Saturday, May 31, 2008

Building toward serfdom’s return - by Paul Heise

America idealizes the middle class and denies the validity of an upper or governing class. Yet we have so structured our economy that all the increase in income since 1980 has gone to the already wealthy, undermining the idea of a governing middle class. The resulting inequality of income and wealth commits future generations to be divided into the wealthy and the workers, nobles and serfs.

Maldistribution of income is bad. It leads to a lack of opportunity and a pauperized middle class, to political corruption and for-sale politicians, to lower economic growth and to economic and political instability.

Using either income or wealth, the rich are getting richer, and the poor remain poor. The result has been great inequality and a disappearing middle class. The top 5 percent of families own 50 percent of American wealth. The top 20 percent owns 80 percent. The middle 40 percent share that last 20 percent. The bottom 20 percent has zero wealth, and everyone below the top 20 is going into debt.

It isn't just the CEOs hogging the income. The financial sector far outdoes them. From 1930 through the 1970s income became more equally distributed, but the trend has been in reverse since then. As recently as 1979, the top 1 percent of earners in the U. S. earned about 33 times what the lowest 20 percent earned. By 2000, this disparity had grown to more than 88 times as much. No other industrial country is as bad as the United States. The CIA reports that measures of income distribution in America put us in a class with Turkmenistan, Nepal, Mexico and China.

The closest we get to redistribution of income are the entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits. But that is not where the problem is. Unequal income distribution ends up a more serious problem than the safety nets.

The word "entitlement" spells out the problem. Originally a "titled" person had a right to the income from some asset. The noble was entitled to it. Similarly, today a person can have a right or title to some income because of who they are rather than what they have produced. That is what a pension, trust fund or any other wealth really is — the right to an income stream.

As we concentrate ever-more wealth in the hands of an ever-smaller group, we also allocate to that group an ever larger share of our children and grandchildren's output. We are establishing a new, hereditary nobility.

The question is, how much of our children's income do we have a right to allocate? We commit future income to specific groups when we borrow and spend for any war or social programs or when we shift enormous wealth to Wall Streeters and to Silicon Valley and away from farmers and steelworkers. The offspring of the rich will have a legal right to a substantial portion of the output of our descendants.

Imagine a future world where a substantial portion of GDP is allocated not on the basis of productive capacity or other merit but on the basis of entitlements set generations before. That is where we are heading.

A serf is someone whose output is allocated in part to someone else as a property right. The serf gets what is left. Those with no entitlement, the serfs, will be condemned to glean the leftovers. These nobles of tomorrow will wallow in their entitled abundance.

It isn't just the money. Much wealth is passed on in the form of human capital that the wealthy are able to give their children through the superior schooling and enhanced opportunities that come with money. To overcome the unfairness of this, we have to find a way to give everyone an equal access to educational opportunity.

The Congress has just passed, with veto-proof majorities, a bill that grants World War II-type education benefits to present-day veterans. That would be a real start.

The GI Bill educational benefits were among the best investments this country ever made. It gave me a ticket to Georgetown University. We should again invest in our youth to meet the challenge of this new economy and new century. It is the only way I see to bridge the divide of income and wealth we have created over the past 30 years.

Unless we do, our vibrant capitalism will turn into a stagnant serfdom. We have to invest serious money in education. I mean like the amounts we spend on war — if we are to save our democracy and our capitalism.


A resident of Mt. Gretna, Heise holds a Ph.D. in economics and is professor emeritus of economics at Lebanon Valley College.

~ Source: Lebanon Daily News ~


Skolnick on Greenspan reported bribes and assistance to Bush in swindles

More than three hundred reportedly authentic secret Federal Reserve wire transfer records show how the Chairman of America's private central bank has apparently bribed and aided in corrupt deeds George Herbert Walker Bush and his family, all over a period of time. Later, Greenspan reportedly jointly with Bush and a swarm of major financial entities, derived a horrific benefit in a major gold swindle.

In clandestine meetings, over a period of months, the reportedly genuine documents were turned over to our research and investigation group by government officials clearly in an inside position to possess and confirm such data.

A conversation at one such meeting, "Tell Sherman, if you or he ever reveals our identity, we are all dead, everyone one of us. Also in jeopardy of life and limb would be more than eight others in key government and financial positions." Some of the records purport to have the wire transfer signature of A. Greenspan whose term as Commissar of the Federal Reserve was renewed in the new century. Because he is like a corrupt Soviet dictator, answerable to no one, we coined the term, "Alan Redspan".

The document delivery team were assured of confidentiality by our past record. As the founder/chairman of our group, Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, since 1963, I have been imprisoned some eight times in four decades, not for committing crimes, but for so-called "contempt of court", for refusing to reveal the identity of long-reliable sources of high-level corruption data turned over to us on the sly. Our sources, cross-checked with others, and backed up by over one million documents already in our possession, have enabled us, over a period of decades, to set off, what some describe, as the biggest judicial bribery scandals in U.S. history.

Briefly stated, this includes the downfall we caused in 1969, of Illinois' highest tribunal, the Illinois Supreme Court, with half the high court being put to the wall. In the 1970s, our work led to the jailing for bribery of the highest level sitting federal judge in U.S. history, a federal appeals judge in Chicago who had also been former State Governor and his aide, former head of the Illinois Department of Revenue, the tax collectors. 7th Circuit Federal Appeals Judge Otto Kerner, Jr., went on all the media and said "Skolnick is a liar". Kerner died an ex-convict, convicted as I accused him to his face, as is our long-time policy. From 1983 to 1993, our work set off a series of scandals, by which 20 local judges and 40 lawyers were sent to prison for bribery, including the Chief Judge of the Traffic Court, who in a taped interview said, "Mr. Skolnick, you are imagining things, there is no corruption in this courthouse."

The Federal Reserve wire transfer data, which is also corroborated by matters already in our possession, among other things, confirms the following:

[1] That George Herbert Walker Bush, starting back at the time he was Vice President and continuing long thereafter, reportedly corruptly benefitted from Billions and Billions of dollars transferred at the behest, of among others, Alan Greenspan, to private corporations worldwide, in which the Elder Bush apparently has a beneficial interest, and/or is a major stock or bond holder, and/or is a kingpin therein, in other capacities. Included are enterprises in Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Hong Kong, Denmark, England, Red China, Taiwan, Japan, and Germany, among others. Some of the purported secret wire transfers of massive amounts were jointly for the Elder Bush and his brother Prescott, a financial broker in New England. According to published accounts, Prescott Bush arranged vast, unsavory deals with the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza, as well as dictator-types in Red China including reportedly with the top officials of the Red Chinese Secret Police [who also operate greatly in North America].

[2] Holding as well a large beneficial interest, and/or as major stock or bond holder in those accounts has been Jackson Stephens, the Little Rock-based bond broker, largest such operation outside of Wall Street. Stephens, tied reportedly to the ethnic Chinese gangsters like the Riady family interwoven with Clinton and Ollie North and the dope traffic, has been a major backer of Sludge Willie. The nefarious worldwide reputed corrupt deals of the Stephens family have been covered up by Alan Redspan and what some call the highly secretive, conspiratorial Federal Reserve.

[3] Some of the firms and enterprises to which the massive wire transfer assets were sent, are reportedly CIA proprietary operations set up by Bush as the head and former head of America's secret political police. [Now a Chicago-based bankruptcy expert, William A. Brandt, Jr., has been a worldwide expert in quietly terminating CIA proprietaries once their espionage function is completed, as shown by documents released under Freedom of Information by the U.S. Justice Department. Brandt's activities overlapped those of the Elder Bush.]

[4] Some of the billions and billions of dollars of reputed wire transfers went for the beneficial interest of the Elder Bush, and his son Neil, an official of a CIA proprietary, disguised as Denver-based Silverado Savings & Loan Association. The S & L went under and Neil Bush should have been sent to prison for causing the downfall by reportedly misusing large amounts of federal-insured thrift agency funds. On the other hand, as accused in stories in the press in Spain, the Elder Bush and his sons George W. Bush [Texas Governor] and Jeb Bush [Florida] Governor and Jeb's wife, a native of Columbia, are reportedly incriminated through huge money laundering of dope proceeds through banks owned by criminals in Spain. Dope proceeds reportedly from Columbia, Morocco, Portugal, and Italy. We publicized the quiet arrest in Chicago in January, 2000, of the reputed Bush family cocaine bank money laundry wizard, Giorgio Pelossi, a prominent Swiss accountant. Visit our website: for the details.

The Elder Bush has been with the CIA since at least 1959, when he helped set up Zapata Petroleum Co., later called Zapata Offshore, with upwards of 600 branches worldwide in international hotspots for the reported purpose of gathering intelligence for the spy agency. Some news sources have contended that Zapata's offshore drilling rigs, located beyond the U.S. jurisdiction limit, are reported centers for transferring large quantities of illicit drugs and other contraband.

[5]Some of the reportedly huge secret wire transfers were for, or with the Elder Bush jointly with the Queen of England, through her accounts in the British Monarchy's Coutts Bank, London. The secret account numbers are contained in some of the more than 300 apparently authentic Federal Reserve wire transfer records. The British Monarchy has long been accused as being worldwide kingpins in the narcotics traffic, going back 150 years starting with the Opium Wars in China.

[6] Others of the more than 300 documents, relate to a situation started in the 1970s, when the Elder Bush arranged to overthrow the Iraqi government by political assassination. Bush helped install Saddam Hussein. Others of those and other documents relate to the decade, 1980 to 1990, when the Elder Bush was a secret private business partner of Saddam Hussein in extorting billions of dollars per year from the weak sheikdoms in the Persian Gulf---oil industry kick-backs, to supposedly assure security. A little-known Federal lawsuit in Chicago dealt with the secret partner of Saddam Hussein, namely George Herbert Walker Bush. I and my associates were the only journalists attending the federal appeals court hearing. I later did an exclusive group of interviews with the participants, confirming that Bush and Saddam were private business partners in extortion of the sheikdoms. Only one populist paper dared publish the details in 1991 of my interviews on the federal case.

In a typical sort of falling out of business partners, Bush suckered Saddam Hussein into seizing a portion of Kuwait long challenged by Saddam as being a Iraqi province and part of Saddam's oilfields. Bush used a top U.S. official to mislead Saddam into thinking the U.S. would not intervene in this local quarrel with the former British colony. Bush was the one, on behalf of U.S. oil drilling interests, that helped develop the Kuwaiti oilfields, following the 1961 relinquishing of British sovereignty. In its simplest form, the 1990-91, Persian Gulf conflict was a falling out of private business partners.

~ more... ~



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