The following guest post is by Fizzfan. Thanks, Fizz!
EMPIRES, POLITICS, OUR BANKS AND USAccording to historical records, all Empires have a life cycle and last about 250 years. They all have different Ages and they are Pioneering, Conquest, Commerce, Affluence, Intellectual and Decadence.We in the West are said to be in the 6th and final one, Decadence.It's typified by an over extended military, the conspicuous display of wealth, an obscene gap between the rich and poor, an obsession with sex, and many living off a bloated state.SO WHAT HAS LED US TO THIS FINAL AGE AND WHO IS SUPPORTING IT.
SO HOW ARE THEIR CURRENT SYSTEMS WORKING OUT FINANCIALLY.
Well, of the money in the world today, apparently 97% of it is DEBT. So I guess not too badly!SO WHATS GONE WRONG?Following the Great Stock Market crash in 1929, The Glass Steagall Act was introduced by President Roosevelt in 1932 to protect the ordinary man in the street by completely separating commercial investment banking and the high street banks used by you and me.However, in 1999 President Clinton repealed this Act leaving Wall Street and the Banks to play fast and lose with everyone's money again.SO HOW DID THAT WORK OUT?Well we all know that history repeated itself and in 2008 another Crash catapulted much of the world into another recession and we've all been paying for it ever since and will continue to do so for many years to come.SO WHAT HAD WALL STREET AND THE BIG BANKS BANKS BEEN UP TO?Well they say that crime doesn't pay, but I guess that depends on who's committing it.In an increasingly desperate bid to keeping pumping air into their already over inflated bubble of credit, they honed in on the poor and duped them into thinking they could afford mortgages whilst glossing over the fact that the 'flexible' rates would soon become impossible to pay. In fact they deliberately TARGETED poor ethnic communities, charged INFLATED rates, and just partied on their huge commissions.They then bundled all these mortgages up with better stuff and got them rated as TOP NOTCH instead of PILES OF GARBAGE and sold them on to other banks and investors.It was clearly just a matter of time before the mortgage repayments stopped coming in and it was realised by the buyers they'd been well and truly shafted.Result:- Trust was lost between the banks, they all stopped lending to each other and that big bouncy bubble that had to have an endless supply of credit oxygen was suddenly left gasping for air and it just collapsed like a wrinkly old balloon.WERE THE CULPRITS PUNISHED?No because it seems no one knew it would happen.Hmmmmmm. Me thinks this is as big a load of garbage as the toxic bundles they'd had upgraded to triple A by their VERY accommodating rating agencies.On top of which, while the poor were being evicted from their homes that they could no longer finance, Goldman Sachs were rubbing their criminally grubby little mitts in glee because they'd had the foresight to insure these mortgages against failure! BRILLIANT!!!Films and documentaries have since been made about it. THE BIG SHORT and INSIDE JOB being among the best.SO WHAT MEASURES WERE TAKEN TO CORRECT THESE CATASTROPHIC PRACTICES?Not that many but you'll be delighted to learn that the restrictions that were put in place are now set to be lifted again by the newly elected Mr Trump!MARVELLOUS!!!!AFTERMATH OF THEIR DELIBERATE ACTIONS?Well other than millions of people having to foreclose on their homes, we were forced to save the day in a 700 billion dollar bail out funded with tax payers money to inflate their bubble again. This apparently had to be done because they were too big to be allowed to fail.In other words, a system has been devised whereby our economies are dependent on just a few banks, and however incompetent, unethical, fraudulent and corrupt they are, we simply can't do without them.That sounds like a very good system to me?! FOR THEM!!!!!I should mention here that 80% of the American public actually voted against the bail out but it was totally ignored, so hard luck. That's democracy for you!So for the favour of us being saved from ruin by using OUR taxes to bail THEM out of a crisis THEY engineered and which some very shady TOP DOGS made a fortune from, we have watched our savings diminish through historically low interest rates, wages freeze and pensions go up in smoke. Meanwhile, the geniuses that caused it have continued to be paid astronomical bonuses and seen their living standards go up. Seems fair to me!HOW COME THEY STILL GET MEGA BUCKS BONUSES FOR FAILING?!Well there are actually still people out there that believe this is good economics (namely the rich) and it's called the 'Trickle Down Effect' and it's ummmmmm, well, utter crap really, but it's based on a theory that if the filthy rich get richer it'll trickle down to us mere mortals.You can see from the graph below just how sound this notion is. I guess they're going for a VERY long term analysis before recognising it's a gigantic crock of sh*t!
DID ALL COUNTRIES GIVE THEIR BANKS A HELPING HAND?Pretty much, although heroically Iceland took a different approach, and I can't be alone in having a huge sense of envy that they were able to manage their affairs rather differently....
SO ARE POLITICIANS IDIOTS AND BANKERS W@N£€RS?
Well, you could be forgiven for reaching this conclusion because it does look very much as if this is the case. Or do the wrong ones just keep getting elected?I don't know why but the one below was replaced by Hilary Hardface Clinton, who went up against Trump and we all know how that panned out......
SO WHAT DO I THINK?Well, seems to me that politicians, banks and corporations have morphed into a bit of giant parasitic monster and we the host are being ever more drained in order to keep it fed and fat.They keep spewing out words like 'democracy' and 'freedom' but I just don't buy it. I think the control wielded over us by our Governments has become ever more insidious and the same practices are clearly being repeated on a seesaw contested by just 2 parties, each one never succeeding and doomed to be replaced by the opposing one in the next election.That unmanaged widening gap between the rich and poor is starting to smell like a Plutocracy to me, and I'm very unhappy about it.
WHAT HAS TO CHANGE?
Clearly a great deal. The parasitic monster has to be killed and replaced with real politicians who can act independently from the banks and huge corporations.DO I THINK ITS POSSIBLE?I live in hope but don't know if things have just gone too far.....but I do often think this.....
I'm not sure what will come after the final Age of our so called Empire. Perhaps an Age of Enlightenment because we refused to vote unless the Trickle Down economy was turned on its head and a Trickle UP one was put in its place starting with the taxes of the filthy rich being increased massively and put to better use further down the Trickle Tier. We also refused to work unless our wages were fair, stopped sending our children to University until it became funded again for anyone other than the filthy rich and took all of our money out of the big banks until they gave us a fair rate of interest again for having the privilege of using it to run them!
I know I'm dreaming, but it's such a nice dream and I just can't stop having it!AND HERES A SONG TO CELEBRATE BURNING MONEY!One Republic - Counting Stars
PS Another of the documentaries that helped with this is called The Four Horsemen.It's a freebie if you're an Amazon Prime Member and well worth a watch.Written and illustrated by Fizzfan.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thankyou, Fizzfan, and my daughter knew all the words to that song!