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AGelbert

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Re: Money
« Reply #675 on: October 21, 2019, 08:54:38 pm »

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Quote
October 27, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Ken Muldrewsays: 👍

Ever since humans entered the social cage of civilization, way back around the time of Sargon, there has been an essential need for cooperative work. That is to say that a bunch of people work on various tasks that have nothing to do with their particular subsistence and they are directed in this work by other people who’s work consists of coordination.

Despite this rather obvious need, people throughout all of antiquity refused to countenance the notion of a free human working under the direction of another human (except for apprenticeships and the like). So we get slavery as a necessary evil or labouring subhumans with a “dependent nature that prefers [servitude]”.

It almost seems as if people will go to any length to avoid recognizing the fact of the social cage; the fact of utter dependency. They make a cult of individuality and pretend that their success (such as it is) as a microscopic cog in an immense industrial society is self-made. The delusion is as bizarre for its nonsensical basis as for its lack of any practical use.

Associated Article with interesting quotes from Abraham Lincoln:

October 27, 2019/6 Comments/in Left Theory /by Ed Walker

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

Surly1

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Why the middle class can’t afford life in America anymore




By Larry Getlen

After spending his days teaching AP American history and economics at the public Live Oak High School in San Jose, Calif., Matt Barry drives for Uber.

Barry’s wife, Nicole, teaches as well — they each earn $69,000, a combined salary that not long ago was enough to afford a comfortable family life. But due to the astronomical costs in his area, including real estate — a 1,500-square-foot “starter home” costs $680,000 — driving for Uber was a necessity.

“Teachers are killing themselves,” Barry says in the new book, “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America” (Ecco), out Tuesday. “I shouldn’t be having to drive Uber at eight o’clock at night on a weekday. I just shut down from the mental toll: grading papers between rides, thinking of what I could be doing instead of driving — like creating a curriculum.”

In her book, author Alissa Quart lays out how America’s middle class is being wiped out by the cost of living far outpacing salaries while a slew of traditionally secure professions — like teaching — can no longer guarantee a stable enough income to clothe and feed a family.

“Middle-class life is now 30 percent more expensive than it was 20 years ago,” Quart writes, citing the costs of housing, education, health care and child care in particular. “In some cases the cost of daily life over the last 20 years has doubled.”

In one of her book’s many striking findings, Quart writes that according to a Pew study, “Before the 2008 crash, only one-quarter of Americans viewed themselves as lower class or lower-middle class. No longer. After the recession of 2008 . . . a full 40 percent of Americans viewed themselves as being at the bottom of the pyramid.”

One of the book’s main messages, therefore, is that people finding it impossible to make ends meet shouldn’t blame themselves. It’s the system, she says, that’s broken.

“The main problem is a basic lack of a 21st century safety net for families,” Quart tells The Post, offering the cost of day care as just one example.

“In Montreal,” where day care is government subsidized, it costs “$7 to $20 a day. That makes a huge difference for families.” Figured annually for 50 weeks a year, five days a week, people in Montreal pay $1,750 to $5,000 per year on child care.

By comparison, Quart says that here, “many of the families I spoke to, who were ostensibly middle class, were spending around 20 to 30 percent of their income on day care.” Annual averages in the US range from “$10,468 for a center-based child-care program to $28,905 for a nanny.” According to the Economic Policy Institute, the annual average cost of infant care in New York state is $14,144. The average New York family with just one child pays 21.2 percent of their income on child care. For two kids, that rises to 38.7 percent.

For teachers with children, the problem is compounded by a decrease in salaries, benefits and general job security. The situation is equally dire for teachers of grade school, high school or college.

“These days, professors may be more likely than their students to be living in basement apartments and subsisting on ramen and Tabasco,” she writes.

At the professorial level, more colleges than ever, driven by bloated administrative bureaucracies, are relying on adjunct professors who receive low wages and no benefits. In the book, Quart cites one survey that found that 62 percent of adjunct professors earn less than $20,000 a year from teaching.

“A lot of things happened in [academia]. It became much more administrative,” says Quart, noting that tenured professor positions have been eliminated through attrition as more non-tenure track professors, such as adjuncts, were hired instead.

She writes that according to the Department of Education, “college and university administrative positions grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009 — 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.”

By contrast, in 1975, Quart writes, “full-time tenure-stream professors were 45.1 percent of America’s professoriate. As of 2011, they are only 24.1 percent: Only one professor in six (16.7 percent) actually has tenure.”

“Something like 40 percent of teachers in American colleges and universities are adjuncts, which is insane,” Quart adds. “Middle-class parents are spending all their savings to pay for colleges where [their children are] going to be taught by people making $3,000 a class [per semester]. It’s going to change the quality of education, because people are teaching four classes a semester for no money.”

Quart profiled several struggling adjuncts in the book. Justin Thomas taught a total of four to six classes a semester at two colleges in Illinois. The first paid him $3,100 per class; the second, a paltry $1,675. Quart writes that “his paychecks arrived a month after each semester began, and during those four weeks it was macaroni and cheese and baked potatoes every night for his two daughters.”

Brianne Bolin, 35 years old with a disabled 8-year-old boy, taught four classes a year at Columbia College in Chicago for a grand total of $4,350 per class, per semester, never making more than $24,000 a year from teaching. At the time of the book’s writing, she shopped at Goodwill exclusively and relied on Medicaid and food stamps to feed her son.

Bolin began teaching at Westwood College in Chicago at age 26, switching to Columbia after one semester. She got pregnant at 28, then took two years off to care for her son.

When she returned to work, she got a rude awakening about how the realities of teaching had changed.

“Her boss warned her she’d never get a permanent job, [telling her], ‘Academia just isn’t a career choice anymore,’ ” Quart writes.

Those lucky enough to have a job in the field might find themselves needing to drive for Uber as well
Bolin quit teaching in 2016 and is now studying to become a speech pathologist. But the situation for professors has become so dire that before she left, she and two others founded PrecariCorps, a “nonprofit devoted to helping impoverished professors.”

So far, the “scrappy and fledgling” charity has “received over 100 donations and 50 requests for funding” and dispersed over $10,000 to professors in need.

If a charity for professors strikes you as sad, there is also a charity for members of another down and out profession, one that was once synonymous with high status and massive salaries — lawyers.

Leave Law Behind is an organization that helps lawyers exit the profession, declaring on its website that “there is an easier, less painful, less stressful and lucrative way to make money.” The organization’s founder, a former lawyer named Casey Berman, told Quart that “he saw his mission as ‘motivating’ former lawyers who are either broke or deeply frustrated, or both.”

In the book, Quart illustrates how lawyers are weighed down with massive debt while making a fraction of what they used to before the Great Recession — if they’re lucky enough to find a job at all.

“After the 2008 recession, law firms and corporations retained fewer lawyers,” she writes, noting that lawyers in some states have it worse than others.

“In Alaska, 56.7 percent of those with a law degree were not working as lawyers. In Tennessee, only 53.6 percent of degree holders were working as lawyers; in Missouri it’s 50.8, and in Maryland it’s 50.3 percent . . . there are excess attorneys in all but three states.” (For the record, those states are Rhode Island, North Dakota and Delaware.)

According to The New York Times, “10 months after graduation only 60 percent of the law school class of 2014 had found full-time jobs with longtime prospects.”

But those lucky enough to have a job in the field might find themselves needing to drive for Uber as well, since “lawyers may be making one-quarter of what they were making before 2008.”

The problem has been exacerbated by the automation of the review of legal documents, a task once accomplished by young lawyers. Programs like Viewpoint and Logikcull handle the organization, coding, retrieval and search of massive amounts of evidentiary documents, easily processing a slew of paperwork in ways that used to be done by people by hand. As a result, opportunities at the bottom of the profession have shrunk, taking pay levels down with them.

It’s the rare young lawyer who can get one of the few jobs remaining for this task, and they “are typically now earning just $17 to $20 an hour, while shouldering upward of $200,000 in student debt.”

As technology continues to advance, it will soon swallow the few entry-level jobs that are left, even as college debt continues to increase, Quart writes.

“The average law student’s debt was about $140,000 in 2012 — a 59 percent increase over 2004.”

While making ends meet is tougher than ever for teachers and lawyers, it’s even harder for those whose jobs have never been particularly secure.

Women in care professions, such as nannies, or even just professional women who become pregnant face similar standard-of-living obstacles, plus additional losses due to discrimination, Quart writes.

In the book, Quart notes that women’s salaries go down 7 percent for each child they bear and that cases of discrimination against women who become pregnant are on a massive upswing.

“In 2016,” she writes, “a report published by the Center for WorkLife Law found that so-called family-responsibilities discrimination cases had risen 269 percent over the last decade, even though the number of federal employee discrimination cases as a whole had decreased.”

This, Quart says, is due to a traditional lack of respect for caregivers.

“There’s a theory called Prisoner of Love, where people who do care work will accept lower wages supposedly because they love the people they’re being paid to care for. So they’re weakened by that, and they’re less part of a marketplace.”

As if these problems aren’t worrisome enough, Quart says technology is eliminating or degrading professions at a furious rate that will only increase, as “roughly 30 percent of the tasks within 60 percent of our current American occupations could soon be turned over to robots.”

The list of affected professions reads like a broad cross section of America, white-collar and blue-collar alike. Nurses, pharmacists, journalists, truckers, cashiers, tax preparers — very few professions will remain unaffected by advances in technology.

The problems have surprised many by reaching into the middle and upper-middle classes. The only people doing well in this economy, writes Quart, are the already wealthy, and our massive levels of income inequality are a significant factor.

“The United States is the richest and also the most unequal country in the world,” she writes. “It has the largest wealth inequality gap of the 200 countries in the [Credit Suisse Research Institute’s] Global Wealth Report of 2015. And when the top 1 percent has so much — so much more than even the top 5 or 10 percent — the middle class is financially and also mentally outclassed at each step.”

While the problems Quart lays out are sprawling and complex, she believes the only way out is to strengthen the social safety net. This includes considering solutions like universal basic income (UBI), which was first endorsed by President Richard Nixon in 1969 and is today supported by an unlikely mix of pundits on both sides of the political aisle.

“It’s like a monthly allowance for families and individuals that’s across the board, so it’s less of a handout for people specifically,” she says. “When I heard about it, I was thinking how much it would help, say, a mom I interviewed with two kids who had been laid off, or the professor who has a disabled kid and is on food stamps. If that person had $21,000 extra dollars a year through a basic income guarantee, would that have made all the difference?”

However we dig our way out — and especially if we don’t — Quart wants those who are struggling financially to realize that more and more people are in the same boat.

“There is a larger reason that your job is precarious and your parents’ jobs weren’t,” she writes. “It’s a system failure. It’s bigger than you.”

Surly1

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The world is sitting on a $400 trillion financial time bomb


Up in smoke.

Financial disaster is looming, and not because of the stock market or subprime loans. The coming crisis is more insidious, structural, and almost certain to blow up eventually.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that by 2050 the world will face a $400 trillion shortfall (pdf) in retirement savings. (Yes, that’s trillion, with a “T”.) The WEF defines a shortfall as anything less than what’s required to provide 70% of a person’s pre-retirement income via public pensions and private savings.

The US will find itself in the biggest hole, falling $137 trillion short of what’s necessary to fund adequate retirements in 2050. It is followed by China’s $119 trillion shortfall.

Asset returns have been lower than they were in the past and people are living longer, so some of this shortfall is to be expected. The WEF assumes many people born recently will live beyond 100, which may be a bit much (the Social Security Administration expects most Americans born today to live into their mid-80s). But much of the massive shortfall is baked into retirement systems; setups in which nobody, neither individuals nor the government, saves enough. About three-quarters of the projected comes from underfunded promises from governments, with the rest mostly accounted for by under-saving on the part of individuals.

Michael Drexler, head of financial and infrastructure systems at the WEF, who edited of the report, likens the problem to climate change. “Like climate change, you don’t see the consequences today, but if you do nothing the problem builds up and then there is nothing you can do,” he says. “Today you can still change things, but if you do nothing you’ll wind up with a problem that is three to four times the global economy.”

Forecasting anything accurately in 2050 is tricky. We could get lucky, in a sense, and people might start dying younger. More happily, asset returns might pick up. Some argue that worries are unfounded, because we can still pay pensions today and sort out any future problems if they become acute. Others cite uncertainty around the estimates as reason to delay action today. But uncertainty goes both ways—things could be better or worse, and the worst-case scenario poses much bigger costs than we can bear.

Acting sooner ensures lower costs in the future. Putting money aside for retirement now confers the benefit of compound interest and provides certainty to financial markets that fear ballooning government debts. For example the US Social Security Administration estimates that its shortfall could be fixed with an immediate 2.58-percentage-point tax increase, or a 16% cut in benefits. If the government waits until 2034 (the year it can no longer pay full benefits given its current trajectory) it would need a 3.58-percentage-point tax increase, or a 21% benefit cut. If the shortfall proves bigger than expected, the costs of waiting will be larger, too.

The report offers several suggestions to address the shortfall. Most include ways to boost individual saving by offering retirement accounts to a wider population and expanding financial literacy. The authors advocate diversifying investments beyond traditional stocks and bonds. Drexler says that investing in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects can increase returns and enhance economic growth.

Financing a long and comfortable retirement requires contributions from multiple sources, as well as shared risk. “If in 2050 people reach 85 and run out of money they’ll need to rely on Social Security,” Drexler explains. “But if there’s a shortfall the government will be overwhelmed by demand or pensioners living in poverty. We must start educating people now, so we have a good [defined-contribution pension] plans so people have something.”

Still, an overwhelming majority of the short-fall comes from government programs. In order to address this problem, governments must adequately and proactively fund their entitlements too, either by increasing taxes or by cutting benefits. Individuals alone cannot save enough to compensate for the unrealistic promises their governments have made.


AGelbert

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Surly ,

I am grateful to you for posting those excellent articles on Why the middle class can’t afford life in America anymore and the civilization destroying explosive danger we all face from the $400 trillion Global financial 💣 time bomb.

The situation is dire, but I believe that there is a solution, though I am not holding my breath waiting for it to be enacted.

I just watched a long conference of economists taking a reality based look 👀 (quite unusual for them) at the root causes of all the inequality misery we-the-people are saddled with. One of them explained why, at this time of middle and poor class society bankrupting massive private debt, a Debt Jubiliee is NOT a "handout", but sine qua non in order to promote and preserve stable economies and governments throughout the world. IOW, the Governments of the world in general, and the USA in particular, either force the Financial Banksters to provide a "QE for the People", or expect the increasing inequality that Reserve Bank policies foster to unavoidably result in violent political upheaval. He said this two years ago. Anyone paying attention for the last two years knows he is right.


Debt Traps, Public and Private
15,629 views•Streamed live on Oct 22, 2017


New Economic Thinking
65.6K subscribers
What role does debt play in triggering economic crises, and is the problem principally public or private sector debt? A look at the evidence.

Download the papers & presentations: https://www.ineteconomics.org/events/...

