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Rich in Quebec

Rich in Quebec
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  • Why I'm Buying Up Coal Stocks [View article]
    Ferjen - Before making your case for coal stocks, why would you wish to demonstrate your irrationality by pushing aside scientific orthodoxy in arguing that, right now in January, it's cold outside?
    Jan 11, 2015. 05:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Coins - Sometimes memory fails us, and what the heck, why not link "good" events to our favorite politicians and unfavorable ones to politicians that we consider of lesser quality. But the web makes information easy to check, and truth, this time, shall demonstrate that memory is not perfect. Volker was a Carter appointee, and good or bad, he was free to do what he wanted on monetary policy without Presidential interference.

    Stagflation, you linked to Carter. I immediately thought of Nixon. There it is again, a tendency to link what is bad to those who we think are bad. Well, we're both right - - - and wrong. The term "stagflation", according to Wikipedia, goes back to 1965, in Britain. If Volker broke it with high interest rates, who is responsible for its beginning? I would blame Lyndon Johnson as having initiated it, with his "guns and butter" program. The spending on the Viet Nam War combined with Great Society programs set it off.

    Ah, Ronald Reagan! His supply side tax cuts - or are they Keynesian tax cuts - after a heavy dose of Volker monetary high interest rate medicine? By the way, at that time, suicides by farmers losing their farms because of high interest rates were in the news. I would ask my students how many extra deaths were "acceptable" to bring down inflation. - - - Something for my 16 year olds to ponder as they were leaving after the bell ended the class? No, they would not be tested on it as it was not part of the official curriculum. What they were supposed to learn was that economic policy, even outside of Quebec or Canada, had local implications.

    We would eventually see whether the tax cuts were supply side, or as GHW Bush had called them before becoming Reagan's vice president, "voodoo economics". After a tripling of the national debt under Reagan, and "read my lips, no new taxes", Bush showed himself to be a Keynesian, did the right thing, and raised taxes during good times as Keynes had prescribed, and thus lost the next election to Clinton. His son would give the electorate the dreamworld idiocy they wanted which twice gave him electoral success, - - - and economic disaster after almost eight years of his administration.

    I feel myself having come to the rant stage after, I hope, a more temperate beginning. I shall stop here waiting for reactions
    Jan 11, 2015. 05:22 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Jack - A small correction that does not negate your point - In 1912, Taft was the incumbent who had infuriated TR by supporting the "trusts", failed to sufficiently protect TR's beloved national parks, and opposing better work laws for women and children. By the way, for those who misuse the word "socialist" and think that there has been a constant slide towards Leftward disaster, Eugene Debs got 6% of the vote for a real Socialist Party.

    As for the shift over time of the Republican and Democratic parties, the Democrats long benefited from the Republicans being held responsible for the Civil War and Reconstruction. Only the death of the last survivors of that period made voting Republican possible. Johnson's pushing of Civil Rights made it obligatory. Racist white Democrats left for the Republican Party in droves. So, in 1912, there was a Solid South, and it was Democrat, as today it is Republican.
    Jan 11, 2015. 03:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    Deer - I think that the highest SAT scores came in the early 60's. When I was still living in the U.S., I wondered about the decline and had thought at the time that perhaps the passive influence of T.V. , as compared to the active reading of books, magazines and newspapers had negatively influenced young minds at the beginning of their schooling. As is popular to say on this site, there was correlation. I haven't followed the research that might show if there were really causation. If there was, then, active participation on the web by young minds might now be having a positive effect. We should be noticing the effects, if any, just about now.

    As for the Dept. of Education, certainly it does not have to exist. Indeed, if there ever were the intent to produce one here in Canada, provinces would insist that education was a provincial responsibility. Nevertheless, I find the decline of education in the U.S. as seen as being caused by the existence of the Dept. of Education as being simplistic. Wasn't the Dept. formed because of what had already become a noticeable decline? Whether it presently is a solution, or simply a useless layer of bureaucracy, I leave to you and others a lot closer to the problem than I.

    By the way, there was lots more bureaucracy in Quebec than what I had been used to while teaching in Mass.. There were and are exams similar to your regents exams in New York (do they still exist?), something I had never gone through as a student or a teacher in a more anarchic Mass..
    Jan 11, 2015. 02:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Coins - If your going to copy text, it should have some relevance to the subject being discussed and some relation to the thinking of the group, here it's liberals, that you are attempting to skewer. Otherwise, the only people you will convince are those already sharing your point of view. Others will only question your discernment and will likely not take whatever you say too seriously. There are conservative contributors to this site that might not convince me very often but are "serious" and often do have me questioning my own point of view.
    Jan 10, 2015. 09:13 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    CoinsK - TR was both a Republican and a Progressive, a long time ago when being both did not seem ludicrous.
    Jan 9, 2015. 11:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    a64h00 - Out of the blue comes a gratuitous absolutist anti-government attack. If government could adequately manage land grant colleges for a century and a half, the world will not fall apart if government runs a few community colleges

    What I believe usually leads to anti-government attacks is that government entities are often monopolies that are not subject to competition. Even there, I would prefer a public monopoly trying to do good rather than a private monopoly trying to maximize profits.

