The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( Bullion Bulls Canada) -- One of the first things learned by beginning economics students is that monopolies and oligopolies are unmitigated evils in any free-market economy. They are non-competitive and totally parasitic; and in the rare instances when one of these abominations is perceived to be a necessary evil, that inherently parasitic nature demands that they be securely restrained in a regulatory straitjacket. Sadly, this appears to also be one of the first lessons forgotten by economics graduates, apparently moments after accepting their degrees. Today's global economy today is not only saturated with these mega-monstrosities, but where much, most, and in some cases all regulation has simply been put through a paper-shredder -- and all with the complete blessing of the intellectual zombies in the economics community. After a quarter-century of allowing these corporate oligopolies to rampage out of control, the carnage is plain to see. The worst revenue-crisis in the history of Western democracy threatens to bankrupt most if not all of these economies. Our tax base continues to wither and die. We see big business and the ultra-wealthy refusing to be taxed (while parasitically enriching themselves at the fastest rate in history), while everyone else simply has nothing left to tax. Forty solid years of declining wages in real dollars combined with 40 solid years of rising structural unemployment has caused our poverty rates to more than double (and created millions of homeless) and transformed most of our former middle-class into a brand-new class: the "working poor" -- drones who exist merely to service the corporate oligarchs. The result of this 40-year slide in our standard of living is that it now takes two incomes in a household to provide the same standard of living as was formerly provided by one-income families a mere generation ago. However, you would never know of this crisis by viewing any of the outlets of the oligarch-controlled mainstream media. In the world of big media, our governments are being bankrupted by "too much spending." The disconnect with the real world only intensifies when big media tells us what it thinks we "can afford" and what we "cannot afford." We can afford to spend trillions of dollars invading nations halfway around the world. Apparently no price is too high when it comes to preserving the
At the same time, big media isn't shy about telling us what we cannot afford. We cannot afford healthcare, education, aid to the poor, pensions, or any other basic government service -- at least not in the same quantity and quality which our parents enjoyed only a generation earlier. Even talk about lighting a match to trillions of dollars in fraudulent bond-debt (or their own outrageus "bonuses") and the banking oligarchs will howl in outrage about "the sanctity of contracts." Yet when it comes to tearing-up the pension obligations, health benefits, or even wages of ordinary workers, "sanctity" is a word nowhere to be seen. Complain about the trillions or dollars that have been squandered in the war over drugs and the war over oil over the past decade, and first big media tells us that it was all to "fight terrorism." Today (at least if you're an American) protest about the $trillions being squandered in the war over drugs and the war over oil and
you are "a terrorist." Question the trillions of dollars being wasted every year in corporate welfare, and this is where the propaganda of big media becomes especially loathsome. It was big media which sold "too big to fail" to the sheep: that we were somehow better off providing more than $15 trillion in assorted hand-outs and "guarantees" to the banking oligarchs, so that they could continue their empire of fraud for at least a few years longer. While this was the most blatant pimping which Big Media has done for its fellow corporate oligarchs, it is far from being the only form of such pandering. Indeed, the more subtle (but equally important) way in which big media solicits trillions of dollars for these corporate deadbeats has been so low-key that it hasn't even had a name until now. Let me introduce readers to "too big to shrink." Those who spend any time following the world of international trade know that there is a "war" going on: a war of subsidies . How is this war fought? One government (bought and paid for by the oligarchs) hands out a fat subsidy to one corporate oligarch. Then another government (also bought and paid for by the Oligarchs) offers a bigger hand-out to a supposedly "competing" fellow corporate oligarch, and the "war" is on. The Oligarchs have discovered that they can be much more effective parasites by remaining as oligopolies rather than becoming simple monopolies, because as oligopolies they can play this endless/infinite game of "subsidies blackmail." If one government refuses to match (or exceed) the welfare anted-up by another government, the "competing" oligarch throws a tantrum and begins making threats to that government. Thus each group of political lackeys simply continue to raise the level of corporate welfare. What is the threat these extortionists use for this endless game of escalating corporate welfare? If one group of political lackeys fails to match (or exceed) the corporate welfare handed out by another group of political lackeys to "their" oligarch, then that Oligarch will start laying off workers. In our global economy now completely saturated by these oligopolies, workers have become hostages: give me everything I want, or the workers "get it." Through this game of corporate extortion these oligopolies (with the aid of the corporate media propaganda machine) have now all pronounced themselves "too big to shrink." The pretensions by both the political lackeys and the corporate oligarchs that they actually care about the jobs of the drones ( i.e. the little people) would be comical if it weren't so revoltingly hypocritical. It is the same corporate oligarchs who have been ruthlessly slashing employment (and wages) for these past several decades, all the while promising us that they were bringing us prosperity. In reality all they ever gave us was the working poor. The politicians are even worse hypocrites. Our massive, structural unemployment problem (the worst in history) could be ended tomorrow if the oligarchs pulling the strings of these puppets didn't want massive unemployment as a means of permanently depressing wages for the little people. How? The same way that structural unemployment has been eliminated in our economies ever since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution: through regularly shortening the work week. How did we go from working seven days a week, 12 hours a day (a work week of more than 40 hours) to an official 40-hour work week? We certainly didn't get there by extending the length of the work week -- as was recently done by France's Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy fans may recall that this is the same man-of-the-people who wants to force all of the unemployed to undergo "mandatory job-training" . So first Sarkozy lengthens the work week -- to throw more ordinary workers out of work. Then he forces all of the unemployed to get more "job training" so that in the rare instances when one of the corporate oligarchs actually creates a job (rather than just destroying them), that instead of there only being 10 people lining-up hoping to get that job that there will be 30 or 50 people instead. The inevitable result of the combination of these two policies is to drive wages down even faster, even lower. Note that the blackmail of these "too big to shrink" oligopolies goes well beyond endlessly soliciting more welfare. The corrupt lackeys in our government rarely utter a peep when even after all of this welfare, the oligarchs again put a gun to the heads of their workers and say: "take our unilateral demands of wage/benefit/security cuts, or we'll shut down, move somewhere else - and begin blood-sucking that government, and their workers." As with all parasites, once they have blood-sucked the government and the workers for as much as they can get they simply abandon the dried-up husk and look for a new host. When it comes to ridding ourselves of these corporate parasites, examples are all around us with respect to ending unhealthy dependencies - and they all involve some pain and sacrifice over the short-term so that we can recover over the longer term. Alcoholics go through withdrawal to conquer their addiction. However these corporate oligarchs are far worse than an addiction, as they have thoroughly entrenched themselves in our governments, our societies, and our lives. They are a cancer, and as with all cancers the alternatives are unpleasant: radiation treatment, chemotherapy, even surgery. Once diagnosed with cancer we willingly undergo this pain and sacrifice because we fully understand the explicit choice we have been given. Kill the cancer, or the cancer will kill us. None of these oligopolies is (or was ever) "too big to shrink," and it was even more absurd to suggest that any of them was "too big fail." In fact, in any rational world only the parasites see themselves as too big to fail or shrink. In any rational world, there is only one rational response to parasites: extermination. It is only after we have rid ourselves of the parasitic oligarchs, and their trillions of dollars for wars, trillions in welfare; and trillions in interest payments that we will ever have the possibility of returning to economic health.