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  • They Still Donít Get It

    They Still Donít Get It

    How loud do the alarms have to get? There is an economic emergency in the country with millions upon millions of Americans riddled with fear and anxiety as they struggle with long-term joblessness, home foreclosures, personal bankruptcies and dwindling opportunities for themselves and their children.

    The door is being slammed on the American dream and the politicians, including the president and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill, seem not just helpless to deal with the crisis, but completely out of touch with the hardships that have fallen on so many.

    While the nation was suffering through the worst economy since the Depression, the Democrats wasted a year squabbling like unruly toddlers over health insurance legislation. No one in his or her right mind could have believed that a workable, efficient, cost-effective system could come out of the monstrously ugly plan that finally emerged from the Senate after long months of shady alliances, disgraceful back-room deals, outlandish payoffs and abject capitulation to the insurance companies and giant pharmaceutical outfits.

    The public interest? Forget about it.

    With the power elite consumed with its incessant, discordant fiddling over health care, the economic plight of ordinary Americans, from the middle class to the very poor, got pathetically short shrift. And there is no evidence, even now, that leaders of either party fully grasp the depth of the crisis, which began long before the official start of the Great Recession in December 2007.

    A new study from the Brookings Institution tells us that the largest and fastest-growing population of poor people in the U.S. is in the suburbs. You donít hear about this from the politicians who are always so anxious to tell you, in between fund-raisers and photo-ops, what a great job theyíre doing. From 2000 to 2008, the number of poor people in the U.S. grew by 5.2 million, reaching nearly 40 million. That represented an increase of 15.4 percent in the poor population, which was more than twice the increase in the population as a whole during that period.

    The study does not include data from 2009, when so many millions of families were just hammered by the recession. So the reality is worse than the Brookings figures would indicate.

    Job losses, stagnant or reduced wages over the past decade, and the loss of home equity when the housing bubble burst have combined to take a horrendous toll on families who thought they had done all the right things and were living the dream. A great deal of that bleeding is in the suburbs. The study, compiled by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, said, ďSuburbs gained more than 2.5 million poor individuals, accounting for almost half of the total increase in the nationís poor population since 2000.Ē

    Democrats in search of clues as to why voters are unhappy may want to take a look at the report. In 2008, a startling 91.6 million people ó more than 30 percent of the entire U.S. population ó fell below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, which is a meager $21,834 for a family of four.

    The question for Democrats is whether there is anything that will wake them up to their obligation to extend a powerful hand to ordinary Americans and help them take the government, including the Supreme Court, back from the big banks, the giant corporations and the myriad other predatory interests that put the value of a dollar high above the value of human beings.

    The Democrats still hold the presidency and large majorities in both houses of Congress. The idea that they are not spending every waking hour trying to fix the broken economic system and put suffering Americans back to work is beyond pathetic. Deficit reduction is now the mantra in Washington, which means that new large-scale investments in infrastructure and other measures to ease the employment crisis and jump-start the most promising industries of the 21st century are highly unlikely.

    What weíll get instead is rhetoric. Itís cheap, so we can expect a lot of it.

    Those at the bottom of the economic heap seem all but doomed in this environment. The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston put the matter in stark perspective after analyzing the employment challenges facing young people in Chicago: ďLabor market conditions for 16-19 and 20-24-year-olds in the city of Chicago in 2009 are the equivalent of a Great Depression-era, especially for young black men.Ē

    The Republican Party has abandoned any serious approach to the nationís biggest problems, economic or otherwise. It may be resurgent, but itís not a serious party. That leaves only the Democrats, a party that once championed working people and the poor, but has long since lost its way.
    There is growing discontent and down right anger brewing about Obama's lack of focus on the REAL problems the country faces. The populist movement is growing stonger every day, even some Democrats are now trying to distance themselves from the president and his policies, or lack of good policies. The Tea party movement, the election of Scott Brown, and the increasing popularity of libertarian ideals has caused quite a stir within the political establishment. Scott Brown to me is like the collision of Obama, Reagan, and Ron Paul all rolled into one. The president has a been out making speeches as of late trying to quell some of the anger. The problem I see is that the political elites will just merely shift their rhetoric to appease the anger. Republicans are already trying to capitalize on the liberty and tea party movement in general, with an updated Ron Paul sort of message. No real change will ever really happen I suspect, but at least the focus and attention might change from 'Obamacare' to the economy.
    |TG-X| mp40x



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  • #2
    Re: They Still Donít Get It

    The Tea Party is so 1773.
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    • #3
      Re: They Still Donít Get It

      I've read this on "The Burning platform", I don't know Quinn very well, but his words on Obama represent my thoughts pretty well :

      "Obama is a clueless left wing idealogue who thought he could scam the American public by talking like a moderate, while bailing out bankers and paying off the unions, community activists, and communists that got him elected. Never has a President misinterpreted his mandate more than this man. He has never worked a job in the private sector in his life. He has no idea how a capitalist society should operate. He is so weak that he didn't even stand up for what should have been his core principles - reducing military spending and letting fat cat bankers die a grizzly death in their own vomit. He let the military industrial complex steer billions more into military spending while sending more American men to a hell hole as cannon fodder. He let his Goldman Sachs controlled financial advisors convince him to keep rewarding criminal behavior by criminal banks. The man has no principles. He is making Jimmy Carter look like a good President. He will absolutely be a one term President as our economy goes into a tailspin that will last a decade. "

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      • #4
        Re: They Still Donít Get It

        Do you people seriously have no brain?? So you think Health Care isnt a very serious issue in out country. I mean 44,000 people DIE from NOT having any form of healthcare. If you ask me that is pretty f'ing serious. I mean America is the richest and best country in the whole world! and we dont even have a form of healthcare for our citizens. The funny part is that you said "the Democrats wasted a year squabbling like unruly toddlers over health insurance legislation." THEY didn't waste a year, the Republicans did by saying NO to everything that the Democrats tryed to get through. If the Republicans would bend a little bit this would be far behind us now. Dont get me confused with a Obama supporter because i am far from supporting Obama fully, but i do agree with him on this situation. We have been trying to get healthcare through our country for 30-40 years now and Obama is the closest anyone has ever been to reaching that goal. I also don't know how you can say he hasn't been focusing on the economy either. The economy is in MUCH better shape then when he entered the office back in January. The Unemployment rates have gotten MUCH lower then when he entered. From 800,000 to 100,000 people per month. So when you say Obama has been not focusing on the issues I don't know where you are coming from honestly.
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        • #5
          Re: They Still Donít Get It

          I'm going to be rather civilized with my views on public health care; I didn't want the bill to pass due to all of the pork barrel spending. That's our money they're taking from us for their corrupt uses to get them re-elected. Screw that. I understand that everyone needs health care, but the way the politicians went about it was completely wrong.

          On topic; Being one of the many unemployed college students, I know how hard it is. In fact, I went to the local Work First place today to get an application for a job. It was packed and, call me naive, but I honestly thought no one read the paper the ad was in. It's rough out there.




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          • #6
            Re: They Still Donít Get It

            Why does the government need to be so involved in health care in the first place? Isn't their involvement and bureaucratic regulations why the prices have risen so much in the first place?
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            • #7
              Re: They Still Donít Get It

              Originally posted by aeroripper View Post
              Why does the government need to be so involved in health care in the first place? Isn't their involvement and bureaucratic regulations why the prices have risen so much in the first place?
              One can also make the argument that lack of gov't action on healthcare has allowed private healthcare to drive up costs and their profits.

              There are a number of different ways and varying degrees in which governments can be involved in ensuring citizens have access to health care (e.g. compare the Swiss vs French systems, or German vs British).



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              • #8
                Re: They Still Donít Get It

                Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                Do you people seriously have no brain??
                Not sure who you are commenting about. Maybe you could clarify.
                Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                So you think Health Care isnt a very serious issue in out country.
                Sure it's a big issue. But like I said before, we already have the biggest social program in the history of the world, that being Social Security. Thats not even to mention the other programs included in the Health and Human Services department wich are of great cost. So before you go calling for 'womb to tomb' healthcare provided by the Federal goverment, why don't you address the insolvency and unfunded entitlements of the current programs. You simply can't have it all, the US governement cannot afford it.
                Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                I mean America is the richest and best country in the whole world! and we dont even have a form of healthcare for our citizens.
                The US national debt is over 12 trillion dollars currently, and the Federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2010 is 1.35 Trillion according to the CBO. So before you run that over used 'richest country in the world' slogan up the flag pole, consider what shape we are in financially.
                Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                The funny part is that you said "the Democrats wasted a year squabbling like unruly toddlers over health insurance legislation."
                The author of the New York Times op-ed article made those claims. And I will admit that the whole 'wasted a year on healthcare' slogan is a conservative media driven story, but the fact remains that it's basically true. And when you have left of center writers from the New York Times bashing your overall policy and strategy, it's time for damage control inside the Obama White House or a change of strategy. Otherwise Obama's destine to be a one term president, as anger about the lack of jobs and terrible economy will ultimately doom his administration.
                Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                I also don't know how you can say he hasn't been focusing on the economy either. The economy is in MUCH better shape then when he entered the office back in January.
                The economy is not in better shape, thats an outrageous assertion. I'm not going to even gather data to prove that wrong, as it's common knowledge.
                Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                The Unemployment rates have gotten MUCH lower then when he entered. From 800,000 to 100,000 people per month. So when you say Obama has been not focusing on the issues I don't know where you are coming from honestly.
                Maybe you could supply us with some data to back up those claims and numbers.
                |TG-X| mp40x



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                • #9
                  Re: They Still Donít Get It

                  Personally I don't think many Americans get it either.

                  But that is the whole point of the Democratic system. It is messy and slow and often makes short term mistakes. But overall and over time the correct path is taken.

                  I really don't think that people are any more or less angry than most points in history. I don't think the government is any more or less corrupt or responsive than most points in history.

                  Of course all the "Sky is falling" rhetoric plays a part in this messy process. It isn't really accurate but it does stir the pot and cause some interesting mutations of the mass intellect.
                  Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                  - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                  - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                  - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                  - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                  - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                  - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                  • #10
                    Re: They Still Donít Get It

                    http://www.librarygrape.com/2009/12/...s-numbers.html
                    This is where i get those numbers and you can see when Obama got in office in January those numbers started to decline. And also your saying that the economy at September-December 08 is better than now is COMPLETELY ridiculous. Do you see any more 2,000 point drops in the economy? No. And another thing do you honestly think the biggest economy in the whole world by far will get fixed in a year? I don't think so, has it gotten better? Yes. So i think we are on the right track. And if you would please find me a economist that says the economy now is worse than it was back in September-December 08. That would be really helpful.
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                    • #11
                      Re: They Still Donít Get It

                      I don't think many of you arguing for this healthcare bill get it, either, or you arguing against.


                      Let's look at it this way. Our national debt, as I write this, is currently 12.32 trillion dollars. Our gross domestic product is 1.05 trillion dollars. It would take us TWELVE YEARS to pay off our debt, if EVERYTHING WE EARNED was put towards it. In reality, it will more likely take us a hell of a lot longer than that. 30, 40, maybe even 50 years. And we keep adding on to it.

                      There comes a point at which the countries that are holding our bad paper become dissatisfied with us. They will do things that won't be very good for us. Europe will probably abandon us economically to save their own hides, and I can't blame them. But what really, really scares me is what will happen then: Look at history. All throughout history. What do you think will happen then? What happens to a country with it's back against the wall, no future, and no one to turn to?

                      America will lash out with all of it's military might in a desperate bid to gain resources and enough territory to sustain it .. or it will die.


                      We shouldn't be fighting over stupid things like healthcare and what to do about the geese clogging up plane engines, we should be trying to figure out how our country is going to survive the next few decades.

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                      • #12
                        Re: They Still Donít Get It

                        Originally posted by Startrekern View Post
                        I don't think many of you arguing for this healthcare bill get it, either, or you arguing against.


                        Let's look at it this way. Our national debt, as I write this, is currently 12.32 trillion dollars. Our gross domestic product is 1.05 trillion dollars. It would take us TWELVE YEARS to pay off our debt, if EVERYTHING WE EARNED was put towards it. In reality, it will more likely take us a hell of a lot longer than that. 30, 40, maybe even 50 years. And we keep adding on to it.

                        There comes a point at which the countries that are holding our bad paper become dissatisfied with us. They will do things that won't be very good for us. Europe will probably abandon us economically to save their own hides, and I can't blame them. But what really, really scares me is what will happen then: Look at history. All throughout history. What do you think will happen then? What happens to a country with it's back against the wall, no future, and no one to turn to?

                        America will lash out with all of it's military might in a desperate bid to gain resources and enough territory to sustain it .. or it will die.


                        We shouldn't be fighting over stupid things like healthcare and what to do about the geese clogging up plane engines, we should be trying to figure out how our country is going to survive the next few decades.
                        It isn't bad paper. If it was other countries would be getting rid of it as we speak, and they are not. In fact many are buying our "bad paper".

                        Of course the debt can get too big. Keeping things as they are and it will get to big. One of the biggest problems we face is medicare. That isn't going away. Old people vote and they are not going to vote their health care away.

                        We will tackle health care. We will probably go to a single payer because there won't be much choice in the matter. Only a single payer can control the doctors, hospitals, drug companies etc. Health care is one issue that must be solved if we hope to survive and compete.

                        So the question isn't if America will do what most modern developed countries have done and adopt a comprehensive health care policy. It is WHEN will we do it.

                        If it is like most things American it will be when it becomes a crisis. America is one big drama queen. We love drama.
                        Last edited by El_Gringo_Grande; 01-26-2010, 02:36 PM.
                        Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                        - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                        - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                        - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                        - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                        - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                        - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                        • #13
                          Re: They Still Donít Get It

                          Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                          http://www.librarygrape.com/2009/12/...s-numbers.html
                          This is where i get those numbers and you can see when Obama got in office in January those numbers started to decline.
                          Your basing your whole argument on the fact that we are loosing less jobs than in prior months from 2009. But we are still loosing jobs are we not? Saying we didn't loose as many jobs in one month does not make a good argument that the economy is recovering. The article you posted was from December 4th and was titled, Chart of 2009: Best Job Loss Numbers Since Recession Began, and said this:
                          To put last month's numbers in the larger context, since the recession began two years ago this month, the single "best" month for the job market was January 2008, when the economy shed 72,000 jobs. Last month, then, was easily the best month since the start of the recession.

                          Of course, losing any jobs is bad news, and it's hard to smile too much with 23 consecutive months in which the economy has lost jobs. To get back to a healthy employment landscape, the economy is going to have to not just climb back above 0, but also start creating about 140,000 jobs per month. We're quite a ways from that level.

                          But today's news is nevertheless the most encouraging we've seen in a long time. The unemployment rate has dropped, and the monthly report far exceeded expectations.
                          It's a questionable source of information to begin with, but forgetting that, it only illustrates the loss of fewer jobs. So, I'm not sure what your point actually is
                          Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                          And also your saying that the economy at September-December 08 is better than now is COMPLETELY ridiculous.
                          I never said that. I said that it is no better, as in not improving.
                          Originally posted by Vinman13 View Post
                          Do you see any more 2,000 point drops in the economy?
                          It's assumed that when you have an economic crash that the initial numbers will be extremely high, and then taper off in the months to come. The job loss numbers are lower, but we are still loosing jobs. No positive job creation numbers equals stagnant growth and very little recovery. November rates were revised from a loss of 11,000 to a gain of 4,000 but the December numbers crushed any hope as we lost 85,000 jobs in that month. You can read the Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics yourself if you like. Also there is this article from the New York Times:
                          U.S. Job Losses in December Dim Hopes for Quick Upswing

                          The nation lost 85,000 jobs from the economy in December, the Labor Department reported Friday, as hopes for a vigorous recovery ran headlong into the prospect that paychecks could remain painfully scarce into next year.


                          ďWeíre still losing jobs,Ē said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. ďItís nothing like we had in the free fall of last winter, but weíre not about to turn around. Weíre still looking at a really weak economy.Ē

                          The disappointing snapshot of the job market intensified pressure on the Obama administration to show results for the $787 billion spending bill it championed last year to stimulate the economy.

                          At a news conference, Mr. Obama acknowledged the December data as a setback, while outlining plans to deliver $2.3 billion in tax credits to spur manufacturing jobs in clean energy.

                          ďWe have to continue to explore every avenue to accelerate the return to hiring,Ē the president told reporters.

                          Most economists assume the unemployment rate ó which held steady at 10 percent in December ó will worsen in coming months. The nation would then confront the highest jobless rate in a generation on the eve of November elections that will determine the balance of power in Congress.
                          Let me be clear about something, predident Obama is not solely responsible for this economic mess, and that was not the nature of my post. The Democrats and Republicans have collectively brought us to this place after years of bad policy. My post was more about the lack of emphasis on the economy that the president has displayed. I can only assume that he had a little too much faith in his wasteful economic stimulus package. I'm sure that the administation had hoped to have a boost in the numbers to allow them some time to pass cap and trade and healthcare. This was not the case, so now they must shift focus to the economy, otherwise it will be an early exit in 2012.
                          |TG-X| mp40x



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                          • #14
                            Re: They Still Donít Get It

                            Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                            Your basing your whole argument on the fact that we are loosing less jobs than in prior months from 2009. But we are still loosing jobs are we not? Saying we didn't loose as many jobs in one month does not make a good argument that the economy is recovering.
                            It is a good argument. Not going to go from loosing hundred of thousands to gaining. There will be a transition. Nobody expects a quick turn around.

                            And doesn't almost every economist say that jobs are the last thing to come back after a recession? If that is true and we just came out of the session wouldn't we expect jobs to only start being created later this year (2010)?
                            Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                            • #15
                              Re: They Still Donít Get It

                              Can't help but chime in on this one.

                              The health care problem (some call it a 'crisis' but semantics only cloud the matter) in this country is pretty simple - the for-profit health care and insurance business is contributing not only to a spiraling debt problem and slowing economic recovery (real bad timing right now). The exact amount of this contribution - especially in terms of projections - is debatable, but its significance is not. The current system is not working - more and more individuals are left uninsured, leaving health care balances unpaid (and individuals bankrupted), causing health care prices to increase, which directly causes insurance premiums to increase, which causes more individuals to lose insurance either because they or their employer can no longer afford it. All of this ends up costing everyone - both individually and collectively (government/tax) more money regardless of their insurance status. It is literally eating away at our currently turtle-paced GDP growth more and more each year.

                              Only in America would such a fundamental problem be twisted into a rallying cry against 'big government.' In what bizarre universe is it considered a good political platform to stonewall any attempt at correcting a serious economic problem that directly affects just about everyone in the country. The one thing the Times missed on this opinion piece, though, is the glaring fact that this isn't just a political problem - everyday people that are protesting against 'government takeover of health care' are they themselves on medicare. Any of these 'independent' protestors who are not on medicare and have a job are actively paying into this system with the expectation of retiring on it down the road. Even worse, certain political figures (and media outlets) are all too eager to exploit this kind of ignorance and garner appeal by saying and doing ridiculous things - like vowing to support any attempt at actually correcting the problem. Great job, people. What a complete waste of time in a time when we have very little time to waste.

                              Fiscal responsibility? Good luck. In Obama's upcoming state of the union speech he is expected to announce a multi-year freeze in dozens of discretionary spending programs - barely enough to take the edge off the damage that unchanged rising health care costs will do to everyone's bottom line. But we won't touch the more than 50% of all federal spending - 44% of every tax dollar, nearly $750 billion dollars this year - on defense spending.

                              And so it goes.

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