April 28, 2010

The Conspiracy Theorist's Guide The Financial Crisis

kansas-nebraska.JPGNow, with boldface and exclamation marks!  And only most of it is a joke!




Question: How do you create the impression of a classless society so the proletariat doesn't rise up and beat you with their ipads?

Answer: you make sure everyone can afford everyone's products. 

So what becomes the marker of class, if not possessions?

Services.  A nice car is less of a status symbol than having a housekeeper, or cook, gardener, vacations, plastic surgery, restaurants.  Only a chump says, "I own a Lexus."  A real player has lunch at Morton's.  Or better, breakfast at the Watergate.

But aren't those prohibitively expensive for all but the super rich?

Not if we use illegal immigrants.  Saved!

But...

The only reason you can afford to go to Morton's and brag about it is that at several points in the chain, from agriculture to dishwasher, cheap labor was used.  Otherwise that steak you ate would cost nineteen thousand dollars.  Yeah.  Google it.

And if it was nineteen thousand dollars, Morton's would go out of business, laying off however many actual citizens still work there.  See?  Thank your "inept" border police for your steak and your job.

So it's all about labor costs?  All of this?  The boom, the bust, taxes, healthcare reform-- it's all about labor?

Four questions about the Civil War:

  1. How many southern whites owned the 4 million slaves?
  2. Why did poor southerners who did not own slaves still support slavery?
  3. 1857: a book, a state, a panic.  
  4. What did the railroad tycoons give the Confederates for Christmas in 1868?

So it's all about trains?

As throughout history, from slavery to outsourcing to the underground economy, it's all about cheap labor.  And you know what?  As long as you can afford your MacBook Pro, you're not going to do anything about it.  Oh, you'll complain that Bush lied, for sure, but a ten hour battery means you've got plenty of porn time.  Enjoy your right click button, be-atch!

But didn't Arizona just make illegal immigrants... illegal?  What are they going to do for cheap labor?

Hmm. 

"Some [Phoenix] farms use inmates for relief from labor shortages."  Phew.  Thought we were going to have to deport them.

Yeah, but what about non-manual labor jobs?

Like prison call centers?  Or graphic design?  Dell used to use prison labor, but stopped in 2003 because it found cheaper labor elsewhere...

How much to they pay?

Oh, like,  50 cents an hour.  Prison labor has been on the rise since Carter, kicked into gear in the 1990s, and is due to for a rediscovery.
 

Extra extra credit: when and why did America achieve moral clarity and outlaw the use of cheap prison labor?


Irony or design? How is it that Americans have some of the worst high school scores in the world, but on the other hand see college as an entitlement?

"...and Columbus thought the earth was flat and Jamestown invented the massacre..."


Can you summarize all this in one short quip?


All of this has happened before and it will happen again.


II.


I DIDN'T LIKE THAT BOLDFACE GUY'S LINE OF QUESTIONING. EXPLAIN YOUR LIES.

A boom/bust cycle has been in place for millennia.  That's right, well before the Bushes colonized  Saudi Arabia.  The modern incarnation has been supported by the Global Elites (Rockefellers,  Trilateral Commission, The Bilderberg Group, RAND corporation, reverse vampires) behind the backs of sucker politicians, e.g. whatever Treasury Secretary happens to be in office.

BUT WOULDN'T FORMER TREASURY SECRETARIES COMPLAIN?

how can they speak if they have no breath? 


Secretary of the Treasury/CEO of Alcoa/Chairman of the RAND Corporation Paul O'Neill, in 2001, wrote that there was a financial contagion coming, and as investors saw it spread among emerging markets, they would pull out their money, worsening the contagion.  "Hey, hey, who asked you?"  Fired 2003. 

Replaced by John Snow, former CEO of CSX.  As everyone/no one knows, right before he was appointed Sec. of the Treasury in 2003, he sold CSX to the Carlyle Group, the secret "private equity" cabal controlled by the Bush family.  It also owns Dunkin Donuts!
 
In 2004, an "investigation" discovered he had "accidentally" bought $10M of Fannie Mae debt back in 2002; to "avoid" conflict of interest, he quickly unloaded that debt in 2004, and was cleared of ethics charges.  What luck!

He left in 2006 in order to "die" of "cancer."  He was replaced by the current Secretary, Hank "go fuck yourself" Paulson.

What about the other Secretaries?

  • Carter's Treasury Secretary G. William Miller, inventor of Stagflation and the Chrylser Bailout: dead 3/2006.
  • Clinton's Secretary Lloyd Bentsen: "Bentsen was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1999 by Clinton. "Under his leadership in 1993, when some of the rest of us had our doubts, we passed the economic plan that paved the way for what is now the longest peacetime expansion in our history."  Nope! Dead 5/2006.
  • Donald Regan: "After Wall Street and government, I decided that there had to be more to life than the stock market, golf and drinking."  The hell you say!  Erased 2003.
  • Carter's first Secretary, Michael Blumenthal: fled to Berlin, supports Obama.

If you're counting: three dead in 2006, two fired/dead 2003, and one still at large.

WHAT ABOUT FORMER SECRETARY PAUL VOLKER?  HE'S NOT DEAD, IS HE?

Oh, you mean founder of the Trilateral Commission, along with Alan Greenspan?  And member of the Bilderberg Group along with Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz?  No, he's fine.  They're all fine!

BUT THE PICTURE BOX SAID IT WAS ALAN GREENSPAN'S FAULT FOR KEEPING RATES SO LOW FOR SO LONG.

Exactly.  It was also Toll Brother's fault for making houses as impossible to resist as they were to afford.  And Aeropostale for making great looking Ts that are just the right side of too small.

BUT...

You look a little pale.  Here, have a bottle of water.  It's by Coca-Cola!

BUT IF THEY PURPOSELY LET THE MARKET CRASH, THEY'RE SINKING 401(K)S-- THAT MEANS THEY WILL INEVITABLY HAVE TO INCREASE SOCIAL SECURITY.  ISN'T THAT THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY WANT?

That's the scam, yo.   Like the drug dealer on the first encounter, once you're hooked, once you're reliant on the government for healthcare, and social security, and everything, you'll never dare revolt.  They own you forever.  Sure, you'll post idiotic rants on blogs, but do you think they care about that?






Comments

You are a MAESTRO.... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 12:13 PM | Posted by Rudd-O: | Reply

You are a MAESTRO.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (12 votes cast)
worst. blog. ever.... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 1:24 PM | Posted by dcp: | Reply

worst. blog. ever.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -23 (43 votes cast)
But...are YOU a conspiracy ... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 1:45 PM | Posted by Mae: | Reply

But...are YOU a conspiracy theorist? Or just explaining their thoughts as you see them?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -4 (6 votes cast)
Good blog, I question your ... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 2:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Good blog, I question your conclusion though.

"Like the drug dealer on the first encounter, once you're hooked, once you're reliant on the government for healthcare, and social security, and everything, you'll never dare revolt. They own you forever. Sure, you'll post idiotic rants on blogs, but do you think they care about that?"

It seems like a great deal of the tea baggers in the US are dependent upon social services but they're at least pretending to revolt (granted, it's quite possibly just a beard to cover their true identity as racists). And, obviously, they're no real threat apart from maybe providing justification for guys to fly planes into government buildings.

What you say may apply to America due to the American MythTM about being a classless society and all the other Marlboro Man kind of cowboy mythologies but Europeans - who have these social services AND access to education - revolt a hell of a lot more than Americans. That said, as someone who's familiar with Debord's Society and Spectacle, you must be aware that "revolt" in Europe and NA has been rendered hollow and mainly serves to justify more oppressive "security" measures. And, really, the truly rich are international (like corporations) so rebelling against a particular government means little in the really big picture.

Sorry but you're always going to be reliant upon someone or some outside force for something. Interdependence is part of being a social species like humans are. It strikes me as almost a narcissistic attitude to think one is totally independent (because it pretty much always entails being in denial about who did actually help you but, hey, if they were just objects used with no reciprocity then they were merely tools to be used by the "independent" narcissist).

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Very interesting, quirky, a... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Posted by RC: | Reply

Very interesting, quirky, and humorous insight; however, is it such a bad idea to keep the people from revolting? The historical record suggests that those who are in power are prone to corruption. It doesn't seem to matter if they are the wealthy or the revolting poor.

Although, maybe instead of "corruption" I should say "narcissism." Being powerful doesn't force one to be corrupt, but it does seem to facilitate narcissism better than anything else, wouldn't you agree?

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Looks like someone could us... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Posted by FunPsych: | Reply

Looks like someone could use some Geodon!

- Funpsych

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1. How many sou... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 2:39 PM | Posted by T. AKA Ricky Raw: | Reply

1. How many southern whites owned the 4 million slaves? 2. Why did poor southerners who did not own slaves still support slavery? 3. 1857: a book, a state, a panic. 4. What did the railroad tycoons give the Confederates for Christmas in 1868?

At the risk of sounding stupid...what are the answers to these 4 questions? Or can you at least point me in the direction of where to find the answers, like a specific book?

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I agree - I think a "Part 2... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 3:14 PM | Posted, in reply to T. AKA Ricky Raw's comment, by RC: | Reply

I agree - I think a "Part 2" is needed for this blog.

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It took me a while, but I t... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 3:18 PM | Posted by Drew: | Reply

It took me a while, but I think we are all still waiting for the answer to the 'Extra, extra credit' question.

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To anonymous:Peopl... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 3:23 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Nik: | Reply

To anonymous:

People in Europe do have those government benefits. The reason they are revolting is not because they are opposed to the system or that they want to overthrow the government. No, they want those benefits restored. Riots in Greece. They youth were angry that there was no job market awaiting them. Greece is BROKE. Their credit rating just dropped to the lowest possible rating. They went broke trying to give their citizens all that they were "entitled" to. That's the problem. The rioters aren't trying to break the cycle, they are trying to ensure its continuation. It would be nice to live in a world where everyone's needs were all met, but it can't be that way. There are only a couple spots at the top. Only a few of us win. Those that do win make sure that they help people they like win, too. The deck is stacked against everyone else; it's the way life works. The worst part about the health care package is that you can't even refuse the smack. If you can't afford it, they lower the prices, if you DO NOT WANT IT, they give it to you for free and make sure you take it. How can you beat that?

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Mmmm I am now craving a Mor... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 6:03 PM | Posted by Lexi: | Reply

Mmmm I am now craving a Morton's Godiva chocolate souffle. Thanks a lot, jack hole. :)

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Like the drug dealer on ... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 6:22 PM | Posted by TheUnderwearBandit: | Reply

Like the drug dealer on the first encounter, once you're hooked, once you're reliant on the government for healthcare, and social security, and everything, you'll never dare revolt. They own you forever.

Tru dat. For a historical reference here is Williamson on why Bismarck created the welfare state: “the main aim of [Bismarck’s] welfare program was to avoid revolution through timely social reform and to reconcile the working classes to the authority of the state.”

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Nik - Actually, it has more... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 7:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Nik's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Nik - Actually, it has more to do with global finance and banks (once again) siphoning off government money. They went broke because they got involved with Goldman Sachs who made lots of money helping them hide their debt. The riots there were partly due to financial issues but they were actually generally organized and carried out by young anarchists who do want to overthrow the government. But Europe has a pretty different political landscape when it comes to protest than most of NA.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,676634,00.html

Bankrupting countries and making them beholden to the world bank is just business as usual. It's how banks, and the people who own the banks, control governments. Most people aren't ready for Anarchy or the rarely seen form of Libertarianism that isn't just a form of Corporatism. Not with our current levels of pervasive cultural narcissism and lack of personal responsibility anyway! The real problem is that governments are, for the most part, simply fluffers for corporate interests since most politicians move back and forth between politics and the corporate positions.

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…the rarely seen form of... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 8:46 PM | Posted by Mastiff: | Reply

…the rarely seen form of Libertarianism that isn't just a form of Corporatism.

And yet again, we have the mistaken popular definition of corporatism, i.e. rule by corporations.

This is almost EXACTLY the opposite of what corporatism means, both when Mussolini (yes, that one) advocated it, and in the political science literature.

Here is one of the seminal articles on the subject (big PDF warning):

Link

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Hey, I'm not a political sc... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 9:08 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hey, I'm not a political scientist (as if adding 'science" after politics actually makes it science or political wonks scientists!) so I was using "Corporatist" in the colloquial sense. Words very often have a different meaning colloquially than they do within the hermetic context of a specific discipline. That said, thanks for the link, I'll check it out. I hope you enjoyed the opportunity to get your polisci wonk on :-)

Oh, and I thought Mussolini never actually said that - it was someone writing about him who did.

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You are making res... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 9:23 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by syntaxfree: | Reply

You are making resounding theoretical remarks about politics, do you realize? You may as well take heed of those who have been sorting out metapolitical statements for a living since we were told by Comte that there should be "social sciences".

Maybe there are no "true" social sciences. But then what you were trying to say is meaningless. Wovon mann nicht sprechter kann...

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I'm a tad confused this pos... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 11:06 PM | Posted by j: | Reply

I'm a tad confused this posts. It seems out of character, almost nonsensical. Am I see dots and drawing lines or is the author?

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syntaxfree - Actually, I'm ... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2010 11:47 PM | Posted, in reply to syntaxfree's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

syntaxfree - Actually, I'm just sharing how I see the world - I'm not proposing some grand polisci dissertation - but if it makes you feel superior to waggle your finger in disapproval, enjoy. Clearly you understood what I meant by my colloquial use of "Corporatism" - at least well enough to get annoyed and feel the need to lecture and promote the specialist meaning over the colloquial. In fact, you seem annoyed that there's a colloquial usage - whether that's other than in polisci or just incorrect - or that, as you see it, others are using the word incorrectly or to mean something other than what it means within your specialty. Clearly lots of people outside of polisci understand what is meant when Corporatist is used in general, non-specialist speech. And clearly you do too, you just don't approve. Language is fluid and contextual, whether you approve or not.
That said, thanks for the link even if it seems it was offered to be condescending and not to share knowledge. It's always interesting to know what a word means in different contexts.

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Welfare is a type of slaver... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2010 1:16 AM | Posted by Betty: | Reply

Welfare is a type of slavery. Wage slavery is type of slavery. Cheap labor is also a form of slavery. I may just be a slave; however, I'd like to be able to go to a doctor even though I'm utterly poverty stricken.

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The beauty of american capi... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2010 5:15 AM | Posted by David: | Reply

The beauty of american capitalism is that it can influence the government to deny services the rest of the civilized world offers. Just yesterday, Wellpoint, america's largest "health insurance" company, announced with much fanfare that it would stop dropping customers who got sick on May 1st.

Slavery with health benefits would be a step up in america.

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syntaxfree - I do understan... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2010 8:15 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

syntaxfree - I do understand that we all tend to see the world through the lens of our own education/knowledge/field - subjectivity, it's a bitch. I appreciate that yours is political science. Mine is culture and art/perception so there is quite a lot of overlap because the writings of thinkers like Debord, Foucault, Deleuze and Lyotard can apply to both disciplines (and all specifically wrote about art).

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<a href="http://www.litency... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Posted by Guy: | Reply

http://www.litencyc.com/php/adpage.php?id=2987

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Can someone tell me, please... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2010 5:52 PM | Posted by Quiet Disbelief: | Reply

Can someone tell me, please, how the person who wrote this post can be the same person who wrote the Geodon slide deck post?

Is it really all just the rum?

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Maybe it's not. I've had a ... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2010 7:01 PM | Posted, in reply to Quiet Disbelief's comment, by Nik: | Reply

Maybe it's not. I've had a sneaking suspicion for a while that the "Last Psychiatrist" is more than one person.

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First, almost everyone is b... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2010 5:23 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

First, almost everyone is better off in a stable state than in one where mass riots occur every other decade. If a specific public welfare program is required to prevent a revolt (which, of course, can and will be questioned beyond nauseum), it should be supported by every sane individual.

Second, if by the word "slave" anyone is meant who can browse the internet, watch any movie that's ever been made, read any book he likes and delight in a wide variety of leisure activities with his friends and family for a significant part of his waking hours, we are in need of other terminology, because last time I checked the word "slavery" had negative connotations.

Third, America (or any other Western country) isn't enslaving illegal immigrants. Those immigrants come to the US because they're better off in a stable Western environment than in their home countries where the government changes more frequently and with far more violence than the #1 of the billboard charts. It's a mutual beneficial agreement. Slaves were abducted from their natural environment, immigrants leave by their own volition.

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The above comment was poste... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2010 5:25 AM | Posted by Philip: | Reply

The above comment was posted anonymously by accident.

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"He left in 2006 in order t... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2010 7:04 AM | Posted by orazor1324: | Reply

"He left in 2006 in order to "die" of "cancer." He was replaced by the current Secretary, Hank "go fuck yourself" Paulson."

...except that in 2009, Paulson was replaced by Tim "Weasel in Waiting" Geithner. Paulson teaches all about "other people's" fuckups at SAIS now.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but if we don't know our current events/history, we truly, truly are bound to remain in the boom/bust cycle. Can't just change the facts because they're inconvenient to the narrative.

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