AuthorTopic: The Trump Slump  (Read 1357 times)

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: The Trump Slump
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2020, 11:58:53 AM »
What's wrong about this is thinking that since the government screwed up the first round of bailouts, that they will get it right this time. Not only am I worried about conduit schemes, which will be a problem again...

I'm also worried about ill-considered meddling in the rental markets. Some versions of the new bill were said to forgive rents indefinitely, while still making landlords pay 100% of their mortgages.

And btw, the "free money" the author talks about for small businesses...is still not free. It's loans that have to be repaid. Interesting biases, this guy.

I think the Republicans will get in the way of free money...even though it is needed right now....and by the time it is forthcoming, it will be way too late, and way too complicated for most people to benefit.

Probably all true, but still I agree with the author.  Either way it's fucked.  There probably is no way to fix the damage that's been done to the economy.  It seems to me that the fact here is that you can't shut down large swathes of the economy and expect it to work out economically.  It's sort of like pulling the engine out of your vehicle and then expecting it to still transport you somewhere.  Yet we couldn't not shelter in place as a response.  This is a predicament. 

Given all of that, given what we have done, given that we can't go back to pre Rona' days, they may as well print the money.  GM and I have received a substantial amount of free funny money because her work vanished day one and we have two children.  Luckily I'm in a career that's essential.  I continued earning and even earned more than I was pre-Rona'.  All of that aid went into savings.  If I'm honest we didn't need the money.  We live in such a way that my income covers all of our needs with some to spare.  I'm not going to not take the free money.  How many people like me are out there?  I have essentially benefited from it.  That's not right, but it is what has happened. 

In the long term none of it will matter.  It's starting to look like there is no way to fix this.  The longer it goes on the more damage we will see.  This may very well be the moment we've all been waiting for.  Collapse.

With Mnuchin sitting on $500b as an award to cronies, I see little reason to think that Stimulus 2.0 in whatever form will be much more than another conduit scheme by which to sieve money out of subsequent generations to provide bailouts for billionaires now. Just part of the wholesale impoverishment of the American worker than began in the 70s with the shuttering of domestic steel and manufacturing and exporting it to the Pacific Rim.



This IS the moment the diner was created for. It's not an EMP or Carrington event; it's a crisis, created by a pathogen and exploited by the worst people on the planet, who are in the pay and service of the nation's enemies.

Strap in.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline luciddreams

  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 3497
    • View Profile
    • Epiphany Now
Re: The Trump Slump
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2020, 12:12:07 PM »


This IS the moment the diner was created for. It's not an EMP or Carrington event; it's a crisis, created by a pathogen and exploited by the worst people on the planet, who are in the pay and service of the nation's enemies.

Strap in.

I think we can all agree on that.  Then again this is the Diner, and I don't think we ever all agree on much of anything. 

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: The Trump Slump
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2020, 01:44:46 PM »


This IS the moment the diner was created for. It's not an EMP or Carrington event; it's a crisis, created by a pathogen and exploited by the worst people on the planet, who are in the pay and service of the nation's enemies.

Strap in.

I think we can all agree on that.  Then again this is the Diner, and I don't think we ever all agree on much of anything.

 :emthup: :emthup:

Note to RE:

QOTM.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Republican National Convention Becoming a Dumpster Fire
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2020, 06:32:15 AM »
Republican National Convention Becoming a Dumpster Fire


Imagine a Trump acceptance speech among socially distanced attendees in this giant NFL stadium. In Jacksonville. In August. Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images


In the midst of many unforced political errors by President Trump, his determination to hold an old-school, packed-hall convention in the middle of a pandemic is beginning to look highly symbolic. The very hint of health restrictions on his plans in North Carolina led Trump to abruptly move at least some major convention events — notably his acceptance speech — from the original Charlotte site to Jacksonville, to the great frustration of Republican planners and fundraisers. Then, as COVID-19 surged in Florida, public-health concerns in the new host city began to exceed any of those expressed by officials in Charlotte, as CBS News noted last week:

When the Republican National Committee announced in mid-June that it had chosen Jacksonville to host President Trump’s nomination acceptance speech, Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, had about 1,900 reported COVID-19 cases.

Just over three weeks later, Jacksonville — like the rest of Florida — is seeing record numbers of positive COVID-19 cases and Duval County has surpassed 10,000 cases as the state has reopened and testing capacity has increased. On Tuesday, the Health and Human Services Department added Jacksonville to a list of hotspot jurisdictions that “are seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” and said it will be offering federal help for increased testing in the area over the next five to 12 days.

Near the end of June, Jacksonville’s Republican mayor, Lenny Curry, issued a mandatory mask order for indoor gatherings, creating a conflict with Trump’s manifest desire for the kind of uninhibited, unmasked cheering he encouraged in holding his disastrous Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally on June 20. More recently, RNC planners have been quietly looking at outdoor venues in Jacksonville, presumably to evade the mask order while lowering coronavirus risks, as the Washington Postreported:

Republican officials have looked at the 121 Financial Ballpark, which hosts minor league games and seats about 11,000, and the TIAA Bank Field, which is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars and can seat more than 65,000. Both arenas are within a short walking distance of the VyStar Arena, an indoor facility that seats about 15,000. Republican officials recently toured both sites during meetings in Jacksonville, officials say.

These two options show the problems associated with an outdoor event intended to convey noise and excitement. If there’s any social distancing at all, the Minor League venue could produce a small and relatively quiet crowd, while the huge NFL stadium may be hard to fill if pandemic fears persist, which is likely. And as anyone who has been in that part of the county in late August can tell you, the weather could be an issue for an outdoor gathering: insufferably hot and humid, with frequent yet unpredictable downpours and thunderstorms.

For the very first time, Trump himself seems to be realizing he can’t just bully his way into the kind of celebration of himself he craves, according to the Associated Press’s Zeke Miller:

After months of insisting that the Republican National Convention go off as scheduled despite the pandemic, President Donald Trump is slowly coming to accept that the late August event will not be the four-night infomercial for his reelection that he had anticipated …

Asked whether he’d want to limit the gathering if the state’s coronavirus cases continue to rise, Trump replied that the decision “really depends on the timing.”

“We’re always looking at different things,” Trump said during an interview on Gray Television’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren.”

“When we signed a few weeks ago, it looked good,” the president continued. “And now, all of a sudden, it’s spiking up a little bit. And that’s going to go down. It really depends on the timing. Look, we’re very flexible.”

He may have to be. A discouraging sign for the GOP is the experience of its Texas affiliate, whose plans to hold an in-person convention in another COVID-19 hot spot, Houston, have come to grief. First Houston officials, led by Mayor Sylvester Turner, withdrew permission for the Republicans to utilize the city-owned venue for their 6,000-person event. Then a trial judge and later the Texas Supreme Court rebuffed Republican claims that the cancellation violated their First Amendment rights.

While it is less likely that Jacksonville officials will similarly shut down the RNC, there could be a mutual agreement between the city and the party that holding a “celebration” that just draws attention to president’s poor handling of the pandemic is in no one’s best interest. Perhaps Trump can just deliver his acceptance speech from Mar-a-Lago with his hirelings whooping it up.

"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
The Right Is Trying to Make the Kitchen-Table Economy Scream
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2020, 04:04:54 AM »
The point being to wear down the "precariat" so they will do what Republicans always wanted, which is to sacrifice themselves and their families on the altar of the owner's profits and portfolio. As always,

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
--John Kenneth Galbraith

The Right Is Trying to Make the Kitchen-Table Economy Scream
07.15.2020
When the House passed the HEROES Act in mid-May, Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell called it “the legislative equivalent of stand-up comedy.”

What’s so funny? Sending Americans a new and bigger stimulus check, extending expanded unemployment benefits for another six months, rental assistance and mortgage relief, hazard pay for essential workers, student loan deferrals, and a moratorium on debt collections. Apparently that’s what.

By the time the Senate reaches a bipartisan consensus on the rest of the next coronavirus relief package — if it ever does — it’s unlikely to look much like the HEROES Act. It will probably contain another stimulus check, but the rest will be significantly watered down. Unfortunately, watering it down is incredibly dangerous.

The relief stipulated in the House bill is the bare minimum for avoiding mass economic devastation. But that devastation — or, more to the point, the threat of it — is not something the Right is necessarily seeking to avoid. The Right wants to reopen the economy and it knows that the best way to dissolve workers’ resistance is to make people afraid of being evicted, falling into a debt hole, or even going hungry — more afraid than of catching a deadly virus. For those hell-bent on reopening, widespread fear of dire economic consequences for not going back to work has great political utility.

While its main provisions are badly needed, the House legislation is already insufficient. As Bernie Sanders has pointed out, unlike many European countries, the US Congress has made no effort to secure workers’ paychecks and employment pending the end of the pandemic, what’s sometimes called “deep freezing” the economy. Nor has Congress moved to guarantee public health coverage during this public health crisis by scaling up the existing Medicare program. HEROES is also more modest than the $2,000 a month direct universal cash payments Sanders proposed to cover everyone’s living expenses through the end of the crisis.

In the Republican-controlled Senate, the coronavirus relief package is going to move away from Sanders’s vision, not toward it. As a result, pandemic relief will almost certainly be inadequate to stop millions of Americans’ household finances from spiraling out of control. In reality, the benefits included in the previous coronavirus relief package, the CARES Act, have tided people over these last few months and masked the depth of the economic crisis we’re facing. If the Senate fails to pass the measures included in the HEROES Act, the mask is coming off.

And that may have a silver lining for those politicians who consider it their responsibility to be create optimal conditions for big businesses to accumulate profit. It can lead desperate people to not merely accept the reopening of the economy, but demand it.

A somewhat similar strategy was pursued by Richard Nixon in Chile — a plan to “make the economy scream” in order to stop the socialist Allende government in its tracks. In this case, it would be about making the domestic kitchen-table economy scream, dissolving any resistance to reopening the economy regardless of public health and safety.

Houston We Have A Problem

Right now, the biggest obstacle to the economy reopening is the widespread and well-founded fear that business as usual will lead to mass illness and death.

It’s difficult to erode that fear through reasoned debate, because reality is on the side of a prolonged shutdown. But that fear can be replaced by a new fear, such as people becoming frightened by the prospect of losing a roof over their heads. In this way, austerity can essentially redirect public opinion, not because people are convinced, but because they’re coerced.

States with conservative governments have already been experimenting with this approach. When the first coronavirus relief package was passed, many states imposed eviction moratoria, including red states like Texas. If people can’t work, they can’t make money, and if they can’t make money, they can’t pay rent. An eviction moratorium was the only sensible solution.

But as Texas lawmakers began to agitate for reopening, despite the absence of curve-flattening, the eviction moratorium became politically troublesome. Naturally, if people are able to meet their basic needs without working, they will be warier of returning to potentially hazardous work situations.

The Texas Supreme Court lifted the statewide eviction moratorium last month, allowing for municipal discretion. In Houston, the country’s fourth largest city, the headlines read, “Fears Swirl in Houston as Texas Lifts its Eviction Moratorium.” Immediately, landlords began informing people with outstanding rent that they were moving ahead with eviction proceedings.

And that was before the expiration of the expanded unemployment benefits provided for in the first coronavirus relief package. 180,000 unemployment claims were filed in Houston in the month of April alone. All of those people and more are currently receiving $600 a week from the federal government to help them survive joblessness.

The expiration of the eviction moratorium was already a powerful incentive to oppose a continued shutdown. If the Senate allows expanded federal unemployment payments to expire without replacing them, the people of Houston will demand work. As for the virus, they’ll take their chances.

And their chances won’t look good. The consequences of the pandemic itself will fall on the shoulders of the same people who are affected most by the end of unemployment payments and the lifting of eviction moratoria.

Renters make on average about half of what homeowners make every year, and nearly half of all renters have reported job or wage loss due to the pandemic. Nearly 7 million households have simultaneously experienced job loss and are rent-burdened. Additionally, it’s low-income people, ergo renters, who are most likely to have underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to serious illness or death if they contract COVID-19. The cherry on top is that the exact same people were already least likely to have decent health insurance before the pandemic booted 5.4 million Americans off their private insurance.

People without emergency funds and with bills to pay become desperate for money. In the absence of public relief, they will demand work. This will give states the green light to reopen the economy, and when that happens people will get sick, and many of them and their family members will die. At least they’ll die with a roof over their head.

A virus that can kill you or cause long-term health damage is scary enough as it is. But an austere federal response means working-class people are now staring down the barrel of multiple other frightening prospects at once, from debt to eviction to hunger. This may have the effect of coercing people into accepting — or even embracing —  an economic reopening, even if people remain personally wary.

The Right can’t persuade us that reopening the economy is the right thing to do, but their policies can wear people down until it’s accepted as an inevitability or an urgent necessity, regardless of the health consequences. They can make the kitchen-table economy scream.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
924 Views
Last post September 04, 2015, 03:42:12 PM
by Palloy
2 Replies
1184 Views
Last post November 11, 2016, 08:23:14 PM
by MKing
19 Replies
2521 Views
Last post January 29, 2017, 01:28:58 PM
by JRM