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Author Topic: Dissecting the Parasitocracy  (Read 2346 times)
BobK71
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August 04, 2017, 03:00:58 PM
 #41

...

I'm in Russia now (St Pete via cruise ship with lousy wifi).

Things here are at least a tad better than described by our Fake News Media, but a one day visit means little (other than my stint as a desk-jockey Cold War participant decades ago when they were the USSR).

Putin is not a lovable guy, but he has huge support here, and America would be wise to make deals, good deals, with him.  The sanctions and Russia-bashing are stupid beyond words.  We can do business with this man.

BTW, St Pete is the only cruise port I have EVER visited where you had to go through a passport control, even on a shore excursion.  But, beyond question Russia <> USSR.


EDIT: Putin is reputed to be the richest man in the world (more than Gates and Buffett combined).  He is a parasite too, few clean hands among people who claw their way to the top of any big organization.

Nice to hear you're putting the Bitcoin rise to good use!  Was in St. Pete a long time ago -- never thought you could take a cruise ship ('Aurora'?) there...

It's not surprising... From Putin, to Maduro (Venezuela), to Saddam, to all the European leaders, the system ensures each country is governed even worse than the US in terms of political and economic freedoms.  So voila, the USA is the best country!  It's money and debt are the most respected!

The logic is quite simple -- either a country toes the imperial line, or not.  Regardless of what kind of leader or system it has, a country that toes the imperial line will end up with more financial inflation and/or political corruption than the US.  A country that doesn't toe the line will be attacked to one degree or another by the media, put under pressure by the dominant dollar system, and eventually, its regime will surrender and/or collapse.  When the standoff is sharp and prolonged, even if we have to get a war started (e.g. Syria), we have to send the message.

But I'm sure we view the civilian collateral damage with deep regret.
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August 04, 2017, 03:46:11 PM
 #42

...

I'm in Russia now (St Pete via cruise ship with lousy wifi).

Things here are at least a tad better than described by our Fake News Media, but a one day visit means little (other than my stint as a desk-jockey Cold War participant decades ago when they were the USSR).

Putin is not a lovable guy, but he has huge support here, and America would be wise to make deals, good deals, with him.  The sanctions and Russia-bashing are stupid beyond words.  We can do business with this man.

BTW, St Pete is the only cruise port I have EVER visited where you had to go through a passport control, even on a shore excursion.  But, beyond question Russia <> USSR.


EDIT: Putin is reputed to be the richest man in the world (more than Gates and Buffett combined).  He is a parasite too, few clean hands among people who claw their way to the top of any big organization.

Nice to hear you're putting the Bitcoin rise to good use!  Was in St. Pete a long time ago -- never thought you could take a cruise ship ('Aurora'?) there...

It's not surprising... From Putin, to Maduro (Venezuela), to Saddam, to all the European leaders, the system ensures each country is governed even worse than the US in terms of political and economic freedoms.  So voila, the USA is the best country!  It's money and debt are the most respected!

The logic is quite simple -- either a country toes the imperial line, or not.  Regardless of what kind of leader or system it has, a country that toes the imperial line will end up with more financial inflation and/or political corruption than the US.  A country that doesn't toe the line will be attacked to one degree or another by the media, put under pressure by the dominant dollar system, and eventually, its regime will surrender and/or collapse.  When the standoff is sharp and prolonged, even if we have to get a war started (e.g. Syria), we have to send the message.

But I'm sure we view the civilian collateral damage with deep regret.


Royal Caribbean, Princess, Viking and Celebrity all call at St P.  Not in winter though.

Russia will have few problems with any sanctions.  They are almost self-contained.  To a degree they are a "one trick pony" (oil and gas price exports), but they have a great military-industrial complex too.

If you like art, the Hermitage is really something, one of the best museums in the world.

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August 04, 2017, 10:01:43 PM
 #43

...

I'm in Russia now (St Pete via cruise ship with lousy wifi).

Things here are at least a tad better than described by our Fake News Media, but a one day visit means little (other than my stint as a desk-jockey Cold War participant decades ago when they were the USSR).

Putin is not a lovable guy, but he has huge support here, and America would be wise to make deals, good deals, with him.  The sanctions and Russia-bashing are stupid beyond words.  We can do business with this man.

BTW, St Pete is the only cruise port I have EVER visited where you had to go through a passport control, even on a shore excursion.  But, beyond question Russia <> USSR.


EDIT: Putin is reputed to be the richest man in the world (more than Gates and Buffett combined).  He is a parasite too, few clean hands among people who claw their way to the top of any big organization.

I am surprised that a cruise ship would have poor WiFi in 2017 given how important it is to everyone these days.

Enjoy your cruise, man! I have never been on one, but hope to someday.


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BobK71
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August 07, 2017, 08:41:07 PM
 #44

Royal Caribbean, Princess, Viking and Celebrity all call at St P.  Not in winter though.

Russia will have few problems with any sanctions.  They are almost self-contained.  To a degree they are a "one trick pony" (oil and gas price exports), but they have a great military-industrial complex too.

The higher Bitcoin goes, the more likely Viking!
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November 28, 2017, 01:52:04 PM
 #45

People think they're doing fine. But they're not fine. It's like the frog in hot water, that's turned a few degrees hotter very gradually, until it eventually boils.

One of the staples of the modern global state-bank alliance (and I suppose you could call it 'progress' in a certain sense) is this slowness and gradualness of the theft.  A good part of the propaganda used to inflate the elites' assets is actually true.  The grandeur of empire only becomes more illusory over time.

Among empires, the modern state-bank alliance is unique in mixing in a lot of soft power.  'Allying' with Bitcoin, 'allying' with the ideas of freedom and democracy, etc. are all necessary in its quest to leverage a relatively small base of hard power up to global scale.
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November 29, 2017, 06:42:54 AM
 #46

...

Only slightly O/T are all of the rumors about 3000 + sealed indictments handed down over the past few days (apparently normally it's just a few hundred).  Rumor has it that most involve Clintons / Obama / DNC / Debbie W-S / etc.

But, as I just mentioned earlier today at ZH, it seems too much like a fever dream to think the Clintons are going to get the justice they deserve.

However, perhaps Sessions and Trump are really smart old foxes..., laying low, waiting for the right moment to strike his enemies, and he has MANY enemies there in The Swamp.

The Swamp would roughly equal the Parasitocracy.  Maybe a little Kakistrocracy too (rule by the very worst people IIUC).
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November 29, 2017, 02:08:41 PM
 #47

...

Only slightly O/T are all of the rumors about 3000 + sealed indictments handed down over the past few days (apparently normally it's just a few hundred).  Rumor has it that most involve Clintons / Obama / DNC / Debbie W-S / etc.

But, as I just mentioned earlier today at ZH, it seems too much like a fever dream to think the Clintons are going to get the justice they deserve.

However, perhaps Sessions and Trump are really smart old foxes..., laying low, waiting for the right moment to strike his enemies, and he has MANY enemies there in The Swamp.

The Swamp would roughly equal the Parasitocracy.  Maybe a little Kakistrocracy too (rule by the very worst people IIUC).

That's news to me...  3000+ indictments?

Unfortunately, we could hang every last member of the Elites, and the System would come back to life.  It is nurtured the simple fact that most people don't understand the manipulation of the values money and assets with state power, and its true effects.

Where there is demand (ie the public crying out 'Fck me, just make it complicated enough!') the 'supply' will always come from somewhere!
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July 20, 2018, 02:57:34 PM
 #48

When I recently came across 'parasitocracy,' it struck me as a nice twist of wording -- instead of honest democracy or free-market meritocracy, we truly live under rule by parasites.

Trying to describe how the financial and political elites receive unearned wealth and power can get complicated very quickly.  To find a simple but rigorous theory to cover most major features of the beast requires looking at it the right way.

By and large, how it works is that:

  • The elites use state power to prop up the value of money, debt, and other financial assets artificially, to benefit those who issue them, i.e. themselves.  When some over-valued asset eventually must crash, the entire economy suffers the loss of jobs, business and savings.


Example: The Bank Account

Public illusion. A commercial-bank 'deposit' is as good as money.  You will get all your money back, any time you want.

Reality. 'Deposits' are really loans to the bank which lends them to borrowers, some of whom may never pay them back.  Another danger is that savers may ask for their money at any time, while loans by the bank tend to have longer-term maturities.

How to bridge myth and reality. An honest system would communicate expectations openly.  A simple example could be having 'depositors' expect to lose money if the bank makes bad loans.  The problem with an honest system, of course, is that top politicians and bankers wouldn't benefit much.

The confidence trick.  The government supports the illusion, while it can.  Classic tools over the centuries include allowing banks to collude by rescuing each other in a crisis, bailing banks out with public money, and providing deposit insurance.  If this gives bankers the incentives to take too much risk, bankers redeem themselves by being a lender to the government.  Since both sets of elites benefit, what problem is there?  (In recent decades investment banks and money market funds have formed a shadow banking system which plays an equivalent role.  While the last US commercial-bank bust happened in the 1980s' savings-and-loan crisis, the last shadow-bank variety occurred in 2007-8.)

Analysis. While credit is indeed crucial to economic growth, to use government power to prop up the values of loans to banks, and then to rely on bureaucrats and their rules to limit risk-taking by bankers is a distortion of the credit market.  It is the driver of much human misery.  Central planning, somehow, always benefits the few at the expense of the many, even if it claims to do just the opposite.


Example: Government Bonds

Public illusion. The 'full faith and credit' of the government stands behind the IOU it issues to you.  Your IOU is as good as money.

Reality. Since much public debt is almost as trusted as money, incurring this debt is almost as good as printing money.  Politicians thus have an incentive to maximize the issuance of debt to receive free political capital, and destabilize their very system in the long run.  Even though powerful governments can keep their debt bubbles going for a century or more, those incentives mean that their IOUs will eventually lose value, one way or another.

How to bridge myth and reality. Even aside from the moral problems of 'money' creation and putting burden on people who can't yet vote, public debt should at least be allowed to sink or swim in the capital markets.  If a government incurs too much debt, savers would be incentivized to punish it by demanding a higher yield, and politicians would in turn be incentivized to cut back borrowing.

The confidence trick. When savers get wary of public debt, the central bank steps in to buy it with freshly printed money, thus propping up the value of these IOUs.  This is done in the name of 'monetary policy,' either by buying public debt directly as 'open market' operations, or, more frequently, by supplying banks with cheap new money so they will buy it.  Most of the time, savers can't fight city hall, and will thus tend to buy and hold IOUs, further limiting the downside risk of their values.  This entire system thus amounts to a bubble.

Analysis. It doesn't matter how powerful a government is -- Public debt always crashes eventually.  The dominant global empires of Spain, the Netherlands, and  Britain were destroyed by this crash in their days.  (In the case of Britain the relevant 'public debt' took the form of paper pound sterling that was officially backed by gold at a fixed price.)  No one believes US debt really payable with anything close to the purchasing power savers and foreign central banks used to buy it, although by the time its value can no longer be propped up, most politicians and voters who have benefited from issuing it will have been gone.


Example: Money

Public illusion. Central banks issue and destroy currency to manage economic output for the benefit of the public.  At least in the West, proper management has resulted in low and constant inflation that has justified the public's evident trust in currency's value.

Reality. The real job description of the central bank is to safeguard the state-bank alliance.  It holds power over the most central asset, money, in order to discourage both politicians and bankers from issuing assets too fast and thus endangering the system.  The goal is well-paced harvesting of the fruits of real work.  Over the decades, prices only move in one direction: up.

How to bridge myth and reality. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the incentives to abuse the issuance of money while the state has any role in the issuance.

The confidence trick. The problem of holding up the public's trust in currency was solved in a simple fashion by the classical gold and silver standards in their day, while the authorities had enough precious metals to back their paper.  Today, the central bank needs to keep the return on 'safe' assets (e.g. short-term Treasuries, insured deposits) above the return on non-state-issued assets, i.e. gold, silver and Bitcoin.  (Recent books like 'Gold Wars' and 'The Gold Cartel' have come up with good evidence of central-bank suppression of precious metal prices by trading derivatives.)  In this it has succeeded most of the time.  It also needs to keep the return on 'safe' assets below the return on risky assets like stocks, over the long term.  The goal of both mandates is to use state power to force savers to take risks.  (Ever wonder why financial crisis always seems to come back?)  When you hear of 'tightening' or 'loosening' the money supply, this is what's really going on.  So, it's not that the public trusts currency; most feel they have no choice.

Analysis. It's not, as most mainstream ecnomists claim, that state-controlled money is required for modern economic growth.  The Italian Renaissance and Scottish 'free-banking' era were the counter-examples.  It's really the other way round.  The real productivity of the modern world gives value to the financial assets issued by the elites, and thus help sustain their financial inflation, at least until the perverse incentives destabilizes the system anyway.  In the Middle Ages, money was physical gold and silver -- when there was no wealth to extract, the state couldn't create its financial inflation.


Final Thoughts

A key feature of this system is that it doesn't matter if you understand it.  You still must gamble, or risk your savings being eaten away by inflation.  The gamble by the public as a whole is certain to end in loss, since the elites will always destabilize asset values to the point of collapse.  The lose-lose proposition works the same way as literal highway robbery -- you can certainly hold on to your money; you just can't keep your life at the same time.

That said, there are times when the elites are likely to be forced to devalue their money, and with it all other conventional assets, against gold, silver and Bitcoin, in order to hold on to power.  This makes it statistically profitable to hold non-state-issued assets at those times.  (An extreme example would be standing at the front of the line to redeem deposits for cash during a bank run, or to redeem pound sterling for gold at the Bank of England just before Britain was forced off the gold standard.)  Necessarily, only a minority will profit from this bet, but its existence is a healthy incentive that pushes the elites to minimize financial inflation.

The system is an 'open conspiracy.'  Instead of secrecy, it relies on a combination of state power and ignorance by the public.  The only sustainable way to a healthy and just system is for the public to wake up.

I have to bump this old thread because it surely deserves to be read my all the new people who have come on the forum lately and who for sure haven't read it. It is really Worth reading and discussing.
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