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The Crises 2009

Financial crisis

The Crises 2009

The deeper cause of the crisis is simple; the "Richest 2% Own Half World Wealth; Bottom 50% Own 1%" Like the ancient Egyptians, we live and labour in the shadow of pyramids. Unfortunately, ours are standing on their tips because they were designed by Mr Ponzi. Such a system must be prone to crisis, if anything is surprising, it is that there are sometimes ten+ years between two successive crises and that the last one of this amplitude occurred in 1929.

When a majority of the human race comes to understand how society works, the end of the good life for the top 2% will be in sight. But they are much too subtle for silly old fashioned censorship; instead of publicly burning books (or people) that tell the truth about how they are running and ruining our lives, they wholeheartedly embrace freedom of expression and of the media. They use these fundamental rights to buy up media and then submerge the lower 98% in a tsunami of paid reporting and outright propaganda.
In modern times, the names Berlusconi and Murdoch have come to stand for this kind of privatised public opinion.

There is plenty of ethical criticism of the 2% and quite a few of them have been convicted of felonies. Although the present domination of 2% over 98% has been brought about by questionable methods, it is now half-legitimate because 95+% of us have come to accept it. We 98% can be subdivided into four categories. The largest is that of the "Apathetic" who do no more than grumble as they choke down the crumbs that fall from the tables of the wealthy. The second largest category could be called "Conservative"; its members actively support the 2% by voting for the likes of Bush, Sarkozy, Merkel, Berlusconi etc ad nauseaum. These people suffer from the Stockholm syndrome; their strategy seems to be to put more bread on the tables of the 2% and then hope to lick more crumbs off the floor.

The second smallest category is that of the "Reformists"; they work to alleviate the suffering caused by the 2% but ultimately refuse acknowledge the obvious; in democratic societies 2% of the people should have 2% of the wealth/power and that 98% should have the rest. Their strategy is to talk the 2% into going on a diet, leaving say 5% or even 10% more of the crumbs to the 98%. The smallest group, probably less numerous than the lucky 2%, might be called the "Revolutionary Wannabees" who are willing to put the 2% back in their proper place. Their utopia has farmers, millers and bakers in control of the bread industry and no one eating crumbs off the floor anymore. Naturally, those who make extraordinary contributions to the bread industry would get some extra slices while those who refuse to do any work at all would be put on a survival + 10% ration. But they can take no direct large scale action, at least for the next few decades, because the Apathetic, the Conservative and the Reformist together command the loyal support of 95+% so that any attempt to take power away from the "elite" can end only in massacre and tyranny.

The controversy over the bail-out packages is well known and need not be repeated in detail. Basically, the guarantee for $700 billion in the US and for similar sums in the EU are the ransom that we must pay to the ruling 2% in exchange for them not destroying half of the jobs on earth and unleashing a couple of Hitlers, as they did in 1929. And where are the billions coming from? From you. Higher taxes for lower public services will finance the budget deficits that go to make the rich super rich. As in the past decades, those of us who work in the civil service will be pushed to work more for less money.
So far, the toughest measure to be proposed by mainstream politicians is the German proposal to limit the salaries of the bosses of those banks that accept federal aid to an austere 500 000 EUROs per year. If it is implemented, it will set a very useful precedent.

Suppose that someone were to argue against any limit on private wealth. Because the earth's resources are finite, that person would also be arguing for unlimited poverty. The same reasoning applies to power. What gives a man more power over his neighbours; a 45 caliber pistol or 45 million EUROs? If it is lawful to protect the majority of citizens from privately owned weapons, restrictions on private fortunes are just as urgent.
What about the various regulating strategies being discussed and the "nationalisations" that have already taken place? These are just power plays among the 2%; the more "political" 2%ters are taking back some of the power that they lost to their "financial" colleagues since the 1980s. Don't hold your breath.

What is wrong with the banking system? Around 50% of us are wealthy enough to put a little money in the bank. In our role as consumers, we 50% have sometimes exerted real pressure on major corporations; remember the Shell boycott? If the 50% would also exert all the influence to which we are entitled as small but numerous investors, things would get a little shaky for the 2%. Apart from the always painful loss of power, the privileged have reason to fear the 50% who might come to see corporations from the outside as consumers and from the inside as fully participating tiny co-owners. The knowledge acquired might lead first to a desire for power, later to the thing itself. That is where the banks come in. They gather up the savings of us 50%ters and do something with our money. The owner of a savings account has no idea whether his/her money is being invested the production of life saving mosquito nets or of land mines, so we feel neither power nor responsibility. Well, the 2%ters don't seem to feel much responsibility either, but tons of power.

It really makes almost no difference, whether state or corporate bureaucrats mismanage our world economy. What will make a huge, a revolutionary, difference is when all humans get a share of democratic decision making power over the work they do and the money that they save.

Let's be realistic enough to demand what still seems impossible;

• Confiscate all individual income above X thousand EUROs

• Confiscate the part of private fortunes that exceeds Y million EUROs

• Place an upper limit on all loans to natural and legal persons to Z times the taxable income that they declared in the year preceding the loan application

• Give even the smallest investors the right to participate in the decisions of their bank via the www

• Full co-decision rights for people who work in the financial and media industries (and for everyone else, of course)

If you have read up to this point, you have already taken the first, most difficult step; you have begun to think what the 2% consider unthinkable, you are escaping from their mental prison. Every worker who thinks for her/himself is a serious threat to the system because words and actions will follow soon enough.

By definition, there can be no billionaires and no mega corporations in a democratic society.

Michael Ashbrook
SID president

S olidarity with those who work for their money
I ndependence from those who don't
D emocracy in all decisions taken by groups of sane, adult humans

SID - Solidarity, Independence, Democracy is an independent Trade Union of all EU Institutions employees (Je souhaite adhérer au SID…)

Created by: admin last modification: Friday 30 of April, 2010 [11:23:54 UTC] by admin

wiki page: Compromising 01 · Staff Budget 01 · Art 27 02 · Art 27 03 · Art 27 04 · Art 27 01 · Should EU Institutions discriminate against university educated citizens at a time of Generation 1000 euros and many university graduates out of a job · Ripoff 01 · Three Good Reasons 01 · Financial Crisis Light 01 · DGT – Restructuring, Can the disaster be averted? · European Parliament to amend Staff Regulations as a result of 847/2011 petition · Financial Crisis Light tunnel 01 · DGT 01 · Une nouvelle politique de recrutement s'impose à la Commission, par Solidarité Européenne · Time for the Commission to rethink its recruitment policy, a tract by Solidarité Européenne · Manipulera statistiken och gläd politikerna · SID au sujet du compte-rendu de l'état de l'Union en 2011 donnée par Président José Manuel Durão à Strasbourg · IP laws stop SMEs create jobs and prosperity for us all · X Depenses administratives �conomies · x1000000000x Austerity 01 · SID on president José Manuel Durão Barroso's State of the Union Address 2011 speech in Strasbourg · Stop the foreseen job cuts · SID questions Commission proposal to reform once again the EU Staff Regulations · Budget Line 26 01 02 11 · No Double Taxation at the United Nations · Mayday 2010, No to Bailing Out Billionaires, Yes to Real Economic Development · The Crises 2009 · Double Taxation: When Will it be Your Turn? · Double Taxation: How to Beat the Heat · What to do · Commission's Admin does its best to cope with the financial crisis · financial crisis part 2 of 3 · financial crisis part 3 of 3 · financial crisis part 1 of 3 · The Economics of Inequality · 2000 job cuts and what we did about it ·

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