00:24:17,012 –> 00:24:21,447
The standing he achieved
by adopting over the past
two or three years

284
00:24:21,449 –> 00:24:23,816
A series of adamant positions

285
00:24:23,818 –> 00:24:29,188
Rejecting at least american
foreign policy, at most
america itself.

286
00:24:36,562 –> 00:24:41,032
Actually this notion
anti-american is quite
an interesting one.

287
00:24:41,034 –> 00:24:43,768
It’s actually
a totalitarian notion.

288
00:24:43,770 –> 00:24:46,570
It isn’t used in free societies.

289
00:24:46,572 –> 00:24:52,008
So, if someone in, say,
Italy is criticizing berlusconi

290
00:24:52,010 –> 00:24:57,713
Or the corruption of the italian
state and so on, they’re not
called anti-italian.

291
00:24:57,715 –> 00:25:01,883
In fact, if they were called
anti-italian, people would
collapse in laughter

292
00:25:01,885 –> 00:25:04,218
In the streets
of rome or milan.

293
00:25:05,553 –> 00:25:08,688
In totalitarian states
the notion’s used,

294
00:25:08,690 –> 00:25:13,492
So in the old soviet union
dissidents were called
anti-soviet.

295
00:25:13,494 –> 00:25:15,660
That was the worst condemnation.

296
00:25:15,662 –> 00:25:20,965
In the brazilian military
dictatorship, they were
called anti-brazilian.

297
00:25:23,201 –> 00:25:26,203
Now, it’s true that in just
about every society,

298
00:25:26,205 –> 00:25:29,940
The critics are maligned
or mistreated…

299
00:25:29,942 –> 00:25:33,643
Different ways depending on
the nature of the society.

300
00:25:33,645 –> 00:25:37,679
Like in the soviet union,
say vaclav havel would be
imprisoned.

301
00:25:39,181 –> 00:25:43,117
In a u.S. Dependency like
el salvador, at the same time,

302
00:25:43,119 –> 00:25:49,155
His counterparts would have
their brains blown out by
u.S.-Run state terrorist forces.

303
00:25:49,157 –> 00:25:52,791
In other societies, they’re just
condemned or vilified and so on.

304
00:25:52,793 –> 00:25:58,629
In the United States, one of
the terms of abuse
is “anti-american.”

305
00:25:58,631 –> 00:26:01,231
There’s a couple of
others, like “marxist.”

306
00:26:01,233 –> 00:26:04,601
There’s an array
of terms of abuse.

307
00:26:04,603 –> 00:26:07,704
But in the United States,
you have a very high degree
of freedom.

308
00:26:07,706 –> 00:26:11,307
So, if you’re vilified by some
commissars, then who cares?

309
00:26:11,309 –> 00:26:13,642
You go on,
you do your work anyway.

310
00:26:13,644 –> 00:26:18,947
These concepts only arise
in a culture where, if you
criticize

311
00:26:18,949 –> 00:26:22,717
State power,
and by state, I mean…

312
00:26:22,719 –> 00:26:26,287
More generally not just
government but state
corporate power,

313
00:26:26,289 –> 00:26:29,823
If you criticize
concentrated power,
you’re against the society,

314
00:26:29,825 –> 00:26:34,894
That’s quite striking that
it’s used in the United States.

315
00:26:34,896 –> 00:26:38,264
In fact, as far as I know,
it’s the only democratic society

316
00:26:38,266 –> 00:26:41,133
Where the concept
isn’t just ridiculed.

317
00:26:41,135 –> 00:26:47,906
It’s a sign of elements
of the elite culture,
which are quite ugly.

318
00:27:29,247 –> 00:27:35,317
The american dream, like many
ideals, was partly symbolic,
but partly real.

319
00:27:35,319 –> 00:27:41,255
So in the 1950s and 60s,
say, there was the biggest
growth period

320
00:27:41,257 –> 00:27:44,157
In american economic history.

321
00:27:47,361 –> 00:27:48,894
The golden age.

322
00:27:52,665 –> 00:27:55,967
It was pretty
egalitarian growth,

323
00:27:55,969 –> 00:28:00,704
So the lowest fifth of the
population was improving about
as much as the upper fifth.

324
00:28:02,339 –> 00:28:04,840
And there were some
welfare state measures,

325
00:28:04,842 –> 00:28:08,710
Which improved life
for much the population.

326
00:28:08,712 –> 00:28:13,281
It was, for example,
possible for a black worker

327
00:28:13,283 –> 00:28:16,817
To get a decent job
in an auto plant,

328
00:28:16,819 –> 00:28:21,687
Buy a home, get a car,
have his children go
to school and so on.

329
00:28:21,689 –> 00:28:23,221
And the same across the board.

330
00:28:26,692 –> 00:28:31,429
When the u.S. Was primarily
a manufacturing center,

331
00:28:31,431 –> 00:28:36,267
It had to be concerned
with its own consumers… Here.

332
00:28:36,269 –> 00:28:43,173
Famously, henry ford raised
the salary of his workers
so they’d be able to buy cars.

333
00:28:46,210 –> 00:28:50,813
When you’re moving into
an international “plutonomy,”

334
00:28:50,815 –> 00:28:52,981
As the banks like to call it…

335
00:28:52,983 –> 00:28:59,053
The small percentage
of the world’s population that’s
gathering increasing wealth…

336
00:28:59,055 –> 00:29:02,890
What happens to american
consumers is much less
a concern,

337
00:29:02,892 –> 00:29:05,792
Because most of them aren’t
going to be consuming your
products anyway,

338
00:29:05,794 –> 00:29:08,194
At least not on a major basis.

339
00:29:08,196 –> 00:29:11,163
Your goals are,
profit in the next quarter,

340
00:29:11,165 –> 00:29:15,300
Even if it’s based on
financial manipulations…

341
00:29:15,302 –> 00:29:17,101
High salary, high bonuses,

342
00:29:17,103 –> 00:29:19,436
Produce overseas
if you have to,

343
00:29:19,438 –> 00:29:24,907
And produce for the wealthy
classes here and their
counterparts abroad.

344
00:29:24,909 –> 00:29:26,241
What about the rest?

345
00:29:26,243 –> 00:29:29,210
Well, there’s a term coming
into use for them, too.

346
00:29:29,212 –> 00:29:31,979
They’re called
the “precariat”…

347
00:29:31,981 –> 00:29:34,481
Precarious proletariat…

348
00:29:34,483 –> 00:29:38,818
The working people
of the world who live
increasingly precarious lives.

349
00:29:41,021 –> 00:29:43,822
And it’s related to the attitude
toward the country altogether.

350
00:29:48,994 –> 00:29:53,197
During the period of great
growth of the economy…

351
00:29:53,199 –> 00:29:55,866
The ’50s and the ’60s,
but in fact, earlier…

352
00:29:55,868 –> 00:29:59,870
Taxes on the wealthy
were far higher.

353
00:29:59,872 –> 00:30:02,372
Corporate taxes
were much higher,

354
00:30:02,374 –> 00:30:04,941
Taxes on dividends
were much higher…

355
00:30:04,943 –> 00:30:07,810
Simply taxes on wealth
were much higher.

356
00:30:07,812 –> 00:30:10,746
The tax system has
been redesigned,

357
00:30:10,748 –> 00:30:16,118
So that the taxes that are paid
by the very wealthy are reduced

358
00:30:16,120 –> 00:30:20,755
And, correspondingly,
the tax burden on the rest of
the population’s increased.

359
00:30:34,135 –> 00:30:37,837
Now the shift is
towards trying to keep taxes

360
00:30:37,839 –> 00:30:40,339
Just on wages
and on consumption…

361
00:30:40,341 –> 00:30:44,309
Which everyone has to do,
not, say, on dividends,
which only go to the rich.

362
00:30:48,814 –> 00:30:50,381
The numbers are pretty striking.

363
00:30:59,190 –> 00:31:02,425
Now, there’s a pretext–
of course, there’s always
a pretext.

364
00:31:02,427 –> 00:31:07,296
The pretext in this case is,
well, that increases investment
and increases jobs,

365
00:31:07,298 –> 00:31:09,398
But there isn’t
any evidence for that.

366
00:31:09,400 –> 00:31:12,567
If you want to increase
investment, give money to the
poor and the working people.

367
00:31:12,569 –> 00:31:15,202
They have to keep alive,
so they spend their incomes.

368
00:31:15,204 –> 00:31:19,906
That stimulates productions,
stimulates investment, leads
to job growth and so on.

369
00:31:22,976 –> 00:31:26,445
If you’re an ideologist
for the masters,
you have a different line.

370
00:31:26,447 –> 00:31:28,914
And in fact, right now,
it’s almost absurd.

371
00:31:28,916 –> 00:31:33,485
Corporations have money
coming out of their pockets.

372
00:31:33,487 –> 00:31:38,022
So, in fact, general electric,
are paying zero taxes and they
have enormous profits.

373
00:31:38,024 –> 00:31:42,326
Let’s them take the profit
somewhere else, or defer it,
but not pay taxes,

374
00:31:42,328 –> 00:31:43,460
And this is common.

375
00:31:46,964 –> 00:31:51,367
The major american corporations
shifted the burden of sustaining
the society

376
00:31:51,369 –> 00:31:53,369
Onto the rest
of the population.

377
00:32:16,926 –> 00:32:19,093
Solidarity is quite dangerous.

378
00:32:19,095 –> 00:32:22,463
From the point of view of
the masters, you’re only
supposed to care about yourself,

379
00:32:22,465 –> 00:32:24,598
Not about other people.

380
00:32:24,600 –> 00:32:29,603
This is quite different from
the people they claim are their
heroes like adam smith,

381
00:32:29,605 –> 00:32:34,240
Who based his whole approach
to the economy on the principle
that sympathy

382
00:32:34,242 –> 00:32:39,245
Is a fundamental human trait,
but that has to be driven out
of people’s heads.

383
00:32:39,247 –> 00:32:43,949
You’ve got to be for yourself,
follow the vile maxim,
“don’t care about others,”

384
00:32:43,951 –> 00:32:46,418
Which is okay for
the rich and powerful,

385
00:32:46,420 –> 00:32:49,187
But is devastating
for everyone else.

386
00:32:52,157 –> 00:32:59,196
It’s taken a lot of effort
to drive these basic human
emotions out of people’s heads.

387
00:33:02,466 –> 00:33:06,268
And we see it today
in policy formation.

388
00:33:06,270 –> 00:33:08,369
For example,
in the attack on
social security.

389
00:33:11,373 –> 00:33:15,142
Social security is
based on a principle.

390
00:33:15,144 –> 00:33:17,944
It’s based on a principle
of solidarity.

391
00:33:17,946 –> 00:33:20,345
Solidarity, caring for others.

392
00:33:22,981 –> 00:33:27,150
Social security means,
“I pay payroll taxes…

393
00:33:27,152 –> 00:33:32,622
So that the widow across town
can get something to live on.”

394
00:33:32,624 –> 00:33:35,257
For much of the population,
that’s what they survive on.

395
00:33:36,492 –> 00:33:38,593
It’s of no use to the very rich,

396
00:33:38,595 –> 00:33:41,595
So therefore,
there’s a concerted
attempt to destroy it.

397
00:33:44,131 –> 00:33:46,232
One of the ways is defunding it.

398
00:33:46,234 –> 00:33:50,169
You want to destroy
some system? First defund it.

399
00:33:50,171 –> 00:33:53,205
Then, it won’t work.
People will be angry.
They want something else.

400
00:33:53,207 –> 00:33:57,575
It’s a standard technique
for privatizing some system.

401
00:34:01,279 –> 00:34:04,347
We see it in the attack
on public schools.

402
00:34:04,349 –> 00:34:09,251
Public schools are based
on the principle of solidarity.

403
00:34:09,253 –> 00:34:12,254
I no longer
have children in school.
They’re grown up…

404
00:34:12,256 –> 00:34:14,956
But the principle
of solidarity says,

405
00:34:14,958 –> 00:34:20,193
“I happily pay taxes so that
the kid across the street
can go to school.”

406
00:34:20,195 –> 00:34:23,362
Now, that’s normal
human emotion.

407
00:34:23,364 –> 00:34:25,364
You have to drive that
out of people’s heads.

408
00:34:25,366 –> 00:34:31,002
“I don’t have kids in school.
Why should I pay taxes?
Privatize it,” so on.

409
00:34:34,406 –> 00:34:39,410
The public education system,
all the way from kindergarten
to higher education,

410
00:34:39,412 –> 00:34:44,247
Is under severe attack.
That’s one of the jewels
of american society.

411
00:34:47,584 –> 00:34:49,318
[inaudible]

412
00:34:54,423 –> 00:34:57,124
You go back to the
golden age again…

413
00:34:57,126 –> 00:34:59,693
The great growth period
in the ’50s and ’60s.

414
00:34:59,695 –> 00:35:03,663
A lot of that is based
on free public education.

415
00:35:03,665 –> 00:35:08,100
One of the results
of the second world war
was the gi bill of rights,

416
00:35:08,102 –> 00:35:12,704
Which enabled veterans,
and remember, that’s a large
part of the population then,

417
00:35:12,706 –> 00:35:15,606
To go to college. They wouldn’t
have been able to, otherwise.

418
00:35:15,608 –> 00:35:17,341
They essentially
got free education.

419
00:35:17,343 –> 00:35:19,676
[man] where a community,
state or nation…

420
00:35:19,678 –> 00:35:24,881
Courageously invests
a substantial share of its
resources in education,

421
00:35:24,883 –> 00:35:30,119
The investment invariable
returned in better business and
the higher standard of living.

422
00:35:30,121 –> 00:35:35,290
U.S. Was way in the lead
in developing extensive mass
public education at every level.

423
00:35:37,226 –> 00:35:40,761
By now, in more than half
the states, most of the funding

424
00:35:40,763 –> 00:35:43,497
For the colleges comes from
tuition, not from the state.

425
00:35:43,499 –> 00:35:45,699
That’s a radical change,

426
00:35:45,701 –> 00:35:48,368
And that’s a terrible
burden on students.

427
00:35:48,370 –> 00:35:52,872
It means that students,
if they don’t come from
very wealthy families,

428
00:35:52,874 –> 00:35:55,374
They’re going to leave
college with big debts.

429
00:35:55,376 –> 00:35:57,843
And if you have a big debt,
you’re trapped.

430
00:35:57,845 –> 00:36:01,646
I mean, maybe you wanted
to become a public interest
lawyer,

431
00:36:01,648 –> 00:36:04,281
But you’re going to have
to go into a corporate law firm

432
00:36:04,283 –> 00:36:07,250
To pay off those debts,
and by the time you’re
part of the culture,

433
00:36:07,252 –> 00:36:09,252
You’re not going
to get out of it again.

434
00:36:09,254 –> 00:36:11,287
And that’s true
across the board.

435
00:36:14,591 –> 00:36:18,460
In the 1950s, it was a much
poorer society than it is today,

436
00:36:18,462 –> 00:36:25,199
But, nevertheless, could easily
handle essentially free mass
higher education.

437
00:36:25,201 –> 00:36:29,236
Today, a much richer society
claims it doesn’t have
the resources for it.

438
00:36:31,472 –> 00:36:34,507
That’s just what’s going
on right before our eyes.

439
00:36:34,509 –> 00:36:39,544
That’s the general
attack on principles that,

440
00:36:39,546 –> 00:36:42,780
Not only are they humane,
they are the basis

441
00:36:42,782 –> 00:36:47,551
Of the prosperity
and health of this society.

442
00:37:15,912 –> 00:37:18,880
If you look over
the history of regulation,

443
00:37:18,882 –> 00:37:23,284
Say, railroad regulation,
financial regulation and so on,

444
00:37:23,286 –> 00:37:25,986
You find that quite commonly

445
00:37:25,988 –> 00:37:31,558
It’s either initiated
by the economic…

446
00:37:31,560 –> 00:37:35,895
Concentrations
that are being regulated,
or it’s supported by them.

447
00:37:35,897 –> 00:37:42,234
And the reason is because they
know that, sooner or later, they
can take over the regulators.

448
00:37:46,272 –> 00:37:50,241
And it ends up with what’s
called “regulatory capture.”

449
00:37:50,243 –> 00:37:53,444
The business being
regulated is in fact
running the regulators.

450
00:38:02,319 –> 00:38:06,754
Bank lobbyists are actually
writing the laws of financial
regulation,

451
00:38:06,756 –> 00:38:08,889
It gets to that extreme.

452
00:38:08,891 –> 00:38:11,758
That’s been happening through
history and, again,

453
00:38:11,760 –> 00:38:15,928
It’s a pretty natural tendency
when you just look at
the distribution of power.

454
00:38:20,633 –> 00:38:25,970
One of the things that
expanded enormously
in the 1970s is lobbying,

455
00:38:25,972 –> 00:38:31,809
As the business world
moved sharply to try
to control legislation.

456
00:38:31,811 –> 00:38:36,780
The business world was pretty
upset by the advances in public
welfare in the ’60s,

457
00:38:36,782 –> 00:38:39,382
In particular by richard nixon.

458
00:38:39,384 –> 00:38:43,052
It’s not too well understood,
but he was the last new deal
president,

459
00:38:43,054 –> 00:38:46,488
And they regarded
that as class treachery.

460
00:38:46,490 –> 00:38:51,359
In nixon’s administration,
you get the consumer safety
legislation,

461
00:38:51,361 –> 00:38:54,695
Safety and health
regulations in the workplace,

462
00:38:54,697 –> 00:38:56,997
The epa, the environmental
protection agency.

463
00:38:58,899 –> 00:39:01,033
Business didn’t like it,
of course.

464
00:39:01,035 –> 00:39:03,935
They didn’t like the high taxes.
They didn’t like the regulation.

465
00:39:03,937 –> 00:39:07,872
And they began a coordinated
effort to try to overcome it.

466
00:39:07,874 –> 00:39:13,076
Lobbying sharply increased.
Deregulation began with a real
ferocity.

467
00:39:15,946 –> 00:39:18,781
There were no financial crashes
in the ’50s and the ’60s,

468
00:39:18,783 –> 00:39:23,018
Because the regulatory
apparatus of the new deal
was still in place.

469
00:39:27,556 –> 00:39:32,492
As it began to be dismantled
under business pressure
and political pressure,

470
00:39:32,494 –> 00:39:35,328
You get more and more crashes.

471
00:39:43,904 –> 00:39:46,105
And it goes on
right through the years.

472
00:39:47,474 –> 00:39:50,676
’70s it starts to begin.

473
00:39:50,678 –> 00:39:52,811
’80s really takes off.

474
00:39:52,813 –> 00:39:56,347
[announcer] congress was asked
to approve federal loan
guarantees to the auto company

475
00:39:56,349 –> 00:39:58,782
Of up to one and one half
billion dollars.

476
00:39:58,784 –> 00:40:00,784
Now, all of this
is quite safe

477
00:40:00,786 –> 00:40:03,887
As long as you know
the government’s going
to come to your rescue.

478
00:40:03,889 –> 00:40:07,357
Take, say, reagan.
Instead of letting
them pay the cost,

479
00:40:07,359 –> 00:40:10,660
Reagan bailed out the banks
like continental illinois,

480
00:40:10,662 –> 00:40:13,929
The biggest bailout
of american history at the time.

481
00:40:13,931 –> 00:40:18,867
He actually ended his term
with a huge financial crisis,
the savings and loan crisis,

482
00:40:18,869 –> 00:40:25,907
[announcer] president bush today
signed the 300 billion-dollar
savings and loan bailout bill.

483
00:40:25,909 –> 00:40:30,611
In 1999, regulation was
dismantled to separate

484
00:40:30,613 –> 00:40:33,113
Commercial banks
from investment banks.

485
00:40:35,015 –> 00:40:38,017
Then comes the bush
and obama bailout.

486
00:40:38,019 –> 00:40:40,786
[male announcer] bear stearns
is running to the feds
to stay afloat–

487
00:40:40,788 –> 00:40:44,689
[female announcer] president
bush today defended the decision
to bail out citigroup…

488
00:40:44,691 –> 00:40:49,460
Fannie mae and freddie mac
have asked for a total of three
billion dollars more…

489
00:40:49,462 –> 00:40:54,031
The bailout could get much
bigger, signaling deepening
troubles for the u.S. Economy.

490
00:40:57,902 –> 00:40:59,836
[chomsky]
and they’re building
up the next one.

491
00:41:14,517 –> 00:41:20,087
Each time, the taxpayer is
called on to bail out those
who created the crisis,

492
00:41:20,089 –> 00:41:24,825
Increasingly the major
financial institutions.

493
00:41:24,827 –> 00:41:27,160
In a capitalist economy,
you wouldn’t do that.

494
00:41:27,162 –> 00:41:32,798
That would wipe out
the investors who made
risky investments.

495
00:41:32,800 –> 00:41:36,101
But the rich and powerful,
they don’t want a capitalist
system.

496
00:41:36,103 –> 00:41:39,003
They want to be able to run
to the nanny state

497
00:41:39,005 –> 00:41:41,905
As soon as they’re in trouble,
and get bailed out
by the taxpayer.

498
00:41:41,907 –> 00:41:43,907
That’s called “too big to fail.”

499
00:41:45,709 –> 00:41:48,043
There are nobel
laureates in economics

500
00:41:48,045 –> 00:41:51,146
Who significantly disagree
with the course that we’re
following.

501
00:41:51,148 –> 00:41:54,482
People like joe stiglitz,
paul krugman and others,

502
00:41:54,484 –> 00:41:57,751
And none of them
were even approached.

503
00:41:57,753 –> 00:42:01,121
The people picked to fix
the crisis were those who
created it,

504
00:42:01,123 –> 00:42:04,691
The robert rubin crowd,
the goldman sachs crowd.

505
00:42:04,693 –> 00:42:09,095
They created the crisis…
Are now more powerful
than before.

506
00:42:09,097 –> 00:42:10,830
Is that accident?

507
00:42:10,832 –> 00:42:15,668
Not when you pick those people
to create an economic plan.

508
00:42:15,670 –> 00:42:17,536
I mean, what do you
expect to happen?

509
00:42:21,974 –> 00:42:25,776
Meanwhile, for the poor,
let market principles prevail.

510
00:42:25,778 –> 00:42:27,978
Don’t expect any help
from the government.

511
00:42:27,980 –> 00:42:30,714
The government’s the problem,
not the solution, and so on.

512
00:42:30,716 –> 00:42:33,216
That’s, essentially,
neo-liberalism.

513
00:42:33,218 –> 00:42:38,954
It has this dual character
which goes right back
in economic history.

514
00:42:38,956 –> 00:42:41,122
One set of rules for the rich.

515
00:42:41,124 –> 00:42:42,756
Opposite set
of rules for the poor.

516
00:42:45,793 –> 00:42:47,927
Nothing surprising about this.

517
00:42:47,929 –> 00:42:50,229
It’s exactly
the dynamics you expect.

518
00:42:50,231 –> 00:42:52,931
If the population
allows it to proceed,

519
00:42:52,933 –> 00:43:00,605
Until the next crash,
which is so much expected
that credit agencies,

520
00:43:00,607 –> 00:43:03,574
Which evaluate
the status of firms,

521
00:43:03,576 –> 00:43:06,643
Are now counting
into their calculations

522
00:43:06,645 –> 00:43:11,914
The taxpayer bailout that
they expect to come after
the next crash.

523
00:43:11,916 –> 00:43:16,785
Which means that the
beneficiaries of these credit
ratings like the big banks,

524
00:43:16,787 –> 00:43:21,656
They can borrow money more
cheaply, they can push out
smaller competitors,

525
00:43:21,658 –> 00:43:23,658
And you get more
and more concentration.

526
00:43:23,660 –> 00:43:25,826
Everywhere you look,
policies are designed this way,

527
00:43:25,828 –> 00:43:29,696
Which should come
as absolutely no surprise
to anyone.

528
00:43:29,698 –> 00:43:36,068
That’s what happens when you put
power into the hands of a narrow
sector of wealth,

529
00:43:36,070 –> 00:43:40,539
Which is dedicated
to increasing power for itself,
just as you’d expect.

530
00:43:59,558 –> 00:44:04,228
Concentration of wealth
yields concentration
of political power,

531
00:44:04,230 –> 00:44:09,633
Particularly so as the cost
of elections skyrockets,

532
00:44:09,635 –> 00:44:14,804
Which forces the political
parties into the pockets
of major corporations.

533
00:44:17,841 –> 00:44:22,644
The citizens united,
this was January 2009, I guess,

534
00:44:22,646 –> 00:44:26,581
That’s a very important
supreme court decision,

535
00:44:26,583 –> 00:44:29,283
But it has a history
and you got to think
about the history.

536
00:44:30,685 –> 00:44:34,187
The 14th amendment
has a provision that says,

537
00:44:34,189 –> 00:44:39,792
“no person’s rights can be
infringed without due process
of law.”

538
00:44:39,794 –> 00:44:43,662
And the intent, clearly,
was to protect freed slaves.

539
00:44:43,664 –> 00:44:46,898
Says, “okay, they’ve got
the protection of the law.”

540
00:44:46,900 –> 00:44:51,068
I don’t think it’s ever been
used for freed slaves,
if ever, marginally.

541
00:44:51,070 –> 00:44:55,639
Almost immediately, it was used
for businesses, corporations.

542
00:44:55,641 –> 00:44:59,009
Their rights can’t be infringed
without due process of law.

543
00:44:59,011 –> 00:45:02,379
So they gradually became
persons under the law.

544
00:45:08,318 –> 00:45:11,887
Corporations are
state-created legal fictions.

545
00:45:14,857 –> 00:45:16,324
Maybe they’re good,
maybe they’re bad,

546
00:45:16,326 –> 00:45:19,327
But to call them persons
is kind of outrageous.

547
00:45:19,329 –> 00:45:23,064
So they got personal rights
back about a century ago,

548
00:45:23,066 –> 00:45:25,166
And that extended
through the 20th century.

549
00:45:27,669 –> 00:45:31,204
They gave corporations rights
way beyond what persons have.

550
00:45:32,406 –> 00:45:35,674
So if, say,
general motors
invests in mexico,

551
00:45:35,676 –> 00:45:39,310
They get national rights,
the rights of the mexican
business.

552
00:45:39,312 –> 00:45:44,213
While the notion of person
was expanded to include
corporations,

553
00:45:44,215 –> 00:45:46,415
It was also restricted.

554
00:45:46,417 –> 00:45:49,117
If you take the
14th amendment literally,

555
00:45:49,119 –> 00:45:54,688
Then no undocumented alien
can be deprived of rights,
if they’re persons.

556
00:45:57,725 –> 00:46:01,060
Undocumented aliens
who are living here
and building your buildings,

557
00:46:01,062 –> 00:46:04,028
Cleaning your lawns, and so on,
they’re not persons…

558
00:46:06,831 –> 00:46:12,235
But general electric
is a person, an immortal
super-powerful person.

559
00:46:12,237 –> 00:46:18,274
This perversion of
the elementary morality,

560
00:46:18,276 –> 00:46:20,943
And the obvious meaning
of the law, is quite incredible.

561
00:46:23,346 –> 00:46:28,315
In the 1970s, the courts decided
that money is a form of speech.

562
00:46:30,551 –> 00:46:34,554
Buckley vs. Valeo.
Then you go on through
the years to citizens united,

563
00:46:34,556 –> 00:46:37,557
Which says that, the right
of free speech of corporations,

564
00:46:37,559 –> 00:46:41,227
Mainly to spend
as much money as they want,
that can’t be curtailed.

565
00:46:45,166 –> 00:46:50,836
It means that corporations,
which anyway have been
pretty much buying elections,

566
00:46:50,838 –> 00:46:54,039
Are now free to do it with
virtually no constraint.

567
00:46:54,041 –> 00:46:58,276
That’s a tremendous attack
on the residue of democracy.

568
00:47:02,848 –> 00:47:06,817
It’s very interesting to read
the rulings, like justice
kennedy’s swing vote.

569
00:47:06,819 –> 00:47:09,452
His ruling said,
“well, look, after all,

570
00:47:09,454 –> 00:47:14,423
“cbs is given freedom of speech,
they’re a corporation,
why shouldn’t general electric

571
00:47:14,425 –> 00:47:16,491
Be free to spend as much
money as they want?”

572
00:47:18,293 –> 00:47:21,328
I mean, it’s true that cbs
is given freedom of speech,

573
00:47:21,330 –> 00:47:25,498
But they’re supposed to be
performing a public service.
That’s why.

574
00:47:25,500 –> 00:47:27,199
That’s what the press
is supposed to be,

575
00:47:27,201 –> 00:47:29,301
And general electric
is trying to make money

576
00:47:29,303 –> 00:47:31,569
For the chief executive
and some of the shareholders.

577
00:47:34,172 –> 00:47:38,375
It’s an incredible decision,
and it puts the country
in a position where

578
00:47:38,377 –> 00:47:43,980
Business power is greatly
extended beyond what it always
was.

579
00:47:43,982 –> 00:47:45,614
This is part of
that vicious cycle.

580
00:47:45,616 –> 00:47:49,884
The supreme court justices
are put in by reactionary
presidents,

581
00:47:49,886 –> 00:47:53,053
Who get in there because
they’re funded by business.

582
00:47:53,055 –> 00:47:54,521
It’s the way the cycle works.

583
00:48:20,213 –> 00:48:23,949
There is one organized
force which traditionally,

584
00:48:23,951 –> 00:48:29,553
Plenty of flaws,
but with all its flaws,
it’s been in the forefront of…

585
00:48:29,555 –> 00:48:33,323
Efforts to improve the lives
of the general population.

586
00:48:33,325 –> 00:48:34,924
That’s organized labor.

587
00:48:34,926 –> 00:48:37,359
It’s also a barrier
to corporate tyranny.

588
00:48:37,361 –> 00:48:44,065
So, it’s the one barrier to this
vicious cycle going on, which
does lead to corporate tyranny.

589
00:48:53,441 –> 00:48:57,310
A major reason
for the concentrated,

590
00:48:57,312 –> 00:49:01,047
Almost fanatic attack on unions,
on organized labor,

591
00:49:01,049 –> 00:49:03,282
Is they are
a democratizing force.

592
00:49:05,018 –> 00:49:08,353
They provide a barrier that
defends workers’ rights,

593
00:49:08,355 –> 00:49:10,221
But also popular
rights generally.

594
00:49:17,662 –> 00:49:22,966
That interferes with
the prerogatives and power
of those who own

595
00:49:22,968 –> 00:49:24,934
And manage the society.

596
00:49:26,202 –> 00:49:29,470
I should say that anti-union

597
00:49:29,472 –> 00:49:33,674
Sentiment in the United States
among elites is so strong

598
00:49:33,676 –> 00:49:37,310
That the fundamental
core of labor rights,

599
00:49:37,312 –> 00:49:41,480
The basic principle
in the international
labor organization,

600
00:49:41,482 –> 00:49:44,216
Is the right of
free association,

601
00:49:44,218 –> 00:49:46,418
Which would mean
the right to form unions.

602
00:49:46,420 –> 00:49:49,053
The u.S. Has never
ratified that,

603
00:49:49,055 –> 00:49:54,624
So I think the u.S. May be
alone among major societies
in that respect.

604
00:49:54,626 –> 00:49:58,728
It’s considered so far out
of the spectrum of american
politics,

605
00:49:58,730 –> 00:50:00,362
It literally has never
been considered.

