An Unfair Advantage - Documentary / Una Ventaja Injusta - Documental


| | | | | StraightSilver

12/27/2010

Why the Rich Are Getting Richer

The U.S. economy appears to be coming apart at the seams. Unemployment remains at nearly ten percent, the highest level in almost 30 years; foreclosures have forced millions of Americans out of their homes; and real incomes have fallen faster and further than at any time since the Great Depression. Many of those laid off fear that the jobs they have lost -- the secure, often unionized, industrial jobs that provided wealth, security, and opportunity -- will never return. They are probably right.

And yet a curious thing has happened in the midst of all this misery. The wealthiest Americans, among them presumably the very titans of global finance whose misadventures brought about the financial meltdown, got richer. And not just a little bit richer; a lot richer. In 2009, the average income of the top five percent of earners went up, while on average everyone else's income went down. This was not an anomaly but rather a continuation of a 40-year trend of ballooning incomes at the very top and stagnant incomes in the middle and at the bottom. The share of total income going to the top one percent has increased from roughly eight percent in the 1960s to more than 20 percent today.

This is what the political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson call the "winner-take-all economy." It is not a picture of a healthy society. Such a level of economic inequality, not seen in the United States since the eve of the Great Depression, bespeaks a political economy in which the financial rewards are increasingly concentrated among a tiny elite and whose risks are borne by an increasingly exposed and unprotected middle class. Income inequality in the United States is higher than in any other advanced industrial democracy and by conventional measures comparable to that in countries such as Ghana, Nicaragua, and Turkmenistan. It breeds political polarization, mistrust, and resentment between the haves and the have-nots and tends to distort the workings of a democratic political system in which money increasingly confers political voice and power.

It is generally presumed that economic forces alone are responsible for this astonishing concentration of wealth. Technological changes, particularly the information revolution, have transformed the economy, making workers more productive and placing a premium on intellectual, rather than manual, labor. Simultaneously, the rise of global markets -- itself accelerated by information technology -- has hollowed out the once dominant U.S. manufacturing sector and reoriented the U.S. economy toward the service sector. The service economy also rewards the educated, with high-paying professional jobs in finance, health care, and information technology. At the low end, however, jobs in the service economy are concentrated in retail sales and entertainment, where salaries are low, unions are weak, and workers are expendable.

Champions of globalization portray these developments as the natural consequences of market forces, which they believe are not only benevolent (because they increase aggregate wealth through trade and make all kinds of goods cheaper to consume) but also unstoppable. Skeptics of globalization, on the other hand, emphasize the distributional consequences of these trends, which tend to confer tremendous benefits on a highly educated and highly skilled elite while leaving other workers behind. But neither side in this debate has bothered to question Washington's primary role in creating the growing inequality in the United States.

IT'S THE GOVERNMENT, STUPID

Hacker and Pierson refreshingly break free from the conceit that skyrocketing inequality is a natural consequence of market forces and argue instead that it is the result of public policies that have concentrated and amplified the effects of the economic transformation and directed its gains exclusively toward the wealthy. Since the late 1970s, a number of important policy changes have tilted the economic playing field toward the rich. Congress has cut tax rates on high incomes repeatedly and has relaxed the tax treatment of capital gains and other investment income, resulting in windfall profits for the wealthiest Americans.

Labor policies have made it harder for unions to organize workers and provide a countervailing force to the growing power of business; corporate governance policies have enabled corporations to lavish extravagant pay on their top executives regardless of their companies' performance; and the deregulation of financial markets has allowed banks and other financial institutions to create ever more Byzantine financial instruments that further enrich wealthy managers and investors while exposing homeowners and pensioners to ruinous risks.

In some cases, these policy changes originated on Capitol Hill: the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush tax cuts, for example, and the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a repeal that dismantled the firewall between banks and investment companies and allowed the creation of powerful and reckless financial behemoths such as Citigroup, were approved by Congress, generally with bipartisan support. However, other policy shifts occurred gradually and imperceptibly.

Hacker and Pierson's second important point is that major policy shifts do not always happen in such obvious ways. Many of the policies that have facilitated the winner-take-all economy have just as often come about as a result of what Hacker and Pierson call "drift," which occurs when an enacted policy fails to keep up with changing circumstances and then falls short of, or even subverts, its intended goal. The American system of separated powers -- with its convoluted procedures and bizarre rules, such as vetoes and the filibuster -- is especially conducive to drift, particularly compared to more streamlined parliamentary systems in other countries that afford majorities relatively unimpeded dominance over the policymaking process. Policies in the United States, once made, tend to be hard to overturn or even to modify.

Sometimes drift occurs through simple neglect or inertia. An example is the phenomenon known as "bracket creep," the process by which prior to the indexing introduced in 1981, inflation pushed incomes into higher tax brackets. But Hacker and Pierson particularly zero in on instances of intentional policy drift, when policymakers deliberately sidestepped or resisted available policy alternatives that might have reduced inequality. Allowing corporate executives to be compensated with stock options is one such case; stock-option compensation tends to bend incentives toward the short-term maximization of share prices rather than planning for long-term growth. Consequently, such compensation has allowed top managers to capture jaw-dropping gains despite their companies' often dismal performances. The long-term cost of corporate failure is borne not by CEOs and their executive minions, of course, but by rank-and-file employees, who get laid off when companies need to cut costs and whose pension investments are wiped out when companies' stocks sink.

In the 1990s, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which regulates accounting practices, noticed this practice, correctly predicted the damage it would do to the economy, and then sought to curtail it. But Congress, spurred on by the lobbying efforts of major corporations, stopped the FASB in its tracks. As a result, Americans spent the 1990s and the first decade of this century living under 1970s accounting rules, which allowed top executives to more or less help themselves and, through the mutual back-scratching habits of corporate boards, help one another.

Similarly, labor law has failed to keep up with the times. Policymakers have repeatedly failed to enact reforms that would have accommodated new union-organizing techniques and empowered unions to counter the growing power of business to resist labor's demands. In this realm, the United States is running a twenty-first-century economy under 1940s rules. A clearheaded understanding of the power of drift in policymaking puts the Republican congressional minority during President Barack Obama's first two years in a fresh light. Obsessive obstructionism is not just a symptom of general crabbiness; it is a shrewd and sensible part of a larger strategy to enrich corporations while gutting long-standing protections for the middle class.

The dramatic growth of inequality, then, is the result not of the "natural" workings of the market but of four decades' worth of deliberate political choices. Hacker and Pierson amass a great deal of evidence for this proposition, which leads them to the crux of their argument: that not just the U.S. economy but also the entire U.S. political system has devolved into a winner-take-all sport. They portray American politics not as a democratic game of majority rule but rather as a field of "organized combat" -- a struggle to the death among competing organized groups seeking to influence the policymaking process. Moreover, they suggest, business and the wealthy have all but vanquished the middle class and have thus been able to dominate policymaking for the better part of 40 years with little opposition.

THE BUSINESS BACKLASH

In pursuing this argument, Hacker and Pierson revive the old academic tradition of pluralism to shine a bright light on some of the pathologies of American politics. The contemporary study of American politics emerged from pluralism, the post-World War II view that in the shadow of the two totalitarianisms of midcentury Europe -- communism and fascism -- democracy could be rendered stable and progressive through a politics of mutual accommodation among relatively evenly matched groups. Rather than titanic conflict between workers and capitalists, so the argument went, pluralist democracy would produce solid incremental policy changes that would inch American society forward toward security and affluence. The dramatic and decidedly nonincremental events of the 1960s and 1970s -- the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and broader cultural upheaval -- punctured this view.

Critics of pluralism began to note its limitations, emphasizing the primacy of individual motivations rather than group affiliations. Since then, the study of American politics has largely turned away from questions of organized interests and their role in policymaking and has focused instead on the ways in which individual attitudes and behavior combine to produce policy. Yet if one assumes that people vote based on their economic interests and that election outcomes influence policy through something like majority rule, how can one account for a generation of policies that promoted the interests of the wealthy few at the direct expense of everybody else?

Another critique of pluralism is that it underestimated the lopsidedness of political organization. As the great political scientist E. E. Schattschneider wrote in 1960, "The flaw in the pluralist heaven is that the heavenly chorus sings with a strong upper-class accent." Schattschneider, it turned out, did not know the half of it. To most observers, the 1960s seemed the height of American liberalism, and the decade's policy developments -- upgrading the basic New Deal package of social protection and labor rights to include extensive protection of civil rights and civil liberties and additional benefits such as limited health insurance -- seemed to bear out this view. But to business elites, the 1960s marked the nadir of their influence in American society, and they did not react passively. The era saw the stirrings of a conservative counterrevolution marked by ideological, political, and organizational developments, and particularly by the political awakening of business.

American conservatives, increasingly empowered by effective organization and lavish funding from their patrons in the business community, began to actively resist the politics of pluralist accommodation. Rather than accepting the basic contours of the New Deal and the Great Society and seeking to adjust them step by incremental step, conservatives assumed a newly confrontational posture and turned their efforts toward dismantling the legacies of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

The economic crisis of the 1970s, which heralded the end of a generation of U.S. economic dominance, helped their cause by laying bare the limitations of the New Deal order. The country's economic and social policy regime -- which relied heavily on the private provision of important social protections, such as pensions and health insurance -- may have been adequate for a globally dominant industrial economy that generated 30 years of widely shared growth and stable employment for millions of industrial workers. But in the 1970s, it began to prove thoroughly inadequate for an era of globalization, deindustrialization, and economic dislocation, as displaced workers found themselves unable to rely on the government for economic protection. This, in Hacker and Pierson's parlance, was policy drift on a massive scale.

Ascendant conservatives seized on this state of affairs to argue that the whole New Deal edifice of social protection, financial regulation, progressive taxation, and civil rights should be dismantled rather than reinforced. Beginning with the Carter administration, the expanding business lobby successfully defeated proposal after reform proposal and aggressively promoted an opening round of tax cuts and deregulation -- mere down payments on the frenzy to come.

CURING THE DISEASE

If there is a flaw in their telling of this grim tale, it is that Hacker and Pierson perhaps underestimate the actual discontent of the American middle class over the period they discuss. In the 1960s and 1970s, Americans came increasingly to distrust their government, and not without reason. Their leaders had led them into a distant war that proved unwinnable and tore the country apart; a criminally corrupt president was exposed and forced to resign; cities were going up in flames, exposing the deep racial rift that remained in American society despite the triumphs of the civil rights movement. Democrats and Republicans began to diverge on racial issues. The Republicans became the party not only of the wealthy but also of the whites (no Democrat since Johnson has received a majority of the white vote in a presidential election).

Even in the age of Obama, racial inequality remains an acute and intractable problem, and the forces of racial resentment, mingled with legitimate discontent over the government's abandonment of the middle class, infect American politics down to the present day (as the Tea Party movement's more lurid fulminations suggest). So by the late 1970s, dissatisfaction with the state of the government, politics, and policy was rampant across the board, among the wealthy and the middle class alike, and the conditions were ripe for a turn against the political status quo. Conservatives, on behalf of the wealthy, were ready with ideas and organization to seize the moment. Progressives and the middle class were not, and so began the spiral toward the winner-take-all game that Hacker and Pierson describe.

Like many social critics, Hacker and Pierson are long on diagnosis and rather short on treatment. Not surprisingly, they emphasize rebuilding the organizational capacity of the middle and working classes as the place to start repairing the infrastructure of American politics, neither a terribly precise prescription nor a route to a quick cure. But if they are right -- and theirs is a compelling case -- the task of restoring some sense of proportion and balance to the winner-take-all political economy is essential if the American body politic is to recover from its current diseased condition.

Taken from Foreign Affairs

11/19/2010

The Rise and Fall of American Democracy / La subida y la caída de la democracia estadounidense



Alexander Tytler (1747-1813) was a Scottish-born English lawyer and historian. Reportedly, Tytler was critical of democracies, pointing to the history of democracies such as Athens and its flaws, cycles, and ultimate failures. Although the authenticity of his following quote is often disputed, the words have eerie relevance today:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.

A democracy will continue to exist up until the time voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by dictatorship.

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

• From bondage to spiritual faith;

• From spiritual faith to great courage;

• From courage to liberty;

• From liberty to abundance;

• From abundance to complacency;

• From complacency to apathy;

• From apathy to dependence;

• From dependence back to bondage.


Tytler's Cycle and the U.S.

In looking at American history, we can see Tytler's sequence in action. In 1620, the Pilgrims sailed to America to escape the religious bondage imposed by the Church of England. Their spiritual faith carried them to the new world.

Because of their deep faith, the Pilgrims left England in spite of the high percentage of deaths incurred by earlier American settlements. For example, when Jamestown, Virginia, was founded in 1607, 70 of the 108 settlers died in the first year. The following winter only 60 of 500 new settlers lived. Between 1619 and 1622, the Virginia Company sent 3,600 more settlers to the colony, and over those three years 3,000 would die.

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed. From spiritual faith the new Americans were garnering great courage. By crafting the Declaration of Independence, the colonists knew they were essentially declaring war on the most powerful country in the world -- England.

With the onset of the Revolutionary War, the colonists were moving from courage to liberty, following Tytler's sequence. By demanding their independence and being willing to fight for it, a new democracy was born. This new democracy grew rapidly for nearly 200 years.

Then, in 1933, the U.S. was thrown into the Great Depression and elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt as president. Facing total economic collapse, Roosevelt took the U.S. dollar off the gold standard. At the same time, Germany, also in financial crisis, elected Adolf Hitler as its leader. World War II soon followed.

In 1944, with WWII coming to an end, the Bretton Woods Agreement was signed by the world powers and the U.S. dollar, once again backed by gold, became the reserve currency of the world.

After the war, America passed England, France, and Germany to become the new world power. Having entered the war late, the U.S. emerged as the creditor nation to the world. Our factories weren't bombed and the world owed us money. The U.S. grew rich financing the rebuilding of England, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The American democracy was transitioning from liberty to abundance -- maybe too much abundance.

In 1971 President Nixon violated the Bretton Woods Agreement by taking the U.S. dollar off the gold standard because America was spending more than it was producing and the U.S. gold reserves were being depleted.

In 1972 Nixon visited China to open the door for trade. What followed was the biggest economic boom in history -- a boom fueled by the U.S. borrowing money through the sale of bonds to China, one of the world's poorest countries at that time. The sale of these bonds financed a growing U.S. trade deficit. China produced low-cost goods, and we paid for them with money borrowed from the Chinese workers.

American factory production, which had fueled the American boom after WWII, was "shipped" overseas along with high-paying American jobs. America was shifting from abundance to complacency. Rather than produce, we borrowed and printed money to maintain our standard of living.

In 1976 America celebrated its 200th anniversary as a democracy. Rather than produce, we kept borrowing to finance social-welfare programs. Over the next three decades or so, America slid from complacency to apathy.

In 2007 the subprime crisis reared its ugly head. And by 2010, unemployment increased to double-digits, even as the rich got richer. Once-affluent people walked away from homes they could no longer afford. The U.S. moved from apathy to dependence.

Today we're dependent upon China to finance our debt as well as fill our stores with cheap products. At the same time, millions of Americans are becoming dependent upon the government to take care of them. If Tytler is correct, the American democracy is presently moving from dependence back to bondage.


Filling the Void

History reminds us that dictators and despots arise during times of severe economic crisis. Some of the more infamous despots are Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Napoleon. I find it interesting that the U.S. is now dependent upon Chairman Mao's creation, the People's Republic of China, for the things that we buy and the money that we borrow.

To me, this is spooky, foreboding, and ominous. While the Chinese people, as a rule, are good people, my business dealings with Communist Chinese officials have left me disturbed and concerned about the rise of the Chinese Empire. As you know, China doesn't plan on becoming a democracy. With money, factories, a billion people to feed, and a massive military, could they put the free world into bondage?

Although I don't like the way the Chinese do business, I continue to do business in China. I have to. They're the next world power. I cautiously believe that trade, business, and understanding offer better options for world peace and prosperity than isolationism.
Now the Western world must seek to grow stronger financially as China continues to gain power. To do this, our schools need to offer more sophisticated financial education to children of all ages.

This is not the time to be complacent or apathetic. This is the time to think globally. Putting up trade barriers would be disastrous. Instead, it's time our schools train students to be entrepreneurs who export to the world rather than employees looking for jobs that are being exported to low-wage countries.

Please be clear. I don't fear the Chinese. I fear our own growing weakness. Only a weak people can be oppressed. Today, America has too many people looking to the government for financial salvation.

In 1620 the Pilgrims fled the spiritual oppression of the Church of England. Today Americans may need to flee the financial oppression of our own government as our democracy dies. If we follow Tytler's cycle for democracy, our financial dependence will lead us to financial bondage.




Alexander Tytler (1747-1813) fue un historiador y abogado británico, de origen escocés. Según se sabe, Tytler fue crítico de las democracias, señalando a la historia de democracias tales como por ejemplo Atenas y sus defectos, ciclos, y fallas. Aunque la autenticidad de la siguiente cita se disputa a menudo, sus palabras son de gran relevancia hoy:

Una democracia siempre es temporal por naturaleza; simplemente no puede existir como una forma de gobierno permanente.

Una democracia seguirá existiendo hasta el instante en que los votantes descubran que pueden votar por regalos generosos para sí mismos pertenecientes a los fondos públicos. Desde ese momento, la mayoría siempre votará por los candidatos que prometan los mayores beneficios del fondo público, con el resultado de que cada democracia finalmente colapsará debido a una política fiscal inoperante, lo cual siempre es seguido de una dictadura.

El promedio de vida de las grandes civilizaciones en el mundo desde el inicio de la historia ha sido de 200 años. Durante esos 200 años, estas naciones siempre han progresado a través de la siguiente secuencia:

• De represión a fe espiritual;

• De fe espiritual a gran valor;

• De valor a libertad;

• De libertad a abundancia;

• De abundancia a complacencia;

• De complacencia a apatía;

• De apatía a dependencia;

• De dependencia a represión.


El Ciclo Tytler y los Estados Unidos

Revisando la historia estadounidense, podemos ver la secuencia de Tytler en acción. En 1620, los Peregrinos navegaron a América para escapar de la represión religiosa impuesta por la Iglesia de Inglaterra. Su fe espiritual los trajo al nuevo mundo.

A causa de su fe profunda, los Peregrinos dejaron Inglaterra a pesar del alto porcentaje de muertes ocurridas durante los primeros asentamientos americanos. Por ejemplo, cuando en 1607 se fundó Jamestown (Virginia), 70 de los 108 colonos murieron durante el primer año. Para el siguiente invierno sólo 60 de los 500 nuevos colonos sobrevivieron. Entre 1619 y 1622, la Compañía Virginia envió 3.600 colonos más de los que murieron 3.000 en esos tres años.

En 1776, se firmó la Declaración de Independencia. Los nuevos americanos pasaron de fe espiritual a tener gran coraje. Al crear la Declaración de Independencia, los colonos sabían muy bien que le estaban declarando la guerra al país más poderoso en el mundo: Inglaterra.

Con el inicio de la Guerra de Independencia, los colonos se estaban pasando de coraje a libertad, siguiendo la Secuencia Tytler. Al demandar su independencia y ser capaces de pelear por ella, una nueva democracia nació. Esta nueva democracia creció rápidamente por casi 200 años.

Entonces en 1933, los Estados Unidos cayeron en la Gran Depresión y elegieron a Franklin Delano Roosevelt como presidente. Enfrentando un colapso económico total, Roosevelt sacó al dólar americano del patrón oro. Al mismo tiempo, Alemania, también en crisis financiera, eligió a Adolfo Hitler como su líder. Pronto seguiría la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

En 1944, con la Segunda Guerra Mundial llegando a su fin, el Acuerdo Bretton Woods fue firmado por los países más industrializados de aquel entonces y el dólar estadounidense, una vez más respaldado por el oro, llegó a ser la moneda de reserva mundial.

Después de la Guerra, Estados Unidos pasó a ser la nueva potencia mundial, dejando atrás a Inglaterra, Francia y Alemania. Al ingresar a la guerra tarde, los Estados Unidos emergieron como la nación acreedora para el mundo. Sus fábricas no habían sido bombardeadas y el mundo les debía dinero. EEUU se volvió rico al financiar la reconstrucción de Inglaterra, Francia, Alemania, Italia y Japón. La democracia estadounidense tuvo una transcisión de libertad a abundancia... quizás demasiada abundancia.

En 1971 el Presidente Nixon violó el Acuerdo Bretton Woods Agreement al sacar al dólar del patrón oro porque EEUU estaba gastando más de lo que producía y las reservas de oro estadounidenses se estaban acabando.

En 1972 Nixon visitó China para abrir las puertas para el comercio. Lo que ocurrió a continuación fue la explosión económica más grande de la historia... una explosión aumentada por los EEUU que pedían prestado dinero a través de la venta de bonos a China, uno de los países más pobres del mundo en aquella época. La venta de estos bonos generó un creciente déficit comercial en EEUU. China producía mercancías de bajo costo, y EEUU les pagaba con dinero prestado de los trabajadores chinos.

La producción manufacturera estadounidense, la que hizo que se originara el auge del país luego de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, comenzó a ser "enviada" a otros países junto con puestos de trabajo altamente remunerados. EEUU pasaba asíde abundancia a complacencia. En vez de producir, el país pedía prestado e imprimía dinero para mantener su estándar de vida.

En 1976, Estados Unidos celebró sus 200 años de democracia. En vez de producir, el país continuó pidiendo prestado para financiar programas de ayuda social. Durante aproximadamente las siguientes tres décadas, EEUU pasó de la complacencia a la apatía.

En 2007 la crisis de los préstamos subprime alzó su cabeza. Y para 2010, el aumento en el desempleo alcanzó las dos cifras, incluso mientras los ricos se hacían más ricos. Gente que alguna vez fuera pudiente económicamente, tuvieron que dejar sus casas que ya no podían costear o pagar. Los EEUU pasaron de la apatía a la dependencia.

Actualmente dependen de China para financiar su deuda así como para llenar sus tiendas de productos baratos. Al mismo tiempo, millones de estadounidenses se están volviendo dependientes del gobierno para que se haga cargo de ellos. Si Tytler está en lo correcto, la democracia Estadounidense se está moviendo actualmente de la dependecia a la represión.


Rellenando el Espacio

La historia nos recuerda que los dictadores y déspotas aparecen durante tiempos de crisis económicas graves. Algunos de los déspotas más desprestigiados son Hitler, Stalin, Mao, y Napoleón. Encuentro interesante que los EEUU son ahora dependientes de la creación del Presidente Mao: la República Popular China para las cosas que compran y piden prestado.

Para mí, esto es tenebroso y siniestro. Mientras que los chinos son -por lo general- buenas personas, mis tratos de negocios con los oficiales comunistas chinos me han dejado perturbado y preocupado con respecto al levantamiento del Imperio Chino. Como sabrán, China no planea volverse una democracia. Con dinero, fábricas, un billón de personas que alimentar y un ejército masivo, ¿podrían ellos poner al mundo libre en represión?

Aun cuando no me gusta la manera en que los chinos hacen negocios, sigo haciéndolos. Tengo que. Ellos son la siguiente potencia mundial. Precavidamente creo que hacer negocios y el entendimiento de la oferta ofrece mejores opciones para la paz y prosperidad mundial que el aislacionismo. Ahora el occidente debe buscar crecer económicamente fuerte mientras China sigue ganando poder. Para hacer esto, nuestras escuelas necesitan ofrecer más educación financiera sofisticada para niños de todas las edades.

Este no es el tiempo de ser complacientes o apáticos. Este es el tiempo de pensar globamente. Poner barreras comerciales podría ser desastroso. En vez de esto, es tiempo que nuestras escuelas entrenen a los estudiantes para ser emprendedores que exporten al mundo en lugar de ser empleados buscando por trabajos que están siendo exportados a países con bajo salario.

Por favor seamos claros. Yo no les temo a China. Temo a nuestra creciente debilidad. Sólo gente débill puede ser oprimida. Hoy día, EEUU tiene demasiada personas buscando salvación financiera en el gobierno.

En 1620 los Peregrinos dejaron la opresión espiritual de la Iglesia de Inglaterra. Hoy día, los estadounidenses quizás necesiten dejar la opresión financiera de su propio gobierno mientras su democracia muere. Si seguimos el ciclo de la democracia de Tytler, nuestra dependencia financiera nos guiará a la opresión financiera.

11/05/2010

Anybody Seen Our Gold?

Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee

This advertisement, sponsored by GATA and costing $264,426.26, was published in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, January 31, 2008.

Click on the picture for a larger version of this advertisement.


The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee was organized in January 1999 to advocate and undertake litigation against illegal collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial securities. The committee arose from essays by Bill Murphy, a financial commentator, and by Chris Powell, a newspaper editor in Connecticut, published at Murphy's Internet site, www.lemetropolecafe.com.

Murphy's essays reported evidence of collusion among financial institutions to suppress the price of gold. Powell, whose newspaper had been involved in antitrust litigation, replied with an essay proposing that gold mining and investor interests should act on Murphy's essays by bringing suit against the financial institutions involved in the collusion against gold.

The response to these essays was so favorable that the committee was formed and formally incorporated in Delaware. Murphy became chairman and Powell secretary/treasurer.

GATA underwrote the federal anti-trust lawsuit of its consultant, Reginald H. Howe -- Howe vs. Bank for International Settlements et al. -- which was pursued in U.S. District Court in Boston from 2000 to 2002. While the Howe suit was dismissed on a jurisdictional technicality, it became the model for Blanchard Coin and Bullion's anti-trust lawsuit against Barrick Gold and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which was filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans in 2002 and prompted Barrick Gold's decision to stop selling gold in advance for 10 years.

GATA continues to expose and oppose collusion against a free market in gold, other precious metals, currencies, and related securities.

GATA is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt educational and civil rights organization and it welcomes financial contributions.


10/15/2010