Unemployment is still high and job creation hasn't made a big dent this many years into the so-called recovery. Who has the best plan? Is it the Keynesians? On the other end, the Austerics?
The answer is neither, really. They both neglect the economic elephant in the room - spreading wealth to the wealthy keeps buying power away from the middle class; it simply does not lead to economic recovery, historically. Perhaps looking to history can help us learn what works and what doesn't.
Robert Reich (Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and former Labor Secretary) delivers a compelling argument for a 6-point plan for economic recovery.
The unprecedented level of economic inequality in America is undeniable. In an extended essay, Bill Moyers shares examples of the striking extremes of wealth and poverty across the country, including a video report on California’s Silicon Valley. There, Facebook, Google, and Apple are minting millionaires, while the area’s homeless -- who’ve grown 20 percent in the last two years -- are living in tent cities at their virtual doorsteps.
“A petty, narcissistic, pridefully ignorant politics has come to dominate and paralyze our government,” says Bill, “while millions of people keep falling through the gaping hole that has turned us into the United States of Inequality.”
Economist Richard Wolff explains the weaknesses of capitalism and the need for Americans to understand the system under which they live and work.
There are many problems associated with capitalism (state capitalism): wage slavery, concentration of wealth and power, undermining of democracy, repression of curiosity and creativity, environmental destruction, the boom and bust cycle (over production), economic depression, promotion of competition over cooperation, isolation of individuals from society, consumerism, escapism, apathy, emotional instability, political corruption (cronyism), suppression of science and technology research due to short term profit motive, personal debt, crime, violence, war, etc.
The strength of capitalism is its ability to produce enormous wealth (surplus), but this is only possible through state capitalism (government control of the economy).
No to austerity! Yes to reclaiming our communities!
Occupy Portland and Portland Action Lab invite all people to participate in a national call to action to say No to Austerity and Yes to building our collective power. On November 2nd and 3rd (N3) we will mobilize and march, voting with our feet by taking direct action to interrupt the normal course of business. Our power is in our neighborhoods, building alternatives, and taking to the streets! Business and our governments hoard wealth, privatize our communities, and burden us with enormous debt – This is AUSTERITY and we say Enough is Enough!
We call on all participants in the Occupy movement, rank-and-file union members, students, our elders and people-at-large to organize creatively and return to our public spaces with this message on the weekend before the election. Our communities will make our own decisions and control our own resources, no matter who is elected. We are not alone; austerity is a consequence of a failed economic system and people around the world are rising up. We act in solidarity and take inspiration from the peoples of Greece, South Africa, Quebec, Chile, and beyond who are fighting austerity and the destruction of their communities.
"Corporations are people, my friends": In advance of Wednesday's presidential debate, Obama for America has released a new web video to lay out the facts about Mitt Romney's private sector experience. As Valerie Burton, who lost her job to Bain’s business practices explains, “I really feel in my heart people ought to know what Mitt Romney did.”
At Bain, Romney did not work to create jobs, but instead to create wealth for himself and his partners. As a corporate buyout specialist, Romney led Bain Capital to load companies up with debt, driving several into bankruptcy. Thousands of American workers lost their jobs while Mitt Romney and his investors walked away with millions.
It is these men and women, who lost their jobs because of Bain, who can best express what Mitt Romney is referring to when he talks about his business experience, and, just a few days out from the first presidential debate, why he must not be president.
As some Americans decide who to cast their vote for in November because some still mistakenly believe that because Mitt Romney is a wealthy businessman, that he would know how to create jobs and return us all to prosperity more rapidly. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Romney is a job destroyer who picks the wealth from prospering companies and leaves nothing behind.
Mitt Romney is what's wrong with America, and he must not become president.
It’s only Tuesday, but this week has already packed some punches for Mitt Romney. A new poll found that Southern whites -- long considered one of the linchpins of the Republicans’ so-called Southern strategy -- are bothered by the GOP candidate’s wealth and religion. According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted over several months in 11 states from Virginia to Texas, 38 percent of Bible Belt voters said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who is “very wealthy” than one who isn’t, and many viewed Mormonism as a cult.
Meanwhile, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday showed that a majority favored having dinner with the president over Romney by a 13-point margin. In a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, Obama led Romney by 6 points, buoyed by a 4-point bump from the Democratic National Convention.
Four years ago, the Mitt Romneys of the world nearly destroyed the global economy with their greed, shortsightedness and – most notably – wildly irresponsible use of debt in pursuit of personal profit. The sight was so disgusting that people everywhere were ready to drop an H-bomb on Lower Manhattan and bayonet the survivors. But today that same insane greed ethos, that same belief in the lunatic pursuit of instant borrowed millions – it's dusted itself off, it's had a shave and a shoeshine, and it's back out there running for president.
"But what most voters don't know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America's top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth."
"By making debt the centerpiece of his campaign, Romney was making a calculated bluff of historic dimensions - placing a massive all-in bet on the rank incompetence of the American press corps. The result has been a brilliant comedy: A man makes a $250 million fortune loading up companies with debt and then extracting million-dollar fees from those same companies, in exchange for the generous service of telling them who needs to be fired in order to finance the debt payments he saddled them with in the first place..."
"If Romney pulls off this whopper, you'll have to tip your hat to him: No one in history has ever successfully run for president riding this big of a lie. It's almost enough to make you think he really is qualified for the White House."
Say goodbye to the middle class, or at least, that’s what a majority of Americans believe. The U.S. middle class is shrinking, and more Americans don’t believe they will achieve that way of life, according to a study released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. Only 51 percent of all adults are considered middle class, down from 61 percent in 1971, but the study did find that part of the shrinkage came from more people joining the upper classes, which now represent 20 percent of the nation, up from 14 percent in 1971. But those aren't all of the gains: the lower-income group rose to 29 percent of all adults, up from 25 percent in 1971.
In a classic experiment, primatologists trained brown capuchin monkeys to give them pebbles in exchange for cucumbers. Almost overnight, a capuchin economy developed, with hungry monkeys harvesting small stones. But the marketplace was disrupted when the scientists got mischievous: instead of giving every monkey a cucumber in exchange for pebbles, they started giving some monkeys a tasty grape instead. (Monkeys prefer grapes to cucumbers.) After witnessing this injustice, the monkeys earning cucumbers went on strike. Some started throwing their cucumbers at the scientists; the vast majority just stopped collecting pebbles. The capuchin economy ground to a halt. The monkeys were willing to forfeit cheap food simply to register their anger at the arbitrary pay scale.
This labor unrest among monkeys illuminates our innate sense of fairness. It’s not that the primates demanded equality — some capuchins collected many more pebbles than others, and that never created a problem — it’s that they couldn’t stand when the inequality was a result of injustice. Humans act the same way. When the rich do something to deserve their riches, nobody complains; that’s just the meritocracy at work. But when those at the bottom don’t understand the unequal distribution of wealth — when it seems as if the winners are getting rewarded for no reason — they get furious. They doubt the integrity of the system and become more sensitive to perceived inequities. They start camping out in parks. They reject the very premise of the game.
As the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement is approaching, activists are organizing multiple events with the themes centering on the ongoing debt crisis, student loan crisis and mortgage crisis.
"We want to celebrate our resistance over the past year with actions pointing to the ongoing debt crisis, the student debt crisis, the home mortgage and loans debt crisis," said Karanja G. an activist with the movement.
He told Press TV’s U.S. Desk that police brutality, oppression, and racism were among some of the other issues the 99 percenters sought to address at the anniversary of their movement.
The Occupy Wall Street demonstration started out on September 17 last year with around a dozen college students spending days and nights in Zuccotti Park in New York.
The demonstrators protest against government corruption an unequal distribution of wealth wherein one percent of the American population benefits from the capitalism system, while the other 99 percent is exploited. The protesters say they are that 99 percent.