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Thanks to GOP, Next President Inherits a Devastated Economy With Millions Out of Work

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/06/thanks-gop-next-president-inherits-devastated-economy-millions-out-work

sigh-----so many people are unemployed, and homeless and without food or medicine. The last time this happened there was an FDR that used the radio to truly speak to the nation. But then too, FDR created jobs, in art and writing and jobs of all kinds. --but then there was no pandemic to kill so many either.
When I lived in CA there were parks all over in the Pasadena area where walls and bridges and buildings were created using rocks and big stones from the area. I even found an old library book from the WPA administration written about CA where writers could create histories of the many areas all over the state of CA, and artists were given jobs to beautify their cities.
This could be done again, and hopefully now that I live in Oregon—more people can appreciate employee owned stores too—but so many people have skills in building and writing and art and teaching that it could be possible to have another WPA, even better than the last one. : )

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The Works Progress Administration (WPA; renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration) was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of job-seekers (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.
~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_Progress_Administration#:~:text=The%20Works%20Progress%20Administration%20(WPA,of%20public%20buildings%20and%20roads.

I’m reading Yuval Harari’s 2018 book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”, after finishing a second read of his 2014 book “Sapiens - A Short History of Humankind”.

Sapiens was Big History, and Harari is obviously a genius.

“Lessons” is about now and the future - and is downright scary - though Harari remains a genius. He appears in line with the late Stephen Hawking and others in describing the potential for both the ecological crisis, and the info/biotech sector to wreak havoc, very very soon.

This in addition to our other woes, one of which we are living thru right now - a criminally insane president we can’t seem to get rid of. Why he is not being escorted out of the White House in chains is beyond my comprehension.

But - it looks like Joseph Biden will take the election handily, with Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania all going his way. A solid electoral college win plus a solid popular vote lead.

Unlike Trump, Biden is I think capable of rising to the occasion, and I think an FDR-like speech is likely if he wins with those states mentioned above.

He already has Virginia, in fact from the get go - and Virginia is a class act. If Jimmy Carter`s Georgia can actually go Biden - I will be well pleased.

Unfortunately - our problems are just beginning as regards all of the issues brought up in Harari’s three books - and I see you and Wings commented on the ‘time capsule’ in the Arctic Ice, now in Irish hands, the land of my mother and the ancestors on that side of my family. St. Anthony was always the patron saint of lost articles, and though I am an agnostic - I like to think of the old ways at a time like this, when virtually everything is “Gone with the Wind”.

I highly recommend "21 Lessons Stardust - I thought I had a grasp of the modern world, but I bow to the genius of Harari.

I just bought the very expensive Nov/Dec issue of “Foreign Affairs” magazine, because climate change features prominently with an article by Princeton`s Michael Oppenheimer, and several other eco-articles are also front and center.

This continues a trend - the ecological crisis is increasingly going main stream - absolutely necessary before anything substantial can happen to address this issue.

PS:

Just found this Stardust - had to share it (terrific - spot on by Jonathan Freedland)

Donald Trump’s malignant spell could soon be broken

|https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/06/donald-trump-joe-biden-popular-vote-electoral-college

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Just the GOP?

Yeah, it’s not like Dems had a ton of leverage going in to the original stimulus bill but were too busy letting their crooked friends on Wall Street and industry loot the treasury to take care of the hoi polloi. We are in the place we are because of the abject failures of government, Republican and Democrat. And now, just as in the case of giving up their Supreme Court pick on the certainty that queen Hillary would win in 2016, the Dems rejected the $1.8 billion stimulus package before this election on the certainty they would take the White House and Senate, the American public will now get ZILCH. Thanks, Dems!!

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If Biden and Harris respond to inheriting a devastated economy the way Obama and Biden responded to inheriting a devastated economy in 2009 by enhancing Wall Street at the expanse of Main Street I will lay 10 to 1 odds that Trump moves back into the White House on January 20, 2025.

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Wait a second, Elise (whoever you are). You seem to be forgetting quite a number of things, beginning with Clinton’s trade deals and deregulation, continuing through Obama’s bailout, the Trump tax cuts that many of your party voted for, and most recently the Dems’ collusion with the COVID payouts of $4 trillion, largely to large corporations.

Why does CD publish so many stupid commentators?

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[quote=“manysummits, post:3, topic:83905”]
Biden is I think capable of rising to the occasion,
[/quote]L.O.L. Amazing, here we are with Biden being in Government all his life, even reaching the position of Vice President, yet during all that time, being in a position of power to achieve great things for his nation, What exactly has done during that time, that’s benefited the people of America, who all seem to think the sun shines from his proverbial nether regions. From my perspective, all he’s ever done, is take advantage of his position to feather his own nest, and nation be damned. Yet Americans seem totally blind and oblivious to such behaviour. Incredible !

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I strongly disagree. Biden’s economic team is dominated by Obama/Wall Street Randian/Freidmanesque neoliberals. When the next economic collapse occurs, this crew will, once again, address the collapse of capitalism and the wealth gap by increasing the rate at which money was shoveled to the rich. The lives of massive numbers of people in the US will be devastated.

In 4 years, when Harris/Buttigeig are facing off against some Trump 2.0, the mass of people screwed by Democrat plutocrats will, once again, give their finger to the Party and vote Republican.

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Isn’t this the very situation that was left for the Democrats when Obama was elected? At that time the Democrats won the Presidency and both houses of Congress. And the DNC did not take the hint…This time the “excitement” was simply to be rid of the real menace of Trump, Inc. With the recent attacks by DNC leadership on progressives it does look to be a repeat of supporting Wall Street before societal needs which includes a livable future.

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@itchyvet1

Everybody’s team is dominated by Wall Street Steve, and Bernie was powerless against.

Don’t make the mistake of looking victory in the face and spitting on her. You’ve just dodged a 50 cal headed right between your eyes, and Biden is the man of the moment.

The very least you could do is give him his chance - that is only fair.

The old guard is just that - old, like me, and we all are going to die, and the young ones will be left to take over a shattered world - a world none of us made - a world of empires for thousands of years, the latest superpowers being the US, Russia, China, with lots of pretenders to the throne.

The human race has never gotten over their need for leaders - and my read is we never will.

That is how you view it. From my perspective, I see it as a change from a proto-fascist against whom people were mobilized and bringing about change, to a right-leaning neoliberal with mass mobilization likely to evaporate particularly given the framing of Biden’s presidency as a victory.

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Yes - right now. I live in the moment Steve - since my dad died nine days from my 12th b’day.

It’s a good way to live - some call it meditation or mindfulness. Not me though - it’s living while you can. When the Sun is out, and the sky is blue, the weather warm - I’m an iguana.

Then the weather changes - and so do I.

I’m going to quote from Harari’s book "21 Lessons’’, which sums up pretty exactly how I view both right now (elated), and the future (scary):

"Obama has rightly pointed out that despite the numerous shortcomings of the liberal package, it has a much better record than any of its alternatives. Most humans never enjoyed greater peace or prosperity than they did under the aegis of the liberal order of the early twenty-first century. For the first time in history, infectious diseases kill fewer people than old age, famine kills fewer people than obesity, and violence kills fewer people than accidents.

But liberalism has no obvious answers to the biggest problems we face: ecological collapse and technological disruption. Liberalism traditionally relied on economic growth to magically solve difficult social and political conflicts. Liberalism reconciled the proletariat with the bourgeoise, the faithful with atheists, natives with immigrants, and Europeans with Asians by promising everybody a larger slice of the pie. With a constantly growing pie, that was possible. However, economic growth will not save the the global ecosystem; just the opposite, in fact, for economic growth will not solve technological disruption, for it is predicated on the invention of more and more disruptive technologies."

  • p.16/17, softcover edition.

===================

You will notice that here is another support for the basic message of “Planet of the Humans”.

It is what I saw instantly when I was 22 years old and read “The Limits to Growth”.

Too many people demand instant change - instant gratification, including Progressives.

Do you remember seeing the movie about Neil Diamond’s life - “The Jazz Singer” ?

Neil’s Jewish wife is talking to the Hollywood woman who has befriended Neil and helped him along as he tries to get a foot in the door. He is singing “Heh Louise” - the crowd is going crazier and crazier, ending in a standing ovation - foot firmly in door now.

Hollywood woman says to Neil’s wife:

“I’m not your problem” - and pointing to the ecstatic crowd, says - “that’s your problem”.

It’s like that now. Biden is old school. But he’s not the problem, it’s the 75 million that voted for Trump - and the 80 million that voted for old school, which is what we all grew up with.

Until a significant percent of that 150 million voters start to see what Harari has just pointed out above, and what Planet of the Humans did - this is “as good as it gets.”

So take a break for now Steve - it’s iguana time.

You won’t have to wait long for the weather to change - none of us will.

I listened to an interview yesterday about Greta Thernberg(sp?) and she went straight for the jugular with politicians globally. She said, “You won’t be around in 30 years, so you don’t truly care. You don’t want to give up or change anything. But we will be around, dealing with the mess. And…we may not survive it.” Bingo.
Homo sap is not a planning species. We react, not proact. Like the scene in The Planet of the Apes, where one character says, “Humans are a nuisance. They don’t plan for the future. They eat up all the food in the forest right away, not saving any, then beg for help.” Hell, we don’t even plan for seven generations. All the new tech toys are greeted with great praise; no one asks how they’re made, what effect they have on the environment, or on the human brain.
So on we go, over the cliff of extinction. Meanwhile, we’re having late spring weather in November here in southeast Michigan, and people aren’t alarmed. Instead, they’re out and about partying and playing.

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That was the frontispiece in Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring”, by Albert Schweitzer:

“Man has lost the ability to foresee and to forestall - he will end by destroying the world.”

I am not so sure about that ~

Most leave it in leaders’ hands to do the heavy lifting.

In a liberal democracy, with constant GDP growth since at least the Second World War, at least here in North America, all seemed well, if not perfect. Satisfactory to a majority - until recently.

Most everyone was caught by surprise, including Alan Greenspan.

BUT - not everyone.

The MIT systems group led by Donella Meadows wrote “Limits to Growth” in 1972. I read it then, when I was 22 years old, and instantly recognized its truth. I have a paper that I read as a third year student in Marine Geology and Oceanography at McGill University by Gilbert Plass, formerly of the Manhattan Project, on “Carbon Dioxide and Climate”. It was written in 1955 as I recall.

So we can foresee, and though we have not yet forestalled, we could have.

It’s more a question of who to believe.

Greta reads a lot - more to the point - she understands a lot, and does know who to believe.

But there may be hidden advantages in delay - we humans are conservative as well as liberal - and we wait for solid proof when the stakes are high.

The bite of fear is not here as regards the climate - not yet - except for a few prescient ones.

I would like to digress if I may.

Harari is discussing self-driving cars and transport systems, for example, and in his rational and comprehensive manner makes the case very strongly that we will reduce the death rate on highways by some 90% if we switch to robots. He says why wouldn’t we want to do this ?

Well I’ll tell you.

The open road is beloved by all, to a first approximation. There is danger, but it is acceptable to all but Ralph Nader.

If highways are ever perfectly safe - I posit we shall have lost the open road, and exchanged it for mediocrity and boredom.

Think of the movie “WALL-E” ~

Evolution, for all its seeming irrationality and waste (grass is a very poorly efficient solar system by engineering standards) - doesn’t make many mistakes, and if it does occasionally, they are summarily eliminated if egregious.

What am I trying to say ?

It isn’t really life without danger - if we manufacture ever safer worlds - we will lose.

They are seeing first hand - it just hasn’t connected yet - not all the dots - but stage one is complete.

People know - they just haven’t fully encoded it in a climate change model in their minds yet.

But they will - most certainly they will.

We are so impatient - it’s a problem.

A big mountain or face always looks intimidating, even impossible, until you get nose to nose with it.

That has yet to happen enough - it will take time before it makes its way, this dot connecting, into the temporal lobes.

The Navy SEALs have a saying:

Slow is smooth - and smooth is fast.

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I’m Latinx, my community is low-wealth and BIPOC, and my kids are Afro-Latin and face societal racism including omnipresent threat of death from racist police.

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OK - I understand, as best I can. Here in Calgary there is a continuing flood of people from all over the world. It seems to me that as cities continue to grow, and this influx of people continues, there will be at first a lot of friction. I can’t do anything about that, and climate change will only increase the movement of people all around the world. People stick to their own, which is only natural.

Perhaps at some future time it will be better ? I can’t see the future.

But surely Biden/Harris is a drastic improvement.

It’s important to understand just how badly centrist, neoliberal Democrats did in this election. They were hammered and rightly so. It was down to progressives, to community organizers and BLM activists in places like Detroit and Philadelphia, to people of color and the working class that Biden managed to just scrape a win. Most of those celebrating in the streets are not celebrating that Biden won. They are celebrating that Trump lost. The difference is important. Biden and Harris are enablers who want to return to a ‘normal’ that was absolutely awful for most Americans. They are not allies. They are not friends. They are the enemy as much as any other right winger and they are right wingers. They will have to be made to act on behalf of the people through massive protests, strikes and general strikes. Centrists are an extreme fringe and cannot be allowed to hand the fascists another, even easier string of victories in the next few years.

Hi manysummits:
Thank you for the info for," Sapiens–A Short History of Humankind." And I will try to get “21 Lessons too.”
Although, after screwing over Julian Assange, but profiting from his work----I am sad to say that I can no longer think of The Guardian as a real paper. : (

Hi raydelcamino:
I think that Trump is so unhealthy–that he won’t make through the first year of Biden----he will eat one hamburger too many-----although, on the other hand, he seems to owe a lot of money to nefarious sources----so who knows what that will bring?

I don’t think any of them are. Like autism, there’s a ‘spectrum’ - and all papers are somewhere on it. But real reporting died away many years ago.

I’ll never forget the way the BBC got rid of their top environmental reporter Richard Black - never.

Follow the money, who owns these papers, etc…

It’s part of the corporate takeover of everything.

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