Friday, July 6, 2018


"The kind of people needed for violent change 

these days are living in off-the-grid rural 

compounds, or the “gangster paradise” where the 

businesses of drugs, guns, and prostitution are 

much more lucrative than “transforming” America

along Cuban lines." BRUCE THORNTON





"The report was drafted in conjunction with a survey conducted among nearly 1,000 banking and business executives, government officials and academics, which found that 93 percent of them feared a worsening of confrontations between the major powers in 2018. Fully 79 percent foresaw a heightened threat of a major “state-on-state” military conflict."


The disintegration of California, a Mexican satellite welfare state of poverty, crime and high taxes

"Chairman of the DNC Keith Ellison was even spotted wearing a shirt stating, "I don't believe in borders" written in Spanish.

According to a new CBS news poll, 63 percent of Americans in competitive congressional districts think those crossing illegally should be immediately deported or arrested.  This is undoubtedly contrary to the views expressed by the Democratic Party.

Their endgame is open borders, which has become evident over the last eight years.  Don't for one second let them convince you otherwise." Evan Berryhill Twitter @EvBerryhill.


Barack Obama created more debt for the middle class than any president in US history, and also had the only huge QE programs: $4.2 Trillion.

OXFAM reported that during Obama’s terms, 95% of the wealth created went to the top 1% of the world’s wealthy. 

"These figures present a scathing indictment of the social order that prevails in America, the world’s wealthiest country, whose government proclaims itself to be the globe’s leading democracy. They are just one manifestation of the human toll taken by the vast and all-pervasive inequality and mass poverty. 


…. How many illegals are occupying and looting your state now?





American middle-class is addicted, poor, jobless and suicidal…. Thank the corrupt government for surrendering our borders to 40 million looting Mexicans and then handing the bills to middle America?


“While drug distributors have paid a total of $400 million in fines over the past 10 years, their combined revenue during this same period was over $5 trillion.”

“Opioids have ravaged families and devastated communities across the country. Encouraging their open use undermines the rule of law and will do nothing to quell their continued abuse, let alone the problems underlying mass addiction.”

 “Liberal governing has transformed beautiful California into the poverty capital of America with the worst quality of life.  Crazy taxes, crazy high cost of living, and crazy overreaching regulations have crushed the middle class, forcing the middle class to exit the Sunshine State.  All that is left in California are illegals feeding at the breast of the state, rapidly growing massive homeless tent cities, and the mega-rich.” LLOYD MARCUS

"The economic result of mass unemployment and the spread of low-wage and part-time jobs is a substantial increase in poverty. According to the report, poverty has increased significantly throughout the OECD. Before the financial crash of 2008, 9.6 percent of the population earned below 50 percent of the median household disposable income. By 2016, this figure had risen to 10.6 percent."


Do today's "woke" leftists really have the guts?


Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
President Trump’s recent string of wins ––especially the victories in the Supreme Court decisions and the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy–– has incited the Democrat “resistance” to even loonier excesses of rhetoric and rudeness. Celebrities indulging juvenile vulgarities, boorish protestors harassing cabinet members in public spaces, the twitterverse smoldering with calls for violence and a “summer of rage,” and the buffoonish Representative from California Maxine Waters calling for even more public harassment: all have some people worrying that we are on the track of escalating violence that will turn the “cold civil war” hot.
Count me as skeptical for now. As bad as today’s political discord may seem, American history from its beginnings has been filled with worse political conflict and violence, from Shays’ Rebellion to Bleeding Kansas, from the Wall Street bombing to the Haymarket Riot. And having spent more than forty years in the university, the nursery of leftism and today’s parlor pinks, I see few people with the gumption to actually back their blustering threats with risky action.
Any claims that we are living on the brink of civil conflict inflamed by violent political rhetoric must answer the question, compared to when? The Sixties and Seventies saw urban riots that killed hundreds, wounded thousands, and caused millions of dollars in damages. Politically motivated kidnappings and shootouts were endemic. The 1968 protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago featured televised vicious battles between the police on one side, and antiwar protestors and left-wing groups like the Yippies and Students for a Democratic Society on the other. A jumpy national guard contingent killed four student protestors at Kent State. During this same period, thousands of bombings from a plethora of radical groups took place ––according to a 1970 Senate investigation, more than 4,300 just between January 1969 and April 1970, killing 43 and inflicting $22 billion in damage. And presidential primary candidate Robert Kennedy and civil rights icon Martin Luther King were assassinated. 
And what are we fretting over? Vulgar insults on late-night television, a rhetoric of violence used by people who have never fired a weapon, public rudeness to politicians, anonymous threats and virtual stalking, and other forms of bullying perpetrated mostly by well-fed people of leisure who have no intention of risking their lives and possessions for their zombie leftism. Of course, these sorts of attacks can be disturbing to the victims, and any credible threat of violence should be taken seriously by the authorities and investigated. But the worst of what we’re seeing is still light-years from the assassinations and bombings of 50 years ago. And don’t forget, that leftist violence of the Sixties and Seventies created a backlash that helped elect Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Our dearth of that sort of genuine violence may be why we try to elevate murders by psychopaths––like the ones who fired on the Republican congressional baseball team last year, or more recently a Baltimore newsroom––into acts of political violence stoked by ideological conflicts. In reality they’re no more political than was the paranoid loser Travis Bickle’s rampage in the movie Taxi Driver. In contrast, the violence of the Sixties was perpetrated by self-styled revolutionaries whose acts were the consequence of their conscious beliefs in revolutionary violence as the justified means to an ideological end. They were psychopaths with seemingly rational and respected arguments, infinitely more dangerous than your typical school-shooter egged on by his private demons and paranoid hallucinations. 
Compared to the Weathermen, the Symbionese Liberation Army, or the SDS of the Sixties and Seventies, our violent “resistance” comprises mostly posers and day-trippers like Antifa. The level of their violence, mostly against property, does not reach that of soccer hooligans, let alone the daily mayhem in inner-city hell-holes. And unlike the ’68 protestors in Chicago, who faced beat-downs from the police, these days protestors know the police don’t want to risk their jobs by using the force necessary to deter such antics. They also know that most of those arrested don’t face serious legal consequences. Their “resistance” is more like theater for iPhone and news cameras, rather than the serious violence that radicals in the Sixties committed. 
Today’s “activists,” then, are performing in a revolutionary operetta that isn’t really about radical change, but about making a fashion statement and preening morally. Of course, they may seem “passionate” about their beliefs, and even believe they really are, but the true test of commitment is not attending a demonstration to provide selfies for your Facebook page, nor blustering comments and threats on an online site, nor browbeating your MAGA-hatted aunt at Thanksgiving, nor verbally bullying a cabinet member out for a meal. This is not Yeats’ “passionate intensity” that he saw in the political religions and their violence in the Thirties, but a cheap knock-off that substitutes a “revolutionary” pose and attitude for the real deal. It’s revolution in the virtual world, where flourish the images and rhetoric that make us think a violent civil war is looming. Meaningful commitment is the willingness to get blood on your hands.
Typical of this symbolic and gestural “radicalism” is the latest mascot of the “woke” resistance, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat the fourth ranking Democrat in the House in a New York district primary. This daughter of an architect, denizen of tony Westchester County, and Boston University grad styles herself as a “working class girl from the Bronx” and a committed socialist. But she’s really what the Mexican kids I grew up with called a gringada, a Latina culturally indistinguishable from a white girl. Her ethnicity is a costume she uses to make herself attractive to her half-Latino district. As Daniel Greenfield writes,  she’s “an upscale lefty hipster drifting after college from one activist gig to another, developing the contacts that put her in the right place at the right time. These are the bios of ten thousand professional lefties who infest the non-profit sector. They’re all angry, self-righteous and interchangeable.” 
In other words, an aspiring race-tribune like the ancient Roman variety, the aristocrats on the make who professed to champion the cause of the plebs in order to advance up the cursus honorum of political power. The difference is, many a Roman tribune fought and died in the Forum in pursuit of their revolutionary reforms. Our race tribunes can look forward to dying in their comfortable beds with a fat 401K or state pension, all funded by the wealth free-market capitalism has created. Just ask Bernie Sanders, today’s “socialist” Pied Piper whose “activism” has made him a millionaire.
Careerist hipster “activists” like Ocasio-Cortez are not the sort of leaders who can galvanize the masses for violent revolution, no more than are geriatric plutocrats like Nancy Pelosi or George Soros, or political ventriloquist’s dummies like Bill Maher or Joe Scarborough. And their “woke” ersatz-socialist fans are just like them: well-fed court jesters for the rich and powerful of the Acela corridor, lap-dogs who will snarl and nip but know exactly where to sit in order to snatch the scraps dropped from the tables of the bipartisan power elite. They know better than to risk biting the hands that feed them by actually fighting with bombs and guns rather than safely blogging and protesting while the police stand down, and the fellow-traveling media advertise their “commitment” and “passion.”
Nor are today’s “woke” millennials the budding shock-troops of the revolution. Snowflakes of uncertain “gender” and vulnerable to verbal “microagressions” are not promising recruits for class warfare. Guys who’ve never been punched in the face and fret over their “toxic masculinity” won’t make it through Marxist boot-camp. The kind of people needed for violent change these days are living in off-the-grid rural compounds, or the “gangster paradise” where the businesses of drugs, guns, and prostitution are much more lucrative than “transforming” America along Cuban lines. 
So let’s calm down a bit with the rhetoric of impending violence. When we discover that sizable battalions of organized, disciplined “resistance” outfits are stockpiling guns and ammo, importing illegal armaments, spending time at the range learning which end of the gun to point, and figuring out how to build bombs by studying jihadist websites, then we’ll need to take them more seriously. And do something about.
This doesn’t mean civil violence is impossible. But if political violence returns to the streets of America, it’s unlikely to come from aging hippies and entitled millennials who treat politics like performance art, which is the luxury of well-fed consumers with ample leisure time and discretionary wealth. It will more likely come on the heels of economic dislocation and dwindling wealth to redistribute. And while today we are fighting the rhetoric wars over trivial “scandals” and lurid predictions of democracy’s demise, we are creating the conditions for such economic disorder by our feckless policies of unsustainable entitlement spending, rising deficits, and metastasizing debt. Those fiscal chickens may be coming home to roost in just a couple of decades.
Moreover, the social disorder of a serious economic downturn may be more extreme for us. The greater affluence that we take for granted will make the decline in living standards even more intolerable than in the past. Then we may painfully learn the wisdom in Thucydides’ timeless warning about how people in times of wealth and comfort––such as we are enjoying now with the economy booming and full employment–– find it easier to indulge revolutionary words and gestures, rather than take lethal revolutionary action. But when they “fall under the dominion of imperious necessities,” whether because of war or, what is more likely in our case, economic deprivation, the ensuing breakdown in order can “take away the comfortable provision of daily life.” War or want becomes a “hard master and tends to assimilate men’s characters to their conditions.” That is, in the lean years we may find ourselves capable of brutal actions we’d never consider during the fat years. Right now, the antics of the “resistance” are affordable luxuries for the richest cohort of young people in human history. Let that affluence disappear, and rhetoric indulged in times of comfort can turn to lethal violence and the temptation of collectivist solutions that have paved the road to tyranny in the past.
If we’re really worried about civil violence coming to our streets, let’s do something about the economic dysfunctions that are insidiously making possible the conditions for such violence. That’s a more credible threat than are the social media tantrums and potty-talk of spoiled brats.



"Mexican president candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador called for mass immigration to the United States, declaring it a "human right". We will defend all the (Mexican) invaders in the American," Obrador said, adding that immigrants "must leave their towns and find a life, job, welfare, and free medical in the United States."

"Fox’s Tucker Carlson noted Thursday that Obrador has previously proposed granting AMNESTY TO MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS. “America is now Mexico’s social safety net, and that’s a very good deal for the Mexican ruling class,” Carlson added."

Feds Bust Mexican Cartel Ammo Smuggling Scheme in Texas

McALLEN, Texas — Federal agents arrested a legal permanent resident from Mexico who bought 5,000 rounds of ammunition for smuggling into the Mexican border city of Matamoros — the scene of large-scale internecine Gulf Cartel gun battles.

The arrest took place over the weekend when 48-year-old Ruben Ramos Beltran went to a local gun store and bought 5,000 rounds of ammunition, a criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. Authorities describe the man as a Mexican national who is a legal resident in Texas. Homeland Security Investigations was carrying out a surveillance operation at the local gun store and spotted Ramos pick up an order of 5,000 rounds of 7.62×39 ammunition, a type typically used in AK-47 type rifles which are heavily favored by cartel gunmen.
The agents followed Ramos and had a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputy carry out a traffic stop on the vehicle. During the stop, the man told the deputy he had ammunition in the vehicle and agreed to a search. The HSI, along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, pulled up to the scene to interview Ramos. The man told the agents that he was taking the ammunition to a storage room in Brownsville. From there, another man would take it into Mexico. Ramos claimed he would be paid $400 for his part.
Immediately south of Brownsville is Matamoros, Tamaulipas, the bastion of one of the factions of the Gulf Cartel. As Breitbart Texas has been reporting, for more than a year, the faction from Matamoros has been fighting with rival factions to take control of the border city of Reynosa and their lucrative drug trafficking and human smuggling routes. The fighting has led to more than 500 murders and executions since May 2017.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at
Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at
A global economic “recovery” without wage increases

By Patrick Martin

6 July 2018
A report issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) July 4 finds what hundreds of millions of workers are experiencing in their daily lives: nearly a decade after the worst financial crash since the Great Depression of the 1930s, wages are stagnating and the benefits of economic “recovery” are going to the corporate elite.
The OECD countries—26 in Europe plus the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Israel and Turkey—accounted for more than 60 percent of world GDP in 2017. The grouping includes seven of the ten largest national economies, excluding only China, India and Brazil.
The report begins with an editorial bearing the striking headline: “Wageless growth: Is this time different?” It points to the fact that the current economic “recovery” differs from previous rebounds from capitalist slumps, because despite lower unemployment rates and a record number of job vacancies in the euro area, the United States and Australia, “wage growth is still missing in action.”
The bulk of the 300-page document is devoted to drilling down into the figures detailing the paradox of “tight” labor markets and stagnant wages in country after country, as well as selected industry groups, but the basic conclusion appears early on: wages are being held down because of the lingering effects of the 2008 crash and the proliferation of low-wage and part-time jobs, particularly for those workers who were laid off in the worst years of the economic crisis.
The initial editorial states, “involuntary part-time employment has risen significantly in a number of countries since the crisis, and this has been accompanied by a deterioration in the relative earnings of part-time workers.”
The report underscores the fact that the 2008 global financial crisis was used by the capitalist class and governments of every stripe around the world to accelerate the decades-long assault on the social position of the working class. In country after country, higher paid full-time positions with a modicum of job protection and health and pension benefits have increasingly been replaced with low-wage and precarious employment.
The executive summary declares that despite the return of average unemployment rates across the OECD countries to pre-2008 levels, “nominal wage growth remains significantly lower than it was before the crisis for comparable levels of unemployment.”
Nominal wage growth has slowed from 4.8 percent per year before the financial crash to only 2.1 percent, less than half. Because of slowing inflation, real wage growth has fallen somewhat less, from 2.2 percent per year to 1.2 percent. But even this slowdown is colossal: a full percentage point per year, over the decade since the crash, accumulates to trillions of dollars in lost wage increases.
The executive summary admits, “Real median wage growth in most OECD countries has not kept pace with labor productivity growth over the past two decades, partly reflecting declines in the share of value added going to labor—i.e., the labor share.”
As the report states later, “If real median wages had perfectly tracked productivity growth over 1995-2014, they would have been 13 percent higher at the end of the period.”
This amounts to an acknowledgement that one of the main claims of the apologists for capitalism—that rising productivity growth will translate into rising wages and living standards—is a lie. In fact, the capitalist class has not only captured all of the increased wealth generated by rising productivity; it has made use of its dominant role in the economy to actually claw back from workers gains in living standards made in an earlier period.
The decline in median wage growth is compounded of two factors: a declining share for labor income overall, and greater inequality in the distribution of wages across the labor force.
According to the OECD report, the aggregate labor share of economic output for 24 of the 36 OECD countries, those that were members throughout the past two decades, fell from 71.5 percent to 68 percent, a decline of 3.5 percentage points.
The labor share fell by the largest amount in the United States, a staggering eight percentage points, while it remained the same or increased slightly in France, Britain and Italy and several of the smaller OECD countries.
Besides the United States, Greece and Spain showed the worst results, falling two points or more below the pre-crisis employment rate, and showing the biggest increases in labor market insecurity, a measure of how far a worker’s wages would fall after being laid off and then rehired to another job.
Even these figures, devastating as they are, conceal some of the decline in the position of the working class, since OECD figures count all salaries as wage income, whether they are paid to minimum-wage workers or corporate CEOs. As the report’s editorial admits, “Real labor incomes of the top 1% of income earners have increased much faster than those of median full-time workers in recent years, reinforcing a longstanding trend.”
The editorial continues, openly worrying about the political consequences, albeit in cautiously understated terms: “This, in turn, is contributing to a growing dissatisfaction by many about the nature, if not the strength, of the recovery; while jobs are finally back only some fortunate few at the top are also enjoying improvements in earnings and job quality.”
The OECD report identifies the primary mechanism for holding down wage increases and lowering the labor share of national income as the spread of low-wage and part-time jobs. This is particularly prevalent among workers who experienced a significant period of joblessness in the period immediately after the 2008 financial crisis, or during the debt crisis that afflicted such European countries as Greece, Ireland, Spain and Italy.
The report notes, “There has a been a significant worsening of the earnings of part-time workers relative to that of full-time workers associated with the rise of involuntary part-time employment in a number of countries. Moreover, the comparatively low wages of workers who have recently experienced spells of unemployment, combined with still high unemployment rates in some countries, have pushed up the number of lower-paid workers, thereby lowering average wage growth.”
This is compounded by the erosion of social safety net programs such as unemployment compensation. The OECD report notes than only one-third of jobless workers were eligible for unemployment benefits overall. The figure for the United States would be far lower.
The economic result of mass unemployment and the spread of low-wage and part-time jobs is a substantial increase in poverty. According to the report, poverty has increased significantly throughout the OECD. Before the financial crash of 2008, 9.6 percent of the population earned below 50 percent of the median household disposable income. By 2016, this figure had risen to 10.6 percent.
Again, an apparently small numerical increase, compounded across the nearly two billion people living in the OECD countries, means tens of millions more people living in acute poverty. (For the United States, 50 percent of median household income would be $24,500, about the same as the official poverty line for a family of four).
In its overall perspective and policy recommendations, the OECD report does not stray beyond the bounds of conventional bourgeois economics. It does not acknowledge that the figures it presents amount to an admission that the capitalist system has failed. Instead, it proposes to muddle along through cautious bureaucratic maneuvering.
The report even suggests that trade unions can ameliorate the impact of the crisis: “Co-operation and co-ordination among social partners have a key role to play in addressing these challenges, but this requires addressing the long-term trend decline in union membership and eroding role of collective bargaining in a number of countries.”
Such language simply ignores the actual role of the trade unions and collective bargaining, which have served to reduce rather than increase labor’s share of national income throughout the period in question. In other words, the corporatist role of the unions (“social partnership” in OECD jargon), helped the capitalists slash wages during crises and hold down any rebound in pay during the supposed “recovery.”
The immense transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top since the 2008 crash was only possible because of the suppression of working-class resistance by the trade unions. In the US, for example, the number of major work stoppages between 2008 and 2017 was the fewest for any decade since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording figures in 1947. The explosive growth of social inequality, however, is fueling the resurgence of the class struggle around the world.
It is, of course, entirely beyond the purview of the well-paid bureaucrats at the OECD to draw any radical conclusions from an economic situation that is both dire and growing worse. But workers can draw their own conclusions, not from the dry pages of an economic report, but from their own lives. There is no time to be lost in the mobilization of the working class, as an independent political force, to fight for a socialist and revolutionary alternative to the capitalist system.

Ten years after the Wall Street crash, record stock buybacks and mergers

5 July 2018
Ten years after the financial collapse of 2008, the US economy is more dependent on inflated share values and financial manipulation than ever. The enrichment of the financial oligarchy on the basis of parasitism and fraud has been facilitated by government actions, first under Obama and now under Trump.
On June 28, the US Federal Reserve announced that the six largest US banks—JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley—all passed their annual stress test, designed to assess the stability of banks in a time of financial crisis. With this decision the Fed gave these Wall Street giants the go-ahead to dole out $125 billion in stock buybacks and dividend increases to their shareholders.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that prior to issuing the results of the stress tests, the Fed took the unprecedented action of warning Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley that they were about to flunk their tests and offering them a deal to avoid outright failure and continue their multi-billion-dollar payouts to big investors.
According to estimates from the United Nations and the Guttmacher Institute, $125 billion would provide education to every child in the world without one ($26 billion), feed the 815 million chronically hungry people in the world ($30 billion), provide free maternal and prenatal care to every mother in the developing world ($13 billion), and prevent 4 million malaria deaths through vaccines and treatment ($6 billion). This would still leave $50 billion to house America’s homeless population, rebuild Flint, Michigan’s water system and restore funding to the arts.
The day before the Fed’s announcement, on June 27, the US Department of Justice approved Disney’s $71 billion bid for 21st Century Fox. The resulting company will control 50 percent of movie box office revenue, according to the New York Times. The Writers Guild of America estimates that it will control 30 percent of US scripted TV programming.
This is only the latest action in the accelerating concentration of economic power into fewer and fewer hands. The Disney-Fox merger follows the $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner, creating a communications and entertainment behemoth that controls much of the infrastructure of modern telecommunications and the content produced by television and film studios. This so-called vertical merger will set off a scramble by mega-monopolies such as Google, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon to hook up with other telecoms to consolidate all of entertainment, news and the means of their distribution in the hands of a few giant corporations.
One result of the growing wave of mergers is brutal cost-cutting, downsizing and the elimination of tens of thousands of jobs. A pending merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the United States, is expected to cost 20,000 jobs in the US.
Both stock buybacks and mergers and acquisitions are hitting new heights. The first quarter of 2018 set a quarterly record for stock buybacks, $242.1 billion. However, this number was dwarfed by the flood of buybacks in the second quarter, with companies announcing $433.6 billion in share repurchases. Buybacks will likely surpass $1 trillion this year.
Last year was the biggest year ever for mergers and acquisitions. Likewise, the first quarter of 2018 saw the largest total value of mergers and acquisitions in the US for any first quarter--$1.2 trillion worth of deals--putting 2018 on track for a new record.
Stock buybacks are a parasitic financial mechanism. They take money out of productive, job-creating investment, whether it be for new factories, schools or roads, or for research and development, and use it to boost the value of the stock market. To an unprecedented extent the entire economy is geared to enabling billionaire oligarchs to purchase more and bigger yachts, mansions and private jets and indulge in the useless luxuries with which the ultra-rich preoccupy themselves.
A frenzy of stock buybacks, dividend increases and mergers and acquisitions—this is where the hundreds of billions of dollars that corporations gained through Trump’s tax cut for the rich are going. The policies of the government and the big business political parties—both of which are controlled by the oligarchy—are facilitating its plundering of society.
A graph from Deloitte, pictured in Figure 2, shows that since the 1980s the US economy has evinced a trend toward declining capital formation coupled with expanding stock buybacks. While the data shows the volatility of this process, the trend line is clear. This shift toward rewarding shareholders at the expense of productive investment is bound up with the general economic decline of the United States, its increased financialization and the assault on the working class.
Over the past decade, vital social services have been cut or left woefully underfunded, while social services such as education have been increasingly privatized.
Trump’s 2019 budget will cut the Department of Education by $3.7 billion, the Department of Housing and Urban Development by $6.8 billion and the Environmental Protection Agency by 25 percent, or $2.8 billion. It will reduce food stamps and federal housing assistance by about a quarter over the next decade, and cut Medicare by 7.1 percent. At the same time, military spending is being massively increased, with both parties voting overwhelmingly for a near-record Pentagon budget of $695 billion this year.
While the value of the stock market has increased four-fold over the past decade, under Obama and Trump the workers’ share of the gross domestic product sharply declined and then flattened. The declining share of wealth hits the most vulnerable sections of the working class the hardest, evidenced by the growing opioid crisis (with 116 people dying a day), declines in life expectancy in 2016 and 2017, and a 25 percent surge in the suicide rate over the past 17 years.
In 2008, the financial oligarchy plunged the country into the worst recession since the 1930s. Millions of people lost their jobs, their homes and their life savings.
The focus of government economic and social policy was to enable the rich and the super-rich to recoup their losses and add to their wealth. Hence the trillions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bank bailouts, the super-low interest rates and the money-printing operation known as “quantitative easing.” The other side of this process was brutal austerity and wage-cutting directed against the working class.
These measures have not solved any of the underlying economic problems; they have only exacerbated them. As suggested by a recent CNBC article, “Companies buying back their own shares is the only thing keeping the stock market afloat right now,” these policies have set the stage for an even deeper crisis of the capitalist system.
There can be no resolution to any social problem confronting the population in the United States and internationally outside of a frontal assault on the wealth of the financial elite. It is a cancer on the human race, infecting every governing body and every institution of the state. The political system is controlled by this social layer, which uses a portion of its economic plunder to bribe politicians and government officials, whether Democratic or Republican.
If the past decade has demonstrated anything, it is that the ruling class has no solution to the crisis of capitalism. Everything it has done has only prepared the way for new disasters. The working class must advance its own, revolutionary response.
Gabriel Black

Poll: Immigration Trumps Economy as Voters’ Top Issue Ahead of Midterms

Dueling demonstrators on immigration display signs and t-shirts saying "Abolish ICE" and "Build a Wall."
Drew Angerer/Getty, Ted S. Warren/AP

Immigration is the most important issue shaping Americans’ votes before November’s midterm elections, according to apoll released Thursday from Reuters/Ipsos.

Across a poll of 2,252 registered voters, 14.8 percent identified immigration as the most important issue determining their vote. The economy was selected as the top issue among 13.9 percent of polled registered voters.
Reuters highlighted the following results from its poll, in which registered voters were polled between June 28 and July 2:
  • Nearly fifteen percent of the poll’s respondents said immigration was the primary issue that would determine their votes in November.
  • Nearly fourteen percent of the poll’s respondents said the economy was the primary issue shaping their November votes.
  • Nearly twenty-six percent of registered Republican identified immigration as their primary issue of concern likely to determine their votes, an increase of 14 percentage points relative to a similar poll conducted in early June.
  • Over fifteen percent of registered Democrats identified healthcare as their primary issue of concern, making it Democrats’ top issue.
  • Fourteen percent of registered Democrats listed the economy as their primary issue of concern
  • Less than seven percent of registered Democrats selected immigration as their top issue of concern
A partisan divide exists on attitudes toward President Donald Trump’s views on immigration, with 81 percent of Republicans approving the president’s approach to the issue with 84 percent of Democrats disapproving.
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