Category: Economy

A belated lesson for Ted Cruz on speaking for the people

It helps when more people are behind you. How’s the view from under the bus?

ICYMI: Politico 9/28 – Cruz sternly rebuked by GOP

On Monday night, Cruz’s colleagues ignored his attempt to disrupt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to fund the government without attacking Planned Parenthood. In an unusual rebuke, even fellow Republicans denied him a “sufficient second” that would have allowed him a roll call vote.

Then, his Republican colleagues loudly bellowed “no” when Cruz sought a voice vote, a second repudiation that showed how little support Cruz has: Just one other GOP senator — Utah’s Mike Lee — joined with Cruz as he was overruled by McConnell and his deputies.

Life must be truly surreal for him these days. I mean: (more…)

Oprah Winfrey: one of the world’s best neoliberal capitalist thinkers | Television & radio | The Guardian

Beware the anesthetizing influence of Oprah.

Oprah Winfrey: one of the world’s best neoliberal capitalist thinkers | Television & radio | The Guardian.

“Oprah is appealing precisely because her stories hide the role of political, economic, and social structures. In doing so, they make the American Dream seem attainable. If we just fix ourselves, we can achieve our goals. For some people, the American dream is attainable, but to understand the chances for everyone, we need to look dispassionately at the factors that shape success.”

Democrats Embrace Citizens United in Defense of Clinton

Democrats Embrace Citizens United in Defense of Clinton.

Hill just loves her some big money in politics. And the party machinery that spent years on end crying foul about it before? Suddenly they just loves ’em some big money in politics.

I think Hill should just stick with a snappy one-liner that’s served her well so far.

“What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

Economix Comix

Economix Comix.

In which Michael Goodman explains “what’s going on with Social Security?”

It’s a quick read, packs in lots of general history and concept, and seems to do a fair job of accomplishing its goal. Added bonus: comics are wonderfully shareable things.

If you don’t already know what’s going on, expect to have your blood pressure rise a bit. If you already know, you should probably still be mad.

If you know of any critical flaws in the argument as Goodman presents it, please let me know in the comments.

Exclusive — Documents: Republicans In Congress Cook Up Phony Poll-Tested Talking Points To Push Obama Trade Deal – Breitbart

Exclusive — Documents: Republicans In Congress Cook Up Phony Poll-Tested Talking Points To Push Obama Trade Deal – Breitbart.

I’m not sure which is more disturbing to me, that the Wall Street Journal and NBC are relying on cooked polls to peddle the TPP, that the GOP is relying on this gimmick to drum up support, or that I’m finding it necessary to rely on Breitbart for this kind of analysis. Where is the rest of the coverage? Good luck finding it.

Americans want the government to “redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich” – Vox

Americans want the government to “redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich” – Vox.

The summary of Gallup’s recent poll results are interesting enough, but the video addressing the nature of wealth inequality earns this piece bonus points. Naturally, the Gallup analysis available by link in the article addresses the nuances more completely. One thing I wish had been discovered is the degree to which proponents of each view changed their minds over time.

It should come as no surprise, I think, that the cluster of changing attitudes on the accompanying graph corresponds so closely to the elections of 2008 and 2012. It’ll be interesting to see if the two plateaus behave differently when the poll is repeated in 2016 leading into the election.

Wall Street Titans Who Crashed Global Economy in 2008 Go Big for TPP | Common Dreams

Wall Street Titans Who Crashed Global Economy in 2008 Go Big for TPP | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

The new economic statistics, explains Public Citizen, offer a damning indictment of the promises on which such deals are sold:

“U.S. goods exports to Korea have dropped 6 percent, or $2.7 billion, under the Korea FTA’s first three years, while goods imports from Korea have surged 19 percent, or $11.3 billion (comparing the deal’s third year to the year before implementation). As a result, the U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea has swelled 104 percent, or more than $14 billion. The trade deficit increase equates to the loss of more than 93,000 American jobs in the first three years of the Korea FTA, counting both exports and imports, according to the trade-jobs ratio that the Obama administration used to project gains from the deal.” […]

Record-breaking U.S. trade deficits with Korea have become the new normal under the FTA – in 35 of the 36 months since the Korea FTA took effect, the U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea has exceeded the average monthly trade deficit seen in the three years before the deal. In January 2015, the monthly U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea topped $3 billion – the highest level on record.

The administration has tried to deflect attention from the failure of its Korea FTA by claiming that its poor performance has been caused by economic stagnation in Korea. However, Korea’s economy has grown during each year of the Korea FTA, while U.S. exports to Korea have not.”

Just providing signal amplification here. From everything I’ve seen, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is being offered to us all but forced upon us under cloak of secrecy, and we’re just supposed to take the administration’s word for it that it’s a good thing for American workers. Comparative data like this takes me out of safely skeptical territory and plunks me down squarely in a bog of cynicism.