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Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria. The Hypocrisy of ‘Helping’ the Poor. Photo EVERY so often, you hear grotesquely wealthy American chief executives announce in sanctimonious tones the intention to use their accumulated hundreds of millions, or billions, “to lift people out of poverty.” Sometimes they are referring to Africans, but sometimes they are referring to Americans. And here’s the funny thing about that: In most cases, they have made their fortunes by impoverishing whole American communities, having outsourced their manufacturing to China or India, Vietnam or Mexico. Buried in a long story about corruption in China in The New York Times a couple of months ago was the astonishing fact that the era of “supercharged growth” over the past several decades had the effect of “lifting more than 600 million people out of poverty.”

From handouts? Continue reading the main story But if there was one experience of the Deep South that stayed with me it was the sight of shutdown factories and towns with their hearts torn out of them, and few jobs. When Mr. Mr. Obama's Recovery In Just 9 Charts. The Best "Democracy" Money Can Buy: For Every Dollar Spent Influencing US Politics, Corporations Get $760 Back. The first time we read the recent analysis by the Sunlight Foundation in which it combed through 14 million corporate records, including data on campaign contributions, lobbying expenditures, federal budget allocations and spending, in order to determine the “rate of return” on lobbying and spending to buy political goodwill, we were left speechless.

To be sure, we had previously shown that when it comes to the rate of return on lobbying, the rates were simply staggering, and ranged anywhere between 5,900% for oil subsidies, to 22,000% for multinational tax breaks and even higher for America’s legal drug dealers. But nothing could prepare us for this. According to the foundation’s analysis, between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion (with a B) on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. What they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 trillion (with a T) in federal business and support. Knowledge Is Power: New Revelation About U.S. History Is the Key to Justice on All Fronts. By Foster Gamble & Kimberly Carter Gamble | When the Shaka Movement won the victory of banning GMOs for a year in Maui, it was only a matter of weeks before Monsanto and Dow Chemical filed a law suit against the County to stop the ban.

So why are we hopeful that the GMO battle, and many others like it, can be won? Because knowledge is power. And there is some information surfacing that is truly a golden key to securing not just the right to safe food, but to justice on all fronts. It is a mind-blowing revelation about our history that is both complex and unprecedentedly empowering. It seems that the laws Monsanto and the US government are using to squelch so many good efforts are actually laws of commerce, not laws of the Constitution. America is not just in cahoots with corporations. This Commercial Law demands personal accountability. To wrap around this, let’s consider who would possibly benefit from the incorporation of America. The language certainly reflects this. This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage -- Now, His State's Economy Is One of the Best in the Country | Carl Gibson. The next time your right-wing family member or former high school classmate posts a status update or tweet about how taxing the rich or increasing workers' wages kills jobs and makes businesses leave the state, I want you to send them this article.

When he took office in January of 2011, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton inherited a $6.2 billion budget deficit and a 7 percent unemployment rate from his predecessor, Tim Pawlenty, the soon-forgotten Republican candidate for the presidency who called himself Minnesota's first true fiscally-conservative governor in modern history. Pawlenty prided himself on never raising state taxes -- the most he ever did to generate new revenue was increase the tax on cigarettes by 75 cents a pack. Between 2003 and late 2010, when Pawlenty was at the head of Minnesota's state government, he managed to add only 6,200 more jobs. During his first four years in office, Gov. Between 2011 and 2015, Gov.

Gov. The reason Gov. We Are the Most Unequal Society in the Developed World... And We Don't Know It. Piketty chart showing levels of inequality not seen since pre-WWI(image by Huffington Post) Reprinted from The American people have spoken. But what did we really say about inequality? At first glance, it seems that extreme inequality mattered little to the majority of voters who put pro-business candidates into office. After all, the Republicans, along with far too many Democrats, are certain to cater to their Wall Street/CEO donors. A important study ("How Much (More) Should CEOs Make? Americans are virtually blind to the growing gap between CEO pay and the pay of the average worker. Real disparity in income is vastly greater than perceived(image by Huffington Post) But, when asked in the survey, Americans grossly underestimated this gap.

More amazing still, the survey results, combined for all countries, show that the misconception of inequality doesn't significantly vary by age, gender, income, political leanings or education. Does education make a difference? Leonard Pitts: If GOP is right, why are red states so far behind? I have a question for my Republican friends. Yes, that sounds like the setup for a smackdown, but though the question is pointed, it is also in earnest. I’d seriously like to know: If Republican fiscal policies really are the key to prosperity, if the GOP formula of low taxes and little regulation really does unleash economic growth, then why has the country fared better under Democratic presidents than Republican ones and why are red states the poorest states in the country?

You may recall that Bill Clinton touched on this at the 2012 Democratic Convention. But PolitiFact rated the statement true. The same group earned the same rating for a claim that 97 of the 100 poorest counties are in red states. And then there’s a recent study by Princeton economists Alan Binder and Mark Watson that finds the economy has grown faster under Democratic presidents than Republican ones. Yours truly is no expert in economics, so you won’t read any grand theories here as to why all this is. Duly noted. Why the Worst Get on Top -- in Economics and as CEOs. FDR On American Facism(image by JoeInSouthernCA) Reprinted from Libertarians are profoundly anti-democratic.

The folks at Cato that I debate make no bones about their disdain for and fear of democracy. Friedrich von Hayek is so popular among libertarians because of his denial of the legitimacy of democratic government and his claims that it is inherently monstrous and murderous to its own citizens. Here's an example from a libertarian professor based in Maryland. "[W]hen government uses its legal monopoly on coercion to confiscate one person's property and give it to another, it is engaging in what would normally be called theft. But von Hayek's critique of democratic government has proven to be the most monstrous blood libel of the post-World War II era -- falsely declaring that democratic government must end in tyranny and the mass murder of its own people. Why the Worst Get on Top -- in Economics.

The Great Deceiver -- The Federal Reserve. Cross-posted from Paul Craig Roberts This article co-written by *Dave Kranzler THE DARK HISTORY OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE...Deception and Murder for the Almighty Dollar! (image by YouTube) Is the Fed "tapering"? Did the Fed really cut its bond purchases during the three-month period November 2013 through January 2014?

Apparently not if foreign holders of Treasuries are unloading them. From November 2013 through January 2014, Belgium with a GDP of $480 billion purchased $141.2 billion of US Treasury bonds. Certainly Belgium did not have a budget surplus of $141.2 billion. No, Belgium's trade and current accounts are in deficit. Did Belgium's central bank print $141.2 billion worth of euros in order to make the purchase? No, Belgium is a member of the euro system, and its central bank cannot increase the money supply. So where did the $141.2 billion come from? There is only one source. In other words, during those three months there was a sharp rise in bond purchases by the Fed. First-Ever Political Study of Top 1% Has Found Extreme Conservatism, Intense Political Involvement. Billionaires(image by Michael Fleshman) A year ago, to little public notice, the academic journal Perspectives on Politics published a landmark study, "Democracy and the Policy Preferences of Wealthy Americans," by Benjamin Page, Larry Bartels, and Jason Seawright; which reports that, among the American aristocracy, there exists pervasive extreme conservatism, and also a virtual non-stop involvement in politics by them -- in other words, it finds the same two things that writers have hypothesized to exist among aristocracies throughout all of human history.

But, for the first time ever, these researchers have now attached precise numbers to these two hypotheses, and have established that this is the way aristocrats actually are. Consequently, the much-noted takeover of "Main Street" by "Wall Street" can be explained by the fact that the aristocracy are far more conservative, and also far more politically active, than the general population are. 12% had, with a White House Official. Western Looting Of Ukraine Has Begun. Source: Paul Craig Roberts The Rape of Ukraine: Phase Two Begins(image by YouTube) It is now apparent that the "Maiden protests" in Kiev were in actuality a Washington organized coup against the elected democratic government.

The purpose of the coup is to put NATO military bases on Ukraine's border with Russia and to impose an IMF austerity program that serves as cover for Western financial interests to loot the country. The sincere idealistic protesters who took to the streets without being paid were the gullible dupes of the plot to destroy their country. Politically, Ukraine is an untenable aggregation of Ukrainian and Russian territory, because traditional Russian territories were stuck into the borders of the Ukraine Soviet Republic by Lenin and Khrushchev. The Washington-imposed coup faces other possible difficulties from what seems to be a growing conflict between the well-organized Right Sector and the Washington-imposed stooges. Now the looting can begin. One final word. Securitized Rental Payments: Wall Street’s New Get-Rich-Quick Scheme – Uncategorized, Validated Independent News.

As the housing market shows initial signs of recovery, Wall Street has developed a new way to profit. As Laura Gottesdiener reports, Wall Street hedge funds and other private equity firms have been accumulating hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes—houses that homes were only foreclosed in the first place because of conditions perpetuated by these hedge funds. For example, Blackstone Group, a major hedge fund company, has been buying homes at bargain prices many from people forced out of their homes by the foreclosure crisis. In one move, Blackstone bought 1,400 houses in Atlanta in a single day; and, across the country, it now owns over 40,000 homes. As Gottesdiener writes, “Few outside the finance industry have heard of Blackstone. Yet today, it’s the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the nation.” This is extremely dangerous to those renting from Blackstone.

Will Blackstone prove to be a good property manager? Fed’s Dirty Little Secret: “The Gold Isn’t There… Exists as Paper IOU’s” The Federal Reserve doesn’t have enough gold to pay Germany back Mac Slavo | The assumption by global depositors who have entrusted their national savings with the Federal Reserve and US Government has always been that when they request to repatriate their holdings the Fed would simply open the vault, access said assets and ship them back to where they belong. That’s exactly what Germany expected would happen last year when the country requested that the Federal Reserve return about one-fifth of their gold reserves. But that’s when things got really dicey. The Fed announced that Germany’s gold would be returned… but it would take seven years to get back home. The response to Germany’s request turned heads all over the world and raised concerns that the Federal Reserve had squandered its gold holdings.

But this isn’t the only red flag that was raised. The implications are earth shattering and hit the very core of the problems facing America today. How Ohio Pulled $4 Billion+ from Communities and Redistributed It Upwards. The Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 66 promising to improve economic conditions for Ohioans. H.B. 66 eliminated the corporate income tax and reduced state income taxes by 21%. Governor Taft from his 2006 state of the state speech: At this time last year we had a tax code that was mired in the distant past, punishing investment and ignoring innovation.

We worked day and night to bring that code into the 21st Century. We cut the income tax. We junked the corporate franchise tax. We scrapped the inventory and equipment tax. The promise was jobs and growth. Impact of H.B. 66 Who benefited from the tax cuts? Most Ohioans got little benefit from the tax overhaul. Did H.B. 66 work? In April 2013, Policy Matters Ohio looked at the data to see how Ohio was performing versus other states. The report is not great. From 2005 to 2013, we’ve had a 4.4% decline and have lost 238,000 jobs.

Zach Schiller testifying to the Ohio house in 2014: The story doesn’t end with the 2005 tax cuts though. Indeed. Study: Iraq, Afghan war costs to top $4 trillion. The U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher. Washington increased military benefits in late 2001 as the nation went to war, seeking to quickly bolster its talent pool and expand its ranks. Those decisions and the protracted nation-building efforts launched in both countries will generate expenses for years to come, Linda J. Bilmes, a public policy professor, wrote in the report that was released Thursday. “As a consequence of these wartime spending choices, the United States will face constraints in funding investments in personnel and diplomacy, research and development and new military initiatives,” the report says.

“The legacy of decisions taken during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will dominate future federal budgets for decades to come.” The Price of Free Enterprise. The Price of Free Enterprise Stephen H. Unger February 17, 2014 Our Modern Dilemma(image by andrewfhart) A fundamental claim about our economic system is that efforts by private enterprises to maximize their profits benefit the public as a whole.

The argument is that competition to increase sales of products and services leads to the development of better products, more efficient production, and lower prices. For example, in efforts to increase sales and profits, hat manufacturers frequently modify their designs and manufacturing methods to make their hats more attractive, or more effective at protection against cold or sunlight, and also less expensive.

Unfortunately, as will be shown below, while this approach may work fairly well in the hat industry, it breaks down in many, perhaps most, important areas of our economy. Let's look at how profit maximization affects people and our environment in a few important areas of the economy. The health industry Energy. Jobs: Boehner-McConnell Hypocricy Blocks Action. Illusory Money and the Economic System Construct. Enough Is Enough: Banksters Are Not Our Only Option. How Economists and Policymakers Murdered Our Economy. Want to Have a Happy Planet? Just Ask Costa Ricans About Their Banks | Economy.

Want to Have a Happy Planet? Just Ask Costa Ricans About Their Banks. Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism. World Bank Whistleblower Karen Hudes Reveals How The Global Elite Rule The World. Socialism and Capitalism. Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism. Was This Whistle-Blower Muzzled? The SEC Flacks Paint Lehman’s Looters as the Victims of a “Political” SEC. Obama’s FBI Channels the Tea Party: Partner with the Banks and Blame the Poor for the Crisis. FBI Channels the Tea Party: Partner with the Banks and Blame the Poor for the Crisis. Richard Wolff on Fighting for Economic Justice and Fair Wages. 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe.

Stunning Facts About How the Banking System Really Works … And How It Is Destroying America. Banking History Timeline - Follow the Money. Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks | Neighborhood income maps of U.S. cities. Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That a Core Group Of Wealthy Elites Is Pulling the Strings. Our Only Solution to the Fed Debt Trap. Iceland’s Hörður Torfason – How to Beat the Banksters. Ten Numbers the Rich Would Like Fudged. Finally, A Rich American Destroys The Fiction That Rich People Create The Jobs.