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Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Nazi Economic Mirage

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Many believe that Adolf Hitler’s centrally-planned economic policies produced an economic miracle in the 1930s, with Germany finally regaining its tempo and getting out of a terrible depression.
Conventional economic indicators confirm this view. However, they can also be misleading as to the true condition of the German economy and the sustainability of its finances. Moreover, the heavy burden placed on society, where millions of people suffered tragic losses and virtually everyone lost their freedoms, cannot be just regarded as a footnote. And these policies, or more precisely their failure, put Germany on a collision course with the rest of the world.
In 1930 Germany had a functioning democracy, world class scientists and engineers and impressive industrial capabilities. Still, prosperity levels were well below those of its US and UK counterparts, as the country never fully recovered from the socioeconomic turmoil that resulted from its defeat in World War I.
The global depression that soon followed only worsened the economic conditions of Germans, with unemployment reaching a staggering 30% of the population by 1933. In their desperation, they turned to a man with a grand vision and a plan, promising he would fulfill the great Germanic promise and usher in a new era of prosperity: Adolf Hitler. His siren song and radical policies set in motion a chain of events which eventually lead to a diametrically opposed outcome for his country.
From Failure to Savior
Hitler had been pretty much a failure most of his early life. While he valiantly served as a Private during World War I, often volunteering for the most dangerous jobs and even receiving two Iron Crosses as a result, he was never promoted because he could not interact well with his comrades, nor – if you can believe it – did he have the charisma to lead them into action.
In 1918 he was blinded by a gas attack and put of commission for weeks. When he recovered his entire world had changed: his country lost the war and everything he had fought for collapsed.
Hitler was quick to blame his misfortunes on others, particularly wild conspiracy theories about the undue influence of the Jews in world events, as he would later articulate in his book “Mein Kampf”. Disillusioned with the outcome of the war and prospects for the future, he settled in Munich and joined a radical workers party, along with other former soldiers. In charge of propaganda, he became a prolific public speaker, so much so that people began to think that the National Socialist German Workers’ Party – abbreviated to Nazi – was in fact his own party.
After being imposed hefty war reparations by the Allies, Germany’s woes got progressively worse, leading to a humiliating foreign occupation of the Ruhrin 1923, along with a devastating bout of hyperinflation. This was too much to bear and the Nazis decided to take violent political action, seeking to expand their influence in society.
After this strategy failed to deliver any tangible results, and most importantly put him in jail for a while, Hitler realized that he would have to resort to legal means to achieve power. He then split the party and headed the new faction, with the financial backing of several Bavarian industrialists and landlords.
Although progress was very slow at first, the Nazi party grew steadily. In May 1928 they had won less than 3% of the vote in the elections to the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament. They fared even worse in the presidential elections almost a year later, with their candidate getting barely 1% of the vote. But as Germany’s socioeconomic crisis deepened, all of the sudden their influence exploded. In the parliamentary election of July 1930, the Nazis scored 18% of the vote, doubling it within two years and becoming the largest party in the Reichstag. Hitler became Germany’s chancellor in January 1933 – at 39 years old, and absolute dictator by August 1934, marking the end of the Weimar Republic.
The Nazis had finally reached their goal—the establishment of the Third Reich, an authoritarian state in Germany under the control of the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler.
An Economic Revival – Of Sorts
Having tightened their grip on politics, the Nazis promptly implemented their plan to reshape society and the economy with the following goals:
  • Solve the unemployment problem – a key promise of Hitler
  • Drag the German economy out of the recession and make the country self-sufficient (“autarky”)
  • Promote the population growth of “true” Germans
  • Get rid of Jewish socioeconomic influence
  • Realign the economy with the Nazi’s expansionist objectives
Hitler launched several government programs and policies to reduce unemployment, with much fanfare to boot.
Massive public work schemes were announced.Over 2,500 miles of autobahn (highways) were built, linking major cities. Hospitals, houses, canals and so forth were also built across the country. All this work was done manually, shovel in hand, so that more workers were needed.
Trade unions were banned and all workers were forced to join the Nazi Labor Front. Working hours were thus increased and wages frozen. Workers were strongly encouraged to go along with this, as any dissenters were immediately accused of economic sabotage and sent to forced labor camps.
To counter any resentment for the loss of worker rights, the “Strength through Joy Movement” (KdF) was established specifically to make workers “happy”, providing them with a range of leisure opportunities. This of course included a healthy dosage of Nazi ideological indoctrination and thanking the Fuhrer for their good fortune. The KdF also introduced a plan that enabled workers to buy a car. The Volkswagen (the People's Car) was conceptualized so that most people could afford it. The Beetle, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, cost the equivalent of 35 weeks wages for the average worker, and he could pay for it on a weekly basis.
Women’s rights – which had flourished under the Weimar Republic, were significantly curtailed.Since they were no longer allowed to work, men took over their jobs and were the only ones allowed to make decisions in society. The Nazis had another role in mind for women, since they had always been particularly concerned with the decline in “true” German population numbers. Accordingly, there was a great deal of propaganda celebrating the image of the mother and the family unit. Prizes were given to women who would bear a large number of children.