Speakers: Orsola Costantini, Steve Keen, Hashem Pesaran, Moritz Schularick, Adair Turner
Discussant: Roberto Ciccone, Pontus Rendahl
Chair: Richard Vague
Category Education
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Money
« Reply #680 on: October 29, 2019, 05:08:20 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: You can skip the article and just watch the short video in it to get the picture of how the Fed is ILLEGALLY propping up the stock markets (i.e. Socialism for the Rich and the Capitalist debt burdened SHAFT for we-the-taxpayers) with PUBLIC DEBT (we-the-people are STUCK with servicing that debt WITH INTEREST) they create out of thin air.   

Tue, 10/29/2019 - 15:25

Authored by Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com

Exposing The Market's "Magic Show"

It’s that time again, the magic levitation show, but this one is a peculiar one. I talked a bit about it in Zombieland, but the continuation on the same path this week ahead of the Fed meeting is actually getting quite embarrassing as all pretense that markets are anything but a Fed subsidy    program are being dropped.


Synchronized quantitative easing Morgan Stanley calls. And it’s apparently working, after all now have new highs again in front of the Fed policy announcement tomorrow.

Just like the the previous 2 times this year:


Again we have wedges on both $SPX and $VIX heading into this Fed meeting.

What has made this action so unusual is the historic shriveling of volume and the nonstop gap, ramp and camp program we’re seeing now:


From my perch this type of action can persist and price can drift higher, but is subject to future gap filling and therefore, risk building.

All of this action is of course now coming in conjunction with the liquidity bombs the Fed is throwing on markets on a daily basis.

I talked about these issues a bit yesterday on CNBC:


And so here we are today, the day before the Fed meeting and $SPX has again approached the upper trend line as $VIX has been compressing:


Tight wedges, consistent patterns suggesting another volatility spike to come.

The Fed will cut rates tomorrow with markets again at all time highs, just like in July and in September. What’s the primary driver of the rate cut decision tomorrow? Market expectations of course. The Fed can’t afford to disappoint markets.

The Fed is insisting they’re not running QE, but the market sure is acting like it is.

There is great hope that the Fed rate cut tomorrow will succeed this time to levitate prices above the trend line and keep it above. Perhaps that will be the case, but this renewed price levitation is again coming with negative divergence, uneven participation, and extremely tight price channels that are at risk of breaking if any sellers make their presence felt with volume.

For now enjoy the magic show, but keep in mind that all magic shows eventually come to an end and everyone is left wondering how they were deceived by the magician on the stage. Jay Powell will take the stage tomorrow and tell everyone that the economy is in a good place 😇 ;). But he’s using 3 rate cuts, $60B in monthly treasury bill buying and a daily $120B pro facility to pull off that magic trick.

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/exposing-markets-magic-show

Agelbert WARNING: This will end VERY BADLY if a QE for the People is not enacted PRONTO!

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Can Democracy Win Against Corporate Power?
1,598 views•Oct 30, 2019

Thom Hartmann Program
188K subscribers

Corporate power is stronger than democracy. Is it? How dangerous is that statement?

🔴 Subscribe for more clips like this: https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhart...

President Franklin Roosevelt 📢 warned about this years ago.

Do you think we can stop corporate power before it takes away democracy for good?

🔥 WATCH NEXT: Money Over Democracy

⭐ Join our Membership and Support the Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhart...
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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China Leads the Way in Eradicating Extreme Poverty

January 10, 2019

Greatest contribution to global poverty reduction has come from China says Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Story Transcript

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Marc Steiner, it’s great to have you all with us once again.

We’re watching intense struggles taking place between the United States and China. There’s a lot under that we’re not seeing. And we see the Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, arrested in Canada. We hear of tariff battles going on, what do they really mean? Stock market crashing, is that connected? Then, we see other reports about plummeting poverty around the world. But that too seems to be wrapped up in China in ways that we don’t take a deep understanding of. But beneath of that is another reality, that the world is in the middle of a war over globalization. And some of the things we do not want to tackle, like most of the poverty that has been wiped out in the world has taken place where? China.

And mostly lost on debates of angst over trade and jobs and the rise of the right wing populists in the world is that the fastest growing economy on the planet is China. And it’s pulling all along with it parts of Asia and the developing world as China positions itself as the greatest importer of the world’s goods, which we’ll explore. And the left seems to have little response, which will also explore. So what do we make of all this and what this reality says, and what does China bring to the world and what does this say about the former state capitalism that seems to be showing itself to be the strongest among many others? What are we misjudging here, and what does it portend for neoliberalism and the future, both politically and economically?

We’ll find out as much as we can. Joining us today from Washington, DC is Mark Weisbrot. Mark is codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of the book Failed: What the Experts Got Wrong About the Global Economy. And Mark, welcome back to The Real News. Good to have you with us.

MARK WEISBROT: Thanks, Marc. Good to be with you.

MARC STEINER: There’s so much here. So let me just start with kind of a popular idea here. So we see Trump constantly thumping the table, his Tweets I should say, that we have to have tariffs, that we have to cut off China, we have to battle them and keep jobs in America, even though that’s not happening. So we see this battle around globalization promoted by Trump, and many other things, the notion workers are losing jobs, which they are. So what’s the reality between the Trumpian bellicoseness and the reality we’re facing?

MARK WEISBROT: Well, first of all, you see one response from the people who are defending the globalization of the last few decades, in the media here especially, is that they’re willing to concede that for most workers here, globalization has been a loss in the United States and in the rich countries. But they say, well, what about the more than a billion people in the world who have benefited from their globalization? And this is one of the defenses. It’s not the main one, but it’s an appeal to liberals, to people who care about the rest of the world. They say you can’t disrupt this kind of global order. And that’s not to say that Trump is doing anything positive with his random tariffs and just creating distractions all the time. But they do defend the global economic order in this way, so I think it’s important we have an understanding of what globalization has really looked like for the poorest people in the world.

Now, one of the things that you see in the news and in these arguments is that extreme poverty, which the World Bank measures as $1.90 a day, people living on $1.90 a day in 2011 with purchasing power parity dollars, and that has dropped. In the last 25 years, it’s fallen by 1.16 billion people, and of course in percentage terms the drop looks even more. But if you look at where that happened, the net decline in the number of extremely poor people has mostly been in China. Two thirds, that’s 65 percent of it, has been in China. And so, if you take China out of the picture, you have very little reduction in net poverty.

And then, of course, even for that other third that wasn’t Chinese people coming out of extreme poverty, that other third was also helped a lot by China in the 21st century especially, because China became the largest economy in the world and it started importing more and more from Africa and from Latin America and from other countries, other developing countries. And so, many of the people who were pulled out of poverty in those countries, that other third of the net poverty reduction, was also a result of China. So when all of these people you see in the media, including President Obama in 2016 made this argument as well at the United Nations, and they’re praising the globalization that they have brought to the world, their kind of neoliberal globalization, they’re really talking about the success of China and not the success of their brand of globalization, because that was very, very different from the policies produced by China.

MARC STEINER: So they must know this reality, right?

MARK WEISBROT: Oh, yeah. I mean, you can put any economist in the country who knows anything about this and they’re not going to disagree with any of it. These are World Bank statistics, World Bank data, IMF data, and nobody really disagrees on it. And they will all say this, they just won’t say it unless you ask them.

MARC STEINER: So if that’s the case – well let’s take a step back for a moment. So we know that China, I mean it has a different system than most Western countries, as we’ve talked about earlier; controlling the banking system, their own exchange rate, state owned enterprises, as opposed to corporations kind of controlling politics, their politics controls the corporations in China. So how does that factor into all this in terms of what China is able to do, the West cannot, and why neoliberal democracies in the West are having such a difficult time coming to grips with all of this?

MARK WEISBROT: Well throughout this period, since 1980, they’ve increased their per capita income 17 times. No country in the history of the world has ever done anything even comparable to that, even though their economy is slowing now, but as you mentioned, still about the fastest in the world at six and a half percent annual growth. And so, they were able to control investment and make sure that even the foreign investment that came into the country, and this is one of the things that Trump complains about, there are restrictions on it and they make sure, through most of this period at least, they made sure that the foreign investment fit in with their development plans.

The government controls the central bank, and that’s very important. And the reforms that the neoliberal globalization then, the U.S. and the IMF and the World Bank, which are controlled by the U.S. in most of the world, they push it completely differently, they want the central bank to be independent of the government, to be unaccountable, like our Federal Reserve is mostly unaccountable and they’ve caused almost all of the recessions in the post-World War II period and are likely to cause the next one. So these are advantages for China in that first, they didn’t follow the neoliberal globalization that the United States pushed all over the world, and that enabled them, for example, to transition smoothly, with very fast growth, from a planned economy to a more mixed economy of both market and planning.

Whereas if you look at what happened to Russia and the Eastern European countries, they went through a terrible collapse and a Great Depression in Russia. From 1992 to 1996, they had something comparable to our Great Depression, they didn’t really start to recover till ’98. And so, they went through terrible transitions that cost them a lot in terms of poverty and life expectancy and other social indicators. And that’s been the pattern, by the way, for most low and middle income countries between 1980 and 2000. That period in particular was a very bad one for the vast majority of developing countries as compared to prior years.

MARC STEINER: One of the things I think about this is the New Year’s message that came out of China, from the leaders of China, was that “we’re a 5000 year old civilization, the West can’t tell us what to do, we know what we’re doing.” So the question is, in many ways what you’re describing here is a state system that has adopted huge portions of capitalism inside their system but controlling it, while the Wild West version of neoliberalism is kind of falling apart on some levels around the world, or the countries at least they invested in are falling apart. So this sets up an interesting debate I don’t think most people have had about what’s really a war here in terms of systems and what they’re saying to the world. China clearly wants to make a profit. They’ve clearly got huge influence in Africa and Latin America now, growing every day, so I think that’s something that we have not explored at all in terms of what the planet’s really facing.

MARK WEISBROT: Yeah, there are a lot of differences. I mean, for example, China invests in Africa, they invest in Latin America, they invest a lot of countries, but they don’t use the World Bank or the IMF to try and tell those countries what their macroeconomic policies should be. So for most developing countries, it’s a better deal to get investment from China than it would be, for example, from U.S. corporations, or to get loans, for example, from the World Bank and the IMF which have these conditions attached to them. So there’s a difference in their foreign economic policy. But there are just many, many differences between them. Obviously, the Chinese model is – there are many things that are not perfect with it or not right in that it wouldn’t apply, for example, to the United States, to a developed country, many elements of it.

But nonetheless, as a developing country it’s obviously been an enormous success. And you can’t attribute it to the globalization that all of the defenders of Washington-sponsored globalization are referring to. They promoted very opposite policies; the privatization of state-owned enterprises all over the developing world, the liberalization, deregulation of the financial sector and financial services, all kinds of deregulation of the labor market to weaken unions, and all the things that they promoted. Also, in many countries they redistributed income upward as well. And China, of course, has also had an increase in inequality that’s quite large, but their growth was so rapid that it was able to pull seven to eight hundred million people out of poverty.

MARC STEINER: So in the time that we have here, I mean I think it’d be important to explore just how we judge economies. And one of the things that we never take into account is this idea of purchasing power parity and judging economies that way and how we really adjust our view of how economies are doing. So talk a bit about that and what that kind of masks.

MARK WEISBROT: Yeah, that’s kind of important because in the news, they often say that China’s going to become bigger than the U.S. economy in X years, and that’s using an exchange rate measure. So they just take the Chinese economy in its own currency and they measure it in dollars at the exchange rate between the renminbi and the dollar. And that’s one measure of the two economies, but it’s not the one that most economists use for most international comparisons. Most economists would use for most purposes what’s called purchasing power parity, which adjusts for prices between the two countries. So this is very important for example for military power, because it doesn’t cost as much to train a pilot and build a plane in China as it does in the United States.

So if you adjust for prices in this way, and the IMF has this measure on their website and you can see it in other places, the Chinese economy is already 25 percent bigger than the economy of the United States. And in 2023, it’s going to be one and a half times the size of the United States. And in the next decade, in ten years or so, it’ll be twice as big as the United States. And that’s going to be a very different world. And for people who, and there are a lot of people like this in the foreign policy establishment, they want to have an arms race with China, a country that’s twice the size of us, that’s going to be extremely costly, not even really feasible. We had an arms race with the Soviet Union when it was a quarter the size of our economy and it was costly.

So this is something that we should be thinking about. And it’s very hard to say these things here the United States now when China’s being portrayed as an enemy, but we should take account of these facts that all economists know.

MARC STEINER: Well, I’d love to pick up on that point and do a great deal more the next time. Mark Weisbrot, I always appreciate your views here and your company at The Real News, thank you so much for joining us today.

MARK WEISBROT: Thank you.

MARC STEINER: And I’m Marc Steiner, here for The Real News Network. Take care.

https://therealnews.com/stories/china-leads-the-way-in-eradicating-extreme-poverty
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Money
« Reply #683 on: October 31, 2019, 07:47:53 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Commenter Rufus Temblor 👍 makes accurate observations in regard to Capitalist mumbo jumbo about inflation by the (PRIVATE) Federal "Reserve":

Quote
All the well-paid buffoons need rationalizations for keeping the punch bowl well stocked. The funny thing is how these very well educated people have no idea how biased and stupid they are.

In the related article by Mitch (A Libertarian  :P), he tears the Fed inflation rationale into tiny bits 👍. However, Mitch, being a Mises true believing Capitalist , misses the REAL CAPITALIST disingenuous motive behind the Fed's selective low balling of double digit annual inflation in things we ACTUALLY NEED TO BUY TO LIVE (i.e. the deliberate distortion of a reality based CPI), while selectively ignoring real estate and stock bubbles the Fed it totally guilty of inflating.

So, what is BASIC, as well as INTRINSIC, to the Fed's fun and games? It's the ideology, STUPID.

Capitalist ideology REQUIRES that the populace equate "VALUE" with pecuniary PRICE. Once most people are on board with that FALSE EQUIVALENCE, then you can control them by controlling WHERE you target the money supply. The rest is rinse and repeat exploitation to transfer wealth from the "unworthy poor and middle class", to the "worthy rich" (see lobsters and Jordan Peterson 😇 for a full explanation of "Stuff happens in God's evolutionarily determined human pecking order, so don't waste your time with concerns about inequality among humans"  ).

This totally unChristian world view is pushed (often, but certainly not limited to, by pseudo-christians 😈 with the "Christian" label who studiously ignore Paul the Apostle's words about EQUALITY among brethren) in order to so corrupt the public about the definition of "VALUE" in human civilization, that they become quite willing to accept as "normal" the ruthless commodification of human beings.

Spiritual development, a key part of which includes obeying God's commandment to treat your neighbor with the SAME dignity and respect as you treat yourself (long before Jesus Christ said "Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself", this commandment was part of ancient Scripture), is relegated to a "value" based on how "efficient" that "spirituality" is in helping you become a "better person" (i.e. PROSPER MORE IN MONEY!).

Capitalist Ideology has so brainwashed our civilization that the false equivalence between the amount of CAPITAL (i.e. material "blessings") a person has and his "VALUE" to society is endemic. 👎

BUT, it got worse after that! TPTB then began an Orwellian game of low balling the "value" of the basic items we all need to buy to live while simultaneously funneling as much counterfeit money to the stock and real estate bubbles as the "economy required".

This puts most of the populace in a state of cognitive dissonance (i.e. inability to challenge the status quo due to mental confusion and conflict produced by the experience of perceived reality versus government stated "reality") because of two mind twisting realities we see, which are studiously denied by the government and the CAPITALIST propaganda media outlets:

1. Our experience tells us that NO, those stocks are certailnly NOT worth that much, and NO, the value of real estate is certainly NOT as much as the "market" says. The average working person could buy a house for 2.5 times his annual income in 1970. I know. I was there. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) even stated that was the way it should be in an accounting course I took in Business Administration back in 1974. NOW the SAME size house (i.e. total square feet) is "valued" at  more than SIX TIMES (and UP!) the annual income of the average working person.

2. Here's just one example of everyday stuff out there. True, fast food is not technically a "needed" item, and should probably be avoided like the plague. But, it is food, which IS a needed item that SHOULD be included accurately in the CPI. I present this as an example of inflation and hedonics Fed Capitalist THEFT. Our daily experience tells us that NO, a whopper, which was 39 cents in 1965 (I was there. I worked at Burger King while at Miami Dade Junior College), is NOT worth the $4.19 we are forced to pay for it now. Also, the whopper of 1965 was MORE of a whopper than it is now, so we have been gamed two ways there while the Fed plays hedonic mendacity games.

Yeah, you can go online and calculate inflation according to the U.S. Government . When you look at your income and when you look at your purchasing power, the disconnect that the Fed and the CPI gamers refuse to admit becomes evident.

People who have been CAPITALIST brainwashed to believe purchasing power is equivalent to self-worth begin to lose self esteem. Those who are 'greed is good' Capitalist "winners" pile on verbal abuse and condemnation on the alleged "useless eaters", thereby adding Capitalism inspired empathy deficit disordered insult to Capitalist exploitation injury. Suicide rates go up because of that. The vast majority of the public knows there is something desperately wrong but are told (see Voltaire) that we are living in the "God approved CAPITALIST best of all possible worlds" AND that any economic difficulties anyone has "is their own fault and they just need to work harder". .

It is a vicious lie. We are being ruthlessly exploited by representatives of a FAILED Economic system that has nothing left but to tell us to not believe the MASSIVE, SOUL WRENCHING INEQUALITY that we see and experience daily.

Quote
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. -- Luke 16:25

THE CAPITALISTS are the demonic bastards that have no VALUE, not the exploited poor and (shrinking) middle class subject to CAPITALIST pecuniary TYRANNY!

Mitch thinks owning gold is the answer. NOPE.

The answer is, and always has been, to PUNISH unethical behavior and REWARD ethical behavior. True, the Capitalists have tried to twist the definition of "ethical" by claiming that exploitative behavior 👹 that enriches a persion is "rational", thereby "justified" (i.e. at the end of the day it's "okay" = "ethical"). As I said before, they are quite Orwellian in there clever BULLSHIT pitch.

Of course, being mostly a doomer, I'm not holding my breath waiting for ethical behavior to triumph in this Capitalist trashed valley of tears. Many doomers. like those here who are ethical folks, but not Christians by religion, get all that about inflation and Fed ripoffs and the benefits of Socialism, but they then proceed to limit there ethical efforts to calorie counting survival (i.e. MATERIAL survival).

We need to properly eat, sleep, be clothed and housed to live, of course. That isn't enough.

Making material prosperity your priority in life guarantees stunted spiritual development and often no spiritual prosperity whatsoever.

Jesus Christ wasn't the first person to say that man does not live by bread alone. If you are in the trap of believing that physical needs and wants is the be all, end all of human existence, then CAPITALISTS have you right where they want you. You are DOOMED to equate "Value" with "Price". You are DOOMED to equate human biochemical requirements with the monetary PRICE you must pay to provide them. Don't be a sucker.

Proper Spiritual development is Sine Qua Non to a life well lived. Mitch does not realize that. I hope you eventually do.

Evidence of Proper spirtual Development is to treat your neighbor with the SAME dignity and respect as you treat yourself.

Capitalism is 100% AGAINST treating your neighbor with the SAME dignity and respect as you treat yourself. Anyone that claims otherwise is lying. All that psychological sleight of hand about pecking order "entitlement" for the "genetically gifted winners" and the "normal and acceptable" shaft for the high percentage of "losers" is just clever, but malicious, envy fueling propaganda to keep the suckers hooked on Capitalism.

Capitalism celebrates, encourages and teaches the "VALUE" of greed, period. Greed and ethical behavior are incompatible. Anyone that tells you that greed is "rational" is a spiritual pygmy. 




