Economics and Government and Politics and Social Issues30 Dec 2012 09:48 am

We tolerated and turned a blind eye to the predatory practices of the IMF and World Bank as they destroyed national economies by burying them in unserviceable debt. In lieu of payment they then extricated and transferred the assets and resources of the beleaguered nations into their corporate and private coffers.

Now, that the american consumer is no longer needed as producer and consumer the very same strategies and techniques are being used on us to procure, extricate and transfer all of our assets into the personal and corporate coffers of the bankers and financial elite.
The title of this post is taken from a quote attributed to Mike Ditka former player and coach of the Chicago Bears. In a society that fosters and is based upon individual interests, exploitation and capitalization the statement that you get what you tolerate is especially true. A society which fostered and promoted egalitarian and social rights over individual rights would be far more humane and trusting than modern America. Yet, a society that prides itself in the victory of the one over the many is always going to have its icons of success view the masses as its profitable prey.

The US was a nation whose wealth and power was derived from pirates, robber barons and conmen. Since we lived in a ostensible democracy the continued success of these exploitative conmen depended on their obtaining our trust and belief in them. In fact, belief and trust are the trade and currency of the successful conman. It is for this very reason that our perceptual managers and state propagandists groomed us into being a nation of believers trusting in God and Country.

Ever since the government became actively involved in the shaping and influencing of the public mind in quasi-military programs such (Committee on Public Information, Writers War Board, COINTELPRO, etc.) propagandists have capitalized on the interweaving of religious belief and government. It is true that we were a nation founded on religious freedom, yet that freedom was to protect people from being persecuted and harassed for their beliefs. Yet, now the entwinement of belief and government causes those who believe differently than the accepted state beliefs to be threatened, demonized and persecuted.

While the effectiveness of propaganda depends on a certain amount of denial of its existence, the arrogance of those who think they can control the hapless masses causes them to make verbal declarations proudly revealing their true intentions. One such example is the 1981 quote by William J. Casey then director of the CIA stating “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the US public believes is false”.

Currently the state propaganda is trying to convince us that the demise of the American middle class is both inevitable and the fault of the average american. Misinformation and half truths are found everywhere in the pseudo-debate between Democrats and Republicans trying to convince us that economic realities demand our compliance with the loss of our civil liberties, entitlements, worker and consumer protection agencies and our rights to a basic standard and quality of life.

While it is true that some industrial jobs have been lost to nations such as China where workers will work for a fraction of what Americans got paid, it is misleading to think that this is the true cause of the demise of the middle class and industrial base. The fact of the matter is that the US and China continue to dominate in terms of industrial production.

The data is available which shows that then US has enjoyed steady growth in industrial production since WWII. While Japan had and China now shares the stage with the US, the US is still the industrial force. What has decreased is not the amount of production happening in the US, but in the number of jobs and pay. We have not only lost jobs to cheap labor forces abroad, but also cheap domestic labor such as the escalating prison population in for-profit prisons.

Yet, we are losing far more jobs to automation than to any human cheap labor force. The publicity over jobs lost overseas is just a smokescreen to hide the fact that we are losing jobs to machines and robots. Since the birth of mass production most advances in technology reduce the need for human labor. So, while some advances do create jobs they usually remove the need for more jobs than they create.

Years ago the lack of sophistication and autonomy of the machines made it necessary for workers to run and monitor them. In most cases the machines were tools to be used by and for people.

Until recently workers were also necessary as consumes as well as producers. Even as technology advanced and machines became less dependent on people to monitor and fix them, the workers were needed to receive pay to purchase the products being produced. It is still popular to say that consumers make up 70% of the economy, though I doubt if that is any longer true.

There are plenty of fine articles being written about the facts behind both manufacturing and the rise of automation. You could start with The Myth of US Manufacturing Decline by John V. Walsh.

Our vital role as consumer/producers is being attacked on two fronts. One is the whole concept of global marketing in which one makes profits through volume over price (the basic Walmart business model). What this means is that large global corporations can still make increasing profits even as our wages and disposable income dwindle. The second front involves the entire money printing based economy where money printed goes right into the pockets of the 1%.

Each dollar printed and distributed to the few reduces the relative wealth of the 99.9% of the people not receiving the new liquidity. Yet, that isn’t the worst of it. We are paying off all the debts of those “too big to fail” or too wealthy to jail. Each day that this goes on the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich becomes closer to completion.

You may ask what they will do when they have sucked us of our last pennies. Well, the short answer is that there is no limit to IOU’s and they will just position themselves to be in line to get every penny your grandchildren and great grandchildren stand to make. Yet, in all likelihood, automation will make it hard for a job based economy to last anywhere near that long. The logical conclusion is that everything will be owned by a select few and everyone else will be indentured servants or culled in some form or other so as not to waste resources.

In an article entitled Manufacturing Poverty by Cheri Honkala she notes the many ways that disinformation is being used by government and corporate america to pillage the 99 percent in favor of the one percent. Ms. Honkala for those who do not know was the vice-presidential candidate for the Green Party in the last election. The following two paragraphs are from the article.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and affordable housing have been and are now fully funded and paid for through our payroll and income taxes, and are supported by an overwhelming super-majority of voters. They are the property of the American people and the inheritance we have prepared for our children and grandchildren. A “grand bargain” or any other kind of compromise that in any way diminishes or weakens these programs in order to enrich corporations is totally unacceptable.

The idea that America has become so impoverished that it can no longer afford the most elementary necessities of its people is patently absurd. As a nation we are richer and more productive than ever. Despite declining industrial employment, our manufacturing OUTPUT is higher now than it has ever been, thanks to the technological revolution. The attacks on the safety net are deliberate efforts to artificially introduce poverty in the midst of plenty.

In the article Ms. Honkala points out that the major entitlements currently being taken for granted as needing to be cut (both short and long term) are “fully funded and paid for through our payroll and income tax”. So, it is an outright lie to suggest that cutting these entitlements will directly effect the national debt which is at the base of the so called “fiscal cliff”. Elsewhere in the article she notes that “Social Security currently runs a 2.7 trillion dollar surplus, is a separate fund that by law cannot increase the deficit, and in fact has never contributed a penny to the deficit in its entire 77-year history”.

So, in an honest society any discussion of how to reduce the deficit or how to curtail debt would not involve any of the major entitlements and safety nets programs funded by workers and tax payers for their own benefit. The only conceivable goal of putting social security on the auction block is to allow the wealthiest to raid the 2 trillion surplus.

Yet, even if our entitlement programs were to some day become insolvent, what would be gained by cutting them? If people got less money through social security, or no longer used money from previous taxes on their paychecks to help with health care, than where are they going to get money to use as consumers to stimulate the economy? I guess the answer is that they are never supposed to retire or get sick or in their elder years.

If we were able to bail out banks and corporations by printing money and giving out interest free loans, then how come we couldn’t do that to fund or save social security? We could fund and save millions of americans from poverty and suffering at a fraction of the cost that we used to bail out a handful of banks and businesses. Yet, that, of course, could not become part of the dialogue.

We do, as members of the 99+% get what we tolerate. We in general are too busy trying to survive to pay much attention to the devious devices of propaganda and misinformation wielded by the perceptual managers working on the behalf of the economic elite. We are no match for the devious devices of propaganda they contrive with the benefit of endless funds.

After all who is looking out for our interests? Well, the propagandists and government perceptual managers are making sure that all of our support systems and advocates are becoming extinct. According to them all of those people are corrupt and or a threat to our nation and way of life.

Anyone concerned for our health, welfare and protection are just self-serving charlatans or fanatics with no sense of the real world. People protecting the quality of our air, water and food are ignorant at best, and sabotaging our quality of life at worst. Any union or group designed to advocate for our interests at the workplace, are corrupt megalomaniacs who are causing us to lose jobs overseas, and intimidate us into giving up our “right to work”. And who doesn’t know that all lawyers, environmentalists and green merchants are just greedy exploiters who are trying to make a buck.

I read an article recently by a retired union organizer. In it he stated that, “the only purpose for unions was to improve the standard of living of workers”. I would agree that for many that is the premise behind unions, I would also add that unions were designed to also advocate and protect the interests of the labor class.

We live in a representative democracy. Our entire electoral process is built on the idea that our elected officials represent and protect our interests. There is no denying that there has always been corruption in politics and unions. Yet, it seems foolish to respond to such corruption by completely removing the advocate, protector, representative and the peer group for workers and citizens.
The “right to work” movement is in reality the right to go it alone, be enslaved, and the right to have work go to the lowest bidder of services. The end of collective bargaining, and unions is the right for the owners to maximize their profits and minimize their overhead.

The current trend regarding government policies is very clear in its intent to saddle us with unserviceable debt and extricate our remaining assets. We are getting what we are tolerating, and it is amazing how easy it appears for many of us to support the dismantling of our basic rights and standard of living. Each passing day we are allowing our dwindling assets to be taken by the financial elite while at the same time supporting the removal of all our advocates and support systems.

As many of you know the federal reserve is a private cartel of bankers whose wealth and power often are attained at the expense of the 99%. I will end by referencing an article I read which I cannot find who to credit (please write me if you know what article this is taken from). The quote does appear to be from The Big Picture, but that is all I know.

The questions contained are excellent one’s and are deserving of our scrutiny.

Why, for example, would the Fed want to reduce unemployment if high unemployment pushes down labor costs and boosts profits for its corporate constituents? And why would Bernanke want to rev-up the economy when the ongoing crisis creates the rationale for gutting social programs and slashing public spending? And why would the Fed want to normalise interest rates, when the low rates force savers and retirees on fixed income back into the stock market, while–at the same time– provide unlimited sums of money to the banks at zilch cost to themselves?

The wretched state of the economy is no accident. It is by design. And it’s easy to figure out who’s benefiting from the present arrangement by tracing the torrent of capital that flows upwards to the corporate boardrooms and off-shore hideaways where the 1% stash their loot. Check this out: “Corporate profits as a share of GDP is at an all-time high while wages and salaries are at all-time lows“, The Big Picture)


Jim Guido

3 Responses to “You Get What you Tolerate”

  1. on 23 Jan 2013 at 12:37 am Tanisha Clemons

    In American society, for example, wealth and well-being are highly valued. People seek to own property, to have high incomes, to have interesting and safe jobs, to enjoy the finest in travel and leisure, and to live long and healthy lives. All of these “values” are unequally distributed, and all may be utilized as power indicators. However, the primary focus with this type of power indicator is on the wealth distribution sketched out in the previous section.

  2. on 03 Feb 2013 at 5:55 pm Roderick Ray

    The United States Census Bureau formally defines income as “received on a regular basis (exclusive of certain money receipts such as capital gains) before payments for personal income taxes, social security, union dues, medicare deductions, etc.

  3. on 17 Jan 2015 at 10:37 pm Anastacia Ridep

    very good post, i actually love this web site, keep on it

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