Well, that’s not exactly what he writes, but his commentary
supports this conclusion.
When it comes to economic and financial assessments, Paul
Craig Roberts and I don’t often see eye-to-eye (not that he would notice or
care) – he describes the financial problems well, but then goes on to outline
his own central-planning solution.However,
on foreign policy and empire, I often find myself in agreement with him.
To summarize my view (at least the portions relevant to PCR’s
commentary and this post): the puppet-masters have concluded that the US
government has grown too big (and dangerous) for its britches.While this decision comes with the
unfortunate (for the elite) consequence of slowing down or even stepping back
from their desires of a centralized, one-world, state, it comes with the
benefit of avoiding the risk of a global nuclear holocaust – one that even the
elite have no means to survive (don’t tell me about bunkers until you have a
solution for the day after…or the next 300 years).
So, here goes:
…President Putin has asked the
Russian legislature to repeal the authorization to use force that was granted
in order to protect residents of former Russian territories that are currently
part of Ukraine…
Putin has placed his future and
that of his country on a bet that Russian diplomacy can prevail over
Washington’s bribes, threats, blackmail, and coercion. Putin is appealing to
Western Europeans. Putin is saying, “I am not the problem. Russia is not the
problem. We are reasonable. We are ignoring Washington’s provocations. We want
to work things out and to find a peaceful solution.”
Putin’s hope for diplomacy over
force rests on Germany and France. Both countries face Europe’s budget and
employment woes, and both countries have significant economic relations with
Russia. German business interests are a counterweight to the weak Merkel
government’s subservience to Washington. Washington has stupidly angered the
French by trying to steal $10 billion from France’s largest bank.
I have written often about the possibility of the coming
alliance amongst Germany, Russia, China, and maybe even Japan and
Australia.Events daily demonstrate
baby-steps in this direction.Roberts
suggests that Putin is betting that Germany and France will ultimately consider
the self-interest of their own countries (in the language of national politics),
respectively.Sooner or later they will,
as there is no salvation via an “ally” whose primary economic strength lies in
exporting funny digits on a banker’s computer screen.
If his bet is a bad one and Europe
fails not only Russia but itself and the rest of the world by accommodating
Washington’s drive for world hegemony, Russia and China will have to submit to
Washington’s hegemony or be prepared for war.
There are a few more places left for proxy wars, I guess –
Africa?South America?The pickins are slim.But is there anymore appetite in the
west?Is there the financial
capability?Is there the military
capability to “win”?Events of the last
several years seem to indicate “no.”
As neither side can afford to lose
the war, the war would be nuclear.
Eventually it will – on purpose (if not to “do” means to “die,”
how might political and military leaders act?) or by accident (trigger fingers
get itchy when the rhetoric gets hot; there are enough reported such near-miss incidents
during the cold war to not dismiss this possibility).
As scientists have made clear, life
on earth would cease, regardless of whether Washington’s ABM shield works.
This includes the elite.No way out, unless they have a plan to get a few hundred million of us (in
order to support the lifestyle they enjoy today) and all of their toys and
beaches to Mars.
This is why I oppose Washington’s
policies and speak out against the arrogance and hubris that define Washington
today. The most likely outcome of Washington’s pursuit of world hegemony is the
extinction of life on earth.
Yup.This is why the
elite are pulling the leash.Unless
there is no such thing as the elite….
After Eric Cantor’s defeat in the primary to an upstart,
apparently Tea-Party type, the Republican members in the House decided to heed
the lessons from such a high-profile defeat.They selected, as new majority leader one Kevin McCarthy, from the
hinterlands of California.
Do you want a hint at the shift?Check out the picture.
Humor me while I reminisce about the old days and one of the
most remarkable athletes I have ever seen in any sport (no, not him, or him…how old do you think I am?).Bo Jackson.Baseball or (American) football, he was outstanding in both sports – he could
have been an all-time Hall-of-Fame candidate if not for blowing out his hip and
further subsequent complications.
One of the more memorable episodes of the flash of light
that was Bo Jackson was a series of commercials by Nike, “Bo Knows” (if you
like a heavy guitar, listen to Bo Diddley on this commercial).In this series, the cross-training abilities
of Bo are explored in numerous sports.Bo knows them all (well, Gretzky doesn’t think so).
I know none of you come here to read about such things.I take this opportunity to reminisce on the
simpler, pre-911 days of my youth – or, let’s say, my less-aged.The topic, as you have likely surmised from
the title of this post, is Bowe
Bergdahl and the controversy surrounding his release.
I will begin by stating that I have no idea of the truth of
the circumstances behind his capture or release; behind any actions he may or
may not have taken.None of it.The story is a controlled one.But the controversy – even outrage – is based
on the narrative provided, and it is this narrative that I will examine.
The feigned controversy is in regards to the trading for
Mike Rogers, chairman of the House
Intelligence Committee said he was "extremely troubled" and that
"This fundamental shift in U.S. policy signals to terrorists around the
world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages". This sentiment was
repeated by Congressmen Buck McKeon and James Inhofe, who released a joint
statement saying that terrorists now have a "strong incentive" to
capture more soldiers.
they didn’t have reason already?Actually,
this might preclude the reason they have to kill US soldiers, and capture them
instead.You would think this is a good
What is the real reason for the hostility – hostility in the
politicians, the media, and much of the public?It is because Bowe knows (at least reportedly)….
Bowe knows the truth behind the US government’s foreign
The future is too good to waste on
lies. And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as
to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their
ideas and I am ashamed to even be american. [sic]
A soldier “ashamed to be an american” is a sin worse than
death – what does this say to the countless millions who stand cheering and
weeping when returning soldiers are paraded at sporting events, or when the
fighter planes fly overhead at parades?If
the soldiers are ashamed, what does this say for those doing the worshipping?Are they dupes?No, better to be hostile.
When it comes to inflation – the monopoly-enabled money-printing
/ credit-creating type – there are many benefits to those receiving on the front
end (politicians, bankers, crony-capitalists, etc.), and many costs to those receiving
on the back end…wait, that didn’t come out right…although it paints the proper
picture.I think you get my meaning.
I will comment on an aspect that gets little, if any,
attention – at least within the universe of what I have read on the topic: the
tax benefits to the state.I will take
this in two forms – one somewhat more obvious, and another that may not be so.
First, to the more obvious (and at least somewhat more
commented on): inflation stimulates (or attempts to stimulate) economic
activity more than otherwise would occur.On the back of this false, boom activity rides tax receipts – real wealth
taken from the productive sector to the government sector.That this will be partially offset (and
certainly reduced) in the subsequent and certain bust is somewhat irrelevant;
all politicians in elected democracies live for today.
Second, perhaps the less obvious: tax-loss carry-forwards in
various forms.Some examples and
definitions will help:
A tax loss carryforward takes place
where a business or individual reports losses on a tax return up to seven years
after the loss occurred. Frequently the logic behind this is to reduce tax
liability during a year where the income or profits are high if losses were
experienced previously. The tax loss carryforward reduces the overall tax
liability during the high-earning year by incorporating the earlier loss as a
reduction to taxable income.
In the boom, artificially high profits were earned.Tax is paid on these in the immediate year
earned.In the bust, lower profits and,
inherently, losses are incurred.These losses
do not result in a refund of prior years’ taxes paid (paid due to the boom that
will always result in the bust); the losses do not result in a payment from the
treasury to the taxpayer at the marginal (negative) tax rate in the current
year.Instead, the taxpayer must
carry-forward the loss, helpful only in future years and only if a profit is achieved
in the future.So, on a timing basis,
the treasury comes out ahead.
Consider; the boom ensures a subsequent bust: condition
precedent is the boom; condition subsequent is the bust.But the logic of the tax code is the
opposite: the losses associated with the bust cannot be retroactively applied
to the taxes paid during the preceding (and causing) boom.Instead, they must be carried forward – to a
boom not associated with the current bust.
Of course, if the business goes bankrupt in the bust, there
is no profit in the future against which to apply the loss.The treasury comes out net ahead.
A period in which a company's
allowable tax deductions are greater than its taxable income, resulting in a
negative taxable income. This generally occurs when a company has incurred more
expenses than revenues during the period.
The net operating loss for the
company can generally be used to recover past tax payments or reduce future tax
The terms of the tax relief and how
it can be applied varies by jurisdiction but usually the NOL can be applied to
the past few years (two to three) and much more to the future (seven to 10)
Similar in concept to a tax-loss carry-forward.Note that the retroactive period is much
shorter than the prospective period.I often
hear of businesses that carry as an asset a tax loss.This suggests that the prior 2-3 years where
not useful in recovery, and that the hope is for the future ten years to offer
the possibility of application.
Once again, the treasury is paid taxes on income, while the
taxpayer has to wait to gain benefit from losses.
off Investment Losses.Note: this is
taken from an article at the end of 2008 – a year of significant investment
losses for many, and a bust period following a significant boom (similar to the
dot-com bust several years earlier):
The IRS allows a taxpayer to use up
to $3,000 in net capital losses to offset ordinary income. Capital losses of
more than $3,000 ($1,500 if married, filing separately) must be carried over to
the next year, though they can be carried over indefinitely.
Take the example of someone with
$500,000 in capital gains and $1 million in capital losses. After subtracting
the gains from losses, he has $500,000 in excess capital loss. He can use only
$3,000 of that loss to offset ordinary income, such as salary, that year.
The taxpayer, having previously enjoyed the gains from the
boom (and paid taxes for the privilege), now faces substantial capital losses
due to the inevitable bust following the preceding boom.Can he go back to the returns of the boom
years and apply these losses to the earlier periods?No.They
can only be applied to future years, and only up to the amount of the future
capital gains plus $3000 per year.
So, the poor sap in the above example must either dive back
into the market and hope for the best (the next boom), or wait 167 years to
These are just a few examples.Different jurisdictions have different
rules.Sometimes the losses can survive
a bankruptcy, sometimes not.But most,
if not all, tax laws are skewed in favor of the treasury – leveraging the
inevitable bust following the boom to the benefit of the state.
To summarize: the bust is tied to the preceding boom, yet
the tax benefits (if you will) of the bust must wait for the next boom (if any
benefits are even realized; often, the benefits can die unused for various
reasons) – the treasury is always one cycle (if not permanently) ahead.
Pope is speaking once again about the failures of the economy.There is little reason at this point for a
line-by-line critique; I have done that before – search for Pope Francis at
this blog.I only offer the following
He said: “At the centre of all
economic systems must be man, man and woman, and everything else must be in
service of this man.”
Action.A properly functioning
economy does put man and woman at the center, with producers in service of
consumers (and not the other way around, as we suffer under today).For an easier read that gets to the same
place, try Man,
Economy and State.
During the interview, Pope Francis
- who has not shied away from speaking out since he took over as the head of
the church - denounced the influence of war and the military on the global
He said: “Since we cannot wage the
Third World War, we make regional wars. And what does that mean? That we make
and sell arms.
“And with that the balance sheets
of the idolatrous economies -- the big world economies that sacrifice man at
the feet of the idol of money -- are obviously sorted.”
I wish he wouldn’t use “we” unless he means to include himself.In any case, it isn’t just for profits that
government and the military-industrial-complex pursue war.Read Crisis and
Finally, there appears not a word about the evil institution
at the root of the problems the Pope decries.In this regard, read