Sunday, April 07, 2013

Right Wingers Still Run the Country.


It's a Right vs. Left divide, not Dems vs. GOP.  Many Democrats represent  conservative, not progressive districts. If 15 Dems in the Senate would vote their party platform, gun control would pass.

If so many Dems weren't conservative, the Iraq war approval wouldn't have passed, Guantanamo would be closed, Wall Street crooks would be in jail, Bibi Netanyahu wouldn't get 22 congressional standing ovations, the war on terror and drone attacks would be winding down, civil liberties would not be threatened, austerity wouldn't be on the table, etc. etc. No wonder the GOP wants to vote by district instead of state. It's why the GOP has moved even farther to the right and the Dems have moved across the center line.

The GOP has Fox News promoting their ideology. The Dems have MSNBC, but MSNBC represents the conservative wing of the Democratic party. There's nothing on there that's progressive. They love the new Obama sellout on Social Security. They still think austerity is wonderful. Who in the main stream media speaks for progressives? Only the polls indicative some progressive sentiment.

So, what does it look like for 2016? Another Clinton that voted for Iraq, loves sanctions and hegemony, loves Bibi, hates Iran, likes Wall Street and globalization. Hardly a progressive.  Even Ron Paul is further left than the Democratic Party on foreign policy and military entanglements. It looks like more of the same for a long while.

Read this link and see the evidence that right wingers still run the country.

The Democratic Party Transformation

People know the GOP has gone hard right in pursuit of its ideology. The Democrats used to have an ideology, instilled by FDR and the Great Depression, which embodied keeping capitalism regulated, limiting the power of elite financial interests, preventing extreme inequality of wealth and income, using government to do what it must do to promote the general welfare and secure a stable society, promoting a strong middle class, and providing a safety net for people struggling to maintain a decent living, including retired and disabled people on limited incomes.
The Clinton administration and the Democratic Leadership Council changed all that. They compromised with Republicans in dismantling welfare programs, promoting globalization, and relaxing regulations on Wall Street and corporate America. Since the Clinton administration the Democrats has become largely driven by politics to regain and consolidate power. This has been possible became a sizable contingent of the Democratic base has become affluent in the last several decades and now are part of the investor class that is sympathetic to capitalist dogma. The media and the current administration are classic examples of this contingent.
The principle remaining ideology in the Democratic Party is its fight against discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and sexual orientation. The DLC contingent now largely shares the GOP ideology on globalization, deficits, war, and global hegemony. It is likely to cause a schism in the Democratic Party similar to what has occurred in the GOP.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Buy this Book

This is an excerpt from the book to show why this book is the best explanation of the financial crisis and its causes.  You will be hearing much about it in the future. Get it now and see for yourself. Paul Craig Roberts is an economist who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during the Reagan administration. His website is here.

Roberts, Paul (2013-02-24). “The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West” Atwell Publishing.

An Introduction by Paul Craig Roberts

Note to reader: This book was first published in the German Language in July 2012 by Weltbuch Verlag in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland under the title, Wirtschaft Am Abgrund. A Chinese language edition is forthcoming from SDX Joint Publishing Company in Beijing, China.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the rise of the high speed Internet have proved to be the economic and political undoing of the West. “The End Of History” caused socialist India and communist China to join the winning side and to open their economies and underutilized labor forces to Western capital and technology. Pushed by Wall Street and large retailers, such as Wal-Mart, American corporations began offshoring the production of goods and services for their domestic markets. Americans ceased to be employed in the manufacture of goods that they consume as corporate executives maximized shareholder earnings and their performance bonuses by substituting cheaper foreign labor for American labor. Many American professional occupations, such as software engineering and Information Technology, also declined as corporations moved this work abroad and brought in foreigners at lower renumeration for many of the jobs that remained domestically. Design and research jobs followed manufacturing abroad, and employment in middle class professional occupations ceased to grow. By taking the lead in offshoring production for domestic markets, US corporations force the same practice on Europe. The demise of First World employment and of Third World agricultural communities, which are supplanted by large scale monoculture, is known as Globalism.

  For most Americans income has stagnated and declined for the past two decades. Much of what Americans lost in wages and salaries as their jobs were moved offshore came back to shareholders and executives in the form of capital gains and performance bonuses from the higher profits that flowed from lower foreign labor costs. The distribution of income worsened dramatically with the mega-rich capturing the gains, while the middle class ladders of upward mobility were dismantled. University graduates unable to find employment returned to live with their parents. 

The absence of growth in real consumer incomes resulted in the Federal Reserve expanding credit in order to keep consumer demand growing. The growth of consumer debt was substituted for the missing growth in consumer income. The Federal Reserve’s policy of extremely low interest rates fueled a real estate boom. Housing prices rose dramatically, permitting homeowners to monetize the rising equity in their homes by refinancing their mortgages.  

Consumers kept the economy alive by assuming larger mortgages and spending the equity in their homes and by accumulating large credit card balances. The explosion of debt was securitized, given fraudulent investment grade ratings, and sold to unsuspecting investors at home and abroad.  

Financial deregulation, which began in the Clinton years and leaped forward in the George W. Bush regime, unleashed greed and debt leverage. Brooksley Born, head of the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was prevented from regulating over-the-counter derivatives by the chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The financial stability of the world was sacrificed to the ideology of these three stooges that “markets are self-regulating.” Insurance companies sold credit default swaps against junk financial instruments without establishing reserves, and financial institutions leveraged every dollar of equity with $30 dollars of debt.  

When the bubble burst, the former bankers running the US Treasury provided massive bailouts at taxpayer expense for the irresponsible gambles made by banks that they formerly headed. The Federal Reserve joined the rescue operation. An audit of the Federal Reserve released in July, 2011, revealed that the Federal Reserve had provided $16 trillion--a sum larger than US GDP or the US public debt--in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks, while doing nothing to aid the millions of American families being foreclosed out of their homes. Political accountability disappeared as all public assistance was directed to the mega-rich, whose greed had produced the financial crisis.

The financial crisis and plight of the banksters took center stage and prevented recognition that the crisis sprang not only from the financial deregulation but also from the expansion of debt that was used to substitute for the lack of growth in consumer income. As more and more jobs were offshored, Americans were deprived of incomes from employment. To maintain their consumption, Americans went deeper into debt.  

The fact that millions of jobs have been moved offshore is the reason why the most expansionary monetary and fiscal policies in US history have had no success in reducing the unemployment rate. In post-World War II 20th century recessions, laid-off workers were called back to work as expansionary monetary and fiscal policies stimulated consumer demand. However, 21st century unemployment is different. The jobs have been moved abroad and no longer exist. Therefore, workers cannot be called back to factories and to professional service jobs that have been moved abroad.

Economists have failed to recognize the threat that jobs offshoring poses to economies and to economic theory itself, because economists confuse offshoring with free trade, which they believe is mutually beneficial. I will show that offshoring is the antithesis of free trade and that the doctrine of free trade itself is found to be incorrect by the latest work in trade theory. Indeed, as we reach toward a new economics, cherished assumptions and comforting theoretical conclusions will be shown to be erroneous.  

This book is organized into three sections. The first section explains successes and failures of economic theory and the erosion of the efficacy of economic policy by globalism. Globalism and financial concentration have destroyed the justifications of market capitalism. Corporations that have become “too big to fail” are sustained by public subsidies, thus destroying capitalism’s claim to be an efficient allocator of resources. Profits no longer are a measure of social welfare when they are obtained by creating unemployment and declining living standards in the home country.  

The second section documents how jobs offshoring or globalism and financial deregulation wrecked the US economy, producing high rates of unemployment, poverty and a distribution of income and wealth extremely skewed toward a tiny minority at the top. These severe problems cannot be corrected within a system of globalism.

The third section addresses the European debt crisis and how it is being used both to subvert national sovereignty and to protect bankers from losses by imposing austerity and bailout costs on citizens of the member countries of the European Union.  

I will suggest that it is in Germany’s interest to leave the EU, revive the mark, and enter into an economic partnership with Russia. German industry, technology, and economic and financial rectitude, combined with Russian energy and raw materials, would pull all of Eastern Europe into a new economic union, with each country retaining its own currency and budgetary and tax authority. This would break up NATO, which has become an instrument for world oppression and is forcing Europeans to assume burdens of the American Empire.  

Sixty-seven years after the end of World War II, twenty-two years after the reunification of Germany, and twenty-one years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Germany is still occupied by US troops. Do Europeans desire a future as puppet states of a collapsing empire, or do they desire a more promising future of their own?

Roberts, Paul (2013-02-24). The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West  Atwell Publishing.

Get it now!