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Old 2014-06-02, 02:09   #45
Fusion_power
 
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Quite a bit of this makes sense, but don't expect anything to happen, it is just pie in the sky thinking.

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/sites/..._Institute.pdf
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Old 2014-06-02, 02:52   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
Quite a bit of this makes sense, but don't expect anything to happen, it is just pie in the sky thinking.

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/sites/..._Institute.pdf
Many thanks for this paper! Of course, I am not killing the fatted calf, nor breaking out the 100 year old single malt, either. (The foregoing falsely implies that I have either calf or whiskey.)
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Old 2014-06-02, 15:10   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
Quite a bit of this makes sense, but don't expect anything to happen, it is just pie in the sky thinking.

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/sites/..._Institute.pdf
The paper's glaring flaw, rendering it useless, is that it takes no account of some recent and current political realities.

I see no acknowledgement that current GOP strategy is, in general, to oppose any tax increase because of the "starve the beast" principle, and, in particular, to oppose any tax increase on the wealthy. I see no acknowledgment that this will continue as long as the very-wealthy provide the major funding for GOP political campaigns, aided by recent Supreme Court decisions.

The paper's proposed "way out" seems to assume that both political sides have good-faith rational intent to reduce the US budget deficits. There's no acknowledgment that the GOP currently places a higher priority on maintaining the federal deficit and wealth-distribution inequity at roughly their current levels, for strategic and ideological reasons, than on improving the US budget situation.

The paper's ignoring of the past four decades of conservative political strategy and tactics guided by multibillionaire-funded right-wing think tanks does indeed render it "pie in the sky thinking" of no practical value. Indeed, this paper may be worse than useless because it distracts attention from the real causes of the situations it purports to address so rationally.

If it did not explicitly state at the top that "... these budgetary crises are the result of political and not economic failings", this paper might deserve to be considered merely naive. But since it does so state, one wonders whether its author actually has such shallow understanding of "political failings", or whether his paper were crafted for distraction purposes. (I suspect the former.)

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2014-06-02 at 15:45
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Old 2014-06-02, 21:19   #48
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I see no acknowledgment that this will continue as long as the very-wealthy provide the major funding for GOP political campaigns, aided by recent Supreme Court decisions.
It's not just the GOP whose campaign funding is anything but "grassroots". The only real difference is the lies peddled to try to appeal to the respective "bases".

Quote:
The paper's proposed "way out" seems to assume that both political sides have good-faith rational intent to reduce the US budget deficits. There's no acknowledgment that the GOP currently places a higher priority on maintaining the federal deficit and wealth-distribution inequity at roughly their current levels, for strategic and ideological reasons, than on improving the US budget situation.
In DC, any talk of budget reform, whether it be couched in terms of "austerity" or "reducing wealth inequality", is just that - talk. The funny thing about the Neocons and Neolibs is that they are virtually indistinguishable from each other in their actions. Both parties are utter creatures of the warmongering, financialization-addicted kleptocratic superstate.

These partisan snipe-and-bicker theater plays appear intended mainly to keep the rabble distracted from the deeper truth, namely that government of/by/for the people is long gone, if it ever existed in something other than myth to begin with.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2014-06-02 at 21:52 Reason: add link
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Old 2014-06-03, 06:43   #49
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A little histrionic-headline amusement courtesy of a well-known "economic collapse any second now!" blog which shall not be named until at least halfway through the following link:

Guest Post: U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75% | Zero Hedge

Another "Zero Hedge = Zero Fact Checking" classic. As shown by this recent-ish Mish piece with a set of Tim Wallace charts on US gasoline consumption trends, the great recession hammered that trendline pretty good, but -75%? Not even close.
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Old 2014-06-08, 12:47   #50
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News this weekend is trumpeting 217,000 new jobs in the U.S. which must signal that the economy is bounding upward. Not so fast. That 217,000 represents just about the same amount as the number of new entrants into the job market. In other words, the number of jobless people did not go down, it stayed about the same.

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Old 2014-06-10, 01:20   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
News this weekend is trumpeting 217,000 new jobs in the U.S. which must signal that the economy is bounding upward. Not so fast. That 217,000 represents just about the same amount as the number of new entrants into the job market. In other words, the number of jobless people did not go down, it stayed about the same.
On that subject, this puff piece by John Cassidy in The New Yorker rightly gets taken to the woodshed by NC readers:

“From the perspective of ordinary folks, it feels like we’ve been [sic] experienced six and a half lost years.” That one sentence explains everything I hate about today’s post-Tina New Yorker, down to the grotesque copy editing #FAIL. Sad. -- Lambert Strether

Completely fails to mention the change in job composition from pre-crisis till today. ... We have the same number of jobs as we used to: yeah! But what’s that you say? The full-time jobs we lost have been replaced with low-wage, no-bennie, part-time jobs? Shhhh! You’ll scare away the confidence fairy! -- diptherio



Another fine NC piece today:

Larry Summers’ Contradictory and Dishonest Defense of Administration’s Bank-Focused Crisis Response
Quote:
[quoting Adam Levitin]Finally, Summers writes that “critics who disagree at this late date are obliged to provide an alternative analysis of the political calculus, not a mere recitation of the arguments for cram-down.” Let me take up the gauntlet.

Not pursuing cramdown was the Obama Administration’s worst political mistake. Period. It may well have cost Democrats the House in 2010 and ushered in the current era of complete Congressional dysfunction. Democrats took a licking in 2010 for two reasons. First, they were held responsible for the state of the economy, irrespective of the shared blame for the crisis. Second, Democrats took a licking because the Administration was perceived (rightly) as caring more about Wall Street than Main Street. Cramdown would have gone a long way to mitigating both criticisms. If cramdown had succeeded, it might have turned around the economy. Maybe not fast enough to matter for the 2010 elections, but we can’t be sure. And even if cramdown had failed, had the administration had put some muscle into the effort, it could have painted the GOP as obstructing help for real people during the 2010 election. The Obama Administration could have carried the banner of the champion of Main Street instead of the protector of Wall Street. By dropping the ball of cramdown, and then doubling down on the incompetent HAMP program (which was patently flawed from inception as was regularly pointed out by the Congressional Oversight Panel), the Administration ended up owning the financial crisis instead of pinning it on the GOP. The Administration is still paying the price.


Yves again. So on the one hand, the Administration and the Democrats generally are reaping the bitter harvest of their “cream for the bankers, crumbs for everyone else” crisis responses. But the troubling part, as Geithner’s Stress Test and Summers’ op-ed suggest, they have so managed to isolate themselves in the Versailles of official Washington that even warnings of insiders like Levitin are unlikely to penetrate their flattering, insulated world view. Unfortunately, seemingly unsustainable conditions have a nasty way of lasting longer than seems possible. While we can hope for Summers to face an ugly day of reckoning, it may be historians that are the ones to hold him to account

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2014-06-10 at 01:22 Reason: ficks das lynx
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Old 2014-06-11, 23:40   #52
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Yes, indeed! Best explanation I've yet seen in one place for what I asked in my "Alternate scenarios for post-Sept. 15 2008" thread. :-)
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Old 2014-06-16, 01:11   #53
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http://arstechnica.com/security/2014...network-power/
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Old 2014-06-20, 02:40   #54
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A Horror-Show Called “Fed-Gate” May Be Coming To Your Bond Fund Soon | David Stockman -- More yield-chasing madness resulting from the Fed`s permaZIRP bank subsidy. Readers have likely heard the "corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash" meme in the business news -- well, they have also been issuing massive amounts of debt. High-quality companies have been able to issue bonds at ultra-low yields and use the proceeds to fuel a record binge of share buybacks ... at the low-quality end of things, even junk bonds have had their interest rates slashed enough to lead to them substituting for what used to be principal-guaranteed money market instruments, as Stockman describes. This will end badly, very badly.


World-Cup-related: This is a reposting of a reader comment by DakotabornKansan over at NC:
Quote:
Neoliberalism gone wild…

Dave Zirin’s dispatches from Brasil’s World Cup and its victims have been excellent.

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/dave-zirin#

Having spent some time in Brasil, I always remember the following quote by Eduardo Galeano: “Where opulence is most opulent . . . misery is most miserable.”

An end result of neoliberalism:

“Need Food Not Football: Brazil’s Anti-Fifa World Cup Graffiti”

http://www.graphicdesign.com/article.../#.U6MEP8JOWlh

Neoliberalism wins through the strength of its useful idiots:

“A population too busy worrying about their financial future, and seeking escapism in narcissistic and escapist pursuits, is a wonderful thing for those that wish to rule over them. Better for them to be following the latest clothing tendencies of famous personalities, or wondering who will win the latest singing competition, or sharing the minutiae of their lives with others, than spending time questioning why they keep falling behind financially, what right their country has to intervene in the politics of others, or why nothing ever seems to be done about climate change. Better for the youth to be rebelling through superficial choices rather than questioning the underlying rules by which their future will be governed. At a time when more than ever a questioning of the direction that society is taking, and the assumptions that are driving it, is required society is mis-served by a media overwhelmingly selling yet more stuff and celebrating those that can consume the most. When citizens do stray from the cultural script, as with the Occupy Wall Street movement, they are treated more as entertainment by the media, and then squashed by the state when they do not disappear naturally or cannot be co-opted. Then lost down the media memory hole in the same way that the Tiananmen Square protests were, as normal programming was resumed. Better for the masses to keep celebrating their own slow-motion murder, and the elites their own suicide.” – Roger Boyd, “Kamikaze Culture,”

http://www.resilience.org/stories/20...mikaze-culture
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Old 2014-07-06, 17:53   #55
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It's-not-just-from-Consumers-Union-any-more dept.:

"How Students at a U.S. University Borrowed $31 Million Less "
Quote:
A simple letter from Indiana University led its students to reduce borrowing by far more than the national average.

Amid the furor over the $1.2 trillion in U.S. student debt, the seven-campus system decided to tell students annually before they take out loans for the next year what their monthly payment would be after graduation.

Federal undergraduate Stafford loan disbursements at the public university dropped 11 percent, or $31 million, in the nine months that ended March 31 from a year earlier, according to Education Department data. That’s more than fivefold the 2 percent decline in outlays to four-year public schools nationally.

. . .

Debt Literacy

The letters, which Indiana began sending in the 2012-2013 academic year, are part of an effort to expand students’ financial-aid literacy. The schools, which have a combined 95,000 undergraduates, also started a personal finance course, peer-to-peer advising and added more information to the website. The letters are sent out mostly by e-mail before students take loans for the next year, Kennedy said.

. . .
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