This Video Explains Why Economists Say The Weird Things They Say

Have you ever wondered why an economist would say that giving tax cuts to the rich makes the economy better? Or why they say that getting rid of unions is good for the economy?

Watch this to learn why some economists say things like this:

Rachel Maddow shares details of a report showing Koch brothers funding behind an economic report flattering to conservative economic policies.

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NAFTA At 20: 1 Million Lost Jobs, 580% Increase In Trade Deficit

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch has issued a new report, NAFTA at 20: One Million U.S. Jobs Lost, Mass Displacement and Instability in Mexico, Record Income Inequality, Scores of Corporate Attacks on Environmental and Health Laws. The report compares the promises with which NAFTA was sold with the results we can measure 20 years later.

NAFTA was not just a “trade” agreement. Trade agreements focus on cutting tariffs and easing quotas and barriers to goods moving across borders. The report points out that NAFTA was much more, giving corporations special rights, incentivizing offshoring and limiting regulation. As the report puts it,

“NAFTA created new privileges and protections for foreign investors that incentivized the offshoring of investment and jobs by eliminating many of the risks normally associated with moving production to low-wage countries. NAFTA allowed foreign investors to directly challenge before foreign tribunals domestic policies and actions, demanding government compensation for policies that they claimed undermined their expected future profits. NAFTA also contained chapters that required the three countries to limit regulation of services, such as trucking and banking; extend medicine patent monopolies; limit food and product safety standards and border inspection; and waive domestic procurement preferences, such as Buy American.”

Some of the effects of NAFTA that are highlighted in the report include,

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One More Complete Media Fail: Health Insurance “Deadline”

How many news stories have you seen telling people that the Obamacare “deadline” has passed? For example, this from AP,

The deadline has passed, and so too the surprise grace period, for signing up for health insurance as part of the nation’s health care law.

How can you avoid thinking, “Wow, I missed the ‘deadline’ and now I can’t get insurance!”?

Here’s the deal: You can still get insurance, it just won’t start on Jan. 1. That’s it. Big deal.

Yes, you haven’t been able to get insurance until now and you really want to be covered. Yes you wanted to start on the very first day. But don’t worry, you can still get insurance. And you may have heard that there is a penalty for not having insurance? This is how that works: If you are uninsured for 3 or more months in a year you have to pay a penalty of $95 this year, more in following years. So get your insurance by the end of March to avoid the penalty.

Don’t let stories like this trick you into thinking you missed out and can’t get insurance.

This Was Good

Last night’s Virtually Speaking was really good, and you can listen to it here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking/2013/12/23/dave-johnson-cliff-schecter-virtually-speaking-sundays-1.

Commentators Dave Johnson (Campaign for America’s Future) & Cliff Schecter (Libertas LLC) discuss:

1) Good public policy as popular public policy. A government jobs program with a minimum wage increase would be both. Moral Mondays as an example of bringing public opinion to bare. Gillibrand’s populist “Opportunity Agenda.”

2) Political satirist CoT’s most ridiculous moment from the morning gabfest.

3) Potential progressive options to Clinton (Sanders, Schweitzer, O’Malley) and the impact they may have on the Democratic Party, and Clinton’s positions and campaign.

Jay Ackroyd moderates. Follow @CliffSchecter @DCJohnson @Bobblespeak @JayAckroyd.

Virtually Speaking Tonite 6pm PT/9pm ET Dave Johnson and Cliff Schecter

Virtually Speaking is a regular online “radio” show that you can listen to live while it is recorded, or later (and on Podcast.)

This week, commentators Dave Johnson (Campaign for America’s Future) & Cliff Schecter (Libertas LLC) talk about good public policy as popular public policy and how a government jobs program with a minimum wage increase would be both, e.g. Moral Mondays and Gillibrand’s populist “Opportunity Agenda

A ridiculous moment from Culture of Truth

Then potential progressive options to a Clinton candidacy e.g., Sanders, Schweitzer, O’Malley; and the impact they may have on the Democratic Party as well as Clinton’s positions and campaign.

You can listen live or any time later http://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking/2013/12/23/dave-johnson-cliff-schecter-virtually-speaking-sundays-1.

You can also get Virtually Speaking on Podcasts.

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A Good Read – With A Video

Go read How Mainstream Media Comforts the Comforted, about how the media is no longer about providing us with information.

“Looks like no matter how well we do as a nation, the fruits of our labor benefit a few, while the vast majority of us continue to barely hang on.”

Be sure to watch the video. You will not believe it.

“It’s bad enough that you can’t rely on local news to arm you with information that is useful to you. But now, large portions of the local news isn’t even local. It’s clearly coming from a central source. A source that wants to encourage you to consume more. Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand”.”

Who Will Fight To Help The Unemployed?

At the beginning of November, the poor went over the “Hunger Cliff” as Food Stamps were cut. Now long-term unemployment assistance will run out at the end of December. Regular people think the government has given up on them. They have been hit by one blow after another, with little or no help in sight. They see shutdowns and budget cuts at the very time the government needs to spend more to help Americans.

This is part of the Republican effort to turn Americans against government, because the public will blame Democrats. Democrats have to stop letting Republicans get away with it, and return to being seen as trying to help the unemployed and poor.

Long-Term Unemployment Assistance Running Out

In a few days, long-term unemployment benefits run out in spite of a “budget deal.” This cutoff of long-term aid means that in most states aid will end after a person is unemployed for 26 weeks, and in other states even less - some dramatically less. It occurs at a time when the average length of unemployment is 37 weeks, and there is still only one job for every three people still bothering to look for work.

1.3 million people will lose this assistance immediately, just after Christmas. By mid-2014 another 2 million will lose this aid as well.

“If my wife loses her benefit before she finds a job, we lose our house.” – Philadelphia resident.

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