Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Bailout for GM | Economy in a Death Spiral? | Paulson's Trillion-Dollar Crime Scene

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November 20th, 2008
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Why We Shouldn't Bail Out GM  

Why We Shouldn't Bail Out GM
By Nicholas von Hoffman, The Nation
The bailout should be used to expand unemployment compensation instead of propping up a single, failing corporation. Read more »

 

Last week, I wrote about the danger of the economy falling into a "deflationary spiral" in which layoffs -- and the fear of being hurt by the economic mess among those whose jobs are secure -- cause people to rein in spending, which causes the supply of just about everything to outstrip demand, which leads to lower prices, which hurts firms' profits, which leads to even more layoffs and even greater insecurity (see the story below).

This week, we're seeing more evidence that the economy may -- and I should stress the word "may" -- be heading that way. New data released today show that, in the words of the Washington Post, "Businesses cut prices at a record rate last month, builders started fewer new homes than anytime on record, and last week more people filed for new unemployment benefits than in any week since 1992."

I read a lot of articles on economics, and one thing I find fascinating is that in the traditional media, an enormous amount of attention is paid to the problems plaguing the credit and payment systems, but very little to the other side of the coin: household budgets. After 30 years of stagnant wages, rising prices and declining savings rates, there are simply fewer people who qualify for credit to purchase new cars, homes, or even trinkets on the old Mastercard. And it's not just credit-worthiness -- the average amount of equity in Americans' homes is at an all-time low, and most have few savings to tap in order to maintain their lifestyles during a period of economic distress. This part of the crisis is almost never mentioned in the reports I read.

- Joshua Holland
Editor, Corporate Accountability and Workplace

 

Our Economy May Be in a Death Spiral -- Will Washington Stop the Bleeding?  

Our Economy May Be in a Death Spiral -- Will Washington Stop the Bleeding?

The Bush-Paulson plan isn't doing anything to address the underlying problems threatening America's economic future. Read more »

It Is Going to Be a Wal-Mart Christmas  

It Is Going to Be a Wal-Mart Christmas

Wal-Mart is the only store where hard-squeezed consumers can afford anything, and so it keeps posting big profits amid the retail bloodbath. Read more »

Keep it Simple: Stop the Foreclosure Crisis with the Right to Rent  

Keep it Simple: Stop the Foreclosure Crisis with the Right to Rent

There are a lot of complicated plans being discussed, but sometimes the simplest solution to a problem is best. Read more »

Priority #1 for Working America -- Make It Easier to Unionize  

Priority #1 for Working America -- Make It Easier to Unionize

Huge union campaign will hopefully counterbalance "corporate power and reverse the decline of the middle class." Read more »

$2 Trillion Handed out by Paulson and Bernanke, But Who Got It, Nobody Knows  

$2 Trillion Handed out by Paulson and Bernanke, But Who Got It, Nobody Knows

We have no idea who got this money or the conditions or collateral put up in return for the loans. Read more »

R.I.P.: The Financial Experts, 1929-2008  

R.I.P.: The Financial Experts, 1929-2008

What's the likely fallout of our economic crisis? Nobody knows for sure -- but the economists won't admit it. Read more »

Wall Street's Bailout is a Trillion-Dollar Crime Scene -- Why Aren't the Dems Doing Something About It?  

Wall Street's Bailout is a Trillion-Dollar Crime Scene -- Why Aren't the Dems Doing Something About It?

Washington's handling of the bailout is not merely incompetent. It may well be illegal. Read more »

Why the Economy Grows Like Crazy Amid High Taxes  

Why the Economy Grows Like Crazy Amid High Taxes

The raw truth is that the economy has grown faster when taxes were higher, but how can we explain that phenomenon? Read more »

How to End Our Financial Misery  

How to End Our Financial Misery

A large-scale stimulus program is the only action that can possibly do the job. Read more »

How Our Gutless Media Helped Trigger the Credit Crisis  

How Our Gutless Media Helped Trigger the Credit Crisis

Government and greedy bankers aren't the only ones to blame. Read more »

  PEEK and Video: The hottest buzz and videos on the web  

Fat-Cat Automakers Beg for Taxpayer Money While Flying in Private Jets  

Fat-Cat Automakers Beg for Taxpayer Money While Flying in Private Jets

If they had flown first-class it would have been embarrassing. But company-owned private jets? Read more »

Bailout Tally: $3.8 Trillion and Counting  

Bailout Tally: $3.8 Trillion and Counting

"Three-point eight trillion dollars. That's $3,800,000.000.000. More than what was spent on WW II, if adjusted for inflation." Read more »

Union-Busters Want GM to File for Bankruptcy  

Union-Busters Want GM to File for Bankruptcy

Let's call a horse a horse folks. Read more »

Busted: AIG Caught Living High on the Hog with Taxpayers' Money (Again)  

Busted: AIG Caught Living High on the Hog with Taxpayers' Money (Again)

AIG CEO Edward Liddy should be in jail. Read more »

 

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