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After three "jobless recoveries" in the last twenty years, NYT's Hedrick Smith suggests it's...

After three "jobless recoveries" in the last twenty years, NYT's Hedrick Smith suggests it's time to take a lesson from Henry Ford. History has proven Ford's virtuous circle to be effective, and if business managers "give the middle class a better share of the nation’s economic gains... the economy will grow faster."
Comments (103)
  • Perhaps, a President Romney might turn this around.
    3 Sep 2012, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • I think you are on to something Galt as the virtuous cycle does not operate in a vacuum because business is part of much larger complex that includes regulations, taxation, subsidies and political goodwill.


    In the WaPo there was an editorial today grading the anointed one's economic scorecard. From the article: Even some economists highly supportive of Obama’s policies concede that the health plan was poorly timed. “It distracted us from the economy,” says Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. The same mistake occurred for trade, labor and environmental policy. The president subordinated job creation to other goals, says economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, adviser to John McCain in 2008. “When economic growth is so important,” he argues, “you have to be ruthless in focusing on it. You have to err on the side of growth, and they haven’t done that.” A similar critique applies to Obama’s recurring anti-business rhetoric. Though politically expedient, it cannot have helped job creation.


    Would Henry have started a car company in this hostile climate?
    3 Sep 2012, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • LOL, if there's one thing that describes Romney, it's caring about the common man?
    3 Sep 2012, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • Another poll, another lead for President Obama.


    A CNN/ORC International survey puts the incumbent president ahead of challenger Mitt Romney, 52% to 45%.


    " Mitt Romney's unfavorable rating is up, most Americans think the Republican presidential challenger favors the rich, and the public no longer believes that the economy will get better if Romney is elected," CNN reported.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • Terry,


    We missed your comments. We can all engage in dueling polls. If you believe this CNN poll then I believe you will in for a rude awakening come November.

    Monday, September 03, 2012
    "The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 44% of the vote. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided."


    2 weeks ago the President was leading Romney by a similar margin.


    “A man who’s been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold” for the presidency, the former Arkansas governor said of the former Massachusetts governor."


    Your keynote speaker, President Clinton said that in June.
    3 Sep 2012, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • Terry,


    So now you are desperate enough to resort to using old polls?


    CNN Poll: Obama 49% Romney 47% among likely voters
    Updated 4:50 PM EDT, Mon August 27, 2012



    Where's your link to that poll?
    3 Sep 2012, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • Galt
    Or, as Bill Clinton also said, "a few years ago this guy would have been carrying our bags". For Terry's benefit, he didn't mean about Romney.
    3 Sep 2012, 03:43 PM Reply Like
    "Hill Poll: Voters say second term undeserved, country is worse off
    By Sheldon Alberts - 09/04/12 05:00 AM ET


    A majority of voters believe the country is worse off today than it was four years ago and that President Obama does not deserve reelection, according to a new poll for The Hill.


    Fifty-two percent of likely voters say the nation is in “worse condition” now than in September 2008, while 54 percent say Obama does not deserve reelection based solely on his job performance.


    Only 31 percent of voters believe the nation is in “better condition,” while 15 percent say it is “about the same,” the poll found. Just 40 percent of voters said Obama deserves reelection."
    4 Sep 2012, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • I guess we will have to wait until November 2012 to see what the voters finally say. I think it'll be an interesting tossup between the two very weak candidates in both parties...
    4 Sep 2012, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • When the NY Times union was asking for better wages reality set it for NYT management.


    If your company doesn't make good profits you can't pay great wages.
    3 Sep 2012, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • Paul
    What the rag NY Times prints and how it runs its company are two different worlds. Typical liberal mantra, do as I say not as I do.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • quit calling business people and managers 'capitalists'.....they are mercantilist to the core. there is NO SUCH THING as an american capitalist, and neither was Ford. get it straight in your heads before you start using mis-using language and context.....its like blaming gravity because your a fat slob.
    3 Sep 2012, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • Who? Romney the one who outsourced jobs to China and India?....


    Who invested in companies, loaded them with debt send them into bankruptcy so after getting out of bankruptcy he could pay lower wages and extract a profit? That Romney?


    Let's just give another tax cut to the rich and America would ensue prosperity....never mind that low and middle class wages are down in REAL terms....brush those pesky facts away.....


    Norway and Sweden both have higher tax rates than in the US, free healthcare,and more regulations than the US and it has nearly full employment with a budget surplus....
    3 Sep 2012, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Romney created a net 100,000 jobs in his private sector career, if you are to gie credit/demerit to the Bain capital track record to him. No, it wasnt outsourcing - check your local Staples or Sports Authority... that's more than we've gotten on a net basis from 4 years of Obama.


