Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts tagged Economy

This may be of interest to us. To see the economic impact of activity of the rich on the most of us, if not all of us in Franklin County.


And Why it Matters to All of Us
Speaker: Dr. Allan MacNeill -The Causes and Consequences of Growing Inequality

Dr. MacNeill has a PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts. He serves as Professor, Department of History, Politics and International Relations at Webster University. He is 2012 winner of both Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence and Emerson Award for Excellence in Teaching. His recent research is on the relationship between increasing income inequality and consumerism. His community work is as a member of steering committee of St. Louis Jobs With Justice.

Sunday, February 10, 2013, 1 :30PM
Ethical Society, 9001 Clayton Road, Hanke Room

Sponsored by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Cosponsors: Peace Economy Project, Instead of War, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Ethical Society and Citizens for Global Solutions

A new ad to be run in the battleground states by Priorities USA, the Pro-Obama Super-Pac:

Remember the Occupy Movement? Some people think it didn’t accomplish much but think about the subtext of this ad; indeed, think about the subtext of the entire Democratic National Convention last week. No one is talking about pushing through austerity measures any longer. The emphasis is on shared sacrifice, economic fairness, building a strong middle class and having the wealthiest pay their fair share to do it. Trickle-down economics doesn’t sell anymore. Just look at CNN’s latest post-convention polling data. Republicans are losing. Democrats are winning.

The Occupy Movement was like a booster rocket that fired at just the right time. In one big blast it changed the trajectory of the entire national debate.

Despite the GOP’s claims that they and they alone are the arbiters of small-government, free-market capitalism, the facts tell a different story. Private sector employment has moved into net positive territory for the first time in a long time under President Obama, while the stock market is up and public sector jobs are down. Exactly the opposite was true under Bush.

To recap, under Obama:

  • Private sector jobs: Up by 35 thousand
  • Public sector jobs: Down 608 thousand
  • Stock market: Up by 64%

And under Bush:

  • Private sector jobs: Down by 646 thousand
  • Public sector jobs: Up by 1.7 million
  • Stock market: Down 24%

Sure, a net gain of 35,000 is not much to brag about but it’s a heck of a lot better than 646,000 job losses. And Obama still has four more years to go ;-) !

How could Republican President George W. Bush turn a 6 trillion dollar projected surplus into a 10 trillion dollar budget deficit without a word from Republicans or the Tea Party?  How has right-wing economics led to almost thirty years of GOP power?  Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Our friend Thom Hartmann has the story on this six minute video and explained in his excellent article, Two Santa Clauses or How The Republican Party Has Conned America for Thirty Years.   If you have ever wondered why tax cuts for rich folks are the answer to all economic conditions, check it out.

We just knew this was coming …

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), a Mitt Romney surrogate, said Sunday that the improving economic situation is thanks to Republican governors, not President Obama.

“Look, I’m glad the economy is starting to recover but I think it’s because of what Republican governors are doing in their states. Not because of the president,” McDonnell said on CNN’s State of the Union.

“It’s been a complete failure of leadership,” he said of Obama.

You see, week before last the poor economy was all on account of Obama’s policies making things worse. But now that there are signs that things might be improving, well, that’s because of Republican governors like McDonnell. Never mind that Virginia was among the states that received the most federal stimulus funding in 2009.

This is just heartbreaking …

At 90,000 square feet, the Siegels’ Versailles is believed to be the largest private home in America. (The Vanderbilt family’s Biltmore house in North Carolina is bigger at 135,000 square feet, but it’s now a hotel and tourist attraction). The Siegels’ home is so big that they bought 10 Segways to get around—one for each of their eight children.

After touring the house, Ms. Siegel walks out to the deck, with its Olympic-size pool, future rock grotto, three hot tubs and 80-foot waterfall overlooking Lake Butler. Her eyes well up with tears.

Versailles was supposed to be done by now. The Siegels were supposed to be living their dream life—throwing charity balls and getting spa treatments downstairs after a long flight on their Gulfstream [...]

Yet today, Versailles sits half-finished and up for sale. The privately owned Westgate Resorts was battered by the 2008 credit crunch and real-estate crash. It had about $1 billion in debt—much of it co-signed by the Siegels.

The banks that had loans on Versailles gave the Siegels an ultimatum: Either pay off the loans or sell the house. So it’s now on the market for $75 million, or $100 million if the buyer wants it finished.

As she stands on her deck in the Florida sun, Ms. Siegel wipes away her tears. “Maybe it will still work out,” she says. “It always does, right?”

Well, not always.

My daughter of 27, top of her class in college, earned a bachelor’s degree in business and is gainfully employed, has agreed to allow pharmaceutical companies to test new drugs on her so she can make ends meet. As a parent I find this worrisome on a number of levels, but as an activist it’s just downright depressing.

Some of her financial predicament is self-inflicted but not all. Her new job comes with increased health insurance costs (ironically she does not have a very good prescription drug benefit) and none of the overtime pay she had come to depend on with her previous job is offered with the new one. Even after some belt-tightening she was still coming up short.

I recently came across this article on that may help explain why so many people these days are strapped for cash and also one of the main reasons the Occupy Wall Street protesters are so angry. This chart hit home for me …

Wages as a percent of the economy are as low as they’ve ever been. It’s why the Occupy Wall Street protests are happening. It’s why my daughter who is educated, intelligent, capable, independent and even employed, feels the need to become a human guinea pig for Big Pharma to get by. And she’s not the only one. She’s met other employed people in the study who have been doing it for more than a year.

Something has gone terribly wrong with the American Dream. This is not how it is supposed to work.

It’s not like Democrats don’t have popular progressive ideas at the ready. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, put forth the “Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act” on Wednesday.

Under her plan, the following policies would be implemented:

  • The School Improvement Corps would create 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs by funding positions created by public school districts to do needed school rehabilitation improvements.
  • The Park Improvement Corps would create 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 through new funding to the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service’s Public Lands Corps Act. Young people would work on conservation projects on public lands including the restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, and historic resources.
  • The Student Jobs Corps would create 250,000 more part-time work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study Program.
  • The Neighborhood Heroes Corps would hire 300,000 new teachers, 40,000 new police officers and 12,000 new firefighters.
  • The Health Corps would hire at least 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and health care workers to expand access in underserved rural and urban areas.
  • The Child Care Corps would create 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education through additional funding for Early Head Start.
  • The Community Corps would hire 750,000 individuals to do needed work in communities, including housing rehab, weatherization, recycling, and rural conservation.

continue reading…

Jed Lewison makes an excellent point:

Just to refresh everybody’s memory: President Obama and Democrats gave John Boehner and the GOP “98 percent” of what they wanted in the debt limit deal.

Then, 48 hours after Boehner’s deal got signed into law, S&P issued a credit rating downgrade, blaming Republicans for being hostage-taking, terror-inducing, revenue-refusing nut jobs.

To be exact, Boehner told Scott Pelly in an interview on CBS News after the debt deal was signed, “… When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the White House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I’m pretty happy.” And he should be. He got almost everything he and the Tea Party wanted and all Democrats managed to get were some empty promises. It was a horrifyingly bad deal for Dems but in the up-is-down, topsy-turvy fun house known as modern day conservatism the S&P downgrade is all the fault of Democrats, according to Boehner.

The truth is, the volatility in the market is not a direct result of the downgrade. It’s a response to having people walking the halls of Congress who once only lurked in the far-out fringes of extremist Internet bulletin boards. The market has lost confidence in its ability to solve problems. The S&P was pretty clear on this point in its credit rating press release. Democrats tried to be reasonable but ended up giving away all of the bullets that are needed to stimulate the economy in their hostage negotiations with the right. In this they are guilty. There’s nothing left to do now but to throw the empty gun. In other words, the terrorists won.

Paul Krugman

It’s not the whole story, but something like this threatens to develop:

1. US debt is downgraded, sparking demands for more ill-advised fiscal austerity

2. Fears that this austerity will depress the economy send stocks down

3. Politicians and pundits declare that worries about US solvency are the culprit, even though interest rates have actually plunged

4. This leads to calls for even more ill-advised austerity, which sends us back to #2

Behold the power of a stupid narrative, which seems impervious to evidence.

All the liberal economists have been ignored by Democrats and The Obama Administration, and naturally by the GOP and the teabaggers, despite the fact that the left accurately predicted all the economic conditions we see now would be the result of the current “bipartisan” fiscal policy, that is, too small a stimulus, no tax increases on the wealthy, an obsession with spending cuts instead of jobs. Nouriel Roubini: Ignored. Dean Baker: Ignored. Paul Krugman: Ignored.

No one is sure how bad the economy is going to get but one thing is certain: This mess isn’t on account of Democrats or the Obama Administration following the advice of liberal economists, that’s for sure.

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