Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Oct 15, 2009.
open for discussion
Other than the outrage etc. exibited by the do nothing policies of the inept Bush League Prez at the time:
Folks sure have been silent every since!
Another case study 'our' black 'leaders' can't blame everything on 'whitey/racism/the system' either!
Obama defends himself against New Orleans critics
By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press Writer 14 mins ago
NEW ORLEANS – Insisting he's "just getting started," President Barack Obama defended his administration Thursday against complaints from some residents of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast that federal help in recovering from the 2005 disasters hasn't improved much since he took office.
"We've got a long way to go but we've made progress," Obama told a town hall at the University of New Orleans. "We're working as hard as we can and as quickly as we can."
As a candidate, Obama criticized former President George W. Bush's response to Katrina, when the government showed up late and unprepared and the Federal Emergency Management Agency became the object of widespread scorn.
The storm killed some 1,600 people in Louisiana and Mississippi — and damage has been estimated at roughly $40 billion. The damage is still starkly visible in New Orleans — in blighted neighborhoods of creaky houses, boarded-up businesses, structure after structure awaiting demolition and critical recovery work not yet started.
Obama wanted to use his first visit as president to the Gulf Coast to listen to residents' concerns about the recovery effort. And although most questions were on unrelated subjects, one man gave him an earful.
"I expected as much from the Bush administration, but why are we still being nickeled and dimed in our recovery?" asked Gabriel Bordenave, 29, of New Orleans.
"I wish I could write a blank check," Obama replied, promoting Bordenave to shout back, "Why not?"
Obama claimed progress since he entered the White House in January. He cited reconstruction projects that have moved forward after having been stalled by disagreements over whether the state or federal government would foot the bill. FEMA is working "around the clock to clear up red tape and to eliminate bureaucracy on backlogs that go back years," he said.
According to FEMA, 76 of the 120 Louisiana reconstruction projects that were stuck at the beginning of his presidency have been resolved, sending more than $1.4 billion in additional federal aid to Louisiana.
"I know since a lot of these problems have been going on since Katrina, people understandably feel impatient," Obama told the crowd of several hundred who won tickets in an Internet lottery to attend. "On the other hand, a lot of these things are not going to be fixed tomorrow."
Obama said officials from his administration have made 35 trips to the Gulf Coast since March — and "not just to make appearances, but to listen and to learn and help you move forward."
In his opening remarks, Obama acknowledged residents' frustration about the pace of recovery. As evidence, he cited firefighters working from a trailer at a newly reopened school in the Lower Ninth ward that he visited earlier Thursday.
"It's clear how far we have to go before we can call this recovery a success," Obama said, noting sewers and roads that still need repair, houses and hospitals that are still vacant and schools and neighborhoods still waiting to thrive.
"I promise you this ... we will not forget about New Orleans. We are going to keep on working. We will not forget about the Gulf Coast," Obama said, adding later: "I'm just getting started. I'm not tired."
He also promised better emergency preparation so that the kind of devastation wrought by the hurricane is never repeated. And he announced a new working group to coordinate restoration projects across the Gulf Coast.
Obama spent fewer than four hours in New Orleans before heading to San Francisco for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. The brief visit brought some criticism, but New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin defended the president.
"People say he's going to be here a short little time, that's true," Nagin said. "Don't be fooled. This administration is focused on New Orleans."
The administration's recovery efforts have drawn praise from Republicans, too, including Gov. Bobby Jindal. Jindal has credited Obama's team with bringing a more practical and flexible approach to the process. "There's a sense of momentum and a desire to get things done," he said in August.
Associated Press Writers Cain Burdeau, Becky Bohrer and Mike Kunzelman in New Orleans contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
I understand what you are saying bro but I meant the economic collapse coming up, not the situation in New Orleans, and when I said we I realy meant us in the grassroots apart from any political service.
To answer the question, no we don't have a plan.
In a worse case scenario, there would be a handful that would be OK but not enough to "carry" everybody else.
I hear what you are saying though. If we couldn't count on the government during Katrina (a disaster of property, economy, life), then we will never be able to count on them. I do know that our people are known for their survival skills and the ability to hustle.
and the question must adress the Global Black community as well
from Amnesty International, provid. by Democracy Now;
800 billion is enough to build an infratructure of a nation within a nationundr any economic hardship if we have the desire and will to plan
bumped back up for focus
Is the Recession Over? Author, Democratic Senate Hopeful Jonathan Tasini on “The Audacity of Greed: Free Markets, Corporate Thieves and the Looting of America”
With the US economy snapping a record streak of four straight quarterly declines and expanding 3.5 percent in the third quarter, many economists are claiming the nation’s worst recession since World War II may now be over. We speak to Jonathan Tasini, author of the new book The Audacity of Greed: Free Markets, Corporate Thieves, and the Looting of America. Tasini is challenging Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary for the 2010 US Senate special election in New York. [includes rush transcript]
Jonathan Tasini, executive director of the Labor Research Association and author of the new book The Audacity of Greed: Free Markets, Corporate Thieves, and the Looting of America. He runs the blog WorkingLife.org. He is challenging Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary for the 2010 US Senate special election in New York.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Many economists are claiming the nation’s worst recession since World War II may now be over. On Thursday, the government announced the US economy had expanded by 3.5 percent in the third quarter, snapping a record streak of four straight quarterly declines. But it appears that most, if not all, of the growth can be credited to government stimulus efforts, including the cash for clunkers program and the first-time homebuyer’s credit.
Despite the latest growth figures, workers are still struggling to find jobs. The Labor Department announced yesterday that 530,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week for the first time. Many analysts expect the nation’s official unemployment rate to soon top ten percent.
President Obama said Thursday the country still has a long way to go before fully restoring the economy.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I am gratified that our economy grew in the third quarter of this year. We’ve come a long way since the first three months of 2009, when our economy shrunk by an alarming 6.4 percent. In fact, the 3.5 percent growth in the third quarter is the largest three-month gain we have seen in two years. This is obviously welcome news and an affirmation that this recession is abating and the steps we’ve taken have made a difference.
But I also know that we’ve got a long way to go to fully restore our economy and recover from what’s been longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression. And while this report today represents real progress, the benchmark I use to measure the strength of our economy is not just whether our GDP is growing, but whether we’re creating jobs, whether families are having an easier time paying their bills, whether our businesses are hiring and doing well.
AMY GOODMAN: Jonathan Tasini joins us now. He runs the blog WorkingLife.org. He’s the author of the new book The Audacity of Greed: Free Markets, Corporate Thieves, and the Looting of America. He is challenging Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary for the US Senate special election in New York.
Welcome to Democracy Now! The state of the economy today, the compensation of the executives, unemployment—go at it.
JONATHAN TASINI: Well, as Juan pointed out before in the introduction, if we’re talking about a recession ending, when you have more than half-a-million people all of a sudden filing for unemployment benefits, you know, the recession—I’ve criticized this for many, many years. We use these numbers that the government spits out about production, GDP growing, which is what the President refers to, that often and in this case doesn’t reflect what’s happening to real Americans.
When you have an unemployment rate that is officially—and one number is at ten percent, we really are talking about an economy where one out of five people really does not have full-time paying work, because that ten percent number, as Juan knows, does not include people who’ve stopped looking for work, people who would like to have full-time work but can only find part-time work, and it doesn’t even include all the people working at minimum wage, which is really a poverty-level wage. We in America accept the notion of poverty as part of the economy, as part of the functioning economy. I think that’s a moral outrage. And we see it today throughout the economy, where people are just very, very distressed.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And Jonathan, there is the issue that some of the programs the government has instituted for stimulus, both the cash for clunkers and the homebuyer’s credit, are temporary.
JONATHAN TASINI: That’s right.
JUAN GONZALEZ: They’re going to end. Well, one has already ended, and the other is about to end. And the issue is, what will happen then, without these stimuli to help in the coming months?
JONATHAN TASINI: It’s going to be a disaster for lots of people. You know, we lived for many—for probably twenty years with the notion of the American Dream, but people really only rented the American Dream. People never achieve the American Dream. We survive, most of the American people, on credit cards. That’s maxed out. People then turn to their home equity. That’s gone. And so, what are people now going to fall back on, when wages have been flat for thirty years? You know, productivity has been skyrocketing, and wages have been flat. So we are—as you point out quite well, that this has been a temporary shot in the arm. And what we really need is a real re-inflation of people’s wages. And the so-called recession and the longer-term depression for people is not going to end until we have higher wages, which I believe will only come when we have a stronger labor movement.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, you point out in your book—I mean, you concentrate specifically on obviously the—many people have noted the growing gap between corporate CEOs and ordinary workers. Could you expound on the particular things that you think have been ignored?
JONATHAN TASINI: Well, we sort of know about the greed now. It’s almost commonplace. I think people are almost immune to seeing the next article on the Goldman Sachs CEOs that are making tens of millions of dollars in compensation.
What I think—one of the things that is ignored is that the real riches for the corporate CEOs is in the pensions, that when they go home and they retire after having already made tons of money, they make even more in pensions that they take away, at the same time that regular workers almost don’t have pensions. You know, we were saddled with this notion that Americans should not expect real pensions anymore. They’re going to rely on the 401(k)s. I think a year ago we realized that that’s not much of a foundation to base your retirement on, when trillions of dollars evaporated. So that’s a huge piece of the greed and the divide between rich and poor that we see in the CEO suites.
But I want to point out that in my book, in The Audacity of Greed, the robbery and the division between the rich and poor is not just about CEO greed; it’s about the fact that we have not had real wage inflation for thirty years. So people have been working, if you’ll pardon the expression, their butts off for thirty years, productivity has been skyrocketing, and wages have been flat. That’s the real story of what I think has been the greed in America, that workers have not received their fair share.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And in the issue of where all that money went, one of the things that struck me about your book was that you didn’t just concentrate on the CEOs, but you concentrated on the big hedge fund owners and managers, who are—really dwarf the CEOs, in terms of their—the money they made, many of them betting on this financial collapse, right?
