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Don’t Call it Inflation, it’s Capital Retaliation

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Capitalists have one motive: profit. It doesn’t matter to them what the real costs are to regular people or the planet itself. They use their control of production, including media, to sell regular people on false notions of markets and “free trade”. The capitalists claim that allowing the tiniest fraction of humanity (themselves) to hoard the value the rest of us create, as well as determine the outcomes and direction of our labor and production is not only acceptable, but somehow desirable, freeing, and inevitable. 

Of course, capitalism in any form is none of the above for the 99% and our planet. The “freedom” capitalists preserve is their freedom to exploit resources, oppress and divide people, and convert the living green earth into dead bricks of luxury, and it takes a great deal of narrative management and indoctrination to achieve this relatively static status-quo.  

When those same markets tip in favor of workers, no matter how briefly or insignificantly, the capitalists cry out and use their apparatuses in media, government, and private institutions to retaliate at the slight against their perceived or projected possible gains. This is the material force behind the surge of “labor shortage” and now “inflation” propaganda being hammered over all outlets controlled or influenced by capitalists, which is virtually all outlets that exist.  

Yes, prices are rising. No, it is not inflation. “Inflation” is so often used, really misused, as a boogeyman that common perception of that word’s meaning and what the impact and cause of inflation is completely out of alignment with reality. The federal government creates its currency, the U.S. dollar, and then creates a tax obligation for users of that currency in order to create demand and value in the dollar. Federal spending is the birth of all existing dollars, known as the money supply, and federal taxation is the death of some of those dollars. The remaining dollars in supply become the deficit and “debt”. But this “debt” isn’t owed to anyone, it’s the other side of the balance sheet. If the national debt were wiped out, there would be none of the U.S dollar left, leaving no money in anyone’s hands.  

“It (government) can’t run out of dollars any more than a carpenter can run out of inches.”

Stephanie Kelton 

Capital flight is one form of capital retaliation, where the parasitic owning class will depart from a region, taking with them their investments and accumulated wealth, due to a relative increase in their tax burden at the municipal or state level. (This is also called the “race to the bottom.”) There are plenty of other forms of capital retaliation, however. There’s also corporate lobbying, as well as both corporate and individual contributions to politicians, PACs, and non-profits by the managers in the middle-class and their owners in the capitalist class. Making non-profit work dependent on grants and contributions from the wealthy kneecaps the range of impact a given non-profit can have. Further, when local, state, and federal grants and other funding mechanisms are appointed to individual capitalists or their private organizations to steward and direct the flow of public funding into not-for-profit organizations, this only compounds the control capitalists have over the public, and the level they can corrupt public works and the very notion of the public purpose.  

In real time, Americans are experiencing capital retaliation in the form of increased punitive policies to “force” the working class to work for less, propaganda about a “labor shortage” that includes an unspoken, but ever-present, mandate that workers need to “do their part” to preserve the bosses’ profits, er, the “economy” or “national well-being”. Additionally, there is an increasingly aggressive campaign to redefine labor relations by “Uberizing” all work and economic relationships. This campaign is being waged in order to reduce workers’ power before the nascent labor awakening turns into a militant labor movement. Add to all this the deliberate spiking of prices for basic needs like groceries, gasoline, rent, and utilities, while capitalists are using capitalist control of institutions and the media to say the rise in prices is nothing other than “inflation”. When combined, a clear and aggressive campaign of class unity among the capitalists becomes apparent. Not only do capitalists have unity as a class, they also have a unifying purpose (profits) and the resources to further their control of everyone and destruction of everything.  

“Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize.”

Joe Hill 

In reality, when you break down the rise in prices, we’re not seeing inflation. We’re seeing the natural outcome of markets when supply-chains are squeezed: production costs go up, so goods are sold at a premium. Further, we’re likely seeing an artificially-added “fee” being figured into those increased costs to punish working people for the market tipping ever-so-slightly in their favor. This is the capital retaliation fee. In other words, the owners are punishing the rest of us using their control of the means of production and the markets in which the products of the working class’s labor are distributed. They seek to depress our wages and force us to give up the very slight gains in class awareness and labor militancy, while raising the prices on the very things we need to survive. They want to make us believe these price increases are the fault of the government for throwing a few breadcrumbs our way, those breadcrumbs being stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits. 

If we let the portion of the ruling class who advocate for fully “paid-for” federal policy win their so-called “balanced budget”, there would be zero dollars left over at the end of each year. That is the only way to eliminate the deficit — tax 100% of the dollars created in a given year out of existence. Worse still, in order to eliminate the national debt, policy would have to be crafted that would effectively tax everyone at more than 100% in order to wholly destroy the money supply. Again, the national debt is a running total of all dollars created since the beginning of the country minus the dollars destroyed through federal taxation. In other words, the only way to eliminate the national debt is to leave zero or even a negative balance of money in everyone’s hands. 

Regardless of what the media tries to tell us, there are only two real-world reasons prices are rising at this time: disruption to the supply chain and capital retaliation. 

Sources & Additional Reading: 

Episode 126 – An MMT Perspective: Interest Rates and Inflation with Warren Mosler – Real Progressives 

Why capital controls should be part of a progressive policy – Bill Mitchell – Modern Monetary Theory (economicoutlook.net) 

Capital controls – Bill Mitchell – Modern Monetary Theory (economicoutlook.net) 

A Framework for the Analysis of the Price Level and Inflation | Real Progressives 

How Truckers Are Paid | Real Progressives 

Why America’s “Shipping Crisis” Will Not End | Real Progressives 

Money Growth Does Not Cause Inflation! | Real Progressives 

4 Key Ignored Points in the Inflation / MMT debate | Real Progressives 

Race To The Bottom (realprogressives.org) 

Episode 124 – The Race to the Bottom with Fadhel Kaboub and Bill Black – Real Progressives 

The Psychopathy of Capitalism | Real Progressives 

The Dangerous Lie of ‘Tax-To-Spend’ | Real Progressives 

Why is Wood so Expensive Right Now? | Real Progressives 

Why Everything is Suddenly Getting More Expensive — And Why It Won’t Stop | by umair haque | Oct, 2021 | Eudaimonia and Co (eand.co) 

1 thought on “Don’t Call it Inflation, it’s Capital Retaliation”

  1. It’s easy to pass rising prices off as inflation and accept it as natural phenomena like earthquakes and hurricanes.

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