Reblogged from randomactsofchaos
Steve Benen, with some biting words for Republicans. In their weekly address, the GOP called on President Obama to prioritize a Balanced Budget Amendment in his upcoming jobs address. (via pantslessprogressive)
Reblogged from randomactsofchaos
Texas high school disses Al Jazeera journalist: Gabriel Elizondo, above, attempted to interview people at a football game at Booker High School in Booker, Texas, only to get the cold shoulder from an administrator because his business card said “Al Jazeera” on it. This one, in fact. He was doing a fairly straightforward ten-years-later piece on 9/11’s impact on U.S. culture. Guess Gabe has a pretty good answer for how our culture’s changed. (thanks to William Stilwell for the tip)
Utterly depressing, but a must-read.
Reblogged from stfuconservatives
The economy won’t really bounce back until America’s surge toward inequality is reversed. Even if by some miracle President Obama gets support for a second big stimulus while Ben S. Bernanke’s Fed keeps interest rates near zero, neither will do the trick without a middle class capable of spending. Pump-priming works only when a well contains enough water.
Look back over the last hundred years and you’ll see the pattern. During periods when the very rich took home a much smaller proportion of total income — as in the Great Prosperity between 1947 and 1977 — the nation as a whole grew faster and median wages surged. We created a virtuous cycle in which an ever growing middle class had the ability to consume more goods and services, which created more and better jobs, thereby stoking demand. The rising tide did in fact lift all boats.
During periods when the very rich took home a larger proportion — as between 1918 and 1933, and in the Great Regression from 1981 to the present day — growth slowed, median wages stagnated and we suffered giant downturns. It’s no mere coincidence that over the last century the top earners’ share of the nation’s total income peaked in 1928 and 2007 — the two years just preceding the biggest downturns.
People say I am short sighted when I tell them that Republicans ruined everything but this is proof enough of what they did.
The United States Postal Service has long lived on the financial edge, but it has never been as close to the precipice as it is today: the agency is so low on cash that it will not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due this month and may have to shut down entirely this winter unless Congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances.
In recent weeks, Mr. Donahoe has been pushing a series of painful cost-cutting measures to erase the agency’s deficit, which will reach $9.2 billion this fiscal year. They include eliminating Saturday mail delivery, closing up to 3,700 postal locations and laying off 120,000 workers — nearly one-fifth of the agency’s work force — despite a no-layoffs clause in the unions’ contracts.
…The post office’s problems stem from one hard reality: it is being squeezed on both revenue and costs.
As any computer user knows, the Internet revolution has led to people and businesses sending far less conventional mail.
At the same time, decades of contractual promises made to unionized workers, including no-layoff clauses, are increasing the post office’s costs. Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service and 32 percent at FedEx, its two biggest private competitors. Postal workers also receive more generous health benefits than most other federal employees."
Reblogged from inothernews