An International, Love-Based Economy: Why Not?

by Jerry Alatalo

“But the world does move, and its motive power under God is the fearless thought and speech of those who dare to be in advance of their time – who are sneered at and shunned through their days of struggle as lunatics, dreamers, impracticables, and visionaries; men of crochets, vagaries and isms.”

– HORACE GREELEY (1811-1872) American publisher, educator

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlphabet Left the following comment at Real-World Economics Review Blog (rwer.wordpress.com), an excellent place for people to read about economics science/theory which has 11,866 followers:

“Martin Luther King Jr. proposed jobs-for-all and basic income for all. Admitting to having acquired much less knowledge/training in economics than regular readers at this site, MLK’s proposal seems eminently positive, reasonable and attainable, yet no concrete actions/steps to realize such a proposal have become taken.

MLK studied spirituality, religion and philosophy, separate terms for the same area of human thought, and what he learned during that study he applied to his economic proposals.

Management courses stress the main focus being maximization of profit, in contrast to MLK whose paramount focus was maximization of peace, health and well-being for the greatest number in the human population, where decisions are driven by love, not profit.

It seems MLK, who perished in a murder/assassination whose details are far too little known (search William Pepper/1999 Martin Luther King civil trial) at age 39 for his spiritual economics ideas, gave those who study economic science a profound example of the possible, most positively impactful for humanity, application of economic theory toward eliminating worldwide, historically negative societal problems.

Perhaps saying that economics should have as its greatest goal not profit but building a more peaceful world while at the same time eliminating war, poverty, disease, illiteracy, pollution, etc. will be viewed as utopian or completely unrealistic, but is it really? The human mind created today’s existent international conditions, and there seems to be no reason for believing that the human mind is incapable of improving those conditions, until at some future point, depending on the intensity of Earth-wide efforts, humanity realizes living a true version of the dream MLK and history’s spiritual visionaries spoke of.

In other words, an economics which has as its driving motivation and fuel not profit but creating heaven on Earth.”

Heaven on Earth, huh? As a past co-worker used to sometimes respond, conveying her perception that another’s assertion was coming from an intellectual place of dead-ends or impossibility – “yeah, right!” Such a concept as heaven on Earth certainly aligns with Horace Greeley’s statement, especially “lunatics, dreamers, impracticables and visionaries.”

“Humanity’s most valuable assets have been the non-conformists. Were it not for the non-conformists, he who refuses to go along with the continuance of things as they are, and insists on attempting to find new ways of bettering things, the world would have known little progress indeed.”

– JOSIAH WILLIAM GITT (1884-1973) American editor

Those men and women who have voluntarily and to varying extent, like one who voluntarily clicks on certain internet websites of interest, entered inner worlds for exploration in search of potential concepts which upon study offer humanity new modes of living on this Earth, understand what one can describe as the “Catch-22” aspect of such endeavors. This writing has as its main intention a wish to convey encouragement to those who have felt what Mr. Greeley articulated as “sneers… shuns… struggle”.

After reading a sizable number of articles written by highly educated, well-meaning, sincere men and women around the Earth whose various noble and moral motivations become clearly evident, along with listening to interviews and presentations on a variety of important topics, one comes to points along the way where it becomes a fervent, burning wish that the best ideas finally break through and change, for the better, human beings’ living conditions everywhere on the planet.

The word “ideal” means “conception or standard of perfection”. By simply taking a sober, rational, and informed-to-some-extent look at life on Earth today, with fellow human beings experiencing the effects of military conflict, greed, homelessness, lack of adequate food and clean water, etc., along with the hard to accurately measure, but certainly depression-inducing physical and psychological harm that results from such unfortunate situations, one quickly acknowledges this has yet to become an ideal or “perfect world”.

Risking becoming labeled in the view of others as a “utopian” madman whose ideas about creating a true heaven on Earth, aligning with the feelings behind “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others see things that never were and ask why not?”, perhaps men and women around the world would find it very beneficial to ask much more often, and with an increasing, morality-fueled intensity – “Why not?”

In a world full of people, only some want to fly. Isn’t that crazy?

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(Thank you to Nobel Prize Peace Concert at YouTube)

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Tax Wall Street Party: New Ideas For America.

Posted on January 20, 2015

After America’s 2014 midterm elections saw the lowest voter turnout since the end of World War II, perhaps a new political party – the Tax Wall Street Party – will offer Americans a much stronger incentive for heading to the polls.

(Cross-posted from/for more information visit: http://taxwallstreetparty.org)

A New Party Is Born

The two-party system has become an intolerable straitjacket on the hopes and dreams of the American people. More than ever, we need a viable alternative to a future of budget cuts, unemployment, despair and war.

Who Will Pay for the Depression? Working People or Wall Street

We have been told that our nation is approaching a “fiscal cliff” – that the profligacy of the American people is to blame for our national debt, and that we have no choice but to cut away the fabric of the New Deal. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues to buy Wall Street’s toxic derivatives – the cause of the 2007 financial crisis – at the rate of $85 billion a month.

This is not just hypocricy, it is the essence of fascism.

Since we are in an economic depression, the main political question is, Who Will Pay for This Depression? The Wall Street parasites demand that the cost of the depression they have created be shifted to working people. The Tax Wall Street Party demands instead that Wall Street pay the cost of the depression it has created.

The Void in Anti-Establishment Politics in America

Occupy Wall Street and the related mass strike upsurge of 2011 showed that the New Deal is still alive in the hearts of the American people. But this moment was sabotaged by so-called leaders of these movements who were unwilling to make concrete demands for economic reform.

While glimmers of hope remain within the Democratic party, the Wall Street-owned party leadership is in lockstep with the decrepit Republican party in its quest for more free trade, austerity, deregulation and war.

Independent voters can only register their distaste by choosing between utopian radicals on the left and right, neither side capable of ever appealing to the vast majority of working American families.

The Tax Wall Street Party will offer American voters what they sorely need – a concrete program of economic reform, based on the proven traditions of Lincoln’s American System, FDR’s New Deal, and JFK’s New Frontier.

Our Demands

1. Tax Wall Street

The fiscal problems of the United States are largely due to the fact that Wall Street pays no taxes. While working families pay 7% or more in sales tax for the necessities of life, Wall Street speculators pay nothing on their share of a yearly turnover of over $5 quadrillion (5,000 trillion dollars) in stocks, bonds and derivatives. A 1% tax on this turnover, equally divided between the federal and state governments, largely solves the budget deficit at all levels of government, negating the so-called fiscal cliff and allowing for the full restoration of social services, public payrolls and pensions, and other needs.

2. Nationalize the Federal Reserve

We propose to seize the functions of the Federal Reserve System and use it as a national bank to finance the long-term needs of the American people. Federal lending allows us to make massive long-term commitments – such as the $3.6 trillion we need to repair our decaying public infrastructure – at modest short-term costs. For states and businesses, the cost of capital can be radically lowered, and a competitive advantage of the United States in world markets can be secured. The overriding goal is the creation of 30+ million new jobs in production, with high capital investment, high energy intensity, high value added, and high technology.

3. Economic Protections

Economic justice can not be secured in a “free market” where Wall Street speculators are allowed to run the real economy like a casino. We need to rebuild manufacturing and family farms by restoring the basic protections of the New Deal – including a tariff (tax) on imported goods, a fair (parity) price for farms, and re-regulation of the financial sector.

4. Economic Rights

If we want the best economy in the world, we need the best-educated, healthiest, most secure workforce in the world. We will finish what FDR started by providing access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, education, housing and retirement for all Americans.

Fight With Us for The Next New Deal

The great transformations in American economic and political life – typified by the reforms of Hamilton, Lincoln, FDR and JFK – happened when an upsurge in mass political action was fueled by an effective economic program. The Tax Wall Street Party offers the only program that can lift America out of depression and into a new era of peace, prosperity and development. Will you fight with us?

Planet Ponzi.

by Jerry Alatalo

Alphabet Former hedge fund manager and author of “Planet Ponzi” Mitch Feierstein talks to Tariq Ali on “The World Today”. Mr. Feierstein believes a better option in 2008 would have been to allow “too-big-to-fail” banks to fail, instead of propping them up with massive taxpayer bailouts. He sees no real difference between conditions or regulatory measures from the worldwide financial crisis of 2007-8, a global crisis still being experienced today, and now in 2015 where the financial sector can still pronounce “heads I win, tails you bail me out”. His view is the financial sector is in worse condition now than in 2008, after considering comparative levels of leverage, credit and debt.

Feierstein points out that Cyprus-like actions have recently been adopted in Europe, the United States, along with the other G20 nations. This includes the phenomenon of “bail-ins”, where bank customer deposits in savings and checking accounts etc. are at risk of confiscation by troubled or bankrupt banking organizations, while parties to complex derivatives contracts hold first place among those who seek legal remedy for losses from any bank failures.

G20 nations:

Argentina

Australia

Brazil

Canada

China

France

Germany

India

Indonesia

Italy

Japan

Mexico

Russia

Saudi Arabia

South Africa

South Korea

Turkey

United Kingdom

United States

European Union

It is worth noting that during the recent passage of the United States “Cromnibus” spending bill, a provision written by Citigroup which placed American taxpayers “on-the-hook” for certain derivatives trade losses – in essence repealing one of the main regulatory measures of Dodd-Frank legislation – became included in the must-pass bill, despite strong objections from a number of legislators, most visible being Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Mr. Feierstein notes that, in connection to the 2008 economic crisis, people have “short memories”. He shares the statistic that 60 cents of every tax dollar which comes to the U.S. Treasury goes toward servicing interest on the national debt. He sees the examples of people-powered movements “from below” in Greece, Spain, Italy, and perhaps even soon France as reason for optimism in such movements’ potential for bringing about real reform which could become international.

He sees so-called deficit cutting measures by governments as “spending money they don’t have, but less of it”. He shares the analogy of his wife coming home from a high-class clothing store with an expensive dress, telling him that she “saved” 100,000 euros because the price had been reduced by 100K, but that he didn’t have the 100k she paid for the dress.

According to Mitch Feierstein, democracy is “vaporized”; it’s an illusion”. Whenever the economy goes down, extreme right-wing parties spring up, along with more acceptable alternative third parties whose success is directly linked to the people’s no longer being able to vote for people “who have lied to you”. Feierstein tells Tariq Ali about illegal manipulations of LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offer Rate) interest rates, the interest rate banks charge each other for loans.

Mr. Feierstein considers the LIBOR rigging scandal as the largest financial crime in history, LIBOR rates connected globally to $300 trillion dollars worth of contracts. If such massive rigging at the highest levels of bank management of LIBOR weren’t disturbing enough, some now view manipulations of currency rates and prices for precious metals as even more damaging to the world economy.

The world’s combined GDP (gross domestic product) is an estimated $67 trillion. Some of world’s largest banks hold more than the world’s GDP in complex financial instruments contracts becoming more commonly known as derivatives. Thanks to the “Citigroup Provision” passed along with America’s Cromnibus spending bill, the American people could face the situation where their tax dollars will “cover” losing derivatives bets that Mr. Feierstein early in the interview termed “…tails you bail me out”.

He tells Mr. Ali that these are “incredibly bizarre times”, and that governance has become a stepping stone to great wealth instead of an honorable profession where speaking the truth and trying to make life better for fellow citizens is the one and only focus. Using the example of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Feierstein concludes: “If you’re a good boy, and you toe the line and keep the narrative, you’ll do just fine. Get out (of political office) and become very wealthy”.

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(Thank you to The World Today with Tariq Ali at YouTube)

Levers For Global Change.

Posted on May 25, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“If the world goes against truth, then Athanasius goes against the world.”

– SAINT ATHANASIUS (293-373) Bishop of Alexandria

superior111-1Establishment of a true world democracy, new economic thinking that takes on wealth inequality head-on, abolition of interest, and an unconditional “citizen’s income”…

These are the major demands of an organization called “Critical Thinking” which came out of the Occupy movement, in what the men and women involved in the collaborative effort have named the “New Model Charter.” The activists involved with Critical Thinking intend – with the aid of like-minded legal professionals, judges, and attorneys –  to start a legal proceeding to challenge first governments, then corporations and the so-called powers-that-be, defenders of the status-quo.

The challenge relates to a concept called “fiduciary responsibility” outlined in the book “Binary Economics” by Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare. I confess not reading “Binary Economics”, but have listened to a number of interviews of Rodney Shakespeare, an elderly gentleman academic who holds an intense loyalty to unvarnished truth. Here is one of five Amazon reviews of the book, published in 1999:

Binary Economics: The New Paradigm, by Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare deserves a careful reading by anyone concerned with growth and economic justice. In so-called free market economies, as they are presently constituted, the great benefits of economic growth (which are in turn the consequence of the pace of technological advance) do not accrue to most poor and working people, though it is poor and working people who bear the cost of such technological advance in the instabilities and displacement it engenders. Rather, the great benefits of that economic growth go primarily to the wealthy few who, through their ownership of stock, exercise a claim on corporate earnings. The result is a growing disparity in wealth and opportunity that is doing great harm to society. Many have tried to address this problem; but as yet, conventional thinking has failed to produce a working consensus on what can and should be done to create a more just and efficient economic playing field. In Binary Economics: The New Paradigm, in very readable prose, Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare carefully advance a wholly voluntary means of enabling increasing numbers of poor and working men and women also to exercise a viable claim on the growing benefits of technological advance (and hence of economic growth) as a normal function within the framework of a market economy. Their proposed system builds on existing principles of corporate finance, insurance and monetary policy, making only modest and wholly democratic changes intended to facilitate capital acquisition for all people. Whether the voluntary operation of a binary economy will produce the growth, distributive justice, and other benefits predicted by binary economists remains to be seen; but the binary proposals and predictions cannot be responsibly dismissed on the strength of conventional economic theory, which itself has yet to solve, let alone explain, the problem that Ashford and Shakespeare address. Theirs is a noble goal, and the new discourse they seek to initiate, focused on achieving a more equitable distribution of wealth by way of voluntary transactions and without distribution, is of the utmost importance. People concerned about economic justice and efficiency cannot credibly claim to be open to new solutions and yet ignore this book.

So, the men and women at Critical Mass have decided to take action which starts an, ideally, worldwide debate and discussion, not through talking about divisive single-issues that are but symptoms of a failed economic system – but instead about the root causes of an economic model which is abusive, exploitive, and antithetical to democracy. Similar to 9/11-War Crimes Tribunals held in recent years in Toronto and Kuala Lumpur, the effort to force the “powers-that-be” to engage in the challenge they have been issued, through reason and debate, is an idea which this group hopes will move through more and more channels into the awareness of the world’s people.

Mr. Clive Menzies is one of the founders of Critical Thinking and the website “Free Critical Thinking”; he appears in the following video interview while explaining the “New Model Charter” initiative. Essentially, what he describes is a possible-alternative economic system – putting to rest the perceptions molded by media, politicians, the wealthy elite, and others defending the economic status-quo as “the only option” – which the so-called powers-that-be will find, in Mr. Menzies’ view, impossible to intellectually or scientifically prove inferior.

The time has arrived for the great global economic debate

As Mr. Menzies says in the interview, “We are looking into the jaws of World War III with rising tensions in Ukraine. The system has been broken and the time for change has come. It’s so simple, all we have to do is get together.”

He points out that everyone suffers under the current abusive economic system of rising wealth inequality, growing threat of war, the surveillance state, austerity and more, including the “lieutenants” who carry out the abuses as well as the elites.

Now seems like an opportune time to start humanity’s real-change ball rolling, don’t you think?

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(For more information please visit Freecriticalthinking.org)