Blockbuster Book: Read about everything you ever wanted to know about the economy and the wealthy 1%, including fundamental issues that are at the core of the Occupy Movements list of grievances, all neatly outlined in one book “Occupy World Street” by Ross Jackson, it’s aims and purpose and the underlying practices of how the elite 1% are enriching themselves at the expense of the 99% majority and why democracy has failed in the US, certainly a ‘Must Read’ for every person in the US, how we all have been doped and exploited by the rich and powerful and how wealthy people control corporations, congress, government and the media and how we continue to damage the planet, all in the name of greed and profits.
As demonstrators worldwide demand reform of a corrupt global economy that concentrates wealth in the top 1% of income earners, Occupy World Street offers a long awaited plan of action for ‘the 99 percent’. Ross Jackson delivers one of the most lucid descriptions of how global financial practices are driving economies to the brink of collapse, and making it impossible to deal effectively with climate change, ecosystem damage and peak oil.
He outlines a compelling plan that will allow countries to regain control of their economies, reorganize global trade alliances on a more human scale, and gradually replace WTO/IMF/World Bank with new institutions that support sustainable economies and uphold human rights. Rather than force a direct confrontation with the crumbling ‘Empire’, Jackson’s innovative strategy would be led by a handful of small nations that are already starting to break away from the contemporary global order, and supported by ordinary citizens around the world.
Jackson has done what few others have dared to do: constructed a specific, implementable plan to reorganize the way economies work. It’s a plan, says sustainable economics pioneer Hazel Henderson, that “has the potential to unite hundreds of NGOs and millions of ordinary citizens behind a simple proposal that could change the current dysfunctional game.”
Ross Jackson explains that the current system is no longer serving the majority of the people in the US but rather the wealthy 1% elite and corporate America. This system is based on exploiting the poor and developing countries in the interest of economic gain for the elite 1% only. These threats include economical, ecological, and social collapse which can widely be attributed to the current reigning financial ideology called Neoliberalism, which is the main force driving society toward this potentially disastrous future.
Even though it addresses these issues, this book does not exude a tone of doom and gloom nor is it chalked up with radical left-wing conspiracies or propaganda, rather, the author backs up all his claims with strong evidence and offers a road map to economic recovery and sustainability and a concrete vision for a new society, which favors not mere economic growth and greed but rather serving all of humanity rather than only the wealthy elite and “the corporatocracy”. The author, Ross Jackson, is at the forefront of this transformation- spearheading Eco-villages and offering new models for almost all aspects of civilization
It is crucial that we as activists, individuals and citizens rise above passivity and understand the threats human civilization face today so that we can start taking action locally and work towards a solution that will be more sustainable. This book is neutral and not politically aligned to any party or corporation, the author states facts as they are and reveals many hidden facts that most of us in the US are not aware of, the author is wealthy and has no ulterior motives, this book is set to become a best seller. This book is no urban legend or conspiracy theory, it’s all hard facts that is not available to the general public.
*** Note that this book will not be promoted in the US by the mainstream media, because of the tight control that the Wealthy 1%, Corporations, and the Government have on the Press, the wealthy would not want facts that are exposed in this book to me made available to the public.
Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform
Author: Ross Jackson
Publish Date: January 2012
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Press Release: www.greenbooks.co.uk/media/OWS_Press_Release_Jan_2012.pdf
Excerpts from the book:
The period from 1945 to 1980 was, in retrospect a period characterized by relative peace, rapid economic growth, no major financial crisis, a general sense of social cohesiveness in most nations, with the coming to power of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and the ascendency of the neoliberals, everything changed. The subsequent period from 1980 to the present has been characterized by a deterioration of social cohesiveness, environmental destruction, increasing stress, increasing criminality, a shift from solidarity to individualism, a ‘greed is good” mentality, a dramatic widening of the gap between rich and poor, and not least, a series of major financial crisis resulting from the ‘financialization’ of the world economy, recall, that 1980 was also the point at which the marginal costs of growth began to exceed the marginal benefits, the point at which a global collapse may well have begun. It is as if the dominant culture entered a final stage of frenzy, denial, absurdity and fantasy to stave off the reality that its way of life was coming to an end. Nowhere was this truer than in the field of finance, which removed itself further and further from any contact with the real world. In reality basic financial and accounting principles were ignored.
