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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've always been more interested in political economics and what's going on behind the scenes in politics, than in mechanical engineering, and because of that I've rarely worked more than 8 months a year, devoting much of the rest of the year to reading and writing about that which interests me most.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Zombie Politics & Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism (14 comments)
We live in a society whose political, media, & financial institutions are without a soul, most the members of which society walk in a world in where the lust for power & wealth corrupts absolutely, & sucks away real life. It's not just that rich people now control the economy & all the commanding institutions of society. What you have is basically a transgression against, & abandonment of, the basic ideals of democracy.
Friday, September 27, 2013 Are computers & automation decimating the middle class & does access to elite jobs need to be shared more equitably? (2 comments)
We talk and debate "unemployment" now, but the unemployment issue will soon come front and center, as continually _expanding_ unemployment gradually pushes down, down, down the life and comforts, even the reason for being, of people who lack the skills or ambition to find a useful (highly skilled computer-literate professional) job (40 hrs/wk, 50 wks/yr) that's capable of supporting a family at middle-class levels or above.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 If Ecocide and World War Are To Be Avoided, Must We Somehow Step Off the Hyperproduction-Hyperconsumption Treadmill? (6 comments)
One way to help our unemployment & poverty problems: Adopt a basic, guaranteed-income program (of the kind Richard Nixon and a few renegade economists once favored) & like the one currently in operation in Ontario, Canada. This would allow a transition from a war economy to a peace economy & from a wasteful economy to an efficient economy, as we moved away from "produce all the crap that can possibly be marketed & sold."
Saturday, August 17, 2013 Are there any realistic ways that ecocide & world war might be avoided? (18 comments)
How best could the US organize and execute a reduction in superfluous consumption? Or, should we just continue to sit back and do nothing, and simply let the unfortunate and unlucky take the brunt of the hit from the scheming plutocrats, banksters, bought-off politicos and corporados who are directing ever more of the national income into their own pockets? In other words, should we just let poverty rates continue to rise?
Thursday, August 1, 2013 Permanent Recession for Workers vs. the Pro-Growth Fantasies of Politicians & Most Economists (24 comments)
There are major obstacles to rising standards of living for ordinary Americans, among them the leveling off of educational attainment, globalization, rising resource costs, high fiscal deficits and rising private indebtedness. The rise in real disposable incomes of those outside the top 1% will stop. Contrary to the pep talks of most economists & pols, this is not going to change. This means permanent recession for workers.
Monday, July 29, 2013 Is there an invisible government, parallel to the one we foolishly think of as a democracy? (5 comments)
Two governments: the one its citizens are familiar with, operated more or less in the open; the other a parallel top-secret government whose secret parts have mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre. It's guided in some respects by its own court, known as the FISA court, which according to the NY Times has become almost a parallel Supreme Court.
Sunday, July 28, 2013 Stunning letter to Obama from Snowden's father (11 comments)
Thoreau's moral philosophy found expression during the Nuremburg trials in which "following orders" was rejected as a defense. Indeed, military law requires disobedience to clearly illegal orders. A dark chapter in America's World War II history would not have been written if the then United States Attorney General had resigned rather than participate in racist concentration camps imprisoning 120,000 Japanese American citizens
Saturday, June 29, 2013 Why we're headed for a double dip (3 comments)
As wages stagnate & shrink for most consumers, and interest rates rise, consumer spending will shrink. When interest rates increase, consumer spending declines because it costs the consumer more to borrow, so they step back from buying. Problem is, consumer spending is the backbone of any growth in the US economy. If it decreases, our economic growth prospects shrink, and this will eventually hurt corporate earnings & stocks.
Monday, May 13, 2013 Global Economic Crisis and the Coming/Current Depression (9 comments)
Obama's Director of National Intelligence has warned that the deepening world capitalist crisis poses a paramount threat to US national security, & that its continuation could trigger a return to the violent extremism of the 1920s and 30s. Clearly underlying his remarks are fears within our massive US intelligence apparatus, as well as among the more conscious layers of America's ruling elite, that this could lead revolution.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 Financial Experts with Great Prediction Records Are Saying Another Economic Meltdown is Imminent (39 comments)
Rickards explained his concerns at the Pentagon's Warfare Analysis Laboratory. He was asked by generals to carefully lay out this "Economic Pearl Harbor" scenario that allegedly stems from a financial war that our very own leaders have (inadvertently?) started, and which is now precipitating a global counterattack that nobody on Capitol Hill, at the Treasury, or at the Federal Reserve wants to talk about or even acknowledge.
Friday, April 19, 2013 What Are Derivatives and Why Do They Imperil the U.S. Economy? (10 comments)
We should not have allowed these banks to get so large that they could use our deposited money to make trillions of dollars of reckless bets. But we stood by and let it happen. Our legislators are virtually owned by the big banks and were afraid to bight the hand that feeds them. Now these banks have grown so important to, and integrated within, our overall economy, that their dissolution or insolvency would wreck us.
Sunday, April 14, 2013 The New Feudalism: Big Corporations and the United States of Ever-growing Inequality (17 comments)
US corporations are sitting on nearly $2 trillion of cash, not sure what to do with it except hide more of it offshore. They can't expand production because, after years of rising prices, & falling wages for the bottom 80%, the necessary consumer demand is just not there. Surprise, surprise. So, as technology, off-shoring and productivity continue their unstoppable advance, how many of us will eventually join the unemployed?
Friday, April 12, 2013 Will the Coming Economic War With China End the American Empire? (27 comments)
China is mobilizing resources & gathering allies around the globe in preparation for this war. In league with a small group of rogue nations, they have one purpose: to crush the economic, political & military strength of the US by targeting America's Achilles heel: the petrodollar. Their plan is to (by that means and others) send the USdollar (today the world's reserve curreny) into the dustbin of history, at great cost to us.
Thursday, March 21, 2013 The Central Role of Central Bankers in the Wars of the Past Two Centuries (49 comments)
As long as the predation of privately-owned central banks is allowed to continue, there will be poverty, hopelessness, and millions of deaths in endless wars. The path to peace on Earth lies in the abolition of all private central banking everywhere, and a return to the government-issued, value-based currency on which this nation was founded, which will help nations and people everywhere to prosper, without war.
Friday, February 8, 2013 The Lucrative Revolving Door Between Washington and Wall Street --- At What Cost to Ourselves and Our Economy? (2 comments)
Here's an astounding "admission" by our former assistant A.G. in which "he" confesses that his lucrative career would be over if he ever prosecuted any banksters. Likely there was, in this video clip, a faked voice-over that was substituted for his actual remarks, especially in view of his mention of how many asses he has kissed and how many fellow Americans he has "screwed" by way of his actions. And yet the truth comes out.
Sunday, January 6, 2013 Another Global Banking Crisis Now Taking Shape (4 comments)
It was all a lie, one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in, only temporarily, to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: we committed American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 Is Our Economy Being Artificially Maintained and Propped Up? If So, How and Why? (12 comments)
Smoke and mirrors are used to make us believe the US economy is authentic, robust and sound. This is an illusion. We hear about ever more people begging for jobs and the politicians promising them, but short of another WPA/CCC program, or massive funding for a national infrastructure bank (neither of which House Republicans would ever permit), politicians can't (except by way of the military-industrial complex) provide them.
Monday, December 10, 2012 The Enormous Potential of Interest-Free, Government-Issued Currency, Part 2 (11 comments)
Our government has the sovereign power to issue money & spend it into circulation to promote the general welfare including the building of infrastructure both human & material. This we could be doing rather than allowing banksters to use money, taken from taxpayers, for speculation, thereby causing one crisis after another. To prevent our nation's next financial debacle, Congress must now reclaim the power to issue money.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 What We Could Accomplish in the USA with Interest-Free, Government-Issued Currency (41 comments)
Globally, 40% of banks are publicly owned, mostly in Brazil, Russia, India and China. By 2040, the 'BRICs' will overtake the G6. Their banks work for the benefit of the public instead of for banksters. In these nations, there is no inflation & no gov't debt. In the past 24 years, the US has paid $8 trillion in interest on what is now a $15 trillion debt. With publicly owned banks, this loot could have been much better spent.
Saturday, December 1, 2012 Are Banksters & the Fed Becoming the Fourth Branch of Our Government? (61 comments)
Despite its pathetic propaganda encouraging us to practice doublethink, the Federal Reserve freely admits that it is privately owned, is a monopoly empowered by Congress, and that it operates independently from -- above? -- Congress and the president. Yet it pays its private undisclosed shareholders/owners huge dividends . . that it extracts from U.S. taxpayers! Here's how it does this.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 Manufacturing Break-though, Based on 3D 'Printing,' is About to Change the World (21 comments)
According to several well-known periodicals within the mainstream media, many experts now believe a revolutionary new 3D-printer technology will trigger the rebirth of US manufacturing and put an end to the "Made in China" era. There are three cutting-edge American companies at the forefront of this revolutionary technology. The New York Times says,
"3D Printing is Spurring a Manufacturing Revolution."
Monday, November 26, 2012 Fossil fuel industry's plan for us: Burn 5X more carbon than is compatible with a livable planet (4 comments)
Young people, whose whole future is ahead of them, must tell their universities, all of whom have a huge endowment that includes holdings in fossil fuel companies. They must say to those who are charged with their education, "Explain to me how you can prepare me for a future that with your investments you're demonstrating you don't believe in." How can you prepare me for a future at the same time as you bet against my future?
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 Is there an economic root to ever more extreme weather events like Sandy? (7 comments)
Can you imagine what would happen to our ecocidal hyper-production, hyper-consumption tread-mill society if we ever found a way to allow any low-paid worker who wanted a better job . . to work directly, cooperatively and efficiently on the production of all basic goods and services -- and then, in return for such work, they would receive their fair share of all the basic goods and services they helped produce?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 Tom Friedman: "Where and How Our Economy Went Wrong, and How to Right It" (13 comments)
We got seduced by the riches and rewards of financial engineering. Too little economic growth, too much debt, and a Wall Street risk/gambling/culture gone crazy. Together, these things culminated in a global financial crisis. As we slipped way down in global rankings, we assumed that our traditional global edge in entrepreneurship and innovation could compensate for our declines in educational attainment. Big mistake.
Sunday, October 7, 2012 The Real Republican Agenda Exposed (9 comments)
Of the $5.3 trillion in cuts Romney and Ryan have proposed, nearly 2/3rds come from programs for the poor. But when it comes time to eviscerate the rest of the federal budget, i.e. funding for things like drug enforcement and public schools, Congress will never cut those programs that deeply. In other words, the rich will get their tax cuts, the poor will remain destitute, and America will be driven ever deeper into debt.
Thursday, September 6, 2012 Revolt of the Rich: Have Our Financial Elites Already Seceded from America? (8 comments)
Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension--and viable public transportation doesn't even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 How and Why Is Global Corporate Capitalism Obsolete? (13 comments)
Only half the civilian population is now employed. 12 years ago it was 64%. Result: 23 million of us can't find work. Since Jan. 2009, 3/4 of all new jobs created in the US were in the lowest-paid sector. This stifled any chance of upward mobility or growth in median income, which fell by 9% since Jan. 2009, as average household wealth dropped by 40%. Since 2000, most jobs either moved overseas or are now being done by robots.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 New Evidence that THC (in marijuana) Is Effective Against Cancer and Other Diseases (12 comments)
A recent Harvard study shows that THC cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread. This is the first set of experiments to show that THC actually activates naturally produced receptors to fight off lung cancer. Tumors were reduced in size & weight by half in treated mice compared to a control group, with 60% fewer cancer lesions on the lungs of treated mice.
Sunday, August 5, 2012 $26 Trillion of Bankster Fraud & Theft According to Ron Paul, Alan Grayson and Bernie Sanders (24 comments)
Imagine that your family had $250,000 saved and thieves took it. But the legal system, more aligned with the thieves than with you, didn't care to help you. Actually that just happened. Everyone who was unemployed could have been given a job. A vast public works program could have created to stimulate the economy. This money would then have been an investment in the country & its people, instead of a one-time gift to banks.
Thursday, July 12, 2012 Moyers & Taibbi Explain How the Wall Street Mafia Holds America and the World Hostage (19 comments)
Consider the systematic rigging of municipal bond auctions, which have essentially robbed every community in every state in the country. All of the major banks were involved, including JPMorgan Chase. They were rigging the auctions that were designed to create a fair rate of return on the money local governments borrowed for municipal bonds. This is a lot like something the mafia does.
Monday, July 2, 2012 Are We About to Be Enslaved by the Central Banks of the World? (10 comments)
For a 25-cent investment, the US gov't is a $1 billion richer & the banksters at the Fed have an additional $1 billion in bonds thru which they can begin to extract large amounts of interest payments from the rest of us. Where exactly does the money come from that's used to pay this interest, which ultimately ends up in the pockets of the banksters? Ultimately it comes from taxpayers like you & me, who must work to earn it.
Monday, June 18, 2012 The Ongoing Multi-Trillion Dollar Heist That Continues to Shrink America's Middle Class (12 comments)
Remember how the mafia used to tell businesses to either pay up or your business will be ruined? What we have here is the new mafia, on a global scale. The main difference is that their names are not Italian. The 2nd largest difference is that the original mafia were pikers and tiny tots by comparison. The 3rd largest difference is that the new mafia essentially owns our gov't & can hire the best attorneys in the world.
Thursday, June 14, 2012 Why do white collar criminals, especially banksters, have so little to worry about in the USA? (7 comments)
Fully 75% of nontraditional loans made by our biggest banks were liar's loans. Therefore hundreds of these banks and their senior officers should now be facing prosecution, yet this isn't happening. Why not? Could it have something to do with the fact that these banks are currently allowed to contribute many millions of dollars to the political campaign funds of our president and members of Congress?
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 Canadian professor blows lid off of America's phony "war on terrorism" (38 comments)
After 911 the fully enlivened myth of the outside enemy & threat of Islamic terrorists was used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan & Iraq - invasions that had been planned, or at least anticipated, for more than a year prior to 9/11. Further, & perhaps more importantly, these invasions helped provide the backdrop & political environment necessary for surreptitiously repealing civil liberties & constitutional gov't in the US.
Thursday, May 17, 2012 Are Banksters Robbing, & Even Killing, Millions of People Worldwide? If So, How? (1 comments)
John Perkins worked as an "economic planner' for an international consulting firm & describes the economic hegemony of banksters, the IMF, World Bank & the exploitative victimization of 3rd World nations. His job was to negotiate huge loans to these nations - loans of money that banksters created out of thin air and which they knew could never be repaid. In the process that followed, millions were further impoverished.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 Are We in the Middle of What Will Prove to Be the Deadliest Financial Cycle Ever? (10 comments)
The deeper the debt crisis gets, the more that governments are driven to print funny money, to save the big, gambling-addicted banks. And the more funny money that governments print, the deeper the crisis therefore gets. So, given that banksters essentially own and control our top government officials, are we in the middle of what will prove to be the deadliest financial cycle ever? Quite likely so.
Thursday, April 19, 2012 The US Housing Bubble and Aftermath: Economist Dean Baker's Account of What Should Have Been Done (7 comments)
Alan Greenspan should have led economists to document the potential harm of the bubble, and burst it early, before it could destroy and/or allow the theft of $7 trillion of wealth, and thereby ruin tens of millions of lives. By the peak of the bubble in 2006, the median increase in house prices was more than 70% above the rate of inflation. It was time for Greenspan and Congress to act. Instead they sat on their hands.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 How and Why the Operations of the Fed Will Eventually Bring Down the Economy (5 comments)
How can the widening gap between ever more multiplied indebtedness, and productivity-backed money, be reconciled? It can't. This widening gap exists in an inherently unsustainable system, wherein ever increasing debt will eventually and inevitably eclipse the entire value of all the world's resources, assets, and productive effort - unless debt is simply forgiven. Or, we must come to terms with unsustainable debt-based money.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Chemicals in your food that may well cause heart disease, diabetes, BPH and cancer (1 comments)
Bisphenol-A, a controversial chemical used in the lining of nearly all cans used by the food&beverage industry, got a reprieve from the gov't last week. Responding to a court order to decide on the Natural Resources Defense Council's petition to ban the stuff on the grounds that it causes harm even in tiny doses, the FDA rejected the petition and upheld its approval of BPA, thereby saving the food industry billions.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 Paul Craig Roberts' stunning insight into the peculiar nature of American empire (14 comments)
George W. Bush and Barack Obama have doubled the national debt, and quite incredibly the American people have derived no benefits from it. No riches and no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington's wars. So what was it all about? The answer is that Washington's empire extracts resources FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THEMSELVES -- for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America.
Friday, March 30, 2012 The present global crisis is not at its core an economic depression but rather a systemic failure (12 comments)
In the wake of the current crisis, more people are questioning the primacy of growth-at-all-costs. President Sarkozy, the Nobel-prizewinning economist Joseph Stiglitz, and elements of the Financial Times's commentariat are among those now arguing that prosperity is possible without GNP growth, and indeed that prosperity will soon become impossible because of GNP growth. In fact, a new movement seems to be emerging.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Will America's Growing Mountain of Private Indebtedness Lead to Another Windfall for Banksters, at Our Expense? (3 comments)
How many times can the Fed bail out the banksters (who are getting ever more obscenely rich off this scam), as they continue to collect trillions in magic money from the Fed, before this racket cripples our economic system and flattens most of us financially? In other words, for how much longer are the majority of Americans going to remain deaf, dumb and blind as regards this scheme that is impoverishing so many of us?
Monday, March 26, 2012 The Coming Financial Collapse in Europe? (17 comments)
Between 2008 and 2011, Iceland: a) had its banks default on $85 billion in debt, an amount that is more than 6 times the size of the country's annual GDP ($13 billion). (The debt of most advanced countries is nowhere near that multiple of its GDP.), b) jailed the bankers responsible for committing fraud during the bubble, c)
gave Icelandic citizens debt forgiveness equal to 13% of GDP! Greece could do the same, and might.
Sunday, March 18, 2012 Why Wall Street must crash, must hit bottom (15 comments)
What follows here are the 10 characteristics of the self-destructive, addictive personality. As you read each of the ten & also the paragraph that follows each one, about what's happening on Wall St. today, you'll see why the Street's collective mental state is so damaged that it's on track to hit bottom, crash and burn, in a meltdown more damaging than 2008. Yes, the Wall St. crowd will take down the rest of America with it.
Thursday, March 15, 2012 The Devious Republican Strategy for Winning in November (21 comments)
If the Repugs can just keep the rubes all riled up about all those "slutty" single women using birth control and the "moral decay" of the "family unit," and such, the rubes might once again be persuaded to just vote with their emotions, on "moral issues," rather than take the time to rationally understand how Republican (and Bluedog dem) politicians helped break the economy in the first place: (Read the article; it's short.)
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 A million-plus homeowners foreclosed upon illegally in 5 years. Here's how and why. (5 comments)
The 5 banks that recently got off so easy with their sweet $25bn settlement -- BofA, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally--engaged "in a pattern of unfair and deceptive practices," the complaint says, but refrains from any use of words like "criminal" or "fraud." Cd it be that the banksters in a sense already own the USDept of Justice? After all, what else can you call a $25bn fine, for a 100bn theft, except sweet?
Friday, March 9, 2012 David Stockman: More Reasons to Be Pessimistic About the US Economy (8 comments)
The reason Stockman is so down on the US economy is that it's become super-saturated with debt. Typically the private & public sectors would borrow $1.50-$1.60 a year for every $1 of GDP growth. It had been at that ratio for 100 yrs. But by the time we got to the peak in 2006 or 2007, we were actually taking on _$6_ of new debt in order to grind out $1 of new GDP.
However, by the time we got to the mid-'90s, we were
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 Bill Gates' $27 Million Idiocy: Helping Monsanto Spread Genetically Modified Crops (7 comments)
The Gates' Foundation's direct investment in Monsanto is problematic on two primary levels. First, Monsanto has a history of blatant disregard for the interests and well-being of small farmers around the world, as well as an appalling environmental record. The strong connections to Monsanto cast serious doubt on the Foundation's heavy funding of agricultural development in Africa and purported goal of alleviating poverty.
Saturday, March 3, 2012 Grandest of All Ponzi Schemes? Foreign Central Banks Begin Buying US Stocks (4 comments)
A small number of central banks have started investing part of their reserves in US equities. About 9% of the foreign-exchange reserves of Switzerland's central bank were invested in shares at the end of the third quarter, the Swiss bank said on its website. In addition, the Bank of Israel recently began a pilot program to invest a portion of its foreign currency reserves in US equities.
Thursday, March 1, 2012 How Was It That So Many Members of Our Middle Class Were Financially Crushed? (7 comments)
CDOs were a clever version of a Ponzi scheme primarily because they provided ever more markets & investors & allowed banks to ever more profitably leverage their exposure, while brokers continued to get their lavish bonuses, thereby allowing everyone to ignore the inevitable, keeping their heads in the sand for yet another profitable day, which they all did, until the collapse in home prices drove the gravytrain off da tracks.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Dylan Ratigan: "Six Sectors of the US Economy Badly in Need of Restructuring" (1 comments)
Ratigan describes the need for a kind of whole-system transition, as all countries are now linked in a form of globalization driven by finance, economics & technologies whose impacts have produced many unforeseen and negative as well as positive consequences. Futurists have studied these trends for decades and have come to many similar conclusions re: the need for whole-system re-structuring, discussed mainly outside the US.
Sunday, February 26, 2012 How Wall Street Was Able to Profit from Trashing America's Mainstreet Economy (7 comments)
Here we have an exposé of the most breathtaking ruse in American politicaleconomic history: How right-wing multimillionaires, with the help of hucksters like Glen Beck and astroturf outfits like the Tea Party, were able to turn the biggest capitalist breakdown since 1929 into a huge opportunity, for themselves! Here's how people with ever lower incomes and ever more indebtedness, can be made to want lower taxes for the rich.
Sunday, February 19, 2012 Why and How the US Economy is On the Edge of a Precipice (6 comments)
Unbeknownst to most of our contemporaries, _Fortune_ is actually a _deity_, like Allah or Jesus. But unlike them she has been worshipped since ancient times -- as Tyche in Greece and as Fortuna in Rome. She continues to be worshipped today, around the world, but especially in the US, where her temples and shrines are everywhere, from the humble lottery machines at every corner shop, gas station and liquor store, to Wall St.
Monday, February 13, 2012 Corporations and Banksters Issue a Death Sentence for Greece (24 comments)
What Greece needs is a radical restructuring of its debt. It needs to wipe out bondholders, recapitalize its banks & increase fiscal support until the economy gets back on its feet. Another loan package won't help & will only delay the day of reckoning. It would be better if the country defaulted quickly and began the process of digging out now rather than later. But the corporate hyenas will not be denied their feast.
Sunday, February 12, 2012 How the Banksters Got Away With the Biggest Crime of the Century (3 comments)
CFMA not only legalized the casino capitalism of super-risky "swaps' and collateralized toxic vapor, but also made it illegal to _regulate_ the casino. Ex-Sen. Phil Gramm had the audacity to accuse Americans of being "whiners" for objecting to the theft of their life savings and homes! He also authored the anti-regulation modification that was tacked on to CFMA before it snuck through the Senate at midnight.
Friday, January 27, 2012 Wall Street's Dirtiest Deals Show Why Our Economy Fell Apart (11 comments)
After cutting a mile-wide swath of losses through the US economy, helping destroy two venerable firms (Bear and Ambac), bilking the taxpayer for untold millions, this man is also named in a lawsuit filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for allegedly speeding bad loans onto securitization before they defaulted, and he is now living the contented life of a proud family man, happily spending the millions he stole.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 Will Predatory Hedge Funds Succeed in Milking Greece for All It's Worth? (3 comments)
Hedge fund sharks are using financial terrorism to extract billions from the Greek people. And they can get away with it for one reason: the EU and America are enormously fearful that a Greek default would lead to a chain reaction of financial defaults that wd bring down the entire global financial system. Hopefully, Occupy Wall Street will one day grow into a movement large enough to end this kind of financial terrorism.
