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Billionaire Michael Bloomberg - Who Claimed That China's Xi Jinping Is Not A Dictator - Now Wants To Run For President

Billionaire business mogul and ex-mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg is reportedly preparing to enter the Democratic presidential primary .
Last March Bloomberg had ruled out running for president, but he is now "increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned" to defeat President Trump, as his adviser Howard Wolfson told NPR. Wolfson was a high-profile aide on Hillary Clinton's 2008 primary campaign.
What exactly prompted Bloomberg to change his mind is not clear, but it is possible that he feels increasingly concerned about the rise of left-wing candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Other wealthy individuals, like Bill Gates, have recently expressed their opposition to wealth tax plans.
Bloomberg's entry into the primary race clearly shows what is wrong with the American political system, dominated by elites who think that the US government should serve their interests, and who have become part of a global kleptocracy…

Did China or Automation Lead to US De-industrialization?

Automation has become a major topic of debate in the United States. A recent study by Oxford Economics claimed that robots could take over 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world by 2030.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has made the fight against automation's disruption of the labour market one of the central themes of his campaign.

"Technology is quickly displacing a large number of workers, and the pace will only increase as automation and other forms of artificial intelligence become more advanced," Yang wrote on his campaign website. "⅓ of American workers will lose their jobs to automation by 2030 according to McKinsey. This has the potential to destabilize our economy and society if unaddressed."

Amid Donald Trump's "trade war" with China, one of the controversial issues regarding the US' loss of manufacturing jobs is the role of free trade as a cause for de-industrialization vis-a-vis the impact of automation.

Duri…

There Is No Such Thing As A Free Market

In mainstream economics free markets are considered the linchpin of a free and prosperous economic and political system. As the CATO Institute, a think tank "dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace", explains in his website:
"To survive and to flourish, individuals need to engage in economic activity. The right to property entails the right to exchange property by mutual agreement. Free markets are the economic system of free individuals, and they are necessary to create wealth. Libertarians believe that people will be both freer and more prosperous if government intervention in people’s economic choices is minimized."
However, the concept of "free market" is nothing but a construct created by ideologues more interested in abstract theories than in practical analysis. Indeed, what are "free markets"?
As economist Chang Ha-joon explained: "[M]arkets – the domain of economics – are political c…

1945 - 1970: The Golden Age Of American Capitalism?

Family watching television, c. 1958 (by Evert F. Baumgardner via Wikimedia Commons)
The era between 1945 and 1975 is often described as the 'Golden Age' of capitalism. During this period the economy of the United States, Western Europe and Japan grew at an unprecedented pace. The post-war economic miracle was made possible by the parallel growth of productivity, capital stock per worker and real wages, which ensured a balanced development of production and consumption. Despite the rapid increase in the volume of international trade, in the post-war period developed countries mostly relied on their domestic market to boost growth (see The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience, eds Stephen A. Marglin, Juliet B. Schor). But were the nearly three decades that followed the Second World War really a 'golden age'? Were people better off than we are now? Let us look at some facts.
In 1960-61 the average household income in the United States was $6,691 (…

Why Catalan Nationalism Is A Far Right Movement

"They have been beaten for trying to hold a referendum, their parliament has been dissolved and their leaders have either fled or been put in prison, but the Catalan independence supporters are not relenting," wrote The Independent on December 8 about Catalan separatists.
The Catalan independence movement has been portrayed by many international media outlets as a fight for freedom, while the intervention of the Spanish state to block the October 1st independence referendum is regarded as oppressive and undemocratic. 
International media often offer a platform for Catalan separatists to explain their cause from their own perspective. For instance on December 3 Politico Europe published an op-ed by Oriol Junqueras, the leader of the Republican Left of Catalonia (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC) and former vice president of the Catalan government which proclaimed the independence of Catalonia on October 27. 
"The government chosen by Catalonia’s citizens are in jail, …

Nationalism And Socialism - The Two Souls Of Catalan Separatism

Catalan separatism is not a coherent movement that unites the entire population of the region. Not only are Catalan voters split on the issue of independence, with about half of them supporting the preservation of autonomy within Spain. But the Catalan independence movement itself is deeply divided.
On the one hand, secessionism is fuelled by a nationalist ideology that views the nation as a community with a distinct language, history and culture which requires an independent state to thrive. According to this view, people who are different cannot coexist within the same state. We have already discussed the contradictions of this concept of self-determination in a previous article.
However, there is also another element to the independence movement that has not been often explored: a far-left ideology that regards the formation of an independent Catalan state as a way to institutionalize leftist social policies.
If the attempt at founding a Catalan Republic succeeds, the tensions between…