Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 03, 2020

The U.S. Economy Is Down By 50% - Where Are the Job Programs It Needs?

The U.S. has a service economy. Some 70% of its gross domestic product is generated by personal consumption. The emergency measures taken to slow down the covid-19 pandemic decreased consumption by a huge margin. The GDPNow model by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta shows the slump:

The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) is a key indicator of economic activity, but the official estimate is released with a delay. Our GDPNow forecasting model provides a "nowcast" of the official estimate prior to its release by estimating GDP growth using a methodology similar to the one used by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Latest estimate: -52.8 percent — June 1, 2020

The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2020 is -52.8 percent on June 1, down from -51.2 percent on May 29.

Source: GDPnow via The Big Picture - bigger

The GDPnow model gives a snapshot of GDP on any given day. It is not the GDP for the year, which will be down much less, but just a moment in time.

With the lockdowns loosening the GDP will certainly increase again. But a haircut missed due to the lockdown will not result in a desire to get two haircuts. The meals not eaten in a restaurant during the last two month will not be made up by additional meals eaten after the reopening. The losses are for real.

With the end of the lockdown half of the 40 million currently unemployed will likely soon be back to work. The jobs of the other 20 million will not come back for a long time. The travel and hospitality sectors will be most effected. People who do not make money can not spend any.

The unemployed and the economy will not be impressed by Trump's current fake 'law and order' show or by his pandering to Evangelicals.

If Trump is as smart as he claims to be he will ask Congress for a huge amount of money to be spent on infrastructure programs over the next three years. That money should be shared for projects on the national, state and local level. There are plenty of bridges, roads and rails that need repairs or replacements.

But Trump isn't as smart as he claims and the people around him, as well as Trump himself, are from the FIRE economy - the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate sectors. Such people do not value the real economy where real stuff is made and used.

The stock market, on which Trump is fixated, has long ceased to be a reflection of the real economy. Propping it up again and again, as the Fed and the Treasury do, may well enrich Trump's friends, but it does nothing for the voters he needs to get reelected.

Does he not understand that?

And why, by the way, ain't the Democrats out in front demanding that more be done to create new jobs? They seem to have totally vanished from the scene.

Posted by b on June 3, 2020 at 17:35 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"And why, by the way, ain't the Democrats out in front demanding that more be done to create new jobs?"

Don't say ain't or your mother will faint.
Your father will fall in a bucket of paint.
Your sister will cry. Your brother will die.
Your dog will call the FBI.

Posted by: David Park | Jun 3 2020 17:50 utc | 1

"And why, by the way, ain't the Democrats out in front demanding that more be done to create new jobs? "

Because the Dems are NOT an opposition party. The entire mess we are in, is a bipartisan project accomplished over several decades. Although Trump is in the limelight right now, he is actually a symptom of a much larger underlying disease, caused by both parties.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Jun 3 2020 17:52 utc | 2

Trump's behavior reveals his beliefs/values. His actions are what need to be watched, not the manifold gibberish he tweets & utters.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 17:59 utc | 3

I don't think the Dems want to win. Nobody wants the next four years. Hell, nobody wants the next eight years or twelve or sixteen. Except the criminally insane autocrats.

Not that I think the Dems in control of the executive and legislative branches would change the course of events. The collapse is in full swing. It's a steam roller at this point. A freight train. An avalanche. There's no more blood to squeeze from the rocks. Game over. Except it and manage the decline as humanely and constructively and equitably as possible or else let chaos reign and lead which is an existential gambit for sure but one the extractive elites appear to have chosen.

Posted by: | Jun 3 2020 17:59 utc | 4

The individual states need to realize they are on their own. Trump and Congressional gopers and dems have abandoned them in favor of working full time for FIRE (very new and revealing term for me) and various other elite interests. Each state will need to form various alliances with other states to develop proverbial out of the box solutions including developing independent import and trade agreements with China and the EU among others.

Posted by: Erelis | Jun 3 2020 18:16 utc | 5

You cannot print money into infrastructure. That's money fetishism.

The Marshall Plan would be only USD 100 billion in today's values. It wasn't about the money: the Marshall Plan worked because, in 1946, the USA was the financial center of the world and had an excess industrial capacity large enough to rebuild a much smaller place (Western Europe). USDs flowed into Western Europe, which could only buy American goods and equipment - which the Americans had to sell. American resources then flowed to Western Europe, which in turn flowed back to the USA in USDs. That the USD was backed by gold at the time had nothing to do with this process, but it may have accelerated the universalization of the USD.

The USA (I'm here including all of its provinces: European Peninsula, Latin America, SE-Asia, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia) is a capitalist society, which means it plans its economy according to the social profit rate. The social profit rate is determined by the national average of profit rates among all the individual capitals in said country. That means economy is always planned by the private, not the public, sector. The White House is impotent here.

Profit rate self-regulates based on the different degrees of organic composition of capital (OCC) of each country/region. To simplify, the tendency is this: value flows from the countries with lesser OCCs to countries with higher OCCs. Taking the European Union as an example, we have that Germany (the country with the higher OCC) will have large and chronic trade surpluses with the rest.

However, the higher the OCC, the lower is the profit rate. As OCC gets to a certain critical level, profit rates begin to plummet, and structural crisis of capitalism occur. In order to stop this process, "financialization" begins.

The case of the USA is that its financialization process has been running for so long that its already existing infrastructure is crumbling. However, the fact that it is crumbling is just the symptom, not the cause. The real cause is that the USA begun to financialize first because it reached an extremely high OCC first.

At first, the USA didn't rebuild its infrastructure simply because it is not profitable. Now, it doesn't do it for the simple fact it can't: with much pain, it managed to bring astronauts beck to the ISS; the infrastructural abyss is now at more than USD 1.1 trn and widening. By now it would have to import a lot of material and expertise from other countries if it really wanted to rebuild and update its infrastructure. Industry lost so much importance in the US economy that, last year, American industry fell to a record level (due to the trade war against China) and the US GDP actually rose - due to the financial sector and services sector compensating for the loss.

The most extreme case of a First World country turning into a mere financial hub is the UK: its trade deficit already is at a gargantuan -14%, and its budget only doesn't collapse because its huge financial hub in London covers that up to more than 7% (i.e. halves).

Posted by: vk | Jun 3 2020 18:17 utc | 6

While I agree with spending on infrastructure projects like we did during the great depression and more, it should be noted that this is not going to save the service economy. Very few people actually work in construction and allied trades directly. So while in normal times, this kind of spending would be a huge shot in the arm because these folks would then spend in the service economy, coronafear will reduce the effect considerably.

We have destroyed our economy and reduced our civil liberties, perhaps irrevocably, for a virus that kills less than 1% of the population and almost all of whose victims are the elderly and ill, usually both. As recently as a hundred years ago, humanity used to be faced with diseases like smallpox, various plagues, and assorted bacteriological diseases that would routinely kill 30-70% of the population ... and we kept on. What has happened to us?

Posted by: Caliman | Jun 3 2020 18:26 utc | 7


What is the aim of "Revolution 2020?" Is this all just part of Hillary's presidential campaign? Or Michelle Obama's?

Star Tribune of Minneapolis is asking for Michelle Obama to stand for Vice President / President in Waiting:

A democracy in crisis needs Michelle Obama

If she joined the ticket as former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate, our broken land might mend.

We collectively must implore a reluctant Michelle Obama to make herself available to join Joe Biden’s ticket as the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee. Let me explain why.

On top of a global pandemic, our cities now are facing massive unrest, violence and destruction, and threats to the social order, arising from yet another series of horrific killings of unarmed African-American men and women by the police — and all built upon decades of racial injustice and inequality.

No, it is not about racism. Electing a Black president will not save America. The real issue is the economic system. America needs a major redistribution of wealth.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 3 2020 18:27 utc | 8

Does he not understand that ? Yes he does, all to well. Becouse they planned it that way, when they deliberately released the corona virus germ warfare weapon!
As I wrote here 3 months ago ‘they won’t need so many strawberry pickers becouse ther won’t be so many to eat strawberry’s! Think about it. Agend 21. Starts 2020.

The democrats are all part of this genocide.

How long has it taken to recruit train and equip the storm troopers on the streets of America right now.
America will regret what it voted for /wished for.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 3 2020 18:30 utc | 9

Financial hub? Call it what it is. A laundromat for dirty money and ill-gotten gains. Problem is, or problem for those who aren't the extractive wealthy elite which is most of us, more and more money is dirty money and ill-gotten gains even if it is "made" legally. The most recent multi-trillion dollar handout, looting and pillaging actually, to the wealthy extractive elite as part of the so-called "stimulus package" was perfectly legal but dirty money and ill-gotten gains nonetheless.

The stock market is not only a depravity indicator and an indicator of wealth disparity, it's also a massive laundromat for legal and illegal ill-gotten gains. I would venture that at least 30% of the stock market is comprised of black market illegal money being laundered at any given time.

Posted by: | Jun 3 2020 18:41 utc | 10

If Trump is as smart as he claims to be he will...

He doesn't need to be smart per se.

He just needs to be **smarter** than Joe Biden.

Just like he was smarter than Hillary + all the legacy media in 2016 to such an extent that to deny they had been outsmarted... #Russiagate was born lol

The irony is that Biden is a lowlife who inflames hatred and reinforces divisions while holding up a moral shield. He has always chosen expedient lies over the truth to get elected. Support for him shows a desperate hate of Trump.

Good luck to all and sundry.

Exhilarating times!!!

Posted by: Skeletor | Jun 3 2020 18:45 utc | 11

The Soviet Union collapsed because the Soviet Economic-Political Elite discovered that they could make more money and have more power by breaking the Union apart to devour the public utilities. The US Economic-Political elite have now made a similar decision. But whereas the Soviet Union had hard assets that could be privatised for profit, the US has public expenses that will be eliminated in order to free up resources for more financialization. The US elite will break apart the US as a nation state in order to harvest public pension funds, social security will be privatised and public debt will explode as the government (through the Federal Reserve) will guarantee stock market prices - get ready for DOW 50,000 in the next 5 years and a 40 trillion national debt, also get ready for collapse of the US as a functioning state the day after that.

Posted by: Kadath | Jun 3 2020 18:47 utc | 12

Erelis @5--

FIRE is a term used my Michael Hudson and other likeminded political-economists. He uses it so often it's hard to provide the initial instance. However, Hudson did write two books about how the FIRE sector gained its dominance, Killing the Host & J is for Junk Economics. It this video interview from 2017, Hudson explains to Max Keiser about the latter book and how it relates to the just completed election, which begins at the 12:45 mark. That website also links to all previous Keiser Reports where I hope to find the specific interview that discusses the FIRE sector. This one does too, but it's not the specific topic discussed. I guarantee you'll learn a lot from the 10.5 minute interview!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 19:09 utc | 13

There is some evidence that "cooler heads" are exerting a "veto" influence on the Trump admin, but who exactly they are is not apparent. But so far this year the US was on the brink of a) attacking Iran with Air Force and missiles. b) dropping nuclear option on China through withdrawal of HK privileges, sanctioning CPC officials, and cancelling thousands of student visas. and c) ordering the military into the streets to "dominate" the protesters. All of these events seemed a sure thing until they suddenly didn't in fact occur.

I expect some kind of "unity ticket" will be offered to the American people for November and some degree of mild reforms initiated to help the vast majority get by.

Progressive Democrats had their best opportunity since the 1960s handed to them in the wake of Trumps's election, and most of them effectively squandered it by allowing their energy to be diverted into the Russiagate/impeachment nothing-burger box.

Posted by: jayc | Jun 3 2020 19:09 utc | 14

Petri Krohn wants redistribution of wealth. Let's look at the idea.

The opposing viewpoint says wealth is not a pie. Wealth comes from growth, innovation, creativity. It is many pies.

Of course, you can't bake your own pie without capital. So, how do we redistribute capital?

You can get it from the government via the banks, if they are 'ordered' to grant loans. They aren't. So, you can't get it from government or banks.

You can take it from the already wealthy. Taxes is the historic way to take wealth from the wealthy. But the tax schedule no longer takes significant amounts from the wealthy. And Congress is corrupted by the wealthy so that route is closed also. There will be no major new taxes on the wealthy.

How can we redistribute wealth, then?

Simplest way is Development Zones with no taxes for a 5-10 years. Investors will pour money in from around the world. New businesses can be started, innovation can be nourished and people can prosper.

Use the system to expand the base of participation and do it in the zones of poverty and redevelopment where the poor and disadvantaged are.

China does this. It works. Other nations do it. They call them FTZ (free trade zones). Russia has some.

Trump was going to do this with his original Infrastructure program. The Dems stopped it. Won't allow any progress.

But, this is the way to go. You raise people out of poverty, your increase their options and income, you grow their region, and lots of new pies are baked.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 3 2020 19:14 utc | 15

I love America. Revolution of our times five demands not one less. The chicken comes home to riots.

Posted by: JC | Jun 3 2020 19:14 utc | 16

I love America. Revolution of our times five demands not one less. The chicken comes home to riots.

Posted by: JC | Jun 3 2020 19:14 utc | 17

Kadath @12--

The 1% made their decision to milk all the wealth long before the USSR's implosion. The regeneration of the Rentier Class began in Europe after the 1848 Revolutions and took hold of power during the latter half of the Victorian Age of the British Empire. Hudson explains how the erasure of Classical Economists from college curricula began after WW1 and connects it to the privatization of the Treasury via the Fed in 1913. The demise of Simon Patten and his school of thought was replaced by what became known as the Chicago School. Its first attempt to gain all the wealth was destroyed by the Ponzi Scheme it engineered during the 1920s. Forced underground from 1929-1945, it emerged from WW2 very strong since its manipulation of the university educational system still held, and the Cold War was contrived in part to make the Chicago School THE paramount economic thought center with Harvard as a close second. There's more to the story, but that'll suffice for now.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 19:21 utc | 18

'V' Shaped Recovery already underway

At least this is what the brave people on FOX are saying. The ones who feel very secure in their jobs. Just a few weeks ago the talking points were ... 'Democrats are traitors because they are scared that the economic boom is going to start just before the election'.

Consumer driven economy cannot rebound w/terrorized consumers

These people really believe that all you need is another capital gains tax cut and everything will go back to normal. Don't any of these people think about the permanent trauma on the rest of us? Sure, once Fauci gives us the call clear, I'm taking the last of my savings and going to Disneyland and going to go to restaurants. Heck no. I'm terrified. Consumers even the most profligate ones are going to permanently change their behavior. BTW if you are really cynical, many will become more cautious and some just might break down and become drug addicts. I don't see a happy medium here.

No 'V' shaped recovery today.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 3 2020 19:21 utc | 19

"As recently as a hundred years ago, humanity used to be faced with diseases like smallpox, various plagues, and assorted bacteriological diseases that would routinely kill 30-70% of the population ... and we kept on." Seriously? The Spanish Flu, one of the deadliest pandemics in the history of the world, killed an estimated 1%-6% of the world's population, much of it in India. In the U.S., Spanish flu killed 0.48-0.81% of the population, less than 1%.

Posted by: Kris | Jun 3 2020 19:22 utc | 20


I'd love to see some of the hosts of FOX lose their jobs after their audience gets tired of the happy talk. I hope the FOX audience turns on them just like the CNN audience turned after they realized they were had by the Impeachment hoax. Can the desire to take out your anger on other countries, to terrorize poor people who have never harmed you, to feel powerful by oppressing those who cannot retaliate be so strong they the FOX audience will stick by the warmongers? I hope not but I get a sick feeling that this is the ace up the sleeve.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 3 2020 19:25 utc | 21

Just file for unemployment and put all your money in the stock market! The Fed/Treasury will keep pumping it up ad infinitum, just as they will keep shorting precious metals in the COMEX.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 3 2020 19:27 utc | 22

@ Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 3 2020 19:14 utc | 15

No other nation do anything even close to what China is doing.

And FTZs wouldn't work for the USA. They make sense for China because China is a Third World country - so it has to attract FDIs from the First World countries. It had to to that to close the historical gap. The game will change when China becomes one of the centers of civilization.

The USA doesn't need to attract FDIs - it is the country from where those FDIs come in the first place.


@ Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 3 2020 19:21 utc | 19

Yeah, V-shaped... for 2030.

My humble opinion? It's too optimistic.


Since we're speaking about (re)industrialization, PMIs for May just came out.

Posted by: vk | Jun 3 2020 19:36 utc | 23

"And why, by the way, ain't the Democrats out in front demanding that more be done to create new jobs? They seem to have totally vanished from the scene." - to echo some other comments, ROTFL.

Not to worry though. As the economy is strip mined by the super rich, who are on a looting spree not seen since Yeltsin's Russia, the corporate press will take one unfortunate incident in which a white cop unjustly killed a black man (in a nation of 340+ million, you can always find one bad thing), and make it the whole event. You see, it's not because the super-rich are selling trillions of dollars of worthless investments to the government for cold hard cash, no, it's 'racism'. The fact that our manufacturing jobs have been shipped to China, and many of the few reminding jobs given to indentured foreign guest workers, that's not causing poverty, 'racism' is. The fact that rents are unaffordable, and medical care is unaffordable, and education is unaffordable, and people are drowning in debt but can no longer get out from under via bankruptcy because of scumballs like Joe "the senator from MasterCard" Biden, no, none of that is causing any problems for the working class. It's all about 'racism.' And not just any 'racism' mind you. The people at the top are not 'racist,' heaven forbid, they are multicultural woke saints held aloft by the wings of angels. No, the only 'racists' are the white working class, they are responsible for all our problems. Not the rich, not the banks, not corrupt politicians, no, it's all about 'racism.'

Because when what our elites have set in motion starts to really bite, public anger will need to be deflected away from the real people responsible.

Posted by: TG | Jun 3 2020 19:40 utc | 24

what b seems to be articulating is the continued economic deterioration of the usa, in particular the working class, or lower class who have and continue to suffer the most from the fall out from covid - most recent , and the ongoing fall out from an empire in steady decline... protecting the stock market is protecting the many who are hoping to survive the continued breakdown, but a great many will not be riding on that train... maga - making america great again - beautiful political campaign slogan, but completely vacuous for anyone who is paying any attention...

make no mistake, trump represents the 1%... biden will too if he is elected... for anyone wanting something better, you are shit out of luck.. you can maintain an illusion, or you can see it for what it is.. either way, the continued decline and breakdown of the usa is definitely in the cards, regardless of whether the protests continue or not..

the move towards totalitarianism - police state, is already in play... this is the move the 1% are playing and it is going to get ugly as we move forward... that is the way i see it... forget about protecting those who are being screwed over... trump- democrats and etc - are all complicit in the continued falling apart of the usa... hang on for the ride...

Posted by: james | Jun 3 2020 19:43 utc | 25

@24 tg.. good post... you are approaching it from a different angle then me, but i agree fully with your commentary... distraction, blame- obfuscation. that's the game..

Posted by: james | Jun 3 2020 19:45 utc | 26

all that talk about depression worries me to no end. Because a world war ALWAYS follows a depression. It's a cheap and obvious way to divert the attention of the sheeple from the economic problems. SO I'd advise people not to cheer the demise of USA; USA's problems are multiplying so fast, the ONLY way out of this mess will be to start a war with China.
So watch out kiddies; you might just find yourself drafted next year or even less than six months from now, shipped across the ocean to fight the Yellow Menace.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jun 3 2020 19:49 utc | 27

Democrats wait for Republicans to act, then position themselves a hair’s width to the left. Then they wring their hands and shed lots of crocodile tears about Republicans’ proposals before signing off on whatever Republicans want.

I liken the Democrats to the Washington Generals, who lost almost every game to the Harlem Globetrotters. When they won, it was accidental. Bubba won in ‘92 due to Perot’s presence. Obama won only because of the financial crisis. Though they are committed losers, there could be no game without them.

Democrats are totally pathetic.

Now there are lots pundits are praising the new Joe Biden, whose makeover will disappear the day after the election.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 3 2020 19:52 utc | 28

karlof1 @13

Thanks for the explanation and link! Will definitely check it out.


Posted by: Erelis | Jun 3 2020 19:54 utc | 29

And who, exactly, is going to do the hard labor required of these infrastructure projects?

Certainly none of the horribly obese Americans I see waddling around, nor many of the young folks stuck with their snouts into soma social media. Most of the youngsters I know have zero clue about working with tools, doing a job right, working hard for not much pay, etc. Males of color living in ghettos while their baby-mommas live off welfare? Hardly.

And where are people going to get the training needed? The Polytechnic Science trade school in the city I grew up in - San Francisco - was torn down long ago. Few in the trades can afford to live in San Francisco any more, even if they could get a job.

Maybe folks like my father who wielded a shovel building roads during the WPA and hated it so much he joined the Army. In other words, hardworking immigrants, or first generation born of immigrants with little education (my dad).

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 3 2020 19:56 utc | 30

Aha! Found the Keiser Report episode I was looking for from September 2015--Max interviewing Dr. Hudson about Killing the Host which deal with the FIRE sector and how the world could be much different. Interview begins at the 13:20 mark and goes 12 minutes. PLEASE notice what Hudson says at @23:20 for it's key to our collective prison.

What's abundantly clear is we know what's been done to us and how. What we need to do is undo all that's been done to us. There're only two ways to accomplish that goal as we've discussed numerous times.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 19:57 utc | 31

Let's cut to the chase. It's quite simple: the elites want to kill off as many of us as possible, especially the poor and older folks because they draw welfare, Social Security and pensions. That was one of the main goals of the biowarfare pandemic. This is the Fourth Reich in full bloom.

Posted by: norecovery | Jun 3 2020 20:01 utc | 32

Violent protests, which have been shown, time and time again, to be the only way that people can get their governments to pay attention, are spreading. If the authorities attack them, they will spread further.
At the same time you have upwards of forty million people unemployed, many of them likely to be facing evictions in the near future unless they come up with money that they can't get.
On the other side of the equation we have a ruling class that is incapable of taking the common sense measures-most of which have to do with putting money into the pockets of the, increasing numbers of, poor people- called for. It has no conception of reform other than privatisation and commodification of basic services.
And then there is a healthcare emergency- tens of thousands of people who need treatment, and hundreds of thousands of contacts that need to be traced and tested.
The government is incompetent, capable only of the crudest sort of demagogy and the deployment of forces utterly unsuited to dealing with the problems faced. As to the Opposition, it considers that its job, cheating Primary voters and beating back the only candidates with any clue about what needs to be done, its job of preserving the status quo, even while it is crumbling, is finished. Between now and Labour Day Biden et al will be going on vacation, spending some of that dough they extorted from, among others the Ukrainian poor.
One thing we can be sure of: in the coming weeks there will be crisis after crisis. And everyone of them will have the capacity of developing into a revolutionary situation. And given that the entire political class is clueless about how to handle anything important, revolution is very possible.
Now might be a great time for the Iraqi government to invite the US to leave. And for the Afghans to do the same. The United States has made itself lots of enemies around the world, every day, for luck it adds a few more. Their time could be coming soon.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 3 2020 20:02 utc | 33

Writing Trump's political obituary has become something of a global cottage industry over the last four years.
Also true is he is looking isolated, sad and lonely right now.
Best wait and see. We have all underestimated him before.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jun 3 2020 20:07 utc | 34

Sounds like you guys could use a laugh

Posted by: Trent | Jun 3 2020 20:09 utc | 35

The stock market is BOOMING! Truly a remarkable recovery. It's almost as if the travails of the last three months never happened. Everyone is happy and right back to where they were financially. The future is so bright we gotta wear shades. Celebration time, come on! DOW 35K by EOY2020!

The government is underwriting a booming stock market!

And no infrastructure related jobs program in sight even though it's been on the table for more than a decade. Apparently the US infrastructure is just fine thank you. But the MIC and intelligence community need more money.

The Democrats are complicit in this fiasco. Biden, LOL, weak.

As already noted by some commentators, the recent protests have almost as much to do with a rapidly collapsing economy with horrible prospects of recovery for millions of people, as with racism. There's a lot of resentment, unease and fear out there. Racism is only one trigger for the ongoing unrest. There's also an element of blowing off some steam after the COVID restrictions.

COVID is still a major issue BTW! But it seems as if the cost for herd immunity has now been factored in and rationalized away and people are going to accept the sacrifices of tens of thousands more dead and handicapped by after effects. Amazing how quickly COVID is becoming a non-issue. The administration has very effectively sidestepped the problem, aided and abetted by the media.

Any meager gains in employee pay and benefits eked out over the last 10 years as low unemployment ("Thank god for all the crappy jobs, I have three of them!") finally pressured some improvement, have been decimated. One step forward, ten back. Watch the Job Quality Index (JQI).

Not only have millions lost their livelihoods but also their crappy healthcare insurance.

The wealth divide is exploding as billionaires are reaping huge government largesse, much of it tax free.

With millions of people remaining unemployed or under-employed over an extended period of time and as the government begins to remove financial aid for the poorest, as homelessness explodes, as people get sick and have no insurance, as personal debt balloons, etc. these recent protests might look like playground tiffs.

It's remarkable to me that the stock market, even if decoupled from the real economy, is this sanguine over future prospects.

Something seems very wrong with this picture. When the youngsters realize how much of their future has been mortgaged to prop all this up, watch out.

I also expect the very heavy militarized responses to civil unrest to continue and amplify. Protests will not be tolerated and a significant portion of the US citizenry will fully support the harsh crackdowns in the name of law and order. The retired 401K set for example. To be a protester will take guts and fortitude.

Well, at least we can look forward to the November election to fix all of this.

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 3 2020 20:13 utc | 36

31 Cont'd--

And those reading outside the Outlaw US Empire excepting most of Asia and Russia, what Hudson describes is being done to you, too, although the mechanisms of financial control differ somewhat. Hudson has written a lot about the EU situation, but the basic tool of manipulation's the same--debt. Here's the Hedges/Hudson Interview from December 2018 which is 28.5 minutes. If this were a collegiate course, I'd assign this and all the other videos I've posted over the past week as homework so everyone can be clear about what's being done, how and why.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 20:14 utc | 37

TG @ 24
I agree with you whole heartedly TG
It’s not a black problem , It’s a white problem,
I’m not ANTIFA but ......

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 3 2020 20:15 utc | 38

Gee-whiz - ask, suggest, or intimate, and ye shall receive? Now we can dig into it.

Going to withdraw my fingers from the keyboard, and just watch/listen. First stop, what Karlof1 has been talking about.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Jun 3 2020 20:40 utc | 39

Pepe Escobar in his newest account on the ongoing events in the U.S. picked up where B left off.
Why America’s revolution won’t be televised and he gives the grim answerright at the beginning.

because this is not a revolution. At least not yet.

Posted by: vato | Jun 3 2020 20:53 utc | 40

I think the oligarchs and Trump are well aware of what they could do to save or improve the mainstream economy. It seems, however, that they want to break the US economy, possibly to bring in their own somewhat feudalistic or worse alternative.

Trump, himself, might even imagine that breaking the workers and turning the economy into something paying third world cheap labor wages for workers will bring back manufacturing. Who knows? MAGA for him may be meant solely for the oligarchs. It certainly seems that way.

Possibly, the model for the new economy is the prison economy where one can get away with paying subsistance wages, if that. In any case, I think many oligarchs like the idea of workers pleading for work to avoid poverty, hunger and the jackboot on their necks while they rake in the wealth.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 3 2020 20:53 utc | 41

Trent #35

Thank you for the laugh but crying more after that. CJ is always good and that was razor sharp.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 3 2020 20:59 utc | 42

Posted by b on June 3, 2020 at 17:35 UTC | Permalink

Black and brown people mostly don't vote for Trump anyway. Trump voters aren't hit. They might even profit. That's what Trumpism is about.

Republican states to see biggest economic boosts from reopening amid coronavirus crisis

Some Republican states had no lockdown anyway.

Yahoo Finance analyzed the Wharton Model’s projections of GDP declines for all 50 states and the District of Columbia under each of three scenarios: lockdown, partial reopening, and fully reopening with and without social distancing. The analysis also calculated the percentage boost each state is forecasted to experience if they reopened their state with social distancing in place compared to remaining under lockdown.

Currently, most states have decided to fully or partially reopen, with New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, and Delaware as the remaining holdouts in lockdown. They all plan to open by June 1.

But even if all states were to reopen, Republican states will find the GDP losses they face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are less than the ones facing their Democratic counterparts.

I don't want to go all conspirational but there is this from the Economist.

IT IS A cruel twist that America, which is already strongly polarised between Republicans and Democrats, should suffer a health crisis that splits the country deeper along those lines. That, so far, is what covid-19 has done. By mid-May the official mortality rate was three times higher, on average, in states won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 than in those won by Donald Trump. President Trump has often insinuated that this is because of incompetence by local politicians, whom he also holds responsible for the economic harm wrought on their constituents. He tweeted on April 27th: “Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?”

Data gathered by Opportunity Insights, a research institution based at Harvard University, confirm that the pandemic has affected workers and companies more severely in blue (Democratic) states than in red (Republican) ones. Between January 15th and April 9th, the number of weekly unemployment claims per 100 workers in Trump-supporting states increased from 1.1 to 12.7. That is a big rise, but smaller than that in Clinton-supporting states, where the number jumped from 1.9 to 16. The divergence in consumer spending is even starker.

The US should dissolve like Ex-Yugoslavia or rather like Czechoslovakia - that's the more peaceful solution.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2020 21:10 utc | 43

Perfect environment for Trump

He pretends America is strong and healthy and we pretend to believe him. The more we unravel, the more we need to believe that we have the strongest economy and greatest military.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 3 2020 21:12 utc | 44

Adam Smith, that Prime Mover of Capitalism, knew what he was talking about. After all, if you're going to create a religion based on greed (for, ultimately, economics is nothing more than a religion), you probably have a keen and subtle awareness of the psychology of greed. Here, in the conclusion of Book One Chapter 11 of Adam Smith's sacred text The Wealth of Nations he reveals the extent to which he understood that an economic system based upon greed must seek ways to prevent the greedy (ie: business) from assuming the reins of political power [em. mine]:

The plans and projects of the employers of stock regulate and direct all the most important operations of labour, and profit is the end proposed by all those plans and projects. But the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin. The interest of this third order [ie, "those who live by profit"], therefore, has not the same connection with the general interest of the society as that of the other two [ie, landowners, and "those who live by wages"]. Merchants and master manufacturers are, in this order, the two classes of people who commonly employ the largest capitals, and who by their wealth draw to themselves the greatest share of the public consideration. As during their whole lives they are engaged in plans and projects, they have frequently more acuteness of understanding than the greater part of country gentlemen. As their thoughts, however, are commonly exercised rather about the interest of their own particular branch of business, than about that of the society, their judgment, even when given with the greatest candour (which it has not been upon every occasion) is much more to be depended upon with regard to the former of those two objects than with regard to the latter. Their superiority over the country gentleman is not so much in their knowledge of the public interest, as in their having a better knowledge of their own interest than he has of his. It is by this superior knowledge of their own interest that they have frequently imposed upon his generosity, and persuaded him to give up both his own interest and that of the public, from a very simple but honest conviction that their interest, and not his, was the interest of the public. The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can serve only to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

Thus the Prime Mover of Capitalism Himself said in his Bible that political power should never be exercised by businessmen because all they care about is their own gain, and will gladly "deceive" and "oppress" the public for it. Since he had such profound insight into the nature of such men, even to the point of understanding that the greatest profits are reaped when a country is going to ruin!, did he have a strategy to prevent such men from assuming the organs of government? No, none that I've found. Because there aren't any. Such men would inevitably find ways to assume the reins of political power. Adam Smith's economic religious theories basically gave such men the keys to Pandora's Box without providing any way to close it again. That's because greed is an unstoppable force, and there is nothing to stop an unstoppable force from eventually assuming the absolute power they need to "deceive" and "oppress" to further their gain.

Obviously Smith clearly understood what those devoted to wealth would do with political power. That's why he so clearly and strongly cautioned against putting "those who live by profit" — ie, modern-day neoliberal corporatists (aka businessmen) — in such positions. That's because Smith, like Ralph Nader, like Paul Hawkens with his philosophy of Natural Capitalism, all understand that the motor behind capitalism is the drive for profit, and they all understand that for capitalism to work for society rather than against it it must remain small (capitalism with a "c") and be held in check.

But capitalism cannot remain small. It must always expand. That's the inherent contradiction that must inevitably explode in greed's favor. You cannot foment an addiction and expect that it will never develop into a pathology. And we are seeing the result of that right now. Capitalism without any regulatory oversight — the neoliberal vision that has been American policy since Reagan — is a catastrophe waiting to happen: it is letting drug addicts into the pharmacy while the druggist goes out for lunch, expecting that the addicts won't help themselves to all those Category I & II drugs. And now the catastrophe is happening, but it's only just the beginning, a mere trickle before the tsunami that is quickly coming.

Posted by: Lohmann | Jun 3 2020 21:26 utc | 45

Just at Pepe Escobar's FB where he's posted a video of a young black woman talking to Outlaw US Empire troops to come an join their ranks in a march!! Perhaps this link will get you there. It does, but the vid's from yesterday and its 2nd half shows Trump speech. Anyway, I found it encouraging.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 21:32 utc | 46

Thank you for all the work here. I mostly agree with all I read here and could always get a lot of helpful information. Today I found a serious error.

Nowadays there is a big problem with infrastructure projects. In the past they worked fine and in theory they still work fine, but practically not, because a person working in the service sector for years, never ever will do a good job in construction. If you don't use machinery it's hard work. Infrastructure always worked well in the time where most of the workforce came from the agriculture sector. They had learned working hard also. Nowadays impossible. Me included. And for machinery you need a lot of time to learn to go with them.
Infrastructure is not some thing, which pull you out of the dirt anymore. It was in the past, but that's gone.

Posted by: Winni Puu | Jun 3 2020 21:33 utc | 47

Winni Puu @47--

Within the Outlaw US Empire, the need for new infrastructure is very specific whereas the need to repair and rehabilitate existing infrastructure is general and exists nationally. In places like Flint with its no clean water problem--and the hundreds of other towns with similar issues; solving the great misallocation of funds to build Suburbia; fixing the entire levee system for the interior river network that feeds the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and those rivers too; dealing with Hanford and all the other Superfund Pollution sites. And those all need to come prior to the so-called Green New Deal. The technology to create a carbon pollution neutral world exists now; all that's required is the political will to get the job started. But the first part of that project is repairing and rehabbing what we already have in place, and that alone will take $$Trillions and employ millions. That's what an honest MAGA would advocate.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 21:48 utc | 48

All empires were brought to power and later destroyed by Jewish financiers by buying and selling them respectively...
They all were just their broad projects, since the objectives achieved, the project has to be completed. US of A is not an exception.

Posted by: Cosmos | Jun 3 2020 21:52 utc | 49

@ Kris @ #20

The Spanish Flu, while killing an estimated 60 million world wide was not a big killer on a % basis compared to many diseases. The Plague and smallpox, for example, would routinely kill 20% to 40% of an affected population.

Flus and this current Covid19 are very low mortality, in comparison. The point is not that Covid's deaths are not tragic; the point is that humans and civilization has survived MUCH worse!

Posted by: Caliman | Jun 3 2020 22:07 utc | 50

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 3 2020 19:14 utc | 15 says: 'How can we redistribute wealth, then?'

An economy's wealth is what it produces. The U.S. produces a lot less then it consumes, so it is in debt, and half of its population is poor.

The financial elites, who run the U.S. have gotten wealthy, not by producing something of value, but by strip mining the financial assets of the rest of the population.

If you want to produce wealth, and distribute it properly:

1. Get rid of the U.S.$ as the world's reserve currency. This will allow U.S.$ to be radically devalued.

2. With a devalued dollar, the U.S. will be forced into domestic production (i.e. real wealth creation). Good paying jobs, producing real things, is a very effective way of properly distributing wealth.

3. Carry out a massive infrastructure program to rebuild the U.S.' worn-out infrastructure. The infrastructure itselr, as well as the good paying jobs associated with creating it, is an effective way to distribute wealth.

4. Provide basic health-care and education (including university) to all. This is again a very effective way of distributing wealth, while at the same time supplying a work force capable of carrying out high value added jobs necessary for a goods producing economy.

5. Break-up or regulate the cartels. Profit margins and executive salaries have radically expanded in recent years. This is a sign of lack of competition. Wherever there is inadequate competition the economic actors need to be regulated or broken up. Lower prices, resulting from a normalization of profits and exagerated salary disparities, is another excellent way to distribute wealth.

6. Reduce military expenditures. Most of the military expenditures, beyond what is really needed for defense, are nothing but waste, and at the same time a transfer of wealth from the masses to the military industrial complex.

7. Pay for government sponsored health-care, education and infrastructure with a significant increase in taxes on the wealthy.

8. The massive devaluation of the dollar, combined with infrastructure spending and re-industrialization will no doubt cause significant inflation, at least in the short term. Inflation will reduce both the value of financial assets and debt, again representing a redistribution of wealth from the elites to the indebted masses.

Using the GINI index as a gauge (, Income inequality increased substantially over the past 40 years, from a GINI coefficient of 0.36, moderate, to 0.46, extreme. This change happened as a result of deliberate economic policies designed to enable the transfer of wealth from the masses to the elites. To reverse this mal-distribution of wealth, the policies that led to this need to be reversed as well.

And don't expect the Democrats to do it. They are fully in the pocket of the 'Globalists' who have been the principle beneficiaries of this massive transfer of wealth since 1980.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jun 3 2020 22:10 utc | 51

@Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2020 21:10 utc | 43

Indeed, there have been much more damage to the working class, its neighborhoods and states in the US and everywhere, just because it is the working class who works at most essential jobs whio never stopped during the pandemic, plus the most affected by closures of big, medium and little businesses especially in the service sector.

If to this you add rumors on that Pentagon had the virus and the vaccine time ago and that some principlas in the WH ( Trump, Pence and Miller ) were vaccinated in time, the pandemic could be deemed as a weapon to advance class and political war in the US, while at the same time debilitate and ruin US opponets and EU allies, to cause almost the effects of post WWII again...

No wonder the Russian Defense Minnister are considering that an attack on Russian could be imminent...
Today, flights between the US and China have been suspended....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 3 2020 22:14 utc | 52

@ Posted by: Winni Puu | Jun 3 2020 21:33 utc | 47

The problem with large infrastructure projects is that they do not only get old through physical degeneration, but also through moral degeneration (i.e. they get outdated).

The USA had USD 1.1 trn in old infrastructure (mainly from the 50s-60s) which need repair. However, if the USG spends those USD 1.1 trn, the American people will just be getting what existed before - there's no technological advantage here. So, while the USA spends USD 1.1 trn on 50s technology, China will be spending the same on state-of-the-art, therefore getting a military advantage (because better infrastructure attracts more wealth, both in the form of foreign investment and in the form of rising productivity of labor).

Also, when you do this large-scale technological leap, it just can't be any kind of innovation: it has to be a revolutionary technology, which both greatly increases labor productivity and is future proof (i.e. can last at least 50 years, ideally at least 100 years).

So, this is not just your average bean-counting. When a given national government is so far behind in infrastructure, it has a though decision to make: fix what already exists (with minor and gradual improvements) or do you go all-in with a revolutionary technology to try to do a "great leap"? And that's just the technocratic side of the problem - in capitalism you have the factor that it is the social profit rate that decides what's built and what isn't, by how much and when.

Posted by: vk | Jun 3 2020 22:17 utc | 53

The boss of Amazon Jeff Bezos is 65 this year, is worth over a trillion dollars, assuming he lives up the age of 90, converts the assets into cash, does absolutely nothing except spending the money, he has $3 655 347 to run through each hour 24/7 for the rest of his life. If one assumes he has to sleep, eat, go to the bathroom which cuts the number of spending hours (say) by half, he must go through over seven million dollars each and every hour until he drops dead.

This is obscene, it exceeds his needs by such a margin that one cannot but wonder at the sanity of a society that cannot be bothered to address it. This is not to call for income to be distributed equitably, that would destroy the only mechanism that past evidence shows is the driving force for improving living standards for all, but for such distribution to be sane, nothing more nothing else, sanity should inform the creation of laws governing income distribution on every society, including the Republic’s. Any such sane arrangements should include the distribution of both income and accumulated wealth, the major disparity in today's society isn't only in income distribution, but even more so in wealth ownership.

Posted by: Baron | Jun 3 2020 22:31 utc | 54

The C.D.C. waited 'its entire existence for this moment'. What went wrong?

Propaganda never stops:

The technology was old, the data poor, the bureaucracy slow, the guidance confusing, the administration not in agreement. The coronavirus shook the world's premier health agency, creating a loss of confidence and hampering the U.S. response to the crisis

"World's premier health agency"?

I think the illusion the C.D.C. was the "world's premier health agency" comes from the fact that the USA has, by far, the largest and most powerful pharmaceutical sector in the world (which Americans call "Big Pharma"). If you have the biggest pharma, you will have the most sheer volume of human trials and new drug patents. This, by osmosis, puts your country's C.D.C. at the forefront of most drug regulation - which the rest of the world's C.D.C.s will simply copy and paste for obvious reasons (i.e. they won't do the same work twice). That doesn't mean your C.D.C. is "the premier". For instance, it could simply be the most corrupt, the C.D.C. which is at the right place, the right time. An example for this is the USA's airplane equivalent to the C.D.C., which sold itself off to Boeing, resulting in the 737 MAX fiasco.

Posted by: vk | Jun 3 2020 22:43 utc | 55

Lohmann @45--

The aims of the current Rentier Class are the same as its predecessors--to hold all wealth and have all other humans beholden to them through debt peonage. All the current laws, polices and actions point in exactly that direction, and the entire affair has significant historical antecedents, much of which Adam Smith would be aware of. His goal and that of his fellow Classical Economists that followed him was to rid the nation of the laws and policies that enabled the remains of Feudalism embodied by the Rentier Class, which is what populates the FIRE sector of the economy. It was and remains a sizable problem. What passes as modern economics is JUNK as Hudson's so thoroughly proclaimed and documented and might be given the status of a cult. The field of study those promoting the cult sought to erase was Political-Economy: Do note how they're tied together for they are in reality. Research conducted by Hudson over his entire life uncovered that attempt, but he has yet to coalesce it all into a concise narrative that would aid in correcting the problem and get the heresy ousted from society, thus removing the very necessary intellectual prop holding up the FIRE sector and its Rentiers. Yes, he's told the tale piecemeal over the years which is why I know of its existence, and I've attempted to impart that knowledge here, which some embrace while others studiously avoid trying.

The problem doesn't exist with Adam Smith or even the system of Capitalism. The problem dwells within the moral structure of individuals, which is why Adam Smith first wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759 of which The Wealth of Nations is considered a companion volume such that they ought to be treated together instead of separately as yourself and too many others have chosen thus polluting Smith's overall argument and intent. The site you got your citation from has the following to say:

"Virtues. Smith ends The Theory Of Moral Sentiments by defining the character of a truly virtuous person. Such a person, he suggests, would embody the qualities of prudence, justice, beneficence and self-command.

"Prudence moderates the individual’s excesses and as such is important for society. It is respectable, if not endearing. Justice limits the harm we do to others. It is essential for the continuation of social life. Beneficence improves social life by prompting us to promote the happiness of others. It cannot be demanded from anyone, but it is always appreciated. And self-command moderates our passions and reins in our destructive actions."

Clearly the actions of the Rentier Class are nowhere near being virtuous and are instead wicked. IMO, it's the Moral Argument that must be employed to carry the day and dethrone those who would be king.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 22:52 utc | 56

The table is already set to repay his patron from the FIRE sector. If Trump is reelected the pension funds will be looted in a hurry to satisfy his hedge fund hyena friends. Chump will accelerate the class war and use police state powers to implement new type austerity laws to continue criminalization of bottom 90%:“Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to roll back Dodd-Frank, the sprawling regulatory framework President Obama signed into law in 2010 to avoid another financial crisis, which was not entirely beloved on Wall Street. He also scrapped a fiduciary rule intended to protect retirees by forcing brokers and advisers to “work in the best interest of their clients.“ (This, too, was controversial...)’’A populist and man of the people according to deplorables.

Posted by: Sol Invictus | Jun 3 2020 22:55 utc | 57

I have to say, all in all, I am not in support of the protests because there's still a pandemic and the protests will certainly make it worse. Much worse. Not to mention, there is no organization to any of this. It's not a movement. It's not a civil war. It's not a revolution. It's a social experiment inculcated by social media — an experiment in chaos. It's a form of social control.

Plus, how many are truly sincere in their grievance and their concern for George Floyd? If a deal was struck where the powers that be said okay, we'll tear down the justice system and the law enforcement system in America and we can build it anew but the price you must pay for that is to give up your computers and cellphones, would the protesters take the deal? I bet they wouldn't, and yet that's the minimum of sacrifice that would have to be made for a true revolution to be successful and they can't and wouldn't even do that.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 takes no prisoners and never met a protest it didn't love and relish. Overwhelm the healthcare system, which is what's going to happen in the next several months, and many more black folks, many more folks period, are going to perish from this pandemic and the protesters will be directly responsible. Because it was fun at the time. An adrenaline rush. A chance to get outside and stretch their legs and play catch with some tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.

These protests are not only not full measures, I'd say they're not even a fraction of a measure and will only serve to strengthen the hand of the criminally insane psychopaths using Trump as their foil in implementing their autocratic fascist putsch. You don't play with criminally insane psychopaths. You eliminate them entirely from the realm. Anything short of that only emboldens them and strengthens them.

I have to imagine that if nature has a conscience, it regrets, terribly, spawning Human. What Human is doing is nothing short of matricide. We're a monstrous species. An abomination. We should never have happened. We were a mistake. A big mistake. The biggest mistake nature could have made.

Posted by: | Jun 3 2020 22:56 utc | 58

Baron @54--

Agreed. Billionaires ought to be both illegal and immoral. Bezos is the most visible but not the evilest of his group; those are the Financial Parasites.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 22:57 utc | 59

Not all Democrats are missing in action on calling for federal support for full employment, already mandated by the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act of 1978 (15 USC § 3101). AOC and the squad, for example, have proposed adopting the universal job guarantee that is foundational to Modern Monetary Theory aka MMT. Stephanie Kelton, one of the most prominent MMT economists was Bernie Sander's chief economic advisor. The problem is not so much "Democrats" as the Democratic leadership under Clinton, Obama, Biden, Pelosi, the DNC, etc. The US Democratic Party needs an overhaul.

Posted by: Tom Hickey | Jun 3 2020 23:02 utc | 60


"And why, by the way, ain't the Democrats out in front demanding that more be done to create new jobs? They seem to have totally vanished from the scene."

The Democratic Party has become an astroturf organization with no interest in governing.

America has become a 1-party dictatorship.

Posted by: paulmeli | Jun 3 2020 23:03 utc | 61 @58--

I suggest you compare your hypothesis with that of Reg Morrison, author of The Spirit in the Gene: Humanity's Proud Illusion and the Laws of Nature, which you can read at the link. But before you begin, you might want to ponder a minute about Nature's most important achievement, which is alluded to in the title.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 23:07 utc | 62

@62, thanks for the suggestion. I ordered a copy.

Posted by: | Jun 3 2020 23:22 utc | 63

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 3 2020 23:24 utc | 64

Reading that Pepe Escobar piece... In it, he says the following:

Sinclair Lewis (who did not say that, “when fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving the cross”) actually wrote, in It Can’t Happen Here (1935), that American fascists would be those “who disowned the word ‘fascism’ and preached enslavement to capitalism under the style of constitutional and traditional native American liberty.”