Industry was also reorganized – around a very pressing Nazi concern: rearmament. Hitler had devolved great many powers to large private industrial interests, which were now headed by Nazi sympathizers and who stood to gain a great deal from weapons production. Entire factories were uprooted to parts of the country less exposed to French aggression. New railways were built in record time (but with dubious efficiency). The whole productive scheme was now rethought and planned in the context of war.
Of course the Treaty of Versailles had prohibited all of this, but Hitler went ahead regardless.From 1935 onwards, every man aged between 18 and 25 had to spend two years in the armed forces. While in 1933 there were 100,000 members in the armed forces, by 1939 this number would balloon to 1.4 million.
Rearmament created jobs of course, but also a lot of disturbances in established industrial practices and logistics. All the while, the Nazis attempted to reconcile these efforts with making Germany more self-reliant – which was clearly contradictory given the massive increase in demand for raw materials to support the construction new ships, tanks and airplanes. At first they searched for artificial ingredients to replace oil, rubber, textiles and coffee, to no avail. Then they struck a deal with the Soviets, exchanging raw materials for arms in the lead up to the war. By 1939 Germany was still importing 33% of its raw materials. Autarky turned out to be another grandiose Nazi policy ill-adjusted to the needs of the economy.
Unfortunately, not only factories were uprooted. The Jewish community, which had played a prominent role in German society for centuries, was promptly segregated and then progressively eliminated. Other minorities followed, with all their jobs and possessions reallocated.
Hitler’s vision for the German nation was finally becoming a reality. But he was far from done.
The Crucial Role of the Farming Sector
Many of the traditional Germanic themes were associated with the land. As such, this became a centerpiece of the Nazis’ ideology, further accentuated by the historical support of many landlords to their cause.
Some 9 million people worked in German farms by the time Hitler came to power. In comparison, the US had 10 million people employed in the sector (curiously many from German descent, particularly in the Midwest) with seven times as much arable land. This was emblematic of Germany’s meager productivity and incomes in the farming sector.
In 1933, Hitler implemented the State Hereditary Farm Law, where selected lands were declared hereditary, as an Erbhof, to pass from father to son, and could not be mortgaged or alienated. Any farm of 7 to 125 hectares, the size deemed to be adequate to maintain a family and act as a productive unit, could be declared Erbhof. All farms of over family size were also made secure in possession of their owner's family, with no possibility of alienation.
While farmers benefited from the elimination of debt and some aid from the government – such as fixating prices and production to promote that elusive autarky, their ability to finance crop expansions and purchases of new equipment was also reduced. The sector saw a continuous outflow of workers, who were now being employed in all the other government sponsored projects and the military.
As a result, agricultural productivity suffered and shortages of food developed across the country. In response, the Nazis implemented food rationing – which would remain in place until the end of the war. In 1937, annual consumption of wheat bread, meat, bacon, milk, eggs, fish, vegetables, sugar, fruit and beer had fallen to levels comparable to a decade earlier (only rye bread, cheese and potatoes had increased). Malnourishment was starting to become a real problem amongst German workers, in farms and factories across the country.
In typical fashion, rather than blaming his own policies, Hitler believed that this situation resulted from a lack of “space to live” for his people. All major European powers had access to vast territories in Africa and elsewhere. The US had a huge continent at its disposal. But not Germany, who had lost out in WWI and was now confined to its diminished borders.
If other countries could obtain large amounts of land by force, why couldn't Germany? After all, security was not the only reason to build a powerful army.
The Miracle Begins to Unravel
By the time the Olympic Games took place in Berlin in 1936, cracks were starting to appear in German society. This was not immediately obvious to large parts of the population (nor to foreign economists and commentators, for that matter), who for the most part were still seduced by the Fuhrer’s promises of a glorious pan-Germanic future.
Any dissent was violently crushed through party terrorism (via the infamous SS and Gestapo). The persecution of Jews was intensified. The regular police were circumvented by the party’s police; the regular avenues of justice were bypassed by the party’s courts; the regular prisons were eclipsed by the party's concentration camps. In short, a rational bureaucracy was replaced by a virulent irrational one.
Government controls and management of certain parts of the economy were creating huge distortions which in turn prompted even more intervention, invariably at the expense of some other society group. While the big industrial concerns were benefiting from these arrangements, small businesses and the middle classes were squeezed out of the market; as were most of the staples that ordinary people needed.
With taxation revenues curtailed by design, Hitler’s expansionary policies had to be financed with debt. But these funds were neither unlimited nor free, and Nazi leaders were starting to become very aware of this. There was some debate as to which economic policies should be adopted as a result, with some prominent figures recommending a more liberalized approach to the economy.
However, like any good central planner, Hitler decided to press ahead with his original policies with even more gusto. During a cabinet meeting in 1936, he and Hermann Göring, his aviation minister and trusted adviser, announced that the German rearmament program must be sped up. There was no turning back.
As a result, Göring was put in charge of the four year economic plan, creating a new organization to administer it. He subordinated the ministries of labor and agriculture and bypassed the economics ministry in his policy-making decisions, which meant that he had de facto control of the economy. Expenditures on rearmament were increased, in spite of growing budget deficits. In 1937, the Reichswerke Hermann Göring was established under state ownership with the aim of boosting steel production beyond the level which private enterprise could economically provide. This was command-and-control policies on steroids.
German Unemployed (in millions): Jan 33 – Jan 39
Source: historylearningsite.co.uk
As shown in the graph above, the reduction of unemployment was an unequivocal bright spot, but largely at the expense of women, Jews and other minorities, as well as over a million people serving in the military. The same formula was applied to other territories that were subsequently annexed, yielding similar results. For instance, unemployment also dropped in Austria after the Anschluss in 1938.
But the Nazis had a strategy to fund their grand vision and release the German people from the shackles of want: territorial expansion and plain robbery. And so the hostilities began with the invasion of Poland in 1939.
The War Years
The early months of the war went fairly smoothly for the German army, which overran large territories as the Allies were still gearing up for battle. However, as the war intensified, so did the chronic shortages back home. Farms lacked equipment and people, which were now being absorbed in ever expanding numbers by factories supplying the military, or by the military itself.
By early 1941, when the German army arguably had its strongest foothold across Europe, civilian consumption was already down 18% from 1938 levels. And it would continuing going down from there.
The labor force kept on shrinking, although now irreversibly. Impressive military victories soon turned into stalemates and finally into catastrophic losses across all three war fronts: East, West and South. The Nazis were left with little choices on how to replenish those losses and continue fighting. Accordingly, farmers were next to be enlisted, which was then extended to everyone once Germany was on the brink of defeat. To get a sense of the catastrophe resulting from Hitler’s stubbornness, a third of all boys born between 1915 and 1924 was either dead or missing by the end of the war.
But in addition to soldiers Germany needed to eat. As its farming population shrank, the Nazis came up with a devious plan to make up for it: enslave their neighbors and prisoners of war.
Every season there used to be a flow of workers coming across from Poland to work in German farms, given that higher wages were on offer. But after the German invasion in 1939, the Nazis brought back hundreds of thousands of Polish workers and POWs against their will. Then came the invasion of France, which provided a labor pool of over a million POWs. But even that paled in comparison to the number of workers brought in after the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, almost three million in total. When the Italians changed sides in 1943, the German army captured as many of them as they could to work in the fields. None of this was enough to sustain production as all these people died quickly due to appalling working conditions.
Such was the insanity of the Nazi war machine. By the end of the war nearly one in every four workers in Germany was a foreigner, in most cases unwillingly.
The Nazi Economic Mirage
Hitler’s policies are still viewed to this day as a great example of how unprecedented government intervention fixed a dire economic problem. In short, Hitler laid a golden egg and produced an economic miracle.
As early as 1933, even before any miracle could be seen, the New York Times had nothing but praise for his ambitions, according to the following front page headline:
“There is at least one official voice in Europe that expresses understanding of the methods and motives of President Roosevelt—the voice of Germany, as represented by Chancellor Adolf Hitler.”
For sure, some of Hitler’s policies made a lot of sense. Building up the country’s infrastructure, which was so vital to a modern industrial economy, proved to be a winning bet. German workers could now afford cars to drive in the new roads, as well as other modern conveniences. Economic activity and incomes responded accordingly. That Weimar Republic feeling of uncertainty and malaise finally subsided. And the dramatic increase in fertility rates during the Nazi years also provided a boost (after all, babies can promote consumption). So in a sense there was no mirage here, the growth was real.
Perhaps if the real economy had been allowed to flourish at that stage, Germany could have indeed produced a real economic miracle. If anything the most prosperous nations of the 20th century proved that the economic reigns and decision-making must eventually be decentralized in order for any gains to be sustained and expanded. Women also needed to play a role in the economy, much beyond just having babies.
Unfortunately for the people living under the Third Reich, this was never allowed to happen.All of these efforts became increasingly subordinated to the logic of war. As a result, the economy was stifled by top-down industrial policies and readjustments, price controls, misallocation of resources and so forth. Personal and commercial freedoms had to be restricted so that the prevailing Nazi ideology could never be challenged.
Rearmament thus became the most significant government expenditure. The resulting increase in GDP was significant. In fact Germany boasted the highest growth rates in Europe in the prewar years. But this can be misleading as any comparison could not be done on an apples-to-apples basis, since other major economies spent considerably more on consumption and productive activities. Just because Germans were producing more guns does not mean that they were better off.
The government went ever deeper into debt as a result of this policy. Of course any leader, no matter how incompetent, can create growth if enough money is thrown at the economy; the problem is that those debts will need to be repaid at some point.
During the war, Albert Speer, the minister of armaments and war production and a close friend to Hitler, also directed a miracle of his own: doubling Hitler’s production orders as Germany was under heavy Allied bombardments. No doubt his administrative genius played a role, but so did exploiting millions of slave laborers who were starved and worked to death in his factories. It was the same ideology at work all over again. And the war effort was significantly prolonged as a result.
Speer was arrested in 1945 and interrogated by a committee of US representatives, who wanted to learn more about the inner workings of the Third Reich. John Kenneth Galbraith, the famous Harvard economist and adviser to several US presidents later in his career, was also in attendance.
Here’s a transcript of the committee’s report after that meeting:
“The German people, [Speer] said, had worked hard and faithfully and had suffered greatly. They had won victory after two years and had been denied the fruits of the victory they deserved by the inadequacy of their leaders. That inadequacy he felt obliged to expose.

“The fall of the Third Reich Speer attributed to the moral decay of its rulers. This decay was well advanced before the outbreak of the war. Its most spectacular manifestation was soft, expensive living. In some instances it took the form of extreme corruption. Speer cites Göring as the most corrupt of his colleagues. Göring's acquisitive looting and hoarding was unmatched by the other party leaders. But nearly all of the party leaders, Berlin ministers and Gauleiters alike, showed a penchant for a rich, easy, well-nourished existence and variety in wine and women.”
Göring of course was the prime architect of Germany’s war economy after 1936. All of the sudden the Nazi elite was not looking so brilliant after all. Here’s what Galbraith would later say about the whole bunch in his book “The Age of Uncertainty”:
“Hermann Göring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Albert Speer, Walther Frank, Julius Streicher and Robert Ley did pass under my inspection and interrogation in 1945 but they only proved that National Socialism was a gangster interlude at a rather low order of mental capacity and with a surprisingly high incidence of alcoholism.”
Rather than being some central planning geniuses, Galbraith’s quote is a rather more accurate description of the Nazis. After over a decade under their leadership, Germany reversed its gains and prosperity all the way back to the late 19th century, with a large part of its population annihilated in the process. The country was then sectioned off to different Allied factions.
The mirage was finally over.

When Will The Economy Collapse?

New Russian T-14 Armata tank

Clinton, Podesta, L Rockefeller and the Control of the US Government by ET Forces

hillary ufo
Illustration by Ivylise Simones; Clinton: Brian Cahn/Zuma; UFO: Fer Gregory/Shutterstock

As my readers will attest to, I do not write articles on the extraterrestrial  (ET) question as the topic relates to any potential interaction between human/ET forces.  However, the persistence of the topic as it relates to the Clintons, will not go away. Bill Clinton previously expressed great interest in the topic and now we are finding out, Hillary shares Bill’s passion on the same topic related to ET influence on human affairs along with Hillarys dear friends Laurence Rockefeller and former Clinton Chief of Staff, John Podesta. .
Statistically, there is probably intelligent life in the Universe simply because of the sheer size of the Universe and the simple statistical probabilities would suggest this to be the case. However, this is not meant to imply that I would ever believe that our species has, or is, having contact with sinister Alien forces. And as my readers will attest to, I do not write articles on the extraterrestrial  (ET) question as the topic relates to any potential interaction between human/ET forces.

Hillary Clinton and the UFO Question

Hillary Clinton was viewed at the Laurence Rockefeller Ranch holding a book by Paul Davies regarding the implications of extraterrestrial life. Laurence Rockefeller has long expressed intense interest in the topic and is a firm believer in the phenonomena.
Interestingly, Vince Foster, friend and advisor to President Clinton, was tasked with two missions upon Bill Clinton’s election. First, find out who killed JFK. Secondly, find out the truth behind the Alien question. Foster, as all will recall, committed “suicide” under some very mysterious circumstances.cWas his suicide/murder related to his inquiries into the UFO question?
The UFO activists’ hopes for Hillary’s election and her subsequent ET disclosure, are pinned on the assumption she believes in their cause and among these people are former Chief of Staff, John Podesta. In particular, UFO enthusiasts are encouraged that John Podesta will likely chair Clinton’s campaign and would likely serve in another Clinton White House and it may be with the help of his influence, that ET disclosure will “finally” take place. I find it interesting that Bill Clinton oversaw the unprecedented release of information on the JFK assassination, but he released very little information on the UFO topic in comparison to the assassination. Was he afraid of retaliation if he dug too deep into the ET question, or was there simply nothing there to discover?
Many in the UFO crowd swear that Vince Foster’s suicide was faked to cover up what he found on the UFO topic. There may actually be one small piece of confirming information that Hillary was aware of Foster’s findings and as you might recall that Hillary was accused of removing files from her office related to the UFO topic and Vince Foster in order to avoid the watchful eye of the Secret Service and the FBI.
Clinton confidant and close ally, John Podesta, has intimate  knowledge of Hillary and Bill’s knowledge and interest on this topic, they will tell you that Bill’s refusal to let go of the topic while serving as President, led directly to his impeachment scare over the almost laughable affair with Monica Lewinsky. However, verification on this claim has not been forthcoming.
John Podesta is known to many as someone who is on the record as stating that the “UFO issue is the most important issue of our time”. And also, “If humanity only knew how much of their recent past and immediate future has/is being guided by Aliens, they would be shocked”. With Laurence Rockefeller’s keen interest in the topic and Hillary’s apparent enabling of his beliefs, one has to wonder what her true beliefs on the topic would be.

Control of Search Engines

As this site reported a couple of weeks back, Hillary oversaw the sale and distribution of uranium to the Russians. This was reported in the New York Times and on Fox News. However, the story never gets any real traction and that is because Hillary has expended large sums of money to control the search engines on this topic. Will she do the same on this topic as well? Time will tell. However, I do not expect this topic to get any real legs, because if it is true, Hillary Clinton has shown the ability to kill a story.
Meanwhile, while we are all waiting for ET to phone home, enjoy the following video on the topic of ET’s, Laurence Rockefeller and Hillary Clinton.

Credit to Common Sense

Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty

Obama SelfieBarack Obama is secretly negotiating a global economic treaty which would destroy thousands of American businesses and millions of good paying American jobs.  In other words, it would be the final nail in the coffin for America’s economic infrastructure.  Obama knows that if the American people actually knew what was in this treaty that they would be screaming mad, so the negotiations are being done in secret.  The only people that are allowed to look at the treaty are members of Congress, and even they are being banned from saying anything to the public.  American workers are about to be brutally stabbed in the back, and thanks to all of this secrecy and paranoia they won’t even see it coming.
The name of this new treaty is “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and it is being touted as perhaps the most important trade agreement in history.  But very few people in this country are talking about it, because none of us are allowed to see it.  An article that was just released by Politico detailed the extreme secrecy that is surrounding this trade agreement…
If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.
If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.
And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.
This treaty is going to affect the lives of every man, woman and child living in this nation, and yet it is deemed so “important” that none of us can know what is in it?
Are you sure that we still live in a Republic?
This treaty will cover 40 percent of the global economy, and U.S. officials hope that the EU, China and India will become members eventually as well
Right now, there are 12 countries that are part of the negotiations: the United States, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.  These nations have a combined population of 792 million people and account for an astounding 40 percent of the global economy.  And it is hoped that the EU, China and India will eventually join as well.  This is potentially the most dangerous economic treaty of our lifetimes, and yet there is very little political debate about it in this country.
If the EU, China and India did eventually join the treaty, that would essentially make it a trade agreement for the entire planet.
This is a really big deal, and it should be openly debated by the American people.  But instead, Barack Obama has chosen to shroud the entire process with as much secrecy as possible.  Not only that, he also wants Congress to give him fast track negotiating authority.  If Congress does that, they would essentially be saying that they blindly trust Obama to negotiate a good treaty for us.  At the end of the process, Congress would be able to vote the treaty up or down, but would not be able to amend it.
That sounds insane, right?  Well, if you can believe it, Republicans in the Senate are quite eager to give Barack Obama this authority.
And this is not just an economic treaty.  The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles
It is basically a gigantic end run around Congress.  Thanks to leaks, we have learned that so many of the things that Obama has deeply wanted for years are in this treaty.  If adopted, this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, healthcare, copyright and patent protection, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more.  This treaty includes many of the rules that alarmed Internet activists so much when SOPA was being debated, it would essentially ban all “Buy American” laws, it would give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives and it would force even more domestic manufacturing offshore.
We can’t consume our way to prosperity, and we can’t borrow and spend our way to prosperity.  In order to be prosperous as a nation, we have got to create at least as much wealth as we consume.  But instead, we are doing just the opposite.  We are consuming wealth like mad even while our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted.  We have lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs already, and this new treaty will make things much worse.
And of course eventually even the ultra-cheap labor on the other side of the planet will be replaced.  This is something that is already happening in China.  Just today there was a news story about a new manufacturing facility in China that will use only robots
Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
A total of 1,000 robots would be introduced at the factory initially, run by Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Co, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90 percent to only about 200, Chen Xingqi, the chairman of the company’s board, was quoted as saying in the report.
The company did not give a figure for the investment in the factory, but said its production capacity could reach a value of 2 billion yuan (US$322 million) annually.
All of this is very bad news for American workers.  Whether it is ultra-cheap labor on the other side of the globe or new technology, big corporations are constantly looking for ways to produce things less expensively.
But in order to have a middle class, we have got to have middle class jobs.  The middle class in the United States is steadily disappearing, and neither political party seems very concerned about this at all.
Even without this new trade treaty, our trade deficit with the rest of the planet continues to grow even larger.  We just learned that the monthly U.S. trade deficit for March rose to $51.4 billion.  That was the largest monthly trade deficit since October 2008.  If you will remember, in October 2008 we were experiencing the worst financial crisis since the days of the Great Depression.
And if you take oil out of the number, our trade deficit for the month of March would be the worst ever recorded.
Thank you Barack Obama.  Your trade policies are really “working”.
Because the trade deficit was much worse than expected, that is going to push the GDP number for the first quarter into negative territory
Greg Daco of Oxford Economics says he expects the wider than expected trade deficit to prompt the government to revise its estimate of 0.2% growth in U.S. gross domestic product for the first quarter to a 0.5% contraction.
That means that if we have another contraction in the second quarter, we will officially be in a recession.
In fact, we could be in a recession right now (according to the official government definition) and not even know it yet.
One of the biggest reasons why the U.S. economy has been struggling so much in recent years is due to our trade policies.  If we had balanced trade with other nations, our cumulative economic growth since mid-2009 would have been nearly 20 percent higher
Since rising trade balances subtract from economic growth, the increase in this real non-oil goods deficit has now cut cumulative U.S. economic growth after inflation by a stunning 19.49 percent since the recovery technically began in mid-2009.
Are you starting to see why I get so fired up about trade?
But instead of encouraging big corporations to do what is right for the American people, our system greatly rewards companies like Apple that proudly send jobs offshore.  The following is an excerpt from an outstanding article by Andrew Zatlin
Nine years, a trillion dollars in sales, and almost no taxes paid. That’s just the starting point for wondering about Apple’s actual contribution to the US economy.
Apple’s success drags down the US GDP.  The behemoth that is Apple sold almost 200M phones last year, none of which were made in the US or used components made here. Instead of exporting $100B in iPhones, the US imported $50B. That $150B swing matters in terms of balance of trade, GDP and jobs. If you wanted to improve the US economy, there’s no better place to start than with Apple and smartphones.
Apple undermines the US manufacturing base. Assembly matters and manufacturing matters more. There was a time when Apple could have assembled phones and tablets in the US, but that would mean spending an extra $5 per phone since that’s approximately the extra labor cost to build that $700 phone here instead of in Vietnam or China. Assembly may not be a competitive, value-add step but it does employ a lot of people.
Unfortunately, it would also cut Apple’s profits by $1B, shrinking the company’s annual net income from $45B to $44B. Apple wouldn’t notice a drop in profits of $1B because it’s not putting its cash to use: Apple has $200B in cash conveniently parked outside of the US, not doing anything. On the other hand, assembling in the US would employ tens of thousands of people.
You can read the rest of that great article right here.
Our trade policies matter.  Decades of incredibly foolish decisions have ripped our economic infrastructure to shreds, and we are slowly but steadily committing national economic suicide.
Now, Barack Obama is absolutely determined to deliver the finishing blow, and it is all being done in secret.
When are you going to wake up and start getting angry America?
Credit to Economic Collapse

NATO to Deploy US Missile Interceptors at Base in Romania by Year-End

Romanian Defense Minister Mircea Dusa said that elements of NATO missile shield in Europe will be deployed at a military base in Deveselu, Romania by the end of 2015.

CHISINAU (Sputnik) — Elements of NATO missile shield in Europe will be deployed at a military base in Deveselu, Romania by the end of 2015, Romanian Defense Minister Mircea Dusa said Tuesday.


The announcement follows his meeting with US Navy Admiral Mark Ferguson, Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) in Naples, Italy, held in Romania earlier in the day.

“We both emphasized the need for the solidarity of the Alliance in terms of security in the region. I pointed out that Romania is an oasis of stability,” Dusa was quoted as saying by Romanian media.

He also specified that NATO’s missile-intercepting facility in Deveselu will carry out only defense functions.

In late October, 2013, Romania and the United States signed a bilateral agreement to deploy SM-3 missile interceptors at the Deveselu Air Base in southern Romania.

The move is viewed in Russia as a threat to its national security and nuclear deterrence capabilities, while the United States and NATO claim their ballistic missile defense system is aimed at intercepting a small number of missiles launched from countries like Iran and is not directed against Moscow.

Credit to Sputnik

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20150505/1021750464.html#ixzz3ZOfI5SG9

N. Korea Submarine Missile Allows Covert Nuclear Strike on US

In a worrying step showing North Korea's rapidly expanding nuclear strike capabilities, the Communist regime recently held a test of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the first time it has launched a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead from underwater.

According to US defense officials cited by the Washington FreeBeacon on Tuesday, the test took place on April 22 from an underwater test platform near the coastal city of Sinpo in the southeast of the country, and tested what the US is calling a KN-11 missile.

The test appears to have been successful, and is the third KN-11 test showing the high-priority of the nuclear missile program for North Korea. Previous tests in January and last October were from a sea-based platform not underwater and a land-based platform.

The KN-11 joins the KN-08 mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as being part of a varied North Korean missile arsenal on platforms that would be hard for the US to detect, and consequently allow a strike that would be difficult to shoot down.

Admiral Bill Gortney, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command, admitted last month that North Korea could hit the continental US with a nuclear strike. Thatadmission accompanied the announcement that NORAD is reopening its nuclear-EMP-proof Cheyenne Mountain bunker, apparently amid renewed concerns of an EMP attack by which a nuclear weapon would be detonated over the US, knocking out all of its electronic devices, and thereby rendering it defenseless to secondary nuclear strikes.

The latest launch test also comes after Chinese experts warned the US last month that American estimates are wrong and North Korea actually has 20 nuclear weapons, with that arsenal to double next year thanks to the regime's higher than anticipated advanced enrichment capabilities.

Nuclear strikes the US won't see coming

Admiral Cecil D. Haney, commander of the Strategic Command, confirmed the SLBM launch test in comments to the Senate on March 19, reportsthe Washington Free Beacon. The program is in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Regarding the UN, it was reported last month that US President Barack Obama hid intel from the UN about North Korea transferring rocket components needed to create a nuclear missile to Iran even during the nuclear talks, to try and prevent the UN from acting on the information with increased sanctions.

Former US Defense Intelligence Agency official Bruce Bechtol, Jr. told the paper that North Korea's SLBM program is meant to give it the ability to strike the US, and to not have the strike be detected in advance.

"With an SLBM they get both," said Bechtol. "The submarine can get the platform to launch the missile within range of the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii. Thus, once operational, this immediately brings key nodes in the United States within range of what would likely be a nuclear armed missile."

He noted that once the KN-11 and mobile KN-08 "systems go operational, it potentially gives North Korea a dual threat for attacking the United States with nuclear or chemical weapons - a threat generated from difficult to detect mobile platforms on both land and sea."

Obama is bringing the US to "tragedy"

A number of American officials responded sharply to the KN-11 test, placing the blame squarely on Obama's shoulders.

"This missile, along with the KN-08, happened on Obama’s watch and nothing has been done," one US intelligence official told the WashingtonFree Beacon.

Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton added his criticism, saying, "by utterly ignoring North Korea’s growing missile threats, Obama has allowed the threat of rogue state proliferators to fall out of the center of the national political debate."

"This is a potential tragedy for the country," Bolton warned.

Air Force Lt. Gen. (ret.) Thomas McInerney said that the KN-08 and KN-11 programs constitute "threats to the continental United States and have been developed under the Obama administration’s leadership."

"Leading from behind is a failed strategy as evidenced by this very dangerous strategic threat to the continental United States of nuclear attack by a very unstable North Korean government," said McInerney.

The general also spoke about Obama's admission that the nuclear deal being formed with Iran will allow it to obtain a nuclear weapon in under 15 years if it doesn't breach conditions and obtain it sooner, noting that the deal "puts the United States in the most dangerous threat of nuclear attack since the height of the Cold War but from multiple threats - North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran."

Opponents of the nuclear deal being formulated with Iran ahead of a June 30 deadline have warned it follows in the footsteps of the failed deal sealed by then-President Bill Clinton with North Korea in 1994.

Despite the deal, North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, just over ten years after the agreement.

Credit to Arutz Sheva


The urban legends about black helicopters, clandestine military camps, tunnels underneath major airports, secret cabals, hidden detention camps, trains loaded with caskets and body bags and the like were around long before the Internet. The Web just made them easier and quicker to spread.

One of the tea-party organizations even has reported an anonymous claim there were train cars moving around the country with prison-like shackles installed.

Most people dismiss such reports as hyperbole or the fretting of nutcases.

But now there are powerful new forces aligning with those who are suspicious of the federal government, doubt the official public statements and aren’t reassured by the insistence that everything is all right, including members of Congress.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, released a statement Tuesday responding to constituents’ worries about Jade Helm 15, a previously announced military exercise to train thousands of military personnel on public – and even private – property outside of military bases.

It’s to take place in half a dozen states.

“Over the past few weeks, my office has been inundated with calls referring to the Jade Helm 15 military exercise scheduled to take place between July 15 and September 15, 2015. This military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law,” Gohmert said.

“Certainly, I can understand these concerns. When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned.

“We have seen people working in this administration use their government positions to persecute people with conservative beliefs in God, country, and notions such as honor and self-reliance. Because of the contempt and antipathy for the true patriots or even Christian saints persecuted for their Christian beliefs, it is no surprise that those who have experienced or noticed such persecution are legitimately suspicious.”

Jade Helm is getting a lot of attention for several reasons, including the fact that the military has designated for purposes of its exercise several mostly-Republican regions as “hostile” territories.

“Having served in the U.S. Army, I can understand why military officials have a goal to see if groups of Special Forces can move around a civilian population without being noticed and can handle various threat scenarios,” Gohmert wrote. “In military science classes or in my years on active duty, I have participated in or observed military exercises; however, we never named an existing city or state as a ‘hostile.’ We would use fictitious names before we would do such a thing.

Read the warning from Judge Andrew Napolitano, “It is Dangerous to Be Right when the Government is Wrong.”

“Once I observed the map depicting ‘hostile,’ ‘permissive,’ and ‘uncertain’ states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution. When the federal government begins, even in practice, games or exercises, to consider any U.S. city or state in ‘hostile’ control and trying to retake it, the message becomes extremely calloused and suspicious.”

He said those who already are distrustful of government “overreach” become even more suspicious “of whether their big brother government anticipates certain states may start another civil war or be overtaken by foreign radical Islamist elements which have been reported to be just across our border.”

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/03/LouieGohmert1.png

Louie Gohmert

“Such labeling by a government that is normally not allowed to use military force against its own citizens is an affront to the residents of that particular state considered as ‘hostile,’ as if the government is trying to provoke a fight with them. The map of the exercise needs to change, the names on the map need to change, and the tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states.”

Earlier, it was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who issued an order to the Texas State Guard to oversea any activities in his state to ensure that Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

“By monitoring the operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans,” he told Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty, the commander of the Texas State Guard.

“Directing the State Guard to monitor the operation will allow Texas to be informed of the details of military personnel movements and training exercise schedules, and it will give us the ability to quickly and effectively communicate with local communities, law enforcement, public safety personnel and citizens.”

Actor and WND columnist Chuck Norris raised the issue in a recent commentary.

“Last week, I laughed as some progressives in the mainstream media tried to mock Gov. Abbott for telling the Texas State Guard to monitor the Pentagon’s Jade Helm 15 military ops that are occurring this summer in seven states, including California and Texas,” he wrote.

“If you haven’t heard about Jade Helm 15, you need to. It is multi-state training mission for special operations soldiers scheduled over an eight-week period in July and August, with most of the activity happening on private property but some public, too. The official website press release from March 24 admits: “While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart.’”

Norris said Abbot was right to give Betty instructions.

“Concerned Texans and Americans are in no way calling into question our brave and courageous men and women in uniform. They are merely following orders. What’s under question are those who are pulling the strings at the top of Jade Helm 15 back in Washington. The U.S. government says, ‘It’s just a training exercise.’ But I’m not sure the term ‘just’ has any reference to reality when the government uses it,” he wrote.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2014/10/Norris7.jpg

Action star Chuck Norris

Concluded Norris: “If Washington wants to cool the embers of controversy, then it should quit stoking the fire, as with the posting of a map of Jade Helm 15 ‘just’ exercises that label some areas of the country, including Texas, as ‘hostile,’ according to KHOU 11 News in Houston and verified by the Washington Post.”

He said that whatever Jade Helm 15 “actually is, I think it is more than coincidental that the FBI director just confessed in February that the presence of ISIS can be felt in all 50 states of the U.S.”

“And that the Pentagon is suddenly running its biggest military training exercise with every branch of the military across seven Southwestern states. Whether deterrence, display of power or something more covert or devious, let’s not come with any patronizing nonsense of impotence and simplicity when its origin is in Washington.”

U.S. Army Special Operations Command officials responded to some of WND’s questions about the issue, stating in writing that the exercise is to train Special Operations Force to respond to an international crisis.

Officials said they need to train in areas that are not inside military bases.

“Different environments provide opportunities to experience new and unique training experiences,” the Army said. “These environments add realism and greater training value for U.S Special Operations Forces.”

To make things smoother, the Army told WND, officials have briefed local governments.

They blamed “inaccurate” information on either accident or “personal agendas.”

But they declined to answer whether it is unreasonable for Americans to be concerned about a government that takes away rights to oppose abortion and follow biblical standards for marriage, for example.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/05/JadeHelm.jpg

Jade Helm map showing Texas, Utah and part of California as “hostile”

There have been two general responses: those from conservatives who doubt Washington is telling the whole story and from liberals who poking fun at conservatives.

Among the former is Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who told Bloomberg.com he’s been trying to get answers from the Pentagon.

“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise. We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”

Read the warning from Judge Andrew Napolitano, “It is Dangerous to Be Right when the Government is Wrong.”

He explained that he has confidence in Abbott.

“I think part of the reason [for questions] is we have seen, for six years, a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens. That produces fear, when you see a government that is attacking our free speech rights, or Second Amendment rights, or religious liberty rights. That produces distrust.

“Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you,” he warned.

CNN quoted Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren, who said: “Jade Helm is a long planned and coordinated exercise. We are not taking over anything.”

And “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart launched a diatribe: “Oh dear Lord. Yet another waste of Texas funds that could have been spent on actual threats, like your infamous chainsaw massacres. Texas, it’s not that I don’t find it adorable that your governor thinks your State Guard could take on the United States military. It’s like a little dog growling at a big dog, or an 8-year-old picking a fight with the Predator.”

But a local Fox outlet in Utah reported the controversy was creating a “firestorm” in that state.

And the Houston Chronicle reported a smaller military exercise called Robin Sagei n 2002 in which a sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina shot and killed a Specials Forces candidate.

The deputy said he wasn’t aware of the exercise. He pulled over the truck carrying two participants over because it was suspicious, and he saw what appeared to be two machine guns in a bag.

According to WRAL-TV, the judge in the case said there was evidence the officers tried to bribe the deputy with fake money, too.

Credit to WND
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/worry-over-black-helicopters-goes-mainstream/#864Vc8wMxdzRMAF5.99

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