Codependent Economics

So, the stock market rose 1300 points on Monday, 3/2/2020. I guess that means the economy has been saved from collapse. Capitalism saved itself plus all of us and all is right with the world.

Right. Not what happened.

What happened on Monday was that the Federal Reserve announced that they will be increasing the amount of fiat currency created from thin air to bail out failing banks. Then very soon they are lowering the core interest rate so that same newly created fantasy money can be loaned out to large businesses at much lower interest rates.

So, the Fed is expected to decrease the core interest rate by 0.5% in March. With the current core rate being 1.5–1.75%, that effectively means an interest rate of 1%. With another possible decrease later in the year.

The sole reason the Fed is taking these steps is to save the stock market. Not the economy, the stock market.

However, the conditions which led to the stock market decline last week still exist. Other markets in other countries around the world today have not recovered at all. The Corona virus quarantine in China is still ongoing with a related disruption in the supply chain. Deutsche Bank is still on the verge of collapse. Corporations are still laying people off in numerous countries and across different industries with more soon to follow.

Camouflage. What this means for the steps taken by the Fed comes down to camouflage. They have applied a band-aid, a mask, a veil, a curtain to hide the fact that, in truth, the economic decline is still happening. Basically, the operation was a success but the patient still died on the operating table.

Codependency. Stock market speculators and investors are addicts, no different from crack addicts. They are addicted to profits. They do not care what damage they do or who suffers for their profits, they just have to have their “fix”. The effects of the steps taken by the Fed equate to handing money to an unemployed, debt-ridden crack addict, then offering them a low interest loan. The addict remains addicted, unemployed and in debt. Receiving the money will make them happy for a short time but then they will blow that money on drugs, run up more debt and be back, asking for another handout, another loan and an extension of the first loan.

Devaluation. Each new dollar the Fed creates from thin air serves to further devalue the existing US currency in circulation. To make things worse, the existing currency is also fiat currency which has no value aside from what we claim it has and how much it trades against other currencies. As other countries suffer economic turmoil and debt, they trade in US dollars less and less. The closer we get to trade in dollars being zero, the closer we get to the value of the dollar being zero.

Trade deficit. The US has a trade deficit with nearly every country we trade with. Which truly makes one question how the dollar has any value at all. Though the higher the trade deficit becomes, the nearer we also come to hyperinflation. Our government further enforces this by imposing sanctions which limit the countries we trade with and goods we trade for. Tariffs act as a tax on US consumers, increasing the cost of goods we purchase, adding to inflation.

I won’t go into the effects of inflation itself. That’s fairly obvious.

The so-called “partial recovery” of the stock market on Monday will be short lived. Remember that when the Fed reduced the interest rate once in 2019, the market actually rose before the reduction and the same day as the reduction, the market declined. The reduction was not ENOUGH of a reduction to satisfy the addiction craving of the speculators. It remained that way until the Repo bailout began shortly after. It seems highly unlikely the Fed has any more tricks up their sleeves, so the Repo bailout and interest rate reduction is the final stunt before negative interest rates. Negative interest rates would devalue the dollar even more, causing the Fed to place currency creation on turbo steroids. Great for the stock market, devastating to the economy.

I expect this “recovery” to flatten in days, followed by further decline. If that doesn’t happen, the alternative is even worse. That the actual crash of the market is further delayed and when it happens is far more catastrophic than if it happens now.

Sanders Is the Most Tenacious Russiagater

As the 2020 presidential race continues, there are many who still believe Sanders is an antiwar candidate. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Many also feel that Russiagate conspiracy theories will be used against Sanders. I fail to see how this could be true when he has been the most profligate Russiagate propagandists currently running for office. He has promoted the Russiagate conspiracy for the past 3.5 years at this point and, rather than stepping back from it, he is escalating and doubling down. Just days ago, he called Vladimir Putin a “thug” and Sanders himself claims “Russia” is helping his current campaign. Meaning he is setting himself up for these claims to be later used against him. Not to mention there is no sign of diplomacy to be found in this. 

I am making this post a loop, so the article with references works together with the content of the video. Please watch the video for full context and check the article for sources. 

This video is from 2018 and features Sanders introducing legislation meant to FORCE members of the Senate to accept the “intelligence assessment” which stated that “Russia interfered in the 2016 election”. No, sorry, you cannot call it propaganda. It is from Sanders’ own government web page. 

Sanders Introduces Resolution to Protect American Democracy from Russian Meddling
The Official U.S. Senate website of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.www.sanders.senate.gov

Just last month, Sanders released the following statement. Again, not propaganda, these are his own words. 

Then on 2/21/20 he gave this statement during a press conference. Not propaganda, this is Sanders speaking on video. 

No, Trump Does Not Fear Sanders

I have heard a lot of people and seen many articles or videos claiming that Trump fears Sanders more than other Democratic candidates.

If this were true, Trump has a strange way of showing it. On 2/18/2020, Trump tweeted the following, “ The Crooked DNC is working overtime to take the Democrat Nomination away from Bernie, AGAIN! Watch what happens to the Super Delegates in Round Two. A Rigged Convention!”

This is interesting because Trump also mentioned in 2016 how the DNC rigged the primary against Sanders. The only other candidate running that has mentioned this has been Gabbard.

Sanders is still silent about DNC election fraud in 2016, still blaming Russia.

Politically, if you fear your opponent, you don’t tend to basically support their position. Nor do you point out how the opposing party is placing that opponent at a disadvantage. You would do this even less when that is the view of many of that candidate’s supporters. What Trump did with this was the equivalent of elevating support for Sanders while drawing attention to the dishonesty of the DNC in one shot. Kind of ironic that Hillary and the media talked about Trump so much in 2016, long before he got the GOP nomination, which directly elevated Trump. Since then, we learned how intentional that was.

What you should find interesting is that I have not heard or seen Trump tweet or say anything about Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard happens to be the only candidate running who has met with him personally since he was elected. She is also the only candidate who has not made disparaging remarks about Trump’s supporters. If he has mentioned Tulsi and I missed it, post a quote or link in the comments below.

This seems more like fear of Gabbard to me. If you fear an opponent, the best thing you can do is try and make them invisible. You simply don’t mention them at all.

Of course, he has plenty of assistance in that effort. Corporate neoliberal media barely mentions Gabbard or only mentions her negatively. The same is true with the DNC elite. She has been left out of town halls, debates and even polls too many times to count. This is true even as she gets coverage by Fox News and is gaining ever-increasing backing by Libertarian leaders like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. Plus she has considerable support by Green Party and Independent voters.

I have been pointing out for some time now that Gabbard would fare far better in debate with trump than Sanders would. I even wrote an article of that title back in early December 2019. That article is here: https://issuesunite.com/gabbard-would-outperform-sanders-in-debate-with-trump/

Nothing has changed since that writing except for it to become even more true. Now it appears that even Trump realizes it.

There is no certain way of knowing how much of this is theater, how much is manipulation. One thing is certain. If I were Trump, I would reverse the tactics used on me in 2016. I would do all I could to split the Democratic Party, portray them as dishonest and unreliable. I would also do anything I could to elevate the opponent I felt most confident I could win against. I would ignore the opponent I knew was an actual threat. One thing Trump does understand is that people are sheep. They will look at what you tell them to look at. This is exactly what he is doing and it’s working.

What Really Happened With The Corona Virus In China

The World Health Organization is complimenting China for their massive response to the Corona virus as rate of infection decreases rapidly. So, let’s take a look at the facts involved here and what the implications are.

As of last report, the total of confirmed infected has remained less than 50,000 globally. The total deaths have been under 1000. If you round off the numbers, that is a mortality rate of 0.5%.

Compare that to the flu. In the US alone this season, there have been over 10,000 deaths and 180,000 hospitalized. That is the number hospitalized, not confirmed infections.

Quarantine. Yet China responded quickly and on a huge scale. They built an emergency hospital in 9 days with another opened days later. They implemented a quarantine and mobilized sanitizing equipment across Wuhan, China on a scale not seen in modern times in any country.

The result has been that, while productivity has decreased in China and the country has suffered the highest inflation rate in at least 8 years, the infection rate has declined. Those who have been infected are well or getting there and new cases have been slowed massively. In addition, a vaccine has been already developed and tested, ready for mass production.

What has happened here is that China has illustrated their capabilities to respond to a crisis. They have put FEMA in the US to shame. There was no need for private fundraising drives which are frequently riddled with later accusations of fraud. There was no argument by the Chinese people against providing aid to their fellow citizens.

However, there is more to this. What they illustrated clearly here was their ability to respond quickly and effectively to biological warfare. When you look at the morbidity and mortality rate of the Corona virus, the response was actually quite out of proportion. If the response were truly appropriate, then why has the US not been responding in kind to the far deadlier flu virus? Our public health services don’t even hand out free surgical masks, gloves and antibacterial soap to anyone requesting them.

Was this sending a message? Since China has responded in such a disproportional scale, it indicates knowledge. Obviously there is no way to verify this but an objective observation would tend to indicate that they have intelligence of a possible planned biological attack on their country. By mobilizing such a large scale and rapid response, this was a live drill and may have been a message meant to deter any such attempt. Who was the message intended for? That’s anyone’s guess and I will not venture to offer any assumption here.

A very different approach. Capitalist countries basically ignore epidemics and disasters. They even even attempt to profit from those events. Meanwhile, they waste huge sums of money staging relatively small scale mock drills to imagined attacks, disasters and epidemics. China instead used a real outbreak, reacted within days of the first signs, launched a huge response with live participants- citizens, police, medical personnel, civil service workers, construction workers and media. This was done in a calm and effective coordinated manner. No riots, no breakdown of social structure. Yes, some people have likely suffered financially but not beyond recovery in most cases. I expect the Chinese government to offer significant financial support to businesses and individuals hit hard by the quarantine.

While some parts of this can be construed as conspiracy theory, which I do not generally commit to, the fact that they have demonstrated their ability to respond to such an event is definitely sending a message. This less-than-extremely-lethal outbreak served as practice for their populace in ways no other country has demonstrated. It is questionable whether any other country, including the US, would have the ability and social will to act as quickly and decisively with this level of organization. In spite of US media trying to spin stories that China tried to cover this up, they publicly identified and announced the existence of the virus within days and moved instantly, kept the peace along the way and gave little concern to the economic cost while not seeking any form of profit. The same treatment was given to all financial levels with no preference. Something that the US could not even conceive of realistically. None of that is conspiracy theory.

New Hampshire Is Over

The New Hampshire primary is over and Bernie Sanders reportedly won by a slim margin over Buttigieg.

This is good news, indicating that those who oppose the Establishment are taking a greater lead.

Bad news in that both walked away with an equal number of delegates, illustrating how rigged the party system is, which we all know quite well.

I’ll jump straight to Gabbard, who came in at number 7, with 3.2% of the vote. Everyone in between is purely Establishment neoliberal.

Yang dropped out. I am hoping this is good news for Gabbard and most of Yang’s voters will support her going forward. It seems most likely, as there appears to be a similar mindset between the followers of these two candidates.

From this point on, the field will narrow quickly. Most of the remaining candidates have primarily corporate financial backing. Corporations will only financially fund a candidate when they expect to win. When it becomes obvious that candidate will lose, corporate funding dries up quickly. When the money dries up, so does a corporate candidate.

By contrast, Tulsi’s campaign is fully funded by private small dollar donations. Her dedication to her campaign is not driven by money but her ability to continue could be.

As the candidate field narrows, this is where Tulsi has a much greater chance of overtaking the lead. It should be obvious that the supporters of candidates other than Sanders and Buttigieg want someone other than those two to win. I am expecting nearly every other candidate to announce the end of their campaigns within days.

Yes, I realize that I may be overly optimistic but not unrealistically so. The balance of an election can change dramatically very quickly. If nothing else was learned from 2016, that was something we all should recall.

So, I am truly hoping Tulsi will continue her campaign all the way up to the convention. I will continue supporting her every second of the way. Even if she does not win, the point is increasing awareness, getting the message out, making a difference. If nothing else, upsetting the balance to deny Buttigieg of votes.

Most of all, the point is expanding the narrative. I’ll keep saying she is the ONLY antiwar candidate in the race. That remains true. So, even if she does not win, her message will ring loudly in the general, no matter who gets the nomination. The standards of being against warfare and having actual POLICIES which enable ending conflicts will not be requested of other candidates, they will be DEMANDED, as they very much should be. The message of unity across party lines should be heeded because if the Democrats continue dividing the country, they will lose in November.

As the field narrows, the winning candidate will be forced to incorporate the messages of the major candidates who had actual messages or they will fail to retain the support of those voters. Something else that should be recalled from 2016.

Those of us who supported Sanders in the primary and other candidates in the general in 2016 have a full understanding that if 2016 is repeated again, this country will dissolve in ways most people cannot imagine. The DNC will cease to exist, as well it should in current form. This country cannot survive in any capacity with one corporate party LARPing as two parties.

Bernie Won Iowa.. And I Am Happy About That

After several days of deception and withholding results from the Iowa caucus, the results were released, stating Bernie Sanders won the popular vote. However, Pete Buttigieg won the most delegates.

Is this scenario sounding familiar? Didn’t we go through the exact same thing in 2016? Yes, we did. I can tell you that as an absolute, as a person who helped moderate no less than four Progressive forums on social media in 2016.

Obviously I am not happy that Sanders walked away with fewer delegates than Buttigieg. I have explained why the electoral college is important but in primaries, the electoral college has no relevance whatsoever. The fact that Sanders got more votes but fewer delegates is a clear demonstration that the DNC has not changed in the least and will do everything in their power to suppress any candidate that is viewed as remotely Progressive.

Yes, I am happy that Sanders got the greater share of the popular vote. This is an indication that more people have awakened slightly more than they were in 2016. Very slightly.

When it comes down to it, if Sanders gets the nomination, I will most likely cast my vote for him. However, that is ONLY because we need to get Trump out of office. NOT because I think Sanders is the best candidate. I will continue saying that Tulsi Gabbard is a better option by orders of magnitude.

Domestic policy. I have stated on many occasions and demonstrated through many, many articles that I believe that the major portion of Sanders’ domestic policies are ones I agree with. That is, depending on how they are constructed, which is a key point but I prefer taking those one by one. I have also pointed out that the president does not have the power to write domestic policy. Domestic policy is written and controlled by Congress.

Rule by executive order. Yes, the president can introduce domestic policy by executive order. However, those executive orders can be vetoed by the Republican-majority Senate. No, his policies would not fare much better with a neoliberal Democratic majority. Remember that the ACA was passed with a Democrat-majority House and filibuster-proof Senate and did not include a public option, which was the key part of what had been promised. Another issue with this is simple- Do we want the president to rule by executive order? How is this not dictatorial rule?

Foreign policy. The president is primarily responsible for foreign policy, which even Sanders’ supporters realize he is weak on and contradicts himself frequently. At least, those who pay the least bit of attention realize. He claims to support diplomacy, yet calls leaders he does not agree with dictators and tyrants. He claims to be against use of force, yet uses the word “force” in his own foreign policy, supports sanctions and issues mandates to foreign leaders. He claims to be in favor of democracy, while stating it is the role of the US president to rebuild the UN.

Better than Trump. Yes, I support Sanders insomuch as he is better than Trump. Then again, name someone who would be worse. (Besides Hillary. She would be worse, no question.) Sanders would be marginally better than most of the other candidates the DNC is trying to push down our throats. Yet I still question deeply the ability of Sanders to beat Trump in debate in 2020. In 2016, pre-convention, I would have said he would definitely have beat Trump. It is his words and actions since that time which bring this into question. Yes, he would likely do better than the other DNC candidates. Once again, that’s not saying much. The point is that the lines have been drawn and Sanders is unlikely to attract voters across party lines in the general election, including convincing Independent voters. He would repel Libertarian voters.

Weaknesses in debate with Trump. Yes, I believe Sanders would fare better in debate with Trump than Buttigieg, Warren, absolutely better than Biden and on down the neoliberal list of the DNC. None of that means he would beat Trump in debate. He has definite weaknesses which will come up in debate with Trump which are not going to be mentioned at all in DNC debates. Such as his foreign policy. Trump’s foreign policies are dismal failures and he has insulted many leaders. However, he can point to having met with leaders we do not agree with, pushing NATO to spend more on their own defense. Sanders cannot even point to any stated policy which indicates he will meet with adversarial leaders. On Russiagate, outside of the Hillary crowd, absolutely nobody in this country believes in Russiagate, yet Sanders has continued that charade, even stating “Russia” helped his 2016 campaign. Sanders’ rhetoric indicates a leaning toward censorship. Trump has made bombastic and outrageous statements which can be construed as censorship by some but he has taken or endorsed no actions which amount to state-sponsored censorship. Sanders has never called out the fraud by the DNC in 2016 or mentioned the DNC fraud lawsuit, which will definitely come up in debate. The self-imposed label of “Socialist” Sanders has used to portray himself and which still carries negative connotations to capitalists and those of low education status will be raised.

In the end, Sanders has many weaknesses and vulnerabilities which Tulsi Gabbard would be immune to. Russiagate and Ukrainegate have moved many voters further to the right. Gabbard has the endorsements of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, not for her economic policies but because of her stances on legalizing drugs and ending wars, in addition to reaching across part lines.

Yes, if Sanders gets the nomination I will likely vote for him. Depending largely on what he says going forward. I would pinch my nose and hold my breath while pulling the lever, hoping beyond hope that he assigns someone to handle foreign policy who can do so better than he seems able or willing. Yet the truth is, I don’t expect him or any other “top-level” DNC candidate to win.

I am happy Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa. It means people have awakened marginally since 2016. I still believe in absolute terms Gabbard is the best candidate of all parties for 2020. If she does not win the nomination, I hope Sanders does. If so, the job of actual Progressives will be lighting a fire under his supporters to hold his feet to the fire regarding foreign policy. To not allow him to back down from fights against the DNC neoliberals and warmongers. No matter what, I expect independent media to have no shortage of content to produce over the next 9 years, no matter who wins 2020.

“But They HAD To..!!”

This is one of the most fatiguing things I deal with constantly regarding sociopolitical arguments. Yes, I will label them as arguments, not debates because they are built on supposition and excuse-making, not verifiable facts.

This excuse is used widely, by supporters of one official or candidate after another. Trump supporters do this a lot.

The ones nearly or just as likely to do this are Sander supporters. “But he HAD to..” campaign for Hillary, go on the DNC Unity Tour, remain silent on the DNC fraud lawsuit, sign the DNC Loyalty Pledge, agree to the DNC Unity fundraising video, say he will endorse ANY candidate the DNC runs if he does not get the nomination (something nobody else seems to have had to say), keep pushing Russiagate even in January of this year.. The list goes on endlessly.

Here is the major problem with this excuse- If you use it now, you illustrate the fact that you will continue using it if he were elected. You are not demanding changes to the system. You are surrendering to that system. The fact that you are willing to use it for basically every single perceivable flaw in his behavior, performance or policies says you would have no problem to repeat that excuse for 4 years, 8 years, etc. Why not? Many of you used that excuse with Obama for 8 years and are still doing so today.

Different entities. Under Obama, Democrats claimed he was forced into decisions by the Republican party. With Sanders, people are claiming he is forced into decisions by the Democratic party. Yet the same people who are making these claims hate the Republicans and say “we need unity” IN the Democratic party.

Anti-establishment? There is nothing anti-establishment by adopting and promoting the view that we all must surrender to the two party, corporate-owned, kleptocratic system. How is it fighting that establishment to follow their rules to such an exorbitant degree? People were willing to close their eyes and use this excuse as Obama bombed 7 countries and bailed out Wall Street. This means if Sanders started bombing even more countries, that excuse will continue. Will you do that and still claim to be antiwar?

Or else what? Many people want to use this excuse but they never have any specific threat which is allegedly being used against the candidate. So, let’s say you are correct. They HAVE to.. Or else what? Or else people will die? That’s happening now. It’s been happening for years. Or else the party will sabotage their campaign? That’s happening now and been happening for years. Or else they won’t be allowed to be on special committees? Boo hoo. If elected, they will order those committees. If not elected, how much of a change will occur? Their pay cannot be threatened. Their current elected office position cannot be threatened. What is the threat? Has their family been threatened? The best way to deal with that is to announce it publicly. NONE of these threats have EVER been recorded? AT ALL?

No, they do NOT “have to..” The simple fact of the matter is that no elected official or candidate for office HAS to do what the party orders them to do, short of illegal actions or ethics violations (which many elected officials violate all the time).

Notice that Tulsi Gabbard has not done many of the things that people claim candidates “have to do”. She is openly defiant against those rules. Yes, she has suffered repercussions within the party but she stood her ground. For which she deserves complete respect.

Stop defending cowardice and subservience to the existing system. If you really want to change the system, the way to do it is by praising and supporting those who openly defy the system. Not by closing your eyes to the dangers involved and the highly visible evidence that that person is even more of a slave to that system than their words make them appear. If you want peaceful revolution, that means YOU HAVE TO be a revolutionary. That means YOU HAVE TO stand up. That means YOU HAVE TO stop being complacent. That means YOU HAVE TO stop making excuses.

I stand with Tulsi. Because I stand. I do not bow. I do not grovel. I do NOT have to follow crowds.

Independent? Anti-Establishment? How about we make those words start meaning something besides sharing memes and holding signs while opposing those who actually fight the system? Which side are you on? The people or the Establishment? You are making that choice right this minute. You can choose either side but be honest with yourself about the choice you are making.