Three Ideas to Fix the Economy

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Judith Stein: The chances of immediate action on jobs are remote, but analyzing the causes of the crisis, devising and promoting a program that can restore growth and jobs, and constructing a politics that can effect change is crucial because there will be future political openings.

Effects of Agent Orange

agent orange

James Rhodes: As President John Kennedy said in the 1960s, regarding the inhumane treatment of the people of Berlin, “We are all Berliners.” Today, the world should say, “We are all Vietnamese.”

Well-To-Do Americans Getting More Benefits than the Poor

rich-and-poor-wide

Sherwood Ross: All the Federal welfare checks, food stamps, and unemployment benefits don’t begin to add up to the more than $1 trillion in indirect tax breaks awarded annually to America’s middle- and upper-classes.

As Food Stamp Numbers Hit Record Highs, Luxury Sales Boom

luxury-wide

Randy Shaw: While Democrats are not nearly as zealous or extreme in their policy proposals, there is now a bipartisan consensus that budget deficits – not unemployment or poverty – are the nation’s top problem.

Right-Wing Bullies Hold Nation Hostage

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Robert Reich: I hope the President decides he has to take a stand, and the sooner the better.

Paul Ryan’s Plan: What’s Really at Stake

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Robert Reich: Obama must show America that the basic choice is between two fundamental views of this nation. Either we’re all in this together, or we’re a bunch of individuals who happen to live within these borders and are mainly on their own.

Grace Before Meal: Bless Sargent Shriver and Lyndon Johnson

Sargent Shriver and Lyndon Johnson

H. Scott Prosterman: While one political ideology in this country views healthcare, quality education and the right to eat well as the exclusive province of a certain income threshold, Sargent Shriver is perhaps the single American political figure who best represents the opposite.

With Federal Benefits Set to Expire, Unemployed Workers Face Shrinking Safety Net

People with No Job

Marian Wang: Not extending federal unemployment insurance, it noted, would cause 2 million unemployed workers to be cut off from federal unemployment benefits by the end of the year.

I’m a Daddy and I’m Homeless

lukcy clover motel

Jasmyne Cannick: Most people don’t end up homeless by choice. Homelessness is usually the result of a series of unfortunate events.

Meg’s Vicious Campaign

Randy Shaw: Few actions are more despicable than a multi-millionaire promoting making life worse for the very poor. Yet that’s what California Republican Governor candidate Meg Whitman is doing to get votes, even arguing that our lowest-income families should be removed from welfare altogether after two years.

Should Citizens Be Human Beings?

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Citizens United Case Disenfranchises Human Beings I was talking to a friend one day about how to teach children to be fair with one another.  He told me that when he was a kid, his mother had a great way of squashing fairness disputes between him and his sister. When an argument arose around someone [...]

As Progressives Predicted, Clinton Welfare Reform Law Fails Families

Randy Shaw: After President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1996 “ending welfare as we know it,” many highlighted this “common sense” solution and criticized progressives for opposing the bill. Soon after passage, politicians and the media said it had not caused the downsides that activists had predicted, ignoring that the law had not been fully implemented. But troubling reports soon emerged.

Unemployment? Or Unwillingness to Pay for Services?

Joblessness

Ron Wolff: Meanwhile, millions of people look for work. No, they’re not all trained to be police officers, probation officers, electrical engineers, or teachers. But many of them could be. And most of the rest are either qualified or COULD be qualified to perform tasks that provide society with useful — even necessary — services.

Black Motherhood Lost at the Oscars

Mo’Nique in "Precious"

Rev. Irene Monroe: The historical legacy of the devaluation and demonization of black motherhood was both applauded and rewarded at this year’s Oscars. And the point was clearly illustrated with Mo’Nique, capturing the gold statue for best supporting actress in the movie “Precious,” based on the novel Push by Sapphire, as a ghetto welfare mom who demeans and demoralizes her child every chance she can.

“Citizens United” for More Corporate Power

Corporate Senate

Joseph Palermo: The next ten to twelve years promise to be a turning point in American democracy unless some drastic civic action is taken to blunt the effects of this egregious example of Far Right judicial activism.

Does Welfare Work?

Domestic Worker

Ron Wolff: If social welfare programs work, then countries with more extensive programs should report a smaller percent of their population living in poverty. And that is exactly what we find.

Economic Insecurity and Hunger: An Opportunity for Real Reform

Hunger

Food stamp use is now at record highs and increasing every month. There is evidence that as need grows the stigma of such use decreases. Terming the aid “nutritional assistance” rather than welfare has further encouraged this de-stigmatization.

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.

The Housing Crisis and Wall Street Shame

Housing Crisis

The $75 billion federal program designed to bribe banks to modify mortgages has been a bust. No one knows the exact number of mortgages that have been modified (that will be reported next month) but housing experts I’ve talked with say it’s a tiny fraction of the number of homeowners in trouble. Seems that the big banks can’t be bothered.

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.

CIS Event Exploits ‘Mind Boggling’ Health Care Reform To Promote Reduced Immigration

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CIS and Rector aren’t likely to admit it, but the Congressional Budget Office estimates that, had the US legalized undocumented immigrants under the 2007 immigration bill, it would have generated $48 billion in new revenue from administrative fees and income and payroll taxes alone.

A Nation of Tax-Evaders

boligandollarchicken

The furor over the non-payment of taxes by Tom Daschle and a few other recent nominees for public office should not obscure the deeper truth that the United States has become a nation of tax-evaders. On the simplest level, this tax evasion is exemplified by the fact that vast numbers of people, including some who [...]

Octuplet Mom: If She Can Care for Fourteen Children Without Welfare, She Can Fix the Economy

octomom

The one thing American popular culture loves is a good “freak show.” Anything out of the ordinary gets our society’s attention, but the more bizarre it is, the more media attention it receives. The demand for the outlandish is so outrageous that so-called media conglomerates are willing to pay millions of dollars for the rights [...]

Stimulate the Economy by Mending Our Safety Nets

piggybank

Lots of talk this week about the proposed stimulus. One high priority ought to be the most vulnerable members of our society. The safety net created in the 1930s to protect Americans from extreme poverty is in tatters. Now that we’re in the worst downturn since the Depression, that safety net needs mending. This should [...]

Note To Keith: Robert Rector Is Today’s Worst Person In The World

It never occurred to me that being on food stamps because you’re too poor to feed your family is unhealthy. But Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation believes it is and thinks we should starve the wretches into submission. Rector says food stamps are not helping the poor, claiming that, “The majority of them are [...]

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