By Joslyn Stevens
The arguments against raising the minimum wage are bullshit. The majority of Americans including conservatives support an increase yet congress continues to drag its feet on doing right by the people they claim to serve. The conservative “pull-yourself up-by your-bootstraps” mentality has become an acceptable excuse to justify kicking people when they’re down. The greedy and elitist attitudes of CEO’s and bankers have created a culture of entitlement in this country in which stealing from others less powerful is the best way to get to the top regardless of the social cost.
In light of the latest revelations from The Public Accountability Initiative that “the media continues to present former military and government officials as venerated experts without informing the public of their industry ties – the personal financial interests that may be shaping their opinions of what is in the national interest”, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing a few choice words from one of the greatest rappers to ever grace the mic, Immortal Technique.
by Stephen Lendman
On Wednesday, Obama nominated Janet Yellen as Fed chair. She's currently vice chairwoman. Senate confirmation is certain. It's rubber-stamp.
She'll succeed Ben Bernanke. On January 31, his second four-year term ends.
In its hundred year history, Yellen will be the first female Fed chair. According to the Central Bank Directory (CBD), 17 others head central banks globally. CBD lists 177 from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Yellen may be the richest central bank head. Her reported investments were at least $4.8 million in 2012. Estimates range up to around $13 million. A year later, her wealth may be millions higher. She's privy to inside information. She helps make it. She's able to take full advantage. So can other Fed governors. They're all millionaires.
It’s no secret that the only reason the markets have been roaring – since bottoming out in March 2009, the DOW is up approximately 125% and The S&P 500 approximately 120% - is because of unlimited quantitative easing to the tune of $85 billion a month, a last resort, desperate measure that the FOMC began in 2012 to maintain its ‘growth’ targets. The end result of this program has essentially been the transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street.
“In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 35% of all privately held stock, 64.4% of financial securities, and 62.4% of business equity. The top ten percent have 81% to 94% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and almost 80% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America.”
Our government representatives would like us to believe that the subprime mortgage crisis (2, 3, 4, 5) could not have been predicted. The truth is, the collapse was expected and authorities were well aware that crimes were being committed.
It is said that if you want to find the corrupt, follow the money. This catchphrase, however, cannot be used as a preventative measure; it can only be used in retrospect to punish perpetrators of a crime. It does very little to protect us from predators. This is unfortunate when applied to our current crony capitalistic system; a wrong decision in our personal finances can mean the difference between living a life of debt servitude or one of freedom.
In our current centralized economic system, the best way to avoid pitfalls and preserve wealth, improving lifestyle, is to pay close attention to changes in laws and be mindful of their implications. Take, for example, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA):
by Stephen Lendman
Class war rages in America. Institutionalized inequality defines it. Obama continues what began decades ago. He exceeds the worst of his predecessors.
He supports capital's divine right. He transferred unprecedented wealth amounts from ordinary Americans to Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate favorites and privileged elites.
He's ideologically over-the-top. He's no progressive. He's polar opposite. He's not what most people expected. He's not what they deserve.
He's pro-business, pro-privilege, pro-super wealth, anti-populist, and anti-government of, by and for everyone equitably.
Since bottoming out at an intra-day low of 6,467 on March 6, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW) has risen to 15,295 as of May 23, 2013 - a gain of approximately 130% in just over 4 years. The S&P 500 has shown similar results, advancing from an intra-day low of 666 to 1,650 for the same period, a gain of approximately 125%. Stellar returns.
As to why the markets have risen at historic rates during times of austerity economics? The answer is simple, it’s due to quantitative easing (QE) began by centralized banks after the market crash of 2008 – “fundamentally a regressive redistribution program that has been boosting wealth for those already engaged in the financial sector or those who already own homes, but passing little along to the rest of the economy.”
The amount of stimulus used varies depending on your definition of stimulus, so we won’t bother keeping tabs on the trillions that have been dumped into the markets in the last 4 years. We’ll just make note that at present the Federal Reserve is continuing its unlimited quantitative easing program to the tune of $85 billion a month, a last resort, desperate measure that the FOMC began in 2012 to maintain its ‘growth’ targets.
Assault on Wall Street glorifies the revenge killing of Wall Street big wigs by a seemingly decent man who lost everything, including his wife, due to the manipulation and fraud of those he gunned down.
Combat veteran and armored car driver, Jim Baxford reaches a hefty body for this sort of thing. He's got nothing on the last three presidents of the United States who bear responsibility for military actions leading to the deaths of several hundred thousand civilians in the Middle East and North Africa.
Baxford's actions are part of a larger social acceptance of violence as a solution to political and personal challenges. This film is not about class warfare. It narrates in detail the losses and pain that Baxford and his wife suffer, why he holds the Wall Streeters accountable, and how he gets his revenge on his own. (Image)
Written and directed by Uwe Boll and produced by Lynnpark Productions of Canada, the film offers an all-American series of horrors that fell on many ordinary citizens but rarely as hard as those horrors fell on the Baxford's.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis and quantitative easing, the question has been before us: How can the Federal Reserve maintain zero interest rates for banks and negative real interest rates for savers and bond holders when the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year via its budget deficits? Not long ago the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury’s credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued.
On October 23rd of this year, President Cristina Fernandez won re-election receiving 54% of the vote, 37 percentage points higher than her nearest opponent. The President’s coalition also swept the Congressional, Senatorial, Gubernatorial elections as well as 135 of the 136 municipal councils of Greater Buenos Aires. In sharp contrast President Obama, according to recent polls is trailing leading Republican Presidential candidates and is likely to lose control of both houses of Congress in the upcoming 2012 election. What accounts for the monumental difference in voter preferences of incumbent presidents? A comparative historical discussion of socio-economic and foreign policies as well as responses to profound economic crises is at the center of any explanation of the divergent results.
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