WHO IS TALKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERS?
Aren't job losses and foreclosures as important as a "Ground Zero Mosque" (that isn't a mosque, hasn't been built or even at ground zero?)
By Danny Schechter, Author of The Crime Of Our Time
We know we live in hard times that are on the verge of getting harder with 500,000 new claims for unemployment last week, a recent record.
The stock market may be over for now as fear and panic drives small investors out. Big corporations hoard stashes of cash rather then hire workers. The D-Word (depression) is back in play.
Foreclosures are up, and the Administration's programs to stop them are down, well below their stated goals, only helping 1/6th of those promised assistance.
And here's a statistic for you: 300,000. That's the number of foreclosure filings every month for the past 17 months. This year, 1.9 million homes will be lost, down from 2 million last year. Is that progress? In July alone, 92, 858 homes were repossessed.
At the same time, the number of cancelled mortgage modifications exceeded the number of successful ones. According to Ml-implode.com, last month, "the number of trial modification cancellations surged to 616,839, greatly outnumbering the 421,804 active permanent modifications."
And don't think this is only a problem that affects the homeowners about to go homeless. The New York Times quotes Michael Feder, the chief executive of the real estate data firm Radar Logic to the effect that we are all at risk.
"My concern is that if we have another protracted housing dip, it's going to bring the economy down," Mr. Feder said. "If consumers don't think their houses are worth what they were six months ago, they're not going to go out and spend money. I'm concerned this problem isn't being addressed."
The larger point is that even if you believe the economy is already down, it can go lower. No one knows how to "fix it" either just as BP couldn't plug the "leak" that, truth be told, is still oozing oil.
So what are we doing about it? Are we demanding debt relief or a moratorium on foreclosures? Are we shutting down the foreclosure factories? Are we going after financial crime?
Progressives are spending time and wasting passion this August debating on an Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero, invariably responding to the provocations and agenda of adversaries. They are always on the defense, never taking the offense.
Who is beating the drum for job creation and a new economic policy? Maybe the unions, but their voice is muted and ignored in the electronic noise machine. Marches are planned by the UAW and Rev. Jesse Jackson on August 28th in Detroit and in Washington on 10.02.10. But the expected war of the words between Rev. Al Sharpton and Glenn Beck over the legacy of the March on Washington is expected to generate more media heat.
Meanwhile, even as the Administration seems to be finding signs of a "recovery," a parade of failures march on from the discovery that there is an oil slick the size of Manhattan in the Gulf to the persistence of frauds in finance from state pension funds in New Jersey to the case against the head of the Bank of America.