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Author Topic: Mind The Gap: a NZ show about inequality and the financial crisis  (Read 555 times)
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October 13, 2013, 12:23:57 AM

A friend just Shared this program narrated by journalist Bryan Bruce. It has a hint of leftist bias but it is very reasonable. Here is my contribution in reply. It is in some ways a very subtle pitch for bitcoin that never mentions bitcoin by name but focuses on PMs and the immorality of central-bankster inflation instead.

Thanks <name obliterated>! I clicked on this video just out of curiosity and initially expected something heavily biased around one particular political agenda, but the political bias is not that bad, and there are some interesting points raised. I ended up watching the whole thing!

As a strong supporter of Austrian economics and REAL free markets and individualism, there are lots of things I might want to talk about. One can question the wisdom of a system in which a working man on a low wage is paying $100/week in taxes yet receiving $125/week in State 'benefits' (notwithstanding the cost of running the entire bureaucracy overseeing such a system). Or debate the morality of 'tax evasion' (is it stealing? Or preventing the State from stealing?). Or wonder why people living almost hand to mouth are raising three or more children. But I don't particularly want to discuss those in depth right here. The most important point follows thus:

I THINK THE CRUCIAL PART OF THIS PROGRAM STARTS AT 18 MINUTES IN, where that economist points out rightly that 'neo-liberal' economics is NOT free-market capitalism. That is really important. The banksters and large favoured corporations got to keep their profits but socialize their losses when they messed up (via bailouts). It took me years to figure out that 'neo-liberal' economics as practiced by Reagan, Thatcher, NZ Nationals, etc. is not about privatization and free markets, but effectively divvying up assets to officials' corporate friends.

In a free market, also, the 'social business' concept can work perfectly well. If you want to run a not-for-profit business, that's wonderful. But it's also fine if a competitor runs a more efficient operation that turns a profit by attracting more clients.

One thing that was hugely overlooked (unsurprisingly) is the great elephant in the room, the banking cartels and the central banks as 'lenders of last resort'. The RBNZ may be a small cog in the global bankster cartels, and thankfully New Zealand doesn't go blowing up foreigners to engage in petrodollar warfare, but nonetheless the NZD suffers the same problems as all fiat monies: inflation. When a central bank prints (or 'prints') new money, it benefits those who get first use of that money, which is mainly that same cartel of large banks. The currency debasement (inflation) hits ALL holders of that currency, e.g. those with savings in fiat in a bank or even cash in a drawer! (So old folks who keep cash in their homes because they 'don't trust banks' ironically are trusting banks just by holding cash instead of, say, precious metals.) In other words, when any central bank, including the RBNZ, expands the money supply, it constitutes a serious transfer of wealth primarily from the 'struggling classes' mentioned in the program to the 'very rich'. It is also utterly immoral, far more dishonest than normal taxation (where you see clearly you are paying the tax). Furthermore, the culture of excessive debt is subsidized and permeated by central banks and inflation, because the true market price of borrowing and lending is suppressed. Subsidize debt, you get more debt. (And the thrifty who choose to save in fiat currency without investing in or speculating on hard assets, stocks, etc. are in no uncertain terms bailing out all the reckless debtors, including banks who doubled down one time too much gambling on whatever risky derivative was taking their fancy that day.) I was thinking the other day 'if I could change one viewpoint of my left-leaning friends, what would that be?' and the answer is this: not changing their minds on the virtues of the welfare state, or appropriate levels of taxation, size of government, certain social policies (though we probably agree on many things there), etc. but to convince them that privileged central banks such as the Fed, Bank of England, ECB, RBA, RBNZ, etc. are REALLY BAD, in fact one of the root causes of a lot of evil and suffering. Actually this isn't even about left versus right really: I wish more people would believe and accept this regardless of their general politics or other views. When Marco Polo returned from China, the Europeans famously burned the paper money samples he had brought with him. That may have seemed retrograde, but in fact they had the right ideas: we would be a lot better off if we had eschewed laziness/paper-money convenience in lieu of continuing to use physical gold and silver coins and bars for grassroots trade.

<name obliterated>, one thing I keep seeing in my Facebook 'stalker' area (the right of the screen, in and below the ticker bar) is that you Like the Waihi timebank. Time banks are a great idea, very popular in places like South America, and effectively constitute a localized form of 'hawala' or person-to-person non-fiat credit, a way that helps communities work together through voluntary coöperation without the interference of corrupt banksters. As a voluntarist, these types of community program please me as much as any quality charity.

One more little thing: if NZ was anything like the UK, the average family wasn't really better off in the 1950s, far from it. The real (inflation-adjusted) costs of food and fuel were not lower back then, and many British homes didn't even possess indoor sanitation! But many of us like a bit of nostalgia. Smiley

Thanks very much for sharing! Smiley

TL;DR: I can't watch a 45-minute topical video without some kind of reasonably long commentary. - Ed.

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