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As slinkerwink pointed out over the weekend, corporate America is neither hiring nor investing. The report came from the Washington Post:

Corporate profits are soaring. Companies are sitting on billions of dollars of cash. And still, they've yet to amp up hiring or make major investments -- the missing ingredients for a strong economic recovery.

Many Democrats say the economy needs more stimulus. Business lobbyists and their Republican allies say it needs less regulation and lower taxes.

And as for business executives?

They blame their profound caution on their view that U.S. consumers are destined to disappoint for many years. As a result, they say, the economy is unlikely to see the kind of almost unbroken prosperity of the quarter-century that preceded the financial crisis.

Businesses blame consumers. They think there will be inadequate consumer spending for many years. They're being cautious because consumers are being cautious. Of course, unlike the corporations, consumers aren't sitting on piles of money. They aren't spending because they have nothing or too little to spend. Which brings us back to the idea of helping consumers attain enough money and confidence so that they will resume spending, which brings us back to the idea of more stimulus. Not bailouts for failing corporations or subsidies for thriving corporations, but jobs programs. Corporations are sitting on the money they already have. They don't need more help, and they aren't helping. But consumers have too little money. They do need help. And when they gain enough income and confidence they do tend to spend, which is why bottom-up stimulus is much more effective than top-down.

Republicans want what they always want: less taxes and less regulation, the economic model that drove the economy into the ground, the model championed by Reagan, which began the steady expansion of the income gap, and the steady erosion of the middle class. It also was the model championed by Bush-Cheney, which all but destroyed the economy. The banking crisis, the health care crisis, and the environmental crisis in the Gulf of Mexico are but a few of the many proofs that less regulation leads to disaster. But less regulation is all the Republicans have to offer.

As economists such as Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz (video) warned, the Obama stimulus was far too little. It prevented things from getting worse, but it didn't make things significantly better. Unemployment is not abating. It's again getting worse. As Krugman wrote last month:

I really don’t think people appreciate the huge dangers posed by a weak response to 9 1/2 percent unemployment, and the highest rate of long-term unemployment ever recorded

He was referring to this post by Brad DeLong:

However, even a minor and hasty acquaintance with the Great Depression teaches that the belief that the government should stand back and wash its hands because the self-regulating market quickly returns to full-employment equilibrium is the most arrogant belief possible.

And even a minor and hasty acquaintance with the Great Depression teaches that having the government stand back and wash its hands is the most risky strategy conceivable.

Businesses aren't creating jobs, and they have no intention of doing so unless they see signs that consumers will again resume spending. Consumers won't be spending as long as they have nothing or too little to spend. It's a feedback loop. There is only one way to break it. It has to be the government. The government has to create jobs. Infrastructure. Clean energy. Mass transit. There are plenty of social goods for government to fund, and there are plenty of people who are willing and able to be trained and employed. It has to happen. And only the government can do it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:16 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I have a theory about this: (11+ / 0-)

      Businesses aren't creating jobs, and they have no intention of doing so unless they see signs that consumers will again resume spending.

      Businesses have no intention of creating jobs until 1/20/2012 IF the Repugs retake the White House.
      Businesses want tax cuts.  They pressure Repugs to block any legislation to raise taxes.  Repugs tell them that the only viable ammunititon they have left is to make the economy so terrible that the citizens will want a change in the White House.  Businesses hold off hiring, adding to the unemployment problem and hold off investing, adding to the GNP problem.  Repugs retake the White House in 2012, businesses open their wallets, start hiring, start investing, and the Rupugs can pump out their chest and say, "We told you so, less taxes mean more jobs."

      This is short and cynical.  I hate to think that any American business would actually do something like this, but the wing-nuts have taught me nothing is impossible in this day and age.

      "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." - Joseph Stalin

      by Taxmancometh on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:49:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I believe Lewis is quite right (13+ / 0-)

        about business leaders' concerns that the "consumer" cannot afford more discretionary spending for a number of years. The BIG disconnect - and it is disappointing that Lewis, nor any of the commenters down thread thus far, do not mention this, is that the earnings of workers is what determines the ability of most consumers to spend. We've had three decades now of a literal war on workers' earnings; only an economist or MBA is surprised to now find that "consumers" cannot afford to spend.

        Back in December 2007, a full three months before Bare Sterns made the financial crisis undeniable, I wrote in my diary Not Good: We've Been Here Before:

        The current foreclosure crises is rooted in the stagnation of wages and earnings the past 30 years. If, since Reagan took office, average weekly earnings had continued to grow at the same rate they had grown from 1964 to 1980, the typical household in the U.S. would have had around $30,000 more in income than it does now. That's right, nearly twice the income. There would not have been a "market" for sub-prime mortgages in those circumstances, and the opportunities for predatory lending would have been almost non-existent.
        Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

        To blame predatory lending is merely focusing on the symptom. The rescue plan announced by Treasury Secretary Paulson last week only delays the inevitable, because the illness that needs to be treated is the decline of wages and earnings. To get a cure, we need to address the problem of the stagnation of earnings for the middle two fifths of the population, and real declines in earnings for the bottom two fifths.

        A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

        by NBBooks on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:03:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Business has no innate loyalty to the GOP... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, RenMin, Taxmancometh

        ...in fact, it is quite the other way around.

        Might not big business be realizing that, in getting what they wanted from the GOP, incrementally over 30 years, they have destroyed the economy and the nation? They face the Apocalypse in the only way they know how - by attempting to hoard all the chips, as the table is vaporized.

        I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

        by labradog on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:09:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've seen otherwise... (4+ / 0-)

          that finance is in fact betting on the GOP: two traders, Uri Landesman and Jack Reutermann, have come right out on CNBC and said so. And we know that the Wall Street money, which we had a sizable portion of in 2008, is now flooding into GOP coffers instead.

          *     *     *

          Business Finance doesn't know how to do anything but go after the low hanging fruit. It cannot innovate; it can not open new markets on its own, it requires a real businessman with a real plan to do so. The truth is, that American MNE's have made a ton of money - by off shoring production and then selling into emerging markets. That's a pattern that bond traders can recognize as a winner, and will feel more apt to invest in than in what they perceive as the riskier bet of hoping the US economy turns around. Every day you'll hear some investor telling us that all the growth is forecast in emerging markets.

          The housing market (which cannot be off shored, please note) was responsible for a substantial portion of our economy, and without that, demand suffers across the board. That's what stares every corporation and investor in the face.

          So the diarist is correct. Only a new theme will reinvigorate the economy, and government must lead the way. The Post Office needs to announce plans to purchase tens of thousands of all-electric vehicles for local delivery (spurring development and lowering unit cost). Major new programs in energy and transportation infrastructure need to be begun (just for efficiency, flexibility and, again, lower unit cost). The country needs a "New Direction" (remember that phrase? How congress copped out on that one).

          The market needs a new direction, a new meme to trade on. Right now, all they've got are surveys and untrustworthy, disappointing macro data reaching their desks. Read Schiller. Read Malkiel. Read Justin Fox. Markets trade on meme's, in fact, nothing else works.

          You think these democrats can deliver that?

          What has a "political realist" done for you lately?

          by papicek on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:12:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You've exactly hit on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            papicek

            the kind of outside-the-economic-dogma-box I've mentioned on other threads as what we need. Consumers don't have money-only govt can prime the spending pump. This should not be that hard to figure out; FDR knew it 75 years ago.

            Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

            by Virginia mom on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 10:05:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's also the reason that... (0+ / 0-)

              Social Security cuts are insane. I'd be surprised if pretty much every penny of Social Security didn't get back into the economy. Social Security is stimulative.

              What has a "political realist" done for you lately?

              by papicek on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 04:44:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so... (6+ / 0-)

        Honestly, corporations only care about profit.  And I don't mean that in a bad way, that's their goal.  I honestly think they could care less about the polictics unless it directly effects their business.  

        I work at a large company and we aren't hiring either.  What they learned was that they could get a lot done with less, so until management starts screaming for more people, they won't hire on a broad base.

        Realistically, the need for hiring is made in most companies by middle managers.  It's not really a top-down approach where they say "Let's hire 100k people"

    •  It boils down to this: (4+ / 0-)

      Big business has examined the outlook for this nation and system, and seeing no upside, is declining to wager on this economy.

      They are sitting on their betting hands, and most likely trying to figure out, as we speak, how they can share the spoils of a ruined nation.

      IOW, they have a stash of golden eggs, and are now deciding how to prepare the goose, as their retirement dinner.

      I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

      by labradog on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:03:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about a discussion (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCJan, Van Buren, papicek, RenMin

      fo sustainability instead of runaway consumer spending.  It's simply not a longterm solution.

    •  I think the reason (7+ / 0-)

      the companies are holding out is not they are worried about consumers, I think they are waiting until they can pay the type of wages they want to pay.

      I'm a sceptic. I don't trust any of them. If they get unemployment up high enough, that will mean that the people that are out of jobs will start being willing to take lower wages. Then as the companies start hiring at the lower wage level, and get those people trained up, they can "lay off" the higher wage level people that are doing all the work now. And, those people will have to go back into the job market at the lower wage levels.

      Look at how worried many corporations are about wage increases in China.

      It's not "confidence" in the consumer they are worried about. They LIE.

      She who hesitates, waits.

      by KatGirl on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:47:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another Conspiracy Theory? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy

        In order for this to work, most CEOs and BODs of multinational corporations from competing companies as well as across industries would have to be conspiring, with no visible trace, to force wages down as you describe.

        This would require each CEO to be willing to suffer the wrath of their shareholders and risk losing their jobs for the long term "good" (in their mind) of general business. It would also require that no CEO within the same industry decided to fudge the game and go ahead and hire some more people in order to benefit from an opportunity (or, to do so only within some quota set by "The Cartel").

        I believe that CEOs, BODs, and shareholders are primarily motivated by short term earnings and only when those are good, worry much about long term earnings. In that light, it seems bizarre to think they would conspire to suppress short term results (and even more bizarre that they would trust each other to follow through on their agreements to do so).

        Even OPEC, which is quite open about their scheme, has a lot of trouble keeping their members in line. Somehow I doubt a secret cabal of thousands of executives and directors from virtually all the big multinational companies could pull off what you describe in secret.

      •  If there is money to be made by hiring people.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy

        ..than someone will hire them. Even if it means paying higher wages.

        There's to much of a tendency to assume that business people are like Scrooge and just want to screw over the workers. But Scrooge wasn't even like Scrooge. He just wanted to know precisely what the risks were in an investment and he expected to get paid for taking the appropriate risks. If people got screwed in the process, well that was just part of business. Nothing personal.

        The money will flow wants there is a demand for it that can be forecast. Until then, why should the bother taking the risk? They've got the money. Their doing just fine.

  •  Two Ways to Fix This Crisis (15+ / 0-)

    First, cut Social Security benefits.  Second, mandate payments to private insurance companies.

    They call him a Muslim because they can't use the N-word.

    by bink on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:21:48 AM PDT

  •  One "Party" has no intention of fixing... (10+ / 0-)

    ...the economy, in the hopes that a failed economy will sweep them back into power, and the other "Party" is afraid to defy their corporate masters and jeopardize their chances for reelection (which, I guess, means they are working their own, personal job program).  The only real endgame I can see any more is the corporations will kill the geese that laid their golden eggs.  After that it is anarchy...

  •  I disagree on the "solutions" (8+ / 0-)

    The first thing the government should have done was immediately pass national health care.  Besides giving people confidence in their medical care/costs, it would have freed up jobs, as many people would have a)retired early or b)those working just for insurance would have left the labor force.  That would have been a much better stimulus policy than government trying to pick winners.

    Second, while more stimulus was needed, we must fix the long term structural deficit before it cripples us (and our kids).

    Finally, the we will never really know if the initial stimulus was large enough (in gross dollars), as it was poorly crafted and spread out way too thin across the economy and across time.

    •  We Can't Fix the Deficit (10+ / 0-)

      Without bringing back jobs.

      And ending the Bush-era tax cuts.

      They call him a Muslim because they can't use the N-word.

      by bink on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:25:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thos don't fix the deficit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKinTN, RenMin

        and that is the problem.  The most recent CBO projections assume that ALL of the Bush cuts will expire (along with the Obama cut and the AMT patch) and also assume a 5% U-3 rate by 2015 and yet we still run $500-700 billion deficits each year from then til 2020 (with no end in sight).  Our deficit problem is unfortunately not easily fixed.

        •  The AMT has been an issue ever since it's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RenMin

          inception in 1968. The problem is that there is no adjustment for inflation in the AMT, thus more and more people get hit by it every year.  You can't really abolish it because many people will be able to utilize loop-holes to avoid paying any tax at all. That's what the AMT was intended to prevent.

          "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." - Joseph Stalin

          by Taxmancometh on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:55:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Jobs are for suckers. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bink, The Nose, eXtina, Egalitare

        Let's all gamble.

        "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

        by sapper on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:36:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly the problem. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, pengiep

          This is the essential problem of the US for the last 30 years.  Despite all the rhetoric, the US has been engaged in not creating or making anything for the last 3 decades.

          And generally, most Americans would rather gamble than actually work.

      •  Sure we can (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, pengiep

        Just tax the corporations and execs who are sitting on that pile of cash DOING NOTHING with it.  Use the money either to start a serious National Health System, or on green engineering and conservation projects, or maybe a bit of both.  We have plenty of problems that need work, and plenty of people willing to work on them.  What's failed is the circulation system, because those who have, are too fat to consume, too scared to invest, and too stingy to give.  So you need to kick 'em in the butt until some of the bread pops back out when they barf.

        This is EXACTLY what the first Depression was about, and that was the solution that worked.  Stop believing the fat cats ranting on about how everyone ELSE needs to go on a diet, and make 'em share their food bowls.

        •  Now this is an idea worth considering (0+ / 0-)

          If we jacked up the rates on these cash piles than it would create the incentive for them to try and find other ways that could keep their money safe(r), like investing in new businesses.

          This was one of the hidden benefits of the "tax loopholes" so many decried back in the days of 70% rates on the highest income brackets. Those loopholes actually encouraged money people to spend the money in ways that encouraged growth.

