Searching For FDR.

by Jerry Alatalo

“The real truth of the matter is that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

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“We shall not be able to claim that we have gained victory in this war if any vestige of Fascism in any of its malignant forms is permitted to survive anywhere in the world.” Message to Congress, September 14, 1943

– FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT (1882-1945) 32nd President of the United States

361aIn his talk with President of the Henry George School of Social Science Andrew Mazzone, Thomas Palley says we (Americans) don’t have leaders like FDR anymore on the side of the people, but that politicians have become driven solely by polls and money.

Mr. Palley, Chief Economic Advisor to the AFL-CIO, with Mr. Mazzone cover America’s economic history, divided into three time periods: 1) Pre-1940 (before the New Deal), 2) 1940-1980 (Era of New Deal Keynesianism / Golden Age / Structural Keynesianism), and 3) 1980-2015 (Era of neoliberalism).

Mr. Palley’s view is that America’s business lobby – the Republican Party (GOP) – has never accepted the New Deal policies instituted during the time of FDR in response to the Great Depression, the GOP accepted structural Keynesianism for 40 years until 1980, and that the appearance of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and neoliberal economic policies resulted in an extreme shift having consequences still felt the world over today.

Using their elite-backed political power and respective “bully pulpits” in the USA and Britain, Reagan and Thatcher were able to convince large segments of their respective citizenry that they didn’t need unions, corporations were benevolent citizens – not predatory capitalists, and initiated economic reforms with lasting negative results. The results can be seen today with the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Trade in Service Agreement (TiSA), “structural adjustment” or austerity, and strong push back against neoliberal policies in both America and Europe.

Mr. Palley describes how owners of corporations in America began “outsourcing” jobs by moving production plants from the “rust belt” states in the north where unions were strong to southern states where unions were almost non-existent, thereby effectively eliminating union membership in the nation’s manufacturing sector.

Despite what Palley describes as “many good people in corporations who’ve become saddened since 1980 by the outsourcing phenomenon”,  outsourcing grew/went from an action involving moving jobs and facilities to lower wage states inside America to even lower wage nations around the Earth. Because of competitive advantages gained by corporations who’d moved to production in China etc., even those “good people in corporations saddened” came to have no choice but to follow the trend or risk going out of business.

While Americans became satisfied with lower priced goods coming from China, Vietnam, Mexico and other low-wage countries, the trend of outsourcing became increasingly a matter of concern simply because good jobs were disappearing across the country, until now in 2015 the public’s push back against TPP, TTIP and TiSA has been massive – both in the United States and Europe.

Mazzone and Palley go on to discuss how business school graduates / executives from the 1960’s differ in mindset from those leaving college after 1980. Where graduates in the 60’s held the view that social restraints were important, after 1980 and the beginning of neoliberal economic policies, business school graduates believed in “no societal restraints”, maximization of profits for shareholders as the only goal, and a “let it rip” business philosophy – anything goes.

Advances in information technology made outsourcing increasingly easier; corporate managers could now control operations at production facilities located in more than one country virtually anyplace on the planet, and all from one “nerve center”, sometimes from home.  More and more company owners followed the higher profits offshoring trend, more Americans saw their jobs move to overseas countries, and GOP members who’d held to their disapproval of FDR’s New Deal laws most likely felt a sense of winning.

Mr. Palley believes it’s possible to bring about economic policies which reverse the “race to the bottom” global trend, but that it is admittedly a difficult challenge.  His suggestions include:

Opposition to TPP, TTIP, TiSA, which, once signatory nations have entered the agreement(s), “lock in” nations who will find it nearly impossible to exit

Demanding removal of so-called “Investor State Dispute Settlement” language that kills democracy

“Lock in” a progressive economic trajectory, including measures aimed at full employment, increasing the minimum wage, increased membership in unions, more public investment, tax reform to enable higher expenditure on education, health, etc., a public option addition to the Affordable Care Act, expansion of Social Security, and more

Mr. Mazzone and Thomas Palley also talked about the 2016 presidential race in the United States. Palley singles out FDR, Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman as presidents who were unique in that they were willing to challenge their “base”, took unpopular positions and actions, and effectively educated supporters of what they (citizens) want.

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In a very interesting 30-minute discussion, Mr. Palley and Mr. Mazzone manage to deliver much information while doing an excellent job in covering a number of important, timely topics related to the global economy.

For more information, visit: http://henrygeorgeschool.org

(Thank you to Henry George School of Social Science at YouTube)

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Corporate Media Officially Dead.

by Jerry Alatalo

keyboard7-1Comcast Corporation, owner of MSNBC, has cancelled “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz, allegedly because Ed Schultz wouldn’t submit to demands that he stop talking about the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) on air.  While one can look at this event as a communications industry/media milestone: the day progressive voices were once and for all effectively censored/banned from American mainstream corporate media, Comcast’s decision could result in a great backlash of increased opposition to TPP  in the United States and potential TPP signatory nations, as well as against the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in the US and Europe.

On the bright side, the trend toward people rejecting corporate cable media and finding the real news on the internet will only accelerate and grow, plus anyone in America looking for good deals on  used TVs will now face absolutely no difficulty finding them.

So it goes…

(Thank you to Ring of Fire Radio at YouTube)

Secret TPP, TTIP Face Global Opposition.

by Jerry Alatalo

“Everything secret degenerates; nothing is safe that does not bear discussion and publicity.”

– LORD ACTON (1834-1902) English historian

Cumberland IslandThose pushing for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – the two largest, ultra-secret trade deals of all time – in the age of the internet are feeling what in military terms is described as “blowback”.  Thanks to everyone in the United States and Europe who have demanded the deals become published and available to the public, including elected representatives, before any possible passage can occur. Every man and woman around the world with real concerns about the deceptive manner in which these legal contracts have become foisted on the people must now increase opposition efforts until morality and ethics prevail.

Elected representatives in the United States and Europe who’ve cast their votes in favor of passage owe their constituents both a lot of explaining and a lot of apologizing for going along with such massive deception. A five-year old child has more sense of the difference between right and wrong. To traitorous politicians in America and Europe: the voting public will not forget such clear betrayal of trust, so save yourself the trouble of raising funds for the next election campaign – by your undemocratic actions you’ve sealed and guaranteed your own political fall.

Thanks again to the good citizens and leaders who’ve fought these despicable legal assaults on democracy from day one.  

(Thank you to Bernie Sanders at YouTube)

TPP, TTIP, TiSA Target World’s Public Banking Potential.

by Jerry Alatalo

“Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank robbing it than at any other time in my life.”

– WILLIE SUTTON, JR. (1901-1980) Bank robber

 WILLIE SUTTON Bank Robber (photo: pics8imagezone.org)
WILLIE SUTTON
Bank Robber
(photo: pics8imagezone.org)

Alphabet Bank robber Willie Sutton Jr. is inaccurately remembered as saying in response to the question why he robbed banks: “Because that’s where the money is”. Even though he never said those words one can assume he thought them, however it seems his main motive was the thrill and “action” that he became addicted to. Mr. Sutton’s reasons stand in sharp contrast to Goldman-Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein who infamously told a Congressional committee: “I’m doing God’s work”. Then again, perhaps Mr. Sutton and Mr. Blankfein’s motives are similar when it comes to their respective associations with banks.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and now newly-revealed Trade in Service Agreement (TiSA) are the largest trade deals in history, but an acquaintance in America – after asking him his opinion on TPP – responded he had never heard of it. Could the biggest reason the super-secret trade deals (many Americans have no awareness of them – corporate media has not reported on them) became conceptualized and drafted in secret over a period of years have been to shut down existing, and prevent multi-nation establishment of, public banks?

Provisions/legalese in the TiSA published by Wikileaks – which has sadly and ironically become the prime source of TPP/TTIP/TiSA information for elected representatives and citizens around the world – point to a major push at privatization of all public services in signatory nations, so one can logically assert this includes public banks. Because public banking makes obvious sense, and, because public banks would take many billions of dollars out of Wall Street “too-big-to-fail or jail” megabank accounts, it becomes difficult to discount public banking as possibly the main impetus for the trade deals.

A few months ago this writer, after around eight redials, got through on “Brunch With Bernie” – a long-running weekly (Fridays) call-in show on Free Speech TV – hosted by Thom Hartmann and featuring now presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.  The topics posed for Mr. Sanders’ consideration and opinion were (1) the decades-old, global, trillion-dollar per year tax haven/evasion industry, and (2) nationalization of the Federal Reserve. Both issues have become the subject of extensive reporting on alternative/internet media for years, however the mainstream/corporate media rarely, if ever, covers them. Both topics are common knowledge to men and women who go on the internet for their news of world events.

Senator Sanders responded to question/topic (1), global tax evasion, but did not say one word in response to topic (2): nationalization of the Federal Reserve. Without being able to read another person’s mind, it is impossible to tell whether Mr. Sanders non-response was intentional or not; he may have become so excited about speaking to an issue he’s concerned about – global tax evasion – that question (2) fell away from his consciousness. Nationalization of the Federal Reserve, if it were ever to come about, would be a world-changing event, of which certainly United States politicians share an awareness. But talking about the subject seems clearly something that is – for Washington elected representatives – “taboo”.

It’s possible that Mr. Sanders non-response on nationalizing the Federal Reserve is intimately related to his desire to remain in the status of alive. In the 1830’s the 7th U.S. President Andrew Jackson reportedly survived an assassination attempt after waging a massive, lengthy fight with Wall Street bankers for control of the nation’s money supply. Jackson won the battle, and America’s money became created by a national public central bank instead of powerful private banking interests. Andrew Jackson said the following in his 1837 Farewell Address:

“The mischief springs from the power the moneyed interest derives from a paper currency they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges which they have succeeded in obtaining… and unless you become more watchful in your states and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that the most important powers of government have been given or bartered away, and the control of your dearest interests have been passed into the hands of these corporations.”

The only state-owned public bank in America is the Bank of North Dakota, established in 1919 in response to Wall Street bankers’ buying up large numbers of foreclosed midwest farms. Many American states are now seriously considering the North Dakota model. In the following talk by former Goldman-Sachs executive in charge of derivatives trading Nomi Prins, she notes that “Wall Street’s main fear (of public banking) is losing control” and that “…even tiny chinking away at their power , it really annoys them, so they see control and power lost”.

At this point, the connection between public banking’s beneficial superiority for governments of all sizes – from city to county to state and national – and TPP/TTIP/TiSA provisions that effectively block increased presence of public banks comes more clearly into view. Many will remember signs held by men and women during the Occupy movement reading “End the Fed”. TPP/TTIP/TiSA could be compared to the Monsanto toxic product Roundup/glyphosate used for killing all plant life but for the Roundup-ready crops, making it unnecessary to devote huge labor costs on weed removal. The three massive trade deals destroy the growth of public banks (weeds) before they grow stronger, spread and become thus more difficult to manage, while leaving the status-quo, Wall Street banks (Roundup-ready crops) the only remaining financial “life-form” in the trade zones (farms).

Suggesting that absolute destruction of public banking’s real, beneficial potential is the top-tier concern of those who own the world’s largest megabanks and central banks is not meant to discount  other segments of public services targeted for privatization: Postal services, electricity generation, telephone, internet infrastructures etc., water/wastewater facilities/plants, waste disposal, schools and colleges, healthcare and health facilities, public employee pension funds, and so on. The assertion here is that public banking ranks as a “tier-one” concern for the forces behind creation of TPP/TTIP/TiSA, while the remaining public services and institutions – albeit very important ones – are for the creators of these trade deals “tier-two” concerns.

Public banks, of all current public/government services, would more negatively, directly affect the élite .01% who’ve been on the receiving end of world record wealth inequality by decreasing their power and control. In their perspective public banking – if not stopped, but instead “snowballs” from local, state, regional, then nationalization of the Federal Reserve and private central banks globally – means the possible loss of every government/public account from their mega-bank corporations to public-owned financial institutions.

In a very real sense, the creators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and Trade in Service Agreement are attempting to prevent a positive, inequality-diminishing global condition equal to “the meek inheriting the Earth”.

In the following videos former Wall Street insider executive and author of “All the President’s Bankers” Nomi Prins talks about public banking, while Co-director of PopularResistance.org/attorney Kevin Zeese gives an excellent description of TPP/TTIP/TiSA. Ms. Prins’ talk is from January 2015 at a public banking conference in Colorado, while Mr. Zeese’ interview is from a few days ago.

Their combined message provides a valuable, clear perspective on major global events occurring in 2015.

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(Thank you to argusfest at YouTube)

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(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)