Saturday, December 27, 2008



We Will Do Everything in Our Power to Help

President Bush in an interview just this last week said that on September 28, 2008 his own Secretary of the Treasury came to him in great alarm and said: “the credit markets are frozen! If we do not give them a massive bailout of cash, we may face a depression, a greater depression than the Great Depression.” This was the Phi Beta Kappa, Republican, former head of Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs talking, not some radical Marxist, and it was our first main stream signal that something was drastically wrong with our capitalism. With full support of our entire political and economic leadership, Congress quickly voted $700 Billion and gave $350 Billion to Secretary Paulson to spend immediately. What he did with it, he refuses to say, but the fact that we can all observe is that it did nothing to help us or to help the economy. The additional Billions that were given before and since have not helped either. Millions and millions of us are facing the pain of economic downturn and nothing has helped us. All of us are scared. We wait breathlessly for January 20 when President Obama can do something to help. Today he promises to spend $400 Billion to create 4 million jobs although many more than that have already been laid off.

The entire main stream political and economic establishment including the departing President and the incoming President and his main stream advisors are desperately seeking to get things going as they were before September 2 8, to restore the fragile bubble economy that then existed. Although Obama promises some direct aid to the unemployed, poor and hungry, Obama’s main strategy as suggested by his choice of advisors is to restore our trickle down economic system

Even Paul Krugman wrote in the NYT on December 22:

“The prosperity of a few years ago, such as it was — profits were terrific, wages not so much — depended on a huge bubble in housing, which replaced an earlier huge bubble in stocks. And since the housing bubble isn’t coming back, the spending that sustained the economy in the pre-crisis years isn’t coming back either.”

Even some in the labor movement do not want a new bubble:

NYT columnist Bob Herbert wrote on December 20:

“As Andy Stern, president of the huge Service Employees International Union, told me on Friday: ‘We’ve had a 25-year experience with market-worshipping, deregulating, privatizing, trickle-down policies, and it has ended us up with the greatest economy on earth staggering, and with the greatest amount of inequality since the Great Depression.’”

Our capitalism is not just “staggering.” It has crashed and nobody can rebuild or restore it. It has mutated into its final terminal stage as capitalism. It can further mutate into an authoritarian government joined with a system to benefit the powerful, but not as capitalism.


So far as we can tell, all of the current mainstream advisors, including those that Obama has chosen, are monetarists, being intellectual disciples of Milton Friedman. Monetarism has produced fabulous profits for the very wealthy, but it has served the rest of us poorly even before September 28. Since the crash of capitalism, it will not even serve the very wealthy in terms of keeping capitalism going.

Monetarism has at least 4 basic express ideas:

1. Capitalism is basically a stable economic system that serves all of us rich and poor.
2. The occasional ups and downs of capitalism can be handled by adjusting the interest rate and the money supply.
3. A really serious down turn can be controlled by a massive injection of public money into this stable capitalism, supplied by us taxpayers.
4. There are no structural or systemic defects in capitalism.

There are also some implied assumptions that do not fit the real world:

1. A rising tide lifts all boats with substantial fairness
2. There are no irreconcilable conflicts of interest between the rich and the poor, between capitalism and democracy or between the interest of employers and the interests of employees.

Now that a major crash is upon us, one that threatens to drop us into a “depression worse than the Great Depression,” the Wall Street strategy to avoid this disaster is, guided by the monetarists, to give more an more money to the major banks with the idea that these banks and their subsidiaries will then extend more credit to employers who will create more jobs, paying existing or lower wages, so that after all of this trickle down, employees will have enough purchasing power, augmented by their own new loans and credit cards, to start another bubble. Wall Street loves bubbles. Bubbles make Wall Streeters very rich so long as the bubble works. The main product of Wall Street banks is credit…to fuel the economy with loans bearing interest paid back for the enrichment of Wall Street banks. Hence, Wall Street seeks to restart capitalism with some sort of a new bubble. Due to Wall Street’s massive contribution of dollars to our elected officials, no other strategy is being considered. The trouble is there are no new bubbles on the horizon. We do not want a new housing bubble, a Silicon Valley stock bubble, or a bubble that would have Detroit turning out more massive SUVs. We do not want to increase the already massive disparity of income between the very rich and the rest of us. Another trouble is that the amount of actual purchasing power that trickles down is too little, and too late.

The mainstream monetarists are very bright. The problem is neither lack of intelligence nor stupidity by mainstream advisors. Robert Rubin, Ben Bernanke, and Henry Paulson are each members of Phi Beta Kappa. The mainstream economic advisors have chosen to use their intelligence to keep existing capitalism going and to make themselves rich by devoting their lives to serving the interests of the very rich. They have chosen to deny the existence of structural defects in capitalism.


Capitalism has always had this fatal flaw that some are now calling a “systemic defect.” This is the defect noted by capitalist Henry Ford in the 1920’s and first enunciated 150 years ago by Karl Marx. Capitalists do not pay their employees enough salaries and wages so that employees can buy the products that they produce. Capitalism is thus inherently unstable. The necessary purchasing power can be maintained temporarily by foreign investment, government purchases for defense, wars, and Homeland Security, by borrowing and credit card financing, but we have reached the limit. Neither we, nor corporate businesses can borrow more. We cannot pay higher taxes so as to further fund a fragile capitalism that has died for want of purchasing power.

The main stream has applied every possible “band-aid” to capitalism, and it is still trying find other props. Most of us have supported those efforts. Most of us knew of no alternative. The difficult truth is that the inner dynamic of capitalism in its mature mutation, has caused its terminal illness, its final crash. Neither All the King’s men in “Humpty Dumpty,” nor President Obama will be able to put it together again. The reason is that nobody in the political and economic main stream has yet publicly acknowledged this systemic defect. Nobody is publicly dealing with it, or even hinting at its existence. Everybody recognizes that our capitalism depends for its survival on consumer purchasing power, but few want to face up to the systemic defect that causes the absence of purchasing power. Painful and disagreeable though it may be we must face up to and deal with this systemic defect.

Capitalism, our “mother” also has much influence on us now. It feeds all of us. Every one of us is dependent on capitalism for our survival. We think we have no other choice. Whether we are employees of business, non-profits, the media or universities, we are fed by this “mother.” Even if we are self-employed, we are dependent on the income of employees for our income. We are not and can never again be hunter-gatherers, or self-sufficient farmers. We are as dependent on the current mutation of capitalism as a new born baby is on its mother. When our “mother” no longer nurtures us, we become very scared. We become so scared that some of us deny that anything is wrong; some of us assume that it is our own fault, and some of us emphasize other causes like crooked businessmen, crooked politicians, or false advertising; and some assign blame to inner psychology, even to a Jungian collective unconscious. We turn to anything and everything to avoid facing the real problem. Just as we desperately need and want the love of our real mothers, we similarly cling to our capitalism, and we find it very difficult to analyze or criticize either one. Those who hugely profit from capitalism naturally encourage us not to blame capitalism. Their media treats discussion of capitalism’s defects as a taboo subject. They reinforce our own dependent reluctance.

There is more and it is related to the vast disparity of incomes between the capitalist class, employers and those who invest with employers, and the rest of us. By its dynamic of paying employees as little as possible, and seizing as much as possible of the increase in wealth our work produces, the capitalist class has accumulated a staggering almost unimaginable stash of wealth. The capitalists have used this wealth to purchase a controlling share of our political power. Wall Street Banks have so far bought off the Democrats, who then lie and tell us that they are trying to enact reforms for our benefit. They just never get around to doing it. As Lou Dobbs reported on December 20 on CNN, Democrat Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee has his own reform bill and another competing reform bill pending in his Committee. This powerful Democratic Chairman simply cannot find the necessary support to bring either bill up to the full Senate. Senator Dodd received $4 million dollars in his last election from the Wall Street banks he says he would like to regulate. Similarly, VP Biden representing the credit card issuers fostered a draconian Bankruptcy Bill that haunts us now. Ironically, President Obama on Saturday before departing for Hawaii appointed this same VP Biden to head a task force to try to meet the needs of the middle class. Do you suppose that Biden will recommend the cancellation of his recently sponsored awful Bankruptcy Bill? We must enlighten Senator Dodd, Vice President Biden and the other Democratic elected officials who receive money from Wall Street.

Our strategy is founded on this: Our widespread recognition that capitalism has died and cannot be revived will necessarily cause President Obama, Senators, Blue Dog Democrats, academic advisors, Wall Streeters of honest good will, and everyone except those who seek to survive by theft, to deal with our real human needs and stop using our money in a vain attempt to restart a dead capitalism. Therefore our most important task is to understand that multinational capitalism has died, why it has died, why it cannot be restarted, and to communicate that truth to everyone we know.

This is not to say that our way forward will be easy or pain free. We have to deal with capitalism’s terminal gasps that may lead some frightened persons turn to fascism. We have to face the ferocious, possibly violent reaction of those who have immensely profited from bubble capitalism as they seek to defend and preserve their wealth. The truth is that a great depression, greater than the Great Depression, may come upon us very soon. A bright European observer, Franck Biancheri speaking on the archived KPFA program “Guns and Butter” that aired on December 10 predicted this disastrous and painful crash at the multinational level by July 2009.

Reflect for a moment on what we could face as early as next summer:

• The nation’s food delivery truck fleet shut down for want of profit making opportunity.

• Empty food stores

• Wal Mart and other big box stores shut down because China stopped shipping stuff to the US and decided instead to improve conditions for the Chinese

• 30 million people out of work and hungry

• Hospital emergency rooms flooded with sick and injured people

• Charitable soup kitchens and charitable food suppliers overwhelmed and non-functional

• No food to buy with the dollars that we have..

So maybe, just maybe Franck Biancheri is wrong. This may not happen by next summer. It may not come until 2010. The point is that this greater than the Great Depression will soon happen unless we all face up to and correct the systemic defect in our political economy. It is inevitable. The advent of fascism will not stop the pain that is coming.

To survive the immediate pain, we would all be well advised to put in a store of emergency food. We should also persuade the new Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to stop making ethanol from corn and accumulate an emergency supply of corn and wheat.

We can each resolve to avoid panic, selfish choices, and false solutions.

We humans working together in our human community can solve this systemic defect and meet our reasonable needs. Multinational capitalism, the Federal Reserve Bank, Wall Street and their investment banks, money and credit schemes will not survive, and should not. We have the following advantages to meet the crisis and to create a new political economy:

We have needs, we each have skills and abilities to meet needs of others, and we are all willing to work.

The business capitalism in our local communities, our banks, car dealers, hardware stores, and food stores and clothing stores need not be much affected. Our local lives will go on, but much better than before when Wall Street siphoned off the lions share of our productive wealth for the very rich.

We now realize that all of us humans are interdependent and interconnected in our common needs for affordable housing, public health, clean water, adequate food, and medical care.

We each have the capacity to care for others and the capacity to receive the caring of others.

We have vast national resources.

We have a fallen global market economy with formerly arrogant, aggressive, defiant gung ho capitalists now on their knees, dispirited and begging for our help.

We have a new President with a towering intellect, oratorical skills, leadership skills, a strong will and a compassionate heart, who promises to act pragmatically.

• We can use the experience from WWII and set up something like the War Production Board, staffed by bright pragmatic people, to guide us in what should be produced to meet our needs and what should not be produced.

• We can set up a new Federal Loan Bank and create a new currency using the Constitutional power given to Congress “To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin.” We may choose to support the American Monetary Act now being introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich and supported by Professor Michael Hudson.

• We can demand that our government be our employer of last resort, supplying as many jobs as may be necessary. We can demand that public expenditures be made for our direct and immediate public benefit and not for Wall Street or its investment banks.

• We can demand that Congress make “all laws which shall be necessary and proper…in order to from a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity…”

• We may not be able to afford wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we may have to bring our troops home.

We are in the most exciting times since 1776 when the fall of multinational capitalism compels and allows us to organize new ways of working together to meet our needs founded on caring for each instead of fearfully exploiting and competing with each other.

Dated: December 27, 2008

Doug Page


Saturday, December 13, 2008


6063 E. Rosewood
Tucson AZ 85711
Phone 520 514 7836 Fax 520 514-7088
Cell 520-400-5905

December 13, 2008

Edward Kaufman, Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Joseph R. Biden
201 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0801

Regarding: Senate Rule XXII and President Obama’s and Vice President Biden’s promise of hope and change

Dear Mr. Kaufman:

Congratulations!!! You are soon to be a Senator yourself. That is why I, a resident of Arizona, and I claim a Sovereign Citizen, am writing to you. You are also very close to Senator Biden and that is another reason. I will soon be a constituent of VP Biden, and I have always considered that I am a constituent of all Senators. I trust that you also will recognize a duty to all of us and not just the voters of Delaware.

I am the outraged voter-citizen who filed the suits challenging the constitutionality of Senate Rule XXII in the 1990s when the filibuster was used to thwart our majority will and Bill Clinton’s proposed stimulus package. We are again confronted with the same problem: Certain Senators are sure to use the filibuster to thwart political and economic solutions to our imminent second Great Depression. The filibuster can and will be used to thwart control of global warming, regulation of Wall Street, and a sustainable energy policy. Just as the filibuster was used for 100 years after the Civil War to prevent enactment of a law against lynching, the filibuster now can and will be used to drive many of us into the economic law of the jungle and possibly starvation. It will surely be used to impede pragmatic legislative solutions and experiments in a wise way to see what really works to deal with our problems.

It makes good sense to require 60 votes or even 67 votes to confirm Judicial appointments when such nominations require the advice and consent of the
Senate, and when these Judges serve for life and can only be impeached or removed by a 2/3 vote.

It is simply a “bloodless coup” for the Senate to require more than a simple majority of those Senators present to enact political and economic reforms or anything else that can always be done away with by the next Congress.

I ask, I beg that you and Vice President Biden face the many crises that we all face and implement our majority will as voters by using the “constitutional option” aka the “nuclear option” to implement our majority will.

I am writing to you now so that you and Vice President Biden can carefully plot your strategy, enlist the support of a majority of Senators, and draft Vice President Biden’s ruling now that would end unconstitutional use of the filibuster.

You could move and VP Biden could rule, when the necessary “option” motions are made to avoid the filibuster, something like the following:

“The Chair rules that when legislation or appointments are proposed that can be cancelled or reversed by the next Congress, the Constitution compels Senate Rule XXII with its 60 vote requirement to close debate to be unconstitutional. For such legislation, the Chair rules that the Constitution compels action by vote of a simple majority of a quorum of those Senators present and voting. The Chair rules that Senate Rule XXII with its 60 vote requirement insofar as it applies to judicial appointments for the life of the nominee which can be undone only by a 2/3 vote of impeachment, is constitutional.”

I hope that you and Vice President Biden will exercise the leadership necessary to do this successfully.





President Obama: You have set up a web site and invite comment from your supporters. Here is something we are profoundly concerned about. We your loyal sovereign supporters and voters are being robbed blind by Wall Street. Professor Michael Hudson tells us that Two Trillion Dollars have been given to 15% or so of the wealthiest banks on Wall Street, investment banks like those that Robert Rubin, Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Chris Dodd and Vice President Biden and many other Senators have long supported. Our money is still being poured out to Wall Street. There is no end in sight. The phony rationale has been that we all will fall into a deep economic depression unless we make it possible for these banks again to extend credit, to make loans. First off, they are not doing this. These banks are, according to Professor Hudson, hoarding the money so that they can deal with their huge, but as yet unaudited, liabilities on collateralized debt obligations, credit default stops and the like. The Bank of America even used bailout money to buy a bank in China. Moreover, the stated objective makes no sense. No sane person wants to jump start the real estate bubble, the Silicon Valley bubble or any other bubble. Yet, that is the stated objective. These few banks seek to “solve” the real problem of our insufficient purchasing power in an awkward indirect tickle down way by transferring public money to the top 1% in the hope that the top 1% will find profit making opportunities and lend, invest, create employment, pay existing or lower wages, and thus finally “restore” our purchasing power. If these Wall Street banks mean what they say, this “solution” was not working before the crisis, has not worked since 1980, and especially will not work now. If these Wall Street bankers are spinning the facts to cover an outright theft of our money as appears to be the case, they should be prosecuted. These banks should be allowed to fall into bankruptcy, and a more direct, creative and effective use should be made with our bailouts.

President Obama, we, being some of your sovereign voters who gave you campaign money and who elected you want you to know that we have come to a startling realization: Our national market economy, our capitalism has “blown its engine.” No new inputs of oil or fuel or cash will jump start this blown engine. We must meet the immediate need of getting survival cash in our hands, then analyze why the engine failed, and then fix the defect. There are many among us who because of habit, obliviousness or temporary advantage have not yet accepted the fact that our national capitalism has permanently stalled beyond anybody’s capacity to restore it. We all soon will.

Have you noticed the spin on the real cause of the depression we now face? The main stream media incessantly label it as a “credit crisis,” and a “liquidity crisis” of Wall Street. Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson were the first users of these words when the investment banks stopped lending because of their vast liability exposure in collateralized debt obligations. The use of these words as obfuscating spin continues inaccurately and inappropriately now that we are in a full blown depression. Their analysis is faulty. They either have not examined the dynamics of capitalism or they find it advantageous not to deal with the dynamics in public. Our diminishing or non-existent paychecks are the cause of Wall Street’s crisis and of our own crisis. Millions of us cannot afford to buy what multinational capitalism produces and attempts to sell at a profit. Naturally, high unemployment does not help. Stephen Lendman reported in

“Economist John Williams corrects it (official statistics) by including what BLS leaves out, and through November reports unemployment at 16.5% or more than double the manipulated government data.”

There is suddenly an “overproduction” of houses that can be sold at a profit although millions are homeless. We do not need more credit in order to buy. We need much more adequate salaries and wages and we need full employment. In capitalism’s gigantic siphoning of money from the production process in the form of CEO salaries and perks, dividends, and interest, capitalism has created a small wealthy group of about 33,000 of us who have as much income and wealth as the bottom 300,000,000 of us. It has left the rest of us with insufficient wages and salaries to buy the houses and cars that capitalism produces. There is a limit to the number of houses the members of the top 33,000 very wealthy want, so their purchases do not keep capitalism going.. Five or more mansions spread around the planet for each of them is enough. The Wall Street spin, if honestly presented seeks to preserve the profit making opportunities, salaries, perks, dividends, interest, and power of the top 1%, and for the wealthiest investment banks of Wall Street. We emphasize: This strategy will not work even for Wall Street capitalists because it does nothing directly to restore our employee purchasing power upon which capitalism is so desperately dependent.

Our tax money is thus contributing to the continuation of the very dynamic that caused the crisis and blew up the economic engine we call capitalism. The bailout is not made on condition that employees be paid more so that they can buy what is produced. There is no condition imposed that the profit CEO salaries, perks, dividends, or interest of those who receive this public bailout be curtailed or eliminated. It is analogous to pouring more and more oil into a blown engine of an Indy race car. Pouring more and more oil will not start this blown engine and put it back in the race.

It is significant that the Wall Street spin studiously avoids suggesting an immediate direct solution to our real crisis: the quick transfer of public money to those who will quickly spend it, such as generously enhanced unemployment pay and a negative income tax. It is sad that even the UAW is part of the spin and is marching to Washington offering benefit concessions while forgetting Henry Ford’s dceision that he had to pay his employees more generously so that they could buy the Model Ts that their labor produced on the assembly line. With UAW concessions and support of the “credit crisis,” Ford employees will not be buying many Fords.

These observations are neither left nor right. They are simply observations of Wall Street acts and Wall Street’s stated purposes as communicated to us by the Wall Street owned media.

What underlying truth is this obfuscating spin hiding? In the case of the bailout of Wall Street investment banks and insurance companies, it may be a case of the top 1% getting all of our money they can “while the getting is good,” and hiding it away in their personal accounts overseas before we wise up. The Wall Street spin may conceal the largest theft of public funds we humans have ever experienced.

The rationalizations and justifications for national capitalism have been totally discredited. National capitalism is neither meeting human needs nor its own needs. It is not efficiently managed. It is not innovating. Any economic system whose normal dynamics can take us into the dark ages must be abolished. It is the height of stupidity to support an economic system that creates a few persons with the power to destroy our well-being.
Is capitalism providing society with good efficient management in its search for profit? Robert Rubin, Secretary Paulson and other top bankers of Wall Street were not very efficient in getting us into the subprime and collateralized debt obligation mess, and in their failure to deal with the core defect of inadequate purchasing power that has been with us since 1980. The management of capitalism’s best and brightest in the auto industry has brought the auto industry to bankruptcy.

Is American capitalism providing society with innovation in its relentless search for profit? Certainly not in the auto industry or in the housing industry. What about new products like hydrogen fuel cells? So far as I have been able to find, the main source of innovation is the University of California at Irvine where a public employee, Professor Scott Samuelsen is a world wide leader of hydrogen cell research and applications. Unfortunately for us, Wall Street capitalism has innovated and ineptly managed a large number of ways to make a short term profit without producing anything we need. This management has brought capitalism to its knees and begging for public bailout. Innovation and good management? What about Bear Stearns and Citibank? What about AIG? Lehman Brothers? The coal industry is spending millions in false advertising and PR to sell “clean coal” when no such thing now exists and is not predicted to exist for at least 2 decades. We are experiencing unthinking greed by our brightest national capitalists and not good management and innovation.

The point of all this is not to pick on human beings, misled and oblivious as they may be. Ben Bernanke is a brilliant human being with an IQ far above most of us mortals. He is moral and civilized. Capitalism did not self destruct for the want of human intelligence. The point here is to analyze and recognize the inevitably self destructive dynamic of capitalism itself. Former capitalists and present defenders and revivers of capitalism, Ben Bernanke, liberals like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, and most importantly our elected Senators must face the facts. Capitalism has now destroyed itself at least at the national and global levels. National capitalists have successfully demanded that we turn over the management of our economy to them. “Privatize” and “let the market handle it” they said. They asked for freedom to invest abroad. We met their demands, loosened regulation, and provided billions and billions of public money to stimulate capitalism. We gave them unfettered freedom to invest and take their production facilities anywhere on the planet Despite this capitalism and capitalists have totally failed us. There is no point in trying to revive this blown economic engine at the national level.

We, through our democratic government, led by our new President Obama must take over the overall management of our national economy and our currency away from the market, away from Wall Street and away from the Federal Reserve Bank. We must use our public money much more directly and efficiently to solve real problems. For example, to meet the tragedy of those whose pensions are now vastly diminished in value, we must use public money to meet legitimate expectations. We must tax the wealth of those who “made out” during the bubbles and bailouts to fund what needs to be done

Our local capitalism in our local communities should not be much affected. A Federal Loan Bank can supply local auto dealers, hardware stores, and grocery stores with routine business loans for innovation. This Federal Bank could supply us with affordable housing loans. We are apparently not ready as citizens and voters to manage our local economies. Local capitalism should continue in our local communities. The civic impulse in us Americans seems to be in relatively short supply. We can barely manifest enough civic energy to vote periodically. Most union members do not attend union meetings. We so far do not have enough civic energy or interest to manage our local businesses through employee ownership and management. If bursts of civic energy should emerge to challenge capitalism on the local level, employees and voters can form Mondragon co-operatives so that they can be owner-managers of local business.

We challenge any and all remaining defenders of capitalism to show precisely how this analysis is wrong. If President Obama’s official advisors, or any one thinks that it is, put forth what you believe to be a more accurate analysis of the inner dynamics of capitalism.

December 13, 2008

Doug Page