Did Trump suddenly drop his oft-repeated criticism of tradition unemployment reporting and assertions that in reality its 42 percent and 94 million American adults are out of work? Well, as we’re going to see, probably not because his administration is still planning on redefining the “official” unemployment rate to be much “looser” and his claims that 42 percent if American adults are out of work are necessary to achieve a long-held GOP goal championed by House Speaker Paul Ryan: converting the US safety-net – including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – into a “work for a pittance to get a pittance of government support”-net that traps the poor in system where if you have to find full time work to get any help at all. Maybe even for the elderly. And the help you get in return for that work-requirement will keep shrinking year after year. It’s a plan that can’t happen unless almost all non-working adults are defined as “unemployed”. So, no, Trump didn’t change his mind. He just still thinks we’re all stupid (maybe).
Change is coming to Washington DC. Mostly horrible changes. But as we’ll see in this post, there is one very significant and positive change coming as a consequence of the unified GOP control of the White House and Congress: GOP is actually going to start getting the blame it deserves for all the damage its pro-oligarch/anti-everyone-else agenda routinely inflicts upon the American people. Politics can be frustrating for a myriad of reasons, but one of the biggest sources of frustration is the cloud of perpetual obfuscation and confusion that tends to permeate the political discourse and collective understanding of what’s actually happening, why it’s happening, and who should be rewarded or blamed for it. But for the next couple of years, at a minimum, it’s going to be very clear who to blame for the damage DC is about to unleash, and it’s not just going to be Donald Trump. And when it comes to health care “reform” (privatization) that the GOP is about to impose upon the populace, that blame is about to get dangerously diffusive for state legislatures and governorships because the Health Care Austerity Hot Potato is about to get tossed in their laps over and over. Indefinitely. And since the GOP controls almost all state legislatures and governorships at the moment they won’t be able to prevent themselves from slashing these programs. So with the coming block granting of first Medicaid and then Medicare (or maybe both together), the politics of health care is about to get weird. And tragic because the GOP won’t be able to help itself with all the austerity
In this chapter of our exploration of what’s wrong with the eurozone we’re going to take a look at the evolving nature of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) quantitative easing (QE) program. Specifically, how the QE program was facing a set of obstacles that was going to require some tweaking to the program and how the solution to the obstacle was to basically choose the tweaks that harmed the weak, in particular Portugal. In favor of Germany, of course. Keep in mind that Portugal recently formed a left-wing anti-austerity government and has done relatively economically well since coming into power . Also keep in mind that Portugal is one of the few eurozone nations not facing a rising far-right “populist” movement as a response to its harsh austerity program. So you might say the timing is “right” for some preferential treatment of Portugal. Preferentially bad treatment.
Lift Off! That was the announcement by the Federal Reserve this week when the world’s biggest and most influential central bank started the long awaited raising of its benchmark short-term rate a quarter point from near-zero levels, marking the first time the Fed has raised rates since 2006. It was big news, except this rate hike was telegraphed for quite a while now and virtually everyone was expecting the Fed to do exactly what it did, so it’s not as big as it could have been. If the Fed had decided not to raise rates, despite all the telegraphing, that probably would have been a bigger story. But would it have been a bad story if the Fed decided to keep rates at their current near-zero levels? There’s a big debate in the economic community over that. And it’s a debate that pits prudent economists with excellent track-records like Paul Krugman, someone who opposed the Fed’s December “lift off” decision, against the broad array of “permahawks”. But it’s not just the question with respect to Fed. The European Central Bank made a policy announcement this month too regarding its stimulus measure and it was indeed rather surprising. And as we’re also going to see in this post, it was surprising in the way that just might have done serious damage to not just the credibility of ECB President Mario Draghi but the ECB itself. Or at least credibility in the ECB’s commitment to its single mandate of keeping inflation hovering around 2 percent.
To placate permahawks (to maintain credibility) or not placate the permahawks (to maintain credibility)? That is the question. Or at least one of the questions central banks face. Unfortunately.
Wolfgang Schauble (Germany’s Finance Minister) has stated that Germany needn’t repay the billions it stole from Greece during World War II, because a government is not obligated to fulfill the pledges of previous regimes. The fact that Germany continues to pay pensions to veterans of Spain’s Blue Division (which fought on the Eastern Front during World War II) suggests that the German government’s judgments are self-servingly selective. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.
Evolved from the Hindu nationalist/fascist party the RSS, Narendra Modi is undermining India’s laws prohibiting child labor. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.
With negotiations between Greece and the troika over how to resolve the latest austerity-impasse still ongoing, Greece make an intriguing offer: Continue with the privatization of state assets that the troika demands, use the proceeds on Greece’s humanitarian crises instead of immediately paying back Greece’s creditors. And while the troika has yet to formally rule out Greece’s proposal, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker made an uncharacteristic offer last week of 2 billion euros to “support efforts to create growth and social cohesion in Greece”. Considering virtually all past attitudes by the troika regarding Greece’s “growth and social cohesion”. So by wrapping its humanitarian aid proposal within a privatization mandate Greece did the seemingly impossible: the troika’s position on Greece is slightly less crazy than before. That almost never happens. And still probably isn’t happening.
As discussed in FTR #788, Germany has NOT reimbursed Greece for the enormous damage wrought during World War II. Once again, that purloined wealth and the Bormann capital network that was the vehicle for the reinvestment of the Nazis’ World War II loot is center stage. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsirpas is demanding that the money be repaid. Tsirpas’ demand focuses attention on a dynamic that lies at the foundation of 20th and 21st capital flows. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.
In FTR #746 and FTR #788, we analyzed the Greek economic crisis, the EMU and “Clausewitzian Economics.” As Greece and Germany square off following the election of a left-wing coalition government in the former, the ghosts of World War II are materializing in frightening and dramatic fashion. The new Greek finance minister has noted the rise of Nazism in Greece as a result of the economic and social deprivation stemming from the austerity doctrine. There also remains the possibility of raising the specter of Germany’s unpaid World War II debt to Greece, thereby citing the economic and political dynamics inherent in the Bormann capital network, about which we speak so often. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.
The title of the program is a verbatim quote from Edward Snowden–the Peach Fuzz Fascist–in 2009. The GOP-controlled 114th Congress is attempting to implement Snowden’s views. In addition to highlighting Snowden’s ultra-reactionary views about abolishing Social Security and restoring the gold standard, the broadcast sets forth the GOP’s disingenuous statements about the Social Security disability program, exemplified by Rand Paul’s bald-faced lies about the nature of the program. After chronicling the GOP’s 80-year war on Social Security, going back to the early days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term, the broadcast reviews the 1934 coup attempt by powerful, fascist industrial and financial interests. Those same plotters supported Mussolini’s “corporate state” and Hitler’s eugenics program, aimed at eliminating “useless bread gobblers.” Like Snowden, the 1934 coup plotters wanted to eliminate Social Security and restore the gold standard.