Is this 1937 or 1929?

IMG_1463Its actually a great question but either one means bad news for the United States of America. Most people know about 1929 the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. What many people dont know is that in the period from 1929 to 1937 the stock market rebounded, the economy looked good and everyone thinking we were out of any economic danger decided to put in place major budget cuts. Thats what happened in 1937, budgets were slashed, no more stimulus, people, some people thought the economy had recovered. But, it hadn’t. The budget cuts that were initiated in 1937 kept the Great Depression going until after World Ward 2. So where are we today, cutting budgets to continue the Depression we are in or just at the beginning? Its hard to tell. I am not an economist so keep that in mind while reading this. But, from what I have read from leading economists today we are in a situation of unprecedented long term unemployment as well as an economy thats shaky. Last quarter it basically broke even; this latest quarter the growth was below economists forecasts.

And, today we see our elected politicians looking for severe budget cuts. No cancer treatment for the poor? Is the U.S.A. a country where only the rich get medical care? The so called sequester is a disaster in the making. It cuts everything, from defending and protecting our country to cutting aid for education and medical care. Thats exactly what happened in 1937 which plunged the United States back into the Depression, which we had never gotten out of. What got us out of the Great Depression was WWII; during WWII we spent as a country 3 times the GDP; which today would mean $45Trillion per year. People attack Barack Obama for his stimulus not working as well as it should have. Well, in a $15 Trillion economy one push of $800 Billion wont do that much. Many economists predicted that at the time. And they were correct.

Today our economy is in a Depression. Hiring has been so slow that it cant keep up with populations growth. Last month 500,000 people stopped looking for work. These people didn’t stop because they wanted to stay home and watch TV, or they wanted to live off the government (their benefits had long run out). They stopped looking because their are no jobs out there and people got sick of applying and rejected. You hear lots of stories about the unemployed having a lack of marketable skills; this used to be called on the job training.

Speaking from experience I know that companies are not eager to hire people; they are not eager to take a well skilled worker and utilize their skills, no matter what the salary, they are more likely to over interview people and then not hire anyone at all. Its really an extreme disaster for both sides. For the unemployed it can be worse than a spouse dying; they are more likely to suffer ailments that employed people arent. For companies, they are trying to make do with less; have fewer employes, fewer expenses and more profit. But thats not the way it works in the big picture. Those that are fortunate enough to have jobs live in fear of losing them. You dont get the best work from people when they are walking scared and afraid of being unemployed. What you do get is higher profits and CEOs with extremely high pay, because this quarter did well. No one is looking at the big picture, as to what companies and people will look like a decade from now. High riding companies will likely lose their CEOs as they move on to a better paying job. Every day employees are left with the mess senior management makes and are often blamed for it.

So, 1937 or 1929? Austerity will kill all growth in this country and push us back into a deeper recession than we are already in. And its really a depression not a recession. If its more like 1929 we are in for a horrible ride. We are just at the beginning of a horrible economic mess.  Yes the wealthy will be fine and are protected. Where ever you fall on the economic scale do you want to see your fellow Americans suffering and possibly dying because they dont have income/cash?

Its time to learn from history. What we did in 1937 caused tremendous pain. President Obama should be out there pushing for stimulus and jobs bills; like he tried to do with gun control.  The GOP has been despicable in their obstructionism but that means Mr. Obama needs to work harder. We need more jobs for the 89 million people who are unemployed or who don’t earn enough to survive.

Today is the day, we need to all come together to put every American who wants a job back to work. The cost will be minimal compared to tje alternative.

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Wednesday Roundup #AndrewSGinsburg

IMG_1430I have been quite busy lately and now its time for me to weigh in on a few issues that are going on:

  • The reason the watered down gun control background checks failed in the Senate when 90% of the public wants background checks. The reason is simple, gun control is not high on peoples priority list. The number one priority of the American public is the economy and job creation. President Obama, Congress and the Media are all failing us in completely ignoring the issue of longterm unemployment. The number of people unemployed and the length of their unemployment has not been seen since the Great Depression. Estimates are from 25 million to 89 million people are unemployed as of now. This is whats on the publics mind, not guns and most likely not immigration. The fact that the President of the United States is ignoring this issue is deplorable; the fact the media isnt being the ‘check’ on government as they should be and reporting on whats going on is a complete breakdown in our news media. If Barack Obama had spent the amount of time, energy and weight of his office on jobs instead of guns we would have a jobs bill that would start putting people back to work. I am saddened, and disgusted, to say that I think Mr. Obama is more concerned with his “legacy” than the real problems that are going on today. Ironically if immigration fails like guns did, he wont have a legacy to speak of.
  • The tragedy in Boston last week is really chilling to think about. I am from Boston, so I know the city well. The 2 bombs that went off were in the Back Bay very close to my brothers home and where my mother had a thriving art business for decades. The thought of all of Boston being on lockdown numbs the mind. I was here in Manhattan for 9/11, living a few blocks from the Trade Center; I couldnt go home for 2 weeks because the area was considered a ‘crime scene’ After 9/11 we kept hearing about a second wave of terrorism that would be coming and were all on edge for a long time. But, we were never on lockdown, never had a madman running around that could have a suicide belt on, throw grenades, shoot innocent people. That was not part of our threat back on 9/11. It does give me some relief that the cataclysmic terrorist attacks that were predicted a decade ago, like nuclear weapons going off in American cities, has not happened as of yet. What has happened are more the lone wolf one off kind of thing. Whereas thats a horrible thing, and I dont want to diminish the pain and anguish people went through; its hardly bringing down the 2 most iconic buildings in the country and killing thousands.
  • The Associated Press’ twitter account getting hacked yesterday is really a chilling event; the hackers put out a tweet saying that the White House had been attacked by terrorists. The stock market dropped over 200 points. All of this hacking that is going on could lead to serious trouble; just about every news media outlet has been hacked. If false reports are going out it could send our country into panic mode. What if one of those reports said North Korea nuked South Korea and the United States retaliated by nuking the North? We need more cyber safety. For other things like the electrical grid, banks. As citizens we must know we are more secure than we are.
  • Online news media is in serious trouble. Ad revenue is going down, this on top of print revenue disappearing. That revenue used to be used to have correspondents and reporters telling people the news of the world. With the revenue drying up how we get our news could be greatly impacted. Online, digital and social media are all also facing an uncertain future. They are trying to turn all of these outlets into money making centers. That sounds good and fair, in order to subsidize the news but as a user when you see ads crawling across your screen; if you are forced to watch a video commercial before seeing a video you want to see its getting to the point where I wont even watch online videos, knowing I have to sit through 30 seconds or longer of paid advertisement. I dont like being forced, I dont like not having the option to opt out. As a matter of fact it makes me hostile towards the companies that play the ads. They should figure that out soon enough and come up with a different model, but for now its a complete annoyance.
  • Do you ever feel like nothing changes? Israel and Palestine, Iran wanting Nukes, North Korea wanting and getting Nukes and making absurd threats. It doesnt matter who is in office, its the same old tired story. Americans should come together knowing that the situations have been the same, or getting worse, for decades. Its not President Obama’s fault, or Clinton or Bush. These issues just go on and on and on.

And Thats The Way It Is on April 24, 2013!

The Jobs Crisis: It May Not Be “Breaking News,” But It’s Definitely “Broken News”

IMG_1441This is a must read article by Arinna Huffington; she is the only one talking about the jobs crisis as illustrated in her column:

 

BREAKING! This just in: the economy is terrible and the country is suffering its worst jobs crisis since the Depression… developing…

Of course, this isn’t actually breaking news — it’s aching news — and, before the tragic bombings in Boston, the most important story going on. But you wouldn’t know that if you watched any of the Sunday shows last week.

On CBS’ Face the Nation, the topics were the background check bill and immigration, with Senator Marco Rubio.

On ABC’s This Week we had the president’s budget, Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba, Ken Burns’ Jackie Robinson documentary and immigration, with Senator Marco Rubio.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, they went with the background check bill, the president’s budget, Ken Burns’ Jackie Robinson documentary, and immigration, with Senator Marco Rubio.

The piece continues http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/jobs-crisis-broken-news_b_3096331.html

http://huff.to/15e6IGP via @HuffPostMedia

What Are The President Congress and the Media Not Talking About?

IMG_1432Lets see, we have a GOP and tea party thats obsessed with budget cuts, lowering the deficit, cutting vital programs and of course obstructing everything president Obama wants to do. We have a president who is clearly working on his legacy, he wants gun control, immigration and a grand bargain on debt reduction to be what he is remembered for. We have a media that goes for the lowest hanging fruit and will make a story out of anything thats easy and salacious. Everyone thinks the media is left leaning, they are actually just lazy and want any kind of sensational stories to tell to try to boost ratings and clicks on their websites. This combination is a recipe for finishing off the decline of the American Empire.

So, what is it that no one is talking about? The long term unemployed. Their are estimates that run anywhere from 5 million to 89 million of people who are long term unemployed and or who have stopped looking for work because they cant find any. The media should be explaining to the public about this crisis, and what the long term consequences of it will be. Last month the unemployment rate dropped; the reason it dropped was because 500,000 people stopped looking for work. Last week on Meet the Press Andrea Mitchell was starting to explain this and David Gregory cut her off to talk about something else. This is the story. No one digs into the numbers; yes we have had 4 years or however long of job creation; however that job creation is only enough to break even. This is the first period since the Great Depression that this many people have been unemployed for this long a period. The workforce participation rate, which is basically the percentage of people who have jobs compared to the entire population, has not been this low since the 1970s when women were barely in the workforce. Their have been some articles showing prejudice in hiring through ageism, the longterm unemployed and how companies wait for that perfect hire and make people go through rounds of interviews then decide not to hire anyone. In general the Media, whose purpose is to call out the government on what they are doing wrong and to educate the public of serious issues, gets a grade of F.

President Obama was going to pivot to jobs after ObamaCare, or after the election, or after the midterms. Wait, he never did it. For those that say he tried to push a jobs bill through the congress that is true. However, he did this in September 2011 and has done almost nothing since. Thats unacceptable. I see him on the road, almost campaign style, talking about gun control. Gun control is an important issue, but its not worth spending all of his political capital on. So, why is he focusing on guns over jobs? Some say he knows he won’t get anywhere with jobs so he is deliberately not talking about it and he is talking about guns so it will become one of his legacy issues. This to me is deplorable behavior. For those that say he can do more than one thing at a time, that is true. But in order to get the kind of jobs bill passed that will make a dent in unemployment he needs to be out there rallying the cause. The GOP talks about how we are spending record levels on Food Stamps and other assistance programs. Hmmm, why would that be the case? Oh yeah, the 10’s of millions of people who are unemployed and need assistance. And yet Barack Obama is making minimal effort at best to create jobs, he is a huge disappointment and for job creation he also receives a grade of F.

The GOP is more to blame than Mr. Obama for the lackluster economy since they have obstructed and filibustered everything Obama has tried to do. By being the party of ‘just say no’ they have made the environment in Washington caustic and much worse than it was when President Bush was in office. What is the GOP’s motivation for this? I think its racial, I could be right I could be wrong. In 2010 when the tea party came in they made things even worse. Yes there is a debt problem but its not as pressing as the unemployment problem. Every cut the tea party tries to enact has the exact opposite effect, their actions have made the debt larger. As I have mentioned I think the tea party should be tried for treason by mishandling of the economy. Every crisis that they have caused has slowed the economy. The slower the economy is makes for few jobs created, consumers spending less, GDP falling. All of this adds to the debt and deficit and all of it is caused by the tea party in their so called effort to lower the debt. The GOP and tea party get grades of criminal F.

Why is longterm unemployment such a problem? Because it destroys peoples lives, it takes away their dignity, ends many marriages. Why should the government care? Well in the coming years those 25 – 89 million people are going to be signing up for welfare, medicaid and are going to put a much more serious strain on the debt of this country. If Obama spent the time and effort on creating jobs rather then gun control we could have serious investments made. We need another large stimulus for job creation, we need tax incentives for companies that hire the longterm unemployed. There is so much that could be done. If the government invested $400 Billion in job creation now the taxes the workers would pay would lower the deficit by $4Trillion over 10 years.

If things continue as they are Mr. Obama’s legacy will be one of a president who did nothing for the jobless and this will over shadow anything else he has done.

My Views On Guns ** The Wrong Topic

IMG_1413Let me start out by saying that we are debating the wrong subject. Gun control is an important issue that needs to be addressed but the main issue facing our Country today is the long term unemployed. There are some 25 million, some estimates say 89 million people who are unemployed, stopped looking for work or arent earning enough to survive on. Today’s most pressing issue is getting people back to work, with whatever measure is needed; stimulus to build something; tax incentives for companies to hire people. The workforce participation rate is the lowest in over 30 years and the length and number of unemployed people has not been seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Tomorrow’s jobs report looks like another disappointment with job growth not even able to keep up with population growth. The fact that Congress, Mr. Obama, the media have all chosen to ignore this situation of the long term unemployed is maddening. Its also a foolish economic move; at some point all of these millions of people are going to put a heavy strain on the government with Food Stamps, Welfare. When an investment today would stop all that, and it would create jobs that would generate revenue for the government. No one I know who is unemployed wants a hand out; they want a job.

Now on to guns and my views on them. Again, I cant stress enough, this is not the right time to have a battle of gun control, its a time for a battle for job creation. The only time I have ever held a gun, a rifle actually, I think, was in summer camp for Riflery. I am born and bred in Boston and having been living in NYC since graduating from college many moons ago. I personally dont want a gun, dont know anyone that owns a gun. To me guns lead to violence. But I know its not as simple as that. Lots of things go into the mass slaughterings we have seen too many of in the last decade. Laws to outlaw guns wont necessarily stop any future events. The problem we have here is a stalemate. Both sides are right. Outlawing guns will only make the criminals have guns and too many guns are what leads to violence are both true. So you have the left and right fighting points which are both valid and what ends up is a stalemate. No one wins, both parties lose, the American public loses and nothing gets done. Like I have said, this is tragic when many more people are affected by unemployment and poverty than are gun laws it pisses me off that we devote so much time to this. Is Mr. Obama looking for a legacy issue rather than an issue that could help struggling Americans today?

To me the thought of hunting and killing living animals for sport is something I cant even imagine. If you notice everyone on the left always starts their argument by saying hunting is great and one of our rights. To me hunting is cruel and inhumane. Do I eat hamburgers and steaks, yes. Do I know how they are killed, no. So I might not have the high ground with this, but to me killing animals to feed people is different than killing them for sport. Now, I obviously dont make the rules and we do have a 2nd Amendment to the Constitution that allows this. Fine. I dont endorse it, but thats the law and thats the way it is. People talk about ‘background’ checks. What does that mean? What exact information are they looking for? How much access should the government have to my personal, or yours, psychological make up? Yes, I think that is an infringement on my privacy to look into my past, but not my criminal past. Thats fair game. I dont have a criminal past so dont bother looking.

To me there are some common sense fair minded things that can be done with guns. The most important being, have gun licensing like drivers licenses. I just had to renew my drivers license, I had to get an eye exam. I think every gun owner should have to have a license. If they pass a treasured gun to one of their kids, whomever owns the guns should be subject to getting a license to use it. The license should last 5 – 10 years and need to be renewed. Maybe you cant go into someones personal psychological profile, but you can go into their criminal record. I think thats completely fair. Also, perhaps they should make gun owners have insurance on their guns, like people have to have insurance on their cars. Liability insurance.

Nothing is going to stop deranged people from mass killings, whether by bomb, semi automatics, hand guns, knives. The goal is to have fewer killings not to win political points. Washington needs to stop digging their heels in on issues like this. The longevity of this country revolves around our economy.

Like I said, the fight we should be having now is over how much stimulus we will allocate to job creation for the longterm unemployed. Thats our best bet for a bright financial future.