The Unspeakable Pandemic of Corruption. A few examples
What if things we most trust, are the most rigged?
I study systemic corruption. The kind that is not in the news. It could also be called Organized Professional Corruption.
I have also seen the pain, suffering and even suicide, of persons who speak out, or tell the truth about professional corruption. I have documented “The Unique Violence of White Collar Crime” in film, media, and testimony to four government/parliamentary committees. I do this to understand and expose the worst social contagion I have seen. A contagion of corruption.
Cognitive Dissonance Warning! This article hopes to let you see the world through the eyes of someone else. You may disagree with, and even feel offended by some of my comments, but please be aware, that if “personal offense” enters your emotions, it is a sign of a learning opportunity. The article is not intended to make you feel wrong, the intention is to share a unique viewpoint in hope of learning what is right,…not who is right.
I inherited a world that felt safe, prosperous, and full of opportunity, and today it no longer feels that way. My wish is for your children to inherit a world where they might have what was given to us freely. I believe it is being stolen away.
The contagion of professional corruption is not in most media because that is how organized corruption works. It first captures the news media, thanks to political actors such as Bill Clinton, who while President, sold out the public from ever having the real news media that it once had:
“In 1996 U.S. President Bill Clinton signed The Telecommunications Act of 1996. The legislation's primary goal was deregulation of the converging broadcasting and telecommunications markets. The stated objective was to open up markets to competition by removing barriers to entry. Instead, it reduced the number of major media companies from around 50 in 1983 to 10 in 1996 and 6 in 2005.” This is one example of systemic corruption from the book “Farming Humans”)
I observed how easily corruption wins. It wins over things like money, power, trust, and yes, even some of what we call “science”. I have long tried to imagine a new game, played in the style of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, but using real-life principles. Principles can change the world. Power, Money, Trust, and other things came to mind for the game, but when I tried each, and then added “Corruption” into the game, corruption won every time, and the fun of “Rock, Paper, Scissors is that it is a game where no one-thing wins every time.
I feel that a major reason that billions of people on earth suffer, is due to corruption. Yet it is taboo to speak of corruption in our professional, political, or other trusted powers. Concealed corruption also causes great societies to decline…or collapse, while the media focuses the blame on the lazy kid on the left…and not the corruption on the right…right?
“Corruption Works!” could be the slogan of some professionals and trusted public servants. It works inside some of our most important systems. It works because of human instincts to sell oneself to the highest bidder, to obtain maximum rewards for ourselves.
Regulatory Capture (and the ability to “self”-regulate) is a very common element of corruption, and it appears in most examples I observe. Regulatory bodies begin with good intentions, but soon discover that much greater (personal) benefits can be gained by selling out the public. Selling out the public is even instinctually easier than selling yourself, however, the irony is that a professional sells both, when they choose to betray the public interest for personal gain.
Transparency International calls corruption the abuse of public-entrusted power, for private-gain.
Corruption Example One “Trust us, to create all the money”
Public entrusted power (in the US) has “printed” nearly ten times as much money, in the last dozen years, than was created in the previous 100 years of money creation. ** According to the Federal Reserve balance sheet, (a public entrusted power), trillions of dollars have been created since 2008. Much of that money seems to have ended up in the pockets of private investments, banks, rocket owners, billionaires, corporations and a few politicians. Money-creation for non-corrupt nations, is to be done by a process that allows all members of society to benefit in a manner that is fair. Perhaps not equal to all, but fair to all. There should not be tiny trickles of highest-cost money available to the public, while a “Niagara Falls” of free, or near-zero-cost money rains upon a few Kleptocrats***. Every dollar created by the US Federal Reserve, involves one dollar of debt, placed on the backs of all taxpayers…and some Kleptocrats do not even pay taxes. Fairness would require that the benefits of money-creation be distributed as fairly as the debt cost is distributed. That is not the case. Some of the smartest people in America protested loudly when they saw this unfairness 100 years ago. Dozens of those voices are quoted in “Farming Humans”, Chapter 9, about the then-new Federal Reserve system of money creation. Previous American colonists took up arms over 200 years ago, when they were tired of being farmed by their British masters…
When there is a ten-fold increase in money creation, (in the trillions), and a corresponding increase in billionaires, a pattern emerges. But remember, cabals of organized professionals are “self-regulating”. They are police, judge, jury and beneficiary of their financial assaults upon society.
(**source: The Federal Reserve balance sheet (borrowing and money printing) has increased from under one Trillion dollars to nearly eight Trillion since the 2007 economic meltdown.
It has literally been a free-money-picnic for a group of select Americans, while the entire country pays for the cost, without being able to attend…corruption wins!
***Oxford English Dictionary defines “Kleptocrat” as “A thief in a position of political power; a greedy or corrupt politician.”
Corruption Example Two “Trust us” to protect investors.
Since 1987, I have observed the perfect breach of public trust, in my profession. I worked as an investment advisor, which is an altered spelling of the Securities Act registration category called “Adviser”. Advisers are professionals who must act with a fiduciary duty to each investor.
Advisor, on the other hand, is a non-regulated title, and carries no such duty of care. An “advisor” can sell you more-expensive, lesser-performing investments, in order to meet investment dealer sales and profit quotas. Notice the “vowel movement” between the terms “Advisor and Adviser”. You can thank both lawyers and regulators for helping pull off this clever deception on the public. Public-entrusted regulators in the industry earn generous six-figure salaries to turn a blind eye, paid by the very industry that they are paid to “police”.
Over 90% of retail investors in Canada, USA, and I believe also in the UK, have “advisors” (salespersons), while being led into the belief that they have professional “Advisers” with the fiduciary duty in law. Would you put your health in the hands of someone calling themselves a “Docter”? This is effectively what nine out of ten investors are doing with their financial health.
CBC has been the sole source of truth on this issue. They alone have warned the public of the bait and switch. Below is a comedy sketch, done after CBC News stories covered the fake-advisor scam. It is under two minutes, and worth seeing.
This clever legal trick (the “vowel movement”) causes millions of retail investors to surrender their trust and their money, to product selling agents (AKA “Advisors"). Investors need only heed one warning sign: “Selling products” is not “advice”, and “professional advice” does not involve "product sales”. If the person you trust is doing both roles, then he/she is not a professional fiduciary. If you ever get a chance to ask Warren Buffet about the difference between a Doctor, and a pharmaceutical pill salesperson, his answer will help you to understand.
Readers who deal with “Advisors”, are never told how the difference in the two roles is enough to cut the future retirement savings of investors by half, or more. This information is hidden thanks to the industry-funding of “regulators”.
Below, in italics, Michael Rage explains why retail investors are usually in the dark. Retail investors range from everyday "Mom and Pop” investors, up to and including those with investments in the tens of millions of dollars, some even more.
- “Tell me you’re a sucker without telling me you’re a sucker.”
- Answer: “I’m a retail customer.”
Michael Rage explains “retail”:
“Retail’ is the one word that openly proclaims that you’re the mark in the con-job; whether the context is shopping, investment, banking or financial services, etc.
Retail, by definition, means that you come at the END of the chain. Even though the people immediately ahead of you in that chain may say things like “The customer is always right.” to your face, you are, in absolute and undeniable fact, the VERY LAST priority in that line.”
“Rest assured, dear Retail Client, that everyone ahead of you in that industry chain has vested their interests ahead of you, and holds their interests ahead of yours, else why would they be there? Your job, of course, is merely to come along and pay the price that nobody ahead of you was willing to pay for that exact same thing that you just bought.
Caveat emptor, indeed.”
(Vested interest: a variable noun. If you have a vested interest, you have a very strong reason for acting in a particular way, for example, to protect money, power, or reputation.)
Corruption Example Three, “Trust us, we will protect your public resources.”
This example of regulatory capture involves plans for increased coal mining in public watersheds, which could bring in millions of dollars to the Province of Alberta. The Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains provides clean snow-melt water and this flows as far as the Hudson Bay, 1000 kilometers distant. Most of the agriculture in Canada is produced in the Prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) according to The Canadian Encyclopedia. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/agriculture-in-canada
Millions depend on it for life, and billions worth of agriculture products are produced with it. To jeopardize both human life (drinking water spoilage) and one of Canada’s largest industry’s for comparative “pennies” in royalty payments seems contrary to the public interest. But it could be very rewarding to the vested-interests of regulators and politicians…both of whom seem happy to sell out their trust, while also selling out the public.
How much money does Alberta make from coal?
In 2020, the Alberta government collected $14.3 million in royalties from coal (this does not include freehold production of coal). Royalties vary annually depending on the coal price. In the last five years, royalties have ranged between $8 million and $23 million per year.
Why do foreign interests need Canada’s clean mountain water to wash billions of tons of coal? A mine employee informed me that if the coal is not properly washed, it will be rejected by the foreign buyer at the port on the BC coast. It seems a shame, (and perhaps a criminal Breach of Trust), to place financial interests of politicians, regulators, and foreign corporations, ahead of the financial and public interest of millions of Canadians.
From section 122 of Canadian Criminal Code: “Every official who, in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person.”
Justice Laws Website
In the below article, Montana and Idaho speak about coal-wash contamination of shared rivers, thanks to the Canadian style of energy “regulation".
“U.S. demands explanation from province over river pollution from B.C. mines”
**In 2019-2020 coal represented just $11.8 million or 0.2% of Alberta's total non-renewable resource revenue of $5.9 billion. Wikipedia
Corruption Example Four Financial connections found between government Health Care, and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers? What could go wrong…?
Just recently I learned that much of the funding of HEALTH CANADA, now comes directly from pharmaceutical companies. Is this yet another game of financial capture/influence played upon the public?
"Health Canada is responsible for national health policy, and is increasingly funded by pharmaceutical interests, according to The Drug & Alcohol Testing Association of Canada (DATAC).”
“Before user fees were introduced in 1994, Health Canada was entirely funded by tax dollars. Now, with the majority of its funding arising directly from the pharmaceutical industry, questions have been raised about whether or not the goal of drug companies to sell their products in vast quantities poses a conflict of interest with Health Canada’s responsibility to provide safe and effective drugs to Canadians.”
A journalist I spoke to about this reminded me of Dr. Shiv Chopra’s book a few years back, titled “Corrupt To The Core”. Dr. Chopra wrote about his work at Health Canada, and efforts to stop Monsanto's Posilac (a bovine growth hormone), from entering Canada’s milk supply. Dr. Chopra was fired in 2004 for truth-telling on what he called Health Canada’s corrupt drug approval process. He is the sole reason that Canadian milk drinkers are not consuming bovine growth hormone today.
The story of Dr. Shiv Chopra is at https://www.foodsovereigntycanada.com/tag/health-canada/ https://www.foodsovereigntycanada.com/tag/health-canada/
And from the US comes this:
“The thing that bugs me is that the people think the FDA is protecting them - it isn't. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day,” he said.
Herbert L. Ley Jr. - Wikipedia Dr. Herbert Leonard Ley Jr. (September 7, 1923 – July 22, 2001) was an American physician and the 10th Commissioner and head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Does any industry tell the truth about the danger of industry-funded regulators? Or is it best to be silent, accept the financial incentives, and sell-out the public? I wonder how history will remember such “industry funded regulators”?
Is it fair that some of the most profitable “products” in history, can earn billions while not having basic liability insurance for adverse effects on the public? My car carries $2 mil in public liability insurance just to be on the road. Are vaccines so risky as to be insurable, or have industry funded regulators allowed all possible public protections to be waived in return for industry incentives? (note, this author is vaccinated so please understand my concern is not a personal bias, but rather an Agnotologist line of thinking and questioning)
The answer must not be, “I trust science!”, since that is nearly the same logic as saying , “I trust my advisor…or I trust my government.” It is not logic at all, but unexpressed fear, making a wish...to not be afraid. It is the intellectual equivalent of whistling in the dark.
Corruption wins in nearly any arena it enters. The public’s job must be to determine if corruption has found its way into any area we are betting our lives and futures on…not to blindly state our “wishes”, as if that made them facts. Corruption can bring enough money to purchase any human link in the chain of science, politics, finance, medicine, etc. . Corruption wins because it involves human instincts of self preservation. Self preservation instincts are triggered in every human, when someone in a position of power over them, takes them aside, and quietly says, “we need you to be a team player on this one….” I have noticed the words to this effect popping up in every case of systemic corruption I have seen.
Some will disagree with what I have written. I understand. This topic pushes buttons of fear, emotion, denial and painful cognitive dissonance. The pandemic alone, has split friends and even families apart, and personal financial situations are even more difficult to discuss. That is one reason why investors are forced into trusting even fake (non Adviser registered) advisors. Because they have no other avenue to truth, when all roads are purchased and private. The other sad thing is that cognitive dissonance (and the Dunning Kruger effect) is almost never self-revealing, allowing humans to be farmed as easy as sheep, myself included. Please take no personal offense from anything in this article. Your future depends upon your ability to not be fooled.
My responsibility is to NOT cause pain for future generations, just so I can have a better life for myself today. I cannot look away, while professionals and public servants sell out the public for personal gain. Our responsibility is to make sacrifices, and to say and do difficult things. Things to ensure that our children are not made to suffer, because of our own selfish choices.
Lets learn something about “Agnotolgy”. Why this is a hidden topic itself? Ask your University why?
“Agnotology is the study of wilful acts to spread confusion and deceit, usually to sell a product or win favor.”
I also hope we stop simply believing every word of captured regulators, corporations, and politicians who may be driven by hidden vested-interests. If society is to hold together, we must recognize that public entrusted powers are often easily captured, and used for private gain.
Larry Elford recently published a book titled “Farming Humans”, which is based upon personal experiences and insights into systemic corruption. It is a simple book that tells why we can no longer have nice things…or why only 0.01 percent of us…can have really nice things.
The publisher can be contacted at VisualInvestigations@shaw.ca if you would care to comment, correct, or to provide examples for further research/writing in this area.