Solving the Student-Debt Crisis
By Malcolm Harris
Posted January 9, 2017
The American student-debt system is so big and complex that there’s almost no aspect of it that the experts can agree on. Some commentators see a bubble overdue to burst: a trillion and a half (or so) dollars that could vanish at any moment; a housing crisis 2.0 ready to happen. Others see a well-oiled machine that is successfully expanding college access and increasing affordability — a machine that has the most stable economic foundation possible. Even when there are numbers, there is disagreement over which ones to use and what they mean. There is evidence to support both of the above positions, and we might not understand the true character of student debt for decades. After all, these are long loans.
Still, we can work with the best evidence we have. Forty-two percent of all American adults under 30 have student debt, according to a study from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, and 79 percent agree that debt is a problem, whether they have it or not. More…
[Photos] Before & After in Aleppo and Why We Need an Antiwar Movement
by Dylan Charles
Posted January 8, 2017
2016 marked the most terribly divisive election in U.S. history and while people found many issues to argue about, practically no one on either side of the left/right paradigm stood against the Orwellian permanent war and asked the candidates what they could or would do to bring an end to conflict.
President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing more than smiling at the cameras and smoothly reading a teleprompter, yet he stands as the only U.S. president in the entire 240 year history of America to serve an entire two terms in office while being at war every single day. And somehow, people are still willing to boast of his benevolence and good will, all the while bombs keep falling on foreign nations with absolutely zero effort, interest or leadership in forging a path to peace. More…
5 Blood-Boiling Cases of Government Overreach
by Kelly Wright
Posted January 7, 2017
It seems we can’t go a week without hearing a new story about someone being punished, with fines or even jail time, for activities that would be encouraged in a free society. I’ve taken the liberty (pun intended) of compiling some of the more egregious examples of this trend for your reading pleasure (or displeasure).
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors — when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you — when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice — you may know that your society is doomed. More…
Prosperity = Abundant Work + Low Cost of Living
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted January 6, 2016
An economy that only serves the prosperity of the protected top 5% is an economy doomed to rising inequality, stagnation and widespread social discontent.
If we seek a coherent context for the new year, we would do well to start with the foundations of widespread prosperity. While the economy is a vast, complex machine, the sources of widespread prosperity are not that complicated: abundant work and a low cost of living. When work is abundant, there are opportunities for many skill levels, and employers must bid for the most productive, reliable workers. This supports wages and widespread employment.
When the cost of living is low, even low-wage households can not only get by but put a little aside if they are prudent and thrifty. More…
The Real “Takers” in America: The Unproductive, Rent-Extracting Rich
by Michael Lind
Posted January 5, 2017
You don’t have to be a Tea Party conservative to believe that the economy is threatened when there are too many “takers” and not enough “makers.” The “takers” who threaten the dynamism and fairness of industrial capitalism the most in the 21st century are not the welfare-dependent poor — the villains of Tea Party propaganda — but the rent-extracting, unproductive rich.
The term “rent” in this context refers to more than payments to your landlords. As Mike Konczal and many others have argued, profits should be distinguished from rents. “Profits” from the sale of goods or services in a free market are different from “rents” extracted from the public by monopolists in various kinds. Unlike profits, rents tend to be based on recurrent fees rather than sales to ever-changing consumers. While productive capitalists — “industrialists,” to use the old-fashioned term — need to be active and entrepreneurial in order to keep ahead of the competition, “rentiers” (the term for people whose income comes from rents, rather than profits) can enjoy a perpetual stream of income even if they are completely passive. More…
Russia Hysteria Infects WashPost Again: False Story About Hacking U.S. Electric Grid
by Glenn Greenwald
Posted January 4, 2017
The Washington Post on Friday reported a genuinely alarming event: Russian hackers have penetrated the U.S. power system through an electrical grid in Vermont. The Post headline conveyed the seriousness of the threat:
“Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, officials say”.
The article went on and on in that vein, with all the standard tactics used by the U.S. media for such stories: quoting anonymous national security officials, reviewing past acts of Russian treachery, and drawing the scariest possible conclusions. What’s the problem here? It did not happen. More…
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The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and How We Can Break Free!
Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives
This site is designed for people who wish to follow important events, but do not have time to do a lot of reading. If you follow this site for a period of time, the daily fresh stories in different categories will over time provide you with an understanding of the “big picture” by showing you both the problems and the solutions. Hopefully this will inspire you to listen to your inner wisdom and become part of the solution.