February 28th, 2011

Walker warns the AWOL Democrats

Governor Walker of Wisconsin tells the absent state senate Democrats (and the rest of Wisconsin and the nation) what will happen if they don’t return within 24 hours:

Now they have one day to return to work before the state loses out on the chance to refinance debt, saving taxpayers $165 million this fiscal year,” Walker’s spokesman Cullen Werwie said in a statement.

“Failure to return to work and cast their votes will lead to more painful and aggressive spending cuts in the very near future,” the statement said.

I like this guy’s resolve. So far he has not blinked. We’ll see whether they do.

145 Responses to “Walker warns the AWOL Democrats”

  1. Brad Says:

    Let him not blink.

    They are not blinking either. He pushed just a little too far when he tried to mess with the unions ability to negotiate future contracts. It doesn’t help that he pushed through tax cuts to business interests (they always get tax cuts it seems) while at the same time trying to sell the states power generating capacity for pennies via an obscure clause in the bill.

    Fact is the nation as a whole is in a crisis (unless you believe in neochartalism) and people of all economic classes are going to have to share in the cuts, not just the poor and the unionized middle classes. When Mr. Walker starts taxing the rich and the corporations and making real across the board cuts to Wisconsin’s budget he may THEN be taken seriously. Long as I’m convinced he’s a corporate shill, I’m for letting his political career burn along with him.

  2. holmes Says:

    I really like the picture Reuters chose- the crying woman and the caption “Wisconsin is overcome with emotion.” No, a teacher or similarly sympathetic person, is neurotically responding to a reasonable law.

  3. Bill West Says:

    Brad (above) conflates union members in the private sector with those in the public sector. There is a fundamental difference between the two.

    Someone who doesn’t like the meddling of corporate interests in politics shouldn’t like the meddling of public sector unions either. The conflict of interest inherent in supporting the campaigns of legislators who establish employment policies is apparent.

    Brad, like many, sees the culture divided into several classes. In fact, there only two “classes’ involved here: those who pay the bills (the public, including the private sector union members) and those who don’t, the state employees.

  4. SteveH Says:

    “”It doesn’t help that he pushed through tax cuts to business interests (they always get tax cuts it seems)”"
    Brad

    And who pays when businesses are taxed? Regular ordinary folk do. And who benefits when business taxes go down? Regular ordinary folk do.

    This isn’t rocket science. More like the depth of thought required in memorizing the alphabet or addition and subtraction.

  5. T Says:

    Bill West,

    In addition, Brad doesn’t understand basic economics. He whines that corporations get all of the tax breaks. Corporations do not pay tax; when taxed, they pass that cost on to consumers in the form of higher prices. It is always ultimately the consumer who pays the tax.

    Corporations avoid high business tax states because it causes them to raise their prices above those corporations who operate in lower tax, business-friendly states, thus making their higher prices less competetive.

    Furthermore, when businesses avoid or leave hi-tax states, they relocate the jobs that they offer. In this scenario the worker also pays through lost job prospects.

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill West: I understand the distinction you are making, but don’t state employees also pay taxes?

  7. T Says:

    Neoneocon,

    You are correct, unionized public employees are also taxpayers.

    The distinction between public and private taxpayers is twofold: First, as indicated in numerous posts, public employee union dues help elect the people with whom they are to negotiate. Thus, they are stacking the adversarial side of the negotiating table in their own favor. Private sector employees don’t get to elect “favorable adversaries.”

    Second, it’s a matter of leverage. All employees pay tax into the public system, but state employees reap the entire employee benefit of those taxes which result from union negotiations with favorable adversaries.

  8. Brad Says:

    Wow.

    Basic corporatist talking points 101.

    I’d almost be tempted to bother to refute them if I hadn’t had to do so so many times in my life already.

    I will say that thinking our current method of taxation is the only one available and that public workers don’t pay taxes are just two of many incorrect assertions I’ve seen on this thread. Assuming we couldn’t deny the corporations (as part of the charter of being a corporation) the ability to go multi-state is another. It’s government that helps set the rules as to what corporations can and cannot do and it’s ultimately government that is responsible for reigning them in when they get too powerful.

    You want me to protect your wealth? Prove to me that you view our countries problems as yours and mine, and not just mine. Shared sacrifice it’s called. Certain types of “taxpayers” (each subsidized in their own way) need to learn that.

  9. T Says:

    To elaborate on my previose post, imagine going to Vegas and sitting at a blackjack table where the dealer is your employer. The dealer knows he will get an employee bonus (re-election) if you win handily (favorable negotiating results), while all the other gamblers (private taxpayers) play by a different set of odds.

  10. Trimegistus Says:

    Brad:

    Just curious, but how much is Organizing for America paying you to spam conservative blogs?

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Brad: I don’t think anyone here is assuming government workers don’t pay taxes.

  12. Brad Says:

    T:

    I agree with everything you say about the problems of public unions.

    But then we have this :
    http://www.alternet.org/economy/150056/matt_taibbi%3A_why_isn%27t_wall_street_in_jail

    And the fraud in the mortgage industry:
    http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2011/jan/25/countrywide-accused-massive-mortgage-fraud/

    And see what I’m skeptical of. I refuse to have one set of rules for the average joe whether private or public worker and another set for the government, the multinationals and their fat cat backers.

  13. T Says:

    Brad,

    No one said that public workers don’t pay taxes. Stop trying to fit the square peg of logic into the round hole of your narrative.

    As to the govt setting the rules. That’s exactly what permits the govt to pick the winners and losers, rules that favor political cronies and impede politital opponents in the business world.

    As for the govt reigning in corporations when they get too powerful, the last real antitrust action brought by the feds was in 1984 ( the AT&T breakup, Microsoft was an impotent govt action that had no real effect). Where were they for the Exxon Mobil merger and other behemoth organizations as they gobbled up their smaller competitors?

    As for shared sacrifice, when the Obamas begin sacrificing thier Martha’s Vineyard vacations, Vail ski trips, Hawaii jaunts, Spanish coast summers, flying their personal trainers in from Chicago, John Kerry’s yacht docked in Rhode Island to avoid use tax, etc., then talk to me about shared sacrifice. For you, the term “shared sacrifice” is a euphemism for “the rich should pay more,” they wouldn’t know shared sacrifice if it bit them in the ass.

  14. Brad Says:

    Hey, Neo:

    Could you spank Tri or something? Do I really have to go through another round of having me accused of this or that kind of bad faith by idiots on the interweb?

    Just in case you need me to I categorically deny being paid by anyone of any political or business persuasion to do any kind of blogging or posting or commenting whatsoever. I am currently not affiliated with either a business or any political/astroturfing organization.

  15. T Says:

    “And see what I’m skeptical of. I refuse to have one set of rules for the average joe whether private or public worker and another set for the government, the multinationals and their fat cat backers.”

    Brad, that is laudable in theory but impossible in practice because those in powere always bend the rules to suit themselves.

    By your same logic, if you truly oppose multiple sets of rules, then you should be adamantly opposed to unions doing electioneering; not just the donation of $$, but the canvassing, manning of phones als all the other physical activity unions do on behalf of Democratic candidates. Because this, as Inoted above, stacks both sides of the negotiating table in their favor.

  16. Brad Says:

    T:

    When unions are competing via our stupid trade policies with laborers in Chinese prison camps, I hardly see how their “stacking the deck” in their favor is any worse. At least unions are (however temporarily in a messed up global economy) making some US workers lives better, I can’t say the same about many if not most of the activities of the multinationals.

    I’ve never belonged to a public or private sector union. I wish I had, I might then have had some protection from some of the bad or dangerous jobs I took when I was younger. One in particular had me climbing the top of a metal railing to assemble a large metal stand. There was no rope and nothing on the concrete floor and I was about 20 feet up. I shudder to think what might have happened had I fell. I’m sure it was against all sorts of OSHA rules or something, but I was only 21, a temp, and very expendable. So I did it, my life flashing before my eyes. The only other time that ever happened was when a thug robbed me at gunpoint about 6 years later.

  17. Occam's Beard Says:

    You are correct, unionized public employees are also taxpayers.

    No, they’re not, in fact. They’re not net taxpayers, but tax consumers.

    If I give you $10, and you return $5, have you paid me $5?

    Put it another way. If everyone were a public sector employee, where would the money come from to pay them?

    Put still another way, we could in principle simply pay public sector employees less, and not bother with collecting taxes from them at all. We’d be in exactly the same situation we’re in now.

  18. Occam's Beard Says:

    people of all economic classes are going to have to share in the cuts, not just the poor

    If I were free-riding on others, I’d be grateful for whatever charity they provided, and not bitching that they didn’t provide more. And if I wanted more, I’d work for it. You know, kinda like the people who were providing the charity to me in the first place.

  19. Occam's Beard Says:

    To clarify my above comment, public sector employees do write a check to the IRS. In that sense, they are taxpayers. But since the check they receive from taxpayers is greater than the one they write to the taxpayers, overall they are not contributing to tax revenues. At all.

  20. T Says:

    OB,

    I understand you point. Neo’s point was that they, too pay taxes. Look at their W-2s and you, of course, will see tax deductions. You are correct in noting that if we just paid public employees a lower net amount we would be in the same predicament we are in today. That’s not just because of salary, benefits (penssion. health sick-leave, etc.) play an even greater role in that scenario.

    I submit that my interpretation is equally valid. Public employees do undeniably pay taxes but their return on those taxes is leveraged just as in my blackjack analogy. In that case, you (the dealer’s employer) might not constantly win (if you did, no one would ever play at that table, as per your question, where would the money come from?), but as the dealer’s employer, your chances of walking away a winner are substantially increased by virtue of your participation in the process, while the other players lack that advantage.

  21. physicsguy Says:

    Brad,

    Some FACTS for you to consider:

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

    Summary:

    Tthe top 1% (+$392,000) earn 20% of the income and pay 38% of the federal taxes.

    The top 5% (+$160,000) earned 35% of the income and paid 59% of the taxes.

    The top 10% (+$114,000) earned 46% of the income and pay 70% of the taxes.

    The bottom 50% (yes, Brad..that’s HALF the earning population) paid 2.7% of the taxes.

    A new tax system?? Sure, how about something like: you pay 10% of your income in taxes. i.e. everyone pays the same percentage. Of course I’ve always found this argument always brings out the worst in those who have no fundamental understanding of percentages.

  22. Brad Says:

    Oh Occam that is so cute:

    Are you free-riding on the back of the US military? Do you free-ride when you take a public highway? No, you’ll squeal, I pay taxes for those services. Yes, but do you really pay what those services cost or only a part of it? After all we’ve borrowed trillions from China in part to finance two wars that I think the majority of americans wanted to be over and done with five or so years ago, certainly 2 years ago. And the same could be said about most private and public things in our mixed economy. The private sector by itself is responsible for very little of our infrastructure, the government, by itself is responsible for very little of our infrastructure , usually its them working together that gets things done and this has all kinds of political ramifications.

    I suppose you might have the point if society didn’t feel it needed public workers and if these workers were NOT willing to take pay cuts and help pay for their (admittedly generous ) benefits. But the unions in Wisconsin have not refused Walkers calls to sacrifice some of their gains. Heck, they haven’t even linked such sacrifices to any offsetting concessions by the Governor. Instead he decides he wants to go “whole hog” and try to break their power.

    I suppose you might also have a point if we were talking about mothers on welfare, smoking crack, and never working a day in their lives. Such do exist here in Baltimore, though not quite in the numbers many believe.

    As for your contention about how public workers are net tax consumers I’d say that the theory that government cannot have a stimulus effect on the economy is no more or less fallacious than the ideas behind “trickle down” economics.

  23. T Says:

    OB,

    And you are correct, because of the net effect (contribute a small amount–receive a large amount) they are NOT contributing to the tax revenues at all, but because of the ancillary issues (pension, health care) are actually a major component in sucking the revenue stream dry.

  24. Baklava Says:

    Brad without an economic understanding wrote, “that he pushed through tax cuts to business interests

    He pushed through a plan that keeps Wisconsin unemployment fairly low.

    California has the high taxes for business and they have a near 13% unemployment rate. Is that what you like Brad? :)

    Not me.

    Brad later wrote (without an economic understanding) “When Mr. Walker starts taxing the rich and the corporations

    The 50 state laboratory has already shown you the results – the higher tax states have bigger budget problems, higher unemployment rates and more Brads :) (more economic illiterate people perpetuating the cycle)

    Is that what you like Brad :)

    Not me.

  25. Occam's Beard Says:

    T, we lose money on every public sector employee, but we make it on volume! /g

  26. Brad Says:

    physicsguy:

    I suppose you know there are criticisms of those numbers? I mean we could go back and forth on this one all day, but the fact remains I no longer believe that.

    Please don’t try to educate me on how much the rich supposedly pay. The few who do talk about it that I’ve seen have almost uniformly said they pay too little. I suppose that Soros and the like must be traitors to their fellow rich who are all Galts who made their money honestly and fairly and pay promptly and on time their 35 percent marginal rate.

    I’ve occasionally agreed with the Heritage foundation and the Cato institute on this or that, but on this subject I’m very much with the economic policy institute.

  27. Occam's Beard Says:

    Sorry, should read “make it up on volume.”

  28. Occam's Beard Says:

    Now, physicsguy, don’t confusing the issue with facts.

  29. SteveH Says:

    Anyone who sits in the wagon more than they pull the wagon is a net drain on the system of wagon pulling. What public sector unions call collective bargaining is nothing but a sham negotiation as to why they should ride in the wagon more than everyone else.

  30. Brad Says:

    Baklova:

    If you believe the current unemployment numbers, I’ve got a bridge..well, you know the saying.

    Read this:http://www.shadowstats.com/

    And ultimately, trying to compete with China and the poorest counties in Alabama or Mississippi is a losing strategy for workers in Wisconsin.

  31. Occam's Beard Says:

    Sorry, “don’t go confusing…”

    Must focus!

  32. T Says:

    Brad,

    You contradict yourself. First, you note that you agree with me above about the points I make about public unions (i.e., they essentially negotiate with themselves). Then you deride Wisconsin Gov Walker saying that:

    “Instead he decides he wants to go ‘whole hog’ and try to break their power.”