That book was the basis for that movie I recommended in the last thread: "Shadow on the Land", back in 1968. Here's the link again:

Worth watching (despite the crappy video quality). It includes the US "Leader" planning a false flag attack on a power station to cut power to half the country in order to ratchet up the oppression.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 3 2020 23:33 utc | 65

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 3 2020 23:36 utc | 66

OK, I don't know what the hell is going on. That post simply won't be accepted by the site. So to hell with it.

Here's the damn link:

I broke it up into two lines, I assume everyone is smart enough to cut and paste.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 3 2020 23:38 utc | 67

For those who think barbaric racism and colonialism play no significant part in current collapse the United States finds itself in, and that strictly class based solutions will resolve the current crisis. I hope they have another thought coming. Here you have a police department in Albuquerque, New Mexico coordinating with nazis on how to suppress right to assembly and ''dominate'' the battlespace per Donald Trump wishes.

A solid majority of neo-confederates behind Trump have no inclinations, nor desire to tackle the power of wall street parasites along class based lines. Lyndon B Johnson instinctively knew the American ethos, and had it right when he prosaically proclaimed: “If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.” You can bet your bottom dollar Chump and his gang of depraved neo-confederates will implement the playbook to preserve plutocracy.

Posted by: Sol | Jun 3 2020 23:47 utc | 68

VK @ 53, Winni Puu @ 47:

Here in Australia politicians at Federal and State level have long pondered investing in a high-speed rail system that would connect all the major cities in south-eastern Australia from Brisbane through Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne to Adelaide. A former Prime Minister, John Howard, used to spruik this vision to attract support that would (he hoped) translate into votes. But though the idea of a high-speed rail network has been kicked around in Canberra since the 1980s, all proposals for such a project have always ended in failure.

There are many issues here in Australia that work against such a project. Apart from the fact that we would either need to import all the technology and the engineering and technical skills from abroad (and most likely from China or Russia - nations that Australians have been and are being brainwashed to distrust and hate - there is also the fact that there has never been much passenger or commercial demand for such a project when current air services and a good if not great road network already fulfil most such demands. We Australians have not been very much into travelling interstate, though that may change with the current COVID-19 situation, we'd much rather jump onto a plane that takes us to Europe, North America or Asia, or go sailing on cruise ships to those continents.

Governments here cannot promise that a high-speed rail project would create an extra burden on taxpayers: the costs of such a project would quickly run into the hundreds of millions. With many Australians brainwashed by neoliberal ideology and trained not to look beyond the next 18 months (long-term in pop accounting speak), bearing the costs of a project that would lose that much money over several years before it starts to generate benefits for generations not yet born would be anathema.

It seems significant that China now has an extensive high-speed rail network that replaced a crappy and very accident-prone domestic airline network. I vaguely recall reading that back in the 1990s, domestic air services in China had a notorious reputation for frequent crashes.

Moral of the story might be that when faced with a deteriorating infrastructure from decades before, and having the choice to either try to repair it with technology and knowledge going obsolete or consider new alternative infrastructures where the technology currently exists or is developing, perhaps we should go with the second choice.

At some stage in the future, Australia will have a new transport infrastructure but for that to happen, there would need to be very radical changes in our culture, our values, what we consider important. The current highway networks and the domestic air travel industry might be in such a state that maintaining them would no longer be cost-effective, and only then would high-speed rail development get the green light. (Pun intended.)

Posted by: Jen | Jun 3 2020 23:48 utc | 69

Wait for this news to get circulated, "'Should Be Bigger News': Analysis Finds Nearly One Third of Owed Unemployment Benefits Have Not Been Paid":

"Bloomberg found a $67 billion gap between the sum of benefits paid out by the Treasury Department and the amount that is owed to jobless Americans."

Wow! What a paltry 1/3!! Ought to be $200+ Billion unpaid. And given the amount printed by the Fed to act as bailout buyouts--$$8 Trillion and still counting--and with a population of 341 million, the $214Billion estimated that should've been paid out amounts to a mere $627.57/person compared to the $23,460.41/person given away to the Rentier Class Parasites. Of course, not everyone's unemployed, so the actual disparity would be even worse. If the political class were serious about jump starting the economy, the numbers would be reversed, but they aren't because they're owned by the Parasites.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 3 2020 23:49 utc | 70

Regarding my comment @ 69:

"... Governments here cannot promise that a high-speed rail project would create an extra burden on taxpayers ..."

this should read: "... Governments here cannot promise that a high-speed rail project would not create an extra burden on taxpayers ..."

Memo to self: use the Preview function!!!

Posted by: Jen | Jun 3 2020 23:53 utc | 71

And I also forgot this @ 69:

"... Apart from the fact that we would either need to import all the technology and the engineering and technical skills from abroad (and most likely from China or Russia - nations that Australians have been and are being brainwashed to distrust and hate - there is also the fact that there has never been much passenger or commercial demand for such a project when current air services and a good if not great road network already fulfil most such demands ..."

this should read: "... Apart from the fact that we would either need to import all the technology and the engineering and technical skills from abroad (and most likely from China or Russia - nations that Australians have been and are being brainwashed to distrust and hate) or develop such technology or skills ourselves, a process that'll take years because we've done such a great job of turning young people away from technology and engineering degrees by forcing them to choose between expensive technical tertiary education and cheaper education in law and commerce studies, there is also the fact that there has never been much passenger or commercial demand for such a project when current air services and a good if not great road network already fulfil most such demands ..."

Posted by: Jen | Jun 3 2020 23:58 utc | 72

b, you are ever the optimist expecting the ruling class elites to act rationally and follow basic logic. In the US the elites and the unwashed masses live in separate worlds and their paths almost never cross. A few decades ago the super rich might still have shown up at a regular airport and flown on the same plane as the rabble, but these days it’s all private jets from private airfields. Even the lesser ruling class is increasingly completely out of touch with reality as demonstrated by Nancy Pelosi and her goofy lockdown video featuring her $10k ice cream freezer.

These people have no idea what life for a person of more modest means is like. On top of that the US is an empire in the decline stage but its rulers are still deeply in denial about that. Therefore their actions are completely antithetical to what reality requires. The Roman elites were no different. And as the decline continues their actions will probably become even more unhinged and out of touch.

In crises situations elites that have no contact with, or connection to, people outside of their gated and guarded reality exclusion zones are fully prepared to sacrifice every last prole in an effort to save their own miserable hides. This plan will ultimately fail of course but by the time they notice that, it will probably be too late.

I think the “new normal” now is that there is no normal anymore.The US, and to a somewhat lesser extent its vassal states, will keep lurching from one crisis to the next, polarization and tribalism will keep intensifying and things will continue getting evermore weirder as this farcical tragicomedy plays itself out.

The very foreseeable COVID-19 pandemic is only the opening shot and is showing that the US ruling class is happy to abandon the masses to their fate and enrich themselves even further as the country begins disintegrating around them. Even the much hyped “socialist” Bernie Sanders and “progressive” celebrity politicians like AOC have outed themselves as gutless careerists with zero integrity who, when it counts, fall into line and obediently serve their wealthy masters.

Next up: climate change. If the effects of a rapidly warming planet turn out to be as dire as scientists predict, we now have some idea how different countries around the world are going to react to that challenge.

As COVID-19 ravaged Wuhan in January 2020 an Anglo-American think tank released a report predicting how prepared various countries are to successfully manage the coming global pandemic. The USA and UK were ranked #1 and #2 and China was ranked....#51. It’s like the western elites and their propaganda arms in the media and think tanks/NGOs really do believe that words trump material reality, that all they have to do is paint brilliant pictures of the “free and democratic” west triumphing over the “backwards barbarians” from the east and so it shall be! They are literally losing their minds and living in a parallel universe of their own creation.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 3 2020 23:58 utc | 73

Speaking of jobs, there are likely 4 brand new job openings in the Minneapolis Police Department.

So get polish your resumes and send them in. Experience in crowd control a major plus.

George Floyd Death: All Four Former Officers Involved Now Charged, In Custody

Posted by: ak74 | Jun 4 2020 0:02 utc | 74

@Posted by: ak74 | Jun 4 2020 0:02 utc | 74

Still, one is missing, since these 4 only ignited the last spark which broke the camel´s back, and moreover hughly likely under mandate of high ranking people, it is Trump and his entourage who stirred up inequalities, violence, hatred, and poverty to the limits, through the disastrous managing of the pandemic and presidencial tenure in general, and unknown transfer of wealth to the rich, who belongs in jail...

As he tries hard to emulate, I do not discard he could end like Mussolini....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 4 2020 0:29 utc | 75

You see, the thing is that the very word 'corporate' has a rather disturbing meaning...
the root word of 'corporate' is 'corpus', which literally means corpse...
That's a fucking problem if you happen to be among the living...

Posted by: Joshua | Jun 4 2020 0:35 utc | 76

Good evening!

In Germany we have a poem by Erich Kästner, sometimes called the shortest poem in German: "Es gibt nichts Gutes, außer man tut es". In English the true rhyme is missing, but You may understand: There is no good unless you do 't.

Why to mention here? Firstly, thanks to Bernhard that he opens public space to share thoughts. Secondly, all these lots of critics and commentaries and good ideas and sophisticated information and (sometimes) emotions which are exchanged on this website will hardly change anything - though there is intention and wish for change strongly felt in every comment.

Politics is dead. State is dead. Economy is dying. There is an urgent demand to do something. Otherwise very ugly things may happen.

Please allow to make a suggestion: Reboot the politicial life with 'Direct Democracy'. No elections but voting. VOTING in regard to factual questions. I have heard that some states have this instrument (e.g. California). But it is necessary to have it on the level of the Union.

The constitution of the United States of America does not provide 'Direct Democracy'. Therefore an amendement would be necessary. That could be started by a single state or by the Congress or by a 'national convention'.

Such a movement for 'Direct Democracy' should be connected, from the very beginning, with the main questions spoken out which are actually moving the country. It would be very helpful in getting such an amendment when at least a dozen questions would be formulated for which it is visibly worth and would make sense to go voting, over all the states - some questions which may touch the heart of every citizen.

What about the question: Shall all our soldiers and marines be brought home, withdrawn from Afghanistan, from Africa, from Europe, from the Caribbean and from ... and from ... ? I guess a majority would vote for YES.

I leave it to You to find eleven more questions. And I leave it to You to start now a movement for a new amendment to the constitution of the USA to provide VOTING and DIRECT DEMOCRACY.

(for procedural details please look into the LINKs below)

And, of course, some other nations would benefit from such an instrument, too ...

Kind regards, Gerhard

Posted by: Gerhard | Jun 4 2020 0:36 utc | 77

AMC Theatres has 'substantial doubt' it can remain in business

Unicorn Riot's coverage of the riots pulled...due to copyright issues because a song is playing in the background.
Copyright Blocks Interview Of Protesters Because Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get It On' Was Playing In The Background

And here's the reverse of that... :-)

Dallas PD Asks Residents To Snitch On Protesters, Gets A Load Of K-Pop Videos Instead

Finally, two posts from the Techdirt site...which is an excellent site for analysis of corporate over-reach.

Let. The Motherfucker. Burn.
Say That Again
from the 'not-all-cops'-said-the-bucket-brigade dept

Buy your insurance now because it's almost guaranteed Minneapolis will burn again once a jury has had a shot at this thing.

First, there's the murder charge. We all want this but there's little that supports it. It looks like murder, but the state has to prove things it's probably not going to be able to prove -- especially when the people doing the prosecuting aren't all that interested in prosecuting cops.

Third-degree murder is the most minimal of murder charges and even that might not be enough to drag Officer Chauvin into the crushing wheels of the carceral state. As Scott Greenfield explains, there doesn't appear to be enough to justify this charge in what's been seen in multiple videos. It appears Chauvin deployed a restraint technique that's been given a thumbs up by multiple law enforcement agencies.

We have had riots in America for years. And looting. Those arguing that the destruction of businesses during these protests is counterproductive need to have their memories refreshed. This nation began with the looting of British ships. A whole offshoot of the "rule of law" party (also the "free speech" party, which is currently headed by someone seeking to directly regulate social media platforms) named itself after protesters who boarded British ships and threw their merchandise overboard.

This is not me wading into a recent controversy with my eye on harvesting clicks. This is me -- and this site -- covering the abuses perpetrated by law enforcement agencies for years. There is nothing anomalous about this event. It just shows accountability can't be brought solely by the mute witnesses of criminal acts by law enforcement officers. We have our cameras pointed at them. They have their own cameras. And yet, they still don't care.

If this is how they want it, we have the power to give it to them.

Be the god of righteous hellfire. All these years of not setting fire to the possessions of an invading force intent on treating fellow citizens as enemy combatants has done nothing.

Let the motherfucker burn.

And Tim's follow-up post which is excellent...

Let's Stop Pretending Peaceful Demonstrations Will Fix The System. 'Peace Officers' Don't Give A Shit About Peace.

I have already pointed out how peaceful protests have failed to effect change. These acts -- the burning of precincts and police vehicles -- may not either, but it will make the point far more effectively than hanging back and being compliant. I don't want to see business owners victimized by opportunists but I think a few burning cop cars is a small price to pay for equality and serious police reform.

The law enforcement agencies of America have earned every bit of the hatred they're now feeling. But during these protests all things are equal. There are no courts, no unions, no "tough-on-crime" legislators standing between cops and the destruction of their property. Sucks for them. And when the shit goes down, they flee their posts and give up any appearance of giving a damn about serving or protecting.

No one forced cops to behave this way. They took it upon themselves to act as warriors while performing a job that asks them to act as society's protector. They talk a lot about the "thin blue line" between us and chaos, and then act as agents of chaos as soon as an opportunity presents itself. De-escalation tactics are an anomaly. Talking about the great sex you'll have after offing a citizen is the norm.

The police in America have long taken advantage of programs that give them military vehicles, clothing, and weapons at nearly no cost. That they now perceive themselves as soldiers rather than peace officers is demonstrated daily -- beginning with the flash bangs announcing their presence during no-knock raids targeting non-violent crime and continuing through their mostly-unchallenged ability to strip US citizens of their cash, cars, and other property at whim.

There is no compelling reason for cops to change their standard M.O. And, granted, lighting the occasional cop car on fire will likely only solidify their misguided "warrior" mentality. But it does make it clear that the people still have power, even if the greater power -- the US government that has treated minorities as lower classes for years -- will ultimately prevail.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 4 2020 0:39 utc | 78

I know this is a bit OT, but bears a strong similarity to squeezing the life out of someone only no protests.

no food for you

Posted by: arby | Jun 4 2020 0:45 utc | 79

Well, states are planning to follow the Rockefeller plan (released in April) for contact tracing. Thats good for 100-300k. Trump will follow out something similar for antifa tracing in the coming was on Domestic Terror. So maybe 600K there. The HEROES ACT when finalized which encompasses some of Trace HR 6666 Act and will likely be expanded over the protests will address that

As for the rest guaranteed income for those who demonstrate good behavior and have good social credit scores based on 24/7 surveillance/monitoring. Microsoft has the patent on that. Basically, you want to eat behave and don't say anything bad about your rulers.

One should point out the intelligence linked predicts a population reduction of 70% by 2025. Doesn't say how thats going to happen but lots of projects are in the fire that could make that happen.

We are watching history in the making and may soon be history ourselves. End of History or End Times, call it what you will but Democracy and Freedom wont be part of the future.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jun 4 2020 0:48 utc | 80

Glen Ford and Margaret Kimberley at Black Agenda Report add valuable detail to the reports of 'disturbances':
"There has been nothing approaching this level of unrest since April, 1968, when 100 cities burned in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Back then, the U.S. corporate order responded to the challenge from below with massive expansion and militarization of local police forces, intensive secret police operations to eradicate Black and radical movements, and a policy of mass Black incarceration that, over the past half century, has boosted the national prison population from less than 200,000 in 1970, to 2.2 million , today – an 11-fold increase. With nearly equal zeal, the corporate order embraced a newly emergent Black political class, hungry for public office and private contracts, as a counterweight to the grassroots movements that had put revolution on the lips of millions of young people..."

Ford adds that many of those involved and now committed to reform are from the Sanders movement. Those who insisted that Sanders was merely a hack 'a sheepdog', leading his naive or corrupted (take your pick) supporters into the DNC electoral fold were taking a far too simplistic view. Most of those inspired by his platform of reforms aren't meekly lining up behind the DNC and Biden they are pushing for that platform, on the streets and elsewhere. And they will be a growing force, a force to be reckoned with as this crisis deepens, and the anger, already apparent in 2016 and again last year, grows and spreads.
" ... the Bernie Sanders presidential phenomenon, recently extinguished by corporate Democrats and their media allies, raised expectations among tens of millions of youth of all races that meaningful change – even some kind of “socialism” -- was possible under the current order. With Sanders’ abdication, his supporters have been forced to accept that they can’t simply vote their way out of the contradictions of racial, late stage capitalism. They took to the streets in astounding numbers, in many instances outnumbering non-white protesters, providing a degree of white skin protection to darker activists in confrontations with police..."
Black Agenda Report: bookmark it.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 4 2020 0:55 utc | 81

re: karlof1 @ 56

Thank you for the reply.

Being an amateur in such matters my reading is shallow, so I defer to your professional erudition (and Mr. Hudson too, of course), which I very much appreciate.

Still, the excerpt cited (which I find incredibly percipient), whether or not taken out of the full context of Mr. Smith's two volumes, indicates that he understands the mentality of those about whom he writes. As such, I expect he would be aware that such hopeful appeals to morality and virtue would fall on deaf ears. I also expect that, given his fear of such people attaining political power, he may have known that his wish that they don't would be in vain.

Of course I agree with your assertion that it's the Moral Argument that must be employed to carry the day and dethrone those who would be king, but that presupposes there's a possibility that such arguments have any power of suasion to succeed, which is especially difficult when those who need to be convinced are the ones wielding awesome political power, which they are most likely disinclined to give up.

As Jonathan Swift said, "Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired." So if we accept as given that zealotry, and psychopathologies such as pleonexia (a term I gratefully learned from you), are, by definition, not susceptible to reason, I'm afraid I don't understand how this is possible.

(And my apologies if I'm misunderstanding the thrust of your reply.)

Posted by: Lohmann | Jun 4 2020 1:02 utc | 82

Posted by: Jen | Jun 3 2020 23:58 utc | 72

Even the US military admits nearly half of their recruitment pool is too dumb to qualify for basic service. I can't even imagine 95% of East Asian 10 year old kids failing to solve a simple math problem like 5 x 135 as stated, let alone when they are 18-24. American youngsters competing with the likes of China in STEM and manufacturing when half of them are functionally illiterate? In their wildest MAGA dreams perhaps.

Posted by: JW | Jun 4 2020 1:26 utc | 83

@ vago 40

Read Escobar’s piece. I like him and usually read carefully his articles, but he is premature on this one. Today, Mark Esper pretty much rebuked his boss and said under no circumstances there will be active military on the streets. And then, Mad-dog Mattis dropped the proverbial bomb and pretty much called Trump a Buffon and unfit to govern.

People’s grievances are real, albeit leaderless. And it is a lot bigger than George Floyd. Even the white middle America has been marginalized and set aside as slaves of the corporations. Therefore, this insurrection will not die this easy and will not be appeased by empty words and hollow promises. And police force? Forget about it. They are toast. People have not only lost respect but also have lost their fear.

As for Trump, He is his own worst enemy and he will be his won downfall and soon. Too bad, since the next guy will most definitely start a global war.

Posted by: Alpi | Jun 4 2020 1:31 utc | 84

@ vago 40

Read Escobar’s piece. I like him and usually read carefully his articles, but he is premature on this one. Today, Mark Esper pretty much rebuked his boss and said under no circumstances there will be active military on the streets. And then, Mad-dog Mattis dropped the proverbial bomb and pretty much called Trump a Buffon and unfit to govern.

People’s grievances are real, albeit leaderless. And it is a lot bigger than George Floyd. Even the white middle America has been marginalized and set aside as slaves of the corporations. Therefore, this insurrection will not die this easy and will not be appeased by empty words and hollow promises. And police force? Forget about it. They are toast. People have not only lost respect but also have lost their fear.

As for Trump, He is his own worst enemy and he will be his won downfall and soon. Too bad, since the next guy will most definitely start a global war.

Posted by: Alpi | Jun 4 2020 1:31 utc | 85


either update your info on today’s excellent china domestic air service , or you stop trolling and perpetuating fake narrative that insult china.

it was bad back then , not as bad as india though

Posted by: milomilo | Jun 4 2020 2:05 utc | 86


nice try troll, acting polite and pretending you from germany

no german citizen would call US marines “our” troop..

another fake german here

Posted by: milomilo | Jun 4 2020 2:10 utc | 87

"... that presupposes there's a possibility that such arguments have any power of suasion to succeed, which is especially difficult when those who need to be convinced are the ones wielding awesome political power, which they are most likely disinclined to give up..."

Lohmann @ 82, I will refer both you and karlof1 to an example of what you describe here in the previous thread, petri kohn @ 200. (And above it at 199 I continue my response to karlof1 on the jubilee subject, with thanks.)

Posted by: juliania | Jun 4 2020 2:30 utc | 88

Apparently, according to administration led by terminal cretins Antifa is the problem ? Meanwhile, right wing groups are arrested in Las Vegas and nationwide planning to take out protestors exercising their peaceful right to assembly.

Terroristic threats from Maga militiaman ready to shoot blacks in the street upon Trump administration request

Posted by: Augustin L | Jun 4 2020 3:01 utc | 89

our automobiles and our refusal to recognize object permanence should be recognized at every moment of our "economic interactions" with our sacred breath and sacred life.

our ideological fictions, like crime stories and the obsessions we focus on as we engage with those fictions, those narratives, should be in our minds as we engage w/the delusions our day to day and hour to hour experiences of a world in staggering conflict with its host environment.

let me quote cap'n ahab: there's fire in that gold, sun worshipper. count on it.

people are putting to the test of fire illusions our society requires for its daily ops. rent?

rent? rentier relations which are rental? monetary exchanges for food? essential services? like auto body repair?

Posted by: jason | Jun 4 2020 3:17 utc | 90

"dreams sold here." the betsy devos slogan of the educational funding stream which is the public lottery of WA state.

the opioid epidemic was created legally. that's all available from multiple public mainstream sources. calling down the military on the populace is one more of the pop tarts in the hyperexploitation of the US public. as is susan rice blaming russia for...some domestic unrest.

Posted by: jason | Jun 4 2020 3:22 utc | 91

Pip—poor boy! would he had died, or I; he’s half horrible to me. He too has been watching all of these interpreters—myself included—and look now, he comes to read, with that unearthly idiot face. Stand away again and hear him. Hark!”
“I look, you look, he looks; we look, ye look, they look.”
“Upon my soul, he’s been studying Murray’s Grammar! Improving his mind, poor fellow! But what’s that he says now—hist!”
“I look, you look, he looks; we look, ye look, they look.”
“Why, he’s getting it by heart—hist! again.”
“I look, you look, he looks; we look, ye look, they look.”
“Well, that’s funny.” (Moby Dick)

mammon controls our gaze.

Posted by: jason | Jun 4 2020 3:40 utc | 92

> re: juliani 88

Thank you... most interesting. Let us see what comes of it.

Posted by: Lohmann | Jun 4 2020 3:51 utc | 93

@ Red Ryder 15

Any initiative is subject to the fiscal laws of the land.

Free Trade Zones are not that successful. In the Middle East for example, in the Levant specifically, FTZ are merely concentration camps for low wage workers that come from overseas. Other than for the local wealthy families that already have capital to invest, FTZ have done absolutely nothing for the local population who are barely employed in these lagers.

Foreign employees in FTZs are not allowed to leave the camp by the way.

But assuming FTZs worked, the average person is still hampered by the acquisition of capital.

Assuming however the average person was able to get capital, the fiscal and legislative burden is stifling from the get go.

A forced redistribution of wealth "may" be a tried and tested historical way to level the playing field. But once again, what good is redistribution if the fiscal and legislative framework do not allow you to hold on to your new found property?

Effectively therefore, what must first happen is a reform of the legislative and fiscal environment.

That means that government must deliberately cut off parts of itself.

If you think that can happen peacefully, then all is well.

Other than one rare historical example however, which did not end well for the person that instigated it, I do not know of any other example where a government deliberately set about to change the fiscal and legislative framework in order to facilitate wealth redistribution.

Posted by: guidoamm | Jun 4 2020 3:55 utc | 94

I am someone who helped manage a publicly funded job program as the state level in the 1970's when Reagan was president. It was called Public Service Employment (PSE) and was part of a more comprehensive Federal labor program/law called the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA).

PSE was not like the Depression era CCC or WPA efforts but employed people to do local public works projects and provide social services....and kept the economy going and people employed, unlike currently. This is what the financialization of America has wrought in less than 50 disregard for the benefit of the public.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 4 2020 4:00 utc | 95

Milomilo @ 86:

If you had read my comment @ 69 regarding China's domestic airline network carefully, you would have realised I was referring to what it had been in the past. Or maybe ask for a bit more clarification if something is not clear.

Perhaps you ought to come up with something a bit more original instead of trying to pull me and Gerhard down with your trolling antics.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 4 2020 4:42 utc | 96

One question: How many individuals of the electorate understand these issues of debt and investment? Who is going to explain it to them, when the mainstream media is run by the corporations and the government? People refer to Michael Hudson - Hudson is on RT, a Russian network. With all the "Russia, Russia, Russia", who is going to listen to RT to learn about this? RT has a minimal penetration in the US media market, maybe a couple percent.) Has Hudson ever been on any mainstream media broadcast for an hour to go through all this? How many of the electorate even have the basic economics knowledge to even understand the terminology?

If the electorate looks to the political process and election process in this country, where are they going to get any significant exposure to these ideas? Not from the Democrats and not from the Republicans. Who is going to take up the mantle - some of these "lipstick socialists" like Sanders?

So what's the point of talking about "change you can believe in" - to coin a phrase?

It's going to have to burn a lot worse than five days of riots before anything changes. Let's see what burns in a couple months when the unemployment runs out. Will that be enough?

Personally I'm working on figuring out what I'm going to have to do if the outfit that runs my building goes down in the coming Greater Recession (or more likely, Depression), and I get kicked out on the street. I've been homeless before. But this time I have $989 Social Security sent every month, which I never had before. Not much - but I suspect I can leverage that to do better than in the past. As long as the Social Security checks keep coming - and the inflation rate which will go up due to the trillions of "fake money" being printed doesn't eat that down to nothing - I might have a fighting chance.

The point is, people better start thinking about what they're going to do on the own effort, rather than hoping the "criminal class" - the politicians and banks, that is - bail them out. And I'd suggest not counting on "the revolution", either.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 4 2020 5:22 utc | 97

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack # 97

"But this time I have $989 Social Security sent every month, which I never had before."

Sad, another boomer mollified by a meager social security check and a self described rebel too, what's this country coming to?

"The point is, people better start thinking about what they're going to do on the own effort, rather than hoping the "criminal class" - the politicians and banks, that is - bail them out. And I'd suggest not counting on "the revolution", either."

This coming from an anarchist? What those protesters need is to whom to take their protesting to, to send a real chill up the collective. What if, for example, they protested the media outlets, both newspapers and television stations demanding to know why their news is mostly fake? Make them explain themselves and create real news in the process. What if they peacefully protested the banks and photograph their images on social media, who then might take those peaceful protests to the banker's gated communities? Hound and disrupt their lives until they explain themselves? Can mass stalking be stopped?

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Jun 4 2020 6:10 utc | 98

he was smart enough to get the tax cut he wanted
he was smart enough to give some 1200 (or well gave it to debt collectors) and the rest got millions, billions in bail outs - just ask Mnuchin.

why oh why is it so hart to see for you and to understand that he is doing exactly what he is supposed to do. Fuck over all, entertain a few and above all enrich those that matters. The rest of the US can get fucked. Literally, for a sandwich and lousy cuppa, cause that is all they are worth.

The country is fucked, and pretty much most US Americans have helped fuck it. The real difference now from say 15 years ago, is that all the white working class male with economic anxiety are waking up to the fact that they too are fucked. And that they too have no more use for Trump Cartel. They voted, now they can die, starve, get fucked.

Posted by: Sabine | Jun 4 2020 6:26 utc | 99

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 4 2020 5:22 utc | 97

Possibly, USAians, instead of looting businesses, they should start occupying them in the way Argentinians did in 2001 when the economy collapsed (not there is much left but service industry). True the supply lines are longer in many cases, but worker cooperatives can still be created and even parallel governments outside the two party system.

The Argentinian model eventually failed once the old political hacks were allowed back in, but with improvements and determ,nation, it might just change the narrative from the distraction social/race issues to the real political economic issues. You might notice that the protests/"riots" are ingnoring the elephant in the room.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 4 2020 6:31 utc | 100

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