Shock Wave Coming

softened-wide

Brent Budowsky: The economic and political shock wave will be momentous as budget politics will increase joblessness and reveal with brutality that Washington is out of touch with heartland America and dominated by special interests that voters deplore.

Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon

boehner-budget

Ivan Eland: To keep with the bipartisan spirit after the Gabrielle Giffords’ assassination attempt and also to avoid partisan fighting over spending priorities, which will bog down and probably eventually kill any significant budget cuts, all government programs should be cut by 15 percent from last year’s budget level, including heretofore sacred defense and entitlement programs.

GOP Austerity Plan Targets Blacks and Latinos

unemployed black man

David Love: This new wave of austerity is a con game, and it’s racist too. Now is the time to reverse the trend and restore equity, justice and sanity to America’s economic system.

The Forgotten Jobless and Our Future

labor strike

Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.

Seven Reasons Why Capitalism Can’t Recover Anytime Soon

economy

Shamus Cooke: To deal with working people more ruthlessly, the radical right is being unleashed. In normal times these bigots yell furiously but no one listens. But in times of economic crisis they’re given endless airtime on all major media outlets.

Wage Theft: Thou Shalt Not Steal From Your Workers

expendables

David Love: Scrooge arrived just in time for the holidays, with Social Darwinism, bootstraps, slashing and cutting as a prescription for all our woes.

Reconsidering Japan…Reconsidering Paul Krugman

krugman

Steven Hill: No one has been more influential in defining this narrative than New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

Unless Congress Acts, A Bleak Holiday Season for Millions

Rescuing unemployed

Carl Bloice: If Congress does not vote over the next week and a half to re-authorize federal unemployment benefits through next year, before they expire November 30, nearly 2 million women and men and their families will face a dismal holiday season.

Obama’s First Stand

Robert Reich: The President says a Republican proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for two years is a “basis for conversation.” I hope this doesn’t mean another Obama cave-in.

African American Youth Joblessness and the “New Normal”

unemployed black youth

Carl Bloice: If it remains almost impossible for a couple of generations of young women and men to earn a decent living, it is calamitous for black people and the country. They cannot become the personification of the “new normal.”

Why Democrats Should Not Join In Economic Scapegoating

chinese worker

Robert Reich: Democrats should admit America’s economic structure has become dangerously unbalanced — more unbalanced than it’s been in 80 years — and the imbalance is making it difficult if not impossible for the nation to emerge from recession. For these reasons, Democrats should recommit themselves and the nation to redresssing that balance.

Why It’s Foolish to Weaken the Dollar to Create Jobs

bread dollar

Robert Reich:I keep hearing the only way we’re going to get jobs back any time soon is with a weak dollar. Baloney.

Why No Amount of Fiscal or Monetary Stimulus Will Be Enough

recession

Robert Reich: The Fed’s decision Tuesday to keep short-term interest rates near zero is no surprise. What’s odd is its apparent decision not to boost the economy by buying hundreds of billions of bonds — despite its acknowledgment that ”the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months,” and that prices are rising too slowly for comfort (i.e., we might be facing deflation).

Why There’s An Enthusiasm Gap: An Illustration

wealthy

Robert Reich: Super-rich financiers on Wall Street and top corporate executives have grown richer, though most Americans are getting poorer.

Whom Do You Trust?

blackwater

Steve Hochstadt: Those who want government to go away, or at least get a lot smaller, seem to have two ideas about how to shrink government: Cut out the “waste” and let private companies take over many of its functions. Their assumption is that the private sector can do these jobs better and cheaper. Is that true?

What Can the South Teach About Globalization?

auto worker

James C. Cobb: Members of this abandoned Southern proletariat may still live far better than the average Bangladeshi can imagine, but their shattered self-esteem and dashed hopes are surely at some level a universal indication of what to expect when economic development is allowed to become an end in itself rather than the means to a developed society.

The Real Lesson of Labor Day

american flag

Robert Reich: Face it: The national economy isn’t escaping the gravitational pull of the Great Recession. None of the standard booster rockets are working.

Why A Civil Society Extends Unemployment Benefits

unemployment

Robert Reich: A record number of Americans is unemployed for a record length of time. This is a national tragedy. It is to the nation’s credit that many are receiving unemployment benefits. This is good not only for them and their families but also for the economy as a whole, because it allows them to spend and thereby keep others in jobs.

The Stock Market Rally Versus the World’s Economic Fundamentals

happy labor day

Robert Reich: The real economy is jobs and paychecks, what people buy and what they sell. And the real economy — even viewed from a worldwide perspective — is as precarious as ever, perhaps more so.

Shorting Economists: The ‘Experts’ Keep Getting it Wrong

economy

Steven Hill: So when the authorities say “a recovery is under way” or “stimulus rather than deficit reduction” or “deficit reduction instead of stimulus,” remember: These are the same experts who are unsure of how to measure, who too often substitute ideology and partisanship for broken theory, and usually have been flat wrong in their assessments.

The Economic Fallacy of ‘Zombie’ Japan

happy worker

Steven Hill: Paul Krugman and others have got Japan wrong: Americans should be so lucky as to get a Japanese-style lost decade

Pushing Working People Down

strike

Jim Fuller: Probably the most obvious example so far of how the very rich are using this economic downturn to consolidate their power is the strike by 305 hourly workers at the Mott’s apple juice plant in upstate New York.

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.

Forget Double Dip: We’re Still in One Long Big Dipper

recession

Robert Reich: It’s nonsense to think of the economy heading downward again into a double dip when most Americans never emerged from the first dip. We’re still in one long Big Dipper.

Economic “Recovery?” Not for You and Me

works progress administration

Jim Fuller: The essential hidden fact of economics in 21st century America: What we have is exactly what the tiny economic elite, the one or two percent of richest Americans, wants us to have.

Why We Really Shouldn’t Keep the Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy

wealthy tax cuts

Robert Reich: Restoring top earners’ marginal tax rates to what they were during the Clinton administration (36 and 39 percent) won’t inhibit their spending. That’s because they already save a large portion of what they earn, and already spend what they want to spend.

Why We Can’t Rely on Foreign Consumers to Rescue American Jobs

jobs

Robert Reich: Trade can’t possibly be a source of new American jobs. To the contrary, it reduces overall demand in the United States.

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.

No Jobs – The Theory of “Structural” Unemployment

factory

Carl Bloice: With high unemployment and no jobs, the actions of those in Congress who hold up the extension of benefits to the unemployed are morally repugnant. making it. The fellow who said the jobs are not coming back failed to say where they went.

Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Governement Spending

“Men…think in herds; …go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses…one by one.” — Charles MackayRepublican Assemblyman Roger Niello‘s recent editorial “Performance Based Budgeting Deserves a Look,” is his bid to appear as a man who has recovered his senses. In it, he reminds us that California’s state budget process is imperfect. The [...]

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