We're being asked to do more in less time, and with less help. Here's a simple plan to begin to take back our lives. Feeling overwhelmed? If you're like many Americans, the answer is probably a beleaguered yes. People across the country report that they are working harder than ever, checking their email on weekends and vacations, putting in more hours at the office, and juggling multitasks just to keep up. While the frenzied pace seems to have hit information workers particularly hard, employees throughout the economy (warehouse workers, hotel housekeepers, teachers) say they are being asked to do more, in less time, with fewer co-workers to help them.
As inequality in the US grows, the ultra-rich are pouring their spare cash not just into private jets, but into private security. Think there's a connection? “Violence in the streets, aimed at the wealthy. That’s what I worry about.” That was what an unidentified billionaire told Robert Frank of the Wall Street Journal a while back. Rich people are scared of global unrest, Frank reported, citing a survey by Insite Security and IBOPE Zogby International of people with liquid assets of $1 million or more (translation: folks who have or can get their hands on $1 million in cash fairly easily) that says 94 percent of the wealthy are concerned about “global unrest” around the world.
The most dazzling fact is not this decline. It is what is to come. The National Urban League Policy Institute's latest study finds that unemployment for Blacks with four-year college degrees has tripled since 1992, and overall unemployment is near 1982 levels, namely 20%. Such numbers have not been seen since the Depression. Langston Hughes wrote that the 1930s
Israel is suing a group of poor Bedouin Palestinians in the Negev desert for over $500,000, the claimed costs of demolishing their village each time they rebuild it. Israeli authorities have destroyed, and the Bedouin have rebuilt, the homes in al-Araqib more than 20 times.
The rich are getting richer. Their effective tax rate, in recent years, has been reduced to the lowest in modern history. Nurses, teachers and firemen actually pay a higher tax rate than some billionaires. It's no wonder the American people are angry.
The plain fact is that corporate profits are the only area of the US economy to recover since 2009. Any other claim is a lie. The so-called economic "recovery" since mid-2009 was chiefly hype, a veneer of good news to disguise and minimise the awful underlying economic realities. The few (large corporations and the rich) who bear much of the responsibility for the crisis made sure that the government they finance used massive amounts of public money to support a recovery for them. The mass of the population was excluded from the government-financed recovery for the few. We now have the summary official statistics to expose this grotesque injustice.
The Republicans are redefining "democracy"--but it's time to remember what the real dream of democracy meant. Democracy, in the American tradition, has been defined by a simple morality: We Americans care about our fellow citizens, we act on that care and build trust, and we do our best not just for ourselves, our families, our friends and our neighbors, but for our country, for each other, for people we have never met and never will meet.
Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama's highly touted "Jobs Council", is moving even more GE infrastructure to China. GE makes more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world, and now GE has announced that it "is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing".
In my last column I suggested that an unintended outcome of the debt ceiling impasse could be Congress’ loss of the power of the purse. In this column I suggest an intended outcome that the ongoing political theater might be designed to produce. President Obama has said that he will not resort to the various powers open to him to keep the government running should Congress fail to deliver a debt ceiling increase. This is a suspicious statement, as it is not credible that a president would leave troops at war unpaid and without supplies, Social Security checks unsent and stand aside while the US dollar collapses and the credit rating of the US government is destroyed.
The typical US household lost 28 percent of its wealth during the economic crisis, with one third of these being totally wiped out, according to a recent analysis of Census Bureau data carried out by the Pew Research Center, “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics”.
‘The Greatest Increase In Poverty And Hardship Produced By Any Law In Modern US History’ First a note on the use of hyperbole: People often think I’m using hyperbole when I talk about “financial terrorism,” our descent into “neo-feudalism,” the “two-Party oligarchy,” our confirmed “banana republic” status or the fact that President Obama is a “bankster puppet.” I’m aware that most people will think I’m being overly extreme, but in these extreme times, all these terms are technical descriptions of our unfortunate political reality. Career wise, I would be better off, over the short-term, if I censored this harsh reality and used more delicate language, but I’m not interested in making a career out of this, or being accepted into some status quo supporting groupthink organization. I’m here to sound the alarm. So I have much respect for people who are also speaking bold truth to power, whatever the consequences may be. Fortunately, more people are starting to speak up.
Wall Street will suffer more than anyone from a default and it will not let it happen. The public should know this, certainly Wall Street does. No wonder the fatcats running the giant banks which received tens of trillions in bailouts, loans and guarantees from the American public are screaming loudly that the debt ceiling must be raised.
The Federal Reserve Made $16 Trillion In Secret Loans To Their Bankster Friends And The Media Is Ignoring The Eye-Popping Corruption That Has Been Uncovered. Not a penny of these loans went to small banks or to ordinary Americans. Not only did the banksters get trillions in nearly interest-free loans, but the Fed actually paid them over 600 million dollars to help run the emergency lending program. The GAO investigation revealed some absolutely stunning conflicts of interest, and yet the mainstream media does not even seem interested. Solid evidence of the looting of America has been put right in front of us, and yet hardly anyone wants to talk about it.
This week marks the end of the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of the American imperium. That’s over. It is not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful. Barack Obama, and the criminal class on Wall Street, aided by a corporate media that continues to peddle fatuous gossip and trash talk as news while we endure the greatest economic crisis in our history, may have fooled us, but the rest of the world knows we are bankrupt. And these nations are damned if they are going to continue to prop up an inflated dollar and sustain the massive federal budget deficits, swollen to over $2 trillion, which fund America’s imperial expansion in Eurasia and our system of casino capitalism. They have us by the throat. They are about to squeeze.
As Congress nears a vote on the various debt ceiling deals, let's look at the lies and misinformation that got us into this mess. There is one simple truth about the discussion of the looming U.S. debt crisis: it is largely a compendium of half-truths, distortions, myths and outright lies. For example, is it true that the U.S. debt is unsustainable, which is spurring the budget-cutting fever? Far from it. While U.S. debt is at one of its highest levels ever in terms of gross domestic product, the interest payments in 2011 on the $14.3 trillion public debt will be a mere $386 billion. This is barely more than the $364 billion paid way back in 1998. In real terms, the U.S. economy has grown nearly 30 percent since then. Rock-bottom interest rates on U.S. government debt account for the low payments today, but the practical effect is that servicing the debt as a percentage of GDP is the lowest it’s been in decades.
So Bonehead-Boehner wants to "Hurt Some People!" He should take a look at his ratings and at who exactly he wants to hurt! The eighty million checks he wants to stop payment on are going to people worth a thousand times more than his favorite traitors to this country-the multinational-corporations that are still getting CORPORATE WELFARE to the tune of over 500 times what those 80 million legitimate payments cost this government, each and every month! If Corporations and the Rich Paid Taxes at the same level as the 1960's, The Debt would Disappear
Reversing tax giveaways to the super-rich and the nation's largest corporations could raise $4 trillion within a decade and avert possible government closures. We're not broke. Not even close. The United States of America is awash in wealth. Our corporations are holding record trillions in cash. And overall individual wealth in the United States, the Credit Suisse Research Institute reported this past fall, has risen 23 percent since the year 2000, to $236,213 per American adult.
Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon (written with Joshua Rosner), lays out the toxic interplay between Washington, Wall Street and corrupt mortgage lenders that led to the meltdown.
Imagine you had a pesky neighbor who somehow took out a mortgage on his house in your name and by some legal trickery you were obligated to pay for it. Imagine watching this neighbor throw drunken parties, buy expensive cars, add more rooms to the house, and hire dozens of people to wait on him hand and foot. Imagine that he also managed to take out several credit cards in your name. One by one, he would max them out and then use your good name and credit to obtain another credit card, then another and then another. Each time, this neighbor would claim that he needed the new credit card to pay interest on the other maxed out credit cards.
Take Our Test Can you imagine who would have such taste and live in such opulence? An American billionaire? A Saudi Prince? Louis XIV of France? Have a good look at these pictures, then scroll to the bottom of the page to see who owns this mansion.
July 25, 2011"The Economic Collapse" -- The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families. For many Americans, "flat broke" has become a permanent condition.
#1 Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now.
#2 Only 56 percent of Americans are currently covered by employer-provided health insurance.
#3 The median yearly wage in the United States is $26,261.
#4 The average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.
#5 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#6 At this point, American families are approximately 7.7 trillion dollars poorer than they were back in early 2007.
#7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#8 According to one study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.
#9 Today, there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps, and nearly half of them are children.
#10 According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment.
Big company CEOs got a 23 percent raise last year and corporate profits are at record highs. But the minimum wage has less buying power now than in 1956 – the year Elvis Presley first topped the charts, videotape was breakthrough technology and the Dow closed above 500 for the very first time.
Only now, after three years of roller coaster markets, epic debates, and gnashing of teeth, are mainstream financial pundits finally starting to get it. At least some of them, anyway. Precious metals have continued to perform relentlessly since 2008, crushing all naysayer predictions and defying all the musings of so called “experts”, while at the same time maintaining and protecting the investment savings of those people smart enough to jump on the train while prices were at historic lows (historic as in ‘the past 5000 years’).
Belief in the mythic "swing voter" whose views happen to line up with the Washington establishment is setting the country on a course toward disaster.
1) Bankers, according to the London Times, launder about 400 billion dollars a year or more in illegal weapons sales. The next time you hear of an African war lord killing families so he can kidnap young boys to become child soldiers and young girls to become child sex slaves, please remember that this could not have happened without the active assistance and cooperation of the bankers and the politicians they own.
As dozens of major corporations announced increased second-quarter profits this week, the US working class was hit with a disastrous new round of mass layoffs. On Monday, book seller Borders announced that it would liquidate all of its stores, laying off 10,700 workers. That same day, Cisco, the telecom equipment maker, said it would cut its workforce by 11,500. Within 24 hours, Lockheed Martin, the aerospace company, announced that it would eliminate 6,500 jobs.
Recently, the bond rating agencies that gave junk derivatives triple-A ratings threatened to downgrade US Treasury bonds if the White House and Congress did not reach a deficit reduction deal and debt ceiling increase. The downgrade threat is not credible, and neither is the default threat. Both are make-believe crises that are being hyped in order to force cutbacks in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
The crisis of reality
The wealthiest nation on earth is not actually obliged to starve our senior citizens. We don’t need a military 670% more expensive than the next largest one on earth. We don’t need to fund health insurance corporations instead of healthcare. And we don’t need tax breaks for billionaires. In fact, we don’t need billionaires. That’s the message RootsAction is taking to Congress.
America's 14.1 million unemployed aren't voiceless; it's just that no one is listening, and no one's got a plan to help them. It hits you like a punch in the gut, losing your job. Being laid off. Being fired. It stops you cold in the middle of your day even if you've seen it coming. Even if you hate your job and being out of it will be a relief. If you love your job, it hurts like a bad breakup—it's heartbreaking.
SAO PAULO - After three decades spent battling their own debt crises and getting constantly lectured about them by Uncle Sam, many Latin Americans are watching the countdown to a possible default in Washington with a mix of schadenfraude and fear of what a collapse might mean for them.
That giant whooshing, and humming, sound you hear are all the printers at the basement of Marriner Eccles getting refills and start the warm up process. Because according to the Fed Charles Plosser the Federal Reserve is actively preparing for the possibility that the United States could default. Which can only mean one thing: an immediate paradrop of millions of $100 bricks to every man woman and child in the US since as we all know by know Tim Geithner has repeatedly confirmed the Treasury has absolutely no default plans. None.
As politicians debate lifting the US debt ceiling, we ask what it would mean if the world's biggest economy defaults. Republicans and Democrats are still debating a deal to lift the US debt ceiling in order to avoid defaulting on its payments. Congress must raise the $14.3 trillion limit on US borrowing by August 2 or the government will run out of money to pay its bills. The US government reached its debt limit in May, and since then the treasury department has used special measures to allow the government to keep paying its bills.
"When a country is indebted to the degree that we’re indebted, the country always defaults. We will default because the debt is unsustainable," Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said on the House floor today. "If we don’t understand this, this default will not be because we don't send out the checks. We will send out the checks. It will be defaulted on because people will get their money back, or they will get their Social Security checks and it won't buy anything."
(Editors Note:This is a great new article from a new contributor Jim Koconis. The article looks deeper into how money is created out of thin air. It goes way beyond the fractional reserve banking we have railed against in the past. -Silver Shield) It doesn’t take much imagination to recognize that virtually all of the social problems we wrestle with are directly related to economic injustice. It’s true that people are not always well intentioned,but very few would resort to crime if given an honest opportunity to exchange their labor for a fair wage allowing them the dignity to purchase a decent standard of living. And,ultimately,that is what economic justice is all about. When the cost of basic food,shelter,and healthcare exceeds the wages we earn,we have the most fundamental of all human crisis to deal with –the crisis of staying alive!
For decades, the U.S. government has had a AAA rating. On the scales used by the big three credit rating agencies, that is the highest credit rating that a government can get. Moody's scale actually uses lettering that is a little different from the other two big agencies ("Aaa" instead of "AAA"), but you get the point. Right now, the U.S. government is closer than ever to losing its AAA rating. The threat of a rating downgrade is going to continue to grow regardless of how the political theater that we are watching unfold in Washington D.C. plays out. The truth is that the federal government has accumulated a debt that is so vast that it will never be paid back. In fact, we are rapidly approaching the point when this debt will no longer be serviceable. If the credit rating of the U.S. government is not slashed right now, it will be soon enough. In fact, the truth is that the U.S. government is such a financial mess that it should have been done long ago. But whenever the United States does lose its AAA rating, we could potentially see financial hell unleashed because it will also mean that there will almost certainly be a wave of credit rating downgrades from coast to coast.
Failing entities advised to move to strengthen their financial cushions, as eurozone fights growing debt crisis. Stress tests were meant to make banks take action to stay safe from another Greek-like financial crisis. Eight of 90 European banks have failed in stress tests used to project how they would fare in another recession. Sixteen others would barely stay above water in another crisis, according to results released on Friday. The failing banks should "promptly" move to strengthen their financial cushions, the European Banking Authority (EBA) said as it released the results.
What notion of economics or ethics justifies the fact that it would take the average family more than 35,000 years to earn as much as the top hedge fund managers earn in one year? The official June unemployment rate is 9.2 percent. The real rate is 18.5 percent (which includes involuntary part-time workers and the unemployed who haven’t looked for jobs in the past 4 weeks.) Nearly 30 million Americans are unemployed and we need more than 21 million jobs to get back to full-employment (defined as 5 percent)
Without an abundance of good jobs, the middle class in the United States is going to shrivel up and die. Right now, rampant unemployment is absolutely killing communities all over America. Hopelessness and poverty are exploding and many are now wondering if we are actually witnessing the slow death of the middle class.
The economic crisis in Greece is the most consequential thing to have happened in Europe since the Balkan wars. That isn’t because Greece is economically central to the European order: at barely 3 per cent of Eurozone GDP, the Greek economy could vanish without trace and scarcely be missed by anyone else. The dangers posed by the imminent Greek default are all to do with how it happens.
Your donation helps provide a place for people to speak out.
Not tax deductible. firstname.lastname@example.org
|Search the Site||Search the Internet|
|<< <||> >>|