Friday, January 22, 2016

Four Things You Need to Know About Neoliberalism


1.  It's not new and it's not liberal.

2.  It's sweeping over the entire world.

3.  It's a political and economic philosophy favoring the Rich & Powerful at the expense of the rest of us.      [Essentially, at its core, it's Crony Capitalism, AKA, Fascism.  Both FDR and Mussolini defined Fascism as the power of BIG Business married to the power of the State...an almost perfect description of Neoliberalism.]

4.  Here in the USA, it is subscribed to by almost all high-level Republicans AND Democrats.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"An Economy for the 1%: How Privilege and Power...


in the Economy Drive Extreme Inequality and How This Can Be Stopped".  That's the title of a new Oxfam America report.  From the Report and as reported on Democracy Now, the 62 richest billionaires in the world (a majority of them in the USA) now are as wealthy as the poorest 3.6 billion people worldwide combined.  The inequality is due primarily to:  deregulation (i.e., Crony Capitalism), privatization (more Crony Capitalism), and offshore tax havens (even more Crony Capitalism).  [Those are key components of Neoliberalism...which is subscribed to by most Democrats and Republicans (at the highest levels) here in the USA.]

In one such tax haven, the British Virgin Islands (population 24,000), there are 800,000 shell corporations associated with real corporations from around the world.  Anxious to get in on the action, there also are a total of fifty banks there.  Here in the USA for the last 20 years, politicians have talked about closing the loopholes in the Tax Code that allow tax havens.  In that timespan, there have been periods when both the Repubs and the Dems each have controlled Congress separately.  Nothing has been done.  Lobbyists.  More Crony Capitalism.  Democrats and Republicans both are to blame.

Some here would argue that the corporations need every break they can get, and that allows them to expand and create more jobs.  It's the old "Trickle Down Theory of Economics".  Unfortunately, nothing much is trickling down anymore.  The tax avoidance wealth is either being held offshore, or being used to close, dismantle, & ship factories out of the country, or buy/lease existing factories in another country, or raid companies here & the downsize them, or invest in bizarre financial derivatives, or in foreign currencies, or in foreign bonds, or in a number of other ventures that also create zero jobs in the USA.  So much for the Trickle Down argument.  Mega Corporations seem to rarely invest in their communities anymore (or even in the USA); instead, they move their operations to wherever the labor is the cheapest.  Apple Computer is a prime example:  they don't make even one of their products in this country...not one.  Remember that the next time you buy something from Apple.

Meanwhile, the Middle Class here shrinks, wages essentially are stagnant (& have been for 30 yrs), our manufacturing base rapidly is disappearing, jobs are becoming more & more inferior, employee benefits are shrinking, and the income of the Upper Crust has increased 700% in the last thirty years.  Plus because of the crashing economy, in 2016 alone many 401ks already have lost from $2,000 to $6,000.

While eight million jobs here evaporated after the 2008 Crisis, the Mega Banks grew by 37%, significantly increasing their profits.  At the same time, their Executives avoided prosecution for what was blatant FRAUD during the time leading up to the Crisis.  More Crony Capitalism.  Politicians know on which side their bread is buttered.  SSDD.

NeoFeudalism is well on its way to being here.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Most Dishonest Profession in the USA


I was going to title this piece, "The Sleaziest Profession..."; however, that might be a bit too harsh...but not by much.  Also, be aware that this is a generalization on my part.  There are usually exceptions to a general rule, but they rarely ever prove a generalization to be false.  What do you think...is it that of a drug dealer?  Nope...a good contender for the title, but that's not it.  How about that of a Mega Bank CEO?  Another good contender, but that's not it either.

The most dishonest profession in the USA is that of a high-level, national politician and/or bureaucrat.  Those at the highest levels.  [I include high-level appointees in the term "bureaucrat".]  I came to my conclusion after keenly observing U.S. politics for well over half a century, and most recently, watching the documentaries Money for Nothing, Silenced, Secrets Politics and Torture, Losing Iraq, United States of Secrets, To Catch a Trader, The Untouchables, and many more.  [The 1st two currently are on Netflix (& probably elsewhere online); the remainder are available at the PBS Frontline website.]

Before I offer evidence for my assertion in the paragraph above (the 1st sentence), let's be clear:  the following people are/were not always dishonest, or even sleazy.  Had they been, it would have been too obvious.  Liars work much in the same way as does Propaganda:  there's always a small element of truth to be found.  That's what makes the person or the idea seem credible.  Finally, I could have made the list below several pages long, but there's really not much use in doing that.  Plus, I don't have the time to spare.

Evidence for the contention or assertion---
0.  J. Edgar Hoover
1.  Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, and Henry Kissinger
2.  Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke
3.  Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Madeleine Albright
4.  Robert Rubin and Larry Summers
5.  Dubya Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, Douglas Feith, John Bolton, John Yoo, Hank Paulson, Michael Hayden, Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, & others too numerous to mention
6.  Barack Obama, Tim Geithner, Eric Holder, Susan Rice, Robert Gates, John Kerry, James Clapper, John Brennan, & others too numerous to mention
7.  Rahm Emanuel
8.  Donald Trump
9.  Ted Cruz
10.  Chuck Schumer
11.  Harry Reid
12.  Nancy Pelosi
13.  Jim Inhofe
14.  Tom Delay
15.  Jim Traficant
16.  James G. Watt (Secretary of the Interior under Reagan)

All the above is my opinion...and presently, all the high-ranking politicians that promulgate the anachronistic Repubs v. Dems paradigm in American politics should be included.  They essentially are all on the same Team...that of Neoliberalism.  We the People have been snookered by Edward Bernays style Propaganda into ignoring the real political paradigm in this country:  the Rich & Powerful versus the rest of us.

Be Well