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Prying Open the Overton Window

Prying Open the Overton Window

If you’re truly interested in finding solutions to humanity’s pressing problems, then start helping us pry open the Overton Window.

The Overton Window describes the spectrum of concepts, policies and approaches that can be publicly discussed without being ridiculed or marginalized as “too radical,” “unworkable,” “crazy,” etc. The narrower the Overton Window, the greater the impoverishment of public dialog and the fewer the solutions available.

Those holding power in a socio-economic-political system that’s unraveling devote their remaining energy to closing the Overton Window so that only “approved” narratives and policies that support the status quo are “allowed” into the public sphere.

Everything outside this narrow band of status-quo-supportive narratives is immediately disparaged as “fake news,” “Kremlin talking points,” or other highly charged accusations designed to close the Overton Window–a process Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman called manufacturing consent: if no “outside” ideas are allowed, people accept the status quo as “all there is and all there can possibly be.

This narrow Overton Window benefits those in power who are “legally looting” the system.

There is another source of a narrow Overton Window: the cultural, social and political elites have no new ideas and so they cling to doing more of what’s failed, relying on the past successes of now-failing strategies to cement their power.

Michael Grant described how this failure of imagination and devotion to the past leads inevitably to decline and collapse in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire, a short book I have been recommending since 2009:

There was no room at all, in these ways of thinking, for the novel, apocalyptic situation which had now arisen, a situation which needed solutions as radical as itself. (The Status Quo) attitude is a complacent acceptance of things as they are, without a single new idea.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We’ll Pay All Those Future Obligations by Impoverishing Everyone (How to Destroy Our Currency In One Easy Lesson)

We’ll Pay All Those Future Obligations by Impoverishing Everyone (How to Destroy Our Currency In One Easy Lesson)

The only way to pay all these future obligations is by creating new money.
I’ve been focusing on inflation, which is more properly understood as the loss of purchasing power of a currency, which when taken to extremes destroys the currency and the wealth/income of everyone forced to use that currency.
The funny thing about the loss of a currency’s purchasing power is that it wipes out every holder of that currency, rich and not-so-rich alike. There are a few basics we need to cover first to understand how soaring future obligations–pensions, healthcare, entitlements, interest on debt, etc.–lead to a feedback loop which will hasten the loss of purchasing power of our currency, the US dollar.
1. As I have explained many times, the only possible output of the way we create and distribute “money” (credit and currency) is soaring wealth/income inequality, as all the new money flows to the wealthy, who use the “cheap” money from central and private banks to lend at high rates of interest to debt-serfs, buy back corporate shares or buy up income-producing assets.
The net result is whatever actual “growth” has occurred (removing the illusory growth that accounts for much of the GDP “growth” this decade) has flowed almost exclusively to the top of the wealth-power pyramid (see chart below).
2. Much of the “growth” that’s supposed to fund public and private obligations is fictitious. Please read Michael Hudson’s brief comments for a taste of how this works: The “Next” Financial Crisis and Public Banking as the Response.
The mainstream financial media swallows the bogus “growth” story without question because that story is the linchpin of the entire status quo: if it’s revealed as inaccurate, i.e. statistical sleight of hand, the whole idea that “growth” can effortlessly fund all future obligations goes up in flames.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Panama Papers: This Is the Consequence of Centralized Money and Power

The Panama Papers: This Is the Consequence of Centralized Money and Power

Technologies such as the blockchain are enabling alternative ways of creating and distributing money outside central banks and states.

If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we will never change anything. This is the core message of my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All.

The Panama Papers offer damning proof of this: increasing concentrations of wealth and power that are free of any constraint (such as taxes) is not just the consequence of centralized money and state power–this inequality is the only possible output of centralized money and state power.

Here is a graphic portrayal of just how concentrated global wealth really is: the top .7% (less than 1%) own 45% of all global wealth, and the top 8% own 85%.

Here is a depiction of wealth in the U.S.:

Here is my description of how centralized money and finance inevitably creates debt-serfdom as its only possible output:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If We Don’t Change the Way Money Is Created and Distributed, We Change Nothing

If We Don’t Change the Way Money Is Created and Distributed, We Change Nothing

The only real solution in my view is to create and distribute money at the base of the pyramid rather than to those in the top of the pyramid. 

Many well-intended people want to reform the status quo for all sorts of worthy reasons: to reduce wealth inequality, restore democracy, create good-paying jobs, and so on.

All these goals are laudable, but if we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, nothing really changes: wealth inequality will keep rising, governance will remain a bidding process of the wealthy, wages will continue stagnating, etc.

If the money creation/distribution system isn’t transformed, “reform” is nothing more than ineffectual policy tweaks that offer do-gooders the illusion of progress.

Mike Swanson of Wall Street Window and I discuss the The Future of Currencies and CHS’s New Book A Radically Beneficial World (33:21)

Few are willing to admit that the way we create and distribute money at the top of the wealth pyramid necessarily generates increasing wealth inequalitybecause once we admit this, we realize 1) the money system itself is the source of inequality and 2) we have to change the money system if we want to stave off the inevitable rise of wealth inequality to the point that it generates social disorder.

In the current system, money is created by central and private banks at the top of the wealth/power pyramid, and distributed within the top of the wealth pyramid. The only possible output of this system is rising wealth inequality and debt-serfdom for three reasons:

1. Those with first access to nearly free money can outbid savers and serfs who must borrow at much higher rates of interest to snap up income-producing assets. In effect, borrowing unlimited sums at near-zero rates guarantees that those with this privilege have a built-in advantage in buying income-producing assets.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If We Don’t Change the Way Money Is Created and Distributed, We Change Nothing

If We Don’t Change the Way Money Is Created and Distributed, We Change Nothing

The only real solution in my view is to create and distribute money at the base of the pyramid rather than to those in the top of the pyramid. 

Many well-intended people want to reform the status quo for all sorts of worthy reasons: to reduce wealth inequality, restore democracy, create good-paying jobs, and so on.

All these goals are laudable, but if we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, nothing really changes: wealth inequality will keep rising, governance will remain a bidding process of the wealthy, wages will continue stagnating, etc.

If the money creation/distribution system isn’t transformed, “reform” is nothing more than ineffectual policy tweaks that offer do-gooders the illusion of progress.

Mike Swanson of Wall Street Window and I discuss the The Future of Currencies and CHS’s New Book A Radically Beneficial World (33:21)

Few are willing to admit that the way we create and distribute money at the top of the wealth pyramid necessarily generates increasing wealth inequalitybecause once we admit this, we realize 1) the money system itself is the source of inequality and 2) we have to change the money system if we want to stave off the inevitable rise of wealth inequality to the point that it generates social disorder.

In the current system, money is created by central and private banks at the top of the wealth/power pyramid, and distributed within the top of the wealth pyramid. The only possible output of this system is rising wealth inequality and debt-serfdom for three reasons:

1. Those with first access to nearly free money can outbid savers and serfs who must borrow at much higher rates of interest to snap up income-producing assets. In effect, borrowing unlimited sums at near-zero rates guarantees that those with this privilege have a built-in advantage in buying income-producing assets.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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