Japan’s Lost Decades 1990-2010: The U.S. Sequel 2008-???

An Update on the US Economic Crisis

by Randy Shannon

Treasurer, PA 4th CD Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America

Rampant speculation, asset bubbles and corruption led to a crash of the Japanese economy in 1990. Like the U.S. government today, the government of Japan was controlled by the banks. The government of Japan liquidated the savings of the people of Japan, most of which were in Postal Savings accounts, to bail out the crooked banks. This bailout wrecked the economy and took ten years to overcome. The economy of Japan is still struggling at a very low growth rate.

The U.S. government bailed out the crooked banks with $13 trillion of debt that obligates future generations to a long term economic recession. The bankers oppose any measures that would require the U.S. government to increase its debt beyond the debt already incurred to rescue themselves.

Thus stimulus spending to get production and employment going is opposed or gutted with tax cuts. Businesses with debt that they are able to service are seeing their debt called by the banks, forcing the businesses into bankruptcy.  Infrastructure projects are not funded or underfunded while millions of construction workers are idle. Over 840 small and community banks are official “problem banks” facing foreclosure, not rescue. The Republican and Blue Dog Democrat neo-liberal majority is reluctant to extend unemployment benefits.

Continue reading Japan’s Lost Decades 1990-2010: The U.S. Sequel 2008-???

Message to Altmire: Cutting Social Security Is Both Dishonest and Whacko

Simpson’s ‘Tits’ Are the Least of It


By Robert Kuttner

Beaver County Blue via The American Prospect

When you think about it, Alan (“Tits”) Simpson is the ideal jester to deflect attention from the bigger joke — the fiscal reform commission itself. The problem is less Simpson’s dopey comments and more the idiocy of the rest of the commission.

Given what is happening to the real economy in the real world, the prospect of a double-dip recession and the prospect of a lost decade of high unemployment, the idea that the bigger menace is Social Security is just whacko. Let’s recall that Social Security is in surplus until 2037!

Yet the idea that the road to recovery leads though cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and other social outlays that are keeping the depression from worsening, if anything, is gaining traction among opinion elites.

Continue reading Message to Altmire: Cutting Social Security Is Both Dishonest and Whacko

Detroit Mass March for Jobs with UAW and Jesse Jackson


UAW’s Bob King, Jesse Jackson lead Detroit

Aug. 28 March for Jobs, Peace and Justice

August 28, 2010

The Detroit News

Detroit — The chants of thousands of people demanding jobs filled the air downtown as UAW President Bob King and the Rev. Jesse Jackson led the crowd to Grand Circus Park.

The UAW and Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition announced the Rebuild America: Jobs Justice Peace kickoff today at the downtown park.

Jackson said the focus of the initiative is to ensure policy makers put people first when making decisions. The initiative calls for a moratorium on home foreclosures, a push for job creation and for ending armed conflicts overseas.

“Detroit and Michigan are ground zero of the urban crisis,” Jackson said. “It’s time to enact real change for working families and all America.”

About 30 percent of Detroit is unemployed, Jackson said. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., also said Detroit was chosen as the kickoff site for the campaign because it is at the heart of the nation’s economic fight.

Continue reading Detroit Mass March for Jobs with UAW and Jesse Jackson

PA Alliance for Retired Americans Schedules Birthday Party for Social Security with Cong. Altmire

Dear Alliance Member:

Social Security is turning 75 years old this month, and we are throwing a party to celebrate! Additionally, we will be releasing a report on the impact of Social Security here in Pennsylvania. You are invited to attend the event on Wednesday, September 1st at 2:30pm at the Community College of Beaver County’s Learning Resource Center, in Monaca, PA.

Congressman Jason Altmire will be in attendance to join the celebration.  Birthday Cake will be served! You are welcome and encouraged to bring your family and friends of all ages who support Social Security!

Celebrating this milestone for Social Security is important, as there is a growing chorus among politicians and the media to cut Social Security benefits in order to reduce the deficit – or to privatize the program – each of which will hurt seniors, people with disabilities and children. Of course, Social Security did not cause the deficit; it is paid for with special taxes on our wages. If you paid in, then you and your family earn the right to benefits. This is an excellent chance to show Congressman Altmire that seniors in Western Pennsylvania support Social Security, and we won’t stand to see it cut!  We look forward to you joining us.  Please RSVP to Alliance staff member Adam Swope at 202-341-7821 or aswope@retiredamericans.org, if you plan to attend, or have any questions.

*WHO:* The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans and like-minded seniors, with special guest Jason Altmire
*WHAT:* A Birthday Party for Social Security
Wednesday, September 1st at 2:30pm
*WHERE:* The Conference Room of the Learning Resources Center
Community College of Beaver County
1 Campus Dr.
Monaca, PA 15061
Campus Map:   http://www.ccbc.edu/nu_upload/CampusMap2010.pdf
*WHY:* Because Social Security is under attack and needs our support!

I hope to see you there.

In solidarity,

Jean Friday
PA Alliance for Retired Americans

Follow the Alliance online:
Become part of a progressive grassroots movement!. Join the

Alliance for Retired Americans
815 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Note: PDA members wishing to attend please contact Randy Shannon 724 462 3469.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Pledges to Defend Social Security

“If any of the recommendations cut or diminish 
Social Security in any way, 
we will stand firmly against them.”

Dear Friend,

As PDA continues its work through summer 2010, we are pursuing an aggressive progressive agenda in support of economic and social justice and a call for the end to war funding. We have joined with our allies to fight for this nation’s social insurance safety net programs—Social Security and Medicare—in the face of cries by conservative groups and other non-progressive types to cut benefits and raise the retirement age as a mechanism to somehow put a dent in the federal deficit.

In July, Medicare celebrated its 45th anniversary, and in August 2010, Social Security turned 75. We joined a group of our single-payer, Medicare for all allies in contacting every Congressional office with information about the incredible success and viability of Medicare. Then we targeted our progressive friends in Congress and asked more of them. We asked for clear and public support for protecting and strengthening both Social Security and Medicare.

Continue reading Congressional Progressive Caucus Pledges to Defend Social Security

Grab the Pitchforks, It’s the Workers and the Unemployed vs. Glen Beck, the GOP and the Banksters

USW Pres. Leo Gerard

Jobless Organize to Remove

Republican Royalists From Their Jobs

By Leo Gerard
President, United Steel Workers

Aug. 25, 201 – Glenn Beck made it official on Fox News last week: He’s seeking the office of 21st Century Marie Antoinette.

The queen of France, beheaded during the revolution, attained infamy for insensitivity toward hungry peasants. Glenn Beck, the Fox talk show host, achieved celebrity for his callousness toward unemployed Americans.

Beck leads a pack of royalist Republicans who have spent the summer mocking, vilifying and denigrating the nation’s 14.5 million unemployed workers. It is the moneyed class smacking down the working class in an attempt to disempower and disenfranchise them. Dispirited workers are less likely to vote – which could give Beck and his gang of royalist Republicans control of Congress.

The unemployed, like France’s 18th Century peasants, are fighting back, however. The Union of the Unemployed and Working America are organizing the jobless to vote this fall and to demand help from lawmakers. They’re not out to behead Beck and the royalist Republicans, just dethrone them.

Continue reading Grab the Pitchforks, It’s the Workers and the Unemployed vs. Glen Beck, the GOP and the Banksters

Friends of Jason Altmire: “Social Security is a Milk Cow with 310 Million Tits”

Ryan Grim

Jason Altmire Plans to Cut Social Security in December

Ryan Grim

Alan Simpson: Social Security Is ‘A Milk Cow With 310 Million Tits’

Alan Simpson believes that Social Security is “like a milk cow with 310 million tits,” according to an email he sent to the executive director of National Older Women’s League Tuesday morning. Simpson co-chairs the deficit commission, which is considering various proposals to cut Social Security benefits.

Simpson’s email, which OWL chief Ashley Carson released publicly, (PDF) was sent in response to an April blog post Carson wrote for the Huffington Post. Carson criticized Simpson for repeatedly describing his Social Security opponents as “Pink Panthers,” arguing that the description had sexist connotations.

His email is peppered with exclamation points and condescension. At one point he urged Carson to read a certain graph, “which I hope you are able to discern if you are any good at reading graphs.”

Simpson concludes by implying that leading a major organization dedicated to the interests of middle-aged and elderly women is not “honest work.”

Continue reading Friends of Jason Altmire: “Social Security is a Milk Cow with 310 Million Tits”

UAW Joins with Steelworkers on Green Jobs Bus Tour, Arrives in Pittsburgh Aug. 30

Auto Union Joins Labor,

Green Groups on Climate Bill Push

By Ben Geman

Beaver County Blue via TheHill.com

08/23/10 – The United Auto Workers is the latest union to join the BlueGreen Alliance, which unites labor and environmental groups pushing for greenhouse gas limits and other policies to create “green” jobs.
The UAW — also known as the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America — claims to have more than 390,000 active members.

“UAW members produce best-in-class cars and trucks, key vehicle components, and top quality heavy-duty trucks, and we know that we can rebuild the American auto industry by building cleaner, more efficient vehicles — and developing the technologies that will get us there,” UAW President Bob King said in a statement Monday about joining the BlueGreen Alliance.

“We have enormous opportunities to revitalize this industry, and the American economy, by embracing the clean energy economy of the future,” he said.

Continue reading UAW Joins with Steelworkers on Green Jobs Bus Tour, Arrives in Pittsburgh Aug. 30

Note to Jason Altmire: Let Wealthy Pay Social Security Tax instead of Cutting Our Benefits

A Way to Make Social Security Solvent for the Next 75 Years

By Sen. Bernie Sanders
August 22, 2010

Sign the Pledge: Hands Off Social Security!

Published by the
United States Senate Website for Sen. Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator for Vermont.

See related: Letter to National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter DeFazio.

Social Security just turned 75, and all across the country, people and senior organizations are celebrating this enormous achievement. Before President Franklin Roosevelt signed the law on August 14, 1935, about half of the senior citizens in America lived in poverty. That began to change on January 31, 1940, when the first monthly retirement check, for $22.54, was issued to retired legal secretary Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vt.   <!– [more] –>

Today, more than 52 million Americans, including over 124,000 Vermonters, receive benefits. For three quarters of a century, Social Security has been a great success doing exactly what it was designed to do. During that entire period not one American who has been eligible for Social Security has failed to receive benefits they were entitled to receive. That’s a pretty good record. Today, Social Security not only provides retirement benefits to seniors, it provides support for the disabled and widows and orphans.

Continue reading Note to Jason Altmire: Let Wealthy Pay Social Security Tax instead of Cutting Our Benefits

Unemployment Problem Solved Dept: Tea Party Candidate Wants to Bring Back ‘The Poor House’ and Expand Prison Jobs

Oliver Twist Asks for ‘More’

Tea Party Candidate Says Move The Poor To Prison

From The Raw Story and the AP

via Beaver County Blue

[ Note from John Leonard: When I was growing up for many years, Pleasant Drive in Potter Twp. Beaver Co.  Pa was  called Poorhouse Run Road because the Poorhouse was located on what is now the property of Horse Head Industries.   Looks like some Republicans want to resurrect some bad parts of history.  Their families should be the first to enter into the new ideas they seek. ]

If elected governor of New York, Tea Party Republican Carl Paladino wouldn’t criminalize being poor, per se.  That would be unconstitional.  He’d just rather see them “voluntarily” move into state prisons where they could work on improving, among other things, their “personal hygiene”.

Paladino is competing for the Republican nomination with former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio.  The primary is Sept. 14th and Paladino has campaigned hard to the right of Lazio.  He’s routinely argued that New York’s social services encourage illegal immigrants and the poor to come to live in New York. 

According to Paladino his poor-to-prison plan is modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal program that paid young unemployed men during the Great Depression to plant trees, build roads and develop parks.  Paladino’s program would be open to long-term welfare recipients and to people who had lost their jobs during the recession. 
Paladino is proposing to consolidate prison facilities and using the vacant ones into dormitory style housing where they could work for the state in some military or public works capacity in exchange for a receipt of benefits.

Continue reading Unemployment Problem Solved Dept: Tea Party Candidate Wants to Bring Back ‘The Poor House’ and Expand Prison Jobs