    Any institution of higher learning is subject to competitive forces. UMass is better than a lot of private schools in Massachusetts, but I must admit, does not soar to the level of Harvard and MIT.
    Jan 9, 2015. 10:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    TAS - It would be very interesting if John Adams could return and sit on your community college board. There is a somewhat famous Adams quote that begins "I must study politics and war that my son may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy . . . that ends up with his grandson studying . . . " porcelain". It would seem that he did not think that life should be market driven.

    I had the distinct advantage of going to Holyoke Community College, then named Holyoke Junior College, when they had only four teachers of their own. The rest came mostly from Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Amherst and UMass. Some may have needed the money but I think most were doing a kind of missionary work among the working class. They provided a wonderful learning experience that prepared me well for UMass.

    I had had a paper route from which I had saved $1600, which was enough at that time for room, board, tuition and books for a year and a half at UMass. Having lived at home while at Holyoke Community College, the tuition of $100 per semester was easily paid with summer work at a machine shop. Though I finished college debt free, never having taken out a loan or had financial help from my parents (never considered asking for any), I know that I didn't do it by myself. Those schools were subsidized by taxpayer money. This was the time of the Greatest Generation, taxing themselves highly to pay off WWII and also investing in the future. I lucked out.
    Jan 9, 2015. 04:58 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    BlueOkie - It's only fair that I return to antebellum USA of 1834. That's where the anti- universal schooling arguments come from as Crademan so well pointed out.
    Jan 9, 2015. 04:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    BlueOkie - If the aristocrats had it right, it is likely that I would not have the ability to respond to a message I could not decipher. How about you?
    Jan 9, 2015. 04:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    Wyostocks - No, you didn't pay for your own education. When you started school, your parents and/or your community did. There were "free" for the user schools. And government took away your liberty and compelled you to school right into your adolescence. Even conservatives, most of them I hope, accept that compulsion and taxation are properly applied for schooling at an elementary level. Yes, individual rights are sacrificed for the collective good. The question is for how long. Just look at the world's wealthiest and most peaceful societies and see what they believe and do. Some of the anti-schooling arguments - or is it anti-tax no matter the good it might do - belong to the losing side of education debates from many decades or centuries ago.
    Jan 9, 2015. 02:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    Wyostocks - Just from the excerpt given by Crademan it should be evident that the ignorant, not recognizing the benefits of education, tended to oppose anything as useless as learning to read. The educated and generally wealthier, tended to support a beneficial measure which would have them paying for other peoples' kids. The "rich and poor" category were, it seems, those who suffer/benefit from greed and self-centeredness.

    Since everyone on this site already is, or at least thinks himself educated and wise, I would extrapolate that those who oppose out of hand Obama's proposal fit in the "rich and poor" category and would have fit right in to an 1834 world
    Jan 9, 2015. 12:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    Guardian - "Ignorance and lack of self-reliance will ruin this country if it hasn't already". Focus on that first word. What has made Massachusetts and other progressive areas around the world wealthy is a willingness to attack ignorance. The initial goal of the Puritans was to eliminate ignorance of the Bible. The Puritans soon realized that "self reliance" would not lead to a literate population and acted accordingly. That Harvard was founded in 1636 is one result of their resolve.

    What continues to make the U.S. prosperous is the existence of research universities. They draw the best students from everywhere around the world and produce ideas that keep the U.S. in the forefront of new technologies and services. It seems ironic to me that this is done in a country where despite the erudition of the revered Founding Fathers, there exists a sub-culture of praise for the ordinary and condemnation of "Ivory Tower" "pointy headed" intellectuals.

    The success of the U.S. is the product of the "investment" made in education. That there are those who would be unwilling to invest in the education of coming generations lest they surpass you, is the kind of selfish thinking that, should it become the majority view, will quicken the decline of the U.S. into a second rate country.

    I came to Quebec in the midst of the Quiet Revolution. I have seen the province transformed from a backward 17th century counter-Reformation backwater to its present state. One key element was an emphasis on education, universal education. It came too late for my parents, but not for those of the present generation. We will continue to argue over how much should be paid by the recipients of that education vs. the population as a whole, but it will not be accepted that finances become an obstacle to an education.
    Jan 9, 2015. 11:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: China PPI Slumps For 34th Straight Month [View article]
    Killer - I think that I can extrapolate that you would also have opposed land grant colleges in the 1860's, and free public elementary and eventually high school education that gradually became the norm throughout the U.S. in the 19th century.

    My mother was first in her class when she graduated from sixth grade in backwards Quebec. To go further would have required private boarding school. My father lived in the countryside and only started school at the age of nine. If only they had benefited from "another entitlement program". There would have been plenty right with that.
    Jan 9, 2015. 08:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Euro Crash [View article]
    Jack - Charles Martel's victory at Tours, we all learned in elementary school, represented the highwater point of Muslim expansion in the West. In 1492, that victory and those that occurred over the next centuries would culminate with the Moors being militarily expelled to North Africa. Previously tolerated by Muslims, Jews would now be expelled by Christians. The record is clear that Western Civilization can not always claim the moral high ground.

    It was so much simpler when a nationality, an ethnicity, a culture, all coincided. We will have to get used to a world where nationality is not easily perceived by simply looking into someone's face, or social class perceived from someone's accent. As this inability to discriminate occurs, we will know that our particular region of the world, whatever it is, has included and integrated new settlers and that we are on the road to a better society.
    Jan 9, 2015. 08:36 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment