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Liberal economist Paul Krugman is chief spokesman for the "income inequality" crowd. In his column "Ostentation, your ship has come in thanks to changed economic times" (Forum, Sept. 28), he presses his theme that the super-rich have fattened up at the expense of the middle class. But he disproves his own thesis by harking back to the 1950's, when, he says, because of higher taxes, tycoons had more modest lifestyles than today's nabobs.
The fact is the middle class lives infinitely better today than in the 50's, even though that was a decade of unprecedented prosperity. I was there. If my father, who died in 1959, could come back, he would be astounded by our houses - mile after mile of homes that only rich people would have dreamed of then; our cars - an SUV and sedan in most garages; our restaurants; our vacations, summer cottages, winter homes and RVs; our clothing - one child's clothes would fill all the closets in our old house; our school-age children walking around with smart phones and so on.
Krugman highlights yachts. Have you seen a yacht in any of the Lake Erie marinas? I haven't, but thousands of pleasure craft. What plutocrats own those? What about golf courses?
Sure, he could give you statistics that incomes have stagnated, but what would you expect when the labor force has increased by the entry of so many women?
If our way of life is threatened, it is not because of income inequality, but because the next generation may think they have a constitutional right to start the day with a $4 cup of coffee.
And from my city, no less. Classic.
It's like he's living in an imagined world where the American middle/working/poor classes are just living SO high off the hog and economic opportunity is in abundance and job security has never been better and we're with the jet set in Dubai and . ... luxuries like cellphones for kids abound . . .. because reasons.
His sentence about yachts and golf courses .. . . . . yeah, anyone got a google map to that point?
. .. . Of course, if you read the comments, I responded in kind.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Oct 12, 2014, 10:08 AM (5 replies)
Of all the ridiculous strawmen the Republicans come up with, regarding the much, MUCH needed raise to the federal minimum wage, this has to be one of the most idiotic.
It's not only being tossed by every Homer, Jabez and Bertha Sue chiming in on the wingnut-laden internets, it's the go-to of right-wing pundits (Kevin O'Leary) and even supposedly educated economists (like Lindsey Piegza, for instance).
But hey, as long as we're playing this card, you know, why not LOWER the minimum wage to 4 bucks an hour?
How about TWO an hour (while I'm being facetious, jerks like Peter Schiff are for real with that figure)? Hey, why hold back and just simply demand workers PAY their businesses for the privilege of working there???
It's re-branded Feudalism, regressive and immoral, that's why.
More buying power in the hands of people who need to spend every dime is simply a smarter long game for economic health, and pretending tax cuts are a viable substitute for an increase in a sustained income is the folly of the Von Mises set.
I'm not sure when we became a nation of greedy, hateful pigs, but I do remember a time when a business took pride in not only their workmanship, but in the fact that they were creating jobs in their community. They gave people a purpose and a living wage. It allowed a person the dignity of being self-sufficient and the security of taking care of themselves and their family. In return the company got dedication, loyalty and a product or service that others wanted to buy. Henry Ford, one of the country's biggest manufacturing icons made a point of making sure that his employees earned enough to buy a car. Today, we have Walmart workers, who despite working full time are so poorly paid that they have to rely on taxpayer subsidized food stamps, welfare and Medicare totaling more than $1 million per store.
So, it's interesting that the recent news of job market 'improvement' doesn't mention that of the ten occupation categories projecting the greatest growth in the next eight years, only one pays a middle-class wage. Four pay barely above poverty level and five pay beneath it, including fast-food workers, retail sales staff, health aids and janitors. The job expected to have the highest number of openings is 'personal care aide'--taking care of aging baby boomers in their houses or in nursing homes. The median salary of an aid is under $20,000. They enjoy no benefits and about 40 percent of them must rely on food stamps and Medicaid to make ends meet, plus many are in the 'shadow economy,' vulnerable to being cheated on the already miserly wages.
That means the father or mother with a couple of kids, now looking at the degree they have from some university they probably still owe money to, is going to take whatever they can get to pay for the roof over their head and to put food on the table. They may even need to take two. It also means that the boomer couple who lost their pension, 401k, savings, and home value as a result of the felonious acts of the same corporations who are now opposing a living wage, isn't going to retire when they thought they would and will be looking into landing one of those jobs. That's who members of Congress are giving the finger to. People do what they need to do to survive. It's been that way since the beginning of time and this country has proven time and time again that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, but the argument and the opposition to allowing people a living wage for full time work is frankly embarrassing.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Sep 10, 2014, 10:00 AM (35 replies)
And in case the post gets hidden, it says, and I quote:
Still haven't meet a Laquisha or Shaniqua I would like to work with
I mean, COME on. Are you freaking KIDDING me? It's bad enough that site's loaded with economically stupid Dunning-Krugertarians and mean low-info bastards who name themselves after ammo . . . and now THIS nonsense?
Can we now say that this is a bad idea once and for all? Sometimes stupid is just stupid.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Thu Aug 28, 2014, 09:27 AM (11 replies)
I have two friends (old classmates, to be specific) on Facebook that are small businessmen.
One owns a web solutions company, which is around a $5-10 million/year business.
The other, not so sure; I think it has to do with energy, but I do know that he has affiliates in Dubai and Singapore . . . so again, not doing too shabby for the most part.
Both veer on the righter of the right-wing political ruler. One posts frequent links to Kevin O’Leary’s screeds against raising the minimum wage in this country, stating it would cause him and his poor business that runs on margin to lay off workers as everyone else’s salaries would rise along with it (uh, yeah, that’s kind of the point if you want Capitalism to continue and not drown in a morass of debt). He’s also a Flat tax fan; as most higher-income people are, since they’d make out like bandits. His business pays salaries for talent that command much higher than minimum wage, so what does he care?
The other is far more batshit and blames just about everything under the sun on “Chairman Maobama”; very anti-government, very anti-regulation, very anti-anything that makes life an atom-speck fairer for workers, and also very much against raising the minimum wage. He’s a genuine Red-Baiter and False Dilemma-tosser extraordinaire. It’s kind of bizarre that someone who was an honor student in HS could be so amazingly idiotic politically.
Where am I going with this?
Well, just last week, Captain RedBait was online posting photos of the BOAT he just purchased. Not a yacht, but certainly no skiff.
As for Major Seven-and-a-Quarter an Hour Forever, he posted photos of his two week vacation with his family of four in Italy. We’re not talking just one part either – they visited at least four cities.
So . . . these two are crying poor (and obviously want everyone else to remain that way, so long as they aren’t), but at the same time, taking Italian vacations with their family and buying boats?
Explain this to me like I’m a complete idiot: Exactly how does this reconcile?
Posted by HughBeaumont | Fri Aug 15, 2014, 09:55 AM (8 replies)
A 2% solution to a host of college problems: Kevin O'Brien:
This is his grand solution to curbing college costs that's designed to please the commie lib'ruls . . . I think . . .
A much more effective way to attack the problem would be to ensure that colleges have some skin in the game — the more, the better — by paying them after the fact and allowing the marketplace to determine the worth of a college education, one graduate at a time.
The incoming freshman would agree to repay the college for his or her higher education at a fixed percentage of the student's gross earnings for a fixed number of years. Say, 2 percent of income for 25 years.
The problem of crushing student debt is immediately solved. When the student graduates and gets that first job at what should be the lowest earning level of his professional life, he will also face the lowest college repayment level: 2 percent of very little is very, very little. Twenty-five years later, when the former student is the executive VP of a multinational company, 2 percent of a whole lot will still be a very reasonable price for the happy graduate to pay and a tidy raw-dollar sum indeed for Dear Old State U.
First, the college has to choose wisely. If it contracts with marginal students who lack direction or motivation, it's likely to lose money on them. Then, the college has to make sure students don't lose their way during school. It has to make sure they learn truly useful things well. As graduation nears, the college is motivated to help the student land the best possible job at the best possible pay. It may even find ways to support the employed graduate with information and connections that make him a better (and better-paid) employee.
Colleges and universities would be quick to eliminate courses, majors, even entire academic departments that offered insufficient return on investment. Some colleges and universities, finding themselves unable to compete, would disappear. That is not a bad thing. America is way over-colleged, hence the expensive, wasteful competition on creature comforts to lure freshmen, since the quality of undergraduate education is pretty much the same everywhere.
Once colleges eliminate departments and majors that don't move graduates into jobs worth a college education, businesses will recover the skills of screening their own applicants. That would put an end to Americans' patently ludicrous notion that every job more exalted than fast-food worker requires a degree.
OK, so from what I'm reading:
Colleges are corporate farm clubs.
Public money going to colleges are a bad thing (as opposed, of course, to public money going in the pockets of the Kochs) that cause tuitions to rise. Yeah.
The Arts and Social Sciences mean shiznit because they're not economically quantifiable, so we should just get rid of them.
STEM, Business and Finance Majors are the only things worth studying; everything else is just a hobby.
In 25 years, it's guaranteed that a college graduate will be an executive VP.
Every kid at the age of 18-19 knows EXACTLY what they want to do.
You wouldn't need 25 years of funding to pay professors NOW or anything.
Our job markets are ALWAYS awesome and accommodating to those with college degrees and those without.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Aug 13, 2014, 10:41 AM (8 replies)
Why does the Pain Dealer give a voice to coprophagic paranoid nutjobs like this? Saul Alinsky?? Rules for Radicals?? COME on. The usual culprits are here . .. mostly extreme red baiting and projection a mile wide. Probably watches a lot of Dinesh D'Souza.
Funnier than Terry's whack-a-doo bullshit list is that he goes out of his way in the comments section to defend and exacerbate what he just pulled directly out of his ass. What kind of loons are we breeding in the suburbs??
Watch for his name . .. wouldn't be surprised if it's the next one you see in the DV/gun spree headlines . .
Patrick Lake's July 13 letter to the editor, "Nation's too dumb to appreciate Obama," is a gross misstatement of President Obama's real intentions. Obama makes statements that deceive ones like Patrick into believing he has good intentions, but his real intention is to follow the eight-step plan expressed by Saul Alinsky in his book "Rules for Radicals." Obama is well-schooled in these steps to transform America into a socialist state:
First is government controlled health care and second is poverty. The influx of illegals continues to his delight knowing it will help increase poverty and allow people control. Third is to increase debt to an unsustainable level. Fourth is gun control. Remove guns and create a policed state.
Fifth is welfare, government control of food, housing and income, also a U.N. desire supported by Obama. Sixth is education control, what we read, view and listen to. Shut down all opposition sources. Seventh is to remove the belief in God from government and schools, loss religious freedom. Eighth is class warfare. Divide the people into wealthy and poor (tax the wealthy to support the poor).
The title should have been, "A nation too dumb to understand Obama's deception and real agenda." Wake up America.
Terry L. Davis,
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Jul 27, 2014, 08:40 AM (3 replies)
Keynesian economics is centered on spending. He authored the circular flow model to explain that spending, not saving is the key to economic growth. Keynes preferred government investment in public works projects such as the New Deal. He realized that a heavy investment in infrastructure would create jobs. Other than the primary benefit of the jobs that the new deal created, he thought that there were secondary benefits to the economy as well. He preferred this method because he believed in the multiplier effect. Keynes formula for the multiplier effect is based on the marginal propensity to consume (MPC). The MPC is the amount of increased income that is spent on goods and services. For Example, if I get a raise of $100 a month and spend $70 of it, the MPC is .70. This $70 is spent and therefore it becomes income for the people that receive it in exchange for the sale of a good or service. This increase in income creates a chain as the people that received the initial 70$ spend .70(49$) and therefore it multiplies the effect of my initial $100 raise. Keynes argued that saving would inhibit the multiplier effect and therefore the more income you spend, the better the economy is for everyone.
Under this assumption, Keynes favored government spending on major projects because the government would spend one-hundred percent of its budget on the project. This led to an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. If infrastructure projects were privately undertaken, the thriftiness of the entrepreneur would lead to a more efficient use of labor and resources. It is the motivation to save money and maximize profits that keeps things efficient. Free of bloated bureaucratic spending, privatization is almost universally more efficient than public works projects.
Keynes believed in the abolishment of the gold standard in favor of a fiat currency. This enables governments to print more money and artificially stimulate the economy. Generally, an increase in the money supply causes inflation. Inflation decreases the purchasing power of the country’s currency, leading to unstable markets and a higher cost of living. This higher cost of living can lead to an inflationary spiral. According to the online website Business Dictionary, an inflationary spiral is when “high cost living prompts demands for higher wages which push production cost up forcing firms to increase prices, which in turn trigger calls for fresh wage increases.” Without intervention, this cycle can break a countries economy and make its currency utterly worthless.
That is an exerpt from a macro paper I wrote sophomore year. My tenured econ professor gave me an A. Keynesian economics has been the rule since the new deal. The Chicago school econmists have not had enought of an effect. Read "The Road to Serfdom" by FA Hayak.
I don't even get how this person got an "A", since it just seems like blatant revisionism.
Didn't Hayek once praise the Pinochet regime as a "necessary evil"?
Dunning-Krugertarians make for good comedy.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Jul 13, 2014, 02:23 AM (14 replies)
Bad ideas don’t die just because they are bad. They hang around until a consensus forms around another idea that is better. This is what’s happening now with a stupid idea has dominated American business for the last four decades: that the purpose of a firm is to maximize shareholder value. The massive problems that this notion has caused for business and society have been documented. Even Jack Welch has called it “the dumbest idea in the world.” Yet it remains the conventional wisdom throughout much of big business. What’s different now is that a consensus is forming around a better idea.
That’s the big news coming out of a recent report from the Aspen Institute which convened a cross-section of business thought leaders, including both executives and academics. The report’s most important finding is that majority of the thought leaders who participated in the study, particularly corporate executives, agreed that “the primary purpose of the corporation is to serve customers’ interests.” In effect, the best way to serve shareholders’ interests is to deliver value to customers.
“Friedman won the way a great debater wins,” says Martin, “by cleverly framing the terms of the debate… Because Friedman was so inflammatory in his call for a 100 percent versus 0 percent handling of the trade-off, his entire opposition …has focused on making arguments for a number lower than 100 percent for shareholders. In doing so, they implicitly… accepted Friedman’s premise that there is a fundamental trade-off between the interests of shareholders on the one hand and other societal actors such as customers, employees and communities on the other hand. Ever since, the Friedmanite defense has been to force the opposition to prove that making a trade-off to any extent whatsoever against shareholders won’t seriously damage capitalism.”
“Had the opposition been cleverer, it would have attacked the premise from the very beginning by asking: what is the proof that there is a trade-off at all? Had they done so, they would have found out that Friedman had not a shred of proof that a trade-off existed prior to 1970. And they would have found out that there still isn’t a single shred of empirical evidence that 100 percent focus on shareholder value to the exclusion of other societal factors actually produces measurably higher value for shareholders.”
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Jun 18, 2014, 06:10 AM (18 replies)
How you doing out there? Like I care!
I've officially decided that you people suck hearty balls at internetting.
So, without further ado, please read THIS handy, dandy chart listing all of the things you're doing wrong before you ruin my day with your inane, linkless, partisan comments on image macros regarding life issues that no other country besides OURS seems to take interest in politicizing.
Pay special attention to the following sections:
The entire "On the Attack" section
Two Wrongs Make a Right
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
Appeal to Authority
The entire "Appeal to Emotions" section.
Have a pleasant day. But you won't, because you aren't wired that way.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Tue Jun 17, 2014, 06:39 AM (6 replies)
This is "Laissez-Fail".
Here's what life would be like without social services, laws or regulations of any kind, with as small a government as you could imagine and corporate America's "you're worth what you're worth" wage acumen. Put the economy in the hands of the Peter Thiels, Peter Schiffs, Thomas Petterfys, the Kochs, Bernie Marcuses and Ken Langones of the world, and this is what you're going to get. This canyon-gapped two-tiered life is what they would love to send us back to.
Some "utopia" . . . .
Posted by HughBeaumont | Tue Jun 3, 2014, 06:35 AM (19 replies)