America has reached the point of no return, Reagan budget director warns The Obama administration's $78 billion cut to US defense spending is a mere "pin-prick" to a behemoth military-industrial complex that must drastically shrink for the good of the republic, a former Reagan administration budget director recently told Raw Story. "It amounts to a failed opportunity to recognize that we are now at a historical inflection point at which the time has arrived for a classic post-war demobilization of the entire military establishment," David Stockman said in an exclusive interview.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday that the economy gained only 103,000 new jobs in December--not enough to keep up with population growth--but the rate of unemployment (U.3) fell from 9.8% to 9.4%. If you are confused by the report, you are among the many. In truth, what fell was not the number of unemployed people but the number of unemployed people who are actively looking for work. Those who have become discouraged and have ceased looking for work are not considered to be in the work force and are not counted as unemployed in the U.3 measure. The unemployment rate fell because discouraged workers increased, not because employment rose.
The U.S. government is insolvent. Who says so? Timothy F. Geithner, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Geithner sent a letter to Congress on Jan. 6, 2011 asking for the debt limit to be raised. If it is not raised, he warned, the U.S. will default on its debt. In his words: Never in our history has Congress failed to increase the debt limit when necessary. Failure to raise the limit would precipitate a default by the United States.”
GATA today scored a small but perhaps auspicious victory over the Federal Reserve in our lawsuit seeking access to the Fed's secret gold files. The judge presiding over GATA's federal freedom-of-information lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Ellen Segal Huvelle, granted GATA's motion to order the Fed to produce in complete form for the judge's private review 20 gold-related documents the Fed has sought to keep secret. The judge ordered the Fed to deliver the documents by Friday.
The US is drifting from a financial crisis to a deeper and more insidious social crisis. Self-congratulation by the US authorities that they have this time avoided a repeat of the 1930s is premature. There is a telling detail in the US retail chain store data for December. Stephen Lewis from Monument Securities points out that luxury outlets saw an 8.1pc rise from a year ago, but discount stores catering to America’s poorer half rose just 1.2pc. Tiffany’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue are booming. Sales of Cadillac cars have jumped 35pc, while Porsche’s US sales are up 29pc. Cartier and Louis Vuitton have helped boost the luxury goods stock index by almost 50pc since October. Yet Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have languished.
The New Year has opened with expressions of concern that two years after the financial meltdown sparked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global economy and financial system, far from recovering, has entered an era of unprecedented economic and political turmoil. In short, the realisation is growing that the financial crisis was not a cyclical downturn to be followed by an upswing, but the beginning of a new era of economic breakdown.
MSNBC host Contessa Brewer said that people are taking their own lives when their pensions fail. She said “we’re hearing horrific stories, John, about people who are taking their own lives” when the plans they have made for their senior years don’t work out.
New US jobless figures suggest that while the unemployment rate has dropped, the economy is still in for tough times. US employers hired far fewer workers than expected in December, showing the world's biggest economy was still struggling to gain momentum, despite the unemployment rate dropping to a more than 18-month low. Unemployment fell to 9.4 per cent, the lowest since May 2009, on Friday down from 9.8 per cent in November. But part of the decrease was due to jobless giving up the search for work.
Deregulation allows the banks to create as much bogus money as they want in the form of credit. When a bank issues a loan to someone who can't repay the debt, it's counterfeiting, which is the same as stealing. This is what the banks did in the lead-up to the Market Meltdown of '08; they issued trillions of dollars of mortgages to people who had no job, no income, no collateral, and a bad credit history. The banks abandoned all the standard criteria for issuing loans, so they could increase the quantity of loans they produced. Why? Because bankers get paid on the front-end of the transaction, which means that when they make a loan, they mark it as a credit on their books so they can draw a hefty salary and a fat bonus at the end of the year. In other words, there are powerful incentives for bankers to do the wrong thing, which is why they act the way they do.
Well, 2011, it’s been nice. But I think we’ve worked enough already. In any case, we’ve already made enough money. Time to call it a year. This is a ridiculous idea, right? Yet, as the Canadian Financial Post reported at the beginning of the week, “Top CEOs will have earned average workers’ full annual pay by 2:30 p.m. today.” The “today” in question was Monday, January 3, the first business day of the year. Here’s their explanation:
The number of people in the US filing for bankruptcy rose by 9 percent last year to 1.53 million, as more working families fell victim to job losses, plunging home values and unforgiving creditors. The figure was the highest since 2005 when changes in the bankruptcy laws making it more difficult and costly to file led to a sharp decline in the number of Americans seeking court protection. The recent spike in cases—despite the added costs and legal hurdles—is indicative of just how desperate large segments of the American population are despite the official claims of an economic recovery.
Legislators in at least ten states have introduced bills in the past few years to allow state commerce to be conducted with gold and silver. As we reported, Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin (R) recently reintroduced legislation to force his state to conduct all monetary transactions with U.S. gold or silver coins -- including the payment of taxes.
For the third time in the last 20 years, establishment voices, with high-profile slots in traditional media, are trying to convince the public to accept cuts to Social Security by endlessly claiming such cuts are necessary without giving coherent evidence to justify the claim.
The Satanic Psychopaths are positioning the world to fulfill their master's will. The dollar has lost 60% of its value since 2001. Through the use of complex put options called derivatives, they have drained every major pool of assets and Nationalized our most important industries. There are those that are looking for the next global currency. I am here to tell you that there will not be one. Here are my predictions for 2011 and beyond.
1. Expect the Banksters confiscation of assets program to affect Pension Plans and Insurance Companies in a big way. The money has already been replaced with worthless investments. Nationalization will occur to cover their multiple felonies and theft.
2. Inflation will explode and government checks like Social Security, Disability, Long-Term Unemployment etc will fail to respond. Dollars will become pennies and pennies will become worthless.
3. They will take back all the worthless trillions they have dumped into the stock market. I expect two major corrections. One this Spring and a collapse by this Fall.
4. Social unrest will follow...
Most Americans think the United States should raise taxes for the rich to balance the budget, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released on Monday. [Most Americans think the United States should raise taxes for the rich to balance the budget, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released on Monday. (photo by Flickr user Lisa Norwood)]Most Americans think the United States should raise taxes for the rich to balance the budget, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released on Monday. President Barack Obama last month signed into law a two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for millions of Americans, including the wealthiest, in a compromise with Republicans. President Obama still America’s ‘most admired’ man, poll finds
In the video you are about to see, George Soros talks about "the creation of a New World Order", he discusses the need for a "managed decline" of the U.S. dollar and he talks at length of the global need for a true world currency. So just who is George Soros?
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released their year-end survey on December 15, 2010. Their pollling revealed that for the public, a tough year ended on a down note. Consistent with the mood of the nation all year, 2010 is closing on a down note. Fully 72% are dissatisfied with national conditions, 89% rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor, and majorities or pluralities think the country is losing ground on nine of 12 major issues. Pew's survey results are not surprising, and I would cover them in depth if it weren't for some rather important information that was buried in the next to last paragraph.
Not surprisingly wages have fallen during the economic crisis. A new report produced by the ILO, Wage Policies in Times of Crisis, provides evidence on the decline in wage growth during the crisis, and highlights the particularly severe reductions that have occurred in industrialized countries.
Recent decades have seen a massive redistribution of wealth, imposing the cost of successive crises on the poorest. Enough! The end of 2010 brought renewed Washington rhetoric, media hype and academic me-too declarations about the US economy "recovering". We've heard them before since the crisis hit in 2007. They always proved wrong. But recovery noises are useful for some. Republicans claim that government should do less since recovery is underway (of course, for them, government action is always counterproductive). Likewise, Republicans and many centrist Democrats claim that income redistribution policies are no longer needed because recovery means growth, which means everyone gets a bigger piece of an expanding economic pie. Recovery hype also helps the Obama administration to claim that its policies succeeded.
The entire middle class Americans will fall under the poverty line in five years, as the gap between the rich and the poor is widening in the United States, says an investigative journalist. “The middle class, I am afraid, in the United States is not going to exist in another five years and everybody is going to be driven down to the lower poor class,” said Wayne Madsen in a Press TV interview. “They are going to be working, as many people do, maybe two or three minimum-wage jobs just to feed their families,” he emphasized.
What a great year for Wall Street: profits up, bonuses up and, best of all, criticism down, especially from Washington. Somehow Wall Street has much of America believing its lies and rationalizations. We're even beginning to forget that Wall Street is largely responsible for the economic mess we're in.
This year recorded the highest number of bank failures since 1992, according to figures released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). As 2010 comes to a close, the nation saw 157 banks fail over the past 12 months, up from 140 in 2009. Furthermore, 860 institutions were on the FDIC's "problem" banks list as of Sept. 30, the highest number since 1993.
U.S. home foreclosures jumped in the third quarter and banks' efforts to keep borrowers in their homes dropped as the housing market continues to struggle, U.S. bank regulators said on Wednesday. The regulators said one reason for the increase in foreclosures is that banks have "exhausted" options for keeping many delinquent borrowers in their homes through programs such as loan modifications. Watch this video and you will understand: The Money Scam
More collapsing banks could mean more 'too big to fail' banks. The $700-billion bank bailout, launched in the final months of the Bush administration, was meant to save US financial institutions from a systemic collapse. But an analysis of banks' earnings statements concludes that nearly 100 bailed-out banks are at risk of collapsing all the same.
As the middle class in America continues to be slowly wiped out, the number of working poor continues to increase. Today, nearly one out of every three families in the United States is considered to be "low income". Millions of American families are finding that they can barely make it from month to month even with both parents working as hard as they possibly can. Blue collar American workers from coast to coast are having their wages decreased at a time when it seems like the cost of virtually every monthly bill is going up. Unfortunately, there is every indication that things are only going to get worse and that average American families are going to be financially squeezed even more in the months and years to come.
Wall Street’s seizure of the U.S. government has made meaningful economic recovery impossible. The financial capitalist class will not invest in productive enterprise, and prevents the government from doing so. It’s much easier to make money through systematic, multi-trillion-dollar raids on society.
Christmas in America this year reveals two starkly different social realities. Three years since the onset of the recession in December 2007, the majority of the US population is facing staggering levels of unemployment, home foreclosures, hunger and poverty. For millions of working-class families, buying gifts this year required scraping together scarce dollars, borrowing from friends and relatives or adding more debt to their already overloaded credit cards. At the other pole of society, America’s ruling elite, which has presided over this economic catastrophe, is celebrating its good fortune. The recent deal by President Obama and the Congressional Republicans to extend tax cuts to the richest two percent of the population tops off a year of record corporate profits and an 85 percent surge on the S&P 500 stock index.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered to buy Greek bonds in October and the country has also agreed to buy Portuguese debt. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered to buy Greek bonds in October and the country has also agreed to buy out Portuguese debt. China has said it is willing to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone using its $2.7trillion overseas investment fund. In a fresh humiliation for Europe, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said it was one of the most important areas for China's foreign exchange investments.
Brother Nathanael enplanes who is manipulating gold and silver and why.
Overdrawn American cities could face financial collapse in 2011, defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars of borrowings and derailing the US economic recovery. Nor are European cities safe – Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Venice: all are in trouble. More than 100 American cities could go bust next year as the debt crisis that has taken down banks and countries threatens next to spark a municipal meltdown, a leading analyst has warned.
On Friday President Obama signed into law a package of tax cuts that will funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to the richest Americans, after the Democratic Party-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday passed without changes the bill worked out between the White House and Congressional Republicans.
The claim by President Obama and Congressional Democrats that the new tax law is an economic stimulus that will benefit working class people is a lie. It is a law tailored to benefit the extremely wealthy. At a cost of $150 billion over the next two years, it maintains George W. Bush’s reduction in the high-end income tax rate―for those taking home over $250,000 for married couples and $200,000 for individuals―at 35 percent.
US empire could collapse at any time, Pulitzer winner tells Raw Story America's military and economic empire could collapse at any time, but predicting the precise day, week or month of its potential demise is unattainable, according to a former New York Times war correspondent who spoke with Raw Story. "The when and how is very dangerous to predict because there's always some factor that blindsides you that you didn't expect," Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges said in an exclusive interview. "It doesn't look good. But exactly how it plays out and when it plays out, having covered disintegrating societies, it's impossible to tell."
The financial collapse that so many of us have been anticipating is seemingly closer then ever. Over the past several weeks, there have been a host of ominous signs for the U.S. economy. Yields on U.S. Treasuries have moved up rapidly and Moody's is publicly warning that it may have to cut the rating on U.S. government debt soon. Mortgage rates are also moving up aggressively. The euro and the U.S. dollar both look incredibly shaky. Jobs continue to be shipped out of the United States at a blistering pace as our politicians stand by and do nothing. Confidence in U.S. government debt around the globe continues to decline. State and local governments that are drowning in debt across the United States are savagely cutting back on even essential social services and are coming up with increasingly "creative" ways of getting more money out of all of us. Meanwhile, tremor after tremor continues to strike the world financial system. So does this mean that we have almost reached a tipping point? Is the world on the verge of a major financial collapse?
Like the frog in the kettle, the most notorious criminal gang in the world is coming to a boil. Their games are over and paybacks reside just over the horizon. The Elitist’s One World paradigm is wracking apart under internet exposure, astounding failures in climate change, cap and trade, profligate bond and currency printing disasters and shocking new public relations failures by pseudo authorities to explain away the obvious. These bad boyz have been caught red-handed and even Chopper Ben admitted so in recent televised hearings. A disconnect between these elitists and the common man seems a gulf too wide. Those that would control the world with stolen money, power and politics have finally met their match. At this juncture as they continue to flail away with old tools of fear, threats and illegal seizures, the herd on the ground has begun to fight back. We would suggest the cat’s out of the proverbial bag. The shaving crème is out of the can. Particularly in the USA, a new and nasty pushback has begun with a new internet army; and this is an army of revenge with many being armed to the teeth.
Paul Volcker is worried about the future of the dollar and for good reason. The Fed has initiated a program (Quantitative Easing) that presages an end to Bretton Woods 2 and replaces it with different system altogether. Naturally, that's made trading partners pretty nervous. Despite the unfairness of the present system--where export-dependent countries recycle capital to US markets to sustain demand---most nations would rather stick with the "devil they know", then venture into the unknown. But US allies weren't consulted on the matter. The Fed unilaterally decided that the only way to fight deflation and high unemployment in the US, was by weakening the dollar and making US exports more competitive. Hence QE2.
If the Obama administration wants to advance peace, it should attach strict conditions on aid to Israel. MJ Rosenberg. The Obama administration has abandoned its feckless effort to induce Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to accept a 90-day settlement freeze designed to kick start peace negotiations — and save Israel from suicidal settlement expansion. Any doubt that the settlements could be Israel's death warrant should have been eliminated by the recent fire that consumed northern Israel. The Minister of the Interior, an ultra-Orthodox 18th-century man - and 21st century political hack - named Eli Yishai chose funnelling resources to settlements rather than investing in firefighting equipment.
On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan. The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been
Who rules America? Sociologists and political scientists have debated this question since C. Wright Mills published his 1956 book The Power Elite. Writing in the 1950s, Mills argued that the United States was ruled by a triangle of power between the federal government, large corporations, and the military industrial complex (with many people moving between these sectors). Robert McNamara went from CEO of Ford Motor Company to Secretary of Defense under the Kennedy-Johnson administrations (modern examples include Dick Cheney, Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, etc). Since the late 1960s, sociologist G. William Domhoff has revised, updated, and increased the sophistication of power elite theory. If we look at the composition of cabinet-level and other White House appoints since the Reagan administration, it is clear that there is a significant movement between Wall Street and the Federal Reserve Bank and Treasury Department. But why? The answers are found in the social and economic crises of the 1960s and 1970s.
The phone companies are soaking all of us for a good chunk of money every month, and they're allowed to conceal it in the fine print of your monthly bill. Next time you open your phone bill, check out the numerous anonymous charges listed on it. In particular, note the one identified as the "FCC Line Charge" or the "Federal Subscriber Line Charge" (SLC). Ask yourself two questions: What is it for and why am I paying it?
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