It’s not a new or original concept but here’s a quick story to show exactly what is possible when a populace finds its voice.
In Iceland, the people have made the government resign, the major banks have been nationalized which means they are now owned by the country not by private corporations or families, plus they as a nation decided to not pay the debt that these institutions created with Great Britain and Holland due to their bad financial policies and a public assembly was created to rewrite the constitution. And all of this been brought about in a peaceful way. A whole revolution against the powers that created the current global crisis without any violent riots or civil wars. This isn’t new, this is years old, am I behind the times? Made me wonder… Why hasn’t there been mainstream publicity about this?
Well what would do you think would happen if the rest of the EU citizens took this as an example? What would happen if AUSTRALIAN citizens took this as an example?
Quick rundown of the Iceland facts (for those that want to skim there are bullet points below)
2008. Its three largest banks (all private) run out of money. These had all amassed assets 10 times greater than the size of Iceland’s annual economic output, but can no longer fund themselves. The collapse of the largest means that 400,000 British and Dutch savers who have put money into its “Icesave” accounts have lost their deposits. The UK and the Netherlands say they will be refunded in full using taxpayers’ funds. This makes the Krona, the currency of Iceland devaluate rapidly and the stock market stops. The country plummets into financial distress. They are thrown a lifesaver in the form of an enormous loan. More debt.
2008–2009. The citizens protest in front of parliament and manage to call elections that force the resignation of the prime minister and his whole government. The country is in a bad economic situation.
A law is proposed to pay back the debt to Great Britain and Holland through the payment of 3,500 million euros, which will be paid by the people of Iceland monthly during the next 15 years, with a 5.5% interest. Although this debt was created by corporations and private institutions it becomes the individual taxpayers responsibility much as in Australia.
2010. The people go to the streets and demand a referendum. In January 2010 the president denies the approval and announces a popular meeting. In March the referendum and the denial of payment is voted in by 93%. Meanwhile the government initiates an actual investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the crisis, and many high level executives and bankers are arrested.
Amidst this crisis an assembly is elected to rewrite a new Constitution which can include the lessons learned from this, and which will substitute the current one. My favourite part… 25 citizens are chosen, with no political affiliation, out of 522 candidates. For candidacy all that was needed was to be an adult and have the support of 30 people. The constitutional assembly starts in February of 2011 to present the ‘carta magna’ from the recommendations given by the different assemblies happening throughout the country. It must be approved by the current Parliament and by the one constituted through the next legislative elections.
2012. Fitch credit-rating agency raises Iceland’s rating to BBB-, meaning the country is fit for investment.
Summary of the Icelandic revolution:
Private bankers pillaged their country in bed with government & corporations
People finally got pissed off enough to take action and forced the resignation of the whole government
Nationalization (taking back) of the banking system. And told the criminals to fuck-off
Referendum so that the people can decide over future economic decisions
Actual punishment of the pricks responsible
Rewriting of the entire constitution by its people
Resulting in a vast improvement of the country as a whole
Did any mainstream political program in radio or TV or. commented on this? Barely.
The Icelandic people were able to show that there is a way to beat the system and has given a democracy lesson to the world. Which we have been strongly “protected” from hearing about.
Just look for yourself, it’s amazing what’s out there.
Further to this and at the risk of getting a bit Zeitgeisty here’s a quick simplified lesson: Traditional Banking System.
When banks give out loans, they do not give out money that they already have. They simply give the loan which is a promise to pay the actual money which they never really have to do. In the real world economy, 95% of money is in the form of bank credit. There is no actual paper currency backing it. Whenever we borrow money, the bank creates “new” money. This process constantly expands the money supply which constantly dilutes the value of the existing money. This is because total debt has to keep expanding in order for people to be able to pay back what they owe, otherwise there simply won’t be enough money to earn to pay back what we owe. When something horrible happens and/or the banks suddenly want their money back just because they can, families and individuals declare bankruptcy, there are foreclosures, unemployment rises and so on which causes the vicious cycle of deflation.
Are we immune here in the lucky country?
Our average debt level is scary. National credit card debt is over $51 billion and many Australians are losing their homes every day. More than 3000 people declare bankruptcy every month and thousands of Australians are stealing basic like food to survive.
This is all without mentioning issues such as foreign mining companies literally stealing our land and minerals, without even paying tax to our country and employing foreigners to do all of this. A global refugee crisis, racial and religious intolerance and most recently private companies mercilessly pillaging from Aussie farmers with absolutely no consequences whatsoever and the “rescue package” offered so graciously to these already struggling families was a low rate loan… in other words MORE DEBT! No bailout package or clean slates like corporations and backs are offered just more debt.
In the past year China has spent over $US25 billion on 17 acquisitions in Australia and 21 strategic stakes. Since the Rudd Government came to office in November 2007, it approved more than 110 Chinese investment applications (including in business and non-business sectors) worth more than $39 billion, and acquisition sizes are rising. Australia is currently in debt over $65 billion and is selling off Government assets to pay back banks and private organisations.
Tens of millions of hectares of Australian farmland are already owned by overseas interests. It took about five seconds on google to discover that documented farmland ownership in Australia includes a growing list of nationalities, such as China, the US, UK, Greece, Canada, Argentina, Switzerland, Italy, Qatar, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Germany, all of these have invested heavily in Australian farms and land in recent years.
Treasurer Scott Morrison last week announced an independent review of the proposed Kidman sale and its 11 million hectares in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, to China-backed Dakang Australia. Dakang’s biggest shareholder is Shanghai Pengxin Group, whose stand-alone bid for Kidman was last year knocked back by Mr Morrison on grounds of national security. There have been almost unbelievably huge sales of farms to foreign interests. In February of this year, 2016, the Government approved a $280 million sale of the Van Diemen’s Land Company – Australia’s largest dairy farm at 17,000ha – to Chinese firm Moon Lake Investments.
Along with these huge lots of land Australia has sold, dairies, stock farms, electricity companies, Telstra, the Commonwealth bank, huge water allocations and much more. Privatisation and sale of our physical country to foreign investors is scary shit for anyone who cares about their children’s future. Not to mention growing recent fracking contracts, and our seeming eagerness to take on and bury next to our drinking water other countries nuclear waste! What the fuck is this government on?
These aren’t my crazy political views or conspiracy theories these are things that average people should be informed about. Much like the fact the Reserve Bank of Australia that basically stipulates the state of our nation’s economy is just a privately owned institution like every other bank. These corporations don’t care for our country or its future. These organisations are just acquiring land because they will eventually fuck up the rest of the world they already own too much even for mining or agriculture. Why can’t we just tell them to fuck off?
This isn’t a political or racial issue it’s an Australian issue. Why can’t we as a collective nation take some responsibility and nationalize instead of privatize? Why can’t the only companies allowed to mine our land be Australian, pay Australian tax and employ Australians? Why can’t the government tell these thieving pricks to get their hands out of Aussie farmers pockets and start our own companies, run by farmers? Maybe try to save our once “Great” barrier reef? Is that so crazy? If our government can allocate $50 billion to submarines this late in the game when in ten years the majority of wars are forecast to be fought by unmanned machinery such as drones, surely we can afford to start a leading renewable energy company we have a seemingly endless dessert smack bang in the middle of our country I’m sure there is room for a few solar panels, wouldn’t it be smarter economically to invest in future technology for safety and defence of our own land rather than to send our next generation offshore to attack wherever our “mother country” (Great Britain) or America decides?
Do we not have our own racial and religious issues to resolve before we take on another nations? The list doesn’t end…
Maybe if our politicians would stop squabbling like a bunch of fucking spoilt schoolgirls we might be able to get somewhere. Do they care what we look like to the rest of the world? In the last 10 years we have had six different Prime Ministers, including Rudd twice. And they will all get amazing pensions until the day they die, what the actual fuck? These pricks (politicians in general) get paid far more than the average worker along with expense accounts and don’t even have to plan for retirement? More than enough to invest in homes, business, whatever the fuck they want and still get a golden handshake. Complete bullshit. It’s a sad and scary thing to be nervous and worried rather than excited about the future of your own country. Are we not yet grown up enough as a country and a culture to run our own shit?
Do I have any answers or know what to do? Even what issue to address? Of course not, I live in a regional town, with a regional education, surrounded by the closedmindedness that got us to this place in the first place. But I wish I did and I think an honest discussion about the fact our economy is beyond fucked if we suffer even a slight interest rate rise might be a good place to start? And considering that the NATO nations now joined by the once neutral Sweden are currently surrounding Russia and enabling anti-missile systems against it so that it can’t defend itself, actions almost certain to instigate a major conflict… (maybe google this yourself) Or that whoever the next president of America is their country is already barely holding on given the rage that Trump has already stirred up without even making it to office, civil wars due to mistreatment of minorities, racial conflict escalation, homeless rates at record numbers etc. etc. Then yeah, I’d say we might be headed for another bumpy economic ride in the immediate future. If rates are to rise, the current housing bubble will burst in spectacular fashion, families currently barely affording interest only loans will find this can and will only get harder, foreclosures and bankruptcy levels will skyrocket, short-term debt increases even further, small to medium employers put off staff to keep their businesses and service their debt, the socio-economic gap widens once again blah blah blah. Happy days for banks.
I’ve rambled long enough and here’s to you if you made it this far through the tirade of dark ranting’s of another pissed off economic slave.
What’s one annoyingly long, frustrated blog entry going to do anyway but add to the apathy, and that helps no one. It’s not all bad, I will address the optimism of humanity and the future in works to come but for now just remember there can be no light without darkness. So here’s some cliché yet truthful words of advice to brighten things…
Educate yourself, open your mind to the reality and knowledge that exists outside what is immediately within reach, question things, dig deeper. You will thank yourself in the future. Put a smile on your face. Tell your loved ones they are loved. Stop taking the small blessings for granted. Stop arguing about shit that doesn’t really matter. Apologize even if it’s not your fault. Stop wasting time being unhappy. If you don’t like something, make a plan and change it. Stop caring about what other’s think of you, care about what you think of yourself. Compliment yourself. In turn, stop thinking negative thoughts about other people. This energy is only detrimental to your own health. Be thankful. Say a kind word to your partner, to your neighbour, to a stranger. Expect nothing in return and you will never be disappointed. You and I deserve nothing so be forever appreciative. These are all such simple things we have heard and read before but just do them! These actions and thoughts cost nothing yet can enrich life beyond measure. You never know, a smile on a dark day may save somebody else’s life as well as your own.
Most of all remember that no one can take happiness from your life or your mind but yourself.