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06 January 2014

Comments

Ryan Mount

Mr. Rebane-

Are you saying that politicians of election opportunists?

I really wish we could re-think unemployment insurance. Maybe requiring people to do something for it. Some ideas:

- school/retraining
- a part-time job
- Maybe have them work for EDD answering phones.
- Attend a UCLA English class and learn about disabled, Female African-American modern poets from Cleveland
- Learn to write grants
- Dance. Yes, make them dance for it.

Anyhow, it's a mess. And frankly I'm not sure people are that excited about getting unemployment benefits/insurance/dole/whatever. I'm reasonably confident most people would prefer to work rather than stay at home and watch Dr. Oz. Unless they're masochists.

Paul Emery

Gosh George

Where were you when Bush signed the extension in '07 and '02. Just another example of Bush good, Obama bad for the same policies.

"President Bush called on Congress today to act immediately when it convenes next month to reinstate unemployment benefits for 750,000 people whose assistance will run out three days after Christmas.

Mr. Bush said the benefits should be paid retroactively to Dec. 28 once they are restored. He otherwise offered few specifics of the legislation he wants passed by Congress, where his party will be in control of the Senate and the House starting in January.

Unemployed workers ''need our assistance in these difficult times, and we cannot let them down,'' Mr. Bush said in his weekly radio address.

''I have shared these concerns with the leaders of the House and the Senate, and they understand the need for early action,'' he said. ''When our legislators return to the Capitol, I ask them to make the extension of unemployment benefits a first order of business. And the benefits they approve should be retroactive, so that people who lose their benefits this month will be paid in full.''

Paul Emery


Oh yeah, link.
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/15/us/bush-calls-for-an-extension-of-unemployment-benefits.html

George Rebane

PaulE 154pm - who said I was in favor of Bush2's social(ist) policies? Do you know how long the expiring benefits were during the Bush2 years?

Gregory

George, it isn't to extend the benefits beyond 99 weeks, it was to extend the 'emergency' 99 week program, because unemployment reverted to the original (26 week?) limit on 1 Jan.

Paul Emery

George

They were renewed in 08, with Bush's support, I know for sure. Bush's "Socialist" ways were well documented when he ran for reelection and I'm sure you voted for him therefore endorsing his policies. I voted for Obama in '08 but at least recognized my mistake and went in a different direction in '12 something that you were apparently not able to do with Bush when he ran in '04. I will guess it was because of fear that the Dems would take over but that's the a perfect example as the corruption of our one party system that uses fear to stay in power by controlling all the options and relying on the lack of courage of the electorate to stay in power.

Gregory

OK, so in the post 9/11 recession, Bush temporarily extended benefits from 26 to 39 weeks. Under Obama, emergency benefits were taken out to 99 weeks. Either the economy is wonderful, or it's horrible and emergency benefits is still apropos.

Which is it, Paul?

Paul Emery

I say it's pretty bad or horrible and extended benefits are necessary.

Ben Emery

Wouldn't be better if we (the government) would hire many of the people on unemployment to work on rebuilding our infrastructure? Isn't the best welfare program a job? When the private sector fails isn't that the perfect opportunity to the public sector to get much needed work done while hiring people at the same time. Since Reagan we have been on this cut government investment programs leaving the US far behind other developed nations.

Unemployment benefits are not a hand out they are paid into by employees (most never claim a penny of it) for times just like now. It was 99 weeks and then negotiated down into the 72-74 week range a couple years ago.

http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/
D+

fish

Unemployment benefits are not a hand out they are paid into by employees (most never claim a penny of it) for times just like now. It was 99 weeks and then negotiated down into the 72-74 week range a couple years ago.

Traditional unemployment has been 26 weeks. The 99 was in response to the events in 2008. Following the government/Keynesian playbook we were supposed to be into a legitimate recovery by now alleviating the need for extended benefits.

Assuming your position is correct Paul.....how much longer do you extend these benefits?

Todd Juvinall

Well I guess BenE has never run a business it appears. The employer pays the UI.

Bill Tozer

Technically the employee pays into unemployment insurance via state and federal payroll taxes. But in reality, its the employer that usually pays these payroll taxes. For every one dollar rise in unemployment taxes shouldered by the employer, it is one less dollar the said employer could pay his employees in higher wages, especially in hard hit urban rat cages and rural areas.

The average UI benefits are 300 smackers a week. High skilled workers (or just plain skilled workers) have no incentive to seek and obtain employment at compensation less that their former jobs paid IF they felt their benefits would be extended again. This is in spite the fact that many of these skilled workers could accept lower paying positions that pay much more than their benefits.

Likewise, unemployed folks who formerly worked at dead in jobs or in locales of high unemployment are less likely to move to areas of better opportunities if they suspect their benefits will not be cut off.

26 weeks (or half a year of drawing checks) used to be the norm, so I am out of touch. I remember when the Feds granted another 13 week extension when the States' 26 weeks ran out, then an additional 13 weeks on top of the already extended 13 weeks under the Carter Administration. Those were real times of runaway inflation and high unemployment.

So, is 99 weeks (just shy of TWO friggin years) the norm? I cannot believe my eyes. Oh well, the poor working class will pay for the ride via lower wages to subsidize those that feel that taking a job at 400 clams a week is beneath them or if they have been given reassurances their checks will keep on keeping on.

Gregory

Tozer, there is no requirement the unemployed spend those years frigging. They might go fishing, or work for under the table compensation.

I hear the economy is great now... so why the emergency? Unless the unemployment books are cooked and the real rate is still in the double digits.

Walt

"Wouldn't be better if we (the government) would hire many of the people on unemployment to work on rebuilding our infrastructure?"

Ben. The days of that are LONG over. The "pick and shovel " crews can still be under bid by boarder jumpers. ( They are pretty much a protected class)

Bill Tozer

Mr. Greogory, I will take that as a rhetorical question. Dr. Rebane pointed to a figure in his post above 10% (unemployment rate). That is too pretty close, close enough for government work.. If the labor pool today was at the same as in 2008, then the official unemployment rate would be 11.4%. That is not cooking the books or counting the underemployed.

With all these indicators that the economy is improving and surveys of consumer confidence, I see an big fat irony. People (myself included) say the economy (generally) is getting better, that their prospects look better, etc. They might even make a few more dimes/hour than last year. But when you ask the same people if their personal economy is doing better, they answer no. Why?? Because their disposable income is stagnate or less, due to cut in hours or the cost of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches outpacing their take home pay. An ironically. Perception vs where the rubber meets the road.

Dr. Rebane cut to the chase. Its not the unemployment rate nor the economy. Its election time. And them Republicans are going to be the first in line to cut your flakey bro-in-law off the unemployment rolls. Its politics.

A very nice distraction from Iran testing better more powerful centrifuges, Benghazi, the IRS doing political rectal exams on critics of this Administration, Barrackobamacare, the soaring costs of The Unaffordable Care Act, the President telling the lie of the year and thus dropping 23% in support from Latinos, ad infinitem. Next stop: Income Inequality, Immigration Reform. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Step right up here boys and girls, its election time in the cities.

Its election time pure and simply. Daddy, why do those mean ole Republicans want to throw Grandma off the train? Why do they want to cut Uncle Ricki off from his unemployment checks. Oh Daddy, why???

Walt

I just read that the Editor of the Union has hit the road.
Well,, called that one.
I find it more than coincidental that not one letter to the Ed. has appeared
about the troops sign. Or did I miss one? You can bet some were sent in.
Anyone notice the cost of the paper? A buck a copy. How much was it when Jeff A.
was at the helm, and not all that long ago.
Taking The Union down the Lefty road didn't work out so hot.
Now lets see what head quarters has sent us.

Ryan Mount

> Following the government/Keynesian playbook we were supposed

I think we have "recovered," but it's certainly not big rock candy mountain everyone was hoping for. I think the Democrats need to own their "recovery."

If someone is unemployed for 99 weeks, something is very wrong. And that's gotta be a combination of factors including inflexibility of the unemployed ("I'm NOT moving to North Dakota!"), as well as some kind of fundamental shift in the economy, and certainly the government enablement via long running benefits like this 99 week'er thing.

Practically speaking, when (not if) these chronic benefits are extended, I think the prudent thing to do would be at least keep these people busy. If we're going to throw money down a rat hole, we might as well put it in a jar, burying it and make the unemployed go after it.

Bill Tozer

Re: update. Dr. Rebane, it makes sense. A chicken in every pot and all that populace rhetoric.

After welfare reform, the trend has been to move people onto the disability rolls. Once on permanent disability, the states can save money and the poor folk can get a steady source of income until the day they die. Odd how many people file for disability as soon as their unemployment bennies are cut off or don't feel like working until retirement age.

Much of this redefinition of permanent disability has come about by expanding the definition of disability (unable to work or hold a job) by venturing into the mental health realm of anxiety, depression, being crazier than a hoot owl. What does it mean in 2014 to be disabled. Certainly not crippled physically.

I saw this trend coming even before Welfare Reform as parents found out that if their child had ADD, they could bring in the bucks for each child. Think the free money news spread quickly as one school in Texas had 70% of its students declared to have ADA and the parents raked in about 600 clams per child. Schools got money too. All it takes is one unethical doctor, someone who knows how to fill out paperwork, and the lure of easy money.

When Obama took office, there were about 8 million (ok, call it 9 million) folks on disability. Today there are 14 million. That is some unheard rise of along the lines of 60% in just 5 friggin years!

Either we are becoming a nation of slackers, softies, sluggards or somebody really is putting something in the water. Or, maybe we are becoming hopeless, helpless wards of the State. Hope and change? Without hope, the people perish. Well, guess it is one way to cover the uninsured.

Bill Tozer

http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323511804578298151374531578

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/us-disability-rolls-swell-in-a-rough-economy/2013/09/20/a791915c-1575-1

for those that like long articles in format:

http://economics.mit.edu/files/6880

Walt

Something is up..... Calif. is having a sane moment, in actually PROTECTING our Liberty. ( or what is left of them, even at their hands)
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/01/07/california-legislators-introduce-bill-to-banish-nsa

Socialist on Socialist infighting.

Bill Tozer

Walt, it may or not be a sane CA moment. CA does not have any large NSA facilities here. But, a symbolic gesture nonetheless. Kinda of like when we got tough on the Japanese once and raised tarriffs on 23" TVs (or whatever odd size it was) to send a message. Come to find out they only made about 100 or less of that sized TV's. Political posturing.

Dr. Rebane is spot on again. "In the case of unemployment, a former worker could qualify to be declared ‘chronically unemployable’ or ‘terminally untrainable’ or suffering from a broad-based ‘skills deficit’, or whatever."

Reminiscent of Welfare reform. Glenn County and other counties discovered that to get people off the rolls and into the job market, they had to get the same people off drug and booze. Thus the dilemma. Train 'em, give them a job, but as long as they were doping, they failed to show up to work or hold a job.

Brother Ben should be quite pleased. Give them a job or give them money, womb to tomb. Just like the former USSR. A job for everybody, but we carry it further. If the shit for brains is terminally untrainable or chronically unemployable, just give them money.

Hey, a young guy with no ambition can sit around North San Juan growing medicinal marijuana as a livelihood and still get his monthly check from Uncle Sam or Uncle Jerry. No need to drive to town or become part of society as we know it. Maybe cut trails for the Forest Service 3 months a year and kick back on unemployment or mental disability the rest of the year. Give 'em money, that's what they want. They want money.

Money does not buy everything it is true, but what it can't buy, they can't use...they want Money, that's what they want...they want Money, that's what they want.

So, rather than guaranteed employment, we are turning into a nation of guaranteed handouts. Work indeed does interfere with my pursuit of happiness. This is better than the old USSR. They executed you if you failed to run the factory properly. Same today in Red China. But, in our Brave New World, slackers who mess up are given a pension, a raise, and a bonus especially if they have a politically appointed occupation. Womb to Tomb, no strings attached.

Ben Emery

George,
Thought you might enjoy this talk on "common good"

Noam Chomsky | What Is the Common Good?
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/21070-noam-chomsky-what-is-the-common-good

Excerpt around paragraph eighteen

"For Rocker, "the problem that is set for our time is that of freeing man from the curse of economic exploitation and political and social enslavement."

It should be noted that the American brand of libertarianism differs sharply from the libertarian tradition, accepting and indeed advocating the subordination of working people to the masters of the economy, and the subjection of everyone to the restrictive discipline and destructive features of markets."

Bill Tozer

As Gomer Pyle would say, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

Speaking of the common good, Obamacare drolls, Wal-Mart rules!

http://washingtonexaminer.com/surprise-walmart-health-plan-is-cheaper-offers-more-coverage-than-obamacare/article/2541670?utm_campaign=Fox%20News&utm_source=foxnews.com&utm_medium=feed

Ben Emery

Just think you guys are all upset about the IRS targeting Tea Party for closer scrutiny.

