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Steve Greenberg | The Poor Get / CagleCartoons.com

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Poverty Rate In U.S. Saw Record Increase In 2009: 1 In 7 Americans Are Poor

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  • Experts say a jump in the poverty rate could mean that the liberal viewpoint – social constraints prevent the poor from working – will gain steam over the conservative position that the poor have opportunities to work but choose not to because they get too much help.
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  • Special Report | American Labor in 2010
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  • The jobs emergency
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Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti, Huffington Post

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Joe Ledesma comforts his nine-year-old daughter, Brehanna, outside a day shelter in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, March 3, 2009. Ledesma, a homebuilder for 20 years, lost his job last October, his family lost their home and became homeless in January. (AP/File)

The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.

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Census figures for 2009 – the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency – are to be released in the coming week (Sep 12-18), and demographers expect grim findings.

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It's unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase – from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent – would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.

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Special Report | American Labor in 2010, David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest
The U.S. economy will eventually rebound from the Great Recession. Millions of American workers will not. What some economists now project -- and policymakers are loathe to admit -- is that the U.S. unemployment rate, which stood at 9.6% in August, could remain elevated for years to come.

The jobs emergency, Robert Reich, Robert Reich

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  • Twelve thousand new jobs in July -- when 125,000 are needed monthly just to keep up with population growth, when more than 15 million Americans are out of work, and when more than a half-million more state and local jobs are on the chopping block.
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  • Predictably, Washington's latest rescue effort falls woefully short
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  • U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression
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  • An aid package to the states to prevent layoffs was funded by cutting the federal food stamp program.
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Save the Banks and Kill the Economy

"The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them." Albert Einstein

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Prof Rodrigue Tremblay, Global Research

It has become a truism to say that the Democrats and the Obama administration now  “own” the crucial issue of the economy. Justly or unjustly, voters are bound to hold them accountable for the poor state of the U.S. economy. This is not an enviable political position to be in just before an election, at a time when disgusted voters are most angry and very anxious about the economy and their economic future. Recent polls indicate that nearly two-thirds of Americans think their nation is in a state of decline and that the economy will remain in the same recessionary state or get worse next year.

Contrary to what President Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the 1930s, President Barack Obama did not confront the banking industry head-on after fraudulent practices caused one of the worst financial crises in U.S. history. In particular, he did not reverse the blanket financial deregulation that the Clinton and Bush administrations engineered in 1999, in 2000, in 2004, in 2005 and in 2007 that allowed for creating mortgage-linked synthetic subprime securities and for betting against them. Instead, his economic operatives (Geithner, Summers, Bernanke, Orszag, Emanuel, (L.A.) Sachs, Romer, Bair, ...etc.) threw trillions of public dollars to the largest banks, allowing top bankers to keep enjoying hundreds of million of dollars in yearly bonuses, at a time when some 300,000 Americans are losing their homes through foreclosures every month. Such a persistent epidemic of home foreclosures is creating a tremendous drag on the economy, besides being a social disaster. —The system that is responsible for so many home foreclosures has not been fixed, although valiant attempts have been made to mitigate the process.

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What If More Education Fails to Fix the Jobs Crisis?

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  • So we need more education to respond to a world with more technology. Smarter phones and smarter grids require smarter workers. It's a parallelism, it must be true!
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  • Less college? First, define your terms
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Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

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"Structural problems need structural solutions" PIMPCO chief executive Mohamed El-Erian tells Thomas Friedman in his New York Times column. And what better way to fix the structural damage in the our broken jobs engine than calling for a better educated work force? Friedman makes a familiar argument that technology

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... is destroying older, less skilled jobs that paid a decent wage at a faster pace than ever while spinning off more new skilled jobs that pay a decent wage but require more education than ever.

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Less college? First, define your terms, Jennifer Godinez and Matt Kane, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN
A more educated workforce is a must, but schooling can take various forms.

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Summary: America's Financial Crisis: Week of September 12

9 New Items including:

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  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong
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  • Robert Scheer on The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street
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Marshall Ramsey

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The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond,  Joseph E. Stiglitz, Washington Post | DC, from Citizens for A Legitimate Government
Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs.

Right Response to Unemployment Is Smart Stimulus Spending, John Nichols, The Nation

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  • The federal government has spent a lot of money for the purposes of avoiding a Depression and easing a recession. But it has not spent that money well or wisely.
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  • The jobs emergency
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  • Class Warfare from the Top Down
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Class Warfare from the Top Down, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV

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  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
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  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
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  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong
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Robert Scheer on The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

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  • We speak with veteran journalist and Truthdig editor, Robert Scheer, about his latest book, The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.
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  • Perp Walks Instead of Bonuses
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Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong, Robert Reich, RobertReich.org
The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

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The Myths of Austerity, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • The next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation.
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  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters.
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Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet, Reuters, in Common Dreams

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  • 'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.
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  • The Myths of Austerity
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For many, a new job comes at a cost: lower wages, Michael Luo, New York Times | NY

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  • Even as a tentative economic recovery wheezes along, data show a disproportionate growth in low-paying jobs.
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  • U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression
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  • Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that
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Recognizing the immense contributions of America's unions, E. J. Dionne, Syndicated columnist, Seattle Times | WA
Whatever else they achieve, unions remind us of the dignity of all who toil, whatever their social position, color or educational attainments, writes columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. Unions were important co-authors of a social contract that made our country fairer, richer and more productive.

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