Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* THE WORLD’S 2170 BILLIONAIRES CONTROL $33 TRILLION IN NET WORTH, DOUBLE THE US GDP
By Tyler Durden, zerohedge
Before it became a conspiracy fact, the traditional response to all suggestions of a massive Libor/FX/commodity/mortgage rigging cartel was a simple if stupid one: too many people are involved and so it can never be contained. As it turns out not only can it be contained, but when the interests of the “conspiracy” participants are alligned, it can continue for decades. Naturally, the same applies for the pinnacle of the global wealth pyramid: the world’s billionaires and their plan of wealth preservation and accumulation.
Not only have the world’s richest been the biggest beneficiaries of the monetary and fiscal policies since 2009, with the current 2170 global billionaires representing a 60% increase since 2009 according to UBS, but their consolidated net worth has more than doubled from $3.1 trillion in 2009 to $6.5 trillion now. At the same time, the net worth of the “bottom 90%” of the world’s not so lucky population, has declined. Yet, somehow, the Fed is still revered.
Naturally, as in global financial conspiracies, the question arises: is it possible that instead of representing the interests of the general population, what the central banks simply do is follow the instructions of a far smaller cabal, that of the world’s uber wealthy?
In case there is any confusion, the above is a rhetorical question. It goes without saying that what the world’s largest wealth accumulators want above all else, is to preserve a status quo that allows their capital-based wealth to increase as fast and as much as possible in a regime of reflating asset prices, while keeping the bulk of the world’s population distracted, entertained, and collecting their daily welfare check. […]
* NOAM CHOMSKY: AMERICA IS A TERRIFIED COUNTRY
The philosopher on the violence we wage abroad, the income inequality we face at home and where we go from here
By Catherine Komp, Truthout
Free Speech Radio News producer Catherine Komp interviews Noam Chomsky.
Noam Chomsky is amongst the world’s most cited living scholars. Voted the “world’s top public intellectual” in 2005, he is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom. Over the last several decades, Chomsky has championed a wide range of dissident actions, organizations and social movements. In this excerpt from the just-released expanded edition of the Zuccotti Park Press book, “Occupy: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity,” Chomsky speaks with Free Speech Radio News about media control, fear, indoctrination and the importance of solidarity.
Catherine Komp: It’s been twenty-five years since the publication of your and Edward Herman’s acclaimed book “Manufacturing Consent.” How much do you think has changed with the propaganda model, and where do you see it playing out most prominently today?
Noam Chomsky: Well, ten years ago we had a re-edition and we talked about some of the changes. One change is that we were too narrow. There are a number of filters that determine the framework of reporting, and one of the filters was too narrow. Instead of “anti-communism,” which was too narrow, it should have been “fear of the concocted enemy.” So yes, it could be anti-communism—most of that is concocted. So take Cuba again. It’s hard to believe, but for the Pentagon, Cuba was listed as one of the military threats to the United States until a couple of years ago. This is so ludicrous; you don’t even know whether to laugh or cry. It’s as if the Soviet Union had listed Luxembourg as a threat to its security. But here it kind of passes.
The United States is a very frightened country. And there are all kinds of things concocted for you to be frightened about. So that should have been the filter, and [there were] a few other things, but I think it’s basically the same.
There is change. Free Speech Radio didn’t exist when we wrote the book, and there are somethings on the Internet which break the bonds, as do independent work and things like the book I was just talking about when we came in, Jeremy Scahill’s “Dirty Wars,” which is a fantastic piece of investigative reporting on the ground of what actually happens in the countries where we’re carrying out these terror campaigns. And there’s a lot of talk about drones, but not much about the fact that they are terror weapons. […]
* WHY MEMBERSHIP IN THE WTO IS DESTROYING AMERICA
By Margaret Elkis, Economy In Crisis
Many may not be aware that the United States has become subservient to a biased, undemocratic organization bent on usurping our sovereignty and trampling on our freedoms. It’s known as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The WTO is an organization of 153 nations that limits America’s ability to act in its own best interest. The corporate agenda of the organization has destroyed the American economy, allowing multi-nationalists to exploit the world’s cheap resources and put America out of work and out of business.
But what exactly does it mean to be a member of the WTO?
For starters it means the United States has no larger vote than a smaller country, such as Grenada (Article IX, p. 5). Even more alarming is that the WTO has come to represent the most efficient form of colonization the world has ever seen – reaping all the benefits with no downsides of occupation.
Furthermore, the WTO routinely trumps U.S. laws and conventions with its rulings. According to former trade representative Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. is one of the most sued nations in the WTO, and loses 9 out of every 10 cases brought against it! […]
* ARE THERE NO WORKHOUSES?
The New York Times tells a sadly familiar story:
It has been a painful slide. A five-year spell of unemployment has slowly scrubbed away nearly every vestige of Ms. Barrington-Ward’s middle-class life. She is a 53-year-old college graduate who worked steadily for three decades. She is now broke and homeless.
Ms. Barrington-Ward describes it as “my journey through hell.” She was laid off from an administrative position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008; she had earned about $50,000 that year. With the recession spurring employers to dump hundreds of thousands of workers a month and the unemployment rate climbing to the double digits, she found that no matter the number of résumés she sent out — she stopped counting in the thousands — she could not find work.
“I’ve been turned down from McDonald’s because I was told I was too articulate,” she says. “I got denied a job scrubbing toilets because I didn’t speak Spanish and turned away from a laundromat because I was ‘too pretty.’ I’ve also been told point-blank to my face, ‘We don’t hire the unemployed.’ And the two times I got real interest from a prospective employer, the credit check ended it immediately.”
For Ms. Barrington-Ward, joblessness itself has become a trap, an impediment to finding a job. Economists see it the same way, concerned that joblessness lasting more than six months is a major factor preventing people from getting rehired, with potentially grave consequences for tens of millions of Americans.
The long-term jobless, after all, tend to be in poorer health, and to have higher rates of suicide and strained family relations. Even the children of the long-term unemployed see lower earnings down the road.
The consequences are grave for the country, too: lost production, increased social spending, decreased tax revenue and slower growth. Policy makers and academics are now asking whether an improving economy might absorb those workers in time to prevent long-term economic damage.
“I don’t think we know the answer,” said Jesse Rothstein, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “But right now, I think everybody’s worst fears are coming true, as far as we can tell.”
Soon after we first talked in October, Ms. Barrington-Ward left her sister’s house in Ohio, where she had crashed for six weeks, and went back to Boston and filed her bankruptcy paperwork. She contacted a headhunter. “I’ve got to get a job,” she said. “I just have to.” She had two job interviews lined up and her fingers crossed.
Long-term joblessness — the kind that Ms. Barrington-Ward and about four million others are experiencing — is now one of the defining realities of the American work force. […]
* YOU MAKE PLANS … THEY MAKE PLANS