Americans are not being honest with themselves about the structural changes in the economy that have bestowed fabulous wealth on a tiny sliver at the top, while undermining the living standards of the middle class and absolutely crushing the poor. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a viable strategy for reversing this dreadful state of affairs. (There is no evidence the G.O.P. even wants to.) Bob Herbert, NY Times

EDITOR’S COMMENT: The droning political commercials are designed to scare us into NOT thinking that whoever the candidate is, if they are incumbent, THEY are the problem. This election season promises to be based on emotional response rather than level headed thinking. As Herbert points out in the piece below, we are kidding ourselves and hurting our prospects if we really think we can get out of this and join the family of nations again. We keep doing it and we won’t stop, like a child banging their head against the wall. The only argument I have with Herbert is the implication that the democrats are desiring anything better for us than the republicans. Here’s my theory– if they are in, get them out. It is incumbents that are the problems not Republicans or Democrats. It doesn’t matter what party they belong to, they are and were part of the problem. The Party of “NO” and the party of “CHANGE” can’t seem to get out of their own way. Political strategy is more important than actually saving our country and giving us back the hope we all grew up with that next generation would be better.

Here it is pure and simple: The recovery will never come and we are never going to see those bright days again with our current economic and political structure. It can’t happen. There is no recovery for 99% of Americans and there never will be. The only thing you can do is fight for yourself and those around you because those politicians hundreds or thousands of miles away are owned lock, stock and barrel by the people who want to keep things just as they are. My children and grandchildren face a bleak future because we don’t want to own up to the truth.

The truth is for the last 30 years our country’s economic “progress” has been a big lie and we have been living it. That is why this site is called “livinglies”. Because we all live it every day and it has become our reality and the longer it goes on the more we become accustomed to it.  The BIG LIE is accepted as our truth. Median income has dropped steadily and now the only people who could and maybe would pull us out of this ditch we are in — the middle class and the poor crushed into misery — don’t have the money to spend, and neither government nor credit industries have any more money to give them to spend so we can pretend to have an economy.

The truth is the resource for the ultimate stimulus is right there in front of us but we won’t use it because it is politically unacceptable. Just how did it become politically unacceptable to give back money you stole? And why are we even listening to people who would give incentives to companies who ship jobs overseas? Just how do you expect jobs to materialize like magic when there’s nobody left to buy anything and no money to buy it?

We have reached the ultimate point of reckoning and we don’t seem to be doing a very good job of handling it. If we don’t stop sucking the last ounce of blood out of the middle class and poor people, we won’t have a country left to think about, much less an economy. There it is. All you history buffs out there — show me one case in history where the aristocracy was absurdly prosperous while the rest of the people were going downhill and tell me one case where it ended up with good news for everyone!

We’ve passed the point of no return. we can’t turn back. We have to let our anger go and do the only practical things that will work to preserve our country and give hope and prospects to the majority of Americans. There are still trillions of dollars in wealth in residential homes that neither the government nor the private industry will allow anyone to reach, because they are holding the keys in their pocket. And because they are still making money off the misery of the majority, they won’t change a thing.

So here we are living lies that others tell us, maybe some lies we want to hear and believe. But the truth ought to set the power brokers free from controlling our destinies. We ought to stop living these lies and start trumpeting truth, insisting that those who aspire to be our leaders live by the truth and stop trying to scare us into distraction so we won’t change the status quo where that little sliver of people continue their unhealthy pursuit of even more power and money, still sucking on the public corporate welfare trough, still sucking the life out of people in foreclosures that are illegal, immoral and just plain practically wrong for everyone. Give people a chance and you give the country a chance. Deny them justice at your peril. This won’t end up well or even satisfactory for anyone, but like the aristocracies and royalties from history before them, they just can’t conceive how they could be so powerful and so rich and how anything could happen that would change that.

Every time they are horrified by the sudden change of events where their privileges and sometimes their lives or freedom are stripped from them revealing the same mortals we find beneath all exteriors. Judges are slow to move in that direction but the movement is inevitable and cannot be stopped. People are fed up and are getting increasingly willing to do something about it. Let’s hope the judiciary and other branches of government get the message before this society we take for granted turns upside down.

September 13, 2010

A Recovery’s Long Odds


We can keep wishing and hoping for a powerful economic recovery to pull the U.S. out of its doldrums, but I wouldn’t count on it. Ordinary American families no longer have the purchasing power to build a strong recovery and keep it going.

