A Country in Shambles, Under Conservative Rule

The Real Economy Strikes Back

So much for the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Stocks are tanking across the world. Clearly, once the bailout passed, investors took a good look at the real economy and dove for the mattresses. We're headed into a great reckoning. And at the heart of that, as argued in our new op-ad in the New York Times, is this country's unsustainable global economic strategy.

Chickens Home to Roost

While the recently passed bailout bill may or may not help to stabilize the credit markets (and on Monday it looked as if it may have in fact made it worse) it is absolutely clear that it does nothing to address the fundamental cause of this crisis — declining home prices and eight years of stagnant wages for the overwhelming majority of working families.

Crisis Hits "Real Economy" washingtonpost.com — Wall Street's problems are being shipped express delivery to every Main Street in America. It's like a contagion, and it comes in the form of credit, or the lack of it. Until just a few weeks ago, the crisis had been felt primarily in the boardrooms of Wall Street, that realm of derivatives, credit-default swaps and exotic mortgage-backed securities. Then major banks and investment houses failed, and surviving banks began to become skittish about lending to one another. Now the pain is being felt in the so-called "real economy," the land of jobs, goods, services — and people buying and selling cars. New unemployment claims are at a seven-year high, and factory orders are sharply down. State governments are running out of money. Small businesses can't get financing.

Credit Squeeze Follows Job Losses csmonitor.com — Pink slips are now being handed out at the fastest pace since 2003 — an economic event that may have ramifications from the ballot box to the Christmas tree. A downturn in hiring most likely means the credit crunch on Wall Street has now moved to the general economy, as business and consumers hunker down. If it were to continue at a high rate, a dearth of hiring also could mean that any downturn would be longer and deeper than expected, since employers are often slow to rehire workers. And the layoffs are starting just before the holiday season, potentially bad news for America's shopkeepers.

A Country in Shambles, Under Conservative Rule alternet.org — The overarching reality of the country is that we've lived under unchallenged conservative rule, and the country has virtually collapsed on every level.

The One-Sided Idea War: The Economy A consensus is growing that Sen. John McCain's slippage in the polls is the result of not saying much on the economy, and he needs a big economic idea to turn things around. But conservatives don't seem to have one.