Tag Archives: 9/11

Get Ready For A New Conspiracy Theory

NPR has an article about an economic report from the year 2000 that pretty much foresaw a collapse of the global economy if America ever paid its national debt. And back then, when the economy was booming and there was a budget surplus, it looked like the US would be debt-free in 2012.

The problem with that scenario would have been that the government would no longer sell Treasury bonds (since the proceeds from those sales goes to pay debt), which would probably be catastrophic because much of the national, as well as global, economy is built on those bonds sales. For example, a lot of investors buy bonds because they’re an extremely safe investment: the US government will likely never default on its debts. And pretty much all interest rates are in some way tied to the yield on Treasury bonds. And the government uses bonds to try to steer the economy in one way or another. No more bonds means no more safe investments, the foundation of the interest-bearing banking system collapsing, and no way for the government to control the economy.

The all-seeing eye on the dollar bill

 

Luckily for the global financial system, that scenario never played out, and instead of being debt free by next year, it now looks like the US will be lucky to ever get back down to a manageable debt level. In other words, Treasury bonds and the modern economic structure are here to stay for as long as anyone can tell.

But any conspiracy theorist worth his salt would look at the way recent history played out and say there was no luck about it and that in fact, this is what actually happened:

  1. The Illuminati (or whomever runs the world from the shadows) saw the report forecasting a debt-free America and the subsequent collapse of the financial system that keeps them in power.
  2. They realized that for that system to remain in place, America had to be plunged into such enormous debt that it would take decades to recover.
  3. For that kind of enormous debt, the country would have to make deep cuts to revenue and massive spending increases.
  4. So they struck a deal with Bush & Cheney and got them elected by coercing the Supreme Court into its landmark decision on the Presidential election in 2000.
  5. They made 9/11 happen in order to bring the US into a state of perpetual war on terror, which would take monstrous amounts of perpetual funding. As a happy coincidence, it would also limit freedom in the name of security and significantly increase federal police powers.
  6. The Bush administration introduced massive tax cuts, supposedly to recover from the Internet bubble, but really in order to cut revenue.
  7. It then invaded Iraq, knowing it would cost untold amounts of money before the war was over.
  8. The Fed cut interest rates to record lows, again supposedly to help the economy grow, but really to create the real estate bubble that would lead to the collapse of the stock market, followed by high unemployment, followed by a bigger decrease in tax revenue on top of the existing tax cuts.
  9. For good measure, the administration also spent money wherever else it could: increasing entitlements (mostly Medicare), federal subsidies, education and discretionary spending.
  10. All told, the second Bush administration vastly increased federal spending while at the same time lowering taxes, leading to the enormous debt devised in step 2.

The government lost money every single year in which the Bush administration created the federal budget: 3.5 trillion dollars total. Federal spending almost doubled from 1.8 trillion in 2001 to 3.5 in 2009. Over the same period, federal tax revenue shrunk: from 20% of the economy to 18%; in dollar amounts, it went from 2 of the 10 trillion dollar economy (by GDP PPP) in 2001, to 2.5 of a 14 trillion dollar economy in 2009. The result: instead of shrinking to zero from 2000 to 2012, the government debt more than tripled, from about 3 to over 10 trillion.

 

So there you have it: ten easy steps to keep the Illuminati in power by creating enormous American debt in eight short years. The movie version should be riveting.

Update: the New Scientist has a well-timed article about a Swiss study that found, among the world’s companies, a network of some 43,000 interconnected transnational corporations, 1318 of which control about 80% of global revenues. Of those, an even more tightly-knit “super entity” of 147 corporations (mostly banks) control 40% of the network’s wealth; they include JP Morgan, UBS, Merrill Lynch, etc. The Occupy Movement would call them the 1%; conspiracy theorists would probably call them the Illuminati; the Simpsons would call them the Stonecutters.

From NPR

 

9/11 Reflection Poster

Striking 9/11 tribute poster by the Extra Credit Projects ad agency.

From Ads of the World, via Laughing Squid

Bigger Than 9/11

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 coming up very shortly, the newsmedia is of course inundating the Internet with 9/11 stuff. Most of it is about how much of an effect the attacks had on the world, but Foreign Policy has an interesting article about ten events from the past decade that were more important than 9/11. Their list, ending with the most important:

  • The American response to 9/11
  • The ‘Arab Spring‘ revolutions
  • The strengthening of the relationship between the US and India
  • The stagnation of developed economies
  • The skyrocketing use of social media
  • Mobile computing, via smartphones and tablets
  • Wall Street’s crash of 2008
  • The current Eurozone economic crisis, especially concerning the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain)
  • The failure to address global warming
  • The rise of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China)

Photo by Ahmad Hammoud

 

About half the items on that list are bogus: the response to 9/11 can’t be separated from 9/11 itself and called a more important event. And the stagnation of developed economies as well as the current Eurozone crisis can safely be lumped in with the crash of 2008 as “the global recession”. The failure to address global warming may be an issue in 50 years, but it’s definitely not significant for the past decade: global warming hasn’t affected anything from 2001 to now. It’s like saying that the failure to remove Kim Jong-Il from power is an important event in the last decade: it may be that he’ll nuke South Korea in 10 years, but only then could it be argued that failing to remove him was important, because he could also die tomorrow. Ditto for the US-India relationship: nothing important has come out of it up to now.

Finally, the rise of social media is tied to the rise of mobile computing: social media is a parasite that could not have survived without iPhones, because Facebook and Twitter use is as prevalent as it is exactly because people can change their status while waiting at the doctor’s office, upload pictures from the beach they’re on or the revolution they’re at, and check-in at their favorite bar. Conversely, mobile computing would probably not have taken off as quickly as it did were it not for people demanding to do those things.

So the list should actually go something like this:

  • The Arab Spring
  • The rise of social media and mobile computing
  • The global recession starting in 2008
  • The rise of the BRIC countries — mostly China though

One could argue that the Arab Spring wouldn’t have happened without the combination of 9/11, the rise of social media/mobile computing and the global recession, but that would be reaching about as far as Foreign Policy reached to stretch four items to ten.

From Foreign Policy, via NPR