606
00:50:00,364 –> 00:50:03,098
[clamoring]

607
00:50:03,100 –> 00:50:07,735
Remember, the u.S. Has a long
and very violent labor history

608
00:50:07,737 –> 00:50:10,070
As compared with
comparable societies…

609
00:50:12,640 –> 00:50:15,308
But the labor movement
had been very strong.

610
00:50:15,310 –> 00:50:21,414
By the 1920s, in a period
not unlike today, it was
virtually crushed.

611
00:50:21,416 –> 00:50:27,119
[man] a truck drivers strike
was climaxed by severe riots
with many casualties.

612
00:50:27,121 –> 00:50:33,290
Open warfare rages through
the streets of the city as 3,000
union pickets battle 700 police.

613
00:50:33,292 –> 00:50:36,192
Guns, tear gas, clubs
and fists bring injuries

614
00:50:36,194 –> 00:50:39,328
To more than 80 persons
and caused the death of two.

615
00:50:44,133 –> 00:50:46,233
By the mid ’30s,
it began to reconstruct.

616
00:50:49,738 –> 00:50:55,475
He himself was rather
sympathetic to progressive
legislation

617
00:50:55,477 –> 00:50:58,244
That would be in the benefit
of the general population,

618
00:50:58,246 –> 00:51:00,713
But he had to somehow
get it passed.

619
00:51:00,715 –> 00:51:06,718
So he informed labor leaders
and others, “force me to do it.”

620
00:51:06,720 –> 00:51:13,024
What he meant is, go out
and demonstrate, organize,
protest,

621
00:51:13,026 –> 00:51:15,326
Develop the labor movement.

622
00:51:15,328 –> 00:51:17,494
When the popular
pressure is sufficient,

623
00:51:17,496 –> 00:51:19,662
I’ll be able to put through
the legislation you want.

624
00:51:19,664 –> 00:51:25,033
I am not for a return
to that definition of liberty,

625
00:51:25,035 –> 00:51:29,070
Under which for many
years a free people

626
00:51:29,072 –> 00:51:36,076
Were being gradually
regimented into the service
of a privileged few.

627
00:51:36,078 –> 00:51:41,147
I prefer that broader
definition of liberty.

628
00:51:41,149 –> 00:51:45,117
[chomsky] so, there was kind of
a combination of sympathetic
government,

629
00:51:45,119 –> 00:51:48,786
And by the mid-’30s,
very substantial popular
activism.

630
00:51:50,488 –> 00:51:54,791
There were industrial actions.
There were sit-down strikes,

631
00:51:54,793 –> 00:51:59,228
Which were very
frightening to ownership.

632
00:51:59,230 –> 00:52:04,199
You have to recognize
the sit-down strike is just
one step before saying,

633
00:52:04,201 –> 00:52:06,568
“we don’t need bosses.
We can run this by ourselves.”

634
00:52:13,708 –> 00:52:15,408
And business was appalled.

635
00:52:15,410 –> 00:52:19,378
You read the business press,
say, in the late ’30s,

636
00:52:19,380 –> 00:52:23,382
They were talking
about the “hazard
facing industrialists”

637
00:52:23,384 –> 00:52:26,818
And the “rising political
power of the masses,”

638
00:52:26,820 –> 00:52:28,486
Which has to be repressed.

639
00:52:28,488 –> 00:52:31,388
Things were on hold
during the second world war,

640
00:52:31,390 –> 00:52:34,457
But immediately after
the second world war,
the business offensive

641
00:52:34,459 –> 00:52:38,494
Began in force.
The taft-hartley act.

642
00:52:38,496 –> 00:52:41,864
The taft-hartley act was written
for only one purpose,

643
00:52:41,866 –> 00:52:47,836
To restore justice and equality
in labor-management relations.

644
00:52:47,838 –> 00:52:53,107
Then mccarthyism was used for
massive corporate propaganda
offensives to attack unions.

645
00:52:54,409 –> 00:52:56,576
It increased sharply
during the reagan years.

646
00:52:56,578 –> 00:52:59,712
I mean, reagan pretty much told
the business world,

647
00:52:59,714 –> 00:53:04,483
“if you want to illegally break
organizing efforts and strikes,
go ahead.”

648
00:53:04,485 –> 00:53:07,118
They are in violation
of the law,

649
00:53:07,120 –> 00:53:10,488
And if they do not report
for work within 48 hours,

650
00:53:10,490 –> 00:53:14,825
They have forfeited their jobs
and will be terminated.

651
00:53:14,827 –> 00:53:19,696
It continued in the ’90s and,
of course with george w. Bush,
it went through the roof.

652
00:53:19,698 –> 00:53:25,268
By now, less than 7% of private
sector workers have unions.

653
00:53:30,640 –> 00:53:35,810
The effect is that the usual
counter-force to an offensive

654
00:53:35,812 –> 00:53:40,414
By our highly class-conscious
business class has dissolved.

655
00:53:43,918 –> 00:53:47,186
Now, if you’re in
a position of power,

656
00:53:47,188 –> 00:53:50,556
You want to maintain
class-consciousness
for yourself,

657
00:53:50,558 –> 00:53:52,424
But eliminate it
everywhere else.

658
00:53:52,426 –> 00:53:55,627
You go back
to the 19th century,

659
00:53:55,629 –> 00:53:59,263
In the early days of
the industrial revolution
in the United States,

660
00:53:59,265 –> 00:54:02,866
Working people were
very conscious of this.

661
00:54:02,868 –> 00:54:06,636
They, in fact,
overwhelmingly regarded

662
00:54:06,638 –> 00:54:10,706
Wage labor as not
very different
from slavery,

663
00:54:10,708 –> 00:54:13,508
Different only in that
it was temporary.

664
00:54:13,510 –> 00:54:17,244
In fact, it was such a popular
idea that it was the slogan
of the republican party.

665
00:54:18,546 –> 00:54:22,348
That was a very sharp
class-consciousness.

666
00:54:22,350 –> 00:54:24,883
In the interest of power
and privilege,

667
00:54:24,885 –> 00:54:28,519
It’s good to drive those ideas
out of people’s heads.

668
00:54:28,521 –> 00:54:31,755
You don’t want them to know
that they’re an oppressed class.

669
00:54:31,757 –> 00:54:35,525
So, this is one of the few
societies in which you just
don’t talk about class.

670
00:54:35,527 –> 00:54:39,195
In fact, the notion
of class is very simple.

671
00:54:39,197 –> 00:54:41,430
Who gives the orders?
Who follows them?

672
00:54:41,432 –> 00:54:43,598
That basically defines class.

673
00:54:43,600 –> 00:54:47,268
It’s more nuanced and complex,
but that’s basically it.

674
00:55:05,653 –> 00:55:09,255
The public relations industry,
the advertising industry,

675
00:55:09,257 –> 00:55:11,490
Which is dedicated
to creating consumers,

676
00:55:11,492 –> 00:55:14,860
It’s a phenomena that developed
in the freest countries,

677
00:55:14,862 –> 00:55:19,598
In britain
and the United States,
and the reason is pretty clear.

678
00:55:19,600 –> 00:55:22,968
It became clear by,
say, a century ago

679
00:55:22,970 –> 00:55:27,305
That it was not going to be
so easy to control
the population by force.

680
00:55:27,307 –> 00:55:28,472
Too much freedom had been won.

681
00:55:30,241 –> 00:55:33,676
Labor organizing, parliamentary
labor parties in many countries,

682
00:55:33,678 –> 00:55:36,578
Women starting to get
the franchise, and so on.

683
00:55:36,580 –> 00:55:38,880
So, you had to have other
means of controlling people.

684
00:55:38,882 –> 00:55:41,449
And it was understood
and expressed

685
00:55:41,451 –> 00:55:47,587
That you have to control
them by control of beliefs
and attitudes.

686
00:55:47,589 –> 00:55:51,724
Well, one of the best
ways to control people
in terms of attitudes

687
00:55:51,726 –> 00:55:58,363
Is what the great political
economist thorstein veblen
called “fabricating consumers.”

688
00:56:04,602 –> 00:56:07,637
If you can fabricate wants…

689
00:56:07,639 –> 00:56:12,975
Make obtaining things that are
just about within your reach
the essence of life,

690
00:56:12,977 –> 00:56:16,344
They’re going to be trapped
into becoming consumers.

691
00:56:18,714 –> 00:56:21,549
You read the business
press in say, 1920s,

692
00:56:21,551 –> 00:56:27,487
It talks about the need
to direct people to
the superficial things of life,

693
00:56:27,489 –> 00:56:30,623
Like “fashionable consumption”
and that’ll keep them
out of our hair.

694
00:56:32,559 –> 00:56:36,762
You find this doctrine
all through progressive
intellectual thought,

695
00:56:36,764 –> 00:56:38,430
Like walter lippmann,

696
00:56:38,432 –> 00:56:41,332
The major progressive
intellectual of
the 20th century.

697
00:56:43,702 –> 00:56:49,439
He wrote famous progressive
essays on democracy in which
his view was exactly that.

698
00:56:49,441 –> 00:56:51,908
“the public must be
put in their place,”

699
00:56:51,910 –> 00:56:54,810
So that the responsible
men can make decisions

700
00:56:54,812 –> 00:56:57,612
Without interference
from the “bewildered herd.”

701
00:57:00,449 –> 00:57:02,583
They’re to be spectators,
not participants.

702
00:57:02,585 –> 00:57:05,419
Then you get a properly
functioning democracy,

703
00:57:05,421 –> 00:57:10,824
Straight back to madison
and on to powell’s memorandum,
and so on.

704
00:57:10,826 –> 00:57:17,830
And the advertising industry
just exploded with this
as its goal…

705
00:57:17,832 –> 00:57:19,064
Fabricating consumers.

706
00:57:25,571 –> 00:57:28,539
And it’s done with
great sophistication.

707
00:57:28,541 –> 00:57:30,741
[announcer] you don’t see many
wild stallions anymore.

708
00:57:30,743 –> 00:57:35,111
He’s one of the last of a wild
and very singular breed.

709
00:57:35,912 –> 00:57:39,147
Come to marlboro country.

710
00:57:39,149 –> 00:57:41,582
The ideal is what you
actually see today…

711
00:57:43,718 –> 00:57:47,921
Where, let’s say,
teenage girls, if they have
a free Saturday afternoon,

712
00:57:47,923 –> 00:57:50,623
Will go walking
in the shopping mall,

713
00:57:50,625 –> 00:57:52,791
Not to the library
or somewhere else.

714
00:57:53,926 –> 00:57:57,628
The idea is to try
to control everyone,

715
00:57:57,630 –> 00:58:01,097
To turn the whole society
into the perfect system.

716
00:58:03,967 –> 00:58:09,104
Perfect system would be
a society based on a dyad,
a pair.

717
00:58:09,106 –> 00:58:12,507
The pair is you
and your television set,

718
00:58:12,509 –> 00:58:15,009
Or maybe now you
and the internet,

719
00:58:15,011 –> 00:58:19,713
In which that presents you
with what the proper life
would be,

720
00:58:19,715 –> 00:58:21,915
What kind of gadgets
you should have.

721
00:58:21,917 –> 00:58:24,651
And you spend your time
and effort gaining those things,

722
00:58:24,653 –> 00:58:27,520
Which you don’t need,
and you don’t want, and maybe
you’ll throw them away…

723
00:58:29,256 –> 00:58:32,023
But that’s the measure
of a decent life.

724
00:58:34,860 –> 00:58:38,729
What we see is in, say,
advertising on television,

725
00:58:38,731 –> 00:58:42,666
If you’ve ever taken
an economics course,
you know that

726
00:58:42,668 –> 00:58:48,805
Markets are supposed to be based
on “informed consumers making
rational choices.”

727
00:58:48,807 –> 00:58:52,608
Well, if we had a system
like that, a market system,

728
00:58:52,610 –> 00:58:57,245
Then a television ad would
consist of, say, general motors

729
00:58:57,247 –> 00:59:01,215
Putting up information, saying,
“here’s what we have for sale.”

730
00:59:01,217 –> 00:59:03,917
That’s not what
an ad for a car is.

731
00:59:03,919 –> 00:59:06,619
And ad for a car
is a football hero…

732
00:59:06,621 –> 00:59:11,690
An actress, the car doing
some crazy thing like,

733
00:59:11,692 –> 00:59:13,692
Going up a mountain
or something.

734
00:59:13,694 –> 00:59:19,897
The point is to create
uninformed consumers who
will make irrational choices.

735
00:59:19,899 –> 00:59:22,566
That’s what advertising
is all about,

736
00:59:22,568 –> 00:59:28,004
And when the same institution,
the pr system,

737
00:59:28,006 –> 00:59:30,272
Runs elections,
they do it the same way.

738
00:59:36,545 –> 00:59:39,146
They want to create
an uniformed electorate,

739
00:59:39,148 –> 00:59:43,617
Which will make irrational
choices, often against their
own interests,

740
00:59:43,619 –> 00:59:47,820
And we see it every time
one of these extravaganzas
take place.

741
00:59:49,856 –> 00:59:51,957
Right after the election,

742
00:59:51,959 –> 00:59:57,095
President obama won an award
from the advertising industry

743
00:59:57,097 –> 00:59:59,097
For the best marketing campaign.

744
00:59:59,099 –> 01:00:01,966
It wasn’t reported here,
but if you go to the
international business press,

745
01:00:01,968 –> 01:00:05,069
Executives were euphoric.

746
01:00:05,071 –> 01:00:11,808
They said, “we’ve been selling
candidates, marketing candidates
like toothpaste

747
01:00:11,810 –> 01:00:15,611
Ever since reagan,
and this is the greatest
achievement we have.”

748
01:00:15,613 –> 01:00:18,947
I don’t usually agree
with sarah palin,

749
01:00:18,949 –> 01:00:24,718
But when she mocks what she
calls the “hopey-changey” stuff,
she’s right.

750
01:00:24,720 –> 01:00:29,322
First of all, obama didn’t
really promise anything.
That’s mostly illusion.

751
01:00:29,324 –> 01:00:32,091
You go back to the campaign
rhetoric and take a look at it.

752
01:00:32,093 –> 01:00:36,795
There’s very little discussion
of policy issues, and for very
good reason,

753
01:00:36,797 –> 01:00:42,133
Because public opinion on policy
is sharply disconnected

754
01:00:42,135 –> 01:00:46,670
From what the two-party
leadership and their
financial backers want.

755
01:00:48,607 –> 01:00:54,744
Is focused on the private
interests that fund
the campaigns…

756
01:00:56,179 –> 01:00:58,146
With the public
being marginalized.

757
01:01:21,636 –> 01:01:26,239
One of the leading political
scientists, martin gilens,
came out with a study

758
01:01:26,241 –> 01:01:29,175
Of the relation between
public attitudes
and public policy.

759
01:01:29,177 –> 01:01:36,014
What he shows is that about 70%
of the population has no way
of influencing policy.

760
01:01:36,016 –> 01:01:38,249
They might as well be
in some other country…

761
01:01:39,651 –> 01:01:40,884
And the population knows it.

762
01:01:43,954 –> 01:01:50,225
What it’s led to is
a population that’s angry,
frustrated, hates institutions.

763
01:01:51,927 –> 01:01:56,029
It’s not acting
constructively to try
to respond to this.

764
01:01:58,098 –> 01:02:01,033
There is popular
mobilization and activism,

765
01:02:01,035 –> 01:02:03,101
But in very self-destructive
directions.

766
01:02:04,903 –> 01:02:08,405
It’s taking the form
of unfocused anger,

767
01:02:08,407 –> 01:02:11,841
Attacks on one another,
and on vulnerable targets.

768
01:02:11,843 –> 01:02:13,842
That’s what happens
in cases like this.

769
01:02:17,413 –> 01:02:21,816
It is corrosive of social
relations, but that’s the point.

770
01:02:21,818 –> 01:02:26,120
The point is to make people
hate and fear each other,

771
01:02:26,122 –> 01:02:28,122
And look out only
for themselves,

772
01:02:28,124 –> 01:02:29,790
And don’t do anything
for anyone else.

773
01:02:34,061 –> 01:02:38,831
One place you see it
strikingly is on April 15th.

774
01:02:38,833 –> 01:02:42,167
April 15th is kind of a measure,
the day you pay your taxes,

775
01:02:42,169 –> 01:02:45,370
Of how democratic
the society is.

776
01:02:45,372 –> 01:02:49,140
If a society is
really democratic,

777
01:02:49,142 –> 01:02:52,243
April 15th would be
a day of celebration.

778
01:02:52,245 –> 01:02:55,045
It’s a day when
the population gets together,

779
01:02:55,047 –> 01:03:01,751
Decides to fund the programs
and activities that they have
formulated and agreed upon.

780
01:03:01,753 –> 01:03:04,820
What could be better than that?
So, you should celebrate it.

781
01:03:04,822 –> 01:03:06,221
It’s not the way it is
in the United States.

782
01:03:06,223 –> 01:03:09,023
It’s a day of mourning.

783
01:03:09,025 –> 01:03:13,994
It’s a day in which some alien
power that has nothing to do
with you,

784
01:03:13,996 –> 01:03:17,197
Is coming down to steal
our hard-earned money,

785
01:03:17,199 –> 01:03:19,499
And you do everything you can
to keep them from doing it.

786
01:03:21,168 –> 01:03:24,170
That is a kind of measure
of the extent to which,

787
01:03:24,172 –> 01:03:27,839
At least in popular
consciousness, democracy
is actually functioning.

788
01:03:29,007 –> 01:03:30,340
Not a very attractive picture.

789
01:03:48,458 –> 01:03:52,327
The tendencies that we’ve
been describing within
american society,

790
01:03:52,329 –> 01:03:57,065
Unless they’re reversed,
it’s going to be an extremely
ugly society.

791
01:03:57,067 –> 01:04:00,101
I mean, a society
that’s based on

792
01:04:00,103 –> 01:04:05,072
Adam smith’s vile maxim,
“all for myself,
nothing for anyone else.”

793
01:04:10,311 –> 01:04:14,314
A society in which
normal human instincts
and emotion

794
01:04:14,316 –> 01:04:18,551
Of sympathy, solidarity,
mutual support, in which
they’re driven out…

795
01:04:22,122 –> 01:04:25,157
That’s a society so ugly,
I don’t even want to know
who’d live in it.

796
01:04:25,159 –> 01:04:27,325
I wouldn’t want my children to.

797
01:04:32,064 –> 01:04:36,934
[chomsky on tape]
if the society is based on
control by private wealth,

798
01:04:36,936 –> 01:04:40,570
It will reflect the values
that it, in fact, does reflect.

799
01:04:43,373 –> 01:04:47,309
The value that is greed,
and the desire to maximize
personal gain,

800
01:04:47,311 –> 01:04:54,949
Now, any society, a small
society based on that principle
is ugly, but it can survive.

801
01:04:54,951 –> 01:04:58,852
A global society based
on that principle is headed
for massive destruction.

802
01:05:04,190 –> 01:05:09,260
I don’t think we’re smart
enough to design,

803
01:05:09,262 –> 01:05:14,597
In any detail what
a perfectly just and free
society would be like.

804
01:05:14,599 –> 01:05:17,199
I think we can give
some guidelines

805
01:05:17,201 –> 01:05:22,404
And, more significant,
we can ask how we can
progress in that direction.

806
01:05:26,876 –> 01:05:31,446
John dewey, the leading
social philosopher in
the late 20th century,

807
01:05:31,448 –> 01:05:34,882
He argued that until
all institutions,

808
01:05:34,884 –> 01:05:38,919
Production, commerce, media,

809
01:05:38,921 –> 01:05:43,089
Unless they’re all under
participatory democratic
control,

810
01:05:43,091 –> 01:05:47,092
We will not have
a functioning
democratic society.

811
01:05:49,061 –> 01:05:52,930
As he put it, “policy will be
the shadow cast by business
over society.”

812
01:05:57,402 –> 01:05:59,069
Well, it’s essentially true.

813
01:06:10,180 –> 01:06:14,316
Where there are structures
of authority, domination
and hierarchy,

814
01:06:14,318 –> 01:06:19,454
Somebody gives the orders,
somebody takes them,
they are not self-justifying.

815
01:06:19,456 –> 01:06:23,424
They have to justify themselves.
They have a burden of proof
to meet.

816
01:06:30,531 –> 01:06:34,634
Well, if you take a close look,
usually you find they can’t
justify themselves.

817
01:06:34,636 –> 01:06:37,169
If they can’t, we ought
to be dismantling them.

818
01:06:38,938 –> 01:06:42,006
Trying to expand the domain
of freedom and justice

819
01:06:42,008 –> 01:06:46,076
By dismantling that form
of illegitimate authority.

820
01:06:46,078 –> 01:06:49,079
And, in fact,
progress over the years,

821
01:06:49,081 –> 01:06:53,216
What we all thankfully
recognized as progress,
has been just that.

822
01:06:53,218 –> 01:06:57,687
[chomsky on tape] the way things
change is because lots of people
are working all the time.

823
01:06:57,689 –> 01:07:02,091
They’re working in their
communities, in their workplace,
or wherever they happen to be,

824
01:07:02,093 –> 01:07:08,430
And they’re building up
the basis for popular movements,
which are going to make changes.

825
01:07:08,432 –> 01:07:11,065
That’s the way everything
has ever happened in history.

826
01:07:12,934 –> 01:07:15,602
Take, say,
freedom of speech…

827
01:07:15,604 –> 01:07:18,705
One of the real achievements
of american society,

828
01:07:18,707 –> 01:07:22,141
It’s first in the world in that.
It’s not in the bill of rights.

829
01:07:22,143 –> 01:07:24,510
It’s not in the constitution.

830
01:07:24,512 –> 01:07:30,048
Freedom of speech issues began
to come to the supreme court
in the early 20th century.

831
01:07:31,383 –> 01:07:34,718
The major contributions
came in the 1960s.

832
01:07:34,720 –> 01:07:38,488
One of the leading ones
was a case in the civil
rights movement.

833
01:07:38,490 –> 01:07:41,557
Well, by then,
you had a mass
popular movement,

834
01:07:41,559 –> 01:07:44,359
Which was demanding rights,

835
01:07:44,361 –> 01:07:47,562
Refusing to back down.
And in that context,

836
01:07:47,564 –> 01:07:51,632
The supreme court did establish
a pretty high standard
for freedom of speech.

837
01:07:51,634 –> 01:07:54,335
Or take, say, women’s rights.

838
01:07:54,337 –> 01:07:57,838
Women also began identifying
oppressive structures,

839
01:07:57,840 –> 01:08:02,642
Refusing to accept them,
bringing other people
to join with them.

840
01:08:02,644 –> 01:08:06,145
Well, that’s how rights are won.

841
01:08:06,147 –> 01:08:10,149
To a non-trivial extent,
I’ve also spent a lot
of my life in activism.

842
01:08:10,151 –> 01:08:15,320
That doesn’t show up publicly,
but, actually, I’m not terribly
good at it…

843
01:08:15,322 –> 01:08:21,726
[chomsky on tape] I think that
we can see quite clearly some
very, very serious defects

844
01:08:21,728 –> 01:08:25,362
And flaws in our society,
our level of culture,
our institutions,

845
01:08:25,364 –> 01:08:29,599
Which are going to have to be
corrected by operating outside
of the framework

846
01:08:29,601 –> 01:08:31,434
That is commonly accepted.

847
01:08:31,436 –> 01:08:34,203
I think we’re going to have
to find new ways of political
action.

848
01:08:37,140 –> 01:08:40,641
But the activists are the people
who have created the rights that
we enjoy.

849
01:08:42,176 –> 01:08:44,477
They’re not only carrying out…

850
01:08:44,479 –> 01:08:47,646
Policies based on information
that they’re receiving,

851
01:08:47,648 –> 01:08:49,714
But also contributing
to the understanding.

852
01:08:49,716 –> 01:08:51,682
Remember,
it’s a reciprocal process.

853
01:08:54,252 –> 01:08:56,419
You try to do things.
You learn.

854
01:08:56,421 –> 01:08:58,187
You learn about what
the world is like,

855
01:08:58,189 –> 01:09:02,124
That feeds back
to the understanding
of how to go on.

856
01:09:05,495 –> 01:09:07,596
There’s huge opportunities.

857
01:09:07,598 –> 01:09:11,465
It is a very free society,
still the freest in the world.

858
01:09:12,900 –> 01:09:16,435
Government has very
limited capacity to coerce.

859
01:09:16,437 –> 01:09:20,906
Corporate business may try
to coerce, but they don’t
have the mechanisms.

860
01:09:20,908 –> 01:09:25,243
So, there’s a lot that can be
done if people organize,
struggle for their rights

861
01:09:25,245 –> 01:09:28,445
As they’ve done in the past,
and can win many victories.

862
01:09:29,747 –> 01:09:31,280
[audience applauding]

863
01:09:41,290 –> 01:09:46,694
Well, my close friend
for many years,
the late howard zinn…

864
01:09:49,330 –> 01:09:51,230
To put it in his words that,

865
01:09:51,232 –> 01:09:56,935
“what matters is the countless
small deeds of unknown people,

866
01:09:56,937 –> 01:10:02,306
Who lay the basis
for the significant events
that enter history.”

867
01:10:04,475 –> 01:10:07,210
They’re the ones who’ve
done things in the past.

868
01:10:07,212 –> 01:10:09,278
They’re the ones who’ll
have to do it in the future.


 

https://chomsky.info/199107__/

Force and Opinion

Noam Chomsky

Z Magazine, July-August, 1991

people are born free but are everywhere in chains, seduced by the illusions of the civil society that is created by the rich to guarantee their plunder.- Rousseau


 

 

 

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Not my research.

Full Acknowledgment to the author. Miles Goslett | 11:52 am, July 20, 2016

http://heatst.com/uk/owen-smith-accepted-60000-from-industrial-scale-tax-avoidance-firm/

Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith accepted a £60,000 donation from an accountancy firm which has been accused of promoting tax avoidance on an “industrial scale”.

Smith received the gift from City firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers in November 2011 while serving as a shadow Treasury minister.
He said the benefit –  in total worth £58,530 – was a “donation in kind” for “ad hoc advice” provided to Labour during the passage of the Finance (No. 4) Bill.
Smith received this advice for a period of six months, until May 2012.Links between the Labour Party and PwC were particularly strong at the time, with shadow cabinet ministers during the last parliament including Ed Balls, Chuka Umunna and Rachel Reeves also accepting free advice worth hundreds of thousands of pounds from the company.

However, some of their colleagues were always suspicious of the cosy relationship and last February Public Accounts Committee chairman and Labour MP Margaret Hodge declared this sort of help from PwC was “inappropriate”.

Hodge’s committee also – produced a report – at that time which accused PwC of “the promotion of tax avoidance on an industrial scale”.

Hodge wrote in February 2015 that evidence PwC had provided to her committee two years earlier – in January 2013 – was “misleading” – in particular its assertions that “we are not in the business of selling schemes” and “we do not mass-market tax products, we do not produce tax products, we do not promote tax products”.

News that Smith was happy to accept such a significant gift from so controversial a source, albeit prior to publication of Hodge’s report, sits uncomfortably with his claims to be a socialist and promise to close the gap between the –  “haves and have nots”.

It also highlights a key difference between him and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. lthough Corbyn raised about £220,000 in cash and gifts during last summer’s Labour leadership contest, almost all of that cash came from trade unions. None of it was from big business.

Smith has already come under fire for his previous job as an £80,000 a year lobbyist for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, triggering a row with Corbyn’s allies who regard having held such a post as Blairite.

Before working for Pfizer, Smith worked for BBC Wales.

Unusually, he secured his full time job for the broadcaster at around the same time as his father took up a senior management post there. Smith Jnr’s CV states that he began working for the BBC in 1992 months after leaving the University of Sussex, but it is understood he did so on a freelance basis initially before becoming a fully fledged producer. He later worked for the BBC in London.

His father, Prof David Smith, confirmed to Heat Street that he and his son were employed by BBC Wales simultaneously, with Smith Snr being appointed head of radio at BBC Wales in 1993.

In 1994 Smith Snr became Head of Programmes at BBC Wales.

Smith Snr told us: “I didn’t appoint Owen and I wasn’t Owen’s boss.” He also said that they didn’t work on any programmes together, ruling out any suggestion of nepotism.

However, Owen Smith has been able to make some use of his BBC connections. In 2013 he was given two tickets worth £781 to watch Ireland play Wales at rugby. His benefactor? BBC Wales.

A spokesman for Owen Smith said he would get a comment from the MP regarding the PwC donation and the specific circumstances of his BBC employment. He said it was important to note that Margaret Hodge’s PAC report was published more than two years after Smith’s receipt of advice from PwC had lapsed.

 

Tonight a Ward within Nick Smith’s Blaenau Gwent constituency, Nye Bevan’s ward of Sirhowy in Tredegar was said to have voted support for Smith with just 4 voting for Corbyn. Those that attended said “it was a foregone conclusion”. When a very good friend of mine, who is a committed activist for the homeless in the constituency, spoke to me after the vote, she told me:
“Not one of the Borough or Tredegar town Cllrs even KNEW Nick Smith and his wife Jenny were directors(sic) of Progress. Both Him, Owen and Angela Eagle and Stephen Kinnock were ALL parachuted into their “safe” Labour seats with the support of Progress, and none disclosed their connection to the organisation (to their CLPs).”

Nick Smith is V-C of Progress. His wife Jenny Chapman MP is also a V-C of Progress. She appeared on George Galloway’s TalkRadio talk show as a surrogate for Owen Smith last friday and made a disgusting connection between Jeremy Corbyn, his supporters and the appalling death of Jo Cox MP by a man in her constituency! – this isn’t gone to trial yet so I can’t write any further on the subject other than is common knowledge.

The distortions the media and anti-Corbyn MPs provides – often at the behest of affiliated business interests – means that popular conversation and perspective is at best skewed or fact is obscured completely, there must be a fight to directly disrupt and challenge this narrative with FACTS.

Big-Pharma, Pfizer & Amgen, professional PR Lobbyist Owen “Man of the People” Smith is a figure firmly of the neoliberal establishment. 

My support goes to Jeremy Corbyn the last remaining hope to reclaim a party for it’s roots in SOCIALISM & the WORKING CLASSES.

Please share.

 

 

Only Greece (out of developed nations) has seen a wage collapse as dramatic as the UK

While most of the rest of Europe have experienced some wage growth since 2007, including crisis devastated economies like Spain (+2.8%) Ireland (+1.6%) and Italy (+0.9%), UK workers have seen a catastrophic decline in earning power only matched by workers in the economic catastrophe zone that is Greece (-10.4%).

Ordinary British workers have seen the deliberate decimation of their wages since the Lib-Dems enabled the Tories back into power in 2010. Meanwhile the super wealthy minority have literally doubled their wealth since the economic crisis. 

Aside from overseeing the longest sustained decline in wages in economic history, a reduction in earning power only matched by the crisis stricken Greek economy, a huge upwards redistribution of wealth, and the slowest economic recovery on record, the Tories have also been savagely attacking working rights too.

Just look at the furious way the French have reacted to attacks on their employment rights with continued riots (mostly unreported by UK MSM), and consider that they’ve enjoyed a 10% increase in their earning power since the pre-crisis period.

In Britain we’ve had a 10.4% decrease in our earning power and most people have sat back compliantly as the Tories have repeatedly snatched our employment rights away.

What will it take for the Sheeple of the UK to wake up from their torpor?

 


Credit to the TUC report below: http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2016/07/uk-real-wages-decline-10-severe-oecd-equal-greece/

UK real wages decline of over 10% is the most severe in the OECD (equal to Greece)

27 Jul 2016, by  in Economics

The decline in UK real wages since the pre-crisis peak is the most severe in the OECD, equal only to Greece. Both countries saw declines of 10.4% per cent between 2007 Q4 and 2015Q4. Apart from Portugal, all other OECD countries saw real wage increases, albeit mostly modest ones.

oecd_w_jul16

(NB strictly the Greek decline is 10.41% and the UK 10.37%, but no way are the figures accurate beyond one decimal place.)

These results are derived from figures in the 2016 edition of the OECD’s Employment Outlook (released a couple of weeks ago, but it has taken me some time to get hold of the figures – see endnote for details of calculation). Even though most countries have seen real wages rise, growth rates are generally disappointing – under normal condition you might expect around 2% a year, and so 16% over eight years.

At the time their UK release contrasted a strong employment performance with weak earnings growth. The employment rate is at a record level, some 5 percentage points above the OECD average. On the other hand real wages “fell by more than 10% after 2007”. See the left and rightmost charts below:

oecd_report_jul16

The comparison of figures for individual countries therefore gives a fuller context for the wage decline shown on the OECD chart. To be balanced, the same should be done for employment – the OECD also provides figures for the ‘employment gap’ – defined at the top of the next chart:

oecd_e_jul16

(The figures are extracted from chart 1.2 in the Employment Outlook.)

The government’s argument is that flexibility on wages has permitted the employment gains. Whatever your view of the theory, the data show this is not obviously the case. In spite of the largest falls in wages, the UK ranks sixteenth (of 42) in terms of job gains (though the employment chart includes some non-OECD countries that have performed well). Any flexibility in Greece was completely pointless. Moreover the countries with the highest gains in real wages were also among those with the highest employment gains.

Plainly the relationship between wages and employment is not as straightforward as notions of flexibility might suggest. The following chart compares outcomes on employment with those on wages (the underlying data by country is in the annex).

The UK is very much an outlier – the only country where a good jobs performance is associated with a bad (terrible) real wages performance.

Employment v earnings, change over 2007Q4 to 2015Q4

oecd_scatter_jul16

Thankfully the UK is not Greece or Portugal in the bottom left quadrant. Taking the low wage road may have helped to keep jobs afloat in the UK; in contrast, in the majority of countries (in this sample) the employment gap was still negative but wages rose (bottom right quadrant). It is possible to think that economies/policymakers face a choice between these two options.  But this would be wrong – other countries have managed to have it both ways (top right quadrant).

These are mainly central European countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland along with Japan and Israel. All these countries have benefited from strong aggregate demand in recent years, in particular through exports and/or government spending.

Plainly this is not a decisive measure of performance, if such a thing exists. My sense is that outcomes in the post-crisis period should be assessed alongside a comparison of performance relative to the pre-crisis period (see for example my examination of the effect of spending cuts cross the OECD – here). On this basis of the countries above, those ‘A8’ countries (that joined the EU from 2004) may have performed strongly over the post-crisis period, but have seen a significant reduction since the pre-crisis days.

Nonetheless the above results offer a valuable perspective on labour market outcomes overall.

We knew already that the UK had endured the longest and steepest decline in real wages since at least 1830. We now know that this decline is matched by no other country apart from Greece. Gains in employment are not adequate compensation.

Endnote: the total wage decline is derived from Figure 1.6, by compounding the separate growth rates for 07Q4-09Q1, 09Q1-12Q4 and 12Q4-15Q4. Note that the OECD derive real wages from national accounts information, dividing total wages by hours worked and putting into real terms with the household consumption deflator. These can differ from those based on average weekly earnings and CPI inflation that tend to be used in the UK.

ANNEX: change over 2007Q4 to 2015Q4

oecd_tabler_jul16

The Bank of England’s dose of honesty throws the theoretical basis for austerity out the window

Retweeted from the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/18/truth-money-iou-bank-of-england-austerity

Back in the 1930s, Henry Ford is supposed to have remarked that it was a good thing that most Americans didn’t know how banking really works, because if they did, “there’d be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.
 
Last week, something remarkable happened. The Bank of England let the cat out of the bag. In a paper called “Money Creation in the Modern Economy”, co-authored by three economists from the Bank’s Monetary Analysis Directorate, they stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong, and that the kind of populist, heterodox positions more ordinarily associated with groups such as Occupy Wall Street are correct. In doing so, they have effectively thrown the entire theoretical basis for austerity out of the window.
 
To get a sense of how radical the Bank’s new position is, consider the conventional view, which continues to be the basis of all respectable debate on public policy. People put their money in banks. Banks then lend that money out at interest – either to consumers, or to entrepreneurs willing to invest it in some profitable enterprise. True, the fractional reserve system does allow banks to lend out considerably more than they hold in reserve, and true, if savings don’t suffice, private banks can seek to borrow more from the central bank.
 
The central bank can print as much money as it wishes. But it is also careful not to print too much. In fact, we are often told this is why independent central banks exist in the first place. If governments could print money themselves, they would surely put out too much of it, and the resulting inflation would throw the economy into chaos. Institutions such as the Bank of England or US Federal Reserve were created to carefully regulate the money supply to prevent inflation. This is why they are forbidden to directly fund the government, say, by buying treasury bonds, but instead fund private economic activity that the government merely taxes.
 
It’s this understanding that allows us to continue to talk about money as if it were a limited resource like bauxite or petroleum, to say “there’s just not enough money” to fund social programmes, to speak of the immorality of government debt or of public spending “crowding out” the private sector. What the Bank of England admitted this week is that none of this is really true. To quote from its own initial summary: “Rather than banks receiving deposits when households save and then lending them out, bank lending creates deposits” … “In normal times, the central bank does not fix the amount of money in circulation, nor is central bank money ‘multiplied up’ into more loans and deposits.”
 
In other words, everything we know is not just wrong – it’s backwards. When banks make loans, they create money. This is because money is really just an IOU. The role of the central bank is to preside over a legal order that effectively grants banks the exclusive right to create IOUs of a certain kind, ones that the government will recognise as legal tender by its willingness to accept them in payment of taxes. There’s really no limit on how much banks could create, provided they can find someone willing to borrow it. They will never get caught short, for the simple reason that borrowers do not, generally speaking, take the cash and put it under their mattresses; ultimately, any money a bank loans out will just end up back in some bank again. So for the banking system as a whole, every loan just becomes another deposit. What’s more, insofar as banks do need to acquire funds from the central bank, they can borrow as much as they like; all the latter really does is set the rate of interest, the cost of money, not its quantity. Since the beginning of the recession, the US and British central banks have reduced that cost to almost nothing. In fact, with “quantitative easing” they’ve been effectively pumping as much money as they can into the banks, without producing any inflationary effects.
 
What this means is that the real limit on the amount of money in circulation is not how much the central bank is willing to lend, but how much government, firms, and ordinary citizens, are willing to borrow. Government spending is the main driver in all this (and the paper does admit, if you read it carefully, that the central bank does fund the government after all). So there’s no question of public spending “crowding out” private investment. It’s exactly the opposite.
 
Why did the Bank of England suddenly admit all this? Well, one reason is because it’s obviously true. The Bank’s job is to actually run the system, and of late, the system has not been running especially well. It’s possible that it decided that maintaining the fantasy-land version of economics that has proved so convenient to the rich is simply a luxury it can no longer afford.
 
But politically, this is taking an enormous risk. Just consider what might happen if mortgage holders realised the money the bank lent them is not, really, the life savings of some thrifty pensioner, but something the bank just whisked into existence through its possession of a magic wand which we, the public, handed over to it.
 
Historically, the Bank of England has tended to be a bellwether, staking out seeming radical positions that ultimately become new orthodoxies. If that’s what’s happening here, we might soon be in a position to learn if Henry Ford was right.
QC Jolyon Maughan, ripping lying spiv Gideon Osborne’s claims before parliament to SHREDS!
http://youtu.be/B4l07CC5xWM The Artist Taxi Driver, Mark McGowan
DID CUTTING THE TOP RATE REALLY RAISE £8BN?
 
Osborne has said that reducing the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p raised an additional £8bn from the highest earners in its first year. Speaking in the Commons he said the revelation “completely defies” predictions made by Labour that cutting the rate from 50p to 45p would cost £3bn and give top earners an average £10,000 tax cut. HMRC previously estimated that cutting the top rate from 50p to 45p would cost the Exchequer £100m.
Osborne said:
“Under this government the richest pay a higher proportion of income tax than under the last Labour government. Indeed we have just had numbers out this morning from HMRC which for the first time show the income tax data for the year 2013/14, which is when the 50p rate was reduced to 45p.
 
And what that shows is that actually there was an £8bn increase in revenues from additional rate taxpayers, which completely defies the predictions made by the Labour party at the time and shows that what we have are lower, competitive taxes that are paid by all.” ( Guardian Reporter )
 
I don’t have the number to which Osborne refers but it is broadly in line with what was forecast in May 2015 which showed a projected increase in income tax paid by additional rate taxpayers of £7.1bn.
 
Does this increase vindicate, as Osborne suggests, to the tune of £8bn of extra receipts the decision to cut the 50p rate?
 
Reader, it does NOT!
 
Tax receipts were artificially low in 2012-13 (because people delayed receiving income until rates fell) and were artificially high in 2013-14 (when those delayed receipts were received). Combine those two numbers and you may well explain your £7bn jump.
 
Please Read More here, see graphs included: http://waitingfortax.com/2016/03/01/did-cutting-the-top-rate-really-raise-8bn/ Jolyon Maughan QC

Once Upon A Time…

Weapons were manufactured for Wars.

Now, Wars are manufactured for weapons.

(Arundahti Roy)

 

Aerial bombardment of a Syrian city of 200,000 men, women & children by four UK Tornado warplanes and Brimstone missiles without Syrian government coordination or ground forces back up, now imminent. #SyriaVote #DontBombSyria

 

All 66 Labour MPs who backed bombing Syria

  • Adrian Bailey
  • Alan Campbell
  • Alan Johnson
  • Alison McGovern
  • Angela Eagle
  • Angela Smith
  • Ann Coffey
  • Anna Turley
  • Ben Bradshaw
  • Bridget Phillipson
  • Caroline Flint
  • Chris Bryant
  • Chris Leslie
  • Chuka Umunna
  • Colleen Fletcher
  • Conor McGinn
  • Dan Jarvis
  • Emma Reynolds
  • Frank Field
  • Gareth Thomas
  • Geoffrey Robinson
  • George Howarth
  • Gisela Stuart
  • Gloria De Piero
  • Graham Jones
  • Harriet Harman
  • Heidi Alexander
  • Helen Jones
  • Hilary Benn
  • Holly Lynch
  • Ian Austin
  • Jamie Reed
  • Jenny Chapman
  • Jim Dowd
  • Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Joan Ryan
  • John Spellar
  • John Woodcock
  • Keith Vaz
  • Kevan Jones
  • Kevin Barron
  • Liz Kendall
  • Louise Ellman
  • Luciana Berger
  • Lucy Powell
  • Margaret Beckett
  • Margaret Hodge
  • Maria Eagle
  • Mary Creagh
  • Michael Dugher
  • Neil Coyle
  • Pat McFadden
  • Peter Kyle
  • Phil Wilson
  • Ruth Smeeth
  • Simon Danczuk
  • Siobhain McDonagh
  • Stella Creasy
  • Susan Elan Jones
  • Tom Blenkinsop
  • Tom Watson
  • Tristram Hunt
  • Vernon Coaker
  • Wayne David
  • Yvette Cooper
  • Stephen Doughty

 

Arming ISIS: the hypocrisy of “strutting Napolean” Francois Hollande & his fellow Saudi/Israeli apologists Cameron & Obama…

John Pilger on Paris, ISIS and Media Propaganda

Video Interview
Afshin Rattansi goes underground with John Pilger.

Award winning journalist and author, John Pilger talks to us about how Washington, London and Paris gave birth to ISIS-Daesh. Plus we examine the media’s role in spreading disinformation ahead of a vote in Parliament for UK bombing of Syria. Afshin looks at the Autumn Statement and why in a time of high alert we are cutting the police force and buying drones.

Posted November 25, 2015

Caerphilly MP Wayne David on ITV News today claiming he was “bullied” what a despicable thing to say!
He has no idea what “bullying” actually is and demeans those that are/have been bullied.
He voted with the Tories to drop bombs on children in a city of 200,000 civilians, that’s f***ing bullying!
He chose to join the War Pigs. He should get used to that epithet!

Wayne David (MP Caerphilly) and Chris Bryant (MP Rhondda) – both Labour Friends of Israel.

You will see the Rhondda MP Bryant is busy doing PR for the Brimstone Missiles today!

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4dc7ab46-0424-11e3-a8d6-00144feab7de.html#axzz3dAA8MvsG

By Tim Harford

The more unequal a society, the greater the incentive for the rich to pull up the ladder behind them

When the world’s richest countries were booming, few people worried overmuch that the top 1 per cent were enjoying an ever-growing share of that prosperity. In the wake of a depression in the US, a fiscal chasm in the UK and an existential crisis in the eurozone – and the shaming of the world’s bankers – worrying about inequality is no longer the preserve of the far left.
There should be no doubt about the facts: the income share of the top 1 per cent has roughly doubled in the US since the early 1970s, and is now about 20 per cent. Much the same trend can be seen in Australia, Canada and the UK – although in each case the income share of the top 1 per cent is smaller. In France, Germany and Japan there seems to be no such trend. (The source is the World Top Incomes Database, summarised in the opening paper of a superb symposium in this summer’s Journal of Economic Perspectives.)

But should we care?

There are two reasons we might: process and outcome. We might worry that the gains of the rich are ill-gotten: the result of the old-boy network, or fraud, or exploiting the largesse of the taxpayer. Or we might worry that the results are noxious: misery and envy, or ill-health, or dysfunctional democracy, or slow growth as the rich sit on their cash, or excessive debt and thus financial instability.
Following the crisis, it might be unfashionable to suggest that the rich actually earned their money. But knee-jerk banker-bashers should take a look at research by Steven Kaplan and Joshua Rauh, again in the JEP symposium. They simply compare the fate of the top earners across different lines of business. Worried that chief executives are filling their boots thanks to the weak governance of publicly listed companies? So am I, but partners in law firms are also doing very nicely, as are the bosses of privately owned companies, as are the managers of hedge funds, as are top sports stars. Governance arrangements in each case are different.
Perhaps, then, some broad social norm has shifted, allowing higher pay across the board? If so, we would expect publicly scrutinised salaries to be catching up with those who have more privacy – for instance, managers of privately held corporations. The reverse is the case.
The uncomfortable truth is that market forces – that is, the result of freely agreed contracts – are probably behind much of the rise in inequality. Globalisation and technological change favour the highly skilled. In the middle of the income distribution, a strong pair of arms, a willingness to work hard and a bit of common sense used to provide a comfortable income. No longer. Meanwhile at the very top, winner-take-all markets are emerging, where the best or luckiest entrepreneurs, fund managers, authors or athletes hoover up most of the gains. The idea that the fat cats simply stole everyone else’s cream is emotionally powerful; it is not entirely convincing.
In a well-functioning market, people only earn high incomes if they create enough economic value to justify those incomes. But even if we could be convinced that this was true, we do not have to let the matter drop.
This is partly because the sums involved are immense. Between 1993 and 2011, in the US, average incomes grew a modest 13.1 per cent in total. But the average income of the poorest 99 per cent – that is everyone up to families making about $370,000 a year – grew just 5.8 per cent. That gap is a measure of just how much the top 1 per cent are making. The stakes are high.
I set out two reasons why we might care about inequality: an unfair process or a harmful outcome. But what really should concern us is that the two reasons are not actually distinct after all. The harmful outcome and the unfair process feed each other. The more unequal a society becomes, the greater the incentive for the rich to pull up the ladder behind them.
At the very top of the scale, plutocrats can shape the conversation by buying up newspapers and television channels or funding political campaigns. The merely prosperous scramble desperately to get their children into the right neighbourhood, nursery, school, university and internship – we know how big the gap has grown between winners and also-rans.
Miles Corak, another contributor to the JEP debate, is an expert on intergenerational income mobility, the question of whether rich parents have rich children. The painful truth is that in the most unequal developed nations – the UK and the US – the intergenerational transmission of income is stronger. In more equal societies such as Denmark, the tendency of privilege to breed privilege is much lower.
This is what sticks in the throat about the rise in inequality: the knowledge that the more unequal our societies become, the more we all become prisoners of that inequality. The well-off feel that they must strain to prevent their children from slipping down the income ladder. The poor see the best schools, colleges, even art clubs and ballet classes, disappearing behind a wall of fees or unaffordable housing.
The idea of a free, market-based society is that everyone can reach his or her potential. Somewhere, we lost our way.
‘The Undercover Economist Strikes Back’ by Tim Harford is published this month in the UK and in January in the US
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COMMENTS:

logicus Aug 16, 2013
The uncomfortable truth is that you have become an apologist for the wealthy.

Myweehoney Aug 16, 2013
The main reason to be worried about increasing wealth inequality is that the 99% are the spending and tax base for western economies. The very rich spend much less proportionately of their income and always manage to be taxed at lower rates. How will economies grow if consumer spending, ie the 99%, is continuing to be squeezed. And where will the tax income be harvested to pay for reasonable government services.

NIHILIST Aug 16, 2013
Educate people into understanding that a rich life is independent of financial wealth.

Pepijn Aug 16, 2013
I wonder whether inflation plays a role. The database shows the top 1% income share declining from 1950 to 1982, a period when inflation was steadily rising. As of 1982 the trend reverses and the top 1% share starts growing rapidly. Maybe the ability to preserve capital as inflation declines plays a role (assuming the top 1% make a good share of income out of capital rather then labour alone). On the other hand, for those in debt declining inflation is obviously bad news.

InterestedReader Aug 16, 2013
“In more equal societies such as Denmark, the tendency of privilege to breed privilege is much lower.”

Hold on, you’re confusing inequality of wealth and inequality of income here; Denmark has very low income inequality, but also one of the world’s highest levels of wealth inequality (by Gini coefficient).

Voice of Truth Aug 15, 2013
Easy to do when you have the financial muscle to transfer increasing amounts from the middle and lower classes to the top 1%, while having complete control of the system.

Alan Hutchinson Aug 15, 2013
@the white rabbit : Good point. Tom Palley has argued the same. There was a minimum of greed in or around 1978 (see the database which Tim Harford cites). Since then, middle class affluence has been funded by increasing debt which led to the crash of 2008.

DEBT SLAVE Aug 15, 2013
Blood will flow in the streets eventually…

francobollo Aug 15, 2013
good article

AB99 Aug 15, 2013
Agree with Burtonshaw. Too many smart and potentially productive young people in USA, UK lured away from science, engineering etc. into finance and law. Yes, we need the rule of law to allow markets to function but isn’t there a point beyond which more lawyers actually means more complexity and lower competitiveness?

A_Reader Aug 15, 2013
Dear All,

A comment: the impact of the very few in the Society is obvious. The not so obvious is that the inequality does not come from now. It is a very long process that might have begun some centuries ago, but now with the complete absurd actions of Central Banks and the existence of technology the main points became enormously clear.

Technology made it possible to see what has been happenning for a very long time… maybe it has been a pattern of Human development since the first start.

Concentration of power implies in “too big to fail” structures. Through them we have power in the hands of a very interconnected few that together have the control of absolutely everything… and more specially in the so called “Capitalist and developed” world. And BTW there is nothing of Capitalism in it, it is the old Plutocratic regime that controls the State and its institutions through “institutionalised” criminality (the absurd “legalised” actions taken by a few).

The population is taught since a very early age to behave and accept not only the ways things are but why’s. Films, magazines, the midia besides schools and educational systems are stablished to keep all the “frame(work)” in place. No talk on Civil Disobesience. No talk of independent thought, unless when coming from the well connected few (so called “famous”) institutions that keep the control. From there comes the “networks” and in such a way that going agaisnt them can become professional (and maybe even mental) suicide.

It is simply a pattern that governs the small and the large: it is the same structure. One can certainly make a model of this so called “anthropological dynamics” and the math behind it is quite simple in its description but very sofisticated to make it in an analitical way. It is all about the work of Prof Benoit Mandelbrot that has been propositaly neglected by the so called Scientific Establishment. And the reason is very simple: it is too complex and influencial for the simple minds who have been on the top and for a very long time. The Establishment can make it through lies that benefit themselves (=> “The majority is allways wrong” or “Every majority is stupid”).

The work of Prof Mandelbrot proves the stupidity of the vast majority of the so called “Scientific” work outside there. It also proves their irrelevance. As a matter of fact it also proves the structures behind the dynamics and why they are orgamnised in that way: the greedy behind the Human Condition.

Will there be enormous destruction in the coming years? Are we close to wars that are ultimately caused by reactions to the current (anthropological) organisations / social and anthropological orders?

Nature has Its ways to make Itself heard. The paradigm should be the one of SME’s and not “large powerfull too big to fail” structures controlled by “Yes men” with very close to psycho behavior.

I hope to be wrong … although I have a quite good track record….

Many thanks,

Best regards,

A_Reader, Ph.D.