Monday, November 28, 2011

The Great Recession - tracking the thinking of others

Here are a few blog posts that put both the Great Recession, and Occupy Wall Street in perspective:

  1. Barry Rineholtz takes a facts driven look at the financial crisis, and concludes as so many others have that volitional decisions by a variety of private actors caused the crisis, not government regulations or Congressional cram-downs.
  2. Rex Nutting, looking at how we might get out of the mess created in part by too little and way too late regulation of the financial sector, shows that, contrary to Republican talking points, regulations generally create jobs as well as add significant economic benefits to the economy - particularly in foregone medical expenses.
  3. Dean Baker takes on another Republican canard - that corporations are "double taxed" and therefore need to have tax burdens lifted in order to spur economic development. His view - people create corporations knowing full well what the tax implications are, but do it anyway because they perceive the benefits as outweighing the taxation particulars. Again, we're back to that pesky volitional decision thing that Republicans seems to want to avoid when discussing corporate activity.
  4. Finally, in another blow to the idea that renewable energy and sustainable building are too costly with too little benefit to the economy, Jorn van Doren reports on a study from the Netherlands that says, when it comes to sustainably built housing with minimal carbon impact, if you build it they will come.
  5. Finally, the WaPo Fact Checked Grover Norquist this weekend - mostly because he managed to say things that were vague factual instead of just politically inflammatory. If he, and other Republicans really want to have a discussion about tax rates and their impacts, getting all this other stuff wrong doesn't help their case.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Great Recession - Lies built on top of quicksand

Here's a fresh reminder from Forbes Magazine (of all places) as to who the real villains are in the current recession:

It is clear to anyone who has studied the financial crisis of 2008 that the private sector’s drive for short-term profit was behind it. More than 84 percent of the sub-prime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending. These private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year. Out of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006, only one was subject to the usual mortgage laws and regulations. The nonbank underwriters made more than 12 million subprime mortgages with a value of nearly $2 trillion. The lenders who made these were exempt from federal regulations.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

U.C. Davis Pepperspray Response

Here's an important open letter regarding the pepper spraying incident at UC Davis:

The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.