Wednesday, August 1, 2018



No one should take Trump’s performances on border security, jobs for legals or his pretend wall seriously. No more seriously than the rest of his twitter drivel.

TRUMP WAS NEVER GOING TO BUILD THE WALL….after all he hires ILLEGALS to tend to SWAMP PALACE at Mar-a-lago! 

Trump plans a $100 billion tax bonus for the rich

By Niles Niemuth
1 August 2018
Niles Niemuth is the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US Congress in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District. To sign up to get involved in the SEP campaign, visit
The Trump administration is planning to provide the American ruling elite with a windfall of $100 billion through changes to Treasury Department rules for how capital gains taxes are calculated.
According to a New York Times report published Monday, Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is considering using the department’s regulatory powers to allow for inflation to be considered in determining capital gains tax liabilities. The windfall for the rich would be effected by administratively redefining the word “cost,” thereby bypassing any legislative role for Congress.
“If it can’t get done through a legislation process, we will look at what tools at Treasury we have to do it on our own and we’ll consider that,” Mnuchin told reporters last month during a meeting of G-20 finance ministers in Argentina. “We are studying that internally, and we are also studying the economic costs and the impact on growth.”
A proposal for a unilateral move by the Treasury Department to change the calculation of the capital gains tax had been considered and rejected as unconstitutional by the Republican George H.W. Bush administration in 1992. But it has been revived and is being promoted by Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and right-wing anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist.
This latest plan to plunder the economy to make the rich even richer comes on the back of Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy that was passed by Congress and signed into law last December. The Democrats assured passage of the bill by doing nothing to mobilize the massive popular opposition to it.
It also follows reports that CEOs in the US are cashing in their stock options in the aftermath of the Trump tax cuts and raking in tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars (see: “As US workers’ wages continue to fall, Oracle CEO pockets $250 million after Trump tax cut”).
Trump’s tax cuts, besides directly saving corporations and rich people hundreds of billions of dollars in tax payments, have set off an orgy of corporate stock buybacks, dividend increases and mergers and acquisitions. These will funnel $2.5 trillion to wealthy executives and investors before the end of 2018.
This is money that will be extracted from the working class through the suppression of wages, the assault on health care and the destruction of what remains of private and public pensions.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that state and local pensions are currently underfunded by more than $5 trillion. Since the economic crisis of 2008, municipal bankruptcies have been used to force through draconian cuts to the benefits workers were promised, most notoriously in Detroit, where retirees took a cut in their pension benefits and lost their cost-of-living adjustment payments. With public pension plans now holding less than three-quarters of the funds needed to cover obligations, more cuts are in the works.
Additionally, more than a dozen private pension plans that are on the verge of collapse are preparing to impose cuts on retirees, including the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund, which covers 400,000 workers and has $36.2 billion in unfunded liabilities.
The claim that there is “no money” for workers’ pensions is exposed by the billions and trillions of dollars being thrown at the rich. Little more than one-third of the planned $100 billion capital gains tax cut would cover the Central States fund’s liabilities. In fact, the money to be handed to a wealthy few would be sufficient to give each of the workers covered by the Central States fund a one-time bonus of $250,000. Just two years’ worth of stock buybacks, increased dividends and mergers and acquisitions at the current level would resolve the public-sector pension funding deficit.
An analysis of the plan to index capital gains to inflation published by the Wharton School of Business, when the proposal was initially floated by the Trump administration in March, found that it would benefit only the extremely rich.
Most of the cut, more than $97 billion, would go to the top 10 percent of income earners, with the greatest share, $63 billion, going into the coffers of the top 0.1 percent. While the elite would see their after-tax income increase by as much as 1 percent, the bottom 80 percent of Americans would see zero benefit.
Despite expected court challenges against an effective cut in capital gains taxes by executive fiat, it is all but inevitable that this or a similar cut in the tax on investment gains will be enacted in the near future. The current top tax rate of 20 percent on capital gains is well below its historic peak of 35 percent in the 1970s.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Democrat of New York) postured as an opponent of the proposed move, telling the New York Times: “At a time when the deficit is out of control, wages are flat and the wealthiest are doing better than ever, to give the top 1 percent another advantage is an outrage and shows the Republicans’ true colors.”
However, Wall Street’s favorite senator made clear that all he really wants is a seat at the table when decisions are made on slashing taxes for the rich, declaring that “everyone knows this must be done by legislation.”
The massive redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top under Trump is not simply a Republican policy. It is a continuation of the “Robin Hood-in-reverse” policy carried out by the Democrats under Barack Obama, who bailed out the banks in 2008, funneled trillions to Wall Street through “quantitative easing,” and imposed an across-the-board 50 percent cut in the wages of newly hired General Motors and Chrysler workers.
Trump has simply solidified government of, by and for the oligarchs.
The fight against social inequality requires a direct challenge to the capitalist system. The working class must expropriate the private fortunes derived from the wealth produced by its labor and put it to use eradicating poverty and unemployment and providing quality education, health care and housing for all. This is part of the socialist program I am advancing in my campaign for Congress that includes the transformation of the corporations and banks into public utilities democratically controlled by the working class.

Rise in interest rates sparks panic on Wall Street

By Trévon Austin
25 April 2018
US stocks tumbled Tuesday after a warning from executives of the industrial giant Caterpillar scared investors and the 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 3 percent for the first time since 2014. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 600 points at one point, extending the index’s losing streak to five sessions.
The S&P 500 dropped 35.73 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2634.56. The Nasdaq Composite fell 121.25 points, or 1.7 percent, to 7007.35.
Markets opened higher, but fell significantly after Caterpillar released its profit margins for the first quarter. It reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations, sending the stock higher initially. Investors cheered the latest corporate earnings, sending the Dow up by 131 points at its session high. Major corporations such as United Technologies, Verizon and Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected earnings as well.
But the industrial giant’s shares sunk later in the day, sparking a mass sell-off throughout the stock market, after Caterpillar Chief Financial Officer Brad Halverson said the company’s first-quarter profit “will be the high-water mark for the year” because of expected increases in investment later in 2018.
Caterpillar is seen as a barometer for the state of the economy and stock market. According to Kensho, an analytics company, Caterpillar’s stock has had a 0.81 correlation with the Dow over the last six months.
Caterpillar shares fell by 6.2 percent after Halverson’s comment, with other corporations following suit. 3M, the maker of scotch tape and Post-it notes, saw its shares fall by 6.8 percent. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, saw its shares decline by 4.8 percent. Facebook, Amazon and Netflix shares all fell over 3 percent.
Meanwhile, Wall Street was also spooked by the changes in the 10-year Treasury yield. The 10-year Treasury is seen as a proxy for interest rates and a predictor of the long-term outlook for the US economy. The yield on the 10-year is one of the most closely followed financial measures in the world, as mortgages and corporate loans are closely tied to the government bonds.
The stock market’s fall reflects investors’ fear of rising interest rates and a national struggle for higher wages. Workers winning wage increases would be considered a disaster for Wall Street. The parasitic growth of the stock market has been fueled by the suppression of the class struggle. A rise in working-class militancy would send the inflated share values into a precipitous decline.
The American ruling class is well aware of the threat and is ruthlessly attempting to prevent a nationwide movement. Earlier this month, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon suggested a sharp rise in interest rates to halt economic growth and increase unemployment. The aim of such a policy would be to demoralize workers, allowing more pressing austerity measure and wage cuts.
The national wave of teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona and other states is particularly alarming to the American ruling class. Wage increases have been a central demand in each movement. The ruling class is frightened that the teachers’ demands may trigger a nationwide struggle for higher wages.

"Put simply, America is on the verge of experiencing an 

absolutely catastrophic period of economic change, and it’s due 

mostly to its skyrocketing debt, which is the result of decades of

reckless government spending—by both political parties."

"If the economy were to crash, the only way for America to 

continue making those payments without raising taxes or 

cutting spending, both of which would be very difficult to do in 

a deep recession, would be to seek additional loans from foreign

governments or to print money."

America Is Headed For Fiscal Catastrophe – And No One Seems To Care

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of

The global debt level is reaching shocking new heights. The Institute of International Finance recently estimated the current total world debt is roughly $247 trillion—a truly unprecedented figure.
But as frightening as the global debt has become because of the dangers it poses to the world’s economic stability, Americans should be far more terrified of what this problem might mean for them, especially if the globe endures another major financial collapse before the United States can get its fiscal house back in order. Put simply, America is on the verge of experiencing an absolutely catastrophic period of economic change, and it’s due mostly to its skyrocketing debt, which is the result of decades of reckless government spending—by both political parties.
Although understanding how international financial markets work can be tricky, there are two basic reasons Americans should be deeply concerned. The first is that U.S. debt payments will likely over the next decade consume an increasingly larger share of the federal budget. In fiscal year 2018, which ends September 30, 2018, America will pay about $310 billion to service its national debt. The Balance reports these payments are the fourth largest budget expenditure in the current federal budget. Excluding Social Security payments, only “military spending ($874.4 billion), Medicare ($582 billion), and Medicaid ($400 billion)” are more costly.
Over the past decade, the size of these payments has not increased substantially, in large part because interest rates remained at historic lows as the world tried to pull itself out of the 2008 financial crisis. However, now the U.S. economy and many other leading economies are improving dramatically, interest rates will inevitably have to rise to ensure inflation doesn’t get out of control. AEI’s James Capretta estimates, “If the average real interest rate … gradually rose to around 2.2 percent over the next decade, then federal interest payments could reach $1.2 trillion in 2027 — or more than $0.3 trillion above CBO’s current forecast.”
This massive figure would consume so much of the federal budget that the government would be forced to raise taxes just to continue paying for existing government spending, stifling economic growth. This would be particularly problematic should the United States enter another deep recession, because during recessions, tax revenues often fall because of lower economic production.
Even more troubling, however, is the effect these debt problems could have on our currency. On its current trajectory, the United States will by 2027 likely be paying $500 billion to $1.2 trillion every year to cover federal debt interest payments. If the economy were to crash, the only way for America to continue making those payments without raising taxes or cutting spending, both of which would be very difficult to do in a deep recession, would be to seek additional loans from foreign governments or to print money. The former would only work, if at all, temporarily, and would eventually exacerbate the problem as interest payments grow ever higher. The latter is the most likely scenario, but printing money would create inflation, devaluing existing cash. The reason this would be so dangerous if the United States already has massive amounts of debt is that it could significantly undermine the world’s faith in the U.S. dollar, which is used every single day for international business transactions.
There is no global currency, so when two countries or, more commonly, two parties from different countries buy and sell, they often do so using dollars. There are some exceptions, of course. In the European Union, for instance, people buy and sell using euros, but for most of the world’s business transactions, dollars remain the currency of choice. The same is true for many of nations’ centralized banks. The reason this has occurred is that, following World War II, America has been the world’s most reliable and stable economy, making the dollar in the minds of many the safest currency among the more than 180 currencies available in the global marketplace.
That perception has slowly been changing, however. Over the past decade, top officials in countries like China have openly questioned the stability of the dollar and even wondered why some other country’s currency couldn’t replace it as the global standard. Some folks at the United Nations would love nothing more than to replace the U.S. dollar with a U.N.-sanctioned global currency, and some Europeans would surely push the euro as a better alternative.
If the dollar were to be replaced as the world’s currency of choice, it would cause economic turmoil in the United States. Not only would our markets and stock exchanges collapse as investors’ pessimism about America soars, hundreds of billions of dollars in cash would likely come rushing back to the United States, where foreign investors would buy up whatever stable assets they could, most likely real estate. More dollars in our markets would cause additional inflation, making our money even less valuable. This would likely force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to keep inflation in check, thereby making it even harder for businesses to get loans (because they would be more expensive with higher interest rates), causing the economy to continue spiraling downward.
Eventually, the United States’ economy would recover, although it might never regain its status as the world’s most important economy. But in the meantime, Americans would likely endure a Great Depression-sized recession.
All of these problems are avoidable. If America were to steadily reduce its debt, the world would likely stick with the U.S. dollar for the foreseeable future; if it ain’t broke, don’t “fix” it, as they say. The only way for this to occur, however, is for politicians in Washington, DC to get their act together and move away from our currently unsustainable policies. That doesn’t appear to be happening on either side of the aisle, and the results could eventually be far-reaching and monumental.
Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.orgis executive editor and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute.

An uncertain future for American competitiveness

The news Friday that the U.S. economy grew at 4.1% last quarter is welcome and commendable.  On Sunday, U.S. secretary of the treasury Steve Mnuchinpredicted that the United States will experience as many as five more years of sustained 3% economic growth.  This increase is, in part, due to last year's tax reform and the administration's ongoing campaign to roll back regulations that affect American businesses.
However, President Trump's policies call these forecasts into question.  The tariffs on aluminum and steel imports are estimated to cost 180,000 U.S. jobs by 2020 and as much as $7.5 billion per year.  The proposed tariffs on auto imports may prove even more disruptive, costing as many as 600,000 jobs.  Indeed, the president's $12 billion in emergency relief for American farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs from China is a clear warning that the escalating trade war will have wide-reaching implications for the U.S. economy.  If the United States were to bail out all of the industries affected by these tariffs, the Commerce Department reports that the project would cost U.S. taxpayers $40 billion.
While the administration's misguided actions are an attempt to address China's predatory trade practices, the truth is that only five percent of the steel and aluminum tariffs target China.  And while Mr. Trump claims to be using U.S. tariffs on goods from China and the European Union as a tool to ultimately lower trade barriers overall, the White House is not carrying that message to Congress.  In a meeting last week with Republican lawmakers, economic advisers Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro reportedly had little to offer.  Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) told The Weekly Standard after the meeting that "I need to know what the strategy is.  I need to know what to tell people, and if I don't have something to tell them, then it's just unacceptable."
The administration would do well to present its trade policy with clarity and precision and consider if its tariffs are truly the best way to compel other nations to lower their protectionist barriers to trade.  It should also continue its campaign to roll back regulations to further reduce unnecessary burdens on American businesses.
For their part, lawmakers who disapprove of the president's strategy should continue to voice their opposition and explain why free trade benefits the American economy.  An important step came on July 11, when 88 senators voted to support an increased role for Congress in determining trade policy.  This vote, while nonbinding, is an important signal that lawmakers are overwhelmingly opposed to the administration's ham-fisted approach to bolstering U.S. competitiveness.
Unfortunately, the president and lawmakers will likely remain at loggerheads on trade.  It would be more productive for the White House and Congress to seek areas of bipartisan agreement on smaller, less inflammatory issues to improve the U.S. economy.  One such area is reforming the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA).  This law, intended to protect Americans from telemarketers, has had the pernicious effect of driving call centers – and jobs – out of the United States.
The TCPA prohibits telemarketers from using automated dialing and pre-recorded messages to call cell phones, residential phone lines, or customers on the "Do Not Call" registry.  However, federal laws and regulations have failed to keep pace with the telecommunications revolution over the past three decades.  Indeed, there have been more than 3,000 lawsuits filed under the TCPA since 2015, affecting companies in more than 40 industries.  As Mark Brennan from the law firm Hogan Lovells notes, these businesses have been "essentially forced to pay out millions in TCPA settlements instead of investing that money into jobs, business operations, infrastructure, or innovation."  Moreover, "a single TCPA lawsuit or settlement can drive small – or even large – businesses to bankruptcy and, in so doing, eliminate key job creators."  With the costs of compliance being so high, some businesses have established call centers outside the United States to escape regulations.
Now, following court decisions that upended key elements of the Federal Communications Commission's previous regulatory framework to implement the TCPA, the FCC is in the process of completely overhauling it.  Lawmakers have offered their vision of how to do so, including a July 24 letter from seven Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee and a bipartisan July 19 letterfrom Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). Moving forward, the FCC should produce a simple and clear regulatory regime that punishes illegal actors, protects good faith communications between businesses and their clients, and helps keep their call centers in the United States.  One estimate shows that the call center industry could grow to as many as 450,000 Americans under such a framework. 
The Trump administration's guiding principle to foreign policy appears to be "Permanent destabilization creates American advantage."  The logic of this approach is uncertain, particularly when it comes to badgering U.S. allies and major trading partners.  With the threat of a hostile Democratic majority on Capitol Hill next year, the White House should abandon populist destabilization and embrace a conservative reform agenda.  This means that instead of launching trade wars, Mr. Trump should build upon his successes to ensure that all Americans benefit from his tax cuts and deregulation efforts, not undercut them.  Doing so is the best way to truly make America great again.
Evan Moore is a foreign policy analyst based in Washington, D.C.

Corporate tax collection rate at historic low

By Gabriel Black 

26 July 2018

The rate of tax collection from US corporations has dropped to a near-record low, according to a report by The New York Times.
Trump’s tax cuts, passed in December of last year, have caused a dramatic drop in the money being collected from major corporations, leaving their rich shareholders wealthier and the federal government deeper in debt. According to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, the reduced corporate taxes will produce an additional $1 trillion in federal debt over the next decade.
Between just January and June of 2018, money gained from corporate taxes had dropped almost $50 billion from the year prior, a drop of one third. This huge sum, now in the pockets of the big companies, is not far behind the federal education budget of $68 billion a year.
The historic low in tax collections from US corporations, however, is not simply a national phenomenon caused by Trump. A new study by Ludvig Wier, an economist at the University of Copenhagen, has found that between 1985 and 2018 the average corporate tax rate has fallen from 49 percent to 24 percent. Speaking to the Washington Post, Wier remarked that “Corporate taxes are going to die in 10 to 20 years at this rate.”
Wier notes that in the face of offshore tax havens there is intense pressure on nations to lower their corporate tax rates. His paper estimates that in 2015 more than $600 billion of profits from corporate firms were transferred to several key tax havens. Wier’s paper, which was written with Gabriel Zucman, the University of California, and Thomas Tørsløv, the University of Copenhagen, states, “The massive tax avoidance—and the failure to curb it—are in effect leading more and more countries to give up on taxing multinational companies.”
The Trump White House and congressional Republicans falsely presented the $1.5 trillion tax cut as a means of helping the American worker. The reality is that the money corporations have gained from the cut have gone to share buybacks and dividends. These financial maneuvers are parasitic mechanisms that enrich the shareholders of corporations while taking money out of production and investment into the economy. This bonanza to the financial elite is expected to exceed $1 trillion this year, the highest ever.
Trump’s tax cuts have also contributed significantly to the federal deficit. As early as next year, the US annual budget deficit is expected to exceed $1 trillion. In every job, workplace and government throughout the world, budget deficits are used to justify cuts to essential social services and programs.
Even the International Monetary Fund, the global US-led banking organization that enforces austerity measures, has warned about this development. The IMF said that the Trump tax law will actually “encourage location of tangible investments abroad.” They note that the Trump tax code creates a new deduction very wealthy people can take by categorizing their personal income as pass-through income.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 70 percent of Trump’s tax cuts will flow to the top fifth of the population. The top one percent will reap 34 percent of its benefits. Millionaires in the United States will reap $17 billion from the tax cut just in 2018.
The Democrats did little or nothing to oppose the tax cuts, which benefit their own fat-cat base, and they have no genuine plans to reverse the cuts. When asked this week by a CNBC reporter repeatedly about what rate she would roll back the corporate tax rate to, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., refused to give a number. Her insistence that it was up to “negotiation” is a signal that the Democrats will take Trump’s tax cut as a new normal.
One cause of the tax cuts is the increased risk of financial instability. The White House estimates that in the fiscal year beginning in October, the US deficit will be $1.1 trillion, which is 5.1 percent of US GDP. Since World War II, the US almost never had a debt-to-GDP ratio higher than 5 percent, except in 1983, following a recession, and from 2009-2012, immediately following the financial crisis.

Report: 84% of People Underestimate How Much They Pay for Streaming Entertainment

The EU is looking at whether Google gives unfair prominence to its own apps such as maps or music streaming in deals with mobile manufacturers such as Samsung or Huawei
Getty/AFP/File Justin Sullivan

84 percent of people surveyed underestimated how much they pay for streaming subscription services such as Amazon Prime, Spotify, and Netflix.

According to CNBC, 84 percent “underestimated what they shell out on those monthly expenses, also including dating apps, cable television, and Wi-Fi.”
“On average, consumers spend more than twice as much as they think they do: They estimated they cough up $111 a month on such services when they actually average $237,” CNBC reported. “And regardless of the price tag, consumers were ‘happily hooked’ on many of their subscriptions, particularly Amazon Prime (which recently raised the price to $119 a year), cable TV and music streaming services, such as Spotify.”
Despite this, 23 percent of Americans claimed to have no money in their emergency savings, while 22 percent had fewer than 3 months worth.
Amazon increased the cost of their Prime membership in April following a “huge quarterly profit,” while this month, Netflix shares crashed after the platform received fewer new subscribers than expected.
Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.

Losing America

Not too long ago we as a people could generally agree upon a certain set of core values. Today a smaller majority of the American people still believe in the US Constitution and many people are starting to lose focus on the things that really matter the most.
When did certain members of our society all of sudden become selective regarding the laws they wished to be enforced ?
When exactly did some US citizens lose their basic instinct for survival ?
Sadly, we now have a substantial  force within the Democratic Party who currently advocate and even believe in wide open borders and illegal immigration. When did the acceptance of such a lawlessness become a norm ? When did the people who actually make it a point to stand up for the rule of law and who believe in securing our borders suddenly become the enemy ? Can a sovereign nation without a secure border, without a common language, and soon without a common culture survive?
The Democratic Party's leadership not too long ago believed illegal immigration was wrong (video). Why have their minds now suddenly shifted ? Has importing a new Democrat voter base into this nation become just too appealing an idea for them not to take advantage of?  A voter base which would be beholden to big government from cradle to grave. A voting bloc of people that would cast their votes depending upon what government could provide them.
Most rational citizens understand that unfettered and unchecked illegal immigration is a recipe for disaster. Yet huge factions of the new radical leftist Democrats currently believe illegal immigration is some kind of noble cause involving social justice. Many within the current party leadership have become all too willing to completely toss away the former US immigration melting pot model and happily replace it with a new "salad bowl" model.
Reality and history have proven to all of us that a nation simply we cannot safely absorb relentless waves of unassimilated immigration and expect to survive.  Illegal immigrants bring with them so many different languages and cultures, and many of them have no desire to assimilate or learn the English language. Diversity is not always necessarily a strength. Change is not always a positive thing. Illegal immigrants who refuse to assimilate and learn our language are placing a heavy burden upon us.
Illegal aliens who are willing to work for extremely low wages are helping to eliminate the US blue collar middle class. These illegal aliens currently flooding the US labor force are driving down the wages of American workers. I am sick of hearing the line, "Americans are not willing to do those jobs." In reality Americans would be willing to do those jobs, but obviously not for slave wages.
Illegal immigration is placing an enormous financial burden upon our health care system. It has become common place for illegal aliens to use the emergency rooms of US hospitals as their personal doctors. This inevitably drives up the cost of healthcare for all of us.
A decade-and-a-half ago, a former liberal Democrat named Dick Lamm gave a prophetic five minute speech on how a nation like America could easily self-destruct. The former governor of Colorado was issuing a warning to all of us in the United States who were willing to listen.  Lamm unveiled a chilling point by point hypothetical plan on how to destroy America through the immigration process. Every citizen within this country should consider listening to this five minute audio clip and hear the chilling  prophetic words of Lamm ring out so loud and true today. 
A nation that makes allowances for illegal immigration, especially without any significant time for assimilation, eventually becomes a nation under invasion, something which then eventually results in colonization.
The rule of law becomes a moot point when corrupt agenda-driven politicians within the government get to pick and choose the laws they wish to be enforced. When this type of selective law enforcement is facilitated, our country becomes nothing more than a banana republic.
The many remaining law-abiding citizens, along with Republican politicians, need to start adamantly calling out the Democrats for their irrational supportive stance regarding illegal immigration. We all need to confront the radical Democrats head on. They are the party whose senior members have the audacity to lecture and virtue signal conservatives on how evil and uncaring we have all become. Constantly painting those of us on the right as the bad guys. Simply because we conservatives dare to hold our American sovereignty sacred and know our borders need to become more safe and secure. All the rational people within this country are demanding the immigration process be a legal and closely monitored one.
Immigration could be a winning issue for Republicans in November. But they need to hammer this issue home with courage and fortitude, not backing down for fear of being called a racist or xenophobe. If the Republicans expect to win in November, they need to highlight all the negatives of uninterrupted waves of illegal immigration. A non-stop flow of illegal immigration being shoved down our throats by the Democrats and their puppet media.
We conservatives all need to stand as one with President Trump and affirm his policies regarding immigration. Trump's immigration plan adheres to basic common sense. Trump is putting individual American citizen's lives above political correctness, and this is making us all safer.
Illegal immigration has become the catalyst for big changes in this country. Changes within a nation which inevitably become irreversible if we fail to act. Change for the sake of change is a most dangerous thing.
An America that ignores the problems that come attached to open borders and illegal immigration is doomed for destruction. A citizenry which no longer believes in the rule of law and which pays lip service to our US Constitution is no longer free. A people who are no longer willing to hold their leaders accountable in regard to enforcing the rule of law, eventually become enslaved within a tyranny.
Photo credit: Markistos via Wikimedia Commons

Why Do We Need More People In This Country, Anyway? 
By Michael Anton 

The Washington Post, June 21, 2018 

No matter, because the Democrats are no longer the party of labor. Back when they were — in the prelapsarian Clinton years — they sought tight labor markets precisely for their efficacy in boosting lower-end wages. But today’s Democrats are the party of high class, high tech and high capital. 

This glamour coalition is not big enough by itself to win elections. So the left has hoodwinked some (but, as the 2016 election shows, by no means all) low-income voters into thinking that their interests align with those of Wall Street and Silicon Valley oligarchs. 


What ever happened to America?

Obama’s war on legals in Arizona.

The LA RAZA SUPREMACY Democrat party surrendered our borders, laws and jobs to Mexico to keep wages depressed and buy their votes!CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

“Mexico prefers to export its poor, not uplift them.”

The following is a partial list of politicians that are La Raza members working for open borders, amnesty (illegal Mexicans are not interested in citizenship) and no wall. The ultimate goal of Mexico is to continue successfully using the United States as their welfare system, cut a deal whereby the illegals can hop the border, give birth, pillage, make their pesos and then return home.  DAVID


What will America stand for in 2050?

The US should think long and hard about the high number of Latino immigrants.

By Lawrence Harrison

It's not just a short-run issue of immigrants competing with citizens for jobs as unemployment approaches 10 percent or the number of uninsured straining the quality of healthcare. Heavy immigration from Latin America threatens our cohesiveness as a nation.
The political realities of the rapidly growing Latino population are such that Mr. Obama may be the last president who can avert the permanent, vast underclass implied by the current Census Bureau projection for 2050. 


"In the decade following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the capitalist class has delivered powerful blows to the social position of the working class. As a result, the working class in the US, the world’s “richest country,” faces levels of economic hardship not seen since the 1930s."

"Inequality has reached unprecedented levels: the wealth of America’s three richest people now equals the net worth of the poorest half of the US population."


"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."

"Many Americans forget is that our country is located against a socialist failed state that is promising to descend even further into chaos – not California, the other one. And the Mexicans, having reached the bottom of the hole they have dug for themselves, just chose to keep digging by electing a new leftist presidente who wants to surrender to the cartels and who thinks that Mexicans have some sort of “human right” to sneak into the U.S. and demographically reconquer it." KURT SCHLICHTER

Billionaire Mexicans tell their poor to JUMP U.S. OPEN BORDERS and LOOT THE STUPID GRINGO… and loot they do!
Billions of dollars are sucked out of America from Mexico’s looting!

1) Mexico ended legal immigration 100 years ago, except for Spanish blood.

2) Mexico is the 17th richest nation but pays the 220th lowest minimum wage to force their subjects to invade the USA. The expands territory for Mexicans, spreads the Spanish language, and culture and genotypes, while earning 17% of Mexico's gross GDP as Foreign Remittance Income.
 Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: PW Talks with Sarah Smarsh

By Stephen Camelio | 
Smarsh writes about growing up in a family of working-class farmers in Kansas during the 1980s and ’90s in Heartland (Scribner, Sept.).
Photo by Paul Andrews
Why write this book now?
I actually started in 2002 with a research grant to begin piecing together my family history. I was a college senior, the first from my family to go to college, and the campus environment had opened my eyes about my family’s disadvantages as rural laborers. Later, as a journalist, I gravitated toward covering economics, class, and rural issues. Over the years, the book coalesced as an integration of my family’s private stories with my professional understandings of public policies and realities. That’s another way of saying, I didn’t write it because of the 2016 election.
What role did being female play in your breaking the poverty cycle?
Social mobility is more difficult for women or any group that’s been historically marginalized. I tried to make clear the strides and sacrifices made by the women before me, reaching back several generations, that gave me more of a chance than they had. It’s a story about a family and society rather than some individual triumph.
What’s the biggest challenge of poverty?
Someone who works at a computer with time to mess around on Twitter might not understand that the constant, grueling labor many people do to survive can preclude you from political engagement or awareness. So one serious challenge is lack of civic agency required to change the system that harms you. If you have a dream, it’s hard keeping it alive when the vast majority of energy is required just to live.
You addressed this book to your inner child, or “unborn spirit.” Why?
It made me nauseous to think about someone reading it. I knew from publishing personal essays that this feeling means you’ve hit on something true. The direct address wasn’t contrived for the book, but rather reflects my experience growing up and actually having this private dialogue. When some pieces of the book weren’t quite clicking together, I added that very intimate and unique thing about my psyche. It let the reader in and transformed the narrative.
Has shame prevented a social movement by poor people?
More powerful than shame in one’s potential action is lack of understanding the extent to which you are getting screwed. There’s a reason why, in a world of historic economic inequality, people who have been exploited for their labor are intentionally kept outside of the social structure that makes decisions. The power that lies within them is incredibly dangerous to a small handful of people who profit off their labor.

A version of this article appeared in the 07/16/2018 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Experts warn humanity now consumes a year's worth of global resources in just 212 days

  • Earth Overshoot Day is point at which demand exceeds Earth's yearly resources

  • In recent decades, this has occurred sooner and sooner, and is now at August 1 

  • Experts say we're now using the equivalent of 1.7 Earths worth of resources
Humans are gobbling up Earth’s resources at record-breaking rates, worrying new estimates show.
The so-called Earth Overshoot Day, first conceived back in 2006, marks the point at which our demand surpasses the resources Earth is able to regenerate in a given year.
And, we’re now just a week away from that date for 2018.
Due to over-fishing, over-harvesting, and excessive emissions, researchers say we’re using up a year’s worth of resources in just 212 days – or, demanding the resource equivalent of 1.7 Earths.
The so-called Earth Overshoot Day , first conceived back in 2006, marks the point at which our demand surpasses the resources Earth is able to regenerate in a given year. And, we¿re now just a week away from that date for 2018. This year, it falls on August 1
The so-called Earth Overshoot Day , first conceived back in 2006, marks the point at which our demand surpasses the resources Earth is able to regenerate in a given year. And, we’re now just a week away from that date for 2018. This year, it falls on August 1
According to the team behind the effort to push back the Earth Overshoot Day, that point falls on August 1st this year.
A chart created by the Global Footprint Network shows how it has crept earlier and earlier over the last few decades.
Back in the 1970s, the overshoot point did not come until November-December.
Despite some periods where it plateaued for a little while, the global footprint has skyrocketed.
The Earth Overshoot Day is calculated using the latest UN statistics, assessing how Earth’s biocapacity (or the amount of resources it can regenerate in a year) measures up to humanity’s ecological footprint per year.
‘We are borrowing the Earth’s future resources to operate our economies in the present.
‘Like any Ponzi scheme, this works for some time. But as nations, companies, or households dig themselves deeper and deeper into debt, they eventually fall apart.’
According to the team behind the effort to push back the Earth Overshoot Day, that point falls on August 1st this year. The graphic above shows where the Overshoot day would fall if the whole world lived like individual countries do
According to the team behind the effort to push back the Earth Overshoot Day, that point falls on August 1st this year. The graphic above shows where the Overshoot day would fall if the whole world lived like individual countries do
While it may sound dire, the experts say it’s still possible to bring these numbers back down to a more manageable point.
The integration of energy-efficient buildings and better public transportation, for example, could help to slash the footprint of urban areas, according to the organization.
Reducing carbon emissions would have an especially significant impact.
‘Reducing the carbon component of humanity’s Ecological Footprint by 50% would get us from consuming the resources of 1.7 Earths down to 1.2 Earths,’ according to Global Footprint Network.
‘This corresponds to moving the date of Overshoot Day by 93 days, or about three months.’
Humans are now gobbling up Earth¿s resources at record-breaking rates, worrying new estimates show. File photo
Humans are now gobbling up Earth’s resources at record-breaking rates, worrying new estimates show. File photo


The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main goals with regards to reducing emissions:
1)  A long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels
2) To aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change
3) Goverments agreed on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing countries
4) To undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science

Food production also plays a major role in the 
global footprint, accounting for roughly 26 
By slashing meat consumption and reducing 
global food waste, the experts say we could 
push the Overshoot target back by several 
But, many of these goals may be difficult to meet if the population keeps growing as it is.
‘Given resource constraints,’ the researchers say, ‘countries with slowly shrinking populations may have a competitive advantage over countries with growing populations.’

The Blue-State Housing Bubble

Another housing bubble is beginning to burst.  Its financial characteristics are different from the 2007-8 housing bubble but it shares one thing in common -- that it is caused by government policies.
The 2007 bubble was caused by the Federal government insisting on home loan qualification standards changes.  Buyers who were not qualified to obtain traditional home loans were encouraged and even subsidized to get loans in states such as IL, CA, NJ, PA, and all other areas.  The details of these changes were documented by Pinto and Wallison.
The bubble burst because the easy money home loan qualification changes created two prongs of financial instability: 1) persons who were not qualified were allowed to obtain mortgages and 2) the easy money policies rapidly escalated home prices and placed many mortgage holders underwater when the artificially high housing prices crashed.
This bubble now being created in the biggest Blue states, while being driven by government policy, has a completely different financial dynamic.  This dynamic is best understood by looking at the financial condition of Illinois.
The financial insolvency of Illinois is directly linked to its public-sector pension system.  The unfunded public pension liability of the state is $251 billion.  But that one fact is only part of the story.  In addition to having this unfunded pension liability, the state now dedicates one-fourth of its annual state budget to pension costs. In order to finance the ongoing demands of the public pension system (Illinois has 650 pension plans throughout the state) the state seizes state grant money and state funds lawfully appropriated to pay for public services throughout the state and puts those into the pension fund located in the state capital, Springfield.  Since there are 4.8 million households in Illinois the average household owes $52,269 to the unfunded pension costs, and these go up every hour.  And in addition to that one-fourth of the Illinois state budget goes to pensions.
The amount of money the state has seized from public services can be seen by the fact that in 2016 the state owed vendors $15.9 billion and another $2.8 billionwas seized from funds allocated to pay for health care vendors.  This means the state literally seizes lawfully appropriated funds from state-mandated health care programs such as nursing homes and medication and places them in its pension fund.
Illinois has two state statutes that allow the state to seize both state grant money passed by the General Assembly allocated for state grants and another statute that allows the pension fund to seize state funds. 
In addition to these seized state funds, the Illinois Policy Institute, a watchdog group in Illinois, audited all 110-plus cities of Illinois and found that in the ten biggest cities, including Chicago, all the property taxes people pay go only to pay pensions, not to fund public services such as water and sewer, police and fire protection, and other essential services.
The core issue then is whether the demand for property-tax revenue made by the public pension plans will have an effect on housing values, and if this effect will be strong enough to create a housing bubble.
The best illustration of the current housing bubble can be seen with a specific example.  I know a person on the northwest side of Chicago, a middle-class neighborhood, who recently received, in his July 2018 property tax bill, a raise of $10,000 on his annual tax payment.  This was not a raise in the assessed value of his house, this was a raise in the tax that is due.  The house is 2,200 square feet and since the owner now wants to sell the house, it was recently assessed as having a fair market value of $348,000.  Before this $10K property tax increase, the property tax bill of the house was already at $13,800.  So if anyone wants to buy a house worth $348,000 they have to pay $1,983 per month in property taxes.  The mortgage will be about $1,350. per month, so the total payment will be $3,333 a month for a house worth $348K.  And each year the property tax will only go up.
What this means is that anyone who buys this house will already be paying a 7% property tax rate on the market value of the house.  That monthly property tax bill normally is for a house worth $1.2 million dollars at a 2% property tax rate.  No matter how one looks at this, it is foolish for a person to pay a property tax bill for a $348K house when at a 2% tax rate they could have a house worth $1.2 million.  While this is a quick back-of-the-envelope financial analysis, the trend is clear: Illinois has the highest tax burden of any state.
The Chicago Federal Reserve bank should be doing a precise analysis of this impending housing crisis, but instead recently suggested a 43% property tax hike. 
This is the bubble: homeowners are losing most, if not all, of the equity they have in their homes.  And once again it is being done by government.  This time it is not the federal government that is changing home mortgage loan lending standards but the Illinois state pension fund that is literally seizing home equity value to pay their pension demands.  And while this is happening, Illinois wastes over one billion dollars on interest needed to service what they've borrowed.
To understand how great the demand for tax revenue is in Illinois consider the fact that the largest pensions go to retirees from SURS the State University Retirement System.  The actual facts from Taxpayers United show that of the 200 top pensions going to university retirees, the lowest is $199,000 per year and the highest is $581,000 a year. This is not a projection, this is the information from 2017. To finance these pensions, young people who take out student loans are also seeing a drop in their long-term incomes. The Illinois Policy Institute reported that in Illinois public universities, half of the tuition goes to pensions.  So when students graduate from an Illinois public university, half their monthly student loan payment will go to extravagant pensions, and the voters of Illinois have no say in these pensions. 
This means these graduates have less money to purchase a home.  As a result, the young people in Illinois are the largest age group that is fleeing the state. They see the writing on the wall and cannot imagine they could ever afford a home and family in Illinois. More than 80% of Illinois counties saw population losses in 2017.
The bubble is bursting right now in Illinois and in CA, PA, MA, CT, NJ, NY, and all other big Blue states. California alone has a half-trillion-dollar unfunded pension liability. The financial mechanics are the same and cannot be stopped.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.

But not everything is great for all Californians, with Breitbart News reporting that Silicon Valley has the highest income inequality in the nation and the U.S. News & World Report naming California as the worst state for “quality of life,” due to the high cost of living.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that California spends $22 billion on government services for illegal aliens, including welfare, education, Medicaid, and criminal justice system costs. 

And just recently, the state-funded University of California system announced it will spend $27 million on financial aid for illegal aliens. They’ve even taken out radio spots on stations all along the border, just to make sure other potential illegal border crossers hear about this program. I can’t afford college education for all my four sons, but my taxes will pay for illegals to get a college education. 

California became a Democratic stronghold not because Californians became socialists, but because millions of socialists moved there.  Immigration turned California blue, and immigration is ultimately to blame for California's high poverty level.



A dashcam video of downtown Los Angeles on Christmas day reveals a stunning sight: hundreds of tents and lean-tos on the sidewalks that serve as shelter for the homeless. The scene is reminiscent of a third-world country. RICK MORAN / AMERICANTHINKER com





CITY, WORSENS BY THE DAY…. Approximates the great depression

HOMELESS AMERICA’S HOUSING CRISIS as 40 million illegals have climbed U.S. open borders.


EVERY AMERICAN (Legal) only one paycheck and two illegals away from living in their cars. 

“Protecting citizens from industrial capitalism’s giant corporations? Where were the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight as the mortgage bubble blew up in 2008, nearly taking the whole financial system with it and producing the worst economic bust since the Great Depression, which even today has sunk the labor-force participation rate and hiked the suicide rate among working-class men and women to record levels?”

“By contrast, many voters give Barack Obama no such credit for his analogous response to the Great Recession.”
“Mexican criminals really have infiltrated the country and really have killed Americans, inevitably, under the administration’s anything-goes immigration stance.”

Haunting this year’s presidential contest is the sense that the U.S. government no longer belongs to the people and no longer represents them. And this uneasy feeling is not misplaced. It reflects the real state of affairs.
We have lost the government we learned about in civics class, with its democratic election of representatives to do the voters’ will in framing laws, which the president vows to execute faithfully, unless the Supreme Court rules them unconstitutional. That small government of limited powers that the Founders designed, hedged with checks and balances, hasn’t operated for a century. All its parts still have their old names and appear to be carrying out their old functions. But in fact, a new kind of government has grown up inside the old structure, like those parasites hatched in another organism that grow by eating up their host from within, until the adult creature bursts out of the host’s carcass. This transformation is not an evolution but a usurpation.
What has now largely displaced the Founders’ government is what’s called the Administrative State—a transformation premeditated by its main architect, Woodrow Wilson. The thin-skinned, self-righteous college-professor president, who thought himself enlightened far beyond the citizenry, dismissed the Declaration of Independence’s inalienable rights as so much outmoded “nonsense,” and he rejected the Founders’ clunky constitutional machinery as obsolete. (See “It’s Not Your Founding Fathers’ Republic Any More,” Summer 2014.) What a modern country needed, he said, was a “living constitution” that would keep pace with the fast-changing times by continual, Darwinian adaptation, as he called it, effected by federal courts acting as a permanent constitutional convention.
Modernity, Wilson thought, demanded efficient government by independent, nonpartisan, benevolent, hyper-educated experts, applying the latest scientific, economic, and sociological knowledge to industrial capitalism’s unprecedented problems, too complex for self-governing free citizens to solve. Accordingly, he got Congress to create executive-branch administrative agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, to do the job. During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt proliferated such agencies, from the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Housing Administration to the Federal Communications Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, to put the New Deal into effect. Before they could do so, though, FDR had to scare the Supreme Court into stretching the Constitution’s Commerce Clause beyond recognition, putting the federal government in charge of all economic activity, not just interstate transactions. He also had to pressure the justices to allow Congress to delegate legislative power—which is, in effect, what the lawmakers did by setting up agencies with the power to make binding rules. The Constitution, of course, vests all legislative power in Congress, empowering it to make laws, not to make legislators.
But the Administrative State’s constitutional transgressions cut deeper still. If Congress can’t delegate its legislative powers, it certainly can’t delegate judicial powers, which the Constitution gives exclusively to the judiciary. Nevertheless, after these administrative agencies make rules like a legislature, they then exercise judicial authority like a court by prosecuting violations of their edicts and inflicting real criminal penalties, such as fines and cease-and-desist orders. As they perform all these functions, they also violate the principle of the separation of powers, which lies at the heart of our constitutional theory (senselessly curbing efficiency, Wilson thought), as well as the due process of law, for they trample the citizen’s Fifth Amendment right not to lose his property unless indicted by a grand jury and tried by a jury of his peers, and they search a citizen or a company’s private papers or premises, without bothering to get judge-issued subpoenas or search warrants based on probable cause, flouting the Fourth Amendment. They can issue waivers to their rules, so that the law is not the same for all citizens and companies but is instead an instrument of arbitrary power. FDR himself ruefully remarked that he had expanded a fourth branch of government that lacked constitutional legitimacy. Not only does it reincarnate the arbitrary power of the Stuarts’ tyrannical Star Chamber, but also it doesn’t even meet the minimal conditions of liberty that Magna Carta set forth 801 years ago.
Adding insult to injury, Wilson, his allies, and their current followers call themselves “progressives,” a fatuous boast implying that they are the embodiments and chosen instruments of the spirit of an ever-improving, irresistible future. In tune with the German idealist philosophy that Wilson and his circle studied, they claim to be marching toward an as-yet-unrealized goal of human perfection. But that perfection, the German philosophers believed, would look something like Prussia’s enlightened despotism. For Americans to think that it is progress to move from the Founders’ revolutionary achievement—a nation of free citizens, endowed with natural rights, living under laws that they themselves have made, pursuing their own vision of happiness in their own way and free to develop as fully as they can whatever talent or genius lies within them—to a regime in which individuals derive such rights as they have from a government superior to them is contemptible. How is a return to subjection an advance on freedom? No lover of liberty should ever call such left-wing statism “progressive.” In historical terms, this elevation of state power over individual freedom is not even “liberal” but quite the reverse.
As these agencies have metastasized, they have borne out not a single premise that justified their creation, and their increasingly glaring failure has drawn citizens’ angry attention to them. Expert? As a New Deal congressman immediately recognized with shock, many of those who staffed the Administrative State were kids just out of law school, with zero real-world experience or technical knowledge. Efficient? Can-do America, which built the Empire State Building in 11 months and ramped up airplane production during World War II from 2,000 in 1939 to nearly 100,000 in 1944, now takes years of bureaucratic EPA busywork to repair a bridge or lay a pipeline, and who knows how many businesses never expand or even start because the maze of government regulation is too daunting and costly to navigate? Only last year, EPA “experts” fecklessly stood by as workers under their supervision accidentally dumped 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into the Colorado River, and the agency vouchsafed not a word of warning to downstream Colorado and New Mexico officials for an entire day before the poisonous, fluorescent-orange flood hit them. Over at Veterans Affairs, those who’ve fought for their country die in droves while waiting for medical care. But what’s the problem? asks agency head Robert MacDonald blithely. After all, at ever-popular Disneyland, “do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?”
Non-political? Ask Lois Lerner at the Internal Revenue Service. Oh wait: she pleaded the Fifth Amendment—and her boss, John Koskinen, simply ignores Congress’s orders, even as more than 2,000 of his enforcement agents have acquired military-grade weaponry, among 200,000 of such administrative-agency officers now similarly equipped with lethal arms, presumably for coercion of the citizens they supposedly serve. Or there’s the Federal Elections Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, lackeys of President Obama and his ultra-partisan agenda.
Protecting citizens from industrial capitalism’s giant corporations? Where were the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight as the mortgage bubble blew up in 2008, nearly taking the whole financial system with it and producing the worst economic bust since the Great Depression, which even today has sunk the labor-force participation rate and hiked the suicide rate among working-class men and women to record levels? Moreover, from the establishment of the first administrative agency—the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887, essentially designed to create shared railroad cartels—these agencies have been key instruments of crony capitalism, which today often takes the form of senators and congressmen pressuring agencies for rule changes or waivers to benefit their contributors, usually at the expense of their competitors as well as the public, as the author of the recent Confessions of Congressman X complains of his fellow legislative “puppets.” Little wonder that today’s Americans think that such people don’t represent them. Pollsters report that trust in government is at its lowest level ever, with only 19 percent expecting government to do the right thing, according to last year’s Gallup and Pew polls.
Ensuring the citizens’ health and safety? Where is the Food and Drug Administration as counterfeit medicines and medical supplies from China infiltrate our hospitals? As for the infamously dysfunctional Transportation Security Administration, its Keystone Kops’ regularly reported inability to spot journalists carrying banned weapons onto airplanes, while they are too busy fondling travelers’ private parts or undressing grannies, is a standing national joke—on us. We lost our constitutional safeguards for this?
FDR spewed out his agencies in a “try anything” spirit to cure a Depression that his predecessor’s misguided palliatives had worsened, and debate still surges over whether the New Deal agencies did harm or good, putting aside their doubtful legitimacy. But the majority of Americans at the time gave the president credit for good intentions. By contrast, many voters give Barack Obama no such credit for his analogous response to the Great Recession. They see it as a cynically calculated ploy to extend government’s power over the people, especially given the White House chief of staff’s crack that a president should “never let a good crisis go to waste.” So on the pretext of addressing the financial crisis, the administration partially socialized American medicine with legislation that only Democrats voted for, without bothering to read it, and that citizens who opposed the measure—still a solid majority of those polled—saw as a kind of coup d’état, framed with utter irresponsibility and ignoring the scary financial mess. As happened during the New Deal, a timid Supreme Court found the act constitutional only by the politically driven legerdemain frequent in that institution’s checkered history. It struck many as flimflam, not government by consent.
The result was a spectacular expansion of the Administrative State, with some 150 new agencies and commissions created; no one knows the exact number. And these agencies purposely removed the Administrative State even further from government by the people. One agency, the Independent Payment Advisory Board—the so-called death panel—is so democratically unaccountable that Congress can only abolish it by a three-fifths vote in both houses within a seven-month period next year. After that, the law bars Congress from altering any of the board’s edicts, a provision as far from democratic self-government as you can get.
When the administration finally confronted the financial crisis, lengthened by Obamacare’s disincentives to hiring, its reflex response was to expand the Administrative State still further with the Dodd-Frank Act, named for its two legislative sponsors, both of whom had been in bed with the mortgage racket, one figuratively and one literally. Whether it solved the problem is dubious. What is certain is that it is as undemocratic as Obamacare, with its Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, whose budget Congress can’t control, its Financial Stability Oversight Council, whose rulings no court may review, and its army of regulators occupying the big banks and squeezing multimillion-dollar penalties out of CEOs clinging to their supersize compensation, regardless of what happens to the stockholders. Meanwhile, the opaque Federal Housing Finance Agency, formed during the crisis to salvage the misbegotten mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, seems bent on nationalizing permanently this sizable chunk of the economy, putting the government in charge of citizens’ housing as well as their health care.
As for the “stimulus” that was supposed to give a Keynesian boost to the economy: since you can’t prove a negative, no one can show that if all that money had stayed in the private economy, it would have created more jobs and economic growth than the economically anemic Obama era has done. What unemployed or underemployed workers saw, though, is that a good portion of stimulus money went to protect the jobs of public employees, whose welfare evidently trumps that of the citizens whom they supposedly serve. Coal miners saw that, even as the administration aimed to kill their jobs, its stimulus shoveled out hundreds of millions of dollars to now-defunct Solyndra and other nonviable, crony-capitalist “green” energy companies, supposed solutions to a global-warming crisis that many think a hoax, though some two dozen public officials seem keen to suppress, Inquisition-style, the very utterance of that thought. And voters noticed that America’s three highest-income counties are in the Washington suburbs that house the federal government’s recession-proof functionaries. (See “Hail Columbia!,” Winter 2013.)
Unease over illegal immigration also has stoked today’s fear that the government no longer belongs to the people, and it’s important to understand the separate but mutually reinforcing ways that it has done so. Once again, President Obama has made a bad situation worse—this time, by his contemptuous refusal to execute the laws faithfully. His catch-and-release policy for illegal border-crossers, as well as his ban on deporting young aliens brought here by their illegal-immigrant parents, are imperial, antidemocratic edicts that might have sparked impeachment proceedings, had not Congress’s silly move to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about his sex games with an intern tainted that weapon for years to come. The result of Obama’s diktat, as contrary to the spirit of the Founders’ Constitution as is the Administrative State, is that law-abiding taxpayers must pay for the kids’ welfare support, health care, and schooling—as they already do for “anchor babies” born to mothers who have sneaked over the U.S. border for the purpose of having a child eligible for “child-only” welfare benefits, scarcely less than ordinary welfare payments and vastly more than the income of Central American peasant families. No American voted to incur these costs, which, if current trends continue, are likely to persist for several generations of such families, so they amount to taxation without representation as naked as George III’s.
As for the illegals who work, often for long hours at low pay, off the books: because immigrants, 13 percent of the population, hold 17 percent of the jobs—and no one knows the percentage of workers who are here illegally—jobless working-class citizens have understandably concluded that a lawless government, by countenancing such cheap labor, is taking the bread out of their mouths. Should they eat cake instead?
America’s highest-income counties are in the suburbs that house Washington’s recession-proof functionaries.
What citizens want to know is that, of all the world’s people who seek to live in America, our government will admit those who come legally, whose families will not harm us, and who will add to the wealth of the nation, not reap where they have not sown. After all, public safety—not clean energy or national health care—is government’s purpose. Nevertheless, Mexican criminals really have infiltrated the country and really have killed Americans, inevitably, under the administration’s anything-goes immigration stance. Further, it’s no comfort to any American who has suffered loss from an Islamist terror attack within our borders—from Ground Zero and Fort Hood to San Bernardino and Orlando—that such incidents pose no threat to our existence as a nation, as the president has said by way of reassurance, while refusing to call such outrages by their right name. How many citizens would have to die in a dirty-bomb attack in Grand Central Terminal for such events to strike him as a threat to the nation’s existence?
The question of providing a path to citizenship for the 12 million illegal aliens already here is also germane to the debate about whom the U.S. government serves and to whom it belongs. Talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh jokes that “illegal aliens” is a politically incorrect term; we must say “undocumented Democrats” instead. But it’s a joke with a barb, for no one can doubt that these 12 million, if they could vote, would vote for the Democratic program of an ever-larger, richly paid government extracting ever-larger transfer payments from productive workers to the dependent poor—James Madison’s definition of the tyranny of the majority in Federalist 10. With black poverty and exclusion steadily ameliorating, thanks to decades of striving by well-intentioned Americans of all races—even though Obama’s ex–attorney general Eric Holder devoted his tenure to denying this plain truth—the Democratic Party needs a new class of victims to justify its “helping” agenda and its immense cadre of well-paid government “helpers.” Central American peasants fill the bill.
Formerly, our open economy drew the enterprising and energetic to these shores, and our lack of a public safety net, with only private ethnic and religious charities to help the unfortunate, meant that those who couldn’t contribute to the U.S. economy went home. But today, when we have a vast welfare state that didn’t exist during earlier waves of immigration, the mothers of anchor babies come for handouts, and even the children of hardworking legal Hispanic immigrants end up on the welfare rolls at troublesomely high rates. In addition, our showering of self-proclaimed refugees with welfare benefits, which attracts the shiftless rather than the enterprising, only compounds the government-sustained dependency problem—dependency upon taxpayers who didn’t choose this particular philanthropy.
The phalanx of privately supported settlement houses and other institutions that met the great immigration wave around the turn of the twentieth century, along with the public school system, aimed to “Americanize” the new arrivals—teaching them our language, manners, and customs, and especially our republican civic ethic. Culture, after all, is as important an element of national identity as political institutions. To become an American in those days meant little more than learning English and subscribing to a broadly shared creed of self-reliance, self-government, self-improvement, and allegiance to a tolerant nation that most people agreed was unique in the freedom and opportunity it afforded—as well as in its readiness to confer citizenship on newcomers who almost universally desired it. But today’s legal Hispanic immigrants often don’t apply for American citizenship, or retain dual nationalities: Americanization often is not high on their agendas.
Moreover, our new doctrine of multiculturalism gives today’s immigrants nothing to assimilate to, since current intellectual fashion—set by the universities, Hollywood, and the mainstream media—celebrates everything that makes us different rather than the creed that once made one nation out of many individuals. And multiculturalism’s accompanying creed of victimology encourages dependency rather than self-reliance. Who are the victimizers of illegal Hispanic aliens? According to today’s politically correct “progressivism,” it is the neocolonial United States that has exploited the Third World’s natural resources, shored up its ruling oligarchies, and subverted its incipient democratic governments. And then it further victimizes them with racism when they try to escape to this country.
Deference to the greater wisdom of government, which Wilsonian progressivism deems a better judge of what the era needs and what the people “really” want than the people themselves, has been silently eroding our unique culture of enterprise, self-reliance, enlightenment, and love of liberty for decades. But if we cease to enshrine American exceptionalism at the heart of our culture—if we set equal value on such Third World cultural tendencies as passive resignation, fatalism, superstition, devaluation of learning, resentment of imaginary plots by the powerful, and a belief that gratification deferred is gratification forgone—the exceptionalism of our institutions becomes all the more precarious.
Supercharging American anger over illegal immigration and its consequences is the politically correct ban on openly discussing it, with even the most reasoned reservation dismissed as racism and yahooism. And political correctness generates its own quantum of anger among citizens, who think of freedom of speech and debate as central to American exceptionalism. But elite culture stigmatizes plain speaking, so that now a rapist or a murderer is a “person who committed a crime” or an “individual who was incarcerated,” says the Obama Department of Justice, or, according to the latest humbug from the Department of Education, a “justice-involved individual.” Implicit in these euphemisms is the theory that “society,” not the criminal, is to blame for crime, a long-exploded idea aimed at blurring the distinction between right and wrong.
That’s what makes it so disheartening to learn that the University of California has just deemed it a politically incorrect offense to declare America a land of opportunity, so as not to stigmatize those who’ve failed to seize it. It’s disheartening not only because such a retreat from our traditional culture will hold back immigrants, but also because our long cultural unraveling already has damagingly demoralized the native-born working class in the face of economic change. They dimly know that, and part of what makes them so angry is what they have allowed themselves to become.

When Theodore Roosevelt, who unsuccessfully ran against Woodrow Wilson in 1912 on the Progressive Party ticket, first declared his intention to go into politics, his fellow clubmen jeered at him for wanting to associate with the “saloon-keepers, horse-car conductors,” and other “rough and brutal” characters running the nation’s political parties. “I answered,” recalled TR, “that if this were so it merely meant that the people I knew did not belong to the governing class, and that the other people did—and that I intended to be one of the governing class.” That’s the true voice of “progressivism” speaking. As the Founders often cautioned, a self-governing republic doesn’t have a governing class. Part of America’s current predicament is that it now has such a class, and the American people are very angry about it.

The Hollowing-Out of the California Dream

For minorities in the Golden State, opportunity and upward mobility are hard to come by.
July 26, 2018
Economy, finance, and budgets

Progressives praise California as the harbinger of the political future, the home of a new, enlightened, multicultural America. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskillhas identified California Senator Kamala Harris as the party leader on issues of immigration and race. Harris wants a moratorium on construction of new immigration-detention facilities in favor of the old “catch and release” policy for illegal aliens, and has urged a shutdown of the government rather than compromise on mass amnesty.
Its political leaders and a credulous national media present California as the “woke” state, creating an economically just, post-racial reality. Yet in terms of opportunity, California is evolving into something more like apartheid South Africa or the pre-civil rights South. California simply does not measure up in delivering educational attainment, income growth, homeownership, and social mobility for traditionally disadvantaged minorities. All this bodes ill for a state already three-fifths non-white and trending further in that direction in the years ahead. In the past decade, the state has added 1.8 million Latinos, who will account by 2060 for almost half the state’s population. The black population has plateaued, while the number of white Californians is down some 700,000 over the past decade.
Minorities and immigrants have brought much entrepreneurial energy and a powerful work ethic to California. Yet, to a remarkable extent, their efforts have reaped only meager returns during California’s recent boom. California, suggests gubernatorial candidate and environmental activist Michael Shellenberger, is not “the most progressive state” but “the most racist” one. Chapman University reports that 28 percent of California’s blacks are impoverished, compared with 22 percent nationally. Fully one-third of California Latinos—now the state’s largest ethnic group—live in poverty, compared with 21 percent outside the state. Half of Latino households earn under $50,000 annually, which, in a high-cost state, means that they barely make enough to make ends meet. Over two-thirds of non-citizen Latinos, the group most loudly defended by the state’s progressive leadership, live at or below the poverty line, according to a recent United Way study.
This stagnation reflects the reality of the most recent California “miracle.” Historically, economic growth extended throughout the state, and produced many high-paying blue-collar jobs. In contrast, the post-2010 boom has been inordinately dependent on the high valuations of a handful of tech firms and coastal real estate speculation. Relatively few blacks or Latinos participate at the upper reaches of the tech economy—and a recent study suggests that their percentages in that sector are declining—and generally lack the family resources to compete in the real estate market. Instead, many are stuck with rents they can’t afford.
Even as incomes soared in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco after 2010, wages for African-Americans and Latinos in the Bay Area declined. The shift of employment from industrial to software industries, as well as the extraordinary presence—as much as 40 percent—of noncitizens in the tech industry, has meant fewer opportunities for assemblers and other blue-collar workers. Many nonwhite Americans labor in the service sector as security guards or janitors, making about $25,000 annually, working for contractors who offer no job security and only limited benefits. In high-priced Silicon Valley, these are essentially poverty wages. Some workers live in their cars, converted garages, or even on the streets, largely ignored by California’s famously enlightened oligarchs.
CityLab has described the Bay Area as “a region of segregated innovation.” TheGiving Code, which reports on charitable trends among the ultra-rich, found that between 2006 and 2013, 93 percent of all private foundation-giving in Silicon Valley went to causes outside of Silicon Valley. Better to be a whale, or a distressed child in Africa or Central America, than a worker living in his car outside Google headquarters.
For generations, California’s racial minorities, like their Caucasian counterparts, embraced the notion of an American Dream that included owning a house. Unlike kids from wealthy families—primarily white—who can afford elite educations and can sometimes purchase  houses with parental help, Latinos and blacks, usually without much in the way of family resources,  are increasingly priced out of the market. In California, Hispanics and blacks face housing prices that are approximately twice the national average, relative to income. Unsurprisingly, African-American and Hispanic homeownership rates have dropped considerably more than those of Asians and whites—four times the rate in the rest of the country. California’s white homeownership rate remains above 62 percent, but just 42 percent of all Latino households, and only 33 percent of all black households, own their own homes.
In contrast, African-Americans do far better, in terms of income and homeownership, in places like Dallas-Fort Worth or greater Houston than in socially enlightened locales such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. Houston and Dallas boast black homeownership rates of 40 to 50 percent; in deep blue but much costlier Los Angeles and New York, the rate is about 10 percentage points lower.
Rather than achieving upward class mobility, many minorities in California have fallen down the class ladder. This can be seen in California’s overcrowding rate, the nation’s second-worst. Of the 331 zip codes making up the top 1 percent of overcrowded zip codes in the U.S., 134 are found in Southern California, primarily in greater Los Angeles and San Diego, mostly concentrated around heavily Latino areas such as Pico-Union, East Los Angeles, and Santa Ana, in Orange County.
The lack of affordable housing and the disappearance of upward mobility could create a toxic racial environment for California. By the 2030s, large swaths of the state, particularly along the coast, could evolve into a geriatric belt, with an affluent, older boomer population served by a largely minority service-worker class. As white and Asian boomers age, California increasingly will have to depend on children from mainly poorer families with fewer educational resources, living in crowded and even unsanitary conditions, often far from their place of employment,  to work for low wages.
Historically, education has been the lever that gives minorities and the poor access to opportunity. But in California, a state that often identifies itself as “smart,” the educational system is deeply flawed, especially for minority populations. Once a model of educational success, California now ranks 36th in the country in educational performance, according to a 2018 Education Weekreport. The state does have a strong sector of “gold and silver” public schools, mostly located in wealthy suburban locations such as Orange County, the interior East Bay, and across the San Francisco Peninsula. But the performance of schools in heavily minority, working-class areas is scandalously poor. The state’s powerful teachers’ union and the Democratic legislature have added $31.2 billion since 2013 in new school funding, but California’s poor students ranked 49th on National Assessment of Education Progress tests. In Silicon Valley, half of local public school students, and barely one in five blacks or Latinos, are proficient in basic math.
Clearly, California’s progressive ideology and spending priorities are not serving minority students well. High-poverty schools are so poorly run that disruptions from students and administrative interruptions, according to a UCLA study, account for 30 minutes a day of class time. Teachers in these schools often promote “progressive values,” spending much of their time, according to one writer, “discussing community problems and societal inequities.” Other priorities include transgender and other gender-relatededucation, from which parents, in some school districts, cannot opt out. This ideological instruction is doing little for minority youngsters. San Francisco, which the nonprofit journalism site Calmatters refers to as “a progressive enclave and beacon for technological innovation,” also had “the lowest black student achievement of any county in California,” as well as the highest gap between black and white scores.
Ultimately, any reversal of this pattern must come from minorities demanding a restoration of opportunity. Some now see the linkage between state policy and impoverishment, which has led some 200 civil rights leaders to sue the state Air Resources Board, the group that enforces the Greenhouse Gas edicts of the state bureaucracy. But perhaps the ultimate wakeup call will come from a slowing economy. After an extraordinary period of growth post-recession, California’s economy is clearly weakening, as companies and people move elsewhere. Texas and other states are now experiencing faster GDP growth than the Golden State. Perhaps more telling, the latest BEA numbers suggest that California—which created barely 800 jobs last month—is now experiencing far lower income growth than the national average, and scarcely half that of Texas, Colorado, Michigan, Arizona, Missouri, or Florida. Out-migration of skilled and younger workers, reacting to long commutes and high prices, seems to be accelerating, both in Southern California and the Bay Area.
One has to wonder what will happen when the California economy, burdened by regulations, high costs, and taxes, slows even more. Generous welfare benefits, made possible by taxing the rich, could be threatened; conversely, the Left might get traction by pushing to raise taxes even higher. The pain will be relatively minor in Palo Alto, Malibu, or Marin County, the habitations of the ruling gentry rich—but for those Californians who have already been left behind, and for a diminishing middle class,  it might be just beginning.

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