Paul Krugman | Depression and Democracy
Paul Krugman, The New York Times
Intro: "It's time to start calling the current situation what it is: a depression. True, it's not a full replay of the Great Depression, but that's cold comfort. Unemployment in both America and Europe remains disastrously high. Leaders and institutions are increasingly discredited. And democratic values are under siege."
Robert Fisk: Bankers Are the Dictators of the West
Robert Fisk, The Independent UK
Excerpt: "The protest movements are indeed against Big Business - a perfectly justified cause - and against 'governments'. What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties - which then hand their democratic mandate and people's power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of 'experts' from America's top universities and 'think tanks', who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalization rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters. The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West."
New Confederacy Rising
Theo Anderson, In These Times
Intro: "The rhetoric of Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Rick Perry about the 'real America' is not imagined: They and those who oppose them live in different Americas, embodying different ideals and meaning different things to their loyalists. How we reached this impasse is a fascinating question. The answer to it raises profound doubts and questions about how - and whether - we can move forward as 'one nation, indivisible.'"
Northeast States Cut Heating Aid to Poor
Andrew Miga, Associated Press
Intro: "Mary Power is 92 and worried about surviving another frigid New England winter because deep cuts in federal home heating assistance benefits mean she probably can't afford enough heating oil to stay warm. ... Thousands of poor people across the Northeast are bracing for a difficult winter with substantially less home heating aid coming from the federal government."