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Old 07-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #1148
mhgaffney
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Not to be missed, MHG

The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism [Paperback]

Paul Craig Roberts (Author)

Book Description
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Former Wall Street Journal editor, and Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Paul Craig Roberts book is a major challenge both to economic theory and to media explanations of the ongoing 21st century economic crisis. The one percent have pulled off an economic and political revolution. By offshoring manufacturing and professional service jobs, US corporations destroyed the growth of consumer income, the basis of the US economy, leaving the bulk of the population mired in debt. Deregulation was used to concentrate income and wealth in fewer hands and financial firms in corporations "too big to fail, removing financial corporations from market discipline and forcing taxpayers in the US and Europe to cover bankster losses. Environmental destruction has accelerated as economists refuse to count the exhaustion of nature's resources as a cost and as corporations impose the cost of their activities on the environment and on third parties who do not share in the profits. This is the book to read for those who want to understand the mistakes that are bringing the West to its knees.

5.0 out of 5 stars A REVIEW

Collapse Overtakes The West July 1, 2013
By Johannes Maruschzik


The Failure Of Laissez Faire Capitalism And Economic Dissolution Of The West by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts - formerly Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy - is a fundamentally important work about the dramatic changes that are taking place in the US and world economies. For this reason, I translated the book into German in the spring of 2012 for its publication under the title "Wirtschaft am Abgrund" by Weltbuch Verlag (Dresden) in July 2012. Economic and political developments during the past year have given the book even greater significance.

Roberts describes the social, political, and economic dispossession that is occurring throughout the West. The citizens in the Western democracies are being forced into acceptance of the agenda of a small oligarchy of powerful private interests. The "free" media, "democratic" governments, and most economists serve the ruling private interests. Let's face it: Private power can be just as abusive as public power. The worst-case scenario is when both are working hand in hand, what, in fact, is happening in the Western democracies today.

Economic theory based on "empty world" economics cannot deal with the problems of a "full world" economy. A mistaken understanding of free trade has blinded the West to its economic erosion by jobs offshoring--labor arbitrage that substitutes lower paid foreign labor for the higher wages in developed countries, with the result that Western economies are deprived of employment opportunities, tax base, and real GDP growth.

Contrary to government claims and media reports, the U.S. economy is still in a recession. A real recovery is not in sight. The recovery exists only in the official measure of real GDP, which is deflated by an understated measure of inflation, and in the U.3 measure of the unemployment rate, which is declining because it does not count discouraged job seekers who have given up looking for a job. No other data series indicates an economic recovery. Neither real retail sales nor housing starts, consumer confidence, payroll employment, or average weekly earnings indicate economic recovery. Consumer real income in the US is stagnant or falling, and consumers are too indebted to be able to take on yet more debt with which to finance their spending. In the absence of growing consumer demand, an economy dependent on consumer demand cannot advance.

The ongoing debt monetization in the amount of one trillion U.S. dollars annually by the Federal Reserve threatens the dollar's role as world reserve currency. The real estate and derivative bubbles that produced the financial crisis have been replaced by bond, stock, and currency bubbles.

In Europe the "sovereign debt crisis" is being used to subvert democracy and the independence of the individual member countries that constitute the European Union. The common currency is being used to centralize the budget policies of the separate countries, thus stripping them of their sovereignty. Governments of heavily indebted members of the EU, such as Greece, are being forced to extract resources from their hard-pressed populations in order to ensure that the private banks that over lent to governments suffer no losses.

Formerly, the policy was for banks to write down sovereign debt that cannot be paid; today the policy is to extract the resources from the population by cutting wages, pensions, social services, and selling the country's public assets to private interests. To stabilize the situation, German income will be tapped to provide transfer payments to alleviate the suffering of the Greek population that is being looted for the sake of the profits of private banks.

Roberts makes it clear that we are experiencing a turning point in history as Western peoples are being enserfed.

The economies of the US, UK, and EU are in a process of dissolution. For a decade, Roberts has been warning against the fatal consequences of the erosion of goods producing industries in the United States. Offshoring - the relocation of production of goods for domestic markets to low-wage countries in order to profit from labor arbitrage between different wage levels in different countries - has already destroyed millions of middle class jobs in the United States. The ladders of upward mobility in the American "Opportunity Society" have been dismantled by "globalization."

The centralization of power in the US in the hands of an increasingly unaccountable executive branch is matched in the EU by the increasingly dirigistic policies of EU politicians.

Roberts warns the Germans not to terminate their sovereignty by agreeing to turn their governance over to a central government in Brussels. Instead, Germany should resign from the EU, re-establish the D-Mark, and enter an economic alliance with resource-rich Russia. Such a cooperation, in which the states would keep their economic sovereignty and separate currencies, would create an economic bloc consisting of Germany, Russia, Eastern and Central Europe and would eventually draw in Western Europe. This development would break up NATO, an organization whose purpose ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today NATO functions as a military auxiliary to Washington's drive for hegemony, thus enabling the numerous wars and military operations that Washington has launched in the 21st century.

If you want to understand what really is happening, read this book. No clearer or more accurate account exists.
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