Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Mass Media: The Ministy of FEAR

There's a huge propensity for the mass media to spread fear and to exaggerate dangers.

I read this book:
The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things Here's a quote from an Amazon review:
Americans are afraid of many things that shouldn't frighten them, writes Barry Glassner in this book devoted to exploding conventional wisdom. .. he certainly shows we have much less to fear than we think.
.. Glassner (Derailing Democracy) deconstructs .. beliefs about the threats of the modern world and aims to expose the media's role in keeping citizens fearful. Frightened citizens, he posits, make better consumers and more easily swayed voters. In a methodical fashion, he raises a series of public safety threats—the prevalence of road rage, middle-class heroin addiction and husband abuse, to name just a few—and then systematically tries to strike them down with statistics.
Among the things that Glassner skewers is the media's portrayal of teen moms & young black men as destroyers of American society, road rage, plane crashes,... The basic premises that Glassner covers are these:

1) Mass media creates panics & hysterias from a few isolated incidents. 2) Anecdotal evidence takes the place of hard scientific proof. 3) The experts that the media trots out to make comments really don't have the credentials to be considered an expert. 4) Entire categories of people are christened as "innately dangerous" (like the aforementioned teen moms and young black men)

There's that thing again about making citizens into "better consumers". It came out in a link in my blog part 2 of Dumbed Down by the Educational System ; from the Underground History of American Education website, and here's the quote:
The secret of commerce, that kids drive purchases, meant that schools had to become psychological laboratories where training in consumerism was the central pursuit.

What's the purpose of fear, and how does it sway voters? It's the classic trick of the propagandists. Instill fear in the public, and you can convince them to do anything. Here's an illuminating 1 minute video:

What's the difference between the old
Soviet news agencies and the American Mass Media? The Russians knew it was propaganda.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Mass Media: DoublePlusUnTruth

I don't think anyone can disagree with this statement:
You can't have a functioning democracy without a free press.*
*The USA isn't supposed to be a democracy, but that's another topic, and let's assume it's supposed to be one for the purposes of this discussion.

My assertion is that the mass media is far, far from a free press. They do not inform the public. They do not provide unbiased news. They do not perform their due diligence and provide all sides of a story, nor all the facts.

Only Six Corporations Dominate Major Media Outlets

You may say, "that doesn't mean it's not free". Well, if we assume for the moment that the nation is not a free capitalistic society, but instead is a corporate collectivist society, then the corporations, who call the shots (i.e. influence government to pass laws for their benefit), shouldn't be running the mass media. Note the commonly used term, corporate media.

Let's look at the assertion that the country is corporate collectivist.
From http://www.lewrockwell.com/latulippe/latulippe80.html:
..it’s important to accept one fact about contemporary America: This is not a democracy, and certainly not a constitutional republic. America is actually a carefully concealed oligarchy. A few thousand people, mostly in government, finance, and the military-industrial complex, run this country for their own purposes. By manipulating the two-party system, influencing the mainstream media, and controlling the flow of campaign finance money, this oligarchy works to secure the nomination of its preferred candidates (Democratic and Republican alike), thus giving voters a "choice" between Puppet A and Marionette B.
Everybody knows that lobbyists have undue influence on government; in the Pharmaceutical industry alone, lobbyists outnumber congressmen 2 to 1:

The term "corporatocracy" was used by
John Perkins in his 2004 book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Wikipedia has an entry for Corporatocracy:
..when the major media outlets are controlled by large corporations, access to information tends to become limited to what serves corporate interests, and corporate interests in turn are able to define the national political agenda.

I have personally seen the Mass Media, or Mainstream Media ("MSM"), spew what I certainly know are egregious lies. Not just that; I have seen them discuss a news item at one time, then, at another time, discuss a related item, contradictory to the first item, as if the first item had never been broached.

It reminds me of George Orwell's
Wikipedia entry, 1984. In the novel, there was the government news, propaganda, and information ministry: The Ministry of Truth. Its purpose was to rewrite history and change the facts to fit party doctrine, for propaganda effect. The Ministry of Truth published a daily newspaper, wherein a story would be run that could totally contradict a story from the day before. The people would completely forget the previous day's story, not noticing the contradiction at all, like the previous day's story never happened.

I have seen this happen in real life. This is why I say the media are DoublePlusUnTruth. (Newspeak for "big lie")

Here are examples.

In the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq, there was much ado over the weapons of mass destruction. In the months after Saddam's famous statue fell, it was almost forgotten by the public that the whole reason for the invasion were those weapons that couldn't be found. It was a collective shrug and a "well we're in there already, so we just keep fighting". There was no indignation at all, that the whole reason for going in there was bogus to begin with. Like the WMD reasoning never happened.

In the conclusion of the Valerie Plame affair, the MSM discussed Scooter Libby's pardon: Example Mass Media article on the Libby Pardon

The whole focus of the media in this case has been on "who leaked information about Plame to the media".
Completely forgotten was the reason why Libby lied to a grand jury in the first place, which was to protect a certain lie by the Bush administration from being uncovered.

That lie was in Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, when he famously frightened a nation by declaring, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The so-called evidence, was an entire fabrication. Details on the cover up
No mainstream American media organization has pursued this story.. Most Americans, consequently, don't even know what a grand lie Bush and the White House perpetrated upon them and the Congress in order to win approval for an attack on Iraq.

And then there's the Democrats who were voted into Congress, with a lot of fanfare, to reign Bush in and end the Iraq war. A year later, the Dems even give Bush more spying powers than he asked for. Pelosi's promises were completely forgotten, both by the media, and some actual people I've talked to who are mainstream believers, Hillary supporters: http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20070827&s=cockburn

I will show examples of outright lies by the mass media, that I have witnessed, in another blog post.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dumbed Down by the Educational System, pt. 2

I wrote about the Dumbing Down by the Education System earlier:
http://rabbit-hole-journey.blogspot.com/2007/08/dumbed-down-by-educational-system.html I mentioned that I thought few people seem to be capable of critical thinking.

I found another link along the same lines:
Underground History of American Education,
a book by John Taylor Gatto
Ordinary people send their children to school to get smart, but what modern schooling teaches is dumbness. ... Dumb people are no longer merely ignorant. Now they are indoctrinated, their minds conditioned with substantial doses of commercially prepared disinformation dispensed for tranquilizing purposes... Critical judgment disappears altogether, for in no way can there ever be collective critical judgment....The individual can no longer judge for himself ...

The individual can no longer judge for himself because he inescapably relates his thoughts to the entire complex of values and prejudices established by propaganda. With regard to political situations, he is given ready-made value judgments with the power of the truth by the word of "experts". The new dumbness is particularly deadly to .. kids already made shallow by multiple pressures to conform.

According to all official analysis, dumbness isn’t taught (as I claim), but is innate in a great percentage of what has come to be called "the workforce". The workforce itself is a term that should tell you much about the mind that governs modern society. According to official reports, only a small fraction of the population is capable of what you and I call mental life: creative thought, analytical thought, judgmental thought... Just how small a fraction would shock you. According to experts, the bulk of the mob is hopelessly dumb, even dangerously so.

if you believe any of the various explanations given for the position of the dumb in the social order we have, then you will be forced to concur that a vast bureaucracy is indeed necessary to address the dumb. Otherwise they would murder us in our beds.

There are several ideas in the above excerpt that I agree with:
  • Lack of critical thinking in the masses
  • Commercially prepared disinformation (mass media is controlled)
  • .. dispensing propaganda
  • .. for tranquilizing the workforce (my earlier blog, Dumbed down by the media)
  • A vast bureaucracy, necessary to address the dumb
Regarding the last 2 points, I think the "workforce", meaning the masses in the middle class, are purposely made dumb, precisely to make them easier to control. This is accomplished by the first above bullet points.

Here is a short, illustrated "American Education History Tour". It will take you 5 minutes:

This all reminds me of another thought I have. The world resembles Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley:
Amazon link
Wikipedia entry

Paraphrased from the wikipedia entry: In the Brave New World, society is rigidly divided into five castes — Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. They are separated into categories based on "natural" abilities they have been bred to possess. The lowest castes were bred to do menial tasks and to have such a disposition as to be very happy with this type of work. All members of society are trained to be good consumers to keep the economy strong. The Deltas and Epsilons do menial work such as factory labor, and are happy, as long as they have their perfect drug, Soma. The drug makes it possible for everyone to be blissfully oblivious and perfectly content to do the assigned tasks of their caste.

Seem familiar? Consumers that are oblivious to what's going on around them, as long as they have their perfect drug. Joe Schmoe is happy as long as he has his job, his overpriced home, his new truck which he bought by taking equity out of his home, and can open a sixpack in front of the mind-numbing TV after work. Next day, get up, go to work, pay taxes, repeat, ad nauseum.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Democrat, Republican: Good Cop, Bad Cop pt. 2

In my last post, I said that the Democrats and Republicans are playing out the role of good cop / bad cop, like in the movies. I'll give more examples of this.

The Democrats aren't reigning Bush in.
Pelosi and the Dems were elected into Congress, ostensibly to reign Bush in and de-fund the war in Iraq. It's been a year, and the war is still funded.

Here's an Executive Order that Bush did. Not a peep from Congress.
Government can freeze assets of anyone "blocking efforts" in Iraq:

Try googling it: Bush "July 17" EO

No mention at all in the mass media. Suspicious? It's only discussed on non-corporate news websites.

And what about the recent expansion of Bush's spying powers?
"The Democrats in this Congress are a bunch of spineless cowards and willing enablers, and they now bear the chief responsibility for establishing the elements of an American police state."
And here's the grand-daddy. Try googling it: NSPD-51. Here are sample links:

Again not a peep from the corporate media, nor the Dems.

The 2 Parties are One and the Same

Indeed, Carroll Quigley in his book "Tragedy and Hope", said, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carroll_Quigley#Quotes

"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy. {p. 1247}"
Who is Carroll Quigley and what is his book about? He was a historian and professor at Georgetown University, and his book was a history of western civilization and the influence of the globe's ultra wealthy families and their organizations. Quigley proudly proclaimed he was a member of one of their organizations, and his only criticism was that they need not remain secret. In this book, Quigley expressed contempt for the middle class, that they should be "squeezed" with more taxes, regulation, debt, and government that appears to be solving problems, but actually does not.

Bill Clinton was a War Monger and an Elitist
Bill Clinton, a Rhodes scholar at Georgetown, was a protege of Carroll Quigley. Clinton thanked Quigley by name in an acceptance speech. Was he thanking a kindly old professor? No, he mentioned the name of an elitist pig. Maybe to announce to those in the know, that he was part of the "in" group.

Here's an article about the 2-party sham, Bill Clinton, and Quigley, from 1998:

"For those who still cling to the hope that there is a real difference between the two major U.S. political parties.." ".. the ordinary individual..may be free to make a choice between two opposing political groups .. his freedom and choice will be controlled within very narrow alternatives" .. "he will be numbered from birth and followed, as a number, through his educational training, his required military or other public service, his tax contributions, his health and medical requirements, and his final retirement and death benefits."

If you think Clinton was a great, peaceful president, unlike today's Republicans (neo-conservatives), well:

Why Clinton would sign such a thing? Why didn't they vote against the invasion? Why didn't they de-fund the war?

Democratic Presidential Candidates willing to "negotiate" with Iran?
Regarding Iran, some Democratic presidential candidates claim to be "moderate", saying "I am willing to negotiate with Iran". Negotiate? What's there to negotiate?

Why does there need to be any war, "last resort" or not? Iran are NO threat to us. Why does Iran hate the USA? Because in the 1953, the CIA and British Intelligence coordinated a coup against their popular, democratically elected president, Mohammed Mossadegh, and replaced with the Shah and his brutal secret police: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/
Why did the CIA and British overthrow Mossadegh? Because Mossadegh wanted British Petroleum, which owned the oil concessions in Iran, to give more of its profits to the Iranian people. The British convinced the powers that be in the US Government to let the CIA do most of the dirty work. The result was the 1979 overthrow of the Shah, and the Iranian US embassy hostage crisis, and their continuing hatred of the US.

So what if they're developing nuclear weapons? They don't have a delivery system. The enemy of the USA, the former Soviet Union, had 40,000 warheads, and thousands of intercontinental ballistic missiles. And we're worried that Iran might have ONE?

The real reason for beating up on Iran?
Maybe the real issue is oil. Or the fact that Iran wants to sell oil for Euros and Yen instead of US Dollars. Before the invasion of Iraq, Saddam had announced the exact same thing. Coincidence?

Saddam to accept Euros and Yen
Or maybe it was the neocon's plan all along. The PNAC (Project for a New American Century) , in their document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses" , declared that "Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has."

And listen to ex-general Wesley Clark's interview:
1 minute youtube video
He recounted the list of countries the neocons wanted to invade: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Somalia, and Sudan.

The Two Faces of the Same Evil
How many times have you heard people say that they will "vote for the lesser of two evils"? Edward Griffin, author of The Creature from Jekyll Island , has said, "They are two faces of the same evil!"

Good cop or bad cop? They're both bad!

Wake up, people!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Democrat, Republican: Good Cop, Bad Cop

The people of this country are strongly polarized along the Democrat/Republican, Liberal/Conservative, Left/Right axis. It's puzzling, until you think that maybe it's a distraction from the real issues. Or that they are really one and the same, and only appear to be different on the surface. This is so the parties, and the public, will argue about things that don't really matter, such as whether or not to allow the teaching of "intelligent design" in schools. In the meantime, both parties voted to invade Iraq, with few asking, "should we invade Iraq at all?"

I say, the Democrats and the Republicans are playing out the role of good cop/bad cop. In case you don't know what that is... In the movies, when cops interrogate a suspect, "bad cop" barges in first and roughs up the suspect. "Good cop" rushes in and pulls "bad cop" off of the suspect, and yells at him to stop beating up the suspect. He then turns to the suspect and says, "I'm a nice guy. I'm here to help you. Just tell me what you know". The suspect, afraid of bad cop and thankful for good cop's intervention, begins to trust him and spills the beans.

Today the Republican party (better called the Neoconservative party), is doing overt things that alienate the American public. Bad cop. The people then think that the Democrats are here to save them. Good cop. The next Democrat president will proceed to do things he wouldn't otherwise get away with because our guard is down. The Democrat president wouldn't undo the authoritarian Executive Orders that Bush has executed which add frightening powers to the Presidency. Today, the Dems don't even talk about undoing those EO's anymore.

Pelosi had promised to fight Bush's authoritarian moves before getting elected - but nope. No noise from her these days. The Dems got elected on the promise to de-fund the Iraq war, which they didn't do.

People are sick and tired of the 2 party system. Voter turnout has been on a steady decline since the 50's. There was ONE blip - 1992, when Ross Perot ran, a 3rd candidate, an alternative to the 2 parties. This is from http://mwhodges.home.att.net/voting.htm :

Hmmm, pretty telling.
More on this in my next post.

Dumbed Down by the Educational System

How many times have you heard someone complaining about the school system?  Someone complaining about how teachers get away with crap that would get them fired for laziness had they been working for a private company?

The U.S. school system is a monopoly run by a rigid union!  There is no accountability within the schools, and no competition betwen them.  What did you expect?  Excellence?

Here's an interesting webpage on the decline of education::

For every $1 spent on "special needs" children, less than 1c is spent on advanced students.  Advanced students aren't given enough stimulus to grow to their potential.  Who do you think would help ensure the future of the nation?  

Consider these facts:
  • More than half of PhD candidates in US universities are foreigners.
  • Half of engineers and scientists working in the US are foreign born.
  • South Korea with 1/6th the population of the US, graduates more engineers per year.

Why are people not taught financial calculations in school? Why are they not taught how much money you end up paying for that blouse you paid for with a credit card, if you make only the minimum payments? Or how much goes to interest, and how much goes to principal, for every month, for a 30-yr home mortgage at 6% interest? 7%? That in a typical 30 yr mortgage, in the first several years, most of the payment goes only into interest?

I found these same questions asked by a Wall Street insider, and what he thinks the answers are, here:

Wall St. insider on the education system and more

It's a bit long, but at least read the first couple of pages which is about the educational system. It's quite negative, and talks about a few other things that I want to cover in this blog at a later date.

And here is a book that you can download for free, "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America". I haven't read it yet but it looks interesting:

click here to download the PDF file

the website

about the book

This quote is very telling:

"When I returned to the United States I realized that America's transition from a sovereign constitutional republic to a socialist democracy would not come about through warfare (bullets and tanks) but through the implementation and installation of the "system" in all areas of government-federal, state and local. The brainwashing for acceptance of the "system's" control would take place in the school-through indoctrination and the use of behavior modification, .... "

More on that particular topic (from constitutional republic to socialist democracy) in another post ...

Dumbed Down by the Mass Media

Why is the mass media so full of inane, mind-numbing, "news"? We get an incessant barrage of reports on Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, and Nicole Richie. It makes me sick. WTF do I care about a couple of ditzy girls with too much money and time and not enough brains?
Just try a news.google.com search of "Paris Hilton":
And compare the number of hits to "debt ceiling":

What do you think will affect you more, Paris Hilton finding God in prison, or your share of the national debt being increased by $3,000?

A few years ago it was Laci Peters dominating the headlines for months. One pregnant lady gets murdered - it's front page news... everyday for the next several weeks. There was one time during all this, that there was a big earthquake IIRC in India, and lots of people died. Incredibly, it was on page 2, while the long dead and bloated Laci was on the front page. No disrespect for Laci...

If a plane crashes in Brazil, it's big news. I'm not saying it isn't news.

But, a jumbo jet's worth of people die everyday in the 3rd world due to hunger or lack of basic medical care. Something to think about.

Regarding dumbing down, I see it every day while driving. Not only do I see bad driving everyday (as anyone with a pulse can get a driver's license), but the traffic rules are severely dumbed down. No consideration for flow. Traffic laws are a particular peeve of mine.

For example, in no other country have a seen so many stop signs. And all behold the uniquely American abomination, the 4-way stop sign. For those of you who haven't driven anywhere else in the world... most stop signs can be replaced by yield signs. That means, cars on the other street have right-of-way. You approach with caution and continue if the other driver wouldn't have to slow for you, but stop if needed. Come on. We have stop signs at intersections that are lightly travelled, and from which you can see in all directions. There are 11 stop signs each way on my 3.5 mile daily commute. 11! That's one every ~0.3 miles! I reckon, every single one can be replaced by yield signs. The only reason for their presence I can think of is that a very, very, low common denominator is accounted for. A denominator IMO that should NOT be given a driver's license in the first place, one that is too stupid to understand the concept of yielding. And the effect on the rest of us is, we're treated like schoolchildren, or we turn into criminals by saving gas and time by doing the "California roll" through them.

Then there's the ridiculously low speed limits, which deserve an entire blog on its own....

Knee-jerk anger at "radical" ideas

I noticed, and so did my friend Joey, that people immediately reject any opinion that is contrary to the "mainstream", instead of giving the new idea or opinion thoughtful consideration, or research, before making conclusions.

Joey for example, recently discovered a non-invasive cure for gallstones:

He sent me the link, and I found it pretty incredible, but he convinced me to try it anyway. He's found that people automatically reject what he's saying, in some cases getting angry.

I will quote myself, with a post I made on a forum:
--- [quote]---
The father of my wife visited with us for a few months a year ago when I decided to try the gallstone flush. I asked if he wanted to try it too and he said yes. He said afterwards that a dull ache he had in his back went away.

Fast forward a year, he got an ache again, and he went to the doctor, who gave him an ultrasound. Gallstones. Doctor said if the pain gets worse, he'd need an operation.

He went home and repeated the flush procedure a few more times. He went back for another ultrasound. Gallstones gone!!!

Amazing....... a week of apple cider vinegar and half a day of fasting.... vs. they cut you open and throw away an organ.
-- [ end quote]

This experience makes me question doctors' "mainstream thought".

Joey has told a lot of people about the gallbladder flush, and they usually immediately reject what he is saying, and in some cases they get angry. He asks "why are you reacting that way?", and they reply "I don't know".

I frequent an automotive forum, and technical discussions are common. Whenever I post something controversial, but based on my observations, I often get attacked, simply because it went against "accepted wisdom". I have seen this happen to other, very thoughtful people, who had posted something controversial, but correct; what they originally proposed later became the "accepted wisdom".

I think people are trained to instantly and vehemently to reject any opinion that is contrary to the "mainstream".

Let's see how these statements make you feel:
  • sunlight prevents cancer
  • if you have gallstones you can easily get rid of them and you don't need an operation
  • Expensive statin drugs (Lipitor, et al), don't prevent heart disease, proper nutrition does
  • the FDA has supressed nutrition as a preventive for disease, and promotes expensive drugs to cure disease that could have been prevented
  • the FDA has promoted Aspartame and Splenda, synthetic chemicals, which cause migraines (me included), and suppressed Stevia, a sweetener made from a shrub, popular in Japan, that tastes much better, and appears to be safe.
  • the AMA is a monopoly on healing; nurses should be allowed to diagnose and prescribe medicine for simple, common ailments
  • the AMA restricts the number of doctors that graduate every year, ensuring their pay stays high
  • lowering speed limits does not reduce crash rates
  • raising speed limits does not increase crash rates
  • speed is not implicated in most crashes; inattention is
  • .08% BAC is too dangerously intoxicated for driving
  • SUVs are less safe than small cars
  • you don't need to add aerobic exercise to your weightlifting routine to get cardiovascular benefits
  • cats can be trained
  • welfare isn't good for poor people
  • Lincoln, Hoover, FDR, and LBJ were terrible presidents
  • Bill Clinton created the precursor of the Iraq invasion and the 9/11 attacks
  • deficits DO matter
  • the Federal Reserve is a corrupt cartel that subsidizes the finance industry, and ensures never-ending personal and national debt
  • the educational system is a government monopoly run by a rigid union resulting in very poor schools
  • realtors have a monopoly on selling homes, and lobby for laws to protect their trade; that is anti-trust activity; they run an information campaign making it appear that selling or buying homes is complicated and needs their expensive services
  • the "war on poverty" has wasted trillions of dollars, with no effect on the number of poor people
  • illegal drug trade is so lucrative, that even prison guards partake. So even if the whole country is turned into a prison, illegal drugs would still be here
  • The Federal Reserve is unconstitutional and is a scam
See what I mean? How did those statements make you feel?

Because people are trained to instantly and vehemently reject any opinion that is contrary to the "mainstream", the "Strawman Fallacy" is often used to discredit a person and his other arguments. Because of this, a person fears attack by others using the Strawman Fallacy, and it becomes a form of self-censorship. For example, let's pretend I believed the earth is flat. Knowing that it's an unpopular view, I don't even write about it because I'm afraid I'll be attacked. I censor myself. FSK wrote about this: http://fskrealityguide.blogspot.com/2007/07/strawman-fallacy.html

When the flat earth theory was popular, the round earth people were attacked.

I am an engineer, and I am proud to say I went to a university where we were taught how to think and how to ask the right questions. I always question my own assumptions. I sometimes backtrack and re-question my own conclusions. It is crucial for my work.

I realized also that most people are very poor at Critical Thinking. Most of them aren't used to thinking logically, and make logical fallacies. And a lot of people argue with emotion. As I was thinking about this the other day, I realized I had very little formal training in university - we weren't taught it per se, other than in Philosophy I, and I just got used to thinking logically by exposure and out of necessity.

So I decided to go and buy a few books on logic to brush up. At the very least, if I hear a bad argument, I can pinpoint the logical fallacy, and know its name. I just got them, but I haven't started reading them yet. I browsed through them and they looked good. Here they are:

book: Critical Thinking
book: Crimes Against Logic

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Compound Interest Paradox

I ended my last post with "Why does debt spiral out of control?"

I believe the answer is in the Compound Interest Paradox. I'm convinced the monetary system is fundamentally flawed. Whether it's a conspiracy or not is irrelevant in proving the Paradox's existence.  The Compound Interest Paradox is a mathematical paradox that proves that the total debt can never be repaid.

In a nutshell: Only the Federal Reserve and banks have the authority to create money. Whenever they create money, it is loaned. At the time of creation, it needs to be repaid with interest. Because they do not create the money for the interest at the same time, this interest will only come from someone else who himself has taken out yet another loan (also with interest, of course). Where else will the interest money come from? Every new dollar created needs to be repaid, plus interest, which didn't exist yet at the time of that dollar's creation. The total money in circulation is not enough to cover all the debt. And as the economy grows, the debt grows even larger. This paradox guarantees spiralling debt.

Sound strange? Others have written about it much better than I can, so I will provide links:

Here is FSK's blog. I've known about this paradox before his blog, but his blog is the first place I saw it with a name. He's the scientific, mathematical type, so his writing and reasoning about the Compound Interest Paradox appeals to nerds like me:
He has a bunch of other entries which I also like. Some of his other blog entries are "fruity". However, do not make the logical fallacy of assuming that because his other blog entries are fruity, that all his entries are false. He talks about that exact fallacy here: FSK on the Strawman Fallacy.  Fear of others using the Strawman Fallacy against you, is a form of self-censorship. It makes people tend to fear saying things that are against "mainstream thought" or against "commonly accepted wisdom".

Here is an excellent allegorical tale that leads up to the Compound Interest Paradox, though again it isn't named as such. It is easy to read, and is illustrated. This is where I first heard of the Paradox, and was dumbfounded when I realized its overwhelming significance:

I Want the Earth Plus 5%

And here is an excellent 47-minute animated video presentation about the banking system, and includes the Compound Interest Paradox, though again it isn't given a specific name. At the end of it is a proposed solution for the Paradox.

video: Money As Debt

If your interest is truly piqued, here is a 3.5 hr documentary shown on PBS more than 10 years ago. I watched the whole thing. It's very long and detailed. It covers the history of money and banking from more than 2000 years ago. It also has a proposed solution for the Paradox, in this case Milton Friedman's (the famous economist). Copy and paste it into your torrent client:

torrent: "The Money Masters"

and here is a book by Murray Rothbard about the subject. His proposed solution is different.
book:  What has the Government Done to Our Money?

And if you think that "I don't live in the USA, it doesn't apply to me"... virtually all the central banks of the world have the same system.

What is the consequence of this? Two things: that there will always be boom and bust cycles, and that during a bust cycle, the inevitable foreclosures on loans mean that the banks can confiscate hard assets, and the wealthy (who can ride the bust cycle) can buy hard assets, at pennies on the dollar. Every time there's a bust cycle, huge swaths of real wealth transfer hands from the middle class to the wealthy.

This is part of the reason that since the 70s, the American middle class have had a slight decline in real incomes, while the top 1% now earn 3x as much. (This particular topic will be discussed in another blog entry.) The increase in GDP in the economy since the 1970's BTW, have all been going to the wealthy. The richest 1% have 80% of the world's wealth.

Debt is Slavery

As an engineer, science, technology, and math, interest me. The past few years however, I have also been interested in things that are more political and social in nature.

I have been taking the red pill.

Do you want to take the red pill and journey down the rabbit hole with me?  If so keep reading.

Let's start with a fairly obvious one.  Almost everyone I know is in debt.  Let's start with the statistics:
In the USA, the average debt per man, woman, and child, is $160,000!  
Link to Grandfather economic report on debt

What is the significance of this? DEBT IS SLAVERY!!

(Aside:  The etymology of the word "mortgage" is the same as "mortuary" and "mortician".)

When I told this to a friend, he said, "I'm well below that $160,000 average".  Well, sad to say, that $160,000 includes not only personal debt, but also his share of the national debt.  A family of 4 owes $640,ooo!

Here's the national debt over the decades:

So now one may ask, why is the debt spiralling out of control?  Do deficits really matter?  Why does the government keep raising the debt ceiling?  

Here are two recent news items:


More on this in my next post.