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Watch my latest video presentation to Berkeley students and activists on the current state of the US economy, recession, and evolution of fiscal and monetary policies 2020-21. Why the US is still evolving through its Great Recession 2.0, entering a new phase, and why it still remains uncertain whether the second half 2021 will be a rebound or a sustained recovery. How today compares to 2008-10 Great Recession 1.0, and prior historical contractions in 1907-13 and 1929-30

TO WATCH GO TO:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D0m3rU0NM7xhh8JrE-8wWVCkUOjX-s90/view

For my initial assessment of Biden’s recently announced $2.3T Infrastructure Plan–and why it will have virtually no economic impact in 2021 and minimal even 2022-24, listen to my Alternative Visions radio show of Friday, April 2, 2021.

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-biden-s-infrastructure-plan/

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT

Today’s show focuses on Biden’s just announced Infrastructure Plan. Called a jobs plan, it will produce few jobs in 2021-22 and have virtually no impact on the near term 2021 economic recovery effort. Estimated by the Wall St. Journal at $2.3T, over 8 yrs., very little will hit the US economy in the much needed early stage of recovery in 2021. At best it will be passed no sooner that 3rd quarter 2021 and not then if filibuster in Senate is upheld. Composed of two phases, the second will not likely be passed (if at all) until 2022. Combined with the Biden prior Covid 19 Relief bill (American Rescue Plan) which projects less than $1T spending in 2021, the combined two fiscal spending bills (ARP and now American Jobs Plan, aka Infrastructure bill) will provide roughly $1 trillion stimulus to US economy in 2021, as it reopens aggressively in coming months. Dr. Rasmus discusses the outlines of Biden’s Tax plan, designed to cover part of the cost of the two stimulus bills. (see last week’s show for more details on Biden’s tax proposals).

How does Biden’s recently passed $1.8T Covid Relief Stimulus Act, just passed by Congress, compare to Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal spending stimulus of the 1930s? For my commentary on the comparison, and related discussion, listen to my radio interview of March 31, 2021.

TO LISTEN GO TO:

Critical_Hour_689_Seg_5.mp3

Listen to my 14min. interview comparing Biden’s actual (<$1T spending in 2021) to prior stimulus measures of last December and March 2020. Why no bailout of renters, homeowners back mortgages, and students’ suspended debt payments was included in the Biden fiscal measures. Why the $1.9T is really only around $800B in 2021 spending.

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://www.spreaker.com/user/radiosputnik/cdc-extends-eviction-moratorium-as-covid

Now that Biden’s $1.8T fiscal stimulus bill has passed Congress, and next a $2T+ Infrastructure spending bill will be soon proposed, the question is how will the multi-trillion dollar dual fiscal package be paid for? Part will be financed no doubt by federal government borrowing (i.e. selling Treasury bonds). Another part will be paid for with new Biden initiatives in the form of tax hikes on Capital (and individuals earning more than $400k per year).

During the 2020 election year Biden provided general outlines of his tax proposals–some of which were designed to reverse Trump’s massive $4T giveaway to businesses, investors and the wealthiest households.

Recently the Biden administration has begun to clarify in more details what his forthcoming tax proposals might be. That too will soon be further detailed. What are Biden’s latest tax proposals? How do they compare to his campaign year promises to voters?

For my description of the latest version of Biden’s tax policy, listen to my Alternative Visions radio show of friday, March 25, 2021.

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-biden-s-tax-plan-crossroads-for-american-democracy/

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT

Dr. Rasmus provides a first look at President Biden’s Tax proposals, designed to roll back the worst of Trump’s $4T tax cuts in 2018 for businesses and investors. Rasmus describes the 40 year historical tax shift in favor of the 1% wealthiest households, their businesses and their investments—a key hallmark of Neoliberalism policy since 1981. Biden’s 3-part economic recovery program—the $1.8T recent stimulus, the $2T-$3T infrastructure bill to be announced next week, and the tax proposals to help pay for both—are described in context of a struggling US economy and a global deterioration in Europe and elsewhere of the fight against Covid 19 and another economic downturn in many economies. What’s happening in Europe and the prospects of a third wave of Covid based on new and more dangerous variants from UK, So. Africa, and Brazil. Rasmus introduces the show with commentary on the current, intensifying fight to retain even limited democracy in America—as Republicans launch voter suppression legislation in 43 states and as Democrats offer HR 1 in Congress to ensure absentee and mail in voting. America’s ‘triple crises’ of Covid, a faltering economy, and a declining democracy are not over. Is a new phase in each on the horizon?

For my latest commentary on the growing attention in mainstream media that US government deficits are about to cause escalating inflation, check out my Friday, March 19, 2020 Alternative Visions radio show:

To Listen GO TO:

https://www.podbean.com/site/EpisodeDownload/PBFE45F4QHCDI

    SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT
:

Now that the Biden $1.9T (actually $1.8T) fiscal stimulus has passed, mainstream economists and media are pumping up the rhetoric it will soon lead to excess inflation and rising interest rates that will endanger the economic recovery. Rasmus debunks the notion that deficits and debt—or ‘too much money chasing too few goods’ cause inflation, as well as related ideological notions of mainstream economics. What has been the actually deficits in 2020-2021 due to the three bouts of economic fiscal stimulus during the pandemic (March, December, and now March again)? What have been the actual causes of the deficits (besides the fiscal stimulus)? What’s the likelihood of inflation in 2021 and beyond and its real causes apart from deficit spending? What are financial markets reacting now so negatively driving up long term Treasury interest rates? And what instability might that lead to?
Bond interest rates are rising fast, signalling a problem with business, households & local govts repaying record levels of debt recently accumulated. Financial crises occur not just when debt reaches excessive levels (which it has in the wake of the covid crisis in the real economy), but when businesses, households & govts can no long ‘service’ that debt (i.e. pay principal & interest) on the accumulated debt. A harbinger of financial system problems may be indicated by the current rapid rise of US bond rates and other interest rates that follow. On top of the excessive business and govt debt recently accumulated there’s the question of how will tens of millions of households now pay for their debt accumulated over the past year: more than $75B in back rent payments, $70B in back owed mortgages, $hundreds of billions in forbearance of student debt, etc. The current $1.2B Biden fiscal plan (yes, only $1.2B not $1.9B per the Congressional Budget Office) does not address the debt repayment problem.

How will households repay their record debt, when more than 1.3m a week are still filing for first time jobless benefits? When 24m are still unemployed? When it is clear business will recall workers to jobs very very slowly, when hours of work for those employed will be most part time and temp jobs, when wages will remain mostly stagnant, and when rising prices now taking off will reduce their real wages and real incomes even more?

Meanwhile, as businesses see bond and interest rates now rising rapidly, they too are taking on even further record levels of debt to take advantage of the soon disappearing low interest rates. Will Zombie companies be able to pay back the even greater debt load in progress? Business sectors like commercial real estate, travel, entertainment and big box retail, malls, etc. are candidates for default and bankruptcy as rate levels rise more rapidly.

Recently I was asked to explain by Michael Albert and ‘Revolution Z’ media how Wall St. stock markets work, what’s up with the recent Gamestop bubble, what’s financial speculation, what causes financial instability and crises–and how they are all related to, or unrelated to, the real economy. Presented in simple terms, the interview clarifies for laypersons how the current capitalist financial system functions to make investors ever richer, while the rest of the real economy experiences periodic great recessions, wages stagnate and fall, and the quality and quantity of jobs deteriorates.

    TO LISTEN GO TO:


https://www.patreon.com/posts/47552141
With all the hype emerging in mainstream media and among politicians about the US economy about to boom, Dr. Rasmus discusses a contrarian view based on the various warning signs in the US economy now emerging. Despite the official talk of GDP recovery underway this quarter there’s: the Fed’s warning this week of rising ‘insolvency risk’ and business bankruptcies coming; new claims for jobless benefits rising again and consistently more than 1 million/week since October; the recent retail sales bump as really a warning not good news; financial market bubbles churning as investors chase ever more risky yield in cryptocurrencies and worthless stocks; China’s introduction of its own digital currency; and growing indications of Biden’s ‘bipartisan back-tracking’.

    To Listen GO TO:


https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-economic-red-flags-rising/

Recently I was asked to explain by Michael Albert and ‘Revolution Z’ media how Wall St. stock markets work, what’s up with the recent Gamestop bubble, what’s financial speculation, what causes financial instability and crises–and how they are all related to, or unrelated to, the real economy. Presented in simple terms, the interview clarifies for laypersons how the current capitalist financial system functions to make investors ever richer, while the rest of the real economy experiences periodic great recessions, wages stagnate and fall, and the quality and quantity of jobs deteriorates.

    TO LISTEN TO The ‘REVOLUTION Z’ Interview GO TO
:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/47552141
Listen to my February 12, 2021 Alternative Visions radio show for my debunking of Larry Summers, Oliver Blanchard, and other economists’ phony arguments why spending $1.9 trillion in fiscal stimulus (Biden’s proposal) will lead to runaway inflation, unaffordable deficits, and other nonsense.

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-debunking-economists-larry-summers-et-al-attack-on-fiscal-stimulus-bill/

    SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT


What are the arguments of Larry Summers, Oliver Blanchard, and other nonconomists rallying behind Republicans and big capitalists’ trying to reduce Biden’s $1.9T economic stimulus proposals? How bad is the US recovery in January 2021? Rasmus debunks each of the main points being made by Summers & friends and the rosy picture being painted for first quarter 2021. Dr. Rasmus then comments on the current impeachment trial in the US Senate and why it will resolve nothing of the threat to what remains of US democracy in the next two years by the Trump forces and Trump himself.