Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bringing the Inner City to Woodstock

I just sent this letter to the editor of The Woodstock Times. 

Dear Editor:

The tip-off as to what is behind the regional push to build inner-city style section eight housing in rural villages like Boiceville and Woodstock was the support The New York Times offered to it in a September spin piece.   Public-private partnership housing like the Woodstock development subsidizes regional and global banks.  In particular, besides receiving a virtually risk-free return the banks receive a tax credit.  In Woodstock, Key Bank receives a tax subsidized, nearly risk free return on its $15 million RUPCO-linked loan to build the Woodstock project.  Perhaps The Woodstock Times and Paul Smart should rename themselves The Bankers’ Voice.  

Allow me to refresh your memories about The New York Times’s history with respect to supporting subsidization of banking interests through urban renewal.  In the 1940s and 1950s The Times sang Robert Moses’s praises to the heavens as he took a sledge hammer to New York City’s economy, destroying more housing units than he built, destroying neighborhood after neighborhood, and draining the City’s character, all in the name of urban renewal. The story is in Robert Caro’s Power Broker.  At the same time, Moses, with The Times’s support, devastated the environment outside the city with road building, subsidization of automobile use, and suburbanization on Long Island, in New Jersey and in Westchester.   

Having trashed megapolis,  by the late 1990s, The Times supported a final step to expansion of suburban housing through the subprime housing bubble.  One example was Steven A. Holmes’s September 30, 1999 Times article.  The Bush era housing bubble did almost as much harm to America’s economy as Robert Moses’s urban renewal did to New York City.  New York City never came back from its urban renewal-induced collapse; Bush and Obama transferred wealth to banks to delay a collapse.  In a properly functioning economy the banks that lent and invested in subprime mortgage securities would have closed.  But The Times, MSNBC and Fox objected (since, after all, they are owned by interests tightly linked to the banks), and Obama followed through on Bush’s monetary expansion and bailout.  The publicly described bailout of $2 trillion was miniscule compared to Federal Reserve Bank asset purchases in excess of $16 trillion, larger than the entire US economy of $14 trillion. But the Obama Fed’s largest subsidy to banks has been the expansion of the monetary base, which has more than tripled.    Obama’s tripling of the monetary base signifies as much as a 30-fold increase in the US money supply when banks convert the base into loans under fractional reserve banking.  

The potential 30-fold increase in the money supply, which has occurred virtually unreported by The Times, Republican or Democratic talk radio, or television news, is potentially the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world.  It is a transfer from working, middle class Americans to banks, Wall Street, shareholders, hedge funds, real estate interests,  and government.  The Woodstock Times and Paul Smart have lent their support to this transfer, sheepishly following The Times’s rhetoric.  Without this transfer there would be zero interest in public housing in Woodstock or Boiceville.

Because the bursting of the subprime bubble has limited the Robert Moses-approach to urban renewal, a new approach had to be created. The new approach is to advocate once-again- environment-destroying urban-style development, except that now it is to be in rural  areas.  Rather than bankrupting urban centers, the large regional and money center banks will  suck small towns dry.   The development is couched, ironically, in environmentalist rhetoric, just as the rhetoric that advocated the subprime bubble was couched in rhetoric that claimed benefits for the poor.  The only beneficiaries then and now were banks, Wall Street, and related economic interests.   The current bubble in rental properties and REITS reflects this new tactic.  “Smart growth” and “green development” are code words for “more subsidies to banks. “  I pity Woodstock for what your naivet√© will do to your once beautiful tourist center.

Because the Federal Reserve Bank has created such a large amount of money while federal and state policies and banking interests have done so much to destroy the America’s real economy, I am expecting ever more creative and ever more destructive policies, all of which will entail expansion of bank lending.  These will take on green rhetoric and make use of manufactured fears: from the left, the superstition that environmental regulation and new kinds of light bulbs can affect global warming; from the right, the claim that Islam is a threat or that it is imperative for the US to build democracies in Arabia and Africa.   


Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.


Anonymous said...

Sticking with local politics for the moment, I understand that the LDC interested in purchasing Goldin Hill is none other than Steve, 'The Birchez' Aaron. He's the 'corrupting' figure in all of the Town of Ulster's issues involving former supervisor Nick, 'Let's take it to the back room' Woerner, He is also Hein's biggest campaign contributor and a sponsor of fund raising events for the County Chairman. Something stinks in Ulster County and it isn't the RRA.

Anonymous said...

"The potential 30-fold increase in the money supply, which has occurred virtually unreported by The Times, Republican or Democratic talk radio, or television news"??

Conservative talk radio has beat this dead horse continuously for the past 15 yrs. Are you brain dead, dishonest, or don't you Liston to talk radio? ,,, Oh, now I get it, said Republican talk radio not Conservative talk radio. You get a pass on your comment. (By the way, there is NO Republican talk radio, just Conservative talk radio) (get a clue Mr.!)

(Democratic talk radio? whats that?) you must live under a rock or in a shoe!

Mitchell Langbert said...

Dear Anonymous: The monetary expansion took place in 2008. That you think it is 15 years old is evidence that you've been listening to talk radio and so don't understand it.
There has been talk radio run by Democrats; as well, NPR could be put in that category.

Anonymous said...

-"The monetary expansion took place in 2008. That you think it is 15 years old is evidence that you've been listening to talk radio and so don't understand it."

Its been going on allot longer than 3 yrs.

-"There has been talk radio run by Democrats; as well, NPR could be put in that category."

NPR is a liberal broadcast, not talk radio. You need listeners 1st, and call-in's next. NPR has neither. For you to compare conservative talk radio to NPR broadcasts is like the drive by media comparing the tea party to the occupy wall street morons.

The evidence that I've been listening to talk radio means I understand everything FAR more than you Mr. Rino PH.D. !

FAR, FAR more than you!

Mitchell Langbert said...

Talk radio does not discuss the Fed, and it does not discuss Agenda 21. Most importantly, it has done NOTHING to support Ron Paul.

If I'm wrong, please cite the talk show that does discuss and explain the Fed (and the big monetary expansion was from '08--nothing in the previous 50 years comes close, although there have been consistent increases in the money supply, nothing like Bush/Obama).

I notice when you talk about the Fed you don't cite talk radio, you cite something from Berkeley. Who on talk radio do you cite? Who on talk radio supports Ron Paul or Gary Johnson?

You're just proving my point.

As far as my being a RINO, to be a RINO you have to be a Republican. But ever since the Republican Party became a socialist party under Bush, I am not certain that I am a Republican. The Republicans are worse than the Democrats.

Or didn't talk radio explain to you that George H. Bush signed Agenda 21, that Richard M. Nixon abolished the gold standard, and that Dwight Eisenhower was a Trojan horse put in to defeat Robert Taft.