The American financial and bankster oligarchy, steeped in criminality and parasitism, can produce only a government of war, social reaction and repression. In its blind avarice, it is creating the conditions for unprecedented social upheavals. It is hurtling toward its own revolutionary demise at the hands of the working class.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
REVOLUTION SPREADS - More than Half of the Young People in Europe Would Join a "large-scale uprising"
More than half of young people in Europe would join a “large-scale uprising”
By Andre Damon
10 May 2017
It is not
every day that young people are asked by a major international agency
whether they want to participate in a “large-scale uprising.” But this is
exactly what the Union of European Broadcasters, the world’s largest alliance
of public TV stations, did in a survey of nearly one million people between the
ages of 18 and 35.
“Would you actively participate in a large scale uprising against the
generation in power if it happened in the next days or months?”, more than
half, 53 percent, said yes. In Greece and France, the figure was over 60
of the question seemed calculated to take the edge off the result,
intentionally muddying the issue with the hint of an inter-generational
conflict. But the responses to the other questions make clear the feelings that
animated young people in saying they would join an “uprising.” The survey found
that young people are overwhelmingly concerned about social inequality, oppose
war and sympathize with refugees.
whether “Banks and money rule the world,” nearly 9 out of 10 young people said
they agreed, out of more than 500,000 people who answered the question.
same lines, when respondents were asked whether the “gap between the rich and
the poor” is widening, 89 percent agreed.
whether “politicians are corrupt,” respondents were even more categorical, with
only 8 percent replying “No, very few of them are.” The overwhelming majority
responded with some form of “yes,” answering either “some are” or “virtually
all of them are.”
Grond, Head of Young Audiences at the Union of European Broadcasters, told the
WSWS that the figures showed a “catastrophic” collapse in trust in social
institutions. “Trust in the media, in politicians, in religious institutions,
these have all failed.
“A big part
of the young population is not feeling that politics are taking them into
consideration,” Grond said. “It’s about preserving the system, and there isn’t
a lot of change. And where there is change, it’s backwards.”
Asked if he
was surprised by the fact that so many young people said they would be willing
to participate in a “large-scale uprising,” Grond answered bluntly: “Not
really.” He said the poll showed that, despite their skeptical attitude toward
social institutions, young people are broadly optimistic about the future, and
“willing to participate” in political life. “Society is simply not giving them
a chance to show what they are capable of,” he said.
he was surprised by the broadly felt opposition to nationalism pervasive among
survey participants. “78 percent of young people in Germany said that
nationalism is growing and that this is a bad thing,” Grond noted. This
compared to just 11 percent who said the growth of nationalism was a positive
Significantly, in Germany, where the ruling class is engaged in a
campaign to rehabilitate nationalism and militarism—including by academics like Jorg Baberowski,
who has said that “Hitler was not cruel” and was “no psychopath”—more than two
thirds of young people said they would not be willing to fight in a war.
Europe, despite the relentless promotion of militarism and pro-war sentiments
by the media, more than half of young people said they would refuse to “fight
for [their] country.”
with Britain's June 23, 2016 referendum to leave the European Union, followed
by the election of the fascistic billionaire Donald Trump as US president in
November, the international media has been full of claims that the populations
of the world’s advanced countries are engulfed in an upsurge of nationalism,
militarism and right-wing sentiment.
shows something quite different. Asked whether they believe “immigration makes
for richer countries,” nearly three quarters said they agree.
figures beg the obvious question: Given a nearly total discrediting of official
politics, a general recognition that banks “rule the world,” widespread antiwar
sentiment, and broad opposition to nationalism and xenophobia, why are
right-wing, pro-austerity politicians advancing all over the world?
is to be found in the record of what passes for “left” politics. Here are just
a few examples:
* In the
2016 US presidential primary, Senator Bernie Sanders won 13.3 million votes by
declaring himself to be a “democratic socialist” opposed to the “billionaire
class.” The purpose of his campaign, however, was to maintain the political
authority of the Democratic Party. Sanders endorsed Clinton, the candidate of
Wall Street, after he was defeated in the primaries, ensuring that rhetorical
opposition to the status quo would be monopolized by Trump. He has since
campaigned throughout the country calling on young people and workers to back
the Democratic Party.
Syriza (the “Coalition of the Radical Left”) was elected in Greece in January
2015 on a wave of anti-austerity sentiment, the government of Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras dutifully imposed the austerity demands of the European Union.
Syriza and its international co-thinkers do not represent the interests of
workers and working-class youth, but privileged sections of the upper middle
* In the
most recent elections in France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Unsubmissive France)
received 7 million votes on the basis of his rhetorical opposition to
inequality and war. However, he worked to channel this sentiment behind the
political establishment. He refused to call for a boycott in the second round
of the election between Marine Le Pen of the fascistic National Front and the
ex-banker Emmanuel Macron, implicitly backing Macron, who supports the
expansion of war and a massive intensification of the assault on the working
REALITY ON THE JOBS SITUATION BEFORE THE BOOKS ARE COOKED:
"Moreover, the vast bulk of the new jobs created in April were once again in the cheap-labor service sector, where many workers receive poverty-level wages."
"Even more significant, the number of people not in the labor force actually rose by 162,000 last month, and the proportion of the population in the labor force fell by a tenth of a percent. At 62.8 percent, the labor force participation rate remains only marginally above a four-decade low."
US corporate profits up 13.9 percent on cost-cutting and low wages
By Barry Grey 9 May 2017
Former Obama administration officials joined the Trump administration and the media in hailing the April employment figures released Friday as proof that the US economy has reached “full employment” and essentially completed its “recovery” from the Great Recession.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 211,000 private-sector non-farm jobs in April and the official jobless rate dropped to 4.4 percent, the lowest level in more than a decade.
“JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” tweeted President Donald Trump. “Great news,” Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said on Twitter, adding later in a statement, “The steady and sustained increase in job creation equals new paychecks for American workers and income for American families.”
Jason Furman, the chief economic adviser in the Obama administration, said, “The momentum in the job market is really impressive.” The New York Times wrote that the report showed “a labor market closing in on full capacity,” particularly in “the country’s flourishing urban centers.”
On Monday, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester, speaking in Chicago, said, “We have met the maximum employment part of our mandate and inflation is nearing our 2 percent goal.”
The message from the ruling elite is clear: This is as good as it gets.
To present the jobs report as proof of a healthy economy, certain aspects of the report itself had to be downplayed or ignored, including the fact that average job creation so far this year, 185,000 a month, is actually lower than in 2014 and 2015. Even more significant, the number of people not in the labor force actually rose by 162,000 last month, and the proportion of the population in the labor force fell by a tenth of a percent. At 62.8 percent, the labor force participation rate remains only marginally above a four-decade low.
While the share of prime working age Americans (25 to 54) who are employed rose in April, it remains well below the level at the peak of the last economic cycle and even further below the level in 2000. This means there are
millions of working-age people who have been
effectively excluded from the job market as a
result of decades of factory closures and mass
layoffs, a process that has intensified since
the 2008 financial crash. These millions of
people, living on the edge of society, are not
even counted in the official unemployment
Moreover, the vast bulk of the new jobs created in April were once again in the cheap-labor service sector, where many workers receive poverty-level wages. The statistic that is perhaps most revealing about what is being presented as the “new normal” for a healthy economy is the miserable year-on-year average wage increase of 2.5 percent, barely above the official inflation rate.
Even in 2006 and 2007, annual wage growth for non-managerial workers of 4 percent or more was normal. That has been cut almost in half.
On Saturday, the same day the Wall Street Journal reported the April employment figures, the newspaper featured a front-page article on US corporate profits in the first three months of 2017 that pointed to the real driving forces of the new “full employment” economy. Profits at S&P 500 companies surged an estimated 13.9 percent in the first quarter, the biggest quarterly profit gain in five years.
At the heart of the profit bonanza, the Journal explained, was a relentless and ongoing drive to cut costs by holding down wages, cutting jobs and slashing spending on new plants and equipment. US big business, the newspaper wrote, was reaping “the benefits of years of belt-tightening” under conditions of a pickup in demand.
Because of the continuing focus on slashing costs, profits rose nearly twice as fast as revenue. Spending on equipment and buildings, i.e., productive investment, rose by a mere 1.5 percent in the first quarter. Half the sectors of the US economy actually cut capital spending from a year earlier.
The Journal provided some examples. Caterpillar, the heavy machinery giant, reported a quarterly sales increase of about 4 percent, while doubling its profit, excluding restructuring costs. The company has cut its global workforce by at least 16,000 since late 2015, a reduction of roughly 10 percent. It has closed or announced the shutdown of plants in South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Belgium.
The energy sector, partially recovering from the oil price collapse of previous years, saw a 31 percent rise in revenues from the year-ago period. Based on its ruthless cost-cutting over the past two years, including the elimination of over 200,000 jobs, the sector enjoyed a profit boost of 647 percent.
Exxon Mobil, whose former CEO Rex Tillerson is now Trump’s secretary of state, reported a doubling of its profits in the first quarter, while its capital expenditures dropped by 19 percent, as it “remained disciplined in its investment.”
Much of the cash being taken in by the top
corporations on this entirely regressive basis
is being funneled to big shareholders in the
form of dividends and stock buybacks.
On Sunday, the Financial Times devoted its “The Big Read” page to an article extolling the achievements of 3G Capital, an investment fund that partnered with Warren Buffett to buy the food conglomerate Heinz in 2013 and merge it with Kraft Foods two years later. What the newspaper called “The lean and mean approach of 3G” has resulted in more than 10,000 Heinz and Kraft workers—one-fifth of the work force—being laid off and seven factories closed down.
3G’s “brutal but disciplined attack on costs” produced a 58 percent surge in profits within two years, and a profit margin of 28 percent. This compares to an average profit margin in the food industry of 16 percent.
Such is the utterly parasitic secret to the much-touted “recovery” in the US economy and job market. A combination of speculation that feeds off of the destruction of productive forces and ever greater exploitation of the working class benefits a new aristocracy by impoverishing ever broader layers of the US and world population.
“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike,
has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.
This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen
WASHINGTON (AP) — On the day the White House threatened to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, emerged as a key conduit between the United States and Canada.
But his role has sparked a cross-border game of telephone and conflicting accounts about who called who first.
According to a White House official, aides to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Kushner urgently on April 26 after seeing news reports that Trump was considering signing an executive order withdrawing from NAFTA. Kushner, who has an expansive profile that includes foreign policy, speaks regularly to Canadian officials on a range of issues.
Kushner told his Canadian counterpart that this was a matter the leaders needed to discuss themselves, according to the White House official, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss private conversations. The Canadians asked when Trudeau should call. After checking at the White House, Kushner called back to say Trump was ready to talk now.
Trump has cited the call from Trudeau that quickly followed as the impetus for his decision to abandon the executive order and instead move to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico. The president also wielded the call from Trudeau, as well as a separate call from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, as proof that he has leverage over the other North American leaders as negotiations begin.
But accounts of Kushner’s involvement differed Monday in Canadian media reports. According to The Canadian Press news agency, it was Kushner who first reached out to Trudeau’s chief of staff to suggest a call between the two leaders.
Kushner, who worked as a real estate executive in New York before taking a job in the White House, is seen as a more moderate influence on the president. He’s also seen as more favorable to international trade agreements like NAFTA than some White House advisers, and a phone call from him to the Canadian prime minister could be viewed as an attempt to push Trump in his direction.
A spokeswoman for Trudeau declined comment.
IMMANENT COLLAPSE THE PENA-NIETO REGIME AND FALL TO THE LA RAZA DRUG CARTELS ON AMERICAN OPEN AND UNDEFENDED BORDERS.
More significant still, a former Mexican official, Jorge Castañeda, threatened to unleash Mexican cartels onto the U.S. to retaliate for deportations of illegal immigrants and the construction of a border wall.
“Mexico in a country whose four wealthiest billionaires control as much wealth as the bottom half of the population— the 65 million that live in poverty (which includes 13 million living in extreme poverty)—and where the top 10 percent as a whole accounts for 67 percent of Mexico’s national wealth.”
THE TRUMP WALL LIE! WAS IT THE FIRST BROKEN PROMISE?
"If true, it shows Trump being the ultimate cynic and not having the courage to state his true beliefs to the American public who elected him. That's always been my biggest problem with Trump: his lack of integrity and consistent belief system." ----- ED STRAKER
THE TRUMPER CIRCUS: SELLING US OUT ON A WAVE OF BROKEN PROMISES!
TRUMP BACK-PEDDLES ON LEGALS AND KEEPS OBAMA’S ILLEGAL AMNESTY OPERATING…. It’s all about keeping wages DEPRESSED!
“He's showing more empathy for illegal aliens than he is for American citizens. Shouldn't it be the concerns of Americans he should be considering first, before the feelings of illegals? These people are taking taxpayer money and American jobs, some committing crimes, and many are not assimilating and speaking English, and Trump wants them to stay?”
HILLARY AND OBAMA’S PAYMASTER:
NAFTA MAN GEORGE SOROS: GLOBAL LOOTER, GLOBAL PLUNDERER, GLOBAL TERRORIST and one man fascist movement!
“The terrorist suspect’s most recent efforts through “open society” foundations he funds are bringing globalist gunpowder plots to places like Poland and Armenia, in the long march to make the world safe for plutocracy
BARACK OBAMA PLANS A THIRD TERM: HIS CRONY BANKSTERS, LA RAZA, MUSLIMS AND THOSE MUSLIM DICTATORSHIPS HE FUNDED ARE BEHIND HIM…. Along with George Soros!
THE OBAMA COUP TO BE DICTATOR:
THE ARMY OF ILLEGALS TO BRING AMERICA DOWN AND FORM THE OBAMA MUSLIM-STYLE DICTATORSHIP THAT WILL BE OPEN BORDERS AND PRO LA RAZA FASCIST SUPREMACY.
Daniel Greenfield, the award-winning Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, believes (OBAMA'S POLITICAL PARTY) “OFA will be far more dangerous in the wild than the Clinton Foundation ever was.”
“Barack Obama and his henchmen would not have been emboldened in their
ostensible machinations to undermine an election and then a presidency if
it were not for the fecklessness of the Republican Party and the blind eye as well
as the tacit support of the mainstream media.”
THE LEGACY OF BARACK OBAMA:
Final Death of the American
White Middle Class
Under the Obama administration, more Americans have found themselves consigned to economic ghettos, living in neighborhoods where more than 40 percent subsist below the poverty level.
Millions more now live in “high poverty” districts of 20-40 percent poverty, according to recently released report by the Brookings Institution.
THE OBAMA BOOK DEAL: Sixty-five million dollars—or even $267.5 million—is a small price to pay for the contribution the former president made to enriching the already fabulously rich, defending the American ruling elite’s geopolitical interests around the world and continuing the assault on the wages, benefits and living standards of the working class.
study shows 20-year gap between richest and poorest US counties
By Naomi Spencer
10 May 2017
The growth of social inequality is manifested in every facet of
American life, including the health and lifespans of individuals. Inequality in
life expectancy has grown substantially since 1980, a new study published May 8
in the American Medical Association’sJAMA: Internal Medicineconfirms. The study documents
“large—and increasing—geographic disparities among counties in life expectancy
over the past 35 years.”
Researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for
Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Erasmus University in the Netherlands
analyzed death records and population counts from all US counties.
Their study, “Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties,
1980 to 2014: Temporal Trends and Key Drivers,” drew data from the National
Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), along with population counts from the US
Census Bureau, NCHS, and the Human Mortality Database. This data set allows for
a fuller picture of the scale of inequality in life expectancy that other
recent research has shown. (The IHME maintains aninteractive county-level map)
The study found that in 2014 life expectancy at birth for both
sexes at the national level was 79.1 years (76.7 years for men and 81.5 years
for women). The combined average amounts to a 5.3-year growth in life
expectancy over the 1980 average of 73.8 years.
Behind this overall growth in lifespan, however, the study found a
staggering 20.1-year gap between the lowest and highest life expectancy among
all US counties.
Three wealthy counties in central Colorado—Summit, Eagle, and
Pitkin—recorded the longest life expectancies in the country, at 86 years on average.
At the other end of the spectrum, several counties in South and North Dakota
had the lowest life expectancy, along with “counties along the lower half of
the Mississippi [the Delta region] and in eastern Kentucky and southwestern
West Virginia,” the study found. These areas “saw little, if any, improvement”
since 1980. Thirteen counties registered a decline in life expectancy.
In the Dakotas, several of the shortest-lived counties encompass
Native American reservations. Oglala Lakota County in South Dakota, home to the
Pine Ridge Native American reservation, had the lowest life expectancy in the
country in 2014, at just 66.8 years. In a press release, the IHME researchers
noted that this was lower than the life expectancies of Sudan and Iraq—countries
that have been torn apart by brutal wars over the course of decades.
“Looking at life expectancy on a national level masks the massive
differences that exist at the local level, especially in a country as diverse
as the United States,” lead author Laura Dwyer-Lindgren of IHME explained.
“Risk factors like obesity, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and smoking
explain a large portion of the variation in lifespans, but so do socioeconomic
factors like race, education, and income.”
The study found that all counties saw a decline in the risk of
dying before age 5 since 1980, attributable to improvements in health programs
for infants and children. At the same time, the data showed an increased risk
of death for adults aged 25-45 in 11.5 percent of counties, a phenomenon
partially explained by the rise in suicides and drug addiction.
Although the research points to “a combination of socioeconomic
and race/ethnicity factors, behavioral and metabolic risk factors, and health
care factors” to account for the disparities in life expectancy, all of the
factors intersect with poverty. It is not a coincidence that the poorest areas
recorded the shortest life expectancies and the wealthiest areas recorded the
Risk factors like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking,
and physical inactivity are highly correlated to poverty, unemployment and lack
of education. In areas where the population lacks access to preventive care or
they cannot afford basic health care, chronic conditions become debilitating.
Cancers go undetected, mental illness is undiagnosed, pregnancies are carried
without adequate prenatal care, heart disease is untreated, and work-related
injuries are managed with highly addictive pain medications instead of physical
therapy and rest.
Of the 10 counties where lifespans fell the most since 1980, eight
are in the coalfields region of eastern Kentucky: Owsley (-3 percent); Lee (-2
percent); Leslie (-1.9 percent); Breathitt (-1.4 percent); Clay (-1.3 percent);
Powell (-1.1 percent); Estill (-1 percent); Perry County, Kentucky (-0.8
percent). Kiowa County, Oklahoma, (-0.7 percent), and Perry County, Alabama,
(-0.6 percent) round out the list of counties where life expectancy declined
Residents of Owsley County, Kentucky saw a decline in life
expectancy from 72.4 in 1980 to 70.2 in 2014—comparable to the life expectancy
in Kyrgyzstan or North Korea.
Owsley County was found by a 2016Al
be the poorest white-majority county in the US. Some 45 percent of the county’s
4,500 residents, and 56.3 percent of children, live below the poverty
threshold. Official unemployment stands at 10 percent, but with only 35 percent
of the working age population included in the labor force, real unemployment is
approaching 75 percent. Per capita income as of 2015 stands at $15,158,
according to federal Census Bureau data.
As with the rest of the Appalachian coalfields region, the
counties where life expectancy has dropped have seen every metric of economic
and social well-being decline over the past several decades. Coal mining
employment in eastern Kentucky has fallen to levels not seen in a century. With
hundreds of mines shuttered, counties have lost so-called coal-severance tax
revenue paid by companies per ton of coal extracted. Thousands of families have
left in search of work, triggering a further collapse in the tax base for local
governments, school districts, and social programs. The elimination of
thousands of coal mining jobs has left mostly low-wage occupations for residents.
Lee County, second to Owsley in terms of the decline in life
expectancy, is home to “America’s poorest white town”—Beattyville, Kentucky,
the county seat. Beattyville has seen an explosion of opioid addiction since
the closure of its few coalmines and decline of the oil and timber industries.
The median household income in the town stands at $14,871, less than a third of
the national median. Like its measure of life expectancy, Lee County’s
household income is lower today than it was in 1980.
Kentucky and neighboring West Virginia have among the highest
opioid overdose rates in the country, with the coalfields counties especially
hard-hit. In 2013, drug overdoses accounted for 56 percent of all accidental
deaths in Kentucky; the state’s death rate for overdoses is 29.9 per 100,000.
In the eastern counties, emergency services are less able to reach and save
overdose victims and health providers have struggled to afford lifesaving
anti-opioid treatments like Narcan.
The Mexican Invasion & Occupation