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article imageOp-Ed: The real reasons Americans are dumb

By Alexander Baron     Jul 20, 2011 in Politics
The former head of the Federal Reserve Board says Americans get all they deserve because they are dumb. He is right, but not for the reasons he says.
Alan Greenspan is regarded by many as a follower of Ayn Rand, a champion of the free market, and some kind of guru. He was Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987-2006, and since then has been retained as a consultant by, inter alia, HM Treasury.
Recently, Mr Greenspan gave Americans and the world the benefit of his wisdom; the man who was in charge of America’s purse strings at the time of the Black Monday crash, and whose later mishandling of the economy contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis just after his tenure finished, has a simple explanation for the decline of the Promised Land. The average young American is lazy, stupid, and unproductive, so much so that American companies would be better off hiring immigrants, so the US should open the floodgates to better qualified foreigners (who will work harder for less remuneration).
It is difficult to argue with Mr Greenspan’s assertion that Americans are dumb, indeed, over the past two and a half centuries, they have become dumber.
In December 1773, the colonists in the then New World revolted en masse against a tax on tea; although the Boston Tea Party was not the be all and end all of the revolt against the British Crown, it was the flame that lit up the road to independence.
The same Americans who fought a long and bitter campaign for the right to determine their own economic destiny, acquiesced with hardly a whisper when a hundred and sixty years later an autocratic president signed an Executive Order making it a criminal offence for them to own gold, and ordering them to sell it to the government at $20.67 per troy ounce, well below the market rate.
The same Americans who revolted at the Boston Tea Party organised no resistance at all when during the 2008 Presidential race, the President and both prospective Presidents – Obama and McCain – bailed out the banks that had plundered America.
Americans have also fought tirelessly and long against tyrants the world over; in 1917, they entered the Great War – as it then was – to join in the struggle against the Hun who they were told were cutting off the hands of Belgian babies.
Although there is controversy over Pearl Harbor to this day, there is little doubt that America could have maintained its neutrality during the Second World War. Instead, it marched in again and sacrificed the blood of its young men – wasn’t the freedom of the world at stake? Even worse, weren’t Jews in Germany being forced to wear a yellow star and being ousted from the professions?
Now, that same American government issues biometric passports and ID cards not simply to minorities, but to all its citizens in the name of state security -- the same initials as the Nazi secret police.
After the Second World War, Americans marched off to Korea, to Vietnam, and to many other places to fight and overthrow dictators in order to bring their citizens democracy and the rule of law, or should that be democracy and the flow of oil?
When, on September 11, 2001, 18 fanatics armed with boxcutters hijacked four planes and committed the greatest single act of mass murder in human history outside of wartime, they finally realised that some people hated them for occupying their lands, so they decided the solution was to occupy some more, and rallying behind their President, they invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan, destroying the infrastructure of the former, which in short order they set about rebuilding by handing out lucrative offers to American contractors.
As an economist, and a free market economist at that, it is to be expected that Alan Greenspan has heard of the broken window fallacy. So he might have also been expected to ask if it might not have been more lucrative to create fresh debt-free credit instead of destroying and then rebuilding foreign infrastructure. That debt-free credit could have been used to build homes for that growing underclass of Americans of all races and increasingly of all backgrounds who are at this very moment living in tent cities the length and breadth of the Promised Land.
Americans are dumb because they, like Alan Greenspan, have been seduced by the bogus Protestant work ethic that claims work is good for the soul and that the growing underclass, be they dumb or simply unskilled, should be forced to perform menial work not by the carrot and the stick but by the stick and more stick. That happens while fat, bourgeois highly qualified economists who have never done a day’s manual labour in their lives are paid lucrative fees as government consultants dispensing useless advice about how to deal with the problems people like them created in the first place.
Americans are dumb because having exported democracy to the world. They have allowed their own government to create a dictatorship at home where men who are accused of terrorist offences have fewer rights than did Englishmen before Magna Carta; where terror suspects in foreign lands can be kidnapped and shipped to American soil (Guantánamo Bay – in Cuba) and be held for a decade without trial and tortured into the bargain; where men of low intelligence and poor character can be recruited by government agents, incited to commit acts of terror before being locked up for 25 years while the criminals who planned these crimes – men of high intelligence and debased character - are applauded as fighters in the front line against terror.
Americans are dumb because apart from a few brave individuals, they have been cowed by the Transportation Security Administration, an organisation that treats travellers like cattle, and thinks nothing of groping passengers or what is tantamount to sexually assaulting even their children.
Yes, Americans are dumb, as are the rest of us sheeple everywhere, for all of the above reasons and more.
But over the past few years, they and we have become less dumb, because we have all been educating ourselves and others through the Internet, the greatest thing since sliced bread and arguably the greatest invention since the wheel or the advent of fire-making itself. Along with the inevitable garbage, we have been posting educational videos about the creation and control of money, abuses of state power, abuses of police power, abuses of power by conspiratorial elites; and the development of both alternative economies and alternative energies. Oftentimes ordinary people have made such videos themselves, of police officers and other state employees – so-called servants of the people – abusing and even assaulting innocent people.
Alan Greenspan may truly believe Americans get all they deserve, but the day is coming when he and the powerful vested interests he represents will likewise get what they deserve. And as with the so-called Arab Spring, that day may be coming sooner than he or anyone thinks.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Federal reserve board, Alan greenspan, broken window fallacy, Economics, usury
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