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Series | Transitional Steps to A Socialist Future: Part 1: The VietNam Case

The impact of capitalist globalization included enormous scientific and technological advances, significant increases in the capacity to sustain life, coupled with the capacity to exploit, destroy, kill, uproot traditional cultures and communities, and defile the human landscape.

Harry Targ, Diary of a Heartland Radical

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 | The weight of history bears down on humankind such that, paraphrasing Marx, people make history but not precisely as to their own choosing. The rise of capitalism out of feudalism in Northern Europe spread over the centuries to Africa, Asia, and Latin America ripping asunder traditional patterns of economic, social, and cultural relations. A new political economy dynamic, now called “neoliberal globalization,” spread across the face of the earth extracting natural resources, enslaving and exploiting human labor power, and expanding production and distribution such that by the twentieth century the whole world was touched. The impact of capitalist globalization included enormous scientific and technological advances, significant increases in the capacity to sustain life, coupled with the capacity to exploit, destroy, kill, uproot traditional cultures and communities, and defile the human landscape.

Capitalism created a global empire. It also created global resistance. The drive to construct empires and to build economic, political, and cultural hegemony stimulated revolution, non-violent resistance, and desperate efforts to create new forms of social and economic being. During the period since World War 11, socialist regimes and radical nationalist movements have challenged the hegemony of U.S., European and Japanese capitalism. The twentieth century socialist project disintegrated for a variety of reasons but its loss spurred new and diverse forms of resistance that complicated the rule of “victorious” empires. The economic, political, and military crises of the early 21st century, coupled with renewed resistance raised the specter of new “21st century socialist” visions. These visions became concrete programs, again paraphrasing Marx, that were not precisely of peoples’ choosing but necessary transitional steps to socialism nonetheless.

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Section(s): 

Hiding Economic Depression With Spin

  • Paul Craig Roberts, former Asst. Treasury Secretary under President Reagan, looks at the fragile House of Cards known as the US economy and makes some suggestions.
  • The economy isn’t coming back

Paul Craig Roberts, Global Research

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

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Aug 1, 2013 | Time is running out for the US economy and the American people. The financial press and economic commentators, with few exceptions, do a good job of keeping this fact from the public. 

Consider for example the spin put on the “advance estimate” of the real GDP growth rate for the second quarter announced on July 31. The annual rate of 1.7 percent real GDP growth for the second quarter of 2013 was presented optimistically as an acceleration in real GDP from the first quarter’s 1.1 percent growth rate. However, the reason for the “acceleration” in growth is that the first quarter’s estimate was revised down from 1.8 percent to 1.1 percent. The second quarter GDP growth rate is also subject to revised estimates. Most likely, the final number will be lower.

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Related:

The economy isn’t coming back, Eric Krasnauskas, Transition Voice

  • On the contrary, it’s a patched-together mess on its way to the crapper. 
  • We Wait in Vain
  • Quantitative Easing Explained. 

 

 

The economy isn’t coming back

  • On the contrary, it’s a patched-together mess on its way to the crapper. 
  • We Wait in Vain
  • Quantitative Easing Explained. 

Eric Krasnauskas, Transition Voice

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

July 31, 2013 | Presently Americans wait with bated breath, watching sales numbers and unemployment statistics, grasping for signs that an economic recovery is underway. We search for signals that indicate we’re growing, that there will be a job for everyone who wants one, and that the United States will resume the prosperity and standing in the world it once had.

We wait in vain.

The economy isn’t coming back. On the contrary, it’s a patched-together mess on its way to the crapper. Though the Obama administration might crow about a tepid recovery, even today’s insufficient economy is itself a lie, propped up by governments printing money to buy their own bonds and simulate growth. The Dow ascends to ever more lofty heights, and yet few believe it’s tied to improving conditions for regular people. China, the economic engine of the world, is now slowing precipitously, and experiencing serious market declines and confidence problems. Europe is an economic mess, and when the EU eventually implodes (it really is a when and not an if), it will send shocks through the rest of our globalized world.

Full story…

Related:

Quantitative Easing Explained, Transition Voice

  • July 31, 2013 | Sometimes it takes a cartoon character to show the absurdity of our global economic system
  • (Click to play video). 

 

Paul Krugman | Detroit, the New Greece

  • (Don't) let the discussion get hijacked, Greek-style. There are influential people out there who would like you to believe that Detroit’s demise is fundamentally a tale of fiscal irresponsibility and/or greedy public employees. It isn’t. For the most part, it’s just one of those things that happens now and then when traditional sources of competitive advantage go away.
  • Obama should have listened to Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman, New York (NY) Times

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. (photo: AP)

When Detroit declared bankruptcy, or at least tried to — the legal situation has gotten complicated — I know that I wasn’t the only economist to have a sinking feeling about the likely impact on our policy discourse. Was it going to be Greece all over again?

Clearly, some people would like to see that happen. So let’s get this conversation headed in the right direction, before it’s too late.

O.K., what am I talking about? As you may recall, a few years ago Greece plunged into fiscal crisis. This was a bad thing but should have had limited effects on the rest of the world; the Greek economy is, after all, quite small (actually, about one and a half times as big as the economy of metropolitan Detroit). Unfortunately, many politicians and policy makers used the Greek crisis to hijack the debate, changing the subject from job creation to fiscal rectitude.

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Related:

Obama should have listened to Paul KrugmanWalden Bello, Salon

 

 

Elizabeth Warren Reduces CNBC "Squawk Box" Team to Rubble

Upper West, Daily Kos

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July 16, 2013 | It's been quite a day for Elizabeth Warren.  First, her CFPB finally gets its director, after Reid plus 50 finally show some cojones. Then she appears on CNBC's The Squawk Box and responds to the hostile and ill-informed questioning of that crew, and as Charles Pierce put it:

The next thing they knew, they were sprawled on the canvas, and somebody was waving ammonia capsules under their noses, and Mills Lane was standing above them, waving his arms.

Full story (w/video)…

Related:

Obama should have listened to Paul Krugman, Walden Bello, Salon

 

 

Section(s): 

Bring New Economy to Your Community

  • The economy becomes OUR economy when people have a say over economic issues and when the economy works for all of us rather than funneling wealth to the top 1%.
  • Defining Prosperity Down
  • Storm Clouds?

It's Our Economy

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

July 10, 2013 | Another jobs report is in and it shows continued waddling along in job creation, just enough to keep the unemployment figure stable. The reality is the collapse has cost the nation 3 million jobs and that number is not shrinking. The “Lost Out-Put Clock” shows the nation has lost $4,602,667,601,6089 in national income and counting since the 2008 collapse.

To make matters worse we are now entering a new reality of poor jobs, part-time and temporary, and low-paying without benefits like health insurance. Big business makes big profits off these workers but treats them like they are disposable people.  Workers with health care will not see benefits from Obamacare, indeed things will likely get worse. This comes after years of stagnant wages, and at a time when CEO pay continues its rapid increase. The wealth divide is worsening as the ‘haves’ and ‘have-not’s’ become more extreme.

 

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Related:

Defining Prosperity DownPaul Krugman, New York (NY) Times

  • There’s remarkably little political pressure to end our continuing, if low-grade, depression.
  • Someday, I suppose, something will turn up that finally gets us back to full employment. But I can’t help recalling that the last time we were in this kind of situation, the thing that eventually turned up was World War II.
  • Obama should have listened to Paul Krugman
  • Storm Clouds?

 

Storm Clouds? Zoltan Zigedy, ZZ's Blogspot

The Fed's policy of quantitative easing is losing its healing powers.

 

Defining Prosperity Down

  • There’s remarkably little political pressure to end our continuing, if low-grade, depression.
  • Someday, I suppose, something will turn up that finally gets us back to full employment. But I can’t help recalling that the last time we were in this kind of situation, the thing that eventually turned up was World War II.
  • Obama should have listened to Paul Krugman
  • Storm Clouds?

Paul Krugman, New York (NY) Times

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July 7, 2013 | Friday’s employment report wasn’t bad. But given how depressed our economy remains, we really should be adding more than 300,000 jobs a month, not fewer than 200,000. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, we would need more than five years of job growth at this rate to get back to the level of unemployment that prevailed before the Great Recession. Full recovery still looks a very long way off. And I’m beginning to worry that it may never happen.

Ask yourself the hard question: What, exactly, will bring us back to full employment?

Full story…

Related:

Obama should have listened to Paul Krugman, Walden Bello, Salon

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Storm Clouds? Zoltan Zigedy, ZZ's Blogspot

The Fed's policy of quantitative easing is losing its healing powers.

 

 

Section(s): 

Storm Clouds?

The Fed's policy of quantitative easing is losing its healing powers.

 

Zoltan Zigedy, ZZ's Blogspot

 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Gary Kohls

 

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all reader-supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

 

Sunday, July 7, 2013 | As the panic over the destiny of the Federal Reserve's “quantitative easing” program reaches hysterical proportions, uncommonly bizarre economic anomalies are surfacing. In the last week of June, the news that first quarter US Gross Domestic Product growth report was reduced dramatically from 2.4% to 1.8% was met by an equally dramatic, but paradoxical positive jump in equity markets. Normally, a rather staggering drop in GDP estimates would trigger stock market losses-- investor confidence would be battered. But the opposite occurred. 

 

What's going on?

 

Pundits and investors hailed the bad news because they hope that it will keep the Federal Reserve committed to the $85 billion per month bond purchasing project dubbed “quantitative easing.” They believe that the Fed would not dare to relax the program in the face of poor economic performance. And they recognize that without the Fed’s foot firmly pressing the accelerator, the capitalist economy will stagnate or slow. The Federal Reserve program is truly a life-support system for our economy, and capitalism's apologists recognize that they are in deep trouble without it. Therefore, investors welcomed the fall in GDP growth!

 

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