Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Investment in society and in human beings?

A paper published in the journal International Political Science Review considered if the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was "Democracy's Friend or Foe." It noted that reforms required by the American based IMF,
"may create an economically and politically marginalized population whose government is unwilling or incapable of responding to their needs. This may undermine the legitimacy of democracy for those who are marginalized..."
The article said research indicated a declining proportion of Latin Americans preferred democracy to any other form of government. In emerging economic powerhouse Brazil, citizens of the world's fifth most populated country showed only 41% preference for democracy. This compared to 74% in Venezuela, a nation that offends the world's financial elites and refuses to follow dictates of the IMF. Congressman Andrés Eloy Méndez said last year,
"Venezuela doesn’t owe a single Bolívar to the IMF or the World Bank… because we said goodbye to a type of debt that went along with lack of investment in society and in human beings."
Two years before the noted survey of support for democracy, Brazil had taken a $30 billion bailout from the IMF, one that injured disadvantaged Brazilians because it demanded cuts to social programs. Interestingly, the IMF funding was a little more than the debt owed to American banks such as Citigroup and J.P. Morgan.

The above is a lengthy introduction to small items in Canada's news today. The IMF, worried that housing rents in Canada are too low compared to the cost of housing stock, suggests the federal Conservative government end its 60 year-old Mortgage Insurance Fund, a program that helps Canadians secure residential mortgages. The IMF, always vigilant in protecting interests of the 1%, prefers housing that involves landlords and tenants. Private home ownership is a central element of wealth accumulation for individual Canadians and while that may serve our common welfare, it does not match goals of the financial elites who stand behind the IMF.

Political clout of the privileged is shown also by the federal government's direction to diplomats that the first order of business is advancement of Canada's commercial interests. Service to travelling citizens and humanitarian issues like health, food, water quality, human rights, peace and democracy are now subservient. Prosperity of private investors and traders matters most.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, wrote in Vanity Fair about the 1%,
"There is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

"Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called “self-interest properly understood.” The last two words were the key.

"Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being.

"Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook—in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s good for business."


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9 comments:

  1. Thanks for this Norm. A guy from IMF was on CBC today giving the usual neo-con spin. He said that affordability of housing was not a particular problem in Canada. So people paying $1,500 a month for a basement suite or $4,000 a month for a mortgage and property taxes, it doesn't hurt. Remember that each month when you worry if it can continue.

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  2. http://blogborgcollective.blogspot.ca/2013/11/ten-billion-dollars-in-debt-in-one-year.html

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  3. I was disgusted at the IMF when I read that story.
    The only way my daughter and son-in-law were able to swing their new home purchase was because of CMHC, as banks can never think outside of their narrow boxes.
    And they've never missed a payment...all the while their equity has increased by 20 per cent.

    The IMF is taking on the ugly face of a new world government, and we didn't elect them (either).

    Good for Venezuela, despite all their domestic problems!

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    Replies
    1. Be careful about reports of domestic problems in Venezuela. It has been targeted by plutocrats because it has taken an independent line in development of its own resources, particularly in the petroleum industry. As a result, events are manufactured and stories planted in media to degrade Venezuela's reputation.

      The same strategy is in place for Bolivia. Recently, an article in the Wall Street Journal called it a dysfunctional narco-state, an hysterical claim that I know, from spending time there, is absolutely untrue. My family supports Bolivian entrepreneurs through microloans facilitated by Kiva.org and not a single one of a great number of individual arrangements has defaulted.

      Around the turn of the century the public water system in one of Bollivia's largest cities was transferred to giant multinationals, who immediately raised rates dramatically. The people went to the streets in protest: the Cochabamba water war.

      In another story told to me in that city, the authorities authorized a Chilean company to install parking meters on the streets. The people wouldn't put up with paying foreigners to park on streets buuilt and paid for by Bolivians. The meters were installed during daylight but they repeatedly disappeared after nightfall. The Chileans gave up and returned home.

      When individual nations resist further enrichment of economic elites, the latter use media they control or influence to spread lies and misleading stories.

      Delete
    2. "public water system"...and didn't the GW Bush daughter several years ago buy up hundreds of thousands of acres of scrubland? seems the continent's largest aquifer is directly beneath her land.

      Delete
  4. Don't know about Bolivia but the Bush family was rumoured to have acquired a large spread in another place where old Preston Bush might have had friends. From 2006:

    Paraguay in a spin about Bush's alleged 100,000 acre hideaway

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    Replies
    1. That's it, thanks!
      Since water is the new oil, there'll no doubt be further revelations from Paraguay.

      Delete
  5. Norm while researching for a book I was going to author entitled 'Death of Civilization' I came across enough information to prove beyond a doubt that there is in fact a large conspiracy and I'm not afraid to use that word because the large financial institutions and transnational corporations are in fact conspiring to defraud the third world through IMF loans. Joe Stiglitz describes the plot very well, first the IMF loans (That are immediately funneled out of the country through Transnationals) given only if the receiving country agrees to harsh austerity measures, which means drastically cutting social services and privatizing essentials services and cutting trade and foreign investment capital barriers. This step is followed by riots political turmoil and effective destabilization of preyed upon country that sets the stage for massive buyouts by foreign transnationals and financial institutions of local competitive business, real estate, natural resources and former government services gone private like waterworks etc. Because of the preplanned riots due to the destruction of a way of life the countries values in everything plummet to rock bottom prices and are literally hovered up by these global giants, leaving the citizenry as serfs who own nothing in their home countries and have no-access to anything unless they pay the men now in real charge including but not limited to water food shelter and education. A good article detailing this conspiracy corruption, The Roots of Corporate Globalization in IMF/World Bank "Structural Adjustment" Policies By Soren Ambrose can be found here: http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v18n2/ambrose_imf.html

    to be continued...

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  6. ...continued

    It is a grim mess and has to blow-up in its own face some day when more people around the globe become aware of this financial tyranny that rules supreme. Even NATO is the strong arm of these financial elites and not at all what the public is led to believe. Col. Gaddfi's Libya was a much more advanced state than the west has us believe (free education, almost free fuel etc.) now through NATO's doing all that oil revenue is again in the hands of the west and will no longer provide for Libyans the fruits of it's revenues it once enjoyed. If they can't get your resources, financial institutions and vital services people depend on with their banking arm they will nail you with their weapon-ized arm; NATO. Because of Venezuela's snubbing of the elite is precisely why their is so-called social unrest it is not real but is being spawned by the western NATO powers led by the US. Read this and see how NATO really works: NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe. Article here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/natos-secret-armies-linked-to-terrorism/5353177 A free copy of the book can be had here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x5141254

    This is an eye-opening account by Swiss historian Daniele Ganser very provocative and challenges the assumption we are led to believe in the western (financial elites) world. Sorry toto we are not where we think we are people like Harper are just hired stooges to keep the theater going into making you believe you are free. Money was and still is the best jail cell ever built to trap humanity because you can't physically see the bars that keep you imprisoned and you own the illusion of freedom handed to you by the very elites that spoon fed you this nonsense.

    As for Venezuela's ultimate fate if a dictatorship run by the west is not forthcoming soon, unfortunately they may have to succumb to a brutal military assault. What happened in Greece, bail-out, austerity measures, riots and buyouts (and or military actions in other countries) to attain the same results is a plot so thin you see right through it once you have the tools of understanding, which was the purpose of my book. Afghanistan and Iraq were both stable societies prior to invasion and now the western powers reap the benefits of their resources and the people are left in dire misery. It makes me sick, good to see you back Norm!

    Mogs

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