Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Critics Unheard




Professor William Black  was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement. His blog from a few days ago at the New Economic Perspectives shows in painful detail how we citizens are being hoodwinked via the media to believe a set of myths around the economy, governance, and science. The myths are given crucial major media space because they appear to come from 'objective' or 'Third Way' sources. Black demolishes the lie using a recent New York Times piece as an example.

 Economist Molly Scott Cato in a recent Gaian Economics blog answers the blowback that Black mentions to those who critique the Pete Peterson's of the world, who are labeled as 'socialists'. Language matters.

Beat the Press Dean Baker, another contrarian economist from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in his almost daily Beat the Press blog, seeks out economic reporting in the big media to find the errors in fact and narrative. Recently he's chastised the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and NPR for their coverage of economic issues including their analysis of health care, social security, and disability insurance.

At an all day institute yesterday on Re-Imagining Our Economic System, panelist Lana Pollack regaled the audience regarding the decades long efforts of the Koch Brothers. While they have been bankrolling lots of very conservative think tanks, Americans for Prosperity, climate denial campaigns, etc., they  now appear ready to  purchase major media with their billions.

In case you haven't seen enough evidence of the obscene inequality in this country check out this brief article by a Midwestern professor regarding the annual income of the 10 wealthiest Americans and our homeless population.

Here's also a short video perspective on the economy from the First Peoples Indigenous Network. Perhaps a little simplistic, but poignant and an important voice to be heard.  

At the institute yesterday someone asked the panelists if Michigan might ever see a progressive income tax to remedy our own inequality. MSU Economics Prof. Charles Ballard declared not unless the citizens put it on the ballot because the current legislature would never do it. He noted that polling says 60% of the population would support it. So who among you wants to work on this one. Operators are standing by to take your call.