Film and finance fakery

Film and stage art producers can find plenty of intrigue and emotion in stories about politics, especially the always popular (but mistaken) “class warfare”—rich people getting richer at the expense of “middle and working class…victims,” promoted by envying leftists. For example, a “documentary” film titled “Inequality for All” will be shown at Thalian Hall in downtown Wilmington, N. C. next week promoted in an article printed in the Wilmington StarNews.

According to Buffalo News reporter Mark Sommer, this film is narrated by (leftist political economist) Robert Reich. Although I haven’t seen it, I suspect another progressive assault on those who accumulate wealth because it “follows the template of ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ a film that brought attention to the dangers of global warming,” writes Sommer. That production by an environmental activist promoted the climate warming scam with dramatic scares, fortified with convenient falsehoods.

“Inequality” shows Reich’s lectures in a “Wealth and Poverty” class “held before a packed hall of UC-Berkeley students” (of course, how appropriate). Naturally, Reich blames Republican administrations for victimizing the poor.

All parties in our political system can be blamed for some “income imbalance.” But laws and regulations by the federal government, central banking and its supporters cause dishonest price manipulation. Statists of all stripes perpetuate conditions that lead to lack of opportunities for many people to acquire wealth.

(Reporter Sommer does partly identify the problem: “A rigged system…backed by heavily lobbied government policies tilted toward the rich and powerful.”)

Economics author Hunter Lewis explains the problem in a series of books: “Are the Rich Necessary?” “Where Keynes Went Wrong,” “Crony Capitalism in America,” and “Free Prices Now.”

In “Free Prices,” Mr. Lewis shows how our corrupt economic system destroys wealth. It’s not a new phenomenon. Throughout history government officials and outside interests colluding with them, often secretly, manipulate currency and control prices to their advantage leaving others without the correct information to make proper decisions that could enrich them. The insiders justify their actions deceitfully and, sometimes, “with muddled sincerity,” writes Lewis.

Keynesian economics attributed to the late British economist John Maynard Keynes underlies the misguided idea about inequality. He promoted the notion that society could be recreated to remove inequalities and the causes. Failed socialist schemes throughout history evidence this mission impossible. Lewis (and many others) reminds us that “leveling the playing field” can’t be done without “robbing people of their right to live life as they see fit”—“redistribution” destroys opportunities for everyone.

There will always be inequality: gaps between rich and poor because individuals are not equal in ability. But, as Milton Friedman notes, the gaps are widest “in those countries that do not permit the free market to operate”—and that includes America.
Incomes based on the honest price of labor are determined by supply and demand in a free market system. Utopians believe they can tinker with this reality and use government to make it more just. But they always make things worse for most of us.

An unregulated, honest price system teaches workers the value of their labor; of hard work, saving and patience. But government regulations, especially central banking, undermine those virtues—resulting in a dishonest, corrupt financial system benefiting a few insiders but depriving many others of information they need to seek opportunities for wealth creation.

Mr. Lewis (and others) largely blames the US Federal Reserve. During its 100-year history the dollar has lost 97 percent of its purchasing power. By arbitrarily setting inflation rates (and distributing large sums of “printed” money euphemistically called “quantitative easing”), Lewis writes: “The Bernanke (current Fed chairman) doctrine demands that a large portion of the economy operate at a highly unproductive rate”—resulting in “massive consumer price inflation.”

Lewis’s books are worthy of thoughtful study. He explains why Keynesian economics destroys the value of consumer goods and opportunities for wealth accumulation. We have a corrupt, dishonest financial system controlled by central government bankers and their crony beneficiaries while the vast majority of citizens’ labor outside their system and are indoctrinated with false notions about rich and poor.

This human tragedy would make a great classic story, if we could find an honest film producer to tell it.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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