Home > The Economy, Uncategorized > It’s been a depressing week

It’s been a depressing week

from Peter Radford

I tried my hardest to hide from the flow of depressing news this week, but here I am on Friday feeling battered by it all. This was a week in which we had our worst suspicions confirmed.

Yes, the American economy is now deeply divided into haves and have nots.

Yes, the so-called recovery is evaporating as we meander about in the no man’s land of stagnation.

Yes, our elite is fumbling at every opportunity to do something about the malaise.

Yes, the threat from European ineptitude is almost as strong as that fro our own incompetence.

And, yes, the Republican hard core supporters are as extreme as we all feared.

Combine this lot and you end up with a toxic, corrosive, and potentially devastating brew. No wonder I wanted to hide from it all.

Where do I start?

Well, let’s get the normal numbers out of the way. Quickly, since they will make us all queasy. New claims for unemployment assistance rose again. They are back to the level they reached in June – 428,000 – and show no sign of relenting. Gone are the weeks where we could fantasize that claims were distorted by clerical, seasonal, statistical, or weather related quirks. The well of excuses has dried up. Our economy is simply not capable of creating jobs. It was what now seems an eternity ago when we were celebrating weekly claims trending down towards the magical mid-300,000 range. That is well out of reach at the moment. Unfortunately our unemployment problem is going to stick with us for a long while. Equally, or perhaps more, unfortunately I doubt there will be any serious attempt as a resolution. Our interminable election cycle implies that it is in the Republican party’s interest to remain obstinately anti-worker as it seeks to create an electoral advantage. So I expect a great deal of smokey rhetoric about fixes backed by an equal amount of cynical inaction.

We also learned this week that inflation has edged up somewhat. Even core inflation – the measure that strips out volatile stuff like energy and food costs – has risen to touch the 2.0% mark. While that’s not a problem, despite what you will be hearing from the right wingers, it implies that the average family is being squeezed Since incomes are flat, any rise in inflation erodes real purchasing power.

No wonder people are uneasy or angry.

Meanwhile our elite fiddles.

The explanation for our elite’s complete inability, and unwillingness, to resolve the malaise is apparent when you read the awful Census Bureau report on poverty released earlier this week. It is a damning indictment of the last thirty years. Inequality is now so extreme here that America ranks alongside what we would all claim to be third world countries. These are places the average American would disdain as badly run, corrupt, and poverty riddled backwaters. They are places we, in our finer moments, pity. We look at the as places where the poor are mistreated, forgotten, and abused by their obviously corrupt leaders.

Well we are one of those places.

We rank alongside The Philippines and Mexico. So not only is our health care system sinking rapidly to that level, but our economy is also. At least in terms of its ability to distribute or share the wealth it generates. And lest we forget: it certainly generates wealth. But that wealth is now super concentrated in the hands of the well educated. Our society has an Edwardian air to it. A servant class is thriving to assist the wealthy. And an underclass is growing rapidly to provide cheap labor to supply the rich with the food and services they require to maintain their own lifestyles.

There are signs of angst in the elite: stories about the decline of the middle class are now abundant. This outbreak of handwringing is touching. And totally ineffective since it is inevitably accompanied by statements about the long term intractability of the problem, and the urgent message to us all that we must avoid class conflict.

As if that conflict doesn’t already exist.

It does.

Don’t fool yourselves. We are riven through with class conflict. Our political discourse doesn’t reflect it yet. But it will if we don’t change course.

With our poverty levels rising, wages stagnant, and the chances of securing a solid middle class lifestyle diminishing for millions of families, the central question we will be facing over the nest decade is how to avoid social unrest as the gaps in our society widen even more. The elite has benefitted from a perfect storm: globalization came along to squeeze our workers just as technocratic education became the key to wealth. Our growing industrial productivity means we can make things without the workers that formed the backbone of the middle class of the 1950′s, 60′s and even the 70′s. Those days are gone. They are not coming back, despite the luddite instincts of some on the left who seem to want to draw down the curtain of global integration.

The poverty of ideas runs as deeply on the left as it does on the right.

Indeed, as contradictory as it may sound, it is big business most likely to sound the alarm most effectively. Business, after all seeks profit. It suffers when our middle class stops buying. It has to react. Just this week we read in the Wall Street Journal that Proctor & Gamble, that iconic provider of goods to the middle class, is abandoning most of its marketing efforts in that direction. Why? Their analysis – something they are knee deep in – tells them that the middle class is so threadbare that it is no longer worth the effort. Instead they are beefing up product development and programs designed to sell to our society as it now is: divided. Some very rich. Most poor.

So big business is a canary in the mine. And their actions suggest that the current malaise is not a temporary phenomenon needing a fix from a stale text developed in the 1930′s. That would solve only the magneto problem – to borrow Keynes’ apt phrasing. It would not undo the division of our society that is the root cause of our longer term issues. For that we need to turn to a politically connected economic theory. It doesn’t exist.

What does exist, unfortunately for us, is an extreme right wing theory adapted by our contemporary Republican party.

They are reacting to another canary in the mine: the Tea Party. Laughable, scary, and extreme these folks are real. And they are worth our paying attention to. They exist because they feel threatened. Looking at the typical demographic we learn that the average Tea Party supporter is white middle class and nearing retirement. These are exactly the people who feel the accumulated changes in our society the most. Right or wrong – mostly wrong – they feel as if they behaved according to the rules. And yet those rules are not returning the pot of gold they were promised. So they lash out. Indiscriminately. Irrationally. They pick on “the other” whether it be minorities, immigrants, atheists, or educated people. The list of enemies is long and heterogenous. No two Tea Party supporter  have the same grudge. But they all have some sort of grudge. And they need someone to blame. The neo-libertarian right has managed to channel the blame onto government. Hence the notion that Obama is a socialist.

The left, as usual, has adopted a superior tone when dealing with the unwashed of the Tea Party. Instead of articulating anything new in response to the anger, the left has simply ridiculed the confused and often ignorant antics associated with the movement. The result has been that we have not fully embraced the message being sent: there is deep seated resentment throughout society about the failure of the economy to deliver the long assumed relentless increase in standard of living.

Left wingers may think, as many I know do, that the failure stems from right wing policies. The belief is that the steady erosion of union power, the vilification of government, and the drumbeat of deregulation – all central tenets of libertarian thinking – will inevitably, and I stress that inevitability, produce the very society we now condemn.

In stark terms the clash between the individual liberty so central to capitalism and the egalitarian pull so central to democracy has been won convincingly by the capitalists. Democracy has been rolled back. The libertarian aim is to gut it even further by eliminating social programs altogether. Those programs offend the libertarians both because they imply a need for taxation in order to pay for them, and because they imply an erosion of the rugged individualism that stands behind their philosophy.

This impulse was given clear manifestation at the latest Republican debate. The crowd, and avowedly extreme group, cheered at the idea of a sick person dying, when the alternative was providing social health care. That Hayek, the great hero of libertarians, advocated social health care in order to mitigate the anger of the poor, went unnoticed. Our modern libertarians have moved beyond their core beliefs into a fear driven cynicism and outright hatred of their fellow citizens that is frightening. History will not judge them kindly.

But.

That there are Americans who follow those ideas is sufficient evidence to support the notion that our problems are deep rooted and need long term, collective, and well thought out responses.

Right now we are not seeing anything remotely adequate.

We need to tackle inequality. To do that we need to educate our people, not simply to compete in a global workplace, but so they can perform as citizens. The left’s frustration over things like the environment, over teaching of evolution, and many other issues can be solved were our education system producing citizens well versed in those issues. Clearly is isn’t. That so many erstwhile middle class voters can support policies that ruin the middle class is a great paradox needing remedy. And the delusion of libertarianism and its hatred of government needs to be exposed as the profoundly anti-social message that it self-avowedly is.

After all, “we the people” is a clarion call for democracy, not for capitalism. Nor for libertarianism. We are our government. We are not our own problem. The lack of balance between capitalism and democracy is the source of our malaise. It is time to re-establish a more democratic balance.

I would like to think that economists could contribute to regaining this balance. But, unfortunately, they have defined economics deliberately to ignore social, institutional, cultural, and other impulses that constrain economic activity. They pretend society doesn’t exist in order to model society’s economic aspects. The error in that should be obvious. Apparently it isn’t. So most economic theory is rendered useless or irrelevant awaiting the outcome of the more important debates about how society should construct and apportion wealth.

Once that great debate about the core issues of economic activity are completed, economists can re-enter the discussion and tell us how best to set up markets. They are the engineers who implement someone else’s science.

Pathetic.

As I said: it’s been a depressing week.

  1. Bruce E. Woych
    September 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    “Don’t fool yourselves. We are riven through with class conflict. Our political discourse doesn’t reflect it yet. But it will if we don’t change course.”

    It is hard to believe that we have become so jaded as to not see the extremist rhetoric in our class driven political fanaticism: consider this;

    American Home grown Taliban arrive: the advent of Rigtheous right wing Republican Terrorism has arrived.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Jacobs: ‘The Response’ Broke The Curse Of Native American Cannibals
    Submitted by Brian Tashman on September 12, 2011 – 5:01pm

    “Jacobs claims that lands are cursed with violence because they were previously inhabited by Native Americans who “did blood sacrifice” and “were cannibals and they ate people.”
    Fortunately, Jacobs maintains, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally in Houston broke the curse and “the land is starting to rejoice, you see, because of that prayer.”
    This concept of curses left by Native Americans has a large foothold in the New Apostolic Reformation, and today Bruce Wilson reported that NAR figures Chuck Pierce, John Benefiel, Tom Schlueter and Jay Swallow recently participated in an event in Teas that involved “smashing of Native American art objects” in order to “divorce and tear down the principalities of Baal, Asherah and Leviathan.” Like Benefiel and Swallow, Jacobs was an official endorser of The Response.”
    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    The destruction of Native art and artifacts is virtually identical to the Taliban rule. It is a hate crime in this country and should be prosecuted…we, as anthropologists, must get the word out that this is absolutely despicable and intolerable in America. The American public across the nation should be outraged and demand criminal actions for this hate crime and deliberate destruction of Native artifacts.

    ————————————————————————————————————
    The so-called “hatred of government” is typically screamed by people who are acting as tyrants in their own life and oddly enough continue to make that dry their war screech even as they capture government positions and seek high office themselves. Unfettered power becomes illogical and these “actors” care nothing for the distribution of equal justice under law except for the “rule of law” that protects a scale of tyranny.

    In reality it is not the hatred of government that is ruining this democracy but the “hatred in government” that is being captured by a lust for power and monetary controls over people.
    The crony capitalism comes with an entourage of fanaticism, and cultural genocide is not outside of their self seeking capture of American power politics and a privileged freedom that can not be shared equally or equitably. It is by definition a liberty to suppress, to distress and to oppress. It is a disease, and it is clearly demonstrated in this atrocity of public menace that is being sugar coated as religious purity rather than political propaganda and the mass prejudice hate state.

  2. September 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    i went to a benefit last night for a co-op messed up by the earthquake in eastern usa. missed another protest for troy davis (to be executed in georgia on wednesday). i get there, and there’s a big fight outside—-not connected to the show. got inside—nice show. people are angry but its nothing new. trying to put walmarts in here now.

  3. September 19, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Let’s be clear, it is not as bad as you suggest. It is worse. Even as we’ve become focused on the short-term economic crises and the vicious political carnival, the natural systems and climate of the real world deteriorates, probably irremediably, and the fortunes of billions in the Third World have come to be counted in grains of sand, since they have no food, or no food they can afford. Ah, here come our leaders. What are they saying? “It’s time to bail out the banks again.” Wow.

    • Alice
      September 19, 2011 at 9:19 am

      Alan – wow is right. After all, it is those banks who are storing the wealth of the very wealthy that are part the gross inequality problem (Ill exempt Warren Buffet from that comment because as far as I can see, he is one of the very few wealthy capitalists who are speaking out against poor economic policies). So is beating down on the backs of the poor and middle with austerity measures really about saving the storehouses of the wealthy and perpetuating inequality?

      Unfortunately, the non thinking elite have spent so long lobbying and indoctrinating those in the republican ranks to vote for measures that “mollycoddle the rich and give them every freedom”…there are by now legions of faithful mollycoddled repubs ensconced in the white house… totally totally messing up. The tea party may be scared of the debt but they are a huge part of the problem with their very wrong solutions.

      A mere thirty / forty years from glory to this – the US on par with the Phillipines and Mexico?.
      Wow – is there anyone that needs any convincing that policies in the US have been bad, very bad…for a long time apart from fox news? It is time for a major change (and not a change back to the republicans or the US will go down even faster with more of the same). Time for an even bigger change. The US really needs to reign in inequality and its elites who have been running things very badly.

      The US and other countries cant keep beating down on the backs of the poor and middle, just to save the storehouses of the wealthy and corporates.
      The World Bank and the IMF and their oppressive lending criteria should be tried in an international court…for economic crimes against humanity.

      It is depressing.

      • Dianne McGehee
        September 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

        Alice – Don’t be deceived. There are no “non-thinking” elites. They know exactly what they are doing. They have thought very seriously about this, planned for it, and are executing their plan almost flawlessly. As far as they are concerned, they are running things very well. For them. And that’s all that matters to them. The problem is a general population that has no idea of the difference between an economic system and a political system and has been duped into thinking that the value of education consists only in job skills training, rather than in learning to THINK critically, analytically, and creatively. Until that changes, we are and will remain in very deep trouble.

  4. Dave Taylor
    September 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

    It’s been a depressing week for me too. Despite the problems Dean through Alice so eloquently stress, I’m saddened by the additional one of even RWER readers seeming emphatically NOT interested in how to go about the systems analysis necessary to address them coherently.

    Looking through past posts for something more hopeful, I found Jamie Morgan’s “Banking on God”, which turned out to be about the blasphemy of bankers attributing their bonuses to God’s will. Jamie being an atheist who thinks belief is about feelings rather than reasonable willingness to act, he doesn’t quite get the fact that Pascal’s wager is about “horses for courses”: that in a real world where [God’s] laws of nature apply it is prudent to act accordingly, i.e. NOT believe in mainstream economics. Nevertheless he does recognise his own inconsistency as an atheist in appreciating Aquinas’s argument for economics having a purpose. Still more encouraging, he ends up being the first person I’ve encountered other than Ruskin (c.1865) and myself arguing that bankers should be rewarded with generous fixed incomes rather than open cheques. In light of what they have done to everyone else, his suggestion of incentivising bankers with a little job insecurity seems more apt here than my own preferred option, i.e. of fixing prizes too.

    But it’s a depressing week. It seems no-one has previously commented on Jamie’s intelligent ruminations: perhaps even taken the trouble to read them?

    • Alice
      September 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Dave – once again I find myself agreeing with you on this “Still more encouraging, he ends up being the first person I’ve encountered other than Ruskin (c.1865) and myself arguing that bankers should be rewarded with generous fixed incomes rather than open cheques. ”

      I agree. Yet who amongst the major campaign political donators in the US would want to see reductions in the extremely generous pay of the pretty free markets for CEOs of the banker variety (ie fund managers and the like) to fixed incomes?

      Free markets for exec salaries?… as long as your boardroom operates behind closed doors and every board member has enough shares to seriously control the votes etc. The great capitalists like to talk about free markets but all we mere mortals see essentially is closed shops and price fixing at board level, which pretty much excludes shareholders.

      You know they will put up a fight until their precious free markets who enriched them in the first place, can no longer afford to invest with them. Thats why its depressing.We have to wait for old mother market to caste a judgement on the unsustainability of bad economic policy.

      Having fought hard since the 1960s for their tax cuts using every false ideological dogma and co-opted economist they could employ, the very wealthy ..which these days are not so much the royalty and landlords of ages past but those who run our banks…. wont give up their massive rewards that easily.

      Look how hard they fight over the most minor suggestions of a tax rise (which wont be at all effective – they need to go up by a lot)…but they were happy to accept very large tax cuts since the 1960s.

      They can always find another Greenspan to work for them. My fear is we have lost governmental control over good economic policy completely and no better theory will prevent it from being twisted into a parody of economic policy.

      • September 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

        Wages should be determined by the workers in the enterprise. If the capital was owned by the workers, as it should be, this would be axiomatic. There is no reason why banks could not be established as workers co-operatives so long as the rules are set by govt. The most basic rule being that banks have to buy credit from the central state-owned bank, not create it out of thin air.

      • September 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

        Got to disagree, because bankers have outlived their usefulness. We have enormous excess capacity and they are making a living off government subsidies and guarantees. Where is the productive investment? Look what they did in housing.

        Productive investment is not in the private consumer economy anymore. It is in infrastructure, climate change mitigation, roads and schools both here and in underdeveloped places. This is exactly where bankers don’t go. They go into the financial markets, the casinos. If we don’t want to tax the rich, we should let them have the opportunity to invest in these public goods at very low interest rates. That is, run deficits. How likely is that?

  5. September 20, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Peter & Friends, I’m too bleary eyed & tired to read & contemplate all the other comments tonight (this morning), need some sleep first. I will however point out that there is some effective new theory and a workable implementation. I suggest reviewing my piece on Green Credit & Commonwealth at > mm-greenbook.blogspot.com < Please bear in mind, there is a great deal of background material thrown in for economic novices and specialists holed up in their ivory towers for too long. Also much of my solution is derivative, but structured in a new way, with "pure credit" empowering the nonprofit side of a proposed hybrid system. My core insight and thesis is that we lack a pure culture of pure people. So, pure systems won't work on their own until we get pure enough, if ever. My theory also includes a realistic recognition of semantics, ethics, corruption, and large scale manipulation (legal & illegal cheating) as major causal factors of cultural, sociopolitical, and economic symptoms.

  6. Dave Taylor
    September 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    @ #6. Thanks again, Alice, and of course all you say is why it is so depressing, our all going off in different directions being why the banksters are able to divide and rule. Systems analysis enables us to map the structure of economics virtually “on the back of an envelope”, so we can all see the problem whole and argue out what can be done about it. But until folk believe that is possible they won’t bother to learn about map making.

    @ #7. Spot on, Carol. The only point I would make is that the rules should be built into the constitution, validated by referendum and not be reversible by the next government – which is likely to have been infiltrated by banksters and calling itself New Labour or Independent Liberal.

    @ #8. Michael, there are some heartening leads in among your background material. This might be news to you, but Ghandhi was set on his way and E F Schumacher ended up guided by a remarkable writer called G K Chesterton, who himself began by getting to understand people and language. However, the problem with people is not just their “impurity”, but misunderstandings due to personality differences and the “insanity”, as Chesterton put it, of using only half our brain. (This is usually the verbal half, producing chains only as reliable as their weakest link, whereas the visual half captures many happenings at once, like a rope in which adjacent strands reinforce each other). Around 1725, Descartes turned visual geometry into algebra, so economists now mislead themselves with a shorthand verbal form of mathematics, but the idea is right. We need to express the diversity of people and their economic phenomena in theoretical language (here representing parts of the brain/groups of specialists performing economic functions, and rope-like paths which should but may not connect them individually) if we are to be able to see the whole picture and evaluate it systematically.

  7. Alice
    September 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Just turned off the TV after some exec from a US company (futures and options and derivatives traders) was being interviewed in his obviously expensive suit and wearing his obviously expensive silk tie complaining that “things were really tough for his firm” and people need to think about “the burden” that his company “pays 6% of this state’s taxes” which I thought he said was FL.

    Well maybe this firm does pay 6% of his state’s taxes but I bet it doesnt pay 6% of its profits as tax and Ill bet Mr exec doesnt pay 6% of his own income as tax, and Ill bet this firm is doing very nicely and Ill bet the unemployment rate is high in that state.
    It really is depressing to see obviously wealthy people from obviously wealthy financial firms wearing silk ties, on TV crying about the burden of tax.

    Yet the US media rolls out the same bizarre “my poor firm” stories every day (when they obviously are not poor). Hopefully a few of these financial firms will fail so we can clean the mess out of the financial sector and be rid of these slick speculator spivs/shills.

    Financial firms want tax payer bail outs yet they dont want to contribute to the tax base.
    The sods.

  8. Dave Taylor
    September 22, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Dear Alice! You might like this little story, then.

    It comes from the Black Country Museum Birmingham, UK, an hour from where I live, where they’ve got a replica of the first steam engine ever built in anger, so to speak, to pump water out of the coal mines hee, where the coal was an unbelievable 30 ft thick (hence the Black Country). I’ve been ruminating on what sort of person Savery might have been to invent his pump (“the miners’ friend”) in 1698, and Newcomen and his friend to experiment “for several years” in order to work out how to power it. The museum anyway also has the sort of twentieth century exhibits I was familiar with as a kid, with trams, buses and trolley-buses having a guard (“conductor”) selling tickets as well as a driver. The story is about one such.

    “After being on the dole, Eli got a job as a tram conductor. His first day’s takings were only a few pence. He explained why: ‘When I was out o’ werk, nobody ‘ud spake ter me. Now I’ve got this job, they’m a-wavin’ tew me at every stop. I ay tekin no notice. Let ’em walk, like I ‘ad tew when I was out o’ werk.'”

    • Alice
      September 23, 2011 at 7:52 am

      I get the point too Dave but I am pretty ticked off at the sense of over entitlement I see in these financial sector execs that get on TV (we all know who’s TV) bemoning taxes and regulation same old monotone…as if …as if…they actually create jobs. You know I cant help for the life of me but to think for the 100s of employees they do create jobs for in their glittering offices

      How many more jobs have they destroyed by pumping up the share price of some decent little business doing something real, whilst stripping every asset it owned, slashing the workforce and leaving a crippled empty taken over brand name and not much else?

      For every job the financial sector has created (such is the monster it has become) is there anyone tallying now how many jobs they have destroyed globally?
      If this is trickle down its now an obviously dismal failure. The financial sector…a bloated, overblown sector and we will not heal until they fail. We should not have stepped between the market correction needed is my humble view. Yes it hurts in the short term but we have prolonged the agony and thats all. Many of these firms need to fail. There are too many and they are too dangerous. If it was the late 1800s we hadnt ever heard of bail outs and they did fail, as they should…but in the modern world these firms have grown arrogant beyond all belief.

  9. Dave Taylor
    September 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    @ #8. My reaction was to disagree with YOU, Alan, (though not with your analysis of the way things are). Government setting the rules changes the situation.

    However, on reflection, if Government authorises credit, banks continue to distribute authorisation where needed, and real credit is given from already available resources (the produce of nature, industry and local community effort), the the real credit is consumed and the rules should become (1) that the debt created by it should be written off when the job it was authorised for is completed. (2) There is no need to “bank” money (i.e authorisation of credit), for the government can reauthorise credit as needed. (3) The rich, already having more than their fair share of the available real credit, won’t qualify for any more.

    From (2) it follows that BANKING has outlived its usefulness, but those now called “bankers” still have a job to do: vetting and accounting for the use of credit. Call them “social accountants” and I can agree with both you AND Carol.

  10. September 22, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Dave: Point taken.

  11. September 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Peter: I can’t see where to register at Radford Free Press

  12. September 30, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Great thread. Carol, are you familiar with the Bank of North Dakota? It’s had a wonderful long run of successful years, right through the Plutonomy’s Big Shearing. It seems that somehow or other the still have humane beings getting elected to public office up there, as well as in their state bank. Now, I think they’d be doing even better if ND also had some nonprofit (and nonmonetary) cooperative community credit systems or one statewide version, but they’re doing remarkably well anyway. Yet, I see no big mystery that requires lots of exotic new theory or computer modelling. Essentially, the folks are just doing what folks were doing wherever & whenever their were banks & governments that were mainly working forthe good of the commonwealth. Another, essential I’m reminded of is covered in the sections of the Greenbook on law, government, and ecological planning standards (the latter of which includes a Green Rating Form with only 25 categories for qualifying the degrees of Greenness or Deadliness, which can be used to evaluate things, products, buildings, plans, policies, political platforms, politicians, agencies, corporations, etc., for the establishment of true cost pricing, tax incentives, penalties, etc.). The US Constitution does include the essential principles necessary for running the economy and ending the Fed & prosecuting the Perps. No amendment was ever written to allow Congress the right to give away its responsibility for the regulation of US money and the basis of our economy (to the Fed or the Executive branch of the federal government). The usual excuses for upholding such an unconstitutional act of treasonous fraud & abuse of power are irrelevant here, because the basic principles, reasons, and claims made to foist the Federal Reserve Act on us were all blatantly false, deliberately fictitious, deceptive, and intentionally fraudulent. The intent was not to save the US economy from the Bust half of the cycle and financial panics lie those of the 19th century & the Great Panic of 1907. The intent was clearly to take full control of the US Treasury and the economy for the sake of the owners & other beneficiaries of Club Fed and to maintain the fraud with secrecy and impunity above the law, especially the supreme law of the Land, the Constitution. Yet, the Constitution states that any law that violates or contradicts its principles & purpose, even in the Constitution itself (or an amendment) is null and void. The 16th Jurisprudence of US law clarifies that by explaining that any act or law that clearly violates the letter and spirit (and purpose) of the US Consitituion requires no court decision to justify refusing to respect it, abolishing it, or violating it, for it is as null and void as if it never existed. So, the Fed and its minions can be sued and prosecuted as a gigantic criminal enterprise devoted to the biggest fraud of all time. Now, another thing we should all remember is the power of depression, mass apathy, despair, hopelessness, and terminal discouragement. Club Fed’s most powerful weapon is endarkenment, and no slavery is more disempowering than self-imposed defeat and acquiesence to evil and tyranny. That explains the carefully orchestrated insanity & cruelty of fascist regimes as they build up to the climax of their power play in the aftermath of their economic devastation, impoverishment, and bamboozlement of We the Sheeple. What we need most now are simple things, like courage, compassion, wisdom, commitment, perseverence, and action, legal action. I truly, deeply appreciate everyone who bravely spoke out for justice in this thread, and I encourage you all to cooperate brilliantly & persistently to end this war against nature, sanity, freedom, enlightenment, and world peace. Yes, WE can. We’ve already begun, and we clearly have allies and plenty of evidence in North Dakota (and elsewhere) to support our cause. In fact, a large majority of the lower echelon Tea Party & Religious Right troopers, workers, small business owners, elders, people of color, andthe vast majority of nonprofit/NGO groups & co-op members will jump in immediately. Jump in to what? The class action suits, etc.

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