The Political Slant

The Fed’s Fiduciary Fumble

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The Covid pandemic created a lot of economic changes. Privileged employees who taunt their employers and claim they will never return to their office. Wages moved up because of a lack of talent. (“Talent” is human resource jargon for employees.) Members of the U.S. Congress made high-yielding stock purchases because of inside information, and now dare their constituents to try to make such inside information trades illegal while they waive their gains in the face of their electorates.

Some information before we continue. There is a public organization called the Federal Reserve System. No, wait, it is a private organization. No, wait, the Fed, as it is called, is, um, both. Owned by the banks (big ones, naturally) the Fed is a privately held public organization, and don’t you dare ask the names of those banks. After all, knowing the names of those banks would open to public scrutiny decisions about interest rates charged to the public, and we just can’t have that, now can we? After all, private organizations that have a vested interest in public policy deserve their privacy, now don’t they? If only they were on Facebook, then we could buy all of their personal information, but no, they have far too much money for that to happen.

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Scrapping the Slippery Slope Supposition

Not a lawyer, but took a few law classes; the professors taught the law classes as if they were teaching in law school. The constitutional law professor (Harvard grad, by the way) stated that there were aspects of the law that our Supreme Court deliberately stayed away from, because they were “slippery slope” issues. Welcome to the slippery slope, America.

The recent decision, which will probably be known as Dobb v. Jackson, turned to federalism. “Turned to federalism” means the issue has been turned back to the states to decide for themselves. The federal protection of abortion is no more. The SCOTUS decided that the federal protection of the right to get an abortion was not constitutional, that is to say, there is nothing in our Constitution that guarantees the right to get an abortion; Roe v. Wade is overturned.

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Wrecking the Refund Reckoning

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The student debt problem remains, but there are always options.  Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.,  Maxine Waters, D-Calif. and Senator Elizabeth Warren, like spoiled children who can’t get what they want the fair and proven legislative way, will create a workaround. The aforementioned representatives are suggesting, or, even insisting, that President Biden achieve what they cannot accomplish via legislation by issuing an executive order relieving millions from their student debt.  An executive order would be a great boon (in the way of votes) for the Democrats who pushed for it. Look for such a move close to the election, where it will be firmly in the minds of voters.

To quote Senator Elizabeth Warren: “Student loan debt is crushing millions, especially during this pandemic. It’s an anchor dragging down our struggling economy.” So adding trillions to the government debt will be a good economic move?

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Iran Has More Progressive Abortion Laws Than Texas – Video

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Should the SCOTUS leak of the Alito draft decision prove true and powers go back to the state level, Texas will effectively have more restrictive abortion laws than the entire country of Iran. Manila Chan sits down with famed professor (and party to the JCPOA negotiations in Vienna) Mohammad Marandi, of the University of Tehran, to discuss the hot social topic du jour – abortion, women’s choice, and the role of government. We’ll learn some Iran 101 basics with the professor and see what Iranians think of the Roe v Wade issue dominating the headlines in the US.

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

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by Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen and Paul Kiel

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.Series: The Secret IRS Files Inside the Tax Records of the .001%

In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

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War on Crime – We All Are Victims

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So after 40 years of “tough on crime,” it’s come to this. In addition to the military-industrial complex, we have the penal system / financial complex as something to worry about. We now have perverse incentives in place to continue the expansion of incarceration as the answer to all of our societal problems. It makes perfect sense to keep building new facilities whose sole purpose is to enrich the corporate investors, who enable governments to pretend they are addressing their crime problems by locking up miscreants for longer sentences. All in the name of being tough on crime, which politicians love to tout to their voters.

In the October 15 issue of Science Magazine, there’s an outstanding summary of current research and trends in the social sciences regarding incarceration in the US. They show how the past 40 years of tough on crime has ignored secular trends on reduced crime rates (yes, homicide rates for the last couple of years have gone up). Instead, the incarceration rate keeps going up, and we are building a class of people who find it impossible to function in society after they are released from prison.

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War Criminal Talk

 

There’s been much talk lately about ‘war criminals’ – with the latest accusation coming from the United States accusing Vladimir Putin of Russia of war crimes in the ongoing war in Ukraine, now in its sixth week. The rhetoric climbed to the highest levels in early April 2022 when for just the second time in history – a state was suspended from the UN Human Rights Council. In the UN’s 77 years, Russia joins Libya in this dubious distinction. This, highlighting not only US hypocrisy but that of all nations who supported the US-led vote because there is no other member country that has left behind greater humanitarian crises in its wake than the United States of America.

Take for instance Laos. The tiny, landlocked, Southeast Asian country was the staging ground for the first proxy war between the United States and Russia (then the Soviet Union). Many today, can compare the events unfolding in Ukraine to those of 1960s Laos – caught in the crosshairs of the American invasion of Vietnam, to the lesser-known Secret War in Laos that spanned four consecutive US presidents: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. 

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