JOHN DARLING – Tea Party and Occupy supporters found that they have many similarities at a forum in Southern Oregon. In their first public outing together, Tea Party and Occupy backers â€” and an audience of 200 â€” found a lot of common ground. They agreed that corporations, lobbyists, the military and the federal government have a huge amount of power, are “bought,” and aren’t very responsive to the needs of the average person.
JESSE JACKSON – Republicans on the campaign trail denounce Obamaâ€™s health-care reforms as a virtual threat to the Republic. Itâ€™s â€œsocialized medicine,â€ â€œa job killer,â€ â€œa government takeover of health care.â€ All the Republican candidates for president promise to repeal it, and Republican legislators are virtually united in trying to do so.
LES LEOPOLD – Day in and day out we are told that if the government doesnâ€™t tighten its belt, weâ€™re all headed for debtorâ€™s prison. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are under attack. State budgets are in disarray. Teachers and firemen are getting canned. Public services are slashed. This is the new America and we’d better get used to it, the pundits proclaim. You would think we were a poor country.
J.A. MYERSON – Yesterday, no one had lived in 702 Vermont Street for three years. Vermont Street sits in East New York, the Brooklyn neighborhood where foreclosures are five times more frequent than in the rest of the state. Today, Alfredo and Tasha and their son and daughter moved in, with the help of a number of friends whom they’d never met. Some were from the advocacy groups Picture the Homeless and Vocal New York, others were clergy or members of the city council.
TYGER RICARD – We are told, and have come to accept, that the Occupy movement lacks focus, direction, and purpose. How can a group be successful without a linear plan and a list of demands? How does camping in a park solve the world’s problems? Onlookers often say that in the last two months, Occupy has yet to accomplish anything. As we come to Thanksgiving, however, I want to offer seven reasons to give thanks for the Occupy movement.
TOM CORDARO – The weekend of Oct. 15-16 my daughter Angela and I had the privilege of attending the Pax Christi Metro New York Fall Assembly where I gave the keynote address. As you might expect a lot of the conversation focused on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement that started in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street.
ROBERT REICH – Republicans are debating again tomorrow night. And once again, Americans will hear the standard regressive litany: government is bad, Medicare and Medicaid should be cut, â€œObamacareâ€ is killing the economy, undocumented immigrants are taking our jobs, the military should get more money, taxes should be lowered on corporations and the rich, and regulations should be gutted.
NAOMI KLEIN – I was honored to be invited to speak at Occupy Wall Street on Thursday night. Since amplification is (disgracefully) banned, and everything I say will have to be repeated by hundreds of people so others can hear (aâ€‰kâ€‰a â€œthe human microphoneâ€), what I actually say at Liberty Plaza will have to be very short. With that in mind, here is the longer, uncut version of the speech.
KENNETH RAPOZA – The economic crisis in advanced economies is accelerating the timeline in which big emerging nations like China rule the global economy. Instead of the market focusing on American shopping habits, theyâ€™ll be focused on consumers in Shanghai and Mumbai. Unless the US can recover the 8.5 million jobs it lost in the recession, and unless incomes begin rising, the US will be knocked off its pedestal within a generation. The post-Western world is coming faster than we think.
BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN – The debt deal cuts roughly $2.4 trillion in federal spending over the next decade without any new revenue streams. It slashes social services like education and health, and threatens to weaken the vital entitlement programs of our frayed social safety net. It is far from representing the shared sacrifice that an overwhelming majority of the American people had demanded of their elected officials in the days and weeks leading up to the debate and negotiation.
JEFREY SACHS – Just when it seemed that all of Washington had lost its values and its connection with the American people, a bolt of hope has arrived. It is the People’s Budget put forward by the co-chairs of the 80-member Congressional Progressive Caucus.