Archive for the ‘social’ Category

Obama may have trouble keeping Democrats on his track

March 8, 2009
Some Democrats have qualms about his plans for spending and taxes — and about his push to change so much so quickly.
By Peter Nicholas
Los Angeles Times
March 8, 2009
Reporting from Washington — President Obama is facing misgivings about his policy agenda from inside his own party, with prominent Democrats objecting to parts of his taxation and spending plans and questioning the White House push to do so much so fast.

Obama’s strategy is to advance on all fronts. Buoyed by favorable poll numbers, he is moving to jolt the economy with a massive stimulus package, revamp the healthcare system and push the nation toward renewable energy sources.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-na-
obama-dems8-2009mar08,0,1967244.story

Related:
NYT Interviews Obama; No Economic Recovery This Year

Obama: Crisis is time of ‘great opportunity’ 

Harry Reid: Good News, Bad News

President Pelosi?

With Big Issues Ahead, Democrats Stumble

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Stimulus plan mixes short, long-term job goals

January 31, 2009

No matter the color of your work shirt, this recession is sparing few. From blue collar construction workers to white collar financial sector employees, the economic crisis has dragged a growing swath of American workers into joblessness.

Economic downturns predominantly used to hit blue-collar and young workers. But in this recession, layoffs and business closings are affecting bankers, middle managers, even scientists and journalists.

White collar unemployment jumped 1.6 percentage points — to 4.6 percent — from December of 2007 to December of 2008. But blue-collar workers are still bearing the largest brunt of unemployment, at 11.3 percent.

The shared pain helps explain the varied priorities in the $800 billion-plus rescue package put together by President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. The $50 billion for building roads, bridges and schools addressed the hardest hit of the unemployed first — hardhat workers.

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer

But there are also piles of wage-producing money for college-educated workers: $62 billion in the House version for health information and renewable energy technology, improving the nation’s power grid and scientific research. Getting it all to them will take longer.

Policymakers are also counting on greater public acceptance for social spending — on the likes of food stamps, unemployment and health insurance — because the victims of the collapse in housing and credit markets cross socio-economic levels.

“The intensity of where we are right now creates a much larger scale of interest by the public,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the liberal Economic Policy Institute. “You need many more sectors to recover and broad-based policies for that are a new challenge.”

Republicans complain that too much is being directed to expanding the safety net for assisting victims and argue that tax cuts, particularly those addressed at businesses, will produce more sustainable jobs over the long term.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009013
1/ap_on_go_pr_wh/stimulus_jobs

China ‘faces mass social unrest’

December 5, 2008

Rising unemployment and the economic slowdown could cause massive social turmoil in China, a leading scholar in the Communist Party has said.

About 500 protesters rioted at a toy factory in southern China on 25 November 2008

Chinese authorities have already had to deal with workers’ protests

“The redistribution of wealth through theft and robbery could dramatically increase and menaces to social stability will grow,” Zhou Tianyong, a researcher at the Central Party School in Beijing, wrote in the China Economic Times.

“This is extremely likely to create a reactive situation of mass-scale social turmoil,” he wrote.

BBC

His views do not reflect leadership policy but highlight worries in elite circles about the impact of the economic slowdown.

Mr Zhou warned that the real rate of urban joblessness reached 12% this year and could reach 14% next year as the economy slows.

China’s annual GDP growth has already slowed to 9% in the third quarter, from 10.1% in the second. Some forecasters see growth slowing to 7.5% next year.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7766921.stm