Showing posts from June 28, 2014

500% Rise In Very Long-Term Unemployment In Spain: 1.26m Spaniards Unemployed Since 2010

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(Yet the IMF insists that what Spain really needs to do is raise taxes and slash wages. *RON*)

By Matthew Bennett | on Google+ | The Spain Report, May 29th, 2014

NEWS: A detailed break down of figures published by Spain’s National Statistics Institute last week shows very long-term unemployment in the county has risen by more than 500% since 2007.

There are now 1.26 million Spaniards who have not had a job since 2010, and the total continues to rise, according to an adjunct report to the National Statistics Institute’s Active Population Survey published on May 23.

“In 2013, there were 1.276 million unemployed people who lost their job three years ago or longer, 234,200 more people than in 2012″.

The institute notes that this represents an increase of 22.5% on the figure for 2012, and that the very-long term unemployed now represent 23.1% of the total.

Edward Hugh, an independent British economist in Barcelona, told The Spain Report that: “The co…

U.S. mayors tackle the income gap

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[U.S. mayors forged a pact at their annual meeting to fight for a post-recession agenda that begins with more equitable cities. "No such sentiments were heard at the annual meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalties in Niagara Falls three weeks ago.... Canada could use municipal leaders willing to go to bat for their citizens – all their citizens." *RON*]
By: Carol Goar Star Columnist, Jun 26 2014
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a conference of U.S. mayors that "income inequality is the core crisis of our time."

As the American economy pulls out of its protracted stall, the country’s urban leaders are rolling up their sleeves to repair the damage left by the recession.

From Dallas to Seattle, mayors are raising civic wages, tackling the dearth of affordable housing, rebuilding neglected inner city schools and expanding access to pre-school care.

At last weekend’s annual meeting of the United States Conference of …

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century

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[I guess eventually we'll all have read more reviews of Piketty than there is original Piketty to read. Oh well, this is a good, intelligent piece for the average person, with generous quotations from Piketty's book. *RON*]

Corey Doctorow, Boing Boing, 24 June 2014

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century is a bestselling economics tome whose combination of deep, careful presentation of centuries' worth of data, along with an equally careful analysis of where capitalism is headed has ignited a global conversation about inequality, tax, and policy. Cory Doctorow summarizes the conversation without making you read 696 pages (though you should).
To sum up: modern growth, which is based on the growth of productivity and the diffusion of knowledge, has made it possible to avoid the apocalypse predicted by Marx and to balance the process of capital accumulation. But it has not altered the deep structures of capital -- or at any rate …

Report: The Sugar Lobby Threatens Organizations, Buries Science on Health Effects

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[The same tune that is sung by the tobacco industry and climate deniers. *RON*]
By Zoë Schlanger, Newsweek, 6/27/14
We know that consuming too much sugar can lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and a raft of other maladies. Yet sugar is the most popular food additive in the United States, added with abandon to nearly every processed food we eat. So why don’t American food policies governing added sugar reflect that?

Enter Big Sugar. According to a new report from the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, industry groups representing companies that sell sweeteners, like the Sugar Association and the Corn Refiners Association (for makers of high fructose corn syrup) have poured millions of dollars into countering science that indicates negative health consequences of eating their products.

For example, when a University of Southern California study from 2013 found that the actual high fructose corn syrup content …

Why the Rich Aren’t Job Creators

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[A venture capitalist explains how consumers drive capitalism and that The Revolution is coming. *RON*]
By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, June 28, 2014

This is a short talk by venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, who among other things, was the first non-family investor in Amazon. Hanauer in very simple and effective terms debunks the “rich are job creators” myth. Even though the video is going viral (now at over 1 million views on YouTube, it is important enough that I wanted to make sure NC readers saw it and circulated it.

Hanauer’s remarks illustrates the degree to which propaganda has overcome commercial common sense. Any real entrepreneur will tell you that the thing you most need to start a new business is customers. But you here almost nothing about that in the media these days. The “job creator” meme has sucked almost all the air out of conversations on how to establish new ventures (and remember, for well over a decade, small businesses hav…

Modern Money Theory: The Basics

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[A "keeper" primer on modern monetary theory. Some of the reader's comments to the original article are worth looking at too. *RON*]
By L. Randall Wray, Modern Economic Perspectives, 24 June 2014.

Modern Money Theory (MMT) seems to confuse two groups of otherwise sympathetic economists. First there are those like Paul Krugman who are generally of the Keynesian persuasion and who like MMT’s “deficit owl” approach. I think Krugman would really like to stop worrying about the deficit so that he could advocate an “as much as it takes” approach to government spending. The problem is that he just cannot quite get a handle on the monetary operations that are required. Won’t government run out? What, is government going to create money “out of thin air”? Where will all the money come from?

He really doesn’t understand that “money” is key stroke records of debits and credits. He still thinks banks take in deposits and then lend them out. He st…

Liberal govt hubris handed Tsilhqot’in Nation bigger legal victory

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[They couldn't leave well enough alone when even the Harper government thought the Taseko Mine proposal was an environmental disaster in the making. Now they have truly cut off their own nose to spite their face. My friend Harry said, "Like the sorcerer's apprentice, they knew the incantation to start the process, but not how to stop it once it had begun." *RON*]
by Damien Gillis, Commonsense Canadian, June 27, 2014

The BC Liberal Government just couldn’t leave well enough alone. In choosing to appeal the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s BC Supreme Court victory over land title and rights, the government set in motion a chain of events that could have profound consequences for its future resource development plans.

The Tsilhqot’in won a landmark legal victory affirming title and rights over 200,000 hectares of their traditional territory, west of Williams Lake, at the BC Supreme Court in 2007 (with limited rights to an even larger ar…

NSA queried phone records of just 248 people despite massive data sweep

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["Lisa: Oh come on now mom it's not like the government is monitoring everyone's conversations.Marge: (Whisper on Government Worker's headset) I just think we should lay low till we get to Seattle. NSA Worker: Oh my god it's them! (Screams) Hey everyone! We found them, the government actually found someone we're looking for! Yeah baby Yeah!" The Simpsons Movie (2007) A transparency report reveals the NSA only performed queries on 248 people in 2013, despite collecting data on nearly every American. "These are critical numbers to review when talking about a program that sweeps in the records of hundreds of millions of Americans." *RON*]
Spencer, 27 June 2014
The National Security Agency was interested in the phone data of fewer than 250 people believed to be in the United States in 2013, despite collecting the phone records of nearly every American.

As acknowledged in the NSA's fir…

US vulture fund ruling pushes Argentina towards second bankruptcy

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[In case you were in doubt as to who truly rules the world: "I'm really worried about how this court precedent is promoting predatory behaviour and will hurt debt restructurings for poor countries." US judge blocks $500m payment to creditors in ruling that favours 'predatory' US hedge funds over debt restructuring plan, moving Argentina closer to massive default. *RON*]

Phillip Inman, The Guardian, 27 June 2014
A US judge has blocked a $500m (£290m) payment by Argentina to creditors due on Monday, pushing South America's second largest economy closer to a second massive default in 13 years.

New York district judge Thomas Griesa said after a quickly convened court hearing that Argentina was in breach of his decision that US vulture funds, which have pressed for full repayment of their loans, were entitled to bypass a longstanding debt restructuring deal.

The ruling, which enforces an earlier decision in favour of vulture fu…