Four (Un)Related Stories – Captain, Iceberg Ahead

All the full stories are at the links. But story #1 Tells us Moody’s is about to drop the AAA rating for the US and other countries. Translation – Borrowing rate rises.
Story #2 says the Social Security System is out of money. It has tons of paper saying the Treasury owes them money, but now for the Treasury to pay the IOU’s. it will borrow money. Translation – If story #1 kicks in, then that will cost even more, and SS is broke.
Story #3 is about how the Cloward-Piven effect is trying to collapse the US System. Brought about by two Progressives, Cloward and Piven it’s theory is to overload the system until it collapses under its own weight. Translation – Fundamentally Transforming the USA. Where has that been heard before?

Unmentioned is story #4, Health Care Reform which now seems to be a Right bestowed on us and will cost a Trillion Dollars or more. Oh, it’s said to be Deficit Neutral, and so is Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. But if you put all four stories together, add in Historic Spending and Deficits, what do you get???? It’s really not too hard to see big trouble ahead!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/15/AR2010031503465.html?hpid=topnews

#1
Moody’s warns nations to cut spending or risk AAA ratings

By Howard Schneider
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The United States and other top world economies need to make potentially painful government spending cuts or risk losing the high-grade credit ratings that have kept borrowing affordable, the Moody’s rating agency said Monday.

This Story
Moody’s warns nations to cut spending or risk AAA ratings
European officials hold off on bailout package for Greece
Outlining the dilemma faced by policymakers in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France, Moody’s said that debt levels in the four large credit-worthy economies had reached the point at which they are at risk of being downgraded — a step that would drive up interest rates, increase borrowing costs and mark a turn in perceptions about the world economy.

Economic recovery might ease the problem by increasing tax revenue, Moody’s reported, but “growth alone will not resolve an increasingly complicated debt equation. Preserving debt affordability at levels consistent with AAA ratings will invariably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion.”

#2
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jWbISwIapd30hnID5R3gGD7VFZ3QD9EEMU601

Social Security to start cashing Uncle Sam’s IOUs
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER (AP) – 1 day ago

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration.

It’s time to start cashing them in.

For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year.

Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.

Sounds like a good time to start tapping the nest egg. Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg’s municipal offices.

Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn’t be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come.

#3
THE AMERICAN THINKER
http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/clowardpiven_government.html

November 23, 2009
Cloward-Piven Government
By James Simpson

It is time to cast aside all remaining doubt. President Obama is not trying to lead America forward to recovery, prosperity and strength. Quite the opposite, in fact.

In September of last year, American Thinker published my article, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis. Part of a series, it connected then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to individuals and organizations practicing a malevolent strategy for destroying our economy and our system of government. Since then, the story of that strategy has found its way across the blogosphere, onto the airwaves of radio stations across the country, the Glenn Beck television show, Bill O’Reilly, and now Mark Levin.

The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.

The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”

They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the “Motor Voter” act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.

133 Comments

  1. You’re forgetting this one:

    Slightly less than half of Americans consider themselves middle class, according to a new survey by ABC World News, and four in ten people who think they’ve achieved middle class status say they’re struggling to keep it.

    Fourteen percent of the 1,005 survey respondents say they consider themselves “upper-middle class,” 39 percent working class and 45 percent middle class.
    [...]
    The Commerce Department produced a report in January for the Vice President’s Middle Class Task Force that objectively measured obstacles to attaining the middle class lifestyle. That report found that it’s more difficult to do than it used to be:

    “While incomes for married-couple and single-parent families with two children have increased significantly, much of this rise occurred in the 1990s. In part, these increases occurred because parents are working more hours in order to maintain higher income levels,” the report said.

    “Unfortunately, while incomes have risen, the prices for three large components of middle class expenses have increased faster than income: the cost of college, the cost of health care and the cost of a house. Thus, we conclude that it is harder to attain a middle class lifestyle now than it was in the recent past.”

    But, you know, reform isn’t needed. Another couple of decades of 131% premium increases ought to see health care become an upper-class luxury, and the middle class will disappear entirely – which is as it should be.

  2. But if you put all four stories together, add in Historic Spending and Deficits, what do you get????

    What you get is an indignant response from a liberal progressive who injects class warfare as an excuse for irresponsible government spending policies, illegal and unconstitutional practices by a congress subverting laws and protocol daily. The very implication of the “entitlement-minded”, like our Phoeni friend above will lead to a Marxist statist society that will be governed by an elite class with one serious problem—this nation is financially broke. Historically, this system never works when the money runs out, but why would we expect anyone to lean on historical facts when the dreams of statism is within the liberal’s reach.

    When 90% of the cost of this current legislation gets passed onto the middle class, (the very class our liberal Democrats promise to enhance in every campaign), the backlash will be a tremendous gain for the return to a limited government, a freeze on entitlement spending, and a sweeping change in how representatives are sent to Washington—namely not to advance an ideology of total government dependence.

    Sarcastically, Phoeni says “reform is not needed”, but a strong majority of the public understand the difference between health insurance reform and this disaterous legislation designed to eventually lead us to a single payer system admistrated by an intrusive government that will result in a degraded healthcare system that is currently the best in the world. “Progressives” like phoeni will have to play a little louder from their “entitled” position on the Titanic, as my lifeboat gets further away.

  3. Yorkshire: “CAPTAIN, ICEBERG AHEAD”

    I agree, but it has nothing to do with Obama, who is doing his best to try to right our ship.

    We have three very serious problems which are out of control: Our financial crisis, our military industrial complex, and our at risk middle class (as Phoenician indicated).

    The financial crisis began with Reagan’s deficit spending and unregulated finance, coupled with Wall Street fraud and bubbles, and the gluttony of the American people running up individual debt. We are now ending our thirty year binge and it has all come home to roost.

    The military industrial complex was a WWII outgrowth of which we were issued a serious warning by President Ike in 1958, a warning gone unheeded. Thus, this has enabled us to engage in questionable and costly wars ever since, plus gigantic DoD expenditures.

    And we have the middle class challenge due to higher house prices, higher education costs, and higher medical costs, all not keeping pace with household incomes.

    I think Obama understands these challenges.

    Certainly the Right does not, as they continue in denial, as they wish to continue these deadly policies, as they have no new ideas.

    Yet in spite of all this, the Right could prevail politically in 2010 and 2012!!!

    Thus, we the people are our own worst enemies, in my view! We are turning ourselves into losers as much of the globe outcompetes us in providing quality goods and services at lower cost, to which we are not responding, while our wealthy grow wealthier. This is not the formula for a better future for us Americans.

  4. “But if you put all four stories together, add in Historic Spending and Deficits, what do you get????”

    #1: I totally agree with Schneider’s concern about our weakening AAA rating. For reasons indicated in my previous post, we are in for long hard slog which politically we seem unable to address. Sorry, I’m very pessimistic.

    #2: Social Security is easily fixed by increasing retirement age, increasing the top salary taxed, and by means testing benefits.

    #3: Simpson proves my point that the Right has no clue, as he addresses/condemns ACORN and Motor-voter. How is it somehow wrong to bring the unregistered, sometimes poor, into participating in the political sphere? This author offers no new ideas, my exact point in criticizing the bereft Right.

    #4: Health care reform, according to the most recent CBO, rather than costing us “Trillions of dollars”, is going to be better than revenue neutral, causing a surplus instead of a deficit. Where is your evidence that it will costs “Trillions of dollars”, thus we have your straw man of the day! And please note, ObamaCare attacks Medicare waste, which you on the Right should love!

    Not only do you on the Right use fear mongering, you have no solutions, and you also tell lies at times. What good is this for our nation, I ask?

  5. #4: Health care reform, according to the most recent CBO, rather than costing us “Trillions of dollars”, is going to be better than revenue neutral, causing a surplus instead of a deficit.

    Perry, we’ve been through this before and before and before. It’s all accounting gimmickry. And from one who (rightly) chastises the last admin’s lack of proper book-keeping (war costs off-budget), you’re just proving yourself a hypocrite. Again. This is pure alternate universe material. No such similar plan has lived up to its cost estimate let alone run in the black. None.

  6. ObamaCare, with its 3 or 4 years of taxes without benefits, and its 500 billion dollar cut in medicare (which will never happen) and its 40 percent taxes on cadillac health insurance plans that hit the middle-class despite Obama’s word of honor, and all sorts of other 3-card-monte games, was designed to fool the computer program. Only 10 years are examined in a static environment. In those 10 years, only 6 or 7 years have substantial outgoing money while all 10 years have substantial incoming money. The entire thing is an actuarial scam and CBO has pretty much said so.

  7. John H.:“The entire thing is an actuarial scam and CBO has pretty much said so.”

    Citation please!

    Hube:

    You could well be correct. My point is, the CBO estimate is the only reference we have right now on the deficit/surplus estimate. I find it hard to believe that they are off by “Trillions of dollars”, which is the claim that I responded to.

  8. Perry, have you ever adamantly refused to provide citations while suggesting people should believe you? Have you ever vanished after citations you demanded proved you dead wrong? Have you ever claimed to have not seen something that had recently been reported on here?

  9. John H.:

    It’s all very simple, provide the citation, otherwise we can assume that your statement about the CBO is utterly false. You have no citation, and you know it!!!

  10. It’s all very simple, Perry. You are dishonest. You hold yourself above your own demands. And when people do your homework for you, you are very noticeable by your absence. And you can presume anything you want, as you are wont to do, regardless of the facts. Oh, and !!!!!11ty!!! just to make you feel good about your overuse of something that has only come to be a symbol to show your own india delta ten tango india charlie assertions.

  11. Oh, and I’m almost certain the sourcing you are currently demanding has already been provided by someone else on this site. But why don’t you do your own homework, Perry? I mean Jeff has already done homework on my assertions and returned with a mea culpa on at least one occasion. And Jeff doesn’t exactly qualify as a Conservative.

  12. No, John, you made the claims, so don’t be lazy, provide the evidence or be totally ignored. Your choice!

  13. !!!!!!11ty!!!!No, Perry, you continue to ignore what is posted on this site that proves you wrong!!!!!!!11ty!!!!

    (exclamation points for your enjoyment since you overlike the overuse of exclamation points!!!!)

  14. Here’s some more information to chew on, Perry.

    In the November 30th, 2009 analysis of the Senate bill, the CBO wrote that: “Average premiums per policy in the nongroup market in 2016 would be roughly $5,800 for single policies and $15,200 for family policies under the proposal, compared with roughly $5,500 for single policies and $13,100 for family policies under current law… [an increase] of 10 percent to 13 percent in the average premium per person.” In other words, health insurance will cost more if the President’s proposal (the Senate bill) is enacted, not less.

  15. John, thanks for the Washington Times citation, but it is from last July. We did not get the Senate Bill until the end of December, a significantly different bill, as House Dems would quickly tell you. Therefore, your citation does not substantiate your claim that the CBO claims the current bill (Senate Bill) is a scam!!! I don’t even recall the CBO making such a statement re the House Bill last July. Obviously, you made that up, as you do so often, which is why on occasion I ask you for a citation, which you usually obfuscate with insults and ad hominems instead of producing one.

  16. On your “chew on” citation, you are referring to a Senate Bill being negotiated, not finalized, so that is one thing to note.

    Secondly, ObamaCare claims that the cost curve will be bent. That does not mean that health insurance will not continue to rise, only that the increases will be less under ObamaCare.

    Since health insurance premiums are expected to increase about 8% per year, the $5,500 single policy will cost $8,700 in 2016, and the $13,100 family policy will cost $20,800.

    Do you now see why we need health insurance reform?

  17. Now let us get on with a related story that Yorkshire forgot to include, but that Senator Kaufman (D-DE) has not forgotten:

    The Rule of Law and Wall Street

    March 15, 2010

    Mr. President, last Thursday, the bankruptcy examiner for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. released a 2,200 page report about the demise of the firm which included riveting detail on the firm’s accounting practices. That report has put in sharp relief what many of us have expected all along: that fraud and potential criminal conduct were at the heart of the financial crisis. Now that we’re beginning to learn many of the facts, at least with respect to the activities at Lehman Brothers, the country has every right to be outraged. Lehman was cooking its books, hiding $50 billion in toxic assets by temporarily shifting them off its balance sheet in time to produce rosier quarter-end reports. According to the bankruptcy examiner’s report, Lehman Brothers’ financial statements were “materially misleading” and its executives had engaged in “actionable balance sheet manipulation.” Only further investigation will determine whether the individuals involved can be indicted and convicted of criminal wrongdoing.

    ….

    Mr. President, last week’s revelations about Lehman Brothers reinforce what I’ve been saying for some time. The folly of radical deregulation has given us financial institutions that are too big to fail, too big to manage, and too big to regulate. If we have any hope of returning the rule of law to Wall Street, we need regulatory reform that addresses this central reality.

    As I said more than a year ago: “At the end of the day, this is a test of whether we have one justice system in this country or two. If we don’t treat a Wall Street firm that defrauded investors of millions of dollars the same way we treat someone who stole 500 dollars from a cash register, then how can we expect our citizens to have faith in the rule of law? For our economy to work for all Americans, investors must have confidence in the honest and open functioning of our financial markets. Our markets can only flourish when Americans again trust that they are fair, transparent, and accountable to the laws.”

    The American people deserve no less.”

    Unfortunately, as he promised when he was named to replace Senator, now VP Biden, Senator Kaufman will not be running for reelection. To me it is a crying shame, because right now he is the only Senator speaking out in such strong and compelling language, that the apparent criminality on Wall Street has to be investigated and cleaned up, and the criminals tried and if guilty jailed.

    To read more of this important speech, click right here.

  18. What you get is an indignant response from a liberal progressive who injects class warfare

    Because noting that the rich are getting richer at the same time the middle class are getting squeezed is “class warfare”.

    The wingnut “stick your fingers in your ears and scream ‘I can’t HEAR you’” model of political economy.

  19. Congratulations, Me. I arrived at a deal today wherein I’m out of business as of settlement April 30. Sold the business and the property within my asking price. As of May 1, Hoagie is retired (in America).

    The decision was encouraged by the lack of certainty in the future which I spoke about before here. If I cannot make rational decisions about the future because of percieved government action then I have to preserve what now exists. Therefore, I’m out.

    So according to Pho and Perry I should now be for national health care, higher taxes, bigger spending, larger debt and switch from independent to Repub. I don’t think I will.

  20. Congratulations, Me. I arrived at a deal today wherein I’m out of business as of settlement April 30. Sold the business and the property within my asking price. As of May 1, Hoagie is retired (in America).

    Failed again, huh?

  21. Perry:
    “But if you put all four stories together, add in Historic Spending and Deficits, what do you get????”

    #1: I totally agree with Schneider’s concern about our weakening AAA rating. For reasons indicated in my previous post, we are in for long hard slog which politically we seem unable to address. Sorry, I’m very pessimistic.

    #2: Social Security is easily fixed by increasing retirement age, increasing the top salary taxed, and by means testing benefits.

    #3: Simpson proves my point that the Right has no clue, as he addresses/condemns ACORN and Motor-voter. How is it somehow wrong to bring the unregistered, sometimes poor, into participating in the political sphere? This author offers no new ideas, my exact point in criticizing the bereft Right.

    #4: Health care reform, according to the most recent CBO, rather than costing us “Trillions of dollars”, is going to be better than revenue neutral, causing a surplus instead of a deficit. Where is your evidence that it will costs “Trillions of dollars”, thus we have your straw man of the day! And please note, ObamaCare attacks Medicare waste, which you on the Right should love!

    Not only do you on the Right use fear mongering, you have no solutions, and you also tell lies at times. What good is this for our nation, I ask?

    Perry, you are in absolute denial. BO’s answer to everything is spend more money we don’t have. Debt has raised TWO TRILLION DOLLARS since he’s been in office.

  22. Hoagie, perhaps you could open a restaurant in Manila. I’m sure you could get a lot of business and the cost of doing business would be much lower. Or, you could go to Seoul and open more restaurants in South Korea.

    But congratulations on getting out while the getting’s good.

  23. From the second story:

    Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg’s municipal offices.

    Unfortunately, there was no choice. By law, the only instruments in which the Social Security Trust Fund can invest are United States Treasury Bills. If there is a surplus of SS revenues, no other legal option exists but to buy T-Bills.

    And, quite frankly, the writer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The Social Security Trust Fund has been cashing in the IOUs, the Treasury Bills, as they mature, all along: if the Trust Fund bought a $1,000 face value, 30 year maturity T-Bill in 1975, then it had to cash it in in 2005. The real difference is, if Social Security revenues fall short of payouts by $29 billion, the Trust fund will have to cash in $29 billion more in T-Bills than it buys this year. If the 2010 maturing T-Bills held by Social Security exceed $29 billion, then that amount of excess will have to be re-invested in T-Bills.

  24. Perry wrote:

    Social Security is easily fixed by increasing retirement age, increasing the top salary taxed, and by means testing benefits.

    The retirement age has been being slowly increased; because I was born in 1953, my full benefits retirement age is 66, not 65.

    If we were to increase the top salary taxed, would we also increase the amount of Social Security benefits that high-earners could collect? That would only be fair, but, of course, we come to your third suggestion, means testing retirement benefits. I suppose that this means that, if you have paid into Social Security your entire life, and have been very successful, you don’t get the retirement benefits you were promised by the government which confiscated your wages in the form of Social Security taxes.

    You have, in effect, proposed transforming Social Security from a retirement program to a welfare program. How far do you think that idea will fly?

  25. Hey Dana – sorry for the intrusion here, but can you get my comment out of moderation over in the interstellar travel thread?

  26. Hube:
    Hey Dana – sorry for the intrusion here, but can you get my comment out of moderation over in the interstellar travel thread?

    It’s stuck there because it’s only halfway to Betelgeuse (Beetlejuice) and hasn’t returned yet. :-)

  27. Actually JH, I have a friend in Bangkok who was in town a few weeks back and was inticing me to visit on the promise I would fall in love with Thailand and want to open a business there. He has an aviation business and loves the country. Lives in an area called Phyathai Bangkok. He says there are a lot of Americans and Europeans there.

    I really don’t handle the business in SK, my step daughter runs them as the GM. I also have three partners two of which live there.

    I haven’t had “sellers remorse” set in yet but I know from experience it will sometime before settlement. My wife disappeared about 2pm to go tell her friends we made an agreement and still hasn’t returned. I spent the afternoon home making Irish corned beef for the club tomorrow. In the AM I’ll do the cabbage and the potatoes. I haven’t told my friends yet. I’ll tell them tomorrow at the St. Patrick’s party.

    Can’t believe I’m unemployed.

    And what the hell is that supposed to mean, Pho? Is it so hard to act like a human being and wish me luck? Holy shit you can be a nasty creep sometimes.

  28. It’s all very simple, provide the citation, otherwise we can assume that your statement about the CBO is utterly false. You have no citation, and you know it!!!

    Perry reminds me of the principal in the movie Rock ‘n Roll High School, where, after being driven insane by the rebellious kids, she sits in her wheelchair, in a straightjacket, muttering “Detention, Detention, Detention” over and over …

    That’s the image i get every time I hear Perry demand yet another citation.

  29. Perry:
    Yorkshire: “CAPTAIN, ICEBERG AHEAD”

    I agree, but it has nothing to do with Obama, who is doing his best to try to right our ship.

    You mean by digging us deeper into the hole? Trying to spend our way out of a recession with borrowed money? By running up a two trillion dollar deficit in 15 months? By proposing to spend another Trillion on healthcare?

    Thinking out of the box would say you spend less, not more. In time of deep recession is really not a good time to spend a trillion we don’t have to control 1/6 of the economy with tricks and gimmicks. So, exactly what is he doing?

  30. Perry wrote:

    Health care reform, according to the most recent CBO, rather than costing us “Trillions of dollars”, is going to be better than revenue neutral, causing a surplus instead of a deficit. Where is your evidence that it will costs “Trillions of dollars”, thus we have your straw man of the day! And please note, ObamaCare attacks Medicare waste, which you on the Right should love!

    At least one of us doubts such figures. The “promise” of ObamaCare is that it will extend health care coverage to a larger number of people, keep our health care quality and promptness of access at least the same, and it will cost us less money. We are being told, in effect, that 2 + 2 = 5. It’s been a long time since I took calculus — or even first grade arithmetic — but I seem to recall that 2 + 2 really doesn’t equal 5.

    Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the health care reform legislation passes, and we start to discover that no, we can’t cover a larger number of people and provide the same quality or promptness of service we receive now for less money. Let’s assume that it costs a couple hundred billion more every year. Would you be willing to just repeal the whole thing and go back to the status quo ante?

    To me, once this infernal bill is passed, that’s it, it’s over, it can’t be “unpassed.” It would create a new entitlement — the federal government is ultimately responsible for the individual’s health care — and we have had precious little success in repealing entitlements. If it turns out to be a huge boondoggle, costing us hundreds of billions more than projected and winding up cutting back on quality and timeliness of access, we won’t be able to fix it. Since our health care system works, now, for the vast majority of us, I don’t want to jeopardize that for a program that I see as a probable failure.

  31. Yorkshire wrote:

    So, exactly what is he doing?

    It’s pretty simple: President Obama has found himself in a hole, one not of his own making, but the only tool he sees is a shovel; he’s trying to dig his way out.

    Unfortunately, this hole is already shipping in water; he’s digging in mud.

  32. And what the hell is that supposed to mean, Pho? Is it so hard to act like a human being and wish me luck? Holy shit you can be a nasty creep sometimes.

    The Internet static is a typical leftist. DNW summed up the type as “Living only to shit in other people’s swimming pools”. A perfect bullseye!

  33. Hube asked:

    Hey Dana – sorry for the intrusion here, but can you get my comment out of moderation over in the interstellar travel thread?

    Donedid.

  34. Perry:
    On your “chew on” citation, you are referring to a Senate Bill being negotiated, not finalized, so that is one thing to note.

    Secondly, ObamaCare claims that the cost curve will be bent. That does not mean that health insurance will not continue to rise, only that the increases will be less under ObamaCare.

    Note: It’s just a CLAIM, not a promise, not even a reality, not even proof it will happen. It’s just BO crossing his fingers and clicking his heals like we were in OZ.

    Now reality in this world is costs go up, and costs go down based on supply and demand. It’s worked everytime. But if the mandate for costs to go down, the supplier will cut costs somewhere, and that somewhere is quality first, then they will do everything to cut corners, then they will deliver less, late or an inferior product.

    I’ve spent the last 40 years studying this where if you take away a profit motive, the product you received will be less, or defective. Dana can tell you that a customer who demands deep cuts in the cost of concrete to the point where Dana loses money, the alleged buyer will get no concrete from him, or Dana will deliver it at his convenience, not at the convenience of the buyer. You have to understand business Perry, or are you just wishing for a Progressive/Socialists solution where all this will end up dictated by the Gummint and in rationing.

    It’s already being done in Medicare. Doctors can not deliver what they consider quality care for wht the government will pay them.

  35. Let’s not forget, Yorkie, that doctors have hired people to work 40 hours a week just to fill out government paperwork, and those people get paid. At the other end are people working 40 hours a week just to read the government paperwork the others filled out. And they get paid, too. And none of them actually do anything in the field of health care other than to fill out or read paperwork.

  36. John Hitchcock:
    Let’s not forget, Yorkie, that doctors have hired people to work 40 hours a week just to fill out government paperwork, and those people get paid. At the other end are people working 40 hours a week just to read the government paperwork the others filled out. And they get paid, too. And none of them actually do anything in the field of health care other than to fill out or read paperwork.

    The following is what few of us can do, but in heat it done, it points out the absurdity of what is being required of doctors byt the Government and Insurance Company, and the Tort System in this country. At one pint Rush Limbaugh had been hospitalized. rush carries no health insurance, so he says. Rush also alleges to pay for his doctor and hospital bill in cash. For this convenience, he claims to get a 30 to 40 % discount because there are no insurance form, no insurance company lawyers, no cost to the doctor to have his or her staff fill out a ream of paper to be reimbursed. And the doctor and hospital receive their money immediately to put in their cash stream. Now, I know 99% of the public can not do this, but what the lesson is on this is if the doctor and hospital were readily willing to discount the bill by 30 to 40%, that must be the cost to them in paperwork, non-payments, etc. Now, as I underdtand from the above of “Bending the cost curve” and the paperwork with gummint intrusion will probably increase, what type of care will we get?

  37. You mean by digging us deeper into the hole? Trying to spend our way out of a recession with borrowed money? By running up a two trillion dollar deficit in 15 months? By proposing to spend another Trillion on healthcare?

    The classic recession involves a slow down in economic spending, leading to reduced employment and reluctance to lend, leading to further slow downs in spending, until nothing is happening. It’s a reinforcing cycle.

    Thinking out of the box would say you spend less, not more. In time of deep recession is really not a good time to spend a trillion we don’t have to control 1/6 of the economy with tricks and gimmicks. So, exactly what is he doing?

    You tried that during the Great Depression. It made things worse. Your “thinking outside the box” is simply repeating the mistakes of the past and failing to learn what economists have been saying for the last eighty years.

    Here’s a simple point about the government deficit you fail to notice – the government can make as much money as it wants, whenever it wants. A GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIKE A BUSINESS OR A PERSON. It can always pay for its debts as denoted in the currency it controls. There are consequences to doing so, but there are worse consequences to letting the economy spiral down in a self-reinforcing reduction of demand.

  38. But, you know, if you’re worried about the deficit, one simple answer is to raise taxes back to what they were before Reagan came into power. Which is when, incidentally, your economy was growing better than it is today.

  39. And what the hell is that supposed to mean, Pho? Is it so hard to act like a human being and wish me luck? Holy shit you can be a nasty creep sometimes.

    Oh, please.

    Wingnut hypocrisy at its best.

  40. Hoagie, I personally wouldn’t want to open a business in Thailand. That’s a bit too close to the 10-year-old prostitute and her sister, the 9-year-old prostitute. Just sayin’.

  41. The New Zealand troll, who claims omniscience, doesn’t realize Carter gave us double-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates (13 percent for a home mortgage, anyone?), double-digit unemployment, 2-hour gasoline lines. The New Zealand troll, who claims omniscience, also doesn’t realize when JFK cut the top tax rates (that’s to the wealthy, for those omniscient people), revenue jumped instead of falling. The New Zealand troll, who claims omniscience, also doesn’t realize when Reagan cut the top tax rates, revenue jumped instead of falling. As usual, the New Zealand troll, who is a socialist, is completely lost like all the rest of the socialists where the rubber meets the road.

    While the New Zealand troll enjoys having the shiny side down and the greasy side up, those with any business acumen know the greasy side needs to be down while the shiny side stays up.

  42. one simple answer is to raise taxes back to what they were before Reagan came into power. Which is when, incidentally, your economy was growing better than it is today.

    Oh, by all means let’s bring back the peanut farming goof and his loudmouth, beer swilling brother. And while we’re at it we can bring back double digit inflation, gas lines and fuel rationing, doubling the cost of oil, and getting our hostages captured in Iran who, ironically, were released the very minute Ronald Reagan was being inaugurated.

    Bottom line: If you want to turn your country into a third world basket case, just hire Jimmy Carter and make him president for Life!

  43. Pho, your post of 16 March at 9:47 PM is almost completely wrong. First off a classic recession is caused by a slow down in business expansion and investment not a slow down in spending. And don’t confuse spending with investment, the two are related but not equal. When businesses (or people) cease to expand (grow income) they try to find other ways to increase income that may include cut backs in employees, service, packaging, R&D, advertsing etc. (for business) or reduced vacations, swapping steak for ground beef, cutting cable etc. (for persons). In business poorly run or obsolete firms will (and should) cut back drastically or fail all together. Persons will also cut costs to the bone and may even change living standards and begin to hold off all but necessary spending.

    It is not a reinforcing cycle, it is a normal cycle which reduces over expansion and stops when equilibrium is attained. Just as an expansion cycle stops when over saturation occurs, as in a “bubble”.

    We did not try spending less in the Great Depression, quite the contrary. The New Deal attempted to increase govment jobs and spending to a never before tried level and failed to end the depression. Taxes were raised, tarriffs imposed, regulations broadened to little or no avail. Fortunately (?) the war brought an end to that by taking millions of men out of the job market and putting them in uniform thus causing a demand for labor and an increase in the needs for production thus ending the cycle which hitherto was the result of government malfeasance.

    The government is EXACTLY like a business or a person and should operate the same way. There is nothing extra-economic about being a government. They operate within the same economic structure and the same economic laws as the rest of society. They cannot circumvent the laws of economics by mishandeling the money it controls. Quite the contrary, it can irreversibly harm the value of that very currency.

    Similarly, the government cannot “always pay for it’s debts”. It will simply collapse. If the government could always pay for it’s debts we would not have a deficet nor a national debt, now would we? The government would just simply pay it, wouldn’t it? You can’t pay debts with degraded currency, nobody wants it.

    Businesses, persons and governments (both state and federal as Cali. is learning as well as Greece) operate within the laws of economics. The sooner leftists and governments realize that the better off we’ll all be.

  44. I found an interesting thought-stream from Patterico’s Pontifications or Glenn Reynolds, I can’t remember which. I’m sure much of this came from there but I’ll claim it as my own now (just as I claim my knowledge of math and history as my own while it all originated elsewhere) because it is quite pertinent and rather accurate. Or, maybe, the kernel came from there.

    Obama and Democrats claim to hate big business but love small business. While that’s a lie on multiple facets, just look at the untenable logic behind the statement itself. We need to make it easier for small business to expand because that’s a good thing. We also need to punish big business because that’s a good thing, too. Besides, we need those small businesses to become big businesses so we can hate them, too.

    We need to soak the rich because the poor need the money the rich earned. Ignore the fact the rich includes the majority of small business owners, who we love (but want to soak). Ignore the fact we’ll be punishing those small business owners for being successful. While we are destroying their opportunity to grow while punishing them for being successful, we’ll give a small credit that won’t come anywhere near the expansion cost for hiring new employees. And we’ll expect you to remember who gave you all that extra money (that will cover two or three weeks’ pay for each new employee while you need to find the money for the rest of the time).

  45. The New Zealand troll, who claims omniscience, doesn’t realize Carter gave us double-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates (13 percent for a home mortgage, anyone?), double-digit unemployment, 2-hour gasoline lines. The New Zealand troll, who claims omniscience, also doesn’t realize when JFK cut the top tax rates (that’s to the wealthy, for those omniscient people), revenue jumped instead of falling. The New Zealand troll, who claims omniscience, also doesn’t realize when Reagan cut the top tax rates, revenue jumped instead of falling. As usual, the New Zealand troll, who is a socialist, is completely lost like all the rest of the socialists where the rubber meets the road.

    a, Revenue and Reagan

    I couldn’t have asked for a better example of why it’s important to correct for inflation and population growth, both of which tend to make revenues grow regardless of tax policy.

    Actually, federal revenues rose 80 percent in dollar terms from 1980 to 1988. And numbers like that (sometimes they play with the dates) are thrown around by Reagan hagiographers all the time.

    But real revenues per capita grew only 19 percent over the same period — better than the likely Bush performance, but still nothing exciting. In fact, it’s less than revenue growth in the period 1972-1980 (24 percent) and much less than the amazing 41 percent gain from 1992 to 2000.

    Is it really possible that all the triumphant declarations that the Reagan tax cuts led to a revenue boom — declarations that you see in highly respectable places — are based on nothing but a failure to make the most elementary corrections for inflation and population growth? Yes, it is. I know we’re supposed to pretend that we’re having a serious discussion in this country; but the truth is that we aren’t.

    b, your economy was growing better

    Average annual real GDP growth per capita – Carter 2.14%, Reagan 2.45%, GHW Bush 0.93%, Clinton 2.49%, GW Bush 1.37%.

    If Carter’s performance had been repeated by every President since him, you’d all be, oh, around $3,000 richer each.

  46. “But, you know, if you’re worried about the deficit, one simple answer is to raise taxes back to what they were before Reagan came into power.”

    There is something fudamentally wrong with a person who talks business and economics but who is incapable of reading both sides of a P&L statement. To a Marxist taxes are not only always the answer but usually the only answer. Nonesense. Taxes can either help expand an economy or they can cause contraction and stagnation. High tax rates reduce risk-taking and business expansion thus reducing job growth and future tax revenue. Too low tax rates cause hyper-inflation and over expansion and reduce the needed revenues to government.

    But just like most other things in life Pho, there can be a balance (like that between socialist and capitalist). An appropriate tax rate, applied fairly to all tax payers is a good thing. Appropriate spending by government, applied fairly to all citizens is a good thing too. Never spending more than you earn (or in govmnt terms “take in”) is rule #1 for fiscal responsability. Therefore, a government can’t bite off more in spending than it can chew in revenue.

    At the current rate our government is spending it could tax all earners @ 100% and still not cover it’s deficit, national debt and future committments. That means there is something more wrong with the system than just taxes. It means we have allowed politicians to use the tax code and the entitlement state as their own personal campaign chests. And they are still doing it by trying to nationalize health care.

    I’ll tell you what. You show me a plan to cover Social Security and Medicare at a 100% funding rate, in a LOCK BOX, unable to be used for any other purpose, and I’ll vote for health care.

    Another problem we have in government we have on this site as well. We allow people wholly incapable of understanding business or economics to spout off and control such things. What experience in business do Obama or a shit load of government lawyers have? I’ll tell ya, zero. Then what makes them think that other than some blind followers anyone should listen to their business ideas? So I say to Pho, Perry, Nang et al, go forth and follow your Dear Leader. And when you find that the guys who actulally creat the businesses, innovation and ideas which in turn create the jobs who all pay the taxes are no longer doing so, look in the mirror. It was you who caused it.

    Listening to lawyers and community organizers (and librarians) about business and economics is just rediculous.

  47. Once again Pho, there are lies, damn lies and then statistics. Krugman is a master manipulator of the latter and The Angry Bear actually proves it. You (and they) may say and “prove” your points but those of us who actually lived it know better. The sad part is you manipulate numbers not to prove or disprove an economic or business theory or cycle, but rather to make political points about Presidents you either liked or disliked.

    Presidents don’t control the ecomomy. Congress dosen’t control the economy. I do. You do. We do. Congress and the President only create laws, not enterprise. They only tax and spend and regulate. They don’t manufacture, build or innovate one thing. If, at any time the economy grows or contracts it is because of us, not them. Sure, they can do great harm as Carter did or step out of the way as Reagan did. But in the end it is we who roll up our sleves and do the work which needs to be done. And if we “shrug” we can screw you all.

  48. *sigh*

    First off a classic recession is caused by a slow down in business expansion and investment not a slow down in spending. [...] It is not a reinforcing cycle, it is a normal cycle which reduces over expansion and stops when equilibrium is attained. Just as an expansion cycle stops when over saturation occurs, as in a “bubble”.

    Using Wikipedia:

    Recessions are generally believed to be caused by a widespread drop in spending. Governments usually respond to recessions by adopting expansionary macroeconomic policies, such as increasing money supply, increasing government spending and decreasing taxation.”

    And, on Keynesian economics:

    “A central conclusion of Keynesian economics is that, in some situations, no strong automatic mechanism moves output and employment towards full employment levels. This conclusion conflicts with economic approaches that assume a general tendency towards an equilibrium. In the ‘neoclassical synthesis’, which combines Keynesian macro concepts with a micro foundation, the conditions of general equilibrium allow for price adjustment to achieve this goal.”

    So what I’m saying is right in line with mainstream economics, and your comments are not.

    We did not try spending less in the Great Depression, quite the contrary. The New Deal attempted to increase govment jobs and spending to a never before tried level and failed to end the depression.

    Wikipedia again:

    “The common view among mainstream economists is that Roosevelt’s New Deal policies either caused or accelerated the recovery, although his policies were never aggressive enough to bring the economy completely out of recession. Some economists have also called attention to the positive effects from expectations of reflation and rising nominal interest rates that Roosevelt’s words and actions portended.[35][36] However, opposition from the new Conservative Coalition caused a rollback of the New Deal policies in early 1937, which caused a setback in the recovery.[37]”

    The government is EXACTLY like a business or a person and should operate the same way.

    No, it is not.

    There is an idea in our land. It is an idea that has been gaining traction since the 1980s, since the Great Communicator convinced so many that the New Deal had been the wrong deal, that the Social Contract was a pact with the Devil, and that welfare queens, homeless vets, and liberals were undermining that which made America great. The idea, simply put, is that Government should be run like a business. It is a stupid idea, but there you have it.
    [...]
    Numero Tres: A Corporation will cut costs to achieve profitability, degrading it’s product if it must. Remember, a Corporation’s job is to make money for it’s investors — the product is only and always a means to that end. If they can make more money selling crap, they will sell crap. SUVs weren’t safe for years, but boy, did they make money! And if it is more profitable to junk a stable company, it will be junked.

    But: For Government, the services provided are foremost. Like nonprofit organizations, it’s primary function is service.

    However we, as Americans, have become so hypnotized by the Svengalis of Wall Street — and their mystical mumbo jumbo about the Market being the pinnacle of Democracy and Freedom — that not only do we watch them dismantle a Government by, of, and for the People for their own profit right in front of us, we we gleefully chant their Free market Mantra as they do it. We convince ourselves that the profit motive is the purest, fairest arbiter of Truth, and that what is good for the rich must be in the best interest of us all — because some rich guy said it was.

    But I’ll take it back – go ahead and run the American government just like a business. Turn your citizens into things to be valued or discarded as either assets or liabilities. Concentrate on the short-term, and run your country into the ground in the hopes of low taxes and no deficits. Let your infrastructure crumble and your kids turn into superstitious morons.

    The rest of us will sell you the things you’re no longer unable to produce yourselves.

  49. Wiki is a useless site when looking for unadulterated facts. And Keynes was wrong, dead wrong, and is still wrong, dead wrong. Keynesian theory has as much worth as geo-centric theory. Hayek was right and Keynes was dead wrong. Prior to Obama’s deficit spending, which is orders of magnitude larger than ever before, 2 UCLA economists (and UCLA isn’t a bastion of conservatism by any imagination, other than blu’s) declared we would never have another decade-long great depression so long as we never repeated what FDR did. And Obama and the liberals and progressives are doing orders of magnitude more harm than FDR did.

  50. sigh.

    When I need to know about the Dewey Decimal System I’ll call you. Until then leave economics and business to the adults who actuall DO it.

    And as John Hitchcock so vividly points out Keynes has as much credibility as Marx (or Krugman for that matter)and Wiki ain’t no authority on anything. Also, you need to understand the opinion of an economist is still an opinion, not an irrefutable law. Just as your opinoin is just an opinion which perhaps you’d like to make a law but it’s still just an opinion. No matter how loudly you pontificate, no matter how many other people’s opinions you hawk as “fact” you are now and have always been an outside observer to business and economics not a participant other than as a consumer.

    So you can sigh, uh-huh, hyperbole all you want it makes no difference. You have no experience in the matter. The difference between you and me is that you think economics/business is an exact science and you can by sheer will make things happen. My education and experience has taught me that they are at best an abstract philosophy and shit will happen whether we like it or not. Therefore, one must be prepared to adjust to accomodate, not try and force everyone else into some predetermined pigeon hole.

  51. “But I’ll take it back – go ahead and run the American government just like a business. Turn your citizens into things to be valued or discarded as either assets or liabilities. Concentrate on the short-term, and run your country into the ground in the hopes of low taxes and no deficits. Let your infrastructure crumble and your kids turn into superstitious morons.

    The rest of us will sell you the things you’re no longer unable to produce yourselves.”

    Becoming unhinged, are we? It’s you Marxism which treats people like asstes and liabilities. One produces, the other ends up in gulags or dead. We value people as our greatest resource that’s why we’re free.

    I never suggested we concentrate on the short term. All people, households, businesses and governments should understand the need for both short and long term planning. Don’t you? Or do you just plan for your retirement and not how to pay next months rent? but you do have to pay next months rent, don’t you? So you will need short term planning to do it, won’t you? Idiot.

    We don’t need to run anything into the ground, that would be the Marxist way. We need to plan to increase capital, expand business, provide traning, encourage innovation, educate citizens and plan short and long term growth. How can anyone plan either way surrounded by uncertainty? When you have a government in constant flux being run by bald-ass rookies what should you plan for?

    And why would our infrastructure crumble? Are we all going to leave the country and move to Cuba? How exactly will “our kids become superstitious morons”. Explain that to me, please.

    And what exactly are you going to sell that we don’t produce ouselves? Tell me NZ’s largest export we actually need.

  52. I work full time, and for 15 years I was also a partner in a photo business. On the years we made a profit, the partnership would split it three ways. When I finished reporting my income to the IRS, 50% went to Federal, State, Local and payroll Taxes. So, for every Dollar of profit earned, I got to see 50 cents of it. That was the 90′s into early 2000′s before I couldn’t do it anymore. And BO thinks he’ll “Help” these businesses by slamming more taxes on them. If you have people depending on you, it’s not a theory anymore, it’s a fact. And the paperwork to report everything is horrendous. After a while, you don’t know if you are working for yourself, or just a conduit to feed the ever hungrier government.

  53. Nangleator:
    Democrats in power: Economy improves.

    Republicans in power: Economy tanks

    How’s that 8%, ooops 10% unemployment working out Dems?

  54. Democrats in power: Economy improves.

    Republicans in power: Economy tanks.

    Interesting. By “power” do you mean the executive or legislative branches? Either way, your premise is wrong.

    Jimmy Carter: Had both houses of Congress. Economy blew chunks.

    Ronald Reagan: Had GOP Senate for six years. Economy boomed.

    Bill Clinton: Had GOP House six of eight years. Economy boomed.

    The first two instances prove your assertion false, while the third depends on who you think wields more power in the matter.

  55. Concerning Pho’s comment at 10:15 about the wonderful Carter years. As a person that lived during the Carter years it struck me as a little bit unusual that real GDP growth per capita, according to Angrybear and Pho, was so rosy during that time period. So I ventured out to a website called measuringworth.com/growth and plugged in a few years to see if they were full of you know what. And lo and behold:

    Let’s consider real GDP per capita growth in the years Carter was actually in office versus those of Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Dubya.

    1977-1980 1.65% Carter
    1981-1988 2.56% Reagan
    1989-1992 .39% Bush
    1993-2000 2.81% Clinton
    2001-2008 1.36% Dubya

    Not nearly as rosy as Pho and Angrybear would have you believe. Remember Carter didn’t take office until 1977. And if you look at the years where their budgets had effect:

    1978-1981 .69%
    1982-1989 3.37%
    1990-1993 .65%
    1994-2001 2.41%
    2002-2009 They didn’t have 2009 info

    Things look a little bit different. We’re not remembering incorrectly, Pho, the Carter years sucked in more ways than one.

  56. And as John Hitchcock so vividly points out Keynes has as much credibility as Marx

    Wonderful. Tweedledum and Tweedledee agree on something, therefore it is true?

    Also, you need to understand the opinion of an economist is still an opinion, not an irrefutable law.

    Whereas the opinion of two wingnut idiots who have an amazing habit of being wrong are…?

    Becoming unhinged, are we? It’s you Marxism which treats people like asstes and liabilities.

    Uh-huh.

    Insurer targeted HIV patients to drop coverage
    [...]
    Previously undisclosed records from Mitchell’s case reveal that Fortis had a company policy of targeting policyholders with HIV. A computer program and algorithm targeted every policyholder recently diagnosed with HIV for an automatic fraud investigation, as the company searched for any pretext to revoke their policy. As was the case with Mitchell, their insurance policies often were canceled on erroneous information, the flimsiest of evidence, or for no good reason at all, according to the court documents and interviews with state and federal investigators.

    We don’t need to run anything into the ground, that would be the Marxist way.

    Uh-huh.

    America’s Infrastructure GPA: D
    Estimated 5 Year Investment Need: $2.2 Trillion

    We need to plan to increase capital, expand business, provide traning, encourage innovation, educate citizens and plan short and long term growth.

    And, of course, you will do that by cutting taxes for the rich and well connected, increasing military spending, destroying any other spending, and focusing obsessively on reducing the deficit regardless of the effects on an economy due for another round of recession in a year or so?

    Now, on the subject of the amazing habit of being wrong…

    Interesting. By “power” do you mean the executive or legislative branches? Either way, your premise is wrong.

    Presidents:

    Real gdp per capita growth under Democrat Presidents around 2.5%, under Republican Presidents 1.6%.

    Ooops.

    Congresses:

    Real per capita gdp growth under Democrats 2.18%, Republicans 1.76%, Mixed 1.64%

    Ooops again.

    And from that last link, when both the President and Congress have been Democrat, that growth rate has averaged 3.45%. When they have both been Republican – 0.59%

    Ooops yet again.

    The conclusion has to be that Republican economic policy, no matter how you look at it, tends to do worse for the country as a whole than Democrat policy. What it does do is make the country more inequal, so it works out really well for those at the top at the ultimate expense of the middle and working classes.

    Gosh, don’t you look foolish right now, Hube?

  57. The Phoenician wrote:

    Thinking out of the box would say you spend less, not more. In time of deep recession is really not a good time to spend a trillion we don’t have to control 1/6 of the economy with tricks and gimmicks. So, exactly what is he doing?

    You tried that during the Great Depression. It made things worse. Your “thinking outside the box” is simply repeating the mistakes of the past and failing to learn what economists have been saying for the last eighty years.

    Here’s a simple point about the government deficit you fail to notice – the government can make as much money as it wants, whenever it wants. A GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIKE A BUSINESS OR A PERSON. It can always pay for its debts as denoted in the currency it controls. There are consequences to doing so, but there are worse consequences to letting the economy spiral down in a self-reinforcing reduction of demand.

    You seem to be forgetting what got us out of the Depression: it was an artificial need for large quantities of manufactured goods which would be rapidly expended and require rapid replacement. The fact that we manufactured those goods here, while other industrialized economies were experiencing somewhat significant degradation of their manufacturing capability got us out.

    Unfortunately, we don’t manufacture nearly enough any more, and deficit spending accelerates a service economy. And the sales of manufactured goods that deficit spending stimulates is too often the sale of imported manufactured goods. We are borrowing a trillion and a half from China, to get people to spend more money on goods which were manufactured in China!

  58. If Obamascare passes, we’ll just need a wheel barrow full of these to buy a loaf of bread, or a liter of gas:

    Weimar Republic anyone????

  59. Unfortunately, we don’t manufacture nearly enough any more, and deficit spending accelerates a service economy.

    With your actual unemployment rate reaching 17% or 18%, this would appear to be precisely the point of deficit spending.

  60. If Obamascare passes, we’ll just need a wheel barrow full of these to buy a loaf of bread, or a liter of gas:

    Gee, Yorkshire, why is it that with Obama’s huge deficits now, inflation is, well, zilch? Could it be that something is wrong with your ideas on the economy?

  61. Angrybear’s numbers are wrong. As an example of the inaccuracy of angrybear’s charts, for Jimmy Carter he uses the years 1976-1980. That is 5 years, not 4. Sorry, Carter was not President at any time during 1976. He was sworn in January 20, 1977. His chart is wrong. The years I used in my comment yesterday are more accurate. I’m not saying that the overall result going back to FDR wouldn’t be the same. His results by President, however, are incorrect.

  62. Phoenician in a time of Romans:
    If Obamascare passes, we’ll just need a wheel barrow full of these to buy a loaf of bread, or a liter of gas:

    Gee, Yorkshire, why is it that with Obama’s huge deficits now, inflation is, well, zilch? Could it be that something is wrong with your ideas on the economy?

    Read the tea leaves pho. Watch for inflation when we have to pay for all this borrowed, and printed money.

  63. I should have been more careful in my last post. I went back an reviewed Angrybear’s calculations and methodology and would like to retract my statement. My apologies.

  64. Gosh, don’t you look foolish right now, Hube?

    Heh. No more foolish than I made you look on the interstellar travel thread, I suppose! Then again, I went merely by memory, and indeed my three examples (limited as they were) did prove Nang’s assertion erroneous.

    Also, should we go back further in time? Maybe it’ll just confirm your previous comment, or perhaps it will prove it wrong, just like your cherry-picked time frames for “proving” global warming …?

  65. Democrats in power: Economy improves.

    Republicans in power: Economy tanks.

    17 March 2010, 2:03 pm

    Spoken like a true brain washed idiot. The operative word being power. We are watching the results of both of those stupid parties and the shit hole they have put us in. Debt as far as the eye can see. Is that how you run you finances Nang? Pho? I don’t. You are brain dead idiots if you believe that’s how a responsible government should run.

  66. The CBO estimate came out on HCR for $940B. HOWEVER, it is PRELIMINARY and does not cover the unwritten and unposted Reconciliation Bill. So, the $940Bn is a useless number because it does not tell the complete story.

    I need how Congress believes they can spend nearly a Trillion Dollars, but magically save $100Bn?

  67. “Unfortunately, we don’t manufacture nearly enough any more, and deficit spending accelerates a service economy. And the sales of manufactured goods that deficit spending stimulates is too often the sale of imported manufactured goods. We are borrowing a trillion and a half from China, to get people to spend more money on goods which were manufactured in China!”

    As you know there are numerous reasons for the related phenomena of manufacturing employment losses and absolute production capacity transfers.

    It has been going on for a long time, and the various private and governmental practices and policies that have brought it about are well known.

    For instance – and I know your views on General Motors already – the G.M. economists were correct in at least one regard when it came to their description of the excess competitive burdens they faced: and that was in that it was partly the result of our government’s long history of significantly ignoring the Japanese Government’s manipulation of the yen in order to produce an additional price advantage in the U.S. relative to the dollar. Couple grand a car or so.

    This condoning through the conscious refusal [on balance] to react with more than rhetoric, was of course, a political decision made by various American administrations at different times. They seemingly concluded that it was better overall to let slide the mercantilist practices of our former enemies and new post war allies, and accept the accrued disadvantage to specific American producers; rather, than cause their economies (and thus their populations and political systems)distress by standing on our rights across the board.

    [Of course it was the Japanese manufacturers who famously did succeed in spurring on the American car companies and to some extent, the unions, to face the fact that the automobile business could not remain a playground for two warring and self-interested factions: a smug corporate management and a welfare state leaning union officialdom seeking to implement and build a mini welfare state on the back on one sector of the economy - and the buyer be damned.]

    In any event, trade [even if it involves underwritten wealth transfers] means peace according to this formulation; and peace means democracy; and democracy means classical liberalism, individualism, property rights and free-markets.

    Or so goes the hope and ideology.

    We have been transferring the stored and accumulated capital of generations of Americans, overseas since the early 1970′s, in a more or less conscious gamble that it will equalize the economic status of people around the globe, and by so doing, produce the effects listed above.

    Whether that is even on balance sound as a strategy, much less true as a proven effect, is I think an unsettled question.

    You might consider it, for the sake of argument, as a kind of foreign relations parallel to the Great Society domestic programs and theories of the Johnson Administration, and judge for yourself whether you think it has worked better or worse.

  68. Someone writes:

    “Democrats in power: Economy improves.

    Republicans in power: Economy tanks”

    Hoagie responds:

    “You are brain dead idiots if you believe that’s how a responsible government should run.”

    Jennifer Granholm, 2 term Gov./Democrat/Michigan

  69. John H. & Yorkshire

    On ObamaCare, instead of depending on you two who offer only unsubstantiated opinions, a lot of it made up, look right here for a mature discussion from serious people who have taken the trouble to inform themselves of many of the facts. And by the way, much of it is very critical of ObamaCare! Now go and inform yourselves!

    And Hoagie, on the economy, I’m not saying you are all wrong, but your independent opinion without some substantiation is not very convincing to me! Sorry.

  70. Perry, how many times have you demanded sourcing of statements that proved you dead wrong only to ignore that sourcing? How many times have Yorkie, Sharon and I provided sourcing you demanded only to have you ignore that sourcing in totality? That history of ours specifically proves your statement “instead of depending on you two who offer only unsubstantiated opinions” to be a bold-faced lie and not a mere difference of opinion.

    And how many times did you adamantly refuse to provide sourcing for your quote you did not credit?

    Your lack of credibility, your lack of honest debate is well known, Perry.

  71. If you want something to worry about, here is one whopping worry!

    “Countries — like the United States — with large banks prone to reckless risk-taking should limit the size of those banks relative to the economy and force them to hold a lot more capital. If you thought the “too big to fail” issues of 2008-9 were bad in the United States, wait until our biggest banks become even bigger.

    Today the big six banks in the United States have assets over 60 percent of G.D.P.; there is no reason why they won’t increase toward Irish scale [2.5 times GDP].

    When Irish-type banks fail, you have a dramatic and unpleasant choice. Either take over the banks’ debts, which creates a very real burden on taxpayers and a drag on growth, or restructure their debts, which forces creditors to take a hit. If the banks are bigger, more powerful politically and better connected in the corridors of power, you will find the creditors’ potential losses more fully shifted onto the shoulders of taxpayers.”

    Our large banks are getting bigger again, faster, which could well lead to a double dip recession if not a Great Depression this time. Yet when the Dems attempt to inact Financial reform, what do the Repubs do? Need I even ask? Of course, they oppose it, for political reasons!

  72. Why all the hate and rage, Perry? Why the lack of historical understanding, Perry? Why are you ignoring the CRA, Perry? Why are you ignoring what Republicans tried to do to reign in FM2, Perry? Why are you ignoring what the Democrats did to prevent the reigning in of FM2, Perry? Why are you not angry with Gorelick, Frank, Frank’s boyfriend, Perry? Is it because the facts get in the way of your agenda, Perry?

  73. Answer the questions, Perry, or show yourself to be the shill you are. And give all the documentation necessary to prove each of my points incorrect or show yourself to be making stuff up yet again.

  74. Yorkshire: “I need how Congress believes they can spend nearly a Trillion Dollars, but magically save $100Bn?”

    Simple, unlike Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) and many other high cost bills from the Cheney/Bush area, this bill is going to be paid for by Medicare cuts and taxing cadillac plans. Moreover, the most recent CBO scoring says that the bill in its present form will save $138B over a ten year period, therefore so far it is better than revenue neutral.

  75. John H.

    I am more than willing to have a substantive discussion with you, John. Moreover, don’t forget, the burden is on you to substantiate your claims.

  76. In other words, Perry, you adamantly refuse to live up to demands on you that you invariably make on others. There’s a word for that, Perry. Do you know what that word is?

  77. Let me get this straight, Perry. After 37 years in business my “independent opinion without some substantiation is not very convincing to” you? But the opinion of an inexperianced community organizer you hold to be true? Okay.

  78. That’s okay, Hoagie. Perry claimed I was “mistaken” in my series of questions. When pushed on the issue, he shirked his responsibility and falsely claimed the burden of proof is on me. He has yet to realize I turned the tables on him and proved, yet again, his hypocritical position by my usage of his completely disingenuous tactics.

  79. Hoagie disagrees:

    “Let me get this straight, Perry. After 37 years in business my “independent opinion without some substantiation is not very convincing to” you? But the opinion of an inexperianced community organizer you hold to be true? Okay.”

    If you are speaking honestly about your business experiences, Hoagie, of course that merits credibility. But if you reread your posts, you will note that you also post on broad ranging issues like the Constitutional and macroeconomic issues, which I take them as your opinion, no more. That’s fine, but not as convincing to me.

    You might look to Phoenician and Dana Pico as a models, as they express their opinions, usually backed it up with facts using citations. That is much more convincing, in my view.

  80. Perry suggests looking toward a disgusting troll who calls people idiots on a regular basis and uses vulgar language on a similarly regular basis and who refuses to consider factual data. That is enough information necessary to clearly determine Perry’s visual acuity and integrity.

    Perry, if you suggest anyone look to that NZ troll for anything, you had better suggest you use that NZ troll as an example of how NOT TO BE, because that NZ troll has zero worth whatsoever.

  81. Perry: John is 100% correct. First, above, you dare use DE Liberal as an example of thoughtful discussion?? If there was EVER proof of your ridiculous bias, that is it. Then you use Phoeny as a further example. No matter WHAT he has to be right, even when fact after fact smacks him in the face — and he is beyond rude at the same time. Hey, I’m as good with snark as the rest of them, but I’ve little difficulty admitting errors. There’s none of that w/Phoeny.

    Your [complete] inability to criticize folks at DE Liberal for their outright disgusting blog behavior, as well as Phoeny, means you have ZERO credibility when it comes to desiring “civilized” discussions. You refuse to venture to COR anymore, which is fine, b/c you think I’m such an ogre; however, my behavior literally pales in comparison to the DL crowd — PALES — and you’ve never so much as yelped in their general direction.

    Again, all this is perfectly fine. Just don’t hold yourself up as a paragon of blog virtue and then expect others not to guffaw out loud until they can’t catch their breath.

  82. Hube:

    I don’t think John is 100% correct at all. To me he is like a whining little kid who hasn’t got the self-discipline to simply ignore me if I don’t respond in the manner he likes. That said, he does sometimes introduce topics worthy of discussion. Nevertheless, with me, he is the quintessential troll.

    Regarding my reference to DL, what was it about Scott P’s initiated discussion you don’t appreciate? That thread was dealing with facts, and on an important issue facing this nation. You seem to want to attack the blog rather than to focus on the particular reference I made. Besides, I disagree with you, as I observe some pretty smart and classy people over there; true, there are several I don’t particularly care for from a style standpoint, but in terms of the issues, I usually agree with them.

    As far as Phoenician’s style, well mine is not his, and I have said so before you started participating here. However, he consistently gives credible citations to back up his points, as does Dana, but that practice is not very prevalently practiced by many of the other contributors on here who seem to feel that since they said so it has to be right, and the rest of us better damn well believe them. Sorry, I am not impressed!

    Regarding CoR, I do look in occasionally, and as you well know, participated quite regularly some time back. But you did ban me in anger, then restored me in time, but frankly, this cite is more active and animated than yours, so I prefer to come here and bat it around with all the right wingers over here, rather than over at CoR.

  83. Shorter DNW: I still don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.

    According to Reutter, Bethlehem had a hundred and sixty-four thousand workers in 1957. By the mid-to-late-nineteen-eighties, it was down to thirty-five thousand workers, and employment at Sparrows Point had fallen to seventy-nine hundred. In 2001, Bethlehem, just shy of its hundredth birthday, declared bankruptcy. It had twelve thousand active employees and ninety thousand retirees and their spouses drawing benefits. It had reached what might be a record-setting dependency ratio of 7.5 pensioners for every worker.

    What happened to Bethlehem, of course, is what happened throughout American industry in the postwar period. Technology led to great advances in productivity, so that when the bulge of workers hired in the middle of the century retired and began drawing pensions, there was no one replacing them in the workforce. General Motors today makes more cars and trucks than it did in the early nineteen-sixties, but it does so with about a third of the employees. In 1962, G.M. had four hundred and sixty-four thousand U.S. employees and was paying benefits to forty thousand retirees and their spouses, for a dependency ratio of one pensioner to 11.6 employees. Last year, it had a hundred and forty-one thousand workers and paid benefits to four hundred and fifty-three thousand retirees, for a dependency ratio of 3.2 to 1.
    [...]
    Ross acted quickly. He set up a small trust fund to help defray Bethlehem’s unmet retiree health-care costs, cut a deal with the union to streamline work rules, put in place a new 401(k) savings plan—and then started over. The new Bethlehem Steel had a dependency ratio of 0 to 1. Within about six months, it was profitable.

    What’s wrong with GM is, simply, fools like DNW.

    America’s private pension system is now in crisis. Over the past few years, American taxpayers have been put at risk of assuming tens of billions of dollars of pension liabilities from once profitable companies. Hundreds of thousands of retired steelworkers and airline employees have seen health-care benefits that were promised to them by their employers vanish. General Motors, the country’s largest automaker, is between forty and fifty billion dollars behind in the money it needs to fulfill its health-care and pension promises. This crisis is sometimes portrayed as the result of corporate America’s excessive generosity in making promises to its workers. But when it comes to retirement, health, disability, and unemployment benefits there is nothing exceptional about the United States: it is average among industrialized countries—more generous than Australia, Canada, Ireland, and Italy, just behind Finland and the United Kingdom, and on a par with the Netherlands and Denmark. The difference is that in most countries the government, or large groups of companies, provides pensions and health insurance. The United States, by contrast, has over the past fifty years followed the lead of Charlie Wilson and the bosses of Toledo and made individual companies responsible for the care of their retirees. It is this fact, as much as any other, that explains the current crisis. In 1950, Charlie Wilson was wrong, and Walter Reuther was right.

  84. Perry: I appreciate your reasoned reply to my above. I don’t agree — especially regarding DL (agreeing w/someone’s POV can inhibit one’s sense of decency, I suppose) — but so be it.

    And FWIW, I didn’t ban you out of “anger.” I mean, come on. At least be honest about it for once.

  85. Also, Perry, I’ll make a note of your “style” reference above … and use it when you chastise me (or others) about personal attacks, ad hominems and the like. Fair enough?

  86. Perry:
    Yorkshire: “I need how Congress believes they can spend nearly a Trillion Dollars, but magically save $100Bn?”

    Simple, unlike Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) and many other high cost bills from the Cheney/Bush area, this bill is going to be paid for by Medicare cuts and taxing cadillac plans. Moreover, the most recent CBO scoring says that the bill in its present form will save $138B over a ten year period, therefore so far it is better than revenue neutral.

    It’s all gimmicks anyway. So, any explanation is unnecessary.

  87. Phoe reguratates:
    According to Reutter, Bethlehem had a hundred and sixty-four thousand workers in 1957. By the mid-to-late-nineteen-eighties, it was down to thirty-five thousand workers, and employment at Sparrows Point had fallen to seventy-nine hundred. In 2001, Bethlehem, just shy of its hundredth birthday, declared bankruptcy. It had twelve thousand active employees and ninety thousand retirees and their spouses drawing benefits. It had reached what might be a record-setting dependency ratio of 7.5 pensioners for every worker.

    You haven’t a clue what happened at Sparrows Point, Beth Steel. My father worked there for 35 years. It was the Unions with impossible demands, loss of the ship repair business to Asia, and a failure to modernize. And new Technology allowed steel to be made in an hour where it took 8 hours before with 10% of the staff. Beth Steel and cheap overseas steel, and about a hundred other reasons put it out of business. Sparrows Point still operates with 10% of the staff it did in the late 70′s.

  88. My father worked there for 35 years. It was the Unions with impossible demands, loss of the ship repair business to Asia, and a failure to modernize.

    I’ve spent over 40 years breathing – does that make me an atmospheric scientist?

    And new Technology allowed steel to be made in an hour where it took 8 hours before with 10% of the staff.

    If you bothered to read the piece, you’d see they addressed this. And, to show how “accurate” you are, they cited 25% of the staff.

  89. Phoenician in a time of Romans:
    My father worked there for 35 years. It was the Unions with impossible demands, loss of the ship repair business to Asia, and a failure to modernize.

    I’ve spent over 40 years breathing – does that make me an atmospheric scientist?

    And new Technology allowed steel to be made in an hour where it took 8 hours before with 10% of the staff.

    If you bothered to read the piece, you’d see they addressed this. And, to show how “accurate” you are, they cited 25% of the staff.

    Alright mister know it all, how many Sparrows Pt. employees worked ship side and how many work steel side. What was the heating source they used to smelt iron and make steel? How many drydocks locations did they have in the greater Baltimore area? What part of the plant produced Liberty Ships during WW2? What was the main steel product of the Sparrows Point plant? What was the basic hours of working there making steel. If you worked there 15 years, how many weeks vacation did you get? What is the ship channel depth to the plant then? What River is it on? What was the main Rd to the plant. What historic event happened near there? When the union couldn’t pay pensions anymore, who paid them and at what percentage? Why do steelworkers make Iron and Ironworkers erect steel? What was the bus line number to the plant. What was on a big billboard leaving the plant? I think your article should have these details. What do they want to use the idled part of the plant for now? How many Openhearth buildings did they have and how many furnaces in each? What did they do with the molten steel after the furnace was tapped? What was the other locations of Beth Steel? What was the last plant they built and where? Answer those, and you’ll know half as much as I know about the plant.

  90. Yorkshire – how many workers did Bethlehem Steel have in 1957? How many did it have in 2001 – and how many retirees drawing benefits?

    According to you, those figure have nothing to do with its financial woes. I assume you believe that the cost of those pensions was minimal?

  91. Phoenician in a time of Romans:
    Yorkshire – how many workers did Bethlehem Steel have in 1957? How many did it have in 2001 – and how many retirees drawing benefits?

    According to you, those figure have nothing to do with its financial woes. I assume you believe that the cost of those pensions was minimal?

    I need to know if you are talking making steel, smelting iron, making ships, and/or repairing them? Altogether, 35,000. By the 70′s, the Baltimore Harbor and Fairfield shipyards closed laying off thousands. Then in the 70′s the Sparrows Pt. Shipyard shutdown. Since the plant was 99% steel plate making for ships and other things, the plant went downhill. You still have no clue what happened there.

  92. Yorkshire:
    Phoenician in a time of Romans:
    Yorkshire – how many workers did Bethlehem Steel have in 1957? How many did it have in 2001 – and how many retirees drawing benefits?

    According to you, those figure have nothing to do with its financial woes. I assume you believe that the cost of those pensions was minimal?

    I need to know if you are talking making steel, smelting iron, making ships, and/or repairing them? Altogether, 35,000. By the 70’s, the Baltimore Harbor and Fairfield shipyards closed laying off thousands. Then in the 70’s the Sparrows Pt. Shipyard shutdown. Since the plant was 99% steel plate making for ships and other things, the plant went downhill. You still have no clue what happened there.

    Now here I am explaining what you told us you knew. Well, you don’t.

  93. Now here I am explaining what you told us you knew. Well, you don’t.

    Don’t you get it yet, York? Phoeny knows everything! He’s even shown what technology will be like 300 yrs. from now! He’s not only brilliant but precognitive! LOL! :-D

  94. Hube:
    Now here I am explaining what you told us you knew. Well, you don’t.

    Don’t you get it yet, York? Phoeny knows everything! He’s even shown what technology will be like 300 yrs. from now! He’s not only brilliant but precognitive! LOL!

    Well, it was cracking me up last night that someone read one article about a plant that is 9,000 miles from where he lives and is telling me he knows more about the same place where my father worked for at least 35 years, was 10 miles from where I grew up, a place when working for construction companies I visited several times, a place that was in the newspapers every other day, a place where the unions had three strikes lasting 2 to 4 months each at different times, a place where a picture taken of my father and me while he was picking up his last check after a strike started, a place where the unions had food pantries for their members to get food to make it through the strike, a time when I got tired of Spam fixed 200 different ways and have followed the place for 55 years. But the all knowing Phoe knows more than I do.

  95. Just remember, Perry says everyone should emulate the NZT because it’s always an appropriate position to take to say: “Shorter Perry: I’m a blithering idiot.”

  96. Yorkshire

    I assume that you would be the first to agree that the history of Sparrows Point and of the demise of Bethlehem Steel is far more complicated than you have addressed so far, certainly more than labor-management difficulties, where emerging production technology and efficiencies enabled Japan to dump cheap steel on us. Japan was able to import iron ore from us, extract the iron and produce the steel, and export it to us more cheaply than we could do it ourselves right here at Sparrows Point, or elsewhere.

    It is possible that perspective is lost when one is too close to the problem, which is why we have trained therapists available to help individuals. The same thing is true about macro issues, like the steel industry. I don’t see where anyone claimed to ‘know it all’ when dealing with an issue as complicated as the history of Bethlehem Steel.

  97. Perry, the socialist-leaning unions (AFL-CIO, AFT, NEA, SMWIA, etc) and the blatantly socialist unions (SEIU) are absolutely huge factors in the demise of this nation, with their dealings with companies and with their near-total support of leftist politicians.

  98. Perry:
    Yorkshire

    It is possible that perspective is lost when one is too close to the problem, which is why we have trained therapists available to help individuals.

    I believe you’re telling me to see a shrink? Is that it? Please confirm before I say something I may regret later.

  99. No, Yorkshire, I am not telling you to see a shrink. I was making an analogy, so take another look.

  100. Notice Perry, the quivering mass of flesh who won’t admit to what he insinuated. Or, as NZT would say,

    Shorter Perry: I won’t admit to what I insinuated.

  101. Perry:
    No, Yorkshire, I am not telling you to see a shrink. I was making an analogy, so take another look.

    Oh, I get it, you were just asking.

  102. Yorkshire wrote:

    “Alright mister know it all, how many Sparrows Pt. employees worked ship side and how many work steel side. What was the heating source they used to smelt iron and make steel? How many drydocks locations did they have in the greater Baltimore area? What part of the plant produced Liberty Ships during WW2? What was the main steel product of the Sparrows Point plant? What was the basic hours of working there making steel. If you worked there 15 years, how many weeks vacation did you get? What is the ship channel depth to the plant then? What River is it on? What was the main Rd to the plant. What historic event happened near there? When the union couldn’t pay pensions anymore, who paid them and at what percentage? Why do steelworkers make Iron and Ironworkers erect steel? What was the bus line number to the plant. What was on a big billboard leaving the plant? I think your article should have these details. What do they want to use the idled part of the plant for now? How many Openhearth buildings did they have and how many furnaces in each? What did they do with the molten steel after the furnace was tapped? What was the other locations of Beth Steel? What was the last plant they built and where? Answer those, and you’ll know half as much as I know about the plant.”

    Your response to the criticism you earlier received just highlights the shameless polemicism of your critics.

    They dishonestly posit you as having made nothing but categorical remarks, which you did not.

    Then when you rebut their dishonest characterizations and assertions with proffers of fact they cannot match, they begin the dialectic ploy: ” … do you mean to say that such and such has no effect ”

    It’s the same old shit from these perseverating leftist clowns.

    Although I had a pretty good idea of Phoenician in a time of Romans reputation as an internet troll – it is afterall something he admits himself to be – I wasn’t fully aware of Perry’s long history until I read Hube’s remarks the other day.

    The upshot is that you made some general, and some specific, remarks about the American steel industry and the causes of its problems. You mentioned a number of factors, and you selected one, union demands and practices, as deserving additional comment.

    In respose you get back a hyperbolic bloviation, sandwiching second hand commentary thrown back at you by persons who have likely never produced a dollar’s worth of free market material value in their lives, much less worked in and with the industries you mention.

    How many steel mills or auto plants have Perry or Phoenician in a time of Romans worked in or even visited? How many of their family members or persons intimately known to them have worked or managed in these industries? What do they really know of the union contracts negotiated, the days off, the services underwritten, the work rules, the discipline procedures and appeals processes?

    This contract information by the way, is something that the unions while appealing for public support during collective bargaining, have refused to release to the very public to whom they are appealing for support.

    Do they know why for years car buyers with inside access to auto plant supervision or influence with schedulers sought to get their cars built on Wednesdays?

    Do they know where the plant “library” was located? Have they seen the lounges workers constructed for themselves in out of the way places? Do they really know why robotic automation was desperately introduced to American auto plants – supposedly on the Japanese model – while Toyota was in fact using less automation that the Americans projected. How many job classifications in U.S. auto plants versus Japanese? What’s the “Jobs Bank”? How about having a few extra personal days? Does having your birthday off sound good? What about “30 and out”? “Dental and optometry as well as medical?” “Two dollar co-pay on scripts too much?”

    To provide an answer in posing the question: Do they know why in the sixties and seventies, eras of high progressive taxation, the left-wing sacks of socialist union brass preferred to negotiate for untaxed fringes for the workers (and later “job security”) rather than for cash on the barrel-head; and seemingly, according to workers I know, even over plant safety and working conditions?

    Because it fitted their long-term agenda.

    What about the management?

    As I told a G.M. public affairs executive who was complaining to the news that GM was paying more in health related costs per vehicle than they were is steel, “That is your doing. You and the unions broke your system through your collective bargaining agreements. You had a closed shop, special guild practices, tax privileges independent persons had no access to when it came to buying medical coverage; and now that you are suffering from the effects of your behavior, rather than reform yourselves, you wish to offload the continuing costs your crappy schemes onto the public at large: a public that does not have and legally cannot obtain the same terms you worked out for your particular benefit. What political principle are you using to justify this plan?”

    He had no answer, or being part of management didn’t want to face it.

    I have the answer though.

    It was admitted to me by a Marxist during debate some years ago. It’s why Perry won’t start his own health care system. It’s why a collection of screw-ups know that they cannot get what they want by forming sharing arrangements with others of their own kind. As the Marxist said: In order for socialism to work, it must be an all society proposition”.

    Of course it doesn’t even work then. But it does lock everyone into the same room, with no way out other than death or violence, while it bleeds the competent in order to feed the incompetent and their keepers.

    And, at the very least, the socialists are just fine with that.

  103. When I was driving OTR for JB Hunt, I frequented the “big three” auto manufacturing plants on a very regular basis. On one such visit, I found out the auto manufacturer had to call in a specific employee in order to cut the bolts off of 4 trailers (which were applied by the rail companies). As JB Hunt makes extensive use of rail transportation, mine was one of those trailers.

    The UAW contract was such that no mere dock-hand was permitted to pick up a pair of bolt cutters to cut off four bolts. The company had to call someone in and pay that someone 4 hours’ pay for doing 10-minutes’ work (which put him over the 40-hour straight-pay limit). The company had bolt-cutters but wasn’t permitted to hand the bolt-cutters to the truckers to cut off their rail-installed bolts. Talk about an anti-business, destructive, union contract-mandated scam!

  104. John Hitchcock:
    The UAW contract was such that no mere dock-hand was permitted to pick up a pair of bolt cutters to cut off four bolts. The company had to call someone in and pay that someone 4 hours’ pay for doing 10-minutes’ work (which put him over the 40-hour straight-pay limit). The company had bolt-cutters but wasn’t permitted to hand the bolt-cutters to the truckers to cut off their rail-installed bolts. Talk about an anti-business, destructive, union contract-mandated scam!

    I’ll go one better. I was running a union job where I had three gas driven welding machines. By the Operators Union, I had to bring in an Operator who’s sole purpose was to turn on the machines, and turn them off. And if they needed gas, he wasn’t allowed to do that, but a laborer did that. And the final screw job was the operator made less than the Boilmakers, but his contract said if he works with crafts making more, he was paid that amount.

  105. John Hitchcock wrote:

    “When I was driving OTR for JB Hunt, I frequented the “big three” auto manufacturing plants on a very regular basis. On one such visit, I found out the auto manufacturer had to call in a specific employee in order to cut the bolts off of 4 trailers (which were applied by the rail companies). As JB Hunt makes extensive use of rail transportation, mine was one of those trailers.

    The UAW contract was such that no mere dock-hand was permitted to pick up a pair of bolt cutters to cut off four bolts. The company had to call someone in and pay that someone 4 hours’ pay for doing 10-minutes’ work (which put him over the 40-hour straight-pay limit). The company had bolt-cutters but wasn’t permitted to hand the bolt-cutters to the truckers to cut off their rail-installed bolts. Talk about an anti-business, destructive, union contract-mandated scam!”

    Hidden coffee makers, chaise lounges behind crates; some people shuffling around aimlessly, while others “busted their asses”; the off early Friday and missing on Monday crew; American Motors union members swearing that they would rather go out of business than yield on their progressive quasi-political agenda …

    I’ve had a number of interesting conversations with auto workers recently, when you would think times and attitudes had changed.

    To some extent they have, and even Gettelfinger has seen the writing on the wall.

    But as an exercise, I asked a recent retiree who was contemplating the new two tier wage structure, whether it might not have been better to, say, work for more cash and fewer benefits. The answer was no.

    They didn’t want more money he said. They had vacation houses and boats already. More money would just have meant paying higher taxes – like they wanted the management or independent businessmen to pay – and more personal responsibility for the direction of their lives. Too much planning, too much responsibility.

    Take the Saturn experiment. GM management effectively killed it, but while it lasted some interesting trends developed. One was that cooperative management was revealed as only popular with some of the employees. Others preferred the old antagonistic system: Management does all the thinking, provides us with remuneration for time spent, and we let them know when we don’t like it.

    This then, brings up the entire notion of what it means to speak of a “job”.

    When lefties say that they have a right to a “job”, it does not seem that they are claiming a natural right to exercise their own natural powers in some productive capacity on their own initiative; and then to freely exchange the value they create, with others.

    Instead, they seem to be claiming a social right of place. A place someone else, either in a private or public capacity, is expected to provide them.

    You can parallel this with the “right to health care”.

    Your “right to breathe” doesn’t imply that someone be assigned the social duty of pumping your diaphragm.

    But your “right to health care”?

    An interesting difference in perspective.

  106. DNW said:”while it bleeds the competent in order to feed the incompetent and their keepers.”

    The best line ever on leftists. I will be using that forever. Points out what leftists call “compassion” I call “destruction”.

  107. All the above anti-union stories are anecdotes; not a one with a citation, so it’s no more than mousy gossip.

    I’d be the last to say that the union movement has been clean, but neither has American capitalism, as we have had a continuous string of fraudulent events post WWII beginning with the Savings and Loan mess during Reagan’s first term, culminating with the final straw which put the entire globe into a deep recession.

    And by the way, what were some of the prime causes of the Great Depression? It had nothing to do with corporate excesses, especially on Wall Street, now did it? But you righties seem to happily ignore the historical record of corporate greed and abuse.

    And a comment on DNW’s line that caused Hoagie to drool: Only a right wingnut deaf and blind partisan would ever make a statement like that in a nation where corporate welfare is such a deeply entrenched practice. Do we conclude that DNW is ignorant, partisan, or both?

    ‘Takes two to tango’!

  108. Well, it was cracking me up last night that someone read one article about a plant that is 9,000 miles from where he lives and is telling me he knows more about the same place where my father worked for at least 35 years,

    It’s cracking me up that you seem to think Bethlehem Steel’s burden of supporting retirees cost the firm nothing.

    Twell us, Yorkshire – why did Bethlehem Steel become profitable after Ross took over?

  109. Perry, the socialist-leaning unions (AFL-CIO, AFT, NEA, SMWIA, etc) and the blatantly socialist unions (SEIU) are absolutely huge factors in the demise of this nation, with their dealings with companies and with their near-total support of leftist politicians.

    Isn’t it interesting then that the US has proportionately less union members than any other Western country and that those Western countries that seem to be doing better than the US have more unionisation? It’s almost as if PB is talking rubbish.

    When lefties say that they have a right to a “job”,

    Shorter DNW: The voices! The voices!

    And by the way, what were some of the prime causes of the Great Depression? It had nothing to do with corporate excesses, especially on Wall Street, now did it? But you righties seem to happily ignore the historical record of corporate greed and abuse.

    Ignoring the historical record is essential to their world view.

    Consider – PB states that unions are bringing the US down. This ignores the low and decreasing level of unionisation in the US, the growing inequality as the pay of CEOs balloons out compared to the pay of workers, and the fact that America’s brightest period was when the unions were strong, in the post-war period.

  110. Phoenician in a time of Romans:
    Well, it was cracking me up last night that someone read one article about a plant that is 9,000 miles from where he lives and is telling me he knows more about the same place where my father worked for at least 35 years,

    It’s cracking me up that you seem to think Bethlehem Steel’s burden of supporting retirees cost the firm nothing.

    Twell us, Yorkshire – why did Bethlehem Steel become profitable after Ross took over?

    How the hell would I know if Ross made money or not. Mostly because the assets were sold to International Steel Group in 2003. In 2005, ISG merged with Mittal Steel, ending U.S. ownership of the assets of Bethlehem Steel. And now Mittal is in trouble as a monopoly.

  111. How the hell would I know if Ross made money or not.

    So, in all your recitation of the facts you know about Bethlehem Steel, you don’t know shit about the critical fact of why it went bankrupt then and is profitable now?

    Try reading it again:

    According to Reutter, Bethlehem had a hundred and sixty-four thousand workers in 1957. By the mid-to-late-nineteen-eighties, it was down to thirty-five thousand workers, and employment at Sparrows Point had fallen to seventy-nine hundred. In 2001, Bethlehem, just shy of its hundredth birthday, declared bankruptcy. It had twelve thousand active employees and ninety thousand retirees and their spouses drawing benefits. It had reached what might be a record-setting dependency ratio of 7.5 pensioners for every worker.

    What happened to Bethlehem, of course, is what happened throughout American industry in the postwar period. Technology led to great advances in productivity, so that when the bulge of workers hired in the middle of the century retired and began drawing pensions, there was no one replacing them in the workforce. General Motors today makes more cars and trucks than it did in the early nineteen-sixties, but it does so with about a third of the employees. In 1962, G.M. had four hundred and sixty-four thousand U.S. employees and was paying benefits to forty thousand retirees and their spouses, for a dependency ratio of one pensioner to 11.6 employees. Last year, it had a hundred and forty-one thousand workers and paid benefits to four hundred and fifty-three thousand retirees, for a dependency ratio of 3.2 to 1.
    [...]
    Ross acted quickly. He set up a small trust fund to help defray Bethlehem’s unmet retiree health-care costs, cut a deal with the union to streamline work rules, put in place a new 401(k) savings plan—and then started over. The new Bethlehem Steel had a dependency ratio of 0 to 1. Within about six months, it was profitable.

    According to you, carrying 7.5 pensioners for every worker cost Bethlehem Steel nothing. Tell us, Yorkshire, how that is? Tell us why exactly you think paying pensions to ninty thousand retirees cost nothing.

  112. Pho in a dream state:
    Ross acted quickly. He set up a small trust fund to help defray Bethlehem’s unmet retiree health-care costs, cut a deal with the union to streamline work rules, put in place a new 401(k) savings plan—and then started over. The new Bethlehem Steel had a dependency ratio of 0 to 1. Within about six months, it was profitable.

    Who the hell is Ross? Your article has ZERO Explanation of that.

    There was no NEW Beth Steel at Sparrows Pt. It was sold to ISG. Get your facts straight and write coherently.

  113. In article #3 above it discussed how BO was following Cloward-Piven to collapse the system, and thus Fundamentally Change the USA. And soon to be finished article #4 tells of how the new health care system would break insurance companies and cost companies millions in new mandates and taxes. So, here we have the leader and CEO of the Big Yellow Metal Equipment Co, Caterpillar, saying the new plan will cost his company $100M the first year. Now if I were running a company as large as Cat and found the Company $100M short, where does one go? Two Choices: 1) Raise prices and not be competitive which allows more foreign machinery in, or 2) Cut the workforce raising unemployment. BO wants it all, but he neglects to tell us this all comes with a big price tag. Another reason unemployment is staying high is that companies are sitting this out waiting to see what damage the Gummint is going to inflict on them. BO wants it both ways and the middle, or he just flat out wants a welfare state.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/19/equipment-maker-says-health-care-cost-million-year/

    Equipment Maker Says Health Care Bill Would Cost It $100 Million in First Year
    FOXNews.com

    In a letter Thursday to House leaders, Caterpillar said Democrats’ health care reform legislation would drive up its health care costs by more than 20 percent.

    Caterpillar, the heavy-equipment maker that President Obama cited last year in making his argument for a massive economic stimulus package, is opposing the health care bill nearing final passage, saying the bill would ramp up the company’s operating costs by $100 million alone in the first year and imperil coverage for its 150,000 employees and retirees.

    In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner, and provided to FoxNews.com, the Peoria, Ill.-based company urged lawmakers to vote against the bill, citing provisions in it — such as new coverage mandates and the taxation of Medicare subsidies for prescription drugs — that would drive up its health care costs by more than 20 percent.

    “In our fragile economy, we can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus global competitors that are not similarly burdened,” Gregory Folley, vice president of the company, wrote.

    “As one of America’s leading manufacturing companies and exporters, we’re disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we’ve raised throughout the year,” he said. “And we strongly believe the current legislation is not in the best interests of Caterpillar or the more than 150,000 employees, retirees and dependents that we cover.”

    The company’s estimate of $100 million is the equivalent of about an additional $55 a month for each of 150,000 workers.

    more at the link:

  114. Here Pho, do keep up with the latest news about the Sparrows Pt. Plant. Like I told you last night, you didn’t know what you were talking about.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-bz.sparrows08may08,0,7299919.story

    Sparrows Point has a new owner
    Severstal deal raises hopes for future of Md. steel complex

    Russian steelmaker OAO Severstal completed yesterday its $810 million acquisition of the Sparrows Point steel mill from ArcelorMittal with plans to invest significantly in the Baltimore County plant and rev up production.

    Sparrows Point management and labor expressed excitement and hope that the Severstal deal will shore up the future of the 119-year-old plant, which becomes a key part of Severstal’s plans to expand in the United States.

    The plant, which employs 2,500, has languished under a succession of owners, leaving workers anxious about whether it can remain competitive.

    “The steel plant and all of us in management are extremely pleased with the outcome of the plant’s sale to Severstal,” said plant manager Thomas Russo.
    More at the link:

  115. You see Pho, it was as simple as this, when ISG bought Beth Steel, it said to the retirees, screw you and the Feds had to pick up the tab. It’s easy to make money when you get a modern plant and no liabilities. So, to continue on your you don’t know JackShit Tour, ISG just told the 95K retiees you’re on your own, including my father who had his pension cut 20%.

    I hope you have the whole story, not the Wikipedia half version.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/stll-f26.shtml

    US: Bethlehem Steel to terminate health and insurance benefits for 95,000 retirees
    By Alden Long
    26 February 2003
    Bethlehem Steel Corporation has announced it will terminate health care and life insurance benefits for 95,000 retired workers and their dependents by March 31. The cuts are part of the $1.5 billion purchase agreement initially reached by Bethlehem with the International Steel Group (ISG), agreed to in December and finalized on February 5, in an effort to bring Bethlehem out of bankruptcy.

    The Asset Purchase Agreement, in which ISG will purchase assets and shed liabilities such as workers’ health care, insurance and pensions, will make the investment group the largest integrated steel producer in North America. ISG was founded in April 2002 by bankruptcy restructure specialist W.L. Ross. Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s board of directors unanimously approved the Asset Purchase Agreement on February 9 and it will be submitted to the US Bankruptcy Court in New York in a matter of weeks for final action.

    The consolidation will give ISG 16 million tons annual productive capacity, one third the capacity of the world leader—the recently merged, Belgian-based Arcelor. American companies, however, are acquiring a significant cost-cutting advantage against their European and Japanese rivals with the consolidation.

    Bethlehem, formerly the second largest integrated steel producer in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 15, 2001. In 2002, it earned revenues of about $3.5 billion on shipments of about 7.5 million tons of steel products. Bethlehem has about 11,000 active steelworkers at mills in Burns Harbor, Indiana; Sparrows Point, Maryland; and Steelton and Coatsville, Pennsylvania. The company, which employed 300,000 steelworkers in the 1950s, shut down its flagship mill at its headquarters in Bethlehem in 1995.
    more at the link.

    And pho, don’t contradict me again because you still know Jack about Sparrows Pt.

  116. And pho, don’t contradict me again because you still know Jack about Sparrows Pt.

    York, don’t even bother wasting your time on the Internet static. Personally, I wouldn’t give him the time of day if I worked in a clock factory.

  117. Yorkshire is confused: “…you [Phoenician] still know Jack….”

    Did you mean to say “don’t know Jack”?

    FoxNews reports, and Yorkshire quotes: “In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner, and provided to FoxNews.com, the Peoria, Ill.-based company urged lawmakers to vote against the bill, citing provisions in it — such as new coverage mandates and the taxation of Medicare subsidies for prescription drugs — that would drive up its health care costs by more than 20 percent.”

    Note the absence of details: What new coverage mandates? What taxation of Medicare subsidies?

    Without more information, I simply don’t believe this, and neither should you!

  118. Note the absence of details: What new coverage mandates? What taxation of Medicare subsidies?
    Without more information, I simply don’t believe this, and neither should you!

    You’re being a jackass, Perry, and I suspect you know it. All these demands for “Citations”, then when given you simply reject them out of hand. There’s a term for this: it’s called being passive-aggressive.

    In short, it sucks!

  119. Perry:
    Yorkshire is confused: “…you [Phoenician] still know Jack….”

    Did you mean to say “don’t know Jack”?

    FoxNews reports, and Yorkshire quotes: “In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner, and provided to FoxNews.com, the Peoria, Ill.-based company urged lawmakers to vote against the bill, citing provisions in it — such as new coverage mandates and the taxation of Medicare subsidies for prescription drugs — that would drive up its health care costs by more than 20 percent.”

    Note the absence of details: What new coverage mandates? What taxation of Medicare subsidies?

    Without more information, I simply don’t believe this, and neither should you!

    You believe what you believe, and I’ll do the same. I’m not your son, so don’t tell me what to do or believe. You have your f******g citations, so take them and put them …………

  120. Continued nastiness from the Right — that’s all they, most of them that is, know to say/do!

  121. Perry:
    Continued nastiness from the Right — that’s all they, most of them that is, know to say/do!

    Perry, I say this in the nicest, kindest way – Stick it! Show me where I have used expletives like the Left???? Citations, Citations, Citations. You noticed how I asked you yesterday, but you frogot, to explain a comment. You did.

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