Archive for the 'economy' Category

Escrow, the new subsidy for banksters

Welcome readers from Jesse’s Cafe Americain and DCBlogs.

FY2014 Budget Includes Changes to Homeless Law

Individuals and families staying in some District shelters will be required to start placing money in an escrow account under a new city plan intended to move homeless people toward self-sufficiency.

I don’t believe that this is about moving homeless families to self sufficiency. I think this is about bumping up the deposits at the bank DC patronizes.

Given the continuing recession, deposits must be way down. What better way to bump them up than buy dipping into the public purse. It seems that the $400 million surplus is not enough to keep banksters happy, so they are dipping into the pockets of homeless families.

The struggle for a living wage

Walmart Fighting Bill That Would Grant Living Wage to Employees in D.C.

The mega-retailer—which is set to open six stores in D.C., the first two later this year—is among a number of opponents to a proposed bill that would force national retailers with stores larger than 75,000 square feet and annual revenues of over $1 billion to pay an hourly living wage of $11.75 and offer benefits, reports the Post.

The bill was introduced by D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson and is backed by 11 of his colleagues.

Three cheers for Phil Mendelson, I didn’t know he had it in him.

I don’t know whether this is the result of the Respect DC activists, pressure from Giant and Safeway, of just the mere thought of all those part time Walmart workers filling up DC’s homeless shelters, but it seems DC Council is going to do the right thing. Hurray!

Why does DC have so many homeless people?

Colbert King

Is it a question of funding or underfunding, management or mismanagement, commitment or lack of concern? Does part of the problem also rest with those without roofs over their heads? Is the answer some or all of the above?

The homeless, the most powerless part of our population, bear zero responsibility for their situation. No, I am not being a bleeding heart. I am just being realistic.

Like Colbert King, I am old enough to remember when there were so few homeless people in American, not just DC, but anywhere in America, that you never saw them. What changed? Did people suddenly become more foolish? Hardly. We had plenty of foolishness in the 1960’s and 70’s. We had drugs, we had domestic violence, we had mental illness, we had unemployment. But we had very few homeless. So what changed?

Ronald Reagan. The current wave of homelessness dates precisely to the Reagan administration. Cuts to mental health services (not just deinstiturtionalization, but also cuts to federal mental health programs) had the effect of dumping millions of mental patients on the streets with perfectly predictable results. In addition to that Reagan cut funds for public housing and closed many projects, that resulted in a dramatic loss of low cost housing, with perfectly predictable results.

Washington used to have places like Hartnett Hall, where you could get rent a room for $4 a night, and for $5.50, breakfast was included. An alcholoic could do the occassional odd job and have enough money to live indoors. It was a grim life, but at least it was indoors.

Back in Reagan’s time we began a series of policies that transferred wealth from ordinary people to wealthy, with perfectly predictable results.

And it is about to get far worse. Under Obamacare, all full time employees must be covered by health insurance, or the employer will pay a fine. A few employers will get health insurance, many will simply pay the fine as a cost of doing business, but the fast food and retail sector is most likely to respond by cutting every employee’s hours so that they are part time employees. Therefore, retail workers who currently lack health insurance, but at least have enough money for housing, will become homeless. We will see massive overcrowdiding as some employees sleep on the couches of family members, but many will wind up in homeless shelters.

So that is why people like Muriel Bowswer and Yvette Alexander are so misguided in their enthusiasm for Walmart. Walmart jobs are not sustaining. They don’t even pay poverty wages. Their workers will swamp our social service system. Meanwhile they threaten good paying jobs at union shops like Safeway and Giant, jobs that pay their way and make our social service system possible.

Stop the tech millionaire tax cut!

Merriam’s Kitchen linked this from their twitter account.

On Wednesday, the DC Council will consider legislation that would cut the tax rate for investors to just three percent when they invest in DC technology companies. That’s lower than tax rates paid by working District residents. DC cannot afford basic services for DC’s most vulnerable residents, like shelter for the homeless and assistance for needy families, and should not cut revenues even further by cutting taxes for wealthy investors – especially when theire is no evidence that such tax breaks provide any economic benefits.

Join the fight now by letting the DC Council know that you don’t support tax cuts for tech millionaires!

Kleptocracy body count

Via Naked Capitalism, Greenspan Body Count.

It’s all about Obama

Obama Camp: Trump Moment Shows “Lack Of Moral Leadership” By Romney

If you are unemployed, do you care about birtherism? If you are being persecuted by bill collectors, do you care about birtherism? How about if you are sick with no way to pay for health care, or worse, have a sick child with no way to pay for health care, does birtherism resonate with you?

If a friend or relative has been deported, do you care about this?

If you are homeless, or have a friend or family member who is homeless, would you care?

Suppose someone close to you was driven to suicide by economic ruin, would you care about this?

What our political elite fail to comprehend is that increasing numbers of us are in a world of hurt and we just cannot be bothered to care. Obama’s most formidable opponent is indifference. Look for historic lows in voter turnout for this election.

Obama bails out the banksters again

From a comment at Naked Capitalism

As usual, Obama pursues change toward the worst possible outcome. Not only does the settlement insult the victims and reward gang-banksters for their crimes, it also accelerates pending foreclosures, ruins title law, and destroys real estate values. It seems we can rely on Obama to always do exactly the wrong thing.

“Mortgage Settlement Will Plunge Real Estate Values” by Greg Hunter


Occupy the Movie

Occupy the Movie

Occupy The Movie web site

Call for Solidarity; blogger in distress

Violet is in danger of losing her health insurance. If you want a blogosphere not dominated by a few large blogs, it is necessary to support bloggers like Violet, one of our best feminist bloggers.