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Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:14 AM

Bill Clinton was going to privatize Social Security until, uh, Fate stopped him.



How Monica Lewinsky Saved Social Security

by ROBIN BLACKBURN
CounterPunch, OCTOBER 30, 2004

Had it not been for Monica’s captivating smile and first inviting snap of that famous thong, President Bill Clinton would have consummated the politics of triangulation, heeding the counsel of a secret White House team and deputy treasury secretary Larry Summers. Late in 1998 or in the State of the Union message of 1999 a solemn Clinton would have told Congress and the nation that, just like welfare, Social Security was near-broke, had to be “reformed” and its immense pool of capital tendered in part to the mutual funds industry. The itinerary mapped out for Clinton by the Democratic Leadership Committee would have been complete.

SNIP...

The “Special Issues” secret team was set up by then-Deputy Treasury Secretary Larry Summers (later elevated to Treasury Secretary and now President of Harvard) and Gene Sperling, the head of the Council of Economic Advisers. The Deputy Treasury Secretary’s fondness for schemes to privatize Social Security comes as no surprise. As Chief Economist of the World Bank in the early 1990s Summers had commissioned a notorious report, “Averting the Old Age Crisis”, that argued that Merrill Lynch and Fidelity would be better at pension provision than any government. In fact governments should offer only a safety net and farm out their power to tax payrolls to private financial concerns, which would run mandatory funded pensions on the Chilean model. The task of the Special Issues group was to find an installment of privatization that could reconcile realistic Republicans and Democrats, and be sold as still honoring most existing entitlements.

Participants at the Harvard conference conceded that severe technical problems beset efforts to introduce commercial practices. The existing program has low administration costs whereas running tens of millions of small investment accounts would be expensive. The secret White House team sought to finesse the problem by pooling individual funds and stripping down the element of choice or customer service. But Summers was unhappy: as one Team member now recalls it, “Deputy Secretary Summers was fond of saying that we had to guard against the risk of setting up the Post Office when people were used to dealing with Federal Express”. And pooled funds were also to be avoided because they would risk government control of business.

SNIP...

In his 1999 State of the Union address Clinton seized the initiative from the privatizers with a bold new plan that gave substance to the “Save Social Security First” slogan. He proposed that 62 per cent of the budget surplus should be used to build up the Social Security trust fund. He promised to veto any attempt to divert Social Security funds to other uses, and he urged that 15 per cent of the trust fund should be invested in the stock market, not by individuals but by the Social Security Administration.

SNIP...

Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan was willing to see the budget surplus pledged to Social Security but he denounced the plan to invest the trust fund in equities on the grounds that it would lead to government interference in business. A writer in the New York Times, January 25, 1999, warned that if the trust fund was allowed to invest in stocks and shares it would be impossible to prevent the politicization of investment: “The danger is that Congress will meddle, for example, steering funds into environmentally-friendly companies rather than, say, tobacco companies.”

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/10/30/how-monica-lewinsky-saved-social-security/


Privatization through incrementalism is an example of New Democratic thinking at odds with traditional Democratic thinking.

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Reply Bill Clinton was going to privatize Social Security until, uh, Fate stopped him. (Original post)
Octafish Apr 2016 OP
reddread Apr 2016 #1
Octafish Apr 2016 #3
haikugal Apr 2016 #11
Octafish Apr 2016 #37
jwirr Apr 2016 #46
haikugal Apr 2016 #49
CorporatistNation Apr 2016 #58
Octafish Apr 2016 #89
djean111 Apr 2016 #2
Octafish Apr 2016 #18
Califonz Apr 2016 #92
Jackie Wilson Said Apr 2016 #101
chillfactor Apr 2016 #4
workinclasszero Apr 2016 #6
cui bono Apr 2016 #56
chascarrillo Apr 2016 #14
Ferd Berfel Apr 2016 #17
appalachiablue Apr 2016 #99
djean111 Apr 2016 #20
Armstead Apr 2016 #53
azurnoir Apr 2016 #93
workinclasszero Apr 2016 #5
Octafish Apr 2016 #10
Dragonfli Apr 2016 #7
Octafish Apr 2016 #32
Dragonfli Apr 2016 #33
reddread Apr 2016 #8
Octafish Apr 2016 #34
BlindTiresias Apr 2016 #80
highprincipleswork Apr 2016 #9
Octafish Apr 2016 #95
haikugal Apr 2016 #12
Onlooker Apr 2016 #13
Octafish Apr 2016 #31
bbgrunt Apr 2016 #15
Octafish Apr 2016 #40
arikara Apr 2016 #16
Octafish Apr 2016 #23
Gomez163 Apr 2016 #26
TeeYiYi Apr 2016 #38
ljm2002 Apr 2016 #105
ViseGrip Apr 2016 #19
Octafish Apr 2016 #45
Overseas Apr 2016 #21
Octafish Apr 2016 #48
Overseas Apr 2016 #76
Octafish Apr 2016 #77
Overseas Apr 2016 #78
Octafish Apr 2016 #79
Overseas Apr 2016 #84
Overseas Apr 2016 #81
WhenTheLeveeBreaks Apr 2016 #22
Octafish Apr 2016 #25
WhenTheLeveeBreaks Apr 2016 #30
Octafish Apr 2016 #36
Samantha Apr 2016 #41
arikara Apr 2016 #35
WhenTheLeveeBreaks Apr 2016 #43
arikara Apr 2016 #50
jwirr Apr 2016 #47
Doctor_J Apr 2016 #52
BernieforPres2016 Apr 2016 #24
Octafish Apr 2016 #61
Arugula Latte Apr 2016 #27
Octafish Apr 2016 #97
bobthedrummer Apr 2016 #28
vintx Apr 2016 #42
Octafish Apr 2016 #63
bobthedrummer Apr 2016 #85
Octafish Apr 2016 #86
bobthedrummer Apr 2016 #87
amborin Apr 2016 #29
Octafish Apr 2016 #67
magical thyme Apr 2016 #39
Octafish Apr 2016 #88
magical thyme Apr 2016 #90
jfern Apr 2016 #44
SoLeftIAmRight Apr 2016 #51
Octafish Apr 2016 #96
MattP Apr 2016 #54
Octafish Apr 2016 #65
cantbeserious Apr 2016 #55
Octafish Apr 2016 #103
BlueStateLib Apr 2016 #57
Octafish Apr 2016 #100
AzDar Apr 2016 #59
silvershadow Apr 2016 #60
apnu Apr 2016 #62
Octafish Apr 2016 #64
apnu Apr 2016 #66
Octafish Apr 2016 #68
apnu Apr 2016 #69
Octafish Apr 2016 #70
apnu Apr 2016 #71
Octafish Apr 2016 #72
apnu Apr 2016 #73
Octafish Apr 2016 #75
BlindTiresias Apr 2016 #82
senz Apr 2016 #74
Ferd Berfel Apr 2016 #83
Vinca Apr 2016 #91
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 2016 #94
BreakfastClub Apr 2016 #98
silvershadow Apr 2016 #102
WDIM Apr 2016 #104
senz Apr 2016 #106

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:15 AM

1. sloppy first attempt

 

no wonder he wants back in there

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Response to reddread (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:20 AM

3. CIA, Nixon, Kissinger & Chicago Boys privatized social security in Chile

The author was a Chicago Boy helping implement the privatization scam for Pinochet, ITT and the globalist crowd:



President Clinton and the Chilean Model.

By José Piñera

Midnight at the House of Good and Evil

"It is 12:30 at night, and Bill Clinton asks me and Dottie: 'What do you know about the Chilean social-security system?'” recounted Richard Lamm, the three-term former governor of Colorado. It was March 1995, and Lamm and his wife were staying that weekend in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House.

I read about this surprising midnight conversation in an article by Jonathan Alter (Newsweek, May 13, 1996), as I was waiting at Dulles International Airport for a flight to Europe. The article also said that early the next morning, before he left to go jogging, President Bill Clinton arranged for a special report about the Chilean reform produced by his staff to be slipped under Lamm's door.

That news piqued my interest, so as soon as I came back to the United States, I went to visit Richard Lamm. I wanted to know the exact circumstances in which the president of the world’s superpower engages a fellow former governor in a Saturday night exchange about the system I had implemented 15 years earlier.

Lamn and I shared a coffee on the terrace of his house in Denver. He not only was the most genial host to this curious Chilean, but he also proved to be deeply motivated by the issues surrounding aging and the future of America. So we had an engaging conversation. At the conclusion, I ventured to ask him for a copy of the report that Clinton had given him. He agreed to give it to me on the condition that I do not make it public while Clinton was president. He also gave me a copy of the handwritten note on White House stationery, dated 3-21-95, which accompanied the report slipped under his door. It read:

Dick,
Sorry I missed you this morning.
It was great to have you and Dottie here.
Here's the stuff on Chile I mentioned.
Best,
Bill.


Three months before that Clinton-Lamm conversation about the Chilean system, I had a long lunch in Santiago with journalist Joe Klein of Newsweek magazine. A few weeks afterwards, he wrote a compelling article entitled,[font color="green"] "If Chile can do it...couldn´t North America privatize its social-security system?" [/font color]He concluded by stating that "the Chilean system is perhaps the first significant social-policy idea to emanate from the Southern Hemisphere." (Newsweek, December 12, 1994).

I have reasons to think that probably this piece got Clinton’s attention and, given his passion for policy issues, he became a quasi expert on Chile’s Social Security reform. Clinton was familiar with Klein, as the journalist covered the 1992 presidential race and went on anonymously to write the bestseller Primary Colors, a thinly-veiled account of Clinton’s campaign.

“The mother of all reforms”

While studying for a Masters and a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University, I became enamored with America’s unique experiment in liberty and limited government. In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville wrote the first volume of Democracy in America hoping that many of the salutary aspects of American society might be exported to his native France. I dreamed with exporting them to my native Chile.

So, upon finishing my Ph.D. in 1974 and while fully enjoying my position as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University and a professor at Boston University, I took on the most difficult decision in my life: to go back to help my country rebuild its destroyed economy and democracy along the lines of the principles and institutions created in America by the Founding Fathers. Soon after I became Secretary of Labor and Social Security, and in 1980 I was able to create a fully funded system of personal retirement accounts. Historian Niall Ferguson has stated that this reform was “the most profound challenge to the welfare state in a generation. Thatcher and Reagan came later. The backlash against welfare started in Chile.”

But while de Tocqueville’s 1835 treatment contained largely effusive praise of American government, the second volume of Democracy in America, published five years later, strikes a more cautionary tone. He warned that “the American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.” In fact at some point during the 20th century, the culture of self reliance and individual responsibility that had made America a great and free nation was diluted by the creation of [font color="green"] “an Entitlement State,”[/font color] reminiscent of the increasingly failed European welfare state. What America needed was a return to basics, to the founding tenets of limited government and personal responsibility.

[font color="green"]In a way, the principles America helped export so successfully to Chile through a group of free market economists needed to be reaffirmed through an emblematic reform. I felt that the Chilean solution to the impending Social Security crisis could be applied in the USA.[/font color]

CONTINUED...

http://www.josepinera.org/articles/articles_clinton_chilean_model.htm



Democratic solutions work because they are Democratic, not capitalist.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:35 AM

11. Everyone should read up on 'The Chicago Boys'...it's important.

Thanks for your informative posts and links Octafish...you're making a difference!

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Response to haikugal (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 04:16 PM

37. Much of what gets decided economically & politically, not just national defense, gets done in secret

Decisions made in secret are undemocratic for a reason: They are conducted by secret agencies and benefit secret parties.

David Talbot, in his new book, "The Devil's Chessboard," writes that much of what we see today: From wars that never end abroad to fights for fewer and fewer jobs at home, are the result of decisions done by members of the secret government working in concert with the interests of Wall Street. It's what Ike warned us about, except he didn't name the names: Allen Welsh Dulles.

That was how much of the illegal got institutionalized.



The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld

By Prof Peter Dale Scott
Global Research, March 10, 2014
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 12, Issue 10, No. 5

EXCERPT...

The Safari Club Milieu: George H.W. Bush, Theodore Shackley, and BCCI

The usual account of this super-agency’s origin is that it was

the brainchild of Count Alexandre de Marenches, the debonair and mustachioed chief of France’s CIA. The SDECE (Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage)…. Worried by Soviet and Cuban advances in postcolonial Africa, and by America’s post-Watergate paralysis in the field of undercover activity, the swashbuckling Marenches had come to Turki’s father, King Faisal, with a proposition…. [By 1979] Somali president Siad Barre had been bribed out of Soviet embrace by $75 million worth of Egyptian arms (paid for… by Saudi Arabia)….95

Joseph Trento adds that “The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations,… With the official blessing of George Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed… the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a worldwide money-laundering machine.”.96

Trento claims also that the Safari Club then was able to work with some of the controversial CIA operators who were then forced out of the CIA by Turner, and that this was coordinated by perhaps the most controversial of them all: Theodore Shackley.

Shackley, who still had ambitions to become DCI, believed that without his many sources and operatives like [Edwin] Wilson, the Safari Club—operating with [former DCI Richard] Helms in charge in Tehran—would be ineffective. … Unless Shackley took direct action to complete the privatization of intelligence operations soon, the Safari Club would not have a conduit to [CIA] resources. The solution: create a totally private intelligence network using CIA assets until President Carter could be replaced.97

Kevin Phillips has suggested that Bush on leaving the CIA had dealings with the bank most closely allied with Safari Club operations: the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). In Phillips’ words,

After leaving the CIA in January 1977, Bush became chairman of the executive committee of First International Bancshares and its British subsidiary, where, according to journalists Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin in their 1992 book ‘False Profits’ [p. 345], Bush ‘traveled on the bank’s behalf and sometimes marketed to international banks in London, including several Middle Eastern institutions.’98

Joseph Trento adds that through the London branch of this bank, which Bush chaired, “Adham’s petrodollars and BCCI money flowed for a variety of intelligence operations”99

It is clear moreover that BCCI operations, like Khashoggi’s before them, were marked by the ability to deal behind the scenes with both the Arab countries and also Israel.100

It is clear that for years the American deep state in Washington was both involved with and protected BCCI. Acting CIA director Richard Kerr acknowledged to a Senate Committee “that the CIA had also used BCCI for certain intelligence-gathering operations.”101

Later, a congressional inquiry showed that for more than ten years preceding the BCCI collapse in the summer of 1991, the FBI, the DEA, the CIA, the Customs Service, and the Department of Justice all failed to act on hundreds of tips about the illegalities of BCCI’s international activities.102

Far less clear is the attitude taken by Wall Street banks towards the miscreant BCCI. The Senate report on BCCI charged however that the Bank of England “had withheld information about BCCI’s frauds from public knowledge for 15 months before closing the bank.”103

CONTINUED...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-state-the-deep-state-and-the-wall-street-overworld/5372843



Then, there's the time when the President said we were not going to send combat troops to Vietnam.

PS: ETA the most important part: You are most welcome, haikugal. I very much appreciate the kind words. Thank you for grokking and putting the truth into action.

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Response to haikugal (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 07:06 PM

46. Read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" for one.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #46)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 07:22 PM

49. Yes that's a good one...

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Response to jwirr (Reply #46)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 11:46 PM

58. Agreed! The Shock Doctrine Treatise treats This Nonsense Well...So If the Other Night's Festivities

taught us nothing else... everyone should have learned that Hillary remains quite "malleable" when it comes to Social Security as does husband Bill... on Medicare and by history Social Security! Witness his recent backstage conversation with Paul Ryan.... on Medicare.... So who is on who's side... Same side... really... The $ MONEY PARTY$ is in charge!

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Response to jwirr (Reply #46)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 04:12 PM

89. You know who HATES Naomi Klein?

Tyler Cowen, economist and pro-war wunderkid.

How he ties in to the story...

Naomi Klein wrote extensively about Chile and the Chicago Boys in her book, "The Shock Doctrine."



Theory: The Shock Doctrine

Contributed by Mark Engler

“Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change.” -- Neoliberal economist Milton Friedman

In Sum: Pro-corporate neoliberals treat crises such as wars, coups, natural disasters and economic downturns as prime opportunities to impose an agenda of privatization, deregulation, and cuts to social services.

Origins: Naomi Klein’s 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

The shock doctrine is a theory for explaining the way that force, stealth and crisis are used in implementing neoliberal economic policies such as privatization, deregulation and cuts to social services. Author Naomi Klein advanced this theory in her 2007 book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

By way of metaphor, Klein recounts the history of electroshock therapy experiments conducted by Scottish psychiatrist Ewen Cameron for the CIA in the 1950s. Cameron’s “shock therapy” sought to return troubled patients to a blank slate on which he could write a new personality. Klein argues that a parallel “shock therapy” process has been used at the macro level to impose neoliberal economic policies in countries around the world.

The shock doctrine posits that in periods of disorientation following wars, coups, natural disasters and economic panics, pro-corporate reformers aggressively push through unpopular “free market” measures. For more than thirty years, Klein writes, followers of Milton Friedman and other market fundamentalists have been “perfecting this very strategy: waiting for a major crisis, then selling off pieces of the state to private players while citizens were still reeling from the shock, then quickly making the ‘reforms’ permanent.”

One of the earliest examples of the shock doctrine is the case of Chile. In 1973, Chile’s democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende was overthrown in a coup d’état led by army general Augusto Pinochet, with support from the United States. Amid lingering turmoil created by the coup and tensions caused by the ensuing economic downturn, Milton Friedman suggested that Pinochet implement a “shock program” of sweeping reforms including privatization of state-owned industries, elimination of trade barriers, and cuts to government spending. To implement these policies, the Pinochet regime appointed to important positions several Chilean disciples of Friedman. Additionally, to squash popular movements that opposed these changes, the regime unleashed a notorious program of torture and “disappearances,” which ultimately led to the deaths of thousands of dissidents.

CONTINUED...

http://beautifultrouble.org/theory/the-shock-doctrine/



For some reason, economist and neo-something Tyler Cowen has a big problem with that idea. The economist frp, George Mason University has seen the future and it looks bleak for most of us. Thankfully, the United States of America may be in for good times, especially for those perched atop the socio-economic pyramid scheme, should war break out.



Shock Jock

By TYLER COWEN | October 3, 2007
Book Review
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein

EXCERPT...

Ms. Klein's rhetoric is ridiculous. For instance, she attaches import to the fact that the word "tank" appears in the label "think tank." In her book, free market advocates are tarred with the brush of torture, because free market advocates often support unpopular policies, and torture also often supports unpopular policies. Clearly, by her tactic of freewheeling association, free market advocates must support torture. Often Ms. Klein's proffered connections are so impressionistic and so reliant on a smarmy wink to the knowing that it is impossible to present them, much less critique them, in the short space of a book review.

Rarely are the simplest facts, many of which complicate Ms. Klein's presentation, given their proper due. First, the reach of government has been growing in virtually every developed nation in the world, including in America, and it hardly seems that a far-reaching free market conspiracy controls much of anything in the wealthy nations. Second, Friedman and most other free market economists have consistently called for limits on state power, including the power to torture. Third, the reach of government has been shrinking in India and China, to the indisputable benefit of billions. Fourth, it is the New Deal — the greatest restriction on capitalism in 20th century America and presumably beloved by Ms. Klein — that was imposed in a time of crisis. Fifth, many of the crises of the 20th century resulted from anti-capitalistic policies, rather than from capitalism: China was falling apart because of the murderous and tyrannical policies of Chairman Mao, which then led to bottom-up demands for capitalistic reforms; New Zealand and Chile abandoned socialistic policies for freer markets because the former weren't working well and induced economic crises.

But the reader will search in vain for an intelligent discussion of any of these points. What the reader will find is a series of fabricated claims, such as the suggestion that Margaret Thatcher created the Falkland Islands crisis to crush the unions and foist unfettered capitalism upon an unwilling British public.

The simplest response to Ms. Klein's polemic is to invoke old school conservatism. This approach, most prominently represented by classical liberal Friedrich Hayek, rejected the idea of throwing out or revising all social institutions at once. Indeed the long history of conservative thought stands behind moderation in most matters of social and economic policy. That tradition does advise a scaling down of free market ambitions, no matter how good they may sound in theory, and is probably our best hedge against disasters of our own making. Such a simple — indeed sensible — point would not have produced a best-selling screed, however. And so we return to charging Friedman as an enabler of torture. The clash between democratic preferences and policy prescriptions is, if anything, a problem for Ms. Klein herself. Ms. Klein's previous book, "No Logo" (2000), called for rebellion against advertising and multinational corporations, two institutions which have proved remarkably popular with ordinary democratic citizens. Starbucks is ubiquitous because of pressure from the bottom, not because of a top-down decision to force capitalism upon the suffering workers in a time of crisis.

If nothing else, Ms. Klein's book provides an interesting litmus test as to who is willing to condemn its shoddy reasoning. In the New York Times, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz defended the book: "Klein is not an academic and cannot be judged as one." So nonacademics get a pass on sloppy thinking, false "facts," and emotional appeals? In making economic claims, Ms. Klein demands to be judged by economists' standards — or at the very least, standards of simple truth or falsehood. Mr. Stiglitz continued: "There are many places in her book where she oversimplifies. But Friedman and the other shock therapists were also guilty of oversimplification." Have we come to citing the failures of one point of view to excuse the mistakes of another?

With "The Shock Doctrine," Ms. Klein has become the kind of brand she lamented in "No Logo." Brands offer a simplification of image and presentation, rather than stressing the complexity, the details, and the inevitable trade-offs of a particular product. Recently, Ms. Klein told the Financial Times, "I stopped talking about (the campaign against brands) about two weeks after ‘No Logo' was published." She admitted that brands were never her real target, rather they were a convenient means of attacking the capitalist system more generally. In the same interview, Ms. Klein also tellingly remarked, "I believe people believe their own bulls---. Ideology can be a great enabler for greed."

CONTINUED...

http://www.nysun.com/arts/shock-jock/63867/



Which is all fine and good, until we remember that's what Naomi Klein was saying, that what destroyed democracy in Chile and threatens to destroy it in the USA. And not only that, WAR is what Tyler Cowen sees as being the economy of the future.



The Pitfalls of Peace

The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth

Tyler Cowen
The New York Times, JUNE 13, 2014

The continuing slowness of economic growth in high-income economies has prompted soul-searching among economists. They have looked to weak demand, rising inequality, Chinese competition, over-regulation, inadequate infrastructure and an exhaustion of new technological ideas as possible culprits.

An additional explanation of slow growth is now receiving attention, however. It is the persistence and expectation of peace.

The world just hasn’t had that much warfare lately, at least not by historical standards. Some of the recent headlines about Iraq or South Sudan make our world sound like a very bloody place, but today’s casualties pale in light of the tens of millions of people killed in the two world wars in the first half of the 20th century. Even the Vietnam War had many more deaths than any recent war involving an affluent country.

Counterintuitive though it may sound, the greater peacefulness of the world may make the attainment of higher rates of economic growth less urgent and thus less likely. This view does not claim that fighting wars improves economies, as of course the actual conflict brings death and destruction. The claim is also distinct from the Keynesian argument that preparing for war lifts government spending and puts people to work. Rather, the very possibility of war focuses the attention of governments on getting some basic decisions right — whether investing in science or simply liberalizing the economy. Such focus ends up improving a nation’s longer-run prospects.

It may seem repugnant to find a positive side to war in this regard, but a look at American history suggests we cannot dismiss the idea so easily. Fundamental innovations such as nuclear power, the computer and the modern aircraft were all pushed along by an American government eager to defeat the Axis powers or, later, to win the Cold War. The Internet was initially designed to help this country withstand a nuclear exchange, and Silicon Valley had its origins with military contracting, not today’s entrepreneurial social media start-ups. The Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite spurred American interest in science and technology, to the benefit of later economic growth.

War brings an urgency that governments otherwise fail to summon. For instance, the Manhattan Project took six years to produce a working atomic bomb, starting from virtually nothing, and at its peak consumed 0.4 percent of American economic output. It is hard to imagine a comparably speedy and decisive achievement these days.

SNIP...

Living in a largely peaceful world with 2 percent G.D.P. growth has some big advantages that you don’t get with 4 percent growth and many more war deaths. Economic stasis may not feel very impressive, but it’s something our ancestors never quite managed to pull off. The real questions are whether we can do any better, and whether the recent prevalence of peace is a mere temporary bubble just waiting to be burst.

Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/upshot/the-lack-of-major-wars-may-be-hurting-economic-growth.html?_r=0



[font color="purple"]Dr. Cowen, from what I've read, is a fine person and not one to promulgate war. He's just sayin'.

He has commented on other Big Ticket economic themes impacting us today: "Inequality," for another instance.
[/font color]



Tired Of Inequality? One Economist Says It'll Only Get Worse

by NPR STAFF
September 12, 2013 3:05 AM

Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:

"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."

It's a radical change from the America of 40 or 50 years ago. Cowen believes the wealthy will become more numerous, and even more powerful. The elderly will hold on to their benefits ... the young, not so much. Millions of people who might have expected a middle class existence may have to aspire to something else.

SNIP...

Some people, he predicts, may just have to find a new definition of happiness that costs less money. Cowen says this widening is the result of a shifting economy. Computers will play a larger role and people who can work with computers can make a lot. He also predicts that everyone will be ruthlessly graded — every slice of their lives, monitored, tracked and recorded.

CONTINUED with link to the audio...

http://www.npr.org/2013/09/12/221425582/tired-of-inequality-one-economist-says-itll-only-get-worse



For some reason, the interview with Steve Inskeep didn't bring up the subject of the GOVERNMENT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT LIKE IN THE NEW DEAL so I thought I'd bring it up. I know you know, Zorra, but other DUers may not recall that the Democratic Party once actually did Big Things for the average American, from school and work to housing and justice. But, we can't afford that now, obviously, thanks to austerity or the sequester or the divided government or whatever it is we can't afford it, but forget we do have the ability to print up whatever amount the Banksters need to make whole their losses at the casino every time.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:17 AM

2. And there is no sane or valid reason to believe Hillary wouldn't do this. With the happy

 

cooperation of the GOP. "Working together" to screw Social Security. Grinning photo ops, all around.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:23 AM

18. Pete Peterson certainly seems interested in her political career.

Pete Peterson, the presidents' friend also is friends with the people who can afford those nice things like yachts and jets and favors. Ms. Clinton as Secretary of State addressed the guy's politico-economic philosophy:

Hillary Clinton Speaks from Peter G. Peterson Institute on Foreign Aid

C-SPAN aired Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks at the Peter G. Peterson Institute. Pete Peterson made billions as a private equity underwriter (PEU). He used $1 billion to establish his institute, focused on getting America's financial house of cards in order (without asking corporations or the rich to step up in any major way.)

[font color="green"]America believes government cannot do anything competently, thus the private sector is the answer. That goes for international development.[/font color]

SNIP...

That requires partners. Giants of philanthropy gathered in New York in 2009. This list included Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Pete Peterson, George Soros, David Rockefeller, and Oprah Winfrey.

SNIP...

Clinton stated in her talk:

[font color="green"][font size="5"]Aid chases need, investment chases opportunity.[/font size][/font color]


[font color="green"]She mentioned the Clinton Foundation as a partner. President Bill Clinton privatized government functions during his two terms, benefiting multiple private equity underwriters.[/font color]

CONTINUED w/links, video etc...

http://stateofthedivision.blogspot.com/2010/01/hillary-clinton-speaks-from-peter-g.html


Thanks to Pete Peterson's friends, 99-percent of We the People are too busy trying to keep a roof over our family's heads to notice that or that these are the wealthiest times in human history by far.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 04:47 PM

92. I wonder if openness to privatizing SS

 

is what she suggested in her $235,000 speeches to Wall Street and why she won't release the transcripts.

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Response to Califonz (Reply #92)

Mon Apr 25, 2016, 01:37 PM

101. That would sure as hell piss me off if true.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:21 AM

4. in case you bernie people missed it..

Bill is not running for office...and Monica..really? really? you do grasp at straws.

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:22 AM

6. The desperation is at freeper levels now

 

it seems.

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 11:33 PM

56. Yes it is. Popegate has caused many Hillarians to lose their shit lately.

"Feeper levels" is a compliment compared to where they have sunk to.

.

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:46 AM

14. And Hillary had no influence on public policy.

Pull my other leg.

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:19 AM

17. History is important - We sure as hell don't want a repeat of a CLinton Admin

SS was destroyed in Chile by this. THey are still attempting to do that here. Obama tried it by putting SS on the chopping block

the CLintonistas could have added another devastating notch to their collective belts




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Response to Ferd Berfel (Reply #17)

Tue Apr 19, 2016, 07:34 PM

99. +10

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 11:23 AM

20. We are not the ones grasping at straws. Those who do not remember history are doomed to

 

repeat it. And - I have seen some here swooning over the two for the (very high) price of one. Plus - Hillary is Ms. Third Way.

And if there was a blue dress in Bernie's background, the Hillary campaign/minions/supporters would be all over it. The blue dress symbolizes, to me, just how far the Clintons will go to cover up misdeeds. Interesting that Monica was approached because of Paula Jones, really.

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:15 PM

53. In case you missed it -- Hillary said Bill would be a trusted economic advisor

 

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 04:53 PM

93. No however he did call Hillary his co-president are you saying she will not reciprocate?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:21 AM

5. You sure you want to use CounterPunch as a source?

 

They certainly have a lot of interesting things to say about Bernie Sanders too.

Why don't you post some of that?

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:28 AM

10. Ideas don't scare me.

Feel free to post what you want. If I disagree, I'll let you know.

Almost forgot: What do you find in error in the OP?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:25 AM

7. Another excellent OP full of facts and history, thank you and K&R /nt

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 02:30 PM

32. The Pact Between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich

Two powerful foes secretly plot to reform Social Security and Medicare.

In the evening of Oct. 28, 1997, House Speaker Newt Gingrich headed to the White House to meet with President Bill Clinton, ostensibly to hammer out final details of the 1998 budget. In reality, Gingrich and Clinton were putting finishing touches on a deal to create a centrist political coalition to fix long-term problems facing Social Security and Medicare. In his new book, The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry That Defined a Generation, Steven Gillon, resident historian of the History Channel and a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma, reveals the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to the meeting and how the potentially historic effort was derailed in an instant by the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

U.S. News & World Report, May 29, 2008

While there were dozens of reform plans circulating around Washington, ranging from minor tinkering to radical overhaul, there was a growing consensus around "middle ground'' proposals that combined some structural changes in the retirement age with some form of private accounts. There were also hopeful signs that the public was ready for a serious discussion about Social Security reform. An August 1997 survey by Clinton pollster Mark Penn found that 73 percent of Democratic voters favored some form of privatization, and support was especially strong among younger workers. Independent polls also showed that many young people believed that without significant change the programs would not be able to provide for them in their old age.

SNIP...

The real problems would be on Capitol Hill, however, where the president's efforts would once again pit him against the leadership of his own party in the House. Relations between the parties were more cordial, less partisan in the Senate, making it easier to build a centrist coalition of Democrats and Republicans. In the House, Clinton hoped to bypass the party's liberal leadership and reassemble the coalition of suburban "New Democrats,'' who tended to be socially liberal but fiscally conservative, and "Blue Dogs,'' largely rural, southern conservative Democrats, who passed the balanced budget bill.

Despite being pushed by the two most powerful political figures in America, a massive overhaul of Social Security would be an uphill fight. Clinton always said that he needed at least 100 Democratic votes in the House to support a bill. Could he muster that many votes on an issue as controversial as Social Security? Could Gingrich, who had already suffered one rebellion and seen his hold on power seriously eroded, bring along enough moderate Republicans to seal the deal? All the key players—Clinton, Gingrich, Bowles, White House congressional liaison John Hilley, and Bill Archer—were cautiously optimistic. ''It wasn't crazy for them to think that if they could do the impossible and pass welfare reform and the balanced budget bill, they could do Social Security,'' reflected Bruce Reed, the president's chief domestic policy adviser.

The plan was for Clinton to make his bold initiative for reforming Social Security and Medicare the centerpiece of his State of the Union address in January 1998. Gingrich would follow the president's speech by making positive comments about the initiative. He would then ask Archer's Ways and Means Committee to make specific recommendations. Both sides would try to keep the issue off the table in the 1998 congressional elections, before pushing it through a lame-duck Congress in December. The president asked the American Association of Retired Persons and the Concord Coalition, an influential lobbying group that advocated fiscal discipline, to organize four regional forums to discuss the issue. The national ''dialogue'' would conclude with a White House conference on Social Security in December 1998—the same time that Congress would be voting on a reform proposal.

Just weeks before the State of the Union address, the administration started signaling that it would support some form of privatization. ''Given that we have to work with the Republicans, it's hard to see a plan passing without some individual account piece,'' a Clinton adviser told Business Week. Gingrich revealed his hand in a speech at a local Cobb County event. The goal was to strike a bipartisan note while positioning himself to come out in favor of Clinton's Social Security agenda. "There's no crisis, but there's a long, steady problem unless we invent a better model,'' he said.

SNIP...

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/05/29/the-pact-between-bill-clinton-and-newt-gingrich?page=4

PS: You are most welcome, Dragonfli. I very much appreciate you grokking -- and standing up against the hypocrisy and all the rest.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #32)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 02:36 PM

33. Thanks again for expansion of the truth, I love when you respond that way /nt

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:25 AM

8. when social security is tossed on the bonfire

 

I wonder how many
we will get?

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Response to reddread (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 03:43 PM

34. I tried to GOOGLE that once.



It's telling, where they fight.
They don't bring much ammo,
which explains the numbers.


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Response to reddread (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 11:08 AM

80. They will eat it up.

And argue that all the time actual Democratic principles demanded it.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:25 AM

9. Oh so that's what they mean by incremental change! I thought that's what I've been experiencing

 

all along.

That's why I'm not for Hillary. I can't trust her to stand up for what I or we want and need. I can trust her to stab me in the back with some change the Republicans say we need and that she will find a way to compromise with.

Bernie is the kind of NYC fighter that I want representing me!

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Response to highprincipleswork (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 18, 2016, 12:01 PM

95. The Shocking Redistribution of Wealth in the Past Five Years

It is amazing how fast Bush and Congress moved in 2008 to bail out the crooks who looted the banks with US taxpayer money. That way no one has a chance to object to what's happening.

When it comes to making life better for ALL Americans is when they have to be cautious. That way we don't notice what's happening to the water temperature.

In the meantime, here's what happened to us frogs.



The Shocking Redistribution of Wealth in the Past Five Years

by Paul Buchheit
Published on Monday, December 30, 2013 by Common Dreams

Anyone reviewing the data is likely to conclude that there must be some mistake. It doesn't seem possible that one out of twenty American families could each have made a million dollars since Obama became President, while the average American family's net worth has barely recovered. But the evidence comes from numerous reputable sources.

Some conservatives continue to claim that President Obama is unfriendly to business, but the facts show that the richest Americans and the biggest businesses have been the main - perhaps only - beneficiaries of the massive wealth gain over the past five years.

1. $5 Million to Each of the 1%, and $1 Million to Each of the Next 4%

From the end of 2008 to the middle of 2013 total U.S. wealth increased from $47 trillion to $72 trillion. About $16 trillion of that is financial gain (stocks and other financial instruments).

The richest 1% own about 38 percent of stocks, and half of non-stock financial assets. So they've gained at least $6.1 trillion (38 percent of $16 trillion). That's over $5 million for each of 1.2 million households.

The next richest 4%, based on similar calculations, gained about $5.1 trillion. That's over a million dollars for each of their 4.8 million households.

The least wealthy 90% in our country own only 11 percent of all stocks excluding pensions (which are fast disappearing). The frantic recent surge in the stock market has largely bypassed these families.

2. Evidence of Our Growing Wealth Inequality

This first fact is nearly ungraspable: In 2009 the average wealth for almost half of American families was ZERO (their debt exceeded their assets).

In 1983 the families in America's poorer half owned an average of about $15,000. But from 1983 to 1989 median wealth fell from over $70,000 to about $60,000. From 1998 to 2009, fully 80% of American families LOST wealth. They had to borrow to stay afloat.

It seems the disparity couldn't get much worse, but after the recession it did. According to a Pew Research Center study, in the first two years of recovery the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%. And then, from 2011 to 2013, the stock market grew by almost 50 percent, with again the great majority of that gain going to the richest 5%.

Today our wealth gap is worse than that of the third world. Out of all developed and undeveloped countries with at least a quarter-million adults, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon.

3. Congress' Solution: Take from the Poor

Congress has responded by cutting unemployment benefits and food stamps, along with other 'sequester' targets like Meals on Wheels for seniors and Head Start for preschoolers. The more the super-rich make, the more they seem to believe in the cruel fantasy that the poor are to blame for their own struggles.

President Obama recently proclaimed that inequality "drives everything I do in this office." Indeed it may, but in the wrong direction.

FORUM HOSTS, PLEASE NOTE: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at [email protected]

Original Article: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/30-0


Us poor frogs.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:37 AM

12. K&R! Another big thanks!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:38 AM

13. That's a boldface lie ...

 

... Anyone who remembers that battle at all remembers how hard Clinton and the Democrats fought against the drive to privatize Social Security. It was a difficult battle at the time because the Republicans under Newt and his Contract on America were very strong, but the Democrats prevailed. If Clinton wanted to privatize or take steps towards privatizing Social Security, he certainly could have done so because both the Republicans and conservative Democrats were open to the idea.

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Response to Onlooker (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 02:25 PM

31. ''Erskine, I want you to know that this story is not true.'' -- Bill Clinton

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 09:50 AM

15. K and R! The truth needs to be known.

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Response to bbgrunt (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 05:55 PM

40. ''What would GOLDMAN think?'' -- Larry Summers

Larry Summers: Goldman Sacked

By Greg Palast
Reader Supported News, September 16, 2013

Joseph Stiglitz couldn't believe his ears. Here they were in the White House, with President Bill Clinton asking the chiefs of the US Treasury for guidance on the life and death of America's economy, when the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers turns to his boss, Secretary Robert Rubin, and says, "What would Goldman think of that?"

Huh?

Then, at another meeting, Summers said it again: What would Goldman think?

A shocked Stiglitz, then Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, told me he'd turned to Summers, and asked if Summers thought it appropriate to decide US economic policy based on "what Goldman thought." As opposed to say, the facts, or say, the needs of the American public, you know, all that stuff that we heard in Cabinet meetings on The West Wing.

[font color="green"]Summers looked at Stiglitz like Stiglitz was some kind of naive fool who'd read too many civics books. [/font color]

CONTINUED...

http://www.gregpalast.com/larry-summers-goldman-sacked/

PS: For some reason, this important information is missing when Corporate McPravda mentions Larry Summers.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:13 AM

16. And poor Monica paid a very high price

Monica's Ted Talk, well worth a listen.

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Response to arikara (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 11:55 AM

23. Thank you, arikara. Hers is an outstanding presentation detailing cyberbullying...

Her messages of empathy and compassion re-emphasize why it's important to follow the Golden Rule online and in real life. She probably wishes she had never fallen in love with her boss -- whose responsibility as the authority figure was to keep his libido in check.

Hearing her voice and seeing her expression makes me see she practices what she preaches. Unlike her portrayal in the press and online, she really is a remarkable human being.

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Response to arikara (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 12:24 PM

26. I agree that the media treated her horribly. And her friend betrayed her.

 

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Response to arikara (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 04:17 PM

38. Thank you so much for posting that...

...extremely powerful TED Talk.

TYY

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Response to arikara (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 25, 2016, 04:44 PM

105. That was a good talk...

...thanks for posting!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:55 AM

19. Kick, and keep kicking!

 

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Response to ViseGrip (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 07:01 PM

45. Larry Summers and the Secret ''End-Game'' Memo

Thursday, August 22, 2013
By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

EXCERPT...

The year was 1997. US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin was pushing hard to de-regulate banks. That required, first, repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act to dismantle the barrier between commercial banks and investment banks. It was like replacing bank vaults with roulette wheels.

Second, the banks wanted the right to play a new high-risk game: "derivatives trading." JP Morgan alone would soon carry $88 trillion of these pseudo-securities on its books as "assets."

Deputy Treasury Secretary Summers (soon to replace Rubin as Secretary) body-blocked any attempt to control derivatives.

But what was the use of turning US banks into derivatives casinos if money would flee to nations with safer banking laws?

[font color="green"]The answer conceived by the Big Bank Five: eliminate controls on banks in every nation on the planet – in one single move. It was as brilliant as it was insanely dangerous. [/font color]

CONTINUED...

http://www.gregpalast.com/larry-summers-and-the-secret-end-game-memo/

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 11:31 AM

21. K&R. I remember hating the "New Democrats" at the time

And yet feeling pressure to support the president because he was under attack from Republicans.

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Response to Overseas (Reply #21)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 07:22 PM

48. Invisible War by Economic Fascism

It's a Chicago School Thing.



America, we have a problem, a financial problem that gets ZERO coverage in Corporate McPravda:



Milton Friedman and the Rise of Monetary Fascism

The Dark Age of Money

by JAMES C. KENNEDY
CounterPunch Oct. 24, 2012

EXCERPT...

Monetary Fascism was created and propagated through the Chicago School of Economics. Milton Friedman’s collective works constitute the foundation of Monetary Fascism. Knowing that the term ’Fascism’ was universally unpopular; Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics masquerade these works as ‘Capitalism’ and ’Free Market’ economics.

SNIP...

The fundamental difference between Adam Smith’s free market capitalism and Friedman’s ‘free market capitalism’ is that Friedman’s is a hyper extractive model, the kind that creates and maintains Third-World-Countries and Banana-Republics, without geo-political borders.

If you say that this is nothing new, you miss the point. Friedman does not differentiate between some third world country and his own. The ultimate difference is that Friedman has created a model that sanctions and promotes the exploitation of his own country, in fact every country, for the benefit of the investor, money the uber-wealthy. He dressed up this noxious ideology as ‘free market capitalism’ and then convinced most of the world to embrace it as their economic salvation.

SNIP...

[font color="green"]Monetary Fascism, as conceived by Friedman, uses the powers of the state to put the interest of money and the financial class above and beyond all other forms of industry (and other stake holders) and the state itself.[/font color]

SNIP...

Money has become the state and the traditional state is forced to serve money’s interests. Everywhere the Financial Class is openly lording over sovereign nations. Ireland, Greece and Spain are subject to ultimatums and remember Hank Paulson’s $700 billion extortion from the U.S. Congress. The $700 billion was just the wedge. Thanks to unlimited access to the Discount Window, Quantitative Easing and other taxpayer funded debt-swap bailouts the total transfers to the financial industry exceeded $16 trillion as of July 2010 according to a Federal Reserve Audit. All of this was dumped on the taxpayer and it is still growing.

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/24/the-dark-age-of-money/



We need to get back to the day when people were more important than profits; when peace trumped money, Overseas. I, too, remember when that was what being a Democrat stood for.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #48)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 10:49 AM

76. I am definitely war weary. So many of us are. That explains a lot of Bernie's surge.

I really did think the last crash was a perfect opportunity for the Democrats to give the people a little relief with universal health care.

Old Democrats would have pushed it through with the knowledge that with so many economically devastated, the least we could do was provide the basic human right of Medicare for All.

And placing a tiny half-penny tax on every Wall Street trade to finance it and other needs like massive infrastructure repair and greening, with the major financial benefit of curbing giant speculative trading.

It is very difficult to know that wasn't done, with trillions going to the very groups that caused the crash in the first place. Even acknowledging the trillions is difficult. We are told to think about "only" the 700 billion "that has been paid back in full."

Old Democrats would have seized the time of great financial suffering to put through the most positive government move of relieving some of our suffering in terms of healthcare, to give the people a very tangible sense of what good democratic governance can do. They would have done what the GOP fears-- give the people a gut level national health security for our tax dollars.

Instead we are all asked to feel better because the 1% economy has improved for them.

And Bernie is always asked How Are You Gonna Pay For It? And we're encouraged to think of Medicare for All as pie in the sky.

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Response to Overseas (Reply #76)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 10:56 AM

77. For those reasons, I think Bernie's gonna win.

We the People are sick and tired of being sick and tired: People get sick and can't afford it. People work harder than ever for less.

For instance: [font color="green"]The money given out in Wall Street bonuses last year was twice the amount all minimum-wage workers earned combined.[/font color]

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/15/35_soul_crushing_facts_about_american_income_inequality_partner/

Did you see this from DUer imagine2015, Overseas?



