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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mitt Watch: What Sandy Tells Us About The Candidate And His Party

Oct 31st, 2012

UPDATE 4pm CST 11/1/12: In this piece, I made mention of Gov. Christie's very public praise of the President's management of the disaster response. The GOP has begun to savage him for it. That didn't take long.

Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath are perfectly legitimate political issues. That anyone would argue otherwise is ridiculous.

Chait puts it best:
"What you are going to see over the next week is an overt effort by Democrats to politicize the issue of disaster response. They're right to do it. Conservatives are already complaining about this, but the attempt to wall disaster response off from politics in the aftermath of a disaster is an attempt to insulate Republicans from the consequences of their policies."
The GOP has directly targeted our national disaster response mechanisms, having gone so far as to threaten a total government shutdown last year while seeking a nearly forty percent cut to first responders. The outright elimination of FEMA has become a central position among the party's leadership.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Worth Repeating

Oct 26th, 2012
Note: I have changed the "Quote of the Day" to "Worth Repeating." Daily posting has become difficult do to my ongoing issues with my eyesight. Thank you. -- Grey

"Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Oct 17th, 2012

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."

-- Erich Fromm

Monday, October 15, 2012

Quote Of The Day - Here And Now Edition

Oct 15th, 2012

Image via
"Walsh is an insecure bully who needs to point out that Duckworth is more of a woman than he is to overcome the fact that she's also more of a man than he is."

-- Columnist Edward McClelland on the notorious Rep. Joe Walsh (deadbeat dad, lunatic) and his tactics against his challenger, Tammy Duckworth (war veteran who lost both legs in an act of heroism).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Oct 14th, 2012

"You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humor teaches tolerance."
-- W. Somerset Maugham

Bringing Back The Journeymen

Oct 14th, 2012

Responding to a personal charge in Shawn Gude's interesting if overly floral argument on how we might reach "full employment" and what that would actually mean for the American worker's relationship with management, Matt Yglesias writes:
Much as consistently applied full employment policies will achieve many liberatory aims without employing especially radical means, centrist elites ought to consider that matching workers with in-demand job skills really ought to be the kind of thing a market economy can do reasonably well. Rather than skills-mismatch explaining high unemployment, it's the absence of full employment that explains skills-mismatch. If you want workers to learn to do something, you try to teach them to do it and if necessary pay them more money. 
Long story short: Full employment policies are great and we ought to be demanding them from our macroeconomic stabilization policymakers rather than accepting excuses about how it's hard. 
When the U.S. was actually creating jobs in far greater abundance, it was due neither to a massive distribution of diplomas nor to the stimulative effects of public spending alone; it was because job growth was largely a product of on the job training.

Indeed, what has happened to the journeyman path? One of the repeated explanations offered by our elites in explaining the stagnant job numbers is that we just don't have a qualified workforce for as many as three million open positions. What's never discussed is the fact that the managers who cannot fill these positions always blame someone else for the situation.

Everyone knows that the current metrics in our tax code richly reward outsourcing and off-shoring. Recent attempts to reverse these policies were, of course, filibustered by the GOP. In part, this opposition might be because we simply have to sweeten the pot enough for the lobbyists to get other marching orders. If our central policy makers were proposing benefits even a fraction as attractive as those received by, oh say, our petrol giants, a movement towards fuller employment might have more traction.

The again, maybe not. Gude's arguments key off of a radical 2010 essay written by Micael Kalecki the implications of which demand that we ask whether or not America's private power brokers aren't perfectly happy with the way things are?

It's not necessarily that macroeconomic policy isn't addressing this, as Yglesias argues. It's an ugly truth but the general stagnancy in our labor force and the desperation it has spawned are regarded as plainly beneficial to management.