Skip to main content

Robert Reich, professor at the University of California and former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton in the 1990s, has an excellent blogpost about how working people got screwed in 2009 and a pessimistic view of the future unless people force change:

As long as income and wealth keep concentrating at the top, and the great divide between America's have-mores and have-lesses continues to widen, the Great Recession won't end -- at least not in the real economy.

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, generally agrees with How We Got Here:

In other words, merely rebuilding the same economy will not help working people.

More How We Got Here from a 2007 article in the New York Times:

Then, starting in the late 1970s, as the constraints receded, new tycoons gradually emerged, and now their concentrated wealth has made the early years of the 21st century truly another Gilded Age.

Only twice before over the last century has 5 percent of the national income gone to families in the upper one-one-hundredth of a percent of the income distribution — currently, the almost 15,000 families with incomes of $9.5 million or more a year, according to an analysis of tax returns by the economists Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley and Thomas Piketty at the Paris School of Economics.

Such concentration at the very top occurred in 1915 and 1916, as the Gilded Age was ending, and again briefly in the late 1920s, before the stock market crash. Now it is back, and Mr. Weill is prominent among the new titans. His net worth exceeds $1 billion, not counting the $500 million he says he has already given away, in the open-handed style of Andrew Carnegie and the other great philanthropists of the earlier age.

NY Times, 7/15/07:  The Richest of the Rich, Proud of a New Gilded Age

In 2008, President Obama appeared to agree with the cause of the crash:

Now, this didn't happen by accident.  Our falling GDP is a direct result of eight years of the trickle down, Wall Street first/Main Street last policies that have driven our economy into a ditch.

And the central question in this election is this: what will our next President do to take us in a different direction?

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama—as prepared for delivery, Thursday, October 30th, 2008, Sarasota, Florida

On September 16, 2008, as the stock market melted down, then Senator and Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama proclaimed it to be the final verdict on a failed economic philosophy:  

So let’s be clear: what we’ve seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed. And I am running for President of the United States because the dreams of the American people must not be endangered any more. It’s time to put an end to a broken system in Washington that is breaking the American economy. It’s time for change that makes a real difference in your lives.

Senator Obama in Golden, CO: Confronting an Economic Crisis, 9/16/08

In his post today, Robert Reich notes that in September and October 2008, even President Bush was afraid of a Great Depression:

In September 2008, as the worst of the financial crisis engulfed Wall Street, George W. Bush issued a warning: "This sucker could go down."

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

This sucker could go down.  Well, it did for millions of people who lost jobs and homes, but we have avoided a Great Depression through TARP, the stumulus, and Fed loosening of credit and injections of money into the system.  (My view, not necessarily Reich's).  

Avoiding a Great Depression is a good thing and the Obama adminstration deserves credit (as well as Congress and Bernanke, and even Bush in late 2008, although the latter two did much to create the problems.)  But that is just a start and not enough if we just rebuild the same failed economy, the Two Americas.  

Reich notes that Wall Street is making out like a bandit now, although in my view that gives bandits a bad name:

In less than a year, Wall Street was back. The five largest remaining banks are today larger, their executives and traders richer, their strategies of placing large bets with other people's money no less bold than before the meltdown.

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

But if Wall Street under a Democratic administration and Congress are making out well, working people are suffering.  Wealth never seems to trickle down.  We know what trickles on us, and it ain't money.

But if 2009 has proved anything, it's that the bailout of Wall Street didn't trickle down to Main Street.

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

This is because, while important, the real problems were not with the financial health of Wall Street, but the 30 years of the war on working people:

The real locus of the problem was never the financial economy to begin with, and the bailout of Wall Street was a sideshow. The real problem was on Main Street, in the real economy. Before the crash, much of America had fallen deeply into unsustainable debt because it had no other way to maintain its standard of living. That's because for so many years almost all the gains of economic growth had been going to a relatively small number of people at the top.

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

The Great Class Stratification, the Two Americas, caused this, and until we address the real problem, working people still wil be suffering:

Too many Americans have lost their jobs, incomes, homes and savings. That means most of us won't have the purchasing power to buy nearly all the goods and services the economy is capable of producing. And without enough demand, the economy can't get out of the doldrums.

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, has said the same thing:

Our current economic crisis is just a symptom of larger long-term weakness and inequality in our economy, Trumka said, and good jobs are the solution:

Remember, wages have been stagnant for years, so people had to start borrowing...we got to the point where people just couldn’t borrow any more and the economy just sort of collapsed at that point...we reached the limit of that. Debt can’t continue to be the engine that fuels the economy.

When we talk about stimulating or rebuilding the economy, Trumka asks, we need to ask: "To what end?" If we’re just rebuilding the old broken economy—with an under-regulated financial sector taking precedence over the real economy—then we haven’t really gotten anywhere. We need an economy where productivity is rewarded and prosperity is fairly shared.

In particular, Trumka says that to ensure the economy is really working in the long term, we need to give workers the ability to bargain for a fair share. The freedom to bargain means we won’t just create jobs, we’ll create good jobs. That means passing the Employee Free Choice Act and giving workers the freedom to form a union—and it means training more organizers to help workers across the country form a union and get a fair contract. That will give people the wages and the economic security they need to support the economy, provide for their families and get engaged in their communities.

AFL-CIO Blog, Trumka Answers Your Questions, Lays Out Economic Vision, 12/16/09

So, apparently, does President Obama:

There is a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men. The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was destroyed as soon as the storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when "...the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house...it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."

We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity - a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest; where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad.

Barack Obama, April 14, 2009 Speech on Economcis at Georgetown University

Too many unemployed and underemployed Americans are awaiting that New Foundation.  2009 seems to have just rebuilt the old.

As Reich says,

As long as income and wealth keep concentrating at the top, and the great divide between America's have-mores and have-lesses continues to widen, the Great Recession won't end -- at least not in the real economy.

It's time for working people to be heard in this adminstration. So long as we keep the same stratification, it's not real change.

AFL-CIO has a plan:

While millions go without work, some people are talking about "recovery"--as though numbers on Wall Street or profits at the big banks are the same as the real economy for working families. Wrong. We're still in crisis--and if we don't create jobs now, we will slide even further.

We have to put America to work--at good jobs that support families. We've tried out the everything-must-go, trickle-down, bubble economy for the past decade, and it's been a disaster. If we're really going to have a recovery--not just a recovery on Wall Street or for the big banks, but for real people--we absolutely must create new jobs.

Richard Trumka, quoted in my diary, NAACP, La Raza, and AFL-CIO Call on Obama to Create More Jobs (from Trumka interview with HuffPo)

The Plan is here:

America Needs Jobs Now

I'll just highlight it:

  1. Extend the lifeline for jobless workers.
  1. Rebuild America’s schools, roads and energy systems.
  1. Increase aid to state and local governments to maintain vital services.
  1. Put people to work doing work that needs to be done.  
  1. Put TARP funds to work for Main Street.

Details here:America Needs Jobs Now

For 2010, we must make real change.  

Originally posted to TomP on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:00 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Unfortunately, too many Dems aren't (7+ / 0-)

    terribly concerned about the long (or short) term effects of the class war. Like the Republicans, some Dems seem to think crumbs to the middle class, while the rich get the pie, is good enough. Call it the new "pragmatism", which I guess means they aren't convinced trickle down is wrong after all.

    Kind of like Global Warming, another non-starter.

    Occam's Pacifier: Conservatives are people who blindly assume that the most simple-minded, self-serving answer is always the correct one.

    by Words In Action on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:16:30 AM PST

    •  Yes, this is a real problem, (8+ / 0-)

      but working people are not going to take it forever.  They sell out working people at their own risk. For example, Blanche Lincoln is going down in Arkansas.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by TomP on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:19:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I would hope so. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, TomP

        You know, 5 or 10% of the population would be 15 to 30 million people. Wouldn't you think that many would already be fed up enough to camp out in D.C. until real economic justice (and Global Warming legislation) is enacted?

        Wouldn't you agree that that kind of direct action would be likely to have a much greater, more timely impact than this 3 steps forward, 2.9 steps backward electoral nonsense? I mean, really, can we afford to wait several election cycles for incremental environmental legislation to take effect on Global Warming. Better yet, can we really trust that will ever work?

        Heck, 3 million Iranians protested the results of their bogus election, in the face violent police. We have 5 times as many people. Wouldn't that suggest we could get 15 million to protest gross economic injustice and gross negligence on global warming?

        Not when we have "pragmatic progressives" who believe direct action is outmoded or unrealistic or impossible.

        BTW, I'm not suggesting a single, one-day event, I'm suggesting an indefinite sit-in by rational people who appreciate that the loss of the class war and global warming impotence cannot be left to stand. Not on our watch.

        Occam's Pacifier: Conservatives are people who blindly assume that the most simple-minded, self-serving answer is always the correct one.

        by Words In Action on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:30:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Direct action is difficult (7+ / 0-)

          to create.  

          It may be no tactic works.  But it's worth trying anyway.

          If the AFL-CIO and other major progressive and labor groups collaborate with a march on Washington, maybe.  Even the threat would help.

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by TomP on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:34:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Difficult, yes. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brooke In Seattle, TomP, J M F

            But I think the disappearance of the ice caps in ten years will be difficult, too.

            Is it really that hard for people to think a decade ahead when it comes to dire consequences?

            I mean, if we knew that a comet was going to come fairly close to the earth in ten years, causing potentially disasterous long-term effects for billions of people, would we be so nonchalant?

            Call me a hopeless "idealist", but I just don't get the reality that there are so few people who seem to appreciate the enormity of the problems we are facing to recognize that you can't get to a point of safety from here with incrementalism any more.

            Imagine where we would be if Teddy and FDR did NOT come along? That's where we are today with the new Gilded Age. None dare call it aristocracy, at least not with the level of concern and outrage it deserves.

            And, back to Global Warming, imagine the amount of methane that will be released in the next decade from the exposed permafrost, what that will do to accelerating warming...the affects on ocean currents, the Great Barrier Reef, etc.

            What are people thinking, waiting for D.C. to act at's normal pace?

            Occam's Pacifier: Conservatives are people who blindly assume that the most simple-minded, self-serving answer is always the correct one.

            by Words In Action on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:47:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Why does Robert Reich hate Obama? (11+ / 0-)

    It's only been 11 months. Obama never promised to pay as much attention to Main Street as Wall Street during the first 11 months. And he never promised not to transfer a blank check of trillions to the rich, so don't go putting words in his mouth.

    Occam's Pacifier: Conservatives are people who blindly assume that the most simple-minded, self-serving answer is always the correct one.

    by Words In Action on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:19:07 AM PST

  •  While I agree with the key points in the diary, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    I don't completely agree with the title. Main street may not have got as much as wall street or as much as I would have liked it to get in 2009, but it did get some pretty important things. Hopefully, we'll get even more this year. I think it's dangerous to allow this 'shafted' meme to be the prevailing opinion going forward.

    open your mind or someone else will open it for you, but be careful you don't open it too much for you brain to fall out.

    by carlos the jackal on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:29:03 AM PST

  •  Has anyone else considered the problem (17+ / 0-)

    that the health insurance mandate poses for fixing the economy? If 70% of the US economy is dependent on consumer spending, won't the mandate make this even worse, as people have less discretionary income to spend on stuff, because so much of our income will go to taxes (to pay for the bailouts) and insurance premiums? And bank fees and interest? If we can't afford to buy stuff, then employers won't be hiring anyone to make stuff either. It doesn't add up to potential recovery of the economy in my book. And I don't believe the economy will be recovered by 2013 by a long shot.

  •  Usually I agree wholeheartedly . . . . (7+ / 0-)

    . . . with you, TomP, but I have mixed feelings about this:

    "Rebuild America’s schools, roads and energy systems"

    Schools I enthusiastically agree with; not so much about roads and energy systems.  

    The remainder of this century will demonstrate that America's highly dispersed and car-centric lifestyle is unsustainable.  We are hard upon the limits of environmental sustainability without expecting the quality of life; comfort, leisure, engagement with our world lack of want, to degrade.

    Just as you make the point that we cannot expect economic improvement by reconstituting the status-quo, I contend that we will not improve our life without changing our use of the American landscape.  Rebuild an energy distribution infrastructure to efficiently and effecively service high density use, not the exurban lifestyle.  Triage our motorways.  Maintenance on what we have built is unsustainable and we need to decide on a reduction in what we should support.  And, plan for effective public transportation both local and interurban.

    But, I think that all of that is pie-in-the-sky barring recovery from societal collapse.  As with the economy, private selfishness has now supplanted a focus on working for the public commonweal.  So, we will spend on road maintenance and dispersed energy distribution until that becomes hopelessly unsustainable.

    Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

    by Fossil on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:41:23 AM PST

  •  some one really needs to figure out (15+ / 0-)

    why this keeps happens, and how to reverse these trends:

    http://www.demos.org/...


    Some people always seem to get the "wheat" --
    while the rest of us just get the "shaft".


    "Let them eat crackers"

    Is hardly a motto on which to build a New Economy,
    from the ground up.

    Workers are the real "Economic Engine" of an Economy --
    Workers "buy stuff" ... whenever they can.

    Workers create Demand.


    have a productive New Year, TomP

    keep up the good fight.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:41:40 AM PST

  •  The Great un-Equalizer (10+ / 0-)

    of any Free Market Society -- is the Tax Rates it sets on its people:


    (Larger)

    More Tax Trend Charts


    THIS is where the Wheat, is separated from the shaft.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:47:22 AM PST

    •  Marginal tax rates are not meaningful (0+ / 0-)

      measures of how much people -- especially the rich -- are taxed.  What is more meaingful are effective tax rates.  During those eras of very high top marginal rates, for example, there were lots, lots more deductions and ways to shelter income from taxes, so very little of the income of "the rich" was actually subject to those high rates.  Just by way of another example, the Tax Reform Act of 1986 did a lot toward eliminating ways to deduct or shelter income

      If you are going to discuss what significant income tax increases will do to the enconomy as a wole, you have to compare effective tax rates to effective tax rates.  You cannot compare top marginal rates when there were lots of ways to deduct or shelter income from those top marginal rates to a time (now) where a lot of those deductions/shelters have been changed.  What is meaningful is the actual percentage of household income that is paid in federal income taxes -- that is the effective tax rate.  

  •  As long as liberals suck up all the oxygen on the (6+ / 0-)

    left and focus on cult of personality pseudo-movements: whether it's Howard Dean, Jane Hamsher, Obama for America, et cetera, there will be no progress.

    The people cohorting with FDL to support a "public option" have been mute (or close enough) on wage inequality for a critical year.

    There has been no pressure for high-speed rail. There has been no pressure for a revival of massive-scale conservation works.

    Stiglitz and Reich can webcast all they want, but if the people aren't calling the White House and writing their Congresspeople en masse about these things, don't expect a New Contract.

    (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

    by Nulwee on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:53:15 AM PST

    •  I agree that (6+ / 0-)

      "focus on cult of personality pseudo-movements: whether it's Howard Dean, Jane Hamsher, Obama for America, et cetera" impedes progress.

      I don't mind FDL's focus on health care, because that was a big issue this year, but I agree we have forgotten all other issues.  I write on some of these things and Bruce M is great on rail, but we are not doing action.  Instead, many bloggers chose blog wars.  

      If you want something doen right, do it ourselves!    :-)

      Happy New Year!

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by TomP on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:57:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Happy New Year. TomP! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, TomP, polar bear

        if Daily Kos

        can round up a thousand or so signatures in a couple dozen individual districts for High-speed rail, that would be pretty cool. It could start with kossacks' families. Getting one more congressman to move from tepid to warm suppoort isn't enough though.

        (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

        by Nulwee on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 09:10:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  ???? (3+ / 0-)

      The PO is central to the clasds war.

      Many of the centrists willing to cave on the PO really think the class war is an issue, at least not "practically" speaking. Ask about the problem with the huge transfer of wealth to the rich last year and you'll get crickets.

      Sorry, but I think your reading of which faction is responsible for ignoring what is completely backwards. The liberals are the ones on the full court press, being accused of expecting too much in too many directions. The pragmatists are the ones willing to wait indefintely for whatever DC might deliver.

      Occam's Pacifier: Conservatives are people who blindly assume that the most simple-minded, self-serving answer is always the correct one.

      by Words In Action on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:59:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Positive outlook, TomP (6+ / 0-)

    very good points...

  •  Obama has focused on "main street" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, 3goldens

    much more than he is given credit for.   The $800 billion stimulus bill gave jobs and money to mainly (if not only) middle class workers, expanding Cobra benefits benefited mainly the middle class, credit card regulation bill benefits the middle class in the expanse of wall street. So saying Obama ignores "main street" is ignoring most of the legislation passed this year  

    •  It's not enough and it's not the right things. (5+ / 0-)

      Most of the stimulus was tax cuts.

      If you aren't working, you aren't getting anything else in your payroll envelope than you were before. Which means zero change.

      Most of the jobs have been road/bridge work. Older workers and the disabled aren't being hired for these jobs. Once you've been out of work more than a year, employers don't want you. You look like a problem employee and there are too many other applicants who don't.

      The MAJORITY of the jobs outlined as being created in the stimulus bill were to be retail jobs -- yes, retail jobs -- and in the bad economy, they never materialized. But nobody talks about that now.

      COBRA only helps the people who had insurance in the first place and are still getting enough money from unemployment or savings to pay the premiums. Many of us long ago exhausted benefits and they aren't taking any retroactive applications. Oh, most of any savings we had is all gone too.

      Also, credit card regs aren't helping if you are too poor to afford them right now.

      There are millions of people out of work who aren't helped one single bit by anything in the stimulus bill, and we aren't "Obama haters" or anything else nasty people call us.

      We are broke. Our savings are gone. Our houses are gone. We are living on the edge.

      The stimulus has done nothing for us.

      We need a direct-hire jobs program that takes ALL workers who have been out of work more than a year. That would be helpful. Or we need to start paying unemployment benefits to more people -- and raise the benefit levels to something one can live on.

      So far, it's not nearly enough.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:34:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a good diary to start 2010. n/t (3+ / 0-)

    'If we lift our voice as one, there's nothing that can't be done' MJ

    by publicv on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 09:47:32 AM PST

  •  I'm glad someone else noticed. (6+ / 0-)

    All this happy talk about recovery simply ignores the elephant in the room of the long-term unemployed and underemployed.

    Where are the jobs? What are all those unemployed people supposed to do now?

    Who cares if Wall Street is doing well and the Dow Jones goes up if there are still millions of people unemployed? There are still too many being ignored, even by the plan outlined above. Lots of people aren't qualifying for those benefits, so extending them does nothing unless the qualifications for them are also changed.

    We must also create good-paying jobs that can't be outsourced, and they can't just be jobs in which one swings a hammer. Too many people have spent a lifetime at desk jobs, and they can't transition to those kinds of jobs -- and not just because of the physical limitations. No crew boss in his right mind is going to hire some former desk jockey if he has applicants used to working with his or her hands.

    And they can't be $10 per hour jobs that employers keep patting themselves on the back about creating. They need to be realistically salaried -- and the government needs to redefine the poverty level in this country. A single person cannot realistically live on what is determined to be poverty-level wages, and unless one has children or a chronic health condition, our society generally tells single people "You're on your own."

    We must also do something about the rampant age discrimination that has put an entire group of people out of work -- anyone between 50 and 65 right now and looking for work knows what I mean. The shafting those people are getting in the "health insurance reform" bill will further contribute to their not finding work. Their premiums and costs will be higher, and employers will just hire someone younger without any health issues. (And when you younger people hit 50, they'll do the same thing to you.)

    I really like Rich Trumka. He tells it like it is. I just hope he gets enough people to listen and push to do something about it.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:09:14 AM PST

  •  . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue jersey mom, soothsayer99

    Does she qualify as "main street?"

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by NLinStPaul on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:13:04 AM PST

    •  It's not enough. (6+ / 0-)

      10.2% unemployment.  30% among African American males.

      Millions out of work; millions losing homes.

      Working people are hurting.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by TomP on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:17:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree... (5+ / 0-)

        and we all need to get off our butts and make sure the arm of government that controls the purse strings does something about it. Do you have any suggestions for that? Or is it all on Obama?

        Seems that your suggestions fit in quite well with things he's trying to do and would certainly sign if Congress passed them. So how do we get 60 votes in the Senate for those suggestions? That's the critical question. If we continue to focus on just Obama...main street will continue to suffer.

        Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by NLinStPaul on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:22:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree totally. (5+ / 0-)

          If we continue to focus on just Obama...main street will continue to suffer.

          It goes both ways here.  Too many only see Obama and either praise him or condemn him.  

          My diary supports the AFL-CIO jobs plan. I think we need a jobs plan, but we also need much more.  Obama spoke at times of changing the economy, but I don't see how he does it with Summers and his current policies.  Congress can do things and Obama will not veto them even if he would not propose them. I think/hope.  If he ever vetoes progressive legislation then he will lose me.  Unttil then, I am hopeful.  

          I'm disappointed both in Obama and Democrats in Congress.  
           

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by TomP on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:32:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good Diary, Tom (5+ / 0-)

    Many are listening.  Many have seen the light and have come on board since the start of last year.  Yet, there are still many, too many, who are too enamored with personalities to see where we are being taken.

    Hopefully, the situation will change.  There are doubts, however, that even with all hands on deck, we can overcome the forces at play and seek to reclaim at least a semblance of the so-called democracy we love to crow about, not just to ourselves, but the world.

    Happy New Year!

    •  Thanks, citizen53. (3+ / 0-)

      Yes, people are seeing it.  The pull of personalities eventually fade because people crave the new.  Already that is happening.

      I also think this may be right:

      There are doubts, however, that even with all hands on deck, we can overcome the forces at play and seek to reclaim at least a semblance of the so-called democracy we love to crow about, not just to ourselves, but the world.

      In the struggle to do so, even if it ultimately fails, we may improve the lives of others and we find our own humanity.

      Happy New Years!  

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by TomP on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:03:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How these people dare lay claim to being (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AmericanRiverCanyon, Predictor

        "Democrats" is way beyond my comprehension; and dailykos has given them free reign to troll this blog.  At this rate, DailyKos will become famous for being the radical left progressive blog that morphed into Red State.  Happy New Year, Tom.  I have to leave.  I can't stand it.  I clicked into soothsayers link and there in its full revulsion is the ignorance and bigotry that I am talking about.  

        They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

        by dkmich on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:21:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  don't let them get to you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Predictor, TomP

          .... this is only a blog on the internet.  It is dedicated to electing one political party, but not to having them then create certain OUTCOMES from that election. A lot of them just switched conveniently from "R" to "D" when they saw that the majority party in power was going to change.  Look at the lobbyist money-  follow the donation amounts given to "D's" now that used to go to "R's"-   I read the reports from the largest lobbying firms in DC they were making in 2008,  as they talked about how they were going to deal with the change of which party was in power-  simply, they start donating to it !  It's not ROCKET SCIENCE.   Do well and be alert in your real lives, and write what is going on.  Wall Street and the equity fund businesses for pharma, and the insurance industry don't really have the entire Progressive caucus in the bag, yet-  and is intent on browbeating the holy crap out of us for threatening their status quo-  they are damned afraid the unions are going to tell the Pandercrat contingent to kiss off.   Hence their extraordinary amount of invective aimed anonymously at the few here who are able to describe what is wrong with the bill in terms of outcomes, and how this is going to be a political clusterfrack in 2010 and 2012.

          So we still have a wee bit of leverage.  

          "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

          by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 07:56:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry. I was offline. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Predictor

          Yes, soothsayer is full of shit, as are many who agree with him.  

          Please stay.  If all the good folks leave, they win.  They will self marginalize themselves.

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by TomP on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 01:32:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site