Mike Whitney

America's Class War Explained in 1 Chart

Is America in the throes of a class war?

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Is the Violent ISIS Campaign in Iraq -- Funded By Our Allies -- Really An Attack on Iran?

There’s something that doesn’t ring-true about the coverage of crisis in Iraq. Maybe it’s the way the media reiterates the same, tedious storyline over and over again with only the slightest changes in the narrative. For example, I was reading an article in the Financial Times by Council on Foreign Relations president, Richard Haass, where he says that Maliki’s military forces in Mosul “melted away”. Interestingly, the Haass op-ed was followed by a piece by David Gardener who used almost the very same language. He said the “army melts away.” So, I decided to thumb through the news a bit and see how many other journalists were stung by the “melted away” bug. And, as it happens, there were quite a few, including Politico, NBC News, News Sentinel, Global Post, the National Interest, ABC News etc. Now, the only way an unusual expression like that would pop up with such frequency would be if the authors were getting their talking points from a central authority. (which they probably do.) But the effect, of course, is the exact opposite than what the authors intend, that is, these cookie cutter stories leave readers scratching their heads and feeling like something fishy is going on.

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Work Until You’re Dead?

Millions of older Americans say they will never be able to retire. They simply don’t have the savings. According to CNN, “Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings…50% have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all….” (“76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck“, CNN Money)

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Housing Market Hype -- Are We Really Expected to Believe That Prices Will Rise with High Unemployment?

The "housing has hit bottom" trope is the biggest bunch of public relations horseshit since WMD.

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France Riots Over Pension Reforms While Americans Lose Their Homes in Record Numbers With Hardly any Protest

Thank God for France. While American liberals tremble at the idea of sending an angry email to congress for fear that their name will appear on the State Department's list of terrorists, French workers are on the front lines choking on tear gas and fending off billyclubs in hand-to-hand combat with Sarkozy's Gendarmerie. That's because the French haven't forgotten their class roots. When the government gets too big for its britches, people pour out onto to the streets and Paris becomes a war zone replete with overturned Mercedes Benzes, smashed storefront windows, and stacks of smoldering tires issuing pillars of black smoke. This is what democracy looks like when it hasn't been emasculated by decades of propaganda and consumerism. Here's a blurb from the trenches:

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Is the Vaunted Chinese Economy About to Pop?

There's no doubt that China manipulates its currency to gain an advantage over its competitors. There's also no doubt that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will do everything in his power to avoid a confrontation with China's President Hu Jintao when he arrives in Washington in two weeks. That's why Geithner has decided to shelve Treasury's mandated currency manipulation report for the time being and defuse a potential imbroglio with Hu. But the Treasury Secretary's unwillingness to embarrass his guest, has angered members of congress who think the administration needs to take a tougher stand on China to protect American workers and U.S. exporters. Senators Charles Schumer (NY-D) and Lindsey Graham (SC-R) are demanding that China be labeled a "currency manipulator" so that punitive action can be taken. That could lead a full-blown trade war with America's biggest creditor.

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The Video That Will Put Geithner Behind Bars

You gotta see this! If this doesn't convince you that Timothy Geithner knew about the securities shenanigans that were going on at Lehman, than I don't know what will.

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Are We Approaching the End of the Bubble Economy?

Bank of America is buying Merrill Lynch for $45 billion, AIG needs an emergency $40 billion bail-out from Uncle Sam to stay afloat, and Lehman Bros is kaput. Whew! The financial world has been turned upside-down overnight. It'll be a rough day of trading ahead.

The news of Wall Street's Sunday night massacre sent foreign stock markets into a deep swoon. Shares tumbled in Asia and dropped more than 4 per cent in Europe. The dollar is steadily losing ground to the euro and gold is on the rise. The question is not whether the Dow will fall, but "how far" and what affect that will have on increasingly fragile financial institutions.

Lehman Brothers, the 158-year-old Wall Street warhorse, announced Sunday that it will file for bankruptcy after weekend rescue plans broke down without finding a buyer. Fears of credit contagion and a global recession have resurfaced and become more widespread. Lehman's failure suggests that that the other Wall Street giants will soon be following the same path to extinction. Economist Nouriel Roubini put it like this:

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