Sunday, October 10, 2010

Time to speak out: We Need More Shovels!

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PBS program "Need to Know"(see full show here) centers on the jobless problem; it highlights several examples of people losing homes in forclosure due to unemployment, and shows how they got in that spot; also features discussion with former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich and others. This is an excellent program. Joining Reich is Sara Horowitz, founder and CEO of the Freelancers Union,she has a lot of valuable insight as well.

This episode is very important to me personally becuase I was employed for 2 years, when I did get a job I couldn't make ends meet because it paid chicken feed and hardly had any work. I also lost my house in foreclosure which  a whole saga in itself. I will touch on that latter. Right now it's important to summarize what I got out of the show, but I urge you to watch the episode because the whole things is there (see the link above--and here). Horowitz points out that the social safety net we have is a hold over from the 1930s. It's not geared to modern life and it's not adequate. As Reich points out a third of the work force is independent contractors and thus not qualified for unemployment insurance or age/race/sex discrimination protection. The real question how did we get in a situation where so many people went into independent contradicting and just forgot about the safety net? We have the Republicans to thank for that. I know you don't want to hear it, but we do.

In the early 80's the Reagan administration set us on a course to dismantle the Roosevelt New Deal structure still in place, they harped upon the idea that government spending was the worst thing in the world. The reason you are not rich right now is because the government is taking your taxes. If you would just vote in Republicans so you get tax breaks you wont need social security and medicare and all the government spending because (1) you are have that vast fortune in tax money you pay out; (2) you will invest 401k and get rich from the market (3) the market will go up and up and up as long as you vote republican. This message appeals to people's greed. Many wanted to believe it so they just refuse to accept economics facts. There was another time in history when people thought the market would save them. That's essentially what Reagan and both Bushes preached, the market will save us. The Market will always go up and if you play ball our way you will be rich. That time was the 1920's and that philosophy created the great depression.

All of the examples of unemployed people losing their homes on the Need To Know show are people who were well off, hard workers, ran their own businesses. The allure of being one's own boss and get right from the ground up is just a big propaganda stunt becuase now all of those people are about about to go homeless on the street. Why did this happen? Because they moved out from under the safety net loured by the false promise of being rich by being independent. Regan busted the unions, read about the Hormel strike of the 80s. Read about union local P9 in that strike. Union power was taken apart at the seems with the promise that you don't need unions you need the market and no taxes and opportunity to get Rich that republicans will give you. It's a ridiculous dream becasue capitalism is based upon boom and bust. If there is a boom there has to be a bust. The Republicans have propaganda lines about "you just need to prepare for it." There is no way to prepare for the kind of shenanigans the Bushes unread upon America.One weakness in my view with Horowitz' contribution to the Need to Know interview, she takes a more moderate line than Reich and says "learn to prepare for the down times." Sure do that, but it wont help.

We just had a crisis where the whole banking system almost unraveled. Obama infused money into the system to save it but in the mayley it was totally forgotten that Bush started that the process of bailing out the banks. I've talked to several people who refused to even believe that Bush began the bank bail out but it's true and it's common knowledge. What happened was all the talking heads began criticizing Obama for bailing out the banks and everyone just associated with him. Talking heads went on talk shows saying "we should have let the banks fail" they say that so they could blame Obama. He's bad, he did so wrong by starting the bank bail out, he's a sap (even he didn't start it). Banks are businesses so businesses should fail if they are bad. Guess who would suffer if the banks failed? Do you think the Bushes would suffer/ No, you would. You would die. How would it be if tomorrow your money was worthless? You are out of food, how do you get more? No one will take a check. Cash is worth anything becasue no banking system left.  There's no way to trust the market when the whole banking system is going under. Look at the dominoes. Let's go back to the first domino in the process that led to the near collapse.

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The first domino was the housing crisis this has been acknowledge time and time again. We had a bubble economy in the 90s with the rise of internet businesses. One of the major businesses that works great with the net is real estate. The idea of "flipping houses" became the rage. Anyone with some spare cash could buy a house for peanuts spend a little fixing it up and make a bundle. Lot's of people made bundles. The problem is so many people began doing that that people weren't even buying houses to live in anymore they began buying houses they couldn't pay for (when everyone and his dog tries to guy houses with no money down because fancy seminars all over the country say that's how you get rich--everyone wants to be rich) there's no money going around. Soon the banks realized they could get a lot of money by making it easier for people to buy houses. They began allowing "stated income" instead of documented proof of income. So all one had to do was say "I make X$" that's stated and that was fine. They began selling houses to people. Now here is where the story breaks down.

Bush wanted us to believe that all the people who bought houses were lazy poor people who didn't work and didn't try to pay for them. They wanted us to believe the real problem was the people who bought the houses. The press has gone along with this by not telling the truth about the house stealing scam that mortgage companies ran. It's must easier to just blame the evicted after all the paper work supports the claims that they are at fault. After all the banks and mortgage companies do the paperwork. When you are trying to keep form being out the street and dying in the gutter you don't have time or mental resources to worry about your paper work. The truth is the attorneys general in most states have sued the major mortgage counterspies and not just for giving bad loans but for predatory lending, that means they were stealing houses! The company that stole our house was shut down for preditory lending but it was a couple of years too late to help us.

One of things they did to us was obviously designed to be a scam so I'm sure it got a lot of others. The media wont touch it. I've tried to get local reporters to talk about it they wont go near it. Here's the tact they used to steal my house. I had lived with my parents for three years while they died. I took care of them and basically gave up my Ph.D to care for them 24/7. The house was paid for. But the roof literally was caving in. I saw "we think you are an idiot" montage company ( that wasn't the real name but it should have been) on the net I got a home improvement loan. They promises six month lea way if you miss a payment, they would help get a job if I lost mine, all sorts of garbage (the BS piling higher and higher) none of which they meant. I never missed a payment because my parents taught me if the house is dark becasue you can't pay the bills and if you are starving in it  it's still worth it because its better to starve in a dark house than in a dark gutter. I made sure we never missed a house payment. We were doing fine. Nevertheless, at the closing they said "you need to pay the taxes." They didn't tell me "we are going to pay them today." That was the trick. I went down their in my own good time found they had been paid. In the mean time they sold the debt to Mussolini mortgage.  They said 'we have to recoup our huge loss ($200) of paying your taxes" so they raised the house payment three times what it was.

When I  called good old "we think you are an idiot" mortgage company and they said "we sold the debt" so much for all those great promises of help! I said "well let me me pay half now and half next month in addition to next months payment." O no! that will never do! House stealing tactic no 2, the rolling snow ball of debt. If you miss a pay you owe two payments. You can't pay late. I got three payments behind before I gave up totally trying to pay. Then went to through  hell for a year trying to find help. I canted all kinds of  people will kinds of lying bull shit about 'we help people in foreclosure." no they don't! No one does. Once you get that point it's gone. Your house is gone. It almost never works to try and save it. The deck is stacked against you. The laws are set up to make house stealing easy. Hey that's what Regan and Bush did for us. This was 2006 that we actually moved out. We had six years of the guy who stole the election in 2000, remember him? the man who got to be President but lost the popular vote? He helped arrange the laws so that anyone in foreclosure is dead meat. Now I agree that Obama hasn't done anything to fix this. But that is not the same as saying the Republicans will fix it. The Republicans caused it. It's in line with their philosophy of law of the jungle. The garage you about how you going to get by paying fewer taxes and the market always going up is predicated upon clinging over the backs of others. My parents lived through the Great Depression. They knew Republicans do! They taught me the only way to survive a depression is people working together. The Republicans want you to believe that all you need is yourself and your tax money then you are supposed to think of other people as undeserving vermin who too lazy to work and don't deserve your help.

Guess what? now you have no safety. when it's your turn to go into the gutter then you become the piece of shit and the republicans can' wait to murder you.

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It took Bush eight years to screw up the country in such a way that we had a depression and the banking industry almost collapsed. Obama hasn't even had two full years and yet people are just livid that he hasn't solved everything. The insurance industries unless a hoard of louts shouting and beating people up because they suddenly realized the old lie we loved to bleieve about the tax money wont be told anymore. We can't have that. I have to have my illusion that I can get rich by paying less in taxes. They saw that Obama was of a certain persuasion (let's just say they saw his "true colors") and they realized he was going to spend tax money on health care they become "mad as hell and we are not going stop  lying anymore." The bull shit keeps piling up. They destroyed the Gulf of Mexico then lie that the oil went away magically, find it hasn't (when did you expect?) so it's Obama's fault because he didn't clean it all up.

I agree Obama has dropped the ball a couple of times. He's thrown a couple of interceptions. Don't let murderess of the poor take back Congress. Those people are not your friends. they do not want you to be rich. They need you to believe their lies, and they are stacking the Bull shit higher. But they don't want you to be rich. They want you to live in a jungle and root for survive and kill your fellow man in a vain attempt to make it, even though the jungle is loaded with hazard set to trap you. The way to survive a depression is to band together. We need a safety net, the market cannot always go up. The market based on boom and bust!


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Reagan, Bush Sr, Bush Jr between them had 20 years to screw things up. We had eight years of respite with Clinton and things were pretty good, he reduced the deficit, no republican every did that. The republicans are lying to you when they say government spending is the problem. Even Clinton wasn't able to make real progress because they hounded him every step of the way. Now Obama has only had 2 years to fix it up and he had to focus most of that on the lies they told about health care.

The Big Republican Argument

The Republicans have one big argument this time. They say we are so deeply in hock because of the stimulus package and the health care bill (don't forget bailing out the banks). They quote the stats and they say we can't possibly grow out of it. So they want you to think that if you vote dem it wont do any good becuase nothing the dems do short of dismantling all publish welfare and aid programs and going to totally to the law of jungle will help. Of course we are supposed to believe that the Reps will do something to make it all better. They will feed your feeling that it will be all better by telling you the old lies you love to hear, "you can get rich if we you have to pay so much on those mean old taxes, if you let me get richer I'll help you get rich."

If that's going to happen why didn't it work last time? Why didn't the real estate scam make you rich? why did you lose what you had from listening to Bush if that will really work? Is it true that we can't grow out of the problems? Why would that be true? The said Clinton couldn't reduce the deficit and he virtually emanated it. They are assuming health care wont bring down costs and it will, they are assuming there's no multiplier effect to public employment and there is, there's even a multiplier effect to health  care. So all the money spent on the health care will generate more money in the private sector.

Policy Matters Ohio

There is no evidence of a tradeoff between the size of states’ public sectors and
private sector growth. Across all states, the average state and local government
share of total GSP showed a positive association with private sector GSP growth
per capita in the 1990-1997 period, and no association in the 1997-2004 period.

• There is no evidence of a tradeoff between public sector growth rates and
private sector growth. Across all states, increases in state and local government
GSP per capita showed a positive association with changes in private output in
both the 1990-1997 and 1997-2004 periods.

States with expanding public sectors experienced more rapid private sector
growth, on average, than did states that reduced their public sectors. This result
occurred in both the 1990-1997 and 1997-2004 periods. States with expanding
public sectors had private sector growth, on average, of 19.6 percent in the earlier
period and 16.9 percent in the latter period. States with shrinking public sectors
had private sector growth, on average, of 11.6 percent in the earlier period and
11.7 percent in the latter period.

• Ohio’s private sector grew faster than its public sector over the 1990 to 2004
period. This trend occurred even in the latter half of the time period, when the
state experienced a recession and a weak recovery. From 1997 to 2004, Ohio’s
state and local government GSP per capita increased by 6.4 percent, while private
sector GSP per capita increased by 10.5 percent. As a consequence, the public
sector’s share of Ohio’s economy declined over time.

