World Trade, World Bank, Privatization

Neoliberalism exposed--jk
The Crporatist State and Globalization, Exposed--jk
Neoliberalism exposed -- concise summary -- jk
Neoliberalism exposed--jk
WTO fact sheet--jk
Egypt, a Lesson in Globalizer's Crisis Management
Globalization--Palast's Armed Madhouse
NEOLIBERALISM--the economics favored by big business, banks, and Our Government
A fact filled review of Neoliberal economic policies
Neoliberalism's Myth on Benefits of Free Trade
Neoliberalism roots for the war in Iraq
Top Reasons to Oppose the WTO
They have stolen democracy--Tom McCain, Republicans, Deomocrats
Free trade for globalization--Quackers speak out
2010 Bilderberg Conference
What has changed--Thom Hartmann
China, What Free Trade has Done!
Mounting Opposition to Neoliberalism and Why
World Bank & IMF, What They Really Are About--Greg Palast
IMF Insider Goes Public--Greg Palast
IMF Chief Economist Goes Public
World Bank's Plan Adopted by Ecuador--Greg Palast
GAFT Can Overturn U.S. Laws in the Interest of Commerce--Greg Palast
Its About Money, Stats and Drug Abuse Government Style
Biograrphy of Paul Wolfowitz with links
Biography of Paul Wolfowitz

It is not what they argue that thunders, but the results:  every group speaks as an advocate—consider the arguments of the tobacco industry.  The results have been an erosion of income including job benefits for the masses, reduction in social programs, a shift of the tax burden from corporations and those of great wealth on to the masses, and a take over of the media and political system.   Unfettered capitalism is not in the public’s interest.   Labor has become more productive, yet the worker’s share of the wealth produced has steadily dropped. 

Carl Barks

Harpy (one of 3) mean spirited winged women who are best known in the Greek legend for constantly stealing all the food of king Phineas and defecating upon his table.  Neoliberals are the harpies set against the working class.



By jk 6/07

Updated 12/08

There is an evil afoot, neoliberalism (called neoconservatism by U.S. media).  It is neither new nor liberal.  It is a theory of unregulated economics (laissez faire capitalism), expanding debt, and the privatization of government services.  Milton Freedom, of the University of Chicago’s School of Economic, has won a Nobel prize in economic for his contributions to neoliberal economic theory.  Neoliberalism is back by the multinational corporations and international banks, The international corporations and banking have found this theory useful for promoting their financial goals, and through the IMF (International Monetary Fund), WTO (World Trade Organization), and the World Bank have effectively promoted them.  In the U.S. their goals have been sufficiently realized so as to produce a second age of the robber barons.  The flat worlders (from a book The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman) have been the principle contributors to the politicians and parties that support the removal of economic and trade restrictions, and the social safety nets.  They even plan to privatize government services such as the water works, social security, post office, schools, and even the military.  Bit by bit they have been accomplishing these goals. 

Money talks and bull shit walks.  Political contributions are just one of four tools; treaties, loans and the corporate media are the other three. In the third world they make loans through the WTO, IMF, and World Bank to those governments who support at least in part their agenda which consists of opening up the resources, the media, the utilities, the banking, the borders, and their very market places to foreign buy outs and competition.  They call it deregulation.  The flat-world policies are also packaged as international treaties with acronyms such as NAFTA, CAFTA, AFTA, MEFTA, etc., which are signed by both underdeveloped and developed nations.  (The Iraq war is about MEFTA—opening up the Middle East markets including the oil fields).  In NAFTA there are 900 pages of clauses.  Among them are clauses requiring the overriding of national environmental, safety, drug, labor, commerce, and tariff laws; and NAFTA sets up their own court system to accomplish this!  National sovereignty has been sold.  Today’s new Robber Barons are not the monopoly capitalists like Rockefeller, Gould, and Morgan, but a much bigger global fish.  Business ethics hasn't changed, only monopoly capitalism is now played upon a board that covers our planet.

These flat-world (neoliberal) policies have resulted in the out sourcing of jobs, the flood of cheap tariff-free goods, the flood of undocumented workers, the reduction in the pay for skilled and unskilled labor, the breaking of unions, the reduction of social services, and a shift of the tax burden from corporations (many of whom have moved to tax-free heavens and avoid U.S. taxes) and the rich to the bottom 98%. In the past 35 years productivity has gone up over 45%; yet real wages (including benefits) have gone down, way down.  Why aren’t workers getting a share of their increased productivity?  Family income has remained level because now two earn the income of one.  In 1950s, there were very few working mothers. Through their media, the new Robber Barons paint a rosy picture, but the facts thunder a different storm.   

In the pursuit of their short-term and global interests, the neoliberals have us revisiting 1930:  they have brought about the economic collapse.  Their Federal Reserve policy[i] of flooding the banks with funds based on their 10% equity requirement has led to unsound loan policies through their need to turn these funds over.  Most of these loans have been bundled and sold to other institutions which have but 3% equity at most.  World wide speculative banking and shadow banking bubbles have burst.  Almost every developed nation has a very high total debt.  In the U.S. it is over 360% of GDP.  It is more than was held by those nations that have had an economic crisis in the last 2 decades (Mexico, Argentina 1995, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea Laos and the Philippines during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis).  Servicing government debt is now the second biggest item (over $412 billion in 07) in our budget.  It is funds that should have stimulated our economy.  Our nation is being bought up by foreigners made fat by our trade deficit ($817 billion in 06, and rising).  The manufacturing foundation of our economy has been eroded to less than 12% of employment[ii].  Now the entire developed world is imploding. 

From 10/26/00 to 7/15/08, the dollar has depreciated against principle foreign currency the EURO by 48% (26% since 1/02/06 to 8/23/08).  The principle cause is the need to sell t-bills—the falling dollars entails more T-bills per Euro.  In 2006 the total value of the EURO in circulation surpassed the USD.  U.S. prices rise because foreign goods and resources take more dollars. 

This drop in the dollar keeps foreign dollars in this country.  Property and securities become a bargain when foreign currency is strong.  Our government must sell new T-bills to raise the funds to replace those that have matured.  Foreign corporations, nations, and banks hold over $2 trillion in T-bills. Moreover with their trade surplus they are buying our industries.  Our instability is making the Euro the global currency.  But the flat worlders have a global agenda. 

Since 1972 disposable income of workers has steadily dropped[iii], even though their productivity has increased 45%--where has this gain gone?   The U.S. now ranks 4th in GDP per capita, yet is 92nd in distribution of key benefits—UN stats.  All this has occurred to our nation because neoliberal policies have rolled back the wisdom that got us out of the Great Depression and carried us forward following WWII: tariffs, limited immigration, and unions.  A prosperous working class buys lots of durable goods, while those at the top primarily speculate in the markets.

The multinational corporations have been changing through political alliances, the soil of government regulations; thus like a foreign weed they are chocking out native industries mainly with their cheap imports.  These corporations, many of them homegrown, are no more American than Toyota and Shell Oil.  They have moved their corporate head quarters off shore to avoid taxes, and their factories overseas for its cheap labor.  Yes, a flat world is good for them, but not for our nation.

The market place needs regulations:  regulations for safe and effective drugs, clean air and water, safer work places, honest advertising, product safety, accurate news reporting, etc.  Capitalism needs tariffs, regulations, and unions to assure a decent wage, medical benefits, retirement benefits, and decent working conditions.  It needs to regulate industries to prevent price fixing, and of banking to assure sound policies.  All these regulations affect costs, and business is about maximizing profits.  There is a fundamental conflict between short-term profits and long-term economic growth.  And there is a conflict with the public weal.  But the treaties our government has signed have done away with tariff laws, environmental laws, labor laws, etc.  NAFTA is about globalization. 

Neoliberals tell us of the virtues of unrestricted capitalism.  They promise developed nations cheap goods and more technocratic jobs, and they promise the third world peoples more manufacturing jobs through exports tariff free to the developed nations and technocratic jobs based upon outsourcing by the developed nations.  They promised better pay, cheaper goods, a strong economy, and whatever else needed to sell globalization.  They and the politicians whom are in their fold (Bush 1 & 2, Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher being the most brazen) have no regard for the truth.  They haven’t delivered prosperity even though productivity is up over 45%.  Low wages in the third world continue and we too are heading that way.  Thirty years of stagnation and worse proves the case against them.  

Where is our 2-party system? in bed with the Robber Barons.  The Democrats passed NAFTA, and Bush & Chaney sleep with Wolfowitz—whom they made head of the WTO.  The combination of political donations and corporate media has made political success dependent upon the support of the neoliberal Robber Barons.   

Greed is greed, and what benefits one group comes at an expense to the remainder of society.  They have fed the people a false data basis.  Our corporate media have sold the public on the virtues of neoliberalism and the elimination of economic regulations.  The nation’s richest 1 percent of the population holds financial wealth (which excludes equity in owner occupied houses) that is more than four times as much as the bottom 80 percent of the population.  Through their media the economic and social consequences of globalization are given a false face, and the masses have been lulled by their message into believing that their greed is in our best interest.   Propaganda and advertising work. 

A start towards a cure would be kick big business out of politics through campaign reform funding and out of the media by turning it over to educators.  (This article is on the web at


*   Source for federal spending: at

NNP figures in billions for fiscal budget 08:  military $598, health $428, and debt $412. 

[i]  The Federal Reserve is not a government agency, but one chartered through our government, and for whom we from the banking community select their leaders. 

[ii]  The government figure of 15% is derived by including the fast-food industry, and others non-factory jobs. 

[iii]  It has dropped much more than official stats.  In the 50s the blue collar husband could support a family reasonable well. 


Neoliberalism and neoliberals have various other labels:  globalization, corporatism, flat worlders, neocons, neoconservatives and the one I prefer, the new Robber Barons.  They stand for a form of laissez-faire capitalism,* which only they, like members of a church, tout as the way and path—reason and evidence are damned.  The phrase, robber baron, was used to describe the situation that existed in many parts of the world.  Common to many regions consisting of small fifes, the local young men under the head of a chief would exact from a group of travels a fee for passing through their territory.  Robber baron in this country was first applied to railroad magnates.  It appears in an 1880 anti-monopoly pamphlet for farmers in the Kansas region.  It soon was extended to the powerful U.S. capitalists of the late 19th century who in the pursuit of wealth exploited labor, formed alliances with legislators and judges, manipulated financial and trade markets, polluted the environment, and eliminated competition.  Their goal was to maximize profits.  This label for leading capitalists continued in common usage until the 1950s. 


Much like the written history of a war devoting considerable space to the generals, similarly is the history of U.S. industrialization following the Civil War about the Robber Barons.  The ruthless tactics of these barons of trade were described by the economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899).   Veblen compared the powerful industrialists  and bankers to the barbaric barons, for they lived off the spoils of conquest.  Their care of and for their workers he compared to that of farmers to their farm animals.  He also devoted considerable space to the conspicuous consumption of the leisure class.   Wit and insight made his book a best seller; and it became required reading for several generations of college students. 


American journalist Matthew Josephson in 1934 wrote the Robber Barons, another bestseller (still in print) that exposed their world.   He stressed their business practices and in the last chapters their conspicuous consumption.  I borrowed this book from my elementary school library, and 30 years later from a local library. 


Things haven’t changed that much, except the consciousness of the masses, for now we don’t call the CEO’s of major corporations robber barons.  The robber-baron era is a history that our corporate press has rewritten.  The continuing abuses chronic to capitalism are barely covered in their press.  There has been a de-evolution of mass consciousness:  conspicuous consumption and robber barons ought to still be in common usage.  That which is against the common weal ought to be a pressing concern of the common people. 



*Adam Smith was not one of them, and the usage they  make of him is totally unjustified. 

As given in lecture by noted British Economics Professor Lionel Robins: 

Popular writing in this connection is far below the zero of knowledge or common decency.  On this plain not only is any real knowledge of the classical writers nonexistent, but their place has been taken by a set of mythological figures passing by the same names, but not infrequently invested with attitudes almost the exact reverse which the originals adopted.  These dummies are very malignant creatures indeed.  They are the tools or lackeys of the capitalist exploiters.  I think that has the authentic stylistic flavor.  They are extremely indifferent to the well being of the working classes.  Hence when a writer today wishes to present his own point of view in a special favorable setting, he has only to point to these constructs with the attitude of these reprehensible people and the desired effect is produced.  You’d be surprised how many well-known authors who have resorted to this device.—Lionel Robins—1939, Lectures for the London School of Economics.  Found in Books on Tape Disc II, track 1, 1:30 ff., The English Classical Economists. 



The English classical economists included the 2 great Scottish philosophers David Hume and Adam Smiths, and their followers.  Among their followers are Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, and John Stuart Mill.   Smith was a champion of the masses.  He observed that whenever government interfered with free trade it was at the behest of a special interest group, and the burden of such legislation fell heavily upon the laboring poor through higher prices.  He was deeply moved by their plight.  If government followed Jeremy Bentham’s standard of utilitarianism and thus promoted the common weal as their primary duty, Smith would have written much differently,

A Solution

            There is a conflict of interest when the legislators are dependent on election funding upon the very parties whom the policies they pass affect.  And in particular international corporations and finance have very, very deep pockets. 

The Canadian government has addressed the problem that funds buy the votes of politicians through covering the costs of elections.  First the Broadcasters Guidelines and CRTC rules require that each broadcaster make available up to 390 minutes for political parties to purchase.  These 390 minutes is divided according to voter’s registration—there are 4 substantial parties in Canada.  Second a limit on spending is set per district (riding) according to the size of the electorate and the number of districts with candidates.  The 4 major parties each had a limit of $18,278,278.64.  In 2004 the law was amended so that if a party received more than 2% of the national vote and 5% in the ridings it contested, then it would qualify for payment equal to 60% of its election expenses (22.5% in 2000).  There is in addition a limit on donations made by third parties (individuals and groups) to $3,000

  We need to win back the Democratic party, and or make the Green Party a challenger

I have repeated commented about the link between neocons, the WTO, and the effects of globalization.  Among the effects is the ability to over ride national interest, labor laws, environmental laws, public services through decisions made by the WTO and empowered through trade sanctions and fines.  It is the power of finance that has created them as the shadow government.  Watch The Money Masters at