Our fear is killing us

Before we begin today’s commentary, I want you to listen to a part of the below linked video and let me know what you think. This video

https://ccisf.org/videos/

was produced by a group that says it wants to improve US-Russian relations. Start at minute 30 and listen to this man’s suggestions for improving US-Russian relations.

Then please send me your thoughts on the following:

In your opinion, does this man have a sensible idea for how to improve Russian-US relations?

Does he understand Putin, his philosophy and his MO? That is, does he have reasonable expectations for Putin based on what you know about Putin? (I am assuming most of you have read my articles on Putin and Russia here, hereherehere and elsewhere. If not, it would be good to read some of this before responding).

Keep in mind that the group that posted this video has the avowed goal of making Russians and Americans understand each other. Earlier in the video the speaker says he does not like Putin. Do you think the Russian people will sympathize with this man because they too have misgivings about Putin or do you think Russians generally like Putin and will be put off?

I will appreciate your taking the time to respond to at least part of this.

We have various groups that say they want to end war. I wanted you to see what some of these groups are doing so that you can assess their work and their approaches to the problem they are attempting to solve.

I would prefer if you would take the time to provide your answer below at the forum, but you may also write me directly. Thank you!

Don Hank

Now back to today’s business:

Our fear is killing us:

by Don Hank

Let me start off with an anecdote. Today I was walking in our neighborhood with my wife when a young dog, an obviously very playful and gentle female, came up to us and started rearing up and putting its paws on our legs to be petted. I petted its head and fell in love with it right away. But my wife started getting nervous and declared “I’m afraid it will bite us.” What was the source of her irrational fear? She had heard the old myth that if an animal smells your fear, it will attack you. Try as I might, I could not calm her or convince her that this myth does not apply to gentle dogs that do not bite.

This encounter with the gentle dog reminded me of Westerners and their irrational fear of Russia, Assad, Iran, all far-away places that we are supposed to fear and hate and that we are trying to destroy because of the fear ginned up daily by the press and the political class.

The following email from our friend JB is a clue as to why Trump is even more dangerous than GW Bush.

My email correspondent JB, a staunch fiscal conservative with a Master’s from a prestigious university, would agree that the msm are not reliable. But now Trump is president, and Trump is in agreement with the same msm that falsely accused him of being a Kremlin spy, so his followers now suddenly believe the press. This kind of thinking would seem silly to any unbiased rational person. But many Americans do not question the leaders we have chosen. To do so would be embarrassing and make us feel guilty. So we blindly let the tail wag the dog, and pray.

Why do we do this? In fact, both sides focus on their evidence, but this exchange with JB shows that evidence is not the issue here. The real issue is found in the fields of anthropology and mass psychology – that is, the mindset of the average American and what makes him tick.

The most solid evidence that the US citizen lets the tail wag the dog is the fact that after Donald Trump sided 100% with the Establishment, the US people kept siding with him thinking that they were being anti-Establishment. In fact they were now being Trump Establishment, of course. No different from the run-of-the-mill Establishment.
They were in fact suffering from a bad case of group-think, and what they believed to be thought processes were nothing more nor less than a monkey-see-monkey-do slave mentality. They were looking over their shoulders to see what other “anti-Establishment” people were doing and saying, and they were imitating them as best they could – for warmth, the same reason cows huddle together in the winter time. For the most part, they simply let Trump do the leading and switched off their brains. After all, they shallowly reasoned – if it could be called reasoning – since Trump has proven himself as the anti-Establishment leader, then we can trust him (OMG!). Yet Trump had never been a political leader before he began siding with the Establishment that he claimed to oppose. He had been a candidate. Candidates are not leaders. They are just basically car salesmen, some selling decent cars, some selling lemons. They become leaders only once they assume the presidency. But once Trump entered the White House, he almost immediately switched sides and let the Neocon / Neoliberal Establishment lead HIM. Now he is clearly selling lemons and the public is buying them without question.

Tragically, very few noticed this, and aside from a few bloggers like myself, who are not ambitious to land important positions in msm or politics, no one has any interest in exposing the ugly reality. Only by following and supporting a powerful movement can an activist succeed in the West-osphere In fact, let me tell you something personal.

Two writers and activists, who purport to be in favor of getting along with the Russians recently contacted me and complimented me on my work. But I noted that they only praised me for forwarding the work of other authors, never my own personal writing. I admit, I am utterly incendiary and no one knows what to do with me (because, while my writing often stings, I carefully document everything I say). Few up and coming Western activists or authors would dare quote me (though I often see the ideas expressed at my humble web site finding their way into their writings). Their narrative is that I am too pro-Russian, and on top of that, pro-Assad and, —gasp!—pro-Iran! But our president has commanded us to hate and fear Iran. So I am dangerously out of step and for now they won’t touch me. Eventually, they will cautiously let me know I was right, but only after the current administration has led them over the cliff and it becomes fashionable to disagree with Trump.

Therefore, the legions who are currently following Trump into WW III would not dare express support for my opinions. Not yet.

But who loses here? Is a warmonger who fails to see the risk of provoking a nuclear power not the real danger and not a little guy with no skin in the game who is only trying to warn America of a grave danger?

I guess WW III is no big deal. I have even had close friends tell me that human beings have no business trying to prevent wars using reason because – are you ready? – only God makes wars and only government “experts” are qualified to discuss war-related issues in detail. I kid you not. I have been told that by friends!

This commentary is a hard lesson in American anthropology. And this is one very important reason why more than 50% of Americans now agree with Trump’s attack on the Shayrat airbase, despite the fact that no investigation was conducted – or even called for – by the administration. We watched GW Bush do the same sort of thing in Iraq, we saw it fail catastrophically in the long run, and yet, it is the adrenaline rush, the emotion of the moment, and the desire to please powerful people who are in fact our enemy, that drives us. No rational considerations need apply. So what are the chances now of us shaking off our emotion-induced stupor and realizing that we are buying one more lemon from the car salesman-in-chief du jour? Does America stand a chance? Well, perhaps about as much chance as we have of the FED and Congress spontaneously ending deficit spending before we fall over the debt cliff. America – both official and private – is a creature of habit, and so far shows no sign whatsoever of abandoning ingrained deadly habits. It is my humble conclusion that any change in our thinking must come from outside the country. The US is not yet capable of governing itself.

US sues German bank for being fooled by US

US suing German bank for being fooled by US government

Kommentar auf Deutsch: http://laiglesforum.com/4004-2

http://laiglesforum.com/4004-2

by Don Hank

The US has just sued Deutsche Bank for around $14 billion [over a $3 billion loss, so kind of exaggerated – but the Fed and US are broke and ths is a desperate measure], and this has triggered a crisis that will affect the world economy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-deutsche-bank-lawsuit-idUSKCN0VC2NY

Deutsche Bank AG must face a U.S. lawsuit seeking to hold it liable for causing $3.1 billion of investor losses by failing to properly monitor 10 trusts backed by toxic residential mortgages, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said Belgium’s Royal Park Investments SA/NV may pursue claims that the trustee Deutsche Bank National Trust Co ignored “widespread” deficiencies in how the underlying loans were underwritten and serviced, and failed to require that bad loans be repurchased.

If you read the entire report linked above you will see that the root cause of the toxic mortgages sold by Deutsche Bank is not mentioned. No Western news outlet will tell you or remind you of why DB had these mortgages on its balance sheet, because, as usual, corruption in the US government kicked this all off. This is not to say that DB is blameless. But it was fraud on the part of US rating agencies Standard  & Poor and Moody’s that led up to this debacle (and caused the financial crisis of 2008). Some of these securities had been bought from the Fed in 2012 as a result of the bailout of AIG. Obviously, these were represented by the Fed as having more value than they actually had. Otherwise, DB would not have bought them. Please read the citations linked to below to learn the background of what happened.

German banks flooded with 75-90 billion euros worth of bad US mortgage-backed derivatives (from focus.de in 2008):

http://www.focus.de/finanzen/boerse/finanzkrise/finanzkrise_aid_267350.html

My translation of opening paragraph:

The Financial market crisis triggered in the US could, according to media reports, cost German credit institutes up to 90 billion euros. [And this was a report from 2008. The toxic derivatives have never been purged from the German system since then and now threaten to bring down Deutsche Bank, one of the biggest banks in Europe!—Don Hank]

ORIGINAL: Die in den USA ausgelöste Finanzmarktkrise könnte die deutschen Kreditinstitute nach Medienberichten mit bis zu 90 Milliarden Euro belasten

 

http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2012-04/deutsche-bank-hypothekenanleihen

April 2012

My translation: Deutsche Bank has purchased a bundle of structured securities [mostly mortgage-backed derivatives] valued in the billions belonging to the one-time world’s biggest insurer AIG [bailed out by the Fed]. The Institute has, together with Barclays, reportedly won a bid for collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which were dubbed toxic securities in the financial crisis.

ORIGINAL: Die Deutsche Bank hat der US-Notenbank Federal Reserve ein milliardenschweres Paket strukturierter Wertpapiere des einst weltgrößten Versicherers AIG abgekauft. Das Institut habe zusammen mit der britischen Großbank Barclays den Zuschlag für strukturierte Hypothekenpapiere (Collateralized Debt Obligation, CDO), die in der Finanzkrise als Giftpapiere bezeichnet wurden.

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-last-mystery-of-the-financial-crisis-20130619

QUOTE

But the financial crisis happened because AAA ratings stopped being something that had to be earned and turned into something that could be paid for. [In other words, these agencies rated these securities as AAA but they could not have really earned that rating because, thanks to the bursting of the housing bubble, many of the lendees were no longer paying because their homes were no longer worth anywhere near the face value of their mortgages—Don Hank].

That this happened is even more amazing because these companies naturally have powerful leverage over their clients, as they are part of a quasi-protected industry that enjoys massive de facto state subsidies. Largely that’s because government agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission often force private companies to fulfill regulatory requirements by retaining or keeping in reserve certain fixed quantities of assets – bonds, securities, whatever – that have been rated highly by a “Nationally Recognized” ratings agency, like the “Big Three” of Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. So while they’re not quite part of the official regulatory infrastructure, they might as well be. [Yes, and something else: The SEC had to know that these agencies were faking these ratings because they knew about the housing bubble even before it popped. The SEC is equally to blame but no one can sue them, so the government scapegoated the rating agencies that were, de facto, pressured into faking the ratings—Don Hank]

 

Thus you will see that the US is suing DB essentially for something that was set in motion by the above-named US rating agencies, which were allowed to get away with their fraud by the criminally derelict SEC, a government agency responsible for final oversight, independently of rating agencies.

How interesting that so much of the pain in the world is caused by our corrupt government trying desperately to get money by hook or by crook instead of cutting spending by putting people back to work and staying out of other countries’ affairs.

Like a boomerang, you can expect the aftershocks of the German crisis to hit you right square in the pocket book at some future date.

 

 

 

So now it’s all the banks’ fault?

All of a sudden, the CRA never happened and no banks were forced to give loans to the insolvent. And no banks were induced to follow suit to make a quick buck.

 

Don Hank

When the banks crashed in 2008, people on the Right figured out that the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act, which forced banks to lend more money to the “underserviced communities”) had something to do with it.

A lot was said and written about the CRA and the case against it looked pretty airtight.

But then leftwing analysts issued damage control statements supposedly showing that the CRA played only a minuscule role. They argued, among other things, that the CRA was enforced only on certain large banks while others did not have to comply.

Conservative observers bought into this story without further examination, and all of a sudden, everyone was looking elsewhere for a culprit: And they found blood on the hands of the Fed, the corporations, the lobbyists, etc, all of whom certainly had played a role.

I must agree, of course, with the libertarians and even the OWS crowd that corporations and banks contributed in no small way to the crash.

And I agree with Ron Paul, Alex Jones, Steph Jasky, Karl Denninger, Bill Stills and others that the Fed, with its inflationary policies and cheap credit in the midst of a housing bubble, had a huge hand in the crash. There is a lot of political hay to be made off the anger of many in the Occupy Wall Street crowd who can see only corporate greed as the culprit. Conservatives who spell out the entire narrative, including the role of leftist government, risk losing their constituency and their followers.

So with all these individuals and groups jumping on the anti-corporate and anti-Fed bandwagon, should the CRA get off Scott free?

Amidst the lynch crowd fervor, should we really let the government off the hook?

I go on the theory that the truth is always best, even if it is bad for one’s popularity at times.

Thus, one side of the rather complex discussion has been muted, and yet, that is the message we all need to focus on right now, if for no other reason than that it is a blind spot that could cause many to think the private corporations are solely to blame, when the government was the culprit that got the ball rolling toward the housing crash and subsequent subprime crisis by enforcing horrendous wealth redistribution law that was doomed to fail from the start. After all, exonerating a truly guilty party can only induce devious characters to do more mischief.

Case in point: taking advantage of the blackout regarding the seminal causes of the crash, Barney Frank, one of the most heinous offenders in the run-up, hypocritically teamed up with Chris Dodd after the crash to write tighter banking regulations, slyly dissimulating that his own support for the CRA had contributed to the economic/financial downturn in a way that some are now calling criminal.

So let’s be honest and let the chips fall where they may. The government played a seminal role in the crash with its CRA enforcement, as aided and abetted by ACORN, even though a superficial analysis may suggest it was not that big a role. So how did this devastating law do its dirty work in the shadows?

It pulled off this feat because it was not the government forcing banks to make loans to the insolvent, which was just an initiator or catalyst. It was rather the less visible effect of the CRA’s policy allowing (force was soon no longer needed) the banks to make bad loans with the tacit guarantee that the loans would be guaranteed by government.

See, if a law forces some people to use unsound banking policies, i.e., deliberately lending to the insolvent, then it can hardly prosecute banks that do this, even if they were not the ones originally targeted by the legislation. Thus the CRA opened the flood gates for horrendous banking practices never seen before on this scale by providing a huge incentive for banks to make money hand over fist at taxpayer expense.

All of this is further compounded by the fact that neither banks nor most (if any) American corporations can be thought of as representing true free market capitalism. So for the OWS activists or anyone else to blame the crash on capitalism is like blaming saber tooth tigers for making the outdoors unsafe.

But we aren’t talking about any of this now. Somehow, the narrative of the CRA as an insignificant contributor to our woes has assumed the status of settled science.  We’ve been led down a rabbit trail by both the far left and the well-meaning right that got lost and started seeing only the role of the banks.

But you know what? This topic of government culpability is much too young to die. Let’s drag it back onto the table again and take a longer look this time.

Is hatred for the Fed erasing the Left-Right divide?

Left and Right vs the banking oligarchs

Are Americans starting to come together?

by Don Hank

The video linked below provides a glimpse of why we are not a free nation, but also, how we can be free if we play our cards right and at least temporarily stop the artificially induced hostilities between Democrat and Republican voters.

Bill Still explains here how the international bank cartel controls our government, just as they do the rest of the world. You and I, on either side of the political divide, no longer have a say in any major decisions.

Remember the first “bailout” bill (TARP), which was signed by Obama and Bush simultaneously on national TV?

That signing was symbolic of the signing away of our sovereignty by both parties, which actually had happened long before that, as marked by the creation of the Fed in 1913.

I recall it as if it were yesterday, that when the TARP bailout was being discussed, congress reported receiving a record number of phone calls and almost all of the callers (of both parties!) begged their legislators not to sign the bill that charged the public with the disastrous policies of bankers and rewarded them for doing the wrong thing.

Yet, despite this almost overwhelming political pressure from the now-disenfranchised American people, the majority of legislators went ahead and passed the bill, proving that their loyalties were not to you, but to shadowy powers higher up.

Bill Still provides the most plausible reason for that incredible dissonance between what we wanted and what the Banking Oligarchy wanted. The banks control the nation and the world, and the banks in fact control the Fed, not the other way around.

But as Bill also shows, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The model for that hope is the State bank of North Dakota, the state with the lowest unemployment and the only State owned bank. It’s not a coincidence.

There is a clue: employment depends on a sound financial and monetary policy.

Here is a brief explanation of the North Dakota state banking system and why it is a model for other states:

http://prorev.com/2009/03/how-north-dakotas-banking-system-could.html

And here is a report on the Utah Monetary Declaration, another attempt to break away from slavery to the Fed:

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1168/277/States_to_Financially_Break_Away_from_Federal_Government—Utah_Monetary_Declaration.html

Finally, let me point out something that is absolutely key:

As I have said before, the Oligarchy (Ruling Class) has been able to successfully manipulate the people by cleverly dividing us into two main camps, each with its own vested interests, created by politicians to divert attention from the wizard behind the curtain.

The Republicans created a paradigm to counter the establishment of bank regulations by falsely stating that the banks were part of the free market system and needed “freedom” to operate. If that were actually true, then they would be right, but it was a big lie. As Reagan discovered when he tried deregulation, the banks are guaranteed to a large extent by the Federal government, so they are in some ways immune to failure. That is, a deregulated bank can destroy itself by issuing bad loans, but the government is there to pick up the pieces – by insuring clients at tax payers’ expense. In the Savings and Loans scandal, Reagan had forgotten that fact. He portrayed banks as free market capitalists when in fact they were part of a Private Public Partnership (PPP). So when banks went kaplooey, we the tax payers paid the bill.

So Republicans hate regulations due to a misperception of banks as carriers of sacred capitalism.

On the other hand, Democrats oppose regulations too because they want banks to finance their socialist schemes and this can be best accomplished by unregulated banks in the hands of ideologues dedicated to wealth redistribution – with the proviso that the ideologue bankers get rich implementing it.

By creating and tending these two narratives, the oligarchs have been able to maintain their grip on our finances and money supply.

But now it appears both right and left may be waking up. The treachery isn’t so hard to see now that so many are out of work and people see the huge national debt that will never be paid down.

It was a Democrat president, Andrew Jackson, who broke the backs of the banks, after banking oligarch  Nicholas Biddle brazenly threatened to cause a depression, and then did so, showing that the banks would not shrink from deliberately harming the public to get their way – something they have never ceased doing, acting as a shadow government in the so-called Land of the “Free,” and ultimately bringing down the world economy with the cooperation of both political parties in America and of the EU.

Now, ironically, many Americans who really care about the poor and middle class – beyond mere lip service – are aligned with the Tea Party, and their ideas square perfectly with Democrat Andy Jackson’s. Yet thanks to a strong cognitive dissonance syndrome induced by powerful propaganda efforts, Democrat voters have been trained to shun this group. But, equally ironically, many Democrats support the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is based in part on the proposition of freeing the people from the oligarchs (though with the focus, for example, on race instead of the proposition that all Americans are targeted equally by the Ruling Class).

Thus, in their respective ways, both sides seem to have glimpsed a common enemy, and the old taboos against controlling the banks — taboos on the left and differently-motivated ones on the right — are starting to crack.

If the light should ever go on in the minds of We the People of both parties – and there is no reason to assume it can’t, regardless of the propaganda efforts of both sides of Tyranny – then it will be the bankers’ turn to be afraid.

They will have nowhere to hide.

 

Further reading:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/2/This-Financial-Mess–Caus-by-Mike-Kirchubel-081227-842.html

“The president of the Second Bank, Nicholas Biddle, was quite candid about the power and intention of the bank when he openly threatened to cause a depression if the bank was not re-chartered.”

Poll shows one-quarter of world disenchanted with capitalism

BBC survey shows world disenchanted with capitalism

By Don Hank

Soon after last year’s disastrous bank crash, liberals and RINOs were quick to infer, from evidence to which only they seemed to be privy, that the capitalist system was flawed and needed regulation. Even conservatives seemed confused. Oddly, no one could come up with a uniform regulation design that would fix things or prevent such a crash. Something didn’t seem right about their take on the causes.

Not long after that, conservative pundits made an amazing revelation: Starting in the Clinton administration, an old banking law, the Community Reinvestment Act, passed under Carter for the purpose of channeling mortgages to the poor, had been strengthened. As a result, banks had been strong-armed into issuing mortgages to “underserved groups” meaning Hispanics and African Americans. Those that refused were harassed by radical groups like ACORN and/or blacklisted and/or sued by the government. Those that complied were given the highest marks and put into enviable positions from which they could make more money. The shrewdest lenders realized that this was a government-supported racket with which they could enrich themselves at little risk, as long as Fanny and Freddy were willing to back up their seemingly foolhardy lending policies. So they continued the game, and even lenders not subject to the CRA were soon cashing in, realizing that the government actually wanted them to play Russian roulette with public funds. Even when the inevitable crash came, they thought they were protected. Indeed many did get bailouts, but because of the innovative banking practice of bundling, or derivatizing, these mortgages, and then securitizing them – selling them as “securities” like stocks, bonds and mutual funds, the risk was actually multiplied to the point that even the bailouts were no longer a safeguard, because, surprise, even the US government isn’t too big to fail. The banking world on both sides of the pond, moving in lockstep like lemmings, sold and bought such “securities,” many made in the USA but also many homegrown ones, and a global disaster ensued that you are now witnessing, perhaps in person.

I know that many of you are aware of this background of the crash, but there is a whole industry devoted to telling you that this historical fact, authenticated by responsible, sober economists like Thomas Sowell, never happened. This disinformation campaign, supported by the mainstream media and universities, is overwhelming in both its magnitude and its absurdity.

I discovered this firewall of lies and distortions serendipitously while looking for articles on the issue. I had not read or heard anything lately on the causes and had also heard a Keynesian investment advisor on the radio boldly proclaiming that the capitalist system needs regulation to prevent such a crisis from recurring. Over a year ago, Sean Hannity had tried to tackle this issue, but I noticed that his grasp of the facts was a bit slippery. Later, the rest of the pundits also just dropped the ball. In retrospect, it is easy to see why. People are lazy by nature. There are a lot of esoteric concepts and language in this issue and it takes a bit of study. And after all, what’s it matter? We are only talking about your survival (please excuse the sarcasm).

To get to the bottom of this, I typed “cra causes bank crisis” in my search engine and found, compared to the legitimate articles plausibly describing the role of the CRA and government meddling in mortgages, about 20 times more articles either downplaying the role of the CRA and Fanny-Freddy and the strong-arming of banks or actually bold-facedly declaring that the CRA had absolutely nothing to do with the crisis. The gist of each one: capitalism can’t sustain itself without government regulation. We desperately need socialism under a scheme of global governance. Quick, give up your sovereignty and pledge allegiance to the UN before we all die. The truth is that government over-regulation of a toxic kind had threatened the world’s economy and those who were responsible for this outrage were self-righteously preaching to the rest of us that we were somehow the culprits and would now have to submit to their tyranny.

This is the time for conservative pundits to fly into action and defeat this insidious disinformation campaign. It is not new information that is needed, but someone must look at all the rubbish that is being written and start debunking it, because these government induced toxic loans are still ongoing. Right now the FHA has taken over the role of Fanny-Freddy in backing them and is starting to suggest that they too need a bailout. Nothing has changed. The actors are just shifting roles. We are not supposed to pull out of the crisis. It is just going to get worse — with “stimulus” money.

And that will be more evidence that the free market system “needs government control,” quick, before anyone has time to study the issues and recognize what actually hit them.

With the mainstream media and America’s – and Europe’s – professional pseudo-intelligentsia working overtime to show that global capitalism has self-destructed and that the story of the big-bad CRA and of Fanny-Freddy being the fox in the hen house are all part of a vast right-wing conspiracy, it is no wonder that the entire world is tilting to the Left in its thinking on so-called capitalism. As BBC reports (not without a certain unmistakable Schadenfreude), almost a quarter of people surveyed throughout the entire world are now saying that capitalism is fatally flawed.

Yet when you look at these statistics, you see that Americans are among the least deceived. BBC states: “In only two countries, the US and Pakistan, did more than one in five people feel that capitalism works well as it stands.”

I believe this is due to at least 3 phenomena:

1—Americans are smarter than the rest, including the BBC, because they have the commons sense to support the free market,

2–We have pundits like Rush, Savage, Farah, Beck and a whole slew of small but mighty web sites out there, like Laigle’s Forum, unspinning the spin and setting people straight.

But there’s also this I’m afraid:

2—Many Americans haven’t figured out that capitalism is no longer in place here. Many years ago they watched sanguinely as their government propped up a failing Chrysler, naively believing that the government was actually “saving” capitalism and the free market.

What was actually happening was that the stage was being set (BY BOTH PARTIES!) for Obama to come along decades later and deal the free market what was calculated to be its death blow.

There were other steps along the way to what is now being called alternately fascism, corporatism and even communism. Pick your –ism, but don’t call it capitalism, because Adam Smith would not see his ideal embodied in what we call big business in the West today.

Afterword: A reader emailed me that it was good news that 3/4 of the world still believe in capitalism. But if you go to the BBC article linked above, you see that of the 3/4 who still have not given up on capitalism, the majority by far believe the propaganda. They choose the option that capitalism “Has problems that can be addressed through regulation and reform.” A European Christian friend writes that neither capitalism nor communism are good — a conclusion that leaves socialism as the default system. If we lose this one, there will be no powerful conservative in the USA to say “tear down that wall.”

For Christians who think socialism is part of Jesus’ plan, please read the following article:

http://laiglesforum.com/2006/12/11/the-religious-left-in-bible-times-part-1/

One nation under material

One nation under material

By Donald Hank

Whenever I meet someone who identifies himself as a “liberal” or left-winger, I immediately ask them, “What caused the banks to crash?” The invariable answer: “lack of regulation.” When I ask them to elaborate, they say, parroting Tim Geithner, that the problem is “very complex,” implying “you aren’t smart enough to understand.”

The ultimate implication is that free market principles killed the banks.

But the free market has an alibi. It left the country years ago.

Some say free market capitalism started to decline with the creation of the Fed and income tax in 1913. Others trace the decline to the 30s and FDR’s Keynesian policies.

At any rate, the Western economy has long been an unsavory mixture of government and business, which some call corporatism and others call fascism. Indeed, it is essentially the economic system introduced by Mussolini, with the difference that Mussolini did not use it to harm banks or businesses.

Read more.