The writer doesn’t realize he is just the “House Slave” lookin down on the “Field Slave” as the master laughs all the way to the bank.
With all Louisiana’s wealth in natural resources and industry, WHY DO WE STAY SO POOR?
Wow, as an outsider (not from Louisiana) I’ve visited the state numerous times, and the impression is always the same—shocking poverty and decay. I’ve always thought of Louisiana as an under-developed state that has just been passed-by the 20th & 21st Centuries. To learn that economically, it’s a very wealthy state with huge economic production and growth from which residents are deriving little to no benefit SCREAMS exploitation. This is a clear lesson in the vital importance of taxes and how they are used.
“No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems – of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.”
Why is Latin America poorer than North America? The massive differences in wealth between a rich United States and a relatively poor central and south America is startling and hard to explain at first. In the video we delve into the key historical, political and economic factors that have led to this inequality, finding that the answer is more startling and interesting than initially expected.
–Contents of this video——————————–
00:00 – A Tale of Two Cities
01:29 – A Tale of Two Continents
04:03 – Spanish Colonization
07:09 – Enslaving Empire’s
09:18 – The Mountain of Silver (Cerro Rico)
12:00 – English Colonization
13:30 – Why The United States is So Rich
15:38 – Why Latin America is Still Poor
20:33 – Why is Latin America Poorer than North America
Support the Channel! https://www.patreon.com/CasualScholar
– Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
– Bulmer-Thomas, V. (2003). The Economic History of Latin America since Independence (2nd ed., Cambridge Latin American Studies). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511817397
– Coatsworth, John H. “Inequality, Institutions and Economic Growth in Latin America.” Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 40, no. 3, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 545–69, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40056706.
There’s an old joke that a heart surgeon goes to a mechanic to get his fuel pump replaced. While he’s working on the car, the mechanic muses that their jobs are pretty much the same. “I figure out what the problem is, take out the old pump, put a new one in, and sent the ‘patient’ on its way. So how come I make $40,000 a year, and you make $400,000?” The surgeon smiles and says “try doing it while the engine is running”.
You might think my point is that the 1% earned their wealth through their superior skills. That’s actually not it at all. My point is that the economy isn’t about static wealth that can just be grabbed and redistributed. The economy is a vast machine with millions of moving parts in constant motion. If you disrupt that engine, then we’re all worse off than we were.
And this is a big deal. There was a time when wealth was primarily a result of who owned which land and natural resources. In such an economic setting, one can imagine seizing the land from the landowners and redistributing it among the peasants (that has it’s own issues, but it’s conceivable).
In the modern economy, it doesn’t work like that. Let’s say we wanted to physically seize Jeff Bezos money and redistribute it? How do you do that with force of arms? The vast majority of that wealth is in stocks, which means that it’s entirely theoretical. Armed mobs could seize Amazon trucks and warehouses, and occupy their corporate offices, and… then what? You’d end up with a few trucks and buildings divided among however many members of the uprising there were. Even all the inventory you could seize wouldn’t be all that much, once you divvied it up. In order for Amazon to have it’s value, it needs to continue to function. To tear it down, or even to disrupt it’s operation by violence, means that something that was once incredibly value now becomes nearly worthless.
And the same goes for most of the wealthiest people in the world. Very few of the uber-rich have large amounts of wealth in any form that you could physically seize and occupy without destroying most of their value.
And that’s one of the issues with communist rebellions. They’re sometimes successful at pulling down the wealth of the wealthy, making people more equally poor, but redistributing the wealth to make everyone roughly equivalent? They’re terrible at that.
The best you can hope for is to create a social and governmental system in which successful businesses and individuals have to continually contributed some portion of their profits to the common good, as a condition of doing business in this society. That has its issues as well, but it has much more potential than trying to rebel and grab wealth that doesn’t exist in a grabbable form.
The day after Donald Trump was elected president, The New York Times recommended six books “for those trying to understand the political, economic, regional and social shifts that drove one of the most stunning political upsets in the nation’s history.” Among them: Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal: Or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? Frank, a Kansas City native, has followed up, embarking on a 13-city barnstorming tour to talk to Trump voters, union leaders, and progressive activists across the Midwest in conjunction with Listen Liberal’s release in paperback. On his last stop¬in Kansas City¬he discusses what he has learned. This event is co-presented by Rainy Day Books. Frank discussed Listen Liberal at the Library in March 2016; you can view the video on YouTube, and you can find the book in the Library Catalog.
Some reports on the Pandora Papers have featured colorful and scintillating headlines (“Secret money, swanky real estate and a Monte Carlo mystery”), but there is a drab, depressing familiarity to the nearly 12 million leaked confidential financial records that throw light on the opaque wealth of powerful public figures around the world.
We see the same ominous pattern as in the Panama Papers leak of 2016 and the Paradise Papers leak of 2017: legalized corruption at the highest levels, on an almost unimaginably vast scale. And it appears that the people most empowered to end this nightmare are the most heavily invested in prolonging it for their own benefit.
Each successive leak drives home the same message: Abandon any hope that government will serve the people or that the rule of law will be applied equally to all, the foundational premises of modern government.
Yet there is some cause for optimism, even if it’s not in the form we might expect. New laws aren’t coming to the rescue, because they probably can’t be created quickly enough or made comprehensive enough to effect meaningful change. But there is evidence that technology and public opinion are shifting the balance against elites’ use of the offshore financial services industry.
For nearly 15 years, I’ve researched that world from the inside, earning certification as a wealth manager and then traveling the globe to study practitioners at work. What I learned is that “tax havens” aren’t really for avoiding taxes: They exist to help elites avoid the rule of law that they impose on the rest of us. The offshore financial industry is generating much of the economic and political inequality destabilizing the world.
Many of the individuals exposed in the Pandora Papers are politicians — more than 330 of them, from 90 countries, including 35 current and former heads of state — and their lifestyles are made possible by exploiting the nations they purport to serve. The revelations highlight several politicians who campaigned on vigorous anti-corruption platforms, like Prime Minister Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
In 2016, Mr. Babis scolded the wealthy Czechs whose names appeared in the Panama Papers and, in a 2020 interview, proclaimed that a governing philosophy was to “cut off the heads of the ‘corruption-Hydra.’” Now he’s accused of using a string of offshore shell companies to purchase luxury real estate on the French Riviera, including a chateau worth $22 million. (Mr. Babis has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the report as politically motivated.)
That so little has changed after the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers is not lost on the public. By my count, there have been fewer than 10 convictions resulting from previous offshore leaks, and only one involved a politician.
People are angry and they know they are being ripped off, but watching successive iterations of public corruption on flamboyant display, followed by no consequences, is an affront to the spirit of democracy. As the economist Thomas Piketty noted even before the Panama Papers broke, many respond to the appeal of ethnonationalist politicians, who promise to crack down on elite corruption.
Yet we do see forms of accountability being imposed that are effective despite being outside the realm of the law. As my own and other recent research on high-net-worth individuals has shown, reputational costs weigh more heavily on them than the threat of fines or prosecution. The laws are no match for the legal armory that the wealthy individuals in this world can afford. And there is evidence that public opinion is changing quickly, in a way that imposes the reputational costs that matter most.
When Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012, many Americans — even on the left — shrugged at the news that his wealth (estimated at the time at $250 million) increased through offshore investments. But in the wake of the Panama Papers, public opinion has grown significantly more negative toward tax avoidance, which, while often legal, is increasingly regarded as immoral and unpatriotic. This mirrors the rapid change that occurred earlier in the 21st century, in which public neutrality toward corporate tax avoidance turned to public outrage and successful pressure campaigns within a few short years.
The Pandora Papers’s reputational impact may deliver some instant karma to Mr. Babis. The Czech police say they will “act upon” his use of offshore shell corporations, and a much swifter public verdict could arrive this week in parliamentary elections that could dislodge the prime minister from power. “He preaches water and drinks French wine,” the leader of an opposition party said.
Technology also offers more reason for hope. It has made it much easier to impose these costs, by facilitating the dissemination of vast troves of data to journalists and the public. The past five years have revolutionized the possibilities for whistle-blowers to maintain anonymity through the use of tools like PGP encryption, allowing them to deliver huge quantities of data from offshore while protecting themselves from retaliation. Five years on, we still do not know the identity of “John Doe,” who leaked the Panama Papers, nor of the person or people who leaked the Paradise Papers four years ago.
That’s remarkable in an era of digital surveillance and will encourage more whistle-blowing. As I found in talking with wealth managers all over the world, a significant number understand that their work has contributed to dangerous levels of economic and political inequality; they want to do something, and many understand that one of the most effective uses of their insider position would be to pull back the veil of secrecy that makes so much of offshore corruption possible.
Formerly, these potential whistle-blowers would have been deterred by the fate of figures like Hervé Falciani, who in 2009 brought forward evidence of widespread tax fraud by private individuals facilitated by his employer, HSBC in Switzerland. Mr. Falciani has been hounded by investigators and caught up in legal limbo ever since, including being convicted in absentia and given the longest sentence ever handed down by a Swiss court for violation of the country’s draconian bank secrecy laws.
But it’s now possible for insiders to act on their conscience without ruining their lives and careers, as well as those of their families. We already see momentum building in the form of the enormous size of the Pandora Papers, which is even larger than the Panama Papers — formerly the biggest data leak in history — and involves information from 14 offshore sources instead of one.
This suggests that whistle-blowers are not only emboldened now, but also may be cooperating internationally, to do what lawmakers cannot: holding accountable the most wealthy and powerful people in the world in the court of public opinion.