Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Arianna Huffington's Third World America 3

In my latest reading of Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream, Arianna Huffington tells more heart-breaking stories of people who have lost their homes or their jobs, and she also criticizes politicians.

Arianna is considered to be left-wing, and yet she criticizes both Republicans and also Democrats.  Regarding the economic crisis, she notes that both parties were involved in encouraging home sales to those who could not afford a house.  Many Democrats supported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and George W. Bush and many Republicans sought to remove barriers to home-ownership in order to promote an ownership society.  Arianna also holds that Barack Obama displayed weak leadership when he supported a federal bail-out of banks and Wall Street, but did not rigorously work for a way for people who lost their homes to renegotiate their mortgages (and, according to Arianna, not everyone who lost their homes did so due to signing a sub-prime mortgage).

Arianna does note, however, that Obama tried to reverse the Contract with America's limitations on the Legal Services Corporation, "to no avail" (page 72).  Homeowners were limited in their ability to be protected from predatory lenders because they could not bring class-action lawsuits or make the other side pay for their attorney's fees if the other side lost----and that was important because the other side could then drag out the legal proceedings, thereby exhausting the homeowners' resources.  Arianna may believe that both sides are detached and more attuned to special interests than to the middle class, but she seems to hold that the Democrats are a little better than the Republicans.

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