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Alternative Visions – ‘Trump Tax Cuts 2.0: Facts, Ideology & Consequences’ – 11.03.17

Dr. Rasmus dissects the just announced US House of Representatives’ version of the Trump Tax Cuts. The ‘tax cut shell game’ is explained. The main elements of the business tax cuts under the House proposal are described, including corporate rate, virtual ending of US multinational offshore taxation, retention of carried interest, inversions, and other business deduction tax loopholes. Personal income …

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ERIC DRAITSER – Hillary Clinton and the Russian Specter

General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war? Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No, I don’t think I do, sir, no. General Jack D. Ripper: He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important …

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Deirdre Fulton – How the Decline in Union Membership Is Hurting All of Us: Report

The decline of organized labor in the United States has contributed significantly to wage stagnation and rising inequality, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). “Rebuilding our system of collective bargaining is an important tool available for fueling wage growth for both low- and middle-wage workers and ending the era of persistent wage stagnation.” …

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Richard Eskow – Inequality’s Getting Worse. How Do We End This?

On July 1, at the start of the Independence Day weekend, we learned that income inequality in this country became even worse last year. Economic inequality produces scars that last a lifetime – and even longer. That’s one reason why President Obama said in 2013 that “increasing inequality … challenges the very essence of who we are as a people.” Well, that …

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Jobs: How Good are the Jobs the Economy is Creating?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting report on the jobs created since the recession. The article takes a close look at employment and wage data to see the makeup of newly created jobs. There are some flaws and data inaccuracies in the journal report. Nonetheless it is an excellent starting point for discussion. Please consider Just How Good (or Bad) Are All …

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Alternative Visions – Latest US Jobs and Wage Numbers—How Reliable Are They? – 05.06.16

Jack comments on today’s US job creation numbers for April, which show a significant decline in new jobs created, to 160,000, compared to previous months. Some problems with how jobs are calculated are explained, including how new business creations, missing labor force, and the US labor department surveys often fail to account for jobs accurately or timely changes. Recent wage gains articles in the mainstream press are then challenged as well. Jack explains the differences in wages as a share of national income, total compensation, average hourly earnings, and average hourly wages all have their limits as indications of how American workers are actually doing in terms of take home pay after inflation. Economic Policy Institute studies show median worker real earnings in the US have been declining every year since 2010. Gains in wages have been skewed to the top 10%, pulling up ‘averages’ which are not an accurate indicator of wage income declines for the US working class. The show concludes with a review of global economic developments, including growing splits among economic elites in Europe and in Japan, as their economies continue to languish despite QE and negative rates. And how China continues to struggle with bringing its shadow banks and speculators under control.

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Michelle Chen – Is Retirement Facing Extinction?

The American nest egg is facing financial extinction. Aging workers who thought they could relax in retirement face unprecedented economic stressors, according to new analysis of retirement wealth. Data from Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reveals retirement wealth is turning into retirement poverty for a growing portion of working households. The labor-focused think tank finds that “retirement wealth has not grown fast enough to keep …

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Black Agenda Radio – 02.22.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific author and professor of political science at the University of Houston, has another book out. It’s titled, “Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary.” Paul Robeson was an NFL-class athlete, spoke 12 languages, a movie star who was one of the biggest draws in the American musical theater, and was probably the best-known American in the world at the height of his popularity, in the early 1940s. Yet, no more than 20 years later, the crusading artist and social activists’ name had been all but erased from public discourse in the United States. How could that happen? We asked Dr. Horne.

– An analysis of employment statistics shows the Black jobless rate in Virginia, the state with the lowest Black unemployment rate in the nation, is the same as the white jobless rate in West Virginia, the state with the highest white unemployment rate, at 6.7 percent. What does this tell us about the so-called economic recovery? We spoke with Dr. Valerie Wilson, of the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute.

– Turkey is threatening to invade neighboring Syria, creating a direct confrontation with Russian military forces. Political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of StopImperialism.com, appeared recently on Russia Today’s “Cross Talk” program. Draitser says Turkish President Erdogan is playing with fire.

– Hillary Clinton is one step closer to becoming Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, with her victory in Nevada. That’s a scary thought, as far as Dr. Stephen Zunes, is concerned. Zunes is Professor of Politics and International Studies, at San Francisco University. He says Hillary Clinton stoked the flames of war while Secretary of State.

– Ticket sales are soaring for Beyonce’s world tour. The Superstar seems to have profited from the controversy over her Black Panther-flavored performance at the Superbowl. Black Agenda Report editor Ajama Baraka, a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, says there’s nothing oppositional, much less revolutionary, about Beyonce’s “Formation” album. He also maintains that neither Bernie Sanders nor Ta-Nehisi Coates represents a challenge to the U.S. imperial order.

– Public television last week showed the acclaimed Stanley Nelson film, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” which previously had been playing in selected theaters. Former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver was honored at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, in Detroit. Cleaver recounted how she became involved with the Black Panther Party.

– The nation’s best-known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, is also a renowned author. Abu Jamal gives a boost to a former political prisoner’s latest book.

– Khalil Bennet is also imprisoned in Pennsylvania. Bennet is what inmates call “a child-lifer” – a person given a life sentence for a crime committed while he was a juvenile. The Supreme Court recently ruled that such sentences are cruel and unusual, setting the stage for the release of thousands of prisoners. Khalil Bennet says, when these former child-lifers are let loose, they can become the cadre of a new movement.

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Paul Buchheit – Our Jobs Are Disappearing

Americans are feeling the impoverishing effects of the shift from middle-income to low-income jobs. The disappearance—or, more accurately, downsizing—of living-wage jobs is documented by numerous reports that reveal the suddenness and the extent of this affront to middle America. First, the Neoliberal Explanation: It’s Not Really Happening Business writer Robert Samuelson [1] calls the post-recession low-wage recovery a “myth.” To support his claim …

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Paul Craig Roberts – Update to BLS December Payroll Jobs Report: It is even worse than I reported

In my column on Friday I reported the unreported facts in the payroll jobs report. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/01/08/another-fabricated-jobs-report-paul-craig-roberts-2/ If we choose to believe the report, it is really very bad news. Good middle class jobs are continuing to decline. The new jobs are jobs that pay considerably less and often are part-time jobs devoid of benefits. Moreover, the new jobs are going …