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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 13, 2017, 09:30:16 pm »



December 13, 2017

Virtually No Economist Believes the GOP Tax Bill Will Generate Growth

The $1.5 trillion growth dividends that Republicans project on their tax bill remained the same at 20% and at 21% , this shows that they are picking the figure out of the air, and it is "pretty far-fetched," says economist Dean Baker


Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being "Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer".


http://therealnews.com/t2...emid=74&jumival=20695
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 10, 2017, 08:47:12 pm »

Robert Reich: The Resistance Report 12/4/2017


Inequality Media Civic Action

Published on Dec 4, 2017

On tonights Resistance Report, we look at the Republican tax plan and the attack it will involve on social safety nets. Then we discuss oligarchy vs democracy and Trump putting himself above the law.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 08, 2017, 01:10:11 pm »

One in five American households have ‘zero or negative’ wealth   

Millions of Americans are living on the edge.
One in five households has zero or negative wealth, according to a report released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank based in Washington, D.C. What’s more, an even greater share of African-American (30%) and Latino (27%) households are “underwater” financially. The combined impact of $1 trillion in credit-card debt, $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, and stagnant wages are taking a toll.

U.S. homes have regained value since the Great Recession, but many households have not. “Millions of American families struggle with zero or negative wealth, meaning they owe more than they own,” the report found. “This means that they have nothing to fall back on if an unexpected expense comes up like a broken down car or illness.” And inequality could get worse through new tax cuts for the wealthy.

President Trump’s tax proposals won’t give America’s middle class the reprieve they need to grow their wealth and recover from the financial crash, said Josh Hoxie, who heads up the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies. A recent analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation concluded that taxes would decline for all income groups, with the biggest percentage-point decline for millionaires.

After-tax income would rise by nearly 7% for households earning over $1 million per year, compared to less than 2% for those earning between $50,001 and $1 million, as MarketWatch recently reported. And less than 1% for those earning less than $50,000, according to Ernie Tedeschi, an economist at Evercore IS investment banking advisory firm who worked in the Treasury Department under President Obama.


Looking at private income, such as earnings and dividends, and government benefits like Social Security, the income of families near the top increased roughly 90% from 1963 to 2016, while the income of families at the bottom rose less than 10%, according to a separate report released last month by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit policy group based in Washington, D.C., while most other groups have been left behind.

And that gap between rich and poor is only going to get worse, Hoxie said. The wealthiest 25 individuals in the U.S., including Microsoft MSFT, -0.35%  co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon AMZN, +0.58%  CEO Jeff Bezos and Facebook FB, +0.26% CEO Mark Zuckerberg, own $1 trillion in combined assets. These 25 — a group equivalent to the active roster of a major league baseball team — hold more wealth than the bottom 56% of the U.S. population.

https://www.marketwatch.c...egative-wealth-2017-11-11

Quote
"Capitalist ideology claims that the world is perfectly ordered and everybody is in their place (i..e. everybody gets what they deserve). This self legitmating aspect of Capitalism is Socially Catastrophic. This is the Victorian view of the world." Rob Urie - Author " Zen Economics"

Agelbert NOTE: The only thing that the POS POTUS Trump will give anybody but his 0.01% partners in crime is pictured below:




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 08, 2017, 12:50:06 pm »

Bitcoin Is Not a Currency, It’s an (Unsafe) Investment

by Chris Hoffman on December 8th, 2017

SNIPPET:

If the creators of Bitcoin wanted it to act like a currency, they sure made a lot of weird decisions. Bitcoin doesn’t function well as a currency, for reasons that are inherent to its design. It’s an investment people are speculating on…and even then, it’s more gambling than it is a stable investment.

Full article:

https://www.howtogeek.com...its-an-unsafe-investment/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:36:06 pm »

Workers Create All Wealth Not Billionaires (w/Guest Alex Lawson)


Thom is joined by Alex Lawson of Social Security works to discuss the differences between Republicans, how we can fight their tax scam and why they are still trying to feed us this horse crap, trickle down theory!

Thom Hartmann Dec. 5, 2017 3:30 pm

Agelbert NOTE: Thom brings up an interesting bit of history. Way back in the 1880's, when the Libertarian CROOKS were running America, they had a cute little saying that they cleverly fed to the people. You see, a horse eats its fodder and poops a type of poop that sparrows love to eat because the poop has undigested oats in the horse droppings! Well, they said the gooberment should allow the "horses" (i.e. the robber barrons and other assorted Libertarian "small government" sons of Belial ) to do their "job creating" thing (i.e. Laissez-faire plunder and mayhem ) because we sparrows will "benefit" from all those undigested "goodies" the rich are "kind enough" to deliver to us on a regular basis.  Thus, the Horses and Sparrows Theory was born. THAT was how the "Trickle Down Theory"  HORSESHIT originated. But it actually goes all the way back to the Sheriff of Nottingham! :o 

The main thing for you readers to remember is that the rght wingers/Libertarians/fascists were Horshitting us even before they were Bullshitting us! Those profit over people and planet CON ARTISTS have ALWAYS been allergic to telling the truth!

Hey right wingers! Go HORSESHIT SOMEBODY ELSE, you lying, double talking, GREEDBALL CRIMINALS! 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 06, 2017, 06:08:29 pm »

Wooden Dams And River Jams Strain US Grain Exports

December 5, 2017 by Reuters

by Karl Plume

SNIPPET 1:

America’s worst traffic jam this fall occurred on the Ohio River, where a line of about 50 miles of boats hauling grains and other products turned into a waterborne parking lot, as ship captains waited for the river to reopen.

Such delays are worsening on the nation’s waterways, which are critical to commerce for the United States, the largest grain exporter in the world. Of the country’s $40 billion in annual grain and soybean exports, about 60 percent is moved by barges on rivers, including the Ohio.

The shutdown, caused by worn or missing sections of a dam, snarled traffic from early September into early November through Locks & Dam No. 52 near Paducah, Kentucky. It was the second shutdown in two months at No. 52, which is among the country’s busiest locks with about $22 billion a year of commodities flowing through it.

The lock, which has been earmarked for replacement by the Army Corps of Engineers for three decades, is one of many choke points along 25,000 miles of waterways used to transport everything from grains to consumer goods to coal.

SNIPPET 2:

Most of the country’s 239 locks have exceeded their half-century design lives, and nearly half the vessels that use the nation’s inland waterways now experience delays, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The average delay per lock has nearly doubled on the waterways since the beginning of the century, rising to 121 minutes in 2014 from 64 minutes in 2000, the group said.

Full article with several pictures:

http://gcaptain.com/woode...-strain-us-grain-exports/

Agelbert NOTE: Trump is doing NOTHING to solve this infrastructure problem. Right wingers and Libertarian MORONS think the "free market" will take care of this by privatizing every single bit of infrastructure our GOVERNMENT BUILT. These brain dead IDIOTS do not understand that privatizing all that infrastructure is exactly how you will cause food prices to SKYROCKET. Greed has so deranged these right wingers of all types that they can no longer think past their Trump worshipping insanity.  >:(
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 06, 2017, 03:12:35 pm »

ANYBODY that has his logic circuits so fried as to believe that the "BANKSTERS FAVOR A WELFARE STATE" has TOTALLY LOST IT!

No wonder GO mourned the death of Charles Manson. It shows the derangement particular to Libertarians is not limited to voting and supporting a racist, fascist, economy destroying, war loving, environment trashing, Bankster supporting greedball. What happened to GO's Libertarian tears about the WAR STATE and the MIC? HELLO GO? Are you there? I thought Libertarians were against WAR and were Pro-immigration. I guess your WALK is rather different from your TALK.

GO has gone FULL ORWELL! GO UNCONDITIONALLY supports the trashing of EVERYTHING he claims to defend with his LIBERTARIAN empathy defict disordered RELIGION.   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 06, 2017, 03:11:51 pm »

I think it would have been better to say Golden Oxen has mixed feelings over Trump's tax reform. On the one hand he is fond of it because it curbs speculation in real estate which is damaging this country especially to the younger generations will have a hard time starting families. On the other he dislikes the plan for the usual cited reasons that it is decrease in corporate tax rates and a raise for the middle class workers. At least that is the point of criticism I assume GO follows since he posted the Paul Roberts article. I think he could have been clearer by not immediately and simply stating he was fond of the plan as he later added caveats to his statement.

From what I see any benefits will be outweighed by the negatives but I wonder how much this would effect his popularity. My sense is it will have no real effect on his voting base as it seems many of them are not interested in facts only bold vague statements and other hard line actions such as tight border controls and racial discriminatory speeches. Money for the mates, bigotry for the base. That is the game he plays.

The vast majority of Trump supporters and voters in general have no idea how the tax plan will affect them personally. Tax cut is a buzz word that gets votes from dumb people. Everybody loves a tax cut. Never mind who gets **** on the deal.

I see GO's POV and understand it. I think he makes a good point. Housing prices are too high.

Personally, I own real estate, so I'm not thrilled about a tax change that will wipe out my investments, but in terms of real estate prices in general, price is not that important to me. Cash flow is king, and cheap houses often flow more cash than expensive ones, and they're easier to buy and sell. It's the tax advantages and the inflation hedge that makes real estate a good investment under the current paradigm. That and the ability to lock in a 30 year loan at historically low rates (which is part of the inflation hedge too.)

Then you did not understand the video that you said you agreed with. All this TALK about side issues like real estate are just dodges for GO's continued racist support of Trump, as the video (I just posted again to Monsta) made CRYSTAL CLEAR, though it did not mention real estate specifically. If you want to wishful think that GO is being logical, go for it. I will not be fooled.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 06, 2017, 02:48:16 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: From an interesting thread on another forum.  ;)

http://www.doomsteaddiner....msg141997.html#msg141997

I think it would have been better to say Golden Oxen has mixed feelings over Trump's tax reform. On the one hand he is fond of it because it curbs speculation in real estate which is damaging this country especially to the younger generations will have a hard time starting families. On the other he dislikes the plan for the usual cited reasons that it is decrease in corporate tax rates and a raise for the middle class workers. At least that is the point of criticism I assume GO follows since he posted the Paul Roberts article. I think he could have been clearer by not immediately and simply stating he was fond of the plan as he later added caveats to his statement.


GO does NOT have "mixed feelings about ANYTHING TRUMP DOES! GO is a TRUMP supporter. GO VOTED for Trump! And I reminded GO of his horrendous mistake nearly a year after that abysmally dystopic decision to vote for Trump, only to be rebuffed. GO CANNOT be reasoned with.

Quote
From what I see any benefits will be outweighed by the negatives but I wonder how much this would effect his popularity. My sense is it will have no real effect on his voting base as it seems many of them are not interested in facts only bold vague statements and other hard line actions such as tight border controls and racial discriminatory speeches. Money for the mates, bigotry for the base. That is the game he plays.

Of course. But why can't you see that GO is playing a VERY SIMILAR GAME?

If you REALLY want to understand why GO cannot be reasoned with, just watch this short video. The eminent historian interviewed makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR where GO stands and WHY GO will continue to support Trump.

Your OWN answer includes the explanation to GO's lack of logic, yet you don't want to admit that GO IS PART OF TRUMP'S BASE! So is Karpatok!


[embed=640,412]<iframe width="640" height="412" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DrI27d3neBo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/embed]

Also, GO has often posted articles he does not agree with just to create discussion. DO NOT ASSUME that, just because GO posted said article, he agrees with the author. GO SAYS many things on this forum whic sound so nice and ethical, only to expose his TRUE feelings with some snide remark of telling graphic about his fixation on MAMMON.

Anyone with half a brain knows that GO's 'religion' is a front he hides behind. If you want to be naive enogh to believe GO is a person guided by ethical principles based on Christ's teachings, you have obviosly lost your ability to think critically.

GO can yell and scream all he wants that he "isn't a racist". He is. His continued support for Trump, despite Trump's staggeringly fascist destruction of the U.S. erconomy AND despite Trump's horrendous attack on the environment (Have you not read everything GO has posted here pre-Trump "weeping" about pollution and environmental destruction?  WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT, Monsta?), is prima facie evidence that Trump's RACIST BIGOTRY is the REASON GO will not admit he was WRONG to vote for Trump!


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2017, 05:45:03 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Eddie is a Dentist living in Austin, Texas.




Tax Plans Pave Way for Massive Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

By Lindsay Koshgarian, Truthout | News Analysis

SNIPPET:
Quote
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but to "small-government" types, this is a dream come true. The increased national debt gives the perfect political cover for cutting social programs. And this reform won't be limited to traditional welfare programs for struggling parents, which in 2016 amounted to less than half a percent of the total federal budget. Instead, lawmakers will take direct aim at the social programs where the most money is spent*, and upon which the most Americans rely: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Full article:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42811-tax-plans-pave-way-for-massive-cuts-to-medicare-medicaid-social-security

* Agelbert NOTE: Said lawmakers will, of course, NOT take aim at the Military Industrial Complex WELFARE QUEEN(S) HANDOUT programs, where FAR MORE MONEY IS SPENT than on  Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.   

It's also worth mentioning that Medicare and Medicaid put money into the local economies nationwide. I live off Medicaid and it pays my employees. By taking away your senior benefits, it puts your personal doctor out of business. The entire healthcare system has adapted to these benefits over the last couple of generations, and I don't know how the math works for getting healthcare workers paid without it.

I would say the math doesn't work. And that's the way the evil greedballs pushing this Tax Scam have planned it all along.

It all just seems like the 1% has decided to do whatever they can to kill most of the population off by gradually denying the 99% the ability to live decently. The 1% parasites just do not get the FACT that they CANNOT survive without the 99% AND their Libertarian Fascist Malthusian Dream will QUICKLY MORPH into the guillotine for the 1%. Stupid is as stupid does.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2017, 05:28:16 pm »

Eddie said:

Quote
It isn't clear to me how the new tax plan will treat interest paid on investment mortgages. In a worst case scenario I might have to change my entire approach to investing and get out of real estate altogether. In recent years real estate has been the only tax advantaged form of investing that has worked well for me. Even though real estate is subject to deflationary collapse, it does have the advantage of being a tangible asset. Stocks can go to zero. I am currently doing pretty well trading the cannabis stocks, but it's very high risk. If they force everyone into the stock market, the bubble will certainly enter the last parabolic up phase, which will inevitably be followed by a  huge collapse in stocks and bonds.  Goodbye retirement, all you boomers.

One of the plans (I think it is the House plan, but I'm not sure) eliminates the interest deduction on any property valued at over $500,000. But it may be worse than that for people like you because only ONE property that you own (and that property must be valued at less that $500,000) can have the interest paid on the mortgage deducted. Of course some accountant will figure a way for you to put properties into a shell corporation that qualifies as a business so the expenses for everything from the toilet paper on up will be "deductible", so accountants will make out like bandits with this new Tax Scam.  :exp-evil:

I'm not in the stock market. I agree the risks associated with stock ownership are astronomical now. BUT, Trump and his wrecking crew are doing everything they can to make it the 'only game in town'.

SCREW TRUMP AND HIS WRECKING CREW! I won't play. I prefer DEATH to submitting to fascist economic coercion.  
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2017, 05:02:01 pm »



Tax Plans Pave Way for Massive Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

By Lindsay Koshgarian, Truthout | News Analysis

SNIPPET:
Quote
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but to "small-government" types, this is a dream come true. The increased national debt gives the perfect political cover for cutting social programs. And this reform won't be limited to traditional welfare programs for struggling parents, which in 2016 amounted to less than half a percent of the total federal budget. Instead, lawmakers will take direct aim at the social programs where the most money is spent*, and upon which the most Americans rely: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Full article:

http://www.truth-out.org/...-medicaid-social-security

* Agelbert NOTE: Said lawmakers will, of course, NOT take aim at the Military Industrial Complex WELFARE QUEEN(S) HANDOUT programs, where FAR MORE MONEY IS SPENT than on  Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.   




