Saturday, May 5, 2012

Transcript: Obama Re-election Campaign Kick-off Speech (5-5-12)

Nothing has changed since 2008:

"We came together in 2008 because our country had strayed from these basic values.  A record surplus was squandered on tax cuts for people who didn’t need them and weren’t even asking for them.  Two wars were being waged on a credit card.  Wall Street speculators reaped huge profits by making bets with other people’s money.  Manufacturing left our shores.  A shrinking number of Americans did fantastically well, while most people struggled with falling incomes, rising costs, the slowest job growth in half a century. 

"It was a house of cards that collapsed in the most destructive crisis since the Great Depression.  In the last six months of 2008, even as we were campaigning, nearly three million of our neighbors lost their jobs.  Over 800,000 more were lost in the month I took office alone.
But he is forced to admit his failure. No sense lying a woeful record:
 OBAMA: "Of course not.  Too many of our friends and family are still out there looking for work.  The housing market is still weak, deficits are still too high, and states are still laying off teachers, first responders.  This crisis took years to develop, and the economy is still facing headwinds.  And it will take sustained, persistent effort -- yours and mine -- for America to fully recover.  That’s the truth.  We all know it.
Full Transcript

Paul Krugman: Income Inequality is impeding Economic Recovery

The famous economist is confirming what Occupy Wall Street has been saying:

 Before the Great Recession, I would sometimes give lectures in which I would talk about rising inequality, making the point that the concentration of income at the top had reached levels not seen since 1929. Often, someone in the audience would ask whether this meant that another depression was imminent.

Well, whaddya know?

Did the rise of the 1 percent (or, better yet, the 0.01 percent) cause the Lesser Depression we're now living through? It probably contributed. But the more important point is that inequality is a major reason the economy is still so depressed and unemployment so high. For we have responded to the crisis with a mix of paralysis and confusion - both of which have a lot to do with the distorting effects of great wealth on our society.
But other learned individuals have made the same argument:
"Countries where income was more equally distributed tended to have longer growth spells," says economist Andrew Berg, whose study appears in the current issue of Finance & Development, the quarterly magazine of the International Monetary Fund. Comparing six major economic variables across the world's economies, Berg found that equality of incomes was the most important factor in preventing a major downturn.
But you don't have to be a scholar to figure this out. Less disposable income means less consumption thus a weaker economy:
But it should be obvious to anyone that if all of the income that results from increases in economic output flow to the top one percent of the population, then the rest of us won't have that income to buy the increasing number of products and services that result from the increased productivity.

What happens, then, is simple: economic growth stalls. Companies won't hire people to produce more products and services if no one has the money to buy them, so they lay people off. Taken as a whole, the economy then has even fewer people with the money to buy new goods and services.

Debt to Income Ratio Top 5% vs. Bottom 95%

Debt for the bottom 95% is now greater than their incomes by 150%.

Governor Romney's Job Growth Record -- Worse than Obama and Carter's


Mitt Romney's sole claim to the presidency is that his business experience will enable him to accelerate job growth in America.

The GOP debates revealed that Romney was a failure as governor, with Massachusetts 47th in the nation in job growth, and only one of the four states that did not recover to pre-2001 recession job levels before the Bush/Cheney economic collapse hit.

But, let us talk less about rankings, and more about actual jobs.

What is that story? Again, for Romney it is dismal.

During Romney's four years as Governor of Massachusetts, he added 61,000 new jobs. At the time, Massachusetts had 2.5 percent of the nation's population. Thus, extrapolated to the nation as a whole, Romney would have added 2.4 million jobs.