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 As promised last week, Dr. Rasmus begins a series of deep analyses of three great economists: Keynes, Marx and Adam Smith, showing how mainstream economics distorts the views of all three. What did they really say and how all were critical of capitalist economy. Today’s first in the series discusses Keynes’ 1935 book, ‘A General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money’, explaining why what is known as ‘Keynesian’ (aka mainstream) economics is not the same as Keynes’ analysis of capitalist economy. Dr. Rasmus explains contemporary mainstream economics cleverly ignores key arguments in Keynes’ original work, creating a bastardized version composed of a mix of pre-Keynes economic ideas—that Keynes himself strongly rejected—and selective, ‘safe’, economic analysis from the General Theory. Why Keynes believed capitalism’s Achilles heel was its tendency to create ever-growing income inequality while failing to deal with chronic unemployment. Why and how Keynes argued against policies that reduced and subsidized business costs (interest rates, wages, tax cuts) as the way to generate investment and growth. And why he foresaw and warned against emerging financial speculation (in stocks and other financial asset markets) becoming the dominant trend in capitalist economies, at the expense of real investment that made things, created jobs, and real incomes. (In subsequent weeks on the show Dr. Rasmus will continue the analysis of Keynes, as well as Marx and Smith—explaining what they really said and not what the media and most economists portray as their views).

Today’s show analyzes the just release Consumer Price Index inflation for May and reports on the latest developments in the ‘Infrastructure Follies’ phony negotiations going on in Congress and the Biden administration. How ‘smoke & mirror’ offers and counter-offers are steadily reducing the level of infrastructure spending and, in turn, how Biden is cutting out his tax hike proposals in turn (and what tax items are likely next). The second half of the show begins a series of shows on what did 3 noted economists (Keynes, Marx and Adam Smith) actually say—not what the media. Critics, and even economic profession claim they’ve said. What is science and what is ideology in economics, in other words. Today, the show begins with Keynes, continuing next week. How Keynes’ economics is quite different from what is called ‘Keynesian Economics’. Why has much of what Keynes actually said been purged from economics, academic and public, and replaced with what he himself, Keynes, critiqued back in the 1930s? (Subsequent shows will do the same analysis and commentary on Marx’s economics and Smith’s. Be surprised as to what they all actually said.)

 In the first half hour of today’s show, Dr. Rasmus reviews a June 1 article by the San Francisco Federal Reserve showing that the US labor market is far weaker than the ‘headline’ unemployment rate indicates. Rasmus argues that jobs are being recalled (not created) at a slow rate and likely with fewer hours and thus weekly earnings. The long term historic trend, of a ‘jobless recession’ recovery will continue in 2021 and beyond. The second half hour of the show addresses Biden’s historic ‘about face’ in infrastructure negotiations this past week: cutting corporate taxes to 15% instead of raising them to 28% as Biden had promised + reducing his infrastructure spending proposal again even further, from the prior week’s $1.7T (down from $2.25T) to $1 trillion. The ‘smoke and mirrors’ moves of Republican counterproposals, and Democrats, are discussed. The final number will likely be around $1T, as predicted. All that remains is what will be the composition of spending of that $1T. (Check out Dr. Rasmus’ article in Counterpunch, Znet, and other sources, as well as his blog, jackrasmus.com, for a more detailed print publication analysis of the political games behind the infrastructure negotiations).

Dr. Rasmus dissects the moves of Dems and Republicans on the Infrastructure bill (aka American Jobs Act) now underway. Both sides are mostly just ‘moving the money around’ and using various ‘smoke & mirrors’ to show they’re making proposals and counterproposals: GOP negotiators (McConnell et. al.) initially proposed $568B, but $394B of that was money already authorized and passed in other legislation. Yesterday, they raised their proposal to $928B, but that was by diverting $350B also already passed in the February ‘American Rescue Plan’ (Covid relief bill). Thus, GOP proposing to spend money already spent! Biden proposed March 31 a $2.3T spending on infrastructure, but unilaterally dropped it to $1.7T (and quietly agreed to include $304B already authorized in transport funding to be included in $1.7T. Biden ‘signaled’ in meeting with GOP to agree to final $1T only. Both Dems & GOP breaking out $400B on separate corp subsidy bills for manufacturing, tech, R&D, chips, etc. soon to be passed. Smoke & mirror negotiations going on for public consumption.  Rasmus also comments on latest economic stats on jobs and durable goods consumer spending and on political democracy reforms collapsing with HR-1 election reform now DOA + collapse of Commission on Jan. 6 riots. Rasmus concludes fight for Democracy only beginning, but red state Republicans have the longer term advantage as their legislatures move now aggressively to restrict and suppress voting.

 Dr. Rasmus focuses on the recent 40% collapse in Bitcoin crypto currency deflation. What were the forces driving up Bitcoin & cryptos prices in 2020 and how have they changed. Why Bitcoin prices are now collapsing, and will they continue. What is the nature of speculative financial asset investing and the rise of the new global finance capital elite in recent decades. Rasmus discusses the forces deflating Bitcoin demand: China’s new digital currency, US Federal Reserve plans to regulate, tax, and eventually issue its own digital currency, etc. What’s behind China’s announcing its own DC (including efforts to bypass the US dominated SWIFT international payments system and the $US as primary global trading currency)—and thus avoid US economic imperialism key levers of economic control. Why the US Treasury is now moving to regulate and tax cryptos. The show concludes with a briefer assessment of debates on the Biden Infrastructure bill, and why the negotiations now focus on providing $400B in subsidies to auto and semiconductor big corporations first as Biden moves toward bipartisan support for his proposed Infrastructure legislation. The risks to the rests of the bill targeting support for workers and communities.

 Dr. Rasmus addresses the rising chorus from conservative politicians, media, and ‘paid for’ economists that the Fiscal stimulus bills being proposed ($1.8T American Rescue Plan, $2.2T American (Infrastructure) Jobs Plan, and $1T American Families Plan) will soon overheat the US economy and cause rapid rise in inflation. What are the actual forces driving/not driving prices today in 2021? What’s wrong with the way the US government estimates inflation? Why does it underestimate it in order to overestimate real GDP growth? Why are the government’s methodology for estimating inflation kept a ‘secret’ from the public?  Dr. Rasmus also comments on today’s Labor Dept. Jobs Report that missed forecasts of jobs created in April by more than 1 million. What’s going on? And what about that phony argument that workers are getting too much unemployment benefits, causing them to refuse to return to work at poverty level minimum wages ($7.25/hr. or $2.13/hr. for restaurant workers). Check out Dr. Rasmus’s latest print publication, “US 1st Quarter GDP: Recovery or Just Another Rebound’, at http://jackrasmus.com.

 Today’s show dissects US GDP for January-March just reported and explains why the media’s hyping of 6.4% is actually less than 1.6%. What’s really happening with consumption, business spending, government spending, and the trade balance drag on the economy.  Biden’s recent speech announcing his 3rd leg of his fiscal spending stool, the American Families Plan, is then broken down in detail. How much of the three fiscal programs—American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan, American Families Plan—will actually impact the US economy this year 2021? What are the major ways Biden proposes to pay for the spending and how much of Trump’s $4.5 trillion 2018 tax cuts be rolled back in the Biden plan.

 This past week Biden proposed to raise the capital gains tax (on profits from stocks, bonds, real estate sales, financial assets, etc.) from its current 20% to 39.6% on all capital gains profits over $1 million. Business and investor reaction has been apoplectic and immediate. Raising the tax, they claim, will collapse business investment and cut short any economic recovery, they and the business press are proclaiming! But what are the facts on how capital gains effects the real economy, jobs, incomes, business and consumer spending, and therefore US GDP and growth? Today’s Alternative Visions show addresses the growing debate on taxing capital gains by the Biden administration in particular, as well as raising taxes in general to pay for Biden’s Infrastructure plan (aka ‘American Jobs Act’) and his soon to be announced additional ‘Family Act’

 Dr. Rasmus follows up last week’s analysis of the Union defeat at Amazon by placing it in historic context, from the growth of union membership in the 1930s and 1940s to the great strike wave of 1970-71 and the Great Detour and decline of unions under Neoliberal industrial parties that began with Reagan in the 1980s and continues to this day. How the 1947 Taft Hartley and 1959 Landrum Griffin Acts stopped union strikes for recognition in their tracks and how Employer-State strategy cooperation in the 1970s and beyond have rolled back union membership in the private sector from its peak of 35% (80% in basic industries like auto, steel, transport, etc.) to its barely 5% today. Rasmus explains the strategies and tactics used by employers, with aid of government, to prevent unionization in NLRB elections, such as recently occurred at Amazon. How these strategies and tactics—along with offshoring, free trade, onshoring of H1-B visas, outsourcing, contingent, gig, and other work—have together resulted in a near collapse of private sector unionization in America. Rasmus concludes with a comment on the failure of Obama administration do reform the problem of de-unionization and pass ‘card check’, as well as a review of the Biden administration’s recent PRO Act bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives but all but dead in the US Senate committee.

 Dr. Rasmus reviews the notable economic events and data of the past week. Included are Treasury Secretary, Yellen, proposes for a minimum global corporate tax for the 20 advanced economies, in the latest effort to stop the corporate manipulation of taxes and ‘race to the bottom’ globally in corporate tax revenues; the IMF’s proposal to raise $650 billion in Special drawing rights (SDRs) in anticipation of more sovereign debt defaults coming in emerging market economies; Larry Summers’ latest defense of corporations by critiquing plans to raise corporate taxes; latest jobs data showing a million new jobless claims every week despite the growing media puffery about the US economy now booming; growing signs of financial fragility globally and looming future defaults in the US from leisure & hospitality to urban office buildings; dangerous new strains of Covid spreading; and the recent union vote at Amazon.

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