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Trump and the Hospice of Hope by Sean Larson and Patrick Schreiner


That the political culture in the US could wash up a television star and notorious racist to the top of the country was not entirely bizarre. Voter turnout in the US was always low. Trump and his horror cabinet make us fear the worst.

If 37 electors changed their minds, Trump would be blocked. Politico. com lists the names of all 538 electors who vote on Dec 19. Trump, an unstable thin-skinned fanatic, has zero competence in taxes, spending, social security and health care.




Bernd Drucke, “The US Election as the Turn of an Era,”

Serge Halimi, “Trump: The know-nothing victor,”

Rosa Luxemburg foundation, “Donald Trump: The Rise of the Nationalist Right,” 16 pp

Nomi Prins. “Trump’s Bait-and-Switch,”

Posted in Political Theory | 1 Comment

The US Election as a Turn of an Era by Bernd Drucke

US Election as a Turn of an Era
by Bernd Drucke, 11/30/2016

Karl Marx modified a Hegel quotation that world-historical events always occurred twice, the first time as tragedy and the next time as farce. Since November 9, 2016, we know they can occur as tragedy and farce at once.

Trump is not the president of all Americans. Trump is the president of angry white men, the anti-Semitic “Alt-Right.”

For ecology and the world climate, the victory of the coal-, nuclear power- and fracking lobbyists would be a maximum credible accident.

Anarchism criticizes parliamentarism that too little is freely discussed, not too much.


Donald Trump and the Rise of the Nationalist Right, 16 pp

by the Rosa Luxemburg foundation, November 2016


We are witnessing a tidal change, and it will not be for the better. Right-wing nationalist populism
continues to rise throughout the Western world. With the victory of Donald Trump, its ascendancy
has reached a new height. Over the course of the last years, far-right movements have grown more powerful in small towns and capital cities across Europe. In the United Kingdom, right-wing nationalists were the driving force behind Brexit. In other countries, the far-right has joined in?or even taken over?national governments. Its ambassadors now include heads of state from Turkey to Hungary to Russia to Poland. With the election of Trump, even the “leader of the free world” will belong to the authoritarian right.

While the nationalist right used to be in disagreement and disconnected, today these forces are much better linked up than commonly known. Stephen Bannon’s Breitbart News is already reaching
out to Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front and to the far-right Alternative for Germany. They
share a broad set of values and goals: anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-feminist, and
other sentiments are woven into an ideological net of white nationalism, traditionally known as white

In this context, it is a bitter irony that Donald Trump?who lost the popular vote (and it wasn’t even
close)?could only win because of the Electoral College arithmetic, meaning that his victory is the
result of an institution that is a direct vestige of slavery. With Donald Trump in the White House, the seriousness of the far-right threat can hardly be overestimated. In the US, major accomplishments of labor and civil rights, women’s and LGBT, climate justice and other social movements are at stake. On the international and global level, the election of a president who ran an explicitly racist and anti-Muslim “tough guy” campaign will increase existing tensions and the likeliness of further hostilities.

This series takes a look at four major explanations for why Trump won this election.

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Democracy and the Uncanny Power of Money by Harald Schumann

Democracy and the Uncanny Power of Money
by Harald Schumann. 10/1/2016


Growing inequality is the greatest political problem of our time. Governments are often only actors or puppets of an anonymous regime for the benefit of the privileged where the interests of simple people do not count.

The fact that tax havens exist is a surefire sign that a global hierarchy is at work. The Panama Papers revealed the rich and powerful maintain a global system of shadow finance. In the 2016 election, the corporate media called facts irrelevant and fell into the mire of farce and locker-room vulgarity.

How can we help the sharpest weapon of democracy breakthrough? Who benefits? Where does the money flow?

Posted in Financial Market Capitalism, Political Theory | Leave a comment

Kierkegaard and Wounding from Behind

The Canadian looney is around 75-cents to the dollar so Canada is like a big discount shop for Americans. A week ago Trump described Canada as a “Big League deficit country” turning reality upside down. In truth, Canadians are super-warm-hearted, inclusive and enamored of their Canadian spirit and happiness of being Canadian.

Truth-telling in the way of Kierkegaard could teach humility to the misanthrope – wounding from behind, truth welling up within and indirect criticism. Are we headed backwards – the Stone Age or the Ice Age? Putting the cart before the horse can get messy like confusing the goat with the neoliberal gardener or speculative investment with productive investment! Facts or social justice can’t be called irrelevant.

Inequality hurts – when meaningful jobs are not created for the coming generation. Language falls apart – when tax fraud and insurance fraud are not prosecuted and revenue shortfalls lead to stagnation. Profit-making is different than profit-maximizing. Blocking out other realities – like destroying the EPA – is the path of least resistance, the path of a paralyzed and polarized system.

The time is right for countermeasures – for closing tax havens, affordable housing, infrastructure investment, person-oriented work, reduced working hours, shriveling the financial sector, expanding the public sector and community centers (like the 26 in Vancouver B.C.).




Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

Why Mainstream Economists are Responsible for Electing Donald Trump

Why Mainstream Economists are Responsible for Electing Donald Trump
by David Ruccio, Nov 2016

My argument is that, when mainstream economists in the United States embraced and celebrated neoliberalism—both the conservative and “left” versions—they created the conditions for Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election. As I see it, mainstream economists adopted neoliberalism as a set of ideas (about self-governing individuals and an economic system that needs to be understood and obeyed) and a political-economic project (on behalf of corporate bosses) and ignored the enormous costs, especially those borne by the majority of workers, their families, and the communities in which they live. And it was precisely the resentments generated by neoliberalism—which were captured, however imperfectly and in a cynical manner, by Trump’s campaign (and downplayed by Hillary Clinton’s)—that many voters took to the polls one week ago.

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The ABCs of Meaningless Economic Phrases

The ABCs of Meaningless Economic Phrases
by Rudolf Hickel and Heinz J. Bontrup

The most common myths start from the tax state that burdens the economy, the housework ordered by the state (save,save,save) to the Schwabian housewife prescribing the austerity creed. Politics must tend to every need of capital as a scared doe and therefore lower taxes. The term reform has been twisted around completely and is used to reduce the social responsibility of the state.

Thanks for your passion and light! Corporate media is interested in business as usual, not in discussion or debate. We should be talking about recalibrating the state and the market after the neoliberal myths of the self-healing market and efficient financial markets have turned our system upside down.

Profit making is different than profit-maximizing. Competition and cooperation depend on one another in the business world. All personal and business achievements are based on state investments in roads, schools, health care, airwaves, community centers, food quality and water quality. What is public should remain public. How sad when universities become “profit centers” and health care is distorted into a way of private enrichment!

Words are powerful and can break the frozen soul (Kafka), Abolishing Medicare where administrative costs are 2-3% instead of 20% in the profit-maximizing world is like putting the cart before the horse, bridling the horse by the tail or mistaking the goat for the gardener. They create a desert and call it peace! As we head into the new Dark Age or Stone Age, it is vital we join forces and learn from all those who battled impostors in the past like Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Jesus, and Bonhoeffer.

The future should be open and dynamic, not closed and static, regional, democratic and interdependent. If we all end up in McDonalds uniforms, that is a dystopia full of irrationality and business-friendly myths!

Posted in Neoliberalism, trickle-down economics | Leave a comment

Public Risks, Private Profits, and Prosperity

Public Risks, Private Profits, and Prosperity
by the Association for Plural Economics and Sven Hergovich


All personal and corporate achievements are based on state investments in roads, schools, hospitals, community centers, airwaves, food safety, and water quality. The Apples and Googles of this world are businesses that developed the results of decades-long state-financed research into marketable products.

States are able and ready to bear risks that free enterprise businesses cannot take. This includes projects fraught with great uncertainty as to whether the funds will ever flow into marketable products.

The late Bobby Kennedy said the GDP measures everything except what makes life worth living: public spirit, cooperation, self-sacrifice and care of nature.

Posted in Political Theory, Reducing Inequality/ Redistribution, Roosevelt and New Deal | 1 Comment

Myth: The Public Service Sector is Inefficient and Much Too Expensive

Sven Hergovich is an Austrian economist who urges rethinking prosperity and the relation of economics and ecology.

to read his article “Myth: The Public Service Sector is Inefficient and Much Too Expensive” published in March 2014, click on

Privatizations do not usually lead to lower prices. Privatizations often entail hidden costs. If a business saves by investing less in training, the state has to invest more. Privatizations have cost public budgets more money than they brought in. Privatizations also represent a loss of control for the state. For employees, they mostly mean staff reductions, lower wages and increasing work pressure.

Posted in Alternative Economics, Neoliberalism, Reducing Inequality/ Redistribution | Leave a comment

The Consequences of a Trump Shock by Simon Johnson

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF, is a professor at MIT Sloan, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of a leading economics blog, The Baseline Scenario. He is the co-author, with James Kwak, of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.

to read Simon Johnson’s article published on Oct 29, 2016, click on

With the United States’ presidential election on November 8, and a series of elections and other political decisions fast approaching in Europe, now is a good time to ask whether the global economy is in good enough shape to withstand another major negative shock. The answer, unfortunately, is that growth and employment around the world look fragile. A big adverse surprise – like the election of Donald Trump in the US – would likely cause the stock market to crash and plunge the world into recession…

Trump promises to boost US growth immediately to 4-5%, but this is pure fantasy. It is far more likely that his anti-trade policies would cause a sharp slowdown, much like the British are experiencing.

In fact, the impact of a Trump victory on the US could well be worse. Whereas British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government wants to close the UK’s borders to immigrants from the EU, it does want trade with the world. Trump, on the other hand, is determined to curtail imports through a variety of policies, all of which are well within the power of a president. He would not need congressional approval to slam the brakes on the US economy.

Even in the best of times, US policymakers often do not think enough about the impact of their actions on the rest of the world. Trump’s trade-led recession would tip Europe back into full-blown recession, which would likely precipitate a serious banking crisis. If this risk were not contained – and the probability of a European banking debacle is already disconcertingly high – there would be a further negative spiral. Either way, the effects on emerging markets and all lower-income countries would be dramatic.

Investors in the stock market currently regard a Trump presidency as a relatively low-probability development. But, while the precise consequences of bad policies are always hard to predict, if investors are wrong and Trump wins, we should expect a big markdown in expected future earnings for a wide range of stocks – and a likely crash in the broader market.

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Keep Hope Alive, Not Gambling!

Keep hope alive, not gambling! Shriveling the financial sector and expanding the public sector are incontestible lessons from the 2008 financial meltdown. The time is right for alternative economics, reducing working hours. person-oriented work, labor-intensive investment, environmental caring, community centers, cloud workers, and generalized security.

Social security would be secure for 75 years if the $181K cap on social security taxes were removed. Hopefully, Trump will take down the whole republican party and send Paul Ryan from Majority Leader to the wilderness! Social security has saved millions from dreadful poverty and kept our economy alive amid outsourcing and corporate profit shiftings to tax havens. Maybe Obama will rehire the fired IRS auditors and the revenue streams will return!

Here is a letter I wrote to the Portland Design Commission “25 Reasons Not to Build a 15-story Hotel at 11th and Alder.” I look forward to your comments. The Vancouver-community center model is worlds away from the SF-condo model!



by Marc Batko

1. Prior to the September 29, 2016 Portland Design Commission hearing at 1900 SW 4th Ave, the staff said design guidelines were not met regarding pedestrian experience, context and coherency, quality and permanence and integrating encroachments. The staff recommended denying the project based on areas of concern. The next hearing is November 11, 2016 at 1900 SW 4th Ave.
2. The NS and A-streetcars will be impacted by the construction with its massive noise and machinery.
3. A 6-story office building is being built at 12th and Alder and another at 12th and Morrison. Constructing buildings adjacent to each other is unusual. The noise level could exceed tolerability limits.
4. Many first-rate hotels have been built in downtown (e.g. 1st and Morrison) and on the east side near Holliday Part, Lloyd’s center, and the Max station.
5. Portland has a small city charm because we have not followed the SF-condo model.
6. Affordable housing is a pressing and neglected necessity. Housing prices have increased dramatically in Portland over the past year. The city has a responsibility to ensure the livability and friendliness of the housing market and cannot trust in a self-healing market or invisible hand making private vices into public virtues or corporate profit into the common good.
7. Reducing working hours, community centers, and cloud workers are pressing alternatives. The city may lose its character by accentuating tourism.
8. A livable, diverse community needs 3-story buildings. 15-story buildings are not synonymous with the modern age.
9. In selective perception, people often see what they want to see. Unpleasant realities like poverty and homelessness often fall by the wayside.
10. Neoliberalism blames the poor and unemployed for their misery and denies any systemic or structural failure. In truth, market failure and state failure, oligopoly and financialization, have fueled exploding inequality.
11. The state should represent the public interest although private and special interests are frequently in the driver’s seat in privatization, deregulation, and speculation.
12. Businesses must serve the public welfare and cannot only be focused on profit-maximization. All personal and corporate success is based on state investments in roads, schools, hospitals, airwaves, food safety, water quality, and community centers.
13. The SF-condo model is opposed by the Vancouver Canada-community center model. The 26-community centers in Vancouver, some with swimming pools that take your breath away, make all the difference and enable everyone to feel included and respected in the modern project. The community centers have a multiplier and cushioning effect, offer $3.50 casserole dinners, and enable working and non-working people to cope with their frustrations and disappointments.
14. In Vancouver B.C., a certain number of rundown hotels are revitalized every year. There are also many impressive subsidized senior developments; some have aviaries on the first floor.
15. SROs (single resident occupancy) are worlds better than warehouses or prisons and enable the poor and unemployed to live in a human environment, be supported by social services and be strengthened by their compatriots. Potluck in the Park has been providing free Sunday meals for 20 years and helps create public spirit and pride in Portland.
16. Waiting lists for subsidized SROs and studios extend from 1 year to 7 years. Reagan cut housing support 90% and changed subsidies to condominium assistance. In the 1960s, Michael Harrington wrote “The Other America.” The economist John Kenneth Galbraith deplored the public squalor alongside the private opulence. Trust in the government and public spirit could be restored by investing in public housing.
17. Nonprofit or cooperative housing should be a new foundation for housing. Private developers cannot or will not create affordable housing.
18. Low-interest long-term loans are available and are a necessary part of a housing solution. The federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program has built 2-3 million units nationwide.
19. Shriveling the financial sector and expanding the public sector are uncontestable lessons from the 2008 financial meltdown. Ignoring this is to encourage cynicism and nihilism. Albert Einstein said: “The one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”
20. The financial sector expanded and made itself independent since Reagan’s deregulation and corporate tax favors in the 1980s. Banks control the government; the government doesn’t control the banks.
21. Only the well-to-do can afford a poor state. The majority and especially weaker citizens depend on state services. The impoverishment of the state is a consequence of manipulated public opinion and brainwashing.
22. Reuse cannot become a nonsense word. The United Way structure is an architecturally well-designed 3-story building that could be put to good use.
23. “Throw-away society” describes a society that hallucinates resources are unlimited. If life is “peaches and cream,” we are living an illusion.
24. Native Americans warn that lakes are more than antifreeze and mountains are more than landfill. Refusing to recognize limits and glorifying developers and high-rise projects are signs of megalomania or narcissism.
25. Justin Trudeau, the new Prime Minister of Canada, said: “When the state trusts citizens, citizens trust the state.” The future should be regional and decentralized, open and dynamic and not closed and static. When the US federal government is polarized and paralyzed and becomes “an errand boy for the banks” (Bill Moyers), local communities must be zealous in prioritizing affordable housing and the public welfare. Everyone should share in the prosperity of Portland.

Posted in Reducing Inequality/ Redistribution | Leave a comment