Monopoly Business Model, Reality and the Search for Individual Liberty

OPINION / COLUMN
By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JUNE 16, 2012

It is interesting to read the thoughts from people who were trained in the traditional educational system think about the current global economic crisis. Their explanations are usually filled with theories that they read in their carefully crafted textbooks, which they are more than willing to regurgitate in order to put down someone else’s opinions, as if what they learned from textbooks was an authentic reflection of reality. Unfortunately, college degrees and flashy titles do not provide a real insight into the true reasons why we are in crisis today.

History is shaped by those who wrote it, and therefore it only provides a one-sided reference to which we can look back at. The issue is where should we look in order to have a good idea about what happened and how that shapes what is happening today in all aspects of life.

The current economic crisis is a very broad topic, which cannot be discussed in one op-ed. I wouldn’t presume to be able to explain the current state of affairs the world is in by writing or responding to questions that are usually e-mailed to me by readers. It is much too complicated. That is not to say that I would run away from trying to provide a starting point.

So here it is:

We’ve been under the same economic and financial system for at least the past 100 years. This system was conceived much earlier by very smart people who recognized that monopoly was the best business model for themselves. Since then, monopoly men have controlled every single aspect of human development. They have shaped the very social fabric of modern society by maintaining a tight grip on resources, their availability, development, and as a result, the way markets work. Therefore, we cannot even begin to believe that there has ever been the slightest sign of a free market economy anywhere in the planet.

Throughout human history, people associated themselves to create strong groups that helped them take care of their interests. The success of such groups relied on how much each individual’s needs and rights were respected. Much of the success of the earliest forms of civilization were based on the respect given to natural law and individual rights such as the right to life, private property, self-defense, privacy and so on. The moment one of those rights were violated, or when force was used to limit or otherwise eliminate such rights, civilizations struggled to find the balance again.

These struggles have been permanent throughout history because there have always been individuals who sought not to respect individual and natural rights (natural law) but to find the slightest edge to govern over others. Then came the idea that something called Government could be better at managing what all individuals had done themselves for thousands of years, and so humans entrusted their lives to a group of trusted servants. Later we learned that Government is just an instrument to maintain the monopoly, because it successfully hides the reality we all live in by keeping us busy, working most of our lives to maintain the fraudulent bureaucracy that the monopoly men so eagerly dominate.

The trusted servants were bought and paid for by the monopoly men, who found it much easier to bribe, threaten or manipulate a few good men, rather than bribing, threatening or manipulating whole populations. That is how monopoly men came to be Government. The monopoly business model accompanies humanity up until today, and every day that passed, those monopoly men were more empowered by their far-reaching influence, access to resources, raw materials, technology and political gain. That is where we are today. The monopoly men found a way to legalize the mafia model, which they used in their businesses and that for a long time have applied to Government. It is through this model that they manage to control every single aspect of our lifestyles.

What an economist believes or thinks about what is right or wrong for a country or a continent is irrelevant if that economist doesn’t take into account that the economy is controlled by powerful corporate interests that control it all. No economic theory will be ever successful at explaining why a crisis happened or how to fix it unless it recognizes its real origins. University degrees, economy textbooks and memberships to reputable groups do not help when trying to explain why the world is in the deepest depression in modern history. We all need to recognize that in today’s world nation-states no longer dictate what happens with their own destinies or with that of their citizens. Monopoly men do. And they will continue to do so until humanity awakens to what is behind the curtain – or in this case, who is behind the curtain.

Humanity will never be able to have real Capitalism, Free Markets or Social Justice – whatever all that means – unless we are unable to recognize how the system really works. Keynes, Krugman and all these other thinkers and talking heads bring nothing new to an economic debate, they just repeat what they learned in college or from whatever mode of education they were exposed to. There is really nothing new or beneficial we can get in order to analyze the current state of humanity if we take as our starting point ideologies that have long defrauded us all, which were all invented by the same monopoly men I mentioned above as tools to divide and conquer. The same people who invented the theory of Socialism, are the very same who invented Capitalism, Fascism, Democracy, and all of the other faces of the same die.

There is hope though.

No doubt, a large minority of humans is now aware of this state of affairs, and that large minority will have to once again carry the heavy weight of the large ignorant majority in order to deliver humanity from the evil that a global monopoly has brought upon all of us. If there is anything positive the current economic crisis has brought, is that it has awaken millions of people around the world. This crisis has been an opportunity to open the eyes and see beyond what is being shown to all of us as reality, but that is nothing but a fraud. The early stages of a new struggle for a return to individual freedom is in the works as we speak and just as it happened in the past, it will take a while to conclude.

Since Monopoly could indeed be defined as the lack of equality, equality is not achieved by having a powerful entity taking from the favored to give it to the poor. The poor need to be educated about reality, so that they can rise by themselves and create their own present and future. The moment people understand the concept of individual rights, self-responsibility, self-governance and so on, they will be – by choice – able to defeat the monopoly system.

The people in power today saw a great opportunity and took it; for the worst as we now know. But they had the liberty of taking it. We all need to have that opportunity to be able to take it, but with the understanding that we have the responsibility to take care of ourselves and to forge our own lives, not to steal from others to get ahead. Finally, equality should be a concept that means that we all are equally prosperous, in all sense of the word, not equally poor, which is what the leaders of modern socialism and government interventionism support – sometimes even unknowingly.

On a personal note, I have to add that using force or violence — which is what the monopoly men and governments normally do — to impose views, policies or wishes on anyone will only keep us from achieving the kind of world most of us seek to live in. The moment we all understand that imposing our will on anyone by using force or coercion is the root of all of our problems, is the moment we will be that much closer to solving most of those problems.

That will happen when individuals learn about and understand the concept of self-governance, self-responsibility and respect towards the inalienable rights that we are entitled to as individuals. After a majority of us learns and understands this concepts, we can all sit around and debate economics, politics or any other issue.

Implement Decisive Ecological Warfare, says Lunatic Activist

Derrick Jensen writes that those who destroy the environment should be summarily executed.

The Blaze
August 12, 2011

“Do we need a militant movement to save the planet (and ourselves)?”

That was the question posed in recent article on the left-wing site Alternet when it interviewed a group of radical environmentalists who are allegedly endorsing “Decisive Ecological Warfare.” And in order to realize their goal of ridding the planet of industrial civilization — even modern agriculture —  the group intends to employ tactics “of both militaries and insurgents the world over.”

One of the activists, Derrick Jensen, allegedly even believes those who destroy the environment should be summarily executed:   “If it were up to me, all the people associated with the Gulf oil spill, which is murdering the Gulf, would be executed. That would be part of the function of a state,” said Jensen.

In addition to Jensen, the two other environmentalists interviewed in the article  – Lierre Keith, and Aric McBay — have spearheaded a fringe movement called the “Deep Green Resistance” (with a book of the same name) that calls for “direct attacks on infrastructure” and an annihilation of civilization as we know it.

According to the far-left triumvirate, humanity must devolve into living primitive, “indigenous” lifestyles. To this end, Keith targeted a litany of ills that must be stopped, declaring: “We need a culture that is self-consciously oppositional to things like corporate power, capitalism, industrialization and ultimately civilization, because that is the arrangement of power on this planet right now.”

But how does the group intend to implement such extreme goals?  That is where the Decisive Ecological Warfare part comes in. According to DGR’s website, their type of warfare has four phases that will allegedly lead up to the “fall of industrial civilization.” The first phase, according to the organization’s charter, is “Networking & Mobilization“ followed by ”Sabotage & Asymmetric Action.” The site lays out the group’s strategy:

Strategy A: Engage in direct militant actions against industrial infrastructure, especially energy infrastructure.

Strategy B: Aid and participate in ongoing social and ecological justice struggles; promote equality and undermine exploitation by those in power.

Strategy C: Defend the land and prevent the expansion of industrial logging, mining, construction, and so on, such that more intact land and species will remain when civilization does collapse.

Strategy D: Build and mobilize resistance organizations that will support the above activities, including decentralized training, recruitment, logistical support, and so on.

Strategy E: Rebuild a sustainable subsistence base for human societies (including perennial polycultures for food) and localized democratic communities that uphold human rights.

The stated goal of DGR is to “deprive the rich of their ability to steal from the poor and the powerful of their ability to destroy the planet. This will require defending and rebuilding just and sustainable human communities nestled inside repaired and restored landbases. This is a vast undertaking but it needs to be said: it can be done. Industrial civilization can be stopped.”

All infrastructure, even modern agriculture did not escape the threesome’s wrath as they apparently consider “sustainable agriculture” an “oxymoron.”

The original Alternet interview with DGR leaders went on to reveal what McBay believes should replace industrial civilization if the movement were successful in carrying out its goals: “If we are talking about a post-industrial society, then I think we have to draw on the examples of traditional, indigenous societies.”

What’s more, the group barely tries to conceal its disdain for the average Americans who probably find DGR’s brand of extremism distinctly repugnant.  Keith stated, “I’m not speaking to mainstream America. I don’t know how to talk to those people, and there is no point in me trying.” And Jensen only mirrored the sentiment, saying, “I don’t understand why it is even controversial to talk about dismantling industrial civilization when it has shown itself for 6,000 years to be destroying the planet and to be systemically committing genocide.”

But don’t worry. As Alternet points out, Keith does make a distinction about violence in the book.

“I would urge the following distinctions,” writes Keith, “the violence of hierarchy vs. the violence of self-defense, violence against actual people vs. violence against property, and the violence as self-actualization vs. the violence of political resistance.”

“Just because they mention violence doesn‘t mean it’s the best policy,” Alternet says in its article as a way of trying to salvage readers who might be non-violent.

But it is an option.

The Real Agenda:

These people need to be put in a mental institution with armed guards at their doors around the clock. No one who calls for the murder of humans to save humans is in their right mind. The last one I remember, Adolf Hitler, called for the murder of the Jews and other ethnicities to save the Arian race.

The Horizontal Power of the State

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 13, 2011

How many liberals, libertarians, conservatives and anarchists, to cite a few, dislike the outcomes that result from having an out of control State? It would be interesting to carry out a survey and find out exactly. However, a survey is not necessary, unless you are a statistics or a math fan, to learn that most people are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs. Proof that government involvement causes more harm than good is in every aspect of life. But it is not government or the State the party responsible for such outcomes, it is the people who support those States or governments who carry the blame.

 Although government and the power structures are seen as built in a pyramidal shape, the truth is that the government or State is built horizontally. See, government is composed by the people that give it the legal and moral support to exist, and so those very same people are responsible for whatever the State or government does or does not do. Therefore, all things that originate from the State -good or bad- are a direct result of the people supporting the system we know today as the government or the State.

 The problem is, most people do not know or understand this. People complain about the current state of affairs without realizing that they are to blame for the misery they are experiencing. Other people do recognize it, but are too hypocrite or afraid to do something about it. They do not speak against it because they fear social rejection. Those afraid should be happy to know that the problem of an abusive and out of control State or government is solved with actions, not words. Why? Because language is so fragile that it can be bent in all sorts of ways to say whatever anyone wants. It is nearly impossible to inject a dose of common sense into anyone who has been previously indoctrinated; and we all are to a certain degree. However, if one acts on something that is seen as wrong or abusive, other people will see what we mean and realize, all by themselves, that our actions make more sense than what they have thought all their lives to be true.

 Waking people up so that they act to change the current state of affairs is an impossible task if one only uses words. The reason for that is culture has rooted so deeply into their minds, that people’s reality is nothing else than what culture tells them it is. Nothing else. As it is widely clear, culture does not ‘teach’ people reality or truth, but a mixture of half-truths and plain open lies. How do you make people understand that although the Nazis directly killed 6 million jews and indirectly murdered a total of 40 million people, there is another entity that has killed almost seven times more humans than the Nazis did. It may come as a surprise to many that in modern times States or governments are responsible for the deaths of at least 262 million people. That is a fact that culture will not tell anyone.

 In our culture-created ‘reality’ the problem is terrorism, but instead of dealing with the root causes of terrorism, the State treats its bosses -the people- as criminals; all of them. Suddenly, everyone is guilty until proven innocent and everyone submits to this way of thinking. It is checking the inside of the shoes I am wearing what will solve the problem of terrorism, culture tells us. It is giving the State a photo of my naked body what is seen as the solution to end terrorism, the media tells us. Meanwhile, the terrorists, the real terrorists, who operate the scanners at the airports, who killed at least a million people in Iraq, who cleansed Bosnia and who are now cleansing Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Syria use people’s complacency to continue doing all those things we dislike so much.

 People support the state and everything it does because that is how they were raised. Depending where you live, the educational system taught you anything from obeying to worshipping the State. Along with that indoctrination comes the role culture plays in people’s lives. Culture reinforces the paradigms we have all brought up with, so that everything continues business as usual. Humans were grown to accept and demand an explanation of reality that should never change, and that is that the State, any State, has our best interests in mind. That is why we must all pay taxes on our properties for the rest of our lives, even though we purchased them and paid taxes on the purchase. That is why we elect people from two majority parties and believe that the system gives us a choice. That is why we all obey the laws created by the State, although it does not obey them itself. This happens because the laws are for the slaves, not the masters. And guess what? The masters are also humans like you and me, no matter how much they like to think of themselves as superior beings.

 The problem with culture-created ‘reality’ is that because it is factually false, it needs continuous support to make it believable. It is exactly like “tell a lie a thousand times and it will become truth”. That is what culture does. People who believe in the system of paradigms imposed by the social engineers paradoxically require a constant reinforcement of what they believe is true. So, for example, people have been taught that world war I was fought for the sake of democracy, or that government came after the Great Depression to save everyone, or that world war II happened to save Capitalism, or that the central banks exist to control the horrendous forces that make the free market imperfect and dangerous. The problem with all these false realities, which to many of us are real, is that our future and the future of our sons and daughters will be shaped by the decisions made by people who believe these false truths.

 This is so because everyone thinks the State or government exists to fix everything that is wrong and therefore there is nothing to be afraid of. Right there is the origin of the Nanny State. Since individuals are not capable of managing their own lives -that is what we have been taught- there will always be a State to put the knob on the screw that got loose, an entity to give us all we need. What people do not realize, is that that same entity, if allowed, will also take away everything it handed out because of the power vested upon it. It is because the reality created and reinforced by culture revolves around collectivist views of dependency, that the State has become the inconvenience it is today. Although the evidence shows that this entity we all supposedly owe everything we have to, has destroyed everything it has touched, the level of indoctrination people are under not only does not allow them so see such destruction, but also automatically directs them to seek more reinforcement of their false reality.

 From education to economy, from foreign policy to welfare, the State has shredded everything. Intentionally, by the way. It is precisely because the evidence does outmatch culture and the false paradigm that people continuously go back for their daily, weekly and monthly dose of false ‘reality’. That is why the social engineers made sure there is a New York Times, CNN, Dancing with the Stars and American Idol; so the slaves get their blue pill whenever they need it and do not threaten to leave the human farm. The blue pill will keep them within the horizontal State they regard in their reality as a hierarchical pyramid, but that in reality is as flat as surf board. That little distinction is what separates humans from being free, truly free, and from putting an end to the out of control State.

