economic downturn expected for everyone

Draft Economic Recovery Program To Stop The Bush Depression – now, of course, none of this has the remotest hope of actually coming to pass, which makes me wonder what’s really going to happen…

Let Market Crash Now Or Face Financial Train Wreck – more stuff that will never actually happen, which raises more concerns about what is actually going to happen…

Professor Anderson Explains – having trouble understanding the impact of the national debt on the volatile economic situation? here’s laurie anderson in a PSA from the 1980’s, putting it all into perspective. the numbers have become more extreme and depressing of course – in this video the debt was around 2 trillion dollars and now it’s something like nine trillion…

Draft Economic Recovery Program To Stop The Bush Depression
January 22, 2008
By Webster Tarpley

1. Stop all foreclosures immediately for at least five years and for the duration of the depression by means of a compulsory federal law carrying criminal penalties. No foreclosures on homes, family farms, factories, public utilities, hospitals, transportation and other infrastructure. Outlaw adjustable rate mortgages.

2. Raise the federal minimum wage immediately to a living wage of at least $15 per hour, with the short-term goal of attaining a federal minimum wage of at least $20 per hour.

3. Immediate enactment of a securities transfer tax (STT) or Tobin tax of 1% to be imposed on all financial turnover in all financial markets to include the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, the Amex, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the market in federal securities, the foreign exchange market, the New York Mercantile Exchange, and all other financial markets. This tax will be paid by the seller. This tax will be extended to the notional value of all derivatives, including over-the-counter derivatives, exchange traded derivatives, structured notes, designer derivatives and all other financial paper. Derivatives will become reportable under penalty of law. It is conservatively estimated that the securities transfer tax will yield approximately $5 trillion of new revenue in its first year of application. This new revenue will permit a stabilization and consolidation of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and will permit the expansion of Head Start, the Food Stamps program, WIC, the Veterans Administration hospitals, while extending unemployment insurance up to an initial total of at least 52 weeks, to be prolonged as needed. Provide revenue sharing to deal with the looming deficits of states, counties, and municipalities.

4. Using the new revenue obtained from the securities transfer tax on Wall Street financiers, provide comprehensive tax relief for all small businesses, thus permitting them to pay the new living wage. Small business will also be aided by the provision of national single-payer health care, as described below.

5. Implement Medicare for all in the form of a single payer, universal coverage, publicly administered system to provide healthcare for all. No rationing of care will be permitted under any circumstances. Cost-cutting will be achieved through eliminating exorbitant corporate profits, through administrative reform, and above all through a federally-funded crash program, on the scale of the Manhattan Project, of biomedical research designed to discover new and more effective treatments and cures for the principal diseases currently afflicting humanity.

6. Simultaneously, enact comprehensive income tax relief for working families, raising the standard deduction for married filing jointly and the personal exemption to at least $25,000 each. This would mean that a family of four would pay no federal income tax on their first $125,000 of income. Expand the earned income tax credit (EITC) to approximately 4 times its current level, with at least $150 billion paid out. Increase EITC payments to persons living alone as well as to families with children. Make all college tuition and fees expenses deductible, and remove the limits on the Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits. Return to the FDR-Ike-JFK 90% top marginal rate for unearned income ­ capital gains, interest, dividends, royalties, etc., not wages or self-employment — of taxpayers with federal adjusted gross income over $25 million. Roll back the scandalous Bush tax cuts for the rich. Favor progressive taxation over proportional and regressive taxation at every level. Phase out the most regressive taxes, like the poll tax and the sales tax.

7. Nationalize the Federal Reserve System and establish it as a bureau of the United States Treasury. The current privatized status of the Federal Reserve System constitutes a violation of the United States Constitution. The size of the money supply and interest rates will henceforward be decided not by cliques of private bankers meeting in secret, but rather by public laws passed by the House and Senate, and signed by the president. Use this authority to immediately issue an initial tranche of $1 trillion of new federal credits at 1% yearly interest rates and maturities up to 30 years, to be repeated as needed. Consider credit as a public utility. Make this initial credit issue available on a priority basis to states, counties and local governments for the purpose of infrastructure modernization. Distribute credit to the private sector for high-technology re-industrialization in plant, equipment and jobs, manufacturing, mining, farming, construction, and other production of tangible physical wealth and commodities only. Aim at the creation of 5 to 7 million new productive jobs at union pay scales per year to achieve full employment for the first time in decades.

8. Federally-sponsored infrastructure projects will include a new nationwide network of magnetic levitation railways, as well as light rail systems to facilitate commuting in all urban centers. These economical and attractive light rail systems will allow a large portion of the vehicle miles by private automobile using internal combustion engines to be phased out of use in daily commuting. Launch a public works program of highway and bridge reconstruction, water management systems, electrical grids, hospitals, schools, cultural facilities, and public libraries.

9. Comprehensive re-regulation of the entire financial and banking system. Regulate the current non-bank banks. Bring all the hedge funds under the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission, thus effectively ending their special outlaw status as hedge funds. Begin aggressive enforcement of all applicable antitrust and securities fraud laws, as well as all existing labor legislation, including child labor, wages and hours, etc. Repeal the Taft-Hartley law with its anti-union “right to work” provisions, re-affirm the inalienable right to collective bargaining, and revive the National Labor Relations Board as an effective ally of working people. Full Davis-Bacon Act enforcement for all federal contracts, without exception. Tax leveraged buyouts and private capital deals, including all profits deriving from them, in whatever form. End corporate welfare, and establish consumer protection. Revive Glass-Steagall to prevent nationwide banking oligopolies combining commercial banking with investment banking.

10. Free college for all qualified students. Any student earning a high school diploma will be entitled to free tuition and fees at a community college or state university. High quality remedial courses to give high-school dropouts a second chance, no matter what their age. Without investment in the human capital of a highly trained work force, there can be no economic survival in the 21st century. Federal aid to raise teacher salaries through revenue sharing.

11. Announce the intention of the United States to abrogate NAFTA, WTO, and all other international free trade agreements which have destroyed employment in this country, while increasing the poverty levels of the third world. Introduce a low protective tariff, starting at 10% ad valorem on manufactured commodities to prevent reckless dumping.

12. Investment tax credit for purchase modern technology in the form of new physical tangible capital goods. Tax breaks for the creation of new jobs in physical commodity production. Severe tax penalties for the export of jobs to third world sweatshops.

13. Immediately impeach and remove from office both Bush and Cheney, since otherwise all effective measures to deal with the Bush economic depression will be crippled by presidential vetoes. Prepare the impeachment of the RATS (Roberts-Alito-Thomas-Scalia) cabal of the Supreme Court, if they should attempt to sabotage this emergency economic recovery program under the color of judicial review.

14. Protect the family farm by a program of debt moratorium for farmers, no foreclosures, 1% long-term federal credit for spring planting needs and capital improvements, Restore parity prices at 125% of parity. Rebuild farm surpluses and food stockpiles. Food for Peace for famine relief abroad.

15. Keep open the options of capital controls and exchange controls if required by further deterioration of the crisis. Prepare to freeze most categories of financial debt (debt moratorium) for the duration of the crisis. Revive Defense Production Act powers to mandate production of needed commodities by private sector, as needed.

16. Call an international economic conference of sovereign states to deal with this unprecedented world economic depression. The United States should take the lead in proposing a new world monetary system based on the alienable right of all nations and peoples to modern economic development and to the enjoyment of the fullest fruits of science, technology, industry, progress, and rising standards of living. The new monetary system should be based on fixed parities with narrow bands of fluctuation among the euro, the dollar, the yen, the ruble, and other world currencies, including emerging Latin American and Middle East regional currencies, with periodic settlement of balance of payments discrepancies in gold among national authorities. The goal of the new system is to promote world economic recovery through large-scale export of the most modern high-technology capital goods from the US, EU, and Japan to the developing countries. Create a Multilateral Development Bank with an initial capital of 1 trillion euros from US, UK, Japan, and other exporters to finance investment in the poorest countries with 1%, revolving loans with maturities up to thirty years. Immediate, permanent, and unconditional cancellation of all international financial debts of the poorest countries.

17. Revive international humanitarian, scientific and technological cooperation for the benefit of all nations. Roll back epidemic, tropical, and endemic diseases with an international program of biomedical research. Join with all interested nations in a joint international effort to develop new energy resources in the field of high-energy physics. Fund and expand an international cooperative commitment to the exploration, permanent colonization, and economic development of the moon and nearby planets. The spin-offs from these three science drivers will provide the new technologies for the next wave of economic modernization.

18. Revive the Franklin D. Roosevelt “freedom from want” provision of the Atlantic Charter as elaborated in the Economic Bill of Rights from the State of the Union Address of January 1944 and incorporate these economic rights of all persons as amendments to the US Constitution: “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation; the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; the right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; the right of every family to a decent home; the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment; the right to a good education.”

Let Market Crash Now Or Face Financial Train Wreck
Experts encourage facing reality that stocks are overvalued due to weak dollar, but Fed set to continue with dangerous sweeping rate cuts
January 23, 2008
By Paul Joseph Watson

The Fed’s continued obsession with slashing interest rates and printing money in order to maintain the facade of the grossly overvalued stock market while the dollar collapses is precipitating a financial holocaust. Yuppies need to cut their losses and accept a soft crash now or place the very pillars of the American economy in danger.

Sentiment is widespread that yesterday’s shock 75 basis points cut in the federal funds rate served only to instill more panic in an already fragile environment, doing more harm that the extra liquidity in the financial system can compensate for.

Some experts are actively encouraging a stock market crash now so as to allow the system to bottom out, rather than sliding down the same path towards fiscal armageddon in two or three years.

Clem Chambers, CEO of ADVFN, Europe’s number one stocks and shares website, writes in Forbes, “In many ways, the best thing that could happen now would be a quick crash. A lot of professionals are praying for a so called “puke” because that would set a bottom for a recovery and signal that the worst is over. A short, sharp shock would be good for everyone. Recovery is better than sickening.”

Chambers says the outlook is bleak through to the end of 2010 and that without this “puke” the second leg of the credit crunch could lead to a “financial train wreck on a scale not seen by the current generations”.

Facing the reality of the fact that the stock market is grossly overvalued due to the weakness of the dollar and is due a severe correction seems impossible to accept for the yuppies who have buried their heads in the sand and consumed establishment propaganda that the economy was “in good shape” for the past three years.

This is why the Fed’s policy of continually lowering interest rates to artificially prop up the stock market by devaluing the dollar looks set to continue, with a 2.5 per cent level expected to be in place by spring.

“We now expect the Fed to cut another cumulative 100 basis points off interest rates. The next instalment will probably come at the formal meeting on 30 January – another 25 or 50 basis points. We would expect to hit 2.5 per cent by the April meeting,” predicts Nigel Gault, chief US economist at forecasting body Global Insight.

But by continually slashing rates in a vain attempt to rescue the illusory strength of the stock market, the Fed will sacrifice the dollar, which will in turn dissuade foreign investors from buying U.S. stocks anyway.

As writer Dave Lindorff explains in his latest column, “The Fed is in a trap. It cannot cut interest rates much more without causing a collapse in the dollar, which, because of the huge US trade imbalance, and all those consumer goods and raw materials–especially oil–that are imported–would lead to serious and politically dangerous inflation. And there is another constraint: with the current rate cut, the US now has the third lowest interest rates in the world. If the Fed makes another cut, as it has hinted it might in a week or so, only Japan would have a lower interest rate environment than the US. That makes the dollar a very undesirable currency for foreigner investors, which means they won’t want to hold dollars, and they won’t want to hold US stocks. Yet if the Fed doesn’t cut interest rates even further, the stock market will continue to plunge, which again discourages foreign investors from pouring their money into the U.S., which in turn puts downward pressure on the dollar.”

“The Bush chickens–endless deficits as far as the eye can see, and a $2-trillion military debacle that has no end in sight and that is sucking money out of the country like a giant industrial vacuum cleaner–are coming home to roost,” he concludes.

If the Fed really were interested in preventing long-term fiscal armageddon and hyper-inflation, the yuppies would be forced to cut their losses, eat humble pie and see their stocks reduced to their true value – the dollar would survive and the fundamental economic pillars would remain in place for a genuine recovery after 2010.

This would be the best medicine for the vast majority of hard working, tax-paying Americans, but as we are painfully aware – Bernanke, Paulson and the like only have the interests of their bosses at heart and for the elite, economic chaos and a possible depression, as occurred in 1929, only benefits their long-term plan to bankrupt and pillage America to fulfil their own crooked agenda.