Dictatorship USA – A Plundering and Predatory Nation — 2018 (18)

Факты, которые  подконтрольные ЦРУ  СМ»И»  в России скрывают...

In San Francisco, Families Making $117,000 Qualify For Low-Income Housing  

Zero Hedge June 30, 2018

Home prices in San Francisco have risen so rapidly that applicants for affordable hoping qualify for affordable housing in the city must earn less than 117,400  a year qualify for low-income housing in San Francisco and a few neighboring counties, according to a new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development:  

To qualify for low-income housing in San Francisco County or the nearby San Mateo and Marin counties, a four-person household can make as much as $117,400 a year. The same goes for a one-person household raking in $82,200 a year.

Housing costs in San Francisco have been increasing at a ludicrous rate.  In four other Bay Area counties - Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo - prices increased by  10% year-over-year as of April. However, others argue that the increase in home prices has been even more extreme For example, Paragon Real Estate Group reported in April that prices in San Francisco had skyrocketed by an astounding 24% YOY, more than double the Case-Shiller estimate. This staggering jump has left the median home price in the city at an astonishing $1.6 million.

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Dictatorship USA – A Personal History – Part 8

On to the university...

In the fall of 1958, 17-year old Arnold with good grades in high school, entered the University of California Berkeley.  Officially, the education was free – no tuition.  Students were required, however, to pay an “incidental fee,” which I recall being $42 a semester, or $84 for the entire academic year.  The expenditure was worth it, as students were thereby entitled to library privileges, to reduced or no fee for campus athletic and entertainment events, to the student newspaper and most importantly, to free medical care (with a hospital on campus!).

Now, years later, capitalist reality has hit home, and hit hard, to students and their families:

“Undergraduate Student Budgets 2018-19  

    Academic Year 2018-19

Direct Costs Charged by UC Berkeley

 Tuition and Fees: $14,184

Room and Board: $16,160*

 Total Direct Costs: $30,344

These are the costs for students residing in the state of California.  For non-resident students, tuition is considerably higher: The 2018 undergraduate tuition & fees of University of California-Berkeley are  $42,184 for out of State students.

Optional Student Health Insurance Plan add $2,994.” (Cost of Attendance | Financial Aid and Scholarships | UC Berkeley)

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Dictatorship USA – A Plundering and Predatory Nation — 2018 (17)

Факты, которые  подконтрольные ЦРУ  СМ»И»  в России скрывают...

50 million American households can’t even afford basic living expenses  

Market Watch, June 9, 2018

As income stagnates, millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet.

Some 50.8 million households or 43% of households can’t afford a basic monthly budget for housing, food, transportation, child care, health care and a monthly smartphone bill, according to an analysis of U.S. government data released this month by the United Way Alice Project.

The project uses standardized measurements to calculate the “bare bones” household budget in each county in each state. It maintains that the federal poverty level — currently $25,100 for a family of four — doesn’t accurately illustrate the number of people living in poverty.

“For too long, the magnitude of financial instability in this country has been understated and obscured by misleading averages and outdated poverty calculations,” said John Franklin, chief executive of the United Way Alice Project. “It is morally unacceptable and economically unsustainable for our country to have so many hardworking families living paycheck to paycheck.”

“Alice” stands for “asset low, income constrained, employed.” Alice workers are the forgotten people: Child care workers, home health aides and retail workers in low-paying jobs have difficulty saving money and are one paycheck away from the street.  

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Dictatorship USA – A Personal History – Part 7

Towards Marxist-Leninist theory...

As strange as it may seem, my first impulses for socialist-communist thinking came from my father.   

Aiming principally to provoke my mother, Leo spouted duplicitous “support” for the Soviet Union and socialism and phony criticism of United States policy, especially foreign policy.  To put my mother on the defensive and embarrass her, Leo was instructed to rant on especially when guests came to our home.

As a young boy and then teenager, I had no idea that all of Leo's political trumpeting was phony and had a nasty purpose.  I began to take seriously the concepts he lamely professed, and I became determined to pursue matters further.

My decided acceptance of Marxist-Leninist ideology came with a discovery in our attic.  It was in the early 1950s, the heart of the vicious McCarthyite anti-communist campaign  pervading the US at the time.  In “free” America, my mother had taken the understandable precaution of hiding all literature of a Marxist orientation, so that no one would accuse the family of “subversive”  leanings.

Quite accidentally, I discovered the carton in which the books were stores, and avidly began to read.  I was only about 14 years old, but these Marxist books held a fascination for me.  

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Dictatorship USA – A Plundering and Predatory Nation — 2018 (16)

Факты, которые  подконтрольные ЦРУ  СМ»И»  в России скрывают...

Trump sells regulatory favors to his donors  

Corruption replacing competition at the heart of our economy

MarketWatch, June 20, 2018

President Donald Trump recently directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to prepare steps to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants, which are struggling to compete against cheaper, cleaner alternatives. This directive would bail out some of his largest donors while increasing energy costs for millions of Americans, showing once again the grift and graft ethos at the center of his economic policy.  

Coal barons Bob Murray and Joseph Craft, who have strongly pushed the bailout, have given Trump and Trump-aligned groups millions of dollars. FirstEnergy Solutions, another company that would benefit, paid Perry’s former campaign manager Jeff Miller more than $300,000 to lobby Perry for the bailout. Miller is also a major fundraiser for a Trump Super PAC, which got him access to Trump at an exclusive donor dinner; and the day after the dinner, Trump signaled his support for the coal baron bailout.  

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Dictatorship USA – A Personal History – Part 6

The Solters...

Dr. Nathan and Rebecca (Nate and Becky to us) Solter became my mother's closest friends.  In fact, the Lockshin family's closest friends.

How did that come about?

The story was that my father, taking pity on a young, poor medical student and his Russian-born wife, periodically dropped off free bottles of milk, butter etc. for them while performing his Borden's truck-driving route in the mid-1930s.

An unlikely story aimed to insinuate the Solters into my mother's life.  By the US Gestapo.

Here the ethnic question takes hold – a favorite practice of the US secret political police.  Nate was American born, but of a Russian-Jewish family, and Becky, also Jewish, was an emigree from the Soviet Union, which she utterly detested.  Apparently, her family in the USSR included fairly wealthy landowners whose land probably had been confiscated during the Soviet collectivization drive in the late 1920s.  Becky, of course, was fluent in her native Russian language; as was my mother.

The Solters, with four children, were fairly constant companions for the Lockshin family.  We went on outings together, including a joint vacation to Yosemite Park.  We visited and ate at eachother's houses.  My mother regularly was on the phone with Becky for long personal conversations.  After obtaining his M.D., Nate attended to our family's medical needs, refusing to accept any money for his valuable services.

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Dictatorship USA – A Plundering and Predatory Nation — 2018 (15)

Факты, которые  подконтрольные ЦРУ  СМ»И»  в России скрывают...

Farmers in America are facing an economic and mental health crisis

CBS MoneyWatch, June 29, 2018

"Think about trying to live today on the income you had 15 years ago." That's how agriculture expert Chris Hurt describes the plight facing U.S. farmers today.

The unequal economy that's emerged over the past decade, combined with erratic weather and patchy access to health care in rural areas, have had a severe impact on the people growing America's food. Since 2013, farm income has been dropping steadily, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This year, the average farm's income is projected to be 35 percent below its 2013 level.

Longtime farm advocates see parallels between today's situation and the farm crisis of the 1980s, when many U.S. farmers struggled economically.  "The farm crisis was so bad, there was a terrible outbreak of suicide and depression," said Jennifer Fahy, communications director with Farm Aid, a group founded in 1985 that advocates for farmers. Today, she said, "I think it's actually worse."

Suicide is much more prevalent in rural areas than in urban ones. Between 1990 and 2016, suicide increased in almost every state, with the largest increases in Western states. The link between farm failures and suicide has been demonstrated outside the U.S., in places like India, where tens of thousands of farmers have died by suicide in recent years. 

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Dictatorship USA – A Personal History – Part 5

The Defense Diner...

World War II was a boom time domestically for the United States of America.  Vast expenditures on the military had eliminated most vestiges of the Great Depression and the economy was running on all cylinders.

It was also a boom time for the Lockshin family.  We moved to nearby Richmond, about 40 minutes away from San Francisco by car, which was the location of the huge Kaiser Shipyards:   

“The four Richmond Shipyards, located in the city of Richmond, California, United States, were run by Permanente Metals and part of the Kaiser Shipyards. During World War II, Richmond built more ships than any other shipyard, turning out as many as three ships in a single day.”  (Richmond Shipyards, Wikipedia)

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Dictatorship USA – A Plundering and Predatory Nation — 2018 (14)

Children in low-income families suffer during the summer without subsidized school food programs  

Market Watch, June 27, 2018

Families who rely on government food programs to keep their fridges stocked don’t have the financial resources to feed themselves when those programs disappear, according to a study circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Researchers wanted to see how families changed their spending habits after losing government food assistance, so they analyzed what happened in the summer months when low-income children don’t have access to school breakfast and lunch programs...  The study analyzed families’ spending between 1996 and 2014.

President Donald Trump has vowed to slash $193 million in federal funding for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps).  which dates back to the 1960s.The program cost  $71 billion to provide benefits to more than 44.2 million people in 2016.

The study found that when families didn’t have access to school lunch and school breakfast programs, they changed their household spending and spent more money on food at home. But the spending increase was minimal — less than $2 per week per child, the researchers found.  

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Dictatorship USA – A Personal History – Part 4

Learning about the system...

What ensues in this and following posts is not necessarily – or even not usually – what I understood about events at the time they were happening.

Throughout my young life, and even well beyond, I was, generally speaking, as naive as anyone.  I did not know many things which are completely clear now; in my younger life, I did not consider as even possible the utter  treachery - personal as well as political -  that was/is in fact commonplace!

Take the demise of the Soviet Union, for instance.  When I arrived in Moscow in October, 1986 at age 47, I did not even consider the possibility that the Soviet Communist Party and Government were totally in the hands of filthy CIA-run traitors such as М.С.Горбачев.  Initially, such a situation was for me unthinkable.  But the vast experience I had accumulated in the US allowed me to grasp reality rather quickly (not immediately, of course) and prepare myself for what was certain to come – the wretched demise of the Soviet Union.

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