Back in the 1950's and 1960's this nation's economy was booming. A major reason for this was because everyone shared in the increase in wealth due to increased worker productivity. The corporations benefitted through higher profits. Workers benefitted through increased wages and better benefits. The poor and the elderly both benefitted through better social programs, paid for by the increase in tax revenues due to the increased profits and wages. It was a winning situation for everyone.
But that was before the Republicans came back to power and instituted there "trickle-down" economic policy, which encouraged and justified corporate greed. The idea was that if the government removed regulations from corporations and lowered their taxes, they would continue to share their new wealth through increased wages and benefits. This pie-in-the-sky policy was doomed to fail because it didn't take a couple of important aspects of corporations into account -- that corporations are built on greed and have no conscience.
The reason the economy was working for everyone was because their were strong unions, government regulations, and fairly high taxes -- which combined to rein in the natural greed of corporations and forced them to share the wealth of increased productivity. The Republican policies attacked and weakened unions, removed important regulations, and lowered taxes on the wealthiest corporations and people.
But instead of much of the wealth trickling down to workers and other Americans, as the Republicans had assured us would happen, the new wealth was hoarded by those at the top. They no longer had to share the wealth, and they didn't. They kept it all for themselves.
As the charts above show, workers continued to increase their productivity. In fact, worker productivity has risen sharply since 1980. But workers are no longer allowed to share in the wealth created by that productivity. While productivity has continued to climb, wages and compensation have not (remaining virtually flat for that same time period). In other words, corporate management has been stealing the worker's share of increased productivity. They use the stolen productivity to show abnormally high profits (which of course, justifies giving themselves abnormally high compensation and bonuses).
As the second chart above shows, corporate profits are at their highest (as a portion of the nation's GDP) since the 1960's. They are making record profits and sitting on record amounts of money, and yet, worker wages remain flat and no jobs are being created. In fact, worker wages (as a portion of GDP) are at their lowest point since World War II. Instead of creating an better economy for everyone, the failed Republican policies made the rich much richer and made everyone else poorer (since even stagnant wages lose buying power due to inflation).
The Republican economic policies didn't just fail, but caused a serious recession (depression?), destroyed millions of jobs, hurt most Americans, and are turning this country into a third-world banana republic (i.e., plutocracy). And what is their solution? More of the same. They want to remove even more regulations, give the rich and corporations massive new tax breaks, and further weaken or destroy unions. They must be voted out of power before they completely destroy the country.
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Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.
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This is not the first time this country has suffered an economic disaster, throwing millions of people out of work. The last time was the Great Depression, which like the current economic disaster started with a stock market crash caused by Republican policies that favored the rich over everyone else. But the voters of that time knew what to do. They booted out the party (Republicans) that caused the economic mess and replaced them with huge Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democratic president.
And President Roosevelt knew there was only one way out of that mess. Government spending to create jobs and spur the economy. And spend he did (on the CCC, the TVA, the NRA, etc.). The Republicans howled that it wouldn't work -- that he was just creating a massive debt that could never be paid off. But it did work, and the debt created got paid off with taxes from the income of the new jobs. It should have been a lesson remembered for generations -- that a recession/depression requires government spending, not austerity.
But Americans have short memories, and fail to learn from the mistakes of the past. After a few decades of prosperity, they let the Republican go back to the same policies that caused the great depression -- and it had the same result as before, the current Great Recession. But the Republicans had learned a few tricks since the last time. Knowing they could not win the economic argument, they diverted the attention of voters with an array of side issues (gay marriage, war on terror, evolution, abortion, contraception, immigration, etc.). While some of these may be legitimate issues -- they are not the most serious issue facing the country, which is our jobless economic disaster.
These issues have allowed the Republicans to keep just enough power to block all Democratic efforts to create jobs and spend to spur the economy. And their excuse for blocking action to fix the economy is the same as they proposed in the 1930s -- that austerity is needed, not spending (exactly the opposite of the policies that brought us out of the Great Depression). And it is keeping the country mired in this economic mess.
And the crazy thing is all we have to do is look at Europe to know that austerity won't work. The European governments have bought into the austerity idea big time, and they are paying dearly for it. Many of those countries (Great Britain, Spain, Italy Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic) have already slipped back into a recession and others are on the brink of it. In fact, Great Britain is having a worse time climbing out of this recession than they did the Great Depression (thanks to the austerity imposed by their Tory government).
The only reason the U.S. has not followed Europe back into a deeper recession is that we have a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic majority in the Senate. They have been able to block the worst of the austerity measures the Republicans have tried to impose on the country.
The coming election is important to the economic health of this nation. It will decide whether we continue down the path of austerity and disaster (with the Republicans), or create jobs and spur economic growth by spending (with the Democrats).
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Political Cartoon is by Monte Wolverton at caglecartoons.com.
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The Temptations -- Papa Was A Rolling Stone.[...]
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But wait, I thought they were supposed to be giving loans to their kids so the kids could take risks, no? Isn't that with Romney said they should do? After taking a thrashing during the last few recessions retired Americans are hardly in any financial condition to throw money around the way Romney has suggested. CNBC:
The two enterprising couples are part of an emerging wave of retired ?micropreneurs,? who pay for some of their living expenses by renting, sharing or swapping their big-ticket assets, such as homes, cars, airplanes and boats.New online companies are making it easier, safer and more efficient for you to become a tiny rental agency. Both couples attract at least a third of their guests through Airbnb, a San Francisco-based global online marketplace for privately owned homes and rooms. Its online rivals include Roomorama and Vacation Rentals by Owner.For autos, online car-sharing services like Relay Rides enable you to make money by renting your underused vehicles. If you have a boat or a private plane that you are willing to share, ShareZen offers you software and online assistance.The idea of the "sharing economy" is a great thing in my opinion as it helps eliminate waste and helps generate money for many people, but there's still a large delta between the sharing economy and the Mitt Romney world, where everyone around you is dripping in money and making $10,000 bets and building elevators for their fleet of cars.
DCCC Chair and "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel doesn't care if a candidate is conservative or liberal, just as long as he or she is a "Democrat." It doesn't matter if the candidate is virulently anti-Choice, like Steve Pestka and so many of the Red-to-Blue/Blue Dog candidates are or if they're homophobic fanatics, like Israel's deranged recruit in NC-11, Hayden Rogers, is (among others). Who cares if they oppose everything the Democratic Party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt stand for... as long as they're wearing that Blue t-shirt. Some are even lifelong Republicans who conveniently slipped on that blue t-shirt for the sake of the election cycle, like Patrick Murphy in Florida and Joe Schwarz in Michigan. Oh-- and there is one more thing besides the blue tee required by Israel and his cronies Hoyer and Crowley-- no independent thinking, none of this ethics nonsense about corruption-- and, most important, personal fealty to the career paths of certain Members, namely Hoyer, Israel, Wasserman Schultz and Crowley.
Doing the bidding of her Fanjul sugar daddies, Wasserman Schultz has another motive, one she's employed time and time again by interfering in South Florida politics: saving the seats if her Republican cronies, like her Fanjul puppets. She's turned the campaign against Rivera, on of the most corrupt Members of Congress, into a clown show featuring a stunning array of inadequate DCCC recruits with no chance at beating even someone as eminently beatable as David Rivera. Well, that ended this morning when local leader Joe Garcia, pushed the DC bosses aside and took matters into his own hands, declaring his own candidacy against David Rivera and the ridiculous anti-labor candidate from another district who Israel and Wasserman Schultz had most recently come up with. (All the background about this heartbreaking race is at the last link and here and here.) Richard Lydecker, Chairman of the Miami Dade Democratic Party, like most Florida Democrats sick of the DC 3 Stooges show, was excited to welcome Joe to the race: "Joe will be a strong voice for working families in the United States Congress. We are looking forward to having a Democrat replace David Rivera this fall." And if that quote irked Wasserman Schultz and the DCCC, who have already recruited another ridiculous candidate with no chance to win, this statement from Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman must have driven her to gnawing on her arm: "Joe Garcia has the integrity and character to represent us in congress. Joe's hard work will make him ready to get things back on track in Washington. I am proud to support my friend Joe Garcia.? But few Miami Democrats know better than Annette Taddeo, a former candidate who had the temerity to run against Wasserman Schultz crony (and Fanjul supplicant), Ileana Ros Letninen who Wasserman Schultz, then head of the DCCC's Red-to-Blue program, supported instead of her. This morning Taddeo came out swinging for Joe:
"I am proud to support my friend, Joe Garcia. Joe Garcia's passion and energy coupled with his long track record of commitment to working families, the environment, small business and equal rights, will allow him to serve our community once again. Joe's integrity will help restore the broken public trust and allow us to be proud of our congressman."
"We have all seen Washington politicians fail us. Right here at home we have seen what happens when a politician breaks that public trust, when they are dishonest and corrupt. After reading the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and State Attorney's (click here and here to read the story) investigation into our congressman, I was shocked. For the past year we have known that leaders in Washington will not even associate with our congressman, who remains under FBI and IRS investigation. Our community is being neglected because our congressman is busier covering up lies and crafting a legal defense than serving his constituents.
"I can not sit on the sidelines and watch this happen any longer. Today I am announcing our campaign for congress. Starting today we will work hard to serve you with honesty and integrity. From Key West to Westchester our focus will be on creating more opportunities and a better life for you and your family."
"The only certainties in life are death and taxes." Everyone's familiar with this old adage. Given the uncertainty of this economic recovery, wouldn't it be nice to have an investment that is equally as reliable?
The good news is income investors can come pretty close to this and lock in predictable returns by owning stocks of companies that operate in these fields — death and … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: 3 Dividend Stocks that Are as Reliable as Death and Taxes
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