Friday, February 8, 2013

Slow glass in your happening world

Stirling Newberry was the guest last week on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd, and they talked about the stupid economy, and where the working people's resistance is, and a lot of other interesting stuff. (By the way, a lot of people aren't aware of Stirling's other calling, as a composer. Here's his Fugue For Aaron Swartz.)
This week's guest was Stephanie Kelton, with another primer on Modern Monetary Theory and why the United States can't go broke.

Sam Seder is hinting that he's been hit with a patent troll lawsuit on The Majority Report, where he talked to EFF's Julie Samuels, and to Bob Edgar about how Harry Reid killed filibuster reform.
Sam also talked to David Dayen about how Californians are turning back the tide of the anti-tax disaster in their state, and of course about banksters. Dday's article about the new California miracle is appeared in, of all places, The New Republic.

But California may not be fast enough to prevent energy companies from using up their water.

"Who can't be on Obama's 'kill list'?"
Wyden Statement on DOJ Memo on the Killing of Americans During Counterterrorism Operations: "Every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them."
Lauren Feeny Breaking Down the DOJ Drone Memo
Rosa Brooks, "Death by Loophole"
Greg Mitchell: "Outrage Mounts in Media Over Obama Drone 'Kill Rules'"

And more from the Creepy President file:
Gaius Publius, "Obama: Social Security & Medicare cuts are 'very much (back) on the table': It's Tuesday, and Barack Obama has betrayed us again."
Obama names former oil company executive to head Department of the Interior.

"Former Target Store Manager to Oversee Nation's Nuclear Security" - I don't mind that he's a former Target store manager, but I do mind that "he came to Target after leaving Malmstrom Air Force Base in July 2008. From 2005 until 2008, as the commander of Malmstrom's 341st Security Forces Group, he was in charge of security for 200 intercontinental ballistic missiles in central Montana, according to Katrina M. Heikkinen, a spokeswoman for the base. In November 2008, the Air Force Times reported that the 341st Missile Wing had failed its "nuclear surety inspection," which takes place every 18 months, after problems were found with maintenance, and also with the program that monitors access to the nukes..."

"Every California Right Wing Smear Campaign Has Been Paid For By One Deranged Trust Fund Baby Who Spent Much Of His Life In An Insane Asylum." And that's not just a local problem.

"Americans shocked to learn that there isn't actually a Social Security crisis"
"It turns out nearly all Americans love Social Security [...] A poll commissioned by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) asked people about a menu of options, from raising to retirement age, to cutting benefits, to increasing taxes. Here is the package of reforms supported by 71% of respondents..." I have one big quibble with this - the menu doesn't appear to list the option of putting the retirement age down to something more reasonable. There's really no reason it can't be lower. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to lower it to 55, and would vastly improve the economy.

"Feds file suit over S&P mortgage bond ratings: The Justice Department late Monday hit Standard & Poor's with civil fraud charges, alleging the nation's largest credit rating firm gave overly rosy appraisals to securities that led to the national financial meltdown."

Thanks to commenter ksix who points to Naked Capitalism for "Tom Ferguson Saw the Disheartening Future of American Politics 25 Years Ago: Nathan Tankus found this archival video (you are going to get a gas out of the production values... and be patient with the set up, it takes a few minutes for the video to get going). As strange as it may seem, analyzing politics in terms of money was a radical idea in political science 25 years ago. But if you simply followed the money, it was actually remarkably easy to see the direction in which American politics were destined to go. Notice, for instance, that he points out how dependent Democratic party funding was on investment bankers and real estate....in 1988...and what that meant for party strategy. (An interesting bit is also how the role Japan played is not that different than the one now played by China, except back in the 1980s there was public concern about Japan, and now there is pretty much zip re China)." Ferguson warned that, "The choice for the Democrats in 1988 is between Roosevelt and Grover Cleveland." That was the primary season in which, until the media overtly turned against him, the front-runner had been Jesse Jackson. The Democrats picked Dukakis instead.

It turns out that Sean Wilentz didn't think much of Oliver Stone's trek through American history because it wasn't an apologia for the status quo. Oh, dear. (And while I was checking out the comments, I found a link for 9/11 in five minutes, which reveals the craziest conspiracy theory of them all.)

"Beltway-aired Super Bowl ad goes after union card check: This Sunday, legislative attempts to restrict union power found an audience among Super Bowl viewers. Football fans in the Washington, D.C. area were treated to an anti-card check ad from the conservative Center for Union Facts (CUF) right before kickoff."
Not that I was feeling a crying need for a third competitor with Coco-Cola and Pepsico, but here's how your media helps to preserve their duopoly.

Michelangelo Signorile on "Ed Koch and the Corruption of the Gay Closet [...] To those who claim we suffer no ramifications from closeted public figures, I offer Exhibit A of how the combination of the closet and power corrupts: Edward I. Koch, mayor of New York City from 1978 until 1989 and widely assumed homosexual, who died on Friday at the age of 88. At this very moment, there are closeted gay politicians in Washington and across the country voting against gay rights in part to cover for themselves, driven by personal ambition. They are dangerous individuals, wielding power while harboring a secret they're pathologically afraid will out itself, abusing and terrorizing those close to them as well as many others

"Lie After Lie After Lie: What Colin Powell Knew Ten Years Ago Today and What He Said"
The Obama administration would never ever ever ever leak. (Also: How the world is ruled.)

"Anonymous publishes login, contact info, for 4,000 top US bankers: From ZDNet we learn that the group Anonymous seems to have struck a blow in retaliation, in part, for the suicide of hacker Aaron Swartz."

Scary note in the latest Ansible under Random Fandom: "Brian Ameringen reports an alarming letter in Sheppard's Newsletter 298, from a Cambridge mail-order bookseller who learned that since 14 January his local Royal Mail depot would no longer accept overseas printed-paper mailings, supposedly owing to changes in the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. Books, and thus printed fanzines, are Dangerous Goods? It's not at all clear whether they're being regarded as 'flammable solids' (though not very) or potential pornography - the only applicable-seeming classifications in the Royal Mail guide to prohibited and restricted items."

"Looking Back: Sex in psychological warfare"

"I Want a Marriage Like They Had in the Bible"

Make your own custom pulp magazine cover! (Gary Farber provided this sample.)

16 comments:

  1. I'm getting rather an educaton in economics from Naked Capitalism; see also http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/02/philip-pilkington-the-fear-industry-austrian-school-propaganda-and-the-gold-market.html.

    Isn't 55 the age beyond which one can't get hired for full time work anymore, anyway?

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  2. The "Sex in Psychological Warfare" piece bothers me a little. First, he's working with a rather odd definition of pornography, equating pornography with what were called "pinups" then and would be called "beer ads" today. And did the pictures of scantily-clad Hollywood stars (Betty Grable et al.), which were copied onto the sides of bombers, before or after these leaflets?

    Then there's this: "They feature themes of homosexuality, bestiality, lesbianism and child molestation." Homosexuality and lesbianism? Oh noes! This is an interesting subject for WWII history, but I'd rather read an account written by someone who didn't get his education at Liberty University.

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  3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Sterling Newberry who several years ago - about 2005, I think - was urging that leftists and progressives who took positions not immediately advantageous to electing Democrats be "framed out" so that the Serious Liberals could go "Oh no no no, they're not with us?"

    I've never really forgiven him for that.

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    1. I'm afraid most of the bloggers I once really enjoyed swimming with have disappointed me at some point. At least Stirling isn't all Obot or anything.

      Even I had my partisan moments, early on, until I realized what was really going on....

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    2. That's crazier than "9/11" a desperate attempt to eliminate evidence of the claudestine labyrith 'neith the WTC where for generations illegal aliens from the planet Nephini have been cooking up Stepford Clones of those we send to D.C.

      I have to admit though, perhaps even somewhat sheepishly, that I was feeding trolls when I made that up.

      No fear...

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    3. I'd never heard of Stirling Newberry back then, but it reminds me of the way, immediately after 9/11, liberals like Eric Alterman pushed Noam Chomsky forward to take any bullets that might be aimed at the "reflexive/radical" left. Such a cowardly way to establish your credibility and so ridiculous given that Chomsky is a far deeper and more consistent thinker than Alterman.

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  4. "Thanks to commenter ksix who points to... Tom Ferguson" and Noam Chomsky. I wouldn't have taken an hour to listen to that discussion from 1988 with Ferguson had it not been for the recommendation. Here's the segment I found to be the most interesting:

    [Indent]>>>[18:09] Thomas Ferguson: ...And then when the [Ronald Reagan] administration-- initially they let the dollar go way up trying to drive inflation out of the system [with Paul Volcker's high interest rate policy. (Volcker had been tapped for Fed Chairman job by Jimmy Carter.)]. And that was extremely lucrative, not for a whole bunch of people, [but for those] who used the opportunity, especially in manufacturing, to get rid of a lot of workers. I mean-- like the auto companies got rid of thousands of workers and you probably couldn't have done that, except in a huge recession. And so for a while, even though the high interest rate policies were raising the dollar making it tough to sell abroad, bringing in Japanese goods, and crashing the sort of domestic [wage] income people were, the bulk of the business community were quite happy with this.

    [18:48] But then you see, as the income loss gets acute, their cost reductions won't carry them all the way, they start getting off [the Reagan bandwagon] and there are a lot of unhappy people in 1983-- 82, 83-- walking around, even talking about the Democrats. Reagan then countered with Star Wars, the thing you want to keep your eye on thereafter is the way the American relationship with Japan developed because the sort of main line--. Well, all right, and [Jesse] Jackson, I think-- I must say this is an issue that is fundamental and if you don't understand it: A) you will make no progress towards understanding what's happened, or is about to happen, because this issue isn't going to go away and it sits there, the question of what is the American posture toward Japan.

    [19:35] And maybe the easiest way to get into it in a couple of minutes is to sort of go through stuff that is all around now, "Is the American Empire collapsing and are we overextended?," the sort of Paul Kennedy book in particular, I mean Paul Kennedy's historical book The Decline of Empires (sic) has a great deal of writing about whether the American Empire is past its peak and are we being succeeded by Japan.

    [19:59] Well, if you want to understand what the American business community's response to this is, you've got to understand that many of them are not embarrassed by the imperial comparison. But they think of it exactly the opposite way, a very nice illustration of this is, implicitly, the Zbigniew Brzezinski essay in Foreign Affairs not long ago. Their position is if the American Empire wants to hold together the problem is not over extension it is that it must have a position in the new, fast growing area in the world which is the Pacific. And for that, they think the relationship with Japan is utterly fundamental. As Brzezinski said in his piece there, he can't imagine how you develop a relationship there except in partnership with Japan. In that sense a happy relationship between the American multinational firms that want to go into the Pacific and Japan is fundamental. On the other hand, Japan is killing a good chunk of American industry with completely legal competition-- well we can discuss that.

    continued...

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    1. [Indent]>>> [20:49] Douglas Kellner: And there's economic interest in the U.S. that wants to keep Japan at a distance and to want to be tougher with them.

      Ferguson: Well, the question is incredibly complicated and you're not going to get anywhere with a simple approach that it's the U.S. vs. Japan. What you've got to understand is that first of all many American multinationals respond to this question by simply transferring production abroad as Jackson said in his campaign. Then they go to Taiwan or other parts of Asia. It gives them a big stake in southeast Asia, you're not going anywhere with a program in the American business community that says lets retract from southeast Asia.

      [21:23] On the other hand what these people start doing is exporting to the rest of the world and, indeed, back into the United States. Indeed, as you there's some very nice studies out of the National Bureau of Economic Research which say, "Well, if you look at sort of the way the U. S. exports' position has declined in the world you'll see a fairly significant decline, all though a good deal is concentrated earlier than one would have thought, but then when you look at, incorporate sort of exports from southeast Asia and other countries where U.S. firms are there, there's been no decline in U.S. exports because if you count those firms over there. It's entirely a domestic issue.

      [22:06] Now in many cases some of those firms even exported into Japan and, indeed, you can now see the Japanese sometimes when they've, as the Reagan administration has had to put more pressure on them they sometimes respond by buying more goods from southeast Asia, a policy which you can't understand unless you understand it's American firms who are pushing the government that are getting their exports bought there. That does them good, it doesn't do the rest of the [American] population much good.

      [22:24] Anyway that's one strand of this policy and you ask yourself who are the natural opponents of this policy and you can see there how from the standpoint of the general population, in effect, they're asked to pay the fabulous military and foreign policy costs this over-extension since it's tax dollars that underwrites the military power, the foreign aid, the sort of money for intelligence operations and so forth, this is big-- what you might call the Imperial overhead, it's very costly. Now the beneficiaries of that are largely American multinationals who, in many cases, are exporting jobs out of the United States, that's just perfectly clear....<<<[End indent]

      continued...

