January 1, 2011 archive

The Free Lunch Economy vs. The Progressive Era

Crossposted from Antemedius

Under the first U.S. income tax law that was passed in 1913, only 1 percent of Americans were required to file income tax returns, and to be liable to file you would have had to be earning an annual income of about $120,000 in todays dollars. It was passed during a period called the Progressive Era: “a period of social activism and reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s” during which there were widespread “efforts to reform local government, education, medicine, finance, insurance, industry, railroads, churches, and many other areas” of American life.

It was a period of steady economic growth in the U.S. and produced a since unparalleled level of prosperity that lasted for decades. The politics of the era included the concept of an economy of high wages and the idea that American labor could undersell foreign labor by being highly paid, well clothed, well educated, healthier labor with high productivity. The concept of “free market” during the period was an entirely different concept than it is today.

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and is the author of “Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire” (1968 & 2003), “Trade, Development and Foreign Debt” (1992 & 2009) and of “The Myth of Aid” (1971).

ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East. Hudson acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide, including Iceland, Latvia and China, on finance and tax law.

As an advisor to the White House, the State Department and the Department of Defense at the Hudson Institute, and subsequently to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Hudson has been one of the best known specialists in international finance. He also has consulted for the governments of Canada, Mexico and Russia, most recently for the Duma opposition to the Yeltsin regime.

Yesterday we heard Assistant Research Professor at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) Jeannette Wicks-Lim explain how currently most minimum wage earners in the U.S. can no longer the afford the basic necessities of life, and outline a proposal to combine minimum wage and earned income tax credit policies to guarantee a decent living wage for all.

Hudson here today talks with The Real News Networks’ Paul Jay and concludes that the the U.S economy can again outperform foreign economies with high wages, increased living standards, and with high top tier tax rates producing higher productivity – a progressive concept, like Wicks-Lim’s ideas, that is nearly the exact opposite of the free lunch economic ‘theories’ so widespread today that are behind wall street’s pillaging of the U.S. economy with the support of both major political parties.

Real News Network – January 1, 2011

Higher Taxes on Top 1% Equals Higher Productivity

Michael Hudson: The history of US shows that the economy grows

when top tier tax rates and workers wages are high

18 Dead In Pakistan By US Drone Attacks

And America apparently chortles with glee.



(crossposted from The Wild Wild Left)

Welcome to the beginning of whatever comes next.

It is around 50 degrees here, the snow has all melted and the air smells like Spring in my house. It feels incredible to have cracked the doors and windows and let new air in. There is something so appropriate about that too for the first day of 2011. Fresh air!

It is all arbitrary, this date-system, how we all accept the Gregorian model. It really makes more sense for the 1st day of the year to correspond with a Solstice. I mean, I get more excited when the 21st of December comes and the sun is returning. I don’t think that the Dianian Calender is going to gain acceptance any time soon, so here we are. Stuck with it.

One’s head has to be in a specific place to do the internal inventory of “opportunities lost” or “mistakes made” as …well as the “changing goals” or “self improvement” that every human is prone to do at times. My head is there all the time, not just because a calender says to. Yet, culture seems to have made me prone to do so anyway on this day. Or maybe I just am glad to be done with 2010.

2010 had some really polluted air, stinky air, air that no freshener could renew and no perfume could mask. Its time for me to quit trying to deal with the stale air, let the new air in and close the windows on the old air for once and for all. Besides, its going back into the 20’s by tomorrow. Heh.

There are many paths to the Costa Rica in your minds. The only thing I know for sure is you cannot get there by walking backwards. The pleasures of Costa Rica are right there for the taking, so enjoy all the souls you meet along the way, and be open to finding ever new companions for the journey. The path IS the Costa Rica.


I can smell it from here…. it smells like fresh air.

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan – December 2010

Wreaths Across America

Honor our living brothers and sisters all the time! Fully Fund the Veterans Administration, no questions asked, as we fund the Department of Defense, no questions asked. Sacrifice comes from the rest who send those of us who serve into Wars and Occupations of others, they and their families are not the only ones who should be Sacrificing their all!

