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Friday, May 19, 2006


Another Round of Tax Cuts Anyone?

As my 401k continues to tank, I remembered this article by that lefty Paul Craig Roberts. The Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

A Nation of Waitresses and Bartenders?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics payroll jobs report released May 5 says the economy created 131,000 private sector jobs in April....

Most of the April job gain -- 72% --is in domestic services, with education and health services (primarily health care and
social assistance) and waitresses and bartenders accounting for 55,000 jobs or 42% of the total job gain. Financial activities added 26,000 jobs and professional and business services added 28,000. Retail trade lost 36,000 jobs.

During 2001 and 2002 the US economy lost 2,298,000 jobs. These lost jobs were not regained until early in February 2005. From February 2005 through April 2006, the economy has gained 2,584 jobs (mainly in domestic services).

The total job gain for the 64 month period from January 2001 through April 2006 is 7,000,000 jobs less than the 9,600,000 jobs necessary to stay even with population growth during that period. The unemployment rate is low because millions of discouraged workers have dropped out of the work force and are not counted as unemployed.

In 2005 the US had a current account deficit in excess of $800 billion. That means Americans consumed $800 billion more goods and services than they produced. A significant percentage of this figure is offshore production by US companies for American markets.

The US current account deficit as a percent of Gross Domestic Product is unprecedented. As more jobs and manufacturing are moved offshore, Americans become more dependent on foreign made goods. This year the deficit could reach $1 trillion.

The US pays its current account deficit by giving up ownership of its existing assets or wealth. Foreigners don't simply hold the $800 billion in cash. They use it to acquire US equities, real estate, bonds, and entire companies.

I'm sure glad those tax cuts are "stimulating" the economy. Hey I have an idea, let's make them permanent.

Don't you get it, Jason? The key to freedom is making sure rich people and poor people are equal in an unequal system! A 15% flat-tax means a man making a million will pay $150,000...leaving him $850,000 with which to PLAY! A man making $20,000 would have to pay $3,000, meaning he'd have, ummm...$17,000 on which to LIVE.

This is truly a great article that kind of confirms privately-held beliefs I've had for the longest time. Too bad I didn't pounce on this topic with my thoughts at the time. Because I've been saying that all this "awesome" job growth has really only been in low-earning, public services spectrums LIKE waitressing and retail. I mean...that's all it really can be. The other jobs are being shipped overseas.

Funny you should mention this. I talked to an old coworker from the insurance company last night and she confirmed something I thought was mere myth. IT people are being LAID off at the insurance company and they've brought people from India to the US to have them trained. Kicker: the people being LAID OFF have to TRAIN these people or else they DON'T get their severance package!

Fuck Lee Greenwood and his patriotic bullshit! Proud to be an American. Sure, I am. But are these nefarious corporations who so hungrily abide by the conservatives' rallying around unfettered capitalism?
Oops...Jason...sorry I double posted. Feel free to delete one.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I also find it strange that otherwise "smart" republicans can not see through their ideological veil and through the very thin veneer of affluence that this system has produced, and realized that our economy is a decaying husk.

That willing blindness, for narrow political ends, does not strike me as very patriotic.
Match this:
I also find it strange that otherwise "smart" republicans can not see through their ideological veil and through the very thin veneer of affluence that this system has produced, and realized that our economy is a decaying husk.

That willing blindness, for narrow political ends, does not strike me as very patriotic.

--Jason, above

with this from here (

For the record, I'm an unapologetic partisan. I believe the Democratic party is the best hope for a return to the fair and just America of spoken of in your history books. If that makes me a jackasstotheleft - so be it.

--Jason, this post:

You hypocritical swine.
Pay attention Ryan.

Even smart republicans can not see through their ideological veil and through the very thin veneer of affluence that this system has produced, to see that our economy is a decaying husk.

Therefore, the Democratic party (and by extension liberal economics which restrain the government from giving away the nation's wealth to corporations and foreign governments) is the best hope for America.

Those remarks are perfectly consistent you goof.
Thanks for stopping in.
PS. I was not including you as one of the " otherwise "smart" republicans".
God save ou from the Joke R. yuck
Norquist waiting to happen.

Great convo here. What is keeping US citizens from seeing this reality?
What is keeping US citizens from seeing this reality?

Answer: Easy credit.

Which is about to be over now. Real income is flat for the middle class and is now about to go negative, with no home equity to bail you out.
The sound you just heard was the sound of the butt cheeks of a million mortagage bankers and real estate agents clenching.
"Those remarks are perfectly consistent you goof."

Substituting one blind ideology for another does not constitute clarity of thought.
Ryan S.: Your point is extremely well-taken. Red V Blue gets us nowehere. Trouble is, we're all so wound up in the Red-Blue battle that we all do not see that each is "playing to the cheap seats," and being allowed by us to avoid clarity of thought as a result. As long as they get by simply by pushing those "blind ideology" buttons, the discussion remains at stalemate and the sand leaks from the hourglass.
Corporations are Terminators, by their nature seeking wealth. In fact, they are required to be this by law -- fiduciary responsibility. Capital moves similarly. You can influence it only with carrot or deprivation of carrot. And calculations of where to apply those are dicey and prone to failure in markets as complicated as we face today. Right now, the incentives and censures are designed poorly, geared solely to the very short term and influenced grossly by those seeking individual privilege often contrary to the national interest.
I hope you read through the issue of Time back a month or so ago -- the special "mass Depression" edition with the cover on the doom we face from global warming, ending with Krauthammer's prophecy of doom in the Middle East. After I barely won the battle with the razor blade at my wrists, I went back through and found only one thing to be really scary -- the image of an entrepreneur somewhere in backwash China astride a beam in an experimental coal gasification plant. Trying to figure out that puzzle to solve his nation's growing energy crisis and, in the process, create a process the world will line up to buy for the next 100 years.
Yet we continue to supply tax incentives to fraud artists spraying reprocessed diesel fuel onto coal and calling it an "alternative fuel."
Which approach to the future is going to address the negative trend Roberts so accurately describes?
If we continue to waste our energy on philosophiocal arguments, while letting idiots craft policies that are counterproductive, we fail. Now and for the next 100 years.
Blue and Red, we fail together -- if we do not demand clarity and creativity of thought that moves us forward. It's a job each must do within their own "camp," for the two sides are way, way beyond listening to each other.
Solve the problem. Or all our children will be sweeping up in someone else's shop in 50 years.
You are truly a dumb shit.
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