Zombie War goes on

Jul 15, 2015

Bill Bonner
Paris, France

Dear Diary,

The Dow rose 75 points yesterday. The press reported "growing confidence." Investors believe the cronies have things under control. In China, they've been able to arrest the falling stock market. In Greece, they've kicked the can down the road so many times, most investors are losing interest.

But the Zombie War goes on. It is the great conflict of our time. It will determine who runs the world economy -- markets or cronies. It will also determine whether the world's people get richer...or poorer. Neither zombies nor cronies create wealth. They focus on re-distributing it - to themselves. And as long as they are in charge, growth rates will be slow - or negative. Here's the latest on what has happened in Japan's zombie economy. Bloomberg:

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power vowing to drag Japan out of deflation and stagnation. His logic was that rising prices would drive higher salaries and increased consumption. More than two years on, prices are rising, but wages adjusted for inflation have sunk to the lowest since at least 1990.

That's right. The Japanese - advised by Paul Krugman -- have wiped out a quarter century of wage growth.

Like the poor, zombies will always be with us. But the more there are the harder it is to support them. They fight hard to hold onto their ill-gotten gains, but as the economy slumps, there are fewer gains to be gotten.

Yesterday, the battles were largely a 'war of words' in which all the words were either dishonest or ignorant.

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Hillary Clinton came out on the side of the cronies; no surprise there. She had the dishonest words:

    "Many Americans are making extra money renting out spare rooms, designing websites, selling products that they designed themselves at home, or even driving their own car...

    "...raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future."

She went on to say that she:

    "...will crack down on bosses that exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors or even steal their wages."

The new economy - the non-zombified economy - wants to treat workers as independent business people, contractors and partners, rather than employees. Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, internet based consultants and freelancers - all allow people to work as they please, without punching a clock or submitting expense reports. Workplace protections? People work where they want...when they want...and how they want. But the cronies and zombies want to put a stop to it. These new businesses "violate health regulations, labor regulations, zoning regulations," they say. And if they can't find some regulations that they violate, they'll write some more regulations; after all, that's what regulations are for! And now, Hillary is proposing to 'crack down'...so she can keep working people where she can control them - as wage slaves.

Meanwhile Pope Francis is like the typical foot-soldier in any war; he has no idea what the war is all about. He thinks he sees injustice - the fact that some people have more stuff than others - and he believes there is a solution; government needs to do something!

We have searched the published reports; we can find no way to explain or understand the Pope's pensee. He believes wealth inequality is the result of greed and that it creates a kind of 'new colonialism,' whatever that is supposed to mean. The rest is like so much random obiter dicta, slogans and cliches, with no real meaning in them.

What is the harm in being poor? As long as you have a roof over your head, enough to eat and cable TV, you're okay. Poverty is an honorable estate. Nor is there any reason why we should all have the same amount of stuff. None of us knows how much stuff God wants us to have...or how much is actually good for us. In fact, Jesus seems to be on the other side. He implies that less is more, because the rich will have trouble getting through the 'eye of the needle' and so forth.

And where is the evidence that intervention helps? Would more money do the poor any good? Will they be happier? Healthier? Will their souls go to Heaven more readily? No one knows. So, why bother? It must be that having more stuff is an end in itself, which may be what people really want, but it is a very strange thing for a Pope to suggest.

And so, God's man in St. Peter's has taken the zombie colors. Nothing they would like better than to have their motives cloaked in universal 'greed,' their methods hidden in the swirling dust of 'anti-capitalism,' and their future assured by more regulation and income distribution.

Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.

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1 Responses to "Zombie War goes on"

Rtn Dr G L Moondra

Jul 15, 2015

The democratic system has this greatest weakness. The rulers have to some how keep the voters happy. For this purpose the create illusions of wealth without hard work. However it is an impossible dream.
Yet in Democratic system the people are the rulers. In the past the autocratic rulers kept the people disciplined and working. For that they had to work hard or they lost the rule to their hard working enemies. No More. Now if the current rulers the voters do not understand their responsibility start to work in discipline while voting I cannot say what will replace it but current democratic system cannot survive.

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