maydijo wrote:I've never understood how this works: When you're issued with a SSN, the federal government, which is trillions of dollars in debt, sets up a super-top-secret bank account with anywhere from tens of thousands to tens of millions of dollars in it. This somehow means that you are now a slave who is sold to to a corporation at birth. The only way this makes even a teeny little bit of sense is if you believe that all companies are actually owned by the government, and the government pays the corporations your salary. But even if you could somehow create a mind-pretzel that would believe that (which is a pretty tough proposition, considering the way businesses work - shutting down, firing people, etc. whether the government likes it or not) I'm still very unclear on how, exactly, the existence of this account turns you into a super-top-secret bank account turns you into a slave. You still get paid for your work; you still have the choice of where you are going to work or if you are going to work; where is the slavery in any of that? Also, considering the way the government raids social security etc. when there is a budget short-fall, we are supposed to believe that somehow these super-top-secret bank accounts are completely off-limits?
Now granted, I don't have John P Capitalist's level of money-smarts. But this makes no sense to me.
Thank you for the shout-out. Unsurprisingly, understanding the roots of this theory requires absolutely zero understanding of high finance, and can be explained solely by the psychology of incompetence and stupidity.
It's normal human nature to "demonize the enemy." If you are a perennial loser in life, explaining the endless sequence of failures and disappointments in your life is far more comfortable when you avoid looking at the bad choices you've made. It's much more comfortable to blame someone else. And in order to blame someone else without admitting your own incompetence, you have to make the enemy much more powerful than you are.
So people who believe in conspiracy theories typically believe that their destiny is utterly controlled by shadowy forces with superpowers that are not exhibited by normal mortals. Some astonishing percentage of people in the Middle East believe that Jews can fly like Superman, for instance. So when you are one of life's losers, you don't blame your lack of skills or the economically disadvantaged area where you live and that you refuse to leave. You blame some secret conspiracy to keep a staggering amount of money away from you where no one can get at it.
The reality of economic life is generally harsh and unforgiving when you are an ill-trained participant in an unskilled labor market in a geographically undesirable part of the country. I can only imagine that as desperation sets in later in life of unending futility, people see wealth and easy money on TV, and are willing to go to extremes in order to try to get "their share."
Against that backdrop, it's easy for either deranged or dishonest people to come in and put forth a scam such as the Treasury Direct Account fraud.
It is not clear to me that people promoting this fraud actually understand the payment system and the degree of trust by which it operates, where payments are often credited immediately though they remain contingent on final availability of funds from the source institution. In some cases, the hucksters will just show a statement showing that the loan was paid off, dated a day after the "payment" was made, before the provisional payment was inevitably reversed.
I love how the suckers who believe in this nonsense think that the reversal of a payment means that the bank is somehow breaking the law. I'm sure that all of those account holder agreements that banks enclose every so often with your bills, the ones nobody reads, spells out in excruciating detail how payments are provisional until an irrevocable final transfer of funds takes place. Of course, the ignorant won't understand what that means even if you tried to explain it to them.
In other circumstances, fraudsters like Randy Beane get temporarily lucky and are able to kite a payment as he did in buying this RV. Frankly, I'm surprised that USAA would have allowed a wire transfer out of his account with a transaction so far out of what must have been the normal pattern of account activity. Beane got busted only because the dealer wouldn't let him take the vehicle immediately. If you have ever wondered why there always seems to be a wait of a few days between signing a deal to sell you a car and allowing you to pick up the vehicle, now you know why.
The avoidance of responsibility for one's own life can go to pretty significant extremes. If you look at the Heather Tucci-Jarraf site, she explains Beane's arrest as a way for the government to silence him as a whistleblower with secret inside information about all sorts of unlikely military conspiracies. Given that the audience for her nonsense is already conditioned to believe almost anything, some percentage will swallow it completely.
Incidentally, one thing that Wall Street types are good at is sniffing out a lot of details about money in various places in the world. We're not perfect -- we do get stuff wrong a fair percentage of the time, but we win more than we lose. Knowing the capabilities of my colleagues, it is absolutely impossible that we would not know of secret reserves of trillions of dollars of cash sitting in secret accounts. "Wall Street secrecy" is an oxymoron up there with "military intelligence" or "DMV customer service."
Even if the majority of the Wall Street crowd was clueless, someone would have talked to someone or attempted to hire someone or had otherwise interacted with someone in Treasury that knew about such an immense amount of money. And once someone starts trading on it, others would see unusual trades and would try to figure out what was going on, and the secret would eventually get out.
So even if everyday common sense didn't cause you to dismiss the bizarre theories of secret Treasury cash out of hand, the fact that, in the decades since these accounts were allegedly created (typically imagined starting when FDR "confiscated" gold in 1933), not one single person on Wall Street had discovered their existence and managed to make a fortune trading on that stunning revelation, ought to be sufficient proof that this is nonsense.