Saturday, April 14, 2007

The " S " Word

This essay will examine the gigantic failure of worldwide credit welfare as a centerpiece, and why it can easily be associated with modern-day Serfdom. Hence the " S " word as the title reads. Yet many Westerners would agree that slavery is intolerable and must be dealt with. Alas those asking for action generally ignore that in the 1850s a slave went for the equivalent of 40,000 present dollars while today a slave often cost under $100 as Dr Kevin Bales stresses in his video- documentary "Disposable People, New Slavery In The Global Economy" .

The latter also states that the number of slaves worldwide represent the largest number alive at one any time in history. Unfortunately there is more. Over the last century, slavery has taken a new turn concludes The National Geographic: There are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade... Although slavery in its traditional form survives in many parts of the world, debt slavery of this kind, with varia- tions, is the most common form of servitude today...

This raises a series of daunting questions: what have the UN(ICEF), intern- ational charities and their myriads of NGOs been doing during all this time while the world was on its way to look like France, a few years before the Revolution?

Although abolishing any form of slavery is a noble task, working toward a dramatic improvement will be proven ineffective as long as we let ourselves be guided by our compassion. Addressing slavery starts at home. That's why we have so blatantly failed and have even made the matter much worse. It will remain a scourge as long as it is not understood that it is caused by bad economics, and/or allowed to occur because it serves economic purposes. There is no time to fool around anymore. While compassion is wonderful, there are plenty of so-called charities out there planning on getting fat with our guilt. Luckily old tricks are no longer working. According to a poll in the UK, a vast majority think African aid is wasted.

While the 1.7 trillion in financial aid to the 3rd world was decided between leaders and behind closed doors, in the West we have succumbed to the exposure to easy money thrown at us 24/7 as a way of life. Feeling rich and secure is an incredible incentive, alas our actions to achieve the Paradise on earth are leading us to self-destruction. Highway spending comes with a string attached; that of a curse, which makes people jump aboard a freight train because debt addiction operates just like... heroin. And this is simple to explain: piling on debt goes along with an (irrational) optimism making us think we're able repay. In the real world, it works otherwise. Each waning boom requires a monetary injection to avoid a bust. The "sky is the limit" mantra turns out being a first class delusion. In Europe for example, the ratio of household debt to disposable income in France is a modest 65%, compared with 115% in Spain, 146% in Britain, 171% in Holland, and 190% in Ireland as the points out. If fiscal discipline seems to be easier in France at first sight, cracks have appeared: the housing makert is now 25% overvalued, the newspaper says.

The price to pay for indebting future generations takes its very roots in the laziness to accumulate savings for the consumers; and for the elites to get richer much faster. In both cases the hook is to target immediate rewards. Regardless of the setbacks all this implies in the long run. I am referring to the "Spend now pay later" mindset while making sure to trick as many as possible into picturing a risk-free society or risk-free monetary policy. It is not in the interest of the lenders to warn potential borrower before signing a contract. That's why the fine print was invented after all. The so-called business cycles are the consequences of credit hangovers. Recessions are damaging mechanisms, explains the author of "The Grip of Death: a study of modern money, debt slavery and destructive economics". Is pretending to be richer truly worth it?

Westerners have spent more than a half century seeing the world through pink colored glasses, losing the ability to assess risks. This could not go on forever: internal and external forces have built a global endemic ponzification. This fact is actually being noticed by many papers and when a very mainstream outlet such as The Economist starts paying attention, I may guarantee you that it is already too late to change the course of destiny. In "Ponzificating", the author pictures the global economy as a scheme depending on a mega confidence trick. Another journalist writing for the Washing- ton Post rang the alarm bell for the borrowers, saying that our system is now co-dependent of "the infernal engine of international finance" named the CDO. For the newbies, the CDO is the name given by Wall Street to a parallel kind of banking system that has come into existence to bypass central banks. If this does not scare the hell out of you...

Although the common man remains unaware that its proponents and opponents have fought countless battles behind the scenes, usury has plagued mankind since ever. This is a cultureless fight uniting the world elites for the worst since they all agree upon charging the masses an interest for using currencies in the first place. So if the all world governments do it, that must be right, mustn't it? Just because more than 80% of the world population believes in a lie, doesn't make it true. The critique of usury is the following: it is an unearned income, a double billing, condones the exploitation of the Needy, creates spontaneously mechanisms of inequitable redistribution of wealth, an agent of economic instability and encourages to discount the Future.

The more money in circulation, the more the elites benefit. Inflation makes the common people work much more for what they really need. This flow of liquidity is too exacerbated by taxation which allows the elites to run usurious deficits billed to future generations. Labor is then rather seen as an ever-increased speculation obtained through an ever self-perpetuating power than rewarding dignity and freedom. Because the entire system capitalizes on debt instruments, we really can say nowadays that the real intrinsic value of money resides in the usurious interests and taxation. And this starts at the very beginning of the process, that of printing money out of thin air. Central banks from all over the world print for a few cents every banknote, regardless of their denomination. Here in America it comes down to a mere 4.2 cents. The difference is what keeps the elites on life support.

This is "serfdom".

In the Middle Ages serfs were paying 25% of their labor. How much do we pay today? More than 50% with all the hidden taxes included as shown in the documentary by award winning Aaron Russo. When money's value amounts to its usurious rates and taxation and should the both elements be abolished, there would be no money left in circulation. If we ever paid all our debts money would simply vanish.

"Should government refrain from regulation (taxation), the worthlessness of money becomes apparent and the *fraud* can no longer be concealed."- British Lord John Maynard Keynes (the architect of our current system) in his book "The Economic Consequences Of The Peace" (1920)
Viewing Capitalism as an unavoidable exploitation of the needy is rather simplistic. Exploitation takes place every time we don't want to stand for ourselves, refuse to to choose self-determination. Every time we're afraid of the dangers inherent in freedom. Indeed one has to wonder why socialism has greatly failed to cure the world from its grip. Instead of admitting their defeat, the socialists accuse greed infecting the human nature itself. They will never cease to come up with more coercive ideas as how to overcome their blind discontentment. To give you an example they were the first to applaud lending to the developing world but also to scream their outrage when faced with the consequences of "odious debts" enforced by the IMF and the WB over a 50-year period. While some debts were erased, the same impoverished countries saw their credit rating plunge overnight, all of which allowed the sell out of their natural resources. The wealth transfer was successful to say the least.

Despite two major studies made in the 1990s which came to the conclusion that the poor have to sweat doubly, so that the wealthy might live on interest. All this usurious infusion of cash began at the bottom of the pyramid and made its way up slowly to the middle-class (due to the eroding purcha- sing power, itself caused by a insidious hidden tax called inflation) leaving an ever increasing number of households at the mercy of lenders whose appeti- te to lend grew accordingly. Today as a result, the middle class is no longer the pillar of the economy but its doom.

Strangely as if it were a sign of time, the National Film Preservation Foundation is going to re-release a silent movie from 1912 called "The Usurer's Grip. Sure the director was aiming his venom at loan sharks, people charging more than the banks. But what is better in your opinion: multiple loans at various usurious rates ranging from 5% to 30% or one loan at 180%?

The response is easy: one works slower to bring you down than another.

The human nature only reacts when seriously threatened (which this is why most of the population is not violent). This time again, the collison course is set to happen and there is nothing we can do about it. Soon, we'll have to stand up against "the loan shark lobby" and "the Armageddon gang"... and understand why ending debt slavery must become priority number #1 if Mankind is destined to survive. The right to choose is now up to us. Let's not forget that wars have always been made possible through the ability to borrow/raise taxes and this alone should be enough to implement the dismantlement of world standing armies. Peace and human sovereignty are above all an economic matter.