The Global Economy is Sputtering Out

The Global Economy is Sputtering Out

The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecasts for the world economy – and warned that there is a “alarmingly high” risk of deep economic slowdown. IMF projections now show the global economy growing by a mere 3.3% this year – the slowest growth since 2009. As the IMF says in its report: “Confidence in the global financial system remains exceptionally fragile…Bank lending has remained sluggish across advanced economies.”

With Europe’s economy contracting, the United States headed for a “fiscal cliff,” and emerging economies like India and China also slowing down – IMF leaders are calling on policy makers to address the threats in their economies. All around the world – we are witnessing the collapse of corporate globalism.

The only question left is: just how messy will it get before working people around the world come together to forge a new economy for the 21st century.

Comments

GrowthBusters's picture
GrowthBusters 1 year 49 weeks ago
#1

Frankly, Thom, the days of robust economic growth are behind us. We have entered the post-growth era. Growth forecasts will continue to be trimmed. Some of the brightest financial minds are starting to write and talk about this - John Fullerton, Jeff Rubin, Paul B. Farrell and Jeremy Grantham come to mind. Read Richard Heinberg's book, The End of Growth.

Our goals and our metrics need to change. As you write, we want a healthy economy. Now, with the Earth full, a growing economy is not a healthy one. All along the laws of physics have told us perpetual economic growth on a finite planet was not in the cards. It's just hard to believe we are already at the limit. All the signs indicate we are.

So, while we need to have some healthy economic activity, it is going to be replacing dirty activities with clean, green activities, not adding MORE economic throughput. We need to stop looking for GDP growth. It's not a good indicator of living a good, meaningful life, anyway!

Dave Gardner
Director of the Documentary
GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth

eatraum 1 year 49 weeks ago
#2

I'd imagine that there is going to be much change in the study of economics over the coming years. I believe that if the working people ever find a leader who can organize and mobilize them, we will finally see the "super rich" as humanoid life forms. They appear to lack the same sense of reality that the greater part of humanity opperates within. They act, biologically speaking, like an incredibly effetive parasite that has effectively convinced it's host that the host must opperate for the benefit of the parasite and that this is in the host's best interest. This new economy for the 21st century will have to be one of local economies working for the benefit of neighbors in a new paradigm of co-operative economics; beyond barter. We will have to continue to educate ourselves on how to take control from the corporations without causing chaos and war. However, once anyone has studied even a little of the history of economics, the question becomes one of feasibility with respect to human "nature" as so well elaborated on by Adam Smith. We will have to evolve beyond the tendency to do what is best for the individual and learn to do what is best for the local community and, concomitantly, the world community.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 49 weeks ago
#3

I'm impressed that you have read Adam Smith. I need someone to translate it for me. Could you at least give us a few tidbits about Adam Smith's suggestions for dealing with human nature?

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 49 weeks ago
#4

The solution to the economy's woes is extremely simple.

Weaithy families around the world have $32 TRILLION squirreled away off-shore accounts. That is a pretty good bundle of money out of circulation--not creating jobs, not paying taxes, not improving/building infrastructure--not doing anything but squeezing the rest of us.

The wealthy need to be heavily taxed--off-shore accounts should be abolished with a sledge hammer--but given write offs when they hire and make investments in infrastructure and contribute to the common good.

They seem to think that the money they earn from our labor and consumerism and taxes is THEIR property and they EARNED IT BY THEMSELVES. Money is a TOOL and not a means to an end--not flow to the top and stop, which is happening now.

well-paid workers = monied consumers = long-term profit for business = prosperity for ALL

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 1 year 49 weeks ago
#5

But what does a growing population do with a level-growth projection?

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 1 year 49 weeks ago
#6

Fortunately or not, "Money" is increasingly little more than an accounting score, existing only per some accounting rules. And too easilly changed or abolished by reformatting some bank-books (disk-drives) somewhere. There are few hoards of real "stuff" in vaults any more. Vast monitary wealth is a very tenuous concept.

GrowthBusters's picture
GrowthBusters 1 year 49 weeks ago
#7

@HalFonts, re your question: But what does a growing population do with a level-growth projection?

That is precisely why it is critical that we end population growth sooner rather than later. Too many treat passing 9 billion as a fait accompli. It is not. We can stop before 8 billion and then coast back down, if we only believe we can - and stop pretending there is nothing we can do about it. Responsible couples armed with knowledge about the state of the world and the prospects their children have for living a good life will voluntarily choose to have smaller families. That is the most loving, compassionate thing they can do. We are just not doing a good job of spreading the word about that. This applies in the rich world as much as in the developing world. No more; no less.

If we don't get a handle on population, then we will definitely have to keep slicing the same pie into smaller and smaller portions. That is already creating conflict.

Dave Gardner
Director of the documentary
GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 49 weeks ago
#8

As global corporatism fails all over the world, so will our national economies fail around the world. There will chaos and wide spread violence as the economies around the world crumble due to the decades of corruption by our political leaders, banks, financial institutions and multi-national corporations. Due to the fact we now have global communications, almost instantly as events unfold, it will have a domino effect in each individual country. Combined with limited food production due to global warming we are about to enter a century of chaos only imagined in the minds of science fiction writers. Hunger Games could become a reality for much of the world once the decline begins around the world.

Does anyone find it odd that the Dept. of Homeland Security would order 350,000,000 rounds of jacketed ammunition? Their lame explanation given to the press was that it was ordered for target practice for their agents. No person or organization uses jacketed ammunition for target practice, it is not cost efficient. The less costly lead nosed ammunition called wad cutters or lead nosed round are used by everyone or entity around the world. The only reason to order that type of ammunition is that it will be used against a human target. And, since Canada and Mexico are the only countries that could breach our land security, the only logical deduction is that the ammo is designed to stop American's in the event of massive civil unrest. That means you and me. What information do they have concerning our future that we do not? Perhaps the Mormons storing up years of food and medicine for their members is not so radical or foolish, after all. I live in California and I have seen first-hand how excited people become when having to wait in long lines for fuel or water and food after a major earthquake. Maybe it is time to follow the Mormon example for surviving an unsure future. How long does it take to get to Utah from Southern California!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 49 weeks ago
#9

Are you suggesting we have forced abortions like the government of China imposes on their female citizens if they already have one child and become pregnant with a second child? Hell, here in America we cannot even have Planned Parenthood clinics without coming under attack physically and politically. Exactly how would you implement a "slow down" on population growth for those of us who do not believe in abortion, except in the case of rape? Who decides how many children are too many children in a family? I do not see how you could implement birth control without every citizen giving up her or their own destinies. Or, would this only be used on poor countries or poor citizens, which in the minds of the wealthy are not deserving of more than one child. I do not like where this could end up going. How about we just use our technologies to increase food production and stop using the time and money on weapon development...to kill the World's population, especially the poor. This may sound like a simplistic question or solution for that matter. But, please explain how you would control the expansion of the Human Race? Some how I cannot conceive that just explaining to a poor male in the heart of Africa is going to do much. They have handed out condoms to use for birth control and they use them for balloons! Putting our efforts in the expansion of food growing in the industrialized countries as well as in third world countries is the only way to affect the problem of hunger in the world.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 1 year 49 weeks ago
#10

The highest for the tax rate for the Rich was under President Eisenhower, back in the late '50' and early '60's when the tax rate was as high as 91% for the tax on wealth earnings over one million dollars. Back then we had a prospering economy, if you reflect.

Rather than constantly changing the tax code, where a smart Tax Accountant could “game the system”, the last hurdle that any Rich person could jump through is the 91% tax for earnings over one million dollars. Not that the government wants to tax the talents of the entrepreneur, since no one gains in life without standing on the shoulders of some one else, but the last hurdle that a Rich person faces is the 91% tax rate, thus precluding the search for gaming the tax system. The entrepreneur consequently would keep their extra millions in wealth earnings in their business and grow their business to the benefit of the entrepreneur not only in stature but also to the benefits of the welfare of the nation.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 1 year 49 weeks ago
#11

Finally came across the so called derivative that supposed to be responsible for the failed world market. Black–Scholes–Merton a mathematical model of a financial derivative of investment instruments. The only time I saw any kind of derivative was on the Bill Maher show for about five seconds and it was not anything like this one :)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/12/black-scholes-equation-credit-crunch

The real kicker is this partial differential equation is used world wide especially in Europe financial markets. More over the developers Black and Scholes won the noble prize in economics. Yikes, yowee get ready to laugh…consider these guys screw up with this formula that looks crazy enough to fail, then the American Federal Reserve’s bails out some European banks, dancing away with our tax money. Also read somewhere, but need to figure where, the money value floating around the Orpheus rich is about six hundred trillion. Shizzam. From my view America has the largest or most massive chunk of fraud by our Federal Reserve, a monstrosity of corruption ever recorded in civilized history.

Good reason why the news cables are wacky, everyone is a liar pants on fire heads exploding, etc. So here we are in the mud and noise of billionaires like the Koch brothers, or the Arabs that fly low in the radar of ownership of FOX News then we all wonder why Fox News is so good knowing Al Qaeda, murdering and blowing up our troops. The Bin Laden family minus one has been close friends of the Cheney and Bush family for decades in business and politics.

For all we know those off shore Canary Island bank accounts are magic carpet connections to those hundreds of Arab front companies list in the Canary Islands. Romney reminds me like the Robert Louis Stevenson story of “The Bottle Imp”. The bottle looks like an Arab oil lamp, but has the power to grant you any wish you want. In this case Romney has it and offers anything you like. But be careful there are very dangerous caveats, like going to hell for certain reasons. Are there yet? Yep.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 49 weeks ago
#12

I think the economic mess was well beyond the tipping point and calling out for change at the end of Bush the II's reign. One major blockade to change is our corp. media. Many of those who even care enough to pay attention, and must rely on the media for information, are lost in confusion. With the spin, disinformation, and LIES, perpetrated by outlets like FOX, citizens no longer can pinpoint who or what is responsible for the economic mess this fine country is in. This also explains why half of the voting population is willing to commit nuclear suicide by voting for Romney. Obviously this is purposeful, it keeps the attention focused away from the real crooks like Romney and his corp. brethren.

I think it will literally take greed maniacs like Romoney........showing up at their doorsteps...... armed and demanding what's left in their kids piggy banks before people wake up to the truth and realize Democratic Socialism is the clear answer to this mess!

Sorry about my untimely posts, thanks to teapublican austerity politics, job resposibilities leave me short on time lately!

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 49 weeks ago
#13

Halfonts:

Accounting scores and assets are still currency/money. Things can still be bought with them, yes? They are taxed when possible, yes? It's still "income," currency, assets--things with monitary value--still money in my book--still counts in the "real" world as money.

But, I do agree with you that that kind of money/currency is a tenuous concept and an insane one as well.

am4dems12 1 year 49 weeks ago
#14

Thom, Ive been in the building industry for my entire life appx. 45 years, and think that i have a pretty good grasp on the trends it takes, i look around and see things happening in the background that tell me we are about to merge on a very big boom for most of the industry, starting at the transportation reconstruction end. look at the factory and concrete and related industrys gearing up . they wouldnt spend the time or money in this economy to do so if they didnt have insight to things we dont know in the general public eye. the republican party has a hard on to get into office and take credit for the pending boom so they can claim another victory on others hard work. give the current administration credit for the progress were making behind the scenes . keerp them in and watch things begin to change.we need 12 years to rid the bigots of their power. this election is crucial and can set us in that path . 12 FOR CHANGE .!

am4dems12 1 year 49 weeks ago
#15

12 FOR CHANGE .! DONT LET THEM STOP US NOW.!

GrowthBusters's picture
GrowthBusters 1 year 49 weeks ago
#16

Ken Ware, if you're commenting on my population comment, please go back and re-read it. I anticipated your concerns and addressed them. You have nothing to worry about, except your own bet that technology can continue to come to the rescue.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 1 year 49 weeks ago
#17

The Twain Report
All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today

10-10-2012

Today the Twain Report learned that Mitt Romney has promised that if he is elected, he will not sign any anti-abortion legislation. That's a relief, because now we know that if Romney is elected, he might or might not sign anti-abortion legislation.

If Romney loses the election, we encourage him to do a for-theatrical-purposes-only "presidential" election against John Kerry, wherein both sides will save massive amounts of campaign money by hiring the same advertising agency to create one ad for both of them: a gap-toothed local hick yelling, "He's a flip-flopper!" Which will achieve the only goal of the democrat and republican parties: to leave the American population even more disgusted than it was.

Being bipartisaniferously supportive of the American political process in general, The Twain Report would like to offer Romney some helpful advice for his campaign against Kerry:

1. As a widely-respected armchair war hawk who dodged military service by going to France as a missionary, Romney is in an ideal position to attack Kerry's military service by saying, "Hey, I killed that guy I hit with my car in France. And if you count the people whose lives I ruined when I outsourced their jobs to China and who then committed suicide, I have killed MORE people than you, and am therefore better suited to be president, because obviously if I kill people in France and America, how much more willing will I be to kill people in countries we don't care about!"
2. As an unemployed person, Romney should also attack Kerry as a rich, out-of-touch elitist who doesn't even have an elevator for his cars.
3. And as a highly religious person who has always supported the Mormon doctrine that women don't have souls and that unmarried women with children should give up their children because that's the only way to get into heaven, Romney should attack Kerry for not being a Mormon, which is sure to get Romney a higher percentage of the Mormon vote- an area where polls say he has almost no support.

If any of you have personal connections with Romney, please forward this to him, because it may be the one final bit of help that he needs in order to destroy the earth so God will come here, thus fulfilling The Twain Report's goal of encouraging young people to display some of their fingers and say, "God rules, dude!"

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 49 weeks ago
#18

Elioflight, Halfonts, Hey check out a book by David Graeber entitled Debt The First 5000 years, it will shed some light on how existing ideas about money and credit are quite misguided!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 49 weeks ago
#19

I did re-read your comments. To believe you can start by assuming that people will react in a manner that is logical and they will wake up to the fact that it is in their own self-interest concerning birth control in itself is not logically based on current statistics. And if technology cannot help our planet to survive what is an expected food shortage then our conversation is mute. To place your faith in the ability to act in a logical manner concerning birth control has proven itself not to be true. I think you can wish all you want, but the reality is that we are running out of food on a planetary basis and if technology does not provide the answer we are screwed. Your high opinion of yourself and your ability to know how people will react on a planetary scope is somewhat disturbing if not laughable!

I am always amused when someone who has lived most of their life, can come up with an answer for the younger generations that will save them. Is this the same strategy you used for your family, while you were still young and in the prime of life? I doubt that you used the advice you handing out to the generation that is now populating the world with their off-springs. Science has saved us with its ability to expand the current knowledge and to deliver an answer in every crisis we have encountered so far and your ability to dismiss that fact is somewhat unbelievable.

GrowthBusters's picture
GrowthBusters 1 year 49 weeks ago
#20

Wow, Ken Ware. Very sad. You expect the worst from people and you expect technology to repeat the miracles of the last century made possible only by burning through millions of years of stored sunlight energy. Good luck with that. And yes, I decided as a young adult to limit my family size to two children.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 49 weeks ago
#21

WOW, Mr. GrowthBusters your attitude is just as sad to me, but unlike yourself I chose not to give an air of piety to my comments. I do have faith in my fellow mankind, those that are educated enough to understand the ramifications of their actions. Unlike the West and the Industrialized World many people in this world do not have the capability to understand what the outcome of generating more people will have on them and their children. They just see more hands to work the land or whatever is needed to survive. We were all not lucky enough to have been born in this country where Planned Parenthood was crammed down our throats in the 1970's. But as a matter of record, I too practiced Planned Parenthood and have one daughter. I put her through college and she now holds a master's degree in education. So please do not look down your nose at the people who advocate science as one of many tools that will allow mankind to survive. As a matter of record, science once doubled its knowledge about every 100 years. In the latter part of the 20th, century it was every 10 years. Now, science takes about 1 to 5 years to discover what it once took 100 years to acquire. We as a nation have the ability to feed most of the world if we desired to do so on a charitable basis. But in a capitalist society we give very little away, that we (the corporations) can make a profit on. I do believe that mankind has the ability to feed the coming generations and we are discovering new ways to do this every year. When America's desire to feed the rest of the world grows to the same capacity as its ability to do so mankind will survive with the help of science and with good will towards other humans. So you see I do have faith in my fellow mankind, but I am also a realist who is educated enough to know people do not always do what is in their best interest. And until that time comes, I will continue to put my faith in science as well as in educated people.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 49 weeks ago
#22

In any event Mr.GrowthBusters, it has been enjoyable discussing our seperate points of view on this matter. Have a great week from Southern California !

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 1 year 49 weeks ago
#23

Trusting technology to solve our world-wide food problems, means trusting the corporations that run the technology. And unfortunately, it is those very corporations that created most of the food shortages and are even now trying to make the food shortages worse. These are the corporate executives who patented rice in India, forcing poor farmers to pay every time they plant the rice that they harvest from their own fields- the same rice that their great-great-great grandfathers planted in those same fields, and now the corporation is saying that IT owns all rights to that form of rice. Check out Vandana Shiva, PhD, who has done outstanding work in revealing what corporations are trying to do to poor, starving people all over the world. Technology is fine, but the people who own almost all high-level technology are sociopaths.

In South America, a corporation bribed a government into selling all of the water rights, which meant that every time an indigenous person drank rainwater that fell on the roof of their house, they had to pay the corporation, which owned all water. It took the very real threat of an armed revolution to force that corporation out of there. Again, technology is fine, but the people who own almost all of the high-level technology are consciousless monsters who have made a sick hobby out of harming humanity.

In Canada, a canola farmer planted seed that he owned. Then pollen from a nearby Monsanto genetically-modified canola farm blew onto his property and fertilized the farmer's canola plants. Monsanto sued the farmer for "stealing" their patented canola genes, when in fact the farmer should have been suing Monsanto for polluting his healthy, natural canola plants with their dangerously unhealthy technological abomination. It cost that farmer all of his savings to defend himself against Monsanto corporation's baseless legal attacks.

I have a friend with a doctorate in genetic engineering. Once he got the doctorate and started working in genetic engineering, he quickly realized that the only jobs available to him were jobs where he would be working for people who want to pervert nature for profit. He quit and has not looked back.

When another friend got his degrees in electrical engineering, biomechanical engineering, and nuclear engineering, he got job offers in the cancer research field, and was going to do it, but first he talked with a friend of his who was already in cancer research working for a research department funded by a prominent cancer charity. One day he discovered something that killed a certain type of cancer cells. Delighted with himself, he told his supervisor. His supervisor got the full explanation of what it was and how it worked, then said, "Leave that alone. I want you to look into this other area."

The researcher said, "But this substance kills cancer cells, and we all know that the stuff you want me to look into doesn't have any promise at all."

His supervisor looked at him coldly and said, "Do as I say, or I will blackball you and you will never again work in medical research in this country."

My friend decided to go into nuclear engineering, where he felt he had a fighting chance of at least preventing America from glowing in the dark. And what he found out once he started working at the Bremerton Naval Shipyard supervising the decomissioning of nuclear warships, is that our navy routinely disobeys its own regulations for handling nuclear waste, and was even selling radioactive plastics and metals to manufacturers who made children's toys and dentures out of it. And when my friend got them in trouble for it, they arranged for congress to be bribed into passing a law making it legal to sell radioactive waste to manufacturers without telling the manufacturers that it's radioactive. When he made it clear that he was on humanity's side in terms of preventing dangerous radiation from harming people, his supervisors passed him up for promotion time and again, even though he was the most highly-qualified, intelligent, and competent guy there. When he retired, they tried to prevent him from getting the retirement he had worked for twenty-five years to get.

Most of the meat and produce supplied to American citizens used to come from family farms. When you buy food from one of your neighbors, there is a very strong element of accountability built into the transaction. Corporations, on the other hand, have as the basis of their very existence a legal denial of accountability and a denial of responsibility for their actions and for their failures to act. Corporations started buying up family farms. And they started bribing congress to pass laws unfriendly to small farms. And bribing congress to pass laws friendly to huge agri-corporations. And putting vast amounts of highly toxic chemicals on the land that grows our food. And bribing congress to not pass laws against the use of those toxic chemicals. A guy with sixteen mules and 50 acres, is unlikely to do much harm to anyone. A corporation that farms 50,000 acres, is very likely to harm lots of people and the environment, because the only reason corporations exist, is to get as much money as possible in as short a time as possible.

I know a guy who used to run a corporation that sold pollution control devices for factory smoke stacks. A very good use of technology. But as the years passed he realized that he could make much more money at a different job. Now he is a republican and the CEO of a corporation that outsourced its plastic foam factory to Mexico, where there are no pollution laws and where his employees are horribly mistreated and paid crap wages with no health care, no workers rights, no nothing. That guy has been seduced by the dark side of technology. I wouldn't know how to count the number of people he has harmed or quite possibly killed.

We invented the atom bomb to "protect" ourselves against our enemies. And when world war two ended too soon for us to try out our new atomic bomb, well, we dropped a few of them on Japan AFTER Japan had surrendered.

Personally I love technology. I love its promise, I am fascinated by the concepts, by the brilliant minds that formulate pioneering ideas. There's the TED Talks, the biomimicry folks, and other examples of very good science out there. Which leads me to my entire point: if humanity survives these very dangerous times, we will do it only by recognizing and very clearly dealing with the difference between corporate technology and humanistic technology.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 1 year 49 weeks ago
#24

The bombs that were dropped on Japan saved hundreds of thousands American lives from being wasted on an attempt to attack Japan on their main island. It is a little too late to convert back to 2 mules and 50 acres! My only question is how do you propose we take over the farms, ranches and all the other entities involved in feeding the World? All I hear is how bad the corporations are and how they have destroyed the earth. So you know people who have taken their talents and money and screwed mankind. Seriously, I would like to hear a realistic plan on how to change all the corruption that is now feeding a large portion of the world, instead of the complaints. I am not for the type of crony capitalism we are faced with. So let’s hear a realistic plan that would work without shutting everything down and starting over. When you went shopping at your local super-market did you walk around all the abundance of food and curse the corporations for making life easier for you? How do you propose shutting down all the evil corporations and run things the way you think they should be? I am not a corporate kind of guy, but I do know when things can be changed and when they cannot because we have already chosen a path. Did any of you stand outside your local food distributor (market) and protest against all the food you have readily available to you? Seriously, besides complaining about everything, what have you done to change things? I would really like to know, because I haven't seen any of you on the news channels (the channels you hate, but watch anyway) protesting corporate greed and unfair practices they use. It is easy to bitch and be an arm chair warrior, it is harder to actually come up with a plan and implement it with positive results. We all talk a good game with very little being done, except to complain. So when you figure out how to change everything, please let me know.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 49 weeks ago
#25

How does one measure knowledge? I hope it is not the number of patents.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 49 weeks ago
#26

Very good reply. Bravo!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 49 weeks ago
#27

The solution is straightforward, but very difficult. Pass the amendent that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 49 weeks ago
#28

Also, we need to retrieve the tax structure that existed under Eisenhour.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 1 year 48 weeks ago
#29

I appreciate you asking those questions. To add to the excellent answers provided in posts 28 and 29, here are my answers:

1. We dropped the atom bombs on Japan AFTER they surrendered. Not during the war, but AFTER the war was over. You know, kind of like if you and I were in a fistfight, and we agree that we would stop fighting, and then I hit you several more times, burned down your house, and killed everyone who lives within 200 miles of you. If you don't think it would be fair if it happened to you, why is it fair when America does it to other countries? But now that you bring it up, here is why our government is terrified to the point of clinical paranoia, that other countries are going to hurt us. It's because the American government has crapped all over those countries, pushed them around, stolen from them, murdered countless innocent people in their countries, replaced many countries' legally-elected officials with dictators, used hundreds of billions of dollars in "foreign aid" to bribe officials in other countries so they do what the American government wants them to do even when it harms those countries. So it's not exactly a surprise that some people in those countries want to retaliate against us. The Bible says to treat others the way you would want them to treat you. Uh-oh...

2. I have ten fruit trees in my small back yard, and I grow a lot of organic vegetables. The giant corporate agribusinesses get less of my money than they would like to have. I shop at farmer's markets as much as possible, and also go to family farms and buy directly from the farmers. For the last twenty years I have put my money where my mouth is. And if everyone did, the corporations would have to change, because all they care about is getting money, and if the only way they could get money was by being honest and responsible, they would be honest and responsible. They wouldn't like it, but they would do it.

3. I don't want to shut down the corporations. But I would like to see corporations get less big government welfare in the form of multi-billion-dollar tax breaks and subsidies. I would like our big government to stop helping corporations outsource our jobs to countries where they use slave labor, prison labor, and child labor, and that have no environment laws. And I would like our big government agencies to stop spending uncounted millions of dollars protecting corporations that pollute our country, our air, our water, our food, and our consumer products. That would be nice. As far as what I'm doing about it, I buy organic products as much as possible, I have written many letters and emails to congress and presidents, I have taught classes to cardiac patients at a hospital and at a health food store and published articles on avoiding exposure to corporations' chemical and biological toxins.

4. You would like to see me on the corporate-owned media, complaining about the corporate domination of America? Well, to answer your suggestion, I will quote my patron saint, Mark Twain: "It's a free press. If you own one." Big government spends a LOT of money helping media corporations form illegal monopolies that illegally shut out people who want to prevent corporations from ruining this planet. Our government would be much smaller and much less expensive to run if it wasn't serving the corporate interests and ignoring human interests. And much better speakers than me, such Thom, David Suzuki, and Bill Moyers are on tv, although I would like to see Thom's tv show on mainstream tv. Noam Chomsky and Thom have written incredibly good stuff about politics and done wonderful talks on radio. At least half of what I have learned about politics, I have learned from Thom. But more than simply memorizing facts about politics, watching and listening to these guys is a unique and valuable opportunity to learn how to think with a more clear and balanced mind, the way they do. As far as how I have tried to contribute, I spent a few years doing free household toxicology consultations, helping some people regain their health or at least stabilize their conditions when western medicine and alternative medicine could not help them. I have almost finished writing a book that includes lots of information on how people can improve their health by reducing exposure to chemical toxins and biological allergens in and around their houses. I will publish it soon, both as an Ebook and as a softcover.

The funniest aspect of this truth is that as we prevent the corporations from ruining this planet and devastating more of humanity than they already have done, we are helping those corporate executives. We really are all in this together! How ironic is that?

GOP Blocks Equal Pay...again.

Just in time for election season, Senate Republicans blocked legislation aimed at closing the gender pay gap. For the third time since 2012, Republicans refused to allow debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and reminded women that the GOP doesn't believe in equal pay for equal work.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Right through the worst of the Bush years and into the present, Thom Hartmann has been one of the very few voices constantly willing to tell the truth. Rank him up there with Jon Stewart, Bill Moyers, and Paul Krugman for having the sheer persistent courage of his convictions."
Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce