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What they Don’t Tell You About the Economy


The corporate media and front groups for big business and political parties leave out what we believe are important details. In this week’s news: the real national security budget is bigger than acknowledged, the growth in GDP before the election seems to be due to government spending being sped up, the poor don’t live well as the right wing claims, and the U.S. is a ‘managed democracy’ or polyarchy where the people do not rule.

Economist David Cay Johnson digs deep to show that while attention is focused on the President’s budget proposal for military spending and cuts to Social Security and Medicare, a large sector of spending is being ignored. That is total spending on the National Security State and it is as much as 2.5 times the base Defense budget; that’s $1.3 trillion not the $525 million the corporate media trumpets.

And labor economist Jack Rasmus reports that GDP was artificially inflated in the third quarter last year (just prior to the elections) by record levels of federal defense spending. Was this to make the economy look good for the election?  We may never know the reason for this rapid spending of government funds. It might not had even been noticed, but on the other side, in the fourth quarter, the GDP declined.  Why? A rapid drop in military spending. The shrinkage of GDP in the fourth quarter had people looking more closely at the numbers. Rasmus still cautions that we are headed for a double-dip recession in 2013-14. A recession can be mitigated by job creation, but unemployment is rising and technology is permanently destroying middle class jobs. The likelihood of a recession is increasing because of an unprecedented drop in federal spending. As we warned, experience shows that cuts in spending during an economic collapse makes a long and deep recession more likely.

Thomas Edsall busts the myths about Americans in poverty being promulgated by the right. He says, “the presence in the United States of 42.6 million people officially living in poverty — no matter that they have access to a trickle of consumer goods — must be recognized as a powder keg.” And Greg Kaufmann writes that if we are serious about education, we must address poverty.
And while we are often told that we live in a democracy, Cliff DuRand explains the conflict between real democracy and a global corporate state. He calls the US government “polyarchy” or a form of low-intensity democracy or as Sheldon Wolin calls it a “managed democracy.” Chris Hedges tells us in simple terms these terms mean “political theater” to hide the rule of the elites behind a thin veil of expensive campaigns.  Democracy is literally translated as “people power.” An area of the world where true democracy (participatory democracy) is growing is Venezuela, but the corporate media goes to great lengths to hide this. We interviewed Cliff Durand and Chris Hedges on “Clearing the FOG” this week, and next weekwe will speak about participatory democracy in Venezuela and the United States.
The good news is that economic and participatory democracy are growing in the US. We are pleased to announce the first It’s Our Economy State Chapter in Colorado. If you are interested in starting a chapter, contact us at is power. That is why we try to bring you information that is not prominent in the media. Please share this email with others.
Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician, and Kevin Zeese, an attorney, are both are advocates for single payer health care and the co-direct, ItsOurEconomy.US which filed an amicus brief along with Single Payer Action and 50 doctors urging the court to find the mandate unconstitutional. This article is based on the weekly newsletter of It’s Our Economy. You can sign up for this free newsletter at www.ItsOurEconomy.US.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance. This article first appeared as the weekly newsletter of the organization.@MFlowers8.

2016 Fund Drive
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CounterPunch Magazine


October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians