382 Comments

Robert, I know you’re absolutely correct but, what do we do? How do we get the message to right people in Washington to stop this madness? To break up the corporate monopolies? To stop the rising interest rates? To get things back on track? The System is so broken that it seems downright impossible to change the trajectory of things. It’s depressing. Powell seems he’ll bent on breaking the backs of every day Americans to reach his impossible goal. He’s not stupid. He has to see what is obvious to you and the rest of us. He reads the numbers. Why is he doing this? Is he just another power hungry politician? Obsessed with his own agenda? I’m no economist but, even I can see that the economy is improving and that we don’t need further rate hikes. The man is obviously not stupid. Inflation is coming down. Corporations are gouging consumers and our representatives are doing nothing to stop them. These monopolies have to be broken up for the good of all and the health of our country and the people. We can’t keep existing like this. The inequalities between the rich and the poor are so huge now that we barely have a voice anymore.

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

how to get the Professor's brilliant message out?

it Needs to be an Op-Ed piece

in the nyTimes Immediately!

if not Sooner. Sic 'em

Dr. Reich!

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kristofarian: The NYT and WaPo (Jeff Bezos) are part of the problem. Fake news in the service of the corporate elite.

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 8, 2023

hey Greg

yeah nyt's pretty Corporate

their Commentariat otoh is typically

pretty Astute - the Conversation Edifying

.

but the nyt's Quite well-read

& makes for One Hellova Billboard

.

I haven't checked out Billionaire Bezos's

WAPO but I've heard he keeps his

Greedy handsies well off the

Opinion part of his rag.

to his Credit.

.

[Update]

so that's

Penance?

will jb ever

assume The MIC

and pull a Murdoch

only savagely-better-Funded?

.

will there be

seatbelts?

Guard

rails?

.

Drones?

well-Armed

& Judgmental?

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I dropped my subscription to the once-stellar NYT. Now it's WaPo and the Guardian. WaPo isn't as good as it was in the Bernstein-Woodward era, but imo it's the best we've got.

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I’m with you. Love the Guardian.

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You want fake news? Talk to the Fox two-faced “news” casters!

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Using the share button and sending it to your social media followers and friends is an easy practical start.

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

using Billionaire's Profit Centers

to Undermine their Death Grip

on Civilization -- Hell YES.

bravo.

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Sharing the piece gets the alternative publication's message out, and sharing it's message in your own social media replies works if everyone keeps doing it. Us discussing windfall profit taxes and antitrust legislation without moving the message does very little. I follow the GOP but reply with rebuttals of their stance, to bring to light what they are misleading us about or are avoiding discussing. Activism requires active work through our actions, not just talk.

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founding

No, there needs to be another political party that is focused and loyal to the bottom fifth of the population. One that has enough power to effect changes and truly help the people who need it the most. The current system is not working for the people who truly need it.

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That's not current political reality resulting from Citizens' United legislation where ALL political parties, including any new ones, have to receive large donor donations and lobby money to compete in elections and influence congress. Working people need to join and use labor unions to be heard, not waste money on political parties who can't represent them without becoming unfunded.

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Dream on. I once backed a 32 year old to run for a solid GOP seat. He promised to end the stock trades, end the interest carryforward loophole.

He is now on the ways and means committee and is 100% against those changes. He had NO wealth and now 15 years later, on a congressman's pay, he is wealthy. He is the problem. He and his lying types will always be there absent term limits and that AIN'T ever gonna happen.

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

Carl: The Working Families Party sounds interesting but I am not familiar enough with them to discuss them in detail.

I was in the Citizens Party, 1980-4, and on the National Committee. The inside-the-Beltway faction sucked up all the $ and didn’t leave enough for nationwide grassroots organizing. And Commoner had zero social skills.

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Why does it fall to Dr Reich? Each of us should be calling our various representatives, multiple times as needed, to tell them what we want done.

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well that's True

And

the Good Doctor is

eminently-well-Connected

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That was superb,Prof.Reich,we love you!

