Third World Welfare Recipients to Protest ‘Evil’ Capitalism

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
January 30, 2012

What do the elites meeting in Davos, Switzerland have in common with the welfare state recipients in the third world nations? At least a couple of things. Both have immensely benefited from capitalism, yet both groups point to it as an evil system, responsible for things such as inequality and social injustice. Neither of the two groups say what kind of Capitalism they are referring to; Corporate Capitalism or real free market Capitalism. As we reported last week, elitists in Davos are circulating the idea that Capitalism is obsolete and that only a new system managed by their corporations and banks can bring the world back from its current slide into a second Great Depression. Over the weekend, thousands of attendants at the World Social Forum held in the city of Porto Alegre Brazil concluded that Capitalism is the greatest evil ever created and plan to protest against it next June.

Having lived in a third world nation for the first 20 years of my life helps me have a very good idea of the goods and evils that the welfare state is capable of creating. After living in a first world country for ten years, helps balance my view of both the welfare state and the closest example to free market Capitalism. My analysis concludes that the welfare state causes greater harm than good to people. Take a look at the Latin American nations whose people benefit from welfare. Both democratic and non-democratic nations create entitlement programs to supposedly benefit those who cannot help themselves. This welfare system is managed by the State, which taxes the middle class and to a lesser state the upper middle class and small segment of rich people to pay for the welfare programs.

Although many could argue that without those welfare programs millions of people would be left to die of hunger and disease, the truth is that government contribution to the poor is insignificant when compared to monies collected through taxation. Take for example the country of Costa Rica, one of the most stable nations in Latin America. There, the central government debt accounts for 30% of the government’s total revenues. Meantime, the country only invests 17.3 percent of its GDP in public health, education, and social welfare combined. So while the bureaucracy eats a third of the government’s income, the poor and dependent have to share half of that amount. The Costa Rican economy has gone from a self-sufficient one to a service economy, where multinationals are allowed to install their factories tax free, but pay miserable salaries to the local workers. Costa Rica now depends heavily on tourism and the production of electronics and electronic components. Both activities are likely to slow down as the global economic crisis expands out of control. What does the lack of government leadership in Costa Rica result in? Poverty. Poor and once middle class neighborhoods such as Hatillo, San Sebastian, Sagrada Familia and even downtown San Jose have witnessed an an exponential increase in slums, crime and social unrest. Another example, Brazil, perhaps the fastest growing country in the developing world and one of the most socialist nations in America. The government headed by Dilma Rousseff has a total GDP of 2.9 trillion dollars. From that amount, the central government’s debt amounts to 54 percent of the GDP, while only investing a fraction in social programs. The tax burden in Brazil easily gets to 33 percent, much of it, as seen before, goes to finance of the most corrupt regimes in the planet. In this South American country, most people have to resort to the so-called underground economy (collecting cans and plastic bottles, selling fake brand merchandise and so on) to survive. High taxation together with little investment in infrastructure, for example, makes Brazil one of the most troublesome options for local and foreign investors. The gap between the rich and the poor in Brazil continues to grow, while the middle class is being stretched thinner and thinner.

But perhaps the greatest harm caused by the welfare state is not that it gives too little to the poor, but that makes them believe that such state of affairs is the only alternative to their lack of opportunities to grow as individuals. Since the poor classes become absolutely dependent on the bureaucracy to survive, that fact gives the State, in the eyes of the bureaucrats and the welfare recipients- an almost unlimited legitimacy to govern employing the Robin Hood plan: take from the rich and give to the poor. But as we pointed out before, much of the money taxed from the middle class is kept in the coffers of the central governments, as supposed to going to aid the poor.

As seen in developed nations, a smaller government and less taxation for individuals and entrepreneurs is the only combination of policies that spurs economic growth. The liberty to spend their money as they see it fit is what empowers people to grow and forge their own destinies. Personal and social growth derives from having the power to decide what is it that one as a person wants to do while accepting full responsibility for one’s decisions, both in the personal and social settings. The short-lived 20th century real free market Capitalism that derived from societies composed by free people is the only system that spurred ingenuity and development. Receiving a free welfare check once a month while sitting around waiting for someone else to take responsibility for one’s decisions, achieves exactly the opposite.

