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Tag: Capitalism

AIG sign
visitbulgaria.info

AIG Logs a Profit

For almost two years, insurance giant AIG has experienced quarterly losses—until now. The infamous company is reporting its first profitable quarter since 2007, a turnabout that will give the U.S. government a whopping $1.5 billion gain as a shareholder, while individual shareholders get to split $311 million among themselves.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Mark Lennihan

Happiness Consultants Won’t Stop a Depression

Positive psychology, which claims to be able to engineer happiness, is a quack science that justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Brawl.gov Over Media Reform

The ruling party in South Korea passed a bill that allows print media companies to own up to a 20% share in the broadcast medium. The opposition believes this benefits only a handful of conservative media giants. So they started fighting ... in parliament. Watch the protest and the “Seoul” demonstrated by politicians for just media policies.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care: Change the Debate

In mid-May, President Obama secured a deal with the health insurance companies to trim 1.5 percent of their costs each year for 10 years, saving a total of $2 trillion. Just two days after the announcement at the White House, the insurance companies reneged on the deal that was designed to protect and increase their revenue at least 35 percent.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Africa
blackplanet.com

Obama to Seek to End Africa’s Conflicts

It seems that President Obama has finally taken Africa seriously—and in a way that doesn’t look like Bush-era health funding that reeks of an infomercial for Christian charity. In a speech on Saturday, Obama is expected to focus on the importance of democratic governance on the continent and will make the ending of conflicts a key diplomatic initiative.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


Benedict XVI
highvolumemedia.com

Pope Says Capitalism Is Failing

In the spirit of the poignant critiques of capitalism made popular by Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI has written a scathing letter just in time for the capitalist G-8 economic summit in Italy that demands we find a “profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


Wal-Mart
cnbc.com

Playing Publicity With Health Care?

SEIU President Andrew Stern and Wal-Mart have joined forces, breaking with most other companies to support President Obama’s plan requiring employers to provide health insurance to workers. The thing often forgotten is Wal-Mart’s horrible record on health care and its current move to make about 40 percent of its employees part-time and thus ineligible for benefits.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE


Dream Center
flickr.com

Privatizing Health Care in the Third World

For only $5 a month, you too can undermine a developing country’s health infrastructure. Since 1990, foreign funding for “development assistance” has quadrupled, offering medical resources to the poor but also luring local health care workers away from government hospitals and toward more lucrative private companies.

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE


Amazon
guim.co.uk

Peru’s War on the Indigenous

In clashes between native groups armed with spears and development interests packing guns, Peru has seen at least 50 people die and hundreds go missing after President Alan Garcia initiated a campaign to open the rain forest to foreign investors.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE


As Smash-and-Grab Capitalism Collapses, the French Economy Shines

Many in Britain and the United States are in mourning for what’s taken as the suicide of the American (or Thatcherite, or Chicago-school) model of capitalism, accompanied by the non-interventionist state that hands the national economy over to business and financial leaders to run.

Posted on May 16, 2009 READ MORE


AIG sign
visitbulgaria.info

AIG Still Ridin’ Dirty

AIG CEO Edward Liddy defended his enfeebled company on Capitol Hill Wednesday, yet claimed that even $180 billion in taxpayer money has only “reduced, but not eliminated the systemic risk [toxic assets] that AIG presents to the global financial system.”

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE


Painting on May Day
flickr.com

Dare We Use the S-Word?

The current global economic crisis is not just another roller-coaster ride. Many sane and sober observers fear that the international locomotive of corporatism is going off the rails. Is this a necessary crisis of the capitalist system, determined by the self-destruction and self-renovation of a perpetual motion machine?

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


IMF Recession
imf.org

IMF Sees an Even Deeper Recession

A shrinking global economy has many at the International Monetary Fund worried, as economists project that 2009 will see a decline of 1.3 percent in world economic output—the first global recession since World War II.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


Generic Unemployment
connectedmichigan.com

National Unemployment Hits 8.5%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has put March’s unemployment rate at 8.5 percent, the highest in a quarter-century. After 15 consecutive months of job loss, more than one in 12 people (who are looking for work) are unemployed.

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 READ MORE


Wanker
flickr.com

G-20 vs. 6 Billion

No matter how trite it has become for the media to focus on the “clashes” and “violence” that have “erupted” at the G-20 demonstrations in London, stories on the economic summit seem to overlook the legitimate concerns that protesters have against the world’s 20 largest economies orchestrating macroeconomic policy for the rest of the world.

Posted on Apr 1, 2009 READ MORE


Global Capitalism: The Suicide Version

The globalization of the international economy launched as an accidental policy of the Clinton administration has proved to be a destroyer of people, governments and wealth.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout

The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. Our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE


Our Justified Populist Rage

We are at the beginning of a great popular rebellion against those who showed no self-restraint when it came to lining their own pockets.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


Money Bags
U.S. Department of Justice

Madoff Accountant Arrested

David Friehling, the accountant of Bernard Madoff (pictured above), was arrested Wednesday on charges of securities fraud. Friehling is the first alleged accomplice to be named by authorities in connection with Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scam, though the accountant was charged with auditing failures, not direct participation in the scheme itself.

Posted on Mar 18, 2009 READ MORE



Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

The False Idol of Unfettered Capitalism

The Ten Commandments were for the ancients, and are for us, the core rules that, when honored, hold us together, and when dishonored lead to alienation, discord and violence. The worship of the free market has turned out to be an idol, and like all idols it has now demanded its human sacrifice.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


The Point of Pointing Fingers

Obama speaks disdainfully of “ideology,” but there comes a time when first principles need to be articulated. Conservatives have entered this fight with guns blazing while progressives have hidden behind a Maginot Line armed only with the word pragmatism.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE


Googlehand
businessweek.com

Privacy Intrusion With a Twist

Google on Wednesday officially announced its entry into the fray of contextualized advertising—serving up advertisements in accordance with a user’s prior Web-surfing habits. The move, which has raised alarm in the privacy community, carries an unprecedented privacy twist: Google users will now be able to see and edit the information the company collects about them.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE


George Costanza
blogspot.com

U.S. Economic Shrinkage Worst in 25 Years

Either the U.S. economy was in the pool during the last three months of 2008 or the economic crisis is worse than expected. The nation’s GDP shrank 6.25 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, almost doubling the preceding quarter’s contraction rate of 3.8 percent.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Environment Probs
DFID / Hassan Bipul

Rich Nations Truant on Climate Pledges

Analysis is finding that, amid the historic neglect that rich nations show toward the poor, developing countries have received less than 10 percent of the funds promised to them by the developed world. This comes as countries in the global south struggle to respond to the myriad concerns about global warming.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Zachary Karabell on ‘The Case for Big Government’

Jeff Madrick’s new book insists that the anti-government ethos that is a treasured American prejudice is not grounded in the new economic reality. But is he fighting the last war?

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Robber Barons
icsd.k12.ny.us

A Non-Rising Tide Lifts No Boats

The rationale of the TARP bailout’s “capital-injection program”—providing banks with capital that will increase loans to consumers and businesses—has apparently been forgotten by the 20 largest banks that received TARP money. A Treasury Department survey has found that lending in the last quarter of 2008 was stagnant, or even slightly declined, despite $250 billion in capital-injection funds.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


General Chrysler
truckend.com

More Aid, Please

General Motors, recipient of the 2009 “Nation’s Most Resistant-to-Change Company That Still Gets Federal Assistance” award, wants more. The auto giant on Wednesday asked for $16.6 billion in loans, on top of the $13.4 billion already granted. All this amid GM plans to shed 47,000 jobs worldwide.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Bank Owned
willows-journal.com

$75 Billion to Fight Foreclosures

While $700 billion was given to the banks and credit institutions that haphazardly pushed forward our current economic fiasco, millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure may now be given only about one-tenth of that figure—$75 billion—in an effort to slow the deterioration of the housing market.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Flowers
European Pressphoto Agency / Abed Rahim Khatib

Israel Opens Gaza Border ... for Flowers

In probably the least appropriate metaphor for relations between Israel and Palestine, Israel has allowed, for the first time in a year, Gazan flower companies to export 25,000 carnations to Europe in time for Valentine’s Day, though the volume pales in comparison to previous annual exports of 60 million flowers.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Club Gitmo
rushlimbaugh.com

Limbaugh Selling ‘Club Gitmo’ Gear

Leave it to the proto-fascists to find a way to make money off torture, human rights abuses and the degradation of America’s image abroad. Rush Limbaugh has found it acceptable to sell “Club Gitmo” shirts on his Web site, complete with the image of a diving board and swimming pool (water + board, get it?).

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Reid
The New York Times / Susan Etheridge

Reid Announces Stimulus Agreement

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Wednesday afternoon that congressional leaders have finally agreed on a $789 billion economic stimulus package, pushing the plan to a final House and Senate vote by Friday at the earliest.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Job Loss
nytimes.com

U.S. Unemployment Hits 7.6 Percent

With little surprise but incredible effect, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in January, hitting its highest level since 1992. President Obama used the report to prod Congress to pass his economic stimulus package.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE


Kenneth Lewis
bloomberg.com

Slapping the Pay Cuffs on Execs

Amending current TARP rules and regulations, President Obama is expected to put a $500,000 cap on executive salaries at companies that receive large amounts of bailout funds. It would mean major pay cuts for the likes of Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis, who took home more than $20 million in 2007.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nikolas Giakoumidis

It’s Not Going to Be OK

The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. Our empire is dying. How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations?

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


America Faces the Music in Davos

The American participants in this year’s World Economic Forum have been the first to confront the full international blowback to the U.S.-created world economic crisis, which has devastated the nation’s reputation for competence, along with the justification for its six-decade role as world leader.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


Exxon Mobil
abcnews.com

Exxon Ignoble

Resilient and ultimately morally bankrupt, international oil darling Exxon Mobil has managed to take the 2008 medal for most profitable American corporation, despite a 33 percent fall in fourth-quarter earnings.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


Angry!
tumblr.com

World Economic Growth Slowest Since WWII

The world economy this year is likely to grow at a rate of only 0.5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund, which re-evaluated its figures after the U.K. officially entered into recession last week. The growth rate, as projected, is the lowest in more than 60 years.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


General Motors Lobby
nation.co.ke

Post-Bailout, Lobbying Continues

Without skipping a beat, once-troubled financial entities are continuing to spend big to lobby Congress as they pocket billions in TARP bailout money. The lobbying is defended by the bail-outted firms as a “transparent and effective way” to be heard on policy issues.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner Claw!
bloomberg.com

Geithner Urges ‘Fundamental Reform’ in Bailout

It’s the first full day of Obama’s administration and things are looking a bit different in D.C. Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner called for “fundamental reform” of the $700 billion bailout, claiming the existing bailout package favored big business over struggling families.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Citibank
pattisonsign.com

Citigroup Does the Splits

After receiving $45 billion from U.S. taxpayers just two months ago, Citibank’s much-maligned parent Citigroup will be no longer, as the financial giant announced in Solomon-style manner Friday that it will split itself into two, dividing the company’s traditional banking business— becoming Citicorp—and its riskier investment department—Citi Holdings.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
flickr.com / Presidential Inaugural Committee

Wizards of the Inauguration

While Barack Obama banned corporations and big donors from funding his inauguration so as to not trammel the public celebration, the big event’s multimillion-dollar bill is instead being footed by Wall Street executives and other financial employees acting as fundraisers. Abracadabra—no more special interests.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


book cover
amazon.com

Jay Feldman on ‘Concentration Camps on the Home Front’

A revelatory account of a hidden chapter of the treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II deepens our understanding of American prejudice and the abuse of power.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


The 21st Century Is Finally Here, a Bit Behind Schedule

Social and political epochs rarely end precisely on schedules provided by calendars. The outcome of this year’s election means that 2009 will, finally, mark the beginning of the 21st century.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Craig Ruttle

Why I Am a Socialist

The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE


Caracas Shopping
thewe.cc

Chavez to Mall: Váyase!

Nothing says full of yourself like ordering a Venezuelan mayor to halt construction of a near-complete shopping mall after passing by it in a car. Obviously, President Hugo Chavez has a bit of a ego, though his suggestion to use the facility as a university or hospital, not as a monument to consumption and capitalism, does seem a bit more just.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Generic Unemployment
connectedmichigan.com

Unemployment Filings at 26-Year High

With American jobs being steadily peeled away, hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to seek unemployment benefits for the first time. The number of first-time claims rose 5.4 percent last week, to their highest level in more than a quarter-century.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Bush Bailed Out
The New York Times / Doug Mills

To the Bailoutmobile!

In an avowed effort to save capitalism from itself, President Bush announced Friday that he would throw the Big Three failing auto companies a $17.4 billion lifesaver, siphoning that money from the initial $700 billion bailout slush fund authorized by Congress in October.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Latino Leaders
AP photo / Andre Penner

Latin Leaders Rebuke U.S.

In a summit that celebrated the absence of the U.S. on its guest list, Latin American leaders met in Brazil to discuss a post-U.S. hegemonic world. The talks, which centered on the “demise” of the capitalist model, also snubbed former colonizing nations Portugal and Spain in a further demonstration of the increasing political autonomy of the region.

Posted on Dec 17, 2008 READ MORE


Blundering U.S. Should Spare the World Any More Nation Building

According to a new report, the U.S. has accomplished little more in Iraq than restoration of the basic services destroyed by the American invasion and the looting that followed. This is after killing or wounding—how many, a half million?—Iraqi civilians in order to liberate them. No wonder the Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at George W. Bush.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


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