Vets & Soldiers Speak Out against War: Friday in Seattle

On the 10th anniversary of the Afghan invasion
Vets & Soldiers Speak Out against War

Friday, October 7, 7:30pm
Doors open at 6:30pm

Three generations of veterans and soldiers will examine the human and economic costs of the endless U.S. occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, including the rise of anti-war sentiment and suicide rates among the troops.

Speakers
LeAnna Waldbauer – First Lieutenant in the Army Reserve who served in Iraq and is an outspoken anti-war feminist.
Warren Davis – African American conscientious objector who served a year in a Navy prison for refusing to deploy during the Gulf War.
Steve Hoffman – Navy veteran and submarine electrician, currently a Martin Luther King County Labor Council delegate.

$3 door donation requested. Hearty snack plates served for a $7 donation.

New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98118

On the #7 busline or a short walk east from the Columbia City light rail station. Wheelchair accessible.

Sponsored by Freedom Socialist Party
For more information: call 206-722-2453,
visit www.socialism.com/seattle or
email FSPseattle@mindspring.com.

To reserve childcare or arrange work exchanges, please call three days in advance.

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SeattleProtest and Die-In
Fri., Oct. 7, 4:30pm
Seattle Central Community College
Broadway and Pine
March to Westlake
for 5:30pm die-in and program

Austerity economics do not turn around recessions and depressions

It’s easy to beat up on Keynsian economics in good times, but in a serious economic downturns, keynsian economics are the way up and out. The push and pull between keynsian economics and free market economics represent a scale and reasonable people will understand that both have their place in large-scale economic, real world applications. Wiki Commons courtesy 84user

Unregulated free markets give you the mortgage crisis economic collapse. The answer? regulate the free market. Regulation does cut into profits. It also prevents rampant corruption in the free market that can create a long term economic downturn in exchange for short term bonus income. Regulate the free economy. It ain’t rocket science. The second tool to create a relatively stable and honest “free” market is a steeply progressive tax schedule that makes short term profit-taking too difficult. It changes the dynamics of corruption, greed, temptation for folks with weak ethical constitutions if they know that the government is going to get the lion’s share of their income if they throw out good sense and choose to enrich themselves at the expense of their businesses and the larger economy.

Well, that’s where we are these days and we are not getting out of the global economic slump without turning to Keynsian economic fixes. They are counter intuitive and they work. The deficits have to increase to get the economy growing again (this would be a good time to spur green economic growth – clean energy? energy independence? move away from internal combustion personal transportation?).

But the free market fundamentalists cannot understand that their end of the economic scheme spectrum cannot bring an economy out of a slump. It’s akin to “the beatings will continue until morale improves,” pulling more money out of the economy in a slump by cutting government spending simply deepens the downturn.

There are different problems that can develop with an economic model that is too tightly regulated, central state economic planning cannot harness the economic engine of fashion, desire, etc. that is like a force of nature. Free market economics knows how to derive growth from the force of nature that is fashion, fad and desire. But we don’t have to worry about too little free market freedom. That is not our problem today.

David Stringer at AP has an article out:

Doubts grow, not economy, under UK austerity drive

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Jobs have been lost, libraries shuttered, sailors sacked and street lights dimmed — Britain is beginning to taste the bitter medicine David Cameron warned was necessary to fix its wounded economy. It’s left some wondering: Is the remedy worse than the symptoms?

This is a badly flawed question. The framing of the question suggests that an austerity program is the remedy to deficits that pile up in an economic downturn. It is not a remedy, it is an expression of free market fundamentalism.

The US free market fundamentalists have a hybrid model, they love government spending that feeds corporations, they have no qualms about government spending as long as the spending is not committed to health care, education, food security. There is a low profit margin in that stuff compared to weapons systems and war profiteering. The “austerity” program of US free market fundamentalists is not about austerity, it is about class warfare. The shift of wealth from the many to the few that has occurred over the past thirty years is not about rewarding the most productive folks in our society, it is about class warfare. Top tax rates of 70% plus did not prevent the US economy from growing and adding jobs. Obama was correct when he said, it’s not class warfare, it’s math. And a little history.

The website of G. William Domhoff (sociology professor, UC Santa Cruz) seems to have a lot of good information. Who rules America? Is that a rhetorical question?

Wiki Commons GNU license

 

hmm.. we are up there in the top three or four countries of income disparity. Brazil, US, and China, UK going for more disparity, Bulgaria, Norway, Mexico trending for less disparity.

 

Quickie: Super-majority requirement for waging war

Many states have super-majority requirements (60% or 2/3) for raising taxes.  Some people have proposed that there be super-majority requirements for establishing or extending tax exemptions.

I propose that a super-majority requirement of 2/3 or 75% be imposed on the US Congress for sending troops to fight overseas. If necessary, there should be a constitutional amendment to that effect.

Double Dip Anyone?

The stock market continues to be on a roller coaster ride as it slides and then rebounds as traders engage in fishing the bottom and making trading commissions, sliding a few bucks out of the pockets of the marks.

Prez Obama is on the road in his magic bus talking about jobs and job creation. The NY Post (bastion of responsible journalism!@!) is reporting the bus was built in Canada. Well, job creation somewhere on the continent, I guess that’s good, but it might have been a nice touch to have had the thing built here in the USA to go on tour and talk about jobs. Wiki Commons - Matt Michrina

It’s always easy on the ear to listen to Barack talk and sometimes inspiring, but it’s a bit like holding a shell to your ear and enjoying the sound of the ocean. It’s largely theater, the connections between the sounds and any reality are pretty slight.

The political decisions that Obama has made – from Geithner instead of Krugman or Stiglitz, to TARP bank bailouts instead of an FDR style green energy public works project, to ditching the public option in favor of a corporate insurance health care makeover, to the late 2010 deal for extending the Bush tax breaks for the have-mores, the spineless negotiation over the debt ceiling – have emptied Obama’s pockets. I think he has no means to create significant jobs legislation. That opportunity existed in his first 100 days and is now just a faint memory. Maybe I am wrong about this. I would love to be wrong about this, but I tend to rely on rational analysis and the rational analysis conclusion I arrive at is bleak. But who knows, maybe the President will take us all on a snorkeling vacation to Aruba! Rainbow pie!

Back to rational analysis:

I think we face a different kind of downturn today. We are so deep in the trees now that the forest vision is long gone. What I recall is that our means of production, our fuel source, is a disaster from an environmental perspective and is also past its peak from a production angle, so that’s an ugly situation. I think we are not-facing an existential crisis where we desperately need to look at an energy system conversion to green, sustainable energy infrastructure. The good news is that the energy is there and will be for a long time because our parent star seems to be in its prime, but we have to wake up and appreciate the relatively clean energy raining down on us every day. That’s happening to some extent, but there is also the prospect of resource wars and war profiteering is enjoying the low tax rates, so a rational person would have to feel bullish about the prospect for military solutions to scarcity problems. Arab spring? Street riots about austerity? you connect the dots, kemosabe.

Anyway, haven’t had much to say lately. Have been working on video projects. Watching the madness of the Tea Party/GOP ramp up as the spokesmodels compete to make the most outrageous comments and seize the low ground for the next election cycle.

And out of the mist, the fog of war, the swirl of drone rocket debris clouds, comes the POTUS in his new bus to cheer us up with talk of jobs.

Holey moley. I don’t think talk of a jobs program is going to get it done, Barack. What else have you got? How is life in the bubble? I know that having someone other than Barack get elected in the next POTUS cycle would be really bad, but getting Barack for a second bite at the apple doesn’t look that good either. The Obama fans will be angry with me for declaring the emperor is parading around naked, but I think Barack has to take a little responsibility for letting the pragmatic partisans on the other side back him into this corner. I never suggested that he bang his head on the wall of third-way politics.

We Can't Live with Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power Plants

The annual peace walk to the Ground Zero Center in Bangor is wrapping up today with a talk by Dennis Kucinich at 6:30 pm. I was able to speak with Senji Kanaeda for a few minutes on July 31st and am finishing up a short video with Senji’s thoughts front and center.

I still have a little tweaking to do on the video, but it’s almost finished and I wanted to get this up. I am also using the video to publicize the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant event at Traditions on Monday, August 8th at 7 pm. We have to stop nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. This is a road that leads nowhere.

Hitler Holds News Conference, Thanks Balanced Budget Amendment For U.S. Defeat

(FNS – Washington, New Germany, April 17, 1947) America’s new Führer, Adolf Hitler, announced today that his official War History would in fact acknowledge that one of the biggest contributing factors to the defeat of the Allies was the insistence of the former United States of America on sticking to its Balanced Budget Amendment, which left them unable to fund the wartime conversion of the US economy for the benefit of the Alliance.

“All those ideas Mr. Roosevelt spoke of”, said Hitler, “Lend-Lease, modular shipbuilding, War Bonds, secret weapons…in the end, all of them were just words, since the Americans’ Congress was never willing to allow the country to fully fund its war effort.”

As has been previously disclosed, Waffen SS historians have already located caches of documents in Washington describing plans to fund a massive military expansion in the former United States by selling War Bonds.

These debt instruments would have allowed the Roosevelt Administration to spend up to 40% of the Gross Domestic Product of the former Nation in defending itself, the former United Kingdom, and other nations against the Fatherland, but for reasons that are still not well understood Conservative politicians demanded that the former US Government never “take on debt for outsiders”, or, in the words of Mae Cadoodie, leader of the American Tea Party movement, “Never invite a foreign entanglement that raises our taxes”.

Had the Americans been allowed to sell War Bonds, or to raise taxes to fund the War, it is estimated that they could have provided tens of thousands of aircraft, millions of military vehicles, and hundreds of ships, but the Balanced Budget Amendment prevented any of that.

This represents the end of a series of political arguments that had been taking place since the 1930s, when some American economists were suggesting that a new idea called “deficit spending” could be helpful in bringing the former USA out of the Great Depression; at that time the Roosevelt Administration was unable to establish agencies such as the Work Projects Administration, which would have built public works projects throughout the USA in an effort to revive the moribund economy.

Mae Cadoodie and others fought back successfully against these ideas, pointing out that the last thing the US economy needed in a bad economy was new taxes; they made the same arguments when the Roosevelt Administration first proposed Lend-Lease as a war emergency measure.

“We cannot inflict punishing new taxes on American industry at this fragile time in our recovery” Cadoodie said in a famous speech in 1939, “and if the market is really there for this military materiel, if it’s not just some boondoggle manufactured by Roosevelt to take money out of the pockets of the American people, then I’m sure the British will be able to find the funding they need from the markets or from charitable donations”.

Cadoodie was unavailable for comment, as she and most other former American politicians are still serving on the Eastern Front, and will be for the foreseeable future.

In a related story, the conversion of the remainder of the American industrial base is underway for the fight against the Russians, and millions of otherwise unemployed Americans are being drafted into the military services in preparation for the final assault.