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  I find myself laughing at this--part in disgust and part in admiration for a group of people who have no shame and just do not care what happens to regular people in the country. On the one hand, we have a monumental jobs catastrophe underway. And, on the other hand, you have the people who helped cause that catastrophe making every effort to guarantee that we will be back in the same place down the road. This simply shows that nothing has changed.

   Let's start with the catastrophe:

It seems increasingly unlikely that the United States will prove his point. The government is expected to report Friday that the economy expanded at a rate below 2 percent in the first half of the year — well below the nation’s long-term average and too slowly to recover the losses sustained during the recession.

Twenty-five million Americans still could not find full-time jobs last month. And hopes for the second half of the year are under the cloud of a political crisis that has cast doubt on the government’s willingness to pay its bills.

Roughly four years since the start of the financial crisis, and two years since the official end of the resulting recession, what has taken hold in their wake is a new kind of great moderation — an era of slow growth.[emphasis added]


The widely quoted unemployment rate of 9.2 percent is also one of the narrowest measures of the problem. The share of people who cannot find full-time work is almost twice as high. Job growth in May and June was basically flat, although there are some signs of increased hiring in July.

“We did a pretty good job of fixing bank balance sheets, but I think that household balance sheets are the ones that have suffered the most,” said Mark Thoma, a professor of economics at the University of Oregon. “We could have done much more to help households.” [emphasis added]

   Let's be clear. It's worse than that.

   One in five Americans cannot find good-paying, full-time work.

   So, while we play a stupid game of obsessing about a non-existent debt and deficit "crisis" (that set the stage for the crazy debt ceiling soap opera) rather than push for a 21st Century WPA project, millions suffer.

   Oh, yes, and about those banks and financial institutions...what are they up to while millions suffer?:

Some business groups are considering filing lawsuits aimed at blocking parts of the financial overhaul passed by Congress last July. While legal challenges likely won't happen unless efforts to win changes from regulators or lawmakers fail, Dodd-Frank opponents are emboldened by last week's appeals-court ruling that toppled a Securities and Exchange Commission rule designed to help investors oust corporate directors.

The Dodd-Frank law gave the SEC authority to write the rule, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable sued to overturn it.

David Hirschmann, president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, said officials are concerned about a whistleblower rule issued by the SEC under the Dodd-Frank law, which was passed in the wake of the financial crisis in response to calls for more regulatory oversight.
[emphasis added]


The group also has pushed hard on other Dodd-Frank issues, including derivatives, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and pay ratios at companies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's legal arm, called the National Chamber Litigation Center, has a multimillion dollar annual budget for pursuing business interests in courts.

Other business groups also may consider legal challenges. In March, the Futures Industry Association, a trade group for futures, options and derivatives firms, warned the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that rules aimed at reining in speculative trading in commodities "may be legally infirm and, therefore, subject to judicial challenge."[emphasis added]

   So, let's consider this. Imagine what would have happened if a few whistleblowers had been able to speak up at any of the big institutions that were passing around the financial trash that underpinned the vast financial crisis that led to longer unemployment lines. Or at the ratings agencies that showed themselves to be entirely incompetent and/or willing to be completely a willing tool of the the financial institutions that were creating the catastrophe (and, as I have written here, here and here, why anyone takes seriously what Moody's and Standard & Poor's has to say is beyond me).

   People did know.

   And, once the Chamber gets rid of the incentive for people to tell the truth, it wants to make sure that what? The system just stays the same and allows the crazy speculative trading that got here.

   Part of this chutzpah grows right out of our failure to put a whole line-up of of these jokers in jail. Fining J.P. Morgan $153 million and Goldman Sachs $550 million did send a clear message: nothing will happen to you, the individuals who created this crisis.

    You won't go to jail and, in fact, your pay will go UP.

    So, by all means, do everything possible to make sure the rules don't change.

Originally posted to Tasini on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Job Party, In Support of Labor and Unions, Income Inequality Kos, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Jobs Wages and Community Investment Working Group.

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