The Surge We Need At Home

Warhorse

America is a mess. Unemployment is over 10 percent, while the effective unemployment rate—which also includes the underemployed—is more like 19.2 percent.

LA Progressive: 22 to 29 November, 2009

the_boat_that_rocked05

Medicare in Crisis: The Devastating Impacts of a Corporate Health Care Bill. But now the dust is starting to settle, and the Congressional vision for health care in the U.S. is emerging. Instead of being “progressive,” it will amount to a massive, corporate-inspired attack on American workers, the elderly, and the poor. -Shamus Cooke False [...]

Retail Wars, Urban Sores: A New Jobs Project

CCC workers constructing road, 1933.

If we can defend democracy overseas we can rebuild our decaying Main Streets. This could be a building stimulus project both political parties could respect if we see it as a restoration after a retail business war.

Goldman Sachs’ $500 Million Mea Culpa

Cannibal-Capitalism

This institution deserves the full force of anti-trust law deployed against it. Maybe in open court we’ll get a glimpse into the real workings of this unworthy amalgam of greed and arrogance.

L.A.’s Marijuana Problem (and the Solution)

medical marijuana

If they want to address the weed issue, they need to figure out how to tax it and use that money to save the jobs of the employees who are losing theirs because the City is broke.

Seeing Red: The Budget Deficit – Past, Present and Future

Budget-balloon

The dangers of a foreign retreat from Treasury securities are slight in the short-term but increase over time as the public debt continues to grow. Americans would do well to realize that things which cannot go on forever tend not to.

New York Times: “American Workers Are Overpaid”

Maze

If recent resistance by IBEW and UNITE HERE members are any indication, the Times’ BreakingNews folks and corporate America have a long way to go before convincing workers that it is they, rather than their high-paid, amply-bonused bosses, whose compensation should be downsized.

Wall Street and Goldman Sachs Party On

Goldman

It’s ironic that all we hear on FOX News and right-wing talk radio is how “socialistic” the Obama Administration is when in reality the way the administration has handled the Wall Street crisis is anything but “socialistic.”

Drinking Motivational KoolAid: How It All Works Financially

get-motivated

Even the soberest fiscal conservatives cannot avoid the power of this pitch and will jump out of his or her seat with wallet wide open! You may get in for $19, but more than half of you will spend many hundreds if indeed not thousands more.

Wall Street Is More of a Threat to Obama’s Domestic Agenda than Afghanistan

Wish-I-could-find-a-job

The Congress, always in hock to Wall Street, is dragging its feet in passing anything near the sweeping regulatory restructuring that is needed if we are to prevent Goldman Sachs and the rest of the gang from exploiting their “moral hazard” by using the federal treasury as the mother of all “credit default swaps.”

Will Obama Save America from Capitalism

Barack Obama Cartoon - Wall Street Pigs

If the Obama administration wants to be a truly transformational force in American history, rather than a slightly-better-than-average, one-term presidency with good intentions, it will give America the new New Deal.

To “Americans For Prosperity,” Capitalism Already Is a Love Story

Newt Gingrich cartoon

It’s amazing that even after the entire Wall Street house of cards collapsed a year ago requiring the public sector to rescue the private sector these fierce advocates of free-market fundamentalism can still show their faces in public, let alone gather to rail against the evils of the government that saved their asses.

Fuzzy Thinking: Obama, Capitalism, and Socialism

Capitalism Socialism crash cartoon

An honest criticism of corporate and government abuses, inefficiencies, and undemocratic ways should always be welcome, but not fuzzy thinking and scare tactics.

El Sistema in L.A.

Gustavo Dudamel

The Venezualan approach that the maestro has introduced focuses on learning instruments in groups, engaging interest before instruction, playing with joy, and developing community.

Full Disclosure of Congressional Stock Portfolios

There is a movement underway to require members of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court to provide full disclosure of their stock portfolios.

USC Professor Roberto Suro Wants Statue of Liberty Message Erased

statue-of-liberty

Suro thinks most immigrants are “adventurous” and “ambitious,” not “tired and poor.”

New Jobless Stats: Still “Less Terrible”? Not for Some

dismal-science

The Lex Column in the Financial Times got it right: “… ‘less down’ is now the new ‘up’ as media watchers search for stabilization in the overall market.” The writer was referring to the world of advertising where some analysts were putting a hopeful spin on revenue that fell 18% over the first three months [...]

Is Economic Growth a Delusion?

banks

Unemployment reached 8.5% in March of this year, but add in the once full-time, now part-time laborers, it may be as high as 15%. Yet my fellow rail commuters somewhere between New Haven and Grand Central Terminal think they smell recovery. As one salesman put it to me, “things will come back–even better than they [...]

Arnold and Gavin: Using the Deficit to Scare Us

arnoldgavin

Everyone knows we’re in tough times with huge deficits – but there are few things more offensive than politicians using that to scare us. With the May 19th propositions sinking in the polls, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has threatened to lay off 1,700 firefighters during peak fire season if the measures fail. He’s even suggested that [...]

How About a Student Loan Bailout?

cost-of-college

The education bubble is going to burst. It has to happen. On a daily basis, we hear about the bursting of the housing bubble. Housing values were over inflated. Millions of people found themselves with mortgages they could not afford to pay—whether through hard times and job loss, racial profiling and predatory lending by unscrupulous, [...]

CEOs Golden Parachutes

Golden Parachutes

n 2008, approximately  1,484 CEOs left or were fired from their jobs. But most of them left with hefty severance packages or “Golden Parachutes” which softened the fall for so many of the executives responsible for the financial crisis. General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner stepped down under pressure from the White House.  His Golden Parachute [...]

The Auto Bailout: A Bad Deal

obama-detroit

With the economy tanking and unemployment skyrocketing, you’d think the Obama administration would be doing all it could to save jobs. But if its auto bailout plan is any indicator of its current direction, we’re on our way to losing a lot more jobs.

Construction Industry Fails to Insure Workers, Even in Boom Times: Jobs Created with Stimulus Money May Lack Health Coverage

construction

The construction industry, which stands to gain the largest share of new jobs generated by the economic stimulus package — 670,000 jobs nationally — has a dismal record of insuring its workers, even in the best of times. A study released today by the Center on Policy Initiatives, Construction: Working Without a Healthcare Net, found [...]

Another $8 Billion Or So on the Line for AIG

aig

AIG has finally come clean with the public about who was at the other end of its calamitous financial bets. The recipients of billions of taxpayer dollars were … well … pretty much the banks that we expected: Societe General, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank, to name a few. The full list is here . [...]

“Where’s My Million Dollars?” Swindled Senior Asks

senior

When I entered my friend Jason’s house he was shouting into his telephone, “Where’s my million dollars?” There was a pause, after which Jason insisted, “I want you to pay me the million dollars you promised me!” His face was red and he was angry. To my shock, my senior friend, a former U.S. military [...]

Obama Rescuing Capitalism: That’s a Lot of Weight for One Brother

obama_congress

Back in December, when it was obvious that the economy was in bad shape and before we knew how precarious it could get, Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, wrote, “For Obama to be remembered as a great president, he has to do nothing less than rescue [...]

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And Now Homeowners

homeowners

The two most important features of the administration’s plan to help homeowners are, first, its support for amending bankruptcy laws to allow judges to modify mortgages. This will give homeowners bargaining leverage with mortgage servicers (and give the servicers more leverage with securitized creditors on up the line) to get better terms; and, second, a [...]

Guess What? The New Deal Worked!

wpa

Since the economic crisis we’re now in is being compared to the Great Depression, the solutions being offered are being routinely compared to the New Deal. Republicans in particular have been quick to pronounce the New Deal a failure as a way of justifying their opposition to the new stimulus package and any other federal [...]

The End of the Ownership Society?

greed

In his second inaugural address, President George W. Bush offered a vision of an “ownership society” In America’s ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence… To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will… build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership [...]

Watchdog: No, Hank, You Didn’t Get a Good Deal for the Taxpayer

Henry Paulson

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said last October that the taxpayers shouldn’t fret about putting $250 billion in the nation’s banks: “This is an investment, not an expenditure, and there is no reason to expect this program will cost taxpayers anything.” But a draft report from the Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP says Paulson [...]

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