Economic Squeeze

The Great Recession without a hint of irony has gradually weaken many European countries' economies and to a larger extent Europe's economic influence around the world. Despite attempts by American and European politicians to insist to their people that the recession is over, protests and anger by people prove that the economic crisis is getting worse. Unemployment, homelessness, rising student debt and anger over a lifetime of debt, hunger of millions of people in America and thousands in Britain, the lack of social mobility across ethnic groups, the zapping of bank savings and suicide from financial loss and increasing health problems are some of many problems ordinary peoples in Western countries face as banks continue to create pressure cooker problems through financial setbacks, financial looting and bankruptcies declared by cities and families. The PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) and now Cyprus, have experienced the worst financial crisis as many peoples in each country, more dramatically in Greece have witnessed their lives turned literally upside down or disrupted by the continual plunder of financial assets and life savings of ordinary peoples by banks and financial institutions whose bailouts, billion dollar rescue packages and troika have failed to cure or reverse the economic crisis. The Eurozone continues to witness new financial strangles and need to save banks before people to avoid a potentially worst implosion of financial troubles and protests against citizens. In the United States, cities such as Detroit and Flint, Michigan, Baltimore, Maryland and several towns across West Virgina have experienced declining industries and collapsing infrastructure. Recently a chemical company ironically named Freedom Industries polluted the water supply in and around West Virginia leading to a water crisis for many town and village residents living near or around the chemical plant who had to wait for minutes to an hour for portable water trunks to deliver water to them. Other residents had to wait in line at fire departments to recieve bottled water. Some West Virginians still do not trust the drinking water. Standard & Poor's or SP has recently lowered Puerto Rico's bonds to junk status while the financial markets has remained in the red until today. On the heels of PR's bonds downgrading is the upcoming debt ceiling deadline once again in Congress.

Frustrated people: No jobs, no economy, no prospects for Peace of Life

What's Wrong with the Greeks?

Swedish Doc subtitled in English and Swedish

Neoliberalism seems to rear its head when economic crisis strike. Going back some forty years, neoliberalism via the IMF and World Bank was pushed first on South American country of Chile 1973 than to other African-Asian countries. It was even spread to the UK (that gradually moved away from Keynes economic theories under Margret thatcher) and US as the cure all for economic development and revival. Neoliberal policies insisted that the only way to develop an economy, heavily subsidized by government and to reduce government controlled industries is through regulations, free market, social cuts among other programs that are reducing to make the economy scream to borrow the words of the late Richard Nixon.

Career unemployment and Immigration: Why the nation has turned against Welfare claimants

More than two million unemployed African Americans

Top ten ways Thatcherism made the world and Britain unequal

Rags to Riches or Middle Class: The stories of Alger Horatio

They don't mean well

The Other America: Seeing What others couldn't see

Portuguese youth exodus to Brazil and Angola

America's Generation Debt Euronews


Scholarslip: Documentary about Student Debt

Why Britain is not so "Great"

The Men who crashed the World-Meltdown Part 

The 2008 Financial Crisis was brought on by a combination of actions that had been brewing in United States, Europe, Japan and Asia for the last decade. The 1997 Asian financial crisis might be the origins of the current financial crisis that began in Thailand with the collapse of Thai baht. .The crisis leap frogged to neighboring Asian tiger economies ie Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia that were regarded as the rising economic powers. There was a real fear of a global economic meltdown that nearly caused the financial meltdown that would occur coincidentally ten years later. The real estate bubble expanded to Dubai in United Arab Emirates. Coinciding with that bubble was the rapid neoliberal and rapid privatization of Iceland's national and local banks to shady non banking businessmen friends of the Icelandic PM minister. The steps towards the crisis are many: real estate bubbles and crashes across the States and Spain leading to large construction projects now in limbo due to the 2008 meltdown, extravagant spending, insider trading by Wall Street investors, banks and stock brokers, speculating prices and sales, government incurred debts, credit default swaps bribes and old fashion greed coupled with corruption.

How do you kill a country?

Disrupt if not destroy the economic system and wring the labor force dry

Economic Suicide: Japan's current economic realities

What is a Slum? Urbanization and Marginalization in America

Reducing the negative impacts of gentrification San Francisco edition

Poverty and barrios in Americas

The images of South America and Latin America ranges from beautiful scenic landscapes and countryside to football and delicious food. The media image of Latin America as the "backyard" of the United States as though the US is the only "America" in the Americas continues to fascinates the world. Than there is Latin America as an exotic region full of beautiful people and rich cultures. Latin America or las americas and USA often called Estados Unidos as both regions are called in Spanish, have a love hate relationship related to brutal neoliberal economic shocks that devastated Chile in 1970s, Argentina in early 2000s and the global butterfly effect in 2006. US Foreign Policy and its interventions in nearly ever country has not been forgotten by the majority of the people. The shock doctrine, crushing national and public debts, overthrow democratically elected governments, failed agricultural policies, economic marginalization of rural population and limited housing, dictatorships, corruption and bullying landowning families to name some of many America's infamous inequalities, created large internal migration from rural cities and countryside in the Southern Cone, Peru, Venezuela to the capital cities and major towns in search of job, economic opportunities and better living.

The City's Grass isn't greener
Once arriving in capitals or large provincial cities, many internal migrants found themselves again shut out from cities by housing costs, cold shoulder by city residents and indifference by city officials to housing and social needs. This combination of factors gave birth to the well known favelas of Brazil, villas or villas miseras in Argentina and barrios across Latin America and yes the ghettoes and barrios in United States in 1960s. The favelas, barrios, cantegriles and colonias have grown over the past 40 years from cardboard box shanties into small brick block cities complete with their own schools, clinics, hospitals and social services for local residents. Municipal services are not given to the barrios, villas or favelas nor do they ever appear on official city maps. These cities sometimes known as illegal settlements have been absorbed into the larger cities that continue to literally keep them at the margins of society and city life.

Like Uruguay, Argentina by extension Chile is often seen as one of the wealthier countries alongside Mexico and Costa Rica. As much as economic growth and development has spared high standard of living for many Argentinos, Mexicans and Chilenos, many remain below the poverty line or live in informal or illegal settlements joined by many illegal immigrants and rural migrants from the countryside. Many city government particularly in Buenas Aires and Rio de Janiero built separation walls to keep the poor towns out of view to shock and anger of barrio residents and human rights groups who called out the city government for its cruel and elitist Darwinist view of the poor in society.

Villa Miseria-Argentina

In the shadows of the downtown business center sits Villa 31 next to Buenos Aires' port

Villa 31
One of the larger and oldest villas in Argentine capital, built in the shadows of Downtown Buenos Aires behind the city's main train station El Retiro. Ironically, Villa Miseria is next to one of the Buenas Aires' wealthiest neighborhoods El Retiro. The government has since built an autopista or freeway over the rooftops of Villa 31 that semi blocks the noticeable villa from view of downtown but not from visitors nor the port of Buenas Aires. The ironies of living in Buenas Aires There are some 700 villas in Buenas Aires itself.

Pastor Carlos Mugica the unofficial patron saint of Villa 31

C5N TV on Villa 31 its origins and residents

Villa Lugano: A former villa that was transformed into a neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

Tienen futuro las villas argentinas

Cantegril of Uruguay
When one thinks of Uruguay they immediately think of one of the world's wealthiest yet smallest country in terms of size and population. Shanty towns and poverty do not immediately come to mind. Known as cantegriles named for the wealthy neighborhood in the rich seaport of Punta del Este, are slums found in Montevideo and other Uruguayan cities.

Pueblos jovenes in Peru

Favelas in Brazil The favelas can be found in most major cities throughout Brazil not just Rio de Janiero. The media and popular culture across the world has made favelas into legends themselves. Brazilian government has been a slow upgrading program to reduce and eventually get rid of the favelas in some cities including Rio de Janiero. When Brazil was first selected to host both the Olympics and World Cup, Rio's city government built walls to keep visitors and tourists from seeing the large favelas. The plan backfired with favela residents and human rights organizations calling for city government to no longer ignore the rights and needs of residents. Housing policy has been implemented by the federal government for favelas.

Chabolismo in Phillipines and Asia
Colonias in United States

In the United States most barrios and poor areas are abandoned or considered to dangerous to enter as residents moved to the suburbs or are evicted from their homes. Gentrification has transformed some abandoned barrios or poor neighborhoods into chic but costly neighborhoods that are unaffordable for long term residents. 

"I am a Business, Man!"
Entrepreneur Jay Z's 10 smartest business moves that have transformed him into one of the most successful rap moguls and industrial entrepreneurs

Criminals are made not born
Economic instability and necessities of life can take their toll on ordinary people. Financial crisis within a family or society leaves people feeling a combination of stress, shame and anger. Such crisis and desperation has created criminals whose economic and financial background have not been given enough consideration as the roots of their crime.

 Hard work or Hardly Working: How White People Got so Rich
Final Call's four part analysis on how, why and what exactly created and generated the wealth among White Americans and how African Americans are balancing with the large wealth gap in one of the most economically unequal countries in the world.

Bleached bones of the dead: On reparations for slavery, addressing the injustices faced by the ancestors and their descendants and why not a possible truth reconciliation commission for the United States?

Whatever happened to Japanese electronics?
Macroeconomics and governance in Japanese firms

Ten facts about growing Unemployment Crisis in America that will shock you

Destroying Greece in order to Save it
Economics and Armchair Psychology
US: Why do we cling to the Myth of the Self Made Man?

Gullah People: Descendants of slaves on Georgia's Sea coast fight against high taxes

Amend the Federal Reserve: For a bank that serves Main Street

The Forgotten Radical History of the 1963 March on Washington
Hundreds of thousands of people protesting for economic reform is nothing new in the United States.
Often ignored economic marginalization, subjugation to low wages and other overlooked economic factors sparked the March on Washington 1963. The original march was supposed to be held in 1941 organized by Bayard Rustin and A Philip Randolph but was called off at the last minute due to logistics.

Islamic Financing

Islamic financing has been around for years actually centuries. Although the name suggests religiousity, it emphasizes an independent and fair economic system based on the principles of trust between bankers and customers and the general public. Aside from the economics, Islamic financing is most known for prohibiting and discourages interest lending for loans or any type of transaction. Interest lending is also prohibited in Christianity and Judaism.

How does it work? An quick intro

Islamic Financing and Principles 

Greek Crisis Ground Zero independent doc

Humanitarian Crisis in Greece

Although not the first time in its history, Greece is currently experiencing an ignored (in the mainstream media) humanitarian crisis or disaster in the Greek healthcare system. Patients who need necessary and readily available medicines for high stress and diseases such as diabetes, heart and pulmonary diseases, post surgery cure among other preventive treatments, many patients are finding the current economic squeeze inhumane. Medicines in Greece are unforgiving high due to diplating stockpiles of medicines across the country's pharmacies and the state's failure to follow the monetary policies on low cost pharmaceutical medicines for patients with immediate health needs. Even the uninsured who rely on charities and clinics as many as their fellow citizens due for necessary treatment, are caught in a medicine shortage and the unrelenting hounding by insurance companies for their clients to pay high medical  bills despite the economic choas.

Greece: In Sickness and In Debt, Pt 1

Greece: In Sickness and in Debt, pt 2

Politics of the Global Economy

A three part series on the political and social history of the global economy spanning the 20th Century from Russia to Asia and Africa. The peoples and policies that have brought about the rise of isolationalism, socialism, neoliberalism and capitalism and the burning question of what will happen to the future economy at the end of the 20th century. The current economic crisis is the part two to the Commanding Heights.

Commanding Heights
Episode 1

Commanding Heights 
Episode 2

Episode 3

Ghost Cities of China

The real estate boom has transformed the rural areas and countryside of China. Nevertheless, there are millions of empty apartments and whole cities where buyers are able to purchase apartments in the newly constructed areas. Chinese real estate companies continue to build newer and brighter apartments to the chagrin of Chinese consumers who may be spending that adds to the world's largest economy but are leaving thousand of vacant buildings in limbo. Eventually the real estate bubble will burst which will have reverberating consequences for China, its neighbors and the rest of the globe. Its a matter of when the bubble bursts.

Divided Families From RT News

In the Greek village of Oichalia, in the Peloponnese, Greek children are being cared for by their elderly grandparents while the children's parents have left the village to find work and seek employment abroad. The economic squeezing of Greece have led to a mass exodus not only of Greek students but also families out of the country abroad to Europe and United States and beyond.

Suffer the People: Shutting down the US government 

Nearly two and half weeks have passed since the Republican led Congress shutdown the government. Some media pundits are referring to it as a partial shutdown. However for millions of Americans it is a full on shutdown that has far reaching political and economic consequences. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been furloughed basically having to stay home without pay until the shutdown is lifted. These non working federal employees across the country have been dubbed "non essential staff" in the same manner of embassy staff working in US diplomatic missions abroad during times of political crisis. Only critical infrastructure ie the food administration, public safety, dams, national security, school administrations and hospitals including VA, housing, will remain functioning under the partial shutdown for obvious reasons. National parks and monuments that are generally big tourist attractions continue to be close draining the tourist industry in the capital and other cities across the country. Early childhood development programs such as head start and public funded ie government funded educational/daycare programs for women and children have also been suffering funding or had to close temporary. Contrary to mainstream media, millions of Americans do rely on government social services not only for welfare but for educational and health services which includes nutritional meals for children, care for surgeries and treatment for cancer. The shutdown is aimed at hurting the Democratic Party and President to demonstrate the incompetency of the Obamacare which the Republican Party and its young right wing led by Ted Cruz see as a form of Big Government (read Keynesian economics and social services) and socialism. The Republicans have long complained and tried to paint President Obama as a Socialist which in American politics is still regarded as a left over curse word for Communist from the Cold War Era. However, the shutdown truly harms the people, ordinary Americans and their families who have little control over ending the deadlock. Anger has been growing among Americans who are frustrated by the shutdown and closure of important services. Protesters have been holding vigils and carrying banners in front of the Capital Building but many more do not have the means to march down to Washington. Last week a man lit himself on fire on the National Mall which is both a public park and tourist attraction in DC.

Veterans who have survived World War II, Vietnam and countless other wars including Afghanistan and Iraq have removed barricades from the World War II memorial in anger and protest to dump the barricades onto the front of the White House's North lawn to show their frustration at the real harm towards the people and ridiculousness of the Government shutdown. Truckers previously threatened to block the Beltway or loop that encircles Washington, DC voicing anger at the stalling by both political parties. 

Veterans storm White House with barricades 

The dipping of the Dow and Nasdaq

As with most political instability and lack of a fully functioning government, the American economy has been dipping downward. The Nasdaq and the Dow continue to be in the red as the global financial markets reacts to the now two week old government shutdown in the United States. Fitch has warned the US that if a deal is not reached on the debt ceiling issue, the US' credit rating would be downgraded. The global economy still chuggs along. African and Asian tiger economies are experiencing slowing but continual growth. India's currency, the rupee has recently been depreciated after performing decently for a couple of years. China's growth has been stalling over the past year. However its stake in the American shutdown lies in the US debt it owes to China from decades borrowing loans via treasury bonds. Congress also has to rise the debt ceiling on October 17 otherwise the economic downturn will continue. World leaders have insisted that the US end the bickering and pass the debt ceiling to avoid loosing potential global investments and financial opportunities. Tomorrow we shall see if the US will default on its national debt numbering in the trillions. If the country does default on its debt which would spell gradual financial doom for the global stock market, will also deepen the current recession. Mainstream media insists that the country has been out of recession since 2009. However, the recession has always existed since the 2008 financial crisis. It has not disappeared as unemployment continues to increase and austerity measures has led to the near collapse of the PIGS economies in Europe. Thousands of protesters in Athens and across various Greek cities every other week is a constant reminder that Americans could soon be joining angry Greek protesters in taking to the streets to protest against Congress. Americans have been seeing their income depreciate for years since and even before the Dollar Devaluation of 1973 when the international currency standard was replaced by Gold for the paperback US dollar. The majority of the world's petroleum, currency reserves and exchange rates rely on the strength of the dollar to keep the global economy and financial markets from dipping as the Dow and NASDAQ are experiencing with red returns. The financial markets and stock exchange are eagerly awaiting the final last minute House deal that Speaker John Boehner and his young partner in crime Ted Cruz are waiting to solve until tomorrow. The deadline for the House of Representatives and Senate to reach their deal on the debt ceiling is Wednesday at 12AM. If a debt ceiling limit is not dealt, the financial markets will panic although it may not be immediately felt. China is watching the economic events in the US and has called for the De Americanization of the world. As with previous large empires, the United States is facing an abyss that it has dug for itself. All previous empires collapsed from political instability and financial ruins as the US is currently facing. It is inevitable. A country that continuously spends more than it has or expand regardless of political parties' in power or in the White House is bound to bankrupt itself and suffer its people financially. The independence leaders and presidents of USA have predicted that if the country is destroyed it will be destroyed from within. Even if the House does pass a deal on the debt ceiling, the markets could take awhile to recover to pre-government shutdown levels.
Birth of the De Americanized World

A history lesson

This is not the first time that a government shutdown occurred in the US. There have been some 17 government shutdowns since 1976 that are often not taught in American school textbooks nor are common knowledge. With the exception of the 1995 Government Shutdown. When the last major government shutdown occurred (lasting 21 days) during former President Bill Clinton's administration in 1995, (incidentally the shutdown began after Clinton attempted to pass a reformed healthcare bill) the economy was experiencing a boom cycle. The housing bubble had not burst and new dot com companies continued to grow the economy. While the rust belt states and cities Detroit, Chicago, Michigan, etc laid off thousands of workers as car manufacturing and production moved overseas to China, Mexico, Thailand and across the emerging economies. Outsourcing is not new but it increased greatly during the 1980s through the 1990s. Unlike today's government shutdown, the economy was not overtly effected but still experienced contractions. When the Republican Congress finally reopened the government, the United States and the world was introduced to the Contract with America that sought to pass backlogged legislation in 100 days. The contract also stated that Congress members would abide by etiquette rules and manners that would ease Capitol Hill's image as wasteful and aloof to the ordinary people's plight. There has been no mentioned of a new Contract with America from the current Republican Congress. A deal has been spoken about by the House speaker John Boehner and the Senate but it has not moved a long quickly as needed. All this is occuring while the American people's frustrations over closed public/government programs has impacted their lives financially and socially. The nation's capital Washington, DC actually relies on the Federal government for its political functions since it is not its own state or an autonomous region as are other national capitals around the world. 

Taliban mocks US Government shutdown

Dying American Dream

American Dream Not American Reality

President Bill Clinton's remarks on 95 Government Shutdown


Atlantic oligarchs and Crisis in Cyprus
Cyprus Financial contagion and economic shock doctrine
Criminal Act: The EU's financial looting of Cyprus
From Detroit to Cyprus: Banksters in search of prey
Monetary Geopolitics: Russian oligarchs withdrawn their cash from Cyprus?

