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The Illusion Of The Stock Market
By: Marcus Perriello | Our Voice Contributor
Most people around the world are familiar with the concept of the Stock Market: Speculation for or against the financial health of a public-traded corporation which, depending on the investment, can yield either a negative (Debt) or positive (Asset) return. With cash in hand, anyone who is willing can spend that money on company stocks, bonds and mutual funds within which resides an operational formula designed to enrich both broker and investor. It is a way of making money without putting in any real physical labor.
Invented in Holland beginning with the sale of Tulips, this ingenious concept has morphed into a monstrosity of exploitation and corruption which has led to numerous economic booms and crashes that have left most participating economies in ruins, while those who kept their sights on each and every nuance occurring in these respective economies have amassed wealth and power beyond which anything any empire in history has ever dreamed. These savvy investors, referred to today as the 1%, are chiefly comprised of greedy, self-serving businessmen and socialites who tend to operate within a strict circle of influence while deliberately disregarding the influence of anyone outside their circle. They ignore the resulting plight of the rest of society that ensues from the activities conducted by the 1%. The two most prominent examples of this are undoubtedly the Crash of 1929, and the Recession of 2008.
The common mindset of Wall Street is one of total obliviousness towards anything outside of that which indicates the health of their own bottom line. This is part of the Far-Right philosophy with regard to the combination of Small Government and Unfettered Capitalism. When the paradigm between the Rich and the Poor become so great that the economy can’t be sustained, prices have to be reduced, wages are stagnated or slashed, jobs are eliminated, and the economy enters a Recession.
For the 99%, this is a situation that is fraught with uncertainty, fear, anger, resentment, and a demand for change. This was most clearly demonstrated in 1932 with the election of Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt; the only U.S. President to be elected to office four times. Prior to FDR’s election, the Republicans had held control over the U.S. Government for twelve years. When the U.S. emerged victorious from World War I, the economy was booming. Republicans rode this wave of prosperity to Government power, at which point the 1% were free to conduct business in whichever way they desired. For a subsequent ten years (1919 – 1929), America experienced what has come to be known as The Roaring 20s; a period of unprecedented economic prosperity.
Historically, anytime participants of a specific economic circle see no indication of economic downturn, there sets in a sense of obliviousness and complacency. This is arguably the principal reason why every time a crash happens, people tend to run around like chickens with their heads cut off. A huge problem embedded within the concept of Capitalism is that no matter what happens, nobody learns the lessons of the past and history continues to repeat itself.
Today, more people than ever are attempting to utilize history in order to move society forward in a more constructive and sustainable manner. But due to the established economic infrastructure and its distinguished echelon of power and influence, the process is a slow one, and the powers-that-be who see the writing on the wall are abandoning both human and constitutional principles in their attempt to maintain power. This has happened to every empire throughout history, from the Romans to the U.S. Empire. Internal turmoil ensues in once-prosperous nations. Alliances are being strained. Citizens are voting for fear-mongering politicians who present themselves as strongmen who can restore their society to glory. Prices of goods and services are spiraling out of control while wages remain stagnant. The Media is exploiting petty superficial differences as a distraction from the people properly addressing the actual system. The Establishment’s primary tactic used to quell dissent, and potential revolution, is similar to a technique employed by the Catholic Church: Instead of addressing systemic issues , simply convince the people that their only course of action is to “renew their faith” in the system. However, unlike the underlying group think within the Catholic Church which is is devoid of any physical evidence to support detractors’ claims, underlying economic infrastructure flaws produce all the physical evidence needed to prove the case that the economic system needs to be reformed with the public welfare at the heart of its infrastructure. But due to the present state of the Eco-political incentives the current system provides, there is practically no chance of The Establishment doing the right thing and making the necessary systemic changes in order to prevent future economic catastrophes.
All this because the concept of the Stock Market is the sole dictator of society’s economic course as understood by the 1% who hold the Stock Market as the Holy Grail of the American economy. Theoretically, all people can participate in the Stock Market and if enough people in society participate in Stock Trading, the economy can be propelled to unimaginable heights of prosperity. But there are many factors that prevent this from being either sensible or sustainable.
Due to the nature of America’s Central Banking System, the more money that is printed into circulation, the less value per capita the U.S. Dollar has, which forces the U.S. money supply to remain fixed in order to maintain intrinsic value, which is completely contradictory to the natural phenomenon of human nature as we continue to grow and expand, which forces the money supply to have to be expanded to compensate by design, resulting in the eventual collapse of the U.S. Dollar. Another factor is the concept of Debt, which is the primary tool used as a means of sustaining the economy when there is not enough physical assets to go round. But Debt is, by its very nature, a weapon designed to shackle borrowers to their creditors , creating a culture of Debt Slavery.
Under the concept of Modern Monetary Theory, money is limitless and bankruptcy is a manufactured concept designed to assert control and dominance over those with little-to-no power in order to ensure the future of the current power structure. Historically, whenever this kind of power struggle emerges, eventually the 99% overthrow their economic and political oppressors and society then moves in a direction geared towards ensuring the well-being of the 99% while intensely vilifying the 1%, often to the point of mass retribution:
The French Revolution.
The American Revolution.
The Bolshevik Revolution.
The rise of Nazi Germany.
The election of Donald Trump.
All these are examples of the masses rebelling against the Status Quo that has resulted in their respective plights.
Within the current system, the Stock Market is used as a filtering device that determines the wealth gap between the Rich and the Poor. When the Rich are prospering, it is chiefly because of their use of the Stock Market as a means of increasing their own profits by taking away the means of the 99% to live their lives with comfort and dignity through the slashing of wages, the elimination of jobs, and the cutting of benefits. Likewise, under the current system, when the Stock Market is intensely regulated and overseen, and the wealth distribution is more equal, more people can live their lives with comfort and dignity, which leads to a booming economy because more people have more money to circulate through the system.
To the chagrin of the 1%, it is no longer possible to amass the kind of wealth and power they could before, and they can no longer afford all the mansions, yachts, private jets, and private islands. However, this is all for the better in both practice and principle because the more the 1% own, the more say those people have over the ability of everyone else to acquire the bare necessities for sustaining life. In the end, this is why there is a growing push for the institution of a Basic Income as both a means of basic survival assurance, as well as a cushion in the event of an economic downturn through the mechanisms of Capitalism.
It can be argued that in order for this to happen, the Stock Market must be abolished so that the Rich and Powerful can no longer use it to manipulate the economic system to take from the Poor to give to themselves through practices such as Price Gouging, False Speculation, and the nefarious act of Stock Buybacks. Stock Buybacks artificially inflate the prices of respective stocks. By the same token, if the concept of Modern Monetary Theory is adopted to create a new monetary system that is completely flexible and conducive with the natural world, things like a Basic Income could be easily instituted while allowing the Stock Market to remain in place. More people could readily participate in Stock Trading in order to propel the economy forward. The problem with this idea is that the incentives are still in place to continue mindlessly plundering and pillaging the environment with no regard to the consequences of our actions. By eliminating the Stock Market and replacing it with a Universal Basic Income using a monetary system that is completely flexible and conducive with the natural environment, we then have a system that operates naturally and acts as a direct indicator of the state of the environment, which provides us with the information needed to make more sensible and responsible decisions moving forward.