Friday, January 24, 2014

My comments on:

Warren, McGovern push for extension of jobless benefitsROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION IN WORCESTER

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Jim McGovern both gave fabulous presentations and responses, and made clear that they saw themselves as leading a struggle to help people survive, save the unemployment benefits, save the SNAP program and win a massive public works, green economy and infrastructure jobs program.  The press did a so-so job of reporting it, but had a nice page one photo.

Most of the comments were the usual nasty stuff.  Here's some responses.


17Grey wrote 
   "well gee...... unemployment rate is down. why can't they get a job? " 

CH: Yeah, and the rate's about to drop to 6% or 5.8% as another million who have been looking with little hope are dropped from the rolls! That should make you feel even more righteous! 


Independent wrote: 
   "Just create an environment for job creation and the unemployment benefits will take care of itself." 

CH: Six years into a depression, 30 years into the most massive wave of deregulation, tax cuts on the rich and corporations, privatization, de-unionization and liquidation of the welfare system perhaps that the world has ever seen, and you can still say this? How much more would it take to satisfy you? 

The endless refrain here is that things will be fine if the government just gets out of the way and lets things get back to normal. It should be obvious six years into a depression that things are not getting better, and won't until we do something different. 

The rich and powerful have won the game. They have accumulated so much power and wealth that the game doesn't work anymore. But it still feels good to them! 

Warren and McGovern are raising the demand for the direction that has not been tried yet: a massive public works program to put people back to work, and a program of closing tax loopholes, corporate welfare and tax havens, ending incentives to ship jobs overseas, prosecuting the criminal wrongdoings of the banisters and taking our money and banking systems our of their greed-blinded hands. 

A good way of describing this program: a "New Deal". 

None of this can happen if we go on waiting. It will require a massive shift of power from the corporate wealthy to the rest of us. But it has to happen. 

Six years of waiting, and the economy is stagnant and on life support, with the Fed still pumping $1 trillion a year into the financial markets, pumping up a stock market that gets ever more out of line with reality. Median income is down over 10%. The labor force is still shrinking. Expansion by borrowing can't happen; we're tapped out. The WSJ reports that Nov-Dec retail foot traffic is down 50% from 2010 to 2013. The commercial real estate and banking sectors are on the brink of a meltdown. 

The economy has to start expanding soon, or it will collapse. The banksters have prepared to save themselves with "bail-ins", like in Cyprus: confiscating their depositors' accounts - and swallowing the economy into a black hole! 

Warren and McGovern are calling us into battle for a New Deal to save our real economy, our communities and homes, friends and neighbors. 

They have offered us their leadership and voices, but they can't do it for us. We have to do it. 

"jimmys" wrote: 
   "Where is Warren and McGovern's plan? They keep pointing fingers and crying but I do not see them introducing a new plan." 

What I should have answered:  They certainly talked about it at this Forum. Why didn't your newspaper, TV or radio network tell you about that? 

There is a vast silence out there in medialand about a lot of issues and events, and this non-coverage appears to be carefully crafted to create the illusion of a vast silence and passivity in the real world. Then we all get to sit around and blame all those other people out there who don't get it - and our representatives for what we didn't hear them say.


"I'mRight" posted:

   "The GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CREATE JOBS! ( Except its own wasteful inefficient ones)" 

CH:  A lot of folks keep shouting this, like it's an obvious truth and anyone who disagrees is somehow bad and stupid. But it's just not true. Scream at me all you want, but governments can and do create jobs. 

Look at the Interstate Highway System. Didn't that create jobs - a lot of them? You're going to tell me those weren't real jobs?  Would those jobs have been more real if the Interstates had been built for profit by a syndicate of investors? 

This issue is important for a number of reasons.  Right now it's urgent. Private investors are just not creating jobs. Huge quantities of government and Federal Reserve money shoveled in their direction for five years has not induced them to even replace the jobs that were lost in 2008-9. There's no reason to think they're suddenly about to start producing the millions of new jobs we need. 

And if SOMEONE doesn't start producing a lot of new jobs, right quick, the whole economy will collapse in on itself! 

I know that's not what they taught you in school, but it's time to let go of all this ideological stuff and get very practical. 
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