December 21, 2015
The injustice of central-bank enforced neofeudalism cannot be suppressed like interest rates.
In traditional feudal systems, serfs were the landless peasantry who worked the land of their feudal lords in exchange for protection. In our present-day neofeudal system, serfdom has a different definition: present-day serfs own little or no productive capital and have few opportunities to ever acquire any.
The Marxist term wage-slaves describes those who, lacking capital, have only their labor to sell. This describes the vast majority of people in both capitalist and socialist systems, but what makes the present system neofeudal is the central banks: by extending essentially unlimited credit at near-zero interest rates to financiers and corporations, the central banks have given the top .01% the ability to outbid mere savers for income-producing assets (i.e. productive assets).
Just as the feudal-era serf had no choice but to enslave himself and his family to the manor-house lord, the modern-day serf must indenture himself to banks to “own” a car or home or “buy” a college education.
The X22 Report and I discuss this and related topics in the podcast Central Bankers Are Creating A World Where We Are All Serfs (38:10).
We are living in a time that can only be considered monetary chaos. The U.S. Federal Reserve has manipulated key interest rates down to practically zero for the last six years, and expanded the money supply in the banking system by $4 trillion dollars over that time. And with the true mentality of the monetary central planner, the Fed Board of Governors are now planning to manipulate key interest rates in an upward direction that they deem desirable.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has instituted a conscious policy of “negative” interest rates and planned an additional monetary expansion of well over a trillion Euros over the next year. Plus, the head of the ECB has assured the public and financial markets that there is “no limit” to the amount of paper money that will be produced to push the European economies in the direct that those monetary central planners consider best.
We also should not forget that it was the Federal Reserve that earlier in the twenty-first century undertook a monetary expansion and policy of interest rate manipulation that set the stage for the severe and prolonged “great recession” that began in 2008-2009, in conjunction with a Federal government distorting subsidization of the American housing market.
The media and the policy pundits may focus on the day-to-day zigs and zags of central bank monetary and interest rate policy, but what really needs to be asked is whether or not we should continue to leave monetary and banking policy in the discretionary hands of central banks and the monetary central planners who manage them.
Most experts are of the view that the massive monetary pumping by the US central bank during the 2008 financial crisis saved the US and the world from another Great Depression. On this the Federal Reserve Chairman at the time Ben Bernanke is considered the man that saved the world. Bernanke in turn attributes his actions to the writings of Professor Milton Friedman who blamed the Federal Reserve for causing the Great Depression of 1930s by allowing the money supply to plunge by over 30 percent.
Careful analysis will however show that it is not a collapse in the money stock that sets in motion an economic slump as such, but rather the prior monetary pumping that undermines the pool of real funding that leads to an economic depression.
Improving the Economy Requires Time and Savings
Essentially, the pool of real funding is the quantity of consumer goods available in an economy to support future production. In the simplest of terms: a lone man on an island is able to pick twenty-five apples an hour. With the aid of a picking tool, he is able to raise his output to fifty apples an hour. Making the tool, (adding a stage of production) however, takes time.
During the time he is busy making the tool, the man will not be able to pick any apples. In order to have the tool, therefore, the man must first have enough apples to sustain himself while he is busy making it. His pool of funding is his means of sustenance for this period—the quantity of apples he has saved for this purpose.
The size of this pool determines whether or not a more sophisticated means of production can be introduced. If it requires one year of work for the man to build this tool, but he has only enough apples saved to sustain him for one month, then the tool will not be built—and the man will not be able to increase his productivity.
The island scenario is complicated by the introduction of multiple individuals who trade with each other and use money. The essence, however, remains the same: the size of the pool of funding sets a brake on the implementation of more productive stages of production.