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Robert Kuttner writes 5 Ways Wall Street Continues to Screw Up the Economy for the Rest of Us and How to Fix It:
The shocking thing about the financial collapse of 2008 is not that Wall Street excesses pushed us into the worst economy crisis since the Depression. It's that the same financial system has been propped back up and that elites are getting richer than ever, while the effects of that collapse are continuing to sandbag the rest of the economy. Oh, and most of this aftermath happened while a Democrat was in the White House.

Consider:

• The biggest banks are bigger and more concentrated than ever.
• Subprime (subprime!) is making a comeback with interest rates of 8 to 13 percent.
• Despite Michael Lewis's devastating expose of how high speed trading is nothing but a technological scam that allows insiders to profit at the expense of small investors, regulators are not moving to abolish it.
• The usual suspects are declaring the housing crisis over, even though default and foreclosure rates in the hardest hit cities and states are upwards of 25 percent.
• The deficit is falling, now just 2.8 percent of GDP, thanks to massive cuts in social spending. Isn't that reassuring?

Meanwhile, back in the real economy, good jobs are far too scarce, incomes are stagnant, while 95 percent of the gains go to the top one percent. […]

The thought occurred: Wouldn't the economic dislocations of a serious effort on climate change be more bearable if the economy were at full employment?

And also: What would it take to finally get us out of the aftermath of the financial collapse?

The answer is pretty straightforward. We need massive public investment in both basic infrastructure and in a transition to a sustainable economy.

We need to finance all of that partially by larger deficits—which will be recovered by improved economy performance—and partially by higher taxes on those billionaires whose activities cause financial collapses.

The right order of magnitude is something like $200-$300 billion […] a year, for ten years. Not an abbreviated, "timely, targeted and temporary" stimulus like the one Obama sponsored at the pit of the recession, but an ongoing program of economic renewal.

Such a program would create good jobs, incubate domestic technologies, restore rotting infrastructure, make American more resilient in the face of sea level rise, and make the economy more productive and competitive. What's not to like? [...]


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009The Party That Pretends to Say No:

It turns out that the one thing Republicans thought they were good at - "No!" - they can't get right. Congressional Quarterly has taken a mid-year look at voting patterns on the Hill, and if one thing is clear, a heck of a lot of GOPers seem to love doing exactly what Obama asks. In the House, forty-four Republicans (fully a quarter of their caucus) have voted in support of measures where the President has "clearly indicated his preferences" at least 50% of the time. This includes hardcore conservatives like Vern Buchanan and Adam Putnam. By contrast, not a single Dem even hit the 40% mark last year when Bush was still in the White House.

The Senate side is even more remarkable. Thanks in part to the GOP's refusal to put up much of a fight on Obama's nominees (despite a whole lot of bluster and ugly, antidemocratic holds), fully thirty-two out of the mere 40 Republicans in the Senate have backed the Obama agenda at least half the time. Even serious mouth-breathers like Jeff Sessions and Saxby Chambliss are on this list.



Tweet of the Day
Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus
@SarahKSilverman


On today's encore performance of the Kagro in the Morning show it's the 7/9/13 episode. A bit unusual, and less obviously political in its focus, though we start out with the spectacle of Eliot Spitzer's attempt to reenter politics. Greg Dworkin added news from OR's scrapping of its proposed logo (logo? what?) for legalized cannabis, the Canadian train derailment, and the conservative push to smother the immigration bill. For a change of pace: a wacky uptown vs. downtown Manhattan article, and the weird web of connections I found when I did just a little bit of looking behind the names named. Amazing how the other half—or rather, 1 percent of the 1 percent—lives.



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