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Third Point’s Daniel Loeb again wields his acid pen to criticize White House leadership:...

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."
Comments (206)
  • People can complain about it, but he's right. Obama is as economically inept as any president in modern history.
    25 Jul 2011, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • Obama is the lesser of the two evils, republicans mantra: of bending over to the rich has been proved to cause huge income disparities. A 10% increase on the top income tax rate wouldn't affect much the economy. We can use 75% of the new revenues to reduce the deficit and the remaining 25% for infrastructure spending and in the process we create jobs.


    Enough of the rich free ride at the back of the middle class.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:56 PM Reply Like
  • i saw some interesting charts today that totally negate the republicans theory about cutting taxes leading to job growth and greater tax revenues. Since the bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, every year after (even during the boom years) tax revenue went down, and unemployment climbed. For these guys to fight so hard for something that we've seen fail miserably is bizarre.
    25 Jul 2011, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • And I have seen charts that say just the opposite of what you say. The only truth here is the old saying. Liars figure and figures lie.
    25 Jul 2011, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • I agree totally. Bring back the good old days of "W" --the most intelligent, articulate and economically schooled president we ever had.


    If only we had "W" back in charge we would never have gotten into this mess in the first place.
    25 Jul 2011, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • Playing w/ other people's money is always more fun and marginal increases of other peoples' tax rates easily solve all perceived problems. Too bad a 100% tax rate on those bending over the poor and anyone else they can get their greedy hands would still be insufficient to address the nation's deficit and obligations. Do you think that the primary source of the nation's problems might lie in irresponsible spending? If not, maybe someone else (i.e., politicians, etc.) will enjoy helping themselves to more of your own unnecessary income along w/ everyone else's because that is the only hope those who prefer to spend have to attempt to meet all it's obligations.
    25 Jul 2011, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • Yep there was a net loss in jobs during bush tax cuts. Historically, America experienced the highest growth when the highest income tax bracket was 70% and up.
    25 Jul 2011, 11:11 PM Reply Like
  • The top 10% of earners pay 71% of the tax now. How much do you think it should be? 85%?, 95%?
    25 Jul 2011, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • What % of income do they make? Does that number make a difference in your mind?
    25 Jul 2011, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • James117,


    Thanks for the talking point and lack of any real contribution to the conversation. Just for you, I have scoured the net and here is what I found:


    The Internet is awash with statements that the top 1 percent pays, depending on the year, 38 percent or more than 40 percent of taxes.


    It’s true that the top 1 percent of wage earners paid 38 percent of the federal income taxes in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available). But people forget that the income tax is -less than half- of federal taxes and only one-fifth of taxes at all levels of government.


    Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes (known as payroll taxes) are paid mostly by the bottom 90 percent of wage earners. That’s because, once you reach $106,800 of income, you pay no more for Social Security, though the much smaller Medicare tax applies to all wages. Warren Buffett pays the exact same amount of Social Security taxes as someone who earns $106,800.
    26 Jul 2011, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • Payroll taxes and specifically SSA is meant to be allocated to the SSA fund not meant for general expenditures. Medicare the same. SSA is also meant to be returned to the individual based on what they paid in provided they don't die early.


    This is why Gore uses the "lock box" metaphor to describe SSA.


    So the top 1% of income earners, which is not the same as the top 1% of wealthy people, are driving the largest share of Federal tax receipts that are used for discretionary spending.


    It is a fair debate to argue whether or not they should fund most of the discretionary spend which includes all kinds of programs.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • James117, you are an idiot.
    28 Jul 2011, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • Given the rate at which Obama is destroying America, there soon will be no wealth to redistribute.
    As Margaret Thatcher said, the problem with socialism is that you soon run out of other peoples money to spend.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:04 PM Reply Like
  • yes, the 66% increase in SP500 during the Obama presidency is a clear indication that he is out to destroy the investor class and therefore America. Especially when contrasted with the 27% decline during a presidency that was committed to free markets and capitalism.


    One only hopes that in the next two years the SP500 does not increase by another 20%, or that will be the end of America as we know it.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • And the problem with crony-capitalism is that you soon run out of other people's money to steal.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • And you attribute this increase to Obama how? Which pro-business initiative or program produced these results without jobs?
    25 Jul 2011, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • varan


    you compare apples and oranges


    Market fluctuations have nothing to do with permanently established fact of ineptness of our president


    For money he spent other than him could build entirely new country
    I am not talking about jobs here
    25 Jul 2011, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • Don't mistake the delusions of your chemicals infested brain with 'permanently established fact'.
    25 Jul 2011, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • varan


    please supply your replies by name to whom you reply.
    this way I would not miss your posts referring to me which may result in my deprivation of minimum required dose of your wisdom
    25 Jul 2011, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    And the problem with crony-capitalism is that you soon run out of other people's money to steal.


    Crony capitalism and self_growing=crony government are two manifestations of the same illness
    25 Jul 2011, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • I'll answer 7foot, the Bush Admin + Great Recession was a wealth transfer directly from the middle class to the wealthy. The bank bailouts and the financial stability programs facilitated this at every step.
    25 Jul 2011, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • What " permanently established fact" are you referring to?
    25 Jul 2011, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • Yes coddy0 and under Bush oil increased in price. 1.2trillion would have funded an entirely energy secure country. Instead we are still rebuilding infrastructure on the other side of the world. You do know that Obama put Bush's wartime expenses on the budget right? Bush the Minor never did.
    25 Jul 2011, 08:26 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    and under Bush ..................
    Your oil price increase during Bush times argument is confusing me.


    Oil price is three time up since our current president in office, which is not his fault or his failure.
    Bush ineptness does not cancel ineptness of our current president.


    One of the reason our president is failure that
    our president strictly follows path which Bush has left for him, minus Bush cronies plus his own cronies.
    Our president is Bush's edition for twitter users


    Problem is our president is man on tracks.
    Some times it Bushes track.
    Other time it is somebody's obscure collective farm propagandist track.


    It is impossible for him to focus on any single problem, because his mind is busy calculating where is the center between Bush and collective farm propagandist,
    while his eyes are steady hooked by teleprompter
    25 Jul 2011, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • Are you really using stock market returns as an indicator of whether or not the sitting President is friendly to investors? Really?
    25 Jul 2011, 10:24 PM Reply Like
  • Hey, Wyostocks, I'm from Wyo too. Have to disagree. I know liberals (and SOCIALISTS!) are hated in Wyoming -- but Obama is not destroying America. We are merely going thorugh the same kind of depression we go through every 36 years. The Republicans drove the cattle drive over the cliff. And now you are standing at the edge of the cliff blaming Obama. Not really true. Give up your ideology and see the truth for what it is.
    25 Jul 2011, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • KMI- irrespective of your wealth transfer remark I would like to say the natural order of things is business creates opportunity, opportunity creates wealth, wealth creates jobs, those jobs create opportunity but nothing is ever guaranteed, never equal and never fair. It all just allows the ball to stay in play.


    Your remarks about bank bailouts and guarantees have no merit as the recipients for the most part paid back their loans with interest and it stabilize the economy. That the banks are not pumping its trillions in reserves into the economy is more a reflection on the Administrations policies and philosophy then the banks themselves.
    27 Jul 2011, 07:55 AM Reply Like
  • MC- You said "We are merely going thorugh the same kind of depression we go through every 36 years"


    So then nobody is to blame, because one cannot influence that which is predestined to happen as you clearly believe.
    27 Jul 2011, 08:24 AM Reply Like
  • No merit? The banks failed, due to poor business practices. They failed. You understand the meaning of failure? It means that in the course of their business, they did not create wealth. They lost it. Yet somehow they were able to conjure money up to pay their execs multi million dollar bonuses.


    They were bailed out, and then a bunch of mechanisms were put into place, to GUARANTEE their future success so that Treasury would get its money back. Those mechanisms concurrently funneled taxpayer money from taxpayers to the big banks.


    Because they failed, and then they were propped up artificially, they continue to suck the life out of the economy. They don't lend - I'm in the business of borrowing don't pretend to me they do - and many -can't- simply because they are on the edge of solvency. The folks who most need capital in order to 'create opportunity, to create wealth', -small business- can't access it.


    The market wasn't cleared, and now we are going to have a very long period of little to no growth because of the bailouts.


    Enjoy this excerpt from an article right here on SA:


    "Out of the total $700B TARP bailout, approximately $205B were disbursed to the banks through the Capital Purchase Program. Of that $205B, roughly $150B has actually been paid back. One of the dirty secrets of the bailout, though, is that Treasury and the Federal Reserve found a way to give the banks money without any approval or oversight from Congress or anyone else.


    By keeping short-term interest rates close to zero for the last two years, the Fed has enabled the banks to drastically reduce their interest expense on deposits, thereby inflating bank earnings by tens of billions of dollars each of the past two years. There's nothing wrong with banks earning a profit, but the banks' reduced interest expense comes right out of your pocket. The less you earn on your savings account or CD's, the more money the banks make -- and it's all because of this deliberate gift from the Fed."


    Read the rest here:


    Don't pee on me and tell me its raining.
    27 Jul 2011, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • The idea that the banks should have been allowed to fail in 2008 is appealing as ideology, but in practice would have resulted in another Great Depression.


    The fact that the banks are now financially viable, and politically stronger than the government, is disquieting. Government has to be strong enough to discipline any bad actor, and if its' not that bad actor is the government. No difference in that between a Mexican narco-syndicate and an American bankster.
    27 Jul 2011, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • The banks did not fail, Tarp insured that, the legislated banking structure and Fed oversight is what failed America. Yep the financial burden needed to save the economy was put on the backs of taxpayers and wasnt that the Democratic controlled house that legislated that? Banks arent lending as much as they should be because of the poor risk reward ratio, why take the chance when you can get a guaranteed no risk return from the Government. Banks dont lend to consumers precisely because the economy and the assets to be secured are not reliable security, thats an Obamaproblem.


    This is no longer about Bush, or the great recession which ended in 09 its about everything that has happened since then. Just about all points you discuss should have and could have been addressed by this administration but most werent. IN the beginning it controlled all the chess pieces and what was there top priority that they spend almost two years on Obamcare.
    27 Jul 2011, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • Funny enigma. In the Era of Obama, failures of Congress are put on Obama's shoulders, during the Reign of Bush the Minor, failures are placed on the Democratic Congress.


    I call BS on your 'poor risk reward ratio' vis a vis banks, the lending products simply don't exist.


    The 'guaranteed return' from the gov't is funded by taxpayers, tell me who gets the return on it, middle class america or banksters paying themselves millions in comp for failure? Did you even read my comment or are you trying to move the basket so your ball falls in? The recession ended in '09 in your house maybe, but not on main street, I rent apartments to main street I'm pretty well in touch with it.


    Just about everything you stated is wrong or fudging the truth.


    The fact is main street has been bent over by wall street to the tune of billions, it may have occurred over the course of 3 Presidents (Clinton's last two, Bush's 8 and Obama's first 2), but it got maxed under Bush.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • The reason we "spent two years on Obamacare" was because health care costs were the primary drivers of our deficits, and getting them under control the first step toward fiscal sanity.


    Republicans long argued that the only way to get that control was to make sure everyone was in the pool, and that is mainly what happened. But we've also added IT that will get the data needed to make things more efficient, even for those on private insurance.


    Silly to demand an apology for doing what Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • Well isn't it the mantra of free market capitalism that the government should do nothing.


    You should be very happy that he did nothing. And if you made 66% during the last two and a half years you should be ecstatic.


    I bet that Mr. Loebb made more than 66% during the Obama presidency. All this whining is a ruse to hide the fact that Obama has been very good for rich folks like him: talk about trivial tax cut for the rich, but deliver unprecedented increase in their wealth. It's only the tea party idiots who are fooled by this charade and as a result are calling obama a socialist, although the outcomes are just the opposite of what would have been achieved by a socialist president.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • Main Street benefited hugely from the housing bubble. They in turn screwed over their neighbors into buying homes they should not have bought. Developers, RE agents and home lenders driving around in the latest Mercedes/BMW/Range Rover and sticking signs into front lawns to sell the latest spec house.


