Planetary Rescue Operations [Filtered & blocked by Google!]

Posts Tagged ‘Exponential Growth Economy’

Let’s Cut the Middleman Out of the System

Posted by msrb on July 18, 2009

In December 2008 a reader wrote:

Thought for the Day: The Church and Banks

The Church and banks in their role as middlemen work in quite similar ways:

One steals your spiritual enlightenment;
the other swindles you out of material possession!

A scan of the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta commands, “If any one has taken anything, whether much or little, by way of loan from Jews, and if he dies before that debt is paid, the debt shall not carry usury so long as the heir is under age, from whomsoever he may hold. And if that debt falls into our hands, we will take only the principal contained in the note.” Im age and caption: Wikipedia

What if you cut the middleman out of the system? What if you didn’t have to pay any interest on the money you borrow?

Adrian Kuzminski, Resident Scholar in Philosophy at Hartwick College, and the author of Fixing the System: A History of Populism, Ancient & Modern, says:

This time around, with dense populations and a scarcity of natural resources, especially energy, across the globe, and widespread ecological destruction, there is little prospect that economic growth can or even should be re-stimulated.

He says the populists in the United States in the bygone days wanted the money flow to be controlled by Main Street, not Wall Street:

Why, they asked, should credit— for mortgages, home equity, consumer spending, auto loans, education, etc.—be available almost exclusively from private lenders at high rates of interest? Why shouldn’t citizens be able to access credit directly by borrowing at nominal rates of interest from a decentralized public system of lending?

Below is his short essay, also mirrored at Information Clearing House; however, we find it difficult to fathom why (and how) he brands  Sarah Palin as a “populist.” Is he re-branding Palin, who has proven herself to be an abject failure as a parent, politician, human being … , as a “populist” to give her a “good” name, or does he intend to doublespeak himself out of the “populism” argument?

Taking Populism Seriously

By Adrian Kuzminski

July 17, 2009 “Information Clearing House” — Populism persists as an uncomfortable element in American and global political life, neither left nor right, liberal nor conservative. Populists are widely portrayed as economic losers resentful of rich elites. Our bi-partisan political and media establishment routinely downplays this resentment, castigating it as the source of misguided “class warfare,” even though mainstream politicians, when desperate enough, don’t hesitate to arouse just enough populist resentment to gain votes, while artfully evading the substance of populist complaints.

Contemporary populists, like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, appear to the establishment to be “no-nothings” who don’t understand “how the system works.” They, and increasing numbers of Americans, do, however, know something that their critics don’t: that the system is unjust and failing. Should the predictions of blogosphere doomer prognosticators — like Mike Whitney, Paul Craig Roberts, Michael Hudson, and others — come true, the principal victims will be liberals, progressives, and the Democratic party. They will all be identified with attempts to save a failed system, and discredited for propping up Wall Street and “the money power.” Obama will go the way of Gorbachev, if he’s lucky.

After the real crash — which we still await — the populists will inherit political power, if only by default. Are they ready for it? On this score their critics have a point: so far populists display no coherent alternative to the system whose evils they rightly decry. Until they develop one they are more likely to bring chaos and anarchy than stability and justice. Fortunately for the populists such an alternative already exists, and they can find it in their own history if they bother to look.

The populist impulse of today, widespread but fragmented and disorganized, is what’s left of a once proud and impressive mass political movement in this country. In its heyday, in the 1880s and 90s, fifty populists from the People’s party, were elected to the US Congress, with many others winning state and local offices. Such a showing by a third party today would be cataclysmic.

The old populists were out-maneuvered and finally marginlized by what they and earlier Jeffersonians and Jacksonians called “the money power,” the privatized and largely unregulated banking and credit system which reduced many small independent producers — farmers, artisans, shopkeepers — to debt peonage by unnecessary, that is, usurious interest rates. Today that same “money power,” after decades of ascendency, stands insolvent in the wake of the Great Crash of 2008, and the nation faces a second Great Depression. Hundreds of trillions of dollars of outstanding debt far outstrip the productive potential of the nation and the planet ever to be repaid.

This time around, with dense populations and a scarcity of natural resources, especially energy, across the globe, and widespread ecological destruction, there is little prospect that economic growth can or even should be restimulated. Nonetheless, in the face of this crisis, both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, and Obama like Bush before him, desperately seek to reinflate the credit bubble, this time on the backs of taxpayers. Insofar as already maxed-out taxpayers cannot carry that burden, the dollar and much of our economy is poised to collapse.

Our fixation with economic growth is largely driven by a usurious financial system. If credit is available only on the condition of onerous rates of interest, then borrowers (individuals and businesses) must put the money they borrow to work, not only to repay the principal and leave some profit for themselves, but to repay as well the interest owed to creditors. It is this, more than anything else, which forces the economy to “grow.”

We’ve gotten gotten away with it for over 200 years of the industrial revolution mostly because we’ve been able to exploit natural resources, especially fossil fuels, to enable this growth. But global population growth and resource depletion, including “peak oil,” appear to have finally caught up with us. The real cause of the depression and the credit crisis is the dawning realization by investors that these resource constraints are contraints on growth, and that the high growth rates enjoyed since the eighteenth century may be a thing of the past.

The populists were the last movement in the United States to offer a viable alternative to the privatized usurious financial system. They wanted Main Street, not Wall Street, to control money. Why, they asked, should credit — for mortgages, home equity, consumer spending, auto loans, education, etc. — be available almost exclusively from private lenders at high rates of interest? Why shouldn’t citizens be able to access credit directly by borrowing at nominal rates of interest from a decentralized public system of lending?

This was actually possible in colonial America, when land banks and paper currencies made credit widely and cheaply available. As historian Terry Bouton makes clear in his account of the American revolution in Pennsylvania in his compelling book, TAMING DEMOCRACY, the suppression of this public credit by Parliament in Britain led to depression and the revolution. The counter-revolution of propertied elites in the 1780s, culminating in the US Constitution, strangled this impulse for cheap credit. The 19th century witnessed a long but losing struggle against privatized usurious financial interest, who finally sealed their control over money and the economy with the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913.

But the idea of cheap public credit was kept alive by Jeffersonians, Jacksonians, and populists. It was developed probably in greatest detail by an early American populist, Edward Kellogg (1790-1858), especially in his postumously published A NEW MONETARY SYSTEM (1861). Kellogg and other populists argued that we ought to have a public not a private financial system. In his plan, citizens would go to local public credit banks and offer collateral for personal loans for any purpose; the money, issued locally but held to a federally enforced standard of a fixed, nominal rate of interest (about 1 percent), would be legal tender, everywhere interchangeable, and so circulate throughout the nation.

Today our money is created top-down as loans from the privately owned Federal Reserve to big banks, who relend to corporations and to the public at rates of interest profitable (when repaid) to themselves. This is a system which demands economic growth and insures that wealth will be concentrated in the hands of creditors. By insisting on a fixed nominal rate of interest Kellogg aimed to forstall tranfers of wealth to creditors. There should be no private charge for money, he reasoned, insofar as money is a public function. And with money issued locally to local borrowers, there would be no need for a central bank.

Now there’s a revolutionary idea, and a liberating one. The opportunity to borrow money without unnecessary interest would be economically and politically transformative. It would also be ecologically responsible. The major engine of economic growth, after all, is the need to pay back debt with interest. By making money available at zero or nominal interest, the incentive for economic growth would be removed.

Moreover, in gaining widespread access to capital, individuals would be able to invest in themselves (in education, housing, consumer goods, starting a business, etc.) without having to transfer their wealth to creditors (consider the interest on a typical credit card or mortgage). Freed of the burden of usurious interest, the pursuit of happiness and genuine liberty would be widely possible. And, not least, the power of the special interests would be broken, restoring the promise of genuinely democratic government.

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Posted in Bail Out the People, Carbon Footprint of the Dollar, charging interest, Nationalize the Banks, Toxic Assets | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Thought for the Day: Creating Wealth

Posted by msrb on October 9, 2008

submitted by a reader:

If the Wall Street bandits are so good [sic] at creating wealth, why can’t they bail them out instead of come crying cap in hand to the taxpayer?

Think about it for a moment!

Wall Street Bull: Never mind the fake balls, she’s just a thieving pussy in disguise!
Source of Image. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Making the government an offer they couldn’t refuse!

Posted in government, money, thieving pussy, Wall Street, Wall Street Bull | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Protect Economy from Climate??!

Posted by msrb on August 21, 2008

Shouldn’t the scientific message be

Protect World from Economy?

You know your problems are serious when eight scientific organizations urge the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory economy but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

Instead of urging an immediate end to the exponential growth economy and demanding a zero-growth, low carbon, waste-free oikonomia for managing the environment, welfare of humans and other living species, and a system of ‘housekeeping’ for the planet’s natural resources to sustain life on Earth, the country’s top scientists are looking for ways of serving the economic Titanic.

The group includes the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

“We don’t think we have the right kind of tools to help decision makers plan for the future,” Jack Fellows, the vice president for corporate affairs of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of 71 universities, told reporters on Wednesday.

