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Lefty OBAMA,helping FBI coverup,starting CIA secret torture sites,hurting labor..oh yeah real lefty


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#16 Steven Gaal

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:51 AM

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globalresearch link
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However, what may be shocking is the fact that Section 601 also provides for the mobilization of “labor” for purposes of the national defense. Although some subsections read that evaluations are to be made regarding the “effect and demand of labor utilization,” the implication is that “labor” (meaning American workers) will be considered yet one more resource to be seized for the purposes of “national defense.” [/quote]


A fruit loop blogger claiming that something is true and it in fact being true a quite different propositions

[quote]
The EO reads,
Sec. 601. Secretary of Labor. (a) The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of other agencies, as deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Labor, shall:
(1) collect and maintain data necessary to make a continuing appraisal of the Nation's workforce needs for purposes of national defense;[/quote]

Federal agencies "collect[ing] and maintain[ing] data..." does NOT equal 'the mobilization of “labor” for purposes of the national defense' let alone "forced labor"

[quote]
(2) upon request by the Director of Selective Service, and in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, assist the Director of Selective Service in development of policies regulating the induction and deferment of persons for duty in the armed services;[/quote]

Federal agencies "Regulating the induction and deferment of persons for duty in the armed services" does NOT equal 'the mobilization of “labor” for purposes of the national defense' let alone "forced labor".


[quote](3) upon request from the head of an agency with authority under this order, consult with that agency with respect to: (i) the effect of contemplated actions on labor demand and utilization; (ii) the relation of labor demand to materials and facilities requirements; and (iii) such other matters as will assist in making the exercise of priority and allocations functions consistent with effective utilization and distribution of labor;[/quote]

Federal agencies "consult with [other] agenc[ies] with respect to..." the points listed above does NOT equal 'the mobilization of “labor” for purposes of the national defense' let alone "forced labor".

=o=============================================================
+o+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
from the http://thenewamerican.com/
oooooooooooooooo
http://www.thenewame...ime-martial-law
======================================
e) The Secretary of each resource department, when necessary, shall make the finding required under section 101(B) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(B). This finding shall be submitted for the President's approval through the Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Upon such approval, the Secretary of the resource department that made the finding may use the authority of section 101(a) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(a), to control the general distribution of any material (including applicable services) in the civilian market.
==============


That’s right. The last line of the quoted material gives the President of the United Staes the power to “control the general distribution of any material (including services) in the civilian market.” This seems to be no less than the nationalization of all food, energy, water, and healthcare pipelines and providers in the country. And to help him keep tabs on all this responsibility, he assigns a cabinet member to each category of control.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ oooo
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ oooo
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ oooo
LEFTY OBAMA THREAD CONTINUES
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http://www.commondre...ne/2012/03/15-3
=======================
Published on Thursday, March 15, 2012 by Common Dreams
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Corporate Win, Loss for the 99%: U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement Takes Effect
“Just how damaging this deal is to the 99 percent in both countries has been repeatedly revealed"
- Common Dreams staff
The U.S.- Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) takes effect today, and is being met with heated protests over the deal's rewarding the interests of big business while crushing the 99%. Messaging that the agreement will create jobs has been slammed as "some rosy fantasy" fabricated by multinational corporations.

The deal means that almost 80 percent of U.S. exports of industrial products to Korea are now duty-free and nearly two-thirds of U.S. exports of agricultural products to Korea are now duty-free.

Agence France-Presse reports:

The agreement was originally signed in July 2007 but was approved by the US Congress only last October, after a partial renegotiation to address US auto industry complaints.

South Korea's parliament approved it last November despite vehement protests from opposition lawmakers, one of whom exploded a tear gas canister in the assembly.

Critics say the deal is lop-sided and serves big business at the expense of South Korea's farmers and service industries.

"This is a lose-lose deal that will destroy jobs in both countries."

PressTV reports that thousands gathered in Seoul hours before the agreement officially went into effect to protest the agreement:

About 1,200 activists rallied in downtown Seoul on Wednesday, chanting slogans against the deal and demanding the resignation of President Lee Myung-Bak.

The rally, which was also attended by members of major opposition parties, came hours before the agreement came into force at midnight local time.

Protesters said the deal would crush South Korea's economy and hurt people's livelihood. They also complained that it would damage the country's farming and service industries by flooding the market with cheaper imports.

The activists vowed to keep protesting until the government nullifies the agreement.

Public Citizen writes that the trade deal was rushed to beat the Korean parliamentary elections in April and notes that polls showed the elections would "elevate a political party that has vowed to terminate the pact unless the 'investor-state' enforcement system is altered."

Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, stated that the KORUS is a bad deal for "99%" in both the U.S. and South Korea:

“Just how damaging this deal is to the 99 percent in both countries has been repeatedly revealed from this latest disgrace of trying to outrun the democratic accountability of Korea’s election to the White House, notably canceling a public bill-signing ceremony after the FTA was passed here. By rushing the implementation, the Obama administration is trying to cement in the extreme NAFTA-style corporate investor privileges that candidate Obama pledged would not be included in his trade agreements and that a large majority of Korea’s parliament also opposes.”

“Just how damaging this deal is to the 99 percent in both countries has been repeatedly revealed..."

While U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement today, “Starting today, Korea’s doors are wide open for Made-In-America exports that will support well-paying jobs here at home," research from the Economic Policy Institute in July of 2010 shows that KORUS will bring a loss of 159,000 American jobs:

== link http://www.epi.org/p...cost_u-s-_jobs/ SHOWS GRAPH ECONOMIC EFFECT ==

Unlike USITC’s [U.S. International Trade Commission's] forecast of a small positive impact, EPI’s research shows it will increase the U.S. trade deficit with Korea by about $16.7 billion, and displace about 159,000 American jobs within the first seven years after it takes effect.



Writing on The Hill today, Chun Jung-bae, member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea and member of the Supreme Council of the Democratic Party of Korea, reiterates that job creation from KORUS is "some rosy fantasy" and "is a fabrication of multinational corporations."

There is some rosy fantasy that the pending U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs in both countries and strengthen and expand the U.S. relationship with Korea. This is a fabrication of multinational corporations that have no allegiance to either country. As a member of the Korean National Assembly, I would like to set the record straight: In reality, the deal is lose-lose. [...]

[T]his trade deal will have a negative impact on the middle-class in the U.S. and Korea. This is a lose-lose deal that will destroy jobs in both countries. How can that be? The deal is expected to increase the overall U.S. trade deficit, which would lead to net job loss in the U.S. But it is the deal’s low domestic content requirement that would encourage both U.S. and Korean corporations to offshore jobs to low-wage countries.

Anti-KORUS protest from 2011 (photo: mj jin lee)
Christine Ahn and Albie Miles have previously written on the devastation the agreement would bring to Koreans:

The Korea FTA is the latest in a long history of aggressive U.S. foreign policies toward Korea that have significantly undermined Korean farmers. The current FTA will further erode Korea’s agricultural sector and food security while contributing to its environmental degradation through reduced emission standards and potential exposure to contaminated U.S. beef and transgenic crops. With this FTA, Koreans also stand to lose their national healthcare system as U.S. financial services and pharmaceutical firms await the opportunity to use the Investor to State Dispute (ISD) mechanisms to sue governments for infringing on their right to profit.

Ahn and Miles also reported that the trade agreement may mean more genetically modified food going to South Korea:

It's also unclear how much the FTA has been used to dismantle South Korea’s 2000 genetic engineering (GE) labeling law and undermine its commitment to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, an international supplemental agreement to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The Cartagena Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from risks posed by transgenic organisms resulting from biotechnology. Under the protocol, developing nations can restrict and/or label GE organisms to protect their biodiversity and/or public health if inadequate scientific evidence guarantees that a product is safe. The FTA negotiations overturned Korea’s 2000 GE labeling law that had largely kept transgenic imports out of Korea’s food supply. In 2007, the Washington-based Biotechnology Industry Organization hailed the conclusion of the Korea FTA for “providing additional market access opportunities in Korea for U.S. biotechnology companies.” It specifically lauded the U.S. agricultural negotiator for ensuring “that trade of biotech-derived crops, foods, and feeds continues without disruption.” Despite widespread opposition to GE foods in Korea, transgenic imports no longer have to be labeled.

The FTA lifted the floodgates for massive imports of GE foods and feedstock, namely U.S. GE corn. In February 2008, less than a year after the ag-biotech deal was signed, the Korean Corn Processing Industry Association purchased 697,000 metric tons of U.S. GE maize, the first major GE shipment destined for food use to arrive in Korea since 2000. Korean approvals of GE imports have since skyrocketed. By February 2008, Korea had approved 102 transgenic organisms for import as feed or food, 70 percent from U.S. firms Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow Chemical.

#17 Len Colby

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:45 PM

from the http://thenewamerican.com/
oooooooooooooooo
http://www.thenewame...ime-martial-law
======================================
e) The Secretary of each resource department, when necessary, shall make the finding required under section 101(B) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(B). This finding shall be submitted for the President's approval through the Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Upon such approval, the Secretary of the resource department that made the finding may use the authority of section 101(a) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(a), to control the general distribution of any material (including applicable services) in the civilian market.
==============


That’s right. The last line of the quoted material gives the President of the United Staes the power to “control the general distribution of any material (including services) in the civilian market.” This seems to be no less than the nationalization of all food, energy, water, and healthcare pipelines and providers in the country. And to help him keep tabs on all this responsibility, he assigns a cabinet member to each category of control.


Well if the John Birch Society says so it must be true! Despite the far-right author's hysterical analysis there is of course a vast difference between 'control[ing]' (i.e. regulating) distribution and seizure of the companies (i.e. 'nationalization'). and is certainly a far cry from "forced labor", which was one of your previous claims.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ oooo
LEFTY OBAMA THREAD CONTINUES
vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
http://www.commondre...ne/2012/03/15-3
=======================
Published on Thursday, March 15, 2012 by Common Dreams
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corporate Win, Loss for the 99%: U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement Takes Effect
“Just how damaging this deal is to the 99 percent in both countries has been repeatedly revealed"
- Common Dreams staff
The U.S.- Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) takes effect today, and is being met with heated protests over the deal's rewarding the interests of big business while crushing the 99%. Messaging that the agreement will create jobs has been slammed as "some rosy fantasy" fabricated by multinational corporations.

The deal means that almost 80 percent of U.S. exports of industrial products to Korea are now duty-free and nearly two-thirds of U.S. exports of agricultural products to Korea are now duty-free.

Agence France-Presse reports:

The agreement was originally signed in July 2007 but was approved by the US Congress only last October, after a partial renegotiation to address US auto industry complaints.

South Korea's parliament approved it last November despite vehement protests from opposition lawmakers, one of whom exploded a tear gas canister in the assembly.

Critics say the deal is lop-sided and serves big business at the expense of South Korea's farmers and service industries.

"This is a lose-lose deal that will destroy jobs in both countries."

PressTV reports that thousands gathered in Seoul hours before the agreement officially went into effect to protest the agreement:

About 1,200 activists rallied in downtown Seoul on Wednesday, chanting slogans against the deal and demanding the resignation of President Lee Myung-Bak.

The rally, which was also attended by members of major opposition parties, came hours before the agreement came into force at midnight local time.

Protesters said the deal would crush South Korea's economy and hurt people's livelihood. They also complained that it would damage the country's farming and service industries by flooding the market with cheaper imports.

The activists vowed to keep protesting until the government nullifies the agreement.

Public Citizen writes that the trade deal was rushed to beat the Korean parliamentary elections in April and notes that polls showed the elections would "elevate a political party that has vowed to terminate the pact unless the 'investor-state' enforcement system is altered."

Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, stated that the KORUS is a bad deal for "99%" in both the U.S. and South Korea:

“Just how damaging this deal is to the 99 percent in both countries has been repeatedly revealed from this latest disgrace of trying to outrun the democratic accountability of Korea’s election to the White House, notably canceling a public bill-signing ceremony after the FTA was passed here. By rushing the implementation, the Obama administration is trying to cement in the extreme NAFTA-style corporate investor privileges that candidate Obama pledged would not be included in his trade agreements and that a large majority of Korea’s parliament also opposes.”

“Just how damaging this deal is to the 99 percent in both countries has been repeatedly revealed..."

While U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement today, “Starting today, Korea’s doors are wide open for Made-In-America exports that will support well-paying jobs here at home," research from the Economic Policy Institute in July of 2010 shows that KORUS will bring a loss of 159,000 American jobs:

== link http://www.epi.org/p...cost_u-s-_jobs/ SHOWS GRAPH ECONOMIC EFFECT ==



Some of the things none of these analysts take into account are the lowering of costs to consumers in both countries and the positive impact for Korea's industrial sector and America's farmers. Until the 1950s left-liberals were normally free trade.

#18 Steven Gaal

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:03 AM

COLBY// A fruit loop blogger claiming that something is true and it in fact being true a quite different propositions
################################
not much different than COLBY himself (maybe better)
--------- fruit loop below ------------------------
Division of Student Affairs


Staff Profile - Brandon Turbeville
Education

Bachelor of Arts, Francis Marion University (Cum Laude and Honors)


Profession Experience

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Employed at FMU in current position since 2008
################################===============
= 30 years of free trade +++++++++

9% Unemployment Rate is a Statistical Lie” is a pretty catchy title, and being the kind of vicious little rat that I am, and who suspects treachery and betrayal at every turn, I naturally take a look at it to confirm my worst suspicions.

The bad news is that it is, indeed, scary stuff! The article is by Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com, who writes that John Williams of ShadowStats.com has calculated that “If unemployment was computed the way BLS did it prior to 1994, the true unemployment rate would be 22.2%.”



http://dailycaller.c...out-free-trade/
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related
http://usawatchdog.c...g-not-recovery/
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LEFTY OBAMA THREAD CONTINUES


Twenty million could lose employer coverage under Obama health care overhaul


by Kate Randall
http://globalresearc...xt=va&aid=29820

Edited by Steven Gaal, 23 March 2012 - 04:20 AM.


#19 Len Colby

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:54 PM

COLBY// A fruit loop blogger claiming that something is true and it in fact being true a quite different propositions
################################
not much different than COLBY himself (maybe better)
--------- fruit loop below ------------------------
Division of Student Affairs


Staff Profile - Brandon Turbeville
Education

Bachelor of Arts, Francis Marion University (Cum Laude and Honors)


Profession Experience

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Employed at FMU in current position since 2008
################################===============



OMG he has a BA from a middling obscure U. and worked at the same school's "Division of Student Affairs" for a few years, what he says must be true! despite his 'lofty' credentials what he said about the EO doesn't match its text.

= 30 years of free trade +++++++++

9% Unemployment Rate is a Statistical Lie” is a pretty catchy title, and being the kind of vicious little rat that I am, and who suspects treachery and betrayal at every turn, I naturally take a look at it to confirm my worst suspicions.

The bad news is that it is, indeed, scary stuff! The article is by Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com, who writes that John Williams of ShadowStats.com has calculated that “If unemployment was computed the way BLS did it prior to 1994, the true unemployment rate would be 22.2%.”



http://dailycaller.c...out-free-trade/

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related
http://usawatchdog.c...g-not-recovery/
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WTF is USAWatchdog.com? If true what's your point?

LEFTY OBAMA THREAD CONTINUES


Twenty million could lose employer coverage under Obama health care overhaul


by Kate Randall
http://globalresearc...xt=va&aid=29820


So says an obscure writer on an obscure website sighting a supposed unnamed CBO report.

#20 Steven Gaal

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:59 PM


COLBY// A fruit loop blogger claiming that something is true and it in fact being true a quite different propositions
################################
not much different than COLBY himself (maybe better)
--------- fruit loop below ------------------------
Division of Student Affairs


Staff Profile - Brandon Turbeville
Education

Bachelor of Arts, Francis Marion University (Cum Laude and Honors)


Profession Experience

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Employed at FMU in current position since 2008
################################===============



OMG he has a BA from a middling obscure U. and worked at the same school's "Division of Student Affairs" for a few years, what he says must be true! despite his 'lofty' credentials what he said about the EO doesn't match its text.

= 30 years of free trade +++++++++

9% Unemployment Rate is a Statistical Lie” is a pretty catchy title, and being the kind of vicious little rat that I am, and who suspects treachery and betrayal at every turn, I naturally take a look at it to confirm my worst suspicions.

The bad news is that it is, indeed, scary stuff! The article is by Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com, who writes that John Williams of ShadowStats.com has calculated that “If unemployment was computed the way BLS did it prior to 1994, the true unemployment rate would be 22.2%.”



http://dailycaller.c...out-free-trade/

---------====-------------
related
http://usawatchdog.c...g-not-recovery/
##############################################################
##############################################################
##############################################################


WTF is USAWatchdog.com? If true what's your point?

LEFTY OBAMA THREAD CONTINUES


Twenty million could lose employer coverage under Obama health care overhaul


by Kate Randall
http://globalresearc...xt=va&aid=29820


So says an obscure writer on an obscure website sighting a supposed unnamed CBO report.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
AS it stated at GLOBAL RESEARCH LINK the ARTICLE WORLD SOCIALIST WEB SITE CBO report of 3/14/12
--==-==--==--==--==
http://wsws.org/arti.../heal-m17.shtml
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
WTF cant you see FREE TRADE continues = economy worse (usawatchdog article). Geseese !!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Brandon CUM LAUDE & HONORS and ON STAFF. Probably brighter than most.

Edited by Steven Gaal, 23 March 2012 - 04:00 PM.


#21 Len Colby

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:52 PM

AS it stated at GLOBAL RESEARCH LINK the ARTICLE WORLD SOCIALIST WEB SITE CBO report of 3/14/12
--==-==--==--==--==
http://wsws.org/arti.../heal-m17.shtml


But they didn’t provide the title of or a link to the supposed report

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
WTF cant you see FREE TRADE continues = economy worse (usawatchdog article). Geseese !!


Can you show a causal link between worsening economy and free trade? Despite a down turn since 2008, due to unrelated factors, living standards in the US have increased sharply ovewr the last decade or so. Brazil started opening up its economy 20 years ago and has seen its economic importance living standard sharply rise.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Brandon CUM LAUDE & HONORS and ON STAFF. Probably brighter than most.


“CUM LAUDE & HONORS” from a crappy school, spent a few years with undisclosed position at the “student affairs” department, no longer on staff, hired shortly after a woman with the same unusual last name was named “Director of Alumni Affairs”. Einstein this guy ain’t, in any case as noted above, ‘despite his 'lofty' credentials what he said about the EO doesn't match its text.’

#22 Steven Gaal

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:01 PM

COLBY // AS it stated at GLOBAL RESEARCH LINK the ARTICLE WORLD SOCIALIST WEB SITE CBO report of 3/14/12
--==-==--==--==--==
http://wsws.org/arti.../heal-m17.shtml



But they didn’t provide the title of or a link to the supposed report

++++++++++++++++++
GAAL// Golly I put in her name on the sites' search (found her article 2 seconds, over all time 30 seconds to find link,gee COLBY, effort study low / effort fingers on keyboard high)
=============================================

COLBY //“CUM LAUDE & HONORS” from a crappy school, spent a few years with undisclosed position at the “student affairs” department, no longer on staff, hired shortly after a woman with the same unusual last name was named “Director of Alumni Affairs”. Einstein this guy ain’t, in any case as noted above, ‘despite his 'lofty' credentials what he said about the EO doesn't match its text.’
+++++++++++++++++++++++
GAAL// Its Colby vs Colby again.COLBY ="Proof that a PhD in and decades of teaching ‘critical thinking’ doesn’t mean one thinks critically "
+++++++++++++++++++++++
COLBY// Can you show a causal link between worsening economy and free trade? Despite a down turn since 2008, due to unrelated factors, living standards in the US have increased sharply ovewr the last decade or so. Brazil started opening up its economy 20 years ago and has seen its economic importance living standard sharply rise.

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
GAAL//
How Free Trade Agreements Lead to Job Loss and Wealth Gaps
http://www.huffingto...s_b_919480.html

-------------------------------------------------------
Making 9 Million Jobless "Vanish": How The Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics
By Daniel R. Amerman, CFA


http://danielamerman...2012/WorkC.html
----------------------------------------------------
Typical U.S. family got poorer during the past 10 years
http://www.usatoday....come/50383882/1
--------------------------------------------------------------
Published on Friday, March 16, 2012 by Institute for Policy Studies Blog
http://www.commondre...ew/2012/03/16-6
What Do World Bank Poverty Statistics Really Tell Us?
The statistics upon which most poverty elimination strategies are based are extremely misleading, and often steer experts toward the wrong solutions.
by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
Now here is what sounds like a New York Times headline to celebrate: “Dire Poverty Falls Despite Global Slump, Report Finds.” That report would be a 6-page World Bank briefing note, the press release for which is titled: “New Estimates Reveal Drop in Extreme Poverty 2005-2010.” Echoes The Economist: “For the first time ever, the number of poor people is declining everywhere.”If it were only that easy. Let us dig into what the World Bank’s new briefing note really tells us and ask two questions: Do the statistics really show a fall in extreme poverty across the world? And, what policies lie behind the changing poverty figures?

What the figures tell us and do not tell us:

The figures do not tell us anything about the impact of the recession: The actual data cover 1981-2008; figures ending in 2008 cannot possibly tell us anything about the impact of a recession that started in the United States in late 2008. The briefing note alludes to “preliminary estimates” for 2010; based on these, the Bank makes the bold assertion that the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty (defined as $1.25/day) from its 1990 level was achieved in 2010. But, preliminary estimates are, well, just preliminary estimates. These are extrapolated from significantly smaller samples. Hence, the data cannot back up the Bank’s confident claim because, again, the real data end in 2008. We have been following World Bank projections and estimates for decades now and have found them highly unreliable – and typically over-optimistic.
If one sticks to the 1981-2008 period, China is the key: Between 1981 and 2008, the entire drop in the number of people living in “extreme poverty,” that is those who live below $1.25 a day, is accounted for by China — where the number of extreme poor fell by 662 million. Over this period, the number of people living below $1.25 a day outside China actually rose by 13 million, and hovered around 1.1 billion people throughout this period. More people fell into poverty in South Asia over this period (interesting, given India’s rapid growth over the past decade) and in sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, a more accurate headline would have read: “Numbers in poverty plunge in China over past three decades from 1981-2008, while rising marginally in the rest of the world.”
To extend this last point: As we have argued elsewhere (pdf), in countries such as South Africa, where government services are generous, $1.25 a day goes further than, say, in Haiti. Furthermore, as nations grow rapidly, as have China and India over the past decade and a half, the amount of money needed for people in the cash economy to maintain a decent standard of living also rises. As for those who subsist in rural areas on less than $1.25 a day, many consume much of what they produce. Many live in self-built homes and depend on traditional medicines. While their poverty may be “extreme” by the Bank’s monetary measure, their quality of life may be much better than that of their urban counterparts, even though their incomes are often smaller.
Related to this, our experience living with poor families in rural areas suggests that it has been the opening of their natural resources to global agribusiness, factory fishing fleets, and corporate interests that often leads to real poverty. Millions have been pushed off their land over the past few generations into urban slums where they live in squalor, although they may bring home a few dollars a day. In sum, the statistics upon which most poverty elimination strategies are based are extremely misleading, and often steer experts toward the wrong solutions.

This raises the other question of what policies are behind the figures:

Neoliberalism and poverty: What is behind the data that shows those in poverty outside China increasing in most regions from 1981 to 2005? This period coincided with the heyday of corporate-friendly neoliberal policies in most countries. So the data could be read as a confirmation of what critics of neoliberalism have been saying: the wave of market fundamentalism contributed to increases in the numbers of people in poverty. That data also reveals that in one region, sub-Saharan Africa, the percent of people living below the poverty threshold also rose over this period. We hardly need to point out that in the one country where poverty plunged – China – leaders did not pursue blind neoliberalism, but instead combined state direction of much of the economy with market-openings in selected sectors.
How about the subsequent period from 2005 to 2008, a time range during which the data reveal poverty numbers and rates falling in all regions of the world? As opposed to 1981-2005, this was a period of spreading cracks in the neoliberal Washington Consensus. It was also a period of rising of commodity prices and rising of balance of payments surpluses in many Southern countries. As a result, many Southern countries were able to repay the IMF and World Bank and wean themselves from World Bank and IMF loans and neoliberal conditionality.
Hence, the new World Bank poverty figures may tell a very different story from what has been suggested elsewhere: The numbers in poverty outside China rose during the heyday of neoliberal policies, and began to fall as the grip of those policies was loosened after 2005.

© 2012 Institute for Policy Studies
Dr. Robin Broad is Professor of international development at American University. She teaches courses on economic globalization & development as well as environment & development, with a focus on social, environmental, and economic accountability.

more Robin Broad
John Cavanagh has been director of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies since 1998. IPS has recently released the new report Barely Making the Grade: Obama’s First Year. Cavanagh has written 13 books on the global economy, most recently (with Robin Broad), Development Redefined: How the Market Met its Match. He is on the boards of the International Forum on Globalization, the new foundation of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and several other groups. He has been involved in coalition-building efforts on economic justice from the anti-NAFTA fights of the early 1990s to the coalitions around the WTO and debt and, most recently, the work against the bailout of Wall Street.
o o o o = o o o o
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LEFTY OBAMA THREAD CONTINUES (this in two parts)
o-o-o-o-o
Obama doesnt fight Wall Srteet Oil Speculation (YAH,'real' LEFTY)

PART ONE The Solution

http://www.stopoilsp...s/solution.aspx
========
PART TWO
Behind Gas Price Increases, Obama's Failure To Crack Down On Speculators
o-o-o-o-o-o
http://www.huffingto..._b_1346035.html
+++++++++++++

=================oooooooo==========

Edited by Steven Gaal, 24 March 2012 - 01:09 AM.


#23 Len Colby

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 03:14 PM

COLBY // AS it stated at GLOBAL RESEARCH LINK the ARTICLE WORLD SOCIALIST WEB SITE CBO report of 3/14/12
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http://wsws.org/arti.../heal-m17.shtml



But they didn’t provide the title of or a link to the supposed report

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GAAL// Golly I put in her name on the sites' search (found her article 2 seconds, over all time 30 seconds to find link,gee COLBY, effort study low / effort fingers on keyboard high)


Obviously I mean the CBO report not the WSWS article.


COLBY //“CUM LAUDE & HONORS” from a crappy school, spent a few years with undisclosed position at the “student affairs” department, no longer on staff, hired shortly after a woman with the same unusual last name was named “Director of Alumni Affairs”. Einstein this guy ain’t, in any case as noted above, ‘despite his 'lofty' credentials what he said about the EO doesn't match its text.’
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GAAL// Its Colby vs Colby again.COLBY ="Proof that a PhD in and decades of teaching ‘critical thinking’ doesn’t mean one thinks critically "
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Sorry no contradiction between those positions, if after thinking about you still can’t figure out I can spell it out for you.

COLBY// Can you show a causal link between worsening economy and free trade? Despite a down turn since 2008, due to unrelated factors, living standards in the US have increased sharply ovewr the last decade or so. Brazil started opening up its economy 20 years ago and has seen its economic importance living standard sharply rise.

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GAAL//
How Free Trade Agreements Lead to Job Loss and Wealth Gaps
http://www.huffingto...s_b_919480.html


The author is not an economist*, opening up trade will cause some people to lose jobs and others to gain them, trade with China has made a vast number of more affordable for virtually all Americans thus raising their living standards and freeing money for other purchases. I was born in NC the textile industry was in decline long before China joined the WTO. I also doubt go carts are a major sector of the US economy.

* http://www.electrofa...boutmichele.php

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Making 9 Million Jobless "Vanish": How The Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics
By Daniel R. Amerman, CFA


http://danielamerman...2012/WorkC.html
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Typical U.S. family got poorer during the past 10 years
http://www.usatoday....come/50383882/1
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I asked you evidence of “a causal link between worsening economy and free trade”. Do you know what that means? Can you produce evidence free trade caused the downturn? According to most analysts it was due to problems in the housing and financial sectors.

Published on Friday, March 16, 2012 by Institute for Policy Studies Blog
http://www.commondre...ew/2012/03/16-6
What Do World Bank Poverty Statistics Really Tell Us?
The statistics upon which most poverty elimination strategies are based are extremely misleading, and often steer experts toward the wrong solutions.
by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
Now here is what sounds like a New York Times headline to celebrate: “Dire Poverty Falls Despite Global Slump, Report Finds.” That report would be a 6-page World Bank briefing note, the press release for which is titled: “New Estimates Reveal Drop in Extreme Poverty 2005-2010.” Echoes The




Even if the authors are correct 662 million people in China, more than double the population of the US, rose out of extreme povrty. They noted a 1.2% increase in the total number of people in extreme poverty elsewhere 1981-2008, but obviously the populations of these countries increase far more than that during the same period, so the proportion of people in extreme poverty decreased. In any case they produced little hard data showing a tie between free trade and increases in poverty. But I actually agree developing countries shouldn’t be forced to totally open their economies but that doesn’t apply to Korea let alone the US.


#24 Steven Gaal

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:45 PM

COLBY//But I actually agree developing countries shouldn’t be forced to totally open their economies but that doesn’t apply to Korea let alone the US.
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When one gives out incorrect data (in a data context),then one looks to motivation.
Some people are payed to lie for the elites.......know what I mean ??
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http://citizen.typep...-ifact_iii.html


About Us
Eyes on Trade is a blog by the staff of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (GTW) division. GTW aims to promote democracy by challenging corporate globalization, arguing that the current globalization model is neither a random inevitability nor "free trade." Eyes on Trade is a space for interested parties to share information about globalization and trade issues, and in particular for us to share our watchdogging insights with you! GTW director Lori Wallach's initial post explains it all.
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August 05, 2011
Incorrect Numbers Continue to Pop Up in Trade Reporting: Trade-ifact III
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The announcement late Wednesday of a nebulous "agreement" in the Senate on a legislative "path forward" for the Korea, Colombia, and Panama trade deals (or FTAs), has renewed the trade chatter in the newswires. But we're still seeing a lot of questionable claims about the FTAs in these stories, so it's time for another edition of Trade-ifact.

For the third installment , we've organized the stories by theme.



Faulty Export Numbers

Misquotes of the official U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) studies of the three trade deals continue to pop up in news articles, either directly or through quotes of FTA proponents.

As we have said before, FTA supporters only look at the USITC's bilateral export numbers and do not consider the USITC's projections on the change in overall U.S. imports. When the global changes in exports and imports are taken into account, the USITC studies reveal that net exports would decline by $482 million under the Korea and Colombia trade deals (instead of the “bilateral exports only” of $11-12 billion). The USITC made no overall trade estimate for Panama.)

There were several stories that misreported this $12 billion export number as fact, including:

- Doug Palmer (Reuters), US Congress leaders agree path to pass trade deals (8/3/2011)

- Angus Loten (Wall Street Journal), Trade Pacts Urged for Export Growth (7/27/2011)

There were several additional stories that reported the incorrect number as the opinion of an interviewee or the Obama administration, but failed to note its misleading origin. These included:

- Mark Drajem (Bloomberg), U.S. Senate Leaders End Impasse on Three Free-Trade Deals, Workers’ Aid (8/4/2011)

- Jim Abrams (AP), Senate deal on taking up worker, trade bills (8/4/2011)

- Suzy Khimm (Washington Post), How can Washington help create jobs? (8/3/2011)

- Doug Palmer (Reuters), U.S. business hopes debt deal clears way for trade (8/1/2011)

Doug Palmer’s stories also round up the administration's export claims from $12 billion to $13 billion.



Faulty Jobs Numbers

News stories are also continuing to report that the trade deals will create or support 70,000 jobs. This has got to be one of the most popular outright errors in the history of trade debates. As we show here, it is derived from applying an incorrect methodology to an incorrect number (bilateral export projection). But even if one accepts the administration’s methodological choices, applying that method to the correct number (net exports) would reveal a decline in jobs.

Doug Palmer's US Congress leaders agree path to pass trade deals (8/3/2011) misreported this number as fact.

There were several additional stories that reported the incorrect number as the opinion of an interviewee, but failed to note its misleading origin. These included:

- Suzy Khimm (Washington Post), How can Washington help create jobs? (8/3/2011)

- AFP (no byline), SKorea deal unlikely before September: US lawmaker (7/27/2011)

- Doug Palmer (Reuters), U.S. business hopes debt deal clears way for trade (8/1/2011)

Palmer also cites the National Association of Manufacturers, which claims, "American workers would have earned $12 billion more in wages and benefits over the past several years had the pacts not been delayed." The National Association of Manufacturers gets to this number simply by multiplying the faulty $13 billion export number by the share of manufacturers' revenue that go into labor compensation (27 percent), and then multiplying that number by the number of years that have passed since President Bush signed the FTAs. So, in essence, it is simply a repackaging of the same wrong numbers. Josh Bivens at the Economic Policy Institute has concluded that, far from boosting workers' wages, unbalanced trade costs the average working family $2,000 each year.

- Angus Loten (Wall Street Journal), Trade Pacts Urged for Export Growth (7/27/2011)

Loten writes that the trade pacts are expected to create “more than 250,000 jobs, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.” Loten then goes on to quote the 70,000 number in the same story.

The USITC study does not find any job gain associated with the FTAs, let alone 250,000. This number seems to stem from a claim that Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) made in March, which is based on three factual errors. Once these errors are corrected for, the FTAs would actually cost jobs, according to this method. We explored these errors in detail here.

Nonspecific Jobs Claims Go Unchallenged

In the case of the recent debate over the debt ceiling, the media at least presented claims of both sides of the debate, even though they did not attempt to suss out the truth in the opposing claims. For example, one side had basic macroeconomic accounting on its side (cutting government spending will lower GDP), while the other had "confidence fairies", in Paul Krugman's memorable phrase. Both sides were presented as equally legitimate in most reporting.

With the debate over the NAFTA-style trade deals, though, it’s even worse: the pro-FTA side’s baseless claims of generic job creation are cited, while the other side is not cited, or cited only as having sentiments rather than facts.

Examples of unrebutted citation of generic FTA-job gain claims include:

- Doug Palmer (Reuters), US Congress leaders agree path to pass trade deals (8/3/2011)

- Vicki Needham & Bernie Becker (The Hill), White House, Senate Dems say no agreement yet on moving trade deals (7/27/2011)

- Scott Wong (Politico), Breakthrough on trade agreements (8/4/2011)

- Tom Barkley (Dow Jones), Senate Leaders Seal Bipartisan Plan For Vote On Trade Pacts, Job Training (8/3/2011)

- Tom Barkley (Dow Jones), USTR: Still Working On Sequencing Of Votes On Trade Pacts, Job Training (8/4/2011)

- Felicia Sonmez (Washington Post), Senate leaders reach agreement on Colombia, South Korea, Panama trade deals (8/4/2011)

Vicki Needham of The Hill writes in Senate leaders reach deal paving way for passage of trade deals (8/3/11) that President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk claim jobs will be gained from the trade pacts, but the strongest counter from the other side that she musters is Rep. Nancy Pelosi saying those claims were "debatable". Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post's Right Turn blog quips that "It’s debatable? By whom — the AFL-CIO executive board?" Actually, the government's own independent projections of the trade deals — and historical experience — show that the projections of increased deficits and lost jobs are not just debatable, they constitute the historical record.

Another example: after quoting the Obama administration's numbers on the jobs that will supposedly be supported by the trade deals, Angus Loten of the Wall Street Journal writes in Trade Pacts Urged for Export Growth (7/27/2011) that "Yet since the recession, Americans have grown more hostile to free trade agreements, possibly clouding the prospects for congressional approval. In October, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 53% of 1,000 Americans surveyed said free-trade pacts have hurt the U.S., up from 46% in a similar poll three years ago and 32% in 1999." Citing the polls thankfully brings the American people into the trade debate, but from this story, one would not know that they have fact as well as sentiment on their side. In reality, while there is a lot of support for the public's view that trade deals cost jobs, there is not much support for the view that they create jobs on net.



Trade Adjustment Assistance Benefits Will Be Cut Under Proposed Deal

Many news stories continue to characterize the proposed Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation as an "extension" or "renewal" of TAA, when the deal struck between the White House and congressional Republican leadership will actually result in the downsizing of the program relative to its 2009 and even 2002 levels. Under the new TAA plan, workers displaced by trade could receive a maximum of 130 weeks of income support while undergoing retraining, while currently workers can receive up to 153 weeks of income support. It also would restrict income support eligibility for workers who are not in retraining programs, cutting the types of waivers for income support from six to three. These details, or at least the fact that the program is being cut, would be of interest to readers with diverse opinions on the merits of FTAs and of government spending.

Examples of reporting on the TAA proposal that lacked this essential context included:

- Jim Abrams (AP), Senate deal on taking up worker, trade bills (8/4/2011)

- Elizabeth Williamson (Wall Street Journal), Trade Fight Has Flower Growers Digging In (8/1/2011)

- Felicia Sonmez (Washington Post), Senate leaders reach agreement on Colombia, South Korea, Panama trade deals (8/4/2011)

- Doug Palmer (Reuters), U.S. business hopes debt deal clears way for trade (8/1/2011)

- Doug Palmer (Reuters), U.S. trade deals could be delayed past August: Daley (7/19/11)

- Doug Palmer (Reuters), U.S. lawmaker presses Obama to back trade deals plan (7/27/2011)

In his most recent story on TAA, House Democrats wary of "path" to trade deals (8/4/2011), Palmer did specify that the deal on TAA constitutes a "slimmed down version of TAA."



Trade Deficit is Drag on GDP

Tim Fernholz (National Journal Daily)

FTAs Increase Trade, But Impact Can Be Hard to Measure (7/17/2011 - subscription only)

Fernholz writes, "Though specific sectors and firms advocate free-trade deals to their own benefit, trade is a key driver of overall growth—of the 2.9 percent expansion of the economy last year, 1.9 percent came from exports." Actually, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, net exports (gross exports minus gross imports) contributed negative 0.49 percentage points to economic growth last year. (Exports accounted for a positive 1.34 percent contribution, while imports accounted for a negative 1.83 percent contribution.) In other words, the 2.9 percent growth of the U.S. economy last year would have been almost 0.5 percent higher if not for the $539.3 billion trade deficit.



FTAs Unlikely to Boost Exports

Elizabeth Williamson of the Wall Street Journal writes in Trade Fight Has Flower Growers Digging In (8/1/2011) that "The [Korea, Colombia, and Panama] trade deals are key to Mr. Obama's goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014." Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post also writes in Senate leaders reach agreement on Colombia, South Korea, Panama trade deals (8/4/2011) that the trade deals are a "key component" of the goal to double exports.

Does the evidence support this idea, though? A Public Citizen analysis of the government's own trade flow data over 1998-2009 found that the growth of exports to FTA partners actually underperformed compared to the growth of exports to non-FTA partners. In fact, our analysis of changes in goods exports found that exports to FTA partners grew at half the pace of U.S. exports to the rest of the world. It is hard to see how FTAs can contribute, much less be "key", to doubling export growth when the U.S. has had slower export growth to FTA partners.

In "FTAs Increase Trade, But Impact Can Be Hard to Measure" (7/17/2011 - subscription only), Tim Fernholz of the National Journal Daily writes, "Free-trade agreements, by eliminating tariffs on imports and exports, have nearly always increased trade between the countries in question, thus benefiting U.S. exporters and bringing cheaper products to American consumers." Again, compared with U.S. trade relationships with non-FTA countries, trade relationships with FTA partners have not much benefited U.S. exporters.



U.S. Market Share Not Suffering in Pacific

Tim Fernholz (National Journal Daily)

FTAs Increase Trade, But Impact Can Be Hard to Measure (7/17/2011 - subscription only)

Fernholz writes, “the United States has lagged behind other Pacific countries in building trading relationships and is seeking to reassert its leadership as American trade lags in the region and China becomes more assertive.” The U.S. trade relationship with the Pacific economies is doing just fine in relative terms. In fact, U.S. exports to the Pacific region have grown 35 percent since 2005, while overall U.S. exports to the world have grown at a slower rate, 25 percent, over the same period. According to U.N. trade flow data, the U.S. has increased its rank or market share in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Taiwan relative to 2005 – all without FTAs. In both Thailand and Taiwan (also not FTA partners), the U.S. is selling more in dollar terms than it was in 2005.

AFP

SKorea deal unlikely before September: US lawmaker (7/27/2011)

This AFP story with no byline states that "The pace of the agreement has given European firms a head start over the United States in Asia's fourth-largest economy."

This assumes that FTAs represent a "head start" in gaining market share. However, the rank of the U.S. in exports to Australia has actually declined since the Australia FTA went into effect, from first to second, while China (which does not have an FTA with Australia) increased its market share and rank in Australia.



No Support for Claim of Majority Congressional Support for FTAs

Julie Pace (AP)

AP sources: Trade deals could slip into September (7/18/2011)

Pace's opening paragraph reads, "The all-consuming negotiations in Washington on the nation's debt and deficit may not leave any time this summer for Congress to finalize a trio of free trade agreements backed by most lawmakers and billed by the White House as job creators."

There is scant support for the contention that most lawmakers are in favor of the trade deals. Over 220 House members (over half) from both parties have opposed unfair trade deals in the past. An additional third of the House (132 members) from both parties haven’t been in office long enough to vote for or against a trade pact. This leaves just over 80 members, or under 20 percent of the House, that has consistently backed such trade deals.

While there’s not much evidence that the trade deals are sure to have majority backing, we do know that a majority of House Democrats voted against a NAFTA-style deal with Peru in 2007 and signed onto the TRADE Act, which envisions a complete overhaul of unfair trade deals.

We also know that Republicans have adopted fair trade as an issue. In 182 races of the 2010 election cycle monitored by Public Citizen, 205 candidates campaigning on a fair trade platform, including 75 Republicans, 43 of whom won their races. In the 2006 and 2008 elections, there was a net gain of 72 members of the House and the Senate who had fair trade positions.



Oil Does Not Explain NAFTA Deficit

Tim Fernholz (National Journal Daily)

FTAs Increase Trade, But Impact Can Be Hard to Measure (7/17/2011 - subscription only)

Fernholz states that "U.S. reliance on oil imports from Canada" may have obscured the supposed benefits of NAFTA.

In fact, the percentage of the trade deficit with Canada attributable to oil trade actually fell from 50 percent in 1993, the year before NAFTA was enacted, to 36 percent in 2000. While it is true that oil has accounted for a sizable share of the trade deficit with Canada in recent years, the U.S. has run a non-oil manufactured goods deficit with Canada for 15 of the 17 years of NAFTA, suffering massive job losses as a result.

Moreover, Department of Labor data confirms that the trade deficit with Canada under NAFTA has cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S. Since NAFTA was enacted, imports from Canada or outsourcing to Canada have contributed to the loss of 200,000 U.S. jobs, according to official certifications under the TAA program. Hundreds of thousands of additional jobs have probably been lost to Canada because of NAFTA, but they do not appear in the TAA database because either they did not meet the strict TAA criteria or workers laid off due to offshoring never applied for the program.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Incorrect Numbers Continue to Pop Up in Trade Reporting: Trade-ifact III:

Posted by Travis McArthur at 2:18pm in Andean and Panama FTAs , Asian FTAs , Elections and Polls , Trade Deficit / Economic Impact |

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Death By Globalism
Death By Globalism
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS writing at CounterPunch


Have economists made themselves irrelevant? If you have any doubts, have a look at the current issue of the magazine, International Economy, a slick publication endorsed by former Federal Reserve chairmen Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, by Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, by former Secretary of State George Shultz, and by the New York Times and Washington Post, both of which declare the magazine to be “ahead of the curve.”

The main feature of the current issue is “The Great Stimulus Debate.” Is the Obama fiscal stimulus helping the economy or hindering it?

Princeton economics professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi represent the Keynesian view that government deficit spending is needed to lift the economy out of recession. Zandi declares that thanks to the fiscal stimulus, “The economy has made enormous progress since early 2009,” an opinion shared by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and the Congressional Budget Office.

The opposite view, associated with Harvard economics professor Robert Barro and with European economists, such as Francesco Giavazzi and Marco Pagano and the European Central Bank, is that government budget surpluses achieved by cutting government spending spur the economy by reducing the ratio of debt to Gross Domestic Product. This is the “let them eat cake school of economics.”

Barro says that fiscal stimulus has no effect, because people anticipate the future tax increases implied by government deficits and increase their personal savings to offset the added government debt. Giavazzi and Pagano reason that since fiscal stimulus does not expand the economy, fiscal austerity consisting of higher taxes and reduced government spending could be the cure for unemployment.

If one overlooks the real world and the need of life for sustenance, one can become engrossed in this debate. However, the minute one looks out the window upon the world, one realizes that cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies when 15 million Americans have lost jobs, medical coverage, and homes is a certain path to death by starvation, curable diseases, and exposure, and the loss of the productive labor inputs from 15 million people. Although some proponents of this anti-Keynesian policy deny that it results in social upheaval, Gerald Celente’s observation is closer to the mark: “When people have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”

The Krugman Keynesian school is just as deluded. Neither side in “The Great Stimulus Debate” has a clue that the problem for the U.S. is that a large chunk of U.S. GDP and the jobs, incomes, and careers associated with it, have been moved offshore and given to Chinese, Indians, and others with low wage rates. Profits have soared on Wall Street, while job prospects for the middle class have been eliminated.

The offshoring of American jobs resulted from (1) Wall Street pressures for “higher shareholder returns,” that is, for more profits, and from (2) no-think economists, such as the ones engaged in the debate over fiscal stimulus, who mistakenly associated globalism with free trade instead of with its antithesis--the pursuit of lowest factor cost abroad or absolute advantage, the opposite of comparative advantage, which is the basis for free trade theory. Even Krugman, who has some credentials as a trade theorist has fallen for the equation of globalism with free trade.

As economists assume, incorrectly according to the latest trade theory by Ralph Gomory and William Baumol, that free trade is always mutually beneficial, economists have failed to examine the devastatingly harmful effects of offshoring. The more intelligent among them who point it out are dismissed as “protectionists.”

The reason fiscal stimulus cannot rescue the U.S. economy has nothing to do with the difference between Barro and Krugman. It has to do with the fact that a large percentage of high-productivity, high-value-added jobs and the middle class incomes and careers associated with them have been given to foreigners. What used to be U.S. GDP is now Chinese, Indian, and other country GDP.

When the jobs have been shipped overseas, fiscal stimulus does not call workers back to work in order to meet the rising consumer demand. If fiscal stimulus has any effect, it stimulates employment in China and India.

The “let them eat cake school” is equally off the mark. As investment, research, development, etc., have been moved offshore, cutting entitlements simply drives the domestic population deeper in the ground. Americans cannot pay their mortgages, car payments, tuition, utility bills, or for that matter, any bill, based on Chinese and Indian pay scales. Therefore, Americans are priced out of the labor market and become dependencies of the federal budget. “Fiscal consolidation” means writing off large numbers of humans.

During the Great Depression, many wage and salary earners were new members of the labor force arriving from family farms, where many parents and grandparents still supported themselves. When their city jobs disappeared, many could return to the farm.

Today farming is in the hands of agri-business. There are no farms to which the unemployed can return.

The “let them eat cake school” never mentions the one point in its favor. The U.S., with all its huffed up power and importance, depends on the U.S. dollar as reserve currency. It is this role of the dollar that allows America to pay for its imports in its own currency. For a country whose trade is as unbalanced as America’s, this privilege is what keeps the country afloat.

The threats to the dollar’s role are the budget and trade deficits. Both are so large and have accumulated for so long that the prospect of making good on them has evaporated. As I have written for a number of years, the U.S. is so dependent on the dollar as reserve currency that it must have as its main policy goal to preserve that role.

Otherwise, the U.S., an import-dependent country, will be unable to pay for its excess of imports over its exports.

“Fiscal consolidation,” the new term for austerity, could save the dollar. However, unless starvation, homelessness and social upheaval are the goals, the austerity must fall on the military budget. America cannot afford its multi-trillion dollar wars that serve only to enrich those invested in the armaments industries. The U.S. cannot afford the neoconservative dream of world hegemony and a conquered Middle East open to Israeli colonization.

Is anyone surprised that not a single proponent of the “let them eat cake school” mentions cutting military spending? Entitlements, despite the fact that they are paid for by earmarked taxes and have been in surplus since the Reagan administration, are always what economists put on the chopping bloc.

Where do the two schools stand on inflation vs. deflation? We don’t have to worry. Martin Feldstein, one of America’s pre-eminent economist says: “The good news is that investors should worry about neither.” His explanation epitomizes the insouciance of American economists.

Feldstein says that there cannot be inflation because of the high rate of unemployment and the low rate of capacity utilization. Thus, “there is little upward pressure on wages and prices in the United States.” Moreover, “the recent rise in the value of the dollar relative to the euro and British pound helps by reducing import costs.”

As for deflation, no risk there either. The huge deficits prevent deflation, “so the good news is that the possibility of significant inflation or deflation during the next few years is low on the list of economic risks faced by the U.S. economy and by financial investors.”

What we have in front of us is an unaware economics profession. There may be some initial period of deflation as stock and housing prices decline with the economy, which is headed down and not up. The deflation will be short lived, because as the government’s deficit rises with the declining economy, the prospect of financing a $2 trillion annual deficit evaporates once individual investors have completed their flight from the stock market into “safe” government bonds, once the hyped Greek, Spanish, and Irish crises have driven investors out of euros into dollars, and once the banks’ excess reserves created by the bailout have been used up in the purchase of Treasuries.

Then what finances the deficit? Don’t look for an answer from either side of The Great Stimulus Debate. They haven’t a clue despite the fact that the answer is obvious.

The Federal Reserve will monetize the federal government deficit. The result will be high inflation, possibly hyper-inflation and high unemployment simultaneously.

The no-think economics establishment has no policy response for economic armageddon, assuming they are even capable of recognizing it.

Economists who have spent their professional lives rationalizing “globalism” as good for America have no idea of the disaster that they have wrought.

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. The economic critique in this column is powerfully laid out in his latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, which has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press.

Edited by Steven Gaal, 24 March 2012 - 08:47 PM.


#25 Len Colby

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:05 PM

News stories are also continuing to report that the trade deals will create or support 70,000 jobs. This has got to be one of the most popular outright errors in the history of trade debates. As we show here, it is derived from applying an incorrect methodology to an incorrect number (bilateral export projection). But even if one accepts the administration’s methodological choices, applying that method to the correct number (net exports) would reveal a decline in jobs.


Please point to where the unnamed authors of this report actually demonstrated what they claimed as to opposed to simply saying they had.

#26 Steven Gaal

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:44 PM


News stories are also continuing to report that the trade deals will create or support 70,000 jobs. This has got to be one of the most popular outright errors in the history of trade debates. As we show here, it is derived from applying an incorrect methodology to an incorrect number (bilateral export projection). But even if one accepts the administration’s methodological choices, applying that method to the correct number (net exports) would reveal a decline in jobs.


Please point to where the unnamed authors of this report actually demonstrated what they claimed as to opposed to simply saying they had.

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I already GAVE THIS LINK above in the post in question.

http://citizen.typep...-ifact_iii.html

At this link above in the sentence "we show here, it is derived from applying an incorrect methodology to an incorrect number (bilateral export",
the word "here" is in blue. CLICK word here and you go to link below.


http://citizen.typep...statistics.html

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LEFTY OBAMA THREAD CONTINUES
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Feeding The Homeless BANNED In Major Cities All Over America

OBAMA SO FAR SILENT ABOUT THIS TREND
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http://theeconomicco...ll-over-america

What would you do if you came across someone on the street that had not had anything to eat for several days? Would you give that person some food? Well, the next time you get that impulse you might want to check if it is still legal to feed the homeless where you live. Sadly, feeding the homeless has been banned in major cities all over America. Other cities that have not banned it outright have put so many requirements on those that want to feed the homeless (acquiring expensive permits, taking food preparation courses, etc.) that feeding the homeless has become “out of reach” for most average people. Some cities are doing these things because they are concerned about the “health risks” of the food being distributed by ordinary “do-gooders”. Other cities are passing these laws because they do not want homeless people congregating in city centers where they know that they will be fed. But at a time when poverty and government dependence are soaring to unprecedented levels, is it really a good idea to ban people from helping those that are hurting?

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related http://www.bloomberg...ss-picnics.html

http://hotair.com/ar...nd-fat-content/

#27 Len Colby

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:21 PM



News stories are also continuing to report that the trade deals will create or support 70,000 jobs. This has got to be one of the most popular outright errors in the history of trade debates. As we show here, it is derived from applying an incorrect methodology to an incorrect number (bilateral export projection). But even if one accepts the administration’s methodological choices, applying that method to the correct number (net exports) would reveal a decline in jobs.


Please point to where the unnamed authors of this report actually demonstrated what they claimed as to opposed to simply saying they had.

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I already GAVE THIS LINK above in the post in question.

http://citizen.typep...-ifact_iii.html

At this link above in the sentence "we show here, it is derived from applying an incorrect methodology to an incorrect number (bilateral export",
the word "here" is in blue. CLICK word here and you go to link below.


I haven't had time to check their data and calculations but even if they are correct the net US loss from the pact would be about 2000 jobs, negligible in a country with over 300 million people. It would also lower prices on goods for millions of Americans, increasing their living standards and allowing them to buy more products and thus presumably generating some jobs.



LEFTY OBAMA THREAD CONTINUES
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Feeding The Homeless BANNED In Major Cities All Over America

OBAMA SO FAR SILENT ABOUT THIS TREND
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http://theeconomicco...ll-over-america



So Obama is responsible for municipal laws? His plate is quite full right now don't you think?

#28 Steven Gaal

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:46 AM

COLBY//I haven't had time to check their data and calculations but even if they are correct the net US loss from the pact would be about 2000 jobs, negligible in a country with over 300 million people. It would also lower prices on goods for millions of Americans, increasing their living standards and allowing them to buy more products and thus presumably generating some jobs.

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COLBY// So Obama is responsible for municipal laws? His plate is quite full right now don't you think?
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Helping hungry people a small issue ,you contend ???
Small issue ?????? Wasnt Trayvon Martin a small issue ?
Obama spoke out on Martin issue.
http://www.democrati....com/1002480696
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SCORES OF ARTICLE ON TRADE BY Robert E. Scott
http://www.epi.org/p...robert-e-scott/
=================
Robert E. Scott
Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research

High-resolution Areas of expertise
International economics • Trade agreements • Global finance • Economic impacts of foreign investment and “insourcing” • Industry studies

Biography
Dr. Scott joined the Economic Policy Institute as an international economist in 1996. Before that, he was an assistant professor with the College of Business and Management of the University of Maryland at College Park. His areas of research include international economics and trade agreements and their impacts on working people in the U.S. and other countries, the economic impacts of foreign investment, and the macroeconomic effects of trade and capital flows. His research has been published in The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, The International Review of Applied Economics, and The Stanford Law and Policy Review, and he has written editorial pieces for The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Times, and other newspapers.

Education
Ph.D. Economics, University of California at Berkeley, 1989
B.S. Engineering, Washington University (St. Louis), 1975


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Economic impacts of a Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement
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http://www.epi.org/p...rade_agreement/
=== DOWN LOAD PDF FILE AT THIS SITE
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Free Trade Agreement with Korea will cost U.S. jobs
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http://www.epi.org/p...cost_u-s-_jobs/
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Lefty Obama THREAD CONTINUES
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Workers face loss of more than 100,000 jobs as Obama joins attack on postal service


by World Socialist Web Site
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http://globalresearc...xt=va&aid=29905

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Amidst the Deepest Slump since the Great Depression, Obama is Touting an "Economic Recovery"
World Socialist web 3/28/12

by Barry Grey
==================
While the United States remains mired in the deepest slump since the Great Depression, President Barack Obama is touting a modest improvement in employment over the past several months to boost his electoral prospects in November.

The three-month period from December through February has, according to the Labor Department, seen a net gain of 744,000 jobs, the largest for any three-month stretch since 2006. The official jobless rate has fallen from 9.1 percent in September to 8.3 percent in February.

It is necessary to place these gains within the context of the catastrophic collapse in employment that followed the Wall Street crash of 2008, which has left the US economy with 5 million fewer jobs than at the official start of the recession in December 2007. At the height of the crash, US businesses were cutting more than 744,000 jobs every month.

While the US economy added 335,000 net new manufacturing jobs in 2010 and 2011 combined, it lost 1.6 million manufacturing jobs between January 2008 and March 2009, a reduction of 10 percent. The current level of 12 million manufacturing jobs is down 7.5 million from its peak in 1979.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking Monday at a business conference in Washington DC, was notably cautious about the recent upturn in employment figures. He suggested that the improvement in the labor market could not be sustained at the current rate of economic growth.


“A significant portion of the improvement in the labor market has reflected a decline in layoffs rather than an increase in hiring,” he said, adding, “Conditions remain far from normal, as shown, for example, by the high level of long-term unemployment and the fact that jobs and hours remain well below pre-crisis peaks, even without adjusting for growth in the labor force.”

What Obama and his supporters in the trade union apparatus conceal is the basis for the modest growth in jobs in general, and manufacturing jobs in particular. The president hinted at the question when he spoke last month at the Master Lock factory in Milwaukee. “Our job as a nation,” he declared, “is to do everything we can to make the decision to insource more attractive for more companies.”

What Obama has been doing is spearheading an intensified assault on the working class. He has escalated the attack on working class living standards that has been underway for more than three decades, focusing on a drastic and permanent reduction in wages and benefits. There have been several stages in this process.

In the months immediately following the financial meltdown in September 2008, US corporations carried out massive layoffs, using unemployment as a weapon to bludgeon the working class into accepting unprecedented concessions. Big business employed new technology (automation, computerization) as well as speedup to cut costs and rapidly return to record profits on the basis of a smaller work force, despite lagging sales and revenues.

Obama’s forced restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler in 2009 ushered in a wave of wage- and benefit-cutting throughout the private sector. The bailout of the auto giants was predicated on the agreement of the United Auto Workers union to impose a 50 percent wage cut and the gutting of pensions and benefits for all newly hired workers. This set a new benchmark of $12-$15 an hour for US auto workers, previously among the highest paid manufacturing workers in the world, reducing wages to near-poverty levels.

Beginning in 2010, the wage-cutting attack was extended to public-sector workers, who were hit with massive layoffs and cuts in wages, pensions and health care by state and local governments, with the support of the White House.

The results of this government-corporate offensive are reflected in statistics on wages, labor costs and income. According to a census report released in September 2011, real median household income fell 2.3 percent in 2010, to a level 7.1 percent below that reached a decade before.

US manufacturing labor costs per unit of output in 2010 were 13 percent lower than a decade earlier.

If a portion of the manufacturing jobs that were previously moved to China and other low-wage havens are being brought back to the US, it is because the wages they pay have plummeted so far and the differential has so dramatically narrowed that the corporations can make higher profits by exploiting their “own” workers than by going overseas. As the CEO of GE Consumer & Industrial, James Campbell, told the New York Times last month, “making things in America is as viable as making things any place” because domestic labor costs are now “significantly less, with the competitive wages” now accepted by American workers.

The overall result of the Obama recovery, besides the impoverishment of ever wider layers of the working class, is a further staggering growth of social inequality. One stark metric of the decline in the social position of the American working class is the fact that in the third quarter of 2011, the share of the US gross domestic product going to corporate profits was at its highest (10.3 percent) since the 1960s, and the share going to wages was at its lowest (45.3 percent) on record.

In officially announcing the AFL-CIO’s support for Obama’s reelection earlier this month, the union federation president, Richard Trumka, denounced the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney, declaring, “Everything he’s done helps the 1 percent.”


A Reuters article published March 15 provides statistical proof that when it comes to helping the top 1 percent at the expense of everyone else, Obama takes a back seat to no one. The article notes that the movement of US incomes during the Obama “recovery” contrasts sharply with that which occurred in 1934, during the Great Depression.

The 1934 rebound saw strong income gains for the bottom 90 percent of earners and a decline for the super-rich (the top 0.01 percent). The year 2010, saw the opposite. The income of the super-rich ($23.8 million on average) rose by 21.5 percent over the previous year, while that of the bottom 90 percent fell by 0.4 percent.

National income rose overall in 2010, but all of the gains went to the top 10 percent. Just 15,600 super-rich households pocketed an astonishing 37 percent of the entire national gain.

The article further reports that the top 1 percent’s share of real income growth has increased with each economic expansion, regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican was in the White House. The top 1 percent captured 45 percent of Clinton-era income growth, 65 percent of Bush-era growth, and 93 percent of Obama-era growth, through 2010.


These facts demonstrate the existence in the US of a plutocracy that controls the Democrats and Republicans and the entire political system. Its deadly grip can be broken only by an independent political movement of the working class, fighting for workers’ power and socialism.

Edited by Steven Gaal, 29 March 2012 - 08:36 PM.


#29 Steven Gaal

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:54 PM

The following is the introduction to "Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion," edited by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank recently published by AK Press.
"Those who feel that like lemmings they are being led over a cliff would be well-advised not to read this book. They may discover that they are right," advises Noam Chomsky.


Damaged goods, send them back
I can't work, I can't achieve, send me back
Open the till, give me the change
You said would do me good
Refund the cost
You said you're cheap, but you're too much
-"Damaged Goods," Gang of Four


Barack Obama was in Brasilia on March 19, 2011, when he announced with limited fanfare the latest war of his young presidency. The bombing of Libya had begun with a hail of cruise missile attacks and air strikes. It was something of an impromptu intervention, orchestrated largely by Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and the diva of vengeance Samantha Power, always hot for a saturation bombing in the name of human rights.
Obama soon upped the ante by suggesting that it was time for Qaddafi to go. The Empire had run out of patience with the mercurial colonel. The vague aims of the Libyan war had moved ominously from enforcing "a no-fly zone" to seeking regime change. Bombing raids soon targeted Qaddafi and his family. Coming in the wake of the extra-judicial assassination of Osama Bin Laden in a blood-spattered home invasion, Qaddafi rightly feared Obama wanted his body in a bag, too. (In the end, Qaddafi's butchered body was put on public display in a Benghazi meat locker.)
Absent mass protests against the impending destruction of Tripoli, it fell to Congress to take some tentative steps to challenge the latest unauthorized and unprovoked war. At an earlier time in the history of the Republic, Obama's arrogant defiance of Congress and the War Powers Act of 1973 might have provoked a constitutional crisis. But these are duller and more attenuated days, where such vital matters have been rendered down into a kind of hollow political theater. All the players duly act their parts, but everyone, even the cable news audience, realizes that it is just for show. The wars will proceed. The Congress will fund them. The people will have no say in the matter. As Oscar Wilde quipped: "All the world's a stage, badly cast."
That old softy John Boehner, the teary-eyed barkeep's son, sculpted a resolution demanding that Obama explain his intentions in Libya. It passed the House overwhelmingly. A competing resolution crafted by the impish gadfly Dennis Kucinich called for an immediate withdrawal of US forces from operations in Libya. This radically sane measure garnered a robust 148 votes. Obama dismissed both attempts to downsize his unilateralist approach to military operations, saying with a chill touch of the surreal that the 14,000-and-counting sorties flown over Libya didn't amount to a "war."
This is Barack Obama, the political moralist? The change agent? The constitutional scholar? Listen to that voice. It is petulant and dismissive. Some might say peevish, like the whine of a talented student caught cheating on a final exam.
Yes, all the political players were acting their parts. But what role exactly had Obama assumed?
Obama, the Nobel laureate, casts himself as a New Internationalist, a chief executive of the global empire, more eager to consult with European heads of state than members of Congress, even of his own party. Indeed, his co-conspirators in the startling misadventure in Libya were David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy, an odd troika to say the least. Even Obama's own Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, seems to have been discreetly cut out of the decision loop.
We are beginning to see why Obama sparks such a virulent reaction among the more histrionic precincts of the libertarian right. He has a majestic sense of his own certitude. The president often seems captivated by the nobility of his intentions, offering himself up as a kind of savior of the eroding American Imperium.
While Obama sells pristine idealism to the masses, he is at heart a calculating pragmatist, especially when it comes to advancing his own ambitions. Obama doesn't want to be stained with defeat. It's one reason he has walked away from pushing for a Palestinian state, after his Middle East envoy George Mitchell resigned in frustration. It's why Obama stubbornly refused to insist on a public option for his atrocious health care bill. It's why he backed off cap-and-trade and organized labor's card check bill and the DREAM Act.
Obama assumed the presidency at a moment when much of the nation seemed ready to confront the unwelcome fact that the American project had derailed. Before he died, Norman Mailer lamented that the American culture was corroding from a bad conscience. The country was warping under the psychic weight of years of illegal wars, torture, official greed, religious prudishness, government surveillance, unsatisfying Viagra-supplemented sex, bland genetically engineered food, crappy jobs, dismal movies, and infantile, corporatized music—all scrolling by in an infinite montage of annoying Tweets. Even the virtual commons of cyberspace had gone solipsistic.
Corporate capitalism just wasn't delivering the goods anymore. Not for the bottom 80 percent, any way. The economy was in ruins, mired in what appeared to be a permanent recession. The manufacturing sector had been killed from the inside-out, with millions of well-paying jobs outsourced and nothing but dreary service-sector positions to take their place. Chronic long-term unemployment hovered at more than 10 percent, worse, much worse, in black America. Those who clung to their jobs had seen their wages stagnate, their home values shrivel and were suffocating under merciless mounds of debt. Meanwhile, capital moved in ever-tightening circles among a new odious breed of super-rich, making sweat-free billions from the facile movement of digital money.
By 2008, the wistfulness seemed to have evaporated from the American spirit. The country had seen its own government repeatedly prey on its citizens' fear of the future. Paranoia had become the last growth industry. From the High Sierras to the Blue Ridge, the political landscape was sour and spiteful, the perfect seed-ground for the sprouting of the Tea Party and even ranker and more venomous movements on the American right. These were not the ideological descendents of the fiery libertarian Barry Goldwater. The tea-baggers lacked Goldwater's western innocence and naïve idealism. These suburban populists, by and large, were white, unhappy and aging. Animated by the grim nostalgia for a pre-Lapsarian fantasyland called the Reagan administration, many sensed their station in society slipping inexorably away. They wanted their country back. But back from whom?
Instead of blaming corporate outsourcers or predatory bankers, they directed their vindictive impulse toward immigrants and blacks, government workers and teachers, scientists and homosexuals. There's something profoundly pathetic about the political fatalism of this new species of Know-Nothings. But, it must be said, their wrath was mostly pure. This strange consortium of discontent seethed with an inchoate sense of alienation, an acidic despair at the diminished potentialities of life in post-industrial America.
No, these were not fanatical idealists or even ante-bellum utopians. They were levelers, of a sort, splenetic and dread-fueled levelers, conspiratorialists with a Nixonian appetite for political destruction. Primed into a frenzy by the cynical rantings of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, mass gatherings of Tea Partiers across the summer of 2009 showed signs of a collective psychopathy, as if the enervating madness from decades of confinement in the hothouse of the American suburbs had finally ruptured in primetime for all the world to watch over and over again on YouTube with mounting mortification. Right there on the National Mall could be heard the vapid gibberish of Michele Bachmann and the new American preterite, those lost and bitter souls who felt their culture had left them far behind.
With his sunny disposition and Prospero-like aptitude for mystification, Obama should have been able to convert them or, at least, to roll over them. Instead, they kicked his ass. How?
Obama is a master of gesture politics, but he tends to flinch in nearly every pitched battle, even when the odds and the public are behind him. His political instincts drive him to seek cover in the middle ground. He is a reflexive compromiser, more Rodney "Can't We All Just Get Along" King than Reverend King. Even when confronted by bumbling hacks like John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Obama tends to wilt.
Perhaps Obama had never before been confronted with quite this level of toxic hostility. After all, he'd lived something of a charmed life, the life of a star-child, coddled and pampered, encouraged and adulated, from Indonesia to Harvard. Obama was the physical and psychic embodiment of the new multiculturalism: lean, affable, assured, non-threatening. His vaguely liberal political ideology remained opaque at the core. Instead of an over-arching agenda, Obama delivered facile jingoisms proclaiming a post-racial and post-partisan America. Instead of radical change, Obama offered simply managerial competence. This, naturally, the Berserkers of the Right interpreted as hubris and arrogance and such hollow homilies served only to exacerbate their rage. The virulent right had profiled Obama and found him to be the perfect target for their accreted animus. And, even better, they had zeroed-in on an enemy so innately conflict-averse that even when pummeled with racist slurs he wouldn't punch back.
Of course, Obama's most grievous political wounds were self-inflicted, starting even before his election when he rushed back to Washington to help rescue Bush's Wall Street bailout. This was perhaps the first real indication that the luminous campaign speeches about generational and systemic change masked the servile psyche of a man who was desperately yearning to be embraced by the nation's political and financial elites. Instead of meeting with the victims of Wall Street predators or their advocates, like Elizabeth Warren and Ralph Nader, Obama fist-bumped with the brain trust of Goldman Sachs and schmoozed with the crème de la crème of K Street corporate lobbyists. In the end, Obama helped salvage some of the most venal and corrupt enterprises on Wall Street, agreed to shield their executives from prosecution for their financial crimes and, predictably, later got repaid with their scorn.
Thus the Obama revolution was over before it started, guttered by the politician's overweening desire to prove himself to the grandees of the establishment. From there on, other promises, from confronting climate change to closing Gitmo, from ending torture to initiating a nationalized health care system, proved even easier to break.
Take the issue that had so vivified his campaign: ending the war on Iraq. Within weeks of taking office, Obama had been taken to the woodshed by Robert Gates and General David Petraeus and had returned to the White House bruised and humbled. The withdrawal would slowly proceed, but a sinister force would remain behind indefinitely, a lethal contingent of some 50,000 or so CIA operatives, special forces units, hunter-killer squads and ruthless private security details. Bush's overt war quietly became a black op under Obama. Out of sight, out of mind.
By the fall of 2009 even the most calloused Washington hands had grown weary over how deeply entangled the US occupation of Afghanistan had become. The savage rhythms of the war there had backfired. Too many broken promises, too many bombed weddings and assassinations, too many dead and mutilated children, too much cowardice and corruption in the puppet satrapy in Kabul. The tide had irrevocably turned against the US and its squalid policies. Far from being terminally crippled, the Taliban was now stronger than it had been at any time since 2001. But instead of capitalizing on this tectonic shift of sentiment by drawing down American troops, Obama, in a cynical ploy to prove his martial mettle, journeyed to West Point and announced in a somber speech that he was raising the stakes in Afghanistan by injecting a Petraeus-sanctioned surge of forces into the country and unleashing a new campaign of lethal operations that would track and target suspected insurgents across the Hindu Kush and into Pakistan.
That night Obama spoke in a stern cadence, studded with imperious pauses, as if to suggest that he, unlike the fickle George W. Bush, was going to wage the Afghan war until it was won. But he knew better. And so did his high command—even Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus, who had trademarked the counter-insurgency strategy. There was nothing to win in Afghanistan. Out on that distant rim of the world, there weren't even any standards to gauge military success. This was meant to be a punitive war, pure and simple, designed to draw as much blood as possible, an obscene war fought largely by remote-controlled drones attacking peasant villages with murderous indiscretion.
Afterwards, the American peace movement could only bray in impotent outrage. But as Obama's wars spread from Afghanistan and Iraq to Pakistan and Yemen, Somalia and Libya, outside of the redoubtable Catholic Workers and Quakers and a few Code Pinkers - the last flickering moral lights in the nation - even those empty yawps of protest dissipated into whispered lamentations, hushed murmurs of disillusionment. Could it be that the American Left had gone extinct as any kind of potent political force and it took the election of Barack Obama to prove it?
And what of Obama's spellbound followers, those youthful crusaders who saw him illumined in the sacral glow of his ethereal rhetoric and cleaved to him during the hard slog of two campaigns with a near-religious devotion? What was running through their minds when the mists finally parted to reveal that Obama was implementing cunning tracings of Bush-era policies on everything from the indefinite detention of uncharged prisoners in the war on terror to raids on medical marijuana distributors in states where medical pot has been legalized? What, indeed.
Illusions die hard, especially when shattered by cruise missiles
=================================================.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. POSTED IN FAIR USE

Edited by Steven Gaal, 28 July 2012 - 06:55 PM.


#30 Len Colby

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 03:48 PM

Absent mass protests against the impending destruction of Tripoli, it fell to Congress to take some tentative steps to challenge the latest unauthorized and unprovoked war. At an earlier time in the history of the Republic, Obama's arrogant defiance of Congress and the War Powers Act of 1973 might have provoked a constitutional crisis.


The act mandates that:

The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and after every such introduction shall consult regularly with the Congress until United States Armed Forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been removed from such situations.



It is debatable if the US involvement in Libya qualified




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