Monday, November 30, 2009

Healthcare or Warfare?

November 30, 2009, 7:03 pm
Millions of Jobless Lose Insurance Aid


The changes that the health-care bills in Congress envision are years away — not soon enough to help the millions of unemployed people who, on Monday, lost their temporary federal subsidies for health insurance.
That means that people like Linda Rasor, 56, who lives in Haslett, near East Lansing, Mich., and was laid off from her energy consulting job in February, will have to start paying triple the cost for their health insurance.
As losses rippled out from Michigan’s devastated auto industry, Ms. Rasor was laid off from Johnson Controls Inc. With the federal subsidy, she has been paying $407 a month to cover herself, her husband, who is an independent contractor, and her daughter, who is in college. But with the subsidy now gone, her premiums will jump to $1,100 a month.
The rest of the New York Times article…
This Times article is further proof of the complete inadequacy of health insurance through employment. Lose your job, lose your health care access. That only makes sense if you believe that only those who are profitable to the corporations deserve  health care. Is that what the United States of America is about?

Open Source as a Model for Business Is Elusive

November 30, 2009

Open Source as a Model for Business Is Elusive


SAN FRANCISCO — In many ways, MySQL embodies the ideals of the populist software movement known as open source, in which a program’s creator releases it to the world free of charge, and legions of volunteers contribute improvements that are also freely shared.
The start-up company came out of nowhere, building a database application beloved by vibrant, young Internet companies. Logging in from homes scattered around the globe, its workers seemed more a part of a virtual commune than a corporate monolith, and they relished taking on proprietary software giants like Microsoft.

But like most open-source companies, MySQL’s sales, tied to support deals, never matched the astronomical number of downloads for its product, about 60,000 a day. In January 2008, the founders decided to sell the company for $1 billion to Sun Microsystems. And this year, Sun agreed to sell itself to Oracle, which makes database software aimed at larger companies and tougher jobs, for $7.4 billion.

Now, disagreement over the value of MySQL — both as a stand-alone entity and as part of a big company — lies at the heart of a bitter public battle between Oracle and the European Union over the Sun acquisition. The fight illuminates a larger truth about open-source companies: their societal and strategic importance far exceeds their financial value as operating businesses.

The rest of this New York Times article…

The open source software movement is living proof that we do not need the profit motive to create innovation.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On the Morality of Eating Animal Flesh

As we finish the last of the Thanksgiving feast leftovers, let us revisit the issue of the morality of eating animals. No, this isn’t going to be a holiday lecture on the virtues of veganism. Actually, I have been thinking about this for a few weeks, ever since I was told that a group of vegans were protesting in front of KPFA-FM in Berkeley, CA. I’m a member of the news department there, so I wrote to one of the protesters to find out what the gripe was. It seems that someone in their group was promised a time slot for a regular show on animal rights back in 2006, and it never happened. (The program council that allegedly promised them this time was disbanded  soon after). They also disagreed with a book that was offered as a fund drive premium.

I told the protester that we had a reporter who specialized in stories about animal rights, that if they disagreed with the book premium they should come forth with an author who could be interviewed during the next fund drive or on one of our book shows. I also said that while a regular show might not be forthcoming, they could ask that a documentary be played during one of the holidays when the news goes from an hour to a half-hour, or contact some of the public affairs producers to see if anyone was interested in interviewing one of their members. The vegans could also add their voices to the growing chorus of people who want to see more original programming on KPFB, a 100-watt adjunct station that serves largely as a local repeater and emergency back-up.

All of those suggestions were deemed totally unacceptable; KPFA was towing the pro-meat corporate line.

KPFA can be accused of many things, but being in the pockets of the meat-industry lobby is not one of them.

Mark Pittman, Reporter Who Foresaw Subprime Crisis, Dies at 52

Mark Pittman, Reporter Who Foresaw Subprime Crisis, Dies at 52

By Bob Ivry

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Mark Pittman, the award-winning investigative reporter whose fight to open the Federal Reserve to more scrutiny led Bloomberg News to sue the central bank and win, died Nov. 25 in Yonkers, New York. He was 52.

Pittman suffered from heart-related illnesses. The precise cause of his death wasn’t known, said his friend William Karesh, vice president of the Global Health Program at the Bronx, New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

A former police-beat reporter who joined Bloomberg News in 1997, Pittman wrote stories in 2007 predicting the collapse of the banking system. That year, he won the Gerald Loeb Award from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the highest accolade in financial journalism, for “Wall Street’s Faustian Bargain,” a series of articles on the breakdown of the U.S. mortgage industry.

The rest of the article…

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Medicare in Crisis: The Devastating Impacts of a Corporate Health Care Bill

Medicare in Crisis: The Devastating Impacts of a Corporate Health Care Bill
By Shamus Cooke

Global Research, November 27, 2009; Reprinted by permission of the author.
Wading through the endless debate over health care has exhausted the patience of most Americans — the zigzags, obscure language, and long-winded discussion is inherently repulsive.

But now the dust is starting to settle, and the Congressional vision for health care in the U.S. is emerging. Instead of being “progressive,” it will amount to a massive, corporate-inspired attack on American workers, the elderly, and the poor.

Rejecting the Narrative for Health Reform in America, Believing in a Better Way

Original Content at
Reprinted by permission of the author.

November 23, 2009
Rejecting the Narrative for Health Reform in America, Believing in a Better Way
By Kevin Gosztola

Flickr photo by
To the extent that politicians in Washington, D.C. have not attempted reform of this magnitude with a concerted effort for a decade (perhaps, decades depending on how you regard Hillary Clinton's past efforts), the recent votes on health reform in the House two weeks ago and in the Senate this weekend are historic. But, they are no more than contrived milestones in history if you truly assess what the Democrats and their supporters hope this bill will achieve.
The rhetoric of a dominant political culture in America has taken righteous outrage and enthusiastic fervor for real healthcare reform and channeled it into a fight for a weak public option in what Steven Hill recently called America's “House of Lords.”

Friday, November 27, 2009

Native Blood: The Myth of Thanksgiving

by Mike Ely
Puritan settlers massacre Pequot people.
It is a deep thing that people still celebrate the survival of the early colonists at Plymouth — by giving thanks to the Christian God who supposedly protected and championed the European invasion. The real meaning of all that, then and now, needs to be continually excavated. The myths and lies that surround the past are constantly draped over the horrors and tortures of our present.
Every schoolchild in the U.S. has been taught that the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony invited the local Indians to a major harvest feast after surviving their first bitter year in New England. But the real history of Thanksgiving is a story of the murder of indigenous people and the theft of their land by European colonialists–and of the ruthless ways of capitalism.
* * * * *

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feds Want Rehearing of MLB Drug List Ruling

News Item-- SAN FRANCISCO Tuesday, November 24, 2009 (AP) —  Federal officials are asking for a rehearing of an appeals court decision that said the government illegally seized a list of Major League Baseball players who tested positive for steroids.

Officials say their investigations have been hampered by the ruling, which established new rules for digital searches.

In a court filing Tuesday, the government asked the 27 judges of the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider the case.

A panel of 11 9th Circuit judges ruled in August that investigators trampled on protections against unreasonable searches and seizures when they seized the list of 104 players who tested positive in the 2003 season. The investigators were armed with warrants for only the test results of 10 players.
I hope the feds lose this appeal and you should, too, even if you never watch baseball. They had warrants for ten sets of results and that is all they should have gotten. Those were the results relative to the investigation they were conducting. If they later found evidence indicating that they needed to get results from other players, they could have gone back to a judge for an additional warrant. Grabbing 104 results when they had warrants for 10 is clearly overreaching.

The feds had no excuse for overreaching here. One wonders why they needed as many as ten results, except for the possibility that they wanted a pool of players some of whom they could pressure to rat out the drug designers at the BALCO lab. This was a run-of-the-mill drug investigation, not a terrorism case with lives in imminent danger. The only reason they didn’t get another warrant is that they think they it’s a pain in the butt.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 was never rescinded. So, the E.O. still stands.

Originally posted by Jack on the End the Fed Network.

Kennedy issued his US Notes for much the same reason. On June 4, 1963, Kennedy signed Executive Order 11110, which authorized the US Treasury to issue a new form of silver certificate.

Kennedy issued $4,292,893,825 of cash money; free of debt and free of interest. It was a sufficient amount to allow the nation to operate without the private Federal Reserve. Just 5 months later, JFK was shot by the "crazed lone nut" Lee Harvey Oswald. Almost immediately after Kennedy's death, the US Notes were pulled out of circulation and destroyed except for samples in the hands of collectors.

A telling clue lies in the fact that the Warren Commission, now widely understood to have been a cover-up, counted among its seven members John J. McCloy, who had served as head of the World Bank and President of Chase Manhattan Bank. A rather odd resume for a man charged with investigating a murder, in hindsight!

Subsequent examination has shown that Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 was never rescinded. That would have taken an act of Congress, and in the atmosphere of near deification of JFK following his death, that would have brought more public attention to what Kennedy had wanted to do. So, the E.O. still stands.

I have written this commentary for two purposes. First, to remind President Obama that he already has all the authority he needs to order the US Treasury to start issuing currency. He just needs to pick up the phone or stroll through that tunnel and tell them to carry out Kennedy's EO 11110. Obama has that authority. He does not need Congress or anyone else's permission.

My second purpose is to send a message to the Federal Reserve. and that message is that if Obama does start issuing currency in accord with the Constitution and Kennedy's EO 11110, and anything happens to him (or for that matter to Ellen Brown), the owners of the Federal Reserve will be our first and most likely suspects.

Paul/Grayson Amendment to audit Fed passes committee

The Paul/Grayson amendment to have a genuine and probing audit of the Fed passed the House financial services committee 43-26, with 15 Democrats defying Chmn. Barney Frank (D-MA), the Democractic Leadership and the banking industry to support the amendment whose chief sponsor is Ron Paul (R-TX).

Now in Under-Reported Reports

A link to the report: Factors Effecting Efforts to Limit Payments to AIG Counterparties.

And a link to a related New York Times article that said: "It’s must reading for any taxpayer hoping to understand why the $182 billion “rescue” of what was once the world’s largest insurer still ranks as the most troubling episode of the financial disaster."

Factors Affecting Efforts to Limit Payments to AIG Counterparties

From the Objectives section of the introduction:

Twenty-seven members of Congress asked SIGTARP (Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program) to review the basis for these counterparty payments, whether they were in the best interests of the taxpayers, and whether they needed to be made at 100% of par value.  SIGTARP also sought to determine to what extent AIG continues to have potential risks to other counterparty payments associated with their financial products.

The SIGTARP Report

New York Times Article: Revisiting a Fed Waltz with AIG

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve has 298 co-sponsors (69%) in the House. The Senate version, sponsored by Bernie Sanders, has 31 co-sponsors (31%). But in a last-minute power-play by the banks, Rep. Mel Watt wants to gut a proposal for a complete audit of the Federal Reserve.

If you don’t think the Fed needs to be audited, go to the video box on the left sidebar and watch the first video. It’s 5 and a half minutes long. Rep. Alan Grayson asks the Fed’s inspector general some simple questions that she clearly would rather not answer.

Then go to this FireDogLake action link and sign the petition. Bernanke’s against a complete audit, so you know it’s time to do it!

Nov. 22nd is National End the Fed Day. Go to the End The Fed web site to see what actions are taking place in your community.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Open Letter to the House Progressive Caucus (Except Kucinich and Massa)

I am deeply disappointed in you for voting for the “Greater Health Insurance Industry Profits Act” a.k.a. H.R. 3962, and especially for voting for it with the Stupak anti-abortion amendment attached, after your voting against the amendment's being attached in the first place. Stupak goes beyond even the Hyde Amendment, in that it forbids women from buying insurance coverage for abortion services with their own money if they are being subsidized by the government for health insurance and forbids health insurance companies from offering abortion coverage if they are part of HR 3962's insurance exchanges. But you voted for the bill with this amendment added anyway. And you call yourselves progressives?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Baseball Videos

I have begun the videos on this page with footage from baseball's dead ball era. All of the footage was taken from You Tube, some of it coming from clips of Ken Burns' great documentary "Baseball." I wanted to include Negro League players, so I looked up Satchel Paige.  I found a two-part documentary, just over 10 minutes long, created for National History Day 2009 by one Thomas Gunn, aged 15, of northern Vermont.  This home-schooled teenager has created a documentary that is worthy of the efforts of someone three times his age.  Have we here the next Ken Burns?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kucinich: Why I Voted NO


Original Content at

November 8, 2009

Kucinich: Why I Voted NO

By Dennis Kucinich

Washington D.C. (November 7, 2009) – After voting against H.R. 3962 - Affordable Health Care for America Act, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:
“We have been led to believe that we must make our health care choices only within the current structure of a predatory, for-profit insurance system which makes money not providing health care. We cannot fault the insurance companies for being what they are. But we can fault legislation in which the government incentivizes the perpetuation, indeed the strengthening, of the for-profit health insurance industry, the very source of the problem. When health insurance companies deny care or raise premiums, co-pays and deductibles they are simply trying to make a profit. That is our system.

“Clearly, the insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. They are driving up the cost of health care. Because their massive bureaucracy avoids paying bills so effectively, they force hospitals and doctors to hire their own bureaucracy to fight the insurance companies to avoid getting stuck with an unfair share of the bills. The result is that since 1970, the number of physicians has increased by less than 200% while the number of administrators has increased by 3000%. It is no wonder that 31 cents of every health care dollar goes to administrative costs, not toward providing care. Even those with insurance are at risk. The single biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. is health insurance policies that do not cover you when you get sick.

“But instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. In H.R. 3962, the government is requiring at least 21 million Americans to buy private health insurance from the very industry that causes costs to be so high, which will result in at least $70 billion in new annual revenue, much of which is coming from taxpayers. This inevitably will lead to even more costs, more subsidies, and higher profits for insurance companies — a bailout under a blue cross.

“By incurring only a new requirement to cover pre-existing conditions, a weakened public option, and a few other important but limited concessions, the health insurance companies are getting quite a deal. The Center for American Progress' blog, Think Progress, states “since the President signaled that he is backing away from the public option, health insurance stocks have been on the rise.” Similarly, healthcare stocks rallied when Senator Max Baucus introduced a bill without a public option. Bloomberg reports that Curtis Lane, a prominent health industry investor, predicted a few weeks ago that “money will start flowing in again” to health insurance stocks after passage of the legislation. last month reported that pharmacy benefit managers share prices are hitting all-time highs, with the only industry worry that the Administration would reverse its decision not to negotiate Medicare Part D drug prices, leaving in place a Bush Administration policy.

“During the debate, when the interests of insurance companies would have been effectively challenged, that challenge was turned back. The “robust public option” which would have offered a modicum of competition to a monopolistic industry was whittled down from an initial potential enrollment of 129 million Americans to 6 million. An amendment which would have protected the rights of states to pursue single-payer health care was stripped from the bill at the request of the Administration. Looking ahead, we cringe at the prospect of even greater favors for insurance companies.
“Recent rises in unemployment indicate a widening separation between the finance economy and the real economy. The finance economy considers the health of Wall Street, rising corporate profits, and banks' hoarding of cash, much of it from taxpayers, as sign of an economic recovery. However in the real economy -- in which most Americans live -- the recession is not over. Rising unemployment, business failures, bankruptcies and foreclosures are still hammering Main Street.
“This health care bill continues the redistribution of wealth to Wall Street at the expense of America's manufacturing and service economies which suffer from costs other countries do not have to bear, especially the cost of health care. America continues to stand out among all industrialized nations for its privatized health care system. As a result, we are less competitive in steel, automotive, aerospace and shipping while other countries subsidize their exports in these areas through socializing the cost of health care.

“Notwithstanding the fate of H.R. 3962, America will someday come to recognize the broad social and economic benefits of a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system, which is good for the American people and good for America's businesses, with of course the notable exceptions being insurance and pharmaceuticals.”

Author's Bio: Dennis Kucinich is a congressman from Ohio and a 2008 presidential primary candidate. The best way to reach congressman Kucinich is through the information on his congressional website


Who Were the Witches? - Patriarchal Terror and the Creation of Capitalism

Original Content 
Reprinted by Permission.

November 6, 2009
Who Were the Witches? - Patriarchal Terror and the Creation of Capitalism
By Alex Knight

Order this important book through our links to

Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body, and Primitive Accumulation
This Halloween season, there is no book I could recommend more highly than Silvia Federici's brilliant Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation (Autonomedia 2004), which tells the dark saga of the Witch Hunt that consumed Europe for more than 200 years. In uncovering this forgotten history, Federici exposes the origins of capitalism in the heightened oppression of workers (represented by Shakespeare's character Caliban), and most strikingly, in the brutal subjugation of women. She also brings to light the enormous and colorful European peasant movements that fought against the injustices of their time, connecting their defeat to the imposition of a new patriarchal order that divided male from female workers. Today, as more and more people question the usefulness of a capitalist system that has thrown the world into crisis, Caliban and the Witch stands out as essential reading for unmasking the shocking violence and inequality that capitalism has relied upon from its very creation.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kucinich: Why is it we have Finite Resources for Health Care but Unlimited Money for War?


Washington, Nov 6 -

Following a statement on the Floor of the House of Representative, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:

“Why is it we have finite resources for health care but unlimited money for war? 

“The inequities in our economy are piling up: trillions for war, trillions for Wall Street and tens of billions for the insurance companies. Banks and other corporations are sitting on piles of cash of taxpayer’s money while firing workers, cutting pay and denying small businesses money to survive. 

“People are losing their homes, their jobs, their health, their investments, their retirement security; yet there is unlimited money for war, Wall Street and insurance companies, but very little money for jobs on Main Street.

“Unlimited money to blow up things in Iraq and Afghanistan, and relatively little money to build things in the US. 

“The Administration may soon bring to Congress a request for an additional $50 billion for war. I can tell you that a Democratic version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is no more acceptable than a Republican version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Trillions for war and Wall Street, billions for insurance companies...  When we were promised change, we weren’t thinking that we give a dollar and get back two cents.”

# # #

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Coal Company Destroys Last Intact Mountain in Coal River Valley (WVa)

Nov 6, 2009, 00:10

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tierra Curry, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 522-3681

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A subsidiary of Massey Energy has begun mountaintop-removal coal-mining operations on Coal River Mountain in West Virginia, the only peak in Coal River Valley that hasn’t been blasted away for mining. Blasting for the mine is taking place 200 yards from the Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment, which holds 8 billion gallons of toxic coal sludge above the Coal River community. Local and national conservation organizations including the Center for Biological Diversity are asking the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House to halt the mining operation.

“It is just plain wrong to blow up the last mountain in Coal River Valley and to jeopardize the lives of the people living below the slurry dam. The federal government should intervene and protect this community,” said Tierra Curry, a biologist at the Center.

Citizens are concerned that blasting could weaken or breach the slurry dam. A coal slurry impoundment owned by a Massey subsidiary failed in 2000, spilling more than 300 million gallons of toxic slurry into the Big Sandy River in Martin County, Kentucky. In 1972, 125 people were killed by a 132-million-gallon slurry spill in Logan County, West Virginia.

At 3,300 feet, Coal River Mountain is the tallest mountain ever to undergo mountaintop-removal mining. Massey Energy plans to blast away 6,600 acres of the mountain and fill in 18 streams with toxic mining waste. Mountaintop-removal coal mining has already destroyed 500 mountains, more than 1 million acres of hardwood forest, and more than 1,200 miles of streams in Appalachia.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Dangers of Voting on Civil Rights

NEWS ITEM – Portland, ME (AP) -- In an election that had been billed for weeks as too close to call, Maine's often unpredictable voters repealed a state law Tuesday that would have allowed same-sex couples to wed. Gay marriage has now lost in all 31 states in which it has been put to a popular vote — a trend that the gay-rights movement had believed it could end in Maine.
The following is an excerpt from a column by Huffington Post Blogger Mike Alvear of Atlanta, GA:

Sometimes I wonder how the framers of the Constitution would react to Maine’s vote this Tuesday on whether gay people should keep their right to marry.
I’m pretty sure Jefferson would weep.
And the others would share his hankie. For this must be the founding father’s nightmare: Seeing one group of Americans go into the voting booth to take away the rights of another.....
...No matter what side you’re on, no matter what the result of the final tally, voting is the enemy of equality.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1958, “When any society says that I cannot marry a certain person, that society has cut off a segment of my freedom.”

In Loving v. Virginia, a case involving the right of an interracial couple to wed——that the US Supreme Court reminded us in 1967 that:

The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888).

The Supreme Court used Loving v. Virginia to strike down “anti-miscegenation” statutes barring interracial marriage as violating the 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection of the laws and due process. That decision is the constitutional foundation upon which gays and lesbians assert their right to marry. In 2007, at a celebration marking the 40th Anniversary of the Loving decision, the usually reclusive Mrs. Loving, by then a widow, allowed the reading, on her behalf, of a statement in favor of same-sex-marriage.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On Patenting Life

News item: Wired Magazine -- November 2, 2009 -- Judge OKs challenge to human-gene patents.

A federal judge ruled Monday that a lawsuit can move forward against the Patent and Trademark Office and the research company that was awarded exclusive rights to human genes known to detect early signs of breast and ovarian cancer.

US Judge Robert W. Sweet of New York, in ruling that the case may proceed to trial, noted that the litigation it may open the door to challenges of a host of other patent genes.  About 1/5 of the human genome is covered under patent applications and claims.
This is an excellent lawsuit!  The plaintiffs -- the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law -- are alleging that the patent violates free speech by restricting research.  They also claim that the defendant company, Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City, has tried to patent something that occurs in nature.  The company did not invent, create or engineer the genes; it merely found the genes in nature and described how they function in nature. The company should be able to patent the method by which it found the genes, but not the genes themselves.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The M.O. of The Social Contract Renewed

The modus operandi (M.O.) of the book is the same one stated in the subtitle of this blog: Challenging the Assumptions We Live By. Kellia believes we can form any kind of society we will, because human beings are capable of change. But we can only change if we are willing to stop resting on our assumptions. Take, for example, the existence of money. Most of the world's problems stem from either the need or greed for money. What if we could abolish it?

If you think that is hopeless fantasy, you are locked in the assumption that money must exist. Think for a moment. What if money didn't exist? Have you ever read a book or seen a movie about a culture in which money did not exist? How do people access goods and services without money. How do they facilitate exchange? Many of you would come up with different scenarios: good, bad, or, if money didn't exist it would have to be invented. And those scenarios would be the start of an interesting conversation. Start that conversation by making comments on this blog.

But some of you simply could not wrap your brain around the idea of a world without money. It's for you especially, the folks who cannot think of things other than the way they are and seem to have been since time immemorial, that Kellia is writing the book.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Home of the Brave?

By John Steinsvold

[A thought-provoking "utopian" article, entitled "Home of the Brave?" which appeared in the American Daily which was published in Phoenix, Arizona on March 14, 2006. It was then republished on a website called The Athenaeum Library of Philosophy. ]

Economists concede that economics is an inexact science. What does that mean? Perhaps it means their economic forecast is better than yours or mine. Recently, economic indicators have been rising and people have their fingers crossed. Economists have given us reason to hope that the job market will improve and that the stock market will continue on a steady climb. Yet, the newspapers continue to report more layoffs and more jobs going overseas. 

Meanwhile, our economy is getting more and more complex. We associate complexity with progress for some ungodly reason. The following problems, however, have become inherent in our economy. What does that mean? It means they will be around for a while: