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Dana Blankenhorn

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  • Pres. Obama's "original sin" is his "failure to demand a reckoning from the moneyed interests who brought the economy down," Frank Rich asserts - a simple explanation for the current troubles but not accurate, Derek Thompson counters. "Unemployment suffers today not because of, but independent of, Wall Street's success. That is the simple, boring truth."  [View news story]
    Monetary and fiscal policy have nothing to do with our current troubles. It's not "Obama's wrong and Republicans are right." It's "Obama's wrong and Republicans are more wrong."

    Here is where Obama is wrong. Aggregate demand is not falling. It's growing. Developing economies like China, India and Brazil are developing, and their demand for products and services is growing. So the problem is not what it was during Keynes' time.

    But treating ourselves as bankrupt, as Republicans insist we do, is more wrong. We're not bankrupt. It's very, very clear that eliminating the Bush tax cuts of 2001 puts us on a glide path to a balanced budget by 2016. And cutting spending is cutting spending -- unemployed teachers and firemen are just as unemployed as unemployed steelworkers.

    The problem is energy. Each time the economy starts to grow, oil prices spike, and growth disappears. We need a thumb pressing down on that energy price. Renewables give us that. Drill baby drill doesn't.

    Drill baby drill just replaces a Saudi billionaire with a Texas billionaire -- the price still goes up as we try to grow. Solar and wind and geothermal energy replace energy we get from burning with harvested energy, and there's abundant energy to be harvested all around us. Efficiency is another cheap way to put a thumb on energy prices -- when you save a barrel of oil in heating, or moving goods, services or yourself around, you reduce demand. Fortunately we have more of this "Free Energy" around than anyone else. Drill that.

    What we need, in short, is a true War Against Oil. Not a war against oil producers, but against our dependence on hydrocarbons for energy.

    This is a war we can win. We just need to commit to it and, within a very few years, we'll put out enough supply, and reduce demand sufficiently, that there will be a permanent thumb pressing down on hydrocarbon prices.

    Result. Prosperity.
    Jul 5 06:45 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman Is Right [View article]
    Spain's problems were caused entirely by property speculation from people elsewhere in the EU. Their deficit was never that great until after the crash, which as noted wasn't their fault.
    Nov 16 05:39 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Third Point’s Daniel Loeb again wields his acid pen to criticize White House leadership: "It is increasingly difficult to avoid the conclusion that while Washington burns, Pres. Obama is fiddling away by insisting that the only solution to the nation’s problems - whether unemployment, the debt ceiling or deficit reduction - lies in redistribution of wealth."  [View news story]
    I know ideologues have to believe any Democratic President is a redistributionist, but the only "redistribution of wealth" that has been going on for a decade is from the bottom and middle to the very, very tippy-top. This includes the last 30 months.

    But, please. Do try to sell your position to the American people. Tell the unemployed, the underemployed, those whose wages have been cut and rights to organize destroyed, that the commie Obama is out to redistribute wealth from the top of the economic pyramid to the bottom.
    Jul 25 06:10 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The economy is at a "tipping point," with a "substantial" probability the U.S. could lurch again into recession, Robert Shiller says. The economy, now "immune to Keynesian crack," has deteriorated to the point where "when the demand isn't there, you can lower interest rates all the way to zero and people are still not willing to spend."  [View news story]
    You're not going to get back to growth with Hooverism, either.

    In my opinion, the only real way to growth is to take a War Against Oil seriously.

    Not a war against oil producers, but a truly ginormous effort against our dependence on burning stuff to create energy. Civilization only begins when you start farming, and yes, we can harvest that abundance. The Sun shines, the wind blows, and we live on top of molten rock. There's no energy shortage, just a shortage of technology and harvesting equipment.

    But no one in policy circles is even suggesting that as a possibility.
    Jun 15 06:19 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman Is Right [View article]
    You're just wrong. Spain suffered from a housing boom funded from other countries. Their budget was in balance before the collapse. What you're engaged in here is revisionist history.

    Greece, yes. They lied about their books. They lied about what they were taking in, lied all along the line.
    Nov 16 10:07 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fiscal Cliff: How Bad Would It Be? [View article]
    That's right. Throw grandma from the train, but not the rich or the military. Sorry, but I couldn't help it.

    I think changing economic models do give us the leeway to make an agreement on the benefits people are entitled to -- entitlements are paid for by veterans, and by workers, through their sacrifices -- but there has to be some give on the other side as well. That's what the cliff is all about, forcing compromise.
    Nov 12 10:20 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman Is Right [View article]
    I don't agree, in retrospect, that those banks had to be "saved" by throwing money at them. New banks could have been created to carry the good loans of those old banks, the old bankers who made the bad loans tossed on their ears, and their crimes investigated.
    Nov 16 10:10 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 90% Of Green Energy Stocks Will Go Bankrupt... So Buy The Sector? [View article]
    Guess how many of the PC startups of the 1970s made it through to 1985? How many of the minicomputer makers survived to 1990? This is the way of technology -- most companies fail.

    Get over it. What happens to any individual company means nothing. What is happening in the field -- the rapid growth of renewable energy and technologies adapting us to it -- means everything.

    So go back to the Koch Brothers like a good little guy and we'll all go back to making money.
    Apr 19 11:25 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Windows 8 Bad For Gamers, Or Just For Steam? [View article]
    I have the same game going with Russian Presidents. Lenin bald, Stalin hairy. Khruschev bald, Brezhnev hairy. Andropov bald, Chernenko hairy. Gorbachev bald, Yeltsin hairy. Putin bald, Medvedev hairy.

    Dana bald, by the way.
    Jul 26 12:50 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Employment Recovery Is Real [View article]
    Since July of 2009 3.074m new private sector jobs have been created, 541,000 public jobs have gone away. During the 8 years of the Bush Administration we lost 646,000 jobs and gained 1.741 million government jobs.

    That's right. Socialist paradise.
    Mar 9 11:50 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Get Ready For The Stupid Recession [View article]
    Austerity means spending less at the same time you take in more. Period. Relative to what you were doing before. Period.

    I call this a stupid recession for a reason. You're the reason. Not you specifically, but people like you who seem to think the solution to every problem is giving more to the rich and taking it from the poor.
    Feb 19 03:57 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Get Ready For The Stupid Recession [View article]
    I'm afraid you don't understand basic economics. It's the change in the deficit that matters. We're spending less, taxing more. That's austerity. Never mind that there remains a deficit, and a debt. It's still austerity. (On, and in January the government ran a surplus.)
    Feb 19 02:18 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman Is Right [View article]
    The tax increase the President has proposed, and he did it again today, is only 3.5% on the 2% of people making over $250k/year. Where you get "massive tax increase" out of that is Fox News. I guessed that because of the name-calling.
    Nov 17 12:51 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman Is Right [View article]
    Of course not. A lot of those loans were taken out on Spanish banks, by Germans and Englishmen and Frenchmen who seemed to have good credit. But when the market tanked, those good credits left the keys in the door and walked away.

    The real problem in Europe is you can't have a unitary currency without a unitary financial system. If they had that, they'd be in much less trouble than we've been in.
    Nov 17 12:49 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman Is Right [View article]
    You don't need "massive" spending if you are willing to write off bad debts. Then only lend for things that you feel certain will generate a return.
    Nov 16 05:40 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment