classical economics
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Piglets and Clunkers
Monuments to Elitist Cruelty
By Wayne Jett © August 18, 2009
    One day, the Pantheon of Elitist Abominations will display Barack Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program somewhere near Franklin Roosevelt’s order to slaughter six million baby pigs so they would not grow into food for starving Americans. Roosevelt’s theoretical fig leaf was the idea that killing the piglets would raise prices to farmers. The idea was both wrong and evil.
    Farm prices did not rise and hungry Americans remained penniless. This was not because Roosevelt didn’t kill enough baby pigs but because he, like Hoover before him, and Congress used elitist, mercantilist policies to attack the middle class by destroying the private economy. The U. S. populace has experienced assaults of much the same nature since Henry Paulson Jr., former CEO of Wall Street’s largest investment bank, Goldman Sachs, became Secretary of the U. S. Treasury in July, 2006.
    The cold-hearted elitists of 1933 thought nothing of killing baby pigs or of plowing under cotton and corn while millions of children went hungry and unclothed. In 2009, elitists use billions of middle class tax dollars to buy used cars – on express condition that every such car be destroyed – so thousands of Americans go without transportation because they can’t afford to buy a used car. The callous immorality of these policies cries out to all with a sense of justice, but few with government authority hear.
Elitist Paradigm Revisited
    The design for human society envisioned by elitists aims, above all else, to blunt and reverse competitive threats of the middle class. The middle class threatens elites in business and political arenas. Most public rhetoric presumes the American middle class predominates in both contests. This is untrue, although some in the middle class are misled to believe it. In fact, the elitist agenda dominates business, politics and communications media in U. S. society.
    “Mainstream media” are voices on behalf of the elite. This being the case, except for the rare George Soros type and those who promote philanthropic images, most elitists choose to remain hidden from public view and the media oblige. With the true elitists excluded from consideration, media falsely characterize class-based strife in the U. S. as waged between the upper middle class (who are called “the rich”) against mid-middle class (moderate income) and lower middle class (“the poor”). This sleight-of-hand accomplishes two important things: it conceals the ultra-wealthy elite and their influence over public policy, and it enables elitists to use public policy against their most effective competitors, the upper middle class.
    Important policy tools for implementing the elitist agenda in the U. S. include the federal tax system; Federal Reserve monetary policy which manipulates interest rates, employment and the dollar’s value; captured federal regulators including the SEC, CFTC and FDA; and federal court interpretation of the Constitution as a “living document” capable of change by elitist judges without formal amendment by the people. The federal tax system, captured regulators and the Federal Reserve as tools of the elitist agenda have been topics of previous reports. Two additional important elements of the elitist agenda will be discussed here: public education and environmentalism.
Dumb Down the Middle Class
    By objective measures of performance, public education at elementary, secondary and higher levels is deficient in preparing Americans for productive and fulfilling lives. This is the case whether performance is measured on an absolute basis or relative to previous years. Tremendous advances in technology beneficial to the education process have been insufficient to overcome slumping results.
    A century ago, secondary public schools across the U. S. commonly taught classical languages in addition to English and modern languages such as German, French and Spanish. Today in California, even the better public schools do not teach grammar or sentence structure through diagramming, even for English. Incorrect use of language is commonly accepted as revision by usage. Standardized testing of Pasadena public school students in 2009 shows 46% proficient in English and 43% proficient in math. As many able teachers of past years reminded us, much precision, beauty, utility and meaning is lost when English is not mastered even by those who teach it.
    Organization of teachers into labor unions to bargain for improved working conditions is often blamed for falling performance among students. The point may be particularly relevant because, due to the power of government, public schools have little or no competition, or at least public schools are given significant competitive advantages.
    As a government entity, public school districts have power of eminent domain to take property for school locations at price set by government judicial processes. Private schools may compete for students, but parent of all students must pay taxes to support public schools. Thus, parents of students at private schools must pay twice – both for public schools and for private tuition. This policy remains widely applicable across the U. S. despite the fact that private schools ordinarily provide superior education compared to public schools. Indeed, if they do not, private schools go out of business.
    When labor organizations combine with government power in monopoly conditions, they need not compete to produce superior results. They produce to the level required to maintain market share. In California, for example, public school unions influence government political leaders so effectively that is all they need do to maintain market share. Student performance is almost entirely irrelevant to prosperity of labor union leaders or their members.
    Reforms in the nature of school “vouchers,” for example, would give parents back a portion of their tax money if they will send their children to private schools. This ordinarily saves the public school costs of educating the student (which exceed the amount of the voucher) and, obviously, benefits the parents receiving the voucher. Vouchers many times are adequate to pay full tuition at private schools, so even non-affluent parents can participate. Or, at least, they could participate if school vouchers were authorized.
    Regrettably, school vouchers rarely are approved in the U. S., least of all in places they are most urgently needed. Even when middle class parents demonstrate strong support for choice of schools made possible by vouchers, political leadership more often than not finds ways to obstruct and prevent delivery of education of higher quality.
    Why this is so requires a more persuasive answer than labor union business as usual. Union members are parents, too, who want better education and future prospect for their children. The seeming conundrum of public policy insisting upon defective education for citizenry warrants examination of whether the elitist agenda seeks this end. Motive is there: defective public education weakens the detested middle class. Means and opportunity are certainly there, as the Inner Elite dominate federal and state policymakers across the country.
    Proof of specific causation awaits only investigation of particular cases. Truth is manifest that, if the Inner Elite wanted superior education in urban and rural districts across America, it would be done as if nothing stood in its way.
Green Starvation
    Elitists are more nuanced in 2009 as they go about population growth control than in 1933 when they stepped in the PR pie by destroying six million baby pigs so they wouldn’t produce food. They have diligently constructed a culture of environmentalism, complete with an underlying legal structure which gives much of it the force of government power.
    While President Richard Nixon was persuaded by Rockefeller financiers in 1971 to empower the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of the dollar, Inner Elite objectives for population growth control were not dormant. By December, 1973, while under congressional investigation relating to the Watergate break-in, Nixon was persuaded to sign the Endangered Species Act. As often amended since, the ESA is far more efficient in preventing food production than was piglet killing.
    Water is essential for farmers to grow crops and food animals. California has 50 reservoirs and 1200 miles of canals for storing and transporting water captured from rain and snow runoff. The system was developed to supply farmers of the great central valley, the San Joaquin, as well as needs of 23 million residents. But aggressive environmentalists filed suit in 2006 demanding release of fresh water through the Sacramento delta into the Pacific Ocean so as to improve the habitat of a small fingerling fish, the Delta Smelt.
    The Delta Smelt is non-remarkable, hardly distinguishable from other bait fish commonly used by fisherman to attract more valuable species. Indeed, the Delta Smelt was not native to the Sacramento delta. Yet, under authority of the ESA, the federal government declared the species endangered years ago. After Barack Obama won the presidential election, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service settled the 2006 lawsuit without litigating it fully by agreeing to divert more than 150 billion gallons of fresh water from farmers south of San Francisco and to release the water into the Pacific through the Sacramento delta.
    This massive wasting of fresh water urgently needed for food production is occurring right now. Hundreds of thousands of acres of the once-bountiful San Joaquin Valley are being made a dust bowl, leaving them unplanted and unharvested, and valuable orchard trees are dying of thirst. This is an immoral crime against the American people and against the hard working people who have invested their labor and capital in food production there.    
    Only intellectuals and acolytes of environmental extremism convince themselves such destructive waste of valuable resources gained at high cost is done out of honest concern for a bait fish or its importance to natural environment. Reasonable minds must acknowledge that intentional curtailment of food production is public policy with severe implications for human society. This is precisely what is occurring in California’s San Joaquin Valley and in countless other “environmental” disputes across the nation. Rationale for such immorality is acceptable only to the elitist mind, which sees population reduction as a praiseworthy goal.
Filling the Paradigm
    The paradigm for elitist domination of human society is pervasive. Influence of great pools of accumulated capital, cunningly applied, presses levers of government power which enable unjust taking of more capital without risk of punishment. Currency manipulation increases complexity of financial planning, provides insider trading advantages, and discourages marriage and reproduction. Those who work and produce to create capital ought to reap its rewards, yet they do not. While they labor to replenish what is stolen through financial fraud and manipulation, production of food is inhibited by withholding water, or food such as corn is used for energy, increasing costs of feeding the family. Education is weakened to undercut capabilities of middle class children. Energy sources and uses are to be regulated so that middle class prosperity can be micro-managed. Even individual decisions regarding health and life itself are to be taken by government because, we are told, “the nation” cannot afford to spend so much for health care.
    Why are all such anti-social policies made to appear so inexorable – so absolutely necessary to avoid additional crises worse than those already brought upon society? They are said to be inexorable and necessary by the same Inner Elite who caused the existing crises. These inexorable, anti-social policies are the game plan – the implementation of the paradigm – of the Inner Elite.
    Lest the point be missed by anyone, justice has everything to do with advisability of investing capital in U. S. financial markets. Investment is foolhardy if justice is not assured. When justice is not the right of everyone, it is not the right of anyone. In the United States, the middle class receives no more economic justice in 2009 than was the case in 1933. ~