The Colonization of Local-Business Main Street by Corporate America: Charles Hugh Smith

Employment Under the New World Order

This is what our mode of production optimizes: ugliness, debt-serfdom, and servitude to politically dominant corporations.

An insightful correspondent recently remarked on the striking transition of American neighborhoods from commercial districts dominated by locally owned businesses to streets lined with look-alike outlets of Corporate America. This transition is so obvious that few even comment on it, much less ask if this wholesale replacement is in the best interests of residents and consumers.

I have long suggested starting any inquiry with a simple question: cui bono— to whose benefit? Let’s add a second essential question: what does the system optimize?

By this I mean: what is optimized by the infrastructure, regulations, political structure, etc.–what we call the mode of production.
I think it’s abundantly clear that our mode of production optimizes large-scale global corporations, which have access to the capital and expertise needed to optimize production, management, employee training and discipline, supply chains and the purchase of political influence.

The net result of nearly-free credit for corporations is a Corporatocracy that constantly expands its financial and political power. Governments come and go, candidates come and go, and political movements come and go, but the Corporatocracy remains at the top of the power pyramid because it can always afford to “buy” as much democracy as it needs for the state to protect its power and profits.

Our mode of production optimizes the commoditization of everything: computer chips, fish and chips, labor, expertise, everything. It’s very convenient if you have a reliable vehicle; if not, tough luck–convenience is for those with cars.
If you want a burger that’s essentially identical everywhere in the nation–i.e. a burger that has been ruthlessly commoditized–then Corporate America’s fast food chains are the place to go.
If you want a hotel room that’s identical to hundreds of other rooms, a store that has identical items and nearly identical layout no matter which outlet you enter– Corporate America’s chains are the place to go.
That this commoditization / homogenization has consequences other than low prices and convenience is not advertised. One consequence is every town and street in the country looks alike: a garish row of one corporate outpost after another.
The ugliness of this commoditized wasteland is so obvious that it’s assumed to be unavoidable.

America in a Drugged Stupor

they-live-landscape

March 1, 2017

Learning Machine

BALTIMORE – The Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq remain near record highs and are up about 10% since Election Day. Fed officials say they could raise interest rates “fairly soon.” Blah… blah… blah…

The economy is a learning machine. So is a person. We’re not talking about the kind of faux “learning” you do in school. Much of that is negative – ideas, information, and skills that destroy or delay real learning. In fact, some people stay in school to avoid learning.

Learning can be painful, humbling, and hard. And only win-win deals teach you  anything useful. Economist Adam Smith described the process more than 250 years ago. Willing buyers and sellers discover what things are worth (what someone is willing to pay).

This information directs – like an “invisible hand” – investors, producers, and consumers. Result? More wealth (or, in other words, satisfaction). This learning metaphor is more useful than we thought: How do you learn? By trying. When do you try? When you have to.

Why does extreme poverty persist in Baltimore and other places? Because the feds pay people not to try – and not to learn. Why do rich kids often get nowhere in life? Because their parents give them money; they don’t have to figure things out for themselves. They spend; they don’t learn.

Why does the U.S. economy stagnate? Because fewer people are learning. The zombies don’t have to learn. The cronies learn the worst lesson of all: that crime pays.

Win-Lose Deals

Today, smart mommas want their babies to grow up to be Washington lawyers or Wall Street bankers or crony hacks. That’s where the stolen money is – and they know it. But that is not how an economy learns.

Those are win-lose deals forced onto people by regulations, legislation, and the fake-money system. Some people win; most people lose. Those who aren’t in on the larceny get stuck in lower-paying, lower-learning jobs.

They’re at the checkout counter at Sheetz gas stations in Virginia. Or clearing away trees from the power lines in Ohio. Or they have no work at all. Economist Nicholas Eberstadt at the American Enterprise Institute think tank:

 

Between 2000 and 2015, according to [government statistics office the Bureau of Economic Analysis], total paid hours of work in America increased by just 4% (as against a 35% increase for 1985-2000, the 15-year period immediately preceding this one). Over the 2000-2015 period, however, the adult civilian population rose by almost 18% – meaning that paid hours of work per adult civilian have plummeted by a shocking 12% thus far in our new American century.

 

What do you learn when they have no work to do? Not much. According to one study, unemployed adult Americans dedicate 2,000 hours to TV and the internet a year. You learn by satisfying demanding customers and impatient bosses; you learn nothing from watching TV or surfing the web.

Drugged Stupor

But it could be worse. And it probably is. Our brother-in-law, a retired preacher, enlightened us.

“I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been telling everybody that we live way down here in the rural Virginia mountains and how nice everyone is. It’s just like The Andy Griffith Show. But then the police showed up and arrested everyone in the house down the road. They were running a drug business. They had more than $100,000 in cash. Imagine, here in Nelson County.”

According to the DEA, in 2015, more Americans died from drug overdoses than from traffic accidents or guns. Washington spends trillions of taxpayer dollars to stop terrorists. But that year, Americans were 3,096 times more likely to kill themselves by drug overdose or suicide than to die in a terrorist attack.

Read More: www.acting-man.com/?p=48709

The U.S. Is the Dictator of the World

Bombing in Syria, Captions reads, America F Yeah

The U.S. Carried Out Regime Change In Syria In 1949 … and Tried Again In 1957, 1986, 1991 and 2011-Today

by WashingtonsBlog

The CIA backed a right-wing coup in Syria in 1949. Douglas Little, Professor, Department of Clark University History professor Douglas Little notes:

Recently declassified records… confirm that beginning on November 30, 1948, [CIA operative Stephen] Meade met secretly with Colonel Zaim at least six times to discuss the “possibility [of an] army supported dictatorship.” [“Cold War and Covert Action: The United States and Syria, 1945-1958,” Middle East Journal, Winter 1990, p. 55]

***

As early as 1949, this newly independent Arab republic was an important staging ground for the CIA’s earliest experiments in covert action.

The CIA secretly encouraged a right-wing military coup in 1949.

The reason the U.S. initiated the coup?  Little explains:

 In late 1945, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) announced plans to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterra- nean. With U.S. help, ARAMCO secured rights-of-way from Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  The Syrian right-of-way was stalled in parliament.

In other words, Syria was the sole holdout for the lucrative oil pipeline.

(Indeed, the CIA has carried out this type of covert action right from the start.)

In 1957, the American president and British prime minister agreed to launch regime change again in Syria. Historian Little notes that the coup plot was discovered and stopped:

On August 12, 1957, the Syrian army surrounded the U.S. embassy in Damascus. Claiming to have aborted a CIA plot to overthrow neutralist President Shukri Quwatly and install a pro-Western regime, Syrian chief of counterintelligence Abdul Hamid Sarraj expelled three U.S. diplomats ….

Syrian counterintelligence chief Sarraj reacted swiftly on August 12, expelling Stone and other CIA agents, arresting their accomplices and placing the U.S. embassy under surveillance.

***

More importantly, Syria also had control of one of the main oil arteries of the Middle East, the pipeline which connected pro-western Iraq’s oilfields to Turkey.

***

The report said that once the necessary degree of fear had been created, frontier incidents and border clashes would be staged to provide a pretext for Iraqi and Jordanian military intervention. Syria had to be “made to appear as the sponsor of plots, sabotage and violence directed against neighbouring governments,” the report says. “CIA and SIS should use their capabilities in both the psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

***

The plan called for funding of a “Free Syria Committee” [hmmm … sounds vaguely familiar], and the arming of “political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities” within Syria. The CIA and MI6 would instigate internal uprisings, for instance by the Druze [a Shia Muslim sect] in the south, help to free political prisoners held in the Mezze prison, and stir up the Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus.

Newly-declassified CIA documents show that in 1986, the CIA drew up plans to overthrow Syria by provoking sectarian tensions.

Read More: www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/02/u-s-carried-regime-change-syria-1949-tried-numerous-times-since.html

How The Federal Reserve Is Setting Up Trump For A Recession, A Housing Crisis And A Stock Market Crash

Yellen Says Raise the Rates

By Michael Snyder, on March 13th, 2017

Most Americans do not understand this, but the truth is that the Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else does, and that includes Donald Trump.  Politicians tend to get the credit or the blame for how the economy is performing, but in reality it is an unelected, unaccountable panel of central bankers that is running the show, and until something is done about the Fed our long-term economic problems will never be fixed.  For an extended analysis of this point, please see this article.  In this piece, I am going to explain why the Federal Reserve is currently setting the stage for a recession, a new housing crisis and a stock market crash, and if those things happen unfortunately it will be Donald Trump that will primarily get the blame.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates, and there is even the possibility that they will call for an acceleration of future rate hikes

Economists generally believe the central bank’s median estimate will continue to call for three quarter-point rate increases both this year and in 2018. But there’s some risk that gets pushed to four as inflation nears the Fed’s annual 2% target and business confidence keeps juicing markets in anticipation of President Trump’s plan to cut taxes and regulations.

During the Obama years, the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates all the way to the floor, and this artificially boosted the economy.  In a recent article, Gail Tverberg explained how this works…

With falling interest rates, monthly payments can be lower, even if prices of homes and cars rise. Thus, more people can afford homes and cars, and factories are less expensive to build. The whole economy is boosted by increased “demand” (really increased affordability) for high-priced goods, thanks to the lower monthly payments.

Asset prices, such as home prices and farm prices, can rise because the reduced interest rate for debt makes them more affordable to more buyers. Assets that people already own tend to inflate, making them feel richer. In fact, owners of assets such as homes can borrow part of the increased equity, giving them more spendable income for other things. This is part of what happened leading up to the financial crash of 2008.

But the opposite is also true.

When interest rates rise, borrowing money becomes more expensive and economic activity slows down.

For the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates right now is absolutely insane.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s most recent projection, GDP growth for the first quarter of 2017 is supposed to be an anemic 1.2 percent.  Personally, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we actually ended up with a negative number for the first quarter.

As Donald Trump has explained in detail, the U.S. economy is a complete mess right now, and we are teetering on the brink of a new recession.

So why in the world would the Fed raise rates unless they wanted to hurt Donald Trump?

Read More: theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/how-the-federal-reserve-is-setting-trump-up-for-a-recession-a-housing-crisis-and-a-stock-market-crash

LBJ and Identity Politics

Johnson on Identity Politics

Did LBJ Say, ‘I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for 200 years’? | Intellectual Takeout

There are lots of memes out there saying he did. But does the quote hold up under scrutiny?

Read More: www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/did-lbj-say-ill-have-those-nggers-voting-democratic-200-years

Loretta Lynch and Senate Democrats call for subverting President Trump with marches, blood, and death

“I know that this is a time of great fear and uncertainty for so many people. I know this is a time of concern for people who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on, and even being rolled back.

I know that this is difficult, but I remind you that this has never been easy. We have always had to work to move this country forward to achieve the great ideals of our founding fathers, and that it has been people — individuals who have banded together — ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They marched, they bled. Yes, some of them have died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.

Read More: www.dcclothesline.com/2017/03/06/former-ag-loretta-lynch-and-senate-democrats-call-for-subverting-president-trump-with-marches-blood-and-death/

In A Battle Between Trump And The Federal Reserve, Who Really Wins?

Trump Vs. The FED: Death Match

by Brandon Smith

As a part of the increasingly obvious set-up of conservative movements by international banking interests and globalist think-tanks, I have noticed an expanding disinformation campaign which appears to be designed to wash the Federal Reserve of culpability for the crash of 2008 that has continued to fester to this day despite the many claims of economic “recovery.”  I believe this program is meant to set the stage for a coming conflict between the Trump Administration and the Fed, but what would be the ultimate consequences of such an event?

In my article ‘The False Economic Recovery Narrative Will Die In 2017’, I outlined the propaganda trap being established by globalist owned and operated media outlets like Bloomberg, in which they consistently claim that Donald Trump has “inherited” an economy in recovery and ascendancy from the Obama administration.  I thoroughly debunked their positions and “evidence” by showing how each of their fundamental indicators has actually been in steady decline since 2008, even in the face of massive monetary intervention and fiat printing by the Fed.

My greatest concern leading up to the 2016 election was that Trump would be allowed to win because he represents the perfect scapegoat for an economic crisis that central banks have been brewing for years.

New Rules of the Game: University Bans List of “Offensive” Phrases

University lecturers have been warned college students have to be protected against previously innocuous words which are now deemed as offensive such as ‘sportsmanlike.’

Lecturers have been banned from using the phrases ‘mankind’ and ‘man-made’ as part of a university’s clampdown on ‘gendered language’.

Cardiff Metropolitan University says the ‘politically correct’ words should be used to ‘promote an atmosphere in which all students and staff feel valued’.

The rules are laid out in the institution’s Equal Opportunities Policy, which warns contraventions could result in disciplinary action.

Read More: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4277136/PC-brigade-declare-end-mankind.html