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Ramona, well-said. It seems that when one gets enormous amounts of money, no one exists but themselves and their immediate associates. I suspect most of those guys can't even name the people who work for them in their own houses. Powell is for himself and his Trumpian friends. He was not appointed by Trump by accident. I can't help but feel he is continuing his work of the previous administration in this one and no one is stopping him because we have given the Fed far too much power and President Biden kept the wrong guy to stand for some kind of bipartisanship. Powell needs to go in favor of someone who has experience among working-class people but also an understanding of the broader economy that a Fed Chair must have. I also can't help but wonder where the rest of the Fed is on this issue. Do they automatically bow to Powell or are they all as oblivious as Powell seems to be (or as underhanded in his support of Trump and not the American people)? I have no clue.

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Ruth; He certainly does not have the interests of the 'common man' in mind. That would be a majority of the people he serves, that are not 'corporate'

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

The problem is that Powell isn't interested in what happens to the people on the bottom. His world consists of the wealthy and powerful.

Jerome Powell: "What, the folks on the bottom are struggling? That doesn't matter, they don't buy much. And my peers, the rich, are finding this approach very helpful."

Someone needs to take Mr. Powell on a trip through Walmart and Save-a-Lot. He probably hasn't set foot in one of these for decades.

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Lynn. I so like your idea of taking Powell into a WalMart or a Save-a-Lot. However, it should be filmed as Oz's visit to the supermarket was in Fetterman's ads. Powell would have no clue what any of those prices even mean and that even in those stores, prices have risen to ridiculous heights and the quality of many of the products has fallen. It would be amusing, but I suspect Powell, resident of Wealth World would not be affected at all.

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Lynn: Better still, take him on a tour of your local county jail, to see the real impact of his policies.

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Greg, Oooo, I like that idea of taking Powell to a local prison. The problem is that he wouldn't get the connection at all. He is so far removed from real communities as he resides in Wealth world, he would immediately blame the prisoners for being in jail and could not possibly see interest rates having anything to do with the people's suffering. He drank the greed Kool-ade and never even noticed, just like the Wall Street crew who approve of Powell's actions and never question whether that is the right move for this nation.

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Ruth: I’ll bet if you kept him in there long enough he’d figure it out.

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probably never

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Exactly.

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Just remind him who is paying him? Would you pay someone to feed your dog and in six month find out the dog died of starvation? You might want to consider who pays these arrogant servants?

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Better yet, FIRE him.

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Probably never

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Always ask who benefits? Rich people and corporations awash in cash want higher returns on their investments, even though they've already got most of the wealth already. remember these types loan to the government. when interest rates go up, so does their profits, and the government pays more to borrow. Ghandhi said there is enough for all our needs, but not enough for all our greed. There apparently isn't enough for the greed of the top few percent, the rest of us be damned. Powell is a tool of the plutocrats. He's doing exactly as he's told.

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There isn't a single problem in America that doesn't emanate from Citizens United. We have a Fed completely dominated by Wall Street toadies who couldn't care less about main street Americans. They are there because the people who appoint them are completely dependent on wealthy campaign donors which means our politicians don't care either. Add in the massive right wing propaganda machine financed by the same wealthy people and you have the makings of a new dystopian novel except this one is real.

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Remember the supreme court caused the civil war with the Dred Scott ruling. Somehow we survived that barely but this one is worse. Anyone or any company can pour as much as they want into the campaigns to get what they want later.

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Tom and Don: Time to restructure the Extreme Court: expand it, with a binding ethics code and term limits. And replace the Chief Just-Us.

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Well said, Tom. Remember as well that it was the SCOTUS that started the whole mess back in the 1870's by declaring that corporations had the same rights as individuals. That bunch of jokers has been buried deep in the pockets of the corporatocracy for many generations now and numerous wash and spin cycles have failed to launder them out.

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I did not know that but it makes sense. Same sort of thing today opposite party but then Republican party of Lincoln is really the FDR democrats. Now I don't know what we have but a lot of elected officials that are beholden to lobbyist and not voters. Reich should start a petition that people running for office need to sign saying if elected they will abolish lobbyist and do a constitutional amendment if necessary to enact. People might follow him. You and I nobody cares about.

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NPR ran a great story on the whole sordid history of corporate involvement in politics. Heres' the link: https://www.npr.org/2014/07/28/335288388/when-did-companies-become-people-excavating-the-legal-evolution

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I couldn’t agree more.

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Americans who are not in the billionaire/trillionaire class do NOT have a voice. There is no "barely."

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We are "barely" living in a democracy.

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You are right. I believe our democracy is on life support.

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All I can think of it to elect a president that will break THEIR, useless billionaire backs for murdering so many just so they can afford a SIXTEENTH yacht and a SIXTH super-mansion. Don't get me wrong: President Biden is an EXCELLENT transition president, as his DOZENS of serious acomplishments have shown, but he's not quite there yet.

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well bernie tried, but the corporate dems broke his campaign.

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I’m looking at you, Jim Clyburn: Hakeem Jeffries’s collaborationist godfather.

Why do you think the DINOs want SC to have the first primary?

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Daniel: Biden = Kerensky.

The 4-party system is coming.

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Why establish new parties when the winner-take-all system is still in place? Yes, we know that Alaska put in place the rank-order voting system that defeated the execrable Sarah Palin in 2020. But what are the chances that rank-order voting will be established federally, allowing, for example, the Green Party, to have a real voice?

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I fear the world still has.a few too many powerful individuals who think commoners cannot truly govern themselves -- either cannot or don’t deserve to, I’m not sure which.

But, like the Straussians who think we need to be lied to “for our own good,” they spin their yarns and sell their snake oil, like Powell and his antiquated economics.

And when we in the trenches either buy the lies or get into fights over them, a narrative builds that we truly CANNOT manage our own affairs. That we need a strongman to keep things on track and keep people from fighting in the streets. We’re seeing this all over the world. Fear that democracy is not strong enough to keep people safe, so authoritarian rule is on the rise.

Keep us worried about the roof over our heads, the food on our children’s tables, the “others” who are coming to eat our lunch -- and the Fascists win.

What’s the solution to our situation -- our incredibly broad and ubiquitous media [mainstream, Internet, cell ...] gets messages out, but the messages make one hell of a soup. How do we make sure the flavor of the month is not fascism?

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Trust Busting?

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I fear Mr. Powell is either quite removed from working life and/or corrupted by his own community with the wealthy. IMO, the BEST way to stop this madness is a push down from the top, ie. Mr. Biden imposing windfall taxes on big oil and any other corps who follow their choreography of corruption. Little will change until the ultra-wealthy have been given a boundary they can’t get out of. Democrats yearn for politesse has little effect action & motivation of the wealthy.

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Nothing much will change as long as Republicans have the votes to block everything.

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Another great comment, Ramona. My first reaction would be to say that if we got the money out of politics, all the other improvements would follow.

But closing down that trough at this point would seem to be an impossible task.

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Chairman Powell is a republican and a Trump appointee. It’s possible his political party has nothing to do with his

current decision to raise interest rates,

but I wouldn’t be gobsmacked if he is being influenced by his fellow republicans. If he does what he says he’s going to do, we’ll be experiencing a recession and considerable job loss right when campaigning for the 2024 presidential election is at its peak.

Coincidence? I think not.

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I think not also. The Fed pumped over $4 trillion in new money into the economy in a desperate attempt to goose the economy for Trump before the 2020 election, a recklessly inflationary policy that we are paying for now. Now they're compounding that error by recklessly tightening monetary policy to cause an unnecessary recession just in time for the 2024 election. Too many coincidences.

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Excellent point, Susan.

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What do we do? Well, for starters contact you Representative and Senators. Tell them what you want. Call to tell them repeatedly if necessary (it will be). Write letters to the editor of any papers in your area so the word spreads to be seen by others. Vote only for politicians who truly get it and will actually work to get things switched.

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Is it REALLY the working people who are spending or is it the wealthy,corporations and extremely comfortable who are spending so much money? They have a LOT of money to spend and raising interest rates won't stop them. They have piles of cash grom the last several years of increased prices to working people. Are we using the correct measurements for inflation or is it time to look at that and see how we can entice corporations to pay working people higher wages and better benefits? Anything done to reduce their runaway profits will oy result in them raising our prices AGAIN.

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

We could start by restoring corporate income taxes to more than 3 times what they are now. We have antitrust laws that could be used to reverse the corporate consolidations that give them the monopoly power to raise prices at will. Capitalism only works with competitive markets. Worst case, use price controls for the worst offenders.

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The other option are 'boycotts' refuse to buy from 'supermarkets' what they offer and you will soon notice the product removed or prices dropped.

Remove the demand, the supply changes.....simple.

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Except boycotts have never been very effective. I do have a list of companies I try to avoid.

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Maybe ad hoc ones are not effective, however, if they are more 'concentrated' with larger groups of people who rely on 'junk food' for cheap food and are taught better choices for the same money, that can and will shift.

Ditto, I also have a list of companies that I avoid.

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Also corralling people into 'food deserts' https://www.aecf.org/blog/exploring-americas-food-deserts

by the same companies who offer poor and limited choices is also not good corporate practice nor should it be acceptable to any thinking person.......flies in the face of every aspect of what America was founded to be.

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Is it only the rich and Republicans in Congress who influence Mr. Powell?

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He's a Wall Street insider. Not much evidence that he cares for the opinion of working people. I don't think Bernie has much influence with him.

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This is one of the reasons it can be so tough to keep supporting Dems. It's clear the corporate friendly strategy isn't working for actual people, so what will they do? Keep it going with no lessons learned. No meaningful effort to stop corporate greed. No effort to take back the trillions that have been taken from the millions struggling due to the failure of government to reign in monopolies and consolidated industries.

Then, Dems will stand around wondering why so much misery and anger has built up that the GOP will get massive support from voters who are told the Dems are responsible for that pain. And so it goes...

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The Federal Reserve is supposed to be non-partisan. Are you sure they are raising interest rates because they are Democrats? What about the trillions in tax cuts for the wealthy & corps DJT pushed through & he raised the deficit $8 trillion in only four years!

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Jerome Powell, in fact, was appointed by Trump, 1 of several controversial Trump appointees, including Christopher Wray & Louis DeJoy, that Biden refuses to dismiss.

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Jaime Ramirez ; I think the President can't 'fire' Dejoy ; there is a board that controls the postal service. Powell and Wray, I don't know. But why hasn't he replaced them if he could?

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He can fire the (USPS) Board of Governors for their silence and complicity in Trumps and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's campaign to subvert vote-by-mail elections and destroy the Post Office.

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

Libby: I wonder if that would entail a long, drawn out legal battle with the need to prove intent? It may be that President Biden needs to 'pick his battles' carefully.? Why would he allow Dejoy et al to abuse the postal service to the extent of blocking the vote? It does not make sense to me.

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Laurie, no doubt he has to pick his battles and choose carefully, and yes, the legal red tape is what it is. You aren't alone in saying that it doesn't make sense.

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Really?! Well, then get on with it, Joe!!!

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DOJ needs to GET ON WITH IT!!!

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kdsherpa ; Too bad Joe doesn't have tRump's drive and chutspah ; only without the evil intent!

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As I understand it, Laurie, the board members decide & there is 1 position on that board which has gone unfilled for quite a long time that, once filled, could become the deciding vote to oust Dejoy. I don't know what's holding up that appointment.

It seems to me Biden is very averse to firing people from his administration or getting into a controversy about government personnel.

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

Jaime ; I wonder if that is why DOJ has not done a stellar job of stopping MAGA seditionists and bringing them to justice? May be related. They must give the workers at least an impression that we are served, at least once in a while, by a winning Democrat. But it is never really real. Witness Clinton and Obama and how they gave away the store, so to speak.

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They always let us down in the end. True that they're much better (or, should I say, "much less bad") than the Republicans, & they spend a lot of their time cleaning up the messes left by their Republican predecessors, but after an often promising start, they underperform in some fundamental way.

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I had a stupid thought the other day. Biden could be keeping these fools around to ensure Trump gets the nominatiion for Republican candidate for the presidency, thinking he can defeat Trump again whereas he might not be able to defeat Duh'Santis or someone else.

IF this is his thinking, Biden is playing with fire! Overconfidence almost always leads to a downfall, and letting Trump slip back into the Presidency of the USA is the worst possible outcome, because that will be the end of American democracy as known today!

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

Send DeJoy to Ukraine to help them rebuild their postal service, starting in Bakhmut.

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Greg DeCowsky ; We are trying to help Ukraine, not destroy their postal service!

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Apparently Biden has an aversion to firing people in his administration, even those he didn't appoint & are problematic. Only rational explanation I can think of.

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Jaime Ramirez ; Strange that tRump had no such aversions to installing anyone he chose, qualified or not! Just like the debt ceiling being raised 3 times under his watch, but it's a no no under Democrats ? What's with that? Who is making these rules? and getting away with it?

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1 low standard for the Republicans & a much higher standard for the Democrats. Republicans, hypocrisy is thy name.

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For Trump, the only qualification he valued was loyalty to him & willingness to do whatever dastardly deed he wanted done.

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He can but usually they say to let the term un out. The worked so well for Carter

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Tom Tonelli ; Who are 'they' ?

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Donald Hodgins

Writes Donald’s Substack

11 min ago

This Powell guy has an affinity to raising interest rates. I might be wrong but didn't Trump have a hand in his appointment. Imagine what a frightening duo Jerome and Sidney would make.

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!!!!!! I KNOW!!!!!!!!! Infuriates me that Biden has left many Trump acolytes in powerful positions in the government. BIG MISTAKE. Recent criticism of Wray should influence Biden, but it won't.

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And why aren’t we asking: Who’s paying their salaries. ? We are and it makes me even more furious to think we stand by, pay them huge salaries to “ not work for us”!! Amazing. What nut case would do this?

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Powell does not need to still be there, but he is. And for all their excuses, DeJoy should be gone. When the GOP comes into power, they clean house. Dems continue too many bad policies, and in these cases, with the same people. I'm not saying there are zero differences, but the policies that matter most are waaaaay too similar regardless of the party in power....which, of course, is just another sign that neither political party is really the one in power, but is just the current puppet distracting the masses from the wealthy individuals and corporations actually driving policy.

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We don't have a dictatorship.

From my perspective, because we have gridlock in Congress and the Federal Reserve is Republican the way to have reduced inflation would have been through litigation. Sue price fixers and price gougers. The Federal government has limited power to do it. At least one state, California, is suing Amazon for price fixing.

IMHO energy prices were fixed by Trump administration's deals with Saudi and OPEC, benefitting Russia. This caused a ripple effect.

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Yes, and while the Republicans keep baiting their followers with the horrors of Hunter Biden, no one says a word about the Saudis' payout to Jared Kushner. Now Ivanka has the financial security to "stay home with the children."

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

Progwoman: LOL “stay home with the children”: Don Jr. and Eric.

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Yeah two billion plus all her China pattens she walked away with

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Katrina: The Goya collection? Oh, no! Don’t tell me she got the crystal ketchup bowl from the White House burger bar! That belongs in the Smithsonian! Or at least on Antiques Roadshow.

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Both parties allowed the corporate consolidations that have allowed many of our major market segments to be dominated by just a handful of large companies giving them effective monopoly control to raise prices. We need some good old fashioned trust busting. Antitrust law doesn't do any good unless DOJ implements it.

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Democrats control the FTC, but the courts resist.

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Yeah, the courts are a problem. Still they should try. Get them on record for their craziness.

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Dems are too nice, and it is killing us.

“Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth.”

- Lucy Parsons, IWW founding convention, 1905

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My Grandma used to say, "Zu gut ist nicht gut", and would add, "Too good is not good".

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Roger:

Q. What do you call 100 politicians buried up to their necks in sand?

A. Not enough sand.

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LOL!

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“Supposed to be” non-partisan. Powell is a Republican, with Republican ideologies. Biden should have replaced him. Is there a reason why he didn’t? Does he need a committee to do it?

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The Federal Reserve Chair serves a four year term. Powell was originally appointed by Trump when Obama appointee Janet Yellen's term was up. When Powell's term was expiring, Biden reappointed him to another four year term. So, yes, Biden could have replaced him. I don't know why he chose not to.

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He was playing chess to get his legislative program through. Got infrastructure, Chips Act, etc.

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Daniel:

He's no Bobby Fischer.

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Greg : Bobby Fischer is no Joe Biden.

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Well that’s very disappointing.

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Thank you Corena, I almost left a message with a bunch of swear words!

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Thanks for making me laugh early this morning.

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Powell is a Republican.

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Ian: Agreed. Tell me the definition of insanity again… it seems Powell and his cronies have rediscovered it.

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Powell and his cronies are insanely wealthy and crazy like a Fox.

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So true but what to do about it?

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I think we need someone of national prominence like Reich to start a contract with America thing like newt did but with outing lobbyist and corp. contributions make the people we vote for sign on it and hold them accountable and due an amendment to the constitution if need be because the supreme court will push back. Lot of work but what do we want to leave out kids and grandkids? Or do we just complain from our feeling entitlement ?

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Tax the Rich! for starters.

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You are spot on. That is because guess who is funding the democrats. Yes that same well oiled monopoly machine big business. We need to hold our officials accountable to us not the lobbyist.

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Ian, “tough to support the Dems”? So support the Repubs? Throw the baby out with the bath water, why not?

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A third party? A fourth party? Support them vs actively work to pressure them without throwing support to Republicans? these are just some of the options. I believe we have to stop thinking that the only ones are support them or the GOP.

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Maybe support the progressives. The ones who do not accept corporate $$$.

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3rd party. no; 4th Party? Definitely NO. Other options? The 2024 Election is now underway. I am liking what I see deveoping in the Demcratcic Party in Nevada. I need to do some more local political science but, I understand Nevada's role in the Electoral Count Act. I am likely to start donating after I evaluate their deployed tactics.

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Bryan:

In Nevada the progressives were ELECTED to run the state Dem party. In response the ousted DINO party leadership raided the state party treasury and gave all the $ to DCCC to campaign against progressives.

How's that for democracy? You can't trust the party "leadership."

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Very useful info Greg. I am going to check the Nevada Secretary of State data for party identification in ALL Nevda counties for February 2023.👌

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Alternatively: stay home. Low voter turnout has multiple causes, not always apathy or ignorance. I've sat out a couple of recent primaries. How can a voter choose among interchangeable candidates? My yardstick: direct mail. The more junk mail the candidate can afford to stuff into my mailbox, the higher the corporate-owned score, the less likely my vote. But the Democratic Party in my state, NY, has ceased to function [see: US House}, so no direct mail recently.

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Support the Dems because they are our only hope. Removing all barriers to campaign spending is exclusively a Republican project. They will only make everything worse. Since 2010, 19 states and nearly 800 local governments have called on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and similar decisions. In 2014, the majority of the U.S. Senate voted for the Democracy for All amendment that would add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that permits Congress and state legislatures to put sensible limits on political spending. House Dems have introduces and supported multiple bills to overturn Citizens United. All of these efforts are blocked by Republicans.

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Don Herbst ; No surprise there, since they seem to get so many more and larger 'contributions'.

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It's totally in line with the Republican agenda of allowing the wealthy to buy and own everything.

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Nailed it Ian! I left the Democratic Party years ago for this very reason. I hold them complicit in the situation we are in today. They are just as beholden to their billionaire ruling class donors as the GOP.

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"Dems" is too general a word in the Professor's community; I thought "Dems" was originaly coined by the right now in widespead misuse. Fed Days (4 days over the next week) are a good time to discuss macro & micro distinct policies -- comparative policies.

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They've gone far beyond "Dems" in usage of derogatory terms.

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Ian ; would you actually support The Rs at this point?

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

Absolutely not. They don't deserve it. But I'm tired of choking back my pride and common sense by fully supporting Dems who deserve scorn and who badly need a harsh lesson in taking progressives for granted.

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I have felt the same way. Alas, this is not the time, when the next time Republicans take over could very likely be the last time we see a free & fair election, to teach them such a lesson.

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Ian ; That donkey has been punished so often it seems normal. I wonder if we need one more 'Democrat' or progressive helping the R's to 'Teach them a lesson'?

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Major Macro delopments going on TODAY Folks as part of "Fed Days" such as the failure this morning of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Regulators have shut SVB down after trading was halted after 62 percent stock loss over the last 5 days. SVB RIP.

SVB's death will have a huge impact on Tech Start-Ups (of course) but, also Life Science companies. Hey, LA Jolla, CA ... wake up if you were not contacted by a Fiduciary yesterday to move assets before SVB's BK.

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Thank you so much, for your message, and for sharing it with your readers! It is a clear explanation, very helpful for our understanding of what's affecting our personal as well as national monetary context.

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I agree with you.

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Thank you for exposing this folly. The policy of raising rates is based on the assumption that the poor have too much money and insufficient sense to control themselves. But the poor, by definition they never have too much money. They mainly spend on just making do. That was the major reason credit cards were invented -- to lure them into spending more than they have. Raising interest rates kills the poor by accident. Surely it's real target is speculators, and its real beneficiaries are the owners of credit money (liquid capital). Raising rates is therefore an attempt to puncture speculative balloons. Taxing capital growth and giving the revenue to the poor would be far more effective, but such measures would undermine the current version of the "American ideology" (there have been others) that the ethical and political test of everything is the freedom of the individual to enrich himself beyond any social or ethical considerations, provided it is not outright theft. America needs to re-read Tom Paine.

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Robert Clark:

Tom Paine, definitely! Might want to read "Common Sense II" by Jeremy Rifkin as well, if you can find it.

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BRAVO, Professor Reich!

I hope this letter has been sent via certified mail.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Anne 🙏

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Anne: This letter needs to be dropped on the WH and Capitol from a big balloon.

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Inflation sucks the blood of the lowest paid workers. It enriches the already obscenely wealthy. This is not sustainable.

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founding

This is just more evidence that nothing works right in a capitalistic economy unless greed is regulated. Adam Smith said so, to great effect, but greed corrupts and absolute greed corrupts absolutely.

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We had regulations in place after the Great Depression, but they were removed as the different greedy factions got their own people in place. In 1999 President Clinton said, "Glass-Steagall is no longer appropriate," and the Wall Street casino was set free.

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when Triangulation became

Middle Class strangulation.

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I am 75, a veteran, retired nurse and have to say I have grown so weary of greed in this country. Some of us are never satisfied and want more, just more stuff! Others, like me, count pennies and hope the other shoe doesn’t drop. I have worked hard all my life and the 2007 bank debacle took all my IRA…and now, Wall Street is obese and I am left counting my meager Pennie’s.

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Most of us have lost money on Wall Street. E.g. in 2022 the Dow lost about 9%. Apparently buy and hold strategies don't work as they were advertised.

Meanwhile for several years, when rates were about 1%, couldn't get much of an annuity on retirement.

Most of the time the government used 8% for the basis of estate and retirement planning as if that rate would last into perpetuity. So if you retired when rates were 1% (like me), not many investment options.

These days I see that there are some investments that are supposed to yield 9%. Too late for those of us who have already lost principal.

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“Worked hard all my life since I was 20. I haven’t got anything to show for anything I have done.” Merle

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He had an epiphany later.

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I hope you sent this to all the major news outlets as an open letter!

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That is a great idea.

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The top one tenth of one percent could reduce inflation to zero today!

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They could also eliminate poverty & homelessness if they so chose, & save the world from catastrophic climate chaos, but that is never nearly as important to them nor to our government as continuing to rake in record profits.

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We need to Remind the Faux Christians

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Share the Wealth

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Unfortunately it’s not in their interests.

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I trust you Robert Reich. Your clarity of values and economic Justice are second to none.

As you have stated this is not the same world we lived in 1950. A time when the income & wealth disparities have no comparison in the realities of today. Today those wealth disparities are so severe that owning a home, one income in one family or ability to afford colleges without mortgaging futures is a distant dream. That is the reality the masses are living with.

We are also living in a time when the passage of Citizens United has made it possible to buy elected officials. Those elected officials have increasingly abandoned Democracy- we the people for the rich & powerful.

In the end we the people- the majority are the life & blood of this country. We the people are the teachers, the nurses, the police etc that keep it all functioning. If the people begin to believe that no justice will come & they will continue to suffer the injustices we have today- then I fear for my country, our Democracy & the future of generations to come.

Thank you Robert Reich for your unending dedication to see that Justice becomes a reality once again in America. I pray your letter is fully understood and the consequences of not doing so do not come to pass.

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Quote: "There’s nothing sacrosanct about 2 percent. Why not 4?"

An essential point. Somewhere along the line 2% was invented as the natural target with respect to inflation. Somehow this standard assumed the status of Divine Decree, it simply does not have to be that way. The humane approach here would be to cut the raises and see what happens with the suggestion that rates may have to be raised at a later point. There is supposed to be a 12 to 16 month delay between the rate rise and the final effect anyway.

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Agreed, but the crux is that the Fed is owned by the commercial banks who are also in the rich boys' club!

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J Welsh : Break up the banks!.

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Yup. Like breaking up all the oligopolies like rail, airlines, etc

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Powell is robbing the poor to give yet more to the obscenely wealthy!

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From the bottom 20%, thank you.

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Thank you for sending this astute and articulate letter. I hope it gives him pause for thought.

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Mar 7, 2023·edited Mar 7, 2023

D white : Robert Reich ; It would be Great to see your article in the Times and Wapo! I wonder what a full page 'ad' would cost?Graphs and all.

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Dude! that'd

be A BINGO.

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If only he read Professor Reich’s articles.

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