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Alternative Visions

Updated 6 days ago

Technology
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Dr. Jack Rasmus will focus on today’s continuing crisis in the U.S. and global economies.

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Dr. Jack Rasmus will focus on today’s continuing crisis in the U.S. and global economies.

iTunes Ratings

12 Ratings
Average Ratings
11
1
0
0
0

Great listening.

By Life long learner 2002 - Oct 17 2016
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I love your updates about economy and politics and everything in between. Awesome work.

iTunes Ratings

12 Ratings
Average Ratings
11
1
0
0
0

Great listening.

By Life long learner 2002 - Oct 17 2016
Read more
I love your updates about economy and politics and everything in between. Awesome work.
Cover image of Alternative Visions

Alternative Visions

Latest release on Jan 17, 2020

Read more

Dr. Jack Rasmus will focus on today’s continuing crisis in the U.S. and global economies.

Rank #1: Alternative Visions - Trump, Impeachment & Decline of Democracy in America + A solution

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Dr. Rasmus traces the decline of Democracy under Trump, a process on-going since the advent of Neoliberalism. Topics include: the transformation of the political parties, actions by the Supreme Court on behalf of money in politics, spread of gerrymandering and voter suppression, expansion of the lobbyist state, revolving doors, attacks on civil liberties and restrictions on bill of rights guarantees, etc. How decline of Democracy has accelerated since 2008 crisis and now under Trump. Examples of Trump attempts to usurp constitutional role of Congress and his trend to favor himself as above the law (e. g. tyranny). The linkages between Neoliberalism in crisis and decline of Democracy. In the second half of the show an interview and discussion is held with union and community leaders holding a conference in Cleveland on December 7 to plan the creation of a third political party as the solution to restore Democracy.

Dec 06 2019

58mins

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Rank #2: Alternative Visions - Neoliberalism in Crisis

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Dr. Rasmus continues the critique of Neoliberalism, explaining how it entered a crisis under Obama and how Trump is attempting to restore it in a new aggressive form. How material forces give rise to capitalist restructurings of which Neoliberalism is just the latest. And how material forces now developing beneath the surface are undermining the Neoliberal policy regime, with growing contradictions, that will give rise to a new restructuring in the 2020s.  Why Neoliberalism is not ‘Liberal’ at all but in many ways its opposite. What critics of Neoliberalism miss in their analyses. Neoliberalism as just the latest policy response to capitalist restructuring which has occurred before WW1 and after WW2. Why Neoliberalism will not survive the next crisis. (Check out Dr. Rasmus’s latest book ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism’, from his blog and website, jackrasmus.com and http://kyklosproductions.com)

Nov 01 2019

1hr 2mins

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Rank #3: Alternative Visions - Central Banks, Negative Rates & Helicopter Money

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Today’s show focuses on the recent decision by the European Central Bank to re-introduce QE and drive Europe’s more than $7 trillion in interest rates further into negative territory. Another $22b per month in QE and rate reduction to -0.5% when, over the past 5 yrs QE and negative rates have not stimulated the European economy. Reasons why QE and neg rates have little effect. How $17 trillion in negative rates worldwide is a growing problem and won’t stimulate the Euro economy. Lower rates as exchange rate currency/ trade move. Why Trump is now calling for US negative rates. Why central banks (including Fed) now secretly discussing new tools and tactics for the next recession, including ‘bail ins’ and calls are growing by high level capitalists for the Fed and central  banks to expand their authority into fiscal policy areas (as predicted in my 2017 book, ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes’). Consequences of such for US Constitution and fiction of ‘central bank independence’.  Rasmus discusses US deficit now officially projected to exceed $1 trillion a yr. The Democrat Party latest debate and opposition to Medicare for All. And what’s behind the recent ‘softening’ of US & China trade war (and why a deal may now be closer with ‘decoupling’ of technology issue). Rasmus introduces the show with brief outline of his forthcoming book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’, October 2019, and shares its main themes. (Review of chapters coming in following weeks of this show).

Sep 13 2019

59mins

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Rank #4: Alternative Visions - Trump’s Other Wall

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Trump brags about the ‘Wall of Money’ coming into the US from abroad. But what it represents is a global economy deteriorating fast and offshore investors sending their money to US safe haven of Treasuries. How the ‘wall’ is driving up the $US, negating Trump’s tariffs, and negating any trade deal with China. Trump turns up the ‘blame game’ for economy weakening: tantrums against China’s new tariffs, the Fed’s Powell foot dragging on lowering interest rates, and Dems refusing to give more tax cuts to investors. Why Fed rate cuts won’t stimulate the economy. Why Trump’s new proposed tax cuts won’t either. Trump’s next desperate moves to manipulate currencies (US and China’s) that will intensify the emerging currency war. Other topics of the show: debunking Trump’s payroll tax cut idea, why US steel companies are laying off workers in Michigan, and what’s behind the Japan-So. Korea ‘pissing match’ (yup, it’s trade).

Aug 23 2019

59mins

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Rank #5: Alternative Visions - Economy Update + What’s Undermining Neoliberalism

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First half of today’s show reviews latest attacks on unions, in particular the ILWU longshore workers, and how Apple Corp. and other big companies CEOs and senior management ‘scam’ stock buybacks to enrich themselves directly from the buybacks. How Apple Board Directors like Al Gore make tens of millions of dollars a year from the buybacks scam. Rasmus then debunks the growing business-media spin that the US economy has ‘turned the corner’ and no recession is in view. How leading indicators, investment, manufacturing, jobs, and even early evidence of consumption indicate otherwise.   The theme of Neoliberalism is revisited further once again, continuing recent weeks’ discussions. Why the Neoliberal policy mix (Fiscal-Monetary-Industrial-Trade) is becoming less and less effective due to maturing forces behind capitalist economic evolution. Rasmus explains how new technologies (power generation, electrical storage, artificial intelligence, machine learning. Uber and Amazon ‘effects’ and business models of the future, etc. are together undermining Neoliberal policy effectiveness and spell its doom next decade. (For a more detail treatment of the ‘natural restructuring of capitalist production, distribution, and finance’ now underway, threatening the future evolution of Neoliberal policy,  read chapter 9 of Dr. Rasmus latest book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’ available at discount from his blog, jackrasmus.com). Next week: How Neoliberalism Destroys US Democracy’.

Nov 22 2019

59mins

Play

Rank #6: Alternative Visions - US-China & Stock Market Lemmings; Fannie-Freddie Privatization, Brexit Observations, US Jobs

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 Dr. Rasmus explains why US stocks gyrate on every public announcement concerning US-China trade. Why US financial institutions and markets no longer focus on economic fundamentals. What’s behind the Trump plan to privatize the quasi-government mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Why hedge funds and speculations will reap big windfalls and how the home buyer rates on 30 yr. mortgages will rise and pay the price. Rasmus observes the class politics behind the ‘hard Brexit’ vs. no Brexit factions in the UK. The show concludes with analysis of the latest US labor dept. jobs numbers and why the jobs ‘lagging indicator’ is now beginning to show the US drift to recession, following down the indicators for US manufacturing, housing & construction, and business equipment investment. (For more analysis in print version, check out the just posted articles on unemployment, jobs and wages on his blog, at www.jackrasmus.com).

Sep 06 2019

59mins

Play

Rank #7: Alternative Visions - Trump’s Failing Neoliberalism 2.0 Restoration

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The first part of today’s show reviews the latest developments in the US-China mini-trade deal negotiations and latest snapshot of US economic manufacturing, investment, and retail sales-consumption. Thereafter

Dr. Rasmus continues the analysis of Neoliberalism in crisis topic of last week, explaining how Obama failed to restore it to full effect in the wake of the 2008-09 crash and how Trump represents the attempt to restore it in a new, more virulent 2.0 form. The fundamental main policy propositions of Neoliberalism are restated and how Trump has fared to date in each area are addressed. Big success by Trump in restoration have occurred in business-investor tax cutting and increases in war-defense spending, but failure in social program spending cuts and containing escalating deficits and debt. Trump industrial policy has also been successful, with deepening of deregulation, privatization, continued wage compression, benefits cost reductions, and other areas. Neoliberal monetary policy of chronic low interest rates remains a work in progress as Trump fights the Fed over rate reduction but the Fed slowly falls in line. Neoliberal ‘External’ policy (trade, currency exchange rate, FDI money flows) represents Trump’s major failure at restoration, however, as the trade war produces little result and reduces investment and growth globally and increasingly as well in the US. (A more complete analysis is available in Dr. Rasmus’ just released book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’ available on his blog, jackrasmus.com, along with recent articles on the topic). Next week: the material forces at work undermining a restoration of Neoliberalism under Trump and his successors.

Nov 15 2019

59mins

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Rank #8: Alternative Visions - Labor Day 2019: Debunking Myths of Rising Wages & Jobs

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What’s the condition of Labor this Labor Day 2019? The official Trump estimate of 3.1% increase in wages this past year is really between -0.8% and 1.1% according to independent bank and other research companies. 3.1% is unadjusted for inflation, is an ‘average’ skewed by big gains for professionals and managers, and refers to only full time workers—leaving out the 60m plus ‘contingent’ part time/temp/gig workers. Independent surveys by Bankrate, Payscale, McKinsey Research, and EPI paint a different picture: 60% of labor force say they got no pay increase at all last year. 45% say they are working 2nd and 3rd jobs to make ends meet. Rasmus debunks with data the Neoliberal lie that business-investor tax cuts create jobs. Trump’s tax cut correlated with big investment collapse. 1.1 million jobs not due to tax cuts last year. US Labor Dept. just announces adjustment of 500,000 fewer jobs last year than previously reported. Monthly job creation no different 2018 than 2017 after tax cuts.  Rasmus describes the continuing attack on unions, especially public sector. (Check out Dr. Rasmus’ blog for article on ‘Myths of Wages and Jobs Under Trump’ at jackrasmus.com)

Aug 30 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #9: Alternative Visions - California’s Public Bank: Pros & Cons + Update on US Economic Indicators

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This past week California proposed the creation of a public bank. What are the pros and cons of a public bank? Why a public bank would benefit Californians. Why public banks aren’t panacea solutions to a US chronic slow growth economy approaching recession once again. The limits of monetary policy, whether QE, MMT, or public banking. Why advocates of monetary solutions always over-estimate the role of money supply, interest rates, and bank lending. What really drives capitalist investment and economy. Why money is necessary but not sufficient. Public banking (and MMT) as QE turned on its head.  Rasmus introduces show with discussion of latest US purchasing managers index for services and manufacturing now slowing and contracting, and why job numbers are becoming weaker and will soon follow by year end or sooner, as US economy slowly joins the global economic slowdown. Why Trump may strike a deal with China—i.e. take the money and run and leave the tech issue for another day.  (Next week: Ukrainegate, Trump, and the Decline of American Democracy)

Oct 04 2019

58mins

Play

Alternative Visions - Trump’s Feeble China-US Phase 1 Trade Deal

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 Dr. Rasmus dissects the just announced signing of the US-China Phase 1 trade deal. Trump claims of achievements are debunked and revealed as mostly smoke and mirrors. Trade terms claimed by Trump, and analyzed by Rasmus, include: majority ownership by US companies in China, ending China’s manipulation of its currency, gains in IP and Tech transfer limits on China, the claim of $100B more a year purchases of US farm goods by China, and another $100B in purchases of manufacturing and services by China. What’s fact and  what’s Trump fiction in these areas? Rasmus agrees with the Council on Foreign Relations conclusion that China has only restored agriculture purchases and provide “nice words on IP” and that Trump got what he could have had two years ago! Rasmus explains what’s coming (and not coming) next in Phase 2; why Trump’s trade war(s) are over; why the US-China tech war will now escalate; and what’s behind Trump still keeping $370B in tariffs. The costs of the China-US trade war are described, including the facts about the trade deficit effects, costs to US businesses, impact continuing on the US farm sector, the average hit to consumers of $806 from rising prices, impacts on US business investment contraction, and global investment and GDP, and absurd claims by Trump’s administration (Kudlow and Mnuchin) of the impact on US GDP growth. (Next week show: ‘The 10 Most Important Economic and Political Events of the past decade, 2010-19)

Jan 17 2020

1hr 4mins

Play

Alternative Visions - What’s Behind Trump’s Assassination of Soleimani + 10 Most Important US Political Events of 2019

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Dr. Rasmus provides an analysis of the events of the past week involving Trump’s ordered assassination of Iran’s general, Soleimani, and how it represents the way the USA typically precipitates military confrontation that often lead to war. (Read Rasmus’s article, Trump’s Déjà vu Wartime Playbook and 2 other articles posted on the blog, jackrasmus.com). How the US wartime playbook involves a definable pattern of provocations followed by issuing an unacceptable demand that often leads to military action—similar case examples from Vietnam to the 1st Gulf War to Afghanistan to the Iraq war and now being repeated in the Trump provocation (assassination) and eventual unacceptable demand aimed at Iran. In the second half of the show Dr. Rasmus follows up his last week discussion of the 10 most important US Economic events of 2019 with a discussion of the 10 most notable US political developments of 2019: the Trump v. Iran provocation set in motion in December 2019, Trump’s Impeachment; the Mueller Report; the growing US Constitutional crisis; Trump’s packing of federal courts; Neocons taking over US foreign policy; US ‘Red’ states continued anti-democracy drift expanding voter suppression and gerrymandering; US social-cultural decline (opioids deaths, suicides, gun deaths, record homeless, millions without health access, and household debt crisis); Trump’s ‘Space Force’; and the continued internal realignment of the Republican (now Trumpublican) and Democratic Parties. 

Jan 10 2020

55mins

Play

Alternative Visions - 2019 Year End Review: US & Global Economy

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 Dr. Rasmus reviews the 10 most important economic events of 2019 in both the US and global economies. Topics include the Fed’s prior policy reversal and 2019 interest rate cuts, the Repo market crisis, Trump’s trade wars (phony and real including USMCA and China deals), the US 5 mo. manufacturing recession now worsening, the 9 mo. long contraction in US real investment, the stock market and bond boom of 2019 (and what’s driving it), Trump’s official budget deficit of >$1 trillion, Trump’s further tax cutting. US productivity slowdown, and US debt—public and private—now exceeding $60 trillion, with the consequences with the next recession. Globally, the top 10 events include: global trade stagnation, global manufacturing recession, central banks’ shift again to QE, global stock market boom, $15 trillion in negative interest rates, >$10 trillion in global non-performing bank loans, emergence of alternatives to the US dominated SWIFT international payments system, Latin American economies’ currency crises, growing financial instability in India, and China’s economy with slowing GDP, manufacturing, and rising debt and emerging defaults. (Next week: the Top 10 political developments of 2019 in the US and globally).

Jan 03 2020

58mins

Play

Alternative Visions - 10 Key Economic Events of 2019 + Update on France General Strike

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Dr. Rasmus summarizes the 12 key economic events of 2019: 1) Fed’s interest rate cuts and policy reversal, 2) Global Economy Trade stagnation, 3) Trump’s Trade Wars: China, USMCA & Phony All Other, 4) $Trillion Dollar US deficit and $23T US federal debt + >$1T deficits annually for another decade, 5) the Global Manufacturing Recession & economic slowdowns from Germany to Japan to Latin America to China-India, 6) the Repos market instability in US, 7) Challenges to the US ‘SWIFT” international money payments system by Instex, Libra, etc., 8) US & global stock markets’ record boom (US up 30%, others 20%).  In Tech impacts on the US and global capitalist economy now emerging: 9) ‘Adversarial-Generative Neural Networks (AI)’ creation of fake voice + fake facial reproduction, 10) the Tech War between US and China, 11) Amazon’s ‘next day’ delivery effects on ground-air distribution companies, 12) development of hypersonic missiles/tactical nukes/US Space Force and the advent of less than one minute notice before world war III. ( In the last third of the show Dr. Rasmus welcomes guest Alan Benjamin to provide latest developments in the French strikes and the possible General Strike after January 2, 2020.  (Next week: Dr. Rasmus summarizes 12 most important political events of 2019 + further interview of Benjamin on France’s looming General Strike).

Dec 27 2019

59mins

Play

Alternative Visions - French Workers’ General Strike to Prevent the American ‘Retirement Model’ - 12.20.19

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For the past week a general strike has been happening in France, the focus of which is to protest and prevent President Macron from introducing an ‘American Model’ of retirement system that would raise retirement age and reduce pension retirement benefits. What’s the ‘American Model’? Dr. Rasmus provides a historical overview of that model, created in the late 1940s based on the so-called ‘triple stool’ of retirement: social security, defined benefit pension plans (DBPs), and personal savings. Each was supposed to provide one-third of income of a reasonable retirement. Rasmus explains the evolution of social security, DBPs, and savings since Reagan and how all three have been steadily undermined, reduced, or destroyed since the 1980s—replaced by 401ks, cash balance plans, raised retirement years, and privatization of pensions. Today more than half of workers have no savings whatsoever, 401ks provide less than $50k on average for the rest of lifetimes, and social security averages less than $1,200 a month. Retirees are forced to work until they drop now, the fastest growing segment of the US labor force as they return to part time employment. Tens of millions are now facing a retirement crisis of unimaginable dimensions. (Next week: a guest, Alan Benjamin, an eyewitness to the strike in progress,  will describe what’s actually going on in the French strike to prevent the ‘Americanization’ of the retirement system in France).

Dec 20 2019

59mins

Play

Alternative Visions - What is Socialism + Updates on Brexit and US-China Trade Deal

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Dr. Rasmus provides an update on the Brexit UK Parliamentary election vote yesterday and on Trump’s announcement to delay and reduce tariffs on China imports as part of the US-China phase 1 mini trade agreement. Why Boris Johnson and the Conservatives won an overwhelming victory and why Labour was trounced. What was the role of short term electoral strategies and tactics; and what was the longer run role of the rising tide of manipulated nationalist appeals and decline of Social Democracy. Plus, why Trump caved in to China’s demands and agreed to reduce tariffs in order to get an agreement before the December 15 deadline. Dr. Rasmus for the remaining 45 minutes of the show then welcomes Michael Albert, a well known progressive writer and advocate of socialism and participatory democracy in the workplace, to begin a discussion on what is this thing called Socialism and why now a majority of millennials in the US say they would prefer Socialism to the current form of US capitalism. Both Rasmus and Albert agree the importance why a vision of an alternative to capitalism is important, but perhaps disagree somewhat on the composition and elements emphasized in that alternative vision. (For more of Michael Albert’s view, check out his articles on the blog, ZNET, at zcomm.org).

Dec 13 2019

59mins

Play

Alternative Visions - Trump, Impeachment & Decline of Democracy in America + A solution

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Dr. Rasmus traces the decline of Democracy under Trump, a process on-going since the advent of Neoliberalism. Topics include: the transformation of the political parties, actions by the Supreme Court on behalf of money in politics, spread of gerrymandering and voter suppression, expansion of the lobbyist state, revolving doors, attacks on civil liberties and restrictions on bill of rights guarantees, etc. How decline of Democracy has accelerated since 2008 crisis and now under Trump. Examples of Trump attempts to usurp constitutional role of Congress and his trend to favor himself as above the law (e. g. tyranny). The linkages between Neoliberalism in crisis and decline of Democracy. In the second half of the show an interview and discussion is held with union and community leaders holding a conference in Cleveland on December 7 to plan the creation of a third political party as the solution to restore Democracy.

Dec 06 2019

58mins

Play

Alternative Visions - Economy Update + What’s Undermining Neoliberalism

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First half of today’s show reviews latest attacks on unions, in particular the ILWU longshore workers, and how Apple Corp. and other big companies CEOs and senior management ‘scam’ stock buybacks to enrich themselves directly from the buybacks. How Apple Board Directors like Al Gore make tens of millions of dollars a year from the buybacks scam. Rasmus then debunks the growing business-media spin that the US economy has ‘turned the corner’ and no recession is in view. How leading indicators, investment, manufacturing, jobs, and even early evidence of consumption indicate otherwise.   The theme of Neoliberalism is revisited further once again, continuing recent weeks’ discussions. Why the Neoliberal policy mix (Fiscal-Monetary-Industrial-Trade) is becoming less and less effective due to maturing forces behind capitalist economic evolution. Rasmus explains how new technologies (power generation, electrical storage, artificial intelligence, machine learning. Uber and Amazon ‘effects’ and business models of the future, etc. are together undermining Neoliberal policy effectiveness and spell its doom next decade. (For a more detail treatment of the ‘natural restructuring of capitalist production, distribution, and finance’ now underway, threatening the future evolution of Neoliberal policy,  read chapter 9 of Dr. Rasmus latest book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’ available at discount from his blog, jackrasmus.com). Next week: How Neoliberalism Destroys US Democracy’.

Nov 22 2019

59mins

Play

Alternative Visions - Trump’s Failing Neoliberalism 2.0 Restoration

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The first part of today’s show reviews the latest developments in the US-China mini-trade deal negotiations and latest snapshot of US economic manufacturing, investment, and retail sales-consumption. Thereafter

Dr. Rasmus continues the analysis of Neoliberalism in crisis topic of last week, explaining how Obama failed to restore it to full effect in the wake of the 2008-09 crash and how Trump represents the attempt to restore it in a new, more virulent 2.0 form. The fundamental main policy propositions of Neoliberalism are restated and how Trump has fared to date in each area are addressed. Big success by Trump in restoration have occurred in business-investor tax cutting and increases in war-defense spending, but failure in social program spending cuts and containing escalating deficits and debt. Trump industrial policy has also been successful, with deepening of deregulation, privatization, continued wage compression, benefits cost reductions, and other areas. Neoliberal monetary policy of chronic low interest rates remains a work in progress as Trump fights the Fed over rate reduction but the Fed slowly falls in line. Neoliberal ‘External’ policy (trade, currency exchange rate, FDI money flows) represents Trump’s major failure at restoration, however, as the trade war produces little result and reduces investment and growth globally and increasingly as well in the US. (A more complete analysis is available in Dr. Rasmus’ just released book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’ available on his blog, jackrasmus.com, along with recent articles on the topic). Next week: the material forces at work undermining a restoration of Neoliberalism under Trump and his successors.

Nov 15 2019

59mins

Play

Alternative Visions - The Contradictions of Neoliberalism + Updates

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 In the second half hour of the show Dr. Rasmus continues the discussion of Neoliberalism, focusing on the internal contradictions inherent in its policy regime, now intensifying after the 2008-09 economic crisis. Rasmus explains the four policies of Neoliberalism—fiscal, monetary, external-trade, and industrial—and how they represent the post-1970s restructuring of the US and global capitalist economies. Earlier restructurings before world war I and following world war II are contracted to the 3rd, Neoliberal restructuring. Examples of contradictions within, and between, the four policy areas are explained: How fiscal war spending and tax cutting clashes with deficits/deb management; how monetary policy exacerbates trade and currency policies; how trade policies exacerbate industrial policy; how monetary policy contradicts both fiscal and trade policies. In the first half of the show, Rasmus provides updates and analyses on the tariff dispute between China-Trump, why US stock markets keep rising despite fundamentals, how Europe’s economy continues to stagnate, and new evidence how speculation is contributing to the instability in the US Repo market. (Next week: ‘Why Trump’s Attempt to Restore Neoliberalism 2.0 Is Failing’)

Nov 08 2019

58mins

Play

Alternative Visions - Neoliberalism in Crisis

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Dr. Rasmus continues the critique of Neoliberalism, explaining how it entered a crisis under Obama and how Trump is attempting to restore it in a new aggressive form. How material forces give rise to capitalist restructurings of which Neoliberalism is just the latest. And how material forces now developing beneath the surface are undermining the Neoliberal policy regime, with growing contradictions, that will give rise to a new restructuring in the 2020s.  Why Neoliberalism is not ‘Liberal’ at all but in many ways its opposite. What critics of Neoliberalism miss in their analyses. Neoliberalism as just the latest policy response to capitalist restructuring which has occurred before WW1 and after WW2. Why Neoliberalism will not survive the next crisis. (Check out Dr. Rasmus’s latest book ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism’, from his blog and website, jackrasmus.com and http://kyklosproductions.com)

Nov 01 2019

1hr 2mins

Play

Alternative Visions - The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Policy From Reagan to Trump

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 Dr. Rasmus discusses the main themes and predictions of his just released latest book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Policy From Reagan to Trump’: Neoliberalism as just the latest US capitalist restructuring to ensure US continued hegemony over domestic opposition (unions, social movements, etc.) and global capitalist competitors (China today; Japan-Europe before). Prior capitalist restructurings before WW1 and after WW2 are compared to the Neoliberal. Why Neoliberalism is not ‘Liberal’. Neoliberalism as historical practice vs. Neoliberalism as Idea is differentiated. What’s missing in prior critiques of Neoliberalism. The 4 basic policies of the Neoliberal policy regime are explained: Fiscal (tax, war-defense, social program spending), Monetary (low interest rates), Industrial (deregulation, privatization, anti-union, pension, jobs, wage compression), and External (trade, free trade, $US exchange rate, global money flows, twin deficit solution). Rasmus describes the major contradictions developing within Neoliberalism in recent years, why Neoliberalism hit a crisis under Obama, and why Trump policies represent a new virulent Neoliberalism 2.0. Why Trump’s restoration of Neoliberalism is doomed due to new technological changes, money forms, and rising political opposition (domestic and global) to it. The coming crisis of 2020s. Why Neoliberalism must remove Democracy as an obstacle if it is to further expand.  Trump as example of decline of Democracy in late Neoliberalism.  (For more on the book, check out Dr. Rasmus’s blog, jackrasmus.com, or website, http://kyklosproductions.com, where book copies may be ordered starting tomorrow, October 26, at discount).

Oct 25 2019

59mins

Play

Alternative Visions - US Economy Slows Further + More on Repos + UAW-GM Deal?

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A review of latest data on US economy, now showing retail sales and consumer joining the contractions in manufacturing, industrial production, business investment and construction. Why the Repo Market instability and problem is not going away, as bankers refuse to sell Treasuries back to the Fed (who’s trying to buy them in order to pump more cash needed into the market)—i.e. the Fed’s strategy to pump $400b more into Repos (QE Lite?) may not work. Then what? A third show topic is an assessment of the just announced ‘deal’ between the UAW and GM and why it may not be approved by the autoworkers themselves in their now scheduled contract ratification vote. How management ‘moves the money around’ in last minute negotiations. How it can manipulate the temp workers offer. How it will reduce its contract offer by not reopening plants in the US and increasing jobs in Mexico. Why lump sum payments actually reduce costs for the company and take home pay for the workers. The politics behind union contract ratification voting. The show concludes with Dr. Rasmus outlining his forthcoming book (next week), ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’, Clarity Press, October 2019. Why ‘neoliberalism’ is not really liberalism at all, and not really about free markets but an idea created by conservative economists to obfuscate policies designed to restore hegemony for US capitalists at home and abroad.

Oct 18 2019

58mins

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Alternative Visions - US-China ‘Mini’ Trade Deal + Revisiting the Repo Market

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Business and mainstream media today talking up a likely ‘mini’ deal on US-China trade. What’s behind it and what’s likely to be covered. China’s call for a ‘fair’ deal means a mini deal, minus any agreement on the nextgen tech issue. Trump’s ‘big deal’ will mean no tech issue resolution. So why is Trump now willing to take what’s on the table (same as last May 2019) and forego his ‘big deal’? Rasmus discusses the various economic reasons Trump may settle for less today, and continue attacking tech issue by other means. Is the ‘mini’ deal pending with China another ‘softball’ deal per So. Korea, Japan, USMCA, EU trade agts? Trump’s trade war a dismal failure, as US trade deficit hits record $55b in August. The second half of show revisits the Repo Market instability topic once again, provides updates on Fed’s $400 billion money injection, discusses whether it’s ‘QE’ again, and reviews just released BIS and FSB studies showing role of shadow banks in the Repo market may be part of the problem. The show closes with comments on 7m US auto loan defaults, and the chronic problem of a rising US dollar. (Next week: Neoliberalism as ‘Idea’ of academics and intellectuals vs. Neoliberalism in ‘Practice’)

Oct 11 2019

59mins

Play

Alternative Visions - California’s Public Bank: Pros & Cons + Update on US Economic Indicators

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This past week California proposed the creation of a public bank. What are the pros and cons of a public bank? Why a public bank would benefit Californians. Why public banks aren’t panacea solutions to a US chronic slow growth economy approaching recession once again. The limits of monetary policy, whether QE, MMT, or public banking. Why advocates of monetary solutions always over-estimate the role of money supply, interest rates, and bank lending. What really drives capitalist investment and economy. Why money is necessary but not sufficient. Public banking (and MMT) as QE turned on its head.  Rasmus introduces show with discussion of latest US purchasing managers index for services and manufacturing now slowing and contracting, and why job numbers are becoming weaker and will soon follow by year end or sooner, as US economy slowly joins the global economic slowdown. Why Trump may strike a deal with China—i.e. take the money and run and leave the tech issue for another day.  (Next week: Ukrainegate, Trump, and the Decline of American Democracy)

Oct 04 2019

58mins

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Alternative Visions - Repo Market Crisis As Financial System Instability ‘Red Flag’. What’s Next?

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Dr. Rasmus dissects this past week’s spike in Repo (Repurchase Agreement) bank to bank lending market and what it means for growing financial instability in the US and globally. Candidate for financial market instability in US and worldwide are reviewed (junk bonds, BBB, leveraged loans, CDOs, etc., as well as India-Europe banks, China markets, Argentina, etc.). further slowdown of world real economy and trade underlying and interacting with growing financial market instability. Competitive devaluations via central bank interest rate and currency wars.  Trump’s narrow view of tariffs and Fed rate cuts. Why the Fed was divided on last rate cut this week. In the midst of all this, the US Repo market rates spike to 10%. Official short term explanations not acceptable. Longer term more fundamental causes: Fed pulling money out of bank reserves via bond operations and balance sheet sell off in order to finance US $1 trillion plus budget deficits. Banks now addicted to more excess reserves after QE, financial structure changes since 2008, etc. Fed will now restart ‘QE Lite’ via Repo market injections (4 times this week). More Negative Rates worldwide and balance sheet ballooning again inevitable now. Fed and central banks policies no longer as economic stabilization tools but as main conduit of capital market incomes subsidization tools. Fed and central banks now secretely planning even more radical innovations next year.

Sep 20 2019

59mins

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Alternative Visions - Central Banks, Negative Rates & Helicopter Money

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Today’s show focuses on the recent decision by the European Central Bank to re-introduce QE and drive Europe’s more than $7 trillion in interest rates further into negative territory. Another $22b per month in QE and rate reduction to -0.5% when, over the past 5 yrs QE and negative rates have not stimulated the European economy. Reasons why QE and neg rates have little effect. How $17 trillion in negative rates worldwide is a growing problem and won’t stimulate the Euro economy. Lower rates as exchange rate currency/ trade move. Why Trump is now calling for US negative rates. Why central banks (including Fed) now secretly discussing new tools and tactics for the next recession, including ‘bail ins’ and calls are growing by high level capitalists for the Fed and central  banks to expand their authority into fiscal policy areas (as predicted in my 2017 book, ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes’). Consequences of such for US Constitution and fiction of ‘central bank independence’.  Rasmus discusses US deficit now officially projected to exceed $1 trillion a yr. The Democrat Party latest debate and opposition to Medicare for All. And what’s behind the recent ‘softening’ of US & China trade war (and why a deal may now be closer with ‘decoupling’ of technology issue). Rasmus introduces the show with brief outline of his forthcoming book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’, October 2019, and shares its main themes. (Review of chapters coming in following weeks of this show).

Sep 13 2019

59mins

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Alternative Visions - US-China & Stock Market Lemmings; Fannie-Freddie Privatization, Brexit Observations, US Jobs

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 Dr. Rasmus explains why US stocks gyrate on every public announcement concerning US-China trade. Why US financial institutions and markets no longer focus on economic fundamentals. What’s behind the Trump plan to privatize the quasi-government mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Why hedge funds and speculations will reap big windfalls and how the home buyer rates on 30 yr. mortgages will rise and pay the price. Rasmus observes the class politics behind the ‘hard Brexit’ vs. no Brexit factions in the UK. The show concludes with analysis of the latest US labor dept. jobs numbers and why the jobs ‘lagging indicator’ is now beginning to show the US drift to recession, following down the indicators for US manufacturing, housing & construction, and business equipment investment. (For more analysis in print version, check out the just posted articles on unemployment, jobs and wages on his blog, at www.jackrasmus.com).

Sep 06 2019

59mins

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Alternative Visions - Labor Day 2019: Debunking Myths of Rising Wages & Jobs

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What’s the condition of Labor this Labor Day 2019? The official Trump estimate of 3.1% increase in wages this past year is really between -0.8% and 1.1% according to independent bank and other research companies. 3.1% is unadjusted for inflation, is an ‘average’ skewed by big gains for professionals and managers, and refers to only full time workers—leaving out the 60m plus ‘contingent’ part time/temp/gig workers. Independent surveys by Bankrate, Payscale, McKinsey Research, and EPI paint a different picture: 60% of labor force say they got no pay increase at all last year. 45% say they are working 2nd and 3rd jobs to make ends meet. Rasmus debunks with data the Neoliberal lie that business-investor tax cuts create jobs. Trump’s tax cut correlated with big investment collapse. 1.1 million jobs not due to tax cuts last year. US Labor Dept. just announces adjustment of 500,000 fewer jobs last year than previously reported. Monthly job creation no different 2018 than 2017 after tax cuts.  Rasmus describes the continuing attack on unions, especially public sector. (Check out Dr. Rasmus’ blog for article on ‘Myths of Wages and Jobs Under Trump’ at jackrasmus.com)

Aug 30 2019

50mins

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Alternative Visions - Trump’s Other Wall

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Trump brags about the ‘Wall of Money’ coming into the US from abroad. But what it represents is a global economy deteriorating fast and offshore investors sending their money to US safe haven of Treasuries. How the ‘wall’ is driving up the $US, negating Trump’s tariffs, and negating any trade deal with China. Trump turns up the ‘blame game’ for economy weakening: tantrums against China’s new tariffs, the Fed’s Powell foot dragging on lowering interest rates, and Dems refusing to give more tax cuts to investors. Why Fed rate cuts won’t stimulate the economy. Why Trump’s new proposed tax cuts won’t either. Trump’s next desperate moves to manipulate currencies (US and China’s) that will intensify the emerging currency war. Other topics of the show: debunking Trump’s payroll tax cut idea, why US steel companies are laying off workers in Michigan, and what’s behind the Japan-So. Korea ‘pissing match’ (yup, it’s trade).

Aug 23 2019

59mins

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Great listening.

By Life long learner 2002 - Oct 17 2016
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I love your updates about economy and politics and everything in between. Awesome work.