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Financial Warfare and the EU Showdown: Greece Takes on the Vampire Squid

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  • Greece and the troika (the International Monetary Fund, the EU, and the European Central Bank) are in a dangerous game of chicken. The Greeks have been threatened with a “Cyprus-Style prolonged bank holiday” if they “vote wrong.” But they have been bullied for too long and are saying “no more.”
  • Syriza’s historic win puts Greece on collision course with Europe
  • The Truth About Jobs That No One Wants to Tell You

Ellen Brown, Global Research

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PBI-weblogo.jpg?1412977909January 7, 2015 | A return to the polls was triggered in December, when the Parliament rejected Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ pro-austerity candidate for president. In a general election, now set for January 25th, the EU-skeptic, anti-austerity, leftist Syriza party is likely to prevail. Syriza captured a 3% lead in the polls following mass public discontent over the harsh austerity measures Athens was forced to accept in return for a €240 billion bailout.

Austerity has plunged the economy into conditions worse than in the Great Depression. As Professor Bill Black observes, the question is not why the Greek people are rising up to reject the barbarous measures but what took them so long.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com, http://PublicBankSolution.com, and http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.

Full story … 

Related:

Syriza’s historic win puts Greece on collision course with Europe, Ian Traynor, and Helena Smith, Guardian

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  • Voters reject EU austerity for radical alternative of far-left party
  • Upstarts fall two seats short of an overall majority
  • ‘Greece has turned a page,’ says 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras
  • Austerity Is Poisoning The Economy, In 2 Charts

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The Truth About Jobs That No One Wants to Tell You, Robert Reich, LA Progressive

  • If government doesn’t spend more right now and get Americans back to work, we could be out of work for years. And the debt will be with us even longer. And politics could get much uglier.
  • What the AFL-CIO Did Not Say About Raising Wages

The Truth About Jobs That No One Wants to Tell You

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  • If government doesn’t spend more right now and get Americans back to work, we could be out of work for years. And the debt will be with us even longer. And politics could get much uglier.
  • What the AFL-CIO Did Not Say About Raising Wages

Robert Reich, LA Progressive

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Job-loss.giUnemployment will almost certainly remain in double digits next year — and may remain there for some time. And for every person who shows up as unemployed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey, you can bet there’s another either too discouraged to look for work or working part time who’d rather have a full-time job or else taking home less pay than before (I’m in the last category, now that the University of California has instituted pay cuts). And there’s yet another person who’s more fearful that he or she will be next to lose a job.

In other words, ten percent unemployment really means twenty percent underemployment or anxious employment. All of which translates directly into late payments on mortgages, credit cards, auto and student loans, and loss of health insurance. It also means sleeplessness for tens of millions of Americans. And, of course, fewer purchases (more on this in a moment).

Robert Reich is an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He's the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century.

Full story … 

Related:

What the AFL-CIO Did Not Say About Raising Wages, Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer, LA Progressive

  • The Democrats will have nothing to do with a $15 minimum wage because their handlers, the 1%, as a rule firmly reject it.
  • Let's Not Be Fooled by Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders

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Series | Haiti A Shaky Recovery, Part 3: Revival of Haiti’s withered coffee industry would boost rural livelihoods.

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Haiti’s storied coffee industry collapsed in the 1980s amid political instability and low prices. Now, it is once again seen as a promising avenue for development — but local farmers need to get reacquainted with the bean.

Ángel González, Seattle (WA) Times

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2025390690.jpgOgisna Journal, president of a coffee cooperative in Haiti, participates in Catholic Relief Services’ Mountains to Markets project. Journal was recently at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s annual meeting in Seattle.  Mike Siegel / the Seattle Times

Enoch Télémaque, a 47-year-old farmer, remembers when the misty mountains at Haiti’s southwestern tip were among the richest pillars of a booming coffee industry.

“Everything was covered with coffee,” he said, pointing to the hills surrounding the shack where the town’s tiny coffee cooperative shelters from the rain. When he was a child, said Télémaque, raindrops meant “Everybody put on their gear to go out and plant coffee.”

Haiti was once the world’s largest coffee producer, though deforestation and neglect erased that wealth decades ago.

Ángel GonzálezSeattle (WA) Times business reporter

Full story … 

Related:

Part 2: Push to make Haiti an e-cash economy fell far short

In the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, few people have bank accounts. But cheap cellphones are ubiquitous, and for people like Johanna Joseph, they are the sole link with any form of banking.

Part 1: Five years after quake, emerging northern Haiti faces challenges

It’s been half a decade since a 7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti, and a tiny northern fishing village has its first electricity, illuminating both the nation’s recovery and the obstacles slowing its progress.

Syriza’s historic win puts Greece on collision course with Europe

Politics%20Banner.jpg

  • Voters reject EU austerity for radical alternative of far-left party
  • Upstarts fall two seats short of an overall majority
  • ‘Greece has turned a page,’ says 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras
  • Austerity Is Poisoning The Economy, In 2 Charts

Ian Traynor, and Helena Smith, Guardian

Starbuck%27s%20Cafe%20Latte%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Monday 26 January 2015 | European politics has been plunged into a volatile new era following an historic victory in Greece’s general election by far-left radicals committed to ending years of austerity.

More than five years into the euro crisis that started in Greece in October 2009 and raised questions about the single currency’s survival, Greek voters roundly rejected the savage spending cuts and tax rises imposed by Europe which reduced the country to penury.

Ian Traynor is the Guardian's European editor. He is based in Brussels.

 

Helena Smith is the Guardian's correspondent in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

Full story … 

Related:

Austerity Is Poisoning The Economy, In 2 Charts, Mark Gongloff, Huffington Post

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  • "Congress has severely damaged the economy with deep spending cuts in a misguided attempt to solve a short-term debt crisis that simply does not exist," wrote Center for American Progress (CAP) economists Harry Stein and Adam Hersh.
  • How Austerity Wrecked the American Economy

Series | Haiti A Shaky Recovery, Part 2: Push to make Haiti an e-cash economy fell far short

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The Gates Foundation, Mercy Corps and others hoped ‘mobile wallets’ — cash disbursed via cellphones — would propel Haitians to new level of economic and financial security. Initial success gave way to failure, but now locals are reviving this effort to leapfrog into the future.

 Ángel González, Seattle (WA) Times

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2025376210.jpgJohanna Joseph, at a payment agent’s window, watches for $40 to appear on her cellphone’s “mobile wallet.’ Mike Siegel / the Seattle (WA) Times

In the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, few people have bank accounts. But cheap cellphones are ubiquitous, and for people like Johanna Joseph, they are the sole link with any form of banking.

While most Haitians store their wealth in the form of crumpled, grimy bills, Joseph gets a monthly stipend from the government deposited directly into an electronic cash account tied to her cellphone.

One afternoon last November, the 28-year-old mother of two used the system for the first time. She withdrew the equivalent of $40 in local currency at a poorly lit shop in Carrefour, a down-and-out suburb of Port-au-Prince that still bears the scars of the 2010 earthquake.

Ángel González: Seattle (WA) Times business reporter

Full story … 

Related:

Part 1: Five years after quake, emerging northern Haiti faces challenges

It’s been half a decade since a 7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti, and a tiny northern fishing village has its first electricity, illuminating both the nation’s recovery and the obstacles slowing its progress.

Series: Haiti A Shaky Recovery | Part 1: Five years after quake, emerging northern Haiti faces challenges

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It’s been half a decade since a 7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti, and a tiny northern fishing village has its first electricity, illuminating both the nation’s recovery and the obstacles slowing its progress.

Ángel González, Seattle (WA) Times 

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ABPub/2014/12/29/2025341898.jpgA typical street scene in Cap-Haïtien illustrates the lack of infrastructure in Haiti’s second largest city, which was spared by the earthquake. Nonprofits and the U.S. government have been trying to make this region’s economy self-sustaining, with mixed results. Mike Siegel / the Seattle Times 

The village of Madras lies at the end of a dusty road in a forgotten corner of Haiti’s northeastern plains, not far from where Christopher Columbus is thought to have established the first European settlement in the “New World” in 1492.

Most of its inhabitants have long lived in a way Columbus would have found familiar: gathering salt and small fish to dry in the sun, and relying on oil lamps for light.

Last summer the town got its first electricity, thanks to an $18 million, U.S.-financed power plant built to feed the nearby Caracol Industrial Park — an ambitious and still-unfulfilled effort to turn Haiti’s impoverished north into a hub of industry.

Ángel González: Seattle Times business reporter

Full story … 

Special Project | The Fight for the American Dream, Week of December 21, 2014

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  • "The top 1-percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles," Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz concludes, "but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99-percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1-percent eventually do learn. Too late."
  • 8 New Items including:
    • Restoring an America That Has Lost Its Way
    • The Big Box/Fast Food Business Problem: November 14, 2014
    • US labor force participation rate hits lowest level since 1978
    • Amazon’s Wal-Mart problem: Why low wages, working conditions,  and disdain for culture will hurt us all
    • Celebrate The Falling Unemployment Rate All You Want, But It Ignores A Key Point
    • The Fight for the American Dream, September 28, 2014
    • Video: Real Biz Owners Say Give America a Raise
    • Krugman Demolishes Classic Argument Against Raising Minimum Wage

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Milt Priggee

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Restoring an America That Has Lost Its Way, Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

Reporter Bob Herbert on his new book, Losing Our Way, an intimate and heartrending portrait of America in economic despair.

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The Big Box/Fast Food Business Problem: November 14, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The High Cost of Low Prices
  • Part 1: Two dozen arrests after workers protest against Walmart treatment
  • Part 2: Walmart workers begin first in-store sitdown strike in company history

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US labor force participation rate hits lowest level since 1978, Andre Damon, World Socialist Website 

  • According to The Economic Policy Institute, the number of missing workers—those who are likely to have dropped out of the labor force because no jobs are available--has hit 6.32 million. If they were counted in the unemployment rate, it would be 9.6 percent, instead of the 5.9 percent that is officially reported.
  • Special Report | American Class Warfare: Week Ending November 9, 2014

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Amazon’s Wal-Mart problem: Why low wages, working conditions, and disdain for culture will hurt us all, Richard (R.J.) Eskow, Salon

  • Amazon drives down wages, avoids taxes and destroys intellectual life, while profiting from government subsidies
  • 4 ways Amazon’s ruthless practices are crushing local economies
  • The Wal-Mart You Don't Know

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Celebrate The Falling Unemployment Rate All You Want, But It Ignores A Key Point, Ben Walsh, Huffington Post

  • Wages are still going nowhere. This chart helps explain why.
  • Video: Real Biz Owners Say Give America a Raise

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The Fight for the American Dream, September 28, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • "The top 1-percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles," Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz concludes, "but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99-percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1-percent eventually do learn. Too late."
  • Part 1: “American dream” is now a myth: How bad policies and worse ideology ruined us.
  • Part 2: You call this a middle class? “I’m trying not to lose my house.”

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Video: Real Biz Owners Say Give America a Raise, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage

  • Just Like The Sign Says
  • It's time to Give America a Raise. 
  • Krugman Demolishes Classic Argument Against Raising Minimum Wage

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Krugman Demolishes Classic Argument Against Raising Minimum Wage, Alexander C. KaufmanHuffington Post

  • “Minimum wage workers are almost all in the United States employed in non-tradable industries -- the production can’t move to China,” Krugman, who won the 2008 Nobel Prize for economic sciences, told Business Insider executive editor Joe Weisenthal in a video posted Monday.
  • America Keeps People Poor On Purpose

Section(s): 

Special Project | America's Economic Crisis: Week Ending December 21, 2014

  • “…it seems that our remedies are instinctively those which aggravate the sickness: the remedies are expressions of the sickness itself“. --Thomas Merton
  • 11 New Items including:
    • Restoring an America That Has Lost Its Way
    • US labor force participation rate hits lowest level since 1978
    • Corporate Destruction of Free Markets Rules Us
    • QE, Debt and the Myth of a Liberal Left
    • A Wealthy Capitalist on Why Money Doesn’t Trickle Down
    • Paul Ryan Declares War Against Math
    • Robert Reich: Harvard Business School is complicit in America’s widening inequality
    • Video: Real Biz Owners Say Give America a Raise
    • Krugman Demolishes Classic Argument Against Raising Minimum Wage
    • America Keeps People Poor On Purpose
    • The Carnage of Capitalism

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Milt Priggee

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Restoring an America That Has Lost Its Way, Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

Reporter Bob Herbert on his new book, Losing Our Way, an intimate and heartrending portrait of America in economic despair.

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US labor force participation rate hits lowest level since 1978, Andre Damon, World Socialist Website 

  • According to The Economic Policy Institute, the number of missing workers—those who are likely to have dropped out of the labor force because no jobs are available--has hit 6.32 million. If they were counted in the unemployment rate, it would be 9.6 percent, instead of the 5.9 percent that is officially reported.
  • Special Report | American Class Warfare: Week Ending November 9, 2014

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Corporate Destruction of Free Markets Rules UsRalph Nader, OpEdNews

  • Corporatism makes massive exceptions that rig markets and tilt the seller-buyer balance heavily in favor of the former who become bigger and bigger global corporations.
  • QE, Debt and the Myth of a Liberal Left

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QE, Debt and the Myth of a Liberal Left, Rob Urie, Counterpunch

Capitalism is Worth Saving?

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A Wealthy Capitalist on Why Money Doesn’t Trickle Down, Nick Hanauer, YES! Magazine

  • Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist and self-described "plutocrat," says a healthy economy and an effective democracy depend on a thriving middle class of workers.
  • Next Time Someone Argues For 'Trickle-Down' Economics, Show Them This

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Paul Ryan Declares War Against Math, Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

  • The deficit has in fact fallen very fast. Ryan’s response is to deny that any of this has happened, to castigate Obama for failing to reduce the deficit, and to propose new measures that would increase it. And he wants everybody to ignore the budget forecasters because their numbers won’t bear out his claims.
  • Paul Ryan is a con man.

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Pat Bagley

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Robert Reich: Harvard Business School is complicit in America’s widening inequality, Robert B. Reich

  • It would seem worthwhile for the faculty and students of Harvard Business School, as well as those at every other major business school in America, to … ask whether maximizing shareholder value … continues to be the proper goal for the modern corporation.
  • The former secretary of labor calls out the famed university for the way it's educating our country's future CEOs.
  • What's Wrong With the American University System

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Video: Real Biz Owners Say Give America a Raise, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage

  • Just Like The Sign Says
  • It's time to Give America a Raise. 
  • Krugman Demolishes Classic Argument Against Raising Minimum Wage

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Krugman Demolishes Classic Argument Against Raising Minimum Wage, Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post

  • “Minimum wage workers are almost all in the United States employed in non-tradable industries -- the production can’t move to China,” Krugman, who won the 2008 Nobel Prize for economic sciences, told Business Insider executive editor Joe Weisenthal in a video posted Monday.
  • America Keeps People Poor On Purpose

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America Keeps People Poor On Purpose, Yes! Magazine 

  • How four decades of lobbying and legislation gave corporations dominion over our economy—and eroded the American middle class.
  • A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality
  • Special Report | Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending August 31, 2014

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The Carnage of Capitalism, Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams

  • Lives are being ravaged by unregulated, free-market capitalism, in the U.S. and around the world. According to the Global Forum for Health Research, less than 10 percent of the global health research budget is spent on the conditions responsible for 90 percent of human disease.
  • Global Greed

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