Sunday, March 8, 2009

Economy, Earmarks & Recovery: Republicans and Wall Street Busy Demonizing President Obama Instead of Accepting Responsibilitiy & Supporting Solutions!

Republicans are hypocrites! They are complaining about earmarks in the Stimulus Package yet Republicans top the list with the largest earmarks and are responsible for nearly 50% of them.
From US News: Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi tops the list, with $470 million in earmarks for himself and his colleagues. Next up is Cochran's seatmate—Republican Roger Wicker, hitting the scales at $390 million. Two Democrats—Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Tom Harkin of Iowa—come in at Nos. 3 and 4, before Republican David Vitter of Louisiana rounds out the top five. Of the top 10, six are Republicans. When measured by individual earmarking, Democrat Bob Byrd of West Virginia rises to the No. 1 position, but three in the top five are from the GOP, including Richard Shelby of Alabama at No. 2, just a few million dollars behind Byrd. Additionally Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson: 22 earmarks totaling $96.1 million
Republicans are continuing to try to sweep their history of irresponsibility, especially the last eight years, under the rug and convince the American people that they are committed to fiscal responsibility, but their record on earmarks and the amount of earmarks contained in the appropriations bill make it clear that Republicans are just using this as another political ploy.
What Republicans won't admit is, most earmarks are justified. Anti-government types always single out one or two examples of outrageous earmark spending as if it represents ALL earmark spending. These Congress people are there to represent their districts and states to the federal government. This often means fighting for EARMARKS = federal dollars coming back to their districts in the form of projects that hire people, keep them in a job or build something that will benefit the community through things like tourism.
In the meantime, the yahoos on Wall Street are also attempting to blame President Obama for the mess Wall Street made themselves!
Is Obama responsible for the meltdown of the Dow? The consistently wrong-headed Wall Street Journal's editorial page says so, as does Republican Fox News, CNN's reliably demagogic Lou Dobbs, and now CNBC's Jim Cramer, who bloviates nightly about stock picks, says Obama is pushing a "radical agenda" that's destroying investor's wealth. My friend Larry Kudlow, who rants nightly about nearly everything, says Obama is destroying capitalism. CNBC reporter Rick Santelli's ballistic nonsense about Obama's mortgage plan made him a pop-populist icon for a week or so.The argument that Obama is somehow responsible for the collapse of Wall Street is absurd.
First, every major policy that led to this collapse occurred under George W's watch (or, more accurately, his failure to watch). The housing and financial bubbles were created under Bush and exploded under Bush. The stock market began to collapse under Bush.
Second, it's inevitable that stocks, led by the bloated financial sector, would lose their remaining hot air as the new administration begins "stress-testing" the big banks, many of which are technically insolvent. After all, their share prices were built on a tissue of lies and dreams. Other sectors whose values were similarly distorted and distended by years of financial deception and regulatory disregard, such as housing and insurance, will also have to return to the real world before they can recover. Which could mean more stock losses.
Finally, none of the financial wizards who are now charging Obama with leading America into the abyss has offered an alternative plan for getting us out of the mess that, not incidentally, many of these same wizards happily led us into. For years, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the financial gurus of cable news cheered as Wall Street leveraged its way into oblivion. This bizarre charge wouldn't be worth mentioning were it not a market test for a more intense attack from Wall Street and Republican media outlets next year as the nation moves into the gravitational range of the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans have made no secret of their wish to blame Obama for the bad economy, and to stir up as much populist rage against his so-called "socialist" tendencies as politically possible. History shows how effective demagogic ravings can be when a public is stressed economically. Make no mistake: Angry right-wing populism lurks just below the surface of the terrible American economy, ready to be launched not only at Obama but also at liberals, intellectuals, gays, blacks, Jews, the mainstream media, coastal elites, crypto socialists, and any other potential target of paranoid opportunity.
Robert is right! We are already seeing many of the ANTI websites and Dobbs, Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh blaming "illeeeeegals" for many of our country's economic woes! It is important that all of us keep this in mind the next time we hear the Republicans, cable news zealots or Wall Street pushing blame for our economic crisis on Obama or on any of us when instead they should be pointing the finger right back at themselves. Additionally, they are demonizing the Stimulus Bill and Obama's policies preferring Obama and our country FAIL! We cannot be tempted to jump on their bandwagon and instead remember who caused this mess and we have to allow our President and the Administration time to help us move forward. Afterall, it took over a decade for our country to get out of the last Great Depression. We should at least allow our President until 2010 before we see significant progress.


Michael J. Bernard said...

the wheels are going to come flying off the bus quick enough!


Dee said...

Michael, welcome to my blog. I hope you visit often.

I read your link. I, of course, do not agree with it. I particularly disagree with the reference to the New American Tea Party. I wrote a blog about that FAKE group.

In part:

The Tea Party is a FAKE! It PRETENDS to be non-partisan, but in reality, the "New American Tea Party" is sponsored by the extreme right wing groups: the American Spectator, the Heartland Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, the Institute for Liberty, the Coalition for a Conservative Majority and the Young Conservatives Coalition. Michelle Malkin is a strong supporter. J.P. Freire, the editor of the extreme right wing "American Spectator" hosts their website and provides their updates.

Vicente Duque said...

Prophecy : Obama will become bolder and bolder in Economic Matters - The Economic Crisis leaves him with no other option - But he will succeed

Obama will be a Great President - But he must overcome many hurdles and obstacles. The Economic Crisis becomes graver and graver and he has to become bolder and bolder.

Forget the Nuissance of the Republicans and all their stupid talk. They caused this problem and they do not have a credible solution.

Obama is Intelligent, Rational, Cerebral, a Thinker, he premeditates carefully all his actions. He is not impetuous, but very prudent and cautious, as time goes on, he will have better counsel that tells him what to do ( with banks and other economic matters ). And those actions and moves will be bold. He will be Bold and a Great President.

These are times for Greatness. Time for a Great President of the USA.

Forget the complaining and whining of Republicans. It is impossible to make everybody happy. And to reactivate the demand it will be necessary to help the poor and to tax the rich.

The rich and the republican fanatics won't be happy. They dislike every move that helps the poor or the Minorities. They only want Tax Cuts and that is impossible nowadays. That recipe has failed for many years as a method for Reactivation.

The Rich want to become richer no matter the consequences

Greed is the Most Natural Human Impulse. It is very Natural that People that have lots of Money want more tax cuts. It is very Natural that they resist tax raises. And that they dislike helping the Poor or Minorities.

But Helping the Poor and Minorities is the Way of Recovery for the Economy. Only helping the lower income brackets can reactivate and revitalize demand.

The Rich only save their gains in these times of Recession with the Threat of a Big Depression. No amount of Money is enough for the Super-rich and the sufferings of the Poor are sometimes less relevant than a fly in the kitchen.

More Information and articles of Liberal Economists here :

Vicente Duque

The Arizonian said...

This is a long speech, so bare with me:

*A New Era Begins*
I was standing on the Washington Mall on Inauguration Day, alongside nearly
two million other people, and proudly watched the first African American
take the oath of office in our nation's history. That alone made the day
deeply memorable, joyful, and historic. But I couldn't help but think – and
I'm sure that millions of others had the same thought – that the transfer of
power from Bush to President Obama not only tore down a barrier that once
was thought near impenetrable, but also signified the fading away of one era
and the beginning of another.
It was hard not to think on that cold day in our nation's capital that the
worst of the past 30 years of right-wing extremist rule is behind us and
that an era of progressive change is within reach, no longer an idle dream.
Just look at the new lay of the land: a friend of labor and its allies sits
in the White House. Larger Democratic majorities control Congress. A feeling
of renewal and hope is in the air. Public opinion polls show a high
favorability rating for our new President. And the labor and people's
movement that was so instrumental to the election's outcome, after a short
holiday pause, is off and running.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party, notwithstanding its efforts to distance
itself from arguably the worst president in our history, is on the
defensive. Its grassroots constituency is dispirited. And, its governing
philosophy of "free markets", minimal government, fear, and division, and
especially racist division, is discredited.
Now no one expects that the going will be easy in the coming months and
years. There is, after all, eight years of extreme right-wing misrule to
clean up. The multinational corporations and banks haven't gone into
hibernation. Right-wing Republicans, while badly weakened, still retain
enough influence in Congress and elsewhere to block or slow down progressive
measures. And the challenges facing the Obama administration are immense,
and none more than the economic crisis.
If there were such a thing as an economic tsunami, I would say we are
experiencing it. Not since the Great Depression has the economy been in such
bad shape, which leads many economists to predict that the downturn will be
L-shaped, that is, deep and prolonged.
Furthermore, the economic contraction is worldwide. No country or region
will escape its pain and long reach. Nor can any national economy, ours
included, hope to make a full recovery without global coordination and
cooperation. In an integrated global economy, we either swim together or
sink together.

