Fw: The Slow Decay of a Healthy Economy

Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:23 PM
Subject: The Slow Decay of a Healthy Economy

The Slow Decay of a Healthy Economy A new theory that pits producers against parasites
By Bill Bonner  Reckoning from Baltimore, Maryland...
Today, we boldly announce a NEW THEORY about the way the world works.

Yes, dear reader, you are the first to hear it.

But before we get to that, let's talk about what's going on in the markets.

Stocks continued shuffling along like zombies...the Dow rose 24 points. But gold shot up to $1,248 - a new record.

Makes you wonder. Inflation is no threat to anyone...at least, not now. The economy is recovering - at least, that's what everyone says. So why is gold hitting a record high? Something must be wrong.

Something is wrong.

Gold buyers are probably just like us. They're not sure exactly what is wrong. But they know something is rotten in the state of
Denmark. And Greece. And Spain. And New York. And California. In Washington, DC. And in the Gulf of Mexico.

We just had the biggest financial crack-up of all time. Even under ideal conditions, it will take people a long time to rebuild lost savings...to get rid of houses they can't afford...and to restructure debt they can't pay. While this restructuring and adjustment is going on, you'd expect the markets to be a little punky.

But instead of letting people get on with it, the zombies have moved in. At first, you hardly notice. An arm here. A leg there. Pretty soon, you're dead!

The percentage of the economy controlled, guaranteed, or paid for by the government is increasing. Since the feds were already deeply in debt themselves, the only way they could spend more money was by borrowing more. You can't cure a debt problem by borrowing more money. Net debt is going up. So, there's something wrong. The economy isn't recovering... It's just not possible.

Which brings us back to our new theory...

Many are the ideas about how the world rumbles and trundles along. Most have some sort of dialectic at the center of them...some tension between one thing and another that causes them to oscillate to and fro...some yin and yang of opposing forces, constantly battling it out for control.

Good vs. Evil. Progress vs. Backsliding. The proletariat against the bourgeoisie. The moneyed elite vs. The people. Democracy vs. Totalitarianism. Freedom vs. Slavery.

Here we offer a new and improved theory with a dynamic of its own: the producers vs. The parasites.

Yesterday, we read in the local
Washington newspaper that the parasites gained more ground in suburban Maryland. It was a minor issue on a minor page of a minor section of the paper. But that's the way the parasites work. Little by little...an arm here...a leg there.

In the present instance, people who live in trailer parks can now feed on the people who own the ground beneath their feet. The state government has added a term to their contracts that neither party agreed to. Henceforth, if the trailer park owner wishes to close down his business, he cannot merely honor the terms of his contract with his lessees. He must also pay them off according to a formula decreed by the legislature. Trailer park residents have been zombified.

A bigger illustration can be found on the front page of yesterday's paper.

BP has agreed to provide the zombies with $20 billion dollars of raw meat:

"BP backs $20 billion spill fund," says The Financial Times.

BP is a producer. It makes something valuable. In fact, it makes the thing that is the pentagon's most valuable and most important resource - liquid energy. It does so at a profit, also rewarding all the little old ladies, lonely orphans and rich sons-of-a-gun who own its shares. BP normally pays dividends; those dividends are currently suspended, as BP diverts cash to the spill fund.

Yes, it also makes mistakes, for which it must pay.

But circling BP today is an army of parasites. Zombies who toil not. Neither do they spin. Instead, they file lawsuits and try to get something from the producers without paying for it. BP's Gulf disaster is a godsend for them. Like a busload of plump English tourists delivered to a bad neighborhood...

The Democrats have always been the recipients of big donations from tort lawyers. Many lawmakers of both parties are lawyers, which is to say they were probably parasites even before they entered public service. It is not surprising that their instincts are the same - to leech onto productive businesses.

Remember the giant tobacco settlement? In 1998, the tobacco companies lay down and opened their veins. A quarter of a trillion dollars was paid out in a huge class action settlement. The money was supposed to go to redress the damage done by smoking. But $19 out of every $20 found its way, instead, into the pockets of the lawyers, the activists, and the bureaucrats. That is to say - the zombies got it.

Will the oil settlement be any different? Not likely. The zombies will take most of it. Much of the rest will be used to turn honest working people into zombies. Instead of finding new work in new areas, for example, Gulf-area residents will be encouraged to stay put and collect checks. If they take up new work, the measure of their 'damages' will go down!

Here is our theory: in the beginning, an economy, a business, a nation...or even a family budget...is fresh, clean and dynamic. Over time, little by little, the parasites encrust themselves -like barnacles on a ship. Then, they grow. Eventually, they become as fat as ticks on a hound in the summertime...

At first, they are just nuisances. The economy can support them.

'The masses want bread? Sure why not. Give them a circus too. And give my lazy brother-in-law a sinecure.'

Gradually, more and more people get their teeth into it. An unnecessary department in a thriving business. A subsidy to one group. A special favor to another. A make-work job...a handout...a bailout... An expense here. An extravagance there...

When things go well, the parasites take more blood. Heck, the economy can afford it. When they go badly, they grab the weakened host and pull it down in a feeding frenzy. BP, are you ready?

They succeed because in most cases it is generally cheaper to go along than to fight.

Without hardly noticing, the living become cooperative zombies too. The cigarette companies become tax collectors for the feds. The oil companies too. Doctors go along with nationalized health care. Teachers get their lifetime tenure. Ordinary citizens stand in line to be inspected at airports, counted by census takers, interrogated by tax collectors. Soon, the whole nation is zombified.

The zombies win. And then...there is collapse, war, revolution, bankruptcy... The zombies are killed off...new life begins.

That's why the feds fight so hard to prevent a financial collapse. The last thing they want is a fresh, new, healthy economy...


gruaud said...

God damned corporate shill, shut the fuck up. It
has nothing to do with government regulations
and you know it.

You know who the parasites are?

Hedge fund managers, short sellers, stock market
pundits and the rest of you "free" market pigs.

You do no productive work; you just suck our
blood, instead. You wish for a healthy economy
only so you can rape it again.

Class warfare? OF COURSE it's class warfare.

I just wish our RW brothers and sisters could
get over their 2 minute hate of liberals to see
that they're being targeted along with the
rest of us.

Anonymous said...

BP is a victim here? BP fucked up, and their fuckup is going to cost a lot of money to fix. That money isn't a shake down, nor going to parasites. Its a business expense, the cost of paying for all the damage they have done to other "producers", like fisherman and those who depend on tourism for their business. Anything they make after that expense is paid is profit. Until then, they broke it and they must buy it. Unless you want yet another government bailout to fix things, but I know you would just bitch about that too.

So lets be honest, what you would like is for the big corporation to be able to crap on everyone else and not be held responsible, just so long as they keep pumping out that sweet black gold. Which, btw, they don't just "produce". It belongs to US, and we lease the rights to retrieve it to them, often at incredibly favorable terms to the so called "producers".

As for the trailer park thing, bravo to the Maryland state legistlature. You've turned an unstable and exploitive situation into a stable and mutually beneficial one. We always talk about how great it is to own your own home, but apparently it doesn't count when your home is mobile. We'll just milk you dry and kick you to the curb when we are done with you. After all, "real" americans aren't lazy and don't live in trailer parks, you dirty parasites!

Anonymous said...

@ gruaud

Its not class warfare until the lower classes actually get to fight back.

Anonymous said...

Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you'll ever be.

Marc with a C said...

We're the first ones to starve,
we're the first ones to die,
The first ones in line
For that pie in the sky,
And we're always the last when the Cream is shared out,

For the worker is working while the fat cat's about.

ferschitz said...

"The zombies win." Why yes, if you mean by "zombie" the uber wealthy class who've been given unmerited tax cuts from Reagan thru W in the name of "trickle down" which never happened, while the Republican big business owners have consistently - with no negative impact - offshored jobs to 3rd world countries increasing the bottom line for the "big people" at the very top, while the "small people" saw their income and standard of living to continue to drop.

Yes, the Zombies at the top were considered too big to fail by W and also by BHO, so the "small people" got to bail them out, and the banksters and financial fat cats and hedge funders continue to rake in giant salaries and bonuses while the "small people" are told that their pensions and salaries need to be cut.

Now BP engages in criminally negligent practices resulting not only untold ecological disaster, but ruination of many "small people" businesses - witness that the fat cats only scratch each others' backs and all this b.s. about corporations needing tax breaks and subsidies only applies to the really big companies, not to the mom & pop businesses - and corporate whores like Bill Bonner runs up some word salad excoriating Democrats for the thrill of the Tea Partiers.

Agree with Gruaud: wish the rightwing "small people" would wake up to the fact that they have way more in common with the leftwing "small people." The class war means that the "big people" will rape, pillage and plunder all "small people" no matter which party you vote for. Rightwingers must believe that if they vote for rightwing pols, that they'll somehow benefit from the largesse of the "big people." Too bad that's not what happens.

Plenty of "small people" in the Gulf region are producers, and frankly, Tony Hayward - who goes off to his fancy*** yacht race in the UK - is the PARASITE.

Wake up sheeples... it's not lefties who are the parasites. It's fat cats like BP's Tony Hayward & Massey Mine's Don Blanenship & Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein, who are the parasites. And even more parasitical are corporate whores like Bill Bonner.

Hooray4US said...

So let's all cry boatloads of crocodile tears for the poor beleagured tobacco companies who repeatedly lied to consumers about the safety of smoking. And so the tobacco companies had to pay the "wages" of their sins of lying? Of running up a lot of health care costs? Who's the parasite in this picture? Mr. or Ms. Smoker who got a settlement? Or Mr. Big Tobacco owner?

Same goes double for BP, who knowingly cut corners and decided to drill somewhere dangerous where they didn't know how to fix a disaster like this. Who's the parasite? The small-time shrimp fisherman who provides jobs for others and himself, and now his business is ruined forever? Or BP?

It's quite infuriating to read crap like this where the usual canards are trial lawyers are trotted out as if that's the real problem.

Rightwingers better wake up and realize how much they're being fooled and ripped off by the giant corporations, and it's propoganda like this that is used to fool them.

Tootseye said...

"The slow decay of a healthy economy" began under Reagan with large tax cuts to the wealthy (on the notion that would create more jobs for the slobs, but the jobs got offshored to cheaper wage slaves in other countries). The economy came back under Clinton, but he signed in NAFTA, which led to the giant sucking sound (thanks Ross Perot) of more jobs going overseas, plus Clinton signed in the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act, which took away regs on the banksters & hedge funders, and Wall Street.

And then W cut the taxes even more the excessively wealthy and prevented the fair taxation of hedge fund earnings (but you can also thank Dem. Chuck Schumer for fighting for Hedgies to keep their 15% tax rate on the billions they earn). W also started 2 illegal wars for no real reason other than making money for himself and his cronies via the military indus. complex, plus he hid the real costs of the wars in his budget, so that citizens didn't see the debt piling up from it. And W lied about Iraq having WMD and had Karl Rove out a CIA agent so that the truth wouldn't come out, and W happily shredded the constitution and started torturing people.

And so, the slow decline of our healthy economy can be easily traced through bad practices by Republicans and some Democrats, who have gutted the progressive tax rates, cooking the books on the US budget, and spending like drunken sailors on wars of aggression that aren't needed.

And Obama? Not doing a whole lot better on that front. W enacted the first TARP bailouts of the "too big to fail" giant banks and Wall St, but Obama continued the same practice and allowed the top fat cats to keep paying themselves giant wages and bonuses, while the rest of us serfs suffered.

Now Bill Bonner slithers up to tell the serfs that they should be grateful for crumbs and to stop bothering the fat cats for fair reparations for the messes that the corporations make. It's all the fault of evil Democrats and nasty trial lawyers getting serfs some kind of fair redress and compensation for wrongs done to serfs. And how dare you serfs bother the "big people" including our Tory cousines across the pond??

Seriously. How can rightwing people read this stuff and not get mad? I don't get it, myself, but it's too bad they been so badly bamboozled. Agree with other posts. This isn't about rightwing or leftwing, or Tea Party or Libertarian or progressives or Democrats. It's about a class war that's being perpetrated on the "small people" by the giant corporations.

Wake up! Face the music.

katz said...

You know what? I don't mind most conservatives. Some of them are silly and some of them are ignorant and some of them I just happen to disagree with.

But not these people. They are evil. There's no other way to put it. And I'm not spending any more time on them.

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