    This tale of two cities is not applicable. Everyone was drinking the bubbly and then it all blew apart. You can lament bonus structure of bank executives I can show you fortunes lost at the same time. And bank bonuses are not even a rounding error in the overall financial picture we are wrestling with now so that is a distraction.


    All the finger pointing is really a waste of time as there are very few parties that can say they were totally innocent.


    Only outstanding money that I am aware of now is AIG and GM. Neither are banks.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • Enigma: On the surface this is true. Every 36 years we have a depression/stagflation... contraction o fthe economy. No one to blame? In a sense. No one can make the depression NOT come. However, people can make the right moves -- for instance, monetary policy -- to help the depression do what it needs to do. That is, destroy debt, let deflation dstroy the 18-years of inflation we have just been through, and encourage growth of savings so that consumers will have money in the banks to invest when the next growth season comes around again. We have had our leaders do pretty much the opposite of all this, panicking and trying to make more borrowing and more inflation re-generate the growth that cannot come until we have deflated.


    One of my favorite metaphors of this process is the electron beam. Every electron in the beam is free to do whatever it wants to do -- however, for ebery action of one electron composing the electrong beam, some other electron (which electron will re-act can never be accuratedly predicted) must balance to original action of the first electron so that the integrity of the electron beam is maintained.


    One electron can cheat and steal, and act out of purely selfish motives -- and its shadow electron must act to try to balance the first.


    We CAN blame individuals for choosiing the wrong path, breaking the law, cheating and stealing -- and we must blame them and punish them, since this is part of the balancing act of the system we've created. But no one could have kept the depression from coming.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • I believe GM has paid off. And AIG is in the process of doing so through stock sales.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Uh, no. You borrow $1 trillion for wars of choice, you borrow $1 trillion to give to your friends, you turn the regulated into the regulator, then you throw up your hands and call it inevitable when it all comes crashing down?


    Responsibility needs to be placed where it belongs or we get the same result again.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • That was a smokescreen to really go after an expansion of government programs and entitlements and thereby government control of a huge chunk of our economy. And nobody with any sense would be focusing on an expense like HC and driving uncertainty into an economy where UE was rising and revenues were falling.


    Failure to prioritize leads to more failures. Even now we don't have a program to lower UE. Gov gravitates towards what they do best which is tax and spend. Creating jobs is very difficult for them to do and especially if they look at the business community as the enemy and only a necessary evil where they have to go to raise taxes.


    Nothing has changed and everyone is looking to blame somebody else a election season is here. Where are the initiatives to drive business and employment? Where is the communication between the government and political sectors?


    Government may not think they need business but they are demonstrating every day that they do.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Thomas


    I can say with certainty that I did not contribute to the housing bubble.


    I took out no home equity loans. I did not try to upgrade my lifestyle and buy a bigger house.


    I don't agree that its some little small percentage of people that are like myself. I'd agree that 20 or 25 or 33% of the folks went out and chased lifestyles and false things. So what? Why should people like myself then be asked to bail out some bad banks? Both set of folks should have lost. Those that can't pay their mortgages get bounced out of the home. Banks that lent too much to those people liquidate their assets. Both sets of assets are then bought by better managers!


    Thats called capitalism!!
    27 Jul 2011, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • David


    I hear you as I was responsible as the day is long myself. Keep in mind that the really bad banks are all gone. What is left is survivers outside of Citi which received mouth to mouth. Talking about banks that are gone as if they are alive seems strange.


    BofA and JPMC are two of the banks working through all these lousy mortgages which the got from Wamu and CW. They probably rue the day the agreed to buy those two pigs.
    27 Jul 2011, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • The idea that the banks should have been allowed to fail in 2008 is appealing as ideology, but in practice would have resulted in another Great Depression.


    The fact that the banks are now financially viable, and politically stronger than the government, is disquieting. Government has to be strong enough to discipline any bad actor, and if its' not that bad actor is the government. No difference in that between a Mexican narco-syndicate and an American bankster.
    This is bunk. The resolution trust that was used during the S&L crisis would have worked just fine. Bear Stearns should have gone under - if it was too big for a BK court then appoint professor Black (I believe he's still down in Texas somewhere teaching) to come out of retirement and start the liquidation process. If Lehman would have been next then so be it. Once BS went under you would have seen bankers selling their own assets and raising capital to survive.


    The difference in results would have been 1. Bankers would have lost their jobs and been prosecuted. When the government seizes financial assets they also get access to everything that went on - makes fraud prosecution much easier. S&L crisis saw thousands of convictions and many more settlements - this crisis has about 7 convictions. 2. Better managers of the assets would now own them. Today's bankers are good at bribing politicians - not exactly something that is in the best interest of the markets nor our country. 3. We might have fallen harder but the past would have been the past - the housing crash would have displaced millions but it would be done. Instead it will dribble out over a decade. 4. There would be real moral hazard that bankers and people actually took into account when making financial decisions - now they just ask if the government has their back!


    Finally, Disquieting that banks are stronger than the government? The loss of our freedom to the triumvirate of the financial elite, bureaucrats, and politicians isn't "disquieting" - it &#*#^@%@ outrageous!!!!!!!!!!!!...
    27 Jul 2011, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • Unfortunately, collapsing the international financial system just to prove your point would have hurt you terribly. Much worse than you're being hurt now.


    The mortgages were turned into Collateralized Debt Obligations and pushed around the world, propping up many nations' financial systems, and the world economy. Those nations trusted our word -- America's word under America's law -- that they would be made whole.


    Yeah, shouldn't have done it. Yeah, criminal law. Blah blah. Yeah, capitalism. But the real world isn't like your Galtian dreams, I'm afraid.
    27 Jul 2011, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • If it is true that 51% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes then the redistribution fix is already in. Obama has discovered that he can bribe the voters with our own money.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • you must be a student at the Liberty University. you ignorance betrays your pedigree,
    25 Jul 2011, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • I'll play this game. Since you are using a tired and lame 'talking point' I'm gonna be lazy and use some cut and paste....


    Actually, they pay lots of taxes—just not lots of federal income taxes.


    Data from the Tax Foundation show that in 2008, the average income for the bottom half of taxpayers was $15,300.


    This year the first $9,350 of income is exempt from taxes for singles and $18,700 for married couples, just slightly more than in 2008. That means millions of the poor do not make enough to owe income taxes.


    But they still pay plenty of other taxes, including federal payroll taxes. Between gas taxes, sales taxes, utility taxes and other taxes, no one lives tax-free in America.


    When it comes to state and local taxes, the poor bear a heavier burden than the rich in every state except Vermont, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy calculated from official data. In Alabama, for example, the burden on the poor is more than twice that of the top 1 percent. The one-fifth of Alabama families making less than $13,000 pay almost 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, compared with less than 4 percent for those who make $229,000 or more."
    25 Jul 2011, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • Federal tax fact: 51% of Americans pay none. The authors of the preceding diversionary comments fail to grasp the implications of such a statistic. Let me help. Those who do not pay federal income taxes are biased to tax those that do.


    And guess where they want the money to go? Yes, that's right.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • Ive said it before on these comment boards, but I always feel compelled to address the stupidity everytime I see it.
    beaux, you are 100% correct and so I assume you are doing everything you possibly can to earn as little as possible so you dont have to pay federal income taxes? You can move into those "lush estates" known as public housing, watch joyously as your kids run to school to avoid getting shot, and rejoice in happy sing-alongs with crackheads that line the streets of your new estate. ah the good life, and you dont have to pay taxes! sweet!
    25 Jul 2011, 07:36 PM Reply Like
  • beaux said:


    "And guess where they want the money to go?"


    25 Jul 2011, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • KMI- the statement was " 51% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes" your response in no way shape or form disputes this fact, that there is other forms a taxation is not in dispute but has no relevance to Beaux comment. The beauty of our republic is each state and its municipalities can vote on and or establish what they believe is a fair tax rate. Unlike with the Federal Income tax, if residents dont agree they can just move, to another city and or state, leaving ones country is a completely different matter. Business and families do move when they feel the tax burden gets to great and the wealthy just restructure how they legally can take income, as Warren Buffet does taking all his income as capital gains
    27 Jul 2011, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • Where does this right wing claptrap come from? Obama has proven himself more than willing to compromise on all sorts of things. He's ready to concede on all kinds of spending cuts. Regulatory sanity is another necessary part of the mix. A modest increase in taxes on the super-wealthy is only a small reversal of the wealth redistribution that has already occurred.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • We have become a nation of know-nothings who celebrate ignorance, cultivate prejudice, and avoid reality at all costs. In other words we have been taken over by the Republican fundamentalism.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • varan
    We have become a nation of know-nothings who celebrate ignorance, cultivate prejudice, and avoid reality at all costs. In other words we have been taken over by the Republican fundamentalism.
    And these know-nothings who celebrate ignorance, cultivate prejudice, and avoid reality at all costs republican fundamentalists handed victory to our president in 2008
    25 Jul 2011, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • 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.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • Dana
    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.
    It was it is and it will be this way.
    Tree of life.
    Try other way around, and tree is no more


    Our president is not redistribution. He talks like one, but he is not
    25 Jul 2011, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • coddy0, you are correct. he is a socialist and sine you are here from the former Soviet Union you are well equipped to recognizes this
    25 Jul 2011, 08:26 PM Reply Like
  • 7footMoose
    he is a socialist
    he is socialist
    it his profession not his belief
    25 Jul 2011, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • Really the GDP of the country has increased over the past decade but uneducated class continues to lose, foreign markets are growing like crazy and we are talking about more regulation, taxes and the need to grow government. We are hardly even focused on jobs and who is at fault for that?
    26 Jul 2011, 12:11 AM Reply Like
  • Just seen a recent statistic. UE among people with a college degree is 4%. It is 10% for HS degree only and 13% for no HS degree.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • Lowering taxes during wartime had nothing to do with the deficit?
    25 Jul 2011, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • Not much actually, compared to the last 2 1/2 years. All I know is that our business thrived during the Bush years. Between 2001-2008 there were lots of tax cuts and one time incentives that really helped us to expand and hire and prosper. Now? not so much.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:48 PM Reply Like
  • What a coincidence. There was a lot of demand during the Bush years too -- but I'm sure that doesn't have anything to do with businesses doing well....
    25 Jul 2011, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • Herlock - please review the real estate + financial crisis circa 2008. Then explain to me how the current president is at fault for it.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • Every economic cycle has winning and losing industries. If you're in real estate, you're right -- the Bush years were mostly good ones. But the party ended, and you still haven't gotten your head around the fact that it was all done with borrowed money on phony "assets" that had nothing to do with real value.
    26 Jul 2011, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • A hedge fund manager, paying 15% "cap gains" tax rate, crying about redistribution of wealth. Okay.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • You definitely have a point.


    And its actually at the crux of the problem. We have high tax rates on some rich people, and low tax rates on other rich people. And who decides which rich people have low taxes? Our Congress! Which leads to lobbying, which leads to government picking winners and losers.


    Personally I'd like to see them get rid of all deductions. Lower the rates and institute a progressively flat tax rate - some sort of step mechanism - 3% up to 40K, 5% to 70K 10% to 150K, 15% to 250K, 20% to 1MM, 25% over 5MM - whatever it needs to be. Then we can add to our savings by gutting the IRS. Plus half of the lobbyists will be out of work!


    Where the President is being disingenuous is in telling people that this guy named rich just needs to sell a few of his planes and everything will be ok. Taxing the rich can get you another 100-200 billion a year perhaps (depending on how you describe "rich"), but it won't get you 1.4 Trillion.


    Lets set up a tax code devoid of government giveaways - everyone pays. Those that benefit from our freedoms pay the most.


    Then we can identify other easy fixes like raising the retirement age!
    25 Jul 2011, 08:09 PM Reply Like
  • Best comment on the thread so far.
    25 Jul 2011, 10:29 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky- could you provide some specific details, names and quotes to back up you inference ?
    27 Jul 2011, 07:59 AM Reply Like
  • Google is your friend. Sure, how about Warren Buffett's very well known quote -- "I pay a lower tax rate than my secretary". The reason? For hedge fund and private equity fund managers who make the big bucks, the vast majority of their compensation is not salary, but the "performance fees" based on the gains in the portfolio, which are classified as "carried interest" rather than regular income for tax purposes.
    27 Jul 2011, 08:36 AM Reply Like
  • Tricky- I wasnt disputing the obvious yet legal tax issues, I was talking about this " crying about redistribution of wealth. Okay." Sorry about that, who was crying about redistribution while taking advantage legally of the tax code.
    27 Jul 2011, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • Enigmaman asks "who was crying about redistribution while taking advantage legally of the tax code"


    Did you read the current or the article? This hedge fund manager, the subject of the current and referenced article, greatly benefitting from a legal BS loophole in the tax code, so that he pays lower tax rates than people who make orders of magnitude less in income, is crying about redistribution of wealth (in those exact words) -- although the facts of actual redistribution of income and wealth skewing towards the rich speak for themselves. For all the whining about Obama, it certainly looks like the rich are the ones waging "class warfare", and handily winning it.
    27 Jul 2011, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • That's a good game the rich are are playing.


    Whip up the ignorant Fox news listeners by crying socialism.


    And then give huge campaign contributions to Obama so he can continue this gravy train.
    27 Jul 2011, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • Tricky- the actual quote " “It is increasingly difficult to avoid the conclusion that while Washington burns, President Obama is fiddling away by insisting that the only solution to the nation’s problems — whether unemployment, the debt ceiling or deficit reductions — lies in redistribution of wealth. Perhaps a plan that led the way forward by expanding opportunities rather than redistributing outcomes and emphasized growth and prosperity for all would be met with less political resistance.”


    So actually the author is speaking to redistribution as it relates to all parts of our economy and not as you say or characterizing "is crying about redistribution of wealth (in those exact words)."


    Not exactly the exact words, sorry about that, Tricky
    27 Jul 2011, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • If fact, he used the exact words "redistribution of wealth", which you kindly retyped. And thank you for adding that he also spoke of "redistribution of outcomes". Of course, the "crying about" was my characterization of the situation, given the tone of his letter to the shareholders.


    If you are nitpicking semantics about where quotation marks are placed, I take it you have nothing substantive to discuss re: my broader point regarding the irony of the situation?
    27 Jul 2011, 11:56 AM Reply Like
  • How dare you say anything negative about the job creators like Hedge Fund Managers?
    27 Jul 2011, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • Or even better, private equity managers, who typically create jobs by... cutting jobs from companies that they control or outsourcing. Good thing they enjoy that 15% cap gains rate, so they can create so many new jobs.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • Leave Mitt Romney al-o-o-o-o-o-ne! <g>
    27 Jul 2011, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky nothing was retyped, there was no need, I didnt paraphrase or ad lib. His bigger point is that Obama see higher taxes as the only solution to our problems, through redistribution, in fact he has said as much and has declared it as " fair" so it cannot be disputed unless you want us to believe Obama also lies to himself.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • If you read my posts above, you will see that I have made no comment whatsoever regarding: 1) what Obama wants to do, 2) what Obama is doing, or 3) whether it is right or wrong.


    I am not a knee-jerk conservative or liberal, I think for myself on a topic by topic basis. If anything, my main activity on SA is pointing out hypocrisy (a trait shared across the political spectrum, to be sure). And it is highly hypocritical for someone to complain about redistribution when he pays FAR less in tax rate than people who make a lot less money, which is a regressive form of redistribution (obviously, in relative burden, rather than absolute dollars).


    THAT is my point.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • Enigmaman


    Please be specific. When has he said that 'higher taxes are the only solution to our problems, through redistribution'.


    If you can find a quote which says even 75% as much, I will be willing to go to the next Tea Party gathering in the neighborhood and flog myself in public. His statements on closing loopholes for usage of private jets and similar assertions do not meet the 75% criterion.


    Of course I would expect you to do something similar if you fall short in your attempt to find the basis of your accusation, but am sure that you are not going to do any such thing. People who make wild unfounded claims are like that.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky- hey very unhappy cry baby, contact your congressmen and senator and demand they fix the ills you feel need addressing, while at it tell them to also stop taking donations from all those big bad hedge funds, banks and lobbiest etc. Oh and good luck with that, HA!
    27 Jul 2011, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • The surest indicator that someone doesn't have substance for debate -- resorting to personal insults.


    I take it that when you disagree with a government policy that you don't consider yourself a "very unhappy cry baby" when expressing your disagreement?


    I fully agree that politicians (on both sides of the aisle, I would add) are owned by the financial services industry. That's why they so easily slapped down early Obama attempts to close the loophole on carried interest.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • Your "redistribution of wealth" line is just another term for "tax fairness." Those who get the most from government should pay more for it.


    After a decade of class warfare on behalf of the ultra-rich, successful class warfare mind you, it's amazing there's not more call for a little payback.
    27 Jul 2011, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky- common please, such games, you dont reference Obama yes that is correct but you do reference a hedge fund manager statement that takes issue with Obamas ideology. So I guess your trying to infer that this is not about Obama its about the rich taking issue with the redistribution of wealth, something near and dear to Obama and clearly the point of the authors comments. Most people would just connect the dots and assume correctly especially after reading your comments that you are a staunch redistributionist. Not thats its a bad thing, I mean you just want things to be FAIR, I get it.


    I apologize for the "cry baby" comment because it didnt need saying :)
    27 Jul 2011, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • Every investor is a redistributionist. We seek to redistribute wealth to ourselves.


    Same's true for every gambler.


    But the best redistributionists are those who control the banks and casinos. My biggest problem with this Administration remains its failure to rein those folks in. When the government isn't big enough to control every actor, the uncontrolled actors become the government.


    Guess we're in President Dimon's second term now...
    27 Jul 2011, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Dana


    Don't confuse the movement of the markets rewarding education and punishing non-skilled labor with class warefare. The market is saying that non-skilled labor is cheap globally end of story.


    Government distorts that market by rewarding no education with checks and transfer programs which will only make it worse for those affected persons. Even worse it rewards for no work at all.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Enigma, I appreciate and accept the apology.


    Correct, I am NOT a staunch redistributionist. I would be one of the people who lose out on redistribution (hmm, I need to become a hedge fund manager!). But I balance that with a viewpoint that what is happening to our society will have very undesirable effects, including for the rich. If we go back to a Gilded Age kind of society, some 21st century equivalent of Lenin could very well come along and get traction... and you don't want to be one of the rich if that happens.


    I don't pretend to know what the answers are, and I readily concede that it is VERY difficult to establish a system that gives the "down and out a helping hand" without it becoming a too-cushy and permanent way of life. But I do believe most people want to earn an honest living, even if they don't have the vision of how to get out of their current circumstances. Cheers.
    27 Jul 2011, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • 'Government distorts that market by rewarding no education with checks and transfer programs which will only make it worse for those affected persons. Even worse it rewards for no work at all. '


    The mind reels at the sheer idiocy and economic illiteracy, not to mention the misanthropy, that this statement betrays about its author.


    Where do they educate people like this?
    27 Jul 2011, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • With wise comments like that, you're going to have to change your screen name, Tricky. <g>
    27 Jul 2011, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • Ah, if the world only worked the way you think it does, like a well-wound watch. There are millions of educated, long-term unemployed around, people who can't get jobs and are being discriminated against in the job market because they've been unemployed so long.


    Government distorted the market by providing education to millions, and that's a distortion I support. It's the destruction of public education in our time that is the greatest threat I know of to our prosperity -- especially that of the rich.
    27 Jul 2011, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, education destroyed by the public teacher's union!


    What Thomas is saying is that when there are no obvious consequences to being an idiot then you get more idiots. I remember a story (actually only part of it) about people in Russia watching unemployed Americans on TV (this is in the late 90s). They though - how great it must be to be an unemployed American - they have lots of stuff and they are smiling. We do nothing but work and never smile!


    It was told to me by a Russian friend and while its an exaggeration there is a lot of truth in it.


    Safety nets are supposed to stop you from hitting the ground - they are not supposed to keep you living on whatever floor in life you desire!
    27 Jul 2011, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • TANSTAAFL, David. You can't get educational excellence on the cheap. You need qualified people making a decent wage. And you need to be allowed to teach a curriculum of facts, not politics. Science, not religion.


    I agree about safety nets, by the way.
    27 Jul 2011, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • 'Government distorts that market by rewarding no education with checks and transfer programs which will only make it worse for those affected persons. Even worse it rewards for no work at all. '


    The mind reels at the sheer idiocy and economic illiteracy, not to mention the misanthropy, that this statement betrays about its author.


    Where do they educate people like this?
    Its pretty basis economic theory. There are a certain number of people that will be content living at the level the government provides for them and as a result they'll just keep living that way.


    Subsidize something and you'll get more of it. There are incentives and disincentives at the individual level and he's correct that the government in some cases creates disincentives to work.


    And as to where they educate people like this - in economic classes in most universities - liberal bastions like harvard and yale included!
    27 Jul 2011, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • I love it how anyone who dares disagree, even a little, with your ideology has to be degraded and dehumanized.


    Must be fun to be an ideologue. Unfortunately I have a brain.
    27 Jul 2011, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • varan


    That is basic 101 Economic theory. The weight is on you to show economic theory and case studies to the contrary. Better yet try to espouse or publish the pure idiocy you spout off in any credible economics forum and you will dismissed with prejudice.


    I definitely have an education in Economics I would say you are at best a Poli Sci Major and a political hack because you are looking at everything through those lenses.


    You are peeing into the wind and trying to tell everyone you are drinking Spring water. Keep drinking.
    27 Jul 2011, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • People need to take the jobs available to them and the jobs that exist not the jobs they fantasize about. I have not met anyone yet who is not working that does not really want to work. And I have met people who have taken a step down to work and they stayed in the game.


    Education has constantly received more funding so that is underperforming hugely for the increased investment. But at least the teachers are making great money and benefits for 9 months so somebody is winning. On the flip side it is not all the teachers fault as Americans don't value education enough to really work at it and it is killing them in the job market. It is not the responsibility of some person to jam an education down the throat of an unwilling student.


    Finally a Liberal Arts degree is not a skill.
    27 Jul 2011, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • Dana


    We have educational mediocrity but not on the cheap. There is enough being spent. The entire industry needs to be transformed.
    27 Jul 2011, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • I dont' know what TANSTAAFL means and I don't see where I said education was cheap, nor said anything about curriculum - though if I were to say something about curriculum it would be along the lines of math and science and actual grades and telling kids they failed when they fail - as opposed the politically correct nonsense that substitutes "feeling good", fake history, "understanding" and passing folks along.


    And I believe a review of OECD data would show we spend more per pupil and we are near the bottom third in way too many things.
    27 Jul 2011, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • love it how anyone who dares disagree, even a little, with your ideology has to be degraded and dehumanized.




    and exactly what in my comments is degrading or dehumanizing????


    Typical liberal bs - can't win an arguement or present facts then start trotting out the politically correct labeling. I guess tomorrow I'll be a racist.
    27 Jul 2011, 09:58 PM Reply Like
  • Actually the world (entire world) works a heck of a lot closer to the way I think and live than it is to the way you liberals wish the world to be!


    Lets see - how much social support is there in India or China? Well there is a large chunk of the world's population. Southeast Asia? Malayasia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, etc.... hmmm when I'm there I don't see too much.


    Then lets consider the "Western World". Seems that the countries doing the best - Australia and Canada went through tough times in the 90's and adjusted their approach to government spending and are doing well.


    Western Europe - well aside from Germany and the Netherlands not looking so good. Southern Europe - too easy for me to make comments so I'll leave it at not so good. Eastern Europe - hey they are doing fairly well..... and surprise surprise you'll find much lower levels of social programs than in Western Europe (not to mention lots of flat, simple tax codes).


    Scandanavia is the one area that you can point to a long stretch of successful government controlled society experiencing growth. But lets not forget they are a primarily small, well educated, homogenius population and have a very strong work ethic.


    Japan? Well nice standard of living but they have a day of reckoning and they are also aided by the fact that families are expected to take care of their elderly (imagine that!).


    So, should we be more like the folks that are thriving? Or should we trade more of our freedoms for the "security" of bureaucrats deciding our lives for us and letting us know what we are "entitled" to.


    And finally a practical example. When I go and get business licenses renewed or file required paperwork for things like tax licenses etc - the folks there truly believe that they are "helping me" and "partially responsible" for making my business a success. Its unbelievable - I'm away from my business - doing absolutely nothing of value and the bureaucrat thinks they play a primary role in somehow making me successful. There are a lot people I owe my success to - a bunch of overpaid paperpushers aren't any of them. To their credit some attempt to do their "job" as well as they can - But far too many think that I am there to serve them! And I'm "guilty until proven innocent"!


    And folks wonder why small businesses aren't investing and hiring like they did twenty years ago!!!!! There are your jobs!!!!


    So I guess that when your way of "wishing" things are puts too much of a burden on my way of living - its the folks further down the totem pole that actually get screwed - less investment - less jobs - less opportunity. But hey, at least there is a beaucrat there to have them fill out a form and tell them which line to stand in to renew their government assistance program - thats a great goal - and unfortunately when that becomes the goal your in a heap of trouble.
    27 Jul 2011, 10:12 PM Reply Like
  • Actually our university education system is the best in the world. See the annual international reports on the best universities in the world: the US usually has about 7 of the top 10 schools. And about 18 of the top 25.


    We need more discipline in our grade schools and high schools -- I'm not sure that $$$$ is the only issue with regard to educational excellence, but I agree that education has to be our top priority and we need to be willing th spend money on education.
    28 Jul 2011, 12:32 AM Reply Like
  • Obviously, you have not gone beyond Economics 101.
    28 Jul 2011, 01:02 AM Reply Like
  • That's for sure.


    Somehow our country has come to the point where there is no consequence for being an idiot, and therefore we see so many idiots flooding the airways, the print media, and the internet with unmitigated nonsense.
    28 Jul 2011, 01:04 AM Reply Like
  • Higher education is 'higher' for a reason. We have trade schools for people wanting to train for a job. Higher education is about being prepared to think for one's self and pursue a life of continued learning and devote oneself to the cultural education of the society, the expansion of the society's minds and souls.


    People need jobs, yes. But we don't need a mercenary society in which the only value we have is the pursuit of money. We've had that pretty much for over 200 years -- we've given the world a heavy dose of finance and disneyland and hollywood and practical science; and we also need to give to the world philosophy, art, literature, history, higher science (theoretical). Practical sciences are fine; but they are not superior to theoretical science.


    The practical mind tries to reduce everything to the basic common denominator: a full stomach. We need to stop reducing everything to something lesser, and start expanding everything to something greater. Bach and Beethoven and Shakespeare gave the world more than Warren Buffet has. Yes, Warren Buffet has helped to fill people's stomachs -- and that should not be reduced either. That success is also important. But he's no Bach or Beethoven.


    The Practical Arts (such as money-making) have their place, but it's not very high in terms of the eternal history of civilizations. It's basic: the full stomach. The Impractical Arts also have their place.


    I promise not to reduce the contributions of the Warren Buffets to society if you promise not to reduce the contributions of Herman Melville and James Joyce.
    28 Jul 2011, 02:51 AM Reply Like
  • Sorry, but money is the issue. We have some good public schools. In rich areas where taxpayers are willing to tax themselves to pay for them. Kids in poor areas, with poor tax bases, get nothing.


    But don't worry. We'll use tests to show they're actually smart. Then we'll can the union teachers and get non-union, cheaper teachers we can fire at will. That'll solve the problem.


    No. No free lunch. It doesn't exist. After listening to conservatives say that for 40 years, why do I have to remind them of it?
    28 Jul 2011, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • We do spend more on health care than any other country, and our results are on par with those of Cuba. True there.


    But, no. We don't spend what western Europeans spend on schools, or (relative to GDP) what fast-growing Asian countries spend.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:31 AM Reply Like
  • Ever taught? Ever tried to live on a teacher's salary? My family has. On both sides. Before you claim those salaries are so great try living on one. Please.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • Dana--
    two points-
    1. Divide the salary and fringe benefits by the hours worked and it works out to a pretty damn high number.
    2. Nobody ever forced a teacher to take the job if they didn't like the salary. They made the decision---probably liked the fact that they only worked about 9 months a year.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • Try teaching. It's hard. Good teachers have serious skills, they work hard, they work hard at maintaining them, they work late into the night, their salaries are not great, and they have wahoos like you calling them overpaid, wanting to strip them of their rights to organize, to fire them at will, and cut their salaries. Oh, and tell them to teach lies, and don't be mean to my little Johnny or Jane, etc. etc. etc.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • relative to GDP?


    Lets be clear. The USA spends the most per student from grades 1-12. Period. I believe there have been a few years Switzerland was close or above us in late 90's early 2000's.


    The way the Nordic countries get high spending relative to GDP is tertiary education which is entirely publicly funded (ie college and graduate school is basically free).


    If you include higher education in the mix then your correct and we are slightly above average, with the Nordic countries being in the lead. I'd point out that the one area of our education system that is highly respected is our...... tertiary education!! Higher education that is partially funded by the states (universities) and private donations and people actually pay. And I'd also point out that all the money being spent on "for profit" colleges and universities is actually coming from the Federal government - and 90% of it is simply a scam!!!


    And as to the comments about teacher's salaries. In the area that I live, the median income is 29,000. The STARTING salary for a teacher in the school district is 39,000. The median is somewhere in the 50's. And the average administrator is in the 60's (sorry I don't have the numbers in front of me). These folks also have two and a half months in the summer that they can earn extra money (I know because I have a few that have worked for me during the summer!).


    Exactly how much more should these folks earn?


    And lets be clear - I respect teachers and the work they do. You are correct that the best teachers work long hours, put in "extra" time with their students and are constantly working to get better. I'd have no issues with this group asking and receiving more money.


    But lets not shut our eyes to the next two groups. Good/Average teacher often work fairly hard their first 4-5 years. They have then developed a few different teaching plans. They start to recycle those plans. If a student asks for help they will give it... But they aren't going to push the student to ask for it. They do a decent job with our children. They are teaching, they run a classroom (and I agree that is not an easy task), and for those students that are motivated they get the job done. I'd say this group is in no place to ask for more money - and their benefits are too generous. The teachers that have worked for me part time fall in this category - and surprisingly, over a few beers they will generally put themselves in this category and laugh at those teachers "slaving away trying to make kids want to learn".


    Then there is the group that makes my blood boil. The total slackers. The incompetent. The "I know every detailed union rule and you can't make me do that" crowd. We all know they exist, we all had some teachers in this category. And they should be fired. Done. Out the door. Instead of them being fired, the teacher's in the first two groups protect them. Under some guise that something unfair might happen. Geeze, you mean in life sometimes things aren't fair? Well welcome to the real world.


    It should be of no surprise that in the past three years there have been exactly two teachers that have left for reasons other than retirement.


    One of my next door neighbors is a teacher. He has much better health insurance than my family. And he has a guaranteed pension that is based on a percentage of his highest three years salary. He's a nice guy, but if I had a gun to my head I'd say that between his salary and benefits he is overpaid for what he does.


    In Finland the elementary schools are run by the principle. Teacher plans are reviewed and approved by the principle. Teachers are hired and, if needed, fired by the principles. Thats it - no unions, no work rules, no nothing. Oh, and principles often sit in on the classes. And teachers are asked by principle for feedback. And yes I'll agree that they have a smaller educated population without many of our issues.


    And their teachers all come from the top 1/3 of their universities graduating class. period. No exceptions. And you'll find their teachers make less on average than ours. So I reject the idea that if we just gave the teacher's unions more of taxpayer's money that we'll see any improvement. And yes, I am personally in favor of breaking the union. They serve no other purpose than to help enrich average, mediocre and terrible school teachers - at the expense of truly great teachers and the rest of society!!!
    28 Jul 2011, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • I'll add that I went to high school overseas, and when I attended college here in the US most of the 101 classes were taught... in high school.
    28 Jul 2011, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • I think you meant principal. You always know how to spell principal because he's your pal.


    A big difference between American and other education systems is that we educate everyone. Finnish students, and those in other countries, are weeded out regularly through examinations and those who don't test well are either pushed into the workforce or given some other apprentice-like training.


    And while Finnish teachers aren't unionized, they don't need a union because they are given good wages, good benefits and community respect.
    28 Jul 2011, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • I have taught. My wife has taught. The salaries are not good.
    28 Jul 2011, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • Teachers are easy targets in this class warfare that the Republicans have been waging for years, though they constantly accuse the opposite side for doing it.
    28 Jul 2011, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • The yahoos, methinks, want a return to the feudalist times. A relatively few rich lords, barons and counts living in castles who support the king: and everyone else working for McDonalds for (overpriced) peanuts. It serves them right. If they were 'DarWINian Natures', they'd be rich. If they aren't rich, what good are they?
    28 Jul 2011, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • Teacher's have brought it upon themselves. They can thank their union for sacrificing the needs of our children to protect those that should be fired. Thats it. Teachers have lost the respect their profession once had (and its still respected, just not as much) because we all know that they put their own interests ahead of our children's interests.


    In the school district where I lived the Teacher's Union signed a three year contract in 2007 to take them through 2010. When it was signed the economy was still going pretty well. Despite some public outcry over the widening gap between what the average person here earns and the teacher compensation - they were granted a 3% or 5% increase EACH year of the deal (I can't remember which). They got that due to collective bargaining rules that kicked the negotiation over to a state appointed moderator and he used "comparable" statistics to say other teachers within a 100 mile radius were earning more.


    So they got 3%/5% raises each year through the great recession. As the district had to make cuts to various programs in 2009 and 2010 there was not a peep from the teachers to say - hey, we know everyone is hurting and we know this contract is forcing cuts in Latin, and French and German and Band and various activities - so we'll put off our raises for a couple years to help out. Nope - just keep giving me the money - the heck with the kids!!!


    So, yes I personally believe we need to break the union. Pay the best teachers good money - pay the average teachers average money. Provide solid health care and pensions - but not lavish - your not going to retire and earn more than the average person in your community earns while they are working! And FIRE the ones damaging our childrens' future!


    And yes I'm sure I misspelled principal and a bunch of other words - old age rears its ugly head :)
    28 Jul 2011, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • So, you're argument is that we are behind India and Vietnam? We should be following them because they know how to do things better than we do? Maybe we should be studying Zimbabwe instead?
    28 Jul 2011, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • In terms of growing our economy over the past several years yes. We are well behind both countries. What public money they spend is mostly on infrastructure and things that pay off over time - we spend most of ours on passing money out to people through "entitlements" and social programs. Through military spending on top of that and its two completely different approaches. One focussed on short term buying of votes and one on the longer term interests of the country.


    Zimbabwe's economy has been shrinking so not sure how that part of your comment is relevant.
    28 Jul 2011, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • I hate to tell you this, but India is no Galtian dreamland. Neither is Vietnam.
    28 Jul 2011, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • In some sense India will be great for the Galts. Let them go there and enjoy the benefits of being ultra rich with all the maids and the servants that they can get to coddle them 24/7.


    The Ayn Rand fans will love it in India, with the added benefit that they will quickly learn the meaning of the concept of common good and the benefit of the public contract, and as soon as they have to smell shit in every public place they go to they will come running back to USA as Democrats.
    28 Jul 2011, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • So if I understand this thinking correctly we spend too much on health care and we can get more for less but with education we need to always spend more to get more. That logic is inconsistent. Teachers who were the college flunkees where I went need to get compensated higher while doctors who were the college academic stars need to get paid less. I don't care if they both get paid less but this drum beat of pay more get more is unacceptable for only 9 months of work and teaching the same damn thing every year.


    We spend enough on education at the lower levels and that does not include what parents spend on education outside of the school system. Our public education system has more than just money problems. Asia spends less than us and are kicking our tails.
    28 Jul 2011, 05:55 PM Reply Like
  • MC


    My point is not around superiority of one discipline versus another but rather that a LA degree does not provide much for skills and therefore may not have much value. But we build massive government owned buildings to teach it and give scholarships and encourage people to get degrees and then they sit on UE and we pay again.


    In the meantime I visit Asia and notice that they are focused on producing people with marketable high end skills that are superior to our people and we wonder why we cannot compete. BTW I also visit the local stone cutter in India living off $100 a month and his skills are fantastic and his work is incredibile to review and he loves his work but he is poor. He lives in a small shack with a bunch of kids and a wife. He reminds me of the LA's people we have here in the US except here they want cars and at least one nice home.


    The lesson if we can open our minds is that if we educate a lot of people in a degree which they cannot earn a living from besides perhaps being a RE agent then we are doing damage to our own population. Or they go back to become a lawyer which we hae enough of already. Professors and intellectuals can pontificate all they want but a person with no job or skills is in desperate shape.


    I am OK with teaching all the LA's we want but that should be for self fullfillment not for the reality of today's marketplace. Get two degrees but don't leave college with just a LA degree.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • Lived off of a lot less than a teacher's salary and that was 12 months of work. And most people can probably make that claim.


    That salary for that lifestyle is better than a lot of alternatives.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • Dana


    Teachers are babies. They have no idea what most people put up with at work and how uncertain the average person has it in this world with their job and with their retirement. These people work 12 months a year and they also work at skills and they don't get automatic raises when they waive a Masters degree in the air. And they don't have pensions and retirement funded by taxpayers either.


    And they should be fired at will. Nobody wants to fire good teachers. It is the bad teachers that hide behind that protection. Recently our school district spend $350K getting rid of a teacher that was looking at porn on school computers.


    And then you have teachers basically campaigning during school hours for the candidate of their choice which is typically on the left and trying to influence kids who have no friggin idea what it is all about.


    Pass the bong in the faculty lounge because teachers dont have much of a clue about reality and then they weep at the town meetings that they cannot make it without automatic raises to their above average take home pay. Clueless.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:21 PM Reply Like
  • Methinks that teachers want to live in the castle given the compensation and benefits as compared to the average American.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:25 PM Reply Like
  • Then let's not complain that India is taking all the jobs from Americans. Obviously they don't understand how to run anything.


    They are kicking our butts so come off the pedestal and acknowledge a good beat down from Indians who have figured out a better way of doing things than all the high and might Americans.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint:


    Do you know anything about India?


    Is that the kind of country that you think USA should aspire to be?


    If yes, I think you are a lunatic. No need for me to argue with you in that case.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • Automation can help improve results and lower costs for both health care and education. I don't question that.


    I covered education for a while, and the solution there is networks. Many school systems would buy PCs for classrooms, and then find that the PCs were obsolete before they could train teachers on the software.


    Networks do a much better job. Teachers should be handling exceptions, not standing in front of classrooms trying to entertain or sitting around while kids take tests on paper.


    But teaching is hard. It requires professionalism, just like doctoring. And you don't get better doctoring by buggering the doctor. Same with teachers.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • Median family income in this country is under $50k. Most teachers don't make that. Try living on a teacher's salary and get back to me.


    My brother does. It's not easy. His wife has to work, and both have second jobs.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • Teachers are not babies. They are professionals who deserve to be treated as such. They're not treated as such in "fire at will" situations. They have the rights every other person should have to organize, if they choose to, and to bargain collectively.


    I know teacher hatred is popular on the right, and it's not making you any friends.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • My sister-in-law teaches HS level science, and my brother (used to teach) now works during tax time as a preparer. Neither has a second job, their house is paid off, and they're paying for two kids to go through college (without borrowing).


    Perhaps your brother and his wife and not very good with budgeting their money. Teachers make good money.
    28 Jul 2011, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • So why don't you or anyone else go and become a teacher? If it is so good, why not become a teacher?


    I don't hear you guys complaining about obscene salaries of the people in the financial industry.
    28 Jul 2011, 07:23 PM Reply Like
  • I am on board with your ideas around automation and transforming how teachers do their work.


    But I have to tell you training teachers on software is hilarious. Education must be the last place where computer skills are not just expected when one walks in the door. Further training is done OTJ and is done quickly.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • Everyone who is paid is a professional and deserves respect. Get off your pedestal and quit asking for baby treatment.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:03 PM Reply Like
  • varan


    Leave your double wide trailer and venture out past the city limits and you might learn something.


    I have been in India and other Asian countries a lot so I know more than you could possibly imagine. India is more aspirational and opportunistic than the US and has a very large number of very intelligent people. They are acscending and we are descending right now.


    I am not as smart as you but I would think we would want to be a country on the ascent. But I am certain you have a deeper more intelligent view.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • Probably (for me at least) because they don't want to be a teacher. I don't complain about anyone's salary except for public unionized employees (on REALLY good days, I can make over $300/hour). I tend to complain about public-union guaranteed salaries, though.


    Unionized public school teachers are virtually guaranteed employment, work less days per year than private sector full-time employees, and have near 'golden parachute' type retirement benefits. All on the taxpayer's dime. Therein lies the problem. As a public sector employee ('servant', no less) they should not get a better shake of the stick than 40-hour-a-week, 52-weeks-a-year average Joe Schmoe taxpayer who has to actually perform better than his peers to keep his job.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Net immigration between India and the US still favors the US. By a ton. India is not a Galtian utopia. It's incredibly bureaucratic, and there are sections of the country beyond the government's control.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • Net immigration is not a measure of who is rising and who is falling when India is overcrowded as well as China and will likely kick off more immigrants than any other country for decades.


    On the other hand the number of Indian workers that have been in the US and now go back is a good number and they are some of the best employees.


    It's incredibly bureaucratic............. like the US with layers of federal, state and local regulations.
    28 Jul 2011, 11:48 PM Reply Like
  • I was born in India and spent the first twenty years of my life there.
    28 Jul 2011, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • You must have been born under a tarp on the local dump given how slanted your view of it is now. Between China and India there is a staggering amount of growth happening and a middle class growing by leaps and bounds and many of them are well educated. Sure there are people pissing in public and living on the street but I am sure we will get there too given our leadership.


    We complain the middle class in America is getting destroyed well the opposite is happening in India and China. Maybe they know something we don't.
    29 Jul 2011, 12:25 AM Reply Like
  • You don't know anything about real India.
    29 Jul 2011, 12:30 AM Reply Like
  • Get over yourself. I know much more than about India than you would like me to know and that includes the ugly parts as well.
    29 Jul 2011, 01:51 AM Reply Like
  • You are not SERIOUS, Tomas. You think the teachers are living in the castles. Where do you live? The bankers steal billions and wreck the train -- and you want to blame the teachers and the state workers who live in two-bedroom bungalos near the poor side of town.


    Your ideology is skewering your perspective.
    29 Jul 2011, 04:05 AM Reply Like
  • And don't we want teaching to be an attractive discipline that pays a living wage? Don't we want good, hard-working, educated people to teach our children?


    I will repeat what I said above. Bankers steal billions and run the train off the track. And the righteous right picks the teachers and the state-workers as their target of what is ruining America. Teachers aren't ruining America. Greedy bastards on Wall Street are ruining America. You want the America of old, where hard work and decency rule. Get rid of the greedy bastards on Wall Street then.
    29 Jul 2011, 04:08 AM Reply Like
  • I live in Vietnam. I would not suggest America needs to follow Vietnam anywhere. You need to broaden your view of what is real and valuable. Asia is inflating on its own housing bubble. That is all that is keeping it from sinking back to the mud and clay.
    29 Jul 2011, 04:10 AM Reply Like
  • India is kicking our butts, in terms of what exactly? Making money for the higher class? Do we want a caste society that specializes in social discrimination?


    You guys are so one-dimensional. Do you want to be part of the American civilization or the Indian civilization or the Vietnamese civilization? Everything in nature goes up and goes down; and then goes back up again.


    You don't honor your own nature much by panicking, reducing everything to the amount of money in your pocket, and then trying to emulate any idiot, fool or crook who walks down the street with more money than you have. Money comes and money goes. You are not a total failure without money in your pocket; you are not a total sucess with money in your pocket. Character makes the man. And one of the strongest tests of character is what the man becomes when he fails, when he has no money, when he has to make friends with the part of his own nature that is not a hero, not a success, not popular, not in the celebrity spotlight.


    America's character is being tested. Let's not panic and prove people right who say America has no soul and Americans are a bunch of rich bastards who are only strong when they are on top.
    29 Jul 2011, 04:15 AM Reply Like
  • Doubting Tomas:


    Things go up and things go down. You can jump off one roller-coaster (the one going down), and jump on another (the one going up), to always go up. Or you can be a complete human being -- in a complete human society -- and go up and down. Going up is more pleasant than going down, I admit. But Wisdom is gained from the full circle of life's experiences.


    You get to be a hero when you go up. A success. A winner. Of course, we hat the losers on the other side, the down side of the ride. We don't want to be with them -- we don't want to be confused with them. "I'm a winner -- not a loser!" But, in truth, we are both.


    Keep running from your shadow -- your shadow, a dusk approaches, rises up to meet you. Why did Jesus Christ go down to be with the losers of society? That was part of his nature too. Do you think the 'leaders' of the Judaic society thought of Jesus as a winner or a loser?
    29 Jul 2011, 04:24 AM Reply Like
  • The right wing loves the far East because they are now capitalist and represent a growing market - and MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.


    I live in Vietnam now. I love Vietnam and the Vietnamese people -- I'm not blind to their vices however. Vietnam is like America: good and bad; blind and visionary (more blind than visionary); decent and indecent... Every country is the same in that way. We are all human after all.


    They now admire the East because the East has become like them: obsessed with $$$$$$. They think they are wise to be following the 'leaders' of America into blind love of money and material objects. They think they are now sharing the common religion. (It IS, in truth, a very COMMON religion.) Got to get a new car; got to get a new house; got to get a new stock portfolio... Asia is now insane with the greed-religion, having inherited from whom? Yes, from the Entrepreneur-Class in America. The American right-wing.


    If India is a place that now worships the rich, then they want to be part of it.
    29 Jul 2011, 04:30 AM Reply Like
  • It's not about knowledge, Tomas. It's about cycles of perspective. When the Sun shines on Asia it is dark in Europe and America. That is a literal truth. It is also a metaphorical and metaphysical truth.


    Notice how you have to ridicule those who do not agree with your perspective. "You must have been born under a tarp in the local dump.." you say to Varan, because he does not agree with you. He was born and raised in India -- and you have traveled there. White people traveling in Asia don't know anything about Asia. Asians are very skilled in showing you and telling you only what you want to see. The 'Face-factor' is everything over here.


    Asia is rising at the moment, yes. The system is designed so all parts of the Earth get the Sun for a time and get the Moon for a time also. Why is that so hard to understand? You are a scientist; a practical man.


    Why is Varan an idiot living under a tarp in a garbage dump because he has a different perspective than you do. Maybe he is in the light this time; maybe you are in the dark? You see how the world HAS TO disagree, because of the trick of light.


    You are standing in India and you yell out: "It has never been so bright!" And Varan looks out his window in America and says: "It has never been so dark!" Which one is right? You are both right -- but that doesn't mean that you agree.


