Keystone Progress Daily Funnies

Keystone Progress Daily Funnies

If you’re not laughing, you’re not paying attention. Every day, we search for the funniest comics and videos on the issues of the day.

Rob Rogers, Sunday, June 8, 2014

by Rob Rogers

by Rob Rogers

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Welcome to Part-time America by Sal Pezzino

economhis post is reblogged from Sal Pezzino at  Everyone — everyone (including conservatives and liberals,) will benefit by understanding this.y,

Welcome to Part-Time America


Written by: Sal Pezzino -@sp1989

If you were to look at the state of the United States economy, on paper it would seem as though everything is OK. The Dow Jones has been flirting with 16,000, stock prices are soaring, and the unemployment rate keeps going down. The truth is that it is all entirely artificial.

The government is constantly printing money, company growth is completely artificial in the sense that profits are going up because they are cutting cost by laying off and switching people to part-time, and the Dow is at an all time high because of government cash injections into the banking system. We are currently where we were in 2008 right before floor dropped beneath us. The problem is this time we have much more to lose and this time if and when the floor drops we wont have anything to grab on to. A market loss equal too or worse than the one in 2008 will plunge the United States economy into a proper depression. A depression that would make “The Great Depression” of the early 20th century look like a party.

How do I know this?

Well I am not an economist. I don’t have a degree in accounting, business, or economics, but I read. I have read articles and essays by the best economists, accountants, and business people in the country and world and they all say that we are headed towards a disaster of cataclysmic proportions. The major issue cited is the increase of part-time workers. According to the federal reserve there has roughly been an increase of 20% workers into the part-time work force in 2013. However the unemployment rate has decreased up to 2% in the last two years. Now it’s not hard to see what is happening and it doesn’t take an economics scholar to understand what is happening.

Since the market failed in 2008 the unemployment rapidly increased for 4 years until it slowly started to “recover”. The unemployment rate is calculated by the amount of monthly unemployment claims filed. The government does not take into account the amount of people who stop filing because their benefits ran out and the government doesn’t calculate the people who could not claim because they got a job in which they made more than $405 dollars a week. That means if you make $406 a week you can no longer claim your weekly benefits. Basically if you get a high paying part-time job you can no longer claim your weekly unemployment benefits.

So in 2010 when the unemployment rate began to go down people started losing their unemployment benefits. The job market wasn’t getting better, unemployment benefits started expiring. So every month the unemployment rate was going down because more and more people were losing their benefits. Now when the end of the 2011 comes along companies and corporations began preparing for when the “Affordable Care Act” kicks in on October 1st this year.

That is “Obamacare” for anyone who doesn’t know the actual name of the “Affordable Care Act”.  According to the affordable care act any company that employs over 50 people full-time, are required by federal law to provide health insurance for their employees. So companies have started laying off divisions of their workforces and cutting back hours to avoid having to pay for health insurance. As long as their workers are working part-time hours they are not legally obliged to provide health insurance. So now companies are hiring more and more part-time workers. Hence the unemployment rate keeps going down and down. More job are being created but they aren’t full time positions. The unemployment rate is going down even more because of all the part-time work that is available now.

Some people would say that the creation of jobs is a good thing. Which yes you can say its sort of a “glass is half full” type thing. However when you consider that people are now working two jobs to maintain a certain cost of living or provide for their family, working ungodly hours and consecutive shifts just to put food on the table. This certainly is not indicative of a thriving economy. But the government and media will tell you the economy is recovering and that the market is doing wonderful highlighting all of the circumstantial and aesthetic aspects of our economy but no one is taking the time to see what is actually going on.

Economists are worried about the increase of part-time employment because people will not be prepared for the impending market crash. People are using their savings to pay bills along with their weekly paychecks. People can’t fall back on their savings anymore to stave off the failing economy. Economists talk about how people are becoming less and less inclined to invest or buy new things.

Whatever extra money people have they don’t put in the bank or invest they put it under mattresses. Improper employment combined with lack of investing in a market based economy is a volatile combination. People not buying things is a very bad thing and if people aren’t prepared financially for increasing costs, inflation, and loss of market value than it’s no longer, if a depression is coming but when is it coming? As long as people are not properly employed or employed commiserate to what the market will bear than people will no be able to sustain themselves through a depression or a recession.


Taking the Government Hostage — by Barney Frank

Yesterday, September 29, 2013, Barney Frank, a writer and for member of the U.S. House (representing Massachusetts,) published an opinion piece, Taking the Government Hostage, in the Maine Sunday Telegram.  Barney Frank uses plain English, and he is unafraid of and will not tolerate obfuscation, which is refreshing in a journalist.  This is the best description I have found for the situation out Congress has placed us in, regarding our economy and the Affordable Care Act.  I am unsure of the protocol for reprinting a newspaper piece, so I ask that you click the title link above, and read this.  It is important!  That’s Taking the Government Hostage by Barney Frank.


 Voting rights?  LIMITING VOTING RIGHTS?  

What is this, 1964?  Why are Americans in at least six states in favor of Voter Rights limitations, in favor enough to make them laws?


Last week, the Supreme Court removed federal oversight of states known to have used discriminatory practices to block or hobble the registration of poor, elderly, and especially minority citizens.  The court ruled that enough change had been made to let those states off the hook — at least six of those states, once subject to oversight, wasted no time passing stricter Voter Identification regulations, deliberately limiting the voters more likely to vote Democrat.  The changes were backed primarily by Republican lawmakers.  (See here for details on Texas, North Carolina, and the general unfairness of redistricting to separate minorities which make it more difficult for them to vote, or to stand together for a single candidate.)

Republicans and Republican sympathizers accuse progressive thinkers and “liberals,” of exaggeration.  But while no one yet has seen the outcome of the efforts by Republicans to use this round of redistricting, and voter ID as well, to limit minority ease and access to voting privileges,  past efforts have been widely recognized as blatantly discriminatory.  (See also here and here.)

I don’t have any answers — I am writing this because my shock and outrage need to go somewhere.  The next move will need to come from the same legislative branch that is, as of now, dismissing completely any idea, if it has anything to do with President Obama.  We need to rally ourselves and our Congress to respect the Constitution of our country, and to stand up for the right of each American citizen to vote his or her conscience without fighting discrimination.  We must force our representatives in Washington to push for fairness, or show them the power of the electorate by voting them from Congress, and replacing them with other legislators who will represent the interests of the entire voting public, and the interests of American citizens.

The United States Is Now A Volumeocracy

I wish I had said this as clearly — thanks, Edward.

Edward Hotspur


For years, I’ve noticed something about America – it’s no longer a democracy. Instead, it has become a volumeocracy.

What is a volumeocracy? Government by the loudest. But what does that mean? What are you, a moron? What’s with all the questions?

No, seriously, it means that whoever screams the loudest, or in non-audio situations, whoever gets the most coverage, ends up getting their way most often. Consider talk shows and pundit shows. All networks are guilty, but I’m pointing at Fox News. Someone like Bill O’Reilly will literally yell over the top of whoever he is interviewing. It’s almost as if he thinks he can scream at reality and get it to change.

And to a certain extent, he can. People can. Why? Partly because people in general are kind of stupid and lazy. They read a headline and fall right for it, and never go find things…

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How childish can a major news network be?

I learned, a few hours ago, that Fox News will be shutting down during the public inauguration of Barack Obama into his second term.  How incredibly obvious can they be?  They say they are closing down for Routine Maintenance — I suggest they are refusing to air this national event tomorrow because they have been, (for the last few years, at least,) acting like a bunch of big babies who just want to take their bat and ball and go home.  For more than 200 years, Inauguration Day has been the time for putting the animosity of election politics behind us, if only for one day.  What now, then, is different?

Well, some members of the Republican party, and of the conservative audience of Fox News, have taken the position that, regardless of what may be best for the country, they are firm in their plan to refuse any actions that put them in the position of cooperating with the Obama administration.  The far-right side of the aisle is quite childishly pouting about Obama’s election.  I am not speaking of all conservatives in general — I am referring to the extreme fringes of the conservative side, where dwell such stellar cooperators as Rush Limbaugh and Rep. John Boehner.

How much more of this behavior are we, the majority of Americans, going to be asked to tolerate?  Boehner’s refusal to call for a vote on the recent fiscal cliff correction legislation is only one example; on all fronts, these politicians and civilian members of the Republican party are more than satisfied to act directly against the best wishes of the country, so as not to be seen cooperating with “the enemy,” us.

Think of the other place in life where we so often see one side of an argument refusing to consider that someone else might just possibly have a valid idea in a disagreement.  I am speaking of the three- or four-year old toddler, who will hold his/her breath until they pass out, or yell at the top of their lungs, before acting like civilized human beings.  Three- and four-year-olds may be excused, however — they have not yet learned about getting along with others.  I see no excuse for politicians and media representatives to act this way — presumably they have learned that lesson, and are civilized, (I could be wrong, though.)

Lest I be accused of a one-sided argument, I will add that all politicians, regardless of party affiliation, are expected by the American people to act as representatives, not of the lunatic fringe, but rather of all the people who elected them.  Name-calling, and this ridiculous shut-down of Fox News in the face of a national inauguration, are behaviors we should refuse to tolerate.  Since we cannot spank the butts of the ones willing to hold out like this, I have one suggestion:  Remember this, in 2014, American citizen, and vote with your feet, please.