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  5. Back in 1981, Noam Chomsky pointed out:

    [Indent]>>>Carter Administration: Myth and Reality

    Perhaps the most striking feature of the new Administration is the role played in it by the Trilateral Commission. The mass media had little to say about this matter during the Presidential campaign -- in fact, the connection of the Carter group to the Commission was recently selected as "the best censored news story of 1976" -- and it has not received the attention that it might have since the Administration took office.

    All of the top positions in the government -- the office of President, Vice-President, Secretary of State, Defense and Treasury -- are held by members of the Trilateral Commission, and the National Security Advisor was its director. Many lesser officials also came from this group. It is rare for such an easily identified private group to play such a prominent role in an American Administration....<<<[End indent]

    Just curious, who was it who set up this Trilateral Commission which became the steering committee for that presidential administration? Wikipedia says:

    [Indent]>>>The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973, to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan....<<<[End indent]

    So who then did the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chase Manhattan Bank put in charge of organizing his commission?

    continued...

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    1. This brings us to Zbigniew Brzezinski, who in the days leading up to the Richard Nixon resignation in August of 1974 wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the Los Angeles Times which took up an unrelated matter, namely what in his circles was referred to as "the crisis of democracy":

      [Indent]>>>Can democracy exist without economic growth?

      Democracy as a process produced an increase in justice through a wider sharing of wealth, with that sharing made tolerable for many because it was accompanied by steady economic growth. The presence of economic growth made it possible for a democratic society to give higher attention to socially progressive measures without imposing strict governmental control, or it may become a democracy in which social conflicts become intensified. Either could threaten the spirit of democracy.

      We must not forget that during the 19th century the central preoccupation of democratic thinkers was with the problem of liberty; today it is with the problem of equality, and in that context the absence of sustained growth may pose truly great dangers for the persistence of democratic processes and institutions,not to speak of the role of free enterprise. The combination of liberty with equality may prove to be impossible without sustained growth.<<<[End indent]

      I'll add on the next passage from the opinion piece here, though it's a little off topic. Given that unexpected inflation is just about the worst thing that can happen to bankers/creditors come to your own conclusion but 20th century European history expert Zbig sure seems to be pulling a fast one here:

      [Indent]>>>Can democracy endure prolonged inflation?

      We have had so far very little experience with prolonged inflation in the context of a democratic social and political order. The examples we do have, however, are ominous, indeed.

      We know that Weimar Germany collapsed because its social and political institutions could not absorb sustained inflationary pressures...<<<[End indent]

      That's not even close to what history says about this. Now it is true the fledgling Nazi movement, in part, organized itself over the role "Jewish bankers" were assumed to have played in creating the 1921 to late 1923 Weimar period of hyperinflation which was separate from the "stabbed-in-back" WWI related myth, but without going into it further, I'll quote Paul Krugman [LINK] on the subject:

      [Indent]>>>...France and Germany had terrible, deflationist policies in the early 1930s. (It was the Brüning deflation, not the Weimar inflation, that brought you-know-who to power [as Chancellor in 1933]).<<<[End indent]

      continued...

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    2. Let me mention here that none of this story was put together by me, I just clicked around a little after hearing Noam Chomsky lay it out. But, just to set up the transcript of his remarks in this matter, which follows below, here is a passage from the more finished product of what the Trilateral Commission was saying publicly a year later in 1975. [LINK to a 230 page pdf] (That link is to a resource which supplements an available online leftist study course about neo-liberalism which is outlined here. [LINK]) I've just poked around in it.)

      [Indent]>>>p. 163

      ...In most of the Trilateral countries in the past decade there has been a decline in the confidence and trust which the people have in government, in their leaders, and, less clearly but most importantly, in each other. Authority has been challenged not only in government, but in trade unions, business enterprises, schools and universities, professional associations, churches, and civic groups.

      In the past, those institutions which have played the major role in the indoctrination of the young in their rights and obligations as members of society have been the family, the church, the school, and the army. The effectiveness of all these institutions as a means of socialization has declined severely. The stress has been increasingly on individuals and their rights, interests, and needs, and not on the community and its rights, interests, and needs.

      These attitudes have been particularly prevalent in the young, but they have also appeared in other age groups, especially among those who have achieved professional, white-collar, and middle-class status. The success of the existing structures of authority in incorporating large elements of the population into the middle class, paradoxically, strengthens precisely those groups which are disposed to challenge the existing structures of authority....<<<[End indent]

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    3. [Indent]>>>[53:36] Noam Chomsky: ...Well that civilizing effect of the 1960's aroused deep concerns all across the mainstream spectrum. That's why it's usually called the time of troubles, it was civilizing the country too much and that's dangerous.

      And it's kind of interesting, I'll talk about the reaction, it has very strong effects right until the present.

      On the right one striking example was the influential memorandum which -- it's worth reading, you can pick it up in the internet -- a memorandum by Lewis Powell who was a corporate lawyer. He was later appointed by Nixon to the Supreme Court.

      At the other end of the spectrum there's an important study, also worth reading, by the Trilateral Commission, these are liberal internationalists from the three major industrial regions; Europe, United States, and Japan. Their general outlook is indicated by the fact that the Carter administration was drawn almost completely from their ranks, that's who they were.

      [54:44] The-- and both of them merit attention. They provide a good insight into the ideological aspects of what has in fact been a major assault on democracy and on rights that was beginning to take shape forty years ago, escalated pretty sharply in the Reagan/Thatcher years and continued, and it's now reaching new heights. And they also provide insight as to how this assault targets the educational system.

      So let's start with Powell's memorandum, 1971. This was sent to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that's the main business lobby. The title was "The Attack on the American Free Enterprise System." Now it's worth reading, not only for the content but also for the tone which is totally paranoid, which is characteristic.

      [55:41] The major criminals were Ralph Nader with his consumer safety campaigns; Herbert Marcuse who was preaching Marxism; New Leftists are on the rampage; but primarily their naive victims who dominate the universities, the schools, television and other media, the educated community, and virtually control of the government, if you hadn't noticed it.

      [56:06] And, incidentally, I'm not exaggerating, I urge you to read it.

      [56:13] Well the takeover of the country by these devils is a dire threat to freedom he said because the only alternatives to free enterprise are varying degrees of bureaucratic regulation of individual freedom ranging from moderate socialism to the the leftist and rightist dictatorships. Actually, if any of you were watching the Republican debates, the same thing is being repeated right now. You know, the center-right Obama administration are Marxist radicals, and so on.

      [56:46] Actually, Powell was very familiar with another alternative to free enterprise, namely the system in which he and his Chamber of Commerce associates thrived. He was [an] influential lobbyist for the tobacco industry and he was surely aware of the huge federal subsidies for the production of this leading killer, which not only kills users at a scale that vastly exceeds the targets of the mostly farcical drug wars but, also, kills many others from passive smoking, collateral damage-- just being around when other people are smoking, [death totals] way beyond those of hard drugs.

      continued...

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    4. [Indent]>>>[57:36] And he was surely aware of the great successes of lobbyists like him in assuring for many decades that the government would not only subsidize the industry but help it conceal what they all knew. They knew about the lethal product that they were peddling and there are huge mounds of corpses to show for their achievement, they're still piling up rapidly.

      But that didn't keep him from wailing in his memo that I'll quote, "as every business executive knows, few elements of American society today have as little influence in government as the American businessman, corporation, [or] even the millions of corporate stock holders..." --in case you hadn't noticed.

      [58:23] And that, again, is considered-- it is pretty characteristic. And the reason is that there's an assumption for the state to support, subsidize private power, that's just the natural order, any disruption of it is a catastrophe. And he then drew the obvious conclusion, he was talking about the universities, he said, "The campuses from which much of this emanates are supported by tax funds generated largely from American business, and contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees of our universities, overwhelmingly, are composed of men and women who are leaders in the business system.

      [59:09] "Most of the media, including the national t.v. systems, are owned and theoretically controlled by corporations which depend on profits, and the enterprise system to survive."

      [59:25] And therefore these marginalized groups, who are being destroyed, should organize to defend themselves instead of just watching passively while business and our fundamental freedoms are destroyed by this Marxist onslaught from the media and the universities.

      [59:43] Well, Powell's memo expresses the concerns elicited by 1960s' activism at the right end of the mainstream spectrum, but much more revealing, I think, is the reaction at the opposite extreme, the liberal internationalists.

      And these are spelled out in the Trilateral Commission report that I mentioned, it's called "The Crisis of Democracy." It's not easy to find, incidentally, because they mostly took it off the market when people started reading it. But it's there. Actually, I should say that MIT-- as soon as I read it when it came out and I figured this isn't going to last long so I bought a lot of copies for the MIT library so if you can't find one the MIT library has about a dozen or so copies and then it did go out of print, I should say, very quickly.[Actually, these days it is pretty easy to find. Perhaps that was not the case in the '80s and '90s.]

      [1:00:32] The crisis of democracy that they were talking about is, literally, that there was too much democracy. The problem they said, this is leading figures, major political scientists from Harvard and so on. The public, the way that the democratic order is supposed to work, the public is supposed to be passive and apathetic- Lippmann, Bernays, Emerson, Madison model- they are supposed to be passive and apathetic but in the 60s they organized to press their demands.

      That's what was being done by what were called the special interests. The special interests were; women, young people, old people, workers, farmers, the population in other words: they're the special interests.

      continued...

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    5. [Indent]>>>[1:01:29] If you look through the-- when they pressed their demands there's too much pressure on the state, the state can't deal with them so therefore they have to moderate their demands. Now there's one group that isn't mentioned, the corporate sector.

      Now that makes sense because they represent the national interest, not special interest. So just like the far right, the liberal internationalists assume that their extraordinary power and their control of the state and other institutions is just the natural order.

      [1:01:48] A primary concern of the Trilateral scholars, just like Lewis Powell, was the failures of what they called, I'm quoting, "the institutions responsible for the indoctrination of the young," the schools, the universities, the churches, and the like. They're not carrying out their duty to indoctrinate the young properly and that's why we had this time of troubles. In general they said we had to have more moderation in democracy if the national interest is to be protected including much more successful indoctrination of the young.

      [1:02:33] Well, the Powell memo and the Trilateral study spell out the concerns at the opposite extremes of the dominant ideological spectrum, these are largely shared concerns and they've led to vigorous action to restore order, as often happened in the past. One consequence of these and other developments has been a pretty sharp attack on public education...<<<[End indent]

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    6. Well I see I completely botched the reproduction of the selected text from the Brzezinski opinion piece. With the parts I managed to leave out designated in bold lettering, including a crucial part, the passage should have read:

      [Indent]>>>Can democracy exist without social economic growth?

      Democracy as a process produced an increase in justice through a wider sharing of wealth, with that sharing made tolerable for many because it was accompanied by steady economic growth. The presence of economic growth made it possible for a democratic society to give higher attention to socially progressive measures without imposing strict governmental controls on all aspects of life and without a compulsory redistribution of wealth.

      A democracy in which economic growth is very slow or absent may become a democracy in which the social pie has to be divided more arbitrarily, through greater governmental control,
      or it may become a democracy in which social conflicts become intensified. Either could threaten the spirit of democracy.

      We must not forget that during the 19th century the central preoccupation of democratic thinkers was with the problem of liberty; today it is with the problem of equality, and in that context the absence of sustained growth may pose truly great dangers for the persistence of democratic processes and institutions, not to speak of the freedom of the individual and the role of free enterprise. The combination of liberty with equality may prove to be impossible without sustained growth....<<<[End indent]

      The Bureau of Labor Statistics has historical tables for unemployment and inflation which you can reference to see what was going during the earliest years of the Trilateral Commission. Adjust the data field and notice that the unemployment rate pushed above the four percent level beginning in February, 1970, on the way to a June, 1975, rate of 8.8 percent which was the peak for the decade. This reflected some of the stagnancy referred to by the term "70s stagflation." In the years of 1973; '74; and '75 the inflation rates were 6.2 percent; 11.0 percent; and 9.1 percent.

      [Labor Force Statistics 1948 to present link]

      [Consumer Price Index 1913 to 2012 with annual percentage change calculation in the right hand column]

      I did want to mention that the reason the New Deal is so fondly remembered and the Great Society is not is because the Roosevelt administration both chalked up resounding victories in WWII and was followed by economic golden years whereas the Johnson administration was condemned by the right and the left for the failures of the American involvement in the Vietnam War and for the economic troubles of the '70s, a decade rife with alarming economic data reflecting a troubled economy.

      Regardless of how much blame the LBJ administration deserves for the tragedy of the war in southeast Asia, the cause of 70s stagflation had little to do with any of the Great Society economic or social welfare policies or the financial costs of the Vietnam War. Actually it was the other way around, the economic realities of the '70s and '80s prevented the Johnson social policies from being as successful as they might have been had those two decades ended up being the economic boom times that the '50s and '60s were.

      It's been the key to the ascendancy of the neo-liberal revolution that false views about the consequences the '60s economic and social policies came to be the nearly universally accepted ones among the elite. The original "shock doctrine" roll out in the U.S. actually occurred in the late seventies, not following 9/11 or the 2008 financial meltdown.

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