David Stockman, who helped Reagan establish supply side economics (aka grand theft) as the norm in America's economy in the Eighties, has a new book out that explains at great length what a mistake all that was. In his actual text, he tries to place the blame further back in time, on the Roosevelt administration, but it's largely a specious argument.
It would be more accurate to place the turning point on the Powell Memo of 1970. That's when lying, propaganda, and its consequent thefts became purposeful and predatory in our banking and business community.
Every book can be summarized in one sentence. War and Peace, for example: "It's about Russia." David summarized his financial tome on John Stewart's Daily Show as, "The world could get along just fine without Goldman Sachs."
He went on to talk about separating investment banking from commercial banking ("super Glass-Steagall"). What he is really putting across in his book is the hollowness of our modern dollar, and how it got that way.
Our US currency is the world's reserve currency, which makes it special everywhere. But it is just trust, in the end. And we should be worried about that trust. Follow me over the squiddly-doo and see how things stand.
Historically, currencies arose after credit, which is simple handshake trust between members of the same tribe or adjoining tribes.
Once neighbors are long-accustomed to trading chickens for buffalo hides they move on to “you plow my field in the spring and I’ll give you grain next fall.”
Later they decide that clam shells or shiny metal in weighed amounts will be a measure of these trust arrangements, even spanning generations.
Eventually they decide that pieces of paper with numbers on them will be a measure of these trust arrangements.
Quite naturally (given human nature), wiseguys in politics, banking and other criminal enterprises quickly learn to feed like vampires on this trust, learn to inflate the value of the paper currency and outright steal it without restraint.
This predatory grand theft inevitably gets entirely out of hand, forcing working people to smoothly move back to the previous trust arrangements that worked for them before the wiseguys made the fiat currency hollow.
Black market exchanges of goods, services, labor and other handshake arrangements of every kind abound in our current economy — a real measure of the necrosis of our fiat currency. “Catch me if you can” is the economy of the unemployed and unemployable. Life doesn’t end after 99 weeks of unemployment checks. Life may be little more than “three hots and a cot” but life goes on. With a lot less paperwork, too.
We are well past the point where the Federal government could cancel all taxes and fees whatsoever, and simply print more money to cover the “loss in revenue.” Our fiat currency only operates at this point as a plausibly legal means of continuing to separate things of value from the 99% and transfer them to the 1% and their enablers.
Logically, a very, very few people will eventually end up “owning” everything of real value through this continuing “grand theft via fiat currency” system, including the water and air and even personal rights to do this or that.
It will be Orwell’s world: “. . . imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” Everything is pointing in that direction.
Or, everything fiat will fall down before we get there.
The very, very few will find it harder and harder to keep the many from actively taking back whatever they need to live, and letting the wealthy eat their paper money for dinner.
Sisyphus always has a real hard time with those last few feet.