Economic Articles from 2019
Equifax Might Owe You $125. Here’s How to Get It
by Lily Hay Newman
Posted August 26, 2019
If you’re one of the 147 million people in the United States affected by the egregious Equifax credit bureau hack in 2017, you were probably resigned to getting some free credit monitoring out of it and moving on. But nearly two years later, attorneys general from 50 US states and territories, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finally have your back. Sort of. They’ve negotiated a settlement with Equifax that entitles all victims to 10 years of free credit monitoring or $125. Here’s how to make sure you get yours.
Of course, it’s tough to see how a payout that can maybe cover an IKEA dresser or a month of your wireless bill is adequate compensation for the loss of vital personal data, including Social Security numbers. But it’s all that most victims can collect. (Read on for more about possible additional payouts if you’ve suffered proximal damages as a result of the breach.) More…
The Cheapest Way to Save the Planet Grows Like a Weed
By Ellen Brown
Posted August 22, 2019
William Randolf Hearst, the newspaper mogul, owned vast tracts of forest land, which he intended to use for making wood-pulp paper. Cheap hemp-based paper would make his forest investments a major money loser. Hearst was a master of “yellow journalism,” and a favorite target of his editorials was “reefer madness.” He was allied with the DuPont Corporation, which provided the chemicals to bleach and process the wood pulp used in the paper-making process. DuPont was also ready to introduce petroleum-based fibers such as nylon, and hemp fabrics competed with that new market.
In fact, hemp products threatened the entire petroleum industry. Henry Ford first designed his cars to run on alcohol from biofuels, but the criminalization of both alcohol and hemp forced him to switch to the dirtier, less efficient fossil fuels that dominate the industry today. A biofuel-based infrastructure would create a completely decentralized power grid, eliminating the giant monopolistic power companies. Communities could provide their own energy using easily renewable plants. More…
U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses
by Michael Hudson
Posted August 21, 2019
Today’s world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control of their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by the United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries.
This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under WTO rules on “national security” grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world’s “exceptional” nation. More…
Takers and Makers: Who are the Real Value Creators?
by Mariana Mazzucato
Posted August 18, 2019
We often hear businesses, entrepreneurs or sectors talking about themselves as ‘wealth-creating’. The contexts may differ – finance, big pharma or small start-ups – but the self-descriptions are similar: I am a particularly productive member of the economy, my activities create wealth, I take big ‘risks’, and so I deserve a higher income than people who simply benefit from the spillovers of this activity.
But what if, in the end, these descriptions are simply just stories? Narratives created in order to justify inequalities of wealth and income, massively rewarding the few who are able to convince governments and society that they deserve high rewards, while the rest of us make do with the leftovers. More…
How Corporations Hijacked Personhood
Posted August 8, 2019
Commerce is not a dirty word, nor is the creation of wealth when it is achieved within a free market economy. The problem is that the remnant of a free market existed only in an age before the mercantile interests were able to redefine the character of business transactions. Today, few question the nature of the corporation. Even small business ventures migrate towards the organizational structure of a corporate entity.
What is a corporation? Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary defines it as ‘an ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility’. It is a legal construct, a charter granted by the state to a group of investors to gather private funds for a specific purpose. Originally, charters were granted in the service of a public purpose, and could be revoked if this were not fulfilled.
The relationship between state and corporation is a complex one. Over the past 400 years corporations have conquered territory and brought in resources for the state, breaking laws put in place to constrain them and gaining in power and privilege. History shows a repetitive cycle of corporations over-reaching, causing such social turmoil that the state is forced to reign them back in through regulation. More…
Corporations have now grown more powerful than the governments that initially granted their charters. It is no secret that because of this new power shift, governments now serve transnational corporate and big money interests.
Consider the consequences of allowing corporations to continue to get larger and larger through acquisitions and mergers. What will the world look like when a small handful of corporations control almost all production, financial transactions, media outlets, and own most of the resources in the world?
The Silver Stealers
by Charles Savoie
Posted August 4, 2019
The Silver Stealers have rigged the game since way before any of us were born. They always use the power of government to steal silver. The only way they can be stopped from stealing silver (and gold, and everything else, like private home ownership in America) is to have their identities, and their organization, to become known. Their organization is The Pilgrims Society! You can knock yourselves out just researching the excerpt from the list.
Observe! The United States citizenry is and has been influenced in their thinking by an organization that only an extreme few of them have ever heard of!
Speaking at the United Nations on September 14, 1994, Pilgrims Society member David Rockefeller, whose family donated the land on which the U.N. buildings stand, remarked—
“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
All of the most important globalists, even with incomplete membership lists, can be traced to only a handful of societies, ESPECIALLY THE PILGRIMS; all of the important globalists can be traced to the Rockefeller-Kissinger-Rothschild triumvirate; the influence of these organizations and people are seldom, if ever, mentioned by the mainstream news and has never been recorded in the history books; everyone, at least in the West, is afraid of the word “conspiracy” when the whole process of international relations seems to be one giant conspiracy, not to mention all the other areas that are being affected.” More…
The Rise of the Shotgun Banknote Switch
By J.P. Koning
Posted July 22, 2019
Every decade or two, central banks replace their existing issue of banknotes with a new issue. The main reason they do this is to thwart counterfeiters, who by then will have started to get pretty good at duplicating the existing version. Central bankers have usually tried to make the process as convenient as possible for citizens by offering long, drawn-out — sometimes even indefinite — switching periods. Anyone who finds an old note stored away in a cupboard needn’t worry. It can still be spent at the neighborhood grocery store.
But this is changing. It is getting increasingly fashionable among central bankers to institute rapid and inconvenient shotgun note switches. India’s 2016 demonetization is the most famous example, but now Kenya has taken up the baton. Nor is the phenomenon confined to developing countries. Swedes lived through a series of shotgun switches between 2015 and 2017. More…
The Corporate Plan to Groom U.S. Kids for Servitude by Wiping Out Public Schools
By Lynn Parramore
Posted July 17, 2019
When Lafer began to study the tsunami of corporate-backed legislation that swept the country in early 2011 in the wake of Citizens United—the 2010 Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence the political system—he wasn’t yet clear what was happening.
In state after state, a pattern was emerging of highly coordinated campaigns to smash unions, shrink taxes for the wealthy, and cut public services. Headlines blamed globalization and technology for the squeeze on the majority of the population, but Lafer began to see something far more deliberate working behind the scenes: a hidden force that was well-funded, laser-focused, and astonishingly effective.
Lafer pored over the activities of business lobbying groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – funded by giant corporations including Walmart, Amazon.com, and Bank of America—that produces “model legislation” in areas its conservative members use to promote privatization.
Of all the areas these lobbyists were able to influence, the policy campaign that netted the most laws passed, featured the most big players, and boasted the most effective organizations was public education. For these U.S. corporations, undermining the public school system was the Holy Grail. More…
The system of public education is under attack by corporate forces and funding is being reduced in the hope of inducing systemic failure, allowing corporations to take over.
The public school system is the foundation upon which the nation was built. Consider the consequences if corporations are successful in taking over the system. Do you believe that students needs or corporate profits will be the priority?
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