Archive for bad economy

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

European leaders begin to realize austerity is crippling nations. Gee, ya think?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

stimulus austerity

Drastic cuts, sequestration, firing public workers by the hundreds of thousands, slashing programs that keep people healthy and alive, closing schools, suppressing stimulus plans when we need them most, and ignoring the opportunity to rebuild a crumbling infrastructure are all wrongheaded policies that progressives have been trying our best to reverse.

Europe is rethinking their own approach to cutting and starving their way out of their economic problems and ending up on "a dead-end street." It's about time.

The Los Angeles Times has an article on that very thing:

Prodded by Germany and its insistence on fiscal virtue, governments elsewhere have fired workers, chopped welfare benefits and shelved big-ticket projects, turning the continent into what some call one giant "Austerity-land."...The punishing spending cuts have stifled consumer demand and economic growth, not spurred it. [...]

Public patience with continued belt-tightening is wearing thin as misery increases and as officials repeatedly push their predictions of economic recovery further into the future. [...]

The pressure may finally be starting to tell. Recently there have been signs that the region's leaders, most notably in Berlin and at European Union headquarters in Brussels, are rethinking their dogmatic pursuit of spending cutbacks and balanced budgets. [...]

Advocates of a more nuanced policy note that U.S. economic performance has easily outpaced Europe's and that Japan is witnessing a comeback. [...]

[S]o many countries cutting so much so fast, they contend, has turned out to be an act of collective kneecapping that has crippled the entire region. [...]

More pro-growth policies — investment in big infrastructure projects, for example — could jump-start faltering economies and help countries make the revenue they need to pay down their debts, analysts say...

That, however, would require a farsightedness and cooperative policymaking that critics say has been sorely lacking.

Take note, Republicans. Or is that asking too much? As I wrote in a 2011 post, GOP jackasses, foresight is not exactly their strong suit.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Brief encounter with Mr. & Mrs. Alan Greenspan: "Chairman Greenspan, how's that trickle-down economics working for us?"

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
Photo by @Rousseau_ist

Photo of Andrea Mitchell in limo by @Rousseau_ist

Yesterday I posted Source– John McCain on economic inequality: “I don’t care, nobody cares.” That story was about and by one of my Twitter pals, @rousseau_ist, who came face to face with John Sidney McCain at the Alfalfa Club where he asked, “Senator McCain, what your your thoughts on the current state of economic inequality?” His response:

“I don’t care, nobody cares.”

Of course he didn't care. He has eleventy-two homes and is married to Mrs. Wealthypants.

Today Rousseau sent me the sequel to that story. This one involves Alan Greenspan and his wife Andrea Mitchell. It was another brief encounter that I will let him to describe in his own words:

MSNBC DC Bureau Chief Andrea Mitchell dove into her limo at the Alfalfa Club billionaires annual pow wow Saturday Jan. 26th, stranding her feeble husband to find his own way to the opposite side of the vehicle. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan hunched over, appearing confused, is finally helped to the other door.

As they came towards me, I ask, "Chairman Greenspan, How's that trickle-down economics working for us?" ~ I would have offered an explanation as to how it was working for us, but I felt badly for him. (Imagine that) ~ Here is a guy barely able to stay on his feet and his wife expects a busy doorman to assist her husband. They people have the nerve to say poor people feel "entitled."

This was my moment of being discreet by not bullying a husband and wife I can't stand more than most individuals in this country.

Photo of Alan Greenspan by @Rousseau_ist

Photo of Alan Greenspan by @Rousseau_ist

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Australian minister warns of Republican 'crazies'

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

It really depresses me that the world sees us this way, thru our crazies. Not the Mediterranean banks or governments, but the freakin' Teabaggers are the biggest threat.

CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia's deputy prime minister warned Friday that the greatest threat to the U.S. economy are the "cranks and crazies" in the Republican Party, a rare foray into American domestic politics that was blasted by the opposition.

Wayne Swan, who also is treasurer and his center-left Labor Party government's ranking finance minister, took aim at the tea party during a speech to a business forum, breaking a convention among Australia's major parties to steer clear of U.S. domestic political debates.

"Let's be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world's biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over a part of the Republican Party," Swan said.

He said "the extreme right tea party wing" of the Republican Party had held the national interest hostage during last year's debate over the U.S. borrowing limit despite President Barack Obama's "goodwill and strong efforts."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare