Glocal Economics 10: Random Notes and WoD Questions
Definition of Economics: A system of incentives and disincentives through which a community governs itself without resorting to physical force. A community can be a world, a country, a state, a county, a neighborhood, or a family.
In 1933 Rep Louis McFadden quoted the credit manager of the Atlanta Fed as saying, “We are rapidly appraching a situation where the government must issue additional currency. It will very soon be the only move remaining. It should have been the first step in the recovery program.”
In our current situation the imperative is the same but the questions are, “The government or the Fed? And which government – Federal, State, or County?”
History is told from the perspective of the winners. The winners, however, are the ones whose policies have gotten us into this mess. Who we need to study are the losers, whose predictions have come true for what their opponents’ policies would do.
Who are some of the unsung heroes we never hear about? Patrick Henry, John Brown, William Jennings Bryant, Jacob Coxey, Henry Carey…
Telling Palestine that negotiation with Israel is the way to statehood is like telling a slave that negotiation with the master is the way to freedom. Being recognized as a state may not change anything initially for Palestine and may indeed make conditions, as imposed by Israel and the US, much worse. But, like first recognizing slaves as human, it’s the only road to equality.
Web of Debt Questions
Chapter 23: Freeing the Yellow Winkies: The Greenback System Flourishes Abroad
1. What two oppressed groups were the Yellow Winkies? Waterboarding was first initiated in the war against the Philippines. As a research question, what were the Philippines called before a European name was imposed? For further research the radio show History Counts has an excellent episode on The Opium Wars.
2. What stand did William Jennings Bryant take on the Philippine War? To what did Henry Carey attribute their victimization? How did he describe the two opposing systems? How does free trade undermine sovereignty?
3. How did Lincoln prevent the new US from falling into the fate of the Irish, Indians and Chinese? When he was assassinated who did Carey and other nationalists look to form an alliance with for the “American system?”
4. What did the World’s Fair and first Centennial include? In addition to the exhibits, what else happened there? Who adopted the American system after it had been replaced by the British system in the US? How did the Marxist system resemble the British system, where it developed? What did the American system protect against? What is the prejorative term used by politicians for this type of system today?
5. What country backed the Confederacy in the US Civil War? What country backed Lincoln? Who adopted the American system in 1861 and what did they do? How did the nobles undermine the liberation of the peasant class?
6. Describe the February Revolution in Russia, as chronicled by Ed Griffin, author of The Creature From Jekyll Island? Who backed the bloody October Revolution according to Griffin? Who did Lenin and Trotsky overthrow? How did they resemble destabilization experts, as described by John Perkins in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man? What policies of the Tsars did they revive?
7. Using the above definition of economics, discuss whether the dissolution of the People’s Bank of the Russian Republic into a “moneyless economy” was a step towards sovereignty or foreign and elite control?
8. What’s the connection between the Trotskyites and the NeoCons who started the Cold War? What does neo-Con stand for? How does it differ from neo-liberal? What is the goal of the NeoCons? How was their goal accomplished with regard to the Soviet Union in 1989? What happened to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation?
9. What is “shock therapy” and how did it apply to the end of the Cold War? What other terms does it go by and what are the measures it includes? What’s the goal? In 1998 Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, testified before Congress about the IMF policy results on Russia. What did he say and what statistics did he quote to back up his argument? What was the real culprit, rather than the deficit spending cited by the IMF?
10. How did this discourage the foreign investment it was supposed to incent? What kind of foreign capital was attracted? What was the price in Russia? How did economists blame Marxism for the decline? How did the free market of the Neocons differ from the free market of the American system under Henry Carey and the nationalists? Why have nationalists fallen into disrepute along with protectionists?
Chapter 24: Sneering at Doom: a Bankrupt German Finances a Recovery Without Money
1. What did the Treaty of Versailles impose on Germany? How many times the value of all German property was it? What did speculation do to the German mark? What happened to homes and farms?
2. What did Hitler do that wasn’t possible for a non-dictator? What does this say about Che Guevara’s advice to Fidel Castro, that the only way to assure that social programs wouldn’t be undermined was to institute them under a dictatorship? Why is capitalist democracy especially vulnerable to foreign meddling? Did it surprise you that Hitler, aside from his monstrous actions towards the Jews, did good in terms of economic policy? Do we know what Jewish involvement was in the German banking industry?
3. How did Hitler’s Labor Treasury Certificate plan work? What was its national effect? How did it affect foreign trade and credit? Were these the same thing? What did the view of Gottfried Feder convince Hitler of, according to Stephen Zarlenga’s The Lost Science of Money? Could Hitler have rescued German sovereignty without either the terrible human rights violations against the Jews or the expansionist conquests against Europe?
4. What did the 1938 interrogation of CG Rakovsky allege? What is autarchy? Do you think that there’s a reason that this word, like sovereignty, is not in use today? What are the four ways that Hitler changed the gold-backed German economy? What is “freedom of the exchanges?” Whose side was Winston Churchill on – sovereignty or financial imperialism? What was the effect of Germany’s independent monetary system?
5. For extra research: the Unwelcome Guests episode Patriotism and Militarism. In the second hour Michael Parenti exposes how Churchill could have nipped Nazism in the bud but thwarted efforts to derail it because of a desire for Germany and Russia (two sovereign banking systems) to bleed each other dry.
6. To what does economist Michael Hudson attribute “every hyperinflation in history?” In his 1967 book The Magic of Money what does the currency commissioner for the German Republic Hjalmar Schacht expose about the Weimar inflation and the Reichsbank? Was the Weimar hyperinflation before or after Hitler came to power?
7. What does it mean that Schacht’s refusal to issue the Feder through the Reichsbank may have saved him at the Nuremburg trials? Under what circumstances did he come to agree with Keynes that adding money to the economy did not increase prices? When does it lead to inflation? Which situation are we in?
Chapter 25: Another Look at the Inflation Humbug: Some “Textbook” Hyperinflations Revisited
1. What does John Maynard Keynes say is the surest means of overturning a society? Why? What is the real cause of inflation, if not a sudden flood of new currency? For extra credit listen to History Counts’ episode A Century of War interviewing William Engdahl.
2. In 1992, the IMF demanded a free float of the Russian ruble. How much did consumer prices rise by and how much did wages collapse by? What goal does Engdahl purport the IMF to have? What does he term this strategy? What does he call the elite rulers of this new regime?
3. In Yugoslavia’s hyperinflation of 1993-94, to what was it attributed and what was its real cause? Why did Washington change its support of the Communist leader Tito? For what other reason was Yugoslavia a strategic target? What is the “Tequila Trap?”
4. How many Yugoslavian companies were bankrupted as a result and how high did unemployment go? When Milosevic tried to prevent the breakup of the federated Yugoslav Republic, how long did the civil wars last and how many people died?
5. When the US imposed a total economic embargo in 1992 what did unemployment rise to? What did the US media blame this on? How does this compare to the Ukraine? How did US food aid then destroy Ukraine food self-sufficiency?
6. What was the inflation in Argentina in the late 1980s? What mistake did populist leader Juan Peron make? After Peron’s death what intentional acts caused an inflationary stampede? How did it benefit private firms and exporters?
7. How did “exchange insurance” work? What other policy was enacted, and why was it the opposite of a nationalist or protectionist policy? What were petrodollar loans and how did they combine with skyrocketing interest rates to be disastrous?
8. What was the dollar peg imposed by the IMF and how were pesos backed? What did it lead to? What did Argentina do then, with how much in debt? By the fall of 2004 what had happened as a result?
9. When inflation did become a problem in 2004, why did export bans curb it? President Nestor Kirchner’s 2006 payment in full of the IMF debt is controversial, as voiced by economist Adrian Salbuchi. He sees it as stolen from the people and alleges personal gain. Do you think that it was wise and necessary or fraudulent and futile? Is Argentina now in debt to Venezuela, who’s imposing high interest rates?
10. How were his efforts thwarted to get the central bank’s dollar reserves debt-free? What are vulture funds? When organizations like Jubilee succeed in getting amnesty for third-world debt how do vulture funds negate their efforts? Listen to the Third Paradigm on Clash of the Continents: Climate Debt for more information on vulture funds.
11. What has Zimbabwe’s inflation reached? What does Ellen Brown that Zimbabwe should have done? Would international investors have allowed it, or would the iron fist have replaced the velvet glove? Should the IMF motto be, as John Perkins hints, “Seduce if you can but rape if you must.”