    "never mind that low and middle class wages are down in REAL terms" Yes, they ARE down in real term in the Obama economy. In fact, household incomes are lower now than in 2008.
    raising taxes on the rich wont fix that. Job creation would, though.


    "Norway and Sweden both have higher tax rates than in the US, free healthcare,and more regulations than the US and it has nearly full employment with a budget surplus.... " Total government spending is far higher in Obama's America than those countries, and Obama's EPA is more anti oil-and-gas than Norway. but that's not th ebiggest diff: they are also populated by mostly Viking and are racially very non-diverse. So your suggestion must be based on racism, trying to wish away American minorities and their high unemployment by getting rid of them in your Viking utopia.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • The top income tax rate is 47.8 percent, and the corporate tax rate is a flat 28 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT), a tax on net wealth, and environmental taxes, with the overall tax burden amounting to 41 percent of total domestic income. Government spending has risen to a level equivalent to 46.4 percent of total domestic output.....




    US federal spending: $3.728T for FY 12
    US GDP aprox $16T


    US federal spending to GDP is 23.3%.


    Here is the math lesson for today; 23.3% is less than 46.4%....




    Oil crude production in the US in 


    2008: 4.95M


    2011: 5.59M




    Another lesson in math; 5.59M is more than much for the rant of anti-oil.....


    You see, I don't spout things without checking before the data. It makes a person look ignorant.
    3 Sep 2012, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • Why can't we be more like Norway and Sweden?


    This pretty much sums up what the Democratic party stands for nowadays. And I can see why honest people could want that. Let's look at some details.


    Norway is a country of 5M which exports 785M bbl/yr of oil, the US is a country of 314M, so on per capita, if we exported 49.3B bbl/yr of oil (instead of importing 10.3B bbl/yr), we could afford 43.6% of GDP in taxes, like in Norway, and even see living standards increase by 15%.


    Sweden is a country of 9.4M which exports $193B of merchandise. On per capita, if we exported $6.4T of merchandise (instead of $1.5T currently), we could afford 47.9% of GDP in taxes, like in Sweden, and have living standards of about 20% less than today.


    Norway and Sweden are both very small countries that get by through their focus on exports. It is not a model that can be replicated in the US.
    3 Sep 2012, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • A,
    Good points, why consider the facts when political idealogues can spout whatever spins their political bent. US politics is one of the primary causes of the overall decline in US economic strength and the economic well being of a majority of it's citizens.
    3 Sep 2012, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • "Total government spending is far higher in Obama's America than those countries"


    In Norway in 2011, government spending as a percent of GDP was 46.3%, in Sweden 53.4% (


    The U.S. isn't listed in this table, so let's take the spending number from Fox "News" (3.8T)* and divide it by the GDP from the CIA World Fact book us (15T). That gives us 25% for U.S. spending as a percent of GDP in 2011 -- far, far less than in either Sweden or Norway.


    I wonder if "Lying for the Cause" would be a more apropos handle than "Freedoms Truth"?


    Sources: (tables based on data in the CIA world factbook)


    *Note that the Fox "News" number is slightly inflated. Actual spending in 2011, according to the CBO, was 3.6T, not 3.8.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Can't export much if the government stops it through regulations and outright bans.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Apples versus oranges - you are neglected to account for the $2 trillion in US state and local spending in the total. you have to look at total US Government spending and you'll find that at $20,000 per capita we are near the highest in the world right now.
    3 Sep 2012, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • GM is the greatest outsourcer of alllllllllllllllllll time ! As the GM China CEO says they will make all cars there in the future ! Ain't that a great use of tax payer money !!!!!!!!!
    3 Sep 2012, 05:38 PM Reply Like
  • anon


    Any company that was bought by Bain was unhealthy and looking for a trip to the graveyard as PE is the last stop to try and turn it around before all the capital is lost and the employees are fired with no severance. No company that is health would ever sell to any PE firm Bain or otherwise.


    If jobs were outsourced to India or China that would be part of the turnaround or just go out of business. By the way every American outsources to China and India and other parts of Asia as we buy our clothes and household goods.


    Wages are down for many years now and Obama sure has not done anything to help and has no ideas which is ever worse. Nobody is lobbying for a tax cut for the rich.


    Norway and Sweden could not drive enough industry to keep some of our states afloat and they certainly don't carry a military while they know we protect them on land, sea and air.
    3 Sep 2012, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • Good man, this Henry Ford. Is it just a coincidence that he was also an anti-Semite....?
    3 Sep 2012, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • Since the NYT has no credibility why should anything they print be meaningful.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • The following is from the article:


    Frank W. Abrams, chairman of Standard Oil of New Jersey, voiced the corporate mantra of “stakeholder capitalism”: the need to balance the interests of all the stakeholders in the corporate family. “The job of management,” he wrote, “is to maintain an equitable and working balance among the claims of the various directly affected interest groups,” which he defined as “stockholders, employees, customers and the public at large.”


    It sounds quaint, archaic, almost clueless in today's climate, where the prevailing wisdom is, management's obligation to the shareholders is to screw empoyees, customers and the general public to the max.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Like you, I hold stock in various / numerous companies. I know of very few, if ANY, companies operating under the mode of "obligation to the shareholders is to cheat the empoyees, customers and the general public to the max." ... this include the oil companies, pharmas, etc. that Democrats like to whine about.
    That doesnot sound like not reality.


    I would say the opposite is true. In the past (100 years ago), there was less accountability, choice and competition. Good corporate stewardship has become from a source of 'good citizenship' to competitive advantage and is more prevalent now than before. The one exception in this is how our 'global' corporations are willing to abandon US production so easily.


    And if you know of any bad corporate actors, go ahead and give us some SA exposes. Name names. The ones who do that.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • Go ahead and read my article on Credit Suisse, a rogue bank, or my article on Big Banks, a Rogue Industry.




    I've also done a number on BAC, from time to time.


    Regrettably, they may not make good short candidates at current valuations: there's always the danger they will get away with it, or even get a pass from any regulation or oversight of any kind, if that approach returns to its former prominence.
    3 Sep 2012, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • Tiresome rhetoric lacking in substance. Tom, please provide support for your hackneyed claims of 'the prevailing wisdom'. Any student of American history knows better. Attacking the source of our economic health (business) will most assuredly accelerate the decline in our economy. It is apparent, Tom, that you have limited experience in or understanding of how private enterprise operates.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • So, your complaint is with big government, not business? Your boast of articles on big banks that some consider To Big To Fail is not a reflection on private enterprise. The favored treatment of big banks is clearly an example of the corruption of big government. Through this obstruction of free enterprise (TBTF), big government has defied the rule of law and impinged on personal freedoms through onerous taxation policies. This is clearly not a failure of free enterprise but a failure of government to protect the rights of citizens.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • CaladesiKid2,


    Much of the "prevailing wisdom" is on display here on Seeking Alpha, particularly when the editors hang out a nice piece of troll bait.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • For a better understanding of my views, please see the linked article, here on Seeknig Alpha:

    3 Sep 2012, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • Your political advice is as useful as your stock analysis.
    3 Sep 2012, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • Are you better off than 4 years ago?


    Unemployment: 7.8% then, 8.3% now
    Median income: $54,983 then, $50,964 now
    Gas prices: $1.85 per gallon then, $3.78 now
    National debt: $10.6 trillion then, $15.9 trillion now


    Blame who you wish for these results but these are pretty stark stats.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • GaltMachine,


    Why don't you read the linked article and discuss that?
    3 Sep 2012, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • TA,


    "Hedrick Smith, a former correspondent and Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, is the author of “Who Stole the American Dream?”"


    I read it. It is obviously an opinion piece by the author and therefore should be viewed on that basis. I disagree with his premises.


    It's an open forum. The issue is economic and obviously bearing on the upcoming election.


    As I said you can choose to vote for who you feel will do a better job going forward based in part upon who you blame for what has transpired in the last 4 years. Nothing controversial there.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • Those American workers are lazy, and the free market should decide....let's cut the minimum wage to $1 per hour, cut regulations on utilities....and by my prayers to the Lord we should get 50M jobs in the next 4 years....Preach it boys!
    3 Sep 2012, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Postponable Purchases to GDP peaked at 22.97% in the 1st qtr of 2006 ...bottomed at 16.14% in the 2nd qtr it is 17.5%....whoever wins this election the common man is going to think he is a genius....Now can you tell me why this ratio has been so sluggish in its return to normalcy??


    Re: This ratio explains a lot about job growth ( or lack thereof)
    3 Sep 2012, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • I'll tell you one thing, I'm a lot worse off than I was 12 years ago, when Bush came into office and started his campaign of dismantling regulatory protections, launching unnecessary wars, dispensing a massive prescription drug benefit, building a huge and expensive national security apparatus, and paying for it by reducing taxes on the rich.


    We tried it: deregulation and trickle down didn't work, tax cuts for the rich didn't work, spending like a drunken sailor didn't work. I've had enought of that to last me a lifetime, and won't submit to more.
    3 Sep 2012, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • The facts speak so clearly :


    Are you better off than 4 years ago?


    Unemployment: 7.8% then, 8.3% now
    Median income: $54,983 then, $50,964 now
    Gas prices: $1.85 per gallon then, $3.78 now
    National debt: $10.6 trillion then, $15.9 trillion now, going to exceed $16 TRILLION during the Dem Convention.


    And all during Bummer's watch, first two full years of which he had Pelosi heading one house and Reid the other. The full trifecta complete control !


    But of course even with full control Bummer still not to bear responsibility, just like an underage kid, too young to be the one accountable right ?
    3 Sep 2012, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • YellowLab1


    Your comments bear a striking resemblance to GaltMachine's.


    I'll give you the part of my answer that I left out in my previous comment:


    Bush was driving the bus when it went off the cliff. Obama miraculously got it turned around and back on the road, despite the determined obstructive tactics of those who tried to make him fail, so they could get back in power.


    Never again will we let anyone from Bush's party drive the bus.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Tom
    "Never again will we let anyone from Bush's party drive the bus. "


    This one simple line destroys any crediblity that you might otherwise have had.


    "Never" is a long time.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Dear Tom,


    Well, if you succeed we can become just like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, et al........ Socialist welfare states in a free fall decline dependent on ever increasing "Big Government" until even you liberals are subjects as well, just like in the former Soviet Union.


    Which ultra liberal country's economic model do you like to cite as your model of sustained success ?


    Right here at home we have examples of states that have been run by your form of Democratic control of the electorate for decades.... every higher taxes and more and government spending: California, New York and Illinois. Seems no matter how much control they have and how much they increase their tax rates they continue building up higher and higher debts to choke the life out of their economies.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks,


    I'll retract the "never," and replace it with not in my lifetime, and over my dead body.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • So, the tax cuts for top 1% are not working, at improving 95% of American families.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • Tom A


    And Obama answered all your prayers?


    This is not a left versus right issue. Both have over promised and undelivered and cannot make tough decisions in the countries best interest. This is lack of competence. None of our leaders would be able to take on a CEO role nor would they be allowed. That says a lot.


    It could also be argued that we get what we deserve. A lot of stupid people are given access to the voter booth.
    3 Sep 2012, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • One doubts that Tom, as it was agreed by the powers that be four years ago that McCain would be the sacrificial lamb in 2008 and Romney would win in 2012.


    Observe, please.
    3 Sep 2012, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • I'm disappointed in you Tom... I thought your analysis would have gone a bit deeper than Terry's, and you would of taken into account the reasoning of decisions rather than outright liberal talking points.


    Of course trickle down works - or your not an investor.


    And of course tax breaks work or again your not a investor.


    Now what you need to focus is on the reasoning, or timing, of when decisions should have been to expire the tax cuts, to not over spend the federal budget, to get out of Iraq & Afghanistan, and increase regulations.


    Obama is simply a bad decision maker.... which kinda makes sense because he has never had a real job and is as Bill Clinton said he's an Amateur.


    We need to go beyond politics and grasp some fundamental truths - the government does not build the economy - individuals and companies do. Supporting our government and taxes are everyone's responsibility not just the "rich". Stop giving away our treasure... people and money.
    3 Sep 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Your stok analysis has made you worse off, blame it on Bush?
    3 Sep 2012, 10:29 PM Reply Like
  • GaltMachine, I think you may want to double check some of your facts. Average gas price in 2008 was $1.85/gallon? LOL what planet are you living on. Summer of 2008 was when the average gas price in the country surpassed $4 a gallon. Not sure where the 1.85 comes from (PLEASE do tell us). In fact, it was at this time when Fox News (your holy grail) said that "no President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices." Funny how that seems to not apply anymore when a non-GOP president is in power.
    4 Sep 2012, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • IDk,


    Not only are you rude, you should check your own facts before accusing someone else of being wrong on theirs.


    The day before inauguration:
    Average gas prices--January 19, 2009
    Jan 21, 2009 4:29 PM
    4 Sep 2012, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • The reason gas prices were so low in January 2009 is that the economy had tanked, because deregulation had permitted financial speculation and manipulation to create a crisis.


    Rising gas prices are consistent with a stronger economy, and do not bolster your argument.
    4 Sep 2012, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • TA,


    "and do not bolster your argument."


    I made no such argument, I simply presented the price.


    I am amazed at how rabidly partisan you are exactly the opposite of what I expected.
    4 Sep 2012, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • You presented the price and given your political views and numerous posts openly disdaining the current President, it's fair to say that anyone reading, that knew your history, would think you were attempting to reveal it as another failure of Obama...of course, now if I or Tom or anyone calls you out on that, you will say "nope, i just put the numbers up for everyone to see, i wasn't trying to imply anything." You compared gas prices in the peak of a deep recession to now. In that case, why don't we compare gas prices right after 9/11/2001 vs. summer of 2008? Oh wow, Bush must have been a REALLY bad president then!


    If anyone has an ounce of sense in their head, they'll realize that the president doesn't control the price of gas. So why then do people use gas prices to compare a president's performance? Ironically, Fox News said this during the summer of 2008, claiming that the president has no control over gas prices (They even went further and on rare occasions admitted that expanding domestic oil drilling would not significantly lower prices.) Guess that only applies when a GOP president is in the office though LOL. The Democratic ones are apparently blessed with the heavenly power to move gas prices. But then again, it was Michelle Bachman that said she would bring gas back to $2 a gallon, so I guess she is really the one with that gift (although I'm curious as to why she hasn't used it yet). That gave everyone a good laugh.


    As Tom also said above, high gas prices tend to be associated with an upright economy, while low ones go with a recession. In that case GaltMachine, the Obama administration sure has done a great job, if we were to purely follow your gas price I'm not sure whether your gas price bullet point in that post was appropriate in trying to prove your point.
    4 Sep 2012, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • TA


    "Rising gas prices are consistent with a stronger economy"


    GLOBAL supply and demand drives prices more than anything else regardless of economic performance of a country along with refinery capacity and seasonal activity.


    And I believe your deregulation argument also explains bird flu and cancer and a ridiculous murder rate in Chicago. You might as well load up the wagon if you are going to make loose statements.
    4 Sep 2012, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • idk


    The measuring stick that Presidents face is what they have done in their terms and where they started. Obama could make some arguments about where he started but his real failure is he did nothing to solve a lot of these problems and fought and blamed business for every problem while his time was running out. And he had a belief in green jobs that was stupid.


    So other than that he did a great job.
    4 Sep 2012, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • <<Rising gas prices are consistent with a stronger economy>>



    I think rising prices have more to do with dollar devaluation, emerging market oil demand and the increasing
    cost to extract oil. The US is using less gasoline than in 2002 World wide demand is something like 90 mil b/d
    4 Sep 2012, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • You do tend to present your arguments as a central planning statist - is that what you desire, Tom?
    4 Sep 2012, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • rising gas prices also are a result of a weak dollar.... come on Tom.
    4 Sep 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Tomas,


    In regards to "The measuring stick that Presidents face is what they have done in their terms and where they started," here's a site you may find interesting in regards to what Obama has done so's pretty funny actually lol. Not sure on how verifiable it all is, but It does have the source listed for each one, and you can click the button underneath that says "big deal, what else?" and it'll keep going.

    4 Sep 2012, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • cool website... and the stuff looks like small potatoes to a guy who has NO JOB.
    4 Sep 2012, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • Mike, an earlier post of yours:


    "Now what you need to focus is on the reasoning, or timing, of when decisions should have been to expire the tax cuts, to not over spend the federal budget, to get out of Iraq & Afghanistan, and increase regulations."


    Okay, and but wasn't it the Bush administration got us into Iraq and Afghanistan, sped up the financial deregulation that was originally started by Clinton (glass-steagall repeal), and started the tax cuts in the first place? And yet, then people will say, oh Congress was controlled by Democrats during part of that time. But using that logic then, isn't Congress controlled by Republicans now? So, aren't the Republicans in Congress partly to blame for how things are now as well?


    I mean...just sayin...I'm an outsider moderate looking in.
    4 Sep 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • You're not allowed to be a moderate in our brave new world. You are required to merely parrot the bumper sticker slogans passed around by your chosen team. Compromise and thinking for oneself are evil.
    4 Sep 2012, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • Ah yes, you're right lol. I am defined by whether I support the "crazy lazy liberal" left or the "right wing nut job" GOP lol.
    4 Sep 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • idk


    Funny site and it is hard to tell if it is pro Obama person or not who put it together as there is a lot of small stuff listed. They missed he put a basketball court in at the WH.


    IMO Obama's biggest weaknesses are UE, chucking business under the bus whenever he feels like it when he needs them to solve UE and not focusing on the right thing at the right time. Which is typical of someone who has not managed anything before.
    4 Sep 2012, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill - republicans control half of congress big difference vs dems that control all of congress.


    ok per your discussion - so why did Bush get us into a war ? Why did Bush push for tax cuts ? Why did the dem congress support loose lending practices ?


    These are the decisions you can analyze through the lens of historical cause and effect. Were the decisions self serving or was there a reason, for example, for the tax cuts ? You might argue that the tax cuts were put in place to avoid a recession after 9/11, which is why they were suppose to expire. You might argue that the regs and laws passed by our current government extended the current recession making the expiration of the tax cuts impractical which has caused a massive deficit...


    These are more interesting questions than blaming Bush, GOP, Dem, Obama, etc. Although they do take a bit more thought.
    4 Sep 2012, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • Really both of the last two wars can be blamed on Clinton since he did not take care of business with Osama Bin Laden and let him run all over the world and infiltrate a number of western countries while he played around with Monica Lewinsky. The dominoes really fell from there.


    Who said sex is cheap?
    4 Sep 2012, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • Tomas - interesting thought.... and you could be right.


    So if Clinton took out OBL when he had the chance 9/11 wouldn't have occurred and Bush may have been a one term president, and the S&P would be at 2500.
    4 Sep 2012, 08:56 PM Reply Like
  • Whoever inherits a Presidency after the the Postponable Purchases to GDP ratio has hit a cyclical low in a previous Presidency and it starts turning up will look like
    an economic genius...
    3 Sep 2012, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • Now the assembly lines are all around the world and third world labor can't compete with robots working 24/7 without pay. Humans becoming obsolete,so,old Henry's ideas won't cut the muster in today's world. Mental masturbation seems to be a serious Ivy league disease now ! Just look at all the horrible ideas coming from both the right an left idealogical spectrums.. Neither will work ! Just plane old standard of living is way to high and no way to keep the US where she once was. Sorry Charlie.. Even Starkist uses automation !
    3 Sep 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Oy. The world isn't going to run out of jobs because of robots. Did it run out of jobs during the automation of labor during the industrial revolution?
    3 Sep 2012, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky....
    No! Your right,but, try and visit a manufacturing plant and find 1/10 the jobs there was as few as 10 years back. Some plants have a tiny skeleton of humans and this is a Hank Ford post and there is 1/25 the staff there !


    No Oy yays about it !


    And, the world will run out of jobs as the lesser countries move into today's age. The US chronic unemployed will be 12 to 15% up from 5% an that will be considered full employment. And it will slowly tick higher ! That's why politicos run to the middle an will emulate the EU in the end.. I won't type the S word !
    3 Sep 2012, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • Pay ought to match the market rate for the skills offered. Employers are always free to choose above market rates. Distortions through wage fixing by governments don't promote upward mobility.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • Not sure how many shareholders would like to see wages rise because the managers feel that it will help the economy.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • NY Times has ZERO remaining CREDIBILITY. Has degenerated to a left wing rag of liberal bias. Just ask its very own Ombudsman who recently resigned after attempting to bring some degree of objectivity to the table. Hopeless. Found there is no way in such an overwhelming culture of "progressivist bias" -his own words !
    3 Sep 2012, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • NYT is a rag and it's my buddies fault. I told him so ! Charlie lent them the money at 15% an took millions of warrants and they survived. I don't fault him for being the worlds richest man ! Just for saving the NYTs an by accident Krugman too ! Darn !
    3 Sep 2012, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • I do find some merit in the author's writings, and it pertains to the subject of moral sentiment in business. But, the bottom line in all enterprises is to turn a profit and grow the business. My biggest complaint with all articles from the press, and in particular the NYT, is they always find a need to argue their point with a BOLD FACED LIE! Case in point, a quote from the article. "Although productivity increased by 80.1 percent from 1973 to 2011, average wages rose only 4.2 percent and hourly compensation (wages plus benefits) rose only 10 percent over that time, according to government data analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute.
    The average wage in the US in 1973 was $7,580.16. In the year 2010, the average was $41,673.83. An increase of 549%.
    This information can be found under the National Average Wage Index by year at


    3 Sep 2012, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • wkl, you need to adjust for inflation. Unless you do that, your numbers are utterly meaningless.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • You are absolutely right. But if the study did so, the author failed to mention if the increase was indexed to inflation. Why? Does it serve his argument to show a wide discrepancy? Not only has the 549% increase in wages OUTPACED the inflation rate over the past 25 years, but wages have OUTPACED productivity also over that time period. The 549% increase in wages represents an average annual increase of 7%.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • american 'capitalists' are about as rare as the ivory billed woodpecker. there might of been a sighting , but it was probably a crony-headed mecantilebird......ame... never saw a free market' they liked, and couldn't wait to have a crony monkey wrench shooved into the gears to keep out competition.
    3 Sep 2012, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • The NYT article conveniently skips the final act of the "virtuous circle" play,,, the "Ford Massacre" of 1932. The vision of Henry Ford led to the rise of the UAW, and finally, the "14 demands":


    “Jobs for all laid off Ford workers; immediate payment of 50 per cent of full wages; seven-hour day without reduction in pay; slowing down of deadly speedup; two fifteen-minute rest periods; No discrimination against Negroes in jobs; relief [welfare], medical service; free medical aid in Ford hospital for employed and unemployed Ford workers and families; five tons of coal and coke for the winter; abolition of Service Men [Ford’s hated private army of spies and thugs, led by the notorious Harry Bennett]; no foreclosures on homes of Ford workers; immediate payment of lump sum of fifty dollars for winter relief; full wages for part time workers; abolition of the graft system of hiring; and the right to organize."


