What Happens When A Student Defaults On a Federal Student Loan?

Right now we are seeing the highest rate of defaults on federal student loans in the history of this country. This situation is unsustainable on many levels.

What happens when a student defaults on a federal student loan?

First, take a look at what the term “federal student loan” means. The term refers to a student loan which is backed by a guarantee by the federal government. In other words, the US federal government promises the bank that they will be reimbursed for the loan, even if the student defaults on the loan.

If you have ever been at risk of defaulting on a student loan or entered an agreed upon period of nonpayment due to some form of hardship, you know the steps that occurred. First, your loan is sent to a federal office. What you may not know is that the federal office at that point pays the bank for the balance of the loan and they assume the balance for a period of time. This is generally considered a “rehabilitation period”, during which no additional interest accrues on the loan.

At the end of that period, the loan is farmed back out to lenders. You have no control over what lender picks up the loan, so you may get the same lender back or a different lender.

If you are then unable to maintain the payments on the loan after all deferments have been used up, the loan is considered in default by the lender.

At that point, a federal office again assumes the balance of the loan, paying off the bank. This is when real problems begin.

Once the status on the loan is considered to officially be in default, the federal government will take any means necessary to collect the balance of the loan, in addition to interest, fees and penalties. Those steps can include placing a mandatory lien on a percentage of your paycheck, seizing your tax refunds, and in extreme cases they can seize your bank account assets, investment accounts, Social Security payments and more.

Disability, age and even death does not stop collection efforts. If you are married and die, your spouse becomes responsible for the balance of the debt. So any funds left to your estate can be seized. If that is insufficient, your spouse’s Social Security or pension can be penalized until paid in full.

Once you default on a federal student loan, the negative mark on your credit rating is basically permanent. It does not roll over in 10 years as other debts do. It follows you for life. Declaring bankruptcy does not apply to federal student loans at all.

In cases where the government is unable to collect the balance of the loan, the federal government (meaning you, the taxpayer) assumes the balance of the loan.

This is the extent to which the federal government goes to insuring the profits of corporate banks. Meanwhile, very little protection is offered to the student/borrower. If a school fails before the course is completed, that does nothing to erase or lessen the debt owed by the student. With no protections regarding age, extended illness or even death, you can understand clearly that your money is worth more than your life to our government.

I have explained in recent weeks how the Federal reserve (which is not a government entity, yet determines federal national debt) is bailing out banks right this minute. Banks which are at risk of failing due to taking on risky investments. By the time the Repo Market bailout ends, the risk to the federal debt will exceed $4 trillion, which is far more expensive than paying off all student loans would cost.

The unbalanced system in favor of banks and rich investors, backed by the government, with the US government acting as a collection agency on their behalf, is one of the biggest reasons to take universal adult education seriously. Add this to the benefits to the general economy in terms of disposable income translated to consumer spending which would create jobs and it simply makes sense. Right now the interest applied to decades of student loan debt does nothing for the economy, it creates virtually no jobs at all. It merely serves to enrich the already rich. The debt lessens the ability of borrowers to qualify for mortgages, apartment rental agreements, vehicle loans and often disallows a borrower from being able to afford medical care. In many cases, it impacts food security for the borrower. This is a loan shark system of the highest degree which needs to end.

There is absolutely no excuse that “the richest country on earth” cannot afford universal adult education at the 2–4 year degree level for our citizens. Not when nearly every other developed country has such a system in place. There is no other country, has never been another country, with this level of student loan debt, this level of bankruptcy for what amounts to basic needs and services for our own citizens, only to prop up the profits of the privileged.

I Am The Revolution

I am the Revolution
I am Anonymous
I am Antifa
I am anti-media
I am anti-corporate
I am for an establishment but changing the one we’ve had for decades
I am all races
I am all genders
I am all sexual orientations
I am all religions
I am all nationalities
I am against war
I am non-violent by choice, not by fear
I am your ally
I am your defender
I am your friend
I am your neighbor
I am not going away
I am not backing down
I am the Revolution
I have been doing this my whole life
And I am just getting started

Boeing Is Just Another Symptom Of Failed Capitalism

Currently, Boeing is seemingly being raked over the coals in front of CONgress for their mistakes at best, outright fraudulence at worst regarding their 737-MAX jet.

The evidence keeps mounting that Boeing covered up information which illustrated how unsafe the MAX jet system truly is. This was done in an effort to bring the jet to market before their competition brought a new model to production. In other words, for profit.

Nothing but theater. The biggest problem with this is that there will never be criminal charges applied. It doesn’t matter at all if overt, intentional fraud is clearly demonstrated with full knowledge that human beings were going to die because of it. There is not even the suggestion of criminal charges coming out of these proceedings.

Not the first time by a long shot. We have seen such fraud committed by corporations for as long as this country has existed. Companies have intentionally dumped hazardous waste in waterways, which they continue to do as of this moment. Oil companies have hidden their full knowledge of the fossil fuel connection to climate change for decades. Drug companies hide drastic, even lethal effects of medications every single day. We’ve seen tire companies hide known catastrophic tire failures while continuing to produce and sell the same tires. Auto companies cover air bag failures. Vehicles that explode on low speed impact. Brake systems with known failures common on certain vehicles. The list can go on indefinitely.

No consequences. The biggest reason we continue seeing this is that there are no real consequences to this kind of corporate behavior. The corporation is typically given a slap on the wrist with a ridiculously small fine in relation to the consequences paid by consumers who are sickened, injured or killed because of such malfeasance. In this case, Boeing will likely have a fine imposed which still allows them to walk away with billions in profits. They will be forced to retrofit the MAX jets. Which will be done as cheaply as possible, so think about that. The CEO will be voted out or forced to resign while receiving a severance package worth dozens of millions of dollars. Boeing stock may decrease for 1–2 quarters, then bounce back. (If the economy doesn’t crash beforehand.)

This is not a flaw in the system, it is a feature of the system. The reason we keep seeing this over and over is because apathy to human consequences is literally built into the capitalist system. The word “capitalism” literally means a system which places profit (capital) above physical/emotional/environmental health or life/existence itself. Capitalism is a religion which worships itself and nothing else. There will never be consequences paid by the priests of capitalism when their actions have been for the purpose of promoting capitalism.

You pay for it. What will happen after Boeing is forced to pay a nominal fine and retrofit the death jets? Your airfare will increase. Your baggage fees will increase. You will pay for the theatrical performance CONgress is staging. Boeing will be faced with lawsuits and you will pay for those too. Just like you pay higher prices for tires, medications and vehicles. You subsidize the alleged “losses” brought on by products known to be unsafe yet that information is hidden, while the corporation posts higher profits, higher stock values, higher stock dividends and corporate executive bonuses/severance packages. Corporations poison and pollute the environment and you pay for it for decades, for generations in terms of over 1300 Superfund sites. You pay for it with your safety, with your health, possibly your life or the lives of your loved ones. You pay for it in stress, in fear, in hypervigilence, in loss of freedom of speech to protest against these same corporations, censorship by media corporations who threaten journalists who report negatively about advertisers, in laws favorable to corporate campaign “donors” while stripping more of your rights away.

No, none of what is happening with Boeing right now is an anomaly. It is business as usual. It is so normal that most Americans will not be listening, not be paying any attention to the CONgressional proceedings. Mostly because we know nothing will change in our favor because of this. For those of us that do pay attention, we can cheer, we can jeer, we can sneer. The result will be the same. That is, until we stop worshiping corporations, stop bowing down to the rich, stop allowing this to be just another day in corporate America.

Tulsi Can Unite The Country

With all the rhetoric of the last few years about unity, the same rhetoric has been concurrently divisive, incessant “us against them” mentality which does absolutely nothing to unite anyone outside specific echo chambers. US against Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey, Israel, Venezuela, Iran, Europe… Worse still, that rhetoric has divided American against American along party lines with no policies or issues being debated.

If you try and bring issues into the discussion, you will be ostracized by party or name loyalists. Yes, that absolutely includes Bernie supporters. It was once Bernie who claimed he was an Independent who could work with both major parties. He no longer even attempts to voice that claim and his followers, most of whom are new to the game, have not noticed the change. They just follow along, claiming he has a consistency which does not exist when viewed objectively.

Now we have a candidate who holds the potential to genuinely unite voters and possibly parties, at least on specific issues and policies. That candidate is Tulsi Gabbard.

Nobody paying attention can claim that the DNC is the party in favor of peace any more. They have raged in favor of every single war for decades. In 2016, it was the RNC convention which spoke of ending conflicts. It was Hillary’s DNC convention which was intensely militaristic, with uniform after uniform taking the stage and continuous talk of “a strong defense”. It has been the DNC pushing Russiagate, who increased the “defense” budget beyond what Trump had requested, who have objected to efforts of peace talks with Russia and North Korea. Who insisted that US military presence in Syria should continue.. illegally.

There is no question that there are fundamental differences between Democratic and Republican voters. However, that divide is not as deep as many convince themselves to believe. Republicans tend to prefer a more authoritarian president, while Democrats prefer a nice-speaking pretty face. Yet voters on both sides will completely close their eyes, ears and minds against the atrocities committed by their preferred cult leader, fully prepared to fight to the death it appears, to defend the same atrocities.

Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if millions of Americans lost their life savings and evicted from their homes under Trump, rather than Obama? If the big banks had grown bigger under him? The outcry would cause earthquakes and we would have more calls for impeachment which would go nowhere because it benefited corporations. How about if Trump refused to prosecute the banking elite and those guilty of torture? What would happen if Trump said in a folksy tone, “We tortured some folks”? How about if he expanded our bombing to add another 5 countries to the list of our victims?

Yet Republican voters and the majority of Independent voters oppose warfare. They want our troops out of other countries, want to end regime change wars, want our wars to be called wars. The majority of voters support universal healthcare and breaking up big banks. Most Americans support legalization of marijuana, at least for medical use. Most Americans support price reduction and controls on medications.

Every one of these things are policies expressly supported by Tulsi Gabbard.

In addition, many millions of Americans oppose the election fraud committed by the DNC in 2016. Tulsi is the one, single, only mainstream candidate who stood up against that fraud. She did not campaign for Hillary in 2016 and recently stood up against Hillary as nobody has done publicly in the Democratic Party.

On the left, Tulsi supports universal adult education and forgiving student loan debt.

On the right, being a veteran, supporting veteran support and being a strong leader definitely gains support by those who are disappointed in Trump’s performance.

If we truly want to solve our problems in this country, which affect all other countries in some ways, we absolutely need a president that garners popular support from voters of ALL parties.

Tulsi is young, strong, healthy, lucid, literate, ethical and professional. She has shown she will stand by her values in the face of an oppressive system, even when it is her own party in which she holds a high position and meets with vindictive actions in response. She will meet with leaders we do NOT agree with, not just slaves to the US Empire. She is able to openly state she has been convinced she held a view in error. She is disliked by the “liberal” media. Each and every one of these points SHOULD be held in her favor by any true American.

Or would you prefer to just keep going the way we have been going? Do you prefer solutions or mindless, endless, destructive hatred? Personally, I want solutions.

People Rise As Capitalism Collapses Globally

Corporate media of late has focused intensely on the protests occurring in Hong Kong. Yet they don’t mention the numerous protests happening around the globe. The focus on Hong Kong is meant to be indicating some form of Western victory, while not much mention is made of the fact that there are counter-protesters in favor of China.

Right now there are protests happening in many countries. Some are violent, some are not. Nearly every single one has a basis which boils down to an objection to capitalist systems. There are currently protests occurring in France, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Brazil and Chile, all of which have had extensive violence involved. Meanwhile in the US we have protests by the UAW (United Auto Workers), backed up by the AFL-CIO. More protests occurring against General Electric. In recent years, Mexico has seen a rising tide of protests for various reasons, some financially based, others against police violence and corruption.

It is not a debatable point that most corruption is in some way rooted in capitalism. Political and police corruption often happen because of bribery by unlawful or unethical entities seeking to make a profit. From direct bribes of police or public officials to turn their heads as crimes are committed to lobbying for favorable legislation in return for campaign donations or post-political-office positions at high salaries, all of it equates to the same thing.

Many union leaders over the years have been investigated and/or convicted of corruption and racketeering. The leaders walk away with massive profits while the workers they are supposed to represent have wages stagnate and benefits slashed.

Interestingly, public officials in the US, elected or appointed, who act against the welfare of much larger number of citizens are basically never indicted or even investigated for their corruption.

The size, scale and geographic diversity of all these protests are a clear indication that the people of the world have had enough of the decades of oppression imposed upon them by capitalists. People have had their comfort, their emotions, their health, their welfare, their children, their very existence brought into doubt or completely sacrificed for the benefit of the wealthy. While the wealthy on average are apathetic or even sadistic in their regard for the middle class and poor.

There was at one time something of a balance where the poor could attain a comfortable middle class status and the middle class could attain some level of wealth. That balance has been destroyed because for the extremely wealthy, enough has not been enough. Today it is far more likely the middle class will fall into poverty than attain any level of wealth. While those already in poverty could well fall invisibly and silently out of existence.

Most of those rising up and those not yet rising up are not seeking any extreme level of wealth. Merely comfort and security. Most are happy working for what they have, as long as what they earn is not claimed by the rich as a birthright. There is nothing abnormal in wanting your labor valued enough to make a living wage, have medical care without bankruptcy or education without decades of debilitating debt.

The absolute biggest reason capitalists gain control of socioeconomic systems is because of common election funding systems. In countries where election funding is primarily through public funding, such as the US, candidates for office make promises and incur debts to “donors” who fund their campaigns. Anyone who denies that quid pro quo exists in such a system is either willfully ignorant or is a direct beneficiary of that system. Thus they have no desire to change such a system.

The only alternative to public funding is government funding with transparent controls. In the US, that would include equal funding for at least the top four parties, not two. Combined with equal access to all state ballots and debates. Ranked choice voting would be a logical and necessary component of such a system.

Another major reason for capitalist control of socioeconomic systems is corporate lobbying. Right now there are at least 8 lobbyists in DC for every member of CONgress. Government officials go through a rotating door between elected/appointed office and corporate executive employment. Lobbying and the rotating door are closely entwined. The rotating door must be closed and corporate lobbying should be declared a criminal offense with mandatory prison sentencing for lobbyist and lobbied officials. All debate on legislation should be public with no closed door events, no private communications which do not involve tightly defined issues of national security, such as weapons design.

Fighting for such changes against the beneficiaries of the current system will be a true fight. The corporate media will absolutely be against such changes, seeing that they are some of the most prolific profiteers of our current system. This means this fight will be fought tooth and nail at the grassroots level. It is not something we can take lightly. This issue is gaining ground slowly and each one of us can help with it.

The other option is going to be violent protests as we are seeing in other countries right this minute. JFK said, “He that makes peaceful revolution impossible makes violent revolution inevitable.” We are standing at the edge of that choice right this minute. It will not take much to push us over. In Chile, all it took to push the country into chaos was imposing a tax on internet based phone calls. Americans are far more passive than Chileans are. However, we cannot put off action on these issues any longer or we seal our fate of sinking into violence. It may begin in isolated events but will spread nationally very quickly. Many believe they would be immune from the effects of such violence. I expect the violence here would be far worse, considering the apathy common in the American populace and the number of firearms in this country. Trying to impose gun control at that time would make it infinitely worse.

So, your choice. Peace through submission? Peaceful revolution? Or violent insurrection? Shall we burn our cities to the ground? Anyone in favor of violence I reject outright. Anyone offering passive-aggressive criticism with no viable alternative is useless. Those who choose to not decide will merely leave that choice to others.

Peace Is Not A Secondary Consideration

Many people who support certain candidates want to support universal healthcare and place peace as a secondary consideration or make peace completely optional.

The same people or many of them want to increase wages with the same view toward peace.

Peace is not a secondary consideration. Peace is not optional. This entire thought process brands the holder of these views as nothing better than an unethical capitalist. Right in line with weapons manufacturers and vulture capitalists.

When one is willing to place peace on a back burner while crying for universal healthcare and higher wages, allegedly socialist policies which benefit them, they are literally stating they do not care about the deaths and injuries our country inflicts upon brown-skinned people in other countries. Just as long as you are making a profit or reducing your costs, any atrocity done in your name is acceptable. Because that is all you are thinking of. Your bottom line.

It’s amusing (sic) when so-called “leftists” (sic) place themselves morally above WAR Street executives or candidates who pass tax cuts for the rich. Yet at the same time are willing to blind themselves to the warmongering policies or political double-speak of their preferred party or candidate. Double speak which includes phrases like, “(We will) Work with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for and protect all people.”

Never question what this means. Never ask who defines what is a “pro-democracy force”. Never ask why the use of the word “force” is necessary in such a statement. Never ask why the candidate who makes this statement has remained silent on election fraud in 2016 for three years, yet disparaged the Venezuelan election, which was monitored by observers from FORTY countries and deemed legitimate. Is the US the one to determine which countries are “pro-democracy”, while we still have gerrymandering, the Council on Presidential Debates and superdelegates? Never question how we will behave toward governments which are deemed NOT “pro-democracy”.

Just pay no attention to what is not said.

Domestic economic policy is continuously compromised by the expense of our foreign policy. The way we “support democracy” involves dropping over 120 bombs a day at an average cost of $80,000 each. The detainment, torture, dismemberment and slaughter of unknown millions of innocent civilians, including men, women and children. The starvation of millions more via sanctions we have no right to impose. Military and “intelligence” operations around the globe, overthrowing democratically elected governments that refuse to bow down to the US Empire. Over 1400 permanent military bases globally, an unknown number of black ops sites and temporary bases or encampments, mass surveillance of our own population, legalized propaganda and censorship domestically. All paid for with your tax dollars, past, present and for generations to come.

In other words, our “support of democracy” costs us well over $1 trillion a year.

Never mind that this expense is used as the primary excuse for saying “we cannot afford universal healthcare”, for reducing food stamps and housing benefits. Never mind any of that.

Focus instead on what this says about you, as a person. How much you are willing to place your own profit, your own benefit above the lives of those in other countries. Focus on the fact that you are you can be reading this right this second and are struggling to make excuses to defend it. Focus on the fact that you will be angry at me for saying these words, rather than awakening, realizing the truth or even considering the truth behind these words. You will be angry but not the least bit ashamed.

You’re no different from the worst capitalist you so disparage. You’re worse because you know what the truth is. You’re worse because you will not have a guaranteed bonus for your words and actions. Your stock package will not increase in value. You will not get a promotion. You will not have your image posted in some business magazine, praised as a “success” and a “leader”.

You’re worse because you tell yourself there is a choice between what you want and peace. Peace is the only choice we should even consider at all.

Know what else WAR Street capitalists do the same as you? Portray themselves as being concerned with others. Listen only to voices in their own circles and reject all others. Tell themselves they are “better than” and that they “deserve” their profits, even if someone else suffers.

So you can stop hating on those capitalists until you look in the mirror and can HONESTLY say you are different.

The Empty Bubble- Administration Doesn’t Matter

This was posted to Medium on 10/9/19.

The Oil Crisis of the 70’s. The Iranian Oil Embargo of the 80’s. The S&L Crisis of the 80’s. The Dot Com Bubble. The Housing Bubble.

Are you seeing a trend here?

Every 7–10 years the US experiences a recession. Each time it has been a habit to name the recession by the alleged cause of the recession. Though the name is typically only applied retroactively. “Experts” during the Housing Crisis never said that the country was in a housing bubble until after the bubble burst. Same is true with the dot com bubble.

This time is different in several ways.

Longer period preceding a recession. At this point the last recession was 11 years ago and independent economists all agree that we are overdue for a recession. The longer we wait before it comes, the worse it will be when it gets here.

This bubble has no actual source which can be applied as a label. Where previous recessions had labels, this one truly cannot have an accurate label. The truth is that previous recessions may have had labels named after the trigger events but each recession was far more complex than any single trigger. Prior to the Oil Crisis of the 70’s, the auto manufacturing business had been in decline in the US, caused by a slowing economy leading to fewer vehicle sales. Prior to the Dot Com crash, employment in the non-tech sector was sluggish, partly (but not exclusively) caused by the Clinton welfare reform. The coming recession may ultimately be labeled as caused by the China Trade War Bubble or something similar, yet that will in no way be accurate because this recession would be coming even if no trade war were occurring now.

We never actually recovered from the last recession. With the 2008–2009 recession, we saw a dramatic decrease in wages across the country. Wages have never recovered since that time. People learning to adapt to lower incomes is not economic recovery. Jobs offer fewer benefits than prior to the recession, more jobs are part-time than ever. The combination has led many to working temporary (“gig”) positions or multiple part-time jobs. This results in workers paying more to replace benefits like health and life insurance than if they were subsidized by a full time employer. Even if subsidized, deductibles have increased along with premiums while wages have stagnated or declined. Once again, this is not recovery.

The stock market is not a reflection of the economy. I’ve pointed this out many times. The stock market is frequently a negative image of the health of the economy. When wages go up, stocks decline. Your wages are viewed by investors as a cost, a debt, a liability. Thus, an improved wage report will often be followed by mass layoffs to reduce costs. While in previous recessions the stock market did rise, it was typically accompanied by some events in the general economy which could be pointed to as causing that rise. Increased oil prices, home prices rising, expansive investment in internet startups. This time, none of that exists. The only justification for stock prices increasing at this time is stock buybacks by corporations, which is stock manipulation. By definition this is insider trading due to the fact that corporate executives profit from stock repurchases. Stock market rises do not improve the general economy at all. When most of the population is living paycheck to paycheck, stocks have no relation to the real world.

Personal and corporate debt and default are at record levels. One way Americans have been surviving since the last recession has been through incurring more debt than ever. This has been in the face of weak wages, often with the hopes of improving their condition through taking on student loans. It has not worked. Student loan defaults are at the highest rate in US history. We see mass layoffs of people with college/university degrees happening. The average vehicle payment exceeds $500 per month. Bankruptcy rates are rising, both personal and corporate. Corporate debt is at the highest rate in history, while consumer spending is down. Consumer confidence is down. Corporate confidence is down, as indicated by CEO polls and capital expenditures. Capital expenditures have been buoyed up to now by expenditures on contracts which have run their course.

The Fed is bailing out the banks, not the economy. Following the 2008 crash, the federal government bailed out the big banks. However, even that was a response after the crash had recurred. This time around, the Federal Reserve is pumping literally trillions of dollars into the banking and financial services industries to save them before the crash occurs.. Maybe. I’ll get to that. After the 2008 crash, Obama did do one of the few truly valid steps to stimulate the economy he performed during his administration. He increased funding for food stamps, which helped the economy slightly. We may see some similar steps after this crash occurs but only afterward and it is highly questionable it will happen at all with a GOP Senate in place.

Other countries cannot help. The economic contraction being seen in the US is not just here, it is global. Global manufacturing is down. Freight shipping is down. These lead to lower gas and oil requirements, bringing down oil production. It also drags down vehicle manufacturing and sales, fewer freight/shipping jobs, etc. More countries are investing in renewable energy, also impacting oil demand negatively. Numerous countries now have more debt than GDP earnings. Major banks are laying off tens of thousands of workers in all countries. Sociopolitical pressures are forcing more central banks to invest domestically in their home nations, rather than in US assets. US foreign policies are causing independent foreign investors to decrease funding for new US projects. Other countries are selling off US Treasuries, unsure if the US can or even will honor the debts.

Highly questionable rationale. I have been saying for quite some time that as the economy deteriorates, corporate profits based on sales will decline yet stocks will remain high. That is, until all liquidity has been squeezed out of each corporation and stocks are incapable of climbing higher. That is the point we are at right now. The highest valued stocks are for companies that produce nothing for trade. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google lead, with financial services firms following. Now that liquidity is gone, what will follow will be the rich selling off stocks in massive amounts. That is happening now but will accelerate rapidly. They invest in stocks for the purpose of gaining a profit. Now that no more profit is possible, it’s time to sell.

Once they sell in large enough amounts, they will literally CAUSE the next crash, yet walk away with huge profits. (Smaller investors will lose everything, being last to know the sell off is even happening. The media will only report on it after the fact.) They will deposit those profits in offshore accounts, board their private jets and fly to their private islands or tax havens while the US economy collapses in their wake, causing double and triple digit inflation. The Federal Reserve is helping this process because they have no connection or commitment to anything but money. They will not be held to account because we have no laws holding them to account, no system to hold them to account. Remember the Federal Reserve is NOT a government entity, it is a private capitalist entity and functions in and of itself for profit.

This has all been planned for a very long time and most of it is highly intentional.

None of this means we are without hope. However, it will take some of the most radical steps ever taken by American society to rectify it. I’ll cover the options some other time.

Don’t Silence New Voices

I had someone try to criticize my work a few days ago. Their criticism was something along the lines of, “We have other people already saying this! What is this, some kind of self promotion?”

Yes. As a matter of fact it is.

Here is my problem with that criticism. He is attempting to silence new voices on the Progressive Left. It is most likely that he never actually read the article he was commenting on, so he was intellectually lazy.

Each new voice makes us stronger. Each new voice adds new dimensions, new perspectives, new colors. It takes many voices to comprise a chorus. Each voice is not the same, yet ideally they are singing the same song.

Many of the voices on the Progressive Left are new voices. How long ago was it that you first heard of Jimmy Dore? Aaron Mate? Caitlyn Johnstone?

One problem with the Progressive Left is that often, the material can be based on the same source material. It becomes a matter of one original piece of material with each layer adding commentary. Sometimes it literally becomes a commentary on a commentary on an original piece.

Am I criticizing anyone? No, these are some of my favorite sources. Like I stated above, each voice adds to the chorus, lending depth, strength, volume, new notes. Each is valuable, each is beautiful. Is each voice perfect? Not always but they create beauty in their harmony. Listening and joining in is what strengthens us.

There is a difference in my own material, whether written or video. Most of my material is completely original. When I wrote a 4 part series explaining why and how universal healthcare is best, that was original. Nobody else had or has done that in such detail that I have seen. When I went through the Mueller Report line by line, all 448 pages and dismantled it, revealing flaw after flaw, deception after deception, the entire series was original. When I went through the Trump-Ukraine transcript with the actual transcript in the video, that was original. I may occasionally mention materials by other content producers but it tends to be a short mention with accreditation, not a commentary on that single piece.

Some things that I feel make my content valuable is my own knowledge. Beginning over 30 years ago, I have formally and informally studied economics, management, marketing, psychology, sociology and medicine. I have never really stopped studying any of them in some way. I am continuously trying to learn more on one subject or another. If any content producer claims to know everything (to a degree they no longer have to keep learning) on such complex and interconnected subjects, they are absolutely delusional and should not be trusted. Information and practices change over time. Economies, societies and cultures are evolving directly in front of and all around us on a daily basis as we adapt to a changing ecological environment and technological advances. Medical criteria changes over time while medical technology advances so quickly that medical professionals are mandated to continually take continuing education classes for license renewal. Oh, shit. That’s something I need to do.

One big thing about new voices is that new independent voices rarely have a budget for advertising. If they have financial backers before they gain any popularity, you cannot consider them independent, can you? So we are forced to promote ourselves. For some of us, that’s not how we want to spend our time and effort. It takes away from time for research and writing. Often while we have our own lives to attend to.

Independent content producers don’t mind and often enjoy interacting with our (polite) audience members. If you ask independent producers a question, you typically get a personal response in a short time frame. We recognize ourselves as part of a global community where thoughts, words and actions matter and can have drastic, life saving or life destroying consequences. It is not a matter of ego. We do what we do not for money but because we genuinely care and are committed to our causes.

Try that with corporate media. The most you will get will be a form response by a low level staffer. If you are not ignored completely and after you are attacked by the cultist hordes for questioning the absolute perfection and omniscience of the corporate propagandist who deigns to lower their spiritual standing enough to impart their wisdom through their benevolence to the soiled masses. How dare you imply that their wisdom is not complete and flawless? Be thankful for the improvement in your miserable existence which they bestow upon you from their corporate heavenly throne!

I and other independent content producers truly appreciate the quotes, shares and every single penny of donations which are afforded to us by our audience. We do not feel it is “owed” to us, as our corporate counterparts openly state. We do not feel we are above questioning, we simply insist on valid points being made when we are questioned. If you want to spew hate speech, take it to the corporate staffers. We independents have better things to do with our time and higher goals to reach for.

Seriously, if you don’t have a taste for my content, scroll past it. If you have valid and rational critiques to offer, I am all ears. If your complaint has it that I am exactly like other content producers, you have not read my content, this I absolutely know. If your complaint is that I am too different or not bowing down to the status quo, you are missing the entire point. If you complain that I am not predictable enough, that does not mean I am not consistent. If you wish to attempt to validate your existence through hate speech, I will definitely invalidate your existence when I block you. That’s one of my consistencies. I refuse to argue for the sake of argument.

YouTube Channel Reboot

I rebooted my YouTube channel today. First video I have done in over a year, just been too busy for videos. Things are a bit more stable now, so I thought this was a good time to get back to it.

The reboot has a new look. Trying to make the videos more professional. More changes will be coming in the near future but so far I am using a digital background and a full studio lighting setup. I also have a better microphone. I have a better camera on order, to go full HD. This camera isn’t bad but I may as well go all in.

From this point on, I will be alternating between written articles and videos. I will not be duplicating articles and videos as I did before. Though I may pick up on a topic started in writing and expand further in video. So be sure to follow both. I will post links to new videos here.

Hope you’ll be following!

More About False Employment Numbers

Have you noticed how you hear how many jobs were created each month? Yet we still have unemployment. Tens of thousands of jobs created each and every month, yet the unemployment rate does not go down. How does that work?

When job creation numbers are reported, what is not included is how many jobs have been eliminated.

Think about the announcements you hear. 30,000 jobs were created last month! Okay, that would mean that if that trend continued, we would create 360,000 jobs in one year. In less than 3 years, we would have created over 1 million jobs.

Let’s dive deeper. The population of the US is roughly 330 million. The Labor Participation Rate is 63.2%, meaning 208.6 million people are actively working or seeking employment. If the unemployment rate were true, standing now at 3.7%, that means about 7.7 million people are unemployed.

Here’s the problem with those numbers. They don’t change!!!!

In point of fact, according to the Labor Department, total non-farm employment increased by 130,000 in August alone. In June, they claimed that payrolls increased by 224,000. In July, 164,000. In May, 75,000. In April, 263,000. In March, 196,000.

So, according to the US Labor Dept, in six months time the US economy added over 1 million jobs. Yet the unemployment percentage hasn’t budged downward. If there were any accuracy to these numbers, the US would be in negative unemployment in less than 3 years.

Of course, the Labor Dept was reporting similar numbers last year. In October 2018, they claimed 250,000 had been added. In November, 155,000. In December, another 312,000.

Even if job growth were slower than expected, it would still be job growth. If the economy were truly adding hundreds of thousands of jobs per month, unemployment would not exist.

In addition, consider normal attrition. People retire, get sick or die. In such cases, they leave the job market entirely. Thus, replacing them means people from the applicant pool are hired. So that should be reducing the number of unemployed but it doesn’t. The birth rate has been decreasing over time, so it is well known there are fewer young people entering the job market than the number of Boomers leaving the job market.

Of course, I’ve mentioned before that many jobs are part time or temporary. To be considered “employed” can mean working 1 hour per week or less. If an employer takes a full time job and splits it in half to make two part time jobs, it’s magic! They just created a job!

If this many jobs were genuinely being created, real wages would also be rising. Real wages as defined by wages in relation to living expenses. They’re not, except in very limited areas. Wages would be growing because employers would be competing for workers. They’re not. In the limited geographic areas which have seen wage growth, prices soon increase, eliminating any benefit seen by workers. That’s because employers want to maintain higher than reasonable profit margins. That’s capitalism.

I expect that next month we will see a larger than average number of jobs added, thanks to auto manufacturers listing jobs available as they attempt to hire scabs to cross union picket lines. That’s an example of another falsehood. Just because a company posts jobs does not mean anyone was hired to do the jobs.

We really need to insist on different ways of measuring employment and unemployment. The system we have right now is completely dishonest.