Posts Tagged ‘Capitalism’

Capitalism ‘unchained and uncaring’

March 5, 2013


“There you go dears, a lovely ‘worry free’ retirement. Your money with us as safe as in a bank, we even call ourselves Banksia Mortgage Fund.  Please sign along the dotted line and we will take your cheque now”.

Retirees were queuing up investing their hard earned savings in Mortgage Funds including the Banksia Group. It’s funny what a name can do to one’s image and image is what it is all about, isn’t it? Safe as a Bank…but safe as BANKsia, I think not.

Why is it that it is taking so long to realize that unfettered ‘freedom of market forces’ means usually, sooner or later, freedom to get obscenely rich for just a few at the cost of poverty for the majority?

The exposure last night on ABC Four Corners about the plight of tens of thousands  of retirees having lost billions of hard earned retirement savings invested in so many well known but dodgy Mortgage Funds will no doubt soon be forgotten in the annals of our previous exposures of similar ‘Investment schemes’.

Every ten years or so, this turns up assuaging a few but nothing ever gets done.

I give you ‘Capitalism’.

Who has forgotten Estate Mortgage many years ago? Investors were returned 5c in the dollar. In many countries those kind of financial investment vehicles are strictly regulated but in some, including Australia, it is a free grab for young and old but the pensioner ends up in a caravan or trailer home and the human sharks setting up those fleecing vehicles are whooping it up grandly in huge waterfront McMansions with 12 flat TV’s, 9 Bathrooms and 44 bidets with hordes of fly blown lovers rinsing and selling them their whoring wares.

Is it inevitable that our western style of democracy inexorably remains slanted in favour of the criminal sociopath unable to feel even the slightest empathy towards their victims? Are they so unable to put themselves in their position? It appears so. Last night it was revealed that those people running their lucrative schemes are happy to be foreclosed upon, having salted away millions in family trusts first, only to reappear again around the corner and starting all over again. No doubt, another 4 Corners program will be shown again in a few years time.

And so it goes on!

The latest Forbes Magazine rich lists includes 1426 names of people who have more than 1000.000.000 dollars with this year adding another 210 new members. They are known as belonging to the so called 1% list, meaning they own 99% of the world’s wealth. It seems out of kilter doesn’t it?

In the meantime the 16 000 investors in Banksia Securities have started a class action. Indications are they will get 50 cents back out of every dollar invested. The lawyers claim the accounts were wrong and are asking how the Company could all of a sudden owe $660million. – Where were the accountants, but more importantly; where were the regulators?

And so it goes on!

A furtive glance at Socialism

April 13, 2011

A furtive glance at Socialism


.May we just ponder what Trotsky said back in 1937 and Quote:

But all those for whom the word ‘Socialism’ is not a hollow sound but the content of their moral life – forward! Neither threats nor persecutions nor violations can stop us! Be it even over our bleaching bones the future will triumph! We will blaze the trail for it. It will conquer! Under all the severe blows of fate, I shall be happy as in the best days of my youth; because, my friends, the highest human happiness are not the exploitation of the present but the preparation of the future.”

— Leon Trotsky, ‘I Stake My Life’, opening address to the Dewey Commission, 9 February 1937 [60][61]

We know that the Socialist-Communist system of workers getting a fair share of the pie didn’t quite work out. The pie grew fatter and richer but the portions were still unequal. There wasn’t any tom- sauce with it either. Some did not get any pie.  The mean Stalin and his gulags with Siberian winters and the Babushkas wheel barrowing the frozen bodies of sons and husbands out of trenches were not the rewards that Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) promised the world’s peasants while he was roaming around London during 1902-1906. Nor did the highly idealistic Trotsky envisage coming to his end with an ice pick embedded in his brain many years later.

The failure of communism has been expanded upon by many historians, writers and students of political science. The general idea was that Russia would get rid of its Czars and that its long suffering peasantry would rise up, change and revolutionize the status quo. The poor would gain their share and the rich lose much of their share. They would finally chuck off the shackles of the Czar’s imposed grinding poverty, be given plots of land and everybody would share. The hammer and sickle, a symbol of the alliance of workers and peasants finally bringing riches and tickets to freedom.

 The idea was noble but the execution of it was marred by wars and power struggles between those that meant well and those that didn’t. The result was the inevitable implosion of the ideals matched with an equal rise of opportunistic tyrants. The whole sorry saga of its failure was due to infighting and relentless squabbling by those seeking power and control. The counter revolution against the proletariat was taken over by power hungry future proletarians. And so it went.   

In another part of the world, freedom of expression and the right to rewards for individual efforts were being trail blazed by T-ModelFord,Socialism,cowboys on horses and cowboys behind the wooden steering wheels of T-.Model Fords. Westinghouse fridges soon followed. Everybody was also given the freedom of a gun to protect all that hard-won glorious liberty as well.

 God bless America. Land that I love, Stand beside her, and guide her…To the oceans, white with foam…My home sweet home

. And so on… And America kept on dreaming.

 Millions still believe that today, but many more are getting a bit skeptical as well. Despite its Constitution enshrined freedom and the protection of that by gun and law, there are more prisons in the US than universities, more incarcerations per capita than anywhere in the world. America’s poverty is growing, expressed by the millions living in the over 35000 trailer parks and even more millions of sick and disabled without a health insurance.

Can we still say that democracy and capitalism is working in the US and other developed countries? Is it still the success it was so enthusiastically touted many years ago, today? Globally, there are signs that the promised wealth is getting bigger but into fewer and fewer hands. Somewhere I read that some individuals are so rich, they own as much as the GDP of entire countries. In fact, many probably own entire countries.

The level of poverty in many undeveloped countries is as bad as ever. Millions still have to walk for miles to get a bucket of water or scrape together enough food to keep their children from dying. The idea of rewards for individual efforts doesn’t seem to have spread to those.

In Australia the richest man now owns more than he could possibly ever spend or use up, even if he ate stone crabs at $60.- a claw, for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a 1952  Grange Hermitage  (at $ 12.500 a 375mls bottle) and drove a brand new Ferrari every day.

 What’s more, his riches have come compliments of resources that I thought belonged to Australia and therefore to all of us. How can that be right? This single individual could supply Australia’s entire Mental Health budget at present about 100 million a year for the next 40 years. That’s just one individual’s wealth against tens of thousands of sufferers with Mental Health problems for forty years. How did the spreading of goodies pan out in such an unfair manner>.

Let’s not be jealous, but the top 10 wealthiest in Australia now have a kitty of over $27 Billion. Could we reflect also, that the richest man was also the most vocal in opposing the resource tax not long ago? A bit rich, don’t you reckon?  The latest sad news for the majority of those on wages and paying fair taxation is that there is a promise in the air by the present Government for the big companies to even pay less taxation in the future. Hoorah, I can hear the top ten richest roar in unison; pop the champagne once more…

Is there an answer to this seemingly endless inequality in sharing that which we all own?

 The second largest economy, China, seems to have propelled its population to a better life for hundreds of millions astonishingly fast. Yet, it has achieved this as a Communist country with a Communist Government. The people seem happy; they talk on mobiles, wear jeans and go to nightclubs. Sure, there are issues of human rights. We have our human rights abuses as good as anywhere. The unresolved, year in year out struggle we have dealing with boat people at detention and ex-army camps, the plight of indigenous people. The UNHCR points this out repeatedly. The US was no saint with the abuses at Abu Ghraib and the ongoing Guantanamo Bay detention camp with over two hundred people still languishing without trial for years. We are on shaky grounds if we cast stones or call for black kettles to Communist China on that ground.

Perfection is elusive, none more so than in political ideologies. In our own domestic world, the greens no doubt will offer some hope for a better future world. The liberals are hell-bent on sending the world into an environmental death throe.  Labor will have to make up its mind to lead or dither.