    •  The long term deficit would be rather 'easily' (11+ / 0-)

      fixed by:

      1. Going single payer health care
      1. Cutting annual defense spending by at least 30%
      1. Taxing those above $500k a year more heavily

      Done. Easy.

      Spend some of those hundreds of billions on annual, productive stimulus, and you do have a solution.

      •  Thos wouldn't do it either (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sapper, RenMin
        1. Single payer will make the economy more efficient, but is likely to be overall revenue neutral over time.
        1. Defense needs to be cut, but even a 30% cut still leaves us with a huge deficit going forward (and a 30% cut is likely politically impossible).
        1. While taxes on the rich definitely need to go up, it is doubtful that tax increases alone can reduce the deficit before they start to impact growth.
        •  But our military employs so many of us (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WillR, RenMin

          How could we cut defense spending?  Our military employs a huge number of people, and is the primary customer of a huge number of businesses.  I'm not talking just guns here.  What about all the businesses that cater to communities with a military base?  Less soldiers stationed in town means less customers at the bars, hotels, car dealers, etc.  We have really painted ourselves into a corner on military spending, and cutting that spending will have far-reaching consequences that cannot be easily predicted.

          Should we cut it?  Of course!  Can we survive the fallout without some other means of smearing money all over the economy?  Probably not.

          •  It's hideously unproductive spending (7+ / 0-)

            It leads to nothing over time. Those small businesses on the outskirts of bases are pretty flimsy reasons to pump hundreds of billions a year into this monster.

            I realize the politics of this are basically impossible, but this spending is a wasteful disaster and it's strangling us.

            •  Yes (6+ / 0-)

              The vast amounts of money spent on the military could be spent so many different ways. Here in my city, we have water mains bursting all the time. How about replacing them? How about upgrading the water/power/transportation infrastructure in every American city and town? How about restoring funding to education, paying teachers the salaries they deserve, making higher education more affordable, training more primary care physicians, etc. etc.?

              I could go on and on. We can spend that money, create more jobs, and solve some of our nation's biggest problems. But we gotta take it out of the Pentagon's pockets first.

              "The government needs to spend its money on more important things, such as anti-tobacco programs, pro-tobacco programs, killing wild donkeys, and Israel."

              by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:28:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  let's maybe qualify that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cynndara

              Granted, the way we do military spending right now is unproductive. But it could be very productive if would would strategerize a bit and targetize foreign countries that have valuable resources. I'm talking conquest! Forget this namby-pamby Bush nation-building where we want everybody to like us and we are not at war with Islam (at least we say we're not).

              Sorry. I think an evil spirit possessed me for a minute there. Now I think I'll go shoot some quail. Of maybe some lawyers. Whichever is easier.

          •  With your line of thought, we cannot STOP (5+ / 0-)

            being in a war because that would lead to higher unemployment.

            "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." - Joseph Stalin

            by Taxmancometh on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:57:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Defense spending is the worst job creator... (8+ / 0-)

            ...per billion dollars of government money spent. That's been documented for decades now.

            As a former defense contractor employee, I recognized that when I was wearing a hard hat and operating machine tools. My relatives who are now 4th generation in my family to work for the same contractor know that too. A nuclear carrier is an impressive piece of engineering, but it is essentially 1960s technology except for the computing power, so it doesn't spur much "creative innovation". We certainly cannot export carriers or subs, so a great deal of our Defense spending is derivative of the overall economy: it can't make us globally "wealthier."

            We need Defense spending, but we need much more non-Defense economic activity to offset the drain it places on our Treasury.

            "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

            by Egalitare on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:12:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Virginia mom

              we export defense technology all the time, and nothing so old-fashioned as carriers and subs, that any third-rate nation with port facilities can build for themselves.  Why do you think Congress has to specifically authorize arms sales all the time?  It's big business to sell planes to Israel and (when I was in high school) Iran!  You just have to be careful WHO you sell them to.  And of course, they can always change governments and make you realize that maybe that sale was a bad idea.  But then you stiff them for spare parts (which ALL our high-tech marvels need constantly), and make those fancy fighter jets useless.

              The arms business is pretty much the only export trade the US has left. Oh, and Hollywood. Says something about our society, doesn't it, when all we have to sell is guns and adolescent fantasies?

              •  Yes, but a bomb is a debt machine (0+ / 0-)

                we're #1 in the world again in weapons exports. And we spend more on weapons than all our allies and enemies combined. whoopee!

                But its deadend economics. A bomb can only create debt, debt for the victim of the bomb, debt for the buyer of the bomb and debt for the tax payers who subsidize bomb making and bomb dropping.

                And exporting weapons only creates more wars, which creates more more insecurity and more debt.

                We need to spend our money on something beside bombs, because we're 14 trillion in debt thanks to the bomb industry and the debt industry.

                •  I didn't say it was good (0+ / 0-)

                  Or noble, or contributed in any way to human advancement, enlightenment, or enrichment of the biosphere.  Just that we sell them, and people making weapons, make money from it.  And it lowers OUR costs, when there's another buyer.  Just another way that capitalism offshores human misery to buy the tranquility and ignorant support of the (local) masses.

        •  Have you figured this out? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Nose, ChemBob, cynndara, RenMin

          Reducing unemployment also contributes to reducing the deficit.

          You know who wanted to cut the deficit before solving the unemployment problem? Hoover.

        •  Switching over to single-payer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Harleyhog

          No, it isn't necessarily revenue-neutral.  Single-payer raises the real possibility of returning to some kind of sensible rationing (like the old Blue Cross/Blue Shield monopoly used to exercise).  As we stand now, one of the main things aside from idiotic administrative costs driving medical costs into the ozone, is the proliferation of frivolous and futile high-tech, high-cost, and virtually useless last-ditch efforts to stave off the final moment of death.  As a society, we have to learn that humans are mortal, and they DIE, and get over it.  Until we can do that, our costs for futile chasing after one-in-a-million hopes will continue to be staggering.

        •  Combine the tax cuts with incentives (0+ / 0-)

          Jack the rate up to 70%, but give them a massive credit for every new employee they put to work.

          Boy, won't they get off their asses and start spending the money then!

      •  My 2 ideas: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cynndara

        Secretly print 11 trillion dollars and pay off the debt. Problem solved!
         Give the 25 million un/underemployed 40 acres and a mule. Everybody has a job!

        The only newscaster on Fox that you can trust is Kent Brockman.

        by Van Buren on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:21:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If it was easy it would have been done already (0+ / 0-)
    •  Wait. That's socialism. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pengiep, annieli

      It could've worked.

      "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

      by sapper on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:36:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Questions (0+ / 0-)

      Can you cite a study that estimates how many people would have left the work force permanently if a national health program would have passed? Second, how much would it cost?

      On deficits, do you fix the long term "structural" deficit first, or would you rather build a stimulus that create jobs now?

      Assuming a well-designed stimulus (not the one that was passed), how big should it be?

    •  The emphasis on the deficit .. nope. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Nose, PsychoSavannah

      Growth will fix that.

      Injection of capital into the hands of the working classes, and out of the hands of the speculating classes is what it takes.

      Combination of tax cuts for the working class and a rise in tax rates for the speculators alone is a good start, and creation of jobs through Federal grants is crucial.

      When we have start worrying about inflation, then we start looking at the deficit.

      •  Growth is unlikely to bail s out this time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cynndara

        we would have to well exceed the 1990's bubble induced growth rates in order to reduce the deficit enough and even then, the debt service is going to kill us.  By the time we get inflation it will be too late.  A return to long term interest rate averages (ie around 7% on the 10 year) would absolutely cripple us.

        •  it's not gonna happen overnight, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Virginia mom

          it's a process.

          The deficit can be brought down, but it will require a massive redistribution of wealth from the top to do it.

          The Forbes 400's wealth is over a trillion dollars alone.
          Our failure to tax wealth is the root cause of this deficit.

          Borrowing from the Chinese is not the answer.  

  •  Headline: "Minority leader Boehner to call for... (10+ / 0-)

    "Minority leader Boehner to call for mass firing of Obama's economic team".

    Real headline from today's Wapo.

    This recapitulates the entire dynamic out there right now. He's calling for their firing because they're "too liberal", while our side is going to give Boehner credit because we (some of us) want these guys to go for "not being liberal enough".

    (Liberal = Keynesian, for simplicity's sake).

    My point is that it's SO f*cked up, a hall of mirrors, insanity.

    Ugh.

  •  I think they're just lying (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Gooserock, PAbluestater, RenMin, eXtina

    Betcha hiring starts again...

    in mid-November.

    Osama bin Laden's true goal was for a majority of the US to go stark raving mad. Some days, it appears he has won.

    by Walt starr on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:24:16 AM PDT

    •  Only If Republicans Gain 1 Seat or More nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, orlbucfan

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:25:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm interested to see . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Virginia mom

      For the past ten years, gas prices have gone down noticeably around the middle of every October and remained low until gradually beginning to rise in late December.  It's been rather obvious, and my theory has been that since gas prices are a very powerful driver in terms of immediate cash-on-hand for the vast majority of the population who have extensive driving commutes to work, this was a direct ploy to decrease voter dissatisfaction with the powers-that-be and thus reduce opposition votes.  OTOH, it could simply be a seasonal factor tied to the end of the "summer driving season". Given that this year the PTBs are making a push to return Republicans to office over the incumbent Democrats, I'm watching the gas prices.  If they FAIL to go down on schedule, that argues significantly for deliberate manipulation.  Middle of October.  Watch for it.

    •  If this was the case... (0+ / 0-)

      ...wouldn't it should be pretty obvious? Those companies whose BOD and CEO are predominately Republican would not be hiring and those that are predominately Democrat would be hiring. Is there any evidence of this?

  •  Oh No We'll See Exactly the Kind of Prosperity (11+ / 0-)

    of the quarter century before the crisis. That's what the problem is.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    The purpose of the country has only been about its top few thousand people for decades.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:24:34 AM PDT

  •  Have I mentioned... (11+ / 0-)

    ...How much I HATE these fucking people...

    ...And I'll bet I'm not alone...And when the teabaggers figure out the corpofucktwits aren't their friends....look out

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:25:22 AM PDT

    •  They'll never figure it out. (13+ / 0-)

      You know that.

      "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

      by Bush Bites on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:31:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They already know (0+ / 0-)

        What they don't know, is how much the corporate apparatchiks control their information stream, not only Fox, but virtually all conventional media and many sources they adhere to because they are presented as "alternative" or "unconventional" or "not mainstream".  The problem is corporate control over the basic educational processes in this country, specifically what people learn in SCHOOL, which they trust implicitly, both on the public-school and university level, without realizing that it's all bought and sold up to the very top of the professoriate, where research directions are chosen based on availability of funding, and the need to assure continuing research funds modifies conclusions on both conscious and unconscious levels.

        All socially-approved and ratified sources of information in this country have been bought and paid for, including this site (except the Bible, which was written before corporations, but that's okay because it can always be REINTERPRETED).  That's one reason why your rednecks retain a certain skepticism towards the entire edifice of science and modern humanism, which they know is corrupted and interlaced with hidden agendas . . . leaving them prey to the equally agenda-driven Creationist scammers.

        Those of you sitting at lily-white-collared deskjobs in New York and California need to know, that the masses are not innately stupid.  They can be extremely bright, in fact.  They are swimming in a polluted sea of crappy data, and THEY KNOW IT.  So they maintain a fine distrust of everyone and every truth claim that they can't personally verify.  And they're taken in time and again by people purporting to be as cynical and distrusting as they are.

    •  Instead of corpofuckwits (4+ / 0-)

      I suggest you substitute the name and semi-human face of Charles Koch, the funder of the TP and of Global Warming Denialism. Flesh and blood examples beat faceless organizations all the time (think Tony Hayward and BP).

      One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble ... Murray Head

      by virginislandsguy on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:49:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The government can't create jobs... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapper, Brooke In Seattle

    just ask any of our resident Free Market kossacks.

    They'll tell you... again... and again... and again...

    because there's no place like home.

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:25:26 AM PDT

  •  DarkSyde just posted... (12+ / 0-)

    ... a reportage diary about how the hiring process goes at one company.  Read it and weep.

    Paul O'Neill, former Bush Treasury Secretary, the one they showed the door for opposing the big tax cuts for the rich (amongst other things), was on Fareed Zakaria's TV show a few Sundays back.  He was also, formerly, the head of Alcoa.  He observed that no company will hire absent demand for their products, that it simply wouldn't make sense.

    exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

    by Land of Enchantment on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:26:58 AM PDT

    •  So, the government has to figure out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenMin

      how to stimulate demand

      He observed that no company will hire absent demand for their products, that it simply wouldn't make sense.

      •  Same problem in the Great Depression (4+ / 0-)

        Back then, the government stepped in to build the national infrastructure, which work continues to support the national economy to this day.  There wasn't a demand for that infrastructure then, but the work done by the CCC, WPA, PWA, NYA & al. continue to enrich our collective lives to this day.

        exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

        by Land of Enchantment on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:19:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think (0+ / 0-)

          the symbolic, psychological value of those jobs is underestimated. Imagine how encouraging to an impoverished rural family when a son or father sent home some WPA or CCC cash.

          Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

          by Virginia mom on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 10:14:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No kidding! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Virginia mom

            FDR was inaugurated in March, 1933.  The first "CCC boys" got their first paychecks on April 23.  It was a top, top, top priority.  The New Deal benefited from FDR stepping into the White House from being Governor of New York, where a variety of New Deal-style projects were already underway at the state level.

            The first CCC camp (I diaried about it about a year ago) was at what became Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive Parkway.  FDR was out to visit the sites, showing work accomplished in summer 1933.  There were newsreels of it in movie theaters all over the country right away.

            It had great "propaganda" value.

            exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

            by Land of Enchantment on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 12:14:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Cut the payroll tax in half. (2+ / 0-)
  •  On the other hand, (5+ / 0-)

    not buying piles of useless stuff does have certain benefits in terms of environmental impact of production and disposal.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:28:09 AM PDT

  •  Poor people vs Rich People (5+ / 0-)

    Poor people are motivated to work by having less money, therefore cut unemployment benefits and all assistence to the lower classes ( bottom 90%)

    Rich people are motivated to work by getting more money for the things they already do, so for them we need to cut taxes.

    Also, government does not create jobs, corporations do.  Unless, of course Democrats are in charge, then government is responsible for the lack of jobs.

    Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

    by bobtmn on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:28:32 AM PDT

  •  A million little ways to help, but focus on (5+ / 0-)

    "big bangs" will end in failure.

    That "too little" stimulus?

    Part of the problem is that the stimulus might have been too small, but the bill was too big and poorly targetted -- if stimulus was the goal.

    Getting a majority to agree on a wide mish-mash of different things is no easy task.  Better to have a collection of smaller, well-targeted bills with the potential for different majorities on each one.

    And, of course --- how about serious scrutiny of every freakin' buck the government spends for its potential to lure private capital into the economy?  I, for environmental reasons, would love to see the military specify biodiesel for a portion of its equipment.  Seems that a contract to do that could encourage some private capital into producing the stuff, especially if explicitly worded to require domestic production  -- for national security purposes.

    Etc.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:29:06 AM PDT

  •  Well if they won't create jobs, then they (9+ / 0-)

    shouldn't get tax abatements, tax breaks, or be able to outsource without paying some sort of penalties.

    It's that simple.  

  •  Saw an anti-spending ad (7+ / 0-)

    ...on TV the other day. It was backed by a group called Americans for Prosperity or something along those lines. It decried "pork barrel" spending and projects like repaving Hollywood Blvd.

    It was very cheesy & I doubt that kind of lame-brained propaganda actually gets them any votes except of the 'bagger variety.

  •  The business schools graduated a bunch of dolts.. (5+ / 0-)

    ...who can't create unless the economy is booming.

    This is a serious problem for the country.

    "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

    by Bush Bites on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:30:18 AM PDT

  •  How much "stimulus" $1 Trillion? $2 Trillion? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, tomjones, WillR

    First off.. you are a bit off here..

    They aren't spending because they have nothing or too little to spend.

    While a LOT of Americans aren't spending because they are out of work, an even bigger number of consumers are not spending and putting their money into savings.  Savings rates are higher than at any other time in recent history.

    So, some of the blame for holding back also can be attributed to consumers.. because they are unsure as well.

    Your "feedback" loop assumes all stimulus money would be spent.  But signs indicate consumers will simply pay off their debt or stick it in the bank.. thus no stimulative effect.

    The right way to stimulate the economy would be to have a payroll tax moratorium on new hires.  The employer portion of FICA could be earned back as a credit by the employer if he hires a new employee from the unemployed and keeps that person at least one year.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:30:18 AM PDT

    •  *eyeroll* Payroll tax cuts? (5+ / 0-)

      You think corporations give a shit about payroll taxes?

      There is NO DEMAND RIGHT NOW. No one will hire with no demand. Who cares if you get a 15% tax break on a new hire if you have no customers.

      Also, making corporations pay for health insurance is the dumbest idea of all time. We need single payer, and we need it badly.

      Your solutions sound awful Republican, and just plain awful.

      •  So right. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blicero, RenMin

        I need a car at some point. My little Ford Ranger can't fit two growing kids who climb into it after school. Looking at a Mazda 3, or a Suburu Outback, maybe Nissan Xterra, Ford Xcape (my spelling).

        All those vehicles save the Mazda 3 run in the mid-20s, for base model, can-it-take-us-there-and-back capability. I'm not interested in the electronic crap, or radio bullshit.

        My son creamed a TV that was a birthday gift to me. That particular TV cost $500 and replaced a nice tube set I inherited. Eventually I'll get some set that is as cheap as I can find. It'll still run $300.

        Neither buy is immediate, but they'll need to be before too long. Would be nice if I could afford either move. Can't.

        "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

        by sapper on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:57:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about late-model used cars? (0+ / 0-)

          They're usually "almost as good as new", half the price or less, and have had any obvious problems found and fixed (or they would have been junked). It can be harder to find what you want that way, but easier on your budget. (I've bought what I could afford when I could afford it, and some of those "old" cars held up pretty well - I'm still driving one thirteen years after I bought it.)

          There's no market to speak of for used TVs, so you have to try things like Goodwill, Salvation Army, consignment shops, Freecycle, etc. Make sure you can test the TV before you take it home.

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:35:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Doesn't the government currently count "savings" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, mollyd, WillR, Blicero

      as people paying down their debt?

      I think that "savings rate" is wildly overestimated. People aren't really saving in an account anywhere. They just aren't spending it on useless junk. They are busy de-leveraging, some even using strategic default on their mortgages in order to pay off their credit cards or vehicles.

      And a payroll tax holiday won't get employers to hire if they still don't have any customers, and it won't give employers any incentive to hire employees over 50, because they still don't want to have to pay for health insurance for older workers.

      "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 Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:51:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And any stimulus would go there too (0+ / 0-)

        The point is, whether they are saving it or paying down debt, consumers are not spending.  So "stimulus" programs will do little for jobs creation.

        A payroll tax holiday, on the other hand, is a no-brainer.  It costs nothing.  Any jobs created because of this policy is a bonus.

        It is surely not the only way to stimulate hiring.  But it sure is the easiest first step.

        Next you concentrate on exports.  Then protecting certain industries.. and targeting other industries with incentives.  There is still a LOT of commerce being done throughout the world.  Make American businesses competitive.  Help make the opportunities.

        If we had anyone other than academics in our White House, they might see this.  But all we have are theoreticians and an economic team that is "very tired".. poor kids.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:59:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  IRAs are included, and the rich (0+ / 0-)

        are pumping money into these instruments because they can't any return on interest from traditional savings accounts.

        The extremely low interest rate encourages the rich to jack up the stock markets.

        To call this 'savings' is a distortion of the truth. The investments in companies is not 'savings', it's gambling.

    •  got metrics to back up this claim? (0+ / 0-)

      "bigger number of consumers are not spending and putting their money into savings"

      I think that's fantasy on your part.

      •  It's been all over the news.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy, WillR, BobTrips

        American savings rate rises

        Americans are saving more and being picky about how they spend their money, new data show.

        The personal savings rate rose to the highest reading in nearly a year in June, reaching 6.4 percent of after-tax income, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

        That's about three times the 2.1 percent average for 2007, before the recession. It has increased every month this year since February, when it stood at 5.4 percent, and has averaged 5.9 percent the first six months of this year. The savings rate hasn't dipped below 5 percent since October 2008, when the financial crisis intensified.

        Personal spending was unchanged -- the third straight month of lackluster consumer demand. Incomes also were flat, with the weakest showing in nine months after solid gains in April and May.

        And let me clarify.. I said there is a number of unemployed people not spending.  We know that is somewhere between 10-18%.  They don't have any money to spend.

        But a much larger percentage of the population is working.  They do have money to spend and have chosen to save or pay down their debt instead.

        So, the broad statement in the article that "Consumers won't be spending as long as they have nothing or too little to spend." is misleading, at best.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:09:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Looking at the detailed data, it appears that (3+ / 0-)

          people investing in the stock market by way of IRAs: this counted as 'savings'.

          It means the wealthy are jacking up their Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs.

          That's SPECULATING.

          People in the middle class who are losing their homes are not putting money in savings accounts in the bank to help generate local businesses.

          •  There goes your class warfare again.. (3+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            WillR, BobTrips, Virginia mom
            Hidden by:
            Blicero

            Ya know.. why do you insist on being so pigheaded?  You take data and apply your goofy socialistic class warfare outlook to it and it always comes up the way you insist it should.. damn the facts!

            Only the wealthy now are the ones who invest in IRA's??  You can only invest $5000 per year in an IRA.  Wow!  I'm sure that's exactly where all the RICH people are putting their money, right???  IRA's are for the middle class.  The middle class who have decided to SAVE their money rather than spend it on new cars, trinkets, etc.

            And once again you show your ignorance of life outside of dKos.  IRA's are NOT necessarily speculating.  A lot of people have gone safe with their IRA's, investing most, if not all, of their funds in safe money-market type investments.

            It's called saving.  Exactly what I said they were doing. Saving... not speculating.  and they are not rich people.

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:11:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tom Taaffe

              'Safe Money Market type investments'

              LMAO!

              You're a sad, sad case, believing all the Wall Street propaganda shoved down your throat.

              •  He's only (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shpilk

                believing what he's been told.  You can't put IRA money under your mattress; it has to be signed over to an Investment Professional of some kind to manage, i.e., a bank or stock fund, who will tell you that these are their Safest and Most Conservative investments.  The fact that they are playing the casino with everything in their hands is discretely swept under the table.  After all, the government will bail them out if they go bust, right?  And the sacred, sanctimoniuous Middle Class (those with incomes over 50K, but under 500K, for whom the lack of jobs actually producing things machts nicht, because their jobs are to manage and service the lifestyles of the uber-rich, not to actually create wealth) will be cosseted, protected, and bailed along with them, if they do what they're told, including placing all their "own" money into their masters' hands for safekeeping.  At least, as long as their services are needed.

                The Middle Class are house-niggers, and they haven't twigged yet to the fact that when the shit REALLY hits the fan and the nobles are scrabbling for their own survival, they'll be tossed to the dogs just like the rest of us po' folks.

                •  suckers .. anyone that believes the shit (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tom Taaffe

                  they are lead to believe about 'investments' are nothing but suckers, when Goldman and other large inv companies pull the levers on stocks in microseconds.

                •  the 'nobles' will only be scrambling (0+ / 0-)

                  when we come after them with rope.

                •  You are completely free... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  virginislandsguy

                  ...to put your IRA money in almost any financial instrument (there are some exceptions).

                  This includes investing in FDIC insured CDs or Treasuries. It's hard to get much less 'speculative' than that. It's safer than putting it under your mattress where it could get burned up in a fire and will likely be eroded by inflation since a mattress returns 0% on your money. Although, most of the time it would be pretty stupid for anyone who is not close to retirement age to invest in such instruments in an IRA.

                  •  Smiley. (0+ / 0-)

                    The FDIC-insured CDs will EVENTUALLY pay out if the bank goes under, but they'll hold onto your money anywhere from a month to a year and a half -- I SAW THIS during the Savings&Loan fiasco, which started with the Ohio state-insured S&Ls during the Reagan Recession.  I watched my friend try to make rent, when her piddling bank account was put on hold for a YEAR, and she couldn't cash her paychecks for a couple of weeks with no account and no cash to start one.  Yeah, it's safe all right.

                    Treasurys will eventually be either monetized to squat or frankly repudiated; this has to happen because the US debt passed the point of no return years ago, and the big players all know it.  The little guys will be left holding the bag, per usual.

                    It's all a crapshoot in a crooked casino, hon.  Get over it, get on with your life, and DON'T whine that nobody ever told you when "It" finally happens.  And no, cash in the mattress is still only fancy paper, and you can't eat gold; even with society collapsing around you it pieces it's devilish dangerous to start shooting people, and ammunition goes unstable after a while, too.  Life isn't safe and society isn't fair and the only thing you can be sure to take with you without a car or suitcase is what's in your head -- if you can keep it from leaking out over time.

    •  it should not be called a stimilus... (0+ / 0-)

      ...it is about doing things the country needs to do and hiring people to do it.

      enough of this "stimulus" talk.

  •  This is so obvious (9+ / 0-)

    You don't need to be a sophisticated economist to see that, when demand is curtailed due to lack of income, fear of unemployment, and unavailability of credit, only the Government can intervene to break the cycle.  If people had jobs they'd spend, if people start spending the private sector will start hiring.

    We should have an old-fashioned jobs program.  Train the unemployed and put them to work in government funded jobs.  There's lots of infrastructure and community needs that are not being met due to budgetary restraints.  Put unemployed to work solving those problems and watch the economy take off.

    If this is so obvious, why doesn't anyone in DC see it?  

    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

    by RenMin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:30:43 AM PDT

    •  Long term, (5+ / 0-)

      I would love to see a rise in collective workers organizations in all facets of work. It would certainly make dialogue more volatile, and uncomfortable, for the establishment, and it wouldn't guarantee workers rights would improve immediately.

      But it's an employers market now, has been for 20 years and it's kicking my ass.

      "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

      by sapper on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:59:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then you have to be prepared (0+ / 0-)

        to FIGHT, and I don't mean bandy words around.

        The brief gains of workers' unions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries came from two facts: first, they were willing to and DID fight out-and-out battles, from fisticuffs to gunfire, to get working conditions and pay improved, and PEOPLE DIED, not to mention went to prison for life and died there, in order to secure those gains; second, the Bolshevik Revolution put the downright terror of workers' revolt into the capitalists, making them willing to compromise in return for retaining the majority of their wealth and privilege.  It's no accident that the resurgence of robber-capitalism coincided with the fall of the Soviet Union, which regardless of its deep flaws and complete failure to implement true socialism, still provided both threat value and funding to workers around the world for three generations.

        You want workers' rights and real power, you'll have to get a hell of a lot more serious than anybody I've yet met in this lifetime, and I've been looking for thirty years.

    •  they just don't think they can do it politically. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenMin

      and you have to remember that almost all of the Democrats in congress have been elected since Ronald Reagan.  And their assumption on being elected has been that they can't be the type of Democrat who supports government spending on New Deal types of projects.

      The funny thing is that Reagan spent tons of money on these types of programs in the early 80's.  Go figure...

  •  I thought they weren't hiring (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, RenMin

    because of the burden of 1099's

    Conservatives have a special gift for cloaking self-interest in self-righteousness.

    by Sarge in Seattle on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:31:57 AM PDT

  •  Nobody wants to do anything. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenMin

    It's no fun. Boy would I love to latch on to some kind of travel/transportation soemthing-or-other. Something other than seeing roads fall apart and politicians harp on how rotten government is at doing anything.

    21st century America is thus far a drag.

    "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

    by sapper on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:34:24 AM PDT

    •  Then get out. (0+ / 0-)

      Seriously.  I'm not saying "love it or leave it", I'm saying, if you're young enough, jump like a rat leaving a ship, because this one is sinking.  There may be a few more false starts and pretend promises, but Empire America is over the hill and on its way out.  The elites are never going to share the wealth again; they're going to be tightening their own belts, and they're not going to be feeling generous when they have to sell off a few mansions and spare Porsches to keep their books tidy.  America as a society lacks the understanding of how to live within its means that Europe learned long ago perforce; it has no cultural mechanisms or myths to manage sustainable living and equitable co-existence between disparate ethnoi and social classes.  It will be centuries before this place is truly habitable.

  •  In the wealthy part of the town where I live, (11+ / 0-)

    where houses cost a million dollars and up, one of the houses has a lame sign tilting and neglected in its yard, that always makes me shake my head:  "CONGRESS STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY!"

    And I think-- on what do you want Congress to stop spending your money?  On renewal of federal grants to our state's highway system?  On release of federal funds for local projects we need to keep our city running?  Do you want Congress to stop spending your money on our military?  How about on making sure that courts and police are funded, with federal assistance?  

    These people live in a mega-mansion and have no concept of how the toney area they live in, the safety and quiet of it, the paving of their broad streets, the zoning that protects them.... no concept of how tax dollars on a local, state and federal level work to help make it possible for them to enjoy what they enjoy.

    And these people vote.  It boggles my mind.

  •  Still Waiting For That 'trickle down' (7+ / 0-)

    From the Rush of to the Top, waiting, waiting, hmmmmm, waiting waiting............................................................................................. .............................................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!

    "What is the difference between an al Qaida terrorist and a misguided American terrorist?" "The planes they fly!"

    by jimstaro on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:35:56 AM PDT

  •  Corporations want Republicans voted into Congress (9+ / 0-)

    for Less Regulation. Therefore it reasons that Corporations Will Purposely Hurt the Economy and American Workers - for Political Gain.

    Some smart commenter elsewhere pointed this out - that Corporations hope that Unemployed and Economically-hurting Americans will blame Democrats and not vote in November.

    Sad that Not Enough Voters are aware that Corporations are just as evil as Republicans.

    Manan Trivedi PA-6 needs help against Gerlach's smear campaign

    by PAbluestater on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:35:59 AM PDT

  •  who's doing international labor organizing? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapper, Laurence Lewis, RenMin
    anyone know?  I'd be interested in following such activity, but not sure who's involved if anyone at this point.  
  •  Incentivize exports (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, RenMin

    If there's no domestic market, assist, cajole and prod business into an export-oriented stance.  Their newly hired US employees will be thankful for the opportunity to pay down personal debt and get back on their feet, public services will be saved by the tax revenue, and corporations can reorient themselves towards markets where people actually have disposable income.  

    Sound familiar?  It should.  It's how George Washington and Alexander Hamilton got this country on its feet after the Revolutionary War.  We ought to be able to do it again.

  •  God help you if you're over 50 (12+ / 0-)

    There are plenty of us out here: over 50's who are out of work and cannot find jobs. I just spent a year and $15,000 dollars to train for a new job and now I am facing employers who blatantly tell me I am too old.

    What do we do when the "market" tells us we're too old to be employed and the government tells us they're going to raise the retirement age to 70?

    There are going to be a lot of homeless 50 and 60-year olds soon if this nation fails to get a clue.

    •  They are creating a new underclass. (6+ / 0-)

      Sadly, except for our own children, many younger Americans don't seem to give a damn about those of us over 50 and unemployed.

      Some seem to think that everyone in the baby boom generation is fat and sassy and sitting on millions of dollars in assets.

      Meanwhile, some of us have been unemployed for years and have already blown through whatever meager savings we had.

      It's going to be a long, cold time between 50 and 70 for a great number of us.

      They should be LOWERING the retirement age to 60 to get all us older workers out of the way and clear the field for the next generation. Since nobody seems to plan on creating any new kinds of jobs, the government should be paying to retire as many of us older types as possible in order for the younger workers to get a foothold in society in what few jobs are left here.

      "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 Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  even Henry Ford understood this (9+ / 0-)

    that if workers can't afford your product you will go out of business.

    I have had way too many arguments on DKos with people who say that tax cuts on small business will create jobs.  How?  If there is no demand there are no jobs.  Plain and simple.

    •  Tax cuts on small business alone cannot (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sapper, MKinTN, Benintn

      create jobs, you are correct.

      But specifically targeted tax cuts for small businesses, rewarding those companies who do hire with additional tax breaks can make a difference when it comes to hiring. It's not going to force them to hire people they cannot use, but it can 'push them over the edge' to hire a little earlier, for openings they might otherwise sit on.

      It has to be accompanied by injection of money into the hands of laborers; works programs are desperately needed on roads and bridges. What has been started is not enough.

    •  A couple ways small biz tax cuts help (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenMin
      1.  By starting up a new business, you can use the capital to leverage and risk, allowing your business to grow while you "pay yourself first" in order to survive the initial start-up phases of the company.
      1.  Unlike big businesses, small businesses are quicker to turn around and grow. They are the "green shoots" that can grow up quickly, even while the "tall trees" of big business are still trying to soak up enough liquidity to reap a harvest later.  The business cycle is smaller for small businesses.

      Case in point: If my business start up had an extra $10,000, I know already where I'd spend it.  I'd use it to leverage my position and grow the market.  That would involve a combination of a PR campaign (outflow to other businesses that do design/print and communications strategy) and some free introduction events that would incentivize first-time buyers of the services I provide.

      A tax cut would help.  Tax cuts for small businesses have already helped in that regard.  (Health reform too!)

      Does that help?  I could explain more to you, so just let me know.

      To put it in simple terms, being "pro-business" is not the same as being "pro-market".  Helping small businesses compete on a level playing field is "pro-market" because it creates more market for business-to-business sales and spending.  That rising tide will raise all ships.

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:36:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand all that, but the bottom line is (0+ / 0-)

        this:  if there is no consumer demand because of unemployment and stagnant or falling incomes, no amount of marketing is really going to help the overall picture.  If you pick up market share of a stagnant market and hire someone else, your competition will be losing market share and will lay people off.  net net - no gain.

  •  Uhm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapper, Laurence Lewis

    There is only one reason corporate profits are high and cash balances high. One reason only.

    Governments the world over have stepped in to provide demand, the US to the tune of $4 billion a day in deficit spending.

    None of this is sustainable (corporate profits or government deficit spending).

    "If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." Mike Lazaridis of RIM

    by taonow on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:41:40 AM PDT

  •  Another Bailout (7+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that the corporations want anothe bailout. They won't put money in consumer's pockets via employment, so while they gripe and moan about regulation and spending in reality that's what they want. They want government to put money in consumer's pockets so that that money will then flow to them. They get to sit on their cash reserves and raid the public treasury yet again.

    The only answer is make them pay for it. Tax 'em. If they aren't creating jobs then there's no sense in protecting them anymore, and it might even be worthwhile to demonstrate that it's far more painful for them to have to pay for a bailout than it is to actually do the work of a market economy.

  •  Krugman has a very short memory.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, virginislandsguy

    he talks as though getting the current  stimulus was a walk in the park.
    What exactly did he do  in getting the votes for what he thinks would have been a big enough stimulus????

    I love me peektures and that is that! Cheerleaders till 2016

    by matrix on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:42:53 AM PDT

    •  He also has a short memory (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sny, askew, sapper, matrix

      in regards to his criticism of the size of the stimulus. Per his November 10, 2008 column:

      So we need a fiscal stimulus big enough to close a 7% output gap. Remember, if the stimulus is too big, it does much less harm than if it’s too small. What’s the multiplier? Better, we hope, than on the early-2008 package. But you’d be hard pressed to argue for an overall multiplier as high as 2.

      When I put all this together, I conclude that the stimulus package should be at least 4% of GDP, or $600 billion.

      Bold for emphasis.

      The final stimulus bill was $825 billion in spending and tax cuts.

      One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble ... Murray Head

      by virginislandsguy on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:00:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's the multiplier assumed in the number (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cynndara, RenMin, matrix

        You can have a 2 trillion stimulus with a 0 multiplier you get nothing in GDP.

        What happened was the distribution of that money didn't have the right multiplier to cover the gap. Republicans demanded things with low multipliers that diluted the stimulus' effectiveness. The Democrats were compromising even before the Republicans were starting to make demands.

      •  you do realize (0+ / 0-)

        that more data came in between then and when he called for a larger stimulus, right? the economy was in even worse shape than had been evident.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:35:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333, RenMin

      I didn't know a columnist was responsible for whipping votes in congress.

      When Obama came in he could have gotten pretty much anything he wanted by going over the heads of the blue dogs and Republicans to the people.  But, as is typical, he did not agressively push for what was needed, prefering to split the difference.

      Being risk and confrontation adverse is not the prescription for a successful presidency.

      by Paleo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:12:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "the people" don't pass laws (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenMin

        and allocate money.  The Congress does.  

        •  And congress is responsive to pressure (0+ / 0-)

          Presidents have gone over the head of congress in the past, and congress responded to the resulting pressure by supporting them.

          Of course if you say it's too hard, and don't even try, it's easy to say it won't work.

          Being risk and confrontation adverse is not the prescription for a successful presidency.

          by Paleo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:30:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From corporate lobbyists. (0+ / 0-)

            Don't think for a moment that the major concern of Congresscritters is the Will Of The People.  They know that by election time, that Will can be bought by whoever has enough cash.  And cash comes from rich individuals and corporate PACs, not the working classes who do well enough to scrounge enough time to get in to vote, given that Voting Day is a WORKDAY.

  •  The Title of This Diary.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skeptical Bastard

    .. couldn't possibly be a better poster child for why Democrats are going to get eviscerated in November. Do you not hear what the country (or, more accurately, that portion of it which decides all major elections: the moderates and independents) is howling as precisely the problem today? In case you might have missed it, the problem to these voters is too much, too intrusive, too burdensome and (under this administration in particular) far too activist a federal government.

    You want a campaign slogan that the GOP will hang around Dems' necks for a generation? The title of this diary is it.

    •  So what's the alternative? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenMin, Benintn, SoonerG

      If we're going to take a licking I'd at least take a licking for being right rather than enable Republicans to tear down the state and try to rebuild the pieces later.

      •  And I'd rather be right than politically correct. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Virginia mom, RenMin, schnecke21

        This diary is evidence-based.  It is factually accurate.  And the conclusions are inferred clearly and cogently from the premises.

        Just because something is unpopular doesn't mean it's the wrong thing.

        And for what it's worth, I think Americans aren't sick of government in general.  They're sick of government that is unresponsive and doesn't do more to create jobs and spur job growth.

        And the American people are sick to death of corporate bailouts and handouts.  They're tired of corporate welfare programs.  And they're tired of seeing a government that's unable to act decisively and boldly.

        Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

        by Benintn on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:53:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They're sick (0+ / 0-)

          of a government that belongs lock, stock, and barrel to Wall Street and the big banks.  They've had their noses rubbed into it, that "their" government will fall over itself to rescue the rich, while allowing them to starve or go homeless when their unemployment benefits run out.

          Sure, they're tired of government.  If they work, 25% of their paycheck is lopped off by government before they ever see it.  For that, they get bailouts of General Motors and Goldman Sachs, an ecological disaster in the Gulf that will destroy seafood production for a century, a climate that's going from nasty in the summer to downright unbearable, and, oh yeah, two invasions of countries five thousand miles away that pose no conceivable threat, to feed the coffers of Blackwater and Big Oil.  Why the HELL should they want to give any more money to a government that can't even run the local schools so their kids learn crap?

          There IS a competence factor.  There IS a confidence factor.  There's a corruption factor, and there's a "we know damned well who they work for and it ain't us" factor.  And yes, it all plays right into the hands of the exploiting upper class, but a lot of people figure, that if the whole purpose of government is "The shark makes rules to sweep the smaller fish into his jaws", then the thing to do is to kill the shark.  You wanna prove to them they're wrong?  Then give them a government that actually works for THEM.

    •  So? (8+ / 0-)

      The GOP will always try to hang Democrats.  Name your poison.

      The reality is the reality.

      Corporate profits are huge.  Corporate balance sheets are healthy.  Economic growth is sluggish.  Consumer debt is too high.  Wages are flat.  Unemployment is at 9.5%.

      If Adam Smith were around, he'd be shocked that the invisible hand of the market isn't doing more to create more jobs and economic opportunity.

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:51:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Adam Smith (0+ / 0-)

        knew very well that monopolies and government/business corruption led to an inefficient market where the Invisible Hand stopped working. His argument, which has been distorted for the advantage of big business, was that an actual market, where there was effective balance of power and wealth between all players and unlimited opportunities of substitution and refusal, would lead to a statistical normalization of prices at the most efficient level.  Such a market was an abstraction that has never been seen and will never be seen, because it temporarily ignored the oldest maxim of human interaction: Man is a Political Animal, and men will never tolerate purely statistical interactions without attempting to apply cooperation,coercion and deceit to bend the results to their own favor.

    •  Even when businesses tell Dems directly (0+ / 0-)

      what their problems and concerns are, it's like talking to a brick wall.

      I'm tired of posting links to business web sites with polls showing in hard numbers exactly what you have described.  Business owners feel threatened and unsure about policies and regulation, especially from this administration which has left so much hanging in the air.  Moderates and independents have listened, however.  And they will vote out Dems in staggering numbers this fall.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:51:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not about uncertainty (4+ / 0-)

        It's about not getting the best deal possible. This is a classic holdout in the guise of a collective action problem. Regulation now is far less onerous than it was during far better periods of the economy, the corporate tax rate is low...I don't know what else the Democrats could have done short of abdicating their responsibility to govern that would have satisfied business. They just want to have their cake and eat it too.

      •  Oh, please. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, cynndara, RenMin

        There are lots of Democrats who are interested in helping businesses grow and thrive.

        The New Democrats, the Blue Dog Coalition, and other Democrats are very interested in helping to streamline regulations.

        But at the same time, we're not going to eliminate consumer protections either.

        The problem is not regulation itself.  The problem is the unstable, unclear environment and the lack of clarity about the regulatory regime.

        The US Chamber is paying millions to attack Democrats, and then they're complaining about the inability of Democrats to get things done.  They're supporting Republicans who parrot US Chamber talking points, but they're lamenting the gridlock that supporting Republicans creates.

        Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

        by Benintn on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:27:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "lack of clarity about the regulatory regime" (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, indeed.  That's why I said:

          Business owners feel threatened and unsure about policies and regulation, especially from this administration which has left so much hanging in the air.

          Business owners are unclear how healthcare reform will impact them.  Google that.. business support organizations and state-based departments of insurance are still trying to piece it all together.  You will find many articles about how unclear things are.

          Cap and trade.  Why hasn't this been settled?  Why is this still looming over businesses?

          Taxes.  Why hasn't our Congress addressed the expiring Bush tax cuts?

          Our administrations has not handled any of this very well at all.. shown no leadership in providing a stable environment for businesses to grow.

          Politically, the Repubs simply want chaos.  That will help them in November.  But it is the Dems who will be blamed, because they have gladly put off addressing the tough issues.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:36:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Congress IS addressing the tax cuts. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            milton333, The Nose, Virginia mom, RenMin

            They're expiring.  Period.

            And as for the cap and trade stuff, it's evident to me that there will not be a climate bill this year.  But it's also evident that we can't keep kicking that can down the road.

            Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

            by Benintn on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:38:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And if they expire, it will be disastrous for the (0+ / 0-)

              economy.

              $202 Billion per year of the Bush tax cuts goes to people making less than $250k.

              Only $36 Billion of the Bush tax cuts goes to those making over $250K per year.

              So, if the tax cuts expire across the board, we can expect $202 Billion less in the hands of working middle-class consumers.

              Here's a comment with links explaining that...

              Of course, it would be great for reducing the deficit.. so the GOP will be fine with letting them expire, right???

              "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

              by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:57:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Supports the diary's argument (4+ / 0-)

        If businesses are engaged in a refusal to hire, whether it's an intentional effort to subvert the economy for political advantage or not, it makes government essential to pick up the slack.  Whether it's an additional stimulus or a public works jobs program.

        Being risk and confrontation adverse is not the prescription for a successful presidency.

        by Paleo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:30:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Only if it would work.. (0+ / 0-)

          and there is no proof it would.  Nearly a trillion dollar "stimulus" did nothing.  It may have put some small number of people to work part time or saved some state public employees from being fired, but it proved very temporary and did nothing to "stimulate" the economy.  A stimulus should kick-start the economy.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:39:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Stimulus did nothing" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, RenMin

            Once again repeating Republican talking points.  The stimulus saved, or created nearly 3 million jobs so far.  That may be "nothing" to you, but it meant a lot to those folks, and the economy.

            Being risk and confrontation adverse is not the prescription for a successful presidency.

            by Paleo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:47:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It did nothing of the kind.. (0+ / 0-)

              It created a lot of temporary jobs.

              The administration counted every job that even lasted a week as a "job".  It's ridiculous.

              Every small road patching job that lasted a few days or a month got to count all those jobs as real "jobs".  They weren't.  They were a week or a day or a month of temporary work.

              "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

              by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:00:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A job is a job (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                askew

                And construction work is inherently sporadic.  If there are no projects, there's no work.

                Being risk and confrontation adverse is not the prescription for a successful presidency.

                by Paleo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:26:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No one in their right mind considers (0+ / 0-)

                  working for one week a "job".  (unless you are an Obama apologist, that is)

                  "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

                  by Skeptical Bastard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:29:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

                    but you obviously know nothing about the economics of working-class lifestyle.  A "job" is a job.  It's money in your pocket.  It's making the rent this week, or being able to afford a pizza.  It kicks the big problems down the road for a week.  The next week, you might have to look for another job, and another.

                    This is life for 25% of the population.  Get out of your safe little "middle-class" love-haven, get your hands covered with grease for ten  hours in 90-degree weather, and learn about how the other side lives.  Or stop pontificating about how howwwible it is, to pay taxes to a government that keeps that 25% from mugging you in dark alleys for cigarette money.

          •  If no stimulus (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sny

            You wouldn't be looking at a stagnant economy with 9.5% unemployment -- you'd be looking at a depression with 15-20% unemployment.

            How soon we forget -- the economy was falling off the cliff, we were losing 750,000 plus jobs a month.  It's not the normal business cycle, there's no way that would have turned around without the stimulus.  Thank God McCain didn't get elected or we'd be in a depression right now.  

            "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

            by RenMin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:00:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  How can that be? (3+ / 0-)

      When the title is pointing out things that weren't done that could have made the current situation better.  The economy and unemployment is the issue for most people.  They don't care how it gets fixed.  They are pragmatic, not the anti-government ideologues you make them out to be by echoing right-wing CW.

      Being risk and confrontation adverse is not the prescription for a successful presidency.

      by Paleo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:15:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      They only think that because they've been told, over and over, to think it by the corporate media and the Republican noise machine.

      We haven't been nearly as effective in messaging, even though our message happens to be right.

      "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

      by RenMin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:55:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Motgage Cramdowns And Credit Card Cramdowns (9+ / 0-)

    Time for bank shareholders to take a hit. People are forking over money at the bank each month that should be spent at local businesses. Stimulus is nice, but employed consumers are not spending because of their debt burden. The bailouts and HAMP seem to have been formulated with the banksters interest in mind. The consumer was ignored.  

  •  The Housing Market (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, The Nose, RenMin

    has been very slow, and was down even when the government's incentive program was in effect.  Why?  Because, though mortgage loan rates are historically low, the banks have countered that by making it nearly impossible to qualify for a new loan.  Once again corporate America makes a huge mistake and turns around and passes the buck onto those who need help.  What consumers don't need is another hoop to jump through or another hurdle placed before them!

  •  I See Something Far More Sinister (7+ / 0-)

    I think corporations are in sync with the Republican party, working hard to tank the economy and keep the racist/selfish/despair quotients as high as they can against President Obama.

    My evidence?

    Canada, Australia, India, China, Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia, France, Belgium, South Korea, and a dozen others are out of recession and doing business, adding jobs, and growing.

    The only difference I can see?

    They don't have an African-American president/prime minister. I am sure, were  we to see an Aboriginal-Australian prime minister in Australia, or a Moroccan-French prime minister in France, it would be closer to the same story: racism runs very deep around the world.

    Our economy is poised for growth, but as the diary points out, firms are neither spending nor hiring, although they are pressuring their already overtaxed workforces to do more and more with less and less. This is what the corporatist minions mean when they pat American workers on the back (even as they lay them off) by proudly declaring "the American worker is the most productive, like, ever."

    Translation: "We get more outta these suckers than any human should be allowed to."

    It's systematic, planned, and organized quite well, and is what the Kochsuckas call the "infrastructure."

    The question is, what are we going to do about it?

    "If God dropped acid, would he see people?"—Steven Wright

    by skeezixwolfnagle on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:45:31 AM PDT

    •  I agree - I believe corporations are (13+ / 0-)

      deliberately holding back hiring partly for political reasons in some cases, but it also makes the labor market more desperate, and lowers the cost of labor.

      So it's a 'win-win' for companies to hold off hiring as long as possible.

      •  Good Observation! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, QES

        And one I forgot to include. Thank you!

        "If God dropped acid, would he see people?"—Steven Wright

        by skeezixwolfnagle on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:53:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thought s/he was arguing it is due to race (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk

        not political parties. I can understand a bit that these companies and super wealthy are so ruthless and short sighted they'll still side with Republicans no matter how big business friendly the Democrats try to be. But I don't think that's what the OP was arguing, rather I think s/he was saying all the companies and mega wealthy don't like Obama because he's part African (via his father, not birthplace or upbringing).

        "I think we're an Oligarchy and I think it's getting worse." - Sen. Bernie Sanders

        by PoxOnYou on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:39:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's part of it but not all of it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shpilk, poxonyou

          They'd be fighting ANY Democratic President tooth and nail, trying to bring back the "let the good times roll" policies of Republican Reaganomics. But there's a nastier edge to this fight, precisely because this President is who and what he is.

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:53:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's about power. Not race per se. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cynndara

          It just so happens that urban blacks and Latinos have no political power. They get subjected to the Prison Industrial Complex, and are at the very bottom of the economic rung. Everything Republicans and the right do is to ensure they stay there.

          After all, in many States felons can't vote.

          So drugs, guns, alcohol and organized crime is pumped into these communities to help maintain the process. Drug arrests and imprisonment of blacks and Latinos is hugely out of proportion to the numbers, vs whites.

          The only problem is, the urban environment is so toxic, the labor pool cannot be tapped properly. The Republicans and right wingers have done too good a job of killing off hope in urban America.

    •  Join the Coffee Party? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenMin, skeezixwolfnagle

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:19:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm a Card-Carrying Coffee Party Member (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenMin

        And I agree, although the place I was thinking we needed to start was in getting our passion back for the Democratic party and making sure these Republican interlopers don't gain control of the House or the Senate.

        Seriously, we need to excise the cancers like Lincoln and Nelson and Conrad, but my God, so many of the Democrats are superb, yest in danger of losing because of the "enthusiasm gap." We don't need to use a saber to do the job of a scalpel, but that's exactly how it seems to be playing out.

        This "enthusiasm gap" is foreign to me: I do not have it. I never had it as a Republican voter (my conversion came in 2006), and I sure don't have it now. Too much is at stake to indulge it.

        "If God dropped acid, would he see people?"—Steven Wright

        by skeezixwolfnagle on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:30:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  too much about process, not enough about (0+ / 0-)

        substantive change. I refuse to surrender my right to non-violent political struggle just to make a point about process with people who have no intention of listening.

        And I don't have any faith in our completely corrupted political system or the 'bipartisan' status quo it produces.

        You don't stop fascism by reasoning with fascists. You outman them, out-gun them, out-smart them and undermine them. You block them, subvert them and divide them, if you can.

        Only when you have them cornered, beaten and begging for mercy, do you waste time with conversation. You never underestimate their capacity for violence and you never turn your back on them, even when they are down.

        Keep your powder dry.

  •  Corporate America playing a game of chicken. (5+ / 0-)

    "Go ahead.  I dare you to raise my taxes."

    Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

    by Benintn on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:49:18 AM PDT

    •  Wouldn't it be nice to have 7 days..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RenMin, Tom Taaffe

      7 days where us consumers shut our wallets and pocketbooks.  7 days where we all cancelled our cable/satellite and internet connections.  7 days when no retail establishment outside of a grocery store or gas station was visited.

      7 days where no blogging or twitting or facebooking took place.

      7 days where people had to get out and actually talk to their neighbors to find out what's REALLY going on, vs. the bullshit put forth on the "news".

      7 days of truth, instead of the lies that we are constantly fed.

      7 days of taking money away from the corporations that want to own us.

      That's all it would take to make our point.

      But, it would be......uncomfortable.  It would force us to examine what is really important in life.  

      •  Ummmmm (0+ / 0-)

        You may want to talk to your neighbors . . . frankly, most of the time I don't.  I can only take so much.  I have to talk to them at work; I have to talk to them in the stores.  I live in a small town. If I were to have a REAL conversation with any of them, my house would either be fire-bombed, or targeted by wave after wave of evangelists (I'm a quite devoted pagan).

        I can do small doses.  And since I never watch TV except for the five minutes of morbid fascination provided by breaks at work, where CNN plays nonstop, I keep my mind relatively uncontaminated.  I already buy almost nothing except food and gas and my internet bill (dialup).  On the internet, 90% of my browsing is on Wikipedia.  Everybody else just steals the Wiki text anyway, except they cut out the pieces they don't like.  I've spent forty years of ever-increasing disgust learning how Joe Six-Pack thinks, and honestly, I'm tired and would rather read Plato and write werewolf novels (when I'm not gardening.  Or quilting.  Or embroidering.  Or cooking, or painting, or cleaning the toilet or pulling the cat-hair out of the carpet with a wire-brush.  I just have better things to do with my time than talk to the brain-washed.)

        •  I'm more fortunate than you (0+ / 0-)

          most of the homes around me have food gardens in their backyard and thinking of new ways to liberate ourselves from corporate America is popular conversation. Many have already ditched their cable. I did that 12 years ago.

          I agree, what piece of mind to have that propaganda noise out of my life, never mind the thousand dollars I saved and kept from those greedy, controlling bastards.

          A one-day consumer boycott would be a good start. Yeah, for some of us what will be easier than others. And for some harder than most. But if we all agree not to buy anything on say September 15th, even restraint by those who have no other choice will register in the empty cash registers around the country.

          Then all those miscreants who think we serve them will know the price of their greed. Even if sales bump up the next day.

          After all, the point of the exercise is to express political power, not wreck the economy.

          And - for once - put those cretins in their place.

  •  Boner says keeping the tax cuts will create jobs (5+ / 0-)

    Of course, there's a slight flaw in his logic. The Bush tax rates are already in force -- right now -- and they are not creating any jobs. They also didn't prevent the Great Recession in teh first place. (Arguably, they may have contributed to it).

    If Democrats don't point this out -- forcefully -- they deserve to lose. And if voters fall for this shit -- they deserve the reaming tehy will get from the GOP.

  •  Time for a new WPA. (9+ / 0-)

          Maybe something really useful like a TVA type project to build wind farms and solar panels.

    "Education is dangerous - Every educated person is a future enemy" Hermann Goering (NRSC?)

    by irate on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:53:15 AM PDT

    •  listening to some of these pro-corporate types (0+ / 0-)

      commenting this diary, we'll be watching them pour social security into the market tomorrow.

      I agree with you. But this crowd will just kill everything that doesn't serve their investment portfolio..............

  •  Yes, but Obama, Pelosi and Reid won't either. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo, The Nose, Tom Taaffe

    They had the opportunity.

    We knew we needed jobs.

    But the Clintonian elements advising Obama pushed to make up for Clinton's failure and pushed health care first.

    We lost political capital and we lost politically.

    We lost the 2010 elections making the same mistake we made in 1992.

    I agree with Boehner.  Obama needs to clean up the WH economic and message teams and bring in the next generation of Democratic staffers.  The ones like David Sirota and myself who speak the truth when others don't want to hear it.

    Out with the Clinton holdovers.

    My politics are my own, no party controls them. Ideas do.

    by angry liberaltarian on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:53:23 AM PDT

    •  Actually, Rahm (4+ / 0-)

      wanted to focus on jobs and go slwo on health care, increments.

      The stimulus was too small, but Snowe and Collins and Spector forced that in part.  I wanted the admin to go bigger and the silliness of starting with big tax cuts for business hurt.  (When the President though he could get R support)

      Blaming the Clintonite ewlements is too simplistic.  Summers and Geithner had the President's ear.  Those "Clintonites" have soem responsibility.

      Stiglitz and Krugman were forzen out.

      Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

      by TomP on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:04:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree on Krugman (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, Tom Taaffe

        Geithner, Bernake and Summers have no "business" advising the WH on the mess they created.

        But honestly TomP, look at the appointees and the WH staffers....60% Clintonian holdovers.

        My politics are my own, no party controls them. Ideas do.

        by angry liberaltarian on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:10:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree there. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cynndara, RenMin

          I screamed and yelled from November 2008 through January 2009 about it and people kept telling, don't worry, Obama makes the decisions.  And, in the end, he does, so the too small stimulus is on him as much as Congress.  

          The "tell" was the Summers and then Geitner appointments.  Rahm also.

          It was inevitable that many appointments would be former Clinton officials because they were the ones with experience.  But the high choices were deliberate and said a lot.

          Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

          by TomP on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:13:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't matter which clown was responsible (0+ / 0-)

        There are too many clowns in the white house. None I would vote for - if their office was elected - nor will I vote for any presidential ticket with Bankruptcy Joe Biden on it either.

        Obama better get his shit together quick. I running my cat for congress against my useless Democratic congressman, because I can't vote for this right-wing bullshit any more.

    •  A little different (3+ / 0-)

      While I agree with you, things were different in 93-94 than now.  The economy, while not great, did not have the level of unemployment we have now.  It's a more pressing problem now than it was then, giving Obama less of an excuse than Clinton.

      Being risk and confrontation adverse is not the prescription for a successful presidency.

      by Paleo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:19:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Business leaders are not as smart as they think (7+ / 0-)

    Consumers need well-paying jobs to be able to spend. By hoarding cash instead of hiring, business "leaders" are guaranteeing that consumers will not spend. The very idea of "business leader," like business ethics, is an oxymoron.

    Tea Party = Racist, Rapacious, Reactionary Republicans

    by DWG on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:54:45 AM PDT

    •  there's a business reason to hoard cash (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sapper, virginislandsguy, cynndara, RenMin

      Cash is nice when you don't have anything else to invest in and when times are probably getting worse, not better.

      That's why it's the government's role to stimulate the economy. Businesses don't see the rationale for doing it on their own because in business it's not the common good that rules, it's every man for himself.

      •  Every man for himself (4+ / 0-)

        proves the point. Business leaders do not understand how the economy works and lack the integrity to participate in a manner beneficial to our society. As I said, business leadership and business ethics are oxymorons. We cannot innovate and grow as a society with business "leaders" like these.

        If government has to stimulate the economy, then the free market too many worship is a farce and a fake.

        Tea Party = Racist, Rapacious, Reactionary Republicans

        by DWG on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:14:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This really is (0+ / 0-)

          the Depression all over.  The exact same arguments from business.  The same fumbling and handwringing from government.  The same hopeless anger and frustration from the working classes.  The main differences I see are that the US has moved into the former position of Great Britain as the aging superpower attempting to hold onto its hegemony; China is playing the role of growth leader and lender; there is no possibility of re-ordering the currency structure by going off a (gold) standard because we don't have one, and Germany has returned to its pre-WWI status as the powerhouse economy of central Europe.  And there are no Bolsheviks around to scare the bankers into making a compromise, and no Nazis around to rid us of the scourge while appropriating their assets (***please note that one reason Central Europeans hated Jews in 1938 is that virtually all BANKERS in their experience were Jews***).  Anyway, that didn't work because apparently they're like fleas -- get rid of one batch, and they'll spontaneously regenerate inside of two weeks with new haircuts.

          Last time the solution to no demand was militarization, which spent oodles and oodles of government debt on goods which by definition would never need to be consumed by consumers because they were destined for destruction, including the poor sops who joined the army because it was the only job to be had.  Unfortunately, we DID that, never finished paying off the debt from it, and can't very well jumpstart the economy by military spending when we already spend a third of the budget on "defense".

          •  ouch (0+ / 0-)

            be careful. I agree with all your comments except the bit about jews. That's a great deal more complex, especially very few jews had anything to do with banking and their place in the economic order had more to do with feudalism and how jews were structured into those societies and economies. They didn't call it a 'ghetto' for nothing.

            And not all bankers were jews.

            Over a millenia of anti-semitism made them easy targets whenever elites needed a scapegoat for their own behavior, as Hitler tragically proved.

            •  I do understand (0+ / 0-)

              In fact, I was wondering if I'd have to deal with troll-ratings because of it, but . . .

              Yes, the situation with the Jews in central Europe was complex, and CERTAINLY most Jews weren't bankers!  Even a fairly wealthy society can only support so many parasites, and there was a really substantial Jewish population in Germany, Poland, and the Balkans, FAR too many to be supported by the banking needs of the community.  But the perception of working people and petty-bourgeousie at the time, was that the Jews were specially-privileged in business matters -- a situation which had been quite factual for centuries during the medieval era, but was being eliminated by Enlightenment-era governments from 1850 on -- wealthy (not true, as especially in the East, many Jews lived in dire poverty), and were effectively excluding lower-class gentiles from moving up the socio-economic ladder by occupying all the room on the middle rungs.  And a disproportionate number of bankers throughout Europe WERE Jews.  They had single-handedly maintained the European money-system throughout the middle ages, and by the Enlightenment, had accumulated a good deal of mobile capital from that and other trades, giving them a dominant position.  Furthermore, they practiced family and tribal-based hiring, marriage, and business alliance going back to classical times.  No gentile was going to get his foot in the door and move up into management, in a Jewish bank or family-run business where all the top positions would be filled by friends, family, and tribal allies. Real socio-economic facts on both sides of the divide, as centuries of war with the Turks and abuses by the nobility using Jewish overseers and managers as their (disposable) front-men, bred real resentments.  Healing and real rapprochement requires that everybody admit they had a hand in the mess, not creating new scapegoats.

              I'm afraid I have a fondness for looking at issues where strong social assumptions have formed, from the opposing side. I've studied anti-Semitic literature, to see what the beef was about.  And since I'm going to have a Jewish father in my next life, I'm trying now to get a better handle on it.  While people are inclined to a certain xenophobia by instinct, deep hatreds like anti-semitism, or racism in this country, generally stem from a multitude of long-standing grievances of which at least a few are usually valid.  And I do think, that just about everyone in the Western world had good reason to be angry at bankers in 1930, just as they do today.

    •  Corporations have been thinking China (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DWG, RenMin

      for years now.  The U.S. has been their cash cow, and when a cash cow starts to die you cut your losses.  And your bought pols do too.

      •  And maybe we should be asking (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, cynndara, RenMin

        what we need these corporate parasites for. The behavior you describe, searching for the cheaper and cheaper labor markets, ultimately means fewer and fewer people will be able to afford the goods you produce. If our country has become a diseased cash cow, then we need a vet with antibiotics and insecticide to rid us of the corporate fleas.

        Tea Party = Racist, Rapacious, Reactionary Republicans

        by DWG on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:48:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think we need them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DWG

          because they control most of the banks that give loans to small businesses. Otherwise, maybe we could go back to cottage industries and local businesses but without capital, they can't survive. The days of the small banks seems to be almost gone. A few exist but not sure they can afford to make the loans necessary to keep things going. Maybe people like Bill Gates and his foundation ought to be making loans to people in this country.

          •  But the logic is flawed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cynndara

            We could reform, even nationalize the banking system, to serve the needs of small businesses. The policies, including taxpayer subsidies, that encourage large corporations to offshore labor, manufacturing, and technology need to stopped.

            Tea Party = Racist, Rapacious, Reactionary Republicans

            by DWG on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:28:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are right.... (0+ / 0-)

              but..that will take time and in the meantime, who gives the loans? Things will change..they have to change, for the better or the worse. But its the time in between that will be terrible. I have a 20 year old son and his future does not look bright at the moment.

            •  If we had the will (0+ / 0-)

              We could do any damned thing we wanted to.  There are plenty of ways to solve our problems; the problem is, that like Obama, all of our pols insist on taking a dim, narrow view that automatically excludes 90% or more of the possible solutions.  In a crisis caused by the blinders of everyday thinking, more everyday thinking isn't going to get us squat.  The only thing that solved the Depression was drastic, unconventional action deliberately contravening the common wisdom.

              •  Agreed, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cynndara

                But things can change.

                Back in 1997, 'apathy' was used as an excuse by my union leaders to order me - their chief negotiator - to drop child care and affirmative action issues and go for a 3% wage increase. I told them to call a membership meeting and get me that direction if they dared (they didn't), so I went out and organized people beyond my union around those issues they refused to fight for.

                I was so successful in my efforts that the members drove their corrupt leaders out of office and we won a 46% wage increase, a child care center whose fees were tied to income, hundreds of thousands of dollars in child care vouchers, doubled the funding for affirmative action, got a sexual harrassment policy, family leave and even non-discrimination protections for low income people. That contract is the only one in the nation with such protections.

                And when I started, nobody thought it would work. They called me crazy, they said I was a bomb-thrower. I was right, they were wrong. I not only beat management, I beat them too.  

                When the tinder is dry, political fires start easily. Unfortunately, only the teabaggers are setting political fires and the Dems are running out of people willing to put out the fires, because they just keep selling us out.

                If organized labor and so-called 'progressives' stopped stepping on political action, a lot of things would change very quickly.

                •  Damn! (0+ / 0-)

                  You done good!  You want to organize my shop?  PLEASE??

                  •  Your union would probably do what mine (0+ / 0-)

                    did to me. Label me 'enemy #1' and started multiple smear campaigns, until they finally just reach in from the regional office and threw me off the bargaining committee, over the objection of the members, when they saw me organizing a civil rights movement outside the union. (they voted 2/3 to return me, but the regional director refused).

                    Sadly, I think the regional director thought I had career ambitions for the union, when I was, frankly, sick of their creepy behavior and looking to escape.

                    And that's why unions are so weak today.........

  •  GOP obstructionism (6+ / 0-)

    The GOP in the Senate has effectively turned the Democrats into Hooverites. Exactly what they wanted.

    And when they regain power, they'll continue the path to disaster led by Reagan and masterfully executed by George W. Bush. We are screwed.

  •  Its not the size that matters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapper, milton333, RenMin

    ...at least to some degree.

    There are 2 ways and 1 non-way to improve the economy.  The non-way is to give businesses more money and pray that they hire.  This never worked, and never will.

    The two ways to prime the pump are to give consumers more money or for direct government purchase of products/services.  The former is easier and less wasteful, but improves China's economy more than ours in today's economy.  This leaves direct government purchases as the best way of creating jobs.  

    I think Krugman harps too much on the size of the stimulus instead of its nature.

    •  but size does matter n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      virginislandsguy
    •  Think outside the box. (0+ / 0-)

      Another way would be to stop concentrating on money, and concentrate on real resources -- automobiles, miles of train-track, tons of pork-bellies, bodies available for labor -- and short-circuit the currency system that isn't working. This is what was done during WWII, and it worked quite well.  The truth is (unlike what they brainwashed you to believe in school) that planned economies can be as efficient as "free-market" economies; the trick in both is the level of corruption and the amount of real resources diverted into useless endeavors (like the enormous energy devoted in this country to supporting mediocre schooling, biased "news", and spectator sports).  When the free market isn't working, SOMEBODY has to step in and make resources cycle from those who have widgets and need thingamajigs, to those who have thingamajigs and need widgets, and vice-versa.

  •  Thank you for a much better analysis (0+ / 0-)

    with a clearly outlined solution

    (than the earlier diary you reference that was devoid of data or specific solutions)

  •  Excellent post, Lawrence. (8+ / 0-)

    We are now paying the price for Summers and Geithner.

    Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

    by TomP on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:00:40 AM PDT

  •  agree and thanks. /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:08:11 AM PDT

  •  Capitalists miss the point (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, Laurence Lewis, cynndara

    Capitalists think that the point to the whole economy is to provide a mechanism for a few individuals to amass wealth. The "at the expense of everyone else" is unimportant if they have a personal shot at being one of the few. (Nevermind that the majority is shut out from that shot.)

    But, I think the truth is a little different. The point of money (an intangible placeholder for goods), commerce, etc., is to move goods around. It's the distribution system for the necessities of life.

    If we look at the economy as a transport mechanism for getting goods into the hands of everyone, rather than a lottery ticket for a few people to strike it rich, the system becomes sustainable -- unlike capitalism, which fosters imbalance by allowing a few to gather all the goods to themselves until nobody else has anything to trade with and the system collapses.

    Capitalism is inherently "boom and bust." The bust part of the cycle, just as forest fires allow new forest growth, exists to allow the system to reset and start over (at the expense of everybody's well being -- ask the squirrel that lives in an old-growth tree what it thinks of a forest fire).

    Communism is massively inefficient, because it allows the same people who were the "wealthy" in the capitalist system to control the "planned" economy. That is, it fosters graft and corruption.

    Socialism or strongly regulated capitalism would seem to be the best way to go.

    •  You have to ask (0+ / 0-)

      WHY Communism allows the same people to plan the economy, as the "wealthy" of capitalist society.  Is it because they are intrinsically, better, smarter, more capable competitors, and so always rise to the top, as my Republican little brother believes?  Is it because both systems can be scammed, and the people who rise to the top are the scum of the scum, as I tend to think? Is this NECESSARY in either system, or is a result of overblown ideology and lack of appropriate social controls?  Or is it simply that in the two major examples we've seen in the last century, the US and the USSR, circumstances conspired to set the nation on such a course? (Stalin, you know, was simply a hoodlum who discovered the pickings were better when he mixed political rant with burglary -- he was self-righteously incensed, when Lenin and Trotsky tried to censure the use of robbery to finance the Revolution).

      I'm not sure that the concept of Communism is inherently corrupt, but then, if it's not corrupt and dictatorial, maybe it's Socialism.  However Capitalism outright gloats that "Greed is Good", which makes it obviously immoral in my opinion.

  •  Fire Geithner and Summers (4+ / 0-)

    Replace them with Warren and Stiglitz.

    Being risk and confrontation adverse is not the prescription for a successful presidency.

    by Paleo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:09:56 AM PDT

  •  Whatever the reasons or conditions are (5+ / 0-)

    for this economic downslide, all I know is that when Congress is back in session the Dems better hit the ground running and at least LOOK LIKE they're doing something constructive or else it's "game over". It may have been Republican policies that created this juggernaut but perception is everything, and it's our side that's on the defensive.

  •  Personal debt is biggest problem. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, Laurence Lewis, RenMin

    Even with a job people will be trying to pay down debt which is growing bigger due to deflation.

    "It's getting late early" - Yogi Berra

    by buckshot face on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:22:40 AM PDT

  •  This is a demand induced depression. Period. (4+ / 0-)

    Demand drives supply. Always has. Until demand rises there is no reason to increase supply.  Businesses know demand will be low for years. Actually, demand is going to get much worse as we work thru debt problems.

    "It's getting late early" - Yogi Berra

    by buckshot face on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:27:30 AM PDT

  •  Well, the Village really doesn't want to do it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, cynndara, RenMin

    so it's not going to happen.  Corporations having tons of money they're not investing is a feature for DC, not a bug.

  •  so very true. (3+ / 0-)

    when the private sector sits on their money and does not invest, the government has to do it for them.

    The great thing is that if our government would choose to act, we could have a lot of great things built that would invest in our nation's way of life for the next two generations:  high speed rail, fixed crumbling bridges, walkable and inviting streets and parks.

    This is the time to do it: capital is readily available through both cheap borrowing and taxation.

    and, the truth is, it really is better than having an extra pair of cheap shoes from China.

  •  Stimulus to the Economy (4+ / 0-)

    in form of tax breaks for business, whether cuts or credits, is not what's needed.

    Increased taxation of business profits would be good; increased taxation of profits from business investing, too.  Up capital gains, especially on people making over $250K.  Tax corporate stock/bond/hedge fund activity.

    What we need is an FDR-like WPA pronto for infrastructure, transportation, R&D, and entrepreneurial undertakings.  Out and out grants, loans, and hiring by government in these areas.

    Now.

    "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

    by Limelite on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:08:52 AM PDT

  •  Simple Question.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobTrips

    and please, someone give me the answer because I am getting very discouraged. How does the government start these programs when half the people involved in the government wants it to fail? I simply cannot see this getting done as long as the GOP and some democrats in congress stop everything advance.

    Is there a way the Executive branch can push through programs without approval of congress? I would really like to know because we all know that congress is not going to approve anything that will help the economy.

    •  no. (0+ / 0-)

      congress would need to enable and finance these programs.  The system you are describing above is not democracy.

    •  Congress controls the purse strings... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, virginislandsguy

      Obama has a certain amount of money already authorized which he can push in directions which he feels would be best, but he can't access the large amount of new money which would be needed for another large stimulus.

      I would guess that Republicans will block/attempt to block any further stimulus money until close to or after the election.  Having lots of people out of work and angry suits their needs.

      Obama quote count - "Hold my feet to the fire" (3) - "Help me work for a better America" (137) --- [Phony numbers, real message]

      by BobTrips on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:29:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

      All Obama has to do is make himself a dictator, defacto if not de jure.  The laws for Presidential declarations of "emergency" have been on the books since Jimmy Carter.  People who are just TOO much trouble could even be made to disappear in night and fog.  Legally, like they did with half the Arabic immigrants in the US right after 9-11.

      Practically speaking, Obama is a constitutional monarch with a term-limit.  He has until January 2013 to do pretty much anything he damned well pleases, and the vast US military will salute and do as he tells them, not to mention the FBI, the CIA, and the US Marshals.  He could nationalize the banks, although it would be more politically palatable if he had done it last year, and under some kind of covering patter that made it look both temporary and partial (you can always stretch a "temporary" action for a couple of years).  He controls the "administration", which is every government employee inside or outside of the country.  He can choose not to spend money Congress has appropriated.  He can OOOPS, go over budget and make them cough it up later (can you say "Supplementary Military Appropriations"?).  He can shift money around in various programs; tell the Army to spend half its money on alternative-energy development as a precaution against oil embargoes, spend law enforcement money on child care ("after-school programs"), raise or lower the age for collecting Social Security or make the conditions for collecting SS Disability criminally easy or criminally difficult.  He can demand all sorts of actions from the states on penalty of witholding the federal funding on which they depend.  He can't raise nominal taxes, but he can raise the hell out of delinquent-tax enforcement.  He can have people shot, or run off the highway in "freak accidents".  

      The only restraints on a US president's actual power while in office are his personal ethics, his fear of impeachment or assassination, and his knowledge that come 2012, he has to face an election or step down, and come hell or high water, he either dies in office or walks out the door January 2017.  We saw this in Bush's last year, as he brazenly rammed every conceivable piece of crap through his administration, knowing that there wasn't enough time left to impeach him even if the Republicans would turn against their own man and the Democrats weren't going to waste themselves shooting him with only one more year to go.

  •  how long is it going to take... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, OnlyZuul, Tom Taaffe

    ...for both the president and congress to get around to addressing our enormous problem in manufacturing?

    Germany..."soicialist" Germany...is a manufacturing powerhouse- and we just refuse to look at their example of a high wage- high output manufacturing economy.  They are on track for a 9% growth rate this year.  No wonder they have decided to curtail some of their stimulus spending.

  •  Federal and State tax incentives... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    ...should be reserved only for new businesses and industries that are just starting out.  

  •  Our most racist president, Andrew Johnson, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Taaffe

    had his own free market theory about the creation of jobs and good conditions for the worker. When he vetoed the Freedman's Bill after the Civil War he said that the fate of the freed slaves would be adequately protected by national and state courts and by the natural economic laws of the labor market. This latter argument was novel and obviously wrong, but it was more than that. It was an early example of a persistent southern strategy: to find a way, under cover of law, to operate free from the law. President Johnson was saying that a free labor market would produce good working and living conditions for the freed slaves. For example, Johnson said:

    Undoubtedly the freed man should be protected, but he should be protected by the civil authorities, especially by the exercise of all the constitutional powers of the courts of the United States and of the states. His condition is not so exposed as may at first be imagined. He is in a portion of the country where his labor cannot well be spared. Competition for his services from planters, from those who are constructing or repairing railroads, and from capitalists in his vicinage or from other states will enable him to command almost his own terms. He also possesses a perfect right to change his place of abode, and if, therefore, he does not find in one community or state a mode of life suited to his desires or proper remuneration for his labor, he can move to another where his labor is more esteemed and better rewarded.

    In truth, however, each state, induced by its own wants and interests, will do what is necessary and proper to retain within its borders all the labor that is needed for the development of its resources. The laws that regulate supply and demand will maintain their force, and the wages of the laborer will be regulated thereby. There is no danger that the exceedingly great demand for labor will not operate in favor of the laborer.

     
    Johnson’s free market theory was absurd. The "Black Codes" of the southern states made clear that there would be no negotiations between management and labor. Under these laws, a black worker could not quit his job without the permission of his employer. By law, the tyranno-South required the black laborer to supply what white management demanded. Deliberately or not, Johnson was establishing lines of defense for the rebel States as they moved to reestablish the old order. Tyranni do not like government controls and Johnson was no exception—in fact he was an early champion of deregulation. He was trying to keep federal officials from interfering in the internal affairs of the tyranno-South, which had lost a war but still believed in white supremacy, and "some men are created unequal."

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

    by hestal on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:23:27 AM PDT

  •  Business Executives Are Spoiled by Frauds (3+ / 0-)
    [business executives] blame their profound caution on their view that U.S. consumers are destined to disappoint for many years. As a result, they say, the economy is unlikely to see the kind of almost unbroken prosperity of the quarter-century that preceded the financial crisis.

    The kind of almost unbroken prosperity 1983-2008 was a fraud, kicked off by the $1.5 TRILLION Savings & Loan Heist by Reagan/Bush, then the corporate/housing equity bubble that underwrote first the Internet Bubble and then the total fraud of the Bush/Cheney war economy. The fraud was first tricked out by "junk bonds": corporate debt, then housing debt and derivatives (bought by borrowing) all built on absurdly low Federal Reserve lending interest. Credit Bubble and nothing but, pumping consumers with spending cash for products regardless of their ability - or intention - to repay.

    And now an entire generation of business executives cannot find a way to grow without that fraud. Without the illusion of "free money" to buy their products, they have no skills to get consumers to buy.

    They're saying that since we blew our entire inherited economic strength and savings on a quarter century of waste and laziness, they're not interested in working until the easy street is repaved for them.

    And they mean it. So indeed, as usual, the American public has to repave it for them. But if we don't repave the street properly, to encourage only efficient vehicles to drive it, it's just a dead end at a bridge to nowhere.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:37:19 AM PDT

  •  The businessmen are correct (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, Laurence Lewis, La Gitane

    the American consumer is no longer the robust economic engine it once was, so investing money that relies on the American consumer will have no return, so it doesn't make sense.

    But more basically, having screwed over the American consumer in every possible way over the last 40 years until the middle class has no money left and poor people can't even buy food and basic shelter let alone consumer goods, we have all the money anybody had.  So if we spend it we would have to rely on rich suckers or foreign governments that aren't as friendly to give us a return on our money.  We know already rich suckers don't share, after all, we are rich suckers.  And those foreign goverments tend to be socialist or communists, who think money should be spent on infrastructure and public works and things poor people can use, and even communists agree to wage hikes and public jobs for the population, just giving our money to poor people, or greedy dictators who became dictators because they wanted to be rich suckers (who don't share), so we can't even safely invest overseas.  And we all know the banks won't lend, so we need cash on hand in case we ever need it, and we can't invest it because the bankers would just gamble it away again.  So we'll keep the cash in case one day we need it.  And we'll lay off some more of those people who don't have any money, because we don't need them anymore. And they won't spend the money they don't have.

    Someday, corporate America may figure out it needs it workers to be well and prosperous.   Maybe there will still be an America when they do.   I guarantee they won't like the Chinese bosses if there is no America to sell to.

    •  The corporate execs are already fretting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga

      about wage hikes in China.

      I don't think it's a question about corporate America figuring anything out.  They're not stupid - they know exactly what they're doing.

      Any increase in the standard of living/quality of life of the bottom 90% will indirectly decrease their wealth.

      Higher wages ==> more power ==> better access ==> better education ==> better government ==> more equitable policies, not-so-good for millionaires and billionaires....

      They know this and they're fighting with everything they have to keep status quo.

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:20:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they are however short sighted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        La Gitane

        they think that those piles of cash won't devalue as they sit idle and that by some miracle changes will occur that give them opportunities somewhere else to make even more.

        As the fretting over China (and India is on the same path) increase because those wages will rise, and domestic markets will take on greater importance as American corporations continue to freeze out American consumers, and the Chinese and Indians won't need US corporations to take advantage of that.  They won't be shy about protecting their markets.

        So the businesses are killing their dependable and loyal golden goose without having a new goose.  A couple homilies they should remember, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, and you make money by spending money, which is why the rich get richer in the first place.  In business, status quo precedes rigor mortis more often than not.

  •  Corporations aren't hiring because people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, La Gitane

    don't have jobs. Got it.

  •  It sounds so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    goddammed simple, doesn't it?

    The government has to create jobs. Infrastructure. Clean energy. Mass transit. There are plenty of social goods for government to fund, and there are plenty of people who are willing and able to be trained and employed.

    When I think of all the potential we have in this country that is being fucking wasted, so that worthless trust funders can maintain their lifestyle, it makes me sick to my stomach.  What the hell do these people do to add value to our society?? Nothing!  Yet almost all of our resources flow back to them.

    What is it going to take??

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:13:15 AM PDT

    •  General strikes - a whole series of them? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane, Tom Taaffe

      That's how people in European countries make their governments pay attention to them - they get out in the streets and march and holler and yell, and they don't stop until they get something close to what they're demanding.

      We used to be like that too, right up through the 1930's.

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:22:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        milton333

        I think that our country is so damn big that it's a lot harder to organize events that have such a big impact.

        That and Europeans don't have to worry about getting fired like Americans do.  The whole mentality is different.  There, if you take the day off to protest or go on strike, it is understood and respected.  Here, you're just being ridiculous and you'll get fired when you get back.

        It would be really hard to change.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:36:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All true because their unions are less corrupt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cynndara, La Gitane

          and more democratic.

          It started when the AFL-CIO banned all the communists and socialists who built their unions. Whether you agree with their perspectives or not, they set the table for militancy and strong demands. When even a small cadre pushes the envelope, more moderate types can move to the left (or right, depending on the organizational agenda) and still remain 'moderate'.

          Republicans and capitalists understand this. Liberals unfortunately don't. So while everyone stomps all over all those to the left of center, the right just smiles and sends its teabaggers out to push the discourse to the right.

          Europeans and Latin Americans are much smarter than that. That's why their laws are more protective of worker interests, why their social safety nets are stronger and more durable and why their governments let us spend all our money defending the world's economic elites, so they can spend that money keeping their domestic economies more stable.

          Please notice that our national debt started running out of control when we abandoned the business-labor partnership and embraced 'free-trade' supply-side economics. Not when we made social democracy or the welfare system a part of government's duties.

          •  Depends (0+ / 0-)

            on what you mean by "out of control".  I remember the news wagging on and on about the National Debt in 1968, which was well before Reagan, and before Nixon's fairly extensive wage-price control regimen.  Of course, to the extent that the media even then was responsive to corporate money (although not so much owned outright), I'm sure it would have been flogging the story no matter how minute the problem.

        •  Its true (0+ / 0-)

          the 'worker as slave' mentality of our labor laws makes one day strikes more difficult for workers to join. Extreme vulnerability among those who still have jobs makes that worse. But we have proven the ability to put more than a million people on the street, even if we have to wait for the weekend to do it.

          The reason you don't see more public protesting is because the organized left wing is sitting on its activists and refusing to publicly protest, to avoid embarrassing Obama and the Democrats.

          This is just shooting yourself in the foot and undermining this party and the causes these organisations espouse. But that's why we are in the state we are in.....

          I'll bet you dollars to donuts, if the Republicans win, we'll see lots of public protesting by the very institutions and organizations who are refusing to do that now.

      •  But the Unions won't do it (0+ / 0-)

        That's the difference between US labor and European unions. Many have top-down political structure that deny their members the right to vote directly for their leadership. Many more have become so rotten that they are complicit in the destruction of their own membership base and the fate of their members.

        In too many places, American labor has become as corrupt and rotten as the Democratic Party. And both fear their base's power, so they act to control them, rather than empower them.

        Latin American and European unions have much stronger democratic structures and therefore have stronger memberships. Leaderships are accountable if they don't fight. Too many union leaders in this country, just palm the bribe or stick their hands in the membership cookie jar and satisfy themselves at their members expense.

        And I say this as a former union official and chief negotiator.

  •  This synopsis is a bit too anti-corporate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginislandsguy

    The corporate world is not monolithic.  Many fine corporations that do not stretch the boundaries of the law got caught up in this recession for reasons beyond their control.

    The economy was doing very well in the 4th qtr of 2009 and the 1st qtr of 2010. Job growth was also moving in the right direction, in some cases significantly so. What happened to slow things down were three things:

    - The Euro debt crisis, which was speculator and debt holder driven.  The prospect of another stock market crash created justifiable fear in the minds of executives who do not have any more control over the clique of traders than we do.

    - The ending of the stimulus and the refusal of Congress to add more money into the pipe due primarily to GOP intransigence.

    - The inability of the government to put more money in the hands of small business to allow them to see beyond making the next month's payroll. (Again due to GOP intransigence).

    - The oil spill in the Gulf. This had an economic impact in the Gulf region and also added more bad news to the marketplace.

    - Actions by speculators and traders to artificially roil the markets during the period of the Euro "debt crisis" and also during the passage of the financial reform legislation.

    In order to remedy this situation, the Democrats need to do a couple of things:

    1.  End those Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in order to provide some sense of long-term fiscal discipline and enable the government to have extra cash to weather downturns.
    1.  Pass the stalled legislation to grant access to capital for small business.
    1.  Beat the GOP in November.  This one is completely in our hand as Democratic voters.  The polls all suggest that if Obama 2008 voters turn out, we will more than offset the GOP vote.  This idea of apathy towards a  Democratc government that has done many difficult things to get the country and economy on track is foolhardy.  If America wants to show that it is a mature country, then it has to stop rewarding GOP intransigence and insanity with apathy.  Show up at the polls and vote.  No excuses.

    I also think that continued extension of unemployment insurance without some form of means testing is going to be difficult.  Rather, I would prefer the Administration to weight more of the money towards the productive investments that this diary references - mass transit, alternative energy, public works.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:21:14 AM PDT

    •  A few good eggs don't matter when (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cynndara, Tom Taaffe

      the whole bushel is full of salmonella. :-(

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:23:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a few good eggs. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy

        I can run through a list of publicly traded and private companies who run their businesses honestly and efficiently.  The businesses that have stretched the boundaries of the law and have acted against the public interest (and in the case of blackwater, the national interest) in many instances would be banks, energy companies and some military contractors.  Bill Gates had little to do with the Bush budget deficits, the Iraq war spending, the Wall St. meltdown or the real estate crisis.

        Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

        by khyber900 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 10:31:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The poor and working class won't turn out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cynndara

      for this party, if this party doesn't stop feeding wall street and doesn't get a jobs program going. Its just that simple. Those that do, will vote Republican.

      Tinkering with tax codes & currency, subsidizing markets, tweaking regulations and throwing trillions into the cauldron of war has only boosted Wall st. the banks and the war machine. Foolish or deadend economic strategies all. Bad foreign policy too.

      Yes, markets and monetary pracices over the past decade were reckless. Yes, acts of god and the misbehavior of man plays a part too. And - though you didn't mention it - the shift from wages paid to easy debt played a large part as well.

      But the long-term destruction of living wage work - which this economic crisis merely exposed - undermined this economy so fundamentally that stabilizing it with a jobs program can only be a triage measure, if it is not matched by dramatic economic reform, particularly when it comes to how people are paid.

      And whether you can handle that economic recipe or not, the poor, the working class and the economically endangered will be voting with their feet this fall and you aren't going to win elections peddling right-wing economic solutions with them.

      Those who might be convinced, have already decided to vote Republican. So forget that tinkering crap and start playing the game big. Otherwise, nobody will be coming to the polls.

  •  Why you are wrong Lewis (0+ / 0-)

    consumers aren't sitting on piles of money. They aren't spending because they have nothing or too little to spend.

    Just one year ago, American consumers went into a buying frenzy when the Federal Government started Cash-4-Clunkers.  Ever since, the auto industry has been on a roll: big profits, hiring thousands of workers and expanding production.

    Consumers spend when they have a reason to spend, like a good deal, duh. You would never make it in retailing because you have no clue at all.

    •  really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333

      the government stepped in and helped consumers, and they started spending, which also helped business. gee. why didn't i think of that?

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:43:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  People will spend (0+ / 0-)

      If there is an incentive to do so.  In the Cash For Clunkers case, the incentive was free money.  In the case of an Iphone or an Ipad, it's just a really good product that people want right now.

      The heart of the problem is, and continues to be, real estate.  The plunge in home values have pretty much had people locked in their homes...locked in their homes means either walk away (huge hit to banks) or stay put (huge hit to everyone involved in real estate).  And if you do stay put, how much are you actually going to dump into improving an already underwater house?

      What would've been a far greater stimulus is systematically reducing the principal of Fannie/Freddie loans.  The total mortgage market is $14T.  If you take out the loans above the $800k fannie/freddie limit, maybe you're now at 7-8T.  Then just index the principal reduction to the average decline in that particular part of the country.

      Personally, that's as good of a stimulus as you can realistically get.  Unemployment is effecting about 10% of the people, the housing values are effecting WAY more.

      •  You are correct (0+ / 0-)

        Housing is the fundamental problem facing the economy and has been for the past 3 years.  Until housing prices start rising again, the real estate market will be dead in the water.

        So just like Cash-4-Clunkers, free money is the answer: a 10% tax credit to anyone who buys a house. Prime the pump for a limited time and get the industry rolling again.

        •  They did that (0+ / 0-)

          and it lasted exactly as long as the free money did, not a day longer.  That wasn't exactly priming the pump; it was just giving money away.  Also, recall that we've been artificially inflating house prices for decades, by allowing the mortgage interest to be deducted.  This encourages buyers to buy above their needs and their means by borrowing more, because the bigger the indebtedness, the bigger the write-off.  Which suits the bankers just fine, because they don't have to pay those missing taxes, just collect all the interest they can get away with.

          Contrariwise, a flat markdown or reduction of existing indebtedness would not affect the very necessary reduction of house prices, just bring existing debt down to a level commensurate with the real value of the purchase.  The bankers can damned well take the hit -- they're the ones who created the mess in the first place.  And the decline in prices would stimulate demand as more people would have the necessary downpayment.

          •  So drive house prices lower? (0+ / 0-)

            How much more unemployment do you want? Double?

            Just exactly how are you going to reduce existing indebtedness?  All these millions of mortgages are binding contracts that cannot be modified except by a change in the bankruptcy laws, which has been tried before and failed.  Also, all these homeowners would need to declare bankruptcy.

            In other words, your "solution" is no solution at all. Yet you reject the solution that actually works: tax credits for home buyers. I think psychiatrists call that cognitive dissonance.

          •  That's a horrible suggestion.... (0+ / 0-)

            First off, bankers didn't create the mess, they just didn't help the matter.  The mess was created by lax regulation, aggressive lenders, fannie/freddie (gov't),  and home buyers.  In short, everyone created the problem.  

            Eliminating the mortgage deduction is probably the worst of the worst ideas.  That would be a great way to essentially kill real estate once and for all.  Following your logic, any artificial means to inflate prices are not a good thing.  So maybe unions aren't a good thing?  Because they drive wages up, which drives the price of goods up.  

            Letting consumers keep the money they earn is never a bad idea.

  •  Government needs to do a lot more than jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Agreed, the government should have gotten a public employment program going day one, while it still had the good will of the country and they hadn't squandered so much money on corporate welfare, that didn't work and produced a jobless 'recovery'.

    But our problems are much deeper than simply a downturn in the economy. Living wage jobs have been disappearing since the first clothing factory moved operations off-shore in the 1960's. This trend became government policy under Reagan (though some shifts were started under Nixon, Ford and Carter).

    Three full decades of outsourcing, downsizing, automation, privatization, mergers and the 'synergies' of 'economies of scale' and the radical shift from full-time to part-time and contingent labor have absolutely devastated our employment markets across almost all sectors.

    Democrats, by buying into neoliberalism, sped the process and became 'bipartisan' partners in the destruction of living wage jobs, not only in manufacturing, but in elite employment sectors like education and research, particularly higher education.

    So here we are. 20-25 million people chasing 3-5 million jobs, many of them so substandard to economic self-sufficency that many college professors are eligible for food stamps.

    The first thing is to get a public employment program across all economic sectors going to triage the current problem. The second task will be much harder and will require going line-by-line through the greater employment markets reforming, correcting and - yes - even punishing private sector practices that have ruined tens of millions of lives and denied many millions more the hope of ever escaping poverty.

    As we all know with alcoholism, first you have to admit the problem. Only then can you face the cure.

    Neoliberalism is the alcoholism of the Democratic party. A poison that has ruined its reputation with those poor and working class people who needed them and deliver them to victory. Or stay home and watch those who betrayed them fall.

    Barely 2 months to the next election. Only a jobs bill will save this party. Damn the wars. Use that wasted money on jobs. Or face the empty voting booth in November.

    But don't blame anyone but yourselves if you don't. What are you going to do?

    •  I'm signing on to your campaign (0+ / 0-)

      What are you running for?

      •  just running the cat (0+ / 0-)

        Not ready to stand in the spotlight with so many cretins playing games. People crawl through your personal life and the lives of your friends and family. Not sure I want to subject those I love to that nonsense.

        Thought about running against Congressman Neal in his L-shaped, gerrymandered district, as an independent. Maybe in 2012. Takes a lot of work and I don't respect politicians. For the moment, I'll just run the cat.

        If I did it, I'd take a no-campaign contribution pledge and see how far I could get (campaign contributions are just organized bribery). But that's tricky, because if I get 'in-kind' donations (paper, xerox usage), I'm not sure what the rules are on those kind of donations and donations of any kind could be perceived as 'in-kind' bribery. I need to investigate that more.

  •  CORPORATE GREED - Good for Business, Bad for US! (0+ / 0-)

    A number of big businesses and special interests ARE spending their money--they're just spending it on lobbying and buying influence and control so that they can make more money . . . They have no interest in helping consumers.

    Here are some good resources to fight corporate corruption, especially in the energy business (think future of our planet . . .):

    1. OpenSecrets.org
    Congress is directed by Corporate interests, not by the people. . .You can find how much your Senators and Representatives have received from corporate interests here: http://www.opensecrets.org/...

    2. DIRTY ENERGY MONEY:
    http://dirtyenergymoney.com/
    “Dirty Energy Money is an interactive website that tracks the flow of oil, gas, and coal money in U.S. Congress. Find out which energy companies are pumping their dirty money into politics and which politicians are receiving it.”

    3. Get a “CLEAN UP DIRTY MONEY TOOL KIT” from Greenpeace here: http://gpeace.convio.net/...
    This terrific kit provides a step-by-step plan and everything you need to fight the $15,000,000 donated in the last Congress alone from Dirty Energy Polluters like BP.

    1. Use the OpenSecrets , Dirty Energy Money websites and the Clean up Dirty Money Tool Kit to find out about how much money your Senators and Representatives have received.  Share what you have found out with the media, on blogs, facebook, Twitter, etc.
    1. MOST IMPORTANT  -- CALL AND WRITE TO YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES. Confront those who are corrupt. HOLD YOUR LEGISLATORS ACCOUNTABLE.  You can find your legislators’ contact information here: http://www.usa.gov/...
    1. See: http://www.floridaoilspilllaw.com  and  

    OIL CHANGE INTERNATIONAL - http://priceofoil.org/

  •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

    Businesses don't seem to get that consumers and workers are the same people. If businesses decreased CEO pay and increased worker pay, then those workers would buy more goods and services which would increase profits so that businesses could hire more people. But businesses won't do that, so yeah the government has to step in. Public works programs got us out of the Great Depression, after all.

    http://www.SincereJobs.com

    by Lynnehs on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 01:31:22 PM PDT

  •  Republicans and regulations (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans do not oppose regulations. Regulations are wonderful things, you cannot be held libel for an activity if you conform to regulation. What they want is to write their own regulations so they can exempt themselves from the consequences of their actions. Libertarians want to remove the regulations so the companies have nowhere to hide and are fully responsible for their actions. Liberals want to write the regulations because they think they know best, but they will always be blindsided by republicans learning to game any system that is imposed. The only honest solution is to end the game.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by tombeard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 04:46:51 PM PDT

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