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AdLib On November - 17 - 2009

800px-FEMA_-_29783_-_Workers_unemployed_by_the_freeze_in_CaliforniaThe stock market is over 10,000. Banks are declaring billions in profits. Just one problem. There ain’t no jobs!

It is not unusual for jobs to be the last thing that comes back from a recovery…but this is not your grandparent’s recovery. Is it even a recovery at all?

In the Depression, when money was poured into infrastructure and the war, it created jobs. But how many jobs were created by pouring TARP money into banks, especially when instead of lending it back out to small businesses and consumers, they kept in for themselves to be able to declare billions in profits.

That’s not saying that TARP was a total mistake, money did need to be lent to the financial sector to stabilize the economy before it collapsed like Lou Dobbs’ career. But there were no requirements on what the banks had to do with the money so here we are, with credit still terribly hard to come by, businesses not being able to afford to retain workers, let alone hire new ones… and banks declaring billions in profits.

So we have unemployment increasing while the financial world is enjoying a “recovery”.  A corporate version of Robin Hood.

It’s too late now but when the decisions about TARP 2 were in process, there were some voices saying, “Give the money to consumers instead!”. Some folks proposed giving a million to every citizen…obviously, these were not people who had lost their jobs as accountants or if they did, it was well deserved.

However, what could have been done is to have the government, as they do with the SBA, directly loan money to businesses at low rates. The government gets interest, small business gets credit and loans and can afford to keep their employees and even add employees if other businesses getting credit helps their business come back.

The same should have been done on the mortgage front, just as Freddie and Fannie backed loans, the government could have backed mortgage refinancing through them to keep people in homes and reduce crushing mortgage expenses…which would translate into more cash available for spending, on necessities at the least and non-necessities at best. Juicing the economy substantially.

As Congress weighs a new Stimulus bill to boost employment, my suggestion is that they also consider what was neglected by TARP, heavily funding perhaps SBA or some government entity provide low interest loans to a wide array of small businesses. That’s money that returns a profit to taxpayers and will be spent, not horded as the banks have done. And ultimately, makes money available to small businesses which can employ more workers.

If we want jobs and a solid economy in the short and long term, the approach should be holistic and forward looking, putting taxpayer money where taxpayers get a good deal, small businesses are fortified and jobs are sustained and increased.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

172 Responses so far.

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  1. bitohistory says:

    Lot of news on the jobs front in my mail box today.
    I have been writing and talking about this tax for a long time. I felt it was one way to pay for health care but I will accept this way to pay for jobs.

    “House Democratic leaders are considering imposing a new tax on stock transactions to fund a jobs bill,” The Hill reports. The idea, which has been pushed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), “is attractive because it’s very small, likely 0.25 percent of each trade.” Though “Small- and medium-sized investors would hardly notice a transaction tax,” major trading firms “may see it as a significant threat to their profits.”

  2. bitohistory says:

    Anyone familiar with this “new Stimulus/jobs” bill? I haven’t heard that it was close to a bill?
    Of course Eric Cantor had to make a snide comment about it.

    “We say it’s about time, I say you’ve got to be kidding me,” said Cantor.
    “Sometimes it is difficult for us to take the other side seriously, but if they are serious we welcome this news,” he added, urging Pelosi to work with Republicans to craft the bill.

    Bet you they (GOP) will find some way to fight it.

  3. Kalima says:

    An now a word or two from our ultimate expert on the economy giving tips to Warren Buffet on how to improve it or rather tell this man, who did make money without her expert advise many years ago, how to answer questions in an interview that will satisfy her superior knowledge on this matter. Can heads grow so large that one can’t scratch their ears anymore?

    Can egos inflate to the size of the moon?

    It seems that they can and do.


  4. PepeLepew says:

    I lived on Ortega Street in the Sunset for 5 months when I was in a post-grad summer program at San Francisco State in the 80s. It was one of the funnest summers of my life!

    • escribacat says:

      I lived in SF for years. Spent two years 12th and Moraga Street. (Moraga, Noriega, Ortega…)

      • PepeLepew says:

        That’s Inner Inner Sunset. I’m not sure, but I think the cross street was 32nd. It was about a mile-and-a-half bike ride to SFSU.

        PS, I remember it was foggy almost every morning, but I had class until noon every day, and usually the sun came out in the afternoon, so I’d ride my bike down to the beach and hang out and get stoned and read a lot of Steinbeck …

  5. bitohistory says:

    I commented earlier about “A Green Bank” If you would like to listen to the segment it was on “talk of the nation today
    It begins at around 18 min. in.
    They name of the group is “Coalition for a Green Bank”
    Actually the whole program is good.

  6. javaz says:

    In the mid-70’s, I worked direct for Chrysler for a couple years.
    Even back then they were outsourcing to Mexico.

    I worked for Borg and Beck briefly, doing clutches, and they were outsourcing to Brazil and ended up closing that plant entirely!

    I asked it back then, and ask it again.

    Why do corporations outsource, taking away jobs from the very people who buy their products?
    Even Henry Ford, for being a real conservative SOB and not a very nice man, understood the importance of hiring workers and paying them a good wage so that his employees could buy his cars!

    • AdLib says:

      The sad fact is that for corporations today, there is only one thing that matters, the upcoming quarterly numbers.

      As we’ve witnessed, the future doesn’t matter to corporations, the banks knew they were driving the economy off a cliff but all they cared about was making as much as they could each quarter before the crash.

      That’s why corporate capitalism is and IMO, always will be a ticking time bomb of financial diasters. They see it as their benefit to kill the golden goose if it means they can get one more morsel of gold today.

  7. javaz says:

    And even more good news!!!!


    “Foreign investment in US bonds and other long term investments, including from China, rose beyond expectations despite concerns over the weakness of the dollar, official data showed Tuesday.”

    It’s turning out to be a Happy Tuesday!

    • AdLib says:

      Except for trolls!

      Once the Dow hit 10,000, even though I don’t think we’re in a true recovery, I smiled at the trolls jabbering on right after Obama was elected and crowing every time the market went down that it was all Obama’s fault (and that the Dow would drop to 4,000 or less).

      Kinda odd they’re not talking about the Dow anymore, huh?

      • KQuark says:

        Of course the DJIA is important to the real economy but that does not fit the anti-Wall Street populist meme. It’s important because securities are a big part of investment portfolios and are used to collateralize business loans big and small.

        • bitohistory says:

          KQ, was that not part of the last two crashes? There wasn’t enough capital behind those portfolios? Are securities “secure”?

          • KQuark says:

            That’s why the crashes occurred for sure because loans were made on bloated assets. But the fact is the crashes actually outpaced the real lose in market capital. Even with real estate prices dropping and a rise in foreclosures it still represented about a 20-25% drop in valuation while the market dropped about 65%. Sure the derivatives took a steeper crash but they were never real in the first place.

            The new reality is that banks are making more responsible loans now on capital that is much more properly valued then it was. Sure there is still the problem of derivatives but even those are based on more fundamentally sound loans.

  8. KQuark says:

    There are three pillars to a viable economic future. Healthcare Reform, Education Reform and removing our reliance on foreign energy by investing in green energy. I don’t want to sound tone deaf to the unemployed now but the only way we will ever generate good paying jobs in the future again is to make progress in these three areas.

    • AdLib says:

      I would add a 4th, financial reform and regulation in banking\Wall Street practices including more equitable pay between employees and those at the top.

    • BigDogMom says:

      They are all interconnected to our economy, getting healthcare cost under control is a big one.

      Why the big corporations don’t support reform, is something I just don’t get. Reform and competition should reduce their overhead costs, thus boosting their profits.

      Bringing back manufacturing jobs is a big one for me, but that means “UNIONS”…the bane of the big corporations.

  9. javaz says:

    More good news!!!


    “Residents of the C Street Christian fellowship house will no longer benefit from a loophole that had allowed the house’s owners to avoid paying property taxes.”


  10. KQuark says:

    Maybe what I said earlier about the conspiracy against Obama based on his heritage is not so woo woo after all.

    From Washington times editor.

    Pruden: Obama lacks “blood impulse” for what America “is about” due to “Kenyan father,” “mother attracted to men of the Third World”

  11. javaz says:

    Good news!


    “Two companies that encountered political backlash for their plans to use Chinese-made wind turbines to build a giant wind farm in west Texas have announced plans to build a new turbine factory

    • AdLib says:

      This is what we need to be doing to turn job losses around, investing in manufacturing and setting up green technology. I know the Stimulus did provide funds for this but we should be pursuing it like this country did the race to the moon.

      If we can invent the best green technology, the world will be beating a path to our door…getting there in hybrids of course.

    • bitohistory says:

      Javaz, There is a company that manufactures photovoltaic systems in Tucson. They needed a new plant. Where did they build it? Germany. When I asked them why, they said we have more customers in Germany! What, no sun in AZ? (NY has more solar collectors than AZ)

      • javaz says:

        In Tempe, Arizona where I used to work, they’ve designated almost an entire floor to train engineers from India.

        It’s very sad and very angering.

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          What always burnt me was they didn’t provide the tools necessary in India to do the job right, and we were having to rewrite requirements to make their testing easier. And then I had people there working in the same file I was overwrite my work during my off shift and nobody saw the problem.

          They don’t want to think about the amount of time devoted to babysitting those people and reworking the effort multiple times because they didn’t provide them with the right tools or the full understanding of what was needed or expected.

          I see them every time I go to the credit union, and I’m not mad at them for my loss of a job, but it irks me when I think of Brand H and how much they’re losing out. But I also worked a little at a Brand C division and they’re in trouble too.

          • escribacat says:

            Monk--In my last company, we worked with a group of Russians. After a shake-up, the entire Russian company was dismissed and we THREW AWAY EVERYTHING they had done. Everything! The UIs were a mess, the core processor was a mess, and even the QA department hadn’t actually tested anything but had written endless pages of test scripts that were little more than lists of screens and fields. I could go on about that experience! They were not dumb — they were highly educated professionals. But the language and management and cultural problems were overwhelming.

            So then what does the company do? They hire a company in the Ukraine.

            And yes, in case you were wondering, we all eventually got laid off when we were years late with our delivery.

    • KQuark says:

      Cool. That’s the idiocy of our business people. The one industry we can compete in is wind turbine technology and they would rather outsource it to China.

    • bitohistory says:

      Heard toay on NPR that Schummer and some major progressives are attempting to pass a bill setting up what they call “a green bank” to help finance green companies and jobs. Odds?

  12. FeloniousMonk says:

    Escribacat: I think some of those over there are having blind loyalty to Arianna no matter what. It is sad because there are good people among them, even if we disagree on where it is going. But I also think that few over there even read the article anymore. The title is just the “outline” for where to start the battle from for the left and right. So why should they care about AH?

    I tried really hard last night to stay out of it, but finally decided to put in a voice of sanity, only to get attacked. That was really sad. I was not letting my bias interfere with having things calm down. Unfortunately…

    • AdLib says:

      I think you’re right on the money about people skimming the article just to have enough to start writing comments.

      It is all about diving in the mix there, HuffPo is often just a muddy mosh pit for people to knock each other by throwing their insults and opinions around.

      That’s the “sport” over there for far too many and those making thoughtful or witty-but-pertinent points are just disregarded as amateurs…because that’s not what the game’s all about there in the minds of many.

      Huffy’s not about thoughtful discussion or debate, it’s too often just an immature game of blog-style dodge ball.

      • javaz says:

        I had to visit after reading everything , and even couldn’t help but leave a comment, but funny thing was for the brief time I was there, someone posted that they had no idea what the article was about and was just there to visit friends.
        I don’t think so.

        Oh, I just love being watched so closely by those that wish they were here!!!!

    • escribacat says:

      That’s a good point. Perhaps it’s silly to look for actual reasons. I also suspect that, at least later on, a significant portion of the commenters are so loaded, they don’t particularly know or care what they are posting.

      • javaz says:


        It’s more a of a social chat room than anything else, but there’s nothing wrong with that!

        • PepeLepew says:

          I confess that the troll-free social chat late at night still attracts me…
          … It’s just people being silly in the wee hours.

          • escribacat says:

            I confess that the whole thing still attracts me! But that doesn’t stop me from whining about it!! 🙂

          • BigDogMom says:

            It does get silly late at night and some of the posts are so witty, you can’t help it. Sometimes I’ll be laughing so hard, my sides would ache.

            There’s nothing wrong in the social chatting, especially if you have built up relationships with some of them over a long period of time.

            • PepeLepew says:

              This afternoon, HP was an absolute trollfest. The whole thing smacked of an organized effort. I *hate* that. No fun. Nothing being accomplished. No ideas being exchanged. Just non-stop nastiness.

            • BigDogMom says:

              I saw that, when it became too much of a consorted effort by the trolls I left.

              But I was still polite and thanked everyone!

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          Think of how “social” chat rooms are changing how we deal with people. If we do not maintain the ability to communicate clearly and without hostility, then how do we deal with each other in public? I’m afraid when the “attitudes” of the chat rooms spill out into the real world we are all in deep trouble.

          And the “socialization” seems to be either self reinforcement or the “yes the did” “no they didn’t” gradeschool level of arguements.

          Oh, well, they say we are “evolving”.

          • escribacat says:

            I agree — it seems more like driving to me. It’s anonymous and so you can cut people off and flip off whomever you want — usually with no consequences.

            • BigDogMom says:

              Beep the horn, smile and then wave like you know them, freaks them out every time.

            • escribacat says:

              javaz--If you ask me, you are lucky the security guards were there! One man’s clunker is another man’s castle after all! (especially one with a gun rack).

            • javaz says:

              We sort of had an experience once and smiling and mouthing I’m sorry didn’t go over real well.
              We were waiting at the bank drive-thru and my husband’s foot slipped off the brake and we tapped this beatup clunker, and we both waved and said sorry, and the guy got out of his beater-pickup and he was a big guy, and he wanted to punch my husband’s lights out.
              That was scary, but the tellers saw everything and a security guard ran out.
              We didn’t even have a smudge or scratch on our bumper from his rusted out POS.
              Then again, his back window was loaded with gun right stickers and Bush/Cheney stickers!

            • escribacat says:

              LOL. I’ll remember that.

          • javaz says:

            The anger infiltrated the Internet long ago.
            It’s so easy being anonymous and being able to let the anger and rage out.
            Imho, that’s why social networking sites such as HP have such hostility.
            Besides AH being a Republican in liberal disguise for the money, I can’t bear to go to HP much anymore.
            There’s far too much anger and when the anger and vile attacks occur within the liberal bloggers, well, I’d rather call PPOV my home.
            I love this site and all the members because we are civil to each other when we disagree and we still have fun!

          • BigDogMom says:

            Monk, that’s why I had to step away from HP for a while. I was back today, but not with the vengence I once had.

            I was very polite to the nasty trolls today, saying please and thank you…kinda of thru them off balance.

            • escribacat says:

              LOL. Now that might be a new tactic! When I was 18, I got my first job in SF and it was in a dodgy part of town. I used to eat my lunch in a little square and street people would come and harrass me. I started saying, “Have you heard the word of the lord?” They scampered off fast!

            • escribacat says:

              Monk--LOL!! (I had a peephole put in so I don’t answer to the missionaries).

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              You mean like when you’ve made the mistake of opening the front door only to discover 2 “missionaries” there you turn around in a slightly lilting voice and say, “Oh, Brucie, there are two nice cute young men at the door, shall I let them in?” and see if they run for it?

              I’m an evil sort. hahaha.

            • escribacat says:

              Pepe--This was south of market — Mission Street. I used to live in the Tenderloin though..and the Iinner Sunset, and the Mission, and Noe Valley, and ….lots of other places 🙂

            • BigDogMom says:

              @javaz..why, yes it is….

              Bless your little heart..

              Gets them everytime, I’ve started doing this lately a lot, it used to be F’you or F’off…this tatic seems to work better!

            • PepeLepew says:

              The Tenderloin?
              I lived in the Sunset District briefly a lifetime ago…

            • escribacat says:


            • javaz says:

              What’s the famous southern saying?
              Even when stabbing someone in the back -- something like --

              “Well, bless her heart.”

              Is that it?

            • BigDogMom says:

              My Mother always said, “Smile like you own the world, be as sweet as honey, they’ll either think your crazy and leave you alone or you just might meet someone nice.”

              Southern Belle wisdom from a women who could cut a person down while smiling, and the person would walk away agreeing with her!

              I do this all the time in the very wealthy community that I live in, these people here are quite rude, so I smile and say thankyou for not holden that door darling!

      • FeloniousMonk says:

        Reminds me a lot of that mechanical robot game of a few years ago where the objective was to “knock their block off”. No other purpose, nothing gained.

        Frankly, the negativity, including that which it invokes in me, is more than a little disturbing.

        I may not agree with everyone here all the time, but we are all civil. (contrary to what one troll may have reported)

        • escribacat says:

          I’ve found I rarely get angry over there any more…but a few things do push my buttons. Michelle-bashing is one thing I cannot stand. And, yes, despite being a lib, I get really annoyed at the ‘evil Americans’ speeches from non-Americans. I once got so pissed off at a Canadian poster who obviously hates Americans, I made a complete ass out of myself, posting multiple retorts and following him around to other comments he made with new insults that I thought up. 🙂 Other posters piled on me — “What the f#ck is your problem?” It was too much to explain what he had said over there and blah blah blah. Oh well. I learned something from that I hope.

        • bitohistory says:

          Whack a Mole?

  13. bitohistory says:

    There are a some things that the average person can do to help the economy. Maybe not fix everything in the global fixture, but perhaps a small help in your community. I am not trying to sound like the “chamber of commerce” just helping your community.
    Many local governments are having budget problems. Local budgets often depend on a regressive sales tax. I propose by doing the simple thing of buying locally. Use the small business that you have been meaning to try anyway. Don’t be purchasing on the internet (to save the sales tax). Use a local bookstore not the chain, the local hardware not Home Depot. The local grocer not the national store. The local craftsman, artisan….. Keep you money in your locale, not shipped away to some large bank and invested elsewhere. Join a local credit union for the same reason( and avoid so many fees)
    These few things will help your community, your schools, your neighbors jobs and homes. Think about where your monies go.

  14. KQuark says:

    Now let me put my woo woo hat on for a moment. We need to understand that it’s conservatives who dominate the ownership of businesses big and small. Conservative business leaders always have theirs so they can do what they can to manipulate the economy. They propped up Bush’s economy as long as they could even though eight years under Bush the real economy was never that good. Now since their conservative leaders have given them the green light to try and make the Obama administration fail I’m sure they won’t mind holding the economy hostage for a few years.

    • BigDogMom says:

      With “my” WooWoo hat on, what the Conservatives/Big Business are doing right now and I see it in my own profession…is driving down wages. What I can charge for my services, have now been cut in half. So in order to compete, I have to cut my rate….

      Right now you have a glut of unemployed people willing to do just about anything and take any job at the lowest possible wage just to have something coming in…this is Big Businesses ideal situation…

      I swear, there’s going to be a workers revolt one day and it ain’t going to be pretty.

      Big Corp. Moguls are already preparing for it, the private security business is up two fold since last year, they are scared shit-less…

      • javaz says:

        Hi BDM!

        I’ve been reading a lot about a “workers revolt” or “tax revolt” and even read O’Reilly and Beck are going out on a tour -- and that O’Reilly predicted that Nancy Pelosi will be bobbing up and down in the Boston Harbor.


        My question is -what type of revolt are people afraid of, exactly?
        Are they -- whoever they are -- expecting riots?

        • KQuark says:

          I don’t even see the two in the same light. A “workers revolt” is something I would support because it’s against the very corporations that enslave us.

          A “tax revolt” is fucking ridiculous because we pay some of the lowest taxes now in the western world.

          Workers of the world unite!

          ” width=”175″ height=”200″ alt=”dftt” />

          Of course too many workers are like Joe the plumber and have delusions of grandeur so that will never happen.

      • KQuark says:

        Keeping wages low is all part of the plan as well and they certainly did that during the Bush administration.

        Not to mention that most wage increases that employees would get from corporations have gone to the healthcare industry as well.

        • bitohistory says:

          A family member “bragged” to me about how much money he was making from a big multinational.(non-union) I just shook my head. I told him I was making as much (with bennies) working union in the ’80s. Shameful.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Yes, the average wage increase was last year 3%, average co-pay for employee insurance went up 5-10%…nothing like a negative increase…but people are putting up with it in order to keep a job.

    • javaz says:

      I agree with you 100%.

      The corporate elite who run things want President Obama to fail.

      It’s not hard to imagine that the corporate masters set McCain up to lose, because they understood the mess Bush Jr. left behind.

  15. PepeLepew says:

    Here’s what I’ve experienced with the lack of job growth. Our company last year laid off about 12-15 people. This year, they tell us their revenues are back up, but they haven’t refilled those positions.
    Why? Because they’ve figured out they can “get by” with fewer people, and save money. Never mind the fact they’re burning people out with overtime and stress, and that they’re losing employees’ loyalty. They don’t care about that. The job market is slow, so they don’t have to worry about losing people.
    I did the math. Those positions cost the company about $750,000 to $800,000 including benefits. They’ve probably paid around $100,000 or so this year in additional overtime (I’m going to easily crack 120 hours of overtime by the end of the year), so it’s worth their while to go with fewer people.

    • escribacat says:

      What you’re describing is very common. They lay off ten percent of the workforce and the other 90% are supposed to do that extra work for the same salary. One thing about this type of job market — it’s an employer’s dream situation as far as labor goes. Everyone is terrified of getting laid off so they’ll work harder, be grateful for whatever they get. I know a number of people who’ve been given a salary cut or hour cut — yet they are still producing the same amount of work. As long as a company is solvent and has no credit problems and good business — what’s not to love about a situation like this?

      • PepeLepew says:

        I’m actually making more money than I’ve ever made, but I’m losing one or two weekends every month, and that isn’t necessarily worth it. This is my first two-day weekend in four weeks…
        Having our final barbecue of the year today and lotsa, lotsa hockey…

        • escribacat says:

          I have to say I got over the “overtime” routine a long time ago. Been there, done that. No thanks. I like the European model better than the crazed workaholic US model — but then I have a lot of cheap hobbies and don’t want the boat,gadgets,monster home and all that.

          So we’re just digging out from the second big snow of the season but you’re still having bbqs, Pepe? Weird weather here — One or two feet of snow, then it goes back to 60 or 70 degrees out.

          • PepeLepew says:

            As far as the OT, this is the first employer I’ve worked for that actually pays it. They ask you to come in on your day off, and it’s hard to say no to that time and a half. We do get four weeks a year off, so it’s not all bad.

            The snow missed us! It’s 62 here right now! I figure this is going to be the last decent weather of the year, so take advantage of it!

    • KQuark says:

      Yup that’s part of the GOP’s plan.

      I know how these conservative businesspeople think. They would rather work you to death than help that Muslim bring back the economy.

      • PepeLepew says:

        I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy or not … I think literally a little light went off in their evil little heads that said, “hey, we’re getting the same product out … with fewer people and fewer expenses…”

        • javaz says:


          But when things turn around, and things will turn around, companies will lose valuable people and hopefully that will force companies and corporations to begin offering competing wages and benefits again, like the good old days.

          One can always hope and dream.

          • FeloniousMonk says:

            Back in the ’90s, Boeing had a big decline after the 777 progam, and offered incentive retirements, hoping for a 30% RIF. Well, they got nearly 70%, and a hell of a lot of talented individuals left the company, including many of the ones who knew how to make things work.

