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marmar

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Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
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Professor Richard Wolff: Costs of Global Capitalism


by Richard Wolff.
PUBLISHED ON DECEMBER 5, 2014


The International Labor Organization (ILO) just released a report on December 5, 2014 (http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_324645/lang--en/index.htm) sharply exposing what the development of global capitalism means and costs. Here are its key conclusions:

1. Real wage growth slowed again in 2013 (to 2% per year), remaining below pre-crisis rates of wage increase that averaged about 3%.

2. But even more important, real wage growth in “advanced” economies like those in north America, western Europe and Japan hovered around 1 % since 2006 and fell, in 2012 and 2013, to 0.1 % and 0.2 %.

3. In sharp contrast, real wages rose in in major emerging countries (China especially) by 6.7% in 2012 and 5.9% in 2013.


The ILO report’s key chart below summarizes the key wage results of global capitalism over the last decade. Economic growth, rising real wages, and rising standards of living are the economic reality of China. Economic crisis, stagnant wages, and deepening inequalities of income and wealth are the economic realities for western Europe, the US, and Japan.



Capitalist enterprises keep moving their operations (manufacturing but also now service sector jobs) from high wage to low wage regions of the world to raise their profits. The resulting unemployment forces the jobless to compete for jobs and accept lower paid work. So real wages stagnate in the areas capitalists leave and rise in the areas to which they move. Capitalism no longer brings a rising standard of living to the regions where it was born and developed first: western Europe, north America and Japan. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://rdwolff.com/content/costs-global-capitalism



Professor Richard Wolff: "Employment Upswing Not Here to Stay"





Richard Wolff on The Real News Network: "Employment Upswing Not Here to Stay"





A paragraph from Chris Hedges' piece on Truthdig today that adroitly summarizes where we are.....


[font size="5"]Corporations have captured every major institution, including the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government, and deformed them to exclusively serve the demands of the market. They have, in the process, demolished civil society. Karl Polanyi in “The Great Transformation” warned that without heavy government regulation and oversight, unfettered and unregulated capitalism degenerates into a Mafia capitalism and a Mafia political system. A self-regulating market, Polanyi writes, turns human beings and the natural environment into commodities. This ensures the destruction of both society and the natural environment. The ecosystem and human beings become objects whose worth is determined solely by the market. They are exploited until exhaustion or collapse occurs. A society that no longer recognizes that the natural world and life have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, commits collective suicide. Such societies cannibalize themselves. This is what we are undergoing. Literally.[/font]

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_society_of_captives_20141207




Extinction Rate Rivals That of Dinosaurs, 2014 Likely Hottest Year Ever


Extinction Rate Rivals That of Dinosaurs, 2014 Likely Hottest Year Ever

Monday, 08 December 2014 12:14
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report


Recent studies show that current animal extinction rates from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) now rival the extinction that annihilated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

"If that rate continues unchanged, the earth's sixth mass extinction is a certainty," said Anthony Barnosky, a biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Certainly there are no signs of our planetary ACD trajectory changing, aside from continuing to ramp up further into abrupt runaway change.

In fact, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature recently updated its authoritative Red List to include more than 22,000 species on the list of the world's most threatened animals. Species like the Pacific bluefin tuna and the American eel are now on the Red List. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27869-extinction-rate-rivals-that-of-dinosaurs-2014-likely-hottest-year-ever



Reggie Bush says a lot with 'I can't breathe'


from the Detroit Free Press:



Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush has horrible penmanship, so he asked an equipment manager to help him write a message in black ink on his blue shirt Sunday before the Lions played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

"I can't breathe."

They were the last words of Eric Garner, who died in July while being placed in a chokehold by a police officer. A Staten Island, N.Y., jury decided Wednesday it would not indict the officer.

Since Garner's death and Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo. — both by police officers — protests have spread across the country.

.......(snip).......

Give Bush credit for speaking his mind. For getting involved. For standing up and saying what he believes. Most athletes don't. Most play it safe and stay silent.

"We are afraid to face criticism," Bush said. "We are afraid that people are going to send negative tweets and write negative comments on our Instagram posts. I've always been that guy to sit back and be reserved, to sit back and not get involved in situations like this. I just felt like I do have a voice. It's OK for me to say how I feel." .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/sports/columnists/jeff-seidel/2014/12/08/seidel-reggie-bush-makes-statement-breath-shirt/20078225/



Chris Hedges: A Society of Captives


from truthdig:



by Chris Hedges


Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to launch a pilot program in New York City to place body cameras on police officers and conduct training seminars to help them reduce their adrenaline rushes and abusive language, along with the establishment of a less stringent marijuana policy, are merely cosmetic reforms. The killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island was, after all, captured on video. These proposed reforms, like those out of Washington, D.C., fail to address the underlying cause of poverty, state-sponsored murder and the obscene explosion of mass incarceration—the rise of the corporate state and the death of our democracy. Mass acts of civil disobedience, now being carried out across the country, are the only mechanism left that offers hope for systematic legal and judicial reform. We must defy the corporate state, not work with it.

The legal system no longer functions to protect ordinary Americans. It serves our oligarchic, corporate elites. These elites have committed $26 billion in financial fraud. They loot the U.S. Treasury, escape taxation, drive down wages, break unions, pillage pension funds, gut regulation and oversight, destroy public institutions including public schools and social assistance programs, wage endless and illegal wars to swell the profits of arms merchants, and—yes—authorize police to murder unarmed black men.

Police and national intelligence and security agencies, which carry out wholesale surveillance against the population and serve as the corporate elite’s brutal enforcers, are omnipotent by intention. They are designed to impart fear, even terror, to keep the population under control. And until the courts and the legislative bodies give us back our rights—which they have no intention of doing—things will only get worse for the poor and the rest of us. We live in a post-constitutional era.

Corporations have captured every major institution, including the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government, and deformed them to exclusively serve the demands of the market. They have, in the process, demolished civil society. Karl Polanyi in “The Great Transformation” warned that without heavy government regulation and oversight, unfettered and unregulated capitalism degenerates into a Mafia capitalism and a Mafia political system. A self-regulating market, Polanyi writes, turns human beings and the natural environment into commodities. This ensures the destruction of both society and the natural environment. The ecosystem and human beings become objects whose worth is determined solely by the market. They are exploited until exhaustion or collapse occurs. A society that no longer recognizes that the natural world and life have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, commits collective suicide. Such societies cannibalize themselves. This is what we are undergoing. Literally. ................ (more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_society_of_captives_20141207



Images from Garner protests at Detroit's Noel Night celebration on Saturday










DETROIT, MI -- Noel Night, in its 42nd year, had all the traditional attractions Saturday.
There was popcorn and hot cocoa. There were street performers and ice sculptures. Visitors toured historic buildings and local shops enjoyed the large, cheery crowds.

But this year was different, and not because of the unicyclists in top hats or the artists who carried around "mobile forest" of Christmas trees.

There was a constant chanting of the words "We can't breathe!" and other protest phrases throughout the night, coming from not one, but several large groups of demonstrators.

Angry over police-involved killings around the country and a pair of grand jury decisions not to indict officers involved in violent deaths, multiple crowds of protesters marched down Woodward Avenue and staged a "die-in" demonstration outside the Detroit Institute of Arts on Saturday as thousands gathered for Midtown's massive annual holiday party. ...............(more)

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2014/12/detroit_protesters_voice_anger.html





Bill Black: New York City: Aggressive “Broken Windows” Policing but Carte Blanche for Banksters


New York City: Aggressive “Broken Windows” Policing but Carte Blanche for Banksters
Posted on December 6, 2014 by William Black

By William K. Black
Kansas City, MO: December 6, 2014


New York City exemplifies two perverse criminal justice policies that drive many criminologists to distraction. It is the home of the most destructive epidemics of elite financial frauds in history. Those fraud epidemics hyper-inflated the housing bubble and drove the financial crisis and the Great Recession. The best estimate is that the U.S. GDP loss will be $21 trillion and that 10 million Americans lost their jobs. Both numbers are far larger in Europe. The elite “C Suite” leaders of these fraud epidemics were made wealthy by those frauds through bonuses that measured in the billions of dollars annually.

The most extraordinary facts about the catastrophic fraud epidemics, however, is New York City’s reaction to the fraud epidemics. Not a single Wall Street bankster who led the fraud epidemics has been prosecuted or had their fraud proceeds “clawed back.” Not a single Wall Street bankster who led the fraud epidemics is treated as a pariah by his peers or New York City elites. New York City’s elected leaders have made occasional criticisms of the banksters, but Mayor Bloomberg was famous for his sycophancy for the Wall Street banksters that made him wealthy. In 2011, Mayor Bloomberg attacked the “Occupy Wall Street” movement for daring to protest the banksters.

“‘I don’t appreciate the bashing of all the hard working people who live and work here and pay the taxes that support our city,’ said Bloomberg, during a press conference in a Bronx library.

‘The city depends on Wall Street.’

‘Jamie Dimon is one of the great bankers,’ said Bloomberg. ‘He’s brought more business to this city than any banker in (the) modern day. To go and picket him, I don’t know what that achieves. Jamie Dimon is an honorable person, working very hard, paying his taxes.’

Bloomberg also questioned why the protestors were picking on wealthy bankers and other corporate titans.


It is, of course, depraved to claim that because banksters are made wealthy through fraud and pays a small portion of that wealth in taxes they should not be held accountable for those frauds because they are important to local finances. The claim becomes all the more risible when we take into account that under Dimon’s leadership JPMorgan became infamous for engaging in and facilitating billions of dollars in tax evasion that cost many governments, including NYC, enormous amounts of tax revenues. As a final indignity, most of the purported amounts that JPMorgan paid in settlements with DOJ are actually paid by the U.S. Treasury because DOJ allowed JPMorgan to treat large amounts of those payments as tax deductible. DOJ’s senior leadership used this as one of their cynical means of making the settlements paid by the banks appear far larger than they actually were. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/12/new-york-city-aggressive-broken-windows-policing-carte-blanche-banksters.html



Rep. Alan Grayson: ‘88 seconds to Debate the TPP’?





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