The Economy: Do We Have Any Idea What We’re Doing?

lightning-stock-market

by John Peeler – It is a commonplace these days to argue that the Bush administration helped to bring on the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by clinging blindly to the dogma of the free, unregulated market as the solution to every problem. That is certainly an accurate accusation. At virtually every opportunity [...]

States’ Budget Crises: Share the Pain, Share the Dough

sanjose-football

by Carl Bloice – It’s probable that by the time this is read, officials in San Jose, California, will have eliminated athletic programs from all 11 of the city’s high schools. It might not seem like much to some, given the declining economic situation in the country and the kinds of budget cuts being made [...]

Too Big To Fail: Unless It’s the Entire EEKonomy!

tbtf

by Gene Rothman – A new Goldilocks gauge has gripped the Guardians of Greed. Too Big to Fail (TBTF) used to be one size fits all. Big corporations would be bailed out only if they were Big Enough. But now, the fickle public has grown Leery of the Too Large. It may now be seen [...]

The First Hundred Days or the Last Hundred Days?

BHO and FDR

by Ira Chernus – Looking back on Barack Obama’s first post-election interview with “60 Minutes,” no one should be surprised that he admitted he’s reading about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first hundred days in office. In fact, the president-elect — evidently taking no chances — is reportedly reading two books: Jonathan Alter’s The Defining Moment: FDR’s [...]

The Grapes Of Writhing

falling-vault

Should we pity the rich? For the first time in the lives of many of them, they are in as much financial trouble as the middle class, poor, and working poor. It just shows up differently. Friends from the days when I lived in Manhattan are writing increasingly gloomy e-mails saying that there are so [...]

Holiday Gloom in Silicon Valley

computer-sisyfus-copy

by Carl Bloice – A couple of days before Thanksgiving one of my downstairs neighbors matter of factly told me he had lost his job. He’d been abruptly laid off by a local information technology startup company. “They let go so many people I don’t know how they are going to get the work done,” [...]

Mayor Villaraigosa, Please Help Our Neighbors

homeless man

In Los Angeles Zipcode 90042, there are 385 families that may be evicted before the holidays. Of these, 211 live in bank-owned properties, 59 have homes that up for auction, and 115 have homes in foreclosure. We encourage you to sign Motion 07-2438-69, which was proposed by City Council President Eric Garcetti, seconded by Councilmember [...]

Keeping Jobs at Home: Give the Workers Control

by John Peeler – Robert Reich, writing on the LA Progressive (November 19, 2008), calls for a “Bottom-Up Bailout,” by which he means not aiding the auto manufacturers, but rather providing direct credit and loan guarantees to small businesses and individuals, and supporting those big companies whose managers and workers are willing to put up [...]

Bloomberg Sues The Fed For Disclosure

by Charley James – Lost in the wake of Henry Paulson’s announcement Wednesday that Treasury is “changing direction” in how it doles out money in the bank rescue plan is a little-noticed lawsuit filed last Friday by Bloomberg LP, the business news wire service. It is suing the Federal Reserve Board’s governors for public records [...]

Is Henry Paulson Channelling Chairman Mao?

by Charley James – One of Chairman Mao Tse Tung’s “sayings” immortalized in his Little Red Book deals with stealth in politics and war. “Make a noise in the east,” the Great Helmsman wrote, “and strike in the west.”

Herbert Hoover Redux

Herbert Hoover converted a mundane recession into the greatest economic disaster in modern history—the Great Depression. Unfortunately for all of us, George W. Bush is headed down that same path.

Free Trade, Cocaine, and Civil War

plan-colombia

The proposed Free Trade Agreement between the US and Colombia stalled in Congress this spring very rightly due to Colombia’s abysmal human rights record. But with civilians still being killed by the military and with a record 42 union leaders assassinated this year, the Bush and Uribe administrations brought 80 supporters to the US in [...]

Deficit Shackles: Will January, 2009 Repeat January 1993?

Both presidential candidates have been criticized for failing to name any promises or plans they’re going to have to scrap because of the bailout and the failing economy. That criticism is unwarranted. The assumption that we are about to have a rerun of 1993 — when Bill Clinton, newly installed as president, was forced to [...]

Taking in the Economic View from Lake and Colorado

It is tempting to view the current economic crisis as a problem for Wall Street and Washington, D.C. However, a local resident can learn all that’s needed about the impending financial meltdown simply by standing on the northeast corner of Lake Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California. From there, the entire crisis can be [...]

The New Deal, and the Era of Angry Populism

The Senate voted Wednesday night; the House is scheduled to vote today. Will the deal fly? Probably. Wall Street’s gyrations since Monday have scared the hell out of a number of holdouts, notwithstanding all the negative emails and phone calls they continue to receive from constituents.

Senate Plot-Plop, Fizz-Fizz

$700,000,000,000… oh what a relief, it is! With apologies to Alka-Seltzer, one chamber crawled out of the sandbox and reached an unpopular but bipartisan decision to save global credit markets last night as banks held a Russian Roulette pistol with six chambers full to our heads and yelled, “Stop me before I shoot.” Crisis over? [...]

The Financial Meltdown: My Comrades in Journalism Are At Fault Too

Although the Senate is scheduled to vote tonight to save the financial rescue package, there is a massive amount of finger pointing about who was to blame for Monday’s failure in the House vote. Democrats blame Republicans, Republicans blame Democrats, dogs blame cats, and vice versa. Alas, my former brothers and sisters toiling in business [...]

Surprise, Tom Friedman, the World Is Wrinkled!

In “Green the Bailout,” (New York Times, September 28, 2008, WK 11) Thomas Friedman argues that, confronting the crisis on Wall Street, “we don’t just need a bailout. We need a buildup. We need to get back to making stuff, based on real engineering not just financial engineering.” Citing an Indian-American immigrant friend, he argues [...]

Welcome To Next Great Depression

Buddy, can you spare a Prozac? Oh, wait. This kind of depression won’t be cured with a pill. And a dime doesn’t buy as much today as it did in 1930. Watching the House vote on a package to rescue the economy fall apart this afternoon was as traumatic as seeing Wall Street brokers leaping [...]

Bush Bail-Out Plan Is an Insult

The Bush bail-out plan is nothing more than a slap in the face of all working families. As Peter Dreier notes, “we have been here before—in the 1930’s Depression, when the entire economy collapsed, and in the 1980’s, when the savings-and-loan industry imploded.” It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the [...]

Congress Passes Wall Street Relief Act of 2008

At a news conference held a short time ago, a bi-partisan claque of Congressional leaders stood before cameras to declare, finally and with great relief, “We have a Pope bailout!” Let the puff of white smoke rise from the Capitol’s chimney. Except none of them said exactly what is in the deal. How much money [...]

Congress: Look Before You Leap on the Proposed Wall Street Bailout

I urge you to oppose any bailout for Wall Street firms or investment banks, unless and until they completely open their books to examination by all Americans. President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke appear to be rushing in to accept obligations of unknown size without Congressional authorization and [...]

Defeat Prop 8

Proposition 8 on the November ballot would take away the right of same-sex couples to marry. A simple majority (50% + 1 vote) is all that is needed to defeat or pass this dangerous and discriminatory constitutional amendment.

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