Kwazi Nkrumah: For years the banks, real estate agents and investors in real estate securities on Wall Street were making money hand-over-fist. They did all this while pretending to break from their previous established history of gross discrimination and red-lining against the disproportionately non-white borrowers whose limited financial resources forced them into “sub-prime” status in the first place.
Carl Bloice: There are an estimated 3.5 million seriously delinquent mortgages out there. There were nearly 2.7 million foreclosure filings on about 1.9 million homes last year. That’s down from 2007, but it’s still about one out of every 69 homes in the country.
Carl Bloice: The average period of unemployment now exceeds 26 weeks, well above the previous peak in July 1983 of just 21.2 weeks. This is critical because the longer that people of any age are out of work, the less likely they are to find another job.
Marian Wang: According to a now-departed Justice Department official who used to be in charge of investigating such matters, the Justice Department has decided that holding top Wall Street executives criminally accountable is too difficult a task.
Tom Hayden: In light of the police actions in New York, Berkeley, Oakland, Denver, Portland and beyond—and as massive national demonstrations are about to take place—it’s not too late for the mayors to use their political stature to speak out about the crises befalling their cities.
Brent Budowsky: Pledges such as the Norquist pledge should be flat-out discarded, as a matter of policy and principle, by all legislators, to achieve a bipartisan agreement at a time of economic crisis.
Ray Smock: The current Congress has become largely dysfunctional because extreme partisanship and ideological differences are preventing the deliberative process from completing its most important function, which is to be one of the two governing branches of government.
Tina Dupuy: Politicians won’t take personal responsibility for the crisis – and so Occupy Wall Street has no choice but to be nonpartisan. Or just bipartisan in their frustration.
Steve Hochstadt: Republicans believe that continuing high unemployment will bring Obama down, so they want to preserve what they feel is their winning card: a bad economy.
Brent Budowsky: Great presidents know the difference between empty public gimmicks and game-changing public policy. They demand creative ideas, not mediocrity or defeatism, from those who advise them.
H. Scott Prosterman: Public education is in crisis nationwide, as are 23 state governments and most municipal governments, as the Grover Norquist ideologues have assumed power and seeded the certain destruction of public education at all levels.
Robert Reich: We are slouching toward a double dip because we’re getting the problem wrong. Despite what Standard & Poor’s says, notwithstanding what’s occurring in Europe, and regardless of U.S. budget projections years from now — our current crisis is jobs, wages, and growth. We do not now have a debt crisis.