JONATHAN TASINI: That’s correct. I mean, the beauty—and I say that ironically—of their business is that they don’t—they like when things collapse, because if they made the correct bet against a currency dropping or something happening that’s bad in the economy, against the—they bet that the housing crisis would happen—they actually make a lot of money. And that’s, to me, moral obscenity.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And who are some of these folks?
JONATHAN TASINI: Well, if you look back at the guys who ran some of the big hedge funds, the Vanguards and the folks who are out there, and they’re still out there, they were really at the core of that kind of collapse, that they were betting against the housing.
JUAN GONZALEZ: You even mention George Soros still is benefiting from—
JONATHAN TASINI: Yes, George Soros, who funds many liberal causes. Actually, he goes back to having bet against the English pound, and he made a huge amount of money on currency trading and betting that a currency would drop. And you make an enormous amount of profit if you get the bet right.
November 7, 2009
U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 10.2%, Highest in 26 Years
By PETER S. GOODMAN
As the unemployment rate surged to 10.2 percent in October, reaching double digits for the first time in 26 years, it suddenly seemed possible that the nation might yet confront the worst joblessness since the Great Depression.
In the six decades since the government began compiling such data, the highest level of unemployment came at the end of 1982, when it hit 10.8 percent. Despite the widespread assumption that the recession has already ended, and even as the economy has resumed growing, the government’s latest snapshot of the labor market released Friday testified to the uncomfortable truth that expansion had yet to translate into jobs.
“The guy on the street is going to ask, ‘What recovery?’ ” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at the PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. “The job market is still in reverse.”
The sharp rise in unemployment — which climbed from 9.8 percent in September, as the nation lost another 190,000 net jobs — intensified pressure on the Obama administration to show results from the $787 billion package of spending measures unleashed early this year to spur the economy.
On Friday, President Obama signed into law a bill that that extends both unemployment benefits and temporary tax credits for home buyers, adding that he was on the lookout for other ways to generate job growth.
Hilda Solis, the labor secretary, noted a slowdown in the pace of deterioration in arguing that better days were already on the way, while dismissing suggestions that the stimulus had proved disappointing. “I don’t think it’s a matter of things going wrong,” she said in a conference call with reporters. “We’re making a tremendous turning point here.”
But the stark reality of double-digit unemployment seemed certain to inject fresh tension into the economic policy debate, offering Republicans a prop as they assert that the administration’s spending package has failed to create jobs.
Labor unions and some Democrats have called for more spending to create jobs — a course that runs headlong into worries about swelling federal budget deficits.
In an interview this week, Richard L. Trumka, president of the nation’s largest labor union, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., urged the government to finance large-scale construction projects to put people to work. Absent that, he said, “it will probably be 2012 before there starts to be real job creation.”
Despite the headline-grabbing unemployment number, economists sifting through the details of the Labor Department’s report found several reasons to take comfort.
The pace at which jobs are disappearing continued to taper off in October. Between November 2008 and April 2009 — amid the paralyzing fear that accompanied the collapse of prominent financial institutions like Lehman Brothers — the economy shed an average of 645,000 jobs a month. Between May and July, the pace dropped to an average monthly loss of 357,000 jobs. Over the last three reports, average monthly job losses have slipped to 188,000, after factoring in upward revisions to the data for August and September.
Temporary workers increased by 44,000 in October, adding to gains in the previous two months — an apparent sign that businesses had squeezed as much production as they could out of their existing work forces and felt the need to bring in more people.
“That goes the right way,” said Dean Baker, co-director for the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “That’s an encouraging sign.”
The hope is that as the economy expands, companies will use fresh profits to add to payrolls in a reach for increased sales. As workers spend their paychecks, they will create opportunities for other businesses, generating more jobs — an upward spiral.
Some experts see this unfolding now, asserting that the economy will add jobs by late winter.
“People are hurting, but if you can get past the sticker shock of the unemployment rate and look at the guts of the report, they are still very consistent with a recovery,” said Michael T. Darda, chief economist at the research and trading firm MKM Partners. “We’re getting very close to the peak unemployment rate.”
But some doubt recent trends can continue, absent another dose of government spending.
Though the economy grew at 3.5 percent annualized rate between July and September, much business activity was enhanced by special programs aimed at encouraging consumers to spend, not least the cash-for-clunkers program, which provided taxpayer-financed cash incentives to people trading in their cars.
As the effects of this and other stimulus programs fade over coming months, fundamental weakness may re-emerge, with consumers — whose spending accounts for 70 percent of overall economic activity — confronting enormous debt, the loss of wealth and fears about job security.
“We just went through an unbelievable financial catastrophe in this country and it typically takes a long time to come back,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist at MFR Inc., a market research firm in New York, who envisions the decline in jobs to continue until at least the middle of next year. He forecasts that the unemployment rate will reach 10.6 percent by the middle of next year and then perhaps climb high
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