 The key to liberating yourself from the abuses of the State resides on the ability to recognize that the State will do what you allow it to do and that it is its horizontal structure what makes it so evilly successful. In fact, the strength of the State does not come from itself, but from your relatives, neighbors, friends, co-workers, classmates and so on. In other words, the slave population to which you and I belong to. The slaves themselves support this system for a series of reasons. One, because they were taught to do that. Two, because they directly benefit from a trinket created by the State and they do not want to lose it. Three, because they do not wish that others surpass them and become more successful. Four, because the collapse of the system will mean a state of reality they cannot cope with. It is the ignorance, lack of humility and above all the indoctrination of the majority which prevents them from taking the red pill and opening their eyes to the real world. Instead, the slaves themselves guarantee the survival of the pyramidal looking State by attacking the minority who intends to warn them about the lie they live under. It is the voluntary acceptance of the false reality most people live in which allows the State to grow out of control. While most people waste time in senseless sports tribalism, racism, envy and cultural adequacy, their fellow slaves at the mid levels assure the social engineers that the State will continue to grow stronger.

 The horizontal nature of the State and they way it is used by the controllers to maintain most people blind and complacent is what explains the possibility of a few hundred people ruling over billions. It would be impossible otherwise. But it is exactly its very horizontal nature what presents people with the opportunity to break the chains from the State and to prevent it from growing larger and meaner. It is even possible, I would argue, not only to slim the State down, but also to make it work for the people, as most of us believe it should have always been. Change on this regard is not easy, however. It requires honesty from the part of those who want to ‘fix things’. If the success of the corrupt State relies upon the moral and practical support it receives from the slaves themselves, it is the withdrawal of that support what will end our slavery.

 If you pay your property taxes every year because you are afraid the State will come to raid your house and take you to jail, you are a slave of the State, and every time you pay your taxes you are a supporter of the State and as such its accomplice in all its wrongdoings. If you file your tax return and by doing so legitimize the powers of the State to tax your income, which is why you exist in the the States’ eyes, you are an accomplice of the State. If you do not like wars, but you vote for politicians who allow for the financing of invasions and killings in foreign countries, you are an accomplice of the invasions and the murder. If you do not like the corruption or inefficiency of the bureaucracy but you elect fellow slaves who will continue the back room and closed door deals, you are an accomplice of the State.

 However, the moment you become honest with yourself and gather some courage to awaken your fellow slaves, that will be the moment things will begin to change. But remember, change will not come through words or the use of language; it will come through action. If the success of the immoral State and its immoral actions is based on the support you give it, your withdrawal of that support is also what will liberate you from the chains that attach you to it. One cannot fight the dominant culture with the spoken word for the simple fact culture is made up and controls society through words. Because the controllers and their instruments of crime cannot manipulate truth, they manipulate language to cheat; and no one is better at that. They are unbeatable. That is why in order to end popular culture’s mad fake reality, individuals should use actions, not words. It is how much we act what we preach what will get us out of the giant farm we live in and in which we are milked to the last drop every day of our lives.

 Remember that the State and those who support statism approve of the use of violence against those who dare question their existence. That is, you may be arrested, imprisoned, tortured and raped if you oppose the State. So can you be a friend or acquaintance of a person who supports war, state taxation, corruption and violence against yourself? Wouldn’t you be an accomplice of his actions and therefore an accomplice of the State? I don’t know you, but I will not have anything to do with anyone who has the immoral audacity and cowardice to attack me for speaking the truth instead of opposing those who kill millions, steal our pensions, feed us toxic foods and make us sick with their pharmaceuticals.

 If a supposedly free human being cannot speak his mind and pay the price of being ostracized by his peers in exchange for real freedom, then, there is no hope from freedom. If we are afraid of being pointed at because we live by our own standards and refuse those that culture and the State impose on us, then we don’t deserve to be free.

Bilderberg Attendee, Bill Clinton, has a new Plan to solve Debt problem

Wait no, it is the same old solution: Taxing the people to death.

ABC
June 30, 2011

Former President Bill Clinton sees a possible way past the bipartisan impasse over raising the debt limit: agree to cut spending AND raise taxes, but do neither until later, after the economy improves.

“If they [the Republicans] said, look, that now is not the time for big tax increases to harm the recovery, they would be right,” Clinton told ABC News in an exclusive interview at the Clinton Global Initiative America conference in Chicago. “But it’s also right to say that now’s not the time for big spending cuts.

“What I’d like to see them do is agree on the outlines of a 10-year plan and agree not to start either the revenue hikes or the spending cuts until we’ve got this recovery underway,” Clinton added. “The confidence that the Republicans say would be given to investors with a budget plan, they’d get whether we started this year or next year or the year after that, for that matter.”

For the first time, the former president is focusing his Clinton Global Initiative on creating jobs here in the United States. He suggested waiting for the recovery to take hold before pushing spending cuts and tax increases will make the issues clearer.

“We’ve got to get the jobs back in this economy again,” Clinton said. “The more people we get going back to work, the more businesses we start, that’ll bring up the revenue flow, and it will cut down on the expenses. Then, we’ll see what the real dimensions of our problem are.”

Unfortunately, however, Clinton fears Republicans’ “ideological conviction” about never raising taxes recalls the lead-up to government shutdowns in the ’90s, adding that the pressure on GOP candidates to toe the ideological line could hamstring their bids to unseat President Obama.

“They were in a similar anti-government fever, anti-tax fever in 1995 until, you know, the struggle went on for a year and they shut the government down twice,” Clinton said. “The public made a judgment that that was not right. And then we finally broke through. It wound up with the balanced budget act and forced surpluses and real prosperity.”

Could the dispute this time push past the Aug. 2 deadline when, officials say, failing to raise the nation’s debt ceiling could lead to America defaulting on its loans? Clinton didn’t discount the possibility.

“When I passed my budget in 1993, they routinely said it would bring on a terrible recession, [that] it was the end of capitalism as we knew it,” he said. “And we had the best eight years in our history. But they just kept saying it. You’ve got to give them credit. The evidence doesn’t deter them. … It’s an ideological conviction. So, I don’t know that it can be resolved until there’s some break in the action.”

Bill Clinton Expects Obama Re-Election: Here’s Why

Public opinion, Clinton said, swung against the Republicans when they pushed their anti-tax arguments over the line in the mid-1990s. But the possibility of the same thing happening again isn’t the whole reason he believes that President Obama will be elected to a second term in 2012.

“I’ll be surprised if he’s not reelected,” he said. “I’ve always thought he would be.”

For one thing, Clinton believes the economy will be better by Election Day than it is now, though unemployment still will be relatively high and the improvement in the economy won’t be as dramatic as the emergence from a shallower recession during his first four years as president.

“The circumstances are different,” Clinton said. “When President Obama took office, we were in the midst of avoiding having a financial collapse turn into a depression. So, the unemployment rate was higher and people were scared to death about what was going to happen. The so-called stimulus bill actually outperformed expectations, not underperformed, but it wasn’t big enough to lift this whole economy out of the hole it was in. The auto restructuring is working. And I think he’ll be able to point to that.”

He also believes whichever Republican gets nominated to face Obama will get boxed in by ideology.

“Since they, apparently, ideologically, will not permit their candidates to do some of the things that would be most effective in creating jobs and in balancing budget, I just don’t think they’ll be able to get away with what they got away with in the election in 2010,” Clinton said. “You won’t just be able to say, ‘Vote for me, I’m the non-Obama.’ I think he’s going to be able to point to a lot of very specific things that are better. I think that he’s going to be able to convince people that it takes a little longer after that kind of collapse to recover. It took Japan a decade to recover. … We’re coming back quicker than that.”

Read Full Article…

“Unregulated Greed has Destroyed the Capitalist System”

Paul Craig Roberts

I write about major problems: the collapsing US economy, wars based on lies and deception, the police state based on “the war on terror” and other fabrications such as those orchestrated by corrupt police and prosecutors, who boost their performance reports by convicting the innocent, and so on. America is a very distressing place. The fact that so many Americans are taken in by the lies told by “their” government makes America all the more depressing.

Often, however, it is small annoyances that waste Americans’ time and drive up blood pressures. One of the worst things that ever happened to Americans was the breakup of the AT&T telephone monopoly. As Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury in 1981, if 150 percent of my time and energy had not been required to cure stagflation in the face of opposition from Wall Street and Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, I might have been able to prevent the destruction of the best communications service in the world, and one that was very inexpensive to customers.

The assistant attorney general in charge of the “anti-trust case” against AT&T called me to ask if Treasury had an interest in how the case was resolved. I went to Treasury Secretary Don Regan and told him that although my conservative and libertarian friends thought that the breakup of At&T was a great idea, their opinion was based entirely in ideology and that the practical effect would not be good for widows and orphans who had a blue chip stock to see them through life or for communications customers as deregulated communications would give the multiple communications corporations different interests than those of the customers. Under the regulated regime, AT&T was allowed a reasonable rate of return on its investment, and to stay out of trouble with regulators AT&T provided excellent and inexpensive service.

Secretary Regan reminded me of my memo to him detailing that Treasury was going to have a hard time getting President Reagan’s economic program, directed at curing the stagflation that had wrecked President Carter’s presidency, out of the Reagan administration. The budget director, David Stockman, and his chief economist, Larry Kudlow, had lined up against it following the wishes of Wall Street, and the White House Chief of Staff James Baker and his deputy Richard Darman were representatives of VP George H.W. Bush and did not want s substantial Reagan success that would again threaten the Republican Establishment’s hold over the party. Baker and Darman wanted to be sure that George H. W. Bush, and not Jack Kemp, succeeded Ronald Reagan, and that required a muted Reagan success that they could claim as theirs for moderating an “extremist” program.

I told Secretary Regan that if I had another deputy assistant secretary, I could reach a reasonable conclusion whether the breakup of AT&T was sensible. He replied that he was sure that was the case, but that once I had three deputies the headlines in the Washington Post and New York Times, Business Week, Newsweek, and so on, would be: “Supply-sider builds empire at Treasury.” He said it would sink me and that without me he could not get the President’s economic program out of the President’s administration. “Which do you want to do,” he asked, “save AT&T or cure stagflation?”

Curing stagflation gave America twenty more years. Ironically, the good times started to erode when Reagan’s other goal was accomplished and the Soviet Union dissolved in 1990. “The end of history” resulted in India and China opening their labor markets to American capitalists, who began producing offshore with foreign labor the products that they sold to Americans. The labor costs savings pushed up corporate profits, shareholders’ returns, and managerial bonuses. But it deprived Americans of middle class incomes and wrecked the balance of trade. The US income distribution and the trade deficit worsened.

Many progressives blame the worsening income distribution on the Reagan tax rate reductions, but the real cause is the offshoring of manufacturing, industrial, and professional service jobs, such as software engineering.

None of us in the Reagan administration foresaw jobs offshoring as the consequence of Soviet collapse. We had no idea that by bringing down the Soviet Union we would be bringing down America. During the Reagan years India was socialist and would not allow foreign corporations, had they been interested, to touch their labor force. China was communist and no foreign capital could enter the country.

However, once the Soviet Union was gone from the earth, the remaining socialist and communist regimes decided to go with the winners. They opened to Western corporations and sucked jobs out of the developed West.

But this is a different story. To get back to deregulation, nothing has worked for the consumer since deregulation. Deregulation permitted corporations to impose their costs of operation on customers without having to send them a bill. For example, corporations use voice recognition technology to keep customers from salaried customer representatives. I remember when a customer with a problem could call a utility company or bank and have the problem immediately corrected.

No more. There was an error in my phone bill today, which I had corrected without result on two previous occasions. As everyone knows by now, it takes 10-15 minutes, usually, to get a live person who can actually fix the problem. After listening to sales pitches for 12 minutes, I got a live person. Once the problem was understood, it was pronounced to be an upper level problem out of his hands. I waited another 10 minutes while he tried to reach a superior who had the code to fix the problem that the phone company had produced in my account. The entire time I listened to product advertisements.

How many times has this happened to you?

Whoever invented these artificial voice capabilities is the enemy of mankind. Whomever a customer calls–utilities, credit card companies, banks, whatever, the customer gets a voice machine. Some voice machines never tell the customer how to get a live person who can, on occasion, actually fix the problem.

In my opinion, the strategy behind the endless delays is to cause the customers to give up, slam the telephone down and play the higher incorrect bill as it is cheaper in time and frustration to correcting the problem and being billed in the correct amount. These ripoffs of the customer are produced by Wall Street pressures for higher earnings.

The frustrations, of course, multiply when one reaches an offshored service somewhere in the Third World. The incentive is to hang up and to pay the excessive bill so that phone, internet, or credit card services are not cut off

Had Don Regan and I known that the high speed Internet was in our future and that American corporations would use it to destroy the jobs traditionally filled by US university graduates, possibly we would have decided to save the regulated telephone monopoly and to deliver the economy over to stagflation.

The reason is that sooner or later something would have been done about stagflation, but nothing whatsoever has been done about offshoring. Saving the economy from offshoring would have been a greater achievement than saving the economy from stagflation. However, in my time stagflation, not offshoring, was the problem.

I regret that I did not have a crystal ball.

Deregulation proponents will say that the breakup of AT&T gave us cell phones and broadband, as if foreign regulated communication companies and state monopolies do not provide cell phone service or high speed Internet connections. I can remember attending corporate board meetings years ago at which the European members had digital cell phones with which they could call most anywhere on earth, while we Americans with our analogue cell phones could hardly connect down the street.

What deregulation did was to permit Wall Street to push the deregulated industries– phone service, airlines, trucking, and later Wall Street itself– to focus on profits and not on service. Profits were increased by curtailing service, by pushing up prices and by Wall Street creating fraudulent financial instruments, which the banksters used America’s reputation to market to the gullible at home and abroad.

Consider air travel. Admit it, if you are my age you hate it. The deterioration in service over my lifetime is phenomenal. Studies in favor of airline deregulation focused on short flights between A and B and concluded that small airlines serving high density areas were more efficient because they were not regulated. What was left out of the analysis is that regulated airlines served low density areas and permitted free stopovers. For example, if one was flying from the US to Athens, Greece, the traveler could stopover in London, Paris, and Rome without additional charges. Moreover, passengers were fed hot meals even in tourist class. In those halcyon days, it was even possible to travel more comfortably in tourist class than in first class, because flights were not scheduled in keeping with full capacity. Several rows of seats might be unoccupied. It was possible to push up the arm rests on three or four center aisle seats, lay down and go to sleep.

Perhaps the best benefit of regulated air travel for passengers was that airlines had spare airliners. If one airplane had mechanical problems that could not be fixed within a reasonable time, a standby airliner was rolled out to enable passengers to meet their connections and designations. With deregulation, customer service is not important. The bottom line has eliminated spare airliners.

With deregulated airlines, Wall Street calls the tune. If your flight has a mechanical problem, you are stuck where you are unless you have some sort of privileged status that can bump passengers from later fully booked flights. “Studies” that focus only on discounted ticket price omit major costs of deregulation and thereby wrongly conclude that deregulation has benefited the consumer.

When trucking was regulated, truckers would stop to provide roadside assistant to stranded travelers. Today, with deregulated trucking, every minute counts toward the bottom line. Not only do truckers no longer stop to aid stranded travelers, they travel at excessive speeds that endanger automobile drivers. Trucks have expanded in size, weight and speed. Trucks raise the stress level on interstate highway drivers and destroy, at taxpayers expense, the roads on which they travel.

Conservatives and especially libertarians romanticize “free market unregulated capitalism.” They regard it as the best of all economic orders. However, with deregulated capitalism, every decision is a bottom-line decision that screws everyone except the shareholders and management.

In America today there is no longer a connection between profits and the welfare of the people. Unregulated greed has destroyed the capitalist system, which now distributes excessive rewards to the few at the expense of the many.

If Marx and Lenin were alive today, the extraordinary greed with which Wall Street has infected capitalism would provide Marx and Lenin with a better case than they had in the 19th and early 20th centuries.