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 Dr. Rasmus discusses the various warning signs in the US economy now emerging, despite the official talk of GDP recovery underway this quarter: the Fed’s warning this week of rising ‘insolvency risk’ and business bankruptcies coming; new claims for jobless benefits rising again and consistently more than 1 million/week since October; the recent retail sales bump as really a warning not good news; financial market bubbles churning as investors chase ever more risky yield in cryptocurrencies and worthless stocks; China’s introduction of its own digital currency; and growing indications of Biden’s ‘bipartisan back-tracking’.

What are the arguments of Larry Summers, Oliver Blanchard, and other nonconomists rallying behind Republicans and big capitalists’ trying to reduce Biden’s $1.9T economic stimulus proposals? How bad is the US recovery in January 2021? Rasmus debunks each of the main points being made by Summers & friends and the rosy picture being painted for first quarter 2021. Dr. Rasmus then comments on the current impeachment trial in the US Senate and why it will resolve nothing of the threat to what remains of US democracy in the next two years by the Trump forces and Trump himself.

: Dr. Rasmus reviews the three main developments of the past week: today’s jobs report showing economy not creating sufficient jobs, the Biden fiscal aid stimulus bill stalled in Congress, and financial asset bubbles continuing to grow, including the financial speculators’ internecine war over Gamestop and other assets. What’s in the Labor Dept. jobs report that shows job situation even worse than the headline of 49,000 jobs created in January? What’s behind the Biden-Dems effort to push for the $1.9t stimulus ‘American Rescue Plan’ and why is unconomist, Larry Summers, again trying to get the Dems to spend less (as he did in 2009)? Finally, why are bubbles in stocks once again growing and analysts predicting a 15% market correction coming?

Dr. Rasmus discusses the ‘topic of the week’, the fight between day traders and big institutional investors like Hedge Funds as financial markets reach bubble heights due to trillions of dollars of free money being pumped into investors’ pockets of all kinds in recent years.  The role of destabilizing technology in financial markets behind the financial conflict. The financialization of the US economy as the fundamental change driving the demand for stocks and other financial assets, of which Gamestop is just a tip of the financial iceberg.  Why the conflict is not about the ‘David’ day trader vs. Goliath Hedge Funds. Why players like Robin Hood, Reddit, and WallStBets forum will ultimately do what big shadow bank finance capital want. Rasmus concludes with a brief review of the just released GDP numbers for 2020 showing a -3.5% contraction of the US economy last year and why the first quarter 2021 will continue the trend of slowdown. (for more on Gamestop read Dr. Rasmus’ just published piece: ‘Gamestop—the Game That Never Stops’ on his blog, http://jackrasmus.com )

 as a follow up addendum to a prior week’s show on ‘Trump’s Toxic Economic Legacies’, today’s Alternative Visions show discusses Trump’s Political Legacies. At the top of the list is the deep change in political consciousness among all sectors of US society that Trump’s regime—and in particular his last year in office—have generated. Political elites in Washington have been deeply shaken by the events leading up to and during January 6. They now realize the threat to limited US Democracy (and their own safety) is serious and not limited to the mob that attacked the Capitol that day. Key institutions like the police and even military are infected with right wing radical beliefs & intentions; second, right wing radical movements consciousness has changed as well. They now see January 6 as a ‘success’ to be repeated elsewhere later. And John Q. Public realizes US Democracy has always been fragile, that the Electoral College is anti-democratic, and that even the college can be thwarted and overturned by tactics. These changes in consciousness will be enduring. The second Trump political legacy is the radical takeover of the Republican party under Trump and the forthcoming fight over who will run that party—traditional elites or Trump forces. A split in its structure is likely before 2024. The third legacy is the failure of government and institutions in addressing the US Triple Crisis: Covid, Economic, Political. It will be a challenge for Biden and traditional elites to restore the normal functioning of government soon. Fourth, Trump’s legacy means US global hegemon and alliances are in a shambles. Former allies will never return to status quo ante pre-Trump again and will cautiously pursue independent relations with China and other countries. Finally, the fifth political legacy, is Trump’s legitimization and organizing of the radical right forces in America, in and out of Government. That genie will not soon return to its bottle. (For print analyses of these discussions, visit Dr. Rasmus’ blog, http://jackrasmus.com)

Dr. Rasmus unpacks the details of Biden’s just announced first economic stimulus package of $1.9T, called the ‘American Rescue Plan’. The four sections of the package are explained in detail: the $400 billion for Covid, vaccine distribution, PPE, emergency paid leave, and schools reopening; the $1 trillion additional for direct family relief in the form of $1,400 checks, extended unemployment benefits, rent-food-child care assistance, child tax credits, vets health, and other assistance; and the added $440 billion for community and local governments support and to help women and minority business reopening. Dr. Rasmus raises the important provisos of how much of the $1.9 trillion will get into the US economy and how soon in order to stabilize a now rapidly declining 1st quarter US economy slipping into a double dip recession. Also addressed is how much of this $1.9T proposal will actually get through Congress in coming weeks and how much unnecessary further tax cuts for big business and investors will be tacked on to it by Republican friends in Congress. Listeners are welcomed to check out the print version of this topic that will appear on Dr. Rasmus’s blog at http://jackrasmus.com this weekend.

 Dr. Rasmus sums up the major economic and political legacies of Trump’s 4 years in office, discussing Trump’s accomplishments on behalf of big corporations, investors and the wealthy 1% and their impact on the rests of us: his $4T tax cuts, gutting deregulation, trade wars, China tech war, intimidation of the Fed & free money, stock market bubbles, funding of military industrial complex, etc.  Political legacies include not only breaching formerly sacrosanct legislative branch (Congress) with recent incitement of mob assault but long list of Trump measures chipping away at US Democracy, stacking the US Supreme Court with ultra conservatives, institutionalizing white nationalism in Republican Party, demonization of immigrants, wrecking prior US imperial relationships with its allies, and de-legitimizing US electoral process for tens of millions of US voters. What next for US economy & political system after Jan. 20?

Dr. Rasmus discusses the growing economic crisis for millions of wage earners at the end of 2020, as Congress continues to debate a year end fiscal stimulus package. The bargaining maneuvers going on between McConnell, Mnuchin, Trump, Pelosi-Shumer, and the corporate wing of the Democrat Party are assessed. What it means for the unemployed, renters, students, small businesses, homeowners, and others. The show concludes with an analysis of Trump’s final move to overturn the Electoral College results before 12-14 deadline. What may be his strategy behind his ‘Plan B’? Will it succeed?

 Dr. Rasmus reviews latest labor department jobs numbers released today and compares them to the more accurate new unemployment claims numbers released yesterday. The various categories of jobless that aren’t included in the monthly jobs numbers and why unemployment benefit recipients are double that of the officially unemployed reported every month by the labor department. The show then focuses on the state of the current negotiations on a stimulus bill in Congress. The elements of the various proposals are described: McConnell’s $519 billion vs. the ‘Bipartisan’ Senate proposal $908 billion introduced last week vs. the Pelosi-Shumer original $3 trillion stimulus of last May (now reduced to $2.2 trillion since August). What’s in each. Why Biden and corporate Democrats are pushing Pelosi-Shumer to ‘capitulate’ to Republican positions (McConnell’s & Bipartisan Senate). Why Biden’s call to take what’s on the bargaining table now and we’ll come back for more after January 21, 2021 is a subterfuge and why there’ll be no ‘second’ stimulus in 2021.

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