Friday, September 7, 2012

414: The Aftermath of Neo-liberalism - About the Rich

In my previous lecture I asked you to have a look at this diagram behind me and give your opinion. What do you read in this graphic representation of the decrease and increase of purchasing power.
I was astonished, when I saw the graphics, and then I understood. This is the real world of which politicians never speak, but which they keep unaltered.
In a year of deep financial crises, where banks loose billions, you would think that everybody across the broad has to take his losses. But this graphics shows, that the opposite is true. 
At least in the Netherlands, a country with a max tax rate of 52% and which is, if I am not mistaken, recently called a real socialist country by some American Republicans.
As a caricature it sometimes is said, that the socialist steal from the achievers and rich and give it to the losers, the poor. Whatever true this may be, this is not the case in the Netherlands.
The graphics shows us, that the richer you are the least negative effects does the crisis have on your purchasing power. Even more… If you belong to the richest 10% of society, your purchasing power even increased with 0.8%. Crisis or no crisis.
A short scenario may explain the logic of this. A company sees its profits go down. However, profit maximization is the target of the company to keep its shareholders satisfied. Crisis or no crisis.
Thence the company decides to reduce costs, which means, that it gives a 1000 employees the sack. As a result the company could even raise the dividend. The shareholders are happy and even see their purchasing power increase a little.
Next there is some confusion now. In Dutch we have the word "biljoen" (billion). In English this seems to mean trillion. One Dutch biljoen euro is euro. Just that you know….we are talking about huge amounts of money.
"The ultra-rich of this earth have parked at least 17 billion/trillion (?) euro in tax havens. An upper class has succeeded to withdraw from any joint responsibility by parking its money elsewhere at the expense of countries where they have amassed it. 
Therein they are facilitated by other countries which themselves often are victims of such practices, but they are only too happy to provide shelter to them. This applies not only to the Cayman Islands or the Channel Islands, but also to the Netherlands.
In the last decades, in conjunction with the globalization and the neoliberal dismantling of the state, there has come to power a group of multinational corporations and super-rich, who benefit from the collective infrastructure , but increasingly fewer contribute and in its gated communities withdraw themselves to all social problems
Where the bourgeoisie in the nineteenth century, because they themselves were strongly localized, committed themselves to the well being of their own city, because the cholera bacillus did not halt at their front door, 
this new money elite  now does not solve problems at its front door, but it just moves its front door. It succeeds thereby repeatedly in playing states against each other by bargaining for extremely favorable tax rate terms for itself ." (Thomas von den Dunk, cultural historian) -end quote -
A typical example is the Greek shipping companies. They use all infrastructure of the country, paid by tax money, without paying any taxes on their profits at all.
Another example is the Dutch Railroad Company, a privatized formerly state-owned company. It has an office, just an office in Dublin, Ireland. That office buys all new trains, which ride in the Netherlands only, and the Dutch company leases the trains from this Irish office. It is just a construction on paper.
To cut it short, while using all infrastructure in the Netherlands, this company succeeds in this way to evade 250 million euro of taxes a year.
Besides that the quality of the service deteriorated, because the company needed more profit to pay a good dividend to its shareholders and postponed replacements and repairs.
So much on the neoliberal dismantling of the state. There is something else. Maybe you have noticed that there is a new player in the field of politics.
I always believed that the democratically elected politicians dealt with the economic and social problems. Since the crisis, say since 2008, there is a new player: it is called "the financial markets". Part of its power is due to the deregulation of the banks, thanks to Thatcher and Reagan.
Regarding the euro crisis you now see how the politicians come to some agreement to solve the problems and then shudder and wait how "the financial markets" will respond.
Who are these financial markets? Of course it is this superrich 10%, individuals, multinationals and banks. On the one hand they put governments under pressure and on the other hand make the taxpayer pay for their misconduct and survival. How good can life be?!
"This is a parasitic class of top bosses, who thinks that the rest of humanity actually should regard it as a great favor, that they are willing to live on this earth and therefore as a kind of favor create employment."
- end quote - (Thomas von den Dunk, cultural historian)
In other words this 10% affects the social cohesion and increase the gap between haves and have-nots. And in this sense neoliberal capitalism fails in a social and moral sense as does the absolute belief in the free market.

The Discussion

[13:25] Debbie Dee: Yes.
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:25] herman Bergson: Thank you...^_^
[13:25] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: a horrible development it is going on now
[13:25] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you herman
[13:25] Qwark Allen: its not going to stop soon
[13:25] Debbie Dee: Very clear explanation.
[13:26] herman Bergson: Maybe that is half the truth Bejiita....
[13:26] herman Bergson: How cynical it may sound....
[13:26] herman Bergson: but this rich 10% still needs the states, the societies to live themselves
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:27] herman Bergson: Who otherwise would maintain their gardens, do the laundery, build their mansions etc.
[13:27] herman Bergson: Generate the dividends by their labour?
[13:27] Qwark Allen: this corporations set a grow, say of 15%, in their profits, means last year they had 100 mills profit, for this year they want 120 mills, or they will say they had a slow grow
[13:27] Qwark Allen: no matter what
[13:27] herman Bergson: Indeed Qwark...
[13:28] herman Bergson: The endless drill of setting targets
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: they just want more and more even they have so much money they cant logically spend it
[13:28] Debbie Dee: So, in a time of resource depletion, we are driven to higher levels of profit, and higher levels of consumption, by the free market forces.
[13:28] herman Bergson: Indeed Debbie.....the holy word in the free market is CONSUMPTION
[13:29] herman Bergson: And this free market belief is corrupting our moral values
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: id say its a bit like this TURF game i play , wanting more and more zones for your selves only here its no game, its peoples resources they play with and suck out
[13:29] herman Bergson: which I'll show you in the next lectures
[13:29] Debbie Dee: And, we must remember who they are.... It's us!
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: but a bit of comparison
[13:29] Debbie Dee: we consume.
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes..we do...
[13:30] herman Bergson: it is a bit of a paradox here
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:30] Debbie Dee: indeed, we support the process every time we shop, and buy lots of stuff.
[13:30] herman Bergson: Just remember that in the 15th century economy wasnt amatter of growth at all
[13:31] Qwark Allen: even if we only buy what we need to survive, its the same
[13:31] Debbie Dee: agreed qwark.
[13:31] herman Bergson: It was a matter of production to solve the needs of a community....
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: the problem is commercials make people buy crap they really don't need
[13:31] Gemma Allen: if they paid the correct taxes it would help
[13:31] Qwark Allen: true
[13:31] Gemma Allen: but shelter the money untouched
[13:31] herman Bergson: So the free market belief doesn't need to be the only model
[13:31] Gemma Allen: and unseen
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: which also drains resources
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: from nature
[13:32] Debbie Dee: How can growth be sustainable on a finite planet?
[13:32] herman Bergson: If the rich would pay their taxes in the countries where they made their profits the world would look different
[13:33] herman Bergson: It cant Debbie...and an increasing number of people are conscious of that
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:33] Qwark Allen: and remember some of them, print their own money also
[13:33] Gemma Allen: exactly
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: then it would sustain the entire community
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: but the more money people have the less they want to pay
[13:33] Qwark Allen: like in the USA
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: I'd say its the "Scrooge Mc Duck syndrome"
[13:33] Gemma Allen: LOL
[13:33] Lizzy Pleides: I must go, TC all .... see you next tuesday!
[13:33] Qwark Allen: they print the money, and then sell it to the government there
[13:34] Gemma Allen: no all money comes from the us treasury
[13:34] Gemma Allen: they print
[13:34] Velvet: no, money comes from the federal reserve
[13:34] Qwark Allen: no, the money comes from the federal reserve bank
[13:34] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:34] herman Bergson: YEs even tho they obtained that money by the labor of workers in their own country....who need taxes to maintain th einfrastructure....medicare, education etc
[13:34] Debbie Dee: Money is debt - see Zeitgeist 2 movie.
[13:34] Qwark Allen: that belongs to the same bankers we are talking about
[13:35] herman Bergson: But believe me..I am convinced that there is hope for a better future....
[13:35] herman Bergson: and the reason for that is pretty simple....
[13:35] Qwark Allen: what you think is the solution?
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: surley hope so
[13:35] Debbie Dee: Show us the way please herman.
[13:35] Qwark Allen: economy will collapse?
[13:35] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:35] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:35] Gemma Allen: show the world
[13:36] herman Bergson: The reason is...because I have these ideas....and I am giving a lecture on them....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako:
[13:36] herman Bergson: not because I am such a bright guy...
[13:36] herman Bergson: but because I listen to what I hear ...I read newspapers, book...on the internet....etc....
[13:36] Debbie Dee: But because you are a concerned citizen.
[13:37] herman Bergson: everywhere you can hear people voicing these ideas....
[13:37] herman Bergson: yes Debbie....
[13:37] herman Bergson: and the interesting thing see it in politics....
[13:37] herman Bergson: In the US....
[13:37] Debbie Dee: Not enough, in my opinion
[13:38] herman Bergson: they come up with a 100% pure Randian individualist , Paul Ryan....
[13:38] herman Bergson: against the democrats
[13:38] herman Bergson: In the netherlands there is a battle going on between liberal and socialist parties...
[13:39] herman Bergson: You see in the polls how the people really is split in two....
[13:39] herman Bergson: who should we believe...? The liberal or the socialist ...the Republican or the Democrate...
[13:39] Debbie Dee: None of the lying b....
[13:40] herman Bergson: I look forward to the elections in the US....
[13:40] Gemma Allen: OMG!!!
[13:40] Gemma Allen: omg
[13:40] Gemma Allen: holds breath
[13:40] herman Bergson: If the republicans win...we need to be worried..or at least I am
[13:40] Gemma Allen: very very worried
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:40] .: Beertje :.: don't you look forward to the elctions in the Netherlands?
[13:40] Gemma Allen: all of the world
[13:40] herman Bergson: And here in the Netherlands too....
[13:41] herman Bergson: when the Liberals become the dominating party....we have to worry.....
[13:41] Gemma Allen: our election outcome will affect globally I believe
[13:41] Qwark Allen: i think there rand, was right, there is no option in this so called democratic elections
[13:41] herman Bergson: Oh yes Gemma...
[13:41] Gemma Allen: no
[13:41] Qwark Allen: no mater who is elected , the result is the same
[13:41] Gemma Allen: if rand was right the republicans will win and it will be a real real probleem
[13:41] herman Bergson: I don't think so Qwark....
[13:41] Gemma Allen: they are all rands
[13:41] Qwark Allen: doesn't matter, its the same
[13:41] Gemma Allen: well some of them
[13:42] Gemma Allen: no it is not
[13:42] Qwark Allen: check who is in the government of obama
[13:42] herman Bergson: for instance...those free financial markets that manipulate politics...
[13:42] Qwark Allen: a lot of people that was in the bush time
[13:42] Gemma Allen: no way
[13:42] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:42] Gemma Allen: a few
[13:42] Gemma Allen: a few
[13:42] herman Bergson: it is a government that can create restricting regulations to keep them under control....
[13:42] Qwark Allen: they change the "face" of the leader, but the politic is the same
[13:42] Debbie Dee: I think that both parties represent the class of super corporate money, and there is no real choice.
[13:43] Qwark Allen: who is in charge now, is not the governments, is the corporations
[13:43] Debbie Dee: yes qwark !
[13:43] Qwark Allen: governments do what corporations tell them to do
[13:43] herman Bergson: True Qwark...the graphics proofs it...
[13:43] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:43] Qwark Allen: so doesn' t matter what your vote is
[13:43] herman Bergson: Main goal of the top 10% is to protect their wealth
[13:43] Qwark Allen: best way to vote, is to no vote
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: same here in sweden, when election say we will do this and this and turns out everything is just lies and now we have a party that only want the rich and the ones already having a job, the ones with no job they put in an endless chain called phase 3 where employes get paid to use them but themselves they get nothing
[13:44] Qwark Allen: vote blank
[13:44] Debbie Dee: so where is this ray of hope you spoke of Herman?
[13:44] herman Bergson: I am not that pessimistic as you are Qwark....
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: its in a process of getting a real job but that lead nowhere
[13:44] Qwark Allen: i`m just being realistic
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: a sort of slavery almost
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: terrible
[13:44] herman Bergson: That ray of hope is shown in history...
[13:44] Velvet: no vote is guaranteed to have no effect, Qwark
[13:44] Debbie Dee: Time for a revolution...?
[13:44] Qwark Allen: like rand said, we need to separate politics from economy
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:45] Qwark Allen: so politics can regulate, what needs to be regulated
[13:45] Debbie Dee: The rolling mass action sit ins have been interesting.
[13:45] herman Bergson: But it has to regulate economics Qwark....control banks for instance...prevent speculation etc
[13:45] Qwark Allen: for me a good start will be in some elections, only blank votes
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: we need some kind of management so it isnt the "money horney" wealthgy guys that decide everything making all spin put of control like it is now
[13:46] Qwark Allen: will say to these politics to go to hell, where they belong
[13:46] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:46] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: hahaha yes
[13:46] herman Bergson: For that you have to be religious Qwark...
[13:46] Debbie Dee: We need to bury politicians standing up, so they may never lie again!
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: we ned more balance in the society
[13:47] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita....