    A lot of this sounds familiar, no?
    3 Sep 2012, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Biagi,


    Your selection adroitly skips past the massacre of unarmed men by Ford's private police force, as well as the police of Dearborn, where his brother was mayor:


    Here's a link, for anyone who wants the full story:

    3 Sep 2012, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • "adroitly", lol? Thanks... I guess. It is not my job to provide all the details; I'm not the one publishing in the NYT. Anyway, I thought I stated the "Ford Massacre", no? I merely pointed out the NYT author failed to encompass this important event, and that the union demands sound a lot like today. So where do you go from a discussion about the motivation of the author, and the completeness of his article, to my supposed clever use of the facts, alluding to what? Is it in your nature to become defensive when someone contributes an alternate perspective from yours? Are you even thinking in terms of the original suggestion, which concerns the validity of this "virtuous circle" concept?
    3 Sep 2012, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • Hubert (and TomasVP),


    Ford was a mixed bag, like most human beings. His insight into capitalism, that increasing factory wages would create prosperity for all, was powerful and well thought out.


    His peace mission to Hitler, as well as his vehement anti-union stance, were bad ideas.


    "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones."
    3 Sep 2012, 08:09 PM Reply Like
  • Tom
    Being the good democrat that you are, how do you compare Joe Kennedy to Henry Ford?
    4 Sep 2012, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • TA


    By your measure Hitler should be deified because he turned Germany's economy around and built an incredible industrial complex that built the armaments to roll over the rest of Europe. Hitler and Ford shared a similar insight and that was the threat of communism. They both wanted to be benevolent dictators who ran by command and control So Hitler had a few flaws. He was just a mixed bag as you say.


    Ford did nothing that was not in his best interests and he worked his men to death under terrible conditions and treated them like crap. I guess that is just a bad idea per your logic.
    4 Sep 2012, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Tomas, I thought Ford was known for paying high wages that attracted skill labor from all over the world into Detroit...I am be wrong. Not too knowledgeable on Ford's work practices.
    4 Sep 2012, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • Ford = Hitler. Just when I thought SA threads couldn't go any lower, the community keeps on digging. Hey, whatever it takes to make a political point.
    4 Sep 2012, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • Retracting my point after a little post-posting Googling. First I had ever heard about Ford's (indeed) rather active verbal war on Jews.
    4 Sep 2012, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • Yup, one of Ford's rather unflattering traits was his anti-Semitism.
    4 Sep 2012, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky


    My respect for you just went up.


    Ford was a bigot and an asshole. No telling what he and Hitler talked about behind closed doors.


    Antisemitism in Europe is still very strong and many of those countries that sent Jews to death camps have never paid restitution or at least restored to the Jews the homes that they took from them. Those governments gave the homes to non Jewish families and never made them give them back so whatever Jews survived had a place to live. They enabled Hitler's plan to kill all the Jews.
    4 Sep 2012, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • So long as we permit more and more of the wealth of the nation to trickle into fewer hands, the pool of the non-productive poor at the bottom will grow.


    The result of the current concentration of wealth at the top is a pool of 47m living on food stamps.


    The trick is to 'thicken the middle', support the middle class, grow it, so more of the bottom produces, earns, and consumes.


    Otherwise, the large pool at the bottom will find their own way to get back their piece of the pie, by voting it to themselves or otherwise.


    A strong middle class is the hallmark of a healthy capitalist republic, and anyone who thinks otherwise is confused.


    Frankly, I can't support any notion of trickle down, tax breaks for the wealthy propaganda, especially the drivel coming out of the current Republican candidate. It's such a shame that the best candidates often get defeated in the primary, and lately, the Republicans field an ever more obnoxious agenda in order to appeal to the extremist elements of the party as if they somehow believe independents will find that appealing.


    Hey, Romney, listen up, while you cater to the fascists and oligarchs, those of us who may have considered you, stop doing so.


    And your choice for VP sucks.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • kmi,


    The Republican party lost a lot of ground, when the candidates all stood together, and to a man, raised their hands to attest they would never raise taxes. Never.


    Ronald Reagan wouldn't have made the cut. He raised taxes, because he wanted to balance the budget.


    So here we have a party, that wouldn't even nominate their best man today.
    3 Sep 2012, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • kmi


    You are missing something. We are strengthening the middle class. It's just not here.


    India has invested in education to drive middle class jobs so a lot of work went to India and may IT workers in the US are now from India. Look around and see how many Indian restaurants you see. Those people are not making minimum wage as they live here in the US. They are making $60K and up per year.


    China invested in ports and industrial parks and manufacturing and shipping capabilities. So they are building a middle class off of manufacturing.


    What has our leadership done along with a lot of our lazy population?


    Our priorities and our values are wrong. It is the inputs where we are failing.
    3 Sep 2012, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • "It's such a shame that the best candidates often get defeated in the primary, and lately, the Republicans field an ever more obnoxious agenda in order to appeal to the extremist elements of the party as if they somehow believe independents will find that appealing."


    Exactly my observation as a young Texan who was raised as a Conservative.
    3 Sep 2012, 10:07 PM Reply Like
  • Oh please ... RR would not have raised taxes in a recession. He probably would cut regs and got out of the middle east, and balanced the budget, and yes I'm old enough to have voted for him.


    The democratic party lost it's way during the Bush years.... Reid and Pelosi drove it too far left. This isn't rocket science.


    Romney isn't conservative enough for most republicans and is too conservative for most democrats. Probably puts him in the middle. By all measures he's gonna be a whole lot better than a guy who never ran anything.
    3 Sep 2012, 10:36 PM Reply Like
  • "He probably would cut regs and got out of the middle east, and balanced the budget"


    Yes, let's get out of the Middle East and take our defense spending back to where it was pre-Iraq war.
    4 Sep 2012, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • “A man who’s been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold” for the presidency, the former Arkansas governor said of the former Massachusetts governor."


    DNC's keynote speaker for this week, President Clinton said that in June. I call that an endorsement!


    Seems like a perfect opportunity for him to get his revenge for what the Obama campaign did to him and to Hilary in 2008.


    Now wouldn't that make for interesting TV?
    3 Sep 2012, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • I would not call that an endorsement. Saying someone is qualified to be president is very different from agreeing with that person's policies.
    3 Sep 2012, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Any way you look at it Obama is an incompetent leader and his socialism will lead us to misery.
    3 Sep 2012, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • Wow what an insightful comment Joe.
    3 Sep 2012, 10:06 PM Reply Like
  • Back to the subject of the article, jobs and wages. Most SA readers understand the problem. If you run a business, you cut costs. That makes your business profitable and competitive. The development of various types of machinery in the 60's allowed a lot of cost cutting, things like Xerox machines and mainframe computers. Desktop computers, office printers, CNC machines brought about another leap in productivity. Software is doing the same thing now. Wages have stagnated for 40 years, as has new job creation. The purchasing power of the population of the Western economies has suffered. Western governments have been trying to prop up their consumers for the same 40 years. Entitlements, "socialist policies". in Europe, Medicare, unemployment insurance, graduated tax rates. etc. here. Stagnant wages and middle/lower income tax rates have pressured government revenues. The financial collapse, recession, offshoring due to globalization and the Bush era tax cuts were the straw that broke the camel's back. Higher wages, well paying jobs and growth are what (almost) everyone wants, and are what would help fix the Federal budget. Here and in the other Western economies. But higher wages and well paying jobs aren't something that can be legislated. Not by Obama, Romney, the Republicans or the Democrats. Romney's expertise is in cutting costs. Raising wages and costs is something businesses don't do unless they have to. Change may eventually come in the West because the drive to cut costs has seriously damaged the market for goods and services. The Henry Ford idea. Actually the US isn't doing that badly in comparison, we have one of the very few PMI's indicating economic growth, largely an effect of the shale gas revolution.
    3 Sep 2012, 10:41 PM Reply Like
  • The Henry Ford Income Curve shift up won't work if the domestic workers as consumers then buy substitute goods at a lesser cost from a global competitor with lower labor costs. The uncompetitive wage "rent" becomes a wealth transfer from the domestic employer to the offshore producer. The full employment solution in a global economy is for the domestic labor cost to be comparable overall to the low cost producer. U.S. real wages have been falling gradually over last ten years, while manufacturing is now starting to gradually improve. As inflation increases over the next 5-10 years these interrelated trends of improved real wage competitiveness, and manufacturing activity will likely continue, although the overall mfg base is much smaller than years ago.
    4 Sep 2012, 03:52 AM Reply Like
  • No disagreement. Living standards converge globally. Management included.
    4 Sep 2012, 05:23 PM Reply Like
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