Some history of the government spying on and snuffing out dissent and anti war activist.

Burglars Who Took On F.B.I. Abandon Shadows
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us/burglars-who-took-on-fbi-abandon-shadows.html?_r=0

" Since 1956, the F.B.I. had carried out an expansive campaign to spy on civil rights leaders, political organizers and suspected Communists, and had tried to sow distrust among protest groups. Among the grim litany of revelations was a blackmail letter F.B.I. agents had sent anonymously to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., threatening to expose his extramarital affairs if he did not commit suicide.

“It wasn’t just spying on Americans,” said Loch K. Johnson, a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Georgia who was an aide to Senator Frank Church, Democrat of Idaho. “The intent of Cointelpro was to destroy lives and ruin reputations.”

George Rebane

BenE 635pm & 732pm - Thanks for the links Ben. However according to people of my persuasion, the weight of Chomsky's hard left socio-economic observations and prescriptions are no more weighty than are yours or mine when we leave our areas of training and expertise. In fact, in your quoted paragraph he totally misses the social desiderata of American libertarians.

Re the latter day revelations of FBI spying on groups opposing the established order, you seem to imply that since this happened then, it is no big deal if it happens now. Such prescriptions leave no room for social progress over time. Besides, the focus and scope of past FBI operations and current NSA et al operations are significantly different. BTW, I'm assuming that both of us do approve of some covert activities by the government's security agencies to keep us secure within the statutes of our Constitution.

Gerry Fedor

George, you must mean the one's like the ASA group complaining about the local Sheriff's ability to say that their at your home to do a "compliance check", they don't go into the garden, but they go into and red tag your home (without a search warrant) because your great grandfather put in his home (which you inherited) windows that are too low, and a kitchen with low counter tops, and narrow hallways.....

Now the county tells you that you need to demolish this home and they have started the process to do so......

True governmental security agencies keeping us secure?

I'd like to get your thoughts on this?

Ben Emery

George,
Perhaps you didn't read it correctly thus understand the excerpt I gave of Chomsky.

07 January 2014 at 08:22 P
"it is no big deal if it happens now. "

No, that is not what I am saying. I am saying you guys are acting like the Tea Party groups are being treated different when in fact they are being treated just like any other activist groups. As I wrote on these pages many times I think all of this shit must stop. Activists/ movements aren't threats to the US Constitution but in fact a threat to the power of the political parties that run our government.

I seriously doubt our executive branch does this according the Constitution. Retroactive is what I suspect and the agencies have very loose reins.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/413b

Bill Tozer

Ben, you would have to go back to the Nixon Administration to find such widespread harassment of those opposing an Administration. This is even bigger with the advent of better technology. Those only Nixon types (including J Edgar Hoover) tailing ya with the black sedans and cameras was kindergarten stuff compared to the paranoia of the current Administration. Hundreds of IRS agents auditing anybody that claims association with the Tea Party.

Sure, the FBI infiltrated the Black Panthers (passing out books of Chairman Moa and calling for the armed overthrown of the US) did not help their cause. Bugging Martin Luther King in search of communist connections was the norm. Tailing the Democratic Students Unions and the Chicago 7 was a sign of the times. But, what you decry what happened to the OWS crowd is small potatoes.

Just imagine if Cindy Sheehan took her protest against Obama instead of setting up Camp Casey near Bush's ranch. Oh, the troubles she would have been put through under this Obama Administration and this Justice Department instead of Bush, who went out of his way to defend Cindy's right to protest and free speech!

Yes, two wrongs don't make a right and sunlight is the best disinfectant. No need to reach back in history when the police cracked union organizers' mellons or the Cowboy and Indian Wars of whatever happened in the Hoover camps to the Oakies. We are taking here and now.

This Administration is ruthless, and above the law. Is it the only one in American history? Nay, they said the same thing about Lincoln and most forget that he was about to get slaughtered in his reelection bid not too long before he won reelection, mainly due to some much needed Union victories.

I am not navie. Every time there is a terrorist attack, everybody screams how come we did not know or stop it?? That is because we want good intel and DEMAND good intel and proactive methods to stomp the bad guys. That part I will cut any Administration slack on. But there is a world of difference between going after threats to this country (domestic or foreign) and going after political opponents with the full force of the Administration and all its resources.

George Rebane

BenE 743am - In response I will have to go with Mr Tozer's excellent 933am summary. But withstanding your clarification, it does seem that you are now also against the shenanigans of Obama's IRS.

GerryF 1209am - the RR record here records my opposition to any such actions against a person's private property, especially focusing on those bureaucratic 'code violations' that don't affect anyone else. In case you haven't noticed, RR is all about minimalist government is size and scope - government needs to be as small as it can be and no smaller. Our Founders believed that such a government would give us the best chance to succeed in the Great Experiment.

Ben Emery

Bill,
Here is where it gets funny, I have been saying and opposing the Obama administration since 2010 but you guys on RR just don't want to see it.

George,
15 May 2013 at 09:23 PM
"I will oppose these actions by the IRS to target any group because of political activity, I just wish we would have had the same treatment from the right."

Walt

Ben.. WHY did Nixon resign? Try Berkeley U of the net to find the answer.

How about the LIBS giving "O" the "same treatment"? ( That's NOT going to happen. Mass LIB suicide would occur first.)

Ben. The Germans wanted their gold back that is/was stored by the FED reserve gold depository. ( Ft. Knox so to speak) They wanted it ALL back. Then excuses from the U.S. started to fly. Right down to " we need to re-refine it for you". " We can't give it to you all at once."
So it seems the "safe deposit box" isn't so safe when our own government controls it.
Ask yourself "why?" .. No,,, the idea of "gold is gold" doesn't work here.
They wanted "theirs" back. ( each brick has a tracking number) So if the "German" gold is "gone",, where did it go? Why is our government making excuses of why they can't ship it all at once?
It seems the Germans are covering for the U.S. in this new issue.

Todd Juvinall

BenE, we don't care that you say you are opposed to Obama since 2010. You actually want him to go farther left! So, you are actually worde than a person opposed on the merits.

George, the Fedor is a sock puppet. He lives (who the real person is) in Alta Sierra and grows pot. Maybe he is in a haze? LOL!

Walt

The EPA under THIS Admin knows no bounds....

http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/08/epa-overrides-congress-hands-over-town-to-indian-tribes/

Who says Ca. can't "redraw" it's own boarders? The EPA ( just a gov. agency ) just
redrew a state's lines. And all it took was a handful of people to petition the gov.

George Rebane

BenE 1050am - You have had the same treatment from the Right and Left over the years - recall it was Lyndon who sicked the FBI on MLK and others being critical of the federal govt. But to my knowledge no administration has set their bureaucrats on a grass roots political movement that involved tens of millions of Americans.

Bill Tozer

Brother Ben, fair enough. I am guilty of hanging the Liberal Collar around your neck, as if you had to defend everything some liberal does or what Obama does. I will cease and desist from henceforth. You have made it clear your objections to Obama's policies and what some in the circle of liberals/progressive world do. I certainly am not here to defend David Duke or whatever some lame brain politicians in some far flung quarters do with the label R attached to their name. So, I will stop making you the point man AND spin doctor for all progressive/liberals and their sometimes amusing foolishness (IMHO). We both hate tyranny and crony capitalism and if does not take a rocket scientist (sorry, Dr. Rebane and Mr. Steele) to know that we live in an imperfect world with imperfect humans running the show. My faults are too many to list and beyond your wildest imagination. I just hope you hang in there with us mean ole conservatives and even some of us die hard Republicans. Otherwise we will just be preaching to the choir and that wears a bit boring after a unspecified amount of time.. Thank goodness we are all unique.

George Rebane

re BillT's 305pm - Mr Tozer's kindness reaches beyond mine. I will continue to label those consistently espousing liberal, leftist, socialist, collectivist, progressive, and communist policies with labels of people who espouse such policies - if it walks like a duck ... . Taking an exception now and then from being totally consistent, while a hopeful sign, would not be enough to change these non-pejorative labels worn proudly by people who see a better world through 'from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.' However, I will answer to any complaint such as 'Why did you call me a socialist?' More here -
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2010/07/who-is-a-socialist.html

Bill Tozer

Back to unemployment. The private survey today says over a quarter million jobs were added. Government's figures come out Friday. The unemployment figures from the states should show about 300,000 people filed for first time unemployment, so make of all that what you will. Construction is up, about 48,000 jobs which is good, retail bouncing along the bottom, which shows people like me ain't ready to open our wallets, especially after Christmas. Rolls Royce is selling cars like hotcakes for those consumed by Income Inequity.

I find it a bit paradoxical that when Obama came back early from Michele's Vacation in the Islands, he immediately started slamming them dirty ole white racist Republicans over extending the unemployment benefits to those whom have exhausted their extensions. Just as this is happening on one hand, the airwaves are filled with news that there are right now a boat load of jobs going unfilled, many are good jobs. Half million good paying openings. So, as Mr. Gregory implied, its the economy picking up steam (The Fed thinks so) or is this another economic crisis in a long line of crisis where emergency measures must be taken to extend unemployment benefits until the 24th century?

I fear Dr. Rebane's predictions of automation is coming faster than I suspected. If we are to complete with the Rice Eaters and have any semblance of a manufacturing base on US soil, automation will expand exponentially in the next 2 years. My prediction. Thus, more unemployment for Joe Blow and more job openings continuing to be unfilled as Joe Blow did not make it to the starting line by getting retrained or "retooled" if you will.

Time is not going to wait until Joe Blow gets off the bidet (that's a French thing)and hop on board the Tomorrowland tram. Get off the bidet and get on board or get left out in the cold. Cold hard facts.

Bill Tozer

Breaking News!! UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FALLS TO 6.7%

Before we all pop the champagne corks, we need to dig into the numbers. Might take a week or so. Also the Federal job numbers are based on receiving a full week's pay on the 12th of the month. December's job number may be skewed by the record setting snow, cold, and other related Global Warming factors during the 2nd week of December, 2013.

The real story is the trajectory of the declining labor force participation rate has not abated. Still heading south. There are 240 Americans over the age of 18. Where did they all go?? The Boomers are retiring and some have disappeared into the rolls of permanent disability. Some are stuck in part time Obama jobs. But, where the heck did all them workers go? It magic!

Obama's economic policies have made millions of jobs disappear. Now, if only Obama can make his and Foot in Mouth Biden's economic policies disappear as well. That would put the head on the beer.

I guess I have a cloudy ball instead of a crystal ball. I was looking for 200,000 jobs created in December, not the measly 74,000 non farm payroll increase. I did not expect the unemployment rate to fall .3% either. Neither did my favorite forecaster:

"The unemployment rate should stay at about 7 percent, largely because so many adults remain discouraged or stuck in part-time jobs. Factoring in those folks, the jobless rate becomes 13.2 percent. Getting unemployment down to 6 percent, while employing those folks at the margins of the labor market, would require about 365,000 jobs each month for three years.

What continued mediocre jobs growth shows is that Obama’s redistributionist policies—such as some of the highest taxes on businesses in the industrialized world and dysfunctional subsidies for middle class health insurance—and statism—such as business regulations more burdensome than necessary to accomplish reasonable safety and environmental objectives, endless lawsuits brought on banks, free trade agreements with government run Asian economies, and prohibitions on U.S. energy production—don’t create growth or nearly enough decent jobs.

More importantly, mediocre jobs growth indicates Obama’s policies, by suppressing the demand for workers and wages, are adding to income inequality rather than addressing it constructively.

America can do better—it can be a more prosperous and fairer society. However, the country needs for the president to radically change his policies, or wait for a radically different president."

Well, he got the lion's share right, despite thinking the unemployment rate would hold steady at 7%. Exciting times. bro, exciting times.

Ben Emery

Bill,
This is where George gets it wrong. Productivity and wages must rise and fall together if we want a functional society and economy, period. If productivity goes up so does wages even if it is technologically driven. Lets say a machine takes a two person job and makes it a one person job. What should and what will be happening in future generations is both workers would receive pay increases but have their hours reduced. What isn't ever discussed in these pages are the policy and trade shifts that were allowed to take place over the 3 three decades. Human labor is still very much part of the equation but instead we have legalized wage slaves from undeveloped nations by making the incentives to do so. As posted before garment workers in Cambodia were being paid (sometimes) about $0.25 an hour for 60 hour work weeks. China's $.70 an hour was getting to high. China has been dumping huge amounts of money in Cambodia (all SEAR nations) building roads and dams but nothing else, infrastructure to nowhere. There have been protests in Phnom Penh of 100,000 for weeks to be paid roughly $0.50 an hour or $120 a month. The factories such as Walmart and the GAP are offering $0.40 or $95 a month. Walmart's profits were $17 billion last year and GAP Inc were around $800 million.The grand daddy Apple Inc. made $41 billion in profits in 2012 and had

Do you support this kind of economy?

No, the people wouldn't be in the streets protesting and committing suicide if they like the working conditions.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57515968-37/riots-suicides-and-other-issues-in-foxconns-iphone-factories/

Ben Emery

To tag onto the 10 January 2014 at 09:00 AM comment.

George,
This goes back to our discussion about who creates the wealth and who steals it. This is theft no matter how you try to slice it.

Shouldn't $100 million in PROFITS be more than enough for any company? Pay their workers living wage and keep prices reasonable and walk away with $100 million in PROFITS instead of hundreds of millions or multiple billions in PROFITS, doesn't that seem like a more just and fair market?

George Rebane

BenE 907am - Thank you again for raising the crisp and clear differences between the collectivist and conservetarian understandings of how societies and economies work. All of your nostrums about social justice require a third person with a gun to impose their will on a buyer and seller, and on an employer and employee. It is that third elitist who interjects himself and knows what others should accept as "enough" profits (itself a totally misunderstood concept by collectivists), what others should pay as a "fair wage", and which markets are "just and fair".

All of these economic and social stratagems have been tried for over a century now, and have resulted in nothing but hundreds of millions dead. It has been an evil game in which I don't want to participate, and its reprise will come with no less pain. Every piece of evidence we have says that it is the individual enterprises of capitalism that have provided man with unheard blessings and QoL improvements. Central planners have always been and will remain humanity's scourge.

"Productivity and wages must rise and fall together if we want a functional society and economy, period." This has never been true nor can it be true in this universe, it is only a socialist's wet dream. Technology abetted productivity increases always lower aggregate wages initially , else the technology would not be adopted. The workers that can operate the technology see THEIR productivity and wages rise, those who can't or are redundant see theirs fall.

And this goes on until some entrepreneur comes up with something totally new that requires labor, something that he is willing to risk investment in because there is no guarantee of its success. But such successes achieved by countless profit-seeking entrepreneurs is what again provides work for the un/der/employed. The bane of collectivism is that it removes the entrepreneur, and thereby beggars the entire labor force (as Stalin demonstrated with thousands of pressed workers building earthen dams with wheelbarrows thereby achieving 'full employment').

Bill Tozer

Ok,Brother Ben, had a day to digest the unemployment figures. 3 things stand out (bad) and one good thing:

1)The long term unemployed folks are still longer term unemployed. What, something like 34% of those unemployed (looking for a job in the last 4 weeks) are of the long term variety. Timely cause this is what Congress is debating.

2) Labor participation rate: Those 18-45 and those 45-54 are disappearing off the face of the earth. This is the heart and soul of the American workforce. Can't blame Baby Boomers retiring. On the positive side, since manufacturing and blue collar jobs have been gutted, women actually are holding their own in the labor participation rate. Maybe the income gap between the sexes will naturally equalize as the men are hiding on the dark side of the moon and the women are hanging in there, albeit having hours cut.

3) What the hell does the stats say when health care lost a thousand or so jobs??? Health care?? Shoot, that has been the only bright spot for the last 2-3 years. Lost jobs? Unheard of.

4) Finally, the good news. The figure 74,000 jobs created is wrong. Actually, it was more like 85k created in the private sector. The good news is government (state, local, and Uncle Sam) shed 11k jobs, thus less chance of them screwing things up and making our lives even more unbearable. This is a good thing.

fish

Shouldn't $100 million in PROFITS be more than enough for any company? Pay their workers living wage and keep prices reasonable and walk away with $100 million in PROFITS instead of hundreds of millions or multiple billions in PROFITS, doesn't that seem like a more just and fair market?

Maybe....depends on the share structure.....I'm sure you can understand my reluctance to let Ben "Valiant Class Warrior" Emery set the terms as to what is and isn't fair as far as profit goes.

Bill Tozer

Socialists' Merry-Go-Round: Never mind that he is less popular with black voters than in 2008. Its the Ben Emery trump card.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-19/obama-says-racial-animus-may-soften-support-new-yorker-reports.html

To be fair and balanced, here is another Black American's take on this topic for your consideration:

https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1/1513303_10151866785485911_736530636_n.jpg

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