Letters to the editor - Friday (1-11-2013)

  • Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 8:19 p.m.

An introduction to quantitative easing

President Obama is happy. Taxes are going up. He wanted even more, naturally; but “fairness” was his main goal, not revenue. He doesn’t need revenue. We’re already borrowing trillions, and we’ll borrow trillions more.

Besides, as you know, we’re printing plenty of “extra” money. Oh, you didn’t know? Welcome to the wonderful world of “Quantitative Easing.”

Wall Street, you may remember, played a huge role in the 2008 economic crash. These financial firms took advantage of Clinton’s banking de-regulations and were soon scamming anyone they could, including each other. They bought and sold hundreds of billions of dollars worth of “securities,” which ended up being huge stacks of worthless paper. President Bush bailed out Wall Street with TARP loans. This should have ended it, but it didn’t.

Wall Street’s scams left these bankers very rich. But they still had these worthless securities, so the Obama administration decided these banks needed reimbursing. America has a money shortage, we’re told; banks aren’t lending because Wall Street needs cash. (I’m serious. You can’t make this stuff up!)

It’s called quantitative easing, infusing large quantities of cash into the economy to ease the money supply.

Quantitative easing is often called “printing money,” but money isn’t actually printed. It doesn’t exist. Let’s say a Wall Street bank has $75 million in its account. A Federal Reserve officer simply types in some new numbers on the computer, and the bank suddenly has $100 million. This devalues the dollar and dilutes our money.

QE1 and QE2 were temporary; but QE3 will continue indefinitely. Each month, Wall Street gets another $40 billion. Even with today’s economy, some of Wall Street’s big-wigs are earning more now than they did under Bush.

Unemployment is way up. Stimulus spending failed miserably. Trying to jump-start the economy was an expensive mistake, but does anyone really think that adding water to the gas tank will work any better?

— Steve Pender
Art forum nonsense

The blurb in the Thursday supplement (TimeOut) about a forum at the Waterworks on Jan. 17 is full of nonsense about art and those who create it.

The proposed discussion amounts to no more than propaganda I can easily relate to the corruptions of neoliberalism and the utter rot of political correctness, particularly in the present age where “art” is either a marketable commodity or an exercise in triviality.

A list of artists, especially the great ones, would comprise all sorts of individuals, many of whom, particularly dating from the Enlightenment, were hardly interested in the diffusion of the messages alluded to in said blurb.

I mention, as a small sample: Ambrose Bierce, Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Camus, Celine, Cesar Vallejo (try “Los Heraldos Negros”), Camus, Edvard Munch, Chaim Soutine (un peintre maudit) and Goya. Consider the works of the Impressionists, concerned with painting light from objects and not pamphleteering, the Dadaists (Tristan Tzara, “Chanson Dada”) and the Expressionists to see how many coincide with the silly feel-goodery of the notice.

I recommend to one and all a reading of Friedrich Nietzsche and reflection on his concept of the artist as one who suffers for his art and through his efforts achieves an erhebung (sublimation, in the truest sense).

Beside these examples of real art, what is promised to the local public is a combination of ersatz creation, propaganda and pablum. Let no one be confused as to where art ends and pathetic trivialities begin.

— Richard Nash Creel

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