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: cause this isnt working at all as now
[13:47] herman Bergson: And I still believe that we can create that....
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: hopefuly yes
[13:47] herman Bergson: But it won't be achieved in a week or so...will take years..maybe decades...
[13:48] Debbie Dee: Do the networks and social media help restore the balance?
[13:48] Gemma Allen: depending on what you watch
[13:48] herman Bergson: At least they have a great influence Debbie
[13:48] Debbie Dee: Like us sitting here ;)
[13:48] Gemma Allen: :-)
[13:48] herman Bergson: Politicians...and big corporations fear social meadia...
[13:49] Qwark Allen: social media is owned by the same bankers
[13:49] herman Bergson: Facebook can kill any new product for instance....
[13:49] Velvet: they can't control it like they control print & tv
[13:49] Gemma Allen: exactly
[13:49] herman Bergson: Funny story....
[13:49] Qwark Allen: there is no uncensured information at the moment
[13:49] herman Bergson: about killing a product...
[13:49] .: Beertje :.: Buckler bier
[13:49] Qwark Allen: at least what concerns the mass media
[13:50] Debbie Dee: lots of uncensored information, but all monitored as far as I can see qwark
[13:50] herman Bergson: years ago there was a dutch comedian....a welknown one nationally...very popular...
[13:50] .: Beertje :.: Joep!
[13:50] herman Bergson: in one of his shows he hit on a kind of beer, named :Buckler"
[13:50] herman Bergson: yes Beerje
[13:51] herman Bergson: He explained how drinking Buckler was something for the ultimate looser....
[13:51] herman Bergson: It was the joke of the day....
[13:51] Annie Brightstar: Please excuse me I need to go, sorry Herman
[13:51] Annie Brightstar: Bye all
[13:51] herman Bergson: In no time the brand was taken from the market....
[13:51] herman Bergson: impossible to sell it anymore ^_^
[13:51] .: Beertje :.: nobody wanted to be seen with Buckler
[13:51] herman Bergson:
[13:52] Gemma Allen: i have had buckler
[13:52] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:52] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:52] Gemma Allen: LOL
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: hahahah
[13:52] herman Bergson: Now take the social media....
[13:52] Gemma Allen: non alcohollic
[13:52] herman Bergson: The Facebook population can kill any product this way
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: talk about a joke going wrong
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:52] herman Bergson: or any new regulation....
[13:52] Debbie Dee: There is a Vote Obama centre in sl next to my home ;(
[13:53] Debbie Dee: talk about politicizing games .
[13:53] herman Bergson: When I am not mistaken....there were two propsitions for new regulation in the Senate of the US...
[13:53] herman Bergson: A massive protest on Facebook and other social media made them disappear in no time
[13:54] herman Bergson: So...I say..there is hope! ^_^
[13:54] Qwark Allen: maybe you didn't saw the all true there herman... maybe another beer company paid that comedian to do so, .. so they sell more of their own beer
[13:54] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation....
[13:54] Gemma Allen: LOL
[13:54] Gemma Allen: CYNICAL
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:54] Gemma Allen: q
[13:54] Debbie Dee: Well, then there is hope - because the connectedness of the world is forging ahead at an increasing rate
[13:54] Gemma Allen: Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!!
[13:54] Gemma Allen: herman
[13:54] Qwark Allen: when this things happen is for a reason
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: well i drink beer based on if it taste good or not
[13:54] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[13:54] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:54] Gemma Allen: for now
[13:54] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:54] Qwark Allen: thank you
[13:54] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.´ ¯¨.¸¸`** **´ ¸¸.¨¯` H E R MA N ´ ¯¨.¸¸`** **´ ¸¸.¨¯`
[13:55] Velvet: Thanks, everyone
[13:55] herman Bergson: And yes Qwark....the world is bad...:-)
[13:55] Debbie Dee: bye Qwark
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: Budweiser i think is a looser beer then cause its water with a little beer taste in only
[13:55] herman Bergson: You never know the truth...
[13:55] Qwark Allen: i learn a bit how to see things in the world with you hermaan
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: at least when i tried
[13:55] Qwark Allen: ^^
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: tasted like someone had added 50 % water to it
[13:55] Debbie Dee: Thanks Prof - excellent as always.
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: no taste at all, i just thought " WHERE IS THE BEER?"
[13:55] Qwark Allen: see you tuesday
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: aasa cu
[13:56] .: Beertje :.: try a Leffe Bejiita:))
[13:56] herman Bergson: Tuesday Qwark...
[13:56] Debbie Dee: bye all - I must be going

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