Monday, June 11, 2012

'The Nation' Is Clueless About The Economy, Shills For Obama

The Nation's Bryce Covert argues that "public sector job loss is at the heart of our stagnant economy and is a big reason why the recovery can't get real lift-off."

Underlying Covert's argument is the false assumption that all jobs are made equal. Any economist with even a modicum of sophistication understands that certain types of labor contribute far more to Gross Domestic Product, money circulation, goods output and other productivity metrics than do others. Traditionally, economists have looked upon government as non-productive labor. Government workers do not "add value" in the same way that, say, workers in the primary sector (mining, agriculture) or secondary sector (manufacturing, industry) of the economy do. This is not an alien concept to social democrats or leftists -- most Western European nations utilize a Value Added Tax that is fundamentally tied in to this concept.

Think of the national economy as a factory floor. You have a manufacturing workforce on the assembly line that produces the actual product and you have white-collar administrators who ensure that production is managed efficiently. The administrators are usually a small minority. They represent the so-called "overhead." The Nation would like us to believe that productive and administrative jobs are interchangeable and equally beneficial to the economy. They are not. The Nation would like us to believe that a nation of administrators is no different from a nation that actually produces goods and services. They are wrong on this point as well.

As long as Covert refuses to acknowledge these truths, her economic analysis will remain at the elementary level.

Furthermore, Covert argues that public sector job cuts are the result of an ideological agenda led by the right-wing in the United States. How does she account for the austerity being undertaken across Europe, where leftist governments enjoy far more support? What advice does she have for a nation like Greece, which has very limited access to the bond markets and no budgetary surplus thereby making deficit spending or public sector employment growth a near impossibility? What assurances does she have that the debt crisis afflicting Southern Europe won't soon engulf the U.S., the U.K. and Japan? Why is it that the social democratic premiers of Spain and Greece and former the Mayor of London, the self-declared socialist "Red" Ken Livingstone, all admit that the debt crisis is real and that spending, especially deficit spending, must be limited?

Covert pretends as if Europe does not exist. She pretends as if Scott Walker's victories over public sector unions in Wisconsin are an isolated product of American "ultraconservative Republicans".

The reality is that the events in Wisconsin are intimately tied to the events in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Iceland (and soon Italy). The Keynesian model of endlessly borrowing from the future in order to create make-work jobs (jobs for the sake of jobs, that don't create real physical value) and spur ever-greater consumption is fundamentally unsustainable and has reached a tipping point.

Governments across the so-called 'developed world' are waking up to this and taking action. Governments that act prudently and enforce budgetary discipline will be rewarded. In fact, they already have been to some degree. Germany and Netherlands have both severely limited their government spending. Germany is committed to a balanced budget. Germany's health care system is far more "free-market" than that of most of its Western European neighbors. As a result, they enjoy low unemployment, high income and purchasing power, and governments often run surpluses that allow for generous social benefits. In contrast, countries that are reckless and imprudent with their spending will see themselves slip into vicious cycles of wealth destruction. This has already happened in Greece. The public sector plays a far greater role in the economy in Greece than it does in Northern Europe. Structurally, social welfare schemes are far more generous in Greece than in Northern Europe. Yet Greece has one of the highest unemployment rates in the 'developed world', a declining quality of life (including health-wise), and low purchasing power.

This is the inconvenient truth that The Nation refuses to confront.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Daily Caller Attempts To Mock Bilderberg Protestors And Fails

The Bilderberg Group is currently meeting at the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly, Virginia. Alex Jones and several other so-called "alternative" journalists are outside the hotel protesting the meeting.

Jamie Weinstein, Senior Editor of The Daily Caller, ambushed Jones in the above video and began asking a series of trite, mocking questions in an obvious attempt to solicit some kind of embarrassing reaction. Jones tactfully defended his views and the crowd supported him. The embarrassment and unease is visible on Weinstein's face.

Here are replies to Weinstein's idiotic questions:

Question: "If they are so powerful, why would they allow you to protest outside?"

Why does a teapot have a steam release? Institutions of power, even tyrannical ones, almost always give their populace the ability to vent their frustrations in non-threatening ways. It prevents the build-up of too much social and political tension. Alex Jones and his fellow protesters are no real threat to the power of the global elites attending this year's conference, so why bother restricting him? This is a basic truth about governmental authority that Weinstein should be aware of.

Question: "Who ever said the Bilderberg didn't exist?"

I don't think Weinstein's boss Tucker Carlson ever said that Bilderberg didn't exist, but he definitely worked his hardest to downplay the group's power.

In this video clip, Tucker Carlson greatly downplays the existence of the Bilderberg group, says it is made up of "retired State Department officials" and similar mid-level bureaucrats, and implies that those who investigate into the Bilderberg group's existence suffer from mental illness. [1]

False, Mr. Carlson. The group's attendees are not mid-level bureaucrats without power. 2012 attendees include:

*Josef Ackermann, chairman of Deutsche Bank
*Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclay's bank
*Keith B. Alexander, Director in the NSA and Commander of US Cyber Command
*Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minster of Turkey
*Prince Philippe of Belgium
*Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada
*Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana
*Michael J. Evans, on behalf of Goldman Sachs
*Thomas E. Donilon, National Security Advisor to the Obama administration
*Ying Fu, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs from China
*Kenneth M. Jacobs, CEO and Chairman of Lazard
*Gary Kasparov, leader of anti-Putin opposition in Russia
*John Kerry, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
*Henry Kissinger
*Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization
*Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical
*Michael Noonan, Minister of Finance from Ireland
*Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google

Among, many many others. [2]

These are not low-level bureaucrats. This is indeed a collection of some of the most powerful human beings on the planet. They command global institutions and hold high rank in governments around the globe. Yet people like Carlson and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell would like you to believe that these individuals are just getting together for Sunday brunch and not discussing or setting governmental or economic policy. [3] It is patently absurd to believe that this collection of individuals comes together for reasons that have nothing to do with their roles in government and business.

Their decisions and discussions affect the livelihoods of billions of people around the planet. Yet the mainstream media (especially the traditional newsprint and television media) has refused to report on it for years. When individuals comment on the notable media blackout (or "brownout" rather, as the mainstream coverage that does exist is greatly muted), individuals like Weinstein step in to mock and disparage them.

Their goal is to prevent any movement towards greater transparency and openness, quite simply.

But now the lid has been blown off. The Drudge Report has linked to articles on Bilderberg. Former Bilderberg member and NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes has publicly commented on the policy-setting and consensus-setting nature of the conference. [4] The Guardian now sends reporter Charlie Skelton to report on the Bilderberg conference annually. [5] Even the Huffington Post has published articles about the group.

The real question is whether the global elite will continue to use the Bilderberg conference as a vehicle now that it has been publicly "exposed" to a level previously unprecedented.