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Jobless In America

The job crisis. We’ll get the latest from the front lines and the big picture.

Hundreds of people wait in line to get into a job fair presented by Jobs and Careers Newspaper and Job Fairs in San Mateo, Calif.   (AP)

Hundreds of people wait in line to get into a job fair presented by Jobs and Careers Newspaper and Job Fairs in San Mateo, Calif. (AP)


We’ve had a big season of deficit fever in this country. But the disease that’s whacking millions of American families in the head right now is joblessness.

It is brutal. If you’re out of work, getting back in is a monumental challenge. There are not enough jobs, by a long shot. It’s crushing individuals and families right now. We’ll hear from some today.

And it’s putting a huge dent in our national future. Changing things we love most about this country. Crying out for action.

This hour On Point: the jobs crisis, from the big picture to the front lines. We’ll dive in.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Don Peck, features writer for The Atlantic and author of Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It.

Marianne Steffey, 32-year-old former journalist for the Johnson City Press.

Stephen Rhymer, 59-year-old former Director of Communications and Public Relations at Great Plains Regional Hospital.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post “In an effort to show the real impact of joblessness, we asked six people to contribute to a reader-powered experiment.”

The Atlantic “The great recession has accelerated the hollowing-out of the American middle class. And it has illuminated the widening divide between most of America and the super-rich. Both developments herald grave consequences. Here is how we can bridge the gap between us.”

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  • Anonymous

    Is OnPoint serious? Or is this a glitch? The show is about the Republican’s running for the nomination to run for president and the show’s page is now gone with all the comments. What gives?  

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    Dinosaurs need not apply.Some time ago Scientific America magazine noted that there are 77 million additional people being born every year worldwide ( that is to say ,77 million more people being born, than are dying ). In less than 5 years, that is more people than are citizens of the United States of America ! Almost all of these are born poor. A capitalist will work those people at the lowest rate of pay that they can. In general, technology has replaced more jobs than job outsourcing.Thanks to the “Moore’s Law Phenomena” , the coming Singularity ( see, Ray Kurzweil, et.,al.) will continue to eliminate traditional jobs in manufacturing and other sectors, at ever faster rates ( see, Personal Fabrication, now, often called 3-D Printing { not to be confused with the printing industry or Hollywood’s 3D Printing}. “Ray” predicts the year 2029 to be the year artificial intelligence becomes , “real”. Yes, actual thinking machines, that walk and talk, and lift and push, and assemble, take phone calls, stitch wounds, fix cars, drive cars, fly planes, fight wars, trade stocks and bonds, run companies … { ya, get it ?} .By the way, have you ever heard of Menger’s sponge? Some day, a computer the size of a very large building could be squeezed to near zero volume on a device like this. As component parts get smaller and electrons are replaced by light, the parts could get placed on a Menger sponge. { This is a neat concept, as the volume of a Menger’s sponge goes to zero, its’ surface area goes to infinity ! } Solving various math problems, such as the P versus NP problem { polynomial versus non-deterministic polynomial problem }, would further accelerate the “Moor’s Law Phenomena” by orders of magnitude. { The scope and consequences of solving such problems in the affirmative are far reaching and hard to exaggerate. It has been said that, ‘everyone would be a Mozart’. If this paraphrase is true, then we are compelled to ask, ‘what would every AI be ? So what does all of this have to do with JOBS ?Traditional views about jobs and work have to be replaced with NEW, CREATIVE, BOLD, INVENTIVE, …. IDEAS !I ask that you consider a 6 hour workday. Overtime at double time rates between the 6th and 8th hour, 1/4th time thereafter, ( Computers will do all the arithmetic, don‘t sweat it. ){ …..I ask that you consider a 4 hour workday}….{I ask that you consider a 2 hour workday………etc..} How about, “Individual Unemployment Accounts” . Require each employee to save or invest 3 to 6 percent of their gross income, in such an account. If they never have to tap into it, they can use it to augment their Social Security.The point I am trying to make is THINK NEW AND BOLD. Please don’t live in the 19th and 20th century, they are over.Picture a plan, think it through, consider all sides, try to consider any “ unintended consequences” , low probability consequences, be flexible and ready to correct any failings that may arise. Make it work globally, make it work Universally { I speaking of the Universe , as if we are “out there” already ! Think big ! }

  • John Smith

    I was told the recession is officially over. Did they lie to me?

    • Cory

      Define “they”.

  • twenty-niner

    How about another stimulus program:

    Stimulus Jobs in China? Senators Angry About U.S. Money Going Overseas

    An investigation by ABC News and the Investigative Reporting Workshop found that 79 percent of the program’s money has gone to foreign companies, money that Schumer said was “federal tax dollars, the stimulus, which was sold as jobs in America.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/WN/obama-stimulus-money-spent-overseas/story?id=10002592

    • LinP

      How is that even possible?! My god, I feel we are doomed coming and going.

  • Anonymous

    It seems that being unemployed means finding a job could be almost impossible as more companies are only hiring those who already have jobs. My question is are we going to deal with this and the possibility that we have high unemployment for years to come.  

  • Ellen Dibble

    I read the Don Peck article in The Atlantic linked above at “Tom’s Reading List.”  It’s late tonight, but I wanted to get to the end to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I read a grand compilation of statistical comparisons, none of it surprising, and at the end, the man comes up with pretty much the same conclusions that contributors to these OnPoint Comments threads have come to over the years, both in terms of sociological trends and economic trends.  (I mean that as a recommendation; it’s ammunition, so to speak.) 
         But the solutions, aligned with what we hear over and over, and aligned with what we say and write over and over, are solutions that mostly have to come out of Congress and the White House, and Congress washes its hands of trying to help solve our problems.  We’re on our own, folks.   We need federal-scope change without federal coordination.    So how are we going to focus on investment rather than consumption, innovation in incunabula (in cribs), nascent upstarts likely to displace the old staples (gas lobbies) even as those upstarts try to steal the tax breaks of the warhorses; how are we going to shift resources from seniors (AARP) to education for new skills — all that without leaders who are skilled at teamwork: Getting Things Done?      And all this, it seems to me, is likely to take a generation.  These eggs won’t hatch in my lifetime, these trees won’t shed shade over me.  But that’s okay.  So long as other people are getting on board with it, which they are not.  (However, noted:  Howard Schultz of Starbucks started a movement Monday to withhold campaign contributions until Congress has enacted a Plan — see YouTube, he says; it’s going viral, something like that.)

  • Yar

    I saw this piece last week and thought it important. I had a heck of a time finding it again. http://seekingalpha.com/article/285851-u-s-employment-population-ratio-hits-new-low-why-it-matters-for-the-budget-debate

    Fewer people are working.  
    “The employment-population ratio fell to a new low of 58.1 percent.” 
    Youth is having a difficult time getting in the job market.
    “The July, 2011 data show labor force participation for teenagers of just 34 percent, and among them, an unemployment rate of 25 percent.” 
    If I understand the labor data correctly, thirty four out of teenagers out of 100 are looking for a job, of those 34, 8 are currently unemployed. The rest don’t show in the labor statistics at all.  That means only 26 out of 100 teenagers have a job.
    Youth need work experience while they are still young or they become discouraged on life, I expect that attitude is behind the riots and looting in England.
    My solution, I have stated before on this forum is a mandatory youth jobs program.
    A cross between the CCC and the WPA. I would use youth workers to assist in public education, in delivering medical care, leading physical activities, maintaining public buildings, services, that the government is already contracting out, services that could be done by a national youth corp.  It gives work experience and builds pride in the next generation. I believe this is a better idea than shrinking the middle class. Economic stimulus targeted toward youth.http://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2011/8/9/saupload_p110806_3.png

  • ac

    I would like to know the breakdown of ‘types’ of jobs being lost. Also, skill requirement of available jobs and the wage brackets they fall under.

    • Joani

      Then do some research, if you are one of the many unemployed.

      • ac

        no, I’m very well employed and happy about it. I can’t complain, but I’m hoping to understand what’s going on around me, who knows – maybe I’ll finally have my moment of genius I’ve been waiting for….

        • ac

          and think of a fix…

  • Ed

    The economic problems are predictable and are demographic, see the video ‘Demographic Winter’. Young people start businesses and create jobs, we need more young people.

    • ac

      what sorts of businesses do they start?

      • Ellen Dibble

        Where I live, our local newspaper covers lots of businesses started by people of all ages.  Young people often don’t have any choice.  One:  a guy started a taxi service that seemed Chinese revival.  He adapted a bicycle to haul a traveler.  This is not so far-fetched in my town because one of our successful trash haulers is a group of young women who haul trash on adapted bicycles.  What’s another one.  Oh, the guy who was going to help you solve your Sudoku puzzles.  (I don’t think that went farther than the announcement, but it was an idea.)

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      There you go again Ed. Do you have any other message or is this it?

      We have plenty of young people, we need to employ them.

    • Cory

      Hmmm…  the video “Demographic Winter”…  I’ve never seen that mentioned here before…  Who made that video?

  • J. Mezure Carter

    There are two problems that are outstanding when it comes to jobs.  Number one is education versus on the job training.  Businesses, even if they small or large, have relinquished most of the training to an education system that at best can inadequately provide what the businesses need.  The best schools, especially at the university level, are often better equipped with advanced cutting edge computer equipment and research methods.  When students are employed in firms that do not have advanced equipment their learned skills fail to be used.  I know this appears to be the least of the problems for job creation but it is an example of the types of disconnection between education and business. In the days when on the job training dominated, businesses were willing to invest in their workers because they knew those workers were their major investment.   Now they expect the education system to make the investment for them.  Oddly enough this has  dragged down the ability of businesses to compete with countries that have companies that are willing to do on the job training.  
    The second problem stems from the military-industrial alliance that has the United States relinquishing consumer product manufacturing for the manufacturing of military hardware.  Go to any United States engineering school’s recruitment days and count the number of consumer product recruiters as compared to the number of recruiters for military manufacturers and you will see the future of manufacturing in the United States.  Then take a look at a country such as Japan and look at which types of manufacturers dominate their recruitment days. Need I say more about job creation?

  • Anonymous

    I suspect that one root cause of the economic malaise of today is instability; not the ‘uncertainty’ that Republicans complain about, as they only create through their antics.  In the 0’s corporate America squeezed more and more efficiency out of the workforce to ‘satisfy’ investors. When I am a highly skilled and experienced engineer yet I lost my job at the end of 07 and again in the middle of 08 to Indian contractors who, arguably could not do my job; AND, on a dollar per dollar basis, were not as productive. While the business grew, the people who helped build the success of the company were being laid off to satisfy professional gamblers, aka investors, who might hold stake in a corporation for 10 minutes, 10 days or 10 months, while folks like myself invested in it 10 years. While our incomes were taxed at 30+ %, the tax code was changed to encourage gambling. Our business leadership became part of the Speculator Class: their personal economic growth strategy: offshoring US jobs.
     
    When Bush spoke about job retraining I was incensed. I didn’t need retraining, I need a job! I have been lucky and am doing well, but today Teachers, Doctors, Nurses, Police and even Firefighters are losing their jobs all over the country putting the public at greater risk; the Right is effectively slaughtering the milk cows. How in all honesty can the Right defend subsidies for the most profitable corporations in history while forcing draconian cuts that lay off health, fire and safety professionals?
     
    Today barrels of oil change hands  many, many times, not as a necessary part of commerce, but purely for speculation, i.e. gambling. This past week gas prices fell 7 cents per gallon which by ABC’s estimation amounts to $7 billion back in the hands of consumers. Imagine if gas fell from $3.60 back to $3.00 per gallon… what would that do to the economy? Economic upheaval due to oil speculation is huge factor. Who are these speculators and how many of them are their that have such an inordinate impact on our economy? All they do is add uncertainty to the economic equation and our tax codes encourage that behavior.
     
    As they rail about uncertainty in the markets, Republicans put forth an economic theory that seems founded on the idea that chaos is efficient, regulation is counterproductive, and that corporations can be trusted to be benevolent as they are run by compassionate stewards. Yet facts fly in the face of this: the debacles of  BP, ENRON, Madoff and the rest of Wall Street show how much we need regulation.
     
    How can the get away with purveying the image that the policies that got us into this mess will some how have the opposite effect now? What madness has gripped the American public that they even listen to this nonsense?
     
    Tom, yesterday you let Kelly Ann say with exuberant certitude that the American public doesn’t want more taxes. Why didn’t you caller her out on that bold faced lie. She knows darn well what the polls say: the majority of the American public want a roll back of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and I’m sure a bit more.
     
    The key to Republican politicking is consistency on talking points, regardless of the facts.  Truth or lies, they stick to their message. Until we start basing decisions on facts, our success at growing jobs will be based upon dumb luck, good or bad.
     
    I want fact based decision making to solve our jobs problems. Until we start calling liars out, our political discourse will be pitiful and the results chaotic.

    • Corythatcher

      Democratic complicity is the unwillingness to stand up in the face of the conservatives and shout to the heavens the lies that you have outlined.  This makes them just as bad, if not even worse. 

      • Anonymous

        Bingo!

      • Anonymous

        Agree with the sentiment. Passivity. Collusion. Politics is a dirty self-serving business. That aside, we can’t allow double-visioned drunkards back on the bus behind the wheel.

  • Markus

    This group tends to try to dismiss this subject (hoping it will go away), but to get tactical for a sec, you have 12 to 15 million illegal immigrants in this country, and growing. Many are having children, which increases the numbers as citizens. Many are taking the low wage jobs. Deport a significant number of these gradually and jobs will become available, though it will likely increase prices as the pay increases.
     
    But that’s obvious and only part of my point. There are billions of people in poverty in the world. Allowing current illegals to stay here with explicit or ad hoc amnesty is a statement that what these billions need to do is find a way to get here, stay low, take low end jobs, and eventually we’ll have a third amnesty. When Regan and Kennedy pushed through amnesty, it happened and it will happen again.  This means the 12 or so million today will become 20 million in a few years and so on.
     
    Progressives allege that they are concerned over the plight of the unemployed – particularly those who would take low wage jobs. However, this concern quickly gets pushed to the side when talking about illegal immigration. I guess our citizens on the bottom rung are not all that important to them.

    • Cory

      Your post only forgets one thing.  Conservative complicity in this problem comes from their love of cheap labor and the wage supression it creates.  This is why the problem has no solution.  Both of the political parties in America either openly or secretly love illegal immigration.  Anything they say to the contrary is lip service to segments of their parties. 

      • Markus

        Agreed. It’s why I included Regan in the indictment. I could have added Bush and both parties in Congress. And obviously, it’s more than cheap labor, but also getting votes from a growing block. Seems too early to say there’s no solution, though you could be right.

  • Adks12020

    I’m 29.  I’ve been out of college since I was 23 (took a year off).  I took an entry level job assuming I would be able to move up in a couple of years.  Unfortunately it isn’t working out that way. 

    Ive tried to look elsewhere and move up that way but unfortunately companies either want someone with 5-10 years experience, so they don’t have to train them, or no experience so they don’t have to pay them.  No companies are willing to hire someone with 85% of the qualifications and let them learn the rest.  It’s all or nothing.

    It seems to me like many businesses have been duped by our education structure.  It’s all about what degree you have.  If you don’t have the exact degree they want and the exact experience they want the employers assume you cannot do the job. 

    My father was a human resources vp for a fortune 500 company in the late 70s, 80s and early 90s.  He says emphatically that all that matters is that you have a degree, demonstrate intelligence and do well in the interview…that he used to hire people with education degrees for human resources jobs and they were his best employees.  Unfortunately times have changed Dad. The robots doing the hiring are too narrow minded to see potential. 

    After the rambling…the result is people on the low end can’t move up and make room in the market for more people on the low end.  Hence, a whole lot of young people out of work and with thousands in debt from the education that was supposed to make them a successs.

    • Brettearle

      You state your case quite well.

      HR pros have likely become prima donnas, because they feel that they can pick and choose.  From their standpoint, it’s a buyer’s market 

      They make decisions, according to preconceived assumptions and formulas; such preprogramming, they think, protects them from potential mistakes in the hiring process.

      And if they make a mistake, they can tell their superiors that they went “by the book”.

      These days, with regard to employment, many don’t want to think out of the box. 

      • Markus

        Don’t demonize HR pros so quickly. They get hundreds of resumes, many from people who’ve studied how to create them, so they all look good. They have to find a way to cut through all these. Also, my experience is they’re pretty decent people. They’re also working with hiring managers who have a day job and often aren’t terribly responsive in going to meetings, writing up what they want, making phone calls, etc. Finally, they have external regulations to follow.

        I don’t mean to give the impression that they’re 70 hour per week saints, and they often, as you suggest, stay in the box. But it’s important to know what motivates them and what’s in their reviews. This, I could only guess at, so will leave to others.

        • Adks12020

          I agree that they are probably good, by the book, people for the most part.  My problem is more with the book than with the people.   It seems like the company policies are the problem and in general I’m sure that the HR people and hiring managers are following those faulty policies.  YOu can’t possibly find the best person for a job by limiting yourself entirely to the people that have the exact degree or exact qualifications.  Often times a degree doesn’t prepare a person for work in the real world and often times a person with the best qualifications on paper isn’t necessarily the best person for the job.

    • Anonymous

      Well said that means that instead of tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, “carried interest” exceptions of the 400 richest, and corporate tax loopholes Obama and congress should work to lower the principle on student loans. That would really take the weight off of you and myself.

      • Jasoturner

        And as soon as your lobbyists and PACs start donating money to Congress, I’m sure they’ll be all over it…

    • Jasoturner

      Very good comment with some astute observations.  At my work, we are undergoing a major efficiency evaluation, which means upper management begins sticking it’s nose down into the organization’s workings.  Which means more reporting up, even though the C-Suite doesn’t necessarily understand the nuances of what’s going on (e.g. how a utility supply contract is structured and negotiated.)  And much of the reporting is “structured” to fit the desires of the efficiency consultants rather than to relay substantive information most efficiently.  And so, as you found with companies battening down the hatches, resumes must also “fit” the mold ideally, or they are not acceptable.

      This desperate over-management approach to efficiency and profitability slowly squeezes the agility and creativity out of organizations, which generally leads to not much good, at least as my experience has shown.

      I read an article somewhere that included the line, “when a business starts hiring people to count the paper clips, you know it’s over”.  When a business will only hire a perfectly credentialed job candidate, they are effectively acknowledging that developing and using the talents of their employees is over.  They are counting the clips.

  • Anonymous

    I would add that I recently ended a 9 month drought after having completed a Ph.D. here at the University of Vermont. It was brutal and the uncertainty (true uncertainty not the BS kind referred to on Wall Street or by big business) has delayed my marriage to my favorite human being and delayed us having children. I still suffer what I call post-unemployment stress disorder (PUSD) which manifests itself in me looking for better/more secure jobs even though I have one. I was right in doing so because I found out yesterday – thanks to my insistence as I have another great job offer – that my current employer who had already changed my contract from 2yrs to an 8mo probationary period that they were not going to guarantee me a contract extension. This was not the rough and tumble world of business but rather academia. I was told that if I hadn’t come to them with this other job offer and an ultimatum they might not have let me know of my status until the days prior to the contract’s expiration in October. This is no way to treat people even if you do have leverage! Employers are in the catbird seat and they love it. I am amazed at how callus people are in the face of having someone’s career in their hands. Such a flippant disregard for basic short- and medium-term needs is really not what this country is about….At least that is what I thought!
    I will be fine and my fiance and I will have a wonderful marriage and an even more wonderful child but what I will never forget about this Great Depression is the rapidity with which people backed away from words like loyalty, respect, fairness, and transparency. I for one will always have the scars of the uncertainty and unknowns that soaked into my every fiber during this recession. They say that Depression children saved every nickle etc. Well I think my generation and those that were unemployed for a prolonged time will always have in the back of our minds when the next shoe is going to fall. Especially those of us not looking to get filthy rich but rather just teach or give back to the planet or our fellow man nothing gaudy or selfish but simply good work that doesn’t involve off-shoring or newfangled “financial products”.
    PUSD is real and I am sure I am not the only one that feels this way. I don’t know when this fear and anxiousness will go away but I hope soon because it really sucks!

  • Cory

    Great topic and posts today.  I’ve enjoyed them all.

    It seems to me after reading these posts that the way we’ve done things here for the past 200 years isn’t going to work anymore.  The free market, 7 year business cycle, financial industry slight of hand, trust the rich to lead the way trickle down type stuff.

    I know my solution.  It’s more isolationist and socialistic.  It is way less militaristic and interventionist.  It is food, shelter, and healthcare for every American no matter how stupid, lazy, old, or otherwise unproductive.  It will still be possible to be rich, but it’ll be harder to do and you’ll pay a hell of a lot of taxes once you get there (You will feel a sense of pride in being a steward of the American dream).

    My solution is not everyone’s solution.  Hell, chances are mine isn’t even the right solution.  I do feel certainty however that a new solution is needed.  The one solution I am confident is not good for most Americans is the one we are now pursuing.  Globalization, wage supression, union busting, safety net burning, no retirement, no healthcare, no middle class, no long term investment, no regulation, no government, no taxation, Pax Americana, southern drawl evangelical type solutions. 

    • Ryan_hennings

      Cory,

      I’m not trying to be rude, but you are delusional.

      • Sam

        @1740c86df69d9a4e911f60f386bf06b9:disqus :

        I like some of Cory’s ideas. In fact I am all for “equal rights” for all – i.e. everyone deserves health care, shelter, food. I consider those – “basic rights”. I know it’s not very Capitalistic, but look where that “movement” got us.

        And you have to have respect for a person who says “my solution may not be the right one”. Anyone who has an open enough mind to propose solutions and LISTEN and stay flexible, gets my vote! :)

        Plus, I have read Cory’s comments before and he seems like a level headed guy. I don’t necessary agree with everything he says, but I listen and like a lot of his ideas.

      • Anonymous

        Cory is hardly delusional — it’s a recipe that has worked well over a long period of time.  I’d look for a better word than “isolationist,” one that implies a combination of “I am my brother’s keeper” and “Mind your own business.”  Otherwise, Cory nails it.

        If you’re looking for delusion, look into Republican administrations since Eisenhower.  Look wide and deep.  There’s no question but that venality and lousy management mark their “achievements.”  

      • Anonymous

        He is being sarcastic and making a huge point, Ryan. Maybe you’re delusional.

      • Cory

        No offense taken, many agree with you (even my wife, occasionally!)

    • Ellen Dibble

      I like to look back to a PBS series about the actualities of certain times in American history, one set of shows in particular about settling the Plymouth colony.  It exemplifies an organic community where everyone had to pull their weight or else the community failed.  It vanished.  I’m sure I’ve extrapolated, tried to merge that with say the way I think a Polynesian society functioned.  (I think Obama’s mother was an anthropologist, maybe asking similar questions…)  Anyway, it seems to me that the old were in no sense considered retirees.  They were useful in different ways.  Even very young children had important roles.  No one felt extra.  I suppose if someone really was a drag, they wouldn’t be supported very long.  But the community would do everything in its power to heal them, remobilize them to the max.  But they would find a role for as many of the town fool, the troubled, the lame — and plenty of literature tells us about the hunchback, the one with the bane who was banished, all that.  But the sense of working together is hard to create when we are so mobile, in phone and in vehicle.  In an hour I can be 60 miles away.  What does banishment mean?  If I am fired, it feels like I’ve been declared a witch and disposable.  Help me, Darwin.

      • Steve

        many streams have flowed into the river of privatization…
        of wealth, thought, belief…

        The question I have been asking for quite some time is…
        How do we restore community and the value of the individual and include an ever more diverse population.

        • Steve

          ???

      • Cory

        I agree with you.  I’m doggedly determined to have my mother live with my nuclear family after she retires.  She hasn’t bought in yet, but I can be very persuasive. ;)  Too many disposable people as it currently stands.

    • Freeman

      Cory;    No my friend you are NOT delusional,  just a pragmatic realist and a great humanist. Just don’t hold you hand on your $@*. Washington doesn’t have much use for people who USE THRIR HEAD.

      • Cory

        Thanks for the kind words.  I’m certain that humanity is meant to do better than this.  Free market capitalism married with democratic forms  of government has taken us a long way toward advancing humanity.  I’m just not convinced that it is the pinnacle of human organization that some suggest.

        • nj

          I’ll keep saying it: There’s no such thing as a “free market.”

          (Apologies ahead of time if the line spacing disappears [as it sometimes does in a clip-and-paste]. It’s there now, as i type, i swear.)

          http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0312-08.htm

          Democracy—Not “The Free Market”—Will Save America’s Middle Class

          by Thom Hartmann

          Here are a couple of headlines for those who haven’t had the time to study both economics and history:1. There is no such thing as a “free market.”2. The “middle class” is the creation of government intervention in the marketplace, and won’t exist without it (as millions of Americans and Europeans are discovering).The conservative belief in “free markets” is a bit like the Catholic Church’s insistence that the Earth was at the center of the Solar System in the Twelfth Century. It’s widely believed by those in power, those who challenge it are branded heretics and ridiculed, and it is wrong.In actual fact, there is no such thing as a “free market.” Markets are the creation of government.Governments provide a stable currency to make markets possible. They provide a legal infrastructure and court systems to enforce the contracts that make markets possible. They provide educated workforces through public education, and those workers show up at their places of business after traveling on public roads, rails, or airways provided by government. Businesses that use the “free market” are protected by police and fire departments provided by government, and send their communications – from phone to fax to internet – over lines that follow public rights-of-way maintained and protected by government.And, most important, the rules of the game of business are defined by government. Any sports fan can tell you that football, baseball, or hockey without rules and referees would be a mess. Similarly, business without rules won’t work.Which explains why conservative economics wiped out the middle class during the period from 1880 to 1932, and why, when Reagan again began applying conservative economics, the middle class again began to vanish in America in the 1980s – a process that has dramatically picked up steam under George W. Bush.—snipped

    • Mpatterson

      It’s hard to believe a refurbished capitalism will provide a long term solution to our most pressing problems. It’s even more incredulous to   think the ruthless no-tax, no stimulus, cut, cut, cut approach by the GOP will do any more than please the well-connected~ doing~just~fine~thank~you amongst us. 

      But for starters, a revamping of the tax code is long overdue. Tax favors for true job creators will help. A targeted, open, transparent nation-wide infrastructure program is an investment in the nation’s future – and not [simply] a jobs program. 

      We could also all start to insist that we get our money’s worth from government programs, departments and employees  (including members of congress). It’s hard to believe that all levels of the government are a benefit to the greater good commensurate with their pay and benefits. And if they not, then these departments & programs that should be shunted aside for the sake of a balanced budget. 

    • Anonymous

      The GATT and NAFTA which began during the Kennedy Administration’s European economic talks called the “Kennedy Round”  took over 30 years to implement when finally President Clinton signed them into law. In the 1990s, suddenly there were open borders, illegal migrants, and agricultural imports into America from all over the globe. Jobs were easily shipped overseas, mostly to China. The authors of A Still Small Voice: The Vatican, The USA, and Israel in Bible Prophecy, explain that declassified Dept of State documents prove it was a conspiracy between the Vatican and the USA to grow China’s economy for the purpose of obtaining freedom of religion for the Roman Catholic Church in China and Asia. The DOS declassified top secret documents speak of using brainwashing techniques to change American public opinion about using USA tax dollars for nation building. The elite media’s job is to cover it all up. NPR doesn’t mention this church-state alliance. And Cory’s post proves that he is FULLY brainwashed by the seditionists.

      • Cory

        I like a good conspiracy theory, but the one you describe has more layers than a Maui onion.  If I’m fully brainwashed as you suggest, then I’m powerless to resist and will have to continue on with my life as is, I guess.

        • Anonymous

          That’s the final proof that you R brainwashed. You lost your power to choose to analyze, think things through to a logical conclusion. The authors of that book stated in 2006 that riots, chaos, and economic ruin (the current GLOBAL state of affairs; hint, take a peek at astillsmallvoice dot info) would be the end-result of the GATT and NAFTA sending jobs overseas, open borders with taxpayers supporting illegal immigration, and misappropriation of USA tax dollars for nation building. And they cite DOS declassified material released in 1999 as the source of the Government’s own ADMISSION that they are conspiring to bring about changes decreed by the pope.

          Also, they point to the cover of Time Magazine during Reagan’s term whose headline was “Holy Alliance: How Reagan and the Pope conspired to assist Poland’s Solidarity movement and hasten the demise of Communism,” February 24, 1992, cover story.

          So, how well informed are you (or alternatively, how brainwashed if you say you no longer control your own thoughts) if you don’t believe THAT which is clearly in front of you unfolding just as those authors said it would based on declassified DOS secret documents?

    • LinP

      “The one solution I am confident is not good for most Americans is the
      one we are now pursuing.  Globalization, wage supression, union busting,
      safety net burning, no retirement, no healthcare, no middle class, no
      long term investment, no regulation, no government, no taxation, Pax
      Americana, southern drawl evangelical type solutions.”

      Thank you, a million times over.

  • Michiganjf

    The fact that we no longer can count on a traditional recovery pattern… EVER… is due to a completely altered paradigm in the world.Unlike any previous recession, this EXTREMELY SEVERE recession has occured under totally new circumstances in the world, which are especially difficult circumstances for America…… simply put, we have bumped up against too many tipping points occurring in sync with this recession:-Nations everywhere finally able to compete SIGNIFICANTLY with the U.S. for manufacturing and resources, raising materials costs while simultaneously putting downward pressure on prices and earnings-severe changes in climate causing highly unusual and costly weather phenomena (expensive for government at all levels)-sky-rocketing healthcare costs finally reaching a far too burdensome level.-Population levels which have finally reached a level that is testing limits everywhere, INCLUDING employment, healthcare, food, water, fuel, etc.- years of neglect to vital infrastructure, which besides aging, has not kept pace with growth-years of neglect to education… a situation which recent Republican dogma is worsening geometrically-worldwide destabilization is creating uncertainty for business everywhereETC…., ETC….The bottom line is WE ARE FACING A NEW PARADIGM in which we can expect continual hardship on a level we have never experienced before.The real crime against America is that the two decades before 2007, when our country was FAT WITH CASH and the inadequacies of our infrastructure and corporate subsidy structure were already becoming apparent, our politicians couldn’t muster the foresight to improve the situation, and instead opted for more tax cuts for the wealthy and for more corporate giveaways so they could fund their overseas expansion.I said this long before Obama was ever even heard of by anyone:This recession is here to stay, and we can expect 10% or higher unemployment from here on out!!!I’m amazed President Obama has done as well as he has, considering continued Republican stupidities and the circumstances which were left to him.  

    Since realizing the severity of America’s situation in 2008, I NEVER thought this recession was typical, and I’ve been CERTAIN the job losses would never again be easliy remedied… I utterly amazed by those who thinks anyone could have done better than Obama has done, and in the face of Republican obstructionism, he’s performed miracles for America.

    Think again if you believe our country wouldn’t be irretrievably screwed had McCain/Palin been elected, and think again before you ever again let Republicans run our country further into the ground.

      

  • Michiganjf

    Here’s a line-up of the last 5 presidents:Carter (D) – started debt/GDP 35.8% ended debt/GDP 32.5%Reagan (R) – started debt/GDP 32.5% ended debt/GDP 53.1%Bush I (R) – started debt/GDP 51.1% ended debt/GDP 66.1%Clinton (D) – started debt/GDP 66.1% ended debt/GDP 56.4%Bush II (R) – started debt/GDP 56.4% ended debt/GDP 83.4% !!!!Check for yourself:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_termsLook at the wiki page carefully… Republican presidents have been TERRIBLE for our country’s debt!!!!!I know WIKI data can be faked, but it is correct and reliable over long term periods as it is revised and scrutinized by many, that is what makes WIKI work.

    This data has held up under more than two years of scrutiny.

    This makes clear that DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTS ARE FAR MORE FISCALLY RESPONSBLE THAN REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS!!!!!! Obama may change the trend, but only because he was handed by Bush the worst economy and job market that perhaps any U.S. President has ever inherited.Obama is just one more Dem brought in to make the best of a huge mess left by a Republican predecessor.

    • Yar

      Liberal tax and spend is much more conservative than tax cutting and spending of the so called ‘conservatives’.  We cannot cut our way out of this situation.  We must grow our way forward and to do that we must invest in youth.  We need everyone of them to do productive work.  That means we must fix education, we must fix healthcare, we must stop drug abuse, we must act like a community that cares.

      • Michael

        During the republican debate Brett B asked if there was a 10 to 1 spending cuts to tax increases would anyone of the stage accept such offer and if the candiates disagreed with this to raise there hands. All on the stage raised there hands.

        Pretty sad how extreme one has to be to run for president.

        • Ellen Dibble

          Charlie Rose asked Warren Buffett about that 10 to 1 question in the Republican debate.  He sort of chuckled and said he thought that indicated that every single one of the candidates wanted to win the primary.  He then ventured that a question in a Democratic debate about an issue of similar quality on that side would evince a similar response.  Yes, I want to win.

      • Jasoturner

        An interesting comment.  Because it is true, in cutting funding for education, that we are literally stealing opportunity from our country’s children to satisfy the theo-ideological assertions of the no-tax-ever set.  This is a highly immoral act, as well as an illogical one.

        One is forced to consider the possibility, though, that the no-tax-ever set has simply concluded that the situation is not salvageable, in which case “investment” is not possible.  Who invests in a failed or failing enterprise?

        Nonetheless, tying to salvage the future for our children, by educating them and keeping them healthy, is far more noble that taking the money and running, leaving them to fend for themselves.  One wonders how some of these guys sleep at night.  But then one remembers that empathy is sometimes lacking in the self-absorbed ideologue.

    • Jasoturner

      As any good republican can tell you, data are not appreciated in this discussion.  Nor will it be honestly appraised when injected into it…

  • Ellen Dibble

    In the 1990s, career counselors were saying that people should expect to change careers, as I recall, about three times in their lives.  I believe they were thinking in terms of a 40-year career span.  I believe they weren’t too realistic about the fact those careers have to overlap; you have to be laying the groundwork for/interning so to speak, in the next one while still in the previous job.  It was said that you’d get tired of one job if you got too good at it.  It would stop forcing you to learn and change, and a healthy person would move on.  How many new directions let you hop in the car while it’s going 60 miles an hour?  The most involving undertakings have you starting from zero mph, and zero payback. 
        I see from the Atlantic article linked above that analysis of employment still thinks in terms of jobs, maybe because “jobs” imply benefits (health insurance has a vested interest in American jobs; home ownership/contractors have a vested interest in tied-down jobs; etc.) and stability, and the Great American “Demand” demands this sort of stability.  However, look at some of the testimony below.  The stability of “jobs” is vamoose.  

  • Ellen Dibble

    I wonder if anyone on the panel is going to say that promising to maintain the Bush tax breaks for the “job-creators” is going to bring us all to job heaven.  So far there are plenty of profits at the top and those at the top “lack confidence,” and therefore won’t create jobs.  If they had the promise of continued Bush tax breaks, supposedly they would grow confident and create jobs.  
       Personally, in looking for growth I don’t look for what is in the safe deposit box in the basement.  I look for the people, businesses, and countries that are borrowing the most, those with a vision of the future they are willing to go out on a limb for.  That is especially true in a time of high change.  I would say that’s true now.  
       Unfortunately, there is a LOT of American money probably in 401(k)s that want to extract profit from the people with the safe deposit boxes, those who are NOT the job creators.  
        The job creators are doing new things, without visibility on Wall Street, and are living on fumes while setting our new course.  Almost by definition, you can’t see the unborn baby.

  • Bruceguindon

    Where does one start, is it that we no longer have a manufacturing base is it that what business is here is not willing to invest in America’s future or is it a political party of greed that will not act on the behalf of its own interest. We are told often that our infrastructure is in need of an overhaul, roads, bridges, electrical grid you name it, it needs fix-in and now we have a work force that we could get cheep and put to work and get us on the road to recovery but that is not being done because the Republican party, from the start of President Obama term have made it clear that they will do anything,sacrifice us all to ensure a one term for Obama and in the mean time the truth is getting in the way of their plans and at the next election draws near  there is a distinct possibility that there will be a lot less Republicans in office then are presently. so we can wait a little longer for the jobs that Republicans promised, we can wait 

  • ac

    I have something awful to admit – I’m fairly new to this board, though I’ve listened to this show for a while now, but if I even see the word ‘republican’, ‘corporation’, ‘democrat’, ‘left or right wing’, ‘progressive’ or ‘religion/God’ in a post, I won’t read it anymore…….at least, not seriously. It’s like Checkhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” in here……

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Agreed.   I am also turned off by useless discourse where the bogus concepts of Republicans, Democrats and right and left are taken seriously.   This is diversionary theatre that is meant to maintain the status quo and continue to shift wealth to those in REAL power.

      • Anonymous

        Thank goodness you dropped by to let us know how we stand with you.

    • nj

      I’d ask what the concern is over the word “corporation,” but that would mean ac wouldn’t read the post, so i’d just be wasting my time.

      Oh well…

      • ac

        the short answer is – I work for one, &  i would be a hypocrite to say anything negative…

      • ac

        the short answer is – I work for one, &  i would be a hypocrite to say anything negative…

      • ac

        the short answer is – I work for one, &  i would be a hypocrite to say anything negative…

      • ac

        the short answer is – I work for one, &  i would be a hypocrite to say anything negative…

    • Cory

      I like listening to the opposition.  I listen to conservative talk radio every day even though I am conservative on precious few issues.  I’m also willing to call something bullspit when I see it.  I know I’ve read your posts in the past.  It’s OK if you don’t read mine, they are mostly for myself, in the cathartic/therapeautic sense. 

      BTW, I think I managed not to use any of the trigger words you posted above!  :)

      • ac

        you’re right, & i do as well, it’s just that sometimes people seem so entrenched in their viewpoints that real problem solving seems ineffectual (spelling?) and unproductive with all the background noise. I will admit, those posts seem genuine and very passionate, no matter how narrow or crazy. (I forgot to mention tea-party as a trigger, though I think most are on the same page on that one, lol)
        I’m very fond of clean, straightforward answers…..unfortunately, I don’t have any either, so I should shut up!

  • Charles

    I’ve been unemployed for more than five years. I earn $30,000 a year as a freelancer. I meet many people similarly underutilized but surviving. Where do we fit in the numbers?

  • Dalbin

    I’ve just watched “Inside Job” again and will keep it at the top of my viewing list, as we go into another season of campaigning. I don’t want to forget the key people involved in the economic collapse nor the policies that were supported (such as deregulation of the banking industry) that were instrumental in the lives destroyed and jobs lost.

    Most of the people involved walked away unscathed with their millions intact. How is it that people like Paulson, Geithner and Summer became part of our government and that the system that helped destroy our economy has remained relatively unchanged?

    A Wall St. government is not interested in creating jobs, only maintaining a system that continues to profit the few at the expense of the many.

     Doesn’t anyone wonder why so little attention has been focused on job creation or remediating the policies that continue to support the financial sector (15% capital gains tax) and the staggering wealth inequality that now exists in our country? Where are those jobs that low tax rates were supposed to create?  Silly me, who needs the costly American worker in an economy that is 70% consumer driven. Far better for those saved millions to go into the pockets of C.E.O’s

    Our Corporate Citizens seem to be doing quite well. Make no mistake, the majority of us have become “those” people… best distracted with devisive, smoke screen issues and finger-pointing rhetoric, least we ask the hard questions…as well as for accountability and viable solutions.

    Jobs…what a quaint notion.

  • Michiganjf

    Remember Republican’s “Trickle Down Theory?”

    … we’re witnessing it right now! – a disappearing middle class.

    • twenty-niner

      I remember Clinton signing NAFTA, giving China MFN, repealing Glass–Steagall, and signing the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, essentially creating the derivatives bubble that crashed the economy.

  • Dpweber83

    From where I’m sitting, there’s one arrow left in the quiver, and that’s expanding employment directly through government employment.  We have nothing left to give on the monetary front, and we’re facing a massive output gap.  

    Rebuild the interstates; dredge out harbors; upgrade dams and levies; construct new railroads; build out broadband—anything to get people working and creating something of lasting value. The costs of lost productivity dwarf the sticker price of any of these or similar projects.
    -dan
    Boston, MA

    • ac

      um, most of the people trained and qualified for this work, which is not easy or long term and requires constant travel, have been desparately waiting for what you’re suggesting…..

      • Dpweber83

        Right, civil engineers have been screaming about this for a long time, but I’m thinking something along the lines of the CCC during the Depression, when local workforces did most of the construction.

        -dan
        Boston, MA

    • Anonymous

      Here in Texas there’s a whole government department working on improving the rural economy by looking for “new ideas” to bring progress and prosperity to rural areas.  Building out broadband is on the list, particularly given the opportunities now to “commute” electronically.  But nothing gets done.  I’ve spoken with one project leader and the bottom line is that — ironically! — “prosperity” Perry doesn’t have this on his list of things to do to get elected.

      • Dpweber83

        The federal government has several departments doing that.  So do most states.  A friend of mine worked on the FCC’s plan to build out broadband to rural areas.   “Prosperity Perry” and those who share his Reagan-esque view of government are the problem.  

        Government is not the solution to all our problems, but it is unquestionably the only viable solution to some of our problems. -danBoston, MA

        • Anonymous

          Well put.

    • TFRX

      That’s even more than what half our government wants.

      Even a “helicopter drop” would result in more money spent, and higher multiplier effect, and other regular consumption taxes, than anything the Teabaggers in Congress (oops, I forgot to say “both sides”!) would agree on.

      Getting extra infrastructure? Hey, after the Depression, we got all those things with “193x” on their brass plaques and cornerstones. After the Great Recession, who knows?

      • Dpweber83

        I couldn’t agree more.  I recognize the political difficulties and, more importantly, teaching people without a post-high-school education the basics of macroeconomics.

        -dan
        Boston, MA

  • Steve in Georgia

    I have been out of work for eight months. I start a new job next week. I’ll be making 20 percent less than my last job, 30 percent less than three years ago, yet I’m thankful I’m working again.

  • jim

    The “angry white man group” better known as the “Tea Party” is barking at the wrong tree. Not only have they done it in this nasty recession, but also in others. Many of them are successfully duped by conservative politicians that permanent Tax cut is good. well, I have news for them. If this group wants to cut deficit, cutting entitlement programmes which will definitely affect them as well, is NOT enough. as Warren Buffett said, we NEED to raise taxes on the upper middle class to super rich. did you see what happen to London? it will come to America if this tax cut propaganda does not stop.

  • EricMJones

    Yeh well, see:
    http://www.periheliondesign.com/downloads/Wealth%20Distribution%202007%20update.pdf

    and hold on to your asses. The worst is yet to come.

  • Bill

    For decades “globalization” has been held out as a major threat to the US middle class. Well guess what? After decades of globalization, globalization has finally come home to the US, and we can’t borrow our way out of it anymore.

    • Freeman

      Bill;  Right ” On- Point. I am from an old technology ( typewriters) and I can remember back in the eighties when my CEO was SCREAMING to the government. STOP CHINESE DUMPING ON THE u.s. MARKET.  Duh. Bye-bye- SCM doesn’t exist anymore.

  • Alan Wright

    How can a country that invests heavily in non-productive defense expenditures while neglecting infrastructure and education, and keeps its head in the sand about changing its energy dependence and the looming pressures of climate change, meanwhile protecting the ultra-wealthy, expect to maintain a middle class? The Republicans are to blame for these failures.

  • Charliew

    QUIT PUSSY-FOOTING AROUND – We’ve got a colossal failure of capitalism here:  Money is speech; corporations are people entitled to free speech.  If the money in politics isn’t fixed, we’re totally screwed!!

  • Ellen Dibble

    Warren Buffett on Charlie Rose said that the housing bubble left us with way too many houses and way too much debt. 
     The only way out of this recession is to fill the houses and get more Americans back in positive territory, not underwater. 
       So voters see debt as exceedingly bad.  
       But growth involves debt; it involves investing in things that don’t yet exist.  If you only let pre-rich people “grow” businesses, you get old businesses, which are not so promising nowadays.
        The housing bubble has made us totally DOWN on hope and strategic planning, and makes us elect representatives who WILL NOT LET this country start to get out of the quicksand.  
        There is a huge difference between debt that sucks the oxygen out of us (excess house, excess stuff) and debt that creates opportunity.  Such debt (in health, education, industry, research) is a positive, not a  negative.
        Who can tell the difference?  I can.

  • Tncanoeguy

    Companies used to have a connection to their community.  Now that situation rarely exists.  The Upjohn company was a major employer and civic participant in Kalamazoo Michigan.  As soon as Upjohn was sold to Pfizer that all ended. 

    • TFRX

      If Upjohn isn’t “residing” in a P.O. Box in an offshore tax haven (like Stanley Tools, to name one), consider ourselves less reamed than others.

      While we’re on the subject: What percentage of job growth in Texas isn’t growth, but merely rearrangement, poached (with heavy taxpayer subsidies) from other states? Will that zero-sum game work on a national scale to do anything but enrich corporations who have an in with Rick Perry?

  • Richard

    I am 29 and work in the computation finance space in Boston.  I get at least 1 call a day from a recruiter trying to hire me into a firm in NY.  The last one I talked to said he had 500 job openings to fill.  Obviously, only a certain set of people these skills, but the ones that do, can easily make 250K+ a year.

    Richard from Boston

    • Dpweber83

      What’s your educational background?

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • Tncanoeguy

        Advanced degree – teacher at an independent school

    • Tncanoeguy

      I do mission work in eastern KY every summer as part of a church group.  You see folks there who seem able bodied but have little education and just seem to be hanging out living off the government.  How are those folks ever going to enter a modern economy? 

      • Dpweber83

        I think we can agree that the private sector isn’t going to help them much.  So that leaves the public sector or God, and I’m not really in the mood to trust Jesus’s magic sky-friend to return us to full employment.

        -dan
        Boston, MA

  • DavidWm

    The super rich have No Loyalty to the US.
    They have residences around the world.
    How about a progressive tax system?
    Radical, huh!

  • Newman Phillips

    Read today’s Washington Post. It addresses how the wealthy got super rich off of govt contracts.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Someone posted the other day that in a 7 billion person world, it’ll take 2.5 billion to “run” it, and the rest would be unemployed.  I’ve got that on my brain.  Mainly, I’d like to be well-enough educated to be able to live an interesting life even without a role as one of the 2.5 billion.  As a woman born pre-feminism I was kind of trained like that anyway; to be part of the 50 percent that exist to not get in the way. But I’d like to see how those 4.5 billion get fed and cared for.

  • Freeman

    Tom & guest;
                       Please don’t count on me to bale the economy out; as a FORCED retiree ( company closed) I need just about EVERYTHING and the only thing I purchase is FOOD !!  yeah ” A live dog is better off than a dead lion”.

    • Dpweber83

      I don’t think anyone’s asking the unemployed to bail out the economy…

      -dan
      Boston, MA

  • Sam

    This is a worldwide issue. We’ve seen it in the Arab spring, riots in Britain, protests in Israel, and elsewhere. We are entering new feudal times. The hyper-rich royals, the pretty damn rich vassals (which includes most of the political class), and the rest of us. WHEN will Americans hit the streets??? We had the spunk to do it in the 20s and 30s…NOW, it’s bread and circus, overfed and insipidly entertained and we pay not attention to the REAL issues! We desperately need income redistribution! Incomes about $10 million per year should be cut by 75%. $5-10million by 50%, $2.5-$5 by 40%, $1million to 2.5 by 25%, $500thousand to $1mil by 15%, $200thousand to 500 by 10% (or some such formula) AND THEN the savings should go to workers and lower prices.

  • GMG

    Great show as always.  I just wanted to throw in my $.02 about employers only hiring people who have jobs.  I think this is very self-defeating.  Unemployed workers have the potential to be much more decisive and committed employees than people for whom the job change is a choice, not a necessity.

  • Dean Brown

    Two things:
    the history of industrial society shows that ever fewer people have to work due to rationalization of production. We have to face the fact that most of the new unemployed will never work again. We have to find a way to put them to work at public expense or simply pay people to stay out of the market.
    Also: the root of our current unemployment is the octopus called the Pentagon, which soaks up the money we need to modernize America. Europe has avoided this since the War and has surpassed us in virtually every way.
    Our people and politicians refuse to believe any of this and will never adjust.
    America, I believe, is doomed. It’s time to do the American thing and move to a new place.
    Dean Brown
    Hanover, NH

  • Saul

    Neighbor across the street, former MBA level banker – then property manager – out of work for over 18 months – basically now not looking.  Next door neighbor, formerhigh level banker – first cut down to a partial scheduel then out of work for over a year – unrealistic future job expectations, me – former retail executive – out of work for over two years – all of us have at least an undergraduate degree and are over 50. The fraying of the American middle class – paper or plastic????

  • DavidWm

    The “job-creators” are creating jobs outside the US.
    HOW MANY APPLE PRODUCTS ARE MANUFACTURED IN THE USA?

    • Anonymous

      What can our government do to make manufacturing come back to the US?  Reduce regulation? Reduce red tape? 

      • Rick

        Why do we want more manufacturing here? Most of those jobs a low paying, not to mention hard and dirty.

      • Jasoturner

        Pay people about ten bucks per day to do the work and problem solved.

  • http://twitter.com/fish1701 Mike Fisher

    I was unemployed for 6 months, then got one and survived a huge layoff in my group(7 out of 11 people). So even though I have a job, I’m still out looking, since if there is another layoff, it might be another 6 months or more.

  • Yar

    The weather services says if you hear thunder you are close enough to get struck by lightening. When the gap between the rich and poor gets large enough a lightening bolt of anarchy strikes.  Why can’t the rich hear the thunder?  The storm of revolution is brewing.  Jobs now, to save the country! 

    • ac

      lol. I mentioned the return of the ‘guillotine’ on another show awhile ago!!

  • ac

    can you speak to the returning vets and how quickly their numbers will be included?

  • Simon

    The root of all these problems is the campaign financing regulations – the rich and powerful can donate as much as they want to the politicians who will protect their interest (at the cost of rest of us and the country). What is the difference between lobbying and bribing and why is lobbying legal in this country??

    • Rick

      Don’t be ridiculous – thousands of people are in Washington at this very moment, lobbying on your behalf.

      The real problem is the size of the government. The bigger it is, the more lobbyists are employed to fight over who gets the spoils

      Better try to shrink taxes, and thus the government, as small as possible so there will be no reason to go to Washington and beg for a handout.

  • ac

    she’s right. I did math and engineering and I am sooooo glad!!

  • RecruiterGirl

    I am a corporate recruiter, and I find that hiring managers are prejudice against candidates who have been out of work, or out of their line of work, for over a year, let alone two or three.  We need managers to realize that unemployment does not reflect on the candidate’s ability or reliability.  How can the media help spread this truth?

  • Christpete

    Security is HUGE right now. When I was job hunting earlier this year that was my number one priority. Personal fulfillment was very low on my list

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1727875409 Michael Sweeney

    I’m 22 years old, and the emerging anger of my generation is becoming more and more evident each passing day. When have we seen a time in history like this? My generation just overthrew two entrenched autocracies in the Middle East. My generation just rioted in England for days. Our impression is the baby boomers are driving our future off of a cliff, and we are growing more and more impatient with them.

    • Rick

      Your generation just stole a bunch of cell phones in England, and now 3,000 of them are being arrested. 

      As for the baby boomers (I’m one) you are going to have to take away their welfare (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid), unless you want to pay for it. I’m on your side on this one – just stand up and say ‘people lucky enough to live until they are 65 will now need to start paying their own way.’ 

      • TFRX

        Wow. Slagging everything as welfare.

        Not a dogwhistle in a carload there, is it?

  • ac

    well, you still need a 4 yr BS degree & continuing education to legally work as a professional engineer. My field demands a masters…

  • Ellen Dibble

    Notice the Harvard Extension courses offered by net often advertised along the sides of this thread.  There is an old saw that once Harvard is educating for something or other, it is a field that is past tense.
        I think you need education for certifications, but the important things you need to teach yourself.  Hopefully teach yourself something nobody else knows.
        Where I live, there is Chamber of Commerce help for businesses, but mainly I believe they want to help banks loan you money.  If you’re too small-scale to merit big-shoulder support, you have to wing it.  Very small start-ups almost have to be second generation.  These immigrants who the president says come here and start businesses — wow.  All I can say is Wow.  

  • Michael in Vermont

    Tom,

    Population is the elephant in the room here.  We live in a world that surpasses 7 billion people this year, at a time of diminishing energy and material resources on a per capita basis.  We seem unable or unwilling to entertain the thought that population cannot grow indefinitely in a finite world.  At some point “growth” must stop, and I believe we are beginning to encounter that inflection point.

    • ac

      very valid….!!

    • Rick

      I am unfamiliar with any economic theory that says ‘growth must stop.’ Do you have a reference?

      As for population, it will stop at 9 million in about 2050.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Oblivious to the PKB, R claimed “As for population, it will stop at 9 million in about 2050.”

        R also demanded of M, “Do you have a reference?”

      • ac

        To determine the time for money’s buying power to halve, financiers simply divide the rule-quantity by the inflation rate. Thus at 3.5% inflation using the rule of 70, it should take approximately 70/3.5 = 20 years for the value of a unit of currency to halve.
        i’m not an economist, but i was forced to study it – I believe the economic theory is called ‘diminsihing returns’. but maybe someone here is an economist and can help?
        or wiki:

        • ac

          oops. i copied my wiki ref, but it pasted on top….

      • ac

        also, thinking about viruses and parasites…not sure if that’s a ‘theory’ that growth must stop, or just a good idea….

      • Jasoturner

        Not an economic theory, it’s reasoning via wits.  And I would tread with
        care amongst economists.  Economics is a pseudo-science, and  it is
        certainly not a hard science by any stretch of the imagination.  Whether
        something is compatible with some economic theory speaks not much to
        it’s practicality or accuracy.

        • ac

          i think Rick is unhappy. Most of his comments make me want to give him a hug….

      • Michael in Vermont

        Rick,
        Jasoturner has it right in his comment below.  By definition, one cannot have infinite exponential growth in a finite environment.  Traditional economics assumes that either this is not an issue, or that substitution will occur when a particular resource is exhausted. In a limited sense, this is a proper assumption.  However, when the resources we are talking about are petroleum, industrial metals, clean water, etc. this assumption becomes problematic.  The more one investigates the physical constraints we are experiencing as a planet, the more one realizes that we have a serious problem indeed.

        Even our economic system assumes infinite growth.  Since money is lent/borrowed into existence, it is assumed that there will be more money in the future than there is today in order to pay both principal and interest on the loan.  In order for this to be true a country must continually grow.  Failure to do so results in a collapse of the monetary system.  In the short term, a country in this position typically inflates their currency to give the illusion of growth.  This is what the US is currently doing…unfortunately it generally results in economic disaster.

  • Jbrooksia

    My position has been eliminated twice in the last 3 years.  After the first loss, I went back to get my BA.  I will earn it this October.  At the time, going back to school looked like a great idea, now, I am not sure this will be much of a help at all.

    • Jasoturner

      What’s your major?  Some fields are begging for degreed employees.

  • DKH

    I have worked 20 weeks since 2008 only because I was to cross the country seeking work. The construction industry has been it extremely hard. Help me understand why we can’t build 1000 or so safe nuclear power plants, 100 million electric cars and enough battery exchange stations to support the fleet. We need to stop sending the 1.5 trillion dollars over to the Mid-East for fuel.

    Dave

    • Rick

      Because no one wants 1000 safe nuclear power plants, 100 million electric cars, and their battery exchange stations. Building stuff nobody wants, so you can have a job, makes no sense and will not happen. I suggest looking for work in an industry that supplies things people want, rather than feeling trapped in construction.

  • Mary

    I hear the discussion about college but there’s two things no one is talking about: 1, if we all become plumbers or teachers or computer science engineers then the rate of pay for these jobs will get lower and lower, the market will dictate that. Diversity in employment is more important. 2) A highly educated american is going to be paid more than a highly educated Chinese person. The Chinese person will always be hired first because company’s care about the bottom line first.

    love the show Tom!

  • Dh001g

    I think the guest are exactly right. Our highschools are blowing by trying to train everyone to get a liberal arts education. Don’t get me wrong. I love the liberal arts. Some people should grow up to be academics. Its just that we shouldn’t discount people who also want a technical education. We are worried about being elitist by allowing the person who wants to be welder to make that decision in 9th grade. On the other hand I think it is elitist to think that only a liberal arts education is worthwhile. Not everyone needs to learn abstract algebra. Instead teaching C&C machining skills (which incorporate algebra), would be a much more fulfilling for the students and will prepare them to get a job.

  • Julie Murray

    Now some employers are refusing to hire people who are unemployed. That doesn’t help those who were downsized through no fault of their own. What will “Unemployed Need Not Apply” policies by businesses mean for the nation’s economy?

  • Rick

    I’m 60 years old and if I wanted to have a job I could get one by the end of the week, probably by the end of the day. What a bunch of BS …

    • Jrb315

      Welcome to Walmart!  Ya, lets see that pay the bills.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Do you have a mobile home?  Or what makes you so confident?

    • John

      Rick you may be right – you should try it.  Otherwise, you’re just talking out of your….

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Good for you Rick. Doing what? Offering to mow lawns for 50c?

  • Matthew

    The country has been going down the wrong road for decades. Structural inefficiencies are rampant in the economy due to fiscal and monetary policies that have emphasized the short-term and perverted by special interests. First, we must accept we have to pay the piper of debt for poor past decisions. Second, we must improve the efficiency of the economy, including education, tax code, govt funded R&D, and others that impact the country.

  • Yar

    Tom,
    Was “who is going to hire a 50-60 to year old political scientist / journalist” hitting a little to close to home for comfort?

  • Smitch1930

    Until recently my work was in assisting Veterans finding work.  The keys to success were usually incredible focus on the job search and maintenance and improvement of work credentials.
    Work skills deteriorate rapidly without free online training in the case of computing and must be maintained or the individual will not be hired.  
    The jobs are out there – but there are not enough for all who need them.  Therefore the need for focus and skills maintenance for those seeking work.

  • Isaac

    I was always told that those of us who wanted to go into government and public service would have tons of opportunities when the baby boomers retired.  However, they are still working, politicians are shrinking government services, and the outlook for civil service at any level is dim.  This makes it especially hard to get or keep a good job in government.

  • Joani Davidson

      It’s tiresome to hear all the whining and sniveling since this generation of unemployed is not the only one to be unemployed after spending time, money, energy  to obtain a higher degree, or to work faithfully at a job, or to expect work after training. college level. BUT it’s probably the time to think about doing something ELSE to make a living instead of being depressed and sorry for oneself on Unemployment Benefits.”

  • Disgruntled worker

    How about another New Deal?  It’s not that hard in practice, it’s just a matter of political willingness.  Quite simple really: find things to fix, and pay for people to fix them. Bridges, roads, rails, schools, sidewalks, etc etc.  Put jobs first and the deficit will figure itself out as tax receipts grow.  But oh wait.  We keep voting for the so-called “tea party” conservatives, so everything I just mentioned is some sort of communist plot.  

    • Jasoturner

      Glad we didn’t have to call you out, comrade.

  • dan

    All the conversation to this point is somewhat sophomoric.  Jobs will not return to america until the american workers wage/benefit package is globally competative.  That will be many many years.  The dominance of america for fifty years after WWII is over.  Obviously the context of the world has changed in many ways.  Our leaders are not being straight with the american people. 

  • Simon

    The solution to the problem is not better educations, training etc. It may  work for a small percent of the population. But if you look at the whole country the jobless situation will not be solved even if everyone gets a PhD degree when companies are sending jobs to overseas and most of the wealth is concentrated in ever smaller group of people!

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Warren Buffet has it right. He basically said, “How much F’ing money do I
    need?” He knows that the middle class is what makes America great, too,
    not just the “Haves”.

    Until business wants to employ people, to invest in people, and not just ever increasingly find ways to do more business with less people, all to increase profits and dividends, nothing will change.

    Henry Ford knew that by paying his workers decent wages (better than decent, actually) that they would be able to buy his product, and others. He understood that a successful middle class was the key to a strong economy and a successful business atmosphere.

    Moreover, he made something.  So many of the rich are making money with money.  These are not job creators.

    All this talk of fair trade is talk. Where’s the “fair”?  When China, India, and a host of other nations have import tariffs of 30% or more. The US rate is under 3%.   Nations such as Japan and Korea have rules that discourage (if not make it impossible or outright bar) foreign goods being imported, or foreign companies from owning businesses.  Asian car makers sell millions of cars in the US, while the US sells a few thousand, with the exception of China – where the Buick reigns supreme. Go figure. 

    Investing in America needs to mean more than investing in Wall St.  I’d happily see the US deep in a deficit if it was to replace our antiquated and/or unsafe infrastructure, educating all the people that want more education, truly investing in renewable energy, and investing in the things that made America great. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1439572620 Joe Lee

    From what I’ve observed and experienced, a lot of the problem with companies not hiring and people not being able to find jobs seems to have roots in the current cultural views on value. 

    We have been moving more towards money as the only measure of value that matters rather than looking at the things that money is a proxy for like functionality, skill, quality, etc. Instead of looking at the things that actually contain value, we as a society have become focused on just the number of dollars/pounds/euros/etc. accumulated.

    The main piece of evidence I’ve seen is that the top earners are people that manage to manipulate numbers to aggregate and accumulate money and do little else. I keep trying to figure out what it is that they fundamentally do that justifies the amount of value that they receive in compensation versus the value that they actually generate. 

    My mind especially boggles when I compare what they do to that of someone that actually creates or provides something that I use every day to live. We as a culture seem to have forgotten that money is not a final goal. Money is just a placeholder. If there isn’t anyone to translate it into actual value (i.e. goods and services) money has no real value.

    • Jasoturner

      Ah, a voice in the wilderness.  Alas, most Americans have enshrined “accumulation” as the purpose of life, and nothing is more fungible than dollars when it comes to accumulation.

      It is far from clear to me that quality and skill are appreciated in their own right.  For instance, the rich man is not satisfied appreciating the build quality of, say, a Mercedes.  Rather, it must be possessed.  Yet why should this be?

      I wonder, as the wealth gap widens, whether there will be an underclass that is able to derive real pleasure and value from the subtler and inexpensive things in life, such as literature, science and art.  I imagine that type of person always exist, but I know a surprising number of high earners who seldom read a book or visit a museum or write diaries (they golf and go out to eat a lot.)  So maybe there is a need for a wider philosophical discussion about appreciation of quality.

      • ac

        that is very interesting question - 
        You may enjoy reading “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery - I read it a couple of years ago but I think it touches upon your thoughts, plus it’s just really well-written and entertaining too…

        • Jasoturner

          Looks good.  Thanks!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1439572620 Joe Lee

        Quality and its valuation is a very interesting question, and your example of the Mercedes is fascinating. Is possession truly appreciation? If all you have ever driven are Mercedes cars, do you truly appreciate the quality in design and craftsmanship of one? 

        To me, this really speaks to questions of our current culture and its values. I believe everyone looks for value, but we each define value for ourselves. If we are unable to discern value, then we turn to others for guidance, and overwhelmingly that external guidance comes from culture.

        • Jasoturner

          Indeed, and an interesting point.  Because our American “culture” seems to be becoming meaner and more self-centered, what does that say about the values that are being inculcated?  Nothing good, to my mind.

  • John

    We find ourselves oppressed on every hand-we labor hard in producing all the comforts of life for the enjoyment of others, while we ourselves obtain but a scanty portion, and even that in the present state of society depends on the will of employers, a quote from a worker at the turn of the century. Industry has not lived up to the bargain that if we buy their consumer goods that they will provide jobs for the wealth that has been obtained from the sell of those goods, it is the supposed capital system that is not being exercised on both sides.

  • Mark OBrien

    Corporations have been about the bottom line for a while. Textile jobs went from the northeast to the south in search of lower wages from the south to China for slave wages then from China to Sri Lanka and on and on. All the while Corporate bosses and politicians have been saying American workers have to be more competitive. How can Americans compete with third world wages?

    • Tncanoeguy

      Where will the standard of living equilibrate?  Low, high, in the middle?  Of what use is an impoverished populace that can’t afford to buy stuff? 

    • Iamanreobrn

      You can’t compete with 3rd World labor rates. America can be competitive by doing three things: driving our energy costs as close to zero as possible and embracing automation and robotization, and more actively encouraging small business entrepreneurship.

      Embracing automation may seem counter intuitive but an American roboot will produce more support jobs than a Chinese worker.

      We currently have an education system developed in the 19th century designed to create obedient factory workers and cubicle drones. Our current attitude toward entrepreneurship is analogous to throwing a child into the deep end of the pool without giving them swimming lessons.

      We should be building business incubators, restructure high school educations toward building entrepreneurial skills and providing more small business development grants.

  • Charlie mc

           I’m sorry, but this 4th Century BC philosopher sounds pretty relevant and contemporary to me.                                       PERFECT JOY
              “Is there to be found on earth a fullness of joy, or is there no such thing? Is there some way to make life fully worth living, or is this impossible? If there is such a way, how do you go about finding it?
                What should you try to do? What should you seek to avoid? What should be the goal in which your activity comes to rest?  What should you accept?  What should you refuse to accept? What should you love? What should you hate?
                “What the world values is money, reputation, long life, achievement. What it counts as joy is health and comfort of body, good food, fine clothes, beautiful things to look at, pleasant music to listen to.   
                “What it condemns is lack of money, a low social rank, a reputation for being no good, and an early death.
                “What it considers misfortune is bodily discomfort and labor, no chance to get your fill of good food, not having good clothes to wear, having no way to amuse or delight the eye, no pleasant music to listen to. If people find that they are deprived of these things, they go into a panic or fall into despair. They are so concerned for their life that their anxiety makes life unbearable, even when they have the things they think they want. Their very concern for enjoyment makes them unhappy.
                “ The rich make life intolerable, driving themselves in order to get more and more money which they cannot really use. In so doing they are alienated from themselves, and exhaust themselves in their own service as though they were slaves of others.
                “The ambitious run day and night in pursuit of honors, constantly in anguish about the success of their plans, dreading the miscalculation that may wreck everything. Thus they are alienated from themselves, exhausting their real life in service of the shadow created by their insatiable hope.
                “The birth of a man is the birth of his sorrow.
                “The longer he lives, the more stupid he becomes, because his anxiety to avoid unavoidable death becomes more and more acute. What bitterness! He lives for what is always out of reach!  His thirst for survival in the future makes him incapable of living in the present…
                “ I cannot tell if what the world considers “happiness” is happiness or not. All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it, I see them carried away headlong, grim and obsessed, in the general onrush of the human herd, unable to stop themselves or to change their direction. All the while claiming to be just on the point of attaining happiness.
                “For my part, I cannot accept their standards, whether of happiness or unhappiness. I ask myself if after all their concept of happiness has any meaning whatever.
                “My opinion is that you never find happiness until you stop looking for it. My greatest happiness consists precisely in doing nothing whatever that is calculated to obtain happiness:  and this, in the minds of most people, is the worst possible course.
                                                                -  Chuang Tzu  ( ca 300 BC)
    [As edited by Thomas Merton in “The Way of Chuang Tzu” 1965]

                 

                

  • Robbie

    Don’s comments about CEO’s separating into their own societal bracket also takes place on local levels. Then compound this with the fact that there’s billions in cash available now for hiring – within American firms who wont hire. Uncertainty and fear rule leaders and I’ve interviewed with quite a few. Leadership in the business realm means believing in the greatest of resources – people.

  • Anonymous

    How about eliminating tax cuts for businesses that are offshoring and not investing in the US?

    • Sam

      That would be SO unAmerican! Because it would be unCapitalistic!

      But, yes, I do agree.

    • Ellen Dibble

      They would offshore themselves hook, line, and sinker.
       I’d say just don’t make the global enterprises compete on the same (tax, laws, regs) playing field as local American enterprises.  Somehow Americans paying $800 a month for health insurance can’t successfully compete with workers in a country where income is $800 a year, with free health care, such as it is.  I don’t have a specific country in mind, but you see what I mean.  It used to be a corporation here was glad to offer health insurance as a way of hanging onto employees without having to offer more competitive wages.  That was practically the frame of reference in 2010 when the Affordable Care Act was up for debate, and everyone (lobbyists?) was telling the president that Americans (with jobs?) were happy to have their insurance provided via their jobs.
          A year later, it begins to look like health insurance makes it too costly to employ anyone in the US of A.   And if you try to employ people without offering that benefit, the cost of living for us is no less.

  • Ana Maria Chamberlain

    You have to interview this man.  It is the only honest man about what is happening in the USA.  http://www.c-spanvideo.org/pro​gram/Fundraisingandt

  • Tina

    One premise that still perplexes me:  the premise that we can “decide” to major (with the implied “successfully”) in science or math or computer science.  

    I tried that when I first went to college in the mid-1960′s:  during the summer before starting college, I decided to major in Biology (so that I could later become a biological illustrator) rather than English (so that I could later become a writer of historical fiction).  My particular mind at that developmental level just could NOT do it, and I flunked out.  I was National Honor Society from an excellent public high school, and yet, that much bio and math were NOT anything I could take on; whereas, when I finally got to art school, my learning took off!  

    How come we are ALSO narrowing what we consider important for developing an economy?!  DUMB, especially because the economy is being driven so much by Financial Capitalists, not even “real”, broad-based capitalists.

    • ac

      I do outreach with middle and high school students to break this stereotype – engineering and math are FUN and CREATIVE fields – the rules are just you’re pallette of nature  to work with!! I am hoping the teaching of these subjects change…..btw-I work for a ‘corporation’ but my outreach work is volunteer and I don’t get paid, in the end, you should still love what you do!!

      • Tina

        ac, THANKS for pointing that out — today’s teaching of math and science is probably VERY different than in the mid-sixties.  Nevertheless, when I took Physiology and Chemistry far out of high school, in the 1990′s, if I hadn’t had a genius boyfriend to help me understand the materials, I would have had to drop out, and many, many younger students DID.  Our chemistry class started with about 75 people; 14 of us finished.  Perhaps that STILL speaks to a  teacher teaching in an older manner.  There are some after-school programs, too, that combine design and science, but, so far, they seem to be occasional add-on’s for the kids whose parents can afford to pick them up after the school bus made its run hours earlier.  There was ALSO extraordinary sexism in math & science classes when I was in school — girls were completely ridiculed as a regular feature of our classes.  Nevertheless, TRULY understanding neuroscience well enough for someone’s life to be in my hands, or TRULY understanding astrophysics well enough for rocket ships to be entrusted to my work — not only are those things NOT going to happen, but also, the stories I’ve written and art teaching I’ve done would NOT have happened, and they might inspire any number of young students to go off in their own directions (towards arts OR towards engineering).  I’m mainly pointing out a situation that must occur more often than people admit:  that kids often are NOT understanding the subject they are studying (ANY subject), yet we SPEAK as if we can just shift back & forth between subjects — which is something I LOVE to do in a BROAD way, but if I had to look at organic chemistry molecules, I’m not sure I’d do any better today.  MAYBE computers have made young brains SO ORGANIZED that they CAN  acquire any and all knowledge — THAT WOULD be great!  Thanks for doing what you are doing, and from my art teacher perspective, I totally agree with you.  But I still fear that not every student can major in math, science, engineering (which seems to be interfacing with design and creativity studies the most of these three); and flunking out puts students into an academic administrative hellhole that should be understood before great leaps of faith are made.  Thanks for your thoughts!

        • ac

          thanks, but to tell you the truth, what you said still rings true. And I’m a girl, lol….
          & it’s true about parent involvement. The more the parent is involved, the more support the kids get, the better they do at competitions - though I have to say I’m usually secretely slightly more impressed with the kid who did it alone -
          there are more engineers trying to change the way kids and teachers view these subjects….

          • Tina

            AC, keep doing your great work!  And, yes, many engineering programs are focussing on the Design aspects of their field == tres cool (Carnegie Mellon is possibly doing this == It would be great to find out what pre=K thru 12th grade learning experiences their students had before college!  Art schools are doing more with the interface with engineering, too; I just don’t appreciate the sometimes attendant depreciation of he fine arts that goes along with this  == the two extremes together integrate beautifully, as I believe you also said. Thanks for your thoughts!

          • AC

            So funny – I only got into engineering because I was working on an idea for a massive functional sculpture in my teens - after that, I was hooked on the engineering side. Art and engineering have always had a strong relationship, & mention to your students; many artists were engineers 1st!!! daVinci, Brunelleschi – but also tons of musicians, computer animators…..!! it’s all math in the end…

    • Jasoturner

      Americans now seem to consider themselves American employees more than American citizens.  So I guess “deciding” to major in math and or science is a response to the corporate dictate.  And corporations tolerate a lot of internal failures.  Frankly, I know quite a few people who would scare the hell out of me if they were employed as professional engineers.  Planes would be falling out of the sky on a daily basis…

  • Sam

    People, and most importantly our supposed leaders, need to stop thinking of CORPORATIONS as PEOPLE.

    They are not people.
    You cannot jail or fire CORPORATIONS.
    Corporations do not have families, no ethics, no morals.
    THEY ARE NOT PEOPLE!!! people. :)

    Thank you

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      When the last time anyone saw the BOA or Goldman-Sachs buildings walking into a voting booth?

      • Sam

        They don’t need to, they’ve got “lobbyist”. If not directly “buying” government. :)

        Just saying.
        I think there isn’t one person who wouldn’t agree with us, the problem as Tina stated is to get the supreme court to agree and that means a battle WITH huge corporations? Who’s got that kind of time and money? None of us do.

        Life isn’t fair.
        But it’s still worth living. :)

    • Tina

      Sam, THE REALLY BIG PROBLEM WITH YOUR EXCELLENT POSITION ON THIS IS:  The U.S. Supreme Court has several times over decided that corporations have the same rights as people (or something like that — I’m not a lawyer).  MY PLEA (sp?) is:  HOW DO WE GET THIS REVERSED???  (The first such ruling was decades and decades ago.)  Thanks for your position:  I completely agree!

  • John

    starting wars is not a humane job stimulas

  • Ageorge

    The current malaise in the American labor mkt can be sumarized as a faltering of agregate demand in an environment where prices and wages that are not quickly bid down.this has in turn caused a pull back in aggregate supply, intensifying the shortage in demand for workers. Unfortunately, we have a political system that can be coopted to amplify the political influence of groups who for economic and ideological reasons do not agree w a role for gov in giving the kind of boost to the economy necessary for improving labor mkt conditions.

  • Anonymous

    Tom,

    Can your guest talk about what brought us out of the 1982 recession?   This recession was the worst since the great depression and Reagan got us out of it pretty well.

    • John

      by raising taxes

    • Rick

      Capitalism ends recessions, government prolongs them. Learn your economic history.

      • Dpweber83

        ‘Capitalism ends recessions, government prolongs them. Learn your economic history.”

        Please provide citations to back up your glib, sweeping historical judgments.

        -dan
        Boston, MA

        • Anonymous

          He wont because it’s all about being glib and nothing else.
          It’s this ideology of saying things enough times so that they seem to be true when they are nothing more than false statements.

          There was a whole lot of that going on at the Republican wannabe presidential debate a few days ago.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        “Capitalism”, the kind that’s going on now, got us into the Great Depression, for the exact same reasons are is going on now.

         We started taking care of those that had hard times with relief programs.  The government invested in Americans with jobs programs like our infrastructure. 

        Yes, WWII came along, but we had our greatest growth after WWII when we, as a country, had better wages, and a higher tax rate for the wealthy and a small money gap between the haves and the have-nots.

        Learn YOUR history, Rick. Stop watching Fox Noise and more History Channel. Oops, I forgot. Anything to the left of Fox is
        liberal media.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Didn’t he raise taxes something like three times?  Anyway, there was a shift in banking and Wall Street regulations about then which seems to have led us in ever accelerating rates right to the cliff that we hit in 2009.  
          Don’t trust my history too much; I wasn’t paying attention then.  But that’s what people on this thread have taught me, and  David Stockman, Reagan’s point person on taxes for a while, takes the time to lay that out on NPR every now and then too.

      • Anonymous

        I’m having the same memory problem but do remember this:  the Iranian oil embargo which kick-started the 1981-1982 dip.  Then the Fed raised interest rates which knocked out business spending and unemployment (also high during the Nixon years, dipped during Carter) rose well above 10%.  The banks followed with financial problems said to be caused by deregulation.

        Shortly after that (remember?!), in a burst of manly courage, REAGAN INVADED GRENADA!  “Operation Urgent Fury!” By midyear of ’83, I think, the recession was declared to be over.  Reagan had actually asked neighboring nations to request that the US invade.  Maybe he thought a nice little war would be a good celebration to mark the end of recession (wars are great, aren’t they?) or maybe he just wanted have a war before the runup to the 1984 election.  What larks!

    • Dpweber83

      Deficit spending was what got us out of that recession.  Are you now in favor of running deficits?

      -dan
      Boston, MA

      • twenty-niner

        Yes, the DOD build-up had a lot to do with it. DOD dollars largely go to American firms and workers.

  • Brian Rosenthal

    For more from Stephen, Marianne and other longterm unemployed, please check out The Post’s “Help Wanted” project here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/unemploymentstories

  • Professor in “adjunct hell”

    With four degrees in my field and 26 years of excellent performance ratings, I lost my job in ’05 and found another in ’06 but it was temporary and lasted only a year.  Gave up everything and relocated to a part of the country that seemed to have more opportunity.  Four years in, I am working 3 part time jobs and running my own business in order to earn about what I made before, WITHOUT any benefits or job security.  There is NO full time employment available, and if it were, it would go to a recent grad who looks good on paper, and not a 56 year old.

  • Dh001g

    There is also the problem of the fact that corruption has overwhelmed our political system.

    For any republicans out there please consider this guy Roemer. I don’t know much about him but I know he hit the corruption issue square on the head:
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61400.html

  • Ana Maria Chamberlain

    I am a Democrat, but Buddy Roemer is the only honest candidate.  Check his video at..
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Fundraisingandt

    Republican presidential candidate and Buddy Roemer held a press conference to talk about campaign fundraising efforts by his Republican opponents as well as President Obama in the 2012 presidential race.

  • Bill

    Your guest speaker talks pretty, but the realities are that any innovation in the US will be implemented in cheaper labor markets and looser environmental regs overseas.

    • Jasoturner

      Apple Computer is a canonical example.

    • ac

      i do worry you might be right….

  • Sara Giannoni

    Has anyone looked at the difference of the total working age population in the U.S. verses the number of people actually working over, say, the past 50 years.  This would be interesting to see.

    Wasn’t the advances in technology back in the 50′s and 60′s suppose to allow us to work less and have more leisure time.  Maybe this should be our future, the norm being 25-30 hour work weeks. Obviously much would need to change with our culture, economy and education to achieve this. 

    • Lee

      Your idea is similar to one floated by left economists a while back and i have not heard it in awhile.

      To boost employment, pay workers the same, but cut their hours back so that the employer needs to hire more workers.

      But we are moving in the opposite direction, and have been for awhile. people are working more hours for the same pay, if they are salaried. we also have a lot of people working for no pay in internships.

      this effort will require workers to combine their efforts rather than compete. this will be very difficult. those working in jobs now have to begin to hold meetings outside of work in industries that do not traditionally have unions. there will  be risk involved, but the reward mey be more time with family and less stress at work.

  • Tncanoeguy

    We need a new economic model.  Read Tim Jackson’s “Prosperity Without Growth”.  

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

     
    It was really a shame so much money was wasted on extending unemployment benefits when there were no jobs out there to fill. To think of all those skills being wasted for so long a time.
    If that same money instead went into a jobs program at least we’d get something for the taxpayers’ money. These jobs could include manual labor as was done with FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corp building state parks etc. But FDR’s Works Progress Administration hired historians, writers, painters etc. The WPA also helped keep some factories open. My dad worked in the CCCs building state parks in two states. Back in the late 70′s the CETA program served a similar function. Then I ran a historical research project the data from which is still used today and a good friend researched whether homes in my town deserved historical preservation status. With such programs the taxpayer got a better bang for their buck than if that same  money went to unemployment.

    • Ellen Dibble

      It seems to me the unemployed could all too easily decide to sit home and smoke pot or something similar, letting skills rot, losing touch with legitimate self-respect, with the family deteriorating — read all about it in Peck’s Atlantic magazine article linked to up top.  If the government respected them enough to identify new skills that could be trained for and leading them thereto and/or getting them into a recession corps, we’d be ahead of the game.  Think of the teachers laid off, the police, the nurses — some economists want the “job creators” to shovel jobs back out to them, somehow.  And no, their training does NOT include how to keep yourself “useful as well as ornamental” (as my mother would say if she saw me lounging) without a team to work with, a job to tend to.
          Long-term, we can’t just say hang on and wait.

      • Jasoturner

        The question is, what skills?  We don’t really manufacture that much any more, programming and medical diagnostics are being off-shored, and there’s only so much manipulation of paper and money that needs to take place.  If I wasn’t an engineer and had, say, a sociology degree, I’m not sure I’d be real optimistic about the retraining options.

  • Nathan

    The middle class is being squeezed out.  Getting a college degree is extremely costly, and almost cost prohibitive today.  As a current student, I am extremely scared by the job market currently, and whether or not it will remain this way by the time I graduate and enter the job market.  I will have about $200,000 in student loan debt after graduation, and if jobs are hard to come by, it will delay my ability to purchase a home, or even get married.  I feel like the economy will thus severely limit what I am able to do with my life.

    • Rick

      You should have just bought the books and read them.

      • Nathan

        You’re right Rick; many people prefer doctors that have a strictly “book-based” education.  Tell you what, you can be my first patient upon graduation, OR you can have the choice of going to a doctor with a full educational experience.  Which would you choose?

  • John – Williamstown, VT

    Unfortunately Don Peck has bought into a false paradigm of more education equals more income.   People pursuing higher education today will not find jobs with incomes (outside of the financial sector) that will pay back their investment.

    Higher ed used to provide a broad education while business trained for specific skills.  Business and the Ed Biz folks have colluded to make higher ed the provided of skills training and pass the cost onto the student.  The ed biz folks have convinced businesses to profesionalize jobs and attach college and other advanced degrees to them.

    The effect of this is a crushing debt to start one’s working life. It is a debt that will hold them back instead of helping them forward.  I call it the Global Company Store effect.  We will have workers who are just trying to pay their way out of debt without any real return on their labors.

    • Rick

      Buy only as much education as you want, with your own money, not mine.

      • Anonymous

        Hmmm… I guess that’s one option. We should all be selfish “I got mine” types and screw the common good of what makes for a decent society. What you are advocating for sound something akin to Pakistan.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Rick wrote: “Buy only as much education as you want, with your own money, not mine.” R clearly doesn’t understand that when in balance a well run public sector and the private sector bootstrap each other to greater prosperity. Whether Republicans admit this or not, much of this is through taxation and redistribution of wealth… like the wealth developed states sent to poor states to improve roads, education, health care etc. A map of states that receive more money than they send to Washington is enlightening… most of these “welfare states” vote for the GOP. For instance Sarah Palin’s welfare state of Alaska gets about $1.75 for every dollar. I’ll find that map or the numbers.    I’m also reminded of this parable http://www.publicchristian.com/?p=68

  • Fred in CT

    This is a GREAT SHOW……. the middle class should be on the endangered species list…. 

  • Bruce-Providence,RI

    Callers are saying that we are not like America used to be, but they are wrong.  We are exactly like America used to be circa 1900 with the Robber Barons (Andrew Carnegie, etc.) and the extreme concentration of wealth at the top of the pyramid…

    • Rick

      Robber baron Andrew Carnegie? You are so off base – try reading something about him (he gave all his money away, just like Buffet).

      • Anonymous

        At least the Robber Barons gave us useful things like railroads instead of credit default swaps and Twitter. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

             The public, and especially the working poor, PAID the Robber Barons VERY WELL, not all willingly!

      • GLH

        Buffet, wasting away in Margaritaville after giving every penny away?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        After he worked people for company Script, good ONLY at company businesses, hired gun-slingers to shoot up tent-city of women and children, became a multi-$Millionaire, or $Billionaire, while paying starvation wages, and realized he needed to buy a change for his image! 

    • William

       Actually, we need more “robber barons” now.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Having been wrecked by one set of robber barons, we’ll look around for more:  “Fleece me; fleece me again.”

      • TFRX

        Yes, and we’ll have them.

        As the second hour shows, there’s nothing a genuine non-Rand-fantasy capitalist welcomes more than competition.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Thanks for voicing the view of the far Right all good flows from the top down and that unless our nation actively promotes a few filthy rich people, we regular folks will never have jobs. Let’s sweep under the carpet all the damage to our economy these robber barons did while amassing their fortunes.

        Which brings up the question what’s a good idea worth in an impoverished 3ed world nation without the infrastructure to exploit it? Probably nothing. These robber barons didn’t gain their wealth outside the context of a developed nation.  

        I prefer a more bottom up approach such the government providing regular folks will a good education and building up infrastructure.  

      • GLH

        Wrong, you just want to be one.

  • Bara

    A double-barreled solution to the jobs crisis is to put people to work solving the climate crisis, which will especially hit our younger and future generations. If we focus on carrying out what 97% of scientists all over the world keep warning us that we must do to decrease our carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency–and if we really care about what these generations will face and go to work with them in mind–it will also solve our jobs problem now. If we just focus on our very real difficulties and ignore the larger reality, it will just be more difficult for them and will miss an opportunity that can help us now as well.
     

  • TFRX

    “Most people assume that government debt is deadly and must be reduced.”

    “Degreed professionals are pretty well off compared to the economic headlines, and the recession ended for them and the stock market awhile ago.” (Sorry, that’s a real paraphrase. I think I got the gist right.)

    I don’t know what the polls show about regular people right now. But for months and months and months, regular people cared about jobs over the deficit, and wanted government spending to reflect the point in the biz cycle we’re still in, and wanted to not “coddle the rich” (h/t Warren Buffet).

    After two years of fluffing, Astroturfing, and lobbying, and (of course it goes without saying) Fox News’ crisis-level coverage, and therefore the mainstream press’ helplessness to not follow, those polls might be changing.

    Thank you, Teabaggers! You got what you wanted.

    • Rick

      Most of the stimulus money was a complete waste – they put a garden on the roof of a private apartment building next to me. More of it wouldn’t help a thing.

      • TFRX

        Let’s see, consider your argument, or to about every economist who isn’t being funded by a hack think-tank.

        Tough choice.

        I know who Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are believing, if one goes by their track record of applying for stimulus money.

      • ac

        was it part of a ‘green’ or sustainability iniative? many new roof gardens are rain/non-potable water collection systems for toilet flushing, etc…it saves money from ‘wasting’ treated water….in large quantities, it should def help, but it’s all new tech, data still coming in….

      • Anonymous

        Do have proof that this was funded by the federal government and in particular stimulus money?  You make some pretty far fetched claims here, which seem more about your tea party sensibility than anything else. Let’s just do nothing as the Hoover administration did from 29 through 32. That really worked well.

        • TFRX

          Hoover did a few little things, but not enough. And remember, he was the Great Engineer. His reputation was earned for helming the program saving a depleted Europe from famine after WWI killed whatever % of their laborers and crops.

          Between the two I’ll take the ghost of Herbert Hoover (whom I imagine is screaming at the GOP: “Dammit! We’ve been through this already! Why didn’t you learn anything?”) over the likes of Rick.

          • Anonymous

            I know Hoover did great things before he was president.
            However he took the advice of his economic team and it did make it much worse. Hoover is the father of modern relief work for catastrophes such as floods. He saved 6 million Russians from starvation by organizing relief effort in the 20′s in which he improved on what he learned from doing the same in Belgium after WW1.

          • TFRX

            “However he took the advice of his economic team and it did make it much worse.”

            Agreed. But the Great Depression was the first of its kind. For our current morass, certain “shrill” people, smarter than I, have been warning about 1937 since before the stimulus got watered down enough to be passed.

            It just boggles my mind that at least an entire political party in this country (plus, the Blue Dogs-thanx Ben Nelson & crew!) can have forgotten this.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        OK Rick, you’re here making empty claim after empty claim. PROVE the Stimulus did nothing. Stop regurgitating right wing talking points. Do you even know where the money went?

        Didn’t think so.

        If there was a problem with the Stimulus it WAS TOO SMALL to reverse the imploding economy Bush left Obama to clean up.

        • Gregg

          Funny, my repeated request to you to cite how the stimulus worked (without conflating it with TARP like you tried to do before) have gone unanswered.

          The stimulus did do something, it put us $830 billion in debt.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        I recognize your tone Rick. What name did you use before you were banned? Can I guess?

  • Dan Healey

    We are shooting ourselves in the feet by not supporting better educational opportunities and methods. We spend our national treasure on things such as foreign wars and financial firms that deserve to go out of business. Our congress cannot deal with simple problems and yet it commands a large amount of our national wealth. We will need to acknowledge that our econoy will be passed by China and India. We need to understand this and restructure our educational system, our social system, and political system. Right now, this is controlled by our politicans and business leaders. Neither of these groups understand this and are willing to lead. They are too busy trying to get re-elected or get their gated communities. We need  a new revolution in our thinking.

  • Guilfoyle20

    It’s wrong to characterize this as a blue collar crisis.  The problem is that American workers now compete with workers around the planet.  My husband has lost two jobs to outsourcing in the past 5 years -he started a new job in March and was told in June that his department will be outsourced next year, so he is again in an insecure job environment. As long as we embrace tax policy that encourages businesses to go offshore, we will continue our decline.

  • Anonymous

    Bingo: not everyone’s nature is compatible with a HS diploma. One size fits all education plans are highly inefficient and degrade the education of those for whom classic HS is appropriate.  Appropriate training = efficiency. Efficiency is a key factor in success.

  • Freeman

     Tom;
              Enough of this ” education” crap. This guy is NOT listening. Masses of young people out here with ALL KINDS of degresss. WHERE the hell are the JOBS ????????????

  • Rick

    The welfare state is finally showing up as a complete drag on the economy … time to get rid of it.

    • Sam Walworth

      Exactly, lets pay no Medicare, Medicaid and above all NO Unemployment Insurance to be paid to any one :-)

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Yes, please, ball means…Let’s forget what it’s like to have people begging in the streets, dying in droves from disease, loosing their homes, eating scraps, all unable to afford even the most basic of things because they grew old, or injured, or born with a handicap, or lost their job because their employer moved overseas to pay someone 1/10th the wages here.

      You’re the guy in Bruce Hornsby’s song, “The Way It Is”, that, just for fun, tells the guy waiting in the soup line, “Get a job.” 

      The plutocracy in the country is responsible for so many people needing help.

      Yes, Americans, are a tough bunch and prided ourselves on being self reliant, mostly through necessity. But the economic situation shouldn’t be a factor in natural selection, where those that can afford to live, and stay alive, do.  Those people picking your food, working way to hard,  for way too many hours, or far, far little so we, as a country, can have a $.69 can of vegetables , don’t deserve medical aid? Or education? Or help with the heat? Or putting that $.69 can of food on the table when times get tough?

      That view from that high horse must be awfully nice, Rick, that you can look down and blindly see over we unwashed masses, having never needed a governmental helping hand; and had perfect health – or could afford good insurance for the time you didn’t; and never had to decide between food or housing, or heat, or water…

    • nj

      Yes, indeed! Time to end subsidies, tax breaks, and welfare for huge corporations, extractive energy companies, nuclear power, corn ethanol…

      Let’s do it!

  • John

    the answer is corporations spending the money that consumers put out for their products if they want a functioning capitalistic system, if producing goods only to keep the majority of the profit is their intentions then we will continue to slide and eventually consumers indicative of our current GDP will disapear.

  • Tennessee

    I don’t hear much talk about Education in terms of the kind that the wealthy pass on to their children but is missing from mainstream education, and that is basic financial education; reading a balance sheet, creating passive income, & cash-flow.  I was recently unemployed for three years in my highly volatile industry of entertainment but survived off of my minimal investments in rental property, and a patent.  We won’t get out of this with government help & if we don’t move beyond earn and spend ourselves.  We desperately need better financial education at all levels of our education system now or we will be doomed.

    • Jill

      We should all get rental properties?  Uh, I think that was tried before and then a bunch of people had to foreclose on their homes.  I’m not saying financial education is a bad idea, but what we need first is some finances that need managing.  Not sure what your financial situation is, but most have trouble keeping one home and can’t fathom having a rental property or time to invent something requiring a patent.   I think you are in the minority of people and need to recognize your unique, special situation.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Mostly good advice, from a fellow Tennessean?  Not many of the people worst hit by this mess, have the means to accomplish what you have.  Financial Education is a MUST for ALL children, AND adults..

  • Ray

    When people talk about the stimulus, I wonder if they consider how much more mechanized jobs are now compared to in the 1930′s. For example, in road construction, most of the ditches that are dug are done by large earth moving machines operated by one person, rather than by shovels operated by many, many laborers. Stimulus money won’t produce many jobs unless they are specifically targetted to labor intensive projects.

  • Nicky

    I’m sorry, but I always find this conversation a difficult one to swallow.  As a minority, we have historically dealt with the limitation and lack of pay off and reward for our hard work.  Though I do empathize with those who have paid into the “American Dream” only to feel betrayed because what they believed were the fruits of solely their own labor has not paid the dividends and securing they had expected.  I look at generations of poor Black, Brown, and yes even White people who have struggled and toiled only to have society tell them that they haven’t worked hard enough.  When you compared educated minorities, we continue to lag behind in terms of salary and in terms of employment rates.  Yet, we don’t call in great numbers saying the American Dream is dead.

    It’s not dead, it’s just that nothing is certain…it never was.  Investment in science is not the sole answer, but diversifying your own skills, definitely is.  And just to be fair, I say this at a time when I have been buffered by the economic downturn by first getting a job in 2008 and now getting another job with a considerable income jump.  I also must emphasize that I’m on the cusp of finishing my PhD in case anyone is thinking that this is a result from Affirmative Action or some diversity push…which I’ll add is a skill set and focus I have learned to acquire as a means of diversifying my own skills beyond just the classroom.

    I agree with the general consensus that the middle class is shrinking.  I too worry about my own children as I prepare to launch them out into the world, but let me be clear, ALL of my children will have a college education.  That does not guarantee of job, but it sure provides many more options and connections to more options than not.  I agree that we do need to invest more time and energy into technical skills because in many places in the country, people who snake your drain are becoming a dying breed, but I will also emphasize that these industries continue to be dominated by White males who choke hold the hiring and recognition of those who do and don’t have the needed skill set so much that every time I pass a road improvement job, all I ever see are the Brown men doing the least desirable jobs like filling wheelbarrows or other menial jobs while the White men watch to see that they’re “doing it right.”  EVERY industry needs to diversify, not just the government, state, and local

    bureaucracies.

    What I fear is that a generation of under-employed and under-education Black and Brown children will never have the ability to even believe that there is an American Dream, let alone live one.  Where is the show about that?

     

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think it was Don Peck saying the forces are “pretty inexorable” — meaning globalization that increases the global middle class, not ours, I believe.  The question from the caller was whether there’s a way for private investment/development to succeed and not increase the wealth gap, to in fact “trickle down” and “lift all boats” (my phrases; I think the caller wasn’t around to experience the updraft of Reaganomics).  
       I’m remembering a business in my own family that had been more or less embraced by the community; avoided unionization, not wanting to take on an adversarial role to the employees, and succeeding that way.  There were competing businesses manufacturing the same sort of thing within about ten miles, which set the standard for wages, I suppose.  But somehow about the time  of Carter the game became a lot meaner, and although I was never directly told anything, I believe the company was bought out by a German company, and it became more profit-oriented, and less community-oriented.   I tell you that for state of mind — mine.
        So it seems that an American business was bought out and became a global business.  So I see modern economics bifurcating.  Global business competes on a global platform; they are not embraced locally.   Define laws and regs separately for the American/local/non-global branch of business.  Don’t make them play on the big field.  Sort of like establishing not only non-profits, but also non-globals.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2331106&trk=hb_side_g Nemgelt
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADZ6TZZKHWRLDNAOP6R2MBBP6A Bob S

    The last time we were in this predicament (1930s), it was solved by a World war.  It looks like the puny wars we have going on now are not doing the trick.  Given the WMDs many nations have, a really big war is not an option (I hope).  
    Even if we did manage to get the jobs back through some miraculous “economic growth” that does not involve a big war, we will still be digging a grave for ourselves because the worldwide economic growth needed to provide jobs to everybody on the planet (3 billion working age people?) who needs one is simply not environmentally sustainable.
    Seems like the only solution is some kind of job sharing program where we all just share the jobs that are available.  Those are the only jobs that really matter anyway (food production, health care, education, etc.)    What is needed is a major cut in working hours across the board accompanied by a similar reduction in debt.

  • Michiganjf

    The fact that we no longer can count on a traditional recovery pattern… EVER… is due to a completely altered paradigm in the world.

    Unlike any previous recession, this EXTREMELY SEVERE recession has occured under totally new circumstances in the world, which are especially difficult circumstances for America…… simply put, we have bumped up against too many tipping points occurring in sync with this recession:

    -Nations everywhere finally able to compete SIGNIFICANTLY with the U.S. for manufacturing and resources, raising materials costs while simultaneously putting downward pressure on prices and earnings

    -severe changes in climate causing highly unusual and costly weather phenomena (expensive for government at all levels)

    -sky-rocketing healthcare costs finally reaching a far too burdensome level.

    -Population levels which have finally reached a level that is testing limits everywhere, INCLUDING employment, healthcare, food, water, fuel, etc.

    - years of neglect to vital infrastructure, which besides aging, has not kept pace with growth

    -years of neglect to education… a situation which recent Republican dogma is worsening geometrically

    -worldwide destabilization is creating uncertainty for business everywhere

    -ETC…., ETC….

    The bottom line is WE ARE FACING A NEW PARADIGM in which we can expect continual hardship on a level we have never experienced before.

    The real crime against America is that the two decades before 2007, when our country was FAT WITH CASH and the inadequacies of our infrastructure and corporate subsidy structure were already becoming apparent, our politicians couldn’t muster the foresight to improve the situation, and instead opted for more tax cuts for the wealthy and for more corporate giveaways so they could fund their overseas expansion.

    I said this long before Obama was ever even heard of by anyone:

    This recession is here to stay, and we can expect 10% or higher unemployment from here on out!!!

    I’m amazed President Obama has done as well as he has, considering continued Republican stupidities and the circumstances which were left to him.  Since realizing the severity of America’s situation in 2008, I NEVER thought this recession was typical, and I’ve been CERTAIN the job losses would never again be easliy remedied… I’m utterly amazed by those who think anyone could have done better than Obama has done, and in the face of Republican obstructionism, he’s performed near-miracles for America. Think again if you believe our country wouldn’t be irretrievably screwed had McCain/Palin been elected, and think again before you ever again let Republicans run our country further into the ground.

    • twenty-niner

      I’m amazed President Obama has done as well as he has, considering
      continued Republican stupidities and the circumstances which were left
      to him.

      Stupidities are not the sole purview of Republicans. Let’s look at some other recent stupidities:

      1) Signing NAFTA – Clinton
      2) Granting China MFA – Clinton
      3) Repealing Glass–Steagall – Clinton
      4) Signing the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, creating a massive derivatives bubble – Clinton

  • Dixon

    Perhaps we forget, sometimes, where our prosperity comes from.  It was first on the backs of slaves and then on the backs of the poor, particularly in “third world” countries.  It has always been unbalanced.
    In more recent times, the only way that capitalism has been able to “grow” has been by creating an illusion of material growth while actual material growth remains stagnant.
    Now, much of wealth is “created” out of, literally, nothing.  “Short-selling” is a prime example of this.  Nothing is actually created, though those who partake in this practice often make out like bandits.  This is what Capitalism is.

    You can only cut up a golden goose for so long before you realize that it stopped laying eggs long ago.

  • Jasoturner

    Not an economic theory, it’s reasoning via wits.  And I would tread with care amongst economists.  Economics is a pseudo-science, and  it is certainly not a hard science by any stretch of the imagination.  Whether something is compatible with some economic theory speaks not much to it’s practicality or accuracy.

  • http://www.hoveysmith.com Hovey Smith

    I did not make it on the air with you today, but what I wanted to communicate was that everyone in this economy from 16-96 needs to think about starting their own business. Junion Achievement in High School was a good program to start a youngster out. If some can formulate a business concept, actually start in before college, continue it through college it is entirely possible to both graduate from college and be the CEO of your own successful company simultaneously.

    For the presently unemployed of any age, there are free resources on-line I have 21 business tips now on YouTube on how to start your own Ourdoor Business and will be giving a free Teleseminar on Aug.  18. I am not the only one putting out high-quality information for those who want to receive it.

    In this economy everyone needs to have their own fall-back business to nuture and grow during down times. If properly selected these can grow into multi-million dollar firms. Many in the past have done it, with and without college degrees. This is the hope and practical help for those in the down, down and headed further down economy.

    No one business plan will fit all. However we are all differently guifted and challenged. Properly chosen many people can put together something that will work regardless of where they live. A few years ago, retired and on social security, I made more money that I have during any year during my entire life.  I do outdoor books, videos, blogs, a radio show, business consulting, outdoor cooking, PR and a at the end of the month will present a plan as a Professional Geologist for the 200-year restoration of the Louisiana Delta.

    My guift is that I am an idea guy. My challenge is that I have so many that only relatively few will be taken to successful ends. These ideas I am very willing to share to anyone who wants them.

    Wm. Hovey Smith, P.G.
    Sandersville, GA
    (478) 552-7455
    h o v e y s m i t h @ b e l l s o u t h . n e t
    w w w . h o v e y s m i t h . c o m

    @16d27a316ccece4b498d194173e08741:disqus 

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Ideas are not something I’m shy of. But try finding the money to start one? I have tech that can get over 20% better MPG and HP, and reduce emissions by that amount, and no mystery additives or things found in the backs of magazines making outrageous promises.

      But all I get is denied. I can’t even find one decent angel investor, and this isn’t something that needs millions, or even hundreds or tens of thousands, just a few grand to get started.

      But try getting a loan from anyone. Even the SBA seems to want me to prove that to get a loan I first need to prove that I don’t need one. If I had the money, even as collateral, I wouldn’t be asking for a loan.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Can you manufacture it yourself?  Even at small-scale production, you can price it, so you make a profit!  As you get more sales than you can fulfill yourself, you add a second production line of a family member, unemployed friend, etc…   This provides many things, some of which are ; proof of concept, business plan, test marketing, income, a business to sell, etc….

  • Braveheart0920

    Fantastic show!!! Tom pressed his guest, Don, in a way not often seen in this format. He did not want as he said “pipe smoking” pie in the sky answers to what ails the country now. He asked for practical answers to his questions.
    In the last half of the interview I noticed the author beginning to stammer, his speech sped up and he sounded unsure of himself. This interview does nothing to make me want to buy this book. I think he is another guy who acts like he understands how folks in these shoes feel but is just out to make a buck writing about a subject that that tugs at the heart strings.
    As a man with a family who has been out of work for three years I thought it was a great show and almost made me cry maybe I will later. Even after three years it still hurts to not work. 

    • Yar

      One might not be a great public speaker and still have a lot to say.  I would not make too much of the guest’s speech.  I thought he gave a great interview.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Larry Summers seems to talk with what seems newfound caution — I won’t call it a stammer.  To me, an economist — or a journalist writing about economics — with a bit of a stammer signifies that said individuals has actually engaged a broad band of his thinking apparatus and experience.  It’s maybe better to hem and haw a bit than to trot out a trite answer in the manner of certain candidates and partisans who shall be unnamed for the moment.

  • Adrian from RI

    How idiotic must one be to expect salvation from the same people that caused the joblessness problem in the first place? The only all-encompassing force big enough to cause the Great Depression in the 30th was the government and FDR’s misguided policies. To blame the malefactors of great wealth was insidious political slander. Now again the misery we are living through is not caused by the malefactors of wealth or greedy bankers. The misery is again caused by the only force big enough to run the economy into the ditch, that is, the government and its irrational laws enforced over the barrel of a gun. The foundation for the present economic disaster was poured in 1968 when community activist came up with the fraudulent concept of “Redlining.” These activists stampeded the government into passing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) that forced banks to make toxic loans. These toxic loans, in turn, were magically transferred into mortgage backed securities by government banks Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. President Obama inherited this mess and proceeded to vigorously add to the misery by piling moral hazards upon moral hazards and “too big to fail” rules. Will we ever learn? The journalist Henry Louis Mencken (1880 – 1956) cynically observed that: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Our Founding Fathers tried to protect us from that kind of populism. They tried to protect us from that form of democracy that destroyed ancient Athens as it is now destroying America. To get away from business as usual, OnPoint would do well to stop relying on “The Communist Manifesto” and “The Sermon on the Mount” and start taking serious “The Declaration of Independence” and our Constitution. By the way, reading the essay “Man’s Rights” in the booklet “The Virtue of Selfishness” might help you understand what moral principle is killing us. 

    • Anonymous

      Well now, you seem to be rewriting history. FDR did not cause the Great Depression. You seemed to overlook the stock market crash of 29. Small oversight on your part I would say. The banks and over speculation and huge bubbles in hey guess what, housing, also added to the crash. This was brought on by a lack of regulations in the banking industry. Funny how after the Glass-Steagall act of 33, banking became a very safe busniess in this country up until the 90′s when it was overturned.

      Other causes: Bank Failures, (already mentioned),
      Reduction in Purchasing Across the Board,
      American Economic Policy with Europe, and
      Drought Conditions.

      This kind of rhetoric is very misguided and full of complete lies and fabrications of facts.  You mention the founding fathers.
      One of them, John Adams once said: “facts are stubborn things”.
      You should take heed of this sir.

      • GLH

        Holocaust Denial is treated as hate speech and punished in Europe. If not, Nazism might have re-arisen because hate and scapegoating are the easy path for the mentally lazy and sadists. 
        Mis-historical revisionism is a related crime not yet formally punished in America. Maybe it should be. (Reading 1984 by Orwell could be instructive here.) At this point we should shun and ostracize hideous liars and propagandists working to serve heartless greedy Oligarchs. Treat them as you would a hardcore fascist or Anti-semite because they are the present day equivalent. The person above knows they are a lying propagandist. Maybe they are proud to serve our elitist oppressors. His lies deserve the memory hole.

  • Lee

    why the new health insurance law is so threatening is that it will give part time workers an insurance option.

    what workers need to do is turn the table on employers. part time work could be the new full time work, but at a higher rate of pay and more leisure time. what full time workers need to do is collectively cut their hours and raise their wages to lower unemployment and increase consumer demand.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Hire yourself a boss is not a bad strategy.  I think there is someone who posted in this thread as an ideaman who might know how to link up a team with a manager.  Getting a product to market, some Harvard business type was saying I believe on this show, is one of the next big areas for growth in America.  Hire-a-boss — hire someone to get your skill set and your product into the flow.
      Why not?  Management is an ever-more sophisticated skill.  Marketing, complying with various laws — it’s complex.  Is it worth paying that boss 40 times the pay of the team?  Is it worth 20 times?  Let the team decide rather than vice versa.
          The way things are going, the bosses are so greedy and self-oriented (profit-oriented), that if the workers themselves don’t start doing this, we’ll look like a foolish country.  You mean the workers CONTINUED to pay bosses that kind of premium?  And the bosses took the work overseas and laid them off?
           HUH????

      • Lee

        basically what you are describing is a strike. why not just call it what it is?

        Workers need to get their own titanium spines.

        CUT YOUR HOURS COLLECTIVELY. Figure it out, and do it.

        • Ellen Dibble

          No, I’m talking about startups, not established businesses.

          • Anonymous

            How about that guy up in Lawrence where the Polartec factory burned down and his first concern was to get the factory up and running and the workers back in jobs.  While the place was being rebuilt, he continue to pay their salaries. We treated him as a hero and, given our culture, he was — no question about it.  But his ethic should be the prevailing ethic in America, not such a famous exception.

            Our problem is that we all tend to think, now, in national terms rather than local terms.  Media do that; we accept it.  But live for a while in a very “local” place, as I do now, and it’s amazing how much healthier a cohesive community is — where no one is left behind, where business interests (and it’s a very business-oriented, middle class 82% Republican area with strong liberal social values) come second to community health and well being.

          • Lee

             if the “boss-hirers” are performing in the same capacity they did before (bakers baking) then you are describing a strike and collective bargaining, it does not matter if it is a start up or not. part of the bargaining contract is new managment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Alt/1703662260 Tom Alt

        A few years back when I worked for Hughes (what was left of the H.H. empire) ALL salaries were posted in the open and you did a review not only on those you supervised, but you reviewed your bosses for responsiveness and ability, too. Damn fine company, too bad they moved their growing operations out of my town. In retrospect, should have moved cross-country with them.

  • Lee

    also, we need to stop thinking that there is some new industry that will save us. there are a lot of phonies out there crying green, green, green. they get their subsidies and they run their businesses into the ground or oversees. we need old fashioned organizing. we don’t need a bigger pie, it would be nice if it was a healthier pie, but we need to SHARE THE PIE>

  • Lee

    what he have in this country is a capital strike.

  • Lee

    you know how stupid the right thinks we are? they actually say it daily on their radio programs that they are involved in a capital strike. not in those words, mind you, but very near close to them…

    “a poor person never created a job”

    “businesses are afraid to hire, too much uncertainty, taxes could get raised”

    “rich people pay all the taxes”

    what President Obama has been doing is in essense giving a raise to middle class workers via a payroll tax deduction to boost consumer demand because employers are not raising wages. But that deduction contributes to the debt that they complain prevents them from hiring.

  • nj

    It’s been mentioned a couple of time in the discussion, but it bears repeating…

    Perot was right about the giant sucking sound. No small part of the job losses and corresponding tax revenues has been due to the “free trade” (ie Investor Encancement) agreements.

    It’s not bad enough yet, and he needs to continue to demonstrate his fealty to his corporate masters, so Obummer wants more of them.

    http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/11799/next_up_after_debt-ceiling_debacle_new_trade_deals_pushed_by_obama/

    If we’re going to leave these agreements in place and develop new ones, they need to be negotiated with significant enough tariffs on imported goods to balance the negative effects.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I don’t think American workers can compete with workers overseas.  The cost of health care is too high, whether paid by the employer or whether paid individually.  And therefore the cost of living is higher.  So I don’t think tariffs will bring us to adequate competition.  We could inflate our way to equity, I suppose if you wanted your 401(k) to be worth a quarter of what it un-inflated might be.  But on the other hand, our exports would be four times as competitive, and the cost of American labor — well, it might be competitive, or the cost of health care and so on and therefore the cost of an hour’s work, might rise, in dollar terms, but not absolutely, if the dollar is worth less over against the foreign currency.
           Therefore, I think free trade agreements to open up opportunities for exports to the growing middle classes abroad offers a quicker solution than economic isolationism, tariffs that friends like the UK would resist.  
           Instead, I’d set up two separate corporate playing fields, tax-wise and regulation-wise, one for the global competitors with the PO boxes in the Bahamas or what have you.  Let them compete with the corrupt regimes and the cut-throat sorts who work their people to the bone without reprisals.  
          But let the businesses that stay in America have a whole different set of parameters.  It’s high time we recognized there are ENORMOUS differences.   Communities built around a business that wants to stay non-global would have more assurance that the jobs would stay.  If we can have non-profit enterprises and for-profit, then we can have non-profit, for-profit, and global.  Why hasn’t anyone promoted this?  Everyone wants to be global?

      • twenty-niner

        I don’t think American workers can compete with workers overseas.

        We compete very well with other first-world countries that have livable wages, sensible environmental regulations, have freely-traded currencies, and respect intellectual property rights; in other words: not China. 

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        Those foreign countries we’re loosing jobs to have national health care programs.

        “Free trade” seems to mean that other countries are free to sell here with an import tariff under 3%, while preventing many US good from entering their countries with tariffs over 30%, and laws designed to make our products hard to sell, provided they even make through “inspections”.  If the US treated the importation their goods the way they treat ours, there would be a line of ship from here to Asia backed up and waiting until the Christmas after next.

        • Roy Mac

          I can’t stand this any longer.  “Loose” is not a verb; “lose” is a verb.  When anyone talks about no longer having something, the word is “losing,” not “loosing.”  “Loosing” is not a word in common English usage.  Thank you for learning how to use a dictionary.

          • Gregg

            Relax, it’s just a typo. I’m sure Scott B. is a smart fella. Everyone makes mistakes there is no need to go all nucular about it.

  • Jorge

    CEO Hacks: For years, senior management, CEOS, MBAs who become CEOS have bamboozled the rest of us chasing cheap labor around the globe, then rewarding themselves by paying themselves vulgar bonuses for bringing to the company impressive “shareholder value.” At present, they continue to do the same,  outsource jobs, reward themselves (a similar gambit is done to ordinary citizens in the US Congress) while giving away the golden goose to countries near and far. We have watched in pain while these same morons cede markets we in the USA invented to other nations without so much as a fight (TV, cell phones, cars, you name it). Under their lack of scrutiny, it appears China steals just about everything it needs. While people mock “strategery,” many CEOS don’t apparently understand what is strategically good for the USA and what is not, what protects us, and what injures. 

    Small Business Viability: In the meantime, the viability of small business is becoming more questionable under the weight of Big Regulation, Big Insurance, Big Competition, Big Healthcare, and Big Banks and Big Government. Gamesmanship is everywhere, the game is not.  Now, we are no longer the same, competitive nation, money flows in an outward direction; Bigness rules, outsourcing continues, policy wonks are mired as to how to proceed, our politicians cannot lead, and our leaders seem to fail to understand where our wealth comes from. 

    Old age and HR liars: On top of all this, when corporate America starts dumping workers at 50, even younger, we are expected to live until 85. How? I am in my early sixties. No one I know understands how this is supposed to work. Using lawyerspeak, HR departments lie to older applicants every day, “We have selected another candidate at this time, but wish you every success in your job search.” Many have given up, no one knows how many. The official numbers of under or unemployed dramatically understate reality, in my view. Show me officialdom, and I will show you a break down of trust, confidence and efficacy. The Tea Party has not arrived by accident. 

    • ~Rico~

      Small Business Viability- we have all willingly become slaves to big business. Small businesses will not flourish as long as we continue to ignore them in order to save a few cents on goods and services. As consumers, we all need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves “where do we shop?” When you buy a book, do you go to Barnes & Noble or the local independent? When you go out to dinner do you visit a national chain or the restaurant down the street owned by your neighbor? We will not see a fundamental shift away from the big corporation’s grip on this country until we the people consciously decide to alter our “shopping” behavior. It will come at a price (nominally higher costs for goods and services) but look what the alternative has brought us to.

  • Rick7246

    “THE STIMULUS WORKED!” There is no doubt that it worked. The
    vast majority of economists agree it worked, and that the country would be in
    better shape now if the stimulus had been bigger. Without the stimulus
    unemployment would be nearly twice as high as it is today. This should not be a
    difficult concept to get. The country badly needs another stimulus today. But
    you and many of your peers are inadvertently aiding those who want the economy
    to get worse. 

     

    Who says the stimulus did not work? Generally they are
    right-wing politicians and pundits, who want the president to fail. But when
    they have an obvious agenda, when they are not economic experts and cannot
    provide credible evidence, should you fall for it? Haven’t you seen how good
    right-wingers are at repeating an unfounded position until the shear repetition
    affects the national opinion? Sadly you and so many other news people let them
    get away this blatant brainwashing.

     

    Your failure to challenge these partisans every time they
    repeat this asinine talking point gives the falsehood traction with people who
    are not paying close attention. These right-wingers are not a little bit wrong,
    they are completely wrong.  It is
    not a matter of opinion. You fail your listeners when you repeat the falsehood
    and when do not challenge those who promote the lie. It drives me mad when the
    right-wing talking point tactic sucks you guys in again and again.

     

    But don’t believe me. Do you journalistic homework. 

    • twenty-niner

      THE STIMULUS WORKED!

      I agree that the stimulus worked very well for China:

      Stimulus Jobs in China? Senators Angry About U.S. Money Going Overseas

      An investigation by ABC News and the Investigative Reporting Workshop found that 79 percent of the program’s money has gone to foreign companies, money that Schumer said was “federal tax dollars, the stimulus, which was sold as jobs in America.”

      http://abcnews.go.com/WN/obama-stimulus-money-spent-overseas/story?id=10002592

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ Ultrax5

        Take away one “like”. I should be more careful when the “reply” button doesn’t appear.  You’re misrepresenting the story. It’s not 79% of the Stimulus went overseas… it’s alleged 79% of a wind energy program did. None the less it’s still outrageous. Which reminds me, wasn’t it the Chamber of Commerce who put pressure on Congress to NOT have an “America only” provision? Of COURSE it was! http://www.uschamber.com/press/releases/2009/january/us-chamber-opposes-counterproductive-buy-american-provisions

        • twenty-niner

          It’s not 79% of the Stimulus went overseas… it’s alleged 79% of a wind energy program did

          Understood, but administration had an $800 billion-dollar check that could have gone a long we to energizing the green economy, which could at some point could become self sufficient, putting a generation of Americans to work. Imagine where we’d be if DARPA had contracted with foreign firms to develop packet switching (the fundamental technology that powers the internet) 40 years ago. Cisco might be a Japanese or German firm.

          …And for the latest news about green jobs:

          “Evergreen Solar files for bankruptcy, plans asset sale:”

          http://www.bostonherald.com/business/technology/general/view.bg?articleid=1358998&pos=breaking

          The current administration is a disgrace, and what’s worse, I really don’t see a contender on the horizon who has the promise re-energize American industry.

        • twenty-niner

          wasn’t it the Chamber of Commerce who put pressure on Congress to NOT have an “America only” provision?

          Yes, and I found the story to be outrageous when it came out in 2009. This is why Congress and the country needs leaders and not puppets to be controlled be lobbyists and bankers.

        • twenty-niner

          …And it’s not just the green-energy money going to foreign firms. We can’t even find an American firm to rebuild the freeway that encircles the nation’s capital!

          “Toll Road Firm Made Illegal Contributions”

          “Officials at Transurban, a U.S. subsidiary of an Australian company, said they should not have made the donations, because federal law forbids contributions from foreign companies and foreign nationals.”

          “Recipients were Democrats and Republicans, including Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), dozens of state senators and delegates, the three candidates for governor next year and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D), who is running for Congress.”

          News flash: It’s not just Republicans selling this country out.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/02/AR2008070203200.html

          • ulTRAX

            I know it’s not just Republicans. I include pro-corporate Dems like Clinton who gave us free trade and Chuck Schumer who made sure hedge fund managers would only pay 15% tax.

          • OheO_OeeO

            Like was said before, by I remember not whom:

            Clinton was Greenspan’s lapdog
            and Greenspan was Rand’s lapdog
            and Ayn Rand was the lapdog of her own insanity.
            An insanity that fit right in with the “greed is good” “me” generation,
            to sooth any residual pangs of conscience that may still penetrate
            their narcissistic delusions.

    • MeAgain

      Please cite an economist or anyone who claims the stimulus worked.

      • Kean

        An economist or others who say the stimulus worked- Paul Krugman and all state governors who aren’t Koch brother puppets. Many state and city governments were helped greatly until the stimulus money ran out this Spring. Probably your police force, EMTs and school teachers benefitted. The problem is it was too small. When the private sector fails, BIGTIME, the government must pitch in or the economy worsens, as it is now.

        • Gg

          “What’s extraordinary about all this is that stimulus can’t have failed, because it never happened.” -Paul Krugman

          Is that saying it worked?

          http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/the-great-abdication/

          • Guest

             Welcome back Gregg. I see you found a way around being banned.

          • Gregg

            Wow, you are persistent. Thank you, you may have been responsible for someone noticing the injustice. Thanks again.

      • nj

        http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2010-01-25-usa-today-economic-survey-obama-stimulus_N.htm

        President Obama’s stimulus package saved jobs — but the government still needs to do more to breathe life into the economy, according to USA TODAY’s quarterly survey of 50 economists.Unemployment would have hit 10.8% — higher than December’s 10% rate — without Obama’s $787 billion stimulus program, according to the economists’ median estimate. The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs.

        • Gregg

          The cost was actually $830 Billion but why quibble? We need jobs created not just saved. I understand prognosticators prognosticating but it’s speculation. Maybe there is some merit but I wouldn’t count government jobs that take money from the pocket of someone else. And I also wonder how many of the jobs are sustainable secure jobs.

          Your points are fair enough I suppose but we need to define “worked”. The “stimulus” certainly did not fix the economy nor did it live up to the expectations set by Obama.

          In any event, I have not heard an economist that says the “stimulus” worked. Actually, I feel sure some economist somewhere does say it worked but Rick7246 boldly claimed “THE STIMULUS WORKED! There is no doubt that it worked. The vast majority of economists agree it worked, and that the country would be in better shape now if the stimulus had been bigger.”

          I don’t think that is true and merely asked that he back it up.

  • Lee

    Tom,

    why not do a program on the capital strike?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Verizon is still on strike.

    • Quadraticus

      And capital flight.

  • Cabmanjohnny

     Small business: It simply cost too much to hire people unless you’re a large corporation. For instance, for me to hire someone I need worker’s comp, state run pool, which is $1200 up front; then gets hiked end of year if payroll is higher than estimated. I need to have matching SS funds and an account to withhold taxes, my unemplyment rate assessment, and all the bookeeping to back it up which cost a lot. It is just simpler to work for myself, as much as I can do. So is the prediciment of many small business people who could hire help if the system just amounted to simply paying someone a wage-period. 

    • Roy Mac

      What’s your suggestion?

    • Roy Mac

      What’s your suggestion?

  • JustDoIt

    The speaker assumes that USA is an insulated economy. There is no way we can buy the cheap goods and use the free services of the Internet without the global market. While it is tempting to say buy American, support American, I think it is hard for most consumers to pay a huge premium. Just take a look at our food. Locally grown vegetables costs more than foreign imports. If consumers are not even willing to shell out a few more dollars on food, what makes the speaker think we will on clothes and cars?
    Unfortunately, I think America can only grow when we start providing the world with things people want – convenience, design, safety, efficacy. We need to be a nation that produces stuff, not just paperpushers. Instead of focusing on redistributing wealth, I think the speaker should focus on how the rich got rich. It’s usually by building or making something like Google, Boeing, Harley Davidson, pixar. We aren’t just handing our money over to these companies just because we are morons. They make products we want. How can we say it is unfair to make money when someone smart comes up with something people want? We need to have a nation of do-ers, not some whiny economist who laments about the old days. Please. This is why people hire young. Not old geezers who just look back.

    • Jen4roomie

      Regarding food: We have a lot of food speculators. If we required grocery stores to buy local produce and only buy outside the state if not available locally and then out of the country we would save significant petrochemicals, greatly reduce pollution, asthma attacks and heart attacks in our country and around the world. Our cheaper fruits and vegetables come at a great cost to our environment and health. 

      I don’t think Americans can have any confidence in large multinational companies regarding jobs and should look to try as much as they can to support local businesses.

      • victoria

        and when you think of what it actually costs to ship that food via containers overseas overland, etc…you gotta wonder why local food is more expensive to buy – and there’s the problem – BS going on keeping it cheaper – for now – to buy from elsewhere - 

    • Steve T

      I can’t wait to see you eat those last words, but I probably won’t us old geezers won’t be around. But just try not to get old I dare you.

  • Pingback: Post-Unemployment Stress Disorder - Ted Auch

  • Ann Rose

    I have been an RN for 15 years, quit to farm ( my roots) live frugally and primitively grow all I eat. Will not go back to work as a nurse unless the system is fixed.

    • nj

      I’m hoping you take well to farming, then. The system isn’t going to get fixed in any of our lifetimes.

  • Bobl1234

    This society has forgotten to shareThe divisive politics of recent months moves me to remind Americans that caring for each other is still legal, and that sharing with others is a way to show such caring.
    My grandparents’ generation used to share putting up food and barn-raisings — and supporting the New Deal. If anyone’s grandparents had died from malnutrition during the Great Depression, chances are good those grandchildren wouldn’t be tea partiers.My parents’ generation slept on fold-out couches, used “party lines” and fought the last Good War. If readers’ parents had demanded a balanced-budget amendment as a condition for entering World War II, chances are good that they would not now be tea partiers, nor would English be their first language.My generation shared one telephone line and one television. We spent time learning to follow my mother’s admonition, “Share and share alike.”Might our ugly politics signify that Americans are so caught up in “I, me, mine” that they have too little time and energy to learn the value of “we”?

  • Rob (in NY)

    Here is a fact to ponder regarding the 2009 stimlus package relative to other capital investments by the federal government in our history.   The entire US Interstate Highway system originally proposed by President Eisenhower in 1956 and built over 35 years cost an estimated $425 billion (in 2010 inflation adjusted dollars, although more was spent in the first 10 years); whereas the 2009 stimulus package cost just north of  $800 billion. Which do you honestly believe yielded a greater return on investment for current and future taxpayers? 
     
    Lets put the partisan differences aside for the moment and focus on how the government can be more effective (whether you believe it you should be larger or smaller, there is is the need more some government).  Whereas the interstate highway system was built for long term economic and national security reasons  (e.g. Ike saw how effective the Autobahn was in tranporting German workers), the 2009 stimulus package was little more than payback to Democratic political allies and short term tax and spending  gimmicks done largely for political reasons.   Smart capital investments should be made independent of the business cycle for economic reasons, rather than political ones.  

    A good first step would be requiring the US federal budget should immediately adopt a separate budget for capital investments.   Politicians would then have to demonstrate the economic reasons for making certain investments.  

    • Rob (in NY)

      typo above…..”still need SOME government”

  • at

    How about a ban on foreign manufacture of products derived from research done in our universities, government, and military, and a tariff on any goods derived from such research, that are produced off-shore?
    That would be a game changer — don’t you think?

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Agreed.  However, wouldn’t be easier to close tax loop holes that now enable companies to sequester profits overseas?  

      • Jen4roomie

        We need lobbyists for the average Americans to fight these big businesses lobbyists that create these loop holes. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    By the way, the president is holding three meetings in Iowa today with small Americans (call it that), with Karen  Mills, and Iowa’s Vilsac now secretary of Agriculture, and starting now at 3:30 a third one, seeking inputs about these issues.
        I heard in the second of Obama’s forums one woman who pointed out that speculators are buying up farm land because there is nothing better to invest in, and thereby driving up the price of farmland, out of range of the farmers.  And the speculators pay taxes of 17% (I guess that is capital gains for churning it, but I’m not sure), whereas a farmer farming that same acreage (she said 1800 acres are needed for a viable family farm, with an annual investment of a million dollars and $500,000 annual income, with about 50% annual return from that in taxes, added up).  She suggested the 50% was a better “take” for the government, and for the eating public.  No, I said that about the eating public. 
       Obama, as I recall, said he was all for that, and was taking notes.
       But on at least one point, he said he needed “folks like you” to do some lobbying for him (whereas he would carry the point as far as could be done in Washington), but at this point, the locally elected  lodge members (something like that) were on the side of the large farmers.   As I recall it.
        There were great suggestions wall to wall.  Thank you, Iowa.

  • ulTRAX

    The only reason jobs are leaving the US IS BECAUSE WE LET THEM LEAVE.

    Of COURSE corporations, given the opportunity to AVOID paying  good wages, unemployment benefits, holidays, overtime, social security, worker safety and pollution controls… yet have the chance to bring those goods into the highest profit retail markets… WILL JUMP AT THE CHANCE.  When We The People charter corporations to only be responsible to their shareholders and have NO responsibility to the nation… what kind of behavior do we expect from them? A good case can be made that our little legal creations are amoral if not sociopathic… and now the right wing Neanderthals on the Supreme Court have ruled our little Frankensteins are legally “people”.   
     
    The first step to reversing this madness is FINALLY having an open discussion about so-called “free trade”. Yes it benefits SOME… but what about the rest of us? We could kill two birds with one stone if we got out of some of these free trade agreements and add a tariff to compensate for other nation’s refusal to pay the social overhead companies must pay in the US. For jobs being outsourced through the internet… tax them too. We’d not just start to bring the jobs home but get some revenue to boot.  

    • Kean

      Who is “we”? Your excellent point gets at the problem- WE, the people, are no longer represented by a Congress that spends half its time raising money for corporations for the next election, and then proceeds to do the bidding of these corporations. This bidding includes passing trade agreement after trade agreement. All of these “agreements” which are dictated by corporate and banking interests work against American workers and often trash the economies of the countries they are said to help. We have only the illusion of democracy. Actually, our government works primarily for corporate interests.

      • Guest

        Having read enough of ulTRAX’s posts, if were to respond he’d probably say what do you expect in an dysfunctional antidemocratic system like ours? If Bush could be installed as president even after being REJECTED by the People, why do you expect the will of the people to prevail in the Senate where 18% of the population get 52% of the seats? The Senate is probably the most perverse antidemocratic body in any “democratic” nation. How can there be true reforms when states with a mere 5% of the population can block any amendment? 

        • Gregg

          I certainly understand your need to changes your name (Rob,MA;ultraxx;ultrax,ultrax5 and now guest) but it’s pretty creepy that you are talking to yourself.

    • Guest

      Wasn’t there a post up this afternoon where ulTRAX said he was banned for posting the above post? Where is it? 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Executives get ALL those benefits, and MORE!!   They get paid BONUSES for bankrupting the compaines they head, then get another CEO job at another company, to repeat the process!  Is that what companies call a ‘production bonus’ ?

  • Tony (Washington, DC)

    How do you anti-business, anti-free market, anti-capitalism liberals (aka progressives) feel now after you attacked our businesses relentlessly in 2009 and 2010?  You supported and encouraged your liberal politicians to waste a year and half passing two major anti-business regulations:  healthcare (aka Obama care) and financial reform.
     
    News flash – businesses will not begin hiring in earnest until these two anti-business regulations are repealed and replaced with more friendly business-employee regulations!

    • Anonymous

      What a complete bunch of propagandist nonsense. It’s about sales and the lack of consumers buying stuff. You really need to do stop blaming liberals for everything. By the way Warren Buffet is a pretty liberal guy.
      So there goes your argument. He’s pretty much a capitalist.
      From what I’ve read of Bill Gates he’s pretty much in the liberal camp as well.

      Facts are stubborn things. John Adams

    • ulTRAX

      Yes, Obama SHOULD have passed Single Payer. That alone would do wonders for freeing employers up from onerous PRIVATE SECTOR red tape and paperwork. Put the whole private health insurance sector out of business and in the process we can free up resources being wasted in this parasitic if not malignant private sector bureaucracy… and those people can be put to productive work.  

      • Lisa in Boston, MA

        Obama should have worked harder on creating jobs rather than fighting with Congress for 18 months over passing the health care law AND keeping our military in Afghanistan. Now that the election nears, job creation is important… HELLLLO!

        • ulTRAX

          Obama COULD have done both. First he could have asked for a bigger stimulus and pushed for more job creation, and second he might not have wasted so much time on health care if he’d been more of an LBJ. He and Harry Reid put up with too much nonsense from a few Senate Dems like Max Baucus. While I applaud the effort to finally join the ranks of civilized nations in providing health care to its citizens, ObamaCare just doesn’t deal with the dysfunctionality of our system.
          Read this Congressional Research Service report and weep 
          http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL34175_20070917.pdf
          I believe ObamaCare perpetuates that dysfunctionality.

      • Gg

        He didn’t have the votes. Democrats stopped him.

        • Guest

          What are you talking about Gregg? Obama NEVER even suggested Single Payer. So how could the Dems stop him?

          • Gregg

            “A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That’s
            what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there
            immediately. Because first we’ve got to take back the White House, we’ve
            got to take back the Senate, and we’ve got to take back the House.” – Barack Obama 2003

          • nj

            Guest insists: “Obama NEVER even suggested Single Payer.”

            Wrong!

            http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/june/barack_obama_on_sing.php

            “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.” (applause) “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.” 

            Obama speaking to the Illinois AFL-CIO, June 30, 2003.

          • ulTRAX

            Thanks NJ. I’m aware of that remark. I should have been more clear he never mentioned it during the campaign… it wasn’t part of the platform. Not that it mattered. He did run on the Public Option and he quietly sabotaged it even as he pretended to support it in late summer 09.

          • Gregg

            The key sentence is the last one. That’s why they’re called “progressives”.

    • Gg

      You are absolutely right.

       http://hotair.com/archives/2011/08/16/video-the-coming-price-explosion-of-obamacare/

    • nj

      Ha! It’s almost good enough to be irony from the Onion, but these neocons are actually serious!

      Tony proclaims that the “healthcare” legislation that passed is “anti-business”!

      http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-03-22/business/sc-biz-0323-health-reform-windfall-20100322_1_health-care-health-reform-legislation-health-insurance

      “Doctors, hospitals, insurers, drugmakers seen benefiting from health care bill

      Increase in paying customers expected to be a huge boon”

      The legislation throws people a few bones, but will not be able to control what insurance companies charge for their crappy products, and will reward them with huge windfalls. And no public option, so people will be forced to buy their crappy policies.

      All in all, a huge windfall for the predatory and useless health insurance industry.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      AHA!  MORE EXTORTION DEMANDS for the same things, from the same interests!!!   CEOs getting $MILLIONS to bankrupt companies, and exporting jobs, due to bought Congress, and Supreme Court (Justices? who are too senile, or more likely corrupt, to KNOW corporations are NOT people!!), and regulators that don’t regulate, which gets people killed, and disabled!!

  • FedUp

    This is off topic but I am not sure where I can raise this issue. If NPR is supposed to be unbiased news and analysis then why don’t you cover the treatment of Dr. Paul in this campaign? Why does every one of your “economic” discussions ignore that Austrian school? Maybe if you stop taking money from the State, then you will be free of their influence.

    • Roy Mac

      I can’t speak for NPR, but two answers:  Ron Paul is an OB/GYN, not an economist; and, the Austrian school holds less sway among theoretical economists than Keynes or Marx; i.e., Hayek was never more than a fringe figure, almost identical to Ron Paul. 

    • ulTRAX

      I know there have been shows on Ayn Rand. I don’t recall any OP shows on Marx.

  • david

    Listened to the CEO of New Balance shoes, the last company left in America that makes sneakers and only 25% still here, and his comments on why things are the way they are.
    He stated the reason his company is struggling today is overbearing Govt. regulations.
    A company here Alabama stated they will have to fork out $1M inorder to meet new Govt. regulations.
    A friend of mine runs a construction company. He had to go to a Govt. sponsored class to get certified to paint old houses. You must have this certification before you paint or be fined if caught.
    A Senator in CT. is forming a super committee of 12 to create jobs.
    The more government gets involved the harder it becomes to stay in business.

    • Anonymous

      The house painting certification is for lead paint. You see how you are twisting this to make it seem like a bad thing. The reality is I think it’s a good idea. However it does need to be tweaked as I think it does not deal with the reality of old houses. This includes contractors and plumbers in Massachusetts as well.

      We need regulations, safety comes to mind. Pollution is another.
      Lead paint removal is one such area that was really created by the chemical companies. Lead paint was banned in Europe decades before it was here. It was fought tooth and nail for decades by the Dow chemical and other corporations who had a huge financial interest in keeping this paint on the market.

      As to the CEO of New Balance you did not mention what regulations? Labor? At the end of the day I’m sick and tired of hearing this argument. You need to provide some links to this mans statements.

      It’s lack of regulations in the banking and housing sector that lead to the this huge downturn.  You need to have some more information to prove your point. Not just say it’s the reason companies are not hiring is regulations. It use to be legal to dump very nasty chemicals into landfills and lakes and streams. Are you advocating for going back to this kind of thing?

    • Gg

      Bush was bad but regulations under Obama have risen substantially at great cost at the worst time.

      http://blog.heritage.org/2011/07/27/morning-bell-tangled-up-in-washingtons-red-tape/

      • nj

        It’s really just pointless to cite the supposed cost of regulations (and the article doesn’t really give the methodology by which it arrives at its purported costs) without looking at the potential savings that the regulations might generate.

        The article cites regulations on the financial/trading sector in its listing of areas which are suffering under these burdensome regs. Presumably, the Heritage gang that wrote this drivel would rather just let the Wall Street  banksters continue to do their thing unfettered, since that worked out so well for us in 2008.

        With the cost of the mortgage meltdown in the trillions, a few million dollars worth of regulation looks like a good deal to me.

        Similar arguments could be made about the other areas the article cites: light bulb efficiency, fuel standards, etc.

        Oh, the regulations! As if the costs of the fuel use in the absence of the standards somehow don’t matter.

        In the case of these neocons, it doesn’t, since they’re being borne by regular people.  

      • Guest

         Welcome back Gregg. I see you found a way around being banned!

        • nj

          How many times is it necessary to say this?

          Posting exactly the same thing over and over would seem to be something that isn’t productive.

        • nj

          How many times is it necessary to say this?

          Posting exactly the same thing over and over would seem to be something that isn’t productive.

        • nj

          How many times is it necessary to say this?

          Posting exactly the same thing over and over would seem to be something that isn’t productive.

    • Roy Mac

      It’s a bad idea to get construction worker certified to recognize toxic paint?  e.g., lead-based?  Companies ought to be able to do as they please and say what they please with no accountability?  Are you skipping your meds?

      • Gg

        “Companies ought to be able to do as they please and say what they please with no accountability?”

        Funny, I read David’s thoughtful post three times and could not find where he said that. As a matter of fact, I’ve never heard ANYONE advocate that. Then again, if you suggest taxes should not be raised (not even suggesting cutting taxes) many around here claim you will have to fill potholes on your street yourself. All or none seems to be the non-nuanced view.

        • Guest

          Welcome back Gregg. I see you found a way around being banned!

        • Anonymous

          Oh please where have you been. I was talking about this with a contractor the other day. It’s painfully obvious it’s about lead paint and old houses. The new law in Mass is over reaching in my view, which is why I think it needs to be tweaked. It adds thousands to any paint job on a house that has lead paint in or outside.

          • Gregg

            I wasn’t talking about lead paint. I was reacting to Roy Mac’s leap in logic.

    • Mikey

      You would love China! 

      1. You can sell poisonous milk to newborns! Add any additive you want. No government oversight!
      2. You can save money by adding cardboard to your recipes. It saves you money on ingredients and no one will bother you!
      3. You don’t even need real concrete for your building! Just mix in whatever you have. Make sure not to be in your building during an earthquake and your good. 

      You should also look into other free market (no oversight, no regulation, no tax) nirvanas like Liberia, Somalia and Moldova. If you want to sell children, poisoned food, nuclear warheads, or body parts those Nazi government regulations are not going to give you a hard time. If you want a comprehensive list of no regulation countries just type “failed state” into Google. 

      Enjoy and good luck.
       

    • mikey

      I would love to study your conservative, free market, pro business climate in Alabama. I’m stuck here in one of the most liberal cities in America – Seattle. Business is really hurting here due to liberal economic policy. The only companies that have been able to start here in the last twenty years are Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Starbucks, Adobe and a good part of the american tech industry. Some day I hope to go back to my home state of ultra conservative Indiana, to enjoy their wonderfully pro business environment and get that job as a Wallmart greeter that I always wanted. 

    • kean

      david- without government regulation we’d have hundreds dying of e. coli and salmonella poisoning, no clean drinking water, no flu prevention, dangerous landlord neglect, even worse environmental degradation, spread of contagious diseases, no unemployment insurance, etc, etc. 

      Government is not the problem, unless you believe in Republican talking points, and many business people have believed, for generations, and are so far unable to WAKE UP and smell the coffee. Corporate domination of both political parties has put us in the mess we’re in. For many years corporate lobbyists have been writing our national legislation in their favor and against you and I.

      Mikey’s list above is a good starting place to begin to realize what has been done to our economic system over the past 30 years by corporate interests that have no loyalty to the US or to “we, the people”. 

      We can fight back by being active at the local level. We can bank locally in community banks or credit unions.  Most people want to fund Medicare, medicaid, and understand that Social Security is financially sound, at least much moreso than any stock investment/401K. We must fight against cuts to public/government programs that are favored by the majority but that corporations want to privatize and drain away “profits” to CEO pay. We can support workers on strike, esp the Verizon workers today, whose corporation made billions off the work of employees and now wants to cut their pay and benefits. When unions lose a strike about wages and benefits, all working people lose. 

      david, keep the faith and check out Mikey’s analysis above. 

    • ulTRAX

      While there are some stupid regulations the idea they are all bad is untrue. Companies tend to want to maximize profits by taking short cuts and dumping their costs on innocent third parties. One MIGHT think Libertarian would be outraged at this, but they show their true stripes as being corporate shills instead of protecting the rights of corporate victims. That house painting class… the way you describe it, it sound onerous. But I bet it has to do with not letting lead paint dust, a known neurotoxin, escape the site. Or is you friend suggesting s/he profit from such shortcuts ?  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Alt/1703662260 Tom Alt

      I’m tired of this ‘regulation’ baloney, specifically WHAT regulations? Minimum Wage? Overtime? Are we expected to adopt the $10/day model of Mexico or the 88 cents an hour model of China? It’s time to examine who’s benefiting here and I think a lot of these ‘zero taxes’ corporations are getting the free ride.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You want your children and grandchildren eating or inhaling lead-based paint?  Yourself?  Your neighbors?   What kind of monster are you?  Many problems have been exposed with lead-based paint.  It HAS to be handled in a special way!

  • Roy Mac

    Tom:  Excellent idea for a show.  Terrible selection of guest panelists; they mainly repeated talking points–i.e., added nothing to the conversation.  When I read the caption, I made this show a must-hear.  Humongous disappointment:  no ideas, no insight, a very tired re-hash of everything that’s been happening for the past decade.  You can badger callers-in for ideas, but YOU, Tom, are paid to be the idea guy.

    • Lisa in Boston, MA

      I agree – they were relatively in the same industries, that’s why they repeated each other. The demand for writers, artists, designers, architects, and musicians in America now? Will we ever have demand in these areas again?

  • Mikey

    What is the difference between America now and the America that Ronald Reagan created in the 1980s? 

    1. Taxes are lower than at any year Ronald Reagan was president.
    2. Paul Volker Chair of the Federal Reserve during “Morning in America,”  and the ONLY Fed chief to pull America out of a severe economic malaise is too liberal for both Republicans and Democrats 
    3. “Glass Steagel” the set of laws that kept banking safe after the great depression has been replaced with “The Securities Modernization Act of 1999″ which created the derivatives market, massive leverage, and “too big to fail” banks. It also legalized accounting fraud. Traders can destabilize banks through suicidal amounts of leverage while collecting million dollar bonuses for positive bets.
    4. Enron style conduit accounting which was always illegal has become the norm for large business. Structures such as SIVs have become standard for hiding losses. 
    5. Wall Street invested in companies during Reagan’s era. Now Wall Street uses derivatives to bet on the outcome of investments rather than making investments. 
    6. The SEC, FDIC, and banking regulators were actually funded.  
    7. The finance sector was 15% in the 1980s now it is over 50%.  
    8. Successful business plans created great products not clauses in contacts to add fees. 
    9. Usury was a crime not an industry. 
    10. In the 1980s education was done through the greatest university system in the world. In 2011 America is educated through private student loan farms (University of Phoenix, Kaplan, Art Institutes) with 28% graduation rates and astronomical fees. 
    11. Corporations were not considered people by the Supreme Court.

    When America no longer allows money in politics, fraud and usury as business plans and celebrates innovation and education our economy will improve. My grandfather told me that you can become rich by making a great product or you can become rich by tricking, deceive and stealing from people. Unfortunately no one in America seems to understand the difference any more. 

    Elizabeth Warren for President

    • Jen4roomie

      You are so right. Any suggestions on how to fight this? I would welcome suggestions.

      Thank You,

      Jen4roomie

      • Michaellong100

        We need to get Elizabeth Warren or someone like her to take on the Democratic establishment and run for President. 

    • Gg

      You lost me at #1. The top rate was 28% under Reagan and 35% now. Where did you get your info?

      • Michaellong100

        Did you even bother to look this up? Reagan was president from 1980 – 1988. The only year of this presidency that taxes were lower on the highest income bracket was 1998. Six of eight years that that Reagan was president the highest tax rate was 50%. I would also like to point out that the turn around years (“Morning in America”) of Reagan’s presidency were the early years – When taxes were 50%.

        You really had to cherry pick the data to come up with that conclusion.

        Maybe you should look at the data from the tax foundation or IRS.

        • Gg

          Mikey’s claim:

          “1. Taxes are lower than at any year Ronald Reagan was president.”

          • mikey

            All right you got me. For one year of Reagan’s presidency taxes were slightly lower.

          • JJJImminy

            owned

      • Guest

         Welcome back Gregg. I see you found a way around being banned!

        • Gregg

          Thanks Rob!

      • ulTRAX

        There are more taxes than just the income tax. Capital gains comes to mind. When you look at just one, you miss the bigger picture. For instance this chart starting in the 60′s shows the effective tax rate on the richest 1% has never been lower.

        http://visualizingeconomics.com/2007/11/03/nytimes-historical-tax-rates-by-income-group/

  • Michaelchewstudios

    I only heard a portion of the program, as it related to the educational choices of the guests and their suggestions.  I tentatively agreed with much of what they had to say in regards to the changing value of college degrees, and heartily agreed with their endorsement of education in general, but I disagreed that people should be looking for “practical” degrees in computer science or biomechanical engingeering, etc.  While I don’t want to devalue those degrees, an article in “Educational Leadership” in which the author had interviewed a number of CEOs from companies such as Dell in regards to what they sought in potential employees showed that employers were not so concerned about the content knowledge of applicants as they were about their critical thinking skills, collaborative abilities, and ingenuity/innovation, among other intangibles.  All of these can be taught in just about any degree program, so I would tend to think that what needs to be done is a refocusing of our educational or instructional methodologies, rather than a wholesale shift of which degrees students take. 

    • Oeftger

      “what they sought in potential employees showed that employers were not
      so concerned about the content knowledge of applicants as they were
      about their critical thinking skills, collaborative abilities, and
      ingenuity/innovation, among other intangibles.”

      Agreed, TV, video games, 24/7 music and other sorts of entertainment tend to zap the desire for creative thinking and diminish social skills. Many people have lost the ability to solve problems. This economic crisis is multi-dimensional. It has become a cultural problem even more than a political one. We Americans need to find less “stimulating” ways to spend our spare time and more social and intellectual as well as spiritual.

  • karl m.

    A silly idea perhaps:  American versions of the Kibbutz, where the unemployed, underemployed and homeless pool their talents to strive for self-sufficiency off the Capitalist “grid”.

  • Jen4roomie

    The discussion was very interesting but I don’t think the idea of a new economy was sufficiently explored. I recently read the book, The Story of Stuff and I think that the approach she mentions is one that would be better for America to follow. I was also surprised to find no discussion of the recent article from Mother Jones magazine called the Speed Up. Many businesses are making more and more money on the back of salaried fellow Americans who are doing the work of three people and have the hours to prove it. Companies are getting away with these practices because Americans are so scared of losing their jobs. It’s time to put a stop to this.

    In addition to the extra hours salaried Americans are working wages have stayed stagnant for both hourly and salaried employees since the 1970′s. This exploitation of Americans could be put to a stop by enforcing a 40 hour a week for both salaried and hourly works and giving a government agency the power and the muscle to enforce this by a large fine system that would encourage businesses to hire new employees to work the needed extra hours and of course prevent a company for shifting the blame on an employee for being slow.

    We should also have a living wage for each area of the country instead of a minimum wage. Wealthy Americans as well as corporations should also be taxed at a much higher rate. Our bridges, highways, government buildings, schools and libraries are falling apart and we need to fix them. I also wonder if all these politicians who are making all these cuts to public school funding have any children in the public school system or if they are all attending private schools.

    There is a great snobbery in this country about doing any kind of skilled labor in which one gets their hands dirty. Its fine for your son or daughter but not for mine. Yet frankly too many colleges are willing to take money knowing that some of these students will never be able to get a job. Intellectual development is great but get the skills or education to get a good job and then take college classes or continuing education to expand your horizons. Many great and well paying jobs can be found in these skilled labors but also since the 1970′s there has been a disdain for them. Many of these skilled laborers make far more than the average college graduate. In addition many of these skilled laborers own their own business.

  • Jen4roomie

    The discussion was very interesting but I don’t think the idea of a new economy was sufficiently explored. I recently read the book, The Story of Stuff and I think that the approach she mentions is one that would be better for America to follow. I was also surprised to find no discussion of the recent article from Mother Jones magazine called the Speed Up. Many businesses are making more and more money on the back of salaried fellow Americans who are doing the work of three people and have the hours to prove it. Companies are getting away with these practices because Americans are so scared of losing their jobs. It’s time to put a stop to this.

    In addition to the extra hours salaried Americans are working wages have stayed stagnant for both hourly and salaried employees since the 1970′s. This exploitation of Americans could be put to a stop by enforcing a 40 hour a week for both salaried and hourly works and giving a government agency the power and the muscle to enforce this by a large fine system that would encourage businesses to hire new employees to work the needed extra hours and of course prevent a company for shifting the blame on an employee for being slow.

    We should also have a living wage for each area of the country instead of a minimum wage. Wealthy Americans as well as corporations should also be taxed at a much higher rate. Our bridges, highways, government buildings, schools and libraries are falling apart and we need to fix them. I also wonder if all these politicians who are making all these cuts to public school funding have any children in the public school system or if they are all attending private schools.

    There is a great snobbery in this country about doing any kind of skilled labor in which one gets their hands dirty. Its fine for your son or daughter but not for mine. Yet frankly too many colleges are willing to take money knowing that some of these students will never be able to get a job. Intellectual development is great but get the skills or education to get a good job and then take college classes or continuing education to expand your horizons. Many great and well paying jobs can be found in these skilled labors but also since the 1970′s there has been a disdain for them. Many of these skilled laborers make far more than the average college graduate. In addition many of these skilled laborers own their own business.

  • Bwooten

    Has anyone contacted any of the elite 1% as to what their vision is for our country?  Has anyone solicited their help and recruited them to get on board to work through our job crisis?

  • Jen4roomie

    I wonder how much of this budget crisis could have been prevented if we only had the millions our military lost to subcontractors due to their lack of accountability?

     

    • kathy

      I agree. I used to work for the government. The jobs I had (I moved often) switched from government to subcontractors. The subcontractors got rich, cut employee wages and gave no benefits. When they were government jobs I had fair wages and benefits.

  • Kpfordresher

    It would be important, in this debate on unemployment and higher education, to look at the long-term failure of the economy to create good quality jobs.  It’s not just a mismatch of college degree programs to jobs.  Well-paying, middle class jobs are evaporating because of the attack on employees and their ability to organize.  All workers should have jobs and work that provides a living wage.  By the way, my college educated son just began work as a plumbing apprentice — good pay, interesting intellectual work and needed in the economy.  

  • Andersonp2000

    “The Great Recession” is a misnomer.  “Mission Accomplished”
    would be more accurate.  The recent financial “collapse” was the
    fulfillment of the far right agenda of bankrupting a government
    that they don’t want infringing on their prerogatives.  They don’t
    want regulation of financial markets or consumer protections. 
    They don’t want environmental protections or worker’s rights. 
    They don’t want a social safety net or civil protections for the
    public.  They don’t believe in the protection of the freedoms of
    citizens by the courts.  Their goal is to establish a theocratic banana republic in America and they are well on their way towards
    accomplishing that goal.  George W. Bush said it best in another
    context, “they hate our way of life”.  They can’t achieve their
    goal electorally so they do it financially.  It was Grover Norquist who famously said “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

    What I don’t understand is why the average Joes and Janes who are
    the rank and file of the Tea Party so enthusiastically carry
    water for the right wing elites whose agenda will result in their
    impoverishment. You should do an entire program on this question:
    How will the Tea Party’s agenda benefit you (the Tea Party
    member) personally?

  • Kathy

    I am 51 years old and I have been unemployed for 1.5 years. My last job was a stimulus package job at the local VA. I worked 3-4 hours a day, 15-20 hours a week and I had to be available in an on-call manner for 70 hours a week. Not enough hours to pay bills but I had to be on-call for every minute of the day for those 15 hours. Workers rights, employer incentives to hire those that have been unemployed for more than a year would help recent college graduates like myself. Apprenticeships for those that choose not to go to college is a good idea too.

  • Dyoung5875

    The owners of the world don’t need most of us anymore. We are being asked to leave unless we are willing to submit to their unspoken demands.
     No universal healthcare, no social security. They don’t care about us. Plantation world.

  • Lisa in Boston, MA

    Tom, Thanks for putting the REAL-time news on for us to hear. Don is a realist, reporting the true here and now. Those who are living in this vanishing middle class are experiencing it first-hand. I was a victim of the housing crash, short-saled my 3-family house, close to filing bankruptcy, now in graduate school for accounting in order to assure myself of a job with good job growth. Technical skills are so important. I have a 15 yr. old son – I’ve already been researching what jobs will be growing in the next decade to steer him in the right direction. And your guests were correct today – science, match, technology, computers, accounting – all areas that are growing in the U.S. – one reason – demand – finally what educators and futurists have been prediction for decades – our kids have to become more competitive and learned in math and science – why? Because it’s the future – science and math are foundation of innovation, technology, and future jobs. Another point, Americans inherently are spoiled; we take things for granted – we’ve had several decades of exploding technology that created jobs – now the global marketplace is going after some of those jobs – leaving us workers daunted; like a punch in the face. We need to quickly learn new skills and be in demand once more. One last point, our politicians in DC are of the elite class – they ARE FAR away from the middle class and have no idea what we are going through. They are making policies based on their own selfishness, wealth, re-elections, interest group backers, and alterior motives. How can we trust them with our lives, futures and paradigm-shifting decision and policy making. Simply put, how do they know what’s important to most Americans?

  • Philroe

    Instead of arguing over what should be done about jobs (to which there surely is no simple answer) we might for a while focus instead on where all the jobs went to. Many were exported, many have been automated, and others we now do for ourselves (as when we book through Expedia rather than a travel agent). These three trends are huge. They bring short-term advantages to all, but the long-term gains are exclusively to the super-rich. Nobody does the complete computation including the social costs. I see no prospect of regaining a “normal” employment situation unless these trends are reversed, but it cannot happen while corporations act out of self-interest, completely ignoring the larger interests of the nation.

  • Douglas

    Tom, I am a 55-year-old man employed in a fairly good hourly wage job, but to make ends meet in any reasonable way, I have to hustle for 12-20 hours of overtime every week.  We need to stop talking about jobs, and start talking about man-hours (woman-hours? person-hours?).  Productivity has risen astronomically over the last 40 years, yet I work more hours than my less educated father for less real money (my used pick-up cost 3 times his first house).  When I hear people talk about immigrants taking their jobs, I want to shout “NO!  I am taking your job!  Every week, I am taking a third to a half of YOUR job to keep my head above water!” 

  • rici

    Lisa in Boston…please tell me how we loose those people that were raised poor or by single moms when they hit DC, they fall into the pit of forgetfulness. Is it that anyone who makes it in DC is doomed to forget where they came from?Does the monster of the system consume all until there is nothing left to consume?

  • U. Lugo

    People should continue to go to college to enhance the fabric of our society, regardless of job opportunities.

  • rici

    My point is anyone that makes it to DC will be strong armed in DC, there is no true functioning system anymore, it is all dependent on who has your back. There is no independence and in that we are doomed until the system BREAKS itself.  Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, humpty dumpty had a great fall………..

  • rici

    U.Lugo…you the taxpayer paid for my college education in network security….education is broken….my teacher got put on administrative leave, my degree is useless…but that is okay because all my job prospects were outsourced.

  • rici

    U.Lugo, the fabric of our society is woven by clothe brought by tricksters who have sewn gowns for the Emperor who has No Clothes.

  • Dannsmith123

    This Pinched guys solution is to have progressive taxes and then use that money to subsidize the incomes of low wage workers. Seriously!! Who do you think will end up paying for this subsidies? You quessed it.. the ever shrinking middle class. And the rich get richer. We need rules and policies to encourage job growth here and for companies to have more loyalty to their work force. Multi culturalism lets the companies off the hook. Who cares they are not our people they can say. One culture is what made America great! And we are losing that. 
    Then Ashbrook goes off about the “meaner” society trying to put down any one who is against illegal immigrants or policy and thoughts that might save this country and not dig us deeper into third world status.
    I say government needs to do four things:
    1. Stop allowing
    companies to ship jobs overseas. 

    If a company has the
    advantage of the stability and safety of doing business in American
    then 75% or more of their jobs must be in America. And for goodness sake, stop
    giving them tax breaks to send them overseas!!

     

    2. Stop all
    immigration especially illegal immigration. 

    No more anchor
    babies, no more chain migration and make e-verify the law (checks ss# for
    validity). Until we get our economy in better condition we need to stop
    importing poverty. 60% of new legal immigrants collect welfare and most
    illegals do. And they wonder why 1 in 6 of Americans are on food stamps.

     

    3. Company execs of
    big companies, that we are dependent on like oil, internet and elec, should not be paid these 40 million dollar salaries. After all there revenue comes from Americans who need these services not just want them and because of the stabiltiy and safety of this country they can make huge amounts of money.  Exec gets 40
    million in oil company = 500 middle class jobs. So tax them huge after a certain salary. 

     

    4. The government has
    to stop spending more money then they “make”. Welfare is out of
    control. The poor live better then the middle class. Between food stamps, fuel
    assistance, public health care, subsidized housing it truly pays not to work. Stop
    encouraging poverty. Stop spending money on anti-American groups like LaRaza.
    Stop spending money on frivolous pet projects. We need to go down to
    bare bones budget.

     

    And finally we need
    to encourage Americans to buy American. Our economy is 70% consumerism. If we
    are buying predominately from other countries we are not going to make it
    financially. If illegals and immigrants come here and send their earnings HOME
    we are not going to make it. If company execs horde all the money we are not
    going to make it. And if our debt gets any bigger we are not going to make it.

     

  • WBUR

    WBUR wants to apologize for the unwarranted interruption of posting permissions for of some of the WBUR community. WBUR and especially the staff of On Point welcomes a robust discussion from all perspectives and regrets the error.  

    • Sampson

      Thank you WBUR! Too many of the posters I love to read have disappeared and rumored to have been banned. Something was obviously wrong… and I’m glad you fixed it!

    • Gumshoe

      Good move On Point/WBUR/Disqus/whomever. The discussions here can get stale without some of the “regulars” who were banned. I’d rather see some passion than a forum full of milktoast posts.

    • Gumshoe

      Good move On Point/WBUR/Disqus/whomever. The discussions here can get stale without some of the “regulars” who were banned. I’d rather see some passion than a forum full of milktoast posts.

    • Gregg

      I can’t help but wonder if it was a glitch or somebody. If the latter, I hope heads rolled because it seemed biased and vindictive. In either event, I very glad to know the problem has been solved. I can quit worrying about black helicopters and stop changing my name to Me, MeOnceAgain, Ggerg and Gg.  Thank you On Point.

      • ulTRAX

        Surely there was no political bias I could detect. If there was any bias it was towards those against those who more vociferous in presenting/defending their views. What was also troubling besides the banning was the nuking of posts which would disappear without evidence they ever existed. Yes, I agree heads should roll but if this like most forums I suspect the moderators here are probably poorly trained volunteers.

        • Gregg

          Possibly, but I could not help but be suspicious. When I see NJ (above) say “I’m not sure what, exactly, this is referring to” when he/she uses offensive terms like “tea Baggers”, I call it childish, get my comment removed and am banned then it throws up red flags in my mind. I’m a big boy but it seems to me if my comments are removed then an equal standard should be applied.

          I understand there needs to be someone who keeps things from getting crazy but there should be rules set forth and if comments are removed then there should be an indication of such. The bar should be very high for banning.

          I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put you in your place in dramatic fashion only to have it removed giving you the impression I was never there. Maybe you’ve experienced the same thing.

          Anyway, I’m glad it’s fixed.

          • ulTRAX

            An equal standard? Sure! Perhaps conservatives can also be banned 3 times in a single day as I hear one Progressive was. ;-)

          • Gregg

            How can you be banned three times in a day? I get banned for weeks at a time. I can change my email and moniker and it works a little while then nothing works. I then comment from my studio computer which has a different IP address. When I’m banned there I switch names again until that doesn’t work. Then I go to my neighbors house. By the time I’m banned there the first computer works again and I start over.

          • ulTRAX

            You sound more than a bit obsessed with posting here G. Why is that? ALL the right wing ideas you post here month after month HAVE FAILED and all the spin in the world won’t change that. Bush and corporate Dems who embraced these looney right wing economic ideas have brought America to its knees.

            As for being unbanned, how did you post today? I don’t see some of the other regulars yet who must have been banned.

          • Gregg

            I am obsessed with honest debate, guilty as charged. I’ll skip taking your bait about your opinions of what has failed.

            When I read the WBUR post I was pleasantly surprised so I posted with my real name and email, it worked. A little while later I was blocked again. It seemed to correspond with the time the show was on the air. I figured it was a glitch and after the show I was able to post again. Provided you see this reply it’s still working but my studio computer is still blocked no matter what name and email I use. The same is true of my neighbor whose wireless connection I can access from my house with my laptop (with his permission). I’m still not sure what the deal is.

          • ulTRAX

            G wrote: “I’ll skip taking your bait about your opinions of what has failed.” Gee Gregg… ISN’T IT OBVIOUS WHAT FAILED? It’s the same nutty right wing policies YOU come here month after month promoting. Any wonder why some here think you’re a paid right wing shill?  I know people can wear ideological blinders… but man, yours are so thick you’ve inoculated yourself against reality.

          • Gregg

            What good does it do? Do you really want to rehash every argument you’ve lost? We’ve been round and round so many times I’m dizzy. I have given basis and evidence for everything I’ve debated you about. WE DON’T AGREE! You have constantly put words in my mouth (“You probably think…, You want to…, etc.). I say don’t raise taxes in this economy you say I stand for slashing taxes or that tax cuts are never a good idea. I say Bush’s tax cuts brought in more revenue and you say I say tax cuts always spur the economy. I say the unemployment rate went down for 53 months after the Bush Tax cuts and you say I say tax cuts create jobs every time. I give you example after example of states thriving without raising taxes and you ignore it. I give you examples of the failure of Keynesian economics… nothing. Conflating TARP with the stimulus is the only way you can say the stimulus worked and when called on the conflation… zip. When it comes to your evidence, it’s static and relies on the word “if” far to much for my feeble mind to imagine. It’s pointless to debate you. I’m not interested in pointless debates nor do I care what opinions of me you create to inflate your ego. I don’t need that. Go right on believing what ever you want to believe.

            You know the sad part? We are on the same side of this single issue of censorship. I was hoping we could join hands and sing “Feelings” just this once.

          • ulTRAX

            Honest debate my arse. You can CLAIM you won every argument until the cows come home. In reality you just keep regurgitating nonsense from your Orwellian Right sources like Cato and Heritage and never concede in the face of evidence from credible sources. If you consider that winning arguments, I’m not responsible for your seemingly infinite capacity for self delusion. Even now you’re restating arguments I refuted weeks if not months ago… and you’re back to your one variable argument that tax cuts are some magic bullet even though there’s no correlation between lower taxes and economic growth. In fact WE’VE HAD BETTER GROWTH WITH HIGHER TAX RATES. To a REASONABLE person, that overwhelming would make them rethink the claim.
            But you’re not that sort of person. The States? I presented counter evidence that your tax cutting states were NOT doing as well as you claimed, they may be doing worst than those states that didn’t cut taxes. I could go on. Anyway it doesn’t matter. It seems the WBUR apology was nuked and I’m beginning to think it was a prank. Sad if true. OP is a great show and it deserves a forum where all viewpoints are welcome.
            BTW you STILL haven’t denied whether you’re paid to post here. Yes or no G? Of course your answer doesn’t matter. Even if true you’d deny it. I, on the other hand will categorically say I’ve NEVER been paid for posting to forums.   
               

          • Gregg

            As I’ve said many times I am not paid to comment, know one I know is paid, no one I know even knows I comment here. It’s crazy. Even if I was, so what? Defeating your arguments is too easy, no one would pay for such a thing. The only way your arguments make any sense is if you tell me what I think and disagree with something I never said. You don’t need me for that, talk amongst yourselves.

            “…and you’re back to your one variable argument that tax cuts are some
            magic bullet even though there’s no correlation between lower taxes and
            economic growth. In fact WE’VE HAD BETTER GROWTH WITH HIGHER TAX RATES.”

            That’s why it’s pointless. Thank you for proving my point, here’s what I said:

            “I say don’t raise taxes in this economy you say I stand for slashing
            taxes or that tax hikes are never a good idea. I say Bush’s tax cuts
            brought in more revenue and you say I say tax cuts always spur the
            economy. I say the unemployment rate went down for 53 months after the
            Bush Tax cuts and you say I say tax cuts create jobs every time.”

            The only way your arguments make any sense is if you tell me what I
            think and disagree with something I never said. You don’t need me for
            that, talk amongst yourselves.

          • ulTRAX

            Oops, responded to this post elsewhere… about 4 posts up… the one that starts: “Endlessly trying to rewrite history of his own failed arguments, he tries reframing them.”

          • Gregg

            You lost me here: “Your bottom line is you don’t want taxes raised…”. Because your next words were not, “in this economy”, which has been my mantra from the beginning of time all while I was insisting tax hikes were a good thing in the Clinton’s bubbled economy (I’ve repeated it often), I quit reading. It’s just more telling me what I think when I never said it. As much fun as it is making your head explode by challenging your ego, it’s not worth it.

          • ulTRAX

            Translation… you lack the intellectual integrity to concede when you repeatedly lose arguments and you’ve deluded yourself smart arse responses can conceal that. It’s not as if your MO is any big secret G. It’s something most of us here knew months ago.

          • Gregg

            “Translation”

            Need I say more? Pathetic.

          • Gregg

            In case my answer wasn’t categorical enough for you, I’ll add: Not only am I not paid, I’ve never been paid to comment but thanks for the compliment.

            Also, one more example of the pointlessness of debating you: “Of course your answer doesn’t matter. Even if true you’d deny it.” Why even bother? Again, talk amongst yourselves.

          • ulTRAX

            Endlessly trying to rewrite history of his own failed arguments, he tries reframing them.

                 G wrote: “I say don’t raise taxes in this economy you say I stand for slashing taxes or that tax cuts are never a good idea.”

                 I’ll have to look back to see of you said you support more tax cuts, though if you believe they are some magic bullet, that’s where your “logic” takes you. I know you generally support the hard Right which DOES want more tax cuts instead of debt paydown.

                 G, you’ve gotten into so much trouble BECAUSE YOU CONTRADICT YOURSELF. You claim you don’t want taxes raised in a bad economy, yet you also praise continuation of the irresponsible tax cuts when you claim the Bush economy was thriving between 04-07. Gee, this is the same nonsense the disingenuous GOP pulls… don’t raise taxes when there’s a recession, don’t raise taxes when the economy’s good. The excuses always change but the bottom line doesn’t… don’t raise taxes.

                 Your bottom line is you don’t want taxes raised no matter if Bush promised to pay down debt yet increased it by $5.5 trillion. You haven’t dealt with how debt threatens Social Security or the immense interest costs… $2.9 TRILLION just in Bush’s 8 years. In fact you’ve NEVER dealt with the issue I repeatedly raise: that it’s irresponsible to slash revenue WHEN WE THE PEOPLE ARE DEEP IN DEBT. Clearly you could care less, and debt seems to be a perpetual non issue for you. Which fits what I expect of today’s Right wingers… they use the language of fiscal conservatism yet it’s in defense of fiscal IRRESPONSIBILITY. They’ve convinced themselves tax cuts are a free lunch and they sweep talk of GOP deficits and GOP debt under the rug… and only raise a stink if the Democrats dare to break out of the fiscal straightjacket the GOP has tried putting them in the last 30 years. That’s not fiscal conservatism… THAT’S POLITICS masquerading as fiscal conservatism. 

                Your position is you want spending cuts period… as if that will ever pay down debt. Even if we got to a balanced budget through spending cuts then what? Do you actually believe THEN tax payers will want to pay taxes for government services they’re NOT getting when the spoiled rotten GOP electorate has been getting a $13 TRILLION free lunch the past 30 years? If we ever got to a surplus by spending cuts alone the tax cut psychos will AGAIN say a surplus “proves” we’re overtaxed even if then we’re $20 trillion in debt. This is what they did in 2001. We had a surplus and what did Bush the GOP do?  They SABOTAGED DEBT PAY DOWN. There is more evidence the Right WANTS high debt than there is they want to pay it down. Why? They believe it’s their best political leverage to dismantle the New Deal and Great Society.

                 Did I ever say tax cuts were always a bad idea? Of course not. If we had no national debt and there was too much revenue coming in, they certainly would be justified. Targeted tax cuts are useful promoting certain activities while taxes can be used to discourage others.  I’ve also said tax cuts MIGHT be useful in an economic slowdown BUT BUT BUT there must be plans to recoup that lost revenue later. This is something the Right always OPPOSES. I also don’t believe tax cuts alone do much for the economy in the long run. They might initially nudge an economy in a certain direction but soon a new equilibrium is reached and those tax cuts then do nothing. Why is the Right so adamant about tax cuts when the evidence just isn’t there to support their Trickle Down nonsense? It’s because it’s just a cynical fig leaf the Orwellian Right uses to pass irresponsible tax cuts with the hope of starving the beast. Luckily for them, dupes like yourself are True Believers willing to make fools of themselves every day in forums like this.
            Shall I waste as much time debunking your other phony accusations?
            We’re off topic enough already.

          • GumShoe

            Gregg asked of ulTRAX How can you be banned three times in a day? I get banned for weeks at a time.

            Isn’t it obvious Gregg? ulTRAX is WAY smarter than you!

          • ulTRAX

            Thanks but the issue isn’t who’s smarter. In any debate it’s a matter of what someone puts first… ego, or reality. Some ideologies are self-justifying while others are self-correcting. I hope I fall into the latter category.

          • nj

            Offensive? You ought to talk to your cohorts.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLsKt4O4Yw8

          • Gregg

            So many layers, let’s unpack it. I’ll start by asking you to holster your snark gun for a minute. I replied to your comment and apologized for missing your quotation mark. I wrongly attributed your comments to the article you quoted. I then said (paraphrasing) feel free to use all the offensive, childish terms you like. My comment disappeared and next thing you know I was banned. Do you support that? Did I deserve it? I really would appreciate an answer.

            Now to the rest of it which is all beside the point. I cannot relate to the idea of agreeing wholesale with anyone, network or media source based on ideology. You seem to think otherwise. No one is my “cohort”. So, offensive is offensive no matter the source. There’s that.

            It is no wonder nobody watches Maddow or MSNBC with their obsession with Fox. Your video proves bupkis. She shows Fox commentators talking about tea parties and conflates it with tea bagging. I don’t get it. They weave in one solitary person (Griff Jenkins) using the term “Tea bag”. That particular clip is from March 14, 2009 the very beginning of the movement. Forgive us for not being up on the latest homo-erotic terms. I realize your ilk is. Fine, there’s nothing wrong with it.

            Fox was reporting news and the Tea Party was news. They reported on Cindy Sheehan with equal zeal. News is News.

            The tea party consist of good Americans expressing honest concerns with an out of control government. It’s what America is about. The demonization and vilification of decent Americans peacefully assembling is despicable.

            After you answer my question, snark away.

          • nj

            I don’t have to answer any of your questions, especially ones which rely on situations for which i can’t verify the facts, and are accompanied by your foot stomping. I already said that the lack of stated forum posting protocol makes it impossible to know what is permissible and what crosses their unstated lines. The forum hosts can have whatever rules they like, it’s their forum. I just ask that they post their terms.

            “Your ilk” And you’re complaining about offensiveness?

            What’s funny is that the early InsaniTea gang didn’t really mind the term, and used it often, which is well documented beyond the Maddow clip, in which they were just having fun more than actually exhaustively reporting on the use of the term.

            A more thorough notation of self-use of the term—and the ensuing evolution—here, for anyone who doubts that:  

            http://theweek.com/article/index/202620/the-evolution-of-the-word-tea-bagger

            Surely not all of the mostly white Tea People are overtly racist, but  even giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are well intentioned, at best they are narrowly single issue (cut spending, lower taxes) and even among the not-discernably-overtly-racist fraction, they seem profoundly ignorant, as when they label Obama a “socialist,” which is emblematic of much of the inflammatory and inaccurate language they use.

            http://www.markfiore.com/political/learn-speak-tea-bag

          • Gregg

            By your twisted logic, the fact that many African-Americans use the “N” word (especially prolific is rap music) means it’s perfectly cool for anyone to use it as a purposeful insult. Capiche?

          • nj

            Asinine analogy on numerous counts. 

            In one case, the group (the Baggers) initiated the use of the word, making it a legitimate reference, in the other (black folks), the original and historic use of the word was derogatory. And the NAACP has repeatedly called the Tea Party on their racism.Twisted logic, indeed.

    • nj

      I’m not sure what, exactly, this is referring to, but i have seen that some people have commented on having been blocked from posting.

      Maybe i’m missing it, but i can’t seem to find anywhere on the site where posting guidelines/terms of use are enumerated.

      Plus, i remember that some have said that they received no notification of why they had been blocked.

      It’s perfectly reasonable, and even desirable, to have posting guidelines and a policy to deal with inappropriate posts, but it would seem to everyone’s benefit to have that policy be transparent and accessible, as most responsible, online discussion forums do.

    • ulTRAX

      Thank you On Point! Or perhaps thank you Tom. You did mention in yesterday’s show you read all the on-line comments.

      Yes, perhaps some posters who are clearly trolls and have nothing intelligent to say or credible sources to cite should be “discouraged” from posting.
       
      But I should have known that a open minded show such as OP which deals with a wider spectrum of ideas than most shows would NOT  discourage, let alone censor or make impossible, equally open minded and intelligent debate in its forums!

      • ulTRAX

        Seems the original WBUR apology for banning posters was removed which makes me wonder if it was a hoax. If so why was it up on the board for 24 hours? Here it is:

        WBUR wants to apologize for the unwarranted interruption of posting permissions for of some of the WBUR community. WBUR and especially the staff of On Point welcomes a robust discussion from all perspectives and regrets the error.

        • nj

          You might want to send the show an e-mail to ask them about this.

          If it was someone pretending to be an official site administrator, and the station did take it down, why wouldn’t they have posted a note to that effect.

          But people did say they were unblocked.

          ??

    • NEMSEY

      It’s about time WBUR admitted it was a  mistake in banning posters. 

    • Gregg

      I’m not sure what’s going on but I was blocked again most of the afternoon, now it’s back. My other computer (different IP) is still blocked as is my gracious neighbors computer. He let me comment from his. Maybe I’ve worn out my welcome (if there ever was any).

    • Roy Mac

      If I discover I’ve been blocked, how do I learn why?  I can’t post here if I’ve been blocked and you don’t answer email.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Wow!  After over a week of being banned, without any idea why, I may be able to post a comment?   I’ve got to try.  One away!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Looks like it worked?  Frustrating to be blocked from commenting, when I do NOT use profanity, threats of violence, or any other rude things that I have seen comments remain posted with! 
           This is another time that I agree with Gregg!  Usually I rarely do.

        • Gregg

          Back atcha’ TerryTreeTree

  • Dee

    Obama should push a Jobs and public works bill through the Hse and
    Senate and get an up and down vote on this.. Then he can use this
    as a campaign strategy to single out the obstructionists in the GOP
    party–preventing help getting to the unemployed….

    And to the 32yr old and 59 yr old journalists out of work if I may sug-doing performing a public service during this time by following up on reckless abuse of our air & waterways by US corporations and esp.
    by Big Oil and coal , Big Agra and BIg Phram…

    Take a look on how they have been dodging EPA standards for years during the Bush era (article from 2009 url below) and see multiple other articles since by the NYT and other newspapers on how they have been saborateged the climate conference in Copenhegan in 2009 and today how they are trying to tie up the EPA funds to prevent cracking down on their pollutants down. …

    It’s all so damn criminal and warrants a full public investigation and 
    a public awareness campaign…It would be a wonderful contribute
    to the earth to help rein in those offenders. Thank you, Dee

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/business/energy-environment/26emissions.html

  • Cime

    It’s the day and age of employer, business nazi-ism!!

  • Cime

    It’s the day and age of employer, business nazi-ism!!

  • guest

    Tom,
    Please do a show about the Verizon strike.  In addition to directly affecting thousands of worker and customers, this strike represents an important and revealing moment in the “hollowing out” of the middle class.  As someone following the strike, I have been greatly frustrated by Verizon’s attempts to influence public opinion through misleading marketing campaigns and unfounded accusations against the brave union members fighting for the job security and dignity of the working family.  Your thorough, educated and balanced exploration of the story is sorely needed!

    • mary

      “unfounded accusations against the brave union members”…lol

  • Anonymous

    If you’re over 45 and are unemployed you are going to have problems finding a job. This gets worse with every decade. At 59 Stephan Rhymer’ prospects are not good. People in this age group are pretty much toast.

    I know as I’m in that group and I’m underemployed. Mind you I’m thinking of going back to train for yet another career. It’s absurd what is going on in this nation. We are done as a nation and it’s not going to get any better. The middle class has been losing ground for over 3 decades and now the final blow is in place. The republicans are sharpening their knives(metaphorically speaking) for the final thrust.
    In some ways being unemployed when you are over 50 is a kind of terminal illness. You’re kind of finished which is a sad reality to contemplate.

    The comment about going into sciences is absurd, not everyone can go into science. Then you have the issue of to many people with the same degree looking for the same jobs.

  • Kristina S.

    Everyone is making this so complicated.  What we need is:
    Jobs to fill the needs of our society (what services are needed here? Limit outsourcing and insourcing.)
    Jobs to provide a secure future for all types and ages of workers (minimum wage, health insurance, and retirement security)
    Jobs to develop long-term strengths and innovation (more education)

    • Anonymous

      OK if it’s so simple how come it’s not being done.
      If you’re 55 the chances of retraining and finding a job are pretty slim. More education at this point equals more debt. Working for minimum wage is not what one would call a path to a secure future.

      • Kristina S.

        What I mean is that those are the things we need to focus one for stimulating the economy.  Right now the people let the corporations run the government, isn’t that why the stock market and the rich have seen significant recovery but working people have not.

        Taxes and small business support are not the right focus.

        • ac

          you’re missing tons of variables tho, you may wish to reconsider your strategy & account for some of the grays (which are many)

  • Slimeballcomics

    This was the biggest waste of time I have ever spent listening to a podcast.  The guest contradicted himself so many times.  Then he claims that all economists agree that the stimulus wasn’t enough.  Garbage.  Then claims that we need to subsidize people working regular jobs by regressively taxing the producers in this country.  This guest is dangerous.  Tom Ashbrook is a moron for not challenging ANY of this guy’s idiotic ideas.  

    The solution is simple.  Slash taxes. Slash regulations.  Slash government workers.  And watch business grow.  Watch unemployment plummet and watch EVERYONE who wants to work WORK!  The solution is so simple yet Obama won’t do anything like this because he wants to ensure equality which is EXACTLY the problem.

    Thanks again Mr. Ashbrook for wasting another 45 minutes of my life!

    • ulTRAX

      Hoping to be taken seriously, SBC wrote: “Slash taxes. Slash regulations.  Slash government workers.  And watch business grow.  Watch unemployment plummet…”

      Yup, it worked like a charm during the first 3 years of the Reagan years where the average unemployment rate for 82 and 83 were over 9%… and it worker REALLY well during the Bush years when he collapsed the economy.  

      • Ohoohho

        Pay no attention to that history behind the curtain. The last insanely insipid sound bite is all that matters.

    • Curious123

      If listening to this podcast was 45 minutes wasted of your life, then why did you keep listening?

      Honestly, I wonder why so many people avoid reading history to inform their opinions and decisions. Possibly, a good read on great economic upheaval in our country (Depression) and other countries such as Japan might give one better information to make a more thoughtful opinion about what needs to be done in this country. A black and white ‘slash’ approach is akin to cutting one’s nose off despite one’s face, and leaves little room to survive this time with the dignity that all Americans deserve.

      • Anonymous

         Slimeball is not interested in history. Just screaming at people and waving flags.  His response is a good example of how right wing extremism uses false information to brow beat people they do not agree with. Reading history would be an intellectual act, something people of this ilk are against. Or so it seems.  

        • Hihodabitchesdead

          Yeh, but in fundamentalist right wing circles, intelligent is the new stupid.

          • ulTRAX

            Do you have that backwards?

    • MaxEntropy

      Are you trying to be funny, slimeball comic? When PRIVATE ENTERPRISE causes wages to race to the bottom, when PRIVATE ENTERPRISE cons the entire housing market and won’t be held accountable, is that because it is overregulated or overtaxed? The effective corporate tax rate in the US is in the middle of the OECD pack. Yet Cato, Heritage, AEI and the Koch false front foundations continue to whine, whine whine. Why are you letting corporatist shills do your thinking for you when their interests have nothing to do with your well-being?

    • Anonymous

      You’re well named sir. You are also wrong on all accounts.

      Facts are stubborn things… John Adams

    • KlowundJlow

      I know — right. I mean it’s obvious as hell to me, that someone as uninformed and unperceptive as yourself should in no way be treated as my equal. Get to the back of the bus.

    • Anonymous

      ah shucks, you just could not bring yourself to make up your own mind and turn it off. Why is that? Why do blame others for your ineptitude? 

  • Brwstac

    I feel angry and upset by what is happening to the lower and middle classes in this country.  What we are witnessing is class warfare, where working Americans experience stagnate wages, and those without jobs are left penniless and forgottened.  Too much corporate money is buying the politicians, so they only care about and cater to the interests who fund them.  Too many voters are manipulated by the same corporate interests, so that they actually work against their own wellfare.

    We need to get corporate money out of government. We need to get the corrupt politicians out of office.  And we need to put remaining politicans in the same boat as the rest of us: do away with their private pensions and health plans. They need to participate in social security and the healthy plans we our offered.  When that happens, then they will sing a different tune. And until that happens, the foxes control the henhouse.

    • TheotherShoe

      And we all could make a good start by not voting for the millonaires and
      billionaires that show up every few years to lie to us — after having
      the professional political industry fluff up their false persona and
      make sure that it won’t offend some statistically generated bluehaired
      dimwit from anywhere USA. The last man that was even close to worthy of
      being the president of the USA was Ralph Nader. If he had won instead of
      Bush, none of this crap would have happened. You brainwashed sheep
      deserve what you got, and what you got was twelve more years of the
      reign of Goldman Sachs and their ilk in the form of Bush and Obama. I
      will smile a secret smile as I observe you destroy yourselves. Why not
      another four years of Goldman Sachs, just go on and vote Republican or
      Democrat (oh, and make sure the candidate is at least a multimillionare
      {Or a false fased media whore} — that way you can be sure they will
      have your best interests at heart. Fools.

  • Billjsawyer

    On top of everything else regarding unemployment, age discrimination is very apparent.

    • ac

      i’m only 30-something, but I watched my mom go through something similar in her 40s & it haunts me still……

    • Slipstream

      I’ve experienced it myself, and discrimination against people who have been unemployed for a long period of time is another serious problem.  I think the government needs to step in here and start doing more to protect older Americans who are ready and able to work, and perhaps step back a bit from helping illegal immigrants and other groups who make dubious claims to being discriminated against. 

  • Jill

    I am currently unemployed in the Twin Cities.  What I am finding here is that there are plenty of low-wage, low-skill jobs.  With a degree in the unappreciated Humanities field and 7 plus years of post-degree employment, I am looking for a mid-level wage, mid-level skill job.  Those jobs are sparse and the competition is stiff.  I don’t think I am asking for too much given my age, education, and skill level.  The cost of more education seems prohibitive considering the uncertain return on any investment.  I agree with the guest who stated that people who work deserve to have the work they do pay.  It has become the standard that it takes two wages to make ends meet for most families.  This has allowed corporations to lower wages or keep them stagnant.  Also, I believe, this has resulted in a lowering of quality service in many different arenas.  Recently I’ve dealt with an insurance company which seems to be completely inept in handling a basic auto claim.  My aunt spent 10 hours yesterday trying to get a phone hooked up for my elderly grandmother and dealt with many unhelpful phone reps.  I can’t help thinking that these people frankly are not getting paid enough to care…  For example, Warren Buffet should put his money where his mouth is and start paying his Geico employees more money.  He can’t say rates will go up if he pays his employees more, he is already saying that he needs to be taxed more.  Perhaps we all need to take a hard look at where we put our money and our votes and make sure that we are doing our best to put the little power we do have in the right places. We need to hold our leaders and our corporations accountable for their actions and decisions.            

  • Olga Swarthout

    re: Jill’s post “My aunt spent 10 hours yesterday trying to get a phone hooked up for my elderly grandmother and dealt with many unhelpful phone reps. I can’t help thinking that these people frankly are not getting paid enough to care… ”

    A few years ago I read an article about the future of work in the information age. The writer stated that employees will be restricted to working within a very narrow information loop. Jobs will be dumbed down to their basic components. Therefore, despite the front desk person having an elaborate computer on his or her desk, the only thing they can do is interpret limited data, nothing else. If the data is in error, too bad. The employee can’t do anything to change it.
     
    Unlike years past where workers could mingle with hierarchies in the office and gain enough broad knowledge in their field to “work their way up the ladder” in a company, that type of career path is disappearing.

    We already see the dumbing down of jobs.                                         It’s not that the average worker is “not getting paid enough to care”,    his inability to create positive change stifles his initiative.

    The true knowledge workers are the people ensconsed at the top who have the ability to manipulate workplace information . And, as we already see, these top people are paid according to their positions as the movers and shakers of industry.

    Like Jill, I too cringe at transacting any non-ordinary business.                I just spent several months trying to get help with a telecom issue. Every service call was an agonizing repeat of the previous one, until the day one savvy service rep actually researched the problem and told me the exact directions to give a repairman.                                                            So here I was, Ms. consumer, directing a repairman working for a multi-billion dollar corporation.  He of course, couldn’t do much other than call in a maintenance crew. But, at last, the problem was finally solved.

    • Jill

      Right, the “not getting paid enough to care” is a bit flippant, but I meant to imply more money as well as more ability to create positive change.  I think the two often go hand in hand.  In my recent experience it was only after getting a couple of supervisors on the line that any of my questions were answered.  I don’t think this necessarily has to do with the educational level of the workers.  I think it has to do with the dumbing down of jobs.  But, I think they want to dumb down the jobs so they can feel justified in paying people less.  In the end, it creates a headache for every one involved.   

    • Olga Swarthout

      …and don’t forget the multiple post service “employee evaluation” phone calls. It seems to me these calls are so useless in true assessment of quality service from the provider. If I’m asked in the same question about the capabilty of my service person vs the solution of a problem, at times I’m at a loss for an answer. Often the service person can be professional and capable but unable to resolve a problem without calling in a higher ranking worker.
       

  • Dave

    “Jobs are leaving the USA and they’re never comming back” Says who? The business roundtable and others who benefit from such public policy. As if the “economy” was a force of nature over which we have no influence. We can make different decisions (most of our trading partners have).For example: 1) Public financing of congressional elections,to re-gain control of our elected officials & public policy (best $10B we would spend every 2 yrs). and 2). If a company wants to sell in our $14 trillion market, they must produce and employ here (like most US firms are required to do in other countries).Yes, we would have a little more inflation, lower, more realistic corp profits & stock values. But we would also have lower unemployment, higher incomes for working families, 1/2 the trade deficit (mostly oil) and more taxes to the Fed. Treasury to reduce that deficit. More equality & a better social outcome. WOW what a disaster!!

    • nj

      Yes to (1) and (2) and add (3): Renegotiate trade agreements to levy import tariffs to level the playing field. Other countries already do this, and are eating our lunch.

  • Frank TheUnderemployedProfessi

    – Post deleted by author — wrong topic

  • Frank TheUnderemployedProfessi

    In the first half of the show, one of the guests suggested that if only college students would major in useful fields, they would be able to find jobs.  That is a fallacious mythological notion.  Why?  Because if you double the number of people who are trained in “Useful Field X” (such as engineering), the number of jobs in “Useful Field X” (such as engineering) at currently prevailing wage rates will not magically double to accommodate everyone.  In other words, if all Women’s Studies, Art History, Philosophy majors, and other liberal arts majors majored in “useful” fields, the number of available jobs for college graduates would not magically increase.  Instead, there would simply just be a large surplus of unemployed college graduates trained in “Useful Field X”.

    This fallacious belief seems to be increasingly popular, and our intelligentsia and politicians have been bandying it about, as though it were an actual solution to our nation’s unemployment and underemployment problem.  (It’s much easier to advocate something that’s touchy-feely than it is to identify and address our nation’s real economic problems because the solutions are not touchy-feely.)

    Another program participant suggested that college students need better math and science education.  This is similar to the “Useful Fields Myth”.  In fact, contrary to what laypeople might believe (or want to believe), our nation actually has a large oversupply of unemployed and underemployed-involuntarily-out-of-field PhD scientists.  You read that correctly.  I just said that we have many more scientists who possess PhDs than our economy can employ as scientists or in related fields.  See the article, “The Real Science Gap” in Miller-McCune to learn more about how science graduate student training is akin to a pyramid scheme:

    http://www.miller-mccune.com/science/the-real-science-gap-16191/

    Sadly, according to a recent study, our nation may already
    have 17 million college graduates who work (presumably menial) jobs that do not require a college education.  See the op-ed, “Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?”, published in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

    http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/why-did-17-million-students-go-to-college/27634

    See also the more comprehensive article, “From Wall Street to Wal-Mart: Why College Graduates Are Not Getting Good Jobs” (because there’s far too many of them):

    http://www.centerforcollegeaffordability.org/uploads/From_Wall_Street_to_Wal-Mart.pdf

    (Hey Tom, why not invite these articles’ author, economist
    and Ohio University professor Richard Vedder, onto your show to discuss the issue of whether or not too many people are going to college?)

    So, if more and better higher education is not the solution to our nation’s economic problems, then what is?  One of the program participants suggested “innovation” and using “innovation” to grow the economy.  That’s another touchy-feely notion that sounds good but lacks actual substance.  Why is that?  Because any jobs created in the field of “Next Big Thing Technology” can probably be performed less expensively overseas.  Also, Americans do not have a monopoly on the ability to be innovative.  In fact, the Chinese want to innovate, too (and they are even investing money in innovation).

    In reality, our nation’s real core economic problem can be summed up as being Global Labor Arbitrage.  The real reason why unemployment and underemployment are so high in this country is because billions of poorer people in other nations are willing to do the same work for lower wages and for a lower standard of living without labor and environmental protections.  That may not be a very touchy-feely notion, and politicians might offend their wealthy benefactors by pointing it out, but it’s true.

    Over the past several decades we have exported millions of formerly lower middle class jobs overseas (foreign outsourcing).  Additionally, we have also exported large amounts of knowledge-based, often college-education-requiring jobs overseas such as financial analysis, computer programming, and even functions related to patent law (!!!)—a subject that requires a background if not degrees in both science or engineering and law.  (If our nation cannot retain such high-value added knowledge-based jobs such as functions related to writing patent applications for new inventions, then what knowledge-based jobs can we keep?).

    On top of that, we have imported hundreds of thousands of foreigners on H-1B and L-1 visas to displace Americans from college-education-requiring jobs domestically and to drive down wages.  These are the same jobs for which Americans supposed to retrain and
    reeducate.

    It gets even better.  Imagine that you have a nation that already has tens of millions of poor and lower class people who end up consuming more government resources (housing help, welfare, education, criminal justice costs, etc.) than they pay in taxes.  What could possibly be the solution to that sort of problem?  The U.S. government’s solution was to…import tens of millions more poor people. (Brilliant!)  This kind of mass immigration—legal and illegal—does not help the nation’s poor nor the economy.  Instead it merely increases the number of poor and lower class people while depriving the nation’s native poor and middle class people of employment opportunities while driving down their wages.  (Many Americans in formerly middle class fields such as the construction industry have also been displaced.)  On top of that, mass immigration has also resulted in a population explosion, which means increased pollution and strain on the land in addition to having fewer resources per capita (higher prices for resources).  (Have you seen the price of energy resources and food lately?)

    So, basically, our nation’s employment and economic problems are being caused by Global Labor Arbitrage and no amount of improved higher education or touchy-feely “solutions” will solve or address the problem.  To bring jobs back to America and to fix our nation’s economic problems we need to impose tariffs on foreign made goods and services, we need to end the H-1B and L-1 visa programs and send foreign workers back home, and we need to impose a moratorium on immigration for a few decades.  It’s not touchy feely, but that’s the solution.

    Of course, our politically correct, free market dogmatist intelligentsia and politicians won’t dare mention global labor arbitrage because it would antagonize their wealthy benefactors.  Global Labor Arbitrage benefits the small percentage of people who own all of the capital—the Rich.  Basically, it is a merger of the American labor market and economy with the billions of impoverished people in the labor markets of the third world.  This dramatic increase in the supply of labor relative to the demand for labor (capital) decreases the wages (purchasing power) that the Rich have to pay their employees.  In other words, global labor arbitrage allows business owners to keep a larger percentage of workers’ contributions to the act of wealth production for themselves as profit.

    Consequently, because most Americans seem to have bought into the free market religion and thus won’t support tariffs, an end to the work visa programs, and a moratorium on immigration, the logical implications of Global Labor Arbitrage are that the United States will transform itself into a third world country where a small percentage of the people are rich and the rest are poor.  It’s happening right now.

    In addition to whatever increased amounts of college education Americans obtain, they’re also going to get a real world education in
    the laws of supply and demand for labor.

    • Slipstream

      I think Frank makes some very good points.  The idea being pushed these days is that we have to produce more scientists and engineers to compete with Indian and Chinese scientists and engineers.  Unfortunately they may end up competing for positions that pay Indian/Chinese wages.  However, I do not dismiss the notion of getting ready for innovation so quickly.  We need to continue to innovate, to look ahead and see what is coming in the next decade or two or three, and to try to prepare people for that reality.  One of our (American) big mistakes has been clinging to the idea that basic things will not change and will – must – continue to get better and better, that this is something we are all entitled to as Americans. 

      Energy technology, the environment, and population growth are the keys to the whole thing (the whole thing being the long-term prosperity and health of our nation).

    • Xplic57

      A beautiful and articulate expression of the current paradigm facing the American worker. We must curb the appetites of the elites and redistribute the wealth to create a better society for the current population and limit our exposure to risky trading partners and population growth to maintain economic balance in an age of limited resources.

  • http://energyefficiencyblog.blogspot.com/ Energy efficiency

    lots less jobs in america right now they arnt doing very well

  • Jr9del

    The exhibition of Congress not caring is the shocking story of America since the recession began, and elections have become very secondary to citizens who recognize that both parties are at fault.

  • Allen Wilcutt

    Food for thought:

    Over 400,000 workers counted in the employment rate are actually H1B Visa workers (foreigners).

    Read about the top 100 companies that “in source” workers from overseas to work here in America… and displace you from your job.

    http://www.curiousinternet.com/2012/02/high-tech-jobs-in-america-feb-2012.html

  • http://atlanticcoastvet.com/vet_specialists.php Vet Specialist in Long Island

    And now what does the government do? Nothing! Nothing at all except just do their tea cup party, and how much does is cost? We will never know, we will never know.

  • 1beyondtheinterview

    please come and join us at Beyond the Interview we are here to help you …beyondtheinterview@gmail.com

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