What's your take on the economy and our economic future?

My father lost his father in the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918. His mother remarried and his mother and step-dad used the proceeds of a insurance policy, left to my then infant father by his father, to purchase a house. During the depression they took in boarders ($5 a week room and board) and his step father tried to find work in his trade - carpentry. The step-dad built a tool chest on wheels and was often gone for weeks at a time pulling his cart and looking for work. Finally, it was too much for him and he took his own life ... leaving behind an insurance policy to repay my then @ 12 year-old dad. It was a bitter time. Folks who lived through it have never forgotten.

I'm not trained in economics. I'm not sure what the future holds. But the signs are troubling and getting worse rather than my opinion.

Turning the oil spill into a jobs bill

Think about this, what if this oil spill, as tragic as it is, provides us with the wake up call about how we power our world? My first thought when the spill happened was, what if we had not gotten rid of the electric car of the 1990's (from the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?) and electric cars had grown in usage for the past decade? Would the drilling platform catastrophe still have happened?
No one can be sure, but what we can be sure of, is that it will keep happening until we change our cars from gas/oil powered to electric powered.

That's why this petition is so important - the Gulf Oil Spill Electric Car Credit. It asks for legislation to give a substantial credit for purchasing an electric car, and it has key provisions to put a lot of people to work, immediately, in a midterm election year. But we need to get support for this idea in the US House and Senate. That's where you can help.

Ken is Speaking Truth to Power

Ken Lewis, a progressive candidate running for the Democratic nomination to defeat Sen. Richard Burr, has called upon the members of the North Carolina Banking Commission to be accountable for their approval of bank bonuses in 2009.

As our economy collapsed, in large part due to the irresponsibility of banks and bank regulators, the NC Banking Commission approved massive cash bonuses for industry executives. Only because of leadership from the North Carolina General Assembly were those who lead our economy off a cliff not rewarded for doing so.

Cal Cunningham has sought to escape accountability for his vote to approve bonuses for bankers. Both he and his senior strategist Scott Falmlen are members of the NC Banking Commission. Not only was Cunningham present on the call, his senior strategist was the first to move for approval of the bonuses.

Heath Shuler ready to kill jobs bill

Politico reports Heath Shuler and the rest of the Blue Dogs are ready to kill the jobs bill because it requires a waver of the pay-go rules and would slightly increase the deficit. I guess Heath thinks that a decade of double digit unemployment is better than growing the deficit. He must have flunked Macro Econ in college. The Blue Dogs and the rest of the neo-Hooverites are determined to replay the Great Depression.

P.S. There are plenty of economist who are saying that a short term increase of the deficit by a jobs bill will actually decrease the deficit in the long run, by putting people back to work and returning tax revenues back to normal. Don't forget that 1/3 to 1/2 of the existing deficit is from decreased tax revenues caused by the economy cratering.

Bringing back our economy

Okay, here is something I saw on an email. With the majority of the lawyers in either house of congress being democrats and the majority of the businesspeople in either house of congress being republicans, why should we not get the two together.

SAW IT ON EMAIL so take it for what it is worth. PLEASE do not go berserk trashing me for it.

Worth thinking about. I am sure there will be adequate disagreement about it.

Thanks, guys :)

Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs

On just about every blog and in just about every political newspaper column and just about every TV News Program, it seems we are hearing about how democrats are gonna get the stuffing beat out of the

NC: The Blend interviews pro-equality U.S. Senate candidate Kenneth Lewis

I was surprised to receive a phone call from the Kenneth Lewis campaign a couple of weeks ago; I knew a few things about the Durham attorney, who has jumped into the U.S. Senate race to dislodge Richard "Bank Run" Burr from his seat -- 1) he has little name recognition; 2) he has not held public office before and 3) he has worked behind the scenes in politics for a long time, fundraising and organizing on several campaigns, including the U.S. Senate campaigns of Harvey Gantt and Erskine Bowles. In 2008, he was part of the finance team in North Carolina for the Obama campaign.

Mortgages, Neckties and Toasters. What Will They Think of Next?

Serious economists are now arguing that we should not reflexively celebrate “innovation” in the financial sector as we do innovation in the real economy. I was ahead of my time. I said the same thing almost two years ago, and people laughed at me.

Okay, that may have had something to do with how I said it.

When the House debated predatory mortgage lending legislation on November 15, 2007, I responded in an extemporaneous floor speech to Republican arguments that the legislation would throttle innovation in the financial sector, using an example of innovation in the real economy that was within my reach:

On Cutting Dealerships, Or, We Examine The Costs Of Selling Cars

So there’s a lot of conversation out there about car dealerships being told they won’t be selling cars for Chrysler and GM any more.

The idea, we are told, is to save the auto manufacturers money by reducing the number of dealerships with whom they do business.

I don’t really know that much about the car business; and I really didn’t understand where these cost savings would come from, but I was able to have a conversation with the one person I do know who actually could offer some useful insight.

Follow along, Gentle Reader, and you’ll get a bit of an education at a time when we all need to know a bit more about these companies we suddenly seem to own…and about the closure of thousands of local businesses that will make the news about our bad job market worse.

Organic food prices in NC continue to drop, plus fruit indulgence

Organic food prices continue to drop to an average of $1.65 per meal per person since the high of $1.88 in February, using the Cook for Good menu plan. Regular meals are up a penny to $1.16. You can go green for $0.52 a meal or 44% more total for the month.

See more details below, plus learn why splurging on strawberry shortcake is an affordable indulgence after all.

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