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Waking Up in Hillary Clinton’s America
Wall Street in the Saddle
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As this endless election limps toward its last days, while spiraling into a bizarre duel over vote-rigging accusations, a deep sigh is undoubtedly in order. The entire process has been an emotionally draining, frustration-inducing, rage-inflaming spectacle of repellent form over shallow substance. For many, the third debate evoked fatigue. More worrying, there was again no discussion of how to prevent another financial crisis, an ominous possibility in the next presidency, whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton enters the Oval Office — given that nothing fundamental has been altered when it comes to Wall Street’s practices and predation.

At the heart of American political consciousness right now lies a soul-crushing reality for millions of distraught Americans: the choices for president couldn’t be feebler or more disappointing. On the one hand, we have a petulant, vocabulary-challenged man-boar of a billionaire, who hasn’t paid his taxes, has regularly left those supporting him holding the bag, and seems like a ludicrous composite of every bad trait in every bad date any woman has ever had. On the other hand, we’re offered a walking photo-op for and well-paid speechmaker to Wall-Street CEOs, a one-woman money-raising machine from the 1% of the 1%, who, despite a folksiness that couldn’t look more rehearsed, has methodically outplayed her opponent.

With less than two weeks to go before E-day — despite the Trumptilian upheaval of the last year — the high probability of a Clinton win means the establishment remains intact. When we awaken on November 9th, it will undoubtedly be dawn in Hillary Clinton’s America and that potentially means four years of an economic dystopia that will (as would Donald Trump’s version of the same) leave many Americans rightfully anxious about their economic futures.

None of the three presidential debates suggested that either candidate would have the ability (or desire) to confront Wall Street from the Oval Office. In the second and third debates, in case you missed them, Hillary didn’t even mention the Glass-Steagall Act, too big to fail, or Wall Street. While in the first debate, the subject of Wall Street only came up after she disparaged the tax policies of “Trumped-up, trickle down economics” (or, as I like to call it, the Trumpledown economics of giving tax and financial benefits to the rich and to corporations).

In this election, Hillary has crafted her talking points regarding the causes of the last financial crisis as weapons against Trump, but they hardly begin to tell the real story of what happened to the American economy. The meltdown of 2007-2008 was not mainly due to “tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy” or a “failure to invest in the middle class,” two subjects she has repeatedly highlighted to slam the Republicans and their candidate. It was a byproduct of the destruction of the regulations that opened the way for a too-big-to-fail framework to thrive. Under the presidency of Bill Clinton, Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era act that once separated people’s bank deposits and loans from any kind of risky bets or other similar actions in which banks might engage, was repealed under the Financial Modernization Act of 1999. In addition, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act was passed, which allowed Wall Street to concoct devastating unregulated side bets on what became the subprime crisis.

Given that the people involved with those choices are still around and some are still advising (or in the case of one former president living with) Hillary Clinton, it’s reasonable to imagine that, in January 2017, she’ll launch the third term of Bill Clinton when it comes to financial policy, banks, and the economy. Only now, the stakes are even higher, the banks larger, and their impunity still remarkably unchallenged.

Consider President Obama’s current treasury secretary, Jack Lew. It was Hillary who hit the Clinton Rolodex to bring him back to Washington. Lew first entered Bill Clinton’s White House in 1993 as special assistant to the president. Between his stints working for Clinton and Obama, he made his way into the private sector and eventually to Wall Street — as so many of his predecessors had done and successors would do. He scored a leadership role with Citigroup during the time that Bill Clinton’s former Treasury Secretary(and former Goldman Sachs co-Chairman) Robert Rubin was on its board of directors. In 2009, Hillary selected him to be her deputy secretary of state.

Lew is hardly the only example of the busy revolving door to power that led from the Clinton administration to the Obama administration via Wall Street (or activities connected to it). Bill Clinton’s Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs, Timothy Geithner worked with Robert Rubin, later championed Wall Street as president and CEO of the New York Federal Reserve while Hillary was senator from New York (representing Wall Street), and then became Obama’s first treasury secretary while Hillary was secretary of state.

One possible contender for treasury secretary in a new Clinton administration would be Bill Clinton’s Under Secretary of Domestic Finance and Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman, Gary Gensler (who was — I’m sure you won’t be shocked — a Goldman Sachs partner before entering public service). These, then, are typical inhabitants of the Clinton inner circle and of the political-financial corridors of power. Their thinking, like Hillary’s, meshes well with support for the status quo in the banking system, even if, like her, they are willing on occasion to admonish it for its “mistakes.”

This thru-line of personnel in and out of Clinton World is dangerous for most of the rest of us, because behind all the “talking heads” and genuinely amusing Saturday Night Live skits about this bizarre election lie certain crucial issues that will have to be dealt with: decisions about climate change, foreign wars, student-loan unaffordability, rising income inequality, declining social mobility, and, yes, the threat of another financial crisis. And keep in mind that such a future economic meltdown isn’t an absurdly long-shot possibility. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve, the nation’s main bank regulator, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the government entity that insures our bank deposits, collectively noted that seven of our biggest eight banks — Citigroup was the exception — still have inadequate emergency plans in the event of another financial crisis.

Exploring a Two-Faced World

Politicians regularly act one way publicly and another privately, as Hillary was “outed” for doing by WikiLeaks via its document dump from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s hacked email account. Such realities should be treated as neither shockers nor smoking guns. Everybody postures. Everybody lies. Everybody’s two-faced in certain aspects of their lives. Politicians just make a career out of it.

What’s problematic about Hillary’s public and private positions in the economic sphere, at least, isn’t their two-facedness but how of a piece they are. Yes, she warned the bankers to “cut it out! Quit foreclosing on homes! Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors!” — but that was no demonstration of strength in relation to the big banks. Her comments revealed no real understanding of their precise role in exacerbating a fixable subprime loan calamity and global financial crisis, nor did her finger-wagging mean anything to Wall Street.

Keep in mind that, during the build-up to that crisis, as banks took advantage of looser regulations, she collected more than $7 million from the securities and investment industry for her New York Senate runs ($18 million during her career). In her first Senate campaign,Citigroup was her top contributor. The four Wall-Street-based banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) all feature among her top 10 career contributors. As a senator, she didn’t introduce any bills aimed at reforming or regulating Wall Street. During the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2007-2008, she did introduce five (out of 140) bills relating to the housing crisis, but they all died before making it through a Senate committee. So did a bill she sponsored to curtail corporate executive compensation. Though she has publicly called for a reduction in hedge-fund tax breaks (known as “closing the carried interest loophole”), including at the second debate, she never signed on to the bill that would have done so (one that Obama co-sponsored in 2007). Perhaps her most important gesture of support for Wall Street was her vote in favor of the $700 billion 2008 bank bailout bill. (Bernie Sanders opposed it.)

After her secretary of state stint, she returned to the scene of banking crimes. Many times. As we know, she was also paid exceedingly well for it. Friendship with the Clintons doesn’t come cheap. As she said in October 2013, while speaking at a Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments’ Symposium, “running for office in our country takes a lot of money, and candidates have to go out and raise it. New York is probably the leading site for contributions for fundraising for candidates on both sides of the aisle.”

Between 2013 and 2015, she gave 12 speeches to Wall Street banks, private equity firms, and other financial corporations, reaping a whopping $2,935,000 for them. In her 2016 presidential run, the securities and investment sector (aka Wall Street) has contributed the most of any industry to PACs supporting Hillary: $56.4 million.

Yes, everybody needs to make a buck or a few million of them. This is America after all, but Hillary was a political figure paid by the same banks routinely getting slapped with criminal settlements by the Department of Justice. In addition, the Clinton Foundation counted as generous donors all four of the major Wall Street-based mega-banks. She was voracious when it came to such money and tone-deaf when it came to the irony of it all.

Glass-Steagall and Bernie Sanders

One of the more illuminating aspects of the Podesta emails was a series of communications that took place in the fall of 2015. That’s when Bernie Sanders was gaining traction for, among other things, his calls to break up the big banks and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The Clinton administration’s dismantling of that act in 1999 had freed the big banks to use their depositors’ money as collateral for risky bets in the real estate market and elsewhere, and so allowed them to become ever more engorged with questionable securities.

On December 7, 2015, with her campaign well underway and worried about the Sanders challenge, the Clinton camp debuted a key Hillary op-ed, “How I’d Rein in Wall Street,” in the New York Times. This followed two months of emails and internal debate within her campaign over whether supporting the return of Glass-Steagall was politically palatable for her and whether not supporting it would antagonize Senator Elizabeth Warren. In the end, though Glass-Steagall was mentioned in passing in her op-ed, she chose not to endorse its return.

She explained her decision not to do so this way (and her advisers and media apostles have stuck with this explanation ever since):

“Some have urged the return of a Depression-era rule called Glass-Steagall, which separated traditional banking from investment banking. But many of the firms that contributed to the crash in 2008, like A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers, weren’t traditional banks, so Glass-Steagall wouldn’t have limited their reckless behavior. Nor would restoring Glass-Steagall help contain other parts of the ‘shadow banking’ sector, including certain activities of hedge funds, investment banks, and other non-bank institutions.”

Her entire characterization of how the 2007-2008 banking crisis unfolded was — well — wrong. Here’s how traditional banks (like JPMorgan Chase) operated: they lent money to investment banks like Lehman Brothers so that they could buy more financial waste products stuffed with subprime mortgages that these traditional banks were, in turn, trying to sell. They then backed up those toxic financial products through insurance companies like AIG, which came close to collapse when what it was insuring became too toxically overwhelming to afford. AIG then got a $182 billion government bailout that also had the effect of bailing out those traditional banks (including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which became “traditional” during the crisis). In this way, the whole vicious cycle started with the traditional banks that hold your deposits and at the same time could produce and sell those waste products thanks to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. So yes, the loss of that act caused the crisis and, in its wake, every big traditional bank was fined for crisis-related crimes.

Hillary won’t push to bring back Glass-Steagall. Doing so would dismantle her husband’s legacy and that of the men he and she appointed to public office. Whatever cosmetic alterations may be in store, count on that act remaining an artifact of the past, since its resurrection would dismay the bankers who, over the past three decades, made the Clintons what they are.

No wonder many diehard Sanders supporters remain disillusioned and skeptical — not to speak of the fact that their candidate featured dead last (39th) on a list of recommended vice presidential candidates in the Podesta emails. That’s unfortunately how much his agenda is likely to matter to her in the Oval Office.

Go Regulate Yourselves!

Before he resigned with his nine-figure golden parachute, Wells Fargo CEO and Chairman John Stumpf addressed Congress over disclosures that 5,300 of his employees had created two million fake accounts, scamming $2.4 million from existing customers. The bank was fined $185 million for that (out of a total $10 billion in fines for a range of other crimes committed before and during the financial crisis).

In response, Hillary wrote a letter to Wells Fargo’s customers. In it, she didn’t actually mention Stumpf by name, as she has not mentioned any Wall Street CEO by name in the context of criminal activity. Instead, she simply spoke of “he.” As she put it, “He owes all of you a clear explanation as to how this happened under his watch.” She added, “Executives should be held individually accountable when rampant illegal activity happens on their watch.”

She does have a plan to fine banks for being too big, but they’ve already been fined repeatedly for being crooked and it hasn’t made them any smaller or less threatening. As their top officials evidently view the matter, paying up for breaking the law is just another cost of doing business.

Hillary also wrote, “If any bank can’t be managed effectively, it should be broken up.” But the question is: Why doesn’t ongoing criminal activity that threatens the rest of us correlate with ineffective management — or put another way, when was the last time you saw a major bank broken up? And don’t hold your breath for that to happen in a new Clinton administration either.

In her public letter, she added, “I’ll appoint regulators who will stand with taxpayers and consumers, not with big banks and their friends in Congress.” On the other hand, at that same Goldman Sachs symposium, while in fundraising mode, she gave bankers a pass relative to regulators and commented: “Well, I represented all of you for eight years. I had great relations and worked so close together after 9/11 to rebuild downtown, and [I have] a lot of respect for the work you do and the people who do it.”

She has steadfastly worked to craft explanations for the financial crisis and the Great Recession that don’t endanger the banks as we presently know them. In addition, she has supported the idea of appointing insider regulators,insisting that “the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.” (Let’s not forget that former Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Hank Paulson ran the Treasury Department while the crisis brewed.)

Among the emails sent to John Podesta that were posted by WikiLeaks is an article I wrote for TomDispatch on the Clintons’ relationships with bankers. “She will not point fingers at her friends,” I said in that piece in May 2015. She will not chastise the people who pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop to speak or the ones who have long shared the social circles in which she and her husband move.” I also suggested that she wouldn’t call out any CEO by name. To this day she hasn’t. I said that she would never be an advocate for Glass-Steagall. And she hasn’t been. What was true then will be no less true once she’s in the White House and no longer has to make gestures toward the platform on which Bernie ran and so can once again more openly embrace the bankers’ way of conducting business.

There’s a reason Wall Street has a crush on her and its monarchs like Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein pay her such stunning sums to offer anodyne remarks to their employees and others. Blankfein has been coy about an official Clinton endorsement simply because he doesn’t want to rock her campaign boat, but make no mistake, this Wall Street kingpin’s silence is tantamount to an endorsement.

To date, $10 trillion worth of assets sits on the books of the Big Six banks. Since 2008, these same banks have copped to more than $150 billion in fines for pre-crisis behavior that ranged on the spectrum of criminality from manipulating multiple public markets to outright fraud. Hillary Clinton has arguably taken money that would not have been so available if it weren’t for the ill-gotten gains those banks secured. In her usual measured way, albeit with some light admonishments, she has told them what they want to hear: that if they behave — something that in her dictionary of definitions involves little in the way of personalized pain or punishment — so will she.

So let’s recap Hillary’s America, past, present, and future. It’s a land lacking in meaningful structural reform of the financial system, a place where the big banks have been, and will continue to be, coddled by the government. No CEO will be jailed, no matter how large the fines his bank is saddled with or how widespread the crimes it committed. Instead, he’s likely to be invited to the inaugural ball in January. Because its practices have not been adequately controlled or curtailed, the inherent risk that Wall Street poses for Main Street will only grow as bankers continue to use our money to make their bets. (The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act was supposed to help on this score, but has yet to make the big banks any smaller.)

And here’s an obvious corollary to all this: the next bank-instigated economic catastrophe will not be dealt with until it has once again crushed the financial stability of millions of Americans.

The banks have voted with their dollars on all of this in multiple ways. Hillary won’t do anything to upset that applecart. We should have no illusions about what her presidency would mean from a Wall Street vs. Main Street perspective. Certainly, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon doesn’t. He effectively endorsed Hillary before a crowd of financial industry players,saying, “I hope the next president, she reaches across the aisle.”

For Wall Street, of course, that aisle is essentially illusory, since its players operate so easily and effectively on both sides of it. In Hillary’s America, Wall Street will still own Main Street.

Nomi Prins, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of six books. Her most recent is All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power (Nation Books). She is a former Wall Street executive. Special thanks go to researcher Craig Wilson for his superb work on this piece.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Hillary Clinton, Wall Street 
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  1. gustafus [AKA "nmwenn"] says:

    I am nearly 70. Grandmother, and never held a gun, nor know anyone who owns one. The SS has been to my house twice now. ONCE for language about Tim Geithner, and Once for O enema.

    I voted O once. It was date rape. I hadn’t voted since Perot, Perot, Buchanan. I consider the Clinton and Bush families to be treasonous and should have been tried and executed. ALL OF EM.

    That said.. I’m not sure I can live in Hillary land. I honestly believe it is kill or be killed time.

    I’m the right demographic to be saying this, because the SS didn’t know what to do about me… I refused to apologize -told them to pound sand = and held my hands out – together to be cuffed.

    They looked at each other and then found my kids on Facebook, paid my son a visit and asked if I was dangerous – to which he asked – “She told you to pound sand, right?”

    They can continue to pound sand…. because if we don’t go French on the whole lot of em here REAL SOON…. 600 million unskilled peasants will descend on us from the south. Muslims with increased political muscle will impose Sharia… first locally,… then statewide… and finally, with the help of the homosexual lobby… and I say this not as a hater, but as a witness to their appetites…. the age of consent will be lowered to 10 or 12… for Islam and NAMBLA

    This is just a teensy preview of the changing demographic of America. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENT IN AMERICA>

    The border is besieged right now.. with last chance Latinos… Africans, Haitians and Muslims… thousands every day… ticketed and RELEASED… and if Hillary becomes YOUR, not MY President… this country is finished…

    all but the shooting … and the round ups … and the internment…. of the Trumpets.

    Robespierre…. where are you when we need you? We will need portable guillotines in the leafy burbs of Boston and Connecticut…. BRING OUT YOUR HILLARY VOTERS….

    Vertical deportations in Back and Chesapeake Bays …. the Noyades de Nantucket….

    Hyperbole?…. watch.

  2. Miro23 says:

    An excellent article including the 2008 Banking Crisis in one paragraph:

    Her entire characterization of how the 2007-2008 banking crisis unfolded was — well — wrong. Here’s how traditional banks (like JPMorgan Chase) operated: they lent money to investment banks like Lehman Brothers so that they could buy more financial waste products stuffed with subprime mortgages that these traditional banks were, in turn, trying to sell. They then backed up those toxic financial products through insurance companies like AIG, which came close to collapse when what it was insuring became too toxically overwhelming to afford. AIG then got a $182 billion government bailout that also had the effect of bailing out those traditional banks (including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which became “traditional” during the crisis).

    Also the point that Wall St has taken over the FED and Treasury which are run for the benefit of the financial sector. There is no separation at all between the public interest (defense of) and intrusive special interests, with the genuine defenders of the public interest having been weeded out years ago.

    And with regard to politicians being two faced:

    Politicians regularly act one way publicly and another privately, as Hillary was “outed” for doing by WikiLeaks via its document dump from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s hacked email account. Such realities should be treated as neither shockers nor smoking guns. Everybody postures. Everybody lies. Everybody’s two-faced in certain aspects of their lives. Politicians just make a career out of it.

    True enough, but HRC is in a class apart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NfFAaPZqs8

  3. Waylon says:

    Excellent article!

    Your book “All the Presidents Bankers” shows there is a revolving door in the upper echelons of Wall Street banking and Washington financial regulatory office appointments.

    It’s doubtful that we can expect much in the way of financial reform, especially from Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump may be a loose cannon but I’m sure if his ideas of “making America great again” come part of the public conversation if he becomes President, he’ll be hearing from “enforcement”, and if he’s not careful could end up in a pine box like JFK.

    If the connections between the banking and political sectors are so wretchedly rotten, doesn’t the rot go right to the root of the tree—the center of the American financial fiction the Federal Reserve—itself the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on a country or even the entire planet?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  4. highrpm says:
    @gustafus

    hordes on washington power centers on nov 9. waves of them. burn it down. before the fighters can be summoned to air and finish the job with bombs.

  5. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    A lot of Americans have money invested in stocks.

    And even if they know Hillary is a wench, they fear that Trump’s policies will send tremors through the stock market.

    If so many Americans weren’t so dependent on stock portfolios, they might think differently.

    But just about anyone with any money in stocks want to maintain the status quo.

    It’s no wonder the election is presented as NASDAQ vs NSDAP.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  6. Miro23 says:
    @Anon

    But just about anyone with any money in stocks want to maintain the status quo.

    That’s true, but holding stocks now is just the same as holding overvalued real estate in 2008. In both cases it’s a speculative bubble valuation generated by exceptionally low interest rates.

    So I’m not sure how politics comes into it. Bubbles burst and the public discovers (once again) that there is no free money, but this time round there could be a political difference in public perceptions.

    It’s obvious that the financial sector is 100% for HRC so they have a strong interest to remind everyone that a vote for the Republican candidate = putting their “investment” at risk, linking HRC to financial stability and DT to financial instability.

    So, when the bubble eventually bursts the alternative MSM accounts will probably be 1) DT win: “We told you so, he’s destabilizing the US. It’s all Trumps fault.” 2) HRC win: “We told you so, Trump destabilized the US but Hillary has the confidence of Wall St and can fix it = more QE”.

    Either way it’s going to be all Trump’s fault, which is convenient, since the FED/Wall St promoters of the enormously profitable (for them) QE Pump and Dump bubble cycle need to get the focus off themselves.

    The assumption is that eventually there will be a final QE that pulls down the dollar and the bond market but they’ll be long gone by then, so when Trump says that the US financial sector is a disaster for the general public, he’s right, but it was a long time ago that Clinton, Greenspan, Rubin and Summers enabled the present mess, and people with “money in stocks” don’t have a clue about what is going on.

  7. Put an end to the Fed’s charter and bring back the greenback! Public banking is a critical feature of any society that wishes to put an end to the onerous burden of debt, a burden that has no reason to exist in the USA. Nearly all other divisive issues derive from this one, because without the illegitimately-granted power to create digital debt and charge interest for it, the moneylenders wouldn’t have the overarching influence they do at present, influence that is used to destroy what was once a homogeneous society.

    One thing’s certain: if HRC is elected, the destruction will accelerate. One hopes that DJT can morph into Andrew Jackson, an inarticulate man sneered at by the effete snobs of his time, but a man who was a patriot. If DJT loses, it’s time for a new Populist Party to arise; otherwise, the scenario sketched in the first comment (by gustafus) could become a genuine possibility.

  8. TheJester says:

    Nomi,

    I’ve read your book, “All the President’s Bankers,” and followed your arguments … and they are naive and narrow. “If only,” you say, “they had not repealed the Glass-Steagall Act.” Or, “If only the Federal Reserve had not bailed out AIG ….” Those actions would have changed nothing in the outcomes … especially with a Deep State financed by Wall Street and the Federal Reserve.

    Your arguments are similar to those who argue that handing out condoms will cure all social and sexual problems in the world … or, that a “single payer” medical system will fix our broken medical care system.

    The biographies of the Wall Street players and their “plays” are irrelevant. We know that Wall Street owns the Federal Reserve, owns the U.S. Treasury, and that it is the behind-the-scene puppeteer controlling the Federal Government. That’s why it can’t be fixed. It has to be BROKEN. If it isn’t BROKEN, it will be as useless as arranging deck chairs on the Titanic and thinking that represents significant change.

    Many of us support Trump because we’re confident he will BREAK it. That’s why we’re calling this a revolution. We don’t expect him to fix it.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  9. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENT IN AMERICA>

    Honey, I got news fer ya. There has not been a fiscally conservative president since around Jefferson’s time. Well, maybe Andrew Jackson.

    The reason is that they are agents of the government and the real purpose of government is to shear us sheep in an efficient manner. Thus there can be no such thing as a fiscally conservative government at least for any length of time.

    Anyway, if yer talkin politically conservative, that’s a different story, but political conservatism died around the time of Abe Lincoln who spit in the face of the cornstitution.

    I also got more news for ya. It’s long past due to effect meaningful change because the slime classes , contrary to all the pretty mythology, have always had the rest of us by the throat. They ‘ve been clever enough to dress it up real purdy with elections and other meaningless gestures such as overblown threats, to dupe most of us into believing the tripe, but 99% of it was, and is, drama only.

    As far as Robespierre, et al, fuggedaboudit for at least three reasons. First there is nary a fiber of moral decency nor are there guts enough left in this country to even begin to pull something like that off. Second, violent revolutions like that make for good stories, but they invariably burn themselves out in relatively short order and get co-opted by the usual scum and yer back to square one. It takes discipline to maintain something like that and you will find next to zero discipline in the land of handouts, brainwashing and instant gratification. Finally, the only lasting revolution is that of the spirit and it takes better men and women for that than what we have in this country today. Just look at what’s running for prez to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

    I understand and probably share most of your sympathies, applaud your views, courage and described action but feel compelled to suggest that you save yer energy. None of what you hope for is likely to happen in our lifetimes, if ever. A significant reason is that human nature has too many flaws from the point of view of those who want to be left alone.

    Also, I have taken note of your Farcebook experience and I believe there is a lesson or two in it!!!

  10. None of the three presidential debates suggested that either candidate would have the ability (or desire) to confront Wall Street from the Oval Office.

    Why would anyone expect anything else, given the true role of government?

    Not only did Tacitus, in Annnals, describe massive government bailouts to the usurers of old Rome, but all Americans should make themselves aware of the nexus between the Brit government and the British East India Company. Most Americans, sadly, haven’t a clue that the excesses of the BEIC were part of the gripes Americans had that led to the Revolution. If they knew, precious few would expend the energy to understand some of the details and implications.

    Few know that Wall Street is named for a wall built by slaves and that Wall Street supported, big time, the massive and especially grotesque slave state known as the USSR. Most ‘Merkins have never bothered to ask themselves why that would be, and would reject the answer if it were explained to them.

    No matter which dipsh!t “wins,” it’ll be more of the same.

    • Replies: @mtn cur
  11. Rehmat says:

    American elections are nothing but a “Hollywood movie script”, repeated every four year. The candidates are decided by the military industrial-complex, the pro-Israel Jewish groups, and the Zionist-controlled mainstream media. The American donkeys are given the choice to chose a LESSER EVIL among the Republican and Democrat nominees. The third party candidate is never given a chance no matter how patriotic and honest he or she is.

    Between Hillary and Trump, no matter who wins – would be a grand victory for Israel. The third party candidate, Jill Stein, a “self-hating, Israel threatening” S.H.I.T Jew is given no chance to win.

    The American taxpayers give over $6 billion to Tel Aviv through military and education aid, and soft loans in additions to tens of millions of dollars of tax-deductible donations by American Jewish corporations and oligarchs.

    The Zionist regime spent a few hundred million dollars out of the free-fall to buy America’s corrupt politicians and rig country’s presidential, Congress and Senate elections.

    However, all this spoon-feeding didn’t stop the Zionist entity stabbing American business interests in foreign countries. Israel has often used its privileged access to US military technology against both the US government and US corporate interests. According to the Associated Press in 2002, in France, Turkey, The Netherlands and Finland, Israeli companies have edged such US firms as Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics out of arms deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years. The irony, experts say, is that tens of billions of US tax dollars and transfers of American military technology helped create and nurture Israel’s industry, in effect subsidizing a foreign competitor.

    If that was not enough, Barack Obama did his final act of subservience to a foreign state by signing bill to give another $38 billion military aid to the Zionist entity to murder more Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese Muslim and Christian civilians.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/10/17/how-israel-controls-us-elections-via-usaid/

    • Replies: @Sherman
  12. More worrying, there was again no discussion of how to prevent another financial crisis, an ominous possibility in the next presidency, whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton enters the Oval Office — given that nothing fundamental has been altered when it comes to Wall Street’s practices and predation.

    “Prevent another financial crisis…”?? It is to laugh.

    The problem is human nature and it is not going to be “altered” by any direct act of government. Indirectly, or better, accidentally it will be altered by evolution, but that is an agonizingly slow, bloody process that nobody wants to talk about seriously – there’s no money in it.

    This particular credit-fueled boom started in the 1960s. The repeal of Glass-Steagall and the “mortgage crisis” were effects, not causes. They were attempts (doomed to ultimate failure) to keep the cycle from ending.

    You cannot outrun a bear. People who make political arguments want you to believe that if we all join hands, rid ourselves of a few bad people who are slowing us down, then we can collectively outrun the bear. And, of course, there is a profit to be made (selling books, in this case).

    Life goes on and sometimes all you can do is try to outrun the slow and the clumsy. Collectivism is one of many tools in the human toolkit, fit for some problems, but not for all.

    Sauve qui peau.

  13. @another fred

    Good comment. In fact, after reading the first paragraph of the article, I had many similar thoughts.

    As this endless election limps toward its last days, while spiraling into a bizarre duel over vote-rigging accusations, a deep sigh is undoubtedly in order. The entire process has been an emotionally draining, frustration-inducing, rage-inflaming spectacle of repellent form over shallow substance. For many, the third debate evoked fatigue.

    None of that affected me in those ways because I’ve learned to pay only enough attention to the farce to be able to laugh at it all. Life does go on (or not if the goons have their way) , and it really does come down to “Sauve qui peau.”

  14. If Hillary wins, the US will become a one-party state. All pretenses will be dropped.

    There are two reasons you should vote for Trump:

    1) He wants to seal the border and removed illegals. This is vital. A Hillary victory means amnesty for millions, Texas turns blue, and that’s the end of the road for the GOP.

    2) Supreme court seats. Should Hillary win, the slow-but-sure series of judicial decisions aimed squarely at the white middle class will continue. Our constitution will be meaningless.

    Everything else is unimportant right now. Your decision, folks.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  15. Sherman says:
    @Rehmat

    Hey Homer

    You left out that Israel enjoys very warm relations with India and sells a huge amount of weapons to India.

    Hopefully India will do the civilized world a favor and put these state of the art weapons to good use against Pakistan.

    Sherm

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  16. If Hillary wins, the US will become a one-party state. All pretenses will be dropped.

    It’s been apparent to many that US has been run by one party, the welfare-warfare party for quite some time, pretenses or not.
    “Well, these … men, whether they were Democrats or Republicans, were willing to do anything to help each other. They were all in the same boat, regardless of party, and so they made rules and did things to help each other get elected…”
    -Jeanette Rankin
    Rankin, running as a Republican Progressive, was the first woman voted to congress.

    There are two reasons you should vote for Trump:

    As for Trump’s campaign promises, they’re worth next to nothing. Remember G Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” and a “humble foreign policy”? They’re all inveterate, probably obligate, liars. Hillabeast included.

    1) He wants to seal the border and removed illegals. This is vital. A Hillary victory means amnesty for millions, Texas turns blue, and that’s the end of the road for the GOP.

    It’s apparent that the GOP sold out long ago. Remember Ron Paul, for one. As for sealing the borders, good luck.

    2) Supreme court seats. Should Hillary win, the slow-but-sure series of judicial decisions aimed squarely at the white middle class will continue. Our constitution will be meaningless.

    The middle class has been under siege, with slight reprieves now and then, since before the cornstituion was written. It was written, in fact, to make the process more efficient. The process shall continue, regardless.

    Everything else is unimportant right now.

    Nah, it’s fairly evident that the (s)election’s already been decided and I doubt anyone’s vote makes a diff; in fact, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

  17. Rehmat says:
    @Sherman

    Neyth Sharon – I know India-Israel history more than you learned from Daniel Pipes.

    The Hindutva leaders who share Muslim-hatred with Israeli Jews – don’t realize that Israeli Jews are stabling their backs by trying to establish another Zionist entity in India.

    On August 19, 2009 – John Kaminski co-authored with Arun Shrivastva an article, titled Second Israeli state emerging in India, in which they wrote: “Activities presaging the creation of a second Israeli state are well-known in India, but not elsewhere. Most everyone remembers how the first Israel popped onto the world scene in 1948 and has continued mass murdering its neighbors and hapless nations that fall under its sway ever since……”

    https://rehmat1.com/2009/09/25/the-little-israel-in-india/

  18. nsa says:

    Prins is a jooie and a female…two good reasons to suspect anything she has to say as being self-serving jooie hooey. Think”of the jooies, by the jooies, for the jooies” as the reigning paradigm. The PTBs promote relentless Joonomics (legalized usury and counterfeiting) and get even richer…..while doing nothing productive or useful. Proof? Yellen, Fischer, Bernanke, Greespan, Volcker, Burns……the jooies create money out of thin air and then give it to their friends and relatives. Correcting the jooie problem is probably no longer possible because they have cleverly bought off the vismins (visible minorities) and have control over the km (kosher media) out of NY and LA. Game over for whitey………..

  19. mtn cur says:
    @another fred

    You can always do like the gentry and kneecap the other idiots, I mean the competition and then you don’t have to outrun the bear.

    • Replies: @another fred
  20. mtn cur says:
    @jacques sheete

    Crackers with Barret .50s are making more and more sense and I am way too old for this crap. Being a sheep to be sheared would work better if the creeps didn’t enjoy taking such large chunks of hide along with the fleece.

  21. Pandos says:

    Trump’s bombastic billionaire past might be the backbone that saves the country. The country is in a street fight and Trump is being criticized by people who thing he farted at a tea party.

  22. @gustafus

    and finally, with the help of the homosexual lobby… and I say this not as a hater,

    Grandmaw, it’s weak women like you that don’t want to risk offending these perverts that has placed working men’s backs against the wall. We are the ones who are going to have to go all “French”- and after the denouement– you can kiss your franchise goodbye.

  23. The United States has few authentic conservatives and few authentic Marxists. This is a pity because in one’s experience these two approaches often can carry on serious dialogue, for generally they recognize the same elephant.

    the paucity is by design–to keep the ruling powers ruling financially and economically by keeping everyone else in the dark. Thus, for example, the nonsense of “social conservatism” or, for that matter, “social liberalism”. Or, for another, what is “money supply” but credit extended by and owed to private financial entities?

    In Britain or France or Germany, for yet another example, all one has to say from the Marxist point of view about immigration is that in a Capitalist context all immigration has one main purpose–cheap labor. This drives the pseudo-Leftist Liberals and Neo-Liberals to distraction and also makes the pseudo-Conservatives nervous, for they know exactly why they want as much immigration as possible without wanting the groundlings to know same. This is also why, as polls have shown in France, a good many of the elder Le Pen’s supporters were Communists.

    It is also true that even on the pseudo-left (and one of the reasons it is pseudo) very few actually bother to read Marx’s Capital, and many who do are lost at sea. In fact, Marx himself almost invariably quoted the authentic Conservatives of his day, often Christian, in substantiation of various points of his thesis, for their honesty, in his opinion, made them reliable witnesses.

    Here is a passage from Marx that invariably surpises many conservatives and which many “leftists”, especially among “Progressive” Democrats have either never read or have quietly ignored:

    “National debts, i.e., the alienation of the state – whether despotic, constitutional or republican – marked with its stamp the capitalistic era. The only part of the so-called national wealth that actually enters into the collective possessions of modern peoples is their national debt. Hence, as a necessary consequence, the modern doctrine that a nation becomes the richer the more deeply it is in debt. Public credit becomes the credo of capital. And with the rise of national debt-making, want of faith in the national debt takes the place of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which may not be forgiven.

    The public debt becomes one of the most powerful levers of primitive accumulation. As with the stroke of an enchanter’s wand, it endows barren money with the power of breeding and thus turns it into capital, without the necessity of its exposing itself to the troubles and risks inseparable from its employment in industry or even in usury. The state creditors actually give nothing away, for the sum lent is transformed into public bonds, easily negotiable, which go on functioning in their hands just as so much hard cash would. But further, apart from the class of lazy annuitants thus created, and from the improvised wealth of the financiers, middlemen between the government and the nation – as also apart from the tax-farmers, merchants, private manufacturers, to whom a good part of every national loan renders the service of a capital fallen from heaven – the national debt has given rise to joint-stock companies, to dealings in negotiable effects of all kinds, and to agiotage, in a word to stock-exchange gambling and the modern bankocracy.”

    Karl Marx Capital I.31 (tr. Moore & Aveling)

    Even Marx would have been flabbergasted by the bailouts of the banks by Bush and Obama, not to mentioned other fillips many and sundry, but the basic structure is understoood.

    Of United States presidents, perhaps only Jefferson was on the same wavelength, without any knowledge of Marx at all. Jackson? Who knows?. And even Ezra Pound, whose “economics” were universally despised by both the US pseudo-Left and pseudo-Right, and who had read Marx, but not deeply enough, at least got the part about how silly it is for workers, left or right, to engineer increased wages from those who control the value of the money in which wages are paid.

    During the present election, the only advice one was asked was about Sanders and the tactics that he was pursuing against Clinton. Having noted that he was a figurehead to draw any real leftist votes, and that indeed he was drawing many young and antiwar, as Kucinich had done earlier, one answered that if he were a genuine “Socialist” what he would do is open up a channel of communication with Trump, and under no circumstances support Clinton, who was so obviously another bought and sold puppet of Wall Street.

    The enquirer–a supposed “Progessive Democrat”– was flabbergasted. What might have come out of that, of course, was a genuine Socialist Party and a genuine Conservative Party, which at the very least could have controlled who won the presidency–a control often more potent than winning it.

    But United Statesians are still too blanketed with distractions, too kept ignorant, even to think in such directions. And of course, as one has noted, Sanders was never more than a figurehead, as is Hollande in France and Obama too, whose real roles as “Socialist” have become transparent.

    At any rate, the United States of P. T. Barnum is now in the Finance Capitalist stage, as was Europe just before World War I. As polls have shown since the second midterm of Bush the younger, about seventy percent of any electorate, “left” or “right” wants an end to all US wars.

    What representation have they got since? You got it–nada por nada–when the duopoly unveils its final tickets, nor any prospect of such in any future without a whole change in their pathetic mindsets.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Yea for Hillary, global governance and our jew masters!

  25. @E. A. Costa

    I am grateful for the interesting Marx quote as, never having read his “Capital” (aspirationally, as a student, back from a summer in Germany, I put “Das Kapital” on my bedside table where it lay, untroubled, with “Discours de la Méthode” from an earlier scholar whom I was not taught to have said the last word for the 20th century: it wasn’t till I read Francis Wheen’s bio of Marx that I understood what gems there were in the jungle) the best I can hope for from him is such stimulus to thought.

    But let me quibble. First on Marx by throwing back to you a suggestion about his (almost necessary) omissions. The major area of numbers that he couldn’t cover was post-modern demography (modern demography being the explosive post-Malthusian consequences of the scientific, agricultural and industrial revolutions) which has seen transformations of feetility rates and life expectancy. What an interesting contrast that, by 1930 Keynes was able to see the possibilities of a bright new world without giving up on capitalism, even the finances of capitalism.

    Then I question your simple condemnation of the “bank bailouts” under
    Bush and Obama. To start with Bear Stearns and Lehman spring to mind as salutary losers for their owners. And there were other failures by merger which hardly constitute the very important moral hazard which is a genuine problem widely expetienced in human affairs by reason of aspects of human nature which have both up and down sides. I doubt very much whether the risk taking (and, not least, the risk transferring) which took place from 2001 to 2008 had much to do with the perpetrators or even their superiors on boards calculating that the state would see them right or adverting to it at all. (OK I am inviting someone who really knows what he is talking about to show how the whole mindset of Wall Street and all those intimately connected – not excluding European banks perhaps – was transformed or just formed so as to progress from repeal of Glass-Steagall, and a couple of other Clintton era follies, to disaster). Obviously risking the collapse of the US and world’s financial system was not a risk that should have been taken. Obviously the US taxpayer shouldn’t have to be the major loser – and it wasn’t as I understand how things played out, at least in respect of the banks which were helped like GS.

    My tentative replacement for your condemnations (apart from the Fed’s performance 2001 to 2007/8 which I assume) is to blame government, and particularly Congress, for a mindless anti-Keynesianism which meant that needed infrastructure expenditure was neither ready to go in 2007/8 nor actively promoted and implemented thereafter. If I blame the Fed of the QE era for anything serious it is its failure to educate the primitives in Congress (and, quaere, the Admunistration) so that fiscal measures supported the Fed’s efforts. And, ah yes, I have forgotten the failure to direct the major state assistance to the mortgagor householders who needed debt relief instead of foreclosures. I am sure we would agree that there is a story to be told about how that failure occurred. Or is there already a blow by blow account that I have missed unlike the great reportage on Wall Street from Michael Lewis and some others?

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
  26. @gustafus

    Is this the return of The Priss Factory?

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  27. @Waylon

    Why do you blame the Fed for contriving ways to make up for the failure of Congress (especially) and Administration to deploy fiscal measures, principally infrastructure expenditure financed by cheap long term debt, to restore demand in the economy post 2007?

  28. @TheJester

    Names please. Who, individuals or corporations, constitute the “Deep State” you refer to, and who is/owns the Federal Reserve/Treasury/”Wall Street” that owns and controls all?

  29. @another fred

    With a bit more work your “Sauve qui peau” could become quite a nice pun especially for those who have “skin in the game”.

  30. @Epaminondas

    You seem to have summed up well the reason for doing the ridiculous, absurd, unthinkable, namely installing Trump as President. But probably only persuasive if you are American. For the rest of the world the prospective ride may be too scary. Cf. Martin Wolf in the FT.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  31. @E. A. Costa

    I think there are different factions within the Western internationalist left;

    …………………………………….

    1. The Leninist: Believes that all nation-states ought to be abolished and replaced by a socialist world government. Have much in common with left-libertarian who believes that the nation-states are a significant hinder “free trade” and mobility of capital. For the Leninist (just like the left-libertarian) it does not matter if all factories move abroad as it only reduce poverty on the expense on the wealthy West. The Leninist ideology of internationalism overshadows everything else including solidarity with the domestic working class. In principle; all the establishment left and centre left parties are firmly within this rank.

    2. The Anarchist: Believes that the nation-state, government and border, ought to be abolished together with all kind of ownership of property and wealth. The vast majority of them are political radicals on the violent fringe left who do not have much support. However, both the mainstream left and right seem to appreciate them as they as they take part in violent demonstration against alternative-right parties of different stripes. Politically, they are marginalized and hold very little if no influence over policy.

    3. Socialist statist: Are not primarily driven by ideology but rather power. Believes that migrants are a key-tool to keep power within the left as migrants tend to vote on left parties. This view is firmly held by the centre-left. The centre-right knows this very well but as a global free market capitalism and short-term gains is more important they simply don’t care that they will be voted out of office in the future.

    4. The anti-occidentalist: Believes white people and white culture is responsible for capitalism. Thus, they want to deconstruct it through globalization, massive immigration and social engineering aimed at breaking down family structures, division of labour, values and old western institutions. They also argue for other “progressive” causes such as a radical feminism. The white working class is viewed through the same lens as Stalin saw the independent farmer; an obstruction for socialism so they fight the white working class (although without using weapons) as Stalin fought the independent farmer. In the same time the project their own opinions on the non-white world. Hence, they believe that they share the same goals as they do and become frustrated when brown people don’t organize in unions, share their love for the LGBTQ-community or intermarry with white men. This group is primarily academic but has significant impact on Western policy-making as actors within all elite institutions (media, bureaucracy, private industry, non-government organizations, politics, and academia) tend to go through the university. One should note that the anti-occidentalist ideology was merged with liberalism somewhere around the 1930s meaning a lot of liberals tend to share these views too and has become common even among conservatives.

    This is basically the four fractions or tenants within the Western internationalist left. The internationalist fractions are dominant. However, there is also a small, very insignificant and often very dogmatic Marxist left. They have ended up opposing the European Union, Trade Deals and capitalist internationalist system. However, this is not for nationalist reasons or because they have better solutions (they are also internationalists) but because they have a higher degree of sympathy for the domestic working class and is more true to Marx. An interesting trait among them is their opposition to Israel and their support for the BDS movement.

    Why this is I have yet to discover but what I know is that the old guard of Marxists of this kind were angry with Israel because it didn’t become a socialist paradise but a capitalist ethnocracy.

    Recently, I have noted that this small dogmatic left is slowly absorbed by the greater liberal and socialist movement. In United States, the leader of the Communist Party endorsed Hillary Clinton but not Jill Stein, who is rather closer to them than Hillary Clinton. The argument was that the “far-right” is the most dangerous foe to their interests. Maybe that is for good reasons because liberals have always shown much sympathy for the far-left and have sometimes very similar ideological platforms.

    Michael Moore in a leftist propaganda piece that he is he aware that poor (read: white) people suffer in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan but in the end they shall vote for Hillary Clinton because she as woman and Trump would halt mass-immigration. I think “mass-immigration” is the key factor here. It always boils down to it: Liberals, communists, socialists, greens, feminists or whatever they call themselves on the left they will always vote for any candidate which support open borders. In principle socialists would go so far that they would vote on a candidate who run on killing their children – so long he was in support of open borders and oppose nationalism, conservatism and populism they would be fine with it.

    …………………………….

    I see Western liberalism and Western socialism as part of the same movement. Liberalism came about (a creation of self-made individuals and families) to break the power of the conservatives (mostly consisted of statist aristocrats, land-owners and lower nobility) because their money didn’t buy them influence over policy. The joined forces with the socialists and was able to shatter the conservatives power. They were able to do so because the conservatives had locked themselves inside the ivory tower and didn’t act when millions of Europeans fled poverty to United States, Canada, New Zealand and Latin-America because of severe mismanagement. The liberals and socialist came to an agreement that liberals would be in support of a “welfare state” and the socialist wouldn’t turn into revolutionary communists. This agreement saved Western Europe from communism in the 19th century. Until the end of the Second World War, nationalism was used a binding force.

    For different reason it was abolished in 1945 while the welfare state was growing out of proportions, the worst form of neo-capitalism became institutionalized they both worked to deconstruct Western Europeans and socialize them into internationalism although different arguments and different visions but the outcome have been the same. Eastern Europe was never socialized into anything but Stalinism and isolated from post-Marxism and post-Liberalism meaning they didn’t experience what Western Europeans did. This is why Eastern Europeans have gone wild within the European Union because they have simply no experience of Western Marxism and Western Liberalism.

    After 25 years of socialization it is clear that it is not going to stick on Eastern Europe. The Eastern Europe was very culturally different even before communism. More so, you cannot go from Stalinism to open borders, feminism, multiculturalism and crony-capitalism within 25 years. It is virtually impossible. It took the Western European elite about 70 years to take us to this point and they are about to lose it to reviving nationalist, conservative and populist forces. The reason why the centre-right and centre-left parties are losing is pretty much obvious for everybody as they both fail in policy and have horrible strategies to counter the new right-wing parties.

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    , @another fred
  32. @Wizard of Oz

    Very amusing. The Federal Reserve is privately owned. The chairman is appointed by the president but he is no more than an errand boy. The membership is graded, with a handful of banks (now also banks cum financial service entities) controlling it. The Federal Treasury does not just print up money–it borrows private capital which is then peddled as bonds against future collection of the debt. The collateral? Ready–here comes the delicious part–the future collection of taxes by the same Federal government. Of course you know all this. And you also know where the “money” came from to finance the Federal bailout, don’t you?

    If you don’t, one has a proposition for you, so:

    (1) One will lend you X amount of private capital at interest, which loan one will then sell bonds upon.

    (2) You will then give one back the same amount X to do with it as one wishes–no strings attached.

    (3) Maybe the gift will be repaid, maybe not. What matters is that at the end of the day there may still be a structure of private capital to loan you money, if necessary again on the same terms. In any case, you–or your taxpayers–will still owe the initial loan in the form of bonds.

    Got it?

    But one must admit that even this does not do justice to the possibilities, one of which Goldman Sachs indulged, using money it got from the bailout to sell USD short, making a killing, then with great fanfare paying back the “gift”. High comedy–or tragedy, depending on one’s point of view.

    All this just scratches the surface. Moral hazards you say–even more amusing. Back to your Descartes now–you realize, of course, that “dubitare” at root means to make into two? Another lovely vicious circle, eh? One still has that bright image of Descartes and Desargues walking the causeway together at La Rochelle, don’t you?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  33. @AmericanaCON

    From the amusing to the hilarious. So much about what X and Y and Z, etc. “believe”.

    • Replies: @AmericanaCON
  34. Wally says:

    Prins credibility went down the tubes with concern for “climate change”. LOL

    I’m surprised there wasn’t praise heaped upon con-man Elon Musk.

  35. @E. A. Costa

    I may come back to this when I have time for some brain freshening nitpicking if nothing more substantial.

    In the meantime thank you for the etymological trivia. I admit to be hoping to pounce like the classics master who would sneer about the pretentious invited Speech Day dignitary who would orate about “education” deriving from “educere” – to lead [or draw] out – rather than from its true origin in “educare”. No, indeed, I am intrigued to find doubt and duo and deux actually accompanied by zwei and zweifeln (which I should have known but didn’t) and other examples. While we find it natural to say “I sm in two minds about it” that doesn’t really go far to explain the connection. A further instantly generated thought is that the seriously conscientious sceptic would look to greater numbers than two and; with that in mind (just the one analytical mind) can we find definite or indefinite words for larger quantities thsn two to correspond to our more complicated doubts. Now I promise I’ll stop but allow me to mark the beginning of my exercise in answering this myself by asking what words associated with uncertainty should come to mind when you say “I am in three minds about this”? Just limbering up.

    Also limbering up I remind you (I am sure that it is a reminder) that monetarists were nicely skewered – despite the healthiness of their policy presriptions at the time – by (one hates to admit) J K Galbraith who pointed out the limitless guises money could take. Do you remember M1, M2, M3 to M6? When were they last referred to? And of course I can create money in my little community where all 20,000 of them, whether they call me God or Big Chief Pig Feaster, believe devoutly in my cave full of so much gold that it would be absurd for them to refuse to treat my countless Promissory Notes as legal tender. (Indeed during the dry tourist
    season they find that the little hordes they have built up sell for splendid PPP premiums compared with fees for a recently choreographed
    ancient tribal dance or selling one of their wives).

  36. @mtn cur

    I’m 70 years old and have learned that, although the guys who kneecap the competition do often get ahead, they don’t have better lives. “The one that dies with the most toys wins” is for shallow mental cripples – believe me, I’ve known a few, even some with lots of toys, and seen them come to the end of their lives with a mouth full of ashes.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  37. @AmericanaCON

    The reason why the centre-right and centre-left parties are losing is pretty much obvious for everybody as they both fail in policy and have horrible strategies to counter the new right-wing parties.

    I argue that the problems are not solvable. At least not in the sense that attracts people to political parties. That is why we will see even more extremists offering solutions.

    Nature bats last.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  38. @another fred

    You are arguing as though the people/voters you speak of can tell whether the problems are solvable and are thus attracted to parties with solutions. Really?

    As different parties will have different solutions (of the kind thay attracts people) the question arises whether more than one can qualify as a solution. Logically the answer is yes because the answers to the problems of say maintaining a police force and providing good health care and education might be to raise the money by taxing the richest 10 per cent on the one hand or by a 10 per cent VAT across the board.

    So what are the unsolvable problems that still make people vote for someone?

    Being reduced to a minority in one’s own country?? What else? And why do people vote if there aren’t solutions?

  39. @another fred

    I can’t help it but you prompted a cheerful thought. In Glasgow of all places I picked up a card showing two elegant smiling ladies perhaps waiting for the manicurist at the beauty parlour while their hair dried:
    A. “Who was it that said age doesn’t matter?”
    B. “Probably the same idiot who said money can’t buy happiness!”

    I bought it.

  40. @Wizard of Oz

    Maybe but I don’t think so, lately Priss has posted under the nom de plum Anon.

  41. @Wizard of Oz

    Pay attention, Wiz. Harridan Hillary will lead the US (meaning the cucked Aussies will follow suit) into more stupid and disastrous wars for Israel. This is ruinous for all including world Jewry, all except Globalists, bankers and the MIC will pay an awful price including their liberty. Can you not see the trend? War can be the death of a nation, so said Sun Tzu.

    There is a chance that the Donald will focus on attaining via business deals what wars have failed to do. It is the hope at any rate. However much you dislike him you can only appear naive and deluded by saying Hillary is the better choice. I suspect you read Murdoch’s Australian too.

  42. You are arguing as though the people/voters you speak of can tell whether the problems are solvable and are thus attracted to parties with solutions.

    No. My point is that many of the larger problems are not solvable by any means that politicians sell. They get votes because the people believe the problems can or will be solved, but they are not.

    You apparently believe they can be, I do not.

  43. A. “Who was it that said age doesn’t matter?”
    B. “Probably the same idiot who said money can’t buy happiness!”

    That was not my point. It was about how one goes about getting the money and what some people give up to get it.

    But, you probably knew that.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
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