The US has pushed for ‘liberalization’ of third world economies so that we could then force them to sell off all of their assets and commodities to our corporations and bankers. Alas, this nifty plan is backfiring in significant ways: the people we are doing this to are revolting against economic liberalization and…our trade partners who run trade surpluses with us are outbidding us in resource sales! So we come home, empty handed. Time to examine the course of action the kleptocrats of Libya chose to follow and how this impacts on the US political scene.
ΩΩ Always, without exception, ever since the US has passed the Hubbert Oil Peak here back in the 1970’s, all disorders and disruptions overseas hammers our domestic markets hugely since we insist on living as if we are an oil export nation, not an oil import nation. This is the #1 reason why we run perpetual trade deficits and it is the #1 force in ‘inflation’ surges as we frantically print more money to ship overseas and it is the driver of offshoring as our banking systems, government and political ruling class kill inflation caused by oil prices via moving production to cheaper labor venues.
ΩΩ Of course, doing all of these bad things make a number of very rich people much, much richer beyond the rate of inflation they are causing. The point is, our economic wellbeing depends entirely on our ability to buy oil cheaply or use US fiat currency trade dollars to buy all sorts of things. The entire concept of ‘what is inflation’ has to wrestle with the fact that our nation has been living in a fantasy economy since we killed the gold standard so we could import immense seas of oil with impunity.
ΩΩ Otherwise, long, long ago, all our gold would have left the country and would now be in OPEC’s hands or the Mexican bank vaults, etc. Instead, they got paper money which they could translate, at a huge discount into gold (ie: the price of gold shoots upwards while they unload increasingly worthless dollars!). One reason gold surges when oil surges in price is directly due to the oil pumping nations buying gold. We see this very much this week as panicky despot rulers rush to move their loot in the form of gold into Swiss or other gnome banking vaults.
ΩΩ I want to point out here that the price of oil began its long winter climb starting last August. This is due to hedge funds hoarding oil and a very cold, cold, nasty, long winter (will be -4 F tonight here!). Heating oil costs more than gasoline! Last winter, both cost the same (even though heating oil isn’t processed nearly as much as gasoline!) but now, home heating fuel is at a premium at $0.20+ more per gallon.
ΩΩ A clue here: social unrest grows in direct relation to the cost of living. When food and fuel shoot upwards, the social disorder meter shoots upwards, too. Couple that with fewer jobs, far less social services and cuts in subsidies for food and fuel and you get revolutions popping up rather quickly. Even here, this is true.
ΩΩ I admit to being remiss about the developments in Libya. I didn’t do a deep search to see if Libya was doing the same dumb things other nations seeing revolts did. That is, cooperate with the EU and US, join the World Trade Organization, sell off all oil assets to foreigners, etc, etc. Well, Gaddafi (or however we choose to spell his damn name!) did do all of this in the last four years. And is reaping the usual results. Here is an interesting story about the second son of Gaddafi who went to school in London to learn how to behave like US and UK gnomes: BBC News – UK university reviews funding from Libya
- The LSE has run courses for Libyan officials and has received a £1.5m donation from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation….Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of the Libyan leader, is an LSE graduate. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 38, enrolled at the LSE in 2003 for an MSc which he completed. He continued his studies there, and was awarded a PhD in 2008.
- Professor David Held, who supervised his PhD studies, said he watched his former student’s speech and was “deeply disturbed by its failure to grasp the changing circumstances of the Middle East in general, and of Libya in particular. Rather than seeing the opportunity for reform based on liberal democratic values and human rights, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi stressed the threat of civil war and foreign intervention.
ΩΩ Of course, the same people who are pushing for economic ‘reforms’ also want liberal society to suddenly appear, too. Of course, these same professors and politicians are dismantling social systems and killing unions in the first world countries and foolishly think this will lead to some sort of paradise at least for kleptocrats. But when countries with social problems ape this, they hit a hard wall: the people get really angry and for really good reasons!
ΩΩ If there is anyone on earth the masses of Libya want to string up, it is this son! Naturally, Gaddafi wants his kids to be invited to the Bilderberg conclaves. Go to Davos to hang out with economic divas. He wants them to hobnob with the high rollers and marry into royal families and in general, get to become part of the international ruling elites. Meanwhile, the people being looted want him dead.
ΩΩ Here is the US/Libya economic cooperation page which was attacked probably by Anonymous:
ΩΩ This is part of the ongoing cyberwarfare I notice this year. The people of Libya have done many classic revolutionary things this week: they mobbed and took over several government TV and radio facilities which the dictator tried to block. They use modern web technology to communicate with each other and hand out news and videos to the rest of the world. Top ministers are resigning in protest, the ambassador for Libya at the UN resigned and air force officers are flying away and refusing to bomb protestors and some in the military are joining the revolt. It is only a matter of time before Gaddafi falls.
ΩΩ As with Egypt, there is this problem: what happens next? It is obvious to me that the people flooding into the streets do NOT want the London School of Economics to run things. They hate the IMF every bit as much as the citizens of Iceland hate and reject the IMF. They do not want to sell all of their assets to foreigners.
- Population: 6,461,454
- Median age: 24.2 years
- urban population: 78%
- Unemployment rate: 30%
- Literacy: 82.6%
- Substantial revenues from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society. Libyan officials in the past five years have made progress on economic reforms as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the international fold…The process of lifting US unilateral sanctions began in the spring of 2004; all sanctions were removed by June 2006, helping Libya attract greater foreign direct investment, especially in the energy sector.
- …Libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing the socialist-oriented economy, but initial steps – including applying for WTO membership, reducing some subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization – are laying the groundwork for a transition to a more market-based economy.
ΩΩ Ah, here it is! The ‘progress’ Libya is making is mostly cutting services to the masses, starving the poor, selling off all assets to foreigners, etc. No socialism for Libyans! And note how UNPOPULAR this is! Quite! No one seems to be jumping for joy, are they? This irritates me about US coverage of the news: this vital aspect is nearly totally left out. We, not the people revolting all across Africa and the Middle East, are talking about religion when this is all about socialism versus capitalism.
- Exports: $44.89 billion to Italy 37.65%, Germany 10.11%, France 8.44%, Spain 7.94%, Switzerland 5.93%, US 5.27%
- Imports: $24.47 billion from Italy 18.9%, China 10.54%, Turkey 9.92%, Germany 9.78%, France 5.63%, Tunisia 5.25%, South Korea 4.02%
- Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $107.3 billion
ΩΩ The country is running a huge trade surplus. The surplus is double the imports! This surplus is used for mainly one purpose: to enrich the ruling elites there. True, more trickles down to the masses than in say, Morocco or Egypt. But it is little enough. Like here, the vast void between the rich and poor is a growing feature. The US used to have a thriving middle class but this has been systematically hammered heavily for decades and is now in full decay. It never existed in Libya.
ΩΩ Here is a story from last summer where Libya boasts about the New World Order taking over: 06/07/2010: Libya news – Libya asks to join WTO, liberalize economy with vibrant private economy, active public role
- The new Libyan prime minister Shukri Ghanem said that Libya intends to apply for the membership of the World Trade Organization. He said that oil will not be privatized, rather will be open to investment, while the public sector will not be removed immediately but will work side by side with the private sector.OPEC News Agency ( OPECNA) quoted Ghanem as saying that the negotiations on Libya’s joining the WTO ” will start very soon.” He explained that the request to join the WTO will be the next step in the process of reforming the Libyan economy following the suspension of UN sanctions imposed on Libya.
- Ghanem added “we will continue seeking joining and try to open our doors for more cooperation and for better reforms.”Ghanem who was appointed a prime minister last Saturday indicated that the oil sector is vital for Libya’s efforts to encourage private sector investments, noting that “talking about oil industry does not mean we are privatizing tomorrow, but oil industry will be ready to receive more investments from foreign companies.” He considered that “this will make it imperative for the Libyans themselves gradually to buy shares in the companies listed in the Bourse.”He continued that reforms, almost in all sectors, will seek to encourage local and foreign private investments. Speaking about the pace of reform, he added that “the private sector will carry out a greater role but that does not mean the role of the public sector will end (abruptly) in a single day. They will complete each other.”
ΩΩ That is, the government was going to auction off state properties to its own ruling elites who had the cash on hand or foreigners. The key here is, the property becomes private. Therefore, the masses have no rights to the sales, profits or even reserving it for the future; nothing at all. They are bystanders. Naturally, the kleptocrats at the top think this is all a very fine idea! They can’t wait to do this! And they did begin auctioning off the country’s collective wealth last winter: Libya news – Libya offers Asian, European companies 44 oil exploration licenses
- 25/02/2010: Japan got the lion’s share as five Japanese companies including ” Mitsubishi ” and ” Nipon Petroleum ” got at least one contract. The Italian “Anne Gas” company won four contracts exceeding the British group “British gas” which won three contracts. The French “Total” company won one contract at a rate of 27.8% of the total project and also among the winning companies the two Indian companies “Oil India ” and ” Indian Oil” and the Norway’s group” Stat Oil,” the Indonesian Group ” Petromin.” The Chinese company ” CNBC International ” got the highest participation rate of 28.5%. The official at the national establishment for oil said that the American Exxon Mobile ” won in collaboration with the Japanese “Nipon” and the French “Pteromin” a contract in the center of the country.
ΩΩ Mostly our trade partners who run trade surpluses with the US won the contracts. The deteriorating condition of the US economy has caused us to fall further and further behind in exploiting third world countries! Isn’t that utterly and totally ironic as hell? Just desserts, even. We are losing the race to exploit humanity. Even as our military is used to enforce these contracts written for other countries which happen to be wrecking our own economy.
ΩΩ And the US working class has a lot to learn from Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Morocco: standing and fighting back pays off. You CAN win! It is entirely possible but only when the military’s lowest orders, the soldiers join with workers and the very poor, does this work and boy, we are a billion miles away from that happening here!
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