Our Economy Is DESIGNED To F**k Ninety Percent Of Us

in news •  9 months ago

wallstreetprotest

This is my column originally posted yesterday on Truthdig.

Last week the stock market had one of its worst single-day plunges in history: 1,600 points at one point. All the corporate media heads ran around telling you everything will be OK and not to panic because your bichon frisé puppy still will be able to afford his mani-pedi. But the mainstream media are careful to avoid telling you the censored side of this story.

They’re not telling you that we have an economy that, at its core, is based on death, misery and hardship. It’s not based on health and happiness and life. When it’s humming along, that means our obliteration of the planet is running full steam ahead, and average workers are being appropriately repressed and held down, hoping to collect enough food stamps to papier-mâché a cast on their broken arm. In fact, The Washington Post admitted it last week—but acted surprised when they said it: “Many analysts pointed to a seemingly unusual cause for the turbulence: rising wages.”

No, it’s not an “unusual” cause at all. When we start doing better—when wages start going up–Wall Streeters shit themselves. This is the norm. They only celebrate when we’re fucked, when workers don’t have the ability to demand better wages, better treatment, health care, coffee breaks and less handsy bosses. Stock markets around the world panic when the workers are strong. The stock market is not for us.

According to Time magazine, “The Richest 10% of Americans Now Own 84% of All Stocks.” We’re told to all celebrate how well the market is doing, but it’s just the rich further enriching themselves by playing games with the lives of everyone else. It’s like Monopoly, except we regular people are the players—doing the grunt work, going straight to jail, working on the Pennsylvania Railroad all day and only coming home to a thimble full of soup. The rich are the giant human hands that come down to grab all the money and flick your house off the board.

Over the past year, as the Dow broke 24,000, 25,000 and then 26,000, all the news anchors had on party hats, rubbing their nipples on prime time. Donald Trump tweeted: “Dow rises 5,000 points on the year for the first time ever – Make America great again!” But it wasn’t a rally for us. It wasn’t a rally for the planet or the animals. It was only a rally for the parasites at the top. The regular humans work their asses off and the viruses are the ones reaping the benefits—and not even paying their taxes.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mixed my metaphors, but still, I think viruses should pay taxes. And tapeworms should have jury duty, too.

You want more proof? A leaked 2005 internal Citigroup memo, the parent company of Citibank, read: “The world is divided into two blocs – the Plutonomy and the rest … plutonomies are economies powered by the wealthy.” Ajay Kapur, lead author of the report, said powered by the wealthy, but he means exploited by the wealthy. The memo continued: “In a plutonomy there is no such animal as ‘the U.S. consumer’ or ‘the UK consumer,’ or indeed the ‘Russian consumer.’ There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the ‘non-rich’, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.”

In 2006, “The Plutonomy Symposium — Rising Tides Lifting Yachts,” another internal memo from Citigroup (see page 155 of “The Zeitgeist Movement Defined") said: “We should worry less about what the average consumer … is going to do, when that consumer is (we think) less relevant to the aggregate data than how the wealthy feel and what they’re doing. This is simply a case of mathematics, not morality.”

There you go: The rich matter, the non-rich don’t matter. Morality matters to them as much as having skid marks on their underwear. They throw it out and never think about it again.

And then the 2005 memo puts the nail in the coffin: “The three levers governments and societies could pull on to end plutonomy are benign. Property rights are generally still intact, taxation policies neutral to favorable, and globalization is keeping the supply of labor in surplus, acting as a brake on wage inflation.”

Citigroup is saying that the levers of the state cannot stop us, the rich, from doing whatever we want, because we own the government. They’re our gimps on a chain in the basement. In case you’ve forgotten, WikiLeaks emails revealed that Citigroup chose nearly all of Barack Obama’s 2008 cabinet. They told him exactly whom to pick before he even became president. And Trump also has surrounded himself with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs affiliates. Makes you wonder if Citigroup could have tested out its power and been like, “For secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we need you to choose Carrot Top. Sorry, yeah, it has to be Carrot Top. That’s all we’ll accept.” And then that night, they’re all giggling to themselves in a boardroom in New York: “Oh, my God. He did it. What an idiot.”

Right about now you’re thinking, “But Lee, when the stock market goes down, it hurts productivity. It hurts the GDP.” Well, first of all, average Americans are not benefiting from the productivity gains. In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.60. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, “If the minimum wage had continued to move with average productivity after 1968, it would have reached $21.72 per hour in 2012. … If minimum-wage workers received only half of the productivity gains over the period, the federal minimum would be $15.34.”

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “In 2007, average annual incomes of the top 1 percent of households were 42 times greater than incomes of the bottom 90 percent (up from 14 times greater in 1979), and incomes of the 0.1 percent were 220 times greater (up from 47 times greater in 1979).”

Workers’ lives didn’t get better with productivity. Wall Street steals more and more of the money and gives less and less to the worker. The bottom 90 percent then fight over the scraps and hate each other for it. “Hey! Why do teachers get to have health care while the rest of us don’t? Fuck you, teachers! What have you ever done for society? I’m voting for whoever is taking the health care away from the teachers.”

The gains. Go. To. The. Top.

While the stock market has soared, 41.2 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they are forced to skip meals or eat less at meals, and that includes 12.9 million children. How can anyone say we are a successful country while an eighth of our population is food insecure? Sounds to me like you don’t know what words mean.

How do we rate success? We look at Gross Domestic Product—how much we’re producing. GDP doesn’t measure how many kids are drinking toxic water or breathing toxic air. It doesn’t measure how many dolphins are choking on plastic beer rings. It only measures how many beers you chug down. It doesn’t measure how many trees were planted. It measures how many trees we cut down to make the cardboard for coffee cups and condom boxes. It doesn’t rate how screwed the environment is, just how much stuff we buy to keep screwing. Buy a dildo? Good for the economy. Throw an old dildo out? Ends up in the ocean, gets stuck in a whale’s blowhole. GDP doesn’t care.

In China, the government builds “ghost cities”—massive cities where no one lives, because the act of building them is good for GDP. Of course, it’s disastrous for the environment, but who cares? It’s good for GDP. GDP doesn’t measure how many animals went extinct. It only measures how many animals we ate or sold. You could be eating a bald eagle roasted with giraffe bacon wrapped around it, but as long as you bought it at the store, it’s good for GDP. And besides the fact that our factory farms are basically government-subsidized pig and cow concentration camps, animal agriculture is the No. 1 cause of greenhouse gases. More than cars. So the No. 1 thing you could do for the planet is to eat less meat.

Recently a pledge to eat less meat has been signed by half a million people. It doesn’t even say no meat. It just says, “Take a breather. Slow down a little. Let the last ham hock get all the way down your throat before you stuff the next one in. Give it a second.” GDP is a measurement of destruction in a system that demands infinite growth on a planet with finite resources. Gross Domestic Product: We are the product, and it’s gross.

One country does it differently: Bhutan. It measures Gross National Happiness. I agree that that sounds like something singer Meghan Trainor would call her new tour with opening act The Wiggles. But still, it’s not a bad idea. Gross Domestic Happiness makes sense. If we’re not trying to get happiness and sustainability for the most people, then what are we doing? Isn’t that supposed to be the point of this ridiculous existence on this tiny spark of galactic light? Anything’s better than just measuring production and consumption. Gross Domestic Comfort, Gross Domestic Orgasms, Gross Domestic Roof Over Your Head, Gross Domestic Dude Not Working Two Jobs and Never Seeing His Kids and Can Afford a Movie Popcorn Without Putting His Daughter Up as Collateral. Any of those would measure our society better than Gross Domestic Product.

I mean, if that’s not the point, just let me know and I’ll get on board. Oh, the point is to make sure a tiny number of individuals can afford to purchase their own islands with helicopter landing pads? Oh, I had no idea that was the meaning of life. I’m sorry I’ve been resisting it so long. In that case, the stock market seems to be working perfectly.

Ecologically, our economy is killing the planet. That’s not up for debate. Imagine the aliens that come down here after we’ve eaten everything, killed everything, and turned it all to dust. Imagine them showing up and going, “What happened to these little fellows that used to be here?”

“Well, they imagined something called the stock market, where nonliving entities called corporations compete to see which one can exploit the earth the most. It eventually swallowed up the whole biosphere they lived on.”

“Oh, which corporation won?”

“Ironically, the one called Amazon, which used to be the name of the largest river in the world until they paved it.”

Here’s the thing: The stock market is life-blind. It’s also death-blind. It’s misery- and starvation- and destruction-blind. It doesn’t see people or happiness or art or beauty. It sees only profit, which means it is a cancer of our system of values. It’s like a guy driving a car and only seeing speed, being completely blind to how many people he runs down. He’d get to his destination in record time and say to the townspeople, who all had family members run over by this maniac, “We did it. I got here in record time. We should all celebrate together.”

One percent of America is celebrating. It’s time to do things differently.

If you like my writing, check out my TV show and follow my stuff at LeeCamp.com. You can also join my free email newsletter.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

You're right stock benefits go to shareholders and never really trickle down to the workers, the rich get richer, I'm hoping cryptocurrency and blockchain opens the doors for the impoverished.

·

My refund program. Like me and you will get back 100% SBD

·

Profits should not go down to the consumer of the product with lower prices?

If I can pose a question - Clearly our current unfettered capitalism is not working and will in fact kill us in the coming decades. So what type of economy do you see as the solution?

·

We live in a Kleptocracy. Everything is designed to steal from those at the bottom and pass up the chain to those above. This is the essence of 'civilisation'. The only solution ( and one we will probably be forced to adopt) is a return to living in harmony with the planet in a reciprocal relationship. Basically hunters and gatherers living in tribes.

·
·

How is it stealing if there is more created for you?
How much do you 'return to the planet'?

·
·
·

Your first comment does not make sense.
As Derek Jensen notes we need to live in harmony with the planet instead of raping it for its natural resources.

·
·
·
·

"Everything is designed to steal from those at the bottom and pass up the chain to those above."
As you stated it is being stolen from you, unless you are 'above'.

You never answered my second.

and C.
How are you raping the planet... no, nevermind don't tell me.
I'm not into that mess.

·
·
·
·
·

It's basically a pyramid scheme - the land itself is at the bottom followed by animals. Our society is admittedly complex but there are most definitely hierarchies, and I would say I was nearer the top then the bottom given the access I have to computers and the internet for example. I often feel there is little I can do in the face of the Juggernaut that is civilization. I have been to anti-fracking demos, don't drop litter, am kind to animals, recycle, try to be conscious of the impact my life has on the planet. Not enough, I know. Perhaps it would be a good start if we gave, say, all our rivers, the same rights as corporations?

·
·
·
·
·
·

rivers don't care though. they will be consumed by us or animals then, it will be wasted, then evaporated and dropped on someone else or something else. It has happened way before we got here and will continue without us. Think of it will all this fake 'global warming' your rivers will be fuller. So whats the problem?

·
·
·
·
·
·
·

How do you know rivers don't care?

·

The problem is not just the system we live in, it is who controls it. No matter what type of system you have or create, the same manipulators have risen to the top. The ruling classes would welcome any system, as long as they continue to influence and run the institutions behind them. The way forward may be in the sharing and voluntary models that have been created like steemit and other platforms. To be honest though i'm just a random idiot, who has no solutions. Sorry Lee:)

·
·

Exactly. The common feature between our problems in capitalism and the brutal communist or socialist regimes we've seen through history are that the rulers of the system bend it to their benefit. Capitalism, socialism, communism, anything you call it, as long as psychopaths are able to force their will upon the masses, we're gonna have a bad time.

·
·
·

Are psychopaths forcing their will upon you?
How bad of a time are you having?

·
·
·

I see a lot of similarities between communism (the real world kind) and corporatism (the out-of-control kind), the main one being obscene wealth inequality.

Loading...
·

There is no country on the planet that is 100% capitalist or 100% socialist. They're blends. What I see as the biggest problem of the United States economy is corporate monopoly, like (as you pointed out) the ironically named Amazon. It's a problem we've seen over and over throughout our history. Corporate monopolies create oligarchs who control our government in order to serve their own interests. I think we need a Constitutional amendment that prohibits monopolistic behavior by corporations, but that would be hard, considering our politicians are bought and paid for.

·
·

Why are governments in place?
A "Constitutional amendment" is not what would be needed.
That is not what the constitution is about.
Have you read it?

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

·

How is it not working?
Are you not healthy?
Are you not Alive?
Are you not a slave?

Indeed brother but the problem lies in what Laser Haas and I are exposing the fraud of Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital and others. The series details how the DOJ is a revolving door between Wall St and the Justice Department and how these racketeers are protected. It also exposes what U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft stated on the record about "Bankruptcy rings." The fraud perpetrated by these people is what caused the 2008 collapse with a bunch of other factors, just think what is going to happen with them in complete control under Trump.. fraud to enrich themselves and to cause the rest of us to fight for our lives..

·

So many "click-bait headlines" you post. Why so much hate?

It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.

Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!

Our economy is just like steemit

As George Carlin said ”It’s a big club and we aren’t in it”. He was right. But hopefully now, an increasing number of us don’t want to be in it and would prefer to fight against it. How we fight? Well, that’s a different matter, but understanding the problems and why they were created, is a very good starting point.

@leecamp I think it was you who said ”Judging the true economic state of a nation by the Dow Jones was akin to judging the health of the patient by the obesity of the leeches”. Now there’s a truism.

Thanks Lee

·

@poorcirculation Why fight it, if you don't care to be in it?

To know what you know, and know what you don't know, that is true knowledge.

Fighting to fight, give no resolution.
Fighting with imaginary cause, give it no more honor than fighting imaginary enemy.
Honor is bringing two sides together peacefully.

A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.

·
·
·
·
·

Good comeback!
applause your way

It's not trolling when I'm asking what your view is, and what you mean by it.

um...no.
so MUCH no.
for one thing the economy is NOT designed.
see Adam Smith's wealth of nations and pay particular attention to the invisible hand

it's not a new concept...Wealth of Nations was written a LONG time ago.
It remains true to this day.

·

True, not designed.
Guided maybe?

·
·

here's where I differ from you conspiracy guys.
you see hydra sitting on it's throne of power, behind the scenes, moving chess pieces around controlling the whole world.

I don't see it that way. I look at it in the same way I'd look at weather.
A ZILLION tiny factors , constantly changing, to produce the current results.
Some blame the 'weather god'...or even more ridiculous HAARP..

I blame cold fronts..

Same thing with the world's economy today..

and by the way...everything is getting better and better for everyone.
today IS the 'good old days'.
its never been a better time to be alive...

·
·
·

I'm not a conspiracy guy :)
I did make the argument about weather and cars.
Everyone blames cow farts and cars for the ozone and melting ice crap.

So what made the Ice Age melt?
I know... The Ford Model T!

lol

·
·
·
·

it might not be a bad idea to not be concerned about why the "ice age melted" but rather be more concerned that it's likely to freeze up again.
REAL SOON

how many dolphins are choking on plastic beer rings?

·

Dolphins are rapists.
In a 'modern human' point of view.

·
·

flipper is smarter than people...(I saw the TV series)
why would he be so stupid to do that?

·
·
·

"The dolphins forcing themselves onto unwilling females, and killing the young, isn’t wrong. It is merely dolphins being dolphins.

Of course, when humans do such things, they are judged rightly as monsters. That is because we are exceptional."

https://evolutionnews.org/2016/02/dolphin_males_f/

·
·

true that

As I replied to @kontora

Profits should not go down to the consumer of the product with lower prices?
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Brilliant analysis of the situation!