I said it before, and I will say it again — the pundits have got the story backwards about the “Great Recession.”
I am sorry to have to do this, but it is important — the most important fact to know about the so-called “Great Recession” of 2007-09 — because if you have the sequence of events wrong, then you have the causation wrong; and so you will not be able to correctly understand what happened, or fix it — which is exactly what the established authorities want, since they are profiting mightily from this calamity!
Most of the accounts in the media by the “experts” are telling us that there was a “credit crisis” that caused a “Great Recession.” Well, that “recession” began in December 2007 and “ended” in March 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (the official umpire). The big credit crisis occurred around the middle to the end of 2008 — six months after the recession started. Causes do not come after their results. Consequences do not come before their causes.
So what caused the “Great Recession”? That is what the authorities do not want you to know or talk about!
I believe it was caused by the enormous inequality of wealth and income that was built up in the past 40 years. The economy stumbled because most people were no longer able to buy the goods and services produced by their own labor. Since the time of Nixon (perpetuated by Reagan and the Bushes) the squeeze has been on the working people and middle class. Our entire society was reorganized to favor the interests of property owners, and to cut wages. Economics books and magazine columns of the time always referred to wage increases as a big disaster — “wage inflation.” Meanwhile, business schools trained their students to believe the only legitimate purpose of a corporation was to maximize profits, as if customers and the public were not involved.
Wives went to work. Credit cards were invented. We still couldn’t keep up. People took out mortgages on their home equity. Eventually, they were tapped out, savings went to zero. The whole thing collapsed. Their process is still in place and still operating. The “Greatest Depression of All Time” has just begun!
“Predistribute the Wealth” by Sam Pizzigati [8/15/13 TPP] was a bright light on the topic of poor wages. It quotes the British Trades Union Congress, “creating a lower [wage] gap will depend on a fundamental shift in the balance of economic and social power.”
Sam Pizzigati’s article reminds me of the current downward-power trip. Paying people less leads to lower self-worth. This leads to apathy towards options that help us like union or political power, which leads to paying people less ... We need to break this nonstop downward spiral. To help ourselves is important, especially when otherwise so helpless.
Saint Johns, Ariz.
The United States budgeted $653 billion of our tax dollars for our military in 2013. Each year over half of federal discretionary spending, approximately $806 billion in 2012, goes to our military. To date, $176.5 billion has been paid to the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan to rebuild their infrastructure that our invasions destroyed.
While our federal government borrows billions of dollars from foreign nations and squanders billions more of our tax dollars to make war, destroy and occupy middle east countries, the infrastructure of our country has crumbled and our environment is rapidly deteriorating. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the repair backlog of our public schools to be $322 billion and another $930 billion to repair our roads and bridges.
Considering that Uncle Sam has unlimited funds to engage in and facilitate the grim business of war, the money allocated by President Obama in 2009 for the Great Lake Initiative amounts to chump change. Yet a Republican controlled house panel is proposing to reduce these funds by 80%. As stated by Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) subcommittee chairman “The bill makes very difficult choices in an extremely tough budget environment.” Mr. Chairman, that statement insults the intelligence of all American taxpayers, especially those who live in the states that border the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is designed to clean up toxic hot spots and long-standing ecological problems, along with Asian. carp mitigation. To cut the funds supplying this program would be a national disgrace.
Washington Island, Wis.
Kudos to Mr. Nader for his message on suicides [“Suicides and Homicides Linked”] and to Ted Rall for his call [“Get P’d Off and Break Things,” 8/1/15 TPP] for the 99% of serfs to swallow their masters’ sludge no longer. When Rall asks, [Referring to reaction to the 9/11 attacks], “What wouldn’t we give for a 2001 do-over?” he might have added that that would have required a different outcome to the November 2000 Emperorial election. Where was the public anger, the Democrat establishment’s reaction, needed to overturn the “licit” Cheney-Rove coup d’état that led to the calamities befalling us in the new millennium’s first decade? No rioting in the streets such as bloodied Egyptians still retain the spirit for under their own militarized dictatorship. Well-nigh everyone, especially the sold-out media and political class, Kept Calm and Carried On with business as usual. 1984 had indeed come and gone with scarce a soul noticing.
I have written a number of letters that have been published in TPP, but I have come to the conclusion that we are preaching to the choir. I have now changed my focus and write letters to elected representatives when they ask for money, making the point that our democracy is melting faster than the polar ice, and that instead of sending “surveys” to get our “opinions”, they should lay out a broad program of specifics that address our multiple problems, drug war, Citizens United, and multiple others and then fight like hell for that broad program. Instead of “compromisers” we need fighters. (My ideal Senator is Bernie Sanders, with Elizabeth Warren, and Al Franken not far behind. Nancy Pelosi in the House.) The one thing we need to learn from the Republicans is how to fight for what we believe is best for the country.
I believe it is time that “We the people,” in light of the inaction and destructive measures taken by the “do nothing (112th and 113th) US Congress” regarding this nation’s health care and jobs to start a citizens class action suit calling for the immediate reduction of wages and cancellation of lifetime benefits they are eligible for after serving merely five years in office. Congressional Representatives earn (as of 2010) $174,000 a year plus annual COLAs and perks. In addition to the absolute hypocrisy of these characters voting to defund the Affordable Care Act when they are due a healthy pension and great health care benefits fifty million people can’t even afford to purchase is a colossal disgrace.
While great numbers of citizens are striving simply to survive each day of their lives because of their shilling actions allowing the same cast of characters within the Financial Sector who took this nation to its knees in 1929 and again in 2008 is unconscionable. They are all bought and paid for.
“We the people involved in the movement for GENDER PARITY (50% male 50% female) throughout our entire nation present all applicable male Congressmen with our SCUM (acronym) award.”
The silence is deafening. Just a couple of weeks ago Not So Sharp Al Sharpton had the nation on a rampage to kill the Stand Your Ground Gun Laws in some 13 states. It was a “slam dunk” until it was disclosed that four times as many blacks as whites resorted to it as their defense. Even the gangs were resorting to it. Then the truly honorable black leaders said, “Enough is enough.” It’s time we took responsibility for our transgressions. For the 73% of black babies born out of wedlock, and many of them of unknown fathers, we can’t blame whites. For the 1 in 7 black youths doomed to die by gunfire by other blacks you can’t blame Whitie. Suddenly all the wind is taken out of Sharpton and Jackson’s sails.
I thank TPP for at least one person, Gene Lyons, not bulldozed by you so-called progressives who fling your common sense to the wind in your hurry to join Sharpton and Jackson waiting for any opportunity to blame Whitie and crow “see how brave I am, I don’t need the facts, in fact don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.’’
As to John Young, he missed his calling. With his imagination he is guaranteed success as a writer of fairy tales.
As to Dave Zirin, he who wanted to kill football by demanding the Super Bowl be pulled out of Arizona, because he didn’t like their immigration law, but with 13 other states having as draconian legislation the states available would limit football to just 27. And now he quotes football players, the greatest accumulation of “punch drunks” now known as suffering from concussions, among all athletes, even boxers, as his sources of wisdom.
Before you brand me a “right-winger Tea Party nincompoop,” let me tell you I was an active “bleeding heart liberal” before most if not all of you were born and still am at 96. I presented Best Built Man Contests in New Haven from 1939-50, most in black communities, and never took one cent of the proceeds. In fact I was the first and possibly only white person ever a judge of a Miss Ebony Contest. ... I could go on and on about my efforts on the blacks’ behalf, but things changed after the Civil Rights legislation when the blacks, instead of taking advantage of it to advance themselves, used it to get even with the whites for past abuses, of which we were guilty, but revenge never pays off.
Gene Lyons, you among all the so-called Progressives, had the gumption to stand for what’s right against the “casper milquetoasts” hood-winked by the likes of Sharpton and Jackson.
In her column of 8/1/15, “Supreme Conflicts,” Connie Schultz again manifests a genuine Christian virtue in her expression of sympathy and fondness towards lesbians and homosexuals.
In this, she lovingly credits her mother, who taught her that, “being a Christian means fixing yourself, and helping others – not the other way around.”
What beautiful wisdom abides in those words! And what a pity that those Americans who hate gays and yet consider themselves good Christians, weren’t blessed with a mother like Connie’s!
Since nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus condemn homosexuals, I can only surmise that those gay-haters have never read the Gospels, and are only parroting their religious leaders, who tell them how to think, how to behave — and how to hate.
How un-Christian, then, that those non-thinking people ravenously lap up the words written by Paul who, in Romans 1:26-32, spews hatred towards lesbians and homosexuals — accusing them of every depravity he can think of, including murder!
Have they forgotten that there is only one founder of their religion — and that his name is Jesus? And that Jesus never once mentions the subject?
My late father-in-law (1896-1990) often said “ you can give a Jackass a Ph.D. but he was still just a Jackass!’ I have come to the conclusion, after watching politics these past 60 years, that he was correct. We the people, often elect people to political offices, when we the people would have done just as well to have elected a Jackass!
From The Progressive Populist, September 15, 2013
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