S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tough Times

Make for a rocky road -- The economic situation seems to get more scary with each passing day. More of us have less money and fewer jobs, the U.S. auto industry is still in trouble, the deficit balloons and the housing industry seems moribund. But we are in for a change; our President-elect has promised that. But he has warned that the economy will get worse before it gets better. Here is my take on why, based on the stories my regular contributors have been sending my way (see Hat Tip Key below).

Just how bad it it? AlterNet says, "This Looks Like the Start of a Second Great Depression#" (1/9/09). I am not sure I would go that far, but I am of an optimistic nature. The Raw Story reports, "US deficit to hit 1.2 trillion dollars: budget office*" (1/7/09). This bothers me a great deal, as I am a saver by nature. And TruthOut ran this story earlier: "December Job Losses at 673,000, Worse Than Thought*" (1/7/09). That's bad for my kids but not for me, as I am a retiree.

Who gets hurt by all this? BuzzFlash notes that, "Wealth of U.S. millionaires down 30 percent*" (1/6/09). Yahoo! News notes:"Mass. investor saw inside Madoff scam#" (12/19/08). We see by the Washington Post that "Thieves Stole Indentities to Tap Home Equity#" (11/27/08) -- about this Jon says, ". . . the downside of all this technology." From Dandelionsalad: "Rachel Maddow Show: Bailout for Auto Workers Forbids Strikes*;" it was published on (1/10/09). See also, The Raw Story#. Regarding reproductive rights, The Raw Story: reports that "New Bush rule could hit poor, rural women the hardest#" (12/3/08).

What happens to our children? Under the Bush administration college tuition rates soared. Here is another manifestation of the same kind of irresponsible policies. AlterNet exposes, "How colleges are using a cynical ploy to appear more exclusive* (1/6/09). McClatchy gossips, Levi quits oilfield job; Palin denies she helped him get it* (1/5/09). The Boston Globe spins, "Help wanted: Wienermobile drivers - Globe-trotting#" - (12/6/08). There could be worse jobs out there, folks.

Who caused all this pain? Republicans reason and Think Progress reveals, "Limbaugh's Crazy Conspiracy Theory: Democrats Started the Economic Crisis to Help Elect Obama#" (12/22/08). Yahoo! News/AP IMPACT: "How Freddie Mac halted regulatory drive#" -- This was published on 12/7/08).

Are the fixes working? Time Magazine headlined, "Bailout Report Card: How Successful Have the Financial Relief Efforts Been? - The Bailout From A to F#" (1/5/09). This is an extremely valuable overview of how the current administration's interventions have worked to date. To summarize:

Fannie and Freddie Takeovers: Grade D. Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Grade C. Hope For Homeowners: Grade F. Capital Purchase Plan: Grade C. Money Market Fund Insurance: Grade A. The Fed's Actions to Ease Lending: Grade B.

What about accountability? AlterNet: "Financial Meltdown Provides Final Verdict on Reaganomics*" (1/7/09). A New York Times op-ed piece by one of my favorites, Frank Rich is a very enlightening expose of the impossibility of our situation, or is it? Headlined, "Eight Years of Madoffs#," (1/11/09), this is a very important opinion with which we should be familiar. Rich concludes,

If Bernie Madoff, at least, can still revive what remains of our deadened capacity for outrage, so can those who pulled off Washington’s Ponzi schemes. The more we learn about where all the bodies and billions were buried on our path to ruin, the easier it may be for our new president to make the case for a bold, whatever-it-takes New Deal.

You might want to save today's post as a souvenir of the Bush administration. Thank Goodness, it will soon be no more. The people, most of them, will be gone, but the downsides will linger for a long time, I am afraid.

Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo*" and Jon#.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

Technorati tags:

No comments: