More Austerity as a “Solution” to Austerity?

By KEVIN ZEESE and MARGARET FLOWERS | IT’S OUR ECONOMY | FEBRUARY 21, 2013

As the economy shows signs of recession, the leeches return. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have issued a new report calling for even deeper austerity. It is not what the economy needs as it stagnates and sputters toward a possible new collapse. Their report combined with President Obama’s State of the Union, the sequestration and Republican dogma are all combining to bring on another round of budget cuts, which will only make recession more likely.

It is important to put the current economic debate in context. Dr. Jack Rasmus, an economist who gets it right more than any other we are aware of, provides the framework with his in-depth analysis of the US GDP over the last 15 months.  He summarizes the present dismal situation:

“Nearly the entire European Union, including its core economies of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom are all now clearly mired in recession. The Euro southern periphery is in a bona fide depression. Japan has entered its third recession since 2008. China, India, and Brazilian growth rates have fallen by half. And the US in the fourth quarter 2012 has come to a virtual economic standstill, the second time in two years in which a quarterly GDP recorded virtually no growth.”

Rasmus predicts “The dual strategy of capitalist politicians across the globe—of QE and money injections into the banks and financial system combined with austerity for the rest—has clearly failed and will continue to fail even more visibly.” Rasmus foresees a double dip recession, with the shrinking US GDP of the last quarter as a harbinger of things to come.

Simpson and Bowles come into this situation recommending the wrong prescription – more cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other social programs, as well as closing corporate tax loopholes.  They want to cut $2.4 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade, $1.5 trillion more than President Obama has called for and this is on top of the $2.7 trillion in reductions that have already been implemented causing the most rapid fall in deficit to GDP ratio since World War II. All of this means an ‘Obama recession’ becomes more likely.

No doubt Republican dogma of shrinking federal government and low taxes deserve a lot of the blame, but President Obama does as well.  His State of the Union address kept the Grand Bargain of cuts to essential programs along with closing corporate tax loopholes on the table.

Dr. Richard Wolff cuts through the rhetoric of “fiscal cliff,” “austerity” and “market” to pinpoint who benefits from austerity, writing that those who own the “US public debt are easy to list: large banks, insurance companies, large corporations, wealthy individuals and central banks around the world. Austerity justified as satisfying ‘the market’ in fact serves those US creditors first and foremost.”

Multiple  commentators have noted President Obama’s sly language on Medicare cuts and his silence on protecting Social Security. Symptoms of a sick health care system continue to show.  Executive salaries at non-profit hospitals continued to rise despite a frail health care system. And though the US ranks dead last in male life expectancy and near the very bottom in prevention of premature deaths, infant mortality, total health care coverage, number of practicing doctors, and prevention of deaths due to heart disease among developed nations; we may begin to look better in the international rankings soon – not because health care is improving here but because bankers are now demanding privatization of European heath care systems which will bring their outcomes down too.

The more we learn about Obama’s Treasury Secretary appointment, Jacob Lew, the less hopeful we are of decent policies coming from his leadership.  Confirmation hearings have brought out his Romney-like economics: personal investment in the Cayman Islands,  creating foreign tax havens for customers when he was at Citi, and that prior to Citi, when he was an executive at NYU, he steered students to expensive Citigroup loans. Of course, we remember his $950,000 bonus when Citigroup was bailed out. It seems impossible for Americans to trust Lew’s economic ethics and plutocratic economic behavior.

All this talk about austerity comes as we learn that the Federal Reserve continues to bailout the big banks, not only by pumping $85 billion each month into banks through Quantitative Easing, but court documents revealed that the Fed also forgave $7 billion in mortgage security losses by Bank of America. Bailouts continue but outside of the public eye and should lead to more calls for Fed transparency, which is unlikely to come from the two Wall Street parties.

And, austerity comes at a time when new census analysis shows that during the Obama ‘recovery’ only the rich got richer; the poorer got poorer.  According to a new analysis by Emanuel Saez. perhaps the leading economist on incomes in the world, from 2007-2009 the “average  real income for the bottom 99% . . . fell sharply by 11.6%, . . . by far the largest two year decline since the Great Depression.” And new data covering 2009-2011 indicate that “Top 1% incomes grew by 11.2% while bottom 99% incomes shrunk by 0.4%. Hence, the top 1% captured 121% of the income gains in the first two years of the recovery.” [Emphasis added.] We got a glimpse into the rigged system this week when it was reported that Facebook, which made $1 billion in profits, will be paying no income taxes, indeed will receive a $429 million refund. Why? Tax deductions allowed for executive pay in stock options.

And, don’t believe that the rich getting richer will create jobs. The claim that the wealthiest are job creators has been proven to be a myth. Another myth exploded in this week’s news was that it was important to pay CEO’s exorbitant pay to prevent their unique talents from being lured away. Both myths are not consistent with the facts.

What will another economic collapse cost us?  The GAO issued a report this week that indicated the last collapse cost the US economy $22 trillion; that is about 1.5 years of total GDP.  And, most of that came on the back of homeowners suffering from the housing collapse.

What is the alternative? Countries that are breaking from the Washington Consensus are showing the way. This week an analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research of Ecuador found “government’s taking control of the Central Bank, implementation of capital controls, increased taxation of the financial sector, and other regulatory reforms. It concludes that these played a major role in bringing about Ecuador’s strong economic growth, increased government revenue, a substantial decline in poverty and unemployment, and other improvements in economic and social indicators.”  Unemployment has fallen to 4.1 percent, the lowest level in 25 years and poverty has been cut 27 percent below its 2006 level.

The report gives us hope finding: “Ecuador’s success shows that a government committed to reform of the financial system, can – with popular support – confront an alliance of powerful, entrenched financial, political, and media interests and win.” By the way, Raphael Correa won re-election on Sunday by a landslide with more than 60% of the vote in a race with 8 candidates.  Is there any US politician that wants to get on the side of the people?

United States: The Illusion of Choice, the Reality of Fraud

From Welfare to Warfare, the United States of America has the most deceived population in the history of humanity.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 3, 2012

It is called the American dream because you’ve got to be asleep to believe it. Meanwhile, truth and reality are ridiculed, opposed and then accepted before they are beaten to death. The time it takes the average American to realize it’s all a dream — the big house, the corner office with glass windows, the managerial position, the six digit salary and the recognition — is the same time it takes him to wake up. The problem is, not many Americans actually wake up.

Before every single American’s eyes, the Republican Party shamelessly erased from all records the choices made by hundreds of delegates all over the country who did not support Mitt Romney for the presidential nomination. The corporate board of the party simply decided that in order to smooth out Romney’s entrance into the race for the presidency, its handlers had to change the way delegates were chosen and counted.

I would love to explain it to you, but it is easier if you watch it and understand the level of fraud, hubris and disregard for the voters that now fills the foundation and core of the Republican Party. Let’s just say that after the Republican National Convention of 2012, never again will people who support this party and any candidate that is not backed by the establishment of this corrupt organization, be able to actually elect their representative to the convention; much less their man or woman to run for the presidency.

Please watch and listen with attention and try to strap yourself in. Believe me, you will need the straps.

I told you those straps would come handy.

In case you did not understand the reporter, let me explain it in layman’s terms. The motion passed at the Republican National Convention of 2012 assures that only the establishment candidate of the Republican Party or the Republican president in office will decide who is named an official delegate to attend the National Convention and vote during that event. Forget about caucuses and primaries.

And you thought there was a choice, didn’t you? Unfortunately, choice is just one of the most fashionable illusions that the average American believes in. The motion passed and adopted by the RNC is not only bad because it stole rightfully owned delegates from Ron Paul, who won enough of them to challenge Romney at the Convention this week, but also because, regardless of who the candidate is, it is clear that the establishment politicians and media feel threatened by a kind of man that only comes around once every century or so. Perhaps less often.

Why do they feel threatened? Because despite the circus put together by both the Republican Party and the corporate media, Mr. Paul was able to get his message through to millions. But the threat grew bigger, because all those millions of people, even outside the United States, actually listened and began the largest and most important liberty movement in recent history.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the aisle, things are not well either. Obama is the other side of the illusion coin, the second face of the fake choice that the owners of the United States of America — and large portions of the rest of the planet — chose to deceive the gullible members of the uneducated, clueless population. To say that the Barack Obama phenomenon is a deception would be short of what needs to be said about him and his corporate supporters. But to be fair, let’s compare the two men who are now in the race to govern over the United States.

What do these two men support and what do they oppose?

Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama support, as their voting record and public statements show, the following policies:

1. Bailouts, ‘too big to fail’ concept, stimulus packages, quantitative easing and deficit spending.
2. Sending troops to protect others borders and sending our money to foreign dictators.
3. Interventionist foreign policy from Bush era.
4. Federal restrictions on gun ownership.
5. Patriot Act.
6. Spying on American citizens without warrants.
7. Indefinite detention of American citizens without charge, trial or lawyer.
8. Assassinations of American citizens or anyone else without due process.
9. Socialized Healthcare

Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama oppose, as their voting record and public statements show, the following policies:

1. Balancing the budget in less than 30 years.
2. Paying down the national debt.
3. States rights to make their own laws.
4. Sound fiscal and monetary policies.
5. A policy of non-interventionism.
6. Freedom to choose by entrepreneurs and consumers.

Although for many years Americans were seen abroad as uneducated arrogant people, that opinion has now changed. The best description of the average American abroad is now that of an uneducated, arrogant plantation slave who for a long time — even today — enjoys and rejoices with the prison he lives in. While most of the world has been devoid of opportunity and resources to succeed by the same forces that control the American way of living, American citizens have been acclimated with the benefits that a nation’s artificially strong currency has been able to provide.

The unlimited plentifulness reinforced the illusion of the American Dream and that alone blinded roughly 99% of the population. It was due to the rise of people like Ron Paul and his grassroots movement composed by genuinely concerned people that the 99% shrank to 95% or so. Members of that vociferous minority were the ones who elected enough delegates in at least 5 states where Ron Paul beat Mitt Romney by a long shot. By changing the rules on how delegates are chosen, the Republican Party has assured its establishment core that never again will a grassroots movement challenge the election of a candidate that does not accept the imposition of the Party’s official platform.

With the political landscape sorted out, one must take a look at the other illusion.

Even though the state of the economy has made it more apparent that things are not going well for the American people, it is not uncommon to read, hear and watch reports about fat bonuses being paid to corporate leaders and bureaucrats with taxpayer funds. Needless to say that the US sponsored bailouts of American and European banks have pushed the country that much closer to the deep and dark cliff of insolvency and bankruptcy. But if you ask the average American about it, he just can’t see it or feel it.

From the American lack of real education, little perspective on history and zero understanding came the illusion of prosperity. Having the world’s reserve currency, which enabled Americans to enjoy artificially low prices, permitted politicians to adopt and advance the debt-based economic and financial systems. The collapse of the American way of living did not start in 2008, 2007, or 2006, but in 1913.

That collapse was incrementally pushed through the years at a very slow pace, so ‘the frogs’ wouldn’t notice the heat of the boiling water. The supposed prosperity was a smoke screen that led to the United States’ precipitously approaching collapse. The financial bankruptcy of the US has gone from being a conspiracy theory, to becoming a mathematical certainty. The United States is drowning in debt and so is the rest of the world. But contrary to what the corporate media, main stream liberals and socialists believe, there is no way in the world to pay that debt off. No amount of raised taxes, no money printing scheme, not even if all of the  GDP money was used to attempt to pay the debt could the US eliminate its heaviest burden.

Right now, the United States is suffering from two incurable problems: National Debt and Federal Deficits. Although they are separate issues, they are indeed interconnected. The debt is created as the Federal Government is unable to keep its spending in check and limited to the production of the country. This creates a need for borrowing money from the FED or China or whoever is crazy — or smart — enough to lend the US. The national debt is the sum of all debt owed by the US Federal Government including borrowed money and the interests it has to pay on it.

The deficit on the other hand, is the difference between the budget the US has and what it actually spends in a specific year. So, for example, if in 2012 the US had a budget of $ 100 but spent $130, the deficit for 2012 would be of $30. Since the US has no way of paying the $30 difference, it puts the $30 as debt to be paid in the long-term; say 50 years. During that time, the US as whole — its citizens — will have to pay interests on that debt, while the original $30 remains unpaid. Because the original debt goes unpaid for decades, it continues to accrue interests over interests, which then become impossible to pay as well.

The problem is that the deficit is not as little as $30 and therefore the debt is not small either, so the interests have been exploding over the past century or so. Today, the US National Debt sits at $ 16,001,431,267,262.98. With an estimated population of 313,431,758 in the US, each citizen’s share of this debt is $51,052.36. Got some spare change? Don’t worry, because this is not your debt. It is the debt generated by the out-of-control Federal Government that illegally mortgaged the lives of generation after generation to pay for its limitless bribery schemes such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; to finance wars in the Middle East and everywhere else in the world, as well as to give bailouts to American and European banks.

Although you didn’t exactly approve of the creation of this debt, you did indeed enable the crime of indebtedness if you supported either political party  and voted for any of their corporate creations such as Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, George Bush Jr., and Barack Obama. So yes, you have been an instrument to the crime; knowingly or not. Also, please realize that the debt will continue to grow as it has always have. For the period of 2007 through 2012, the US National Debt grew $3.88 billion per day. (conservative estimate).

Please see the graph below for a historical perspective on US debt since 1940 until 2011:

Click to Enlarge. US debt from 1940 to 2011. Source: CrisisHQ.com

That is what I mean when I say Americans are seen as uneducated, gullible people. The system used by the corporate-owned US government is an example of what we call today a Ponzi scheme. That is how the US Federal Government intends to run the debt up to $20 trillion by 2016 and $70 trillion in the years after that. It doesn’t matter whether Obama is re-elected or Romney takes his place. Business will continue as usual.

Although some economists would like to continue enjoying the benefits of the illusion, by continue to borrow to fund government liabilities and social programs, the truth is that the limit on how much the US can borrow is rapidly approaching its end. Why? Because in order for this Ponzi scheme to work, there have to be crazy investors who agree to bailing out the US every time it raises its debt ceiling. If the investors slow down or stop the flow of cash, Ponzi scheme collapses. That is where we are today.

The financial collapse of the US is a great segway to learning how the US government has for many years attempted to prevent this very same collapse and how it will continue to prevent it in the future. That is the  third component of the illusion.

War and conflict have always been multi-headed monsters. For one, they are responsible for destroying lands and murdering innocent people, but they also accomplish a second goal: justify the existence of the military industrial complex. However, a third goal is often overlooked. Wars and conflict are excellent tools to keep populations distracted, while financial and political crimes are committed. The current unrest in the Middle East that just so happens to coincide with the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression is not a coincidence at all.

The people who control western governments — including the US — know this. In fact, they’ve used wars and conflict abroad to carry out radical changes at home. Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Pinochet did it, and so has every single US president since at least 1929.

Whenever the United States runs out of lenders, or it publicly recognizes it cannot longer meet its obligations, who exactly will come to its rescue? No one. The only two choices that the US will have then are two visible ones and one card in the sleeve. The US will have to either declare itself bankrupt or exponentially hyper-inflate its currency, a policy it has been incrementally employing since 1913.

It seems very clear that the US government will not declare itself bankrupt, because it would mean that its creditors — China, the centralized banking system, Saudi Arabia and so on — will seek to claim their piece of the American pie. So, it is likely the US will continue hyper-inflating its currency, but at a faster speed. This will not be a solution, but a strategy to delay the collapse. Either way the country will collapse. The difference will be something like what is explained on CrisisHQ.com. “Economically, the first option would feel like a heart attack and the second option like terminal cancer.”

Once the hyper-inflation smokescreen no longer works, the US managers will resort to the plan they’ve been tuning up for at least half a century: open-ended war. The scenario of perpetual war as a tool of control was exploited throughout the 20th century in every single corner of the planet. From the Balkans to Nicaragua to the Middle East. The result is always the same: the confused sheeple support the candidate that shows a stronger position towards the ‘foreign threat’; that imaginary aggressor that seeks to destroy their imaginary lives.

Hitler was able to gain almost total support from the German people after fabricating the Reichstag fire. In 2001, the US government did the same. It lit up two landmarks of the American tragedy and with that opened the door to the perpetual state of war into the 21st century. That state of war gave way to the Homeland Insecurity and the growing Police State. As Saman Mohammadi puts it in his article 7 Reasons Washington’s Grand Counter-Terrorism Myths Persist In The Face of Evidence, “the doctors of reality construct mental traps and dead-ends in order to contain the conversation of contested political events and issues within the parameters of the U.S.-Israeli counter-terrorism paradigm.” The American Reichstag worked just fine.

So what to do about all this? First, understand that there is no political solution to this illusion. As shown at the beginning of this article, the establishment political parties will always find a way to rig the rules to impose their will. If government were really a solution or part of the solution, we would all be much better off than we are today. Voting for the lesser of two evils will not do anything to improve things. As long as there are public servants who do not fear the people, but who feed on them, there won’t be a solution to the problem. Second, the real solution starts with education, and then with involvement of those who saw the light and decided to walk towards it. It is necessary that the 5 percent multiplies 10 fold.

Education takes time and so does a mass awakening. Unfortunately, sometimes only a ground-shaking collapse like the one we are about to have is able to wake large masses of people up. Since the collapse seems almost inevitable, it is everyone’s duty to continue educating family members, neighbors and friends so the collapse can be prevented by exercising massive pressure over the political class. At the same time, those who are awake must prepare themselves for the collapse by becoming independent from the controllers who have been increasing the heat under all of us for the last century.

The meaning of preparing will vary depending of who you are and where you live. The common denominator for being prepared is self-reliance. Being able to determine one’s own present and future is the strongest weapon against the collapse and against the ruling class. Help your relatives and neighbors to leave the mass mind control plantation system and to become intellectually and physically independent. Help them wake up from the illusion they live in.

Europe: From the Subprime to the Breakdown

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | AUGUST 10, 2012

The storm that began in the U.S. five years ago, swept governments, banks and mortgage financiers.

The outbreak of the subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. arrives to its fifth year with a legacy that includes a global economic crisis that seems endless: the almost certain breakdown of the euro, and in the case of Greece, Spain, and most likely France, Portugal and Italy , among others, the need to seek bailouts from the European Union.

After five years, Greece is no longer owned by its people, but by bankers. The country experienced a total collapse since the alarm bells went off on August 9, 2008. The same has happened to Spain, that went from a growth rate of 4% to a negative one which is expected to be 1.5% in 2012. As it happened in other sovereign debt stricken countries, Spain lost half of its stock market value — not that it really means anything in the real world — and corporate profits, depending on who you ask, have seen dramatic losses or dramatic gains.

Almost all Euro zone countries have seen their ability to request loans erased or deeply eroded, given their loss of reputation as trustworthy borrowers. That fact has also made it more expensive for nations to pay for the already existing debt, which turned attention to their leaders. In response to the fiscal challenge, governments simply decided to continue business as usual, that is, borrowing more money at higher interest rates, in order to finance the gigantic welfare systems they do proudly own.  Through the years, the deficit has grown, and so has the debt and the interests on it. The sovereign debt bubble, to use a familiar term, is that much closer to burst, given countries like Spain’s inability to make the payment on its debt, while continue to borrow.

The negative of the European governments to act in accordance with the best interests of their people, resulted in more unemployment, more debt, less production, and less sovereignty. In the Euro zone, most countries have been downgraded by the banker created rating agencies, such as Fitch and Moody’s which resulted in the increase of borrowing costs.

The risk premium, index of investor confidence in the sovereign debt of a country is measured by the spread between ten-year national bond and the German for the same period, went from complete anonymity to becoming the essential indicator for all economies. In August 2007 the risk premium of Spain, for example, which is the measure of the extra costs demanded by investors for buying Spanish sovereign debt compared to Germany, was 12 basis points, compared to the 630 points it has now.

Even though the subprime crisis was rooted in the United States, where all kinds of schemes were created to defraud borrowers, lenders, families and investment funds, the shock waves rapidly arrived in Europe, where big banks had invested themselves — knowingly and otherwise — in the same fraudulent financial products stained with the subprime lending scam. One of the triggers of the crisis in Europe was the temporary suspension of the liquid value of three funds owned by BNP Paribas on August 9, 2007. This move was a direct consequence of the subprime mortgage debacle in the U.S., where investing firms used customer money to gamble, while their risk was minimum. From every $100 that was put at risk, $97 belonged to pension funds, credit unions , retirement accounts and average investors. Only $3 came out of the pockets of those who risked their customers’ assets.

In most cases, unregulated U.S. financial institutions diversified the risks of subprime mortgage loans through securitization, transferring them to other banks in the credit derivatives market. Derivatives are themselves a form of artificially created ‘financial products’ with little or no value. The lack of transparency and little clarity in the terms of the derivative contracts make this financial instrument the most attractive, but also the riskiest one. In the case of the crisis of 2008, investors only got to know the risk and not the promised high returns in their investments. That is how many individuals, companies and organizations saw their monies simply disappear. Someone had simply ran away with their money.

The supposed harmless securitizations involved the transformation of an asset or a non-negotiable right to payment (eg. a mortgage) into homogeneous debt securities or bonds, standardized and open to negotiation on organized securities markets. Financial institutions took on the risk for two reasons. First, because it was not their money the one at risk, but that of investors. Second, because they knew that government would come to the rescue, as it has now happened. The immediate impossibility to know the total value of these toxic assets and who was exposed to them launched even worse tsunami waves that deepened the crisis to levels never seen before.

The contagion in financial markets collapsed and worked as the perfect excuse for the European Central Bank (ECB), U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks to take initiate the largest transfer of wealth ever seen in history. Not only had the banks ran away with investors’ money, but they were also about to receive the largest taxpayer funded bailouts ever — which are still ongoing — even though they were the only ones to blame for the collapse of the existing system. Total bailout cash has now reached $1 trillion and this money has mostly been given to selected people in governments as well as international banking institutions. It is important to note that some calculations set the fraudulent derivative market value at $1 quadrillion.

Right at the beginning of the crisis, and in one transaction alone, the European Central Bank gave away 94.841 million euros, one third more than the 69,300 million euros injected on 12 September 2001, a day after the attacks in New York. This move meant little or nothing as the connections in a globalized economy began to reveal that the problems were just about to get worse. The storm started by some U.S. mortgage financing firms became a gale that has so far crushed governments like Greece, Italy and France, mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and investment banks like Bear Stearns and Wall Street’s Lehman Brothers. Those two banks along with many others were literally absorbed and digested by bigger banks, that with taxpayer money, healed all losses they would have and still were left with much more cash to pay fat bonuses to their corporate leaders.

The crisis has gotten to a point where it has mathematically bankrupted almost all if not all developed countries — even though their leaders say otherwise — due to the impossibility for those nations to pay off their debts. Their implosion is just a matter of time. With Spain, France and Italy being unable to meet their obligations and not willing to seek sane fiscal and monetary policies, the break up of the Euro zone is all but imminent. As mentioned in previous articles, the length of time that will pass until the full collapse occurs is in the hands of the banking institutions who originally caused the crisis.

The financial crisis of confidence and credit has led to recession after another in the developed world and has slowed the growth in emerging markets like Brazil or China, but mostly has jeopardized the survival of the single European currency. The effects of the crisis remain to be seen in those regions of the world, where their economies have begun to contract already.

Learned Helplessness Drives Hopeless Behavior

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JULY 3, 2012

People are broken people. They have been intentionally transformed into manageable human resources that consciously and otherwise have stopped fighting for what is theirs; they have stopped fighting oppression and injustice. There is a system that has been established to inflict pain and desperation, fear if you will, which seems so paramount, that makes people lower their arms and give up. Daily, we can see clear examples of this behavior. The most recent one is the installation of body scanners in airports and courthouses around the globe under the pretext of terrorism. What is people’s answer to this invasion of privacy? Compliance. (1)

Before the scanners — which capture a digital picture of a person’s naked body — (2) we had other examples of how the system continuously corrals us and we do not seem to know what to do. For example, the financial meltdown that began several years ago turned into a bailout of powerful banking interests. (3) The same banks and same financial system that created and perpetuated the collapse, gave themselves a pat on the back and carried out the most gigantic transfer of wealth in history, leaving the ordinary citizen in shambles, jobless, in debt and homeless. (4) What was the reaction given this illegal wealth transfer? Compliance.

Previous to the financial collapse, citizens were indoctrinated into believing that humans were responsible for the warming of the planet, and that only a global carbon tax would be the solution to save ourselves from doom. (5) Fortunately, a series of leaked e-mails and documents from the University of East Anglia, revealed not only that Anthropogenic Global Warming was a hoax,(6) but that it was part of a greater plan to further consolidate power and the resources of the planet into the a few hands. Although the climate alarmists’ agenda was debunked beyond doubt, (7) there are people out there who still have not looked at the science and continue to claim that the warming is occurring and that it is due to human activity. More compliance.

Going back even further in history, we find another very clear example of how people became hopeless and easily manipulated. Common wisdom dictates that it is correct to count on synthetic pharmaceuticals in order to prevent, treat or cure disease. People could not and cannot figure out that health freedom and a healthy state of being could not be further away from such industrially manufactured products. Due to lack of information or a way to check false statements from manufacturers and doctors, the citizenry simply trusted the “experts” and their magic pills in their blind pursue of health and fall into learned helplessness.

A state of learned helplessness is a psychological condition in which people have learned to believe they are helpless in a particular situation. They believe they have no control over their situation and that whatever they do is futile. As a result, they will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful or damaging situation, even when they actually do have the power to change their circumstances.”For example, in politics, when there is a two-party dictatorship in a country and people can only vote for one or the other — a false sense of choice — and things do not change or continue to get worse because the same corporate interests continue to maintain control. The automatic psychological response is a sense of hopelessness. Another valid example is when a person is in a relationship where he or she is physically, mentally or sexually abused. The victim knows the truth, but is unable to liberate himself or herself due to fear, guilt or any other feeling of despair. The same happens in a society, where the citizen is no longer called a citizen or a human being, but a consumer or a human resource. In a society filled with broken people, the truth no longer sets them free. Different from say, colonial times, when most members of a society still adopted the fighting spirit, today most citizens are conformists, laid-back or apathetic.(8)

What all these people who have learned to be helpless have in common is that pain, in any shape or form, simply makes them weaker, more prone to abuse, and more easily swindled. This takes us to another form of learned helplessness. When people feel depressed, lonely and mentally drained the immediate answer by common wisdom is to look for a psychiatrist or a psychologist to deal with their problems. “What they do not know,” says Dr. Bruce E. Levine, “is that most of the psychologist and psychiatrists out there are only looking to make money out of helpless people.” They are also instruments of the plan the establishment has to maintain control of society.

In today’s society there are three main pillars that support the learned helplessness and cognitive dissidence filled environment: School, Television and the Mental Health Profession. According to doctor Levine, television makes people more passive and docile due to the effect it has in brain waves. It is one of the most effective tools for pacifying the population,” he adds. (9) “Schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant for the important enterprises of the planet,” says professor John Taylor Gatto, author of books such as the Underground History of American Education and Weapons of Mass Instruction. Professor Gatto was named New York’s teacher of the year. “School is not the place where most people get any kind of education. In fact it is a place used to subdue the population, ” agrees Levine. (10) Are scientists trained in science classes, or politicians trained in politics classes? The only thing schools are good for is to teach people to obey orders. This is a conclusion that people who have any critical thinking skills learn very easily and very fast. Of course, school has also been used to eliminate critical thinking and creativity in the population. (11) From very young we are taught to worship and depend on the government for every single aspect of our lives. A clear example is that a majority of the most relevant citizens in any country were and are people who did not attend school. They can even become presidents! A couple of things people who attend the traditional educational system have in common are that they end jobless in many cases and with a pile of outstanding debt. The traditional educational system has turned into a tool for the creation of an assured state of servitude.

Mental health professionals and psychologists are along with teachers, two of the most compliant groups in society. Health professionals are also one of the groups with the highest suicidal rates. (12) What happens when psychiatrists find resistance to compliance? They become anxious and tend to pathologize. So, almost every person who disagrees with the establishment or with authority is automatically diagnosed as mentally ill. Ernest Hemingway was himself a victim of this system. He was drugged and punished with electric shocks after being diagnosed as mentally imbalanced because he thought he was being followed and watched. It later turned out he was indeed being harassed by intelligence agencies. So, does it make sense to obtain advice from professionals who cannot even control their own personalities? Can we trust people who are indoctrinated to maintain the status quo?

Imagine society as a victim of kidnapping who then suffers from Stockholm Syndrome during and after a kidnapping. The incapacity to react to a kidnapping is such that they begin to make excuses as to why it was normal not to run away when given the opportunity or the chance. Society as a whole, just as kidnapping victims do, even get to a point where they defend their kidnappers. Most people shield themselves from reality by being apathetic, or ignoring what is staring at them as a mechanism of defense against their impossibility to react to such reality due to a feeling of fear and helplessness. In other cases, people choose to spend their lives worrying about football games, reality shows, fashion, gossip and so on.

Another very common problem in today’s society is cognitive dissidence. This happens when people are incapable of being in a state of tension, so they choose to make up a series of excuses to escape such situations. The most common reaction is to tell themselves they are not in such tense situation, which serves them to ignore the humiliating state of affairs they are in. So, even though society seems to be turning into an abusive place, where all of our rights are disrespected or taken away, citizens still conform by saying things like “it is not good, but we still live in the best country in the world”. This kind of statements reflect people’s lack of power to face the truth that they live in a repressive tyrannical city or country.

An example of a society where all hope and reason has been lost is the United States. In 2000, one president was elected but the losing candidate was who took power. Short of the circus created by the main stream media, no one else manifested the slightest interest in resolving the election through democratic means. In a clear example of how weak democracies, or pseudo-democracies work, the Supreme Court of the country was the one that decided who would govern the nation. In other countries often called Banana Republics, such as Iran or Mexico, the decision reached by the Court would have resulted in many manifestations on the streets and perhaps a real recount of the votes or a second round. How is it that 50 or 60 million people simply let their votes be stolen away without any interest to make it count? In Iran, 3 million people would have turned to the streets to protest a few tens of thousands would have certainly manifested in Mexico. (13)

Madison avenue found out a long time ago that it was possible to make people feel inadequate, that it was possible to tell people what kind of person they should be and that everything that was not so would be socially unacceptable. (14) With that it also realized that it would be easier for the industry to commercialize its crap among insecure people. That is how most women use Botox or surgery to manipulated their bodies to look like the model from the magazine cover. That is why men inject themselves with human growth hormone to look as strong as the baseball player who also takes drugs to improve his performance. This insecurity spurred the sale of make up and slave-made goods such as sports shoes, apparel and handbags. So the image makers tell the people that not fitting a specific pattern or mold will render them worthless; and people believe it. This of course makes people who are financially incapable of providing themselves with Madison Avenue products victims of their own ignorance, and those who can afford it become petty victims of their power trips. People were taught to hate their humanity and that of others.

Equally insidious is the abuse perpetrated by “professionals” who mostly take advantage of weak-minded people. “There is a lot of money to make out in my profession,” says Dr. Levine. The amount of money people spend in pharmaceuticals and visits to their psychologist or psychiatrist — that in turn supports the very same system that benefits from people’s weakness — is uncountable. “Is it not easier to control a population whose self-esteem is low or non-existent? It is in the total interest of the corporate authoritarian society we live in,” adds Levine. That is why it is common to hear professional psychiatric associations call for the identification of new mental disorders. The recognition of such disorders will not only ensure that more people can be subjected to their management model, but also that society will continue to operate business as usual. Recently, the American Psychiatric Association revised its “bible” with the purpose of creating and including new mental diseases. (15)

The “bible” now contains things like “Oppositional Defiant Disorder” (ODD), which includes anyone who disagrees with authority. People who are antisocial are suddenly considered as victims of “Antisocial Personality Disorder” and require pharmacological treatment. Children are no longer unhappy or throwing a temper tantrum, they are suffering from “Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoria.” The so called “bible” even adopts other made-up disorders such as Repetitive Dysmorphic Nose Picking Disorder With Itching (RDNPDWI), Oppositional Disorganized Speaking Disorder With Indigestion (ODSDWI) and so on. (16)

Is there a solution for Learned Hopelessness and Cognitive Dissidence? Sure. Does it work for everyone? Unfortunately not. So many people are so deep into depression or a state of helplessness that it may be impossible to let them out. The level of indoctrination is such, that losing their homes, families, jobs, liberties and self-respect may not be enough to wake them up. For the lucky ones, it seems that the start of a solution is called Individual Self-respect and/or Collective Self-confidence. In other words, what can I do on a daily basis to restore confidence, faith and respect in myself and people around me? All democratic movements or nations had these two ingredients. What can I do to help myself and others? People who follow these paths are those who identify what is bothering them, but instead of handing those issues to the government — which in turn will make them captives — they give themselves the opportunity to use their problems and solutions to connect with other people. They themselves form their own support groups where everyone shares their solutions to their own problems and those of others. It is what not too long ago used to be called communities.

Another way to pick oneself up is to take on intelligent safe risks. There are projects or goals that everyone has which would exponentially raise his or her confidence and self-esteem. It is precisely pursuing those goals and projects — especially those that include a certain degree of healthy risk — and conquering them, what exalts people out of their sorry empty lives. This risk-taking sometimes includes a decision to get away from people who always drag you down or who simply do not help. A decision needs to be made as to whether this person needs to be left behind in order to achieve that which will help you become what you want. So, the advice is to let the backbiters and backstabbers behind and get on with your life by surrounding yourself with those who support you and wish you well.

Sources:

(1) New scanners break child porn laws

(2) Exposed: Naked Body Scanner Images Of Film Star Printed, Circulated By Airport Staff

(3) Central Banks were complicit in Robbing the Middle Class

(4) 2009 US Economy: The largest transfer of wealth in history

(5) The Carbon Tax Deception

(6) The E-mails from the East Anglia University

(7) The Great Global Warming Swindle

(8) Learned Helplessness

(9) The Awful Truth about Television

(10) The New Dumbness

(11) How School Kills Creativity

(12) Professionals with the highest rate of suicide

(13) Iran Election Protests

(14) Madison Avenue and your Brain

(15) Revision of ADM could introduce new mental disorders

(16) New Psychiatric disorders flag normal human behavior as diseases

This article was first published on May 1, 2010.

Banks Can No Longer Hide the Collapse

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MAY 16, 2012

It’s been at least four years since the current financial collapse began. Back in 2008, when the crisis was already taking shape, the banks supported by international financial institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, Bank of Europe, Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve did not hesitate to calm everyone down saying that the earliest signs of a global financial collapse were nothing to worry about. It was all a minor cough, they said. But as time went by, those who warned about the coming depression were proven correct. The forecasts of local, regional and global crisis were unfortunately true.

Today, four years after the banks recognized the existence of a ‘difficult situation’ due to the accumulation of sovereign debt, we have confirmed, over and over, that the threat of a global financial collapse is greater than ever, and that it is just a matter of time before more countries declare bankruptcy. The crisis did not begin with Greece, as many would have us believe. It did not start with Iceland either. In fact, Iceland did what it had to do in order to clean its own house. The collapse began from the moment the bankers were set free to gamble away investments into fake financial products they invented to lure nations into fast and easy returns on their savings.

The signs of the crisis have been so alarming, that in the past few weeks the same entities that once said there was no crisis, and that the economy would begin to pick up, started to warn that the world was getting to edge of the precipice. Their acceptance of the inevitable did not come easy. It was only after reality made it impossible to hide the current financial collapse that the bankers had to come out and publicly accept that their debt based business model came to an end. However, this acceptance was not a clear ‘it is our fault’ kind of thing. Instead, the bankers sought to blame countries for their irresponsible management of savings and investments which the bankers themselves had helped to carry out by swindling politicians and bureaucrats to divest their people’s monies to put it all in one single bag; the banker’s bag.

The collapse couldn’t have happened without the help of accomplice politicians who opened their country’s doors to powerful financial institutions by deregulating their activity, permitting investment banks to fuse their operations with savings banks. Those banks then offered toxic financial products which countries around the world invested their monies in under the premise that their cash would be returned fast and multiplied many times over.

As we now know, in the case of Greece and Iceland deregulation brought about more debt rather than a healthy recovery. The difference is that Iceland decided to face their debt problem the right way, liquidating what needed to be liquidated instead of bailing out their banks and other institutions that had used their money to buy credit default swaps. Greece on the other hand decided to bend over to the bankers’ demands and began accept supposed financial aid provided by other European nations. As a result, the country is in a financial comma from where it will probably not wake up unless it exits the Euro zone and goes back to the drachma, its former currency. Greece’s exit from the Euro will not only allow it to start fresh, but also will free the country from the chains attached to it by powerful European bankers in command of the fraudulent Euro scheme. Greece’s only possible change of survival as a nation is to reject the payment of a gigantic illegally incurred debt acquired by corrupt politicians on behalf of their people, who were not consulted about it. Most of that debt, as it happened in the case of Iceland, does not belong to the Greek, but to banks themselves.

As we reported before, people have begun to realize that their trusted leaders defrauded them and one by one they’ve been voted out of office. Greece’s former Prime Minister was outed, France’s Sarkozy was also kicked out of office and Angela Merkel had giant loses in the latest state elections in Germany. Meanwhile, in the United States, the man who came with change written all over himself will most likely be changed next november. Any and all efforts made by the bankers to provide a rosy picture of reality has failed because reality has shown the dark side they didn’t want people to see.

World stocks and the euro have fallen in value as nations become less capable of paying their debt. Banks all over the Eurozone continue to be downgraded and borrowing rates for eurozone countries continue to go up as none of the nations are trusted to pay their dues. Attempts by Greece’s President to form a new government which he openly called to be composed by technocrats failed Tuesday and new elections will have to take place. The rejection by Greek politicians to form a government led by their president comes during a time when the country is incapable of paying the interests on its debt and with it the likelihood of Greece abandoning the Eurozone becomes more real than before.

The shaky conditions in the Mediterranean nation has prompted people to take their money out of the banks. In the last week, depositors have withdrawn at least 1 billion out of Greece’s banks and the trend is expected to continue. Meanwhile, the Bank of England has cut down its forecast for economic growth for Britain as it warned that the debt crisis was the biggest threat to the financial recovery. Suddenly the organizations that promoted indebtedness are now portraying themselves as the speakers of truth. In its announcement, the BoE says that growth will be limited to just 1 percent, as supposed to just over 1 percent, a number given by the bank in a previous financial report. The BoE also cut down its growth estimate for 2013. It now sets it at 2 percent, as supposed to 3 percent from its previous estimations in February.

The financial crisis’ effects have been augmented by the interconnectedness of the global economy, composed by economic blocks as supposed to independent nation-states. Nowadays, a sneeze in Italy will carry its waves to all the European Union. A protectionist measure in Argentina will impact the whole Mercosur. Another trend that shows the reach of the current financial crisis is the movement of large amounts of cash from one country to another. Investors seem to trust Germany more than Greece as they’ve bet their assets will be safer there. The interest rate which Germany must pay to borrow money for 10 years fell to the lowest level ever in early trading on Wednesday, which is a reflection of the growing concern about the need for Greece to carry out elections. “New elections are risky because they could confirm the population’s support for anti-austerity parties and lead eventually to a eurozone exit”, said bond strategist Jean-Francois Robin to AFP.

The latest voice of alarm came from the International Monetary Fund’s President, Christine Lagarde, who said that when it comes to Greece she is prepared for anything, and that she believes that a Greek exit from the Eurozone must be done in an orderly fashion. Both Angela Merkel and Greece’s President, Karolos Papoulias, have gone out fear mongering on the public they most make the right decision in the coming election, of face a “threat to our national existence”. According to the UK Telegraph European shares and the euro itself fell again. The stock markets, such as the Eurostoxx 600 fell 0.7 per cent to a year-low; Germany’s Dax dropped 0.8 percent and Spain’s Ibex was down 1.6 per cent. In London the FTSE100 slid 0.5 per cent. These are clear signs that not even the banks believe that a solution to the Greek crisis will emerge, or that a recovery will take place anytime soon.

Elsewhere in Europe, the worrisome situation in Spain, for example, further accelerates the collapse of the Euro system. The rate of borrowing for debtor nations which are seen as riskier borrowers jumped sharply this week. In Spain, the market rate on 10-year bonds increased to 6.49 percent, exactly .4 above the levels that analysts consider safe to sustain in the long run. Despite its decision to once again bailout commercial banks, Spain continues to struggle to keep its head over the water. The banks that the country is trying to ‘rescue’ from their knowingly bad investments are feeling their loses from their loans to the real-estate sector, which collapsed in 2008. Local media reported today that Moody’s, an entity created by the banks themselves, was ready to once again cut down the ratings of some 20 spanish banks just a couple of days after it cut down the ratings of 26 Italian banks.

Italy, Spain and Portugal are said to be the next countries that will join Greece in the financial bankruptcy wagon; a process that will only be delayed if the European bankers decide to continue with their policies to force the hand of countries which they are in complete control of to bailout more local banks that invested in heavily toxic financial products. This process is set to go on for as long as the bankers need in order to further consolidate power in Europe and the United States. The final implosion will occur after the banks have absorbed the largest and most important nations of the troubled European Union zone, which is originally composed by 17 countries.