Steven Hill: An expansion of the Social Security retirement system — one of the most successful and popular social programs in American history — that converts it into a more robust retirement system would build upon the most stable component of the current system.
David Barber: What I do know is that while “social psychology” may have had some small role as a causal factor in the Crash of ’08, it was the actual structure of the American and world economies which brought on the crisis. And if in fact we enter a second round of this Crash, it will not stem from what Dr. Shiller calls a “weakness and vulnerability of confidence,” but will result from the same structural elements of our economy as those that brought on the “first dip.”
Joseph Palermo: Unless the Congress moves some progressive legislation quickly there’s going to be trouble this fall because any political party that is stupid enough to allow a couple of shmucks like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, or the outcome of a special election in New England, to unravel its governing coalition doesn’t deserve to be in power.
I will not name any bankers or politicians as my favorites in causing this credit crunch we are now having. I will say the politicians were the only people tasked with acting in our interest so as a group they are the most to blame. They developed and passed the laws that now haunt us and did not provide adequate over sight.
The 30-year class war the rich launched against the working people in this country (and reached its apogee during the George W. Bush years), has left the middle class reeling and wounded. Only bold federal action that puts something concrete in the palms of middle-class Americans can begin to turn these dire social conditions around.