America’s Hidden Jobless Rate

June 6, 2016

Trump … said he thinks the jobless rate is close to 20 percent and not the roughly 5 percent reported by the Labor Department. And, of course, Crudele reported, anyone who buys the 5 percent figure is a “dummy,” according to Trump. This, in a nutshell, is typical of the usual economic conspiracy theories we have discussed in the past. -Bloomberg

Good for Trump.

The jobless numbers are actually part of a much larger mainstream “conspiracy” (as Trump would put it) that goes the heart of the way economies work in 21st century America.

There are something like 100 million Americans not working, including older people and young people. That’s a fairly well accepted statistic.

These people are not counted in the “jobless” figures though in fact they may want to work.

They may be working as a matter of fact. It is impossible to tell because they probably work in the gray or black economy.

The gray or black economy in the US is very large because of invasive taxation and heavy-handed regulation.


Like much demagoguery, [Trump’s accusation] oversimplifies. This much is true: The employment data is complex. The average layperson with little or no economic background is likely to find it confusing.

It is true that many people have been unhappy with this recovery. While there are lots of boom towns and growth is strong in many industries, they are not evenly distributed throughout the country. That is the nature of slow recoveries from credit crises.

But Trump ignores these facts and goes down the path of several thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories.

The article then goes on to claim that the government provides a variety of statistics that are not widely reported.

If Trump would simply investigate more thoroughly, he would find the real data.

In fact, the editorial suggests the true rate of unemployment when everything is considered is around 10 percent.

But as we have often pointed out, the US does not even have a “real” economy.

The economy itself is distorted by judicial decisions implemented by force.

These decisions include giving corporations “corporate personhood” that allow the controllers of corporations to hide behind a legal shield.

Then there is the growth of intellectual property rights that brings the force of the state to bear on behalf of inventors.

These inventors don’t have to protect their own creations: The state will do it for them.

Finally, there is monopoly central banking. Great surges of fiat money empower the largest corporations while causing cyclical recessions and depressions.

The idea that the US – or other countries in the West – have anything approaching a free market is contradicted by these broad judicial decisions.

What would a real free-market economy look like?

It would be one where corporate leaders are personally responsible for the behavior of their companies.

And one where intellectual property rights would be enforced by individuals rather than the state – if they could be enforced at all.

It would be one that ran on private money, not fiat debt notes printed by monopoly central banks.

Allow the marketplace to function as it should rather than as the state requires, and people would likely find opportunity as they wished within far more vibrant, local circumstances.

The current system creates fabulous, multinational corporations employing hundreds of thousands too build often-useless consumer items … then laying off as “business” warrants.

In a real economy, most enterprises would be far smaller and less ambitious. Size would be achieved by partnerships not formal corporate structures. Goods and services would be more necessary and less fanciful.

Again, employment might be not be an issue given that people would be working for themselves or for local enterprises.

Conclusion: It is the force of the state that creates the overwhelming bigness of multinationals – to the detriment of smaller corporations and entrepreneurs. That’s the real employment “conspiracy”.

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Leaked TTIP Papers Show Dawn Of A New Authoritarian Epoch

May 4, 2016

Leaked papers show ‘unsurprising’ TTIP disagreements: Dutch trade minister BusinessEurope May 2, 2016    The lack of agreement between the US and Europe on a controversial trade agreement is unsurprising, Dutch trade minister Lilian Ploumen said on Monday. The minister was commenting on the leak of confidential negotiating documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which have been published by environmental group Greenpeace. – Dutch News

TTIP and its sister agreement TPP are not “business as usual,” as the Dutch trade minister implies (see above).

Born in secrecy, marinated in furtiveness, the trade treaties are obviously being developed for purposes other than “free trade.”

In fact, it is oxymoronic to speak of negotiated treaties of any sort as “free.”

Treaties that are negotiated over a long period of time often have adjectives like “free” attached to them. But this is only to try to make what is finalized more palatable.

In the modern era, such treaties typically advance globalism and concentrate more power in the hands of a few.

When it comes to TTIP, leaks of documents made available by Greenpeace Netherlands seem to show  TTIP could  have a negative impact on “public health, people’s rights, internet privacy and the environment.”

That’s according to RT, which posted an extensive article on TTIP several days ago.

The article is one of only a few by larger media outlets. Not surprisingly, Western media seems to have avoided writing about the leaked documents.

Here is more from RT:

The 248 pages of classified negotiation papers on The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were released by Greenpeace Netherlands on Monday.

“This treaty is threatening to have far-reaching implications for the environment and the lives of more than 800 million citizens in the EU and US,” a Greenpeace statement says.

The TTIP is “about a huge transfer of power from people to big business,” according to the group.

Greenpeace says the papers’ authenticity is confirmed by an investigative research team consisting of Rechercheverbund NDR, WDR und Süddeutsche Zeitung media outlets.

The RT article goes into some depth. For instance, Washington is pressuring the EU to make certain concessions. DC is alleged to be “blocking European car exports into the US “to force the EU to buy more environmentally risky US farm produce.”

Greenpeace has been worried that the negotiation papers do not mention General Exceptions rules, which would allow nations to regulate trade “to protect human, animal and plant life or health” or for “the conservation of exhaustible natural resources.”

“The omission of this regulation suggests both sides are creating a regime that places profit ahead of human, animal and plant life and health,” Greenpeace says.

The media outlet Sputnik makes other points regarding the leaked papers.

[They] show that the US was blocking an EU demand that arbitration panels to handle corporate lawsuits be public not private as sought by Washington.

The documents further reveal the fact that the US has blocked the urgent European call to replace the controversial private arbitration tribunals, responsible for corporative lawsuits, with a public State model.

We’ve suggested in previous articles that these treaties are even more significant than they are being portrayed.

They are not merely an elaboration of issues regarding exports and imports, they are actually the foundation of an entirely new kind of governance.

The Gutenberg press undermined the social structure of the day. Once Bibles had been printed in non-Latin formats, people could see for themselves that the Roman Catholic Church was misrepresenting the Word of God.

The Church lost credibility and then it lost power. So did titled nobility. Once the Church was seen as institutionally corrupt, the concept of the Divinity of Kings was brought into question.

Out of the wreckage emerged the “democracy” as an alternative way of organizing social structures. The elites of the day still controlled society but did so behind the scenes.

Now in the 21st century, we grapple with information revolution that has discredited democracy as an organizing force.

Within this context, one can argue that TTIP and TPP are a good deal more ambitious than they have been portrayed.

What seems to be emerging is a social structure built around multinational corporations and an expansive and powerful mercantilism. The structures created by TTIP and TPP are intended to replace current sociopolitical configurations just as democracy “replaced” monarchial rule.

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Leak Confirms Our Worst Nightmares: TTIP Trade Deal IS A Corporate Take Over

The secret documents represent roughly two-thirds of the latest negotiating text, and in several cases expose for the first time the position of the U.S.

Deirdre Fulton
May 2, 2016

Confirming that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) amounts to “a huge transfer of power from people to big business,” Greenpeace Netherlands on Monday leaked 248 secret pages of the controversial trade deal between the U.S. and EU, exposing how environmental regulations, climate protections, and consumer rights are being “bartered away behind closed doors.”

The documents represent roughly two-thirds of the latest negotiating text, according to Greenpeace, and on some topics offer for the first time the position of the United States.

“Total secrecy was the only way the European Commission could keep the European people from learning the truth about these appalling negotiations, and now the cat is out of the bag.” — John Hilary, War on Want

Before Monday, elected representatives were only able to view such documents under guard, in a secure room, without access to expert consultation, while being forbidden from discussing the content with anyone else. This secrecy runs “counter to the democratic principles of both the EU and the U.S.,” the website declares.

And in the absence of transparency, “hard won environmental progress is being bartered away behind closed doors,” said Faiza Oulahsen, campaigner for Greenpeace Netherlands.

“Whether you care about environmental issues, animal welfare, labor rights or internet privacy, you should be concerned about what is in these leaked documents,” Oulahsen said. “They underline the strong objections civil society and millions of people around the world have voiced: TTIP is about a huge transfer of democratic power from people to big business. We call on all elected representative and other concerned parties to read these documents and engage in the debate.”

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Nearly 200,000 Family Farmers Fighting Back Against TPP

Source: RT
April 28, 2016

US trade officials are promoting the Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP) as an export boom for US agriculture. But National Farmers Union is standing strong against it. To explain why he thinks the TPP is a bad deal for farmers, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson joins ‘News With Ed.’