The Global Debt Crisis is Destroying the Economic Structure

Published on Global Research.ca, by Bob Chapman, Oct. 23, 2009.

Choosing College:

The decision of more young people to attend college, which could help them increase their earning potential later in life, may be one silver lining of the recession, economists say.

Similarly, back when graduating from high school was a rarer achievement, the Great Depression pushed potential dropouts to stay in high school because work was so hard to come by. 

But there is a bit of a catch-22: Many college students need to work to pay for college.

Half of traditional-age college students work 20 hours a week, Lawrence F. Katz, an economics professor at Harvard, said. “In today’s labor market, the big margin comes from going on to college, not just graduating high school,” he said. “Unlike the decision to finish high school, that’s not something you can do free of tuition.”

Study: 40% of working-age Californians jobless:

On this Labor Day weekend, many Californians find themselves more in need of work than a holiday.

A report released Sunday says two of five working-age Californians do not have a job, underscoring the challenges in one of the toughest job markets in decades.

A new study has found that the last time employment levels among this group were this low was February 1977.

The study was done by the California Budget Project, a Sacramento-based nonprofit research group that advocates for lower- and middle-income families. The report said that California now has about the same number of jobs as it did nine years ago, when the state was home to 3.3 million fewer working-age people.

California Budget Project executive director Jean Ross recommended Congress adopt a second extension of unemployment insurance benefits. Those checks pay between $200 and $1,800 a month depending on a worker’s previous earnings …

… How on earth did Paulson think this was OK? Goldman Sachs was a hugely powerful for-profit investment bank, and there he is, giving private chapter and verse on his opinions about the US and global economy, talking about internal Treasury matters, and previewing an upcoming (and surely market-moving) speech.  All in secret, at a “social event” which somehow got kept off his official calendar. Oh, yes, and one other thing — the whole shebang took place in the Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel, in the context of Goldman directors joking about how all the Moscow hotels were surely bugged.

This is sleazy in the extreme, and will only serve to heighten suspicions that Paulson’s Treasury was rigging the game in favor of Goldman all along. (It’s also a bit peculiar, to say the least, that the only two times Paulson met with private-sector boards he was out of the country, and arguably outside US jurisdiction.)

The disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street remains. The ABC consumer confidence index declined to -50, the lowest reading in exactly 3 months.

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to keep them from meeting when Democrats aren’t present.  Towns’ action came after repeated public ridicule from the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), over Towns’s failure to launch an investigation into Countrywide Mortgage’s reported sweetheart deals to VIPs. (full text).

(Bob Chapman is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Bob Chapman).

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