David Usborne of The Independent reports that a record number of Americans are now on food stamps. Predictably, right-wing bloggers panned the article as an example of liberal media bias.
One can argue that the headline of the article — “The Great Depression” — is over-the-top, since we’re not in an economic depression and our situation is not nearly as dire as the real Great Depression. Yet. Also, the accompanying photo is more than two years old. You can count on righties to pick the headline and photo apart and ignore the article, which presents a sobering picture of economic life in America. If the data presented are true, we should be concerned.
BTW, David Jolly reports for the New York Times:
UBS, the largest Swiss bank, said on Tuesday that it would write down another $19 billion related to “U.S. real estate and related structured credit positions” and said Marcel Ospel, its chairman, would step down.
UBS said the write-down would result in a first-quarter loss of about 12 billion Swiss francs, or $12 billion, and that it would seek new capital of about $15 billion, in the second time it has announced plans to raise new funds since the credit crisis began. The bank’s board proposed that Peter Kurer, currently general counsel for the bank, take over as chairman, pending shareholders’ approval at a meeting on April 23.
The news came as Deutsche Bank, the biggest German lender, said Tuesday that it expected a first-quarter loss of about $3.9 billion on write-downs of United States real estate loans and assets. Global banks have now written down more than $200 billion of soured loans in the market debacle that began last summer with the implosion of the American subprime mortgage market.
On the plus side, Bush’s chief of Housing and Urban Development, Alphonso Jackson, resigned yesterday. Jackson is under investigation for allegedly giving lucrative housing contracts to friends.
I may be putting my increasing paranoia in print, but the Jackson incident only deepens my belief that the criminal cabal heading the Executive Branch has mindfully appointed underlings who first and foremost mirror the criminal tendencies of their soon-to-be bosses.
Only a fool, in this case an individual who discounts the possibility that an honest man might sing to the cops, would invite an honest man to join his gang of criminals.
Would Watergate ever have happened without the involvement of a few honest men? It would be uncharacteristic of Bush/Cheney/etal not to have taken note.
It’s not paranoia if they really are after your money!
The only good news about the increasingly crappy economy is that it’s one more big lever to get Republicans out of public life as much as possible.
Yes, there are still people saying they would vote for McCain. At this point, I think that’s credible evidence they are a danger to themselves and others, and should be put in a Home.
Though, thanks to the Republicans, we don’t have any. Just prisons.
Or to put it another way: the only good news about this crappy situation is that it’s happening before the general election, not after it.
I read the rightie response to the article and it could have been distilled to 4 words: “Let them eat cake”.
It is true we are not in the great depression with 30% unemployment, but it’s just as true that people at the bottom of the ladder are hurting. If/when you finally get a conserative to discuss that fact, you get the response that, ‘it’s their own fault’ or ‘they are not really poor; they are just cheating the system’. Catch a conservative with one or 2 drinks, they will tell you they people on welfare are all prostitutes and drug addicts. More than 2 drinks and they will check who is listening before they get racial.
Because poverty is a state of mind. The ‘Haves’ will explain that all the ‘Have Nots’ need to do is change their attitude and all the wealth of this nation will come to them. You don’t even have to click your heels together.
At the same time they spin this narrative, they spin a second narrative. Don’t notice that it contradicts the first. The 2nd narrative is for the middle-class. They will explain that the economy is like a bunch of lifeboats surrounded by a mass of people in the water. However they word it, the message is; there’s not enough room in the lifeboats for all of ‘us’. If you try to save everyone, we all sink and perish. Save yourself and your family.
You will hear this argument in the health care debate, though more subtlly phrased. And in almost the same breath that they explain (as if to a child) that we do not have the resources to provide health care for our own people, we do have an endless supply of money for wars in Iraq and (goody, goody) Iran. Because we have a moral obligation to use our military might to bring the blessings of democracy to countries cursed with a surplus of oil.