            Well, when the market reversed, they “couldn’t” (or wouldn’t) rehire these individuals and many of the others they had layed off 5 years before naturally had gone elsewhere. So they went from an average 17 years experience on the work floor to around 2 years experience.

            What they saved during the layoff in salaries was less than what it cost them in ramping up, training, delayed production, quality issues, etc. The LA Times had a good article about it back in the day.

            So much for “business wisdom”.

            • KQuark says:

              Great example and because they lost much of their technical prowess the 787 Dreamliner project has been a total disaster even though the concept is excellent.

          • PepeLepew says:

            Actually, I saw that exact thing happen in the 90s. The industry I was in was forced to raise its wages and improve its benefits because the tech boom was siphoning off good people. After the tech industry dropped off, now they’re stuck with these higher wages and full benefits, so I think this is part of their “going back to the old ways.”

  16. KQuark says:

    Some of your info is so 2008. Actually tens of billions of the TARP money this year has been diverted to community banks to loan to small businesses already. About $210 billion of the TARP money will probably not even be spent and the estimated final cost of the TARP bill has been revised down to about $200 billion finally spent not almost $350 billion spent. Yes the Obama administration that has been called corporate socialists with the TARP has spent only about $140 billion of the TARP funds (<20%) while spending over $750 billion on the stimulus. The money spent in 2008 was spent very poorly but the second half of the TARP is going unspent and was spent more wisely.

    You also cannot prove a negative, but if all the banks were let to fail ALL of us or at least 30% of us would be living in tent cities. I know everyone loves hindsight and says the banks should not have been bailed out or put into receivership but that's what happened in 1933 and lead to almost 7 more years of 15% plus unemployment.

    By no means am I saying Obama and his economic team did everything perfectly, not even close. I'd give him a "C" on the economy at best but Bush gets and "F".

    This is going to be a long painful recovery for one big reason. People are no longer getting in as much debt and living beyond their means as much so consumer spending is down.

    Government is limited to how much it can turn around the economy. I know people are revising history now but no matter what FDR did the economy really did not turn around until the advent of WWII.


    • nellie says:

      I think the fact that so much of TARP is now being paid back is a sign that the program wasn’t such a bad move. But we do need more direct job stimulus.

      We’ll get some job creation when we get our renewable energy package and the health care bill passed. All of these things are linked together. But the way our media works, we get news in dribs and drabs and it’s hard to see the big picture and the overall strategy.

  17. escribacat says:

    I used to argue with my mum that outsourcing wasn’t so bad, that India and China deserved a shot at the good life. Now….I think all outsourced jobs should be taxed and the money used to pay for this second “jobs bill.” So much for my Citizen of the World View, eh?

    • javaz says:

      Afternoon escribacat, BDM and everyone else!

      I thought one of President Obama’s promises during his inauguration and campaign, was that he was going to tax companies that outsource and give tax breaks to those who bring jobs home.
      Am I not remembering that correctly?

      • escribacat says:

        Hello BDM and Javaz…I remember him talking about how companies were actually being given tax breaks to outsource. I don’t know any details about that …it sounds like something that would make me very, very cranky (being grossly underemployed myself at the moment!).

        Unless they do something about outsourcing, I don’t see how jobs bills or easy credit or anything will help the unemployment situation in the US. At least until the time when Chinese, Indians, Russians, Ukranians, and the rest of them start demanding the same level of salaries as Americans. I read somewhere that the Indian salaries have gone up quite a bit but I have no numbers on that either. (I’m talking about high tech jobs here — my field).

        • escribacat says:

          Just did a quick google on the Indian salary thing. From June 2008:

          “Janakiraman said the Indian software design industry is growing at an annual rate of 22-25 per cent, forcing a huge influx of new engineering graduates. The result for workers is a boost in the salary scale of as much as five per cent a year. Not long ago, Indian engineers’ salaries were one-third of those in the United States. Now they’re close to 50 per cent and, in ten years, said Janakiraman, there will be no difference.”

          This is only partly good news for the high tech industry — my experience has been that the latest cheap labor for high tech is found in Russia and Ukraine. Hopefully, they will also start demanding higher salaries.


          • FeloniousMonk says:

            I know in 2005 the Honeywell wage scale for employees at their Bangalore facility was about $20 an hour, as opposed to a mid range American engineer at $40 per hour. The difference is not just 50%, but that I don’t think the Indians were getting the benefits package we got, either.

    • BigDogMom says:

      Afternoon escribacat, these last few weeks I have become so cynical, so much so that your proposed taxation of outsourced jobs does’nt ruffle my feathers at all…

  18. BigDogMom says:

    As you guys know by now, I’m a small businessperson…giving additional funds to SBA would be good, but they would have to loosen their criteria a bit in order to capture a wider number of small businesses that could qualify for loans to make a dent in the number of jobs.

  19. FeloniousMonk says:

    adlib, et al; I would recommend as reading Navigating the Jobs Crisis: Time to Try Government as Employer of Last Resort
    — by Marshall Auerback http://www.newdeal20.org/?p=6349, an article published today on the New Deal 2.0 website. A friend made mention of it as I was supporting his own blog.

    • BigDogMom says:

      Afternoon Monk, read your link, this program would be ideal, similar to FDR’s CCC and WPA programs. Would get our nation going again, and maybe also start up some new small manufacturing companies to supply the projects….

      But, there’s a hitch, how the heck would this get through without the Repubs, conservatives, Faux, Rush and Bluedogs crying “Socialism”.

      They would scream bloody murder over this…

      • FeloniousMonk says:

        Hello BDM, I wasn’t ignorring you over there in “HELL”, I had gotten off line before I noticed your input. Going there does not make me a happy camper.

        The conservatives of all ilks are not going to like it no matter what. We just have to forge ahead and tell them to go get Flocked. Unfortunately, I don’t think Obama is up to being pushy. If only he could channel “Shaft” for a few weeks.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Hey Monk, the conservs are going to squeal no matter what he does….

          I would love for something like these programs to be pushed through, things would get done in municipalities that they can’t afford in these days of budget cuts.

          I just don’t get their, the conservs way of thinking when it comes to the economy…it just baffles me at their lack of logic.

          • FeloniousMonk says:

            My friend was asking how we could answer the conservatives on “how is this going to be paid for” and my statement was that the people receiving unemployment would be the first ones (well, those past unemployment ought to be first) so the money from the supplemental unemployment bills could be channeled into it, so that the conservatives could say we are getting “something” for our money.

            • BigDogMom says:

              That’s a good idea, but it will still be touted as a “Big Government” wellfair program…self relience and all that bullshit. Lord I’m just getting so tired of it all.

    • javaz says:

      Hi Monk!
      Missed you the last couple days.

      Were you going to email me?
      I don’t know how to get my email address to you, because I do not want to place it on an open forum, and wondered if you had it already from the article you authored.
      My husband has a few contacts, if you’re still interested.

      Sorry for the off-topic!

  20. javaz says:

    Perhaps money should be allocated for a job’s training bill, if it isn’t part of the bill already.
    People collecting unemployment or people who have been unemployed and their benefits have run out, could take training so that when jobs become available, they’ll be able to apply.
    Training for clean energy technologies, such as wind and solar power, or automotive technology for fuel cells or hybrid engines.
    If the health bill passes, more people will be needed as lab technicians and data entry for medical files, to name a few examples.



    • FeloniousMonk says:

      The whole issue with most training programs is what do you train in and how many will all chase after “the next big thing” and end up with an overabundance of newly trained individuals in “it”. I remember in the early 1990s a bunch of retraining as aerospace retrenched, many took the highly expensive network training, only to find out that everyone else had and the entry wages were really low. The “big dollars” were only for the select few.

      I beleive in retraining, it’s just my observation that unless there are a lot of well placed options and some direction in it, it doesn’t necessarily buy a lot. What is needed is some government directed development programs in these new technology areas to ensure that the technology will get developed and that there are positions for people to end up in.

      BTW, you do know that lab work is being sent out of country to places like Mexico in order to cut costs, don’t you. How else can the insurance companies get away with paying less than $20 for a whole battery of tests to a provider.

  21. nellie says:

    AdLib, I’m wondering if PPOV has a stalker. Check out the HP main.

    I think you have the right idea. The banks have showed that they are more interested in Wall Street stock valuations, mergers & acquisitions, CEO compensation packages, and shareholder reports than they are in the health of our economy. They were given a chance to do right by the American people. They took a pass.

    So now it’s the government’s turn. We need to get back the money we leant out in the TARP program and target it toward job creation and foreclosure relief. The GOP will scream about socialist giveaways and “personal responsibility.” So let them. Getting people back to work and getting this economy rolling is the only answer the Obama Administration needs to answer any conservative criticism.

    • PepeLepew says:

      I have no doubt HuffPost is reading this site, and so are the trolls. I’m sort of flattered, actually. It doesn’t make me paranoid.

      • kesmarn says:

        A belated good evening, all. Company just left.

        Re: the HP thing. They do seem to be aware of what goes on here.

        And, Andrea Castillo is a fan on the PlanetPOV Facebook page.

      • nellie says:

        The discussion here is very engaging. Anyone who is genuinely interested in exploring these topics can’t do better than PPOV.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      We have several, which one?

      I got beat on in a new guise yesterday there by someone I’d never heard of who basically made snide references to my “work” over here, and yet this was a new sock they were addressing which I haven’t named here. Only one big player over there guessed it was me, and of course, and said so earlier in the day. Go figure.

      • escribacat says:

        I saw two suggestions on a thread last night that all “PPOV people” should be banned from HP. I have no idea why these people would feel that way and they didn’t answer my question to that effect.

        • AdLib says:

          That’s really quite an honor, to think this site represents that much of a threat to some. We must be doing something right!

          As for the types at HuffPo who would complain about a site that has not done nor posted anything negative about Progressives, it would likely be one of two types at HuffPo:

          a. Trolls/Republicans

          b. Arianna Groupies/HuffPo Groupies/High School Clique Types

          As for those who have had conflicts with members of this site and choose to attack the site for that reason, I would respond by saying that Progressives are supposed to reject the mindset of guilt-by-association.

          There will always be conflicts where more than one person gathers, we’ve had them here. But like constructive adults, we address them, resolve them, forgive and forget and move on.

          It’s not life and death, it’s just one anonymous person saying something anonymously about another anonymous person that is soon wiped away from everyone else’s consciousness by the turn of a page or the click of a HuffPo moderator.

          PlanetPOV is open to everyone who prefers the adult table for conversation. No one is excluded, attacked, superior, or “the cool kids”, we’re a community of peers that exhibit respect and, if I may compliment the membership, intellect and wit.

          I invite Tanya1111, LadyNaga and even GaBu to spend time here at The Planet and I guarantee that they will see what I’m saying about respect here is true for all members seeking to give and receive it.

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          This is what I got told by a poster last night: [ BKROOBNZAI
          isn’t there another site you are supposed to be promoting, or did it really b/l.o.w? ]

          Touching, isn’t it. I basically told them that I didn’t know what they were talking about and obviously they didn’t either.

          I wasn’t looking for a fight, but, as I said to someone in an e-mail, DFWM are my middle initials. (it’s sort of like “don’t fool with me” only firmer)

          • escribacat says:

            Yes, that person was on the same thread last night, doing his best to drum up as much animosity as possible about the old fight. Whoever it is, just doesn’t want to let it go.

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              That was very obvious. And unfortunately, my friend there isn’t one to back down either, so…

              There were some sane voices, and thankfully Naga isn’t publically saying anything to foment it further.
              At least that I’ve seen.

            • escribacat says:


            • PepeLepew says:

              I’m still trying to figure out the comment that this is a “hateful” site. That came from a poster I normally respect.

            • escribacat says:

              I’m thinking that might be someone loyal to Ariana who doesn’t like the mean things we say about Huffypo over here??

        • nellie says:

          Wow, HP, paranoid much?

          escribicat, could that suggestion have come from HP staff?

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          Was this from conservatives or liberals over there? I was being bashed by a liberal who was still wanting to keep the pot boiling on a past issue with others, and I had suggested that they should just calm down and find another path.

          • escribacat says:

            Both libs I think. i don’t know who this is:


            The other was Tanya1111 who is a lib I believe--don’t know what the deal is. I suppose it must be related to the “issue” — there was some other discussion going on about that too.

            • AdLib says:

              GaBu/GaBulldog10 is a Republican who as you can see above is registered as a member at The Planet and has never been treated with disrespect here.

              You can conclude for yourself if his attacks are justified or based on anything legit.

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              Nellie: I would prefer to have HITO explain if she choses to. Let us just say that the other side went ballastic over a relative non-issue that should not have concerned them the way it did.

              People got PO’ed. HITO and dey cancelled their own accounts, etc. But they are openly back there now, and for some, that is causing problems.

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              That looks like another sock for GaBu2. His 5 fans are an odd mix.

              As for Tanya1111, she and the one I mentioned are part of the clique that others “offended”.

              Since we have accepted the “offenders” we are being treated as evil. Go figure. How childish.

            • escribacat says:

              Yes. As ludicrous as it sounds, that is apparently what is going on! But I see Gabu is listed above as an author. Perhaps he’s got his own resentment going.

            • nellie says:

              What’s the “issue”?

            • nellie says:

              I did miss that. Probably just as well.


            • escribacat says:

              You may have missed the whole thing — I think it was about a month ago. A fight between LadyNaga, Hito,and deygirl.

      • nellie says:

        I’m talking about the main articles on HP today — they were both PPOV knockoffs.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Who, I was there today…

          • nellie says:

            The previous main on the three conservatives who agree w bringing KSM to the U.S., and the current main about jobs.

            • BigDogMom says:

              I was there earlier this afternoon, what where their socks. There were three real nasty trolls posting, but didn’t recongize any PPov knock offs.

            • BigDogMom says:

              @Monk & Nellie…oooppps, my bad, duh!

              Well that’s good in a way, shows that what is said here is making someone a little scared or they appreciate the intelligent thoughtful posts made here!

            • nellie says:

              Yes, that’s what I’m saying. There seems to be a “stalker” on the editorial staff.


            • FeloniousMonk says:

              I think Nellie is saying that the stories here came first, so is someone at HP checking up on what were are doing and following suit.

              I could be wrong, but…

  22. Jenuwin says:

    Absolutely Ad Lib!

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