To the corporate media, the machinations of the 1 percent's most infamous poster boys might look like old news. But for regular Americans, it's a fight for their lives. Together, the pair have used their wealth not merely to assure its continuance, but to advance an ideology designed to secure the dominance of American politics and, indeed, the control of global capital, by themselves and a very few similarly endowed individuals.
The so-called "JOBS Act," introduced by the far-right Republicans and passed by members of both parties, opens the door to yet more corporate abuse.
In an interview with Louis James, the inimitable Doug Casey throws cold water on those celebrating the economic recovery. [Skype rings: It's Doug Casey, calling from Cafayate, Argentina. He sounds tired, but pleased with himself.] Doug: Lobo, get out your mower; it's time to cut down some green shoots again, and debunk a bit of the so-called recovery.
What would you do if you came across someone on the street that had not had anything to eat for several days? Would you give that person some food? Well, the next time you get that impulse you might want to check if it is still legal to feed the homeless where you live. Sadly, feeding the homeless has been banned in major cities all over America.
The media reports referred to it as the Greek bailout. This is a complete misnomer. The €130 billion package agreed to by euro zone finance ministers last week was not a bailout of Greece, but of the banks and financial institutions that invested money in its bonds.
The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision opened up the way for unlimited corporate spending on politics and has led to the proliferation of non-profit political groups that do not have to disclose the identities of their donors. But it turns out corporations may be getting another benefit from anonymous donations they give to these groups: a break on their taxes.
OVERWHELMING STUDENT debt has become a source of worry and financial distress for many millions of people--and even worse for the one in five people with student loan debt who are classified as delinquent.
Small business owners and working people constitute the core of the American electorate. They share the same origins and have far more in common than the major political parties would have them believe. Their shared political, social and family needs are being ignored by both parties, as they are cynically played one against the other.
London’s international bankers who own and control the Bank of England (BOE), the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland—where the world’s central banks draw—as well as the rest of the world’s central banks, are rapidly consuming what few independent central banks remain.
Plastered on the windows of the unemployment office in the Neos Kosmos district of Athens are posters with slogans denouncing the austerity measures of the unelected government of Lucas Papademos.
This is astounding. And it makes you wonder: what does it take to get ahead in this country?
Gas prices continue to rise, which is finally giving Republicans an issue. Mitt Romney is demanding the President open up more domestic drilling; the super PAC behind Rick Santorum just released a new ad in Louisiana blasting the President on gas prices; and the GOP is attacking the White House on the Keystone XL Pipeline. But the rise in gas prices has almost nothing to do with energy policy. It has everything to do with America’s continuing failure to adequately regulate Wall Street. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Republicans to tell the truth.
Frances Fox Piven is a political scientist and activist who has been writing about poverty, welfare rights and protest movements for nearly half a century. The Nation, where Piven has been a long-time contributor, calls her “legendary.” Recently, Piven has become well known to another audience.
Vessels carrying at least 360,000 tonnes of grain are lined up to unload in Iran, Reuters shipping data showed on Thursday, a sign that Tehran is succeeding in stockpiling food to blunt the impact of tougher Western sanctions.
Photographer Lucy Nicholson documented the plight of Benita Guzman, 40, and her niece Angelica Cervantes, 36, who are homeless with eleven children between them. They stick together in an effort to keep their children together as a family, and not taken away and separated in foster homes.
Prevailing attitudes towards poverty blame the victim. It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, “discovered” poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book The Other America: Poverty in the United States.
Roberto Ortega tried to make a living slaughtering pigs in Veracruz, Mexico. “In my town, Las Choapas, after I killed a pig, I would cut it up to sell the meat,” he recalls. But in the late 1990s, after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) opened up Mexican markets to massive pork imports from U.S. companies like Smithfield Foods, Ortega and other small-scale butchers in Mexico were devastated by the drop in prices. “Whatever I could do to make money, I did,” Ortega explains. “But I could never make enough for us to survive.”
As the 1% reap 93 percent of the income gains from the recovery, we’re rapidly returning to pre-New Deal levels of inequality. "New Deal 2.0" --- There was a brief debate focused on the following question: would the gains of the economy continue to accrue to the top 1% once the recovery started, or would they have a weak post-recession showing in terms of raw income growth as well as income share of the economy? The top 1% had a rough Great Recession. They absorbed 50 percent of the income losses, and their share of income dropped from 23.5 percent to 18.1 percent. Was this a new state of affairs, or would the 1% bounce back in 2010?
Several years after the Wall Street-ignited crisis began, the nation’s top bank CEOs (who far out-accumulated their European and other international counterparts) continue to hobnob with the president at campaign dinners where each plate costs more than one out of four US households make in a year. Financial bigwigs lead their affluent lives, unaffected, unremorseful, and unindicted for wreaking havoc on the nation. Why? Because they won. They hustled better. They are living the American Dream.
Money may not buy happiness ? but it has helped make women in Brazil become the happiest, most optimistic women in the world, according to a study. In fact, they are even happier than the men in Brazil, says the report, which attributes this to social and economic policies with a gender focus that have been implemented over the last decade.
Americans benefit every day from government—from consumer protection to roads and bridges to food and safety regulation—even people who claim to hate an “activist government” are some of the prime beneficiaries of the safety net at a moment when there are still over four unemployed workers for every available job and nearly one in six Americans lives in poverty.
The sharp increase in the price of gasoline during the first two months of 2012 has dealt a blow to the living standards of working people in the United States, already hard hit by four years of unrelenting economic slump, the destruction of jobs, wage-slashing and cuts in benefits, pensions and public services.
Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, has pointed out that our per capita government debt is already larger than Greece's. Per person, our government owes over $49,000 compared to $38,937 per Greek citizen. Our debt has just reached 101% of our Gross Domestic Product. Our creditors see this and have quietly slowed down or stopped their lending to us. As a result, the Federal Reserve has been outright monetizing debt as a way to patch things together and keep the economy on life support a little longer.
INTRO: It has come to the point now that the Banksters’ European Czars are forcing the European member states to give up their national sovereignty and financial independence even more. This article by Anthony Migchels of real currencies explains the dire situation of the moment very well, as do many of his articles.
The real world revolves around cash flow. Families across the land understand this basic concept. Cash flows in from wages, investments and these days from the government. Cash flows out for food, gasoline, utilities, cable, cell phones, real estate taxes, income taxes, payroll taxes, clothing, mortgage payments, car payments, insurance payments, medical bills, auto repairs, home repairs, appliances, electronic gadgets, education, alcohol (necessary in this economy) and a countless other everyday expenses. If the outflow exceeds the inflow a family may be able to fund the deficit with credit cards for awhile, but ultimately running a cash flow deficit will result in debt default and loss of your home and assets. Ask the millions of Americans that have experienced this exact outcome since 2008...
A good friend of mine, who has family living abroad, called me this weekend. One of the first things out of his mouth was about his sister in London and how she was dealing with “terrible inflation.”
The Dow has closed above 13,000 for the first time since 2008, and the mainstream media is declaring that a strong economic recovery is underway. Barack Obama is telling anyone who will listen that his economic policies are a huge success, and U.S. consumers are piling up astounding amounts of new debt. Unfortunately, this euphoria about the economy will be short-lived.
The entire world seems to be one huge advertisement for The Shock Doctrine. Naomi Klein showed in her revelatory book how the corporate-political-military-media complex exploits crises to further impose their harsh right-wing agenda – even when they themselves created the crisis. In a sane world, the economic meltdown and deep recession of the past four years would have led at minimum to stringent regulation of financiers and speculators plus programs to assist their victims. But in this world, you have to be nuts to believe in a sane world.
CHEYENNE — State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States. House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.
Of the 40,000 food items in a typical U.S. grocery store, more than half are now brought to us by just 10 corporations.Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, the destruction of soil fertility, the pollution of our water.On a global scale, the consolidation of our food system has meant devastation for farmers, forests and the climate.
USA Today is reporting that 1.46 million Americans are living in extreme poverty, or $2 a day for at least a month.The number has doubled since 1996 when 636,000 Americans were living in "extreme poverty."
IN THE fall of 2009, a group of students from the Northwestern Community Development Corps circulated a petition that called for the university to pay a living wage to all its employees. University President Morton Schapiro. promised to "look into it."Finally, two years later in September 2011, union workers reached a landmark agreement with their employer Sodexho. The new contract immediately raised the minimum wage to $10 an hour and increased the wages of those who were already making that much by 80 cents--with the promise of more increases over the next few years. The agreement also won workers better health care benefits.
A new phenomenon, called “Cash Mobs,” is spreading across the country, changing the way people view local businesses. Similar to flash mobs, Cash Mobs organize customers to spend money at struggling locally owned businesses to support their community.
Global equity markets are showing jitters after disappointing economic data out of Europe and China and the threats by Russia’s Foreign Minister over Iran, leading to concerns that a serious confrontation is possible. Conflict in the region will of course send investors towards the safe havens of gold and silver bullion.
Early Monday morning neighbors found 86-year-old John Morgan, a retired Flint autoworker, dead in his truck parked outside in his driveway on Parkway Avenue. Morgan died a few days after the local utility company shut off his electricity for a bill of $291. There was widespread anger that another elderly worker has died trying to stay warm.Consumers Energy is earning the highest profits in history while record shutoffs of customers. CMS profits of $324 million in 2010, the same year that it shut off 148,000 households from gas ,electricity. In 2011, profit was higher—$374 million , it shut off 164,634 households.
We learned in the brokerage business that self-regulation does not work. The players are simply too abusive, greedy and take the regulations to the edge. We saw that at MF global. All markets are rigged today. Twenty-five years ago perhaps 80% were rigged. The SEC and CFTC are well aware of this and aid and abet in the crimes. After the 1790s the US switched to a tariff system, which worked well. Then came WTO, NAFTA and CAFTA. Tariffs allowed government to fund itself by foreign corporations.
As the Obama administration concludes a settlement with five major banks, quashing state investigations into rampant fraud related to home foreclosures, speculation in the mortgage-backed securities that caused the 2008 meltdown is once again picking up.Saturday's New York Times reported that Greg Lippmann, a former Deutsche Bank trader who made millions of dollars personally and $1.5 billion for Deutsche Bank by betting against mortgage-backed securities, at the same time his bank was selling them to clients, is back in business buying and selling these toxic assets.
The €130 billion-plus (US$172 billion) package of loans agreed by euro zone finance ministers will not protect Greece from bankruptcy. It merely postpones the inevitable, while European and international finance capital use Greece as a testing ground for their scorched-earth policy of savage austerity being rolled out across the continent.
Josh Ruebner argues that while the Obama administration is making budget cuts that are impoverishing and threatening the health and wellbeing of Americans, it is simultaneously increasing the US taxpayers’ subsidy to the Israeli war machine, helping it retain and colonize illegally-occupied Palestinian territories and commit grievous violations of Palestinian human rights – all contrary to US foreign policy objectives.
CDS are a form of derivative taken out by investors as insurance against default. According to the Comptroller of the Currency, nearly 95% of the banking industry’s total exposure to derivatives contracts is held by the nation’s five largest banks: JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, HSBC, and Goldman Sachs. The CDS market is unregulated, and there is no requirement that the “insurer” actually have the funds to pay up. CDS are more like bets, and a massive loss at the casino could bring the house down.
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