Is the End Near for the Poorest Rich Nation on Earth?

When I was a kid in Milwaukee, there was a guy who walked up and down Wisconsin Ave., the main drag, wearing a sandwich board proclaiming, “Repent! The End Is Near.” Of course, he meant his warning in a “come to Jesus now” sort of way. But if the fellow is still alive, I hope [...]

Blame Ronald Reagan For Our Current Economic Crisis

by Robert Brent Toplin– Ronald Reagan rarely catches any blame these days for the present economic mess that is destabilizing markets in the United States and around the world. In fact, Americans often praise the former president for taking the country in bold new directions during his years in the White House. Politicians contribute to [...]

McCain, Obama, and the Inherent Advantage of Caring More About Ends Than Means

We’ve been here before: The Republican attack machine at full throttle, spewing lies in best-selling books, on Fox News, on talk radio. The mainstream media reporting on the controversy, thereby giving it more air time and squeezing out the Democrats’ affirmative message. Followed by accusations by Democrats that Republicans are playing unfairly. Responded to by [...]

The Fed and Authoritarian Capitalism

greenspan

Chinese authoritarian capitalism, on display this week in Beijing, has me thinking about America’s democratic capitalism and how we practice it. Start with the U.S. economy’s most powerful government agency: The Fed, of course. Its decision this week to hold short-term interest rates steady was wrong, in my view; it should have lowered them because [...]

Who Creates Jobs? Democratic Presidents Do!

A recent poll asked whether private companies, Congress, or the president has the most to do with creating new jobs. I find it amusing when pollsters ask for opinions on something that is purely factual. Only 5% got the right answer and said it is the president. Look at the private sector job growth results [...]

Creating a Quality Economy, Part 3

by Mark Pash, with Brad Parker — Education is very, very important to individuals in a capitalistic system – especially math and science education in our high tech world. It is also very important to a democratic society in general. But, it is only one of the important components for a successful economy. Brazil, Russia [...]

Death of Buick City

Kumar 1950s Buicks

I traveled to Lapeer in Michigan recently to visit an old, dear friend. Lapeer happens to be near the motor city of Flint. I was given a tour of Flint by his wife Sue. Flint was getting ready to have a “celebration” of GM’s 100th anniversary (if you can call it a celebration). I was [...]

Creating a Quality Economy, Part 2

Line Chart with Rats

By Mark Pash, with Brad Parker – Capitalism does significantly raise the standard of living but not for all and not enough for many. Therefore, it is up to government to take a more active role in the economy in order to overcome these flaws with as little hindrance as possible. In other words, one [...]

Creating a Quality Economy, Part 1

Batman Cartoon

by Mark Pash, with Brad Parker — The economic philosophy of the Progressive Democratic Party is designed to advance human commerce for the betterment of all, while protecting the business environment from itself and the government. Commerce is not perfect and is vulnerable to both human nature and the major flaws of capitalism.

The Heart of the Economic Mess

Poverty

The Federal Reserve Board’s “beige book” for June and July offers a clear explanation for why the economy has slowed to a crawl. It shows American consumers cutting way back on their purchases of everything from food to cars to appliances to name-brand products. As they do so, employers inevitably are cutting back on the [...]

Laissez-Faire Economics? It’s a Code Word for One-Sided Interventions

Milton Friedman

As he refines his economic message on the campaign trail this summer, Republican John McCain has made it clear that, previous positions notwithstanding, he has now embraced the Republican economic orthodoxy: eliminate regulation, cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and the free and unfettered market will take care of everything. This economic formula was [...]

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

by John MacMurray — Before we begin, please keep the following numbers in mind: $7.00 and $10.00. Then hold onto 92 and 164. They all relate to public education, and we’ll explain them in a minute. By making public education the focal point of California’s ongoing budget mess, Republican legislators in California and other states [...]

Crony Capitalism, Not Competition, Marks Bush Oil Policy in Iraq

Sherwood Ross

Eight universities were in the running to get the Bush Presidential Library but Hunt Oil Co. head Ray Hunt, of Dallas, an economics major from Southern Methodist University, co-chaired the SMU search effort and came out on top. His long time pals-ship with “The Decider” may have had more than a bit to do with [...]

Dubai, Or Not To Buy

Oil

by Jerry Drucker – Apologies to the Bard, a great writer who has never been involved in a plagiarism suit. Well, maybe Sir Francis Bacon. This piece was originally written when the question was being asked: Should Dubai guard our most strategic U.S. Ports? The answer to the question follows the soliloquy.

It Makes You Want to Cry: Economy Hits Seniors Hard

Seniors

He caught me by the elevator. “Do you know how much peanut butter costs at Safeway now as compared to two months ago?” John asked. I didn’t but I had been aware of the recent cost of berries, which were rising out of sight. Joe wanted to know if I had, as requested, written to [...]

Near Insanity at the Federal Reserve

Dominick Armentano

The latest economic news isn’t pretty. Price inflation is raging everywhere, yet in most housing markets, sales are weak and prices are still in near free-fall. Crude oil and gasoline prices are at record levels and still climbing, despite my recent prediction that oil prices would fall (be patient, they will).

The Oil Splattered Banner (with apologies to Francis Scott Key)

Dick Cheney

O! say can you see by the Dow’s early plight What so weakly we railed at the Big Oil’s last gleaning Whose Bush/Cheney dark lies led us into a perilous fight, O’er the fear ramp ups we watched were so constantly screaming And the Republican’s red glare, with bombs bursting on airs, Gave proof to [...]

Digital Divide Most Pronounced With Latinos

Latino Boy

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has released a massive survey today that shows just how important the internet has become to most Californians’ lives and has major implications as to how Californians are getting their information about their communities, news in general and political news, variable access to the internet by different demographic [...]

The Madness of King George

Wall between U.S. and Mexico

There is a great scene in the film Last of the Mohicans, the Daniel Day Lewis version, in which his character challenges the British General and says when the rule of law is ignored and replaced by absolutism then revolution becomes inevitable. Well, more or less that is the message. In the last several months [...]

American By the Numbers: Read Them and Weep

400,000 – number of veterans likely to experience homelessness nationally 49,724 – number of homeless veterans in California 89% – percent of homeless veterans who received honorable discharges $49,158 – median household income in 2000 (adjusted for inflation) $48,201 – median household income in 2006 $12,168 – salary of a full-time minimum wage employee without [...]

How I Intend to Spend My $600 Stimulus Package Allowance

Later this week, each taxpayer in this country will be receiving their portion of the economic stimulus package that was passed by what can only be described as the combined stupidity, irresponsibility, and corruption of our executive and legislative branches. Granted there were those who tried valiantly to craft a just and effective package but [...]

The Housing Crisis: Why the Roof Fell In

The Housing Crisis

By now everyone with a roof over his head has heard about the subprime mortgage mess. Understanding why so many homeowners are defaulting on their mortgages or what mortgage foreclosures have to do with the collapse of the housing market, however, is another matter. To get a better grasp of the mortgage mess I called [...]

Welcome to Northern Haiti: A “Conservative” State Senator E-mails His Constituents

Unsurprisingly, my Republican State Senator, Dave Cox, e-mailed his constituents, saying reducing spending, not increasing taxes, is the answer to California’s $16 billion budget shortfall. He notes that the Legislative Analyst’s Office’s (LAO) proposed alternative budget would raise some additional revenues, and but responds saying “revenues are not the problem. …LAO anticipate[s] that General Fund [...]

Forget Taxes & Spending: Subsidies Are Where the Action Is

Those thinking government is just about taxes and spending need to broaden their horizons, and think of subsidies and favors as the most substantial problems. Taxes are high, not because government is wasteful. They are high because it consistently gives away the store to a select few. Welfare, not for poor people, but for the [...]

Gunfire Down Below

Jose Huizar and Bill Bratton

Gang Violence in Highland Park When my husband Dick and I moved into our hilltop home in the Mount Washington community of Los Angeles, we were thrilled. Looking north across Highland Park, Glendale, Eagle Rock, and Pasadena, it has a spectacular view to the San Gabriel Mountains beyond. It took a week or so to [...]

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