The current political chaos in the United States is a product of the failure of our economic system to fulfill the promise of the American dream: That each new generation will enjoy abundance beyond that of their parents. What most people experience instead is increasing insecurity and declining opportunity. People know something is badly wrong. Uncertain as to what or why, they are desperate for answers. Who is responsible? What can we do? Our current situation is ripe for the blame game. Blame immigrants. Blame Obama. Or blame scofflaw bankers. Years ago when I was a business school student, our professors taught us that a recurring problem is a symptom of a system failure. Don’t focus on treating the symptom, they told us, step back and look upstream to identify the source. A lack of jobs, desperate immigrants, and even scofflaw bankers are symptoms of a much deeper problem. Read
I’m uncomfortable using capitalism as a means to attaining gender equality. We can never be equals in a system where the size of your stack is used as leverage to demand human rights. While I understand how feminists came to see the right to have a bank account and a credit card independent of a man as foundational, it’s time to aim higher. We certainly can’t wait for equal pay and an end to systemic sexism to ask for more because we’re gaining ground at an excruciatingly slow pace. I’m here for honoring our predecessors—while we also push for a right to live not just independent, but fulfilling lives. *** In her new best-selling book, All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, author Rebecca Traister quotes Susan B. Anthony: “No genuine equality, no real freedom, no true manhood or womanhood can exist on any foundation save that of pecuniary independence.” Read
Jack discusses this past week’s revelations out of Panama of the massive tax sheltering, avoidance and fraud by the US and global economic elites. The economic tax ‘wikileaks’ revelations show global politicians deeply implicated, including Iceland, UK, Argentina prime ministers. Jack refers listeners back to his 2006 ‘War at Home’ book and the ‘Great American Tax Shift’ and writings ever since on this topic, available at his blog, jackrasmus.com and website, www.kyklosproductions.com/articles/html. Where the US, Euro, Russian, China 1% hide their money in 27 global ‘jurisdictions’, estimated conservatively at $11 trillion today. Phone Congress ‘repatriation’ tax proposals of 2005 and 2016 are explained, recent inversion deals, and how and why US corporations hold more than $2T offshore today. In the second half of the show, Jack reviews growing events in Europe, with French workers and students staging massive protests against ‘labor law reforms’, Dutch voters rejecting inclusion of Ukraine into the EU, why odds favor a UK (Brexit) from the Eurozone this June, why a Greek ‘Grexit’ may follow as the IMF threatens to renege on last August’s Greek bailout, and new evidence of a Germany economic slowdown. (For further analysis of Europe, see except of Jack’s chapter 6, ‘Europe’s Chronic Stagnation’, from his 2016 book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’, posted on his kyklosproductions website above).
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has piqued the temper of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and faces a rebuke from within his own party after demanding for an investigation into “gross violations of human rights” by Israel and Egypt, the top recipients of American military aid. Released just days after an Israeli soldier was recorded  extra-judicially assassinating a wounded Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Leahy’s demand for a probe is the latest sign that American military backing for Israel’s right-wing government is becoming a source of political tension. On February 17, Leahy (D-Vt.) and ten Democratic members of Congress sent a letter  to Secretary of State John Kerry. “There have been a disturbing number of reports of possible gross violations of human rights by security forces in Israel and Egypt—incidents that may have involved recipients, or potential recipients, of U.S. military assistance,” states the document, which was released to the public in late March. “We urge you to determine if these reports are credible and to inform us of your findings.” Read
Jack Rasmus welcomes Pablo Vivanco, political commentator in Quito, Ecuador to provide a latest update on the right wing economic and political forces in ascendance in South America, focusing on the latest developments in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. As the economic crisis deepens throughout the region due to forces beyond the control of progressive governments in the region—i.e. falling oil and commodity prices, collapsing currencies, capital flight, slowing global economy—right wing forces (with assistance of US government and elite) have launched in the past year an intense attack throughout South America to reverse the tide of progressive governments that came to power since 2000. Vivanco describes the strategies and tactics, economic and political, currently being employed by the nascent Right Wing Offensive, including efforts to depose recently duly elected governments in Venezuela and Brazil and the launching of intense austerity measures, shutting down of independent media, mass layoffs, while rewarding of global bankers and investors by the new right wing government of billionaire, Mauricio Macri, in Argentina. New popular movements of resistance are described by Vivanco, as are efforts of the new right wing forces and governments to stifle independent journalists and media outlets throughout the region.
Pablo Vivanco is currently Director of the English Division of Telesur Media in Latin America, a consortium of progressive Latin American countries. A former radio host of ‘Voces Latinas’, he is a long time activist in movements for progressive change in Latin America, living and working in Quito. For timely reports in English on daily Latin American political events, go to: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/index.html
In what may be the most dramatic blowback yet from Western military intervention in the Middle East, terrorism and the mass influx of foreign migrants are now putting the very existence of the European Union at risk. Foreign wars fanned by European and American interventionists in the name of democracy and humanitarianism now threaten those same values in Europe as never before since the end of World War II. This threat comes at a time of popular discontent over the region’s chronic economic weakness, caused by Germany’s austerity policies and the straightjacket of the euro monetary union. The region has been further buffeted by the rise of right-wing parties, confrontations with Russia over Ukraine and NATO expansion, and the potential withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the E.U. In short, Europe faces a perfect storm. Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, warns, “We are threatened as never before.” The European Union’s chief executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, declared that Europe may be facing “the beginning of the end.” International financier and private statesman George Soros says, “The EU is on the verge of collapse.” Read
And now, Argentina. President Obama yesterday added Argentina to his foreign-policy foray into the region, having first spending three days in Cuba to seal his commitment to normalize relations with the Communist state after 57 years of hostilities that reached the brink of war.
Listeners continue with their assessment of the significance of Obama’s Cuba visit and direct appeal to its government and people and, with Argentina added to his itinerary, what they make of the president’s hemispheric foreign-policy-fix-it tour.
Atlantic salmon, the native salmon that used to inhabit the northern Atlantic Ocean, rivers and seas, is a species now represented by an impostor: farmed salmon. Also known as cultured salmon, farmed salmon comes from hatchery genetic stock and unlike its native ancestors, lacks wild genetic variation. The wild fish our ancestors ate is gone. What appears on our dinner plates is a substitute copy, a genetic dilution of a once mighty fish, the adaptive king of the sea, and a significant food for coastal humans since prehistoric times. The change in genetic stock has been happening for decades, as farmed salmon are released into native waters via restocking programs (in an attempt to reduce the negative impacts of overfishing of wild salmon) and also unintentionally as a consequence of faulty containment in sea net-cages. The resulting “swamping out” effect — farmed in, wild out — along with several other insidious factors, has driven native salmon to effective extinction. Genetic erosion Read
Updates on injustice of Argentina's default settlement, on Pope Francis's rejection of "exploiters," and on stagnating real median incomes in US. Major discussions of (1) what Sanders's support proves about Occupy Wall Street, and (2) economics of fascism.
I, Michael Hudson, John Perkins, and a few others have reported the multi-pronged looting of peoples by Western economic institutions, principally the big New York Banks with the aid of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Third World countries were and are looted by being inticed into development plans for electrification or some such purpose. The gullible and trusting governments are told that they can make their countries rich by taking out foreign loans to implement a Western-presented development plan, with the result being sufficient tax revenues from economic development to service the foreign loan. Seldom, if ever, does this happen. What happens is that the plan results in the country becoming indebted to the limit and beyond of its foreign currency earnings. When the country is unable to service the development loan, the creditors send the IMF to tell the indebted government that the IMF will protect the government’s credit rating by lending it the money to pay its bank creditors. However, the conditions are that the government take necessary austerity measures so that the government can repay the IMF. These measures are to curtail public services and the government sector, reduce public pensions, and sell national resources to foreigners.