Have you noticed that people say some of the most hateful things imaginable on the Internet? Earlier today, I came across a Time Magazine article entitled “How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet“, and it made me reflect on my own experience as the publisher of a number of prominent websites. Over the years, I have often gotten to see what is really going on in some of the darkest hearts in our society. There are people that come to my websites that somehow think that making crude sexual remarks about the wives and children of people that they have never met is perfectly acceptable behavior. There are others that say incredibly vile things about people that have a different skin color than they do, and some people have a hatred for Christians and the Christian faith that is absolutely frightening. I can’t understand why anyone would want to be like that, but apparently this kind of behavior is very widespread. In fact, one Pew Research Center survey discovered that 70 percent of all 18-to-24-year-olds who use the Internet have experienced harassment at some point.
Sadly, the truth is that the relative anonymity of the Internet allows people to reveal what is really in their hearts. For some people, the Internet magnifies the kindness and goodness that is in their hearts, but for others it does the exact opposite. From the safety of their own homes, they endlessly spew speech that is so abusive that it is hard to imagine that the person spewing it is actually human. ⇒ Keep Reading
“We know that the entire governmental infrastructure financially has been run as a criminal enterprise for some time… The government is being run outside of the laws related to money. That requires a double standard and parallel universe between what you say you’re doing and what you’re doing.… The citizens have got to make up their mind: are they going to tolerate this level or corruption or not? It’s ours to decide.” ~ Catherine Austin Fitts in the interview
“The concern is this $500 trillion of derivatives just on sovereign debt. There is $100 trillion in sovereign debt globally, which is a huge bill, and then you have all these derivatives betting against it with credit default swaps that would pay off in the event of a default…. They are impossible debts to pay, but the central banks will not let any of these countries go bankrupt because the fear is it would trigger a cascade of defaults among the derivatives players, which would bring everything down.” ~ Ellen Brown in the interview
Are you ready to claim a million dollars per US household as the easily-counted average benefits per US household from monetary reform and public banking? If so, here are two outstanding interviews followed by resources that those of us documenting reforms have found zero refutation (if you have any please provide those links to me). Please know that we are expert witness professionals able to easily explain, document, and prove our claims with Emperor’s New Clothes elegant clarity. We point to objective and independently-verifiable facts that anyone can see if they care to look. ⇒ Keep Reading
By Michael Hudson, Michael-Hudson.com. Hudson is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, who has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. He is a former Wall Street economist at Chase Manhattan Bank, who also helped establish the world’s first sovereign debt fund.
JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES Vol. L No. 3 September 2016 DOI 10.1080/00213624.2016.1210384
Dirk Bezemer is a professor of economics at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Michael Hudson is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a professor at Peking University. The authors thank the editor and two anonymous referees for helpful suggestions that greatly improved this article. Bezemer wishes to thank the Equilibrio Foundation and the Institute for New Economic Thinking for financial support. Any remaining errors are the authors’ own.
Abstract: Conflation of real capital with finance capital is at the heart of current misunderstandings of economic crisis and recession. We ground this distinction in the classical analysis of rent and the difference between productive and unproductive credit. We then apply it to current conditions, in which household credit — especially mortgage credit — is the premier form of unproductive credit. This is supported by an institutional analysis of postwar U.S. development and a review of quantitative empirical research across many countries. Finally, we discuss contemporary consequences of the financial sector’s malformation and overdevelopment.
Keywords: capital, credit, crisis, rent
Why have economies polarized so sharply since the 1980s, and especially since the 2008 crisis? How did we get so indebted without real wage and living standards rising, while cities, states, and entire nations are falling into default? Only when we answer these questions can we formulate policies to extract ourselves from the current debt crises. There is widespread sentiment that this crisis is fundamental, and that we cannot simply “go back to normal.” But deep confusion remains over the theoretical framework that should guide analysis of the post-bubble economy.
By Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chris Hedges, formerly of the New York Times. Truth Dig (republished with permission of the author.)
By Chris Hedges
A Donald Trump campaign rally. In the 2016 presidential contest, a frustrated white working class has been receptive to anti-democracy messages. (Carlos Osorio / AP)
Chris Hedges is on vacation and will return to writing his weekly Truthdig column on Sept. 5. While he is on break, we will republish some of his past columns. This one originally appeared Dec. 27, 2015.
The seizure of political and economic power by corporations is unassailable. Who funds and manages our elections? Who writes our legislation and laws? Who determines our defense policies and vast military expenditures? Who is in charge of the Department of the Interior? The Department of Homeland Security? Our intelligence agencies? The Department of Agriculture? The Food and Drug Administration? The Department of Labor? The Federal Reserve? The mass media? Our systems of entertainment? Our prisons and schools? Who determines our trade and environmental policies? Who imposes austerity on the public while enabling the looting of the U.S. Treasury and the tax boycott by Wall Street? Who criminalizes dissent?
A disenfranchised white working class vents its lust for fascism at Trump campaign rallies. Naive liberals, who think they can mount effective resistance within the embrace of the Democratic Party, rally around the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who knows that the military-industrial complex is sacrosanct. Both the working class and the liberals will be sold out. Our rights and opinions do not matter. We have surrendered to our own form of wehrwirtschaft. We do not count within the political process.
It’s difficult to pick the most destructive of America’s many senseless, futile and tragically needless wars, but the “War on Drugs” is near the top of the list.Prohibition of mind-altering substances has not just failed–it has failed spectacularly, and generated extremely destructive and counterproductive consequences.
What was the result of the Prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s? Prohibition instantly criminalized 40+% of the adult populace and created hugely profitable criminal organizations.
What was the result of the “War on Drugs”? This modern-day Prohibition instantly criminalized large swaths of the adult populace and created hugely profitable criminal organizations.
If you want to increase drug use, criminalize innocent citizens and spawn gargantuan criminal organizations, then by all means declare “war” via Prohibition. The results of Prohibition/War on Drugs are so visibly perverse and so destructive that the entire enterprise is sickeningly Orwellian.
The well-paid apologists for Prohibition/War on Drugs claim that imprisoning millions of people “helps” them avoid drugs. If you think being tossed in prison for a few years “helps” people, then step right up and accept a fiver (5-year sentence) in an American prison, which is essentially a factory that produces one product: people damaged by imprisonment, deprived of their full citizenship, hobbled by a felony conviction–ex-con beneficiaries of years of tutorials by hardened criminals. ⇒ Keep Reading
The Associated Press issued, on Wednesday August 17th, a news story of possible corruption implicating both the campaign manager of the Trump campaign (Paul Manafort) and the campaign manager of the Clinton campaign (Tony Podesta), but headlined their news report only with the Trump-campaign’s connection, and included in the report’s lead-sentence, mention of only the Trump campaign, and buried until the news report’s 14th sentence, its first mention of the Clinton-campaign’s connection in this reported affair.
Furthermore, the AP’s ‘news’ article raised the question of whether a U.S. lobbying firms’ “accepting money to advocate the interests of foreign governments — especially if those interests conflict with America’s” is ethical, and it also implied (but did not assert this outright) that “those interests conflict with America’s” interests in this particular case. However, the AP’s ‘news’ writers provided no evidence that this “conflict with America’s” interests was actually so — that there was actually any such “conflict.” Only the hint of it was provided by the AP’s ‘news’ writers.
The AP’s article also avoided mentioning that the U.S. government overthrew, in a bloody coup which ended this lobbying campaign, the Ukrainian government that those lobbyists had been representing in Washington, and that that overthrown Ukrainian government actually constituted the “those interests” which the AP’s article was implying to have been unethical for these lobbyists to have been representing.
One day in the not too distant future, a major emergency will strike this nation, and that will set off a round of hoarding unlike anything we have ever seen before. Just think about what happens when a big winter storm or a hurricane is about to hit one of our major cities – inevitably store shelves are stripped bare of bread, milk, snow shovels, etc. Even though winter storms and hurricanes are just temporary hurdles to overcome, they still cause many people to go into panic mode. So what is going to happen when we have a real crisis on our hands?
We can get some clues about which items will disappear first during a major national emergency by taking a look at where such a scenario is already playing out. One recent survey found that over 80 percent of all basic foodstuffs are currently unavailable in Venezuela, and about half the country can no longer provide three meals a day for their families. Thankfully, some stores still have a few things that they are able to offer, but other key items are completely gone. The following comes from USA Today…
Oh, there are some things to buy. Besides salt, there are fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products but no milk, some cereal, lots of snacks and a few canned goods.
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