STOP THE MONEY FLOW OF INJUSTICE
By madis senner, CPA
It is time for all concerned with peace, justice and the American way to unite and realize that there is a common root cause for the problems we face: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Why Greenspan? —It’s the money, the money he created plus the nation’s apparent obsession with the market that are causing many of our ills here and abroad. The money that has helped fund USA multinational corporations, created records levels of wealth inequality and became a cash cow for initiatives and think tanks to push their own special interest(s) —all of which have undermined democracy.
The ability of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan to influence policy goes well beyond wealth creation for the wealthy and special interests. consider the words of William Greider in 'Greenspan's Con Job', The Nation, March 22, 2004:
"It is not exactly that he lies, but Alan Greenspan certainly ranks among the most duplicitous figures to serve in modern American government. Using his exalted status as economic wizard, the Federal Reserve chairman regularly corrupts the political dialogue by sowing outrageously false impressions among gullible members of Congress and adoring financial reporters. These distortions are not harmless; they become solemn writ for lawmakers and opinionmongers. Greenspan is especially destructive when he opines on public matters outside his supposed expertise as a central banker. His thinking is still anchored by Ayn Rand's brittle social philosophy: Let the strong prevail, let the weak pay for their weakness.'
Our attention is focused on Greenspan not because of his position – we are not interested in blasting the powerful simply because they are powerful -- rather, because of the way he has, in our opinion, abused his position of power to the detriment of the majority of the citizens of this country. As the chairman of the federal reserve, it is his responsibility to regulate bank policy and U.S. monetary policy not influence politics or manipulate the stock market. Click to read...
Has the emphasis on markets and big business been accomplished fairly and democratically? Have the rich gotten richer at the expense of the little guy? Think of the actions and targets progressives are pursuing. —follow the money flow—it all leads back to the USA Federal Reserve. ‘It’s the market, stupid.’ And we’d better wake up to this reality real fast, because the market is falling even faster and the last thing, the very last thing, we need is to have the guys that created the bubble and broke our country’s back be in charge of the restoration!
FOLLOW THE MONEY
$ Economic injustice- The rising stock market and economy have failed to lift all boats and have instead led to record levels of wealth and income inequality. For example, the Economic Policy Institute, ‘Wage and Income Trends—Up the Down Escalator’, noted; "[W]ages became more unequal between 1979 and 1999—the rich got a richer and the poor became poorer." Professor Edward Wolff of NYU (Recent Trends in Wealth Ownership, 1983-1998, April 2000) says that, ‘‘Wealth inequality continued to rise from 1989 to 1998…40% of USA citizens saw their net worth decline between 1983 to 1998."
$ Civil Rights- Civil rights, equality, social justice fall to the wayside in a world ruled by money. Historically it was the government, albeit often coaxed by progressives that led charge for civil rights. With money controlling the political process the ability of government to protect and help the less fortunate has diminished. As Jay Mandle notes; It is all but impossible to envision progress in achieving racial equality unless and until the role of private wealth in the electoral system is eliminated." 'Civil Rights and Financing Elections', Democracy Matters
$ Globalization--Pro Market Ideology—The stock market has been a cash cow for overseas plunder by U.S. corporations. Further under the auspices of the Federal Reserve we have had mega mergers in the financial services industry. Laws such as Glass Stegal written during the depression to separate banking from underwriting have been abandoned. The financial giants have taken it upon themselves to spread the gospel of U.S. Capitalism around the globe and help fund their corporate brethren. These USA financial institutions dominate all measures of financial prowess from merger and acquisition activity to underwriting to trading to derivatives as noted by financial industry standards (source - various). The power of our new global financial colossi has become enormous. This comes as no surprise given Greenspan's theology.
As a passionate capitalist and an ardent devotee of Ayn Rand Greenspan poses what many would call a very pro-globalization theology. He has consistently championed globalization;" Although globalization has its critics, I say with some conviction that the increasing interaction among national economies has engendered benefits that have significantly exceeded their costs over the years." ( Globalization , Mexico City, 2000). He has even called anti-globalization protesters 'wrong-headed'.
He scorns the power and influence of government except when it comes to protecting the rights of the market to exert its influence; " We depend on government in a free society to ensure those market "rights." Perhaps of greater importance, those rights can also be viewed as a list of prohibitions delimiting the actions of government.( The Embrace of Free Markets , Woodrow Wilson Dinner, June 1997). During congressional testimony (3/11/04) he scoffed at the idea of using trade to promote human rights;
'Rep. Timothy Ryan (D., Ohio) challenged him on why the U.S. should require trading partners to adhere to its standards on property rights but not human rights. Mr. Greenspan replied, "We're not trading human rights, we're trading property. Human rights...come up when we are dealing with whether we recognize certain countries or not diplomatically. But remember, trade is an economic issue."' 'Greenspan WarnsTrade Standards Will Harm U.S.', Greg Ip, Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2004.
Greenspan has consistently championed the market and free trade even when public opinion was strongly opposed to his views. At the height of the Enron scandal he said that ; "[T]he solutions to weaknesses in corporate governance exposed by Enron's collapse rested more with market forces than with new legislation or regulation".('Greenspan Says Enron Cure Is in Market, Not Regulation',
RICHARD W. STEVENSON, The New York Times,
03/27/2002) Similarly when the topic of 'outsourcing' was heating up in the spring of 2004 he defended free trade:"
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said free trade is still good for the U.S., even though it now includes services such as outsourcing. "('Greenspan Defends Free Trade Amid Outsourcing Flap', Michael Cooney
$ Corporate Welfare, Soft money, Campaign Contributions— Money has taken over our political process and undermined democracy. It is what William Greider in Who Will Tell The People: The Betrayal of American Democracy calls democracy-for-hire; (page 39) 'This is democracy and it costs a fortune. Democracy-for-hire smother the contemporary political debates and, while it does not always prevail, relatively few Americans have the resources to hire a voice for themselves.’
"The contribution of money to political parties and candidates is an important way in which large corporations and wealthy capitalists exercise disproportionate influence over politics in the United States." Who Rules
To see who is paying who to get what at the national level go to: Open secrets
To see who is paying who to get what at the state level go to: Follow the Money.
$ Right Wing Radical Initiatives--: The booming stock market has been a bonanza for right wing initiatives and think tanks.
‘Each year, conservative foundations pour millions of dollars into a broad range of conservative political organizations. These foundation gifts are remarkable for two principal reasons: first, their sheer size and concentration; second the willingness of the foundations to promote a highly politicized agenda by funding a broad range of organizations…The grants have created and nurtured an enormous range of organizations all bent on promoting a far-right-wing agenda. Recipients of foundation largesse include the right-wing media; national "think-tanks" and advocacy groups; conservative university programs; conservative college newspapers; conservative scholars and more. In many of these funding areas, progressive and mainstream foundation giving lags far behind." Buying a Movement: right-wing Foundations and American Politics" People for the American Way, 1996;
"A network of national and state-level conservative think tanks churn out educational and research materials for their activists and sympathetic politicians and journalists. This explains why campaigns over school vouchers, sentencing guidelines, union dues, and faith-based initiatives seem to sweep across the country in waves. The Right’s intellectual infrastructure began to be built in earnest in the late 1970s and matured in the mid 1980s. Examples of national think tanks include the Heritage Foundation for business conservatives, the Cato Institute for libertarians, and the Free Congress Foundation for the Christian Right. Through the synergy of research, publications, and conferences a variety of ideas are debated, slogans sharpened, and campaigns launched. Conservative foundations and corporations have learned to fund strategically, while most centrist and progressive foundations are reluctant to fund movement-building, for instance the type of infrastructure of the type that has been so successful for the Political Right...."
"Right-wing populist rhetoric masks the fact that changes in the tax code and other economic initiatives pursued by the Right in the 1980s and 1990s overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy, and created vast disparities between the rich and poor. Yet these initiatives were presented as reforms to stop the “tax robbery” of average citizens by government bureaucrats labeled as corrupt and incompetent. "
"Tax cuts invariably defund those programs of the federal government that seek to help impoverished constituencies, enforce laws against discrimination, and protect the environment. At the same time, federal funds have been shifted to build a huge infrastructure for the military, and various “anti-terrorism” programs of “homeland security” that have seriously eroded civil liberties, "'Drifting Right and Going Wrong', Chip Berlet and Jean Hardisty, The Public Eye
$ War with Iraq--Why did we invade Iraq? President Bush told us that it was part of the war against terrorism and to ferret out Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). But there were no WMD's and ex-Treasury Secretary Neil and ex-Terrorist czar Clark both said that there was a deliberate policy decision pre-9/11 in the Bush administration to go after Saddam. Where did this policy decision emanate from?
Many attribute it to Bush's inner circle and other neocon influences. The idea that a radical group could so dramatically influence our government's policy--that it was part of their agenda--is very frightening. But as Follow the Money notes privately funded groups are influencing public policy in the United States of America:
" Privately funded policy planning organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Committee for Economic Development, the Brookings Institution, and the American Enterprise Institute play a key role in the formation of public policy in the United States. These policy planning groups bring together influential figures from business, government, academia, the legal profession, and the mass media to define and discuss problems facing the nation and to seek consensus on policies to address those problems. Some policy planning groups sponsor research on political and economic issues. Others actively seek to shape public opinion and lobby for the enactment of specific policies. In a more informal way, these groups also provide a training ground for new leadership and a channel for recruitment into government service."
It is hard to imagine that a handful of well financed people could so dramatically shape our country's policies as to start a war. Yet that is what they did and it is a testament has to how influential money has become.
$ Other—Its all about the money-pick an issue (the Environment, Gun Laws, etc.) and follow the money trail. click here
Capital and money is morphing in ways unimaginable and transforming the way we live. What may have once been a shameless political payoff for a gravy contract or the passage of some special ordinance has grown into much worse. War, transgression are accomplished feats to a select handful of well-funded special interests. What's next?
America has been put at risk, and the evidence appears to point directly at Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan as the chief risk-taker. He has taken us all for a ride; some unwillingly, some enticed by visions of fortunes, many unwittingly set on a fatal path. How did we ever get in this position-did we vote on it? No. Was it the decision of an un-elected, unaccountable career bureaucrat abusing his position of power and taking it upon himself to do as he thought best? Yes!
To continue and read the next article It’s Time To Clip Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan’s Wings
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