What the robots are doing to the middle class

[Social] 
What the robots are doing to the middle class
By Paul Buchheit
Posted December 12, 2016

robot workersWe will need a guaranteed income, ideally through guaranteed jobs, with the implementation of a financial transaction tax, and with a commitment to alternative energy infrastructure development.

The simplistic response to the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on employment is that we’ve experienced this before, during the Industrial Revolution and beyond, and that the “market” will eventually provide plenty of jobs. The reality is that tens of millions of Americans will have to accept food service and retail and personal care jobs that don’t pay a living wage. More…

Our “Gaslight” Economy

[Social] 
Our “Gaslight” Economy
By Charles Hugh Smith
Posted December 12, 2016

job fairIf you don’t like what these charts are saying, please notify The Washington Post to add the St. Louis Federal Reserve to its list of Russian propaganda sites.

Yesterday I described our gaslight financial system. Today we’ll look at our gaslight economy. Correspondent Jason H. alerted me to the work of author Thomas Sheridan ( Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath), who claims to have coined the term gaslighting. As noted yesterday, gaslighting has often been used in the context of personal relationships to describe a manipulative person’s attempts to undermine and control their romantic partner.

In a larger context, these manipulative techniques can also be applied to our perception of the entire economy. It seems obvious to me that we are being gaslighted to forget the widely distributed prosperity of the past and accept that the stagnation of the past 16 years is equivalently prosperous–in direct contradiction to the lived experience and memories of the bottom 80%. More…

The Attack on “Fake News” Is An Outright Campaign for Censorship of the Truth

[Media] 
The Attack on “Fake News” Is An Outright Campaign for Censorship of the Truth
By Jeff Berwick
Posted December 11, 2016

censorhip of truthThe buzzword “fake news” has popped into the popular lexicon in recent weeks. We’ve been using that term for years, though, when referring to the mainstream media. While poll numbers show that about 9 out of 10 people don’t trust the information they get from the mainstream media, they likely still have no idea just how fake it all is.

It is literally top down propaganda and bears little to no resemblance of reality. And, if there is any truth to it, it is so highly skewed to the local agenda that it really should be labelled as fiction. The US and European governments have taken a play out of Orwell’s book and decided to label the real information as “fake”… and as governments often do, they’re going to use violence (government law) to try to force it out of existence. More…

War On The Homeless: Cities All Over America Are Passing Laws Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need

[Justice] 
War On The Homeless: Cities All Over America Are Passing Laws Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need
By Michael Snyder
Posted December 10, 2016

cities criminalizing feeding of homelessIf you want to be a “Good Samaritan” to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see if it is legal first. All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless. For example, in this article you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night. This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding.

For nearly two thousand years, churches have been at the forefront of helping the poor and disadvantaged, but now many communities are trying to stop this from happening. Earlier today, I was absolutely stunned when I came across an article that talked about how a church in Dundalk, Maryland has been fined $12,000 for allowing the homeless to sleep outside the church at night. More…

Rise Of The Machines: Millions Of American Jobs Will Be Wiped Out In The Next Five Years

[Social] 
Rise Of The Machines: Millions Of American Jobs Will Be Wiped Out In The Next Five Years
by Mac Slavo
Posted December 9, 2016

paradigm shift comingThere is a paradigm shift coming and it is about to rewrite everything we know about economics, human labor, and government dependence. We’re talking tens of millions of jobs. And they’ll be gone within half a decade’s time.

The immediate response to such revelations is that there will be widespread societal upheaval. How will displaced human workers feed their families or keep roofs over their heads?

The answer, according to Silicon Valley, which is driving the new paradigm full force, is quite simple and has been detailed in the highly rated documentary Obsolete from Aaron and Melissa Dykes (available free for Amazon Prime subscribers). It’s called “universal basic income,” or UBI, and essentially means that every member of society will be given a paycheck to meet their most basic needs. More…

The AT&T-Time Warner Merger Must Be Stopped

[Media] 
The AT&T-Time Warner Merger Must Be Stopped
by Susan Crawford
Posted December 8, 2016

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson at a 2014 hearingThis deal invites unfair competition and locks in our horrible access problems. First, it’s not aimed at strengthening AT&T’s ability to compete in its current business — because the company faces no real competition. It’s quite happy in its current situation. Second, by entering into the business of originating as well as distributing content, AT&T’s incentive to favor that content over internet sources is hugely increased. The deal doesn’t make sense unless AT&T messes with video coming across its wires and wireless connections that might compete with the pay TV offerings (HBO and other TWX channels) and other high-capacity services that AT&T wants to sell.

As we’ve learned in the years following approval of the Comcast/NBCUniversal deal, no words aimed at limiting a huge carrier’s ability to mess with packets are effective or enforceable when that carrier has a built-in conflict of interest to favor its own content. More…

The Mafia State

[Social] 
The Mafia State
By Chris Hedges
Posted December 7, 2016

mafia stateSystems of governance that are seized by a tiny cabal become mafia states. The early years — Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in the United States — are marked by promises that the pillage will benefit everyone. The later years — George W. Bush and Barack Obama — are marked by declarations that things are getting better even though they are getting worse. The final years — Donald Trump — see the lunatic trolls, hedge fund parasites, con artists, conspiracy theorists and criminals drop all pretense and carry out an orgy of looting and corruption.

The rich never have enough. The more they get, the more they want. It is a disease. CEOs demand and receive pay that is 200 times what their workers earn. And even when corporate executives commit massive fraud, such as the billing of hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers for accounts they never opened, they elude punishment and personally profit. Disgraced CEO John Stumpf left Wells Fargo with a pay package that averages nearly $15 million a year. Richard Fuld received nearly half a billion dollars from 1993 to 2007, a time in which he was bankrupting Lehman Brothers. More…

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives

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