e-Con e-News

Impoverishment has been a long-term trend


This is the gist of this week’s E-Con E-News edition. Check it out: www.eesrilanka.wordpress.com

It’s ok if the white bosses do it, eh?

Those wailing about ‘dictatorship’ forget that the English, when under Japanese attack in World War 2, declared emergency rule. They imposed a war economy here, with restrictions on imports and consumption, guaranteeing prices and wages to cultivators and workers (see ee, 08 February 2020, for a description of what they did).

Now, as hunger and de-employment increase, as merchants and moneylenders run riot, fake democrats hope a broad ruling mishmash – under siege from the political, economic and military attacks of white & brown sahibs – will soon implode.

The recent war between Azerbaijan and Armenia was decided by ‘suicide drones’ supplied by supposed-enemies Israel and Turkey to oil-rich Azerbaijan. At the same time US and Canadian suppliers of drone engines squeezed oil concessions by threatening to suspend sales of drone engines.

The US also recently announced sales of drones to India. The SL army too this week set up a drone regiment, also announcing the assembly of some armoured vehicles, but still importing engines! Isn’t it time to make engines and the machines that make them? Shouldn’t we, after 72 years of fake independence, be teaching children how to make engines?

The US elections expose the fraud of their democracy: We elect a president directly. They don’t. Here, an election commission decides. There an unelected capitalist media silences any popular mandate, while prematurely deciding winners. Vast numbers, even a majority, of people simply do not vote in those countries, cos it’s rigged by money, whereas here it’s a national sport.

Slavery shaped and decided the US Constitution. It still shapes the electoral college system that rules their elections. Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution declared, any person who was not free would be counted as 3-5th of a free individual for the purposes of determining congressional representation. The “Three-Fifths Clause” thus increased the political power of slaveholding states. While this clause was later invalidated, the electoral college system remains! (see Random Notes) 

It’s budget time, and media claim prices are being jacked up, goading the government to control private merchants.

The capitalist media here is an irresponsible joke. Look how they report the stock market, as overflowing one day with billions, and a dry zone the next day.

The media this week said the stock market is turning over billions led by vehicle and vegetable importers “stuck with the cash due to import restrictions”. Why can’t the media investigate why this stock market fails to invest in modern industrialization?    

Modern industrialization would be the easiest way to pay back debts. Why won’t the media just say this. Instead the media acts like a seizer’s door banger, bang, bang, banging, day in day out, insisting we have to pay up. Or else they demand we submit to the IMF. They also spread blatant lies about the nature of the debt and how it came to be.    

An illiterate and innumerate media also has no idea about the primary need for production of machines and machine tools. What this sad media means by industrialization is assembly, primitive labor-intensive manufacture and SMEs making cutlis and patis

The media is exaggerating and underplaying the amount of gold pawned recently by people desperate to obtain loans. Opposition media claim almost half the people are seeking financial support, with many losing their entire income, and hunger increasing.

The Sunday Times: “The amount of money obtained by the public from gold jewellery pawning centres at commercial banks and financial institutions, in the past 6 months this year, aggregates to over Rs 643 billion, official data showed.”

While AdaDerana reported: “Minister Cabraal told Parliament yesterday that as at the end of Dec 2019 total loans granted by the Central Bank to all banks for pawning advances stood at Rs 210 billion and at the end of Sept 2020 it had increased by 27 billion to Rs 237 billion.”    

The media can’t admit this impoverishment has been a long-term trend, with bank profits increasingly based on grabbing workers’ gold savings. Bank profits do not rise from investment in industry. But what do the banks do with all this gold? And what of the billions in profits banks just announced in the 3rd quarter ended? Are all our gold reserves still in the Bank of England? Look what happened to their gold reserves in London recently. And why not invest in industry? 

The capitalist media decides, frames and limits debate, prioritizes and selects information to attack, or defend the status quo. Those attacking are not interested in transforming the economy to make it more equitable. Those defending also do not clearly state a plan for industrialization and investment, and a program for implementation.

The World Bank has always opposed planning, especially against investment in heavy industry. Some insist the assassination of SWRD in 1959 was to prevent the implementation of the 10-Year Plan, with its focus on heavy industry.

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