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Alternative Visions – Is the US Economy Deteriorating? + Is Trump Really President? – 05.05.17

Jack Rasmus looks at some contrarian negative indicators that the US economy is stumbling: reports show productivity and fixed investment are nearly stagnant. Bank loans in 2017 are growing less than 3% compared to 10% in 2014-16, retail sales are negative last two months, the worst since 2010. Auto sales are declining three months in a row, worst since 2008. …

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Warrior Connection-01.22.17

The January 22th edition of Warrior Connection was a interesting discussion with journalist and historian Paul Woods of the Champaign (Illinois) News Gazette about his series of interviews featuring veterans from WW2 to the present for his weekly column “THOSE WHO SERVED” published every Monday. Video and written versions of his interviews are at www.news-gazette.com. We hope that Paul can turn this informative series into a book on military veterans history.

Someone 'signing on'

Richard Eskow – Behind the Job Numbers, Millions Are Being Left Behind

A team of political scientists, writing in the Washington Post, concluded that “Trump supporters who are struggling economically perceive U.S. economic performance overall to be much worse than it actually is.” Those voters believed that the unemployment rate is three times higher than the official number, and these new figures aren’t likely to change that. “It is noteworthy,” the researchers …

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Lauren McCauley – McDonald’s Settlement Could Open Door for Worker Wins Nationwide

Burger behemoth McDonald’s has reportedly reached a settlement with hundreds of franchise employees in California, which campaigners and attorneys are saying could be a precedent-setting development in the fight for fair wages. In the settlement, revealed in a Friday filing in a U.S. district court in San Francisco, McDonald’s agreed to pay a total of $3.75 million in back pay …

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This Loophole Ends the Privacy of Social Security Numbers

Federal law is supposed to protect the privacy of your Social Security number from government inquiries — but apparently that doesn’t extend to a check on whether you’ve paid back taxes and child support. In a decision with worrying implications for those who oppose a single national identification number, a divided federal appeals court has rejected a lawyer’s refusal to …

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Pam Martens and Russ Martens – Wall Street Today: Fake Accounts, Fake Money, Fake Courts, Fake Regulators

Last Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that Wells Fargo was paying $185 million in fines and penalties for allowing its employees to open “more than two million deposit and credit card accounts” that were not authorized by its customers. The employees were attempting to “hit sales targets and receive bonuses.” In one of the most audacious forms of bank fraud, …

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Americans’ out-of-pocket healthcare costs are skyrocketing

For the majority of Americans who receive health insurance through their employers, there is some good news and some bad news. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank addressing health policy issues, released its annual Employer Health Benefits Survey on Wednesday and looked at the cost of insurance for Americans. Based on the data Kaiser gathered, it appears that the hit …