Resistance is part of our nature as antibodies are part of our bodies!

The neoliberal model promotes profits, not investments (cf. Nicolaus Kowall, a critical Austrian economist). The financial sector must be shriveled and the public sector expanded. Those are two lessons from the 2008 financial meltdown. Speculation and investment must not be confounded. Otherwise nothing is learned from history. As Albert Einstein warned, the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. The bomb changed everything except the way we think.

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. (Oscar Wilde). What is good for Volvo may not be good for Sweden. Economics should be pluralistic, not a monolith. Once 90% of investment was productive and 10% speculative; now that is reversed (cf. Noam Chomsky, Richard Wolff, Naomi Klein and Henry Giroux). GE Capital is more exciting than GE refrigerators! Is the economy part of life or a steamroller crushing self-determination and creativity? Is Canada only a bitumen staple, a void to be filled with pipelines and oil trains, the next stage without alternative after “hunting and gathering” as in Stephen Harper’s dystopia? (cf. www.progressive-economics.ca)

Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people. The time is right for alternative economics, for qualitative growth instead of quantitative growth, access instead of excess and enough instead of more!
- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2014/07/speculation-kills-supply-demand#comment-274681

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Investment Protection at a Crossroads by Pia Eberhardt

The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) currently negotiated in secret by transnational corporations gives foreign investors the right to sue sovereign governments before ad hoc arbitration courts when lost profits occur as a result of political decisions. These decisions cannot be appealed and undermine social, environmental and labor protections. The parallel justice system could attack jobs and end democracy. Public sector jobs, bank regulations, fracking moratoriums, minimum wage laws, health warnings on cigarette packages and closing nuclear power plants could all be attacked as reducing profits. Only foreign investors can sue; states cannot sue investors.

MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investments) was blocked by public outrage and social movements in 1997. The secrecy and total lack of transparency could invalidate the TTIP for violating all procedural norms and standards. The US Senate, the US public and the European public are all denied access to the documents and the hearings.

Pia Eberhardt is a researcher with Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). To read her extensive study “Investment Protection at a Crossroads” referriing to 16 court cases (including Metalclad, Vattenfall, Lone Pine, Philip Morris and others), click on

http://la.indymedia.org/news/2014/06/264714.php

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www.wikileaks.org Memorandum on Leaked TISA Financial Services Text

to read the 17-page “Memorandum on Leaked TISA Financial Services Text” by Prof. Jane Kelsey, faculty of law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, click on

https://wikileaks.org/tisa-financial/Analysis-of-secret-tisa-financial-a…

This memorandum provides a preliminary analysis of the leaked financial services chapter of the Trade in Services Agreement dated 14 April 2014. It makes the following points:

The secrecy of negotiating documents exceeds even the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and runs counter to moves in the WTO towards greater openness.
The TISA is being promoted by the same governments that installed the failed model of financial (de)regulation in the WTO and which has been blamed for helping to fuel the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
The same states shut down moves by other WTO Members to critically debate these rules following the GFC with a view to reform.
They want to expand and deepen the existing regime through TISA, bypassing the stalled Doha round at the WTO and creating a new template for future free trade agreements and ultimately for the WTO.
TISA is designed for and in close consultation with the global finance industry, whose greed and recklessness has been blamed for successive crises and who continue to capture rulemaking in global institutions.
A sample of provisions from this leaked text show that governments signing on to TISA will: be expected to lock in and extend their current levels of financial deregulation and liberalisation; lose the right to require data to be held onshore; face pressure to authorise potentially toxic insurance products; and risk a legal challenge if they adopt measures to prevent or respond to another crisis.

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TTIP: Deregulation, Attack on Jobs and End to Democracy, 42 pp, February 2014

to read the 42-page booklet by John Hilary published in February 2014, click on

http://rosalux.gr/sites/default/files/publications/ttip_web.pdf

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA. As officials from both sides acknowledge, the main goal of TTIP is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet these ‘barriers’ are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs), regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws and even new banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. The stakes, in other words, could not be higher.

This booklet, written by John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, explains in short what TTIP is and how it will affect the lives of all of us if it comes into force. The Rosa-Luxemburg foundation tries to cast some light into this secretly negotiated treaty and to encourage resistance, by bringing together experts, civil society and politicians in workshops and conferences in Europe and the USA.

more information at http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=183
and
http://www.alternativetrademandate.org/

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Free internet Book: The Triumph of Failed Ideas – European models of capitalism in the crisis, 286 pp

to read “The Triumph of Failed Ideas,” edited by Steffan Lehndorff, click on

http://www.etui.org/content/download/5164/51374/file/12+A+triumph+of+failed+ideas+WEB.pdf

Table of contents
Steffen Lehndorff
Introduction – The triumph of failed ideas ……………………………………………………………… 7
Dominique Anxo
From one crisis to another:
the Swedish model in turbulent times revisited …………………………………………………… 27
Damian Grimshaw and Jill Rubery
Reinforcing neoliberalism: crisis and austerity in the UK…………………………………. 41
James Wickham
After the party’s over: the Irish employment model and the paradoxes
of non-learning …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 59
Steffen Lehndorff
German capitalism and the European crisis:
part of the solution or part of the problem? …………………………………………………………. 79
Florence Jany-Catrice and Michel Lallement
France confronts the crisis:
economic symptoms exacerbate social inequality…………………………………………….. 103
Christoph Hermann and Jörg Flecker
The Austrian model and the financial and economic crisis …………………………….. 121
András Tóth, László Neumann and Hortenzia Hosszú
Hungary’s full-blown malaise …………………………………………………………………………………. 137
Maria Karamessini
Sovereign debt crisis: an opportunity to complete the neoliberal project
and dismantle the Greek employment model …………………………………………………….. 155
Annamaria Simonazzi
Italy: Chronicle of a crisis foretold ………………………………………………………………………… 183
Josep Banyuls and Albert Recio
Spain: the nightmare of Mediterranean neoliberalism…………………………………….. 199
Hans-Jürgen Urban
Crisis corporatism and trade union revitalisation in Europe ………………………….. 219
Janine Leschke, Sotiria Theodoropoulou and Andrew Watt
How do economic governance reforms and austerity measures affect
inclusive growth as formulated in the Europe 2020 Strategy?……………………… 243
List of contributors …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 283

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Political Myths and Elite Misanthropy by Herbert Schui

Political Myths and Elite Misanthropy by Herbert Schui, May 2014

In his new book “Political Myths and Elite Misanthropy,” Professor Herbert Schui explains the myth of the achiever, the myth of state indebtedness, the myths of competition and the market and the myth of market-conforming democracy. Clinton used New Testament themes like “the new covenant” and created demeaning workfare and the activating state while encouraging banksters and fraudsters to speculate and create money out of thin air. The economy should be a part of life, not a steamroller crushing self-determination and creativity.

to read the reading sample of “Political Myths and Elite Misanthropy” published in May 2014 and translated from the German on the Internet, click on

http://la.indymedia.org/news/2014/06/264457.php

RELATED LINKS:

On the Myth of the Achiever

Andreas Exner, “The State as a Human Cage,” March 20, 2013
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/02/03/18750233.php

On the Myths of State Indebtedness, Market and Competition

Hans-Jurgen Urban, “The Tiger and its Trainers,” 2013

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/06/18748818.php

Konstantin Wecker, “Inhuman Capital,” February 6, 2015

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/02/25/18751525.php

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Tax Extenders Cost Billions by Deborah Field, May 31, 2014, www.oregonlive.com

Tax Extenders Cost Billions
by Deborah Field

Fifteen years as an accountant in corporate America taught me that big multinational companies think they can play by their own rules. That’s especially true when it comes to taxes: Some corporations take pride in paying close to nothing in federal income taxes. Now that I run my own small printing and stationery businesses, I’m paying my fair share along with the rest of the middle class.

Too many big companies avoid taxes by lobbying Congress to riddle the law with loopholes. Some lawmakers aid their efforts – then complain that the law has holes like Swiss cheese. How big are those loopholes? Large enough that 26 large, profitable U.S. corporations paid absolutely nothing in federal income taxes from 2008 to 2012, according to the watchdog organization Citizens for Tax Justice. Verizon, Boeing and General Electric combined paid less in federal income taxes over five years than your family or my small business paid in taxes in one year. There is something deeply wrong with that.

I’m proud to pay my fair share of taxes. Most of us realize that it’s the price of sustaining our public infrastructure, schools, legal system and other things essential to making America an excellent place to do business. Corporations that take advantage of all America has to offer and then refuse to pay their fair share in taxes are shirking their civic responsibilities.

Small businesses like mine don’t have bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. But big corporations use offshore tax havens to dodge billions of dollars in taxes every year. When big corporations use tax havens to avoid paying taxes, the rest of us end up paying more. Oregon taxpayers will have to pay $1,022 this year on average to make up for the combined losses in federal and state tax revenues from tax havens, according to a report by U.S. PIRG. Oregon small businesses will have to pay $3,125 on average.

The good news is some of the loopholes that enable large corporations to hide their profits offshore recently expired. The bad news is Congress is on course to bring them back.
One of the expired tax loopholes, known as the “active financing exception,” enables banks and other companies with financing operations to make it appear that U.S. profits were earned in offshore tax havens. General Electric depends on this loophole to lower its tax bill, and so has put four dozen lobbyists working to keep it alive, according to a recent study by Americans for Tax Fairness and Public Campaign.

Thanks to the “GE Loophole” and other tax dodging tricks, GE hasn’t paid a dime in federal income taxes over the last five years even though it’s made $27 billion in profits. Instead, it’s gotten $3 billion in refunds.

The GE Loophole isn’t just unfair to small businesses; it’s a burden to us all. If the loophole is renewed, it will cost $62 billion over the next decade. That’s money we won’t have to fix roads, build schools, or find medical cures—the kinds of investments that strengthen our communities and boost small business.

Even in Washington, expired corporate tax breaks wouldn’t stand much of a chance of being renewed through stand-alone legislation. But they’ve been cleverly bundled with scores of other tax changes that mostly benefit businesses into an innocuous sounding package known inside the Beltway as “tax extenders.” The total cost is $86 billion for two years, but none of it is paid for meaning it will get added to the budget deficit.
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on this measure soon. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the bill’s chief sponsor, recently declared this would be the “last extenders bill on my watch.” It should be the last package of corporate tax giveaways, period.

When the recession hit in late 2008, our sales suddenly fell 50 percent. My customers didn’t have as much money to spend on our products. We had to lay off most of our staff. Those are the kind of problems small businesses have to face and overcome. They can’t be fixed by sweetheart deals for large corporations like the GE Loophole.

Congress should let corporate America know it has to play by the same rules as everybody else. Let’s end tax breaks that favor giant corporations and focus on supporting our small businesses in local communities and their customers.

Deborah Field co-owns Paperjam Press in Portland and serves on the executive committee of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, a coalition of over 2,200 small business owners.

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Video: Capital in the 21st Century, 1hr 30min

to watch the 1hr 30 min presentation by Thomas Piketty, click on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=heOVJM2JZxI#t=0

Joe Stiglitz And Paul Krugman On ‘Capital In The Twenty-First Century’

The French economist Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics) discussed his new book ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ at the City University of New York Graduate Center. In this landmark work, Piketty argues that the main driver of inequality — the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth —threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. He calls for political action and policy intervention.

Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University), Paul Krugman (Princeton University), and Steven Durlauf (University of Wisconsin–Madison) participated in a panel moderated by LIS Senior Scholar Branko Milanovic. The event was introduced by LIS Director Janet Gornick, professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Center.

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Video: Ha-Joon Chang on Economics, 26min

Ha-Joon Chang is a professor of politics and economics at Cambridge University.

to hear Prof. Chang on “What is Economics? A User’s Guide,” 26 min from 5/23/2014, click on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yZAfLIKrp9A#t=0

In his talk, Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang provides the fundamental tools that every responsible citizen needs to understand – and address – our current economic woes.

The talk was chaired by Guardian columnist Zoe Williams and draws on Ha-Joon Chang’s latest book: Economics: The User’s Guide: A Pelican Introduction, in which he explains how the global economy works, and why anyone can understand the dismal science. Unlike many economists who claim there is only one way of ‘doing economics’, he introduces readers to a wide range of economic theories, from classical to Keynesian, revealing how they all have their strengths, weaknesses and blind spots.

more at www.nextnewdeal.net, www.foreffectivegov.org, www.therealnews.com, www.steadystate.org, www.worklessparty.org, www.onthecommons.org, www.progressive-economics.ca, and www.social-europe.eu

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