The Narratives They Try to Sell Us On Are Constructed and Paid For

Atlantic Council

Atlantic Council Explains Why We Need To Be Propagandized For Our Own Good

Caitlin Johnstone
May 3, 2018

In an absolutely jaw-dropping article that you should definitely read in its entirety, Elisabeth Braw took it upon herself to finally answer the question of why Russian propaganda is so dangerous, using the following hypothetical scenario:

What if Russia suddenly announced that its Baltic Fleet had dispatched an armada towards Britain? Would most people greet the news with steely resolve in the knowledge that their governments would know what to do, or would constant Kremlin-influenced reports about the incompetence of British institutions make them conclude that any resistance was pointless?

I mean, wow. Wow! Just wow. Where to even begin with this?

Before I continue, I should note that Braw is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, the shady NATO-aligned think tank with ties to powerful oligarchs whose name comes up when you look into many of the mainstream anti-Russia narratives, from the DNC hack to the discredited war propaganda firm Bellingcat to Russian trolls to the notorious PropOrNot blacklist publicized by the Washington Post.Her article, published by Defense One, is titled “We Need a NATO for Infowar”, and it argues that westerners need to be propagandized by an alliance of western governments for our own good.

Back to the aforementioned excerpt. Braw claims that if Russian propaganda isn’t shut down or counteracted, Russia could send a fleet of war ships to attack Britain, and the British people would… react unenthusiastically? Wouldn’t cheer loudly enough as the British Navy fought the Russians? Would have a defeatist emotional demeanor? What exactly is the argument here?

That’s seriously her only attempt to directly address the question of where the actual danger is.

Read More: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/atlantic-council-explains-why-we-need-to-be-propagandized-for-our-own-good-fd3470254ea5

Agenda 21: Happening Before Your Eyes… In the Water You Drink, In the Food You Eat, In the Air You Breathe

Agenda 21 in Progress

The Forced Depopulation of America’s Rural Areas

Agenda 21 policy calls for dramatically increasing urbanization and forcing indigenous populations out of rural areas and into densely populated stack and pack micro apartments controlled by technocrats with the ability to control every aspect of one’s life. When completed, this lifestyle will be a hell on earth.

….

I know that this will come as a shock to many reading this article because they did not learn of these events from FOX or CNN. However, in actuality, the process of moving the United States towards a complete Agenda 21 style of total urbanization has already commenced and it began nearly 20 years ago.

In 1994, the US became official participants in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was a ‘liberalized’ trade agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Under NAFTA, farmers’ income in all three countries has plummeted and millions of small farmers have lost their land, while agribusiness corporations (i.e. large government subsidized corporate farms) have reaped huge profits.

NAFTA has had three dramatic effects on farmers in North America and all three effects further the cause dense urbanization as outlined in Agenda 21 documents.

The first notable effect of NAFTA is that it immediately bankrupted over three million farmers in northern Mexico and this group became the vanguard of millions of Mexicans illegally entering the US in search for subsistence work of any type.

The second dramatic impact of NAFTA lies in the fact that it has had catastrophic consequences for US farmers as a record number of small farmers have lost their farms and have gone through foreclosure while the government subsidized corporate farms have thrived.Since NAFTA,the average annual growth of the US trade deficit has been 45% higher.Since NAFTA took effect, about 170,000 small family farms have gone bankrupt which represents a decline of 21% of family farms in the US. The 21% of America small farmers who have been bankrupted since the advent of NAFTA, represents a higher percentage of displaced American farmers than what is happening with forced relocation of Chinese farmers to the ghost cities.And what happens to American small farmers who have lost their livelihood? They either work on their former competitors corporate farms as hired hands, or they relocate to urban areas in search of employment.

If it is not the EPA enforcing its Agenda 21 wetlands regulations with devastating consequences on farmers, it is the FDA harassing farmers for pursuing time-honored farm related industries such as the raw milk industry. Congress is plotting new attacks on the US farmer as I write these words. Even Amish farmers have felt the wrath of the federal government. Average, everyday Americans are being arrested for merely growing their own food.

Whether it is China or the US, Agenda 21 urbanization policies are designed for the purpose of herding people into dense urban areas for reasons of control and the primary method of control has to do with controlling food production.

The Chinese government is working towards to the control over all food in order to control the people. On an ever increasing basis, NAFTA is providing the US government with the exact same ability. Therefore, the third draconian impact of NAFTA is that it has led to even more nefarious free trade agreements which led to the loss of control for local communities over its own food supply.

Underlying the World Trade Organization, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the Central American Free Trade Agreement is the philosophy that all food (i.e. from basic grains, meat, fruits and vegetables) should be exclusively produced for international export. This is a drastic departure from the time honored practice where each country produced the majority of food its citizens needed on local, small farms and only traded in certain products that could not be successfully grown locally. If anyone wonders where this is headed, we only have to look to Africa for the answer. The very first great wave of a NAFTA style of globalization in agriculture took place in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as global corporations forced local farmers to give up local food production, and shifted production to plantations using enslaved Indigenous and African labor to grow the luxury crops of coffee, sugar, bananas, and cocoa for export to the colonizing countries.

The lesson here is, if the government controls the food, the government controls the people.

Read More:

The Forced Depopulation of America’s Rural Areas

 

Soros and other Billionaires Pushing Globalist Collectivism are Funding “The Resistance” to Destabilize the US

george soros I am funding antifa

Soros Gave $1.35M to ‘Nonpartisan’ Watchdog Inundating Trump with Lawsuits

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington shares employees with Media Matters, state filings show


December 20, 2018

Liberal billionaire George Soros provided $1.35 million to a “nonpartisan” government watchdog organization last year that is hitting the Trump administration with a steady flow of complaints and lawsuits in an attempt to “damage” his presidency, according to tax filings provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

Separate state filings also reveal that the “nonpartisan” watchdog shares employees with the liberal Media Matters for America, an organization that was founded by Democratic operative and Clinton loyalist David Brock. Confidential documents handed out by Brock to big money donors in early 2017 and obtained by the Free Beacon previously shed light on how Brock planned to attack Trump over the course of his presidency using his constellation of organizations.

Soros gave $1.35 million to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does not reveal its donors. The group has been involved with a number of high-profile lawsuits and complaints against Trump and other Republicans. Its top members regularly appear on news programs attacking the administration and members of the GOP but are rarely identified as having a left-wing mission by the outlets and on-air personalities.

Soros’s donations to CREW came from two entities in his Open Society Foundations network including $1,250,000 from the Foundation to Promote Open Society and $100,000 from the Open Society Policy Center, according to a review of his groups’ most recent tax forms covering the 2017 fiscal year that were provided by Soros’s spokesperson.

CREW’s most recent tax forms, which were provided by the organization, show that the group more than quadrupled its contributions from $1,853,672 in 2016 to $7,773,524 in 2017.

The drastic uptick was a byproduct of its planned expansion as Trump took office, documents handed out by Brock to deep-pocketed donors at a January 2017 retreat revealed. The gathering was attended by more than 100 wealthy liberals who huddled alongside Brock at the posh Turnberry Isle Resort just outside Miami as they mapped out how they would “kick Donald Trump’s ass” in the upcoming years.

Read More: https://freebeacon.com/politics/soros-gave-1-35m-to-nonpartisan-watchdog-inundating-trump-with-lawsuits/

Soros-Tied Networks, Foundations Joined Forces to Create Trump ‘Resistance’ Fund

April 1, 2017

Three liberal donor networks and foundations with ties to billionaire George Soros have joined forces to form a new fund to “resist” President Donald Trump.

The Emergent Fund, which carries a goal of fighting “immediate threats” to “immigrants, women, Muslim and Arab-American communities, black people, LGBTQ communities, and all people of color,” was established late last year to quickly fund groups to take direct, immediate action against Republicans.

Since the fund’s formation, it has received little public attention. It has raised over half a million dollars to give to groups opposing Republicans, such as the Black Lives Matter Network. The fund has extensive ties to significant liberal networks and groups.

“These communities need increased capacity so that they can respond, act nimbly, and develop new strategies in this new period,” the fund’s website states. “The fund will focus on grassroots organizations in communities of color who are facing injustice based on racial, ethnic, religious and other forms of discrimination. We will provide resources to defend against what’s coming, and to develop innovative strategies to transform our country.”

The Solidaire Network, the Threshold Foundation, and the Women Donors Network, all San Francisco-based groups, mobilized to form the Emergent Fund.

The Solidaire Network brings together wealthy progressive donors to foster protest and direct action movements. The donor network is comprised of individuals who can move $50,000 or more personally or through a family foundation.

The group props up other donor communities on its website such as the EDGE Funder Alliance, a New York-based community of donors engaged in domestic and international grant-making, and the secretive George Soros-tied Democracy Alliance donor network, the largest liberal dark money group.

The Solidaire Network recently appeared at the Democracy Alliance’s spring investment summit in Washington, D.C to map out a path of resistance against Trump and Republicans.

“Solidaire and the Democracy Alliance have been in close partnership since Solidaire’s origin,” the DA’s itinerary for the summit states.

The Threshold Foundation has seeded hundreds of organizations and supported the creation of multiple donor networks around the world. The group is closely linked to the Tides Foundation, a donor-advised fund with a war chest of nearly $200 million that gives generously to numerous liberal groups and causes each year. Soros’ Open Society Foundations has donated at least $1.75 million to the Tides Foundation.

The most recently available Form 990 from the Threshold Foundation shows the group’s books are in the care of Tides.

The Threshold Foundation paid Tides $311,000 for management and operational services in 2015, the form shows. Threshold has paid Tides at least $2.5 million since 2001, according to a review of its documents. The Threshold Foundation is also located at the same address as the Tides Foundation.

The Women Donors Network, a community of liberal female philanthropists, completes the Emergent Fund. The Women Donors Network also appeared at the Democracy Alliance’s D.C. summit alongside Solidaire.

The Emergent Fund’s advisory council, which decides who receives grants, features individuals from a number of active liberal groups on the front lines of organizing and attending Trump protests in addition to representation from the three groups that form the fund.

Read More: https://freebeacon.com/issues/soros-tied-networks-foundations-joined-forces-create-trump-resistance-fund/

Soros-Funded Anti-Trump Protesters Rioting in Cities Across America: Fomenting National Crisis and Martial Law?

Because Diversity is Our Strength

victims of illegal immigration

Man Dies From Injuries Sustained in Fight at Maine Park

A Maine man has died of injuries sustained in a brawl in Lewiston earlier this week, according to police.

Donald Giust, 38, of Auburn, died Friday at Central Maine Medical Center.

Police said Giust had been hospitalized since Tuesday night following a fight near Kennedy Park.

Lewiston resident Nicholas Vinciguerra told the Sun Journal he and a group of friends had gathered at the park to settle a previous dispute when they were shot at by BB and pellet guns from a car. Vinciguerra said his group was then beaten by about 30 people who had sticks, bats, and pipes.

… Read More:  https://www.necn.com/

Community members call for peace after deadly attack in Lewiston park

Jun 17, 2018

Members of the immigrant community and family members of a man who died after being attacked in Lewiston’s Kennedy Park last week are calling for peace.

They stood together outside Lewiston City Hall Sunday morning to send a message that violence has no place in Lewiston.

Donald Giusti, 38, of Lewiston, died Friday of injuries suffered during a large fight Tuesday night in Kennedy Park.

“We’re heartbroken. We’re heartbroken but broken as a community. We just all have to come together as one to know that we can walk to the park at night and nothing’s going to happen,” Giusti’s uncle, Jim Thompson, said.

“Kennedy Park should be a place where people all of races and religions feel comfortable enjoying the beauty of our city. It’s time for all residents of Lewiston to come together and put and end to the violence,” Fatuma Hussein, of Immigrant Resource Center of Maine, said.

Police have not identified any suspects in Giusti’s death. They have only said that members of multiple ethnic groups were involved.

Lewiston Mayor Shane Bouchard urged residents to have patience and let police conduct the investigation.

… Read More: http://www.wmtw.com/

Globalism and the Right Left Divide

Elitist GLobalist Connections

Understanding The Tactics Of Subversive Globalism

Brandon Smith
12 September 2018

When the ideology of globalism is discussed in liberty movement circles there are often misunderstandings as to the source of the threat and what it truly represents. This may in some cases be by design. In the latest era of supposed “populism” led by figures like Donald Trump, an entirely new and very green generation of liberty activists find themselves hyper focused on the political left in general, but they seem to be obsessed with attacking the symptoms of globalism rather than the source. I attribute this to a clever propaganda campaign by globalist institutions.

For example, when globalism is brought up in terms of its conspiratorial influences, the name of George Soros is usually mentioned. Soros is an obvious bogeyman for liberty activists because his money can be found flowing to numerous Cultural Marxist (social justice) organizations and his influence is easily grasped and digested in that way. Conservatives like placing emphasis on Soros because he appears decidedly leftist and thus globalism becomes synonymous with leftist movements. But what about all the globalists within the political right?

Globalism has its gatekeepers in both political camps; people that manipulate or outright control political leaders and political messages on the right just as they do on the left. While someone like George Soros acts as a gatekeeper for the left, we also have people like Henry Kissinger, a globalist gatekeeper for the right. Kissinger’s close relations with the Trump administration or his long time friendship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin are brought up far less in the liberty movement these days. Why? Because this does not fit with the false narrative that the globalists are “targeting” Trump or Putin. When you examine these leaders and their ties to a vast array of globalist proponents, this claim becomes absurd.

In 2016, months before the presidential election, the globalist media outlet Bloomberg published an article which salivated over the possibility that Trump would swallow up and assimilate what they called the “Tea Party,” ultimately destroying it. At that time the media used the term “Tea Party” as code for any sovereignty or constitutional group, just as the media tried to wrap us all up in the term “alt-right” after Trump’s election.

There was a reason why Bloomberg found particular glee in the notion that Trump would absorb the liberty movement. The movement was becoming a decentralized threat to the globalist agenda, a threat that could not be easily quantified or dominated because it had no identifiable leadership. We were a movement based on knowledge and individual action. Our best “leaders” have been teachers, not politicians, and these were people that led by personal example, not by mandate or rhetoric.

The liberty movement was winning ground in every conceivable arena, from the dismantling of the mainstream media through alternative platforms, to the great push back against social justice cultism. Something had to be done.

Read More: http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3521-understanding-the-tactics-of-subversive-globalism

The Oligarchical Globalist Organizations that Propagandize Americans

Globalist Cabal Diagram

Atlantic Council Explains Why We Need To Be Propagandized For Our Own Good

Caitlin Johnstone

I sometimes try to get establishment loyalists to explain to me exactly why we’re all meant to be terrified of this “Russian propaganda” thing they keep carrying on about. What is the threat, specifically? That it makes the public less willing to go to war with Russia and its allies? That it makes us less trusting of lying, torturing, coup-staging intelligence agencies? Does accidentally catching a glimpse of that green RT logo turn you to stone like Medusa, or melt your face like in Raiders of the Lost Ark?

“Well, it makes us lose trust in our institutions,” is the most common reply.

Okay. So? Where’s the threat there? We know for a fact that we’ve been lied to by those institutions. Iraq isn’t just something we imagined. We should be skeptical of claims made by western governments, intelligence agencies and mass media. How specifically is that skepticism dangerous?

Trying to get answers to such questions from rank-and-file empire loyalists is like pulling teeth, and they are equally lacking in the mass media who are constantly sounding the alarm about Russian propaganda. All I see are stories about Russia funding environmentalists (the horror!), giving a voice to civil rights activists (oh noes!), and retweeting articles supportive of Jeremy Corbyn (think of the children!). At its very most dramatic, this horrifying, dangerous epidemic of Russian propaganda is telling westerners to be skeptical of what they’re being told about the Skripal poisoning and the alleged Douma gas attack, both of which do happen to have some very significant causes for skepticism.

When you try to get down to the brass tacks of the actual argument being made and demand specific details about the specific threats we’re meant to be worried about, there aren’t any to be found. Nobody’s been able to tell me what specifically is so dangerous about westerners being exposed to the Russian side of international debates, or of Russians giving a platform to one or both sides of an American domestic debate. Even if every single one of the allegations about Russian bots and disinformation are true (and they aren’t), where is the actual clear and present danger? No one can say.

No one, that is, except the Atlantic Council.

Read More: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/atlantic-council-explains-why-we-need-to-be-propagandized-for-our-own-good-fd3470254ea5

The Council On Foreign Relations Says Domestic Propaganda Is Necessary

One year ago, a State Department press event included quite possibly the most epic “deer in the headlights” moment in all of government press briefing history.

During the final press briefing in May of 2017, the State Department put high level official Stuart Jones at the podium to give the daily briefing, and he was asked how the US could call for democracy in Iran while ignoring the fact that one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies is an oppressive autocratic state with an opaque legal system run by strict Islamic sharia courts.

ere’s how Newsweek‘s Tom O’Connor set the scene at the time:

Stuart Jones, who was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq by former President Barack Obama in 2014 before assuming the title of assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs in January, took a long, silent pause after an Agence France-Presse reporter asked the official how President Donald Trump could criticize Iran’s democracy, while standing next to Saudi Arabian officials.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, where every position of power is appointed by either the king or other members of the Al Saud royal family from which the nation derives its name. Trump recently visited Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the U.S., and took the opportunity to deeply criticize the two nations’ mutual foe, Iran, and its commitment to democracy weeks after it held its presidential election.

Though clearly hilarious and at the same time appropriately awkward, the incident highlighted the fact that mainstream journalists rarely ask the obvious questions that might so easily expose the glaring hypocrisy of US foreign policy and its leaders.

As Wide Asleep in America blog so aptly described: “In lieu of delivering an actual answer, Jones became visibly uncomfortable, signed audibly, stared blindly into nothingness and said nothing for roughly 18 seconds. You could see the squeaky gears laboring to rotate in his head. You hear the faint trickle of urine run down his thigh. You could feel Jones praying to be suddenly whisked away by a dragon-drawn chariot sent to him by the sun god Helios.”

It’s so beautiful and epic we thought it deserved its own anniversary of remembrance.

But on a more serious note, about six months after Stuart Jones’ internal meltdown moment, a leaked State Department memo obtained by Politico spelled out how Washington merely values the concept of human rights insofar as it can be molded toward propaganda ends. The leaked government memo, made public for the first time in December 2017, instructed top State Department leadership that “Allies should be treated differently — and better — than adversaries.”

“For this reason,” the leaked internal State Department memo argued“we should consider human rights as an important issue in regard to US relations with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. And this is not only because of moral concern for practices inside those countries. It is also because pressing those regimes on human rights is one way to impose costs, apply counter-pressure, and regain the initiative from them strategically.”

As the May 2017 Stuart Jones presser demonstrated, this means countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar will always be let off the hook in spite of — for example — US ally Saudi Arabia executing over 50 people so far this year, half of them related to nonviolent drug chargesaccording to HRW. Or this might further translate into government officials choosing to look the other way when allies illegally possess or pursue nuclear or other banned weapons.

Politico explained that the memo encourages government leadership, on up to the level of the Secretary of State, “that we should do exactly what Russian and Chinese propaganda says we do — use human rights as a weapon to beat up our adversaries while letting ourselves and our allies off the hook.”

More recently, one year after the incredible and embarrassing State Department scene, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has delivered an even more astounding propaganda fail which went largely unnoticed in the media. The CFR is among America’s oldest and most establishment think tanks, with a who’s who of government insiders filling up its ranks, and has often played an advisory role on important policy questions to elected officials.

The CFR’s Richard Stengel, a former editor of TIME magazine, told an audience at a CFR event in late April called Political Disruptions: Combating Disinformation and Fake News that governments “have to” direct “propaganda” toward their own populations.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-31/council-foreign-relations-says-domestic-propaganda-necessary

GM Stock Buybacks, NAFTA, Trade War and Trade Deficit

The Word Politics

Bill Clinton passes NAFTA and it decimates American manufacturing over the next 25 years…

Up until present day when GM spent 10 billion on stock buybacks and now wants to cut 14,000 jobs and close 5 plants for a savings of 4.5 billion… This is after the tax payers bailed them out for 11 billion in 2016. 

but Trump is blamed by GM and the media, for trying to claw back the trade deficit from decades of Democrat and Republican sabotage.

 

Unlike 2008, GM cutting jobs, plants proactively

Restructuring plan met with anger, except on Wall Street

Michael Wayland December 03, 2018

…The most recent actions included plans to cut 15 percent of its 54,000 North American salaried jobs, including a quarter of its global executives, and to end production at five North American plants in 2019, when it will discontinue the Chevrolet Cruze and five other cars. GM said it also would close two unidentified plants elsewhere in the world by the end of next year….

Read More: http://www.autonews.com/article/20181203/OEM/181209962/gm-plans-future-workforce-makeup

GM bought back $10 billion in stock since 2015, double what job cuts will save

When General Motors announced it was cutting up to 14,000 jobs and idling five automotive plants, it justified the massive cuts by citing long-term savings. The cuts would free up $6 billion in cash, for a net savings of $4.5 billion in cash by 2020.

The move will “make General Motors more agile, resilient and profitable” while the economy’s still revving, CEO Mary Barra told investors Monday. Wall Street seemed to believe her, with GM’s stock rising nearly 5 percent and one analyst on the call congratulating her “on getting in front of the curve here.”

But GM hasn’t exactly been tightfisted in recent years. The company has spent $10.6 billion since 2015 buying back its own shares, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Stock buybacks do nothing for a company’s productive capacity. But because buybacks reduce the number of shares on the market and thus make a stock more valuable, they can be popular with many investors as well as senior executives who are paid largely in stock.

GM is far from the only company to spend money goosing its stock price. This year alone, corporations have announced some $955.6 billion in buybacks, according to TrimTabs Investment Research, and the figure for the whole year could exceed $1 trillion.

But GM started its stock repurchasing program back in 2015, less than six years after a bankruptcy process that cost U.S. taxpayers $11 billion. (The United Auto Workers and a number of politicians have pointed to the bailout in a vow to fight GM’s planned cuts, though it’s unclear politicians can do anything to change them.)

Read More: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gm-bought-back-10-billion-in-stock-since-2015-double-what-job-cuts-will-save/

Globalist, Predatory Capitalism BS vs. Socialism BS

Why be afraid of socialism

How Faux Capitalism Works In America

Authored by EconomicPrism’s MN Gordonannotated by Acting-Man’s Pater Tenebrarum,

Stars in the Night Sky

The U.S. stock market’s recent zigs and zags have provoked much squawking and screeching.  Wall Street pros, private money managers, and Millennial index fund enthusiasts all find themselves on the wrong side of the market’s swift movements.  Even the best and brightest can’t escape President Trump’s tweet precipitated short squeezes.

The Donald mercilessly hits the shorts with a well-timed tweet. But as it turns out, this market is in a really bad mood at the moment. [PT]

The short-term significance of the DJIA’s 8 percent decline since early-October is uncertain.  For all we know, stocks could run up through the end of the year.  Stranger things have happened.

What is also uncertain is the nature of this purge: Is this another soft decline like that of mid-2015 to early-2016, when the DJIA fell 12 percent before quickly resuming its uptrend?  Or is this the start of a brutal bear market – the kind that wipes out portfolios and blows up investment funds?

The stars in the night sky tell us this is the latter.  For example, when peering out into the night sky even the most untrained eye can identify the three ominous stars that are lining up with mechanical precision.

These stars include a stock market top, followed by a monster corporate debt buildup, and a fading economy.  In short, the stock market’s latest break is presaging a corporate credit crisis and global recession.

BofA/Merrill Lynch US high yield Master II Index yield – this looks like a quite convincing breakout, impossible to tweet down. In other words, the corporate debt build-up is beginning to bite back – and rather bigly, if we may say so (ed note, in case you’re wondering: the little poems are from a Spectator competition in which people used phrases from actual tweets to put together Donald haikus and poems). [PT]

The last time these three stars aligned in this sequence was roughly a decade ago.  If you recall, that was when the DJIA crashed 50 percent coincident with a mega credit crisis and recession.  We suspect that the disaster that’s approaching will be much larger, and much more destructive than the disaster of a decade ago.

Bad Habit

Astute readers will be quick to point out that government debt was not identified as one of the three ominous stars lining up in the night sky.  This is not an oversight.  Rather, it is an insight.

Without question, government debt has burgeoned way beyond what even the most doom and gloom pessimists could have envisioned just a decade ago.  In fact, November marked the widest one month budget deficit in U.S. history.

Over a one month period – a month with just 30 days, not 31 – the U.S. government spent $411 billion while it only received $206 billion.  By our rough back of the napkin calculation, the U.S. government spent nearly double what it took in.  That difference, of course, was made up with debt.  Roughly, $6.83 billion of new debt was added each and every day.

At best, spending more than one makes, like smoking or swearing, is a bad habit.  However, spending more than one makes with no intention to pay it back is a moral failing.  What’s more, running up untenable levels of government debt with the implied intent of inflating it away at the expense of the citizenry is downright evil.

It’s definitely a tremendous pile of debt… and the slope of the mountain has steepened quite dramatically in recent years…  [PT]

Day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, the U.S. government has racked up close to $22 trillion in debt.  Throw in unfunded liabilities of social security, Medicare (Parts A, B, and D), federal debt held by the public, and federal employee and veteran benefits, and the U.S. government’s on the hook for over $115.8 trillion in debt – or nearly $1 million per taxpayer.  How about that?

Of course, as the population ages, and the ratio of workers to retirees balances, these debt figures will go vertical.  As you can see, government debt is more than just an ominous star.  It’s the essential star.  Moreover, it is a dying star on the verge of collapse.  Quite frankly, it may not have enough energy to backstop the financial system during the next downturn.  Here’s why…

How Faux Capitalism Works in America

Our guess is that the real squawking from investors won’t begin until mid-2019.  That’s about the time corporate America becomes acutely aware that pumping gobs of borrowed money into grossly overvalued stocks was an act of financial suicide.

Just look to General Electric, IBM, and Citigroup for an early indication of the forthcoming catastrophe.  For instance, over the last decade GE spent $46 billion buying back its shares.  In 2016 and 2017 alone, at a time of mushrooming debt, GE pumped $24 billion into share buybacks.

GE wasted $46 billion on buying back its shares – with nothing to show for it except a collapsing share price. This was an astonishing misallocation of capital – very likely the company will eventually have issue new shares  to prop up its equity, at prices far below the prices it paid for buying them back. [PT]

Over this time, the price of these shares dropped from about $30 to $16.  And even with Thursday’s 7.3 percent boost, on word of a surprise JPMorgan upgrade, GE shares trade at $7.20.  In other words, shares GE bought back during the early part of 2016 have lost 75 percent of their value.  What to make of it?

The 2008 financial crisis helped clarify how faux capitalism works in America.  That when the big corporations and the big banks get in trouble, the people on top quickly absolve culpability while appropriating public funds from their friends at the Treasury for the purpose of private bailouts. This, in effect, socializes the losses across bottom rungs of society and concentrates profits across the top.

No doubt, the aftermath of the great corporate stock buyback craze of 2009 to 2017 will be a text book example of faux capitalism in action.  First, massive financial bailouts will be disseminated to crony banks and corporations with purpose and intent.  Then, a colossal river of monetary liquidity from the Fed will be diverted into credit markets, and into direct stock purchases of government preferred corporations.

Bailout progression – it continues until it cannot continue anymore, i.e., until the “running out of other people’s money” moment arrives. [PT]

The size and scope of these fiscal and monetary bailouts will utterly dwarf the TARP, ZIRP, and QE policies of the last crisis.  Assuming this doesn’t blow up the Treasury’s balance sheet, or vaporize what’s left of the dollar’s value, a certain end effect will take shape.  The middle class will be reduced to a notch or two above poverty, and wealth will be further concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.

We don’t like it.  We don’t agree with it.  But we can’t stop it.  This is the world we live in.  A world where justice has been debased and rectitude has been sullied.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-15/how-faux-capitalism-works-america

Socialism Always Ends in Destruction

Every attempt at socialism has failed miserably. Venezuela is only the latest country that has tried to implement a socialist paradise, only to inevitably crumble and crash before our eyes. Socialism, and its natural progression, communism, has caused the deaths of 100 million people since its inception 100 years ago.

Just a few decades ago, Venezuela had massive oil reserves and an abundance of other resources. It enjoyed wealth and an excellent standard of living. Today, Venezuelans have no food, no medicine, and the country is driven by corruption and fear. While a starving population is in despair, many are desperately trying to flee paradise. The army, supported by President Madero, is in the street, ready to brutalize any dissenters. Madero and the military are not starving.

Socialism can only survive through corruption and intimidation. It’s a system tailor-made for corruption. And corruption may be Venezuela’s largest industry.

Despite that fact that every socialist paradise on earth has turned into hell, many American politicians, and their supporters are calling for socialism for America. Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris are self-declared proud socialist, loudly singing its praises. Younger newcomers such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum are joining the chorus.

Read More: http://www.goldtelegraph.com/socialism-always-ends-in-destruction/

Hitler’s Economics

10/27/2018Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

[Originally published August 02, 2003.]

For today’s generation, Hitler is the most hated man in history, and his regime the archetype of political evil. This view does not extend to his economic policies, however. Far from it. They are embraced by governments all around the world. The Glenview State Bank of Chicago, for example, recently praised Hitler’s economics in its monthly newsletter. In doing so, the bank discovered the hazards of praising Keynesian policies in the wrong context.

The issue of the newsletter (July 2003) is not online, but the content can be discerned via the letter of protest from the Anti-Defamation League. “Regardless of the economic arguments” the letter said, “Hitler’s economic policies cannot be divorced from his great policies of virulent anti-Semitism, racism and genocide.… Analyzing his actions through any other lens severely misses the point.”

The same could be said about all forms of central planning. It is wrong to attempt to examine the economic policies of any leviathan state apart from the political violence that characterizes all central planning, whether in Germany, the Soviet Union, or the United States. The controversy highlights the ways in which the connection between violence and central planning is still not understood, not even by the ADL. The tendency of economists to admire Hitler’s economic program is a case in point.

In the 1930s, Hitler was widely viewed as just another protectionist central planner who recognized the supposed failure of the free market and the need for nationally guided economic development. Proto-Keynesian socialist economist Joan Robinson wrote that “Hitler found a cure against unemployment before Keynes was finished explaining it.”

What were those economic policies? He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public-works programs like autobahns, protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national healthcare and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The Nazi interventionist program was essential to the regime’s rejection of the market economy and its embrace of socialism in one country.

Such programs remain widely praised today, even given their failures. They are features of every “capitalist” democracy. Keynes himself admired the Nazi economic program, writing in the foreword to the German edition to the General Theory: “[T]he theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under the conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.”

Keynes’s comment, which may shock many, did not come out of the blue. Hitler’s economists rejected laissez-faire, and admired Keynes, even foreshadowing him in many ways. Similarly, the Keynesians admired Hitler (see George Garvy, “Keynes and the Economic Activists of Pre-Hitler Germany,” The Journal of Political Economy, Volume 83, Issue 2, April 1975, pp. 391–405).

Even as late as 1962, in a report written for President Kennedy, Paul Samuelson had implicit praise for Hitler: “History reminds us that even in the worst days of the great depression there was never a shortage of experts to warn against all curative public actions.… Had this counsel prevailed here, as it did in the pre-Hitler Germany, the existence of our form of government could be at stake. No modern government will make that mistake again.”

On one level, this is not surprising. Hitler instituted a New Deal for Germany, different from FDR and Mussolini only in the details. And it worked only on paper in the sense that the GDP figures from the era reflect a growth path. Unemployment stayed low because Hitler, though he intervened in labor markets, never attempted to boost wages beyond their market level. But underneath it all, grave distortions were taking place, just as they occur in any non-market economy. They may boost GDP in the short run (see how government spending boosted the US Q2 2003 growth rate from 0.7 to 2.4 percent), but they do not work in the long run.

“To write of Hitler without the context of the millions of innocents brutally murdered and the tens of millions who died fighting against him is an insult to all of their memories,” wrote the ADL in protest of the analysis published by the Glenview State Bank. Indeed it is.

But being cavalier about the moral implications of economic policies is the stock-in-trade of the profession. When economists call for boosting “aggregate demand,” they do not spell out what this really means. It means forcibly overriding the voluntary decisions of consumers and savers, violating their property rights and their freedom of association in order to realize the national government’s economic ambitions. Even if such programs worked in some technical economic sense, they should be rejected on grounds that they are incompatible with liberty.

Read More: https://mises.org/library/hitlers-economics

The Costs of Open Borders, Catch and Release, Illegal Immigration and Undocumented Residents

every 30 seconds another person becomes a victim of human trafficking

Member of Mexican sex trafficking ring sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment

www.ice.gov 12/03/2018

NEW YORK — Raul Granados-Rendon, a member of the Granados family sex trafficking ring based in Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, Mexico, was sentenced Monday in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) to eight years’ imprisonment.  Pursuant to an investigation by  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York, Granados-Rendon pled guilty in December 2017 to trafficking young Mexican women into the United States and forcing them into prostitution. As part of his sentence, the defendant was ordered to pay $1,305,393.80 in restitution to Jane Doe.

“The victims of this man were forced into prostitution after being lured to the U.S. with false promises then threatened, beaten and sexually assaulted,” stated Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York. “This man was on our agency’s top 10 fugitive list before being extradited and taken into custody early last year. It has been a long road, but now he will face the consequences of his reprehensible actions.”

“With today’s sentence, Raul Granados-Rendon is the latest member of his family’s Mexican sex trafficking operation to be held responsible for preying upon countless women, and profiting from their exploitation and dehumanization,” stated Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for EDNY. “This prosecution and sentence mark another important outcome in a nearly decade-long commitment by this Office and our law enforcement partners to obtain justice for the victims,”

From October 1998 to December 2011, Raul Granados-Rendon, 31, participated in a sex trafficking conspiracy with other members of the Granados family, to smuggle numerous young women from Mexico to New York and force them to work as prostitutes in New York City and elsewhere. The male members of the conspiracy used false promises of romance and marriage to lure the victims into relationships and convince them to travel to the United States to make money so that they could build homes for themselves in Mexico. Once in the United States, the victims were subjected to violence, threats and sexual assaults by the defendants. Raul Granados-Rendon directed one of his victims to teach another victim “Jane Doe” how to prostitute. When Jane Doe did not produce as much income as other Granados family victims, the defendant physically abused her, dragging her by her hair into a bathroom and forcing her head into a sink. The defendant also helped transport another victim back to Mexico after his brother impregnated her and failed at his efforts to induce an abortion.

The investigation, prosecution, bilateral enforcement action and extraditions of the defendants apprehended in Mexico were coordinated through the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Human Trafficking Enforcement Initiative. Since 2009, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have collaborated with Mexican law enforcement counterparts in the Initiative to more effectively dismantle human trafficking networks operating across the U.S.-Mexico border.

The HSI New York’s Trafficking in Persons Unit (TIPU) is comprised of senior criminal investigators, intelligence officers and victim assistance specialists who aid in the rescue of trafficking victims and prosecution of traffickers and trafficking organizations. TIPU investigators focus on the exploitation of victims by force, fraud or coercion regardless of the person’s manor or entry into the United States. All TIPU investigations are victim-centered, seeking to rescue and protect the victims of trafficking.

Read More: https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/member-mexican-sex-trafficking-ring-sentenced-8-years-imprisonment


Nearly Two Thirds Of Non-Citizen Households On Welfare

Another day, another revelation as the great fleecing of the U.S. taxpayer continues unabated. A Center for Immigration Studies review of U.S. Census Bureau data reveals a stunning 63% of households in the U.S. headed by non-citizens are on some form of welfare. That’s just shy of two out of every three proving to be a burden to the American people. So much for the lie that massive immigration enriches our nation.

Dead Weight

The information CIS uncovered is infuriating in a number of ways. The 63% figure is almost twice the rate of native-headed American households that use welfare, which is a disturbingly high 35% as it is. But non-citizen households (45%) also utilize food programs at a much higher rate than natives (21%), and disproportionately tap into Medicaid programs as well (50% vs. 23%).

The most telling statistic in the review, however, is that welfare use rises among non-citizens the longer they are in our country. “Of households headed by non-citizens in the United States for fewer than 10 years, 50 percent use one or more welfare programs; for those here more than 10 years, the rate is 70 percent,” CIS discovered.

Rather than serving as a temporary safety net, our welfare programs are proving to be a lifestyle staple for non-citizens sponging off the American taxpayer. Of course, many of these non-citizens do work, but they are low-skilled Hispanics from Central America laboring at poverty-level jobs. A 2015 CIS report found that 67% of households headed by immigrant farm workers are on public assistance of some form. Swollen-eyed Big Ag industrial farmers crying out about the need to find workers willing to do “the jobs Americans won’t do” are in fact having their cheap payrolls subsidized by the welfare programs of this nation.

Bitter Factors

At a time when native-born Americans are working long hours with less vacation time and fewer benefits, we are being forced to carry the millstone of foreign squatters on our backs. Massive immigration has led to overcrowded cities and towns, aggravating traffic congestion that leads to an even more draining daily commute for Americans just so we can we have the privilege of having our wages heavily taxed to financially support the very same invaders who are making our work day more exhausting. This is madness.

Read More: https://www.libertynation.com/nearly-two-thirds-of-non-citizen-households-on-welfare/


Compared to 35% of native households
By Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler on December 2, 2018

Download a PDF of this Backgrounder.

New “public charge” rules issued by the Trump administration expand the list of programs that are considered welfare, receipt of which may prevent a prospective immigrant from receiving lawful permanent residence (a green card). Analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) shows welfare use by households headed by non-citizens is very high. The desire to reduce these rates among future immigrants is the primary justification for the rule change. Immigrant advocacy groups are right to worry that the high welfare use of non-citizens may impact the ability of some to receive green cards, though the actual impacts of the rules are unclear because they do not include all the benefits non-citizens receive on behalf of their children and many welfare programs are not included in the new rules. As welfare participation varies dramatically by education level, significantly reducing future welfare use rates would require public charge rules that take into consideration education levels and resulting income and likely welfare use.

Of non-citizens in Census Bureau data, roughly half are in the country illegally. Non-citizens also include long-term temporary visitors (e.g. guestworkers and foreign students) and permanent residents who have not naturalized (green card holders). Despite the fact that there are barriers designed to prevent welfare use for all of these non-citizen populations, the data shows that, overall, non-citizen households access the welfare system at high rates, often receiving benefits on behalf of U.S.-born children.

Among the findings:

  • In 2014, 63 percent of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native-headed households.
  • Welfare use drops to 58 percent for non-citizen households and 30 percent for native households if cash payments from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are not counted as welfare. EITC recipients pay no federal income tax. Like other welfare, the EITC is a means-tested, anti-poverty program, but unlike other programs one has to work to receive it.
  • Compared to native households, non-citizen households have much higher use of food programs (45 percent vs. 21 percent for natives) and Medicaid (50 percent vs. 23 percent for natives).
  • Including the EITC, 31 percent of non-citizen-headed households receive cash welfare, compared to 19 percent of native households. If the EITC is not included, then cash receipt by non-citizen households is slightly lower than natives (6 percent vs. 8 percent).
  • While most new legal immigrants (green card holders) are barred from most welfare programs, as are illegal immigrants and temporary visitors, these provisions have only a modest impact on non-citizen household use rates because: 1) most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify; 2) the bar does not apply to all programs, nor does it always apply to non-citizen children; 3) some states provide welfare to new immigrants on their own; and, most importantly, 4) non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children who are awarded U.S. citizenship and full welfare eligibility at birth.

The following figures include EITC:

  • No single program explains non-citizens’ higher overall welfare use. For example, not counting school lunch and breakfast, welfare use is still 61 percent for non-citizen households compared to 33 percent for natives. Not counting Medicaid, welfare use is 55 percent for immigrants compared to 30 percent for natives.
  • Welfare use tends to be high for both newer arrivals and long-time residents. Of households headed by non-citizens in the United States for fewer than 10 years, 50 percent use one or more welfare programs; for those here more than 10 years, the rate is 70 percent.
  • Welfare receipt by working households is very common. Of non-citizen households receiving welfare, 93 percent have at least one worker, as do 76 percent of native households receiving welfare. In fact, non-citizen households are more likely overall to have a worker than are native households.1
  • The primary reason welfare use is so high among non-citizens is that a much larger share of non-citizens have modest levels of education and, as a result, they often earn low wages and qualify for welfare at higher rates than natives.
  • Of all non-citizen households, 58 percent are headed by immigrants who have no more than a high school education, compared to 36 percent of native households.
  • Of households headed by non-citizens with no more than a high school education, 81 percent access one or more welfare programs. In contrast, 28 percent of non-citizen households headed by a college graduate use one or more welfare programs.
  • Like non-citizens, welfare use also varies significantly for natives by educational attainment, with the least educated having much higher welfare use than the most educated.
  • Using education levels and likely future income to determine the probability of welfare use among new green card applicants — and denying permanent residency to those likely to utilize such programs — would almost certainly reduce welfare use among future permanent residents.
  • Of households headed by naturalized immigrants (U.S. citizens), 50 percent used one or more welfare programs. Naturalized-citizen households tend to have lower welfare use than non-citizen households for most types of programs, but higher use rates than native households for virtually every major program.
  • Welfare use is significantly higher for non-citizens than for natives in all four top immigrant-receiving states. In California, 72 percent of non-citizen-headed households use one or more welfare programs, compared to 35 percent for native-headed households. In Texas, the figures are 69 percent vs. 35 percent; in New York they are 53 percent vs. 38 percent; and in Florida, 56 percent of non-citizen-headed households use at least welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native households.

Read More: https://www.cis.org/Report/63-NonCitizen-Households-Access-Welfare-Programs