Americans are not being honest with themselves about the structural changes in the economy that have bestowed fabulous wealth on a tiny sliver at the top, while undermining the living standards of the middle class and absolutely crushing the poor. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a viable strategy for reversing this dreadful state of affairs. (There is no evidence the G.O.P. even wants to.)

Robert Reich, in his new book, “Aftershock,” gives us one of the clearest explanations to date of what has happened — how the United States went from what he calls “the Great Prosperity” of 1947 to 1975 to the Great Recession that has hobbled the U.S. economy and darkened the future of younger Americans.

He gives the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve credit for moving quickly in terms of fiscal and monetary policies to prevent the economic crash of 2008 from driving the U.S. into a second great depression. “But,” he writes, “we did not learn the larger lesson of the 1930s: that when the distribution of income gets too far out of whack, the economy needs to be reorganized so the broad middle class has enough buying power to rejuvenate the economy over the longer term.”

The middle class is finally on its knees. Jobs are scarce and good jobs even scarcer. Government and corporate policies have been whacking working Americans every which way for the past three or four decades. While globalization and technological wizardry were wreaking employment havoc, the movers and shakers in government and in the board rooms of the great corporations were embracing privatization and deregulation with the fervor of fanatics. The safety net was shredded, unions were brutally attacked and demonized, employment training and jobs programs were eliminated, higher education costs skyrocketed, and the nation’s infrastructure, a key to long-term industrial and economic health, deteriorated.

It’s a wonder matters aren’t worse.

While all this was happening, working people, including those in the vast middle class, coped as best they could. Women went into the paid work force in droves. Many workers increased their hours or took on second and third jobs. Savings were drained and debt of every imaginable kind — from credit cards to mortgages to student loans — exploded.

With those coping mechanisms now exhausted, it’s painfully obvious that the economy has failed working Americans.

There was plenty of growth, but the economic benefits went overwhelmingly — and unfairly — to those already at the top. Mr. Reich cites the work of analysts who have tracked the increasing share of national income that has gone to the top 1 percent of earners since the 1970s, when their share was 8 percent to 9 percent. In the 1980s, it rose to 10 percent to 14 percent. In the late-’90s, it was 15 percent to 19 percent. In 2005, it passed 21 percent. By 2007, the last year for which complete data are available, the richest 1 percent were taking more than 23 percent of all income.

The richest one-tenth of 1 percent, representing just 13,000 households, took in more than 11 percent of total income in 2007.

That does not leave enough spending power with the rest of the population to sustain a flourishing economy. This is a point emphasized in “Aftershock.” Mr. Reich, a former labor secretary in the Clinton administration, writes: “The wages of the typical American hardly increased in the three decades leading up to the Crash of 2008, considering inflation. In the 2000s, they actually dropped.”

A male worker earning the median wage in 2007 earned less than the median wage, adjusted for inflation, of a male worker 30 years earlier. A typical son, in other words, is earning less than his dad did at the same age.

This is what has happened with ordinary workers as the wealth at the top has soared into the stratosphere.

With so much of the middle class and the rest of working America tapped out, there is not enough consumer demand for the goods and services that the U.S. economy is capable of producing. Without that demand, there are precious few prospects for a robust recovery.

If matters stay the same, with working people perpetually struggling in an environment of ever-increasing economic insecurity and inequality, the very stability of the society will be undermined.

The U.S. economy needs to be rebalanced so that the benefits are shared more widely, more equitably. There are many ways to do this, but what is most important right now is to recognize this central fact, to focus on it and to begin seriously considering the most constructive options.

30 Responses

  1. I encourage everyone to do whatever they can and feel comfortable doing. For some that is visibly and vocally protesting. For others it isn’t.

    My choice is to litigate. Ultimately the loudest voice I can “shout” with will be the one that says “These were the arguments I put before the court AND the court ruled in my favor.”

    I do expect to win my case and it will be a precedent in my state. Thus it will be of use to ALL OTHER defendants in foreclosure (or at least those experiencing similar dynamics and bad behavior on the part of plaintiffs and plaintiffs counsel).

  2. Protest on the streets, maybe. I believe the courts are the best way to protest. Yes, I know there is not much concern from the judicial system, and corruption. But through learning the “Rules of Procedure”, getting the evidence on the record, learning how to handle yourself Pro Se. is the best kind of protesting I can think of, and it is effective. I have a small group that is growing in New England working together and helping each other. Robert 860-599-5557

  3. Great info on your blog for Debt Consolidation. If more people would visit blogs like yours and mine then more people would be living a debt free lifestyle. The info is out there and most are free, they just have to look!

  4. I just thought I would let everyone in on something that HUD/Govt is doing in Colorado. Take the time to read this article, wow is all I can say. BEWARE,

  5. @David,
    I love your sign off…..”Keep the Powder Dry.” That gives me a chuckle every time I see it. 🙂

  6. M. Turner.
    Masses start with one, which becomes two, which then becomes ten, which then becomes 100, and so on.

    M. Turner, what we are asking you to do is become the one in your city…..

  7. I don’t know about protests…?

    I don’t see the point. These people do not care about you, me, or anyone else. The only thing protesting does is give them something else to use against us. It helps them glue the foreclosure-deadbeat label on even more firmly. I might be wrong – but that’s my opinion. I’ve been part of many protests over the years. This is very different from what this nation has faced in the past.

    I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade. If they believe protesting is worth doing – hey, go for it. This won’t change a judge’s mind and certainly not the attorneys of a foreclosure mill. Politicians don’t give a rats-ass about it because they have nothing to gain by supporting folks in foreclosure.

    One of the key components of foreclosure is the LABEL itself! Once the Foreclosure Label is attached a WARNING LABEL automatically begins flashing – foreclosure people are deadbeats trying to get out of the mess that “they” made… that’s a big part of slapping the foreclosure label on so quickly. It taints the cases and leaves a permanent stain on that family.

    Think about it this way – back in the 80s & 90s there countless abortion protests – even having as many as 7-800-thousand people in DC all PROTESTING and it accomplished what…? Worse though is how it was treated in the media. Look at the recent Tea-Party gatherings and look how those people are so quickly perpetrated. Hell – just look at Palin for an example. Do you see it? Forget about if you agree which her or the Tea Party people – just look at what they’ve done.

    The game is very precise – LABEL the opponent – doubly label – LIE – fabricate bs about them – character assassination is the key objective. The voices of those foreclosed is MUTED because those people have NOTHING they can offer – bribe – and sure as hell have no freaking idea the loan they were sold was designed to fail.

    Make no mistake – this is big-league gaming – and not some half-ass twist of fate. These lenders OWN our politicians and have the judges by their balls – yes, including the female judges. This is bigger than anything this country has faced – bigger than abortion – bigger than civil rights – bigger than anything we’ve ever faced. What is so alarming about it (IMHO) is that has remained hidden – calculatingly & strategically – hidden.

    Think about this – the Federal Reserve is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act – what the hell is that about…? Why do think that might be…? THEN – consider this – Obama’s recent Wall Street Reform Bill – captain transparency just passed the freaking bill that NOW ALLOWS THE SEC to remain out of the loop for public scrutiny…?

    Do you get the picture…? We are watching the smoke while the FIRE is burning the HOUSE DOWN. We complain because the smoke gets in our eyes – but the FIRE steadily rages…

    If you want to protest – do so, by going into David J. Stern’s foreclosure mill – drag his ass out and beat the living piss out of him and his associates. THEN you’ll get some attention – but it comes with consequences… prosecution!

    IMHO – protesting will only give them something to talk about and helps them affix the labels which will ultimately give the judges excuses to hurry up and crank out foreclosures even faster. How many foreclosures happen in this country everyday? How many folks are losing their homes everyday and how many were sold loans designed to fail and don’t even know it…?

    Keep the Powder Dry

  8. Put me on the list..I will fight the dirty S.O.B.s

  9. Lisa @ Foreclosure Fraud,
    You are my hero. Thank you so much for letting me know I had a voice, how to find it and what to do once I did. I will eventually get to where I am doing this in Washington state. It will happen. I am a fighter. I won’t let these assholes continue to sell these homes without them knowing that it is all fraud.

    I love you, Sweetie!

    And to those of you who continue to stew in your living rooms, I hope you find your voices soon. Sorry for the anger, I jsut get all pissed off and go off. We need to unite, so I apologize if my comments piss you off. I don’t mean to, but what we need is for people to get off the couch, get off the computer and yes, if it is ONLY you at the courthouse, that action is better than no action. We will win this fight.

    Karen Pooley

  10. moderation? again ….come on are we living lies, or hiding lies?

  11. To all, I don’t see why we are getting mad at each other , we need solutions. I’m fighting just like everyone else is; but everybody i tell my story too, tells me I’m ahead of the “game”. I have the original NOTE signed in blank in my hands. I’m not the bank the original NOTE has not helped me one bit, and no one not even Neil has made a suggestion as to what I do next. The NOTE is all powererful in the hands of the bank , but when it is in the hands of a “layman” it is worthless and before anyone asks I’m in South Carolina.

