Archive for bad economy

"Think what Ballmer's play money could do to help farmers and their children."

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it's all about the money 2

Let's talk money. Few people have enough. A very, very few are sitting on craploads of money, *coughKOCHS, ADELSONcough* but most of us aren't.

GOP Congress members block any Democratic bill that aims to rectify that. *coughMINIMUMWAGEcough* Without wage hikes, the "have-nots" can't spend money. Without that money going into the economy, our situation remains stagnant. And Americans continue to struggle.

But that's okay with Republicans. That way they can blame it all on the president and use his/the Dems' "failure" as a fundraising ploy to win elections while claiming they could do better. Never mind that they've come up with no plan of their own other than that proven catastrophe called austerity. *coughPAULRYANcough*

Billionaires and corporations continue to hoard their money, while the rest of us agonize over how to stay above water, feed and clothe our kids, and simply make it through another day.

And with that, here are a couple of Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Thank you for Friday's compelling story about agricultural workers in the Central Valley ("Dreams die in drought"). I was moved by the plight of these families struggling to get by, and chagrined at the number of children they bring into the world and the stress that this adds.

If someone ever wondered about the differences between the haves and the have-nots, one need only read this story and the adjacent one about the obscene price Ballmer might pay for the Clippers ("NBA record $2 billion offered for Clippers," May 29) .

The fat cats sit game-side doodling on their cellphones while field laborers eke out an existence, or don't. Just think what Ballmer's play money could do to help these farmers and their children.

I only hope the Mormon missionaries in the moving Column One learn from the example of Jesus to not only feed the poor but also to fight for justice for the least of those among us.

Philip Spradling

Pasadena

***

Economist Brad Schiller cautions that President Obama's proposal to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. He doesn't mention the multiplier effect of a wage increase. ("A higher minimum wage -- at what cost?," Opinion, May 27)

The multiplier effect is the single most powerful factor in growing an economy. It is to macroeconomics what compounding is to investing.

Schiller mentions the 500,000 jobs that "might" be lost (according to the Congressional Budget Officer report), but he conveniently omits the fact that the CBO also states that the wages of 16.1 million workers would go up. The positive multiplier effect on the 16.1 million workers would more than make up for the negative multiplier effect of the 500,000 who "might" lose their jobs by creating new jobs due to added demand.

In 1992, James Carville famously coined the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid." It's time for an update: "It's the multiplier effect, stupid."

Eric Geisterfer

San Pedro

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"Jeb Bush": If it weren't for Karl Rove, SCOTUS, we wouldn't have HAD a torturer-in-chief!

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jeb bush

The other day I posted, "George W Bush ruined the family name." No worries, W, Jeb's up to the task, too. Now Garry Trudeau has jumped right in with a perfect coda. He skewered all three Bushes in last Sunday's comic strip. Trudeau managed to rip into George H.W., George W., and Jeb in one fell swoop. Plus he threw in the Supreme Court and Karl Rove without breaking a sweat. In this edition of Doonesbury, Jeb is being interviewed on a radio show.

Jeb claims to "understand Bush fatigue." If that were true, he would never even consider a run for president in real life. But in Doonesbury World, he believes he's the answer to all those pesky family problems that precede his future candidacy. Also in Doonesbury World, he freely acknowledges-- and goes so far as to list-- the many epic fails of his brother and father.

Take it away, Mr. Trudeau:

doonesbury jeb bush, gw bush, ghw bush, SCOTUS, Rove

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"George W Bush ruined the family name." No worries, W, Jeb's up to the task, too.

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George W Bush Alfred E Newman gif

I can barely type the name George W Bush without throwing up in my mouth a little. Okay, a lot. Someone please pass the Tums, Pepto Bismol, and Maalox, because as you see, I just typed George W Bush.

Damn! I just typed it again! Now we're into inebriation territory. Someone hand me a glass. Make that a bottle. With a straw.

And don't even get me started on Brother Jeb and his own abysmal, corporate, conservative Bushy record.

Apparently, a Los Angeles Times letter to the editor agrees with me, so here it is, because our voices matter:

I agree with Jonah Goldberg that Jeb Bush will probably not be president, but for different reasons. ("Why Jeb Bush's turn may not come," Opinion, May 12)

The simple fact is this: George W Bush ruined the family name. No Bush will inhabit the White House again in the foreseeable future. It's not because Jeb Bush is not conservative enough or hasn't fired up the base. On the contrary, it's because his brother has tarnished the name by leading this country into two wars that weren't paid for and ruining the U.S. economy.

Americans have long memories. We will never forget the legacy of George W. Bush.

Scott W. Hughes

Westlake Village

the ugly bush stain

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Supply side economics doesn't work. "Trickle-up economics creates more demand."

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supply side economics trickle down peanuts cartoon via greekshares dot comImage via Greekshares.com

Supply side economics doesn't work. How do we know? We've tried it and look where we are today. That trickle-down theory that Republicans have bent over backwards to push has trickled down all right, the way dogs "trickle down" on hydrants.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Bring on supply side economics," Opinion, March 23

To quote Ronald Reagan, "There you go again." Ideologues like Brad Schiller tout supply-side economics once again as a possible cure for our economic woes.

Economists teach us about "supply and demand," but it really should be called "demand and supply," because without demand, supply is irrelevant. Demand is what drives everything, including job creation. If you have a line of customers snaking out the door, you will hire employees to meet that demand, regardless of taxes or regulation.

Our economy is about 70% consumer driven, so when median household income stagnates or drops, so do consumption and hiring. It's simple logic.

Trickle-up economics creates more demand than trickle-down because lower- and middle-income families will spend additional income, whereas high-income families invest their money. That's why the stock market has been booming while the overall economy has been weak.

You don't need a Nobel Prize in economics to figure that out.

Eric Geisterfer

San Pedro

***

Schiller's call to action is timely enough. It is just wrongheaded.

Yes, more attention to employment, and also wages, is critically needed. But Schiller fails to acknowledge the controversial nature of supply side economics, most starkly revealed in its desertion by the man who chaperoned its entry into the Reagan revolution. He ignores the already flush supply side, with corporations sitting on mounds of cash they won't spend to hire or expand.

Mostly, Schiller fails to realize that trickle-down Reaganomics remains the law of the land and needs no latter-day champion. The decimated marginal tax rate and the prevalence of stock-option CEO compensation remain and, along with corporation-friendly foreign trade deals, have hollowed out the middle class, creating monstrous wealth and wretched poverty characteristic of developing nations.

This piece would more appropriately have been published on April 1.

Curtis Selph

Lancaster

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Don't believe the Chris Christie hype. He has a "crappy economic record..."

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chris christie me me me

Back in October, I wrote about the wonderful Dean Obeidallah: Let's annoy the hell out of right wing haters. "You've never laughed this hard at a Muslim."

That very same wonderful Dean Obeidallah has a wonderful post about Chris Christie in the Daily Beast that he shared with me, one that I feel compelled to share with you in a huge way (no pun).

New Jerseyans should be ashamed of themselves for re-electing self-serving, narcissistic Gov. Photo Op. I'm talking to you, New Jersey Democrats. What in the world were you thinking?

All that, and still the guy won by a landslide. That was one of the biggest WTF Moments in recent memory.

Dean reminds us that Gov. MeMeMe ran and won against an unknown, underfunded opponent. He was so excited about a completely expected win against someone who deserved more but didn't stand a chance, that he felt an uncontrollable urge to tell everyone how dedicated to New Jersey he is on four Sunday talk shows.

He's so dedicated, in fact, that he may cut his second term short to run for president in 2016. How Palin the Quitter of him.

Chris Christie’s greatest obstacle to becoming president of the United States is neither his weight nor his conservative credentials. It’s his crappy economic record as governor of New Jersey. [...]

But Christie won big for two reasons, neither of which is his record. First, as a proud New Jersey native, I can tell you Christie connects with New Jersey voters on a visceral level. [...]

To make matters worse for Buono and better for Christie, a number of Democratic elected officials and political bosses broke ranks and either publicly supported Christie or sat out the election. [...]

When governors run for president, their record is their résumé. [...]

Their political opponents, meanwhile, will sift through their record like a CSI lab technician, looking for any hint of failure... It won’t take a person in a white lab coat to uncover Christie’s failings, however. They’re easy to spot. [...]

A lot can happen to the state’s economy between now and then. But unless the economic numbers improve greatly, Christie will be wishing people were still just talking about his weight and not what matters most: his record.

Dean goes on to list Christie's economic record’s lowlights. Please hop over to The Daily Beast for details.

Did I mention that Christie Now Refuses To Say Whether He Supports A Pathway To Citizenship?

And there's this: A Chris Christie Presidency Would Be a Disaster for Liberals. But Democrats vote for him anyway. His treating the president as legitimate apparently makes him a "moderate," and he still got Democratic votes.

what's the matter with new jersey

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Congress "sleazed out of town," including "the majestically useless Rep. Darrell Issa," as sequester damage continued

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congress recess cowards cartoon

Michael Hiltzik has yet another excellent column in today's Los Angeles Times. This one tackles our do-nothing, incompetent, obstructionist Congress members slithering away for a five-week break while the rest of us try to figure out a way to cope with the dump they took on us, otherwise known as the sequester.

Hiltzik expertly debunks the notion that "economic damage from the sequester cuts haven't all come true, so things aren't that bad" while noting that lawmakers' salaries--surprise!-- aren't cut. Nope, they're not affected, but you know who is? "The penniless, the disabled, the homeless and the very young."

Here are excerpts from the very end of his post. Please read the entire thing, because it's a thorough, detailed exposé of the damage inflicted on the people of this country, on their health, their livelihoods, and their psyches. The first paragraph includes the best description of Darrell Issa I've ever read:

So what was Congress up to in the weeks before it went on vacation? The House passed a dead-on-arrival measure repealing the Affordable Care Act (which of course benefits lower-income Americans) for the 40th time. The lawmakers debated a bill, introduced by the majestically useless Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), to name all coastal waters out to the U.S. 200-mile jurisdictional limit after Ronald Reagan.

All the rest has been gridlock, grandstanding and gutter politics. There's some debate over whether this Congress has been the worst in history or merely one of the bottom two, but either way it's bad enough. For this they deserve a vacation that the average European would envy?

So the sequester stands, with very uncertain prospects for its being lifted in the fall. The 535 statesmen and stateswomen of Capitol Hill will be hitting the golf course and lazing on the beach while millions of their constituents worry about how to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

The test of a civilized society is that it looks out for its neediest members. With this Congress in place, we're failing that test.

I'd duck out too, if this was all I had to offer.

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Illinois Black Suburb Can't Even Afford a Library as America Is Privatized and Foreclosed

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library closed via bigoteetoe(Photo: bigoteetoe)

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

If knowledge from books is power, then the predominantly white status quo doesn't have to worry about young people in Ford Heights, Illinois, empowering themselves at the library anytime soon. That is because there is no library and no books to be checked out in one of the poorest suburbs (about 95% African American of what's left of a village that once had 5000 residents) in the nation.  Ford Heights is like a mini-Detroit [...]

Nothing is likely to change.  There will be no happy ending to the library-less library district in Ford Heights.

That's because, quite simply, America has written off young economically limited blacks as expendable. They are just a stereotype -- with some exceptions for the ones that make it through due to special circumstances (think of Barack Obama attending the most prestigious private school in Hawaii).  Yes, there is still a bit of upward mobility wiggle room for poor minorities, but that maneuvering space is contracting as the middle class erodes.

What you are left with is a surfeit of pawns in the great economic shift of the nation's wealth into the hands of a few.

And blacks have long been in the position of being a commodity in a white man's game.

Young minorities in Ford Heights may never read about that; they may never learn the historical context of their plight.

They have no access to a house of public literacy: a library.

Please read the entire post here.

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