    And that is what creates wars. Having to be right, having to be on the right side, is what creates wars.
    29 Jul 2011, 04:40 AM Reply Like
  • What you're describing is good news for America. It's good for more people globally to enter the middle class. It creates more stability, and bigger markets for every producer.
    29 Jul 2011, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • MC


    It is all relative. When their salaries plus benefits is double digits higher than the average person in their school district they are living the palatial lifestyle that the people in their fiefdom are not. And that is for just 9 months a year.
    29 Jul 2011, 08:39 AM Reply Like
  • You want the America of old where a young single women taught a class of 30 of various ages and they all went on to success and built this country up. Teachers are too caught up in their own world. The welder on the skyscraper in NY feels he is the most important person in the world because he makes sure the building does not collapse. Where is his lifetime benefits? And his job is dangerous. We can go through one example after another of careers that are important and even critical to our soceity and you don't see those people asking for special treatment.


    Teachers are living in an echo chamber listening to their own words and believing them.
    29 Jul 2011, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • MC


    Then by your logic Asians and anyone else have no right or insight to comment on America. They can all sign off this board now and go home.


    Thanks for closing down the board.
    29 Jul 2011, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • MC


    You confuse greed and ambition. Sure there is greed but there are a lot of ambitous and energetic people that want to improve their lot in life.


    I never referenced Vietnam.
    29 Jul 2011, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • MC


    I am sure your words are great comfort to a parent who has no job and cannot pay for clothes and food for their kids.


    Interesting theories but you live in a fantasy land and that place you live in really only has false empathy for people under pressure. I have a classmate that committed suicide because he was under such pressure.
    29 Jul 2011, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • Then you deserve not to have good teachers, because you don't value them. The problem is future workers don't have good teachers, either, which degrades the value of their labor.


    Sorry, Tomas, but I believe in America. I'm tired of this "no we can't" attitude. Maybe we have a fundamental disagreement on that, but that's OK.


    Stay well.
    29 Jul 2011, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • They all have a right to comment. And we all haave a right to decide if they are speaking absolute truth, or if they are standing in the light of day while we are standing in the darkness of night.


    We all have a right to comment; and we all have a right to learn from other comments.
    29 Jul 2011, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • Michael, I reread the comments and I don't see anyone giving the bankers a pass or praising them. As far as I'm concerned they can rot in jail and I didn't support the bailouts at all.


    You haven't addressed the fact that the teachers union protects the worst teachers, they fight every effort to remove poor teachers, and the public at large knows it. Nor have you addressed the real life examples that I've given of my own school district. Teachers are well compensated - better than the average worker - I have no issue with that IF they were held accountable. Can't say your one of those hard-working, educated people if your failing our children!


    They don't live in castles, but some of them are my neighbors. And they are living very well. The narrative of the underpaid public school teacher was true in 1980 but its simply not true today.
    29 Jul 2011, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • I am willing to have more money for social services to assist the unemployed during the Night-Cycles. I am willing to tax the rich to make this happen.


    I am less willing to tax the rich during expansions and to help the unemployed during the expansions.
    29 Jul 2011, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • DB


    The really good teachers were not that high in number and even in college professors were not available. But I really wanted to learn and that is what drove me.


    In fact "yes we can" be better educated but only if we want to and teachers can only help they cannot make people learn. And the way they teach needs to be transformed. Doing the same thing every year is not grounds for high salaries/benefits and raises.
    29 Jul 2011, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • He came to office with one thing in mine and that was ways to destroy America and he is doing an excellent job.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • Are you really saying that Obama is trying to destroy America -- that is his plan? Is he a trojan horse that hates America? Is he a traitor? Is he working for Russia, or Zimbabwe, or Libya? Is he a Muslim who hates white Christians? Is he like FDR, and enemy of America -- like the Kennedy brothers -- like McGovern -- like Carter -- like Clinton...?


    Warrenrial: I think you hate democracy, and want to always be in power. Study history to see what the world is like when the far right is always in power: Rome, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan. Those are good places to start.


    And why aren't you out in the streets fighting the destruction of America if you think Obama is intentionally destroying America. In the 1960's we thought Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were also destroying America: we went out in the streets and fought them. Where are you and your fellow travelers?
    29 Jul 2011, 04:52 AM Reply Like
  • The only wealth redistribution is from the middle to the top two percent. This guy is laughable, the income gap is the largest it has been since the gilded age. Any destruction of America was accomplished by W, leaving 1 trillion in deficits, after he inherited a surplus from Clinton. The Iraq war for oil started the spiral. I remember the 2000 election cycle when so many independent voters thought there was no difference between Al Gore and W.....I wonder if they think that today.


    Republicans complain about government spending, yet they passed a $500 billion Medicare prescription drug program that added directly to the deficit - no offsetting spending cuts for their own program. This is politics as religion for them now; its ideology and their philosophical approach to an ideal, not reality. Ronald Reagan could not even get the presidential nomination in this party.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:37 PM Reply Like
  • I remember that 2000 cycle too CP, I remember McCain was a credible candidate and I voted for him in the primary. Then 2008 came and he veered so far to the right it was scary. I also remember years of overseas wars that were never put on the budget and funded via emergency allocations.
    25 Jul 2011, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • Most politicians will spend your money so they can get more votes and build memorials for themselves. That is the cold reality of it. The average person is not that important to any of them even when they say otherwise. They don't want to hang out with you and they don't really want to know much about you. They want your vote and then get lost chongo.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:14 AM Reply Like
  • Americans are the biggest whiners on the planet. Rich guys try making your fortune in another country and then try paying less taxes there. I'm a proud patriot to pay my taxes and love my country for the wealth it has allowed me to accumulate. Hooray for the President who fights for those least able to fight for themselves. The greed and "I got mine" attitude in the US is shameful.
    25 Jul 2011, 07:36 PM Reply Like
  • The average rate of Federal Tax paid in the United States is 18%. 45% of Americans pay no Federal Taxes at all.
    The other 55% of Americans therefore pay an average rate of Federal Income taxes of more than 35%.
    In my book that is far more than the zero taxes that you seem to believe they pay.
    25 Jul 2011, 07:38 PM Reply Like
  • Obama's proposed budget was voted down 97-0 in the Senate. He has no credibility on this issue.
    25 Jul 2011, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • Our country simply has very few statesmen left. I had a lot of hope for Obama when he came into office. He had the support of the average man/women in this country. He had promised to change the way things were done in DC.


    To me that meant that he'd stick with the tough job of being president and make Congress face some of the difficult choices we face as a nation.


    IMO, this is where he has failed. I don't blame him for the economic mess he inherited. I do blame him for turning the stimulus into a Democratic party give-away at the hands of Pelosi and Reid. I do blame him for surrounding himself with the likes of Summers, Shapiro, and Geithner. He had the opportunity to turn to Volker (who would have broken up the banks), a giant of a man in the finance world and quite frankly one of the few good guys left.


    He said he believed in single payer. Fine - I don't but ok. But then instead of actually trying to pass that, he compromises on some sort of hokey plan that doesn't really do anything other than raise costs. We all know his plan won't work and the costs associated with it are astronomical. Congress has never actually cut payments to doctors. And worse we'll spend 5 years slicing and dicing the legislation so its just a patchwork of more government largess.


    He introduced a budget this year on the heels of a bipartisian debt commission that HE himself organized. And he ignored its recommendations entirely and introduces a budget that is simply insane. 1.4 Trillion in deficits this year, 1 Trillion a year for the next decade!


    Its just dishonest. Hate to say that but it is. Leadership entails telling people the truth. And the truth here in the USA is that we have programs that have been "promised" to people that we simply cannot pay for. Some programs require modifications (like Social Security) that will allow them to continue in something near the present form. Some programs (like Medicare and Disability) are in need of radical overhaul if anything is to exist in 10 years. On top of that our debt level is at a level where if it isn't already hurting the economy it soon will be.


    The president had the opportunity to lead. A State of the Union that would have laid out 4 or 5 focus points, lined up with the areas the commission outlines would have meant the debate happened on the president's terms. He could have brought SS retirement up first to build momentum. Raise the retirement age, raise the level of income being taxed, partial means testing for the well off. Done.


    Then do something difficult like reform the tax code. Again use an outline from the commission. Appeal to some core tenants the Republicans carry - get the government out of picking winners and losers. Lower tax rates in return for dumping all the subsidies.


    Move on to discretionary spending including the military. And on and on.


    You see the President could have set the tone, and called the shots on the agenda. Instead he's running for re-election. I don't dislike the man personally, but I can state that this is definitely not "Change we can believe in". Its just more of the same that has led us into the mess we are in. And if anything is even worse.
    25 Jul 2011, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • I generally agree with most of your comments david , and I love this one too, but I got a quibble, I'd like to remind you of something you have forgotten with the debt ceiling and budget debacle.


    When Obama started as President, recovery was synonymous with stimulus and spending.


    In fact, Obama inherited the spending stimulus mantle from his predecessor. The Repubs successfully used the debt and the budget as sticks to beat up Obama and changed the conversation from 'recovery' which they couldn't fight since markets have kept going up - regardless of why - to debt. The problem was always there, but it's at a point when between low tax receipts and a weak overall economy its ugly enough to be important.


    Now, instead of talking about meaningful issues like jobs, we are talking about spending that has already been decided upon. We've gone from attempting to stimulate out of the recession - which virtually every other country in the world is attempting to do - to austerity - which everyone seems to know doesn't work at stimulating the economy.


    And let me point out that at every step of he way we've been reminded that austerity exacerbated the G. Depression.


    It's a nasty place to be in. When people talk about Obama's original budget, it was a budget predicated on spending=stimulative, today the markets are strong, QE is universally despised - although clearly successful at its goals - and all anyone wants to talk about is spending cuts and austerity. It's not inappropriate but let's at least remember what the context of Obama's budget was.
    25 Jul 2011, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • KMI,


    Except, the Republican's are only doing this to capture the passion of voters that became inflamed over the Health Care entitlement, billions to bankers, billions more to auto worker unions, a trillion for public employee unions and road repair, obese federal and state pension obligations, the billions wasted to ineptly run Fannie and Freddie, pork, pork and more pork, fears of inflation, fears of deflation, etc.


    Republicans are not apparently as tone deaf as the Democrats. Recent poll has Obama @ 41% and Ron Paul @ 37%. I am not a Paul supporter and offer this more as a question. Do you think this might have happened in 2007 or 2008?


    The answer is no, not even within a magnitude. But voters are truly po'ed at the boys in Washington for the reasons above and probably a good deal more. The 2012 election will be the wildest since the early 1900's. Think Wisconsin on steroids.
    25 Jul 2011, 11:57 PM Reply Like
  • Gotlife,


    You are making lots of assumptions. The failures of Obama to make significant gains and changes in policy can be laid at the feet of a crony capitalist, lobbyist centered political system.


    Healthcare coulda been good. It isn't, because of the horsetrading that went on for Obama to get his own party members' votes on it. It wasn't a bad idea, it was a bad implementation. Financial system reform coulda been good. We coulda done Glass-Steagal over or let Volcker have a bigger hand in things. Do you remember how that played out? Do you know that banks are now providing input in how these rules under Dodd-Frank are written? Who's feet do we lay the blame for that at?


    Stimulus, pork, bailouts... these were voter issues that got Obama into power and are the same ones that continue to piss people off today. If McCain were president today, we'd probably be in 40 wars and DoD's budget would be quadruple but he did set pork reform on his agenda.


    I like Ron Paul. He's honest and doesn't shy away from stating his opinion in the interest of votes. I watched the Republican presidential candidate debates and other than Newt - who doesn't stand a chance in hell of winning the Rep Primary because he is a compromiser who knows Washington is all about deals, which was clear during the debate - the other folks are idealogues all of whom hold one or another unpopular position.


    If you think this lineup has a shot at 2012 even with the mess in Washington today, you better start talking to your friends and neighbors. The Tea Party's in now, and we see what they are doing, and it ain't pretty.
    26 Jul 2011, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • For his original budget I'd agree with you. In 2009 he enacted a stimulus plan (which I agree we needed a stimulus, but I'd have spent the money on infrastructure and simply told folks the truth that it all wouldn't happen overnight - instead we handed out money to states among other things) and that was a big impact on the deficit that year.


    But how can you justify our spending plan for 2011? Or his budget projections through 2021? A trillion dollars a year?


    As I said, I don't blame Obama for the economic mess he inherited. But I think anyone would be hard pressed to point to something other than the GM bailout that has really worked as planned.


    I know we live in different times, but I think the reason FDR is held in high regard is that he told the American people the truth - it was a tough long road out of the recession. He didn't promise them success overnight, but he did tell them the truth and people stuck with him through some really tough times. Today, it seems that there is to be an immediate easy answer to everything.


    Think of how much better things would be had Obama held a press conference and announced a $1 Trillion infrastructure stimulus package focussed on a new electrical grid, natural gas infrastructure to enable natural gas vehicles, and even some money for his beloved wind, solar, battery, etc. Tell people that Congress will approve the money but then they won't have any say in the specifics of handing it out. Set up a couple of commissions that will have 2-3 months to set a plan and have it approved up or down. Sheppard it through as president. Then see it through. Instead of simply having another trillion in debt, we would have had some jobs for lower skilled workers (along with higher skilled workers), we would have had something that we actually used, and we might have actually built upon its success from an economic point of view.


    Instead we handed out money - are left with debt - and the answer from the president is to just continue to hand out money!


    One of the things he said in his press conference last week was that 70 million or 80 milllion government checks are sent out every month. If that doesn't sum up exactly what the problem is then I don't know what does. There are only about 350 million people in the country. 1 out of 5 gets a government check every month???


    I blame George Bush for never asking the American people to sacrifice after 9/11. We would have had broad support for taxes to pay for the upcoming wars and spending on national security. Instead they took the approach to basically buy people off - at our children's expense. And I blame Barack Obama for telling people what he thinks they want to hear instead of telling them the truth.


    As an aside I believe that one of the reasons for the focus on cutting spending is that our government (at all levels) now accounts for about 38% of all GDP. Just twenty years ago that number was 28%. IMO, this is one of the contributing factors to our slower growth since 2001. When you look at spending at the local, state, and federal level and then look at all the taxes and fees paid by the people - its truly astounding how much our government consumes. One of the best ways to spur the growth of the economy will be to reduce that figure - unfortunately, when you borrow year after year there has to be a year or two of pain to get yourself back to even. Even with strong growth there has to be reductions in government spending (at all levels).
    25 Jul 2011, 11:36 PM Reply Like
  • FDR was honest with his fireside chats but he also unwittingly prolonged the depression. Good thing WWII came along or we would still be having fireside chats.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:17 AM Reply Like
  • Tomas: see my post below about Obama (and FDR) not being responsible for the growth of the economy but for the survival of the country as we pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.


    Fertility, growth, civilization-building and evolution happen. And then they go away and rest, sleep in fact. (To get either a dream or a nightmare, based on what they did in their last period of activity.)
    27 Jul 2011, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • MC


    I have read your theory and by your account we should not work so hard at all this analysis and trying to avoid recessions because they are coming anyways.


    Interesting theory. Reminds me of the Elliott Wave Theory with respect to stocks.
    27 Jul 2011, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • My theory says work like hell during the expansions and make as much money as you can and then prepare for the inexitable contraction by doing the smart things to prepare. No cheap money expansion-attempts, raise interest rates, support saving. Support social services during Night-Cycles; support business during expansions.
    28 Jul 2011, 12:35 AM Reply Like
  • Michael, hmm interesting theory. It *does* square up with the forgotten part of true Keynesian fiscal policy -- which is for the government to *cut back / save up * during good times.
    28 Jul 2011, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • We need to think differently about how life works. We like the straight ahead, nothing can stop me because I have the will to work hard and I'm a positive thinker. But Nature has its own rules. We need to learn Nature's rules too.


    Each expansion lasts for 18 years (which, interestingly, is that half-circle glyph, 180°) -- then contraction comes.


    We need to plan for the contraction when we are in the expansion and we need to plan for the expansion when we are in the contraction.


    As the Boy Scouts warned me: "Be prepared!"
    28 Jul 2011, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • Let's be honest. The Republicans drove the cattle up the hill and over the cliff. Not very honest to now blame Obama. If Obama had already cut billions or trillions out of the government budget we would still be waiting for the new jobs to be created by business. Where is business. Business is hiding, waiting for the other shoe to drop.


    In 2008 the global economy expired. Economies are struggling everywhere, even with trillions of fixes from central banks everywhere. It isn't Obama's fault that the global economy died. Everything is born, grows, matures, decays and dies. Every 36 years we get an economic depression.


    Let's all give up our ideologies and try to see what is really happening. Ideologies are hard to give up, I know: our identities are supported by our ideologies. Living without an identity is hard to do, I also know. But, in the interest of truth, and in the interest of the survival of our democracy, we have to try to do this.
    25 Jul 2011, 11:58 PM Reply Like
  • MC


    Obama owns the last 2 years and it is not pretty. End of story. If politicians don't want responsibility then don't promise things they cannot deliver. Either they are lying or they are naive. Take your pick.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:18 AM Reply Like
  • Yeah, the Republicans drove the cattle up the hill.


    But Obama surveyed the cliff and said full speed ahead!


    Lets be clear, No one expected Obama to cut spending in 2009 or even in 2010 to a lesser extent. But lets remember that he, Reid, and Pelosi are entirely responsible for a 700-800 Billion stimulus that was simply terrible. I could have come up with a better one in about half an hour. He promised to do thing differently, instead he simply did it exactly the same only to a larger extent.


    Then he piled on a new entitlement in the middle of the recession!


    Then he didn't force the big banks to be broken up. Then he didn't demand prosecution of the fraudsters that helped the crisis along. Then he ignores Volker and listens to Frank/Dodd/Geithner?????


    Sorry but the above is simply a disaster. And thats largely where your jobs are at. Companies by and large know the government is picking the winners and losers - until your told your a winner your playing a conservative game.


    And the global economy had a rough stretch in 2008-2009, but a quick trip through Southeast Asia would show you that those economies not burdened by excessive government spending and debt are revved up again.


    Did Obama inherit a tough situation? Yes, by all means. How has he performed in that situation? Horrendously. And now its simply about his personal re-election. There is no other explanation for the budget/spending/debt ceiling events of the past 6 months.


    I hate to say it but in 4 years they already be speaking about Obama like they spoke about Bush - a greatly diminished two term president. And the country will be the one suffering.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:45 AM Reply Like
  • Don't forget the Republican tax cuts -- the Bush tax cut extentions. Obama went along with it. He gets an F for that.


    I don't think the Democrats are innocent. But it was really Clinton who laid the track over the cliff, not Obama. Obama had almost no power in 2008 when the train went over the edge.
    26 Jul 2011, 05:31 AM Reply Like
  • My view, Tomas, is that depression comes every 36 years (every 360°) no matter what. I don't like the fact that Obama (1) coddled and is still coddling the banks; (2) kept Bernanke feeding the flame with gasoline.


    But it's all 'business as usual': the Republicans hate the deficit, but want tax cuts to remain so the rich keep getting richer; the Democrats may or may not like the deficit -- I think for the most part they just like to spend money, being the 'women' in this equation. If the Republicans were really honest, they would say (1) cut spending; (2) raise taxes. Let's destroy our current economic clogged artery.


    Of course, Obama doesn't want to cut government spending too fast, because if he does so the economy will tank and he will be blamed, and might lose the election. The Repulicans want the cut in spending to weaken the economy, so Obama will be blamed. It's all just politics as usual. No statesmen in sight.


    No philosophy but self-interest on either side of the aisle.
    26 Jul 2011, 05:36 AM Reply Like
  • MC


    If we had a depression every 36 years we would be in serious trouble so let me know what you mean by the numbers.


    I would agree there is a lot of self interest and mommy and daddy approaches to spending.


    Reps will raise revenue through closing all loopholes but raising rates is a problem since it affirms that government should be bigger. Secondly the "rich" are a lot of small businesses and if you tick up their taxes they tick down their employee base and/or raise prices. We need employment not UE. Any increase in tax rates that cost us more UE is likely not a good trade.


    The uber rich who could pay more are hard to touch as they are in muni bonds or receiving tax favored dividends or LTCG's. Warren Buffet is in this group. The Dems have to want to go after them because there are a lot of donors in that group for the Dems. When is the last time you heard the Dems say let's sock it to Warren Buffet and hedge funds?
    26 Jul 2011, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • The performance of the President has not been perfect. I agree about the banksters.


    But TARP and the stimulus workrf. Ask anyone working at GM, Ford or Chrysler. Ask anyone in the health IT field. Private sector employment has been increasing for over a year now.


    As to the "extra entitlement." The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, but it will cut costs to business over time, from what they would have been. We know that from the history of other places that have done the same things. They pay less than we do and get better outcomes. Medicare, Medicaid, and VA care all cost much, much less, per patient, than private insurance and get equivalent outcomes.


    I don't happen to think the economic problem is the one we're discussing. I fault the President for that. But to call this man horrendous, given the ferocity of the opposition, and the problems he inherited, is unfair.
    26 Jul 2011, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • Clearly, Obama inherited a saboutaged reality.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:12 AM Reply Like
  • Dana


    So let's say insurance companies cannot run health care keeping in mind that they really don't compete because of all the government rules around competing across state lines and all the draconian rules by state. That should have been cleaned up years ago.


    What does the government run right now that makes you think they can run health care across 50 states and over 300 million people?
    27 Jul 2011, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • The VA. You always hear complaints about VA care, but because they're automated, and because they're single-payer, they cost less per patient than any other health care service in the U.S. And with a population far more prone to disease and damage than what any private insurer would deal with.


    Think about it. It costs less to care for a 67 year old disabled Marine veteran than it does a healthy 40 year old under private insurance.


    Why? Because questions of money go away. Because it's a unitary computer system. Because the the mission matters to the caregivers.


    Again, you can argue all you want about quality. Just look at cost. More care for less money. From a single payer system than from any private health care system.


    Want to get into a fight with a hero? Tell him you're going to take away his VA care and give him a "voucher" to pay for private care. But make sure your own health insurance premiums are paid before you do it.


    That's just one example. AHLTA, the military's system, costs less per patient. Medicare costs less per patient. Medicaid costs less per patient. From a cost standpoint private insurance doesn't cut it. You can argue about quality all you want, but from a cost standpoint the experiment has been run, and government won.
    27 Jul 2011, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • Dana


    The VA provides more care for less money. I can give care for less money also. Does not mean I am any good at it and that you are receiving value.


    Where I live we have a VA hospital right next to another hospital and a few other hospitals within 10 miles. The VA hospital refers patients to these other hospitals all the time when the patient is in tough shape.


    My father in law was a WWII vet and he would not go to the VA Hospital for anything. He was not a good endorsement obviously.


    At best you can say the jury is out on the VA hospital and now the USG wants to take on health care for the rest of the US. That is a reach that boggles the mind. Government needs to pick a mission and I believe with focus they could do something well.
    27 Jul 2011, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • Tomas: I really don't care if our taxes go up as long as the tax laws change and tax revenues go up when we need the money to pay off our debts. Close the loopholes: that's fine with me.


    I agree, both sides are at fault.


    I agree: both sides use government spending to fatten the calf in their own congressional districts.


    I agree that corruption is so thick in Washington and New York that almost nothing can be done for us to get the democracy out of the hands of the filthy rich and their lackeys, the one's they 'buy' to elect so that they can run everything. Almost nothing be done.


    Europe is heading toward a civil war. America is heading toward a revolution/civil war as well. We don't want to throw away the democracy; we just want to throw away the current deck of cards, and start over with a new deck.


    We need campaign reform. We need to make elections short and less expansive, so that anyone can get elected without selling their soul(s) to the rich to do it. That is a first priority.


    We do have a depression every 36 years. We have a spiritual depression -- a death experience -- every 36 years that also has implications for the economy, for political systems, for social systems, for familial systems and for each individual. I've highlighted each 36-year Night-Cycle/deflation with a <---.


    Period A. 2001 – 2019: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <---
    Period B. 1983 – 2001: Day Cycle Inflation, Higher forms of Organization
    Period C. 1965 – 1983: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <----
    Period D. 1947 – 1965: Day Cycle Inflation, higher forms of Organization
    Period E. 1929 – 1947: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <---
    Period F. 1911 – 1929: Day Cycle Inflation, higher forms of Organization
    Period G. 1893 – 1911: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <---
    Period H. 1875 – 1893: Day Cycle Inflation, higher forms of Organization
    Period I. 1857 – 1875: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <----
    Period J. 1839 – 1857: Day Cycle Inflation, higher forms of Organization
    Period K. 1821 – 1839: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <----
    Period L. 1803 – 1821: Day Cycle Inflation, higher forms of Organization
    Period M. 1785 – 1803: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <----
    Period N. 1767 – 1785: Day Cycle Inflation, higher forms of Organization
    Period O. 1749 – 1767: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <----
    Period P. 1731 – 1749: Day Cycle Inflation, higher forms of Organization
    Period Q. 1713 – 1731: Night Cycle Deflation, Social Fragmentation, Chaos <-----


    I know your tendency will be a reject this, to laugh at this idea. But I've studied it. We always laugh at things we don't understand, before we study them. The Hindus called them "Day's of Brahma" and "Nights of Brahma". Milton called them: Paradise Regained and Paradise Lost. Dante called them Paradise, Purgatory (interlude), the Inferno. The Old Testament called the phenomenon: "The Lord Gives" and "The Lord Takes Away". The Covenant gives the 10 Commandments and the Promised Land; the revocation (re-vocation) of the Covenant gives the split family, the Prodigal Son, Jesus Christ who rebels against the Fatherland and goes to live with the poor, the criminal, the prostitues, the lowly. The religion of the Father is the Day-Cycle (Fascism); the religion of the Mother is the Night-Cycle (Socialism).


    Relative to modern Physics: the Day-Cycle is the White Hole; the Night-Cycle is the Black Hole. We are speaking about metaphors here -- but metaphors show us how different phenomena in Nature are alike. (Science likes to show us, for the most part, how things are not alike, how things are unique and separate. Metaphor likes to present a picture of the underlying sameness (the soul is the same in all of us) of everything in the world.)


    A white hole, in general relativity, is a hypothetical region of spacetime which cannot be entered from the outside, but from which matter and light may escape. In this sense it is the reverse of a black hole, which can be entered from the outside, but from which nothing, including light, may escape. (However, it is theoretically possible for a traveler to enter a rotating black hole, avoid the singularity, and travel into a rotating white hole which allows the traveler to escape into another universe.[1]) White holes appear in the theory of eternal black holes. In addition to a black hole region in the future, such a solution of the Einstein equations has a white hole region in its past.[2] However, this region does not exist for black holes that have formed through gravitational collapse, nor are there any known physical processes through which a white hole could be formed.
    Like black holes, white holes have properties like mass, charge, and angular momentum. They attract matter like any other mass, but objects falling towards a white hole would never actually reach the white hole's event horizon (though in the case of the maximally extended Schwarzschild solution, discussed below, the white hole event horizon in the past becomes a black hole event horizon in the future, so any object falling towards it will eventually reach the black hole horizon).
    In quantum mechanics, the black hole emits Hawking radiation, and so can come to thermal equilibrium with a gas of radiation. Since a thermal equilibrium state is time reversal invariant, Stephen Hawking argued that the time reverse of a black hole in thermal equilibrium is again a black hole in thermal equilibrium. This implies that black holes and white holes are the same object. The Hawking radiation from an ordinary black hole is then identified with the white hole emission. Hawking's semi-classical argument is reproduced in a quantum mechanical AdS/CFT treatment, where a black hole in anti-de Sitter space is described by a thermal gas in a gauge theory, whose time reversal is the same as itself.
    27 Jul 2011, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • TARP has not worked.


    It worked if your a CEO or VP of a big bank that would have gone under. Instead of your company having its assets auctioned off and you probably facing trial for fraud, your now buying your third home in the Hamptons.


    10's of Millions of savers pay every day, week, month for the ongoing bank bailout. Billions of dollars a week in the bank's account instead of their savings account or CD.


    Our banks aren't lending - that was the supposed reason for TARP - to ensure the continuation of credit so vital to our economy!!


    And have you read how the smaller banks are paying off TARP loans? By borrowing from the Treasury at lower interest rates!!!!!


    And the stimulus worked how? By giving hundreds of billions to states so they could keep paying their union members. Well that did exactly what? Put off the day of reckoning.


    Stimulus was a Democratic party giveaway and total failure and simply theft from our children and grandchildren. We have nothing of substance to show for it. For that amount of money we could have a new electric grid, a new infrastructure to support natural gas vehicles and still have spent 100 Billion on wind, solar, battery etc research. Can't do that now because it was all sent down the drain!


    Wake up! The government is the biggest enemy of the American people and their future generations. Taking our freedoms and liberties in exchange for "security" and government handouts. The triumvirate of the financial elite, bureaucrats, and politicians are looting this country for their own benefit and the hell with everyone else.
    27 Jul 2011, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • The jury is not out on VA care. It works. It's cheap. It's single payer, and as American as apple pie.


    By the way my dad was also a vet who never went to a VA hospital in his life. Once he got out of WWII, he never wanted to be associated with anything having to do with military life again. The only evidence I ever saw of his service was a news clipping my mom found, about him and his brothers all serving.
    27 Jul 2011, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • Absolute adherence to any ideology -- left, right, or even center -- is a great way to lose money, in markets or in poker.
    27 Jul 2011, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • Dana


    So here is a fact. We have a ton of debt issued by our FG and it is still going up and it is owned by saver nations like China and Japan. They in fact will have more to say about our future than we will. So make room for the Chinese political party to take a position and elbow aside some Dems and Reps.


    We are continuing to decline and lose control of our destiny because we have too much dead weight in the country and too much money being spent. Standards of living are going down in the US and are going up in other fast growing countries.
    27 Jul 2011, 09:10 PM Reply Like
  • No, a soft dictatorship is NOT the lesser of those two evils! Are you completely unaware of world history?
    26 Jul 2011, 12:03 AM Reply Like
  • he's right.


    O'Carter is laking in the vital quality that is most needed - leadership


    And yes. You cannot redistribute your way to greater prosperity.


    The pie need to get larger and higher taxes on fewer people does not help that to happen.


    26 Jul 2011, 12:44 AM Reply Like
  • Although I agree that facts and reality have a liberal bias, for those who get all their information from Rush Hannity Beck, here are some numbers to compare the economic growth during Democratic and Republican presidencies. You can make your own conclusions from these numbers (data little bit prior to end of Bush43, and that's why it is shown separately).



    % Per Annum Democrat Republican Bush43
    GDP Growth 4.1% 2.9% 2.2%
    Employment 2.9% 1.7% 0.5%
    CPI 4.0% 5.1% 3.0%
    DJIA 8.1% 6.5% 0.9%
    Dollar +0.8% -3.6% -5.9%
    26 Jul 2011, 01:27 AM Reply Like
  • Ideology has nothing to do with the facts - stats cannot be trusted, they are created by liberal academics who are out of touch with the real world.


    You cannot raise taxes during a bad economy, the Clinton thing was a fluke, and Reagan's increase in government spending and five tax increases are offset by the huge tax cut. Government spending does not create jobs, except for those people who are employed by contractors, which do not count.


    The federal government is the largest purchaser of computer hardware/software in the world, but that is misleading because its used inefficiently, so it does not count either. Just because all the growth in discretionary government spending in the last 30 years has come from defense and the department of homeland security is OK, because I am scared and paranoid. Otherwise it would be big government.
    26 Jul 2011, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • "stats cannot be trusted, they are created by liberal academics who are out of touch with the real world."


    Only when you disagree with them. I see it all the time, in particular with the CBO. More BS has been spewed by the right-wing-nuts about bought and paid for studies and gov't organizations under the thumb of the Pres than I have ever seen.
    26 Jul 2011, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • As I said, facts have a liberal bias. InvestorCP's post is a perfect example of such thinking.


    It is a sign of fundamentalism to ignore the facts when they do not support your worldview.


    Sadly this fundamentalism is rampant in the land. Eight years of it got us into the mess, and its continued ascendance is impeding any chances for us to get out of the economic morass that we are in.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • FYI....I was being sarcastic to demonstrate exactly that point. Thanks!
    26 Jul 2011, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, I concluded that on a second reading just a few seconds after pushing the Publish button.


    My most sincere apologies.


    Sometimes it is hard to distinguish sarcasm from the effluvia of the wingnuts.
    26 Jul 2011, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • Yes
    26 Jul 2011, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • Obama's job should be understood as being to help America survive as we pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death from 2001-2019 (this was also the job of the Democrats from 1965-1983 and from 1929-1947).


    The fertilization that leads Man, technology, science, civilization, and evolution a step forward does not happen during the Nights. Nothing grows during the Nights/Winters.


    Business, Man, technology, science, civilization, and evolution, as a principle, has gone into hibernation, has gone to sleep, is de-leveraging and is down-sizing, and is getting smaller and smaller. This frustrates people who believe in and want perpetual growth -- perpetual growth, in the cellular system, is cancer, by the way -- but THERE IS NO PERPETUAL GROWTH. There is growth and rest; there is growth and fruition, and then darkness and gestation.


    Civilization fruits -- civilization IS the fruit, in fact. The seed is in the fruit. The fruit decays on the tree and then falls back to the Earth. The Earth gets dark and cold and unproductive. The seed struggles to free itself from the dead body of the rotting fruit. As the seed does free itself of the Old Idea, the corpse of the Old Idea, it buries itself in the leaves and soil to try to protect itself from the death and cold of Winter -- this, IS, in fact, the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The seed WILL BE the next generation, the plant in the next incarnation. But it needs to gestate, hide in the dark, grow a strong root system. And the seed will not become a new plant until the time is right. It will poke its head out of the Earth when the season is warm again and the Sun is high -- not before, not because we are tired of the Winter and want warmth and wealth and productive living again, evolution again. Evolution and De-Evolution work together in fact. Evolution grows up; De-Evolution grows down.


    During the Night-Cycle we dream up the next stage of our civilization, the dream that we then carry into reality when the alarm clock goes off and wakes us again. Alarm clock is set for 2019.
    27 Jul 2011, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • People who live in Nature understand the importance of philosophy, because they study Nature and Nature's cycles. Knowledge of Nature's cycles keeps them alive.


    People who live in the City, alienated from Nature, have either no philosophy or one based on individual will and getting ahead and getting for themselves whatever they can -- for, living in the city, they ARE, in fact, isolated atoms fighting everyone else for their existence.


    Street smarts are not a real philosophy, although they do help city-dwellers stay alive, and help perpetuate the philosophy of 'dog-eat-dog' where the goal, apparently, is to become the biggest and meanest dog in the street.


    When the cities become more dangerous to human life than Nature is, and when we see urban populations drifting off to live in Nature -- remember the 'back to Nature' movements of the 1970's -- we will know that the civilization phase is being rejected again.


    Remember that Roman citizens eventually drifted away and some lived in the swamps that became, in time, the Medieval/Renaissance city of Venice, essentially a City-State. The City-State is the political form of both the Dawn and the Dusk, the Renaissance (Spring) and the Romantic (Autumn). The City-State of both the Renaisance (the Dawn) and the Romantic (the Autumn) is the University Town, the Center of Learning -- that eventually, as the darkness grows, becomes the Monastery, an even smaller center of learning.


    Talk about downsizing. From Rome to the Uta Monastery in 1,000 years.
    28 Jul 2011, 01:06 PM Reply Like
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