  12. Karen Pooley..Maybe you dont get it. For as big as this problem is..nobody on Capitol Hill is TRUELY listening!!!. A MILLION MAN MARCH is what is needed, not some little “pulpit” speeches outside of some Courthouse. Get REAL! No Protest was ever successful without MASSES!!

  13. Karen,

    This is how we do it in Florida…


    But you already know that :)…

    For those that don’t, check out…

    Keep up the fight!






  16. M.Turner,
    Why does it take a “Neil Garfield” to make you make a sign and go protest at your auction site? Why does it take a “Neil Garfield” to make you make a sign and go stand outside whatever bank is trying to foreclose on you? Why does it take a “Neil Garfield” for you to research, find fraudulent docs and ask your AG for an appointment? Why does it take anyone but YOU to start the action??? Please tell me.

  17. Karen Pooley..Actually you have it RIGHT!!!. Most people posting here Lawyers. They are gonna do nothing but TAKE your money & WIN nothing!
    Now, I agree..with one thing. A MAJOR PEACEFUL PROTEST in WASHINGTON is NEEDED! To get the POINT ACROSS to LAWMAKERS.
    Look, when the Blacks wanted more rights they held the Million Man March in DC. When the “Famers” wanted help, they drove their Tractors to DC. When the “Truckers” protested high diesel prices they drove their rigs to DC. When AMERICANS wanted an end to the Vietnam War, they marched on DC. Think about it, why has NO BODY tried to organize a peaceful protest in DC? Why..cause all the MONEY-SUCKING LAWYERS here..want you to USE them and their RIP-OFF SERVICES! And Garfield is a smart man but he is MAKING a ton of Lawyers & SEMINARS. NOTICE..he HAS NEVER called for a NATIONAL MARCH either..HAS HE NOW???????? THINK ABOUT IT!!

  18. Lisa,
    My “YOU” is referring to all of the bloggers on this site. I get mad (and I am holding in now, I am in the building industry…the f-bombs are part of speech) when I see posts that say, “we shouldn’t let this happen.” Other ones, “we shouldn’t stand for this.”

    Well, if you haven’t gotten out and taken a sign of protest anywhere…..guess what!?! YOU ARE STANDING IT!!! YOU ARE LETTING THIS HAPPEN!!! And it continues to happen and the people on this blog keep posting every day that they shouldn’t be doing this. Well, TAKE ACTION!!! Posts signs on fence posts, posts signs on your freeways ( post signs on the fucking banks themselves! Post on your FaceBook, post on your email lists. Talk to your friends, neighbors, colleagues. TELL THEM WHAT IS HAPPENING!! REFUSE TO BE SILENT!!!! Go to the AGs office, go to your prosecutor’s office. DEMAND ATTENTION!!! They cannot deny us if we all choose to fight. And it is a fight for our children, it is a fight for our country.

  19. not only this post but everyone else’s comments here paint a dark picture for the economy and the future

  20. Thanks for creating and updating this site! It’s been very helpful! Here’s a Video of interest:

  21. Karen Pooley,
    I’m not your enemy … save the anger & F-bombs for them!
    Oh – and make it a great day!

  22. Thank you, Deontos and Lisa. What would make me feel even better would be a video of YOU getting out and protesting. There shouldn’t be a foreclosure auction anywhere that doesn’t have a sign of protest. And if you can’t take the time off, call fucking in SICK! Because damn it, I am steaming mad…..I WON’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

    But, to let the world OUTSIDE THE COMPUTER know that we aren’t going to take it anymore takes ACTION! And let me tell you when you are down at the auction site every week, the foreclosure mills start getting pissed off. My orange jumpsuit should really piss them off and damn it! That is the intention. It should piss every single one of us off that these sales just keep continuing.

    If each and every one of you don’t get off your ASS, you have no business blogging here. That’s my 2 cents.

  23. deontos,
    … Perfect!
    Karen Pooley,
    … Thank you!!!

  24. THIS IS DEDICATED TO Karen Pooley:
    (A SPEECH **relevant** in 1979, but what has changed?)



  26. Every single one of you on this site better start protesting with me at each and every foreclosure auction at every single courthouse from sea to sea.

    It does matter!

    Next week, I am going in an orange jumpsuit with the name of our biggest foreclosure mill displayed on the front and back of this costume. I will report back the reactions. I hope it makes more people stop and think.

  27. It would appear by this article that we’re just not pushing ourselves hard enough to continue to please the richest of the rich. They just might be considering letting us all go, that is, after taking all of our commercial buildings and farmlands.

    Outlook Gloomy at Secret Billionaire Meeting

    For 25 years, legendary Wall Street strategist Byron Wien, now with The Blackstone Group, has held summer meetings with high net worth individuals to get their outlook on the global economy and investing.

    This year’s group, totaling fifty individuals and including more than 10 billionaires, was decidedly pessimistic on the U.S. economy, investment
    opportunities and the Obama administration.

    A massive reduction in the consumer debt load, a workforce without the right skills for the jobs of tomorrow, and too high labor costs relative to
    other countries “are not problems that are likely to be solved any time soon,” wrote Wien of the attitude of the people at the lunches, which took
    place in two groups on successive Fridays last month. “Only a few investors thought the Standard & Poor’s could reach 1200 next year.”

    Ouch! I guess I’d best get back to pushing that boulder up the mountain for these folks.

    “The droning political commercials are designed to scare us into NOT thinking that whoever the candidate is, if they are incumbent, THEY are the problem.”

    AMEN TO THAT! To accomplish this I started “THE KICK THEM ALL OUT PROJECT” and the “FIRE CONGRESS CAMPAIGN.”

    Please check it out.

    I’ve posted here before. I’m the guy that got evidence from the FDIC that OneWest Bank was LYING about owning my loan.

    UPDATE: Here in Colorado we have non-judicial foreclosures and an atrocity called a 120 hearing which “is not appealable,” so the judge the judge can do whatever the heck he wants. He issued the order authorizing sale. The trustee sale happened and OneWest purchased it with a credit bid leaving a deficiency of $48,000! Of course only a HOLDER can submit a credit bid so yet another fraudulent document’s been filed.

    A few weeks later OneWest flipped it to Freddie Mac for $10.

    Now Freddie Mac has me in an FED action (forcible entry and unlawful detainer). The trial is this coming Friday. We have more then enough proof that the assignment from OneWest is worthless because OneWest was not a real party in interest and LIED to the court for eight months. I actually have a screen shot of OneWest’s own computer systems showing that IndyMac sold my loan in 2004 to Freddie Mac.

    The FED action is appealable so hopefully this will be sufficient to encourage the judge to do the right thing. In addition I’ve filed a Federal damages case against OneWest which was served today out in California. This case includes plenty of causes of action including RICO and Racketeering. That game is now afoot.

    So far, I’m still in my home and hopefully, after Friday, the judge will have denied Freddie Mac an order authorizing an eviction and void all the fraudulent trans actions that have occurred.

    I have also filed another law suit in the County to void the transactions and quiet the titles as well.

  29. Though I have nothing against the man personally, Robert Reich is favors a socialist economics – spread the wealth… However, I do not believe he is as hardlined as Obama and especially Obama’s Administration.

    The big difference (IMHO) is that Obama’s view is very narrow. Spreading the Wealth is very misleading – a lie from his perspective. He isn’t about spreading wealth his agenda is to severely LIMIT wealth – create greater gov dependence – for the grand illusion of control Wealth is limited only to the elite.

    However, I agree that BOTH democrats & republicans are infected by the “control” factor. Manipulating the masses can have nasty side-effects. Sadly, I believe we are about to learn what those are. Hopefully, the learning experience will be done before any serious wars start. Bummer Dude – I just don’t think that will be the case.

  30. Great editorial.

    Add to the fact that Banks’ reputations are shot…and so is the governments’ for sponsoring this nonsense and abetting these crimes on the American public by not stopping it, thereby deliberately injuring the people.
    It will take generations to restore any trust in these institutions. That is why forcing banks to work with people through legislation won’t work. People have lost faith and do not trust banks and government…and rightfully so.

    To all you banks who are executing orders from your superiors:
    GIVE US BACK OUR HOMES you stole OR GIVE US BACK OUR PRINCIPLES that you laundered.

    We abide by the law and ask you to validate our debts and you ignore us! The courts are not doing enough. Do they even know how??
    You phantom lenders force us to file bankruptcy to stop foreclosures. You force our hand into filing lawsuits to stop the madness…you force us to have to learn your crooked ways and your fraud in order to defend ourselves. You ruin our credit. You put us on the street.
    What else can it be but a plot to control the American people and destroy the middle class by stealing our wealth? Is that what “redistributing the wealth means?” Giving it over to the corporations?
    Paying taxes are not enough for you, you have to literally strip our livelihoods and our shelters, too! You break our pocketbooks and then you break our spirits. WHERE IS THE PUNISHMENTS for these CRIMES?

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