Because power resides in structures and ideology, rather than individuals, it is hard to see. The power-structures are hidden with narratives focused on entrepreneurs and celebrities . Feudalism exploited the masses by forcing them to toil on the land for a pittance while wealth was diverted to castles, clergy, art collections and armies. Rarely was the system questioned. But then a class of entrepreneurs emerged, challenging the landed aristocracy with industrial mass production. They built factories and economies of scale that increased the circle of privilege, creating a middle class. Both the elites and middle-class lived off the exploitation of children and poor laborers, often immigramt, all living in slums. (Jonathon Cook) The aristocracy used the divine right of kings, the capitalist class on the miracles of the free market and bogus equality of opportunity. In another hundred years, if humans still exist, Capitalism will look more corrupt than feudalism. read more
Modern Monetary Theory proves that the entire taxes-for-revenue economic paradigm, is a fiction, a set of mystifications, which needs to be replaced with a paradigm that is true. To quote Henry Ford: "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." Leftists would be foolish to think either that Henry did not know what he is talking about, or that they don't need to understand what he meant. The Federal government can create as many dollars as it wants, without "collecting" any dollars in advance. Whatever economic reason there is to limit the amount of dollars the government creates, it is not because "enough" taxes have been collected. Every dollar paid in taxes is a dollar that was created by government authority. There is no other place it could have come from. So the correct sequence is "spend and tax", NOT "tax and spend". read more
After a few industrialists got control of the railroads, they used their control of the railroads to privilege their other businesses. They knocked their competitors out with, Oh, sorry. You can't ride my rails or you have to pay more money if you do,' and they would privilege their own goods' access to markets." The response was antitrust laws that said to the railroads "you can't have this cross interest in other industries and you have to be common carriers. You have to treat all commerce equally," We need to look at Amazon's platform in that context. And I think in order to have that sort of public interest, common-carrier kind of regulation of the platform, we have to cleave off Amazon as a retailer manufacturer. That has to be a completely separate company. So we have to break up Amazon. Amazon's ambition is not to dominate markets, but to be the market. The US should be asking the same questions the EU is asking. read more
The right-wing, and for-profit healthcare industry do not care how much healthcare costs. The more expensive it is, the more they like it. A main reason they oppose it is because single-payer healthcare will cost less, every year, for every person and in the aggregate. The right is not in it to win an economic argument or to cut costs; they are in it to protect the profits of the insurance industry. There's no corresponding discussion or legal mumbo jumbo like this in defense appropriations or the bailout for the 1%. An $80 billion increase in military spending without a single word on how to pay for it. That issue only comes up in EVERY program which might benefit poor people. If you accept that progressive social programs require tax increases, you're in a debate that will inevitably focus on taxes. It's a losing game and the only one Pelosi plays. read more
Neoliberals work to erase our social responsibilities from public discourse, focusing on personal responsibility like power-evasive strategies such as blaming minorities of class and color for "not working hard enough" and "refusing to exercise individual initiative." This vicious, victim-blaming narrative is applied in all kinds of situations, even murder trials. In the case of Laquan McDonald, the 17-year-old Black youth fatally shot by white Chicago police officer Jason Van-Dyke on 10/20/2014. Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times in 15 seconds, with the suspect on the ground for 13 of those seconds. Van Dyke's murder trial started this week, nearly four years after the crime Van Dyke's wife tearfully told TV viewers that she is "petrified" over the prospect of tragically losing her husband to prison just because he did "the job for which he was trained." Van Dyke and his wife are presented in the accommodating media as if they are the real victims when he killed Laquan McDonald. read more
To understand the rise and (inevitable) fall of Donald J. Trump, it's imperative to study money laundering.
Trump's business failures and unorthodox financial behavior pushed him to the edge of the financial world. Only Deutsche Bank and some questionable characters continued to supply him with credit.
Trump created shell companies. He used pseudonyms on contracts. He filed squirrely tax returns. He started to use large amounts of cash. He purchased huge golf courses in the UK ($79 million), a Scottish estate ($12 million), a Virginia winery ($16 million) with cash, totaling $400 million since 2006.
Russian buyers purchased nearly $100 million in condos in Florida from Trump. A Russian-Canadian billionaire poured millions into a Trump property in Toronto. In 2008, a Russian oligarch paid $95 million to Trump for a Palm Beach mansion that the Russian never subsequently occupied. Trump had bought it four years before for $41 million.
In 2008, a Russian oligarch paid $95 million to Trump for a Palm Beach mansion that the Russian never occupied. Trump had bought four years before for $41 million. He made deals with Kazakh money launderers, with corrupt businesses in India, and with a shady casino operator hoping to expand his operation in Vietnam.
In 2015, federal authorities fined the already-bankrupt Trump Taj Mahal $10 million for violations of anti-money-laundering laws. In a 1998 settlement, which cost the operation over $450,000, the Taj Mahal was cited for breaking anti-money-laundering laws 106 times in only its first 18 months of operation. The list goes on and on.
These are all telltale signs of money laundering: the cash, the shell companies, the pseudonyms, the lack of transparency and due diligence.
Russian money saved Trump on several occasions when his projects were on the verge of collapse. Now that Trump has improbably failed all the way up to the White House, Russian money may well be the cause of his political demise.
During the Yeltsin period, the state attracted billions of dollars in Western aid, which it then laundered back overseas in Western bank accounts. Worse, powerful institutions in the West like the International Monetary Fund knew about the scamand tolerated it because it wanted to keep Yeltsin in power. The bagmen who transferred the $15 billion? Russian organized crime.
Vladimir Putin didn't create post-Soviet corruption or the oligarch system that perpetuates it. He adapted the system to his own purposes and for the financial benefit of his circle of friends.
Kavanaugh: I have a clear recollection of never attending any parties in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh: I can't remember anything I did in the Bush administration.
Conservatives: You can't hold Kavanaugh responsible for something he did as a teenager.
Conservatives: Juveniles get life without parole.
Trump at the press briefing with Polish president Andrzej Duda: "Costs, yes, costs. Something you didn't hear anything about over the last 25 years."
Trump, 20 seconds later: "We just got the biggest military budget in history, $674 billion."
There were only seven "No" votes, none of them Democrats: Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Ben Sasse, Mike Lee, Jeff Flake, David Perdue and Bernie Sanders.
If Republicans have a slight edge at this point our politics is beyond hopeless, too stupid for anyone to comprehend.
Notice how Danni ignores the Henry Ford quote. The Henry Ford truism implies that both political parties are scamming the American public big time and that is difficult to swallow for any loyal Democrat. Republicans are more aware and OK with a few Bankers taking almost everything. A Bank of England officer has testified under oath that every time they write a loan, they are creating money from nothing. Ignorance is the rule, not the exception, on matters concerning economics, even for many college graduates.
If the national debt is really $21.5 trillion, as commonly reported, what became of the liquidity the Fed provided failed Banks totaling at least $23.5 trillion? This number is the sum of the Paul-Sanders Federal Reserve audit plus QE1, 2 & 3. Chris Hedges says its $29 trillion. Many mainstream economists peg it at $5-6 trillion in toxic assets still on the Feds books, which probably means they resold the other $18 trillion at a steep discount, but who actually knows? Where are those details reported.
Bankers bragged they quickly paid off about $350 billion of some $600 billion made available by Congress, but this was a minor distraction from what really went on. These are the only numbers most politicians and Bankers mention. These numbers make no sense if any of the other numbers are correct. The billions are quoted in order to justify more massive bonuses for Banking executives. They are a small fraction of what was going on.
The scam works because so many people, like Danni, believe the Federal Government must manage money just like a family, Corporation or City. This is simply false, a failure in critical thinking.
To raise "cultural practices" requires excellent education opportunities for EVERYONE, not just rich white neighborhoods. Everything is harder and more expensive when you're poor in this country, especially getting a good education, which must be a responsibility of Government. Meanwhile, right wing dingbats try to limit or prevent sex education, health care, job opportunities, abortion and even food for poor people. Poor people have no say in an industrial policy which decides that the Chinese shall assemble I-phones, not Americans. Deficiencies in supporting child development compound over time, becoming harder and harder to correct. This problem involves, parents, police, schools, the Courts and prisons.
The USA is waging economic warfare with Venezuela, which, when coupled with a collapse in oil prices, has hurt their economy. Blaming these problems on Socialism is ridiculous. Most new technology in the USA was developed by our defense industry or other Government agencies with tax dollars, only to be handed out for free decades later to the private sector. This is true for our railroads, a polio cure, aircraft, transistors, computers, GPS, the internet and now space flight. The list is a very long one and it is socialism and it has kept us on the leading edge of many industries including cancer research today. Socialism lifted most poor Venezuelans out of poverty and they continue to support Mandura at the voting booth. This has angered the USA which has lost Corporate assets in the process. Boaz is profoundly deluded.