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Author Topic: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left  (Read 140482 times)
G M
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« Reply #700 on: April 21, 2016, 11:58:49 AM »

Hamilton was a great American (including being a co-author of the Federalist Papers!) who guided us into founding as an economically solvent nation after the tremendous economic disruption (including massive monetary inflation) of the War for Independence.  He most certainly deserves to stay where he is.

More to the point however, is that we have now entered a new era where the currency will be the source of propaganda wars.  What the hell is Eleanor Roosevelt doing on our currency?  A woman singer?  5 suffragettes? 

For the left, the battlespace is everywhere.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #701 on: April 22, 2016, 11:07:25 AM »

Crafty:
Hamilton was a great American (including being a co-author of the Federalist Papers!) who guided us into founding as an economically solvent nation after the tremendous economic disruption (including massive monetary inflation) of the War for Independence.  He most certainly deserves to stay where he is.

Thank you for a well-informed defense of this great American.  My poke at the Obama's political Treasury Dept ignored all of Hamilton's contributions.  Your post is a good example of the value of reading these pages.
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ccp
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« Reply #702 on: April 24, 2016, 09:10:22 AM »

I don't agree.  Maybe a coin.  Not paper currency but the train has left the station:

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/04/what-you-might-not-know-about-harriet-tubman
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G M
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« Reply #703 on: April 24, 2016, 09:24:42 AM »

As an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, I don't have any love for Andrew Jackson. See the Trail of Tears as to why.
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ccp
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« Reply #704 on: April 24, 2016, 01:57:28 PM »

I have never been a fan of Andrew Jackson.  War hero yes.   Nice guy - no.   Politics not mine.

But Harriet Tubman is only the start.   Soon it will be Beyonce.

Interesting that

his mansion is a stately museum estate but there are only fields left where his slaves used to live at the Hermitage.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #705 on: April 27, 2016, 01:20:38 PM »

The story is Germany but the issue is everywhere, cognitive dissonance of the left, crony governmentism and unintended consequences.

"Germany to subsidize electric cars to help own auto industry"
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/67265729712a40dca98c6aa8a50305e2/germany-subsidize-electric-cars-help-own-auto-industry

But Germany was also closing its nuclear plants as a result of tsunami (in Japan).  Electric cars are far more polluting than gasoline ones.  The electric grid in Germany is 45% coal, 55% fossil fuel.  Generating with fossil fuels involves a 63% energy loss at the plant and loses 2/3rds more in transmission, making the overall efficiency 13.7%.
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/03/the_dirty_little_secret_about_allelectric_vehicles.html

While they build more public sector solar I would note that it has been cloudy every time I was there, dark all night, and their latitude is similar to Ketchikan, not Scottsdale.

The policy of finding failure and subsidizing it is not uniquely German or European.
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G M
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« Reply #706 on: April 27, 2016, 06:07:08 PM »


No, but it is quite leftist. Thankfully, the Islamic invaders are used to living in poverty, so they have that going for them.


The story is Germany but the issue is everywhere, cognitive dissonance of the left, crony governmentism and unintended consequences.

"Germany to subsidize electric cars to help own auto industry"
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/67265729712a40dca98c6aa8a50305e2/germany-subsidize-electric-cars-help-own-auto-industry

But Germany was also closing its nuclear plants as a result of tsunami (in Japan).  Electric cars are far more polluting than gasoline ones.  The electric grid in Germany is 45% coal, 55% fossil fuel.  Generating with fossil fuels involves a 63% energy loss at the plant and loses 2/3rds more in transmission, making the overall efficiency 13.7%.
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/03/the_dirty_little_secret_about_allelectric_vehicles.html

While they build more public sector solar I would note that it has been cloudy every time I was there, dark all night, and their latitude is similar to Ketchikan, not Scottsdale.

The policy of finding failure and subsidizing it is not uniquely German or European.
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G M
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« Reply #707 on: April 28, 2016, 08:04:24 AM »

A Revision on the Bill of Rights, Part III
 04/26/2016 01:07 pm ET
821

Justin Curmi
A blogger that seeks to engage people in thought and conversation through presenting new views to matters, new or old.

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Second Amendment is highly contested. There is no doubt that people do have the right to carry and have a stockpile of guns (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms”) and a state has the right to organize a well-regulated Militia. But, the main issue is on the right to self-defend with a firearm.

