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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:39 AM

Forget The Fiscal Cliff: Three Bigger Perils Lie Ahead Robert Reich

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-three-perils-ahead-2012-12

***SNIP

The child poverty cliff.
Between 2007 and 2011, the percentage of American school-age children living in poor households grew from 17 to 21%. Last year, according to the Agriculture Department, nearly 1 in 4 young children lived in a family that had difficulty affording sufficient food at some point in the year.



***SNIP

The baby-boomer healthcare cliff.
Healthcare costs are already 18% of GDP. Between now and 2030, when 76 million boomers join the ranks of the elderly, those costs will soar. This is the principal reason why the federal budget deficit is projected to grow.


***SNIP

The environmental cliff.
Global emissions of carbon dioxide jumped 3 percent in 2011 and are expected to jump another 2.6 percent this year according to scientists, putting the human race perilously close to the tipping point when ice caps irretrievably melt, sea-levels rise, and amount of available cropland in the world becomes dangerously small.

***SNIP

Yes, America does face a cliff ó not a fiscal cliff but a set of precipices weíll tumble over because the GOPís obsession over governmentís size and spending has obscured them. And Democrats so far havenít been able or willing to sound the real alarms.

Read more: http://robertreich.org/post/37268432235#ixzz2EHM4Do7A

17 replies, 2060 views

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Reply Forget The Fiscal Cliff: Three Bigger Perils Lie Ahead Robert Reich (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2012 OP
Dustlawyer Dec 2012 #1
plethoro Dec 2012 #9
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #2
snappyturtle Dec 2012 #5
raouldukelives Dec 2012 #12
Jakes Progress Dec 2012 #3
PufPuf23 Dec 2012 #4
plethoro Dec 2012 #10
leftstreet Dec 2012 #6
xchrom Dec 2012 #7
dotymed Dec 2012 #8
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #11
Blanks Dec 2012 #15
whatchamacallit Dec 2012 #13
Jakes Progress Dec 2012 #14
Jakes Progress Dec 2012 #16
xchrom Dec 2012 #17

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:46 AM

1. Robert Reich and a few others will be remembered years from now as the ones we should have

listened to. These problems are right in our faces, but greed and corruption will be our ruin!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:39 AM

9. That and too much measured reaction to problems requiring more Teamster-like ones.......nft

 

dddddddddd

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:49 AM

2. how about the fact that the majority of Americans have little to no retirement

Right now retirees have faired the bad economy better than young people. Partly because of Social Security but also because they were able to save during the good economic times. Americans don't have any where near what they need to retire because they can't afford to save during these bad economic times. We will have a bigger need for Social Securtiy in the future than we do now.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:18 AM

5. +1000! You're so correct. nt

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:17 PM

12. Exactly. They were able to save in the golden era.

Before climate change came here to roost. They were able to profit madly off the destruction of the planet, free education, cheap energy, union jobs.
When I was a kid they raised the amount of money withheld from my checks to save SS. They told me it was to protect my future. Not to pay for the current retirees. But that's what it was. Covering them so they could live and depart from the planet they killed in peace. Leaving the young broke, with slashed entitlements, with a broken climate and a fearful future. If we know people depend heavily on SS & Medicare now. What happens to those born today? What kind of assistance will they require when they have to survive in the harsh conditions left by their forefathers? Will there be any entitlements at all or will they be crawling on hands and knees begging for fresh water?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:11 AM

3. I forward all of Reich's stuff to the WH.

It seems they don't read it anywhere else. How else could you explain ignoring such wisdom and knowledge?

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Response to Jakes Progress (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:16 AM

4. The WH doesn't care about the American People nor the Planet Earth.

The WH cares about power.

That is all.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:42 AM

10. And legacy...............nft

 

ddddddddd

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:18 AM

6. the No Jobs and Shitty Wages Abyss doesn't help

DURec

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:20 AM

7. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:26 AM

8. Is there any legislation pending

to end CU? Until Americans admit and defy the corporate rule that is currently ruining our nation, there will be no solutions for the non-elite.
President Obama, you must put on an FDR hat and guide this country back to some semblance of integrity. We have been in "a race to the bottom" for decades and I do not see any guaranteed positive changes for the 47% of Americans who need it most.
Even the ACA counts on the generosity of the health insurers to lower rates due to an increase in the insurance pool. Corporations are legally bound to increase profits, as it now stands, there will be no increase in competition for the insurers...
Unfettered capitalism is the worst system available and it has long since replaced Democracy...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:51 PM

11. I love the way Robert Reich explains economics so we can all understand it.

But I have a question.

When we were an industrial nation, when we did not import every pot, pan, piece of fabric, sock, half of our cars and nearly everything else we use in our lives (as opposed to military junk), we had high employment, unions, more willingness to confront new challenges (compare how we responded to the dust bowl, how we handled the post-WWII housing crisis to our current unwillingness to do much at all to slow climate change) and a more united country.

What changed?

Free trade. That's what changed. (The price of oil went up too, but we could deal with that if we half tried.)

During the election, the Obama campaign pointed to Romney's destruction of American companies and how he shipped good jobs overseas (and brought cheap products back here to sell). But now that the election is over, all we hear is "fiscal cliff." Nothing about the leveraged buyouts and corporate takeovers that lead us to the fiscal cliff.

It feels like we are being scolded and punished for living high on the hog, that we overspent, that we lived beyond our means. (Also feels like we are being scolded for having won the election fair and square.) Well, maybe some did. But they were in the minority. What I see is people who used to have good jobs and businesses having their houses foreclosed, people who learned trades, say carpentry, competing for jobs at Walmart. It feels like we aren't being paid as well as we were back before everything we bought was made in China or Guatemala or Mexico or the Philippines.

Certain economists assured us that it would be OK for us to export our jobs and import our consumer products. They said that the market would correct itself.

But it hasn't. All this talk about the fiscal cliff proves it.

Why do we put up with this?

Why are we negotiating new trade agreements? Free trade has not made the world a better place. It hasn't brought peace. It is just destroying our economy. Let's end it.

Let's go back to import duties or at least impose VAT taxes to even the playing field.

The only reason prices are lower on the junk we get from other countries is because workers in those companies are treated like slaves. They often do not have good sewer systems or electricity in every home or worker's compensation, etc.

Our workers do not live in dormitories. Romney himself described a dormitory in a Chinese factory. We might as well be living on plantations and keeping slaves as to buy products from factories where the workers live in dormitories near or on the premises and work long, long hours.

Why the silence about this topic?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:04 AM

15. Free trade isn't the only thing that has changed...

The top marginal tax rate was much higher during the era of good jobs. If the people who 'run' companies don't get to keep all of their 7 & 8 figure bonuses (that they get from squeezing the profits from slave labor); it doesn't make sense for them to ship jobs over-seas.

Automation plays a big role also. We don't have good factory jobs because those jobs were replaced (in a lot of cases) by robots or extremely efficient assembly lines.

The trade agreements are a part of the problem, but becoming an isolated country is not part of the solution. The solution is to make the tax code reward people who work and to tax people who don't.

A lot of the jobs that we used to have aren't ever coming back because of automation. We need a new food supply infrastructure that makes areas financially independent from 'vulture capitalists'. We need to divert the money that goes into farm subsidies into healthy sustainable food. We need to focus our efforts on alternative energies. We need to hold large multi-national corporations feet to the fire, but while these 'trade agreements' are an easy bad guy to point our finger at; the damage they do is a symptom of these other issues.

We need free trade; we just need to crack down on the groups that abuse the system. Higher taxes is where I would start.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:19 PM

13. Too sane to be heard

Even here.

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:36 PM

14. Too honest for anyone in Washington,

too smart for those limited by their own ambition,
too willing to tell the simple truth that truth is simple. When someone tries to tell you it is hard (shades of bushy) they are only saying that they want to to ignore truth.

There are economists, educators, and social issues people way smarter, more honest, and more supportive of the people than any of those types that this president listens to. Does he agree with duncan, geitner, and such? Or is he not smart enough to see through their bullshit? Either way, it is a damned shame for America that this guy was so much better than the only other choice we had.

We are so screwed.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:53 PM

16. Even on DU,

Reich can't get an audience.

He brings up how the Wall Street led hysteria over the "cliff" is made up. Then he mentions three truly progressive issues and the thread dies quietly.

The Party has lost its way.

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Response to Jakes Progress (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:02 PM

17. ...

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