Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dispelling the myth of 'government for the people'

Every other day I'm sent a petition or campaign or something which proclaims something similar to the following: "tell Stephen Harper we don't want _________" as though on delivery of the petition or whatever it is Harper will say to himself: "Oh, gee, they don't want this law? Ok scratch that then".

The majority of laws being passed today are not in the interest of the people or of the country but are in service to global economic feudalism being implemented across the entire western world. Harper & pals are already well aware of how unpalatable these laws are which is why so many resources are spent on propaganda, manipulation, and manufacturing consent for them using what a former CSIS officer calls "fascist techniques". When a former intelligence officer invokes the word fascism, you had better pay attention.

But it's not just Harper, Trudeau and likely Muclair are playing along too in fact as a general rule of thumb when any politician says "jobs and growth" are their priority you should now instantly know who they're working for, and it's not you, it's the banks.

For instance: Justin Trudeau passes off his support of Bill C51 by claiming "Liberals Are Supporting Bill C-51 So Tories Can't Make 'Political Hay'" yet at the same time is 'making political hay' with his meaningless speeches. If Trudeau is so worried about appearing soft on terror then why make wild comparisons to World War II? Surely such comparisons are bound to create much more "political hay" than opposing bill C51 which amongst Liberal supporters would, I'm guessing, be quite popular.

As they say: "talk is cheap" and "actions speak louder than words". Trudeau's actions are a deafening indicator as to what he truly believes in.

But for the Canadian people to continue believing in the myth of "a government for the people" some form of "opposition" must exist, or at least the appearance of such opposition. With no or little opposition mounted against C51 (what may be the most controversial law tabled in my lifetime) it would be all too obvious that it's passing is a mutual agenda among every party (aside from the Green Party) and so what we get instead is a false opposition; an opposition that talks big but really has no actions to back up that talk in fact directly contradicts that talk with their actions.

I've seen a new narrative development that says "Harper is focusing on terror and fear to distract from the economy", essentially framing C51 as some sort of election ploy: if you believe this you are head deep in the illusion of Canadian democracy and the myth of a government for the people where winning the election is an actual goal. elections today are merely a dog and pony show for the electorate to keep them believing in a democracy that no longer exists and C51 is not meant to be a distraction from Canada's failing economy, it is a preemptive response.

Back in 2013 I wrote a post titled "In the future there will be no law and order (only corporate policy and terrorism)" in which I forecast that within a relatively short time frame you'd see terrorism begin to take over the justice system. Here we are 2 years later and with the constant propaganda of "homegrown terror" I hope you all can see that this is already happening. The laws of the nation, and of the people, are taking a back seat to corporate policy and economic growth which is also being cast as a "national security issue" which then leads to the inevitable result that the net of what shall be considered "terrorism" will be ever expanding, bypassing due process and the rule of law, creating a second tier within the justice system for expedited trials, black site torturous interrogations, and kangaroo courts all in an attempt to preempt and disable the capacity for any type of people lead resistance to the new feudalistic economy.

Jobs & Growth

I talk a lot about the bi-partisan and global agenda of "jobs & growth" but have only a few times explained why it is misleading. We will revisit this topic now for new readers to the blog as well as for completion sake in the context of this post.

The jobs & growth mantra is a paradigm we currently believe in. What is a paradigm? A paradigm is what you think about something before you think about it. So in the case of "jobs & growth" this generally means people think of more job availability, growing wages, and a rising standard of living, but these things are not what the "jobs & growth" agenda is really about they are merely the generally accepted assumption of what these things are about and the common beliefs held about them all rest on other misleading or outright false paradigms we exist within: such as the belief that "growth = prosperity".

Chapter 5 - Growth vs Prosperity from Peak Prosperity on Vimeo.
(If you've never seen Chris Martenson's crash course I'd recommend the whole series)

From all corners of the political spectrum you hear a lot about "creating jobs", "growing the economy", and of course the "middle class". Do you notice though that despite the rampant talk of job creation that "wealth creation" is rarely if ever mentioned? You would think with the very visible "wealth inequality" and faltering quality of jobs that wealth creation would be front and center in the discussion of "recovering the economy" if the government and financiers were actually working in the "best interests" of society as a whole and yet it's practically nowhere to be found.

The focus on "growth" as opposed to prosperity is also likewise just as misleading. Readers of this blog know I often refer to the "economy" as the "ponziconomy" as the entire global economy operates on debt based currency. No matter what country you come from your government borrows from private banks at interest leading to a situation where at any given time there is always more outstanding debt than there is currency to pay it which of course means even more must be borrowed to service existing debt. When those in power talk about growth what they are actually talking about is 'credit growth' as the economy requires an exponentially increasing amount of loans to pay down existing debt and if these loans are not made the stability of the entire ponziconomy comes into question. This is why in the face of meager growth, rampant risk and immensely overvalued assets central banks are trying to artificially lower the cost of borrowing to "stimulate the economy".

Excessive credit creation with little or no wealth creation to speak of to back it up however simply results in compounding the problem which is increasingly and more frequently forcing us to manipulate the metrics we use for economic health as well, such as inflation.
Already, food prices have seen sharp gains, although not only because of the dollar. Overall consumer prices rose 1 per cent in January from a year earlier, with food inflation up 4.6 per cent, the largest gain since November, 2011, Statistics Canada said. 
At some point, we expect some cost inflation pressures,” Eric La Fl├Ęche, CEO of grocer Metro Inc., said in late January. “We will be treated fairly by the suppliers and we will be competitive.” 
The council’s report said retailers expect to raise prices mostly in the second half of 2015, which could “amplify the trend toward online shopping, where price is the critical variable.” 
Some merchants are considering ways to skirt the problems, such as changing their product mix, specifications or suppliers, it said. Some are considering purchasing renminbi to pay for their Chinese goods. For now, “the outlook for margins is gloomy, driven by the devaluation of the dollar,” the report said. 
Mr. Manchon said that to soften the blow of price hikes, many companies are reducing package sizes or the amount contained in each one. 
Research shows consumers are generally more sensitive to price changes than to changes in the quantity of goods, he said. For example, suppliers shrink the depth of a package while the height and width remain unchanged, so the silhouette of the package looks the same on the shelf, he said. 
Other ways to try to disguise a price increase in a smaller package are by using new descriptions such as “more portable” (smaller bags for takeout), “greener” (lighter for the environment) or “healthier” (fewer calories), Mr. Manchon said.
The unfortunate thing about the way government calculates manipulates inflation data is that, among many tricks, it does not account for actions by companies such as "suppliers shrink the depth of a package while the height and width remain unchanged, so the silhouette of the package looks the same on the shelf". These are tricks everyone is aware of yet somehow are always overlooked whenever discussions of cost-of-living or inflation come up. It is in the governments and banks best interest to maintain the "low inflation" story even though in reality inflation is probably running upwards of 10% (it's nearly impossible to actually determine as almost all data today is massaged to look better than it is - example (reality starts about halfway down)) even with the collapse in oil prices especially in Canada thanks to the subsequent collapse of the Canadian dollar facilitated by the central bank's policy of lower and lower interest rates (no it's not fucking Dutch Disease, another myth pushed by the political system).

The low inflation narrative is imperative for companies and the government as the claim of there being low inflation provides the excuse companies need to not offer sufficient wage increases to cover for the increases in the cost-of-living caused by rampant credit expansion. It means the government has an excuse to underfund infrastructure and services as well as keep any obligations they owe lower than they should be. If the rate of inflation was being honestly reported the lack of wealth creation would become painfully obvious as obligations quickly dropped every government and corporate budget in the red. The low inflation narrative also provides the justification the central bank needs to keep interest rates low to facilitate credit expansion where as if inflation was being honestly reported they would have no choice but to raise interest rates to address systemic financial risk and prevent the further formation of asset bubbles.

The expanding trend towards automation perhaps offers the best example of how prosperity and growth are not necessarily one and the same. The implementation of technology allows corporations to significantly save on labour costs allowing machines with perhaps a small team or even a single operator to produce the same amount of goods it would have taken hundreds or thousands of human labour to produce. While at first glance the implementation of machines to automate labour may appear to facilitate growth it is in reality not growth but in fact deflationary. I'll explain why.

In theory machines replacing human labour is great. It means we all would or more accurately should have more time for our own endeavors. We have this time because the productive capacity of the economy hasn't changed in fact for most tasks machines can do it more accurately and faster than human labour ever could hope. However the result of this migration to a more automated world hasn't quite been what people are expecting. The reason for this is that the economy hasn't changed; it is still an infinite growth debt economy predicated on the concept of borrowing new debt to pay off the old. That can be private debt, or that can be public debt, all currency in the system at some point down the line was borrowed into existence.

So when it comes to private debt machines are deflationary for the obvious reason that all of the people replaced no longer have a job. They no longer have the income to leverage against new loans, they likely had to downsize (if their job was high paying) which may mean selling off items which then facilitate other people's needs who may have otherwise bought something freshly produced. This puts pressure on the credit system as it requires ever growing expansion and as we saw in 2008 contraction can be catastrophic.

Public debt is affected too as machines don't pay taxes do they? Yes there is the corporate tax on their income but you must remember each and every employee is also taxed on their income and these taxes can not be replaced. So while the government is forced into a position to borrow more and more to meet ever rising interest (alternatively they can cut services to "balance the budget" but whether taking new debt or downsizing government both represent a deterioration in standard-of-living as actually balancing the budget in a debt based economy is impossible) they are also faced with a shrinking revenue base.

So is the innovation of technology and freedom at fault? Or is an infinite growth ponziconomy at fault? Is technology destroying "the economy"? Or is it that the economy is holding back our potential? I'd submit that without the artificial obligations a debt based society places on us we would be free to actually have a better of standard of living in a society free from the "growth" requirement which is actually already dead (due to peak oil, and "peak everything") with new growth in reality just transferred from some other sector of the economy, or fabricated altogether. Some who have read my blog may have the impression that I don't believe a different, better, healthier future is possible which couldn't be further from the truth. I do believe it is possible, I also believe it is impossible to accomplish without addressing the dependence on "growth" our current monetary system relies on and until we do address it attempting change absent of the monetary system is futile.

A society built on myths and paradigms

Maintaining this system is of the up most importance to those in power, it is the only thing that is important to those in power as their position and status in society directly rides on it. The different options provided by political parties are all just slight variations on different management styles for managing the same infinite growth dependant system. Whether it's the NDP, the Liberals or the Conservatives all of them have repeated many times the "jobs & growth" goal they would like the public to believe they have. The prevalence of these myths and paradigms actually work against real political change and corrections within the system. It is the fear that this paradigm might break which began the cycle of bailouts and emergency procedures we now exist under.

It is the fear of the unknown that keeps us in line and adverse to real change benefiting the few at the expense of the many.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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