The Debt Crisis

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A whole lot of us are stuck with credit-card debt that goes up each month, mortgages worth more than our homes and student loans that extend into infinity. So it's only natural that we look at the debt crisis from the bottom up: from the perspective of the 99% who are getting screwed. But what if we instead looked at this whole mess from the top down, from the point of view of the 1%: the billionaires and venture capitalists in Mitt Romney's world? Maybe, just maybe, their problem is our problem. In fact, as I have come to see it, short of civilization-ending revolution, solving the debt crisis might actually mean saving the 1%. They have the power and the money, they own our government, and they won't go down without taking everyone and…show more content…
Without a dependent peasant class, they had no way to survive. They didn't know how to do anything themselves. They needed a way to make money simply by having money. So they came up with some ways to force new kinds of dependence. Their first trick was to outlaw local currency. If people wanted to trade among themselves, they would have to borrow money from the central treasury, with interest. Wars were fought, blood was spilled, but they got their way. We have all but forgotten that the money we use today is a monopoly currency that costs us more than it's worth. The second great idea was the chartered monopoly: the corporation. It gave just one firm -- one friend of the king -- the authority to do business in a certain industry. The British East India Trading Company, for example, had all rights to cotton in America. A farmer wasn't permitted to sell his cotton to neighbors, or to make it into anything. He had to sell it at fixed prices to the company, which shipped it to England and let some other chartered corporation make mittens and hats, which were then shipped back to America for…show more content…
The problem with this scheme is that it works by stifling innovation and competition. The wealthy stay wealthy by extracting value instead of creating it. The more value they extract, the more laws they write protecting the rights and privileges of the extractors. As companies like General Electric realized, it was better to sell off productive assets and become more like a bank. The system was created for people who have money to make money. The value creators are the chumps. The most surprising victims in this whole saga, however, are the corporations themselves. You think you're scared? Talk to the heads of America's corporations. They have sucked all the money out of the system, and don't know how to create any more. According to Deloitte, asset profitability for American firms has steadily fallen 75% over the last 40 years. In other words, corporations have managed to absorb all the money, but they don't know how to do anything with it. They have no skills, no competencies and no

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