Friday, March 20, 2009

We have Circus they have 3 million protesters!

ARTICLE SUMMARY
1.AN ANGRY MIDDLE CLASS ERUPTS!
2.WOULD A MILLION WORKERS PROTEST ECONOMICS IN U.S.?
3.US MIDDLE CLASS OUTRAGED ABOUT THE BAILOUT BONUS, ARE THERE PROTESTS? 4.MIDDLE CLASS SAYS DEFEND US FROM ECONOMIC HARM
5.PROFESSIONALS AND TEACHERS JOIN IN...
6.RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE AND BENEFITS
7.WHY IS OUR GOVERNMENT NOT DOING MORE?
8.WE CANNOT FEED OUR CHILDREN
9.UNEMPLOYMENT IN PRIVATE SECTOR GOING UP...FAST
10.FRENCH GOVERNMENT BAILS OUT THE WORKER LESS THAN THE BUSINESSPERSON
11.US STUNNED BY THE GREED OF WALL STREET
12.LEADERS DEMAND MORE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS LESS FOR THE ECONOMIC RULING CLASS
13.THREE MILLION PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE
14.THE PROTEST COULD WIDEN
15.FRANCE IS DIFFERENT
16.FRENCH CITIZENS COMMENTS
17.WHAT IS HAPPENING IS WRONG
18.WHY IS A CITIZEN STRIKE NECESSARY?
19.HAPPY PROTESTING
20.IT’S THE MONEYED PEOPLE
21.PEOPLE RIOT WHEN THEY HAVE NO BREAD
22.AMERICANS UPSET OVER A PARAGRAPH ALLOWING THE BAILOUT BONUS
23.IT’S THE FAULT OF BIG GOVERNMENT
24.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WE ARE MAD AS...AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY LONGER 25.UNITED STATES SHOULD LOOK TO THE FUTURE
26.AMERICAN TAXPAYER WANTS HEADS TO ROLL POLITICALLY FOR THE BAILOUT BONUS?..WHO ...WHO.....WHO IS AT FAULT? IS IT DODD?
27.DODD ON DEFENSIVE "This political circus that's going on here today with this bill is not getting to the bottom of the questions of who knew what and when did they know it,"


GOOD MORNING FLINT! 3/19/09 By Terry Bankert

AN ANGRY MIDDLE CLASS ERUPTS! More than a million French workers staged a general strike and marched in demonstrations across the country Thursday in a second round of protests against the government's response to the world economic crisis.[1]

WOULD A MILLION WORKERS PROTEST ECONOMICS IN U.S.? The rallies, which, according to polls, are backed by three quarters of the French population, reflect growing disillusion with Sarkozy’s...[FRENCH PRESIDENT]... reforms as tens of thousands of jobs are lost to the downturn.[4]

US MIDDLE CLASS OUTRAGED ABOUT THE BAILOUT BONUS, ARE THERE PROTESTS? Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner confirmed yesterday that his department urged Sen. Chris Dodd to water down the executive-bonus limits included in last month's stimulus bill, a move that allowed the payment of $165 million in bonuses to American International Group employees.[6]

MIDDLE CLASS SAYS DEFEND US FROM ECONOMIC HARM The protests, which drew substantially more people into the streets than a similar outpouring Jan. 29, were depicted by union leaders as part of a sustained campaign to pressure President Nicolas Sarkozy to do more to defend French people against the economic upheaval that has unfurled across the planet since the fall. [1]

PROFESSIONALS AND TEACHERS JOIN IN... Teachers and doctors protested against his long-standing reform plan, saying public-sector job cuts would kill schools and hospitals. University staff are continuing their seven-week strike against higher education reform with sit-ins and occupations. [2]

RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE AND BENEFITS In particular, they called on him to raise low-end wages and unemployment benefits and to make it harder for business leaders to fire employees when profits sink. [1]

WHY IS OUR GOVERNMENT NOT DOING MORE? "I cannot believe the government will stay immobile in the face of a phenomenon of this size," Bernard Thibault of the General Labor Confederation said on the government's France 2 television. [1]

WE CANNOT FEED OUR CHILDREN More than 90,000 French workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in January, pushing the total to 2.2 million and leading economists to estimate the unemployment rate at 8 percent. In addition, an increasing number of factories have put workers on part-time schedules, drastically reducing their pay and increasing fears of more layoffs. [1]

UNEMPLOYMENT IN PRIVATE SECTOR GOING UP...FAST Private-sector employees, including supermarket cashiers, bank clerks and car workers, took to the street over poor pay, factory closures and the return of a traditional French scourge: unemployment, now rising at its fastest rate in 10 years. [2]

FRENCH GOVERNMENT BAILS OUT THE WORKER LESS THAN THE BUSINESSPERSON In reaction, Sarkozy's government last month announced $3.2 billion worth of aid, including extended unemployment benefits, tax breaks for the poor and a one-time payment of $650 to unemployed youths who were not on the job long enough to qualify for unemployment checks. But the bulk of his $33 billion in anti-crisis spending has gone to buttress the finances of threatened banks and stimulate the flow of credit to needy businesses.[1]

US STUNNED BY THE GREED OF WALL STREET Obama told host Jay Leno that the payments raised moral and ethical problems — and that the administration was going to do everything it could to get the money back.But Obama added that the bigger problem is the culture that allowed traders to claim them.He said that has to change if the economy is to recover.[5]

LEADERS DEMAND MORE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS LESS FOR THE ECONOMIC RULING CLASS Union leaders have denounced Sarkozy's aid to workers as half-measures that betray an inability to understand the feelings of insecurity and unfairness spreading through the working-class population. Prime Minister Fran├žois Fillon, in a television appearance after the protests, acknowledged workers' concerns as legitimate but noted that the crisis was worldwide and said the French government would be irresponsible if it promised more spending now. [1] "Certainly not a new stimulus plan," he added. [1]

THREE MILLION PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE Unions said 3 million people participated in the demonstrations; police put the number at 1.2 million. In Paris, where the largest protest took place, marchers seemed enraged by what they said was Sarkozy's political bias toward the rich. France's bankers and businessmen have been granted expensive government subsidies to avoid bankruptcy, they said, while workers have been asked to make do with less money in their pay envelopes.[1]

THE PROTEST COULD WIDEN The government is concerned about the increasingly radical nature of protesters, with Sony factory workers holding a chief executive hostage over redundancies last week. Some French protesters are looking to the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, where a six-week general strike and one death eventually forced the government to back down and raise wages. [2]

FRANCE IS DIFFERENT With its large public sector, generous welfare system and rigid banking system, France has not yet suffered as acutely as Britain or Spain from the financial crisis. But a wave of mass redundancies sparked the protests. [2]

FRENCH CITIZENS COMMENTS I am not happy about the crooks in the banks who receive lots of money. I oppose the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy. I don't like him, he is very right-wing. He is part of a gang of rich people and he doesn't care about the poor people. [3] I always strike when I have the opportunity. It's the law of democracy to oppose. It's a good thing. Here in France, we are doing what others, like those in the US and the UK don't want to do. We want to stop this kind of capitalism. [3]

WHAT IS HAPPENING IS WRONG "There is a feeling of injustice," said Jean-Jacques Abekassi, 49, an employee of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and union activist who marched down the Rue du Temple under a warm sun. "We need a general rise in salaries and a better distribution of wealth in this country." [1]

WHY IS A CITIZEN STRIKE NECESSARY? I do feel that this strike is necessary. The number of poor people in our city is increasing in a crazy way. People on low income can hardly afford to pay the rent. [3] Those working in the arts and culture have so many reasons to strike. I personally plan to leave France to find better opportunities as a musician abroad. [3] Our research and educational system is falling into pieces and it's a shame. Researchers and university lecturers work in appalling conditions. [3]

HAPPY PROTESTING Despite the rancor on their banners, most marchers seemed cheerful in the spring weather as they marched and shouted anti-capitalist slogans. They moved past the house where Gustave Flaubert, author of "Madame Bovary," lived in the 19th century; they walked by the Kunga Tibetan restaurant, from where three Tibetans peered out at a raucous phenomenon that their countrymen left behind under Chinese rule were unlikely to witness any time soon; and they spilled into the Place de la Bastille, where street protesters kicked off the French Revolution in 1789 by tearing open a royal prison tower. [1]

IT’S THE MONEYED PEOPLE Claudine Chettab, 54, who was just laid off after 28 years as a purchasing agent, came from the Paris suburbs to join the show of outrage. Her firm was laying off people, she said, "because the financiers stuffed their pockets and never invested anything in the company when times were good." [1]

PEOPLE RIOT WHEN THEY HAVE NO BREAD To drive home her complaint, Chettab carried a handwritten banner paraphrasing Marie Antoinette, the insouciant queen of Louis XVI who was told the Paris poor were rioting because they had no bread. "When we have no more bread, we will eat cake," it read. [1] After the last general strike in January, Sarkozy moved to defuse tension by introducing certain tax cuts and welfare payments for the poorest families. Unions said it was not enough, but the president's advisers this week said there would be no more immediate measures. [2] "Sarkozy says there's no money for the public sector, that state coffers are dry, then he miraculously finds money to bail out the car industry," said Olivier Langillier, a nurse at the Paris march.[2]

AMERICANS UPSET OVER A PARAGRAPH ALLOWING THE BAILOUT BONUS A clause in the $787-billion economic stimulus plan approved by Congress last month capped bonuses for executives at companies getting federal bailout aid. But a one-paragraph provision tucked into the thick bill modified the cap to apply it only to future bonuses, not those already legally contracted.[6]

IT’S THE FAULT OF BIG GOVERNMENT It's the public sector, which lives off the back of the fantastic, competent and diligent workers in the private sector, that is on strike. In other words, the government is striking against the government, as absurd as it may sound. [3] France is run by civil servants and all they think of is their salaries, holidays, weekends and who's going to pay for lunch. [3] This country will never improve until power is taken from the parasitic civil service and put back into the hands of the people and their elected officials. [3] But Fran├žois Fillon, the French Prime Minister, ruled out any further stimulus packages. [4]

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WE ARE MAD AS...AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY LONGER "It was the measures taken to aid recovery that have doubled the budget deficit this year," he said. "I think the French people understand we cannot go any further. Not only would it be a big mistake for future generations, but it would also prevent the recovery." [4]

UNITED STATES SHOULD LOOK TO THE FUTURE But he said too many in Washington were trying to figure out whom to blame for things — when they should be focused on fixing them.[5]

AMERICAN TAXPAYER WANTS HEADS TO ROLL POLITICALLY FOR THE BAILOUT BONUS?..WHO ...WHO.....WHO IS AT FAULT? IS IT DODD? As the House readied legislation to crack down on the outrage-inspiring bonuses, Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who chairs the Banking Committee, and Geithner appeared at odds over who was really responsible for Congress' failure to prevent them in the first place.[6]

DODD ON DEFENSIVE Dodd, on the defensive over a loophole that enabled the bonuses to go forward, claimed the Obama administration insisted he modify his proposal to rein in bonuses at companies getting billions of dollars in financial bailouts so that it would only apply to payments agreed to in the future - thus clearing the way for the AIG payouts.[6] Dodd told reporters he agreed to the changes "in order to preserve the amendment."[6] "This political circus that's going on here today with this bill is not getting to the bottom of the questions of who knew what and when did they know it," said House Republican LeaderJohn Boehner of Ohio.[6]

Posted Here by Terry Bankert 3/19/09

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Update: Mayoral Debate Hosted by Genesee County Democratic Party 4/30/09 http://gcdpdebate.wordpress.com/


-sources [1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/19/AR2009031900804.html?hpid=sec-world [2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/20/nicolas-sarkozy-france-protests [3] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7953429.stm [4] http://www.euronews.net/2009/03/20/sarkozy-under-pressure-after-french-protests/ [5] http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation/story/1096658.html [6] http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzbonu206076078mar20,0,5660097.story

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