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Response to Octafish (Reply #77)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 11:04 AM

78. K&R. Beautiful video message!

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Response to Overseas (Reply #78)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 11:06 AM

79. Isn't that cool?

Forgot the link, duh.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1251&pid=1760622

Brought a tear to the eye.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #79)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 11:19 AM

84. Yes! I'm gonna watch it again!

I love Harry Belafonte's statement.

Because it is astonishing how cruel our country has become over the last 30+ years by prioritizing corporations over people's needs.

It's like a time of Let Them Eat Ideology. "Free Trade" "Privatization is more efficient" The status quo tells us empowering corporations is most important, while people's needs are ignored.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #77)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 11:08 AM

81. K&R for the Salon list too.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 11:46 AM

22. I don't understand the problem of privatizing Social Security

 

I'm fairly old, 50+.

If I were to put pen to paper and calculate the amount of money I've paid into social security so far, I'm thinking it would be a staggering amount of money. If the government came to me with my pile of money and told me I could not touch it until I was 65 but I did have control over where it was invested, I would really like that.

I could choose treasury bonds (in effect the same place social security is invested in right now)
I could choose the American stock market, the international stock market, precious metals, commodities. Obviously these would be heavily regulated and diversified mutual funds and it is not like stock-picking.

Even if I didn't understand anything I could just leave it in T-bills and, in effect, social security stays public for me.

Then I think that if I was just starting out (25 years old) I would really, really like this.

I'm not sure why giving me this flexibility is bad? Could somebody explain this to me.

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Response to WhenTheLeveeBreaks (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 12:22 PM

25. Next time the stock market crashes and doesn't wipe out your retirement, you'll understand.

On the other hand, with privatized Social Security after a market, ah, adjustment, when you visit the Social Security office to ask for more money to make up for what some Bankster moved to Panama, you'll know why privatization is a bad thing: The nice person will say, "Sorry, you lost your money. No more money for you."

If you think regulation is going to stop the Banksters, you should meet Phil Gramm of UBS Wealth Management. UBS is a Swiss bank that is enjoying better days, thanks to the US taxpayer and a number of key US political leaders.

After his exit from the US Senate, Phil Gramm found a job at Swiss bank UBS as vice chairman. He later brought on former President Bill Clinton. What a coincidence, they are the two key figures in repealing Glass-Steagal. Since the New Deal it was the financial regulation that protected the US taxpayer from the Wall Street casino.





Hillary Helps a Bank—and Then It Funnels Millions to the Clintons

The Wall Street Journal’s eyebrow-raising story of how the presidential candidate and her husband accepted cash from UBS without any regard for the appearance of impropriety that it created.


by CONOR FRIEDERSDORF, The Atlantic, JUL 31, 2015

The Swiss bank UBS is one of the biggest, most powerful financial institutions in the world. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton intervened to help it out with the IRS. And after that, the Swiss bank paid Bill Clinton $1.5 million for speaking gigs. The Wall Street Journal reported all that and more Thursday in an article that highlights huge conflicts of interest that the Clintons have created in the recent past.

The piece begins by detailing how Clinton helped the global bank.

“A few weeks after Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state in early 2009, she was summoned to Geneva by her Swiss counterpart to discuss an urgent matter. The Internal Revenue Service was suing UBS AG to get the identities of Americans with secret accounts,” the newspaper reports. “If the case proceeded, Switzerland’s largest bank would face an impossible choice: Violate Swiss secrecy laws by handing over the names, or refuse and face criminal charges in U.S. federal court. Within months, Mrs. Clinton announced a tentative legal settlement—an unusual intervention by the top U.S. diplomat. UBS ultimately turned over information on 4,450 accounts, a fraction of the 52,000 sought by the IRS.”

Then reporters James V. Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus lay out how UBS helped the Clintons. “Total donations by UBS to the Clinton Foundation grew from less than $60,000 through 2008 to a cumulative total of about $600,000 by the end of 2014, according to the foundation and the bank,” they report. “The bank also joined the Clinton Foundation to launch entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs, through which it lent $32 million. And it paid former president Bill Clinton $1.5 million to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann, making UBS his biggest single corporate source of speech income disclosed since he left the White House.”

The article adds that “there is no evidence of any link between Mrs. Clinton’s involvement in the case and the bank’s donations to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, or its hiring of Mr. Clinton.” Maybe it’s all a mere coincidence, and when UBS agreed to pay Bill Clinton $1.5 million the relevant decision-maker wasn’t even aware of the vast sum his wife may have saved the bank or the power that she will potentially wield after the 2016 presidential election.

SNIP...

As McClatchy noted last month in a more broadly focused article that also mentions UBS, “Ten of the world’s biggest financial institutions––including UBS, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs––have hired Bill Clinton numerous times since 2004 to speak for fees totaling more than $6.4 million. Hillary Clinton also has accepted speaking fees from at least one bank. And along with an 11th bank, the French giant BNP Paribas, the financial goliaths also donated as much as $24.9 million to the Clinton Foundation––the family’s global charity set up to tackle causes from the AIDS epidemic in Africa to climate change.”

CONTINUED...

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/hillary-helps-a-bankand-then-it-pays-bill-15-million-in-speaking-fees/400067/



About UBS Wealth Management



It's a Buy-Partisan Who's Who:

President William J. Clinton
President George W. Bush Heh heh heh.
Robert J. McCann
James Carville
John V. Miller
Paula D. Polito
Anthony Roth
Mike Ryan
John Savercool

SOURCE: http://financialservicesinc.ubs.com/revitalizingamerica/SenatorPhilGramm.html

One of my attorney chums doesn't like to see his name on any committees, event letterhead or political campaign literature. These folks, it seems to me, are past caring.

Some of why DUers and ALL voters should care about Phil Gramm.



Until the Panama Papers, the nation's "news media" did not follow this story as it hurts their owners and operators -- the ones who profit from picking the pockets of the American taxpayers.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 12:48 PM

30. My calculation is different from yours

 

In my calculation it is not historically or mathematically possible to come out behind. But, if in your calculation it is, I would leave your social security in t-bills.

Remember, the way retirement/social security works is not that you put all the money in on Day X and remove it all on Day Y. You put it in over time and withdraw it over time. Your losing money scenario has never, ever happened. To tell you the truth, I have more faith in a decentralized system rather than the full faith and credit of the US government. The world will need wheat well beyond the US government's ability to pay its debts.

I'm not saying you can't leave your social security public, what I asking why can't I have choices.

Remember, anybody who is relying exclusively on social security for retirement is going to be in for a very large shock. Maybe once upon a time it was possible, but no longer.

BTW, I wouldn't have a problem if the rule was that when you reach 60, 100% has to be in t-bills or a minimum has to be in t-bills and that percentage grows as you age.

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Response to WhenTheLeveeBreaks (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 03:55 PM

36. Thank you for explaining in detail. My concern regards the same US government.

The people who call the shots don't do it in the sunlight.

Here's their argument for privatizing Social Security:

[font color="green"]By providing a much higher rate of return, privatization would raise the incomes of those elderly retirees who are most in need. [/font color]

Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/publications/social-security-choice-paper/privatizing-social-security-big-boost-poor


My analysis from 2007:

Know your BFEE: Spawn of Wall Street and the Third Reich

BTW: (That was before the crash and resultant rip-off to Switzerland, micromanaged personally by Phil Gramm, the Meyer Lansky of the War Party.)

Members of the Bush Family Evil Empire -- the public face of the War Party that has hijacked America -- embody the spawn of the Fourth Reich and Wall Street.



Warmonger by John Carroll.

Like the NAZI gangster warmongers they are, the BFEE's "work" serves only to enrich their cronies and their "actions" penure, enslave and kill innocent people.

How they got that way:



Allen Dulles, the NAZIs, and the CIA

By Cory Panshin
March 2005

Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg once stated that "The Dulles brothers were traitors." Some historians believe that Allen Dulles became head of the newly formed CIA in large part to cover up his treasonous behavior and that of his clients.

-- Christian Dewar, Making a Killing

Just before his death, James Jesus Angleton, the legendary chief of counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, was a bitter man. He felt betrayed by the people he had worked for all his life. In the end, he had come to realize that they were never really interested in American ideals of "freedom" and "democracy." They really only wanted "absolute power."

Angleton told author Joseph Trento that the reason he had gotten the counterintelligence job in the first place was by agreeing not to submit "sixty of Allen Dulles' closest friends" to a polygraph test concerning their business deals with the Nazis. In his end-of-life despair, Angleton assumed that he would see all his old companions again "in hell."

-- Michael Hasty, Paranoid Shift


EXCERPT…

Allen Welsh Dulles was born to privilege and a tradition of public service. He was the grandson of one secretary of state and the nephew of another. But by the time he graduated from Princeton in 1914, the robber baron era of American history was coming to an an end, ushered out by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act -- which had been used in 1911 to break up Standard Oil -- and by the institution of the progressive income tax in 1913. The ruling elite was starting to view government less as their own private preserve and more as an unwanted intrusion on their ability to conduct business as usual. That shift of loyalties in itself may account for many of the paradoxical aspects of Dulles's career.

Dulles entered the diplomatic service after college and served as a State Department delegate to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, which brought a formal end to World War I. The Versailles Treaty which came out of this conference included a provision making it illegal to sell arms to Germany. This displeased the powerful DuPont family, and they put pressure on the delegates to allow them to opt out. It was Allen Dulles who finally gave them the assurances they wanted that their transactions with Germany would be "winked at."

Dulles remained a diplomat through the early 1920's, spending part of that time in Berlin. However, he left government service in 1926 for the greener pastures of private business, becoming a Wall Street lawyer with the same firm as his older brother, John Foster Dulles.

By the middle 20's, Germany had started recovering from the effects of the war and its postwar economic collapse, and the great German industrial firms were looking like attractive investment opportunities for wealthy Americans. W.A. Harriman & Co., formed in 1919 by Averell Harriman (son of railroad baron E.H. Hariman) and George Herbert Walker, had led the way in directing American money to German companies and had opened a Berlin branch as early as 1922, when Germany was still in chaos. At that time, Averell Harriman traveled to Europe and made contact with the powerful Thyssen family of steel magnates. It was to be a long-lasting and fateful partnership.

CONTINUED…

http://www.enter.net/~torve/trogholm/secret/rightroots/...



How they stay that way:



The CIA and Nazi War Criminals

National Security Archive Posts Secret CIA History
Released Under Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act


National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 146

Edited by Tamara Feinstein

February 4, 2005

Washington D.C., February 4, 2005 - Today the National Security Archive posted the CIA's secret documentary history of the U.S government's relationship with General Reinhard Gehlen, the German army's intelligence chief for the Eastern Front during World War II. At the end of the war, Gehlen established a close relationship with the U.S. and successfully maintained his intelligence network (it ultimately became the West German BND) even though he employed numerous former Nazis and known war criminals. The use of Gehlen's group, according to the CIA history, Forging an Intelligence Partnership: CIA and the Origins of the BND, 1945-49, was a "double edged sword" that "boosted the Warsaw Pact's propaganda efforts" and "suffered devastating penetrations by the KGB."

The declassified "SECRET RelGER" two-volume history was compiled by CIA historian Kevin Ruffner and presented in 1999 by CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jack Downing to the German intelligence service (Bundesnachrichtendienst) in remembrance of "the new and close ties" formed during post-war Germany to mark the fiftieth year of CIA-West German cooperation. This history was declassified in 2002 as a result of the work of The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) and contains 97 key documents from various agencies.

This posting comes in the wake of public grievances lodged by members of the IWG that the CIA has not fully complied with the mandate of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act and is continuing to withhold hundreds of thousands of pages of documentation related to their work. (Note 1) In interviews with the New York Times, three public members of the IWG said:

• "I think that the CIA has defied the law, and in so doing has also trivialized the Holocaust, thumbed its nose at the survivors of the Holocaust and also at the Americans who gave their lives in the effort to defeat the Nazis in World War II." - Former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman

• "I can only say that the posture the CIA has taken differs from all the other agencies that have been involved, and that's not a position we can accept." - Washington lawyer Richard Ben-Veniste

• "Too much has been secret for too long. The CIA has not complied with the statute." - Former federal prosecutor Thomas H. Baer


The IWG was established in January 11, 1999 and has overseen the declassification of about eight million pages of documents from multiple government agencies. Its mandate expires at the end of March 2005.

CONTINUED w LINKS…

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB146/index.htm



Who would want that NAZI records law to be ignored?



Here’s where the Bush Crime Family comes in:



Nazis and Bush family history:

Government investigated Bush family's financing of Hitler

By Carla Binion
December 21, 2000

This article on Nazis in the Republican party was originally published in Online Journal on 1/28/00. However, the following includes additional information regarding George H. W. Bush's father, Prescott, and his maternal grandfather, George Herbert (Bert) Walker, and the fact that the U. S. government investigated their financing of Adolf Hitler.

One book referenced here, Christopher Simpson's "Blowback," was praised by journalist Seymour Hersh as "the ultimate book about the worst kind of cold war thinking." Nora Levin, Director, Holocaust Archive, Gratz College, said "The full story of this country's shameful, cynical collaboration with Nazi criminals has not been told until now with the publication of Simpson's book." Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman said, 'Blowback' is a must read for anyone who wants to understand postwar policy on Nazi war criminals and the cold war."

In another Simpson book, "The Splendid Blonde Beast," the author wrote about George H. W. Bush's father, Prescott, and his maternal grandfather, George Herbert Walker. Both Bert Walker and Prescott Bush were powerful financial supporters of Adolf Hitler.

Walker was president of Union Banking Corporation, a firm that traded with Germany and helped German industrialists consolidate Hitler's political power. Simpson says Union Banking became a Nazi money-laundering machine.

Walker helped take over North American operations of Hamburg-Amerika Line, a shipping line and cover for I. G. Farben's Nazi espionage unit in the U. S. Hamburg-Amerika smuggled in German agents, and brought in money for bribing American politicians to support Hitler. A 1934 congressional investigation showed Hamburg-Amerika subsidized Nazi propaganda efforts in the U. S.

CONTINUED…

http://www.govsux.com/nazisandbushfamilyhistory.html



Gee. A certain class of people seem to benefit most from war. Here's a treasure trove of treason history:

http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/nazi.html



The class Allen Dulles and Prescott Bush worked for. And the Bushes worked for THEM.

In answer to a question during his press conference of Feb. 14, 2007, Gov. George W Bush said: “Money trumps peace.”





Q: A lot of our allies in Europe do a lot of business with Iran. So I wonder what your thoughts are about how you further tighten the financial pressure on Iran, in particular, if it also means economic pain for a lot of our allies.

BUSH: It's an interesting question. One of the problems, not specifically on this issue, just in general, that - let's put it this way: Money trumps peace, sometimes.

In other words, commercial interests are very powerful interests throughout the world. And part of the issue in convincing people to put sanctions on a specific country is to convince them that it's in the world's interest that they forego their own financial interest.

And that's why sometimes it's tough to get tough economic sanctions on countries, and I'm not making any comment about any particular country, but you touched on a very interesting point.

You know - so, therefore, we're constantly working with nations to convince them that what really matters in the long run is to have the environment so peace can flourish.

In the Iranian case, I firmly believe that, if they were to have a weapon, it would make it difficult for peace to flourish, and therefore I am working with people to make sure that that concern trumps whatever commercial interests may be preventing governments from acting.

I make no specific accusation with that statement. It's a broad statement. But it's an accurate assessment of what sometimes can halt multilateral diplomacy from working.

SOURCE: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=24507



“Money trumps peace.”



That does explain a lot. “Money trumps peace.”
In fact, that explains everything about everything in regards to the BFEE and their cronies in the War Party.
To them, money and power are everything.
Isn’t that the definition of a warmonger?
It also is the spirit of a NAZI.

The only thing that can stop them from becoming the Fourth Reich is...



... the Truth and We the People.

The above is an OP from way back

Here's Pruneface Reagan and Richard the Crook enjoying the company of Glenn Seaborg and a bunch of swells at the Bohemian Grove in NoCal.



The BFEE works to keep wars going so the money keeps flowing to those who think they "deserve it." In the process, they've accomplished what not even Ian Fleming dared dream, hijacking the US government for personal gain.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 06:14 PM

41. I asked the question after 2008 if SS had been privatized, how much of the Trust Fund would have

been lost. No one could come up with an answer.

But two days later Paul Begala was a guest on NBC and brought up that very question. He then said 40 percent of the Trust Fund would have been lost.

I have always wondered if he read DU and that is why he answered the question....

On another note, in 2003 when George W. Bush* was attempting to put together a plan to privatize the program, the estimate for the transition costs were Three Trillion Dollars. The government did not want to absorb that cost, and neither did the recipients, so it was said the beneficiaries would have to take deep cuts to absorb those costs.

Sam

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Response to WhenTheLeveeBreaks (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 03:48 PM

35. Many retired or just about to retire people lost big in the 2008 crash

And it didn't hit just lower income people. One example, a local doctor who had just retired had to go back to work. At least she was able to do that, a lot of retired people are aged out of the job market except for maybe daytime in MacDonalds. A friend who had her money in precious metals lost 80%, she still had a mortgage so she wound up selling and moving out of town.

Maybe you had a bit more sense than me when you were 25, but at that age I couldn't conceive of getting old enough to retire, let alone think about investments. Not only that, but I was a single parent and basically lived paycheck to paycheck anyhow.

Once they start messing around with social security, it is the kiss of death for it IMHO. And the ones who mess around with it don't care in the least because they have theirs.

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Response to arikara (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 06:39 PM

43. I don't think the correct term is "privatized"

 

I don't even really know what that means. The correct term would be "individualized", where people do indeed have their own account. As I stated before, social security payers could choose to invest entirely in t-bills. What that would mean is that you would be in no better or worse situation that you are now.

There is nothing about anything I'm saying that would force anybody to invest in anything other than the credit worthiness of the US government, which is exactly what you are invested in right now.

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Response to WhenTheLeveeBreaks (Reply #43)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:06 PM

50. Then why change it?

n/t

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Response to WhenTheLeveeBreaks (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 07:18 PM

47. Okay. But answer me one question: The markets crash and

you made the wrong choices. What do you want to happen to you now? Your Social Security is gone. You are too old to work. You have no one to take care of you. What do you want to happen to you now?

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Response to WhenTheLeveeBreaks (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:14 PM

52. So wall street can take 30% of it like they do with healthcare?

 

Why do you republicans come here?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 12:19 PM

24. That article doesn't even go far enough on Bill Clinton and SS privatization

Thomas Frank, in his book "Listen, Liberal", references a book by historian Steven Gillon titled "The Pact". According to Gillon, Bill Clinton had reached out to Newt Gingrich in 1997 and agreed on a strategy for Social Security privatization. Clinton would start hinting at it in early 1998 (which he did in the January '98 State of Union speech referenced in the Counterpunch article). Various groups would spend the year conducting a "dialogue" to come to the general consensus that had already been decided. Clinton and Gingrich would keep the issue off the table for the November, 1998 mid term elections, then pass it in the December lame duck session.

But after Clinton's January State of the Union speech, the Lewinsky episode went public and that killed the deal.

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Response to BernieforPres2016 (Reply #24)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 08:12 AM

61. Bill and Newt came to a working ''Agreement''...

They opposed each other in public, but could get together and talk about business in private.

Like what to do with the $70 billion budget surplus if it meant privatizing Social Security.

Prof. Steven Gillon goes into details in a discussion on C-SPAN (around 14 minutes and 30 seconds mark):

http://www.c-span.org/video/?205838-8/book-discussion-pact-bill-clinton-newt-gingrich

C-SPAN has a neat transcript search function that makes me appreciate the cable bill.

PS: Thank you for the heads-up, BernieforPres2016! Like the handle!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 12:33 PM

27. Bill Clinton was and is a scumbag on so many levels.

 

Here is further evidence.

He sickens me.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 19, 2016, 06:04 PM

97. UBS Wealth Management

Old news to you, Arugula Latte. For those new to the interface of probity and unprobed, something to add to the record:

UBS is a Swiss bank that is enjoying better days, thanks to the US taxpayer and a number of key US political leaders.





Hillary Helps a Bank—and Then It Funnels Millions to the Clintons

The Wall Street Journal’s eyebrow-raising story of how the presidential candidate and her husband accepted cash from UBS without any regard for the appearance of impropriety that it created.


by CONOR FRIEDERSDORF, The Atlantic, JUL 31, 2015

The Swiss bank UBS is one of the biggest, most powerful financial institutions in the world. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton intervened to help it out with the IRS. And after that, the Swiss bank paid Bill Clinton $1.5 million for speaking gigs. The Wall Street Journal reported all that and more Thursday in an article that highlights huge conflicts of interest that the Clintons have created in the recent past.

The piece begins by detailing how Clinton helped the global bank.

“A few weeks after Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state in early 2009, she was summoned to Geneva by her Swiss counterpart to discuss an urgent matter. The Internal Revenue Service was suing UBS AG to get the identities of Americans with secret accounts,” the newspaper reports. “If the case proceeded, Switzerland’s largest bank would face an impossible choice: Violate Swiss secrecy laws by handing over the names, or refuse and face criminal charges in U.S. federal court. Within months, Mrs. Clinton announced a tentative legal settlement—an unusual intervention by the top U.S. diplomat. UBS ultimately turned over information on 4,450 accounts, a fraction of the 52,000 sought by the IRS.”

Then reporters James V. Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus lay out how UBS helped the Clintons. “Total donations by UBS to the Clinton Foundation grew from less than $60,000 through 2008 to a cumulative total of about $600,000 by the end of 2014, according to the foundation and the bank,” they report. “The bank also joined the Clinton Foundation to launch entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs, through which it lent $32 million. And it paid former president Bill Clinton $1.5 million to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann, making UBS his biggest single corporate source of speech income disclosed since he left the White House.”

The article adds that “there is no evidence of any link between Mrs. Clinton’s involvement in the case and the bank’s donations to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, or its hiring of Mr. Clinton.” Maybe it’s all a mere coincidence, and when UBS agreed to pay Bill Clinton $1.5 million the relevant decision-maker wasn’t even aware of the vast sum his wife may have saved the bank or the power that she will potentially wield after the 2016 presidential election.

SNIP...

As McClatchy noted last month in a more broadly focused article that also mentions UBS, “Ten of the world’s biggest financial institutions––including UBS, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs––have hired Bill Clinton numerous times since 2004 to speak for fees totaling more than $6.4 million. Hillary Clinton also has accepted speaking fees from at least one bank. And along with an 11th bank, the French giant BNP Paribas, the financial goliaths also donated as much as $24.9 million to the Clinton Foundation––the family’s global charity set up to tackle causes from the AIDS epidemic in Africa to climate change.”

CONTINUED...

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/hillary-helps-a-bankand-then-it-pays-bill-15-million-in-speaking-fees/400067/



About UBS Wealth Management

It's Buy Partisan

After his exit from the US Senate, Phil Gramm found a job at Swiss bank UBS as vice chairman. He later brought on former President Bill Clinton. What a coincidence, they are the two key figures in repealing Glass-Steagal. Since the New Deal it was the financial regulation that protected the US taxpayer from the Wall Street casino. Oh well, what's a $16 trillion bailout among friends?



It's a Buy-Partisan Who's Who:

President William J. Clinton
President George W. Bush Heh heh heh.
Robert J. McCann
James Carville
John V. Miller
Paula D. Polito
Anthony Roth
Mike Ryan
John Savercool

SOURCE: http://financialservicesinc.ubs.com/revitalizingamerica/SenatorPhilGramm.html

One of my attorney chums doesn't like to see his name on any committees, event letterhead or political campaign literature. These folks, it seems to me, are past caring.

Some of why DUers and ALL voters should care about Phil Gramm.



The fact Corporate McPravda isn't really moving this story forward -- especially after the Panama Papers -- should be of great concern not only for the 99-percent, but for all people who care about Democracy.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 12:36 PM

28. This is worth another kick and a special request blast from the past with a message.

 

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 06:15 PM

42. Love that song!

 

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 08:40 AM

63. The Lies of Neoliberal Economics (or How America Became a Nation of Sharecroppers)

''What was Raymond doing with his hands?''



"How did the old ladies turn into Russians?"

The Lies of Neoliberal Economics (or How America Became a Nation of Sharecroppers)

by MICHAEL HUDSON – CHRIS HEDGES
CounterPunch, April 1, 2016

EXCERPT...

HUDSON: Citibank, along with Countrywide Financial, was making junk mortgages. These were mortgages called NINJA. They were called liars’ loans, to people with no income, no jobs and no assets. You had this movie, The Big Short, as if some genius on Wall Street discovered that the mortgages were all going to go down. And you have the stories of Queen Elizabeth going to the economist …

HEDGES: “How come none of you knew?”

HUDSON: Right. The fact is, if everybody on Wall Street called these mortgages liars’ loans, if they knew that they’re made for NINJAs, for people who can’t pay, all of Wall Street knew that it was fraud.

The key is that if you’re a really smart criminal, you have to plan to get caught. The plan is how to beat the rap. On Wall Street, if you buy garbage assets, how do you make the government bail you out? That was what the president of the United States is for, whether it was Obama or whether it would have been John McCain …

HEDGES: Or Bush.

HUDSON: Or whether it would be Hillary today, or Trump. Their job is to bail out Wall Street and make the people pay, not Wall Street. Because Wall Street is “the people” who select the politicians – who know where their money is coming from. If you have a campaign contributor, no matter whether it’s Wall Street, or locally if it’s a real estate developer, you all know who your backers are.

The talent you need to have as a politician is to make the voters think that you’re going to be supporting their interests …

HEDGES: And what’s that great Groucho Marx quote?

HUDSON:[font color="green"][font size="5"] The secret of success is sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.[/font color][/font size]

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/01/the-lies-of-neoliberal-economics-or-how-america-became-a-nation-of-sharecroppers/


THIS I MEAN: Thank you, bobthedrummer! For your friendship across space and time -- and for standing up to Them -- online and in life.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #63)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 02:00 PM

85. Old blue eyes in that context and picture, Sir, made me laugh albeit knowingly-thanks

 

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #85)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 02:19 PM

86. White House dining companion with the late First Lady Nancy Reagan.

President Kennedy had to give his friendship with Frank Sinatra because of the entertainer's alleged links to organized crime. Contrast that with the friends of Ed Meese:










EXCLUSIVE: Revealed, how the MAFIA helped Ronald Reagan get to the White House. Shocking documentary reveals Mob connections that catapulted him to the presidency - and how a probe was thwarted at 'the highest levels'

President Reagan owed his acting and political career to Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman, chief of entertainment behemoth MCA, who was in bed with the Mob

An investigation into the relationship between MCA and the Mafia was halted and Federal prosecutors believe it was one of the 'political favors' that can be traced back to Reagan's White House

'Ronald Reagan is a complete slave of MCA who would do their bidding on anything,' one secret Justice Department document revealed

According to the producer of the documentary, Wages of Spin II: Bring Down The Wall, one MCA executive had ties to Mob boss John Gotti

'Reagan's whole career in politics was subsidized by MCA,' he asserts, and helped him financially because for a long time he was living above his means

The Mob was probably working Nancy Reagan too, according to the producer. 'She was a driving force behind Reagan'


By JERRY OPPENHEIMER
Daily Mail, PUBLISHED: 13:22 EST, 21 May 2014 | UPDATED: 03:42 EST, 22 May 2014

A shocking new documentary screened exclusively by MailOnline exposes the chilling conncections between the Mafia, one of Hollywood's most powerful entertainment companies and its head honcho Lew Wasserman and President Ronald Reagan and his Justice Department.

SNIP...

But there was a dark side to Wasserman - and to Reagan - all of which is revealed in a shocking new documentary, Wages of Spin II: Bring Down The Wall, that, according to the film's producer and those interviewed, links both of them in darkly shadowed ways to the Mafia, and the killing of a U.S. Department of Justice organized crime Strike Force investigation into Mob influence and infiltration at the highest levels of MCA.

SNIP...

Richard Stavin, a former veteran federal prosecutor who was assigned to the Justice Department's Organized Crime Strike Force in Los Angeles and was an integral member of the MCA-Mafia probe team, declared in the film for the first time:

'It's my belief that MCA and its' involvement with Mafia individuals, Mafia-dominated companies and our inability to pursue those was not happenstance. I believe it was an organized, orchestrated effort on the part of certain individuals within Washington, D.C. to keep a hands-off policy towards MCA.

'At the time, Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States and Edwin Meese was the Attorney General of the United States (Stavin's ultimate boss). A little known fact was MCA and Lew Wasserman supported Ronald Reagan when he wanted to become president of the Screen Actors Guild, which was the launch of Mr. Reagan's political career.

'I would like to think that the people in the highest levels of this government were not protective of MCA...But I'm not so sure about that.'


SNIP...

SAG's bylaws had always banned talent agencies like MCA from producing any form of entertainment, such as TV programs and movies. But during Reagan's fifth year as the guild's president a secret blanket waiver was negotiated with SAG, and it gave MCA and Wasserman the platinum opportunity to not only market talent as agents but also to move into TV and film making.

CONTINUED...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2635094/EXCLUSIVE-Revealed-MAFIA-helped-Ronald-Reagan-White-House-Shocking-documentary-reveals-Mob-connections-catapulted-presidency-probe-thwarted-highest-levels.html



Well. That's a "wow" as they used to say in Hollywood.



One very important name that was left out: Dan Moldea, an investigative reporter who actually uncovered and documented the story in the early 1980s and wrote about it in "Dark Victory: Reagan, MCA and the Mob."

Wish it were on the news or in the history book.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #86)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 02:41 PM

87. Instead we've got perception manager George Stephanopoulos, and the Pentagon Entertainment Network

 

to mention just a few of the major mind programmers.

George Stephanopoulos (Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Stephanopoulos

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 12:36 PM

29. yes, and did not know that he continued Reagan's plan to means test it w/ heavy taxation:

A sly tax

A second change during the Clinton administration created another level of tax on benefits. This increased the percentage of benefits subject to taxation from a maximum of 50 percent to 85 percent.

From the start it was a sly tax.

In its first year, it was expected to affect only 3 percent of all retirees. The formula for the taxation of Social Security benefits, however, is one of the few items in our miserable tax code that is not indexed to inflation.

As a consequence, an estimated 30 percent of all retirees now pay some amount of tax on their benefits.

Ultimately, that tax will take back much of the benefits that accrue above the second bend point for higher-income workers. In other words, most of the employment tax paid on wages over about $55,488 a year will bring little benefit to workers because much of it will be taxed away.

All of this is history. It all happened before our slippery friends in Washington started dealing with “entitlement reform.” Soon they will start talking about changing the formula for future benefits and other sneaky ways to reduce — or further “means-test” — benefits.

snip

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/columnists/scott-burns/20130112-few-understand-that-social-security-is-already-means-tested.ece

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Response to amborin (Reply #29)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 09:04 AM

67. One's gotta be a lawyer and a CPA to understand all the stuff -- except the politics.

Thank you, amborin! That is important history largely unknown and misunderstood.

Of course, there once were these things called "newspapers" that hired experts to explain things for the general public at an 8th grade reading level. Thank goodness for Al Gore and DU. The great DUer eridani spelled it out a couple weeks' back:



From US News & World Report:

The plan was for Clinton to make his bold initiative for reforming Social Security and Medicare the centerpiece of his State of the Union address in January 1998. Gingrich would follow the president's speech by making positive comments about the initiative. He would then ask Archer's Ways and Means Committee to make specific recommendations. [font color="green"]Both sides would try to keep the issue off the table in the 1998 congressional elections, before pushing it through a lame-duck Congress in December[/font color]. The president asked the American Association of Retired Persons and the Concord Coalition, an influential lobbying group that advocated fiscal discipline, to organize four regional forums to discuss the issue. The national ''dialogue'' would conclude with a White House conference on Social Security in December 1998—the same time that Congress would be voting on a reform proposal.

-- http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027724810



I do believe it's why they don't call William K. Black. He'd put a stop to the nonsense.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 05:31 PM

39. K&R nt

 

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #39)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 03:00 PM

88. Is Hillary open to Raising SS Retirement Age?

Geez, this is scary for a non-millionaire.



Say It Ain't So, Hillary Clinton — You're Open to the Idea of Raising the Retirement Age?

Clinton seems to be open to raising the tax cap, but will not give a specific plan.


By Zaid Jilani / AlterNet October 29, 2015

EXCERPT...

Question: You mentioned something very interesting: enhancing Social Security. So can you tell us how you might strengthen Social Security?

Clinton: Yes, you know, I think there are three parts to what we have to do with Social Security, and the first is we really have to defend Social Security from the continuing efforts by some to privatize it, which I have been studying and opposing for a long time because the numbers just don’t work out. And in the Bush administration when I was in the Senate I was one of the leaders in the fight against the plan to privatize and it is something that I, number one, will focus on: we are not going to privatize Social Security.

Secondly, I am concerned about those people on Social Security who are most vulnerable in terms of what their monthly payout is. That is primarily divorced, widowed, single women who either never worked themselves or worked only a little, so they have either just their own earnings to depend on or they had a spouse who also was a low-wage worker, and the first and most important task I think is to make sure that we get the monthly payment for the poorest Social Security recipients up. So that would be the first thing I would look at.

Thirdly, we do have to consider ways to make sure that the funding of Social Security does maintain the system. I think we have a number of options; this would be something that I would look at, I would not favor raising the retirement age. And I don’t favor it because it might be fine for somebody like me, but the vast majority of working people who have worked hard and have had a difficult, maybe last couple of decades trying to continue to work, it would be very challenging for them. If there were a way to do it that would not penalize or punish laborers and factory workers and long-distance truck drivers and people who really are ready for retirement at a much earlier age, I would consider it. But I have yet to find any recommendation that I would think would be suitable.

And I want to look at raising the cap. I think that’s something we should look at how we do it, because I don’t want it to be an extra burden on middle-class families and in some parts of the country, there’s a different level of income that defines middle class. So what do we skip and what level do we start at? And we have to consider that. So those are my three priorities in looking at Social Security.

CONTINUED...

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/say-it-aint-so-hillary-clinton-youre-open-idea-raising-retirement-age



It's like they're scaring us on purpose.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #88)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 04:42 PM

90. I believe she's also open to making it means-based

 

thereby turning it into a welfare system.

TBH, those 2 changes won't impact me. But I think they're wrong and am against them.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 06:43 PM

44. Monica Lewinsky is a true American hero for saving SS!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:13 PM

51. we are not in their club

 


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Response to SoLeftIAmRight (Reply #51)

Tue Apr 19, 2016, 05:40 PM

96. It is undemocratic, to include those with money and exclude those without it.

The men around that table, to greater and lesser degrees, continued the domestic and foreign policies of the slaveholders.

Here are a couple of modern day slavemasters, I mean, bankers...



Baron de Rothschild and Prescott Bush, sharing a moment and a bit o' information in this small world.



Rothschild and Freshfields founders’ had links to slavery, papers reveal

By Carola Hoyos
Financial Times

Two of the biggest names in the City of London had previously undisclosed links to slavery in the British colonies, documents seen by the Financial Times have revealed.

Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the banking family’s 19th-century patriarch, and James William Freshfield, founder of Freshfields, the top City law firm, benefited financially from slavery, records from the National Archives show, even though both have often been portrayed as opponents of slavery.

Far from being a matter of distant history, slavery remains a highly contentious issue in the US, where Rothschild and Freshfields are both active.

Companies alleged to have links to past slave injustices have come under pressure to make restitution.

JPMorgan, the investment bank, set up a $5m scholarship fund for black students studying in Louisiana after apologising in 2005 for the company’s historic links to slavery.

CONTINUED (with registration, etc) ...

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7c0f5014-628c-11de-b1c9-00144feabdc0.html



The back of the object they are examining shows typing in a box, similar to what is often used for identifying content on the front of a photograph. Or map.

The point: We've got multi-generational slavemasters-&-warmongers to think about:



The Bush Family's Slaveholding Past

Was their dynasty built on slavery?


By: Edward Ball|Posted: February 15, 2008 at 12:00 AM
TheRoot.com

The image most people have of slavery involves a cotton plantation with a big white house, a black village where 300 people live in cabins and a cruel overseer in the wings. This was not the model followed by the ancestors of President George W. Bush when, 175 years ago, they enslaved about 30 people on the shores of the upper Chesapeake.

SNIP...

A new book by Jacob Weisberg, The Bush Tragedy, mentions in passing that at one time some of the president's family owned slaves. Weisberg doesn't dwell on the links between the White House and the antebellum past except to say the Bush clan's story is a long-held "family secret." The Bush Tragedy, a revealing book about family dynamics in the Bush political dynasty, treats the slavery matter only briefly, focusing instead on the "spectacular, avoidable flame-out" of the receding administration. But the story that joins the 43rd president to predecessors who held title to dozens of people bears retelling in detail.

The skeletal facts surfaced in April 2007, when an amateur historian named Robert Hughes published his research in the IllinoisTimes, a small paper out of Springfield. Hughes found census records showing that during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, in Cecil County, Maryland, five households of the Walker family, the president's ancestors via his father's mother, Dorothy Walker Bush, had been slaveholding farmers. The evidence is simple but persuasive: genealogies of the Bush family match up with census data that counted farmers who used enslaved workers. With this, the president joins perhaps fifteen million living white Americans who trace their roots to the long-gone master class.

SNIP...

The family, nevertheless, seems to have looked back with nostalgia on their old slave hold. There are two pieces of evidence for this. In The Bush Tragedy, Jacob Weisberg refers to one of the later patriarchs, David Walker, as "a believer in eugenics and the 'unwritten law' of lynching," and cites as proof a letter Walker published in the St. Louis Republic in 1914. Black people, he wrote at the time, were more insidious than prostitution and "all the other evils combined."

The second piece of evidence is within living memory. In 1930, when they could afford it, the family again embraced the antebellum lifestyle. That year President Bush's great-grandfather, George Herbert Walker, bought Duncannon plantation, an old cotton estate in South Carolina, to use as a hunting retreat and vacation home. His namesake, George Herbert Walker Bush, the current president's father, spent many youthful vacations on Duncannon, where teams of black cooks, valets, and drivers served him and opened doors when he approached. The Bush heirs no longer own Duncannon plantation; but for a time, the estate provided a version of the baronial life, to which the antebellum Walkers aspired, but never achieved.

CONTINUED...

http://www.theroot.com/views/bush-familys-slaveholding-past





In a very real sense, Prescott Bush and the Dulles Brothers must've felt he owned Tricky Dick. They've certainly picked up the lion's share of the wealth ever since.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:18 PM

54. This is like the Weekly World News thread

There is some bat shit crazy in this thread my apologies to bat shit crazy

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Response to MattP (Reply #54)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 08:45 AM

65. Please feel free to post the first thing you find in error.

Or any thing you find in error.

I'll apologize and correct it.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 10:22 PM

55. HRC Is Owned By The Oligarchs, Corporations And Banks - Make No Mistake About Her Loyalties

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #55)

Mon Apr 25, 2016, 01:59 PM

103. Neil Barofsky Gave Us The Best Explanation For Washington's Dysfunction We've Ever Heard

"Integrity is for paupers." -- traditional saying, ABCNNBCBSFixedNoiseNutworks



For the non-paupers in spirit, a pot of gold awaits...



Neil Barofsky Gave Us The Best Explanation For Washington's Dysfunction We've Ever Heard

Linette Lopez
Business Insider, Aug. 1, 2012, 2:57 PM

Neil Barofsky was the Inspector General for TARP, and just wrote a book about his time in D.C. called Bailout: An Insider Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street.

SNIP...

Bottom line: Barofsky said the incentive structure in our nation's capitol is all wrong. There's a revolving door between bureaucrats in Washington and Wall Street banks, and politicians just want to keep their jobs.

For regulators it's something like this:

"You can play ball and good things can happen to you get a big pot of gold at the end of the Wall Street rainbow or you can do your job be aggressive and face personal ruin...We really need to rethink how we govern and how regulate," Barofsky said.


CONTINUED... http://www.businessinsider.com/neil-barofsky-2012-8



As the Traitors, Warmongers and Banksters aren't in jail, I gotta think they are immune or else what they do is now legal.

If that case, the system isn't just corrupt: it's fascist.

It is my sincere hope that, should Hillary be our nominee, she works to restore justice.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 11:44 PM

57. Clinton was talking about using the budget surplus, investing a small portion in the private sector

State of the Union 1999
Specifically, I propose that we commit 60 percent of the budget surplus for the next 15 years to Social Security, investing a small portion in the private sector, just as any private or state government pension would do. This will earn a higher return and keep Social Security sound for 55 years.
http://clinton4.nara.gov/WH/New/html/19990119-2656.html



What's wrong with Social Security owning assets in the private sector, just like CalPERS


The California Public Employees' Retirement System is an agency in the California executive branch that "manages pension and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees, retirees, and their families".



Which would have been better.


A) Commit 60 percent of the budget surplus for the next 15 years to Social Security, investing a small portion in the private sector.

B) Commit 100 percent of the budget surplus for Bush tax cuts for the rich

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Response to BlueStateLib (Reply #57)

Mon Apr 25, 2016, 01:31 PM

100. That would have been great.

Except the GOP wants to do whatever they can to transfer that into the pockets of the 1-percent of 1-percent ASAFP.

So, they cut taxes and started a few wars.

Now, no one can have nice things...except the 1-percent of 1-percent.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sat Apr 16, 2016, 11:50 PM

59. K & R

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 08:18 AM

62. Shit article, opens with slut shaming the victim. Will not read past that.

Take the sexism and shove it.

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Response to apnu (Reply #62)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 08:44 AM

64. Guess you miss out on a lot of stuff that's important to learn.

For others interested in learning: Imagined crap is not the same as real life. FTR: No slut shaming at first or throughout any of the article. That information came from the Ms. Lewinsky's testimony.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/icreport/6narritii.htm

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Response to Octafish (Reply #64)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 08:55 AM

66. I don't need to learn it, I lived through it.

The common dreams post leads with slut shaming. People keep putting the sins of Bill on Hillary. They did it then, they do it now. It was bullshit then, it is bullshit now. There is zero need to discuss thong snapping in an article about Social Security. It is sensational slut shaming and scandal retreading.

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Response to apnu (Reply #66)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 09:08 AM

68. No, you got a lot to learn*.

BTW: The first article is from CounterPunch.

* We all do -- epsecially me.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #68)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 09:13 AM

69. Yes you do.

You keep ignoring the slut shaming going on.

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Response to apnu (Reply #69)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 09:15 AM

70. Show where, otherwise that's just your smear.

Show where.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #70)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 09:19 AM

71. Read my original post.

The article leads with slut shaming, you refuse to denounce it or even acknowledge it.

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Response to apnu (Reply #71)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 09:31 AM

72. Manufactured outrage from you doesn't change the facts, though.

There is no slut shaming in the OP or the rest of the thread, otherwise you might be able to actually show where.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #72)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 10:00 AM

73. You can't figure it out on your own?

You need me to spell it out for you?

The lead sentance shames Monica Lewinsky for being a slut. It is there to trigger old anti-Clinton feelings too. Instead of simply stating that the Lewinsky Scandal distracted the President, the atricle insists on being raunchy when it otherwise is there to discuss Social Security privitazation.

What Monica Lewinsky said about her affair has nothing to do with the topic.

So no, the article does not deserve my attention or anybody elses attention if it is going to sensatioanlize sexual scandals to arreact eyeballs. I don't care what its intentions are, this is never acceptable from the progressive left. We are the good ones, we don't play these tactics.

If you can't understand that, not my problem. I'm done with this. Further comments will be ignored.

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Response to apnu (Reply #73)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 10:29 AM

75. None of that is slut shaming, though, is it?

So put me on ignore, like a I care.

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Response to apnu (Reply #62)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 11:10 AM

82. Hilarious

You are seeing phantoms, friend.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 10:05 AM

74. K&R for an important subject.

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 11:12 AM

83. No surprise given the other crap he pulled



I've always agreed with the premise that Bill Clinton was the best Republican President since Eisenhower

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 04:44 PM

91. I had totally forgotten that. Let's hear it for Monica!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 05:00 PM

94. So in a sense, I was saved by a cigar.

We don't need to put Social Security at risk.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Apr 19, 2016, 06:45 PM

98. What a bunch of bs. nt

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Apr 25, 2016, 01:38 PM

102. bump

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Apr 25, 2016, 02:00 PM

104. Hillary is going to come in and finish the Job!

Bye Bye Social Security as we know. hello trillion dollar profits for Wall Street.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Apr 25, 2016, 04:49 PM

106. Kick!

 

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