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by Ernst Wolff
Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2016 at 5:57 AM
Elections today have one thing in common: they don't change anything. Pseudo-battles dominate in which the actors are intensely focused on evading the burning questions and diverting the electorate from the real causes of problems..
CAUSES OF GREAT PROBLEMS FADED OUT IN ELECTIONS
By Ernst Wolff
[This article published on 9/14/2016 is translated from the German on the Internet, www.heise.de. Ernst Wolff is a free journalist and author of "IMF World Power – Chronicle of a Predatory Attack."]
Elections today – whether the office of the president of the US or the prime minister in the Lower Saxony province in Germany – have one thing in common: they don't change anything.
Pseudo-battles dominate in which the actors are focused intensely on evading the really burning questions and diverting the electorate from the true causes of problems.
The methods with which election candidates work are not new. Prejudices are used, scapegoats built and fears fomented. This is a sure method for alarming voters and obscuring their view of the most urgent present problems.
THE GREATEST PROBLEM OF OUR TIME
The main problem of our time that should be at the center of every election campaign is the rapid increase of social inequality. According to the data of the relief organization Oxfam, 85 persons in 2014 had as much wealth as the poorer half of humanity. In 2015, they were only 62 persons.
While the numbers are appalling, this is only the tip of the iceberg. In the US, 60 million people have to live on food stamps and hundreds of thousands leave homes and apartments and live in tent-cities. Houselessness among the socially weak increases and life expectancy declines. At the same time, the top earners in the US continuously multiply their wealth.
In Germany, more than 25% of employees work in the low-wage sector. Their subcontracted work booms; wages are increasingly forced down through "work contracts." While child poverty grows, the income of those who can live from their wealth also rises disproportionally.
The situation looks even worse all over Europe. Unemployment, deficient training possibilities and harder social conditions rob the younger generation of a future perspective in neighboring France and not only in the South.
THE CAUSE IS HIDDEN
This development is not an accident but the product of a worldwide policy. But this fact is repressed by all the election candidates – whether in the US or in German provinces. A taboo is obviously involved here that no one is ready to touch, the fiscal policy of the central banks.
When the global financial system threatened to break apart in 2008, the governments leaped in the breach and bailed out wealthy investors with taxpayers' money. Politics voluntarily submitted to the slogan handed out by the financial industry: the banks are too big to fail.
Giant holes in the state budgets were the results of the bank bailout. The central banks stepped into the breach to close these holes. They financed bankrupt states by purchasing government bonds, pumped trillions in the economy and lowered the key interest rates worldwide more than 660 times. Parallel to this, they issued austerity programs. They cut state spending, raised taxes and lowered the living standards of the working population.
THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM IS NOT STABILIZED
Most people today still believe the official version that these measures help stabilize the financial system they do not understand. Hardly anyone penetrates its real character that it destabilizes the system and in reality serves no other goal than to shift the burdens of the 2008 crisis caused by unscrupulous speculators to the working population.
Here are several examples. By purchasing government bonds, the state financing did not benefit the stricken countries but helped foreign banks in the settlement of their debts. Mammoth foreign banks were the beneficiaries in the first place, not the working citizens of the supported states.
The enormous sums of money are created out of nothing. Since March 2015, the European Central Bank alone "pumped" more than a trillion euros into the economy. Officially this was necessary to stimulate the economy, it was said. But this stimulation did not happen in the last eight years. The European Central Bank really gave the money to investors via private banks who mostly used it to speculate on the financial markets.
Lowering interest-rates was a similar phenomenon. Here it was also said, the measure was necessary to create "incentives for investors." Actually, the money was made available to speculators at very favorable interest-rates and partly for free – an excuse to take even greater risks on the financial markets and make the system even more unstable.
The introduction of "bail-in-regulation" (the participation of shareholders, investors, and savers in bailing out the banks) is by no means the "relief of taxpayers" claimed by politics. The bank bailouts" in Italy carried out at the year's end proved that big investors left and small investors and the middle class paid for the deficits.
Thus all the measures carried out since 2008 only benefited the financial industry and the investors and speculators standing behind that industry, not the working population. However, there is not a single politician – either in the US or in German provinces – who enlightens voters in the election campaigns about this connection.
MANIPULATION KNOWS NO LIMITS ANYMORE
This is not everything. The cited measures have developed their own self-dynamic that cannot be stopped anymore and leads with inexorable constancy into unnavigable waters. This is in addition to aggravating social inequality.
Printing money created gigantic bubbles in the stock-, bond-, and mortgage markets that in every case burst and destroy tremendous assets. The low-interest policy makes investors addicted to cheap money like heroin addicts and certainly cannot be canceled any longer.
On the contrary, the period lying before us will be in minus signs because of further lowering of interest-rates. Since this will lead to the hoarding of cash, the abolition of the 500-euro bill planned for the fall of 2017 will speed up the general abolition of cash.
There is even more. Ever new measures are necessary to prevent the collapse of this system that has completely fallen out of joint. The support of businesses by purchases of firm bond issues by the European Central Bank is only one step that will be followed by others. The Swiss national bank is already a big shareholder with Apple and Google and there is no reason why the European Central Bank should not follow their example.
From whatever side, the financial system drives to increasingly unrestrained manipulation, ever greater social inequality and ultimately to a historical collapse that can lead to grievous social dislocations and civil wars. Warning of this development must be the most important theme by far in election campaigns.
Nevertheless, we do not hear a word about this from any politician. The reason for this is by no means ignorance since the facts are openly on the table for anyone who wants to be informed. The reason is that the real decisions in our society are made by financial management and its highest representatives, the Central Banks, and no longer by politics.
In this game, politicians are nothing but PR-agents and publicity managers of the financial industry. Their task is to veil the real problems and throw sand in the eyes of people through diversionary maneuvers to secondary venues so those who profit from the present system can continue profiting in the future. As the reward for their activity, the political caste receives material privileges like high emoluments, parliamentary pay, generous pensions, special benefits, direct access to lucrative jobs in industry and the financial- or foundation systems. Moreover, their representatives receive the possibility of living out their craving for attention in the public eye and throwing their weight around in the mainstream media that is also financed by the financial industry as the rulers of our time.
The spectacle that we witness anew every four years under the title "election campaign" confirms the words of Kurt Tucholsky from three-quarters of a century ago: "If elections changed anything, they would be outlawed."
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