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Readings Politics and Economics II

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History is happening: Juice Rap News using hip-hop to transform reported news - Read - ABC Arts. Endless Accumulation, Endless (Unpaid) Work? Every civilisation must decide what is, and what is not, valuable.

Endless Accumulation, Endless (Unpaid) Work?

Marxists occasionally speak of a “law of value.” It is not a concept easily translated into everyday politics, or into our histories of capitalism. It sounds quaint, curiously out of step with our times. Modern slavery affects more than 35 million people, report finds. More than 35 million people around the world are trapped in a modern form of slavery, according to a report highlighting the prevalence of forced labour, human trafficking, forced marriages, debt bondage and commerical sexual exploitation.

Modern slavery affects more than 35 million people, report finds

The Walk Free Foundation (WFF), an Australia-based NGO that publishes the annual global slavery index, said that as a result of better data and improved methodology it had increased its estimate 23% in the past year. Five countries accounted for 61% of slavery, although it was found in all 167 countries covered by the report, including the UK. India was top of the list with about 14.29 million enslaved people, followed by China with 3.24 million, Pakistan 2.06 million, Uzbekistan 1.2 million, and Russia 1.05 million. Mauritania had the highest proportion of its population in modern slavery, at 4%, followed by Uzbekistan with 3.97%, Haiti 2.3%, Qatar 1.36% and India 1.14%. Decline in professional jobs fuels increase in downward mobility. More people are moving down, rather than up, the social ladder as the number of middle-class managerial and professional jobs shrinks, according to an Oxford University study.

Decline in professional jobs fuels increase in downward mobility

Nomi Prins: Why the Financial and Political System Failed and Stability Matters. Yves here.

Nomi Prins: Why the Financial and Political System Failed and Stability Matters

We’re delighted to be featuring a post by Nomi Prins, a former Goldman managing director turned critic of the way the financial services industry has become a “heads I win, tails you lose” wager with the entire economy at stake. Many readers are likely familiar with her through her books, such as Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America and It Takes a Pillage: An Epic Tale of Power, Deceit, and Untold Trillions, as well as her regular TV appearances. By Nomi Prins, a former investment banker, now a journalist, best-selling author, and speaker.

Her latest book is All the President’s Bankers, which examines the relationships of presidents to key bankers over the past century and how they impacted domestic and foreign policy. Originally published at her website. Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy. Asking "[w]ho really rules?

Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argues that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power. Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

TPM Interview: Scholar Behind Viral 'Oligarchy' Study Tells You What It Means "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," they write, "while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.

" Blogs - Adam Curtis - HAPPIDROME - Part One. Michelle Alexander on "Getting Out of Your Lane" Michelle Alexander, on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, is throwing down the gauntlet.

Michelle Alexander on "Getting Out of Your Lane"

The author of the bestselling book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, published a statement today in which she calls on us to do as Dr. King did after the historic march and “connect the dots between poverty, racism, and materialism.” Here at War Times, we talk a lot about how militarism manifests on the home front. At a recent War Times community dialogue, activists discussed how militarism intersects in the arenas in which they work – immigrant justice leaders talked about growing militarization along the border, community organizers pointed to police forces incorporating tanks and drones into local law enforcement, prison activists highlighted the current hunger strike among California inmates as a response to a brutal and militaristic prison system. Five years after the March on Washington, Dr. New Deal Project Map. The New Deal benefitted every state, and nearly every city and town, across the United States, and most of the infrastructure built in the 1930s is still in use today.

New Deal Project Map

Our goal is to inventory and map all New Deal public works across the nation. Rick Berman Exposed in New Audio; Hear His Tactics against Environmentalists and Workers Rights. Rick Berman, the king of corporate front groups and propaganda, has been caught on tape detailing his attacks on public interest groups in the labor and environmental movements, including on efforts to increase the minimum wage for workers.

Rick Berman Exposed in New Audio; Hear His Tactics against Environmentalists and Workers Rights

As noted in a new story by Eric Lipton at The New York Times, Berman met with energy company executives at the posh Broadmoor Hotel earlier this year to raise money from them to attack groups representing citizens concerned about clean water, clean air, and the future of the planet. But Berman's "win ugly" tactics apparently did not persuade all of his prospective clients for his lucrative business of creating tax-exempt non-profit front groups that then contract with his for-profit PR firm to give corporations cover for his attacks on their opponents. Soak the Rich - The Baffler. This exchange is from a conversation in Paris between David Graeber and Thomas Piketty, discoursing on the deep shit we’re all in and what we might do about climbing out.

Soak the Rich - The Baffler

It was held at the École Normale Supérieure; moderated by Joseph Confavreux and Jade Lindgaard; edited by Edwy Plenel; first published by the French magazine Mediapart last October; and translated from the French for The Baffler by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Moderators: You both appear to think that the prevailing economic and financial system has run its course, and cannot endure much longer in its present form. I would like to ask each of you to explain why. Thomas Piketty: I am not sure that we are on the eve of a collapse of the system, at least not from a purely economic viewpoint.

Costas Lapavitsas Discusses the Financialization of Capitalism. Truthout doesn’t take corporate money, and we don’t shy away from confronting the root causes of injustice.

Costas Lapavitsas Discusses the Financialization of Capitalism

How a Century of Racist Policies Made Ferguson Into a Pocket of Concentrated Despair. In this Aug. 18, 2014 photo taken with a fisheye lens, people protest for Michael Brown who was killed by police Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) Ferguson, Missouri, was a powder-keg waiting for a match long before August 9 and Michael Brown’s fateful encounter with Police Officer Darren Wilson. It is one of many predominantly black communities across the United States plagued by highly concentrated poverty, and all of the social problems that accompany it. White America has come up with a number of rationales for these enduring pockets of despair. An elaborate mythology has developed that blames it on a “culture of poverty” — holding the poor culpable for their poverty and letting our political and economic systems off the hook.

Lennon Lacy Lynched. Chicago Boys. The Chicago Boys (c. 1970s) were a group of young male, mostly Chilean economists, the majority of whom trained at the Department of Economics of the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger, or at its affiliate in the economics department at the Catholic University of Chile. Upon their return to Latin America most occupied leading positions in government, finance and education. History[edit] The term Chicago Boys has been used at least as early as the 1980s[1] to describe Latin American economists who studied or identified with the neoliberal economic theories then taught at the University of Chicago, even though some of them earned degrees at Harvard or MIT (see below).

"Chicago boys generally advocated widespread deregulation, privatization, and other free market policies for closely controlled economies. The Myth of the Free Press. Screen shot of journalist Gary Webb from Vimeo. There is more truth about American journalism in the film “Kill the Messenger,” which chronicles the mainstream media’s discrediting of the work of the investigative journalist Gary Webb, than there is in the movie “All the President’s Men,” which celebrates the exploits of the reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal. The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis. WASHINGTON — In the decades after , the and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like at the and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich. The agency hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of “minor war crimes.”

Photo. Newsroom. John F. The Case for Reparations. And if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. Julian Assange - Google Is Not What It Seems. Google Is Not What It Seems by Julian Assange Google Chairman Eric Schmidt shares a joke with Hillary Clinton during a special "fireside chat" with Google staff. The talk was held on 21 Jul 2014 at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California. FDL Book Salon Welcomes Robert Mutch, Buying The Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform. Detroit: The Dispersal of Urban Black America Begins. Jamie Dimon: U.S. Must Create a “Safe Harbor” Where JPM’s Corruption Is Not “Punished”

When you talk too much for Twitter. Can Capitalism and Democracy Co-Exist? Yves here. Real News Network is running an eight-part series on capitalism and democracy, with Chris Hedges and Sheldon Wolin as interlocutors. I thought the second segment in the series, which is historically focused, to be particularly strong. Michelle Alexander on "Getting Out of Your Lane" Investigative Reporter. A book review by Greg Palast for Firedoglake Book Salon Buying The Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform. I went to Ferguson to protect the protesters. I got arrested instead. Violence: The American Way of Life. The United States of America was conceived and nurtured by violence.

Dime Bag Kingpins: How Two Grams Can Get You Twenty Years. Suppressing Votes Just Another Day at the Office by Ed Kilgore. Powerful Photos Capture the Student Protests Barely Anyone Is Talking About. A ‘Post-Political’ Labor Movement. Is it legal for the police to shoot an unarmed, surrendered citizen? The Imperative of Revolt. Latest TPP Leak Shows US Still Pushing Terrible DRM and Copyright Term Proposals—and New Threats Arise. The United States Is Number One ... but in What? (1) Tweets about #decolonizeDVAM hashtag. Whole69.pdf. Why are banks opening branches… in high schools? 40,000 Voter-Registration Applications Submitted by Black and Hispanic People Are Missing in Ga.

Wanderings of the Slave: Black life and Social Death. Kids for cash scandal. St. Louis police pressured me “to snitch on my friends,” says Palestinian-American protester. Jury Rights Activists Refuse To Back Down To Court Bullies Or Cops. Rights = Flexed. St Louis protests: Ferguson activists reject religious leaders’ platitudes. Progressive Struggles against Insidious Capitalist Individualism: Interview with Angela Davis. Review of This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein. Historic 32nd congress of Pakistani section of IMT – First Day. Asset seizures fuel police spending. A Shuffle of Aluminum, but to Banks, Pure Gold.

Michael Brown jury: putting a value on a black life in the United States. This Eye-Opening Map Shows Which States Have The Highest Income Inequality. Smart Charts: An Economic Recovery for the 1% The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals. Inside the Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire. Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash. Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes Reveal Culture Of Corruption At Federal Reserve. Larry Ellison Bought an Island in Hawaii. Now What? Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - April 4, 1967 - Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence. Investment Bombshell: CalPERS Exiting Hedge Funds. Facebook Feminism, Like It or Not - The Baffler. Black And Unarmed: Women And Girls Without Weapons Killed By Law Enforcement. Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger: Pals! The End of History? ‘Death of the Liberal Class’ - Book Excerpt.

A Study in Plutocracy: Rich Americans Wield Political Influence, the Rest of Us Don't. How the Ultra-Rich .01% Have Sucked Up Even More of America's Wealth Than You Think. Chris Hedges: Rebellion in Ferguson: A Rising Heat in the Suburbs - Chris Hedges. The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Frederick Douglass. A Causerie at the Military-Industrial by Paul Goodman. An Interview with Henry Giroux on Democracy in Crisis. Food insecurity is at historic highs and getting worse. Capitalism is doomed if ethics vanish, says Bank of England governor.