The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights. In addition, one’s mental capacity is a major factor in deciding whether a man or woman has the right to have a firearm. There are two reasons for ensuring mental capacity. First, one of the Five Aims is to ensure domestic tranquility and there can be no tranquility if one does not have the capacity. Second, if one’s brain is distorting his or her reality, they do not have the proper reasoning and deduction skills to use a firearm.

Therefore, if we ponder and meditate on the recent events in news about guns, it would be obvious that the current state is incorrect. A gun for civilians is a weapon for a revolution and not for ordinary use. The belief that a gun is a useful tool to protect one is counterintuitive because guns get into the hands of people who use them for horrible reasons. In addition, there are reasons why cops are trained to use a firearm in stressful situations. It is not to keep their mind at ease or anything of that sort, but to be able to fire accurately at the target in the correct location. It is immensely difficult to fire when under pressure. Moreover, one may argue this is an analogous argument and yes it is because the United States government is lobbied to not study or fund research that observes the effects of guns. This cripples the chance of evaluating a proper policy to deal with gun violence. But, there was one study by ABC, which observed using guns in a classroom. All the participations poorly performed at the mock situation.

Once again, if there is an argument in the reasoning of this amendment and others, one must filter it through the Five Aims of the USA and the Bill of Rights. This is to ensure that any argument can be answered, avoiding a political divide.

Follow Justin Curmi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/yophilosophy
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ccp
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« Reply #708 on: April 28, 2016, 06:23:43 PM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/why-is-the-racial-wealth-_b_9790262.html
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G M
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« Reply #709 on: April 28, 2016, 06:47:19 PM »


Funny how he doesn't mention certain immigrant groups that do well.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #710 on: April 29, 2016, 01:43:05 PM »


"Why Is the Racial Wealth Gap Widening?"

   - Black people are disproportionately held back by the programs that Robert Reich advocates.  It isn't because we had slavery in part of our country a century and a half ago.  The biggest reason people live paycheck to paycheck is the artificially high cost of everything.  The burden of government is in everything we buy, not just the tax in your paycheck.  And employers are held back from expanding payrolls by the kinds of taxes and regulations that he always wants to increase.

Address inequality by stomping out wealth:

"First, reform the tax system so capital gains — increases in the value of assets — are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income."

  - Great, just subtract the inflationary component first.  That isn't a gain, it isn't income and it doesn't bring in revenue when it prevents investors from selling assets.

"Second, limit how much mortgage interest the wealthy can deduct from their incomes."

   - (We already do that!)  Odd that he thinks the super rich are people who need to borrow to buy a house.  People reading Pat's posts know that a large portion of the housing transactions were all cash, especially times were the hardest.  I'm surprised he didn't say ban people from using their own money to buy houses.  The left seeks equality by rejecting equal treatment under the law.  Why do they always want two sets of rules?  Should mortgage interest be deductible or not?  How about letting interest rates return to market levels - when everyone knows that the Fed's wrongful meddling is disproportionately benefiting the rich?

"Provide every newborn child with a savings account consisting of at least $1,250 — and more if a child is from a low-income family. This sum will compound over the years into a solid nest egg."

   - Again, two sets of rules with an incentive to be poor.  Give them what money, borrowed money?  That they will have to pay back with interest if they grow up and succeed in joining the productive economy?  No worries, the program won't succeed.  Like all the rest, it will help to trap people in poverty.  Like the fight against social security privatization, poor people will be banned from having this money in "risky" rich people investments (the market).  With the power of compound interest it could grow at a .0001% for all those years - while thsee low income families can't touch this money for more urgent needs.

"Allow families receiving public benefits to save."

   - Or put the other way, give assistance to people who don't need the money.

He never answers the question, what money?  We already squandered ourselves into 19 trillion of debt.  If poor people thought they would ever catch up and have to pay for these  programs where they see the waste firsthand, they wouldn't support them either.  The more we did of the Obama-Reich-Left policies, cash for clunkers, solyndra, community reinvestment act, federal student loan increases, affordable healthcare, prescription drug benefit, the Kennedy education bill, family leave, quantitative expansion, all of it, the worse inequality got.  Their answer:  We need to do more!

How about we trust people in their abilities, even "racial" people, and let them compete on a level playing field?

« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 01:54:55 PM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #711 on: April 29, 2016, 01:48:24 PM »

Actually, cutting the mortgage interest deduction is a good way to punish the blue States, so I support that.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #712 on: April 29, 2016, 02:08:12 PM »

Actually, cutting the mortgage interest deduction is a good way to punish the blue States, so I support that.

Right, and the deduction for state and local taxes.  It is totally not fair that people choosing to pay higher state and local taxes should then pay less than their share of federal for that choice.

Needs to be said with that: [Eliminate deductions] ...and lower the tax rates accordingly.
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ccp
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« Reply #713 on: May 01, 2016, 01:22:27 PM »

The "Left" vs "*Far* Right". Again we see control of the language in the media:


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/alternative-fur-deutschland-conference-protesters-germany-arrested-a7007971.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #714 on: May 02, 2016, 12:51:24 PM »

http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/02/why-arent-we-having-a-national-conversation-about-leftist-violence/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=5922a935e7-RSS_The_Federalist_Daily_Updates_w_Transom&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-5922a935e7-83807757#.VydE122-EpQ.facebook
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ccp
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« Reply #715 on: May 02, 2016, 01:48:26 PM »

Right.  Just some social justice warrior "browns" beating up "hateful" white men -  getting a tad wee bit rambunctious; that is all.  No biggie

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DougMacG
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« Reply #716 on: May 10, 2016, 10:18:02 AM »

Better not learn American History from the left:

"The Great Depression of the 1930s struck the United States with extreme force, and many people blamed the economic and financial elites for having enriched themselves while leading the country to ruin. (Bear in mind that the share of top incomes in US national income peaked in the late 1920s, largely due to enormous capital gains on stocks.) Roosevelt came to power in 1933, when the crisis was already three years old and one-quarter of the country was unemployed. He immediately decided on a sharp increase in the top income tax rate, which had been decreased to 25 percent in the late 1920s and again under Hoover’s disastrous presidency. The top rate rose to 63 percent in 1933 and then to 79 percent in 1937, surpassing the previous record of 1919."
   - Thomas Piketty from his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century pages pages 506-507
http://www.amazon.com/Capital-Twenty-First-Century-Thomas-Piketty/dp/067443000X?ie=UTF8&keywords=thomas%20piketty&qid=1462788167&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

The top rate was lowered to 25 percent in 1925, not exactly “the late 1920s” and not by Herbert Hoover.  The top rate was jacked up to 63 percent in 1932, not 1933, and it was done by Herbert Hoover, not by FDR.  This isn’t an arbitrary screwup on Piketty’s part: On the contrary, it serves his narrative. It would be really great for Piketty’s story if the right-wing business-friendly Herbert Hoover slashed tax rates to boost the income of the 1%, thereby bringing in a stock bubble/crash and the Great Depression. Then FDR comes in to save the day by jacking up tax rates. Except that’s not what happened.
http://nalert.blogspot.com/2016/05/leftist-thomas-piketty-another.html

Robert Reich , Paul Krugman , Chris Matthews and other statists tell you that Herbert Hoover cut federal spending during the depression.
Herbert Hoover Increased Government Spending 67%

Calvin Coolidge balanced the budget every year and cut the national debt in half!
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist.pdf


More on (moron) Leftist Piketty:  (Finding the flaws of Piketty and the income equality snipe hunt is still relevant this campaign season.)

Professor Piketty's supposed history of changes in the minimum wage is not tarnished by a single error, but by a vast array of systematic errors.  His history is pure revisionist fiction, and revisionist fiction with a political purpose: making Democratic presidents look magnanimous and Republican presidents look uncaring. Yet, over the past quarter century, the period Piketty describes as showing a dramatic increase in inequality, Republican presidents signed into law larger percentage increases in the minimum wage than did Democratic presidents.

Piketty suggests that America copy France, where the minimum wage in 2013 was 9.43 euros ($13 dollars) an hour. But the consequences of the minimum wage can be seen in the differences in youth unemployment rates in the two countries. In 2013, young people aged 15 to 24 had an unemployment rate of 24 percent in France and 16 percent in the United States, according to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development statistics. Germany has no minimum wage: its youth unemployment rate was 8 percent last year.  
Another reason we might not want to copy France: OECD data also show that in 2012 France's per person GDP was 70 percent of per person GDP in the United States.
http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2014/04/22/the_systematic_errors_in_thomas_pikettys_new_book_101016.html

Getting CEO pay right is surely a challenge, but does anybody on earth think it is the defining challenge of our time?
http://reason.com/archives/2014/05/23/what-thomas-piketty-gets-wrong-about-cap

Piketty’s fans ignore the obvious answer to this problem. Instead of attacking capital and capitalism, why not expand the number of people who participate in the benefits of having capital?
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/piketty-gets-it-wrong

The problem is that worldwide labor statistics [used by Piketty] do not have a category that relates the poor to their entrepreneurial activities, nor to their aspiration to be part of the global market.  
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hernando-de-soto/piketty-wrong-third-world_b_6751634.html

It is literally shocking that Piketty ignores the impact of welfare programs on the effective distribution of capital.
Entrepreneurial activity is inchanged by high tax rates, :Pikeety alleges, yet no private French company founded in the last 100 years has ever reached the top 100 globally.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2014/05/06/thomas-piketty-gets-the-numbers-wrong/#712ee07524eb
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 10:44:35 AM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #717 on: May 10, 2016, 10:57:04 AM »

When you put fight income inequality first, some things tend to come out upside down, such as the poor get poorer and the nation gets poorer.  I wonder if the average leftist could find a flaw in the Piketty model using the examples below.  Meanwhile, Piketty is making an estimated $1,000,000 /year off of inequality book sales.  I should write leftist books...
-------------------------------------------------------------------

In Piketty’s world, it would be a bad thing if someone were to develop a drug that cured Alzheimer’s. This is because that person would certainly become a multi-billionaire, and that would increase inequality.

The only thing worse than the scenario described above would be if, because his/her newfound riches hadn’t been confiscated by Piketty’s income and wealth taxes (as they certainly should be), he/she used the capital to develop a cure for cancer. Even more inequality!

Under Piketty’s tax system, it would have been impossible for Elon Musk to leverage his success with PayPal to fund Tesla Motors.

In Piketty’s model, it would be a disaster if 15 million unemployed Americans went out tomorrow and got jobs paying $8.00/hour. This because is creating new jobs that pay less than the average wage of the “Bottom 50%” will increase labor income inequality.

In contrast, it would be good if all of America’s minimum wage workers quit their jobs and went on welfare, because then labor income inequality would be reduced.

On page 309 of Capital, Piketty notes approvingly that the minimum wage in France has been higher than that of the U.S. since 1985. However, Piketty doesn’t mention that, since 1985, French unemployment has averaged about 9%, vs. about 6% for the U.S.

Seizing all of the venture capital firms in America and giving the funds to Amtrak would be good, because it would not only reduce wealth inequality, but also allow the federal government to build much needed high-speed rail infrastructure.

To Piketty, a rising ratio of wealth to national income is bad, and a falling ratio is good. Accordingly, Piketty’s bad periods have names like “la Belle Epoch” (the beautiful era), the “Roaring Twenties,” and “the Soaring Sixties.” In contrast, his good times have names like “World War I,” “World War II,” and “the Great Depression.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2014/05/06/thomas-piketty-gets-the-numbers-wrong/4/#45e100233000
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G M
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« Reply #718 on: May 10, 2016, 05:05:29 PM »

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ccp
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« Reply #719 on: May 14, 2016, 09:42:53 AM »

In the Breitbart article on how he gives a homeless man $5 because he is holding a sign that says "give me a dollar or I will vote for Donald Trump is the statement below.

Anyone else pick up on how absurd this statement is:

“I’ve been interested in and involved in politics all my life,” the 75-year-old actor said. “My first act of political civil disobedience was in 1945 during the post-war election, so I am interested in parties and groups. Particularly, in these days, we are confronted by extremist points of view and extremist actions, certainly since the troubles with the IRA.”

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DougMacG
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« Reply #720 on: May 16, 2016, 07:31:57 AM »

Believe it or not, it's still George Bush's fault, or so they imply at the start of this hit piece on the state of the economy.   But then they go on to assess specific blame for the failed recovery at it is the  lack of government spending,  believe it or not.  We had TARP.  We had QE1234.  We had ZIRP, NIRP, Cash. for Clunkers and Solyndra.   we had a trillion dollars a year of temporary spending that became permanent. But we did not do enough with our government sector spending.  Are you f****** kidding?

Other than false cause diagnosis, this would be a perfect reply to Wesbury and Grannis optimism pieces. The underemployment rate is nearly 50% for new college grads while we tell ourselves we are back to 5% unemployment.  We set policies for a decade that perfectly emulate Venezuela, begin to see the same results, and the problem is "tricky timing" for the class of 2016?  Do these people believe their own writing?

Later this month I will celebrate a $265,000 college graduation.  Their goal for next year is to raise tuition.

The New York Times
(Don't) SUBSCRIBE
Sunday Review
EDITORIAL

Tricky Timing for the Class of 2016
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
MAY 14, 2016

This year’s high school graduates were 10 years old when the economy hit the skids in 2008. Many college graduates in the class of 2016 were 14. Yet, their economic prospects remain darkened by the enduring effects of the Great Recession.

[What caused the great recession??!!]

That is not to say there has been no improvement. The class of ’16 has more and better-paying job opportunities than earlier post-crash graduating classes, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute. But for the most part, today’s graduates still face employment conditions that are worse than in 2007, the year before the recession, and are much worse than in 2000, when the economy was last at full employment.

The recent unemployment rate for college graduates ages 21 to 24 was 5.5 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in 2000. Their underemployment rate — which includes the unemployed, those who have briefly left the work force and those stuck in part-time jobs — was recently 12.3 percent, compared with 7.1 percent in 2000. And in 2015, nearly 45 percent of college graduates ages 22 to 27 were in jobs that did not require a college degree, compared with 38 percent in 2000. Over the same period, student debt has soared, which means that many of today’s graduates are trying to pay off more debt with less secure jobs.

The situation for new high school graduates is far bleaker, in part because many lower-wage jobs are being filled by college graduates. Among high school graduates ages 17 to 20, unemployment is nearly 18 percent, compared with 12 percent in 2000. One in three are underemployed, compared with roughly one in five in 2000.

The soft labor market has depressed wages, with average hourly pay for young college graduates, recently $18.53, barely higher than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation. Young high school graduates are averaging only $10.66, lower than in 2000, adjusted for inflation.

Without full employment to help push up pay, wages and salaries for all workers lag even as corporate profits rise. But the consequences for young people are particularly severe, because early bouts of unemployment, underemployment and low pay can continue to harm job prospects and earnings over a long period. One’s pay and position starting out has a big impact on subsequent raises and promotions, and thus on accumulated wealth over a career.

This trap is especially dangerous for racial minorities and women, who even in the best of times have to combat bias in hiring and pay. For young black college graduates, the recent unemployment rate, at well over 9 percent, is double that of young white graduates. Young female college graduates earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male peers, a gap that is bound to get worse as men at the very top of the wage ladder capture an increasing share of total pay.

These persistent problems are the result of political failure. Job growth and pay growth were weak and largely ignored as policy issues for most of the 2000s, even before the Great Recession. To restore full employment after the crash would have required sustained government investment in many areas, including infrastructure, education, health care and energy technologies.

More public spending could have raised demand at a time of diminished private-sector spending. But Republicans in Congress have rejected that approach and have embraced budget cuts that have hampered broader recovery and growth, at times with the support or acquiescence of Democrats and administration officials.

Even piecemeal labor market improvements have been stymied or delayed. A higher federal minimum wage would lift wages for low-earning graduates, and updated overtime rules for salaried workers would lift middle-class pay. But lawmakers last raised the minimum wage in 2007, and it will be 2017, at the earliest, before they do so again. Similarly, the administration is expected to issue new overtime rules soon, but at this late date, putting them into effect will fall to the next administration.

In the meantime, the class of 2016, like many before it, will graduate into a tough economy in which even the college educated are not assured a toehold.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 07:46:24 AM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #721 on: May 16, 2016, 08:12:48 AM »

What do you say to a graduate with a non-STEM degree?



Venti mocha on ice, please.
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G M
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« Reply #722 on: May 16, 2016, 08:39:45 AM »

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/06/hugo_chavezs_economic_miracle/



WEDNESDAY, MAR 6, 2013 05:30 AM MST
Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle
The Venezuelan leader was often marginalized as a radical. But his brand of socialism achieved real economic gains
DAVID SIROTA    Follow
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TOPICS: EDITOR'S PICKS, HUGO CHAVEZ, HUMAN RIGHTS, LATIN AMERICA, POVERTY, SOCIALISM, VENEZUELA, POLITICS NEWS

Hugo Chavez's economic miracle
Hugo Chavez (Credit: AP/Leslie Mazoch, photo treatment by Salon)
For the last decade in American politics, Hugo Chavez became a potent political weapon – within a few years of his ascent, he was transformed from just a leader of a neighboring nation into a boogeyman synonymous with extremism. Regularly invoked in over-the-top political rhetoric, Chavez’s name became a decontextualized epithet to try to attach to a political opponent so as to make that opponent look like a radical. Because of this, America barely flinched upon hearing the news that the Bush administration tried to orchestrate a coup against the democratically elected Venezuelan leader.

Just to get it out of the way, I’ll state the obvious: with respect to many policies, Chavez was no saint. He, for instance, amassed a troubling record when it came to protecting human rights and basic democratic freedoms (though as Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy notes, “Venezuela is recognized by many scholars to be more democratic than it was in the pre-Chávez era”). His rein also coincided with a boom in violent crime.



That said, these serious problems, while certainly worthy of harsh criticism, were not the primary reason Chavez became the favorite effigy of American politicians and pundits. In an age marked by America’s drone assaults, civil liberties abuses, and war on voting, it is not as if this nation’s political establishment sees an assault on democratic freedoms as deplorable. Likewise, that same political establishment is more than friendly with leaders of countries like Mexico and Colombia – countries which are also periodically hotbeds of violent crime.

No, Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.

For instance, according to data compiled by the UK Guardian, Chavez’s first decade in office saw Venezuelan GDP more than double and both infant mortality and unemployment almost halved. Then there is a remarkable graph from the World Bank that shows that under Chavez’s brand of socialism, poverty in Venezuela plummeted (the Guardian reports that its “extreme poverty” rate fell from 23.4 percent in 1999 to 8.5 percent just a decade later). In all, that left the country with the third lowest poverty rate in Latin America. Additionally, as Weisbrot points out, “college enrollment has more than doubled, millions of people have access to health care for the first time and the number of people eligible for public pensions has quadrupled.”

When a country goes socialist and it craters, it is laughed off as a harmless and forgettable cautionary tale about the perils of command economics. When, by contrast, a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela’s did, it is not perceived to be a laughing matter – and it is not so easy to write off or to ignore. It suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism, especially when said country has valuable oil resources that global powerhouses like the United States rely on.

For a flamboyant ideologue like Chavez, that meant him being seen by the transnational elite as much more than an insignificant rogue leader of a relatively small country. He came to be seen as a serious threat to the global system of corporate capitalism.


That, of course, is considered a high crime by the American political illuminati – a high crime prompting a special punishment.

As evidenced by the treatment of everyone from Martin Luther King to Michael Moore to Oliver Stone to anyone else who dares question neoliberalism and economic imperialism, that punishment is all about marginalization – the kind that avoids engaging on substance for fear of allowing the notion of socialism to even enter the conversation in the first place. Instead, the non-conformist is attacked and discredited with vapid invective and caricature, becoming a cartoon villain whose ideas, performance and record are ignored before they can be considered on the merits. He becomes, in other words, the Hugo Chavez we so often saw in American political ads.

Stating this, mind you, is not to claim that Venezuela’s economy under Chavez was perfect. As The Week correctly put it, while “Chavez’s policies of redistribution and nationalization of oil assets endeared him to Venezuela’s working class” and produced many laudable results, the country’s “oil-centric economy has taken away resources from other areas that are badly in need of development.”

However, it is to argue that at a moment when America faces a pivotal debate about taxation and the size of government in specific and free market fundamentalism in general, Chavez’s passing should prompt as much reflection on the individual iconoclast as on the overarching economic ideas he came to embody.

To start, that means asking important questions.


For example, the United States has adamantly rejected the concept of nationalization and instead pursued a bailout/subsidy strategy when it comes to rapacious banks and oil companies – and those firms have often gone on to wreak economic havoc. Are there any lessons to be learned from Venezuela’s decision to avoid that subsidization route and instead pursue full-on nationalization?

Likewise, in a United States whose poverty rate is skyrocketing, are there any lessons to be learned from Venezuela’s policies that so rapidly reduced poverty?

And in a United States that has become more unequal than many Latin American nations, are there any constructive lessons to be learned from Chavez’s grand experiment with more aggressive redistribution?

No doubt, there are few absolutely clear answers to those uncomfortable questions, if those questions are assessed honestly. Most likely, in fact, the answers are murky. But such questions need to be asked. The problem is that even gently raising them typically gets one tarred and feathered as a communist and then inevitably called a Hugo Chavez pal (even if Chavez’s overall record is also being criticized!). At the moment Chavez’s name is invoked, the conversation is inevitably terminated, ending any possibility of discourse.

That is by design – it is what the longtime caricaturing and marginalizing of Chavez was always supposed to do. But maybe now that the iconoclast is dead, the cartoon will end. Maybe now Chavez’s easily ridiculed bombast can no longer be used to distract from Venezuela’s record – and, thus, a more constructive, honest and critical economic conversation can finally begin.

 David Sirota
David Sirota is a senior writer for the International Business Times and the best-selling author of the books "Hostile Takeover," "The Uprising" and "Back to Our Future." E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com, follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at www.davidsirota.com.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #723 on: May 16, 2016, 08:56:16 AM »

What do you say to a graduate with a non-STEM degree?

Venti mocha on ice, please.


I'm glad you said non-STEM; my daughter's degree is in math.   grin


WHAT CAUSED THE GREAT RECESSION?  Lack of government spending under George Bush?!  Are they kidding?  Free markets running wild - in the mortgage business that is nearly 100% federal, completely infiltrated by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GSEs and CRAp.  Does anyone remember Saving and Loans, S&Ls?  Loans were once tied to Savings.  Crazy Now we have no savings.  Your credit line is your nest egg and your wealth.  Those loans are tied to government monetary creation no matter how Wesbury and Grannis want to sugar coat it.  We can adjust Fed policy with a volume switch to make  stock markets or housing markets go up - artificially.  And that's all we know.  We don't know what to do next or how to make it go down without crashing or how to ever let an economy operate under normal or real incentives again.
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G M
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« Reply #724 on: May 16, 2016, 09:11:44 AM »

I'm glad you said non-STEM; my daughter's degree is in math.

Smart girl. Now she should find a good job in Singapore or Hong Kong to develop global business skills.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #725 on: May 16, 2016, 09:22:43 AM »

I'm glad you said non-STEM; my daughter's degree is in math.

Smart girl. Now she should find a good job in Singapore or Hong Kong to develop global business skills.

I will suggest the growth industries of our time, canned goods and ammo...
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G M
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« Reply #726 on: May 16, 2016, 09:34:33 AM »

I'm glad you said non-STEM; my daughter's degree is in math.

Smart girl. Now she should find a good job in Singapore or Hong Kong to develop global business skills.

I will suggest the growth industries of our time, canned goods and ammo...

We have some time, I hope. Not long ago I was having dinner with a friend who has a an elite military background and is a career law enforcement officer. We see the same endgame,and it's hard to say if we have months, or years before it kicks off.

Now, the firearms business is one of the few bright spots for domestic industries, thanks to history's greatest gun salesman.
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ccp
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« Reply #727 on: May 17, 2016, 07:13:20 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435448/obamas-pajama-boy-menagerie
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #728 on: May 17, 2016, 12:58:45 PM »

Awesome.  Please put in the Rants thread as well.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #729 on: May 18, 2016, 11:45:09 PM »

http://gothamist.com/2016/05/17/operation_mass_vasectomy.php
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G M
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« Reply #730 on: May 19, 2016, 02:24:38 AM »


Us hicks out west have this thing called hunting that is much more effective in managing deer populations.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #731 on: May 21, 2016, 05:10:46 PM »

Nothing says leftist compassion for the homeless like a free, one way bus ticket out of their jurisdiction.

http://www.kiro7.com/news/local/portland-begins-sending-homeless-people-to-other-cities-including-seattle/296353382
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 05:13:38 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #732 on: May 27, 2016, 12:12:48 AM »

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/203278/bad-bad-anthony-weiner
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ccp
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« Reply #733 on: May 27, 2016, 06:04:56 AM »

Doug,
Thanks for the post on the movie

It sounds like Oscar material -

no not that Oscar.

I mean Oscar Myer Wiener!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #734 on: May 27, 2016, 07:06:52 AM »

quote author=ccp link=topic=2177.msg96366#msg96366 date=1464347096]
Doug,
Thanks for the post on the movie
It sounds like Oscar material -
no not that Oscar.
I mean Oscar Myer Wiener!
[/quote]

)    A look inside a most famous marriage that no one wants to look inside!

The author of the article is Judith Miller of New York Times and Valerie Plame fame.
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