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The Pentagong Show
United State of Terror: Is Drone War Fair?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vampire Capitalism

I've noticed that they've used the term "moral hazard" a lot more on TV in the last 6 months than in the last 6 yrs.

Moral hazard is defined as: "The risk that a party to a transaction has not entered into the contract in good faith, has provided misleading information about its assets, liabilities, or credit capacity, or has an incentive to take unusual risks in a desperate attempt to earn a profit before the contract settles."

Sound like gobbledygook, but FDIC insurance gives the most compelling example. Since the Fed has cut its rate to 2%, elderly savers have seen their paltry incomes from their "safe" investments in CD's slashed by more than half, just as their costs have begun escalating relentlessly. What this forces them to do is seek out higher yields, but with an eye to capital preservation, as they have no way to recover from capital losses. This makes them gravitate towards those banks that offer higher paying CD', those banks that are desperate to re-capitalize because of the enormous losses they've suffered by offering ARMs to the poor, in this case, let's say Countrywide Savings, whose CD rates are in the 4.5% range.

So those banks with the worst record of skating on thin ice and proffering risky loans, with practically criminal intent on raking their customers over the coals, are the very banks that, thanks to FDIC insurance, receive the most funds flowing to them. Without insurance, no one in their right minds would put their capital into an institution on the brink of failure, with no business plan in place that differs from the one that got them in the treacherous straits they deliberately sailed into in the first place ... and for precisely the same reason: considering themselves TBTF: too big to fail. This is the tacit understanding among large financial institutions, put in place since the failure, and subsequent FED rescue, of Chicago's Continental Illinois National City bank in the 80's, that should their risky behavior bite them in the ass, the FED'll always come to their rescue.

That same model of encouraging risky behavior applies to the health industry as well. Although I'd argue it's a misnomer. Like the "Defense" Dept. As we saw at Pearl Harbor, and 9/11, the US military is uninterested in providing anything as unglamorous as defense...the real money and excitement is to be made in waging War, but then we'd have to admit what we really are, and since that's not pretty, the mightiest military machine ever to straddle the face of the earth prefers to liken itself to a helpless little lamb, always having to defend its poor picked-on little self from unwarranted attacks.

So just as the War dept likes to call itself Defense, the Illness industry likes to refer to itself as the "healthcare" industry, whereas, in a Capitalist society, health is the last thing the Illness industry is interested in, as there's absolutely no money to be made from a society in robust health. And where there's no money, there's no industry, no shareholders, no raison d'etre. The perfect example of this is of course, the so-called "HMO's", whose last interest is in maintaining its patients' health....they are only interested in collecting insurance payments from the employees' Companies, discouraging them from using their services so as to keep the expenses down, and then jettisoning any responsibility to continue coverage to people who've paid for it for 20 years w/out ever using it, (as they were in good health) when they're laid off, and finally, just when they do need those services, in retirement, casting them off to the responsibility of the government.

This is the same model as the financial industry: all the profits to the private sector, all the risk and liability thrown onto the public sector. With the very industry that profited so handsomely fighting tooth and nail to keep from paying any taxes.

And were they to act any differently, the shareholders would take their money away from them and invest it elsewhere. Because the investments were made in the first place, not to maintain health, but to profit from disease.

Why is this, in America...or more accurately, the United States (which, true to form, has usurped the name America from the continent, because, lacking any Real name, like its former counterpart, the USSR, has to call itself America, as if Mexico and Canada don't exist....if we are America, then Mexicans aren't illegal aliens, are they?, they are as American as you and fact more so, as their ancestral blood is of this continent whereas yours is not), the bastion of Vampire Capitalism, Champion to the Rich and Privileged, news to anyone?

That's what's Capitalism's all about: Hobbesian, nasty, brutish, Jackboot-in-the-face, Lord of the Flies, might makes right, winner takes all and the rest be damned, survival of the fittest, kick the losers when they're down while laughing, Triumphalism. Don't you watch Fox News? Have you not listened to a word that Blonde mop-on-a-pole, Anne Colt-face says?

Which gets us back to moral hazard. That term, is, of course, basically the definition of Capitalism, where from cigarette companies to Automobile manufacturers, the aim of the Corporation is to sell its own customers products that are poisonous, dangerous, expensive and marketed deceptively to obscure the fact that all the above is true. The whole intent is to kill off its customers once they've procreated, destroying any chance of survival into old age when they're perceived as nothing but a drain on profits.

This is the model, adopted from the Military and Oil industries. The Macho Militancy on which the post-USSR world has been built: the so-called "Washington Consensus". It's Yahweh or the Highway. Without the Soviet Union to point to and say how horrible it is in comparison with our own wonderful selves, the whole pretense of cradle-to-grave socialism has been rent asunder, and capitalism's true colors made unabashedly apparent. The winners, who of course are the American Aristocracy, are allowed to, as in French pre- revolutionary days, no encouraged to, prey on their fellow citizens, who now have no rights, inalienable or otherwise, stripped to the status of denizens in their own country, their own government concerned more with factories in China, (there being no more here) and eviscerating any labor laws still extant here, and cynically giving them the finger while intoning "Let them eat ....", well, it ain't cake this time, unless it's yellow.

Because, if anything , the Privileged Class have attained a whole new level of snide viciousness, as embodied by that hellacios, supercilious, pussy-flashing skank, Paris Hilton.
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