Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Identity (part 6) -Deconstructing common beliefs about Economics and Identity

Dearest brothers and sisters,
         “Economic data is a political tool not reality”.  The privately controlled and government controlled media (which means they are owned and edited to serve a specific purpose and perspective), do not make you privy to this economic fact and often when you are aware, individuals do not want to believe it.  Individuals do not want to believe that economics and economic data is often manipulated regularly in order to shape an individual’s perspective on reality.  However, this does a complete disservice to individuals, as they cannot make a realistic and honest opinion about their future, their future dreams, or their future hopes.  

Individuals must realize that a bank’s only purpose is to provide money for individuals and keep money moving around.  The markets only purpose is to keep money moving.   Both the bank and the markets create liquidity through instruments they manipulate and use(ex: line of credit, credit card, refinancing of your mortgage, micro-credit loans, E.T.F.s, etc.).  In other words, the bank’s purpose and the market’s only purpose is keeping you distracted using economic data so you continue to move money around.  Banks and Markets need you to move money around without you withdrawing money from the markets or the banks.  Their only purpose is to keep you “playing the game” because like a casino, the odds are heavily against you.  There is a reason, “the house always wins”. Similar to Casinos, stock markets and governments do not want you to withdraw money out of the system because the more you play and the longer you play, the more the odds are in their favor.
During the 1970’s, during the Nixon administration, the, “Dollar was off the Gold standard and that meant that the dollar was now transformed into debt.  It completely changed the equation.  The equation now became that debt was needed to acquire assets and that debt was needed to acquire liability”.  A country and an individual no longer needed gold, or land, or services in exchange for tender (dollars), you just needed to ask for it and on the spot -it was created for you.  This changing of the equation is why banks allowed individuals to have credit cards and line of credits.  So that you were always borrowing debt in order to get ahead.  This allowed whole economies to have money moving around in order to create the impression of a successful individual and a fast growing economy.

Historically, individuals always had access to money.  It just depended how much he or she wanted to borrow, the interest he or she wanted to pay, and from whom he or she wanted to borrow it.  In the past, people would put their family’s generational land, themselves as individuals, and their whole family on the line in order to accrue a loan.  Nothing has changed.  The only difference presently is that more people are borrowing at an absorbent rate and because they are not putting their family’s generational land, themselves, or their family on the line to get the loan, they often do not realize how deep they are getting into debt.  The urgency to pay back loans and eliminate debt is almost nonexistent for many individuals.  Individuals presently believe in their minds that the money they are using for purchases is money that they earned and because of it, they can freely spend it as they choose

Recently, the Canadian economic data stated, “due to rising population growth and jobs being created, we are barely keeping pace with rising unemployment levels”.  The alarming fact about that quote, under scrutiny, is that the unemployment levels are not keeping pace with population growth but in fact, unemployment levels are rising.  In order to manipulate the Canadian economic data, 3 sectors (which otherwise should not have been included in the economic data) were included:
(1) individuals that have now given up on the job market and have become “self employed” (i.e.: I can’t find a job so I will paint your house for money)
(2) those that have now given up on the job market and have gone back to school or “second career” apprenticeship programs and non-paying volunteer programs 
(3) those that were hired for commission based salaries where profit cannot be made without sales being made first (one of the newer and faster growing industries popping up presently in this economy).  
The only sector hiring when the economic data was released was the public sector at a minimal pace.  However, because of the other three factors being included into the economic data, it looks as if Canada is doing well economically.
Lost in the unemployment data is the fact that, some regions in Canada are not creating jobs at all, they are only losing them.  In fact, most big city areas are the only areas still creating jobs, often-low paying service sector jobs.  However, this means more people from the regions that are losing jobs are moving to the big city areas to compete with everyone else. In order to combat the impression that jobs are leaving the country and disappearing, the Canadian governments (with their economic plan) has heavily funded career centers all across urban cities.  This is very problematic because career centers often do not have direct links to jobs.  This creates a dual problem for society, since now:
(a) career centers that are receiving government funding in order to help people find jobs in an economy that does not have jobs means money is going down an empty well.  The career centers can only help individuals on their resumes. However, due to majority of the youth (age 19-24) having a post secondary education presently, there exists a growing population of overly developed resumes from new immigrants and from college and university students, competing with one another over the limited amount of jobs that exist in the economy.  The reason now why for every one job opening, there are over 300 applicants (a ratio of 1:300).
(b) though the career center can polish up a resume for a new immigrants, a new immigrant does not have the “Canadian experience”and “Canadian training” needed to get those full time, better paying jobs needed to survive in a inflation driven economy.  
However, in order to create the perception for the public that the governments is in control of the economy, money is still being pumped into the career centers.

In fact, next time you go to a bus or on a train, look up at the ads.  Presently, you will see ads about: 
(a) debt relief
(b) handmade goods 
(c) the success of the government’s economic plan in action
(d) hiring for the army
(e) going back to post secondary schools to receive education and training
(f) getting bank loans
(g) suicide hotlines and mental health hotlines & service numbers
 (h) ways to find happiness centers
 (i) finding a psychiatrist 
(j) finding life partners(k) finding God and other religious adsSubconsciously people seeing these images will think there is something wrong with them.  Due to the fabricated economic numbers, people think they are not trying hard enough or that they do have enough skills or training needed to succeed in this economy.  So they borrow money to continue onward.  Whether it be to invest in a business and be an entrepreneur or to borrow money to go back to school.  However, “The writing is on the wall” and people just do not believe it and want to see it.  
In fact, most companies presently are missing their quarterly targets and are losing much of their profits in the stock exchanges.  This has a trickle down affect of shedding jobs since a company needs to make profit to seem proficient and therefore get more investors to invest in the company.  Companies are downsizing and minimizing, however, this is problematic because, “2/3 of the Canadian economy depends on people spending money”.  With people losing jobs and living pay check-by-pay check (with Canada being the highest G7 nation in individual debt and individual household debt), Canadians are in for a rude awakening when the market corrects itself.  Sadly, we are presently witnessing market corrections and living in the “Age of Market Crashes”.

This is why the minimum wage is being debated. “Minimum wage pay creates higher turnover rates that smaller business cannot handle.  They will often pay their employees higher to keep them.  However, it is harder to keep afloat with big companies”.  In fact, “321,000+ jobs will be lost if minimum wage rises without structural changes implemented first”.  This is no different from how the Third World and the First World operates when big monopoly companies compete with small business owned stores for business.  Due to the fact, corporations can offer lower prices for goods, people will shop there for their goods.  Over time, small businesses will close down and corporations will expand overtaking their markets and their customers.  Bit-by-bit, the corporation will increase the price of goods that they sell in their stores.  Since there are no more competitors left, the only choice the consumer has is buying from one of the stores that the corporation owns.  This is the exact same thing playing out with the need for the rise in minimum wage from $10.50 to $14.  Small business will not be able to compete with Corporations from all over the world coming in due to the Free Trade Agreements
(a)  signed in principle between Canada and the E.U.
(b)  written in paper between Canada and China & also between Canada and Trans Pacific Partnership
(c)  about to be finalized between Canada and South Korea
However, without these free trade agreements in place, Canada's already faltering economy will only weaken and falter even further thus shedding more jobs and sending "Canadian" jobs overseas.

It does not matter the political party in charge during this time of economic crisis.  The minimum wage campaign is not being done by the grass roots ‘nor by governments, it’s a push from the top-down through corporations and private investors but they are making it look as if it is a bottom-top movement.  In fact, socialist parties and left leaning parties cannot make the structural changes to better the lives of the poor unless they raise taxes, increase taxes on corporations, and raise the minimum wage.  The problem with that is due to globalization, companies will go elsewhere for their labor force and people will invest elsewhere.  That will create a vacuum because you do not have the jobs ‘nor the investment you need to collect the taxes you need in order for the structural changes to occur for the poor.  "A boost to the minimum wage won't help someone who can't find a job in the 1st place".  Unfortunately, the only jobs coming from the free trade agreements will be low paying jobs since “they are the only show in town” and “beggars cannot be choosers”.

Tragically, another campaign presently pushed by the Western world in recent years is “the need to end smoking”.  Though at first look, the cause looks completely moral and humanistic, you quickly realize that, “40% of the global total for cigarettes is made in China.  They are a huge source of government revenue for the Chinese government.  In fact, 60 million workers in China make a living from cigarette sales”. In other words, you weaken an already faltering Chinese economy and impoverish an already impoverished Chinese population.  Though cancer is the face, you will see prompting and promoting the end of smoking, what you do not see is the business side and the market side.  The same goes for the push the Western world is having in order to switch to alternative sources for oil.  This drives up prices for consumers worldwide and weakens already faltering economies who are trying to keep up with the Developed World (ex: China and India).  Economic warfare between the Developed world and Developing world has accelerated since 2008.  Often, economic warfare turns to tense military standoffs as faltering economies look for a way to escape their free fall.

This is historically no different in the past with the American cotton industry.  The American cotton industry was not competitive enough to compete in the world cotton markets due to Britain finding a cheaper way and a cheaper labor force in their British colonies.  However, the cotton industry in America owned a bulk of America’s labor force due to slavery.  Though it was sold as “freeing the slaves”, it had more to do with preventing succession by the North and being able to use that trapped labor force inside of the cotton industry and tobacco industry on Southern plantations and spread them about for the whole of the country’s betterment.  In other words, this was a socially engineered process from the top-down.  This can be seen when realizing that for majority of the blacks, their lives never improved even after slavery.  Many lived in impoverished conditions after they were freed from slavery and some went back to work on the cotton plantations and tobacco plantations.  Oddly enough, many even wanted to become slaves again and others even went back to work for their masters for free just so they could have housing and food because there were no jobs out there that were hiring blacks due to segregation and outright racism in the North and the South.

This is why the Western world is supporting an anti-smoking movement presently. In other words, you can end something that exists but if you do not have something to replace it, you create far more problems than you solved.  Blacks in America were still being lynched, intimidated, and beaten until the 1960's when they managed to finally end segregation in the American south.  However, they were marginalized and since Whites did not have to sell property to Blacks, Blacks were pushed into the ghettos and impoverished (a problem still affecting Blacks in America presently). Why so many of the Black still live in impoverished ghettos presently.

Most countries all over the world can and do protect their rich citizens.  Developed countries can protect the middle class as well.  The poor are up for grabs in almost all countries, First World or otherwise.  This is why there are very few stories on the poor being killed or going missing in the media.  However, there are many stories on the middle class and rich being killed or going missing(because it is a rarity and not seen as “normal”).  The poor will only get coverage from the media when it occurs in a public place.

Governments do not like it when a tax contributor or investor is: (a) murdered, (b) moves away, or (c) is harassed (and therefore does not go to work or contribute fully to the economy).  They do everything to prevent any of the three from happening.  Protecting the poor only impoverishes the government's coiffures since there is no money to be made from it.  “Police act as a deterrent, firefighters act as an insurance policy, and security guards act as liability clause and for insurance policies”.  All three act to protect private property primarily.  This is why in ghettos all across the world, whether they are in the Developed World (ex: First Nations in Canada and Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.A) or they are in the Developing World (ex: Brazil, India, Argentina) –many of the unsolved crimes, violence, and missing people cases go unsolved.  This is why the poor were forcibly removed in order to stage the World Cup in Brazil and in South Africa.

“Morals” are a cultural and political tool of religions and governments/rulers.  Cultural morals are used similarly the same way ads sell lifestyles to you.  Everyone in the world sells you “happiness” and “freedom”.  Everyone is in the business of selling happiness.  Whether it is your dentist, fast food restaurants, post-secondary educational institute, commodity items such as cars and iPhones, or property companies selling you houses and condominiums, a friend selling you a way of living or a theory or opinion he believes in -everyone in society is selling you something.  

Lifestyles, cultures, items, values, etc, etc. all are marketed and sold to you to make profit.  If you enjoy it or make use of it, all the better for you.  Like market economics explain, 
“the baker does not make bread for you.  The baker makes bread for himself in order to feed his family.  He just needs you to buy the bread in order to feed his family.  Your satisfaction in buying the bread and what you do with the bread was not his intent.  The baker needed to feed his family so he made bread for you to buy".  That is how the governments, markets, and the economy works.  As long as an individual keeps buying and keeps moving his money -the government, the markets, and the economy push forward.  What you do with the opportunity that is created is up to you, but the economy and the markets move forwards whether you participate or not and it will move forward with whatever role you decide to play.  Historically, it always has and it always will.
In truth, when you look at the world carefully, you realize that the rich do not give money away to the poor.  They at best, will give him or her a job so that way the rich person makes more money and the poor individual has a chance to make money and better his life.  It is a win-win chance for both parties as opposed to the rich person giving away money for nothing and the poor gaining money for nothing.  There is no lesson there.  Furthermore, when the poor become rich, they often look after themselves and most often their friends and families (and it is why most of the times high profile athletes and lottery winners who make money quickly often go broke right after their windfall, or have heavy substance abuse problems, or are dead).  Most poor people that become rich do not give it all away to the poor or transform their communities.  So why would you expect the rich to give away all their money and profits to the poor?  Would you give hard-earned money away freely without any incentive?  The rich get tax breaks when donating money to charities and institutes.  Why giving money away to charitable causes serves a double purpose.  It presents the rich person as a philanthropist as well as giving him a much needed tax break.  Giving money to the poor however, serves no purpose.  Why rich people do not freely give to the poor.  It is why the rich are not dropping hand over fist trying to fix the economy or the world.  The poor will always be a source of cheap labor for the rich in order to compete against his own class.  What looks immoral in one perspective makes absolute sense in another.  This is why businesses do not want to stick around in a country that does not offer them a tax break.  There is no incentive for them especially when their are other countries that will give them a tax break in order for their country's population to have jobs and therefore not revolt against the government in charge.

If you want to help someone out in the Third World (out of emotion or moral sentiment), invest in something for that person (ex: a taxi company, or create a business for them to work in, or give him a job directly).  Do not give money to a charity or directly into someone’s hands.  It often has negative consequences (though it was well intended).  Charities in the past, have often tampered with the political scene in other countries causing much bloodshed and violence in order to create regime changes that have been pro-Western and good for business.  "Peacemakers" from the United Nations have done the same.  Remember, as long as money is moving and the economy is able to grow and expand and allow investment into a country, "Peacemakers" and Charities have done their part and served their purpose.  Many times, regional wars in Third World countries have more to do with scaring away investors and scaring away investment from other countries than they do anything else (ex: many of the regional wars in Africa have more to do with scaring away Chinese investors and Chinese investment than they do with helping the people of that country).

Since the late 1940s and early 1950s, banks were lending exorbitant amounts of money to individuals and governments.  In return, governments and individuals were spending lavishly and freeing more money by creating opportunities for people to invest their livelihoods in.  Economies were booming, individuals and their standards of living were rising.  However, all of this occurred from borrowing money.  This simply meant governments and individuals continued to go into debt.  The “Golden Era” meant money was continually pumped into the economy to make it seem more successful than it really was.  Sadly, this is the same mentality now.  Governments are trapped between the dilemma of expanding or contracting, the “use it or lose it” mentality.  In order to keep votes and garner support from the masses, governments are still expanding outwards with their public projects.  Governments are hoping to pass the problem onto other governments and blame them for the current economic situation.  The only way out of this is by hoping to get private investors or corporate sponsors into their public projects.  At worst, governments can privatize programs and cut services or raise taxes in order to expand outwards.  In fact, the government will not be on the hook for it.  The citizens of the country will.  

That is the sad reality of economies.  This is how economics work practically and theoretically.  If economies do not continue to expand economically, then they lose investors.  If they lose investors, then economies continue to shrink.  At that point, the economy will need to borrow money to be stimulated.  Either money borrowed by individuals (ex: expansion of housing projects in Ajax) or by the government (ex: expansion of highways and creation of new roads).  Otherwise, the economy will stagnate since it is in competition with other economies.  This is the same with businesses.   If businesses do not continue to expand, it will lose investors.  If the business loses investors, then the business continues to shrink.  The business will then need to borrow money to acquire other properties or businesses in order to expand.  Otherwise, it will stagnate and become absorbed by another thriving businesses.  What governments do at this time is cuts services and privatize.  What businesses do at this time is cut jobs.  

Presently governments are trying to hide the weak economy by saying that Generation Y and Generation Z are too entitled.  That Generation Y and Generation Z “are not doing enough to succeed”.  That Generation Y and Generation Z “are failing the economy and the economy is not failing you”.  However, this has more to do with the “Birth lottery”.  Unfortunately, the “Golden Era” is over.  The bubble went bust with the sub-mortgage crisis in 2008.  Now all that liquidity and overheating caused by “easy money” in all world economies is correcting itself with devastating effects for individuals, families, and futures.  This is the “worst job market in 3 decades” with no end in sight and most are expecting the “race to the bottom” to heat up meaning globalization will speed up and more things will become commodified.  The Third World is coming to the First World therefore changing the way identities are formed and the way family dynamics work since presently more women are in schools and at work than their male counterpart.  

In conclusion, economies shape not only the way individuals look at themselves and their worth to the world but also economies shape individual and group relationships and power dynamics.  Economics comes into play not just on an individual level but also a national, cultural, political, and religious level.  Often, for better or for worst, success is often construed with economics and economics shapes the way we live, think, and act in situations.  Hence, we have to stop looking with jealous and envious eyes at those who are succeeding in life and accept the bigger economic picture that exists.  Only then you will be able to accept yourself and your reality and not carry any toxicity with you in your heart, in your mind, or in your body.  The "Birth lottery" is a variable that is out of our control.  Remember that when you evaluate yourself and look at others in the world.

  “It takes chains of steel to enslave a rational human, but all the rest may be enslaved by a belief” 

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