    So Walker is wrong to break the cycle of negotiating with themselves, a point which you already accept as deleterious to the taxpaying public. Remember, the public unions are paid by the taxpayer. If Walker, therefore, tries to diminish union influence, he is working ON BEHALF of the taxpayer, an acitvity for wchic you fault him.

    Petard. Hoist.

    By thw way, the WI unions would retain bargaining rights for salaries. Walker wants them restricted for other items, mostly those future promises (bnefits) like retirement. He correctly realizes that a politician can promise anything in the future and then just keep kicking the can down the road and hope s/he not in office when the bill comes due. That’s exactly how we got into this mess in the first place.

  33. Brad Says:

    Occam:

    You yourself admitted that economics is not a “science”.
    You, yourself, should know there are all kinds of self-interested partisan studies in economics. Fact is, Heritage, Cato, the EPI are all partisan organizations that have their own “spin” on things. I don’t fully believe any of them , esp. when it comes to economics.

    No, I don’t believe that large businesses or wealthy people pay even as much as the law says they “should” pay, nor do I believe that they even mostly pay their own way, when it comes to how we often protect their investments overseas or here at home by attacking labor.

    Hey, minus a 20,000 exemption for “basic subsistance” , I’d back a flat tax for everyone. Be much harder to cheat, and much easier to compute how much money the government is getting.

  34. Occam's Beard Says:

    Hey, minus a 20,000 exemption for “basic subsistance” , I’d back a flat tax for everyone. Be much harder to cheat, and much easier to compute how much money the government is getting.

    Suit me to the ground. One of our problems is that so many people do not pay taxes, and therefore have no interest in containing government spending because they are net beneficiaries of it.

    If everyone had to pay taxes, and the amount depended on the government’s budget, we’d see a lot less waste and lot fewer stupid white elephant programs (e.g., high-speed rail).

  35. Brad Says:

    No, dear T:

    There is a larger crisis that is going totally unresolved. I’m not in the mood for labor in this country to make even more concessions and by labor I mean not only the public employee unions but any private or public sector labor whatsoever.

    The larger crises involves three things: debt of the global monetary system (mostly driven by decisions of the larger banks and mutual funds) a race to the bottom in terms of wages that threatens people who work for a livings living standards (partly driven by bad trade policies but will be driven by automation in the longer run) of living, and regulatory capture by the larger business interests in this country of the insitutions that are supposed to be regulating them.

    I don’t see how what Walker is doing helps to try and solve any of these things, but it will sure as the sun rises remove more power from those pesky workers whom our global capitalists love to hate.

  36. Baklava Says:

    Brad wrote, “supposedly pay

    Supposedly?

    What you are allowed to have your own facts.

    No basis in reality?

    Show us the real numbers then ! :)

  37. Occam's Beard Says:

    You yourself admitted that economics is not a “science”.

    “Admitted?” I shout it from the rooftops.

    But we’re talking about economics here. We’re talking about finance. Not the same thing at all.

  38. T Says:

    Brad,

    Physicsguy’s numbers are from IRS data–so I guess you don’t believe the IRS.

    Regarding the few rich who talk about underpaying taxes. If they truly believe that it is immoral that they pay so little tax, they could atone for that sin byactually writing a check to the IRS. They don’t. They talk about higher taxes because they know they have the wherewithall to get around those tax laws and you don’t.

    How do you think the Kennedy fortune has survived multiple generations even with a 55% estate tax in place at each successive death? You think the Kennedy’s pay that tax?

    Regarding Warren Buffet. He has come out supporting estate taxes. Know why? Many of the companies his Berkshire Hathaway owns are insurance companies. One of the very profitable businesses for insurance companies is writing life insurance so that when wealthy people die, they can use the insurance money to pay the estate tax.

    Say it ain’t so, Joe!!!

  39. Baklava Says:

    Brad wrote, “If you believe the current unemployment numbers, I’ve got a bridge..well, you know the saying.

    Actually, the unemployment numbers are worse because ABCCBSNBCCNN are not economists and they are lazy. The government massages people out of those numbers to make things look better.

    You have to be looking for work – for a certain number of weeks. If you have a job making minimum wage and you have your PHd you aren’t counted, etc.

    http://www.shadowstats.com/charts/employment

    But – you ignored my point.

  40. Occam's Beard Says:

    debt of the global monetary system (mostly driven by decisions of the larger banks and mutual funds)

    No. It’s mostly driven by government borrowing and profligate spending, which in turn was driven by demogoguery, i.e., buying peoples’ votes with their own money. See: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Social Security, Medicare, in the US. See also Greece for a microcosm of the phenomenon.

  41. Mike Mc. Says:

    @Brad,

    Therefore, the status quo ante?

    That might work!

  42. Baklava Says:

    Brad’s first post had the hate, “I’m for letting his political career burn along with him.

    I don’t think I’ve ever written that about a politician.

    Post Gabby Giffords nor pre.

  43. Brad Says:

    Occam:

    You might want to factor defense spending and law enforcement/prisons in there somewhere as well.

    The social programs help keep the country socially stable. I won’t argue that there isn’t a problem with social security and medicaid funding; unlike many of the “progressives” ( I really HATE that term) I don’t believe it’s in any kind of “trust fund”. Problem is, something will have to be worked out, because people will not stand for their old parents or grandmothers starving or dying due to lack of medical care. I can feed my mom, I can’t afford her treatments.

    I don’t really believe the current economic and political system is very long for this country or the world in any case and I don’t claim to know for sure what will replace it. What I don’t understand is why so many erstwhile American rightwingers seem to be so happy at the thought of destroying public unions when they are hardly the biggest problem facing either our government or our nation and , when I think their demise will merely empower larger crooks.

  44. Occam's Beard Says:

    Defense and criminal justice systems are factored in; they are net consumers of tax funds.

    Or do you suggest we double the defense and criminal justice budgets to improve our fiscal situation?

  45. Occam's Beard Says:

    What I don’t understand is why so many erstwhile American rightwingers seem to be so happy at the thought of destroying public unions when they are hardly the biggest problem facing either our government or our nation

    The biggest problem facing our nation is leftist subversion, particularly of the media. Many of our secondary problems could be dealt with forthwith if the media were not so subverted.

    Consider the case of welfare. Liberals, aided and abetted by the media, fought welfare reform tooth and nail, until a perfect storm forced Clinton to accede to it in 1996 and end welfare as an entitlement.

    Result? Welfare rolls have dropped, easing the burden on workers (and taxpayers), and pushing the heretofore idle into productive labor. In all, welfare reform excised a carbuncle from the backside of the body politic.

    As a consequence, welfare is no longer the issue it once was. We could have solved the welfare problem long ago – if the media hadn’t done its best over generations to block welfare reform.

    Public sector unions are the current version of the welfare problem, and need the same therapy.

    (Btw, “erstwhile” means “former,” which doesn’t make sense in the context above.)

  46. Richard Aubrey Says:

    When Reagan was president and things started looking up, we were supposed to pay very careful attention to the unemployment numbers which should include the discouraged unemployed, who, by not looking and registering with the unemployment office, were not counted, and the underemployed, the burger flippers.
    Are we still supposed to pay attention to them?
    Oh, wait. A dem is president. What was I thinking?
    Some years ago, the flat tax proposal had a $36k standard deduction. Supposedly would have been revenue neutral.
    If Brad wants everybody to follow the same rules, he should start with Geithner.

  47. Parker Says:

    Brad,

    Business/corporate taxes are not really taxes. They are an added surcharge on the price the consumer pays for the goods and services produced by the business enterprise.

    I don’t buy into the class warfare gig. I don’t resent someone who makes more than I do and I don’t pity someone who makes less. As far as the situation in WI is concerned I hope Walker holds the line. Public workers should pay insurance and pension costs on par with the private sector (which would be much more than Walker is demanding). And, because they are public workers their pay raises should be tagged to the CPI.

    However, I do agree with you on one issue you raised: the imbalances in global trade that have created a great disadvantage for the American worker. American workers simply can not compete with workers in China (for example) for numerous reasons I will not bother to list.

  48. Scott Says:

    Brad doesn’t understand who has the power in a capitalist system. Rational workers sell their labor to the highest bidder. Once employed, they are consumers. Consumers ultimately decide the winners and losers in business — at least that was the case until George Bush and Barack Obama. As Mises puts it in his oft cited concept of “Consumer Sovereignty”:

    “Consumers are the kings and queens of the market economy, and ultimately they reign supreme over corporations and their employees. … In a market economy, it is consumers, not businesses, who ultimately make all of the decisions. When they vote in the marketplace with their dollars, consumers decide which products, businesses, and industries survive — and which ones fail.”– Ludwig Von Mises

    The changing whims of consumers have caused hundreds of business failures. Here are some examples in just 4 industries:

    Partial list of defunct U.S. auto manufactures:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_United_States_automobile_manufacturers

    Partial list of defunct U.S. retailers:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_retailers_of_the_United_States

    Partial list of defunct U.S. airlines:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_airlines_of_the_United_States

    Partial list of defunct U.S. department stores:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_department_stores_of_the_United_States

    It’s pretty odd that if the capitalists had all the power, there have been hundreds of business failures in just those four select industries. It looks to me like the real bad guy is the consumer, who forced all these businesses to close because they wouldn’t buy their products.

  49. Mr. Frank Says:

    Brad said

    And ultimately, trying to compete with China and the poorest counties in Alabama or Mississippi is a losing strategy for workers in Wisconsin.

    Alabama and Mississippi have six new auto plants between them. The wages they pay are close to the Big Three union plants. The difference is they don’t have to deal with union stewards and productivity stifling work rules. The Wisconsin governor is trying to keep from losing more businesses and jobs by lowering taxes. Because of the power of unions in his state and the left wing attitudes of workers, that is a tough sell.

  50. Occam's Beard Says:

    If Brad wants everybody to follow the same rules, he should start with Geithner.

    Geithner? Hell, half of the Cabinet, and of the Dem Senators, are tax chiselers. Kerry famously parked his yacht in Rhode Island to avoid paying the Massachusetts yacht tax. You can’t make up stuff like that.

  51. Occam's Beard Says:

    And ultimately, trying to compete with China and the poorest counties in Alabama or Mississippi is a losing strategy for workers in Wisconsin.

    It always amazes me that lefties will bleat about this, and in the next breath want programs to help the poor in the same places.

    Comrades, what you’re seeing is the equilibration of economic opportunity between wealthier and poorer areas. On one hand, it doesn’t involve a feel-good program, and consequently no opportunities for graft, demogoguery, or moral preening. On the other, however, unlike the feel-good programs, it actually does work, which ought to count for something.

  52. SteveH Says:

    I recall even when i was child having the knowledge that the world would eventually seek a leveling of standards of living as other societies caught on to the efficient production of goods. A painful process in richer countries and boom times for poorer ones. Made sense to me.

    I guess what i didn’t foresee was so many of my countrymen demanding govt economic security through such times to the point of bankrupting our ass. We could and would still be an ascending economic powerhouse right now if half the country (democrats, statist, progressives) didn’t essentially demand we stick at 14 in this high stakes game of blackjack played out on the economic world stage.

  53. T Says:

    Occam, SteveH, et. al.,

    IMHO we should all move on. Read Brad’s post above at 5:24, notice the frequency of his rebuttal which is “I believe. . . .”

    Brad appears to operate from a belief system not from a fact-based system of thought. He woke up one morning and saw the sun rise above the horizon. He therefore KNOWS that the sun moves around the earth. Now, you can show him Keppler’s work and Copernicus’ formulae and the evidence amassed by Gallileo, and none of that will prove that the sun appears to move because the earth spins. In fact if you watch closely at sunrise/sunset you can actually see the sun move. Besides, if the earth were spinning, we would all be thrown off. The evidence is there, just look with your own eyes.

    It’s like a religion; credo ergo est (I believe, therefore it is), and no argument that anyone can proffer will change that. Welcome to the liberal mind.

  54. gs Says:

    I like this guy’s resolve. So far he has not blinked. We’ll see whether they do.

    I’m not sure it’s to their political advantage to blink: presumably layoffs will help stabilize the state economy and help the caring Democrats run against the heartless Republicans in future elections. (If a degree of prosperity returns, the layoffs can be portrayed as unnecessary.)

  55. Tom Says:

    Brad is an idiot, so I have ignored the tits and tats preceding.
    I believe Neo’s post was about the 14 WI Senate Dems’ failure to show would cost the State and its taxpayers however employed an additional one-hundred-sixty-five-million fazoolas.

    I doubt Brad and his ilk can wrap their brains around that. The rest of us can: It will cost the State of Wisconsin $11.7 million per Dem no-show. There is not one (1) Dem on the planet worth that, not one.

  56. Artfldgr Says:

    Oh Brad that is so cute:

    Do you conflate military protection with the false front organizations with liberal names that Christine Quinn made to hide 50 million of our tax dollars as a slush fund?

    Do you free-ride when you take a public highway?
    you know… last i remember i paid TOLLS… you know, the things that pay for the use of the highway… (and funny, but when the highway is paid for, they remove the tolls). the local area maintains the roads, because without them no one would do business in their state, and so they couldn’t tax.

    No, you’ll squeal, I pay taxes for those services.

    actually not… your not clever for switching gears from bad expenditures that we dont like that state has no power handling, to classic state expenditures that are the basis of valid taxation since roman times (and their roads).

    After all we’ve borrowed trillions from China in part to finance two wars that I think the majority of americans wanted to be over and done with five or so years ago, certainly 2 years ago.

    well, that’s not what we owe them for, nor would they have loaned us money for that either.

    are you that stupid that you dont understand that, and think those around you are in your terminology stupider?

    I suppose you might have the point if society didn’t feel it needed public workers…

    ready? occam thinks your not to bright or sharp because you see public workers as monolithic class (set theory, duh). i think your less than even that… (only cause you tried to play games).

    First of all, contracts not made in good faith, are not really valid contracts, are they? and labor contracts are all not in good faith!!! they are all made under duress…

    so right from that standpoint they are against common rule of law and why socialists like them as a way to blackmail capitalists, to feather their beds, fund their work, and get an involuntary army funding them.

    the union representatives get jobs in other companies if they collapse the one they are parasitically tapping…

    they are parasites, and they know it…

    why do you think that its OK for the union to take money and spend it on political things that the person whose money they took do not like and have no choice in it?

    why do employees have to fund what they dont like?

    how is it the job of the AFL CIO to take my money and, say, build a similar parasite racket in India? (wont do it in the countries they claim to love, will they?)

    But the unions in Wisconsin have not refused Walkers calls to sacrifice some of their gains. Heck, they haven’t even linked such sacrifices to any offsetting concessions by the Governor. Instead he decides he wants to go “whole hog” and try to break their power.

    well, thats beause its NOT THEIR POWER…

    walker is a Representative of the people, yes? he holds elected office as such, yes?

    the unions leaders are NOT voted into place. cant be voted out of place. are paid for by the same people who Walker is representing! do not allow any workers to not be a part of their organization, and still have a job.

    so basically the unions are the gatekeepers to jobs that should be freely available to any people who could apply… (and compete)

    so you basically have this mob organization that siphons from he state, siphons form the workers in the business, siphons from people trying to get a job who go to their classes and all the other union things. they prevent the best candidate from working in favor of a candidate who can get them a favor.

    under normal circumstances, you would have a business, and the state watching laws are met, and people freely vying to work, and others leaving at will.

    but now you have an octopus over the building, it forces the company to do things that make it less competitive (at home), forces it to seek other ways to compete and earn enough now that it has this parasite on it. there is a pressure to not be honest to survive. in good times, the unions blackmail to get lots of money as good times are forever, and in bad times, they blackmail to keep things even if the companies go out of business and are forced to go to china.

    minimum wage and unions prevented the US from remaining competitive…

    I suppose you might also have a point if we were talking about mothers on welfare, smoking crack, and never working a day in their lives. Such do exist here in Baltimore, though not quite in the numbers many believe.

    you dont know jack about what your talking about… period…

    take the crack part away… and having mothers with many children by different fathers, living in section 8 housing, etc…

    and you have MILLIONS….
    got that sonny boy? MILLIONS…

    Based on information from the Multifamily Tenant Characteristics Systems (MTCS) data from HUD, as of May 2001, approximately 1.5 million families receive assistance through the Section 8 program (The program has grown significantly since 2001 and some more recent estimates put this number closer to 2 million). These families represent approximately 4.1 million household members.

    remember, marriage bad, so out of those millions, the single mothers with many kids by a few men, are liberated.

    As for your contention about how public workers are net tax consumers I’d say that the theory that government cannot have a stimulus effect on the economy is no more or less fallacious than the ideas behind “trickle down” economics.

    That’s an ignorant person saying I dare you, you don’t know either!
    Spoken like a true communist ignorant who has been given what to say. Period.

    Trickle down don’t work, eh? so India is wealthy all its own, not getting money from what was the wealthier US… and of course if the US attempted to hold all its technology, not let foreign students into its schools, seal its borders tightly, and not share money, tech, and so forth…. you would whine about that too…

    What would the world look like if the US had not decided to give TRILLIONS away? Educate poor people from other countries in colleges here? Let our people travel and do what good they wanted to do?

    The colleges themselves and libraries were trickle down… and most wealthy are the guinea pigs of medicine… which by the time you get it is cheap and you know it works.

    Not a million and a joke or a scam played to take your families money as you die… .

    Your beyond ignorant… way beyond
    Acting otherwise does not make it so…

    your point as to stimulus is idiotic beyond reason, because you think you can make the shallow end of a pool deeper by bailing money from the deep end (forgetting that the politician will pocket some as it moves).

    Your so ignorant that you don’t realize that the problem this causes is maladaptive.

    That the issue is not that poor have more dollars to spend…but upon where dollars are spend to accomplish things.

    You think that you can endlessly take from intel, and give it to some state employee or welfare, and we would still have what intel has as if you took nothing.

    What you don’t see given your self inflated brain cells is that the local politicians have a hand in things like the companies that facilitate welfare in each area and have been a part of it sometimes for generations.

    You think its about getting betty the food she needs. No dipstick…

    Its about transferring wealth from that large company to the local area because as long as its with Intel and in Texas, the company and cronies of local politicians and unions in ny cant get any!

    How can a ny based acorn get more money? Well, when they get you to say, yes, the state can stimulate an economy…. They get to keep the money you let them bail from the rich company Intel, to acorn and other small concerns between state and people, and very little to the poor (I was one of them as a child)

    Now all this does is move money around… intel has less for research… so they are not going to spend it on a new processor… the feds and such skimmed some for their budgets, and used it to blackmail the states to act on more lucrative bs, like CFL subsidy..
    (which is great if you invested in it when it was a nothing and have all your money in a mandated pre paid product that even if we don’t use, you earn on).

    The state gets it and people like quinn use it as their own private means to special powers and favors… (they evne bribe you with your own money). they make sure that the small businesses that do the outsourced jobs, and who their friends, and wives and husbands work at (like that solar company Obama and biden, and that woman at the epa all batted for, as it was her husbands company), or they own the properties that the kitchens pay rent on..

    So by the time its here for the poor, the poor get very little, and the ones that know the system get a lot as they can game disproportionately… the ones that need it or are honest, don’t get much help.

    But in this way… intel money which would go to intel research and intel investors, went on a trip, where all took a dip, and ended up being cut apart and given to people in cities and such who normally could not get near that money…

    why doesn’t obama just give a million dollars to all people in other countries and put it on your dime? if he has the power to give 1 dollar he has the power to give a million…

    where is the words that say he can give 1 dollar… or the words that say he cant give away more than we have?

    you are a poseur, with a good verbal ability
    but still a poseur

    you have not any real chops..

    and this works fine among other ignorant people you can bully….

  57. Trimegistus Says:

    So paid shill Brad lies about his motivations and tries to force Neo to silence his critics. Good job, Brad! The Soros check will be in the mail soon!

  58. Mr. Frank Says:

    I suspect no one on the left has thought about it, but the two week display in Madison of aging hippies, union crazies, and grasping government workers has created an image for Wisconsin that would greatly inhibit large corporations from locating there. Why risk it?

  59. blert Says:

    Public employee unions and Democrats ‘negotiate’ from the SAME SIDE OF THE TABLE.

    That way they can scratch each other’s back.

    Brad was complaining about Wall Street. The correct term for the too big to fails is the Money Trust ™.

    It is centered around MERS — a fraud bigger than Credit Mobilier. Like the earlier scam, the Money Trust ™ completely corrupted Congress and the regulators as a whole.

    The re-congealing of the Money Trust ™ occurred on Clinton’s watch and used the pivotal services of Rubin and Gorelick. Both Democrats became staggeringly wealthy from the trust.

    Rubin got a $1,000,000 per month annuity from Citicorp for doing their deal. He quit government one week after it was complete and took up a payoff from Citicorp!

    Gorelick was vectored to Green Acres ( Freddie Mac ) by Clinton and became a bonus babe. By now the total is past $35,000,000 !

    The Money Trust ™ is stuffed with Democrats. Wall Street is Democrat not Republican.

    The NFIB = Republicans.

    The British Labor Party = Big Labor. It so warped their politics that the nation was and is imperiled.

    Moscow has over the years put their thumb on the scale of selection. Thusly Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Bill Clinton, Barry Soetoro have all been promoted by the First Directorate, KGB. They are far from alone. There has been a systemic effort by Moscow to drift Leftward all politicians by influencing the selection during college. They realized that championing a Marxist Obama could pay off huge. ( He was a dyed in the wool Marxist in 1980 at Occidental College. Bing around on it.)

    The influence on primaries by public employee unions is huge and pernicious. Their baleful impact is exactly why California is in such dire straights. Jerry Brown is going to bookend his political career with the launch of hyper-spending and the collapse of same.

    He is the true father of Proposition 13. Without his ramping taxation Jarvis would be an unknown.

  60. Promethea Says:

    I love how Brad @ 5:24, when faced with many good arguments, suddenly throws in not being able to afford his mom’s “treatments.”

    That sounds like some kind of fallacy, maybe “argumentum ad vomitorium”?

    Really, Brad, you’re a pill and a half.

  61. Gringo Says:

    Brad:

    When unions are competing via our stupid trade policies with laborers in Chinese prison camps, I hardly see how their “stacking the deck” in their favor is any worse…..

    This discussion is about Wisconsin, including government unions in Wisconsin. Pray tell, how do workers in government unions in Wisconsin compete with “laborers in Chinese prison camps?”

  62. Gringo Says:

    Brad

    What I don’t understand is why so many erstwhile American rightwingers seem to be so happy at the thought of destroying public unions when they are hardly the biggest problem facing either our government or our nation …

    Unsustainable pensions are resulting in looming bankruptcy for many states. The looming bankruptcies are a consequence of decades’ worth of politicians giving in to the demands of government unions , and then using union contributions to finance their reelection campaigns. What a “virtuous circle!” While these looming bankruptcies may not be “the biggest problems” facing the US, they are definitely a big problems facing many or most of our states. Recall what Governor Christie said: the states cannot print money.

    ..when I think their [government worker unions] demise will merely empower larger crooks.

    Crooks like George Soros? Crooks like the Kennedys? Crooks like the Wall Streeters who contributed to the Obama campaign?

  63. Darrell Says:

    This chart tells the story and needs wide dissemination
    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?type=L
    Note in the top 20 how many of the top donors to the democrats are unions with number 3 being public unions.
    Money laundering tax dollars into to the democrat party.

  64. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Thing is, defined benefit plans are supposed to be funded currently. IOW, each year the employer puts a sufficient amount away in a side fund that, projected with conservative presumptions, will buy the pension.
    I’d like to know–maybe Brad can tell us–why some big corps and government entities got waivers on the law.
    See, if you promise a retirement benefit, it should cost the employer today.
    If it doesn’t, if the pension is going to be paid with anticipated revenue once it starts, it doesn’t cost anything today and the negotiators both know it. So labor and employer can wink at each other, knowing that they’ll be retired, or dead, when the bill comes due. Meantime, they get a bunch of props for settling the dispute. Labor gets a benny for the guys and employer is happy to give it because he won’t have to pay it.
    It’s why the law requires current funding.
    What happened and why?

  65. Occam's Beard Says:

    Speaking of waivers, I want to know the Party line on why Obama & Co. have granted unions waivers on Obamacare. It’s supposed to be great, right? So why aren’t the unions not only incensed at being excluded, but have lobbyed hard to be there?

    My answer: because they think it’s going to suck. And since the unions are mobbed up with Obama and the Dems, they’re in a position to know exactly what’s coming down the pike.

    Tells me all I need to know.

  66. rickl Says:

    Back on Feb. 4, I went to see Oleg Atbashian speak at a Tea Party meeting about an hour away from me. He is better known as “Comrade Red Square” of The People’s Cube.

    I just found out that a video of that evening is online. It’s an hour long, but well worth your time.

    Oleg Atbashian Talks About Shakedown Socialism to LV Tea Party

    Among other things, he talks about government unions. (In the Soviet Union, unions were completely controlled by the government.)

  67. gs Says:

    1. Walker’s press releases regarding the absent Democrats and Obama are here and here. The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s assessment of the situation is here. To my non-expert eye it appears that there might be some wiggle room regarding deadlines.

    2. The image in Neo’s Reuters link is flagrant propaganda. Instead of enraged union goons, I am shown an aging woman weeping. It would be interesting to learn whether she has legitimate reason to weep about Walker’s proposals.

  68. texexec Says:

    As usual, Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent article concerning the deeper problems we have in the USA revealed by the WI situation at:

    http://victorhanson.com/articles/hanson022711.html .

    In summary, I hope Gov. doesn’t blink. I think he is supported by most people in WI and certainly by most people in the USA.

    Concerning taxes, we should go to a system of taxing consumption at the point of sale and eliminate the income tax with all its favoritism towards special interest groups and discouragement of productivity.

    If we did, the tax accountants and lawyers could find something productive to do.

  69. Kurt Says:

    Richard Aubrey @ February 28th, 2011 at 5:39 pm:

    Your comment about Reagan and the unemployed reminds me of the “Homelessness Rediscovery” campaign which started when George W. Bush became president and mysteriously went silent as soon as Obama became president. With unemployment around 10% nationwide (and with “underemployment” at around 20% by most estimates), one must wonder whatever happened to all of the stories about homelessness we used to see back when Bush was president and unemployment was a frightening 6%!

  70. Parker Says:

    “I ‘m sure President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isn’t acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another.”

    Thanks for the link gs.

    And thank you Governor Walker for such a wonderful tongue in cheek jab into the ribs of Obama. (Ouch!) Ya gotta love this Walker fellow.

  71. Brad Says:

    Short VDH:

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAH! People aren’t behaving like I want them to behave WAAAAAAAAH!!

    Sorry, but shaming language directed only at public employees and not the crooks in business and government means nothing. A crooked government and business sector doesn’t deserve or get a productive people.

    This is easily the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen Victor Davis Hanson write. At least on history and foreign policy he is sometimes right.

  72. Baklava Says:

    Brad uses the word “only”

    Sorry Brad, but this is the subject matter of the post.

    There are times the spending discussion isn’t about the unions (which siphon money from everyone’s paycheck to a cause that 40% of members don’t agree with such as the DNC)…. but this time it is.

    Brad,

    Do you think this country can continue on it’s path of 1.6 Trillion dollar deficits?

    Not to mention the 70 billion in obligations down the road?

    Not to mention the obligations at the state level??

    The federal government / state governments / cities / counties can’t meet current obligations let alone future and ….

    what?

    What is your solution? Tax more? What?

    It isn’t a hard choice. I have two daughters and I want them to have a possibility for employment, not be taxed to death and be able to save and have a decent life.

    Do you have any recognition of the issues we face?

    the states / cities / counties face?

  73. Baklava Says:

    texexec,

    I’ve thought the same thing for years !!!

    If the press reported every month how many employees were at the IRS, H & R Block, how much money was spent just to do income taxes, create tax software for computers, etc. People might start getting it. The income tax is a HUGE cost to our country.

    If you tax at the consumption side instead of the income side then the only calculation is during the sale.

    I’d feel really bad for all of those employees – for a minute.

    Then I’d be happy :) to see them do something more productive with their lives.

  74. Beverly Says:

    A rudeboy at Breitbart’s Big Government site suggested an alternative to the Gadsden flag motto “Don’t Tread on Me”: “Jam It, Comrades!”

    I like it, I like it!

    Another person posted this from the genius Tocqueville:

    “After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.

    “The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

    “I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom, and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people.

    “Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions: they want to be led, and they wish to remain free. As they cannot destroy either the one or the other of these contrary propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once. They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people. They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians.

    “Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of persons, but the people at large who hold the end of his chain. By this system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master and then relapse into it again.”

    He and Orwell understood Political Man better than any humans yet living.

  75. Brad Says:

    Ok, Art, you asked for it. I’ll fisk your long comment because there’s a whole bunch of verbal diarrhea in there I don’t want to handle, but I’d like to show you where you are wrong as you are rather full of yourself. That’s why you like to post such long rants after all.

    “Do you free-ride when you take a public highway?
    you know… last i remember i paid TOLLS… you know, the things that pay for the use of the highway… (and funny, but when the highway is paid for, they remove the tolls). the local area maintains the roads, because without them no one would do business in their state, and so they couldn’t tax.”

    I don’t know where you live Art, but here in Maryland the tolls don’t come close to paying for the roads, and it was federal loans and in some cases federal subsidies that built all of them.

    “…are you that stupid that you dont understand that, and think those around you are in your terminology stupider?”

    What terminology, Art, the terminology that exists only in your apparently addled brain? Short of the guy who accused me of being an astroturfer where have I even insulted anyone?

    ready? occam thinks your not to bright or sharp because you see public workers as monolithic class (set theory, duh). i think your less than even that… (only cause you tried to play games).

    First of all, contracts not made in good faith, are not really valid contracts, are they? and labor contracts are all not in good faith!!! they are all made under duress…

    so right from that standpoint they are against common rule of law and why socialists like them as a way to blackmail capitalists, to feather their beds, fund their work, and get an involuntary army funding them.

    That’s nice, Art. But then by that standard ALL contracts everywhere and anywhere are made under duress because they are enforced or not enforced by either power or lack of it. I also love how you know my thinking and know my motives, your mind reading skills are quite impressive. In case you missed it, the prior sentence was sarcasm. Actually, you are downright wrong about my motives, but when you live in a world of paranoid fantasies, it’s easy enough to ascribe bad ulterior motives to people who just happen to be on the opposite side of an argument than you. Tell me Art, am I sleeper cell soldier from the former soviet union?

    Then you go on for a few sentences about how you shouldn’t be taxed to pay for anything you don’t like. At least if it has anything to do with those icky unions. Of course this is an argument for ending all taxation whatsoever, but that doesn’t seem to bother you. Then you go into how Walker is a representative of the “people”. Yeah, that’s why he put special provisions in his bill to enable the selling of state assets in a no bid process and takes time off his busy schedule to take the phone call from what he thinks is an out of state rich donor rather than some teacher in his own state. I’m pretty sure he represents some “people”, but it ain’t , overall, the people of Wisconsin.

    but now you have an octopus over the building, it forces the company to do things that make it less competitive (at home), forces it to seek other ways to compete and earn enough now that it has this parasite on it. there is a pressure to not be honest to survive. in good times, the unions blackmail to get lots of money as good times are forever, and in bad times, they blackmail to keep things even if the companies go out of business and are forced to go to china.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA! “Forced” to go to China! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
    Let me clue you in on something: we decided the terms (our elected “representatives” did in any case or some bureacrat empowered by them) that we would trade with China. Why , we even signed treaties. Treaties that didn’t protect the rights of our workers or the rights of Chinese workers at all. There’s not some law of nature -no, not even of economics – that says the US has to trade with China at all.

    If some unions some of the time actually did force their employers out of business or out of the US (for the sake of argument I’ll assume this, in fact I don’t believe that can ever be proved to have happened) it would surely be because of costs, right? And here’s the kicker: the cost structure is in part set by the treaties and terms under which we choose to trade with China. It’s a political decision, made by the political class, but it sure has economic effects, now , doesn’t it?

    As for your assault on the minimum wage laws and unionization, I’d ask why the same doesn’t apply to Germany, France, Sweden, or indeed most of the more advanced European countries? Bank failures aren’t the same as exporting your entire manufacturing base, indeed, Germany is now once again one of the world’s manufacturing powerhouses.
    Poor little socialist Germany. Must be worker hell, there. In fact, I think they look on how the US abuses its workers with horror, as well they should.

    Then you go on about single mothers, not noticing I specified a single mother crack addict who never had to work a day in her life. You think your numbers match up with that? Well, why should they when you can’t read simple english and assign an argument to me I did not make. I used to totally stereotypical druggie welfare queen, you give me anyone who has ever been on section 8 (not the same thing at all), and then seem to be accusing me of not believing single motherhood to be a problem when in fact I’ve mentioned its’ a big problem in several threads on this site. Do you post these things tired or drunk? I should also mention those are nationwide numbers not Baltimore numbers, but hey, Art’s on a roll.

    Then your trickle down screed..several paragraphs. “Trickle down” to me is a US term indicating a US policy. Here, from wikipedia:

    “Trickle-down economics” and “the trickle-down theory” are terms of political rhetoric that refer to the policy of providing across the board tax cuts or benefits to businesses, such as tax breaks, in the belief that this will indirectly benefit the broad population. The term has been attributed to humorist Will Rogers, who said during the Great Depression that “money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy.”[2]

    Proponents of these policies claim that if the top income earners invest more into the business infrastructure and equity markets, it will in turn lead to more goods at lower prices, and create more jobs for middle and lower class individuals.[citation needed] Proponents argue that economic growth flows down from the top to the bottom, indirectly benefiting those who do not directly benefit from the policy changes. However, others have argued that “trickle-down” policies generally do not work,[3] and that the trickle-down effect may be very slim, if indeed it even exists at all.[4]

    I really don’t see what this has to do with international trade, but I suppose we could discuss it if you calm down and state a rational connection.

    Then there’s a bunch of personal insults..ignorant blah, blah…if you took from Intel..it would still be the same as if you took nothing (wonder where I ever said that..oh, it’s Art’s ability to read minds again) good strawmen arguments, though art..really good.

    As for government stimulus, I tend to prefer infrastructure of various types as businesses can use it, and businesses can be formed to use it and some type of infrastructure such as communications or roads can make people’s lives better..but , I guess that’s just communism….

    Then a few sentences or maybe a paragraph or two about how people and politicians and business people always scheme to try and get the rules to work in their favor or to work around them as if this is some sort of big secret. Nepotism? ReallY? I wasn’t aware this only happened in government or unions. Anyway, welcome to the real world art, it would be the same under any system that man could possibly set up, all one can really do is try to mitigate any damage this way or that.

    Oh, and then the guy who makes strawman arguments, thinks he can read my mind and assess my intentions, and writes near book length screeds on every post calls me a poseur AND a bully. Wow. Wonder who I’ve chased away today?

  76. Brad Says:

    Baklava:

    Here is my honest answer to you.

    Teach your daughters how to sew, cook, shoot and repair things. Be sure to teach them (even if you have to teach yourself ) gardening, if not outright farming. Either that, or get in really good with someone economically or politically powerful.

    Very tough times are coming in the next twenty years, indeed, I bet it starts within the next two. There will be chaos and a general collapse of the international financial systems. I’m afraid solving things at the state level is no longer really possible this stuff is too interrelated. Like it or not, what happens in China affects what happens in Preoria.

  77. Brad Says:

    To those who responded to the part of my post about how competing with China and parts of Alabama or Mississippi wasn’t really a good idea for Wisconsin-

    A. the automobile factories:
    My understanding is that pay there is 14 to 18 an hour and benefits are extremely limited. That the unionized plants in Michigan have now pretty much fallen to those levels of renumeration is really not argument against that kind of competition making workers lives harder.
    B. Ulitimately you are not competing against humans, you are competing against machines and the business ideal of maximum productivity as zero labor costs. I’ve already pointed out to Occam in a previous thread that they demonstrated a computer system that could devise a scientific hypothesis, constuct and conduct the an experiment to check this hypothesis , and analyze the results. In the longer run, even knowlege jobs are NOT safe. This is NOT a game set up for humans and it is not a game that you are going to win.

  78. Brad Says:

    Occam’s:

    I must point out that I specifically criticized Obama care as not going far enough in either a socialist or capitalist direction to really solve the health care crisis (I’m not saying both solutions would work; I don’t know which one would, but the point is that Obamacare is a muddled mess that won’t do either and hence is utterly doomed) and I think I even mentioned that parts of it were unconstitutional to boot.

    Just going to point that out since on THIS site, I am apparently the representative of Think Progress or MoveOn or something.

  79. Brad Says:

    Richard Aubrey:

    About defined benefit pension plans:

    I think there should be laws requiring that money to be set aside. I’ve always thought that way, but so long as times are good no one really cares about being fiscally conservative and trying to fund what you DO promise.

    The country on both the left and right has been governing like spoiled children for 50 years.

  80. Brad Says:

    Promethea:

    Are you trying to make some sort of argument?

    My point is, you want civil unrest and possibly to bring down the US government? Just try messing too much with social security or medicare such that it devastates those currently receiving the benefits or about to receive them. Just try it. I won’t guarantee what kind of government you will get as a replacement, but I’m willing to bet it will be one that makes sure granny gets her pills.

  81. Brad Says:

    Honestly people:

    If I had my way our current President , the previous one, possibly Bill Clinton, and definitely Bush Sr and Reagan (too bad that schmuck is dead) would all be on trial for treason and face possible execution. If for no other reason than for failure to even try to secure our borders, though there’s plenty of other things I could think of. Gaither and Volcker would both be in prison, half the congress from both parties would probably be in jail or forced to resign due to ethics issues, and many people on Wall Street and the SEC would be in handcuffs.

    That’s how poorly and corruptly I think we are governed.

  82. kolnai Says:

    Brad – sometimes it’s hard to see what your point is.

    I don’t see many people around here denying that big business and corporatist arrangements are generally not good. You seem to think that too, but at the same time you want government involved in everything. You told Art “welcome to the real world,” but in the real world public-private arrangements almost always lead to capture or collusion, i.e., corporatism.

    The idea that profit-driven entities are not generally going to be fueled by virtue is one of the central themes of Adam Smith’s work, and has been a consistent theme of economists’ work ever since. Public choice theory enshrines it as an axiom. The whole point is that in a “real world” where selfishness and greed are pervasive, the choice of constraints and conduits to guide the vices toward the common weal is limited – they’re either political or market-based. Neither is perfect, but pro-market people believe that the latter is presumptively better.

    You’re right that evidence conflicts in many if not most cases, but you don’t give a reason for going with the progressive or leftist (or whatever term you like) analyses. Bryan Caplan and others have shown that, in fact, most economists agree on the basic data points, and their disagreements tend to form on one side of the spectrum (the pro-market side). Whether they’re right or not is one thing; but it’s not irrelevant in the context of a clash between free trade-supporting data and protectionist-supporting data that virtually all economists support freer trade. That’s not everything, but it’s not nothing either.

    Same with corporate taxes. There is virtual unanimity between libertarian and liberal economists that corporate taxes should, at least, be lower. There are academics who study this stuff, not just think tankers. Edward Prescott, for one, has done truly yeoman work in attempting to measure the effects of tax rates, corporate and otherwise (and they are related, since corporate tax rates do get docked from workers’ wages and benefits and added to the prices consumers face, in a vicious regressive circle), on labor. He found that vastly differing tax rates explain most of the difference between labor productivity in the US and in Europe (about 40% higher in the US, because US workers work more, and this, in turn, because the average worker is taxed 20 percentage points less than the average European worker).

    Prescott also analyzed the supply-side theory, which is not rooted in trickle down, but in the Laffer Curve, which Prescott calls “mathematically approximate, but intuitively correct.” He calculated the optimum point where a generous safety net could be sustained without imperiling social solidarity and public finances. Hence, for instance, in America, with a return on capital investment of about 4% per year, it’s necessary to contribute 8.7% of one’s salary to receive, at age 63, for twenty years, a retirement equal to one’s salary. And that privatized funding rate would, Prescott showed, allow taxes on labor to go from 40% to 27%, which in turn would sustain the historic growth rate and increase revenues. The current public fisk from the paycheck for retirement is 13%.

    Prescott and Robert Lucas have also created dynamic models to analyze the effects of stimulus on economic activity. Long story short: it doesn’t work, and never has, regardless of whether it was deemed to be invested in “infrastructure” or “social investment.” This, among other reasons, because it is a political signal, not an economic one (that is, one that represents a durable alteration of incentive structures).

    I’m sorry to disagree so completely with you, but your obsession with China is wrong-headed. We haven’t exported our entire manufacturing base. We still have, by far, the most productive manufacturing sector in the world. What we don’t have is a massively labor-intensive manufacturing sector, and this relates to many, many factors unconnected with China (for example, digitalization and a differently composed workforce, because of the influx of women since the 1940′s-70′s). This is a huge topic, but in the context of your uncertainty about proof and data, you should demonstrate a bit less certainty about your take on these matters. In any case, lets be specific about the nature of the sector we’re talking about here: If our manufacturing sector were a separate country, it would be tied with Germany for the world’s third largest economy.

    (You might want to check out this piece at the Boston Globe and follow some of the links:

    http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=8755)

    As far as I can tell, overall you seem to take the Ian Fletcher line – there is some “right” amount of manufacturing that we are failing to sustain. It’s analogous to the medieval notion of a “just price,” which you seem to hold as well (correct me if I’m wrong).

    Fletcher’s argument is that we’re running a huge trade deficit in manufactured goods without producing enough raw materials and services to “cover the gap” (his phrase). Therefore, we “borrow and sell off existing assets to pay for imports.” David Henderson culls from this the only criterion I can see for a “right amount of manufacturing”:

    *The amount the U.S. spends on manufactured goods, raw materials, and services should equal the amount foreigners spend on our manufactured goods, raw materials, and services.*

    Bottom line: So what if we run a trade deficit? It happens. And whenever it happens, it is always financed by foreign investments. Since you, Brad, love to point out the governmental involvement in innovation, I should point out, with Henderson, that without our merchandising trade deficit of the 19th century, we would not have received the British investments that were instrumental to the building of the railroads.

    We both know, I think, that these problems are multivariate – so why so much emphasis – in practice, when you write anything conclusory, exclusive emphasis – on one variable?

    Same goes for your take on labor costs and union-caused inefficiencies. You don’t think anything can be proved either way, which is fine – but your analysis should reflect that uncertainty. On the contrary, however, you seem quite certain that the supposed exodus of our manufacturing base and other corporate relocations are related principally to trade-related treaty commitments. For someone who acknowledges a lack of solid evidence for any conclusion on the matter, you sure are confident of one conclusion on the matter.

    How much protectionism, and of what sort, specifically, do you think is advisable?

    Deleterious minimum wage effects – and protectionist effects – are very present and very significant in the Euro countries you mentioned, as Prescott and others have consistently shown (I do not rely on Prescott alone for my views on this stuff, for the record – I just don’t want to write a lit. review, and Prescott is a serious econometrician whose views command wide respect among economists). To mention nothing else, the magnitude of the Europeans’ immigration and freeloader problems makes our own look like cream cheese. They may look on what they imagine our workers’ plight to be with horror; but they look on everything we do (and are) with horror. It’s neither here nor there.

    Looking at themselves for more than a second with any sort of honesty would fill them with a dread that even our most pig-headed nativists could only dream of. That’s a big reason why they look on us with horror, if you catch my meaning.

    And yet… you want a flat tax, which is fine by me. I’m still puzzled by your insistence that Gov. Walker should either do everything or do nothing. You want him to clip PEO’s and reform American business all at once. I don’t see what’s wrong with taking a more modest step first. People in power screw with corporate tax rates – and investment related tax rates – all the time, usually within a certain range with a floor and a ceiling. No one ever does that with PEO’s, and it’s about time to get the ball rolling, with a bit of focus.

  83. SteveH Says:

    Do people who hold even partial leftist/progressive world views ever notice that the more people who come to share those views the faster and more assuredly our handbasket heads toward hell?

    VDH is right on in his article on adolescent minds. Our problems may seem political, but they are fundamentally about a problem in the views and perceptions of people. We can blame a leftist slanted press for this, but real grownups wouldn’t buy such dribble anymore than they’d buy a thousand dollar vacuum cleaner from a door to door salesman.

    Here’s the most sobering thought. We probably need and maybe need to even hope for some awful economic times, sooner rather than later, to get people’s minds back down to reality to perhaps save our butts long term.

  84. RickZ Says:

    We probably need and maybe need to even hope for some awful economic times, sooner rather than later, . . .

    Short term pain for long term gain. Sort of like, hopefully, childbirth. And if the country can be reborn into a full market economy without the drag of government intrusion/regulation by fiat or the drag of the public sector payroll/union benefits issue, we just might get out of this mess okay. Not hopeful, though, as too many politicians on every side of the aisle believe in big nanny-state government. The Tea Party congresspeople are our last, best hope to stifle that trend and return to the economic and political foundations of this Nation, most definitely including a small Federal Government with limited enumerated powers.

  85. T Says:

    I’m breaking a promis that I made to myself; I’ve shrouded Brad in this conversation. However, I just happened upon these figures this AM (H/T Instapundit) appropos of Brad’s scepticism above so I offer them. perhaps he believes the CBO:

    . The bottom quintile paid 4.3 percent of income in taxes,
    . The top quintile paid 25.8 percent of income in taxes,
    . The top decile paid 27.5 percent of income in taxes,
    . The top 5 percent paid 29.0 percent of income in taxes, and
    . The top 1 percent paid 31.2 percent of income in taxes.

    LINK:

    http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/taxdistribution.cfm

  86. T Says:

    SteveH and RickZ,

    But bad economic times won’t help. progrosssive/liberal types would just use that as an excuse to call for more spending on entitlement programs. This is just what Obama did, and whet he continues to do even in the face of evidence that it has no effect.

  87. liz Says:

    In the first comment, Brad mentions tax cuts for businesses. If I remember correctly, there were three items. First, individuals who make contributions to health savings accounts could deduct those payments. This puts WI in line with other states.

    The business tax “cuts” related to new businesses moving to WI or new jobs being created in WI. The business had to take an action (job creation) in order to get a tax credit. And, the credit helps but does not offset the costs associated with hiring, training, paying, employment-related taxes of those new hires. Other states have these incentive programs so, this is just trying to be in the market for new jobs.

    Also – please learn the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. These are two different programs. Medicare is for people over 65 who have paid, along with their employers, into a “trust fund” which has been raided for many years. Medicaid is a means-tested health program for the low income. It is funded by both the federal and state governments (or the US taxpayer).

    Of course, there are variations such as Medicare coverage for disability and renal disease. And, some older people may qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, for example nursing home coverage.

  88. SteveH Says:

    T, you may be right. But i have to believe there’s a solution to this death spiral we’re in. I just don’t see it happening without a major attitude adjustment in people who foolishly believe in a free lunch.

    I think at some point this money printing is going to cease to comfort people. Like say when unemployment checks are a couple thousand dollars and you can’t buy what you could in 2009 on four hundred dollars. The misery WILL HIT and disgust for pie in the sky democrats and the stark realities of life under them will hit too.

    We haven’t seen misery yet. Our two year recession is like boom times in some countries. Hell we still have the poverty stricken with an obesity problem for God’s sake.

    I’m at the point where i don’t see anything besides misery and hardship jarring people out of their stupor. And we’ll continue dying by a thousand cuts until that problem gets solved.

  89. blert Says:

    Folks, we’re dying of economic parasitism. That’s it.

    The Money Trust ™ is a staggering parasite.

    The Government Employees are hugely parasitic. There alignment with one party perverts democracy at its core.

    More generally, the Democrat Party is organized in the present day entirely around the idea of extending economic parasitism.

    This means extracting economic rents for a staggering crew of sterile drones.

    We have way too many attorneys who are normally tasked with entirely parasitic functions, clogging the courts and extracting fees for doing not much.

    We have larded up the Federal Register with more laws than you can count. So you’re probably guilty of some infraction.

    Whacko environmentalism has us shutting down productive farmland in favor of bait fish.

    ZIRP is destroying private capital in favor of the Money Trust ™ while fulsome money printing is taking us down the Weimar path.

    It is still not acknowledged that hostile foreign powers have engaged in a systemic perversion of our democracy.

    The Russian Mafia is larded with KGB players — and Chechens. The naked short selling in Lehman Bros and Bear Stearns originated from a notorious Mafia connected brokerage house. Folks, the profits on that bust out were fantastic. And yes, the Mafia and the Russian Mafia are brothers in crime. Many Russians actually sport an Italian ‘handle’ — admiration, I guess.

    Bing: DTCC. Open your mind.

    Yet, upon receiving tell of such possibilities the Pentagon does not want to explore the matter any further.

    I recommend that everyone start their own Victory Garden.

  90. RickZ Says:

    liz Says:

    Also – please learn the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. These are two different programs. Medicare is for people over 65 who have paid, along with their employers, into a “trust fund” which has been raided for many years.

    Just an FYI: I’m 55 and on Social Security Disabilty, which includes Medicare.

  91. T Says:

    SteveH,

    I agree. You are correct on several counts: 1) we haven’t seen real misery in this country yet (it’s always relative, isn’t it?); and 2) there are other solutions to the death spiral.

    It always helps to think of the govt as a household. First, eliminate profligate spending–can’t spend more than you make (the elimination of earmarks is a small, but important step in that direction). Second, increase the govt’s income.

    On this second point, progressive/liberals will immediately respond by wanting to raise taxes. That won’t work, because as you raise the tax rate, you reduce the taxable pool. Historically, govt revenue is ~19% of GDP. So the solution is to grow the GDP with economically friendly policies. The net resulkt is that you have a larger pool to tax at lower rates which results in more govt revenue. This has the added benefit of making the debt a smaller portion of a (now increased) whole.

    And third, begin paying down the debt, not just making interest payments.

    This can’t happen with any liberal/progressive administration because their programs are never economically or business friendly, nor are they fiscally sound, and it certainly WON’T happen w/ Obama.

  92. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”

    A quote attributed (possibly spuriously, but the quote does capture a truth) to Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1742-1813) Scottish jurist and historian.

    The economic chickens have all come home to roost at the same time, and, from my perspective as someone who has some familiarity with the budget from many years using it in research in a federal research organization, we are so screwed economically it is hard to decide which particular aspect of our economic mess is the more dire, or which problem to address first.

    Massively over-promised and underfunded pensions and benefits in both the public and private sectors are, indeed, a huge problem, but these are problems that float on top of a bigger, much more fundamental problem, whose dire dimensions and consequences, despite all sorts of superficial discussions about “entitlements,” I don’t think a lot of people really grasp as yet, and that is not only the amounts being paid out in “entitlements” but, worse than that, the mechanism of their calculation and payout, the built-in, automatic increase in the numbers of people who are eligible and the amounts paid to them, and their priority within and call on our Federal budget.

    Just how bad a shape we are in, just from entitlement spending alone, is illustrated by a chart/tabulation that is usually buried in the several foot high pile of each year’s federal budget documentation; a little chart documenting the percentage of Federal government spending that is “mandatory” vs. the government spending that is “discretionary.”

    Mandatory expenditures include entitlements i.e. payments for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and various other social welfare benefits like Food Stamps, WIC, AFDC and unemployment benefits, Veterans Benefits and Pensions, Civil Service retirement benefits—sometimes disguised by budget terminology as “direct payments to individuals”–and interest on the pubic debt. For 2011 such mandatory payments —each year estimated as to their likely amount and then, by law, set aside, “sequestered,” not to be touched, to be spent, or to be “reprogrammed” for any other purpose—are estimated to encompass 63% of all federal spending, with the other 37% left over for “discretionary” spending, left to cover every other expenditure of the Federal government—National Defense (a little more than 50% of the remaining discretionary spending), the running and activities of all of the Cabinet Agencies, and every other Federal program and activity.

    It appears that members of Congress who favored such entitlements—which have increasingly become payoffs for constituent votes–did not want to have to be forced to periodically examine or to justify them, to debate their wisdom and/or necessity, or to have to vote on continuing, on paying, and on the level of such entitlements each or every few years, so they crafted the mechanism of entitlements to be an automatic mechanism; you meet the basic threshold requirements for being “entitled” to a benefit and you get it. For some entitlements like veterans benefits or civil service retirement the requirement is years or decades of government service, for Social Security age and to some extent income, but for the more general entitlement programs it is income as measured against the Federal “poverty line,” calculated for 2011 for an individual to be $10,890, and for a family of four to be $22,350 (see http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/11fedreg.shtml), and each year that poverty line moves higher, placing more people below it.

    Result, each year—because of normal population growth, and a higher dollar amount for the poverty line–more and more people are entitled to such benefits, and the unemployment and decrease in individual’s incomes that has resulted from our economic meltdown has made even more people fall below the poverty line, adding even more people to the rolls of those entitled to various federal benefits, with, for instance, a reported 40 million people now receiving Food Stamps. The ratio of mandatory vs. discretionary expenditures may fluctuate a percentage point or two from year to year, but the percentage of federal expenditures paid out as mandatory expenditures keeps increasing, and is headed higher at an ever accelerating pace.

    For 2011 it is estimated that 63% of all federal expenditures are to be mandatory expenditures, and by 2015 that figure is estimated to climb to 70%—you get the picture (In the FY11 OMB budget documents see Section 8, Outlays by Budget Enforcement Act Category, chart 8.3, Percentage of Distribution of Outlays By Budget Enforcement Act Category, 1962-2015, and look carefully at the Totals columns for Mandatory vs. Discretionary expenditure percentages, see–http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy11/hist.html). Now, add in our newly massive deficits, debt, and likely inflation, which will increase our mandatory interest payments on the federal debt dramatically, and this percentage gallops ahead even faster. Thus, at this pace, in a decade or two, the percentage of mandatory expenditures will reach 100%, decreasing and eventually devouring all discretionary spending.

    This is the first and most threatening problem that needs to be honestly explained, squarely addressed, and fixed now, no matter how painful the fixes will be, or it alone will destroy us.

  93. T Says:

    Wolla Dalbo,

    I agree that this has been a “perfect storm.” I disagree, however, that we are screwed; the jury is still out on that.

    The genereal disapproval of Wisconsin union benefits and union activity and the general approval of Chris Christie’s work in NJ indicate that most Americans still believe in working for what we get (contrary to the quote with which you open your comment). Remember, as George Will pointed out, what you see supporting the unions in WI is but a small percentage of a small percentage.

    Secondly, as the descendants of immigrants who gave up everything, including their familiar lifestyle to get to this country, I say NEVER, NEVER underestimate the ability of the American worker to climb out of the hole.

    We do best when the chips are down, and perhaps this perfect storm is just the warning we need. We will see. We didn’t get into this predicament overnight and it will take some time to even resolve the direction we take to get out of it. Myself, I am incredibly optimistic about our long-term future.

  94. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    P.S.–I would not put anything past Obama & Co., so while these are the “official” White House Office of Management and Budget charts and numbers on the Budget I have linked to above, I have less than total confidence that they accurately describe and estimate just how deep in shit we really are and will be in the future, and our economic situation and prospects could actually be a lot worse than these numbers portray them to be–dire as that already is.

  95. Don Says:

    Brad:

    When unions are competing via our stupid trade policies with laborers in Chinese prison camps, I hardly see how their “stacking the deck” in their favor is any worse. At least unions are (however temporarily in a messed up global economy) making some US workers lives better, I can’t say the same about many if not most of the activities of the multinationals.

    What Chinese workers are our public unions competing with?

  96. Don Says:

    Brad:

    About defined benefit pension plans:

    I think there should be laws requiring that money to be set aside. I’ve always thought that way, but so long as times are good no one really cares about being fiscally conservative and trying to fund what you DO promise.

    The country on both the left and right has been governing like spoiled children for 50 years.

    Setting the money aside isn’t sufficient. The real solution is defined contribution plans, not defined benifits.

  97. SteveH Says:

    T, your solutions make perfect sense. I’m suggesting they will never get implemented with the prevailing mindset of the U.S. citizenry. It would be like asking eight year olds if we should pay the delinquent mortgage this month or go to Disney World.

  98. Gringo Says:

    Brad:

    When unions are competing via our stupid trade policies with laborers in Chinese prison camps, I hardly see how their “stacking the deck” in their favor is any worse.

    Don to Brad:

    What Chinese workers are our public unions competing with?

    I made a similar comment about Brad’s above statement .

    This discussion is about Wisconsin, including government unions in Wisconsin. Pray tell, how do workers in government unions in Wisconsin compete with “laborers in Chinese prison camps?”

    No reply from Brad.

  99. Bill West Says:

    Neo,

    You wrote “Bill West: I understand the distinction you are making, but don’t state employees also pay taxes?”

    Yes, they do. However, two problems remain. The first is the relationship between the employer (the state) and the employees. It is as if the union of a company can pack the board. There’s a conflict.

    Senior management packs the board very oftern in the private sector too, but the second problem emerges here: the state can ‘raise prices’ on the customers (the citizens) and the customers are compelled to pay.

  100. Sergey Says:

    The only escape from this charade is Milton Freedman’s receipt: privatize, privatize, privatize. Why to have so many public workers at all, when most of their jobs can be done by private subcontractors? Let them negotiate their contracts with governments, municipal and state alike, at open auctions, so the taxpayers can see which bids were accepted and why. This will remove the problem entirely, since federal employee do not have negotiating rights at all.

  101. T Says:

    SteveH,

    Here’s where you and I disagree. I don’t think the American public is as blind as many like to think. I think the tendency is to draw our opinion of Americans from the national dialogue, that that is controlled by progressive/leftists at the moment (Govt, media, university faculty).

    Ask a californian or Illinoian whther to pay down the debt or go to Disney World and you may get one answer, ask the same question of a Texan or an Indianian and I’l bet the answer is pay down the debt.

  102. Sergey Says:

    Monopoly power of public unions can not be called a natural monopoly. Definition of natural monopoly is when a single provider can produce the necessary amount of services and commodities at lower price than competitive market. But this is not the case with public unions: their costs are higher than they could be for several competing corporations.

  103. T Says:

    and come to think of it, I’d bet a Wisconsonian would also side with Texas and Indiana. After all, they elected Scott Walker for the express purpose of doing just that.

  104. Artfldgr Says:

    :)

    This is going to be fun…

  105. T Says:

    Artfldgr,

    Actually, I think so. I keep expecting to watch liberal heads explode as in “Mars Attacks”. As a matter of fact, didn’t that just happen somewhat in WI?

    John Boehner = Slim Whitman?

    We’ll see.

  106. RickZ Says:

    T,

    I wish I was as sanguine as you about our current situation. But I am not, not with Obama being Gun Salesman of the Year for the last few years.

  107. Parker Says:

    What amazes me is the lack of real commitment from many republicans to make the tough, necessary decisions and communicate to the public why those decisions are crucial to the welfare of the nation at large. A majority of the pubic is focused on the debt crisis, what a perfect opportunity to advocate for deficit reduction and limited federal government. Thank goodness we at least have the freshmen in the house.

    Obama proposes a $3.5+ trillion budget and the house leadership comes up with $60 billion in cuts, the freshmen dig in their heels and demand $100 billion in cuts, good but nowhere good enough. IMO, any accomplished manager should be about to find $175 billion (approximately 5%) that could be cut through ending redundancies, procedural changes, and going after outright waste and fraud. I firmly believe this is an easily achievable goal if there is the will to do it and can be done without even getting into the big 3: social security, medicare-medicaid, and defense.

    Eventually of course the big 3 must (soon) be examined and changes made there as well. But first things first. Make a 5% cut to the entire 2011 budget and show the general public the sky will not fall by doing so.

    Sergey,

    I say yes to using private subcontractors who are competing to get contracts.

  108. Artfldgr Says:

    Ok, Art, you asked for it.

    yes i did… since i can more than handle bullies like you. full of myself? maybe, but we shall see whether its based on a good reason, or like you, legend in your own mind…

    Some people DO earn what you pretend to.

    i will do this in sections.. are you ready?

    you first decided to correct my point on transportation… then attempted to pretend you know something you OBVIOUSLY dont know, and are WAY too stupid to look up BEFORE you actually employ it.

    i told you, your not among your ignorati clique…

    -=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    I don’t know where you live Art, but here in Maryland the tolls don’t come close to paying for the roads, and it was federal loans and in some cases federal subsidies that built all of them.

    So Maryland doesn’t give their money to the feds so they can give it back for highways?

    Since 1971, the Maryland Transportation Authority has been responsible for constructing, managing, operating and improving the State’s toll facilities, as well as for financing new revenue-producing transportation projects.
    The Authority’s seven toll facilities – a turnpike, two tunnels and four bridges – help keep traffic moving in Maryland. All of the Transportation Authority’s projects and services are funded through tolls paid by the customers who use the agency’s facilities.

    That’s from the Maryland Transportation Authority.

    Ah, but they explain even more… IF you take the time..

    the agency has the legal authority to enter into partnership agreements on its own behalf or on behalf of other agencies within the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). This unique situation gives the MDTA the opportunity to enhance the State’s transportation network by supplementing MDOT’s Transportation Trust Fund.
    the MDTA has provided financial assistance for numerous transportation projects such as the Maryland Mass Transit Administration’s Central Light Rail Line and Baltimore/Washington International Airport’s International Terminal and parking garage. In addition, the MDTA is financing the construction of the Masonville Auto Terminal, a state-of-the-art vehicle import/export facility owned by the MDTA and operated by the Maryland Port Administration.

    The MDTA’s projects and services are funded through tolls paid by customers who use the agency’s facilities, other user revenues and the proceeds from toll revenue bonds issued by the MDTA. The MDTA may issue either taxable or tax-exempt municipal bonds to finance the cost of large-scale projects that would otherwise exceed current available operating revenues. Through this financing mechanism, the MDTA is able to finance construction of projects that generate sufficient future revenues to repay bondholders the principal amount borrowed, along with interest. In December 2009, the MDTA received underlying AA ratings from all three bond rating agencies.

    all you had to do was search maryland toll roads, look to their transportation page, read how they fund things.

    As always… the fitzgig makes lots of noise, and fluster and bluster, but has no substance.

    and if it were not for wealthy people buying bonds as investment…

    i bet your confused now… where did that fed money you keep hearing on the radio? oh… FEDs pay for FEDERAL roads…

    so your mixing up STATE roads, with the Interstate Highway System…

    two different things…
    The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the Interstate Highway System or Interstate Freeway System, and colloquially abbreviated “the Interstate”, is a network of limited-access roadways (also called freeways or expressways) in the United States. It is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed its formation. As of 2006[update], the system has a total length of 46,876 miles (75,440 km),[1] making it both the largest highway system in the world and the largest public works project in history.[2] However, it is expected to be exceeded in terms of size by the Chinese expressway system at some point in 2011.[3] The Interstate Highway System is a subsystem of the National Highway System.

    so like GERMANIES AUTOBAHN, they decided that it was of national security to have a large FEDERAL highway for defense..

    so your highway is from defense… not from your state coiffers, which are for state roads.

    The National Highway System (NHS) of the United States comprises approximately 160,000 miles (256,000 kilometers) of roadway, including the Interstate Highway System and other roads, which are important to the nation’s economy, defense, and mobility.

    The system, which was developed by the United States Department of Transportation in cooperation with the states, local officials, and metropolitan planning organizations was approved by the United States Congress in 1995.

    so..

    whats your retort?

    NEXT ITEM…

  109. Artfldgr Says:

    “…are you that stupid that you dont understand that, and think those around you are in your terminology stupider?”

    What terminology, Art, the terminology that exists only in your apparently addled brain? Short of the guy who accused me of being an astroturfer where have I even insulted anyone?

    well, you cant read…

    “in your terminology” means: i am speaking like you

    two… where have you insulted anyone?

    You do realize that to play people for idiots when they aren’t is an insult.

    to speak falsely, whether knowingly or not is to lie, and to lie to people is an insult.

    and i started my post by repeating your insult to Occam

    care for me to point out more?

    Passive aggressive bullies like you play games i am WAY familiar with…

    you would never admit you dont know. and yet most of the posts are correcting things you say and dont know. you conflate things that are separate, make false distinctions that dont exist, think your assumptions are facts and never check them, and then come to a strangers place and then take em all on with false info…

    take us all on… its great…
    but slinging dirt is not the game

    if facts were bullets you lost the war before the first shot

  110. T Says:

    RickZ,

    I am optimistic about the future–specifically the long term future. The short term will be very difficult, indeed.

    It’s taken 4-5 decades to get us into this predicament and we won’t emerge overnight. We have a troubled road ahead. There are still non-Democrats in this country and in congress who think that the ways of the past half-century are how it works. They need to be minimized and those in congress need to be replaced. Lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth coming up (first stop, NJ and WI).

    But I am optimistic in the long term.

  111. texexec Says:

    Brad: You didn’t get the point of VDH’s article. He wasn’t directly attacking the WI union members. He said that the way they were acting was symptom of deeper problems.

    From his article:

    “Yet a common denominator is a national adolescence, in which we want what we have not earned. We demand the world be the way that it cannot; and we don’t wish to hear “unfair” arguments from “bad” and “mean” people.”

    Next time, read more carefully before you spout off about something.

  112. Baklava Says:

    Brad wrote in reference to Reagan, “that schmuck is dead

    This is the last sentence I write to you.

  113. JKB Says:

    On July 15, 1939, FDR said, “You cannot strike against the Government.” His words were aimed at union-backed WPA strikers. Then he fired 20,000 of the strikers for failure to show up for work for 5 days. What was the strike over? A new law that aimed to reduce costs as well as, “shirking and chiseling” in the WPA program. Why were the unions striking because the bill required union workers in the WPA to put in the full 130 hours required rather than charging out the fixed monthly pay to higher union rates then going out and taking private work. In other words, if they needed Relief they had to work just the same as the lower paid unskilled workers.

  114. SteveH Says:

    I’ll be optimistic once food stamps and unemployment checks start bouncing. Until then we wont get serious about our economy.

    Reminds me of a Sam Kinnison skit where he talked about how it cost ten grand to get into drug rehab once you hit bottom. His comment being…”If you got ten grand, you ain’t nowhere near hit bottom!”

  115. rickl Says:

    Better avert your eyes, Brad. Charles G. Koch has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal:

    Why Koch Industries Is Speaking Out

    It’s clear, rational, and to the point. No wonder lefties hate the eeevil Koch Brothers!

  116. gs Says:

    1. Parker Says: Thanks for the link gs.

    I’m glad you found it of interest.

    2. texexec Says: (Hanson) said that the way they were acting was symptom of deeper problems.

    That was my reading also. If a confrontation hadn’t come to a head in Wisconsin, it would have flared up somewhere else. I suspect that other states are waiting to see how Wisconsin plays out.

  117. Artfldgr Says:

    That’s nice, Art. But then by that standard ALL contracts everywhere and anywhere are made under duress because they are enforced or not enforced by either power or lack of it.

    Ah… now the poseur is posing to be a lawyer and has absolutely no knowledge again. this is the problem of the parasite. Not fully whole, it has to pretend wholeness, or find other things to make them complete.

    Your argument make no sense… as the enforcement of a contract, and the terms and conditions at the time of entry are two different things… in fact, the terms and condition of entry to the contract can change the defense of it.

    PARTICULARLY if the conditions on entering the contract are questionable, its enforcement becomes questionable. So, again… you only have status among the ignorant, and stupid, and you walked into a den of the knowledgeable.

    We don’t remove trolls by force silly…
    trolls turn to stone in the light of day/truth

    Again.. you only had to spend a modicum (that’s a tiny bit) of time to actually give a good answer.

    Which we find funny..

    Why?

    Because you would only answer and challenge what I said IF YOU WERE IGNORANT

    You were trapped either way, you either went and checked and would find you had no argument, or you wouldn’t, then push your assumptions as facts forward, and I would cut you up for not checking.

    Duress
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duress

    In jurisprudence, duress or coercion refers to a situation whereby a person performs an act as a result of violence, threat or other pressure against the person. Black’s Law Dictionary (6th ed.) defines duress as “any unlawful threat or coercion used… to induce another to act [or not act] in a manner [they] otherwise would not [or would]“. Duress is pressure exerted upon a person to coerce that person to perform an act that he or she ordinarily would not perform. The notion of duress must be distinguished both from undue influence in the civil law and from necessity.

    The key here is that the state accepts union’s behavior as legal…
    and so the state makes duress and coercion legal by doing so.

    [just to be clear, we are talking the duress that negates a contract, not the duress that makes an illegal act legal]

    Unions work under the false concept that the system has no means of change within the rules of that system. in the US system this premise is false, but accepted as true.

    So in the contract side, their behavior does not negate the contract while similar behavior by me outside the employ to get you to sign a contract would negate it.

    And so they cant be prosecuted for the legal aspect of it in criminal law, they hide behind necessity. And so, the unions get to act in an illegal way, because of the concept of necessity.

    In U.S. criminal law, necessity may be either a possible justification or an exculpation for breaking the law. Defendants seeking to rely on this defense argue that they should not be held liable for their actions as a crime because their conduct was necessary to prevent some greater harm and when that conduct is not excused under some other more specific provision of law such as self defense. Except for a few statutory exemptions and in some medical cases [1] there is no corresponding defense in English law.

    So there you have it… while not the best and probably not the explanation you would get from a law class, its close enough for the gist.

    Yours isn’t even on the same planet, let alone getting the gist right.

    The idea that one can enforce a contract freely entered into is a form of duress has no basis in any form of logical thinking or law.

    so far your not doing to well…
    perhaps you should take a break?

  118. Megan Says:

    Delurking briefly to compliment kolnai @ 5:19 for a post that is not only very cogent and clearly written, but also as concise as could possibly be expected.

