Change the Economic Axioms: Know How We Got Them
Look at the ongoing, desperate struggle of elected officials and governments in so many countries to find the means to save their constituents’ lives—and with the global financial system at the edge of an epic crash—and you are seeing the tail-end effects of 50 years of destruction of sane economic thinking and policy. There is constant talk and writing now about “changing the way we look at the value of human life”; but that takes understanding what happened in the early 1970s when an economic order which emphasized invention and production was destroyed, and an economic order which placed highest, indeed almost exclusive, value on enrichment by speculation. That was the point—the London’s destruction of Franklin Roosevelt’s Bretton Woods currency and credit system and its replacement by the “floating exchange rate” global casino—when Lyndon LaRouche threw down a marker and said this must be stopped, reversed. If not, there will be such austerity against production, living standards, that there will come new pandemics and the return of old ones.
Fifty years later, the reason that prime ministers, governors, mayors are frantically short of public health facilities for a pandemic, is that their health systems are designed to be short, to be “economically efficient.” After World War II the United States thought of—even thought to legislate in the Hill-Burton Act—four to five fully equipped hospital beds per thousand residents of every county. Today one and a half beds per thousand, located where they will almost always be full, are thought “more efficient” in a global economic system in which every flow of payments must be subject to securitization, financialization, and your predatory new owner the City of London hedge fund.
Then consider the developing countries, facing a pandemic like COVID-19 with a small shadow of even the depleted public health system common to the industrial countries. Franklin Roosevelt’s intention for that Bretton Woods system which the City of London destroyed 50 years ago, was to invest in capital goods exports and development projects in those developing countries to use what he called “American methods” for “American standards.”
Worse, the cultural degeneration in the 20th century which accelerated when pride in a productive economic identity, for the general welfare, gave way to self-pride in wealth and spending for the hedonistic individual welfare.
The task Lyndon LaRouche set himself for that entire half-century was, with one great project and development program after another, to create a New Bretton Woods system. First and foremost, to place the highest priority on scientific advance, space colonization and space science, fusion energy science and plasma technologies, breakthroughs in biophysics. And in order to achieve such real high-technology development, bring back productive bank lending by Glass-Steagall breakup of the City of London and Wall Street monsters, and national banks in every country issuing productive credit in cooperation.
LaRouche’s economic “Four Laws” are the only actions that will make real durable human survival and progress, come out of today’s “Pearl Harbor” reaction to suddenly threatening deadly pandemic and economic collapse. Restore the international collaboration that worked 50 years ago, but better.
LaRouche’s widow Helga Zepp-LaRouche has been fighting for an essential summit of great-power leaders to cooperate on every aspect of this fight for human life, and to establish a new credit system for development. This week with discussion among G20 leaders about meeting “virtually” to discuss fighting the pandemic and its economic impact, is a critical time to accelerate the campaign behind her summit call.