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For my update on key economic events of this past week–i.e. US GDP report, Fed meeting & Powell’s press conference & status of latest infrastructure negotiations–listen to my Alternative Visions radio show today.

Go to:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-the-week-that-was-us-gdp-the-fed-free-money-money-firehose-january-6-sideshow/

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dr. Rasmus discusses 3 key events of the past week and how they’re related: (1) What does the preliminary report on 2nd Quarter 2021 US GDP really indicate? Is it a ‘V’ or just the first half of a ‘W’ given economic indicators showing a slowing of US recovery in the second half 2021. (2) the Federal Reserve meeting showed chair Powell is intent on continuing pumping in $120B of free money to the banks and investors every month for at least another year. Plus keep a second $1T spigot is now permanently open in the Repo Market for stock speculators as well. Why then are banks and investors continuing to get all the free money, while politicians keep cutting the promised fiscal stimulus for working and middle class households and the poor? Why Sanders’ $3.5T Family Bill Dead on Arrival! (3) Rasmus next addresses the phony Infrastructure deal and the Dems latest concessions to McConnell & Republicans in the name of ‘bipartisanship’. .

My third and final radio show commentary on Marx’s economics vs. contemporary Marxist (and mainstream) economists’ distortion of his views. Discussion focuses on the two historic distortions: the falling rate of profit thesis (contemporary Marxist economists) and the transformation problem thesis (mainstream).

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-marx-s-economics-vs-contemporary-marxist-economics-part-3-1627067250/

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT

In this final 3rd show discussion the differences between what Marx said and what economists today erroneously say he said, Dr. Rasmus addresses two historic issues in Marx’s analysis of capitalism. First is the idea, held by many contemporary economists who consider themselves Marxists, that under capitalism the rate of profit tends to decline over time, leading to ‘crises’ in the form of severe business cycle contractions (recessions, depressions, etc.). Rasmus shows this is incorrect, that Marx’s ‘Falling Rate of Profit’ tendency is a ‘in the long run’ supply side argument about the breakdown of capitalism and not an explanation of short run business cycle ‘crises’ like economic depressions. Rasmus debunks the assumptions in the Falling Rate of Profit tendency argument and explains how 21st century capitalist instability cannot be explained by a singular focus on profits. The second issue addressed is by contemporary mainstream economics critics of Marx, who hold that Marx failed to explain how values get transformed into prices in the real world and therefore Marx’s explanation of how exploitation of labor drives capitalist profits is never proven and thus Marx’s entire body of analysis should be rejected. Again, a single variable (price) is basis for rejection of everything else Marx said, just as a single variable (profit) explains everything he said. Rasmus concludes with commentary why both contemporary Marxists and Mainstreamers fail to understand the financialization of capitalism today as a key source of crises, short run and long.

Listen to my interviews of last week on the state of the US economy, status of infrastructure negotiations, inflation, spending, etc. Will the US economy experience a repeat of last year (2020) growth trajectory–i.e. surge in 3rd Quarter followed by relapse in 4th–as Republican (+ blue dog Dems) coalition halts further fiscal stimulus, bets on reopening of US economy as sufficient, which then proves insufficient for sustained recovery in 4th quarter 2021? Or will Dems & Biden drop bipartisan bullshit and push budget reconcilation? Bet on the former. Biden has already agreed to McConnell position on Infrastructure by dropping all efforts to raise taxes (and abandoning this past weekend his proposal to have IRS recoup $700B in tax avoidance & fraud) to pay for infrastructure. Biden & Dems have now in effect capitulated on infrastructure bill, accepting McConnell’s on spending and taxing. Dems will now turn to hyping their $3.5T new spending proposals (made up of cuts to original infrastructure + family support bill) knowing it too will never pass. Biden won’t use budget reconciliation for either infrastructure or $3.5T. And won’t abandon filibuster (opposed by Manchin-Senema).  In short, fiscal stimulus is over for 2021-22. Covid Relief Act (American Rescue Plan) of last March) will dissipate after 3rd quarter (just as Care’s Act in March 2020 did). Economy will slow again in 4th quarter 2021, as it did last year 2020.

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/inflation-housing-infrastructure-still-plague-us-economy/id1130613151?i=1000529081599

Or GO TO:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1migo5rUOKTSiiVbDjU7719ClrzxbN7tf/view

Dr. Rasmus continues part 2 of the 3 part series explaining how ‘Marx’s Economics’ is not the same as ‘Marxist Economics’, as well as explain what Marx said is quite different from what mainstream economists claim he said. Why Marx’s Economics should be understood as both a continuation and a critique of classical economics that preceded him. Like Keynes later (see prior shows), Marx adopts much of the classical economics conceptual framework, adapts and changes key concepts and propositions of classical economics, but introduces totally new concepts and analysis that fundamentally critiques classical economics as well. But in the final analysis, like classical economists Smith, Ricardo and others, Marx’s analysis is a long run, supply side (production), explanation of how the capitalist economy changes and evolves, and eventually experiences a stagnation and breakdown, driven by an intensification of exploitation of labor. Rasmus explains why intensifying exploitation does not necessarily mean ‘impoverisation’ of labor and why workers’ standard of living under capitalism may rise while their exploitation grows even faster (and thus capitalists grow wealthier and income inequality expands).

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-marx-s-economics-vs-marxist-economics-part-2/

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT

Dr. Rasmus continues the clarification of what Marx really said vs. what contemporary economists (Marxist & Mainstream anti-Marxist) claim as Marx’s economics. Dr. Rasmus explains the 10 conceptual innovations Marx makes on the framework of classical economists before him (Smith, Ricardo, et. al.) to develop his theory of capitalist exploitation that drives the system to a breakdown crisis in the long run. After recapitulating the origins of Marx’s economic analysis and concept innovations on classical economics, begun last week, Dr. Rasmus discusses in Part 2 today the ‘heart’ of volume I of Capital: Marx’s conceptual innovations of Absolute and Relative Surplus Value, which explain how labor is exploited in production, creating a surplus that capitalists appropriate for themselves. Dr. Rasmus provides examples of how both forms of exploitation exist today in 21st century and are in fact increasing, leading to more exploitation of labor, not less. Plus, how ‘secondary’ forms of exploitation are also becoming more widespread. (Next week: Part 3 on the arguments against Marx by mainstream economists and the weak analyses by those calling themselves contemporary ‘Marxist Economists’)

Listen to my Alternative Visions radio show of July 8, 2021 for the first of a three part series on what Marx really said, as opposed to what contemporary economists (marxists & non-marxist) claim he said. (This series follows the preceding three weeks of shows which explained how Keynes’ economics were not ‘Keynesian’ economics)

To listen to the Part 1 of Marx’s economics, GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-marx-s-economics-vs-marxist-economics-part-1/

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT

Dr. Rasmus continues his analysis of three great economists (Keynes, Marx, Smith) in today’s first of 3 part series on ‘Marx’s Economics’. What are the origins of Marx’s economic thought? How it critiqued classical economics before him, while borrowing and adapting concepts from the classicals. What were the original contributions of Marx’s economics, conceptually and otherwise. Why Marx is about long run, supply side evolution of capitalist economy and the possibility of eventual breakdown of the system (and not about explaining recessions or depressions). Marx’s great innovations in quantifying the labor theory of value and explaining how and why capitalism evolves fundamentally by means of exploitation of labor. (Next week: contemporary examples why exploitation of labor is intensifying in both absolute and relative terms in the USA over at least the last 40 years. What Marx could not see in the evolution of capitalism in the 21st century).

Listen to my latest, early July 2021 radio interviews (15-30 min. ea.) on state of the US economy, whether sustained recovery is underway or not, and latest developments re. inflation, jobs, infrastructure negotiations, growing wealth inequality, Fed policy, etc.

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cgqHUp8IvMUOdVNYOaxaVCqEv4yvWDAP/view

https://www.spreaker.com/user/8544886/price-hikes-and-inequality-in-the-new-gi

Listen to Alternative Visions show of July 2, 2021, which concludes a 3 part commentary on why Keynes’ economics is not Keynesian and why mainstream economists have purged much of Keynes’ original ideas to make them ‘fit’ with their more conservative (pre-Keynes economic) analyses of capitalist economy. ‘Keynesian’ economics as a bastardized, hybrid of ‘safe’ Keynes and pre-Keynes economic analysis vs. Keynes’ economics as a more fundamental critique of capitalist economic analysis. (Next week listen to the show for the start of a 3-part similar analysis of Marx’s economics and why Marx failed to fully break from his bourgeois classical economics (Smith, Ricardo, et. al.) predecessors’.

To Listen to the show GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-part-3-keynes-economics-vs-keynesian/

Show Announcement

Dr. Rasmus concludes the 3-part overview of why Keynes’ economics is not ‘Keynesian’, focusing on the sometime radical conclusions and analysis of Keynes that is conveniently ignored by mainstream economics. Recapping the two prior shows explanation, Rasmus addresses Keynes’ views on financial asset markets, financial instability, and the rise and growing influence of professional speculators on the stability of the capitalist system. Why financial markets are often key to capitalist instability, contrary to mainstream economists and ‘Keynesians’ who largely ignore its role. (The show concludes with a brief commentary on the recent US Supreme Court decision further again gutting US voting rights and Democracy, giving a new green light of support to expanding voter suppression in the pro-Trump legislators in the red states. Check out Rasmus’ posting of how Neoliberalism is driving Democracy decline, in last chapter of his 2020 book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism’, posted on http://jackrasmus.com blog later today, July 2.)

For weeks I’ve been predicting Biden would capitulate to the Republican-McConnell proposals on infrastructure, including funding it without taxing corps-investors-wealthy. Today, June 24, he did just that, after paring down his original $2.3T proposal for Infrastructure spending step by step. Biden reportedly now agrees to only $579B in new infrastructure spending. What’s not revealed, however, is how much of this total is being earmarked in separate bills that have been moving toward passage that subsidize manufacturing, tech corps, and chip-auto companies. The latter, already agreed to is $52B. Another $110B is in the so-called ‘Endless Frontier Act’, subsidizing US tech development in competition with China. Another unknown amount will no doubt come from Biden’s original $400B targeting manufacturing in his original Infrastructure (aka American Jobs Act) proposal of $2.3T when initially announced months ago.

We now have the latest Corporate Wing of the Democrat Party (Biden, Shumer, Manchin, et. al.) completing their charade negotiations with the Republicans. Step by step the spending was cut, from $2.3T, to the current $579B. Behind the scenes over the past weeks, segments of Biden’s $2.3T were ‘broken out’ of the original $2.3T and moved on separate tracks toward passage. Both Dems and Repubs were in agreement on these elements: i.e. $52B for US semiconductor and auto companies, R&D for US manufacturers in the so-called ‘Endless Frontier Act’, and other provisions of Biden’s $400B proposed spending on manufacturing and US multinational corp subsidization in his original $2.3T Infrastructure proposal.

As we await the final version of the stripped down $579B in next few days, the only question is how much of it will be paid by consumers in the form of gas taxes, fees, and government borrowing (raising the national debt) vs. how much by tax hikes on the wealthy originally proposed by Biden and the Dems during the election. Having already dropped his proposal to raise taxes on corporations back to 28% from the 21% level under Trump (who cut it from 35%), thus raising $850B in revenue, Biden will likely now drop remaining tax hikes on wealthy individuals he originally proposed as well.

Make no mistake, this was all nicely ‘engineered’ by the corporate wing of the Democrat party, firmly in control since 1992 of policy, in cooperation with McConnell and the Republicans. Blue Dog Democrat Senator, Joe Manchin, served nicely as the ‘point man’ to take the heat off the Democrat leadership, as all parties danced toward a pre-arranged ‘compromise’ that leaves Trump’s corporate-Investor-Wealthy tax cuts under Trump ($4T) intact.

Biden and Dems will now try to spin the result, claiming it will provide millions of jobs, when it won’t. It will likely encourage more offshoring of jobs, subsidizing US tech and multinational corp manufacturers instead. With Biden having separately agreed to a minimal 15% corporate tax rate with European capitalists, the Trump 21% vs. the 15% will certainly encourage the continued offshoring of US jobs. In addition, the new subsidies to US multinational tech and manufacturing corps in the $52B chip bill, the ‘Endless Frontier’ bill, and the elements of the $579B now agreed infrastructure bill, will all further exacerbate the loss of US jobs mostly to offshore.

For the US economy recovery, it is clear the $579B will be too little and likely too late. The Covid 19 relief act passed earlier this year will dissipate in terms of its economic impact by late summer 2021–just as the 2020 minimal stimulus acts dissipated within months. The US economy is getting a ‘bump’ from reopening this spring and summer, just like it did from the aborted reopening last summer 2020. That temporary rebound relapsed by fourth quarter 2020. It will be interesting to watch as the current insufficient stimulus of $579B has the same temporary rebound and results in another fading economic recovery by early 2022!

(The following are my ‘running tweets’ since early June predicting the course of events with regard to infrastructure spending, now culminating in Biden’s capitulation. It’s all beginning to look a lot like Obama’s in 2009-10):
·
June 24
#Infrastructure Next question: how much of Biden’s $579B capitulation includes prior agreed to $52B subsidy to US chip corps, $110B ‘Endless Frontier Act’ subsidy for US corps R&D, & Biden’s $400B proposal for US manuf subsidies in his initial $2.3T proposed infrastructure bill?
·
June 24
#BIdenomics If Biden & Dems can only pass a McConnell-Repub infrastructure bill, Biden’s Family Plan stimulus supposed to follow infrastructure is clearly DOA! Ditto any Biden promises to take back Trump’s $4T 2017 tax cuts for investors, business, wealthiest 1%. Deja vu 2009-11
·
June 24
#Inrastructure Biden capitulates. Agrees to $579B (down from $2.3T) Repub-Dem ‘Blue Dog’ proposal. Details also likely to show Trump tax cuts untouched & consumers to pay with gas tax hike, fees, etc. = Insufficient stimulus as Covid relief spending dissipates by late summer.
·
Jun 23
#Infrastructure Senate group, with 10 Dems, proposing $973B package (with $394B already authorized in prior transport & other spending–only $579B new). Biden at $1.2T. Watch around $1.1T (as predicted here). Paid for by fees, leaving Trump’s $4T wealthy tax cuts untouched.

Jun 14
#infrastructure It’s now clear: Biden & Dem party corp wing will never do budget reconciliation. Biden dropped corp tax ($850B) proposal. Watch him now cut back personal tax proposals (on $1M individuals, inheritance, etc.) & agree to $1T spending (w/o climate, elderly measures)

Jun 11
#Infrastructure Romney & blue dog Dem Senema propose $587B ‘new money’ (+add $394B from hiway budget+$350B from budget for local govts in Covid bill, both already authorized) and there’s your $1.2T! Biden signals he’s ok with it. Now fight over paring down individual income tax.

Jun 10
#Infrastructure New Biden strategy: break out parts of proposed $1T bill (down from $2.2T) and pass laws separately: $250B for manuf, R&D, chips; $303B for road-rail transport; Prior $174B proposed for govt buying electric busses & building charging stations, now down to $8.1B.

Jun 9
#Infrastructure Deja vu 2020: $1.3T mitigation spending March 2020 Cares Act, followed by McConnell blocking June 2020 Heroes Act stimulus; $1.8T March 2021 Covid Relief Act, followed by blocking of Infrastructure bill (except for $250B subsidy for manufacturing-tech-chip corps)

Jun 9
#Infrastructure negotiations break down between Dems and Republicans. In the process, Biden cuts his proposal from $2.25T to $1T with no Republican counter except to ‘move money around’ already authorized to be spent. (McConnell, with Manchin help, out-maneuvering Dems again)

Jun 7
#Infrastructure: prediction: watch Biden cut total new spending to $700B (over 10 yrs) but claim it’s still $1T by adopting Manchin’s proposal to include $308B already authorized in highway spending + most of $700B will be subsidies to manufacturing & tech corps already agreed to

#Infrastructure negotiations update: Biden now at $1T. Republicans propose: use $394B already authorized for transport + transfer $350B already authorized for local govt spending + add about $250B new (over 10 yrs). Manchin-McConnell want more cuts. Watch Biden cut to $700B total

May 28
#Infrastructure Why did Biden reportedly ‘signal’ to Republican Senators when he last met with them that he’d accept a $1 trillion package? If he did, he’s either incompetent as a negotiator, or else negotiations are just a game being played for public consumption by both parties

Listen to today’s Alternative Visions radio show, the first of a series explaining what three great economists–Keynes, Marx, and Smith–really said and why their critiques of the prevailing economic systems of their time were rejected in whole or part by the then prevailing mainstream media and professional economics disciplines of their time.

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-why-keynes-economics-is-not-keynesian-economics/

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT

As promised last week, Dr. Rasmus begins a series of deep analyses of three great economists: Keynes, Marx and Adam Smith, showing how mainstream economics distorts the views of all three. What did they really say and how all were critical of capitalist economy. Today’s first in the series discusses Keynes’ 1935 book, ‘A General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money’, explaining why what is known as ‘Keynesian’ (aka mainstream) economics is not the same as Keynes’ analysis of capitalist economy. Dr. Rasmus explains contemporary mainstream economics cleverly ignores key arguments in Keynes’ original work, creating a bastardized version composed of a mix of pre-Keynes economic ideas—that Keynes himself strongly rejected—and selective, ‘safe’, economic analysis from the General Theory. Why Keynes believed capitalism’s Achilles heel was its tendency to create ever-growing income inequality while failing to deal with chronic unemployment. Why and how Keynes argued against policies that reduced and subsidized business costs (interest rates, wages, tax cuts) as the way to generate investment and growth. And why he foresaw and warned against emerging financial speculation (in stocks and other financial asset markets) becoming the dominant trend in capitalist economies, at the expense of real investment that made things, created jobs, and real incomes. (In subsequent weeks on the show Dr. Rasmus will continue the analysis of Keynes, as well as Marx and Smith—explaining what they really said and not what the media and most economists portray as their views).

TO LISTEN GO TO:

https://alternativevisions.podbean.com/e/alternative-visions-inflation-infrastructure-smoke-mirrors-keynes-economics/

SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT

Today’s Alternative Visions radio show analyzes the just released Consumer Price Index inflation for May and reports on the latest developments in the ‘Infrastructure Follies’ phony negotiations going on in Congress and the Biden administration. How ‘smoke & mirror’ offers and counter-offers are steadily reducing the level of infrastructure spending and, in turn, how Biden is cutting out his tax hike proposals in turn (and what tax items are likely next). At the conclusion of the show Dr. Rasmus begins a series of shows on what did 3 noted economists (Keynes, Marx and Adam Smith) actually say—not what the media, critics, and mainstream economists claim they’ve said. What is science and what is ideology in economics, in other words. Continuing next week, Dr. Rasmus explains how Keynes’ economics is quite different from what is called ‘Keynesian Economics’. Why has much of what Keynes actually said been purged from economics, academic and public, and replaced with what he himself, Keynes, critiqued back in the 1930s? (Subsequent weeks and shows will do the same analysis and commentary on Marx’s economics and Smith’s. Be surprised as to what they all actually said.)