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THE CURRENT TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS

 

By Servando Gonzalez
June 27, 2014
NewsWithViews.com

Marx and Engels began their Communist Manifesto with a warning and a threat: “A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of Communism.” According to French economist Thomas Picketty, a new threatening specter is haunting the world: the specter of economic inequality.

According a reviewer, Picketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, has almost overnight captivated “Main Street, Wall Street and the cream of Washington’s trend-minded policymakers and think tankers.”[1] What is Picketty’s book main thesis? That the gap between the poor and the rich has reached dangerous levels. Picketty warns that the U.S. may be on the same trajectory as France before the Revolution, where the very rich ended with their heads chopped-off.

After analyzing data from the U.K., France, Germany, Japan and the U.S., Picketty proved with hard data what many people already have been talking about for many years: the rich really are getting richer, and their wealth is not trickling down. Actually, it is trickling up.

In his study, Picketty shows how the wealthy, who make their money mostly out of stock portfolios, pay less or no taxes at all and get richer, while the working middle class, who make their money out of heavily taxed paychecks, get poorer. But then, he jumps to the farfetched conclusion that the sure and only way to change this economic inequality is by modifying the current tax system. According to him, the current form of wealth tax is not adapted to the 21st century structure of wealth. The solution, according to Picketty, is adopting a more just, equitable global wealth tax.

A key to discovering the source of Picketty’s ideas is that the institution that funded his study is the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a George Soros-backed nonprofit organization. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Picketty’s solution to the problem is exactly the one the hyper rich globalist conspirators have been pushing for many years, of lately disguised as a “carbon tax.”

But, though Picketty’s “discovery” that the one percent is getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer is absolutely right, the solution he offers is not only simplistic but also outright naïve. Apparently Picketty believes that the hyper rich are not aware of the problem, and that, just by telling them that what they are doing is wrong (and immoral, unscrupulous, unethical, dishonest, criminal, wicked)[2] they will change their evil ways

Unfortunately, that will not be the case. Nevertheless, whether they like it or not, the monster they have created will turn against them, because eventually a Ponzi scheme of this magnitude will end in disaster for the schemers themselves.

True Capitalism VS Monopoly Capitalism

Unknowingly, when Henry Ford decided to pay his workers twice the amount other companies were paying their workers for similar type of work, he jumpstarted the American middle class. As a result, well-paid workers were able to buy houses, cars, fridges, radio, TV sets, and many other household items that otherwise would have been available only to the rich. This unexpected economic phenomenon contributed to an expanding economic growth never seen before in the history of mankind.

This economic growth propelled the entrepreneurial spirit of many Americans to create their own private companies to provide the newly-created consumers with the products they wanted to buy. This started an upwardly expanding spiral of economic progress that extended for half a century.

Initially, these companies were individually or family-owned. Of course, the possibility of monetary gain was key in their efforts, but because they felt proud of the product they were creating, many of them gave their names to their companies.

Unfortunately, however, the bankers who illegally created the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 needed a way to fill their arks, and the easiest way to do it was by stealing other people’s money. So, to steal it “legally,” they also imposed a federal tax and created the infamous Internal Revenue Service to enforce its collection.

In theory, all citizens were supposed to pay the federal tax. But, given the fact that the idea of a national tax was one of the planks of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, they created a progressive or graduated income tax as Marx advised. According to this plank, the more money you made the higher percent of taxes you were supposed to pay. Most people were happy, because this tax was supposed to hurt only the very rich.

But you have to be very naïve to believe that the very ones who created the tax were really going to pay it. Actually, they created a tax code full of loopholes to avoid paying taxes. Currently, if one is to believe Rush Limbaugh and other disinformers, the U.S. has the highest corporate rate of the industrialized countries. What he never mentions, though, is that the U.S. Tax Code also has the highest number of loopholes.

Another method the robber barons invented to avoid paying taxes was by changing their private companies into corporations, but this opened a Pandora’s box. Contrary to privately owned companies, which have an emotional connection to the products they made, corporations are impersonal entities. Despite that the Supreme Court has asserted the legal standing that corporations are people,[3] pride is an emotion corporations lack. Despite their pervasive propaganda, the corporations’ goal is not to serve society with the products they create.[4] Their main goal is to maximize the earnings of their executives and stockholders, and they reach these goals mostly by exploiting their workers and eliminating the competition.

Most people would agree that competition is probably one of the best characteristics of true capitalism. Competition benefits customers and fuels innovation. No wonder monopoly capitalists hate it so much. John D. Rockefeller, the inventor of the trust (a monopoly of monopolies) once said, “Competition is a sin.”[5]

This goal —maximize earnings by exploiting their workers and destroying the competition — have been exacerbated with globalization. With the implementation of the so-called “free trade,” transnational corporations have totally lost their link to the countries where they originally were created. Proof of it this their callousness when they decided to move their production lines to Third World countries in order to increase their profit margin.

One of the main costs of any business is paying the workers who create the product. So, to minimize this cost, they moved their factories abroad to countries where they hired quasi-slave workers who are paid miserly salaries. They never gave a thought to whatever would happen to the lives of the American workers and their families they were sending into unemployment and poverty.

The corporations who pioneered the outsourcing move got an immediate economic edge over the rest. They were producing cheaper products and selling them to the still employed American consumers at the same price as before, when they were produced here in the U.S. But, as most big corporations joined the outsourcing trend, the growing mass of workers who had lost their jobs now was not able to buy the products these corporations were now producing abroad and importing to the U.S. without paying any tariffs because of the “free trade” policies."

This has created a downward economic spiral. While the corporations’ stockholders and top executives are getting richer, the American middle class of well-paid workers is in serious trouble. Currently, 90 million Americans are unemployed. The economic crisis we are now experiencing is the direct result of a economic phenomenon known as “the tragedy of the commons.”

The Current Tragedy of the Commons

The Tragedy of the Commons is an economics theory developed in 1833 by William Foster Lloyd, according to which individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one’s self-interest, behave contrary to the whole group’s long-term best interests by depleting some common resource.

To demonstrate his theory, Lloyd used as an example a group of herders sharing a common parcel of land on which they are each entitled to let their cows graze. In many English and European villages, shepherds sometimes grazed their sheep in common areas, and sheep ate the grass closer to the ground than cows. Overgrazing could result when, out of greediness, each shepherd adds additional sheep, and he could receive benefits, but just for a while, because if in the long run all herders made this individually rational economic decision, the common could be depleted or even destroyed, to the detriment of all.

In the present case, the common resource the greedy corporations are destroying is the American middle class[6] of well-paid workers, and this is a real tragedy for everybody in America. As Lloyd predicted, eventually it will be a tragedy even for the very greedy transnational corporations that created the problem.

Unfortunately, some naïve or ill-intentioned politicians are trying to convince us that just by raising the minimum wage America’s economic problems will be solved overnight. But no. Far from solving it, rising the minimum wage would only serve to somewhat hide the true source of the problem for some time until it becomes intolerable. Actually, the minimum wage will very soon become the maximum wage for most American workers.

So, is there a right solution to this problem? Well, there is, but none of the politicians we elected allegedly to protect our interests will tackle it. The true problem is corporations, particularly the big transnational corporations, but our elected politicians will never bite the hand that feeds them.

For more than half a century, under the pretext of protecting the national security, We the People of the United States have been paying, with our blood and taxes, for a military whose only job has been to defend the spurious interests abroad of U.S.-based transnational corporations. Adding insult to outrage, most of these corporations pay no taxes at all. If they need and army to defend their billionaire enterprises abroad, the least they can do is to pay for it by hiring mercenaries to o the job.


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No anti-American terrorist organization could have accomplished what U.S.-based transnational corporations are doing: destroying the middle class, America’s economic and social backbone. U.S.-based transnational corporations are the greatest threat to the national security of the United States. They are conspiring in the shadows to eliminate the sovereignty of all nations and impose a global government under their full control — a totalitarian communo-fascist government they call the New World Order.

U.S.-based transnational corporations are the true enemy of America. The choice cannot be clearer: either we get rid of them as soon as possible, or eventually they will completely destroy us.

2014 Servando Gonzalez - All Rights Reserved

Footnotes:

1. Rana Foroohar, “Marx 2.0: How Thomas Picketty’s Unlikely Blockbuster, Capital, Set the World’s Economists and Leaders Spinning,” Time, May 29, 2014, p.46.
2. Most big transnational corporations exhibit the characteristics associated with sociopathic behavior. They are manipulative and conning, have a grandiose sense of self, are pathological liars, lack remorse, shame or guilt, are callous and lack empathy, frequently engage in criminal behavior. This is a direct result of the fact that they are controlled by psychopaths. See, Andy McNab and Kevin Dutton, The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success. See also, Theo Merz, “Why psychopaths are more successful. Andy McNab and Oxford psychology professor Kevin Dutton reveal how acting like psychopaths could help us in work, life and love,” Telegraph UK, May 7, 2014
3. See, Thom Hartmann, Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became “People.”
4. Big corporations spend a large amount of money in advertising campaigns whose only purpose is to convince you about how much they care for you, your family, the community and their own employees. The truth, however, is quite different. See, i.e., WalMart: The High Cost of Low Price, a documentary film by Robert Greenwald.
5. A March 23, 2013, article by Jerry Z. Muller in Foreign Affairs, “Capitalism and Inequality: What the Right and the Left Get Wrong,” expressed the idea that it is true that “inequality is indeed increasing almost everywhere in the postindustrial capitalist world. But Inequality is an inevitable product of capitalist activity, and expanding equality of opportunity only increases it — because some individuals and communities are simply better able than others to exploit the opportunities for development and advancement that capitalism affords.” What the author does not say, however, is that this inequality is not the result of expansion of true capitalism, but of monopoly capitalism. And monopoly capitalism, both in its communist and fascist varieties, is not capitalism but socialism.
6. See, Thom Hartman, Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class.

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Servando Gonzalez, is a Cuban-born American writer, historian, semiologist and intelligence analyst. He has written books, essays and articles on Latin American history, intelligence, espionage, and semiotics. Servando is the author of Historia herética de la revolución fidelista, Observando, The Secret Fidel Castro: Deconstructing the Symbol, The Nuclear Deception: Nikita Khrushchev and the Cuban Missile Crisis and La madre de todas las conspiraciones: Una novela de ideas subversivas, all available at Amazon.com.

He also hosted the documentaries Treason in America: The Council on Foreign Relations and Partners in Treason: The CFR-CIA-Castro Connection, produced by Xzault Media Group of San Leandro, California, both available at the author's site at http://www.servandogonzalez.org.

His book, Psychological Warfare and the New World Order: The Secret War Against the American People is available at Amazon.com. Or download a .pdf copy of the book you can read on your computer, iPad, Nook, Kindle or any other tablet. His book, OBAMANIA: The New Puppet and His Masters, is available at Amazon.com. Servando's book (in Spanish) La CIA, Fidel Castro, el Bogotazo y el Nuevo Orden Mundial, is available at Amazon.com and other bookstores online.

His most recent book, I Dare Call It treason: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Betrayal of the America, just appeared and is available at Amazon.com and other bookstores online.

Servando's two most recent books in digital versions only are The Swastika and the Nazis: A Study of the Misuse of the Swastika by the Nazis and the first issue of the political satire series OBSERVANDO: American Inventors.

Website: www.servandogonzalez.org

E-Mail: comments@gmail.com


 

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Marx and Engels began their Communist Manifesto with a warning and a threat: “A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of Communism.” According to French economist Thomas Picketty, a new threatening specter is haunting the world: the specter of economic inequality.