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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.
Saving Capitalism for the Many, Not the Few, a new book by Robert Reich
A copy of the Introduction to Reich's new book follows here. It's a great read which I hope many of you will get in to, so that we can more extensively discuss the book and its ideas here. This introduction is a succinct and brilliant explanation of what this important book is about.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015(8 comments)
Evolutionary Reconstruction of The Economy -- The Slow, Gentle Road to a Kind of Socialism
There are now 130 million Americans who are involved in co-ops and credit unions, the latter being in possession of $1 trillion in assets. In addition, 10 million Americans are now members of worker-owned companies. Plus, there are now 2000 publicly owned municipal utilities. Indeed, 25% of America's electricity is now produced by these kinds of socialist institutions.
To What Extent Are the Fed and Big Banks Criminal Enterprises?
If our government printed the money it needs instead of allowing the criminally syndicated Fed to do it for us, there would be no national debt & therefore no interest to be paid on it, which interest payments are continually foisted off onto us citizen taxpayers. Hence the need for all of us to pay much higher income taxes than we would otherwise have to pay. Remember, interest payments on our national debt are huge.
Friday, July 24, 2015(4 comments)
Now Finally Taking Shape: A World With Ever Less Decently-Paid Work for Most. But Must This Be a Problem?
New, labor-saving technology is likely to exert a slow but continual downward pressure on the value and availability of work, i.e. on wages and on the number of prime-age workers with full-time jobs. Eventually, by degrees, that could create a new normal, where the expectation that work will be a central feature of adult life dissipates for a significant portion of society. Fortunately there are alternative kinds of work.
Saturday, July 18, 2015(39 comments)
When and Why Love Must Sometimes Be Up for Sale
Was it not essentially love for sale? If not, I wonder how you understand all of this and if this letter will change your mind at all. Did you think of me as a pushover and a stooge, or just a poor, dumb 'man' struggling to fulfill the 'obligations' that men customarily have? But of course you would and will never tell me. And no wonder you are not a feminist! You much prefer to be "the Queen," with all accorded privileges.
Is Hyperinflation in Our Near Future? Recent Developments Suggest It May Well Be
Over the past two years, the US has slashed oil imports from the Saudis. The increase in American oil production has led to a 62% collapse in global oil prices. This has obliterated Saudi profit margins. In response, a Saudi-led coalition has developed an "oil weapon" it plans to unleash on us. By this means they plan to once again be the world's preeminent oil profiteers, while knocking us down a peg or two in the process.
Monday, April 6, 2015(18 comments)
If Worker Productivity is Continuing to Go Up, Why is the Buying Power of So Many of Us Going Down?
The majority of workers have no other choice than to produce all the superfluity that can be made to sell - to people like themselves, who spend ever more of their waking hours at work & who then buy this stuff as compensation for the fact that they no longer have enough time & education to enjoy their full humanity, much less spend enough time with their kids. And now these workers are being replaced and falling into poverty.
Thursday, March 26, 2015(29 comments)
Why Our Government Needs to Take Over the Federal Reserve Bank ASAP
Taking over the Fed is the missing element needed to move humanity back from the brink of economic destruction and nuclear disaster, away from a future dominated by fraud, ugliness and warfare, toward a world of justice and beauty. Who gets the power to create money is the question that's at the heart of monetary reform, and this power is awesome, at times stronger than the executive, legislative and judicial powers combined.
Monday, February 2, 2015(43 comments)
The Origins, and Decimation of, America's Great Middle Class. And What to Do About It
The large, thriving middle class, which America used to have, didn't just arise out of the blue--it was created using an economic tool that was essentially socialistic. After WWII, our gov't taxed the rich heavily, & massively redistributed that money through the GI Bill, so that an unprecedented half of our population suddenly started benefiting from free college, free job training, cheap mortgages & affordable medical care.
Sunday, January 11, 2015(10 comments)
Does Affordable Housing Really Need to Be So Scarce in Most Big Cities?
Why is it that a growing percentage of urban men today can't afford to rent or buy a home that is as nice as the one in which they grew up? Meanwhile, there are plenty of rundown buildings in, or very close to, such cities . . as well as a huge supply of currently idle workers who would love to repair and refurbish such buildings, if it would eventually earn them a home of their own, from amongst those they help refurbish.
Friday, September 19, 2014(7 comments)
Even if We Defeat ISIS, Will We Be Able to Defeat Each and Every One of Its Successors?
Because of our dependence on Mideast oil, and the tactics we use to ensure our supply, and because these tactics result in the social and economic oppression of millions of Muslims, we need to understand and accept a terrible truth: Vengeful hatred of the US and the executions of Americans on Middle Eastern soil is simply the cost of US oil companies doing a very lucrative business in the region.
Monday, August 18, 2014(6 comments)
Rejoinder to a Rebuttal of My Most Recent Article on the Transfer of Income to the Rich
For many decades, technological advancement was met with an ever shorter workweek and everyone eventually regarded this as fair. Why should it be any different today? Historically, workers had to work 12 hrs/day, 6 days/week. This seemed proper to owners of factories & machinery and to those with good incomes, but not to others. So, by way of protest & unions, the legal length of the workday was reduced to 8. Now how about 6?
Saturday, August 16, 2014(40 comments)
By What Means Have Income and Wealth Steadily Been Transferred to the Rich?
This transfer has mainly occurred by way of employers making sure that the profits and benefits of ever greater worker productivity (which advancing machinery and technology steadily provide) is rarely if ever shared with workers in the form of a reduced workweek and/or a higher hourly wage. Instead, this ongoing stream of newly created wealth is continually directed upward into their elite pockets.
Sunday, July 6, 2014(12 comments)
In a Dying Civilization What Are the Responsibilities of Intellectuals?
If we are to survive on this planet even for another hundred years, our approach needs to be revolutionary, not apathetic; creative, not dogmatic; scientific, not superstitious; and sustainable, not exploitative. But this will only take place when and if we learn from world history and formulate effective plans for drastically changing socioeconomic arrangements.
George Monbiot: "The Dangers of Continued Growth Now Demand a New Economic System. ASAP."
The inescapable failure of a society built on economic growth & its inevitable destruction of the Earth's living systems are the 2 central, overwhelming facts of our age. Yet they are mentioned almost nowhere in our corporate-owned & controlled mainstream media. They are the 21st Century's great taboo realities, & also the subjects guaranteed to alienate your friends & neighbors should you make the mistake of bringing them up
Sunday, May 18, 2014(27 comments)
What the 1% Don't Want You to Know
Invested capital tends to produce real returns of at least 6%, while economic growth is always much slower. Therefore fortunes based on those high returns grow faster than the economy & much faster than wages, which will continue to shrink (in terms of their buying power), as dynastic wealth grows steadily larger. These fortunes will then pass on to the next generation an even larger share than they would have in decades past.
Friday, April 25, 2014(42 comments)
Could a Shorter Workweek Help Save Our Planet and Our Civilization?
There's a huge amount of superfluous, harmful & unnecessary work today that nobody wants to do & that nobody should do. Imagine a world where economic desperation doesn't determine the work we must do. Most of us could then do more of what we want to do. But what about loafers? Mother Earth wd happily trade her legions of crazed workaholics for a healthy population of "slackers," i.e. those content to work and consume less.
Monday, April 14, 2014(11 comments)
The Two-century-long Effort by Banksters to Take, and Keep, Ownership of America's Central Bank
The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by way of secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences."
Wednesday, February 26, 2014(8 comments)
Bill Moyers Discussion Calls Out Our Unelected, "Deep State," Shadow Government
The Deep State is the red thread that runs through the history of the last 30 yrs. Here are insights about how we came to have too much deregulation, the “financialization” of our economy, Wall Street & bankster rip-offs, erosion of our civil liberties, and perpetual war. Described are the derivative forces, methods and people that now surreptitiously guide and control our government, to extract billions from us.
Saturday, January 25, 2014(22 comments)
Must Oligarchy and Technological Unemployment Continue to Decimate the Middle Class?
Once the oligarchy takes power, the distribution of goods & money becomes ever more unrelated to any idea of merit or deservedness. Example: Banksters, being some of the best-paid people in the world, have recently destroyed far more wealth in the US than they’ve earned, and yet they are still paid billions in bonuses each year. They receive the money they do because they’ve been allowed to take power over our gov't.
Class Warfare Today, and How the Working Class Has Been Robbed Over the Past Half Century
As the financial industry extracts ever more wealth from society, the working class has not been properly compensated for its rising productivity. As a result, our median inflation-adjusted household wealth has dropped from $73K to $57K in a little over 25 yrs. We've lost another 5% of our wealth just since the recession. Meanwhile, the poverty rate (among the poorest 1/2 of those beneath the poverty line) keeps worsening.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013(14 comments)
Zombie Politics & Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism
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.
Are there any realistic ways that ecocide & world war might be avoided?
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(24 comments)
Permanent Recession for Workers vs. the Pro-Growth Fantasies of Politicians & Most Economists
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(5 comments)
Is there an invisible government, parallel to the one we foolishly think of as a democracy?
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(11 comments)
Stunning letter to Obama from Snowden's father
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(3 comments)
Why we're headed for a double dip
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(9 comments)
Global Economic Crisis and the Coming/Current Depression
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(39 comments)
Financial Experts with Great Prediction Records Are Saying Another Economic Meltdown is Imminent
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(10 comments)
What Are Derivatives and Why Do They Imperil the U.S. Economy?
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(17 comments)
The New Feudalism: Big Corporations and the United States of Ever-growing Inequality
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(27 comments)
Will the Coming Economic War With China End the American Empire?
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(49 comments)
The Central Role of Central Bankers in the Wars of the Past Two Centuries
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.
Another Global Banking Crisis Now Taking Shape
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(12 comments)
Is Our Economy Being Artificially Maintained and Propped Up? If So, How and Why?
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(11 comments)
The Enormous Potential of Interest-Free, Government-Issued Currency, Part 2
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(41 comments)
What We Could Accomplish in the USA with Interest-Free, Government-Issued Currency
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(61 comments)
Are Banksters & the Fed Becoming the Fourth Branch of Our Government?
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(21 comments)
Manufacturing Break-though, Based on 3D 'Printing,' is About to Change the World
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(4 comments)
Fossil fuel industry's plan for us: Burn 5X more carbon than is compatible with a livable planet
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(7 comments)
Is there an economic root to ever more extreme weather events like Sandy?
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(13 comments)
Tom Friedman: "Where and How Our Economy Went Wrong, and How to Right It"
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(9 comments)
The Real Republican Agenda Exposed
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(8 comments)
Revolt of the Rich: Have Our Financial Elites Already Seceded from America?
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(13 comments)
How and Why Is Global Corporate Capitalism Obsolete?
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(12 comments)
New Evidence that THC (in marijuana) Is Effective Against Cancer and Other Diseases
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(24 comments)
$26 Trillion of Bankster Fraud & Theft According to Ron Paul, Alan Grayson and Bernie Sanders
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(19 comments)
Moyers & Taibbi Explain How the Wall Street Mafia Holds America and the World Hostage
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(10 comments)
Are We About to Be Enslaved by the Central Banks of the World?
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(12 comments)
The Ongoing Multi-Trillion Dollar Heist That Continues to Shrink America's Middle Class
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.