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20 May 2015

Comments

Russ Steele

George,

I find Tyler Cowen's tranformation on the issue of systemic unemployment fascinating. He seemed to resist the thought of systematic unemployment when you first proposed the idea three or four years ago, but now he seems to be more open minded and accepting of the possibility. RR rocks!

Account Deleted

You are so correct about the problem. We have in this once fine country a huge and growing number of non-producing eaters. And both major political parties seem hell bent on importing millions more.
What to do?
I strongly suspect one solution is already being formulated. The fed govt has been acquiring ungodly amounts of small arms ammo. Much, much, more than is needed for practice or even a major war. Also see the purges in the ranks of warriors, patriots and Christians. And the push for allowing illegals to serve. There is also an on-going trend of domestic maneuvers where in our troops are trained for urban warfare and crowd control.
There is also the Popular Democratic Front consisting of various flavors of leftist populists from Sanders through de Blasio to Ms Clinton. All have championed the idea of 're-building the middle class' by (apparently) shutting off trade with other countries and creating monopolies in the labor pool to which the evil cigar smoking b******s that own the industries will be forced to bow. Tens of millions of lunch pail swinging, bib overall wearing guys (and gals) will saunter into the re-opened factories earning 'a living wage' and unlimited benies with free healthcare and everything.
'Cept it won't happen, but hey, a Dem has got to dream (and hope), don't they? Well, get elected at best and we can always blame Bush.
I'm sure George has a great plan in mind when he says we must have wealth re-distribution, but we have always had that, no?
I call it the free market. I have money and I want something. You have what I want and we freely determine a price (value) we both agree on at the moment. Done and done. It worked for centuries. There are problems, though. Most of the time the person with money wants effort or work from the person he or she is paying. In our brave, new century, this is frowned upon. A wage is to be guaranteed! But sadly, output is not.
I'm expected to pay, but for what?
The Italians have an excellent gesture for that part of the equation.
Sorry, but put me down for not getting real exicted about our brave new world.

Jon

Wow Scott, purging of warriors, patriots and Christians? All at the same time no less.

Account Deleted

Hey Jon - try reading the news.
BTW, do you have anything intelligent to add?

Michael R. Kesti

I'm no economics guru but I cannot imagine a GNI program that doesn't lead to actual poverty for all. One need not be an economics guru to see that it certainly won't lead to wealth for all.

Gregory

Kesti, try reading what Friedman had to say about it. The magic is that, unlike how Welfare is structured, working isn't penalized. The guaranteed income is above poverty but less than middle class, and unlike welfare, AFDC, unemployment, etc... if you actually make $1000 you keep a chunk of it, maybe in a lump, maybe the IRS smooths it out, work more, more money goes into your pocket and you're not tossed out of the system only to really hit bottom if that job goes away and you have to again wait weeks to get back on. It's just an add on to the income tax, where if your income goes below a certain level, money flows out. In fact, Negative Income Tax was a past name for it.

The vast majority of current social welfare spending is by the swarms of government employees that administer it. Get rid of them.

The handicapped might be allowed to keep more of what they earn. Social Security could be folded in fairly.

The funny thing is that both George McGovern and Richard Nixon were taken with Friedman's proposal, and Congress started working on it during the Nixon years, but IIRC the Tricky One gave it a well deserved coup de grace when Congress insisted on grafting the guaranteed income on top of the bloated welfare bureaucracy, which is insanity. Big Dick had his faults but his idiocies didn't include fiscal policy.

It's a shame the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare got split up... I remember Uncle Milty sharing the amazing factoid in Free to Choose (the book and the PBS series) that the HEW was the third largest budget in the world, exceeded only by the budget of the entire USA and the entire Soviet Union. That's big.

Jon

Scott,
What does a purging of warriors mean? If you mean sending fewer young troops into chaotic conflicts without clear mandates or objectives- I say purge, purge, purge. And keep purging. Rand Paul would agree.

Account Deleted

Jon - that's not what I'm talking about. You are apparently unaware of what has been going on with various developements in the military over the last several years. It has nothing what ever to do with whether or not our military engages in conflicts or not. Those are political decisions made by the administration and (supposedly)congress. I also think that you and I have very different ideas of what a warrior is.
This is getting off the topic - which is how to deal with a large and growing number of non-producers.
That is not to say all of them don't want to work, but since as a nation we seem to want govt control of the economy, whatever labor many of them can provide is simply no longer viable for the employers.

Jon

Sorry to drag you back to the warrior thing, but please elaborate on what you refer to. If you're talking about the horrific treatment afforded our vets when they return home from their hellish experiences in the Middle East- that's something Bernie Sanders is prioritizing in his campaign.

Russ Steele

Maybe George can start a new Sand Box with the question: "What is a military warrior" and we can all discuss.

Jon

Russ, good idea but I also think I get the gist of what he's talking about- letting warriors be warriors, without constraints. That is definitely a topic with a legitimate variety of views.

Patricia Smith

So all of our financial woes are the fault of liberals in government? That seems to be the stock answer to any problem mentioned on this blog, real or imagined. I know Wall Street and corporations (wealth creators) are held in high esteem on these pages, but they are as much (or more) to blame than the government for income inequity.

I wonder why there is no discussion of TPP and the ramifications it will have on the sovereignty of our country? There are abundant examples of the tyranny corporations can exert on sovereign nations, like the Calgary mining company that sued Costa Rica after their high court deemed the permitting process was tainted that allowed the company to operate an open-pit gold mine.

http://globalnews.ca/news/883756/calgary-based-mining-company-suing-costa-rica-for-more-than-1-billion/.

Jon

Another topic worthy of discussion...and I don't really see it addressed here, is the burgeoning movement for an effective $15 minimum wage in cities around the country. The LA City Council has ignited a significant movement toward this standard.

Todd Juvinall

You will find no love for Wall Street banks on these pages so you are wrong right out of the block Patricia. Besides, they are mostly democrats anyway along with the theft of Main Street's hard work and money.

Regarding TPP. I am a free trader but of course we must not allow any "treaty" to infringe on our Constitution. Free trade is a real plus if the left would simply stay out of the "break rooms" and businesses in general.

Liberals have wrecked the country over the last fifty years and we are all seeing the affects in business and our daily lives. All those millions of laws and rules have stymied America into a neutered country.

fish

I wonder why there is no discussion of TPP and the ramifications it will have on the sovereignty of our country? There are abundant examples of the tyranny corporations can exert on sovereign nations, like the Calgary mining company that sued Costa Rica after their high court deemed the permitting process was tainted that allowed the company to operate an open-pit gold mine.

There's been a great deal of discussion about the TPP Patricia. From Paul and Ben who are openly against it...to George, Russ, Todd et al. who seem to in opposition but are taking a more ambivalent position until the details are revealed before the vote the matter.

Personally I think it will pass....a monstrously all encompassing government wouldn't have it any other way.

Todd Juvinall

Scott, Obama's definition of a "warrior" is one who fights against "global warming"! He gave that in a speech to I think the Coast Guard grads? Anyway, maybe "Jon" could go be a general for that malady. He could become a warrior! What a hoot!

fish

Posted by: Jon | 21 May 2015 at 10:45 AM

I can't wait to see all the shocked faces when all those entry level jobs disappear......."who could have seen this coming????"

Brad C.

The State amphibian - don't tread on me, lick me, or otherwise abuse me!

http://tolweb.org/Rana_draytonii/50431

...jarp (just another random post)

Brad C.

A new, groovy-cool, state bureaucracy!

http://cafarmtofork.com/

Jon

fish, yes will have to wait and see. Not naïve enough to believe that raising the rate so dramatically will not have various impacts pro and con. Fascinating to see what private industry does here.

fish

Posted by: Jon | 21 May 2015 at 11:04 AM


Not fascinating at all. Every job that can be automated will be automated.

Any employment opportunities provided to the various Johns, Juans, and Johnquavious's in LA will be provided by government.

George Rebane

Jon 1045am - Discussing the new wave of $15/hr minimum wages is very appropriate in this comment stream. Any wages imposed by government gun is a form of wealth redistribution, and can be viewed as the moral equivalent of a form of GNI. The problems are legion that high minimum wages cause for the young and the poor. However, their studied effects are suppressed by the Left who claim that such wage increase does not affect hiring or the number of jobs. If that is so, why then set the bar so low?

Let us have a means tested minimum wage that raises the income of every household to above the poverty level, or better yet, to the median income level. Why should any family be consigned to the lower half of the nation's income for putting in their full measure of annual labor. So if you wanted to hire a man who has a wife and two kids, then you must pay him $50,500/2080 = $24.28/hr. If we are to be a progressive society, let us not satisfy ourselves with half measures.

Todd Juvinall

Hey we should support $100 dollars an hour for flippers and tell the libs to best that!

Account Deleted

"So all of our financial woes are the fault of liberals in government?"
No - but in view of the topic at hand, most of the problem lies at the feet of govt. As soon as the govt decides it can insert itself between the buyer and seller, it becomes increasingly responsible for the problems of our economy. The govt has not and will never have enough information about the value of each transaction of goods and labor to be able to accurately assign value to those transactions.
The govt also fails us because we like to elect glad-handing smiling liars or idiots into positions of power who can not (or will not) be honest about the future. Folks like Sanders and de Blasio have not one clue about how they will 'rebuild' America's middle class.
Most Rs won't be straight with us about the fact that the world is not going to need the kind of labor we had in the past.

Patricia Smith

All of the regulations you all hate were written by corporate lobbyists. They buy enough votes from both sides to get what they want. Then government is blamed for "passing regulations." A pox on both their houses!

BTW, we have had a Republican President most of time since WW!!. They have the power of the veto so don't blame everything wrong on the Libs/Dems. Government has grown regardless of who is in office. Dividing us into camps is the goal. As long as we keep firing at each other, they are free to do their dirty business.

Gregory

Patricia, during that time the real power to tax and spend, the House Speakership, was in Democratic hands, so when LBJ was pushing the Great Society, it got done. From the time I was filling my diapers until Gingrich, the Speakership was exclusively Dem, and it only took 4 years of the Pelosi Speakership (with Reid running the Senate and Obama ready to sign) to restructure healthcare in Pelosi's image.

We don't have kings in the USA, presidents don't have the option of waving their pen and making it different.

Gregory

Regarding the veto power, when a GOP president vetoes an ominbus spending bill, they get lousy press and forced into a deal they can't refuse... like agreeing to a spending increase now with a promise from Congress that they'll pass spending cuts later that doesn't happen. And when a GOP Speaker presents legislation that doesn't give a Democratic president the spending authority they want, who gets the blame for shutting down the government?

No, the lion's share of the blame for the current state of affairs is the Democratic Party rule of the past and present. I think Wm.F.Buckley had it right... Democrats are socialists, and Republicans are reluctant socialists. It's a shame that outside of Bernie S., no one in the Congress wants to use the S word. It's just a word, and we should get over the Cold War implications that it's somehow unpatriotic. Social Security is socialism with an American Face. So is Medicare.

fish

Dividing us into camps is the goal.


If we agreed on everything politics would be unnecessary. We divide quite nicely without any nefarious corporate influences.

Account Deleted

"All of the regulations you all hate were written by corporate lobbyists."
Really - so you know all of the regulations I hate?
The minimum wage? Raising the minimum wage? Dang - then B Sanders is just a paid lacky of coporate interests. Who knew?
"Then government is blamed for "passing regulations.""
Well - since the govt enacted them and is enforcing them, I just kinda thought maybe the govt might have had something to do with it.
"A pox on both their houses!"
Well - duh. When have I said anything to the contrary? I don't care who it is that acts on the notion that the govt needs to be involved in setting prices and running private businesses and making private businesses act as tax collectors and wealth re-distributors.

Account Deleted

"...and we should get over the Cold War implications that it's somehow unpatriotic."
Considering the fact that SS and Medicare are ponzi schemes, I always just considered socialism to be stupid.

Gregory

"BTW, we have had a Republican President most of time since WW!!. They have the power of the veto so don't blame everything wrong on the Libs/Dems." -Patricia

Nope. Just did a fresh check and while that was true at the end of Bush II's presidency, now there's been Dems in the presidency for more of the past 70 years than there has been Republican presidents, and if you make the arbitrary start the Great Depression /The New Deal and the closest thing to a king this country has ever had, FDR, it's fairly lopsided Dem.

Gregory

Scott, patriotic and stupid are not mutually exclusive, and there's enough stupid on all sides to blur the lines. Until you run out of other people's money, socialism looks pretty good to the average joe who is typically not stupid but is too busy with life to figure out who's telling the truth most of the time.

Paul Emery

Well Gregory it's primarily the Repubs that are supporting the TPP. Pretty ironic that Obama is their best buddy on this one. Shows where the real power is. No great ideological differences.

"“It was a nice victory,” Mr. McConnell said with relief after the vote."

Bonnie McGuire

We hear about the terrible Corporate lobby being the cause of so many problems, but the most powerful lobbies are the labor unions within our government of, by and for itself. And regarding those corporations....I remember (gov and corporate financed ) activists causing small independent businesses to go out of business, or incorporating to stay in business.

fish

Shows where the real power is.


...and that would be?

Paul Emery

Fish
\
Let me give you a clue Fish. Who stands to gain the most by the passage of the TPP? TAke you time and think deep.

Bonnie, I don't disagree with you that Unions are self serving and have lots of pull but in this case (TPP) they are losing out.

fish

Let me give you a clue Fish. Who stands to gain the most by the passage of the TPP?

I'm not going to play "Mr. Pauls Question Time" with you. If you want to say "Itz the Corporayshuns" just say it.

Todd Juvinall

Fish, wink wink, no one has released the "secret" details I am told so it would be a WAG in any case. If the details are out, maybe we could get a link?

Bonnie, you are correct. However as some people who will remain unnamed have told us from their position in the middle of the road, why can't we be bi-partisan? Now it appears Obama, who vetoed the XL pipeline (and loved for it by the unnamed persons), you know, the one the unions and republicans wanted, is a naughty boy for doing it again with the free trade bill. Gosh we just can't win can we?

Todd Juvinall

Did the bigboy, err "Jon" take a nap? LOL!

fish

Posted by: Todd Juvinall | 21 May 2015 at 04:36 PM


Manners Todd.....if it is jeffy I want the "Jon" personality, not the "jeffy" personality. ;-)

Account Deleted

"patriotic and stupid are not mutually exclusive.."
True that. Just my 2 pennies. I think the main reason most folks are against socialism is because it doesn't work. I could be against running out onto the freeway because it would cause a scene. That fact that it would probably kill me seems to be the reason to focus on.

Bill Tozer

In a bit of a hurry, so I will let others speak for me:

“How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
― Ronald Reagan

Now visual aides for those who read the white on the page instead of the black:

https://www.facebook.com/PatriotPost/photos/pb.51560645913.-2207520000.1432257439./10152926607570914/?type=1&theater

Jon

Scott, the happiest people in the world approach society most closely aligned with a blend of capitalism and socialism- Norwegians, Swedes, Danes. For the majority of those happy societies- whatever you call it- it works for them.

Account Deleted

What happened to Patricia? I hope she isn't shattered to find out B Sanders is a tool of the wealthy capitalists.
I really do find this GNI to be a fascinating concept. It's crap. But it seems to be the end game for those who have to manage the hordes.
Just print paper money and give it to them to take to Wally World and make sure they have a working 3-D visual-sim world to occupy their waking hours. Keep them in Sector R and monitor their movements. Tell them they need to emit no more than 2 pounds of carbon a month to keep the world from spinning out into interstellar orbit.
If I'm 'guaranteed' to make a certain salary, where is the motivation to improve or hustle?
It's one thing to guarantee at one end for a quid pro quo, expecting an output or production of a guarantee in kind at the other end.
But to tell a human being that you are 'guaranteed' a certain amount of physical goods or value in kind just for their existance and that the actual production of those goods will be mandated at gun point on others who are more motivated or harder working just doesn't make sense. As long as you reward slack and penalize work, just what in hell do you expect to get as a result?

Account Deleted

"the happiest people in the world"
B and S! No one asked me. Where is your metric? I'm tired of hearing this horse urine. I notice there aren't boats of starving cretins wending their way to the North Sea.

fish

Posted by: Jon | 21 May 2015 at 08:32 PM


Actually "jon" it is surmised that those people are the happiest...were the happiest....because they were Norwegians, Swedes, Danes. The economic drag imposed by socialistic/capitalistic blend was tolerated because they were in essence an extended tribe and there are things you do for family that generally aren't done for non-family.

Don Bessee

News to sock puppet, the north sea oil boom had a significant impact on the region taking it from the highest suicide rate and bestowing all that nasty dirty oil money on them for the fun stuff. The over immigration issue is taking the fun out of it now with Scandinavian cities become rape capitols much like England is experiencing from muslim immigrant populations.

Gregory

What Sweden, Norway and Denmark mostly have are their home countries filled with Swedes, Norwegians and Danes. They also don't have suicide rates that are significantly different than those in the US.

I have met a lot of Swedes and Danes who moved to California and stayed because they were a lot happier here than they were in the old country.

Patricia Smith

Does anyone remember when a family could exist on a one wage earner income? Middle class families were able to take vacations, send their kids to college, and pay off their home mortgage. It's not unreasonable to demand that most jobs pay a living wage. (I'm not talking fast food service workers.) If you can't even pay your rent from your salary, what is the point of working? Naturally people will sink to the bottom in that scenario.

I am somewhee in between the libs and the conservatives on social programs. I believe it is essential to give a helping hand to raise people up, but I don't believe in enabling them forever. To me, it makes more sense to give people a lot more money and the tools to educate themselves for a short period of time so they can get a decent paying job than to hand out bare minimum subsidies forever. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him forever.

Patricia Smith

On a totally unrelated topic, did anyone notice that the Senate has voted to let the VA recommend medical marijuana for Vets? MMJ has been very effectice at treating PTSD - even when conventional drugs fail to help. It's a sad fact that 22 Vets take their own life every day. If you support the military, you have to support this.

Gregory

Patricia, what you've described, temporary assistance with federal employees in charge of determining eligibility and dribbling out largess when they deem appropriate, is the organizing principle of the welfare system we have.

How's that working?

The negative income tax schemes reward work leaving more money in the pocket and doesn't require an army of bureaucrats to administer. Here's a nice overview
http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_1_income-tax.html

Gregory

Regarding the inability of one average income to raise a family, buy a house, etc, the problem is spending at the federal, state and local levels. The more the state eats, the more the peasants must toil to feed Vaal.

fish

.....the more the peasants must toil to feed Vaal.


Bonus points for the obscurity of the reference!

George Boardman

Re Patricia Smith's 10:58 a.m.--I can remember those days, because my father was one of them. He supported a family of five, put his three kids through college, and lived out his retirement years in comfort and with dignity.

Of course, he was a member for 50 years of the Operating Engineers Union, Local 3, where he benefited from excellent pay and benefits negotiated by the union. In those days, blue collar workers were smart enough to know the boss was not their best friend and that there was strength in union.

Michael R. Kesti

Patricia Smith 22May15 10:58 AM

I, too, remember those days but I do not believe that manipulating the value of the labor market via legislation will return those times to us nor do I believe that it will, in the long run, help those it is intended to help.

I do believe that the real problem is that the value of the US dollar has declined dramatically. This decline has been the result of many factors, most of them the result of poor fiscal responsibility by federal, state, and local governments. Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913 the dollar has lost 96% of its value. Forcing employers to pay their employees more will only further contribute to that decline and ultimately serve only to make the problem worse.

George Rebane

MichaelK 311pm - Well said Mr Kesti; I was going to respond to Patricia's 1058am in a similar manner, but life got in the way. The only thing I want to add is that during those 'golden years' with single-wage earner families and stay-home moms, there were no government mandated wage controls. Employers paid workers on the basis of their productivity contributions, and workers using then current technology provided sufficient value added to actually earn market driven wages that maintained their QoL. Today, when looking across the aggregate workforce, that is no longer possible. And wage controls such as an artificially high mandated minimum wage will only make things worse.

Patricia Smith

So I guess the answer is to create a slave labor class that works but need gov't assistance to survive? How is that any different that getting a living wage?

Bill Tozer

Patricia, I just read the addendum to Dr. Rebane's post "Don't be so sure the economy...." Might make our nibbling on the edges a waste of time if the economy is going through a structural change, I.e., lower wages, lower standard of living, less buying starter houses, and of course The Singularly for the next 50 years. Be careful and thoughtful which trade/vocation you pick, but it may not last 15 years anyway.

I do see a growing number of working poor that will be on government assistance as far and wide as the eye can see for the unskilled/untrained/low expectation worker.. Call it the new normal. The checks cut for assisting the working poor will be cradle to grave and only has the one way to go: expand and get bigger and bigger. That is the situation we are in now and how it is going to be for many many moons. Government can't hire everybody, not even on the rez. As the tax base declines in its donations to the Tresury, and as we grow a larger percentage of the population receiving assistance from the Treasury, it's going to be pretty darn expensive to get by, thus the vicious cycle.

The answer is "to create a slave labor class that works but needs Gov't assistance to survive?" We don't need to create nothing. It had already been created. We are just noticing it now as something that is not temporary, nay, it's the New Normal.

Gregory

Patricia, it isn't about creating a slave labor class, it's about not spending $100,000+ per poor person per year to fight poverty by erecting a scaffolding that doesn't penalize work, providing a smooth off ramp for those who are becoming more productive, and a smooth on ramp for those who fell on hard times. Fold in Social Security, unemployment. Disability. Fire hundreds of thousand of federal, state and local employees to find something better to do than playing Nanny to adults.

Patricia Smith

Gregory, if we spent $100,000+ on each poor family, they wouldn't be poor! We would rather give huge bailouts to corporations (that make welfare look like petty cash) than invest in our citizens. You seem to have missed my post where I said I don't favor cradle to grave assistance. Give people in need the tools to get out of thier hole and everyone benefits.

Your solution to fire hundreds of thousands of government employees would only add more people to the welfare roles.

Gregory

Patricia, the whole point is the poor don't get much of the money spent to alleviate poverty, and I can't think of a better place for superfluous government functionaries than the unemployment line.

Gregory

Here is Milton Friedman on Buckley's Firing Line in 1968 talking about his negative income tax proposal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtpgkX588nM

Gregory

This isn't NIT or GNI, but here's Milton Friedman running roughshod over a pencil necked kid named Michael Moore over economics of product safety design
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYW5I96h-9w

Joe Koyote

Just who are those "superfluous government functionaries"? In all of the discussion of government over-regulation and waste, no one seems to define what is superfluous and what is necessary. Just what should government do and not do, what services should it provide or not provide, what protections for citizens should or should not be in place?

fish

We would rather give huge bailouts to corporations (that make welfare look like petty cash) than invest in our citizens.

Who is this "we" Patricia?

Account Deleted

We already know the causes of poverty. It has nothing to do with how much money people have. You can give folks 50K cash a year to live on and they would still be poor. Some folks live rather well on much less.
Since this nation wants to 'fight' poverty by throwing money at the problem, poverty will win.
The Wright bros were successful because they understood the laws of nature and emulated the animals that could fly. As long as we ignore the causes of poverty and ignore the millions that have risen out of poverty on their own, there will always be poverty. But getting out of poverty on your own is the 'wrong' answer. The left wants to tell Orville and Wilbur to emulate pigs in order to fly.

A

Patricia, I thought I was clear, the superfluous government functionaries I was speaking of were all those involved in administering programs said to be alleviating poverty... it's cheaper to write the poor a check.

Regarding what the government should do and not do, the enumerated powers in the Constitution is a fine place to start... and finish.

I completely agree regarding bailouts of too big to fail corporate bailouts, another role of the Feds that doesn't seem to be in those enumerated powers. No company is too big to fail, and no state is too big to fail.

Patricia Smith

Fish, the "we" is anyone who remains silent while the Feds fork over billions (if not trillions) of dollars to profit-making corporations (which includes wars fought to protect oil interests). I hear a lot of talk about "the gov't" on these pages, but very little aimed against the corporations that, I believe, are the root cause of the gross income inequality in this country.

You may argue that Unions are the cause of corporations leaving the US for offshore countries, but I believe it was the corporations greedy need for more and more profits. They have traded US consumers for the rest of the world market while they benefit from our tax dollars.

Michael R. Kesti

Patricia Smith 23May15 08:01 AM

You demonstrate a problem that I often observed in liberals. You believe that government programs will have their intended effects and only those effects. In the case of spending $100,000+ on each poor family you fail to recognize that it wouldn't be long before many people stopped working so that they would qualify as poor and be able to collect $100,000+.


Joe Koyote 23May15 09:03 AM

You remind me of my son who insists that my opinion that our government spends too much is not valid unless I produce exact figures concerning spending that should be cut. In both cases it is clear that there are problems regardless of whether anybody can provide detailed solutions.


Scott Obermuller 23May15 09:11 AM

Poverty has no causes as it is our natural state. It is wealth that has causes and those causes are work, self-reliance, and personal responsibility.

Gregory

Scott, letting the poor starve isn't going to fly and poverty has many faces.

fish

Fish, the "we" is anyone who remains silent while the Feds fork over billions (if not trillions) of dollars to profit-making corporations (which includes wars fought to protect oil interests).


Well Patricia the government is the primary entity deploying military forces overseas. Why wasn't this severely curtailed when TEAM PROGRESSIVE held the Executive and Congress? Could have spent the first two years of the Bunny Administration setting the conditions for a wholesale departure from the middle east and the next executing the grand exodus.

Further as you seem to have occupied the "Ben Emery Chair in Concern Trollery" I'm interested to know if you are as reticent as he was to let the "Too Big to Fail" banks and brokerage houses to fail?

Gregory

Regarding Boardman's waxings eloquent regarding the Operating Engineer's union, the actual money that flowed into the pockets of equipment operators and their retirement funds was (and remains) taxes paid by everyone; there's a reason public projects cost phenomenal amounts of money.

There are reasons why a freeway costs something like 2 to 10 million dollars per lane per mile, depending on the state, and union scale and workrules are a big part of it.

Patricia Smith

Fish, both parties have been bought off by big corporations so it doesn't matter whether we have a Dem Or a Repub in office, big business gets what they want. I can't begin to tell you how disillusioned I am with the lot of them. I tend to side with the Dems because I keeping hoping that they will walk heir talk. Still waiting.

And no, I believe that if any bank is "too big to fail", it is time to break that bank up into smaller units that are accountable for their performance - and if they fail, they close. Period. I think it was one of Obama's biggest failures to not investigate the Wall Street banks. Instead of going to jail, they got bigger.

Gregory

"You may argue that Unions are the cause of corporations leaving the US for offshore countries, but I believe it was the corporations greedy need for more and more profits." -Patricia

There were some baldfaced examples of this in Mitt Romney's fund management, and the greedy corporations demanding higher profits sated in part by literally shipping jobs to Asia were the California public employee pension funds.

fish

Fish, both parties have been bought off by big corporations so it doesn't matter whether we have a Dem Or a Repub in office, big business gets what they want. I can't begin to tell you how disillusioned I am with the lot of them. I tend to side with the Dems because I keeping hoping that they will walk heir talk. Still waiting.


Then there is no point in complaining about it until the "Great Reset"!

And no, I believe that if any bank is "too big to fail", it is time to break that bank up into smaller units that are accountable for their performance - and if they fail, they close. Period. I think it was one of Obama's biggest failures to not investigate the Wall Street banks. Instead of going to jail, they got bigger.

Hat tip! While it's not going to happen it's still a better answer than your predecessors.

Patricia Smith

Gregory, 10:41: sorry I do not get your point. Are you saying that CA Public Employees are the cause of moving jobs offshore? The pension fund has money invested in stocks of course, but if you polled the members, I believe they would vote NO to any company policy that takes jobs offshore. I get a pension from my days as a Costume Designer. I have no idea what companies our fund has invested with (and I shudder to think).

George Rebane

PatriciaS 1057am - You don't need to poll public service employees, just look at the voting records of CalPERS directors who sit on the boards of their invested corporations. They know which side their pension accounts are buttered on, and are the first to demand high profitability in their invested assets.

Douglas Keachie

Let';s look at Greg's math.

2015 - 70 = 1945

And conveniently, for Greg's case:

Seventy years ago this week, on April 12, 1945, while he was sitting for a portrait in Warm Springs, Georgia, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke what were probably his last words—“I have a terrific headache”—and fainted. He died two hours later, of a cerebral hemorrhage.Apr 17, 2015

If we start at 1952, instead, 63 years ago, yup more Republicans.

In the grand scheme of things, the difference between the two time spans? Pfffff.

Douglas Keachie

Work rules are often safety based, and derived from bad accidents in years past. There used to be a fireman in the cab of every locomotive. Had there been on a week or so ago, maybe that train would not have gone off the tracks, with loss of life?

Go ahead, object to this.

And then tell me why we still have co-pilots on aircraft? Another government regulation that surely could be done away with.

Douglas Keachie

Hey, we don't have to spend $100,000 per poor person. For $50,000 each we can lock them up in private jails and make another no holds barred capitalist rich.

I suspect that the looming and growing prison population is making the "let them eat cake" folks think twice, as you all seem to be doing here, finally. I'd say it is quite a change since I last dropped in with any frequency.

Your next assignment is to figure out how to nicely keep the populace from breeding the country dry.

fish

If we start at 1952, instead, 63 years ago, yup more Republicans.

Sherman set the WayBack Machine™ for Jan 2009. Looks like it's all Obama!

Work rules are often safety based, and derived from bad accidents in years past. There used to be a fireman in the cab of every locomotive. Had there been on a week or so ago, maybe that train would not have gone off the tracks, with loss of life?

...and if the little nitwit in the cab had managed to stay off his phone.....or stay awake on the job.....or following your "spoons instead of shovels" logic had eight co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co engineers to help him do his one man job then maybe this wouldn't have happened.

Hey, we don't have to spend $100,000 per poor person. For $50,000 each we can lock them up in private jails and make another no holds barred capitalist rich.

Or we could make it an ice prison....with a door that's only open for a brief period....and if your gun gets away from you you turn into a penquin (sic).


Gee Doug you should drop by more often...you bring so much to these conversations.

Account Deleted

I see this has devolved into the usual gibberish from the left. If you don't agree with their opinions, then you must want people to starve.
And of course, it's those evil corps that cause all of the problems.

"I get a pension from my days as a Costume Designer. I have no idea what companies our fund has invested with (and I shudder to think)."
Ignorance is bliss - you could find out and then what would you do?
Refuse the money?
I'd love to know how many of the lefties here are mad at evil, greedy German, Japanese, etc, companies that 'offshore' their work here in the US? Are you boycotting those companies?
How many lefties look for a better deal when buying something? Would you be OK if the govt took those choices away from you and mandated the price you pay for everything? Why shouldn't an employer be able to have a choice when shopping for labor?

And finally we have the best line of all from DK.
"And then tell me why we still have co-pilots on aircraft? Another government regulation that surely could be done away with."
Well, gee - there's a certain airplane that was just smeared all over the side of a mountain in Spain BECAUSE there was a co-pilot.

George Rebane

DougK's 1240pm is an excellent example of union thinking and argument, and therefore valuable in this thread on its own merits. Recall that trains used to have cabooses in which train crew slept and ate because the stretches their slow speed trains then covered. The most dangerous job, before the advent of hydraulic brakes, was that of the brakeman. He had to run on top of the moving train to set and release the brakes on each car as the train encountered different grades. His job became 'redundant' with the advent hydraulic brakes. Yet the unions kept cabooses and do-nothing brakemen on trains for decades (into the 1960s) after their work evaporated.

Don Bessee

population from breeding the country dry!?!?!? The citizen population birth rate is not the cause of the crowding, its the unchecked illegal immigration that has flooded areas with too many demanding resources. ==== Re; Pattie Smiths admission that she is happy to not know what generates her retirement income. She inadvertently acknowledged that its peoples pension funds who own corporations and they should be able to have a voice to protect their financial interests just like the unions. They don't like the citizens united ruling because it actually levels the playing field and that diminishes the impact of union money.

Bill Tozer

"We would rather give huge bailouts to corporations (that make welfare look like petty cash) than invest in our citizens.

Who is this "we" Patricia?

Posted by: fish | 23 May 2015 at 09:09 AM"

Well, Mr. fish, that reminds me of the time The Lone Ranger was under attack by a host of hostile Indians. "Looks like we are surrounded now, Tonto" he exclaimed to his faithful friend. "What do you mean 'we', paleface?" Tonto retorted.

Gregory

"Let';s look at Greg's math.

2015 - 70 = 1945

And conveniently, for Greg's case..."

That was Patricia's choice of endpoints and accounting, Keach, not mine, and she had the math wrong... what was true at the beginning of Obama's term isn't anymore, but in any case the natural dividing line for Dem/GOP timelines starts with FDR as it's his sacrosanct policies that was the manure for the current Federal megastate. Hell, we still have market orders, Fannie Mae (and her more modern clone, Freddie Mac), Social Security, FDIC, SEC, FHA. Even the TVA.

The last four score years of the Federal Government had the Democratic Party dominating politics and policy. In short, the American people have been DP'd by the DP for a long time.

Patricia Smith

Don B, 5:11pm. Where did I say that I was happy not knowing where my pension funds are invested? I said I shudder to think where they are invested.

Scott, 2:13, Of course I accept my pension money. I worked really hard for 25 years to get that pension. I am entitled! The question is, do you refuse social security (because we know how much you hate those socalist government give-aways)?

Gregory, 8:14. I just did a check on which party has held the Presidency longer since WWII - and guess what? It's equal (if you factor in Obama until the end of his term.) Both parties have held the office for 36 years. I stand corrected.

Gregory

What if you consider it wasn't a world war after the Eyetalians and Germans gave up? So you sat down and used a pencil and paper? Good for you... except it's still a pointless and misapplied standard. We don't have a monarchy, and we don't have a parliamentary system which, for all practical purposes, installs a Roi du jour as long as he keeps a majority. We have a divided system that resists change that does not have a President and both houses of Congress of a like mind. FDR had it, Obama had it long enough for Pelosi and Reid to get the ACA passed, LBJ had it. Clinton had it for 2 years but squandered it on HillaryCare (remember that?... at least Hillary's "blind" trust made a bundle shorting pharma stocks).

Reagan slowed it down but Tip O'Neil made sure it wasn't by much. Bush the 1st thought he'd get bipartisanship credit for bargaining away his no new taxes pledged to his Democratic Speaker who promised spending cuts to match. That Speaker lied.

Pat, you need to stop thinking of Presidents as Kings, we have a Republic for as long as we can keep it, and understand where the real power in Washington is the Speakership but it also is hindered by the Senate, the Presidency and a partisan press, as every Representative is running for reelection 24/7/52.

Patricia Smith

Thanks for the civics lesson Greg. I don't think Presidents are Kings, but I do hear a lot of bashing of Obama as if everything is his fault. I'm just saying there is plenty of blame to go around. As a Democrat (kinda), I am beyond disappointed in Obama's job performance: for his bait and switch policy on majiruana, for taking single payer off the table before passing the ACA, for his support of the TPP - all which are contrary to the Democratic platform.

Bill Tozer

Oh, Patricia, Kings make up their own platforms based on what is best for the country and their legacy, in their opinion. Besides, every President likes to get a trade agreement under their belt. It's the Presidential thang to do in the closing years of their days in The Oval Office.

Let's see how guarantying a humongous safety net and livable wage is doing across the Pond. Next side please.

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-issues-fresh-warning-imf-payment-june-115223346.html

Account Deleted

So Patricia suspects (but is too cowardly to find out) that her pension money is dirty with investments that aren't PC. But. It's her's. She worked hard for it. Hmmm. Sounds like an old right wing crank to me.
Do I take SS? Of course. It's not a give away for me. I had no choice.
And I only get back part of what they took from me. Had I been able to invest that money myself, I'd have a lot more. As you say yourself, Patricia, it's my money - I worked hard for it.

Gregory

No, everything isn't President Obama's fault, but he gets well deserved derision to making everything worse.

So we're treated with the spectacle of 'the most transparent administration in history' being the most opaque, the gang that can't shoot straight.

But at least we're now post racial, right? The Arab street loves us now? The economy booming after trillions were created out of thin air and injected into the economy via all those Obama supporters on Wall Street.

Let's just hope the GOP isn't stupid enough to nominate a 1 term senator with no governing experience to head the presidential ticket, or a successful doctor who has never been elected to anything, or a former CEO who has never been elected to anything who took one of the great tech companies of the 20th century and turned them into a nondescript marketer of Chinese laptop computers.

Oh, and lets hope the GOP doesn't let Democrats choose the moderators of GOP candidate debates. Give the Stephanopolouses and Crowleys a pass. Let Brian Willams handle the Dems :)

Patricia Smith

Scott, 6:03. Presuming you live long enough, you will get back more from SS than you paid into it. I'm confused why SS it's not a "give away" for you (but is presumably for the rest of us)? My SS conributions averaged about $500 a week when I was working full time as a Cosume Designer. I think I paid my fair share (on 100% of my income while rich folks don't pay a dime after they reach the cap on taxed income).

You say you have no choice in the matter. Neither do I with my pension funds. Since I am on four Executive Boards at the moment (I just resigned from one other), I simply do not have the time to take on my Union about where our funds are invested. Trust me, I always weigh in come Board elections for all the good it does. Since stocks are traded on a regular basis, it would be a full time job keeping up with each investment. Maybe a lame excuse, but that is my reality. (Besides, where would I find the time to converse with you good people!)

George Rebane

Muslim world reacts to Obama's latest speech - IPhoneConservative
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXodRLLkth4

Todd Juvinall

Patricia Smith, SS has had a return of around 2% at best over the life of the program. If the powers that be had invested in something else, diversified etc, then a person over their lifetime would have made a huge return on their SS account.

Todd Juvinall

That video is from where George? It is amazing!

fish

Posted by: Todd Juvinall | 25 May 2015 at 11:27 AM


"My eight year old daughter has bigger biceps than he does........."


Epic!!

Todd Juvinall

LOL!!

Patricia Smith

Todd, I understand that SS returns are low (as is interest on savings accounts). The point is the funds are safe. After the Wall Street melt down wiped out the investments of many senior citizens, SS was all they had left. Wall Street can't be trusted and since they have already squeezed all the money out of most other sectors (housing being the latest victim), they need new blood to suck. If it were truly a level playing field, I would be all for investing our funds, but not as the system is currently run.

George Rebane

PatriciaS 127pm - What exactly do you mean that "Wall Street can't be trusted"? Are you condemning the entire securities market sector of our economy, or did you have something more specific in mind?

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