from The Daily Bell
Posted originally Wednesday, January 19, 2011
States Warned of $2 Trillion Pensions Shortfall … US public pensions face a shortfall of $2,500 billion that will force state and local governments to sell assets and make deep cuts to services, according to the former chairman of New Jersey’s pension fund. The severe US economic recession has cast a spotlight on years of fiscal mismanagement, including chronic underfunding of retirement promises. “States face cost pressure, most prominently from retirement benefits and Medicaid [the health programme for the poor],” Orin Kramer told the Financial Times. – FT
Dominant Social Theme:
Find a job, invest, save and then retire. Hey, wait a minute …
Once upon a time, Americans dealt with issues of “plenty.” There was so much to go around that the US was subject to a plethora of guilt-inducing commentary in the 20th century. But today, the US suffers from high unemployment and decades of public-overspending. In Europe the situation is much the same and has led to the imposition of “austerity.”
In this article we want to rehearse once again what has emerged on the Internet – via the blogosphere – regarding the dominant social themes of the power elite, and how the ‘Net has confronted Dreamtime both in the US and Europe. It turns out that much of what people learned in school, from the media and via the elective process was a kind of fiction, a promotion intended to render people passive while the hard-work of constructing global governance went on around them.
The hard times are not going away any time soon. As the faux-prosperity of the central-banking economy continues to diminish throughout the West, money comes into short supply not just in the private sector but in the public one as well (see article excerpt above). The unraveling of American prosperity has to be regarded as the single most significant event that most American citizens young or old will face in their lifetime.
In Europe, the comfortable myths about socialism have given way to the harsh realities of modern austerity. Meanwhile, the American Dream is unraveling “across the pond.” The idea that municipalities would be able to continue to provide an endless array of upscale social and professional services – education, housing, civil services – is being exposed as a chimera. Ludwig von Mises proves far more prescient than John Maynard Keynes.
American Dreamtime included the perspective that any man or woman had as good a chance as any other to succeed. In America free-speech was not only tolerated but encouraged. Americans were wealthy because they were good; and good because they were moral. The wealth of America created a moral burden in fact, to help the poor and helpless of other countries become better off.
In America, everyone could own a house and a car. Poverty was not a problem because the government would allay it. Children could attend good public schools and solid, state universities. Social Security would keep people secure in old age. Hunger was never a problem in America. Nuclear families were the ideal social structure; Mom and Dad could go to a retirement center when they grew older. Health care – pharmaceutical drugs – would help them age gracefully.
One of the primary proponents of Dreamtime in 20th century America was Harvard’s John Kenneth Galbraith. He had the knack of writing in a way that allowed the reader to share his sense of disdain at the antics of the hoi polloi and nouveau riche without feeling targeted. His most famous book was entitled, predictably enough, The Affluent Society. Wikipedia describes it thusly:
The Affluent Society is a 1958 book by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. The book sought to clearly outline the manner in which the post-World War II America was becoming wealthy in the private sector but remained poor in the public sector, lacking social and physical infrastructure, and perpetuating income disparities. The book sparked much public discussion at the time, and it is widely remembered for Galbraith’s popularizing of the term “conventional wisdom” … (a term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field).
Galbraith’s bête noir involved income disparities. He looked with endless alarm at the wealth in the private sector and saw that government was not doing enough to redistribute income and help the impoverished. He wrote book after book to draw attention to this “problem,” and embodied in his prose and attitude the perspective that America’s main problem was its wealth – and that wealth would surely accrue forever and ever along with the problems it caused.
Except it didn’t. An expanding frame of historical reference reveals the myopic narrowness of Galbraith’s subject matter. He can be seen today as an elegant amplifier of a nexus of elite views that reside within Ivy League colleges and beyond – all the way up the ladder to the Anglo-American elite itself – having to do with the unsuitability of middle class wealth. What REALLY bothered Galbraith was not the inequality between those with some money and those with less, but that middle class was growing richer. He waged war against this concept with his ineffably snooty prose. He did well; as it turns out America did not.
Galbraith and the other narrators of the 20th century were engaged knowingly – in our view – in selling Dreamtime to American citizens, much as their counterparts did overseas. The idea was always to comment on the outward characteristics of society without examining its engine, which was central banking. It was central banking money stimulation that made the West’s prosperity possible, that and a world war that left America bestriding the globe like a colossus.
But central banking and the graduated income tax have now done their work. The graduated income tax has sent multinationals abroad for better terms. America is broke and impoverished. The surges of paper money generated by the Federal Reserve have created an entire false economy that is prone to breakdown and ruin. Human hunter-gatherers may have worked a few hours for sustenance; modern Western couples can work up to 12 or even 16 hours a day.
It is truly a crime. The whole issue of money creation was off-limits in the 20th century (how long ago that seems) and the result was a mythos that people grew up believing regarding their “prosperity” because they had no way of determining the truth.
Galbraith and others lied by omission while the Anglosphere’s various intelligence operatives misled the West via commission. It is increasingly evident, if one examines history dispassionately, that both World Wars were in a sense planned to further the cause of global government. The IMF, World Bank and UN were set up with this cause in mind. America’s further serial wars were fought to impoverish the US and to make the world more amenable to central banking and Western finance – especially in Asia.
“Enemies of the West” such as the Soviet Union were funded by Western bankers (see Edward G. Griffin) and hundreds of millions suffered under these regimes. The lies are plenteous and they range the gamut from the large to the relatively small. But essentially the Western narrative was a false one. It was a Dreamtime. Now, as economies distorted by a 100 years of money stimulation refuse to respond to further prodding, as cities and governments throughout the West face insupportable responsibilities, the veil has been ripped away; people confront a far harsher reality. But they do so with far more knowledge than Western elites expected. The Internet has provided an unexpected education.
We indicated above that we would explain how the Internet was debunking the elite’s Dreamtime and we will do simply with the following question: You’ve read this article, haven’t you? Now multiply the Bell by a thousand – no, a million – outlets. The dawning realization that the West’s “progress” in the 20th century was not what it seemed will generate considerable social tension for the foreseeable future in our view. Elite media continue to play the beguiling tunes of 20th century Dreamtime, but for many the music has stopped.