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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama

Keynesian solutions: after total failure, try, try again

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by Jim Quinn
The Burning Platform
Posted August 23, 2011

“LENIN IS SAID TO HAVE DECLARED THAT THE BEST WAY TO DESTROY THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.” – John Maynard Keynes – The Economic Consequences of the Peace

While Barack Obama vacations on Martha’s Vineyard this week he’ll be thinking about his grand vision to save America – again. There is one thing you can say about Obama – he’s predictable. He promises to unveil his “new” plan for America in early September. The White House said Obama will give a speech after the September 5 Labor Day holiday to outline measures to boost hiring and find budget savings that surpass the $1.5 trillion goal of a new congressional deficit-cutting committee. It is heartening to see that Barack has turned into a cost cutter extraordinaire. He should be an inspiration to the Tea Party, except for one little problem. The plan he unveils in a few weeks will increase spending now and fret about spending cuts at some future unspecified date.

I can reveal his plan today because the White House has already leaked the major aspects of his plan. He will call for an extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut of 2% for all working Americans. This was supposed to give a dramatic boost to GDP in 2011. Maybe it will work next time. He will demand that extended unemployment benefits be renewed. Somehow providing 99 weeks of unemployment benefits is supposed to create jobs. It’s done wonders thus far. He will propose some semblance of an infrastructure bank or tax cuts to spur infrastructure spending. It will include a proposal for training and education to help unemployed people switch careers. He will attempt to steal the thunder from the SUPER COMMITTEE of twelve by coming up with $2 trillion of budget savings by insisting the Lear jet flying rich fork over an extra $500 billion.

You may have noticed that followers of Keynesian dogma like Paul Krugman, Larry Summers, Brad Delong, Richard Koo, John Galbraith, every Democrat in Congress, and every liberal pundit and columnist have been shrieking about the Tea Party terrorists and their ghastly budget cuts that are destroying our economy. They contend the stock market is tanking and the economy is heading into recession due to the brutal austerity measures being imposed by the extremists in the Republican Party. There is just one small issue with their argument. It is completely false. It is a bold faced lie. This is 2011. The economy has been in freefall since January 1. No spending cuts have occurred. Nada!!! As the CBO chart below reveals, the horrendous slashing of government will amount to $21 billion in 2012 and $42 billion in 2013. Of course, those aren’t even cuts in spending. They are reductions in the projected increases in spending. Politicians must be very secure in the knowledge that Americans are completely ignorant when it comes to anything other than the details of Kim Kardashian’s wedding and who Snooki is banging on Jersey Shore.

I’d like to remind the Harvard educated Keynesian economists that Federal government spending is currently chiming in at $3.8 trillion per year. Federal spending was $2.7 trillion in 2007 and $3.0 trillion in 2008. Keynesians believe government spending fills the gap when private companies are contracting. Obama has taken Keynesianism to a new level. Federal spending will total $10.8 trillion in Obama’s first three years, versus $8.4 trillion in the previous three years. Even a Harvard economist can figure out this is a 29% increase in Federal spending. What has it accomplished? We are back in recession, unemployment is rising, forty six million Americans are on food stamps, food and energy prices are soaring, and the middle class is being annihilated. The standard Keynesian response is we would have lost 3 million more jobs, we were saved from a 2nd Great Depression and the stimulus was too little. It would have worked if it had just been twice as large.

The 2nd Great Depression was not avoided, it was delayed. Our two decade long delusional credit boom could have been voluntarily abandoned in 2008. The banks at fault could have been liquidated in an orderly bankruptcy with stockholders and bondholders accepting the consequences of their foolishness. Unemployment would have soared to 12%, GDP would have collapsed, and the stock market would have fallen to 5,000. The bad debt would have been flushed from the system. Instead our Wall Street beholden leaders chose to save their banker friends, cover-up the bad debt, shift private debt to taxpayer debt, print trillions of new dollars in an effort to inflate away the debt, and implemented every wacky Keynesian stimulus idea Larry Summers could dream up.  These strokes of genius have failed miserably. Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner and Obama have set in motion a series of events that will ultimately lead to a catastrophic currency collapse. We have entered the second phase of the Greater Depression and there are no monetary or fiscal bullets left in the gun. Further expansion of debt will lead to a hyperinflationary collapse as the remaining confidence in the U.S. dollar is exhausted. We are one failed Treasury auction away from a currency crisis.

John Maynard Keynes argued the solution to the Great Depression was to stimulate the economy through some combination of two approaches: a reduction in interest rates and government investment in infrastructure. Investment by government injects income, which results in more spending in the general economy, which in turn stimulates more production and investment involving still more income and spending and so forth. The initial stimulation starts a cascade of events, whose total increase in economic activity is a multiple of the original investment.

It sounds so good in theory, but it didn’t work in the Depression and it hasn’t worked today. It is a doctrine taught in every business school in America with no actual results to support it. Who needs facts and actual results when a good story believed and perpetuated by non-thinking pundits will do? Every Keynesian play in the playbook has been used since 2008. The American people were told by Obama and his Keynesian trained advisors that if we implemented his $862 billion shovel ready stimulus package, unemployment would peak at 7.9% and would decline to 6.5% by today. The cascade of recovery was going to be jump started by a stimulus package that equaled 27% of the previous year’s entire spending. Obama’s complete package was implemented. The outcome was an eye opener.

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Central Bankers race toward global currency solution

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from The Daily Bell
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2011

CENTRAL BANKERS ARE RACING to shield their economies from fiscal tightening and lopsided currency swings that threaten a new global recession. In the 72 hours after a Group of Seven conference call on Aug. 7, the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates near zero through at least mid-2013, the European Central Bank intervened in bond markets and the Bank of England indicated it’s ready to add more stimulus if needed. Japan signaled renewed concern about the yen and Switzerland yesterday stepped up its fight to curb an “overvalued” franc. … While the actions aren’t as directly coordinated, the push is one of the broadest since the Fed, ECB and four other central banks cut interest rates together in October 2008 to limit fallout from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.‘s collapse. – Bloomberg

Dominant Social Theme:
The experts at the world’s central banks are on the job.

Free-Market Analysis:
This Bloomberg article is just another in a long line of disappointing mainstream financial reports that does nothing to address the real issues causing the crisis and, in fact, does everything to try to misinform the public into believing that the “experts” have all under control.

Well, we do not think more jaw-jaw is what people want to hear right now, or that the money magicians are capable of doing anything to stop the rapid erosion of public confidence. And based on the recent upward move in Honest Money, it is quite obvious the markets don’t want to hear it either.

Regardless of what Bloomberg wants people to believe, the world’s central banks are NOT independent banks led by teams of “experts” dedicated to establishing prudent national monetary policy. No, they are nothing of the sort and never were intended to be. They are simply a cartel-like crime syndicate that operates under the direction of the Swiss-based “super central bank,” the Bank for International Settlements. And the BIS is just one more tool in the arsenal of elite monetary control of the world.

The BIS sits like a great spider at the heart of the corrupt and ruinous central banking mechanism that the Anglo-American elite has successfully foisted upon the world. It coordinates the policies of these ruinous entities – not to any great effect – but to ensure that the Anglosphere maintains control of what it has built.

The Western elite’s banking scheme is a central part of how the Anglosphere has managed to dominate the world behind the scenes. Through central banking and the BIS, the Anglo elites have a stranglehold over economies worldwide. Even though most of the world was aligned against a presumed to be corrupt BIS after World War II, it somehow managed to escape dissolution. This is because it is a prime asset of the City of London, that mysterious one-square mile patch of real estate at the heart of London where the Bank of England itself is located.

However, today all of the elite’s poisonous machinations face an unprecedented decline in public confidence. And nowhere is the threat of total collapse more intense than on that most important elite edifice of all – the central banking system itself.

It is only the confidence of the public that enables the continuous printing of unrestrained fiat currencies – which combine to provide the base of an international Ponzi scheme. But something’s happening around the world that the money masters didn’t plan on. People are waking up.

But you wouldn’t know it by reading articles like this one, excerpted above. No, Bloomberg, a mainstream media outlet to be sure, would rather you believe that there are sweaty-browed experts working around the clock to fix the situation. So what magic tools do they have? What are the experts doing about this financial mess? Here’s more from the article:

Finance ministers and central bankers from the G-7 nations, which include the U.S., U.K. and Germany, said in a statement Aug. 7 that they will “take all necessary measures to support financial stability and growth in a spirit of close cooperation and confidence.” …

The next day, the Frankfurt-based ECB, which last week restarted its bond-purchase program after an 18-week hiatus, extended its focus to include debt of Italy and Spain, the region’s third- and fourth-largest economies.

The Fed’s decision Aug. 9 to hold its key interest rate at a record low through mid-2013 and signal it’s ready to use additional tools comes as U.S. politicians are tightening the nation’s fiscal belt and the economic stimulus enacted by President Barack Obama in 2009 comes to an end.

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King told reporters in London yesterday that headwinds buffeting the nation’s economy are intensifying “by the day” and officials can expand stimulus if the outlook for growth deteriorates further.

Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said Aug. 9 that volatile exchange rates could have a “negative impact” on the economy, after the central bank last week added 10 trillion yen ($130 billion) of stimulus and the country unilaterally intervened in the currency market to weaken the yen.

Switzerland’s central bank said yesterday it will increase the supply of francs to fight the currency’s “massive overvaluation.”

That’s it? The central banksters have decided to do MORE OF THE SAME. They’re all going to work to make sure they “print-in sync” as much new money as “necessary” so that none of them face total collapse and threaten to take down the entire game? That’s the plan? And they will directly intervene in the market to create the illusion of demand/strength by buying the garbage debt from countries like Spain and Italy? This is the plan? Isn’t that called market manipulation?

Wow. Well, here’s a better plan. Stop the insanity! You cannot fix a dysfunctional monetary system that is built on a fraudulent premise by simply increasing the degree of the crime. The impossibly wealthy families who desire one-world governance will stop at nothing – including the use of force – to complete their centuries-long mission. But arrogantly, they will refuse to cease their devious efforts and instead will try to use these crises to bind the masses into accepting a fear-based international monetary solution. Out of chaos… order.

In fact, just the other day one of China’s faceless mouthpieces, the Xinhua News Agency, came out in an editorial to the world and stated, “International supervision over the issue of U.S. dollars should be introduced and a new, stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country.”

And then there is this statement from Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, “Policy makers must respond forcefully, creatively and decisively … crises that are international in scope require an international response.”

Can’t you just see the smile on Christine Lagarde’s face as she gleefully embraces her new position as Head of the International Monetary Fund? For surely there is an IMF logo engraved on the international boot readying itself to slam down on the faces of current and future generations. But hold on a minute… will the puppets/experts running the world’s central banks – and Money Power standing behind them – be able to pull off this global manipulation?

We’re not so sure they will. And we certainly don’t wish them luck.

All across the world, the modern Internet Reformation is beginning to reshape the way people relate to power in the modern age. While it is not as obvious as during the era of the Gutenberg Press, there is formal doctrine accepted by Western societies that is beginning to shatter. That formal doctrine may be termed regulatory democracy and it has been leavened with numerous assumptions that on closer inspection turn out not to be true. Like what money is and what it is not. And it is the Internet itself that allows for information to spread that undermines the various precepts of regulatory democracy.

It is this hierarchy that promulgates regulatory democracy and its various dominant social themes – the fear-based promotions that the Western power elite uses to control the conversation and to further centralize power and authority worldwide.

And one of those fear-based promotions that the masses have been bombarded with is the “expert” theme. The public is constantly being promoted into accepting a passive position with respect to how the financial world operates. They are meant to be overwhelmed with facts and complicated economic formulas so they feel helpless, confused and generally incapable of mastering their own financial destinies. After all, how could anyone understand such a complex subject as money?

Well, all around the world people are starting to understand that the system is rigged and money really isn’t complicated at all. The Internet Reformation reveals the cartel’s synchronized efforts to manipulate public confidence so they can continue their fraudulent and manipulative wealth redistribution game.

Conclusion:
The reality of the situation is this: there are no magic monetary tools that can fix the global monetary crises hidden in the basement of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, or any of the others. The fiat money instruments themselves – dollars, euros, yen, etc. – ARE THE PROBLEM.

And in this alternative media-led ‘Net era, the old men hiding behind the central banking curtains are starting to look rather pathetic. The illusion is fading and people are waking up. In fact, the European Union is failing, various serial wars of conquest are not going well, and the fear-based memes of the elite are continually being debunked by an Internet that adds more to humankind’s real knowledge base every day. It will take decades if not centuries to control the damage that has already been done (from an elite standpoint), and what has been done cannot be undone.

Will the international power elite lose their destructive ability to create money out of nothing and their control over legislative power that currently prohibits private money competition? Will the elite be forced to take a step back in the face of a massive public awakening? Or will an Orwellian-style society be forcibly foisted upon us all with the UN, IMF, World Bank, BIS, NATO, WHO, ICC and all the other edifices of world government eventually control every aspect of our lives? Only time will tell, but the Internet Reformation gives one great hope that the “best laid plans will be laid to rest.”

We’ve just breached the debt ceiling… Next comes the default

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by Graham Summers
Posted Phoenix Capital Research on May 25, 2011

WHILE BARACK OBAMA IS CHUGGING Guinness and Congress is doing… well not much of anything, we’ve breached the US debt ceiling.

That’s correct, the US now has more debt than is legally permitted. We’d crossed the “more debt than is healthy” as well as the “more debt than is sane” levels long ago. However, it wasn’t until the last few weeks that we cleared the legal debt limit. You’d think that the world’s largest economy (and home of the world’s reserve currency) exceeding its debt limits would be big time news. But we’ve yet to hear a peep about it from the mainstream financial media.

It’s even stranger that we haven’t heard mention of the fact that the US is in fact RAIDING pension funds to continue to fund its debt.

That’s correct, Tim Geithner, who aside from being a tax dodger has managed to make US Treasuries (formerly the ONLY risk-free investment in the world) so unattractive to foreign investors that he is now using money that was promised to retirees to fund his debt orgy. Let’s think about this for a moment… US Treasuries are so unattractive that investors no longer want to buy them… so we’re using money promised to those who worked… to buy them.

Simply staggering. Aside from being morally wrong, Geithner’s moves are the usual “I’ve got no solutions so I’m just going to come up with something on the fly” nonsense we get from the DC crowd. Even Geithner himself has admitted that his latest scheme will only buy the US about three months’ time before we start defaulting on our debt.

That’s not a typo… Geithner has publicly stated that barring any sudden changes in the demand for US Treasuries, the US will DEFAULT in August 2011.

In some ways this doesn’t matter. The US was going to default soon anyway. The US Federal Reserve is the primary buyer of Treasuries now. And it’s simply buying 50+% of all new debt issuance back from Wall Street (usually within a week or two of the debt being issued).

In other words, the entire US debt structure is now a giant Ponzi scheme.

Fifty things every American should know about the collapse of the Economy

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by Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse
Posted originally May 18, 2011

RIGHT NOW WE ARE WITNESSING A TRULY HISTORIC COLLAPSE OF THE ECONOMY, AND YET MOST AMERICANS DO NOT UNDERSTAND what is going on. One of the biggest reasons why the American people do not understand what is happening to the economy is because our politicians and the mainstream media are not telling the truth.

Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke keep repeating the phrase “economic recovery” over and over, and this is really confusing for most Americans because things sure don’t seem to be getting much better where they live.

There are millions upon millions of Americans that are sitting at home on their couches right now wondering why they lost their jobs and why nobody will hire them.  Millions of others are wondering why the only jobs they can get are jobs that a high school student could do.  Families all across America are wondering why it seems like their wages never go up but the price of food and the price of gas continue to skyrocket.  We are facing some very serious long-term economic problems in this country, and we need to educate the American people about why the collapse of the economy is happening.

If the American people don’t understand why they are losing their jobs, why they are losing their homes and why they are drowning in debt then they are going to keep on doing all of the same things that they have been doing.  They will also keep sending the same idiot politicians back to Washington to represent us.  There are some fundamental things about the economy that every American should know.

The American people need to be shocked out of their entertainment-induced stupor long enough to understand what is really going on and what needs to be done to solve our nightmarish economic problems. If we do not wake up enough Americans in time, the economic collapse that is coming could tear this nation to shreds.

The U.S. economy was once the greatest economic machine in modern world history. It was truly a wonder to behold. It worked so well that entire generations of Americans came to believe that America would enjoy boundless prosperity indefinitely.

But sadly, prosperity is not guaranteed for any nation. Over the past several decades, some very alarming long-term economic trends have developed that are absolutely destroying the economy. If dramatic changes are not made soon, a complete and total economic collapse will be unavoidable.

Unfortunately, the American people will never agree to fundamental changes to our economic and financial systems unless they are fully educated about what is causing our problems. We have turned our backs on the principles of our forefathers and the principles of those that founded this nation. We have rejected the ancient wisdom that was handed down to us.

It has been said that those that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind. We are about to experience the consequences of decades of really bad decisions. Hopefully we can get the American people to wake up. The following are fifty things that every American should know about the collapse of the economy….

#1 Do you remember how much was made of the “Misery Index” during the presidency of Jimmy Carter?  At that time, the “Misery Index” was constantly making headlines in newspapers all across the country. Well, according to John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics, if we calculated unemployment and inflation the same way that we did back during the Carter administration, then the Misery Index today would actually be higher than at any point during the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

#2 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of about 5 million Americans were being hired every single month during 2006. Today, an average of about 3.5 million Americans are being hired every single month.

#3 According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 5.5 million Americans that are currently unemployed and yet are not receiving unemployment benefits.

#4 All over America, state and local governments are selling off buildings just to pay the bills.  Investors can now buy up government-owned power plants, prisons and municipal buildings from coast to coast.  For example, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey recently sold off 16 government buildings (including the police and fire headquarters) just to pay some bills.

#5 When Americans think of “government debt”, most of them only think of the federal government, but it is not just the federal government that has a massive debt problem.  State and local government debt has reached an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP.

#6 If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.

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Middle East chaos: What to learn and what to expect

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by Giordano Bruno
Neithercorp Press
Originally posted Feb 24, 2011

There are many different kinds of revolution; some more effective than others. Telling the difference between a successful revolution and a failed revolution can be tricky. Often, on the surface, they look exactly the same. The secret is to set aside what we would “like” to see, and be brutally honest about what was actually accomplished in the course of the dissenting action.

HAS POWER BEEN FULLY RESCINDED BY THE OFFENDING GOVERNMENT or regime to the people, or, to yet another corrupt bureaucracy with a slightly different face? Have the puppet strings of corporate globalists been severed from your country, or do they remain strong as ever? Has ANY corrupt official actually been punished for the crimes that led to the insurgency in the first place, or, did they fly off scot-free to their million dollar villas in Ecuador, drinking mojitos in wicker recliners and watching the disaster they created unfold on CNN? Who ultimately benefited from the event?

Today, the entire Middle East is on the verge of complete destabilization and possibly civil war. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and other nations are experiencing a shockwave of unrest not seen since the 1970’s. Western media sources are calling it a “people’s revolt”, one which the Obama administration is heartily embracing like an old relative. But are we witnessing the democratization of the cradle of civilization, or something else entirely? How will we be affected by this tide of confusion?

Instead of falling into panic and fear over the growing chaos, what can discerning Americans learn from a social implosion on the other side of the world that will help us to survive a similar occurrence here? Let’s examine some of the distinct moments that have characterized the Middle East debacle, the underlying and corrupt influences that surround them, as well as certain historical facts of the region that globalist engineers would rather we forget…

Molding The Arab World

Are globalist interests involved in the breakdown of the Middle East? Most certainly. However, this much widespread resentment and pent-up collective rage is not something that can be easily fabricated. It is far more likely that anger over the feudal governing tactics of dictators in the Arab world (many of which were installed or supported by U.S. and European interests) is very real, and has been building for quite some time. So then, why are Western governments applauding the overthrow of despots they themselves placed in power?

The Mubarak regime was the second largest recipient of U.S. financial and military aid in the world. One third of ALL publicly reported U.S. foreign aid goes to Egypt and Israel. (1) Without this vast military aid from the U.S., Mubarak would not have been able to maintain his 30 year reign. This is a cold hard fact. So then, why go against a leader you already have firmly in your grasp?

When the Shah of Iran (a violent madman we anointed) was overthrown by popular revolt in 1979, the U.S. government responded with vitriol and saber rattling. When Hosni Mubarak (a violent madman we anointed) was overthrown this past month, the U.S. government responded with cheers and warm regards. What was the difference between the revolution in Iran, and the revolutions all over the Middle East today? Insurance…

Like most puppet leaders and figureheads, Mubarak was an errand boy, a conduit for implementing globalist policies in Egypt. His relinquishment of power was in reality nothing of the kind, because the power was never his to give back. It is important to take note that Mubarak’s cabinet and most of the existing government and military structure remains firmly entrenched. (2)

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who leads the ruling military council and has been defense minister for about 20 years, took “temporary” control of Egypt after Mubarak ceded authority. Tantawi retains very strong ties to Washington D.C. and an unerring loyalty to Mubarak’s policies, which is perhaps why Barack Obama seemed so jubilant about Mubarak’s departure. In the recent and controversial Wikileaks release of private diplomatic cables, Tantawi is famously referred to as “Mubarak’s Poodle”. (3)

The key here is that globalist circles support the change in Egypt exactly because nothing will change for the citizenry. The Egyptian people will not gain true influence in the politics of their own country, and they may have even less influence over their own lives if a military infrastructure remains embedded within their government. Their entire rebellion was diluted and redirected, because they naively focused on Mubarak as the source of all their ills, instead of the corrupt system he was a mere front-man for.

What about Libya? Muammar Gaddafi, the crazy bag lady of third world dictators, was the darling of the UN in 2009 when he was nominated the head of the African Union. He was just as much a monster then as he is today, and as far as I know his human rights record has remained dismal, but then again, he was helping the globalists by paying the AU dues of numerous countries with Libyan oil money and luring them towards centralization. (4)

Apparently, Gaddafi has outlived his usefulness as international bodies now fully support the rebellion in Libya.

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How America’s public servants are now its masters

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by Tyler Durden
Posted originally on October 9, 2010

Mort Zuckerman Is Back, Blasting American Socialism; Or How America’s Public Servants Are Now Its Masters
THE MAN WHO HAS RAPIDLY EMERGED AS THE MOST VOCAL OBAMA CRITIC, Mort Zuckerman, has just penned his most recent scathing anti-administration missive, this time focusing on the schism in US society between “preferred-status” public and shunned private-sector employees, concluding that “Americans cannot maintain their essential faith in government if there are two Americas, in which the private sector subsidises the disproportionate benefits of this new public sector elite.” Is this most recent split in US society being cultivated to take the place of the Wall Street – Main Street dialectic, which even Obama is now forced to realize is a fight he is set to lose (just imagine how anti-Obama Cramer would get if stocks drop by 0.001% during the teleprompter’s next media appearance)?

Certainly, in a society that exists simply on the basis of a simple ongoing “us versus them” distraction, while the true crimes continue unabated behind the scenes, this is not an impossible assumption. Here’s a suggestion to Mort and whoever else wishes to peddle more such diversions: how about framing the next conflict where it rightfully belongs: as that between America’s people and its criminal ruling elite? Full Op-Ed below:

America’s public servants are now its masters
first published in the Financial Times by Mort Zuckerman

There really are two Americas, but they are not captured by the standard class warfare speeches that dramatise the gulf between the rich and the poor. Of the new divisions, one is the gap between employed and unemployed that President Barack Obama seeks to close with yet another $50bn stimulus programme. Another is between workers in the private and public sectors. No guesses which are the more protected. A recent study by the Mayo Research Institute found that “private-sector workers were nearly three times more likely to be jobless than public-sector workers”.

Political tension is bound to grow when jobs disappear faster in the private than the public sector, just as compensation in the former is squeezed more. There was a time when government work offered lower salaries than comparable jobs in the private sector, a difference for which the public sector compensated by providing more security and better benefits. No longer. These days, government employees are better off in almost every area: pay, benefits, time off and security, on top of working fewer hours. Public workers have become a privileged class – an elite who live better than their private-sector counterparts. Public servants have become the public’s masters.

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What Obama is up against in his own branch of Government

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by Russ Baker, TruthOut.org.
Posted originally November 10, 2009

AMERICANS HARBOR A QUAINT BELIEF THAT a new president takes charge of a government eagerly awaiting his orders. But there are huge power centers that have their own agendas.

The first anniversary of Barack Obama’s historic election finds many of his supporters already grousing. Fair enough: Obama has been more vigorous in some areas than others. But one essential question goes unasked: How much can any president accomplish against the wishes of recalcitrant power centers within his own government?

We Americans harbor a quaint belief that a new president takes charge of a government that eagerly awaits his next command. Like an orchestra conductor or perhaps a football coach, he can inspire or bludgeon and get what he wants. But that’s not how things work at the top, especially where “national security” is concerned. The Pentagon and CIA are powerful and independent fiefdoms characterized by entrenched agendas and constant intrigue. They are full of lifers, who see an elected president largely as an annoyance, and have ways of dealing with those who won’t come to heel.

Compound that with the Bush-Cheney administration’s aggressive seeding of its staunch loyalists throughout the bureaucracy, and you have a pretty tough situation. Obama, then, has to contend not only with the big donors and corporate lobbies. His biggest problem resides right inside his “team.”

The internal battles between American presidents and their national security establishments are not much reported. But if it is an invisible game; it is also a devious and even deadly one. Our civilian leaders end up mirroring the chronically nervous chiefs of state of the fragile democracies to our south.

Those who do not kowtow to the spies and generals have had a bumpy ride. FDR and Truman both faced insubordination. Dwight Eisenhower, who had served as chief of staff of the US Army, left the White House warning darkly about the “military industrial complex.” (He of all presidents had reasons to know.) John Kennedy was repeatedly countermanded and double-crossed by his own supposed subordinates. The Joint Chiefs baited him; Allen Dulles despised him (more so after JFK fired him over the Bay of Pigs fiasco), and Henry Cabot Lodge, his ambassador to South Vietnam, deliberately undermined Kennedy’s agenda. Kennedy called the trigger-happy generals “mad” and spoke angrily to aides of “scattering the CIA to the wind.” The evidence is growing that he suffered the consequences.

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