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Steve Lunetta: The spending orgy

Posted: February 17, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 17, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

I admit it. I am blissfully unaware of most things related to government budgeting. Because, frankly, it bores me.

I’d rather watch paint drying. Or read another Democratic Voices column.

Unfortunately, I think I’m like most Americans. We just find the whole process a crushing waste of time. And the wonks that run government know this and are able to poorly manage things because of our indifference.

Shame on me and shame on us.

But things are getting a bit out of hand. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, recently announced that the Republicans were going to support an increase in the debt limit without any strings attached.

No spending limits, no concessions on new projects, no nothing.

The boy got exactly zilch for completely capitulating on increased national debt and borrowing. How did this guy get to be Speaker? Didn’t he realize that it was possible to strike a bargain with Democrats on spending?

Let’s put this into perspective.

The Wall Street Journal gave us a real cool graphic recently that showed the rising debt ceiling limit over the past 20 years. Through 2003, the debt limit was $6 trillion bucks. That’s a lot of money.

But the most striking thing is that the ceiling remained relatively flat from 1993 through 2003.

Sure, it went up from around $4 trillion to $6 trillion, and you accountants out there will scream, “that’s a 50 percent increase!” Fair enough.

After 2003, things get really scary. From 2003, the limit has gone up to $17.2 trillion.

And that does not include what Congress is planning to do. Punch those numbers into your calculator and you get a 286 percent increase.

Whaaaa?

Admittedly, this is a bipartisan problem. Over the eight Bush years, the ceiling went up $5 trillion. However, over the six Obama years, the ceiling has gone up $6 trillion and counting.

If you account for the last two years of Obama’s administration, the debt ceiling will go up $8 trillion total (and I’m being on the low side, since this year is not over).

What have we obtained for all of this additional spending? I figure that this increase is worth about $20,000 for every man, woman, and child here in the United States over the course of the Obama reign. For me and my wife that’s 40 large.

I should have a new Lexus or BMW sitting in my driveway. I look outside the kitchen window — nope, its not there.

Maybe I just got a new pool and hot tub for the backyard. Nope. Not there, either.

So where did all of this new spending get us? I hear about many people being out of work, behind on mortgages, and not able to feed their families.

If we are going to borrow a ton of money, shouldn’t we be able to see tangible things that this money is buying?

I don’t see it. This is like placing a huge second (or third) mortgage on your home and then having the bank say,

“Sorry, you don’t get the cash. But here is your payment book.”

And who is financing all of this debt? Basically, China. Yes, you remember them? These are the folks who are building completely empty cities that go unoccupied because no one can afford to live there.

China’s economy looks great on paper — for now. Let’s just wait and see what happens when that house of cards collapses.

Then what will they do with all of that U.S. debt they are holding? They will probably dump it as rapidly as possible to get cash to save themselves from the downward spiral that their artificial building boom has created.

Treasury bills and other financial instruments will crash in value, and retiree life savings will be wiped out overnight.

Forget about further borrowing. It will be impossible to do so without paying horrific interest rates.

All of this will lead us back to one simple concept. We cannot spend more than we make. We will be forced to face that reality, since the world will no longer be able to finance our largesse.

But if we face reality now and begin to force down our spending and the debt limit, we may be able to avoid — or at least decrease — the severity of the impending crisis.

But Speaker Boehner would rather back down and not fight. The perceived political advantage the Republicans will gain by avoiding a show-down with Obama is considered more important than the coming financial train wreck.

Heaven help us. Oh, look! Here’s more paint to watch drying and another Democratic Voices column!

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and is stuffing the mattress with Krugerrands. He can be reached at slunetta63@yahoo.com.

 

Comments

chico: Posted: February 17, 2014 6:43 a.m.

With all the spending you would think we'd be swimming in prosperity, but we're circling the drain.


ricketzz: Posted: February 17, 2014 6:45 a.m.

Actually wealthy people owe way more than $20k and poor people owe way less.

The debt is a failure of taxation. Billionaires are a failure of taxation. The country used to be funded entirely by import duties on things favored by the rich or things that competed with American workshops.

When we assumed planetary bully duties, globalist socialist trade policies, started taxing work more than money, bestowing unfunded tax breaks on the idle rich, etc. and starting 2 land wars in Asia, how could the debt not go up?

Every penny we spend is authorized by the Congress, except for grave emergency spending. The debt limit is not required by the Constitution, it is there for pure drama. The debts of the USA are required to be paid, by the Constitution. When Congress appropriates the funds they are raising the debt limit. If you want this to stop, rein in spending on subsidies and war, clamp down on fraud, audit the Pentagon. Don't blame the poor.


chico: Posted: February 17, 2014 7:12 a.m.

How could the debt not go up? -

Answer - more economic growth - and more rich people.


OldReliable: Posted: February 17, 2014 7:41 a.m.

Wonder why Democrats aren't squealing to high heavens over our increasing National Debt!? Darn those Republicans... it's all their fault!


BrianBaker: Posted: February 17, 2014 8:32 a.m.

No country in history has ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity.

And the damned Establishment GOP hacks are just as much to blame as the Dem/socialists.

This issue is one of the cornerstones of the Tea Party philosophy, and in fact is where the "Tea" in Tea Party comes from : Taxed Enough Already.

We're circling the same drain that swallowed the Western Roman Empire back in the 4th Century, and making all of the same mistakes. It's disheartening and disgraceful.

Boehner's gotta go, back to his bourbon and tanning salon, and take McConnell and a whole lot of others with him. Yes, McCain, I mean YOU, as well as the rest of the "moderates" who don't have a spine, or one lick of courage to actually FIGHT for the principles you claim to represent.


technologist: Posted: February 17, 2014 10:18 a.m.

The Republican strategy is to keep the focus on Obamacare so the President's party can't deflect to other issues. When they control the Senate, *then* they'll control spending. Oh wait…they won't control spending. They'll just be slightly less insane. See: History.

“It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.” —Adam Smith


Indy: Posted: February 17, 2014 12:05 p.m.

Understandably, this Op-ed writer recites a lot of RNC talking points so let’s start with this one first:

Lunetta wrote: Admittedly, this is a bipartisan problem. Over the eight Bush years, the ceiling went up $5 trillion. However, over the six Obama years, the ceiling has gone up $6 trillion and counting.

Indy: Bush inherited a ‘budget surplus’ so he quickly cut taxes per conservative doctrine and immediately started running deficits. Tax cuts to the upper incomes no longer produce any real stimulus to the economy since most of that money is invested in stocks and now goes off shore through globalization.

And now enter Obama, the day he took office the US was losing about 750,000 jobs per month! The stock market lost ‘HALF’ its value . . .

Anyone who’s studied economics knows that when the economy contracts, tax receipts fall leading to even higher deficits.

The republicans are shrewd, however, and willing to let the nation fall into a depression without government spending through things like the stimulus bill that was passed with almost a third of the total being ‘tax cuts’ that economist will note don’t help in a recession. No matter, conservative ideology always trumps reality . . . as we see with Lunetta.

I can only assume that Lunetta is so blinded by his immersion into conservativism that he simply can’t see the consequences of his statements.


technologist: Posted: February 17, 2014 1:56 p.m.

For ricketzz, Indy and other class warrior fellow travelers, school is in session courtesy of N. Gregory Mankiw, a professor of economics at Harvard:

Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving

In 2012, the actor Robert Downey Jr., played the role of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, in “The Avengers.” For his work in that single film, Mr. Downey was paid an astounding $50 million.

Does that fact make you mad? Does his compensation strike you as a great injustice? Does it make you want to take to the streets in protest? These questions go to the heart of the debate over economic inequality, to which President Obama has recently been drawing attention.

Certainly, $50 million is a lot of money. The typical American would have to work for about 1,000 years in order to earn that much.

That sum puts Mr. Downey in the top ranks of American earners. Anything more than about $400,000 a year puts you in the much-talked-about 1 percent. If you earn more than about $10 million, you are in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. Mr. Downey makes it easily.

Yet, somehow, when I talk to people about it, most are not appalled by his income. Why?

One reason seems to be that they understand how he earned it. “The Avengers” was a blockbuster with worldwide box-office receipts of more than $1.5 billion.

More…

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/business/yes-the-wealthy-can-be-deserving.html?ref=business&_r=4


Indy: Posted: February 17, 2014 3:24 p.m.

Lunetta: If we are going to borrow a ton of money, shouldn’t we be able to see tangible things that this money is buying?

Indy: Let’s start with the defense budget that’s about $626 billion dollars (http://www.usfederalbudget.us/us_defense_spending_30.html) that works out to be about $2,000 for every person in the US, about $8,000 for a family of four.

Additionally from here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/07/everything-chuck-hagel-needs-to-know-about-the-defense-budget-in-charts/ (check out the graphs)
The United States spent more on its military than the next 13 nations combined in 2011.

It’s sad enough this conservative who’s no doubt big on military spending never the less says something like “shouldn’t we be able to see tangible things that this money is buying?”

Frightening.


Indy: Posted: February 17, 2014 3:28 p.m.

technologist wrote: For ricketzz, Indy and other class warrior fellow travelers, school is in session courtesy of N. Gregory Mankiw, a professor of economics at Harvard:

Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving . . .

Indy: Give the poster credit for properly inserting one of the many ‘focus group tested’ slogans by the wealthy to gain advantage with poor republican voters!

And yes, since the 1% now take about 20% of all income, up from ‘just’ 8% in 1980 or so, the poster cites as an example a ‘movie actor’! I’m not making this up . . . but when ideologues who don’t understanding economics and I guess get ‘links’ from his libertarian websites, placing them out before us shows just the amount of distance between the world an ideologue ‘lives in’ apart from the rest of us.

In any event, just for review, here’s why wealth in concentrating:

Income Advantage: People with high incomes benefit from several factors including:

a. The low capital gains rate that has them paying a rate that is not consistent with their use of tax funded infrastructure including our military, courts, and transportation infrastructure.

b. They also benefit since their ‘discretionary’ incomes are so much higher they can invest more while most Americans (think stockholders – owners of capital) exist ‘check to check’.

c. They can take advantage of ‘large’ business deals especially in off shoring where huge income gains result from the large ‘wage differentials’ in nations with low wage rates.

d. Having the ability to influence our tax laws (loopholes) provided high income earners access to our leaders where folks like me get to speak to a ‘college intern’ on the phone when I call them.

e. Legal superiority in that those will higher incomes can legally protect their assets versus everyone without such representation (think reading a standard credit card ‘terms and conditions’ that most people don’t read and can’t understand if they did.)


technologist: Posted: February 17, 2014 4:02 p.m.

Hoping others will not undertake reading the short article like you, Indy? A Harvard economic professor in the NYT is "focus group tested". He doesn't understand economics? Hilarious! There are other examples, of course. Not that the actor one is invalid.

How about addressing the points in the article rather than your usual ad hominem against me?


emheilbrun: Posted: February 17, 2014 5:57 p.m.

Indy the MBA wrote, "...but when ideologues who don’t understanding economics..."

How do you take someone seriously when they write like this? How am I supposed to 'understanding' what you're trying to say?


Indy: Posted: February 18, 2014 9:50 a.m.

technologist wrote: Hoping others will not undertake reading the short article like you, Indy? A Harvard economic professor in the NYT is "focus group tested". He doesn't understand economics? Hilarious! There are other examples, of course. Not that the actor one is invalid.

Indy: The ‘envy’ talking point gets a lot of play especially reciting by those that have the ‘income advantages’ I’ve noted.

They like having the power to influence tax laws, generate favorable loop holes, and reduce regulations that ‘socialize the cost’ while they continuing to ‘privatize the profits’.

As I’ve noted to you several times. Bush 2 Council of Economic Advisors (you can google the list) all were prediction ‘growth’ in the latter part of 2007 as was the Fed. Yet, the economic collapsed.

How could all of those ‘high powered’ economist been so far off the mark?

The answer lies in that economics, while based on scarcity, still believes that ‘limitless’ resources exist but just no exploited.

Thus the idea of removing financial regulations that were created after the over speculation that created the depression were no longer ‘valid’ and thus removed by Clinton in the Financial Modernization Act.

In any event, libetarianian market fundamentalist keep asserting that ‘all’ Americans benefit yet as we’ve seen of late, only the top 1% or so is able to capture the increases in productivity from technology and leverage the ‘wage differentials’ from off shoring as well as the oversupply of labor resulting from same in the US driving wages further downward.

That’s why the minimum wage would be helpful to help stablize and redistrubute the productivity gains such that ‘working’ Americans who use ‘labor’ no ‘investment income’ to survive would adjust to these factors.

Most of the neoclassical economists are failing us . . . so I’ll go through that Op-ed you linked later today.


Indy: Posted: February 18, 2014 9:52 a.m.

emheilbrun wrote: Indy the MBA wrote, "...but when ideologues who don’t understanding economics..."

How do you take someone seriously when they write like this? How am I supposed to 'understanding' what you're trying to say?

Indy: Gee, this poster believes that since he caught a ‘auto-correct’ word he’s now ‘qualified’ to comment on economics? LOL


Indy: Posted: February 18, 2014 10:50 a.m.

Let’s see here . . . Greg Mankiw . . .

“From 2003 to 2005, Mankiw was one of President George W. Bush's top economic advisers, and was chairman of the national Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). In November 2006, Mankiw became an official economic adviser to then-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's political action committee, Commonwealth PAC.[16] In 2007, he signed on as an economic adviser to Romney's presidential campaign.[17]”

Well, we’ve got a true conservative economist that not only was on Bush’s Council but also worked for, gee, a 1%'er in the name of Mitt Rommney!

“He has since resumed teaching at Harvard, taking over the most popular class at Harvard College, the introductory economics course Ec 10.[12]”

And now teaching an ‘introductory’ course at Harvard.

Then I see a link entitled: Greg Mankiw on the Minimum Wage | Libertarian

Now I see the linkage to you . . .

In any event, his analysis are consistent with ‘introductory’ economics and sadly, economist that promote ‘unlimited’ growth do end up sitting on Councils or working for republicans like Mitt Romney.

His inability to see the bigger business picture is one reason I find that economist without ‘real world’ business experience tend to be stuck in ‘academia land’ and offer little in the way of insights other than to make their economic models work that as we saw in 2007, failed to see the deepest recession since the great depression.


technologist: Posted: February 18, 2014 11:00 a.m.

Predicting you'd poison the well with an ideological litmus text, I'll let the Harvard Crimson respond to you, Indy:

Harvard Crimson in its editorial stated that:

"While it is true that Professor N. Gregory Mankiw, who was lecturing during the walkout, has conservative views and held a position in the Bush Administration, we take issue with the claim that his class is inherently biased because he is the professor and author of its textbook. The truth is that Ec 10, a requirement for economics concentrators, provides a necessary academic grounding for the study of economics as a social science. Professor Mankiw’s curriculum sticks to the basics of economic theory without straying into partisan debate. We struggle to believe that we must defend his textbook, much maligned by the protesters, which is both peer reviewed and widely used.

Furthermore, the students protesting the class who desire that he give more time to other, less accepted schools of economic thought—like Marxism—would do well to remember that such interrogation is the domain of social theory, not economic theory. Supply-and-demand economics is a popular idea of how society is organized, and Mankiw’s Ec 10 never presents itself as more than that. As such, including other theories would simply muddy the waters of what is intended; Ec 10 is an introductory class that lays the foundation for future, more nuanced, study.

That being said, even if Ec 10 were as biased as the protesters claim it is, students walking out to protest its ideology set a dangerous precedent in an academic institution that prides itself on open discourse. This type of protest ignores opposition rather than engages with it. Instead of challenging a professor to back up his claims, it tries to remove him from the dialogue."


Indy: Posted: February 18, 2014 11:04 a.m.

Now, let’s go through some of his comments:

MANKIW writes: “Critics sometimes suggest that this high pay reflects the failure of corporate boards to do their job. Rather than representing shareholders, this argument goes, those boards are too cozy with the chief executives and pay them more than they are really worth.

Yet this argument fails to explain the behavior of closely held corporations. A private equity group with a controlling interest in a firm does not face this supposed principal-agent problem between shareholders and boards, and yet these closely held firms also pay their chief executives similarly high compensation. In light of this, the most natural explanation of high C.E.O. pay is that the value of a good C.E.O. is extraordinarily high.”

Indy: He does at least state the obvious problem with CEO sitting on each other’s boards that pay each other exorbitant salaries unprecedented since the 60s where CEOs can now get 250 times that of the base worker, nearly 10 times higher from that period.

The writer goes to cite that ‘private equity’ groups who likewise pay their CEO ‘high compensation’ forgetting that in these markets where CEO pay is high, the motivation to ‘keep’ somebody from the other corporate boards is why academia based economist fails us as we see here.

The guy wants to believe his own ideology and makes up explanations to confirm same even when the basic business model in play defies his remarks.

In any event, check out this guy’s full bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._Gregory_Mankiw

There’s so real gems there including:

“Several controversies arose from CEA's February 2004 Economic Report of the President.[19] In a press conference, Mankiw spoke of the gains from free trade, noting that outsourcing of jobs by U.S. companies is "probably a plus for the economy in the long run."

“On November 2, 2011, a number of Mankiw's Economics 10 students walked out of his lecture.”

I’m not surprised at this since the students can see what’s happening in the ‘real world’ and feel this guy was just spouting libertarian market fundamentalism that we again see doesn’t work.


emheilbrun: Posted: February 18, 2014 11:12 a.m.

Indy: Gee, this poster believes that since he caught a ‘auto-correct’ word he’s now ‘qualified’ to comment on economics? LOL

Indy, that would be 'an' auto-correct word, not 'a' auto-correct word. A banana. An apple. Its a vowel consonant thing. LOL!


technologist: Posted: February 18, 2014 11:17 a.m.

And the bio/CV:

http://scholar.harvard.edu/mankiw/biocv


technologist: Posted: February 18, 2014 11:26 a.m.

Indy: Do you hold the position that executive salaries in the private economy should be regulated by the Federal government?

That's a binary question.


Indy: Posted: February 18, 2014 1:07 p.m.

technologist wrote: Indy: Do you hold the position that executive salaries in the private economy should be regulated by the Federal government?

Indy: I think investors have to start asking is it worth investing in companies that pay exorbitant salaries to their management.

In the short run, however, I’d raise the minimum wage to a livable wage such that a national discussion would ensure about things like ‘sustainable growth’, ‘oversupply’ of global labor relatives to resources, and hopefully get the public to understand that wages will continue to drop as they are used to distribute limited resources globally.

Libertarians appear to hand their hats on ‘unlimited’ growth that is exhibited at the national level with increased GDP even though wage rates will continue to fall without a minimum wage set appropriately.

In any event, MANKIW addressed the minimum wage in this Op-ed:
Help the Working Poor, but Share the Burden
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/business/help-the-working-poor-but-share-the-burden.html

Here at least Mankiw acknowledges the widening income gap: “The gap between rich and poor is indeed substantial — much larger than in most developed nations and much larger than it was 40 years ago. So what is the best way to help those struggling at the bottom of the economic ladder?”

Then he notes: “If we could figure out a way to do it, the most effective solution would be to increase the skills of those low-wage workers”

I find this interesting since here in CA, every politician from both parties pronounces their ‘110% support for quality education’ yet we’ve had more than 1 student in 4 ‘drop out’ for the last 30+ years. So it sounds great but the political reality never matches the rhetoric.

Interestingly, this guy gets into the ‘tax’ solution with two plans neither of which really address the oversupply of labor and limited resources.

He goes on to write: “Advocates of a higher minimum wage like to note that the current minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, is low by historical standards. That is true but beside the point.”

Interestingly, the issue of ‘inflation’ is always popular with republicans especially on government spending yet this ‘economist’ dismisses it out of hand.

Finally he writes: “If, as a nation, we decide we want to do more to supplement the incomes of low-wage workers, that’s fine. But let’s do it openly, without artifice, and with broad participation.”

Raising the minimum wage fulfills this request in that it’s open to all, visible to all, addresses the income inequality currently occurring, and doesn’t require any additional tax laws.

And hopefully, the media will pick up on the oversupply of labor issue that is leading to downward pressure on wages that the minimum wage addresses. In other words, as scarcity is felt, those at the bottom will have some protection as those at the top do although we all will have less.


technologist: Posted: February 18, 2014 4:33 p.m.

"Indy: I think investors have to start asking is it worth investing in companies that pay exorbitant salaries to their management."

I'll take that as a no. I agree that it's up to investors, both institutional and individual to determine whether they're receiving value for dollar in executive management. I noted that Swiss citizens, when offered the option to statutorily limit executive compensation via referendum, declined.

There is a global oversupply of unskilled labor and there's no dispute that we operate in a global economy. Increasing the minimum wage doesn't address worker skill level and will reduce employment by 500k as estimated by the CBO. Since labor force participation is at record lows, access to entry level jobs will be reduced with a concomitant suppression of access to entry level jobs that allow new workers to gains skills, increasing their market value and compensation. Lack of access to entry level jobs is particularly acute in minority communities, compounding societal issues they face.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44995

Reiterating my prior posting on the topic, wealth disparity is nothing new. Raising worker skill level is the correct approach to raising wage levels rather than regulatory intervention to reduce wealth concentration.

Reposting for convenience below.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealth gap has increased by a mere 2.2% since 1962. The rich have always been a lot richer than other economic segments. And this applies globally as well.

If there's no significant difference in wealth concentration since the halcyon days of Camelot and the Great Society, what's your point?

http://www.epi.org/files/page/-/BriefingPaper292.pdf


AlwaysRight: Posted: February 18, 2014 5:03 p.m.

Indy: "Understandably, this Op-ed writer recites a lot of RNC talking points so let’s start with this one first:

Lunetta wrote: Admittedly, this is a bipartisan problem. Over the eight Bush years, the ceiling went up $5 trillion. However, over the six Obama years, the ceiling has gone up $6 trillion and counting."

Me: Where do you get this stuff, Indy? If a factual statement runs against your world view, you simply dismiss it as an "RNC talking point"? The column clearly stated that this was a BIPARTISAN issue. You could have easily stated this was a "DNC talking point", but chose not to. Why?

Equally odd is that you chose not to deal with the fact of radically increasing debt accumulation by both political parties although, in truth, the Obama administration will probably rack up more than double the debt of the Bush White House.


emheilbrun: Posted: February 18, 2014 5:12 p.m.

Indy the MBA said: "I think investors have to start asking is it worth investing in companies that pay exorbitant salaries to their management."

Institutional investors drive the markets and as long as shareholder ROI meets or exceeds expectations, CEO compensation is irrelevant.


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 10:58 p.m.

Confirmation of the reasoning in my prior post.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: What this is is a transfer of wealth from some low-income earners to other low-income earners. Some -- of course, this is so obvious, not rocket science -- some will be better off, will make more, but others are going to lose everything. They're going to lose all of their income, and they're going to lose the first step on the ladder into employment, which is the hope for the future. So it's a high price. You can make your choice, but there isn't a free lunch. They are running ads saying give America a raise, as if it's no cost. It is a cost, and it's other low income people who will be the ones who pay it.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/02/18/krauthammer_raising_minimum_wage_is_a_transfer_of_wealth_from_poor_people_to_other_poor_people.html


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 11:03 p.m.

Econ 101: If you increase the price of something, you get less of it. Labor isn't exempt.


ricketzz: Posted: February 19, 2014 6:08 a.m.

Rich people don't bother me as long as they don't try to use their money to mess up my country. Citizens United was a declaration of war by the wealthy on everyone else. I accept the challenge and I will do everything I can to either bring down the rich or loosen their grip on my country some other way.

Rich people who are a threat are not blessed by God. They are a menace to society when they try to apply their warped management styles to public institutions. The govt is not a corporation. It cannot be run by bullying.


ricketzz: Posted: February 19, 2014 6:41 a.m.

Bob Downey gets paid based on his performance, on his ability to sell tickets and keep ample American butts in the seats. Same for any entertainer or pro athlete. They have easily quantified value and are paid what they are worth, vis a vis the box office.

Corporate CEOs get obscene bonuses, often regardless of the performance of their companies. They make more money in the first 2 days than their highest paid line worker makes in a couple years. They should not flaunt this behavior but they do. They let the power go to their heads and the next thing you know the king of Chinese gambling and prostitution from Las Vegas (Shel Adelson) is trying to buy the Presidency for a fellow Vulture Capitalist.


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 8:23 a.m.

Colorful class struggle hyperbole on cue, ricketzz.

Fortunately for a competitive USA, C Level compensation isn't up to you. Additionally, you have no idea of what the Citizens United decision was about. Instead, your parrot the Leftist trade unionist's caricature. Do some of your own research at open secrets.org to see where the real money is sourced from.

reason.com/blog/2014/.../remy-5-things-you-didnt-know-about-cit...

The video below lays out "5 Things You Didn't Know About Citizens United" and should make us all feel a little better about the ruling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTu5QZvZJi8


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 11:25 a.m.

technologist wrote: "Indy: I think investors have to start asking is it worth investing in companies that pay exorbitant salaries to their management."

I'll take that as a no. I agree that it's up to investors, both institutional and individual to determine whether they're receiving value for dollar in executive management. I noted that Swiss citizens, when offered the option to statutorily limit executive compensation via referendum, declined.

Indy: I think most Americans are unaware of the outrageous income of CEOs. One of my goals is to increase that awareness and thus if people want to invest in companies with such high levels of incomes, well, it’s their money being wasted . . .


In any event, for those intersted: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CEO_pay_v._average_slub.png


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 11:33 a.m.

technologist wrote: There is a global oversupply of unskilled labor and there's no dispute that we operate in a global economy. Increasing the minimum wage doesn't address worker skill level and will reduce employment by 500k as estimated by the CBO. Since labor force participation is at record lows, access to entry level jobs will be reduced with a concomitant suppression of access to entry level jobs that allow new workers to gains skills, increasing their market value and compensation. Lack of access to entry level jobs is particularly acute in minority communities, compounding societal issues they face.

Indy: What interesting about the libertarian market fundamentalist view is that I don’t think most Americans realize the outcomes of your positions.

The oversupply of ‘unskilled labor’ results from the lack of resources to fund the education. But even as I write this, China, with perhaps 700,000,000 peasants, finds that even their college graduates will earn about $300/month US. So education per se isn’t the limiting factor here in terms of income levels which are ‘bid down’ in ‘free labor markets’ resulting in a further concentration of wealth as we see here in the US with the 1% now taking 20% of all income, up from just ‘8%’ in the early 80s.

But let’s stay focused on the minimum wage and realize that you’ve admitted that there is a scarcity of jobs. In other words, economic growth can't support a global population growing geometrically.

When the suggestion to raise the minimum wage is put forth, you quickly respond about ‘hurting’ new job growth or even reductions in jobs. The conclusion is thus that the ‘job growth’ you advocate is simply at lower and lower wages. This of course maps to the economic scarcity in that the economy simply can’t absorb more workers unless they work for less.

Most Americans including the economist you cited don’t grasp that. The first group is sadly economically literate while the economist uses models that don’t effectively address population growth and resource constraints.


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 11:35 a.m.

And sadly, in minority areas, the public education systems are underfunded due to low property taxes and ignored by politicians. Even here statewide in CA, we’ve had more than 1 student in 4 dropping out for 30 years and it isn’t even ‘news’.

If you expand the wage issue globally, the multinationals are very clear of how to take advantage of the ‘wage differentials’ to leverage their profits. As we saw with Bain Capital, they moved a auto supplier located in Illinois that paid $17/hr to a plant in China moving the facility there that pays about $1/hr. ‘

So yes, your thesis about only lower and lower wage jobs appearing is correct in that if a worker demands more than the lowered job wages offered, the company may very well just move off shore.

That’s why the raising the minimum wage would be a direct action in this area and get the media to explain to the public that perhaps 1 billion people are ready, willing, and able to work for far less ‘right now’. That would be at least as important as providing workers in the US a ‘livable’ wage so that people working full time don’t have to live in poverty here.

The same people earning the minimum wage could also leverage as the multinationals the lower prices of some goods that are produced globally and sold here (think Walmart).


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 11:43 a.m.

technologist wrote: Reiterating my prior posting on the topic, wealth disparity is nothing new. Raising worker skill level is the correct approach to raising wage levels rather than regulatory intervention to reduce wealth concentration.

Indy: The idea about raising worker skill level doesn’t map to the current economic environment we live in and haven’t for more than 30 years.

As middle class wages ‘stagnated’ due to the ‘owners of capital’ taking all productivity increases, giving workers more education simply doesn’t address that type of ‘income advantage’. (for a good read, try Lester Thurow’s book: The Future of Capitalism . . . it’s all laid out . . . even if the book was published in 1996).

And if conservatives really believed in educational equality, they wouldn’t keep fighting ‘tax increases’ to pay for same as recently as the last election where republicans lined up about fighting against the education bill . . . using the same ‘job killer’ arguments that never materialized as CA has led job growth since then in the US.

In any event, you again like to include the ‘regulatory’ criticism regarding wealth concentration and I guess you’re referring to any type of tax laws that would have the wealthy paying more say in capital gains from the ‘low’ value of 20% while workers incomes are taxed higher than that.

Regulations are only the aggregated intelligence we the people have to address things that don’t work and use regulations to address same.

Granted, companies can hire more people and make higher profits if they are allowed to pollute more thus ‘socializing the cost’ of production while ‘privatizing the profits’ even if people like me still want to work ‘healthy’ and have ‘clear air and water’.


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 11:45 a.m.

technologist wrote: According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealth gap has increased by a mere 2.2% since 1962. The rich have always been a lot richer than other economic segments. And this applies globally as well.

If there's no significant difference in wealth concentration since the halcyon days of Camelot and the Great Society, what's your point?

Indy: I don’t really have to say anything ... you’ve made the point ... and the students that walked out on your Harvard introduction course economist get it as well.


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 11:51 a.m.

AlwaysRight wrote: Equally odd is that you chose not to deal with the fact of radically increasing debt accumulation by both political parties although, in truth, the Obama administration will probably rack up more than double the debt of the Bush White House.

Indy: Here again, is where you and Lunetta miss the point . . .

Deficits under Obama were created as a result of the economic collapse under Bush.

Further, where was Boehner and McConnell under Bush threatening government shutdowns or defaulting our debt?

They both sat there like ‘good republicans’ and watched Bush double the national debt, create two ‘UNFUNDED’ wars while passing the unfunded Medicare Part D.

And of course, Bush had to cut taxes and immediately start running deficits still believing in the conservative ideology fantasy that tax rates control economic growth.

Taxes are collected to fund government services required by public but as we’ve seen, the process has been distorted by lobbyist that will support huge increases in defense spending while letting ‘poor people’ take the brunt of the failed conservative economic policies . . . even blaming them for the failures.

So you and Lunetta may use the ‘bipartisan’ term but your intent is far from that.


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 11:55 a.m.

technologist wrote: Confirmation of the reasoning in my prior post.

Indy: I guess I’ll have to get back to giving the best daily ‘pat on the back’ award . . . so ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

technologist wrote: CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: What this is is a transfer of wealth from some low-income earners to other low-income earners. Some -- of course, this is so obvious, not rocket science -- some will be better off, will make more, but others are going to lose everything. They're going to lose all of their income, and they're going to lose the first step on the ladder into employment, which is the hope for the future. So it's a high price. You can make your choice, but there isn't a free lunch. They are running ads saying give America a raise, as if it's no cost. It is a cost, and it's other low income people who will be the ones who pay it.

Indy: This is just a good recital of a failed libertarian market fundamentalist point of view that is detacted from the world the ‘rest of us live in’.

But give Charles some credit for ‘disguising’ the issue again blaming the poor for being poor. It truly is ‘priceless’ (pun intended).

Raising the minimum wage does indeed transfer wealth from the high income earners that have the income advantages I’ve noted before and will restate again here:

Income Advantage: People with high incomes benefit from several factors including:

a. The low capital gains rate that has them paying a rate that is not consistent with their use of tax funded infrastructure including our military, courts, and transportation infrastructure.

b. They also benefit since their ‘discretionary’ incomes are so much higher they can invest more while most Americans (think stockholders – owners of capital) exist ‘check to check’.

c. They can take advantage of ‘large’ business deals especially in off shoring where huge income gains result from the large ‘wage differentials’ in nations with low wage rates.

d. Having the ability to influence our tax laws (loopholes) provided high income earners access to our leaders where folks like me get to speak to a ‘college intern’ on the phone when I call them.

e. Legal superiority in that those will higher incomes can legally protect their assets versus everyone without such representation (think reading a standard credit card ‘terms and conditions’ that most people don’t read and can’t understand if they did.)


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 12:01 p.m.

technologist wrote: Econ 101: If you increase the price of something, you get less of it. Labor isn't exempt.

Indy: Thanks again for proving my point . . . you only advocate lower and lower paying jobs that indeed map to the oversupply of labor from overpopulation and resource limits.

The bigger issue, however, is the wealthy that have the ‘income advantages’ and are actively ‘concentrating’ wealth don’t want to ‘share it’ when they don’t have to with the existing labor markets that see wages being driven down.

This is sadly something Obama can’t even see with the TPP where the ‘models’ may show increased economic growth while the labor rates continue to fall globally.

And understandably so as wages will be used to distributed the limited resources to more and more people.

The only issue here is that the wealthy who control the financial, legal, and capital, since see their wealth concentrate even if more people are living in poverty worldwide.


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 1:50 p.m.

"Indy: I don’t really have to say anything ... you’ve made the point ... and the students that walked out on your Harvard introduction course economist get it as well."

Because you can't, i.e. the wealth disparity has been basically static since 1962. And the little Marxists walked out to attend "Occupy Boston", perhaps hoping for student loan "forgiveness".


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 1:56 p.m.

"The oversupply of ‘unskilled labor’ results from the lack of resources to fund the education."

We've already gone over this. There is no lack of funding. The issue is the education monopoly and misallocation of the resources provided.

A repeated assertion, despite evidence to the contrary, doesn't make it so, Indy.

WASHINGTON The United States spends more than other developed nations on its students' education each year, with parents and private foundations picking up more of the costs, an international survey released Tuesday found.

Despite the spending, U.S. students still trail their rivals on international tests.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 2:03 p.m.

"But let’s stay focused on the minimum wage and realize that you’ve admitted that there is a scarcity of jobs."

I stated there's a global glut of unskilled labor. There are jobs for those with the skill set to operate in an advanced economy.

That, by the way, doesn't include anyone with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. Those *may* be qualified to be a Starbucks Barista Trainee if they've had no prior work experience. --edited.


AlwaysRight: Posted: February 19, 2014 2:08 p.m.

Indy- by your same rationale, the Recession experienced in the latter part of the Bush Administration was actually due to a housing market collapse created by the Clinton Administration policy of easy credit to non credit-worthy borrowers. So, Bush is responsible for nothing yet Democrats responsible for everything. Your logic is highly flawed.

Bottom line: the facts are clear. The Obama White House will increase the debt limit by almost double what the Bush Administration did. Both are guilty. But, one may argue that one is more guilty than the other. That is no talking point, simply truth.


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 2:11 p.m.

"Indy: Thanks again for proving my point . . . you only advocate lower and lower paying jobs that indeed map to the oversupply of labor from overpopulation and resource limits."

Wrong. I advocate high value, high skill, high paying jobs for those with the requisite skills. That begins with entry level jobs, experience and education.


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 2:51 p.m.

"Citizens United was a declaration of war by the wealthy on everyone else. I accept the challenge and I will do everything I can to either bring down the rich or loosen their grip on my country some other way."

Um…you may want to check with the ACLU on that.

"Unfortunately, legitimate concern over the influence of “big money” in politics has led some to propose a constitutional amendment to reverse the decision. The ACLU will firmly oppose any constitutional amendment that would limit the free speech clause of the First Amendment."

https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-and-citizens-united


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 4:33 p.m.


technologist wrote: "Indy: I don’t really have to say anything ... you’ve made the point ... and the students that walked out on your Harvard introduction course economist get it as well."

Because you can't, i.e. the wealth disparity has been basically static since 1962. And the little Marxists walked out to attend "Occupy Boston", perhaps hoping for student loan "forgiveness".

Indy: Sadly the poster becomes a ‘fatalist’ due to the reality he doesn’t understand basic economics and business and thus just accepts what he sees helpless to change anything. I don’t suffer from that malady.

I’ve put forth the ‘income advantages’ being used by the wealthy that is concentrating income yet the poster just ‘ignores’ what doesn’t fit nicely into his ideology based libertarian ‘worldview’.

That’s the value of these types of forums where you can actually witness those that fail to support their positions and just cite the problem without fully understanding the factors in play.

The real shame is not even asking questions that would make the ‘debate’ more informative for all.


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 4:43 p.m.

technologist wrote: "The oversupply of ‘unskilled labor’ results from the lack of resources to fund the education."

We've already gone over this. There is no lack of funding. The issue is the education monopoly and misallocation of the resources provided.

Indy: Not an unexpected reply from a ‘market fundamentalism’ that sees no limits!

He assumes we have enough funding to properly educate our youth and that hasn’t been the case for 40 years . . . .

Sadly, he sees public education as a ‘monopoly’ apart from the ‘private schools’ that most parents in the state ‘can’t’ afford.

And so it today with public education where republicans resist taxes for same or confronting the public with the reality they may not be able to afford ‘quality education’.

So conservatives just watch the public education infrastructure collapse ‘blaming’ teachers, students, and parents while they recite their ideology claims that don’t map to the reality.


technologist wrote: A repeated assertion, despite evidence to the contrary, doesn't make it so, Indy.

Indy: Hearing that from you is funny . . .

technologist wrote: WASHINGTON The United States spends more than other developed nations on its students' education each year, with parents and private foundations picking up more of the costs, an international survey released Tuesday found. Despite the spending, U.S. students still trail their rivals on international tests.

Indy: I wonder if the source or this poster realizes that living a nation like the US costs more to live here than other nations . . . thus using this comparison for spending is inappropriate and simply wrong.

In any event, there’s no attempt to see the reality by this poster what US students face especially in poverty areas.

And rather than address the resource shortcomings, we get articles comparing ‘apples or oranges’ as if that’s going to effect the outcomes we see even here in CA where we’ve been dropping out more than 1 student in 4 for 40 years . . . and during that time, conservatives have ‘blamed’ again, the teachers, students and parents, all of which need our help and resources to be successful.


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 4:47 p.m.

technologist wrote: "But let’s stay focused on the minimum wage and realize that you’ve admitted that there is a scarcity of jobs."

I stated there's a global glut of unskilled labor. There are jobs for those with the skill set to operate in an advanced economy.

Indy: It’s indeed interesting to see the power of ideology over a person as we see here . . . . that will continue to reject scarcity and assert that if only people had more education, they would all be employed . . . completely ignoring the resource reality that faces us all globally.

technologist wrote: That, by the way, doesn't include anyone with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. Those *may* be qualified to be a Starbucks Barista Trainee if they've had no prior work experience. --edited.

Indy: And again, what response from a conservative without criticizing those with ‘liberal arts’ education must like this poster has I presume . . . it’s frightening.


PS - the 'advanced economy', that's a good one . . . considering some 15,000 to 30,000 people die each day on this 'fixed rock in space' from lack of food, clean water, and sanitation.


Indy: Posted: February 19, 2014 4:54 p.m.

AlwaysRight wrote: Indy- by your same rationale, the Recession experienced in the latter part of the Bush Administration was actually due to a housing market collapse created by the Clinton Administration policy of easy credit to non credit-worthy borrowers. So, Bush is responsible for nothing yet Democrats responsible for everything. Your logic is highly flawed.

Indy: The collapse started Clinton signing the ‘Financial Moderization Act’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_Services_Modernization_Act ).

Then the over speculation began by financial companies that were creating financial instruments that had no value including creating ‘quasi’ insurance policies from companies that hadn’t the assets to cover same.

The government didn’t force any bank to lend any money to anyone . . . that’s the RNC talking point that you’ve circulated here many times before.

Bush just sat by ‘praying to his God’ that the you know what didn’t hit the fan . . . hoping that you can ‘force’ economic growth with financial funny money instruments

In any event, the basis for your comment about ‘easy credit’ is found in the issue of ‘Redlining’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_lining ) which the government fines people who discriminate against minorities. That’s not forcing banks to lend funny money . . . and the huge settlements against JP Morgan, I believe over $10 billion dollars for making bad loans speaks for itself.

AlwaysRight wrote Bottom line: the facts are clear. The Obama White House will increase the debt limit by almost double what the Bush Administration did. Both are guilty. But, one may argue that one is more guilty than the other. That is no talking point, simply truth.

Indy: I find those that stay focused on conservative talking points (just tune in to Fox for examples) simply can’t understand what has taken place economically as if the economic collapse under Bush 2 didn’t happen!!!

And to be fair to you, when you’re consumed by conservative ideology thought that limits the exposure to other factors in play including statistics in context, it’s understandable through repetition as to what you believe is ‘truth’.


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 5:56 p.m.

"Indy: I wonder if the source or this poster realizes that living a nation like the US costs more to live here than other nations . . . thus using this comparison for spending is inappropriate and simply wrong."

Other posters have described your "research" as sloppy. Personally, I think you just make stuff up to align with your ideology and because you do, you naturally think others operate in the same manner.

So here's some "statistics in context":

The education statistics I provided were for OECD Countries. The list is here:

http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/list-oecd-member-countries.htm

Since you don't have relatives in Switzerland like I do, the "guest readers" may forgive your ignorance. I won't because you're insufferably arrogant.

Indices Difference Info
Consumer Prices in Los Angeles, CA are 56.86% lower than in Zurich
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Los Angeles, CA are 48.20% lower than in Zurich
Rent Prices in Los Angeles, CA are 28.38% lower than in Zurich
Restaurant Prices in Los Angeles, CA are 54.70% lower than in Zurich
Groceries Prices in Los Angeles, CA are 62.94% lower than in Zurich
Local Purchasing Power in Los Angeles, CA is 4.43% higher than in Zurich

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Switzerland&country2=United+States&city1=Zurich&city2=Los+Angeles%2C+CA


technologist: Posted: February 19, 2014 6:27 p.m.

When the NYT still had a shred of intellectual integrity, this:

The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00

"If a higher minimum means fewer jobs, why does it remain on the agenda of some liberals? A higher minimum would undoubtedly raise the living standard of the majority of low-wage workers who could keep their jobs. That gain, it is argued, would justify the sacrifice of the minority who became unemployable. The argument isn't convincing. Those at greatest risk from a higher minimum would be young, poor workers, who already face formidable barriers to getting and keeping jobs."

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/14/opinion/the-right-minimum-wage-0.00.html


ricketzz: Posted: February 20, 2014 5:43 a.m.

I doubt the ACLU would block an Amendment that states that inherent rights belong only to natural persons and that money doesn't equal speech. That is what movetoamend.org is about.

Technologist still has trouble separating op-ed from straight news, I see.


technologist: Posted: February 20, 2014 8:33 a.m.

That is not an op-ed. It's the position on Citizens United directly from the ACLU web site. The difficulty is yours, former journalist.

https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-and-citizens-united


AlwaysRight: Posted: February 20, 2014 2:24 p.m.

Indy- is it so difficult to come to the place where you admit that Democrats have some culpability in the current issue? I have admitted that Republicans are responsible as well as Democrats. You, on the other hand, seem incapable of this conclusion.

You merely spout DNC talking points and regurgitate the same poorly understood economic and scientific rationale for your radical extreme positions. Unfortunate.

This is the same stiff-necked, recalcitrant attitude that causes gridlock and ineffective government. The ability to see another viewpoint and compromise is the cornerstone of our governmental process. It is unfortunate that you cannot see that, even in a blog that means relatively little other than entertainment for our blogger community.

But, every story needs a villain. Just like stevehw, you have become the villain that makes the story interesting.


Indy: Posted: February 20, 2014 5:07 p.m.

technologist wrote: "Indy: I wonder if the source or this poster realizes that living a nation like the US costs more to live here than other nations . . . thus using this comparison for spending is inappropriate and simply wrong."

Other posters have described your "research" as sloppy. Personally, I think you just make stuff up to align with your ideology and because you do, you naturally think others operate in the same manner.

Indy: Of course religious conservative libertarian market fundamentalism ideologues reject anything that doesn’t map neatly to their closely held beliefs! Hello!

technologist wrote: "So here's some "statistics in context":

The education statistics I provided were for OECD Countries. The list is here:

http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/list-oecd-member-countries.htm

Since you don't have relatives in Switzerland like I do, the "guest readers" may forgive your ignorance. I won't because you're insufferably arrogant.

Indy: The reality is that we have to deal with the kids here in the US not a foreign land.

And obviously our public education system is failing far too many students and even those graduating are lacking basic knowledge and thinking skills that leave them susceptible to the slogans that are used as a proxy for real ‘leadership’!

So while it appears that comparing statistics as you’ve noted may be appropriate but as we see, they don’t address the fundamental problems with our public schools.

So be careful is trying to support your ‘less resources for public schools’ as the ‘solution’ when the results simply don’t support you.


Indy: Posted: February 20, 2014 5:13 p.m.

technologist wrote: When the NYT still had a shred of intellectual integrity, this:

The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00

"If a higher minimum means fewer jobs, why does it remain on the agenda of some liberals? A higher minimum would undoubtedly raise the living standard of the majority of low-wage workers who could keep their jobs. That gain, it is argued, would justify the sacrifice of the minority who became unemployable. The argument isn't convincing. Those at greatest risk from a higher minimum would be young, poor workers, who already face formidable barriers to getting and keeping jobs."

Indy: If you’ve actually read my posts here you’ll see that the media is failing us . . .

Many of those that write for these newspapers are poorly educated in the subject matter. Many lack even the most basic subject expertise they write about.

And it’s just shameful as we see writings such as this that miss the big picture including the oversupply of labor that is driving wages down and making it impossible for many workers to work and get out of poverty.

And again, the risk to the poor is the lack of good public education especially in minority areas.

As we’ve seen in CA, republicans that have represented me over the last 2 decades ‘fight’ against adequate funding and again, just fire up the ‘blame game’ blaming teachers placed in overcrowded classrooms, the kids in the same predicament and the parents who feel helpless over the whole situation as politicians pronounce their unqualified support for quality education while ‘sitting back’ and watching more than 1 student in 4 drop out over the last 30+ years!

Why not go check out what Wilk and Knight have at their websites to address the drop out problem and report back . . .


technologist: Posted: February 20, 2014 5:41 p.m.

Why press for a minimum wage increase that will reduce labor force participation? The disadvantaged need access to the labor market, not a higher barrier to entry.


technologist: Posted: February 20, 2014 5:50 p.m.

"And obviously our public education system is failing far too many students and even those graduating are lacking basic knowledge and thinking skills.…"

Concur. I take it you concede that funding isn't the issue, as you asserted. I trust you won't raise that as an issue in future postings.

Moving forward, what reforms to the public education system do you advocate to encourage critical thinking skills and graduation rates?


ricketzz: Posted: February 21, 2014 6:33 a.m.

" Thus, the ACLU supports a comprehensive and meaningful system of public financing that would help create a level playing field for every qualified candidate. We support carefully drawn disclosure rules. We support reasonable limits on campaign contributions and we support stricter enforcement of existing bans on coordination between candidates and super PACs."

Not exactly a libertarian absolutist stance.

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/14/opinion/the-right-minimum-wage-0.00.html is an op-ed.


technologist: Posted: February 21, 2014 2:11 p.m.

True. But the ACLU agrees that Citizens United is Constitutional.

Yes, the NYT was an op-ed. You need to be specific when you're telling me I don't know the difference.

This isn't an op-ed:

The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44995


Indy: Posted: February 21, 2014 3:05 p.m.

technologist wrote: Why press for a minimum wage increase that will reduce labor force participation? The disadvantaged need access to the labor market, not a higher barrier to entry.

Indy:
Raising the minimum wage does not destroy jobs
by David Cay Johnston Feb. 11, 2014
Both economic theory and evidence demonstrate no correlation between the two
http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/2/minimum-wage-jobsemployment.html

“What could be more intuitive than the idea that raising the national minimum wage would mean fewer jobs?

You don’t have to take an economics course to know that when apple prices rise, people buy fewer apples and that when prices fall, people buy more.

Yet as intuitive and simple as this concept seems, it is false. Neither economic theory nor a large and growing body of empirical evidence supports the idea that a higher minimum wage means fewer jobs. Nor does it mean decimated profits for small-business owners or for big companies that rely on low-wage workers”

For reference: David Cay Boyle Johnston[1] (born December 24, 1948) is an American investigative journalist and author, a specialist in economics and tax issues, and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.
Since 2009 he has been a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer who teaches the tax, property and regulatory law of the ancient world at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.'[2] From July 2011 until September 2012 he was a columnist for Reuters, writing, and producing video commentaries, on worldwide issues of tax, accounting, economics, public finance and business. Johnston is the board president of Investigative Reporters and Editors.[3]


Indy: Posted: February 21, 2014 3:08 p.m.

technologist wrote: "And obviously our public education system is failing far too many students and even those graduating are lacking basic knowledge and thinking skills.…"

Concur. I take it you concede that funding isn't the issue, as you asserted. I trust you won't raise that as an issue in future postings.

Indy: LOL

technologist wrote: Moving forward, what reforms to the public education system do you advocate to encourage critical thinking skills and graduation rates?

Indy: We need to ‘properly fund’ our public education system or at least tell the public the truth that they really can’t afford ‘quality education’ if they want tax rates lower than can meet the ‘demand’ of the number of students in k-12.

As we have seen with this poster, his view is that ‘resources’ shouldn’t be provided if other nations spend less than we do as if we’re going to move our nation’s public schools to the nation’s he suggest . . . his favorite being Switzerland!


CaptGene: Posted: February 21, 2014 6:33 p.m.

Another great example of Indy Nile's commitment to his art! Technologist posts information from the CBO, Indy Nile counters with an opinion piece from Aljazerra!

I wonder if he has writers that come up with these gags, or if it just comes naturally to him...either way it is truly laugh out loud funny!


technologist: Posted: February 21, 2014 6:41 p.m.

"Indy: I wonder if the source or this poster realizes that living a nation like the US costs more to live here than other nations . . . thus using this comparison for spending is inappropriate and simply wrong."

"Indy: So while it appears that comparing statistics as you’ve noted may be appropriate but as we see, they don’t address the fundamental problems with our public schools."

"Indy: We need to ‘properly fund’ our public education system or at least tell the public the truth that they really can’t afford ‘quality education’ if they want tax rates lower than can meet the ‘demand’ of the number of students in k-12."

Your positions are completely disingenuous and intellectually bankrupt, Indy. Always a pleasure exposing your assertions as fraudulent shills for spending in the public sector. --edited.


ricketzz: Posted: February 22, 2014 5:29 a.m.

David Cay Johnston is a very wise man and a great voice for The People v The Corporation. He can tell you very clearly who is getting taken to the cleaners, by whom and who profits from it. Between Johnston and John Perkins (corporate hit man) you get a very complete picture of who really runs the world.

Aljazeera is a website where many opinion pieces are published. If you check their contributor list I'm sure you'd find somebody you might like. There is a much bigger universe out there, just drop your pre-conceived (prejudiced) ideas and explore.


CaptGene: Posted: February 22, 2014 7:29 a.m.

Thanks, ricketzz, but I'll take a report from the Congressional Budget Office (Nonpartisan Analysis for the U. S. Congress) over the opinion of some lefty partisan hack. You do realize there's a difference, don't you? Of course you do, when it fits your agenda:

ricketzz:
Posted: February 20, 2014

"Technologist still has trouble separating op-ed from straight news, I see."

http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/114452/

Hypocrite.


emheilbrun: Posted: February 22, 2014 7:29 a.m.

Indy, you often write about the dropout rates in our schools, implying that if only the brutal Republicans would just get out of the way and let the gentle-hearted Democrats spend what is necessary (increasing taxes if necessary) more kids would graduate. Actual statistics from the chart I linked to say otherwise.

Do some research on dropout rates by race and ethnicity. Then look at out of wedlock births by race and ethnicity. Hmmmm....interesting correlation.

Remember the Clinton slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!"? Well, when it comes to education, "It's the parents, stupid!" When parents understand the value and importance of education relative to their child's success in life, that kid is not likely to dropout. When the parents aren't there for their kids, no amount of money will overcome that.

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/www.intellectualtakeout.org/files/LowGraduationRatesWellFundedDistricts.jpg


emheilbrun: Posted: February 22, 2014 7:34 a.m.

Try this link...

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/chart-graph/low-graduation-rates-common-well-funded-city-school-districts


technologist: Posted: February 22, 2014 9:14 a.m.

Given Indy's repeated demonstrations of statistical incompetence, do you expect him to abandon his ideology that "low" educational spending = high drop out rates? Successful rebuttals don't present an obstacle to parroting of the union talking points that Indy was/is invested in.


emheilbrun: Posted: February 22, 2014 9:34 a.m.

I don't expect him to respond. He ignores what doesn't align with his ability to cut and paste. What I'm also curious about is his repeated reference to an oversupply of labor coupled with his allegience to a steady state economy. In other words, too many people, too few jobs. If he doent't advocate economic growth to create jobs, that only leaves eliminating people. One can only imagine what he has in mind.


technologist: Posted: February 22, 2014 10:07 a.m.

Indeed, emheilbrun. Note that Indy frequently applies the adjective "frightening" to those opposed to his Malthusian theories. Without irony, he writes in an exchange with JC:

"Estimates done by biologist who understand the ‘demands’ we place on the environment estimate that a world population of about 2 billion could exist indefinitely." - Indy

"Thus, the question is do you use that strategy of ‘die off’ or start educating the people in family planning to live within the means of the environment they inhabit." - Indy

I inquired but never received a response to this:

"You're aware, if you've read links I've provided in the past, that the global birth rate is declining dramatically. Surely you understand that to achieve a reduction in human population by a net 5B to your supposed sustainable carrying capacity of 2B would require draconian measures far beyond education to achieve.

What would those be and what's the timeline to avoid the foretold apocalypse, Indy?"

To your point, emheilbrun, what is Indy advocating? Do you consider his position "frightening" and a harkening back to ideas that "don't work in the modern world"?




emheilbrun: Posted: February 22, 2014 10:33 a.m.

Sadly, Indy will not comment. But with his MBA business acumen, combined with an engineering degree, who knows what he is capable of. Frightening indeed!


Indy: Posted: February 22, 2014 2:24 p.m.

CaptGene wrote: Another great example of Indy Nile's commitment to his art! Technologist posts information from the CBO, Indy Nile counters with an opinion piece from Aljazerra!

Indy: Again the poster embarrasses himself and sets his conservative causes back decades . . . I can only hope that he continues to embrace Jon Stewart, someone that can really help him understand the failings of his conservativism not to mention his personal failure here at this site.

CaptGene wrote: I wonder if he has writers that come up with these gags, or if it just comes naturally to him...either way it is truly laugh out loud funny!

Indy: It’s C(omedy)aptG(old)ene! (Hey, you have to have some fun with these old codgers . . . that sit home at their ‘thrones’ and try to impress us with their ‘quick quips’!)


Indy: Posted: February 22, 2014 2:29 p.m.

technologist wrote: "Indy: I wonder if the source or this poster realizes that living a nation like the US costs more to live here than other nations . . . thus using this comparison for spending is inappropriate and simply wrong."

"Indy: So while it appears that comparing statistics as you’ve noted may be appropriate but as we see, they don’t address the fundamental problems with our public schools."

"Indy: We need to ‘properly fund’ our public education system or at least tell the public the truth that they really can’t afford ‘quality education’ if they want tax rates lower than can meet the ‘demand’ of the number of students in k-12."

Your positions are completely disingenuous and intellectually bankrupt, Indy. Always a pleasure exposing your assertions as fraudulent shills for spending in the public sector. --edited.

Indy: Notice that he completely ‘IGNORED’ the reference from Mr. Johnston . . . and thus when you can’t debate the topic; you get the standard libertarian ‘whiner/crier’ response. Sad, isn’t it?


But we'll have lots more to come on this minimum wage issue from Mr. Johnston . . .


Indy: Posted: February 22, 2014 2:34 p.m.

technologist wrote: Given Indy's repeated demonstrations of statistical incompetence, do you expect him to abandon his ideology that "low" educational spending = high drop out rates? Successful rebuttals don't present an obstacle to parroting of the union talking points that Indy was/is invested in.

Indy: Not surprising that this poster continues to ignore the problems with public education and seemingly is oblivious to the issues facing our kids.

All we get are specific libertarian links that support that ideology while the kids get the short end of the conservative stick.

Sad, the local republican machine that nominates candidates have been putting forth folks that simply deny our kids schools proper funding.

These folks also dismiss the challenges many of the kids face in minority areas and argue for ‘lower wages’ so these folks can still work ‘while in poverty’.

This the libertarian ‘vision’ for our future as demonstrated by this poster.

Follow him at your own risk and that of your children . . . when they drop out from improper funding, he’ll be here with some libertarian ‘links’ to put your ‘mind’ at ease!


Indy: Posted: February 22, 2014 2:41 p.m.

emheilbrun wrote: I don't expect him to respond. He ignores what doesn't align with his ability to cut and paste. What I'm also curious about is his repeated reference to an oversupply of labor coupled with his allegience to a steady state economy. In other words, too many people, too few jobs. If he doent't advocate economic growth to create jobs, that only leaves eliminating people. One can only imagine what he has in mind.

Indy: I think the poster has quite nicely summarized why conservatives don’t understand basic business and economics.

These folks look to their ideology to support them even as I’ve shown it doesn’t work.

It’s too much to ask to completely help this guy out in one post since he has some areas that he simply can’t grasp or understand.

This is the problem with people not educated in economics or business that nevertheless participate at sites like this and continue to expose their economic ignorance.

Granted, they like to cite links but they can’t see the bigger picture.

Part of this issue is from the self-interested conservative media outlets like Fox that encourage this type of nonsense.

So you, the guest reader, will have to decide if their ideology presentations are going to help your kids and fellow Americans.

Finally, keep in mind this type of conservative ‘worldview’ is shared by our local politicians . . . the same ones that promise you ‘quality education’ while the state has dropped out more than 1 kid in 4 for 30+ years!

Perhaps the Tech poster can arrange for your kids to be educated in Switzerland!


technologist: Posted: February 22, 2014 2:49 p.m.

"All we get are specific libertarian links that support that ideology while the kids get the short end of the conservative stick." - Indy

Is this how you categorize the CBO or the CBS links provided? This is why no one takes your ideological screeds seriously, Indy. You're at war with facts and the personal attacks discredit themselves.

You've been outflanked by data and logic, Indy. It's time to concede or render yourself to a greater degee of irrelevance.


Indy: Posted: February 22, 2014 2:49 p.m.

technologist wrote: (Indy: "Estimates done by biologist who understand the ‘demands’ we place on the environment estimate that a world population of about 2 billion could exist indefinitely." - Indy

"Thus, the question is do you use that strategy of ‘die off’ or start educating the people in family planning to live within the means of the environment they inhabit." - Indy

I inquired but never received a response to this:

"You're aware, if you've read links I've provided in the past, that the global birth rate is declining dramatically. Surely you understand that to achieve a reduction in human population by a net 5B to your supposed sustainable carrying capacity of 2B would require draconian measures far beyond education to achieve.

What would those be and what's the timeline to avoid the foretold apocalypse, Indy?" To your point, emheilbrun, what is Indy advocating? Do you consider his position "frightening" and a harkening back to ideas that "don't work in the modern world"?

Indy: Here again, the poster can’t literally see the forest through the trees . . . since religious conservatives ‘ignore’ the population issue and believe that technology and unlimited economic growth will make difficult decisions unnecessary . . . if only that were true.

But alas our local conservative gadflies will try to put the ‘fear’ into you to I guess negate the fear they have that their basic principles are failing.

Energy per capita is flat or falling in the world as ‘fixed’ amounts of fossil fuels that took millions of years to form are being used by more and more people. The planet today continues to grow by some net 70 million people per year.

As this population grows and enters the work force, the global wage rates will be used to distribute ‘limited resources’ as we even see here in the US with extended unemployment not to mention the conservative push to ‘eliminate’ the minimum wage.

In any event, our leaders here in the US I guess are afraid to address the population issue knowing the religious community will literally revolt. This issue isn’t a ‘vote getter’ thus it will have to be pushed by those that recognize the resources issues in play.

So let the libertarian play his world games while I continue to solve our global problems.


Indy: Posted: February 22, 2014 2:53 p.m.

technologist wrote: "All we get are specific libertarian links that support that ideology while the kids get the short end of the conservative stick." - Indy

Is this how you categorize the CBO or the CBS links provided? This is why no one takes your ideological screeds seriously, Indy. You're at war with facts and the personal attacks discredit themselves.

Indy: The conservative based ideology conclusions that you get from these reports are not addressing the issues we have before us. Sorry you can’t see that. But please, try again! Try thinking outside the ‘box’ that you’re left in and see if that helps.

Ignoring what doesn't fit your worldvies is a hint . . .

technologist wrote: You've been outflanked by data and logic, Indy. It's time to concede or render yourself to a greater degee of irrelevance.

Indy: You have to remember that using your libertarian ideology creates circular loops that all try to support your ideology but do so based on false assertions and assumptions.

Your constant attempt to support your positions with patting yourself on the back must be seen by any academic as pathetic and embarrassing.

In any event, there’s still lots to reveal with respect to the weaknesses of your libertarianism . . . so indeed, I’ve got my work cut out!


technologist: Posted: February 22, 2014 2:53 p.m.

How do you propose to reduce global population to your assertion of a "sustainable" 2 billion before doomsday, Indy?


emheilbrun: Posted: February 22, 2014 3:23 p.m.

Indy the MBA wrote: "Follow him at your own risk and that of your children . . . when they drop out from improper funding, he’ll be here with some libertarian ‘links’ to put your ‘mind’ at ease!"

I'm going to repeat my earlier post.

Indy, you often write about the dropout rates in our schools, implying that if only the brutal Republicans would just get out of the way and let the gentle-hearted Democrats spend what is necessary (increasing taxes if necessary) more kids would graduate. Actual statistics from the chart I linked to say otherwise.

Do some research on dropout rates by race and ethnicity. Then look at out of wedlock births by race and ethnicity. Hmmmm....interesting correlation.

Remember the Clinton slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!"? Well, when it comes to education, "It's the parents, stupid!" When parents understand the value and importance of education relative to their child's success in life, that kid is not likely to dropout. When the parents aren't there for their kids, no amount of money will overcome that.

Here's my ideology and you can label it however you like. When it comes to a child's success in school, loving, caring parents are infinitely more important than if the per pupil spending is $9,000; $10,000; or $15,0000 at that kid's school.

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/chart-graph/low-graduation-rates-common-well-funded-city-school-districts


emheilbrun: Posted: February 22, 2014 3:45 p.m.

Indy the delusional MBA wrote, "So let the libertarian play his world games while I continue to solve our global problems."

Then he wrote, "Ignoring what doesn't fit your worldvies is a hint . . ."

Worldvies? Shouldn't you learn to spell before solving our global problems? Just sayin'. I would be curious to see your list of global problems and how many you have been able to check off.


technologist: Posted: February 22, 2014 4:46 p.m.

Indy is too busy continuing to "solve our global problems" from his little desktop cubby to proofread his posts, emheilbrun. It is, no doubt, the burden of genius. Just ask him.


technologist: Posted: February 22, 2014 5:25 p.m.

Solve this: "How do you propose to reduce global population to your assertion of a "sustainable" 2 billion before doomsday, Indy?"


emheilbrun: Posted: February 22, 2014 5:35 p.m.

I bet he wears a cape with a big I on the back. If you're gonna be a superhero, might as well dress the part. Indyman, no global problem is a match for our hero with the CSUN MBA. I will sleep well tonight.


technologist: Posted: February 22, 2014 5:49 p.m.

The great "I" is on us all, emheilbrun. Will he be on the Davos guest list? Better yet, will Indy enthrall the assembled with his wisdom?


CaptGene: Posted: February 22, 2014 5:52 p.m.

I never read an entire Indy Nile screed, but when I do read a piece of one, I imagine it in Ted Baxter's voice.

If you do that you'll realize I'm right, it's performance art.


technologist: Posted: February 22, 2014 6:32 p.m.

If it's performance art, it's a slow moving train wreck, a monk on fire, a building demolition, Russian Roulette with all chambers filled, etc.


ricketzz: Posted: February 23, 2014 7:40 a.m.

Here's how we are reducing the population to a more sustainable number. Global Warming is good for you.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/639742/climate-change-severe-food-water-shortage-on-the-horizon/

Climate change will pose sharp risks to the world’s food supply in coming decades, potentially undermining crop production and driving up prices at a time when the demand for food is expected to soar, scientists have found.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/02/science/earth/science-panel-warns-of-risks-to-food-supply-from-climate-change.html?_r=0


technologist: Posted: February 23, 2014 8:37 a.m.

Will those dire predictions from the climate seers at the NYT kill off 5B of the global population to meet Indy's "sustainability" requirements? If so, when?


technologist: Posted: February 23, 2014 4:27 p.m.

"Perhaps the Tech poster can arrange for your kids to be educated in Switzerland!" - Indy

Miffed when your fraudulent Leftist talking points are eviscerated by facts and figures? Your reactionary ideological rants about "religion", "conservatives", "libertarians", "Fox", "work cut out", etc. are just delicious. Driving the ideologically impure from society is a full time job, eh? Perhaps the L.A. Times will remove the bans and relieve some of the pressure you feel within.

Thinking ahead, I must put aside some cigars and cognac for a Schadenfreude Toast in your honor this November, Indy.


Indy: Posted: February 23, 2014 5:39 p.m.

emheilbrun wrote: Indy the delusional MBA wrote, "So let the libertarian play his world games while I continue to solve our global problems."

Then he wrote, "Ignoring what doesn't fit your worldvies is a hint . . ."

Worldvies? Shouldn't you learn to spell before solving our global problems? Just sayin'. I would be curious to see your list of global problems and how many you have been able to check off.

Indy: Thanks again for making my point . . . there's my quick quip . . .


Indy: Posted: February 23, 2014 5:40 p.m.

technologist wrote: Indy is too busy continuing to "solve our global problems" from his little desktop cubby to proofread his posts, emheilbrun. It is, no doubt, the burden of genius. Just ask him.

Indy: When you want conservative libertarians to demonstrate their lack of ability to defend their positions, boy do they deliver . . .


Indy: Posted: February 23, 2014 5:55 p.m.

ricketzz wrote: Here's how we are reducing the population to a more sustainable number. Global Warming is good for you.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/639742/climate-change-severe-food-water-shortage-on-the-horizon/

Indy: Unfortunately for the people referenced in the article, the conservatives here don’t read these type of articles since they aren’t in the ‘list’ of links at their conservative websites.

Even as I write this as many as 15,000+ people (about 1/3 of them children . . . ) die every day from lack of food, clean water and sanitation . . . yet the conservative libertarian dismisses this by simply referencing ideology positions that haven’t address this issue for my entire adult life.

I guess, however, you can give these folks credit for at least finding spelling mistakes . . .

ricketzz wrote: Climate change will pose sharp risks to the world’s food supply in coming decades, potentially undermining crop production and driving up prices at a time when the demand for food is expected to soar, scientists have found.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/02/science/earth/science-panel-warns-of-risks-to-food-supply-from-climate-change.html?_r=0

Indy: Sadly, conservatives for the most part reject the science of climate change . . . as I guess they pray to their God that technology will save us . . . even though technology today is driving the unsustainable extraction of resources to which the burning of fossil fuels is a primary driver of climate change.

Reminds me of the decades of people dying from smoking as ‘free market’ conservatives were telling us that curbing smoking would be a ‘job killer’ . . . I wish I was making this up . . .

In any event, thanks for the links.


Indy: Posted: February 23, 2014 6:05 p.m.

technologist wrote: Will those dire predictions from the climate seers at the NYT kill off 5B of the global population to meet Indy's "sustainability" requirements? If so, when?

Indy: This is a great example of the libertarian insanity that effects the true ‘market fundamentalist’ that simply can’t even see the sustainability issue . . . and thus tries to infer that people that do want to ‘kill’?

What type of mind dreams that sort of stuff up?

Well, the same mind that ‘ignores’ the reality around us . . . and refuses to acknowledge the issues facing us with ‘sustainable growth’.

In any event, this is also a good example of the failure to understand both the context and logic to address overpopulation . . . in that religious conservatives still fight against non-abortive international family planning by the US!

Here’s a good place to get a summary of the ‘global gag rule’: http://www.genderhealth.org/the_issues/us_foreign_policy/global_gag_rule/

Finally, and even more sadder, the poster is really at the center of the people dying around the world that results from this insistence that we only ‘growth ourselves’ out of the problem while it’s been getting worse ever since Paul Ehrlich introduced in the issue back in 1968 with the book entitled ‘The Population Bomb’.

Paul has written a new book updating the issue: Humanity on a Tightrope: Thoughts on Empathy, Family, and Big Changes for a Viable Future - Paul R. Ehrlich (Author)

In any event you won’t find libertarians reading such books since they simply dismiss the population issue out of hand and believe that technology will empower us to address a ‘unlimited’ economy even though nobody other than libertarians really believe his to be true.

I can only suggest that if you’re interested, start reading reality beyond partisan websites and see what’s going on . . .


emheilbrun: Posted: February 23, 2014 7:40 p.m.

Indy the delusional MBA wrote, "So let the libertarian play his world games while I continue to solve our global problems."

Hey Indy, can you take a break from solving global problems and explain what you mean by "world games".


technologist: Posted: February 23, 2014 8:38 p.m.

Still unanswered.

technologist: Solve this: "How do you propose to reduce global population to your assertion of a "sustainable" 2 billion before doomsday, Indy?"


ricketzz: Posted: February 24, 2014 6:49 a.m.

All the "dire predictions" that have come true so far have been too conservative. The effects are worse than the models suggested.

Air travel sure falls apart fast when there's ice on the ground. These problems will worsen. What if global warming makes the globalist economy impossible? What is your Plan B?


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 10:53 a.m.

technologist wrote: Still unanswered.

technologist: Solve this: "How do you propose to reduce global population to your assertion of a "sustainable" 2 billion before doomsday, Indy?"

Indy: Sadly, the answer to this question has been presented to this poster many times but the reality is that using his biblical references: ‘it is the blind who can’t see’.

Raising awareness to the overpopulation issue is the first step.

In this manner the public will begin to realize that if they have more than the replacement level of children (also known as zero population growth), that those children will have now ‘less’ than before.

Unfortunately, this statement recognizes resource limits something that is rejected by libertarian market fundamentalist that assume the earth is ‘limitless’.

So you can see why the ‘answer’ is not evident to this poster . . .

In any event, even if people of child bearing age did have two children only, the ‘over shoot’ will make the work population go to about 9 billion people.

And as this occurs, we’ll see more economic unrest manifested in the surge of political unrest as people search for answers why wealth is concentrating to the few while the many simply will have less.

Unfortunately, the media is still driven by journalist that have grown accustomed to the political promise of ‘unlmited’ growth such that most of them don’t understand the concept of ‘sustainable growth’. We saw this in the SOTU speech by Obama still promising that we’ll grow ourselves to prosperity even as we ‘ignore’ resource constraints and the overpopulation issue.

I’ll post up some links for those interested in the sustainability issue . . .


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 10:58 a.m.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability

This page has a lot of information but this paragraph more or less summarizes same:

“Sustainability interfaces with economics through the social and environmental consequences of economic activity. Sustainability economics involves ecological economics where social aspects including cultural, health-related and monetary/financial aspects are integrated. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganising living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), reappraising economic sectors (permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or work practices (sustainable architecture), using science to develop new technologies (green technologies, renewable energy and sustainable Fission and Fusion power), to adjustments in individual lifestyles that conserve natural resources. Despite the increased popularity of the use of the term "sustainability", the possibility that human societies will achieve environmental sustainability has been, and continues to be, questioned—in light of environmental degradation, climate change, overconsumption, and societies' pursuit of indefinite economic growth in a closed system.[1][2]”

The authors that wrote this are still leaning to the ‘technology’ solutions by still favoring ‘fission and fusion’ power which are both energy intensive to create and with waste issues, more than likely unsustainable . . . but that’s why it’s important to debate and understand these issues.


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 11:01 a.m.

http://steadystate.org/

This site is geared to ‘sustainable economics’ but will require some changes to the current neoclassical model based on more and more consumption

Here’s the first party of their mission statement:

Mission
The mission of CASSE is to advance the steady state economy, with stabilized population and consumption, as a policy goal with widespread public support. We pursue this mission by:
• educating citizens, organizations, and policy makers on the conflict between economic growth and (1) environmental protection, (2) ecological and economic sustainability, and (3) national security and international stability;
• promoting the steady state economy as a desirable alternative to economic growth;
• studying the means to establish a steady state economy.


emheilbrun: Posted: February 24, 2014 12:37 p.m.

The first 'party' of their mission statement? Mission statements have parties?

Fyi...I looked at the site. Less than 11,000 people have signed the position.


technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 2:31 p.m.

The CASSE mission statement is a ludicrous declaration of hubris. The idea that an omniscient controlling technocracy could balance an extraordinarily complex system of the global economy on a knife edge of "sustainability" is farcical.

The far more likely outcome of preventing economic growth is entropy. The elites have theirs and seek to maintain privilege by preventing the very opportunities that growing prosperity offers.

You support zero economic growth, Indy? Do tell!


technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 2:33 p.m.

"Raising awareness to the overpopulation issue is the first step."

That's not going to eliminate 5 billion of "excess" population, Indy. What are the next steps?


17trillion: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:18 p.m.

"• promoting the steady state economy as a desirable alternative to economic growth"

I'm sure 3 billion Chinese and Indians would be down for that plan Indy. Typically and, dare I say sadly, you've shown that you've got yours and to hell with anyone else that may want a better life. Yea, economic growth really sucks the big one!


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:42 p.m.

technologist wrote: The CASSE mission statement is a ludicrous declaration of hubris. The idea that an omniscient controlling technocracy could balance an extraordinarily complex system of the global economy on a knife edge of "sustainability" is farcical.

Indy: It’s understandable that the mission statement of an organization that ‘sees’ resources being used unsustainably would be ridiculed by a libertarian market fundamentalist dialogue. No surprise here.

And the idea that the interactions of the global economy are beyond the ability of those that exists in it to understand the larger macroeconomic factors in play shows the depth of your economic and business ignorance.

You’ve got to move beyond the ‘definitions’ in the ‘textbooks’ and start ‘thinking’ about what we can actually see and how neoclassical economic models that FAILED to address the market crash in 2007 still form the ‘foundation’ for your economic ideology positions.

technologist wrote: The far more likely outcome of preventing economic growth is entropy. The elites have theirs and seek to maintain privilege by preventing the very opportunities that growing prosperity offers.

Indy: Here the poster like most ideologues recites the ‘intention’ of ‘opportunity’ not realizing the reality facing most people living on this planet, many of whom don’t have access to libertarian ideology websites.

In any event, we do ‘see’ wealth concentrating in America as we’ve witnessed with the top 1% now taking 20%+ of all income ‘up’ from just 8% in 1980 or so.

You have no explanation for this other than reciting the religious conservative belief in ‘hard work’ and again, citing the ‘intent’ of ‘opportunity’ but ignoring the reality in play.

technologist wrote: You support zero economic growth, Indy? Do tell!

Indy: This is a common mistake made by ideologist that sees any recognition of economic scarcity as ‘zero economic growth’.

The reality is that capitalism's shortcomings give the wealthy advantages not available to every American. The poster can’t see that as a reduction of opportunity . . . since it violates some of the basic principles he’s accepted with respect to ‘free market’ theory that continues to ignores the greater picture with respect to economics.

In any event sustainability creates the premise that we ‘grow’ based on the natural constraints that exists here on ‘earth’ not in ideologyland. And the realization that as wealth concentrates, more people become poorer.


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:44 p.m.

17trillion wrote: Indy, How many words does it take for a quip to become non-quick? Just curious. Also, for a MBA you sure make a lot of typos. Normally I wouldn't care since we're all guilty, but for someone like you who constantly brags about his alleged scholastic accomplishments, you would think you would have the basics down by now. Is this still quick and is it a quip? What exactly is a quip anyway? Can one have a slow quip? Can you just have a quip, sans the quick?

Indy: I thank it’s great that you find the occasional typo and feel that pointing it out somehow substantiates your view? LOL

As far as quick quips goes . . . . I think you can figure that one out by yourself.

With respect to scholastic accomplishments, I think it’s sad that conservatives here keep giving me the idea that education is the key to economic success yet you mock those that have it. Why is that?

And would you say go to a plumber if you needed heart surgery?

In any event the tech poster here is embarrassed to cite his education achievements I guess fearing that his background is insufficient to discuss economics and business.

But the real tragedy is for those businessmen like yourself that were successful but lack the foundational concepts beyond selling above cost . . . but at least you did disclose the scope of your business and indeed provided great benefits for your people.

That’s my goal here is to address why wealth in the US in concentrating and essentially locking out most Americans that work full time while living in poverty and what the economics factors in play are creating this inequality.


17trillion: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:54 p.m.

You just copied and pasted the exact post above from a Horton letter!

I cannot believe it Indy! Not only didn't you address the post that I posted and you copied, but you copied a response that had nothing to do with my comment that you copied into your post.

You really are a piece of work!


17trillion: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:55 p.m.

I'm not sure if my comment made sense, but I'm sure guest readers can figure it out.


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:57 p.m.

technologist wrote: "Raising awareness to the overpopulation issue is the first step."

That's not going to eliminate 5 billion of "excess" population, Indy. What are the next steps?

Indy: Notice how the poster completely ignores the context of my remarks and tries to instill ‘fear’ into the guest readers by asserting ‘on his own’ that people are ‘excess’.

This is why those that advocate sustainable growth understand that a world population that grows geometrically is not sustainable.

Here’s what that looks like in graph form: https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Aj8rA9y.mt9g7mDtD6NXChmbvZx4?fr=yfp-t-901-s&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&p=world%20population%20growth%20graph%202014

Here’s what the economic growth graph looks like: https://www.google.com/search?q=world+economic+growth+graph&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=bdoLU-rUJ8Tr2QX0m4CYAg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1463&bih=645#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=3ALdZQGyXmlfvM%253A%3BuK5CauwcM3kkoM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fgailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com%252F2012%252F07%252Fworld-gdp-with-fitted-exponential-trend-lines.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fourfiniteworld.com%252F2012%252F07%252F13%252Fplan-for-lower-growth-in-real-gdp-going-forward%252F%3B754%3B454

So while some nations are growing ‘faster’ mainly since the are starting so low relative to the US, the overall growth rate we see is not able to anywhere address the population as you can ‘see’.

Yet, the poster asserts that his ideology ‘knows different’ and is ready, willing, and motivated to insist he knows better . . . that’s the drawback to ideology that isn’t based on ‘reproducible’ results.

Finally, the key driver for economic growth is ‘energy/capita’. This is flat or falling: http://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/03/12/world-energy-consumption-since-1820-in-charts/

Thus, to support libertarian ideology positions, you have to ignore the reality before us. And it appears that conservatives continue to believe that they are not reciting their ideology strong enough to turn things around . . . even though the economic factors in play don’t support them.

We need a rational global discussion on sustainable growth and how population, resources, and energy in particular are going to ‘dictate’ our future regardless of what free market fundamentalist assert.


technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 3:59 p.m.

"In any event sustainability creates the premise that we ‘grow’ based on the natural constraints that exists here on ‘earth’ not in ideologyland. And the realization that as wealth concentrates, more people become poorer." - Indy

As you frequently assert all resources are finite and/or scarce, do you support zero economic growth, Indy?

"Raising awareness to the overpopulation issue is the first step." - Indy

That's not going to eliminate 5 billion of "excess" population, Indy. What are the next steps?

Are you going to address this as well?


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 4:07 p.m.

17trillion wrote: "• promoting the steady state economy as a desirable alternative to economic growth"

I'm sure 3 billion Chinese and Indians would be down for that plan Indy. Typically and, dare I say sadly, you've shown that you've got yours and to hell with anyone else that may want a better life. Yea, economic growth really sucks the big one!

Indy: Indeed, Paul Ehrlich brought the overpopulation issue to light in 1968, market fundamentalist rejected the reality from then on . . . thus as the world population grew beyond sustainable limits, then the issue you’ve correct noted appeared.

Ignoring it further isn’t going to help . . . and the longer the world is influenced by the few that can profit from population growth even as individuals grow poorer, are powerful in today’s media . . . being careful to create the necessary ‘pro-growth’ slogans that work great in the short run but sell us out long term.

But perhaps the saddest issue is that you infer the motivation of the ‘elite’ to me . . . when I’m addressing their shortcomings and unrealistic expectations for our future by those folks.

So please, don’t speak for me . . . I think I write clearly enough so that conservatives don’t put their ideology beliefs into my words.

Finally, the Chinese have realized that they have to reduce their population to a level that is supportable. That’s the ‘one child’ policy that religious conservatives tend to focus the abortion issue on versus the resource issue.

Sadly, many nations are still dominated by religious leaders including the US that prohibit these types of discussions since many ancient religious and cultural norms were formed thousands of years ago when the earth did appear ‘limitless’ (think the world is flat if you will).

Even Obama was promising unlimited growth in his SOTU speech . . .

Today, however, we know different . . .


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 4:13 p.m.

technologist wrote: "In any event sustainability creates the premise that we ‘grow’ based on the natural constraints that exists here on ‘earth’ not in ideologyland. And the realization that as wealth concentrates, more people become poorer." - Indy

As you frequently assert all resources are finite and/or scarce, do you support zero economic growth, Indy?

Indy: Again, reread what I wrote . . . the answer you seek is there . . .

technologist wrote: "Raising awareness to the overpopulation issue is the first step." - Indy

That's not going to eliminate 5 billion of "excess" population, Indy. What are the next steps?
Are you going to address this as well?

Indy: Recapping, as resources become scarcer, the human die off, already about 15,000 or so per day from lack of food, clean water and sanitation, will grow in number.

No amount of foreign aid from the ‘first world’ will be able to account for that based again on the same economic constraints we face.

Further, conservatives in general but most Americans continue to be disdainful of ‘foreign aid’ which could mitigate some of the suffering.

And to make the catastrophe complete, religious conservatives fight US international non-abortive family planning aid (http://www.genderhealth.org/the_issues/us_foreign_policy/global_gag_rule/ ).

But I guess your position is at least ‘consistent’ in that your assertions about ‘unlimited’ growth nullify any issues with overpopulation.

In any event, keep asking the same questions but the answers that I’ve noted to you are not going to change . . . I have no effect on them per se . . . . but I can call attention to the long term outcomes that are projected.


17trillion: Posted: February 24, 2014 4:24 p.m.

"Indy: Indeed, Paul Ehrlich brought the overpopulation issue to light in 1968, market fundamentalist rejected the reality from then on"

My god Indy, you're quoting someone who was wrong about virtually everything he ever predicted. Guest readers will note that Ehrlich was not only wrong, but mind boggling, never before in the history of being wrong, wrong! You should quote Time magazine about their article in the 70's about the pending ice age.

Anyone who claims to be educated while quoting Ehrlich is more than suspect. I can only surmise that you think that we don't know who is is/was or what a huge failure he was in his predictions. Yes Indy, we rejected him then and we reject him now. Failed predictions from 1968 aren't like wine and cheese. They don't get better with age.


technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 4:33 p.m.

"But I guess your position is at least ‘consistent’ in that your assertions about ‘unlimited’ growth nullify any issues with overpopulation."

You guess would be wrong, but at least you're consistent in misrepresenting the positions of those who deviate from your ideology.

As I've noted, the rate of population increase has and will continue to decline significantly. It's a predictable outcome as global prosperity and education rise.

"In any event, keep asking the same questions but the answers that I’ve noted to you are not going to change …"

Like this?

"As you frequently assert all resources are finite and/or scarce, do you support zero economic growth, Indy?" - technologist

Indy: "Again, reread what I wrote . . . the answer you seek is there . . . "

Do you support zero economic growth? It's a binary question. Here's a template to assist:

_____ Yes

_____ No


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 5:24 p.m.

17trillion wrote: "Indy: Indeed, Paul Ehrlich brought the overpopulation issue to light in 1968, market fundamentalist rejected the reality from then on"

My god Indy, you're quoting someone who was wrong about virtually everything he ever predicted. Guest readers will note that Ehrlich was not only wrong, but mind boggling, never before in the history of being wrong, wrong! You should quote Time magazine about their article in the 70's about the pending ice age.

Indy: Is 15,000 or so human beings dying every day from lack of resources ‘wrong’?

And 30+ year old technology in the 70s, do you still drive a 70s car or a newer one with ‘new’ technology.

The famous economist Malthus has been the conservative market fundamentalism ‘whipping boy’ for centuries asserting that his basic observations were wrong. But where they?

He quite appropriately saw then when ‘local’ resources became ‘limited’, the local population suffered.

Since, then advance in transportation and energy finds have given people the ability to move resources ‘globally’ but the constraints still exist.

Oil isn’t limited. The world’s oceans have over half of the major fishing zones are either depleted or dead. 90% of all the big fish (think tuna) are gone . . .

Technology today is accelerating resource depletion not providing more resources.

But give credit due to the conservative ideologist that using the ‘focus groups’ and are able to convince people with simple minded slogans that they can ignore reality.

17trillion wrote: Anyone who claims to be educated while quoting Ehrlich is more than suspect. I can only surmise that you think that we don't know who is is/was or what a huge failure he was in his predictions. Yes Indy, we rejected him then and we reject him now. Failed predictions from 1968 aren't like wine and cheese. They don't get better with age.

Indy: His failure wasn’t a failure at all . . . most of his principles are being seen today. One of his great detractors, Julian Simon (who's even supported in the local textbook kids read here in SCV-land), is a ‘market fundamentalist’ that made bets with Paul and found that indeed as I noted, technology/energy made up in the short run and hide the scarcity. But that’s no longer the case.

I suggest reading Paul's new book and bring yourself up to speed.


Indy: Posted: February 24, 2014 5:26 p.m.

technologist wrote: "But I guess your position is at least ‘consistent’ in that your assertions about ‘unlimited’ growth nullify any issues with overpopulation."

You guess would be wrong, but at least you're consistent in misrepresenting the positions of those who deviate from your ideology.

As I've noted, the rate of population increase has and will continue to decline significantly. It's a predictable outcome as global prosperity and education rise.

Indy: Dude, I really hope your right, I really do . . . but the circumstances don’t support you.

technologist wrote: "In any event, keep asking the same questions but the answers that I’ve noted to you are not going to change …"

Like this?

"As you frequently assert all resources are finite and/or scarce, do you support zero economic growth, Indy?" - technologist

Indy: "Again, reread what I wrote . . . the answer you seek is there . . . "

Indy: Same response . . . I’ve explained this to you many times but you ignore the answer.

Why is that?


technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 6:08 p.m.

Sophistry, Indy. Parsing your statement wasn't a challenge at all. The clarifying question is for the benefit of others. You refuse to give a plain answer because it's revelatory.

Summarized:

• You stated that growth is possible if resources exist
• Your assertion is that the Earth is ~5 billion beyond its human population carrying capacity
• The corollary to what you posited about carrying capacity is that resources don't exist to support economic growth

Therefore, you advocate zero economic growth and supported it with a URL to an organization that's of the same opinion. Q.E.D.


technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 6:27 p.m.

"Indy: Dude, I really hope your right, I really do . . . but the circumstances don’t support you."

It's a mystery to me why you continue to believe I make unsupported assertions because you do. Considering recent fact based rebuttals to your fallacious assertions about firearm ownership homicide correlation, education spending and now global population projections, you should exercise more caution.

Reference:

The recent downward trend in fertility is unequivocal. At the start of the 20th century average global fertility was about six children per woman. By 1950 world fertility had declined to five children per woman and no country had levels below two children per woman. Over subsequent decades the downward trend in fertility accelerated, and today’s average world fertility stands at 2.5 children per woman. Moreover, 60 countries –as varied as China, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Vietnam, Germany, Iran, Thailand and France – have fertility below two children per woman, representing 42 percent of world population.

Admittedly, it is difficult to imagine such rapid transitions in today’s high-fertility countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. However, rapid transitions from high to low fertility levels have occurred in diverse social, economic and political settings, including Albania, Algeria, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Iran, Mexico, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey and Vietnam – and could happen in other high-fertility countries over the coming decades.

In contrast, the assumption that the fertility of below-replacement nations will return to replacement levels appears dubious. While a future rebound cannot be ruled out – for example, rates rebounded in some European nations after WWII – the general pattern over the last half century has been unmistakable: Once fertility falls below the replacement level, it tends to stay there – especially the case for scores of countries where fertility has declined below 1.5 children per woman, such as Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

- Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division, is research director at the Center for Migration Studies.

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/global-population-10-billion-not-so-fast


technologist: Posted: February 24, 2014 7:25 p.m.

"Raising awareness to the overpopulation issue is the first step." - Indy

"That's not going to eliminate 5 billion of "excess" population, Indy. What are the next steps?" - technologist

Indy: Notice how the poster completely ignores the context of my remarks and tries to instill ‘fear’ into the guest readers by asserting ‘on his own’ that people are ‘excess’.

Really now? I'll restate for the tremulous "guest readers".

That's not going to eliminate 5 billion of population in excess of your asserted Earth carrying capacity, Indy. What are the next steps?


ricketzz: Posted: February 25, 2014 6:12 a.m.

Nobody knows what to do. One thing is certain; the people who led us here have no idea how to repair it; apparently capitalism only works when the game is fixed. There is little profit to be made going forward. We will work to preserve the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, not so much for our outside investors.

The one sure thing going forward is that the old economy really is not capable of working for the common good. It won't function without a reprogram of its prime directive. Making money is going to have to take a back seat to saving lives.

Regarding the "excess" billions of people; be careful what fates you dare with your cavalliere attitude. People are dying by the thousands a day already. If you believe in judgemental deities this is your big test.


technologist: Posted: February 25, 2014 10:46 a.m.

"…apparently capitalism only works when the game is fixed."

"The one sure thing going forward is that the old economy really is not capable of working for the common good."

We're not operating in a free market, capitalist system. To state such a system has failed suggests ignorance of the existing mixed economy and that state interventions are the cause or at least contributor to market failures.

The "reprogram" invariably is presented as a centrally planned economy. That won't work. We do know that a free market system built the greatest benefit for the largest number. We should return to it.

"People are dying by the thousands a day already."

Hmm…is this a new phenomena? Mortality is a 100% certainty.

Did you mean infant mortality, premature death due to war, disease, etc. are rising? Have you examined trends in infant mortality, life expectancy and the like recently?


Indy: Posted: February 25, 2014 4:47 p.m.

technologist wrote: Sophistry, Indy. Parsing your statement wasn't a challenge at all. The clarifying question is for the benefit of others. You refuse to give a plain answer because it's revelatory.

Summarized:
• You stated that growth is possible if resources exist
• Your assertion is that the Earth is ~5 billion beyond its human population carrying capacity
• The corollary to what you posited about carrying capacity is that resources don't exist to support economic growth

Indy: You good to go on the first two but you’re train left the tracks on number three.

The key issue here is whether ‘aggregate’ growth for the few at the expense of the many is our basic premise for future economic growth.

We see that here in the US as the economy grows but the wealth is concentrating.

Globally, the world economy may ‘grow’ in the aggregate as more people die of lack of food, clean water, and sanitation with you excusing that with this comment: “Because I don't presume to govern other nation states and how they allocate resources according to their political and economic systems.”

And that’s consistent with your individualist libertarian market fundamentalism based ‘social darwinism’ that simply celebrates the individual above all else.

technologist wrote: Therefore, you advocate zero economic growth and supported it with a URL to an organization that's of the same opinion. Q.E.D.

Indy: I find that free speech is a wonderful thing even when someone like you tries to embed your ideology beliefs into my comments!

The reality, of course, is different based on what I noted to you above.

And your off hand criticism of an organization looking for ‘sustainable growth’ to eliminate human suffering is something I’m glad you disclosed to the guest readers.

I more or less assumed as much but having you say it ‘out loud’ is very revealing.


Indy: Posted: February 25, 2014 5:01 p.m.

technologist wrote: "Indy: Dude, I really hope your right, I really do . . . but the circumstances don’t support you."

It's a mystery to me why you continue to believe I make unsupported assertions because you do. Considering recent fact based rebuttals to your fallacious assertions about firearm ownership homicide correlation, education spending and now global population projections, you should exercise more caution.

Indy: Again, always interesting to see somebody ‘agree with themselves’!

As far as the UN piece, you continue to fail to see the big picture.

This is especially true in the US as wealth concentrates and yet you can’t see the folly of that . . .

And while you dismissed the deaths of 15,000 or so people ‘per day’ based on you not wanting to deal with the ‘specifics’ of each nation and yet now you offer up a piece from the ‘United Nations’ that does just the opposite of what you wrote . . .

I realize that you’re not a global thinker and lack many of the analytical skills to properly assess the statistics in context to the problems I’m referring to.

It’s true that many nations have done well in addressing their population growth but ignore why republicans in Congress are still fighting against US international non-abortive family planning aid . . . why so?

Further your constant pronouncements of ‘unlimited growth’ potential that today in the aggregate is concentrating wealth doesn’t hold any hope for the majority of people on this planet who don’t have access to the ‘income advantages’ I’ve noted.

Likewise, you ignore the resource differences among nations that I guess according to your logic can just ‘dismiss’ the income inequality since you don’t have influence over each nation’s internal affairs . . . precisely what the United Nations seeks to overcome.

But it’s good you disclosed your thoughts since I didn’t fully understand the depths of your libertarianism such that it will helpful in the future to know what is the premise of your thinking.


technologist: Posted: February 26, 2014 9:10 p.m.

technologist wrote: Therefore, you advocate zero economic growth and supported it with a URL to an organization that's of the same opinion. Q.E.D.

Indy: I find that free speech is a wonderful thing even when someone like you tries to embed your ideology beliefs into my comments!"

Risible, considering I utilized your own statements in my proofs, as you suggested I do. Logic is not your forte, Indy. Feel free to explicitly state you support freedom, self-determination, economic growth and prosperity for every human extant on the planet.

"Globally, the world economy may ‘grow’ in the aggregate as more people die of lack of food, clean water, and sanitation…"

Please provide a source documenting this is increasing rather than decreasing.

"As far as the UN piece, you continue to fail to see the big picture."

Are you going to continue to make sweeping assertions or dispute something specific from the expert source I cited?

"I realize that you’re not a global thinker and lack many of the analytical skills to properly assess the statistics in context to the problems I’m referring to…"

Your assertions don't make this so. I consider this a projection, given the global data and statistical examples I cited that prove this isn't the case. *You're* the one that's consistently demonstrated lack of global thinking and analytical rigor.


ricketzz: Posted: February 26, 2014 5:57 a.m.

Friedman used to argue that pure capitalism was never given a chance, and that was why it always failed. In Chile, in 1973, on September the 11th, a CIA backed military coups began a 20 year experiment in "free market capitalism", which of course means first of all rounding up the leading intellectuals and social change advocates and torturing them, while turning the copper heavy economy over to the Phone Company and the brassworks. Bin Laden chose September the 11th because he knows the history of American postwar imperialism better than 99% of all Americans.

Friedman later admitted that pure capitalism and free markets were theoretical ideas, more suited to buttoning up messy math than to reforming the social order. --edited.


technologist: Posted: February 26, 2014 11:02 a.m.

How's that working in practical terms, ricketzz?

For comparison, Chile vs Argentina.

http://www.indexmundi.com/factbook/compare/chile.argentina/economy

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/michael-boskin-compares-economic-policy-in-chile-and-argentina-to-explain-similar-systems--very-different-economic-outcomes


ricketzz: Posted: February 27, 2014 7:58 a.m.

"Practical terms"? 20,000 dead intellectuals part of cost:benefit analysis? The articles are not germane to the discussion. Mixed socialist-regulated capitalist economies do best (for the most people)over the long term. Like the USA 1948-1980. Capitalism is very powerful. Too powerful. It will destroy everything if not checked. (Capitalism has a fatal flaw in that it rewards amoral behavior.) Greenspan's unseen hand was too busy picking pockets to save the economy. Do we want another 2007?


technologist: Posted: February 27, 2014 12:44 p.m.

Argentina is a mixed socialist-regulated capitalist economy with significant statist currency manipulation.

How's it doing against Chile, a less regulated economy? Or are you uncomfortable with real case examples?


ricketzz: Posted: February 28, 2014 6:18 a.m.

The only reason I brought up Chile was because of the Allende Coup, the great Friedman Experiment in "free markets" enforced by death threats.

A good comparison would be the USA before Reaganonmics. USA 1950 to 1980 vs USA 1981 to 2010. Pick your metric.


ricketzz: Posted: March 1, 2014 6:54 a.m.

Would you like me to post some charts?



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