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The Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by 0.25% on Wednesday. The corporate news media, both liberal and conservative, claimed this signified the Fed’s confidence in the improving U.S. economy. There may be some truth to this, but maybe not.

Anybody with any knowledge of US business cycles can see our current business expansion is nearly over, which makes this a poor time to raise borrowing rates. See The Coming Recession Is Going to be a Big One–Johnhively.Wordpress.com. The current expansion is 91 months old this month, which makes it the fourth longest on record. In February 2017 it will become the third longest in US history. All the variables indicate we’ll be hitting a recession sometime before or by June 2017.

Maybe Fed officials decided to deflate the stock market and housing bubbles the US economy is in the thrall of. The US economy has been powered by a series of federally created or federally condoned bubbles since the 1980s, which is radically different from the US economy of 1933-1981. The US economy will be suffering from a massive hangover when this next recession hits, which is why it will in many ways be far worse than the last recession.

Rising rates will affect millions of Americans, including home buyers, savers and investors by increasing the cost of which they borrow. In other words, trillions of dollars are going to be redistributed from the 99 percent to rich bank shareholders and bondholders. It’ll cost you more to borrow, and the difference between the old rate and the new rate goes straight into the pockets of the rich.

Income and wealth have been massively redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent by a series of deliberate federal government actions over the last thirty-five years. This is why interest rates have been historically low over the last eight years, and had been getting progressively lower since 1981. The demand for goods and services by the 99 percent is largely dependent on the ability to borrow to a much greater extent than earlier decades.

This is also means the Fed will have to enact negative interest rates to help bolster the economy during the next recession, which is currently the case in Europe.

Change in the form of a shift of political power from the billionaires to the middle class will finally come because of this next recession as millions more people vote via their wallets and take to the streets.

Fed officials raised its target for short-term interest rates by 0.25 percentage points to a range of 0.50% and 0.75%.

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After the Republicans shellacked the Democratic Party candidates in the November elections, the Corporate Democratic Establishment appears to have coordinated a series of attacks against the Republican Party, which it should have done a long time ago. So why is the Democratic Establishment doing this now?

The purpose for these attacks may not be to smear Republicans with their gruesome corruption; one can rightly suspect that it is to entice the growing number of grassroots Democrats who have abandoned the party into returning to the polls and voting for candidates of the Wall Street Democratic Party.

One can rightly suspect that the November elections showed the Democratic Establishment that its base was drifting away, and so the establishment is attempting to reestablish its credibility as a party of the people. These are a series of slick public relations stunts to fool its own base into returning to the polls and voting Democratic next time. Since the elections:

1. The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the Bush torture system, excoriating the ex-president and his white house advisers as the war criminals thugs they are. Most of us knew this more than ten years ago.

2. The New York Times followed that up with an editorial demanding these people be brought to justice.

The establishment is trying to show its liberal base that there exists a difference between the completely bankrupt Republican Party and itself. In the matter of war crimes, however, there is virtually no difference between the two parties. During the first year of his presidency, President Obama squashed an attempt by a Spanish judge to prosecute war crimes against members of the Bush administration. In addition, if the Democratic Establishment and the Obama administration really wanted to prosecute members of the Bush administration for war crimes, which would include such top dogs as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the White House could order its justice department to prepare extradition hearings for those accused. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the head of the United Nations demanded the USA do precisely this. The Obama administration refuses to follow through despite the fact that the US is a signatory to international law governing war crimes and is required to do this.

3. President Obama signed a so-called executive order granting amnesty to an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants. The big question here, if the president can constitutionally do this, which is debatable, why then does he not issue an executive order granting amnesty to the other 6 million undocumented immigrants in the USA, or those that cross the border illegally tomorrow or next year? This action, of course, will appeal to Hispanic voters, so the establishment hopes.

4. The president negotiated a treaty with the Chinese curbing CO2 emissions. The Establishment hopes this will appeal to its waning environmental base.

5. The president opened the door to normalize relations with Cuba. The establishment hopes those of the far left, which isn’t very far left of center during this contemporary period, will return to the party.

6. MSNB created a documentary broadcast via Rachel Maddox showing that oil and not weapons of mass destruction was the reason the President George W. Bush pursued war in Iraq. Most knowledgeable people knew this more than ten years ago. This should appeal to the disillusioned anti-war faction that has seen the Obama administration continue to wage war for profits throughout the world.

Here’s what the Establishment doesn’t want the grassroots to see. The problem is that more and more of the grassroots know what’s going on.

1. The Democratic Establishment is trying to pass the greatest income redistribution treaty of all time: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). If the treaty passes through congress President Obama has promised to sign it. Trillions of dollars of income will be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via this treaty.

The secretive TPP will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forget that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent. It’s an attack on the middle class.

2. President Obama and the Establishment have worked overtime to see that 95 percent of all income growth since 2009 has gone to the 1 percent.

3. The battle over the omnibus spending bill in December 2014 proves an important point.

Referring to the Democratic Party meltdown in allowing a provision sneakily put in the latest budget bill (by corrupt Wall Street Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas) that allows Wall Street investment banks to gamble with taxpayer money and expect to be bailed out if their gamble fails, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine wrote on December 13;

“If the Democrats actually stood for anything other than sounding as progressive as possible without offending their financial backers, then they would do what Republicans always do in these situations: force a shutdown to save their legislation. How many times did Republicans hold the budget hostage to rescue the Bush tax cuts? But the Democrats won’t do that here, because they’re not a real (political) party. They’re a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical”…”single furiously-money-collecting/favor-churning oligarchical Beltway party…cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment.”

4. The budget battle of December 2014 proved a particularly gruesome point; both political parties have been totally corrupted by big money unleashed by the Reagan tax cuts, as well as other tax cuts, and the politicians of the US government are absolutely corrupt, with few exceptions, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, Alan Grayson, and perhaps David Vitter. That’s why the political and economic game is totally rigged against the 99 percent.

5. The White House coordinated the crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street.

The Democrats, exactly like the Republicans, are all about redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent.

That’s why the Democratic base is leaving the Democratic Party because the Party Establishment left the base behind two decades ago, and continues to favor the rich and powerful over working families, just like the Republican Party. In this respect there is no difference between the twin parties of corruption. And no slick public relations campaign is going to keep the grassroots in line.

More and more grassroots Democrats are leaving the rotted ship called the Democratic Party because the Establishment can no longer direct their attention away from economic issues by appealing to social issues, which is what the latest wave of Democratic Establishment actions are intended to do. These actions may be the last gasp of a sinking skip.

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(Originally published in 2014)

Friday, on the floor of the US senate, US Senator Elizabeth Warren sounded like the one and only person who should be the next United States president. She sounded like the person who is truly giving us “hope and change” in fact rather than as a political slogan, and she sounded like the person Barack Obama should have been.

Everyday she’s sounding like the new Franklin Delano Roosevelt, sounding like the next great president, and the first great president since Harry Truman, or perhaps Roosevelt himself.

In the speech above, Warren excoriated President Obama, Republicans and Democrats for a House bill that will keep funding the government, but a provision within it will force the taxpayers to increase their bailouts of bad derivative investments by wealthy investors, including all of the big investment banks, and especially Citigroup. This provision allows Citigroup and other big banks to gamble with taxpayer money without any repercussions for their investment decisions.

President Obama, some Democrats, and most of the Republican Party are completely corrupt, which is why they support this giveaway for the rich and powerful. This provision is nothing more than a massive redistribution of income from the 99 to the 1 percent. That’s precisely why the president got on the telephone on Thursday and strong-armed some House Democrats into voting for this bill. The bill passed through the house and must now go through the senate.

The provision was written by Citigroup lobbyists, which nowadays is a bank that has the power to direct the majority of the Republican Party to demand maintaining the provision in the spending bill or shutting the government down by refusing to pass it.

During the final debate over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010, before Warren was a senator, she was asked about an attempt to weaken the unborn agency. “My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor,” she said at the time. These comments were unsuccessfully used against her in her subsequent senate campaign.

This week, she fought to keep a major Wall Street giveaway out of a must-pass spending bill and by Friday night it was clear the fight in the House of Representatives was lost. So Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, took the Senate floor and unleashed a powerful punch on Wall Street giant Citigroup that will leave a mark for an awfully long time, especially on the grass roots, perhaps both grassroots Democrats and Republicans. Hopefully, we are all cheering her on, while Democrats such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden meekly stand by (and he will side with Wall Street since he always does) and do nothing since he is a Wall Street stooge pretending to be a senator that represents the people of Oregon.

Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has voiced opposition to the provision. We’ll see if he puts his vote where his mouth is, or whether he’s simply pretending to oppose Wall Street.

In the speech above, after listing the top Citigroup executives who have gone on to work in the Obama administration, Warren addressed Citibank executives directly, noting that she agreed that Wall Street reform wasn’t perfect. “I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces,” she said.

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200,000 US jobs appeared in December, marking the sixth month in a row of gains, and dashing the hopes of Republicans and ruining their “keep the economy destroyed” reelection plans .

The rise in jobs was much more than expected. Analysts had forecast an increase of about 150,000 jobs. Republicans had hoped for a decline of one million or more, thereby increasing their presidential reelection chances. The folks at the Fox Fake News Network were probably horrified to learn the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5%, which was the lowest level in nearly three years, from a revised 8.7% in November, the Labor Department said.

Large job gains were seen in retail, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing and healthcare.

For 2011 as a whole, some 1.6 million jobs were created, which was the highest since 2006. That number historically sucks. Back in the President Jimmy Carter era, it was normal for three million jobs a year to be created, and with rising wage rates. That was with an economy two-thirds the size and two-thirds population of the current one. Nowadays, any inkling of mediocre economic news is hailed as wonderful by the Democrats, and as a total disaster for Republican Party hopes and dreams.

Republicans should be ashamed of the news since there was negative job growth under the Bush administration, something predicted by me in my book, The Rigged Game. Republican economic policies are a disaster for working people. On the other hand, the Democrats aren’t much better for working people since their also corporate drones for the most part.

Employment in the private sector rose by 212,000 in December and by 1.9 million over the year.

Government employment was little changed in December but was down by 280,000 over the year.

The unemployment rate had remained stubbornly high at about 9% for several years, peaking at 10.1% in October 2009. But December marked the fourth month in a row that it had fallen, after routine updates were made to previous months’ data at the end of the year.

However, November’s figure was revised up slightly from 8.6% to 8.7%.
‘Showboating’

The euro, which has fallen sharply against the dollar in recent days, continued its decline after the better-than-expected jobs report.

Marcus Bullus, trading director at MB Capital, said the data would “cheer everyone bar Republican spin doctors”.

“The Obama administration could be forgiven for showboating over this convincing evidence that America’s economy is pulling away from Europe’s,” he said.

But he added: “From a market perspective, strong US data like this will add to optimism, but nobody doubts the considerable downward pressure the eurozone will continue to place on the global marketplace during 2012.”

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