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Dr. Rasmus discusses his article, published last Monday, ‘The Great Strike of 2021’. Why are 5 million US workers not returning to work? Rasmus explains why and how they’re coping ‘withholding their labor’ as the economy reopens. It’s a strike wave of the lowest paid and most abused US workers. Signs their strike example may be spilling over to union workers now striking as well. Rasmus compares the 2021 strike wave with the last strike waves of 1970-71 and 1945-46. (Check out his blog, http://jackrasmus.com for recent articles on the subject).  In the second half of the show the current escalation of inflation is discussed. Why Biden’s recent measures to put LA ports on 24/7 work schedule will not have much affect. Why the capitalist global supply chain is in chaos and why supply-driven inflation will not be temporary but continue well into 2022. Rasmus explains ‘stagflation’ likely coming, as US GDP and economic recovery is faltering 3rd quarter 2021 while inflation continues to escalate.

Dr. Rasmus takes on three important economic announcements in past 2 days to explain what’s behind the hype. Is the Debt Ceiling really an issue? Why not. So why is hyped in the media and in Congress that it is? What is history of US deficits & debt run up from 2000 to 2020. What does debt & debt ceiling have to do with ensuring US economic empire? Next: the just released jobs report for Sept and why recall of pandemic jobs has now ‘hit a wall’. Real reasons why US workers not returning to work. Is this the ‘great strike of 2021’? Next: What’s happening to Biden’s Build Back Better bill and why is it going to be cut from $3.5T to less than $2T? Next: Announcement of global minimum 15% corporate tax agreement. Why US Senate will use it to cut domestic US corporate taxes next year from Biden’s proposed 26%.

 

 

 

 

 

 Dr. Rasmus describes this past week’s latest maneuvers within the Democratic party with regard to the Infrastructure, Reconciliation & Debt Ceiling bills. Pelosi’s reneging on agreements with the party’s progressives this past week and what it means. Rasmus explains the evolution of Progressives’ positions since last March, agreements made this past July, and why Pelosi has decided on separate votes for Infrastructure and Reconciliation bills. Why the debt ceiling, passed yesterday, was never an issue and why the US can never default on its bonds. The party’s corporate wing strategy to pass Infrastructure and slash Reconciliation. Manchin’s ‘secret memo’ of July and positions. Likely scenarios ahead by Pelosi-Schumer to pass the Infrastructure bill and reconstitute the Reconciliation bill. Why progressives will get outmaneuvered again. The lack of additional economic stimulus amid the slowing of the US economy. The show concludes with comments about the continuing problem of Evergrande to the global capitalist financial economy.

Dr. Rasmus reviews the key economic events of the past week. 1) China’s growing ban of Crypto currencies and what’s behind it. Also, the Evergrande Corporate Bond default feared by US professional investors and why they are concerned 2)the Fed’s decision to continue injecting $120b/mo. in free money to bankers and investors and not to begin raising interest rates until middle of 2022. US stock markets surge on the news 3) the status of the negotiations within the democratic party’s corporate wing v. progressives on the two pending fiscal stimulus bills—the infrastructure bill $550B and the $3.5T Reconciliation bill. Rasmus predicts how they might get it passed, at a much reduced level of total spending. Why the democratic party’s corporate wing keeps calling the party’s shots on spending and tax policy to protect its wealthy capitalists.

In the first half hour of the show Dr. Rasmus describes the legislative maneuverings underway in the attempt to pass the $3.5 trillion ‘American Families Plan’ (aka human infrastructure bill) in Congress. Why it’s a negotiation within the Democratic party and not with the Republicans. Why it’s more fundamentally about the corporate wing of the Democratic party opposed to reversing the Trump 2017 $4.5 trillion tax cuts, than it is about spending on ‘human infrastructure’. Why the final bill will approximate $1 to $1.5T and not $3.5T and how the Democrats will ‘sell it’.  Rasmus then spends the second half hour returning to last week’s theme, ‘What’s a Socialist America, Part 2, which addresses the changes to the US political system that might (have to) occur in order to establish a Socialist America.

 

Dr. Rasmus starts the show with a short commentary on Biden’s just announced mandate yesterday requiring businesses to vaccinate their workers. What’s the economics behind the announcement, reasons and economic consequences of the announcement. Thereafter, the rest of the show addresses the topic: ‘What Would a Socialist America’ look like? Many listeners and readers of Dr. Rasmus’s blog have asked him to comment on that topic. So today’s show begins that discussion, focusing on what a Socialist Economy would have to look like in order to establish the foundation for a Socialist America. The emphasis today is on what fundamental changes to economic institutions, class relationships, and economic policies are required to establish a Socialist Economy. Subsequent shows on ‘What’s A Socialist America’ will address basic changes required in the country’s political system, social structure, and even culture.

 Dr. Rasmus addresses the state of working class America this labor day 2021. Creeping austerity is the defining term, as unemployment benefits are being cut, rent assistance not distributed & rent moratorium ending, job creation rapidly falling off by late summer in today’s Labor Dept. jobs report, child care payments due to expire in December, student loan forbearance in January, and no new stimulus on the horizon. Rasmus cites the 11.2m losing unemployment benefits and debunks the Republican argument with data that workers aren’t returning to work because of too generous unemployment benefits. The real reasons why many aren’t returning to work are noted. Why landlords are scuttling $46B rent assistance while the Federal Reserve continues $120/B every month in free money to bankers and investors. Dr. Rasmus then dissects today’s Labor Dept. jobs report for August and explains why only 235,000 jobs were ‘created’ last month after 750,000 a month on average in the previous 3 months.  Why the unemployment rate is at least double the official 5.2%. Why the actual employed numbers (not manipulated via seasonal adjustment) in August showed a decline in actual total employment by -364,000. Why the media and politicians always ‘cherry pick’ the most optimistic statistic from the monthly job reports and ignore other contrary data in the same reports.

: Dr. Rasmus reviews Fed chairman Powell’s decision today, as the Jackson Hole, WY meeting of central bankers kicks off. Powell signals in his opening statement a possible earlier ‘taper’ of the Fed’s $120 billion/mo. injection of free money into the banks and investors ($4T since Covid recession began). Why the Fed continues to ‘pre bail out’ investors when they don’t need it (and never have). Rasmus examines Powell’s statement and claims regarding employment gains, inflation, and Covid effects. What’s the real picture re. inflation, employment, and the state of the US and global economies. Early warning signs of slowing US recovery as Asia economies, including China, slip into another recession or stagnate. Why the Fed may not be able to really ‘taper’ without setting off a major global currency crisis. Why are more foreign govts adopting Bitcoin and crypto currencies as a defense against the dollar and why will this destabilize their economies even further in the end.

Dr. Rasmus discusses his latest published article, ‘Afghanistan & the American Imperial Project’ (see his blog, http://jackrasmus.com, for free copy), explaining the US retreat in Afghanistan has to do with the inability of the US to maintain the costs of empire in the middle east (not just Afghanistan) and simultaneously pay for the cost of the new ‘wars’ looming on the horizon. The wars in the middle east since 2001 have officially cost $6.4T according to the US oversight office, SIGAR. However, that’s only for Afghanistan ($1-$2T) and Iraq. If Syria/Isis, Libya, naval blockade of Iran, US financing Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, annual handouts in aid to Egypt & Israel, Somalia, and other ‘operations’ in the region are concerned, the total cost the past 20 years is easily $10 trillion. Rasmus explains the US empire cannot continue funding $500B/yr. on average, while it faces new costs of empire in the new wars: the nextgeneration tech war with China, the cybersecurity war with Russia & others, and the ‘war’ against Nature itself as the US scrambles to deal with climate change. Rasmus further notes the middle east wars have been financed as the US cut taxes by $15 trillion over the 20 yrs. The result of $10T cost as $15T taxes cut is annual budget deficits > $1T and cumulated deficits approaching $28T. Imperial financing of new wars will have to change, as the US shifts focus from the ‘old wars’ of middle east to protect oil (the US no longer needs) to the ‘new wars’ with China, Russia & Nature. The US empire is not imploding. It is restructuring, Rasmus concludes.

 

Topic of today’s show is who has gained in income terms over the first full year of the Covid induced US recession. Dr. Rasmus looks at the period, 2nd quarter (April-June) 2020, when the US economy crashed and compares it to most recent quarterly data in 2021 for April-June this year. Those receiving capital incomes and corporations registered record gains: billionaires in US increased their wealth by more than $1 trillion, stock investors enjoyed record levels of price gains, and Fortune 500 corporations recorded record revenue gains of 24.7% over the past year. On the negative side, workers’ wages in net terms fell as more than 35 million were jobless at some point during 2020 and hours of work were cut drastically for many still with jobs. Meanwhile, CEO pay rose 18.9%. Small businesses also did poorly, even as more than $1 trillion in loans and grants were distributed. Nearly 1 million small businesses failed nonetheless and millions more suffered significant income losses despite receiving partial loans. Dr. Rasmus addresses losses experienced by renters as $70 billion or more of forbearance (suspended) is yet to be paid, while landlords continue to block distribution of $47 billion in rental assistance payments. The role of the US Supreme Court in preventing the evictions moratorium is discussed. Student loan forbearance is added to wages, jobs, and renters as those who have not gained over the past year. In short, wage incomes, small businesses, and transfer payment recipients have lost, while investors, big corporations and bankers have gained most.

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