The U.S. Economy in 2011

Jobs in the New Year

Robert Reich: The two American economies — the Big Money economy and the Average Working Family economy — will continue to diverge. Corporate profits will continue to rise, as will the stock market. But typical wages will go nowhere, joblessness will remain high, the ranks of the long-term unemployed will continue to rise, the housing recovery will remain stalled, and consumer confidence will sag.

Los Angeles Homeowners Take to the Streets to Protest Foreclosure Abuses

peter dreier

Peter Dreier: In Los Angeles this Thursday, members of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) — a statewide community organizing group — will sponsor a demonstration at a major bank that will include civil disobedience and probably arrests.

Why America’s Two Economies Continue to Drift Apart

unemployment

Robert Reich: Nothing is trickling down to the Average Worker economy. Job growth is still anemic. Unemployment won’t get down to pre-recession levels for 20 years. And almost half of October’s new jobs were in temporary help.

Why the Tax Deal Is an Abomination

Robert Reich: The deal the President struck with Republican leaders is an abomination. It’s larger than the bailout of Wall Street, GM, and Chrysler put together, larger than the stimulus package, larger than anything that’s come out of Washington in years. The president needs new advisors.

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.

The American Jobs Emergency Requires Action

economy

Robert Reich: Not only do we need extended unemployment benefits. We need a new WPA, modeled after the WPA of the Great Depression, to put jobless Americans to work. We need a national infrastructure bank to rebuild our crumbling highways and water and sewer systems, thereby putting additional people back to work.

The Big Economic Story; Why Obama Isn’t Telling It

tax cuts for the rich

Robert Reich: In reality, the lousy economy is due to insufficient demand – the result of the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income at the top.

Ahead of Congressional Hearings, Robo-Signer Scrutiny Spreads

bryan bly depostion

Marian Wang: Several recent reports about robo-signers have brought fresh attention to another angle of the foreclosure scandal: Robo-signing didn’t just occur in the foreclosure process. It also occurred in the processing of mortgage assignments.

What’s the Matter with America? The Big Disconnect

palin and miller

Charles Hayes: If America is going to have a better future, we need to put our Stone Age feelings of exceptional identity aside and intellectually guard ourselves against emotional manipulation while reasoning our way forward.

Why Obama Should Learn the Lesson of 1936, not 1996

Robert Reich: Obama shouldn’t be fooled into thinking Bill Clinton was reelected in 1996 because he moved to the center. I was there. Clinton was reelected because by then the economy had come roaring back to life.

Party Like It’s 1994

barack obama bill clinton

The vast majority of Americans never supported a “privatize-and-pillage” attack on Social Security. Yet many of the Republican candidates in 2010 are on record supporting all manner of schemes to dismember Social Security.

U.S. Wars Are Bankrupting the World

Loretta Napoleoni (Photo James Duncan Davidson)

David Swanson: The endless and infinite “war on terra” is bankrupting the planet. I don’t mean moral bankruptcy; that goes without saying. I mean financial bankruptcy.

The Perfect Storm

plutocrat

Robert Reich: The perfect storm: An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top; a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy; and a public becoming increasingly angry and cynical about a government that’s raising its taxes, reducing its services, and unable to get it back to work.

The Fed’s New Bubble (Masquerading as a Jobs Program)

economic collapse

Robert Reich: The latest jobs bill coming out of Washington isn’t really a bill at all. It’s the Fed’s attempt to keep long-term interest rates low by pumping even more money into the economy (“quantiative easing” in Fed-speak).

Voting. . .It’s Important

Eric Bauman

Eric Bauman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party sent this video to remind us all that Election Day is around the corner and California has a clear choice to make. Says Bauman, “While Meg Whitman,  Carly Fiorina and their Republican cronies hope to protect right-wing conservative special interests and their “friends” on Wall Street, Democrats are [...]

It’s Nonsensical

we the people

Berry Craig: Never before have so few with so much promised to take away so much from so many and then laugh their asses off as the so many with so little vote for the so few with so much.

What Happened to Our Money? Oliver Stone Returns to Wall Street

images

Robert Brent Toplin: More than any other current Hollywood director, Robert Stone has dramatized American political, social, and economic history of the past fifty years.

The Emerging Anti-Trade Coalition, and Its Dangers

Reed Smoot (R-UT; chairman of Senate Finance Committee), Willis Hawley (R-OR; chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee) - sponsors of Tariff Act of 1930.

Robert Reich: Isolationism and nationalism are the handmaidens of an economically anxious and frustrated middle class. That was the lesson we learned 80 years ago, but forgot.

Wall Street’s Global Race to the Bottom

Robert Reich: So the race to the bottom is now official. Wall Street will set up its casino wherever financial gambling is least regulated.

Recession Is Over! (If You Want It)

combat

Joseph Palermo: The National Bureau of Economic Research tells us the Great Recession is “over.” The only thing this announcement reveals is just how out of touch and compassionless those who view human society through the lens of quantitative measurements can be.

Wall Street: Oliver Stone’s Das Kapital-ist

oliver stone

Ed Rampell: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a bold, visually stunning movie and the best critique of the capitalist system and its 2008 financial meltdown since Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story.

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.

The Two Stories of This Terrible Economy, Yet Obama and the Dems Won’t Tell Theirs

gop gloom and doom

Robert Reich: Republicans lack specific policies but they have a story. Obama and the Democrats have lots of specific policies but don’t have a story. That spells even more trouble for Democrats.

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.

President John McCain’s First 18 Months in Office

ted vaill

Ted Vaill: President McCain has urged that the United Nations move its headquarters out of the U.S., and he has proposed that the U.S. leave the UN, which he calls “useless and corrupt”. He also has refused to meet with most foreign leaders in the White House, or to travel abroad, except for heavily guarded and secret trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Enthusiasm Gap and You

hope revisited

Robert Reich: Average Americans are hurting. But their pain isn’t coming from government. It’s coming from an economy whose benefits are concentrating ever more at the top, whose giant corporations are controlling ever more of our democratic process, and whose costs and risks are becoming ever more burdensome for the middle class and the poor

Origins of the Enthusiasm Gap

reverse donkey

Robert Reich: Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The President may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he’s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats.

The Great Decoupling of Corporate Profits from Jobs

Robert Reich: Higher corporate profits no longer lead to higher employment. We’re witnessing a great decoupling of company profits from jobs.

New Finance Bill: Mountain of Legislative Paper, Molehill of Reform

Lloyd Blankein, Goldman Sachs

Robert Reich: The American people will continue to have to foot the bill for the mistakes of Wall Street’s biggest banks because the legislation does nothing to diminish the economic and political power of these giants.

Magic in Business and Government

big oil

Jim Fuller: Take it from a guy who spent decades reporting for magazines and major newspapers on both government agencies and businesses of all sizes, up to and including giant international corporations: You seldom will encounter a government bureaucracy as inefficient and hidebound as that of a typical giant corporation, nor will you ever run into a government bureaucrat so out of touch with the world most of us live in as anyone who lives within the top four or five layers of corporate leadership.

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