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The Great Recession has erased decades of economic growth amongst blacks in the South

The New Poor - Blacks in Memphis Lose Decades of Gains - NYTimes.com
“I’m going to tell you the deal, plain-spoken: I’m a black man from the projects and I clean toilets and mop up for a living,” said Mr. Banks, a trim man who looks at least a decade younger than his 50 years. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. But my whole life is backfiring.” Not so long ago, Memphis, a city where a majority of the residents are black, was a symbol of a South where racial history no longer tightly constrained the choices of a rising black working and middle class. Now this city epitomizes something more grim: How rising unemployment and growing foreclosures in the recession have combined to destroy black wealth and income and erase two decades of slow progress. The median income of black homeowners in Memphis rose steadily until five or six years ago. Now it has receded to a level below that of 1990 — and roughly half that of white Memphis homeowners, according to an analysis conducted by Queens College Sociology Department for The New York Times.

May 30, 2010

The cost of our Asian wars just hit $1 Trillion

Daily Kos: We've Always Been at War with Eastasia
On May 30, 2010, at 10:06 a.m, the direct cost of occupying Iraq and Afghanistan will hit $1 trillion. And in a few weeks, the House of Representatives will be asked to vote for $33 billion of additional "emergency" supplemental spending to continue the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. There will be the pretense of debate - speeches on the floor of both chambers, stern requests for timetables or metrics or benchmarks - but this war money will get tossed in the wood chipper without difficulty, requested by a President who ran on an anti-war platform. Passing this legislation will mark the breaking of another promise to America, the promise that all war spending would be done through the regular budget process. Not through an off-budget swipe of our Chinese credit card. The war money could be used for schools, bridges, or paying everyone's mortgage payments for a whole year. It could be used to end federal income taxes on every American's first $35,000 of income, as my bill, the War Is Making You Poor Act, does. It could be used to close the yawning deficit, supply health care to the unemployed, or for any other human and humane purpose. Instead, it will be used for war. Because, as Orwell predicted in 1984, we've reached the point where everyone thinks that we've always been at war with Eastasia. Why? Not because Al Qaeda was sheltered in Iraq. It wasn't. And not because Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan. It isn't. Bush could never explain why we went to war in Iraq, and Obama can't explain why we are ‘escalating' in Afghanistan. So, why? Why spend $1 trillion on a long, bloody nine-year campaign with no justifiable purpose? Remember 9/11, the day that changed everything? That was almost a decade ago. Bush's response was to mire us in two bloody wars, wars in which we are still stuck today. Why? . . .

May 29, 2010

President Bush tells Argentine president that war is a solution to a down economy

It's like he doesn't even realize we haven't begun to pay for the two wars he started. Or that he left the country in a severe repression. Think Progress -- Former Argentine president says Bush told him ‘the best way to revitalize the economy is war.’
During his interview with Stone, Kirchner said he once discussed global economic problems with former President George W. Bush. The former Argentine president says that when he suggested a new Marshall Plan, referring to the WW II-era European reconstruction plan, Bush “got angry” and suggested that “the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats.” Instead, Kirchner says, Bush suggested that “the best way to revitalize the economy is war”: KIRCHNER: I said that a solution for the problems right now, I told Bush, is a Marshall Plan. And he got angry. He said the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats. He said the best way to revitalize the economy is war. And that the United States has grown stronger with war. STONE: War, he said that? KIRCHNER: He said that. Those were his exact words. STONE: Is he suggesting that South America go to war? KIRCHNER: Well, he was talking about the United States: ‘The Democrats had been wrong. All of the economic growth of the United States has been encouraged by wars.’ He said it very clearly.