Occupy Movement: Next Step Convergence

There is a growing convergence of thinking about where the US Occupy movement should go as a next step to turning its values, concerns and commitments into changing what most Americans see as broken government under control of corporate interests.  When it comes to political and social movements, history shows us that they usually fail not because they disappear, but rather because they become marginalized, unimportant despite a core group of committed people and groups.

They lose popular appeal and support or never expand beyond a small early group of supporters.  The nation and many supporters move on.  Other movements grab the interest of the most informed, dissident-type people seeking truth, justice or change.  A good example of such a failed contemporary movement is the 911 truth effort.  The groups, websites and true believers keep on pushing their objectives a decade after the historic event.  But the goal of revealing what really happened that the official government story does not divulge is like a moldy piece of forgotten food in the refrigerator.

Movement death by inattention happens despite good resources, charismatic leaders and even great organization and communication skills.  Critical mass of public support simply never materializes, in large measure because diverse segments of the population never buy into the central arguments of the movement.  The Internet is littered with websites of activist groups that persist despite clear evidence of decay and wide disinterest.  True believers have a mission in life tied to their egos that prevent them from admitting defeat.  They do not move on.

The biggest mistake that passionate advocates for a cause make is overestimating their ability to reach critical mass and underestimating the competition of other movements with greater appeal which rob them of both attention and supporters.

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Mental Ghettos Harm US

So many intelligent Americans believe, say and do stupid things.  When a large fraction of the population is like this, a nation rots from the inside and succumbs to external forces.

I have always searched for the simplest yet best ways to explain what I see as a multi-decade decline of every aspect of the United States, especially its political system and government.  I keep coming back to the inescapable logic that a large fraction of Americans, regardless of their education, economic status and political alignment, must suffer from delusion.  This delusion produces denial about hugely important subjects and issues.

Like a law of physics, this combination makes people seem incredibly stupid to others disagreeing with their positions.  Stupid, because they are unable to accept facts and truths that conflict with their views.

This special kind of stupidity is independent of inherent intelligence.  In this case brain power is overpowered by psychological deficiency, namely self-delusion. 

This delusion is not genetically produced, but is a result of external influences, notably political, government, media and corporate propaganda intentionally designed to produce delusional beliefs and thinking.  Who does this?  All sorts of commercial and political interests.  The result is a series of biases and blocks, such as cognitive dissonance, to objective facts and information that creates denial about very important conditions affecting the planet, the nation and individuals.  People afflicted with this deadly combination appear stupid to those outside their mental ghetto that they gladly inhabit, along with similarly afflicted people.

National unity breaks down with countless mental ghettos that span economic, political and geographic boundaries.

Conservatives see liberals as stupid and vice versa.  Democrats see Tea Party adherents (who only support Republican candidates) as stupid and vice versa.  Those seeing climate change and global warming as serious phenomena posing real threats see deniers as stupid.  People who give a high priority to tax cuts that mainly benefit the rich and superrich seem stupid to those who recognize that the wealthiest Americans have hijacked the US economy, as shown by endless statistics that reveal their preferential financial benefits.  Those who reject religions think the religious stupid.  People who shun social networking sites see those addicted to them as stupid.  Growing numbers of obese people seem stupid to those eating healthy and exercising regularly to maintain healthy weights.

A prime example of a mental ghetto is the collection of radical, terrorist Muslims sharing hate and violence and blocking out teachings from authentic Muslims about peace and love.

You surely can think of classes of people who seem stupid, because of a particular belief or viewpoint rather than across-the-board limited intelligence.  With conversations that have nothing to do with their position (or maybe several), you would likely think of them as reasonably intelligent and smart, not stupid.  In other words, stupidity is often topic or issue specific.

Here are two examples of what I call psychological stupidity with their powerful implications for understanding why the nation is seen on the wrong track by so many Americans who cannot unite behind solutions.

There is no mystery why the top 20 percent of the population in terms of wealth votes for Republicans, but they are not enough to win elections.  What makes far less sense is why many more middle class Americans vote for Republicans.  They seem stupid in voting against their own economic interests because Republicans pursue policies that preferentially reward the richest Americans.  This behavior can only be explained by the success of Republican propaganda (mainly trickle down prosperity), lies and deceptions that instill a set of biases and beliefs that enable Republicans to win elections.  A prime example is obtaining broad support for keeping taxes on really rich people low.

On the other side, are millions of people who vote for Democrats because they have been sold rhetoric about reforming the government system, as if Democrats are not also in the pockets of a number of special interests that will not accept truly needed deep reforms.  Why have we not seen President Obama pursue punishment of many people and companies in the banking, mortgage and financial sectors that caused the economic meltdown?  He had received huge campaign contributions from them and then surrounded himself with cabinet officials and advisors from them.  Otherwise intelligent people vote for Democrats because of their psychological stupidity based on false promises of change and reform that they have succumbed to.

Psychological stupidity has become a kind of cultural epidemic that no one is addressing, so it just gets worse.  It invites manipulation and the continuing corrosion and corruption of government.  The rich and powerful know how to take advantage of this stupidity, obtaining government policies and programs they want, selling products and services that consumers do not really benefit from, and grabbing more of the nation’s wealth.

Those afflicted with psychological stupidity are also likely to exhibit moral superiority, making it even more difficult to have intelligent and productive conversations with them.  Such arrogance strengthens their defenses against facts and information that conflicts with their cherished views.  The answer:  Associate with others having exactly the same views and only get information from like-minded media sources, creating mental ghettos (such as the Tea Party and Fox News) that others can take political or commercial advantage of (Republicans and companies selling gold).

Self-deception is the widespread legal narcotic lubricating the slide of American society into the toilet that other once great nations ended up in.  Maybe this old Arab proverb warrants respect: People who lie to others have merely hidden away the truth, but people who lie to themselves have forgotten where they put it.

Which mental ghettos do you belong to?

 

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.]

Despair Follows Delusion - Midterm Elections

Despite all the hype and rhetoric, only one impact of the midterm elections is assured.  Notwithstanding power shifts from Democrats to Republicans in Congress there will not be any deep, sorely needed true reforms of our corrupt, dysfunctional and inefficient government.  The culture of corruption in Washington, DC will remain.  Hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and other special interests will assure that.

 

Voters who think otherwise are either delusional or stupid.  It will not matter whether you voted for Republicans because you wanted to defeat Democrats (or vice-versa), or whether you voted for Tea Party candidates, or whether you voted against incumbents, or whether you voted for what you believe are lesser-evil candidates.  Americans lost however they voted, but it may take time for most to comprehend that.  That is a terribly painful reality, which is why many who chose to vote will resist facing the ugly truth.

 

When it comes to politics in America, delusion and stupidity are rampant, like a terrible epidemic that has killed brain cells.  Several billion dollars were spent selling candidates this year.  Who profited?  The many media outlets that received the advertising bonanza and companies that supplied mailings, posters and automatic phone calls.  At least all that spending was kept domestic.

 

Yes, you are thinking that this is the most cynical view possible.  Cynicism beats delusion.  I recommend it.

 

This is what American history tells us.  Americans have been brainwashed and tricked into thinking that elections are crucial for maintaining American democracy.  That is exactly what the two-party plutocracy needs to maintain their self-serving political system and that is also what the rich and powerful Upper Class wants to preserve their status.  But voting in a corrupt political system no longer sustains democracy.  It only sustains the corrupt political system that makes a mockery of American democracy.  Think about it.

 

In the months following this election, when unemployment and economic pain for all but the rich remain awful, anyone who pays attention and is able to face the truth will see that there is little chance of genuine government reforms.  Nor will any of the nation’s severe fiscal and spending problems be smartly attacked.  The Republicans will blame the Democrats, the Democrats will blame the Republicans, the Tea Party winners will blame the system, the radio and cable pundits will blabber endlessly, and Jon Stewart and other comics will have an abundance of material to take jabs at.  The two-party plutocracy will triumph.