IMF admits mistake in GReek Bailout
Neo Nazi held over Greek musicians Pavlos Fyssas
Greek police tied to Golden Dawn?

Rise of the BRICS

The rise of BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa along side new emerging economically rising countries Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Botswana, Ghana, the city states of Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, have challenged the hegemonic power and unipolar world of the United States. 

Resistant and the new Non Alignment strategy 
African leaders call for greater industrialization of an emerging Africa
BRICS summit held in South Africa: A debut of 43% of the world
Namibia: Landless in the Land of the Brave

To change currencies or not to change that is a billion Euro/Dollar question

Anger and fear of a collapsing Euro has caused many countries to rethink the future of Euro in this time of austerity measure and recession. In Greece, ordinary people in villages and small towns have decided to form and test out their own locally created their currency dubbed TEM a half pay back later styled credit and currency to help people who are struggling (whether they be students, single parents, families, elderly, poor, etc) with debts, unemployment or financial troubles. TEM along with other currencies are serving as temporary or permanent replaces for the dollar and Euro standard in these small towns or villages.
German town's Euro alternative
Eurospect Germany political party inches into politics

TEM, a complimentary currency in Volos, Greece

Complementary Currencies Global Research TV's guide to locally produced currencies already in use in several European, Canadian and American countries s.

Origins of the Nation State

Looking back at the origins and concept of Europe as a continent and as nation states. Going back to the history of European unification and how regionalism in different countries give rise to national identity and nationalism.
How did Europe begin?
Italians before Italy: Competition and conflict on the Mediterranean
Nationalism, Ethnicity and Democracy: Contemporary Manifestations
Rise of the Nation state across the world: 1816-2001
Origin and Journey of Nation State system
Rise of nation state during Renaissance
Rise of the nation state general

Old money and Economic recession

The old money families of the US and Europe have been riding out the economic recession. Estimated wealth between millions to billions within one family alone, the super rich have remind in the background going about their business without much complaints from the mainstream media. As the recession crushes the unemployed and uninsured, lashes out against new graduates and the Dow and NASDAQ has been in the red for a while, Old money has managed to breathe a sigh of relief for their fortunes are still somewhat safe. Intergenerational wealth and mobility still keeps some wealthy families afloat invested wisely. The New money families have fared worst. Many Noveau Riche are threatened by the economic recession and the unpredictable swings of the global stock market. Some have declared bankruptcies and have flaunt their wealth to the wider public and media without consideration to their consequences. Both old and new money have long angered the majority of society with some families and celebrity personalities grossly oozing of wealth and hyper ridiculous celebrity stories that distracts everyone from protesting important issues like the cracking of capitalist system and continual dip of the Western economies.

Capitalist terror and lives of workers 

Acting Locally Thinking Globally: The Globalization of Transport tragedy

A plane crash in San Francisco, United States and a petroleum train derailment in Quebec has briefly put both Canada and United States in the spotlight for infrastructure and safety. In the village of Lac Maganetic, Quebec, Canada, a train derailed carrying petroleum and blew up near the center of the village. Asiana Airlines flying from Seoul, South Korea crash lands on the edge of the airport runway at San Francisco International Airport. Some passengers abroad foresaw the crash recalling that the plane was too low to the ground and it landed on its back wheels with the plane's nose up instead of the nose wheels operating first for a safe landing. Now the experts are scrambling to understand if human error is responsible or if it was the weather or an act of God or negligence on the companies part. These two explosions come on the heel of climate change that has caused the death of 19 firefighters in Arizona, has burned a large portion of the Los Angeles and Colorado forests every year, has led to higher heat waves than previous years among other ecological events.

Lac Megantic, Quebec Province, Canada

Lac-Megantic: A Social and Ecological Tragedy

Lac-Megantic train derailment: videos, photos from the

Catastrophic Events, Mass Traumatization and the Body Politic 

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