Tuesday, September 23, 2008

America is about to be legally stolen from the people, and given to a very small group of powerful men.

The end of America as you knew it is at hand. It was a good 232 year run. But it is about to be stolen in the night.

America is about to be legally stolen from the people, and given to a very small group of powerful men. Yes, HP can be a bit dramatic sometimes. This is not one of those sometimes. The Patriot Act of Finance, otherwise known as Paulson's $700 billion bailout bill, if passed in its present form will be the nail in the coffin for an America by, for and of the people. Just like the Patriot Act appeared to be written before 9/11, so does this Patriot Act of Finance appear to be written before the housing crash. And yes, both were rushed through a panicked Congress and complacent media in the middle of the night.

Posted by malct @ 09:21 AM (1830 views)
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46 thoughts on “America is about to be legally stolen from the people, and given to a very small group of powerful men.

  • I suggest wipining the foam from your mouth before you start posting this rubbish.

    * yes the situation is bad
    * yes it is uncertain what the implications will be.

    * NO, there is no need for hysteria

    Laws can be repealed

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  • OK, lets be realistic. The US sub-prime crisis has got the banking system into a glorious mess, but it’s not the first time that the bankers greed and herd instinct have got them into trouble, and it probably won’t be the last.

    Looking at the big picture, banks are necessary, and it is therefore necesary for governments to ensure that the banking system stays alive. That governments (on both sides of the pond) have hitherto been too lax with regard to banking regulation is a matter for political debate over the coming months and years. Fretting about that now won’t achieve much.

    Right now, the milk has been spilt, it needs to be mopped up – the crying can wait until later.

    Paulson is probably on the right track. It is perfectly feasible (financially) for the US government to deal with the banks’ dilemma, and the cost to the US taxpayer could ultimately be recovered through a tax on future bank profits – so it is also politically feasible.

    The US banking problem can be solved, as the remedy is within the grasp of the state. The potential secondary crisis in europe, where curious methods have been used to provoke an orgy of credit fuelled spending in countries like Spain, Portugal and Ireland, maybe more problematic. What has gone on in those countries recently does not quite stack up – there may be some serious problems about to unfold that will put a critical strain on the eurozone, making it’s very survival far from assured.

    Whatever remedies may emerge for the banking crisis, the problem (for many) of falling house prices is far too big for any western government to address.

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  • With unfunded pension commitments and healthcare liabilities – what is the alternative? The system is bust anyway. It’s just that few people realise and fewer still are prepared to admit it. Going back to the recent staus quo isn’t an option.

    It’s not necessarily a bad thing to let one person sort it out with radical methods so long as they’re not corrupt. The French mayoral system works well with a good mayor as decisions can be made quickly and things get done (as opposed to the committees we have which get bogged down in detail and grind so slowly that the moment passes).

    The thing is – is the person corrupt?

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  • It’s interesting that those concerned about this feel they need to use this sort of rhetoric to get any reaction from people – as if handing hundreds of billion dollars of taxpayer’s money to private businesses isn’t enough to get people annoyed.
    The thing is, though, private business already gets tax payers money to the tune of billions a year through government subsidies, yet people would rather complain about the money spent on welfare.
    Seems like people only get really annoyed when something might hit their own pockets. If they’d payed any attention to what was happening to anyone else, they may have seen this coming.

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  • planning4acrash says:

    Uncle Tom, I wish you were right, but I’m I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore! Jim Mars explains the background to this economic and political coup on Coast to Coast AM. And Tom, this aint a bail out. Its consolidation of power and theft of wealth from the people, via tax and inflation.

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  • I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

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  • I hate to agree with P4aC, but this is theft plain and simple. Loading of debt onto taxpayers and a created boom and bust, enabling both the grabbing of massive assets at firesale prices and the power to control enormous funds.

    The central banker cartel is at work and the governments of the world are too weak, stupid and corrupt to do anything. Luckily, people think that someone needs to save them as ‘we need banks’ – we do not need banks we need soundly managed fiscal policy!

    And yes the US banking problem can be solved, it does not need a $trillion bailout – it needs the market to correct and overleveraged firms to go the wall. If you read more literature you’ll see that this bailout benefits no-one apart from a few banks – the ones that caused the crisis through poor management and are now bust through poor management.

    I can’t believe we are watching Darling saying we’ll monitor the city more closely and cap bonuses… how about managing the economy properly you blundering halfwit!

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  • @ P4acrash

    – what alternative do you propose? It’s all very well getting mad as hell – but it won’t do your health any good if you don’t have an alternative to work towards.

    So, suppose the banks, pension funds, insurance companies etc are allowed to go bust. Who will pay the unfunded pensions, unemployment costs and healthcare bills? Today and tomorrow. Not at some point a year or two hence when a new system could be brought in. But now…

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  • @cornishman
    you make it sound like they can be paid now

    I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

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  • UT and Cornishman – My concern with this dictatorial plan arise from the fact that the Bush family have had a long history of fascist leanings (sensu Mussolini’s corporatism, and note Prescott Bush’s involvement with the Business Plot in 1933 in which business leaders planned to stage a military coup of the Roosevelt government), and from Paulson’s background and links (being chief of Goldman Sachs before the current job…how convenient that he was able to bail and cash in his stock options (1/2 billion USD) without paying tax because he was taking up a government position). Moreover, this problem was created by Alan Greenspan, a devout Randian, who is not a stupid man and who, from his own writings, clearly understands the pitfalls of fiat monetary systems…yet publicly states that this was all a little bit of a surprise. He must have known what the outcome of the interest rate policies would be. I think it is perfectly reasonable to believe that this is a planned power grab, even if only temporary, for the benefit of these criminals’ friends. Whether it is something more dangerous, only time will tell. There are probably many other options for sorting this problem out. This one is being pushed down the public’s throat in a managed “emergency”. (You cannot expect me to believe for one minute that Lehman’s just accidentally happened to finally realise the trouble they were in the weekend before an Asian Monday bank holiday just when the liquidity was picking up in the markets after everyone got back from summer.)

    I normally work by the motto: “never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.” I just cannot ascribe this stuff to stupidity any more, even if it makes me sound like a conspiracy loon.

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  • P4C,

    Keep fact and fiction separate.

    Don’t forget that many of ‘The people’ were quite content living beyond their means when the opportunity presented itself, and that many of those who didn’t overspend directly, benefitted indirectly, and turned a blind eye to the underlying problem.

    It’s a mess, a very preventable mess, but one borne of the eternal achilles heel of human nature – greed.

    This a time for solutions – not self righteous indignation..

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  • WE DON’T HAVE PENSIONS – I will have to be 150 to claim mine
    WE DON’T HAVE HEALTH CARE – go to your GP and afterwards tell me we do
    WE DON’T HAVE A SAFETY NET FOR UNEMPLOYMENT – can you survive on 40 squid a week


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  • The finance markets worldwide seem to be reflecting the concern over this issue

    well Sky news thinks so anyway

    very complicated info war.

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  • @uncle tom

    >>Don’t forget that many of ‘The people’ were quite content living beyond their means

    Greedy buggers wanting a town house and a nice car – they should know better

    I suppose you were one of these that was outraged when the Shell drivers wanted more money – rather let the Shell share holders have it.

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  • charlie brooker says:

    @uncle tom: There’s one group you’ve omitted to mention: Those individuals who saw what was coming, sounded warnings and took what action they could as mere individuals,sticking to their guns despite repeated rejection and even humiliation for their stance.

    You say its not the time for self-righteous indignation but a time for solutions. On the contrary; one of the best solutions would be for the willfully pig ignorant who got us into this mess to be taking lessons from those proven right.

    A few more of us next time might, just might, reduce the impact of the next great crisis.

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  • UT – IMO this is all ‘wishful thinking’ on your part that Paulson et al are actually acting in the Public’s interest and not their own, particularly when the evidence doesn’t support this: Greenspan knew exactly what he was doing through derivatives, the senior bankers all knew the timebomb they were creating, and the governments all knew the mess that was being created. They turned a blind eye because they don’t care about the people, they have lined their pockets as hard as they can so are well able to survive a massive economic downturn.
    The average person probably wasn’t that greedy and certainly the subprime lot in the US who were targeted and bamboozled with slick sales patter are not really at fault for wanting to own their own home, for crying out loud.
    There is a design here – it can’t be by chance that all we ‘loons’ have been saying is going to happen, is now happening when the ‘top’ (ie Greenspan) have the nerve to say they never saw it coming!! Or were we just lucky.

    This event will also be used to remove even more social nets such as meciad / care, thus destroying the fabric of the US society for all except the very top. And they know this will cause unrest, hence the talk now of having PERMANENT US troops patrolling ‘hot-spots’ – for the Citizen’s safety of course!

    I hate making predictions, but America is now Nazi Germany only fully controlled through surveillance – imagine if Hitler had had this type of technology? And I predict that as the years go by the parallels between now and 1935 (or whenever it was) will become so ‘in your face’, that it will become commonly accepted. Order out of Chaos? Who knows, but it certainly looks like the destruction of the US is a carefully choreographed sequence of events.

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  • Terry @ 9.32AM hits the nail on the head. Laws can be repealed.

    Just because the future generations of ‘The American People’ appear to be being saddled with unthinkable amounts of debt at the moment – doesn’t mean that they will continue to pay it off – does it?

    The thing is to keep some sort of semblance of ‘normality’ for now – until this can all be unwound.

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  • Turbulence in markets and a threat to the economic system provide the excuse for mergers that are anti-competition, and cuts in social spending etc

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  • The malfunctioning of the markets and the freeze-over in the banking system are the outcome of a massive credit unwind instigated by trillions of dollars of low interest credit from the Federal Reserve which was magnified many times over via complex derivatives contracts and extreme leveraging by speculative investment bankers. This has generated the biggest equity bubble in history. That bubble is now set for a “hard-landing” which is the predictable result of an unsupervised marketplace where individual players are allowed to create as much credit as they choose.
    Mike Witney

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  • Thank God for non-recourse mortgages in the US. If I lived there I would be writing to my senator and congressman explaining that the wilful duplicity of the government and banking system in creating this system is unacceptable, and as such I will be walking out of my home and not paying the mortgage. Perhaps if all americans did the same those at the top might really feel the pain – in their pockets, instead of voices that they keep ignoring!

    We can’t do the same thing here. Shame.

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  • It’s time to WAKE UP! Terry.
    Good post malct.
    Repeal my backside.

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  • It was a surreal moment: Senator Christopher Dodd told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chief Bernanke had just informed Congressional leaders “We’re literally days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system.”

    Things got even scarier when he told CNN, “There was dead silence in the room for five to 10 seconds. The oxygen went out of the room.”

    No wonder Congress is falling all over itself to pass the $700-billion bailout bill to buy toxic mortgages!

    Combined with the $25 billion spent to bail out Bear Sterns, $100 billion each for Fannie and Freddie and $85 billion for AIG, Washington has now pledged more than $1 TRILLION to fight this crisis so far — and still, it’s only the beginning:

    * Yesterday, Paulson announced he’s adding another $50 billion to ensure the money market funds …

    * He’s also expanding the bail-out to include car loans, credit card debt and more …

    * And Democrats in Congress are clamoring for hundreds of billions more for a second economic stimulus package, for a bailout of homeowners at risk for losing their homes and more!

    And still — even if Congress gives Paulson everything he asks for and more — there’s still one, glaring, “inconvenient truth” nobody’s talking about …

    None of these unprecedented actions
    are enough to end this massive debt crisis!

