Archive for July, 2012

Barroso in Greece.

July 27, 2012


The European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was in Greece to put more pressure on the conservative government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to continue with deep cuts on salaries, welfare benefits and on pensions. Barroso said, “The key word here is, deliver, deliver,deliver.”

When one sees Barroso warning the Greeks “must make good on promises to reform”, he appears like a colonial power representing the “Troika” – the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank. It is beyond evident that the absolute majority of the people of Greece are paying a heavy price to a situation that they have never created in the first place. Whether it is in Spain, Greece, Portugal or the U.S. the method is to gallop to protect the banks who have already amassed billions of dollars in profits at the expense of the citizens at large. Total deregulation of the economy had created a situation whereby, the banks were allowed to loot without any oversight of any type. Won’t it be fair and proper to let them fail and go bankrupt? Why don’t governments dash to save and protect the interests of their citizens instead of the banks?

I have said this before, and I will say it again. Greece must exit the Euro. By the time the “Trioka” is done with Greece, the ownership of Greece will be transferred outside of its borders. According to ECB, the Eurozone is withdrawing all its money from Greek banks already, no one is depositing. CitiBank might be right with its prediction of “the chance of Greece exiting the Eurozone within the next 12-18 months to 90%”.

I only hope that the government of Greece would realize that the only way out of the economic agony it finds itself is economic growth not austerity, after more austerity measures. In the words of Bill Clinton, “If you do not have economic growth, no amount of austerity will balance the budget because you will always have revenues go down more than you can possibly cut spending”.

It is my wish that the misery in Greece would quickly recede before it destroys a country that is the root of European civilization.

Professor Mekonen Haddis



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ISS-Addis,Ethiopia. Roundtable-climate change

ISS- Addis, Ethiopia.

July 25, 2012

There was a roundtable at the Institute for Security Studies on the topic of exploring just and effective sources and architecture of climate finance for Africa. It focused on the outcomes of the Conference of Parties seventeenth session (COP 17) of December 2011, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is described as Africa’s big hope.

Presentations were outstanding and thoughtful. Issues raised include:

*The threats of climate change to Africa.

* How to promote a sound climate finance governance architecture in Africa.

* How to best deliver climate finance in Africa.

* Migration.

* Political and security risks.

* Conflict over resources.

* Raise climate change to a higher political priority.

* The impact of climate change on MDGs.

* Corruption.

* Financing for renewable energy.

* Need for capacity building, etc.

Professor Mekonen Haddis



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Neo-Liberalism is dead.

The world must look for an alternative politico-economic paradigm. Neo-Liberalism is dead. Fukayama is dead wrong.

Professor Mekonen Haddis.

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War on all fronts

July 19, 2012


War on All Fronts

The Russian government has finally caught on that its political opposition is being financed by the US taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other CIA/State Department fronts in an attempt to subvert the Russian government and install an American puppet state in the geographically largest country on earth, the one country with a nuclear arsenal sufficient to deter Washington’s aggression.

Just as earlier this year Egypt expelled hundreds of people associated with foreign-funded “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) for “instilling dissent and meddling in domestic policies,”  the Russian Duma (parliament) has just passed a law that Putin is expected to sign that requires political organizations that receive foreign funding to register as foreign agents.  The law is based on the US law requiring the registration of foreign agents.

Much of the Russian political opposition consists of foreign-paid agents, and once the law passes leading elements of the Russian political opposition will have to sign in with the Russian Ministry of Justice as foreign agents of Washington.  The Itar-Tass News Agency reported on July 3 that there are about 1,000 organizations in Russia that are funded from abroad and engaged in political activity.  Try to imagine the outcry if the Russians were funding 1,000 organizations in the US engaged in an effort to turn America into a Russian puppet state. (In the US the Russians would find a lot of competition from Israel.)

The Washington-funded Russian political opposition masquerades behind “human rights” and says it works to “open Russia.”  What the disloyal and treasonous Washington-funded Russian “political opposition” means by “open Russia” is to open Russia for brainwashing by Western propaganda, to open Russia to economic plunder by the West, and to open Russia to having its domestic and foreign policies determined by Washington.

“Non-governmental organizations” are very governmental. They have played pivotal roles in both financing and running the various “color revolutions” that have established American puppet states in former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire. NGOs have been called “coup d’etat machines,” and they have served Washington well in this role. They are currently working in Venezuela against Chavez.

Of course, Washington is infuriated that its plans for achieving hegemony over a country too dangerous to attack militarily have been derailed by Russia’s awakening, after two decades, to the threat of being politically subverted by Washington-financed NGOs.  Washington requires foreign-funded organizations to register as foreign agents (unless they are Israeli funded).  However, this fact doesn’t stop Washington from denouncing the new Russian law as “anti-democratic,” “police state,” blah-blah.  Caught with its hand in subversion, Washington calls Putin names. The pity is that most of the brainwashed West will fall for Washington’s lies, and we will hear more about “gangster state Russia.”

China is also in Washington’s crosshairs.  China’s rapid rise as an economic power is perceived in Washington as a dire threat. China must be contained. Obama’s US Trade Representative has been secretly negotiating for the last 2 or 3 years a Trans Pacific Partnership, whose purpose is to derail China’s natural economic leadership in its own sphere of influence and replace it with Washington’s leadership.

Washington is also pushing to form new military alliances in Asia and to establish new military bases in the Philippines, S. Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere.

Washington quickly inserted itself into disputes between China and Vietnam and China and the Philippines. Washington aligned with its former Vietnamese enemy in Vietnam’s dispute with China over the resource rich Paracel and Spratly islands and with the Philippines in its dispute with China over the resource rich Scarborough Shoal.

Thus, like England’s interference in the dispute between Poland and National Socialist Germany over the return to Germany of German territories that were given to Poland as World War I booty, Washington sets the stage for war.

China has been cooperative with Washington, because the offshoring of the US economy to China was an important component in China’s unprecedented high rate of economic development. American capitalists got their short-run profits, and China got the capital and technology to build an economy that in another 2 or 3 years will have surpassed the sinking US economy.  Jobs offshoring, mistaken for free trade by free market economists, has built China and destroyed America.

Washington’s growing interference in Chinese affairs has convinced China’s government that military countermeasures are required to neutralize Washington’s announced intentions to build its military presence in China’s sphere of influence.  Washington’s view is that only Washington, no one else, has a sphere of influence, and Washington’s sphere of influence is the entire world.

On July 14 China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said that Washington was interfering in Chinese affairs and making China’s disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines impossible to resolve.

It looks as if an over-confident US government is determined to have a three-front war: Syria, Lebanon, and Iran in the Middle East, China in the Far East, and Russia in Europe. This would appear to be an ambitious agenda for a government whose military was unable to occupy Iraq after nine years or to defeat the lightly-armed Taliban after eleven years, and whose economy and those of its NATO puppets are in trouble and decline with corresponding rising internal unrest and loss of confidence in political leadership.

Paul Craig Roberts

NGOs and color revolutions have been of great interest to me. This is a wonderful article pointing out global dangers.

Professor Mekonen Haddis

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Raising Taxes on the Rich Seen as Good for the Economy, Fairness

According to Pew Research Center, by two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,00o would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair.

Professor Mekonen Haddis

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Out of Work, Out of Mind

Jobs Crisis Denial

Before any problem can be fixed it must first be acknowledged. The jobs crisis stays in the shadows, out of mind, and consequently unaddressed. This is allowed to happen because those in power – Republicans and Democrats – both have political reasons to remain silent.

When the jobs crisis is discussed, the word “crisis” is seldom used, and the conversation is conducted with hushed tones and minimizing vocabulary. Therefore, when the monthly national jobs report was announced for June, there was quiet grumbling instead of passionate oratory; passivity instead of mobilization and action.

In the last three months the country added an average of 75,000 jobs a month. But job creation per month must be over 100,000 to keep up with young workers entering the workforce; therefore the real number of unemployed has steadily increased, on top of the mountain of already long-term unemployed.

The ”real” unemployment rate – which includes those who gave up looking for work and those who want full-time work – rose to 14.9 percent in June, a total of 23 million people.

President Obama actually had the nerve to claim that the June jobs report was a “step in the right direction.” His election campaign chooses not to be interrupted by facts.

But the real story that the numbers tell in the jobs report is the trend that promises more unemployment. The economy has stalled, and threatens to slide backward again into recession. The “jobless recovery” that we have now is likely to evolve into a full-fledged depression.

Corporations already know this, which is why they refuse to hire more workers and are content sitting on their mountains of cash: why invest money in hiring or adding new machines if you think the economy may tank, spoiling the investment? Indeed, corporations have every right to believe the economy is headed downward. The New York Times explains:

“… ill [economic] winds are blowing in from both a contracting [recessionary] Europe [the biggest trading partner of the U.S.] and slowing growth in emerging markets [China, India]. Also, domestic lawmakers’ inaction on the upcoming ‘fiscal cliff’ creates uncertainty that is not conducive to hiring.”

What is this “fiscal cliff” that politicians and CEO’s talk about behind closed doors but rarely discuss on TV?  The New York Times continues:

“…the end of 2012 [the fiscal cliff] will also bring a torrent of federal tax increases [reducing consumer spending]… The government is also scheduled to lop off a huge chunk of federal spending [$500 billion in annual cuts] because of measures set in motion [the infamous “trigger cuts”] by Congress’s inability last December to come up with plans for longer-term fiscal restructuring.”

The reason these cuts are not being discussed – and the reason they are referred to as the “fiscal cliff” – is because after these measures are implemented, the already-stammering economy will be pushed “over the cliff” into recession.

Both parties are not talking about the fiscal cliff because they share the exact same solution: austerity -cuts to social programs (education, health care, safety net), government layoffs, and other measures to make working people pay for the nation’s debt instead of the rich and corporations.

The real state of the economy is also revealed by Wall Street’s clamoring for the Federal Reserve to again start printing massive amounts of money, called quantitative easing. This desperate move would never be considered in times of “relative stability” of the economy and threatens to create massive inflation at home and abroad.

Both Democrats and Republicans are aligned with the free market model of job creation, which amounts to massive state intervention to provide banks and corporations with bailouts, ultra-cheap/printed money, subsides, tax breaks, etc., in the hopes that these corporations will hire people. These ideas have already been thoroughly disproved by events, yet nobody in power can put forth an alternative, since doing so would change the landscape of American politics.

What America needs is what was done during the last depression: a massive dose of state intervention against these corporations and the wealthy, by demanding that their taxes be dramatically increased to fund a federal jobs program.

Until labor and community groups detach themselves from Obama’s election campaign, they will remain mum on this issue and will be forced to support a so-called corporate jobs creation plan that promises more unemployment. The reason that labor organizations are not fighting for a real jobs campaign is because they have opted to tape their mouths shut and campaign for the Democrats instead, a fact that exposes them in front of their membership, who will in turn demand a new policy from their leaders. If the leaders fail to respond positively, their membership will demand a new policy and a new leadership.

Shamus Cooke 

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

Professor Mekonen Haddis

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Growth vs. Austerity.-Spain.

Growth vs. Austerity

Just like in Greece, Spain is going to carry out severe austerity measures demanded by the European Union. Spain’s right wing Prime Minister in outlining his plans to fulfill EUs conditions, is planning cut in unemployment benefit and civil service pay, privatize airports and ports while closing state owned companies, and increase the Value Added Tax to 21%. In a country where the unemployment is around 25%, how is this plan going to improve the plight of the Spanish people? Or is this some sort of neo liberal “voodoo economics”? If jobs are not created, where is the tax revenue coming from?

“If you do not have economic growth, no amount of austerity will balance the budget because you will always have revenues go down more than you can possibly cut spending,” Former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Professor Mekonen Haddis

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