During the mid 14th Century, the Black Death in Europe killed around half of its inhabitants. As a result, the peasants found their labor and services to be more valuable because there weren’t enough of them left to do the work. The peasants therefore demanded more compensation for their efforts. The nobility resisted. They wanted to pay the same wages and keep the same restrictions on their freedom as before. They even prosecuted some of their serfs. In the end, the serfs won. They flourished and it helped lead to the Renaissance. Some say it even led to capitalism.
Today we no longer have capitalism. We have CRONY CAPITALISM. Last week I heard someone call it ‘crapitalism.’ That metaphor made me think of this week’s cartoon: The vast majority of Americans now find themselves up the creek without a paddle due to crapitalism. We’re regressing back toward serfdom. It may be a high-tech form of serfdom but regardless, the average American now pays more to the banker lords in terms of taxes than their medieval counterparts. The vast majority are again without options and made poorer. They have less freedom due to the banker nobility. They must pay tribute to the banks in the form of debt–debt the banks artificially create through a profoundly flawed money system that benefits only them–a tiny elite.
I find it encouraging that Americans are getting angry enough to protest. Small businesses get driven out of business by big conglomerates and their lobbyists. Our jobs are sent overseas to be performed by slave labor–and the profits go into the pockets of an elite few. The top one percent controls 42 percent of the nation’s wealth and they are getting richer. Not because they are ‘better’ or ‘smarter’ or ‘harder working,’ but because they are corrupt and use their leverage to put their competition out of business. Smaller companies lack the money to pay taxes and a legion of lawyers to stay in business. Meanwhile, insider crony capitalists such as Warren Buffet continue to get sweetheart deals and pay little or no taxes. They even complain they don’t pay enough. They all must get quite a chuckle from that.
The marriage of big business and government is complete. The lobbyists write legislation. Congress is ‘told’ what to vote for without reading the bills. Politicians who go to Congress always come away much richer. The insiders make sure they clean up. The outsiders are fleeced. The paycheck for the average American has not risen since the 1990s while corporate CEO pay and bonuses continue to skyrocket. Sure, some will say that’s great. They ‘earn’ it. The WalMart employee who makes just over $8 an hour earns their pay, too–and they’re worked like draft animals. Their CEO makes more in one hour than they do in one year. In 1980, the average CEO of the largest companies was paid 42 times the average blue collar worker’s pay. Today it is 343 times and rising.
This disparity will continue to grow at the peril of everyone. Already the wealth disparity is greater than just before the French Revolution. So to all you global corporate heads and elite bankers…keep printing yourself money and paying record bonuses to yourselves. Keep breaking the law–thinking you can get away with it. Keep forcing the taxpayers to bail you out so you can get millions in bonuses. Keep rigging the regulatory agencies in your favor. You’re too big to jail. Keep putting more out of work and keep expecting countries to pay you back the enormous derivative debt you created by monetary magic tricks. Keep expecting them to lose more jobs and live with more austerity. Keep dividing the people and take away their freedoms and right to protest by dividing them and telling them they’re ‘anarchists.’ Keep it up and see what happens….because unlike the medieval serfs, today’s impoverished have access to the truth thanks to the internet. Get ready for another revolution. I hope it’s a peaceful one.