Thursday, February 25, 2010

Golden Rules

Aloha Friend!

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Home Sweet Home - Hawaiian Style

"...if Americans felt the level of economic security that people take for granted in, say, Germany, France, or Denmark, it would be a huge improvement over what we have now. People should be able to count on healthcare, a decent retirement, and other basic necessities of life. To a large extent, even upper-middle-class Americans can't assume this level of security."

"There is an incredible elitism in the idea that autoworkers, steelworkers, and textile workers are losing their jobs or facing pay cuts because they don't have enough skills or education to compete in the twenty-first century economy . . . Plenty of foreign doctors would be delighted to come here and work for less than most American doctors, but they are not allowed to because our doctors are protected by trade agreements. Yet in these same trade agreements conservatives dismantle protections for American blue-collar workers, calling the protections
'barriers to trade.'"

"I don't think we have a free market model.

what we have is the wealthy using their power to control government

and shape the rules in ways that redistribute wealth upward.

The so-called free-marketers don't want the market left alone;

they just want the government to structure the market to serve their interests. . .

Show me someone who's made lots of money, and I'll show you how we wrote the

rules so that he or she made money."

Two creatures sharing a moment, yet unaware of one another.

"In the three decades prior to 1980 the U.S. economy was relatively strong. It grew steadily, productivity increased rapidly, the unemployment rate was low, and the benefits of that economic growth were shared widely.

It was a virtuous circle in which more productivity translated into wage increases, which gave people more buying power, which translated into more demand. . .

But as unions lost strength, gains in productivity didn't translate into wage growth. Instead the benefits of all that productivity increasingly went to those at the top. . . Reagan also blocked increases to the minimum wage which meant that the real value of the minimum wage was eroded each year by inflation. Average American workers saw their real wages stagnate between 1980 and 1995.
Because many people were losing income,
borrowing was the only way they could maintain their standard of living."

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Perhaps you've heard it said

that the Golden Rule means

that those who have the gold

make all the rules.

In 2002, economist Dean Baker wrote a piece called:
The Run-up in Home Prices: Is It Real or Is It Another Bubble?
His reasoned predictions of a Bust where ignored.
He is co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research [CEPR]
and posts a popular blog at the American Prospect [Here].

The quotes above where taken from an interview
in the February 2010 issue of The Sun

He ended the interview by saying:
"People are looking for alternatives.
The dominant economic paradigm is hugely vulnerable.
We just need to reframe the debate."

ALOHA! cloudia