Tag Archives: Liberties

What Killed The Middle Class?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/24/2016 09:02 -0400

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

If the four structural trends highlighted below don’t reverse, the middle class is heading for extinction.

Everyone knows the middle class is fading fast. I’ve covered this issue in depth for years, for example: Honey, I Shrunk the Middle Class: Perhaps 1/3 of Households Qualify(December 28, 2015) and What Does It Take To Be Middle Class? (December 5, 2013)

This raises an obvious question: what killed the middle class? While many commentators try to identify one killer cause (for example, the U.S. going off the gold standard in 1971), the die-off of the middle class is more akin to the die-off in honey bees, which is the result of the interaction of multiple causes (factors that increase the toxic load dumped on bees and other pollinators by modern agriculture).

Longtime collaborator Gordon T. Long and I discuss the decline of the middle class and other key topics in a new 29-minute video How did that work out for you?

So where do we begin this detective story? With the engine of all real prosperity, productivity. This chart reveals that wages stopped rising with productivity around 1980.

Here’s another look at the same phenomenon:

Productivity has been slipping since around 2003: Alan Greenspan:”Productivity is Dead”

Cause #1: declining productivity, which means the pie of real wealth is no longer expanding.

Exhibit #2: middle class wage earners have not received any of the gains. Wages as a percentage of GDP have been falling for decades, with occasional blips up in tech/housing bubbles:

Inflation-adjusted household income has dropped back to levels first reached in the 1980s:

More recently, wages have actually declined, regardless of educational attainment:

Income gains have all flowed to the top 10%, with most of the gains being concentrated in the top 5% and top 1%:

If the middle class didn’t receive any of the gains, who did? Corporate profits have soared to unprecedented levels:

Cause #2: all the gains in the economy have flowed to corporations and the top 10% of financiers, managers and technocrats.

But wait a minute–hasn’t the rising stock market enriched the middle class?Short answer: no. Middle class household wealth has absolutely cratered since the top of the housing bubble in 2007, and hasn’t recovered.

Why? Middle class wealth is based not in stocks but in the family home. The middle class does not own enough financial assets to have participated in the latest stock market bubble, while the majority did not recover the wealth lost in the housing bubble bust. This is the cost of allowing the financial sector to financialize housing and mortgages in the 2000s.

Cause #3: the middle class doesn’t own the “right” assets to benefit from systemic financialization and financial speculation.

How about rising costs? The federal agencies tasked with measuring inflation assure us inflation is near-zero. But these measures underweight big-ticket costs like healthcare and higher education, where costs have exploded higher, greatly increasing the burden on the middle class:

Cause #4: soaring costs of big-ticket expenses such as higher education and healthcare. Saving $10 on cheap jeans imported from Asia does not make up for 135% jumps in tuition and college fees, and $100 decline in the cost of a laptop computer does not make up for healthcare insurance and out-of-pocket expenses in the tens of thousands of dollars per household.

Correspondent Kevin K. submitted this article and accompanying note: Colleges with the biggest tuition hikes (my ala mater University of Hawaii-Manoa clocked in with an increase of 137% since 2004.)

“It looks like the article linked above didn’t do much research since:
University of California Davis
2004 in-state tuition $5,684
2015 in state tuition $13,951
Percentage increase 145.44 percent”

There is no way middle class households with declining real incomes can pay soaring costs imposed by state-enforced cartels and gain ground financially. If the four structural trends highlighted above don’t reverse, the middle class is heading for extinction, the victim of financialization, the glorification of financial speculation via central bank-central state policies, the decline of productivity and rising costs imposed by state-enforced cartels.

Gordon T. Long and I discuss the decline of the middle class and other key topics:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BBL-fJd9Lo]

Average:

BEARS REPEATING – PROPAGANDA IS NOW LEGAL!!! CAN YOU SEE THROUGH YOUR GOVERNMENTS LIES???? IF YOU’RE WATCHING TELEVISION YOU WON’T. TV IS THE PUNCH AMERICA – STOP DRINKING IT!

The NDAA Legalizes The Use Of Propaganda On The US Public

santaFlickr/x-ray delta one1948 propaganda Santa

The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings ofBuzzFeed.

The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion.

Thornberry said that the current law “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way,” according to Buzzfeed.

The vote came two days after a federal judged ruledthat an indefinite detention provision in the annual defense bill was unconstitutional.

Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, who released a highly critical report regarding the distortion of truth by senior military officials in Iraq and Afghanistan, dedicated a section of his report to Information Operations (IO) and states that after Desert Storm the military wanted to transform IO “into a core military competency on a par with air, ground, maritime and special operations.”

Davis defines IO as “the integrated employment of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), military deception (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC), in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own.”

IO are primarily used to target foreign audiences, but Davis cites numerous senior leaders who want to (in the words of  Colonel Richard B. Leap) “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will” by repealing the Smith-Mundt Act to allow the direct deployment of these tactics on the American public.

Davis quotes Brigadier General Ralph O. Baker — the Pentagon officer responsible for the Department of Defense’s Joint Force Development (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) — who defines IO as activities undertaken to “shape the essential narrative of a conflict or situation and thus affect the attitudes and behaviors of the targeted audience” andequates descriptions of combat operations with standard marketing strategies

For years, commercial advertisers have based their advertisement strategies on the premise that there is a positive correlation between the number of times a consumer is exposed to product advertisement and that consumer’s inclination to sample the new product. The very same principle applies to how we influence our target audiences when we conduct COIN.

Davis subsequently explains the “cumulative failure of our nation’s major media in every category” as they continually interviewed only those senior U.S. officials who had top-level access, even as the officials given that clearance were required to stick to “talking points” given to them by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

If the NDAA goes into effect in its current form, the State Department and Pentagon can go beyond manipulating mainstream media outlets and directly disseminate campaigns of misinformation to the U.S. public.

CARSON TO ENDORSE TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT

Will announce at Trump’s Florida resort Friday

Jonathan Easley | The Hill – MARCH 10, 2016 236 Comments

Carson to Endorse Trump for President

Ben Carson will endorse Donald Trump for president on Friday.

Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who ended his own presidential bid earlier this month, will join Trump at a press conference at the businessman’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., to make the announcement.

Trump and Carson both have homes in West Palm Beach and proved to be friendly adversaries throughout the nominating process.

Their campaigns colluded at one point to seize the debate negotiating process from the Republican National Committee, and Trump went strongly after Ted Cruz’s campaign for spreading the false rumor that Carson was dropping out of the race before the Iowa caucuses.

Read more

MASS EXODUS: THOUSANDS OF LIFELONG DEMOCRATS JUMP TO TRUMP

Thousands of Democrats also propelled Reagan to White House

Kit Daniels | Infowars.com – MARCH 10, 2016

Mass Exodus: Thousands of Lifelong Democrats Jump to Trump

IMAGE CREDITS: DARRONB / FLICKR.

Over 46,000 Pennsylvania Democrats have switched parties to vote for Donald Trump, joining thousands of other lifelong Democrats in blue states doing the exact same thing.

In Massachusetts alone, at least 20,000 Democrats have defected to support Trump and another 1,000 blue-collar Ohio Democrats are also jumping ship to Trump, and no Republican president has ever won the White House without Ohio.

The movement, called “Ditch and Switch,” was promoted in Sept. by the YouTube duo Diamond and Silk and explains why Trump is winning so many open primary states where voters don’t have register as Republicans to cast GOP ballots.

“For many years the Democratic Party has promoted agendas that most Americans did not agree with,” Diamond and Silk declared in a video. “Our country is deeply divided, and the silent majority has been bullied into silence by political posturing and underhanded agendas that favor the few while excluding the majority.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuUGu1igsyY]

The last time a similar movement erupted was likely during the 1980 presidential race when switchover Democrats helped propel Ronald Reagan into the oval office.

“The labor unions, who usually support the Democrats, a lot of our members, and a lot of their families, are supporting Trump,” said Keith Strobelt with the United Steelworkers local union in Canton, Ohio. “It could be that several hundred of our members will back Trump.”

“A lot find him refreshing. He says a lot of things they say around their dinner tables.”

And that’s scaring Democratic Party leaders.

“Trump put together a coalition in Massachusetts that elects Democratic governors,” Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh said, pointing out that Trump has won big in blue-collar, union cities across the rust belt. “He won among Catholics, a week after picking a fight with the Pope.”

“I absolutely think he can put the rust belt into play.”

FOLLOW for more BREAKING news:https://www.facebook.com/RealKitDaniels

Trump Tags: Trump, GOP, President of the United States, POTUS, Patriot, #Trump2016, #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

TRUMP CALLS FOR GOP ESTABLISHMENT TO “COME TOGETHER” BEHIND HIM

“I’m a unifier. I get along with people.”

Steve Watson | Infowars.com – MARCH 9, 2016

Trump Calls For GOP Establishment To "Come Together" Behind Him

Following primary wins in Michigan, Mississippi, and Hawaii Tuesday night, Donald Trump called on establishment Republicans to quit the in fighting and rally behind him.

“I’d say, let’s come together folks. We’re going to win,” Trump said during his victory speech.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlZjhIwQX64]

When asked if he needs GOP insiders like Mitt Romney to get behind him in order to win a general election, Trump replied “Not 100 percent, but largely I would say yes.”

“Some people you’re just not going to get along with. … But largely I would like to do that.” Trump added.

“And believe it or not, I am a unifier. I unify. I mean you look at all of the things I built all over the world. I’m a unifier. I get along with people.” the billionaire frontrunner declared.

Trump added that “whether you call them the establishment or not, they should embrace” the popularity of his campaign.

“The Democrats would love to have what’s happening. … There’s no spirit there,” Trump urged.

“We’re way up with millions of people. So what I say to the Republicans is embrace it. We will win the election easily.” Trump stated.

“The turnout has been just massive, every week,” Trump said. “I actually think it’s the biggest story in politics today, and I hope the Republicans will embrace it.”

This past weekend, it was reported that scores of establishment GOP figures and major donors flew to an exclusive resort off the coast of Georgia on private jets to meet up and discuss how they can stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination.

Also addressing the aggressive campaign to compare Trump to Hitler this week, The Donald noted “I don’t think I’ve ever had so many horrible things said about me in one week… It shows you how brilliant the public is because they knew they were lies.”

“The bottom line is we have something going that’s so good,” Trump said, adding, “We should grab each other and we should unify the party.”

Trump reiterated the idea of unity Wednesday morning, telling CNN’s New Day, “I would love to see the party come together and unify.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw4wKBrDhOM]

“I am a uniter, but I have to finish off the project,” he said. “You have to finish off what you have to finish off.”

Speaking of Hillary Clinton, following her own primary victories, Trump declared that “She’ll definitely get the nomination… But losing Michigan is more than a bump in the general, because it’s just the people don’t want her.”

He added that Clinton is seeing “no enthusiasm.”

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey indicates, however, that both Clinton and Bernie Sanders would comfortably beat Trump in a general election by double digits.

The survey found that at this time Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz would both fare better against the Democratic front-runner, but would still be defeated. Could this be a possible reason for Trump’s calls for the GOP establishment to get behind him?

—————————————————————-

Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com.

Benghazi panel ramps up – Lauren French – POLITICO.com

Benghazi panel ramps up – Lauren French – POLITICO.com.
Rep. Trey Gowdy is pictured. | AP Photo

There are no Benghazi hearings on the House calendar, but the silence doesn’t mean the investigation is fading away.

Rep. Trey Gowdy is launching a special committee to wrangle a probe that’s sprawled across the jurisdictions of multiple headline-hungry committee chairmen.

And while the South Carolina Republican isn’t committing to specifics, such as whether there will be public hearings with high-profile witnesses like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his methodical approach could help the GOP savor a scandal that has at times looked more like a political sideshow.

(Also on POLITICO: No bail for Benghazi suspect)

“No one [has] defended the five-minute questioning [process] as the most calculated way of eliciting the most amount of information,” Gowdy said in an interview. “There is most assuredly a place for hearings but not if your primary focus is to gather facts.”

While there isn’t much happening publicly, the House select committee investigating the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, is busy behind the scenes.

The panel is examining subpoenas from committees that previously investigated the Benghazi attacks to develop a list of unanswered questions from the Obama administration. There is also outreach to agencies that received requests for information.

Meanwhile, Gowdy is planning a series of closed-door meetings this month that could include a screening of a classified video from the Benghazi compound. He’s also checking with the 11 other lawmakers on the panel about working through the August recess.

(Also on POLITICO: Searching for Hillary Clinton’s big idea)

And committee leaders from both parties are busy staffing up.

The response to the 2012 attack on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi deeply divided Congress. The attack left four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, dead. Republicans accuse the Obama administration of covering up evidence that the attack was linked to terrorism while Democrats argue the GOP is simply drumming up a scandal.

As the committee’s investigation unfolds, perhaps the biggest challenge for Gowdy is to prove that his work isn’t simply a partisan exercise.

“I don’t want to appear naive but I do hold out some hope that a few things left remaining in politics, or in our society, can be above politics,” Gowdy said. “People who have worked with me in the past and the people on the other side of the aisle who I work with now, I don’t think they are at all surprised this is the approach that I am taking. My goal is to find out what happened.”

(Also on POLITICO: Filing vague on Benghazi suspect’s role)

So far, Gowdy seems to be forging productive relationships with Democrats. He meets regularly with Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the panel, and the two often chat privately in the speaker’s lobby during House votes.

“I have a great working relationship with Chairman Gowdy, and I am hopeful that this will be the serious, bipartisan fact-finding investigation that he has promised,” Cummings told POLITICO.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave Gowdy a loose set of guidelines to pursue his investigation: Determine how the attacks occurred and issue recommendations on ways the U.S. could avoid future assaults on diplomatic outposts. Gowdy isn’t setting a timeline for the committee, but the investigation is expected to extend into 2015.

The committee has been allocated an expansive budget from the House. The panel has $3.3 million to spend this year on operations, according to documents from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office.

That amounts to about $2.2 million for the Republicans and just above $1 million for the Democrats.

The budget was first reported by USA Today.

Panel members are already examining the notes, documents and interview transcripts provided by the other congressional committees that investigated the terrorist attacks, including the House Oversight and Government Reform, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Judiciary committees.

(Also on POLITICO: McCaul: Khatallah should be sent to Guantánamo)

That amounts to nearly 25,000 pages of documents, Gowdy said, which all need to be reorganized and categorized for the new committee.

“They have to be assimilated,” he said. “I was on OGR, but I would have no way of knowing what Intel or HASC had or how it was cataloged.”

Beyond sifting through documents, Gowdy said most of the focus right now is on hiring employees for the committee. He plans to personally interview job candidates, but finding qualified staffers with the appropriate security clearance is a slow-going task. The committee will dive into classified material, which limits much of the staffing pool to those with established clearances.

“Obviously, going from not existing to fully functioning takes some time,” Gowdy said. “Hiring staff is widely important but not always terribly exciting from a reader’s or viewer’s standpoint. …. You have to do that before you can fully constitute a committee and start work.”

Republicans tapped former Smith-Free Group Vice Chairman Phil Kiko as the panel’s staff director in May. The party hopes to fill roughly half of the staff positions by the end of July.

Democrats on the committee recently hired Susanne Sachsman Grooms as their staff director. She is a former Department of Justice prosecutor, who was the lead attorney for Oversight Committee Democrats on three highly controversial investigations: the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, the IRS targeting of tea party groups, and Benghazi.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/benghazi-trey-gowdy-108625.html#ixzz36tqYrwfH

How Western NGOs Spearhead Coups Around the World

Truthseeker
NGOs caught forging documents for war, insider warns all NGOs infiltrated; ‘Independent military observers’ for EU-based group OSCE again turned away in Crimea, OSCE branded one more ‘vulgar instrument’ for foreign interests; and CNN buys the latest State Department hoax.

 

How Western NGOs Spearhead Coups Around the World
Activist Post
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 18:17:00 GMT

Free Markets?…Bahahaha!

Today the DOW is up over 200 points…the MSM talking point is “Putin stands down”. Yesterday the DOW was down 160 points…the MSM talking point “Putin to invade the Ukraine”.

Last week it was the Fed that moved the market…the week before it was the employment numbers…tomorrow it will be the Fed again…next week it will be the Putin again…the week after that the weather…the week after that some other totally irrelevant event.

In reality…it’s all controlled on a computer program in the basement of the US Treasury. It has been since the 1960’s. Every move, every tick, every boom, every bust…programmed into a computer and with a click of a mouse the markets go where they are programmed to go. Then they invent the story of WHY the market moved and the Sheeple swallow the whole thing hook, line and sinker.

Computer market rigging is easy to prove. The proof is in the VOLUMES of trade. Every few days the total amount of shares issued by a public company for each individual stock is “traded”. All of it…every few days. Sometimes there are days when the entire float trades in a single day, in a single hour, in a single millisecond!

Same goes for gold and silver. Well over 100 Billion electronic “ounces” of silver are traded on the COMEX and LBMA every year.

100 BILLION OUNCES!!

It’s a con my friends. And it has sucked 99.9% of the population in and it CONTROLS us beyond any other method of emotional control. You can’t help it. When Silver goes up 5% in a day you jump for joy thinking “THIS IS IT!”. When it dives 10% you think “THOSE DAMN MARKET RIGGERS!”

It is a ride that “they” control. They manage. They manipulate,

Currently, the gold and silver markets are steered by Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew. His agenda for your emotions since he took office in Feb 2013 has been DESTROY HOPE. Keep pressing down the prices until there is nobody left to be bullish…and then press them down some more. Press the prices down all the way to the END.

But then it does END. Everything ends my friends so you’d better be ready for it. The end of silver and gold manipulation has consequences and that’s when you want to be positioned properly. Positioned for the END GAME. My advice has always been…be the last man standing with physical gold and silver in your own possession. Everything else will be washed out to sea with the Derivative Monsoon!

On the Road to Roota I’ve shown you WHO started this computer rigging game. I explained their intent to drag it on for as long as possible. I’ve showed you how the end will come. And finally…I’ve showed you what is planned to take it’s place.

The destruction of the global financial system is unavoidable but losing everything is not.

Prepare now for the end of manipulation – the end of the fiat system.

The end of “their” control of us is approaching fast.

May the Road you choose be the Right Road.

Bix Weir

www.RoadtoRoota.com