Paging Bernie Madoff!

Filed under: The Left


By David Glenn Cox

God, it must have been a couple of years ago now. I saw this program about commercial fishing and the falling world-wide fish harvest. It was a mystery, why was everyone’s harvest decreasing, except for China’s? The secret was in their quota system, everyone working under the pressure of meeting their quota, whether the quota was there or not. “Yeah man, it’s two tons of fish,” wink, wink. If it’s not two tons, you don’t get your paycheck and the guy counting knows that, because if he doesn’t meet his quota, he won’t get paid either. Sure, maybe it’s just a fishing thing, but still, it is significant. Most of us can remember the poison pet food scandal, where Chinese dairy farmers watered down the milk adding the industrial chemical melamine, to fudge the nitrogen number in the purity test.

Perhaps it’s the implementation of Capitalism, inside the Chinese system. The Capitalist Square peg being driven into a round hole of an authoritarian manufacturing state. The rumbles began a few months back, when a purchasing manager’s report showed slowing growth. But Beijing announced today its overseas shipments fell 6.6% from a year ago. There is an interesting reason is why the number was revised; Beijing attributed it to, “distortions from inflated data in early 2013.” What? Paging Bernie Madoff! Paging Bernie Madoff, you have a phone call on the white courtesy phone.

The economic numbers were cooked? The fish catch numbers were cooked? The milk purity was cooked? And this is the second largest economy in the world and how they roll? Beijing reported imports had dropped 11.3 percent, so what do we really know? We know Beijing says imports dropped by 11.3 percent. Maybe its 12 or 15 percent or 50 percent, who knows what revisions the future holds? Winston Smith is still hard at work doctoring the numbers.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, stocks fell accordingly at this potential, last call for alcohol at the China party. “Economic momentum may have stalled temporarily in March,” said Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura Holdings Inc. Stalled, that’s such a funny word, in aviation the word stalled, usually comes right before the word crashed. The aircraft stalled and then it crashed. Imports into China fell 11.3 percent, meaning a slowing economy. For more than a decade the Chinese economy has grown by 10 percent a year. It’s a boom town, growing exponentially, getting while the getting is good.

A squeezing of the world economy to obtain more capital, investing in the boom, before it goes bust, before it’s too late, as the clock ticks away. We’ve allowed ourselves through Free Trade to wed our economies to people we hardly know. Trusting all will be well, in an economy based on speculation and unrestrained capitalism, under the quota system. A redux of the 2008 home Mortgage lending crisis, with through the looking-glass lending, only on a grander and world-wide scale. China is the manufacturing engine for the entire planet. A wonderful idea, wasn’t it, putting all our eggs in one basket? Sure, its rough for a few hundred million Americans, but there are billions to be made in speculation!

Wal-mart is a Dollar Store on steroids. Filled with cheap imported goods, made by near slave-labor automatons, laboring in a factory owned by a Red Army general or Party bigwig. At the same time, making our own labor uncompetitive, try as we might to compete with workers, earning $20 a week. It strangles our economy, swelling unemployment, bringing down wages and building poverty into the system. As millions of Americans draw food stamps, while employed by the most successful and profitable retailer in the world. The most successful retailer in the most advanced economy in the world, can’t pay its workers enough to… eat?

A world economy based entirely on low wages and whether this economic model functions well enough to enable your survival, it functions well, for those who buy for a nickel and sell for a dollar. It’s not just jobs we give away; we give away elected control of our lives, to give up so much, our homes and prosperity, our futures, for the very few to profit handsomely. The profits poured into political coffers, to elect friendly politicians to break unions, drive down wages, rape our resources and to privatize everything. Rather than human beings with a government, we’re becoming consumer units in a corporate vending machine.

Without trust, where are we? How much oil did PB spill into the Gulf of Mexico? Our government reported the same number of barrels spilled as BP, they asked and BP told them how many. Maybe it’s not as dark as it looks, but what if it’s worse? What if the little lies are just put in place to cover up the big lies, what could be worse than a society without any values other than money? Paging Bernie Madoff! Paging Bernie Madoff, you have a phone call on the white courtesy phone.

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