The embargo has been a financial success for those Cubans fortunate enough to make it to the US. Under the law, they receive unique and highly favorable treatment, including immediate cash benefits that are more than most Cubans make in ten years, granting of permanent residency a year after arrival, as well as eligibility for government benefits, such as Medicaid, supplemental social security income, and child care.Meanwhile, if the embargo is lifted and we resume normal relations, of 11 million currently residing in Cuba, 8 million most probably want to move to Miami.
Indeed! The Bush tax cut would have worked if all that money were given to the poorest instead of the richest Americans. Poor people always spend additional cash because they have needs. The rich don't spend extra cash because their needs have been satisfied and all they have is wants. Finally there are many more poor people than rich Americans. Stimulating an economy necessitates reaching the most people who will spend.
Cancelling long-term unemployment benefits (benefits?) is mean-spirited and misguided but the Fed's doling out $80 billion a month so that banks and corporations can continue to rake in record profits and sit on ever increasing piles of cash is even worse.According to yesterday's NYT, the Fed doesn't feel right about dialing back the stimulus just yet. The Fed's ongoing pattern of hesitation is another indication that big corporations have played the Fed like a fiddle, doing their best to keep unemployment high enough to warrant the bond-buying stimulus program while at the same time piling up a war chest of Fed-enabled cash that they will use for political ads officially promoted as public service announcements in the next election.Big money will be making its biggest push ever next year, and for many election cycles to come. The eternal conflict is between trying to make a living and trying to make a killing. Any bets on who's on the winning team?
Interesting approach. But what about the fact that the private sector is sitting on over 2 trillion in cash and they are not creating any jobs? Seems like giving them more is unlikely to change that. Jobs will be created after demand goes up and demand goes up after people have money to spend. When you lower wages, take away benefits and reduce your workforce, demand goes down and it appears the only viable alternative is more investment in infrastructure and education which are the responsiblilty of government. It is nice to have a vigorous private sector leading the way, but the facts are that the private sector has proven itself to be a failure so far in this recession. There has been alot of wealth created in the last five years and the stockmarket is up but that helps very few people in the middle class and the poor.The Regan trickle down economic theory is showing that working middleclass people are sacrificed to make the wealthy more wealthy and make America more like third world countries. The Republicans are just following that theory when they make sure that people who have lost their jobs are kicked off of any benefits including unemployment. How else can you make people work for 50 cents a day??
Rather than sound like an economist, I believe what we have here, from my perspective, and I dare say the perspective of many of the "common" people is this:Business owners understand that Depressions, such as the 2008 event, if handled carefully, present an opportunity to hunker down and circle the wagons; allowing them to cut costs across the board, mostly by eliminating jobs, cutting benefits, and increasing the workload of the remaining workers.Since 2008 this has been the formula, and these same businesses have learned that wholesale austerity has increased the value of their bottom lines, their cash reserves, and their stock, all accomplished by reducing labor and labor costs to a point where the labor participation rate is the lowest it's been since 1978.Thirty seven years ago, more Americans were working than there are today.And corporations are wealthier than ever, sitting on cash reserves the likes of which have never been seen.Welcome to the antithesis of equality; it's called Plutocracy, rule by the corporate / government alliance.
When social security legislation was passed in 1935, the average US life expectancy from birth was about 62 years. Thus we had a cash benefit that for most folks kicked in 3 years after the they had actuarily "kicked off!"Back then dozens of active workers supported each beneficiary in this "pay as you go" scheme. If you beat the longevity odds and received benefits you had plenty of family, friends and neighbors still working to support you. Well, no longer is this the case. "Pay as you go" no longer supports the reality that most of us will now live well past 80 and already there are fewer than 3 workers supporting each recipient of benefits. SS has been in cash flow deficit since 2011 and the numbers will never improve as long as the worker/beneficiary ratio continues to drop each year. The Medicare fiscal truth is even more dismal. Neither denial nor fancy accounting can change the fact that we are indeed screwing future generations.
And for every person who dies in a pool how many people die from guns? and what are the benefits of swimming versus the benefits of a gun?