02/24/2019




Quote

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. -- Mathew 4:4 (KJV)



Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Money
« Reply #684 on: October 31, 2019, 08:30:18 pm »


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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The 🐘 Republican Two Santa Clauses Tactics 😈 Con
« Reply #685 on: October 31, 2019, 08:42:59 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: This was written over a year and a half ago, but it is as applicable now, if not more so, as it was then.

OpEdNews Op Eds 2/12/2018 at 00:35:55

By Thom Hartmann

SNIPPET:

Here's how it works, laid it out in simple summary:

First, when Republicans control the federal government, and particularly the White House, spend money like a drunken sailor and run up the US debt as far and as fast as possible. This produces three results -- it stimulates the economy, thus making people think that the GOP can produce a good economy, it raises the debt dramatically, and it makes people think that Republicans are the "tax-cut Santa Claus."

Second, when a Democrat is in the White House, 😈 scream about the national debt as loudly and frantically as possible, freaking out about how "our children will have to pay for it!" and "we have to cut spending to solve the crisis!" This will force the Democrats in power to cut their own social safety net programs, thus shooting their welfare-of-the-American-people Santa Claus.

Full article:

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: GM Plant Closing
« Reply #686 on: November 02, 2019, 12:15:02 pm »
Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: GM Plant Closing

5,607 views•Oct 31, 2019


Democracy At Work
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[S1 26] Closure of GM Plant in Lordstown, Ohio

To our Patreon community: thank you for supporting David Harvey's Anti-Capitalist Chronicles  on Patreon! Your support helps us compensate the staff and additional workers it takes to put an episode together. Thank you for being a part of the ACC team!

If you would like to support this project visit us at https://www.patreon.com/davidharveyacc

Prof. Harvey talks about the work of photographer Latoya Ruby Frazier who documents the news of the Lordstown, Ohio plant closing and the impact it had on the workers, families and community at large.

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Category News & Politics
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AGelbert

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Prof. Richard Wolff: Can "Accountable" Capitalism Exist?
« Reply #687 on: November 02, 2019, 12:47:43 pm »
Prof. Richard Wolff: Can "Accountable" Capitalism Exist?

5,310 views•Oct 31, 2019


The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow
#Capitalism #Socialism #TheZeroHour

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Category News & Politics
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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The U.S. deficit hit $984 billion in 2019, soaring during Trump era

The U.S. government’s budget deficit ballooned to nearly $1 trillion in 2019, the Treasury Department announced Friday, as the United States’ fiscal imbalance widened for a fourth consecutive year despite a sustained run of economic growth. The deficit grew $205 billion, or 26 percent, in the past year.

The country’s worsening fiscal picture runs in sharp contrast to President Trump’s campaign promise to eliminate the federal debt within eight years. The deficit is up nearly 50 percent in the Trump era. Since taking office, Trump has endorsed big spending increases and steered most Republicans to abandon the deficit obsession they held during the Obama administration.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/25/us-deficit-hit-billion-marking-nearly-percent-increase-during-trump-era/

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Thu, 11/07/2019 - 16:25

Authored by Alt-Market.com's Brandon Smith

SNIPPET:

There are many problems when attempting to track a faltering economy. For one, the people in government generally do not want the public to know when the system is in decline because this looks bad for them. They prefer to rig statistical indicators as much as possible and hope that no one notices.


When the crash occurs, they then claim that “no one saw it coming” and the disaster “came out of nowhere” , so how could they be to blame? 

The most rigged statistics tend to be the least important overall in analysis, but this does not stop the mainstream media and investors from hyper focusing on them. How many times have you told friends and family about the collapse in manufacturing or the explosion in consumer and corporate debt, only to hear them say, “🐵 But the stock market is at all-time highs!” Yes, even though stock markets are a meaningless trailing indicator, even though GDP stats are a complete fallacy, and even though jobless numbers do not include tens of millions of people out of work, these are the stats that the average person takes mental note of when consuming their standard 15 minutes of news per day.


While the issue of rigged statistics makes analysis of a crash difficult, a 🙉 willfully ignorant citizenry makes reporting on the real data almost impossible. It’s sad to say, but a large number of people do not want to hear about negative information. They want to believe that all is well, and will delude themselves with fantasies of blind optimism and endless summers. Like the tale of “The Ant And The Grasshopper”, they are grasshoppers and they see anyone who focuses on the negative as “chicken littles” and “doom mongers”. In their minds they have all the time in the world, until they freeze and starve when winter comes.

When I encounter people who actually believe the manipulated numbers or buy into the stock market farce or simply don’t want to accept that a crash could happen in their lifetime, I always ask them to consider these questions:

If the global economy is not on the verge of collapse, then why did 🎩 central banks keep propping it up for the past ten years? And if central banks have been propping up the system, how much longer do you think they can do this? How much longer do you think they want to do it? What if one day they decide to let the entire house of cards tumble? What if such an event actually benefits them?

We’ve seen that a broken economy can be technically held together for a decade, but under the surface, the structure continues to rot. The bottom line is that even if the elites wanted to keep the system going for another ten years, and even if politicians continued to help them by pumping out false statistics, there is no way to hide the effects of crumbling fundamentals. We saw this during the crash of 2008, and now we’re seeing it again.


Full article:

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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