[Easy to predict. The GOP lets the sequestration proceed because it figures it can circumvent all but a few of the defense cuts. It has Obama's defense secretary, the indomitable Leon Panetta, already wailing about how hard any cuts will be on the poor, poor military. It's a foregone conclusion that Obama will fold on the promise to block any attempt to circumvent the trigger if it has to do with either keeping taxes low for the wealthy (I mean, on middle class families) or keeping the wealthy folks' (who fund both his reelection bid as well as those of his prime competitor) imperial forces in the field protecting their financial interests. So, you can bet that the December legislative session will see a prolonging of the entirety of the Bush tax cuts along with some guarantee that the sequestration military cuts will not happen. Bit by bit, the military cuts will be uncut. After all, we desperately need to invade Iran (or will, soon enough)...]
Spencer Ackerman is betting that the defense cuts triggered by Super Committee’s failure will never be implemented: Stopping sequestration probably won’t have to wait until the next election. Already, Republican legislators are preparing bills t … http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/andrewsullivan/rApM/~3/LJUHSgmZS4Y/will-congress-defuse-the-trigger.html Shared via my6sense,
[The folks over at Reason.com are feeling their oats right now. They seem to think they have the whole political thing figured out. They apparently think they have Reason behind them.
However, they beg so many questions and leave unquestioned so many assumptions that there's no way I can respond to it all in the brief slice of time I have, in this one moment. You see, I'm one of the millions of Americans who stand to lose and keep losing greatly because of the types of policies they describe, which have been enacted and may be enacted because of the petty-bourgeois assumptions they make. It's thinking like this that will have us all living in the United Corporations of Someplace That Used to be Called America.
Most glaring is their glamming onto the Tea Party movement as somehow independent, as somehow not plutocrat-funded and coerced, as somehow not primarily far right-wing republican and tending to fascism -- in other words, as exactly the opposite of the centrism they claim is supposedly going to save us.
(And just for the record, the MoveOn.org crowd makes a similar mistake, thinking that now the plutocrat class is turning its back on the Tea Party. A more nuanced view sees our present politics as an argument between two halves of the ruling class. Just as not all of corporate America was behind the Tea Party, so not all of corporate America is turning against it. A large part of corporate America continues to drive the TP, in fact.)
Next most glaring is their using examples like AT&T/MCI and Macey's as examples of all the good news coming our way. Rather, these are examples of hurtful monopolies that have lessened the diversity of consumer options, lost American jobs, and put ever more control in the hands of powerful corporate executives. That MCI went bankrupt does not mean its structures and organization ceased to exist. In fact, it was swallowed by corporate giants that continue to swell beyond any good sense. This is a symptom of exactly what's wrong with our system, not an example of positive social evolution.
In short, left unquestioned and purporting to speak for "the middle," the folks at Reason are anything but reasonable and an example of a groupthink that just wants to be the next Republican Party. Why would recently wakened voters want that?
Can we even say that a substantial number of voters have truly wakened from the corporate plutocratic sham games that drive our politics? This question has not yet been established in the positive for this thinker. If anything, articles such as this one from the makers of Reason.com tell me that no, we're not there yet, but read for yourself....]
The article in question admits (which is the only way I can put it — admits) that we in America have been in recession essentially since 1999, as measured by manufacturing job losses. The financial crisis of 2008 is only an extension of the acute bleeding of jobs overseas that began after the H.W. Bush-Clinton years, i.e., NAFTA and trade agreements with China. It remains to be seen if we’ve really put this job loss behind us.
When the dotcom bubble burst, and with 9/11 on its heels, a housing bubble and wars were the economic answers to the growing crisis, but all of this just set up an even worse situation that we now are living through.
The current response is only more of the same: propping up an exploitative and destructive system that benefits those in power — and I don’t mean government leaders, but the true power brokers of global capitalism. It is increasingly clear that elected officials are pawns in the game. A president or a majority leader might be a knight or a rook, maybe a bishop. You’ll rarely glimpse the queen and king in the background, which I would liken not to individuals but multidirectional composites of the driving forces of the system itself.
As one who worked in retail warehousing during the time when manufacturing jobs really started taking a hit, it was mind-boggling how nearly everything being sold in retail went from a balance of sources to almost exclusively Chinese in origin, almost with a snap of the fingers and with few exceptions, like household chemicals. We, the workers who moved goods from point A to point B, we saw it. Yes, we were selling more than ever before, but it wasn’t being made by us.
We all saw the massive shedding of manufacturing jobs and especially that within the heavy industries. Mills and foundries closed down, buildings lay dormant. What manufacturing remained was increasingly light-industrial, less and less the processing of raw materials which is considered by some the backbone of any manufacturing base.
Much of the work that remained amounted to assembling in America what had largely been produced elsewhere. Much of it was the mere moving of the vast increase in foreign-made goods from ship to truck to warehouse to big box store.
I expect, though I can’t claim expert knowledge, that any numbers economists use to show U.S. manufacturing production increases during this period are fuzzy numbers, counting one-and-a-half times what really came from overseas. Such a thing serves the narrative of bankers and corporate empires, but it simply does not reflect the reality on the ground that Midwesterners know firsthand.
Those jobs are not coming back, and we know where they went. Not machine labor and increased efficiencies, but cheap, foreign labor often under poor conditions allowing for an unfair competitive advantage drew jobs from Americans. I don’t write that as one who is against trade between peoples but as one who is against exploitation. Yes, it caused a prosperity boom in the short term, but the long-term effect is more exploitation of people’s lives both abroad and at home.
It is this system we are currently engaged in — not fixing — but retaining. Keeping it from imploding and/or exploding. There is no fixing it. It is what it is. It produces inequities by its very nature. That’s why there’s no one really to blame. Accusations of greed are only scapegoating tactics in the name of retaining the system.
Current debates center on whether or not to be more or less humane about these inherent inequities, on how much should be shared with the little people to keep things from sparking, and a smart capitalist knows that inhumane capitalism risks revolutionary upheaval.
By this standard, Obama is among the smarter capitalists. You can extrapolate who the dumb ones might be. Indeed, the next election is all about who are the smartest capitalists in the bunch.
[A really good point, here. We jump to so many quick conclusions in our reactionary media that only the decades following can really substantiate. Memory, so important, the equivalent of open eyes...]
If you missed the Rachel Maddow segment Tuesday night on “War on terror fought on bin Laden’s terms,” watch it. For a similar, shorter perspective, Ezra Klein has more:For bin Laden, in other words, success was not to be measured in body counts. …
(photo: chollingsworth3) In today’s Washington Post, Annie Lowrey mentions that maybe the economy might just not be in such great shape if the best jobs news is McDonald’s trumpeting their McJobs Fair this past Tuesday where they were looking to … http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/firedoglake/fdl/~3/58OI3O2y21g/ [This recovery needs recovering. Never in my years in the higher education system have I come in contact with so many troubled students. And I know it's not just my students. Rough times in Michigan and beyond for everyday people...] Shared via my6sense
- Excerpt GEAB N°47 (September 16, 2010) – As previously mentioned, entry of the United States into the austerity phase is caused by two sets of factors: some internal, specific to the United States, others linked to rapidly changing internationa … http://www.leap2020.eu/USA-s-entry-into-the-austerity-phase-The-sequence-of-US-social-and-political-crises-for-the-next-ten-years_a6412.html Shared via my6sense