Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 8, 2009


Business Insider - The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, [shows] a decrease of 19 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. . . The Refinance Index is at its lowest level since November 2008.

Wall Street Journal - The president's stimulus plan has been aimed primarily at the top of the economy, pumping money into banks and car companies and state and city governments. But it also has put more money into the hands of the poorest Americans by boosting monthly food-stamp allocations. Starting in April, a family of four on food stamps received an average of $80 extra.

Money from the program -- officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- percolates quickly through the economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture calculates that for every $5 of food-stamp spending, there is $9.20 of total economic activity, as grocers and farmers pay their employees and suppliers, who in turn shop and pay their bills.

While other stimulus money has been slow to circulate, the food-stamp boost is almost immediate, with 80% of the benefits being redeemed within two weeks of receipt and 97% within a month, the USDA says.

Edward I. Koch & Robert S. Weiner, NY Daily News
- While the recent anti-foreclosure bill signed by President Obama is of assistance to the homeowners affected by the current financial meltdown, the bill and its $13.6 billion of housing recovery money have ignored the nearly one-third of American households who rent, including more than 2 million households in New York City.

All these people also have a dream of having and staying in a home - and they also need help from Congress, on the double. Over the course of the last generation, things have gotten progressively worse for renters - and the deep recession has added insult to injury. . .
The Federal Housing Administration advocates that a family should spend no more than 30% of their income on housing. In 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half of renters exceeded this guideline, with almost 25% of renters spending more than 50%. The situation is particularly dire in New York, where nearly one in three New Yorkers use half of their income on rent.

It shouldn't surprise us that one very immediate consequence of all this is homelessness. In New York City alone, there has been a 65% increase in the use of homeless shelters since 1998 and a 23% increase since 2002. Even at these record numbers - 36,218 were in shelters as of May 31 - a shelter, though a wonderful resource, is not a permanent home, and shelters only house a tiny fraction of the homeless. While a virtually immeasurable number, the New York City Coalition for the Homeless believes homelessness this decade is "the greatest since the Great Depression.


Anonymous pay justice said...

Where did humans ever get the completely absurd notion that money trickles down? That is the very opposite of how money really works! Money does not trickle down, it percolates UP. There is no way to refresh every level of the economy without putting the money at the bottom where it is spent immediately on unmet needs.

50 million WORKING people die every year because their rightful wages are not allowed to them but are heaped upon those who already have too much, and economists STILL DON'T GET IT!!

July 9, 2009 10:02 AM  
Anonymous bring this to the forefront of your consciousness said...

ONLY the sacrifice of time and energies to working creates wealth. Individuals all share the same nature-imposed limitations on how much work they can do to contribute to the pool of wealth, THEREFORE, the pool of wealth is FINITE, THEREFORE if one person is allowed to take out more than he contributed, others HAVE to get out LESS than they contributed: there IS nowhere for overpay to come from but from underpay.

There is no disputing this fact, and the higher the greater the overpay reaches, the farther and deeper the underpay spreads - it CANNOT be otherwise except in DREAMS of economic FANTASY.

The crucial point is that there exists NO JUSTIFICATION WHATSOEVER for unequal pay for equal work/equal sacrifice...there is no sound, rational argument that can be brought to defend unequal pay for equal sacrifice.

Humans with very confused ideas about how money and economies work, currently still believe in paying people for gifts that were bestowed absolutely free gratis in the birth lottery - no sacrifice at all to get the gifts, no choice is given us in the matter of what gifts you get born with or without...and humans with their confused ideas still believe in private inheritance which is nothing but giving to rich people's heirs the greatest money-prizes that exist - for no work done.

Humans are running a system of ceaseless legal robbery, but every theft comes with an angry person attached. And people wonder why they are embroiled in ever-escalating violence pollution!

Economics is *practically* little more than a list of attempted excuses for overpayunderpay.

July 9, 2009 10:42 AM  
Anonymous global madness global insanity said...

This is tear-your-hair-out human stupidity: Now that all land is owned, every single human being that will ever be born is having their birthright to a place to put their feet stolen off them, sans a dime's economic compensation.

Why do 6 billion of you quietly and persistently aqcuiesce to having to purchase your first and essential birthright from filthy rich landowners? Do you imagine they have titles and deeds signed by God?

Humanity, you have made a ginormous "logic whoopsie". Much of what you refer to as human intelligence is as useful to you as stupidity would be.

Wake up and smell the uranium.

July 9, 2009 11:05 AM  

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