Our Years Ahead

This fall there are lots of candidates without a sustainable economic vision. We need to make sure they get there – they should decide today to support these 5 policy proposals that address our immediate and future needs. Polling shows that there is wide public support for these proposals – there is no good reason they should not become law.

We have five questions we hope you, our best advocates, will ask your local candidates. Call them up, and report back your answers in the comments.

We generally support candidates that will hold the big banks accountable and prevent the reckless behavior that caused the economy to collapse and cost 8 million Americans their jobs. We vote for candidates that have a vision of a stable, growing economy populated by millions of small and medium sized businesses rather than big business speculation, regionally-based industry, healthy competition, rising wages, and one that supports innovation in industry and stability in the workforce. This may sound ambitious during a time of recession, but as history has shown, the only way out of this recession is to dream big and try big projects, in the best American tradition.

1. Full employment: Do you support Rep Conyers’ proposal of a deficit-neutral program that funds jobs with a tax and curbing of Wall Street transactions?

In a healthy economy, everyone who can work and wants to work should be able to find a job. It is highly wasteful, and bad for communities, family, and human dignity to have a 10% unemployment rate. When the economy goes through a recession, rather than spend our tax dollars that go to CEO pay, the government should invest directly in jobs – hire people to fix bridges, teach under-staffed schools, refit homes to make them energy neutral, lay train tracks, and build wind turbines. We support President Obama’s proposal to put people to work building a 21st century roads and rail system. We also support Rep. Conyers’ proposal of a deficit-neutral program that funds jobs with a tax and curbing of Wall Street transactions.

[A February 2010 Lake Research poll showed “solid pluralities, including among independents, prefer the (progressive) Democratic position on job creation and putting Americans back to work to the GOP’s (46% of Democrats)”]

2. Financial Transactions Tax: Do you support legislation sponsored by Tom Harkin and DiFazio for a financial transactions tax?

We support legislation sponsored by Tom Harkin and DiFazio that would make banks pay a tax on the casino culture of Wall Street. This is a sales tax on their sales of complicated financial instruments.  To pay for our deficit and social programs, we should make banks pay a sales tax on their sales of exotic financial instruments. Economists think even a tiny such tax (less than 1%) could bring in between $250 billion and $350 billion/year, which would help pay for new teachers, modernize millions of homes to make them more energy efficient, shrink our financial sector, and meet the tax shortfall of our cities and towns since the financial crisis.  This would help prevent another crisis by discouraging transactions that have no real value, and will help reduce the deficit. Opponents won’t support the tax because they work for Wall Street, not the people.

[A January 2010 poll showed that 81% of Americans agree with the
following strongly worded statement. “We need to rein in the greedy, reckless behavior of the big banks on Wall Street that cost millions of jobs and led to huge bailouts on our dime. This tax will put a limit on the casino culture of Wall Street that provides no real value and only exists to line the banker’s pockets. This reform will strengthen our financial system to help prevent another crisis and reduce the deficit.” ]

3. Break up the Banks: Do you support legislation that would break up the too big to fail banks?

We support legislation that would make sure no more banks get to be too big to fail and require government bailouts. Opponents want all the “Too Big to Fail” banks to continue to suck huge profits out of innocent people, receive taxpayer handouts for their dangerous risk taking, and destroy our economy. Our small and medium banks tend to serve their customers better and take on less risk. Breaking up our largest financial institutions opens up the industry to greater competition from small and medium banks, leading to better products for consumers and more small business lending. It would also help to limit the financial industry’s corruptive influence over federal policy making.

[ In a January 2010 Lake Research poll, Americans gave a 6.9 out of 10 rating (very to absolutely the most important reform) in a measurement of the importance of different reform proposals to “cap[ping] the size of banks and financial firms to prevent them from becoming so big that taxpayers would need to bail them out in a crisis”. A May 2010 Fox News poll showed that 69% of Americans favor new stricter controls and regulations on Wall Street and financial services industry, 20% oppose.  ]

The Mortgage Crisis

4. Housing Market Reset: Do you support legislation sponsored by Jeff Merkley that would make sure that the big banks do not get to make homeowners pay all the cost of the bad and deceptive deals they make. Instead, they should have to renegotiate for fair home prices?

Legislation sponsored by Jeff Merkley would make sure that the big banks do not get to make homeowners pay all the cost of the bad and deceptive deals they make. Instead, they should have to renegotiate for fair home prices. Foreclosures are bad for employment, bad for communities, bad for people, and they leave homes wasting. The banks that got the government to bail them out should have to come to the table.

[In a May 2010 CBS News poll showed that 56% of Americans think the government should help homeowners with mortgage issues.  “Americans disapprove of the government bailing out the banks and U.S. automakers, but they support help for ailing homeowners.”]

5. Right to Rent: Do you support the proposal made by economist Dean Baker that people who bought their homes for far more than they were worth should have the right to stay in their homes if they pay fair market rental value for them?

We support the proposal made by economist Dean Baker that people who bought their homes for far more than they were worth should have the right to stay in their homes if they pay fair market rental value for them. Many homeowners are under water at no fault of their own. For every homeowner helped by HAMP to avoid foreclosure, 10 were foreclosed on – this proposal keeps people in their homes but does not cost the taxpayer a dime. This would help save our communities from the blight of foreclosure, and encourage care and investment in homes, while forcing the big banks to negotiate with innocent home owners.

[“Homeowners who are simply underwater would likely be able to afford market rents,” says Ingrid Gould Ellen, an economist at New York University who helped current Housing and Urban Development secretary Shaun Donovan]

Please tell us what you hear in the comments.

What a Sustainable Economic Vision Looks Like

We are at a historic moment in our history. There are two completely different visions of our future economy.

The unsustainable vision is an economy dominated by a few dozen enormous corporations. Proponents believe that when big business does well, everyone else does well. This vision rewards debt-fueled growth, unproductive speculation, and overly concentrated power. We’ve already seen where that leads us–instability, crisis, unemployment over 10% in much of the country, empty homes, wasted jobs, overpacked schools, uncertainty and unhappiness and severely divided social classes.  This is our recent past, and this is our current economy. Republicans and some Democrats openly admit they plan to support loopholes that make it easier for Wall Street and big business to keep doing business as usual. They continue to gamble away our jobs, retirement funds, homes, city and state budgets, and tax dollars – and it is dangerous.

The sustainable vision is one built around fair wages and good jobs, with millions of small and medium sized businesses, regionally-based industry, healthy competition, rising wages, innovation in industry and stability in the workforce. We’ve already seen where this leads us — better, more secure jobs, great schools, creativity, community, stable lives that allow for innovation, and social mobility. This is our post-war America, where we overcame Jim Crow and created industries that spread throughout the world. We plan to take on the big banks that broke the economy and make sure they pay to rebuild our country.

A healthy economy builds on our traditional strengths as a country, where we nourish individual entrepeneurs and local investment. Small and medium businesses tend to care more for their workers, be more attentive to environmental concerns, and don’t get the same tax breaks and poltical muscle of big businesses. While big business is a threat to democracy, small business is its partner. A healthy economy values rising wages over lowering wages, and includes a high degree of local manufacturing, so that foreign prices can’t destabilize the basic market.

We should aim for a less speculative economy than the one we’ve had for 30 years – it leads to maximum employment, better jobs, an increasing living standard, more socially beneficial innovation, and a sound social and economic infrastructure. Less of our economic activity should be tied up in risk, we should be investing in humans and the infrastructure we need to lead healthy lives.

There is no question that people are suffering and looking for something to blame. Foreclosures are destroying communities, but also people’s dignity. Republicans are blaming immigrants, and the qu’aran, and democrats, but the real culprit is big banks and corporate handouts. There is plenty of money that can flow in the economy, it is just in the wrong place. We can decide to take history by the horns, and reward education instead of speculation, and small business instead of corporate takeovers.

More policy demands will be posted shortly.


26 Responses to “A Sustainable Economic Vision”

  1. mary says:

    I am curious what condidates you have in mind to call. I don’t see them listed.

  2. Tiffiniy Cheng says:

    Hi Mary — we’re talking about local candidates — I added that language to the post. Are you interested in your local races this cycle?

  3. David Macko says:

    Since I am a candidate, I will be glad to answer your questions,
    although I am not a federal candidate. You are authorized to publish
    my answers without change and my contact information.
    See my interspersed answers below:

    For Life and Liberty,
    David Macko
    Libertarian Candidate for State Representative,
    Ohio House District 17

    —– Original Message —–
    Do you support Rep Conyers’ proposal of a deficit-neutral program that funds jobs with a tax and curbing of Wall Street transactions?

    Government meddling during the Roosevelt depression prolonged it until he manuevered the American people into World War II. I oppose all tax increases. There should be a moratorium on federal income and social security taxes which could end the current depression. All other government meddling is always counterproductive. DM

    Do you support legislation sponsored by Tom Harkin and DiFazio for a financial transactions tax?

    As stated previously, I oppose all new taxes or fees or increases in current taxes or fees. Taxes will further grind Americans down. DM

    Do you support legislation that would break up the too big to fail banks?

    No. Nothing is too big to fail. See dinosaurs. We should stop bailing out the international banksters. Let the failing ones fail according to the laws of economics. I would consider treason charges against them if it could be proven that they deliberately crashed the market or were committing fraud or theft. For the record, I favor the death penalty although it should be used as sparingly as possible, as with all government powers. See http://www.infowars.com and listen to Alex Jones. DM

    4. HOUSING MARKET RESET: Do you support legislation sponsored by Jeff Merkley that would make sure that the big banks do not get to make homeowners pay all the cost of the bad and deceptive deals they make. Instead, they should have to renegotiate for fair home prices?

    This is more government meddling of the sort which caused the current depression. The government should not force banks to lend to people who cannot repay, regardless of race, ethnic group or other favored group consideration.

    5. RIGHT-TO-RENT: Do you support the proposal made by economist Dean Baker that people who bought their homes for far more than they were worth should have the right to stay in their homes if they pay fair market rental value for them?

    This is more government meddling. It is time to restore liberty. See The Law by Fredric Bastiat at http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html DM

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      Hi, I would love to hear other proposals you have to directly address some of the major problems we are having in our economy.

      Also, letting big banks fail when they fail is definitely a part of breaking up the banks — we totally agree with that.

  4. gayle bullington says:

    All good and what we need in our purchasing power to increase- jobs, jobs and jobs. Start Social Securiy earlier, increase what is paid, get a healthcare system for all- medicare for all, stop the crazy immoral bankrupting wars, stop the der busher tax cuts for the 1/10 of one percent that has more money than the rest of us by endosing a fascist dictatorship – insist on public financing of elections and then the nazis on the supreme idiot court cannot make our government one against us- with dictators ruling from their pocket book- green jobs not greed governence- we would be the envy of the world again and our Constitution would sing GOD BLESS AMERICA- again.

  5. Digger says:

    Tiffiniy and all,

    Thanks for all the work you do. While I support your intentions you appear to be under the spell of one or more of the Seven Deadly Innocent Economic Frauds of Economic Policy. I say this because you appear to think that being revenue neutral is either necessary or desirable. A proper understanding of the monetary system will reveal the fallacy. Unfortunately most of Congress still lives in a world that has not existed since 1971.

    Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy
    1. The government must raise funds through taxation or
    borrowing in order to spend. In other words, government
    spending is limited by its ability to tax or borrow.
    2. With government deficits, we are leaving our debt burden
    to our children.
    3. Government budget deficits take away savings.
    4. Social Security is broken.
    5. The trade deficit is an unsustainable imbalance that takes
    away jobs and output.
    6. We need savings to provide the funds for investment.
    7. It’s a bad thing that higher deficits today mean higher
    taxes tomorrow.

    —excerpted from Connecticut Senate candidate Warren Mosler’s new book available free at http://moslerforsenate.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/7DIF.pdf

    His major proposals include a payroll tax holiday, a $500 per capita payment to the states and an $8 hour federally funded job with healthcare for anyone willing and able to work. See http://www.moslerforsenate.com for more insight.

    Let me state it as clearly as I know: Anything that is technologically possible is financially possible.

    I have sent your article to Warren and would not be surprised if he answers himself.

    Counter Insurgency, Deficit Terrorist Unit

  6. David Macko says:

    Mary, most newspapers carry contact information for local Congressmen and state legislators. That should also be available on your local news websites.
    Your county election board should have contact information for candidates. Project Vote Smart also provides valuable contact information. See http://www.votesmart.org

    David Macko
    Libertarian Candidate For State Representative
    Ohio House District 14

  7. Karl Huber says:

    To break up the banks, get rid of the banking subsidies and regulations that limit competition. One major purpose of present regulations is to make people comfortable with the banks, to make people feel safe (even if they actually are at risk). More fear and less security would change the banking landscape quickly.

    Another major purpose of banking regulations and subsidies is to hold together government and other institutions that we now see have outlived their usefulness, if we choose to look. Rational rearrangement is preferable to chaotic dismemberment.

    Your proposals all assume that government can fix the problems. Government is a major factor, the enabler of the problems in the first place. Government cannot fix what is wrong. Government needs to get out of the way and out of the marketplace and permit a free market to reconstitute itself.

    It does not matter which political party has nominal control. Neither has a clue about what to do that will work.

    More than anything else, what’s required now is stability, not changes in laws once again. In fact, we have too many laws. When even attorneys don’t understand the law, and those in DC pass laws without reading them, there no longer is a rule of law. Any law that you and I and ordinary citizens cannot understand without the aid of an attorney ought to be void as a matter of public policy.

    There is no Harvard PhD or group of Ivy Leaguers smart enough to trump the summed decisions of 300 million citizens each focused on his or her daily life.

    Instability has caused human and financial capital to flee the country. The rush to leave is growing. Once gone, neither human nor financial capital is coming back until the dust settles.

    The best guide we have, now that the use of government force to effect social, political, and economic change has shown its limit and weakness, is to return to the Constitution and not expect government to do what government is least capable of doing.

    Even the ancient Greeks knew that persuasion is far more effective than force, and that individual action trumps government directive. The Greeks sent their sons to college to learn to persuade rather than learn to beat people over the head with spears, clubs and swords.

    I’d prefer to see us simplify in rational ways rather than see our lives simplified for us as we experience systemic collapse. It’s time to start with an actual clean slate and invent the future, not try to fix what is beyond repair.

    Systemic collapse is the path on which we all are moving “progressively” forward at an accelerating pace.

  8. I support any legislation that will rein in the out of control Wall Street and other corporatist elites. However, there are some problems with some of these proposed solutions.

    First, breaking up the too big to fail banks is a losing proposition on its own. Right now we have set up a system of money, insurance, and finance that guarantees the sector will be dominated by large interests. So instead of breaking up these banks, we must go after the infrastructure which guarantees too big to fail. This means ending the privilege of FDIC for private banks and restoring the Constitutionally granted power over our money to Congress.

    To read about the problem with only breaking apart too big to fail banks see:
    To learn ore about how to reform our money, insurance and finance, see:

    Second, on the first issue (related to Representative Conyers’ proposal), it is important to create a stimulus (including jobs programs) which are not deficit neutral. We need to get our economy going again and the best way to do that is for the federal government to borrow the funds lying fallow that the private sector is afraid to borrow. The federal government is the only safe debtor to which lenders will lend. We must use that fact to put the actual resources back to work (including human resources) which correspond to those un-borrowed funds. So a deficit neutral plan is insufficient to bring our economy back from the brink.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      HI Rob, it’s good to hear from you. Breaking up the banks is not a stand alone solution, but it does something other proposals does not — it blocks the further centralization of market and political power in a few and distributes that power among small and medium banks. We’ve already accomplished a lot in 1 year, we’ll see that we keep on making progress.

      • “ it blocks the further centralization of market and political power in a few and distributes that power among small and medium banks.”

        I contend that it does not. The only way to block centralization is to take the inherently centralizing factors out of private predatory hands and operate them as public commons. That means we no longer allow the Federal Reserve banking cartel to operate our monetary system. They use that necessarily centralized function to carve out banking monopolies for themselves. It also means we no longer extend public insurance in the form of FDIC to private banking institutions of any size. This too is a centralizing factor which creates perverse and adverse incentives for banks to take risky gambles with their depositors funds. Then when they go under they get combined with other banks and the centralization continues.

        We can provide deposit insurance through a portfolio of federally insured savings instrument options. Moreover, these public savings options can provide the funds necessary to loan for consumer credit, home and other building mortgages, student loans, and state and municipal loans

        We can stop this centralization, but we have to stop letting the banks raid the public treasury and the public commons to enrich themselves. The banks have created quasi governmental institutions to enrich themselves and until we go after these institutions and re-factor them to sever the general welfare, we will be plagued by large dominant banks.

        Please read further at my campaign website:

        Also do not listen to those who say the solution to our problems are not through government. We cannot allow this governmental powers to reside in private ignoble corporate financial institutions. The US Constitution prohibits it and it is the very definition of corrupt government. So when I hear some of the candidates here advocating that we should get back to the Constitution and let the banks run rampant over the liberties of everyone else I have to expose the predatory scam being perpetrated upon our electorate. Our Constitution does not allow for the granting of powers of nobility and it insists that we retain all governmental powers within government – and a republican form of government at that. So the solution to our problem is indeed through government and it is in adhering to the US Constitution both (which if these libertarians didn’t notice is a document constituting government).

        • I meant to list some of the key quasi-governmetnal institutions which the banks created to centralize their power:
          • The Federal Reserve itself,
          • FDIC as extended to private institutions rather than operated as a public savings option,
          • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which both readily buy liar’s loans from banks to let them offload all obligation for clearly doomed loans to the public treasury
          • TARP passed by Congress to bailout AIG and many other banks which covered the private losses of AIG associated with the insuring of liar loans
          • TALF and other loan facilities from the Federal Reserve itself which made over $1 trillion in funds available to banks with only junk collateral banking those loans (without Congressional authorization let alone following the Constitutional requirement that all such revenue bills originate in the House)

          (the candidate Warren Mosler, mentioned above, is even proposing an expansion of these quasi-public bodies to allow banks to further raid the public treasury)

        • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

          Great! Before we had a federal reserve, the big banks then controlled the money and interest rates directly. Whatever system we have, we just have to make them accountable to the public interest, public good, and maximum employment. Your ideas definitely fit in.

          • Well that’s a little like saying that before we had bank robbers, people still made withdrawals from banks. The Federal Reserve is a monetary system designed principally to rob the public treasury (as are TARP, TALF, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac). So we need to put getting rid of these institutions – and replacing them with new institutions that serve the general welfare – at the top of any list of demands or we . Anything less simply surrenders to the corruption of these institutions. Whereas breaking up the banks is merely a stop gap measure which the banks know will eventually trend back toward thorough centralization of power and wealth in private hands.

  9. George Redstone says:

    To your list I would add:

    Would you support legislation to make the Federal Reserve a real central bank, solely owned and operated by the people for the people, instead of by and for the big banks, and to thereby return the sole ability to create and value money to the government as it was originally defined in the constitution?

    (This would make banks retailers of loans who take a point or two on each transaction they broker, instead of getting all of the money created plus interest, which is nothing but a ponzi scheme and why we live in a regime of “parasitic bubblism”, rather than public capitalism, which is what the founders had in mind and which, ironically, the Chinese now have and are kicking our butts with! If the government did this, there would be no need of Federal, state or local taxes – the interest on loans is more than sufficient to operate the federal government. We could lend ourselves money at zero interest, like North Dakota has since 1919, and save over 40 cents on the dollar currently paid in taxes to the banks for having done nothing more than make a ledger entry against the good faith and credit of the people! The principal will more than cover state and local government and still leave money for investing in infrastructure, etc…..)

    Regarding the reset of the mortgages, the banks print money out of thin air in response to the demand for borrowing, and know, that since all money has interest attached, it’s a Ponzi scheme. They blow up the bubbles and pick when and how to pop them to maximize their profits. The whole “financial crisis”, was skillfully created and executed on purpose. The dots are all there and easy to connect. They started with mortgage rates over 7.5% and slowly reduced them down to around 5%. As they reduced them, they got home owners to refinance, over and over to keep the bubble going. Many home owners refinanced many times as the market value of their houses went up and rates came down, completely unaware that the banks were creating new money every time and getting all of the money for the previous mortgage paid to them. When they ran rates about as low as they can go, and they ran out of new borrowers, they burst the bubble and foreclosed on millions of homes. Homes that they have already made the entire value of over and over and over. Then they steal the homes and the down-payment, ruin the home owner’s credit, making economic recovery something that will take over 7 years to really start, as these people have been shut out of getting loans. What did the banks contribute in the way of “good and valuable consideration” (a requirement of a legally binding contract) – NOTHING! They made a ledger entry. The home owner contributed everything – their credit rating, which is what gives money value, and their downpayment, which enabled the bank to create the money. Did the home lose value, or did money get more valuable, because it’s harder to come by? The home is the same, so they should gladly adjust the principal and adjust the LTV according to the downpayment made, which would give the homeowner a higher equity ratio and preserve the borrowing capacity of the economy.

    The fact is that our government is nothing more than a front for the banks (The Rothchilds, being the high lords and masters thereof) and the Royal families of Europe. They learned long ago how to enslave us as willing serfs, blindly shoveling money at them for doing nothing of real value under the guise of “freedom”.

    I’ll post some more about the dots at a later date.

    Keep up the good work!

    All the best;

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      these are important points. definitely should be on a longer list of demands — a more democratic central bank, transparent and accountable. it is most certainly a feeding trough for the banks.

      • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

        Here are some answers from John T. via email:

        A NEW WAY FORWARD Questionnaire
        It’s time to break up the banks
        This fall there are lots of candidates without a sustainable
        economic vision. We need to make sure they get there. Here are
        five questions to ask them. Let’s call them up, ask them, and
        report back your answers here (your reports are invaluable):
        Do you support Rep Conyers’ proposal of a deficit-neutral
        program that funds jobs with a tax and curbing of Wall Street
        JCT: The problem is everyone borrowed 10 gallons of liquidity
        from the pumphouse banks to dump into the economic pool and
        now everyone is trying to recuperate that principal plus the
        interest so someone must get knocked out of the mort-gage
        death-gamble musical chairs game. The problem is the imbalance
        in the pumphouse and no amount of splashing of taxes in the
        pool by Rep Conyers can help.
        Do you support legislation sponsored by Tom Harkin and DiFazio
        for a financial transactions tax?
        JCT: The Tobin Tax was discussed with my UNILETS in the very
        same forum and time-based currency made the Millennium
        Declaration and tax on financial transactions did not. It’s
        just more splashing in the pool.
        Do you support legislation that would break up the too big to
        fail banks?
        JCT: No, the problem is not with the size of banks, it’s with
        promising to repay more to the pumphouse than was printed.
        4. HOUSING MARKET RESET: Do you support legislation sponsored
        by Jeff Merkley that would make sure that the big banks do not
        get to make homeowners pay all the cost of the bad and
        deceptive deals they make. Instead, they should have to
        renegotiate for fair home prices?
        JCT: No, I favor granting all citizens interest-free credit
        lines at Treasury banks (like Paypal) where they cut checks to
        pay off all their interest-bearing debts and after that, all
        payments go against principal. Besides, how can you use
        anything as nebulous as “not get banks to make homeowners pay
        all of the cost” to explain anything?
        5. RIGHT-TO-RENT: Do you support the proposal made by
        economist Dean Baker that people who bought their homes for
        far more than they were worth should have the right to stay in
        their homes if they pay fair market rental value for them?
        JCT: With Treasury loans, they could convert from interest-
        bearing debt to interest-free debt and someday own, not rent,
        those houses.
        You can also learn more about these questions and a
        sustainable economic vision here. Thanks! Break up the banks!
        - Tiffiniy, Donny, Zephyr A New Way Forward
        JCT: Sadly, I want to reprogram the banks. Breaking the banks
        does no one any good.

  10. Pacific Green Party says yes on all five questions

  11. Dylan Raines says:

    This is a really great writing you have done here Tiffany. I agree with you on each proposal except for full employment. We as a human race have a perplexing situation where technology is continuing to decrease the number of jobs that are actually needed for us to do. I believe a better look to the future is one where it takes far less jobs, and less money in order for humans to survive.

  12. THE risk to any sustainability are the pervasive myths I call ‘innocent frauds’

    The first is that the fed govt needs to tax in order to spend, and that what it doesn’t collect in taxes it must borrow from the likes of china and leave it all to the grand children to pay off.

    this is all categorically not true as a simple matter of actual monetary operations. see ‘The 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy’ at:


    My proposals and endorsements are at http://www.moslerforsenate.com

    My proposals for the financial sector are here:


    I proposed the right to rent several years ago and it got read into the Congressional record by Prof. James Galbraith

  13. Digger says:

    While there are many proposals that have merit, the biggest roadblock to progress is a Congress suffering institutional lag. Until a majority understand existing economic technology, we will continue to suffer from proposals based on incomplete or inaccurate knowledge. Progress sometimes involves unlearning old falsehoods first.

    From http://homepage.newschool.edu/het//profiles/ayres.htm :
    “Ayres propounded a theory of “institutional lag” whereby technological changes inevitably kept economic technology one step ahead of inherited socio-cultural institutions. The process of Veblenian “evolution” Ayres envisaged was that technological changes were generated by spurts of instinctive inventive activity to innovate in technological processes but that the relatively slow, inherited socio-economic structures would be maladapted to these changes. With glacier-like gradualness, institutions would eventually respond to the new technology, but by the time they adjusted, the next round of inventive activity would have been skipping along further ahead, thus maintaining a permanent lag and thus incogruity between social structures and economic technology.”

    For economic nerds or those that just enjoy assumption challenging heresy, I highly recommend Ayres’ book The Theory of Economic Progress available free at the Association for Evolutionary Economics website: http://www.afee.net/division.php?page=institutional_economics&sub=classic_books_articles

    Until we break free from the classical economic thesis, we will continue to wander in the wilderness.

  14. 1) Tax Security trades and replace the Glass-Stegal firewall between community banks, insurance and commercial investment banks.

    2) YES !!! (will reduce speculation)

    3) Monopolies exist in command and control economies, not in free market economies.

    4) This seems unworkable. As taking out a loan is a business transaction no one should be told not to strategically default. At this time the the borrower bears all the risk while the banks risk only comes into play during economic hardship (which is typically caused by the banks lending practices)

    5) Who gets to determine the fair market value? If this legislation passes as presented then rent market values will be driven up through collusion byu bankers.

  15. brian says:

    > 1. NO
    > 2. Yes, tax speculation such as derivative transactions unless they are carried out as a covered hedge such as a corn farmer buying futures.
    > 3. Yes, tax the banks more as their size increases to discourage large banks and to fund costs to bail out.
    > 4. 5. Many homeowners in default are just as guilty as the banks, some more so.
    > Kick out “homeowners” who do not pay their mortgages.
    > Allow 18 month forbearance of 50% of mortgage payment for hardship cases with debt added to principal.
    > Increase the retention time of mortgage defaults on credit records to 15 years that is about the length of one and one-half housing cycles.
    > Make all mortgages recourse, and require 20% down, bankruptcy should be the only way to restructure your debt.
    > Tax the cash obtained in cash out refinances, tax all capital gains on home sales unless rolled into another property within 2 years.
    > These steps will eliminate a lot of moral hazards like strategic default, and a stricter policy will encourage more conservative buying, lower home prices(good), more stable prices and less speculation. These are the best insurance for long term family financial stability.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      Hi Brian, these are great compromises and are thoughtful and very realistic in terms of understanding what actually happened leading up to the fin crisis, etc. Have you asked any local candidates or are you a local candidate?

  16. [...] New Way Forward has A Sustainable Economic Vision with five questions to ask your representative on pending bills that get us closer to goals of full [...]