Deregulation – The basic problem with removing government regulations from markets was pointed out in the 1700s by Adam Smith, who did not trust the morality of a merchant class that had no concept of restraint or social responsibility. Since human ingenuity is limitless, any relaxation of rules will inevitably lead to unintended and unforeseen exploitation by profit-seeking businessmen, typically at the expense of the non-profit seeking parts of society – local communities, working people and the environment. History has shown that repeatedly that markets are not self-regulating as the neoliberal ideology has shown, on the contrary, unregulated markets tend to go to extremes until they eventually crash. The deregulation and removing of safeguards caused an entirely predictable result as it allowed new profit driven unscrupulous investors to get their hands on the enormous assets built up over several decades from local community savings and engage in an unregulated and irresponsible speculative frenzy as they invested in all kinds of dubious get-rich-quick schemes characterized by conflicts of interests, incompetence, highly speculative investments and criminal activities using other people’s money. The ruling concept was: head we win, tails the taxpayers pay.
Unrestricted capital Flows – Free capital flow (including free flow of goods across borders) is both the source of strength and the Achilles heel of neoliberal politics. Unrestricted capital flows systemically cause financial crises in two ways, firstly, they allow investor of one country to create a financial crisis in another that would otherwise not have occurred and secondly, they act like a virus that allows a crisis in one country to spread to other countries and example is the US subprime loan crisis. These unrestricted capital flows are also the reason for systemic recurrence of financial crisis, because the foreign markets in which the “players” invest, even though large enough and liquid enough in normal markets are extremely illiquid in a crisis.
The Financial Crisis of 2007-8 – This most recent crisis had elements of all three “culprits”, deregulation, over-gearing of naked derivatives at the national level in the United States and unrestricted capital movements, which spread like a virus to the rest of the world. A major deregulation event that paved the way for the crisis was the repeal of the American Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 under pressure from the financial elite who wanted more freedom to operate, this act was passed originally back in 1933 to prevent the kind of irresponsible and unregulated speculation that was identified at that time as a major cause of the 1929 stock market crash. The administartion of George W. Bush went even further cutting market oversight to almost nothing. The subprime housing market is often cited as the major cause of the crisis, but this is misleading because the problem is systemic. With Glass-Seagall out of the way, the post-1999 financial world became even more of a casino, unrelated to the underlying economy. Money was not being used productively but for naked speculation. the current global financial system is systemically unstable and flawed and continues to be an accident waiting to happen. The only unknowns are when and how the next accident will be precipitated.
The Kennan Doctrine – The guiding doctrine followed by the American political leadership over the past half century and the reasoning behind it, was formulated in a remarkably clear statement by George F Kennan (in 1948) ” We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population, This disparity is particularly great between the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives…….” we see here a classic attitude of the worldview of separation. there is no sense of global solidarity or sharing. Kennan’s doctrine is a blueprint for Empire. There is only one wish to control 50% of the world’s resources at the expense of everyone else. Other countries might as well be enemies from outer space. But a dilemma is created by this doctrine, because the proclaimed values of the United States for which it has been widely admired the past 200 years are precisely those values that must be sacrificed, and that in practice have been sacrificed, “human rights, the raising of living standards [of developing countries] and democratization”, therefore the doctrine must not be announced openly to the American people, who would never accept it if they had choice in the matter. It is the doctrine of the ruling elite (1%).
Thus the US leadership has been forced to be hypocritical, cynical, even schizophrenic, saying one thing while doing another.
In the subsequent 200-plus years, the power struggle between the “opulent minority” and the great majority has continued unabated. Though the trend has been towards democracy in the past, the coming of neoliberalism in the 1980’s, the trend has been reversed, evolving into the situation, as we know today, with the minority owners of great private wealth enjoying unprecedented influence while a frustrated majority experiences disempowerment and a constant deterioration in their freedoms and quality of life. Most observers would agree that merely having elections every four years is not sufficient evidence that a nation is democratic. Do voters have real choice or are we looking at a one-party system? There are serious questions about the degree of true democracy present in twenty-first-century United States.
On 1 % – Inequalities – Increasing inequality is not just a moral issue, there is a causal link between capitalism and inequality on the one hand, and between inequality and social problems on the other that is critical to our understanding of the role of the economic system in social breakdown. The single most important cause of inequalities is the ‘private ownership of income-generating property’. Unemployment is identified as the second important factor, and has been linked to increased rates of mental illness, suicide, homicide, divorce, heart attack deaths, stroke deaths, aggression etc.
Assault on Nature – Today, crisis is all around us. We are living right on the edge of breakdown, our well being, if not our survival, is threatened by climate change, resource depletion, toxic pollution, social breakdown, genetically modified foods, hunger, environmental degradation and a rate of species extinction not seen in 65 million years. Powerful forces are driving our civilization to a deep abyss, behind all of them is a simple reality; ecosystem overload. Too many people with too-powerful technologies are undermining the basis of our existence. As a global population, we are living beyond our means, living off our natural capital, consuming more than Nature can replenish.
Energy Descent – the peak in global oil production and the subsequent decline in oil supplies is not a threat to our survival as such, but is going to cause a more immediate crisis that is a threat to our whole way of life, we are consuming more oil than we are discovering, it is just a matter of time before demand exceeds supply, when this happens, the consequences will overshadow everything else on the political agenda.
The Collapse of Civilizations – why is our civilization threatened? an example is where the tendency of civilizations to destroy the ecological foundation of life by cutting down forests and destroying topsoil which results in short-term gains but inevitably leads to long-term disasters. Another example is the human failure to adjust populations to match the level that is sustainable, an example is Ethiopia, which has one of the world’s highest death rates and a devastated environment yet population continues to rise, driven by each family’s attempt to survive. In he’s book “Collapse” Jared Diamond states that from our lessons of history, environmental degradation is a prime cause of collapse. Historian Joseph Tainter on the other hand states that the overriding reason for collapse is economic, more specifically, collapse is an example of the law of diminishing returns i.e. declining benefits to the population. Another reason is the role of energy, it is only energy that can sustain a civilization, every time a civilization increases complexity, more energy is required to maintain the same level of benefits, we are reaching that stage of post cheap-oil era, with substantially higher costs and correspondingly diminishing returns.
The evidence strongly suggests that our global civilization is undergoing a collapse that will continue to play out over several decades. There can be little doubt that we are on a journey toward a different world for the simple reason that this one is on an unsustainable path.
So what is driving our civilization toward ruin? Ecosystem overload, over-population, unsustainable growth, species extinction, growing inequality, global injustice, global warming, peak oil – we are so familiar with all these things that it does not occur to us to ask ourselves if there is a common thread linking them. The so-called Cartesian/Newtonian worldview came to dominate the way Western civilization looked at the world from roughly the seventeenth century to the present, and not without good reason. The reductionist, mechanical approach to problem solving inspired by Newton and others, combined with Descarte’s concept of the separation of humankind and nature, proved to be a powerful tool in the development of the Industrial Revolution and modern science. It is generally considered to have been a resounding success as on of the key factors in increasing the general standard of living, particularly in industrialized countries. However, it successes have not come without costs. Often these costs appear elsewhere in the global system than we might intuitively expect, for example, in damage to the environment and human settlements from, and outside the field of vision of, the centers of the industrialized world of the west. In this regard, it is important to realize that, until recently, the vast majority of people in the world were far less influenced by this worldview e.g. China, India, Africa, the Middle East and South America.
Many of these peoples experienced only the negative effects of this paradigm through colonialism, environmental degradation and commercial explanation. Our civilization has held the Cartesian/Newtonian worldview for too long. The strategies of this paradigm, which work so well in a “new frontier” society, work no longer in a “spaceship
Earth” society. In a world where man is considered to be separate not only from nature but also separate from other humans, it is no wonder that a civilization has evolved that is based on the exploitation of nature and the weaker parts of human society.
The Role of Economics – Central to this evolution is the role of economics. Indeed, if the objective of someone was to drive our civilization to ruin, then nothing could do it more effectively than the invention of the currently dominant economic system – neoliberalism. Since roughly the end of the Second World War, the primary goal of
almost nations has been to maximize economic growth, without the least regard for either ecological overload or peak oil. There are two fundamental flaws in the reigning version of economics. The first one is the treatment of the environment as a subset of economics. rather than the reverse, treating economics as a mechanism of resource allocation that operates within the physical restrictions of ecological space. In other words, economists perceive the environment as a collection of resources for humanity’s use rather than seeing humanity as an integral part of, and inseparable from, a living and complex organism we call Nature. The consequences of this error are enormous, a direct conflict with one of the most fundamental and irrefutable laws of physics, the second law of thermodynamics This law states a fundamental fact about the irreversibility of nature. The nonrenewable resources of our world, once used up (oil) then they are no longer available to do any work.
This flaw allows economist to ignore problems of limited resources , ecosystem overload and energy descent. Economists can literally not see these problems because they are not included in their differential equations. It is as if or civilization is sailing down the Niagara River, and our economic guides, who are servants of the political leadership, have neither compass nor map. They will not see the problems unti w go over the waterfall. The second major flaw is he way in which economist model growth. This is especially dangerous because the ruling elite tends to pay more attention to economists than to physicists. The political power of the business community has been increasing steadily for two hundred years to the point tht today, we can no longer separate politics from business, particularly in the world’s dominant economy, the United states. The combination of powerful business interests, political allies and popular support makes it almost impossible to stop the growth bubble from bursting either when the ecosystem can no longer take the pressure, or more likely, when the reality of the coming period of energy descent hits the financial markets.
International Monetary Fund – IMF – how does it exploit and put a stranglehold on developing countries ? – IMF loans to developing countries were made conditional upon acceptance of policies of neoliberal ideology (no wonder poor, developing countries, remain in an endless spiral of debt and under-development) For the typical developing-country client, this meant they had to (1) reduce their tariffs on western industrial products without compensating tariff cuts by the industrialized countries; (2) devalue their currency and expose it to short-term speculation by gigantic Wall street hedge funds far larger than their central banks; (3) sell off key public facilities to western corporations at ridiculously low prices; (4) raise interest rates, throwing hundreds of companies into bankruptcy; (5) remove food subsidies to their poor while being forced to accept the right of the West to dump subsidized food products on their market, destroying their small farmers in the process (6). charge fees for school, resulting in massive school-dropout rates. (7). cut social welfare programs in order to force an unnecessary balanced budget and pay interest on their debt to the IMF (8). switch from import substitution to production of export-oriented materials of value to the West (North). What we see here is a conscious attempt by the IMF to impose on client states an ideology that was by no means universally accepted, and in most cases not even appropriate. The result was nothing less than a crude transfer of sovereignty from member states to the IMF, and hence to the United States, not de jura, but de facto.
World Bank – supported by associated donor countries and elite organizations like the Paris Club imposed on developing countries by granting them loans that were not really needed by making alliances with wealthy elites and corrupt political leaders in developing countries, who were allowed to pocket a sizable chunk of funds for personal use and for their companies, which were awarded lucrative contracts for unnecessary prestige projects. Most of the money actually returned to the West in the form of contracts with American and European engineering consultancies (Middle Eastern countries are prime examples of this). US Treasury officials openly admitted that two dollars came back for every one dollar contributed to the World Bank in the form of procurement contracts for US exporters. The prime goal of the World Bank and G7 countries is to use developing countries as a cheap source of labor and raw materials and to keep them in an endless spiral of debt.
World Trade Organization – WTO – The WTO has a Charter written by corporations for corporations, a charter that puts commercial interests above all, a charter to allow the strong to exploit the weak. Constitutions of countries are generally based on the sovereignty of people and countries, every constitution has protected life above
profits, but the WTO protects profits above the right to human life and other species. The WTO “free trade” regime is in reality a “forced trade” regime, because developing countries are forced to accept exploitative conditions that put high tariffs on their otherwise competitive exports, while allowing subsidized Western products to undercut local production, this gives the country with the strongest capital base and smallest social and environmental costs a competitive advantage, in this case the United States. The WTO does not support any environmentally friendly practices, example taxes on CO2 emissions, in reality, the WTO system encourages destruction of natural capital, the vey basis of human existence. (profits at all costs).
Growth is good, not really, only ecologically sustainable growth is good, but an economic system that treats ecology as a subordinate rather than the other way around can never be sustainable. Thus, neoliberal economics confuses capital depletion and return of capital, treating depletion of natural resources as part if it were part of the economic return, an elementary error in basic investment theory.
“Free markets benefit all, including the poor” – nothing is further from the truth, the last thing that neoliberals want (Western countries) is competitive developing countries, they want cheap labor and cheap raw materials for their industrialized countries and a market for their finished industrial products. The current system is rapidly creating greater inequalities in the world, more poverty among the poorest and more wealth among the wealthiest.
On Colonialism – as US secretary of state John Foster Dulles claims to have said “There are two ways of taking a society’s economy, one is by armed force, the other is by financial means.