In today's On the News segment: Occupy Wall Street movement begins its second month, third quarter profit numbers show Wall Street is making a killing while Main Street is drowning, Republicans in the House refuse to vote on President Obama's American Jobs Act – so he's decided to break it up and try to pass it piece by piece, the International Monetary Fund is calling on governments around the world to ditch their austerity agendas of spending cuts, anti-Latino hate crimes have risen dramatically in recent years, and more.
I'm Jacob Dean in for Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. As the Occupy Wall Street movement begins it’s second month – and Occupy movements in major cities across Europe dig in for the long haul too – popularity for the demonstrators is soaring. According to a new Quinnipiac poll of New York City voters – 2/3 of respondents say they agree with Occupy Wall Street. And 87% say that it’s ok that people are camped out in the streets. Even among Republicans – Occupy Wall Street is popular – with 52% of Republicans saying they support the movement. But there is one group that doesn’t support Occupy Wall Street – the police. In the last month – well over 1,000 people have been arrested for engaging in peaceful civil disobedience – or misdemeanors like walking in the road or sleeping in a park. Meanwhile – the men and women responsible for
stealing $7 trillion worth of wealth out of the middle class in 2008 – the banksters on Wall Street – have not faced police officers once.
So Occupy Wall Street isn’t just about an unequal economy – it’s about unequal justice system too.
Third quarter profit numbers are out – and as you’d expect – Wall Street is making a killing while Main Street is drowning. Some of the nation’s biggest banks saw big gains over the last three months.
Wells Fargo profits are up 21% to $4 billion. Citibank profits are up 73% from last year to $3.8 billion. And JP Morgan made $3 billion bucks too. Corporate profits as a share of our nation’s GDP are higher than at any other point in this nation’s history since 1950.
But when it comes to small business on Main Street – the picture is grim. According to a report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses – two out of every five business reported falling profits. So when is Main Street going to get its $17 trillion bailout just like Wall Street?
In the best of the rest of the news…
Since Republicans in the House refuse to vote on President Obama’s American Jobs Act – he’s decided to break it up and try to pass it piece-by-piece. The first piece he want’s Congress to pass is $35 billion in aid to states to prevent the lay-off of teachers, firefighters, and police officers. This proposal alone could create 400,000 jobs – and according to a new CNN poll – 75% of Americans support. So now Republicans in the House have another choice: vote on a wildly popular piece of legislation that could create 400,000 jobs – or say “no” and continue on their agenda to crash the economy ahead of the 2012 elections.
No more austerity! With the global economy sputtering – the International Monetary Fund is calling on government around the world to ditch their austerity agendas of spending cuts – fearing that such policies could push the world into another recession. This is a stark contrast in advice coming from the IMF which is normally preaching to government to adopt spending cuts – as it has been over the last few years. But now – seeing that these policies clearly aren’t working – the IMF is calling on government to grow their federal budgets and INCREASE spending to stimulate the economy and get money back into people’s pockets again to spend. Apparently Republicans here in the United States haven’t gotten the memo yet.
There could be a disturbing side effect of the uptick in right-wing anti-immigration legislation and hateful rhetoric. According to a new study from the Institute of Justice – anti-Latino hate crimes have risen dramatically in recent years – outpacing all other types of hate
crimes. And according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center – “radical right groups” – like nativist groups – have increased in the United States for the second year in a row. Now more than ever – we need compassionate immigration reform.
More Americans favor the legalization of marijuana than ever before.
According to a new Gallup poll – a record-high 50% of Americans support legalization. That’s up 4 points from last year – and up a whopping 14 points from 5 years ago. This new poll comes on the heals of the California Medical Association – the state’s largest group of doctors – issuing a resolution supporting the legalization of medicinal marijuana last Friday. More and more people are seeing that Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs is a complete failure – and that marijuana has tremendous medical value…and it’s not a bad recreational drug either.
The world is one step closer to commercial space travel. Billionaire Richard Branson opened up the first ever commercial spaceport this week in the New Mexico desert – the headquarters of his company Virgin Galactic. The spaceport will house 7 ships – as well as astronaut preparation facilities and mission control. Branson hopes to launch his first ship into orbit within the next 12 months. Even though space tourism may still be a few years away – Virgin Galactic has already sold 430 tickets for the first few voyages at $200,000 a piece.
And finally…if more extreme natural disasters won’t convince them – then may lack of coffee will. Starbucks came out this week to say that global warming could have a harmful effect on coffee. The company’s sustainability director Jim Hanna said referring to global warming, “What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean.” Next month – Starbucks will launch a new campaign to showcase how they plan to deal with global climate change – which is
no doubt a “Grande” problem.
And that’s the way it is today – Tuesday, October 18th, 2011. I’m Jacob Dean in for Thom Hartmann – on the news.