The Myth of American Prosperity
It is always interesting to have a conversation with a person outside the United States about the seemingly endless wealth and economic liberty Americans enjoy. There seems to be some strange spell under which many in the world have fallen—one that deludes them into thinking that the majority of Americans are personally wealthy and enjoy a liberating degree of sovereignty in their economic endeavors. However, a more determined analysis of the American economic reality relates a wholly different story. What has long been represented and accepted as a crystal staircase leading upwards to more elevated, more cultivated, more universal forms of economic development is truly more akin to a glorified pyramid scheme, not so different from that originally fomented on the Mesopotamian plains and represented by that notorious tower of collective ignorance and hubris. For the fundamental ideal is the same in both scenarios, with the top of the pyramid enjoying its eminence by perpetually conscribing servants to construct the tower.
The display of supposed prosperity advertised by the United States is, in reality, an illusion created by debt, which both enslaves the individual debtor and arbitrarily raises the level of in- come necessary to maintain the necessities of life. The façade of prosperity is created by credit expansion via the central bank through its mandated monopoly on monetary policy. Operating under the assertion that easier access to debt will stimulate the economy and create employment opportunities for the average citizen, the central bank loosens credit so that individuals and businesses can make more purchases and investments using borrowed funds. This arbitrary, temporary expansion of the money supply results in an imbalance between the scale of production and the amount of money available to purchase what is produced, leading to speculative bubbles. In the meantime, borrowers are emboldened to live far beyond their means, temporarily maintaining luxurious lifestyles rooted in artificial wealth. The result is that consumers end up shackled to goods that are, in reality, worth less than what they purchased them for (and often still owe on them), as the price of the goods upon purchase was artificially inflated by an oversupply of available credit. In the end, people become the slaves of things, the objects of objects, and live for the land as opposed to from it. They work to pay the wages of money, in the form of interest, when instead it should be money that works for them as a mechanism of exchange. The unsustainable access to borrowed money that fuels the illusory prosperity also fuels rising price levels and, with inflation outpacing earnings growth, the average American is actually becoming progressively poorer.
The great irony of this charade is the fact that those who have taken the bait of easy credit (which is now considered to be synonymous with money) do not even own their purchases; they are in fact renters of what they consume. In other words, their ‘purchases’ are not assets contributing to greater wealth, but are actually liabilities to which they are fettered. This reality materializes when the central bank subsequently contracts the money supply, diminishing liquidity in the markets, and consumers can no longer obtain the necessary financing to repay the debt they have acquired. Consumers come to understand that debt is in fact the only thing they have acquired, and when they are unable to repay their loans, their purchases are confiscated by the lenders. The result is the transfer of real wealth, in the form of capital infrastructure and other personal property, to the lenders.
This is a recurrent refrain with regard to economies manipulated by centralized banking authori- ties. Through credit expansion and contraction, bankers plunder the wealth of those who actually produce what is necessary for life, and direct the use of capital resources to their personal ideological ends. It is difficult to consider a case in which a small group of people afforded a monopoly on the control of money would not abuse such authority, yet the central bank is the economic hallmark of the nations of the modern industrialized world. So long as this injurious institution remains lodged within the economic organism, the social body will suffer and the divide between rich and poor will broaden persistently.
The same logic applies to nations as a whole for, in our modern age, they are collective debtors to a far larger community of centralized economic authority. Those who would envision a truly autonomous Kurdistan might consider that to enroll in the established system of debtfinanced economic development and global centralized banking is to take a seat at the table of an old game. And it is quite difficult to win a game you have just begun to play when the other players, long seated at the table, are the ones who designed it.