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Social Security Facts vs Fog

November 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Dave Johnson's picture

By Dave Johnson

November 24, 2010 – 3:47pm ET

Conservative just hate Social Security. The Social Security program is an example of government at its best. It demonstrates We, the People taking care of and watching out for each other. It works, it is efficient and effective, and people love it. For their war against government to work conservatives have to find a way to undermine Social Security.

Conservatives have been at war with Social Security since its inception. They call it a “Ponzi scheme.” They claim that it is “going broke.” They claim that people live longer so we should increase the retirement age… They claim a lot of things. The question is, are any of them true? Or is each just one more area where conservatives are trying to throw up a smokescreen to mask their real intentions? (because it’s what they do.)

How much of what we hear about Social Security are facts, and how much is just fog?

One thing that most people do not know is that conservatives have been following an actual plan, a step-by-step strategy to get rid of Social Security, that was laid out a couple of decades a go. A 1983 Cato Institute Journal document, “Achieving a Leninist Strategy” by Stuart Butler of the Cato Institute and Peter Germanis of The Heritage Foundation lays it out for us. The document is still available at Cato, and select quotes are available at Plotting Privatization? from Z Magazine. It is worth reading the entire document (in particular the section “Weakening the Opposition”) to understand completely the strategy that has been unfolding in the years since, but the following quotes give you an idea:

“Lenin recognized that fundamental change is contingent upon … its success in isolating and weakening its opponents. … we would do well to draw a few lessons from the Leninist strategy.”

” construct … a coalition that will … reap benefits from the IRA-based private system … but also the banks, insurance companies, and other institutions that will gain from providing such plans to the public.”

“The first element consists of a campaign to achieve small legislative changes that embellish the present IRA system, making it in practice a small-scale private Social Security system.

“The second main element … involves what one might crudely call guerrilla warfare against both the current Social Security system and the coalition that supports it.”

“The banking industry and other business groups that can benefit from expanded IRAs …” “… the strategy must be to propose moving to a private Social Security system in such a way as to … neutralize … the coalition that supports the existing system.”

“The next Social Security crisis may be further away than many people believe. … it could be many years before the conditions are such that a radical reform of Social Security is possible. But then, as Lenin well knew, to be a successful revolutionary, one must also be patient and consistently plan for real reform.”

So there you have it. This shows how many of the arguments are just fog, not fact. And it shows how private interests intend to “reap benefits” from getting rid of Social Security: namely, they get a lot of the money instead of the retirees.

This time the attack is riding piggyback on concerns about budget deficits. First there was a big brouhaha about deficits, then the answer is offered: cut Social Security’s benefits. But Social Security is not allowed to borrow by law, so it cannot contribute to deficits. In fact, since the 1983 changes in the program Social Security has run surpluses, not deficits, and has built up a huge trust fund! Social Security won’t run short until possibly 2037, and even then can pay most of its benefits with no changes. (Compare that to the military budget, which has to borrow hundreds of billions every single year.)

Last time it was President George W Bush attacking the program. Remember? Social Security was supposed to be “in crisis” and needed to be “privatized.” The fog machine was trying to convince us to put the money into the stock market. But progressives rallied, saved the program, and now it is years later and the program is fine. Imagine where we would be if the program had been put into stocks!

Other times the fog machine has told us that Social Security “has a lower return” than putting the money into other investments, even though it is more than just retirement funds and also provides disability payments and other benefits. Or that there aren’t as many workers per retiree as there used to be, even though that is not how the program works. Or that people live longer, even though that is mostly because fewer babies die. (The program was designed for increasing longevity and the 1983 changes accounted for any differences.) There is always a new attack.

Whatever the current attack might be, keep in mind that it is just one more attack. Instead of spending all your time trying to refute each lie while they throw up a dozen more, remember that they hate Social Security and they just lie. Of course, there is a risk that each time Social Security is attacked more of the public will get the idea that something must be wrong with the program, when there isn’t. Keeping in mind that there is a corporate/conservative strategy at work to undermine the program helps to fight off the fog.

For politicians, Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson of the Strengthen Social Security coalition have a warning. In an LA Times op-ed the other day, Touching the ‘third rail’, they wrote,

For all the talk of polarization, the American people are clear and united about Social Security. A recent poll of those who voted in the midterm election found that 67% of respondents opposed cuts in benefits; 69% opposed raising the Social Security retirement age to 69. Respondents were also clear about what steps should be taken to address a looming shortfall. Some 66% of those polled favored doing away with the current cap on payroll taxes to fund Social Security. Currently, taxpayers are taxed only on their first $106,800 in income. Simply requiring upper-income taxpayers to pay the tax on all their income would bring in enough revenue to allow benefits to be raised across the board and still have the program in balance for at least the next 75 years.

. . . The message of the midterm election is that the American people are fed up with Washington elites who don’t seem to listen. Despite the clear view of the American people, the elites in Washington seem to think it would be better to reduce benefits than to require the wealthy to pay the same percentage of their salaries into Social Security as everyone else does.

If politicians choose to cut Social Security benefits, when they could simply scrap the cap, we predict that this midterm will seem like a walk in the park compared to what awaits them in 2012.

Take Action

Don’t mess with Social Security! November 30 is national Call Congress day, to say HANDS OFF SOCIAL SECURITY! Click the link to learn more.

Also, sign this petition from Campaign for America’s Future and CREDO Action, Tell Obama: Reject Social Security Cuts

(This post originally appeared at Open Left)

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Our Imperial Vote

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Wednesday 03 November 2010 

by: William J. Astore  |  The Huffington Post | Op-Ed

photo
(Photo: debeer.jonathan / Flickr)

Yesterday, we went to the polls and cast our votes. The act of voting reassures us that we still live in a democracy. This is true in name only. For we are not a democracy; not even a republic. We are an empire.

The imperial reality is there to see. Bloated government bureaucracies. A “defense” establishment that continues to grow like topsy. Multinational corporations that we celebrate and empower as our First Citizens. Poisoned political rhetoric that dissuades people from voting. An undereducated populace consumed by real cares and distracted by phony entertainment.

We’re offered a simulacrum of “choice” (Democrats vs. Republicans), where in reality both parties are in thrall to elite interests (partly because politicians themselves are either in the elite, or they want to be in the elite). “Choice” yesterday often devolved to whether we wanted to drink Budweiser (the Republican brew) or Bud Lite (the Obama brew). Tired of the watered down, “Lite” version, this time many voters opted for the Republican brew.

A few people saw beyond the simulacrum and voted for what amounts to political micro-brews (Green, Libertarian, what have you). But the two major parties have a lock on the marketplace – they dominate commercial advertising and state propaganda, the levers of governmental power, the entire electoral process – so they continue to promote a product that most of us are more or less willing to buy (it’s easier, after all, than making your own home brew).

How do we restore true choice? Put differently, how do we return to the (imperfect) republic that we once were, instead of continuing down the imperial road that we’re on? How do we pivot before we plummet off of the precipice?

For make no mistake: We are on an imperial road. Whichever major party controls Congress, we act globally to protect selfish needs and to advance selfish agendas. As a nation, we’ve allowed our citizen-soldier militias to morph into professional legions and private mercenary forces that fight wars on our imperial periphery. Meanwhile, we’re distracted from war’s costs and results by “bread and circuses” reminiscent of Imperial Rome, our version being fast food and even faster (and more forgettable) entertainment.

A nation that fails to provide affordable health care and adequate education to all, even as it throws away trillions of dollars on unwinnable wars, is a nation on a road to irrelevance. On some level, I think we know this. Maybe that’s why we need so much patriotic pageantry – so many huge flags spread across baseball fields, so many renditions of “God Bless America” echoing in our coliseums – as compensation for our sense of unease.

So, what’s in our future? A revolution by the people in the name of greater liberty, equality, and fraternity? Not bloody likely, given our collective passivity. A fascist takeover? Also not likely, because it’s not necessary: The elites are already in control.

What we need are radical critiques followed by radical change. But we won’t get there with a president and with Progressives adrift, hopelessly triangulating toward the center, in the spirit of “cooperation” and “bipartisanship” with a newly Republican House.

So here’s my message: We need the courage of our convictions. Feeble accommodation and feckless triangulation toward the Center-Right will only empower greater extremism – and even more debilitating versions of imperialism.

And that’s not what I voted for yesterday.

Professor Astore writes regularly for TomDispatch.com and can be reached at wjastore@gmail.com.

All republished content that appears on Truthout has been obtained by permission or license.

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Welcome to the Plutocracy

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

What did yesterday’s elections demonstrate? While the pundits and prognosticators will give you different opinions, one thing is very clear: It’s time for progressives to get to work.

The right wing runs a “ministry of truth” on television and radio, which spends 24 hours a day whipping up anger and pushing a plutocratic agenda.

We need to continue to build a trustworthy and powerful hub for expressing a true progressive morality. We need to engage more people who are ready to hear the truth – and ready to fight for economic fairness, peace and the cultivation of real democracy.

Please take five minutes to forward this Truthout newsletter to ten friends. Write a short note at the top and ask them to click the BIG RED BUTTON BELOW to sign up for our newsletter.

Click here to sign up.

With your help, we can turn the tide in the battle of ideas. This is about constructive, fact-based discussion. We need your help to engage more people and bring them into this growing media movement.

In Solidarity,
The Truthout Team

Wednesday 03 November 2010

Bill Moyers: “Welcome to the Plutocracy!”
Bill Moyers, Truthout: “Howard [Zinn] championed grassroots social change and famously chronicled its story as played out over the course of our nation’s history.

More, those stirring sagas have inspired and continue to inspire countless people to go out and make a difference.

The last time we met, I told him that the stories in A People’s History of the United States remind me of the fellow who turned the corner just as a big fight broke out down the block. Rushing up to an onlooker he shouted, ‘Is this a private fight, or can anyone get in it?’ For Howard, democracy was one big public fight and everyone should plunge into it.

That’s the only way, he said, for everyday folks to get justice – by fighting for it.”
Read the Article

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The Independent Institute’s MyGovCost.org Gives Voters A Government Cost Calculator:

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

100 Swan Way, Oakland, CA 94621-1428 • Phone: 510-632-1366 • Fax: 510-568-6040 • E-mail: info@independent.orgwww.independent.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lindsay Boyd
202.225.7722, lboyd@independent.org

Voting on Nov. 2nd? Find Out How Much Is Really at Stake
October 25, 2010— In 9 days, you will have the opportunity to walk into a voting booth and make a choice. The health of our economy and financial responsibility of our representatives in Congress are two of the largest concerns being addressed by candidates on both sides of the aisle. The Independent Institute’s latest initiative, MyGovCost.org, demonstrates that regardless of your level of participation in this process on November 2nd, it is important to be educated and informed.
Prior to submitting that ballot, you should know- how much is Washington’s spending costing you?

The Government Cost Calculator is a tool developed at MyGovCost.org that enables you, the voter, to receive a personalized report on what Washington’s spending is costing you and how much you’ll be liable for in the growing national debt. MyGovCost Director, Emily Skarbek, encourages voters to utilize the Calculator to become informed about what federal spending programs are really costing.  The calculator enables anyone to see how much of their tax dollar go towards funding specific programs so that voters can see what they are forgoing by voting for increased expenditures at the federal level.

For instance, a recent college graduate making $40,000 per year will be expected to pay $734,783 in federal taxes, and even then the federal government deficit and debt will continue to skyrocket. Interestingly, as demonstrated by the Government Cost Calculator, that same individual could have earned $5,042,961 if allowed to privately invest those dollars instead. Those hoping to enter retirement are also being faced with a similarly gloomy financial forecast. At 70 years old, those who are expecting to keep their spending in order during their retirement years face an average of $1, 207 in monthly taxes if current spending trends continue.

So, for those of you hoping to “make your vote count” on November 2nd, don’t go to the ballot box without first arming yourself with the facts. Use the Government Cost Calculator at MyGovCost.org to crunch the numbers with different scenarios depending on your stage in life. Break the spending down by projects. Most importantly, share your results with friends who want to be better informed about excessive federal spending on November 2nd.

To schedule an interview with MyGovCost.org Director, Emily Skarbek, please contact Lindsay Boyd, Director of Communications, at 202.225.7722 or lboyd@independent.org.
For More Information, please visit www.mygovcost.org. Also look for us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/my govcost and Facebook at www.facebook.com/mygovcost!

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How Voting Perpetuates Evil

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Joel S. Hirschhorn

For many years Americans have justified voting for candidates they were not especially thrilled with by convincing themselves that the lesser evil deserved to win office.  The fraction of people totally committed to one of the two major parties is small.  Most Americans see themselves as independents, liberals, conservatives, progressives or libertarians, but not as loyal Democrats or Republicans.  Most Americans are fed up with both major parties, not just incumbents.

But this year’s midterm elections will once again result in only Democratic or Republican candidates winning.  Other than staying home and not voting, nearly all voters will employ the lesser-evil justification.  Just one problem: That lesser-evil strategy has resulted in the dismal state of the nation that angers most Americans.

The only logical conclusion is that lesser-evil voting perpetuates all the cancerous evil plaguing the political system.  This should not surprise anyone.  Regardless of party affiliation, major party candidates convincingly lie to voters and the tons of money poured into politics create a mass propaganda machine from both parties that deceives voters.

Lesser-evil voting sometimes works in favor of Democrats and sometimes favors Republicans.  Negative advertising creates fear of some candidates and media pundits and celebrities use their considerable power to give voters reasons to vote for or against candidates.  The thirst for true reforms of government persists, as evidenced by the Tea Party movement and even the election of President Obama.  It is the force that moves the pendulum from one party to the other.

When will Americans wake up and realize that lesser evil still means evil?  Least bad still means bad.  Least corrupt still means corrupt.  Least dishonest still means dishonest.  Least stupid still means stupid.

But many people despairingly see no other option if they want to fulfill their civic responsibility and participate in elections.  That is because the two major parties have given Americans no real options.  They like the lesser-evil system that sustains the two-party plutocracy.  Only voters in Nevada can choose the “none of the above” option.  The rest of us can stay home or vote for third party candidates that stand no real chance of winning.  What to do?

Stop deluding yourself that any Democrat or Republican in Congress or the White House will actually do absolutely everything, even if it means not winning reelection, to reform the corrupt, dysfunctional, wasteful government system being controlled by wealthy people and corporate interests, and devastating ordinary Americans.

Your lesser-evil vote perpetuates evil.  Do you want to live with that?

Accept the ugly reality that voting within the electoral system is no longer capable of reforming and fixing our government.  Is that it?  Is there nothing else to do in our constitutional republic?  Actually, there is something else.  The Founders put an alternative path to reform in the Constitution.  In their wisdom they foresaw the possibility that the electoral system might fail we the people.  Very few Americans know about this option in Article V, which itself speaks volumes about the decay of our educational and political systems.  State convention delegates could propose reform constitutional amendments that would never be proposed by Congress, and they would still have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.

Instead of feeling frustrated with lesser-evil voting take the time to learn about the Article V convention option and why Congress has refused to honor the hundreds of state applications for one.  Friends of the Article V Convention, a national nonpartisan group, makes those applications available on its website, something that Congress never did, as well as many other resources.

Political powers on the left and right have worked hard to prevent the Article V convention option from ever being used.  That should tell you that what they fear we the people need now more than ever before.  The main thing to fear is the status quo political system that your lesser-evil votes sustain.  Only vote for someone who you deeply believe without reservations is the absolute best person to have in office.  That may mean not voting for every office on the ballot.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.  He is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention.]


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Taliban capture US base in Afghanistan

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

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Taliban militants have claimed that they have driven US troops out of a military outpost in Afghanistan‘s northeastern Kunar Province.

They also said that the Americans fled the military outpost in Kunar’s Marawara district in helicopters on Monday.

A senior Taliban commander said the group is now in full control of the district where the outpost is located.

He added that the militants attacked the outpost with rockets and machine guns.

Taliban say the ensuing clashes forced the US forces stationed there to flee.

The militants say they have seized all weapons and munitions left behind in the outpost.

A Press TV correspondent says the US military has not yet commented on the attack.

HSH/HRF/JR/AKM/MMN

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Wrecking the American Dream

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

A new day, a non-existent government, an unfam...

A new day, a non-existent government, an unfamiliar sight for millions.

by Stephen Lendman

Long planned, the current economic storm erupted violently in late 2007. It wasn’t by accident. It was engineered years back, so financial racketeers could profit from wrecking global economies and destroying their middle class, including America’s.

On February 1, 2009, former high-level Wall Street and government insider, Catherine Austin Fitts, explained it an article headlined, “Financial Coup d’Etat,” saying:

A global financial cabal “engineered a fraudulent housing and debt bubble; illegally shifted vast amounts of capital out of the US; and used ‘privatization’ as a form of piracy – a pretext to move government assets to private investors at below-market prices and then shift private liabilities back to government at no cost to the private liability holder….Clearly, there was a global financial coup d’etat underway,” its magnitude overwhelming and incomprehensible to most people, as planned.

Many trillions of dollars have been stolen, shifted from public to elitist private hands – by far, the greatest ever wealth transfer in history, a global heist, sucking capital out of one country after another, including America. It’s an ongoing “de-moderniz(ation)” process, transforming Western countries into third world ones – in real time, in plain sight, yet few people understand.

In stark terms, Fitts says it’s more than just “a process designed to wipe out the middle class. This is genocide (by other means) – a much more subtle and lethal version than ever before perpetrated by the scoundrels of our history texts.”

It’s a government-business cabal for enormous profits through “legislation, contracts, regulation (or lack of it), financing, subsidies,” and massive handouts to Wall Street favorites. Carefully rigged for powerful elitists, the public is so cleverly harmed that few understand what’s happening – literally that their livelihoods, welfare and lives are being destroyed in real time. The America older generations knew no longer exists, the dream of millions wiped out, and it’s also happening throughout Europe.

In his September 30 article titled, “The Neoliberal Experiment and Europe’s anti-Austerity Strikes,” Michael Hudson explained sinister plans “to drastically change the laws and structure of how European society will function for the next generation. If (successful, they’ll) break up Europe, destroy the internal market, and render that continent a backwater. This is how serious the financial coup d’etat has become. And it is going to get much worse – quickly….The bankers are demanding that (governments) rebuild their loan reserves at labor’s expense.” It’s also Obama’s scheme, shifting greater wealth to the rich, impoverishing the rest.

Throughout the West, neoliberals are in control. “From Brussels to Latvia, (they) aim to shrink their economies to roll back wage levels by 30 percent or more – depression-style levels – (for) ‘more surplus’….to pay in debt service,” tribute to global bankers, turning Europe “into a banana republic.” It’s also planned for America.

“This requires dictatorship.” Labor is targeted for destruction. “Europe (like America) is entering an era of totalitarian neoliberal rule.” So-called “free markets” aren’t possible without it. But wait – “This is economic suicide, taxing labor, not the rich, and at the same time “slash(ing) wages and pensions, cut(ting) back public spending and employment, and shrink(ing) the economy,” turning Western societies into dystopian backwaters, a dark future unfolding in real time.

In his October 2 International Forecaster report, former insider and long-time financial expert Bob Chapman adds more about America, saying:

“There is no question that those who control our government from behind the scenes are bound and determined to take over the $6 trillion in private pension plans. Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen. The Department of Labor wants to force all IRAs and 401ks into the arms of a corporate fascist government, that knows (best what’s) good for you.” They want public investments exchanged for “a guaranteed, government annuity that is not worth the paper it is written on.”

“Small amounts would go into” government retirement R-bonds, the larger portion earmarked for Wall Street – the usual suspects profiting, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and other giants for even greater market control than already, and far more capital to manipulate for profit. Chapman calls it “monopoly control and subjugation of worldwide investments, a total hold on the control of all investments” to scam the public more than ever and head them deeper into poverty, exactly what Washington and Western governments propose.

On the pretext of reform, destroying Medicare and Social Security are also planned by privatizing them, earmarking them for Wall Street, the same way 401ks killed corporate pensions.

The House Republicans’ “Pledge to America” aims to wreck them by promising to save them, including by “reviewing Social Security and other entitlement programs” – meaning, let Wall Street bandits, not Washington run them.

A longtime GOP priority, congressional Republicans, Reps. Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, and Eric Cantor explained it in their book, titled “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,” proposing privatizing Social Security and replacing Medicare with a voucher system that amounts to the same thing. If enacted, of course, it will leave workers and seniors high and dry by providing Wall Street racketeers with a new opportunity for pillage.

Democrats have the same plan, to be unveiled in the lame duck session on the pretext of deficit reduction and fiscal austerity, ideas Obama endorses. On February 18, he signed an Executive Order, establishing a “bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” (a deficit reduction commission) to slash social spending, focusing heavily on Medicare and Social Security.

Stacked with neoliberal ideologues, Congress will get its recommendations during the lame duck session, and according to observers, then enact legislation before the 112th body’s first session in January. On the pretext of saving the economy, bipartisan chicanery plans to wreck it, leaving millions high and dry on their own.

Fiscal responsibility means class warfare, the agenda Professor Carroll Quigley explained in his 1966 book, titled “Tragedy and Hope,” saying:

“(T)he powers of financial capitalism (have a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands to dominate the political system of each country and the (entire world economy). This system (would) be controlled in a feudalist fashion by (global, privately run central banks), acting in concert” secretly.

With bipartisan support, their plan is virtually complete. It will be advanced in the lame duck session, then further by the 112th Congress until all social programs end and finance capital has full control.

America’s Economic Landscape

On September 19, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), “determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the US economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007.”

Stacked with corporate economists (practicing what Michael Hudson calls “junk economics”), the types featured on business channels and in mainstream publications, the NBER is a Wall Street tool.

Non-member David Rosenberg has another view, saying “it is very difficult (getting) excited about (today’s) economic landscape.”

Unemployment is dangerously high. It’ll worsen, not improve, and there’s “absolutely no recovery in bank lending – especially to households.” In fact, consumer loans and real estate credit keep dropping, hardly a sign of recovery, besides disturbing consumer sentiment levels, a deep housing depression, and any number of other indicators showing a hugely troubled economy. It’s why independent observers like Hudson and Chapman expect worse to come, a tsunami of economic pain, hitting ordinary people hardest.

In 2008/09, the Fed’s near zero interest rate policy and quantitative easy money (QE1) failed. Sustainable economic growth, job creation, revived consumer spending, and normalized housing haven’t happened. No matter. Though already underway, on September 21, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced QE2, saying:

“Measures of underlying inflation are currently at levels somewhat below those the Committee judges most consistent, over the long run, (and are) likely to remain subdued for some time….”

“The Committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and is prepared (read has already begun providing) additional accommodation (as) needed to support the economic recovery….”

In other words, money creation and asset buying will continue even though nearly two years of doing it failed. Key indicators show deep economic weakness. Gold is at record highs, and bond markets are signaling a depressed economic climate.

According to investment analyst Claus Vogt, the economic picture is “bleak….With the housing market in shambles, bank lending contracting, and consumers tapped out, there is no base for a sustainable recovery.”

“Will QE2 help? QE1’s failure showed even “the mighty Fed was not strong enough to” reverse the trend. “I can’t see a single reason” to think this time is different. “If anything, I expect the Fed’s efforts to prove even more ineffective this time around” because QE2 is its only remaining tool. QE1’s failure proved it ineffective.

Moreover, Bernanke knows it, having argued (with former Fed vice chairman Alan Blinder) against this type multiplier in 1988. In addition, bank reserves aren’t being loaned. They’re being stockpiling or held at the Fed for above-market rates. As a result, QE2 ad infinitum won’t work without lending, what’s not happening, nor will it under Bernanke’s scheme to prevent it. Further, under the fractional reserve system, banks don’t need credit to make loans. They do it by creating money out of thin air every time they issue one.

Thus, expect stagnation and more slowdown ahead, exacerbating existing problems, especially with bipartisan support for fiscal austerity at a time massive stimulus is needed. In addition, the Fed needs to put its money where our mouths are instead of handing it over to Wall Street.

Instead counterproductive policies are planned, Rosenberg saying, “It does not leave us with a very warm and fuzzy feeling.” In other commentaries, he’s expressed alarm, believing economic conditions describe depression, a conclusion he’s repeated several times.

A Final Comment

On September 28, the US Census Bureau provided more evidence of economic trouble, reporting America’s highest ever income gap. In 2009, median household income fell nearly 3% from $51,726 to $50,221, the second consecutive annual drop.

Moreover, among all developed nations, America has the highest income disparity, and it’s showing up in record numbers needing Medicaid, food stamps, and emergency food help. In addition, higher levels of poverty, homelessness and other worrying signs show economic weakness, not strength.

Yet, with growing human depravation, bipartisan indifference cares only about serving wealth and privilege. Expect that attitude to harden post-election, leaving growing millions on their own, out of luck, and if new legislation passes as expected, eventually without Social Security and Medicare, once Wall Street bandits gets their hands on them.

On September 18, Obama explained it when he told the Congressional Black Caucus, “You didn’t elect me to do what was popular. You elected me to do what was right,” his hidden message meaning populism will be sacrificed for privilege. As a result, expect lots tougher times ahead because political leaders plan it – wrecking the American dream for business at the public’s expense unless enough outrage erupts to stop it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

:: Article nr. 70494 sent on 06-oct-2010 21:11 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=70494

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.


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