“Print The Money”: Trump’s “Reckless” Proposal Echoes Franklin And Lincoln

'Conventional monetary policy has failed,' writes Brown. An economy in service of the people, not industry and the banks, is what's needed now. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

By Ellen Brown for Web of Debt – “Reckless,” “alarming,” “disastrous,” “swashbuckling,” “playing with fire,” “crazy talk,” “lost in a forest of nonsense”: these are a few of the labels applied by media commentators to Donald Trump’s latest proposal for dealing with the federal debt. On Monday, May 9th, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate said on CNN, “You print the money.” The remark was in response to a firestorm created the previous week, when Trump was asked if the US should pay its debt in full or possibly negotiate partial repayment.

Is The US Economy Heading For Recession?

Dollar Bills Source Reuters

By Jack Rasmus for Telesur. This past week the U.S. government announced the contry’s economy rose in the January-March 2016 at a mere 0.5 percent annual growth rate. Since the U.S., unlike other countries, estimates its GDP based on annual rates, that means for the first quarter 2016 the U.S. economy grew by barely 0.1 percent over the previous quarter in late 2015. Growth this slow indicates the US economy may have “slipped into ‘stall speed’, that is, growth so weak that the economy loses enough momentum and slides into recession”, according to economists at JPMorgan Chase. Has the U.S. economy therefore come to a halt the past three months? If so, what are the consequences for a global economy already progressively slowing? What will an apparently stagnating US economy mean for Japan, already experiencing its fifth recession since 2008?

Venezuela Charges US: Undermined Meeting To Stabilize Oil Prices

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By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas for Venezuelanalysis. Caracas, April 20th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan Oil and Mining Minister Euologio del Pino has accused the US government of deliberately scuppering the efforts of major oil-producing countries to put a cap on global production levels amidst a historic slump in oil prices. Referring to a major meeting convened between an array of 18 OPEC and non-OPEC countries in Doha on April 17th, Del Pino stated that the US had deliberately put pressure on countries not to attend, as well as to adopt hardline positions against the proposed measures. “This political agenda is against our country… because it is supposed that by maintaining low oil prices, they will bring the downfall of Venezuela,” said the minister on Tuesday.

“Gig Economy”; Another Vicious Attack On Ordinary Working Slobs

From CounterPunch.com

By Mike Whitney for Counter Punch – “Contrary to the rising-tide hypothesis, the rising tide has only lifted the large yachts, while many of the smaller boats have been dashed on the rocks.” Joseph Stiglitz, economist American plutocrats and their political lackeys in congress have implemented a plan that’s putting pressure on wages and further decimating the already-battered middle class. By sustaining high levels of unemployment over a long period of time, US elites have “restructured the labor force”…

How Supreme Court Made Economic Inequality Worse

Lady Justice may not be blind after all. Lady Justice via www.shutterstock.com

By Michele Gilman for The Conversation – Economic inequality is now firmly on the public agenda as candidates and voters alike look for someone to blame for stagnant wages, entrenched poverty and a widening gap between rich and poor. Bernie Sanders blames Wall Street. Donald Trump points his finger at companies moving overseas. Hillary Clinton identifies middle-class families who are working harder but staying in place as the root cause. While all these factors and others helped increase inequality, they overlook the role of a key American institution that has also helped widen the gap between rich and poor: the Supreme Court.

Odious Debt (And What We Can Do About It)

Image by Mike Fleshman, from Wikipedia

By Charles Eisenstein for Local Futures – Do mortgage debtors, credit card debtors, and student loan borrowers have a moral obligation to pay back their debts? Is it unethical for debtor nations to default on their loans? Most folks, thinking themselves to be honorable people, feel a strong moral obligation to “make good” on their debts, to honor their debts, to follow through on what looks very much like a promise to repay. Today, however, a burgeoning debt resistance movement draws from the realization that many of these debts are not fair.

Financial Turn-Around Starts Here: A Public Bank For Santa Fe

From Flickr/ GotCredit

By Nichoe Lichen for Green Fire Times – The crash of 2008 just keeps on giving. We didn’t make it happen, but somehow it’s ours to fix. Historically, governments look to raising taxes and cutting jobs and services to “fix the problem.” So it goes in the city of Santa Fe this year. This may be a short-term necessity, given the city’s current financial crisis, but Banking on New Mexico believes the time is right for a better long-term strategy that includes a public bank that will invest our public funds—interest earned from those taxes, fees and fines we all pay—back into our community.

Newsletter: Defeating The Oligarchs

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. People in the US are taught that the way to create change is through voting. But in reality, voting in the US is very limited and ineffective. In an article, “Don’t Count on Elections: Organize or Die” the authors examine the myriad of ways that elections fail to create change; how they are designed to place a middleman, your representative, between you and the change you want and how elections tend to reinforce the status quo rather than change it. They point to South Carolina where there have been numerous attempts to rid the state of the Confederate Flag, but it was not until an activist climbed up a flag pole and took it down, that the government finally acted. Direct action, at the right moment, was more powerful than elections.

Mother Nature Strikes Back Against The Carbon Economy

Mother Nature Image by Lauren Walker for Truthout

By JP Sottile for Truthout. Big Oil is a bad investment fueled by irrational exuberance, chronic cronyism and an increasingly indefensible misallocation of capital. And decades of throwing good money after bad has produced a distorted economic system that socializes risk, privatizes profits, externalizes costs and misallocates capital. This continues because policy makers sustain it with taxpayer-funded subsidies, costly tax breaks and low-overhead access to publicly held resources. By failing to institute much-needed cost internalization mechanisms and by completely avoiding the key problem of government subsidization, the cork-popping cadre of COP21 tacitly admitted what most cynics already knew – policy makers still believe “Big Oil” is far too big to fail. But, like other distorted markets in history, the correction is coming. The growing impact of climate change is exposing the key fallacy at the heart of the hydrocarbon economy: Big Oil cannot simply exempt itself from the natural economy governing all things in this closed system called planet Earth.

Newsletter: Why Protests Will Continue To Grow

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. This week the reason that there are a growing protest movement and growing disenchantment with government was put on display. The divergence between government and reality was thrust in our faces. The entire government came together, Members of Congress, the Cabinet, military leaders, the Supreme Court, Vice President and President (minus the ‘selected survivor’ in case the Capitol was attacked, the head of Homeland Security) to hear the State of the Union. The choreographed self-praise of people who will spend $5 billion this year of mostly big business money to get re-elected was evident from the moment the door was opened. Hugs and kisses, backslapping all around, required applause as the President approached the podium, more staged applause when he was introduced and then, as if they were trained, dozens of standing ovations on cue – 89 times in a 58-minute speech the President was applauded.

Iceland Sentences 26 Corrupt Bankers To 74 Years In Prison

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By Grouch E Geezr for AmericanNewsX.com. Iceland just sentenced their 26th banker to prison for his part in the 2008 economic collapse. The charges ranged from breach of fiduciary duties to market manipulation to embezzlement. When most people think of Iceland, they envision fire and ice. Major volcanoes and vast ice fields are abundant due to its position on the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. (A hot July day in Reykjavik is around 55 degrees.) However, Iceland is also noted for being one of the Nordic Socialist countries, complete with universal health care, free education and a lot other Tea Potty nightmares.

To Put Bankers Behind Bars, Spanish Citizens Take 1% To Court

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By Steve Rushton for Occupy – Elites regularly profit with impunity from financial corruption. This is clearly demonstrated by the numerous billion-dollar financial scandals in recent years, including LIBOR rate fixing, tax evasion, commodity price fixing and financial mis-selling schemes. The political power of finance and its revolving door into government makes many bankers seem above the law. But this immunity is not unbreakable, as demonstrated by the wave of Spanish citizens now leading an anti-corruption charge unlike any that has come before.

Obama’s Siren Song, Jill Stein And Medea Benjamin

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By Staff of Acronym TV – This week on Acronym TV: The YES MEN strike again!, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink on Obama’s foreign policy legacy, Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein on the #AfterBern and the Obama #SOTU and Dennis breaks down Obama’s Siren song

China’s Stock Market Turmoil: A Sign Of What’s To Come?

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By Jerome Roos for Tele Sur – It has been a dismal start to the year for world markets. After trading on the Chinese stock market was suspended twice last week when a collapse in share prices tripped an ill-conceived automatic “circuit breaker”, the resultant investor panic knocked more than $2.3 trillion off stocks worldwide — marking the worst start to a financial year on record. But while China’s stock market turmoil has grabbed all the attention and dominated headlines across the globe, the real threat to the world economy lies not in the country’s speculative stock exchange but in its “real” economy…

SOTU Was Not The Speech Black Lives Matter Wanted To Hear

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By Kira Lerner for Think Progress – Last year, Black Lives Matter activists made it a practice to interrupt politician’s speeches to chant the name of their movement and to demand that elected officials recognize the high rate that black men and women are killed at the hands of police. Tonight, one of the movement’s founders will be in the audience at President Obama’s final State of the Union. Though she won’t be interrupting the president, Alicia Garza, who was invited as a guest of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), told ThinkProgress that she wants Obama to address various issues that affect black Americans including criminal justice reform, voting rights, and immigration.