    The one point I’ll agree with Brad on is this: “Teach your daughters how to sew, cook, shoot and repair things.”

    Not because I think (as he seems to) that we’re on the verge of plunging into some kind of Mad Max thing, but just because those are good things to know in general, and a lot of girls today don’t seem to learn any of them.

  119. Artfldgr Says:

    Whee!!!

    I also love how you know my thinking and know my motives, your mind reading skills are quite impressive. In case you missed it, the prior sentence was sarcasm.

    Not mind reading, just that if you’re opening a door, thinking about the door becomes evident, if you didn’t you would walk into it.

    If your answers are from set theory, they are from set theory. If you don’t know it, that doesn’t make me wrong, it just makes you ignorant of your own thoughts sources.

    Problem with your sarcasm, is that your facts are so screwed, as I am now showing in detail, that no one can tell sarcasm except for the scripted ignorati your used to.

    Actually, you are downright wrong about my motives

    Really? I noticed that all you did was say I didn’t get them right, you didn’t say what they were… ie… I can still be right, and all you did was deny it, and we are to accept it?

    But you should go back and read the paragraph your commenting on again.
    Not one thing about motives… Unless your saying that I said playing games is your motive… but that isn’t a motive, that’s an action, with a motive behind it. The motive would be self pleasure at the expense of others. Or given your desire to fix the unbroken with the lies and false info you think is truth (and may sincerely do so), so that the world around you will seem more secure as everyone says the same things… but that would be fear…

    No.. Never said a thing in that paragraph as to a motive…

    However the fact that your trying to change minds to reflect the propaganda you think is true… that’s technically a motive…

    The goal or object of a person’s actions

    MY goal is to make sure you don’t bully people with your ignorance’s…

    ….when you live in a world of paranoid fantasies, it’s easy enough to ascribe bad ulterior motives to people who just happen to be on the opposite side of an argument than you.

    Ah… so now I am paranoid…

    Where did THAT come from all of a sudden? I thought in the prior sentence you didn’t insult anyone? To be paranoid, one must suffer paranoia. Yes?

    a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission

    Or
    baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others.

    On the second definition, you would first have to show that my points are baseless.
    But the problem (for you) is that most of your points have been baseless.

    And when you met more than your match, what do you do?
    Panic like a girly man and throw a vase… funny.

    Could you describe my personal conflicts that would necessitate the creation of false idea of the KGB? I mean, is it delusional when the person who was part of the KGB says this is what I did, and you believe them? or is it delusional if the KGB person says this is what I did, and you don’t believe them?

    You see… the KGB, FSB, GRU, etc… never came for me… (Though they did come for my family back in the old country, but they were the checka then).

    I will point out that this tactic of yours only works among those that don’t know me, or among other ignorati who will respond in a Skinnerian fashion to the ringing Pavlovian bell.

    Your ignorance is not knowledge

    Do you understand that? that if you don’t know something, it doesn’t mean you know it doesn’t exist… but the smear of paranoid isnt going to work as i am not paranoid.

    Tell me Art, am I sleeper cell soldier from the former soviet union?

    No.. The Soviet Union was never hard up for mental defectives and useful idiots.

    Even I would not insult them that much. :)

  120. T Says:

    Sorry, can’t stand it any more:

    Artfldgr 10,000,000,000
    Brad -0-

    And one more thing:

    “. . .you only have status among the ignorant, and stupid, and you walked into a den of the knowledgeable.”

    Match. Set. Game.

  121. T Says:

    Game. Set. Match.

    (If I’m going to write it, I should write it correctly)

  122. Artfldgr Says:

    Then you go on for a few sentences about how you shouldn’t be taxed to pay for anything you don’t like.

    You have a rotten comprehension score on your SATS, eh?
    Everybody… Is that what I said, or is this ‘genius’ playing games?

    Your statement is silly
    Well among the idiots its not, but to us thinking people it is.

    Would you approve of taxes to exterminate all people whose handle is “brad”?
    Of course you wouldn’t… and I am even honest enough to say you wouldn’t.

    But would it be valid to get that tax and law passed by such shaming language?

    To say that brads are just oppressors and just don’t want to have their earnings taken away to be given to others, with other names… is a false game… and argument.

    Though you would try to argue the point I warn you…
    I am suckering you into a trick bag.

    Of course this is an argument for ending all taxation whatsoever, but that doesn’t seem to bother you.

    Is it? Only you think so… and your not so hot at arguing, debating, or even getting the facts right going in.

    Then you go into how Walker is a representative of the “people”. Yeah, that’s why he put special provisions in his bill to enable the selling of state assets in a no bid process and takes time off his busy schedule to take the phone call from what he thinks is an out of state rich donor rather than some teacher in his own state. I’m pretty sure he represents some “people”, but it ain’t , overall, the people of Wisconsin.

    Are you really that much of a simpleton?

    You realize that all you’re saying there is that if he does not behave the way I want him to, and favor what I want him to, then he does not represent me and a PLURALITY of people. As far as selling state assets off, May I ask how can an entity that has no life apart than the powers vested in it can own assets?

    Please. Explain how the state owns assets.
    Warning it’s another trick bag…

    You think that he represents you if he chases away jobs in favor of hearing a teacher (Who makes more than the average salary in the nation, has tenure job security, and a pension package they can retire early on. all things the other people he represents don’t have), whine?

    There is a reason why people with your ideas fail…
    Because they do not see things as being the outside image of underlying principal

    For you cargo-culters outside image is everything, and there is no substance behind the facades. you claim nuance, but cant see beyond black and white… and not only that, but the black and white of what someone tells you that you shop around for, as if reality changes when you change where you get your information.

    But the next part..
    That’s going to be the most fun.

  123. Brad Says:

    Hey, Art:

    I’m working on a longer post that will deal with some issues that others have raised. I really don’t have much patience for character assassination after all. I also like how if you unintentionally lie you “disrepect” someone. Well, guess you’ve done a lot of that already. I’m more a mens rea type of dude myself which means since I know I have no intent to deceive I find you a rather disgusting person.

    In any case here’s to deal with your “roads” blather.

    First , Maryland has a gas tax. This is placed in a Transportation Trust Fund, which is supposed to fund upkeep of the roads and things. This does not always happen, and when it does not the upkeep of Maryland’s roads and bridges suffers since tolls are not our preferred method of funding road upkeep. http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Transportation%20Revenues%20and%20Expenses/TransportationFund.html You’ll note that tolls are not included in this , yet by far most transportation related work in this state takes place from trust fund funding.

    The tolls you linked to are almost entirely dedicated by law to the roads and bridges they are assessed on and every now and again the PTB see the need to raise the tolls because they are not bringing in enough money for upkeep, at least that is what we are told.

    Second Maryland has very few toll roads (the newest is the ICC)none of which are privately owned, and NONE of which were constructed without financial assistance of both the feds and state. The private sector in terms of road building and maintenance is basically non-existent in Maryland.

    I really shouldn’t even bother going farther than this because you really don’t know what you are talking about and you insist on trying to argue with me about things I have never stated. I will say that I’d have to be crazy to continue talking with someone who doesn’t know how to post respectfully, so I’ll go back to letting you post your book length screeds that hardly anyone here reads.

  124. Brad Says:

    Oh my: was posting this as art was posting yet another screed. I also like how he makes an argument that the very entity that protects private property can’t possibly own any property of its own. Lysander Spooner, I think you have met art.

    Anyway, I’m clearly losing nothing by ignoring him in this thread from now on. Maybe in some future thread where he can try to stop playing amateur psychologist and psychic sleuth it might be ok to re-engage.

  125. Brad Says:

    While I’m here, might as well deal with a few shorter posts:

    Texexec, I’m sure that VDH thinks his class is particularly oppressed by all those useless breeders and social parasites that he so goes on about. Indeed, if he really wants to make financial sacrifices he might find that the military he loves so much will need to be radically cut and remissioned to be an almost strictly hemispheric force. Of course instead he wants to cut all those darn evil entitlement programs but he wants his favorite policies and programs to be untouched. That’s the only conclusion I can come up with after seeing some of his more recent posts and comparing them to this one. He’s having his own hissy fit. Hey, maybe the American people as a whole don’t buy all of either the liberals or conservatives (to use those simplistic terms) agendas. Whoda thunk it?

  126. Brad Says:

    Gringo , et al:

    I can’t believe I have to spell out A, B, C in a casual connection chain to you, but here goes:

    A. Unions (esp. those evilllllll public sector ones in Wisconsin) have to take cuts and preferrably be eliminated
    B. This is so Wisconsin can compete with neighboring states in terms of labor costs. If you can get away with paying your workers 3 bucks an hour while your neighboring state of MissAlaTucky doesn’t have living costs or labor laws that enable them to get below 3.50 you win! Or at least the capital and business owners in your state win.
    C. Of course you better keep those cost nice and low or Mr. I look six months into the future for max profit business owner will be sure to take the big step and move his production facility or business (of whatever type short of personal service) to China where the Chinese government, at least initially will give him even more incentives than cheap labor.

    Seems very few people in this country come out the winner in this equation.

  127. Artfldgr Says:

    HA HA HA HA HA HA! “Forced” to go to China! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

    He who laughs last…

    We all know you’re a child now brad. We know you never ran a business. You never had to deal with any of the issues you pontificate about, and you’re a Potemkin mind.

    Got that? Potemkin mind… (Now show us!!!!)

    Yes, he is FORCED… we were not talking about a multinational which gets lots of abatements and all that.

    We are talking about a company of common size, who due to all these extra things, can no longer afford to run and operate in the US. the bosses do not want to take 24 hour flights (yes 24 hour flights), and work at night to talk to their firm. have you ever been outside your state? Country? They don’t want to hire a second set of lawyers to cover two countries laws. And a huge list of other things.

    Only a ignorati like you would think what they see on the surface is everything. but then again, other than surface there is nothing underneath for brad.

    Unions are parasites… the trick to a parasite is to drain your host but not too much
    The parasite does not give anything back to the host… do you see the business get more or less from their parasite?

    If you have too many parasites on you, you become anemic or malnourished. So you’re laughing that a person would take too many ticks off their back if they may die from having they?

    The steel industry here is dead… the parasites killed it…
    It went to India…

    Which means that the state was following what you wanted… it was redistributing the wealth from a wealthy country to a poor one by other means… what you don’t like is what your side did to be socialist internationally!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and you blame the wrong side!). it redistributed wealth. It redistributed expertise. and it funded the regrowth of soviet style communism reborn as oligharicial fascism.

    You cant even tell redistribution when you see it.

    Let me clue you in on something: we decided the terms (our elected “representatives” did in any case or some bureaucrat empowered by them) that we would trade with China.

    We did? is this like the facts about tolls and highways? Or the other not facts?

    We did NOT decide the terms. Got that? We do not decide anything with a communist state, THEY DO. That is their nature. If they won’t gain a lot and you hurt by a deal, they wont do it. so guess why it was done? Your people have been calling for the end to the USA sicne 1917, and if you think what they do is from the other side, you will keep helping them the worse it gets.

    It takes social engineers of the central planning kind to try to rush slow processes!!!

    Your not cluing me in on anything… your sentence has no references to it. it’s a blind assertion from a proven ignorant…

    Why , we even signed treaties. Treaties that didn’t protect the rights of our workers or the rights of Chinese workers at all. There’s not some law of nature -no, not even of economics – that says the US has to trade with China at all.

    Huh? Do you know anything about that stuff?
    Wait… sorry…forgot who I was talking with.. of course you don’t, you only pretend to.

    Treaties that didn’t protect the rights of our workers

    So you are for mercantilism? What “rights” are you referring to? The made up ones that the left uses to play games, and if so, which one, or the rights as the rest of the world who invented rights sees them?

    the rights of Chinese workers at all

    And this is beyond the pale.. we are to assert our will and work ways as a force of treaty backe by war, to protect Chinese workers?

    From what? Their state is the peoples state, what do they needs protection for?
    (and if they do, then why would you keep batting for the same system here? what external would protect us?)

    No the US does not have to trade with China… but then what?
    All you’re saying is that the cold war was right… and you said I was paranoid…

    Now.. I would like to know WHICH TREATIES you’re referring to.
    You speak as if you have read them… but you havent..

    Treaty of Wang Hya? (or Treaty of Wanghia)

    If so, your complaining about the treaty Andrew Jackson negotiated in 1844…

    is a diplomatic agreement between the Qing Dynasty of China and the United States, signed on 3 July 1844 in the Kun Iam Temple. It is considered an unequal treaty by many sources.

    I figure your referring to the trade AGREEMENTS which many refer to as treaties (its synonomic).

    I went to the list of bilateral trade agreements…. And funny thing..
    The US and china don’t have any… take a look…
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bilateral_free_trade_agreements

    Your supposed to be cluing me in and your letting me down!!!!

    Why don’t you let us know which agreement your referring to in your comment.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_free_trade_agreements

    or you can go here http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/143863.pdf
    it’s a list of all treaties in effect as of 2010.
    Go to page 51…

    I will let you tell us what your referring to..

  128. Brad Says:

    Gringo et al:

    I should also state that
    A. It’s not impossible for many government services (not all) to be outsourced in some manner.
    B. The overall economy of a state is the sum of all business, government, and consumer economic activity in that state. The size and health of the states economy determine the size of government it can have, at least if the government is forbidden to run an operating deficit. This is affected by how well the state competes both nationally and internationally and thus yes, there is a partial connection to our trade imbalance with China and our states economic deficits.

  129. Brad Says:

    http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/countries_e/china_e.htm

  130. Brad Says:

    http://www.mac.doc.gov/china/agreements.htm

    Just for future reference.

  131. Brad Says:

    kolnai is one of the people I will be replying to as he knows how to write posts without insulting other people and his posts are logically reasoned and clearly stated. I appreciate that.

  132. baklava Says:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/28/wisconsin-dem-assemblyman-to-gop-colleague-you-are-fing-dead/

  133. baklava Says:

    Megan repeated “Teach your daughters how to sew, cook, shoot and repair things

    Yes, I do. Except I haven’t brought them out to shoot yet.

    We’ve sewed, made soap, worked in the yard, cleaned, cooked, etc.

  134. Artfldgr Says:

    If some unions some of the time actually did force their employers out of business or out of the US (for the sake of argument I’ll assume this, in fact I don’t believe that can ever be proved to have happened) it would surely be because of costs, right?

    IF, IF, and IF…

    Steel strike of 1919
    The Steel Strike of 1919 was an attempt by the weakened Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers (the AA) to organize the United States steel industry in the wake of World War I. The strike began on September 22, 1919, and collapsed on January 8, 1920. / The AA had formed in 1876. It was a union of skilled iron and steel workers which was deeply committed to craft unionism. However, technological advances had slashed the number of skilled workers in both industries.

    In the early days, the progressives and anarchists and such, sided with CRAFT unions. Those are the luddite who wanted to stop all machine and automated process in favor of hand made everything. (todays left still fantasizes about such, but that’s all, since a dumbed down population cant do that, and so are mutually exclusive).

    Its this legacy as to why there are carpenters unions, brick layers unions, etc..
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craft_unionism

    Craft unionism is perhaps best exemplified by many of the construction unions that formed the backbone of the old American Federation of Labor (which later merged with the industrial unions of the Congress of Industrial Organizations to form the AFL-CIO). Under this approach, each union is organized according to the craft, or specific work function, of its members. For example, in the building trades, all carpenters belong to the carpenters’ union, the plasterers join the plasterers’ union, and the painters belong to the painters’ union. Each craft union has its own administration, its own policies, its own collective bargaining agreements and its own union halls.

    So the unions were the medieval guilds of old aristocracy under a new name
    The idea was to inflate wages by preventing others from entering the business.

    The progressives and the left went with whatever power base was winning or appeared to win at the time having no other reason than to use them.

    So, during hayes tilden, they sided with the KKK and the democrats and mutilated and hanged blacks. You can read the testimony of pinkerston in landry parish if you want. They slashed her husbands throat, drowned her baby, and cut her breasts off and left her to die.

    Your too ignorant to remember or learn that they first represented white man unions against blacks!!! They took whatever side would allow them to play fear and get power. (*That is until the la follete dynasty was destroyed by over confidence and a man named mccarthy).

    Its so scrubed that you can barely find anything on this. though most of what you read today, like you, treats whites as monolithic class that all act and think the same.

    When if you read the history of hayes tilden you will find that among whites, the progressive held multiracial barbecues, and fairs… but outside the site of the common man white, the ones they hate today in fly over country, they acted otherwise. No different than todays saying one thing to one group and another to another.

    [you can read about the highlander school, and how the people running it were arrested and the school shut down for subversion. They were buying houses in the south, and come moving day moved blacks into it. when the whites didn’t care and were not racist enough, they then blowed their own people up!!! just like libs hanging nooses on their own door but being caught by technology “making history” as socialist say they do]

    So back to the history of steel.

    In 1892, the AA had lost a bitter strike at the Carnegie Steel Company’s steel mill in Homestead, Pennsylvania. The Homestead Strike, which culminated with a day-long gun battle on July 6 that left 12 dead and dozens wounded, led to a wave of de-unionization. From a high of more than 24,000 members in 1892, union membership had sunk to less than 8,000 by 1900.

    You see the unions here have a long history of communist style revolutionary violence (even Charlie Chaplin made fun of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    MOST people of your ILK never take the time to find out the details and blindly side with the people… but that means the companies have no place to turn to but the state!

    Ie. your bs creates the pressure for them to collude with the state… your methods create the fascist state… just as similar pressure, gets the state and the people to collude against the companies communisticially…. If you notice, it’s the state playing companies against people…

    So why did they strike?
    Carnegie Steel made major technological innovations in the 1880s, especially the installation of the open hearth system at Homestead in 1886. It now became possible to make steel suitable for structural beams and for armor plate for the US Navy, which paid far higher prices for the premium product. In addition the plant moved increasingly toward the continuous system of production. Carnegie installed vastly improved systems of material-handling, like overhead cranes, hoists, charging machines, and buggies. All of this greatly sped up the process of steelmaking, and allowed the production of far vaster quantities of the product. As the mills expanded the labor force grew rapidly, especially less skilled workers. The more skilled union members reacted with a strike designed to protect their historic position.

    Sure sounds to me like what I said that you said you would teach me otherwise.

    The more skilled, who did not want the business to change, or make progress (social justice), decided to blackmail the company… either they complied with them keeping their jobs and all that, or there would be no company for anyone.

    If I can’t have it, no one can should be a left liberal motto and especially union one.

    The AA strike at the Homestead steel mill in 1892 was different from previous large-scale strikes in American history such as the Great railroad strike of 1877 or the Great Southwest Railroad Strike of 1886. Earlier strikes had been largely leaderless and disorganized mass uprisings of workers. The Homestead strike was organized and purposeful, a harbinger of the type of strike which would mark the modern age of labor relations in the United States

    It was the birth of the professional agent provocateur, who could only increase their position by making up more and more injustices!!! If the companies were good to the people, they would go out of business if they couldn’t find more grievances..

    The story is long and I am long enough already, so lets move on as you can read it.

    All this led to almost the complete de-unionization of all steel plants.
    De-unionization efforts throughout the Midwest began against the AA in 1897 when Jones and Laughlin Steel refused to sign a contract. By 1900, not a single steel plant in Pennsylvania remained union. The AA presence in Ohio and Illinois continued for a few more years, but the union continued to collapse. Many lodges disbanded, their members disillusioned. Others were easily broken in short battles. Carnegie Steel’s Mingo Junction, Ohio plant was the last major unionized steel mill in the country. But it, too, successfully withdrew recognition without a fight in 1903.[53]

    That is like today and walker…

    But then, when people forgot the details, and the young were ripe.

    The AA maintained a rump membership in the steel industry until its takeover by the Steel Workers Organizing Committee in 1936. The two organizations officially disbanded and formed the United Steelworkers May 22, 1942.

    These were run by soviets.

    The Steel Workers Organizing Committee was one of two precursor labor organizations to the United Steelworkers. It was formed by the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) in 1936. It disbanded in 1942 to become the United Steel Workers of America.

    The United Steelworkers is currently affiliated with the American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) as well as several international union federations. On July 2, 2008, the United Steelworkers signed an agreement to merge with the United Kingdom and Ireland based union, Unite, to form a new global union entity called Workers Uniting.

    Workers of the world unite.

    By the way, the left hates the races… and has always done things that ended up hurting them even before sangers ‘negro project’.

    You can read the history in part about alabama here:
    http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1597

    Business leaders fought bitterly against labor reforms enacted under the New Deal, particularly the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which aimed to raise the wages of southern laborers to the level of their northern counterparts. Labor unions won recognition against strong resistance, but unemployment reached unprecedented levels.
    Economic conditions improved as the country and industries geared up for World War II. U.S. Steel built a large new blast furnace at its Fairfield plant, and TCI was running at full capacity by 1939.

    And it all seemed ok… and then…

    Demand for foundry pig iron remained high into the 1950s. Because Sloss-Sheffield’s earnings exceeded those of USP&F, the parent company absorbed its subsidiary in a 1952 merger to take advantage of its superior profitability. Soon after the merger, USP&F moved its headquarters to Birmingham. In 1956, it began building a massive, ultra-modern blast furnace in North Birmingham in response to increasing competition from overseas firms, but the move came too late. By the time the facility was ready for production in 1958, German and Japanese blast furnaces, ironically built with U.S. foreign aid, were exporting iron to the United States at prices lower than those of domestic producers.

    Remember, they had to raise wages… so their costs went up.
    And like today with china, it was germany and other countries.
    Your too young to remember the cold war and how things were.

    If you read the history, and you make sure to find out what they mean by
    The new owners soon realized that Alabama coal, which remained plentiful, commanded higher prices in foreign markets than coke-fired pig iron, which was becoming uneconomical to produce.

    We taught them how to make this all, rather than keep it secret, and they competed.

    How was it uneconomical to produce if the coal was cheap and was selling higher to Europe? Because all along the supply chain and infrastructure were UNIONS parasitically taping the industry.

    Steelworkers union… Teamsters unison for the trucks. Miners union… even the cafeteria workers had their own union. Mechanics union. The bricklayers and such who build the buildings had a union.

    You’re not that smart, so you see union, and say its not so much. But a business owner, had to deal with ALL these unions, each wiling to shut them down and play hold your future assets as ransom.

    The competitors did not have to pay teamsters like Hoffa… or AFL CIO, or the mechanics union, the electricians union, the concrete workers union, etc.

    In 1970, USP&F’s last active furnace in Birmingham, one of the two that had been remodeled on the site of the original Sloss Furnace Company, shut down for good. In 1980, Jim Walter Corporation closed the huge new furnace that USP&F had erected in North Birmingham in 1956, then dismantled and sold it for scrap. Even Woodward, long the most profitable company in the Birmingham District, was forced out of business in the early 1970s, and only U.S. Steel’s Fairfield plant remained in production.

    But they buy their metal sources from foreign places like India.
    Check out the manhole covers in your area.. see if they don’t have India on them.

    Once the companies were forced by such to do business in other places and send stuff here, globalization would then be more of the norm.

    They could avoid the teamsters, the concrete workers, the electricians unions, the steel union, the health worker unions, the waiter and waitress unions… and so they did

    You complain… but you don’t know the history… they used people like you to push till its gone.. and they continue to use you by changing the history, and your on their side again.

    And people like you cant imagine that these owners and others would like to live in the USA, would like their homes to be near their companies… and so on..

    Nope.. you ignore the reality, and side with the feminists that such a man is an awful husband for not being with the family and flying to china all the time.

    Isolate the item, ignore the context, paint a story you like, then pretend its real.

    Also policies like no new nuclear plant meant that electricity compared to a polluting china company was too expensive.

    Basically, again… your ignorant and think that is a form of knowledge. it isnt.

    here’s the kicker: the cost structure is in part set by the treaties and terms under which we choose to trade with China. It’s a political decision, made by the political class, but it sure has economic effects, now , doesn’t it?

    Have you ever read a treaty? I mean actually read it?

    Or do you always take a label, and pretend you know whats in it to fake it to others that don’t know?

    Don’t you realize that if your audience has actually looked and read one and wasn’t half as incurious as you are, they would have and know you’re a nothing bovine crapper…

    Mercantilism fails…

  135. Artfldgr Says:

    i am finished…

    too tired to bother any more…

    waste of good life energy…

  136. Artfldgr Says:

    eal grownups wouldn’t buy such dribble anymore than they’d buy a thousand dollar vacuum cleaner from a door to door salesman.

    hey! i like my kirby!!! (love it)
    will do everything… vaccume.. spray paint.. foam clean… and more.. but its big, heavy, and made for hotels…

    but my family has not had to buy another one since the 70s… and we still have a small one my grandmother used in 1940…

    given the depreciation value, we have saved a lot.

    and it looks like we will be handing ours down to my son… thast would make 3 generations for one product.

    :)

    [thanks for the laugh opportunity!]

  137. RickZ Says:

    Artfldgr,

    Isolate the item, ignore the context, paint a story you like, then pretend its real.

    Excellent summation of the progressive/union/democrat mentality.

    Fantasyland: Where all your dreams come true.

  138. Artfldgr Says:

    Transportation Trust Fund

    brad… i went to the highway… the TRANSPORTATION fund is for not just highway, its for trains, and other forms of transportaion like airports.

    I went to the highway department, as the subject was tolls and roads.. NOT transportation as a whole

    and so, if you read the highway department and roads stuff, they do NOT get to use the transportation funds as a big egg basket.

    WRONG DEPARTMENT…

  139. Artfldgr Says:

    I also like how he makes an argument that the very entity that protects private property can’t possibly own any property of its own.

    its representative government idiot..
    WE ALL OWN THE PROPERTY…

    the state does not exist apart from the free people who give it permission to administrate for them in a limited way..

    so, again… if the state is a collective entity which is created by us, maintained by us, and has no live separate from the electorate, and it holds everyting PUBLIC (you do know what public means yes?)

    then it cant have any private ownership…

    ever notice that state land is called public land?

  140. kolnai Says:

    Re: Megan – belatedly, thanks for the kind words.

    Re: Brad – I always like discussing things with you, when we get the chance. You know a lot more than I do about certain things, and even though we usually disagree, you force to me to think and state my positions more clearly. (We’re not going to change minds in the comments-section, obviously).

    Anyway, I’m usually writing my replies to you as much, if not more, for myself than for you.

  141. Baklava Says:

    kolnai,

    I don’t know why anybody would address Brad anymore.

    He called Reagan a schmuck.

  142. njcommuter Says:

    I’m coming in late, but let me remind you:

    When you tax a business’s net income (making the business the tax collector on its customers) you are taxing the business in the USA but not the business overseas. You are giving an advantage to the foreign producer and (eventually) driving production and jobs overseas.

    When you tax the individual directly, domestic and foreign production is taxed equally. You don’t push jobs overseas.

    When you tax something you get less of it. Tax domestic production and not foreign production and you’ll get less domestic production.

    This is–or ought to be–so obvious that only a Nobel Prize-winning economist could deny it with a straight face.

  143. AcidPoP Says:

    Art, you’re the best!!!!!!! Everything you write make perfect sense to anyone looking for the truth. And your posts are never too long. They flow nicely. I know you are not looking for compliments (nor condiments!!) but since I stopped commenting, only because I don’t want to repeat myself and the ball is not in my camp anymore; anyway, I thought it is time to remind all the people who got hooked to my story how I feel about your posts. The obvious. I am not fully sure who you are but I hope one day I’ll meet you and I’ll have you amongst my close circle of friends. If life and fate let us have it.

    People don’t realize how hard it is to open up your heart in a world full of ravenous predators pretending to be cute little sheeps.

    Neo, we Love you!!
    To all: Please, don’t add a word to my post. As usual actually. Unless you have real good news to share. Like: WE MISSED YOU! FOLLOW YOU!! TRUST YOU AND LOVE YOU!!!

    And yes, I do believe in Santa Claus!! Only it never comes cheap. Which is fine too. WE paid already.

    Now, enjoy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcXV4brcEaE

    … this explained that.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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