Saturday, January 21, 2012 Will Saving the Environment Require a Shorter Work Week? (11 comments)
Our current economic system, fed by carbon-based energy and other resources consumed at ever faster rates at one end, spews out waste products at rates that cannot be absorbed by Earth's ecosystems at the other, and is unsustainable. What that means is simple: Industrial society as we know it cannot go on as it has. Any rational analysis tells us that the first thing that's "gotta give" is the 40-50 hr. workweek.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 The Economic and Financial Legerdemain of the Obama & Bush Administrations (4 comments)
By understating inflation, our government has been able to create the illusion of an economic "recovery." In fact, their "positive economic growth" number is created by counting inflation as GDP growth. However, when inflation is measured in the old way (the way it was measured before Clinton's presidency), it becomes clear that the US has experienced no real GDP growth in the 21st century.
Sunday, December 25, 2011 European Economy in Dire Straits, and the US Too. How So, Why So? (10 comments)
Central banks create the easy money & lax regulatory environments where bubbles emerge & provide limitless liquidity so that their bankster pals don't lose money on the inflated value of their assets. That's what the recent $640 billion boondoggle was really about: propping up toxic bonds worth a mere fraction of their original value. Financial theater & the show must go on. The truth wd. bring down the entire house of cards.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 The coming run on European banks and the resulting crash of the European (and US?) economies (5 comments)
BofA's beleaguered bank's shares crashed through the psychologically important $5 mark yesterday, the lowest they've traded since March 2009. Other bank stocks including Morgan Stanley fell even harder as investors fretted on renewed concerns about bank capital cushions and a darkening economic outlook in Europe. This is like a fire in a 10-story building. It's burning through each floor as investors dump their shares.
Saturday, December 17, 2011 Are the Nazi-linked Backgrounds of Some of America's Biggest Corporations a Clue to the Direction We Are Headed? (17 comments)
Measures contained in the annual military budget bill strip the FBI, federal prosecutors and federal courts of most of their power to arrest and prosecute terrorists and hands it off to the military. The legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life, without charges or a trial. The bill was attached to the military budget bill to make it harder for Obama to veto.
Friday, December 9, 2011 Republican Misinformation, Scams & Delusions, and the Best Ways to Combat Them (4 comments)
Bring back Glass-Steagall to once again keep investment banks separate from savings banks. Implement Eliot Spitzer's five steps, so that banks are much more tightly regulated, controlled and supervised. Follow northern Europe's example by spending a greater percentage of our GDP on social services. Raise marginal tax rates back up to the level they were at during those periods of US history when economic growth was maximum.
Monday, December 5, 2011 Tea Party Karl Denninger Explains How Banksters Robbed Us and How to Get Some of It Back (3 comments)
We have banksters stealing anything that's not nailed down; we have co-opted Senators trying to give our president unitary authority to essentially become Stalin and establish his own cadre of "disappearance squads" whenever he wants, and we have Congress claiming to want budget discipline but at the same time intending to blow a new $200 billion hole in the deficit before the end of the year -- without creating any new jobs!
Saturday, November 26, 2011 A Solution for the Mortgage Crisis & Financial Meltdown (6 comments)
According to the U.S. Constitution, Congress is supposed to create and control our money supply. So why doesn't it? The power to create and control the supply of money is the most important human power on earth. So why did the US government, in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, **give it away** to a privately-owned third party, a cartel euphemistically and misleadingly named the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank?
Thursday, November 10, 2011 Will Europe's Growing Debt Crisis Drag the U.S. into Another Major Recession (or Worse)? (22 comments)
Just as the collapse of the U.S. housing market three years ago and Wall Street's subsequent credit crunch sent shock waves around the world, federal officials in the U.S. fear that the European debt crisis could hurt big banks there and trigger major problems here, perhaps dragging the U.S. into another major recession or worse. Like Europe was vulnerable in the crisis of '08, the U.S. is vulnerable now.
Thursday, October 27, 2011 Economist Ravi Batra Offers Some Political-Economic Insights To The Occupywallstreeters (2 comments)
OWS protesters, your efforts can not only determine the outcome of the 2012 elections, they could also end the brutality of the rich & powerful, who are responsible for the sorry state you (and most Americans) are now in. The change you can bring would be tantamount to what Abraham Lincoln did for black Americans. With enough pressure and support from you, Mr. Obama will be moved to help you change this country.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Have Two Dying Banks Managed To Trick Us Into Paying For Their Next Bailout? (6 comments)
The Bank of America's holding company, BAC, has directed the transfer of a large number of "troubled' financial derivatives from its Merrill Lynch subsidiary to the federally insured Bank of America. Even worse, the Federal Reserve has supported this transfer even though the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) opposed it. This outrageous action puts the public at substantially increased risk of loss.
Thursday, October 20, 2011 How And Why Our Federal Reserve Has Been Forced To Bail Out European Banks (16 comments)
Goldman Sachs arranged swaps that allowed Greece to borrow 1 billion Euros without adding to its official public debt. While it arranged the swaps, Goldman also sought to buy insurance on Greek debt and engage in other trades to protect itself against the risk of a default on those swaps. Eventually, Goldman sold the swaps to the national bank of Greece. Despite all this, Goldman has no exposure to a default on Greek debt.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 Why Are the Powers-that-be in America So Afraid of Cuba? (5 comments)
Declassified U.S. intelligence cables reveal that Luis Posada Carriles had spoken of plans to "hit" a Cuban airliner only days before his comrades, Ricardo and Lugo, blew it up just off the coastline of Barbados. The CIA informed Washington, but no one uttered a word of warning to the Cuban government. Why not? And why does the man who our government knows planned the attack continue to live freely and openly in Miami?
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 How the Greek economy and IMF might help banksters -- and defeat Obama next year (11 comments)
The depression in the 30s wasn't just about a market crash; there were some folks who were prepared to make _money_ from the crash. Governments don't rule the world; Goldman Sachs rules the world. And Goldman does not care about this rescue package. From manipulating food prices that cause a hunger crisis around the world, to distorting oil prices that trigger recessions for us, it's all part of a day's work for banksters.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 What/Who Caused the Economy to Tank (for everyone except big corporations & the rich)? (15 comments)
The stimulus bill and the financial rescue of the big banks are not the cause of today's record deficits. Those costs pale in comparison to the costs of tax cuts and war, which _have_ greatly swollen our deficits. These costs may be less conspicuous now, because many were enacted years ago and they have long since been absorbed into the budget projections of the Congressional Budget Office, but we should not forget them.
Saturday, September 17, 2011 Synopsis of a Wide-ranging, Recent, and Spot-on Chomsky Commentary (1 comments)
Chomsky here covers and ties together a wide range of issues, including the true cost of America's empire, the significance of Obama's recent jobs proposal, and the real reasons why corporate interests and conservatives are intent on demolishing extremely successful public programs like Social Security.
Friday, September 2, 2011 How Real is the Threat from Islamic Terrorism in the U.S.? (7 comments)
The anthrax attacks on two Dem senators were traced to US scientists at Fort Detrick, MD who were viciously anti-Muslim. These attacks had absolutely nothing to do with al Qaeda, and everything to do with causing enough hysteria to enable the administration's plans to repeal the Bill of Rights piecemeal without anyone daring to protest. Blaming these attacks on Muslim terrorists is simply the worst kind of disinformation.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 How Oligopoly Plus Oligarchy is Leading to "Corporate Communism" in America (15 comments)
We reject communism because it has always allowed a tiny group of people to consolidate control over national resources (including people), in the process ending competition, freedom and choice. It leaves its citizens stagnating under perpetually broken systems with no motivation to innovate, improve services or reduce costs. Lack of choice, unresponsive customer service, a culture of exploitation. Does this sound familiar?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 The Bogus Debt Crisis as a Diversion From the Jobs Crisis (6 comments)
The budget crisis is an artificial crisis, and the current Washington "solution" will only guarantee a deeper recession and more widespread suffering. Rather than obsessing over deficits and debt, the government needs to turn its focus to jobs and the corresponding growth in spendable income, which will lead to increased sales, more hiring & a generally improved quality of life in America. We need more than a pep talk, Obie.
Monday, July 25, 2011 The Kucinich Plan for National Economic Reform and Recovery (13 comments)
Rep. Kucinich says Congress must direct the Treasury Department to issue US Notes (like Abe Lincoln's Greenbacks, but which would also be issued in electronic deposit form) to pay off the National debt. He says the US must also increase the reserve ratio that private banks are required to maintain from 10% to 100%, thereby ending bankster ability to create money out of thin air and then loan this funny money out at interest.
Friday, July 22, 2011 President Obama's Obscenity: Cuts for Social Security, but No Taxes for Wall Street?! (9 comments)
Those who manage and regulate the economy were either unable or unwilling - willful blindness? - to see the gradual formation of an $8 trillion housing bubble. They weren't bothered by the doubling of house prices in many areas, nor by the dodgy mortgages that were sold to finance these purchases. Somehow, willfully blind people like former Fed Chair Greenspan told themselves and everyone else that everything was just fine.
Thursday, July 14, 2011 The Ultimate Goal of the Bankster-led Political-economic Warfare Being Waged Against Us Is . . . ? (22 comments)
Foreign Policy magazine recently ran an article entitled "The Next Big Thing: Neomedievalism," arguing that the power of nations is declining, and is being replaced by banks and other corporations, wealthy individuals, the sovereign wealth funds of monarchs, and city-regions. Meanwhile, leading progressive economists say that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans was "a massive redistribution of wealth, to the rich."
Monday, July 11, 2011 What's Wrong With This Economy? (17 comments)
The usual anti-recessionary move by the Fed is to lower interest rates until they get some traction in investment, home buying, etc. But that hasn't worked; industry has too much excess production capacity, inventory & excess corporate cash reserves (as a result of corps and the rich having systematically taken the lion's share of national income for so long). Result: workers lack the $ to buy what the economy needs them to.
Friday, July 8, 2011 America's Road to Fascism? (20 comments)
The downward spiral for America's great middle class is being forced to continue, so that ever more of the nation's capital and wealth can be directed to the top 1% of income receivers and wealth holders, who already own an unprecedented share of the nation's wealth and assets. This process, which now seems almost unstoppable, will inevitably lead to open rebellion, if not to outright fascism in the following clampdown.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 American Exceptionalism, Narcissism, and National Decay. How are they related? (6 comments)
We are number #1 in a lot of categories that are not so good. If we ever want to turn this country around, we need to to take a long hard look in the mirror and realize that we are #1 in divorce, drug addiction, debt, obesity, car thefts, murders and total crimes. The truth is that we have become a slothful, greedy, decadent nation that is exhibiting signs of advanced decay. This cries out for better understanding.
Sunday, July 3, 2011 Should the Federal Reserve be Nationalized and Fractional Reserve Banking Ended? (34 comments)
"Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the earth. Take it all away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it all back again. However, take the power to create money away from them, and all the great fortunes will disappear - and they ought to disappear, for this would then be a happier and better world." - Josiah Stamp
Saturday, July 2, 2011 From Democracy to Kleptocracy: What's Being Stolen From Us and How (8 comments)
The domination of the political process and the economy, by a financial cartel, was masked by a welter of purposefully obfuscating legislation. This is of course the exact same trick Wall Street used to cloak the risk of the mortgage-backed derivatives it sold as "low risk" AAA rated securities: By design, the instruments were so complex that only the originators understood how they worked. Banks now rule & own ever more.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 Health & Food Cutbacks For the Poor to Continue, So As To Keep Taxes Low For the Rich (2 comments)
The $17 billion appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture includes major cuts in nutrition programs like food stamps and WIC, a program that provides food commodities for pregnant and nursing women and their children--cuts that wd cause 1 million recipients of emergency food to go hungry! The bill also calls for a cut in the number of federal food safety inspectors. Possible cuts for the Pentagon are off the table.
Sunday, June 26, 2011 Could state-owned banks have prevented our financial crisis? (19 comments)
A state-owned public bank partners with community banks, credit unions and bigger banks to supply affordable credit to local economies. This translates into ever more loans -- for business start-ups, for farmers, and for high-tech companies and builders -- all in your home state. And much of the profits these folks make then circulates around the state, the same money being spent again and again, from one person to the next.
Saturday, June 18, 2011 How and Why Is a Real Democratic Agenda Being Suppressed? (5 comments)
Behind the smoke screen of the news cycle, there are several genuinely excellent pieces of legislation that remain more or less entirely shrouded from public view. The bills described below are among the more progressive efforts underway in our 112th Congress, with sponsors and co-sponsors representing both sides of the aisle. And they warrant far greater attention than they're getting. So why aren't they getting it?
Thursday, June 16, 2011 Is Our Leftist/Socialist Military Setting an Example That Many of Us Don't Want to Admit? (15 comments)
Our armed forces live by a very liberal ethos and it works. Our military helped lead the way in racial desegregation, and today does more to provide equal opportunity to working-class families than any social program. It has been an escalator of social mobility in our society because it invests in soldiers and gives them skills and opportunities. A general earns just 10X what a private makes, a CEO 300X what a janitor makes.
Sunday, June 12, 2011 In Romantic Relationships, Who Are More Accomplished and Successful as Manipulators? Men or Women? (29 comments)
Here are two parallel stories that are meant to be compared and discussed. The first one is about an older man who temporarily reunites with a younger and very attractive, but manipulative woman with whom he was once romantically involved. The second story, following it, has the exact same wording, and describes the exact same events, but the roles of the man and the woman are reversed. Your thoughts please.
Saturday, June 11, 2011 Will Obama and the Supply-siders Inadvertently Drag Us Into Another Great Depression? (36 comments)
Even as another Great Depression looms, our political/media system seems incapable of honestly addressing the crisis. Instead, the old partisan and lobbying games dominate politics, and obsession with trivia commands the media's limited focus. Creditor-friendly policies are crippling our economy: The attempt to protect the banksters from any losses is inflicting very large costs on everyone else. But can we stop this in time?
Monday, June 6, 2011 Tracking, Explaining and Understanding the Cleverly Organized Crimes of Banksters (18 comments)
As America girds itself for another round of lunatic political infighting over which barely-breathing social program or urgently necessary federal agency must have their budgets put on the chopping block, so as to enable billionaires to keep their third boats and fourth homes in top shape, it's important to point out just how scarce money **isn't** when it comes to socialism for the rich.
Saturday, May 28, 2011 The Wall Street Meltdown: Origins and Implications (12 comments)
More than four years after the cracks in the financial foundation could no longer be ignored, people remain bewildered about the causes of the steepest economic downturn since the Great Depression. And they wonder why we are still mired in it, as we are forced to watch the maddening aftermath: hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars being spent to rescue some of the very institutions that drove the country into the ditch!
Sunday, May 22, 2011 Must Globalization & Computerization Lead to Ever Fewer Good Jobs for American Workers? (22 comments)
Without more workers paying taxes, we will never have the tax revenues we need to fund even limited government. We squander far too much on tax breaks for the rich, subsidies for oil companies, wars conducted by our "Defense" Department, and tax exemptions and deductions for the upper-middle and upper classes. Meanwhile we spend far too little on the investment programs that will create good new jobs for the future.