Danny Glover and MoveOn started a petition directed at the White House to ask for the nomination of Paul Krugman as Secretary of the Treasury.
It reminded me of this video Jonathan Mann did a few years back about Paul Krugman. Mann compared Krugman to Timothy Geithner with the quote “for God sakes man you won the Nobel Prize.” “Timothy Geithner uses Turbo Tax.”
Indeed, when you listen to Krugman things seem to make sense. When you listen to Geithner all you hear is blah, blah, blah. Timothy Geithner comes from the Bob Rubin and Lawrence Summers school of 1 percent economics, which is corporate welfare for banks and nothing for everyone else.
The Catholic Church is excellent when they talk about fighting poverty and economic inequality. It’s a shame that they lead so aggressively with their positions on social issues. They end up losing progressive allies, when we should all be on the same side.
Reuters reports that in that message “the Pope called for a new economic model and ethical regulations for markets, saying the global financial crisis was proof that capitalism does not protect the weakest members of society.”
Pope Benedict XVI calls for a new economic model which to me would simply be called democracy. We need more democracy in the markets for starters. It’s not so much that the markets are unregulated as they are regulated to benefit a smaller percent of the population. The end result is economic inequality.
As to the subject of the Catholic Church and their strong positions on social issues; we cannot forget the child abuse scandals that have shaken this global institution to its foundation. One way to begin to repair the reputation of the Catholic Church would be to become more aggressive leaders and campaigners on poverty and the new economic model that Pope Benedict XVI is calling for. The Vatican should have been reaching out to the Occupy Wall Street movement for example.
via Pope Benedict Slams Capitalism, Economic Inequality | Common Dreams.
As far as neo liberals in the United States government are concerned outsourcing everything we can to China is preferable. The problem with this is that you eventually start to open yourself up to other nations being able to reverse engineer your technology. Send them the means to make the iPad and they’ll be able to clone it and make it cheaper.
Now the US is fighting over whether to sell a biotech firm to China:
The question is whether foreign ownership might create a national security threat to the U.S. “This budding research area has the opportunity to really advance the development of bioweapons,” says Michael Wessel, a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which reports to Congress. He’s concerned that Complete will “advance China’s capabilities in that area beyond what they already have.”
So if the United States is truly concerned about national security in this regard, then they might want to also reevaluate what is outsourced in addition to what is sold to other nations like China.
via Complete Genomics: Chinese Bid Sparks a Security Fight – Businessweek.
This is very welcome news. I didn’t think there were any appliance manufacturers doing their production in the US.
Whirlpool was not included in the final ruling because it moved washer production to Ohio after the preliminary ruling. In fact Whirlpool now makes about 80 percent of the products it sells in this country in U.S. plants. “On the one hand, U.S. labor costs are often higher than in other countries,” says Casey Tubman, Whirlpool’s general manager of cleaning. “But when you look at the higher productivity for American workers and consider the fact that it’s very expensive to ship something as big as a refrigerator or washer, we can quickly make up those costs.”
Looks like if you want to by American you can at least look to Whirlpool for your appliances. What’s also amazing is to hear an American CEO actually say something good about the productivity of American workers. I do wonder however if the costs of shipping were to be lowered would Whirlpool then move overseas? Fortunately, we probably won’t have to answer that.
via Finding appliances made entirely in America can be tricky.
It’s a shame that the Republicans in Congress are going to hold the nation’s credit hostage to the fiscal cliff negotiations when both could be separated.
We’re going to hit the debt limit in a few days unless:
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a letter to senior lawmakers that the Treasury would begin to undertake “extraordinary measures” in order to forestall default. Geithner said the measures could create about $200 billion in additional funding available to the government – giving Congress two months before it must raise the debt limit.
The Republican Party lost an election this year. Also, there are many polls that have been done that show a majority of Americans would favor tax increases on top earners. Now the GOP is willing to allow the country to once again teeter on the edge of default. Instead of compromise they are still seeking things to be their way or the highway. What will it take for them to yield–another civil war?
This is why Moody’s keeps on threatening to lower our credit rating yet again. Although it’s hard to take Moody’s seriously with the ratings they gave to investment banks pre-financial collapse of 2008.
via U.S. will hit debt limit on Dec. 31, Treasury Department says – The Washington Post.
So it’s Christmas Day and I’m up for the moment. I turn on the television to watch the morning news on CNN and I’m greeted with an interesting conversation between CNN anchors Dana Bash and Alina Cho. They were talking about the last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve and how some of them were holding back on spending because of worries about the impending fiscal cliff.
Alina Cho was the first to respond with a surprised ”really?” Dana Bash then said that the fiscal cliff would not have stopped her from shopping–although she said that it would take another “show” to discuss why.
What I wanted to highlight by writing this post is how the fiscal cliff and taxes affects people of different incomes. While those in higher tax brackets like Dana Bash will have to pay more in taxes, they will in truth not be hurt tremendously by paying closer to their fair share. Meanwhile those in the middle class are the ones that will suffer the most from the estimated $2,000 tax increase. That’s why they are holding back on spending during the holidays and it’s a shame that the GOP doesn’t realize it is the middle class that truly helps the economy with their spending.
I’m surprised that Microsoft did not see this coming. People can’t afford to buy new PC’s it’s that simple.
Weak PC sales this holiday season suggest that the struggles of Microsoft and other companies that depend heavily on the computer business will not abate soon. Plenty of consumers already own PCs and seem content to make do with what they have, especially in a shaky economy in which less expensive mobile devices are bidding for a share of their wallets.
As in regards to operating systems, even with the release of Vista and then Windows 7 people were still using Windows XP. Now, it’s going to take some time for people to leave Windows 7. If the OS is a stable one then people will continue to use it for as long as they can. The same can be said for hardware.
via Tepid Sales of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Point to Shaky Market – NYTimes.com.
I’m reading a book titled Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland and in it there’s a passage about how Silicon Valley treats those not in their circle.
It is to be found in this excerpt where Freeland is speaking to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt:
The egalitarian style can clash with the Valley’s reality of extreme income polarization. “Many tech companies solved this problem by having the lowest-paid workers not actually be employees. They’re contracted out, ” Schmidt explained “We can treat them differently. because we don’t really hire them. The person who’s cleaning the bathroom is not exactly the same sort of person. Which I find sort of offensive, but it is the way it’s done.”
Schmidt goes on to say that people in the 1 percent live within their own bubble. This is why they cannot relate to those of us in the 99 percent. Even if they started out in the 99 percent once you cross over it is a whole different world.