    Martin D. Weiss

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  • You forgot the $150 billion from the first economic stimulus package

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  • After Darwin, it was considered very clever to believe that everything of any importance or scale was the result of blind chance. Any pattern of events that appeared to be result of design was simply the result of blind chance combined with some kind of selection mechanism.

    The result was that, in the act of denying the Hand of God in natural affairs, Darwinism also had the consequence of denying the Hand of Man in human affairs

    Anyone who suggests that the course of human, or natural affairs, may be the result of the interplay of intelligent planning and the natural selection of random events is now branded an irrational religious lunatic or a conspiracy theorist.

    Sh*t just happens

    And if you don’t believe that Sh*t just happens then you’re only fit for the Funny Farm .

    Because I’m a Loon I believe that the promotion of this kind of thinking, as an essentially exclusive model to explain how the world works, was an entirely deliberate course of action – but I would, wouldn’t I?

    If you would like to witness a nice example of what I’m talking about, the mainstream coverage of the recent financial turmoil is a nice case history.

    The unwavering message of the mainstream coverage of the ‘Credit Crunch’ is…

    The impending implosion of our financial system is an unintended consequence of unreasoning, animalistic, undirected greed and fear.
    No-one could have predicted it.
    There is no predetermined objective.
    The people responsible for our great financial institutions are honestly trying to unf*** things as best as they can for the Common Good .

    The possibility that the crisis could have been deliberately engineered in some way, and that some very clever, powerful people knew exactly what was going to happen, is deemed so unlikely it is not raised even to be debunked.

    Presumably, the fact that so many on-line Conspiranauts have been predicting this crash for years, in accordance with their insane models of how the world really works, is merely blind luck

    And if all those CCTV cameras, databases, terrorism laws and detention infrastructure are turned towards, instead of the shadowy terrorists, a general public f*****-off with being robbed blind that will be an unintended outcome too.

    source: sz

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  • planning4acrash says:

    If you want to know the solution to CCTV, just get a camcorder, hidden camera and microphone for backup, and learn from, the one, the only, I give you: JIMMY JUSTICE!!!!

    – If you want to counter Metro Magazine propoganda, get your favourite web news, print out a few copies, get to the train station 10mins early, and hand em out. (Ad ons on firefox can be used to alter web pages, delete adverts, etc)
    – If you want to be immune from inflation, get into silver and gold, find a local trader who hoards silver, agree to buy at spot rate conversion. He’ll love to get silver instead of having to go to the coin shop.
    – Sick of paying £4 for four crap apples from Tesco’s? Go ask your neighbour if you can pick theirs and select a bag of gooduns for them, if they are too lazy to pick em. My mum makes jam for a living, gets most of her fruit from friends. She picks the tree, makes the jam, and pays for the fruit in barter by giving them a few jars of jam or pickle.
    – Sick of paying £4 for a 100g of fruit? Go bloody blackberry picking. I picked myself about 5kg of blackberries and about 2kg of elderberry to see me through the winter. Took a couple of days and was a blast, combined it with sunbathing, reading a book in the forest, swimming in the river. The kids will love getting involved, go knock yourself out.
    – Sick of paying too much for meat? Go get an air rifle, get yourself a rabbit, go fishing, go gathering chestnuts, walnuts, etc to make nut roasts.
    – Not enough fruit/nut bearing vines, bushes, trees in your area? Go bloody plant some to crowd out useless Sycamore trees that just produce aphids. Sick of blackberries in your area? Go plant some native loganberries, blackcurrents.
    – Sick of politics? Go run for office!
    – Whatever you do, find your own independence and self power and just go do something!

    If you want a new world, go bloody create it. Because there aint nobody gonna make it for you.

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  • “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”

    Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

    Bertold Brecht ‘The Solution’

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  • Terry

    Which planet are you from.

    Laws that are useful for those in power have a habit of not being repealed. Take the ID cards that were introduced in the UK during WW2 – they were meant to be repealed after the war…but that didn’t happen and it was only by one bloke being brave enough to say no and take his case to the Law Lords in 1959 that they were eventually gotten rid of. This government would very much like to destroy the independence of the judiciary…what hope would there be then?

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  • planning4acrash says:

    A Country Boy Can Survive: ” I live in the Woodsy you see, a woman and the kids and the dogs and me; I can plough a field all day long, catch cat fish from dusk till dawn, make our own whisky and our own smoke too, aint too many things these old boys can’t do, coz a country boy can survive, country folk can survive! cos you can’t stomp us out and you can’t run us down, Country folk can survive. (Just a little something to remind you something about personal power and liberty).

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  • malct @ 23

    For once I have to totally agree with you Malct.

    I believe in very little (OK Gordon is a Moron but that’s about it). I don’t believe in luck, fate, the i-ching, games of chance, etc.

    But I do believe that:

    Sh*t just happens,

    But recently I have to agree that some (not all) of what is happening now, if not engineered, does appear to be “allowed” to happen. Surely a child would realise (through metaphors or similar simple stories) that allowing credit to people who couldn’t honour that debt, and then bundling this bad debt up with all those who would repay their debts, was commercial suicide. Selling on good and bad debt under one collective bundle, is a bit like putting a rotten apple in a barrel and then wondering why the whole barrel is bad !!!

    Astounding really, that banks could be allowed to practise these sorts of business models without anyone realising the dangers just appear to be totaly and utterly unbelievable.

    Sh*t does just happen, but so to do conspiracies and this, looks like one hell of a pile of predetermined nonsense.

    I do totally believe in Darwin and evolution, but some born again christians I once knew had a great saying that tickles me to this day:

    “Don’t let Darwin make a monkey out of you!” – I think this saying has an extra connotation – Don’t let spurious and apparently random events appear to be just “sh*t happenning” when, in fact, some nasty and dangerous authority is allowing/engineering it to happen.

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  • last_days_of_disco says:


    Well, seen as we were the ones who so gleefully embraced these wrong beliefs, then we can’t complain when we get it in the shorts.
    We really need to turn away from these wrong ideas and start believing right ideas. The problem with this is we prefer the wrong ones
    as long as they only apply to us and not everyone else, who must of course tow the line.

    The problem we have is that we tend to kill the people who tell us the truth about ourselves, hmmm, I seem to remember there was some
    famous guy who had this problem and the people at the time did that. I really think this a judgment being made against us for the lies
    we have believed and propagated.

    We have stopped reading and applying practically in our day to day lives and behaviour our great book of rules which covered morals.
    Now we are really getting it in the shorts because the whole population has lost all the centuries, no millennia of wisdom that it imparts.
    But you can be sure, as in all history, people who raise this point are going to be hated and despised by almost everyone, except for a few
    who want to go on that narrow rocky road.

    We chose this path now we want out. There is no escape without a wholesale change of attitude, not just direction. And the pain is not optional.

    In this I would support S2R’s change of consciousness idea. But I don’t think he means a Whitfield/Wesley style revival (read British history if
    you have no idea what I am talking about).

    We need to get back to our roots to survive this, we are going to need to help each other because the state is going to be powerless to do so.
    UK the “secular democracy” as Polly puts it, is not up to this event and I am glad we are going to be finally rid of the Voltairian monstrosity.
    I am much happier with our British form of religion/hypocrisy/undemocratic system, its what makes us who we are. The
    “American” experiment/Cool Britania has failed, can we go back to being stodgy Brits again. Please.

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  • I’m suprised the difference in US and UK mortgages is discussed more – it really changes the picture. How many people in the US are in negative equity but doing the ‘right’ thing in continuing to pay their mortgage because they can. Perhaps this will get people mad enough to think “b0110ck5 to the bank”. The stigma that comes with walking away from your house might change to being seen as getting revenge on the banks. What would that do to house prices?

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  • just for terry “laws can be repealled” – of course they can

    Income Tax, like much of the badly thought out legislation brought forward by modern day governments, was initially “sold” to the public as a temporary tax, something that was needed simply to deal with a specific pressing problem—the financing of the Napoleonic Wars.

    However, as governments over the years became accustomed to having the tax provide a useful revenue stream, all pretence at hypothecation vanished—the Income Tax became a part of our daily lives, which most people now accept unthinkingly.

    How Did We Get This Tax?
    First, a little history. At the end of the 18th century, Britain was facing a serious threat from French military forces under the control of Napoleon. In 1799, Pitt the Younger introduced our first national Income Tax, as “a temporary measure” in order to fund those wars.

    With a starting rate of just under 1%, Pitt’s tax was modest by today’s standards, but still deeply unpopular. Following a cessation of hostilities, Pitt’s successor, Addington, repealed the Income Tax. Unfortunately, war broke out again and, in 1803, Addington was forced to reintroduce the tax.

    In 1816, a year after the Battle of Waterloo, Addington once again repealed the tax—Napoleon had been defeated, and the justification for the tax no longer existed. In a move that sets a precedent that the modern day Libertarian Party would follow, all Income Tax records were then collected, cut into pieces and pulped.

    For almost 30 years, Britain was again free of Income Tax. This came to an end in 1842, when Peel reintroduced the tax. Peel’s proposals were very much aimed at taxing only the wealthy in society and, by simultaneously cutting customs duties, he ensured that the less well off actually benefited from his taxation changes.


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  • 1798 Prime minister, William Pitt the Younger, announced income tax to fund the Napoleonic wars. This was despite his belief that income tax was repugnant to the customs and manners of a nation.
    1799 Income tax introduced to all of Great Britain (but not Ireland) The rate was 10% on a person’s total income above £60 per year. It was to be paid in 6 equal instalments.
    1803 Henry Addington, who later became Viscount Sidmouth, introduces taxation at source as well as a system of Schedules (explained later). Addington’s rate of tax was half that of William Pitt’s but the changes Addington introduced ensured that revenue rose by half and the number of people paying tax doubled.
    1806 The taxation rate rose to 10%, the original level it was introduced at by William Pitt.
    1816 All tax records were burned after income tax was repealed a year after the Battle of Waterloo. The critics of income tax won the day but what they didn’t know was that duplicates had been sent to the King’s Remembrancer.
    1842 Income tax is brought back by conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. He had opposed income tax but faced with a growing deficit, he had no choice but to spring a surprise and re-introduce income tax. Peel decided to only tax those with incomes greater than £150. This meant that the less wealthy benefited.
    1849 The Board of Excise was added to the existing Board of Taxes and Board of Stamps to create the new Board of Inland Revenue. The Board of Excise moved away from the Board of Inland Revenue in 1909 (to the Board of Customs).
    1874 Although it was widely thought that income tax would be removed when Disraeli was returned as Prime Minister, income tax stayed. This was despite the fact that income tax contributed only £6 million to the Government revenue of £77 million. Most of the population were exempt.
    1907 Herbert Asquith, the chancellor, introduces a number of different income and investment taxes. One of these was the concept of differentiation, taxing less on earnings than on investments.
    1918 The standard rate of tax increased to 30%, bringing in £257 million on top of the £36 million from the super-tax. In addition, there were other taxes such as Excess Profits Duty. In all, the taxes collected amounted to more than £580 million, which was 17 times the amount in 1905.
    1920 A Royal Commission was set-up to look into income tax and the super tax. It concluded that they should remain.
    1930 With a population of 45 million, 10 million were taxpayers.
    1939 The standard rate of income tax is 29% with a surtax of 41% for incomes over £50,000. Ten million people were taxpayers. The amount raised was £400 million.
    1945 Due to a rapid rise in the number of taxpayers, the threshold at which taxpayers pay tax is lowered and the rates of tax increased. This is done to pay for the war effort.
    1944 The Pay tax As You Earn system (PAYE), is introduced. This replaced annual or twice yearly collections. Tax was deducted by employers and when an employee left an employer, they were given a P45 which had on it their code number, income to date and tax paid to date. The P45 was given to their new employer. The scheme had been piloted by Sir Kingsley Wood but on the day it was to be announced, he died. By the end of January 1944, 15 million people earning £100 a year or more, received notices telling them their code number.
    1965 Capital gains tax is made part of the tax system by James Callaghan, as is corporation tax. James Callaghan, later to become Prime Minster, had worked for the Inland Revenue.
    1973 Value Added Tax, VAT is introduced. The super tax (surtax) as introduced in 1909, was removed in this year but replaced by higher rates of income tax for those with high incomes.
    1992 The Queen elects to pay tax on her income in a move designed to bring her closer to the people.
    1996 The introduction of Self-Assessment. It is designed for people with more complex tax affairs including those who are self-employed, business partners, company directors and those paying tax at higher rates. It is not a new tax but a new system. More than £25 million is budgeted for the advertising and public awareness campaign for Self-Assessment.
    1998 The bicentenary of income tax in the UK.


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  • p4ac 12.02pm. A visitor to Poland recently described entering a village where almost every household was a small farm where chickens foraged, most farms had a few pigs fattening on the family’s waste and a cow or two for milk. There were orchards, vegetable plots, wheat and land lying fallow. The wheat fed the cows, which provided manure for the crops. Animals were slaughtered at the local abattoir. Most people resisted the incentives to grow cash crops because of market risk and because current methods provided a balance where they paid next to nothing for fertilizers and pesticides – another cushion from market shocks. There was also great biodiversity – storks, swallows, wood pigeons etc. Excess produce was sent to market, many people in the nearby town also had their own allotments.

    Smithfield Foods, a US agribusinees giant, wanted to start intensive pig rearing there. They bought the state-owned pork production company for a song. Poland had recently invested heavily in the company with a large loan from the EU. They and others who planned to use Poland as a base for intensive pig farming. The others included Danish companies fleeing Denmark’s regulations against the environmental degradation involved in intensive pig farming (the Dutch export pigsh!t to Africa). Soon there was overproduction of pigs in Poland and prices fell in 2007 (hurting British farmers trying to supply supermarkets).

    The big processors are doing in Poland what they did elsewhere with pigs and poultry – reducing farmers to serf/contractors. The big company owns the pigs and contracts the farmer to raise them. The farmer takes on debt in order to provide the land and buildings and has the enormous responsibility of getting rid of the slurry, faecal coli and other pollutants. The pigs are designed to fatten quickly and need lots of drugs and antibiotics. The big company is in control and typically squeezes the contractor so that he just manages to get by.

    The villagers were concerned that intensive pig farming nearby would pollute their land and water. They knew the healthy ratio of pigs to land was quite small. In a nearby village people were complaining about the stench and a variety of illnesses caused by pig slurry – illnesses that mirrored the ones seen in other areas of intensive pig farming.

    The company employs Eurospeak – the protesters are holding back development, the company is investing in an area with antiquated infrastructure and poorly capitalised industries. It was helping to secure the future of Poland’s farmers in a global market etc.

    Similar stories apply to poultry and milk and beef cattle.

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  • planning4acrash says:

    We export to Africa, subsidised meat that undercut local producers and destroy the local economy, making them dependent on imports, then we get the government to borrow money to pay for the imports, then we put conditions on borrowing, like cut education and healthcare. Its sick, the old great game of divide and conquer, this time via interdependence on a global scale.

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  • 23. malct said…

    “The unwavering message of the mainstream coverage of the ‘Credit Crunch’ is…

    The impending implosion of our financial system is an unintended consequence of unreasoning, animalistic, undirected greed and fear.”


    “No-one could have predicted it.”

    Nonsense – plenty of people saw it coming and no-one was ‘silenced’. People didn’t want to believe it, the same as every other bubble in history, which is why they keep forming.

    “There is no predetermined objective.”

    Not really, other than blind greed. No evidence for anything else.

    “The people responsible for our great financial institutions are honestly trying to unf*** things as best as they can for the Common Good .”

    Nobody is saying, or believes, that they are doing this for the common good.

    “The possibility that the crisis could have been deliberately engineered in some way, and that some very clever, powerful people knew exactly what was going to happen, is deemed so unlikely it is not raised even to be debunked.”

    These people just aren’t as clever as you make out. You need to stop giving them so much credibility.

    “Presumably, the fact that so many on-line Conspiranauts have been predicting this crash for years, in accordance with their insane models of how the world really works, is merely blind luck”

    Predicting what – a crash after a boom? Wow, Yoda.

    As i’ve repeatedly stated – focusing the blame on an imaginary elite is merely projection. Unless we address the reasons within ourselves as a society, this will happen again.

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  • LDOD – you’re completely right, apart from – well, weren’t ALL the leaders of the countries most heavily involved with this mess (and a few wars) self-proclaimed huge fans of the ‘great book’?

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  • @34 1.22pm – this is related to US subsidies for wheat, soya,corn, rice, sugar and dairy products. The aim is to keep these commodities cheap for transnational US-based food processing and exporting giants as well as to expand the American empire (the WTO, IMF, World Bank have been deeply involved in opening up markets for these products). These crops find their way into all kinds of processed foods, ready meals, takeaways and pet food and animal feed. Three or four giants have expanded enormously because of these cheap, taxpayer-subsidised crops. These companies now control huge swathes of the commodity markets and have divisions that handle futures and derivatives. Having made many counteies dependent on corn the US now takes it away in order to produce ethanol – and guess who gets the ethanol subsidies. Not the farmers but the refiners, who are – these same three or four food giants.

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  • that last post was in response to p4ac @ 1.22 (currently comment 35).

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  • Shipbuilder @ 36 …..

    I think malct @ 23 was being ironic. You wouldn’t be an American by any chance?

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  • 40. nooneo said…

    Shipbuilder @ 36 …..

    “I think malct @ 23 was being ironic.”

    Err…which is why I replied to the post in the way I did…..notice that I agreed with the points where he was being ironic, but not the other ones…….

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  • People seem astounded that bankers could continue doing something that would eventually have such dire consequences. Ever heard of addiction? Why would an alcoholic keep on drinking? Does a heroin addict think of the long term, or just the next hit?
    Everything can look ‘designed’ in retrospect. Benefitting from and taking advantage of a situation are clearly not evidence of engineering that situation.
    It’s human nature to like simple explanations and simple solutions – one big, bad enemy that can be killed and everything will be OK.
    However that’s a comic book, not real life.

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  • Here, here, shipbuilder.

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  • 43. enuii said…
    Here, here, shipbuilder.

    Yes, he usually does make sense – unlike a few others I could mention.

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  • Shipbuilder;

    However…. There clearly was ‘engineering’ of the position in the UK. I know I keep banging on about it, but Eddie George told the Treasury sub-committee that the BOE/MPC and by inference the government of the day, all knew that their policies of loosening credit availability would result in disaster. The bankers and other related parasites simply rode the wave of profit until it hit the beach.

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  • Iguana – true, and that’s where we get into the difference between
    – the greedy, powerful and incompetent doing things to help themselves (or mistakenly what they think will win votes or keep their job), which has always happened, and – a pan-generational, pan-national elite conspiracy to rule the world and exterminate 80% of its population, which some on here want us to believe.

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