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.
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.
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!
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.