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View Diary: The Bifurcated Recovery (193 comments)

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  •  Hardly the basis for a re-election campaign (30+ / 0-)

    2010 is almost inevitably going to be a bad year.  Something not currently on the horizon would have to occur in order to change that.  I'm not recommending throwing in the towel for this year quite yet, but I think that it's not premature to be looking at salvaging what will likely be an equally difficult 2012.

    One of the things that made me a Dem at a very early age was reading about the conscious FDR/Truman approach of Main Street first and Wall Street 2d.  That core approach persisted until at least the 1970s.  The Obama WH has just as consciously taken the opposite approach, and the Senate Dems seem to barely know that Main Street exists.  

    This party's core economic philosophy is upside down, and it will likely pay for that approach at the polls.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:31:34 AM PST

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    •  So long as the middle class is in decline, (29+ / 0-)

      taking the long-term view, control in Washington will whip-saw between the parties on a two or four year basis -- until one of the parties actually addresses the issue.

      But it could be decades.

      "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

      by New Deal democrat on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:35:22 AM PST

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      •  Decades? (10+ / 0-)

        Try centuries.

        The Haves are going to screw over the Have Nots until some sort of grand upheaval occurs.  Could be the climate, an errant natural disaster, or man made disaster.

        We've gotten to the point where the Haves have absolutely no care for their fellow human beings.  They've transcended to some sort of being incapable of empathy other than for the ones of their own ilk.

        "Grow up Democrats. Face the music. Do it alone. You're the majority." -- Rachel Maddow

        by cybrestrike on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 07:10:33 AM PST

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      •  The middle class has been in decline for decades (17+ / 0-)

        The tech bubble and the housing bubble were created in order to mask the extent of that decline.  Both parties would prefer to continue Lawrence Welk economics (keep the bubble machine going), but I think that we've reached a dead end there.  I agree w/ you as to the whip-saw that has resulted.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 07:25:55 AM PST

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        •  The Bubble Machine Lives! (7+ / 0-)

          Just look at the stock market! Look at all those v-shaped graphs! Production without employment doesn't sound sustainable, and it shouldn't even sound plausible. Sure SilverOz will claim a huge increase in productivity due to technology, which has somehow manifested in the last couple quarters.  I suggest that there is something fishy in those numbers.

          •  Not in the last couple quarters, but since 92 (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, Sparhawk, 3goldens, BYw

            as productivity seeps into more sectors and businesses, it eradicates jobs like a flesh eating virus.  And we are not just talking in terms of manufacturing, but also services/retail (remember all those blockbuster/video stores?).  The problem we are facing is that technology is really replacing labor faster than new industries (that require labor) can sprout up.  And more importantly, the technology is essentially replacing low/unskilled labor with highly skilled/educated labor.

            •  Careful about "replacing unskilled with highly (9+ / 0-)

              skilled"--that might mean losing 20 old jobs for one new job....while population continues to increase.

              The strange thing about the employment economy is that decades ago, when people envisioned how technology would make life better the most common idea was that it would eliminate labor...which was seen as a good thing, freeing people from the monotony of work so they could pursue leisure, art, whatever...forgetting that little detail that under capitalism, this means that the majority of people are left to starve. I think the assumption is that society would become somehow more enlightened and therefore more socialistic in terms of distributing wealth...then again, they also thought we'd have a permanent settlement on the moon and daily Pan Am flights to take people there....

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 08:21:45 AM PST

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              •  Is the Democratic party ready (6+ / 0-)

                to advocate that government pay folks to stay home and work their gardens, rather than waste resources making money out of money or delivering throw away products to the info-sedated?

                Slowing down is no joke. When the argument is about entitlements or jobs we lose - because right now, creating jobs creates waste (in most cases), and creating sweeping entitlements is seen as immoral to too many Dems and Repubs alike.

                I'd like to see the conversation shift to talk about sharing and efficiency. We can examine the institutions that resist these things and not be afraid of discarding those institutions.

                Right now Democracy doesn't want to say goodbye to the banks. Congress can't even muster an "easy cowboy . . ." ($4T Barney Frank are you fucking kidding me?!?!? I liked that guy so much on Bill Maher . . . ) But there's little doubt that central banking's long term interests dovetail with a new dark age, and they have way too much say about policy and the structuring of our institutions.

                Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell - Edward Abbey

                by ZAP210 on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:34:36 AM PST

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              •  Things Are Better in Europe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bara, ZAP210

                and they aren't technologically "far behind" us by any measure, if at all.

                We are replacing unskilled labor with highly skilled labor. But we don't demand a commeasurate decrease in quantity of work put in by the highly skilled labor so that more people can do work, unlike the Europeans, who demand large amounts of maternity leave, vacation days, etc.

                Take the bankers, for instance. We demonize them often here. But it would be undeniable that they put in their hours to get their work done. We might find it much harder to demonize them if the labor regulations cap their amount of work, such that there are more bankers who are at the same time more reasonably paid.

            •  I misunderstood your point (0+ / 0-)

              which seemed to imply that jobs wouldn't rebound to, say, 2004 levels even when industrial production had because of increases in 'productivity'.

          •  The question is... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mataliandy, Sandino, BYw

            with such a massive redistribution of wealth upwards...are the upper tier of the investor class simply living off of each other now, exchanging profits in their stock games? I know they'd love to get a hold of social security. But we won't let them, right?

            "Revolutionary Road" was a brilliant film.

            by scorpiorising on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:02:16 AM PST

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          •  Cooking the books? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino, BYw

            Its entirely possible and the main reason I'm still not willing to put my money back into the stock market.

      •  It will be a decade (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mataliandy, 3goldens, bigchin, ilex

        I base this on the fact that I think we are at a tipping point.

    •  You would still fight for this party... (0+ / 0-)

      despite your own analysis? Zip up your wallets and focus on issues grass roots movements. That is what will bring about change. Not loyalty to a corrupt party.

      "Revolutionary Road" was a brilliant film.

      by scorpiorising on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:04:39 AM PST

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    •  RFK lives, exactly what I'm hearing in my own (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, BYw

      family sad, but true.  We had 6 votes in my family alone for Obama and the Dems.  Now they will get lucky if they get 1 vote from me.
      So much pain and desparation for work, money, food.  Geez what doesn't Obama get about this.
      All I hear is 'he keeps telling us it's going to be so good, and then he does nothing!'

      •  You Can't Say that Obama Did Nothing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BYw

        It's that Obama can't get anything out of the Senate grinder.

        You should remind your family that the Republicans demonized Brown for voting for cloture on the jobs bill. And the jobs bill is a watered down effort worth only $15B. Your family has the right to punish Obama and reward the GOP. But what exactly would your family, by voting GOP, be punishing Obama for and what is it rewarding the GOP for? If the GOP becomes even more intransigent towards jobs after some good 2010 election results, would your family's fundamental objectives of seeking governmental relief of "pain and desperation for work, money, food" be in any way advanced?

    •  Agreed. Maybe my naivete, but I was surprised (0+ / 0-)

      at the direction of Pres. Obama in support of the fin. and health industries, to name a few.  I am not seeing at all what I 'heard' in the campaign.  :o(

      I used to have hope. Now I just see most conservative Dem's audacity in maintaining the corporate status quo.

      by davekro on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 02:09:55 PM PST

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