 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2017, 03:12:33 pm »

Have you seen how much you could save under President Trump's tax reform?  ;)

Quote
https://www.nytimes.com/i...x-plan.html?&amp;_r=0

Andrew Wheeler, political watcher and guy who reads a lot

Answered Thu · Upvoted by Nathan Herkowitz, M.S. Taxes, Walsh College
Using my 2016 figures, since I have that tax return handy, and the calculator at CalcXML, here’s what I see.

For actual 2016, I paid $2,299 in federal tax. Under the Trump plan, an income of exactly the same size would incur a tax liability of $4,264. So my taxes would nearly double.

Also, I’m not clear whether this calculator includes the loss of deductions for state and local taxes and for mortgage interest. I’m pretty far into my mortgage, so the latter isn’t as major, but I live in New Jersey and work in New York City, so losing SALT deductibility would hit me hard.

Plus, I have one son in college now, and will have another beginning college in 2019. The changes to student loans will have an additional detrimental effect on my income, and that effect will persist for many years for both my household and the eventual households of my two sons.

To answer the question: yes, I have seen how much my taxes and additional expenses would increase under the Trump plan. That amount is substantial. If that increase were part of a wider reform that, for example, would bring the budget into balance, I might possibly be in favor of it.

But doubling, or more than doubling, my taxes in order to give huge tax breaks to the rich and to multinational corporations while at the same time increasing the deficit by over $1.5Tthat is a horrible plan that runs the risk of entirely destroying this country. It is stupid, it is asinine, and it is borderline criminal negligence of duty for any elected representative to vote for such a thing.

https://www.quora.com/Have-you-seen-how-much-you-could-save-under-President-Trumps-tax-reform

I paid $188,960.00 for 2016. That was a good year. My worst year was $240K (2014) .

I see no way my taxes won't be worse under the new "tax reform".

An increase in the standard deduction does only one thing. It makes it easier for the IRS to process returns, which will free up agents to do more audits. As far as I know, not a single journalist out there has been smart enough to figure that out. You heard it here first.

And the increase in the standard deduction is mostly erased by the loss of the personal exemption. Almost a wash. Smoke and mirrors.

The highest marginal rate is roughly the same for me. The slight changes there might save me a tiny bit. Not enough to even matter much.

Eliminate the alternative minimum tax? So what. I don't have passive real estate income that would trigger that. I actively manage all my investment properties. Only people who own a LOT of property were getting stuck with that.

Eliminate the estate tax? Who has an 11 million dollar estate? Not me. Not even close.

Drop the corporate rate? Big woop. That's only for C corps. Doctors and lawyers can only be S corps, a special kind of corporation deliberately made years ago to keep doctors and lawyers from getting the same breaks as big companies. The rates for S corps are are NOT dropped under the new plan.

Obviously, the end game (they tried but could get no traction for these things this time out)  is going to be eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, the exemption on capital gains for the sale of your home, and the deduction for other interest paid on various loans and mortgages. It's not here, but they want it, and in the fullness of time, it will come.

And the eventual end to itemized deductions altogether (makes enforcement easier). Then they will come after the expense column of the Schedule C's of small business owners, another place where there is more easy money to collect.


If you're remotely middle class, this tax cut does nothing to help you, as far as I can see.


Exactly right! 

By "simplifying" ;)  the return so more people will not itemize, this is probably another back door attempt (later on) tp claim the IRS "doesn't need" that many employees (How convenient for the elite bastards that have most to gain by a dysfunctional IRS ).

All that said, there are people like me out there that will see a small decrease in their taxes.   

But that is part of the massive con here! The income taxes on a retired person who does not itemize are a TINY part of retired people's expenses and health insurance a GIGANTIC (about TEN TIMES MORE - AT LEAST!) part of annual expenses. Health insurance is going to SKYROCKET with the individual mandate gone!

I shudder to think what BCBS is going to hit me with in 2019. Yeah, I've got Medicare part A and B, but those plans are not enough for proper coverage. And, of course, those plans are going to be destroyed, along with Social Security, by the massive deficit this Tax Scam incurs.

So actually, ANYBODY who is not part of the bastard crooks in the top 1% is going to see their overall expenses go WAY UP. 




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2017, 12:31:31 pm »

Have you seen how much you could save under President Trump's tax reform?  ;)

Quote
https://www.nytimes.com/i...x-plan.html?&amp;_r=0

Andrew Wheeler, political watcher and guy who reads a lot

Answered Thu · Upvoted by Nathan Herkowitz, M.S. Taxes, Walsh College
Using my 2016 figures, since I have that tax return handy, and the calculator at CalcXML, here’s what I see.

For actual 2016, I paid $2,299 in federal tax. Under the Trump plan, an income of exactly the same size would incur a tax liability of $4,264. So my taxes would nearly double.

Also, I’m not clear whether this calculator includes the loss of deductions for state and local taxes and for mortgage interest. I’m pretty far into my mortgage, so the latter isn’t as major, but I live in New Jersey and work in New York City, so losing SALT deductibility would hit me hard.

Plus, I have one son in college now, and will have another beginning college in 2019. The changes to student loans will have an additional detrimental effect on my income, and that effect will persist for many years for both my household and the eventual households of my two sons.

To answer the question: yes, I have seen how much my taxes and additional expenses would increase under the Trump plan. That amount is substantial. If that increase were part of a wider reform that, for example, would bring the budget into balance, I might possibly be in favor of it.

But doubling, or more than doubling, my taxes in order to give huge tax breaks to the rich and to multinational corporations while at the same time increasing the deficit by over $1.5Tthat is a horrible plan that runs the risk of entirely destroying this country. It is stupid, it is asinine, and it is borderline criminal negligence of duty for any elected representative to vote for such a thing.

https://www.quora.com/Hav...esident-Trumps-tax-reform
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 03, 2017, 06:13:55 pm »

 

December 3, 2017

Argentine Government Bars Major NGO Representatives from WTO Meeting

In an unprecedented move that violates World Trade Organization rules, Argentina revoked accreditations of representatives of 20 NGOs, preventing them from attending the 11th WTO Meeting in Buenos Aires next week. Deborah James of CEPR explains the significance of this decision


SNIPPET from video Transcript:
Quote
If you look at some of the groups, for example, that are banned, we're talking about groups like Friends of the Earth International, the Transnational Institute, a number of Argentine domestic groups. There's Global Justice Now that was just briefing the parliament in the UK on these issues. A full half of the 20 groups that were banned are members of Our World is Not For Sale but almost all of them, 18 of them are civil society groups.

At the same time, DHL, UPS, FedEx, eBay, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Coalition of Services Industries, the European Services Forum, big pharma, Philip Morris, the Semiconductor Industry Association, all of these corporations are still being allowed because there was only two companies that were included in the list of banned groups.


Agelbert LAMENT: The Destruction of the Biosphere on behalf of Profit over People and Planet Capitalism marches on. 

As our environment enters the Extinction phase, these greedballs from the WTO double down on Capitalist Corruption, instead of repenting and working to make restitution for their horrendous pillaging of our planet.

Quote
“I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.” ― Fyodor Dostoyyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Human Inequity is directly proportional to the amount of human iniquity. ― A. G. Gelbert
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 01, 2017, 11:31:59 pm »

Capitalism DOES NOT WORK!
trustylimbs

Published on Jun 14, 2017


Richard D Wolff - A Critic Of Capitalism 2017
Only listened to about one-half hour, but thanks for posting this algebert! I have not listened to wolf in some years and always enjoy his spiel. He, however, wisely adheres to the rule that it is verboten for anyone who has gotten a graduate degree in e-con from an American university to discuss the MONEY SYSTEM. How one can discuss capitalism without discussing fractional reserve banking instituted by a private corporation baffles me.

I'm confident that this will not be discussed in the rest of the video; so, I am posting this comment now.

Also, like jake morphonios has concluded regarding the forbes 500 or Oxfam's list of the richest: the rothschild family has a combined wealth of 10,000 times that of gates or bezos. Kudos to morphonios for reading the fine print of the forbes list-excludes extended family wealth.


Hi Moniker,
Professor Richard D Wolff has discussed Fractional Reserve Banking in the past. As you know, he is quite knowledgeable about how the scam called Capitalism works. I have posted many, many videos and podcasts by Professor Wolff in my forum. I post some of them here but there are very few defenders of sound economic policy in this forum, so I mostly do not bother. I ignore them and they studiously ignore me. Surly and RE basically understand how gamed our system is and say so often.   They get accused of being "Trotsky Commies", leftist crazies, etc. (you get the idea), ridiculous hyperbole that gets repeated ad nauseum. 

Every attempt at reasoning with the true believers in Capitalism that infest this forum is rebuffed with distractions, hyperbole, arrogance, sarcasm, snide remarks or open hostility instead of logic and objectivity.*
 
That said, the common thread among Doomstead Diners is that the system is breaking and this will result in a collapse of civilization as we know it. I agree that we are on the cusp of a great unraveling. I am convinced, unlike most people here, that the cause is lack of morality in human affairs. However, I do engage in discussion of some of the common sense (CFS ) issues within our corrupted system that could be tweaked for the benefit human society, like Renewable Energy and the structure of our monetary system.

Let us discuss the point you brought up. By the way, I suggest you watch all of the video. It's the least you can do if you are going to criticize Professor Wolff.

YEAH, Fractional Reserve "banking" (i.e. "legal" counterfeiting) is bad, stupid and horrendously inflationary. Wolff, Hudson, Black and many other luminaries in the field of economics have pointed that out. Libertarians (the 'Greed is Good" crowd, no matter how many people go hungry and how much of the biosphere is trashed in order to have a "sound currency" like gold) are great advocates of eliminating Fractional Reserve Banking. WHO in their right mind (that isn't a banker) isn't??! It's OBVIOUS that when a small group of elite BASTARDS can "legally" counterfeit trillions of dollars, while you and I get thrown in jail for the same thing, most people that can add and subtract  are going to get rather exercised, to put it mildly.

Wolff gets that, Moniker. I get that. Eddie gets that. K-Dog gets that. Golden Oxen gets that. RE gets that. Surly gets that. YOU get that. JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY at the Doomstead Diner gets that.

AND?

Your assumption that the elimination of this heinous practice of legal counterfeiting will somehow stop the 24/7 theft and corruption being visited on we-the-people by the epitome of Capitalst thinking (controlling the money supply, A MONOPOLY of MONEY, so you can make everyone your slave, is the founding principle of Capitalism, not the bullshit happy talk propaganda about the "invisible hand" and "enlightened self interest").

Sure, you are focused on the keystone of the corrupt edifice of Capitalism. Good for you  . But BEFORE you can get to that keystone, you HAVE TO ADDRESS ETHICS in ECONOMICS.

Yes, counterfeiting is unethical, whether it is "legal" or not. So, yeah, you are partly addressing the issue of ethics. But economics ultimately is about BALANCE of resources among humans so that society will prosper through a mechanism that INHIBITS HOARDING and INEQUALTY while preserving a VIABLE BIOSPHERE (that's where ALL those resources come from - and those resourses are NOT INFINITE - so they MUST BE RENEWABLE).

Wolff has patiently explained, on many, many occasions, that Soviet Communism failed for the EXACT SAME REASON that CAPITALISM is failing. That is, they went the "BOSS TECHNOCRAT ELITIST MANAGER over the mass of the workers (with low wages)" STUPID, GREEDY, ARROGANT routine. They DID NOT make everybody the owner of the production of goods and services, though they gave lip service to that claim.

The bottom line is that if inequality and respect for people and the preservation of nature is not sine qua non to an economic system, said system will destroy the society that embraces it. The only system that can achieve that is Democratic Socialism. And even Democratic Socialism will NOT achieve that if a BOSS over lots of low paid peons is the norm. Capitalism is THEFTISM/HOARDISM. It CONSTANTLY moves towards greater inequality and greater instability. Fractional Reserve THEFT will not go away until Capitalism does. 

I've talked enough and now I will get sniped by some true believer in Capitalism. Message to the sniper, even if he is an admin here:

Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.


 * Resorting to fallacious debating techniques, like the one I just got sniped with when Engineer K-Dog "innocently" asked about how hydrogen is made, is fun if the person spewing the clever bullshit is only interested in attacking the messenger, not debating the message. K-Dog knows all the industrial techniques used to make hydrogen and cherry picks the most energy intensive forms, while totally excluding the ones that I HAVE DISCUSSED HERE OFTEN, WITH EVIDENCE AND DATA, just to make a "greater thermodynamic efficiency" case for fossil fuel CRAP. He is so repetitive and predictable as to be boring. K-Dog is smart and I share many views with him. But he is adamantly incorrigible in his insistance that Renewable Energy cannot replace fossil fuels OR prevent the collapse of human civilization. Perhaps he is right. But I don't think so.
Thank you for your extensive reply agelbert and for the link to your website.

I completely agree that our society's problem is one of morality, spirituality even. I cannot even begin to comprehend how to address that, however.

I would make a distinction between capitalism and debt based fiat currency since they are not mutually exclusive. Private ownership of assets does have benefits to society, but the issuance of debt based money guarantees exploitation of the earth's resources and that the issuers end up with all the money.

Since you bring up William black, I believe he teaches at that school and has said the banks should have been placed in receivership instead of being bailed out.


 

You are welcome. And of course the failed banks should have been allowed to go the way of the Dodo Bird. I saw Pelosi's face on TV when she had to say, "The measure is not carried." She lookedl ike someone had punched her in the stomach.  ;D

I watched aghast as the SENATE, which is not supposed to originate legislation, did exactly THAT to railroad us into bailing out Wall Street banks to the tune of over 16 TRILLION DOLLARS!

I watched when a Congressman from Florida (Grayson) tried to get Bernake to explain HOW the "Federal" Reserve could lend TRILLIONS of zero or negative interest "loans" to FOREIGN banks without even telling the U.S. Congress about it! That Congressman lost his next election, of course. 

Money is just a symbol. Natural Resources compose ALL the material wealth humans have. All these crooked fun and games which allegedly "create" money or "create" debt only work because there is a gun pointed at us called the legal tender "Laws". They are bullshit, but that's the law. 

I am grateful that you agree that the central problem is lack of ethics. The solution is enforced ethical behavior. But as you more or less figured, that is rather difficult to do when you are dealing with the 0.01% plutocratic psychopaths that are running this mess called "civilization" into the Sixth Great Extinction. May God help us because our empathy deficit disordered ileaders will only make things worse, not better.

 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 01, 2017, 11:05:15 pm »

Why Giving Tax Breaks To The Rich Doesn't Create Jobs (w/Guest Richard Wolff)


Thom is joined by Professor Richard Wolff, speaking on the Bail Ins, how banks are using your money as their own assets, and the effects of the GOP tax Bill. spoiler, no jobs ahead.

Thom Hartmann Nov. 30, 2017 4:00 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 01, 2017, 03:43:36 pm »

Capitalism DOES NOT WORK!

trustylimbs

Published on Jun 14, 2017


Richard D Wolff - A Critic Of Capitalism 2017
Only listened to about one-half hour, but thanks for posting this algebert! I have not listened to wolf in some years and always enjoy his spiel. He, however, wisely adheres to the rule that it is verboten for anyone who has gotten a graduate degree in e-con from an American university to discuss the MONEY SYSTEM. How one can discuss capitalism without discussing fractional reserve banking instituted by a private corporation baffles me.

I'm confident that this will not be discussed in the rest of the video; so, I am posting this comment now.

Also, like jake morphonios has concluded regarding the forbes 500 or Oxfam's list of the richest: the rothschild family has a combined wealth of 10,000 times that of gates or bezos. Kudos to morphonios for reading the fine print of the forbes list-excludes extended family wealth.


Hi Moniker,
Professor Richard D Wolff has discussed Fractional Reserve Banking in the past. As you know, he is quite knowledgeable about how the scam called Capitalism works. I have posted many, many videos and podcasts by Professor Wolff in my forum. I post some of them here but there are very few defenders of sound economic policy in this forum, so I mostly do not bother. I ignore them and they studiously ignore me. Surly and RE basically understand how gamed our system is and say so often.   They get accused of being "Trotsky Commies", leftist crazies, etc. (you get the idea), ridiculous hyperbole that gets repeated ad nauseum. 

Every attempt at reasoning with the true believers in Capitalism that infest this forum is rebuffed with distractions, hyperbole, arrogance, sarcasm, snide remarks or open hostility instead of logic and objectivity.
 
That said, the common thread among Doomstead Diners is that the system is breaking and this will result in a collapse of civilization as we know it. I agree that we are on the cusp of a great unraveling. I am convinced, unlike most people here, that the cause is lack of morality in human affairs. However, I do engage in discussion of some of the common sense (CFS ) issues within our corrupted system that could be tweaked for the benefit human society, like Renewable Energy and the structure of our monetary system.

Let us discuss the point you brought up. By the way, I suggest you watch all of the video. It's the least you can do if you are going to criticize Professor Wolff.

YEAH, Fractional Reserve "banking" (i.e. "legal" counterfeiting) is bad, stupid and horrendously inflationary. Wolff, Hudson, Black and many other luminaries in the field of economics have pointed that out. Libertarians (the 'Greed is Good" crowd, no matter how many people go hungry and how much of the biosphere is trashed in order to have a "sound currency" like gold) are great advocates of eliminating Fractional Reserve Banking. WHO in their right mind (that isn't a banker) isn't??! It's OBVIOUS that when a small group of elite BASTARDS can "legally" counterfeit trillions of dollars, while you and I get thrown in jail for the same thing, most people that can add and subtract  are going to get rather exercised, to put it mildly.

Wolff gets that, Moniker. I get that. Eddie gets that. K-Dog gets that. Golden Oxen gets that. RE gets that. Surly gets that. YOU get that. JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY at the Doomstead Diner gets that.

AND?

Your assumption that the elimination of this heinous practice of legal counterfeiting will somehow stop the 24/7 theft and corruption being visited on we-the-people by the epitome of Capitalst thinking (controlling the money supply, A MONOPOLY of MONEY, so you can make everyone your slave, is the founding principle of Capitalism, not the bullshit happy talk propaganda about the "invisible hand" and "enlightened self interest").

Sure, you are focused on the keystone of the corrupt edifice of Capitalism. Good for you  . But BEFORE you can get to that keystone, you HAVE TO ADDRESS ETHICS in ECONOMICS.

Yes, counterfeiting is unethical, whether it is "legal" or not. So, yeah, you are partly addressing the issue of ethics. But economics ultimately is about BALANCE of resources among humans so that society will prosper through a mechanism that INHIBITS HOARDING and INEQUALTY while preserving a VIABLE BIOSPHERE (that's where ALL those resources come from - and those resourses are NOT INFINITE - so they MUST BE RENEWABLE).

Wolff has patiently explained, on many, many occasions, that Soviet Communism failed for the EXACT SAME REASON that CAPITALISM is failing. That is, they went the "BOSS TECHNOCRAT ELITIST MANAGER over the mass of the workers (with low wages)" STUPID, GREEDY, ARROGANT routine. They DID NOT make everybody the owner of the production of goods and services, though they gave lip service to that claim.

The bottom line is that if inequality and respect for people and the preservation of nature is not sine qua non to an economic system, said system will destroy the society that embraces it. The only system that can achieve that is Democratic Socialism. And even Democratic Socialism will NOT achieve that if a BOSS over lots of low paid peons is the norm. Capitalism is THEFTISM/HOARDISM. It CONSTANTLY moves towards greater ineqality and greater instability. Fractional Reserve THEFT will not go away until Capitalism does. 

I've talked enough and now I will get sniped by some true believer in Capitalism. Message to the sniper, even if he is an admin here:

Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.


 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 30, 2017, 10:36:48 pm »

Capitalism DOES NOT WORK!

trustylimbs

Published on Jun 14, 2017


Richard D Wolff - A Critic Of Capitalism 2017
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 28, 2017, 09:48:59 pm »

 

The Pathology of the Rich - Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself


285,523 views

TheRealNews

Published on Dec 5, 2013

On RAI with Paul Jay, Chris Hedges discusses the psychology of the super rich; their sense of entitlement, the dehumanization of workers, and mistaken belief that their wealth will insulate them from the coming storms.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 28, 2017, 06:38:12 pm »

Economic Update: Capitalism, Corporations and Media


Democracy At Work

Published on Nov 26, 2017

This show is available at no cost to public access and non-profit community stations! Contact your local channels and let them know you would like them to add Economic Update to their programming. Let us know if you've reached out: info(a)democracyatwork.info

Support the show! Become an EU patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/economicupdate

Season 6, episode 48
THIS WEEK'S TOPICS (w/timestamps):
00:57 - Updates on the corrupt Congressional "tax reform;"
06:47 - how giant corporations continue to abuse power;
10:42 - the GE CEO who wasted millions of dollars;
13:39 - the role the corporate structure plays in sexual harassment/abuse;
17:34 - announcements;
18:40 - Detroit's fake "renaissance;"
20:45 - the decaying and dying malls across the U.S.,
22:29 - how unaffordable rents expose the fakery of an “economic recovery;"
24:20 - how the pharmaceutical giant Astra-Zeneca exemplifies the ways capitalism endangers our health.
28:25 - SPECIAL GUEST:   interview with author and broadcaster Laura Flanders, as she and Prof. Wolff discuss the need for collaboration and change within mass–media to survive today's capitalistic system.

Learn more: http://www.democracyatwork.info/econo...
LIKE Economic Update on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EconomicUpdate
Richard D. Wolff's website: http://www.rdwolff.com
LIKE Richard D. Wolff on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RichardDWolff
Follow Richard D. Wolff on Twitter: http://twitter.com/profwolff
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 28, 2017, 05:22:25 pm »

The Republican Tax SCAM






Our Children's future under the above Tax "reform":

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 25, 2017, 05:13:50 pm »



May 15, 2014


Piketty: The Market and Private Property Should Be The Slaves of Democracy

TRNN Producer Lynn Fries hosts an extended interview with Thomas Piketty about his widely acclaimed Capital in the 21st Century


Agelbert NOTE: I am posting the transcript along with the video because Professor Piketty has a strong French accent. Professor Piketty accurately explained the direction our greed based history is taking us. Since this interview, things have proceeded exactly as he has predicted. IOW, we are even more screwed now than in 2014.  :P

As Phil Donahue said in the previous post (third video) when he was interviewed by TRNN in 2014, "... the USA could elect a neo-Mussolini". We are there.  :(

biography
Thomas Piketty is Professor of Economics at the Paris School of Economics and author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century. He has published numerous articles in journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review and the Review of Economic Studies, and of a dozen books. He has done major historical and theoretical work on the interplay between economic development and the distribution of income and wealth. In particular, he is the initiator of the recent literature on the long run evolution of top income shares in national income (now available in the World Top Incomes Database). These works have led to radically question the optimistic relationship between development and inequality posited by Kuznets, and to emphasize the role of political and fiscal institutions in the historical evolution of income and wealth distribution.

transcript
LYNN FRIES: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Lynn Fries reporting from Paris. In this program, we look into the history of income and wealth from the 18th century. Who owns what and who earns what? For centuries this has been a debate without much data but that's changed with the publication of a new book. To discuss all this The Real News visited Thomas Piketty in Paris. Thomas Piketty is Professor of Economics at the Paris School of Economics and the author of this new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Welcome Thomas. Thank you.
THOMAS PIKETTY: Thank you
FRIES So you've assembled a huge amount of data and then you wrote a huge book about it. So tell us your objectives
PIKETTY: OK. So the objective of this book is really to provide the readers with a lot of historical evidence on income and wealth. And this comes from a collective research project that involves over 20 other scholars including Tony Atkinson, Emanuel Saez, Facundo Alvaredo and we have been collecting over the past 15 years the largest existing historical database on income and wealth inequality. And the primary objective of this book is to put all this data in a consistent manner so that everybody can access the documentation. And I draw some conclusions about the future at the end of the book but most of all the book is really about the history of income and wealth so that, to help everybody to draw their own conclusion
FRIES: With three centuries of data, you're saying that the Old World countries of Europe and Japan are back to 19th century levels of wealth inequality. So tell us about that and why it matters for the entire world and especially people born in 1970 or later.
PIKETTY: Well I guess I have particular sympathy for people born in the 1970s and for them wealth is going to have a different structure than for the baby boom core. Namely we see in recent decades a return of the relative importance of wealth as compared to income which we didn't have for the baby boom core. And the reason is that until WWI we lived in societies that I call in the book patrimonial societies, where the total quantity of wealth was very large with respect to income. So typically the ratio of total wealth to income was about six to seven years. Then this dropped tremendously to about two/three years in the 1950s and this has been going upward again particularly in European countries and in Japan back to five/six years of national income today. And what this means is that for the post war baby boom core there was relatively little to inherit from the past.This was because of the destruction, the inflation and taxation due to the financing of the war which reduced the quantity of private wealth that was to be transmitted in the ‘50s,'60s. Now we are back a relative importance of wealth that is going in the direction of pre World War I societies with lower concentration of wealth. You know, it's important to emphasize that today there is a middle class in wealth that did not exist one century ago. So having a lot of wealth per se is certainly not bad. If you have the middle class and if you have an equal sharing or at least a spreading of wealth then it is better to have more wealth than to have only debt. So it's all a matter of whether we manage to make the middle class in wealth expand rather than shrinking which is what we've had unfortunately in the recent decades.
FRIES: So let's talk now about income inequality in the New World, the United States. An important study was done in US income inequality by Simon Kuznets in the 20th century. Tell us about his work and put it in historic context..
PIKETTY: OK. So in the 1950s, Kuznets was the first economist to produce an income inequality series. And what he found was a decline in income inequality in the United States between 1913 and 1948. Now in fact it was largely due to the Great Depression, to World War II, wage compression during World War II, taxation policy that was enacted after the Great Depression. And Kuznets himself was very much aware of that but people in the ‘50s and '60s in the Cold War and post colonial context wanted to believe in a happy story and a happy end about inequality and capitalism. And Kuznets somehow proposed such a story by saying OK maybe there are universal and natural reason why inequality could reduce in the advanced stages of economic development. You know himself, he was not really very convinced about it and indeed what we've seen then is a return of very large inequality of income in the United States, And I guess what's new in this book is that we are able to extend the work of Kuznets to many more countries and to much long time period. And this allows us to realize that this optimistic belief in the Kuznets curve in the 1950s, 60s, 70s was really due to in fact to very special circumstances.
FRIES: And other optimistic beliefs? You've said that the Golden Age post war meritocracies were built on transitory illusions. Tell us about that.
PIKETTY: I think in the ‘50s, '60s, '70s we sort of invented a number of fairy tales or nice stories as to why the world is now different. Inequality has nothing to do with 19th century inequality. Now the two main illusions, I think are the human capital illusion and the war of ages illusion. And I should say that as all good illusions, they are partly true but they are just much less true than what people believe and what a number of people still believe.
So the human capital illusion is saying that now with the modern economy all that matters is human capital. And education, personal skills, personal talent, as opposed to traditional forms of non-human capital – financial, real estate, etc. Now this is an illusion because in fact in the long run you have a rise of both human and non-human capital in comparable proportions. So of course you have a rise of human capital. You have more education and higher level of human skills today. But you also have a higher level of real estate, equipment, patents, robots and other non-human assets. So that in the long run, you know I'm not saying that robots will dominate humans but I'm just saying that the balance between human capital and non-human capital has no reason to move in the direction of human labor. And indeed, if we look at the recent trends, you know the capital share in GDP has actually been going up and the labor share, for the share of income going to labor earners in the form of wages or other forms of compensations for labor, has actually been reduced. And I'm not saying it's going to reduce forever but it can very well stabilize at a level that is not so different from the 19th century. So in other words, the capital labor split today is not that different from the 19th century. And it would be wrong to assume, and this has been an illusion to assume, that technological change alone and modernity alone in the form of technical change would make the triumph of labor over capital, and the triumph of human capital. So this is the first illusion.
The second illusion is different. The war of ages illusion relies on the idea that with aging and with the increase in life expectancy, the whole nature of capital accumulation has changed entirely and now its mostly life cycle accumulation. So you accumulate for your old age and then when you are old you consume some of your capital. So you still have a lot of capital but it's not really inequality because it's just everybody is going to be young and then old and so there's no problem. It's just a way, capital is just a way of shifting puchasing power later in life. Now unfortunately, this is largely an illusion in the sense that the share of wealth accumulation that has to do with a pension has certainly not become 100%. It has not even become 50%. It has not become less than 20% of total wealth accumulation in every country. And even in the countries where this life cycle wealth acccumulation including pension funds is up to 20% or 25% ,you know, the concentration of this wealth within age groups is quite large. And overall if you take the 100% of wealth accumulation what we observe in the data is that inequality of wealth within each age group, so within people with the same age – 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 30 to 39, 70 etc - is actually almost as large as the total inequality of wealth over the entire population. So this is really an illusion to imagine that because people live longer the inequality of wealth has completely changed the very nature of capital.
So I think it's really time to reopen these debates. Some of these illusions could have been right. And to some extent there's some element of truth in them but it's important to put them under examination. To look at them in a very careful way and I think to conclude that they are partly illusion.
FRIES: To sum up the ground covered so far, talk specifically about these two distinct patterns you find in your study - one for income, the other for wealth – and then get into what all this means for the 21st century.
PIKETTY: The main evolution that I study in the book are two important U-shaped patterns One is for the share of total income going to the top income earners. And we've seen the reduction of the share during the war period and then a large increase particularly in the United States since the 1970s and this is largely due to the rise of top managerial compensation in the US. Now the other U shaped pattern which in my view is even more important in the long run is the evolution of the total quantity of wealth with respect to income. And what we've seen particulary in European countries & in Japan is that the total quantity of wealth was very large up until WWI around six-seven years of income. It dropped to two-three years of income in the 1950s and then it has been increasing since then. And it is now back to levels that are almost as large as prior to WWI. Which is not necessarily bad in itself if people have equal share in this large stock of wealth. Now the problem is that in practice the inequality of wealth tends to be much larger than the inequality of labor income. So this return of wealth also implies to some extent a return of inequality. But we can do better. We can try to have, of course there's still this large quantity of wealth but with a more equal distribution and higher wealth mobility and higher access to wealth for people who start with low income.
FRIES: Before getting into how we can do better, talk about what would be reasonable to expect if instead, capitalism was just left to itself.Of these two patterns, you say that even if we get income inequality, get wage inequality under control, what most concerns you is wealth inequality. If we don't get that under control, we're headed to levels like in the 19th century or worse. So talk to us about the dynamics of the future accumulation of wealth. And what's behind it, what's pushing us in that direction.
PIKETTY:
I think the main force that can push the long run towards very high concentration of wealth is the tendency for the rate of return to capital to be higher than the growth rate. Which I note r bigger than g in my book. And which until the 19th century and until World War I this was pretty obvious to everybody that r was bigger than g. People will not formulate it this way but in fact it was obvious because the growth rate was very small. Certainly in agragian societies the growth rate was close to 0%. Then with the industrial revolution it increased up to 1% to 1.5% but with a rate of return to capital of at least 4% to 5%. And sometime even more for more risky assets. Then the gap between the rate of return and the growth rate was very large indeed up until World War I. And what historical investigation suggests is that this was the primary explanation for the very large concentration of wealth and so in spite of the fact that there had been a complete change in the nature of wealth between the 18th century and 1910. You know in 1910 land does really matter any more. It's only in Downton Abbey that you have a lot of land but in the real world land was less than 5% of national wealth in the UK or in France in 1910. But the concentration of wealth, although wealth took new forms - financial assets, international investments, industrial capital, real estate - the concentration of this wealth was as large or even a bit larger than the concentration of land in the 18th century. And the primary explanation for this, according to my investigation, is this tendency of rate of return to be bigger than the growth rate. And there is a serious possibility that we'll be back with this tendency in the future. Primarily because the growth rate in the future, in particular, the population growth rate is apparently going to decline according to demographic projections. And also the productivity growth rate, which was very large in the post war period - ‘50s, 60s, 70s - as some countries were catching up from the war destruction and the growth rates that were 4% to 5% in Europe and Japan during that time are now for the past 30 years they have been down to 1% to 1.5% in productivity growth terms. And you know it could well be that this is the kind of growth rate that we have in the future. In which case, the rate of return to capital especially given international competition and increased bargaining power for capital on earth, the gap between the rate of return to capital and the growth rate will be high again in the future. And you know during the 20th century there were a number of unusual circumstances that changed entirely the equilibrium between r and g; a big decline in r on the rate of return due to the destruction, inflation, taxation; a big increase in g the growth rate in the post war period because of the recovery and also because of the large population growth. It's important to have in mind that half of total GDP growth during the 20th century was actually the growth of population. And this apparently is now over. So I am not saying I am able to predict the future value of growth rate and rate of return. There are many different processes – social, demographic, economic, political, financial – that are going on.What I am saying is that it would be a mistake just to rely on natural forces for the rate of return and the growth rate to equilibrate each other. You know there's no reason, there's no logical reason, there's no historical reason why growth rate should be as large as the rate of return. So it could be that the growth rates are suddenly going to be 4% or 5% percent per year in the future. And it could be that we all have a lot of children and we all make a lot of inventions each year so that the growth rate is 4% or 5%. And maybe one day we'll discover a planet where the growth rate is 10% forever. But you know, I think it would be a mistake to bet on that. And I think we should have another plan in case this incredible coincidence with the growth rate as large as the rate of return happens you know in case it does not happen and in case the growth rate is closer to 1% to 2% in the long run. Then we should have another plan. And we should try to set up institutions – fiscal institutions, educational institutions – that allow us to spread the wealth and that allow us to have a balanced distribution of income and wealth in the long run.
FRIES: So you put three centuries of data into the public domain, so now everybody has access to the history of income and wealth and can draw their own conclusions. But what are your conclusions? What are the lessons so today democratizing wealth can be less violent and more durable?
PIKETTY: I think one of the main lessons of the 20th century is that indeed wars and big shocks played a large role in the reduction in inequality and that we ought to do better for the future and actually we can do better. There are much more pacific ways of course to redistribute wealth but we need to think harder about it. So we need to rethink entirely the issue of progressive taxation. Progressive taxation of income and of inheritance was invented in the 20th century but somehow at the end of the 20th century it was abandoned. I think largely for bad reasons. So we need to rethink that again. And also we need to analyse new forms of progressive taxation in particular progressive taxation of wealth. I think it is important to realize that wealth is going to be increasingly important as compared to income in the 21st century. Therefore the taxation of wealth is going to be more and more important as compared with the taxation of income. We need both, of course, but we need to rethink the taxation of wealth. In most developed countries the way we tax wealth right now is through property taxes. So for instance in the US or in most European countries you tax real estate property just in proportion to their value. So it's not progressive and also because these property taxes were set up in the 19th century, they do not really take into account financial assets or financial liabilities. So I think it would be important to adapt them to the structure of wealth in the 21st century. And it will be adequate to transform these property taxes into progessive taxation of net wealth. So for instance, if you have a house worth $500,000 and you have a mortgage of $490,000 your net wealth is only $10,000. You are not rich in any way. So in the current property tax system you shouldn't pay as much property tax as someone without a mortgage. And sometimes you even have people whose property value is below their mortgage and they keep paying the same property tax. So I think this is just not the right way to tax wealth. And both to allow people to access wealth, to accumulate wealth and also to limit the concentration of wealth at the top end of the distribution, we need to have a progressive tax on net wealth.Where you would have a much lower rate for people who are trying to access wealth, for the bottom 90% of the population, and a graduated increasing rate for people who already have millions or billions of wealth. And the objective is not to tax more wealth overall. It's actually to keep the same quantity of wealth but to spread it more and to increase the mobility of wealth in society.
FRIES: And so why is transparency so integral to your policy recommendations for taxing wealth?
PIKETTY: To me transparency in wealth is really the key objective because I think it's very difficult to have a serious democratic debate and a rational democratic debate with so little hard information on wealth dynamics and with so little public knowledge on who owns what where. And I think to me the primary objective of taxation is actually to produce more transparency. And it's important to realize that historically taxation has always been more than taxation. It's also a way to produce legal categories, to produce democratic accountability. So for instance when there was no corporate income tax there was no corporate accounts. You could not even know what the profits of a company were. So it's not that today's accounts are always perfectly transparent but at least they exist. And it will mean the same for wealth. I think if we, in order to have a proper wealth tax we will need a more serious fight against tax havens. More automatic transmission of information from banks to each country's government so that we know who owns what where. We will need to go toward a global registry of financial assets so that we have a much better knowledge of cross border assets than we have now. And then we will see with this transparency our democratic institutions will be better able to decide which tax rate should be adopted. And you know I don't pretend that I have the perfect mathematical formula to choose the tax rate. I'm just saying if the top of the wealth distribution is rising three times as fast as the size of the economy which is what the data we have on wealth tends to indicate. So for instance, all the Forbes ranking data suggests that the top of the wealth distribution is rising at 6%to 7% per year not only in the US but also in Europe and also at the world level whereas the average wealth at the world level is rising at only 2% per year. The top is rising three times as fast as the average then you cannot say that a 1% tax rate or a 2% tax rate at the very top is going to kill the economy. This is not serious. Now if the data shows differently you know maybe one day when we have better transparency on wealth we will see that the top wealth group actually do not rise faster than the average then they will not need to have steeply progressive taxation. So you know we can adapt our policy to what we see. And you know I think this is what democracy is all about. We need information. We need transparency in order to have a serious democratic debate on the basis of good information.
FRIES: Talk more about the structure of capital in the 21st century in this rethink about wealth tax.
PIKETTY: The 21st century is characterized by similar kind of patimonial structure of the 19th century but with different types of assets and different types of wealth. So the kind property taxation system that was set up in the 19th century is not enough for the 21st century. First because it was not progressive.It was proportional because it was societies that were actually based on very large inequality of wealth and sometime they were not even using universal suffrage.You know this was really a different approach to progressivity. And also these property taxes of the 19th century were not taking into account financial assets, financial liabilies which are so important today. So today a big part of the wealth of course is financial and involves international financial assets. So this is why we need to rethink the taxation of wealth in this high financial wealth world. And this requires international cooperation. Now the US is one quarter of world GDP, the EU is another quarter of world GDP, China will soon be about almost one quarter of world GDP and you know each of these areas has problems with rising concentration of wealth. So, so far China or Russia for that matter are sort of treating their wealthy oligarchs on a case by case basis. Which I think they are starting to realize particularly in China that they ought to do it in a better way. And that property taxation, taxation of wealth is already being seriously debated in China and it could be they make progress faster than Europe or the United States. You know, we will see but all the areas of the world will have to try to adapt their view of taxation and their consideration for a wealth tax to a world of very high wealth to income ratio and very large cross border assets and financial wealth.
FRIES: And why do you find there's so much to learn about capitalism in the 21st century from your study of the period before the First World War?
PIKETTY: There is a lot to learn from the study of 1900, 1910 not because we are going to go for another World War I, but because this was a time where you had at the same time a lot of innovation going on and at the same time a lot of inequality, you know very high concentration of wealth. And it is important to realize that the two can go together because even when you have a lot of innovation the growth rate is not sufficiently large to compensate for the rate of return and to undue this very large concentration of wealth. And some people, I have read some reviews where people are saying well we do not care about the past or the future will be different. We will have a lot of innovation and the growth rate will be 4% or 5% per year. You know I think 1900, 1910 these are not agrarian economies.This is a time where we actually invented the automobile, the electricity, the radio. So maybe it is less important than Facebook but still these are important innovations. And I think it would be wrong to imagine that there is nothing to learn from studying this time period. There were a lot of innovations but still the growth rate was 1% to 1.5% per year. And this was not sufficient to spread the wealth as compared to the forces going in the direction of very large concentration of wealth. So large that this was threat for the proper working of our democratic institution and it could again be so in the future.
FRIES: And your concluding thoughts?
PIKETTY: You know, the concluding thought of my story is that.technological rationality does not lead to a democratic rationality. So the market and private property should be the slave of democracy rather than the opposite. So we want to use the market system, the price system, the property system so as to make sure that everybody will benefit from prosperity, will benefit from income and wealth.But for this to happen we need very strong democratic institutions, very strong fiscal institutions, a very strong and inclusive education system. You know that's not going to happen just by relying on technological forces and market forces. So we really, the lessons of history are very important for that. For a long time, the agenda was set by a number of people arguing that all we need is market competition. Or the book by Milton Friedman in the 1960s argued that all that we need basically is a good Federal Reserve, we don't need a welfare state, we don't need progressive taxation, with a good Federal Reserve that's enough. I think to a large extent, we still live in this legacy today. We still believe that since 2008 basically that creative monetary policy and a good action by central banks is going to be enough. That's not going to be enough. We need a good central bank. We need a good Federal Reserve but that's not enough. We also need progressive taxation, we also need a welfare state, we need education. We need new forms of progessive taxation. I think we've been asking too much to creative monetary policy in the past five years. You know that's not going to solve all of our problems. And sometimes it is creating bubbles. It is creating huge profits for certain people and a huge loss for others. You know taxation is more complicated than money creation because you need the Parliament to vote for the tax base. You need to enforce the tax law. That's more complicated but at least we know who pays what. Whereas when you create billions of dollars or billions of euros everyday sometimes you do not know what you are doing with them. We need to rethink these institutions and what they have brought us in the past and what we need for the future in a new light
FRIES: Thomas Piketty, thank you
PIKETTY Thank you so much.
FRIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

http://therealnews.com/t2...27%20style=%27color:#000;
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 20, 2017, 02:59:51 pm »

EcoWatch

Popular Diestel Turkey Sold at Whole Foods Tests Positive for FDA-Prohibited Drugs  :P

Organic Consumers Association

November 18, 2017

By Katherine Paul

SNIPPET:

According to the lawsuit, Diestel turkey products tested by the USDA were positive for residues of:

• Ketamine, a narcotic. The Drug Enforcement Agency describes ketamine as "a dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects." Ketamine's street names include Special K, Cat Tranquilizer, and Cat Valium, the latter two referencing its veterinary uses, and it is commonly referred to as a club drug because it is used illegally at dance clubs and raves. The FDA has not approved the use of ketamine in poultry.

• Amikacin, an antibiotic for human use that the FDA considers important for humans

• Spectinomycin, also an antibiotic for human use

• Hygromycin, an antibiotic for veterinary use

• Ipronidazole, also a veterinary pharmaceutical

Melengestrol acetate, also known as MGA, a synthetic hormone

• Sulfanitran, an antibacterial drug feed additive

Full article:

https://www.ecowatch.com/diestel-turkey-antibiotics-drugs-2510369402.html

Agelbert NOTE: This is just more irrefutable evidence that Capitalism kills (everything and everybody). Have a nice Social Darwinist True Believer day.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 12, 2017, 07:56:53 pm »

Quote
Economics is a fantasy-based mathematical model of an artificial environment that assigns no cost or accounting to continued pollution of the biosphere, and the version practiced now, Voodoo Economics, which takes place when those in charge believe in “infinite growth on a finite planet” and printing money out of thin air with nothing of substance behind it, is even more delusional.

Is it any wonder that all this fake wealth will instantaneously disappear when the electrical grid collapses, or, likely sooner, when Russia and China (followed by Brazil and India) dump all those worthless pieces of paper they hold back here.

The Fed is boxed in with no more ammunition and an avalanche about to pour in on them. We, the little people will bear most of the brunt of the coming chaos, poverty and collapsed economy.

So we “got THAT going for” us “. . . which is nice.”
Carl Spackler, Caddy Shack

The Song of Polly Anna

SNIPPET:

This is the Song of Polly Anna, as sung by the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Chorus, or whistled while passing graveyards:

Truth telling satirical article:



http://www.dailyimpact.ne...-of-polly-anna/#more-3775

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 10, 2017, 07:45:48 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 10, 2017, 07:26:55 pm »

Beyond The Minimum Wage


Panel discussion live from Chicago talking about the minimum wage in the US. ThHe whining by Repbublicans about the "need for Capital Formation" is the BIGGEST SCREAMING LIE YET!   

Thom Hartmann Nov. 10, 2017 12:00 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 06, 2017, 09:37:51 pm »

Posted by: GWarnock
« on: November 06, 2017, 08:35:55 pm »

 Amy Goodman, a national treasure!!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 06, 2017, 05:32:42 pm »

Paradise Papers Reveal Tax Evasion & Shady Dealings by Nike, Apple, Queen of England & Trump Cabinet


Democracy Now!

Published on Nov 6, 2017

https://democracynow.org - A slew of 13.4 million leaked documents revealed how the world’s richest men stash away billions of dollars in wealth in offshore tax havens. The revelations, known as the Paradise Papers, implicate more than a dozen of President Trump’s Cabinet members, advisers and major donors. We continue our conversation with Frederik Obermaier, co-author of the Paradise Papers. He is an investigative reporter at Germany’s leading newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung. Obermaier also worked on a separate investigation, the Panama Papers, and is co-author of the book “Panama Papers: The Story of a Worldwide Revelation.”

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET: https://democracynow.org

Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today: https://democracynow.org/donate

Agelbert NOTE:  This is not surprising to those of us in the reality based community. However, these predatory psychopaths do not like this sort of thing to come out. It's bad for business .

After all, it's kinda hard to demonize all those brown and black people out there (when you aren't suckering low and middle class whitey to pay for bombing and shooting them in convenient wars) for being "irresponsible, corrupt, thieving low life crooks and liars" (and so on, you get the idea) when the elite in our society are guilty of far more egregious crimes on a continual mens rea modus operandi/modus vivendi basis.

I mean, From the Queen of England to the Fossil Fuel industry TOOLS, Trump and his wrecking crew, these WORLD CLASS CRIMINAL CROOKS AND LIARS make the other 99% of humanity look like saints!

These psychopaths know that they must make some appearance of "doing the right thing"    or they will no longer have the Consent of the Governed, so to speak.   


These bastards have not forgotten the French Revolution.


BUT, since the evil bastards are still running most governments (i.e. they have carefully placed themselves above the law ), they will now cut their losses, so to speak, and throw we-the-people some bones to chew on by throwing the less influential among these predatoy psychopaths off the proft over planet bus and into prison (see below).

The Future of several members of the Trump Wrecking Crew:
But, but, Trump said he loved me and would support me always...

The PRESENT of several members of the Trump Wrecking Crew, INCLUDING TRUMP:

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