But according to the elites and many members of the World Social Forum, the world needs to be governed by a central entity that promotes and enforce a social and “green economy,” with priority being given to eradicating hunger. This initiative intends to put pressure on bureaucrats who will take part in the UN conference on sustainable development scheduled for June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro. This meeting will be the fourth attempt by the globalist organization to convince third world nations that it is necessary to create a central entity with the power to demand for money from the middle classes in the developed world to give it to rich people in the third world. Previous attempts have failed due to revelations that the United Nations’ proposals to create a worldwide welfare system intends to erase the sovereignty of all signing participants.

How could it be that the elite of the world and the popular movements, that allegedly fight against those very same elite’s impoverishing policies actually agree on a way to solve the problems; namely end with Capitalism and install a global socialist system of governance? As The Real Agenda informed in 2010, movements like the World Social Forum are controlled dissidence, in other words, financed and managed by the very same elite who they claim to be fighting against. According to author Michel Chossudovsky, “the mechanisms of “manufacturing dissent” require a manipulative environment, a process of arm-twisting and subtle cooptation of individuals within progressive organizations, including anti-war coalitions, environmentalists and the anti-globalization movement. The inner objective is to “manufacture dissent” and establish the boundaries of a “politically correct” opposition. In turn, many NGOs are infiltrated by  informants often acting on behalf of western intelligence agencies. Moreover, an increasingly large segment of the progressive alternative news media on the internet has become dependent on funding from corporate foundations and charities.”

in his article “Manufacturing Dissent”: The Corporate Financing of the Protest Movement, Mr. Chossudovsky explains it is impossible to achieve a real mass movement of dissent, when those organizations that claim to support popular demands are heavily financed by the elite. He says regarding the World Economic Forum:

The people’s movement has been hijacked. Selected intellectuals, trade union executives, and the leaders of civil society organizations (including Oxfam, Amnesty International, Greenpeace) are routinely invited to the Davos World Economic Forum, where they mingle with the World’s most powerful economic and political actors. This mingling of the World’s corporate elites with hand-picked “progressives” is part of the ritual underlying the process of  “manufacturing dissent”. The ploy is to selectively handpick civil society leaders “whom we can trust” and integrate them into a “dialogue”, cut them off from their rank and file, make them feel that they are “global citizens” acting on behalf of their fellow workers but make them act in a way which serves the interests of the corporate establishment: “The participation of NGOs in the Annual Meeting in Davos is evidence of the fact that [we] purposely seek to integrate a broad spectrum of the major stakeholders in society in … defining and advancing the global agenda … We believe the [Davos] World Economic Forum provides the business community with the ideal framework for engaging in collaborative efforts with the other principal stakeholders [NGOs] of the global economy to “improve the state of the world,” which is the Forum’s mission. (World Economic Forum, Press Release 5 January 2001).The WEF does not represent the broader business community. It is an elitist gathering: Its members are giant global corporations (with a minimum $5 billion annual turnover). The selected non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are viewed as partner “stakeholders” as well as a convenient “mouthpiece for the voiceless who are often left out of decision-making processes.” (World Economic Forum – Non-Governmental Organizations, 2010).

And about the World Social Forum:

From the outset in 2001, the WSF was supported by core funding from the Ford Foundation, which is known to have ties to the CIA going back to the 1950s: “The CIA uses philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source.” (James Petras, The Ford Foundation and the CIA, Global Research, September 18, 2002). The same procedure of donor funded counter-summits or people’s summits which characterized the 1990s People’s Summits was embodied in the World Social Forum (WSF): “… other WSF funders (or `partners’, as they are referred to in WSF terminology) included the Ford Foundation, — suffice it to say here that it has always operated in the closest collaboration with the US Central Intelligence Agency and US overall strategic interests; the Heinrich Boll Foundation, which is controlled by the German Greens party, a partner in the present [2003] German government and a supporter of the wars on Yugoslavia and Afghanistan (its leader Joschka Fischer is the [former] German foreign minister); and major funding agencies such as Oxfam (UK), Novib (Netherlands), ActionAid (UK), and so on.

According to Breitbart, this year’s World Social Forum opened its doors to members of several other anti-government movements such as Arab Spring, Spain’s “Indignant” movement, Occupy Wall Street, and students from Chile. All of these popular movements have criticized the globalist concept of “a green economy” because it is designed to give multinationals the largest profits by being in control of the so anxiously sought centralized global social government. Ironically, the Occupy Wall Street Movement is one of those groups that is coopted by globalist organizations and foundations.

Some of the speakers are the World Social Forum made it clear that their fight is a battle to convince 98 percent of the world’s population that there is a group composed by 1 percent that refuses to embrace the collectivist concept of social justice. This concept is based on the the belief that it doesn’t matter how people achieve success, economic or otherwise; they must give part of their property and income to a large group of self entitled conformists who need to get their checks on a monthly basis.

“The political and economic elites are the one percent who control the world and we are the one percent seeking to change it. Where are the (other) 98 percent?” said Chico Whitaker, one of the Forum’s founders. “There are many who are happy because each time they get more consumer goods, but many are concerned and unsatisfied. The challenge for us is to speak with them.” “If we do not raise the issue of inequality, we won’t solve the problems,” said Venezuelan sociologist Edgardo Lander. “If the system is not capable of redistributing and deal with inequality, we have to do it ourselves,” agreed Sam Halvorsen, of the Occupy London movement.

What these alleged leaders do not say is that nations governed by socialist or communist regimes are always less free, less successful, less equal and less independent. How long has there been Socialism and Communism? What have been their key contributions to ending poverty and misery, especially in third world countries? This is a questions that has probably never been asked in meetings like the World Economic Forum or the World Social Forum, however both movements and their supporters insist this is the way to go. Aren’t Socialism and Communism as outdated as Corporate Capitalism? On the other hand, what did real free market Capitalism achieved while it was allowed to work as an economic model?

Socialists and Communists like to answer to this question saying that their agenda is not intended to promote consumerism, and that free market societies are bound to become large groups of individuals possessed by the desire to have more and more. A possible answer to that idea is that only free market Capitalism has the power to ‘naturally’ end consumerism as market forces define what is needed and what there’s too much of. As we have now learnt, all artificially created bubbles tend to explode, unless they are artificially maintained (i.e. the financial bubble, the housing bubble and the derivatives bubble. All of them created by the globalist elite.). What has the World Economic Forum or the World Social Forum said about those bubbles? Nothing. No investigations on the real causes of the current economic crisis, no official investigation on who benefited from the impoverishment of millions in both the developed and underdeveloped nations.

It doesn’t matter that there is a credibility and morality gap, as Klaus Schwab, founder of the annual World Economic Forum, said last week in Davos. The elite and their controlled dissidents will continue to push for a change for the worst; a globalist socialist system where it will be OK to rob from the productive to give to the unproductive. The push is to drive the corporate welfare system and the social welfare system as the models for a world where the elite will have complete control of the resources, production, and the welfare checks.

In their own words: “Banks are Government Sponsored Entities”

Reuters
April 12, 2011

Big banks like Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc should be reclassified as government-sponsored entities and have their activities restricted, a senior Fed official said on Tuesday.

The 2008 bank bailouts at the height of the financial crisis and other implicit guarantees effectively make the largest U.S. banks government-guaranteed enterprises, like mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig.

Banks are feeding like parasites from taxpayer money.

“That’s what they are,” Hoenig said at the National Association of Attorneys General 2011 conference.

He said these lenders should be restricted to commercial banking activities, advocating a policy that existed for decades barring banks from engaging in investment banking activities.

“You’re a public utility, for crying out loud,” he said.

The Kansas City Fed president has been a vocal critic of rescuing the biggest banks rather than allowing them to fail. He has criticized the Fed’s easy money policies in the wake of the crisis.

There are slim chances his proposal to classify banks as government-guaranteed enterprises would be adopted. Eighteen out of the 19 biggest U.S. banks have repaid 2008 bailout aid, removing most government investment over the last 18 months.

In a later session, Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan rejected the notion that the largest banks should divorce their commercial and investment banking operations.

“I think customers want it together,” said Moynihan, noting he sees the combination as necessary to effectively serve large American companies with global operations.

The longest serving Fed bank president, Hoenig began his career in the Fed system in 1973 as an economist in the bank supervision group. The anti-inflation hawk will step down as president of the Kansas City Fed in October.

Hoenig’s experiences shuttering banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, when over-investment in real estate caused hundreds of bank failures and necessitated a massive government bailout, shaped his views about how to emerge from the most recent crisis.

Hoenig also said banks are still not adequately prepared for the next financial crisis, despite new capital rules requiring lenders to raise billions of dollars to buttress against future losses.

Hoenig said the proposed Basel III capital requirements — which demand as much as 8 percent core capital ratio — will not be enough to weather catastrophic losses.

“That is far too little capital with this complexity and this risk profile,” he said.

Welcome to Poor America. 43 Million and counting

History repeats itself as corporate colonialism claims another nation-state.  The United States is a prisoner on its knees waiting to be shot on the head.

Washington Post

One in seven Americans is living in poverty, the highest number in the half-century that the government has kept such statistics, the Census Bureau announced Thursday.

Last year was the third consecutive year that the poverty rate climbed, in part because of the recession, rising from 13.2 percent in 2008 to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, last year.

Asians were the only ethnic group whose poverty rate did not change substantially; every other race and Hispanics experienced increases in poverty rates.

In addition, 51 million Americans were uninsured, as the number of people with health insurance dropped from 255 million to less than 254 million — the first decrease since the government started keeping track in 1987. The number would have been worse because 6.5 million fewer people got insurance through their jobs, but it was offset by a leap in government-backed health insurance. More than 30 percent of Americans now get coverage from the government.

“Given all the unemployment we saw, it’s the government safety net that’s keeping people above the poverty line,” Douglas Besharov, a University of Maryland public policy professor and former scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Associated Press.

The grim statistics reflect the depth of the recession that began almost three years ago and could have an impact on midterm elections less than two months away.

“These numbers should be a wake-up call,” said Peter Edelman, a Georgetown University professor and co-director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy. “These are deeply disturbing numbers.”

At organizations where the unemployed come to get help finding a job or seek food, the numbers were no surprise.

“In the decade I’ve been doing this work, this is a low point,” said Jason Perkins-Cohen, executive director of the Job Opportunities Task Force in Baltimore. “We’re getting a real feeling of desperation. For sheer numbers, it’s a new, unhappy world.”

At the nonprofit Action Though Service in Prince William County late Thursday morning, the shelves of the agency’s pantry were starting to empty, as the line for help snaked out the door with a few dozen people seeking assistance.

Prince William resident Carol Williams said she has come to the shelter once a month since January, when she was laid off from her job at United Medical Center due to budget woes.

“I worked since I was 15, and, now, for the first time I don’t have a job and I can’t feed my family,” said Williams, 55. “I have a degree; doesn’t matter. The jobs aren’t there.”

Williams said she has been applying for dozens of jobs a week and had about 20 interviews since January. “I think people are scared to hire someone who is not working,” she said, adding there also is just a lot more competition because of the high unemployment rate.

A single mother, Williams has five mouths to feed — children and grandchildren– ranging in age from 17 months to 28. Williams said she was able to raise three sons on her own, but she now turns to the food pantry at ACTS and her father and friends for help.

“We had no bread, no nothing last Friday because the pantry was closed,” she said. “Luckily a friend helped me or we would have had no food for the weekend.”

Advocates said they’re seeing a lot more people like Williams.

“We have definitely seen many more individuals who are very well-educated, with high degrees, where it’s the first time to ever be in a situation to ever have to ask for help for food or shelter,” said Vickie Koth, executive director of Good Shepherd Alliance in Loudoun County.

Koth recalls one family of four in particular, where both parents were highly educated — the mother was a lawyer, and the father was a mortgage broker. “They were in the business of buying and selling homes, and they had three foreclosures within the same span of time and were homeless for the first time.

“We’re full all the time and we turn people away every day, and that’s always been true. But the types of people that call have changed,” Koth said. “Time after time I’ve heard individuals say, ‘I’ve given to shelters, I’ve volunteered at food pantries. I’ve never thought I’d be here myself.’ “