Tag Archives: recession

When The ‘Road To Socialism’ Leads To A Capitalist Resurgence

John McCain official photo portrait.

Image via Wikipedia

While my other writing job has kept me very busy as of late, I’m always up for a hearty laugh when the time allows.  Thanks to ThinkProgress, I’m provided with more than a few.  As the GOP warned ominously about the socialist revolution sweeping America since Barack Obama became president, our government was busy digging us out of a ridiculous economic trench.  Rescuing U.S automakers was part of that plan.  It’s immediate point was to keep those companies solvent–since they are one of the biggest providers of jobs in America.

Republicans were against that.  Vehemently.  Here are a few examples:

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): “We should have let them go into bankruptcy, emerge and become viable corporations again. The unions didn’t want to have their very generous contracts renegotiated, so we put $80 billion into both General Motors and Chrysler, and anybody believes that Chrysler is going to survive, I’d like to meet them.” [11/19/2009]

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R-SC): “The government has forced taxpayers to buy these failing companies without any plausible plan for profitability.” [06/01/2009]

REP. PAUL BROUN (R-GA): “This is an unprecedented takeover from the private sector by this administration…It is totally unconstitutional, it’s totally against freedom, it’s totally unprecedented, and it’s exactly the same thing that Hugo Chávez is doing down in Venezuela.” [06/09/2009]

REP. TRENT FRANKS (R-AZ): When Washington gets involved in a company, “the disaster that follows is predictable.” [07/22/2009]

No the apocalyspe did not strike.  Civilization still exists. In fact for a good portion of Americans, it is much better.  They still have their jobs.  Oh, and the automakers seem to be doing much better too:

The smallest of the Big Three U.S. automakers appears poised for a comeback less than two years after the government saved it from extinction. Chrysler made a $569 million net profit last year and has $10 billion in hand. It is adding jobs in the U.S. and slowly countering impressions in Washington and elsewhere that it can’t survive. “Over the course of the last 12 months, we’ve raised our outlook significantly,” said George Magliano, senior auto analyst for IHS Global Insight. “Their whole tone has changed over the last six to eight months.”

The last vestiges of dignity and common sense these leaders cling to is blowing away.  I’m sure that won’t stop them from falsely prognosticating, though.  What else can they do?  They sure as hell can’t lead.

Major H/T ThinkProgress

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The Slow Destruction Of The Middle Class

Ralph Nader warns:

There is a reason why, so many centuries ago, every major religion warned its adherents not to give too much power to the “merchant class.” That reason is still here – the commercial drive knows few self-imposed boundaries, especially when it resides in large corporations.

A cruel manifestation of this singular drive for maximizing profit is how companies treat those who are most powerless, most vulnerable or most preoccupied…

Marketers are selling ever more violent entertainment, and soft porn with delivery systems that escape parental review or supervision. Television is no longer the only route to children. Our fourteen year-old, then-startling book-Children First: A Parent’s Guide to Corporate Predators-now reads as an understatement.

The poor. Whether white, African-American, Hispanic or Native American, merchants make the poor pay more. Loan sharks, shoddy merchandise, sub-standard food products and inadequate medical care have plagued the poor and been the subject of many studies and too few prosecutions…

How can you justify not offsetting war spending, yet cut benefits from Americans in the worst economy since the great depression– with the highest level of unemployment in years?  Never in America’s history have unemployment benefits been stopped when the unemployment rate was in the double-digits.

Politicians playing loose with language is bad enough.  But when loose language translates into terrible policy–effectively squeezing those Americans worst hit by this economic tsunami, created by the very same people being propped up by the very same irresponsible policies–then you know we have devolved into a society that does not care about its people.  The high cost of American excess is extracting a toll on the poor and middle class that may be irreversible and intractable.  This is class warfare at its finest.

I suppose it ‘s easier to tell the unemployed to go get jobs, and stop living off the government dole.  After all, those 300 dollar a week checks supply enough to live lavishly.  It’s easier to scapegoat the struggling grunt, who simply wants to know whether or not he should choose to eat or pay his electricity bill.  Scapegoating and shifting blame is much easier to do than actually finding solutions to impasses– and pressing forward to enact substantive changes for  Americans who are struggling to understand what their leadership is doing.

Why Is America’s Birth Rate Dropping?

The nation’s overall birthrate fell 2 percent from 2007 to 2008, when about 4.2 million babies were born. The dip pushed the fertility rate below 2.1 per woman, meaning Americans were no longer giving birth to enough children to keep the population from declining.

There were 41.5 births per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19 in 2008, a 2 percent drop from the previous year. After a two-year increase in teen births prompted concern that one of the nation’s most successful social and public health efforts was faltering, 2008 marked the return of a decline in which the rate fell 34 percent over many years.

So why aren’t Americans having babies?  Perhaps it has something to do with with the high rate of unemployment, and the uncertainty during the recession.  Clearly it’s more than reasonable to assume that folks have become more frugal in every aspect of their lives in order to survive.  And that includes becoming more responsible.  From the Washington Post:

The notion of a link between the drop in births and the economy was supported by an analysis of data from 25 states, including Maryland and Virginia, that was released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center to coincide with the new government report.

The irony here is the birth rate amongst teenagers has declined as a result of the overall declination of birth rates.  To me this is good news, especially in light of this post about teen sexuality.  We’ll see what happens after the economy rebounds.

Living In These Recession Times

Today’s unemployment and job numbers paint an ugly picture for those hoping that we’d seen the last of significant job losses. The fact that companies in the month of December shed more than 80,000 jobs is important to the already damaged psyche of the displaced worker. What must we feel now with the unemployment rate still stuck at ten percent? With job losses trending downward, completely reversing November’s number? For most workers, the job market has dried to the point where discouragement reigns heavily upon them. I would imagine the numbers of American workers who’ve given up looking for work is heavily increasing. That’s bad news for our recession-proofing economy.



This madness has got to stop.

There are lies...

Sarah Palin:

“Our nation is facing great challenges, but I’m optimistic — and I know there is a way forward,” she writes. “Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession. He showed us how to get out of one.”

Speaking on Sean Hannity’s radio show, Palin said that “some on the left, that lamestream media, they’re contradicting what I wrote in the book.”

Hannity jumped in to ask, “did you say lamestream media?”

“Yeah, lamestream,” Palin responded. “They are contradicting those facts that I laid out regarding what Reagan had to say.”

“Anyways, it’s been nonsense to hear some of the criticism of that principle there, and that is what history shows us is what Ronald Reagan did was put American back on the right path,” she continued. “We need to emulate that.”

“We need to repeat that instead of going back to the 1930s and think that some growth of government, New Deal spending is going to get us out of a recession,” she said. “It is, of course, going to cause greater problems.”

And there is truth…

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