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home_prices2a

Author Ryan McMaken

In recent years, home price indices have seemed to proliferate. Case-Shiller, of course, has been around for a long time, but over the past decade, additional measures have been marketed aggressively by Trulia, CoreLogic, and Zillow, just to name a few.

Measuring home prices has taken on an urgency beyond the real estate industry because for many, home price growth has become something of an indicator of the economy as a whole. If home prices are going up, it is assumed, “the economy” must be doing well. Indeed, we are encouraged to relax when home prices are increasing or holding steady, and we’re supposed to become concerned if home prices are going down.

This is a rather odd way of looking at the price of a basic necessity. If the price of food were going upward at the rate of 7 or 8 percent each year (as has been the case with houses in many markets in recent years) would we all be patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves how wonderful economic conditions are? Or would we be rightly concerned if incomes were not also going up at a similar rate? Would we do the same with shoes and clothing? How about with education?

With housing, though, increases in prices are to be lauded, we are told, even if they outpace wage growth.

We’re Told to Want High Home Prices.

But in today’s economy, if home prices are outpacing wage growth, then housing is becoming less affordable. This is grudgingly admitted even by the supporters of ginning up home prices, but the affordability of housing takes a back seat to the insistence that home prices be preserved at all costs.

Behind all of this is the philosophy that even if the home-price/household-income relationship gets out of whack, most problems will nevertheless be solved if we can just get people into a house. Once someone becomes a homeowner, the theory goes, he’ll be sitting on a huge asset that (almost) always goes up in price, meaning that any homeowner will increase in net worth as the equity in his home increases.

Then, the homeowner can use that equity to buy furniture, appliances, and a host of other consumer goods. With all that consumer spending, the economy takes off and we all win. Rising home prices are just a bump in the road, we are told, because if we can just get everyone into a home, the overall benefit to the economy will be immense.

Making Homes Affordable with More Cheap Debt.

Not surprisingly, we find a sort of crude Keynesianism behind this philosophy. In this way of thinking, the point of homeownership is not to have shelter, but to acquire something that will encourage more consumer spending. In other words, the purpose of homeownership is to increase aggregate demand. The fact that you can live in the house is just a fringe benefit. This macro-obsession is part of the reason why the government has pushed homeownership so aggressively in recent decades.

The fly in the ointment, of course, is if home prices keep going up faster than wages — ceteris paribus — fewer people will be able to save enough money to come up with either the full amount or even a sizable down payment on a loan.

Not to worry, the experts tell us. We’ll just make it easier, with the help of inflationary fiat money, to get an enormous loan that will allow you to buy a house. Thus, rock-bottom interest rates and low down payments have been the name of the game since the late 1980s.

We started to see the end game at work during the last housing bubble when Fannie Mae introduced the 40-year mortgage in 2005, which just emphasized that when it comes to being a homeowner, the idea is not to pay off the mortgage, but to “buy” a house and just pay the monthly payment until one moves to another house and gets a new thirty- or forty-year loan.

It Pays To Be in Debt.

On the surface of it, it’s hard to see how this scenario is fundamentally different from just paying rent every month. If the homeowner stops paying the monthly payment, he’s out on the street, and the bank keeps the house, which is very similar to the scenario in which a renter stops paying a landlord. There’s (at least) one big difference here, however. It makes sense for the homeowner to get a home loan rather than rent an apartment because — if it’s a fixed-rate loan — price inflation ensures the real monthly payment will go down every month. Residential rents, on the other hand, tend to keep up with inflation.

But why would any lending institution make these sorts of long-term loans if the payment in real terms keeps getting smaller? After all, thirty years is a long time for something to go wrong.

Lenders are willing and able to do this because the loans are subsidized and underwritten through government creations like Fannie Mae (which buys up these loans on the secondary market), through bailouts, and through a myriad of other federal programs such as FHA. Naturally, in an unhampered market, a loan of such a long term would require high interest rates to cover the risk. But, Congress and the Fed have come to the rescue with promises of bailouts and easy money, meaning cheap thirty-year loans continue to live on.

So, what we end up with is a complex system of subsidies and favoritism on the part of lenders, homeowners, government agencies, and the Fed. The price of homes keeps going up, increasing the net worth of homeowners, and banks can make long-term loans on fairly risky terms because they know bailouts of various sorts will come if things go wrong.

But problems begin to arise when increases in home prices begin to outpace access to easy money and cheap loans. Indeed, we’re now seeing that homeownership rates are going down in spite of low interest rates, and vacancy rates in rental housing are at a twenty-year low. Meanwhile, new production in housing units is at 1992 levels, offering little relief from rising prices and rents. Obviously, something isn’t going according to plan.

Who Loses?

The old debt-based tricks that once kept homeownership climbing and accessible in the face of rising home prices are no longer working.

From a free market’s perspective, renting a home is neither good nor bad, but American policymakers long ago decided to favor homeowners over renters. Consequently, we’re faced with an economic system that pushes renters toward homeownership — price inflation and the tax code punishes renters more than owners — while simultaneously pushing home prices higher and higher.

During the last housing bubble, however, as homeownership levels climbed, few noticed or cared about this. So many renters became homeowners that rental vacancies climbed to record highs from 2004 to 2009. But in our current economy, one cannot avoid rising rents or hedge against inflation by easily leaving rental housing behind.

This time around, the cost of purchasing housing is going up by 6 to 10 percent per year, but few renters can join the ranks of the homeowners to enjoy the windfall. Instead, they just face record-high rent increases and a record-low inventory in for-sale houses.

This time around, the cost of purchasing housing is going up by 6 to 10 percent per year, but few renters can join the ranks of the homeowners to enjoy the windfall. Instead, they just face record-high rent increases and a record-low inventory in for-sale houses.

TLB uk recommends you read more pertinent articles at Mises.org

Image from istock

GREED

HOW CORPORATE LAW INHIBITS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

A Corporate Attorney Proposes a ‘Code for Corporate Citizenship’ in State Law
By: Robert C Hinkley

After 23 years as a corporate securities attorney-advising large corporations on securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions-I left my position as partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom because I was disturbed by the game. I realized that the many social ills created by corporations stem directly from corporate law. It dawned on me that the law, in its current form, actually inhibits executives and corporations from being socially responsible. So in June 2000 I quit my job and decided to devote the next phase of my life to making people aware of this problem. My goal is to build consensus to change the law so it encourages good corporate citizenship, rather than inhibiting it.

The provision in the law I am talking about is the one that says the purpose of the corporation is simply to make money for shareholders. Every jurisdiction where corporations operate has its own law of corporate governance. But remarkably, the corporate design contained in hundreds of corporate laws throughout the world is nearly identical. That design creates a governing body to manage the corporation-usually a board of directors-and dictates the duties of those directors. In short, the law creates corporate purpose. That purpose is to operate in the interests of shareholders. In Maine, where I live, this duty of directors is in Section 716 of the business corporation act, which reads: …the directors and officers of a corporation shall exercise their powers and discharge their duties with a view to the interests of the corporation and of the shareholders….

Although the wording of this provision differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, its legal effect does not. This provision is the motive behind all corporate actions everywhere in the world. Distilled to its essence, it says that the people who run corporations have a legal duty to shareholders, and that duty is to make money. Failing this duty can leave directors and officers open to being sued by shareholders.

Section 716 dedicates the corporation to the pursuit of its own self- interest (and equates corporate self-interest with shareholder self- interest). No mention is made of responsibility to the public interest. Section 716 and its counterparts explain two things. First, they explain why corporations find social issues like human rights irrelevant–because they fall outside the corporation’s legal mandate. Second, these provisions explain why executives behave differently than they might as individual citizens, because the law says their only obligation in business is to make money.

This design has the unfortunate side effect of largely eliminating personal responsibility. Because corporate law generally regulates corporations but not executives, it leads executives to become inattentive to justice. They demand their subordinates “make the numbers,” and pay little attention to how they do so. Directors and officers know their jobs, salaries, bonuses, and stock options depend on delivering profits for shareholders.

Companies believe their duty to the public interest consists of complying with the law. Obeying the law is simply a cost. Since it interferes with making money, it must be minimized-using devices like lobbying, legal hairsplitting, and jurisdiction shopping. Directors and officers give little thought to the fact that these activities may damage the public interest. Lower-level employees know their livelihoods depend upon satisfying superiors’ demands to make money. They have no incentive to offer ideas that would advance the public interest unless they increase profits. Projects that would serve the public interest–but at a financial cost to the corporation–are considered naive.

Corporate law thus casts ethical and social concerns as irrelevant, or as stumbling blocks to the corporation’s fundamental mandate. That’s the effect the law has inside the corporation. Outside the corporation the effect is more devastating.

It is the law that leads corporations to actively disregard harm to all interests other than those of shareholders. When toxic chemicals are spilled, forests destroyed, employees left in poverty, or communities devastated through plant shutdowns, corporations view these as unimportant side effects outside their area of concern. But when the company’s stock price dips, that’s a disaster. The reason is that, in our legal framework, a low stock price leaves a company vulnerable to takeover or means the CEO’s job could be at risk.

In the end, the natural result is that corporate bottom line goes up, and the state of the public good goes down. This is called privatizing the gain and externalizing the cost.

This system design helps explain why the war against corporate abuse is being lost, despite decades of effort by thousands of organizations. Until now, tactics used to confront corporations have focused on where and how much companies should be allowed to damage the public interest, rather than eliminating the reason they do it. When public interest groups protest a new power plant, mercury poisoning, or a new big box store, the groups don’t examine the corporations’ motives. They only seek to limit where damage is created (not in our back yard) and how much damage is created (a little less, please).

But the where-and-how-much approach is reactive, not proactive. Even when corporations are defeated in particular battles, they go on the next day, in other ways and other places, to pursue their own private interests at the expense of the public.

I believe the battle against corporate abuse should be conducted in a more holistic way. We must inquire why corporations behave as they do, and look for a way to change these underlying motives. Once we have arrived at a viable systemic solution, we should then dictate the terms of engagement to corporations, not let them dictate terms to us.

We must remember that corporations were invented to serve mankind. Mankind was not invented to serve corporations. Corporations in many ways have the rights of citizens, and those rights should be balanced by obligations to the public.

Many activists cast the fundamental issue as one of “corporate greed,” but that’s off the mark. Corporations are incapable of a human emotion like greed. They are artificial beings created by law. The real question is why corporations behave as if they are greedy. The answer is the design of corporate law.

We can change that design. We can make corporations more responsible to the public good by amending the law that says the pursuit of profit takes precedence over the public interest. I believe this can best be achieved by changing corporate law to make directors personally responsible for harms done.

Let me give you a sense of how director responsibility works in the current system. Under federal securities laws, directors are held personally liable for false and misleading statements made in prospectuses used to sell securities. If a corporate prospectus contains a material falsehood and investors suffer damage as a result, investors can sue each director personally to recover the damage. Believe me, this provision grabs the attention of company directors. They spend hours reviewing drafts of a prospectus to ensure it complies with the law. Similarly, everyone who works on the prospectus knows that directors’ personal wealth is at stake, so they too take great care with accuracy.

That’s an example of how corporate behavior changes when directors are held personally responsible. Everyone in the corporation improves their game to meet the challenge. The law has what we call an in terrorem effect. Since the potential penalties are so severe, directors err on the side of caution. While this has not eliminated securities fraud, it has over the years reduced it to an infinitesimal percentage of the total capital raised. I propose that corporate law be changed in a similar manner–to make individuals responsible for seeing that the pursuit of profit does not damage the public interest.

To pave the way for such a change, we must challenge the myth that making profits and protecting the public interest are mutually exclusive goals. The same was once said about profits and product quality, before Japanese manufacturers taught us otherwise. If we force companies to respect the public interest while they make money, business people will figure out how to do both.

The specific change I suggest is simple: add 26 words to corporate law and thus create what I call the “Code for Corporate Citizenship.” In Maine, this would mean amending section 716 to add the following clause. Directors and officers would still have a duty to make money for shareholders, …

“but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, public safety, the communities in which the corporation operates or the dignity of its employees.”

This simple amendment would effect a dramatic change in the underlying mechanism that drives corporate malfeasance. It would make individuals responsible for the damage companies cause to the public interest, and would be enforced much the same way as securities laws are now. Negligent failure to abide by the code would result in the corporation, its directors, and its officers being liable for the full amount of the damage they cause. In addition to civil liability, the attorney general would have the right to criminally prosecute intentional acts. Injunctive relief-which stops specific behaviors while the legal process proceeds-would also be available.

Compliance would be in the self-interest of both individuals and the company. No one wants to see personal assets subject to a lawsuit. Such a prospect would surely temper corporate managers’ willingness to make money at the expense of the public interest. Similarly, investors tend to shy away from companies with contingent liabilities, so companies that severely or repeatedly violate the Code for Corporate Citizenship might see their stock price fall or their access to capital dry up.

Many would say such a code could never be enacted. But they’re mistaken. I take heart from a 2000 Business Week/Harris Poll that asked Americans which of the following two propositions they support more strongly:

Corporations should have only one purpose–to make the most profit for their shareholders–and pursuit of that goal will be best for America in the long run. –or– Corporations should have more than one purpose. They also owe something to their workers and the communities in which they operate, and they should sometimes sacrifice some profit for the sake of making things better for their workers and communities.

An overwhelming 95 percent of Americans chose the second proposition. Clearly, this finding tells us that our fate is not sealed. When 95 percent of the public supports a proposition, enacting that proposition into law should not be impossible.

If business people resist the notion of legal change, we can remind them that corporations exist only because laws allow them to exist. Without these laws, owners would be fully responsible for debts incurred and damages caused by their businesses. Because the public creates the law, corporations owe their existence as much to the public as they do to shareholders. They should have obligations to both. It simply makes no sense that society’s most powerful citizens have no concern for the public good.

It also makes no sense to endlessly chase after individual instances of corporate wrongdoing, when that wrongdoing is a natural result of the system design. Corporations abuse the public interest because the law tells them their only legal duty is to maximize profits for shareholders. Until we change the law of corporate governance, the problem of corporate abuse can never fully be solved.

The above is a Corporate Social Responsibility Report from Business Ethics, January/February 2002 issue

Email the author:

hinkley1

Source: http://www.nancho.net/bigdna/ccbizeth.html

Dead bull

By:

As first reported by Forbes, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) dropped a bomb in its October Fiscal Monitor Report.  The report paints a dire picture for high-debt nations that fail to aggressively “mobilize domestic revenue,” which is code for “aggressively tax its citizens.”  It goes on to build a case for drastic measures and recommends a series of escalating income and consumption tax increases – culminating in the direct confiscation of assets.  

Why is the IMF proposing this?

Because global  governments and central banks pumped trillions of dollars of YOUR money into the banks and stock market over the last several years, catapulting public debts to tens of TRILLIONS of dollars. But now,governments and central banks can no longer sustain these debt levels, and global wealth confiscation is their only way to maintain the Ponzi scheme. So it’s more apparent than ever, if you want to keep your savings & retirement out of the hands of desperate governments, there’s only one thing you can do.

The Wolves Are Starving for Your Money

First, here is the excerpt where the IMF clearly advocates a tax on your private savings to pay down government debt:

“The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a “capital levy”—a one-off tax on private wealth—as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability… The tax rates needed to bring down public debt to pre-crisis levels are sizable.  Reducing debt ratios to end-2007 levels would require a tax rate of about 10 percent on households with positive net wealth.”

You read that right:  the IMF wants to take 10% of your private savings in addition to the taxes you’re already paying.  But is that only the beginning of the proposed wealth confiscation?  The report’s most chilling aspect is the clinical manner in which it discusses how all governments can work together to track and tax your savings:

“Financial wealth is mobile, and so, ultimately, are people. … There may be a case for taxing different forms of wealth differently according to their mobility… Substantial progress likely requires enhanced international cooperation to make it harder for the very well-off to evade taxation by placing funds elsewhere.”

As Forbes points out, there are three key points to take away from this report:

  1. IMF economists know there are not enough rich people to fund today’s governments even if 100 percent of the assets of the 1 percent were expropriated. That means that all households with positive net wealth—everyone with retirement savings or home equity—would have their assets plundered under the IMF’s formulation.
  2. Such a repudiation of private property will not pay off Western governments’ debts or fund budgets going forward. It will merely “restore debt sustainability,” allowing free-spending sovereigns to keep tapping the bond markets until the next crisis comes along—for which stronger measures will be required, of course.
  3. If politicians should fail to engage in this kind of wholesale robbery, the only alternative scenario the IMF posits is government bankruptcy and hyperinflation. The IMF makes no proposes to reign in the Ponzi-scheme entitlement programs that are bankrupting us.

Forbes argues that this is where the bankruptcy of the modern entitlement state is taking us—capital controls and exit restrictions “so the proverbial four wolves and a lamb can vote on what’s for dinner.”

There’s Only One Place to Hide

With our desperate governments gaining unprecedented access to your personal savings anywhere in the world, you need to take action NOW to protect your savings & retirement from possible capital controls.  But if the government has its hands in your bank accounts, retirement accounts and brokerage accounts, is any place safe?

Absolutely. There’s ONE asset class this sits outside the financial system and is completely secure from government confiscation and global economic collapse:  Gold & Silver.  Gold & Silver have been the best wealth protectors for over 5,000 years and have survived every government & currency collapse in history.  Today, physical gold & silver are selling in record numbers around the world.  Central banks around the world and nations like China are stockpiling gold as a hedge to any possible collapse of all the dollars they hold.

The government has spent way beyond its limits.  And now you know that the government is seizing control of your financial accounts.  So the time is now.  Protect your savings & retirement with physical gold & silver before you have nothing left to protect.

See: The IMF Proposes Global Wealth Confiscation

Source: Wholesale Direct Metals

*****************

TLB recommends you visit Global Research for more pertinent articles and information.

See featured article here

middle-class-tombstone

By: Jack A. Smith

A complex class system exists in the United States, but the mass media and political rhetoric generally reduces it to three components — one middle class, and two economic generalizations — rich and the poor. Indeed the term “class” itself, as a means of defining the economic and social status of the population, has been fading away. There are, of course, a number of other classes, particularly the all-important capitalist class.

Virtually the only class ever mentioned these days is the middle class, and now that seems on the way out, at least until the next election if not longer. The New York Times reported May 12 that political candidates for election in 2016 are no longer mentioning the middle class because it may remind people that this once sacrosanct vehicle for attaining the “American Dream” seems to be falling apart and taking the dream down with it. This is indeed news, and we will get back to it.

Whatever happened to the term upper class? It’s hardly used at all these days. Gone as well is general usage of lower class, lower middle class, and upper middle class — all popular designations in the past but rare now. They may not have been scientific, but people knew what they meant.

Remember when there was a “working class” in our country? The frequent reference to this class a few decades ago has nearly vanished today, except in some academic and economic circles, a few militant unions and in the political left. The working class was split up. Its members became sold on the idea that benefits and security awaited their families in the middle class. The poor and very low-wage workers were pushed into their own weaker category, belonging neither to the working class nor middle class. One reason for this entire transformation was to suppress the memory and continuing existence of a more militant era in U.S. history when the working class and the union movement was strong and tough.

Nearly all unions now avoid mention of the working class, substituting “working families” or “employees,” but mostly the unions now identify their members as part of that all-embracing and utterly misleading ticket to paradise known as membership in the middle class. The U.S. government and the corporate elite worked together to transform a bothersome working class into a relatively placid middle class desiring to retain its new status.

It was a cunning way to disarm the working class and the union movement as well. In the U.S. today, over 60% of the work force holds the same working class jobs but in the more exalted middle class and have little say production or anything else. The wages and benefits of virtually all working class jobs have been stagnant for many years, layoffs are frequent, joblessness is higher and the unions much weaker.

Virtually obliterated is the term “ruling class” to describe that relatively small group of billionaire and upper millionaire capitalist plutocrats, corporate leaders, bank presidents, financiers and their highly paid henchmen who possess the power to decisively influence if not totally control the political system (including elections to high office and legislation), the financial system (they largely were responsible for the Great Recession) and the functioning of Big Business of our society.

This boss of bosses in the U.S.is hiding in plain sight but its existence dare not be acknowledged because it emphatically contradicts the very essence of the democratic ideal that Washington pretends to embody. All told, according to economics professor Michael Zweig in the July-Aug. 2006 issue of Monthly Review: “The entire U.S. ruling class could fit into the seats at Yankee Stadium (capacity: 54,000).

Many of the missing class categories were subsumed into the middle class, supposedly consisting of individuals or families earning between $35,000 and $100,000 a year. In reality, government and business propaganda long suggested that the middle class is one big happy family earning between $20,000 and $200,000 annually. After that the sky was the limit for anyone who was willing to work hard. We were all in the same boat together, except those who refused to row and, of course, those who owned the boat.

This all seemed like a good deal for those who hadn’t already been tossed overboard until it was finally perceived by millions of working people during the bitter experience of the Great Recession beginning in September, 2008, that the middle class seemed to be in the process of decomposition. Government safety nets primarily served the rich, big banks and Wall Street. Six million families, often with children, were forced from their homes by foreclosures during and after the latest recession, but aside from occasional rhetoric and skimpy deeds, the Obama Administration didn’t actually give a damn. The logic of neo-liberal economics dictates that such suffering by the working class leads to economic recovery in a recession.

Suddenly things got clearer for many workers:  Washington’s capitalist economics and trade deals were leading to off-shoring jobs to lower wage countries, to weak unions, wage stagnation, increasing economic inequality and expanding hard times for multitudes of people.

Finally, many Americans found the target when they ingested the fact that the top 1% of the population owned 42.7% of the nation’s wealth; the next highest 19% owned 50.3%; and the bottom 80% of the entire population managed to hold on to 7% of U.S. wealth. This and other realities have aroused the consciousness of millions of people to the extent that they have come to doubt or simply disbelieve certain of the revered myths about America they were taught throughout their lives. Perhaps the most important in this regard is that membership in the middle class is a one-way ticket to economic security for themselves and their families.

Now, for the first time since the end of World War II in 1945, the corporate class has decided to downplay the importance of the middle class in the next elections, according to a New York Times article headlined, “Middle Class Is Disappearing, at Least From Vocabulary of Possible 2016 Contenders.” It reads in part:

“Hillary Rodham Clinton calls them ‘everyday Americans.’ Scott Walker prefers ‘hard-working taxpayers.’ Rand Paul says he speaks for ‘people who work for the people who own businesses.’ Bernie Sanders talks about ‘ordinary Americans.’

“The once ubiquitous term ‘middle class’ has gone conspicuously missing from the 2016 campaign trail, as candidates and their strategists grasp for new terms for an unsettled economic era. The phrase, long synonymous with the American Dream, now evokes anxiety, an uncertain future and a lifestyle that is increasingly out of reach….

“The move away from ‘middle class’ is the rhetorical result of a critical shift: After three decades of income gains favoring the highest earners and job growth being concentrated at the bottom of the pay scale, the middle has for millions of families become a precarious place to be.

“A social stratum that once signified a secure, aspirational lifestyle, with a house in the suburbs, children set to attend college, retirement savings in the bank and, maybe, an occasional trip to Disneyland now connotes fears about falling behind, sociologists, economists and political scientists say….”

This is exceptionally important. True, as the middle class and its promise of milk and honey is faltering, the politicians and those who control them will pursue other ways to manipulate and deceive the American people, but there are limitations. Great lessons have been and are continuing to be learned by the people. It’s going to take a remarkable and above all inclusive economic recovery to return to the status quo ante — and it is improbable that this will happen. The Democrats will adopt a populist pose during the 2016 elections but if they win no serious changes will transpire, based on the performance of the last three Democratic presidents.

The popularization of the idea that “We are the 99%” (in opposition to the 1% who rule America) was the best thing Occupy Wall Street did in its relatively brief existence. It was an eye-opener for so many people. It gave a concrete form to an abstract idea. So that’s who’s doing this to us!

It would be shortsighted in the extreme for the progressive and left movements not to follow up in a big way on the deepened consciousness of the American people about unequal distribution of wealth, Washington’s failure to protect democracy, the degeneration of the electoral process, the increasing exploitation of workers, the decline of the vaunted middle class and the extraordinary power of the 1% ruling class that controls the U.S. on behalf of a neoliberal form of warrior capitalism.

Jack A. Smith is editor of the Activist Newsletter and is former editor of the (U.S.) Guardian Newsweekly. He may be reached at jacdon@earthlink.net or http://activistnewsletter.blogspot.com.

See featured article here

TLB recommends you visit Global Research for more pertinent articles and information.

 

Ron Paul

Photo by Luke Sharrett/Getty Images

By TLB Contributor: Ken LaRive

I think, most likely, that the next several essays will be dedicated to information gleaned from a new book I am reading called “America 2020, The Survival Blueprint,” by Porter Stansberry. It got my attention by an infomercial done by Ron Paul, who was not only very articulate and practiced, but promised to give a viable solution to what seems evident to be a mega economic crash looming on our horizon. I saw right off, within the first fifty pages, that this crash can not be stopped for a variety of reasons. In essence, it is because there is no opposing counter-force greater than the corporate and banking onslaught that is dismantling and bleeding us dry. BLOC countries want to displace the Petro Dollar, and have lost confidence in the Petro Dollar’s ability to be a stabilizing and uniting force. Our military is out of control, and we are creating enemies that are uniting to oppose a Military Industrial Complex that is unaccountable to the American tax payer, and our Congress, and is above our Constitution and International Law. Just a day before 9-11 Donald Rumsfeld stated that there was over 2.2 trillion missing from the Pentagon, and the next day those records were destroyed by a phantom plane that looked like an ICBM missile. Just so happens it destroyed those records in the Pentagon, along with most all CIA and FBI records in building Seven, the forgotten building that fell at free-fall later that day in New York. Though it had sustained minimal damage, it fell as fast as a dime tossed in the air, without resistance… Along with that, our spending, which has now given us a National debt of of 18.7 trillion, almost doubling since Obama has been in office, shows no accountability as to where this money is being spent, as it is printed out of thin air… And the American population is oblivious to these facts, as they struggle to survive in a dying economy, and new racial hatred promoted to divide us… phew, let me start another paragraph…

Here are a few facts to consider, if you have the stomach for such things…

The National debt is one thing, but if one adds up all government, corporate, and consumer debt, that number is about $60 trillion. It is so large that there is no rate of interest that could sustain us? With just a 6% interest on this debt, it would cost one trillion a year just to pay that acquired interest. Now I’m not an economist, but I’m no moron ether, because it is public record that the Government brings in less them $3 trillion a year in taxes. Taxes. Can you wrap your mind around that?

The debt is divided into three main areas of the economy, all bubbles ready to burst.

“The largest threat is the U.S. Corporate bond market, particularly junk bonds.”

These are bonds, called high yield bond, that are issued by less than credible and creditworthy companies, and historically yield less than 5% annually. And yet, in the mid-2014, were up over 6%. Why? It is because banks are issuing unprecedented credit to less than investment-grade firms. High risk, in debt, without working capital, and any negative in the economy would cause default… It happened in 2007, and how did that go? Have we lost our ever-loving minds?

To counter this the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates at near zero, and this causes the American consumer to spend instead of save. There is, better sit down, a policy by the Federal Reserve to buy billions, if not trillions in Mortgage backed debt, junk bonds, and Treasury Bonds is causing a bull market in bonds. As the Feds buy these bonds it pushes bond rates down, forcing other bond buyers to take more chances with sub-quality bonds having higher yields. Can’t say I understand this convolution completely, but what goes up as a bubble will always come down, and when it certainly does, it will wipe out a huge amount of capital, your life savings. Debt issuers would have already defaulted, but keeping interest rates artificially low has made it possible for risky investments to refinance their debt at a lower rate, just like the adds telling us on TV that Obama has instituted an ability to refinance your home or business, another finger on the same hand strangling our future… and all of it is debt, on the backs of our children.

Student Debt

Now totals more than $1 trillion. The average college student graduates with a 24K debt, and immediately upon graduation racks up on average more that 6K in debt by his new shiny credit card. With his annual income being averaged at $36K, in our economy of food stamp recipients, that is a personal debt-to-income level of almost 100%. Is that sustainable? It is a bubble about to pop, and it will be catastrophic. Oh, but everything is just fine America, as Big Brother manages every aspect of your life from cradle to grave. Bernie Sanders is said to be running for President next election. He is a Socialist Progressive, and the perfect figurehead when everything come to an end. Say goodbye forever to your Constitution, you civil liberties, as we default in this so called “sub-prime” crisis.

The Automotive sector

Is the third bubble about to burst. Where once a car loan was low risk to the lender, now anyone can get a loan. But, buy, buy! Good credit and a substantial down payment is replaced with a seven year loan, borrowing money for the down payment, with 34% of this debt being sub-prime credits. One imbalance, one downward trend, and it will pop, and the sound will be heard all across our nation.

Sub-prime lending was the cause of the housing bust, and we are doing it all over again, and this time it could be far worse, with a depression that will be long-lasting, because we have no mechanism, like a manufacturing base, to pull it back up. The United States is now the biggest debtor in human history, and our children will be burdened with far more then having to live in squalor… they will have to fight not only world bank carpet baggers who will swoop down on all nations defaulting, but fight in another world war that will dwarf all others, as we try to defend our shores from the hordes wanting what is left. But it is far worse than even that. The same banks will profit. I’d like to think that they would be held accountable for what they have so orchestrated, but finding them will not be easy, as one corporation owns another, and another, they are well hidden…

It is not just corruptions, however, immoral and desolate, but actual ignorance as to the mechanisms that creates and destroys economies. In the next essays to come I will try with all that I can muster to find the truth of this matter, and hopeful have the ability to explain it. It is the PETRO DOLLAR that has ushered in this new, and very false sense of security, since WW2, and has become an unsustainable future. Our constitution and Bill of Rights was once a viable part of our nation, and it ushered in an unparalleled and viable economy of free enterprise called the industrial revolution. Unfortunately, our country was sold out by traitors, and our future given to a banking cartel of international central banks and a Federal Reserve who is above our government and rule of law …and we have been bleed dry now for over a hundred years. They now own not only our land, but the Liberty promised to our children. I personally do not see, other than armed conflict, any way to take our country back. All I can hope for is to survive the coming inevitable storm. And what I find, I will share with you…

Think carefully before asking for justice. Mercy might be safer.

Mason Cooley

Author’s Note: We can do more than survive this coming train wreck. We can thrive. There seems to be many ways to prosper in chaos, and one way is acquiring tangible silver. Of all of the precious metals, this seems to be the best buy now, at 16.6 today. You should have 5 to 10 percent of your total assets in tangible silver. Something you can hold in your hand… and it is suggested you buy junk silver, dimes, quarters, and half dollars. And I will give you a method for buying… with more ideas next time…

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By TLB Contributor: Dave Hodges

Despite the Global elite’s best efforts as well as Obama’s best efforts to conceal the most draconian political act in the history of mankind through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, some disturbing details are beginning to emerge as to how encompassing this totalitarian piece of legislation is going to be.

Say Goodbye to Alternative Health Care and Growing Your Own Food

As we know, the United Nation’s Agenda 21, now known as Earth First, has long attempted to wipe out the alternative health care industry through the control of Codex Alimentarius.

The United Nation’s World Health Organization is holding an implementation conference in July of 2015 as the global elite are clearly making their move to go after all alternative health care as part of the TPP. Please note that the dates of the conference coincide with the announced and “formal” beginning of Jade Helm.

The leaked documents also speak to the fact that the TPP will also control all seeds and all planting. This will allow the UN and its host governments and corporate sponsors to gain control over all food and utilize food as a weapon. There are over 30 articles which provide an analysis of leaked documents that address both the Codex Alimentarius takeover as well as the control over all food.

This is tantamount to using food as a political tool in order to enforce political compliance. Could this be why there is a drought, to the magnitude in California, in which the state will run out of water within a year.  What is inexcusable, is that California has not even attempted to use any form of weather modification. Since the 1970’s, where I grew up in Colorado, the state used primitive cloud seeding to bring moisture in the form of snow to the ski resorts in the Colorado Rockies. I say primitive, because if one reviews the weather modification permits on sites such as Dr. Nick Begich’s site in which he identifies patents and technology designed for weather control that are, in some cases, decades old.

Transferring the American Economy to a Corporate, Rollerball Style of Dictatorship 

When something is secret and kept from you, it is usually very bad for you! As America races toward her date with destiny, there is yet another “fundamentally transforming” event coming her way and that event is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a plot designed to hand over control of the world’s governments to private corporate interests and it is all being done in secret. Even Congress is not allowed to examine the TPP provisions.

isdsUnder the TPP, for example, GMO labels for US food would not be allowed. To make matters worse, there is an obscure portion of the TPP and other trade agreements which is so diabolical, so devastating, that the planet will eventually resemble the movie, Rollerball, in which a small number of corporations will rule the planet.

Many of us in the media believe that some of the effects of the TPP will be felt before the coming war and martial law crackdown. However, after careful analysis, I am convinced that the brunt of the TPP will be felt after the America we know has been totally taken over in a post-war and post-economic collapse scenario. In other words, following World War III, the United Nations, as a body, will be replaced with the United Corporations. At the end of the day, it does not matter when the implementation of the TPP comes, because when it does, America will no longer be recognizable to anyone who has grown up in this once great country. The reason that America will no longer be recognizable is because America will no longer exist because of a key provision contained in the TPP.

Within a few short years, following implementation of the TPP, which will surely grow from the 40% of the world’s population that it will soon control as it will eventually encompass 100% of the planet. The TPP will eliminate all nation states as the ruling authority and it will be supplanted by corporate authority. This will be made possible because of an obscure provision of the TPP known as the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS is a key component of the TPP.  Unfortunately, for the planet, ISDS principles are being negotiated as I write these words, outside of the TPP, in ongoing trade deals between the United States and the European Union. ISDS allows corporations to sue governments,  for any government action (at any level, including local government level) which hinders a corporation’s future profits. Literally, Monsanto could provably be poisoning the entire population of a nation and the nation could do nothing which might result in the loss of profits to Monsanto. This also means that as a private citizen, if you organize a boycott against Monsanto, you could be sued in a foreign court for obstructing Monsanto profits and you should be aware that there are many foreign courts that jail legal participants for unpaid debts to corporations.

If a corporation feels that a government has impeded its ability to maximize profits, a suit is filed, outside the country being sued, and the case will be heard by an arbitration panel of trade lawyers, in a jurisdiction totally of the corporation’s choosing. Under ISDS, the dispute panel may only consider the ‘free trade’ values of the case. No other factors may be considered when deciding the case. This means that these corporate panels must disregard values of public health, civil liberties, environmental protection, or the rights of workers (e.g. working conditions) or any other Constitutionally protected liberties.

This is the end of representative government as we know and the commencement of oligarchic corporate control over every individual on the planet in which every life-sustaining resource on the planet can be denied for noncompliance.

The Concidence of  TPP, Economic Collapse and Jade Helm

The American is in near free-fall. The Daily Coin published the following two days ago and this should send chills up and down every American’s spine.

“U.S. Macro “Suprise” index has never collapsed this fast (Zerohedge):  click to enlarge

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USmacro1

I wanted to show those graphs from Zerohedge with my edits (right graph) because they show the extreme dislocation between the true economic fundamentals and the financial markets in the U.S. “US Macro” data is the differential between Wall Street’s “brain trust” estimates for various economic data and the actual reported result. The negative differential between the expectations of supposedly educated, bright economic professionals and reality has never been greater.

The economic data – almost all of it – has been collapsing at a rate as great or greater than it was collapsing in 2008.”

Connecting the Dots

It would be easy to cite at least a dozen of other sites which are essentially saying the same thing: Without a dramatic turnaround, the American economy will soon collapse. Food will not be transported, shortages will occur and rioting will commence.

My operating hypothesis is that the first move in the dominoes which are about to fall will be an economic collapse.  This will necessitate  a state of martial law because hungry looters will be preying on those with life-sustaining assets. As the lies of this administration in which they have repeatedly proclaimed that all is well with the economy become exposed, no government official will be safe from an angry public.

On the heels of an economic collapse will be the implementation of Jade Helm dissident extractions and the full implementation of martial law. Amidst the chaos, people living in border states will soon find out just how right the Judicial Watch report was when it told us of the existence an ISIS base camp eight miles from El Paso. Do we really need an ISIS camp to know that ISIS is here after the FBI Director told America that ISIS has a presence in all 50 states? Didn’t we just see the first known ISIS attack on American soil at the Geller “Draw a prophet” event?

Under the cover of chaos, ISIS will no doubt unleash their terror upon America, particularly those living in border states.  The net effect of the coincidence of these events will result in the collapse of the government as we now know it. Congress and the Supreme Court will become totally irrelevant. The President and the forces that he represents will become all powerful  and Obama will not likely leave office, much to Clinton’s dismay.

When the smoke clears, there will be no government, only corporate rule as per the movie Rollerball. The TPP will be the law of the planet and God help us because the purge will begin. What purge you ask? The purge we are seeing  in places like Montana in which Montana just settled the question on which way this will be going as they passed a law that identifies Christians as targets. Montana’s Disclose Act SB289 nicknamed “the “Dark Money Bill” and it is also called the “Conservative Christian Identification Act” provides a clear indication where this is going. This law mandates that if a particular church takes a stand on political issues (e.g. abortion, gay marriage), every churchgoer who gives contributions to the church will be listed on a political database “list” and their addresses will published for all to see.

If these events are not interconnected we have an amazing set of coincidences now don’t we? Americans are in for some very dark days, Christians in particular.

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TLB recommends you visit Dave at The Common Sense Show for more pertinent articles and information.

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Paul Craig Roberts, Keynote Address to the Annual Conference of the Financial West Group, New Orleans, May 7, 2015

The defining events of our time are the collapse of the Soviet Union, 9/11, jobs offshoring, and financial deregulation. In these events we find the basis of our foreign policy problems and our economic problems.

The United States has always had a good opinion of itself, but with the Soviet collapse self-satisfaction reached new heights. We became the exceptional people, the indispensable people, the country chosen by history to exercise hegemony over the world. This neoconservative doctrine releases the US government from constraints of international law and allows Washington to use coercion against sovereign states in order to remake the world in its own image.

To protect Washington’s unique Uni-power status that resulted from the Soviet collapse, Paul Wolfowitz in 1992 penned what is known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine. This doctrine is the basis for Washington’s foreign policy. The doctrine states:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

In March of this year the Council on Foreign Relations extended this doctrine to China.

Washington is now committed to blocking the rise of two large nuclear-armed countries. This commitment is the reason for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda. China is now confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington’s control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests.

9/11 served to launch the neoconservatives’ war for hegemony in the Middle East. 9/11 also served to launch the domestic police state. While civil liberties have shriveled at home, the US has been at war for almost the entirety of the 21st century, wars that have cost us, according to Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, at least $6 trillion dollars. These wars have gone very badly. They have destabilized governments in an important energy producing area. And the wars have vastly multiplied the “terrorists,” the quelling of which was the official reason for the wars.

Just as the Soviet collapse unleashed US hegemony, it gave rise to jobs offshoring. The Soviet collapse convinced China and India to open their massive underutilized labor markets to US capital. US corporations, with any reluctant ones pushed by large retailers and Wall Street’s threat of financing takeovers, moved manufacturing, industrial, and tradable professional service jobs, such as software engineering, abroad.

This decimated the American middle class and removed ladders of upward mobility. US GDP and tax base moved with the jobs to China and India. US real median family incomes ceased to grow and declined. Without income growth to drive the economy, Alan Greenspan resorted to an expansion of consumer debt, which has run its course. Currently there is nothing to drive the economy.

When the goods and services produced by offshored jobs are brought to the US to be sold, they enter as imports, thus worsening the trade balance. Foreigners use their trade surpluses to acquire US bonds, equities, companies, and real estate. Consequently, interests, dividends, capital gains, and rents are redirected from Americans to foreigners. This worsens the current account deficit.

In order to protect the dollar’s exchange value in the face of large current account deficits and money creation in support of the balance sheets of “banks too big to fail,” Washington has the Japanese and European central banks printing money hand over fist. The printing of yen and euros offsets the printing of dollars and thus protects the dollar’s exchange value.

The Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial and investment banking had been somewhat eroded prior to the total repeal during the second term of the Clinton regime. This repeal, together with the failure to regulate over the counter derivatives, the removal of position limits on speculators, and the enormous financial concentration that resulted from the dead letter status of anti-trust laws, produced not free market utopia but a serious and ongoing financial crisis. The liquidity issued in behalf of this crisis has resulted in stock and bond market bubbles.

Implications, consequences, solutions:

When Russia blocked the Obama regime’s planned invasion of Syria and intended bombing of Iran, the neoconservatives realized that while they had been preoccupied with their wars in the Middle East and Africa for a decade, Putin had restored the Russian economy and military.

The first objective of the Wolfowitz doctrine–to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival–had been breached. Here was Russia telling the US “No.” The British Parliament joined in by vetoing UK participation in a US invasion of Syria. The Uni-Power status was shaken.

This redirected the attention of the neoconservatives from the Middle East to Russia. Over the previous decade Washington had invested $5 billion in financing up-and-coming politicians in Ukraine and non-governmental organizations that could be sent into the streets in protests.

When the president of Ukraine did a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed association of Ukraine with the EU, he saw that it didn’t pay and rejected it. At that point Washington called the NGOs into the streets. The neo-nazis added the violence and the government unprepared for violence collapsed.

Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt chose the new Ukrainian government and established a vassal regime in Ukraine.

Washington hoped to use the coup to evict Russia from its Black Sea naval base, Russia’s only warm water port. However, Crimea, for centuries a part of Russia, elected to return to Russia. Washington was frustrated, but recovered from disappointment and described Crimean self-determination as Russian invasion and annexation. Washington used this propaganda to break up Europe’s economic and political relationships with Russia by pressuring Europe into sanctions against Russia.

The sanctions have had adverse impacts on Europe. Additionally, Europeans are concerned with Washington’s growing belligerence. Europe has nothing to gain from conflict with Russia and fears being pushed into war. There are indications that some European governments are considering a foreign policy independent of Washington’s.

The virulent anti-Russian propaganda and demonization of Putin has destroyed Russian confidence in the West. With the NATO commander Breedlove demanding more money, more troops, more bases on Russia’s borders, the situation is dangerous. In a direct military challenge to Moscow, Washington is seeking to incorporate both Ukraine and Georgia, two former Russian provinces, into NATO.

On the economic scene the dollar as reserve currency is a problem for the entire world. Sanctions and other forms of American financial imperialism are causing countries, including very large ones, to leave the dollar payments system. As foreign trade is increasingly conducted without recourse to the US dollar, the demand for dollars drops, but the supply has been greatly expanded as a result of Quantitative Easing. Because of offshored production and US dependence on imports, a drop in the dollar’s exchange value would result in domestic inflation, further lowering US living standards and threatening the rigged, stock, bond, and precious metal markets.

The real reason for Quantitative Easing is to support the banks’ balance sheets. However, the official reason is to stimulate the economy and sustain economic recovery. The only sign of recovery is real GDP which shows up as positive only because the deflator is understated.

The evidence is clear that there has been no economic recovery. With the first quarter GDP negative and the second quarter likely to be negative as well, the second-leg of the long downturn could begin this summer.

Moreover, the current high unemployment (23 percent) is different from previous unemployment. In the postwar 20th century, the Federal Reserve dealt with inflation by cooling down the economy. Sales would decline, inventories would build up, and layoffs would occur. As unemployment rose, the Fed would reverse course and workers would be called back to their jobs. Today the jobs are no longer there. They have been moved offshore. The factories are gone. There are no jobs to which to call workers back.

To restore the economy requires that offshoring be reversed and the jobs brought back to the US. This could be done by changing the way corporations are taxed. The tax rate on corporate profit could be determined by the geographic location at which corporations add value to the products that they market in the US. If the goods and services are produced offshore, the tax rate would be high. If the goods and services are produced domestically, the tax rate could be low. The tax rates could be set to offset the lower costs of producing abroad.

Considering the lobbying power of transnational corporations and Wall Street, this is an unlikely reform. My conclusion is that the US economy will continue its decline.

On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America’s self-image as the “exceptional, indispensable” country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war. Neither Russia nor China will accept the vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia. The Wolfowitz Doctrine makes it clear that the price of world peace is the world’s acceptance of Washington’s hegemony.

Therefore, unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future.

Washington’s aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance. Russia’s May 9 Victory Day celebration of the defeat of Hitler is a historical turning point. Western governments boycotted the celebration, and the Chinese were there in their place. For the first time Chinese soldiers marched in the parade with Russian soldiers, and the president of China sat next to the president of Russia.

The Saker’s report on the Moscow celebration is interesting. http://thesaker.is/todays-victory-day-celebrations-in-moscow-mark-a-turning-point-in-russian-history/ Especially note the chart of World War II casualties. Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler. In the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army’s destruction of the Wehrmacht. In line with the rewritten history, Obama’s remarks on the 70th anniversary of Germany’s surrender mentioned only US forces. In contrast Putin expressed gratitude to “the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.” http://thesaker.is/15865/

For many years now the President of Russia has made the point publicly that the West does not listen to Russia. Washington and its vassal states in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan do not hear when Russia says “don’t push us this hard, we are not
your enemy. We want to be your partners.”

As the years have passed without Washington hearing, Russia and China have finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war. Had there been any intelligent, qualified people in the National Security Council, the State Department, or the Pentagon, Washington would have been warned away from the neocon policy of sowing distrust. But with only neocon hubris present in the government, Washington made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost
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TLB recommends you visit Paul Craig Roberts for more great/pertinent articles.

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by Dark Bid

With the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership dominating the headlines, now is a good time to revisit an old scam called “free trade.”

In 2003, Kevin Flanagan was an information technology employee at Bank of America. They told him he was being replaced with foreign labor, and he was ordered to train his replacement. After he completed his assignment, he was laid off. Then he went to the parking lot and shot himself.

That’s “free trade.”

Like The Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984, sometimes, the most effective way to lie is to use the most innocent words. No word is more susceptible to propaganda-leveraging than “freedom.” Attach that word to any concept, and all of a sudden, it’s unassailable. That’s exactly what happened with “free trade.”

Proponents of free trade will often use the simplest analogies to convey their point, as if you were retarded. The reason they have to resort to such caveman illustrations is because free trade does not exist in the real world. There is no such thing as equality of bargaining power. If someone has ten million dollars and you have zero dollars, anything above zero is an “improvement” in your situation. The free trade economists will say this person with zero dollars is “free” to work for $1 per hour, and they will do so because it improves their situation. This is what “freedom” means to free trade economists.

If you doubt the free trade economists, they will call you a “protectionist,” as if protecting your country’s economy were some kind of grievous transgression. In fact, nothing is more American than shunning free trade nonsense.

Ian Fletcher calls free trade the myth of “cowboy capitalism.” According to Fletcher, all four presidents on Mt. Rushmore were protectionists. The entire American Revolution was fought because the colonists were tired of being economically exploited by the British. Alexander Hamilton realized that British dominance in manufacturing and American reliance on agriculture were dooming us to a banana republic future. The solution? Tariffs. By taxing British goods, the United States boosted its manufacturing industry. By 1820, tariffs were at 40%.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Give us a protective tariff, and we will have the greatest nation on earth.”

One of the fascinating parts of this history is that the South was opposed to protectionism. They wanted free trade. Why? Because free trade was necessary for the international slave trade from Africa to the United States.

Fast forward to 1994. That’s when the North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted. The result was nothing less than the wholesale destruction of the American manufacturing industry. And where did these displaced workers go? In the 1990s, 98% of all net new jobs created were in the service industry, which has lower wages.

This is what free trade looks like. I love the smell of freedom in the morning.

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One doesn’t have to look hard to find free trade evangelists in the corporate world. Apple, the world’s largest company, is also the largest example of how free trade is a game of heads I win, tails you lose. Only 5.6% of Apple workers are in the United States. There are 43,000 Apple employees in the country and 20,000 employees overseas. However, Apple is nothing without its global suppliers, where 700,000 workers make the next round of flashy gizmos that nobody needs anyway. These suppliers should be included in the worker count because they are directly involved in the manufacturing process.

In February 2011, President Obama asked Steve Jobs, “Why can’t that work come home?” Despite having the last name of “Jobs,” Steve Jobs made it clear that he didn’t care about jobs. He only cared about money. He said, “Those jobs aren’t coming back.

In 1983, Jobs used patriotism when it was convenient for him. He called the Macintosh, “a machine that is made in America.” Later, he said, “I’m as proud of the factory as I am of the computer.” But by 2004, patriotism gave way to profits, and Apple became an American company in name only. It relied on foreign manufacturing.

Betsey Stevenson, former chief economist at the Labor Department, said, “Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice. That’s disappeared. Profits and efficiency have trumped generosity.”

Of course, Apple falls back on the timeless corporate lie that American workers are not skilled enough. One anonymous Apple executive said, “We shouldn’t be criticized for using Chinese workers. The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need.” They were skilled enough before NAFTA, but after NAFTA, all of a sudden, they all forgot how to do their jobs. It’s funny how that amnesia works. Now, for every two American college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, only one of them is hired into a job in their field. Sounds like a real skills shortage.

Alan Blinder, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, said, “Contrary to conventional wisdom, the more offshorable occupations are not low-end jobs, whether measured by wages or by education. The correlation between skill and offshorability is almost zero.”

The anonymous Apple executive made it clear that Apple was really a country to itself and did not care about jobs or social effects, “We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries. We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.”

Manufacturing analysts estimate that if Apple paid Americans to build iPhones, it would cost an extra $65 per iPhone. With hundreds of dollars of profits per phone, Apple would still be profitable.

While Obama asked Steve Jobs about bringing jobs back to America, the Apple executives had their own suggestions. They wanted more visas so they could bring in more foreign workers. They wanted a tax holiday so they could bring back some of their overseas profits at no cost. They wanted government funding to train American workers. Notice a pattern here? They want to exploit government assistance so they can maximize their profits, which would boost their stock options. On and on it goes.

You may be familiar with the term “corporate raider” from the 1980s, but what is happening now is on a scale much larger than that. It is “country raiding.” Entire countries are being exploited and saddled with the burden of supporting multi-national behemoths who tell you that your very demise is actually your greatest freedom. Some Americans are catching on to this scam and are actually leaving the country in pursuit of opportunity. Imagine that: leaving America for economic reasons. Ellis Island has been flipped on its head. “Give me your tired and your poor” has been replaced with “Let’s GTFO!”

As Zero Hedge reported, in the first quarter of 2015, a record number of Americans renounced their citizenship.

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One expatriate, Emily Matchar, described her experience, “After applying for 279 jobs over two years, my husband finally got the offer he’d been hoping for: a well-paid position teaching philosophy at a respected university. We should have been thrilled. There was just one little thing. The job was in Hong Kong. My husband said, “I feel like we’re being deported from our own country.”

Meanwhile, in China, Apple continues to thrive on its masses of slave labor. Like the antebellum South, Apple supports free trade because it makes their slave labor possible. Foxconn, Apple’s major supplier, is located in Shenzhen. Do you know how they keep their unemployment rate down? If you are a migrant worker who has been unemployed for more than 3 months, it is illegal to rent housing. So you can either be homeless or leave. I’m sure the people at the Bureau of Labor Statistics would love a policy like this in the United States. Then they wouldn’t have to bend over backwards to goal-seek all their employment data to conform to the official “recovery” story line. If you’re not unemployed in Shenzhen, you’re probably getting beaten by Foxconn security or jumping off buildings to escape your miserable existence.

So you can imagine my level of trust when President Obama says this time will be different. He called the Trans-Pacific Partnership “the most progressive trade deal in history.” And yet he doesn’t want to tell us anything about it. With NAFTA, 5 million American manufacturing jobs were lost, and 57,000 factories shut down. What will the Trans-Pacific Partnership do? It’s like a sequel to a movie that was terrible in the first place.

Obama visited Nike’s headquarters as part of his political rally. One of the high-quality jobs at Nike is held by a 32-year-old mother in Indonesia who processes 100 shoes per hour for 83 cents. I’m sure she is a free trade supporter.

After awhile, you start to realize that the people who love free trade so much are economic hacks and the uber-rich. They use sterilized language and hollow arguments to convince you of the positive ideals of free trade. In all honesty, it’s a great theory. It really is. But then the moment you start believing it, they start working in all sorts of exceptions – usually for themselves. Before you know it, you’re an unemployed American or a Chinese slave at Foxconn. And the uber-rich are in the Bahamas laughing about it, thanking the economists for playing along with the story.

One thing is for sure: The Founding Fathers would have never put up with this bullshit. Neither should you

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TLB recommends you visit Zero Hedge for more great/pertinent articles.

 

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by: Jonathan Benson

A disgruntled faction of establishment scientists who claim to have a corner on scientific truth recently attempted (and failed) to unseat Dr. Mehmet Oz from his position as head of Columbia University’s Department of Surgery, maintaining that Dr. Oz shows “disdain for science” and promotes “quackery.” What these prideful fools aren’t divulging is the fact that they themselves are the true purveyors of quackery and anti-science, blatantly endorsing industry interests for pay under the guise of “science.”

As it turns out, four of ten co-signers of an embarrassingly pompous letter calling for Dr. Oz’s removal from Columbia are current or past employees of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a corrupt industry front group that is financed by corporations like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Monsanto. Gilbert Ross, the acting president and executive director of ACSH, is actually a former felon who now has the gall to accuse Dr. Oz of nudging the medical profession towards disrepute.

Ironically, it’s ACSH that is shaming the integrity of science with its constant peddling of pseudoscience in flagrant promotion of things like electronic cigarettes, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), alcohol and vaccines. ACSH claims to be an independent, non-profit group that upholds unbiased science as a beacon of truth in the world, all while quietly accepting huge donations from chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations.

This document[PDF] contains leaked ACSH financial records for the 2013 fiscal year. It was never intended to be publicly released, as ACSH guards its financials and the identities of its donors and sponsors under lock and key. They are right to hide such information because it clearly exposes who this sham organization truly works for.

As you’ll notice, ACSH had a goal of achieving a $2 million working budget in 2013, and this required petitioning its top donors for large cash infusions. These donors include popular industry names like Chevron, Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, McDonald’s, Monsanto, and many others who collectively contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACSH.

How can an organization that is almost completely funded by drug, vaccine, and chemical interests possibly be unbiased and scientific?

Let’s think about this for a moment: if nearly every penny that flows into ACSH comes from corporations that promote junk foods, pharmaceuticals, “fracking,” vaccines, cigarettes and alcohol, what kind of “science” do you think ACSH is going to promote? It surely won’t be independent science that dares to question the safety or effectiveness of any of these products.

“[The ACSH] platform, invariably, sides with big business, opposing science that claims products or practices are harmful to the public or the environment,” reveals the TruthWiki entry for ACSH.

“In a letter to the editor of the Washington Times, Michael Jacobson, the Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, stated that ACSH is ‘a receptacle for payments from pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, food and other companies who appreciate the convenience of having their grantees and former employees serve on government science panels.'”

Also serving on the ACSH Board of Trustees is pro-vaccine quack “Dr.” Paul Offit, the infamous jab fanatic from Philadelphia Children’s Hospital who says that aluminum is healthy for a developing fetus and that injecting babies with up to 10,000 vaccines at once is completely safe. These are the same folks who, out of the other sides of their mouths, claim to promote only “science-based medicine.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

See featured article here

TLB recommends you visit Natural News for more great/pertinent articles.

banksters

As Revealed by Norman Dodd, Congressional Investigator
of Tax-exempt Foundations.

Interview done in 1982

The control of history is the control of the future.

This is a very interesting video series. “The man who tells this story is none other than Mr. Norman Dodd, who in 1954 was the staff director of the Congressional Special Committee to Investigate Tax-exempt Foundations, sometimes referred to as the Reece Committee, in recognition of its chairman, Congressman Carol Reece.”

He is here interviewed by Ed Griffin back in 1982. Dodd is telling us about his research into the tax-exempt organization and what they REALLY stand for. He shows us that the Carnegie Endowment, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation joined together to alter American history and take over the whole education system in America, so the children can be indoctrinated into accepting a World Government.

Below is the transcript of the interview which can be viewed in this video series:

ED GRIFFIN: I’m Ed Griffin. The story we are about to hear represents a missing piece in the puzzle of modern history. We are about to hear a man tell us that the major tax-exempt foundations of America since at least 1945 have been operating to promote a hidden agenda, and that agenda has nothing to do with the surface appearance of charity, good works, or philanthropy.

Ed Griffin

This man will tell you that the real objective has been to influence American educational institutions and to control foreign policy of the federal government. The purpose of this control has been to condition Americans to accept the creation of world government. That government is to be based on the principle of collectivism, which is another way of saying socialism, and it is to be ruled from behind the scenes by those same interests which control the tax-exempt foundations.

Is this a believable scenario? Well, the man who tells this story is none other than Mr. Norman Dodd, who in 1954 was the staff director of the Congressional Special Committee to Investigate Tax-exempt Foundations, sometimes referred to as the Reece Committee, in recognition of its chairman, Congressman Carol Reece.

The interview we are about to hear was conducted by me in 1982. I had no immediate use for the material at that time, but I realized that Mr. Dodd’s story was of great importance, and since he was advanced in age and not in good health, I wanted to capture his recollections on videotape while he was still with us. It was a wise decision, because Mr. Dodd did pass away just a short time afterwards. In later years there was a resurgence of interest in Mr. Dodd’s story, and we released the videotape to the public in 1991. And so what now follows is the soundtrack taken from the full, unedited interview, broken occasionally only for a tape change or to omit the sound of a passing airplane. It stands on its own as an important piece in the puzzle of modern history.

(THE INTERVIEW FOLLOWS)

ED GRIFFIN: Mr. Dodd, let’s begin this interview with a brief statement. For the record, please tell us who you are, what is your background and your qualifications to speak on this subject.

NORMAN DODD: Well, Mr. Griffin, as to who I am, I am just, as the name implies, an individual born in New Jersey and educated in private schools, eventually in a school called Andover in Massachusetts and then Yale university. Running through my whole period of being brought up and growing up, I have been an indefatigable reader. I have had one major interest, and that was this country as I was lead to believe it was originally founded.

norman_dodd

I entered the world of business knowing absolutely nothing about how that world operated, and realized that the only way to find out what that world consisted of would be to become part of it. I then acquired some experience in the manufacturing world and then in the world of international communication and finally chose banking as the field I wished to devote my life to. I was fortunate enough to secure a position in one of the important banks in New York and lived there. I lived through the conditions which led up to what is known as the crash of 1929. I witnessed what was tantamount to the collapse of the structure of the United States as a whole.

Much to my surprise, I was confronted by my superiors in the middle of the panic in which they were immersed. I was confronted with the question: “Norm, what do we do now?” I was thirty at the time and I had no more right to have an answer to that question than the man in the moon. However, I did manage to say to my superiors: “Gentlemen, you take this experience as proof that there’s something you do not know about banking, and you’d better go find out what that something is and act accordingly.” Four days later I was confronted by the same superiors with a statement to the effect that, “Norm, you go find out.” And I really was fool enough to accept that assignment, because it meant that you were going out to search for something, and nobody could tell you what you were looking for, but I felt so strongly on the subject that I consented.

I was relieved of all normal duties inside the bank and two-and-half years later I felt that it was possible to report back to those who had given me this assignment. And so, I rendered such a report; and, as a result of the report I rendered. I was told the following: “Norm, what you’re saying is we should return to sound banking,” and I said, “Yes, in essence, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

Whereupon I got my first shock, which was a statement from them to this effect: “We will never see sound banking in the United States again.” They cited chapter and verse to support that statement, and what they cited was as follows: “Since the end of world war one we have been responsible for what they call the institutionalizing of conflicting interests, and they are so prevalent inside this country that they can never be resolved.”

This came to me as an extraordinary shock because the men who made this statement were men who were deemed as the most prominent bankers in the country. The bank of which I was a part, which I’ve spoken of, was a Morgan bank and, coming from men of that caliber, a statement of that kind made a tremendous impression on me. The type of impression that it made on me was such that I wondered if I, as an individual and what they call a junior officer of the bank, could with the same enthusiasm foster the progress and policies of the bank. I spent about a year trying to think this out and came to the conclusion that I would have to resign.

I did resign; and, as a consequence of that, had this experience. When my letter of resignation reached the desk of the president of the bank, he sent for me, and I came to visit with him, and he stated to me: “Norm, I have your letter, but I don’t believe you understand what’s happened in the last 10 days.” And I said, “No, Mr. Cochran, I have no idea what’s happened.” “Well,” he said, “the directors have never been able to get your report to them out of their mind; and, as a result, they have decided that you as an individual must begin at once and you must reorganize this bank in keeping with your own ideas.” He then said, “Now, can I tear up your letter?” Inasmuch as what had been said to me was offering me, at the age of by then 33, about as fine an opportunity for service to the country as I could imagine, I said yes. They said they wished me to begin at once, and I did.

Suddenly, in the span of about six weeks, I was not permitted to do another piece of work and, every time I brought the subject up, I was kind of patted on the back and told, “Stop worrying about it, Norm. Pretty soon you’ll be a vice president, and you’ll have quite a handsome salary and ultimately be able to retire on a very worthwhile pension. In the meantime you can play golf and tennis to your heart’s content on weekends.” Well, Mr. Griffin, I found I couldn’t do it. I spent a year figuratively with my feet on the desk doing nothing and I couldn’t adjust to it so I did resign and, this time, my resignation stuck.

Then I got my second shock, which was the discovery that the doors of every bank in the United States were closed to me, and I never could again get a job, as it were, in the banks. I found myself, for the first time since I graduated from college, out of a job.

rom there on I followed various branches of the financial world, ranging from investment counsel to membership of the stock exchange and finally ended as an adviser to a few individuals who had capital funds to look after. In the meantime, my major interest became very specific, which was to endeavor by some means of getting the educational world to actually, you might say, teach the subject of economics realistically and move it away from the support of various speculative activities that characterize our country. I have had that interest, and you know how, as you generate a specific interest, you find yourself gravitating toward persons with similar interests, and ultimately I found myself in the center of the world of dissatisfaction with the directions that this country was headed. I found myself in contact with many individuals who on their own had done a vast amount of studying and research in areas, which were part of the problem.

ED GRIFFIN: At what point in your career did you become connected with the Reece Committee?

NORMAN DODD: 1953.

ED GRIFFIN: And what was that capacity, sir?

NORMAN DODD: That was in the capacity of what they called Director of Research.

ED GRIFFIN: Can you tell us what the Reece Committee was attempting to do?

NORMAN DODD: Yes, I can tell you. It was operating and carrying out instructions embodied in a resolution passed by the House of Representatives, which was to investigate the activities of foundations as to whether or not these activities could justifiably be labeled un-American without, I might say, defining what they meant by “un-American”. That was the resolution, and the committee had then the task of selecting a counsel, and the counsel in turn had the task of selecting a staff, and he had to have somebody who would direct the work of that staff, and that was what they meant by the Director of Research.

ED GRIFFIN: What were some of the details, the specifics that you told the Committee at that time?

NORMAN DODD: Well, Mr. Griffin, in that report I specifically, number one, defined what, to us, was meant by the phrase, “un-American.” We defined that in our way as being a determination to effect changes in the country by unconstitutional means. We have plenty of constitutional procedures, assuming we wish to effect a change in the form of government and that sort of thing; and, therefore, any effort in that direction which did not avail itself of the procedures which were authorized by the Constitution could be justifiably be called un-American. That was the start of educating them up to that particular point. The next thing was to educate them as to the effect on the country as a whole of the activities of large, endowed foundations over the then-past forty years.

ED GRIFFIN: What was that effect?

NORMAN DODD: That effect was to orient our educational system away from support of the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and implemented in the Constitution; and the task now was the orientation of education away from these briefly stated principles and self-evident truths. That’s what had been the effect of the wealth, which constituted the endowments of those foundations that had been in existence over the largest portion of this span of 50 years, and holding them responsible for this change. What we were able to bring forward, what we uncovered, was the determination of these large endowed foundations, through their trustees, to actually get control over the content of American education.

ED GRIFFIN: There’s quite a bit of publicity given to your conversation with Rowan Gaither. Would you please tell us who he was and what was that conversation you had with him?

NORMAN DODD: Rowan Gaither was, at that time, president of the Ford Foundation. Mr. Gaither had sent for me when I found it convenient to be in New York, asked me to call upon him at his office, which I did. Upon arrival, after a few amenities, Mr. Gaither said: “Mr. Dodd, we’ve asked you to come up here today because we thought that possibly, off the record, you would tell us why the Congress is interested in the activities of foundations such as ourselves?” Before I could think of how I would reply to that statement, Mr. Gaither then went on voluntarily and said:

“Mr. Dodd, all of us who have a hand in the making of policies here have had experience either with the OSS during the war or the European Economic Administration after the war. We’ve had experience operating under directives, and these directives emanate and did emanate from the White House. Now, we still operate under just such directives. Would you like to know what the substance of these directives is?”

I said, “Mr. Gaither, I’d like very much to know,” whereupon he made this statement to me: “Mr. Dodd, we are here operate in response to similar directives, the substance of which is that we shall use our grant-making power so to alter life in the United States that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.”

Well, parenthetically, Mr. Griffin, I nearly fell off the chair. I, of course didn’t, but my response to Mr. Gaither then was: “Well, Mr. Gaither I can now answer your first question. You’ve forced the Congress of the United States to spend $150,000 to find out what you’ve just told me.” I said: “Of course, legally, you’re entitled to make grants for this purpose, but I don’t think you’re entitled to withhold that information from the people of the country to whom you’re indebted for your tax exemption, so why don’t you tell the people of the country what you just told me?” And his answer was, “We would not think of doing any such thing.” So then I said, “Well, Mr. Gaither, obviously you’ve forced the Congress to spend this money in order to find out what you’ve just told me.”

ED GRIFFIN: Mr. Dodd, you have spoken before about some interesting things that were discovered by Katherine Casey at the Carnegie Endowment. Can you tell us that story, please?

NORMAN DODD: Yes, I’d be glad to, Mr. Griffin. This experience that you just referred to came about in response to a letter that I had written to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, asking certain questions and gathering certain information. On the arrival of that letter, Dr. Johnson, who was then president of the Carnegie Endowment, telephoned me and said, did I ever come up to New York. I said yes, I did more or less each weekend, and he said, “Well, when you’re next here, will you drop in and see us?” Which I did.

On arrival at the office of the endowment I found myself in the presence of Dr. Joseph Johnson, the president – who was the successor to Alger Hiss – two vice presidents, and their own counsel, a partner in the firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. Dr. Johnson said, after again amenities, Mr. Dodd, we have your letter. We can answer all those questions, but it would be a great deal of trouble, and we have a counter suggestion. Our counter suggestion is: If you can spare a member of your staff for two weeks and send that member up to New York, we will give to that member a room in the library and the minute books of this foundation since its inception, and we think that whatever you want to find out or that Congress wants to find out will be obvious from those minutes.

Well, my first reaction was they’d lost their minds. I had a pretty good idea of what those minutes would contain, but I realized that Dr. Johnson had only been in office two years, and the other vice presidents were relatively young men, and counsel seemed to be also a young man, and I guessed that probably they’d never read the minutes themselves. So I said I had somebody; I would accept their offer.

I went back to Washington and I selected a member of my staff who had been a practicing attorney in Washington. She was on my staff to see to it that I didn’t break any congressional procedures or rules, in addition to which she was unsympathetic to the purpose of the investigation. She was level-headed and a very reasonably brilliant, capable lady. Her attitude toward the investigation was: What could possibly be wrong with foundations? They do so much good.

Well, in the face of that sincere conviction of Katherine’s I went out of my way not to prejudice her in any way, but I did explain to her that she couldn’t possibly cover 50 years of written minutes in two weeks, so she would have to do what we call spot reading. I blocked out certain periods of time to concentrate on, and off she went to New York. She came back at the end of two weeks with the following on dictaphone tapes:

We are now at the year 1908, which was the year that the Carnegie Foundation began operations. In that year, the trustees, meeting for the first time, raised a specific question, which they discussed throughout the balance of the year in a very learned fashion. The question is: “Is there any means known more effective than war, assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people?” And they conclude that no more effective means than war to that end is known to humanity.

So then, in 1909, they raised the second question and discussed it, namely: “How do we involve the United States in a war?

Well, I doubt at that time if there was any subject more removed from the thinking of most of the people of this country than its involvement in a war. There were intermittent shows in the Balkans, but I doubt very much if many people even knew where the Balkans were. Then, finally, they answered that question as follows: “We must control the State Department.” That very naturally raises the question of how do we do that? And they answer it by saying: “We must take over and control the diplomatic machinery of this country.” And, finally, they resolve to aim at that as an objective.

Then time passes, and we are eventually in a war, which would be World War I. At that time they record on their minutes a shocking report in which they dispatched to President Wilson a telegram, cautioning him to see that the war does not end too quickly.

Finally, of course, the war is over. At that time their interest shifts over to preventing what they call a reversion of life in the United States to what it was prior to 1914 when World War I broke out. At that point they came to the conclusion that, to prevent a reversion, “we must control education in the United States.” They realize that that’s a pretty big task. It is too big for them alone, so they approach the Rockefeller Foundation with the suggestion that that portion of education which could be considered domestic be handled by the Rockefeller Foundation and that portion which is international should be handled by the Endowment. They then decide that the key to success of these two operations lay in the alteration of the teaching of American history.

So they approach four of the then-most prominent teachers of American history in the country – people like Charles and Mary Byrd – and their suggestion to them is: will they alter the manner in which they present their subject? And they got turned down flat. So they then decide that it is necessary for them to do as they say, “build our own stable of historians.”

Then they approach the Guggenheim Foundation, which specializes in fellowships, and say: “When we find young men in the process of studying for doctorates in the field of American history and we feel that they are the right caliber, will you grant them fellowships on our say-so?” And the answer is yes. So, under that condition, eventually they assembled twenty, and they take this twenty potential teachers of American history to London, and there they’re briefed on what is expected of them when, as, and if they secure appointments in keeping with the doctorates they will have earned. That group of twenty historians ultimately becomes the nucleus of the American Historical Association.

Toward the end of the 1920’s, the Endowment grants to the American Historical Association $400,000 for a study of our history in a manner which points to what can this country look forward to in the future. That culminates in a seven-volume study, the last volume of which is, of course, in essence a summary of the contents of the other six. The essence of the last volume is: The future of this country belongs to collectivism administered with characteristic American efficiency. That’s the story that ultimately grew out of and, of course, was what could have been presented by the members of this Congressional committee to the congress as a whole for just exactly what it said. They never got to that point.

ED GRIFFIN: This is the story that emerged from the minutes of the Carnegie Endowment?

NORMAN DODD: That’s right. It was official to that extent.

ED GRIFFIN: Katherine Casey brought all of these back in the form of dictated notes from a verbatimreading of the minutes?

NORMAN DODD: On dictaphone belts.

ED GRIFFIN: Are those in existence today?

NORMAN DODD: I don’t know. If they are, they’re somewhere in the Archives under the control of the Congress, House of Representatives.

ED GRIFFIN: How many people actually heard those, or were they typed up, a transcript made of them?

NORMAN DODD: No.

ED GRIFFIN: How many people actually heard those recordings?

NORMAN DODD: Oh, three maybe. Myself, my top assistant, and Katherine. I might tell you, this experience, as far as its impact on Katherine Casey was concerned, was she never was able to return to her law practice. If it hadn’t been for Carol Reece’s ability to tuck her away into a job in the Federal Trade Commission, I don’t know what would have happened to Katherine. Ultimately, she lost her mind as a result of it. It was a terrible shock. It’s a very rough experience to encounter proof of these kinds.

ED GRIFFIN: Mr. Dodd can you summarize the opposition to the Committee, the Reece Committee and particularly the efforts to sabotaging the Committee?

NORMAN DODD: Well, they began right at the start of the work of an operating staff, Mr. Griffin, and it began on the day in which the Committee met for the purpose of consenting to or confirming my appointment to the position of Director of Research. Thanks to the abstention of the minority members of the committee, that is, the two Democratic members, from voting, technically I was unanimously appointed.

ED GRIFFIN: Wasn’t the White House involved in opposition?

NORMAN DODD: Not at this particular point, sir. Mr. Reece ordered counsel and myself to visit Wayne Hayes. Wayne Hayes was the ranking minority member of the Committee as a Democrat, so we came to him, and I had to go down to Mr. Hayes’s office, which I did. Mr. Hayes greeted us with the flat statement directed primarily to me, which was that “I am opposed to this investigation. I regard it as nothing but an effort on the part of Carol Reece to gain a little prominence, so I’ll do everything I can to see that it fails.”

Well, I have a strange personality in that a challenge of that nature interests me. Our counsel withdrew. He went over and sat on the couch in Mr. Reece’s office and pouted, but I sort of took up this statement of Hayes as a challenge and set myself the goal of winning him over to our point of view. I started by noticing on his desk that there was a book, and the book was of the type that – there were many in these days – that would be complaining about the spread of Communism in Hungary, that type of book. This meant to me at least he has read a book, and so I brought up the subject of the spread of the influence of the Soviet world. For two hours, I discussed this with Hayes and finally ended up with his rising from his desk and saying: “Norm, if you will carry this investigation toward the goal as you have outlined to me, I’ll be your biggest supporter.” I said: “Mr. Hayes, I can assure you that I will not double-cross you.”

Subsequently Mr. Hayes sent word to me that he was in Bethesda Hospital with an attack of ulcers, but would I come and see him, which I did. He then said: “Norm, the only reason I’ve asked you to come out here is I just want to hear you say again you will not double-cross me.” I gave him that assurance, and that was the basis of our relationship. Meantime, counsel took the attitude expressed in these words: “Norm, if you want to waste your time with this guy,” as he called him, “you go ahead and do it, but don’t ever ask me to say anything to him under any conditions on any subject.” So, in a sense, that created a context for me to operate in relation to Hayes on my own. As time passed, Hayes offered friendship, which I hesitated to accept because of his vulgarity, and I didn’t want to get mixed up with him socially under any conditions.

Well, that was our relationship for about three months, and then, eventually, I had occasion to add to my staff a top-flight intelligence officer. Both the Republican National Committee and the White House were resorted to, to stop me from continuing this investigation in the directions Carol Reece had personally asked me to do, which was to utilize this investigation, Mr. Griffin, to uncover the fact that this country had been the victim of a conspiracy. That was Mr. Reece’s conviction. I eventually agreed to carry it out. I explained to Mr. Reece that Hayes’s own counsel wouldn’t go in that direction. He gave me permission to disregard their counsel, and I had then to set up an aspect of the investigation outside of our office, more or less secret. The Republican National Committee got wind of what I was doing and they did everything they could to stop me. They appealed to counsel to stop me, and finally they resorted to the White House.

ED GRIFFIN: Was their objection because of what you were doing or because of the fact that you were doing it outside of the official auspices of the Committee?

NORMAN DODD: No, their objection was, as they put it, my devotion to what they called anti-semitism. That was a cooked up idea. In other words, it wasn’t true at all, but anyway, that’s the way they expressed it.

ED GRIFFIN: Why did they do that? How could they say that?

NORMAN DODD: Well, they could say it, Mr. Griffin, but they had to have something in the way of a rationalization of their decision to do everything they could to stop the completion of this investigation in the directions that it was moving, which would have been an exposure of this Carnegie Endowment story and the Ford Foundation and the Guggenheim and the Rockefeller Foundation, all working in harmony toward the control of education in the United States.

Well, to secure the help of the White House in the picture, they got the White House to cause the liaison personality between the White House and the hill, a Major Person, to go up to Hayes and try to get him to, as it were, actively oppose what the investigation was engaged in. Hayes very kindly then would listen to this visit from Major Person; then he would call me and say, “Norm, come up to my office. I have a good deal to tell you.” I would go up. He would tell me, “I’ve just had a visit from Major Person, and he wants me to break up this investigation.” I then said, “Well, what did you do? What did you say to him?” He said,” I just told him to get the hell out.” He did that three times, and I got pretty proud of him in the sense that he was, as it were, backing me up. We finally embarked upon the hearing at Hayes’s request, because he wanted to get them out of the way before he went abroad for the summer.

ED GRIFFIN: Why were the hearings finally terminated? What happened to the Committee?

NORMAN DODD: What happened to the Committee or the hearings?

ED GRIFFIN: The hearings.

NORMAN DODD: Oh, the hearings were terminated. Carol Reece was up against such a furor with Hayes through the activity of our own counsel. Hayes became convinced that he was being double-crossed and he put on a show in a public hearing room, Mr. Griffin, that was an absolute disgrace. He called Carol Reece publicly every name in the book, and Mr. Reece took this as proof that he couldn’t continue the hearings. He actually invited me to accompany him when he went down to Hayes’s office and, in my presence with tears rolling down his face, Hayes apologized to Carol Reece for what he had done and his conduct, and apologized to me. I thought that would be enough and that Carol would resume, but he never did.

ED GRIFFIN: The charge of anti-semitism is intriguing. What was the basis of that charge? Was there a basis for it at all?

NORMAN DODD: The basis of what the Republican National Committee used was that the intelligence officer I’d taken on my staff when I oriented this investigation to the exposure and proof of a conspiracy was known to have a book, and the book was deemed to be anti-semitic. This was childish, but this was the second in command of the Republican National Committee, and he told me I’d have to dismiss this person from my staff.

ED GRIFFIN: Who was that person?

NORMAN DODD: A Colonel Lee Lelane.

ED GRIFFIN: And what was his book? Do you recall?

NORMAN DODD: The book they referred to was called Waters Flowing Eastward, which was a castigation of the Jewish influence in the world.

ED GRIFFIN: What were some of the other charges made by Mr. Hayes against Mr. Reece?

NORMAN DODD: Just that Mr. Reece was utilizing this investigation for his own prominence inside the House of Representatives. That was the only charge that Hayes could think of.

ED GRIFFIN: How would you describe the motivation of the people who created the foundations, the big foundations, in the very beginning? What was their motivation?

NORMAN DODD: Their motivation? Well, let’s take Mr. Carnegie as an example. He has publicly declared that his steadfast interest was to counteract the departure of the colonies from Great Britain. He was devoted to just putting the pieces back together again.

ED GRIFFIN: Would that have required the collectivism that they were dedicated to?

NORMAN DODD: No, no, no. These policies, the foundations’ allegiance to these un-American concepts, are all traceable to the transfer of the funds into the hands of trustees, Mr. Griffin. It’s not the men who had a hand in the creation of the wealth that led to the endowment for what we would call public purposes.

ED GRIFFIN: It’s a subversion of the original intent, then?

NORMAN DODD: Oh, yes, completely, and that’s how it got into the world traditionally of bankers and lawyers.

ED GRIFFIN: How do you see that the purpose and direction of the major foundations has changed over the years to the present? What is it today?

NORMAN DODD: Oh, it’s a hundred percent behind meeting the cost of education such as it is presented through the schools and colleges of the United States on the subject of our history as proving our original ideas to be no longer practicable. The future belongs to collectivistic concepts, and there’s just no disagreement on that.

ED GRIFFIN: Why do the foundations generously support Communist causes in the United States?

NORMAN DODD: Well, because to them, Communism represents a means of developing what we call a monopoly, that is, an organization of, say, a large-scale industry into an administerable unit.

ED GRIFFIN: Do they think that they will be the ones to benefit?

NORMAN DODD: They will be the beneficiaries of it, yes.

[END OF INTERVIEW]

*****************

TLB recommends you visit relfe.com for more pertinent articles and information

See original transcript of this interview and disclaimers HERE




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