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.
Asked, “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 percent.
The phrasing 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.
Asked 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.
Along the same lines, when respondents were asked whether the “gap between the rich and the poor” is widening, 89 percent agreed.
Asked 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.”
Thomas 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.
Grond 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 development.
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.
Throughout 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.”
Beginning 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.
The survey shows something quite different. Asked whether they believe “immigration makes for richer countries,” nearly three quarters said they agree.
These 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?
The answer 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.
* After 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 class.
* 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 class.


"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





global looters of the poor!

Jared Kushner, Justin Trudeau Teamed Up to Save NAFTA



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.


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.”


"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





all about keeping wages DEPRESSED!

Says the “WALL” will now be only “NO TRESSPASSING” signs posted every hundred miles!
“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?”




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




BEHIND HIM…. Along with George Soros!



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.”


 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.

Life expectancy 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’s JAMA: Internal Medicine confirms. 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 an interactive 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 longest lifespans.
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 the most.
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 2016 Al Jazeera analysis to 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.

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