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- Released November 24, 2008
The approximately $4.1 trillion that the United States and European governments have committed to rescue financial firms is 40 times the money they’re spending to fight climate and poverty crises in the developing world.
- Released October 27, 2008
Talking Points: Economic Meltdown
Put over-reliance on the free market together with “hands-off” government and you get an economic melt-down, with the spectacle of the government bailing out and buying giant financial firms: the very antithesis of the “free market” that the Wall Street cheerleaders were extolling. The Bush administration turned our economy into a casino and gave rich investors almost all the chips. The following document is a series of talking points, in an easy-to-read question-and-answer format, on the key questions being discussed today about the global economic meltdown.
- Released October 15, 2008
Analysis of Treasury Department Rules on Executive Compensation for Bailout Firms
On October 14, 2008, the Treasury Department issued rules for executive pay for firms participating in the government’s financial sector bailout. These rules clarify some provisions of the bailout legislation, but reinforce the law’s major shortcoming: the failure to set any specific monetary limits on the pay of top executives at bailed-out companies.
- Released October 13, 2008
Four Freedoms Under Siege: 2008 Epilogue
FDR's Four Freedoms — Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear — were presented to the American people in his 1941 State of the Union address, and they became the inspiration for a second bill of rights, extending the New Deal and guaranteeing work, housing, medical care, and education. Although the bill never was adopted in a legal sense in this country, its principles pervaded the political landscape for an entire generation, including the War on Poverty and the Great Society reforms of the 1960s. Furthermore, the ideas expressed in the Four Freedoms speech inspired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But since the late 1970s and early 1980s, these freedoms have been under assault, from presidential administrations of both parties, economic pressures, and finally, the alleged requirements of national security. After 9/11, this process accelerated even more rapidly.
The new epilogue to the book discusses what needs to be done to lift the siege on the four freedoms and repair the damages incurred by the Bush administration.
- Released October 10, 2008
For decades, U.S. military officials have used the euphemism “collateral damage” to refer to the deaths of civilians and destruction of property that resulted from military operations. As a public relations device, this term has helped mask the true toll of aggressive actions and given the impression that any harm inflicted was purely unintentional. Military officials also repeatedly assert that they make every effort to minimize these accidental results. As former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated in an ABC interview shortly after the Iraq invasion in 2003, “Our preference is, as a country, to have as little collateral damage as possible.” However the reality is that the U.S. military has made very little effort to avoid massive destruction in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in some cases, policies and practices seem intended to drive up the level of devastation.
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