Smart people saying smart things

Paul Krugman: “How to End This Depression

The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution — this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines.

But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now … is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them.

Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt.

Bill McKibben: “Too Hot Not to Notice?

This is a full-on fight between information and disinformation, between the urge to witness and the urge to cover-up. The fossil-fuel industry has funded endless efforts to confuse people, to leave an impression that nothing much is going on.  But — as with the tobacco industry before them — the evidence has simply gotten too strong.

Once you saw enough people die of lung cancer, you made the connection. The situation is the same today. Now, it’s not just the scientists and the insurance industry; it’s your neighbors. Even pleasant weather starts to seem weird.  Fifteen thousand U.S. temperature records were broken, mainly in the East and Midwest, in the month of March alone, as a completely unprecedented heat wave moved across the continent. Most people I met enjoyed the rare experience of wearing shorts in winter, but they were still shaking their heads. Something was clearly wrong and they knew it.

Mike Konczal: “Against Law, For Order

When neoconservatives say that they are the party of “law and order,” it is important to remember that they care less for the rule of law than they do for the rule of order.

… As historian Robert Perkinson explores in his book Texas Tough, there has always been a distinctly repressive character to the Southern prison, with its chain gangs, forced labor, and limited attempts at reform. These vicious practices, born out of the era of slavery, remain and shape the modern prison. As Perkinson says of the penal labor farms in East Texas, “Nowhere else in turn-of-the-millennium America could one witness gangs of African American men filling cotton sacks under the watchful eyes of armed whites on horseback.”

As political power moved to the Sunbelt and conservatives successfully realigned the South rightward, these brutal tactics became wedded to the Republican Party. The prison is part of the conservative project of race control. As Michelle Alexander argues in The New Jim Crow, mass incarceration locks people of color into permanent second-class citizenship much as the Jim Crow system of de jure and de facto segregation did in the past. Legalized discrimination, political disenfranchisement, and segregation, instituted through techniques like job licensing restrictions and legal requirements for voting, are features of both regimes.

 

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  • WingedBeast

    We have two basic philosophies on how our economy works.  There are details here and there, used to support or differentiate between varients.  But, the two big categories are supply-side or Keynsian.

    Supply-Side (trickle down) economics operates on the basis that an economy’s strength hangs off of the wealthy, as though they are the originators of wealth and all falls from them.

    Keynsian works off of the idea that our economy builds up from the many, as if more people purchasing, rather than merely more dollars moving, makes the difference to force money to move around.

    These would be two equal philosophies if there wasn’t that thing called history, where concentration of money has repeatedly sent us into recessions and even depressions.

  • Tricksterson

    The South was always predominently conservative.  It would be fairer to say that it has dragged the Republican Party rightward.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin


    Supply-Side (trickle down) economics operates on the basis that an economy’s strength hangs off of the wealthy, as though they are the originators of wealth and all falls from them.

    Supply-Side economics also suggests that a robust social safety net is necessary to ensure peace and order in society, and that it is possible to have too little taxation – the Laffer curve is all about maximizing tax revenues by optimizing tax rates, not just cutting taxes. I’m not a fan of Supply-Side economics, but there’s more to it than “step 1: cut taxes on the rich; step 2: ???; step 3: Profit!”. Whatever the hell Republicans have been touting since Reagan, it’s not Supply-Side economics.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, the real Laffer Curve in the USA has an inflection point at a marginal tax rate just above 70%.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Whatever the hell Republicans have been touting since Reagan, it’s not Supply-Side economics.

    We knew that. We knew that from the simple fact that Mitt Romney is sitting on enough money to create a boatload of jobs and yet he hasn’t done so.

  • Lori

     

    We knew that from the simple fact that Mitt Romney is sitting on enough
    money to create a boatload of jobs and yet he hasn’t done so. 

    What? Think of all the maids and drivers and horse trainers the Romney’s employ and the real estate professionals they keep in commissions. And they helped their son start a business*. That counts, right?

    *It’s a hedge fund. Actually jobs created < 10.

  • EllieMurasaki

     If he’s still sitting on two hundred fifty million dollars, he hasn’t created enough jobs.

  • Lori

     Actually he’s sitting on $250 million precisely because he doesn’t create jobs. He eliminates them or ships them to other countries, but he does not create them and that’s allowed him to exchange the silver spoon he was born with for a gold one.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    But money is people, my friends, and Mitt’s money is agoraphobic…

  • rizzo

     Actually that is what supply side economics is, it’s a right wing excuse to make the rich richer and always has been.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin


     Actually that is what supply side economics is, it’s a right wing excuse to make the rich richer and always has been.

    Well, it’s been USED as an excuse to make the rich richer, but that’s not what it IS. 

    I’m not an economist. I’m not even an economic historian. But here’s my understanding of the key differences between SS econ and DS econ:

    1) taxation – SS states that there is an ideal spot on the Laffer curve, and if the government levies taxes below that sweet spot, it will be leaving money on the table, but if it levies taxes above that sweet spot, earners will start working “under the table.” DS suggests that taxation, in addition to funding the critical elements of government, should also equalize income disparities.  That is, SS sees no fundamental difference between progressive and regressive taxation, while DS does.

    2) government spending on social programs – SS states that social programs are the price that society pays for maintaining order in society – give the peasants something, or they will come after us with pitchforks. DS states that government should spend on social programs because that is the purpose of government – to serve the people in greatest need.

    3) who government serves – SS states that government serves corporations and the rich; taxation should bow to the whims of the rich (while bringing in the maximum government revenue), and social programs should ensure that corporations and the rich can live as safely (in re: peasants with pitchforks) as possible. DS states that government serves the people; taxation and social programs should help the most people to the fullest extent, and this will help everyone (rising tides, float all boats, etc).

    Now, I’m solidly behind Demand Side economics, because I think that way of looking at the situation is simply more ethical. But, if a conservative government taxes properly and provides good social services in order to keep me from polishing my pitchfork, at least in the short term, it seems to me that the effects are the same. And, as Dr. Keynes says, in the long term, we are all dead.

  • Tonio

    I don’t see much of a practical distinction between “SS states that government serves corporations and the rich” and the use of SS as an excuse to make the rich richer. The former is about preserving economic privilege. Seems like the rich becoming richer under SS is a feature, not a bug.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin


    I don’t see much of a practical distinction between “SS states that government serves corporations and the rich” and the use of SS as an excuse to make the rich richer. … 
    Seems like the rich becoming richer under SS is a feature, not a bug.

    Fair. My point was, though, that the economic policies that the Republicans have been pushing since Reagan are not really SS econ, because SS econ suggests that the government ought to keep the society stable through the provision of a robust welfare state. This allows the rich folks to enjoy their riches without having to hire armed guards and such. SS econ is more than just “cut taxes, and then cut taxes some more, and certainly don’t cut spending to the Pentagon.”

    tl;dr – Supply Side Economics – Republicans are doin it rong.

  • Eminnith

    Also in the “Against Law, For Order” category we have (TW:  sexual assault, police brutality) police use of sexual assault against women protesters, seemingly as a systematic tactic.  It’s the NYPD, so you can’t blame the South for this one.

  • AnonymousSam

    … I’m not sure which is worse, reading that or reading about the school in Canton Massachusetts who’ve successfully defended their right to tie students to tables and torture them with electric shocks. Either way, I feel like we’ve officially jumped back a full century of human rights development.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The sexual harassment of female protestors I’d heard about, but what’s this about a school in Canton?

  • AnonymousSam

    Something change.org dropped in my e-mail this morning.

    Here’s one bit, but apparently this is still an ongoing lawsuit. Oddly enough, Fox is covering this and from what little I could stomach of the video, they’re actually not trying to paint this as vitally necessary to national security, well-deserved by the evil autistic kids being tortured, etc.

    And “torture” does seem like the appropriate word, going by this video. Don’t click this link if you don’t have a strong stomach. I threw up when the kid started screaming. -_-

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    (O_O)

    There are no words. D:

  • Ima Pseudonym

     I didn’t throw up, but I DID feel a wave of homicidal rage. 

    I hope the mother wins and takes them for every cent they’ll ever make for the remainder of their lives, natural or otherwise.

  • EllieMurasaki

    What the fuck.

  • AnonymousSam

    Yeah. The fact that anyone actually continues to insist that this is the only way to maintain discipline in a school–any school, with any students, period–and apparently members of the government and court agree with this idea–informs me that it’s just about time for society to collapse in a fiery inferno.

    No, not as a consequence. As the first step toward fixing the problem.

  • mud man

    Actual people, and therefore Democracies, are anti-Keynesian. On the Freeway, people who are already going too fast want to speed up, slow people don’t want to stay in the slow lane. Fat people want to eat more, skinny people want to loose weight. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It is true that human behavior tends to be (as the economists say) pro-cyclical, but I think your analogy was better served by cars than food.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Krugman is completley wrong as usual. He’s a much better writer than an economist.

    “The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending.”

    ?? Austerity??  The money supply has been massively erxpanded and we’ve borrowed trillions?  we had a stimulus, a bailout? all types of stuff. There was no austerity practiced at any time.

    “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.”

    Theres not supposed to be a boom. It’s not a natural part of the business cycle at all. and we never practiced austerity in any boom  anyway.

    “increased federal aid to state and local governments”

    so we save the government and let the people starve?

    ” more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing ”

    !!! the money supply has completely exploded.  People are already VERY iffy on the future of the dollar. We aren;t in the garden of Eden here. People will use something else and already are in many cases.

    gas prices will explode. You don’t like gold? gold will go through the roof. Gelnn Beck will be a billionaire.

    “For the fact is that we have both the knowledge and the tools to get out of this depression.”

    by printing money and borrowing more and papering over all the problems that got us to where we are today. 

    Krugman is just like the neo cons during Iraq: we need more force! we tried force? more? it didn’t work? more!  we could win this in 6 months if we just did what we had to do.

    end the military empire, massively cut the budget. lay off entire departments.  the american economy runs fine, the government runs poorly and it’s problems are the ones sinking the nation.

  • EllieMurasaki

     While I don’t disagree with cutting military spending, you do know that the only reason jobs have been increasing very slowly instead of quite fast is because we’re losing public sector jobs nearly as fast as we’re gaining private sector jobs, right?

  • Kubricks_Rube

    “increased federal aid to state and local governments”

    so we save the government and let the people starve?

    Can you elaborate on this? I’m completely stumped as to what you mean by this.

  • Nathaniel

    He, like many other idiots out in the world, presume that a government and its people are entirely separate entities. So therefore if a government has enough money to do its job that’s only possible by stealing bread from honest people’s mouths. 

  • Albanaeon

    Very true.  I am continually amazed how people can blather “Government is the problem!” and not realize that it means THEY are the problem. 

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Every GOP candidate: “Government is the problem. Vote for me and I’ll prove it.”

  • Jenny Islander

    Yes, that jumped out at me too.  What do you think federal aid to state and local governments goes to buy?

  • Albanaeon

     Yes we borrowed trillions and then sent it right to the banks and into pointless wars and already rich people’s pockets to make them feel better about blowing up the world’s economy in the first place and loads of other things besides the people who need it.  It does matter where the money goes, you know.  You can’t say spraying water on fires doesn’t work when you insist on spraying it three meters to the right of any fire…

    Also, how exactly will cutting more jobs and taking more money and reducing the government’s ability to reign in the excesses going to fix things.  We have too many unemployed.  Let’s add MORE!  We don’t have enough money in the low and middle class to stimulate spending.  Let’s take out MORE!  Bank execs and hedge fund managers are literally stealing houses because no one was willing to say no.  Let’s let them free even MORE!  You talk about “Well that didn’t work.  Let’s do it even MORE!” and fail to see that you are advocating the same policies that got us here in the first place.  Have you not paid attention to ANYTHING that happened this last  few decades?

  • P J Evans

     That’s a wonderful demonstration of Teh Stoopid.

  • Turcano

     Hold one cotton-picking minute.

    Theres not supposed to be a boom. It’s not a natural part of the business cycle at all.

    Upturns in the business cycle are unnatural?  I guess that sort of economic brilliance is why you won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008.

    Oh wait, no, that was Paul Krugman.  My mistake.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    No one, not even Krugman, is suggesting that the way to sustain the economy in the long run is to expand the size and scope of government. That would make no sense. Inventions ,  great artists , great ideas and whatnot are what power an economy.  It could be  Apple or the Beatles or  cars or  motorocycles.  The point is, At it’s base, Krugman is suggesting we use his ideas simply to tide us over UNTIL something like that happens.

    Ellie “, you do know that the only reason jobs have been increasing very slowly instead of quite fast is because we’re losing public sector jobs nearly as fast as we’re gaining private sector jobs, right?

    the economy stinks. It has nothing to do with people losing public sector jobs. People are losing goods jobs because the bottom fell out of all sorts of markets. All the unemployed people aren’t people who were teachers a few years ago.

    Kubricks-  I would take no comfort in beauracrats keeping their jobs or them hiring more of them or making useless jobs for connected people. I don’t care about the jobs NUMBER, I care about the economy.

    Albaneon “Yes we borrowed trillions and then sent it right to the banks and into pointless wars and already rich people’s pockets to make them feel better about blowing up the world’s economy in the first place and loads of other things besides the people who need it.”

    yeah exactly.  Most politicians in washington are part of the 1 percent or very close. The counties in and around DC are the richest in the nation. look it up. and they are absolutely connected at the hip to wall street. I saw the other day Peter Orzag was on some show. Instad of Obama adviser he’s now with Citigroup.

    “You talk about “Well that didn’t work.  Let’s do it even MORE!””

    no, YOU’RE talking about that.  Krughman said the recession was going to be over two Augusts ago and when it wasn’t he said 787 billion dollars wasn’t enough of a stimulus.

    Who here wants to pay 5 dollars a gallon for gas? Thats where the quantitative easing Krugman is talking abut will take us.  People still won’t have jobs but they will be able to pay boom era prices for gas, thanks alot! 

    bottom line re government spending:  there ar ecountries with good economies that have high taxes and govt spending like, say Brazil and countries with very little like Hong Kong.  Having more government spending can’t replicate somthing like the industrial revolution or something. It has no momentum of it’s own.

  • EllieMurasaki

     I don’t care about the jobs NUMBER, I care about the economy.

    Kindly explain the difference. Also, http://www.epi.org/publication/public-sector-job-losses-unprecedented-drag/

  • Kubricks_Rube

    “[H]e said 787 billion dollars wasn’t enough of a stimulus.”

    The stimulus was not really $787 billion dollars. $244 billion went to tax cuts, which are not particularly stimulative, and $217 billion went to state and local governments to staunch the job loss of all the “bureaucrats” you don’t care about- teachers, fire fighters and police officers. This money was stabilizing, not stimulative. That leaves $326 billion in actual stimulus- an amount that Krugman called too small all along:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/opinion/30krugman.html?_r=1 

    “Krughman said the recession was going to be over two Augusts ago”

    “Recession” is not a synonym for “bad economy.” You’ve been called on this exact point before. Words have meanings, and while no one is claiming the economy is good, the recession ended in June 2009:

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/20/news/economy/recession_over/index.htm 

  • Tricksterson
  • Albanaeon

    Really.  When we are talking 4 decades of neo-conseverative economics and politics and one insufficient stimulus is simply repeating?  And that policies that enriched the wealthy and let them take over our government is a sign of how bad government is and not that bad government is bad.  Your definitions are crap.

    And if you go and look there are plenty of economists and professionals that want to expand the scope of government.  Ignoring that a stimulus suggested by Krugman is an expansion and disproving your very point, what do you think the whole thing about Single Payer Healthcare is about?  Expand government to be the payer, save us all a lot of money, and boost the economy and business since we are no longer paying for insurance execs bonuses, and we get healthier people.  Or how about calls for capping carbon, protecting the environment, expanding Social Security, all sort of things that many very smart people see a necessary expansion of government to cover because WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT and we think protecting its people are important.  You are just not paying attention.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Kubrocks- keynes thought tax cuts were stimulative.  When someone says the recesion will be over the obvious implication is that things in general will have improved, not the technical thing known as a recession will be over.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/01/iceland-economy-idUSL6E8FPBDZ20120501

    ^ Iceland has the right idea and they even have a progressive income tax thing on there i won’t bellyache about. Krugman would never stand for this.

    Forget papering over problems. the whole corporatist state has failed and needs to be allowed to die. the wall street- washington miltary industrial congressional dinosaur! 

    Ellie- goosing unemployment numbers doesn’t improve the economy. If people are doing things no one actually wants and are just doing them to have jobs that’s not the sign of a healthy economy.  I could pay a bunch of poor people to dig holes in the ground and fill them back up. they got paid but it was obviously just silly and beside the point.

    Also, thanks to everyone who checked out my blog I appreciate it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I could pay a bunch of poor people to dig holes in the ground and fill
    them back up. they got paid but it was obviously just silly and beside
    the point.

    So the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, which saved the fucking country, that was “just silly and beside the point”? Incidentally, we have a fuckton of infrastructure needing repairing and no one willing to pay anyone to rebuild it, let alone retrain people to rebuild it.

  • Lori

     

    So the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, which saved the fucking country, that was “just silly and beside the point”? 

    This. So much this.

    The CCC and WPA weren’t “make work”. We still rely on things they built for us.  And even if they had been doing “useless” work,  they kept thousands of families from losing their farms & homes, not to mention starving.

    Calling them silly & beside the point displays either a deep ignorance of their history or a serious humanity deficit. In the case of present company I suspect it’s a bit of both.

  • Jenny Islander

    We still use roads and bridges built by the CCC in our town.  There was no money for proper paved roads or truck-ready bridges.  The CCC came and made them for us.

  • Lori

     

    Forget papering over problems. the whole corporatist state has failed and needs to be allowed to die.  

    Do you have any idea what that would actually mean? What that would actually look like for real human beings? FSM you are an ass.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Ra’s al Ghul wasn’t the hero in Batman Begins.

  • P J Evans

     Beckwit, Iceland didn’t bail out all of its banks, either,  just the ones that were local. The international ones that were causing them problems they didn’t help, which is why Iceland is in better shape than all the countries where the bankers got the money and everyone else gets to pay for them.
    As far as unemployment numbers: when the government stops giving tax breaks to companies who move their jobs (and their profits) overseas so they can avoid taxes, we might have one that actually runs. Until then, it’s the government’s job to make sure we don’t have people starving in the streets, even if that requires government creating jobs, like the WPA and the CCC, both of which did work that’s good enough that it’s still around and useful.
    Beckwit.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, if you look at the alternate measures of unemployment, you can see quite visually just how much money is still not being spent by the people who need it. When people are officially unemployed, they’re:

    1. Limping along on unemployment insurance, or
    2. Trying to not get kicked off welfare, or
    3. Locked up in prison, or
    4. In the criminal sector, which doesn’t contribute to GDP the same way the formal sector does (one reason being that a lot of the money gained in a criminal empire has to be laundered through foreign sources, and each launderer takes their cut and stuffs it in a Swiss or Caymans bank account – in short, to the extent that your local drug mule spends his take of a sell-off to someone else, it’s a small fraction of the wealth that’s ultimately drawn outside of the country)

    So if you would like the USA to get back on its feet, pay down some debts, get things rolling again? The ideas floated by Republicans are all the wrong ones. Giving more money to those who already have a buttload of it won’t do a damn thing. Giving more money to those who need it will get the ball rolling.

    Also, regarding the stimulus? There were Republican state governors, who through sheer bloody-mindedness, announced they weren’t taking any ARRA funds. Even though their state government budgets could have used the boost to the bottom line, ideological purity was more important than keeping people working.

    Bravo! (not)

  • Albanaeon

    We don’t even need to go back to the WPA and CCC to see that stimulus works.  Let’s see, the US did a half-hearted stimulus and Europe didn’t.  We haven’t embraced austerity, Europe has.  We have a minor recovery and they have a growing crisis.  Add in places like Iceland and China and several S. American countries that completely rejected austerity and cutting social programs and they are doing very well.

  • WingedBeast

    Even were the jobs merely to dig, refill, then redig the holes, one important thing would happen.  Money would move.  It would get into the hands of the poor and the middle class and, once there, the “job creators” would have to create jobs in order to get that money.
     
    You see, the wealthy don’t create jobs mearly by making money, but only when it’s a necessity thereof.  It’s only when the money they want is in many, many other hands that they have to hire more people to get at it.
     
    But, even that is very little compared to the public works projects that brought us a more efficient interstate highway system and could, yet, bring us a high-speed rail system that makes farther travel easier to accomplish (thus making a wider range of employees available to employers and a wider range of jobs available to job-seekers).  This would be invaluable to businesses for the increase of tourist business, for the increased ease of travel to and from business meetings.  Improved roads would be valuable for the increased ease and decreased expense of getting goods from point A to point B.
     
    All of this is tangible benefit for the making and tangible benefit for the paying to have made.
     
    The fact that unemployment is so high not only makes it good sense for stimulating the economy, it makes good sense because labor would be less expensive now than at other times.
     
    Keynse had himself a good idea.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “So the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, which saved the fucking country, that was “just silly and beside the point”? ”
     
    Yes. and it didn’t save anything. It was the Great Depression. if any of that stuff had worked it would have been called the little depression.
     
    “Incidentally, we have a fuckton of infrastructure needing repairing and no one willing to pay anyone to rebuild it, let alone retrain people to rebuild it.”
     
    Isn’t it funny how we have a 4 trillion a year budget and yet we have a “fuckton of infrastructure needing repair”?
     
    It’s not for a lack of funds, they’re spending the money. Washingtons priorities are not for our country, it’s for their projects.  They would rather send a secret squadron to Somalia to hepl Al Queda spread itself over there than fix a bridge here.
     
    Lori – “Do you have any idea what that would actually mean? What that would actually look like for real human beings? FSM you are an ass. ”
     
    what a world without the collusion of big business and the government? I think it would be awesome.  I watch CNBC every day I would have no problem not seeing the goldman sachs symbol or Monsanto and all the other companies that exist because of their connections to the government.
     
    Why is everyone in washington so rich?   People say banking should be boring, politics should be boring. That should be an even more boring job than banking. instead they’re multi millionaires.
     
    PJ- “Beckwit, Iceland didn’t bail out all of its banks, either, just the ones that were local. The international ones that were causing them problems they didn’t help, which is why Iceland is in better shape than all the countries where the bankers got the money and everyone else gets to pay for them.”
     
    yeah exactly.
     
    Albaneon- the government is never gonna do any of that stuff. They aren’t going to protect anybody. they don’t care. Having any hope in them will only lead to disapointment.  I saw Obama a few months ago saying we will always need tons of military spending and it will need to be raised more and more. Sorry, no.

    Jenny-  the government doesn’t have it’s own money. They didn’t give you anything you paid for it.  

    neutrino- there was a significant stimulusif not as big as some wanted and the interest rates have been as low as possible for years not to mention QE1 and 2.  In fact it’s undervalued relative toit.

  • EllieMurasaki

     All right, since you’re clearly such a genius, what the hell do we do to get money back in the hands of people with no money? Hope rich people give money away out of the goodness of their hearts? Wait, that won’t work. Take money from rich people and give it to poor people? No, you wouldn’t like that. So what, then?

  • TheBrett

    Get the Federal Reserve to target a higher inflation rate, or rather a higher nominal GDP growth rate (which would involve more inflation at this point). That pushes everyone in the economy to spend more, and re-assures businesses that the government is going to work towards higher economic growth (making them more willing to make investments and hire people).

    It helps that this is easier than trying to pass another stimulus bill through Congress. That’s always been the problem with fiscal stimulus – it never comes when you need, in the quantity you need (which is why we added “automatic” stimulus systems like unemployment insurance).

  • Lori

     

    what a world without the collusion of big business and the government? I
    think it would be awesome.  I watch CNBC every day I would have no
    problem not seeing the goldman sachs symbol or Monsanto and all the
    other companies that exist because of their connections to the
    government. 

    So you think that the situation we have now is literally the worst possible situation we could have? If there is something that could be worse what makes you think we won’t end up with that? Even assuming that there is no end state that could be worse than what we have now*, how do you foresee us getting from where we are to this “awesome” new world? Have you given a moment’s thought to what the transition would be like and who would suffer? Or do you just rest easy in the sure and certain conviction that it won’t be you and therefore it doesn’t matter?

    *You are beyond stupid if you think this.

  • Lori

      Why is everyone in washington so rich?   People say banking should be boring, politics should be boring. That should be an even more boring job than banking. instead they’re multi millionaires. 

    “Small government” geniuses created the conditions that allowed banking to go from a sort of boring job that would make you a very nice living, but would never make you wealthy to a job that can make you very, very, very rich.

    The newly rich then spent lavishly to insure that no one would take away their ill-gotten gains.

    Beyond that you seem to be forgetting that a very high percentage of the rich in DC are rich before they get there because campaigns have gotten so expensive that no one who doesn’t start out rolling in dough can afford to run for office.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    winged beast- “Even were the jobs merely to dig, refill, then redig the holes, one important thing would happen. Money would move. It would get into the hands of the poor and the middle class and, once there, the “job creators” would have to create jobs in order to get that money.”

    it’s ridiculous on it’s face. paying people to dig holes then refill them. that’s absurd. No one would pay someone of their own volition to dig a whole then fill it up again. No one needs a dug then refilled whole for any reason.

    “could, yet, bring us a high-speed rail system that makes farther travel easier to accomplish (thus making a wider range of employees available toemployers and a wider range of jobs available to job-seekers). ”

    My father lives part of the year in Florida they were going to build a high speed rail there from like tampa to orlando? It was dumb. There was no demand for it. these were places where you would need a car and no one in the one place would ever want to go to the other place. A high speed rail isn’t in and of itself a good thing. it has to be logical.

    Do you think Ted Stevens was smart for building a bridge to nowhere? That’s what you’re saying here.

     

  • EllieMurasaki

    No one needs a dug then refilled [hole] for any reason.

    …so gardening is a futile pastime, then, and farming even more so. Got it.

  • Monala

     “A high speed rail isn’t in and of itself a good thing. it has to be logical.”

    To some extent, I agree with you. High speed rail doesn’t help much if, once you arrive at point B from point A, you can’t get around. We need more investment all around to create not only high speed rail, but decent public transportation systems and walkable cities. Unfortunately, too many cities are already made of sprawl and too few resources are devoted to public transit.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- start a business and hire people.

  • EllieMurasaki

     Ellie- start a business and hire people.

    With what money? Banks won’t lend to me, there’s too big a chance I’ll fail. It’s not just me, either—all small businesses trying to start up right now are fucked unless the founder has a rich daddy who’s willing to take a risk.

  • P J Evans

     And even Rmoney, with all his inherited and otherwise-acquired cash,  has actually created only about 10 jobs with it, mostly with the investment company he funded for his son. All those businesses he bought with Bain? mostly looted and closed or their jobs shipped overseas.

  • friendly reader

     Also, why start a business when no one has enough money to buy your goods or services?

    And Chris, I know arguing with you is pointless, but the reason people were reacting in horror to your “the whole corporatist state has failed and needs to be allowed to die” statement is not because we like the corporatist state (assuming I understand what your jargon means), but because talking about letting a state or system just “die” ignores the millions of people whose lives will be destroyed by the transition. There’s a reason we’re progressives and not revolutionaries.

  • P J Evans

     You’ve never tried that, obviously. Otherwise you’d know that most businesses don’t succeed, and especially the very small businesses that most need financial help.

  • Jenny Islander

    “Start a business and hire people.”

    That’s right up there with “Well, just move to where the jobs are!” or that one earnest doofus who said that if everybody just put away $50,000 we wouldn’t need any kind of health insurance.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ellie- I wasn’t referring to farming there and neither was he or Keynes. He was literally saying pay people to dig holes in the ground and fill them up again. lets return to Iceland which has enough for both of us to like.

    and returning to Paul Krugman as well. i was delighted to find that krugman strongly supports the Iceland model, albeit for some different and i would argue not altogether important reasons. The biggest factor in icelands recovery is that they let the banks fail. Yet,

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/bailout-questions-answered/

    Krugman here from 08


    I’m being asked two big questions about this thing: (1) Was it really necessary? (2) Shouldn’t Dems have tossed the whole Paulson approach out the window and done something completely different?

    On (1), the answer is yes. ”

    Someone in Iceland had the sense to ignore this guys advice and for that they should be thankful.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also? Iceland slammed down controls over capital flows. The USA hasn’t done the same thing to nearly as great an extent, though you could argue that new reporting requirements for currency transfers amount fo the same thing.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You know, Keynes pointed out that a crude stimulus in the 1930s would have been to announce that caches of money had been hidden all over somewhere, and that it was finder’s keepers for whoever got the $$$.

    It would, he pointed out, have led to people hiring others to do the digging for them in exchange for a cut of the cash, leading to money being spent, leading to businesses starting back up, leading to…

    economic expansion.

    Why else did the 1950s and 1960s show such amazing shifts in economic status for a broad segment of the populations of Western countries?

    Because after the Depression and privations of war, no government wanted to see its citizens fall back into misery and the attraction of Communism or fascism. So they put in place policies to keep money rolling – rolling from rich to poor to rich and back again.

    There were problems at first – an inflationary burst in the USA in 1947, hyperinflations in central Europe, and the Korean war following right after that – but the cycle began to feed on itself as wage and price controls began to ease away by 1955. And it kept going and going and going and going.

    As James Galbraith points out (this was in 1996, but the salient facts haven’t changed), the 1960s expansion in particular was “far stronger” than any of the succeeding expansions that followed. Only the short 1974-1979 expansion produced a faster rate of jobs growth than that of the 1960s.

    In fact, if you want an idea of how delicate these economic recoveries can be? Look at the “little depression” of 1937. People pushed for budget cuts too early, and with a population still psychologically attuned to turtling in the event of incipient doom, people who heard about job losses predictably would have quit spending money, weakening aggregate demand.

    Cue the inevitable rise in unemployment. You can see that what FDR had to do right after that was push massive new spending through Congress to push the recovery back on track.

    In short, by being ‘penny wise’ the US government became ‘pound foolish’ as they spent more than they would otherwise have had to.

    Now, these days, the possible double-bottom effect is likely to be less pronounced (thanks to the remnants of the welfare state), but it can still happen. What is likely to happen then is prolonged stagflation, as inflation is now positive again, while economic growth is likely to be hampered by continuing weak demand relative to pre-2007 levels.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Lori- “So you think that the situation we have now is literally the worst possible situation we could have?”
     
    In some ways. and I don’t want any brave new world. There will always be scarcity. Loit’sok,  right there in front of your face. Iceland told the banks tough spaghetti worms and now they’ve moved on from their yuppie fantasy to be what they really are.
     
    Greece is the one that’s suffering holding on to that pipe dream.  Theres no transition and that’s the problem. Greece doesn’t know what they are.
     
    friendly reader “There’s a reason we’re progressives and not revolutionaries.”
     
    that’s so depressing.
     
    neutrino- “You know, Keynes pointed out that a crude stimulus in the 1930s would have been to announce that caches of money had been hidden all over somewhere, and that it was finder’s keepers for whoever got the $$$.”
     
    Again, that is totally absurd on it’s face.  We’ve paid people to build bridges to nowhere which caused scandals but at least you could conceivably use the bridge to get to nowhere if you wanted to go to it. Nothing is being done if people are digging up money buried by others.
     
    All the money thats being printed borrowed and taxed is being shoveled in to washington. 


    Analysts at Bloomberg News examined new Census data and found that the area surrounding the nation’s capital is now the richest in the nation:

    Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046.
    …Total compensation for federal workers, including health care and other benefits, last year averaged $126,369, compared with $122,697 in 2009, according to Bloomberg News calculations of Commerce Department data. There were 170,467 federal employees in the District of Columbia as of June.
    A survey in March of federal government job openings in the area found hundreds of well-paying gigs on offer. Highlights from those listing include an offer for up to $115,000 a year to update the Facebook page and manage new media projects for the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs and a deputy speechwriter gig for Office Of Personnel Management Director John Berry that paid up to $81,204 annually.

    Of course, federal pay isn’t the only factor contributing to Washington’s new status. The proliferation of high-priced lobbyists, contractors and consultants, combined with one of the most stable (and pricey) real estate markets in the country, means that the D.C. region is one expensive place.” 

  • friendly reader

     What? It’s depressing to believe that you shouldn’t “let a system die” and not care about the people affected?

    Let’s say I buy your argument that the problem facing nations is some existential crisis of not “knowing what they really are” (Iceland does! Greece doesn’t!), which is such meaningless drivel that I can’t even begin to address until you clarify your terms — let’s buy that idea for a second. You say Iceland succeeded because it realized “what it was” but Greece didn’t and was caught in the transition.

    How do we make it through the transition?

    What is America?

    And I dunno, maybe you’re onto something, maybe this is an existential crisis we’re facing. America doesn’t know what it is – or rather, what it should be, because I do think this concept, if considered at all, should be seen normative sense not a descriptive one).

    What is America?

    Are we a nation of isolated individuals who only care for our advancement, don’t worry about the people who haven’t had the same fortune we have, and continue to believe we did it all on our own?

    Or are we a nation that works together, has compassion on the less fortunate, and recognizes our communal bonds and debts?

    Whether you want to admit it or not, the current situation is the product of the former line of libertarian thinking. You may imagine that your model will destroy the corporate/government connection, but it won’t. If you strip power from the government, something else will take its place. And while it might be nice to believe that “the people” will do something about it, the 99% are so currently disadvantaged, so in need of government support, that we really only have two options facing us in the collapse of government:

    1) It’s often proposed that churches will take the lead. However, churches are voluntary and cannot do enough on their won (this is proven). So we need a non-voluntary church. Oh hi theocracy!*

    2) Or, more likely, in the wake of a shrinkage in government, the already-privileged will take complete control over the country. A plutocracy. We’re halfway there now, but in a democratic system we can at least take measure to reverse the flow. Hence, change, even radical change, but not razing it all to the ground. (Progressive vs. revolutionary)

    In either case, the poor get screwed. But perhaps you don’t care?

    Now, I know you believe that Krugman’s methods will not be effective, but the ideas you are proposing, at least as well as I can read them (and you have not been as clear as you seem to think you have been) would have a worsening effect. Either explain what you’re envisioning as a transition process more clearly, or figure out how to justify a pipe-dream notion that the disappearance of government won’t result in a power vacuum that the already-powerful will simply fill.

    *”Oh hey Johnny, what’s up?”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    *”Oh hey Johnny, what’s up?”

    So, mark, how’s your sex life? 

  • Lori

    Iceland told the banks tough spaghetti worms and now they’ve moved on from their yuppie fantasy to be what they really are.
     
    Greece
    is the one that’s suffering holding on to that pipe dream.  Theres no
    transition and that’s the problem. Greece doesn’t know what they are.

     
    Since you’re apparently such a big fan of self-awareness, do you know what you are? Would you like a hint? 

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    lori- a veterinarian

  • P J Evans

     I hope your veterinary skills are better than the ones you’re displaying here.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Theres not supposed to be a boom.

    Yes, there is.  Well, it’s a *ka*boom technically.  An Earth-shattering one.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    WHERE IS MY ILLUDIUM Q-36 EXPLOSIVE SPACE MOD-U-LA-TOR?! :P

  • Tricksterson

    In David Bowies pants.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Theres not supposed to be a boom.

    There’s always a boom tomorrow.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    what can we agree on: the bankers are jerks, the politicians at least the ones who enable the bankers and the big companies to have monopolies and whatnot and profit from that enabling are jerks, military contractors are jerks. I dont know what peoples views on the federal reserve are, but they contain people from the above pools and a smattering of ivory tower academics.    We dont need any of these people. They should all get real jobs. They created the mess they can’t fix it.  Krugman has no clue because hes one of them.

  • Jenny Islander

    “Jenny-  the government doesn’t have it’s own money. They didn’t give you anything you paid for it.  ”

    Yes, and so what?  How does this answer the question, “What do you think state and local governments do with federal money?”

    Do you even know?

    I just Googled my home town + “federal aid” and “federal grant.”  Top links include: Helping students in the state-run university system pay for classes at the local campus, which offers coursework toward resume-ready office and nursing degrees (amount equivalent to approx. 24 local average annual gross salaries, hereafter called LAAGS); fixing the only dock on the island that can handle full-sized cargo containers, and the only road to the only jet-capable airport, after a hell of a storm damaged them and the state disaster fund had already been tapped out (5 LAAGS); paying for a lot of firsthand research into exactly what local marine mammals eat, so as to better be able to plan for sustainable fisheries, keeping jobs available to future generations (16 LAAGS); seed money for developing a new value-added product that was expected to help a local business create 10 new permanent jobs if the product proved saleable (1-time grant of 4 LAAGS); and rebuilding our entire commercial district after a tsunami ripped it apart, so that local businesses could reopen as quickly as possible (amount not specified, but presumably huge).

    Are you willing to take 10 minutes to Google your home town + “federal aid” and “federal grant?”  What would happen without that federal grant money, born partly from money I paid, helping people keep or trade up on their jobs and fixing messes too big for the local economy to handle?

    Hey, whose money plows the roads you take to work?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “the 99% are so currently disadvantaged, so in need of government support,”

    the government IS the one percent who are disadvantaging them. See above article abuot how the areas in and around DC are the richest in the country.

    ” If you strip power from the government, something else will take its place.”

    that doesn’t make sense. the government gets its power via coercian. they force you to pay them which is enforced by law. if theres no law forcing you to pay someone you can choose to pay them or not.

    “Or are we a nation that works together, has compassion on the less fortunate, and recognizes our communal bonds and debts?”

    I love how supporting the current status quo equated with being a good person somehow. our government doesn’t have compassionaite for the less fortunate.  HIllary Clinton loves Wall Street and the military industrial complex.  we have tens of millions living under the poverty line while washington are filthy rich and we pay taxes to them with currency that’s worth less and less due to the type of monetary policy elites like Krugman prescribe.

    Turcano- and Obama got the nobel peace prize which I hope we can all agree was ludicrous. Krugmans prize was totally political, read his 4 page long thing that one the prize, it’s a restatement of the most basic economic concepts.

    All the “experts” told us Iraq would be a cakewalk!

    Jenny- “Hey, whose money plows the roads you take to work?” mine.

    whose money pays for the iraq war? whose money pays for corn subsidies so everythign we ewat has corn in it? whose money pays for the NSA and the TSA and the CIA?

    mine and yours. apparently having corn in everything, having soldiers in every country and having rich people inhabiting the nations capitol in huge numbers are yours and my priorities.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    Have you noticed that you don’t actually respond to people’s points?

  • Kellandros

    Chris-
    ” All the “experts” told us Iraq would be a cakewalk!”

    Not all the experts. In fact even the Pentagon’s wargame simulations said we would need double the troops on the ground in order to preserve order. But they were overruled.

    “that doesn’t make sense. the government gets its power via coercian.
    they force you to pay them which is enforced by law. if theres no law
    forcing you to pay someone you can choose to pay them or not.”
    No. There are a wide range of coercions out there from private sources. Look at the old fashioned company towns, where you only have a single store to buy things from. Or monopolies, where the biggest company either buys out or forces out all competitors. Or what if your choice is between doing what you are told or losing your job and being blackballed from future employment? Or businesses demanding tax breaks and handouts from local governments in order to build their factory there instead of a few towns over; the choice is between limited improvements in prosperity or watching all the workers move away.

    “I love how supporting the current status quo equated with being a good
    person somehow. our government doesn’t have compassionaite for the less
    fortunate.  ”
    No, PEOPLE have compassion for the less fortunate, and not even all of them. The government is the aid of last resort, but it still provides food to the starving, medicine to the sick, and tries to help poor children survive and prosper. I bet conservatives love you, you make their argument for them to go ahead and cut funding to those few programs that help the less fortunate, since you believe they accomplish nothing.

  • friendly reader

     

    the government IS the one percent who are disadvantaging them. See above article abuot how the areas in and around DC are the richest in the country.

    You’re right. But I don’t see how your plan is going to change this.

    that doesn’t make sense. the government gets its power via coercian [sp]. they force you to pay them which is enforced by law. if theres no law forcing you to pay someone you can choose to pay them or not.

    Okay, first off, a democratically elected government is not the same as coercion, but even if I accept your premise, do you truly believe no one else has the means to get power via coercion?

    Without a government to hold a monopoly on police force and the military, we will only have security guards and mercenaries, and they will only be affordable to the rich. As much as our current state of government is far too much in the pocket of the wealthy, I don’t want to just hand power over to them completely. Krugman’s solution, regardless of whether it is the FINAL answer, at least would put people back to work in service positions that help the community, things like teachers, fire fighters, and police officers. The rich can make up for losses in these sectors on their own, but the 99% need to group together and do it communal, and the government is the most expedient means to do so.

    I love how supporting the current status quo equated with being a good person somehow. our government doesn’t have compassionaite [sp] for the less fortunate. 

    Where the hell did I say that?? Did you miss my mention of “change, even radical change”?

    No, the current system doesn’t represent those virtues. it far more represents the ones of the former position, which you are advocating for. We need a society transformed into one where we care for the least of these, not leaving them to fend for themselves as we turn over government monopoly on power to whoever can afford it best.

    Does someone have that link to corporate feudalism…?

    Anyway, arguing with you is clearly not going to change your mind (I’m sure you’re feeling the same way right now), but I hope that you at least learn to articulate your points in a clearer way, because honestly, you come across as an out-of-touch jerk the way you talk on this forum, and I don’t think you want that.

  • rizzo

    Considering that Fox News is still reporting that global warming is bunk and the average temperature has dropped over the past decade, I’m pretty sure there are some people who you’ll never convince.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Chris- Yes I do. what didn’t I respond to.

    Look, you can’t have Iceland results with Greece policies. Krugman doesn’t understand that.

    here’s a critque of Krugman’s approach from the left

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/23/why-paul-krugman-is-full-of-shit/

    the far left, look at his other stuff.

    Also i wrote an article on the columbian prostitute in the secret service scandal. I guess she is making her way here now?

    http://lesterhalfjr.blogspot.com/2012/05/colombian-prostitute-us-secret-service.html

  • JonathanPelikan

    You didn’t respond to people who point out the fact that simply allowing the decadent imperialist capitalist pig-dog system to collapse in on itself will ruin, and probably kill, literally millions of literal people. Actual people who will suffer because of the decision to obliterate the current system.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    The Brett =”Get the Federal Reserve to target a higher inflation rate, or rather a higher nominal GDP growth rate (which would involve more inflation at this point). That pushes everyone in the economy to spend more, and re-assures businesses that the government is going to work towards higher economic growth (making them more willing to make investments and hire people). ”

    yeah so we pay higher food and commodity prices! What you’re suggesting is the most regressive tax this side of the lottery.

  • hapax

     We have a responsiblityu to do
    something for our selves and families and communities, not just phone in
    a bunch of slogans.

    But:

    it’s part of the competitive process

    I’m not talking about any massive revolution. the country has lost any
    notion of the consent of the governed.

      We crossed the rubicon.

    We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

    Did I miss any?  Oh yes, I forgot:

    RON PAUL 2012!!!!

     

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    RON PAUL 2012!!!!

    I give you: Ron Paulkeymon

    (Apparently by the original artist. Weird).

    One thing I don’t understand: isn’t “You teach me and I’ll teach you” a violation of Libertarian principals? Surely it’s “You teach me, then go fuck yourself.”

  • friendly reader

    The whole thing’s a violation of democratic principals, since they’re basically saying, “Hey, we won these states’ delegates even though we got minorities! Screw what the people actually want!”

    If Ron Paul’s goal is to destroy the Republican Party, then winning the candidacy by underhanded delegate-hounding may be the best way to do it.

    I mean, he can’t actually do it, but once upon a time I actually respectedRon Paul for sticking to his principles (even if his principles are insane, racist, and borderline-dominionist). Now that he’s revealed himself to be yet another “do anything to win politician,” he’s lost that last shred of respect from me.

    Not that his supporters seem to have noticed this — or maybe they just don’t care.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    “for every dollar you send the state they spend like 2 cents on that. I’m not saying they don’t spend one cent on anything worthwile…”

    You’re fond of this argument, but do you know what happens when, in an attempt to rein in military spending, you empower libertarian-leaning republicans like Ron Paul? You let them empower and give cover to the rest of the GOP, who do stuff like this:

    House Republicans advanced a measure Monday that shifts automatic defense spending cuts the parties agreed to last August as part of a bipartisan debt-limit deal to domestic programs aimed at mitigating poverty and working-class struggles.

    That’s right. The democrats are the party at least somewhat willing to cut defense spending. Not only won’t the GOP do that, they want to further the imbalance between good spending and bad- and your support for GOP-identifying libertarians helps them do it. That’s the political landscape that you have to make choices in, one where voting for individual candidates who might want to blow up the whole system end up as pawns to the worst aspects of it.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    friendly- “Without a government to hold a monopoly on police force and the military, we will only have security guards and mercenaries, and they will only be affordable to the rich. ”

    we are a long way off from that sort of scenerio. there are a billion federal agencies that would be dealt with before such basic things as those. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. this doesnt need to be a formal discussion on anarchy. Krugman is trying to get Iceland results from greece methods. He praises Iceland but what they did is beyond him.

  • P J Evans

    there are a billion federal agencies

    “Don’t use hyperbole; not one person in a million can use it effectively.”
    And you aren’t that one. Besides which, you don’t even understand the stuff you’re spouting.
    Also, Krugman has a much better grasp of economics than you.

  • AnonymousSam

    Not that far in the future, considering several towns around my area are now considering privatized fire fighters and police with no safety net for people who haven’t paid for their coverage.

  • Turcano

    Krugmans prize was totally political, read his 4 page long thing that
    one the prize, it’s a restatement of the most basic economic concepts.

    Krugman won the Nobel Prize for his contributions to New Trade Theory.  Do you really have such an aversion to 30 seconds of research, or do you take some sort of perverse pleasure out of being wrong all the time?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    PJ- because you say so?

    turcano- most of so called new Trade theory are argument for free trade of the sort he himself would prbably not make today. Even people I read praise his early stuff like Pop Internationalism. He didn’t get his name or Nobel with this neo New deal twaddle,  it was for bashing ross perot, reich and other protectionist types. and he was right.

  • P J Evans

     He didn’t get his Nobel for bashing Reich (or anyone else) – Reich was Secretary of Labor.
    Beckwit. (You really need to use a search engine before you make elementary-level mistakes like that.)

  • hapax

     Now, now, let’s not jump to conclusions.

    Maybe our good friend Chris Hadrick found some writings by Paul Krugman arguing with *Wilhelm* Reich.

    Because that would be rather awesome, and make as much sense as anything else Chris has said.

  • Turcano

    See, the thing about the Nobel Prize is that the committee actually explains why they give the prize to someone.  In this case Krugman received the prize “for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity.”  And as far as I can tell, his stance on free trade has never changed.

    So would you mind answering my question on why you steadfastly insist on being wrong?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Robert reich is an economist, everyone knows that. he and others from both sides of the aisle, Pat Buchanan and Ross perot come to my mind, are of the opinion that protectionist measures of a sort are good. Krugman in Popo Internationalism and elsewhere explained why that was not so.

    NTT has nothing to do with what he is talking about in this new kick he’s on.

    Ross- all libertarian means is no vilent coercian by the state.

  • EllieMurasaki

    all libertarian means is no vilent coercian by the state.

    But coercion by private entities is all fine well and good?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    But it’s totally voluntary! Never  mind that Biggo Corp happens to have a track record of withholding wages from those who complain about unsafe work practices – you can always just get another job … over in the next city.

  • Turcano

     Uh, you do know it takes a while for the Nobel Prize committees to decide to give someone an award, right?  You know, to see if the discovery actually pans out?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ellie- what coercian? If you don’t want to eat at mcdonalds you don’t have to go there. If you don’t want to read the wall street journal you don’t hav to buy it.

    kubricks- thats pretty thin gruel. In general I agree though democrats have better approach to military spending but it’s not nearly as good as Ron Pauls.

    on war:

    ron paul> democrats > republicans (most, except “alternative” right ists like Buchanan, etc )

    and as far as public opposition to war Buchanan was really one of the only ones to come out against the iraq war forcefully, at least on TV. Paul did so in the house chamber.   tons of democrats voted for it. Hillary, Kerry,etc

    I see what you’re saying though.  lesser of two evils re: war would be democrats in 2012.  Romny has been friends with Netanyahu for like 30 years or something. that’s terrifying.

    I would add re: this topic though; my older sister wrote her college thesis on this why Greece shouldn’t be allowed into the EU. I haven’t read it but I can imagine what it said.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Duh, Greece shouldn’t have gone into the Eurozone. The drachma was a reasonably stable-ish currency, and has a 7000 year history besides.

    Macroeconomically, the situation Greece is in now could easily have been avoided by simply letting the value of its currency drop on world markets. Canada has, for a long time, used its exchange rate as the shock absorber to av0id being “stuck” without policy tools to deal with major problems.

    Even so, the problem Greece has with its bonds could have been avoided had the ECB not been basically the Deutsche Bundesbank reinvented, which has been paranoid as hell about inflation. So the ECB has never been as willing to push money out to banks (although it did expand the allowable collateral base against which banks can ask for money) as the US Federal Reserve or the UK central bank.

    In the 1990s, AAMOF, one thing that used to be bandied about was hysteresis in Europe. You see, Europe has, since the 1980s, had consistently higher unemployment rates than the USA, and all sorts of “labor market inflexibility”, “generous social safety net” crap got thrown about, but what it really boiled down to was the Deutsche Bundesbank’s monetary policy was generally copied by the rest of continental Europe, meaning that its tendency to raise interest rates at the slightest provocation resulted in an anti-inflation policy that required higher and higher levels of unemployment to maintain.

    Well, things haven’t changed in the ten years since the Euro. It’s still dominated by inflation hawks who are of the “bitter medicine” school of government financing.

    It is always supremely ironic that what Western governments insist on Third World countries doing to themselves has finally come home to some of the Western nations, and the response is to cling to the economic orthodoxy ever more stringently, lest Greece prove the Euro to be a failed experiment.

    There’s a reason why Denmark and Sweden do not want to adopt the Euro.

  • WingedBeast

    “If you don’t want to eat at mcdonalds you don’t have to go there. If you don’t want to read the wall street journal you don’t hav to buy it. ”

    And, if you don’t want to work for a company that denies you agreed upon wages, you can just find another job… except that you can’t always do so.  And, if you want to purchase from another company than one with a local monopoly you just have to move.  And, if there is a monopoly, you just have to magically create competition that can compete with a functional monopoly.

    And, if you’re a worker in a company town, you just have to save up money while working for a wage purposely kept beneathe the amount necessary in order to pay rent for company housing, pay the company store for company food, and pay the company for transportation.

    You don’t like the affect that health insurance industry has had on health care costs?  Well, you can always throw the dice and hope you don’t get sick.

    The fact of the matter is that government isn’t the only thing that can restrict freedom.  It can be used, in fact, to restrict other entities from restricting your freedom.

  • EllieMurasaki

    ellie- what coercian? If you don’t want to eat at mcdonalds you don’t have to go there.

    I don’t want to shop at Amazon or B&N or Walmart or Target. But I live in a county where, thanks to coercion economic pressure from Amazon and B&N, literally the only suppliers of books are Walmart, Target, online booksellers, and this little dinky store downtown name of Bell, Book, and Candle. As the name might tell you, BB&C is for specialized interests only. And while there are indie bookstores that sell online, they tend to be more expensive than Amazon and B&N, and I don’t have spare money to throw around. In related news, Sierra Club-approved socks are hella more expensive than Walmart socks.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    nmeutrino- tight/ sensible  monetary policy doesn’ t cause unemployement.

    winged- It’s not an oasis out there but the point is they can’t make you buy their stuff. You can’t not pay your taxes or you go to jail.


    And, if you’re a worker in a company town, you just have to save up money while working for a wage purposely kept beneathe the amount necessary in order to pay rent for company housing, pay the company store for company food, and pay the company for transportation.

    there are no company towns anymore.  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    there are no company towns anymore.

    What would you call it when Wal-Mart becomes the biggest employer in a town?

    There are no “company towns” per se, but there can be de facto situations like this where there is one big employer and even all the small businesses together can’t match its political or economic clout.

  • P J Evans

     There are quite a few places like that. If the employer goes away, so does the town.

    I guess the troll has never heard of ghost towns, either.

  • P J Evans

     Beckwit, taxes are the dues you pay in order to live here and get things like fire and police services, and schools and libraries and roads that aren’t dust-bowls in dry weather and mudholes in wet weather. Don’t like paying taxes? Think they’re somehow theft? Then move somewhere else, far away from here.

  • kellandros

    Of course there are still company towns- China is full of them.

    Or do you mean America? Here’s one:
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2011/01/company_towns

    Or oil rig workers? Weeks on with little free time, then weeks off in a small town with a bunch of stores and little other entertainment.

    Or Arkansas and Wal-mart? I believe about half the population there works directly or indirectly for Wal-mart; at least they benefit from it.

    There are country clubs that have dormitories that their workers are required to live in.

    And at the same time you think the system is rigged, yet that if you were in a company town you’d be capable of beating the system.

    I also love how you say experts are always full of it, yet still refer to those experts that you agree with.

    And Ron Paul’s vision is shrinking the role of the Federal government, but beefing up what States can do (war on drugs is great as long as its local). He is correct about a few things, but for the wrong reasons.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    correct about something for the wrong reasons? He’s not about beefing up what states can do. No libertarians like state governments or any governments, the difference is states can’t print money or start wars so they’re less dangerous.

    kellandros-” There are country clubs that have dormitories that their workers are required to live in.” 

    Everyone there agreed to live there.  if they change their mind they can quit. if yuo say “Washington is way too focused on war and ridiculous farm subsidies I’m not going to pay my taxes” you cant quit the IRS

    “I also love how you say experts are always full of it, yet still refer to those experts that you agree with.”

    I say what I agree with and why, I don’t just say so and so is an economist and you’re not so I’m right. 

    neutrino- “What would you call it when Wal-Mart becomes the biggest employer in a town?”

    reality. who can turn a profit and who can’t. that’s just life. why sugarcoat it.

  • P J Evans

    Thanks for demonstrating again how wrong you actually are.

  • EllieMurasaki

    kellandros-” There are country clubs that have dormitories that their workers are required to live in.” 

    Everyone there agreed to live there.  if they change their mind they can quit.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t people only get unemployment insurance payouts if they got downsized or whatever, not if they quit? And have fun finding a new job in this economy.

    neutrino- “What would you call it when Wal-Mart becomes the biggest employer in a town?”

    reality. who can turn a profit and who can’t.

    Walmart turns a profit by buying all their crap cheap from China or wherever, various places that pay their workers a couple dollars a day, and selling it slightly less cheap to people who can afford to shop nowhere else for reasons including Walmart workers get paid crap.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    nmeutrino- tight/ sensible  monetary policy doesn’ t cause unemployment.
    Zimbabwe would have full employment if inflation = jobs. monetary
    policy isn’t the cause of europe’s woes.

    Monetary policy in isolation – no. But it can aggravate existing conditions. And that’s the point. Greece is now teetering on whether to retake control of its own economy by reinstating the drachma, and Sweden and Denmark want to retain control of their own economies by keeping the krona.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- life is hard. there’s no policy for that. there’s a thing call scarcity. Amazon didn’t force any booksellers out of business the consumers did. blame them.

    PJ- most of those are coverd by state and loval taxes. outside of a few things most of our federal income tax, which is a much larger bill than state and local, is a slush for for various senators indulgences and horrible ideas.

    No one has a problem paying for roads and schools. Our roads and schools are garbage because washington could care less about them/us. 4 trillion budget, shuoldn’t we have amazing perfect roads? Instad bad roads are the number one cause of vehicular deaths, more than drunk driving.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Look, nobody argues that the bloated military budgets in the USA are a good thing. Person after person has come along and pointed out that with a budget half or a third the size of today’s the USA could still modernize its military and maintain a proper combat-ready force ready to do its job.

    But you seem to keep assuming that Republicans will dare ever actually attack this sacred cow of larger and grander military spending in the name of budgetary soundness.

    They won’t.

    Quite simply, if Reagan and Bush II haven’t shown you that Republicans are liars in every sense of the word when it comes to any kind of reasonable budgeting strategy, this latest probably won’t either, but in thirty-plus years have you ever seriously seen a Republican try for balancing a budget? Probably only Bush I, and he got a shitstorm over it from the more ideological supply-side type Republicans.

    You gotta give the supply-siders credit for having the faith to gamble big or go home;  they truly, 100%, believe that if you just slash all kinds of taxes a LOT, so much new wealth will be generated that the tax cuts will more than pay for themselves. (Everybody loves the intoxicating idea that they’ve stumbled on a free lunch.)

    That has never happened, not without having to also cut government spending.

    Which is the real objective of the tax-cutters – they don’t want a free lunch (as much as they claim to); what they really want is what Grover Norquist said: they want to “drown” the government by shrinking it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Amazon didn’t force any booksellers out of business the consumers did. blame them.

    Amazon didn’t have better prices and a better selection than my county’s recently-closed Atlantic Books? Everything I know is a lie.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Also, you guys have been slacking on leaving comments at my blog http://lesterhalfjr.blogspot.com/. There’s a lot of racism and sexism going on there and you need to inform me of the error of my ways!!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That sound you heard was the equivalent of my facedesk causing a nuclear explosion.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There’s a lot of racism and sexism going on [on Chris Hadrick’s blog] and you need to inform me of the error of my ways!!

    You know it’s there. Good. That’s the first step to fixing the problem and the only step we can help with. The rest is on you.


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