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By Camille J. Gage
It’s fitting, if not just a little bit ironic, that President Obama will deliver his much anticipated jobs speech in a week bracketed with Labor Day and the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. As a nation we need to renew our respect for this nation’s workers and the labor movement that brought us child labor laws, minimum wage, reasonable working hours and so much more. We also need to acknowledge the role of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in creating the current recession and jobs crisis.
The United States has spent a combined total of nearly $1.3 trillion dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That number does not include the ongoing military action and presence in Libya and Pakistan. It also does not include the longer term costs of these military engagements, things like ongoing care for injured veterans and the opportunity costs of not investing this money in other things. Like jobs.
We are given figures in the multi multi billions spent on the wars of choice and the so called 'homeland security', but there are huge amounts, in the multi billions, not known or labeled top secret and blacked out in government reports on the rapid growth of intelligence within government and the added private contractors and the costs of that growth. As pointed out in the 'PBS Frontline' report, below, what has it accomplish over all these years, especially as to the main mission after 9/11 and finally getting bin Laden, found through intelligence of a small group and carried out by a small group of 'special forces'.
America's Sick Economy - by Stephen Lendman
Sooner or later the usual pundits and "experts" showing up on tout TV will buckle and admit what honest analysts have been saying all along:
America's economy is sick and getting sicker. Since 2008, working households have struggled through the early stages of a protracted global depression, getting worse.
By Dave Lindorff
This faux workers’ holiday on Monday is not a day for celebrating for American workers.
The official unemployment rate, just released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm), showed unemployment in July to be 9.1%, which is exactly the same as the rate was in June, and which is an increase from the months in the spring. But that’s not even the real picture.
No, not 29 million job offers. I'm no better at applying for jobs than you are, and my town offers nothing but dead-end McJobs or positions in the military industrial complex, just like yours. I mean I just spotted an easy way to create 29 million jobs, one for every unemployed or underemployed U.S. worker.
No, I'm not about to say "Just raise taxes on gazillionaires and hire people to build stuff." I'm all in favor of that, for lots of reasons, including the political corruption created by a concentration of wealth. We might have to disempower gazillionaires before we can enact any sensible policies, including the one I'm about to propose, but it can itself be done without raising a dime in revenue. This means that the President, who has broad, albeit unconstitutional, powers to move funding around from one program to another could do this himself. Or Congress could.
By John Grant
It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.
Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Harvard philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines bullshit as language with no basis in truth or fact focused on obtaining power. A liar knows the truth and tries to sell falsehoods; bullshitters simply don’t care what the truth is.
Some of the most popular candidates for the Republican Party (think Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman) are classic bullshitters who completely disdain rational analysis. For them it’s OK to say anything, like Perry and others' denial of evolution and global warming. Reason and responsible history are for the weak.
Standard would reduce dangerous US oil dependence, save Americans billions at the pump
Bear Country - by Stephen Lendman
Financial markets provide early signals of future economic conditions, good or bad. Currently, they're flashing red.
On August 19, economist David Rosenberg reported the bad news about major world stock markets in bear territory, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, Belgium, Portugal, India, and others heading there, including Japan, China and America.
Economic End Times - by Stephen Lendman
Despite a deepening global depression, establishment economists are in denial. On June 9, the Wall Street Journal said those surveyed expected slow, steady growth through 2011, despite high US unemployment, a housing depression, European sovereign debt in crisis, and the unreported insolvency of major French and other banks.
60min had a replay of an earlier report on corporate tax havens last night.
Which now raises even more questions especially related to this now infamous remark and backed up by many of like minded ideology:
Followed quickly by this:
"Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people."
Which people and where, are these corporate profits trickled down too?
While they renounce their corporate citizenship to dodge the corporate U.S. tax rates they stay on the trading boards of Wall Street as U.S. to be invested in.
By Jeanne Mirer and Marjorie Cohn The debate about the debt ceiling should have been a conversation about how to create jobs. It is time for progressives to remind the government that it has a legal duty to create jobs, and must act immediately – if not through Congress, then through the Federal Reserve. With official unemployment reaching over 9%, the unofficial rate in double digits, and the unemployment rate for people of color more than double that of whites, it is nerve wracking to hear right wing political pundits say the government cannot create jobs. Do people really believe this canard? On “Real Time with Bill Maher” a few weeks ago, Chris Hayes of The Nation stated that the government should create and has in the past created jobs, but he was put down by that intellectual giant Ann Coulter who said, ”but they (WPA jobs) were only temporary jobs.” No one challenged her.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2011) — U.S. physicians spend nearly $61,000 more than their Canadian counterparts each year on administrative expenses related to health insurance, according to a new study by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Toronto.
The study, published in the August issue of the journal Health Affairs, found that per-physician costs in the U.S. averaged $82,975 annually, while Ontario-based physicians averaged $22,205 -- primarily because Canada's single-payer health care system is simpler.
No Joy in Mudville - by Stephen Lendman
Indeed not. The equity markets struck out, or as highly respected analyst Louise Yamada believes: "Clearly, this cyclical bull is over," but it's worse than that with Western and other economies cratering.
Some hover close to collapse or may head there. The operative word is hard times, the beginning of leg two of the global Depression that begin in fall 2007, likely to exceed it in harshness and duration.
America's Cratering Economy - by Stephen Lendman
Slow-motion fiscal collapse perhaps explains its current state after decades of mismanagement, accelerated under Bush and Obama. The chickens are now coming home to roost big time, hitting ordinary people hardest, suffering under a protracted Main Street Depression. More on that below.
Last April 18, Standard & Poor (S & P) downgraded its rating on America to negative, saying:
Rude Awakening - by Stephen Lendman
In 2008, a protracted global depression began, criminally manufactured by Wall Street and Washington scoundrels, complicit with major European partners.
Why? To permit greater financial and other corporate consolidation, more power, and ability to buy favored assets cheap, profiting hugely at the expense of millions of working households.
by WALTER BRASCH
You have a credit card with a $25,000 limit.
Because you have a good job, you only have $6,000 on the card, and routinely pay the monthly statement and a little extra on the principal.
But then you decide you need a 52-inch high-def LCD TV screen to go into your “man cave,” and your family rightfully decides they need a vacation. So, you add a few thousand to the credit card. But, it’s all OK since you just got a promotion at work.
A couple of months later, your 2008 Honda begins puffing smoke. By the time repairs are done, it’s another thousand on the card.
By John Grant
When the human waste of politics gets to piling up so deep you want to run screaming into the night, a good remedy is to fall back to the powerful historical minds and immerse yourself in some great writing. I ran into this dilemma last Sunday, after a morning of reading The New York Times about the continuing blackmail antics of Rep. John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell and their merry band of Teabag Republican cutthroats.
By Dave Lindorff
My wife Joyce and I were renting a car for the week this morning at a Hertz office just outside Philadelphia. There was a line of people either waiting to pick up a vehicle, or to return one.
The harried clerk behind the counter -- the only guy in the office -- was fielding calls while trying to serve the first guy in line, who was trying to rent a car for a vacation trip with his wife to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. No sooner would the poor clerk sit down at the computer to start typing in the information from the man’s driver’s license than the phone would ring -- a phone that was located on a desk in a cubicle behind him, requiring him to get up and run around to the back cubicle.
The man at the counter, and others in the line, sighed audibly.
Let the word go forth from Washington! The corporate rulers occupying our nation's capital have declared war on just about every citizen.
Have no doubt: those in the upper ranges of the top 1% of wealth in this country (aka The Money Party) want to kick you to the curb.
They want to lower your wages and trash your retirement.
Now over a decade with two wars of choice and added to the previous decades of ignored issues and not fully funding the Veterans Administration, thus saving monies instead of increased costs to catchup with the needs, as to the results of our wars. Easier to lay blame on the agency rather then the country, the 99% who don't serve it, who collectively don't look in the mirror at their total lack of Sacrifice as they wave those flags!
Last night, 30 July 2011, the Congressional House (T)'s did exactly what many thought they would and now the Congressional Senate (T)'s, going into their oft used filibuster, follow the Houses lead, and their Supporters Cheer, a day after this:
Congress and White House are Making Things Worse: Moody’s Economist John Lonski Warns of Double-Dip Recession Risk
The latest from ThisCantBeHappening!:
A Country that is willing to 'Sacrifice', Not the U.S.!
As we've seen since Korea and especially from our long War of Choice, Vietnam and since! To easy to ignore the Veterans of and the few really concerned citizens, PTS, Agent Orange/Defoliant poisoning, Suicides, Gulf War Syndrome and so much more of the not so distant past and the now rising concerns of the present. Way to easy to lay blame on the Agency especially by congressional representatives, calling that conservatism, and the people, then to fund on the front end, knowing the long term results of our invasions and occupations will have costs similar to the ever growing defense costs, thus saving money long term than to Demand the Same Sacrifice demanded of the soldier, sailor and marine and their families, now over a decade of No Sacrifice and certainly No Demand For!
Time to take out the good ol' fashioned paper and pen and create your budget. As George Lakoff once wrote, a budget is a value document. So enter numbers based on your values. When you're done, scroll down to compare your budget with the one governing United States federal spending.
Directions: Enter a percentage of the budget that you would spend on each of these six broad categories. (If you're feeling industrious, fill in each little line item.) Make sure the total equals 100%.
FRIENDLY FOREIGN RELATIONS____%
Economic development aid to select foreign countries, medical aid to poor nations, and development aid to poor nations, the Peace Corps, and disaster relief abroad: ____%
State Department: ____%
United Nations, peacekeeping, weapons nonproliferation: ____%
HOSTILE FOREIGN RELATIONS____%
Military and Homeland Security Department and military "aid" to other nations: ____%
Current wars: ____%
Veterans' benefits: ____%
Job training, mass transit, and a jobs program to build renewable energy infrastructure and mass transit: ____%
Management of public lands: ____%
Pollution control and Renewable energy research: ____%
Subsidies to small farmers: ____%
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH____%
Elementary and secondary education, and higher education, and special education for students with disabilities: ____%
Medical research: ____%
Scientific research: ____%
Law enforcement and federal prisons: ____%
Housing for the poor and elderly: ____%
Paying off national debt: ____%
BIG AGRICULTURE AND BIG TRANSPORTATION____%
Airports and railroads and highways: ____%
Subsidies to big agriculture: ____%______
Now compare what you did with what the White House projects for 2015.
Crystal Nicely, Caregiver and Spouse of OEF veteran
Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Heidi Golding, Principal Analyst, National Security Division, Congressional Budget Office
James Hosek, PhD, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation
What if the imminent banging of Uncle Sam's skull into the looming debt ceiling isn't a crisis, but the very concept of debt is? The debt ceiling has been lifted numerous times without fanfare or fainting spells. All we face this week is a fabricated opportunity to gut social programs and trusts under the guise of a phony crisis and a discourse constricted to exclude taxation of the wealthy or cuts to the war machine.
But what if more deficit spending isn't a safe answer? I am completely aware that those who want to ruin this country by defunding everything but Wall Street and wars are opposed to deficit spending. I am familiar with the notion that the Great Depression required deficit spending in order to boost the real economy, after which the government's books could be more readily put in order. I don't imagine that a nation is the same thing as a household or any such simpletonian hooey. And yet…