Monday, July 20, 2015

NOTES ON LET'S MAKE MONEY

Probably the best measure of globalization  (in other words, imperialism) is in the documentary "Let's Make Money". I have taken notes so the reader can think about the issues at length.

LET'S MAKE MONEY!
Most of us do not know where our money is
there is only  thing we can be sure of our money is not in the bank for safekeeping or to grow the bank. It is  fed  into the global market.
We do not know where the debtor lives or what he does to pay interest. We trustingly follow the siren call of the banks;
Let your money work!
"We manage the largest emerging markets in the world -over 50 billion we are just investing-- trying to do well with our investors -- to increase their assets. If they put restrictions (regulations)  on us they are not using us in the right way. "
In Singapore they pay a very low tax, or none at all, because the government wants to attract investors. They want to become a global financial center. Our  employees pay taxes so the government benefits from people who are working here--globalization lowers the total cost of goods and services because they don't pay their employees a living wage --and this keeps inflation under control. We are investing in 3rd world markets and helping pensions in the West because we take the money from here and move it back to there, while 3rd world workers who have created that wealth sleep on crowded floors or overnight at the beach and work in dangerous conditions.
In India you can own property without someone demanding taxes so they can take it away from you.
These are remnants of the colonial era, which help investors. The State doesn't help you here we have to take care of ourselves. The government doesn't  take our business away like in other countries.
One third lives in poverty - others live in misery.
Investors  who manage the investment money live in London.
"The factory is already too small we are going to make it bigger. Competition forces us to pay low wages and make them work longer unpaid hours. We have no choice, since there are no unions. They make 200 euros a month Specialized workers make 2500 a month, all cheaper than in the West.
We have to be efficient we cant afford to be generous. Automation also keeps the costs low".

Indians pay property tax, sales tax, water tax, electricity tax, and revenue tax, all collected by the government. This revenue is given to foreign interests in the form of grants and there is no money for social welfare.
"I don't think an investor should be responsible for the ethics or pollution he causes--- that is not his job. His job is to invest and make money.
Growth is what we are all about. People are poor and things will stay that way"
Economic growth has nothing to do with the poor- it is only for the rich and the government. People imitate Western culture. They fall into debt and cannot save. All their money goes into the pockets of the rich.
"The best time to buy is when there is blood on the streets- during wars, revolution, prices go down, you buy cheap and make a lot of money on speculation."
Mont Pelerin-- in 1947 capitalists met to plan the future of the world. It was a think tank  for Reagan and Thatcher and members of parliament. The city of London is the financial quarter. There are banks from all continents. In 1970s deregulating controls over the banks lent credit and deregulated financial services, allowing banks to move operations offshore as tax dodges. They attracted capital from all over the world and centered it in London, giving   London banks access to cheap capital.
Four key strands:
1.-  DEREGULATE markets around the world, allow  capital to move freely from one country to another
 
 2.-LIBERALIZE trade-break down trade barriers made by developing countries that have protected their own industries

3.- BREAK TAX REVENUES and the ability of states to intervene by breaking tax revenues

4.- PRIVATIZE their industries, selling them at below market value to external investors.

This program came from the IMF and the World bank.
 
If capital grows it means that other peoples debts are increasing. The more money in private hands the more public debt.
The soil in  Burkina Faso in Africa is ruined as a result of monocultivation of cotton by foreign companies. The cotton is gone, the companies are gone and the soil is ruined. The people earn less than 50 euros a year and work non stop. They are deeply in debt, just to live.   The US subsidizes its own cotton to the tune of 3 billion dollars, to make it cheaper and bring prices down. They practice protectionism for them and liberalism for Burkina. In 1980 the World Bank restructured the cotton industry in Burkina. The raw cotton was processed without added market value, sucking raw materials out of the country. Now the World Bank forces Burkina to plant cotton but  import medicines at inflated prices, for which they need foreign currency . If the US didn't subsidize its cotton Burkina would make 80 billion a year.  (122 million euros). Burkina is in debt for 20 billion, but Burkina would not go into debt if it got paid fairly for its exports, and thereby it could construct schools and roads and hospitals, etc. 1 or 2 percent of the people  go to university. Life expectancy is 40 years. All children are born in debt. This creates immigration. There is no alternative.
The expropriation of communities
In Austria 20 years ago capital started to take over government agencies, so that citizens had to pay water, electric rates, etc. to them and not to the government, which made rates more expensive. On top of that they continued to pay taxes. . People ride the train and think its owned by the city but its not- its owned by an American investor. The city got a lot of money for it-- 1 billion , which went to a bank in London, and the people will have to pay far  into the future for the use of the Strassenbahn, in addition to buying fares. 
Berlin. Privatizing comes from the word "to deprive". A company buys public goods and deprives the public of their use, except for a fee set by the corporation, whose only purpose is profit.
Innsbruck sold its public utilities. The corporations are only interested in short term profit but they don't care what happens later, what happens  to the country, to the children, to the future, which has been put in hock so there is no future.
In the name of freedom
Washington DC . People sleep on the streets and park benches. Many are survivors of catastrophes, doctors and lawyers who wind up homeless. Many are retired people who cannot afford rent and are forced to live in shelters which are in turn sustained by donations. This all in sight of the White House and  the World Bank offices. the World Bank is controlled by the US.
Economic hit men work like the mafia. The US government identifies a country that has resources it wants, then we give them a huge loan, that means we own them. The money never really goes to that country, but instead it goes to our own corporate banks to build big infrastructure projects in that country. In other words the host country pays for the US corporation to build factories and roads to be able to take out their resources for them and send the money back to the corporate bank. The deal benefits a few rich people in the host country but doesn't help the majority who are left holding a huge debt, and cant afford health or education. So the US says, "since you cant pay the debt, sell your oil cheap, or vote with us in the UN, or support our military adventures." This is how the US has become a world empire. We control the World Bank and the IMF. We even control the UN. We write the laws. These things should be illegal but they are not. Empire enforces its currency on the rest of the world. The US had a great debt because of the Viet Nam war, so we went on the oil standard insisting that Saudis sell oil only in dollars. Now once again the US is bankrupt, and if another country were to call in the debt  in dollars the US would collapse.
Saddam Hussein threatened to sell oil for other than dollars and he was assassinated for it.
If we fail to corrupt leaders in other countries the next step is to  overthrow governments and assassinate their leaders. If this fails we send in the really big guns--the  military. In Iraq we destroyed his military in 1991 but Hussein  wouldn't give in. His security forces were good, so the army was sent in again to kill him.
Rising profits sinking wages
Millions of workers are made to work for less. thanks to globalization. (imperialism). It is the massive transfer of incomes from workers to capital. A new industry has been  born out of the huge piles of money that have been collected from the working class worldwide- It has nothing to do with goods and services, but with  investment-- financial services, investment banking, private equity funds, hedge funds. This new industry  earns piles of money, not by staking its own money, but foreign money. For each dollar they get a commission.  Private equity means we gather the investors capital, invest it in enterprises which we restructure and then  sell at a profit.
"We buy low equity firms which are in debt. The risk is that they cannot invest,  cannot pay off what they owe and are in debt for decades, so we invest for them. If they cannot pay off their debts the bank must bail them out with taxpayers money.  Private equity firms gather like locusts to pick off the carcass of the company. The low equity firm gets a commission the riskier the investment the greater the profit, all at taxpayers expense. "
Profits for a few, losses for everyone else.
En la Costa del Sol. Andalucia, Carboneras. They are building a hotel by the sea for tourists, a chain of 7 hotels to be built in the area, including a golf course. 1,500 luxury houses, 4,000 of which are investment property  so the banks can get 20% annual earnings as opposed to 5% from the public banks. They are not built for tourists nor to live in them, but as a chain of investments for profit. Thousand of empty flats which profit  people we don't know and who don't live here. The attempt is to build a brand new city from nothing. Building is highly computerized and designed. No one lives there --there is no traffic. Foreign banks have invested in this massive construction. The rents are too high for ordinary Spaniards, although the government has to pay upkeep, electricity, etc out of peoples taxes.
The real estate market bubble is strongest in Spain. Eight hundred golf courses in a country where only a few people play golf. It is financed by foreign investment; the housing prices go up by being next to a golf course. Its all artificial- a green zone in the desert with huge amounts of water being wasted. The 7 construction companies include investors of soccer teams. 80 % of the natural coast of Spain has been built on.
The Algarrobico hotel is to be demolished because it was built illegally. The building company will get 100 million euros in compensation, paid out of taxpayers money and the cost of demolition will also come out of public money.
The complex has been built by immigrant labor. The consequences of the building bubble -- 3 million vacant houses, 800 golf courses consuming the water which could be used by  16 million people instead. The Spanish central bank has sold a large part of its gold and the debt amounts to 106% of its GNP. There is a rapid rise in unemployment.
The government pays the debts of the speculators (who terminally oppose regulation), so when they crash and they are bailed out by the taxpayers so the speculators can go on with the same activities as before.
"We don't need regulation because the market regulates everything automatically, everything has become liberalized."
This financial industry is anti human and anti nature. The media select the political leaders who try to suck up to the media so they get a flattering image but these so-called politicians  are less and less knowledgeable about political economy. Its the exact opposite of the qualities needed, so every year we have more and more political dummies making crucial and dangerous decisions. They are there solely to please the capitalists behind the scenes. They are compliant puppets.

How much longer can we afford the rich?
Jersey island, an  offshore tax haven. Bank after bank profit from their "services". There is a huge growth in financial services, with a  host of economic advisors to the government. Investors in Jersey have  50 billion dollars of personal wealth on the island. This money exists  only on computers. The money comes in and goes to the financial centers of Europe, Latinamerica, Africa, Asia, who move their ownership on offshore trusts where the person who benefits does not disclose his identity or the amount of money held. They hide their money so it cant be taxed. There are several  different jurisdictions to maximize  secrecy, to prevent investigation.  No one knows who owns a particular company. The vast majority of global trade passes through tax havens, but on paper only. They shift capital from where it is being produced to the personal accounts of Europe etc. It is utmost importance to them to protect an identity. Tax avoidance is not considered serious enough to prosecute. The citizens and foreigners must be protected. Capital flees the country under the table and never returns .
People who work in finance hate their jobs.  They know its stupid and  without worth. They know they  don't create value, but the pay is fabulous. Capital becomes concentrated in the hands of a very small elite. 11.5 trillion dollars lie offshore and untaxed. The taxes alone would eradicate poverty in the world. That is why poverty exists. As long as there is no equal distribution or resources there will be wars between those considered to be people with monetary value and those considered to be without it.
"Und die einen stehen  im dunkeln, und die anderen stehen im licht, und man sieht nur die im licht stehen und die im dunkeln sieht man nicht."

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