Indeed not, Mr. Fellows!

BTW, is the Union of “Concerned” Scientists among your lot?

The Environmental Cost of US Economy (carbon footprint only!)

  • US GDP (2007 PPP) : $13.8 trillion [World Bank]
  • US CO2 Emissions (2007) : 6,825.733 MMT [based on CDIAC data updated by MSRB/CASF]
  • Virtual CO2 content of US dollar (2007) : 494 g (The average amount of CO2 produced each time a dollar was paid or received in 2007. SEE: How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?)

Surprised? (source: Image may be subject to copyright.

Read the news report here: Scientists urge U.S. to protect economy from climate change

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Posted in 6th Great Extinction, cabal, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, George W. Bush, Global Warming, government, lifestyle, money, Omnicide, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Image of the Day: Blind scientists examining the elephant

Posted by msrb on July 1, 2008

The Exponential Growth Economy’s White Elephant!

“Blind monks examining an elephant” by Itcho Hanabusa (1652–1724). Each blind monk can only “see” the part of the elephant he has examined.

Blind “Experts”

Blind Expert #1. It’s the oil addiction!

Blind Expert #2. Nay, nay; it’s the coal-fired power plants.

Blind Expert #3. Nay, nay; the SUVs.

Blind Expert #4. Nay, nay! It must be the sprawling suburbia.

Blind Expert #5. Nay, nay! It’s …

Blind Expert #6. We NEED more trees to protect the economy.

Blind experts Nos. 1 – 8 urged the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory exponential growth economy, but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

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Posted in biocapacity, Bush, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, Omnicide, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Isn’t the “Green Jobs for America” Campaign Fatally Flawed?

Posted by msrb on April 11, 2008

Many thanks to our friend Lisa G. who emailed the following press release. Lisa has asked the following questions, which a colleague will shortly reply to:
1. Do “green jobs” exist?
2. Is the campaign fatally flawed?
Contact: Josh Dorner (202) 675-2384

Labor, Environmentalists Join Forces to Launch
National “Green Jobs for America” Campaign
Campaign to Focus on Growing Economy, Creating New Jobs
Through Investments in Clean, Renewable Energy and Trade Reform

Washington, D.C. – The United Steelworkers (USW), the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Blue Green Alliance, a partnership of the USW and Sierra Club, today launched the national Green Jobs for America campaign. The campaign will focus on the ability of a serious commitment to clean, renewable energy to make us more energy independent, help us end our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels and create over 820,000 new green jobs nationwide.

“We saw a glimpse of the clean energy future last month at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. “The Green Jobs for America campaign will bring the power of that future to communities across the country. We aim to show people that we can start building that clean energy future today–a future that promises a strong economy, good jobs, fair trade agreements, a clean environment, and a stable climate for our children and grandchildren.”

The Green Jobs for America campaign will demonstrate that investing in clean, renewable energy is the best way to fight global warming, bring skyrocketing energy costs back under control, create new, good-paying jobs and put us back on the path toward economic growth and prosperity. In addition to encouraging the right investments from the private sector, the campaign will also focus on the kinds of policies that are needed to fight global warming, expand clean energy production and reform unfair trade agreements.

The public education campaign will take place in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Oregon, and Nebraska. The campaign will run through September 15, 2008.

Teams of organizers from the USW, Sierra Club, NRDC and Blue Green Alliance will undertake grassroots organizing activities, conduct a series of public events, release independent studies highlighting the potential for tens of thousands of new green jobs in each state and generate thousands of signatures on a petition calling for green jobs, clean energy solutions and fair trade agreements.

An independent study conducted last year for the Blue Green Alliance by the Renewable Energy Policy Project found that these twelve states in particular stand to gain nearly 170,000 new manufacturing jobs in wind turbine manufacturing and almost 93,000 new manufacturing jobs making the parts for solar power equipment.

Blue Green Alliance Executive Director David Foster said that green jobs are not only those that produce a green product designed for a specific environmental purpose but also include existing jobs that involve a green process or a green purpose. He said that steelworkers building components for wind turbines are performing green jobs, as are chemical workers making products that are not harmful to humans or the environment.

“The green revolution isn’t just creating new and different jobs,” Foster said. “It’s revitalizing and creating new investment in a lot of the jobs we already have.”

The campaign builds on the momentum of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference held in Pittsburgh last month, which brought together over 1,000 participants, over 80 organizations, elected officials, and leaders from industry, community groups, environmental organizations, and labor unions. The Green Jobs for America Campaign expects to add additional allies to this new national movement focused on making the clean energy future a reality.

“The time for a national push for renewable energy is now,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “What is really exciting about this campaign is the opportunity to create jobs, help fix our broken economy and contribute to solving the biggest environmental challenge of our generation at the same time.”

Energy efficiency is a largely untapped resource that can save consumers and businesses money on their energy bills, cut our global warming emissions, and also create thousands of new jobs.

“Technologies like wind and solar are just part of the story. This is also about job security. Making homes, offices and factories more energy efficient not only saves money, it also represents a huge growth opportunity for the people who build our communities and keep them running,” said Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We’re talking about architects and engineers. Drywall and lighting contractors. Electricians and carpenters. Everything from construction to computing. And these are jobs that cannot be shipped offshore, and pay lasting dividends to the American economy.”
Source: Sierra Club

A Reply to Lisa

Hi Lisa, thanks again for the press release. In reply to your questions, a CASF Member forwarded the following.
1. Do ‘green jobs’ exist?
Lisa – If “green” is pinned to the “job” to imply sustainability [and used as a convenient label by corporate front dot orgs,] then the answer in “NO!” The job market is a subsystem of our political economy, an exponential growth system. The exponential growth economy is, in turn, a subset of the ecological system and the ecology, Earth, is not growing. In other words, unless you have a zero growth economic system, the concept of ‘green jobs,’ meaning sustainable jobs, represents a falsehood and is a deceptive terminology.

2. Is the campaign fatally flawed?
You then ask a methodological question, whether “Green Jobs for America” campaign is fatally flawed, as if you already know the answer [my colleague changed the page title accordingly.]

Yes, the campaign is fatally flowed and you shouldn’t need a rocket scientist to trumpet the findings. A brief glimpse at the title reveals the campaign is meant to “focus on growing economy,” much of the same fodder regurgitated and served on a different platter, “through investments in clean [sic] renewable energy…”

The campaign does not advocate what is actually needed to save its target communities: Establishing cooperatives, redesigning and revitalizing the shattered communities and creating new jobs that last within an alternative system of economy—a sustainable system of “housekeeping” that doesn’t blow up the house!

Generating additional energy, ‘clean,’ renewable, or whatnot, is meant to augment the world’s growing thirst for energy; it cannot and will not keep the fossil fuels under the ground for as long as “civilization” harbors an economic system that grows exponentially and, by doing so, systematically destroys the planet.

Focusing on growing economy, the root cause of all of our ecological and social ills, is not just an egregious example of fallacy of misplaced concreteness, it is a criminal attempt at accelerating the extinction of human and other animal species by deception.

The campaign is deceptive because it mixes too many of the national and indeed global problems and packages them as one, for which (surprise surprise) they have a canned panacea. They are falsely claiming that the campaign will lead to:

  • help us end our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels
  • campaign will bring the power of that future to communities across the country
  • start building that clean energy future today
  • strong economy
  • good jobs
  • fair trade agreements
  • clean environment, and a stable climate for our children and grandchildren

[End quote]
All of which fall within the same sacrosanct subset of activities–the exponential growth economy that is driving us to extinction [in the first place.]

Further, all of their misleading claims come at a time when (more than anyone the Sierra Club, NRDC and the “Environmentalists” should darn well know the facts) our ecosystems are edging ever closer towards a total collapse.

They are trying to conceal the wild facts:

  • Irreversible loss of natural and agricultural land, forests and wildlife
  • Permanent loss of woodland, savannah and costal areas
  • Dying oceans, lakes, rivers and other water bodies
  • Critical loss of topsoil
  • Increased urban and built up areas, deserts and wasteland
  • Wholesale species extinction
  • Collapsing fisheries
  • Drying wells and aquifers
  • Loss of crop genetic diversity
  • Decline in the ability of atmosphere to cleanse itself
  • wars and increased military spending
  • Growing consumerism, tourism, industrialism, commodification, money fetishism, child labor, slavery, human (sex) trafficking
  • Accumulation of toxic pollution in the environment
  • Growing poverty
  • Collapse of natural pest regulation systems
  • Deforestation and desertification
  • Global collapse of pollinators
  • Habitat destruction
  • Food and water crisis
  • Failing ecosystems

Pumping “green” energy into the exponential growth economy is tantamount to administering intravenous injections of organic growth hormones to treat a malignant brain tumor in a terminally ill cancer victim.

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Posted in American economy, Beijing, Chicago, computing, construction, Electricians, job security, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, United Steelworkers, WASHINGTON | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »