Monday, June 29, 2015

mercantilism history


( I posted a Saturday article/link if you missed it )


Mercantilism was the early European economic theory and practice of establishing colonies as a means to eliminate the dependence of other nations for trade.  If you controlled a colony and it fed your population, no other nation state could force you into disadvantageous trade.  Not that colonialism is anything new under the sun.  That system has been around since agriculture got started.  But with the new coffee beans replacing beer and wine as the socializing drink of choice of the days intellectuals, placing new lipstick on old pigs made for clocking poor behavior with grandiose ideas much easier, being a stimulant rather than a depressant.  Just as today’s support of First Responders and the military is de rigueur and a cover for imperialism and home grown tyranny, back then fancy theorists became slaveries apologists.  Of course, today most folks use the term Mercantilism as a short hand for government support of business, implying big business controls the government ( back then, government subsidized colonial acquisition and expansion to grow the home population and quell rebellion, now government subsidizes corporations as a bribe so enough jobs are created to pacify the voters and to feed the hope of the Debt Serfs that they might one day be free ).  I’ve always believed the central bank does the controlling  and government and corporations feed off its credit to survive, but either way we can agree that the government sure seems to love and feed the corporations.


Since before our independence, our country has always used the government to enrich and reward and subsidize the right businessmen.  War profiteers did a brisk business at the start of the Revolution and afterwards most of those newly elected central government “freedom fighters” cashed in on the newly freed, just acquired Indian lands the Brits had been keeping from settlement.  They were called Speculators, to give the deed a patina of gambling, but if you Follow The Money it is easy to see why kicking the English out would pay the independence agitators.  Ever since, the closed loop of the rich man influencing the government and the government officials enriching themselves with bribes and kickbacks from the rich was the only operating system ( and you thought Hilary with too many cattle futures was New News ).  Unfortunately for all the newly rich or their wanna-be rich offspring clamoring to get into an Ivy League school ( if you ever had the displeasure to view the movie “W”, a rectal suck to the establishment if there ever was one, one would conclude that despite immaturity and a propensity towards alcoholism, Shrub was gifted with a great memory.  Actually, daddy was gifted with money and that is all it takes to get into school, especially the prestigious ones.  Ivy league schools are the initiation into the club for our empires future leaders and opinion molders, not institutions for higher learning.  What do you expect from a bunch of tea slurping class worshiping Anglophiles? ), the system is in trouble. 


Resources are what makes or breaks tribes, countries, empires or civilizations.  You can’t get much simpler than that.  Our country has always done business with free or nearly free resources.  That was one of the reasons the Great Depression wasn’t going to end any time soon ( even I will admit, reluctantly, that the Federal Reserve Bank wasn’t solely responsible ).  A glut of resources and farming and manufacturing, but not jobs, as the American Oil Age arrived in full force.  And we did a great job blowing up and sinking a lot of that surplus.  War spending per se didn’t get us out of the Depression, but getting rid of the surplus helped.  A free resource for business is one thing, a great thing in our economic system, but not so great once everything starts getting automated ( the race to computerize everything is both at once a need to minimize a dwindling resource base AND a replay of the 1920’s as jobs were replaced by machines.  We aren’t in a great depression now only because of the welfare state.  Note to Supreme Nob Job Morons Rush and Beck ).  Here is the main problem today for the rich.  Resources are no longer free ( the Reagan Revolution was Alaskan Oil fed.  Only Saudi Arabian oil saved our empire from implosion in the early 70’s, or we would have collapsed prior to the Soviet Union.  Us from Vietnam, them from Afghanistan.  Today, or the very near future, us from Afghanistan ).  There are no more free fixes like Alaska or the House Of Saud.  It is all cannibalization.  Nothing works like before.  Because businessmen all think their intelligence makes a great business.  They are morons.  Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a finite planet is a moron.  Their business success was just free inputs.  Look at your employer.  Does he “buy cheap and sell dear”?  Or DID he long ago?  Is it now just fighting over a shrinking pie?  How secure do you feel working for a company with an outdated business model?


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