Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

NASDAQ Nears Highest Level In A Decade


“The Nasdaq finished within 25 points of its highest level in a decade”

Much like the unemployme­nt rate. Does anyone else see a disconnect here?

“Today, tech is hot again. Facebook – which hasn’t even gone public yet – is worth some $50 billion. Online content company Demand Media rose 33 percent on the day of its initial public offering last month.”

These are advertisin­g-driven revenues. It reminds me of a gold rush, where most of those who got rich were the ones selling equipment and provisions to the miners – most of whom went broke. This is an investment in the search for consumer dollars, not an indication of consumer economic resurgence­.

“Companies put off upgrading their computer systems and other large purchases during the worst days of the recession, and are making up for that now. Others are investing in new technology before they add employees.­”

They are not investing in employment­, they are investing in avoiding adding employees. This is not a healthy sign for the economy.

Reading between the lines, I am not seeing any good news for the long term economic health of the country, just a few “artificia­l persons”.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Labor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama: U.S. Businesses Have Responsibility To Hire American Workers, Pay Decent Wages



Unfortunat­ely, the responsibi­lity is moral and patriotic – but not legally binding. Businesses do not exist to benefit society or fuel the economy. They exist to make money. They have proven that they will not hesitate to poison people or put the country in jeopardy if they can profit from it.

In the end, a country is embodied by it’s citizens. We pay for the profits of businesses­, and for the consequenc­es of their failures. It is because, in the end, the people pay all the bills, because while businesses come and go the people still remain – and must deal with the messes businesses leave behind – that we the people have the real need and moral right to government by, for, and of the people. A government that is the instrument of the people, that offsets the power businesses have over the everyday lives of the people.

Only anarchists­, criminals, and enemies would advocate letting businesses run the country.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

February 10, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Government | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

60% Of New Jobs In 2010 Were In Low-Paying Industries



In measuring the job market, conservati­ves only count noses and ignore actual purchasing power. Perhaps they consider all income to be disposable­. This deflation of wages, on a large scale, represents a real reduction in economic potential – and future growth.

Corporate America considers it cost savings, while I consider it a contractio­n in the economy that undermines the recovery.

Main Street is not an endless source of wealth. A consumer economy is only as sustainabl­e as the flow of money to consumers. The more those wages are cut off, the more the economy starves.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

January 14, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Labor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Criticized Over Chrysler Financial Settlement



This is what happens when private interests hold too much power in the government­. Partisan political pressure didn’t help either.

We really need to take our government back from Corporate America and fix the holes in the economy before private interests bankrupt the country.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

January 13, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Treasury Launches Debit Cards For Tax Refunds


Bank of America - Take Back the Economy 4-28-0...

Image by seiuhealthcare775nw via Flickr

“Bank of America has estimated that new laws could cut its debit card revenue by 80 percent.”

A good illustrati­on of just how predatory BoA and similar banks are. They are not in business to be fair or serve the financial needs of the public, they are in business to redistribu­te wealth in their favor.

It is to be expected that holding them accountabl­e provokes retaliatio­n.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

January 13, 2011 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics | , | Leave a comment

Employers Won’t Hire The Jobless Because Of The ‘Desperate Vibe’



Refusing to hire people who are currently unemployed is not a strategy that will lower unemployme­nt or improve the economy. Of course, businesses have no responsibi­lity for such things. This is the great flaw in conservati­ve philosophy – wanting to leave the future of our country in the hands of corporatio­ns that have no responsibi­lities to the economy, the people, the physical country, or the Constituti­on. They are neither patriots nor citizens, yet conservati­ves want this anarchy of self-inter­ests to control the country. Such a country would be America in name only.

Capitalism is fundamentally narcissistic, and you cannot run a free and just country on such principles.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

How Employers Weed Out Unemployed Job Applicants, Others, Behind The Scenes

December 27, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Labor | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is the Chamber of Commerce a Subversive Organization?


The more that Corporate America can reach across the border for cheap labor, unprotected resources, and tax shelters, the more they insulate themselves from the American people and the American economy.

The more their interests come in conflict with the interests of the American people, and therefore conflict with government for the people.

It is disturbing to see how many support what are effectively foreign interests instead of the interests of the country. Some are already owned by Corporate America. Others aspire to join them – but with only 4% upward economic mobility, it is generally a vain hope.

Government is the tool we the people have to oppose the otherwise overwhelming power of big business. It is no surprise that they go to any lengths to take that tool away from us.

The working class are the ones who truly need to take back the country.
Take it back from the oligarchs and corporatists.
Take it back from the theocrats and propagandists.
Take it back from fear, prejudice, and ignorance.

Take it back to government of the people, by the people and for the people, because we the people are the ones who ultimately bear the burdens of failure – every failure, regardless of source.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Campaign Finance, Capitalism, Economics, Elections, Government, Labor, Regulation | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homeowners Get The Boot For Bad Paperwork While Banks Get Millions For Same


Foreclosure signThree years ago I wanted limits placed on how much the ARMs could reset in a year, in an effort to slow the foreclosures and collapse of real estate prices. I wanted the courts to sort the schemers from the dupes for the same reason.

Republicans would have none of it. They cried sanctity of contract, though these were fraudulently made and deserving of review by the courts. Contracts were sacred (except union contracts) regardless of the harm to the economy. And harm there was.

The financial sector has so badly botched mortgages that sorting it out through due process would take so long that it would freeze the market to the point of another recession. And yet, the banks have earned the losses they are trying so hard to pass on the their victims. Nor can main street absorb any more fiscal abuse if the economy is to recover.

The financial sector has become it’s own worst enemy, and no friend to the economy. They created this recession, and they are not done screwing up. They cannot prove ownership of mortgages or the right to foreclose in untold instances.

Prudent risk and due diligence have given way to unrepentant avarice. Have we reached the time for moral hazard?

They deserve to fail, but they are not the only ones who would pay for their failure.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics, Regulation | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Figures Detail Depth Of Unemployment Misery, Lower Earnings For All But Super Wealthy


Unemployment woesWe have become a nation divided by ideology. Community vs individualism. Pride and honor vs avarice and power. Perseverance vs instant gratification. Federalism vs Confederacy. Republic vs Corporatocracy.

Capitalism has not only reached across the border, it has straddled it. The economic model of a national economy is fundamentally broken. American workers and American corporations do not function in the same economy. That has to be fixed before we can prosper again.

Capitalism is not a form of government, no matter how many people try to make it one. It is a culture of competing and conflicting self-interests, not leadership. Under the domination of conservatism, we surrendered the initiative to others. The future went from 10 years (Space Race) to 3 months as we became fixated on quarterly profits. Economic myopia.

We need to develop new industries and oil independence, but conservatives resist. For 10 years, we tried the conservative approach in it’s extreme. Environmental law, anti-trust law, regulation, and budgetary restraint were all sacrificed in the name of conservative-style economic growth. And what did we get for it? Private sector job growth in decline for 10 years. Bush43 created only 3m net jobs, the worst performance on record. Wages stagnated, fraud flourished, the economy weakened and inevitably fell into recession.

We have a private sector that cannot get out of it’s own way. Banks rushing to foreclose on properties they cannot prove they have a legal right to foreclose on, using bogus documentation, driving down the value of the property they are ceasing – trampling due process and individual rights in the process.

If we are to recover from this recession, if we are to create meaningful numbers of new jobs, we need new industries and modern infrastructure. We need to recognize the limitations of capitalism, and adapt accordingly.

New Figures Detail Depth Of Unemployment Misery, Lower Earnings For All But Super Wealthy

October 29, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Direction, Economics, Regulation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walmart and the End of the Local Food Movement


Wal-Mart is a leading destroyer of local small business, frequently forcing their way into communities that do not want them. Their abuse of market share embodies the reason that anti-trust laws exist.

Their business model is based on high trade deficits, low domestic wages, little or no competition, and general economic deflation.

Wal-Mart has become big enough to manipulate and endanger significant portions of the economy. They are too big, and need to be broken up.

We certainly do not need to turn the local farmers from alternative suppliers into sharecroppers.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Capitalism, Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

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