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Why There’s No Outcry

Why There’s No Outcry | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
Coffee Party USA's insight:

by Robert Reich

People ask me all the time why we don’t have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society.

Middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, almost all the economic gains are going to the top, and big money is corrupting our democracy. So why isn’t there more of a ruckus?

The answer is complex, but three reasons stand out.

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Jefferson’s lifelong dream

Jefferson’s lifelong dream | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

ANDREW BURSTEIN AND NANCY ISENBERG, Salon

"The only security of all is in a free press.” Thomas Jefferson wrote these words to the Marquis de Lafayette at the age of 80. The reason Jefferson lauded a free press was that he wished, in tense political times, for the U.S. to function as a deliberative democracy, in which an increasingly better-educated citizenry monitored the policy decisions of its elected representatives and judged whether or not they deserved to remain in office.

A better-educated citizenry. That was Jefferson’s mantra, and it should be ours, too. Republicans in Congress have claimed Jefferson as their man, time and again quoting him as a champion of small government. One of their favorites lines is, “If it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution,” it would be “taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing.” The Jefferson they do not pay attention to is the one whose lifelong dream was a well-funded public education system — the Jefferson who spent his post-presidential retirement years creating a beautiful public university in Charlottesville, Virginia. Jefferson asked no less a figure than U.S. Attorney General William Wirt, notably the son of a Maryland tavern-keeper, to be its president. He understand that personal growth and national strength were best served by lifting up ordinary folks.

This week, the Senate debated student loan rates, which are now at a comfortable 3.4 percent and are set to double on July 1, if nothing is done. In his most recent college tour, President Obama focused on the endangered interest rate, fully aware that Republicans would have to support the Democratic initiative, if only to avoid embarrassment. Their sleight of hand was in proposing to come up with the $6 billion by removing money from preventive healthcare programs. That, then, is how the House Republican majority voted a week earlier to pass a one-year extension of the 3.4 percent rate. Democrats had urged cutting subsidies to oil and gas companies instead of raiding health care funds. When that wouldn’t fly, the alternative became an increase in the Social Security payroll taxes of the already wealthy. The White House vowed a veto after the House measure passed. It’s now the Senate’s turn. Congress will have to reach some sort of compromise, because neither party wishes to be seen as anti-student in an election year. [MORE]

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Why a Falling Birth Rate Is a Big Problem

Why a Falling Birth Rate Is a Big Problem | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
by RICK NEWMAN, US News

It sounds like one of those stories you can safely ignore: The U.S. birth rate has hit a record low, led by a big drop in the portion of immigrant women having babies.

This development doesn't directly affect anybody, since it's one of those long-term societal trends that occurs in small increments and doesn't change the unemployment rate, the price of gas, the direction of the stock market or any of the big economic forces that make our lives better or worse today. And since the trend is strongest among immigrants, it sounds like maybe this is something happening in a shadowy part of the economy that doesn't matter all that much.

But it does matter, and if the trend persists, it could mean lower living standards for most Americans in the future.
Coffee Party USA's insight:

America's falling birth rate, and our expanding senior citizen population as Baby Boomers retire, make an immigration wave an economic and fiscal necessity.  Full article here.

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Atlas DIY's curator insight, March 6, 2013 3:36 PM

Is immigration the solution to low birth rates in the United States?

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TPP: What You Don't Know Will Hurt You (Video)

TPP: What You Don't Know Will Hurt You (Video) | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it

LORI WALLACH, Huffington Post

DALLAS. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) twelfth round of negotiations started this week behind closed doors. Branded as a "trade deal" by its corporate proponents, the TPP in reality would establish new corporate rights to ease job offshoring, attack environmental and health laws in foreign tribunals, and extend medicine patents. Its expansive non-trade provisions would impose constraints on government regulation of financial firms, food safety and more.

As The Huffington Post's Zach Carter reported, the TPP would even ban "Buy America" procurement policy. The TPP also includes aspects of SOPA, the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act. The pact would even elevate corporations to equal status with signatory governments allowing them to privately enforce their new rights be suing government in foreign tribunals to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that undermine the companies' expected future profits.


Intensive negotiations have been underway for two years under conditions of extreme secrecy. More than 600 hundred corporate "advisers" have access to the draft texts while the press, public and Congress are shut out. This comic video, set to a parody tune based off the Jackson Five's "ABC," aims to pierce the dangerous lack of public awareness about this audacious corporate power grab. With funny animation and a sarcastic tone, it highlights that the TPP is "all about secrecy" and has "nothing to do with trade you see". You can learn more about the TPP at www.TPP2012.com.



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