SCHOLAR ISLAND

Economics

"No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the

one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and

despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."

-Jesus to His Disciples, Matthew 6:24

 

Who put the Con in eCONomics?

 

 

 

"The best economists are formidable intellects, but do they really know what they are talking about."

Wall Street Journal  Sat/Sun Sept 10-11

 

 

 

"Economy is in itself a source of great revenue."

-Seneca

 

 

"To what purpose, is all the toil and bustle of this world? What is the end of avarice and ambition, of the pursuit of wealth, of power, and pre-eminence?"

Adam Smith

 

 

"How selfish soever man may be supposed , there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him."

-Adam Smith   Theory of Moral Sentiments"

 

 

"Adam Smith envisioned a world of local-market economies populated by small entrepreneurs, artisans, and family farmers with strong community roots, engaged in producing and exchanging goods and services to meet the needs of themselves and their neighbors. This was a vision of the Main Street economy of Smith's time

   Contrary to popular misconception, Adam Smith was not the father of capitalism. he would have taken offense at the title, because the values of capitalism as we know it were not his values. he had a substantial antipathy toward corporate monopolies and those who use their wealth and power in ways that harm others. he believed that people have a natural and appropriate concern for the well-being of others and a duty not to do others harm. he also believed that government has a responsibility to restrain those who fail in that duty."

-David C. Korten

Agenda For a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth

 

"No preferment could have given me so much real satisfaction. No man can owe greater obligations to a Society than I do to the University of Glasgow. They educated me, they sent me to Oxford, soon after my return to Scotland they elected me one of their own members, and afterwards preferred me to another office, to which the abilities and Virtues of the never to be forgotten Dr. Hutcheson had given a superior degree of illustration. The period of thirteen years which I spent as a member of that society I remember as by far the most useful, and, therefore, as by far the happiest and most honourable period of my life, and now, after three and twenty years absence, to be remembered is so very agreeable manner by my old friends and Protectors gives me a heartfelt joy which I cannot easily express to you."

-Adam Smith

 

  "...It is very arguable that the science of political economy, as studied in its first period after the death of Adam Smith (1790), did more harm than good. It destroyed many economic fallacies, and taught how to think about the economic revolution then in progress. But it riveted on men a certain set of abstractions which were disastrous in their influence on modern mentality. It de-humanized industry. This only one example of a general danger inherent in modern science. Its methodological procedure is exclusive and intolerant, and rightly so. It fixes attention on a definite group of abstractions, neglects everything else, and elicits every scrap of information and theory which is relevant to what it has retained. This method is triumphant, provided that the abstractions are judicious. But, however triumphant, the triumph is within limits. The neglect of these limits leads to disastrous oversights...."

-Alfred North Whitehead

Science and the Modern World

 

 

"Smith is celebrated for his "invisible hand" theory, which holds that when greedy people trade for their own advantage in unfettered private markets, they will often be led, as if by an invisible hand, to produce the greatest good for all. The invisible hand remains a powerful narrative, but after the recent economic wreckage, skepticism about it has grown. My prediction is that it will eventually be supplanted by a version of Darwin's more general narrative-one that grants the invisible hand its due, but also strips it of  the sweeping powers that many now ascribe to it...."

-Robert H.Frank  "The Invisible Hand, Trumped by Darwin?"  The New York Times  July 12,2009

 

 

 

Article: "Recipe for economic success is to reward, create innovation"

   according to "Bourgeois Revaluation" by Deirdre N. McCloskey

  "....What happened? That's such a fraught question that McCloskey's book is the second in a series of six planned volumes.

   Her answer is that it wasn't foreign trade (too small) It wasn't imperialism (It didn't enrich the imperial countries), it wasn't the establishment of property rights (they had existed before), and it wasn't the Protestant work ethic (hard work wasn't new).

   It was simply a new attitude toward wealth and its creation. McCloskey calls it the "Bourgeois Revaluation." It afforded the shopkeeper the dignity that he had always been denied because he wasn't a manorial lord, a cavalry officer or a priest. it blessed commercial activity and its associated virtues.

   Europe became, in the words of the economist Joseph Schumpeter a "business-respecting civilization."

   The combination of liberty and dignity for the bourgeoisie sparked the modern revolution that we wrongly, in McCloskey's view, attribute to "capitalism." The word is inapt, she argues, because the mere accumulation of capital is beside the point.

   The kings of Spain collected lots of gold from the New World, and no economic miracle ensured.

   It's innovation that's the thing, entrepreneurial "alertness," the ceaseless drive for the new, the better, the cheaper.

   The fruit of the new dispensation first made itself felt in Britain around 1820, but the formula results in rapid economic advance wherever it's adopted, from Singapore to china to India.

   This might be cold comfort at a time of 9.6 percent unemployment.

   It suggests, though, that the basic recipe for economic success is simple, if not necessarily easy-celebrate, reward, and create the conditions for innovation.

   Unfortunately, we have a president of the United States who has been a member his entire adult life of what McCloskey-borrowing from Samuel Taylor Coleridge-calls "the clerisy."

   These are the intellectualoids who never lost their instinctual scorn for commercial activity.

   Can you imagine Barack or Michelle Obama routinely urging college students to contribute to hope and change by entering the innovative economy's great swirl of creative destruction?

   Unfortunately, special interests will always pursue anti-innovation trade and regulatory policies to protect their fiefdoms.

   Unfortunately, it's easier to prop up what's old than foster what's new. A few years ago, the Federal Reserve handed out billions upon billions of dollars to practically every large, established firm in America.

   The flip side to bourgeois dignity is governmental humility.

   Near the end of her tour de force, McCloskey quotes the great economist Frederic Bastiat: "Nothing is more senseless than to base so many expectations on the state, that is, to assume the existence of collective wisdom, and foresight after taking for granted the existence of individual imbecility and improvidence."

-Rich Lowry  (editor of National Review)

 

 

   "In regard to the aesthetic needs of civilized society the reactions of science have so far been unfortunate. Its materialistic basis has directed attention to things as opposed to values. The antithesis is a false one, if taken in a concrete sense. But it is valid at the abstract level of ordinary thought. This misplaced emphasis coalesced with the abstractions of political economy, which are in fact the abstractions in terms of which commercial affairs are carried on. Thus all thought concerned with social organization expressed itself in terms of material things and of capital. Ultimate values were excluded. They were politely bowed to, and then handed over to the clergy to be kept for Sundays. A creed of competitive business morality was evolved, in some respects curiously high; but entirely devoid of consideration for the value of human life. The workmen were conceived as mere hands, drawn from the pool of labour. To God's question, men gave the answer of Cain-"Am I my brother's keeper?"; and they incurred Cain's guilt. This was the atmosphere in which the industrial revolution was accomplished in England, and to a large extent elsewhere. The internal history of England during the last half century has been an endeavour slowly and painfully to undo the evils wrought in the first stage of the new epoch. It may be that civilization will never recover from the bad climate which enveloped the introduction of machinery. This climate pervaded the whole commercial system of the progressive northern European races. It was partly the result of aesthetic errors of Protestantism and partly the result of scientific materialism, and partly the result of the natural greed of mankind, and partly the result of the abstractions of political economy. ..."

-Alfred North Whitehead

Science and the Modern World

 

 

"From the days of Constantine to the days of Bismarck and Mark Hanna, Christ and Caesar have been one, and the church has been the shield and armor of predatory economic might."

-Upton Sinclair

 

 

   "The most obvious division of society is into rich and poor, and it is no less obvious that the number of the former bear a great disproportion to those of the latter. The whole business of the poor is to administer to the idleness, folly, and luxury of the rich, and that of the rich, in return, is to find the best methods of confirming the slavery and increasing the burdens of the poor. In a state of nature it is an invariable law that a man's acquisitions are in proportion to his labors. In a state of artificial society it is a law as constant and as invariable that those who labor must enjoy the fewest things, and that those who labor not at all have the greatest number of enjoyments. A constitution of things this, strange and ridiculous beyond expression!"

-Edmund Burke

 

 

   "In economics, more than in the other social and political sciences, the perverse-effect doctrine is closely tied to a central tenet of the discipline: the idea of a self-regulating market. To the extent that this idea is dominant, any public policy aiming to change market outcomes, such as prices or wages, automatically becomes noxious interference with beneficent equilibrating processes. Even economists who are favorable to some measures of income and wealth redistribution tend to regard the most obvious "populist" measures of that sort as counterproductive.

   The perverse effect of specific interferences has often been argued by tracing demand and supply reactions to such measures. As a result of, say, a price stop for bread, it is shown how flour will be diverted to other final uses and how some bread will be sold at black-market prices, so that the average price of bread may go up rather than down as was intended. Similarly, when a minimum wage is established or raised, it is easy to show how employment is likely to drop, so that the aggregate income of the workers may fall rather than rise. As Milton Friedman puts it with his usual superb assurance, "Minimum wage laws are about as clear a case as one can find of a measure the effect of which are precisely the opposite of those intended by the men of good will who support it."

--Albert O. Hirschman

The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy

 

"It requires a strong constitution to withstand repeated attacks of prosperity."

-J.L. Basford

 

 

"Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know."

-mark Twain

 

   "For some time illusions also guided economists who predicted buying behavior. Chief among these illusions was that we humans always act in our own best interest. This fantasy, although losing currency in recent years, had prevailed in one form or another in American political and economic thought for over a century.

   It was not always that way. Like psychology, economics was once a branch of "moral science," concerned with the mind but also the heart. Adam Smith, the crusty Scottish philosopher generally credited as the founder of modern economics, began his Moral Sentiments: "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.....The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether with it."

   -Ellen Ruppel Shell

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

 

 

   "When economics becomes a sacred cow, it also becomes a Trojan Horse. The only true measure of any given economic system is its ability to prime the environment for the maximum expansion of the people's creativity. To measure economics any other way, to allow economics to degenerate into the peevish little dogmas which at present disarm majority resistance is to hasten the economic breakdown that the liberal-minority coalition awaits with bated breath."

-Wilmot Robertson

The Dispossessed majority

 

 

"Economists suffer from what one calls ' the pretense knowledge syndrome.' They act as if they understand more than they do and presume that their policies, whether of the Left or Right, have benefits more predictable than they actually are. It's worth remembering that the recovery's present slowdown is occurring despite measures taken to speed it up: the 2 percentage-point cut in the payroll tax, and the Federal Reserve's purchase of $600 billion of treasury securities. So modern economics has been oversold, and the public is now disbelieving. If  the recovery continues to disappoint, the discrediting of mainstream economic thinking will grow. The resulting intellectual void will summon forth new ideas. Some may be good; but others-though superficially appealing-will be fringe or lunatic."

-Robert Samuelson The Washington Post

 

 

"Good economists are not required to run good economic policies. The economic bureaucrats that have been most successful are usually not economists. During their 'miracle' years, economic policies in Japan and (to a lesser extent) Korea were run by lawyers. In Taiwan and China, economic policies have been run by engineers. This demonstrates that economic success does not need people well trained in economics-especially if it is of the free-market kind. Indeed, during the last three decades, the increasing influence of free-market economic has resulted in poorer economic performances all over the world, as I have shown throughout this book-lower economic growth, greater economic instability, increased inequality and finally culminating in the disaster of the 2008 global financial crisis. Insofar as we need economics, we need different kinds of economics from free-market economics."

-Ha-Joon Chang

Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism

 

 

 

"Capitalism and altruism are incompatible....capitalism and altruism cannot coexist in man or in the same society."

-Ayn Rand

 

 

 

"I confess I am not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on; that the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and treading on each other's heels, which form the existing type of social life, are the most desirable lot of human kind, or anything but the disagreeable symptoms of one of the phases of industrial progress."

-John Stuart Mill (1806-73) Principles of Political Economy

 

 

"All known history nine-tenths of mankind have been grinding corn for the remaining tenth and have been paid with husks and bidden to thank god they had the husks."

-David Lloyd

 

 

"In economic terms, the Christian ideal demands a basic standard of living for the masses of people, adequate to assure security and freedom for the development of spiritual values."

-Federal Council of Churches   The Social Gospel (quadrennial report, 1923)

 

 

 

".....all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer."

-William Henry Harrison   9th President of the U.S.

 

 

"Every individual has a right to demand of humanity everything that will aid his effort, he has the right to work, to produce, to create; and no category of men may draw usury from his work or put it under its yoke."

-Jean Jaures    assassinated 1914

 

 

 

"So long as all the  increased wealth which modern progress brings goes but to build up great fortunes, to increase luxury and make sharper the contrast between the House of Have and the House of Want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent."

-Henry George (1839-97) Progress and Poverty

 

 

"Henry George made a man of me."

-George Bernard Shaw

 

 

"the men of the higher circles are not representative men; their high position is not a result of moral virtue; their fabulous success is not firmly connected with meritorious ability. Those who sit in the seats of the high and mighty are selected and formed by means of power, their sources of wealth, the mechanics of celebrity which prevail in our society."

-C. Wright Mills

 

 

"You likely don't know Thorsten Veblen. That's to be expected. What isn't to be expected is that many economists don't know him either."

-Herve kempf

How The Rich Are Destroying The Earth

 

 

"Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of wealth; the tyranny of plutocracy."

-JP Morgan

 

 

   First of all, if Veblen is as important as I, along with Raymond Aron, assert, how is it that people don't talk about him more? In fact, he's beginning to be rediscovered, and some economists are doing more than rereading him; they're applying his theory to modern econometric methods. thus, it has been recently shown, for example, that the level of English workers' satisfaction correlates with the degree to which their peers' salary is lower than their own. and that households with a lower income than their reference group save less than those whose income is higher in order to be able to consume more and  keep up with the level of the second group."

-Herve Kempf

How The Rich Are Destroying the Earth

 

 

"Everywhere and at all times men of commerce have had neither heart nor  soul; their cash-box is their God...They traffic in all things, even human flesh....Their country? Foutre! Business men have no country."

-Jacques Rene Hebert  guillotined 1794

 

 

"Modern capitalism, is absolutely irreligious, without internal union, without much public spirit, often, though not always, a mere congeries of possessors and pursuers."

-Keynes

 

 

"Capitalism is what happens in a market without appropriate rules. Economic power becomes increasingly concentrated and turns from the production of real wealth to the production of phantom wealth. a lack of market rules is the cause. The implementation of market rules is the corrective."

-David C. Korten

Agenda For a New Economy

 

 

"Speculation describes economic activities that do not add to the capital stock of the economy or increase the productive capacity of the economy. Instead, financial speculation involves economic activity that is not intended to create lasting economic value but is merely intended to generate short-term financial profits. Whether or not such activities are intended to generate short-term financial profits. Whether or not such activities are intended to be productive is another question, but by and large economic actors do not pay attention to such questions in  their quest for immediate gratification. The growth of finance has contributed to a deeply unfortunate trend in Western societies in which an incalculable amount of brain power and economic power are devoted to activities that do not contribute to the productive capacity of the global economy or to the improvement of the human condition.

   Speculation is hardly new to the U.S. economy. In fact, as Lawrence E. Mitchell describes in his recent book, The Speculation Economy, speculation is hard-wired into the legal structure of American  business. Professor Mitchell dates this phenomenon back to the end of the nineteenth century.

It was only during the last few years of the nineteenth century that business distress combined with surplus capital searching for investment opportunities, changes in state corporation laws, and the creative greed of private bankers, trust promoters and the newly evolving investment banks created the perfect storm that shifted the production goals of American industry from goods and services to manufacturing and selling stock.

  The type of speculation that Professor Mitchell describes is endemic to the very capital structure of the American corporation. "Waves of watered stock created by the giant modern corporation brought average Americans into the market for he first time. The instability of these new securities and the corporations that issued them provided enormous opportunity, both intended and not, for ordinary people and professionals alike to speculate, leading sometimes to mere bull runs and sometimes to widespread panic."

-Michael E. Lewitt:

 How Creative Policy Can Restore Stability: The Death of Capital

 

 

 

"we have long been told that the only alternative to the rapacious excess of capitalism is the debilitating repression of communism. This sets up a false and dangerously self-limiting choice between two extremes, both of which failed because they created a concentration of unaccountable power that stifled liberty and creativity for all but the few at the top.

   The alternative to both of these discredited experiments in centralized power is an economic system that roots power in people and communities of place and that unleashes our innate human capacities for cooperation and creativity. We have a historic opportunity to bring such an economy into being. The key is the often mentioned distinction between our existing Wall Street and Main Street economies."

-David C. Korten

Agenda For a New Economy

 

 

"Government does not boast of its liaison with monopoly. American policy is clothed, in the modern manner, in verbal apparel designed to make the unwary see the opposite of reality. Government spokesmen are loud in their devotion to free enterprise and capitalist competition. Whenever the economy is sickly, we are told that controls would be bad because they would interfere with the workings of the free market-which tends to distract us from observing that government is helping the free market out of business without controls. The illusion is fostered also by two forms of governmental pretense; the anti-trust laws and the regulatory agencies.

-David Hapgood

The Screwing of the Average man

 

 

"Counterfeiters are deft imitators of the government's own efforts to undermine the value of a currency."

Ben Tarnoff

Moneymakers

 

Inflation and You: Partners in Freedom

by Tim Cavanaugh    Reason Magazine   Oct 2009

"What do you do if you're running the world's largest money laundering operation  but you just can't unleash your inflation tiger? The Federal Reserve Bank of New York uses The Story of Inflation, , a comic book, to make an argument most Americans would dispute: that we should be thankful when our money loses value.

   The Story of Inflation, one of several comics the New York Fed distributes for free, has an evenhanded, instructive tone that plays more subtly, than for example, the 1933 MGM short INFLATION: Explained by Pete Smith (a minor YouTube hit under the title "Vintage Pro-Inflation Propaganda"), which promises inflation with "sock Old Kid Depression right on the button." But it serves the same goal of accustoming Americans to the inevitability of a depleted dollar.

   The nation's smart shoppers might relish seeing prices for houses, milk, and gasoline in steep decline, but The Story of Inflation, makes a contrarian case for rising costs, depicting bridezillas hurrying to buy gowns and lazy construction workers bragging about their COLA increases, Still, the book's marketing ruins the illusion of asset appreciation. Why give copies away when you could call them "graphic novels" and sell the for $24.95?"

 

 

"The richer a society, the more impossible it becomes to do worthwhile things without immediate pay-off."

-E.F. Schumacher

 

 

   "In our culture, particularly in America, money has entered into more aspects of human life, in my opinion, than it has ever entered in to in any culture before. It's not that human beings haven't always been greedy or materialistic in some sense, but the money itself-as a device, an instrument, a reality-enters in to every aspect of life now. you can't do a thing without, in some way, facing the money question. How people react to this modern development of money varies from culture to culture, from epoch to epoch. A Russian responds differently to money than an American. money means different things to different people. In a way, it's one of the keys of self-knowledge to see how individuals behave in relation to money. There are cultures in  which honor is the main thing-self-respect and honor. There are other cultures in which beauty or power is the main thing. But for our culture, very often money occupies the central purpose of life. It is the thing that everybody wants. It is not the thing everybody wants in Russia or in Iraq*. No matter how much they may fight for it or look for it, it is not their ultimate goal. When you penetrate beneath the surface, something else is very often there. But in our society, the one thing that brings us altogether is that we all want money."

*Ed note: I don't know how current this idea is 

-Jacob Needleman

Money ,Money,Money: The Search for Wealth and the Pursuit of happiness

 

 

 

"you want to talk about returns? At 1,000, in four months, a tomato seed makes even the highest fliers seem paltry."

-Eliot Coleman

 

 

 

'money is like manure."

-Sir Francis Bacon

Thornton Wilder

J. Paul Getty

 

 

This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments."

-Adam Smith

 

 

   "For more than two centuries Adam Smith's metaphor of an invisible hand has been used as self-evident proof of the virtuous effects of unfettered capitalism. But what has long been forgotten is that Adam Smith assumed the persons attached to these virtuous hands were subject to a conscience that included empathy and compassion and that took seriously a moral edict for I-You relating and fairness at a far greater depth of thoughtfulness than is likely to occur today."

-Charles Hayes

September University

 

 

"This division of labour, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion. it is the necessary, though very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility: the propensity to track, barter, and exchange one thing for another."

-Adam Smith An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

 

 

"The term free market is a code word for an unregulated market that allows the rich to consume and monopolize resources for personal gain free from accountability for the broader social and environmental consequences. A free market rewards financial rogues and speculators who profit from governmental, social, and environmental subsidies, speculation, the abuse of monopoly power, and financial fraud, creating an open and often irresistible invitation to externalize costs and increase inequality.

   Markets work best within the framework for a caring community. The stronger the relations of mutual trust and caring, the more the market becomes self-policing. The need for formal governmental oversight and intervention is minimal. An economy of powerful corporations governed by a culture of greed and a belief that it is their legal duty to maximize returns to shareholders is quite a different matter and is difficult for even the strongest governments to control."

David C. Korten

Agenda for a New Economy

 

 

"Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. The measure of success attained by Wall Street, regarded as an institution of which the proper social purpose is to direct new investment into the most profitable channels in terms of  future yield, cannot be claimed as one of the outstanding triumphs of laissez-faire capitalism.""

-John Maynard Keynes

 

 

"Capitalism's claim to the mantle of the market has no more substance than the claim of the rogue in the tale of "The Emperor's New clothes," who declared that he had cloaked the ruler in a fine gown. In selectively culling bits and pieces of market theory to argue that the public interest is best served by giving globe-spanning mega corporations a license to maximize their profits without public restraint, capitalism has distorted market theory beyond recognition to legitimize an ideology without logical or empirical foundation in the serve of a narrow class interest. "

-David C. Korten

Agenda For a New Economy

 

 

   "In the first decade of the twenty-first century, capital had come to have virtually no connection with the underlying social relations that generate economic value. As the embodiment of the economic value created by human labor, capital has always maintained an indirect relationship with the actual act of wealth generation, so this is not a new phenomenon. but the distance between capital and wealth generation have been attenuated beyond all previous bounds by the changes wrought by modern finance. The very concept of capital-not to mention capital itself-had been devalued by modern financial practices. Rather than a precious resource that can be used to improve the human condition through the provision of jobs, health care, education, and the like, capital has become further alienated from these social purposes than in earlier historical periods."

Michael Lewitt

The Death of Capital

 

 

 

"Laissez-faire, Supply-and-demand,-one begins to be weary of all that. Leave all to egoism, to ravenous greed of money, of pleasure, of applause;-it is the Gospel of Despair!"

-Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Past and Present

 

 

"To be blunt, credit is successfully re-established when financial elites say, "When." Credit  is close to a synonym for the mood of the ruling class. To say our economy is based on credit is to say it is based on animal mysteries. Glamour, prestige, elan, sprezznatura, cutting a figure....that is what the economy is made of."

-Christopher Caldwell

The Unwisdom of Crowds

 

 

"The main spur to trade, or rather to industry and ingenuity, is the exorbitant appetites of men, which they will take pains to gratifie, and so be disposed to work, when nothing else will incline them to it; for did men content themselves with bare necessaries, we should have a poor world."

Sir Dudley North (1641-91)

Discourses upon Trade

 

 

"The rich man in his castle,

The poor man at his gate,

God made them, high or lowly,

And order'd their estate"

-Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-95)

 

 

   "The consumer society lost its sense of direction when it adopted two myths to guide it. The first was that private vices are the source of public prosperity. Avarice, pride, envy and greed, rather than friendliness and kindness, are the necessary bases of a successful economy, said Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733), a doctor of nervous diseases, born in the Netherlands (possibly of French origin) and practicing in England, who wrote a best-selling Fable of the Bees, showing what disasters would occur if people were nice to each other, or if they tried to have any ambition other than self-interest. He was the first person to study luxury, but as will be seen, he did not study it enough: his other works, on hysteria, hypochondria and in defense of public brothels, show that he was concerned only with a limited range of human talents . The science of economics has ever since based itself on this rather narrow view of consumers acting rationally and predictably in their own interest.

   The second myth was invented by America's first major science fiction writer, L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) , creator of the Land of Oz, where anything is possible and where fantasies can be turned into realities. In 1897 he founded the Shop Window, the first magazine devoted to window dressing: seeing an object in a shop window, he said, should 'arouse in the observer a cupidity and longing to possess the goods'. That is what he himself enjoyed most, the feeling of desire.  His father having made a fortune in oil, his mother being a feminist, he wanted a different kind of life. Hard work and good causes bored him: he preferred to write fairy tales, preaching the creed of eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Thrift he despised as heartily as religion (though he was interested in spiritualism), all taboos in the way of desire irked him. The theatre, photography, motion pictures were his passions. Travel was his supreme pleasure, moving from hotel to hotel, which he thought of as outposts of paradise, the true fairy land."

Theodore Zeldin

An Intimate History of Humanity

 

 

"Likeness to truth is not the same as truth. Without any theoretical structure to explain why patterns seem to repeat themselves across time or across systems, these innovations provide little assurance that today's signals will trigger tomorrow's events. We are left with only the subtle sequences of data that the enormous power of the computer can reveal. Thus forecasting tools based on nonlinear models or on computer gymnastics are subject to many of the same hurdles that stand in the way of conventional probability theory: the raw material of the model is the data of the past."
 

-Peter Bernstein

Against the Gods

 

 

   "We can trace each of the major failures of our economic system to the misperception of money as wealth: the boom-and-bust cycles; the decimation of the middle class; families forced to choose between paying the rent, putting food on the table, and caring for their children; the decline of community life; and the wanton destruction of nature.

   Once the belief that money is wealth is implanted firmly in the mind, it is easy to accept the idea that money is a store-house of value rather than simply a storehouse of expectations, and that "making money" is the equivalent of "creating wealth." because Wall Street makes money in breathtaking quantities, we have allowed it to assume control of the whole economy-and therein lies the source of our problem."

-David C. Korten

Agenda for a New Economy from Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth

 

 

"The desire for money takes the place of all genuinely human needs. Thus the apparent accumulation of wealth is really the impoverishment of human nature, and its appropriate morality is the renunciation of human nature and desires0asceticism. The effect is to substitute an abstraction, Homo economicus, for the concrete totality of human nature, and thus to dehumanize human nature. In this dehumanized human nature man loses contact with his own body, more specifically with his senses, with sensuality, and with the pleasure-principal. And this dehumanized human nature produces an in-human consciousness whose only currency is abstractions divorced from real life-the industrious, coolly rational, economic, prosaic mind. Capitalism has made us so stupid and one-sided that objects exist for us only if we can possess them, if they have utility."

-Norman O. Brown Life Against Death

 

 

"Every economic system, whether Capitalist or Socialist, degenerates into a system of privilege and exploitation unless it is policed by a social morality, which can only reside in a minority of citizens.....Every Church becomes a vested interest without its heretics....Freedom is always in danger, and the majority of mankind will always acquiesce in its loss, unless a minority is willing to challenge the privileges of its few and the apathy of the masses."

-Richard Crossman    editor New Statesman

 

 

  "Indeed, Homo economicus inhabits a brutal, dog-eat-dog world in which concern for the well-being of others does not exist. The expression, Homo economicus, a slightly tongue-in-cheek construction, was in fact first applied at least 100 years ago to a vision of our species as one that relies on self-interest to obtain the maximum personal good at the lowest possible cost. But even earlier, in 1836, philosopher John Stuart Mill was propounding a model of "economic man" who "inevitably does that by which he may obtain the greatest amount of necessaries, conveniences, and luxuries, with the smallest quantity of labour and physical self-denial with which they be can be obtained." Implicit in this vision is that people are lazy and greedy, but also rational and self-interested and self-directed. Such a model elves no room for altruism. Further, it leaves utterly unexamined how people come to want what they want to begin with.

   We propose an alternative. Homo dictyous, or "network man" (from the Latin word for human Greek word for network) is a vision of human nature that addresses the origins of altruism and punishment, and also of desires, and repulsions. This perspective allows our motivations to depart from pure self-interest. Because we are connected to others, and because, crucially, we have evolved to care about others, we take the well-being of others into account when we make choices about what to do. Moreover, by stressing our embeddidness, this perspective allows us to formally include in our understanding of people's desires a crucial source: the desires of those around them. And, as we have seen, this applies to everything from our health behaviors to our musical tastes to our voting practices. We want what others to whom we are connected want."

-Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD. and James H. Fowler, PhD

Connected: The Surprising Power of  Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

 

 

   Without China, there would be no Cheap. Still, predictable generalizations about this vast and fascinating nation do not apply. In Shanghai and Taizhou the role American business interests have played in keeping prices low and conditions difficult is crystal-clear. The Chinese call those who make, sell, and profit from substandard and counterfeit goods the hexin, or "small, black-hearted ones," and as we will see, the hexin come in many nationalities. What I hope to convey is that we have more in common with the people of China than many of us would like to believe. As one trade expert told me: "The severe exploitation of China's factory workers and the contraction of the American middle class are two sides of the same coin."

-Ellen Ruppel Shell

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

 

 

"Look. I know that Americans have a hard time accepting that sweatshops can help people."

-Nicholas Kristof. "Where Sweatshops are a Dream"

 

 

"I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor."

-President William McKinley

 

 

"There is a striking paucity of explanations of the connections between so-called mental health and money. There are available norms and conventions, even though they are now by definition contentious, about our other appetites; guidelines about what it is good for us to want and why, about what is too much and what is too little; about causes and motives  about causes and motives and consequences; about pathologies and etiquette. But when it comes to what we might call our economic appetites we are in the dark. Economists don't tend to tell us what it is about having more money that is good for us, despite the common knowledge in the affluent world that the getting of money makes more and more people crazy, and that the having of money, though "still promising to solve and satisfy" in Larkin's line, is not enough for happiness."

Adam Phillips

Going Sane: Maps of Happiness

 

 

"One cannot defend production as satisfying wants if that production creates the wants."

 

   Were it so that a man on arising each morning was assailed by demons which instilled in him a passion sometimes for silk shirts, sometimes for kitchenware, sometimes for chamber pots, and sometimes for orange squash, there would be every reason to applaud the effort to find the goods, however odd, that quenched this flame. But should it be that his passion was the result of his first having cultivated the demons, and should it also be that his effort to ally it stirred the demons to ever greater and greater effort, there would be question as to how rational was his solution. Unless restrained by conventional attitudes, he might wonder if the solution lay with more goods or fewer demons.

   So it is that if production creates the wants it seeks to satisfy, or if the wants emerge pari passu with the production, then the urgency of the wants can no longer be used to defend the urgency of the production.

   Production only fills a void that it has itself created."

John Kenneth Galbraith

The Affluent Society

 

 

  "Economics has been the most durable lie of the approximately ten millennia mistakenly accepted as history. From it stem all those eternal truths and sacred causes that have governed master and slave alike, truths and causes to which generation, born simply to live, have been wantonly sacrificed.

   The time has come when the economic machine has begun to expose the cynical nakedness of its component parts. A long and bloody striptease has deprived it of myth and ideology. First the priestly robes were tossed into the dustbin, followed by the reversible coat of "democratic" states. Now the machine has been stripped down completely, exposing what in each of us has served as the cogs of its fundamental inhumanity. It no longer uses-nor needs-illusions and subterfuge to parody what it is and always has been: a system designed to ensure the survival of human beings at the expense of living."

-Raoul Vaneigem

The Movement of the Free Spirit

 

 

 

"If old men go to the poor-house and young men to prison, something is wrong with the economic system of government."

-Thomas Paine

 

 

"To sum up, we live in a world where economic growth is generally seen as both beneficent and necessary-the more, the better; where past growth has brought us to a perilous state environmentally; where we are poised for unprecedented increments in growth; where this growth is proceeding with wildly wrong market signals, including prices that do not incorporate environmental costs or reflect the needs of future generations; where a failed politics has not meaningfully corrected the market's obliviousness to environmental needs; where economies are routinely deploying technology that was created in an environmentally unaware era; where there is no hidden hand or inherent mechanism adequate to correct the destructive tendencies. So, right now, one can only conclude that growth is the enemy of environment. Economy and environment remain in collision."

-James Gustave Speth

The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

 

 

"There is a myth in wide circulation that the superiority of free trade is simply a settled question on which all serious economists agree. The flip side of this myth, of course, is that anyone who criticizes free trade must either be ignorant of economics, or the spokesman of some special interest which hopes to benefit from trade restrictions. Such critics are not only wrong, the story continues with admittedly impeccable logic, but profoundly worthy of public contempt, as they are necessarily either dumb or corrupt.

   Unfortunately, this myth is just that; a myth, promoted by special interests which benefit from free trade, whatever the harm to the rest of the economy. Serious economists actually recognize a number of very serious criticisms of free trade-even economists who ultimately decide that free trade is belter than the alternatives. They generally don't talk about the flaws of free trade too loudly, for fear of provoking the public into supporting stupid forms of protectionism, but they certainly know they are there.

   Thanks to recent developments in economics (most visibly signaled by Paul Krugman's winning the 2009 Nobel Prize), these criticisms are becoming more serious every day. There is, in fact, an inexorable erosion of the credibility of free trade going on in the academy, not that you'd know it from watching the economists who show up on TV..."

-Jan Fletcher   Yes, Virginia, There is a Legitimate Case Against Free Trade  truthout/Op-Ed

 

 

"Our dangerous class is not at the bottom, it is near the top of society. Riches without law are more dangerous than is poverty without law."

-Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87)

 

 

"The masses lack the capacity to think logically....A momentary, special advantage that may be enjoyed immediately appears more important than a lasting greater gain that must be deferred."

-Ludwig von Mises

*Ed note: Bankers don't think  logically/nor politicians. Actually- computers are the last users of logic. aa

 

 

"The wave of financial calamities that took place in 2008 was cloud-based. No one in the pre-digital-cloud era had the mental capacity to lie to himself in the way we routinely are able to now. The limitations of organic human memory and calculation put a cap on the intricacies of self-delusion. In finance, the rise of computer-assisted hedge funds and similar operations has turned capitalism into a search engine. You tend the engine in the computing cloud, and it searches for money. In the past, an investor had to be able to understand at least something about what an investment would actually accomplish. No longer. There are now so many layers of abstraction between the elite investor and actual events that he no longer has any concept of what is actually being done as a result of his investments.

   True believers in the hive mind seem to think that no number of layers of abstraction in a financial system can dull the system's efficacy. The crowd works for free, and statistical algorithms supposedly take the risk out of making bets if you are a lord of the cloud. But who is that lord who owns the cloud that connects the crowd? Not just anybody. A lucky few (for luck is all that it can possibly be involved) will own it. Entitlement has achieved its singularity and become infinite."

-Jaron Lanier   You Are Not A Gadget

 

 

"Real wealth is the power of metabolic and metaphysical regeneration."

-R. Buckminster Fuller

 

 

"Innovation is the source of a country's "structural dynamism" and is the root of just about everything good, like growth, employment and prosperity."

-Edmund S. Phelps  Nobel Laureate

 

 

"Nonetheless,, advancing discovery's not a goal to be reached by the mere application of will. Precisely because there is no obvious villain and no simple fix, and many complex factors behind success, science as a general topic doesn't play a big role in American political discourse. When it comes to understanding our macroeconomic predicament, we often seem to be missing the point."

-Tyler Cowen       Professor of economics at George Mason University "Innovation Is Doing Little for Incomes"  New York Times Sunday, Jan 30, 2011

 

 

"Although America produces plenty of innovations, most are not geared toward significantly raising the average standard of living. It seems that we are coming up with ideas that benefit relatively small numbers of people, compared with the broad-based advances of earlier decades, when the modern world was put into place. If pre-1973 growth rates had continued, for example, median family income in the United States would now be more than $80,000, as opposed to its current range of around $50,000."

-Professor Tyler Cowen

Ibid

 

 

"I will define the economy as the set of arrangements and activities by which a society satisfies its needs."

-W. Brian Arthur

 

 

"The economy is an expression of its technologies.

   I am not saying that an economy is identical to its technologies. There is more to an economy that this. Strategizing in business, investing, bidding, and trading-these are all activities and not purposed systems. What I  am saying is that the structure of the economy is formed by its technologies, that technologies, that technologies, if you like, form the economy's skeletal structure. The rest of the economy-the activities of commerce, the strategies and decisions of the various players in the game, the flows of goods and services and investments that result from these-form the muscle and neural structure and blood of the body-economic. But these parts surround are shaped by the set of technologies the purposed systems, that form the structure of the economy. "

-W. Brian Arthur

The Nature of Technology: What It Is And How It Evolves

 

 

"When the financial crisis washed the patina of stability from global markets, the world caught a glimpse of the frenetic eddies of activity coursing beneath the system. The sheer speed at which trillions of dollars were shuttling throughout the marketplace bordered on the inconceivable, and for many the crash raised a simple question: Can markets ever be truly stable when so much money is being moved so quickly? High-frequency algorithmic trading, a phenomenon coming under fire recently in both financial and political spheres, falls squarely within the scope of that concern. A cutting-edge form of electronic trading that uses powerful computers, high-frequency trading enables its users to transmit millions of orders a second.  The sophisticated software allows traders to scan the marketplace at super speeds, spotting trends and driving up prices before the average investor even has time to blink. electronic orders can be placed and canceled almost simultaneously, creating an atmosphere of confusion that those without the technology are unable to decipher. The result is a horribly uneven playing field-wealthy banks and hedge funds have a powerful upper hand over small and individual traders.

   As the use of high-speed computers becomes more prevalent (given the nature of competition, this technology will undoubtedly proliferate), we'll be in danger of moving toward a progressively more unreal economy. Money will course through the system at faster speeds than ever before, and the yawning disparity between real and perceived wealth will grow even wider. With machines scouting opportunities and calculating risks millions of times every second, the connection between the actual and virtual will become lost and we may lose our already tenuous grasp on financial reality."

-Sarah Nardi adbuster  Nr6 Vol 17 November/December 2009

 

 

"Robert Pollin an economist at the University of Massachusetts, told Ruppel Shell that raising the wages of a worker in Mexico by 30 percent would add only 1.2 percent to the price of a shirt-that's 24 cents on a $20 shirt. Most companies won't hear of it. Cost-cutting is the only value they recognize, in part because profit margins are so narrow that companies can't afford to compete on any basis except ever lower prices. An American  dream once fueled by ideas and entrepreneurship has been reduced to laying off workers and reducing risk. "When prices are kept too low, innovation is nearly impossible," the Harvard economist Robert Lawrence told Ruppel Shell. Apparently we're not even building better mousetraps anymore-just cheaper ones."

-Laura Shapiro (Review in New York Times Sunday July 19,2009) of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture" by Ellen Ruppel Shell

 

 

"Wal-Mart actually has higher than average prices on about one-third of the stock it carries. On those items for which prices are lower, the average savings is 37 cents, with about one-third of items carrying a saving of no more than 2 cents. The lower food prices however, do impress a number of economists, who argue that the discounts benefit everyone by forcing down food prices all over town."

Ellen Ruppel shell

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

 

 

"It is utterly indifferent to the English bourgeois whether his working-men starve or not, if only he makes money. All the conditions of life are measured by money, and what brings no money is non-sense, unpractical idealist bosh. Hence Political Economy, the science of Wealth, is the favourite study of these bartering Jews. Every one of them is a Political Economist."

-Frederick Engels (1820-95) The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844

 

 

"Nothing contributes so much to the prosperity and happiness of a country as high profits."

-David Ricardo (1772-1823) On Protection to Agriculture

 

 

"There is no other way of keeping profits up but by keeping wages down."

-David Ricardo

 

 

 

"The earnings of an entrepreneur sometimes represent nothing but the spoliation of the workmen. A profit not because the industry produces much more than it costs, but because it fails to give to the workman sufficient compensation for his toil. Such an industry is a social evil.

-Simonde de Sismondi (1773-1842 Nouveaux Principes d' Economie Politique,

* consider the internet   ed.

 

"For the study of political economy you need no special knowledge, no extensive library, no costly laboratory. You do not even need text-books nor teachers, if you will but think for yourselves."

-Henry George (1839-97)

 

 

"It's called political economy because it has nothing to do with either politics or economy."

-Stephen Leacock   (1869-1944)

 

 

"Despite economists' attempts to position themselves as benign umpires, their role is profoundly political. Economics was originally called "political economy', yet the scientific branding of economics serves to turn attention away from its intrinsically political role and uses. The public is rightly concerned when an eminent medical researcher is discovered to have drug industry ties. There is much less sensitivity to similar conflicts or ideological leanings among economists."

-Yves Smith

Econned

 

 

 

"The origin of economic thought is lost in the past. In its simplest form it must have always existed wherever thinking beings sought to gain a living."

-Lewis H. Haney   History of Economic Thought

 

 

"All privileged and powerful classes, as such, have used their power in the interest of their own selfishness, and have indulged their self-importance in despising, and not in lovingly caring for, those who were, in their estimation, degraded, by being under the necessity of working for their benefit."

-John Stuart Mill (1806-73) Principles of Political Economy

 

 

    "a wealthy corporate executive is more likely to receive a homeowner tax break-and to get a much bigger one-than a garment worker, a construction worker, or a schoolteacher. The current system subsidizes the rich to buy huge homes without helping most working families buy even a small bungalow. The real estate industry-homebuilders, Realtors, and mortgage bankers-has lobbied hard to preserve homeowner tax breaks arguing that they are the linchpins of the American Dream. This is nonsense. Only one-third of the 52 million households with incomes between $30,000 and $75,000 receive any homeowner subsidy,"

-Peter Drier    Occidental College Professor

 

 

   "Our elites-the ones in congress, the ones on Wall street, and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools-do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. they have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one. they are petty, timid and uncreative bureaucrats superbly trained to carry out systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions that will satisfy the corporate structure. Their entire focus is numbers, profits, and personal advancement. They lack a moral and intellectual core. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market-which they slavishly serve."

-Chris Hedges

Empire of Illusion

 

 

   "Most of the deals to sell the furniture of modern society come with provisions exempting the investors from state taxes, while extending deductions on federal tax returns. When built, these public assets were our common property. In private hands, though, their value can be written off by the new owners to reduce their taxes. This erodes the tax base and shifts a burden onto everyone else.

   Private investors are not alone in looking for safe, long-term returns from owning toll roads, bridges, and other income-producing properties. Pension funds for public workers are one of the major sources of money for these deals. Many of these deals include tax-sharing agreements so that the tax deductions all go to the taxable investors, not pension funds and other tax-exempt investors.

   These sales of assets are typically used to provide a one-shot injection of funds for state and local governments. Just as officials squandered most of the money from the settlements with tobacco companies, which paid up so they could go on addicting people to nicotine, so too will the money from these sales of public assets go for naught.

   The losers in this scenario are the taxpayers who bought and paid for these facilities. Now, more than a third of their value will be used to reduce revenues to the government, easing the burden on the wealthy investors and adding to those of everyone else. And they will have to pay for them all over again through user charges. And those tolls? Expect them to go up faster than government would have raised them."

Free Lunch

 

"Regulatory policy is increasingly made with the participation of experts, especially academics. A regulated firm or industry should be prepared whenever possible to co-opt these experts. This is most effectively done by identifying the leading experts in each relevant field and hiring them as consultants or advisors, or giving them research grants or the like. This activity requires a modicum of finesse, it must not be too blatant, for the experts themselves must not recognize that  they have lost their objectivity and freedom of action."

-The Regulation Game

 

"Despite the appearance under capitalism of these dual realms, the political and the economic, both realms carry on both functions, one openly, one covertly. The political realm openly conducts the business of politics....But at the same time it provides absolutely essential support for the private sector. It carries on economic activities which, were they privatized, would result in losses. It builds roads, infrastructure, it does things essential for the country that cannot be undertaken in the economic sphere because, by the rules of the game, these don't make money.

   Now you take the economic part. The economic sphere takes on a very important political task, which it doesn't recognize as being political, namely, assuring the essential discipline that maintains the work process. in feudal times, there's branding and clipping and a bailiff with a whip. In capitalism, no one whips the man who doesn't show up for work. Nobody assures discipline in the sense the feudal lord does. The disciplinary function, and it is there. God knows-the function of getting people to do work, they don't particularly like and do it regularly-is provided by the system. in the form of the need to gain income."

-Robert Heilbroner

 

 

"They lived during the seven hot months of the year under the trees.....In winter times these masses moved into big halls, built by the company, housing up to 3,000-4,000 people without walls of partition between them. Each family occupied the space of a blanket. There were no lavatories.....In debates with British colleagues we often tried to show them the mistake they were making in treating the Persians the way they did. The answer was usually: "We English have had hundreds of years of experience on how to treat the Natives. Socialism is all right back home, but out here you have to be master."

-Jerusalem Post report on how the British treated the Iranians

 

 

"My countrymen lack the bare necessities of existence. Their standard of living is probably one of the lowest in the world. Our greatest natural asset is oil. This should be the source of work and food for the population of Iran. Its exploitation should properly be our national industry, and the revenue from it should go to improve our conditions of life. As now organized, however, the petroleum industry has contributed practically nothing to the well-being of the people or to the technical progress or industrial development of my country. The evidence for that statement is that after fifty years of exploitation by a foreign company, we still do not have enough Iranian technicians and must call in foreign experts.

   Although Iran plays a considerable role in the world's petroleum supply and has produced a total of three hundred fifteen million tons over a period of fifty years, its entire gain, according to accounts of the former company, has been only one hundred ten million pounds sterling. To give you an idea of Iran's profits from this enormous industry, I may say that in 1948, according to accounts of the former Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, its net revenue amounted to sixty-one million pounds; but from those profits Iran received only nine million pounds, although twenty-eight million pounds went into the United Kingdom treasury in income tax alone....

   I must add here that the population living in the oil region of southern Iran and around Abadan, where there is the largest oil refinery in the world, is suffering conditions of absolute misery without even the barest necessities of life. If the exploitation of our oil industry continues in the future as it has in the past, if we are to tolerate a situation in which the Iranian plays the part of a mere manual worker in the oil fields of Masjid-i-Suleman, Agha Jari and Kermanshah and in the Abadan refinery, and if foreign exploiters continue to appropriate practically all of the income, then our people will remain forever in a state of poverty and misery. These are the reasons that have prompted the Iranian parliament-the Majlis and the Senate-to vote unanimously in favor of nationalizing the oil industry."

Speech by Mossadegh to United Nations Security Council right before the U.S. overthrew him and put in the Shah

 

 

"We must have cheap labor or we cannot sell cheap goods. When a clerk gets so good she can earn better wages elsewhere, let her go."

-Frank W. Woolworth  Five and Ten: The Fabulous Life of F.W. Woolworth

 

  

 

"William Gibson, whose Neuromancer  joined those books that changed my life for the deeper, visited; we had a thoughtful encounter. His meticulously realized vision saw great megalopoli dominating the biosphere, whose totality revolved around black holes of billionaires with riches so dense that their concentrations formed event-horizons from which no information could escape, just as black holes formed event-horizons from which no light could emerge. Gibson enlightened my reason and energized my inner shaman. The New World Order of Neuromancer-like black holes of finance might "disappear" the whole event"

John Allen

Me and The Biospheres.

 

 

"Corruption charges. Corruption? Corruption ain't nothing more than government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulation. That's Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel prize....Corruption is our protection. Corruption is what keeps us safe and war....Corruption is how we win."

-the character Danny Dalton, in the movie Syriana

 

 

"Its clear somebody has to win and somebody has to lose....it's not pretty at all because people say 'Oh My God...look how much money these guys are making while people are losing their homes and are complaining about the cost of eggs and sugar.' but so what? We don't live in a society that is pretty all the time. That's why it's capitalism."

-Daniel Strachman The Fundamentals of Hedge fund Management

 

 

"It has been estimated that modern electronics increase the GDP of the world by the equivalent of a million pounds every minute, a trillion dollars each year. The VAT and sales tax alone on this comes to a larger amount that world governments spend on fundamental scientific research."

-Frank Close

Lucifer's Legacy: The Meaning of Asymmetry

 

 

"Once upon a time economists thought economic growth came from the holy trinity of capital, resources and labour. then in the 1950s, the American economist Robert Solow proved that this accounted for only around 10 per cent. The remaining 90 percent he put down to "technical change"-technological progress and growth in knowledge. science and technology, in other words. In 1987, he won the Nobel prize in economics for his discovery.

   Today we seem to have forgotten Solow's insight. The key to scientific and technological productivity is to give creativity full rein. The academic research that spawned almost all the major advances of the 20th century, and which in turn fuelled spectacular global economic growth, was largely unmanaged. Yet in the 1970s, things changed. Since then, scientists have had to aim their funding proposals at specific objectives. peer review, seen as fundamental to scientific progress by too many researchers, has removed all spontaneity from the process of generating ideas. Such policies have led to a glittering profusion of new technologies, but most of them stem from major discoveries made decades ago. We are living off the seed corn."

-Donald W. Braben    article: Go Create  New scientist   23 Feb 2008

 

 

"....From the point of view of social utility, as we have estimated, quantum theory accounts for over 25% of the GNP of all the industrial powers. Just think, here are these European physicists obsessed with how the atom works, and out of their efforts come trillions of dollars of economic activity. If only wise and prescient governments had thought to put a 0.1 percent tax on quantum technological products, set aside for research and education....Anyway, it does indeed work."

Leon Lederman with Dick Teresi

The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the question?

 

 

  "Beyond the income slowdown, there is a further worry: an increasing share of the economy consists of education and health care. That trend is not necessarily bad, but in these two areas, results are often hard to measure. if health care costs rise 6 percent in a year, for example, that counts as higher G.D.P. but how much is our health actually improving?

-Tyler Cowen   New York Times , Sunday, Jan 30, 2011  Article: "Innovation is Doing Little for Incomes"

 

 

 

   "The wastes which resulted from leaving the conduct of industry to irresponsible individuals, wholly without mutual understanding or concert, were mainly four: first, the waste by mistaken undertakings; second, the waste from the competition and mutual hostility of those engaged in industry; third, the waste by periodical gluts and crises, with the consequent interruptions of industry; fourth, the waste from idle capital and labor, at all times. Any one of these four great leaks, were all the others stopped, would suffice to make the difference between wealth and poverty on the part of a nation."

Looking Backward/Edward Bellamy     1935

 

 

"At the moment, oil companies are sitting on a stash of $2.35 Trillion and growing. let's assume for a minute that they keep the 0.35 Trillion aside for buying garbage trucks and dumpsters. Two Trillion bucks would pay for about 8,000 to 15,000 plasma plants. Enough to handle waste of some fifteen billion people who crank out trash as prolifically as Americans. Since there are just a bit more than 6 Billion people on earth right now, and many of them generate precious little trash (or anything else, for that matter), it would seem that the companies that have heretofore been providing us with oil are perfectly positioned to become the planet's garbage kings while using a mere fraction of their savings to do it."

-Tom Blees

Prescription for the Planet

 

 

"Between boron and butanol, the oil industry is looking more and more like a dinosaur."

-Tom Blees

Prescription for the Planet

 

 

"If the bottom line is what's so important, here's a good bottom line for you: Proven energy efficiency programs can eliminate the need for hundreds of power plants, and we can enact them right now."

-Tom Blees

Prescription For the Planet

 

 

   "One of the most dangerous ideas at large in the current culture is that the "free market" is the ultimate arbiter of political decisions, and that there is an "invisible hand" that will direct us to the most desirable future, provided the free market is allowed to actualize itself. This mystical faith is based on reasonable empirical foundations, but when it is embraced as a final solution to the ills of humankind, it risks destroying both the material resources and the cultural achievements our species has so painstakingly developed."

-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 

 

 

   "To those calling for more trade and global economic growth to salve such damning deficiencies, it should be pointed out that both have been promoted vigorously throughout the past twenty-five years, yet during that time inequities in the world have only worsened. 'it's as though the people....have been rounded up and loaded onto two convoys of trucks (a huge big one and tiny little one) that have set off in resolutely opposite directions," writes Arundhati Roy. "The tiny convoy is on its way to a glittering destination somewhere near the top of the world. The other convoy just melts into the darkness." With the industrial capitalist system busily dividing the world in two, its priorities do not encompass either justice or the environment. Most of the world's children are poor, and most of the poor are children. More than 1 billion people wants jobs and cannot get them; for those who are employed, twice that number do not receive a living wage. Two billion more people will join the workforce in the next twenty years. In the United States, teenage employment is at its lowest level since 1948. Only two-thirds of U.S. workers between twenty and twenty-four were employed in 2005. Only one species on earth does not have full employment and that is Homo sapiens. When informed of the world's chronic unemployment, one third-grader asked, "Is all the work done?""

-Paul Hawken

Blessed Unrest

 

 

"Mainstream economics is all well and good when the impact of the economy on the environment and the resource base is small, but the same economics becomes irrelevant when we are up against ecological constraints....Economic growth transforms the economy to the point that mainstream economics is no longer adequate to diagnose problems or prescribe solutions.....With growth, externalities that might be marginal annoyances can become threats to survival."

-Stephen Marglin

The Dismal Science: how Thinking Like an Economist undermines community

 

 

   "Our point is not simply that Peak Commodities will require economists to change their obsolete ways of thinking. Rather, it is that capitalism may no longer work if the world is forced to start rationing and allocating resources. Unrestrained capitalism would bring about the Tragedy of the commons scenario, in which individual agents, pursuing their own self-interest, destroy the resource base and bring about a total economic collapse.

   Instead, we may come to define wealth in terms other than consumption. Certainly, material wealth is necessary for meeting our needs for food, clothing shelter, and medicine. We hope that in time the world's population escapes from poverty and fulfills these needs. However, as A.H. Maslow pointed out in 1946, once human beings achieve the necessities of life, they can easily move on to the pursuit of other goals, such as community building (what we now call social capital), personal needs such as self-esteem and confidence, and finally, self-actualization, in which they become fully integrated persons. We may in time see a world in which human happiness is defined not just by wealth but by the contribution one makes to one's community, the skills one attains, creative achievements, and the acquisition of wisdom."

Stephen Leeb PhD

Game Over

 

 

"Economists opposed to their field's free-market orthodoxy are finding their ideas trickling into the mainstream in America after decades of obstruction, reports Christopher Hayes in the left-leaning the Nation.

   The so-called heterodox economists question some of Adam Smith's conclusions that "markets, private property and minimal government will achieve maximum welfare," says heterodox economist David Ruccio of the University of Notre Dame. Beyond that, heterodox economists have a wide variety of positions, ranging from those who question whether humans are as rational as neoclassical economists assume to those who argue than an unequal distribution of power affects how markets work."

from The Nation-

 

                            An Unexpected Odd Couple: Free Markets and Freedom by Patricia Cohen

                                                     New York Times Thursday, June 14, 2007

   "When President Bush declared last week that political openness naturally accompanied economic openness, his counterparts in Beijing and Moscow were not the only ones to object. Liberal and conservative intellectuals even once ardent supporters, have backed away from the century-old theory that democracy and capitalism, like Paris Hilton and paparazzi , need each other to survive.

   From China, where astounding economic growth persists despite Communist Party rule, to Russia, where President Vladimir V. Putin has squelched opposition, to Venezuela, where dissent is silenced, developments around the world have been tearing jawbreaker-size holes in what has been a remarkably powerful idea, not only in academic circles but also bin both Republican and Democratic administrations-that capitalism and democracy are two sides of a coin."

"Capitalism doesn't necessarily lead toward democracy at all. The one thing that you can say is that capitalism is going to relentlessly produce inequality of Income, and eventually that is going to become incompatible with democracy."

Bruce R. Scott (Harvard economist)

 

 

"The root of Evil, Avarice,

That damn'd ill-natur'd baneful

Vice,

Was Slave to Prodigality,

That noble Sin; whilst Luxury

Employed a million 

more:

Envy itself, and Vanity,

Were Ministers of Industry;

Their darling Folly, Fickleness,

In Diet, Furniture, and Dress

That strange ridic'lous Vice , was

made.

That very Wheel that turned the

Trade"

Bernard de Mandeville (1670-1733)

The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits (1723)

 

 

 

"Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man or order of men."

-Adam Smith

 

 

 

"You show me a capitalist, I'll show you a bloodsucker."

-Malcolm X

 

"The trouble with  the profit system has always been that it was highly unprofitable to most people"

-E.B. White

 

 

"I don't see that anyone save a sap-head can now think he knows any history until he understands economics."

-Ezra Pound

 

 

"We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals. We know now that it is bad economics."

-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1937

 

 

"I pity that man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth shall starve in the process."

-Benjamin Harrison

 

 

"The economic interpretation of history does not mean that men are, consciously or unconsciously, wholly or primarily, actuated by economic motives."

-Joseph A. Schumpeter

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

 

 

"Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man."

Henry Hazlitt

Economics in one lesson

 

 

   "Further up the steps of imperial debt are the whole legions of analysis's, economists, and full-time obfuscators whose role is to make us all believe six impossible things before breakfast and a dozen more before dinner."

Bill Bonner

Empire of Debt

 

 

"Economics is not about goods and services; it is about human action and choice."

Ludwig von Mises

 

 

"There seem to be striking similarities between the role of economic statistics in our society and some of the functions which magic and divination play in primitive society."

-Ely Devons "Statistics as a Basis for Policy', Lloyds Bank Review, July 1954

 

 

"If Enterprise is afoot, wealth accumulates whatever may be happening to Thrift; and if Enterprise is asleep, wealth decays whatever Thrift may be doing."

-John Maynard Keynes A Treatise on Money 1930

 

 

Rags make Paper

Paper makes Money

Money makes Banks

Banks make Loans

Loans make Beggars

Beggars make Rags

-Anonymous, 18th Century

 

 

"Your corn is ripe today; mine will be so tomorrow. 'Tis profitable for us both, that I should labour with you today, that you should aid me tomorrow. I have no kindness for you, and know you have as little for me. I will not, therefore, take any pains on your account; and should I labour with you upon my own account, in expectation of a return, I know I should be disappointed, and that I should in vain depend upon your gratitude. Here then I leave you to labour alone: You treat me in the same manner. The seasons change; and both of us lose our harvests for want of mutual confidence and security."

-David Hume

 

 

"Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists."

J.K. Galbraith

 

 

"It is always depressing to go  back to Adam Smith, especially on economic development, as one realizes how little we have learned in nearly two hundred years."

-Kenneth E. Boulding

American Economics Review, May 1966

 

 

"Capitalism, though it has destroyed many ancient civilizations, and may destroy ours if we are not careful, is with us quite a recent heresy, hardly two hundred years old at its worst, though the sins it has let loose and glorified are the seven deadly ones, which are as old as human nature."

G.B.Shaw

 

"The capitalistic economy of the present day is an immense cosmos into which the individual is born, and which presents itself to him.....as an unalterable order of things in which he must live."

Max Weber

 

 

"It has become increasingly difficult for policy-makers who wish to practice, as they put it, a more 'caring' Capitalism, to realize the full potential of their economies."

Alan Greenspan  April 1998   *Ed: Thats the whole point isn't it Alan?

 

 

"Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress."

-Sir John Clapham  (1873-1946) A concise Economic History of Britain,

 

 

"Capitalism in its imperialist stage leads right up to the most comprehensive socialization of production; it, so to speak, drags the capitalists, against their will and consciousness, into some sort of a new social order, a transitional one from complete free competition to complete socialization. Production becomes social, but appropriation remains private. The social means of production remain the private property of a few."

Lenin

 

 

"It is a funny place, this world of Capitalism, with its astonishing spread of ignorance and helplessness, boasting all the time of its spread of education and enlightenment."

G.B. Shaw

 

 

"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil....Private capital tends to be concentrated in few hands....(resulting in) an oligarchy of private capital, the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists....The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interest of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover....private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult and indeed in most cases quite impossible for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

   The crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as preparation for his future career."

-Einstein, 1949

 

 

   "Most capitalist free-market ventures cannot succeed past a certain enlargement of growth without appealing to often substantial governmental subsidies-another factor that interlinks them with political motives. The subsidies are in turn derived from the taxpaying public, who are the first to experience both future-negative outcomes of enlargement inertias and the burden of underwriting the subsidies. The complexity of natural decline cycles must be integrated with all this, of which several ecological ones are in the offing during the transition. 

   I will predict that the change-routes of the millennial transition are headed to increases of mega-economic failures-of capitalism, of the new world order, of many national economies, and to the one correct expectation as given: the increase in the division between the haves and have-nots. Tough economic times for the have-nots are almost certainly ahead, and they will primarily constitute the nature of the transition superstructure.

Ingo Swann

Your Nostradamus Factor

 

"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist�.It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil."

John Maynard Keynes

 

 

"If there ever is another great synthetic statement to cover economics and its current problems of growth, then that new statement or theory will not be a general theory of economics alone, it will instead be a general theory of social affairs."

-M.J. Fores

('No more General Theories?' Economic Journal, Mar 1969)

 

 

"Once upon a time, economists thought economic growth came from the holy trinity of capital, resources and labour. Then in the 1950s, the American economist Robert Solow proved that this accounted for only around 10 percent. The remaining 90 per cent he put down to "technical change"-technological progress and growth in knowledge. Science and technology, in other words. In 1987, he won the Nobel prize in economics for his discovery.

   Today we seem to have forgotten Solow's Insight. The key to scientific and technological productivity is to give creativity full rein. The academic research that spawned almost all the major advances of the 20th century, and which in turn fuelled spectacular global economic growth, was largely unmanaged. Yet in the 1970s, things changed. Since then, scientists have had to aim their funding proposals at specific objectives. Peer review, seen as fundamental to scientific progress by too many researchers, has removed all spontaneity from the process of generating ideas. Such policies have led to a glittering profusion of new technologies, but most of them stem from major discoveries made decades ago. We are living off the seed corn.

   How did it go so wrong? In some ways the pre-peer-review era was a victim of its own success. As scientific development prospered, demand for funding began to outstrip supply, so that scientists had to market their ideas before they could work on them. It's all about funding priorities-how to divide resources between, say, health, the environment or defense. How can one spin the arguments by which one's favourite fields might benefit? Horse-trading and vested interests play major roles, and compromise inevitably decides the outcomes. Yet major-league science-the Intense, dispassionate study of profound and difficult problems-cannot tolerate compromise.

   Furthermore, the scientific successes of the last century were Inspired by a relatively small number of top scientists-around 400, according to my research, roughly the number who won Nobel prizes. These high-flyers-including the likes of Planck, Einstein, Fleming, Avery Townes, Franklin, Crick and Watson, whom together I call the "Planck club"-thrived in the environment of academic freedom that prevailed and made generic discoveries that opened the way to such wonders as lasers, nuclear power, biotechnology, computers and telecoms. If today's rigid policies had applied throughout the 20th century, a lot of their key ideas would got short shrift. No one at the time predicted they would lead to great discoveries, for they challenged consensus and met no perceived need."

See article: Go Create by Donald W. Braben   New Scientist Feb 2008

 

 

"After all, however blind economists may be to the fact, metaphysical convictions are the only ones which have the power absolutely to dominate men's lives, Economic reasons alone cannot account for the extraordinary power in the western civilization of today which the money-making motive exerts. ....The mood for work in....an "ascetic" Protestantism, although engendered by religious considerations, may easily become diverted to a purely economic interest when once the other-worldly point of view is abandoned."

Kemper Fullerton, "Calvinism and Capitalism", in Green, Robert W. ed Protestantism and Capitalism: The Weber Thesis and its Critics"

 

 

"For the study of political economy you need no special knowledge, no extensive library, no costly laboratory. You do not even need text-books nor teachers, if you will but think for yourselves."

Henry George

(Lecture at the U of California, 9 Mar 1877)

 

 

"There is no more important prerequisite to clear thinking in regard to economics itself than is recognition of its limited place among human interests at large."

-Frank H. Knight

The Economic Organization

 

 

"I do not prize the word cheap. It is not a word of inspiration. it is the badge of poverty, the signal of distress. Cheap merchandise means cheap men and cheap men mean a cheap country."

-William McKinley

 

 

"But the more I studied economic science, the smaller appeared the knowledge which I had of it, in proportion to the knowledge that I needed; and now, at the end of nearly half a century of almost exclusive study of it, I am conscious of more ignorance of it than I was at the beginning of the study."

-Alfred Marshall (Quoted in J.M. Keynes, Essays in Biography)

 

 

"While the United States was different from the Soviet Union in various ways, to the physicists in this story the crucial difference was its defense of capitalism against communism, free markets against government control of the economy. Marshall Institute initiatives make sense when read as an expression of an uncompromising commitment to market capitalism-indeed, market fundamentalism-and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to prevent creeping government control. To accept that the free market may be creating profound problems that it cannot solve would be, as one of us has argued elsewhere, "ideologically shattering." When scientific knowledge challenged their worldview, these men responded by challenging that knowledge.

    Believing in free market capitalism does not require one to dispute the scientific evidence of global warming or to misrepresent the state of scientific debate. But in the hands of the Marshall Institute, and those it has influenced, climate science has been profoundly misrepresented and a great deal of confusion and ignorance produced."

-Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

Agnotology: The making & Unmaking of Ignorance    ed by Robert N. Proctor & Londa Schiebinger

 

 

"The crowd always loses, because the crowd-or the public-is always wrong. It is wrong because it behaves normally."

Fred C. Kelly

Book:" Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by David Mackay (1841)

 

 

"...whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a crowd puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think, and act were he in a state of isolation."

Dr. le Bon

The Crowd

 

 

By a mighty effort of will,

John Stuart Mill

Overcame his natural bonhomie

And wrote

principles of political economy"

Edmund Clerihew Bentley

 

 

"If I had to live my life over again I should have devoted it to psychology. Economics has too little to do with ideals."

-Alfred Marshall(1842-1924)

Memorials of Alfred Marshall

 

 

"Unless mankind renounces the notion of economic progress, the biosphere will become unfit for life even during our lifetime."

Solzhenitsyn

 

 

"Time ....is the centre of the chief difficulty of almost every economic problem."

-Alfred Marshall (1842-1924)

Principles of Economics

 

 

"In the domain of Political Economy, free scientific inquiry meets not merely the same enemies as in all other domains. The peculiar nature of the material it deals with, summons as foes into the field of battle the most violent, mean and malignant passions of the human breast, the Furies of private interest."

-Karl Marx

Capital

 

 

"Hitler had already found how to cure unemployment before Keynes had finished explaining why it occurred."

-Joan Robinson

'The Second Crisis of Economic Theory' American Economic Review, May, 1972

 

 

"But then, economists, for their purported objectivity, are the most narrowly ethnocentric of people. Since they are universally urban intellectuals who understand little of rural ways, they early come to regard the land, all that grows upon it, as nothing more than another factor or production. Hence, it seems to them no loss, but indeed a gain, to turn all the worlds farming into high-yield agro-industry, to depopulate the rural areas, and to crowd the cities to the point of chronic breakdown and crisis."

Theodore Roszak

 

 

"The great majority of economists , are still pursuing the absurd ideal of making their science as scientific and precise as physics, as if there were no qualitative difference between mindless atoms and men made in the image of God."

E.F. Schumacher

Small is Beautiful

 

 

"When men or governments work intelligently and farsightedly for the good of others, they achieve their prosperity too..generosity is the best policy..Our morals and our interests-seen in true perspective"-do not pull apart."

Barabara Ward

Read: "The Nature of Economies" by Jane Jacobs

 

 

."....If anything is certain from this history, it is that those who see themselves as the strongest defenders of the system, those who proclaim themselves the most stalwart friends of free enterprise, even capitalism, will be the most fearful of measures designed to conserve the system. They will be the most antagonistic to the action that will improve its performance, enhance its reputation, increase its capacity to survive. Those who pray for the end of capitalism should never welcome the activist and affirmative spirit of the New Deal, World War II and after, or the New Frontier. This spirit, however on occasion the victim of its own enthusiasm, optimism or obligation to appease its opposition, is open to the efforts that make the system work. When motivated by such spirit, the system has worked-in the United States to the satisfaction of, at a minimum, something exceeding a majority. Those who yearn for the end of capitalism should pray for government by men who believe that all positive action is inimical to what they call thoughtfully the fundamental principles of free enterprise."

John Kenneth Galbraith

Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went

 

 

"The inhabitants of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth....he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the natural resources and new enterprises of any quarter of the world."

-John Maynard Keynes  ( describing the economy on the eve of World War I)

 

 

   "If economic forces are beyond criticism, we are driven to look elsewhere to explain the spreading ills of inequality and social decay. Given the assumption that economic laws represent perfection, ills must be explained as caused by individuals or governments. Both governments and individuals are then urged to improve themselves by adapting to the imperatives of the economic system. Government should shrink; individuals should obtain retraining. According to this view, is is human beings and their institutions that must adapt to the imperatives of the economic system, not the economy which must adapt to serve human beings."

Charles A Reich

 

 

"No subject is so much discussed today-or so little understood-as inflation*. The politicians in Washington talk of it as if it were some horrible visitation from without, over which they had no control-like a flood, a foreign invasion, or a plague. It is something they are always promising to "fight"-if Congress or the people will only give them the "weapons" or "a strong law" to do the job.

   Yet the plain truth is that our political leaders have brought on inflation by their own money and fiscal policies. They are promising to fight with their right hand the conditions brought on with their left."

-Henry Hazlitt

*Remember President Gerald Ford handing out plastic baseball bats to "beat inflation"? Ed.

 

"I believe in materialism. I believe in all the proceeds of a healthy materialism,-good cooking, dry houses, dry feet, sewers, drain pipes, hot water, baths, electric lights, automobiles, good roads, bright streets, long vacations away from the village pump, new ideas, fast horses, swift conversation, theatres, operas, orchestras, bands,-I believe in them all for everybody. The man who dies without knowing these things may be as exquisite as a saint, and as rich as a poet; but it is in spite of, not because of, his deprivation."

-Francis Hackett (1883-1962) 

Quoted in P.A. Samuelson Economics

 

 

GNP: gross naive 'proximation."

-Ralph Harris 

Everyman's Guide to Contemporary Economic Jargon',Growth, Advertising, and the Consumer

Book: "Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire" by Michael Hudson

"Unfortunately, higher prices are not the most important consequence of the political creation of new monetary units. These monetary units are endowed with full legal tender power. This means that, by law, they have the same purchasing power as all previously issued monetary units of the same name. New monetary units cannot be created by governments or anyone else without someone getting them and spending them first. Those who first receive these newly created monetary units are able to go out on the market and buy things they could not otherwise buy. They can and do buy things which other people would have bought with he money they had earned or saved. Thus every political creation of new money transfers wealth from workers and savers to those who are spending in the market place newly created monetary units which no has earned."

-Percy L. Greaves, Jr (from introduction Von Mises On the Manipulation of Money and Credit)

 

 

"A quick quiz. What do the following events have in common? The war in Iraq. The Exxon Valdez oil spill. The rise in America's prison population. The answer: They all contribute to our nation's Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, and therefore all are considered "good," at least in the dismal eyes of economists."

Eric Weiner

The Geography of Bliss

 

 

"Economics is so different from the natural sciences and technology on the one hand, and history and jurisprudence on the other hand, that it seems strange and repulsive to the beginners."

Ludwig Von Mises

 

 

   "In a remarkably prophetic essay, "The Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren," Keynes has some remarks that would seem to make him the king of the hippies, if hippies could read Keynes, the Master of the flower-children as well as of speculators. He said the problem of the future would be how to use the freedom from pressing economic cares "which science and compound interest will have won....to live wisely and agreeably and well." In this millennium, he wrote, "I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue-that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanor, and the love of money is detestable-

"that those who walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow. We shall once more value ends above means and prefer the good to the useful. We shall honor those who can teach us how to pluck the hour and the day virtuously and well, the delightful people who are capable of taking direct enjoyment in things, the lilies of the field who toil not, neither do they spin."

Adam Smith

The Money Game

 

 

"Thanking the captain, I went up to the shelves. Works of science, ethics, literature, in many languages, were in abundance; but I did not see a single book on economics, apparently a subject strictly proscribed on board."

Jules Verne

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

 

 

"Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence."

Hannah Arendt

On Revolution

 

 

A PLAN TO BANISH ECONOMIC INSECURITY. FOREVER.

Imagine a society where no one needs to fear economic destitution. Now try imagining that such a society is possible-without unemployment benefits or welfare programs. If it sounds like a big idea, that's because it is; the basic income guarantee (BIG) a shrewd and radical concept that the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG) would like to see gain some renewed traction.

   At its heart, a BIG is a simple concept: An unconditional payment from the government serves as a floor under everyone's income, so that regardless of gender, age, race, class, or creed, people can meet their basic needs. "Income in a market economy doesn't have to start at zero," USBIG .....The blanket payment would also reduce gender inequalities in our current social support system, the University of Reading political lecturer explains. In the United States, a disproportionate percentage of elderly women live in poverty, because Social Security favors direct earners over spouses and children. Additionally while developed countries could afford a larger payment less developed countries could still substantially support their citizens with a smaller sum......

Utne Reader Jan-Feb 10

 

 

"We find that three to five times more jobs are generated per dollar invested in green technology than when you do additional fossil fuels. It's a significant producer of new economic activity."

-See Newton Transformation Council ,,,Newton Iowa

 

   "....What lies behind this trans-Atlantic policy paralysis? I'm increasingly convinced that it's a response to interest-group pressure. Consciously or not, policy makers are catering almost exclusively to the interests of rentiers-those who derive lots of income from assets, who lent large sums of money in the past, often unwisely, but are now being protected from loss at everyone else's expense.

   Of course, that's not the way what I call the Pain Caucus makes its case. Instead, the argument against helping the unemployed is framed in terms of economic risks: Do anything to create jobs and interest rates will soar; runaway inflation will break out, and so on. But these risks keep not materializing. Interest rates remain near historic lows, while inflation outside the price of oil-which is determined by world markets and events, not U.S. policy-remains low.

   And against these hypothetical risks one must set the reality of an economy that remains deeply depressed, at great cost both to today's workers and to our nation's future. After all, how can we expect to prosper two decades from now when millions of young graduates are, in effect, being denied the chance to get started on  their careers."

-Paul Krugman  "Rule by Rentiers" The New York Times Friday June 10, 2011

 

 

   "There are powerful reasons to question and challenge our economic religion. Our "economic laws" are human creations, not infallible laws of the natural universe. Even if these were once beneficial, they are still subject to reexamination because of profound changes in circumstances and context. The world of 1776, when Adam Smith published his book describing the free market, has been replaced by a centralized and highly organized economy; it is absurd to assume that the Adam Smith economic model still operates in the same way. But the greatest reason for questioning our economic system lies in the spreading disorder and impoverishment that has accompanied recent economic growth. To challenge the religion of economic growth we must understand how what was once good and beneficial has become the major threat to human survival."

Charles A. Reich

Opposing the System

 

 

"There are those who believe that if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them."

-William Jennings Bryan , in his "Cross of Gold" speech at the Democratic Party National Convention, Chicago, July 8, 1896

 

 

 

"In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries."

Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

Guide to Kulchur

 

 

 

"The expansion of government to its present scale has politicized virtually all economic life. The wages being paid most workers today are political wages, reflecting political pressures rather than anything that might be considered the normal working of supply and demand. The prices farmers receive are political prices. The profits business is earning are political profits. The savings people hold have become political savings, since their real value is subject to abrupt depreciation by political decisions."

Samuel Lubell

The Future of American Politics

 

 

 

"We live in a system called capitalism, but it might better be called subsidism. There is hardly a significant economic interest in the country that does not benefit from public funds. The money flows are so voluminous, varied, and complex that nobody has yet been able to track them comprehensively, even on a state level. Perhaps a wall-size electronic display could cope with the complexities involved so that citizen could literally see at last where this money was going"

Bring Back the Buffalo

 

 

"Capitalism....is at war with the family, for the same reason which has led to its being at war with the Trade Union.....It desires its victims to be individuals, or (in other words) to be atoms. For the word atom, in its clearest meaning (which is none too clear) might be translated as "individual". If there be any bond, if there be any brotherhood, if there be any class loyalty or domestic discipline, by which the poor can help the poor, these emancipators will certainly strive to loosen that bond or lift that discipline in the most liberal fashion....in other words smash it to atoms.

   The masters of modern plutocracy know what they are about....A very profound and precise instinct has led them to single out the human household as the chief obstacle to their inhuman progress. Without the family we are helpless before the State, which in our modern case is the Servile State."

-G.K. Chesterton

 

 "

Keynes (Essay "The End of Laissez-Faire) 

 Ye build! Ye build! But ye enter not in�

Like the tribes whom the desert devoured in their sin;

From the land of promise ye fade and die,

Ere it verdure gleams forth on your wearied eye."

Mrs. Signourney

 

 

"Accordingly, if we take into account all reasonable factors, it is by no means clear whether the world is growing richer or poorer."

Richard M. Weaver

 

 

"For Josh and I fancied ourselves among the New Men of England....We understood well the most important lesson of the time-namely, that the real wealth of Englishmen would henceforth derive not from the actual doing and making of Things, not from the owning and exploiting of Lands, but rather from the buying and selling of Prospects and Risks."

-Gary Krist

Extravagance

 

 

American workers now net almost 20% less in real wages than they did in 1973; we are the only Western nation to have so retrogressed. After taxes, two pay-checks in a family barely equal the purchasing power one had twenty-five years ago. The average household income is only $33,000 and going nowhere, bringing America down to eighth place in the world in per capita income.

The gulf between corporate wealth and middle-class penury is spreading, creating a great divide, one which we�ve never experienced before. During 1995, as Wall Street rose some 35%, one of the largest gains in history, the average American lost 2% in real income."

Martin L. Gross

The Political Racket

 

 

"Maximization of GNP is not a proper objective of policy. Economists all know that, and yet their everyday use of GNP as the standard measure of economic performance apparently conveys the impression that they are evangelistic worshippers of GNP."

William Nordhaus and James Tobin

(Yale economists, in their 1972 landmark study criticizing the use of GNP and proposing an alternative indicator, the Measure of Economic Welfare (MEW)

 

 

"As every economist knows, calculations of GNP, especially in the poor countries, are largely exercises in the statistical imagination, and even if they were accurate, the GNP itself can be a very poor measure of welfare."

-Kenneth E. Boulding

American Economic Review May 1966

 

 

"Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress."

-Sir John Clapham (1873-1946)

A Concise Economic History of Britain

 

 

"The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income as defined (by the GNP)�.Goals for "more" growth should specify more growth of what and for what."

Simon Kuznets (original architect of GNP)

The New Republic,1962

 

 

The hundreds of Billions of dollars drained from our (U.S.) economy in excessive energy cost are the real drag on our economy. If we had Japan�s efficiency we would spend $230 Billion a year instead of 5450 Billion. We would employ more people and pollute less ,the future belongs to the energy efficient.

-Amory Lovins

 

 

"Economics is an evolutionary science. Economic ideas are not sacred principles carven in stone, as some economists like to suggest, but merely inferences drawn from observing men�s constantly evolving efforts to create wealth. Thus economic ideas need to be re-evaluated whenever the pattern of man�s economic activities undergoes significant change."

Eamonn Fingleton

Blindside

 

 

   "Economic growth has become separated from the needs of human beings and the human community. The more growth proceeds along this separate path, the more conflict it creates. Why is this happening? We must recognize that an exclusive reliance on economic and organizational efficiency produces a conflict model of society. Economic efficiency dictates that labor costs be cut whenever possible., forcing more and more working people into lower paying, less secure jobs or forcing them out of the economy altogether. Organizational efficiency has been the basis for a greater and greater concentration of power at the top. When society itself comes to be modeled on these economic and organizational principles, all of the forces that bind people together are torn apart in the struggle for survival, community is destroyed, and we are no longer "in this together' because everyone is a threat to everyone else. In the long run, the conflict model of a society is not efficient at all, because the costs of exclusion and divisiveness become enormous, and because there are fewer and fewer people able to afford the goods that are produced. Indeed, an atmosphere of pervasive conflict encourages every form of racial, religious, and class hatred as group is pitted against group; it encourages violence and crime, and it strips people of kindness and compassion as these qualities become disadvantageous in an ever more warlike atmosphere.

Charles A Reich

Opposing the System

Everyday $1 TRILLION is traded at the speed of light �..005%=5 Billion per-day times 260 working days= $1.3 Trillion per year

 

 

"Only sure beneficiaries are those manning the trading desks and inventing the myriad of new devices to reduce risk-or to facilitate speculation.

Paul Volcker

Book" The Vandals Crown

By Gregory T. Millman

 

 

"The ultimate problem of production is the production of human beings. To this end, the production of goods is intermediate and auxiliary. It is by this standard that the present system stands condemned....Machinery and technological improvements are means, but again are not the end....the means have to be implemented by a social-economic system that establishes and uses the means for the production of free human beings associating with one another on terms of equality."

John Dewey (1939)

 

 

GNP does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate of the integrity of our public officials. It allows neither for the justness of our dealing with each other. The gross national product measures neither our wit nor courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile."

Robert Kennedy

 

 

"By the curious standard of the GDP , the nation�s economic hero is a terminal cancer patient who is going through a costly divorce. The happiest event is an earthquake or a hurricane. The most desirable habitat is a multibillion-dollar Superfund site. All these add to GDP , because they cause money to change hands. It is as if a business kept a balance sheet by merely adding up all "transactions," without distinguishing between income and expenses, or between assets and liabilities."

Clifford Cobb, Ted Halstead & Jonathan Rowe

"The Genuine Progress Indicator: Summary of data and methodology"

 

 

"When the environment is finally forced to file for bankruptcy because its resource base has been polluted, degraded, dissipated, and irretrievably compromised, the economy will go down with it."

Timothy Wirth

 

 

"The mechanisms are straightforward. With capital highly mobile and labor immobile, the globalization of the economy provides employers with the means to play one national labor force against another. The device can be used to diminish living standards, security, opportunities, and expectations for the great mass of the population, while profits soar and privileged sectors live in increasing luxury. Note that the mobility of capital and the immobility of labor reverses the basic conditions of classical economic theory, which derived its conclusions about the benefits of comparative advantage and free trade from the assumption that capital is relatively immobile and labor highly mobile, assumptions that were realistic in Ricardo�s day."

Noam Chomsky

World Orders Old and New

 

"As for the New World Order, it is very much like the old, in a new guise. There are important developments, notably the increasing internationalization of the economy with its consequences, including the sharpening of class differences on a global scale, and the extension of this system to the former Soviet domains. But there are no fundamental changes, and no "new paradigms" are needed to make sense of what is happening. The basic rules of world order remain as they have always been: the rule of law for the weak, the rule of force for the strong; the principles of "economic rationality" for the weak, state power and intervention for the strong."

Noam Chomsky

 

"The optimism of neoclassical economics�who have great faith in the potential of human ingenuity when spurred by need is deceptive and imprudent. We are taking a huge gamble if we follow the path they suggest, which is to wait till scarcities are critical and watch human ingenuity burst forth in response. Should it turn out, in the end, that this strategy was wrong, we will not be able to return to a world resembling anything like the one we have today�..on the soils ,waters, and forests will be irreversibly damaged, and our societies, especially the poorest ones, will be so riven with discord that even heroic efforts at social renovation will fail."

Thomas Homer-Dixon (Toronto University)

 

"People may disagree on the question of whether everybody ought to study economics seriously. But one thing is certain. A man who publicly talks or writes about the opposition between capitalism and socialism without having fully familiarized himself with all that economics has to say about these issues is an irresponsible babbler."

Ludwig Von Mises

The Anti-capitalistic Mentality

 

"Adam Smith and his contemporaries knew well what they were condemning when they wrote against the State interference in trade and the trade monopolies of State creation. Unhappily, their followers, with their hopeless superficiality, flung medieval guilds and State interferences into the same sack, making no distinction between Versailles edict and a guild ordinance."

Kropotkin

 

 

"It seems to be a law in American life that whatever enriches us anywhere except in the wallet inevitably becomes uneconomic."

Russell Baker (NY Times 24 Mar 1968

 

 

"�.The economist sits in the calm of professional tenure and government subsidy, commenting and explaining for the illumination of the press and the general public. If those who fail happen to be fellow humans, neighbors, children of God, and citizens of the republic, all that is outside the purview of the economist. As the farmers go under, as communities close their economic supports, as all of rural America sits as if condemned in the shadow of the "free market" and "revolutionary science," the economist announces pontifically to the press that "there will be some winner and some losers"-as if that might justify and clarify everything, or anything. The sciences, one gathers, mindlessly serve economics, and the humanities defer abjectly to the sciences. All assume, apparently, that we are in the grip of the determination of economic laws that are the laws of the universe. The newspapers quote the economists as the ultimate authorities. We read their pronouncements, knowing that the last word has been said."

Wendell Berry

What are People For?

 

 

"But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings."

Franklin D. Roosevelt  (Speech 2 july,1932

Democratic National Convention)

 

 

"Few of us can stand prosperity. Another Man�s, I mean."

Mark Twain

 

 

"In human societies, extremes of wealth and poverty are chief sources of evil."

Aristotle

 

"Modern life has no more tragical figure than the gaunt, hungry laborer wandering about the crowded centers of industry and wealth, begin in vain for permission to share in that industry and to contribute to that wealth: asking, in return, not the comfort and luxuries of civilized life, but the rough food and shelter for himself and family which would be practically secured to him in the rudest form of savage society."

John Hobson

 

 

"If the foundations of living (i.e. agriculture and production) are strengthened and economically used, then Nature cannot bring impoverishment. If the people�s nourishment is sufficient and their labor in keeping with the seasons, then Nature cannot inflict sickness. If the foundations of living are neglected and used extravagantly, the Nature cannot make the country rich."

Chun Tzu, (250 B.C.)

 

 

"I learned that economics was not an exact science and that the most erudite men would analyze the economic ills of the world and devise a totally different conclusion�.Yet governments still pin their faith to some new economic nostrum which is produced periodically by some bright young man. Only time reproves that his alleged magic touch is illusory."

Edith Summerskill

 

 

"If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid."

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)

 

 

"An economist�s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else�s."

Will Rogers

 

 

"The science hangs like a gathering fog in a valley, a fog which begins nowhere and goes nowhere, an incidental, unmeaning inconvenience to passers-by."

H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

 

 

 

Economy! We have fulfilled the annual

plan:

1,100 street hustlers; 2,000 young

prostitutes; 8,000 opportunists.

Plus, 300 non-mentally disabled and the

   syndrome of mediocrity.

Economy! In times of a Havana that is

   unrecognizable,

By sweeping the house, you cleanse the

   economy.

Strong legs for the rocky path,

Legs that are only for the percentages of

   economic shame.

Shameful economy! Economy of shame!

   Economy of Shame!"

 by Yoani Sanchez   see her video recording, viewable at nytimes.com/weekinreview

 

 

Here is an excerpt translated by The New York Times, from one of Ms. Sanchez's posts this month, titled "The Architecture of Urgency."

   On an island, where acquiring cement, cinderblocks or steel is comparable to obtaining a bit of lunar dust, destroying in order to build has become a  common practice. there are specialists in removing bricks of clay intact from the walls in which they have been embedded for 80 years; experts in disengaging blue ceramic tiles from demolished mansions; and skillful "deconstructors" who extract metal beams from heaps of rubble. They use what they have recovered to create their own living space, this in a country where no one can legally buy a house. The main "quarries" where they obtain their material are houses that have collapsed or workplaces that the state's inactivity has left abandoned for many years. They fall upon these with an efficiency in their plunder that one would wish to see in the lethargic bricklayer's working for a salary.

   Some of these skillful recyclers have died when a roof collapses or when a wall too riddled with holes at its base falls. But sometimes luck smiles on them, and they find a toilet without cracks or an electrical outlet that the owners of the demolished house could not...in their haste....take with them. A kilometer from the looting site, a small house of tin and zinc slowly begins to change. they have added the tile pavement from a building that collapsed at the corner of Neputuno and Aguilla, a piece of the exterior grating from an abandoned mansion on Linea Street and even a stained-glass window plucked from a convent in the old part of Havana. Within this home that is the fruit of looting, a family-equally ravaged by life-dreams of the next factory to be dismantled and carried away on their shoulders."

from a blogger in Cuba....See article: "Virtually Outspoken in Cuba" by Larry Rohter New York Times Oct 18,2009

 


"The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists."

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Notes on the Next War: A Serious topical letter

Esquire Magazine

 

"Economic progress, in capitalist society, means turmoil."

Joseph A. Schumpeter (1883-1950)

 

 

"In the usual (though certainly not in every) public decision on economic policy, the choice is between courses that are almost equally good or equally bad. It is the narrowest decisions that are most ardently debated. If the world is lucky enough to enjoy peace, it may even one day make the discovery, to the horror of doctrinaire free-enterprisers and doctrinaire planners alike, that what is called capitalism and what is called socialism are both capable of working quite well."

John Kenneth Galbraith

The American Economy; its substance and myth

 

 

"We might come closer to balancing the Budget if all of us lived closer to the commandments and the Golden Rule."

Ronald Reagan (Observer, London 5 feb 1983)

 

   "Reagan's son, Ron, says in the film that he believes his father "was vulnerable to the idea that poor people were somehow poor because it was their fault."

From Documentary Reagan HBO documentary

The New York Times 

 

"You cannot be fair in your historical evaluation of Ronald Reagan if you don't look at the terrible damage his economic policies did to this country"

-Mark Hertsgaard

On Bended Knee: The press and the Reagan Presidency

 

   "But when all is said and done, it is the economic revolution that gained steam during he Reagan years and is still squeezing the life out of the middle class and the poor that is Reagan's most significant legacy. A phony version of that legacy is relentlessly promoted by right-wingers who shamelessly pursue the interests of the very rich while invoking the Reagan brand to give the impression that they are in fact the champions of ordinary people."

-Bob Herbert  "Reagan and Reality" The New York Times Feb 15, 2011

 

   "Paul Volker, who served as chairman of the Federal Reserve during most of the Reagan years, commented in the film about the economist Arthur Laffer's famous curve, which incredibly, became a cornerstone of national economic policy. "The Laffer Curve," said Mr. Volcker," was presented as an intellectual support for the idea that reducing taxes would produce more revenues, and that was ,I think, considered by most people a pretty extreme interpretation of what could happen."

-Bob Herbert  "Reagan and Reality" The New York Times Feb 15, 2011 (upcoming HBO documentary)

 

 

"And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude."

Thomas Jefferson

1816

 

"We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of he most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues�.the love of money as a possession, as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life-would be recognized as a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi criminal, semi pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease."

Keynes 1928 (Lecture entitled: Economic Possibilities for Our grandchildren)

 

"The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and �.the head and heart will be occupied�.by the real problems-the problems of life and human relations, of creation and behaviour and religion."

Keynes 1924

 

   "It is true that the capitalist system has shown a tremendous capacity for renewal: while increasing its efficiency many times over, it has reformed and humanized itself. Abundance reigns in the West, and a large, prosperous middle class now includes much of the old proletariat. But this prosperity reaches only a fraction of the human species. And who can deny the injustice and the inequality that still exist in the most developed nations? The many deplorable aspects of the consumer society? Abundance has not made Europeans or North Americans more kindhearted, or wiser, or happier. To measure our aesthetic impoverishment, our moral and spiritual baseness, we need only compare ourselves with an Athenian of the fifth century B.C. a Roman in the days of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, or a fifteenth-century Florentine."

Octavio Paz

The Other Voice

 

Adam Smith and all his kith

Want an unseen hand to guide us,

While Maynard Keynes doth, at some pains,

A steering wheel provide us.

 

"If there was ever a discipline that should be founded on reason alone, it is economics. Yet, like politics, economics has now been so theorized and theologized, so supercharged with tendentiousness and unreason, as to almost be completely shrouded from the prying eye of objectivity."

Wilmot Robertson

The Dispossessed Majority

 

 

"�.The old economics was designed to eliminate scarcities-which it has succeeded in doing. This miracle has been completely ignored in the current economic debate. Our workers, businesses, and government have accomplished great things, and deserve a reward, not pointless belt-tightening "sacrifice." The old economics was the science of he "allocation of scarce resources." The challenge to the new economics is the distribution of abundant resources. The science of abundance requires different principles than the science of scarcity, just as the science of flying in the vacuum of space requires different principles than flying through the atmosphere of earth."

Rick Boettger Ph.D

The Deficit Lie

 

 

"By following a false and irrelevant measurement of a spurious "deficit," we have ignored the true deficit-insufficient money to buy the real wealth we have already created."

Rick Boettger Ph.D.

 

 

"Economists still use the math of the nineteenth century. It is as much fun for them as Nintendo is for youngsters, and about equally as useful for the challenges of the modern age of abundance."

Rick Boettger Ph.D.

 

 

"Where the army is, prices are high; when prices rise the wealth of the people is exhausted."

SunTzu (400 B.C.)

The Art of War

 

 

"I am one of those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic; inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country."

Andrew Jackson (1825)

 

 

"If the American people ever allow banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the corporation that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their forefathers conquered."

Thomas Jefferson

 

 

"By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens�.the process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

John Maynard Keynes

 

"�.Now we are being told that the only system allowed is that of capitalist free markets, of globalization. Everyone must accept this system or be deemed a heretic and punished accordingly. Not the slightest modification is permitted. That the unfettered, unregulated free market has destroyed the economies of whole regions and many countries in the world does not matter. The important thing is that the system is upheld.

There was a time when Christians believed in the Inquisition, in killing Christian noncomformists, Muslims and Jews. It went on for 300 years before it dawned upon the inquisitors that what they were doing was not Christian at all. Many ideologies took decades, even centuries to be acknowledged as wrong. So the question must be asked: How long before we reject the infallibility of the free-market dogmas? Some are already timidly criticizing the International Monetary Fund, the speculators, the capital flows across borders, the right of the self-appointed market forces to discipline elected governments. Can we wait 300 years? The damage is already extensive. It will take decades to restore the economies. Should we fiddle?"

Mahathir Mohamad (Prime Minister of Malaysia)

Time�Sep 21, 1998

 

"The more resources are expended to no purpose, the more money approaches nothing as a value."

John D. Isaacs

 

 

"The world will end neither with a bang nor a whimper, but with the strident cries of little men devoted to cost-benefit rations. If cost benefit rations had governed our history, Socrates would have become a baby-sitter, Newton an apple polisher, Galileo and Giordano Bruno court jesters. Columbus would have taken out a gondola concession in Venice, Thomas Jefferson would have become a tax collector, John Milton would have written limericks. And Albert Einstein would have changed his name and stayed in Germany."

Norman Cousins

 

 

"Economists themselves, like most specialists, normally suffer from a kind of metaphysical blindness, assuming that there is a science of absolute and invariable truths, without any presumptions."

E.F. Schumacher

 

 

"No longer need there be economies of scale in which massive amounts of fossil fuel are used to grow wheat in vast acreages so that huge trucks can burn gasoline to take flour into the enormous cities where great factories can make Ritz Crackers that can then be trucked again to the airports so that jumbo jets can fly them down to Venezuela where multinational forms of advertising can convince the peasants to abandon their locally made tortillas in favor of the creations of Nabisco."

William Irwin Thompson

Evil and World Order

 

"Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field."

Ecclesiastes 5:9

 

"It is this accursed practice of forever considering only what seems expedient for the occasion�.of never listening to the true and unerring impulses of our better nature, which has led the cooler-hearted men to the study of political economy�..in a few years we shall either be governed by an aristocracy, or what is still more likely, by a contemptible democratical oligarchy of glib economists, compared to which the worst form of aristocracy would be a blessing."

Coleridge

 

"My other piece of advice, CopperField," said Mr. Micawber, is this: "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen six, result-happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds, ought and six, result-misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the God of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and-and, in short you are forever floored. As I am!

Dickens

 

"The aspirant has an appreciation of the occult value of money in service. He seeks nothing for himself, save that which may equip him for the work to be done, and he looks upon money and that which money can purchase as something which is to be used for other�s,. and as a means to bring about the fruition of the Master�s plans as he senses those plans�..Only he who desires naught for himself can be a recipient of financial bounty, and a dispenser of the riches of the universe."

Alice Bailey

Ponder This

 

 

"The average taxpayer in a modern democracy must pay more tithes and taxes than ever was demanded by imperialists, kings, and other historical extortionists. In the name of the "great ideal" we are told by generals, politicians, scientists and social do-gooders that ever bigger budgets and expenditures are needed to cure the national diseases and world problems."

Christopher Hills

Nuclear Evolution

 

 

"Nothing is required and nothing will avail, except a little, a very little, clear thinking."

Keynes

 

 

"In the production of consumer�s goods and their distribution to give universal economic security, they succeeded more completely than any nation before or since."

Arthur Morgan

Nowhere was Somewhere (about the INCANS)

 

 

"He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of public credit, and it sprang upon its feet."

Daniel Webster (on Alexander Hamilton 1831)

 

"the truth is, we are all caught in a great economic system which is heartless."

Woodrow Wilson (1913)

 

"Homo economicus� is not behind us, but before us."

Marcel Mauss

 

"The fully planned economy, so far from being unpopular is warmly regarded by those who know it best."

John Kenneth Galbraith

 

 

"The era of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes has passed. The era of mathematical chaos and positive feedback has arrived. This is the friction-free economy."

T.G. Lewis

The Friction Free Economy

 

"What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent."

John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Western economies today are the most vulnerable in history. When I speak of a vulnerable economic system I do not refer to vulnerability of the system to its own internal processes; in ours to the uncertainty of the adjustment among the factors of capital, production, distribution, labour, income, international balance of payments, and so on. In this sense anthropology has discovered no economic system on earth outside the West, in which such basic factors repeatedly move so seriously out of adjustment to one another that the economy temporarily collapses and people starve amid plenty. Economic vulnerability is thus a �gift� to mankind of the �higher civilization�; and wherever the western system is imposed on simpler economies they too become vulnerable."

Jules Henry

On Sham, Vulnerability, and forms of Self-Destruction 

 It is important to revive and revitalize the biblical meaning of judgment (Krisis) as that establishment of justice which by necessity mean mercy for the wronged and loss for those who have too much."

Krister Stendahl

 

 

"A radical conversion of the non-poor is needed today."

Maria Augustine Neal

 

We Need a Better Class of Rich People  (bumper sticker)

 

"If a person who was rich enough in this world�s goods saw that one of his brothers or sisters was in need, but closed his heart to this person, how could the Love of God be living in him or her? My children, our love is not be just words or mere talk, but something real and active."

John 1st Epistle

 

"Is not this sort of Fast that pleases me

-it is the Lord YHVH who speaks-

to break unjust fetters

and undo the throngs of the yoke.

To let the oppressed go free,

And break every yoke,

To share your bread with the hungry,

And shelter the homeless poor.

To clothe the man you see to be naked

And not turn from your own kind?"

(Is 58:6)

 

 

"Economists in particular, for the most part, have failed to come to grips with the ultimate consequences of the transition from the open to the closed earth�..the closed earth of the future requires economic principles which are somewhat different from those of the open earth of the past�.the earth has become a single spaceship, without unlimited reservoirs of anything, either for extraction or pollution, and in which, therefore, man must find his place in a cyclical ecological system."

Kenneth E. Boulding

The Economics of Spaceship Earth 

 We are witnessing the final death throes of the principal of national self-sufficiency."

Gerald & Patricia Mische

 

 

"Another myth that is perpetuated as long as persons remain un-critical of the worshup motif in the ladder economy is the myth that middle class living is what America wants for all its citizens and all citizens of the world. Each American uses thirteen times more gasoline than the average citizen of Latin America. Who are we kidding? Who are we lying to when we imagine that we want Latin Americans to become like us? Should they succeed, we ourselves would no longer be able to sustain the life-styles we do, dependent as we are on the private automobile. It is a bold-face act of stupidity or a straight-out lie to preach middle class living as we know it in the United States to other countries. The earth�s non-renewable resources such as gasoline will not tolerate such hypocrisies."

Matt Fox

A Spirituality named Compassion

 

"Lay people and trained economists alike are accustomed to thinking of economics as a science like physics, physiology, or chemistry-and no wonder: For two centuries, ever since economics attained the status of a scientific discipline, we have believed in the existence of economic "laws" which seemingly operate like the laws of mechanistic physics, independent of man. For two centuries everyone has been conditioned to think along such lines, to see "laws" at work, even as Adam value-free terms.

   The conventional economic theorist has striven to appropriate this approach lock, stock, and barrel. he assumes that the economy-its past, present, and future-can be determined like any natural historical phenomenon. By deciding that economic factors can be quantified, he tells us that he sees the economy as a science that can be explained using mechanistic terms of reference. He believes that economic events are repetitive, and all we have to do is lay bare the laws by which the economy operates. Such reasoning goes all the way back to the French economist, Jean Baptiste Say (1768-1832), who theorized that economic laws exist and, once discovered, can be used in the same way laws are applied in the natural sciences. Economists even create the conditions that justify such determinism. For example, there is an economic "law," the Phillips Curve, that decrees a trade-off between inflation and unemployment. Do we want less inflation, asks the "law"? Then we must live with higher unemployment. The rationale is that for prices to come down there must be a grater surplus of labor available. On the other hand, we can enjoy higher employment if we condescend to a higher rate of inflation. Instead of analyzing why the two evils of inflation and unemployment coexist-what errors in thinking have led to such an absurd state of affairs-conventional economists justify the problem by framing it into a "law."

   This type of thinking disregards the fact that economic phenomena, by their very nature, can never be exact. They are the products of the creative human mind which ever persists in inventing, combining, and recombining natural forces for new productive use, drawing more and more variables into the productive process, and creating complexity out of simplicity. Man, himself an actor in this dynamic system, brings into play new levels of reasoning that make obsolete the so-called laws which the classicists, Marxists, and Keynesians would us believe determine economic reality."

Gerald R. Zoffer

Economic Sanity or Collapse

Smith and Karl Marx did and today's conventional economists still do. This is the way of the natural sciences, where man is reduced to the status of an observer and recorder. Whatever is noted has no connection to man's personal existence. In natural science the methodology is to quantify everything, to count, measure, and bring down to irreducible components. All phenomena not quantifiable are eliminated. The scientist strives to be exact and to express himself in  

"I am now convinced that capitalism with its pre-suppositions is incompatible with compassion."

Matt Fox

A Spirituality named Compassion

 

"The machines that are first invented to perform any particular movement are always the most complex, and succeeding artists generally discover that with few wheels, with few principles of motion than had originally been employed, the same effects may be more easily produced. The first philosophical systems, in the same manner, are always the most complex, and a particular connecting chain, or principle, is generally thought necessary to unite every two seemingly disjointed appearances; but it often happens that one great connecting principle is afterward found to be sufficient to bind together all the discordant phenomena that occur in a  whole species of things."

Adam Smith

Essay on the Principles which Lead and Direct Philosophical Inquires, as illustrated by the History of Astronomy

 

"When there are all these corporate interests....investing billions of dollars in the Common Market of Europe that are establishing plants that are more modern than our own today, unless we get some safeguard against wholesale importation into this country, there is no guarantee that in fiv3e years from now these same automated factories that are being built by American capital in many parts of the world that are using slave labor, that they will not curtail operations in this country and dump all the cheap goods right back here in the United States"

-George Baldanzi  (speech to the AFL-CIO in 1961)

 

   "In the end, life may not be too bad for future generations. Civilization, on a best-case basis, will adopt a much simpler structure in which inequalities are dramatically lessened. A vastly diminished Wall Street and its accompaniments will be one feature of a less complex society.

   A simpler society can mean a more productive one. And if the Untied States can regain its energy independence, the rest of its competitive advantages could be re-obtained in the process. In other words, if we do everything right, we will face a minimum of a decade or more of utter turbulence that will stress out society far more than either a major war or depression, but the pain may be worth it. for at the end of this inflation flood could be a rainbow of plentiful energy, food, and a simpler life for the entire world. We can't promise, but if we can get through the next decade or more, the days that follow could resemble the prosperity of the 1950s."

-Stephen Leeb, PhD

Game Over

 

 

"The widow is gathering nettles for her children�s dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract from her the third nettle, and call it rent."

Carlyle

 

 

"In this way it comes to pass that these poor wretches, men, women, husbands, orphans, widows, parents with little children, householders greater in number than in wealth, all of these emigrate from their native fields, without knowing where to go."

Sir Thomas More (commenting on the ejectment of small farmers which characterized the advance of rent)

 

 

"When the object is to raise the permanent condition of a people, small means do not merely produce small effects; they produce no effect at all."

John Stuart Mill

 

 

"A new and fair division of the goods and rights of this world should be the main object of those who conduct human affairs."

De Tocqueville

 

"If we do not devise some new and more equitable system for sharing the goods of this world-Then Armageddon is on our door."

Douglas MacArthur

 

"There are many persons who still retain a comfortable belief that material progress will ultimately extirpate poverty, and there are many who look to prudential restraint upon the increase of population as the most efficacious means, but the fallacy of these views has already been sufficiently shown."

Henry George 1879

Progress and Poverty

 

"Since the Enlightenment, Western societies have been lulled into a belief that progress is inevitable. It never has been. It's the result of abiding by rules that were carefully constructed and practices that were begun by people living in the long shadow of the Dark Ages. We tamper with those rules at our peril."

-"Would the Bard Have Survived the Web? by Scott Turow, Paul Aiken and James Shapiro  The New York Times Feb 15, 2011

 

"It is true that wealth has been greatly increased, and that the average of comfort, leisure , and refinement has been raised; but these gains are not general. In them the lowest class do not share. I do not mean that the condition of the lowest class has nowhere nor in anything been improved; but that there is nowhere any improvement which can be credited to increased productive power. I mean that the tendency of what we call material progress is in nowise to improve the condition of the lowest class in the essentials of healthy, happy human life. Nay, more, that it is still further to depress the condition of the lowest class. The new forces, elevating in their nature though they be, do not act upon the social fabric from underneath, as was for a long time hoped and believed, but strike it at a point intermediate between top and bottom. It as though an immense wedge were being forced, not underneath society, but through society. Those who are above the point of separation are elevated, but those who are below are crushed down."

Henry George 1878

Progress & Poverty

 

 

"The common right to land has everywhere been primarily recognized, and private ownership has nowhere grown up save as the result of usurpation. The primary and persistent perceptions of mankind are that all have an equal right to land, and the opinion that private property in land is necessary to society is but an offspring of ignorance that cannot look beyond its immediate surroundings-an idea of comparatively modern growth, as artificial and as baseless as that of the right divine of kings.

The observation of travelers, the researches of the critical historians who within a recent period have done so much to reconstruct the forgotten records of the people, the investigations of such men as Sir Henry Maine, Emile de Laveleye, Professor Nasse of Bonn, and others, into the growth of institutions, prove that wherever human society has formed, the common right of men to the use of the earth has been recognized, and that nowhere has unrestricted individual ownership been freely adopted. Historically, as ethically, private property in land is robbery. It nowhere springs from contract; it can nowhere be traced to perceptions of justice or expediency; it has everywhere had its birth in war and conquest, and in the selfish use which the cunning have made of superstition and law."

Henry George 1878

 

"Look simply at the facts. Can anything be clearer than the cause of the poverty which festers in the centers of civilization is not in the weakness of the productive forces? In countries where poverty is deepest, the forces of production are evidently strong enough, if fully employed, to provide for the lowest not merely comfort but luxury. The industrial paralysis, the commercial depression which curses the civilized world to-day, evidently springs from no lack of productive power. Whatever be the trouble, it is clearly not in the want of ability to produce wealth.

It is this very fact-that want appears where productive power is greatest and the production of wealth is largest-that constitutes the enigma which perplexes the civilized world, and which we are trying to unravel. Evidently the Malthusian theory, which attributes want to the decrease of productive power, will not explain it. That theory is utterly inconsistent with all the facts. It is really a gratuitous attribution to the laws of God of results which even from this examination, we may infer really spring from the mal-adjustments of men-an inference which, as we proceed, will become a demonstration. For we have yet to find what does produce poverty amid advancing wealth."

Henry George 1879

 

 

"That land speculation is the true cause of industrial depression is, in the United States, clearly evident. In each period of industrial activity land values have steadily risen, culminating in speculation which carried them up in great jumps. This has been invariably followed by a partial cessation of production, and its correlative, a cessation of effective demand. (dull trade), generally accompanied by a commercial crash; and then has succeeded a period of comparative stagnation, during which the equilibrium has been again slowly established, and the same round been run again. This relation is observable throughout the civilized world. Periods of industrial activity always culminate in a speculative advances of land values, followed by symptoms of checked production, generally shown at first by cessation of demand from the newer countries, where the advance in land values has been the greatest."

Henry George 1890

 

 

"Everywhere in the developed world human communities and their natural and cultural supports are being destroyed, not by natural calamities or acts of God or invasion by foreign enemies, but by a sort of legalized vandalism known as the economy."

Wendell Berry

 

"....under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions."

Albert Einstein

 

"You don't have to be an elitist to think that the nation has lately been making some bad choices about energy use, and about lifestyles more generally. Why? Because the choices we make don't reflect the true costs of our actions."

Paul Krugman

 

 

"There is something unbelievable about the world spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually to subsidize its own destruction."

Andre de Moor & Peter Calamai

Subsidizing Unsustainable Development

 

"In effect, governments were spending $700 billion of taxpayers money a year to encourage the use of water, the burning of fossil fuels, the use of pesticides, fishing and diving."

Lester R. Brown

Eco-Economy

 

 

   "The point is, unless one has a strong love of liberty, ignorance regarding money is not something that most members of Congress regret. This ignorance is what allows conservatives and liberals alike to spend, borrow, tax, and inflate to finance their various programs, both foreign and domestic."

-Ron Paul

End The Fed

 

 

   "Since the 1980s the proponents of free-market, neoliberal capitalism have enjoyed one socioeconomic triumph after another, with little critical reflection on or effective opposition to their success. Wayward segments of humanity in eastern Europe have been won over to capitalism, Recalcitrant countries in the developing world have been chastened by I.M.F. and World Bank "conditionality's" to overturn progressive social legislation in the name of efficiency and privatization and open their markets to outside exploitation. Under the tutelage of the Friedmans and Fukuyamas of the late twentieth century, a technocratic elite has managed to amass unprecedented violence throughout the world. In most countries today education and health care are now "pay as you go" propositions while under-and unemployment have reached staggering proportions. Political violence in the developing world and a multitude of addictions in the developed world are telling symptoms of both possession and a desire to be free. Empires, past and present, find psychological balance and social justice hard to achieve. Magic phrases like efficiency, trickle-down, stabilization, and so forth, make grotesque affluence and immoral poverty seem unavoidable and even rational despite the fact that they are far from inevitable, irrational, and deadly. As Chad Myers points out in Who Will Roll Away the Stone?, we all live in the locus imperii of global capitalism. Like Legion, it is a totalizing proposition that sucks energy out of us and numbs our awareness of each other as we assimilate its lies. On a deeper level we know that something is terribly wrong, but we find ourselves paralyzed with fear. Like the demoniac, we are not sure who we are. We find it agonizingly difficult to separate ourselves from the empire that causes us so much pain."

Curt Cadorette

The Church as Counterculture

 

   People under invest in politics, Norquist told me. When he speaks to business leaders, Norquist makes a point of informing them about the potential rate of return on a political expenditure. He referred me to an article in fortune reporting that "the return on lobbying investments can be truly enormous." Numbers like 163,536 percent are thrown around."

Thomas Frank

The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule

 

 

It is not true that individuals possess a prescriptive "natural liberty" in their economic activities. There is no "compact" conferring perpetual rights on those who Have or on those who Acquire. The world is not so governed from above that private and social interest always coincide. It is not a correct deduction from the Principles of Economics that enlightened self-interest always operates in the public interest. Nor is it true that self-interest generally is enlightened; more often ends are too ignorant or too weak to attain even these. Experience does not show that individuals, when they make up a social unit, are always less clear-sighted than when they act separately."

"The formal definition of classical capitalism is mounted on the following premise: that it is an economic system characterized by private ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision independent of and immune to government controls, and by privatized production, development of natural resources, and distribution and consumption of goods whose prices are determined mainly in a free competitive market.

   If we adhere strictly to this formal definition, then it is obvious that little of classical capitalism remains in human affairs, for there is hardly an existing economic activity in any nation into which government controls have not intruded in some form. Indeed, virtually the only truly capitalist venture remaining on earth is the production-free-market trade in illicit drugs-a change-route factor into the future that cannot be ignored. 

   In its classical sense, then, capitalism has already failed. And what remains of it is often severely adulterated by government controls. But capitalist enterprises succeed not only by escaping or defying governmental controls but also sometimes by seconding those controls for their private benefit. Capitalists can take over or integrate with governmental systems to the degree that the boundaries between them become fuzzy or indistinguishable.

   Government-sponsored trade agreements, for example, are entered into between nations to protect and equalize private capitalist enterprises. It becomes difficult to distinguish between political and economic motives. But this situation has prevailed in the past. And if, for example, we consider the politicized-economic contest between the United States and Japan, it is unlikely to be abandoned in the future even though new world-orderists advertise that political motives will no longer play a part in the forthcoming free-market world order.

   Classical, or pure, capitalism, then, does not exist, since if it and its free-market appendages are not free of government involvements it cannot be called capitalism-unless we want to introduce the strange but true term governmental capitalism in whose scope governmental processes are unduly influenced by capitalist-free-market motives. But in this sense, then , governments would "belong" to the wealthy.

Ingo Swann

Your Nostradamus Factor

 

"(in) the current financial crisis....some of the most intelligent, sophisticated, and ruthlessly competitive people in the country now seem less greedy and corrupt than shockingly naive. Investigative reports have documented how executives and politicals alike countenanced practices that were clarly unsustainable, daangerous and irrational: money lent without proof of income, repayment modeled on the basis of data from the most dramatic run-up in property values, and equity borring on record, all while the entire system grew increasingly depentdent upon credit markets built on the unstable foundation."

-David Franz   Culture U of Virginia

 

 

 

"The monetary system has so many extraordinary and profound problems that it is not reform-able or redeemable in anything like its present form. Unless action is taken to disconnect from the present Western money system, all efforts at reducing energy use, controlling pollution, ending species and habitat loss, contracting the population to within Earth's carrying capacity, or coping with any of the things going wrong on the planet, are simply doomed. These tasks are not a complete waste of time in the short-term, but ultimately of no more use than painting the Titanic green."

-Julian Darley

High Noon for Natural Gas

 

"Ultimately, we face a future of mass transit strained beyond capacity, planes sitting on tarmacs, slow traffic and wasteful sprawl, ports that lack the capacity to operate efficiently, and increasing numbers of bridges and dams that are obsolescent and dangerous to the public's health and safety."

-Everett Ehrlich & Felix Rohatyn

 

"Our major economic competitors in the 21st century are spending seven, eight, nine percent of their gross domestic product on infrastructure.....We're spending almost nothing at all."

-Senator Dodd

 

"By virtually any measure, the last quarter century has been an unqualified economic disaster for ordinary people worldwide.

   Unemployment across the globe has climbed to its highest levels since the Great Depression. In rich nations and poor, employees are working longer hours for less money while the companies' CEOs are banking bigger and bigger paychecks. Corporate profits account for a larger portion of world income than at any time in the postwar period, while wages have plummeted to their smallest share since the beginning of the Great Depression."

Jon Jeter

Flat Broke in the Free market

 

 

The more dependent countries become on the good will of investors, the more ruthless must governments be in favoring the already privileged minority who have sizable financial assets. Their interests are always the same: low inflation, stable external value of the currency, and minimum taxation of their investment income....The financial short-circuit between different countries forces them into a competition to lower taxes, to reduce public expenditure, and to renounce the aim of social equality-a competition which brings nothing other than a global redistribution from those at the bottom to those at the top. Rewards to to whoever creates the best conditions for big capital, while sanctions loom for any government that obstructs this law of the jungle."

--Hans-Peter Martin and Harald Schumann

The Global Trap

 

 

   "For months Roubini has been arguing that the true cost of the housing crisis will not be a mere $300 billion-the amount allowed for by the housing legislation sponsored by Representative Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd-but something between a trillion and a trillion and a half dollars. But most important, in Roubini's opinion, is to realize that the problem is deeper than the housing crisis. "Reckless people have deluded themselves that this was a subprime crisis," he told me. "But we have problems with credit-card debt, student-loan debt, auto loans, commercial real estate loans, home-equity loans, corporate debt and loans that financed leveraged buyouts." All of these forms of debt, he argues, suffer from some or all of the same traits that first surfaced in the housing market: shoddy underwriting, securitization, negligence on the part of the credit-rating agencies and lax government oversight. "We have a subprime financial system," he said, "not a subprime mortgage market."

New York Times August 17, 2008  Article "Doctor Doom" by Stephen Mihm

Ed the mighty U.S.A. ended financially

 

 

"Over the next two days, the eyes of the world will be on Denver and on America, and we'll all have a lot to be proud of. Our economy is the healthiest in a generation and the strongest in the world....Now, America is poised to lead in the 21st century as we have in the 20th century."

-Bill Clinton   G7 Meeting in Denver

 

"In the last three years, adversity  has also revealed the fundamental strengths of the American economy. We have come through recession, and terrorist attack, and corporate scandals, and the uncertainties of war. And because you acted to stimulate our economy with Tax relief, this economy is strong, and getting stronger."

-George W. Bush   Jan 20 ,2004

 

"The dollar's decline already amounts to the biggest default in history, having already wiped far more off the value of foreigners' assets than any emerging market has ever done."

-Economist ,Dec 2007

 

"Don't be a nation of savers....be a nation of consumers."

George W. Bush (advice to the Vietnamese....Nov 18th 2006)

 

 

"Spread the truth-the laws of economics are like the laws of engineering. One set of laws works everywhere."

-Lawrence Summers   Chief Economist of the World Bank

 

 

"American's are a nation of whiners"

Phil Graham

 

 

"I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men."

-Sir Isaac Newton   after losing a fortune in the South Sea bubble

 

 

   "The World Trade Organization gives the lie to the industrialist conservatives' professed abhorrence of big government. The cause of big government, after all, is big business. The power to do large-scale damage, which is gladly assumed by every large-scale industrial enterprise, calls naturally and logically for government regulation, which of course the corporations object to. But we have a good deal of evidence also that the leaders of big business actively, desire and promote big government. They and their political allies, while ostensibly working to "downsize" government, continue to promote government helps and "incentives" to large corporations, and somehow they preserve their notion that a small government, taxing only the working people, can maintain a big highway system, a big military establishment, a big space program, and award big government contracts.

   But the most damaging evidence is the World Trade Organization itself, which is in effect a global government with power to enforce the decisions of the collective against national laws that conflict with it. The coming of the World Trade Organization was foretold by the authors of I'll Take My Stand who wrote in 1930 that "the true Sovietists or communists....are the industrialists themselves. They would have the government set up an economic super-organization, which in turn would become the government. " The agrarians of "I'll Take My Stand" did not foresee this because they were fortune tellers, but because they had perceived accurately the motive of the industrial economy."

Wendell Berry  The Fatal Harvest Reader  ed by Andrew Kimbrell

 

 

Letters to the Editor New York Times Sept 10,2008

"....Notwithstanding the panicked improvisations of the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve in recent months, the domestic and global economies are already in precisely such a crisis, brought on by irresponsible "creative" financing, securitization of questionable debt, and the passing of risk through financial instruments and obligations that are not even understood by the people who own the debt.

   In the final analysis, this crisis has been fueled by the same combination of greed, dishonesty, willful blindness and wishful thinking that has generated every disaster of capitalism from the Dutch tulip collapse through the Great Depression, the Enron and WorldCom scandals, and the dot-com bust."

-John S. Koppel

 

To the Editor:

   With the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the Reagan revolution has at last realized the robber barons' dream: privatize the profits and socialize the debt. Nicely done, fellas."

-Candida Pugh

 

 

"The only difference between what the Fed did and what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela is Chavez doesn't put taxpayer dollars at risk when he takes over companies. He just takes them."

-Sen. Jim Bunning R-KY

 

 

"the Fed and the Treasury have been more than willing to pour any amount of liquidity into the banking system and the financial system, to nationalize huge enterprises like Fannie and Freddie and to take any other measures....It's clearly very much the opposite of what they prescribed to middle-income countries in the financial crisis in the the 1990's"

Mark Weisbrot   Economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research

 

 

"This is unique, and the Fed has never done something like this before. If you go all the way back to 1921, when farms were failing and Congress was leaning on the Fed to bail them out, the Fed always said, "It's not our business."

-Allan Meltzer   professor of economics at Carnegie-Mellon

 

 

"For more than eighteen years, from May 1987 to January 2006, Alan Greenspan was the chairman of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. The position, in itself, made him one of the world's most powerful financial officials. But Greenspan's influence went far beyond his formal powers; he was the maestro, the Oracle, the senior member of the Committee to Save the World, as a 1999 cover story in Time put it.

   when Greenspan left office, he did so trailing clouds of glory. Alan blinder of Princeton University pronounced him possibly the greatest central banker in history. When Greenspan made one of his final appearances before Congress, he was hailed virtually as a monetary messiah: "You have guided monetary policy through stock-market crashes, wars, terrorist attacks and natural disasters." declared one congressman. "You have made a great contribution to the U.S., and the nations is in your debt."

-Paul Krugman

The Return of Depression Economics: And the Crisis of 2008

 

 

"Earnings are a very dubious measure of corporate health....Asset values are, after all, just based on a forecast....Three's been too much gaming of the system....Capitalism is not working! There's been a corrupting of the system of capitalism.."

Alan Greenspan Federal Reserve Meeting Feb 22,2002 after Enron collapse New York Times "article: The Crisis last Time" by Ron Suskind

 

 

"I'm Shocked....Yes, I've found a flaw. I don't know how significant or permanent it is. But I've been very distressed by that fact"

-Alan Greenspan   New York Times Oct 24,2008

 

 

"We're not doing what we preached"

-Sung Won Sohn   Economist California State University

 

 

"You cannot be fair in your historical evaluation of Ronald Reagan if you don't look at the terrible damage his economic policies did to this country."

Mark Hertsgaard

On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency

 

 

 

"What remains of the Reagan revolution? Nothing.!:"

James K. Galbraith

 

 

  "But when all is said and done, it is the economic revolution that gained steam during the Reagan years and is still squeezing the life out of the middle class and the poor that is Reagan's most significant legacy. A phony version of that legacy is relentlessly promoted by right-wingers who shamelessly pursue the interests of the the very rich while invoking the Reagan brand to give the impression that they are in fact the champions of ordinary people."

-
Bob Herbert "Reagan and Reality" The New York Times Feb 15,2011

 

 

"And the other truth that politicians are embarrassed to admit, is that their unjust war on the houses of Islam, with its heavy and successive losses and the continuous operations of exhaustion of your power and your economy, were the principal cause of the collapse of the economic giant."

-Abu Omar al-Baghdadi

New York Times Saturday, Nov 8, 2008

 

 

   "the Pentagon budget has doubled in the past decade, and now represents more than 50 percent of discretionary federal spending--and that doesn't include the cost of two wars how can it be off limits? If congress tries to revive the wasteful .V.F. project, the secretary warns its ballooning price tag will swallow most of the Marine Corps' future procurement and maintenance budget across the coming years."

Editorial New York Times   Jan 29,2011 ""The big Tank That Couldn't"

 

DEBT ALARM RINGING? HIT SNOOZE ALARM by Clyde Haberman The New York Times Dec 4, 2009

 

 

"The U.S. is going the way of all empires, said Anwar Kemal. Empires are not always conquered militarily. They sometimes collapse from within, once their economic supremacy is challenged. And that seems to happen when they can't afford to pay for their wars. The British Empire, for example, petered out at least partly "on account of the staggering financial expenditures that it incurred during two world wars." And the Soviet Union bankrupted itself on the war in Afghanistan. Similarly, the U.S. is now experiencing an economic meltdown because of its unsustainable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There's still time for it to salvage some of its international standing and influence. it just has to "extricate the country from the unnecessary war in Iraq" and bring stability to Afghanistan. Once it has retrenched militarily, it should "balance its books by reverting to the old American values of financial discipline, investment in knowledge, and hard work." If the U.S. fails to take these steps, it will become history's latest example of "imperial overreach."

-Anwar Kemal Arab News

 

 

"Capitalism isn't just an unjust economic system. It's a way of life that leads to a corruption of important values. Television is only one example."

-Nikita Khrushchev

 

 

"So I hope the best and the brightest who will be joining the new president will at least entertain the  possibility that a lot of what they think they know is wrong. I trust they'll remember that successful economic policies of the past have pulled together elements from unlikely sources, and that they're as likely to find wisdom from reading political economists like Fredrich Hayek or Joseph Schumpeter or Keynes himself, as from poring over the latest academic paper in a peer-referred economic journal. "

William Kristol New York Times Nov 24, 2008

 

"I wish someone could give me one shred of neutral evidence that financial innovation has led to economic growth-one shred of evidence."

-Paul Volker (former head of Federal Reserve

 

 

   "In a radio address on Saturday, Mr. Obama described his plan as follows:

   "It will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jump-start job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy.

   "We'll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children and building wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead."

   The message is many years overdue. The hope is that it hasn't come too late.

   The idea that the nation had all but stopped investing in its infrastructure, and that officials in Washington have ignored the crucial role of job creation as the cornerstone of a thriving economy is beyond mind-boggling. It's impossible to understand.

   Impossible, that is, until you realize that bandits don't waste time repairing a building that they're looting."

-Bob Herbert "Not A Moment Too Soon" New York Times Nov 25 ,2008

 

 

"The rot comes from predators passing as conservatives and mouthing the rhetoric of "free markets." They are not actually interested in free markets. Their goal is to use the government to build monopolies, to control resources, to block regulation, to crush unions, to direct  as much as possible from taxpayers into private private pockets. They have a reckless attitude toward war-making and they put the financial system in peril by failing to enforce standards of ethics and transparency. As a result, they imperil the country's credit in the world. True conservatives recognize this, which is why they deflected from Bush and McCain long ago."

James K. Galbraith Harper, Nov 2008

 

 

"This imposture, still very much alive, is the notion that America is an exemplary democracy instead of a cunning plutocracy strutting around in the garb of democracy."

-Patric Greanville

 

 

"I'm not worried about the deficit-it's big enough to take care of itself."

-Ronald Reagan

 

"Deficits don't matter."

-Dick Cheney

 

 

   "Cloaked by the general indifference, subsidies have been coming on fast, and can now take their rightful place alongside the income tax code as instruments to implement socialism for the rich. Former Senator Fred R. Harris made the point when he testified before the Joint Economic Committee, which had just made the first study ever of federal subsidies. Harris said: "Subsidies are to modern politics what patronage was to the politics of the 19th century. Subsidies, in other words, are the lifeblood, tainted to be sure, of our electoral system; and this is precisely the reason why it is so hard to eliminate subsidy once established....Many of our historians and journalists, suffering from a sort of historical hang-over, continue to focus on politics primarily from the standpoint of who gets what job in the wake of victory and how he uses or misuses his position for financial gain. But the real raid on the public treasury, which makes mere graft pale by comparison, is taking place elsewhere"-in subsidies. Note that Harris shows here his understanding of the modern world: all the good swindles are legal; breaking the law is the mark of an amateur crook."

-David Hapgood

The Screwing of the Average Man

 

 

"The resources of nature and men's devices are just as fertile and productive as they were. The rate of our progress towards solving the material problems of life is not less rapid. We are as capable as before of affording for everyone a high standard of life....But today we have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand."

-Keynes

 

 

"The key question David Leonhardt raises (Feb.1) is, "How should the new American economy be made?" Given the fact that Wall Street is unlikely to provide the remedy for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. I feel it's time we let go of Wall Street and, as the writer David Korten ("Agenda for a New Economy") argues, develop a Main Street economy that is "locally based, community-oriented and devoted to creating a better life for all; not simply increasing profits."  He suggests an agenda that includes supporting local businesses owned by local stakeholders that employ local labor and use environmental resources responsibly as well as restructuring financial services to serve Main Street and restoring our national economic sovereignty."

-Rosaleen Wazur

Bristol, R.I. New York Times Magazine Feb 15, 2009

 

 

   "Still, amid all of this aspiration, anticipation, and wonder, we continue to live in a world where poverty reigns supreme for most of the people on the earth. The bottom twenty percent of the earth's population are desperately poor, just a few meals short of starvation, living on garbage piles and drinking water so foul that just to imagine it is nauseating. Professor Bjorn Lomborg of Denmark makes a compelling case that in the developed world our highest priorities should first be to do those things that cost the least and can do the most good, like helping developing countries with clean water, food production, and conquering disease. These are matters of life and death. Remember the abyss? For as long as we are fearful of death and the existential nature of the human predicament, we will like-wise remain unaware of the malignant nature of global poverty, and this unmindfulness will stand as a formidable barrier to both civilization and experiencing the wonder of existence."

-Charles Hayes

September U

 

 

"In the course of World War II, a system of massive federal R & D support was assembled under the leadership of Vannevar Bush, FDR's science adviser. Bush, along with allies like Alfred Loomis, James Conant, Ernest Lawrence and Karl Compton, created a "connect science" model that unified the R & D stages (basic science, applied science, development, and prototyping and production) and the innovation players (universities, Federal labs, industry, and the supporting Army and navy Departments). As one example of how large the shift of resources toward new innovation capacity was, MIT alone received eighty times more Federal research support in the five years of U.S. involvement in World War II than it received in its previous eighty-year history.

   The results of this R&D spending were astonishing: radar, the proximity fuse, jet engines, atomic weapons and so on. As the war drew to a close, Bush articulated for Roosevelt a rationale for salvaging a portion of this system in his famous polemic, Science: The Endless Frontier. As the Federal war machine was being dismantled in the expectation of world peace, the Truman Administration saved Federal support for basic research, the least expensive innovation stage, but it dissolved the connected-science system. nevertheless, the momentum of wartime technology advances, coupled with continued postwar basic-research, investment, was enough to keep expanding the comparative innovation advantage the U.S. government had built during the war."

-William B. Bonvillian   is author (with Charles Weiss) of Structuring as Energy Technology Revolution (MIT Press, 2009) and director of the MIT Washington Office

article: "The Innovation State: Why Federal Support for Science Is Essential for American Prosperity  The American Interest magazine July/Aug 2009*

*Support for Engineering is more essential   ed.

 

"It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos, its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist. Such assistance, I am convinced, must not be on a piecemeal basis as various crises develop."

-General George C. Marshall*

*Much is made of the Marshall plan-ignoring that it came about more from the fact that Stalin was ready to fund Europe  ed.

 

 

   "the Wall Street atmosphere-in both law offices and investment banks-is not open to dissenting opinion. If you blow the whistle, it's only to hail a taxi to take you away, because complaining is just not tolerated. So anyone sharp enough to say that these deals were a bad idea in the first place didn't stay on long enough to make the point. And we all know that organizations that don't retain thoughtful opposing views are doomed by hubris. hello, Lehman brothers!

   Still, I don't believe any of the major players are re-evaluating their ethos-only their decision to invest in subprime mortgages. And this is foolish, since the problem is not just that the financial instruments were bad bets, but that the corporate structure and the feverish rush of it all are fundamentally flawed.

   I would love to call the system despicable or detestable or something evil-sounding, but that would be giving it too much credit. it's really just the march of dunces.

   A dozen years worth of sleepless nights down the drain like dirty bathwater. Pity these people."

Elizabeth Wurtzel   article: Twelve Years Down the Drain.....The Wall Street Journal  April 2009

 

 

"Liberty produces wealth, and wealth destroys liberty."

-Henry Demarest LLoyd

 

 

"Monopoly is business at the end of its journey."

-Henry Demarest Lloyd

 

 

   "War leads to massive profits for a few and back-breaking debt for the rest of our nation, while state-sanctioned slavery led to cheaper products and lower taxes. From an economic standpoint, not paying for a person's work is bad only if you are a slave. War, on the other hand, hurts soldiers and their families, countless innocent civilians, our country as a whole by increasing national debt, and today it endangers the survival of humanity. War hangs humanity from a cross of iron..."

-Paul K. Chappel  Captain USA

The End of War: How Waging Peace Can Save Humanity, Our Planet and Our Future

 

 

"Virtually nobody foresaw the Great Depression of the 1930s, or the crises which affected Japan and southeast Asia in the early and late 1990s,. In fact, each downturn was preceded by a period of non-inflationary growth exuberant enough to lead many commentators to suggest that a "new era" had arrived."

-Bank for International Settlements, June 2007

 

 

"Suddenly, creating jobs is out: inflicting pain is in. "

   Condemning deficits and refusing to help a still-struggling economy has become the new fashion everywhere, including the United States, where 52 Senators voted against extending aid to the unemployed despite the highest rate of long-term joblessness since the 1930s.

   Many economists, myself included, regard this turn to austerity as a huge mistake. It raises memories of 1937, when FDR's premature attempt to balance the budget helped plunge a recovering economy back into severe recession. and here in Germany, a few scholars see parallels to the policies of Heinrich Bruning, the chancellor from 1930 to 1932, whose devotion financial orthodoxy ended up sealing the doom of the Weimar Republic.

-Paul Krugman  in Berlin  New York Times

 

 

"No academic yet has satisfactorily explained the wisdom of an economic system that marginalizes human beings...."

-Paul Hawken

Blessed Unrest

 

 

"Settle the economic question and you settle all other questions. It is the Aaron's rod which swallows up the rest."

-William Morris

 

 

"Most economists, to the extent that they think about the subject at all, regard the Great Depression of the 1930s as a gratuitous, unnecessary tragedy. If only Herbert Hoover hadn't tried to balance the budget in the face of an economic slump; if only the Federal Reserve hadn't defended the gold standard at the expense of the domestic economy; if only officials had rushed cash to threatened banks, and thus calmed the bank panic that developed in 1930-31; then the stock market crash of 1929 would have led only to a garden-variety recession, soon forgotten. And since economists and policymakers have learned their lesson-no modern treasury secretary would echo Andrew Mellon's famous advice to "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate....purge the rottenness out of the system"-nothing like the Great Depression can ever happen again."

   Or can it?

Paul Krugman

The Return of Depression Economics: And the Crisis of 2008

 

 

"We are living through the first crisis of our brave new world of securitized financial markets. it is too early to tell how economically important this upheaval will prove. but nobody can doubt its significance for the financial system. Its origins lie with credit expansion and financial innovation in the U.S. itself. It cannot be blamed on "crony capitalism" in peripheral economies, but rather on irresponsibility in the core of the world economy."

-Martin Wolf, Financial Times,  September 2007

 

"The Crash of '08 happened, because people did what markets and society expect them to do."

A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent Into Depression" by Richard A. Posner

 

"The growing desperation across the United States is unleashing not simply a recession-we have been in a recession for some time now-but rather a depression unlike anything we have seen since the 1930s. It has provided a pool of broken people willing to work for low wages without unions or benefits. This is excellent news if your are a corporation. It is very bad news if you are a worker....."

-Chris Hedges

Empire of Illusion

 

   "In terms of wealth and per capita income, the social-welfare states again defy the stereotype that high taxation leads to lower living standards. On average, the social-welfare states have a higher per capita GNP than the free-market countries, with the mixed economies coming in third. The high tax burden in the social-welfare states has obviously not crushed the economy. And when we look not only at average income but also at its distribution among the citizenry, the social-welfare states achieve their high incomes with greater equality. The poorest 20 percent of households in each group, the average annual income comes to $24,463 for the poor in the social-welfare states, compared with just $17,533 in the free-market countries."

-Jeffrey D.Sachs

Common Wealth: Economics For a Crowded Planet

 

   "One of the best books on U.S. politics in recent years is The 2% Solution, by Matthew Miller, who shows how little it would take to make a big difference in addressing the needs of the U.S. poor. Even without going all the way to a social-welfare strategy, the United States could smooth the hard edges of American inequality, just as increased rich-country help could make a huge difference among the world's poor. Miller's title refers to the idea that a 2 percent of U.S. national income, if devoted to increased social outlays, could address some of the profound inequalities of U.S. society, especially the lack of universal health coverage (which would require less that 1 percent of national income in added spending to ensure) and the poor quality of public schools for the children of U.S. poor and working-class families. it is important to note that President George W. Bush's tax cuts, which went over-whelmingly to the rich, amount to around 2 percent of national income each year. The Iraq War costs roughly 1 percent of national income each year in direct outlays. Thus, by reversing the tax cuts and ending the Iraq War, it would be possible to pay more for the U.S. poor-to ensure, for example, universal health care coverage within the United States and to improve public schools-while also increasing U.S. outlays for the world's poor to the 0.7 percent of U.S. GNP that we promised."

-Jeffrey D. Sachs

 

"....China has grown over 9 percent a year for almost thirty years, the fastest rate for a major economy in recorded history. In that same period, it has moved around 400 million people out of poverty, the largest reduction that has taken place anywhere, anytime. The average Chinese person's income has increased nearly sevenfold. China, despite drawbacks and downsides, has achieved, on a massive scale, the dream of every Third World country-a decisive break with poverty. The economist Jeffrey Sachs puts it simply: "China is the most successful development story in world history."

-Fareed Zakaria

The Post-American World

 

"The great art then to make a nation happy and what we call flourishing consists in giving everybody an opportunity of being employed, which to compass, let a governments first first cure be, to promote as great a variety of manufacturers, arts, and handicrafts, as human wit can invent...It is from this policy, and not trifling regulations of lavishness and frugality (which will ever take their own course according toe circumstances of the people) that the greatness and felicity of nations must be expected. "

Mandeville

 

"Every Part was full of Vice/Yet the whole was Paradise."
-Mandeville

The grumbling Hive 1705

 

"All Trades and places knew'

Some Cheat/no calling was

without Deceit."

Mandeville

The Grumbling Hive 1705

 

 

"The Twenty-First Century Will Overturn many of our basic assumptions about economic life. The twentieth century saw the end of European dominance of global politics and economics. The twenty-first century will see the end of American dominance. new powers, including China, India, and Brazil will continue to grow and will make their voices increasingly heard on the world stage. yet the changes will be even deeper than a rebalancing of economics and politics among different parts of the world. The challenges of sustainable development-protecting the environment, stabilizing the world's population, narrowing the gaps between rich and poor, and ending extreme poverty-will take center stage. Global cooperation will have to come to the fore. The very idea of competing nation-states that scramble for markets, power, and resources will become pass�The idea that the United States can bully or attack its way to security has proved to be misguided and self-defeating. The world has become much too crowded and dangerous for more "great games" in the Middle East or anywhere else."

Jeffrey D. Sachs

Common Wealth: Economics For a Crowded Planet

 

   "There is a way forward, and I call it plentitude. The word calls attention to the inherent bounty of nature that we need to recover. it directs us to the chance to be rich in the things that matter to us most, and the wealth that is available in our relations with one another. Plentitude involves very different ways of living than those encouraged by the maxims that have dominated the discourse for the the last twenty-five years. It puts ecological and social functioning at its core, but it is not a paradigm of sacrifice. To the contrary, it involves a way of life that will yield more well-being than sticking to business as usual, which has led both the natural and economic environment to decline."

-Juliet B. Shor

Plentitude

 

   "The logic driving plentitude is largely economic, focusing on efficiency and well-being. I'm betting that the intelligent way to act, for both individuals and society, is the one that will make humans, non-human species, and the planet better off. Plentitude promises smarter economic arrangements, not just technological improvements. It's a way forward that emphasizes innovation, macroeconomic balance and careful attention to multiple sources of wealth. In this way, it departs from messages of voluntary simplicity and critiques of consumer culture that contend that less is more, that income and consumption are overrated. Research has shown that outside of poverty they are, but that realization doesn't take us far enough. The bigger prize, true affluence, comes through changes that yield new efficiencies: getting more from less."

-Juliet B. Shor

Plentitude

 

 

"Not only have individual financial institutions become less vulnerable to shocks from underlying risk factors, but also the financial system as a whole has become more resilient."

-Alan Greenspan in 2004

 

 

".....Most countries have introduced free-market policies over the last three decades-privatization of state-owned industrial and financial firms, deregulations of finance and industry, liberalization of international trade and investment, and reduction in income taxes and welfare payments. These policies, their advocates admitted, may temporarily create some problems, such as rising inequality, but ultimately they will make everyone better off by creating a more dynamic and wealthier society. The rising tide lifts all boats together, was the metaphor.

   The result of these policies has been the polar opposite of what was promised. Forget for a moment the financial meltdown, which will scar the world for decades to come. prior to that, and unbeknown to most people, free-market policies had resulted in slower growth, rising inequality and heightened instability in most countries. In many rich countries, these problems were masked by huge credit expansion; thus the fact that US wages had remained stagnant and working hours increased since the 1970s was conveniently fogged over by the heady brew of credit-fuelled consumer boom. The problems were bad enough in  the rich countries, but they were even more serious for the developing world. Living standards in  Sub-Saharan Africa have stagnated for the last three decades while Latin America has seen its per capita growth rate fall by two-thirds during the period. There were some developing countries that grew fast (although with rapidly rising inequality) during this period, such as China and India, but these are precisely the countries that, while partially liberalizing, have refused to introduce full-blown free-market policies."

-Ha-Joon Chang

Things They Don't Tell you About Capitalism

 

 

  "However, it is not necessary for us to understand all the technical details in order to understand what is going on in the world and exercise what I call an 'active economic citizenship' to demand the right courses of action from those in decision-making positions. After all, we make judgments about all sorts of other issues despite lacking technical expertise. We don't need to be expert epidemiologists in order to know that there should be hygiene standards in food factories, butchers and restaurants. making judgments about economics is no different: once you know the key principles and basic facts, you can make some robust judgments without knowing the technical details. The only prerequisite is that you are willing to remove those rose-tinted glasses that neo-liberal ideologies like you to wear every day. The glasses make the world look simple and pretty. But lift them off and stare at the clear harsh light of reality."

-Ha-Joon Change

Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

 

 

 

   "The word itself (Depression) itself is taboo in respectable circles, reflecting a kind of magical thinking: if we don't call the economic crisis a "depression," it can't be one. But no one who has lived through the modest downturns in the American economy of recent decades could think them comparable to the present situation. The actions that the government has taken and plans to take bespeak fear that without radical measures of the kind that were or perhaps should have been taken during the great depression, we could find ourselves in almost as dire a predicament. It is the gravity of the economic downturn, the radicalism of the government's responses, and the pervading sense of crisis that mark what the economy is going through as a depression.

-Richard A. Posner

A Failure Of capitalism: The Crisis of '08 And The Descent Into Depression

 

 

  "On July 19, 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 14,000 for the first time. Two weeks later the White House released a "fact sheet" boasting about the economy's performance on the Bush administration's watch: The President's Pro-Growth Policies Are Helping Keep Our Economy Strong, Flexible, and Dynamic," it declared. What about the problems already visible in the housing market and in subprime mortgages? They were "largely contained," said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in an August 1 speech in Beijing.

   On august 9 the French bank BNP Paribas suspended withdrawals from three of its funds-and the first great financial crisis of the twenty-first century had begun.

   I'm tempted to say that the crisis is like nothing we've ever seen before. but it might be more accurate to say that it's like everything we've seen before..."

-Paul Krugman

The Return of Depression Economics

 

 

"The world economy has turned out to be a much more dangerous place than we imagined."

-Paul Krugman, The Return of Depression Economics and the crisis of 2008

 

 

"One of the biggest puzzles about the failure to anticipate the financial crisis is the lack of foresight of so many academic economists. There were exceptions; Nouriel Roubini was only the most emphatic of the Cassandra's. Raghuram Rajan issued strong warnings in 2005. Paul Krugman in the summer of 2007, martin Feldstein that fall. I mentioned Robert Shiller. the collapse of Bear Stearns in March 2008 elicited warnings from other economists, such as Alan Blinder and Lawrence Summers-the latter of whom, however had sarcastically dismissed Rajan's warning three years earlier as "leaden-eyed." But as far as I know, only Roubini among prominent academic economists forecast an actual depression. Warning about recession do not attract much attention, and perhaps should not. The standard response to a recession is for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. That is what it did in response to the mild post-9/11 recession-thus setting the stage for the credit binge that has precipitated a depression."

-Richard A. Posner

A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 And The Descent Into Depression

 

   "The economic dysfunctions in America today are real, but, by and large, they are not the product of deep inefficiencies within the American economy, nor are they reflections of cultural decay. They are the consequences of specific government policies. Different policies could quickly and relatively easily move the United States onto a far more stable footing. A set of sensible reforms could be enacted tomorrow to trim wasteful spending and subsidies, increase savings, expand training in science and technology, secure pensions, create a workable immigration process, and achieve significant efficiencies in the use of energy. Policy experts do not have wide disagreements on most of these issues, and none of the proposed measures would require sacrifices reminiscent of wartime hardship, only modest adjustments of existing arrangements. And yet, because of politics, they appear impossible. The American political system has lost the ability for large-scale compromise, and it has lost the ability to accept some pain now for much gain later on."

Fareed zakaria

The Post-American World

 

 

"To put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god or an economic reformer like Keynes....As I made my way in the world, reality came close enough to my fantasy to allow me to admit my secret, at least to myself."

-George Soros

 

 

"We have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand."

-John Maynard Keynes

 

 

"The mischief springs from the power which the moneyed interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges which they have succeeded in obtaining.....and unless you become more watchful in your States and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given or bartered away, and the control of your dearest interests have been passed into the hands of these corporations."

-Andrew Jackson   President of the United States  (farewell Address, mar 4, 1837)

 

 

"This association of poverty with progress is the great enigma of our time. It is the central fact from which spring industrial, social and political difficulties that perplex the world, and with which statesmanship and philanthropy and education grapple in vain....it is the riddle which the Sphinx of Fate puts to our civilization, and which not to answer is to be destroyed.

   So long as all the increased wealth which modern progress brings goes but to build up great fortunes, to increase luxury and make sharper the contrast between the House of Have and the House of Want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent.

   This then is the remedy for the unjust and unequal distribution of wealth in modern civilization, and for all the evils which rise from it.

We must make land common property

-Henry George

 

"Capitalism takes a narrow view of human nature, assuming that people are one-dimensional beings concerned only with the pursuit of maximum profit. The concept of the free market, so generally understood, is based on this one-dimensional human being.

   Mainstream free-market theory postulates that your are contributing to the society and the world in the best possible manner if you just concentrate on getting the most for yourself. When believers in this theory see gloomy news on television, they should begin to wonder whether the pursuit of profit is a cure-all, but they usually dismiss their doubts, blaming all the bad things in the world on "market failures." they have trained their minds to believe that well-functioning markets simply cannot produce unpleasant results.

   I think things are going wrong not because of "market failures." The problem is much deeper than that. Mainstream free-market theory suffers from a "conceptualization failure," a failure to capture the essence of what it is to be human."

-Muhammad Yunus  (Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize)

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

and writer of "Banker To the Poor"

   "An American friend recently visited Bangladesh for the first time. After traveling through one of the poorest areas in our country, he wrote me:

In the United States, I associate rural poverty with apparent absence of economic activity. I'm thinking of the scenes my wife and I have observed when driving through the depressed counties of upstate New York-deserted downtown areas, storefront windows with just a few tired old articles on display, shuttered offices and factories, and so on. you can drive all day through these communities, scarcely ever see a soul, and arrive at your destination utterly baffled as to how anyone there makes a living. (And of course fewer and fewer people in those counties can make a living these days, which is why many of them have moved to the city.)

   but the tiny slice of rural Bangladesh that I saw today, while far poorer (in monetary terms) than any place in New York, is an incredible bee hive of economic activity. Every village has its shopping street where dozens of tin-roofed sheds jostle one another, piled high with goods for sale (shoes, medicines, furniture, clothing, DVDs, foodstuffs-you name it) or offering services from barbering to tailoring. On the back roads, the villagers offer their wares spread out on mats-baskets, hats, rounds of bread, a few potatoes or vegetables. and in practically every house or yard you pass, you see people at work, making or fixing or preparing things for trade-tending milk cows, carving wooden furniture, soldering jewelry, gathering crops."

ibid

 

"But what certainty is there about money, which, after all, holds all the world together? It depends on the good will of a few capitalists to keep to the agreement that one metal is worth more than another."

-Ivar Kreuger   Swedish industrialist

 

 

"These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people."

-Abraham Lincoln   Illinois legislature, Jan 11, 1837

 

 

"In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holdings illegal, as was done in the case of gold."

-Alan Greenspan

 

"Our obsession with inflation should end. Inflation has become the bogeyman that has been used to justify policies that have mainly benefited the holders of financial assets, at the cost of long-term stability, economic growth and human happiness."

-Ha-Joon Chang

Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

 

 

 

".....the financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves-This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold....Deficit spending is simply a scheme for confiscation of wealth."

-Alan Greenspan

 

 

"History will show that Greenspan, during his years as Fed Chairman (1987-2006) planted all of the seeds of the financial calamity that has erupted in 2007 and 2008"

-Ron Paul

End The Fed

 

 

"Greenspan's rise to the top is one of the greatest scams of our time."

-Matt Taibbi

 

 

   "The Federal Reserve should be abolished because it is immoral, unconstitutional, impractical, promotes bad economics, and undermines liberty. Its destructive nature makes it a tool of tyrannical government....

   Nothing good can come from the Federal Reserve. It is the biggest taxer of them all.....devaluing the value of the dollar by increasing its supply is a vicious, sinister tax on the poor and middle class-The Federal Reserve's monetary policy has brought us where we are today-in a tragic monetary mess."

-Ron Paul

End the Fed

 

 

"Fifty Trillion Dollars of derivatives is quite a monument to financial ingenuity, but at what risk do we dare to outsmart an ear of corn."

-Woody Tasch

 

 

   In January 1936 (which, we need hardly to be reminded, was the height of the Great Depression) Fortune, by the the self-appointed mouthpiece of the American moneyed, if not necessarily the upper, class, was casting about for social institutions that might be blamed for the country's economic woes. The magazine hit upon the nation's dozen most prestigious college preparatory schools and chose to attack them in two major articles. "They have produced," the series led off, "from among the privileged youth of the country 67,000 Old Boys-but in all their history only twenty-seven U.S. Senators, one member of the U.S. Supreme court, and one President of the U.S."

   This harsh judgment was based almost entirely on what the magazine saw as the failure of the elite schools to produce graduates who would enter public service, as their equivalent schools had traditionally done in England. American private schools, the articles claimed, had failed to train their students for leadership in a democratic country. Thus the depression was probably their fault. Fortune's anonymous writer concluded: "The American ruling class may quite possible be taxed out of existence in the next few decades because the American ruling-class schools have not educated rich men's sons to political superiority-have not presented the country with any logical reasons why the class should not be taxed out of existence."

-Stephen Birmingham

America's Secret Aristocracy

 

   "Classes, then, are not just economic, any more than sexuality is simply personal. In fact, it is hard to think of anything that is just economic. Even coins can be collected and displayed in glass cases, admired for their aesthetic qualities or melted down for their metal. To speak of money, incidentally, is to grasp why it is so easy to reduce the whole of human existence to the economic, since there is a sense in which this is exactly what money does. What is so magical about money is that it compresses such a wealth of human possibilities into its slim compass. it is true that there are a great many things in life more valuable than money, but it is money which gives us access to most of them. Money allows us to engage in fulfilling relationships with others without the social embarrassment of suddenly falling down dead of hunger. it can buy you privacy, health, education, beauty, social rank, mobility, comfort, freedom, respect and sensuous fulfillment, along with a Tudor grange in Warwickshire. Marx writes wonderfully in Economic and philosophical Manuscript of the protean, shape-changing, alchemical nature of money, the way you can conjure such a dazzling array of goods from its unremarkable form. Money is itself a kind of reductionism. It packs whole universes into a handful of copper."

Terry Eagleton

Why Marx Was Right

 

 

 

"Men die, but the plutocracy is immortal; and it is necessary that fresh generations should be trained in its service."

-Sinclair Lewis

 

"The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth.

Has robbed the neighboring fields of half their

   growth."

Oliver Goldsmith

"The Deserted Village"

 

"If every just man that now pines with want.

Had but a moderate: and beseeming share

Of that which lewdly pampered luxury

Now heaps upon some few with vast excess,

Nature's full blessings would be well dispensed

In unsuperfluous even proportion....

-John Milton

Comus

 

 

"I am one of  those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic; inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country."

-Andrew Jackson    7th President of the U.S.A.

 

 

"Soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil."

-John Maynard Keynes

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

 

 

".....The quintessential economic sentence is supposed to be "There is no free lunch"*; it says that there are limited resources, that to have more of one thing you must accept less of another, that there is no gain without pain. Depression economics, however, is the study of situations where there is a free lunch, if we can only figure out how to get our hands on it, because there are unemployed resources that could be put to work. The true scarcity in Keynes's world-and ours-was therefore not of resources, or even of virtue, but of understanding.

   We will not achieve the understanding we need, however, unless we are willing to think clearly about our problems and to follow those thoughts wherever they lead. Some people say that our economic problems are structural, with no quick cure available; but I believe that the only important structural obstacles to world prosperity are the obsolete doctrines that clutter the minds of men."

-Paul Krugman Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics 

ED NOTE  *"There is no free lunch" usually spoken by men who have been eating free lunches all of their days.....ed note...*ED NOTE II  "I've since come to the conclusion that for 'politicians' there is no 'free lunch'.

The Return of Depression Economics: And the Crisis of 2008

 

 

 

".....Others who try to imitate the sciences and call themselves "social scientists." The best imitator of scientists are the economists. Among social scientists they rank highest in rigor, which means in mathematics. They also rank highest in boastful pretention, and you can lose more money listening to them than by trying to read books in sociology. Just as Gender Studies taints the whole university with its sexless fantasies, so economists infect their neighbors with the imitation science they peddle. (Game theorists, I'm talking about you.).

-Harvey Mansfield, Professor at Harvard   "Sociology and Other 'Meathead' Majors" Wall Street Journal May 31,2011

 

 

"But let's not kid ourselves talking about "competiveness" as a goal it is fundamentally misleading. At best, it's a misdiagnosis of our problems. At worst it could lead to policies based on the false idea that what's good for corporations is good for America."

-Paul Krugman    New York Times Jan 24,2011  "The Competition Myth

 

"The LAPD paid out $66.3 million for police-brutality cases in the 1990s, 96% for acts by male officers."

 

 

"The global economy is built on the erroneous belief that the marketplace-read human greed,--should dictate human behavior and that economies expand eternally."

-Chris Hedges

 

 

   "In spite of all that has happened to America's financial infrastructure, a more equitable future for our citizens is still little more than an aspiration. If we gain a fairer system for a more just distribution of wealth-one that rewards work over capital and acknowledges that anyone who works full time is due a living wage-it will be because thoughtful citizens demand it."

-Charles Hayes

September University

 

 

   "Economics as a discipline is often criticized because, unlike the "hard sciences" of physics or chemistry, it cannot be pined down to an unchanging set of descriptions over time. But this is not a failing, it is proper and natural. The economy is not a simple system, it is an evolving, complex one, and the structures it forms change constantly over time. This means our interpretations of the economy must change constantly over time. I sometimes think of the economy as a World War I battlefield at night. it is dark, and not much can be seen over the parapets. From a half mile or so away, across in enemy territory, rumblings are heard and a sense develops that emplacements are shifting and troops are being redeployed. But the bet guesses of the new configuration are extrapolations of the old. Then someone puts up a flare and it illuminates a whole pattern of emplacements and disposals and troops and trenches in the observers minds, and all goes dark again. So it is with the economy. The great flares in economics are those of theorists like Smith or Ricardo or Marx or Keynes. Or indeed Schumpeter himself. They light for a time, but the rumblings and redeployments continue in the dark. We can indeed observe the economy, but our language for it, our labels for it, and our understanding of it are all frozen by the great flares that have lit up the scene, and in particular by the last great set of flares."

-W. Brian Arthur

The Nature of Technology: What It is And How It Evolves

 

 

"it is within our means to create economies that serve rather than exploit. We can have economies that support strong families and communities, afford parents time to give their children loving care, provide high-quality health care and education for all, keep schools and homes commercial free, keep the natural environment healthy and toxin free, and support cooperation and sharing among nations to secure the common good. it is about renewing the democratic experiment, liberating the creative potential of the species, and rediscovering what it means to be fully human.'

David C. Korten

Agenda for a New Economy: from Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth

 

   "In short, since the 1980s, we have given the rich a bigger slice of our pie in the belief that they would create more wealth, making the pie bigger than otherwise possible in the long run. The rich got the bigger slice of the pie all right, but they have actually reduced the pace at which the pie is growing."

-Ha-loon Chang

Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

 

 

 

   "So as our corporations crumble, taking our jobs with them, we bail them out to preserve our prospects for employment-knowing full well that their business models are unsustainable. As banks' credit schemes fail, we authorize our treasuries to print more money on their behalf, at our own expense and that of our children. We then get to borrow this money back from them, at interest. We know of no other way. Having for too long outsourced our own savings and investing to Wall Street, we are clueless about how to invest in the real world of people and things. We identify with the plight of abstract corporations more than that of flesh-and-blood human beings. We engage with corporations as role models and saviors, while we engage with our fellow humans as competitors to be beaten or resources to be exploited."

-Douglas Rushkoff

Life INC.

 

"In the new American ghetto, the nightmare engine is bubble economics, a kind of high-tech casino scam that kills neighborhoods just like dope does, only the product is credit, not crack or heroin."

-Matt Taibbi

Griftopia

-

"When conservatives defend the Bush administration against the charge that its devotion to deregulation helped bring about the 2008 global economic collapse, they like to talk about the past. The real culprit wasn't unbridled capitalism as it was practiced in the early years of the twenty-first century; it wasn't missed opportunities to rein in strange new creatures, such as credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, that had been birthed by Wall Street. Instead, fault lies with all those inept if well-intentioned liberals who forced otherwise sober bankers to extend credit to marginal borrowers to buy houses they couldn't afford. They blame legislation like the community Reinvestment Act, or CRA, a Jimmy Carter-era law that forced banks to make loans in every neighborhood in which they had branches.

   Allan Jones, though, is more specific. He blames the evaporation of global wealth in only a few months' time on just one-man: Martin Eakes."

Gary Rivlin

Broke, USA

 

   "Capitalism has brought about great material advances. But though this way of organizing our affairs has had a long time to demonstrate that it is capable of satisfying human demands all round, it seems no closer to doing so than ever. How long are we prepared to wait for it to come up with the goods? Why do we continue to indulge the myth that the fabulous wealth generated by this mode of production will in the fullness of time become available to all? Would the world treat similar claims by the far left with such genial, let's-wait-and-see forbearance? Right-wingers who concede that there will always be colossal injustices in the system, but that that's just tough and the alternatives are even worse, are at least more honest in their hard-faced way than those who preach that it will all finally come right. if there happened to be both rich and poor people, as there happens to be both black and white ones, then the advantages of the well-heeled might well spread in time to the hard-up. But to point out that some people are destitute while others are prosperous is rather like claiming that the world contains both detectives and criminals. So it does; but this obscures the truth that there are detectives because there are criminals."

-Terry Eagleton

Why Marx Was Right

 

 

"  When the Nobel Prize-winners in financial economics, top bankers, high-flying fund managers, prestigious colleges and the smartest celebrities have shown that they do not understand what they are doing, how can we accept economic theories that work only because they assume that people are fully rational? The upshot is that we are simply not smart enough to leave the market alone.

    But where do we go from there? it is possible to think about regulating the market when we are not even smart enough to leave it alone? The answer is yes. Actually it is more than that. Very often, we need regulation exactly because we are not smart enough. ..."

Ha-Joon chang

Things They don't Tell You About Capitalism

 

 

 

"Proper resentment for injustice attempted, or actually committed, is the only motive which, in the eyes of the impartial spectator, can justify our hurting or disturbing in any respect the happiness of our neighbor.....The wisdom of every state or commonwealth endeavors, as , as well as it can, to employ the force of society to restrain those who are subject to its authority, from hurting or disturbing the happiness of one another."

-Adam Smith

 

 

"A Nobel Prize is waiting for the person who figures out the economics of information."

-Jay Ogilvy

 

 

"Wherever there is a lot of money surging into a risky area, where change in the market is dramatic, where there is no transparency and therefore no effective regulation, we have a prescription for disaster."

Senator Ted Kaufman

 

 

"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing-when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors-when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you-When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice-You may know that your society is doomed."

-Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged

 

 

 

VELOCITY

   "It is a peculiar kind of economic activity. Schwartz: "That $87 trillion is several times the Gross World Product. It's not trade volumes, it's not physical activity that is driving the value of currencies any longer;. it's this electronic money sloshing around the world in vast quantities. Trade is only about ten percent of that $87 trillion: it's trivial. Movement of money itself is the game. The shift is fundamental."

-Peter Schwartz  MIT Media Lab by Stewart Brand

 

 

"The wave of financial calamities that took place in 2008 was cloud-based. No one in the pre-digital-cloud era had the mental capacity to lie to himself in the way we routinely are able to now. The limitations of organic human memory and calculation put a cap on the intricacies of self-delusion. In finance, the rise of computer-assisted hedge funds and similar operations has turned capitalism into a search engine. You tend the engine in the computing cloud, and it searches for money. In the past, an investor had to be able to understand at least something about what a investment would actually accomplish. No longer. There are now so may layers of abstraction between the elite investor and actual events that he no longer has any concept of what is actually being done as a result of his investments..

   True believers in the hive mind seem to think that no number of layers of abstraction in a financial system can dull the system's efficacy. The crowd works for free, and statistical algorithms supposedly take the risk out of making bets if you are a lord of the cloud. But who is that lord who owns the cloud that connects the crowd? Not just anybody. A lucky few (for luck is all that can possibly be involved will own it. Entitlement has achieved its singularity and become infinite."

-Jaron Lanier

You Are Not a Gadget

 

"Our financial markets have become a largely automated adaptive dynamical system, with feedback....
There's no science I'm aware of that's up to the task of understanding its potential implications."

-Michael Kearns  Professor at the University of Pennsylvania

 

   "For individual investors, trading with algorithms has been a boon: Today, they can buy and sell stocks much faster, cheaper, and easier than ever before. but from a systemic perspective the stock market risks spinning out of control. Even if each individual algorithm makes perfect sense, collectively they obey an emergent logic-artificial intelligence, but not artificial human intelligence. it is, simply, alien, operating at the natural scale of silicon, not neurons and synapses. We may be able to slow it down, but we can never contain, control, or comprehend it. It's the machines' market now; we just trade in it."

-Felix Salmon and Jon Stokes

article: Bull Vs. Bear Vs. Bot   in Wired Magazine Jan 2011

 

 

-"The behavior of the market is driven by the behavior of the market."

-Peter Schwartz

 

 

"in 2009, about 40% of individual income taxes will go toward debt interest payments."

-Lawrence kadish WSJ Monday, October 12, 2009

 

 

"Debt cannot go on compounding faster than output forever."

-James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg The Great Reckoning ,1991

 

 

 "The only part of the so-called national wealth that actually enters into the collective possessions of modern peoples is their national Debt."

-Karl Marx

 

 

"In February 2009, as the Obama administration pushed a $787 billion deficit-spending economic stimulus plan through Congress, the American public was largely unaware that the true deficit of the federal government was already measured in trillions of dollars.

   Moreover, total U.S. obligations, including Social security and Medicare benefits to be paid in the future, have effectively placed the U.S. government in bankruptcy, even before we take into consideration the future and continuing social-welfare obligations embedded within the Obama administration's massive new spending plan. According to the U.S. Treasury, the total obligations of the United States in 2007 exceeded a negative %59 trillion, a sum that was more than the 2007 gross domestic product, or GDP, of the world, which the World Bank estimated to be $54 trillion. By 2008, the total obligations of the U.S. had grown to over $65 trillion, with no end in sight...."

Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. America For Sale

 

 

"Yet Congress is fiddling while Rome is  burning, cheered on by special interests that serve to benefit from the status quo. Proposals for reform are being derailed and diluted by Wall Street interests that would like the rest of us to forget that 2008 even happened. According to the Center for Responsive Economics, the finance, insurance, and real estate industries spent $223 million on lobbying in the first half of 2009, a period in which these very institutions were still in serious financial distress and could have used that money to bolster their weakened balance sheets. Nobody should be fooled. The enemies of reform are not just enemies of reform; they are enemies of a more just and fair society in which the rewards of capital are shared not slopped up by a small elite like pigs feeding at a trough. Reform must start from within and it must begin now."

-Michael Lewitt

The Death of Capital

 

 

"Collaboration" had become the buzzword of the day with economists, philosophers, business analysts, trend spotters, marketers and entrepreneurs-and appropriately so."

-Rachel Botsman and Roo Roberts

What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption*

*Ed note...this is the way of the future  aa

 

 

 "The bottom 80% of Americans now lose a collective $743 billion a year thanks to slow wage growth. The Top 1% gains $673 billion." See a pattern?"

Plutocracy Now by Kevin Drum Mother Jones May 2011

 

article: Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

by Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone Mar-2011

 

 

"Too much cannot be said against the men of wealth, who sacrifice everything to getting wealth. There is not in the world a more ignoble character than the mere money-getting American, insensible to every duty, regardless of every principle, bent only on amassing a fortune, and putting his fortune only the basest uses."

-Theodore Roosevelt 1895

 

 

 "People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material advantage."

-John Kenneth Galbraith

 

 

  "It is little wonder that typical fiduciaries at large institutions tend to stumble into one investment trap after another; they invest as though they actually believe that the markets are efficient and that diversification really pays off. They might as well believe that the earth is flat or the moon is made of green cheese, two propositions for which  there is just as much empirical proof as there is for the efficient market theory and Harry Markowitz's "Portfolio Selection." This is the type of thinking that leads institutions into the private equity trap, the distressed debt trap, and other illiquid strategies that they are told do not correlate with public equity and debt markets when, in fact, they correlate strongly with such markets with the added handicap of enjoying limited liquidity, employing greater leverage, incurring higher fees, and producing lower risk-adjusted returns. These theories completely overlook market realities. The efficient market theory ignores not only the wisdom of thinkers like Smith, Marx, Keynes, and Minsky that markets are highly inefficient because they are driven primarily by human emotion, but  the reams of data that illustrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that market prices are imprecise measures of underlying valuation metrics  that are themselves unstable indicia of value. The Portfolio Selection thesis overlooks the fact that the concept of correlation has changed dramatically since the time that Markowitz wrote his paper. Investors treat the concept of correlation like it is a law of nature rather than a human construct, and therefore engage in a profound intellectual error. In fact, is is ironic that when Markowitz wrote the paper in 1955, it was difficult to test his thesis because of limited computer power and that today advanced computer power that permits every conceivable type of financial instrument to be deconstructed into 1s and 0s renders the very concept of diversification obsolete."

-Michael Lewitt

The Death of Capital

 

 

"Peter Victor is an economist who has been asking a heretical question: Can the Earth support endless growth?

    Traditionally, economists have argued that the answer is "yes." In the the 1960s when Victor was earning his various degrees, a steady rise in gross domestic product (GDP)-the combined value of our paid work and the things were produce-was seen as crucial for raising living standards and keeping the masses out of poverty. We grow or we languish: This assumption has become so central to our economic identity that it underpins almost every financial move our leaders make. it is to economics what the Second Law of Thermodynamics is to physics.

   But Victor-now a professor at York University in Toronto-felt something tugging him in the opposite direction. Ecologists were beginning to learn that Earth does have limits. "

"We've had 125,000 generations of humans, but it's only been the last eight that have had growth," Peter victor

"Nothing grows forever. Why do we keep pretending the economy will?" by Clive Thompson Mother Jones May/June 2010

 

 

   "We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. it will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe, Great Depression. But the cost,-to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs-will nevertheless be immense."

Paul Krugman "The Third Depression" New York Times June 24, 2010

 

A 2nd Recession May Bite Deeper Than the First

 By Catherine Rampell   The New York Times Aug 8,2011

     If the economy falls back into recession, as many economists are now warning, the bloodletting could be a lot more painful than the last time around....."

 

   "In the past, conservatives accepted the need for a government-provided safety net on humanitarian grounds. Don't take it from me, take it from Friedrich Hayek, the conservative intellectual hero, who specifically declared in "The Road to Serfdom" his support for ' a comprehensive system of social insurance" to protect citizens against 'the common hazards of life," and singled out health in particular.

   Given the agreed-upon desirability of protecting citizens against eh worst, the question then became one of costs and benefits-and health care was one of those areas where even conservatives used to be willing to accept government intervention in the name of compassion, given the clear evidence that covering the uninsured would not, in fact, cost very much money. As many observers have pointed out, the Obama health care plan was largely based on past Republican plans, and is virtually identical to Mitt Romney's health reform in Massachusetts.

   Now , however, compassion is out of fashion-indeed, lack of compassion has become a matter of principle, at least among the G.O.P.'s base...."

Paul Krugman

The New York Times Sept 16, 2011  "Free to Die"

 

   "We should not be surprised, then, that advanced capitalism breeds delusions of classlessness. This is not just a facade behind which the system conceals its true inequities; it is in the nature of the beast. Even so, there is a telling contrast between the dressed-down nattiness of the modern office and a global system in which distinctions of wealth and power yawn wider than ever. Old-style hierarchies may have yi8elded in some sectors of the economy to decentralized, network-based, team-oriented, information-rich, first-name, open-neck-shirted forms of organization. But capital remains concentrated in fewer hands than ever before, and the ranks of the destitute and dispossessed swell by the hour. While the chief executive smoothes his jeans over his sneakers, over one billion on the planet go hungry every day. Most of the megacities in the south of the globe are stinking slums rife with disease and overcrowding, and slum dwellers represent one-third of the global urban population. The urban poor more generally constitute at least one-half of the world's population. Meanwhile, some on the West seek in  their evangelical fervor to spread liberal democracy to the rest of the globe, at the very point that the world's destiny is being determined by a handful of Western-based corporations answerable to nobody but their shareholders. "

-Terry Eagleton

Why Marx Was Right

 

"Democracy and capitalism have been turned upside down."-meaning that instead of political institutions regulating capitalism, capitalism regulated them."

-Robert Reich  (former U.S. Labour-secretary

 

 

"....Some people say there are no big, useful projects for government spending these days. That's absurd. We are already cutting important programs. And we've never run out of ideas for what to do with our private spending, despite the manifold increase in personal income over the last century. The same should be true of public goods.

   The problem with the fiscal stimulus that began in 2009 was there  weren't enough worthwhile shovel-ready projects* (my emphasis-ed) at the time. But this just means that Americans should start thinking now about what to do in a few years if the economy is still in trouble."

"Taxing And Spending, In Balance" by Robert J. Shiller  Sunday Money The New York Times, Sunday, July 24, 2011

*This idea that projects were not 'shovel-ready' is false. Colorado had shovel ready projects. And for months were told that the checks were coming....all bunk.....The checks were coming, the checks were coming....Then nothing....Sadly, many who believed both Obama and our governor lost their personal money. According to the speeches given by candidate Obama in Pueblo Colorado, Colorado was to be the new economic miracle. Many shovel-ready projects were anxiously waiting to no avail.    ED NOTE.

 

 

"So far, Washington has been saved from bankruptcy by the emerging global power, China,...To designate the relationship, scholars have coined a new term, Chimerica. As Washington grows weaker, China becomes correspondingly stronger, using U.S. fat to build its industrial muscle. But it remains a symbiotic relationship. china needs the United States to help innovate and develop new technologies, while the United states needs Chinese loans and cheap consumer goods to continue living high on the hog while producing little."

-Alexei Bayer

St. Petersburg Times

 

See Article: "Blaming China Won't Help the Economy" by Anatole Kaletsky New York Times Mon, September 27,2010

 

 

"What can be done about mass unemployment? All the wise heads agree: there are no quick or easy answers. There is work to be done, but workers aren't ready to do it-they're in the wrong places, or they have the wrong skills. Our problems are "structural," and will take many years to solve.

   But don't bother asking for evidence that justifies this bleak view. There isn't any. On the contrary, all the facts suggest that high unemployment in America is the result of inadequate demand-full stop. Saying that there are no easy answers sounds wise, but it's actually foolish: our unemployment crisis could be cured very quickly if we had the intellectual clarity and political will to act.

   In other words, structural unemployment is a fake problem, which mainly serves as an excuse for not pursuing real solutions......"

-Paul Krugman   "Structure Of Excuses" New York Times Op-Ed Monday ,September 27,2010

 

 

   "Many, including Greenspan, believed that a new economic paradigm was upon us. There was a belief that serious economic downturns could be prevented by wise monetary policy. But their "wise monetary policy" had nothing to do with sound money or interest rates and credit being determined by the market. The economic planners literally believed that there would never be a price to pay for inflating a currency, manipulating interest rates, and monetizing debt. In reality, this "sophistication" in managing the economy was merely postponing the inevitable consequences, and it guaranteed they would be much worse."

-Ron Paul

End The Fed

 

"Speculative and Ponzi units must issue debt in order to meet payments and commitments. This means that they must always meet the market. Furthermore, they are vulnerable to any disruption, in the form of transitory unfavorable financing terms, that may occur in financial markets."

-Hyman Minsky

 

"Ponzi finance is the dominant characteristic of the United States and other Western economies today. it is a decidedly unhealthy state of affairs.

-Michael Lewitt

The Death of Capital

 

 

   "It is a commonplace among Marxists that real power today lies with the banks, corporations and financial institutions, whose directors had never been elected by anyone, and whose decisions can affect the lives of millions. By and large, political power is the obedient servant of the Masters of the Universe. Governments might chide them from time to time; or even slap an Anti-Social behavior Order on them; but if they sought to put them out of business they would be in dire danger of being clapped in prison themselves by their own security forces. At most, the state can hope to mop up some of the human damage the present system wreaks. It does so partly on humanitarian grounds, and partly to restore the system's tarnished credibility. This what we know as social democracy. The fact that, generally speaking, politics is in hock to economics is the reason why the state as we know it cannot simple be hijacked for socialist ends. Marx writes in  the The Civil war in France that the working class cannot simply lay hands on t he ready-made machinery of the state and wield it for its own purposes. This is because that machinery already has a built-in bias to the status quo. Its anemic, woefully impoverished version of democracy suits the anti-democratic interests that currently hold sway.
Terry Eagleton

Why Marx Was right

 

"We must especially beware of that small group of  selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

 

"Protecting children from the sharpest edges of poverty during their years of growth and formation is....the mark of a civilized society."

-UNICEF report on poor children in rich nations, 2009

 

 

"America's failure to make progress in reducing poverty, especially among children, should provoke a lot of soul-searching. Unfortunately, what it often seems to provoke instead is great creativity in making excuses."

-Paul Krugman, Poverty Is Poison," New York Times,2008

 

 

"So how it is that this Democratic president has the temerity to deliver a State of the Union address that completely neglects any explicit mention of the calamitous conditions now afflicting his staunchest supporters: the poor?"

-Charles M. Blow "Hard-Knock (Hardly Acknowledged) Life" New York Times OP-ED  Saturday, Jan 29,2011

 

 

"   The Pentagon budget has doubled in the past decade and now represents more than 50% of discretionary federal spending-and that doesn't include the cost for two wars*. How can it be off limits?  If Congress tries to revive the wasteful E.V.F. project, the secretary warns its ballooning price tag will swallow most of the Marine Corps' future procurement and maintenance budget across the coming years."

Editorial New York Times Saturday , Jan 29,2011

 

 

"I have a crisis on my doorstep."

-Secretary of  Defense Robert Gates

 

 

   "I have found that talk about a traditional work ethic is common among businesspeople in American companies today. You have a job and you should fulfill its duties in a responsible way-that's the heart of the work ethic refrain. But the unstated other half of the contract is that the job should pay a living wage. This has certainly never been established in the United States, but over the last two decades, as wealth went upward to the very richest, pay for working-class jobs dropped like a stone."

Lisa Dodson

The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy

 

 

   "The Ronald Reagan crowd loved to talk about morning in America. For millions of individuals and families, perhaps the majority, it's more like twilight-with nighttime coming on fast."

-Bob Herbert   "A Terrible Divide"  The New York Times Feb 8 ,2011

 

 

"Online, A Nation of Serfs by David Carr New York Times Feb 14, 2011

"The Contributors who build empires like Facebook are Unpaid"

 

 

"Our problem today is that we have seen two centuries of the victory of money, and we have accepted this phenomenon as a new law of history. We ought to consider, instead, what special factors have intervened to give money this temporary edge, namely, that money, for much of the period of its success, was not defended by a money aristocracy (as it is now) but by the "throwback" remnants of feudalism with its warrior traditions. Now that feudalism is flat dead, isn't it logical to assume that raw plutocracy will beaten by predators."

-J.R. Nyquist   Origins of the Fourth World War

 

 

"A course in comparative economy would be an extremely enlightening addition to the college curriculum. Equally enlightening would be a compulsory test on the scientific method to be taken and passed by every writer on economic subjects before publication "The scientific method," according to one interpretation, "involves skillful handling of the material being studied, careful observations, controlled experiments, if possible, close attention to detail....intellectual honesty....open-mindedness....cautiousness in reaching conclusions.....willingness to repeat experiments....vigilance for the occurrence of possible flaws in hypotheses, theories, evidence and conclusions,"

-Hegner and Stiles College Zoology

 

   "In the 1930s, while teaching at Columbia University, Hubbert became active in a movement called Technocracy and served as its educational director. Holding politicians and economists responsible for the debacle of the Great Depression, Technocracy promoted the idea that democracy was a sham and that scientists and engineers should take over the reins of government and impose rationality on the economy. "I had a box sat at the Depress," Hubert later said. "We had manpower and raw materials. Yet we shut the country down."

   Technocracy envisioned a no-growth society and the elimination of the price system, to be replaced by the wise administration of the Technocrats. Hubbert believed that a "pecuniary" system, guided by the "hieroglyphics" of economist, was the road to ruin..."

article: There Will Be Oil   The Wall Street Journal Sept 17-18, 2011

 

 

 

   "The new financial regulation law gave the Securities and Exchange Commission a big new job to police hedge funds, derivatives dealers and credit agencies-some of the main culprits in the financial meltdown. it authorized raising the commission's budget to $2.25 billion, over five years. Now congress is threatening to deny the S.E.C. the necessary financing to carry out its duties.

   What makes this even more absurd is that the S.E.C. doesn't cost taxpayers a dime..............."

The New York Times Feb 14, 2011

 

 

 

"The Obama administration initially appeared to be getting some of the picture. The president said online crime was costing the world $1 trillion every year...."

-Joseph Menn

Fatal System Error

 

 

   "According to a report released yesterday by John C. Lu, the New York City comptroller, over the last five years the city has paid more than $500 million in settlements and judgments against the New York Police Department, often involving misconduct claims against individual officers-and that doesn't include attorneys' salaries and administrative costs.

   The number of claims for offenses like false arrest and brutality has surged by 42 percent over the last five years; in 2010, 8,104 claims were filed and $136 million paid out."

See article: "Watching The Detectives" by Joanna C. Schwartz   The New York Times June 16,2011

 

 

"It is no exaggeration to say that the United States' standing in  the world depends on its success in constraining the health-care cost explosion. How Health Car Can Save or Sink America Peter R. Orsag

Foreign Affairs  July/Aug 2011

 

 

"If there was ever a discipline that should be founded on reason, and on reason alone; it is economics. yet, like politics, economics has now been so theorized and theologized so supercharged with tendentiousness and unreason, as to be almost completely shrouded from the prying eye of objectivity. Officiating as the priesthood of the various fiscal cults that dominate the modern economic thought-many of which wander far afield from the traditional concerns of economics and meddle in practically every aspect of human behavior-is a mishmash of liberal historicists, doctrinaire, materialists, bureaucratic statisticians, and tax-happy plutocrats.

   Any given economic system must prove to be false or inadequate over a period of time, for the obvious reason that no one economic system can effectively adjust to the wildly fluctuating economic conditions which harry and bedevil every nation during its life span. What is good economics for a country with unlimited natural resources and an industrious, expanding population can be bad economics for a nation without resources and with a declining birthrate. Also, foreign, or civil wars have a habit of overturning the best-laid economic plans, and in an ever more interdependent world even a small shift in  the economy of one nation may produce a chain reaction in the economies of others."

-Wilmot Robertson

The Dispossessed Majority

 

"it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

William Shakespeare

Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5

 

 

 

      "New ideas on a grand scale are needed. The United States can't thrive with so many of its citizens condemned to shrunken standards of living because they can't find adequate employment. Long-term joblessness is a recipe for societal destabilization. it should not be tolerated in a country with as much wealth as the United States. It's destructive, and it's wrong."

-Bob Herbert   The New York Times Feb 8,2011

 

 

   "The United States itself had a checkered history of honoring debts, with many of the states having defaulted throughout the nineteenth century, so it is ironic that the Americans eventually became the debt enforcers in the western hemisphere."

-Dani Rodrik

The Globalization Paradox

 

 

 

  "Why do economists' analytical mind turn into mush when they talk about trade policy in the real world?

-Dani Rodrik

The Globalization Paradox

 

 

 

"I regarded ordinary departures from (free trade) as being at the same time an imbecility and an outrage."

-Keynes

 

 

"I can tell you without a shred of doubt that this mother of all financial crises was largely a result of overconnectivity."

-William H. Davidow

Over connectivity

 

 

Some French Suggest Fiction Helped Set Off Market Panic by Eric Peanner  The New York Times August 15, 2011

"A series of articles in Le Monde, "End of the Line for the Euro," look at how a collapse of the currency might hypothetically play out, particularly against the backdrop of French  presidential elections next year.

   While the newspaper's s12-part series was clearly labeled as fiction, it named real banks, like Societe Generale,whose shares plunged 15 percent last Wednesday, prompting the bank to deny speculation that it was in financial trouble.

   Now French politicians, business leaders and  journalists-at least hose  who are left in Paris during the dog days of August-are wandering if that series somehow played a role......"
 

 

 

  "In the letter*, Professors Besley and Hennessy said that individual economists were competent and 'doing their job properly on its own merit, but that they lost sight of the wood for the trees' in the run-up to the crisis. There was, according to them, 'a failure of the collective imagination of many bright people, both in  this country and internationally, to understand the risks to the system as a whole'.

  A failure of the collective imagination? hadn't most economists, including most (although not all) of us that free markets work best because we are rational and individualistic and thus know what we want for ourselves (and no one else, possibly except for our immediate families) and how to get it most efficiently? I don't remember seeing much discussion in economics about imagination, especially of the collective kind, and I've been in the economics profession for the last two decades. I am not even sure whether a concept like imagination, collective or otherwise, has a place in the dominant rationalist discourses in economics. The great and the good of the economics world of Britain, them, were basically admitting that they don't know has gone wrong.

   But this understates it. Economists are not some innocent technicians who did a decent job within the narrow confines of their expertise until they were collectively wrong-footed by a once-in-a-century disaster that no one could have predicted."

*letter delivered to the Queen of England by the British Academy of some of the top economists from academia, the financial sector and the government on 17 June 2009.

Ha-Joon Chang

Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

 

 

 

"Markets are stupid-But we're not. What good shall we do today?"

-Sir Richard Branson

 

 

"It's incredibly disturbing...the engine of the world economy is based on this really cool experiment that is not designed for security, it's designed for fault-tolerance...You can reduce your risks, but the naughty truth is that the Net is just not a secure place for business or society."

-Vint Cerf

Fatal system Error   Joseph Menn

 

 

"Innovations in trading can turn an orderly market decline into a crisis...."

The New York Times   Aug 15,2011

 

 

 

   "In what can only be described as a triumph of bad policy and craven politics, Congress and the Obama administration have spent the year focused on budget cuts, as the economy has faltered and unemployment has worsened. Official unemployment is 9.1 percent, but it would bed 16.1 percent, or 25.1 million people, if it included those who can only find part-time jobs and those who have given up looking for work. For the past two and a half years, there have been more than four unemployed workers for ever job opening, a record high, by far. In a healthy market the ratio would be about one to one."

Editorial The New York Times August 15, 2011

 

 

 

   "At the risk of being accused of populism, we'll begin with the obvious: It is not the little guy who benefits. He is being milked and lied to in order to keep the insolvent system running. He is paid less and taxed more to provide the money needed to keep this Ponzi scheme going. Meanwhile a symbiosis has developed between politicians and banks: Our political leaders give  ever more money to pay off the banks which return the favor by lending ever more money back to our government.

   In a true market economy, bad choices get penalized. Instead of accepting losses on unsound investments-which would have led to the probable collapse of some banks-it was decided to transfer the losses to taxpayers via loans, guarantees and opaque constructs such as the European financial Stability funds.

   Further contrary to the official wisdom, the recipient did not want such "help," not this way. The natural option for them was to admit insolvency and let failed private lenders, wherever they were based eat their losses.

   That was not  to be. Ireland was forced to take the money. The same happened to Portugal."

-Timo Soinio   (leader of  the True Finn Party) Wall Street Journal May 10,2011

 

 

"Our leaders have asked for "shared sacrifice." But when  they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched...Warren E. Buffet   "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich"   "Billionaires like  me should  pay More TAXES" The New York Times April 15,2011

 

 

"Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind."

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

"We Need a Better Class of Rich People"

 

"The promise of abundance is not an endless flow of goods, but a sufficiency produced with a minimum of unpleasant exertion."

-G.A.Cohen

 

"Tax compliance employs more workers than Wal-Mart, UPS, McDonalds, IBM and Citigroup combined."

Taxpayers Union

 

A study at the Laffer Center estimates that tax compliance costs alone are a staggering $431billion annually. This is a cost mark up o 30 cents on every dollar paid in taxes. And this is not even a complete accounting of the costs of tax complexity."

 

   "Citizens should be able to comply with the tax code without having to spend absurd amounts of money to do so. The fact that there is such a large compliance markup in our tax system indicates that the tax system has gone awry. All of these hours could have been used for something a lot more productive than just making sure our taxes are filed and paid correctly.

   An obvious alternative use is work, either as an employee or an entrepreneur. We will never know how many more businesses could have been started if we did not spend billions of hours on tax compliance. But we do know approximately how much our economy would benefit if we could use our "tax-compliance time" more productively...."

-Arthur B. Laffer  "The 30-Cent Tax Premium " The Wall Street Journal  April 17 2011

 

 

  "There will be no new Gold Commission, no open discussion regarding gold as money in the current administration. There will be, behind the scenes, the Fed and other elites planning a new system, international in scope and fiat in nature. it will not be smooth sailing, considering the task at hand."

-Ron Paul

End The Fed

 

   "We never actually solved the faults of capitalism that caused the Great Depression, instead we put in a false economy of industrialized warfare to maintain markets of destabilization rather than stand down and retool for peace, therefore the threat to American interests is not from our allies turned rogue-playing out all the possible threat scenarios "what if" and can borrow from Hollywood-but the grassroots peace breaking out across the globe outside our influence The policy makers know this. Defense spending is the only economy we've backed for way too long. We've let our glorious victors (the great generation) become the Mike Tyson of defense departments: Lethal in the first few minutes but unable to go the distance. So we must resort to biting off the ears of our opponents with drones these days. making us, in relation to civilizations, a one-hit wonder of a single century. "

-Eric Olander Glenwood Springs Aspen Daily News

  

 

   "This is not just about economics. People feel betrayed. In Ireland, the incoming parties to  the new government promised to hold senior bondholders responsible, but under pressure they succumbed, leaving their voters with a sense of disenfranchisement. The elites in Brussels have said that Finland must honor its commitments to its European partners, but Brussels is silent on whether national politicians should honor their commitments to their own voters."

-Timo Soini

 

"Millions of Americans who lost their jobs to the recession and fell behind in payments to creditors are being penalized again, this time by companies that use credit records to screen job applicants. Five states have limited the use of credit histories by potential employers and about 20 are considering similar measures that deserve to become law

   Damaged ratings are often the result of irresponsibility. They can also be due to bad luck and hard times, including a layoff, divorce or catastrophic illness, which is a leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

   Thanks to intensive marketing by the credit reporting industry, about 60 percent of employers now do credit checks on job applicants-up from less than 20 percent in the mid 1960s. But even some in the credit industry acknowledge that a poor rating doesn't necessarily make someone a bad job prospect. Last year, Eric Rosenberg director of state government relations for TransUnion one of the country's largest reporting companies, told Oregon legislators: "At this point we don't have any research to show any statistical correlation between what's in somebody's credit report and their job performance of their likelihood to commit fraud."......

The New York Times    May 31, 2011

*  Ed note: The real lifetime report card....grinding the face of the poor for Mammon   . ** My long ago college studies included the report that most of the 'entrepreneurs that started many famous entrepreneurs had been bankrupt once and some several times companies...The study showed that the people who create companies had bad credit and Harvard MBAs had lackluster entrepreneur records....More evidence that Amory Lovins is right when he says our contemporary economic system isn't even interested in efficiency. Its Just a giant rewards & punishment system.....soon to be superseded by a kinder, gentler. more efficient Economics system we hope..

                                                                                                                                                                                  

Article: Get Radical: Raise Social Security" by Thomas Geoghegan    The New York Times Monday, June 2011

   "But we can't afford it?" Oh, come on: We have a federal tax rate-equal to nearly 15 percent of our G.D.P.-far below the take in most wealthy countries. Let's wake up...."

 

"....As we suffer through our own economic hard times, the German approach is something we can only envy. Here, companies quickly lay off workers, many of whom never find their way back into the full-time labor force. Corporations shy away from investing for the future, even though investment is what will turn the economy around. The government, for its part, Invariably starts talking about "job creation," but rarely does anything that makes a difference..."

-Joe Nocera  "What is Business Waiting For" The New York Times Aug 16,2011

 

 

  "So what's really going on is extortion pure and simple. As Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute puts it, the G.O.P. has in effect, come around with base ball bats and declared, "Nice economy you have here. a real shame if something happened to it."

   And the reason Republicans are doing this is because they must believe that it will work: Mr. Obama caved in over tax cuts, and they expect him to cave again. They believe that they have the upper hand, because the public will blame the president for the economic crisis they're threatening to create. In fact, it's hard to avoid the suspicion that G.O.P. leaders actually want the economy to perform badly..."

-Paul Krugman "To The Limit" The New York Times OP-ED July 1,2011

 

   One of history's most dismal sights is that of two political factions tearing a country apart in order to force a pet economic dogma on the population at large. The best that can happen when two economic doctrines are in sharp opposition is that one of them is right, or at least better geared to serve the country at that particular moment. Often both are wrong and totally inappropriate. nevertheless thousands, sometimes millions, of people have to die so that one side or the other can make its point. Two physicists who fought a duel to the death over the outcome of a laboratory experiment before performing it would be considered hopelessly insane. but mass duels to the death between partisans of economic systems over unproved and unprovable economic assumptions have become increasingly common."

-Wilmot Robertson

The Dispossessed Majority

 


"Asked about mortgage securities that Goldman both sold to clients and bet against, Blankfein, while expressing regret for what he admitted was improper behavior, added: "In our market-making function, we are a principal. We represent the other side of what people want to do." He went on to say that when Goldman sells a security that subsequently goes up (i.e. on which the other party makes money), "we wish we hadn't sold it." So much for putting the customer first.

   For much of Wall Street, capital-raising is now a sideshow. At Goldman, trading and investing for the firm's account produced 76 percent of revenue last year. Investment banking, which raises capital for productive enterprise, accounted for a mere 11 percent. other than that, it could have been a hedge fund.

   Brokers recite ,endlessly, that trading is vital because, without it, there wouldn't be a way for shareholders to exist, thus investors would fear to commit capital in the first place. Within limits, this is true. Thus, at modest levels, the willingness of traders to  buy and sell from the rest of us gooses confidence.

   But the value of such "liquidity" has been vastly oversold. The notion that ever more trading makes for successively better markets is one of Wall Street's great myths. people think liquidity will keep markets stable, but the crisis of 2008 says otherwise. In a crisis, liquidity disappears.

   Modern markets are more likely afflicted with too much trading. Think of oil and its dizzying fluctuations. As the volume from speculators and momentum traders dwarfs that of long-term investors, prices gyrate further from fundamental value. Raising capital thus becomes , to paraphrase John Maynard Keynes, the byproduct of a casino."

Article: Who Needs Wall Street? Society profits little from a dizzying casino  by Roger Lowenstein

 

 

"...The stock market is not the collective conscience and soul of the nation, and should not be used as a measurement of all things wise and wonderful. The media obsession with the market is only panicking the herd, so knock it off."

-Buck Rutledge Knoxville, Tenn, aug 9,2011  letter to the editor The New York Times Aug 10,2011

 

 

"Is your Job an Endangered Species? article by Andy Kessler The Wall Street Journal Feb 17,2011

"Technology is eating jobs-and not just obvious ones like toll takers and phone operators. Lawyers and doctors are at risk as well."

   * Lawyers and doctors losing jobs...hmmmm!  Ed. (Remember Norbert Weiner?)

 

Book: "Intern Nation: how  to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in  the brave new Economy" by Ross Perlin

 

"Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of evolution is its ability to generate cooperation in a competitive world. Thus, we might add 'natural cooperation' as a third fundamental principle of evolution besides mutation and natural selection."

-Martin Nowak  Science magazine

HEY!!   Idea!!!

 

"Collaboration among unlikely allies is achieving change in the world of social enterprise."

-Thomas J. Tierney

 

 

"We are more cooperative and less selfish than most people  believe. Organizations should help us embrace our collaborative sentiments.' by Yochai Benkler

 

 

   'COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION is not asking people to share nicely in the sandbox. On the contrary, it puts a system in place where people can share resources without forfeiting cherished personal freedoms or sacrificing their lifestyle. A distinguished political scientist who shares this view is seventy-six-year-old Indiana University professor Elinor Ostrom. In October 2009, while we were writing this boo, she won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, along with Oliver E. Williamson. Ostrom is the first person ever to win the award with a proven theory on the efficiency of commons-based societies and how they work. Michael Spence, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, commented shortly after Ostrom won the prize that her work demonstrates that "economics is not really fundamentally about markets, but about resource allocation and distribution problems. From alpine grazing meadows in Switzerland to irrigation canals in Spain to forests in Japan. Professor Ostrom has spent her life studying commonly managed resources and proving how they succeed or fail. Her research has demonstrated that even in capitalist societies, if simple rules are applied, a self-organized commons can work. Individuals will cooperate to act in the common good.

   Perhaps what is most exciting about Collaborative Consumption is that it fulfills the hardened expectations on both sides of the socialist and capitalist ideological spectrum without being an ideology in itself. it demands no rigid dogma. There are, of course, limits to the system, specifically situations where people simply won't and can't give up on individual ownership or doing things by themselves. But this rigidity too, could shift."

Rachel Botsman & Roo Rogers

What's Mine Is YOURS: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

 

 

"Why can't anyone just invest a few hundred dollars in a small business they love? We've heard hundreds of stories from entrepreneurs and small business owners who have tried gathering investments (real) investments,  not just donations) from friends, family, and other members of their community, but have struggled along the way. Unfortunately, the process is unnecessarily confusing, costly, and complicated."

Profounder's Web Site

-Amy Cortese

Locavesting: the Revolution in Local Investing: And How To Profit From It

 

 

  "In other words, economics has been worse than irrelevant. Economics, as it has been practiced in  the last three decades, has been positively harmful for most people."

-Ha-Joon Chang

Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

 

 

"look at Congress and the Senate. These individuals receive their full pay and benefits for their entire lives, even if they only serve as little as four years. Just for the current 565 of them, that represents an estimated $120,000,000 per year. That equates to almost $2,500,000,000 in 20 years."

Clay A. Mercier

Colorado Springs

Article: "A Crude Predicament: The Era of Volatile Oil Prices" by Robert McNally and Michael Levi  Foreign Affairs July/Aug 2011

"The world will be stuck with wild price swings for he foreseeable future. Already the consequences for economics and geopolitics are stark. Big shifts in oil prices complicate economic decisions. Companies in many sectors avoid investing in new facilities and equipment that may be profitable at low oil prices but are all but useless if prices soar. Individual consumers are buffeted as their disposable incomes drop when their gasoline and home heating bills arise....

*******************************************

www.extremeinequality.org

www.greatturning.org

www.yesmagazine.org

www.davidkorten.org

www.smallisbeautiful.org

www.skybook.org

www.reinventingmoney.com

 

Article: "Wall Street's Dead End" by Felix Salmon New York Times Monday Feb 14, 2011

Article "The Pirate Economy" by Robert Neurith  Stealth Nations Harpers Mag Sept 2011

See article: The Economic Tool  That Gets Everything Wrong :
Will the great Recession finally end our misguided obsession with gross domestic product? by Megan McArdle  Atlantic Monthly magazine Nov 2009

Article: "Earth, a treasury for all to live upon: From Stock markets to measuring GDP, conventional economics is in a mess. Do we need radical new ways to assess economic activity, asks Mike Holderness New Scientist 24 October 2009

article: "Goldman Can Spare You a Dime" by Frank Rich   New York Times   Sunday, October 18,2008

Book: "More Money Than God" by Sebastian Mallaby

Book: "How Latvia Came Through the Financial Crisis" by Anders Aslund and Valdis Dombrowskis

Book: "Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning From Gilgamesh to Wall Street" by Tomas Sedlacek

Book: "Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life" by Nicholas Phillipson

Book: "The Haves and the Have-Nots" by Branko Milanovic

Book: "Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present" by Jeff Madrick

Book:" The End of Energy: The Unmaking of America's Environment, Security, and Independence" by Michael J. Graetz

Book: "Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, greed, and Corruption led To Economic Armageddon" by Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner

Book: "Stabilizing an Unstable Economy" by Hyman Minsky

Book: "The Great Stagnation: How America ate all the Low hanging Fruit of Modern History" by Tyler Cowen

Book: "The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich are Rich, the Poor Are Poor-and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car!" by Tim Harford

Book: "The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights" by Irene Khan

Book: "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" by Naomi Klein

Book: "The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality" by Branko Milanovic

Book: "Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance" by Nauriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm

Book: "More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite" by Sebastian Mallaby

Book: "The Great Delusion: A mad Inventor, Death in the Tropics, and the Utopian Origins of Economic Growth."-Steven Stoll

Book: "All the Devils Are Here" by Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera

Book: "The Enlightened Economy" by Joel Mokyr

Book: "The Pursuit of Happiness: Toward an Economy of Well-Being" by Carol Graham

Book: "The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence" by Robert J. Samuelson

Book: "The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash" by Charles R. Morris

Book: "Bull! A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-2004" by Maggie Mahar

Book: "The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too" by James K. Galbraith

Book: "The Economics of John Stuart Mill" by Samuel Hollander

Book: "The Theory of the Leisure Class" by Thorstein Veblen

Book: "Adam Smith And The Pursuit of Perfect Liberty" by James Buchan

Book: "Religion and the Rise of Capitalism" by R.H. Tawney

Book: "Classical Economics" by Samuel Hollander

Book: "Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius"  by Sylvia Nasar

Book: "The Worldly Philosophers" by Dr. Heilbroner

Book: "Knowledge and the Wealth Of Nations: A Story of Economic Discovery" by David Warsh

Book: "The Nature and Logic of Capitalism" by Dr. Heilbroner

Book: "Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism" by Ha-Joon Chang

Book: "Are The Rich Necessary" by Hunter Lewis

Book: "Greenspan's Fraud: How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy" by Ravi Batra

Book: "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and stick you with the Bill)

Book: "21st Century Capitalism" by Dr. Heilbroner

Book: "Creative Capital" by Spencer E. Ante

Book: "The Economics Of Innocent Fraud: Truth For Our Time" by John Kenneth Galbraith

Book: "The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences" by Louis Uchitelle

Book: "Marshall's Tendencies: What Can Economists Know?" by John Sutton

Book: "Inquiries into the nature of Slow Money: investing as if food, farms, and fertility mattered Tasch

Book: "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy" by K.H. O' Rourke & J.G. Williamson

Book: "The Economics of the Good Society: The Variety of Economic Arrangements" by Joseph S. Berliner

Book: "SuperCapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life" by Robert Reich

Book: "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves At Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill") by David Cay Johnston

Book: "The Nobel Laureates: How the World's Greatest Economic Minds Shaped Modern Thought" by Marilu Hurt McCarthy

Book: "The Sellout: How Wall Street Greed and Stupidity Destroyed America's Dominance of the Global Financial system" by Charles Gasparino

Book: "Parecon: Life After Capitalism" by Michael Alber

Book: "Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing: And How To Profit From It" by Amy Cortese

Book: "The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy As if the Future matters" by Diane Coyle

Book: "Lighten Up":    Love what you have, have what you need, Be Happier With Less" by Peter Walsh

Book: "Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America 1865-1900" by Jack Beatty

Book: "The Mystery Of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else." by Hernando de Soto

Book: "How exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability" by Amy Chua

Book" The Feminine Economy & Economic Man" by Shirley P. Burggraf

Book: "On Economic Inequality" by Amartya Sen

Book: "Agenda For A New Economy: from Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth" by David Korten

Book: "The Economics Of Innocent Fraud: Truth for our Time" by John Kenneth Galbraith

Book: "A Perilous Progress: Economists and Public Purpose in Twentieth-Century America" by Michael A. Bernstein

Book: "The Birth Of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World Was Created" by William J. Bernstein

Book: "Hayek's Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek" by Alan Ebenstein

Book: "The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Modern European Thought" by Jerry Z. Muller

Book: "Capitalism with Morality" by D.W. Haslett

Book: "The Struggle Over the Soul Of Economics: Institutionalist and Neoclassical Economists in America Between the Wars" by Yuival P. Yonay

Book: "The Soul of Capitalism" by William Greider

Book: Protestantism and Capitalism: The Weber Thesis and Its Critics" ed by Robert W. Green

Book: "Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went" by John Kenneth Galbraith

Book: "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations" by David S. Landes

Book: "Welfare for the Well-to-Do" by Gordon Tullock

Book: "Meanings Of The Market: The Free Market in Western Culture" Ed. by James G. Carrier

Book: Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History" Ed. by T. Carson & M. Bonk

Book: "Why Economies Grow: The Forces That Shape Prosperity and How We Can Get Them Working Again." by Jeff Madrick

Book: "Islam, Economics and Society" by Syed Nawab Haider Naqvi

Book: "FDR'S Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression" by Jim Powell

Book: "The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Modern European Thought" by Jerry Z. Muller

Book: "The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism and Western Success" by Rodney Stark

Book: "The Myth of the Rational market" by Justin Fox

Book: "Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture" by Ellen Ruppel Shell

Book: "The Great Risk Shift" by Jacob Hacker

Book: "The 2% Solution" by Matthew Miller

Book: "How Markets Fail; The Logic of Economic Calamities" by John Cassidy

Book: "The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy" by Lisa Dodson

Book: "That Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality" by Branko Milannovic

 

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