Why Capitalism Thrives–and how it self-destructs

Earlier conservative press reports-3

This is a relatively new website and “the conservative financial press” is going to be a huge file. To keep downloads faster, it’s broken up into stages. This is the overflow from the previous one.


Here’s another classic illustration about how we never learn the lessons of history, and we keep repeating the mistakes of the past.

A nation’s prosperity—the production of products and services—precedes the creation of money. When the financial sector grows by simply repackaging money instruments–marking them up in price, and selling them—it increases money, but not true wealth. It’s a great short-term boost in profits, but a long-term disaster.

From The Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2011:

Wall Street Shrinkage

New York Comptroller Sees 10,000 More Securities
Jobs Lost by End 2012

New York City’s securities industry could lose nearly 10,000 jobs by the end of 2012, New York state’s comptroller predicted, a painful blow to the area’s economy and government budgets.

In a report set to be released Tuesday, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli also said bonuses are likely to shrink this year, reflecting lower profits on Wall Street.

Since January 2008, the securities industry in New York has seen 22,000 jobs evaporate. If Mr. DiNapoli’s prediction of 10,000 more jobs losses between August 2011 and year-end 2012 comes true, that would represent a decline of 17%. About 4,100 jobs have been eliminated since April, and deeper cuts are widely seen as inevitable given a recent flurry of corporate expense-trimming announcements….

The report also underscores the delicate position some of the region’s politicians find themselves in as anger at the financial industry takes the form of street protests like the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Many protests are backed by powerful constituencies like organized labor, but those politicians are heavily reliant on revenue from Wall Street to balance their budgets and avoid painful cuts and tax increases.

“Wall Street is on the defensive, having been painted as the villain in the overall economic scenario,” Ms. Wylde said. “Unless we can figure out how to reposition the industry as a key to the solution for future growth, New York is going to suffer the results, suffer significant losses in both jobs and revenues.”

Ms. Wylde is in serious denial. Of course Wall Street has been painted as the villain. It’s part of the industry that Kevin Phillips described in his book, “Bad Money; reckless finance, failed politics, and the global crisis of American capitalism.”

A major point of his book is represented by Joseph Chamberlin’s (British colonial secretary) warning to bankers in 1904: “Granted that you are the clearing house of the world, [but] are you entirely beyond anxiety as to the permanence of your great position?… Banking is not the creator of our prosperity, but is the creation of it. It is not the cause of our wealth, but it is the consequence of our wealth.”

In other words, Wall Street prospered because our economy prospered when we were still producing products and services. We’ve finally reached the point where our slowing economy is reaching the bankers—the ones who originally benefitted when our corporations went to low wage countries.

If you ever doubted the sociopathic nature of the Republican party leadership, check this out:

From The Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2011

Romney Environment Push Is Fresh
Target for His Rivals

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, whose health-care record as governor of Massachusetts has left him struggling to win the support of conservative voters, now faces another point of vulnerability: his environmental record.

Just days after his 2002 election, Mr. Romney hired Douglas Foy, one of the state’s most prominent environmental activists, and put him in charge of supervising four state agencies.

Mr. Foy had initiated a lawsuit that led to the cleanup of Boston Harbor and had worked to protect fishing grounds and seashores. Once in the Romney administration, he served as the governor’s negotiator on a regional climate-change initiative and helped draft regulations to put emissions caps in place for coal-fired power plants….

Now, Mr. Romney’s record on the environment is becoming fodder for rivals in the presidential race who are trying to stoke doubts about his commitment to conservative principles. On Friday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched a broadside against his rival’s environmental record, saying it showed he would govern like President Barack Obama….

In his five-year quest for the presidency, Mr. Romney has been bedeviled not only by his Massachusetts health-care plan, which mandated that most individuals purchase insurance, but also his shifts on abortion and gun control. In 2004, he signed an assault weapons ban for his state, although he now opposes most gun control. And he promised as governor he would keep his state’s pro-abortion rights position, though now he opposes legal abortions….

“He may very well emerge as the best choice, but he’s certainly not going to be the first choice of a number of Republicans,” John Ullyot, a GOP strategist and long-time Senate staffer, said of Mr. Romney. “And that stems from the inherent difficulty of being a Northeastern, successful Republican governor turning around and trying to appeal to a far more conservative electorate.”

The choices facing voters in 2012 couldn’t be clearer. To Republicans, Romney’s sensible acts as governor are NEGATIVES, and he’s now doing his best to manufacture reasons why his record relating to the environment, women’s rights, health-care and gun control isn’t as good as it was.

Incredible. To win a Republican primary, a candidate has to pretend that many of our nation’s problems simply don’t exist.

Democrats see our nation and the world as it is. Republicans only see a nation without government and taxes, and a society controlled by its closet aristocrats—like Mick Mulvaney.


As you read the column below, remember that:

  • Mick Mulvaney and the Republican Congressional Leadership want to totally eliminate inheritance taxes. In other words, generations of descendents of these people will live in luxury for as far into the future as we can project. And they’ll be able to do that, because
  • Sue Myrick and her Republican closet aristocrats also want to eliminate taxes on the income that wealth generates—dividends and capital gains.

On the other hand, they constantly complain that the bottom half of Americans—who are fundamentally broke because of Sue Myrick’s “free market” economic policies—aren’t paying enough taxes on the money they work hard for.

So, here it is, Forbes annual list of American greed, October 10, 2011:


The Forbes400

Counting To 400

Decoding the facts and figures of the nation’s richest.

Despite the stalled economy, America’s richest continue to get richer. As a group, the wealthiest 400 are worth 12% more than they were a year ago; their average net worth is now $3.8 billion, up $400 million from last year. Almost two-thirds added to their fortunes, while just 18% saw their fortunes drop. Nine of the 10 people with the biggest dollar gains are ranked among the top 20.

Enthusiasm for popular consumer brands has helped boost some fortunes, while the spread of social media–with its hotbed in the San Francisco Bay area–has sparked others. Of the 18 newcomers this year, 8 owe most if not all of their net worth to social media or Web companies.

Note that our current economic meltdown doesn’t include the richest 400, whose AVERAGE wealth increased by $400 million over the previous year. Republicans say that’s fair and morally correct because these people work so hard and they are successful. (Of course, their hard work and success is in getting closet aristocrats like Sue Myrick elected to public office.)

Also note that their average wealth increased, despite the fact that they undoubtedly paid huge amounts of taxes to the Federal government. The point: how much tax a person pays is close to irrelevant; what’s important is how much after-tax wealth a person has.

And because of politicians like Mick Mulvaney, the economy is hugely biased in favor of investors versus workers. The wealthy pay more taxes because they make much more money—at the direct expense of those who actually work for a living.



Forbes’ editors have always been avid fans of free market, unregulated international trade. Reality, and their news stories, however, force us to belatedly recognize what a disaster it has caused to our economic future.

From Forbes magazine, September 26, 2011, p. 38.


Outsourced Forever

Why Amazon can’t make the Kindle in America

…Decades of outsourcing manufacturing have left U.S. industry without the means to invent the next generation of high-tech products that are key to its rebirth….

Amazon.com, for example, couldn’t make a product like the Kindle 2 e-book reader in the U.S. even if it wanted to. The electrophoretic displays in the Kindle 2 are made in Taiwan because the expertise developed from producing flat-panel LCDs migrated to Asia with semiconductor manufacturing. The highly polished injection-molded case is made in China, because the U.S. supplier base for electronic packaging eroded as the manufacture of toys, consumer electronics and computers migrated to China….The controller board and lithium battery are made in China because—well you get the point.

In a piece in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review called “Restoring American Competitiveness,” Gary Pisano and Willy Shih assert that once manufacturing is outsourced we start to lose process-engineering expertise, since it depends on daily interactions with manufacturing. Once process-engineering talent is gone, research talent focused on the next generation of technologies goes with it….

Developed economies and their companies will always lose out to the emerging economies and their companies if the battle is fought on the basis of lowering costs, which is where traditional management tries to compete.

The saddest part of this story is that it isn’t new. We’ve always known that innovation depends on manufacturing, for the reasons Pisano and Shih pointed out.

The present shortage of “qualified” employees in the U.S. is directly due to outsourcing. American corporations have been training engineers and scientists in other countries instead of here. After all, they can buy three to five engineers and Ph.D. scientists for the price of one in the U.S.

Corporations have not only sold out America’s manufacturing workers—they’ve sold out America’s highly educated professionals as well.

When you go to vote in the next election, remember that Mick Mulvaney is at the top of the list of those who support globalization, a perversion of interntaional trade forces American workers to compete with the poorest paid workers in the world.

For more on this subject, check out The Education Con.


Remember when advocates of globalization told us not to worry about losing our manufacturing jobs because American workers would elevate themselves into better jobs?

And if you were around in the 1960s, remember when economists and “futurists” were predicting an explosive improvement in computers, technology and robotics—which would then lead, by the year 2000, to a 32-hour, 4-day workweek?

The following article clearly describes the result of Republican and conservative Democrat economic policies that favor investors over workers. American manufacturing workers have had to compete with the worst paid workers in the world, and their stagnant wages led to stagnant wages for workers generally. And now that corporations have all the power, they don’t have to share ANY of the benefits of new technology and productivity with the workers that made them successful in the first place.

From Fortune magazine, September 26, 2011, p. 92.


Why Obama is wrong on where to find more American jobs.

By Geoff Colvin

…The president is trying to create a narrative in which U.S. manufacturing fell into sad decline over the past decade but can be restored to its former glory and employ legions of Americans in high-paying jobs…. But that narrative, implying that U.S. manufacturing withered while we bought Chinese products at the mall, is simply wrong….

The great story of manufacturing in America and every place with a market economy is that we continually produce more stuff with fewer workers….Fewer people relentlessly produce more and better stuff, whether it’s corn, cars or any other physical product. The trend isn’t going to reverse….

At a time when the country desperately needs more jobs, manufacturing is obviously not the place to look for them…

Colvin’s comment that “But that narrative, implying that U.S. manufacturing withered while we bought Chinese products at the mall, is simply wrong,” is typical of those who wish to shift the blame for our loss of manufacturing from “free trade” government trade policies—the major cause of our unemployment problems—to productivity improvements.

The real “great story” of manufacturing since globalization is that top corporate executives and their investors have become incredibly wealthy—and at the direct expense of the workers they literally sold out.

If you want to know more about these issues, check out Globalization is not International Trade.

(For earlier conservative financial press releases, go here.)

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