George Carlin – It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t In It! The American Dream

The Real Owners of this Country don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They want OBEDIENT WORKERS, OBEDIENT WORKERS.

Joseph Stiglitz: the Right’s China Policy was Designed to Raise Profits by Weakening Wages (Labor)

Joseph Eugene Stiglitz (/ˈstɪɡlɪts/; born February 9, 1943) is an American economist, public policy analyst, and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979).[2][3] He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a former member and chairman of the (US president’s) Council of Economic Advisers.[4][5]
some ways I one has to recognize that
42:32
China may have been lucky they began the
42:37
development strategy just at the moment
42:39
when the West was very open to importing
42:43
manufacturing goods it was a moment
42:49
where because there were a large profit
42:54
opportunities in the West that sustained
42:58
the opening with wrong without regard to
43:01
the effects and workers over the over
43:04
the effects and the overall economy so
43:09
in a way China’s success is testimony to
43:13
the failures of democratic politics in
43:16
the United States in Western Europe
43:19
because the rules the game were designed
43:26
worked to advantage American
43:29
corporations Western European
43:31
corporations with no attention paid to
43:37
the consequences to the workers as the
43:41
United States d industrialized now some
43:43
countries in Europe did pay attention
43:45
and they did have active labor market
43:49
policies that shifted workers from the
43:53
old sectors that were dying into the new
43:55
sectors and Scandinavia has been very
43:58
good in these active labor market
44:00
policies which I think are really
44:02
important in the United States we didn’t
44:06
do that even though economic theory said
44:11
opening up of trade between an
44:14
banks country like the United States and
44:16
China West events would result in lower
44:21
real incomes for unskilled workers
44:24
there’s a missing Stover theorem and it
44:28
was unambiguously clear even though we
44:31
were getting cheaper goods real incomes
44:34
of unskilled workers would go down and
44:36
it’s only if you had a mystical belief
44:39
in trickle-down economics would you
44:41
think otherwise but our politicians did
44:44
have a mystical belief in trickle-down
44:46
economics and they asserted this over
44:51
and over again and so even when you know
44:54
in the Democratic Party we tried to get
44:57
Trade Adjustment Assistance we try to
44:59
have some active labor market policies
45:01
when we couldn’t because of concerns
45:04
about austerity and not enough budget
45:07
concerns they wouldn’t work we went
45:11
ahead anyway there is a growing sense
45:15
the United States though that actually
45:16
the agenda on the right was to increase
45:23
unemployment and suffering you say why
45:26
would they anybody you know why do
45:29
people want suffering well it was part
45:32
of a concerted agenda if you look at to
45:35
weaken the bargaining power of workers
45:38
and drive down the wages which increases
45:41
profits so if you look at this from a
45:45
conservative point of view the reforms
45:47
and our labor laws and reforms in the
45:51
way antitrust policy was enforced that
45:55
reform is a not the right word but
45:58
changes in those laws changes in
46:02
corporate governance and implicit
46:04
understandings the legal frameworks and
46:08
in the investment agreements in the
46:10
trade agreements the investment
46:12
agreements they gave more secure
46:14
property rights if American firms
46:16
invested abroad than if they vested at
46:18
home which meant that they were
46:21
encouraged to invest abroad which also
46:24
meant that if the firm if workers came
46:27
to affirming
46:28
we want higher wages and the firms know
46:31
if you we give you if you continue to
46:35
demand higher wages we’re going to leave
46:37
that was more credible so I think it was
46:43
a deliberate strategy to drive down the
46:45
wages of workers and it worked in terms
46:50
of the economics that I described before
46:52
it did drive down the wages but it has
46:55
now led to these this political backlash
46:58
with which we are dealing so there is a
47:04
relationship between China’s success and
47:07
some of the problems that we’re facing
47:09
it wasn’t inevitable we could have
47:11
managed it better we should have managed
47:14
it better but we didn’t but just as a
47:16
footnote the point I’m making is that
47:20
that was a particularly
47:23
Africa won’t be able to follow the
47:25
manufacturing export-led growth model
47:28
that led to the success of East Asian
47:32
countries including China in fact now
47:36
globally manufacturing employment is in
47:40
decline in any country that believes
47:44
that manufacturing should be at the
47:46
center of their economic policy is
47:48
misguided it can be part of it it can’t
47:52
be at the center well let me just
47:57
conclude by SEP some let me just
48:02
conclude by a set of remarks about that
48:07
in a way that pertain to all countries
48:10
but we’re we’re china realized this in a
48:16
way more forcefully than many others
48:18
have and that is that reform is a
48:20
never-ending process that societies are
48:28
always changing technology’s changing
48:30
and therefore the policies that are
48:36
going to make a society successful have
48:38
to change in a corresponding way
48:41
for China China’s entering a new stage
48:43
of development it’s facing critical
48:46
problems of inequality health
48:47
environment livable cities markets won’t
48:51
solve those problems in fact many of
48:53
those problems have been created by the
48:56
fact that they had markets that were too
49:00
unfettered to under-regulated
49:02
they’re going to have to regulate them
49:04
better there are further questions posed
49:09
by changing globalization the
49:12
recognition of the risks of excessive
49:14
financialization the West
49:18
I believe hasn’t succeeded in adequately
49:20
taming financial markets as you know
49:23
this is this week is the 10th
49:25
anniversary Lehman Brothers and and a
49:27
lot of people are talking about have we
49:29
done enough I think it’s absolutely
49:32
clear no and what’s particularly
49:39
disturbing is the Trump administration
49:41
is trying to undo the inadequate things
49:44
that we’ve already done again I was at a
49:48
dinner right before the inauguration of
49:51
Trump where one of his chief economic
49:54
advisors was there
49:56
I don’t normally associate with his
49:57
people might make it clearer but it was
50:02
an embassy dinner so I and I didn’t know
50:06
he was going to be there anyway
50:10
and he was talking about how he was
50:16
going to deregulate the financial sector
50:19
within weeks after taking office and the
50:26
first thing that struck me is he clearly
50:28
had no idea of our democratic processes
50:31
yeah he really thought you know Trump is
50:34
the dictator he gets to write rewrite
50:36
all the rules no no none of these
50:38
processes that we put in place as
50:40
democratic checks against authoritarian
50:43
leaders no knowledge of that was just so
50:46
clear but the second point I was going
50:50
to ask what somebody who asked it before
50:51
I did quizzically
50:55
didn’t we have a crisis in 2008 and the
51:02
implicit answer was that was ancient
51:04
history and we have to move on but it’s
51:09
not ancient history and I think the
51:12
risks are very much with us one of the
51:17
concerns that I increasingly seeing in
51:20
China is that as China grows the
51:26
influence of vested interest will grow
51:28
and you can feel it already
51:32
another just a little anecdote every
51:36
year when I go to China I often talked
51:42
to the finance minister and I’ve been
51:43
pushing them to move away from their
51:46
debt finance growth model to more tax
51:50
financed in particular I’m telling them
51:53
they need a carbon tax and it would
51:56
raise a lot of revenue it would help
51:59
clean up their air pollution exceed me
52:02
an obvious idea and the finance minister
52:05
every year says great idea and he says
52:10
we have some political problems which he
52:14
means the auto industry the coal
52:16
industry this you know steel industry
52:18
and so forth we’re gonna work on it next
52:22
year we go through the same conversation
52:27
as China has grown and it has taken on
52:31
many of the features of a modern vested
52:37
interest economy we’re getting change is
52:41
becoming more difficult and that of
52:43
course is is very worrisome but the
52:49
principles that guided China in the
52:53
first 40 years are likely to continue to
52:55
be relevant and that by that I mean the
52:57
pragmatism crossing the river by feeling
53:00
this still stone they’re going to be new
53:02
problems not fully foreseen would that
53:04
appear it will have to address these
53:08
problems
53:09
using insights from theory and past
53:11
experience and the second critical point
53:14
is openness there is much to be learned
53:18
from experiences of others and from the
53:20
ink sykes of non-ideological economic
53:23
analysis and again we’re in a particular
53:29
moment where I hate to keep coming back
53:34
to the United States but we’re a little
53:35
bit obsessed with with our problems one
53:41
can’t help but reflect on the closed
53:45
mindedness of our current administration
53:48
of not looking around you know if you
53:52
think you’re number one and you think
53:54
that you’re the there’s nothing to learn
53:57
from anybody else that is part of the
54:02
beginning of the end so we hope that
54:05
this is just a temporary interlude but
54:09
as we reflect on what makes I know
54:14
successful in the ways it is I think
54:18
there are a lot of lessons for all of us
54:19
to think about how we can make our own
54:21
economy successful for all of us thank
54:24
you
54:30

A prophetic interview with Sir James Goldsmith in 1994

Sir James Michael “Jimmy” Goldsmith (26 February 1933  18 July 1997) was an Anglo-French financier. Towards the end of his life, he became a magazine publisher and a politician. In 1994, he was elected to represent France as a Member of the European Parliament and he subsequently founded the short-lived eurosceptic Referendum Party in Britain.
In this interview, Sir Goldsmith discusses the ramifications of free-trade agreements that were about to take place in 1994 (GATT), as you can retrospectively see, he correctly predicted many of the things that happened after that.

How Corporations Destroyed American Democracy – Chris Hedges.

How Corporations Destroyed American Democracy – Chris Hedges.
Filmed at Socialism 2010 in Chicago by Paul Hubbard

Stock Buybacks Enrich Management (Bad Stewards)

Dimon, Iger, Cook, Nadella, Pichai, Fink … they’re not founders like Gates or Bezos. They’re not investors like Buffett or Dalio. They’re management. And now they’re billionaires. And all their captains and lesser brethren are centimillionaires. And all their lieutenants and subalterns are decamillionaires.

And everyone is perfectly fine with this. No one even notices that this is happening or that it’s different or that it’s a sea change in how we organize wealth in our society. It’s not good or bad or deserved or undeserved. It just IS. This is our Zeitgeist.

This Is Water
One day we will recognize the defining Zeitgeist of the Obama/Trump years for what it is: an unparalleled transfer of wealth to the managerial class.

It’s the triumph of the manager over the steward. The triumph of the manager over the entrepreneur. The triumph of the manager over the founder. The triumph of the manager over ALL.

Comment

If TXN is the poster child of financialization, where are the owners? Who should be voting against all this bullshit? Where’s the corporate raider coming in to unlock shareholder value.

Here’s a quick google search.

Mutual fund holders 51.33%
Other institutional 37.52%
Individual stakeholders 0.55%

The finance industry is having it’s own “god is dead and we have killed him” moment.

Many speculate what the end game of “passive” investing looks like.

This is a preview.

But that’s what everyone in finance does. Don’t look at individual investments, build a portfolio. Hurray indexing. Hurray diversification. Hurray diversified portfolio across asset classes because you can’t make alpha without private information.

Are you investing in a way that supports more of this shit? Then going to your favorite forum “let’s ban buybacks”.

open eyes
clear hearts

Don’t buy TXN stock(directly or indirectly).

Question for Ben: Is there any TXN under your management?

Stephen Kinzer “The Brothers”

15:01 Sullivan and Cromwell was a law firm that specialized in pressuring small companies to do what American companies wanted them to do.

Their uncle sent marines to attack the liberals in Cuba who had won an election.

Elizabeth Warren Pushes Further Restrictions on Lobbyists

Ahead of a major address in New York City, the Democratic hopeful is wrapping her campaign in an anticorruption pitch to Democratic primary voters

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is proposing a federal ban on all fundraising activities hosted by lobbyists as part of a new, broad set of anticorruption proposals, adding weight to a theme that has underpinned her White House bid.

The plan, outlined Monday morning on the blog site Medium, builds on anticorruption legislation Ms. Warren announced last year. It adds the new lobbying prohibitions, as well as a ban to prevent senior executive branch officials and members of Congress from serving on for-profit boards—whether or not they receive compensation from such positions. Ms. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, unveiled the proposal ahead of one of the splashiest events of her presidential campaign: an evening speech at New York City’s Washington Square Park.

The ideas are unlikely to become law while Republicans control the Senate and the White House. GOP lawmakers have generally lined up against similar proposals, citing constitutional concerns.

Typically, new restrictions on registered lobbyists lead to more Washington operatives deciding not to register, instead referring to themselves as consultants or strategic advisers. Ms. Warren says her plan would close that workaround by expanding the definition of lobbyist to include “all individuals paid to influence government.”

Such appeals to the idea that Washington is corrupt could pay off at the ballot box in 2020. In a WSJ/NBC News poll conducted last fall ahead of the midterm elections, 77% of all respondents said reducing the influence of special interests and corruption in Washington ranked as either the most important or a very important factor in deciding which candidate should get their vote. The only issue that ranked higher was the economy. Many Democrats who won House seats in 2018 campaigned on decreasing the influence of money in politics.

“Look closely, and you’ll see—on issue after issue, widely popular policies are stymied because giant corporations and billionaires who don’t want to pay taxes or follow any rules use their money and influence to stand in the way of big, structural change,” Ms. Warren wrote Monday.

Ms. Warren is also pushing to alter the definition of a “thing of value” in campaign finance laws to include tangible benefits made for campaign purposes, in what appeared to be a nod to President Trump.

Newsletter Sign-up

The Wall Street Journal reported in November 2018 that Mr. Trump intervened to suppress stories about alleged sexual encounters with women, including the former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the former adult-film star known professionally as Stormy Daniels, citing interviews with three dozen people, court papers, corporate records and other documents. The president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, told a federal judge that Mr. Trump had directed him during the 2016 campaign to buy the silence of two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty in August 2018 to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations. Mr. Trump has denied the encounters.

Ms. Warren is additionally proposing making it harder for corporations to seal settlements of product liability litigation, something Democrats have called for in the past, notably in 2014 following a faulty ignition switch installed on 2.6 million General Motors vehicles.