Friday, August 14, 2009

“Who Stole My Cheese”: The Lecture

http://networkedblogs.com/p8649268

“Who Stole My Cheese”: The Lecture
By Tracy R Twyman

I had the honor of being invited to give a talk last week at one of the schools I used to attend: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus. I talked about economics, the Federal Reserve, and the IMF. Coincidentally, PCC is where I took my first economics course and started writing for the school paper about government cover-ups, including the Federal Reserve scam.

The students are the lecture seemed quite interested. The Q & A lasted for about an hour afterwards. What was amazing to me was how open everyone was to the information. In fact, they already knew quite a lot about some of this stuff, and they were anxious to learn more. Also, everyone seemed to agree that the two party left-right fake paradigm needs to be broken. It was an eye-opening experience, and very encouraging. Anyway, here’s the text of my lecture:

Who Stole My Cheese: A Lecture by Tracy R. Twyman

A few years ago, when I was in-between jobs and reevaluating my career, my grandfather gave me a copy of a self-help book called Who Moved My Cheese. It’s mostly pictures, and just a few words in large type on each page, so I read it in about 30 minutes. I found it absolutely awful. I thought to myself: Grandpa must not know me very well if he thought I would find this inspiring.

The book depicts your life as that of a mouse trapped inside of a maze that’s controlled by scientists from the outside. And these all-powerful scientists decide each day where in the maze to place the cheese that the mice get to eat, and how much. Then the mice have to use their instincts to try to sniff out where the “cheese” has moved to that day. Some of the mice are lazy, slow to change, and complain about having to find new cheese every day. In the course of the story these mice are beaten into submission through starvation until they learn to accept their fate, and begin to hunt for the cheese every day like all of the others.

Amazingly, the term “rat race” is never used throughout this entire book, but that’s clearly what it’s describing.

This book is used frequently in corporate training, especially for Human Resources departments. It’s supposed to teach you that the marketplace is always changing, and thus you have to constantly adapt to where the “cheese” (i.e. the income opportunity) has moved to.

My problems with this book are manifold. First of all, I find it really insulting to be compared to a rodent, controlled by evil overlords who make decisions for me, or to say that I have no control over where I obtain my sustenance. It presupposes that I’m not a creative being capable of making or doing something of value, which I can then trade to others in exchange for the “cheese.” Sometimes someone invents or innovates something, and creates a new income opportunity that didn’t exist before. They make the cheese come to them! That’s what I want to do. That’s what most ambitious people want to do. But these people do not exist in the Who Moved My Cheese rat race universe.

The other thing I found odd about the book is that the question in the title is never really answered. Who did move the cheese anyway? Who are these scientists that control everything? Who appointed them? Did we elect them? Were they chosen by God? Are they mice that have somehow evolved and gotten out of the maze, so that now they control it? Or have the same people always been the scientists, and have the mice always been mice?

Well, throughout my life I have followed alternative media, and read books about things that other people thought were boring or weird. So in my research I, like many others, have found out in general who these scientists are that control the maze we all live in, and how they control it.

Now I know you guys have already learned how the Federal Reserve works, so, just to recap:

In 1913, Congress created a quasi-private entity called the Federal Reserve, controlled by its stockholders, mainly representing the big banks in New York City. This corporation was given a monopoly over the issuance of US currency, in complete contradiction to the US Constitution, which explicitly states that this is not only the right but the duty of Congress. The Federal Reserve is permitted to print money by fiat, out of nothing, and sell it to the US Treasury (on behalf of the US taxpayer) for face value plus interest. They also lend money to private banks to use as reserves. This is paper fiat currency with nothing to back it, but it is cash.

As you’ve already learned, the banks are then permitted to multiply this money many times over by creating checkbook money that is nothing but an electronic bookkeeping entry. The standard practice is to multiply the reserves by 10. So for every dollar in cash reserves loaned to them by the Fed, they can loan out 9 dollars in fictitious checkbook money. These days the ratio is more like 1 to 36. The banks then loan this money, upon interest, out to people, corporations and governments. Banks can then resell these loans to other banks and financial institutions. Insurance companies can profit by selling insurance on the loans against default. And if the loans are defaulted on, the banks can seize the loan recipient’s assets—real assets, not like the fake money that was loaned out in the first place.

This creates a perfect situation for the banks, in which they, in conjunction with the Fed, can cause business cycles that work to their advantage. They collude with the Fed and the government, which they now control, to make easy money available. This inflates the currency and drives up prices, while creating a boom in property and business development. They profit from that. Then they can suddenly tighten the money supply and create a cascade of defaults across the economy, sending people, businesses, and even governments into bankruptcy, which allows them to seize some assets outright and buy up others for pennies on the dollar. Once enough people have been made homeless and unemployed, they can start the process all over again. And the best part is that every dollar that’s used in this process is a debt instrument in itself, borrowed by the American people from the Federal Reserve through the US Treasury.

The Federal Reserve is an enormous ponzi scheme which we all presently have no choice but to participate in. It serves to extract real wealth from the economy and channel it into the hands of a small group of powerful bankers at the expense of everyone else. It creates an artificial scarcity of goods while simultaneously maintaining an artificial abundance of easy credit. The Fed claims to curb inflation, but the dollar has lost over 95% of its value since the Fed took over in 1913. What that really represents is 95% of the real wealth that used to belong to the people of the United States being bilked out of them while they stand holding worthless paper and electronic computer entries that can be taken from them at any time. The value of these units can also be changed arbitrarily at any time. This is the “cheese” that Americans spend their lives chasing.

And as you know, in 1933, after the stock market crash that the Fed and the bankers deliberately caused, the dollar was taken off of the gold standard, so that the bankers could expand the money supply and manipulate the market even more easily. So it’s kind of like the cheese was replaced with Kraft cheese slices, which aren’t really cheese, but just orange-colored congealed oil. As Americans in 1933 handed over their gold coins and certificates in exchange for pure fiat money printed by a private bank, they knew they were getting hosed. But eating Kraft cheese is better than starving, so they took what they could get.

As you may also know, in 1944 the Federal Reserve ponzi scheme was essentially extended to the rest of the world, at the barrel of a gun. Towards the end of WWII, when Europe and much of the world had been beaten into submission through years of combat, poor and desperate, 44 nations sent delegates to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to create an international monetary policy. The alleged rationale was that if all of these countries had their currencies linked, they couldn’t afford to go to war in the future, because it would be mutually destructive. They ended up deciding to make the US dollar the “reserve currency” of the world. The central banks of other countries would be linked to the dollar, and would hold at least a quarter of their reserves in US dollars. In exchange, the US Treasury was required to redeem these foreign dollar holdings with gold upon request at the fixed price of $35 per ounce.

As you’ve been learning, the International Monetary Fund was created at this meeting. The IMF forces loans upon developing countries, and if they can’t afford to make their interest payments on the IMF loans they’ve already got, the IMF loans them more money to make those payments. In exchange, of course, they demand complete control over the nation’s economy. This, in conjunction with the activities of the World Trade Organization, also created at Bretton Woods, is largely responsible for turning the entire world into a giant slave labor camp that runs for the profit of a handful of banks and corporations. They dictate to all of the member countries what labor costs will be, what sort of exporting and resource development they will do, who will trade with whom and at what price.

If you wonder why all of the jobs and production have been exported overseas, bear in mind that the US as a sovereign nation no longer has any control over its own trade policy. The IMF literally has a mathematical formula that they use to calculate what the optimal level of trade is for each country and for each commodity. They use this to “balance” the values of different currencies. And it has been their stated goal all along to try to “balance” the standard of living throughout the world so as to make currencies easier to control. Now let me give you a hint: they don’t intend to bring other countries up to our standard of living. It’s the other way around. So that is why, no matter who you elect, no matter how many letters you send and phone calls you make to your congressman, he or she will always pursue policies that inflate the dollar, suppress wages and export production. Because we have no control over our monetary policy or our trade policy. Since the dollar is a global currency the Fed considers the effects of their policies on global currency markets before it even thinks about how these policies affect the US economy.

Another thing we clearly have no control over since Bretton Woods is our foreign policy and military policy. The UN was created shortly after Bretton Woods. The intention when creating it was that there would no longer be such a thing as war. Coincidentally, the US Congress hasn’t officially declared war since WWII. Everything we’ve done since then has been an unofficial police action. Guess what? It’s because we can’t declare war. We no longer have the authority to do that if we want to maintain participation in all of these foreign agreements that hamstring us. But your President and your Congress will never admit that to you. They want to maintain the illusion that we are still a sovereign country.

Now several purposes are served by the linkage of all of the world’s currencies through the IMF and the Bank of International Settlements (which is the “central bank of central banks”). You might think it would be easier to just have one global currency, and indeed that has always been a popular idea. It remains so to this day. But, at least for the private banks, it’s actually better to have lots of different currencies all linked because then you can easily manipulate them and profit from currency speculation. Another fun thing to do is to manipulate the gold market. Beyond all of the fiat currency which people all over the world are tricked into using, gold is still valued by the superrich as “real money.” And as you recall, I mentioned that in 1944 the US promised to redeem dollars for foreign banks with gold at $35 per ounce. Regardless of the street value of gold, US gold holdings from Fort Knox were being sent overseas to foreign banks at $35 per ounce. These banks would then sell it on the open market and reap huge profits.

This scheme continued until 1971, when Nixon decided to “close the gold window.” He did this, it is believed, because there was very little left to sell anymore. Fort Knox is tapped. Now the US dollar, the “cheese”, is even more fake than it was before. It’s kind of like Cheese Whiz now. That’s what we all work for. It has no nutritional value. It won’t stop you from starving. But it tastes kind of cheese-like, so we keep working our butts off trying to get some.

At any rate, although we no longer sell gold to foreign banks for $35 per ounce, there are a number of professional gold traders who believe that gold is still being sold from the US Treasury to the IMF for not much more. The latest figure quoted was $42.50 per ounce. This is at a time when gold is at around $900 per ounce on the open market. The Gold Anti-Trust Association is calling for a congressional investigation into this matter. They believe that this is being purposely allowed in order to manipulate the price of gold, to drive it down. They think that the Federal Reserve is doing this in order to keep the US dollar from collapsing. As the currency inflates, the price of gold rises, and eventually the dollar will be worthless, unless the price of gold is artificially suppressed. So this might be what Ben Bernake is talking about when he tells Congress that the Fed is working to keep inflation in check. Because otherwise you would have to admit that inflation is quite high and nothing the Fed is doing serves to lessen it at all. Quite the opposite.

There is one more major aspect of the economy that’s rigged and that’s the stock market. I want to just briefly touch upon this because it’s complicated and boring. I don’t claim to know everything about this stuff, but I think it’s safe to say that this is another part of the maze that’s completely controlled by the evil scientists.

Bloomberg News recently revealed that up to 73% of the trades being made on the stock market every day are done via computer at the behest of large investment banks. Stocks are being bought, and sold just an hour or two later, in what is called high-frequency trading. This means that the value of these stocks can be entirely manipulated by these investment banks, the most significant of which is Goldman Sachs, just by plugging a particular algorithm into their computers. They can push a stock lower by shorting it, or betting against it, and then a couple of hours later buy it up for cheap, then pump it up and sell it again a couple of hours later. The rest of us investors, individuals trying to make investments based on their assessment of the market, don’t stand a chance playing against these bank-controlled computers that literally make and break the market at will.

This is largely what’s going on with the stock market now. Many people actually think that the economy is “coming back” because the stock market is going up. All this means is that trillions of dollars was given to the banks by the Fed, backed by the taxpayers of the US. The banks then invest this money in the stock market and trade it around with each other for their own profit. It doesn’t stay in the market long enough to do any good and it never makes it into the larger economy. Even worse, it’s used to cheat normal Americans out of their ability to profit from their own investments, because the game is rigged. Sure, you might get lucky and make money on the stock market, if you sell at the right time. But bear in mind that you are playing at a casino, and the game is always rigged in favor of the house.

I won’t even begin to get in to some of the fraudulent instruments that are being traded on the stock market. But you know that a lot of the financial mess we are currently dealing with has to do with the derivatives market. Derivatives are fake assets, the value of which depends upon the future value of some other particular asset. But these derivatives are being sold like they in themselves were assets, and now the alleged value of the derivatives floating around the system is many hundreds of times higher than the assets they are based on. In fact, it is many hundred times higher than the combined domestic product of every country on Earth. This means that if they were to all crash all at once, there wouldn’t be enough value on Earth to cover the losses. What you must understand, though, is that even though the banks can’t possibly steal enough wealth from the people of the world in order to cover the losses of all their bad investments, they’re sure as Hell gonna try. If they can’t get it from you now, that’s OK. They’ll be happy to take you, and all of your descendents, as slaves in perpetuity.

This is why the scientists feel justified in keeping us trapped like lab rats inside the maze. But I don’t know about you. I don’t feel like playing along when I know the game is rigged. What’s the point of spending your life looking for the cheese when you know that someone else is controlling the dispensation of the cheese? Furthermore, what’s the point of arguing about things like taxes and welfare and universal healthcare? How can we possibly make an accurate decision about how to regulate the economy, how much government intervention there should be, when most of the real value in the economy is being stolen from us? How much poverty and unemployment would there be if this scam wasn’t going on? Who knows? I don’t know. But I’m not going to go along with a massive tax and spend program that promises to rectify the situation when the government itself is being controlled by the thieves.

The problem is that we have all been tricked into believing that we are nothing but mice trapped in a maze, that these evil scientists control our lives, and that they even have a right to do so! Some people actually think that this is the “natural order”! And so we have all given the power to create reality itself over to a handful of evil scientists, whom we allow to control the maze that we live in, to decide for us how much and what kind of food we will eat, and what we will have to do to get it. The word “reality” is related to “real”, which is the word for royalty in European languages. Because within his realm, the king defined reality for his subjects. That is what we continue to allow, even after feudalism and monarchy has ended.

But the fact is that, at least in the United States, we are all kings, according to the US Constitution. Literally, it says that we are all “sovereigns.” That means that the power of the United States is derived from its sovereign citizens. We chose to lend our power to the state governments, and they in turn delegate certain powers to the Federal government. That’s how it’s supposed to work. We rule. They serve at our pleasure. They are supposed to serve us, the sovereign individuals, not the interests of gigantic, largely offshore private corporations.

The entire purpose of government is to protect the inherent rights of its citizens, not to bestow them, and certainly not to infringe upon them. Adam Smith, the original spokesman for laissez-faire free market economics, believed that a market without government interference would naturally distribute resources in an equitable manner. But even he openly warned that monopolies and trusts, especially those sanctioned by the government, would prevent the so-called “invisible hand” of the marketplace from doing its job properly. He emphatically agreed that one of the few legitimate roles of government is to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

Government is supposed to protect us from fraud and corruption. That’s one of its few truly constitutional roles. But instead, the federal government is participating in ponzi schemes and protection rackets at the behest of the private corporations that now control it. They have used us, the citizens, as collateral to make business agreements, with the presupposition that we are not sovereigns, but slaves owned by the oligarchy.

Now, the Declaration of Independence says something quite different. It says:

“…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

But how far have we gotten from this concept? When some of my friends hear me talk about auditing the Federal Reserve, abolishing the IRS, pulling out of the IMF and the WTO and NAFTA, reinstating a sound monetary system, electing independent candidates, cracking down on monopolies and trusts, you know what they say? Oh, it will never happen. Why bother? Vote for the Democrat. He’s the lesser of two evils.

And you know what I say? You’re still voting for evil! How lame and pathetic is it for us sovereign citizens, who not only have the law on our side, but also our numbers in overwhelming majority, to just give up? To just consent to let the oligarchs keep us trapped inside of a maze where they steal our cheese from us every single day, and make us struggle to survive on the crumbs that they leave for us? Come on people! At some point, you have to ask yourself: Are you a man, or a mouse?

Now I want to rewrite this stupid rat race story so that it has a happy ending. In my version of Who Moved My Cheese, the mice all make an agreement to work together. Some of them stand on top of the others, with their consent, and get boosted up, until they manage to climb over the wall of the maze and into the outside world. And then as they explore the outside world, they see a kitchen and a dining room filled with food of all various sorts. Meat and eggs and potatoes and gravy and salad, and whatever else you can imagine, anything you could possibly want. This is the food that the scientists eat. This is what they’ve been keeping from the mice all along.

And then these brave scout mice make it into the bathroom. And they climb up onto the counter around the sink, and they look into the mirror. And for the first time they realize who they truly are. They realize that it was all an illusion. They’re not pathetic, pea-brained little lab mice. They’re human, and they deserve to live as free men! Then the mice go back to the maze and help all the other mice break free. And they all live happily ever after. The end.

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