Tag: depression

‘We need to fight every job cut’

Original article, subtitled Sacked Cowley worker speaks out warning others not to waste the mood to resist, via SocialistWorker Online (UK):

“If our unions fight back when bosses announce redundancies, then we’ve got a chance to save jobs. But if we’re told to quietly walk away, then we’re all done for.”

Glenn Beck Gets It, But Thinks It’s Funny

From Media Matters Friday the 13th, a video excerpt from Fox News:

“This is what’s coming, America: Depression and revolution”

“The poor are gonna eat the rich…”

Where Did All the Money Go?


A funny thing happened on the way to peace and prosperity – we was robbed.

The 1870s Depression, A GOP President & Equine Influenza.

As even a sole nation’s history demonstrates, depressions were neither unknown or infrequent before the 1930s. The witnesses just weren’t as likely to live long enough to see the end of a second economic cycle! Methinks we’d do well to remember about our real roots without the glorious inbetween sections.

I have below a half generation’s worth of disparate plague, horsies, fire, massacre, union politics, extravagance, silver, financial wizards, cronies and price deflation bound together under contemporaneous ages of American History: The Gilded Age, the Long Depression and The Second Industrial Revolution.  

The Stupidity Reserve: America’s economic salvation

What if there were a secret store of wealth that America could use to pay down its debts and restore prosperity? What if we could free hundreds of billions of dollars to reinvigorate our society and restore confidence to industry and financial markets? Such a reserve does in fact exist. It is our accumulated store of institutionalized stupidity.

Readers of “Dilbert” who have worked in large organizations must constantly explain to children and other innocents that the pervasive stupidity depicted in Scott Adams’ comic strip is only slightly exaggerated. It exists in every corner of our “efficient” quasi-capitalistic marketplace. In prosperous times, institutionalized stupidity is annoying, but in times of extreme economic difficulty, this huge reservoir of dysfunctional behavior is inevitably tapped as desperate necessity becomes, temporarily, powerful enough to overcome the general human tendency toward stupid institutional behavior.

Whence institutional stupidity? The best answer I can come up with is that our species is designed by evolution to adopt destructive simplifications of behavior. The eagerness of individuals to substitute obedience to simple rules for independent development of specific solutions is the foundation of institutional decay. Fixed rules substitute for context-based decisions and dogmas crowd out considered judgments until schools produce dropouts, prisons incubate criminals, food plants ship toxic peanut butter, and Vista bogs down your computer. As every institution ages, the accumulation of irrationality in its growing mass of rules, dogmas, and habits raises the level of dysfunction and stupidity, until some final crisis sweeps away the accumulated mountain of folly.

A year ago, I began using the FIOS high-speed Internet service provided by Verizon, a huge telecommunications corporation. Ever since I began using FIOS, Verizon marketing personnel have contacted me, on average about twice a month, asking me to sign up for the FIOS service. Each time they call me, I carefully explain to them that I am already a FIOS customer, and they reply that they will not solicit me again. Then, a few weeks later, the phone rings again with another FIOS solicitation. Verizon has probably spent more money on re-marketing FIOS to me than they did on the initial installation of the service. This is not an isolated anecdote. Such stupidity accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars of waste. Let’s look at the big examples.

How Bad? This Bad.


If you are having trouble reading the fine print: The blue line shows job losses in the 1990 recession; the red line is 2001, and the green line is the path we are on now.

To clarify, these are not projections. This is actual job-loss data.

Bread and Roses (New Deal TRAP Murals)

I’ve been thinking that some exploration of the public works of the New Deal might be useful.  And right away, I stumbled upon a program I’d never heard of.  Under the auspices of the Treasury Department, TRAP placed murals in post offices around the country.


Mexican muralist (& “class warrior”) Diego Rivera was an important inspiration for the project.  This is one of his works from Mexico City.


He was commissioned to do a mural at Rockefeller Center, but that didn’t work out so well.  JD’s spawn objected to VI Lenin appearing in the work, and ordered it destroyed.  A smaller version was recreated in Mexico.

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

“almost homeless”

Wearing ‘almost homeless’ sign, ex-executive seeks work

Paul Nawrocki says he’s beyond the point where he cares about humiliation.

Banks Stopped Regulations That Could Have Prevented Financial Meltdown.

Well, it’s all coming out now.  The Bush administration was warned about the potential problems with the housing bubble and loans being made, considered regulation, but backed off under pressure from, guess who?  Yes, the very banks being bailed out now.

Accountability means one thing for working people and another for the investment class.

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents.

Expect fallout, expect foreclosures, expect horror stories,” California mortgage lender Paris Welch wrote to U.S. regulators in January 2006, about one year before the housing implosion cost her a job.


Also on Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

Bailout Crimes and our Approaching Poverty

An associate of mine still believes that his stocks portfolio is safe (it will come back) even as he witnesses his business failing due to the credit freeze…but that is so American “it can’t happen here, it can’t happen to me,”… even though it is and right in front of our eyes.

And that is perhaps the most amazing trick as well as the biggest crime: making people believe that something works to their advantage, while in reality it drives them into debt-riddled poverty. People have this remarkable talent to fool themselves, to see only what they wish to see, and it can be a gift from heaven. But that’s not always a given.


You Say Recession; I say Depression; Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

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The difference between a recession and a depression?

A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.

Old joke.

But who is laughing now?

Layoffs mount, economic crisis deepens in the US

Original article, by Tom Eley, via World Socialist Web Site:

Monday brought a number of fresh indications-including mass layoffs, bankruptcies and negative labor market data-that the US is entering a deep economic crisis.

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