This is a terrific and unusual piece for a bank to publish. It traces the history and highlights how America’s weak unions and strong lobbyists prevented action being taken on it for at least 50 years after Europe had banned it. As corporations continue to do today with any science that threatens to protect it’s customers from poisoning, they “cast doubt” on the science, blamed the poor, etc. I highly recommend it.
“Ideological hegemony is the process by which the exploited come to view the world through a conceptual framework provided to them by their exploiters.” – Kevin A. Carson
Every cynic was once an idealist who has grown defenses around their heart to avoid the pain of having their hopes dashed yet again. Ignoring the fact that Obama was always a well-marketed corporate candidate with moderate conservative (neoliberal) positions, a lot of people got their hopes up that he might be different. It’s understandable people don’t want to get their hopes up again.
The Bernie Sanders movement is not about him. It is about millions upon millions of us deciding that we’ve had enough. That we’re not going to play our part in their game anymore (where we stay home and they continue to rule).
It *can* happen here. This deserves a careful reading, so I won’t do any cutting and pasting. In view of events now.. a very careful consideration indeed is in order.
Book by Milton Mayer Review by Thom Hartmann, originally published at buzzflash.com on November 7, 2005.
Source: They Thought They Were Free
This is unbelievably bad:
Without tax increases in the coming weeks, the government will cease to offer many of its vital services.
And I suspect this is why:
Louisiana has sixth highest inequality in the nation
Hey you guys, anybody thought of, like… oh.. taxing the people that got all the dough for a change? At the rate the state is deteriorating, they’ll all be heading for California soon anyway.
Bernie Sander’s amazing Town Hall on the Flint water crisis. He *listened*–all the way through.
A handy-dandy quick reference–minor edits and emphases added by me.
â€œThe Fed controls the money supplyâ€: No it does not, it sets an interest rate (what happens after that is up to firms and households and their desire for external funds).
â€œThe Fed injects reserves which lowers the interest rateâ€ or, worse offender, â€œThe Fed injects money which lowers interest rateâ€. Under normal circumstances (i.e. pre-Great Recession, which is what most people have in mind when saying this), the Fed does not proactively inject reserves, it waits for banks to ask. And, the Fedâ€™s monetary policy never injects money, i.e. never deals directly with the public (M1).
â€œThe Fed printed money during the financial crisisâ€: No it just credited accounts by keystroking amounts, no Federal Reserve notes were printed. More to the point, none of these funds entered the money supply, i.e. funds held by the public.
â€œThe Fed used taxpayersâ€™ money during the financial crisisâ€: No it just credited accounts of banks by keystroking dollar amounts.
â€œBanks use reserves to buy stocks and corporate bondsâ€: No banks canâ€™t do that with reserves.
â€œThe large inflow of reserves in banks did not lead to inflation because banks did not lend the reserves or based on reservesâ€: No banks operate that way, bank credit and amount of reserves are unrelated (upcoming posts on this).
â€œCentral banks lend reservesâ€: No the Fed does not lend reserves because reserves are its liability.
â€œFiscal deficits raise interest ratesâ€: No, there was a hint about this in a previous post. More is coming in the next post. (short: fiscal deficits increase productivity instead, up to full employment–zap)
This is wonderfully clear and fascinating:
This was prescient:
This is just pure gold:
Every possibly objection to Bernie Sanders, now in one convenient location.
So often, the argument is thrown at me: “How are the rich ripping us off?” Well, here’s how:
Moreover, financialization isnâ€™t just confined to the financial sector itself. Itâ€™s also ultimately about who controls, guides, and benefits from our economy as a whole. And hereâ€™s the last big change: the â€œshareholder revolution,â€ started in the 1980s and continuing to this very day, has fundamentally transformed the way our economy functions in favor of wealth owners.To understand this change, compare two eras at General Electric. This is how business professor Gerald Davis describes the perspective of Owen Young, who was CEO of GE almost straight through from 1922 to 1945: â€œ[S]tockholders are confined to a maximum return equivalent to a risk premium. The remaining profit stays in the enterprise, is paid out in higher wages, or is passed on to the customer.â€ Davis contrasts that ethos with that of Jack Welch, CEO from 1981 to 2001; Welch, Davis says, believed in â€œthe shareholder as kingâ€”the residual claimant, entitled to the [whole] pot of earnings.â€This change had dramatic consequences. Economist J. W. Mason found that, before the 1980s, firms tended to borrow funds in order to fuel investment. Since 1980, that link has been broken. Now when firms borrow, they tend to use the money to fund dividends or buy back stocks. Indeed, even during the height of the housing boom, Mason notes, â€œcorporations were paying out more than 100 percent of their cash flow to shareholders.â€
… Finance has now won the battle against wage earners: corporations today are reluctant to raise wages even as the economy slowly starts to recover. This keeps the economy perpetually sluggish by retarding consumer demand, while also increasing inequality.
Lots more here: