1. Bank leverage:
37- Externality costs and collective action problems:
But in a logical shell game reminiscent of the Bush administration’s selling of the war in Iraq—you know, to get rid of al-Qaida, I mean weapons of mass destruction, I mean Saddam Hussein, I mean to have democratic elections, I mean to stabilize the country so the Iraqi army and police can take over, but we’ll keep bases and troops there more or less indefinitely—Panetta says the Taliban are giving our troops a hell of a time.
So, just to recap, we went into Afghanistan to get rid of those al-Qaida bastards who took down our World Trade Center. Now there are fewer than a hundred left, but we’re still there because their hosts continue to dislike us. And doing something about that is worth the life of every teenage kid we can suit up and drop off over there.
Any more good news? Panetta says it’s been years since we had any idea where Bin Laden is. Oh, and we continue to make deals with the mercenary dingbats formerly known as Blackwater because, despite a track record of killings and flying into mountains, they underbid everyone else, Panetta says.
A great president once said, “You fool me, ye can’t get fooled again.” Words to live by. —PZS
On a separate issue, Panetta said that the CIA had no choice but to hire the company once known as Blackwater for $100 million to provide security in Afghanistan.
Panetta said the company, now known as Xe Services, underbid others by $26 million and that a CIA review concluded that the contractor had cleaned up its act.
It seems that you can look at a chart of almost anything and right around 1981 or soon after you'll see the chart make a sharp change in direction, and probably not in a good way. And I really do mean almost anything, from economics to trade to infrastructure to ... well almost anything. I spent some time looking for charts of things, and here are just a few examples. In each of the charts below look for the year 1981, when Reagan took office.
Conservative policies transformed the United States from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation in just a few years, and it has only gotten worse since then:
Working people's share of the benefits from increased productivity took a sudden turn down:
This resulted in intense concentration of wealth at the top:
And forced working people to spend down savings to get by:
Which forced working people to go into debt: (total household debt as percentage of GDP)
None of which has helped economic growth much: (12-quarter rolling average nominal GDP growth.)
Please leave a comment pointing people to a chart with a change after Reagan took office. How about a chart that shows America's investment in maintaining and modernizing our infrastructure over time?
Sometimes it can be so obvious where a problem comes from, but very hard to change it. The anti-government, pro-corporate-rule Reagan Revolution screwed a lot of things up for regular people and for the country. Some of this disaster we saw happening at the time and some of it has taken 30 years to become clear. But for all the damage done these "conservative" policies greatly enriched a few entrenched interests, who use their wealth and power to keep things the way they are. And the rest of us, hit so hard by the changes, don't have the resources to fight the wealth and power. (Speaking of which, you can donate to CAF here.)
Look at the influence of these entrenched interests on our current deficits, for example. Obviously conservative policies of tax cuts and military spending increases caused the massive deficits. But entrenched interests use their wealth and power to keep us from making needed changes. The facts are here, plain as the noses on our faces. The ability to fight it eludes us. Will we step up and do something to reverse the disaster caused by the Reagan Revolution or not?
Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Propaganda System
Edward S. Herman and David PetersonExcerpted from The Politics of Genocide (Monthly Review Press, 2009).
"Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action."Sunstein, is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. He thus can advise the White House on how to deal with those pesky conspiracy theories. Given that the Obama White House is much harder on leakers than even the Bush White House, it is obvious that truth is in the cross hairs.