Recession – What Should be Done?

The role of the press, one of its roles at any rate (another, by way of example, is to drive business down on the mental health industry by freaking everybody out), is to confuse and demoralize the citizenry by spreading alarm and dismay. That much is self evident because one can observe that that is what it does day in and day out. If someone does something day in and day out, it is fair to conclude that that is its purpose, is it not? So you will never for instance fully understand the recession and our current economic plight by reading newspapers or watching television, just as you will never get a clear picture, to cite a couple of examples, of exactly why we wage war on the people of Afghanistan or Iraq or why people being treated for depression with anti-depressant drugs get depressed and kill themselves and other people. The press just ain't gonna give you the straight dope. Apart from anything else it doesn't HAVE the straight dope usually.

However, we can at least get a vague idea that something is going on even though the causes of it, those responsible, its exact extent and consequences are not going to be truthfully, accurately or thoroughly communicated.Thus we can conclude that we are in a recession and this is a Bad Thing and this somehow is related to interest rates, which is the cost of borrowing and somehow the cost of borrowing from the bank relates to money supply. This Bad Thing somehow means we're all a bit strapped and businesses will go bust. Suddenly the press is full of alarming horror stories of businesses going bust and every business that goes bust blames this mysterious invisible SATANIC FORCE called the Recession even when, one suspects, in some cases the cause might actually be bad business management.We conclude too that for some reason the economy is very short of money about 500 billion, apparently, for the British economy alone! This has some connection with the CREDIT CRUNCH, another Satanic Force that came about when the banks for some reason decided to stop lending the rest of us money because we had "borrowed too much."All this appears to be out of anybody's control. Presumably money comes to us through an Act of God and not, as we suspected, because human being print it. If it were a simple matter of a human being printing it, then the solution would be a simple one: have human beings print some more and get it into circulation FAST while we still have any industry left.Evidently though, it's not that simple: the whole thing is shrouded in a MYSTERY only comprehensible to a priesthood known as EXPERTS who comprehend the impenetrable script and sacred tongue of a quasi-science known as economics and it isn't under anybody's control in any case actually.

The recession just sort of happened because some bankers, whose names we've already forgotten, did something or other confusing with some bank accounts and that evidently threatens to bring down global civilization.Well how did we get into a situation where the greed of a few bank managers on one side of the planet can cause some honest Joe to lose his job or have his business repossessed on the other side of the planet?How come a private business which is supposed, we are told, to look after people's money, has so much influence on our fortunes, more apparently than our own government. We would think it pretty strange if some other part of the private sector, such as greengrocers could affect everyone's fortunes by mucking about with the price of vegetables.We would think it even stranger if government then devoted itself at our expense to making sure that, at all costs, the greengrocers were looked after even if it meant a few of us going hungry.What's going on?Well, check out my blogs and I'll tell you!

Presidential Candidates See No Reason to make New York a Part of It

New York was once the Mecca of electoral activity. From 1812-1968, it had the most electoral votes in the nation, with its high watermark being in the 1930's, when that state garnered a formidable 47 Electoral Votes. For much of that time period, New York was a swing state. The result of this is that political parties would sometimes nominate New Yorkers for President, hoping that they would secure their home state's electoral goldmine.In 1884, the Empire state decided the Presidency with the state's incumbent Governor Grover Cleveland winning his home state by just 1,047 votes. Four years later, Cleveland was denied re-election. The deciding state was once again New York, which Cleveland lost by just 7,187 votes. From 1920-1944, the Democratic Party nominated a New York resident on every national ticket, save one. In 1920, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the Vice Presidential nominee.

In 1928, New York Governor Al Smith topped the ticket as the Presidential nominee. In 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944, the Democrats nominated Roosevelt. In fact, in 1944, the Republicans countered by nominating New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey to run against Roosevelt, a former Governor of the state. Both Presidential candidates hailed from the same county, Duchess County.Presidential candidates spent an inordinate amount of time barnstorming the state of New York. The road to the Presidency invariably led through the Empire state. Candidates were forced to listen to the concerns of New Yorkers.Today, New York has almost no electoral leverage. It is a foregone conclusion that New York will select the Democratic Presidential nominee because of the large Democratic presence in New York City. Candidates use the Big Apple only as an ATM, landing in New York City, speaking to benefactors, collecting donations, and using the money to campaign in battleground states. In the 2008 Presidential election, the two major Party Presidential nominees, John McCain and Barack Obama, made a combined 62 campaign stops in Ohio, while only parachuting into New York to increase their war chests.The Long Island fisherman, the wine producer in the New York Finger Lakes region, and the family trying to rise above the poverty line in Harlem have no voice in Presidential politics. They have disparate concerns, ideologies, and life perspectives.

Ironically however, all share a common interest in supporting the National Popular Vote Initiative (NPVI), an interstate compact in which participating states would award their electoral votes to the person who secures the most votes nationally. Only then will the voices of New Yorkers be listened to in Presidential elections. A vote in Ohio would no longer be more coveted than a vote in New York.For a New Yorker to defend the current system, he/she must accept the fact that residents of the third largest state in the nation will continue to be ignored, while Presidential candidates will continue to solicit wealthy New York residents for donations to spend their money to cultivate support in battleground states.