Excerpts: Americans have an illogical love affair with their vehicles. There are 209 million licensed drivers in the U.S. and 260 million vehicles. The U.S. has a higher number of motor vehicles per capita than every country in the world at 845 per 1,000 people. Germany has 540; Japan has 593; Britain has 525; and China has 37. The population of the United States has risen from 203 million in 1970 to 311 million today, an increase of 108 million in 42 years. Over this same time frame, the number of motor vehicles on our crumbling highways has grown by 150 million. This might explain why a country that has 4.5% of the world’s population consumes 22% of the world’s daily oil supply. This might also further explain the Iraq War, the Afghanistan occupation, the Libyan “intervention”, and the coming war with Iran.
This whole student loan apocalypse is another confetti currency bubble scam. There are many parallels to the housing bubble, except, of course, that people can’t live inside those useless degrees obtained with borrowed money that can never be repaid.
The availability of the loans is driving ludicrous tuition increases, just like the funny money mortgages inflated the real estate market.
Is it possible populist America will effect radical change through the spreading Occupy Wall Street movement? Will the banksters who trashed our economy and have made millions of homeowners homeless be brought to justice? Is this the season of the US Spring? RT America interviews people from the streets:
Olbermann interviews Michael Moore who says, “I think there needs to be a multi-pronged approach” urging civil disobedience locally as well as nationally, and refusing to move out under a foreclosure notice since no one owns your mortgage any more. “The banks lost them,” he says, when they bundled them into their little Ponzie schemes.
LONDON, United Kingdom — I knew we were in for a rough night here in Stoke Newington in the London Borough of Hackney when my wife called me at 5 p.m. from Sainsbury’s, our local supermarket, to say she was in a lock down. They were shuttering the place and the police were telling her trouble had already started outside the Hackney Town Hall. The cops told her to go home and stay off the streets.
I took her call as I was walking into the local library to return a book. Inside, the librarians were watching a BBC live feed on their computers of action a mile and a half away. One of the librarians explained he lived over there.
The Republican crazies are in a celebrity death match with sleepwalking Democrats. It is a fabricated drama amounting to not much of anything in terms of the nation’s well being. The stakes are supposedly the shutdown of the United States government at midnight this Friday. But the most pressing issue isn’t discussed on Capitol Hill.
Why can’t anyone in a position of power mention the unmentionable? There have been no net new jobs in the United States since 2000. There were 137 million employed citizens that year. There are 139 million employed citizens today. This comes into clear focus when you consider the size of the workforce for 2000 and 2010; 143 million versus 154 million respectively. There are actually fewer jobs in proportion to the workforce.
Isn’t this a worthy topic? Shouldn’t the story be carried nightly on a major network with a title like: Jobless America, Day 4112? Continue reading →
The phrase consent of the governed has been turned into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. Civil disobedience is the only tool we have left.
We will not halt the laying off of teachers and other public employees, the slashing of unemployment benefits, the closing of public libraries, the reduction of student loans, the foreclosures, the gutting of public education and early childhood programs or the dismantling of basic social services such as heating assistance for the elderly until we start to carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience against the financial institutions responsible for our debacle. The banks and Wall Street, which have erected the corporate state to serve their interests at our expense, caused the financial crisis. The bankers and their lobbyists crafted tax havens that account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade. They rewrote tax laws so the nation’s most profitable corporations, including Bank of America, could avoid paying any federal taxes. They engaged in massive fraud and deception that wiped out an estimated $40 trillion in global wealth.
The banks are the ones that should be made to pay for the financial collapse. Not us. And for this reason at 11 a.m. April 15 I will join protesters in Union Square in New York City in front of the Bank of America.
A “working class hero,” John Lennon told us in his song of that title, “is something to be/ Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV/ And you think you’re so clever and classless and free/ But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see.”
The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy. It is a myth blown away by Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz in the current issue of Vanity Fair. In an article titled “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%” Stiglitz states that the top thin layer of the superwealthy controls 40 percent of all wealth in what is now the most sharply class-divided of all developed nations: “Americans have been watching protests against repressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet, in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.”
The Golden Age of the American working class is over and McDonald’s Golden Arches provides a glimpse of what lay directly ahead for many working Americans. McDonald’s will be adding as many as 50,000 new hires on April 19. The newly disenfranchised who were unfortunate enough to be swept away by the housing bubble collapse had to penny pinch on shoestring budgets. Those no longer able to afford Starbucks coffee, instead sipped on the newly developed McDonald’s McCafe line and the restaurant chain financially exploded despite the tanked economy. While the entrepreneurial spirit of McDonald’s is certainly noteworthy, there is a more important element to this story to be considered. The poor substitute for coffee is symbolic of a far greater crisis to the American people than just a preference for coffee beans.
PressTV interview with Journalist and Blogger David DeGraw
Libertarians know and hate the Federal Reserve. They hate Goldman Sachs and J.P Morgan. But they are not willing to go to the poor people who are being forced to pay for the crimes of those people that they hate because it’s a union or because there may be some Democrats involved in it. Libertarians and progressives can find common ground, but at this point still they are refusing to step back and concede a little bit to find it. They have to come together on campaign finance and lobbying and most importantly they can come together on breaking up the banks.
The 18 day non-violent Egyptian protests for freedom raise the question: is America next? Were Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine around, they would likely say “what are we waiting for?” They would be appalled by the concentration of economic and political power in such a few hands. Remember how often these two men warned about concentrated power.
Our Declaration of Independence (1776) listed grievances against King George III. A good number of them could have been made against “King” George W. Bush who not only brushed aside Congressional War-making authority under the Constitution but plunged the nation through lies into extended illegal wars which he conducted in violation of international law. Even conservative legal scholars such as Republicans Bruce Fein and former Judge Andrew Napolitano believe he and Dick Cheney still should be prosecuted for war and other related crimes. The conservative American Bar Association sent George W. Bush three “white papers” in 2005-2006 that documented his distinct violations of the Constitution he had sworn to uphold.
The Money Party is destroying the United States. For ten years, there have been no new jobs with flat income. Unemployment and poverty are making a big comeback. The party consists of those who own and control concentrations of great wealth and the select few who serve them (their Mandarins). Based on the efficiency of the demolition job, you have to wonder if this is by design. If greed, ignorance, and paranoia constitute a plan, then they are master planners. (Image)
Look at the glaring problems below. Then ask yourself, has there been one single program implemented to address any of these problems, just one? Our elected representatives enable the relentless process of driving down the United States. They bicker and fume at the edge of issues. However, when it comes to neglecting the real needs of citizens and the country, they are as one. All rewards and resources flow to their patrons and owners, the made men and women of The Money Party. We are nothing to them. Continue reading →
Testifying on Thursday before the House Budget Committee, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf confirmed that Obamacare is expected to reduce the number of jobs in the labor market by an estimated 800,000. Here are excerpts from the exchange: Continue reading →
A look at our empire in decline through the eyes of the European media, including thoughts on healthcare, prisons, joblessness, unemployment benefits, and the lost social safety net.
As an American expat living in the European Union, I’ve started to see America from a different perspective.
The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less — right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical — the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.
The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane.
There are now 205 “recovered” companies in Argentina, with nearly 10,000 workers — up from 161 companies with 6,900 workers in 2004, according to a study published in October. Though the economy has improved since the 2001 crash, the current economic downturn has caused a recent increase in factory take overs. There are now some 10,000 cooperatives in Argentina, where workers control profits and make management decisions — while saving their jobs.
If you still have a job and you can put food on the table and you still have a warm house to come home to, then you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. The truth is that every single month hundreds of thousands more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty. The statistics that you are about to read are incredibly sobering. Household incomes are down from coast to coast. Enrollment in government anti-poverty programs sets new records month after month after month. Home ownership is down, personal bankruptcies are way up and there are not nearly enough jobs to go around. Meanwhile, the price of basics such as food and health care continue to skyrocket. Don’t be fooled by a rising stock market or by record bonuses on Wall Street. The U.S. economy is not getting better. After World War II, the great American economic machine built the largest and most vigorous middle class in the history of the world, but now America’s middle class is disintegrating at a blinding pace.
Thanks to ever-increasing foreclosures – and the numbers are about to get even worse – there is a glut of supply on the market. Meanwhile, it’s been many decades since the American consumer has been in such bad shape. How bad are things out there? The October 11 issue of Barron’s magazine puts the real, uncooked US unemployment figure’s at a sobering 22.5%.
Robert Oak at Economic Populist has rebutted the notion that hiring is stalled due to a “skills shortage.” The latest news from the masters of disaster is that there are 5 million jobs in the United States open because of a skills shortage. Not so! as Oak skill fully demonstrates as he demolishes that claim empirically.
See: Blame Employers for the Jobs Crisis – Economic Populist
There is no skills shortage, there never was a skill shortage. There is a shortage of good employers who do not discriminate, age discriminate, ship jobs to India, China, Brazil and treat their workers like cannon fodder. There also is a shortage of jobs, pure and simple. Put U.S. workers first. Demand these employers quit their inane, harsh, wage repressing, discriminatory labor practices. Put a few of of these traitorous employers in jail and sue ’em. Deal with trade and offshore outsourcing, invest in America and Americans. Then and only then will we might actually get somewhere to putting people back to work. Robert Oak
Macroeconomics has returned to the discredited Treasury view with some modern embellishments. The major attacks of the government fiscal stimulus to conquer unemployment now resonate almost exactly with the bunk that was trotted out by the conservatives during the 1929 British election campaign. The modern proponents (centered at Harvard and Chicago) also appear largely unaware of the arguments and seem content to peddle their nonsense oblivious that their ‘knowledge’ ceased to be such 80 odd years ago. It isn’t rocket science to understand what has happened. The ‘budget cuts have impaired the economy’s ability to grow’. You simply cannot withdraw (drastically) the main source of spending and not expect output to fall (dramatically), writes Bill Mitchell.
August unemployment numbers are ugly, yet again. Nearly 30 million Americans are still jobless or forced into part-time jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics official unemployment rate is 9.6%. It’s borader and more telling jobless rate (U6) of 16.7% confirms that we’re stuck in our own version of the Great Depression. We’ll need more than 22 million new jobs to bring us back to full-employment. Happy Labor Day.
To get out of this quagmire we’ll have to face up to two fundamental facts: