Friday, December 05, 2008

Have You Heard Bush Telling Americans Not To Worry Lately And To Just Go Shopping Because The Fundamentals Of The Economy Are Strong?


The other day I was complaining because Toyota added $1,000 to the price of my new Prius for no reason other than that they could. I'm lucky I was able to pay it without having to cut back on something else in my life-- like a home payment or medical care. I wasn't always so lucky. There was a stretch in my life when I certainly wouldn't have made it without the help the federal government gave me with food stamps. To this day when I bemoan (silently) all the taxes I have to pay, I think about how grateful I should be that the government invested in me when I really needed it and gave me at least a year's worth of food stamps.

Nevertheless, I was saddened to read on Wednesday that in September food stamps hit an all time record-- up 17% from last year. Over 31.5 million Americans used them in September. The economy has tanked and unemployment has skyrocketed since then. And economists expect it to get much worse before it gets better. The last food stamps record-- 29.85 million people in November, 2005, was the result of emergency benefits for victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Victims of the Bush Economic Miracle are getting hit much harder.
[A]nti-hunger groups said the economic downturn is the main reason behind the higher figures.

"It's a disturbing trend," said Ellen Vollinger, legal director with the Food Research and Action Center. She said she expects more people will turn to food stamps as unemployment figures rise and the economy remains weak.

One in 10 Americans were participating in the food stamp program as of September, said Dottie Rosenbaum, analyst with Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank.

That's approaching the all-time high of 10.5 percent of the population that used the program in 1994, and is similar to levels seen in the early 1980s, she said.

States that have seen a drop in job numbers and increase in home foreclosures such as Florida and Nevada also have seen a marked increase in food stamp use, Rosenbaum said.

Food banks are struggling to meet increased requests for food, said Maura Daly of Feeding America, a network of food banks.

"The tough economic time that our nation is facing is having a tremendous impact on the level of food assistance needed across the country," Daly said.

How do I know things are going to get much worse before they get better? I'm awake. We're just escaping from years and years of violently antisocial financial and economic policy based on greed, avarice and the law of the jungle. The NY Times reported yesterday that the retail sector is an unmitigated disaster. Should that surprise anyone after years and years of hollowing out the economy, shipping jobs overseas, destroying labor unions and redistributing the nation's wealth upward?
The nation’s retailers turned in the worst sales figures in at least a generation on Thursday, starting the holiday shopping season with double-digit declines across a broad spectrum of stores.

...The International Council of Shopping Centers, an industry group, described November’s figures as the weakest in more than 35 years. Declines were recorded in every retail segment the group tracks, with the biggest coming from department stores, with sales down 13.3 percent compared with November a year ago, and specialty apparel retailers, down 10.4 percent.

Republican members of Congress and-- I suspect-- some reactionary Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party (I can't wait to see them vote), are making a bad situation worse. Jim Bunning (R-KY) should be hauled before a court and asked to explain why he shouldn't be charged with treason. After watching Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) playing games with the auto executives on TV today, I'm inclined to think he needs the same treatment as Bunning. Corker voted for the ill-conceived Wall Street bailout for the banksters. Is it that he just hates workers? And many of the loudest advocates among the union busting Republicans who joined Corker on bailing out the banksters, agreed with him that the American automakers can go to hell. Among them are several facing re-election in 2 years: Robert Bennett (R-UT), Kit Bond (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John Thune (R-SD). We need to watch this crew closely.


That's good news... maybe. The devil, as always, is in the details. And we don't have those yet. It looks like the idea is for short term loans until Bush is back in Texas.
[I]t was the Labor Department’s report of 533,000 jobs lost in November that seemed to put a final halt to the hand-wringing on Capitol Hill and prompted the Democrats to announce that they would draw up legislation for votes next week.

“Today’s announcement of major job losses and findings from Congressional hearings from the last two days make it clear that Congress must work on a bipartisan basis to provide short-term and limited assistance to the automobile industry while it undertakes major restructuring,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement.

She added: “Congress will insist that any legislation include rigorous and ongoing oversight to guarantee that taxpayers are protected and that resources are directed to ensure the long term viability and competitiveness of the American automobile industry.”

...But some Republicans, including Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the senior member of the banking committee, have said they will oppose a taxpayer financed rescue for the automakers under any circumstances.

Some conservative House Republicans have called openly for allowing one or more of the auto companies to fail and enter bankruptcy.

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At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAVE you heard that Cheney's company was feeding amputated limbs to feral dogs?

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you heard that conservatives are more dependent on socialism than are liberals? The big bad Govt always has to bail out the country after they've run it into the ground. Without socialism Alaska and the rest of the red states would be a third world country.
Have you heard that the neo cons are more closely linked to real communism than are modern liberals?
The belief that you can force ones ideology on another country by use of force and covert operations as well as the assumption that your style of Govt/economics (Capitalist democracy) is the RIGHT way and the only way is more Stalinist than well...modern socialism. Btw....Utopia is for suckers!

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know one Republican that will probably vote for the auto bailout...the crooked Florida reactionary Vern Buchanan, who just so happens to own Ford & Dodge dealerships throughout FL.....

At 3:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with your comment on food stamps that they are an absolute necessity. It seems opponents of food stamps cite lame reasons (lazy, stupid, etc etc). However, when reality of living clicks: think about people with children, about people that are sick, about people that are having hard time locating job, about people with major mental illness, people with huge depression (you become your own enemy).. People believe we should let people just die on the side of the road without any help.. What a pathetic way for humanity to grow.. We might as well resort to being a pack of animals if that is the case. I look at it this way the thing that makes all life possible is the SUN without it there would be no life. Does anyone lay claim to owning the sun? Does anyone lay claim to owning the process that converts the suns light into food through plants (photosynthesis)? Usually, if we work together we can provide food to people that are hurting and starving making it a happier place. However, we have greedy people involved that want to own everything on the planet and own every process to sustain life. The same people we claim as lazy if we could possibly free up land where they could live dependent on each other they probably would be able to sustain each other. Most the people on the road that are bums I noticed one thing.. They are willing .. Many lack intelligence (either from illness or just bad genes).. We can't just throw people away we are above Darwin since we are intelligent species.. I think that pretty much affords us the ability to look at the word "humanity" and realize that is what makes us special from the other animals in the animal kingdom. We are intelligent beings capable of helping others who are less fortunate.. We can't throw people away like dead dogs.. Everyone can be taught to do something in this world. Most the people on the streets are homeless because they find no value to the life we live.. Maybe we can provide them a bit of help so they can learn to live within this world instead of outside of it.

Honestly, I tried the food stamp thing but it never worked for me. I ended up having to borrow from peter to pay paul. However, I can see where foodstamps would work for others. I mean as a human being I rather see someone eat than someone starve. I rather see a child grow up a happy life and become a productive citizen instead of a criminal who was born into a world of survival where others never helped. We could sit here and talk about creative ways of feeding people through churches and private organizations. However, there is nothing in comparison to the funds the government can raise to help people.

I always remember one fact we all live on the same ball of dirt. We find ways to differ either through ideas, skin color, looks.. etc.. We war over those things.. and in the end become disorganized, scattered, alienated without any understanding how connected we all could become. We are so alien from the fact if we did connect and harmonize collectively we would see the world change for the better. I think depression would be a thing of the past.. Sickness would not be considered the worst thing in someones life.. There would always be someone there to help another out.. You could grow old and know someone would be there to help you..

But instead we are stuck in the past living to the terms of the animal kingdom by our own processes.. Money is all that matters even though it doesn't mean anything. We rather keep to systems that honor a single person controlling things and profiting more.. We rather become alien to the processes where we create things, produce, grow.. We rather think we are independent of each other and alienate one another for we think this is freedom. We fail to realize we can afford freedom by helping each other by collectively uniting the world to harmonize its interests. Interests as in food growing, education, learning about the universe, exploring the spiritual aspect, harmonizing with the planet, trying to refine the potential of the human mind to open up the ability to look outside our present senses.. Humanity will never realize its full potential if it keeps chasing materialistic things, wealth, power.. It needs to learn the word harmony and realize it is not just some word for faggy new age things..

I look at it like this I think we will grow out of this primitiveness. We are a quite new to life and I believe over time we will become better at understanding our potential in this universe. We will become less destructive and more productive. We will learn what this universe is really about.. We need to lose the chains of material gain and understand the reality outside of us better.. Then we can really understand the reality on the inside.. It is quite weird the technology we created is great but you still lack the capability to see the vast sea of potential inside of the mind. I look at it like this your mind is like a paralyzed body that doesn't realize it is capable of moving further. However, the nature created mechanism that will never allow humanity to evolve without harmony.. Sorry people you have to unite and learn a basic ingredient in life.. I myself as a human being now realize how hard it is to attain that level in all areas of my life.. I know it sounds crazy but it is possible.. Harmony is code word for something else.. Many humans today lack it they replaced it with money. That is false .. That is a crutch.. You have given power to false ideas.. Come on buddies awake to the real world.. This one is old.. I am tired of typing and putting my thoughts into words.. I want to tap into the knowledge that has always been there but we can not see.. I look at it like this technology now is required we need it.. It is the training wheels for the future to allow us to understand we need to harmonize collectively..

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder you have the ilk of Bill Cunningham hoping to reduce the poor to no better than cheap Objects of Fun for "want of a healthy and proper moral compass," among other pathetic bromides.

(Doesn't that sound like something out of apartheid South Africa?)


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