You are hereBlogs / lisa savage's blog

lisa savage's blog

How to fix the economy

by Kayla Starr, CODEPINK Local Coordinator North Bay (Marin & Sonoma Counties), California

Two years after the economic crisis began, 25 million Americans are jobless or under-employed. Unknown numbers have stopped looking for jobs and are not accounted for in this number. And the numbers are growing, not shrinking.

This is a negative multiplier on the economy. If families can't pay their bills, their mortgages become delinquent; mortgage delinquencies keep rising), their credit card bills go unpaid (we're seeing a notable rise in credit card defaults), and they can't afford to buy anything other than necessities (hence auto sales have plummeted, new homes sales are down, and retail sales are in the pits).

As a result, more and more businesses lay off workers (or refrain from adding them) because they can't sell the goods and services they produce.

CLOSED: a photo essay

Mark and I went around Maine documenting elementary schools that had been closed at the end of last school year due to budget cuts. We also photographed some closed businesses that failed recently. The slideshow we created is linked below. Bring Our War $$ Home!

Bring Our War $$ Home speech at VFP convention, Portland, Maine

BRING OUR WAR $$ HOME speech for rally at VFP 25th, Portland 8/29/10

Thank you. I feel grateful to Veterans for Peace for their 25 years of organizing, and for bringing us all together here today. I feel grateful to all of you for making time and space in your life to be here today.

I am the daughter of a veteran, granddaughter of two veterans. My grandfather who was among the first troops to enter Nagasaki after the nuclear attack on that city and its civilian population never spoke of it. My other grandfather who lay injured on a battlefield in France in November of 1918 told my father, who passed it on to me and my siblings: “There are no good wars. Don't believe them when they say so. War is not the solution to anything.” No one in my generation of my family enlisted; no one in the next generation of my family has enlisted either. Thank you to the veterans with the courage to tell the truth.

$1 Trillion and counting -- what didn't get funded?

The tally for combined price tags of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan reached $1 trillion this year (if you can stand it, check the madly running counter here and note that we've added $38 billion to that figure already). It's such a large number, it's hard to relate to it.

Mark and I decided to come at it from a different direction by documenting some of the things that did not get funded while borrowing for more war spending raged on. We drove around photographing elementary schools closed for lack of funds at the end of the '09-10 school year.

On our travels we spent the night at some of Maine's state park campgrounds, where newish facilities to shower and wash dishes had signs thanking the state's voters for approving a bond issue that made the construction possible. This represents borrowed $ to be paid back by state taxes that increase rather than decrease quality of life.

BRING OUR WAR $$ HOME: How's the war economy working for you?

August 17, 2010 at 04:21:19 for OpEdNews

Is the U.S. really leaving Iraq? And will we be at war with Iran soon? While still mired in Afghanistan?

While the number of U.S. troops in Iraq will be reduced from a high of 165,000, many of those will be redeployed to Afghanistan. And after Aug 31 there will still be 50,000 troops left in Iraq, at five huge "enduring bases" and an Embassy the size of Vatican City. Plus approximately 75,000 contractors.

Aside from whether you consider this a withdrawal or not, what do you suppose the price tag is? Can the U.S. afford this level of military operations around the globe indefinitely? Congress just voted to borrow another $37 billion for next year's cost of wars while the war in Afghanistan alone costs about $48,000 a minute.

Bravest Man I Know

How much courage does it take to give the speech that Ethan McCord gave at the Albany National Peace Conference in July?

In it he talked about the day of the events shown in the Wikileaks video "Collateral Murder" which he witnessed from the ground as a soldier pulling bleeding children from the rescue van where their dad lay dying. He walked us, step by step, through the video and explained what was happening. He told us: "If this video disgusts you, it should. It happens daily."

I met Ethan in Albany when he spoke briefly at the opening news conference with Joe Lombardo, Kathy Kelly, Medea Benjamin, Dahlia Wasfi, and Dr. Margaret Flowers. It was clearly difficult to talk about something that had happened years ago but that he says he lives with every day.

Rebuild America, or Bomb Afghanistan? Bring our war $$ home!

The current war in Afghanistan costs in excess of $48,000 a minute.

Meanwhile, a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is talking about cuts to Social Security, Medicare and the home mortgage deduction to address the nation's growing budget deficit.

An educational technician I worked with told me that after her father died, her mother depended on SS to raise her and her siblings. “We would never have made it without that monthly check,” she said, but was too scared to write a letter to the editor about it for fear of repercussions from her employer.

The average cost to deploy a soldier to Afghanistan for a year is $1,000,000. It has more than tripled since '01, mostly because of for-profit contractors. Current data indicate there are more contractors in Afghanistan than troops (and their deaths go largely unreported).


I knew a boy in college who was really good at sleight of hand. His hands would fly with the same rhythm and grace of his skates on ice, and the palmed object never turned up where you were expecting to see it. The gist of his secret was simple: misdirection. He subtly cued the audience to attend to something that distracted them from the real game and its real goal. In the mainstream press this game could be called “Watch my false dichotomy.”

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.