The voters clearly voted to do something about the bad trade deals, trade cheating and currency manipulation that are draining our jobs and economy. The big money likes things just the way they are. Which will prevail -- the voters who just voted, or the big money that just lost? more »
dailykos.com — In the zillion words written about the tax-and-spending changes that make up what's being called the "fiscal cliff," one that has gotten little attention is the end of federally funded emergency extensions to unemployment insurance coverage. If nothing changes between now and Dec. 29, the Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee estimate that some two million Americans will be up jobless creek without the paddle provided by these emergency extensions. Instantly these jobless Americans would be added to the millions who have already exhausted their benefits or were never eligible for them in the first place. The effect on them and the economy would be exceedingly painful. Recession-level painful. What a lovely Christmas present.
project-syndicate.org — In a recent interview, French President François Hollande made the crucial, but often forgotten, point that there are limits to the level of sacrifice that can be demanded of the citizens of southern Europe’s financially distressed countries. To avoid turning Greece, Portugal, and Spain into collective “correctional houses,” Hollande reasoned, people need hope beyond the ever-receding horizon of spending cuts and austerity measures. Even the most rudimentary understanding of psychology supports Hollande’s assessment. Negative reinforcement and delayed gratification are unlikely to achieve their goals unless there is a perceived light at the end of the tunnel – a future reward for today’s sacrifices. CommentsPublic pessimism in southern Europe is largely attributable to the absence of such a reward. As declining consumer confidence and household purchasing power deepen the recession, projections of when the crisis will end are repeatedly pushed back, and those bearing the brunt of austerity are losing hope.
The public looked at the stories about Solyndra and Sensata and voted. They voted for clean energy jobs IN the US, not for vulture capitalism that ships our jobs and industries OUT of the US. They voted to act as a united country instead of a leaving everyone on their own, in it only for themselves. more »
truthdig.com — What Barack Obama tried to tell America in the hour of his remarkable victory is that the nation’s future won on Election Day. Seeking to inspire and to heal, the reelected president offered an open hand to partisan opponents in the style that has always defined him. “Tonight,” he said, “despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future.” In the days ahead, there will be time to absorb the magnitude of this moment—achieved under the cloud of persistent unemployment and a multibillion-dollar campaign of calumny—but the president clearly knows that he returns to the White House with a renewed mandate. Against great odds, he won nearly all the same states that elected him in 2008 and won the popular vote despite an enormous, angry backlash in the old Confederacy.
robertreich.org — When the applause among Democrats and recriminations among Republicans begin to quiet down — probably within the next few days — the President will have to make some big decisions. The biggest is on the economy. His victory and the pending “fiscal cliff” give him an opportunity to recast the economic debate. Our central challenge, he should say, is not to reduce the budget deficit. It’s to create more good jobs, grow the economy, and widen the circle of prosperity.
Romney promised that he would act on China's currency manipulation "on his first day." So Republicans can pretend Romney won, and actually act on China's currency manipulation! If they would actually do what they promised to do we could get a lot a lot of "job creation" going on. Or will they continue to obstruct? more »
robertreich.org — By now, in these last remaining days before the election of 2012, we have learned enough about the beliefs of the Republican presidential candidate to see them as a worldview all its own – a kind of creed that explains Mitt Romney. Those who say he has no principles are selling him short. Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence. It is different from conservatism, because it does not intend to conserve or protect any particular institutions or values. It is also distinct from Republicanism, in that it is not rooted in traditional small-town American values, nationalism, or states’ rights. The ten guiding principles of Romneyism are.
huffingtonpost.com — The enormity of last week's super-storm is just beginning to sink into political consciousness. Hurricane Sandy should transform what Americans expect from their government, and give the party of government activism new force.
As soon as the election is behind us, the country faces a major struggle over what the super-storm portends and requires. But that struggle will be as much within the Democratic Party as between Democrats and the right, because of the deadweight of austerity politics.