Fried Chicken, Stimulus Checks and the Marginal Reserve with Quantitative Easing…
(Quantitative Easing gave trillions and trillions to the Uber Rich)
It seems that Republicans don’t understand how the political economy has changed since the 2008–9 financial crisis so they have a preponderance of people that still believe in anachronistic ideas concerning money supply and the rich. President Nixon took the U.S.A. off the gold standard and President Reagan first realized the potential of using easy money to promote economic growth without causing inflation- the rich get the easy money and buy everything on the planet with it or hold on to it as leverage over the government.
During the 2008-2009 financial crises the U.S. Government stepped in to stop the bleeding on Wall Street. It provided a vast loan package and continuing support with trillions and trillions of zero and very low interest loans to wealthy financial institutions. Big banks are free to issue in electronic loans nine dollars more or less (I am not a banker-the marginal reserve requisite is 10% perhaps) for every dollar they have on deposit so those trillions (maybe 16 trillion) allowed big banks to produce from thin air 90 trillion dollars. The total amount of free money to plutocrats enabled by the Federal Reserve could be as much as 200 trillion dollars. Fortunately Senators like Rand Paul are concerned about the $600 dollar direct payments going to Americans in the present financial stimulus observing that ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ (as if it were the Tongass National Forest the administration would like to strip log with clear cuts). Preventing ordinary Americans from getting fewer than a half of one percent of what goes to the rich from the Federal Reserve incentives vigilant Republicans; the poor or their proplits cannot be allowed to increase.
When money was based on some valuable commodity like gold the value of a currency was tied to its relative scarcity. If one printed out many dollars each would become worth less if the quantity of gold remained the same. When President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard the dollar had nothing besides its value to none in particular to determine its worth. In an age of general relativity that isn’t too unreasonable; the dollar is a commodity used as a tool for economic exchanges after all instead of something valuable in itself.
Still, the idea of giving the super rich trillions of free dollars to keep their Wall Street index value from crashing below 10,000 is difficult for many Americans including myself to understand very well. The treasury prints out paper dollars and the Federal Reserve loans out electronic dollars. Most financial transactions are done electronically these days and there actually isn’t too much cash as a percentage of all of the dollars in circulation. Why doesn’t inflation occur so dollars buy less when so many are being made to keep banks and big business afloat and to send $600 direct payments to Americans that earn fewer than $75,000 annually? Why haven’t Starbucks coffees reach $100 dollars a cup yet one wonders. The answer may be that all of the cash that Wall Street got from the Federal Reserve wasn’t put directly in to circulation. The original loan amount goes back to the Federal Reserve so the Street had just the paltry sum of 64 trillion dollars to play with. With that they could buy up Wall Street- or the one percent could, and the inflation occurred in the indexed rise of Wall Street shares to the point that the DOW is now over 30,000.
Just because the rich are much richer and Wall Street much more costly it doesn’t mean that Wal-mart needs to charge more for groceries although they might anyway. There is a difference between real goods, physical corporations and such capital and dollars. A brick is still a brick if is priced at $1 or $100 dollars. So long as Wall Street average share prices rise more or less together there need not be too much of an effect on the over-all relationships toward production and corporate welfare. CEOs can still get 5000 times the salary of an average worker (just guessing).
The tremendous hyper-inflation of Nazi Germany before the war occurred not because Hitler had too many Reichmarks printed; it happened because there wasn’t enough gold to back up the Reichmarks value proportionately. The dollar though is on an economic relativity foundation. With so many ought in to the corporatism kickback loop it is wrong to leave anyone who is poor out of the benefit. A Guaranteed minimum income and free health care for the poor should be something Senator Paul should think about the next time a Pat Paulsen imitator of Darth Vader says to him; “Rand, Rand- I’m your father; money doesn’t grow on trees.”
In the free-floating currency of the dollar context money supply may not be as important as the real material and intellectual properties that can be counted as capital. Money supply need be adequate to allow the flow of trade and commerce and tight money could be a problem itself. It is possible that avarice in the owner class could prompt corporate to raise retail prices to consumers if consumers have any money to spend in order to have all of the money they possibly can. Political economy managers need to be concerned with such matters as well as for keeping the real capital based on sustainable environmental parameters.
One of the problems of civilizations that bring them to fall is the tendency to develop a particular economic model until it crashes from over-use. The physical infrastructure of a civilization may grow to be inappropriate and destroy the human spirit of workers and designers in addition to building mass species extinction and environmental collapse. It may be the case that those most invested in the present economic system would be the last to know and most resistant to rational realistic transition to a new economic continuum.
The 2008-9 financial crisis and decade of ensuing issue of free money to the rich was the wrong way to keep the economy of the U.S.A. Functioning. It was an opportunity to direct coalitions of the willing businesses to participate in ecological economic reform and sustainability. The daft policy of throwing zero interest federal reserve loans to the rich rendered democracy somewhat defunct and put plutocratic global corporatism into ascendance. Intelligence was required in governing and idiot technocrats dumping cash to the rich was what followed. NPR has often called the Covid 19 pandemic the ‘pendemic’. Repression of free speech and democratic free expression is quite normal during the rise of dictatorships and oligarchy’s of sundry sorts. Some of the broadcast media believe economic exogamy is the be and end-all for existence; self reliance and independence however are not necessarily economically endogamous and strong nationalism can lead in new directions such as ecological economic reform. Coupled with Darwinist inspired atheism and Nietzchian philosophic inspiration an existential abandonment of moral norms and nationalism seems necessary for a brave new world order wherein for Americans the sole economic survivors are plutocratic supermen. The hubris and deceit inherent in the view that enables irrationality to overcome reason and fake populism to alternate with corrupt elites to manage the ‘herd’ of citizens ought to give some a realization that the death of democracy won’t end well for ordinary people.
Plutocrats of the modern era are far more sophisticated and subtle in defeating in detail democracy, potential rival political economic trends and independent innovations of individuals. So long as the populace is stupid, drunk, doped, deceived or misled into unintelligent political economy there are no political issues to trouble the rising minority powers of plutocrats.