“There are levels of folly. There’s individual folly of course but there’s also the folly of a community of mankind which has the arrogance to believe that somehow we can destroy Mother Nature and maintain the quality of our own lives. And that makes me crazy.”
Zachary Richard: Le Fou
If I were the Devil, I would say
Blessed are the rich for theirs is the Kingdom of God.
Blessed are the well feed for they have worked hard.
Blessed are the comforted for they deserve every penny.
Blessed are the merciless for might makes right.
Blessed are the well dressed for they understand fashion.
Blessed are they that use government to force their religion on the weak for they are pleasing.
Woe to you who are poor for God has cast you down.
Woe to you who hungry for you are too lazy to feed yourselves.
Woe to you who are suffering for you don’t have sense enough to improve yourself.
Woe to you who are ragged for you have no eye for beauty.
Woe to you who show mercy for you are too stupid to understand power.
Woe to you how show respect to those who understand God differently for you shall rot in hell.
Come, turn your back on your neighbor and you shall have riches.
Come, turn your back on the sick and suffering and you shall have power.
Come, raise yourself up and you shall have glory.
And then there is Paul Harvey.
Adding more pain in a depressed economy is still a failure. Reducing the pain makes things better.
“”The labour market is an example of the divergent performance between the two regions,” wrote Deutsche Bank’s economists in their new House View report. “Unemployment stood at roughly the same level in mid-2009. Since then, US unemployment has edged down to 7.5% while Eurozone unemployment has risen to record highs of 12.1%”
European did what the conservatives demanded. They cut social programs, they cut pensions, and privatized public assets–workers had to pay the price for reckless bankers. Wealth redistribution from the bottom to the top at its finest.
How do you save Social Security and Medicare if you believe they are evil?
How do you save public education if you believe it is evil?
How do you save public roads and freeways from private toll roads if you believe government is evil?
You either have to step on the paint and look like an idiot to get out of the corner, or you can stay in the corner and look like a fool.
***update**** Krugman adds his words of wisdom.
This strikes me as a bigger deal than whether Rubio slurped his water; he and his party are now committed to the belief that their pre-crisis doctrine was perfect, that there are no lessons from the worst financial crisis in three generations except that we should have even less regulation. And given another shot at power, they’ll test that thesis by giving the bankers a chance to do it all over again.
Science is essential to Western Exceptionalism.
James “Hutton was, for a time, a farmer — and in that occupation, observing the process of erosion and the laying down of deposits of various materials, he realized that the landscape he saw around him could be explained by the same forces operating over immense periods of time, as long as you posited that there were other forces uplifting ancient sediments to form today’s geological features. How could he know whether this theory was right? He made predictions; in particular, that in places you would find ‘angular uncomformities’, striated bodies of sedimentary rocks from different eras that were tilted relative to each other. And sure enough, as this photo from Wikipedia Commons shows, he found them”
Creationism is not science. It is flawed theology. There is no need to prove God or God’s role in the world. Why is faith no longer good enough?
Obama is not perfect, but we have 4000 years of human civilization to tell us he is on the right side. No society, including the Soviet Union, had a hard time making sure a few people are rich and powerful. Only Liberal American (1932-1968) and those Nasty European Social Democracies found a way to allow a few to get rich while the many climbed out of poverty.
Here are the facts.
1) We had no debt problem until conservative voters elected Ronald Reagan.
2) Two moderates George H. Bush and Bill Clinton put us back on track to fix the problem.
3) Conservative voters rejected that fix and unraveled it by electing George W. Bush.
Excuse me if I don’t trust the judgment of conservative pundits, politicians and voters. When it comes to debt they simply lack any credibility what so ever.
If anyone has data, no assertions, showing that Reagan or W made this better, i.e. Before < After, I would love to see it.
Now that a child of the Civil Rights movement is President and he is accused of the same thing. Weird how that works. Same lie. Different decade.
When I posted this brief comment on Facebook, I was asked if I were “trying to distract folks from the fact that Byrd was a Democrat?” Here is my Response.
Oh no. He was a Democratic, but a conservative Democrat. Robert Byrd made a courageous choice soon after. Southern Democrats traced their roots back to their opposition to reconstruction. The Republicans under Lincoln oversaw the greatest expansion of Federal power since the transition from the Articles of Confederation to the US Constitution. Each of the Reconstruction Amendments increased Federal authority and reduced the ability of states to abuse their own inhabitants. Read the rest of this entry »
Why isn’t the economy bouncing back faster? This graph helps you understand what is happening. It uses the number of jobs in September 2008 as the benchmark. This was the month the financial markets crash started. On the chart that job number equals 100. Then it charts percentage changes in each employment section against that number.
Two lines tell the story: declining government jobs and a weak construction sector.
You can see that in the first year there was an overall decline in almost every sector except the government jobs and Education/Healthcare 9unfortunately these are lumped together). The sharpest declines came in Construction, Mining (includes drilling) and manufacturing. These industries saw a rapid decline in consumer demand as the markets crashed. Education and health care were protected as necessary government spending continued. Take this away and things could have been much worse.
Mineral production–coal and oil—bounced back the fastest. This too is related to necessary spending. We have a machine driven economy, and consumers can only cut back so much. Other industries like “information” were not necessities and have stabilized at a level 10 to 20 percent below pre-crash levels.
On the other hand, manufacturing and construction remains down. Consumers are delaying big ticket items like cars because of job uncertainty. Who wants a new car payment when they might lose their job next month? Imagine you are a teacher, police officer or fire fighter and you hear calls for budget cuts. Do you make a big purchase or wait? I would wait. Most rational people do.
Construction also has a special problem. Consumers “invested” in new houses at a record pace during the 2000s. Too many of them found themselves owing more than their house was worth. They can’t sell their house and move to a new city for a job. Instead, they have to pay down their debt (deleverage) before they can make a new home purchase.
This behavior creates an incredible weight that holds the entire economy back. New home sales often spur other purchases. New homes need refrigerators, washing machines, TVs, beds and many other smaller items. People in older homes will replace a broken item, but they rarely replace everything at once.
Add to this the fact that many young adults have large amounts of student loans. This is also new. Previous generations of college student enjoyed a heavily subsidized education. In the 1980s state governments covered as much as 80% of the costs. Today that is shrinking to less than 40% in most cases. Instead of building a ladder for the next generation to climb, selfishness is burning it. This selfishness not only hurts the individuals but it is also retarding the economic recovery.
Finally, you can see for yourself that government jobs started to decline in the middle of 2010. This is also new. In the post-World War Two era government jobs had never declined in a recession. Even in the Reagan era the federal government INCREASED defense construction spending and local governments, with aid from Washington, maintain their highly skilled workforce.
So why is this economy different? 1) The financial collapse uniquely crushed the construction industry. Until something is done to drive down consumer debt, consumers can not return to their role driving economic growth. 2) Cuts in government spending and employment are making things worse. There is no way to grow an economy by subtracting. Growth requires addition. It is simple math.
Why does Bain Capital matter? Romney has told us he will use the skills learned at Bain to make decisions as President. What did he learn? He learned that he could raid wealth created by workers, liquidate their pensions and then redistribute the wealth to his investors.
What are his plans as President? He will continue the Bush strategy of redistributing Social Security revenue to the top 2% as income tax cuts. Romney then will implement the Ryan plan that calls for privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare into a coupon programs. This will destroy the American middle class.
At a certain point conservatives need to stop crying that Obama is a meanie, grow up and look at the facts. The conservative plan divides Americas into the chosen and the forsaken. It is based a greed. It is based on the sick idea that the poor in America have it good and the rich have it bad. Only in the fantasy world of conservative talk radio does this make sense.