An Open Letter to Richard Cordray

richard cordray

Charles Hayes: Please rename your agency. Stop calling us consumers. We are Citizens with a capital C. In addition, please lead an effort to ask all kinds of media to follow suit.

What’s the Economy for Anyway?

tim geithner

Robert Reich: The biggest problem is that corporate money is undermining democratic institutions in the name of better deals for consumers and investors.

Tech Tip: The Pervasive Power of the Plain

buick dynaflow

Robert Link: Corporate software, like other consumer goods, runs largely on the principle of planned obsolescence. The latest new-shiny makes outmoded and outdated the formerly-new-shiny with which one is currently saddled.

Is Consumer Capitalism Outdated?

Walter Moss: If consumer capitalism is indeed replaced by a new economic structure, many capitalist bricks may still be needed for any new construction. Whether we choose to attempt new building or just apply a little patching here or there is up to us.

Stock Tip: Be Worried. Workers are Consumers.

Iranian medical delegation at the Agent Orange conference in Hanoi.

Robert Reich: Every CEO of every company that continues to squeeze payrolls (Verizon, are you listening? Ford?) needs to understand they’re shooting themselves in the feet. Where do they expect demand for their products and services to come from?

Obama Needs Demand-Side Solutions

obama-budget-wide

Robert Reich: Businesses are reluctant to spend more and create more jobs because there aren’t enough consumers out there able and willing to buy what businesses have to sell.

Why Growth Is Good

double dip recession

Robert Reich: If governments keep hacking away at their budgets while consumers almost everywhere are becoming more cautious about spending, global demand will shrink to the point where a worldwide dip is inevitable.

The Vanishing American Consumer and the Coming Trade War

g-20 summit

Robert Reich: We’re unlikely to see a repeat of the disastrous Smoot-Hawley tariffs that worsened and lengthened the Great Depression. But you can forget trade-opening agreements. In Toronto last week, the G-20 leaders dropped their 2009 pledge to finish the Doha round this year. In the U.S., agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Columbia are languishing.

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