Six In The Morning

Republicans want to make being brown illegal

Political battle on illegal immigration shifts to states

Legislative leaders in at least half a dozen states say they will propose bills similar to a controversial law to fight illegal immigration that was adopted by Arizona last spring, even though a federal court has suspended central provisions of that statute.

The efforts, led by Republicans, are part of a wave of state measures coming this year aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

More U.S. news

NYC ball drops to ring in 2011

Nearly a million U.S. revelers have cheered the traditional ball drop in New York’s Times Square to mark the start of 2011. Full story

NYT: States face political battle on illegal immigration

Hostages freed, 2 arrested in bank robbery

NYT: Investors flourish amid economy’s year of tumult

Cuomo sworn in as NY governor, faces huge crises

Legislators have also announced measures to limit access to public colleges and other benefits for illegal immigrants and to punish employers who hire them.

Late Night Karaoke

Lashkar Gah

Lashkar Gah2
Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan

Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg Q&A

Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg Interview

Good material here that you won’t read about in the “press”, or see on TV.

Personal Thanks from Translator to These Communities 20101231

Folks, we are coming up to a New Year.  2010 was not kind personally or politically for me, but I am thankful that I remain breathing.

In many respects, that has to do with you, Dear Audience!  You have read many of my thoughts and responded to them.  Agree or disagree, many of you responded.

I have been a Big Orange person for years, but was asked to edit on another site recently.  I very gladly accepted, but will never forget this place.

Random Japan


 2010 Roundup  


“Kodokan” means “we automatically win”

The All Japan Judo Federation said it would do away with its homegrown “Kodokan” rules and instead adopt the standards of the International Judo Federation.

Dude, chill out

After losing to an unheralded rival in the prestigious Koshien baseball tournament, the coach of a high school team in Shimane said his squad’s performance “was a humiliation that will carry over for generations. I can’t get over it… I want to die.”

Warning: irony alert

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is organizing an 8,000km boat cruise for relatives of servicemen who were killed at sea during World War II.

Hey, hang on a minute…

The Japan Mint is selling newly pressed ¥1,000 coins featuring the likeness of 19th-century samurai Ryoma Sakamoto for ¥6,000.

The wrestler and the rye

The mother of Estonian sumo wrestler Baruto, who was promoted to the second-highest rank of ozeki, said that after first arriving in Japan, her son “was unaccustomed to Japanese food” and “missed rye bread.”

It’s After Midnight… It’s All Over!

That sad excuse for a decade is gone. Over and done. History…. It’s After Midnight….

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna chug-a-lug and shout

We’re gonna stimulate some action

We’re gonna get some satisfaction

We’re gonna find out what it is all about

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna shake your tambourine

After midnight, it’s all gonna be peaches and cream

We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion

We’re gonna give an exhibition

We’re gonna find out what it is all about

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After Midnight

Original v. Cover — #58 in a Series

happy new year Pictures, Images and Photos

When the clock strikes twelve this evening, we will bid a not so tearful farewell to 2010. Then thoughts will then turn toward the year ahead. We may recall the story of “The Lady and the Tiger”, however, those ominous growling sounds from behind both doors are unsettling, to say the least.

If you are someone who cannot estimate their net worth to the nearest $10 million, the year ahead promises continued prosperity and riches. Your motto will be an enthusiastic “Stay the course!”

For the remaining 99%, who weren’t George W. Bush’s base, nor Barack Obama’s either, the upcoming year may appear as a minefield that must be crossed to reach the dawn of 2012. While it was tempting to include a poll to assess the percentage of DD readers regarding 2011 with a sense of hope versus despair, the result would likely have surprised few of us, this writer included. One shudders to think that we may someday regard 2010 with nostalgia.  

The challenge for us commoners will be that of remaining vigilant while at the same time surviving as best we can, sharing our truth with others to the extent that it doesn’t induce crippling depression in ourselves or those whose lives we touch.  

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