Keynesianism & Eugenics

The theory of output as a whole, which is what The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state.

John Maynard Keynes

In looking at and assessing the economic paradigm of John Maynard Keynes — a man himself fixated on aggregates — we must look at the aggregate of his thought, and the aggregate of his ideology.

Keynes was not just an economist. Between 1937 and 1944 he served as the head of the Eugenics Society and once called eugenics “the most important, significant and, I would add, genuine branch of sociology which exists.” And Keynes, we should add, understood that economics was a branch of sociology. So let’s be clear: Keynes thought eugenics was more important, more significant, and more genuine than economics.

Eugenics — or the control of reproduction — is a very old idea.

In The Republic, Plato advocated that the state should covertly control human reproduction:

You have in your house hunting-dogs and a number of pedigree cocks. Do not some prove better than the rest? Do you then breed from all indiscriminately, or are you careful to breed from the best? And, again, do you breed from the youngest or the oldest, or, so far as may be, from those in their prime? And if they are not thus bred, you expect, do you not, that your birds and hounds will greatly degenerate?  And what of horses and other animals? Is it otherwise with them? How imperative, then, is our need of the highest skill in our rulers, if the principle holds also for mankind? The best men must cohabit with the best women in as many cases as possible and the worst with the worst in the fewest,  and that the offspring of the one must be reared and that of the other not, if the flock is to be as perfect as possible. And the way in which all this is brought to pass must be unknown to any but the rulers, if, again, the herd of guardians is to be as free as possible from dissension.  Certain ingenious lots, then, I suppose, must be devised so that the inferior man at each conjugation may blame chance and not the rulers and on the young men, surely, who excel in war and other pursuits we must bestow honors and prizes, and, in particular, the opportunity of more frequent intercourse with the women, which will at the same time be a plausible pretext for having them beget as many of the children as possible. And the children thus born will be taken over by the officials appointed for this.

Additionally, Plato advocated “disposing” with the offspring of the inferior:

The offspring of the inferior, and any of those of the other sort who are born defective, they will properly dispose of in secret, so that no one will know what has become of them. That is the condition of preserving the purity of the guardians’ breed.

In modernity, the idea appears to have reappeared in the work first of Thomas Malthus, and later that of Francis Galton.

Malthus noted:

It does not, however, seem impossible that by an attention to breed, a certain degree of improvement, similar to that among animals, might take place among men. Whether intellect could be communicated may be a matter of doubt: but size, strength, beauty, complexion, and perhaps even longevity are in a degree transmissible. As the human race could not be improved in this way, without condemning all the bad specimens to celibacy, it is not probable, that an attention to breed should ever become general.

Galton extended Malthus’ thoughts:

What nature does blindly, slowly and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly, and kindly. As it lies within his power, so it becomes his duty to work in that direction.

Margaret Sanger — the founder of Planned Parenthood — went even further, claiming that the state should prevent the “undeniably feeble-minded” from reproducing,  and advocated “exterminating the Negro population”.

And these ideas — very simply, that the state should determine who should live, and who should die, and who should be allowed to reproduce — came to a head in the devastating eugenics policies of Hitler’s Reich, which removed around eleven million people — mostly Jews, gypsies, dissidents, homosexuals, and anyone who did not fit with the notion of an Aryan future — from the face of the Earth.

Of course, the biggest problem with eugenics is that human planning cannot really control nature. Mutation and randomness throw salt over the idea. No agency — even today in the era of genetics — has the ability to effectively determine who should and should not breed, and what kind of children they will have.

As Hayek noted:

The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society – a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.

Keynes’ interest in this topic appears to have descended from his contempt for the individual, and individual liberty. He once wrote:

Nor is it true that self-interest generally is enlightened; more often individuals acting separately to promote their own ends are too ignorant or too weak to attain even these.

The common denominator in all of these examples — and in my view, the thing that brought Keynes toward eugenics — is the belief that the common individual is too stupid to be the captain of his own destiny. Instead, the state — supposedly equipped with the best minds and the best data — should centrally plan. Eugenicists believe that the state should centrally plan human reproduction, while Keynesians believe that the state should centrally engineer recovery from economic malaise through elevated spending. Although it would be unwise to accuse modern Keynesians of having sympathy for eugenics, the factor linking both of these camps together is John Maynard Keynes himself.

Keynes’ description of an economic depression — that a depression is a fall in the total economic output — is technically correct. And many modern Keynesian economists have made worthwhile contributions — Hyman Minsky, Steve Keen, Michael Hudson, and Joe Stiglitz are four examples . Even the polemicist Paul Krugman’s descriptive work on trade patterns and economic agglomeration is interesting and accurate.

The trouble seems to begin with prescriptions. Keynesianism dictates that the answer to an economic depression is an increase in state spending. And on the surface of it, an increase in state spending will lift the numbers. But will momentarily lifting the numbers genuinely help the economy? Not necessarily; the state could spend millions of dollars on subsidies for things that nobody wants, wasting time, effort, labour and taxes and thus destroying wealth. And the state can push a market into euphoria — just as Alan Greenspan did to the housing market — creating the next bubble and the next bust, requiring an even bigger bailout. State spending creates additional dependency on the state, and perverts the empirical market mechanism — the genuine underlying state of demand in a market economy — which signals to producers what to produce and not produce. Worst of all, centralist policies almost always have knock-on side-effects that no planner could foresee (causality is complicated).

So Hayek’s view on the insuperable limits to knowledge applies as much to the economic planner as it does to the central planner of human reproduction.

While eugenicists and Keynesians make correct descriptive observations — like the fact that certain qualities and traits are inheritable, or more simply that children are like their parents — their attempts to use the state as a mechanism to control these natural systems often turns out to be drastically worse than the natural systems that they seek to replace.

As Keynes seems to admit when — in the German language edition of his General Theory — he noted that the conditions of a totalitarian state may be more amenable to his economic theory, the desire for control may be the real story here.

Keynesianism brings more of the economy under the control of the state. It is a slow and creeping descent into dependency on the state. As we are seeing in Europe today, cuts in state spending in a state-dependent economy can cause deep economic contraction, providing the Keynesian more confirmation for his idea that the state should tax more, and spend more.

That is, until nature intervenes. Just as a state-controlled eugenics program might well spawn an inbred elite suffering hereditary illnesses as a result of a lack of genetic diversity (as seems to have happened with the inbred elite Darwin-Galton-Wedgwood clan), so a state-controlled economy may well grind itself into the dirt as it runs out of innovation as a result of a lack of economic diversity. Such a situation is unsustainable — no planner is smarter than nature.

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57 thoughts on “Keynesianism & Eugenics

  1. Keynes’ description of an economic depression — that a depression is a fall in the total economic output — is technically correct.

    Now that’s one hell of an insight from good ol’ JMK :P Perhaps he should have shut up afterwards.

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  3. Brilliant!

    You have single handedly linked Nazis, Eugenicists, murderous Greeks, pale pasty weak government workers and leaders with a system that keeps them comfortable in our best economic conditions. Keynesianism.

    I don’t know about UK or USA, but minorities are not represented well in Australian Government departments. And in an economic decline, these “Aryans” have very cushy lives. I would love a Government job, but with an name like Rojek, a Ukrainian name, and Ukrainians were targeted by Hitler, so now I know why I never get a call from the HR department of the Government.

    That is why I will run for Parliament. In my birth electorate, monorities are everywhere, but guess what, the government infrastrucuture is appalling, because guesss why, it is a “Safe” labour seat. Who is the Member of Parliament? An Aryan.

    BTW I find the mixed breed sheep do far better than the purebreed sheep. Less feed, resitant to worms, foot rot, easier lambing, and can fight off foxes. Just how God invented them.

    The hubris of man. pfft.

  4. I think it is probably innapropriate to link modern day Keynesian economics with eugenics, no matter what the man himself thought about the subject. The claim that any government intervention is an attack on liberty is wrong, the truth is that this is necessary to avoid even greater disparities in wealth than those already suffered in the western world. One example of this is that the government has to have the right to tax as we cannot trust people to give enough to charity so as to help those in the lower-classes and close the disparity between the rich and poor as not doing so would lead to a fractious and inviable society.
    http://youngleftie.wordpress.com/

  5. I would agree that the rich, no matter who this band is made up of, has an inexplicable role in government (for example in the UK in the past week a Conservative party donor, Adrian Beecroft, has been allowed to produce a policy report advocating no-fault dismissals, although he has no link to political policy apart from the money he gives to the Conservative party), and this role must be checked and the role of the rich in politics must be ringfenced. However, certainly in the UK at least, I believe that government controls on the amount of donations to political parties, if not a move to government funding of parties would be both workable and a good move.
    http://youngleftie.wordpress.com/

    • I don’t know how to fix the UK. I don’t think it is a problem with fundraising and donations. I think it’s a problem with the media, the big three parties are all centre-right neocon-ish, even if their rhetoric differs, and I think that a lot of that is Murdoch-oriented. I think that ending subsidies to big business and peeling away barriers to entry for media companies and banks would be helpful, but a lot of that is guaranteed by EU membership.

  6. Well hopefully the current inquiry into media ethics will mean two things: 1. Rupert Murdoch and his grimy business dynasty never again is allowed to dig its claws deep into British society and 2. no-one like this abhorrent man is again allowed to gain such a massive power base through the media or otherwise.
    http://youngleftie.wordpress.com/

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  8. ” And on the surface of it, an increase in state spending will lift the numbers. But will momentarily lifting the numbers genuinely help the economy? Not necessarily; the state could spend millions of dollars on subsidies for things that nobody wants, wasting time, effort, labour and taxes and thus destroying wealth”
    Yes, but there havent been too many examples of that in the last few years. Japan did some insane bridge building back in the day, but there aren’t too many examples of crazilly wasteful spending in this depression.

    ” And the state can push a market into euphoria — just as Alan Greenspan did to the housing market”
    Well, Greenspan ( big fan of Ayn Rand) kicked it off, but it was supposedly rational markets that drove the boom. The last decade showed the need to regulate and intervene when things get out of hand.
    Un-intended consequences are a result of both intervention AND non-intervention. The myth that rich bankers, like British newspaper journalists, are best left to their own devices has been decisivelly shattered.

    • Un-intended consequences are a result of both intervention AND non-intervention. The myth that rich bankers, like British newspaper journalists, are best left to their own devices has been decisivelly shattered.

      This is an interesting point. My view would tend to be that British newspaper journalists and rich bankers tend to destroy themselves without the crutch of favourable regulation and subsidies. On the other hand, I do think there is room for some regulation, like Glass-Steagall under certain circumstances. It’s a difficult balance to get right, but I think both the traditional left and traditional right have gotten it very wrong over the last few years, which is why we are here.

      I think the system in the 50s and 60s, with the gold exchange standard/Bretton Woods as well as Glass Steagall worked a lot better than the status quo, although one thing I would not have from that era is 90% taxes, as the rates of collection then are roughly the same as they are now (Laffer-Khaldun curve).

  9. It seems like a natural thing to link Keynesianism (which is about the idea that centrally planned economies work up to a point) with the idea of control over things, hence no surprise Keynes was an eugenicist etc. But what’s the problem with eugenics? I’m not saying it should be tried for humans, but certainly humans obtained good results when breeding horses, sheep, and all manner of other animals to improve on their various characteristics – so I don’t really see how nature kicked us in the butt for doing it (maybe at first, for doing it wrong, but we got better as we learned).

    • The problem is that every single attempt by the state to do this has had a miserable effect on people’s lives.

      But not only that, it’s trying to do something that humans do naturally: when we choose a partner, we do our own “equation” on their fitness to breed. My view is that human sexual intuition is still a vastly superior system to any intellectually-devised breeding code.

      • I was talking strictly about animal eugenics, that we’ve had good results, which was supposed to counter the (seemingly religion-like) attitude I see at Taleb about the sanctity of nature (which I supposed had a great deal of influence on you).

        • It all has iatrogenic side effects, too. Yes, we can breed faster race horses. And a lot of them have diseases from inbreeding (e.g. brittle bones). Yes, we can breed fascinating-looking dogs. And a lot of them have diseases from inbreeding, or disabilities. And yes — we have practices eugenics ourselves — our “well-bred” elites in England often suffer from haemophilia.

        • Yes, but nature does this too. Sickle-cell disease which is a side effect of a mutation designed to protect us from malaria. What I was saying was that it’s all well known, and we get to know it better and better – so no reason to interpret this as nature teaching us a lesson.

        • Yes, exactly, but so are nature’s own iterations. We should of course be careful. I just meant that this doesn’t violate the sanctity of nature and doesn’t mean that we know better than nature – even though the equivalent in the analogy (Keynesianism is about thinking you know better than “nature” – or the free market) is a view that has largely proven incorrect, and more and more come to see that.

      • animal attarction, love at first sight etc is our genes and senses determining that the potential partner has the “Right” mix of genes. You are correct to suggest that nature is better than a Dr in a goverment department.

        • What does “Right” mean? When doing animal eugenics the people define what they want, and usually they get it (with caveats and all). I’d oppose human eugenics from an ethical point of view as much as I would for the other reasons (unexpected consequences – with our current knowledge). It is my impression that people confound their own version of “Right” with what “nature” may think is “Right” – and “nature” as far as the evidence we have goes, doesn’t particularly care too much about the human species or what a member of the species thinks.

        • When doing animal eugenics the people define what they want, and usually they get it (with caveats and all).

          I know a little about horse breeding. It’s mostly trial and error. Breeding two thoroughbred champions together is no guarantee of a champion foal.

        • Of course not, but they still have a better shot than if they tried something else. And let’s not include just animal eugenics, let’s include plant eugenics as well. I’m talking just about raw trial and error breeding not GMO.

    • I’m bored and in the mood to dissect. Plus reification was my favourite word when I was, like, 17. I got to where I am via Derrida, Barthes, Deleuze, which I guess for a libertarian leaning goldbug is quite unusual. I like certain aspects of this piece, and passionately dislike others.

      The immediate cause of the mania for fiscal austerity among policy elites has been a consensus belief among these “Very Serious People” on both sides of the Atlantic that the social contract rests on “hard money”, the idea that the value of existing monetary units should be frozen in time and that the macroeconomic tools of government are designed only to prevent inflation and, semi-covertly, to support politically-connected industries, like the banking sector.

      Supporting politically connected industries is actually the main source of the monetary inflation, so this is a contradiction in terms.

      Opportunistically tied to this hard money belief is the notion that existing private debt contracts for now overvalued goods (mostly real estate) and services, negotiated in superficially better times, must be enforced to the last cent, forgetting the wisdom of the ancient world which allowed for periodic debt jubilees.

      Ah, now we’re talking. When Pat Robertson suggested a debt jubilee running for President in ’88 he was dismissed as a crank. Actually, I just believe that debt isn’t wealth. It’s too fragile to be, and in the end it will destroy itself either by debt-deflation and defaults, or hyperinflation when the “hard money reification” stops and the printing starts. I prefer equity-based lending. It’s more honest.

      “Hard money” ideology is not entirely wrong but is simply limited in its applicability within some critically important contexts where money operates. MMT theorists have provided a valuable rule of thumb to understanding where “hard money” belief is applicable and where it falls down.

      The people who are managing fiat currencies and who refused to print are as confused as the writer of this article. Fiat is never hard money; only metals are hard money, and they are officially “demonetised”. I have a hard money attitude in the sense that I believe in gold and silver, and realise that debt-based Keynesianism is a fundamentally unstable system, and that it always ends in hyper-devaluation. The longer the Eurocrats maintain a “hard money” attitude, the more they will eventually have to print. I think the nature of the system necessitates big printing.

      From the points of view of a plutocratic or corporate oligarchy, the notion of limiting the independent power of the national state by holding forth the ideal of a balanced government budget, laming their public sector competitor/client/patron, is attractive for the important reason that they can continue to develop their, for the most part indirect, political power to its fullest. That laming the national state might negatively effect their wealth in the middle or longer term seems not to trouble oligarchs or want-to-be oligarchs very much, as relative power over others rather than general prosperity seems to be their primary goal.

      Blah, blah, blah. The plutocracy want a powerful state, because they want to use its monopoly on money and violence to their advantage. This is what the left mostly fail to understand, and where I tend to smash them hardest.

      I was looking for something to blockquote from the semiotics section, but the interesting thing is that he never really says what I expect him to say: David Graeber’s argument about the moral implications of money/debt and how austerians are trying to enforce a false/extremist moral order. Well, whatever. Money may be a non-natural sign, but value and wealth aren’t. The modern fiat thing is non-natural (it’s just carbon); the gold or silver bullion is very natural.

      A fancy but analytically precise way to describe hard-money belief is to state that believers in hard-money “reify” the money signifier by insisting that it be treated as an invariant, virtually physical entity. Reification means that one treats in one’s mind, abstract relationships and ideas as if they were things. There are two level of hard-money ideology: the rarer goldbug like Ron Paul and “Goldbugism Lite” which is a common, widespread belief among supposed moderates about governments running out of (nonconvertible paper) money.

      Ah here we go — the imposition of false meaning in a “meaningless world”. Very well, talk all you like of money just being a signifier, but when the grist of your mill is trying to convince authorities to print more of your signifier, and when you believe that lack of the signifier is hurting your interests, that seems quite real to me. I don’t think money and wealth and value are a baseless construct — that’s just nihilism — I think when you print money you really screw the holders of the currency, and that pain is shared throughout society.

      Advocates of the gold-standard think that all forms of money need to be or represent a hard thing, a representation of gold. This belief is upon closer examination so foolish that few moderately intelligent people will persist in advocating for it: why should the supply of money be tied to the availability of a not particularly useful metal in limited supply? More complex and more insidious is the hard money belief found in the Center and on the Left who are convinced that somehow government cannot spend and control money, which is mysteriously made substantial only by rituals associated with private banks or in the space between a nominally “independent” central bank and private financial actors. The latter group are not gold-bugs and recognize that there is demand for a growing money supply in a growing economy but make money a creature of the private sector, from which all money must be borrowed. Public spending for them is not “authentic money” therefore the ritual observance of borrowing money to spend over tax receipts.

      Yeah, whatever — government can print as much money as it likes. We embarked on this experiment long ago, now we are dealing with the fallout of a hyper-debt, hyper-leverage society.

      Marx and Marxists believe(d), or talk and write as if they believe, that capitalism has introduced all manner of destructive propensities into human behavior, propensities that will vanish in a properly structured social system. Critically important among these destructive or inhumane propensities is reification/commodity fetishism, as well as the closely associated characteristic/character flaw of greed. The negative characteristics of human beings are, in the Marxist view, made a feature of the social system. This social determinism is the exact opposite of the general right-wing or reactionary view that human frailty is “natural” especially when it comes to the actions and character of the non-property owning classes.

      Woah — now he’s going totally wacko. This is full-bore central planning fetishism. We know how a “properly structured social system” tends to look like in the eyes of central planners, and people who have not had their intellects educated away by poststructuralism and literary theory understand that living in the USSR or North Korea or Cuba is no fun.

      Without a dynamic conception of the currency, towards which MMT points, politicians and the polity more generally will not be able to face the challenges posed by debt deflation and increasing environmental degradation in a world which must work increasingly in a more coordinated manner. Understanding currency as the tool as it is, in all probability requires more intellectual and moral effort than many would like to muster. However without overcoming our tendencies to make inert things out of abstract concepts we will not be able to see how we can use the powerful sign system of money for greater public benefit.

      Hahaha, the cynic in me thinks that governments might as well pony up to the MMT brigade — the ideology, lest we forget that Paul Krugman believes will be excessively inflationary — and get the hyperinflation over and done with. Print, print, print. Let’s see how much of a “reification” money is when it goes to zero.

      • And to add, he never addressed the main goldbug point which is that the point of some form of gold standard (coin, exchange, etc) is to address the problem of excessive credit creation beyond the economy’s productive capacity. That’s how credit bubbles come into being, and their bursting is the thing that triggers the debt-deflation in the first place. Of course, gold is not 100% effective at this, but it’s the idea that counts, and I think a gold exchange standard coupled with Glass Steagall is the least worst system.

        • Ha, what a coincidence! I just turned 17!

          Thanks for having a read.

          Re. the goldbug issue, fwiw I kind of think of gold and silver as an “ironic asset”: you buy them in the same spirit in which one watches Jon Stewart rather than mainstream news. It’s not that Jon Stewart is so good (which of course he is), it’s that the alternatives are so bad. I think it’s possible to recognize that gold, as a monetary asset with no counterparty risk, will be good bet in a world undone by credit pollution but still recognize that it is not, ultimately “the” solution.

          In fact I suspect that much confusion around these issues is caused by the assumption that there somehow must exist “one” solution, one “real” money that satisfies all the requirements. Why should it be so? (I’m not accusing you of this, just saying it’s a phenomenon of thinking that seems prevalent and, I think, leads people into an ultimately skewed and nostalgic view of what gold is or isn’t useful for.) I might be kidding myself but I think it’s possible to recognise that, for instance, France’s tenacious clinging to the gold standard in the 30s was wrongheaded and destructive and still see that gold has some recurrent virtues.

          Re. your argument in the post itself, the whole eugenics thing isn’t a bad hook to get discussion started, and I think your light touch with how significant you think this is is a point in your favour. But you have to know it’s a suspect move. All sorts of people are, for instance, both religious (say Muslim) and also believe some pretty admirable things in other areas. In other words, they literally believe some guy “spoke to god,” wrote the Truth down, and use this to justify say executions or whatever. They are also, say, a brilliant nuclear scientist. So what? People can believe utter tripe and completely reasonable things at the same time. One belief does not invalidate the other solely based on that. I seem to remember that Milton Firiedman said that his recommendations for monetary policy could only ideally be applied in a dictatorship. I’ve seen leftists critique him in a similar vein to here – see, he’s fascist – and it’s,I think, dishonest for the same reason. What wouldn’t be easier to implement in a dictatorship?

          The equation of Keynsian fiscal prescriptions with central planning seems a little overdone. I would concede all your points about “limited knowledge” etc. via Hayek and still say it doesn’t come near to doing the work you thinks it does in the argument. What I find convincing at the moment about the issue of “stimulus” I don’t think requires a belief that we’re wise enough to do it just right etc. I think it depends on the true or false issue of sectoral balances If one sector (private) is delevering it’s a truism to say another (public sector) has to lever up. This strikes me, if true, as blissfully non-partisan. My savings is your spending. As far as I can make out this is an accounting identity. This is about 3/4s of the point MMT is trying to make. To recognise this is not equivalent to buying into central planning. In fact it’s a, yes, perhaps backhand recognition of a private economy. In fact it only makes any sense if this is the case. So my riposte would be: Keynsian theory is about how to deal with the UNPLANNED economy when it can’t right itself.

        • People get kinda surprised at how young I am (I’m 25), so it’s a nice surprise for me to tangle with someone eight years younger than me, and an even nicer surprise that you make some excellent points.

          Gold is very much like Jon Stewart; the least bad store of value. There are no ultimate solutions for anything (our generation already mostly knows this, which is a great start) there’s just better than and worse than. And the same thing goes for fiscal policy. I’m not going to claim that I am certain that further stimulus will not cure our problems, but I do know that the last attempt was a sham handout to insider interests that solved almost nothing. Additionally, Keynes’ recommendations came in an era of relatively low government spending and economic involvement. If Keynesian theory is how to deal with the unplanned economy when it can’t right itself (in the short term, of course) how applicable is it to the modern world where very little of the economy is unregulated, and unplanned?

          Of course, I ultimately expect the present circumstances (call it a liquidity trap if you like) to push policy-makers toward more full-bore money printing sooner rather than later (maybe NGDP targeting?) so we will see the full effects relatively soon, and I maintain that higher aggregate demand is very unlikely to cure the underlying structural problems (although I maintain that these are not the same as Rajan, etc might say they are). Krugman may yet prove himself to be the ultimate VSP.

  10. “The plutocracy want a powerful state, because they want to use its monopoly on money and violence to their advantage. This is what the left mostly fail to understand,”

    I can’t agree with that. Plutocrats may want a powerful SECURITY state,(arguably), but have no interest in well funded public services, which would be among my definitions of a “powerful state”.

    • Let’s take a very practical example:

      Tesco. Asda. Sainsbury’s.

      Social security is set to pay out £111 billion next year. Only 45% of the population are taxpayers; 10% are on benefits, and a much larger swathe are pensioners. You think these multinationals don’t want those customers? To a large powerful corporation, they care not where their customers get money from. You think BP and Shell don’t want poor people to drive and buy oil? Simply, welfare is a very effective way to drive corporate profits. That’s why welfare penetration is growing in the more corporatist nations (Britain, America, etc).

  11. What about the koch brothers, or the f*cking tax payers alliance, or that private equity shyster beechcroft ?
    They don’t want a welfare state, or well funded public services. They want a weak, small state. Supermarkets and big retailers want peoploe to spend money on their stuff, but most plutocrats would rather keep the government out of society as far as possible.

      • Ha! Lots of Murdoch’s Sun readers are on some form of welfare themselves.

        We established that some plutocrats want a big expansive welfare state, and others (these tend to be louder and more obnoxious) want a smaller welfare state so that we can spend more money nation building in Iraq/Iran with F16s.

        Now let’s see who is winning the argument:

        It’s pretty clear that the welfarists have won. And I wouldn’t take Cameron’s projections at face value, either — his government is gradually disintegrating, look at Jeremy Hunt, and even if he survives another two years the economic contraction the austerity is producing will force his hand.

  12. Government, can be summed up in an equation. More power equals more inequality period. The Celtic people lived for thousands of years without major war or mass deaths. They had no central government and were even known to help each other during times of hardship. It is known that the continental Celts, (French and Germanic peoples) helped the Celts on the British Isles through trade and support. People by nature will figure out their own problems better than any government. The only reason for inequality is central control. It is only logical, how can any man woman or child rule effectively, even with the best of intentions, when dealing with millions of people. Each person is a complication to the system any individual circumstance may require adjustments in their own environs.
    Laws, always written to protect the rich not the poor prevent competition. The largest corporations exist by laws and laws only. If we lived by the true Christian ethic then understanding that only two laws are needed love God and love your neighbor then economic wealth would be distributed more evenly. Industry, by it’s very nature in an economic system not based on usury would self regulate. It would be concerned about it’s customers welfare because the returning customer is the greatest asset to a company. When a company becomes international and powerful like the top 100 corporations of the world today they loose attachment to the need of customers as there are more than they need or to numerous to be concerned any individual. Life is simple, it is complicated by those who wish to rule and acquire that which is not theirs. Small business is the foundation of a society largely made up of a middle class and overarching and extremely powerful governments are the very definition of totalitarianism.
    What good would it be to consume all the fish so that the fisherman is out of business? It all starts with the money masters and creating money out of nothing, charging interest, which is never created, creates joblessness, inflation, the rat race in general. Native Americans lived for 10′s of thousands of years without massive disruption to environments or peoples. They did not have a banking system allowing massive inequality. This creates speculative growth at an accelerated rate, what we commonly call ‘bubbles’. Controlling governments create weak and feeble minded people who eventually become dependents and feed into the extortion of the very very rich.
    The only good news about this, as everything in the universe, is that the circular or exponential pattern is at work. In other words the very control freaks that start this evil mess will, in the end, fall. History proves over and over again and our modern age, blinded by pride, is about to have it happen again.
    Unless we can eliminate private banks controlling governments by the creation of money which should be a governmental operation without interest and fractional reserve banking should also be outlawed as that is an extortion of the peoples labor and wealth.
    Governments on a federal level should concern themselves of things between other governments and allow the local governments to left to themselves. The Feds should have no concern of what any person does unless it interferes with it’s business with other governments. What food we eat, how we conduct our personal business and privacy should be of no concern of the Federal level.
    The most successful example of mankind is still with us, living with nature not abusively over nature and they would be the tribal peoples of the Amazon and a few other places on the globe. They, not modern man, have lived in harmony with the world that supports them since the beginning of time, we should pay more attention to them and the wisdom they possess and forget the control freaks.

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  15. The best way to describe how MMT and Keynesianism ruins something is by playing monopoly with your frinds, but playing with another board games monoply cash up your sleeve.

    You buy up everything, and don’t even think strategically because you have easy money.

    The same applies in the Government or business circles with easy access to credit. You lose focus and pay more than what you should. That causes misallocations and inflation.

    Gold is hard to replicate, and limits trivial spending, because somewhere down the line someone had to pay a miner to exchange his gold. He worked hard for that gold and expects reward for effort.

    The more I read about the French revolution and Jacobianism, the more I get discouraged about the future of man and Governments. it appears that the elites want to control everything, and now with computing power growing exponentially, they will try to control the economy even more. Free will versus thought control.

    If this Socialist evolution is anything to go by, economic collapse will result in Oligarchs and Dictators, just like Russia today.

    Has anybody ever thought about these Political eaders going home from the office, eating dinner, watching TV and switching off? They are not normal people. They are drunk on power and controlling the lives of billions.

    Like Monopoly they end up winning the game!

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