Sunday, August 21, 2011

Predatory Capitalism Drug Wars Free Trade Makes Us Poorer

Tags: Free Trade Predatory Capitalism Drug Wars Too Helps Rich Impoverishes Americans

Drug Wars: Example of Predatory Capitalism Similar to Free Trade which Hurts Both Our and 3rd World Workers

Bottom 98% needs to understand the economics of Predatory Capitalism, Free Trade, and Drug Wars.

The Chinese with ions of trade experience did not fall into the trap from Western Economies. They extracted a high price of a high percentage of profits and requires us to fund an R&D effort in China. We are losing our technological base because we send the jobs there when Americans develop the new inventions, especially in technology. The international corporations here really don’t care about what happens to Americans readily seen by those who have their eyes and ears open.

Now we cannot even repair some of the factories left here because engineers were also fired to enhance the bottomline. Our economy is now controlled by Wall Street and the Big Banks and our ability to produce is rapidly being undermined. The way that Wall Street and Banks work now since Ronald Reagan is to enhance short term profits importance by lowering obstacles in our tax structure to trading for the short term. The CEOs don’t care what happens to Americans.

In a commentary published in the Los Angeles Times this month, the author points of why American corporations have record profits now with no increase in wages. Why? They fire workers and “persuade” the rest to work many more hours per week. Here is an excerpt:

“ … Now the word we use is "productivity," and pundits across the political spectrum revel in the fact that year after year, American companies are wringing more value out of their employees than they did the year before. Just counting work that's on the books (never mind those 11 p.m. emails), we now put in an average of 122 more hours per year than Brits, and 378 hours (nearly 10 weeks!) more than Germans. Worldwide, almost everyone except Americans has, at least on paper, a right to at least one day a week off, paid vacation time and paid maternity leave. … “

“ … Workforce down, output up: No wonder corporate profits are up 22% since 2007, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute. To repeat: Up. Twenty-two. Percent.

To understand how we got here, first consider the Ben Franklin-Horatio Alger-Henry Ford ur-myth: To balk at working hard — really, really hard — brands you as profoundly un-American. All well and good. But today, the driver is no longer American industriousness. It's something much more predatory. As Rutgers political scientist Carl Van Horn told the Associated Press recently: "The employee has no leverage. If your boss says, 'I want you to come in the next two Saturdays,' what are you going to say — no?"

Which brings us to another shared delusion: multitasking. It seems the obvious fix — I'll just answer this email while I help with your homework. But research shows most of us cannot actually multitask. And not only that: If you attempt to multitask constantly, your mental circuitry erodes and your brain loses its ability to focus.

Think you're the exception? Nope, warns Stanford sociologist Clifford Nass. "You're really lousy at it. No one talks about it — I don't know why — but in fact there's no contradictory evidence to this for about the last 15, 20 years." …,0,5795904.story

This weekend on John Gibler’s discussion of his book To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from a Deadly Drug War 1 hr 14 minutes, Mostly questions from audience. Makes sense of what is really happening in the Drug War here. Even an Economist from the University of Cambridge, Ha-Joon Chang knows that many more banks would have failed if they did not get huge amounts of cash from Mexican Drug Lords. He mentioned Wachovia Bank proven to have laundered money from Drug Lords. Almost all the Wall Street Banks have also settled their crimes with large fines, but not jail for similar crimes.

Ha-Joon Chang wrote an easy to read book 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism writes about all the myths about what Free Trade and Predatory Capitalism is in our country and the world. The first of 23 items he chose to discuss in his book at the link which I learned more by looking at seeing it a second time and rereading his book. For example, Free Trade does not exist. Free Trade between countries with unequal economies puts a smaller economy at a huge disadvantage. It helps initially, but the large IMF loans eventually puts the countries underwater where they have to sell their public assets such as Water, Minerals, Pension funds, and what ever is fungible.

Economists try to make economics seem difficult, but Chang says 95% of it is easy to understand and the remaining 5% can be explained in a digestible form without high mathematics being necessary. If it is not a guessing game why do so many top economists come to opposite conclusions about our economy and how to fix it?

Tom Keene, a professor in economics, embarrassed one of bankers in the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia on Bloomberg TV at noon 12 ET show when he asked how do you know your mathematics is correct? The Fed banker got flustered and finally said we know it is right. What did economists use before mathematics in an economic crisis? Keynesian Economics said the banker.

Always remember these equations cannot take into consideration how investors behave. Emotions dominate our lives even in critical thinking. Think for yourself. It is not so hard with practice. If we are under stress, we excrete cortical steroids which lowers our ability to think clearly. Exercise helps our ability to think more clearly. Do some of it everyday. Tai Chi is a marvelous form of exercise and relaxation. Tai Chi for beginners CD by element is at which I found easy to follow and learn.

Jim Kawakami, August 21, 2011,

To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from a Deadly Drug War
Author John Gibler's new book surveys surveys the unending flow of drugs north and guns and cash south and the tens of thousands of murders they cause.

Reviewed: To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from Inside the Drug War, by John Gibler (2011, City Lights Press, 218 pp., $13.95 PB)

In Mexico, journalist John Gibler points out, there is the War on Drugs and then there is the drug war. The War on Drugs is the spectacle -- the well-publicized deployment of troops, the high-level diplomatic meetings, the perp walks of captured capos before the media, all designed to show that the Mexican government is dead serious about confronting the "menace to society" that Mexican drug trafficking organizations, the mislabeled "cartels," represent.

The drug war is what is really going on -- the tens of thousands of murders, the amazing ability of cartel killers to do their dirty work in broad daylight in cities full of police and soldiers and never get arrested, the unending flow of drugs north and guns and cash south, the undeniable collusion between factions of the security apparatus and different cartels, all within the context of a nation unable to provide safety or security for its citizens.

The Mexican War on Drugs is little more than a charade, or, as Gibler puts it, "a terrifying farce." And it is a charade in which the US is complicit. Our government is handing out $1.4 billion in Plan Merida funds, most of it going to the Mexican military and law enforcement apparatus to "strengthen institutions." But those institutions our money is supposed to strengthen -- the army, the national police -- are precisely the ones complicit in the drug wars.

How is it that Ciudad Juarez could see 3,000 drug war murders last year in a city filled with soldiers and military checkpoints? How is it that 95% of those murders are never even investigated? How is it that convoys of SUVS filled with rifle-toting cartel gunmen pass freely through the streets? How is it that 90% of those arrested in the drug war in Juarez are affiliated with the Juarez Cartel (La Linea), while the Sinaloa Cartel, which is waging a deadly battle to take over la plaza (the franchise), has hardly anyone arrested? How is that 90% of those who were arrested are later released without charge?

And how is it that there is la plaza in the first place? To be clear, the term refers to the ability of a cartel to go about its smuggling business unimpeded in a particular geographic location. That means someone, typically a military or national police commander has awarded la plaza to a particular cartel, allowing safe and secure transit for its goods and either looking the other way or actively participating in the killing that needs to be done. ... link above.

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