Sunday, August 05, 2007

AmeriKKKa's Meltdown

AmeriKKKa’s Meltdown

“But Democratic lawmakers have been deeply suspicious that the Bush administration was seeking a broader and more controversial expansion of surveillance authority by making changes that were vague on important issues. Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of Texas and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday that the bill the administration wanted would allow wiretapping without warrants as long as it was 'concerning a person abroad.' As a result, Mr. Reyes said, the law could be construed as allowing any search inside the United States as long as the government claimed it 'concerned' Al Qaeda. Democrats said their suspicions had been fueled in part by the White House’s repeated reluctance to ask Congress for technical changes addressing issues that should have been apparent long ago. In a recent letter to a Republican on the committee, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, Mr. Reyes noted that Congress had updated the FISA law eight times since the Sept. 11 attacks. ‘You repeatedly claim that FISA is woefully outdated,” Mr. Reyes wrote. 'Neither you nor the administration raised concerns during consideration of those bills that the statutory changes proposed were inadequate.’” House Passes Changes in Eavesdropping Program By CARL HULSE and EDMUND L. ANDREWS Published: August 5, 2007

This has been an interesting week in the continuing AmeriKKKan deathwatch. While at any given time in AmeriKKka’s sordid past similar things have occurred singularly or in a few cases in combination, current conditions signal an ominous shift towards hard economic times and an increasing fascist police state. On the economic front, the US Department of Labor issued a report indicating unemployment rose to a six month high and a paltry 92,000 jobs were created/added; well below the expected 130,000 jobs needed to sustain the already “jobless recovery”. The problem with Department of Labor statistics is they do not count the chronically unemployed nor do they include discouraged persons who have stopped looking for work. Both of these categories have skyrocketed in recent years to the point government unemployment figures are woefully inaccurate. “The number of unemployed, a volatile monthly series, spiked up by 188,000 in July. The share of the unemployed who were job losers (as opposed to new labor market entrants or re-entrants) jumped up to 50.9%, the highest share since September 2005. A one-month spike in the share of job losers by no means constitutes a worrisome trend, but this is a highly cyclical variable and warrants close watching in coming months. Also, the share of long-term unemployed—persons who have sought jobs for at least 26 weeks—jumped in July, from 16.2% to 18.4%. Given these weak results, why hasn't the unemployment rate gone up? In fact, job growth this year has been much weaker in the Household Survey, the database by which the BLS gauges unemployment. Monthly employment growth in this smaller survey is much more volatile than the payroll survey, but the monthly average job gains this year from this survey have been only 26,000, compared to 262,000 last year. The reason such slow job growth has not translated into higher unemployment can be traced to the slower growing labor force and the decline in labor force participation rates (LFPRs) this year. Overall, the LFPR is down 0.3 percentage points since last December, but for men, it is down 0.5 points. Teenagers' LFPRs are down by 2.2 points this year, and even so-called prime-age workers—25-54 year-olds—are down slightly (-0.2 points). Surprisingly, LFPRs are down more among workers with higher levels of education (see Chart), suggesting a tougher job market for workers with at least some college relative to those with less schooling.” Lukewarm Job Market Reflects Overall Economy's Headwinds By Jared Bernstein with research assistance from James Lin.
Isn’t it interesting how economic analysts with job security and a steady pay check don’t feel a one month spike in job losers is an alarming trend in an environment where the US auto industry is shedding jobs like Bu$h tells lies and the housing market bubble’s burst is rippling throughout other areas of the economy? What this recent Economic Policy Institute report is saying is, young people even those with some college education are having difficulty finding jobs! While this may be a seasonal phenomenon, this is still not a good sign. Couple this report with the fact wealth distribution or more correctly wealth redistribution is getting more and more lopsided every day. Currently we have a formula for increasing poverty and massive reduction of living standards.
“A common metaphor for describing total national income is the image of a pie—when that pie is cut, some households get larger slices than others. How has that pie been divvied up in the current recovery? Economic growth in the current recovery has been very unbalanced, with all of the income growth from 2001 to 2005 (the latest available data) accruing to the upper 5% and, in particular, the upper 1% of households. In fact, the bottom 90% of households experienced a 4.2% decline in their market-based incomes1 (see the March 28, 2007 Snapshot), representing a loss of $1,293 per household on average from 2001 to 2005 (the latest year data is available). Had income growth been shared equally during this recovery, the bottom 90% would have been $2,071 better off than they actually were in 2005 (with a $778 income gain, instead of a loss). The change in income shares between 2001 and 2005 is illustrated in the chart below. Since the beginning of the recovery in 2001, the income share of the top 1% grew 3.6 percentage points to 21.8% in 2005, greater than the 16.1% income share of the entire bottom half of all U.S. households. Correspondingly, the income shares of the bottom half and the upper-middle class dropped, respectively, by 1.4 and 2.3 percentage points. As a result, the top 1% of households gained $268 billion of total income and the bottom 90% lost $272 billion since 2001. The increased inequality from 2001 to 2005—during a recovery no less—caused the bottom 90% of households to lose income (-$2,071) while the best-off 1% of households gained $183,902 on average.” Who's Grabbing All the New Pie? by Lawrence Mishel
Meanwhile things do not look good on Wall Street as several major banks are scrambling to halt the debilitating impact of the sub prime and Alt-A mortgage scandals. “Stock markets across the world had an attack of the jitters last week, led by the US. On Friday, the Dow Jones lost more than 100 points, to close down at 13,360.One of the key worries is the condition of two hedge funds ran by investment bank Bear Stearns. The funds both invested in securities related to the US subprime mortgage market - the elephant in the global economy’s living room that all the participants are desperately trying to ignore in the hope that it will just go away. So what exactly is the problem - and could this be the start of something bigger? Two of Bear Stearns’ hedge funds - the High-Grade Structured Credit Fund and the High-Grade Structured Credit Enhanced Leverage Fund - are experiencing problems. In essence, the funds made some bad bets on the US housing market, and now they’ve run into trouble. Other banks that had loaned the funds money to make those bets now want it back, but they don’t have it.” US subprime woes start to spread I call this a scandal because the private bankers (Federal Reserve) who set US money and interest policy knew what would happen when people with weak credit histories were enticed to purchase high priced homes using exotic and predatory loan packages during times of wage stagnation. They absolutely had to know things would not turn out well.
These condition don’t just impact the poor or people with poor credit histories. “But house prices in the US are already falling, while lending standards are tightening. That has an impact on everybody. With the savings rate well into negative territory, where it has been for a long time, US consumers (and not just the 'poor’ ones) have been relying on being able to borrow money against the ever-increasing value of their homes for a long time, particularly as wage growth hasn‘t been enough to provide much of a boost to the average person’s standard of living. Now they can’t do that anymore. So if you can’t borrow more money, then you either have to cut back on your spending, or you have to earn more. And one of the easiest ways to earn more is to demand more from your employer. And why shouldn’t employees ask for more? After all, we’re always hearing about how the global economy is in a ‘sweet spot’ and that times have never been so good and that corporate profits are at record levels compared to employees’ wages - why shouldn’t the workers demand a bigger slice of that? Of course, the problem with that is that higher wage demands tend to drive up inflation. That puts pressure on interest rates to rise too, and that makes debt servicing even harder. As the US (and the UK) economic 'miracles’ have been built on cheap debt, its absence is likely to kick the legs from under them. Already in the UK we’re hearing concerned noises from more and more retailers - music chain Fopp was forced to deny rumours of impending financial problems at the weekend, for example.” ibid
The wage and employment pictures are bad enough but if the mortgage meltdown spreads to the hedge and derivative markets which it seems to be doing, the bottom could fall out for the US economy. Couple that scenario with other nations’ move to divest themselves of worthless US dollars as more foreign central and private banks stop buying AmeriKKKa’s T-Bills and financing this nation's escalating debt, AmeriKKKa could be looking at a major financial collapse. The only thing keeping the US afloat are the massive influx and reinvestment of illegal drug money and the threat of preemptive US military attacks on increasing numbers of weaker countries. Militarization and globalization make the world a much more dangerous place for a host of reasons. AmeriKKKa in addition to threatening smaller, weaker countries has now antagonized Russia which may instigate a new arms race much to the delight of the Military Industrial Complex. “CNN) -- Tensions between the United States and Russia ratcheted up another notch Thursday, with accusations flying over ballistic missiles and human rights. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of touching off a new arms race with its plans to set up a missile defense shield in Europe. Putin said Russia's testing of new intercontinental and cruise missiles earlier this week was ‘aimed at maintaining the balance of forces in the world.’ ‘Our partners are filling Eastern Europe with new weapons,’ he told reporters in Moscow in a joint news conference with Greek President Carolos Papoulias. ‘What are we supposed to do? We cannot just observe all this. In our opinion, it is nothing different from 'diktat,' nothing different from imperialism.’ Washington is currently discussing deployment of parts of the system with Poland and the Czech Republic.”
A new arms race (along with AmeriKKKa’s bogus war on terrorism) will further bankrupt AmeriKKKa just as it did Russia in the late 80's. The only beneficiaries will be the arms industry who will reap billions off of the massive cost overruns and research and development and the fascist warmongers on both sides of the aisle (and Atlantic) who will use the weapons to bludgeon the world into submission. The new arms race will take priority over much needed US social programs like rebuilding AmeriKKKa’s crumbling infrastructure, shoring up Social Security and Medicare and developing more efficient, cleaner energy sources.
Domestically AmeriKKKa is rapidly morphing into a police state as the fascists in both parties exploit media induced fears of terrorist bogeymen around every corner when a sane and thorough look at 9-11 will show the US government (mainly Dick Cheney and the NeoCons in the government) either orchestrated the event and cover-up or at the very least allowed it to happen as a pretext to further their nefarious agenda. Their agenda includes destroying the “checks and balances” within the US political system by taking more and more power by the executive branch, emasculating Congress turning it into a rubber stamp body of sycophants and creating a federal judiciary favoring the rich at the expense of the working class and poor. The recent passage of increased snooping and spying legislation are a perfect case in point. Bu$h and Co have been spying on AmeriKKKans illegally for years which are impeachable offenses but a compliant Congress refused to put them in check or hold them accountable. Now Congress and the Senate have given Bu$h even more power to spy on AmeriKKKans without Court oversight or warrants “ WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The Democratic-led Congress yielded to President Bush on Saturday and approved legislation to temporarily expand government's power to conduct electronic surveillance without a court order in tracking foreign suspects. Civil liberties groups charged the measure would create a broad net that would sweep up law-abiding U.S. citizens. But the House of Representatives gave its concurrence to the bill, 227-183, a day after it won Senate approval, 60-28.”
The House of Representatives supposedly the peoples chamber sold the people out, again. The Democratic Party “leadership” which is in the majority was unable to thwart the efforts of the fear mongers and fascists to defeat or set back a Bill that will, if things hold true to form, be abused by the Bu$h administration. Bet your last money Bu$h will use this bill to further erode privacy under the guise of his bogus War on Terrorism.
This past week was very productive for the forces engaged in class warfare against the AmeriKKKan people. If it is any indication of the future, we are in deep doo doo. The masses of AmeriKKKans are obviously too cowardly, too distracted or too comatose to stand rise up, stand up and resist their own destruction. The Nazification of AmeriKKKa continues at a faster pace. AmeriKKKa stands on the brink of moral implosion. Is it too late to save ourselves? Every day we get closer to a point of no return. Everyday we allow the ruling elites do sink us deeper and deeper in moral and financial quicksand. Soon we will be on par with Nazi Germany or we will become a whole nation of Jim Jones zombies sleepwalking into our own enslavement, peonage, debasement and death.
What will future generations ask and say about all this? Will they scratch their heads in wonderment as many did about Germany under Adolph Hitler and ask how could supposedly sane and intelligent people allow that do go down? Will future generations ask where were the conscious and moral people, what were they doing while all these illegal and immoral shenanigans were going on? Good question.



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