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Forum Post: For the http://www.leftforum.org/ (29th - 31st, May) - Thom Hartmann & Prof. R. D. Wolff in a 1 hour discussion. Dare You Watch?

Posted 5 years ago on May 29, 2015, 12:14 a.m. EST by lugano (1221)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Thom Hartmann discusses the state of the US and world economies with economist and author Richard Wolff in a wide ranging and very interesting special hour-long discussion.

Occupy an hour of your time by Occupying Your Mind with -

this .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUWaXZWhnqA !

Inevitably and very naturally, we can all get a bit down, depressed, despondent, divided and disillusioned with the possibility and/or 'rate' of - real change for The 99%. Occasionally - we all need a shot in the arm.

Get a cup of coffee or tea or a wee dram of your favoured tipple - and sit back and give your brain a chance to connect, combine and calmly consider ---- How Effective, Long Term, deep seated, watershed changes can come about and be made to happen.

Solidarity to all the attendees at http://www.leftforum.org/ Educate. Agitate. Organise.



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[-] 1 points by lugano (1221) 5 years ago

Inevitably and very naturally, we can all get a bit down, depressed, despondent, divided and disillusioned with the possibility and/or 'rate' of - real change for The 99%. Occasionally, we can all need a shot in the arm. This video is exactly that! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUWaXZWhnqA Solidarity@All here.

[-] 1 points by lugano (1221) 5 years ago

Re. http://www.leftforum.org/ - any confusion as to why it is necessary and relevant can be resolved by watching Prof. R.D. Wolff talking to Thom Hartmann, via the link above. I have been advised that, not a lot of people know about TH here. Can that be true? The hour spent watching the link will be well spent.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (23285) 5 years ago

Some points by Prof. Wolff:

Less unemployment is because people have dropped out of the workforce and many have left the country to go back to where they came from. Well paying jobs and skilled jobs have been lost and replaced by low paid work, part time work, temporary work, work with no benefits and no security.

Indebtedness of the American people is so severe that students are now protesting debt that they can never repay with the jobs they will be never be offered.

Less people in the work force has damaging affects on society because fewer people working means fewer people are producing what society needs.

Families don't have enough money to pay for basic things such as education and housing because wages haven't risen. So, students have taken on huge debt and Americans are moving into smaller homes.

The economy is in doldrums because the basic consumer is impoverished and can't buy. Banks are churning the money from consumer debt. Because once consumers are in debt all they can do is pay back their debt, they can't buy anything with their current money, so it works only for the banks who get rich off the interest payments.

There are economic consequences to the inequality we have. Goods and services that average people can afford are not being consumed. Enrollments at Community Colleges, for instance, have actually been dropping. So, population is rising, but the number going to higher education is dropping overall. People can't afford it, their families can't afford it. Can't take on more debt. The future of the American economy depends on how well trained and educated our workers are. Colleges and universities are where this happens. We are shooting ourselves in the foot, according to Wolff.

Capitalism has said goodbye to the West. The jobs are not coming back, they are now in places where low wages are the norm and the corporations and stockholders are cashing in on those profits. We're left with low paying, insecure, no benefit jobs.

On Greece: They don't have the money for basic things like their hospitals or to maintain their roads, etc. The debts were not taken on in the proper way which was not the fault of the Greek people. It was a Greek gov't that didn't act on their behalf. These debts cannot be paid back with the Greek people being able to live in dignity.

What is happening to Greece is not unique. And, when the lender squeezes the debtor too much, it never works, because, then the debtor doesn't have the money to pay back the debt.

50% of Germany's debt was canceled by the U.S, France and Britain and the other 50% was stretched out of 30 years. There is an irony that Germany, who benefited from a debt reduction, insists that Greece should not have a debt reduction and should suffer under severe austerity.

Treating the Greece the way they are being treated is not going to work, because under austerity they cannot grow and repaying the debt will simply become harder and harder.

The creditor is at as much fault as the lender. The creditor takes the risk when he makes a bad loan.

On the Next Economic Crash:

The uptick in the stockmarket has already run longer than the upticks of the past 50 years. Get ready for a correction.

China is in trouble because they produce goods for the West and the people of Europe and North America have no money to buy goods.

Portugal and Spain may decide to leave EU before they get treated the way they see Greece being treated.

There are many things happening that are truly frightening when we are facing another downturn after a very weak recovery for most people. Only the 1% have done well in this recovery since 2008.

Sadly, economic difficulties are pre-texts that lead to military conflict when the effort to solve the problem in other ways isn't available.

We need to continue having the conversations to honestly face our situation. We need to be able to face the fact that we may need a new economic system altogether. Yes, we're a great country, but we must debate our economic system and realize that it's not the best we can do.

Great show! Thanks Thom Hartman, Prof. Wolff & Lugano! Solidarity! Educate! Cogitate! Agitate!

[-] 0 points by lugano (1221) 5 years ago

Further to Chris Hedges' article, linked to below ... do please also see:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/karl_marx_was_right_20150531 or

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article42016.htm (clearer font)

[-] 0 points by lugano (1221) 5 years ago

''The Coming Crash and The Recession That Never Ended'' by Prof. Richard Wolff and Thom Hartmann: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article42000.htm - an alternate link to above for any who wish to watch and listen to RDW say the things you've encapsulated above. Thanks for your effort, and also fyi: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41996.htm an excellent talk by Mr.Chris L. Hedges.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (23285) 5 years ago

Economist Richard Wolff on Roots of Greek Crisis, Debt Relief & Rise of Anti-Capitalism in Europe:


"The irony here, the historical irony, is something I think we need to understand. Back in 1953, the Germans, with a very crushed economy—in that case, because of the Great Depression and the fact that they lost World War II—went to the United States, France and Britain and said, "We can’t join you as a bulwark against the Soviet Union unless you relieve us of our enormous debts, which are hampering our ability to grow." Across 1953, they had meetings in London. When those meetings concluded, with the so-called London Agreement, here’s what Germany got from the United States, France and Britain: 50 percent of their outstanding debt, which was very high, was erased, and the other 50 percent of their debt was stretched out over 30 years. In effect, Germany got the relief of all of its basic indebtedness, based on two world wars that they were held accountable for, and that enabled them to have the so-called Wirtschaftswunder, the economic miracle that happened. They now refuse to give to Greece what they got. They refuse to allow Greece to have the chance to solve its economic problems just the way Germany asked for and got. And this discrepancy between these two countries is producing a stress inside Europe that is, what Paul Mason correctly points to, fundamentally dangerous to the whole project of a United States of Europe."

[-] 0 points by lugano (1221) 5 years ago

''In effect, Germany got the relief of all of its basic indebtedness, based on two world wars that they were held accountable for, and that enabled them to have the so-called Wirtschaftswunder, the economic miracle that happened. They now refuse to give to Greece what they got. They refuse to allow Greece to have the chance to solve its economic problems just the way Germany asked for and got. And this discrepancy between these two countries is producing a stress inside Europe that is, what Paul Mason correctly points to, fundamentally dangerous to the whole project of a United States of Europe."

The above is repeated from your excellent excerpt because it warrants repeating and in compliment ... please consider: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2015/jul/03/throughout-history-debt-and-war-have-been-constant-partners Solidarity to you and yours. Never Give Up! Viva OWS!

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23285) 4 years ago

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government … we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.” Ike was right."

The entire globe suffers at the hands of the Military Industrial Complex. All of the money that goes to funding wars and "protecting" Israel could go to infrastructure, education and healthcare. It's shameful.

[-] 1 points by lugano (1221) 4 years ago

''It's shameful'' that The Profiteers From War and Chaos - are in charge alongside The Bankers and that what we have today - is exactly what President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against in his valedictory speech [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY ] In the light of your excerpt and comment, please also consider .. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/14/pentagon-fears-it-s-not-ready-for-a-war-with-putin.html and then possibly .. http://journal-neo.org/2015/08/14/the-new-thirty-years-war-in-the-middle-east-a-western-policy-of-chaos/ .. which in itself should probably be considered within the context of: http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=oded_yinon + Solidarity to you and yours.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23285) 4 years ago

"A pertinent question of our time however is whether this instability and destabilization is a result of inept strategy by Western nations, or a calculated strategy by the West to intentionally create chaos, balkanize nations and increase sectarian tensions in the region?"


[-] 3 points by lugano (1221) 4 years ago

''The ideological and physical hold of American imperial power, buttressed by the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and global capitalism, is unraveling. Most, including many of those at the heart of the American empire, recognize that every promise made by the proponents of neoliberalism is a lie. Global wealth, rather than being spread equitably, as neoliberal proponents promised, has been funneled upward into the hands of a rapacious, oligarchic elite, creating vast economic inequality.

''The working poor, whose unions and rights have been taken from them and whose wages have stagnated or declined over the past 40 years, have been thrust into chronic poverty and underemployment, making their lives one long, stress-ridden emergency. The middle class is evaporating. Cities that once manufactured products and offered factory jobs are boarded up-wastelands. Prisons are overflowing. Corporations have orchestrated the destruction of trade barriers, allowing them to stash $2.1 trillion in profits in overseas banks to avoid paying taxes. And the neoliberal order, despite its promise to build and spread democracy, has hollowed out democratic systems to turn them into corporate leviathans.

''Democracy, especially in the United States, is a farce, vomiting up right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, who has a chance to become the Republican presidential nominee and perhaps even president, or slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders. The labels “liberal” and “conservative” are meaningless in the neoliberal order. Political elites, Democrat or Republican, serve the demands of corporations and empire. They are facilitators, along with most of the media and most of academia, of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism.

''The wretched of the earth increasingly do not believe in the efficacy of nonviolence. They saw how nonviolence failed in Tunisia, which contributes the largest number of jihadis to the fighting in Iraq and Syria, and how it failed in Libya, Egypt and Iraq, a country where the U.S. puppet regime gunned down nonviolent protesters in the streets. The wretched of the earth—including in the United States, where we are seeing a mounting number of assassinations at the hands of police, 23 so far this year—intend to counter state violence with insurrectional violence. They have learned to speak in the language we taught them. Keep shooting unarmed black men and women in the streets of American cities while ignoring the nonviolent protests calling for an end to the state lynching and terror, and guess what will happen?''

Excerpted here - from .. ''The Great Unraveling'', by Chris L. Hedges: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_great_unraveling_20150830

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23285) 4 years ago

"Four Syrians explain why they have no option but to take to the sea – and reveal the few things they’ll have with them."


Out of the rubble created by the 1% massive global attack on humanity is the 99% who struggle to survive.

[-] 2 points by lugano (1221) 4 years ago

Yes. Time To Join Dots! But Uh-Oh .... http://www.hngn.com/articles/124393/20150830/bernie-sanders-will-end-drone-program-elected-president.htm Is this a pandering sop to The US-MIC or something else?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23285) 4 years ago

It is representative of the fact that no one is perfect, certainly not among those running for office. So, who is good with domestic and economic issues is poor with foreign and military issues.

Problem is: These issues are all connected. You can't raise wages, increase jobs and work on infrastructure and provide universal healthcare if you're busy spending billions to defend and interfere in other nations with military force.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

an end result of trying to quick fix through destruction ?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23285) 4 years ago

Or wanting to create the need to "fix" the so-called necessary destruction? Or wanting to divide and conquer, an oldie but goodie. There are many dark forces at work here.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

many physical forces we could cease