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View Diary: Neoliberalism Defied? The Argentine "Miracle" (148 comments)

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  •  Time will tell n/t (none)

    I'm thinkin', I'm thinkin'

    by Armando on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:50:07 PM PST

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    •  Time has told (4.00)
      Benjamin Franklin said that the real cause of the American Revolution was the British passing the Currency Act of 1764. This outlawed the paper money the colonists had started using, Colonial Script. Colonial Script was fiat money in that it had no backing like gold or silver. But its use created a booming economy that was completely depressed by the new Currency Act. Franklin said that in one year, a depression set in that filled the streets with unemployed.

      What the Currency Act actually did was force the colonies onto a gold standard which immediatly sucked the money supply back to the Bank of England.

      The Bank of England was the first centralized bank. Economic hardship, inflation, and inequitible distribution of wealth has followed centralized banks wherever they are allowed to exist. The World Bank is the final implementation of that process.

      In the context of Argentina, it is inaccurate to just lump the IMF=World Bank with "free trade". In fact, while many IMF policies are pro free trade, many of their policies have nothing to do with trade. At least not in the conventional sense.

      Greg Palast, who many don't know was a member of the little elitist group of students who were allowed to study under Milton Friedman at the U. Chicago in the late 60s, has done a great job of accumulating the cold, hard facts about the effects of IMF/World Bank loans and their consequent requirements on developing countries.

      The record is clear: get money from IMFWB and follow their little four step plan to prosperity and watch you country implode.

      Reduced spending is really lower wages and contraction of the money supply. Foreign investment is really the privatization of utilities like Water!!! only to be sold to monster transnats like Enron.

      And then there's the really good one, Step 3, something like civil control. This is where they bring in the army to stand down the inevitable riots that follow such prosperity like water rates going up somewhere around 1000%. Peasants die of dehydration while transnats reek profits and pepsi uses up all the fresh water for 50 square miles. Desease spreads from people drinking free water.

      The whole process results in international banks owning these countries and their most prized assets like damns, power stations and national banks (not to mention presidents, sound familiar? Check W's top contributors). Exactly what our centralized, privately owned bank, the Federal Reserve, did to us in the late 20s and 30s. Contract the money supply, foreclose on the bankrupters and own the entire country.

      People talk about the some 40 billion 1930 dollars being lost during the Depression. It wasn't lost. It was transfered to banks. Through foreclosures.

      Did you know if you pull a dollar out of your wallet on the top it reads, 'Federal Reserve Note'. That seems normal till you know that the Federal Reserve is a privately owned corporation. Our national currency is issued by a private corporation, the Federal Reserve Bank.

      All this doesn't make the news much here in the US. Surprise. But the evidence, just like in Argentina and Venezuela, is that if you don't want your country to fall into economic slavery to giant transnational corporations and foreign banks, stay the fuck away from the IMFWB. This is why many up and coming countries, like India, are telling the IMFWB to piss off.

      Now, much of what I've just discussed has very little to do with tariffs. Or the usual shit we talk about free trade. But it's all entangled under the term globalization. But opponents of glabalization often miss one of, if not its most, evil components: international banks.

      Andrew Jackson's successful killing of the centralized bank is one of the most relevant in US history. Ever heard of it? Surprise.

      Ever wonder why the dollar continues to buy less and less. It's been happening so long we see it as a force of nature. It's not. It's the result of a continuing descent into abysmal indebtedness to the bank. Not just our national dept. Consumer dept, family dept, business dept.

      The banks have slowly gained ownership over our entire country. How much? Subtract American's meager equity from everything we think we own, property, cars, student loans, businesses, and what's left is owned by banks. I havewn't seen those figures, but I would guess it exceeds 90%. Its not a study you see floating around much. Surprise.

      It wasn't always this way. And it doesn't have to be this way forever. Banks planted their tentacles into our currency and economy through corruption and subversion. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed on Christmas Eve by three senators. Everyone else was home for the holiday.

      Since we still resemble a democracy, the banks here are heavily regulated robber barons. In Bolivia they are not. Nor in Brazil. Argentina is only defying economic expectation to those who either don't know about the effects of IMFWB's failed policies, or those who have a vested interest in those failed policies.

      Failed policies like our current trade policies (sm).

      PS I have no idea what (sm) stands for.

      Cheers.

      "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." George Bush

      by TocqueDeville on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 02:54:08 AM PST

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      •  Uh, I forgot oil wells (4.00)
        results in international banks owning these countries and their most prized assets like damns

        And oil wells.

        "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." George Bush

        by TocqueDeville on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 02:58:01 AM PST

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      •  (sm) (none)
        possibly Service mark

        -------- This space intentionally left blank --------

        by puppet10 on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 05:25:12 AM PST

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      •  about the Currency Act (4.00)
        you can find some info here or simply google "Currency Act} along with 1764 and you will get a variety of interesting references.

        Since I am teaching American History [this year only - we are changing our sequence of courses] I thought I would do my usual and check the textbooks [NOTE-  I am teaching 2nd half, so I had not examined the books for this previously].

        The book used for lower ability students at least mentions Grenville and the Sugar Tax of 1764.  It does not mention the Currency Act of 1764.   The book for the higher level students does mention the Currency Act,  but let's look at the description it gives:

        "This act banned the use of paper money in the colonies because it tended to lose its value very quickly. Colonial farmers and artisans and artisans liked paper money for precisely that reason.  They could take out loans and easily repay them later with paper money that was worth less than when they originally borrowed,"

        While the statement quoted is accurate as far as it goes, it is also such an incomplete statement as to give a totally distorted view of the effects.   There was insufficient species in the colonies for appropriate business development to begin with.  Much of what was available was not British, but was the coinage of other nations.  When this act was combined with the Sugar Tax and the Sugar Act, with an insistence that the tax be paid in British coinage for British sugar only, I believe it caused a major contraction of the economy.   Thus it was not just the working classes who were upset, but also the investing classes.  I believe that is made clear in the link I provided.

        BTW -- I agree with the post by TocqueDeville about the overinfluence of banks.   Howeve, I there is a point that should be added to his remarks.  The fact that states have bid for the credit card business of banks by raising or even removing the limits on interest, such as occurred in SD among other states, has led to an even greater shift of wealth to the banking class.  When this is combined with things like the savings and loan bailout, in which is really was not the depositers who were aided by the billions appropriated by the Congress but rather those banks in position to move in and scoop up depressed banks, this process was accelerated.

        That was not the only banking bailout, but we won't go there, shall we.   Nor  is it considered appropriate to talk about things like Silverado (one Neil Bush on the board of directors) to the tune of a billion dollars (compare that to Whitewater, which was the wedge used to start the investigations and attacks on Bill Clinton).

        By the way, if one wants to understand more about international economics,  certainly the book by Stiglitz is mandatory reading.  I would also suggest  the book by Amartya Sen, 1998 Nobel Laureate, entitled  Development and Freedom.   And of course, much of what Paul Krugman has written is also relevant.  A good selection of his viewpoints can be found in his book The Great Unraveling.

        Those that can, do. Those that can do more, TEACH!

        by teacherken on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 05:32:51 AM PST

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      •  Tocque (none)
        Good post, but always offputting in some respect - yes I know all about Jackson's battles over a National Bank. And his battles with South Carolina over enforcement of a tariff. And a whole host of things that maybe YOU don't know about.

        Arrogance is fine - assumption of ignorance by the other person is not. You really need to cool that.  

        I'm thinkin', I'm thinkin'

        by Armando on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 12:51:17 PM PST

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        •  I almost (none)
          posted a line about knowing you knew about a lot of this stuff (if not all) and how I was posting to the whole group who may not know some of this stuff. Now I wish I had.

          The whole surprise thing was just being a smart ass.

          My apologies for giving you the impression I thought you were clueless.

          "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." George Bush

          by TocqueDeville on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 08:29:50 PM PST

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        •  I read that line (none)
          as a note to the 98%, including myself, who didn't know that.  I didn't see anything personal.  

          If we were in a town hall meeting, he would have taken the podium and addressed the town after you had finished.  The surprise was aimed at, and shared with, the people in the hall.

          •  I know (none)
            it was stupid of me.

            I'm thinkin', I'm thinkin'

            by Armando on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 08:22:20 AM PST

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            •  I don't think it was stupid Armando (none)
              I posted a reply to you and then proceeded to write a diary. You had every reason to think that I assumed you didn't know what I was tlking about. Why? Because I'm a lazy bastard.

              As I was proofreading my post, I realized that I had strayed outside the reply zone into a monologue to an ubspecified reader. And I was just too tired, or lazy to add a qualifier.

              So not to turn this into a apology contest, but you were absolutely right in my opinion.

              "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." George Bush

              by TocqueDeville on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 04:04:52 PM PST

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            •  Oh yeah (none)
              And the "ever heard of it? Surprise." bit was actually a commentary on how the MSM and even history books often whitewash the the real American history. I went most of my adult life never knowing of the alleged plot to overthrow FDR's government by a bunch of robber barons and bankers. Or how the Fed is really private.

              "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." George Bush

              by TocqueDeville on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 04:15:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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