These results have important implications for state fiscal policy. Ohio will not receive
economic rewards for arbitrarily restraining its public sector, nor will our economy be
punished if the state budget exceeds the new 3.5 percent annual spending limit. Cutting
back on essential public services will not stimulate economic growth. Policy debates
should not juxtapose the needs of Ohio’s residents for education, transportation, health
care, and law enforcement with private sector economic performance. In order to have a
meaningful discussion about our future, we must break the grip of this false dichotomy.

They want you to think Obama has failed because he spent a lot of money and that's the ultimate sin. Bush began the bank bail out, we had to have the stimulus package, and we really need to spend more. They want you to think that because it cost a lot and the unemployment  is still high. It didn't do any good so putting them in will magically make it all better. It wont make it better and they had no other solution. Their only solution is the law of the jungle and that's what got us here. Every single depression has been preceded by a real estate boom. Every real estate boom has been followed by a depression. The law of jungle is a lie. The market can't keep going up and up, it thrives  boom and bust.

Go out there and vote now. Don't wait for the election  go vote early. Vote Democrat even if you guy is a yellow dog, vote for him. Don't listen to the hysterical tea cup illiterates.  Vote democrat. Most of those tea cup guys can't even read. Go to the Dem hq and do phone banks, call your heighbors and tell them you rare voting Dem. Get a bumper sticker, pass out literature door to door. We have to get busy and work together to have this place then we can get some more shovels and start getting rid of this bull shit the Reps have been piling up.

12 comments:

Loren said...

I agree with you here, Metacrock.

President Obama seems like a decent person, but he seems cowardly and Clintonian at times. He doesn't quite have the guts to slam the "malefactors of great wealth", as Theodore Roosevelt had done.

Metacrock said...

I think you are right Loren. It's good to we agree on some things ;-)

tinythinker said...

Roosevelt was also known to have said, after meeting with workers and Democratic activists and listening to their suggestions, "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." I think the same is true with Obama. I know people wish he had fought for more and ended up with less or nothing while being firm on principle, but given the attacks against him and the feckless Democrats in the Senate, I am surprised he has done what he has. We need to keep pushing him and not let these racists, homophobes, and corporate sycophants take over again in DC.

tinythinker said...

To add, I know and love too many conservatives/Republicans to think they are all racists and homophobes, any more than all liberals are effete anti-religious zealots, but for some reason the worst of the extreme conservative movement is out this year.

Metacrock said...

Yea Politics are such a distortion of real life, thinking about your comments on Republicans. No one is as bad as his political opponents see him. Or her.

Metacrock said...

I have always felt like Obama should have focused on jobs, and been seen at all cost to be doing somethings bout jobs weather he is or not. I would much rather he do that and not even have taken on health care. I felt it was a mistake.

I don't say that because I don't like health care reform. I don't say it because I don't like the program we got, although it sure wasn't the best option. anything is better than the confused mindless red tape quagmire we have now.

I feel like health care had to come last. We can't reform it first becasue we need too many other things in place before the part is strong enough to take on the insurance guys. I think history bears me out on that.

If he had a track record, if got the unemployment rate down to say 6% if he had some other successes and was sure to win the congress back then he could take on health care.

Yosh said...

I am not a republican nor a democrat, but do take issue with all this pub bashing, only because IMO it is all two-faced.

Sure bush started the bailout. I cannot believe anyone would think that he did not.

Nonetheless, Obama has not lived up to any of his promises, but his drunken spending is hurting the country.

First thing Obama was going to accomplish was to close gitmo. How's that going?

Second thing is he was going to bring our boys back home. How's that going?

He also preached transparency. Sorry i don't see it.

He also ramrodded a healthcare bill that insurance companies are fine with. That is a prob.

He also said he would hire no lobbyists. He lied.

He also has authorized assassination of us citizens.

Bush was a horrible president,but obama has been every bit as bad.

Metacrock said...

I am not a republican nor a democrat, but do take issue with all this pub bashing, only because IMO it is all two-faced.

Sure bush started the bailout. I cannot believe anyone would think that he did not.

Nonetheless, Obama has not lived up to any of his promises, but his drunken spending is hurting the country.

First, that's not true. He promised he would get health care reform. He promised he would get the stimulus package. No one knew if the stimulus package would do the trick over night, he was honest about how it probably wouldn't work overnight. But he did promise it and he lived up to it.

It did put in money for bridges, but congress porked it up.No one can promise a pork free bill of that magnitude.

He's done a lot of things he said he would do. He's only had about a year and a half, Bush had eight years. You are comparing two full terms to a year and a half if even that much. All admins have to get organized and get started. It's not instant government, like a faster computer.





First thing Obama was going to accomplish was to close gitmo. How's that going?

He's tried to put a bunch of them in American prisons and Americans set up a howl, we don't want them here. He has stopped the torture.

Second thing is he was going to bring our boys back home. How's that going?

do you not watch the news? The combat mission to Irak is over, they have come home. The only one's left are advisers in the Green zone. Now it's true they are still going on patrol. Should we leave the trainers we send over there unprotected? But they not sending men on combat missions in Irak.

We have a time table for Afghanistan.


He also preached transparency. Sorry i don't see it.


where are you looking?

He also ramrodded a health care bill that insurance companies are fine with. That is a prob.

Do you not know what the insurance companies did to stop the bill he offered? He kept his promise, he put up a bill that included publish option health care and the insurance companies organized a vast nationwide smear campaign, sent in shills to start violence and shouting and shouted down democrats. He had to compromise like all presidents do.
The reform we got is more than Bush would have given. Bush had such little understanding he didn't even know there was a problem.



He also said he would hire no lobbyists. He lied.

I doubt that he said that.

He also has authorized assassination of us citizens.

that's a pretty tall accusation. got any proof?


Bush was a horrible president,but obama has been every bit as bad.


that's totally ridiculous. That's so short sighted and hysterical. A tainted ham sandwish would be better than Bush. you acn't get wors and it's silly to say that Obama has done nohting good.

He has dropped the ball several times. I think he has really let down the people who are struggling to keep their homes. The repulbicans wouldn't do any better.

Put the reps in charge of congress now you you will have privatized Social security, meaning it goes down the tubes with the stock market. Their garbage on that is the the lie that the market will never go down. The market is going to go down and if you privatize the safety net that's like not having one at all.

tinythinker said...

I'm all for being fair and considering ideas different from our own, but I'm increasingly exasperated with the idea of equivalence, in which the dangerous and idiotic excesses of a person or group are diminished by "they do the same thing" or "they are just as bad".

a-hermit said...

All the people who were right about what was coming (people like Krugman, Stiglitz, Roubini, DeLong etc) say the stimulus bill should have been bigger, should have been weighted more to spending and less to tax cuts and given the low interest rates and inflation the important thing to do now is create jobs, jobs and more jobs.

Maybe the new focus on infrastructure will be way to do that, but I worry that structural unemployment of 8-9% is here to stay. The short sightedness of the corporatists and their political pawns is going to drag us all down...

Metacrock said...

I'm all for being fair and considering ideas different from our own, but I'm increasingly exasperated with the idea of equivalence, in which the dangerous and idiotic excesses of a person or group are diminished by "they do the same thing" or "they are just as bad".

RIGHT ON! YOU AND ME BOTH!

Metacrock said...

All the people who were right about what was coming (people like Krugman, Stiglitz, Roubini, DeLong etc) say the stimulus bill should have been bigger, should have been weighted more to spending and less to tax cuts and given the low interest rates and inflation the important thing to do now is create jobs, jobs and more jobs.


YUP! Bigger and less porked up

Maybe the new focus on infrastructure will be way to do that, but I worry that structural unemployment of 8-9% is here to stay. The short sightedness of the corporatists and their political pawns is going to drag us all down...

The problem is Obama, good as he is, and he is the alternative we cant' go back to the reps, but good as he is he's bought in to the bull about trucural unemployment.

Structural unemployment is only structural as long as you are not willing to change the structure.