7 Economic Terms That Are Often Used to Trick People Out of Their Money

There are so many plans these days to “transform” an area via a “public-private partnership” that will “restore” and “fix” the local economy and lead to an economic “recovery” for the “brave” group of “stakeholders” who’ve come together to make it happen. The business leader drumming up support is often a “good friend” of the politicians in charge. To entertain another plan, the people in power warn, will “hurt” the economy. No matter the project, the end result is the corporation pays little to no tax, and gives little to nothing to the community — not even the promised jobs. Continue reading

The WWI Lessons We Haven’t Learned

The outbreak of that war in 1914 took many contemporaries by surprise. That it would last four years, when leaders promised a quick victory, was another shock. That advanced machine guns and artillery would make mincemeat of formidable infantry and armor, killing some 11 million persons, was the biggest surprise of all. We should draw the lesson that we should never credit politicians who promise us a short, glorious war. Another lesson is that small out of the way places can impel a war and should not be underestimated. Continue reading

The Issues That Won’t Go Away

This country has been spiraling in the wrong direction for a long time. Some progressives determined to change the game were among those who gained office in this election, which is something worth celebrating — but hardly reason to heave a sigh of relief. Most of the issues that truly matter, that require a fundamental shift in American politics, remain rawly unaddressed and unacknowledged. They were essentially invisible in the mainstream election coverage, which, as usual, presented it as a horse race for the entertainment of Spectator America, not the creation of the future. Continue reading

Trump’s bizarre post-election press conference, explained

Trump is shameless, relentlessly dishonest, poorly informed about policy, disrespectful of the norms and principles of constitutional government, and fundamentally dangerous. He also continues to benefit from a benign economic situation and from a lack of crises abroad that make a serious impact on the typical American. For all of our sakes, we’d better hope that holds up because he does not appear to have the capacity to respond in a remotely appropriate way to any kind of adversity. Continue reading

Scum vs. Scum

We will not arrest the decline if the Democrats regain control of the House. At best we will briefly slow it. The corporate engines of pillage, oppression, ecocide and endless war are untouchable. Corporate power will do its dirty work regardless of which face—the friendly fascist face of the Democrats or the demented visage of the Trump Republicans—is pushed out front. If you want real change, change that means something, then mobilize, mobilize, mobilize, not for one of the two political parties but to rise up and destroy the corporate structures that ensure our doom. Continue reading

The Cult of Trump

The disempowered, infantilized by a world they cannot control, gravitate to cult leaders who appear omnipotent and promise a return to a mythical golden age. The cult leaders vow to crush the forces, embodied in demonized groups and individuals, that are blamed for their misery. The more outrageous the cult leaders become, the more they flout law and social conventions, the more they gain in popularity. Cult leaders are immune to the norms of established society. This is their appeal. Cult leaders demand a God-like power. Those who follow them grant them this power in the hope that the cult leaders will save them. Continue reading