Friday, March 9, 2012

Comment on New Unemployment Report in T&G

I agree the media should be reporting U5 and U6, not just the very limited U3 figure. Yes the Government has been using U3 for 45 years (and issuing U4 and U5) so in that sense it isn't "cooking the books", but the media knows better and should stop U3 is a valid measure of the pain and misery out here!

This problem has been building under both Republican and Democratic Presidents and Congresses. It was not created by Republicans or Democrats, and neither can solve it without taking on the power of the big banks, which trashed the economy, wrecked the housing market and got off scott free. Or the power of the War Industry and the New American Century crowd pushing us ever deeper into foreign wars we can't afford.

Some of you pointed out that wages and household income have been dropping sharply. That is critically important. Combined with the collapse of home equity and the housing market, there just isn't the purchasing power out here to fuel a real recovery. What we are seeing now is just new bubbles - student loans, derivatives again, carbon credits, and the mother of all bubbles, the Federal Reserve Bank. Like all bubbles, they will burst.

Folks, this isn't getting better until we get our government to seriously stand up to the bankers and the 0.01% and commit to full employment! And a Congress that's more afraid of losing the people than of losing their corporate sponsors!

Perhaps you or someone you know is out of work. Perhaps your kid graduated and never got a first job and now all they do is play computer games. Or you got laid off in mid career and never got rehired; or you got let go because you're too old and not stupid enough. If so, you should come to the next meeting and forum on Unemployment on Saturday March 17 (St. Patrick's Day), 2 pm, St. John's Church basement, 44 Temple St. We will share stories and facts about what's going on with jobs and unemployment, and talk about how we can make ourselves and our needs impossible ignore!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rush Lindbaugh comes on as a regular guy with the courage to let it all hang out, the voice of everyman. Listen closer and you can hear the voice of the billionaires and the bankers in a working-class accent, appealing to our righteous anger, our need to feel better than someone else, corralling us into their mental straight-jacket where the rich are rich and the poor are poor because they deserve to be, any attempt to fix or change the system just makes it worse and anyone who tries is stupid, bad and wrong and deserves to be stepped on.

When you turn on the radio and you want to listen to talk about what's going on and you don't want to listen to high-brow talk on NPR by folks who mostly don't know what life's like for the rest of us, you usually get a choice between Rush or someone a lot like him, because the station owners and their corporate sponsors get to say what our choices are. Pressuring the advertisers to pull the plug on one of these shock jocks when they go over the line into pure hate talk is about the only power we have over the listening choices we get.

What we really need is a union person, one straight-talking union man or woman who's really on our side - not just trying to sound and talk like us - on the air for an hour or two a day to set the record straight and lead us in some honest talk about what's going on and what we need to do about it. When's the last time you heard something like that?