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ctsnowman

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Member since: Wed Jan 5, 2011, 09:33 PM
Number of posts: 1,345

Journal Archives

Capitalism's Deeper Problem by Richard Wolff

Recent press reports refer to troubling price increases for such assets as real estate, government bonds, companies targeted for acquisition and artwork. A New York Times front-page headline read “The Everything Boom, or Maybe the Everything Bubble.”

Western Europe, North America and Japan are stuck in a longer, deeper crisis than almost anyone expected. Millions have left the labor force. Wages, benefits and job security are declining; the so-called “middle classes” are evaporating.
Yet while asset prices soar, the production of goods and services, employment and workers’ incomes are not recovering and resuming growth. Instead, Western Europe, North America and Japan are stuck in a longer, deeper crisis than almost anyone expected. Millions have left the labor force. Wages, benefits and job security are declining; the so-called “middle classes” are evaporating. Having promised “recoveries,” desperate governments inject massive new quantities of money into their economies. What they accomplish most are fast-rising asset prices.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/07/16-3

Why Big Business Loves Desperate Workers

And how a strong social safety net can make us all more free
by Stephen Pimpare

We don’t think enough about the economic functions of social welfare policy, or about the relationship between the safety net and labor markets, and this hinders our ability to make sense of why some people fight so hard against programs that aid poor and low-income people: We mistake them for anti-welfare ideologues, and dismiss them as cruel or ignorant, but there’s an economic logic to their activism, one that’s revealed if we look at the relationship between welfare and work from both the employee’s and the employer’s perspective. Let me explain.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/07/17-2


Basically he is saying the only way capitalism works is with lots of patches. I couldn't agree more.

Stephanie Miller eviscerates GOPer: Your medieval history degree is ‘handy’ defending Republicans

Source: The Raw Story

Liberal radio host Stephanie Miller on Sunday explained to former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina that her study of medieval history would “come in handy” after the Supreme Court ruled that corporations like Hobby Lobby could deny birth control coverage to women for religious reasons.

“A lot women including me are sick of the ‘war on women’, and we saw it in spades on Monday after the Hobby Lobby case,” Fiorina told a CNN panel. “Somehow this is the long arm of business and the Republican Party reaching into the body of women. It’s ridiculous.”

“The war on women is shameless, baseless propaganda, there’s no fact to it, and it’s worked because it’s scared women to death,” she insisted. “Enough. Enough.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/06/stephanie-miller-eviscerates-goper-your-medieval-history-degree-is-handy-defending-republicans/

What really happened at Tiananmen Square?

The truth is that no government will allow a protest to go on endlessly to the extent that it begins to destabilise the country and economy.

– Wei Ling Chua, Tiananmen Square “Massacre”?: The Power of Words vs. Silent Evidence, 100.

Last Sunday, I was with an American gentleman in downtown Chengdu, Sichuan, and during our conversation he mentioned that his Chinese wife had never heard of the Tiananmen Square massacre. I proposed that it is because it never happened, that it is a western media campaign of disinformation, and why should the Chinese media permit the dissemination of lies. In fact, hearing about any massacre at Tiananmen Square will surprise the vast majority of Chinese people, including those who live near Beijing and who participated in the demonstrations.

You can get a copy of the book for free. Interesting to hear another viewpoint.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/06/massacre-what-massacre/

On This Fourth of July, Meet Your Unpatriotic Corporations

Years ago, I noticed that America’s major drugstore chains tend to utilize the same corporate color scheme. Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid—all patriotic in red, white, and blue. Even regional chains take their identity cues from Old Glory. But this July 4, American corporations—including one drugstore chain, in one recent example—are using tax loopholes to act in the most unpatriotic of ways.

Walgreens, The New York Times reported, is looking to relocate from Illinois to Switzerland, in the process merging with a Swiss corporation and reincorporating itself as a foreign entity. It is, bluntly, an old-fashioned tax dodge, aimed at trimming eleven percentage points off the company’s corporate tax rate. Americans for Tax Fairness estimates that the move will cost US taxpayers more than $4 billion over the next five years. Using a procedure called “inversion,” an American company can reincorporate itself overseas as long as its domestic (US) owners retain no more than 80 percent of its stock. Walgreens, after merging with European drugstore chain Alliance Boots (itself a loophole-exploiter, having moved from the UK to Switzerland itself in order to lower its tax bill), will meet the criteria and legally become a Swiss corporation.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/180521/how-americas-largest-drug-retail-chain-plans-take-4-billion-your-pockets

Do Public School Teachers Have Any Friends in the Obama Administration?

We are living in an era when the very idea of public education is under attack, as are teachers' unions and the teaching profession. Let's be clear: these attacks and the power amassed behind them are unprecedented in American history. Sure, there have always been critics of public schools, of teachers, and of unions. But never before has there been a serious and sustained effort to defund public education, to turn public money over to unaccountable private hands, and to weaken and eliminate collective bargaining wherever it still exists. And this effort is not only well-coordinated but funded by billionaires who have grown wealthy in a free market and can't see any need for regulation or unions or public schools.

In the past, Democratic administrations and Democratic members of Congress could be counted on to support public education and to fight privatization. In the past, Democrats supported unions, which they saw as a dependable and significant part of their base.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/07/02

Noam Chomsky: Our Govt. Is Capable of Creating Total Catastrophe for Humankind -- Can We Stop It?

An interesting bit:

Snip

When the NSA’s surveillance program was exposed by Edward Snowden’s revelations, high officials claimed that it had prevented 54 terrorist acts. On inquiry, that was whittled down to a dozen. A high-level government panel then discovered that there was actually only one case: someone had sent $8,500 to Somalia. That was the total yield of the huge assault on the Constitution and, of course, on others throughout the world.

Britain’s attitude is interesting. In 2007, the British government called on Washington’s colossal spy agency “to analyze and retain any British citizens’ mobile phone and fax numbers, emails, and IP addresses swept up by its dragnet,” the Guardian reported. That is a useful indication of the relative significance, in government eyes, of the privacy of its own citizens and of Washington’s demands.

http://www.alternet.org/world/noam-chomsky-our-govt-capable-creating-total-catastrophe-humankind-can-we-stop-it?paging=off¤t_page=1#bookmark

Christian right secession fantasy: Spooky neo-Confederate talk grows louder at the fringes

Source: Salon

A Saturday ago at the annual conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accused President Obama and other Democrats of waging a war against religious liberty and all but openly threatened a violent revolution, AP reported:

“I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.”

Of course, Jindal’s speech didn’t come out of nowhere. Jindal is notorious as a weather vane, not a leader. So this is a clear sign of the need to take threats of right-wing violence seriously — and to look to its justifications as formulated on the Christian right.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/christian_right_secession_fantasy_spooky_neo_confederate_talk_grows_louder_at_the_fringes/

Anti-vaxx insanity: New study highlights the dangers of science denialism

Source: Salon

We are breaking a new record in the U.S., and it is not one we want to break: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles cases are at a 20-year high. As of May 23, more than 288 cases have been reported this year. To put that in perspective, only 37 cases were reported in all of 2004. In 2002, measles had been declared eliminated in the Americas.

The CDC reports that most Americans have either contracted measles in the past, and are now immune, or have received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, among the most effective vaccinations available. Yet, measles is now an epidemic in Minnesota, where a 2.5-year-old child was identified by the science journal Pediatrics last month as patient zero, ultimately responsible for exposing more than 3,000 people in its community to the disease.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/anti_vaxx_insanity_new_study_highlights_the_dangers_of_science_denialism/

Rupert Murdoch’s interest in Time Warner fuels industry speculation

Source: By Reuters

By Ronald Grover

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch jets into Idaho’s Sun Valley next week for the year’s most exclusive tech and media industry gathering, armed with both the money and the appetite for a major deal.

The 83-year-old Twenty-First Century Fox Inc chief executive officer, a regular at investment bank Allen & Co’s annual gathering, is in the midst of a deal that would give Fox the firepower to buy a content company.

Fox’s 39 percent-owned British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc is negotiating to buy Fox’s Sky Italia and its Sky Deutschland subsidiary in a deal that could net Fox as much as $13 billion.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/01/rupert-murdochs-interest-in-time-warner-fuels-industry-speculation/
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