While the present economic turbulence was triggered by the collapse of the
housing markets over the past two years, its underlying cause goes back to
the mid-1970s.
At that time U.S. economy was rocked to its core by the interweaving of
seemingly stubborn and contradictory economic problems: high inflation and
unemployment, declining confidence in the dollar as a means of international
payment, new competitive rivals in Europe and Asia, and a falling profit
rate, all of which occurred in the context of overproduction in world
commodity markets. "Stagflation" was the term coined to describe this
contradictory phenomenon.
Faced with this unraveling of the economy and a crisis of profitability,
then-chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker stepped into the breech
and pushed up interest rates to near 20 percent. This spike in interest
rates threw the country into a deep recession, sending unemployment rates to
the highest level since the Great Depression, forcing the closing of scores
of manufacturing plants and a great number of family farms, laying waste to
cities and whole regions, and bringing incredible hardship to the working
class, and especially African-American, Latino and other racial minorities
and women workers.
The rate hike also opened the door for a many-sided attack on labor and its
allies, the likes of which hadn't been seen since the pre-Depression era.
Wage and benefit concessions were demanded. New labor saving techniques and
computerization invaded the workplace. Rules governing seniority, job
classifications, line speed, and safety were either eliminated or routinely
violated. And, the relocation of production to non-union and offshore sites
became standard fare.
If we thought this was only done to dramatically increase the corporate
share of the value that workers create in the production process relative to
what they receive, we would be wrong. It was also motivated by the
overarching desire of corporate capital to cripple the social power of the
labor movement and disrupt its alliance with its most durable and powerful
ally—the African American people.
Now we can't leave it at this, because, in addition to the working class and
its allies taking a pounding, there is another side to this intricate
story—Volcker's interest rate spike also wrung inflation out of the economy,
restored confidence in the U.S. dollar in international money markets, and,
especially important to us, redirected domestic and foreign investment
capital (and there was plenty of it), abruptly and massively from the "real"
economy—auto, steel, machine tool, construction, and so on—into financial
channels and speculative ventures where returns were markedly higher.
Once in financial channels, money/speculative capital stayed there, but it
did not sit on its hands. Its financial agents (banks, investment houses,
hedge funds, private equity firms, mutual funds, and so on) intent on
expanding their profits in an increasingly toothless regulatory environment
raced at breakneck speed into a massive buying and selling and borrowing and
spending speculative spree for the next three decades. And all this led to
an explosion of the financial sector in terms of employment, transactions,
and profits. Nearly 40 percent of corporate profits came from this sector in
the early years of this decade – not to mention the salaries, bonuses, stock
options, and dividends of Wall Street insiders.

If this transformation of the U.S. economy into a speculative casino run by
the "masters of the universe," hunkered down on Wall Street, has its roots
in the unraveling of the U.S. economy three decades ago, what greased the
skids during this period was the production and easy availability, seemingly
without end, of staggering amounts of debt—corporate, consumer and
Debt is as old as capitalism. But what is different in recent decades is
that the production of debt and the accompanying speculative excesses and
bubbles were not simply passing moments at the end of the business cycle,
but essential to evolution, interrelations, and functioning of the overall
Without the massive piling up of debt and speculative bubbles first in
Internet technology, then in the stock market, and most recently, in
housing, engineered by the Wall Street/Washington complex, the performance
of the U.S. and world economy would have been far, far worse.
But, as we are painfully learning, turning our economy into a financial
casino built on the pileup of massive amounts of debt and bubbles that
eventually burst is a two-edged sword. While it stimulates the economy,
restores profitability and enriches the corporate class on a scale never
seen, it also introduces enormous instability, economic insecurity, income
inequality, and imbalances and distortions into the arteries and structure
of the U.S. and world economy.
In other words, the growth of the financial sector and bubble-driven
economics were an unstable, bloodsucking, leech-like, and temporary fix for
a sluggish, underperforming economy and the vehicle for the financial titans
of U.S. capitalism to reassert their power.
But as events have shown, it could not forever mask and compensate for
stagnation tendencies, declining income of working people, and the shrinkage
of the material goods sector of the economy. In fact, its remedy of
rerouting capital into finance and turning the financial sector and
speculation into the main dynamo of the U.S. and global economy only served
to postpone the crisis to a later day and, in doing so, assured that it
would be on a much broader scale as we now see.
A Wal-Mart economy of low wages, even when combined with financial
speculation and massive debt creation is unsustainable and eventually erupts
into crisis. At some point, the chickens do come home to roost.
None of this, however, could have happened without the political ascendancy
of the right-wing extremism 30 years ago. If Volcker struck the first blow
in 1979, it was the Reagan administration, entering the White House shortly
thereafter, and then successive administrations that were the decisive
ideological and political/practical agent of this reorientation of the
economy, upheaval in class relations, and current economic mess.

At the ideological level, the Reaganites said that government is best that
governs least, that markets are self-correcting and efficient; that vast
income inequality is a good thing, that deregulation and privatization are
the best cures for what ails the economy and the "welfare state," and that
tax cuts for the wealthy trickle down to working people and lift all boats.
But the Reaganites didn't stop here. At the political-economic level, they
dismantled the model of economic governance at the state and corporate
level, a model that had its origins in the New Deal and then was expanded on
by successive administrations in the next three decades. The previous model
rested on a measure of class compromise, social benefits for the unemployed,
the elderly, the young and the sick, a legal environment favorable to union
organizing, the removal of discriminatory barriers to equality, the
expansion of democratic rights, and expansive fiscal and monetary polices at
the federal level that favored broadly shared prosperity.
In its place, the Reaganites built another model of governance popularly
called neoliberalism. If Roosevelt's New Deal favored working people, then
Reagan's Raw Deal stripped working people of income and rights, turned
racism and other forms of discrimination into an instrument of practical
politics and ideological mystification, and provided a feast of riches to
the wealthiest corporations and families.
It was no accident that the first actions of the Reagan administration were
to bust PATCO (the air-traffic controllers union), endorse the interest rate
hikes of Volcker, and cut taxes for the wealthiest families and
corporations. This two-bit actor turned the agencies of government that were
established to protect labor, civil, and other rights into attack dogs
against these very same rights.
Neoliberalism, combined with an increased readiness to project military
power globally, was designed to strengthen in a qualitative way the position
of U.S. capitalism at home and abroad. But, as is said, the best laid plans
of mice and men often come to naught, at least in the long run.
If I could sum up before moving on, the present economic crisis cannot be
simply laid on the doorstep of the sub-prime leading crisis. Instead it was
the result of the interweaving of a short-term cyclical crisis of the
economy, especially in housing, with a longer term crisis of overproduction
(too many commodities and too little purchasing power) and over accumulation
(too much surplus value and too few ways to absorb it profitably), and the
political ascendancy of the extreme right, dating back three decades.
It may go without saying, but the crisis in its short- and long-term form
were driven by the system's built-in objective of amassing maximum corporate
profits and power through wage exploitation (the process by which a sizeable
portion of the values that workers create in the labor process are
appropriated by the capitalist class) and the dispossession (usually
coerced) of people's collective possessions (for example, social security)
and rights, domestically and internationally.

Given this situation, the Obama administration faces daunting challenges.
Nevertheless, the new President, in my view, is off to a quick start. In
less than two weeks he has:
- Issued an order to close Guantanamo prison and end torture - a practice
that stains our image, violates our constitution, and endangers our troops
in the field.
- Signed the Lilly Ledbetter bill that would give much greater scope to
workers' discrimination claims as well as a bill that would extend health
care to millions of children.
- Released funds to clinics that serve women's heath care needs in
developing countries.
- Expressed support for higher fuel efficiency standards for motor
vehicles—something the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) also supports.
- Opened up a greatly needed dialogue with the Muslim and Arab world.
- Dispatched George Mitchell to the Middle East in hopes of mediating the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict—a conflict that cannot be solved by military
means, but only by negotiation between the Israeli government and the
representatives of the Palestinian people with aim of establishing an
independent and viable Palestinian state and the right of both states live
peacefully and within secure borders.
- The President met with military generals to map out a withdrawal plan
for Iraq.
Of course, the Obama administration's immediate challenge will be to revive
the economy. And the overarching question is: from where will the economic
recovery come from in the near term? The only answer is: through the massive
injections of money from the federal government into the economy, into the
hands of people who will spend it. Lagging demand for goods and services is
the problem.
In this regard, the President's stimulus bill passed this week in the House
should be welcomed and supported. Despite what Republicans say, it is a good
bill that will ease the pain of this crisis, create jobs, and begin to
re-inflate the economy. Some economists, like Paul Krugman, say that it
isn't enough, that a trillion dollars plus and additional infrastructure
spending would be better. I would agree with Krugman, but I also see the
current bill as a first installment of the administration's recovery plan.
In fact, Krugman may have the economics right, but the politics wrong.
President Obama in my opinion would make a mistake if he proceeded like a
bull in a china shop. He's the president of the country, not an op-ed writer
for the *New York Times*, and thus has a different set of considerations and
pressures. On the other hand, if the President agrees to too many concession
demands from the Republican side it will water down the bill's stimulus
potential and come back to bite him later on.
I would further add that even if Obama had introduced and passed a bigger
stimulus package, there is no guarantee that a full-blooded and sustained
recovery of the economy will follow. According to conventional wisdom and
mainstream economists, high growth rates, near full employment, and healthy
profit rates are the normal condition of a capitalist economy. Departures
from this norm, it is said, are only passing moments during which capitalism
removes barriers to future growth and creates the conditions for a new
expansion that surpasses old peaks in production, employment and profits.
There is considerable evidence to question this view. Indeed, one has to
wonder what the long-run prospects of U.S. and world capitalism are. Was the
"golden age" of U.S. capitalism from 1945-1973, during which economic growth
rates, investment levels and living standards steadily increased, the norm
or the exception to the norm? Will the last thirty years of sluggish and
lopsided growth continue, but at a significantly lower level?
If the answer is that U.S. capitalism is entering a period of long-term
stagnation then the economic recovery plan must include not only a sizeable
and sustained economic stimulus, but also far-reaching political and
economic reforms in order to restructure the economy along new lines. One
without the other is not enough. Both economic stimulus and
political-economic restructuring are necessary if U.S. economy is to have
any chance of resuming a developmental growth path that is robust,
sustainable (in a double sense: economically and environmentally) and favors
the interests of the working class and its allies.
If this is the case, the Obama administration and the broad coalition that
supports him will almost inevitably have to consider—and they already
are—the following measures:
- Public ownership of the financial system and the elimination of the
shadow banking system and exotic derivatives.
- Public control of the Federal Reserve Bank.
- Counter-crisis spending of a bigger size and scope to invigorate and
sustain a full recovery and meet human needs—something that the New Deal
never accomplished.
- Strengthening of union rights in order to rebalance the power between
labor and capital in the economic and political arenas.
- Trade agreements that have at their core the protection and advancement
of international working-class interests.
- Equality in conditions of life for racial minorities and women.
- Democratic public takeover of the energy complex as well as a readiness
to consider the takeover of other basic industries whose future is
problematic in private hands.
- Turning education, childcare, and healthcare into "no profit" zones.
- Rerouting investment capital from unproductive investment (military,
finance and so forth) to productive investment in a green economy and public
- Changing direction of our nation's foreign policy toward cooperation,
disarmament, and diplomacy. We can't have threats, guns and military
occupations on the one hand and butter, democracy, goodwill, and peace on
the other.
- Full-scale assault on global warming.
- Serious and sustained commitment to assisting the developing countries,
which are locked in poverty and misery.
*New model of economic governance needed*
Or to approach the same issue in another way: Will the political-economic
reforms be modest, or will they be radical in nature, and when taken
together, constitute a new model of political-economic governance at the
state and corporate level—a new New Deal? By that I mean a reconfiguring of
the role and functions of government and corporations so that they favor
working people, the racially and nationally oppressed, women, youth,
seniors, small business people and other social groupings.
Such a model would draw from the New Deal experience, but in the end it has
to be shaped by today's conditions and requirements for political and
economic advance for the broadest sections of the American people as well as
people across the globe.
The new model of governance wouldn't be socialist, but it would challenge
corporate power, profits and prerogatives.
Depression conditions prompted President Franklin Roosevelt and his
advisers—albeit with a mighty assist from a powerful all-people's coalition
led by the industrial unions and the multiracial working class—to
reconfigure the role and functions of the state to the advantage of the
ordinary people. This reconfiguration wasn't easy or done in a day.
Indeed, it was a hard-fought struggle that combined unity of the
Roosevelt-led coalition at every turn, mass mobilization, and a good dose of
experimentation. The broad people's movement would do well to study the New
Deal experience, not in a mechanical way, but with an eye to gaining
insights for today's struggles and challenges.
*New casting of political actors*
In the meantime, we have some immediate struggles on our hands. The good
news is that the broad movement that elected President Obama and larger
majorities in the Congress is up and running.
This movement, or if you like, this loose coalition in which labor plays a
larger and larger leadership role, can exercise an enormous influence on the
political process. Never before has a coalition with such breadth walked on
the political stage of our country. It is far larger than the coalition that
entered the election process a year ago; it is larger still than the
coalition that came out of the Democratic Party convention in August.
The task of labor and its allies is to provide energy and leadership to this
wide-ranging coalition. Yes, we can bring issues and positions into the
political process that go beyond the initiatives of the Obama
administration. But we should do this within the framework of the main task
of supporting Obama's program of action.
We can disagree with the Obama administration without being disagreeable.
Our tone should be respectful. We now have not simply a friend, but a
people's advocate in the White House.
When the Administration and Congress take positive initiatives, they should
be wholeheartedly supported and welcomed. Nor should anyone think that
everything will be accomplished in one hundred days. After all, the main
elements of the New Deal were codified into law in 1935, 1936 and 1937,
years after FDR's first days in office.
Of course, change won't be easy. Powerful sections of big capital (energy,
military, health care, pharmaceutical, financial and others), will resist
going over to a new and robust growth path, resting on green industry, jobs
and technology, on military conversion to peacetime production, on rising
living standards and rights for working people, and on racial and gender
That said, the opportunities for working-class and people's gains are
extraordinary. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
*Staring us in the face are some immediate challenges*
First, we have to support the passage of the President's stimulus bill in
the Senate.
Second, we have to block any Republican efforts to derail the nomination of
Hilda Solis, the nominee for the Secretary of Labor. This is the first round
in the battle to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which will dramatically
expand the right to join a union in this country. Some may think this is a
struggle of only the labor movement. But nothing could be further from the
truth. A bigger labor movement in this country would strengthen the struggle
on every front. No one expressed this point better than Martin Luther King
toward the end of his life.
Third, we have to join others in resisting evictions and foreclosures—not to
mention cutbacks and layoffs at the state and city level.
Fourth, the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan have to be brought to
a close. As former President Lyndon Johnson realized too late, wars of
occupation (in his case, Vietnam) can quickly ruin a presidency that has
great promise.
In any case, we have our work cut out for us. But I think we can
confidently say that change is coming. And we will build a more perfect
Yes, we can.

(From a speech delivered at a *Peoples Weekly World*
( in Cleveland, Ohio, January 31, 2009

Dee said...

And your point with your post is? Webb provides a bit of history at the start, weaves in some predictions, and offers some recommendations. Overall he is in support of Obama. And, he does make some good and interesting points. Surely you are not going to demonize him because of his opinions? You are not turning McCarthy on us are you? Additionally, a countless number of groups and organizations support our President including this one. That is why he won the presidency. This in no way indicates that this is a negative for our President or for his administration.

I would venture to say the KKK, Stormfront, White Nationalists and many others supported George W., McCain and many other Republican candidates. They may even make some good points in their speeches. However this should not be a negative for the candidates. Should it?

The Arizonian said...


Are you trying to tie me to Republicans again?

The irony is, I agree with some of what he has to say, but some things are just scary. When he says 'publicly owned', he is referring to the government.

How much do we want the government to own? The banks, power stations, and childcare facilities?

This is the puzzle

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