FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What they Don’t Tell You About the Economy

by Dr. MARGARET FLOWERS AND KEVIN ZEESE

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 itsoureconomy.us@gmail.com.Knowledge 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.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 26, 2017
Richard Moser
Empire Abroad, Empire At Home
Stan Cox
For Climate Justice, It’s the 33 Percent Who’ll Have to Pick Up the Tab
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Machine Called Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
The Dilemma for Intelligence Agencies
Christy Rodgers
Remaining Animal
Joseph Natoli
Facts, Opinions, Tweets, Words
Mel Gurtov
No Exit? The NY Times and North Korea
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Women on the Move: Can Three Women and a Truck Quell the Tide of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse?
Michael J. Sainato
Trump’s Wikileaks Flip-Flop
Manuel E. Yepe
North Korea’s Antidote to the US
Kim C. Domenico
‘Courting Failure:’ the Key to Resistance is Ending Animacide
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Legacy of Lynne Stewart, the People’s Lawyer
Andrew Stewart
The People vs. Bernie Sanders
Daniel Warner
“Vive La France, Vive La République” vs. “God Bless America”
April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
Clancy Sigal
It’s the Pits: the Miner’s Blues
Robert K. Tan
Abe is Taking Japan Back to the Bad Old Fascism
April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail