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Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Reagan’

President Trump signed his newest executive order, rolling back the insanely weak Wall Street regulations balled up in a piece of legislation called Dodd-Frank.

This legislation does almost nothing to regulate Wall Street. However, no doubt, protests will erupt around the globe over essentially nothing. That’s because the big banks are merely acting as front companies for their much larger hedge funds, which are nearly completely unregulated investment companies. So yes, the front companies are weakly regulated by Dodd-Frank.

Have no fear! Like many executive orders, this one is illegal. It takes an act of congress to repeal Dodd-Frank. Then the president can sign the legislation repealing the law. Apparently, Trump doesn’t know this. He’s beginning to appear as ignorant on constitutional matters as President George W. Bush (the worst president in US history, and most likely the most corrupt and dumbest, as well) and the childlike naivety of President Ronald Reagan, who may have been suffering from Alzheimer disease during much of his presidency, at least according to his son, Ronald. I could also point out that when Reagan came on national television about trading arms for hostages with Iran he could say, “I don’t remember.” He sounded like a liar, or a person suffering from the disease. Anyway, back to the main point.

We’ve been played by both major political parties on the authenticity and legality of executive orders. They are not mentioned in the US constitution, so no president has such powers. But the leaders of both major parties make certain not to let the public know this.

So don’t blow too much steam over Trump. He’s either foolish, or he’s playing a role to maintain the support of those who put him in office. He’s big on theatrics, so it’s possibly the latter.

Look to the future. Trump is a one-term president because he’s coming along at the wrong time and the wrong place in history.

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20150224_problemThe financial collapse of 2008 was the worst recession since the Great Depression. Give President Obama and his administration credit for saving the economy from the depredations of Wall Street despite massive Republic resistance to resuscitating it, which they did solely for political gain. However, this historically weak recovery masks a startling reality.

Only one perpetrator of Wall Street crimes was ever brought to justice, and he wasn’t a big figure in the massive corruption going on. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders and said, “I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you.”

Only one banker from that era was prosecuted. That was Bernie Madoff, and the only reason he was carted off to prison was because he stole from rich people. And not one other Wall Street criminal executive went to jail after stealing billions via fraud, money laundering of Mexican drug cartel profits, and numerous other crimes. Many became his financial advisers, which meant Obama pursued policies to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent for eight long years.

At all times, Obama refused to bite the hand that funded his past, present and future, as well as funding much of the Republican and Democratic Parties. In other words, Obama was largely, if not completely, in the back pocket of Wall Street as were President Bill Clinton, both President’s Bush, Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch.

Obama operated in a cesspool corruption. He was part of the problem, not the solution.

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fed-says-2-1

The Federal Reserve Bank is expected to raise interest rates tomorrow. It will most likely be a mild increase of 1/4 to 1/2 percent.

The US and world economies are heading for a recession worse than the last one, and it should begin by June 2017, give or take a few months. Then President Donald Trump will get the blame, as well as the Republican US senate and the Republican US House of Representatives.

The Republicans will blame the Federal Reserve. Blame the recession and its dire impacts on the effects of Reaganomics, which has been a long-term policy of redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent (I doubt Reagan intended it that way). That decreased the demand for goods and services on the part of the 99 percent, and has led to a series of bubble economies for the United States since the 1980s.

The result has been the weakest economic growth in US history under President George W. Bush. The job gains under Bush numbered less than 1.4 million jobs total, with declining real wage growth. Things have been quite a bit better under President Obama. However, the job growth numbers under Obama are far worse than any other president since and including Jimmy Carter, with the exception, of course, of Bush.

Carter had the best monthly job growth numbers of any president since 1976. See Why Did President Jimmy Carter Create More Jobs Per Year Than Any President Since Him? JohnHively.wordpress.com

The Fed and everybody else expect the current economic expansion to continue. That’s insane. All the indications and variables suggest we are on a crash course with a massive recession by June 2017. See The New Recession is Knocking at the Door, and It’s Going to Be Worse than the Last One–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

Only two US business expansions have lasted longer than 100 months. The third longest expansion began under President Ronald Reagan and lasted 92 months. Including this month, the current expansion is 91 months. That means by next June it will have lasted 98 months. Given the weaknesses of the current US economy, we most likely won’t make it much longer than June.

The Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates tomorrow and hasten the coming of the next recession by a month or two.

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Bernie Sanders Wall Street

On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders lost the California primary, as well as a few other states. On Thursday, Sanders gave somewhat weak signals that he is ready to support the Democratic Wall Street candidate. Bernie told reporters after meeting with Wall Street President Barack Obama at the White House that he will ally himself with Hillary Clinton in the fight against Donald Trump.

Regardless, Bernie Sanders has built a grassroots movement that can and will only get bigger. There’s a hurricane of a recession coming down the pike, with gale force winds. It’s going to be worse than the last recession because the economic policies the US government has been following for the last thirty-five years, and the last eight, have redistributed income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, curtailing the demand for goods and services. See The Coming Recession: It’s Going to Be a Big One

Currently, the 1 percent steal 37 percent of all the income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent in 1980. That means the 99 percent has less money to burn.

The current political and economic situation looks a lot like 1928. Then came the Great Depression storm, and then came President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the New Deal. In 1976, Gerald Ford defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican presidential nomination. Four years later, after successfully negotiating with the Iranian government to keep the American embassy hostages until after the election, Reagan ushered in the modern tyranny of the 1 percent with Reaganomics when he became president. See Argo Helps Iran’s Dictatorship Harms Democracy–The Christian Science Monitor.

That era is about to end.

This coming recession means the next president is likely going to be a one term president.

Then it’ll be our turn. Bernie is 74 years old, and highly unlikely to run for president again. That means our political revolution against the 1 percent will sprout fruit most likely in the form of progressive majorities in the US house and senate, as well as the next US president. That could be Elizabeth Warren.

So while Bernie lost the Democratic primary election, he planted and cultivated a people’s movement to reclaim our democracy and take it back from the plutocrats of the 1 percent, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden.

Our time is coming. Don’t give up. This Democratic primary fight was just the first round. Plenty of billionaires want you to give up, especially since we are on the verge of winning.

Think about the late Muhammad Ali. He didn’t give up against the most powerful government in the world when he refused induction into the US military because of his religious beliefs. It took some time, but he won! We will too!

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Billionaires on a Bus-Simplified-01 1
According to a new report by the Oxfam Institute, An Economy for the 1 Percent, the richest 62 people in the world own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the world’s population.

According to Oxfam, “The gap between rich and poor is reaching new extremes. Credit Suisse recently revealed that the richest 1% have now accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together. 

Meanwhile, the wealth owned by the bottom half of humanity has fallen by a trillion dollars in the past five years. This is just the latest evidence that today we live in a world with levels of inequality we may not have seen for over a century. An Economy for the 1% looks at how this has happened, and why, as well as setting out shocking new evidence of an inequality crisis that is out of control. Oxfam has calculated that:

1.  In 2015, just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6
 billion people at the bottom half of humanity. This figure is down from 388 individuals as recently as 2010.
2.  The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44% in the five years since 2010that’s an increase of more than half a trillion dollars ($542 billion), to $1.76 trillion.
3.  Meanwhile, the wealth of the bottom half fell by just over a trillion dollars in the same perioda drop of 41%.
4.  Since the turn of the century, the poorest half of the world’s population has received just 1% of the total increase in global wealth, while half of that increase has gone to the top 1%.
5.  The average annual income of the poorest 10% of people in the world has risen by less than $3 each year in almost a quarter of a century. Their daily income has risen by less than a single cent every year
The Oxfam report doesn’t mention everything the rich have been able to purchase with their ill-gotten robberies, such as both major political parties in the USA, as well as in most other nations. Most government regulatory agencies throughout the world, such as the USDA, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, have also been bought and  managed by the 1 percent.
This corruption of governments is precisely why President Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden want to continue to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, a process that has been ongoing in the United States since Ronald Reagan became president.

Every US senator, President Obama, and most members of the US house of representatives know, or example, that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will force China to manipulate its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar by 15 percent, if this income redistribution agreement is rammed through congress. This will roughly double the profits of US corporations manufacturing things in China who happen to export these items to the United States, such as Dell, Microsoft, Nike, Adidas, Black and Decker, Gerber, and hundreds of others.

By the same process, this will make US exports to China profit losers, costing millions of US export jobs. But this forced currency manipulation will also encourage US companies who manufacture things for sale in the USA, as well as for export to nations other than China, to export millions of US jobs to China. What Corporate Chief Executive Officer wouldn’t export whatever jobs they could to China if their profits would double by doing so?

Every manufacturing job supports three other jobs, like the local waitress, teacher, plant manager, fire fighter, accountant, bookkeeper, retail clerk, plumber, contractor, and more. So that the exportation of say 5 million jobs will result in the loss of another 15 million. However, it is more than likely that the TPP will gut most of whatever is left of the US middle class by tens of millions.

Right now, 50 percent of US adults are considered middle class, down from 61 percent in 1970. Within three years of the enactment of the TPP, only 30-40 percent, or less, of US adults will be considered middle class. And that’s how the rich get richer.

When a corporation exports jobs, the difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower Chinese or Vietnamese pay goes straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices and surging dividends. The job losers might get several months of unemployment checks, if they’re lucky.

In other words, the TPP is a massive scam to force US companies to ship millions of US jobs to China, and gutting what remains of the US middle class, in the process. Wall Street senator’s such as Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell, as well as President Obama, are 100 percent behind this scam.

According to Oxfam, “The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest (such as the TPP). A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.”

The TPP will make income and wealth inequality grow. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what is has been negotiated to do.

 

 

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There’s a reason the United States is one of the most politically corrupt nations in the world. Stephan Colbert hits the head on the nail with his succinct analysis that wealth inequality will continue to grow in the United States so long as money in politics are at record levels.

The corruption, especially of the federal government, which is massive compared to the years from 1933 to 1980, began when President Ronald Reagan signed into law tax cuts for the rich. Supposedly, this trickle down economics, which had already been a complete failure during the first thirty years of the 1900s, was going to create jobs. Instead, the rich used their new found financial muscle to destroy jobs by pushing legislators for international income redistribution agreements, commonly marketed by those who benefited from these income redistribution scams as “free trade agreements.”

The result has been a progressively weaker US economy as tens of millions of jobs have been shipped overseas, thanks to these agreements. When a job is shipped overseas, the difference between the old, higher, US wages and the new, super low third world wages goes straight into the already fat wallets of the super rich via higher corporate earnings, rising dividends, and soaring share prices. The job losers get a few unemployment checks, if they’re lucky, and maybe a lower paying job, if they’re even luckier.

The proceeds of these treaties find their way into the campaign contributions and pockets of US politicians. And the cycle plays over and over again. More and more income redistributed via legislation from the 99 to the 1 percent, so that nowadays the rich and their legislative henchmen steal 37 percent of all income in the USA, compared to 8 percent before the Reagan tax cuts.

There are several other ways legislators help the super rich to steal from everybody else, such as passing legislation to privatize government services, force school districts to add more and more testing, and numerous other things.

Colbert is completely correct, except for one thing. Nothing will change unless a massive grassroots political movements overwhelms the money in politics, and then the money is taken out of politics. Go Bernie Sanders!

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15 dollars

People earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 aren’t going out to eat at restaurants because they can’t afford to do so. That’s pretty much true for those who make higher state minimum wages of nine and ten dollars an hours. These people are not taking yoga, piano, or karate lessons. They don’t belong to gyms, and they don’t take part in yoga classes. They purchase few if any new books, and buy clothes at second hand stores, like the local Goodwill. They don’t buy flowers for their mother’s on mother’s day. They’re not purchasing new computers, cameras, tables, chairs, carpets, washing machines, dryers, I-phones, cars, organic food, or houses. They’re not buying a lot of other things.

What good are these people to the economy, other than to provide rich people with cheap labor? Like the idle rich, minimum wage workers barely stimulate demand for goods and services.

What do low wages have to do to with rich people? Low wages boost profits. As a consequence of that, corporate dividends and share prices go up. People who earn less than $100,000 a year own hardly any shares of corporations. The primary beneficiaries of people working at minimum wages go primarily to the rich.

If you raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the people who benefit from this raise will be buying a lot of the things listed above and more, even a house in Detroit, Michigan, and elsewhere, as well.

And all of a sudden, not just large businesses, but small businesses thrive because demand for goods and services is stronger.

Studies over the last fifteen years show that the idea that high wages weakens employment is a myth.

There are two fundamental laws of capitalism. One is something about supply and demand, which is often rigged in favor of those who believe and act upon the golden rule; he who has the gold makes the rules. The other rule, which Henry Ford (the founder of the Ford Motor Company) believed was simple: When people have more money, businesses have more customers, and need more workers.

This explains why the current economic expansion is the worst since the Great Depression in virtually every category having to do with jobs, wages, GNP, and the things that are important to 99 percent of the US population.

Currently, 1 percent of the population has rigged the economic and political games over the last thirty-five years to the point where they have received a legislatively determined 95 percent of all income growth since 2009, the most ever on record. Worse yet, the rich steal 37 percent of all income produced in the United States nowadays, and that figure is growing, and with no end in sight. Rich parasites will soon be larger in terms of total income than their hosts, the 99 percent.

Ever wonder why the economy under President Jimmy Carter produced more jobs, raised wages, and had greater GNP growth on average than any year of the last fifteen with an economy that was ½ the size of today, and with a population that was 60 percent the size of today? The answer is simple.

Back then, the rich only stole 8 percent of the annual income produced in the United States. That means the rest of us earned 92 percent of all the income created in the USA, which meant demand for goods and services was far more plentiful then than today, job growth was greater, and wages for the 99 percent also rose. Under Carter, the economy created 225,000 jobs a month. Over the last fifteen years, 90,000 has been hailed as an outstanding achievement by President George W. Bush, as well as President Obama.

Something clearly is out of whack with the economy, and yes, most of it has to do with the massive corruption of the US government that was unleashed by the Reagan tax cuts. But if income can be massively redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, as it has been for the last thirty-five years, then the government can act to redistribute it back to where it belongs, and all for the good of the economy. This can partially be achieved by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2017.

And don’t tell me corporate America doesn’t have the money. Currently, they’re sitting on 7-8 trillion dollars inside the US, while holding another 7-8 trillion outside the US, because the demand for goods and services is so low they have no reason to invest it in new plant and equipment so as to increase production, which would require workers.

You can go back 150 years and literally find the same people shouting over and over again on behalf of their rich patrons saying the same thing, “If people on the bottom get paid more, it will be bad for them, and they will lose their jobs.” That’s just a polite way of saying, “My patrons and I are rich, you’re poor, and my boss and I want to keep it that way. And besides, it’s good for Wall Street.”

The fact that corporations are sitting on trillions upon trillions of dollars because demand is slack shows the opposite is true. Every one of those trillions of dollars could be used to create jobs if only the demand was there. The years between President Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan also show the same thing.

If you pay people more, they will purchase more, and everybody will be better off, not just a few politically powerful people. Those trillions of dollars will be used to invest in the production of goods and services. Those trillions also show that US corporations are quite capable of paying their employees more, and not just the already rich CEOs.

That’s why it’s long past time to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Besides, if the minimum wage had kept up with productivity (or real inflation) over the last 56 years, the US federal minimum wage would be nearly twenty dollars an hour.

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