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Class Struggle and Imperial Wars as the Motor Force of US History
Introduction The American welfare state was created in 1935 and continued to develop through 1973. Since then, over a prolonged period, the capitalist class has been steadily dismantling the entire welfare state. Between the mid 1970’s to the present (2017) labor laws, welfare rights and benefits and the construction of and subsidies for affordable housing... Read More
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Shake Up and Shake Down
Introduction Major changes are roiling the states, societies and ruling classes of the biggest industrial economies, oil regimes and military complexes. China is re-allocating its economic wealth toward building the most extensive modern infrastructure system in history, linking four continents. Saudi Arabia is transferring a trillion dollars of pillage from princes to princes, from old... Read More
West Scranton, 2017
On Thanksgiving, I came to Scranton to stay with a 65-year-old friend who’s going through a cage fight kind of divorce, though only one side is dishing out the sharp elbows and knees. Just hearing Christmas music at the Dollar Store was driving him mad, Chuck confessed. The four-hour bus ride from Philly stopped in... Read More
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Introduction to the German Edition
In theory, the global financial system is supposed to help every country gain. Mainstream teaching of international finance, trade and “foreign aid” (defined simply as any government credit) depicts an almost utopian system uplifting all countries, not stripping their assets and imposing austerity. The reality since World War I is that the United States has... Read More
Guangzhou, China (/r/Cyberpunk) Some time ago a commenter asked me about the state of China Studies in Russia, an issue that is pretty germane as they increasingly align with each other. TL;DR - Catastrophic. Simply put, Russia does not have the cognitive tools to understand the country that Kremlin talking points describe as Russia’s "strategic... Read More
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Some Stuff Worth Knowing
For Americans concerned about Mexico and Mexicans, and what sort of wights they be, a little history may help. We seem to know almost nothing about a bordering nation of 130 million. It is not what most of us think it is. It is certainly not what the Loon Right would have us believe. For... Read More
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"If the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase your company's capital investment?" The question was posed to a sizeable group of CEOs at The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, in the presence of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn. A pitiful show of hands failed to wipe the smirk off Mr.... Read More
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Secretary of the Treasury for the .01%
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin doesn’t exactly come across as the guy you’d want in your corner in a playground tussle. In the Trump administration, he’s been more like the kid trying to cop favor with the school bully. That, at least, is the role he seems to have taken in the Trump White House. When... Read More
New York, 2017
To go home, I had to take a taxi to Saigon’s airport, fly to Hanoi, then on to Hong Kong, where during a 5 ½ hour layover I’d take a train to Central to hang out a bit, then back to the airport to fly to JFK, then hop on two trains just to get... Read More
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(Lumpen Capitalism refers to an economic system in which the financial and military sector exploits the state treasury and productive economy for the 1% of the population.) Introduction US journalists and commentators, politicians and Sinologists spend considerable time and space speculating on the personality of China’s President Xi Jinping and his appointments to the leading... Read More
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That's the Rub, It Can't
In order to understand China and how the world works, I am very lucky to have lived here during two very different time periods. It started 1990-1997. In the first book of The China Trilogy, 44 Days Backpacking in China, I called this period the Wild East Deng Xiaoping Buckaroo Days. It was intense, crazy... Read More
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2017 compared to 1917
Socialism flowered in the 19th century as a program to reform capitalism by raising labor’s status an
The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative thinker Egor Kholmogorov. Translated by: Fluctuarius Argenteus; slightly edited by AK. Original: http://zavtra.ru/blogs/pravoslavnyij-sotsializm *** It may seem strange that, at the turn of the 21st century, the word “Socialism” is back in the popular political idiom. The final decade of the preceding century seemed to... Read More
Home cooking in Hanoi, 2017
I’m back in Hanoi. Noi Bai Airport was sparkling after its recent upgrade, and I rode into town on a wide, well-landscaped freeway named after general Vo Nguyen Giap. On both sides were shops and restaurants. “I don’t recognize any of this, brother,” I said to the taxi driver, a man in his mid 40’s.... Read More
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An interview with journalist Chris Hedges
On Monday, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North interviewed Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, lecturer and former New York Times correspondent. Among Hedges’ best-known books are War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, The Death of the Liberal Class, Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,... Read More
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It should be called the Leona Helmsley tax plan, only the little people will pay taxes
S. Peries: It's the Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. A general consensus is emerging that Trump's tax plan, which he presented last Wednesday will benefit mostly the country's upper classes and corporations. In fact the only people that got a tax increase are the poorest taxpayers. A quick scan... Read More
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America has the greatest inequalities, highest mortality rate, most regressive taxes, and largest public subsidies for bankers and billionaires of any developed capitalist country. In this essay we will discuss the socio-economic roots of inequalities and the relation between the concentration of wealth and the downward mobility of the working and salaried classes. How the... Read More
East-Central Europe - the Visegrad nations and the Balts - are commonly considered to have had far better post-Communist transitions than Russia. They started earlier, and from a more privileged position; in contrast, the Soviet economy was more distorted in the first place, and there were no living memories of prewar capitalism. They got more... Read More
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Immigration patriots are fighting back against Donald Trump’s dalliance with a DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] Amnesty, and there’s evidence they’re having the predicted impact. But in the furor, the H-1B “temporary” worker program has been pushed to the background. Patriots need to keep their eyes on this program as well. Most VDARE.com readers... Read More
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The fall of 2017 will witness the most brutal assault on working and middle class living standards since the end of World War II. Three presidents and their congressional allies will ‘revise’ labor legislation, progressive income tax laws and regulations and effectively end the mixed economy in France, the US and Brazil. Throughout the summer,... Read More
Marseille, 2017
Born in Nghe An, he quit school after the 9th grade to start working full time at 15-years-old. He got a job in Saigon, then Phu Quoc Island, the southernmost part of Vietnam. He visited Hanoi and remote Dien Bien Phu, right on the Laotian border. At 18, he agreed to pay $15,000 to be... Read More
Photo by Charleston’s TheDigitel | CC BY 2.0
Interview with Vlado Plaga in the German magazine FAIRCONOMY, September 2017. Originally, you didn’t want to become an economist. How did it come that you changed your plans and digged so deep into economics? I found economics aesthetic, as beautiful as astronomy. I came to New York expecting to become an orchestra conductor, but I... Read More
A Broad Spectrum Column
OK, I’m trying to figure out cars. Especially the electric and nuclear-powered ones. Mostly the fizzing and fuming about how great electrics are, or maybe the end of civilization, seems political. Liberals love them because they will prevent pollution, end global warming, and maybe stop hair loss. Libertarians hate them because they associate them with... Read More
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Trump is Turning Against the White Working Class that Elected Him
SHARMINI PERIES: It's the Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The rise of stock prices in the US stock market could be an indication of economic growth and prosperity, but it could also be an indication of the concentration of wealth of the rich and powerful. Which is it? To... Read More
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U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies
Do they know what they are doing? When the U.S. Congress adopts draconian sanctions aimed mainly at disempowering President Trump and ruling out any move to improve relations with Russia, do they realize that the measures amount to a declaration of economic war against their dear European “friends”? Whether they know or not, they obviously... Read More
Back in the 1990s stock bubble it was common for analysts to say things like price-to-earnings ratios (PE) no longer mattered. They were right, at least for a while, as the stock valuations of companies like AOL and Priceline soared way beyond anything that could conceivably be justified by current or future earnings. Of course... Read More
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What will those rascals in Moscow do next?
It has been another week full of news about Russia. Americans might be surprised to learn that nearly every aspect of their lives has been somehow impacted by the insidious covert activity of a former global enemy that now has an economy the size of Spain or Italy. One of the latest claims is that... Read More
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Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune. Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a... Read More
Ancient Silk Road Routes.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads: A New History of the World shows why we need to re-vision history
The word revisionist derives from roots meaning "to look again." And since history is an ongoing project, whose main purpose is to help us understand where we have come from and where we are going, we obviously need to keep taking fresh looks at the past as we propose new visions of the future. Obligatory... Read More
Pretty much everything our media tells us about China is wrong–or at least one-sided–including its tales of a China ‘debt problem’. The Chinese are, in all times and places, debt-averse and China’s government which, unlike ours, must take long-term responsibility for the economy, is no different. Mao set the example and grew GDP by 6.2... Read More
To one watching the advance of Chinese science and technology, or to me anyway, several things stand out. First, the headlong pace. Second, the amount of it that appears aimed at making China independent of the West technologically and getting the United States off Beijing’s back. Third, the apparent calculated focus. It looks like intelligent... Read More
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As a rule I try to see my glass half-full, leaving the half-empty one to other fellows. And now there are some good reasons for an eternal optimist to stick to his positive schedule. Though it tarried, the summer has come, after all, to the North. The skies are blue, the grass is green and... Read More
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Glass-Steagall or Another Economic Meltdown?
Donald, listen, whatever you’ve done so far, whatever you’ve messed up, there’s one thing you could do that would make up for a lot. It would be huge! Terrific! It could change our world for the better in a big-league way! It could save us all from economic disaster! And it isn’t even hard to... Read More
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As published in Harper’s Magazine. Let’s start with your 2006 Harper’s article. What did you see happening at that point? It was very clear that more and more of everybody’s income had to go to buying a
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In the years since the 2008 economic crisis, financial transactions taxes (FTTs) have gone from a fringe idea to a policy that is in mainstream policy debates. They are seen as a way to both raise large amounts of money and to slow the pace of churning in financial markets. For this reason, most progressive... Read More
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SHARMINI PERIES: Just prior to the economic collapse of 2007-2008 there were several economic indicators which could have given us a clue of the impending disaster. If we look at the economic situation today in the US, we find many of these very same indicators. Housing prices are getting very high. Credit card debt has... Read More
Economist Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution interviews Stanford economist Raj Chetty and borrows a number of his questions from my appreciative 2015 critique in Taki's Magazine, "Moneyball for Real Estate," of the flaws in Chetty's methodology in his huge and much publicized study of how income mobility over the generations varies by county across the... Read More
If One Arm is Right, the Other Will Be Left, No?
This worthy and public-spirited column seldom dives into the thickets of military hardware, which it regards as excessively technical. However, the arms race between China and Washington is of enough gravity that its more exotic armaments may be of interest. Herewith, the truly dangerous weaponry of the contending sides. C-919 A Chinese narrow-body intended to... Read More
Frankford, Philadelphia, 2014
Jonathan Revusky was in Philly for a few days, and I had a great time showing Jon around. We went to Kensington, Fishtown, Camden, Point Breeze, Little Cambodia and Rittenhouse Square, all but the last at the sinking end of the economic scale, places I’m well familiar with. At Jack’s Famous Bar, we ordered a... Read More
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Sharmini Peries: The European Commission announced on May 2, that an agreement on Greek pension and income tax reforms would pave the way for further discussions on debt release for Greece. The European Commission described this as good news for Greece. The Greek government described the situation in similar terms. However, little attention has been... Read More
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Not the American One, But Trump’s
President Trump, his children and their spouses, aren’t just using the Oval Office to augment their political legacy or secure future riches. Okay, they certainly are doing that, but that’s not the most useful way to think about what’s happening at the moment. Everything will make more sense if you reimagine the White House as... Read More
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Billionaire businessman Marc Cuban insists that the H-1B visa racket is a feature of the vaunted American free market. This is nonsense on stilts. It can't go unchallenged. Another billionaire, our president, has ordered that the H-1B program be reformed. This, too, is disappointing. You'll see why. First, let's correct Mr. Cuban: America has not... Read More
There was a time when boys played games of marbles following strict playground rules: contestants had to stand a prescribed distance away from the little pyramid of marbles, and chuck only marbles of the prescribed size. Rules ruled. Piaget was intrigued by the explanations children gave for moral judgements, and the playground is the arena... Read More
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Introduction Every day and throughout the world we read and hear of turmoil, of threats, violence, divisions, wars for peace and peace for wars, freedom as oppression and oppression as freedom. In a world where words have lost their meanings and meanings have no words, how do we go about understanding turmoil? Surely, economies rise... Read More
KIM BROWN: Welcome to The Real News Network in Baltimore. I'm Kim Brown. Donald Trump promised repeatedly to, "Drain the swamp," during his presidential campaign, his vow to end the cycle of corruption within the Federal government. All while touting his own experience as a businessman, as reason enough for him to be Commander-in-Chief. Yet,... Read More
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The ‘White Plague’ of the 21st Century
Introduction Over the past two decades hundreds of thousands of Americans have died prematurely because of irresponsibly prescribed narcotic ‘pain killers’ and other central nervous system depressants, like tranquillizers and their deadly interactions. The undeniable fact is that they have been mostly from the white working and lower middle class from rural and deindustrialized regions.... Read More
Friendly Lounge, 2017
My local dive, Friendly Lounge, was mentioned in I Heard You Paint Houses, a book soon to be turned into a movie by Martin Scorcese. Now Friendly’s featured quite prominently in The Last Don Standing, an account of the Philly mob by Ralph Natale. An infamous snitch, Natale still spent 27 years inside. As I... Read More
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The undeniable success of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez must have been especially aggravating to the world’s oldest billionaire, David Rockefeller, who died in his sleep last week at 101. The Rockefellers and their Standard Oil essentially ran Venezuela for decades, deciding on not just US ambassadors but Venezuela’s national policies. Until 1951 Standard Oil’s Venezuela branch... Read More
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Introduction: The cross border flood of millions of immigrants provokes profound political divisions, violence and the rise of mass movements challenging the unity of the European Union (EU) and the survival of the dominant political parties in the US and Europe. Both the progressive pro-immigrant and rightwing anti-immigration parties and movements propose easy answers and... Read More
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Introduction: From their dismal swamps, US academic and financial journal editorialists, the mass media and contemporary ‘Asia experts’, Western progressive and conservative politicians croak in unison about China’s environmental and impending collapse. They have variably proclaimed (1) China’s economy is in decline; (2) the debt is overwhelming; a Chinese real estate bubble is ready to... Read More
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Category Classics
A simple remedy for income stagnation
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution