Thursday 29th of July 2021

don't panic!

moneymoney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced it will maintain an interest rate target of zero to 0.25 percent for the rest of 2021. The Fed said it will also continue its monthly purchase of 120 billion dollars of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities.

Some Fed board members are forecasting a rate increase by late 2022 or 2023, though with the rate still not reaching one percent. The Fed will neither allow interest rates to rise to market levels nor reduce its purchase of Treasury securities. A significant increase in interest rates would make the government’s borrowing costs unsustainable.

The Fed also raised its projected rate of inflation to three percent, although it still insists the rise in prices is a transitory effect of the end of the lockdowns. There is some truth to this, as it will take some time for businesses to get back to full capacity. However, the Fed began taking extraordinary measures to prop up the economy in September of 2019, when it started pumping billions of dollars a day into the repo market that banks use to make short-term loans to each other. The lockdowns only postponed and deepened the forthcoming Fed-caused meltdown.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank recently released a paper warning about the Federal Reserve continuing to disregard the inflation risk caused by easy money policies designed to “stimulate” the economy and facilitate massive government spending. Germans have reason to be sensitive to the consequences of inflation, including hyperinflation. Out-of-control inflation played a major role in the collapse of the German economy in the 1920s, which led to the rise of the National Socialists.

This pattern could repeat itself in America where we have already witnessed the rise of authoritarian movements. Last summer, groups exploited legitimate concerns about police misconduct to ferment violence across the country. Can anyone doubt that an economic crisis that leads to mass unemployment, foreclosures, and maybe even shortages will result in large-scale violence? Or that the violence will be exploited by power-hungry politicians? Or that many people will once again fall for the big lie that preserving safety requires giving up their liberty?

The apparatus of repression already exists in the form of a surveillance state, police militarization, and big tech’s cooperation with big government to stamp out dissent. Now, President Biden and his congressional allies want to use the January 6 US Capitol turmoil to justify expanding government powers in the name of stopping “domestic terrorists.” Part of this new campaign is expanding censorship of “extremism,” defined as any views that threaten the status quo. The Biden administration has taken a page from the Communist playbook in suggesting people report their friends and family who are becoming “radicalized.”

We may still have time to prevent collapse in America, or at least to make sure the collapse leads to a transition to a free society. The key to success is spreading the ideas of liberty until we have the ability to force the politicians to dismantle the welfare-warfare state and the fiat money system that is the lifeblood of authoritarian government.

 

Read more:

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/june/21/the-road-to-authoritarianism-is-paved-with-fiat-currency/

 

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NOTE: I tried to illustrate this caper but I could not do any more than pale pedestrian immitation of what Bruce Petty did in his brilliant Money Book a zillion years ago... Brilliant!!!

"charity"

 

FROM DEMOCRACY NOW!

 

More than 2.6 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide, but many countries have yet to see a single shot amid mounting infections. Eighty-five percent of vaccines administered worldwide have been in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.3% of doses have been administered in low-income countries. Last week, G7 nations pledged to donate just 613 million new vaccine doses — far less than the 1 billion originally promised. This was the focus of an emergency four-day virtual Summit for Vaccine Internationalism this weekend, attended by government ministers, parliamentarians and public health officials from many countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Vietnam, India, Greece, the United Kingdom, Canada and Cuba. The summit was organized by Progressive International, an organization founded by Senator Bernie Sanders and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. “This is how we radicalize the world in order to be able to end the patent monopoly of Big Pharma,” says Varoufakis in his address, “so that there are no more patents that prevent people from access to pharmaceuticals … available in order to save lives.”

TranscriptThis is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!The War and Peace ReportThe Quarantine Report.

We look now at the push to respond to what the World Health Organization calls “vaccine apartheid” with vaccine internationalism. More than 2.6 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide, but many countries have yet to see a single shot amidst mounting infections. Eighty-five percent of vaccines administered worldwide have been in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.3% of doses have been administered in low-income countries.

Last week, G7 nations pledged to donate more than 600 million new vaccine doses — far less than the 1 billion originally promised. This was the focus of an emergency four-day virtual Summit on Vaccine Internationalism this weekend, attended by government ministers, parliamentarians, public health officials from countries around the world, including Argentina, Bolivia, Vietnam, India, Greece, the United Kingdom, Canada and Cuba. The summit was organized by Progressive International, the group founded by Senator Bernie Sanders and the former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis. This is Varoufakis.

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: I want to share with you two numbers. $9,000 billion, $9,000 billion, $9 trillion — this is the sum of money that the G7, the leading economies, central banks printed to give to the bankers during the pandemic between March of 2020 and today, $9,000 billion.

Now for the second number. The International Monetary Fund has come up with an estimate of how much it would cost, at the present prices, to vaccinate the world, using existing vaccines, to vaccinate everyone fully, two doses when necessary: $39 billion.

So, compare and contrast: 9,000, 39. They printed 9,000 for the bankers, and they are still thinking about how to vaccinate the world, that would cost only 39.

We progressives, of course, never expect the central bankers of the capitalist West to produce the $39 billion, even though it would just be a touch of a button for them, to vaccinate humanity. We do not expect such humanism from them.

But, comrades, it is essential that we broadcast from the rooftops the news, for everyone to listen to, that they printed 9,000 billion, and only with 39 they could have ended the pandemic for the world, because only by demonstrating to good people out there who are not radicalized, who are not part of the Progressive International, who are not leftists, only by explaining to them that we don’t need even to wait for socialism, for nationalization of Big Pharma, for big, structural, revolutionary changes — a tiny little move of one finger within the existing awful capitalism would have saved humanity from COVID-19, and they are not doing it. This is how we inject outrage in the hearts and minds of good people out there who are not radicalized yet. This is how we radicalize the world, in order to be able to end the patent monopoly of Big Pharma, in order to internationalize, nationalize, socialize — call it whatever you will — Big Pharma, so that there are no more patents that prevent people from access to pharmaceuticals — vaccines, drugs, whatever is necessary — which is available in order to save lives.

So, let’s do it all. Expose Big Pharma, big politics, the oligarchy for their lack of willingness to do even things that are consistent with their own awful system, in order to save humanity. Work towards ending the patent system, replacing it, for instance, with a prize system. How about having a situation where we say, “Whichever company produces a vaccine against HIV, we’ll give them 5, 10 billion, but not a patent”? Then they will have to make the patent available to everyone. Support existing pharmaceutical companies in Cuba, in Africa that can produce vaccines today. And start the process of convincing the world out there who are not part of the Progressive International that they should be part of the Progressive International, radicalizing them by means of this combination of, on the one hand, demonstrating to them life-saving changes that could take place even within this global techno-feudalism, as I call global capitalism, and then harvest the ensuing anger in order to create the revolutionary progressive dynamic by which we are going to change the world, vaccinate everyone and provide the basics to everyone that needs them. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.

 

Read more:

https://www.democracynow.org/2021/6/21/summit_for_vaccine_internationalism

 

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it's only money...

 

The US is the wealthiest country in terms of having more billionaires than any other nation. While many of the richest people built their fortunes on their own, like Jeff Bezos, a large proportion was born into wealth, such as the heirs of America's wealthiest families, including the Waltons and the Mars family, among others.

A total of 27 of the top 50 dynasties on the Forbes 2020 list of wealthy families, with a combined wealth of $1.2 trillion, were also on the Forbes 400 list in 1983, and, according to a new analysis from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), it is wealth preservation, not generation, that allows these families to remain so rich.

And it is the tax structure in the US that has moved in favor of the wealthy over time, the organization stated.

 

"America’s dynastic families, both old and new, are deploying a range of wealth preservation strategies to further concentrate wealth and power — power that is deployed to influence democratic institutions, depress civic imagination, and rig the rules to further entrench inequality," the report's introduction said. "This tax avoidance means less support for the infrastructure we all rely on to preserve our health, safety, and quality of life."

 

According to the study titled "Silver Spoon Oligarchs: How America's 50 Largest Inherited-Wealth Dynasties Accelerate Inequality", the US wealthiest 0.01% pay only a sixth of the tax they would have paid in 1953. As a matter of fact, when evaluated as a percentage of their wealth, the taxes paid by American billionaires fell by 79% between 1980 and 2018.

 

And this all includes lower-income, estate, and capital gains taxes which the super-rich already have more of than the average American, the report claims. 

"The ultra-wealthy, especially dynastically wealthy families, have in fact created a two-tier tax system: one set of rules for themselves, another for everyone else," the study said. "As a result, we end up with absurd situations where a senior government official is able to say that "only morons pay the estate tax" — openly acknowledging that the US estate tax system is optional for the wealthiest."According to the IPS, the wealth of dynastic families expanded at a rate ten times faster than that of regular families. Over the 37 years since appearing on the Forbes 400 list in 1983 and the Forbes Billion-Dollar Dynasties list in 2020, the total assets of the 27 families have increased by around 1,007%.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, this represents a rise from $80.2 billion to $903.2 billion. In comparison, the average American family's wealth climbed by only 93% in inflation-adjusted dollars between 1989 and 2019.

Strategies to Embolden One's Financial Well-being

One of the popular choices the US' wealthiest families use to maintain their status is by donating to think tanks that aim to lower tax payments, thus giving some money away can actually help them keep more of it in the long run. 

Many foundations established by the ultra-wealthy help those in need, but the IPS analysis also indicates that certain dynastically wealthy families have utilized those foundations to fund research institutes that are normally subsidized by the public. As a result, many think tanks promote policies that benefit the rich, such as campaigning for large tax cuts.

For example, Charles Koch, whose father Fred Koch founded Koch Industries, has formed a slew of charity organizations dedicated to wealth redistribution. The Bill of Rights Institute, for example, supplies materials for high school social studies classes, but it might allegedly be driven by a desire to promote a free market, low-tax society.

"The top 50 families have set up more than 248 foundations between them, housing more than $51 billion in assets. While many move much-needed revenue to broader public interest charities, others fund groups working to reduce taxes on the wealthy and roll back regulations that constrain corporate profits," the research added. "Some funnel millions to donor-advised funds, which can fund dark-money political advocacy. And in a few cases, family members have used them to compensate themselves."

One such illustration of an existing institution working for the benefit of the richest, for instance, is the Heritage Foundation, which has a long history of advocating for anti-tax legislation and is a popular choice among those who want to pay less tax.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/us/202106221083204144-study-richest-us-dynasties-hoard-wealth-rather-than-generate-it-exacerbating-inequality/

 

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