Article by Ben Doolin on June 21, 2016
What has been sown… is violence.
Politicians sow the seeds of violence in many ways.
They provoke (or lie) to enter wars to get kickbacks from defense contractors.
They grant ‘rights’ to labor unions allowing them to leverage the violence of The State to counter corporations.
They grant ‘rights’ to corporations, including the right to commit crime in exchange for a share of the profits which they call ‘fines’.
The worst exercise of violence… might be the most hidden. That is the granting of monopolies.
Many think that preventing monopolies is one reason The State exists. Like much of what many people think, the idea was planted by The State… and is a complete lie. In a free society, monopolies could not exist.
Politicians ‘sell favors’ for bribes (aka campaign contributions).
One of the most common ‘favor sold’, is protectionist legislation & regulation.
In a single week recently, New York killed both Uber and AirBnB. They did this because they were bribed by lobbyists for taxi companies and hotels.
Those are just two examples of more than 800,000 laws designed to grant monopoly protection to business.
It is nearly impossible to start a business in the US anymore. It’s also nearly impossible to expand an existing business for the same reasons.
In a recent article by a financial analyst, business spending was described as ‘Scrooge-like’.
This is completely predictable. First, even if you are a corporation that has paid for monopoly protection… how can you expand without running into other businesses monopoly protections?
Additionally, businesses expand where there is market potential for their product or service.
One side effect of the stranglehold on the entire economy that the 800,000 regulations represent, is the 104,000,000 working age Americans not in the labor force. That has resulted in real wage stagnation for the last 15 years, since there has been a constant demand for jobs by those willing to work for less. There is no ‘market potential’ to expand into.
So, businesses have been busy with ‘financial manipulation’ using merger and acquisition as well as stock buybacks as a way to show higher ‘per share’ profits. Unfortunately for the entire world, these moves have driven a stake through the heart of what’s left of business.
Using the massive borrowing capacity that the Fed’s Near-zero Interest Rate Policy (NIRP) represents, companies have spent all of their profits and all of their borrowing capacity in these financial manipulations. Worse than just straddling the businesses with unbearable debt loads, these manipulations are simple theft by the executives.
Stock buy-backs can be a good move for shareholders. When there is little potential to expand the existing business and share prices are low, buying back stock with profits earned can be like buying a dollar for fifty cents. That translates to significant shareholder value.
What’s happening today, does not. Stocks are not being bought back at low prices, they are being purchased at record highs (like buying fifty cents for two dollars). What’s really criminal about this move, is that often the shares bought back do not even represent a reduction in share count… they’re just buying options granted to executives.
So, the executive staff is taking… not only all of the corporate profits, but taking all of the money these corporations can borrow. They will leave a steaming crater where their business used to be… headed to their private island in the South Pacific where they will be served fruity drinks with umbrellas on the white sand beaches… by their private staff.
The down-turn has begun. Business in the US will fail in unprecedented numbers, The State will fail to deliver on promises. Half the nation will be left jobless, without resources, without job skills, without survival skills, without income, without assets… without anyone capable of helping.
These are ‘The Walking Dead’… The Reaper is on his way.