 

Every member of Congress will, as before, spend most of their time and energy doing what is necessary to win the next election.  The army of lobbyists will be busier than ever legally bribing politicians to sustain the successful political strategy of the rich and business sector to make the rich and superrich still richer at the expense of the middle class.  Anyone who thinks that winner Republicans will work to overturn economic inequality is stupid or delusional.  A disproportionate and ludicrous fraction of the nation’s income and wealth will go to a tiny fraction of rich and superrich Americans.  Nothing that President Obama or the Democrats have done or championed was aimed squarely at reversing economic inequality and the death of the middle class, which by itself justified defeating them.

 

President Obama, of course, will continue his self-serving rhetoric with the sole goal of winning reelection in 2012.  The presidency just made him destructively delusional.  Of course he will speak about working with Republicans.  Wait and see.

 

Here is what non-delusional Americans can hope for: Maybe a decent third party presidential candidate will emerge.  Maybe the Tea Party movement will wake up to the reality that electing Republicans is a terrible strategy for reforming the government and restoring the health of the nation and shift their interest to forming a third party.  I doubt very much whether any of the Tea Party winners in Congress will stand up and aggressively work for and demand true reforms.  The new Republican Speaker of the House is a classic establishment Republican.  Maybe the greatly expanded calls for an Article V convention (mostly by Republicans and conservatives) as the constitutional path to reforms through constitutional amendments will gather more energy (especially from Tea Party people) and finally succeed.

 

Welcome to the good old USA where citizens, unlike those in Europe, do not riot in the streets demanding justice but keep believing in the nonsense that voting for either Republicans or Democrats will work for them and the nation.

 

Despair follows delusion.  Despite the endless media hype, the political revolution of 2010 is like a badly made firecracker – a dud.  President Obama, Republicans and Democrats will have learned nothing profound, not enough to dedicate themselves to real reforms.  Along with economic pain, widespread anger will persist as nothing tangible results to make the lives of ordinary Americans a lot better.  Will Americans demand smarter strategies than voting in regular elections with choices between Democrats and Republicans?  What do you think?

 

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.]

 

 

Constitutional Traitors: Are You One?

In recent days the idea of using the Article V convention option in the Constitution received support in an article by Texas US Senator John Cornyn published on the Fox News website.  He noted “Recent polling suggests that a plurality of Americans support a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution if Congress will not do so.”  He made a good case for using the convention option by saying it “would be part of a national conversation that could last well beyond one or two election cycles. The very length of the convention and ratification process would allow the American people ample opportunity to judge proposed reforms, and ensure that they would strengthen the checks and balances that have served our nation well.”

A few days later, on the pages of the Wall Street Journal a strong case was made for a “repeal amendment” that would give state legislatures the power to veto federal laws, something worth proposing.  Though the oped by a professor and the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates did not say so, obviously Congress would never propose such an amendment.  That means using an Article V convention whereby state delegates could propose new amendments just as Congress has done, which the Speaker has acknowledged elsewhere.

At the same time a policy report from the Goldwater Institute recommended that “states seriously consider” using the convention option “to restrain the federal government.”

So the issue of using this convention option that Congress has refused to convene despite hundreds of state applications and that establishment powers on the political left and right have long opposed merits serious examination.  Start with this: Americans overwhelmingly say they love and respect the Constitution and usually specific amendments, though often different ones on the political left and right.  Three frameworks help understanding why most Americans oppose using the Article V convention option.  Two explain why convention proponents have not been able to impact most opponents that fit these two frameworks.  I offer a third framework or plan of attack which I believe will work.

First, consider the craziness framework.  Many Americans have been taught to fear using the convention option, even though it has never been used.  They are irrational.  This is like being afraid to eat the fruit of the constitutional tree first planted by the Founders even though no one has ever tasted or been harmed by the fruit.  Such people stubbornly think they are acting rationally; I think they are crazy and irrational.  This delusional thinking based on what is imagined to might happen is not easily changed, because such people have been purposefully and successfully brainwashed.  They have an emotional block. 

Rather than fear a runaway convention, people should fear our runaway politicians and government.  As quoted in the Goldwater Institute paper Ann Stuart Diamond pointed out that the interpretation that an Article V convention would or could rewrite the whole Constitution “is often a rhetorical ploy to terrify sensible people.”  The convention can only offer specific amendments.  It is time for Americans to recognize their fear of a convention as having no basis in fact.  And that those promoting fear themselves fear the reforms in government that a convention could propose.

Second, consider the analytic framework.  Many Americans use what they think are rational, substantive arguments.  Convention proponents use facts based on the exact language in Article V or other historical facts to objectively contradict wrong-headed thinking.  But correcting the record has not worked sufficiently, largely because opponents invent their own facts, ignore correct ones, and consume disinformation disseminated by convention opponents.  They have an intellectual block.  Cognitive dissonance works to prevent the pain of accepting new information incompatible with their negative views about a convention.

We should not invite, respect or participate in arguments by opponents that fit these two frameworks.  We should, in particular, recognize and condemn morally offensive fear mongering used intentionally by convention opponents.  Convention opponents seeking protection of their ability to influence the political system and selling fear and disinformation must face their constitutional guilt.

Converting convention opponents to proponents requires a paradigm change, which is very difficult.  However, the current justified high level of dissatisfaction with government, politicians and both major political parties and the strong desire for reform of government justify use of a new approach.

The patriotic framework better gets to the root of the problem from a rule of law perspective.  Rather than condemn convention opponents as irrational or ignorant, we condemn unpatriotic constitutional hypocrites.  When they openly oppose the convention option they are constitutional traitors.

With the patriotic framework we take advantage of frequent strong public support for constitutional amendments not proposed by Congress, including these: In 1996, 74 percent of Americans favored a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that members of Congress and the US Senate could serve.  In 2005, 76 percent favored an amendment to allow voluntary prayer in public schools, and in 1983 81 percent favored it.  In both 2000 and 2004 61 percent favored amending the Constitution so that the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes would win, replacing the Electoral College.  In 1995, a balanced budget amendment passed the House but failed to meet the two-thirds requirement in the Senate by a single vote; this year there is a strong national movement to get it and a number of other amendments that would surely earn broad public support. 

The basis for the new framework is this: Virtually everyone professes respect and admiration for the US Constitution and knows that it includes a process for amending it.  But if someone opposes using the Article V convention option, then he or she is an unpatriotic constitutional hypocrite.  When they openly oppose a convention they are a constitutional traitor replacing the Founders thinking with theirs, putting themselves above the law.

Moreover, it is impermissible to pick and choose what parts of the Constitution are supported and obeyed.  Similarly, elected public officials who swear obedience to the Constitution cannot pick and choose which parts to obey.  Such behavior makes a mockery of the supreme law of the land, the rule of law, and our constitutional republic.  Silence by public officials on the issue is cowardly opposition to using the convention option.

No one can accurately forecast exactly what a convention would propose, but we do know that continuation of the status quo will not eliminate the corruption and dysfunction sustained by the two-party plutocracy.  The two major parties are rejected by 58 percent of the public for not effectively representing them, but a convention is far more attractive than forming a competitive third party.  Many reforms can only be achieved through constitutional amendments that Congress will never propose; this is inarguable.  Voting in elections to get reforms is passé.  A hard truth to take, but one that an increasing number of Americans have begun to accept.

Americans deserve the constitutional opportunity that Congress has deprived them of.

Americans must be taught this: Just by being in the Constitution the convention option demands public support.  Citizens are obliged to support it.  People cannot be allowed to have it both ways and be two-faced and hypocritical.  Embrace the convention option or be openly and aggressively condemned for unpatriotic hypocrisy and behavior that undermines the sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law, both crucial for maintaining the integrity of our republic.

When it comes to reform and making government work for we the people, the greatest risk for the nation is not using the convention option.

What political powers on the left and right fear and oppose we the people must demand.  They are guilty constitutional traitors.  We must be courageous patriots.  There is no room for compromise with convention opponents.  We must shame and embarrass them; they are lousy citizens.  The time to argue about specific amendments is when the convention is in session and delegates must contend with public sentiments and later when proposed amendments are considered for ratification by states.

We cannot know with certainty whether holding a convention would revitalize the nation.  But refusing to use the convention option as a constitutional path to reform disrespects and undermines our constitutional republic.  The sorry state of the nation demands that we do more than just talk about it.  This year every candidate for the House and Senate should be compelled to publicly support using the convention option.  Lack of support for it should be grounds for defeating them.

[A shorter version of this article was presented at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Article V symposium in Lansing, Michigan on September 16, 2010; contact Joel S. Hirschhorn, a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention, through delusionaldemocracy.com.]

 

 

Beware of Rich Political Saviors

Consumer confidence is terrible; citizen confidence is worse: Only 11 percent of Americans have confidence in Congress.  No surprise there is record-setting anti-incumbency anger rampant among Americans.  But the sad truth is damned if you do and damned if you don’t vote for incumbents. 

 

The problem is that the reformers, populist outsiders, tea party candidates, surprise primary winners and others expecting to oust incumbents in the coming mid-term elections for members of Congress and state governors and other officials mostly suck.  Why?  They are nutty, ignorant, dishonest or racist. 

 

Pathetic US Senate candidates like Alvin Greene on the left in South Carolina and Sharron Angle on the right in Nevada, for example, are intellectual nits and an insult to a once envied political system.  And in Memphis, Tennessee Willie Herenton, who is African-American, sells black racism to oust two-term incumbent Congressman Steve Cohen in a primary, telling blacks to not vote for his white opponent.

 

Many ambitious candidates drained the economy to become super-rich.  Is this any time to trust people who have taken advantage of our corrupt corporate system to run the government and serve those they have previously taken advantage of for personal gain?  Will anger about the corrupt, dysfunctional government system be sufficient for voters to turn the government over to people who have nothing in common with most Americans?

 

Consider California.  Meg Whitman, a Republican candidate for governor wants to beat the familiar, incumbent-like Democrat Jerry Brown, now attorney general, and was previously the chief executive of eBay.  She has outspent all other self-financed candidates across the country by using $91 million of her own money to knock out Steve Poizner, who spent $24 million of his own money, in the Republican primary.  California is big, but $91 million and likely even more!!  She will greatly outspend Brown.  And Carly Fiorina, a Republican who is challenging Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer in California, has the audacity to claim on her website that she will “fight for every job” if elected even though, as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard in 2003 she cut about 18,000 jobs and did little good for the company.  She has already spent $5 million.  Are these people worthy of public support?

 

Consider Florida.  Republican Rick Scott, the former head of Columbia/HCA Healthcare — an awful large hospital chain that paid $1.7 billion in fines for fraudulently billing government programs like Medicare — has become the front-runner for Florida governor.  He supposedly is worth about $200 million.  He was ousted by his own board of directors in 1997 amid the nation's biggest health care fraud scandal.  He loaned his campaign $22.9 million during the period from April 9 through July 16 and spent $22.65 million of it.  In contrast, he received only $415,126 in contributions.  Bill McCollum, his Republican opponent, raised a little over $1 million during the reporting period and spent about $1.7 million.  He has raised $5.7 million since he announced his campaign last year.  He has less than $500,000 left.  Democrat candidate Alex Sink, with no primary opponent, raised $1.1 million for the reporting period and has raised $7.3 million so far.  Is Scott better qualified because of his wealth and ability to advertise more?

 

Also in Florida is Jeff Greene who wants to be US Senator, a Democrat who had been a Republican with a strange gang of friends like Mike Tyson and Heidi Fleiss.  Incredibly, most of his fortune, estimated at $1.4 billion, came from derivatives that let him profit from the collapse of subprime mortgages which helped tank the US economy.  He lives in an oceanfront mansion when he is not on one of his yachts or his plane with gold seat-belt buckles.  He recently reported taking a paltry $3,036 in outside contributions, while lending himself — and spending — $5.9 million in the second quarter.  Recent polls found Greene roughly even in the primary with Democrat Representative Kendrick B. Meek, who had been the party favorite and took 18 months to raise a similar amount.  Incumbent-like candidate Governor Charlie Crist still leads as an independent in a three-way general election.  Greene boasts that now is the moment for self-financed candidates. “If 2008 was the year of change, 2010 is the year of frustration,” he said.  But does frustration justify voting for these characters?

 

And then there is Linda E. McMahon, a Connecticut Republican who made her fortune in professional wrestling before her Senate run.  She has stated a willingness to spend $50 million of her own money to win the election, a lot of money for such a small state, and has already spent $21.5 million.  A television ad declares “politicians have had their chance, and blown it” while her jobs plan “is backed by experience.”  She became president of the WWF as a legal maneuver to save the company in 1993, because her husband was indicted for distributing steroids to his wrestlers.  Cleverly, she blew the whistle and told regulators something few in the industry would admit: wrestling matches were scripted shows and not athletic competitions that required the kind of oversight that, say, boxing required.  The financial benefit was that her wrestling business operates in 29 states without supervision by state athletic boards or commissions, saving the company licensing fees.  She served only a few months on the state Board of Education and then became a candidate.  She supports policies that favor the rich and advocates offshore oil drilling.  She faces Democrat incumbent-like Richard Blumenthal, now attorney general of Connecticut.  Is her wrestling business experience really the basis for being a great senator?

 

Voters should remember this: None of these characters are legitimate populists, progressives or reformers with a political record to show their true capabilities or positions.  Why trust them?  Would they perform better than incumbents?  I don’t think so.  More likely, they would serve elites and corporate interests.  In the past very few rich candidates have won office (just 11 percent), but considering the anti-incumbency sentiment this year, big money may prevail.

 

Is the evil you don’t know really better than the evil you do know because of failed government experience?  Are some incumbents worth support?  Or will many Americans admit that voting no longer can fix and reform our battered democracy and stay home?  I think I will.  There are just too many fools and idiots voting that offset the votes of informed and intelligent citizens.  Maybe if voter turnout was totally abysmal, say 20 percent, maybe then we would get the reforms or revolution we need by de-legitimizing our government.

 

 

Real, Uglier American Unemployment

Real, Uglier American Unemployment

 

Joel S. Hirschhorn

 

Can you trust national averages?  As bad as the jobless data you hear are, you have not been told the whole truth.  If you think the terrible impact of America’s Great Recession is shown by an official unemployment rate of about 10 percent, think again.

 

Economic inequality and the myth of Reagan trickle down logic are shown by new data from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.  The report noted: “What has been missing from the public debate over the labor market crisis is an honest and detailed analysis of which American workers have been most adversely affected by the deep deterioration in labor markets.”  The researchers found a correlation between household income and unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2009:  Look carefully at these numbers and see how unemployment rises as income drops:

 

$150,000 or more, 3.2 percent

$100,000 to 149,999, 8 percent

$75,000 to $99,999, 5 percent

$60,000 to $75,000, 6.4 percent

$50,000 to $59,000, 7.8 percent

$40,000 to $49,000, 9 percent

$30,000 to $39,999, 12.2 percent

$20,000 to $29,999, 19.7 percent

$12,500 to $20,000, 19.1 percent

$12,499 or less, 30.8 percent

 

Ten times worse unemployment in the lowest class than in the highest class!  Truly amazing and disheartening, don’t you think?  And you can also infer that in some hard hit geographical areas the poorest people and people of color are being even more adversely impacted.  And don’t think for a minute that things have really improved in 2010.

 

The report summed up the situation: “A true labor market depression faced those in the bottom…of the income distribution; a deep labor market recession prevailed among those in the middle of the distribution, and close to a full employment environment prevailed at the top.”  People at the top remain winners no matter how bad the whole economy.  Why?  The wealthy Upper Class controls so much of the political system and benefit from countless government policies.  They may lose something in an economic meltdown but not enough to suffer significantly.

 

Conversely, those at the bottom of the economic system with no political power are experiencing something as bad as the Great Depression, with no end in sight.

 

What pundits don’t emphasize is that government policies that do not target lower income groups are a failure and disgrace.  Worse than destroying the middle class, we are creating a Lower Class like that found in third world countries.  Indeed, compared to places like China and European nations, America’s poor are suffering about as badly as anyone on the planet, except for a few dismal places like Haiti.  Needing food handouts, losing homes, missing health insurance, and lacking jobs mock the American Dream.

 

Wait; there is even more bad news.  When underemployment is factored in — part time workers that want to work full time, and those who have stopped looking but want a job — the picture gets even worse.  In the lowest group, the underemployment rate was 20.6 percent, compared with just 1.6 percent in the highest group.  So the total in the lowest class is 51.4 percent (3.7 million people) compared to 4.8 percent in the wealthy class (530,000 people).  Also consider that last November nearly 20 percent of all men between 25 and 54 did not have jobs, the highest figure since the labor bureau began counting in 1948.

 

Now you know why the constantly noted official jobless rate for the nation of 10 percent and 17 percent when underemployment is counted are a joke, or is it a purposeful deception, like a truth bubble?

 

How can jobs be created for the lower economic classes?  You hear very, very few new ideas from politicians.  It comes down to federal spending that better targets job creation to the lower income groups, and waiting for more general consumer spending, especially by the more affluent, to create more low level jobs, mostly in service areas.  But we need specifics and better legislation.

 

Consider this green energy fiasco.  A huge amount of federal stimulus money provided for building wind farms.  It is creating jobs in Chine to build wind turbines, not in America.  In fact, 80 percent of such federal funding is going overseas.  All because Congress and the White House did not ensure a made-in-America requirement.  Was a backroom deal made to keep China happy so that they would keep loaning us money?

 

When the poorest people suffer so disproportionately as compared to the wealthiest, perhaps only violent revolution will fix America’s dysfunctional, broken and delusional democracy.  Will President Obama cite the above frightening data in any public forum to make the case for stronger federal efforts?  What do you think?

 

The high numbers for the lower income people mean that no amount of government action, in even five years or more, will solve jobless problem, because no amount of economic growth can possibly create enough new jobs.  The US would have to produce 10 million new jobs just to get back to the unemployment levels of 2007 - impossible for many years.  So, politicians will keep making things look better by citing the national average.

 

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.]

Tax Solution to Wretched Greed

By now most Americans have experienced extreme disgust upon hearing about the nearly $20 billion in bonuses given to people in New York City's financial sector at the end of 2008.  After sending the nation into the current economic black hole there is no way of comprehending the audacity of financial company executives in giving themselves and their colleagues shameful rewards for abysmal and disgraceful performance.  Other than screaming and moaning about all this dishonorable behavior what should the Obama administration and Congress do?

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Consumer Power Wasted

When I was older talk about billions of dollars dismayed me.  Now, regular talk about trillions of dollars, especially government spending, nauseates me.  People never seem to learn that they control the fate of the American economy.

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George W. Bush Belongs In Prison

Electing Barack Obama president was the first step in redeeming American democracy.  The second step must be indicting ex-president George W. Bush, giving him a fair trial, finding him guilty of many criminal acts and putting him in prison.  Forget revenge.  Think rule of law and justice.

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McCain Considering Conceding Election Soon?

In highly secret discussions John McCain is seeking feedback on the bold, historically unique idea of conceding the presidential election BEFORE Election Day!

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Diaries

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