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2010: The year of "Mafianomics"
A world where crime and lawlessness pays off handsomely
Michael Werbowski (minou)     Print Article 
Published 2010-01-04 13:38 (KST)   
Remember Reaganomics? Those were the policies described or derided as "Trickle-down economics" which resulted in huge tax cuts for the very wealthy and increases in defense spending.

These precepts also led to the forerunner of the "sub-prime" loan debacle known as the "Savings and loans crisis." Back then, the U.S. national debt grew from $700 billion to $3 trillion and America went from being the world's biggest creditor to its largest borrower.

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That's what we had in the 1980s. Today's version of "Reaganomics" is a much more cancerous form of grotesque greed. Let's call this disease "Mafianomics", or an economic policy designed to enrich the richest of the rich and impoverishing the poor, the middle and the rest of us not "well connected" to or in the inner circles of power and finance.

Mafianomics reigns supreme over the planet. Just take a drive in the suburbs of a poor country's city like Istanbul, Mexico City, Cape Town or even in rich ones like perhaps a major North American one and you will see tangible signs of it. Huge mansions with sprawling grounds, built like medieval castles with turrets (and surveillance cameras on top) surrounded with iron gates and fences. These are the garish displays of money made under "Mafianomics."

"Mafianomics" is a concept, which grew out of the ideological moorings of globalization and is coupled with the practical underpinnings of IMF-World Bank's "structural adjustment policies". It can attribute its success to "crony capitalism" (1), which now dominates in both advanced and emerging economies worldwide.

It is the crudest and most criminal form of capitalism which ever existed in our modern and post-modern history. It is not based on making profit for the purpose of social advancement or spreading wealth "top down," but instead it hinges on seeking pure profit for the sake of personal gain only. Regardless of the consequences and cost to the society at large. Making an honest living is anathema to this vile dogma.

It is all premised instead on enrichment exclusively by means of "ill gotten gains" such as drug-trafficking, money-laundering, piracy on the high seas off the coast of Somalia, government endorsed loans scams, "Ponzi schemes", and PPPs (Public-Private Partnerships which defraud governments and fleece taxpayers with collusion from officials "on the take"). Venality and criminality are Mafianomic's most cherished values.

It depends on fear and intimidation of the masses, enforced by criminal syndicates in cahoots with "capo" politicians and police officials. It is premised on grand scale theft of the nation's wealth (i.e. the treasury and the taxpayers) at the expense of the nation's economic well-being and financial stability.

It's blind brigandage of the public purse not in the publics' interest, but strictly for the corporate, military and financial interest and a few clannish gangsters with silk suits and "Gucci" shoes.

The corollary or "Mafianomics" results in the rise of drug cartels which rival OECD member state such as Mexico in the west and in "bumper crops" of heroine making poppies in other "narco states" such as Afghanistan. This form of degenerate capitalism is premised on corruption, bribery, rigged public tenders and elections, monopolization, racketeering, extortion and fraud on a massive scale. If Mafianomics were sold and branded as tobacco the warning label would read: "This system is deadly to the citizenry and democracy."

(1) A system in which success in business depends on close relationships between businesspeople and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth. "Crony capitalism" is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Michael Werbowski

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