Friday, June 17, 2016


"Growing mortality rates for working people 

are not the outcome of accidental or 

unavoidable processes, but rather a social 

counterrevolution which has been consciously

directed at dramatically lowering the living 

standards of the working class. The impact of 

the implementation of multi-tier wage 

structures, the elimination of employer-paid 

health care, the eradication of defined-benefit 

pensions and the slashing of retiree pension 

benefits is finding expression in these 


US death rate rose in 2015
US death rate rose in 2015
By Niles Niemuth 
2 June 2016
The death rate in the United States increased across the board last year for the first time since 2005 according to preliminary figures released this week by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The report provides yet another piece of information documenting the deep social distress which is fueling the growth of social opposition in the working class.
Earlier this year the CDC reported that life 

expectancy at birth for white Americans had 

fallen between 2013 and 2014 from 78.9 years

 to 78.8 years, after remaining flat between 

2012 and 2013.
Not all Americans are being affected equally, with income and social class overwhelmingly determining the quality of an individual’s health and the length of their life. A report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in April found that income was the most critical factor in longevity and that the life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest is widening.
Growing mortality rates for working people are not the 

outcome of accidental or unavoidable processes, but rather 

a social counterrevolution which has been consciously 

directed at dramatically lowering the living standards of the

working class. The impact of the implementation of multi-

tier wage structures, the elimination of employer-paid 

health care, the eradication of defined-benefit pensions and 

the slashing of retiree pension benefits is finding expression 

in these statistics.
Policymakers have been quite open about their desire to drive down the life expectancy of the working class and poor. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the leading architects of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, has called for the rationing of health care based on income and has discouraged people from getting potentially life-saving medical screenings. On Tuesday, the day before the CDC’s figures were released, Emanuel called for raising the cost of prescription antibiotics, nominally in the name of halting over-prescription. “Low prices reduce the barrier to prescribing antibiotics, while high patient demand fosters overprescribing,” Emanuel declared.
In reality, Emanuel and his co-thinkers would be more than pleased if the rise in the death rate continued in the coming years and decades. While its full impact has yet to be felt, one of the unstated goals of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is to reduce workers’ access to health care, reducing the life expectancy for all those who cannot afford to pay in order to pad the profits of health insurers and corporations.
Decades of deindustrialization and austerity, accompanied by a dramatic rise in economic inequality and associated social ills, are finding expression in the broadest of social indicators: mortality and life expectancy.
In its latest estimates, adjusted to account for an aging population, the CDC found that the death rate was 729.5 per 100,000 in 2015, up from 723.2 in 2014. The leading causes of death following heart disease were cancers, lung disease, accidents (including automobile crashes, falls, shootings and drug overdoses) and stroke.
The national mortality rate has declined significantly and almost continuously since 1940, when the rate was 1,785 per 100,000. Above all the growth in life expectancy was the outcome of fierce struggles waged by the working class in the first half of the 20th century for better wages; shorter working hours; company-paid pensions, to provide for them in old age; and health care, which gave them access to revolutionary new medicines and treatments. Workers also fought for the implementation of safety standards and regulations which dramatically decreased the number of people killed or sickened on the job.
Yearly increases in the overall mortality rate have been relatively rare: last year was only one of seven instances in the last 36 years in which the national rate ticked upwards.
According to the CDC, the rate was driven upwards last year by an increasing rate of death from Alzheimer’s, drug overdoses and suicides. At the same time, the rate of death from heart disease, the leading cause of mortality in the US, on the decline for decades, edged up slightly.
The suicide rate in the US increased from 12.7 in the third quarter of 2014 to 13.1 in the same quarter of 2015. The rate has increased more than 24 percent since 1999, with much of the increase coming since 2006. The biggest surge in the suicide rate has occurred among young girls between the ages of 10 and 14 and men between 45 and 64.
The rate of deaths from drug overdoses also increased substantially, from 14.1 in the second quarter of 2014 to 15.2 last year. A majority of drug overdose deaths were unintentional, and opioids, including prescription pain medication and heroin, accounted for an increasing share of these deaths. The number of opioid overdoses and deaths has exploded in the last few years, an ongoing epidemic impacting cities and counties in every part of the country.
The long-term reversal of the social gains 

made by the working class has only 

accelerated in the wake of the 2008 economic 

crisis. President Obama has overseen one of 

the greatest transfers of wealth from the 

working class to the rich in world history.
Obama’s much-hailed economic recovery has seen 95 percent of all income gains go to the top 1 percent and all job growth over the last decade has come from people working as independent contractors, temps through contract agencies or on-call. Median household income has declined as workers have seen their wages and benefits stagnate or decline.
These are the objective social conditions which are driving the anger and discontent that has found an initial expression in the 2016 presidential primaries.
The fascistic and xenophobic Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has found support posing as an opponent of the political establishment and tapped into social anger over the decline of living standards, promising to “Make America Great Again.”
Under conditions where the leading Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is the favored candidate of Wall Street and the corporations that have immiserated the working class, millions of workers and young people have cast their ballot for Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders.
While the ultimate purpose of Sanders’ campaign is to direct workers and young people back into the Democratic Party, he has garnered substantial support because he promotes himself as a socialist and a staunch opponent of the “billionaire class” and the status quo which has contributed to the dramatic decline in living standards.
Growing opposition to the political establishment has been accompanied by the eruption of social struggles, including the recent strike by 39,000 communication workers at Verizon; mass protests against the poisoning of residents in Flint, Michigan; and opposition to the destruction of public education in Detroit, Michigan, the historic center of the US auto industry.




For Obama, destroying the American middle

class financially and with endless waves of

Mexican flag wavers is the first step in

reordering of America to mirror his Muslim

crony dictators over there.

"Gun homicides in America kill about as many people as car

crashes. They occur at an almost exponentially greater rate than in

all other advanced industrialized countries. In the US, the death 

rate from gun homicides is about 31 per million people per year. In

Germany, the figure is two per million; in England, only one. In

Japan, the likelihood of dying from a gunshot is roughly the same

as an American’s chance of being killed by lightning—one in 10



The final death of the American Middle Class and the
staggering expansion of the LA RAZA Mexican welfare state

The social roots of the mass shooting in Orlando

15 June 2016
It took barely 48 hours for the initial official narrative about the massacre in Orlando, Florida—that it was an ISIS-directed attack on the US homeland—to unravel. Whatever role Omar Mateen’s sympathies for Islamic terrorism may have played in his decision to carry out a mass killing at the Pulse gay bar with a military-style assault rifle, it is now acknowledged by the government that there is no evidence that his actions were directed by ISIS or any similar organization.

Moreover, it has emerged that Mateen was largely driven by a combination of personal emotional and psychological demons, including a conflicted sexual identity, and backward, reactionary and racist views that have much in common with home-grown right-wing and white supremacist groups.

These revelations have not prevented the president of the United States, the presumptive presidential nominees of both major political parties and the corporate-controlled media from continuing to exploit the deaths of 49 victims, the injuries, some life-threatening, of another 53, and the grieving of thousands of family members and friends to push a preexisting agenda of war abroad and repression within the US.

Without seriously attempting to align their prescriptions with the facts that have thus far emerged about the killer and his crime, they continue to seize on this latest in an endless series of mass shootings in America to push the so-called “war on terror,” which has played such a sinister role in creating the social environment that breeds these types of horrific events.

It is now known that Mateen’s evident homophobia coexisted with frequent visits to the Pulse bar and an active presence on social media used by homosexuals. Former coworkers have come forward to describe the killer’s far-right and racist views. Daniel Gilroy, who worked alongside Mateen between March 2014 and March 2015, can been seen in an interview posted on the New York Times web site describing his encounter with the future mass murderer.

Gilroy stated that he was “not surprised” when he heard that Mateen had carried out the Orlando massacre. “He was very racist, very sexist, anti-Jew, anti-homosexual and he made it known by derogatory statements as much as he could.” Gilroy has added that Mateen often talked about killing blacks. When his employer failed to heed his complaints about Mateen, Gilroy quit the firm.

The homicidal eruption of Omar Mateen, while the worst mass shooting in modern American history, is anything but an aberration. Thus far in June, according to the Gun Violence Archive web site, there have been 18 mass shootings in the US. Gunshot homicides totaled 8,124 in 2014, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Gun homicides in America kill about as many people as car crashes. They occur at an almost exponentially greater rate than in all other advanced industrialized countries. In the US, the death rate from gun homicides is about 31 per million people per year. In Germany, the figure is two per million; in England, only one. In Japan, the likelihood of dying from a gunshot is roughly the same as an American’s chance of being killed by lightning—one in 10 million.

The question that is imperiously raised by such facts is: What is it about American society that so frequently leads mentally unstable individuals to resort to mass murder, often combined with suicide? This is a question that the political and media establishment does not care to—or dare to—address. The reason is that it leads rapidly to an exposure of the malignant state of American capitalist society.
Instead, what is offered is a cynical and dishonest rehash of past cover-ups for the system that generates such levels of social dysfunction and violence. The official response to each new incident of mass killing is a stereotypical combination of war mongering and demands for further surveillance on the population and other police-state measures. From the Democrats, the recipe also includes demands for gun control, as though the prevalence of guns is the cause, rather than a symptom, of the disease.
From the Republicans, and especially their current likely presidential candidate, the fascistic billionaire Donald Trump, the response features new and even more savage attacks on immigrants in general, and Muslims in particular.

This was fully on display Tuesday when President Obama gave a speech following a meeting of his National Security Council. Flanked by his secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the head of the Homeland Security Department, the director of national intelligence and other security officials, Obama declared the central priority arising from the Orlando massacre to be the intensification of the war to “destroy” ISIS.

He touted his recent actions escalating US military violence in both Iraq and Syria, including the deployment of additional Special Forces troops and additional assets such as attack helicopters. He boasted of having “taken out” more than 120 top ISIS leaders, and alluded to plans to escalate the US military intervention in Libya.

He then moved to demands that Congress, meaning the Republicans, pass legislation restricting gun ownership, and concluded with a denunciation of Trump for calling for a ban on Muslim immigration and other discriminatory measures against immigrants, primarily from the standpoint of the exigencies of the “war on terror” and US neocolonial operations in Muslim countries.

Of course, as always, nothing was said about the direct responsibility of his own policies and the wars of the past quarter-century in Central Asia and the Middle East for the rise of ISIS, both in the sense of its roots in the catastrophe unleashed by US mass killing and destruction and Washington’s deliberate stoking of sectarian conflict, and in the more immediate sense of CIA backing for ISIS and its forebears and their arming and financing by Washington’s despotic regional allies.

All of this is an attempt to conceal the real causes of mass violence in America, which lie in the decay and malignant crisis of American capitalism. Obama presides over the latest chapter in 25 years of unceasing war abroad, beginning with the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, and relentless attacks on the social conditions and democratic rights of the working class at home, carried out alike by Democratic and Republican administrations.

Never-ending war has been accompanied by the militarization of social life and politics within the US. It is almost impossible to exaggerate the impact of this daily reality within the borders of the United States, especially on the most unstable social elements. Political reaction, national chauvinism, anti-immigrant racism—the most backward sentiments have been systematically cultivated in order to pursue an agenda of imperialist war and the impoverishment of the working class.

To prepare for the inevitable growth of social resistance, the police have been turned into a militarized occupation force in working-class communities, using terror, brutality and outright murder.

The betrayal and collapse of the unions, their alliance with the ruling elite against the workers and suppression of class struggle, have added to the social malaise.

Now, however, we are seeing both in the US and internationally the beginnings of a new upsurge of class struggle, driven by immense anger over the colossal growth of social inequality and the brazen criminality of the ruling elite. This prefigures the inevitable revival of social revolution.

For the American ruling class—all the more reason to seek to deflect internal social tensions outward by means of nationalism and war.

For the working class—there is only one answer to the sickeningly routine eruption of homicidal violence in America, the path of socialist revolution to put an end to the diseased system that produces such horrors.

Barry Grey 










"The country is now at the edge of an abyss following years of

obfuscation, unaccountability, subterfuge, and law evasion by the

Obama administration that have numbed much of its citizenry into

a kind of base “group think acceptance” of government corruption

and abuse of power. Resetting Americans’ trust in government

needs to start with holding people in high office, like Hillary

Clinton, accountable."

"Paralleling the ever more extreme concentration of wealth, American politics is acquiring an increasingly dynastic and nepotistic character, traditionally a hallmark of the decay of bourgeois democracy. In a country of 350 million people, the Democratic Party could do no better than nominate as its presidential candidate an individual whose political career is based, to start with, on the fact that she is the wife of a former president."








Average Family Today Has Less Income Than When Obama Took Office: The President is actually arguing that he’s done a good job with the economy.


Average Family Today Has Less Income Than When Obama Took Office

By Daniel Mitchell | June 10, 2016 | 4:19 PM EDT

(Screen Capture)
What’s the most important economic statistic to gauge a society’s prosperity?

I often use per-capita economic output when comparing nations.

But for ordinary people, what probably matters most is household income. And if you look at the median household income numbers for the United States, Obamanomics is a failure. According to the Census Bureau’s latest numbers, the average family today has less income (after adjusting for inflation) than when Obama took office.

In an amazing feat of chutzpah, however, the President is actually arguing that he’s done a good job with the economy. His main talking point is that the unemployment rate is down to 4.7 percent.

Yet as discussed in this Blaze TV interview, sometimes the unemployment rate falls for less-than-ideal reasons.

Since I’m a wonky economist, I think my most important point was about long-run prosperity being dependent on the amount of labor and capital being productively utilized in an economy.

And that’s why the unemployment rate, while important, is not as important as the labor force participation rate.

Here’s the data, directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As you can see, the trend over the past 10 years is not very heartening.

To be sure, Obama should not be blamed for the fact that a downward trend that began in 2008 (except to the extent that he supported the big-government policies of the Bush Administration).
But he can be blamed for the fact that the numbers haven’t recovered, as would normally happen as an economy pulls out of a recession. This is a rather damning indictment of Obamanomics.

By the way, I can’t resist commenting on what Obama said in the soundbite that preceded my interview. He asserted that “we cut unemployment in half years before a lot of economists thought we could.”

My jaw almost hit the floor. This is a White House that promised the unemployment rate would peak at only 8 percent and then quickly fall if the so-called stimulus was approved. Yet the joblessness rate jumped to 10 percent and only began to fall after there was a shift in policy that resulted in a spending freeze.

In effect, the President airbrushed history and then tried to take credit for something that happened, at least in part, because of policies he opposed.
One final point. I was asked in the interview which policy deserves the lion’s share of the blame for the economy’s tepid performance and weak job numbers.
I wasn’t expecting that question, so I fumbled around a bit before choosing Obamacare.
But with the wisdom of hindsight, I think I stumbled onto the right answer. Yes, the stimulus was a flop, and yes, Dodd-Frank has been a regulatory nightmare, but Obamacare was (and continues to be) a perfect storm of taxes, spending, and regulatory intervention.
And even the Congressional Budget Office estimates it has cost the economy two million jobs.
Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute. Mitchell is a strong advocate of a flat tax and international tax competition.

Hillary Clinton: Dedicated Servant of the Super Rich, Obama’s Crony Banksters and the Mexican Fascist Party of LA RAZA

"The country is now at the edge of an abyss following years of obfuscation, unaccountability, subterfuge, and law evasion by the Obama administration that have numbed much of its citizenry into a kind of base “group think acceptance” of government corruption and abuse of power. Resetting Americans’ trust in government needs to start with holding people in high office, like Hillary Clinton, accountable."

Heather Mac Donald: White House doesn't want to enforce immigration


Is the CIA Investigation the OBAMA Amnesty as a Surrender of American Sovereignty to Mexico?

Poverty has become more concentrated under Obama

By Nancy Hanover

2 May 2016

Under the Obama administration, more Americans have found themselves consigned to economic ghettos, living in neighborhoods where more than 40 percent subsist below the poverty level. Millions more now live in “high poverty” districts of 20-40 percent poverty, according to recently released report by the Brookings Institution.


The return of “secular stagnation”

The return of “secular stagnation”

17 June 2016
Since the official end of the US recession in 2009, following the global financial crisis, the conventional wisdom from the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, has been that various “headwinds” are responsible for the failure of the American economy to return to anything resembling its previous growth path.
The underlying assumption has been that the financial crisis of 2008–2009 did not represent any kind of fundamental breakdown in the capitalist economy, but was merely a downturn in the business cycle, albeit a very severe one, from which there would be a return at some point to a “normal” pattern of economic expansion.
However, the press conference of Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday, following the decision by the Federal Open Market Committee not to lift interest rates, saw a marked shift. While her prepared remarks stuck by and large to the official script that the prevailing “headwinds” would ease over time, a rather different assessment emerged during Yellen’s question and answer session with reporters.
In view of the fact that the Fed’s outlook for interest rates had been revised sharply down, even though its projections for gross domestic product growth had not, Yellen was asked whether there had been “a dramatic change in the Committee’s view on the relationship of GDP to [interest] rates.”
Her answer indicated there had, or at least that behind the fa├žade of official pronouncements the view is developing that a fundamental shift is underway.
She noted that the so-called “neutral rate”—that is, the interest rate needed to keep the economy growing at near full employment—was “quite depressed by historical standards” and that “many estimates would put it in real or inflation adjusted terms at near zero.”
Yellen referred, according to the usual script, to “headwinds” and what she called the “lingering effects of the financial crisis,” which were expected to “ease” over time. “But there are also more long lasting or persistent factors that may be at work that are holding down the longer run neutral rates,” she added.
Chief among those factors was “slow productivity growth, which is not just a US phenomenon, but a global phenomenon.” There was considerable uncertainty, but “productivity growth could stay low for a prolonged time” and we have “aging societies in many parts of the world that could depress this neutral rate. … The sense that maybe more of what’s causing this neutral rate to be so low are factors that are not going to be rapidly disappearing but will be part of the new normal.”
Yellen’s comments followed the warning by the Conference Board, a major US economic think tank, that productivity growth could go negative this year for the first time in more than three decades.
While she did not use the term herself, 

Yellen’s remarks point to the emergence of 

what former Treasury Secretary Lawrence 

Summers and others have referred to as 

“secular stagnation.” This term was first by 

coined by economist Alvin Hansen in 1938 to 

describe a structural condition in the 

capitalist economy where, no matter how low 

interest rates go, there is no growth because 

the level of demand, particularly investment, 

is not in a cyclical downturn but permanently

insufficient to ensure economic expansion.
Yellen’s reference to “aging societies” as an explanation for what she clearly recognises as a shift in the global economy, recalls nothing so much as the explanation of the classical bourgeois economist of the early nineteenth century, David Ricardo, who, when confronted with the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, ascribed it to the declining fertility of land and the fall in productivity in agriculture. As Marx pithily remarked, horrified by this prospect which called into question the historical viability of the capitalist economy, Ricardo took flight to the sphere of organic chemistry. Likewise Yellen, when confronted with persistent economic trends, seeks refuge in demographics.
In opposition to Ricardo, Marx explained that the real barrier to expanded capitalist production was not a product of nature, but of capital itself—private ownership of the means of production and the profit system.
Economic trends and tendencies reaching back over the past quarter century underscore the point made by Marx. Following the end of the post-war boom and the downturn in profit rates at the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, global capitalism experienced a series of crises, exemplified above all by the persistence of what was known as “stagflation”—low growth and recession combined with high inflation rates.
This crisis was temporarily overcome through an onslaught against the social position of the working class—the mass sacking of air traffic controllers in the US by Reagan in 1981 and the forcible state-suppression of the 1984–85 miners’ strike by the Thatcher government in Britain were key turning points—and the exploitation of new areas of cheap labour through the globalisation of production.
But the limited upturn in the rate of profit this produced did not bring about a return to the conditions of relative economic stability which marked the post-war boom. On the contrary, from the time of the October 1987 US stock market crash, world capitalism has been marked by increasing financial turmoil.
It became increasingly dependent on the injections of cheap money from the Fed and other central banks to quell ever-more severe financial storms—from the Mexican financial crisis of the early 1990s, the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 and the collapse of Long Term Capital Management, the collapse of the bubble in 2000–2001, leading to the financial crisis of 2008 set off by the bursting of the sub-prime mortgage bubble.
The Fed and other central banks responded to that crisis as they did in the past, with massive injections of cheap money. But despite the spending of trillions of dollars in the purchase of financial assets and the lowering of interest rates to zero and even below, there has been no revival in the real economy. The only effect of these measures has been to boost financial speculation to unprecedented heights, while producing ever-widening social inequality and worsening wages and social conditions for the world’s working class.
Economic history does not repeat itself. But the capitalist economy does have laws of motion, producing discernible trends and tendencies which find their expression not only in the economy but in politics.
The year 1914 is forever etched in history as the year of the outbreak of World War I. But it was economically significant as well. It marked a downturn in profit and growth rates that, despite all efforts to overcome it, continued through the 1920s and 1930s, resulting in the Great Depression.
These underlying processes produced a contraction in the world economy which led inexorably to the outbreak of World War II as the major capitalist powers engaged in an intensifying struggle for contracting markets and profits, first by use of economic nationalist methods—increased tariffs and the formation of currency blocs—and then by military means.
Today’s world is marked by the return of these conditions: the stagnation of the world economy, glutted markets in a series of commodities and industrial products, persistently low levels of investment, the driving force of economic growth, currency conflicts and intensifying financial crisis, to name but a few examples.
And they are inevitably leading in the same direction as in earlier decades: a world war for the division and re-division of the world economy, with potential nuclear consequences and the destruction of civilisation itself.
The fact that the objective contradictions of capitalism have now managed, at least partially, to have drummed their way into the heads of the overseers of global capitalism, such as Yellen, is an indication of the advanced state of the economic crisis.
It must be a signal to the international working class that the urgent issue before it is the struggle for an international socialist program for the overthrow of the reactionary and outmoded capitalist nation-state and profit system and the building of the world party of socialist revolution, the International Committee of the Fourth International, to lead it.
Nick Beams