Is there any hope?

Paul Krugman has been sounding more and more like a foul-mouthed, vituperative cheetoh-stained wretch lately:

The WaPo is Very Serious Person central — much more so than the Times — and this article encapsulates the essence of VSP economics, 2011 edition. Policy wisdom, as the WaPo describes it, is entirely dictated by fear of things that aren’t happening: fiscal expansion will invite an attack by the invisible bond vigilantes, if you try monetary expansion the inflation monster hiding under your bed will come out and eat you. The problem we actually have — the problem the Post says we dare not let happen — doesn’t seem to matter at all.

[…]

[U]nfortunately, these are the scribblers that shape the views of today’s madmen in authority.

I believe that we are, to no small extent, ruled by ignorant sociopaths who care far more about impressing each other with their faux seriousness than about whether middle-class Americans live or die. Whether or not this is true (though I do think it is true), it’s a seductive meme that could catch on, not just among fiat-Amero-spending moochers like you and me, but among a larger population. Maybe Real Americans are too busy going to mega-churches and ordering their cheesesteaks with cheeze wiz to get this message, but I think maybe it can at least sink with totebaggers. Baby steps.

Is there any chance some of the other Times columnists could get on board with this critique? Not Bobo or Chunky Bobo, but come on, Nick Kristoff could take a break from freeing sex workers and get with the anti-VSP program, couldn’t he? I know MoDo’s got it in her, nuts as she is. Charles Blow will get sick of making those pie graphs eventually, right?

As I said, baby steps. One day I hope to be able to walk into the faculty lounge and hear people worrying more about the unemployed than about whatever idiocy they heard about the deficit on Charlie Rose last night. I’d like it if our liberal elites could at least be liberal.






167 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Shouldn’t you be singing about now?

    ETA: Good post.

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I hope it happens, but I’m not gonna bet on it. The fact that Krugman has been right about just about everything for the last decade-plus seems to have had little effect on his standing, and on the other side of the coin, BoBo being as wrong about pretty much all the same issues hasn’t put a dent in his reputation.
    Andy Card and Condi Rice having the gall to pop their little heads up in this last week just confirms the totally accountability-free nature– the moral and intellectual bankruptcy, I don’t think is too strong– of our political and intellectual establishment. The Iraq War just kind of happened. Torture is merely “harsh tactics”.

  3. 3

    Dougj is SHRILL!

    What they care about was the same thing the ancient Greeks and Romans cared about. And that is munny, and the faux, though maniacal in some people, belief that it will somehow bring them immortality.

    I have no idea what Krugman is talking about, or if he is even right, beside the rightness bestowed by ideological kindred spirits. I did notice we have, or the economy has created over 200,000 new jobs the past few months, and more than a few good ones in the once thought defunct manufacturing sector. Realty is the best sign of what is happening.

  4. 4
    Doug Harlan J says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s on Wednesday. I asked today and yesterday because I need lead time to work on the songs that I decide to do.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    All the brilliance of the ruling class of the Maya, and right in our own times. Or the chieftans of Easter Island. Take your pick. The collapse is coming, we can see it coming, and the morons at the top do nothing about it.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Eventually the problems will become big enough that they must be handled. Drastic solutions can, however, be ugly.

  7. 7
    John Emerson says:

    I’d like it if our liberal elites could at least be liberal.

    Word.

  8. 8
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    I’d like it if our liberal elites could at least be liberal.

    I been feelin’ that for 25, 30 years now…

    .

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    McDonald’s just had 20 people apply for every one job opening they offered. A million people needed/hoped to be hired for a McJob.
    All the while states are laying off teachers.

    I think that speaks for itself.

  10. 10
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    P Daddy K reads every post here. I’m convinced of it.

  11. 11

    Conventional wisdom goes out, conventional wisdom is wrong — never a miscommunication.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The collapse is coming, we can see it coming, and the morons at the top do nothing about it.

    Beyond the false hope that we could actually avert that situation, my only other hope is that we can catch the motherfuckers on the runway before they fly off to Barbados, Cannes or their fortress compound in Paraguay.

  13. 13
    jrg says:

    The VSP phenomenon is why the village keeps fixing shit until it’s broken. Economy OK? Paying down the deficit? ZOMG, blow jobs! We’ve lost our moral compass as a nation! It’s critical for the future of the world that we get the DNA tests back from a wad someone may have blown on a blue evening gown!

    We’d better elect a limp-dicked fundie dumbass to run the country! Blowjobs prove we’re a dying empire!

  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Though I do like to see the Fred Hiatt and his gang of Peretzites called out, and mocked, for what they are. I’m guessing Chuckie Lane will respond, he strikes me as the most thin-skinned and arrogant of a thin-skinned and arrogant bunch.

  15. 15
    Paul says:

    @Doug Harlan J:

    I missed the karaoke discussions, so I’d like now to suggest Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”. Totally swings. And somehow appropriate to this post.

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): I think Daily Show and Countdown interns do as well.

  17. 17

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel):

    I would not be at all surprised. He doesn’t let on, though. Probably ’cause we’re all potty mouths.

    Boobs! Crap! Boobs!

    You see, just horrible potty mouths.

  18. 18

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Eventually the problems will become big enough that they must be handled. Drastic solutions can, however, be ugly.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Obama kept the cancerous patient alive, to give us a little time, and by us, I mean the American people, to face up to some facts, or suffer the consequences.

    It is easy to blame politicians, especially republican ones, but there comes a point where the responsibility to change things in a democracy needs to be placed squarely on those empowered to change things, the voters. We can make excuses for them, blame the media, blame the wingnuts, etc….. But enough of the voters have to recognize that repeating the same mistakes over and over is the definition of insanity, and the cause for things not being okay.

    Republicans are just being republicans, what they have always been. A mouthpiece and government reps of the wealthy and the bigoted. That is who they are and what they do. It is no secret, or should not be, nor should anyone expect an elephant to sprout wings and fly. (no pun intended). The spoiled nature of this country is the problem. And usually, the only way to break that mindset is pain. It’s just a matter of how much.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    No, there is no hope, sadly.

    No one knows whether there is anything in reality that corresponds to soceity being at or close to a macro economic equilibrium most of the time. So economists are forced to guess.

    Economists like Krugman, Stiglitz, Baker, Galbraith, Thoma, guess that for long periods society is not close to an overall macro equilibrium. They have explained the rationale for their guesses and how they use evidence from data on economic aggregates to make their guesses.

    Economists like Prescott, Lucas, Sargent, Mulligan, guess that we are always close to a macro economic equilibrium. They have to rationalize all the measured economic aggregates to be consistent with their models of macro economic equilibrium. They give their rationalization (or, maybe better, their maybe or maybe not consistent series of rationalizations) in an attempt to preserve the idea of an equilibrium.

    Both those approaches are logically consistent. Voters can (and should) judge which is more likely to be true.

    I am leaving off the Austrians, because I am not sure they think that economics is an empirical science.

    But what we get from the VSP is nonsense.

    Or, one possibility that Krugman does not mention is self interested rationalization. As I have said before, the big banks and finance people would like a low inflation low interest rate environment while they continue to fight over bad mortgages, overvalued securities, and other pieces of paper that they hold and want to turn into someting money like and liquid some day. If that is true, then they are using nonsensical pretend economic analysis to cover up their very self interested policy preferences, that have nothing to do with any brand of economics or any vision at all of overall social welfare.

  20. 20
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The collapse is coming, we can see it coming, and the morons at the top do nothing about it.

    It’s probably worse than that. Just finished reading the Archdruid on American Nihilism. We took a wrong turn 30 years ago, we screwed our kids, we know it, and we can’t face up to it, and that’s what’s driving the stupidity and extremism everywhere in our public dialogue.

    BSoSR +2 and it’s not enough.

  21. 21
    Gretchen D says:

    Great post. I do believe Krugman knows what he’s talking about (Nobel prize after all), even though he freaks me out. I’m encouraged that he’s excoriating the semi-unconscious who aren’t paying attention to the long-term unemployed.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck:

    Realty is the best sign of what is happening.

    Reality is that by all best measurements U6 is north of 18%. I think if we were honest with ourselves we’d be acknowledging 25% unemployment amongst the viable pool of candidates.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone: Uh, no. It’s 15.9%.

  25. 25
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Corner Stone: Does anyone know how many 99ers there are who exhausted unemployment and never found a job?

  26. 26
    jl says:

    Let’s just hope the recent slow down in the recovery does not get bad enough to seriously damage the labor market recovery, what little of that exists.

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    My local school district is having a pitched battle on the issue of Gifted & Talented Program for students.
    The overwhelming majority say we can’t afford it and we shouldn’t be doing anything to benefit a subset of students if we can’t afford to do something to benefit all students.
    There’s a lot of minutiae about how the cost is baked into the budget, etc, but the bottom line is that the majority of parents here HATE the idea of a G&T program. And want to kill it fucking dead.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: Uh, no. By credible accounts it is more than double U3.

  29. 29

    As long as there’s a fucking Douglas Holtz-Eakin who has a fucking job, and spews bullshit to counter Dr. Krugman, no. And Douglas Holtz-Eakin can DIAF. I wish he were homeless in a fucking tent. No, wait. A tent is too good for him or john fucking yoo. etc.

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: @Corner Stone: Both of you need links.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: But I’ll tell you what. Let’s agree U6 is 15.9%.
    Now what?

  32. 32

    @Corner Stone:

    What the exact number is of long term unemployed is not the point. It is what it is at this point in time, and the trend is positive to lower those numbers all around. It will not happen overnight or in 6 months, and wouldn’t no matter if we did everything Krugman suggests, but everything I read and the recent evidence of actual hard data says things are improving and will continue that way. And that is without all the extra government spending Krugman has been clamoring for. I am sorry, but that IS the reality.

    edit – obviously high gas prices are a resisting force for recovery, but apparently, not that big of one right now.

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm

    15.9%

    It’s not just a guess, they actually study this stuff.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yutsano: No, I’ll stip to U6 being 15.9%
    Now what?

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: Great!!
    Now what?

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck: We’re losing govt jobs with actual benefits and adding private sector McJobs with no benefits.

  37. 37
    kdaug says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel):

    P Daddy K reads every post here. I’m convinced of it.

    The commenters are few. The lurkers are legion.

    (Check that little Sitemeter widget at the bottom of the left hand banner ads.)

  38. 38

    @Corner Stone:

    Not really, the BLS report says the hiring is broad and into better paying jobs like construction health and manufacturing. Jobs that were supposed to be gone forever. As far as bennies go, in a couple of years, even the lowest paying job without bennies, at least with health care, will be having some health care bennies due to the ACA.

  39. 39
    kdaug says:

    @General Stuck:

    And usually, the only way to break that mindset is pain. It’s just a matter of how much.

    And who it’s inflicted on.

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    It is easy to blame politicians, especially republican ones, but there comes a point where the responsibility to change things in a democracy needs to be placed squarely on those empowered to change things, the voters. We can make excuses for them, blame the media, blame the wingnuts, etc….. But enough of the voters have to recognize that repeating the same mistakes over and over is the definition of insanity, and the cause for things not being okay.

    I agree. Like I posted yesterday… enough of the voters want to be lied to, and have invested too much emotionally in the lies, that changing the system right now is a freaking nightmare. (Say what you want about the Tea Party Movement and I have said and will say plenty, but millions of voters eagerly swallow its horseshit every day).

    And usually, the only way to break that mindset is pain. It’s just a matter of how much.

    Well, true, but the pain treatment has mixed results to say the least. In America, the Great Depression and all the pain it caused was the catalyst for finally throwing out the bums and passing the New Deal, which was great. But in Germany, the same depression and the same pain brought us you-know-what.

    Given the sheer number of lunatics in the general population, at this point, I’m not sure that a pain treatment wouldn’t jump-start something even worse.

  41. 41
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I personally maintain that it’s not hopeless quite yet, if only (indeed, perhaps only) because I’ve got about 60 years left and the prospect of spending them in Wingnut Thunderdome fighting over the last few scraps of bread is too grim to contemplate. Maybe if I was going to die before the worst of it I’d be more honest. Or maybe it’s just youthful optimism.

    I’m not sure the question is can it be fixed. I think this country’s seen worse in terms of economic suffering and social disorder, in both absolute and relative terms, in eras like the late 19th century and the Great Depression. The question is will it be fixed, because even someone as optimistic as me can’t see the equivalent of the great reformers of that era popping up from this current mess of a country.

  42. 42
    DonkeyKong says:

    They were gonna make me a Major for this, and I wasn’t even in their fuckin’ army anymore. -Paul Krugman

  43. 43
    Cat Lady says:

    @Paul:

    Good call on King of the Road.

    Until the Very Serious Sociopaths suffer, nothing will change. If it’s not a problem for them, it’s not a problem. Our problem is that by the time they’re suffering, it will be waaaay too late, which it probably is already. Good for The Shrill One, but as we know, shame doesn’t work on the shameless.

  44. 44

    @General Stuck:

    the BLS report says the hiring is broad and into better paying jobs like construction health and manufacturing.

    Ok, this is where I demand the unicorn. you’re saying fucking “construction” is better paying? Construction is the fucking definition of temporary.

    and yet we’re shedding gov’t jobs?

  45. 45
    Chris says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I’m not sure the question is can it be fixed. I think this country’s seen worse in terms of economic suffering and social disorder, in both absolute and relative terms, in eras like the late 19th century and the Great Depression. The question is will it be fixed, because even someone as optimistic as me can’t see the equivalent of the great reformers of that era popping up from this current mess of a country.

    This. Looking at the current political landscape, that’s what has me worried too.

  46. 46

    @Chris:

    Absolutely. Pain in this situation will likely lend itself to instability, and leave open the possibility of all sorts of end games, some better, some worse. I try to never say never, but common sense tells me the apathy and denial runs deep in this country amongst the vast majority, and it will take some fairly draconian deprivation to shake loose from that.

  47. 47

    Personally, I want to move to another country. any suggestions?

  48. 48
    Steeplejack says:

    I think Gail Collins is there already, although she doesn’t come out and say it directly. But she never fails to mention Mitt Romney without adding that he once drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the top of the car.

  49. 49
    Steeplejack says:

    @Doug Harlan J:

    “Night Moves,” Bob Seger. It just came to me. Or was that already mentioned?

  50. 50

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Eventually the problems will become big enough that they must be handled.

    We can only hope that they’re still small enough to be solved by the time the VSP deign to care about them.

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Oz is pretty high on my list. I even seriously looked into it before getting my current job. Normally I’d suggest going north but they have just fucked themselves royally for the next four years.

  52. 52
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I like Gail Collins more than lots of other people here. She’s not a fighter, but she’s got this way of making Republicans look ridiculous just by presenting them to you, in a way anyone can understand (as opposed to, say, Frank Rich, or Paul Krugman, where you need to kind of already be invested in the relevant politics to really get what they’re doing). I think the current-events “quizzes” she does like the recent one are nice, understated snark.

  53. 53
    mclaren says:

    There’s a downside to this situation and an upside.

    The downside is that America appears to be undergoing massive collapse on multiple levels simultaneously. Just take a look at these seven graphs — this is my new picture of America in 7 graphs. Used to be six graphs, but now there’s a 7th chart that’s really spectacular. Just take a look at oil usage by China and India compared to America. It’s amazing. If you follow it out with a simple linear projection, China will be importing 30% of global oil production by 2015. How much oil do you think China will be using by 2030? And what do you think that’ll do to gasoline prices in America? And in the rest of the world?

    Oil imports by country since 1998.

    Median weeks unemployment since WW II in the U.S. economy after each recession.

    America now makes essentially nothing but weapons.

    The college tuition bubble.

    Percentage of GDP spent on national health care by country over the last 30 years.

    Job creation per decade in America from 1945 to 2007.

    Manufacturing capacity growth in America from 1948 to 2007.

    These 7 graphs are really all you need to see that America is caught in some massively unsustainable trends. We’ve hit an inflexion point and there’s no going back. All these bubbles are going to burst, and they’re going to burst a lot sooner than anyone imagines.

    The upside?

    Capitalism itself is a bubble and it’s in the process of bursting in a big way. The entire planet is slamming up against the limits of growth, and that means that the ways of doing things since the start of the Industrial Revolution are becoming obsolete.

    Profit is not going to matter in a another couple of decades because profit is going to be musch less important that sustainability. If we run out of energy and food and water, profits won’t matter, because we’ll all be dead, so profit is going to go away as something our society cares about.

    Likewise, owning stuff is in the process of going away. How much of the stuff you use every day do you actually own? Between all the co-ops and the bike shares and the ride shares and the free wifi internet and the free software and the fact that about half the people in America don’t even make enough money to pay taxes anymore, we’re heading toward a society where (as Bruce Sterling put it) everything is sort of free and no one has a job.

    That’s so different from capitalism that we don’t have a word for it. It’s not socialism, it’s not communism, it’s not capitalism, it’s free open source peer production and and it’s something new.

    If the world is headed away from capitalism/socialism/communism and toward something new, is that really so bad?

    Corner Stone remarked that “real” unemployment is probably upwards of 25% of the general population. Has anyone noticed that we’re also getting a massive compression of the age range during which people are employable?

    Used to be Americans went to work at age 18. Then they had to go to college and get a four degree so it went up to age 22. Now people under age 25 are mostly unemployable because the only people with real prospects for working in America today are people with post-doctoral fellowships at the elite universities, so that’s about age 29 and up. Meanwhile, workers over age 55 are now effectively shut out of the workforce by age discrimination.

    So we’ve compressed the range where workers are employable from 18-65 to around 29-55, and the range is still compressinig. Pretty soon you can see that the employable age range in America will get compressed down to 35-45. Run that graph out. What happens when you compress the employable age range to the point where essentially no one is employable? That’s in the process of happening in America right now.

    When that happens, we’re going to have a completely different kind of society. “Jobs” and “careers” are going away.

    When you’ve got so much automation that the factories don’t need people anymore, and when productivity is so high that a tiny fraction of the population provides enough goods and services for everyone, why does anyone need a job?

  54. 54
    kdaug says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Got a buddy who bailed to Santiago, Chile about six months ago, and he’s lovin’ it.

  55. 55

    @Yutsano: yeah, canada just crossed itself off the list, big time.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    Question is how much commitment there is among the “Real American” community to the notion of poor people, working class people and nonwhite people being the cause for the deprivation and the pain. Until the class warfare instinct turns upward instead of downward, nothing’s going to get fixed.

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Heh. I ain’t moving, but if there’s such a thing as reincarnation, I’d give Germany some serious thought: outstanding economy and still some commitment to the principle of shared wealth.

    Otherwise, I’m curious to see where some of the up-and-coming countries will end up. Maybe India. Horrific poverty and inequality problems, but it can’t stay that way forever, can it?

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: What’s weird is, if you watch HGTV’s House Hunters etc, which I do, all the places we used to think of as dollar cheap are now really fucking expensive.
    And after you buy a fixer upper in one of these countries/cities for $250K you then have to spend another $100K to make it comfortable/livable.
    It’s crazy seeing all these tiny places in Panama, Nicaragua, Argentina, etc go for so much damn money even when they look like they might chip apart.

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Leaving’s not an option for me, because of my parents and other extended family. But even if it weren’t for them, I wonder if I wouldn’t feel like living was letting the bastards win.
    ETA: but if I did, I think I’d head for the north of England. Or Switzerland, if money is no object in this fantasy

  59. 59

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Rereading the BLS report, I was incorrect about construction jobs improving, as they remained about the same and have been pretty stagnant for a while now. Though I didn’t mention mining that did increase last month and those are good paying jobs with bennies..

    As far as government jobs go, a bunch of those lost were temp census workers. Unless the republicans succeed in repealing a bunch of federal agencies with congressional mandates, the government will not consistently lose those over any period of time. This is a red herring, because the federal government is mandated by congrss to do certain things, and congress is obliged to give them the manpower to do them, at least at the federal level. The state level is a problem though with states highly strapped for cash. But that will taper off when the overall economy and job market improves.

    But any way you slice it, these jobs being created are better that they were for jobs created under Bush.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Agreed on all points. I don’t know why she doesn’t get more love here. I think she gets lumped in with “those bad Times columnists who aren’t Paul Krugman.”

    ETA: And she is forced to do those horrible dialogues with David Brooks. Although even in those she subtly manages to make him look like an idiot at least once or twice each time.

  61. 61
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Corner Stone: Really? No television so I’ll take your word for that.

    @Wilson Heath: Keep up that kind of vulgar invective and you’ll get yourself banned. Primly stoppers ears.

    @kdaug: I sure that’s true. I’m always surprised by folks who occasionally de-lurk, weigh in, and show they’ve been following every twist and turn of some byzantine flame war.

  62. 62
    mr. whipple says:

    Jeebus, doom and gloom, gloom and doom.

  63. 63
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @mclaren:

    I think your upside is really more of a downside, myself. I have a lot less faith in the post-production/free society/post-employment/whatever you want to call it future. Maybe it’s just because I associate it with a douchebag libertarian/futurist acquaintance of mine, but I think it’s just going to cause more suffering, more scarcity, and more inequality. The tragedy of the commons mixed with a healthy dose of anarchy, applied to the entire economy.

  64. 64

    @mclaren: Go fuck yourself. Your theories work fine in the airy-fairy world you live in, and yet you have the fucking internet, provided to you by the u.s. gov’t. when you go galt, we will celebrate the day, douchebag.

  65. 65
    Nellcote says:

    WaPoo needs to get their own house in order:

    Profit declines 67%

    Unions want same pay hike as publisher

  66. 66
    kdaug says:

    @mr. whipple: Bust out your sunshine ray-gun.

  67. 67
    Steeplejack says:

    @mclaren:

    Can’t remember who it was, but somebody wrote a great essay on the whole question of “Why can’t we, or when do we, reach that Star Trek point of people being beyond toiling full-time just to make enough money to live?” The post-scarcity mode.

    If fewer and fewer people are needed to make the stuff we actually need to live, then what do the rest of us do? Actually, I know what I would like to do. The question is, how do we “pay” for it or “meter” it or whatever?

    I have a feeling Iain M. Banks sort of glancingly touched on this in one of his Culture novels, but I can’t remember where. Actually, the Culture novels are a portrait of a post-scarcity society in the far future, but it seems like there was one point where he specifically dealt with the mechanics of it or how we got there. Seemed to involve really, really smart computers.

  68. 68
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    The banner ad I’m getting right now is just a work of art. “Whose budget is better for America-Paul Ryan or Barack Obama? Paid for by Friends of John Boehner.” Makes you wonder if they’d even let you pick the second option.

  69. 69
    Mandramas says:

    Well. I guess part of the umployment problem can be solved with monetary measures. Let the dollar devaluate; this will trigger a mass return of overseas Industrial capacity. (and a global crisis, but who cares about that)
    Factories means workers.
    In the meantime, increase regressive taxes, subside greener industries, upgrade non-oil dependent infrastructure like trains and hydroelectric dams. Pass laws that favor unions. Create new mass media that favor keynesian thinking. Of course, a president that try to do that will end with a double tap in his skull.

  70. 70
    Valdivia says:

    As someone who immigrated here, and became naturalized only a couple of years ago I ain’t going anywhere–even if I still have my old passport from down South of the border. I am staying to fight every single asshole til the end.

  71. 71
    Triassic Sands says:

    …ignorant sociopaths who care far more about impressing each other with their faux seriousness than about whether middle-class Americans live or die.

    In fairness, very few, if any, truly middle class people are threatened with death by Republican economic policies. However, the prospects for poor people are dire indeed. There are already dead poor people in Arizona as a result of that state’s Republican lawmakers’ change in Medicaid policy.

    Whenever cuts in Medicare are mentioned, the country is turned upside down with howls of protest. Unfortunately, proposed cuts in Medicaid, which will result in greatly increased suffering and death among the poor, create little of the outrage caused by proposed Medicare cuts.

    Since it is ridiculous to expect any Republican to protest harm to poor people, it is vital that Democrats from across the economic spectrum create Medicare-like protests on behalf of Medicaid recipients. No one has less influence in this country than a poor black woman, and she and other Americans living in poverty desperately need Democrats to show real empathy in fighting poor people hating Republicans — to the bitter end.

    In effect, the entire Republican Party is currently trying to behave as one big Death Panel and they must be stopped.

    Maybe it’s time to change GOP to GODP (Grand Old Death Panel).

  72. 72
    Yutsano says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Try it. Worst that happens is they kick a little more money to Tunch’s tuna fund

  73. 73

    @Valdivia:

    I am staying to fight every single asshole til the end.

    That’s the spirit :-)

  74. 74

    @Spaghetti Lee:
    I’ve been getting one from Rickards Review, which declares itself “The Internet’s Preeminent Conservative Blog”. Something tells me that when you’re the preeminent anything, you don’t have to put up blog ads trumpeting the fact.

  75. 75
    Mandramas says:

    @Steeplejack: Star Trek or the Culture are post scarcity societies. It is a kind of communism, except that the process uses embedded democracy to take decisions, and in the case of the culture, strong AI bureaucratic system.

  76. 76
    Valdivia says:

    @General Stuck:

    :)

    Yep. Obot that I am I reported for duty since 2004 and will keep on fighting all the way.

    ETA: or as I like to say Reconquista bitchez!

  77. 77
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Gretchen D:

    I do believe Krugman knows what he’s talking about (Nobel prize after all)

    Eh. There are a bunch of the freshwater wingnuts with Nobel Prizes, too. Krugman’s work on international trade was damned good, but the committee has fallen in love with plenty of complete crap, too.

    @jl:

    No one knows whether there is anything in reality that corresponds to soceity being at or close to a macro economic equilibrium most of the time. So economists are forced to guess.

    This is why I think finance is a more powerful analytical approach than economics. The concept of equilibria is so embedded in economics that it’s found itself in a bit of a dead end. Finance doesn’t use equilibria.

    Now, there are a lot of ways that finance[fn1] has gone wrong. The focus on the efficient markets hypothesis, or at least the stronger versions of it, has been idiotic, but it isn’t caught in the kind of straight-jacket that econ is.

    [fn1] I’m talking here about finance as an intellectual discipline rather than as an industry. The industry relies upon the discipline, but as a set of tools, it can be very useful.

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia: Yo tengo Bing! Bing?
    Bing!

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    Sorry. I had to water my peppers. If you know what I mean.

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I’m not sure why you’re angry with mclaren?

  81. 81
    kdaug says:

    @Valdivia:

    As someone who immigrated here… I am staying to fight every single asshole til the end.

    And that’s what makes America strong.

  82. 82
    Valdivia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    and I still have not had to call you to ask for bail money. Or had my brains eaten. :)

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack:

    “Why can’t we, or when do we, reach that Star Trek point of people being beyond toiling full-time just to make enough money to live?” The post-scarcity mode.

    Like the episode where the three people get rescued out of cryogenisis and the one asshole needs to call his lawyer to see to his investments and affairs.
    Capitalism may one day recede into the dustbin of history, but the idea that people seek equitable reward for their toil will never go away.
    If I grow these peppers while you spend your time fashioning leather saddles at some point we’re going to need a medium of exchange to agree.
    But should some outrageous amount of the medium flow to the coffers of a select few with special inside knowledge/connections?
    Obviously that’s where my inner anarchist peeks out.

  84. 84
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mandramas: We don’t have to trigger a worldwide crisis. Just deficit spend on infrastructure.

  85. 85
    Valdivia says:

    @kdaug:

    thanks/blushes.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia: I have to admit. When I read you were training for the Aqua-Velva I was intrigued to find out more.

  87. 87
    Valdivia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    LOL. Yeah between you and RedKitten, there is going to be a new sport classification on the internetz! The Aqua-Velva does kind of sound prurient though.

    Ask away, happy to answer.

  88. 88
    Bill Murray says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    The concept of equilibria is so embedded in economics that it’s found itself in a bit of a dead end.

    there’s lots of economics work that isn’t based around equilibrium, but that work does get short shrift com pared to DSGE

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia: Actually, I believe you live in the DC area? Right now the Museum Fine Arts Houston has on loan the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works ever from the National Gallery.
    I’ve been 5 times so far and may go another 3 before they leave.
    Ever seen them? It’s just mind blowing.
    My brain broke a few times being 18 inches away from Pont Neuf by Renoir.

  90. 90

    @Corner Stone: someday i will tell you about my trip to the houston museum on acid. this is not that day. :)

  91. 91
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: For absolutely no reason that made me think of this which is my favorite from this presentation.

  92. 92
    Valdivia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yes, I don’t go as often as I could but when I have been I can spend hours there. Just standing close by and gazing. And it’s free (soclaIism!). I could walk it or bike it, I’m close enough.

    I actually saw an exhibit here of Turner’s paintings a couple of years ago. On loan from museums all over the US and UK and Europe and it was truly amazing. He is one of my favorites if not fully appreciate as the grand masters are.

    PS hope you continue to enjoy them while they’re there.

  93. 93

    Daughter of two immigrants here. And I’m running for prez as a Republican. Fuck the birfers with a rusty pitchfork. They represent the dregs of our society.

  94. 94
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: ANCHOR BEBEH!!

    :)

  95. 95
    Valdivia says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    and when are you getting married with the wedding dress that looks like a flag? did I miss that? :)

  96. 96

    @asiangrrlMN: Oops. Sorry. Wrong rant. Fuck the VSP AND the birfers. Edited for clarity.

    @Valdivia: Soon! Planning a wedding is much more difficult than I realized.

    @Yutsano: Damn right, FH#2! Then again, so are you. You were born in Hawaii!

  97. 97
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Oh yeah. Fergot I’m the grandson of an achor bebeh meself.

  98. 98
    Valdivia says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    whew, I thought I’d missed it. Wouldn’t want to skip on the gift for you and, um, is it Yutsano who is marrying you?

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia: What would you buy them as a gift?
    I doubt the USPS favors delivering rusty pitchforks.

  100. 100

    @Yutsano: Yeah. You’re not off the hook, buddy.

    @Valdivia: Yep. It’s Yutsy I’m forcing to marry me who proposed to me in my moment of need. This is my engagement ring.

  101. 101
    Valdivia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    not even if it was minituarized? I was thinking of something very patriotically gaudy to go along with her dress, but I do remember a specific request from Yutsano, linking to a judaica site.

  102. 102
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Fine then. I demand Valdiva plan your bachelorette party. I expect nothing less than massive drunkeness and lewd sordid tales of rampant debauchery.

    (I less than three adjectives.)

    @Valdivia:

    Love the ring. For that price he should get you 2. You are a Republican now, you have to splurge

    AHEM!! You do realize I am only a GS-5 rite?

  103. 103
    Valdivia says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I hope this does not interfere with that other guy who asked you for some space and then moved out of country ;)

    Love the ring. For that price he should get you 2. You are a Republican now, you have to splurge.

    @Yutsano:
    since you volunteered me I am going to go all latina on your asses for that party. Mucho rum, and tacky cumbia-pop.

  104. 104

    @Corner Stone: Don’t need any more of those! I got plenty. Valdivia can get me this. I’ll need it for the campaign.

  105. 105
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Mandramas:
    And there’s obviously a shit load of technological advancement as well in Star Trek (aside from teh usual SF AI cliches): weather manipulation, FTL travel, replicators, etc. There have been plenty of references in Star Trek to humanity overcoming a lot of its problems in the time right after First Contact-between the Eugenics Wars/WW3 and TOS.

    So to sum Star Trek up, we have:
    1. Two massive world wide conflicts
    2. Alien first contact
    3. New technologies that…well, make a future utopian society possible.
    4. Note that I’ve said nothing about AI with regards to Star Trek.

  106. 106

    @Yutsano: That would be sooooo cool. But, the wedding is going to be in Austin (bluest part of Texas), so we’ll all have to gather there.

    @Valdivia: He UNDERSTANDS my NEEDS. He will UNDERSTAND–ooooooh, Alan Rickman!

  107. 107
    Valdivia says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    chokes on the price tag/ but sure, can I deduct it as a political contribution?

    Also–will the bachelorette party in latin themes interfere with your platform of immigrant deportation and xenophobia?

    @Yutsano:
    umm, citizens united? what do you think those campaign contributions are for? ;)

  108. 108

    these late night threads are made for the phrase “I’m 12 and what is this?”

  109. 109

    @Valdivia: Deduct away! And, as to your second question–nope. I’m a Republican. I can get away with all that hypocritical shit.

    @Yutsano: Overtime! Or find yourself a rich sugar daddy. Makes no difference to me.

    @arguingwithsignposts: I re-linked the slam poet you linked earlier. I really dug it. And, I’m glad you’re still happy with the Somebody. How’s Lady Smudge?

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    But, the wedding is going to be in Austin (bluest part of Texas), so we’ll all have to gather there.

    Excuse me? Does Austin have a thespian for a mayor like H-Town does?

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Just ride the flow of the Guadaloooop with us kid. No harm, no foul.

  112. 112

    @Corner Stone: We all know austin is only blue if you subtract all the legislators, amirite? Also, we know the lebanese don’t vote.

  113. 113
    Valdivia says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    totally forgot you Republicans don’t process cognitive dissonance.

  114. 114

    @Corner Stone: No. But, it can’t be OBVIOUSLY blue–if you see what I’m saying.

  115. 115

    FYWP!

    @Valdivia: More to the point, our constituents don’t give a shit. I’m golden! And, rum is about the only alky-hol I like.

    @Corner Stone: No. None of it is expensive elegant enough.

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia: I was thinking you should get her something like this.
    So she could gaudify all on her own.

  117. 117
    Valdivia says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    So get ready for Fanny Lu.

    Just a little sample of the musical selection for the party.

    You can start hating me now. You’re welcome. :)

  118. 118
    Corner Stone says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Hmmm. Ok. Expect one extremely handsome Texan to crash the joint then.

    Me. In case anyone was confused. It’s me I’m talking about.

  119. 119
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Steeplejack:

    fewer and fewer people are needed to make the stuff we actually need to live

    You can thank coal, oil, and gas for this. We’ve been living in a dream world of growth. It’s coming to an end.

  120. 120
    Valdivia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    good idea. though those women don’t look like they would be much help. I trust she can gaudify without their help though.

    ETA–OMG the shopper comments on that site! How did you find this??

  121. 121
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Valdivia: Good for you! Keep fighting, but stay north of the Bio Bio! Those Mapuche are tough.

  122. 122

    @Valdivia: As long as it’s not Asian pop, I’m good.

    OK. The more I listen to this, the more I need to drink. Heavily.

    @Corner Stone: Crash? Hells no. All BJ commenters are INVITED! Yutsy’s paying. But, no open bar. I know how most people around here drink. First five drinks are free. After that, people need to pony up.

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia: Sadly, I was googling for “bedazzle” which I vaguely remember was the craze where people added fake jewels to purses and etc.
    Somehow, most links led back to where Jennifer Love Hewitt had “bedazzled” her private area.
    Which, ummm, actually excited me less than I otherwise would’ve thought it would.
    So…there’s that..and all.

  124. 124
    Valdivia says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    yep, though I like the name Araucan better.

    @asiangrrlMN:
    I’m telling you Vallenato and Cumbia-pop are killers, No matter how pretty the girl who sings it.

  125. 125
    Yutsano says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Somehow, most links led back to where Jennifer Love Hewitt had “bedazzled” her private area.

    Not for nothing, but she is back on the market.

  126. 126
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    As long as it’s not Asian pop, I’m good.

    Hee.

  127. 127
    Corner Stone says:

    Fuck it. I’m making nachos. Who’s in?

  128. 128

    @Valdivia: Pretty much like Asian pop. To be fair, there is some decent Asian pop. However, most of it sucks.

    @Yutsano: You’re lucky I’ve seen that before or you would owe me THREE rings.

    @Corner Stone: ME. Since it’s virtual, I don’t have to worry about my little lactose-intolerance problem.

  129. 129
    Valdivia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    she did what? really? Ghostwhisperer lady did that?

    The fact you had that reaction is a good sign. Me thinks.

    @asiangrrlMN: don’t get me wrong, I actually love me some Fanny Lu. I mean they’re killers because they get in your ear and won’t come out. Also–for me, there is just an innate desire to move my hips to this music. Must be growing up with it.

    @Corner Stone: me too, since it’s virtual and I can partake of virtual calories.

  130. 130
    Yutsano says:

    @Corner Stone: I’ll partake. I’m noshing chocolate, but hey always room for nachos amirite?

    (Note to self: get jack cheese at store tomorrow.)

  131. 131

    @Valdivia: Linked for you without comment.

    Pop: I don’t like much poppy-pop in general, so you have to take that into account.

    @Yutsano: Ooooooh! Chocolate!

  132. 132
    Valdivia says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    see I get educated here is what I do. :)

    ok just saw that it’s kind of disturbing. no wonder Corner reacted the way he did.

    I am a pop addict from a young age, still can’t quit it. My iPod holds my shame.

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    I make kick ass nachos, people. Chicken, fajita beef and ground beef varieties.
    Maybe I’ll set up a nacho bar for the upcoming nuptials.

    ETA, but that may be too ethnic for the crowd?
    Maybe for the after-party.

  134. 134
    Valdivia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    sounds yum. Though I think I am going off to sleep.
    have a fun night people, and don’t misbehave too much.

    ethnic? nachos?

  135. 135
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m actually cooking dinner for Mother’s Day tomorrow at my house. King Ranch Chicken ftw.

  136. 136

    @Valdivia: No kidding. The fact that it has a name is downright skeeery.

    ETA: Nachos are ethnic to Republicans. Night.

    @Corner Stone: Definitely after-party, CS. We can’t disturb the image of perfect Republican wedding. Meat and potatoes for the wedding, methinks.

  137. 137
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia: Not “white glove” enough for the upscale donors…I mean “guests”.

  138. 138
    Valdivia says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    ok got it. But how can you have a Real American wedding without bacon? and fried food?

    I confess that after waiting 38 years to have bacon I am now a bacon/pork fiend and insist on having it on all occasions.I know, I know my jewish ancestors roll in their graves.

    @Corner Stone:
    ha! donors, guests. same thing! :)

  139. 139

    @Valdivia: Shit. You’re right. I don’t like bacon, but it must be added to the list. BIG sigh. And, yeah, lotsa fried foods. And biscuits. And beer, I guess. HAMBURGERS. You don’t get more ‘Murikan than that.

    @Corner Stone: For your mother, I assume? And, my patsies guests will definitely be monied high-toned, fer sure. The BJ crowd will be cordoned off in a corner. Stone.

    ETA: After watching fifteen minutes of the first Republican debate, I can honestly say that I would add some pizazz (not to be confused with vazazz) to the whole procedure.

    I can also say that Rick Santorum needs a good punch to the neck.

  140. 140
    Valdivia says:

    ok y’all off to reload on pain meds and see if I can find a position that doesn’t kill my back.

    see you in the morrow. happy mothers day.

  141. 141
    Yutsano says:

    @Valdivia:

    ethnic? nachos?

    Ooh I gets to tell a story!

    Circa 1945 the owner of a Mexican restaurant in the town on the Mexican side of the border from Laredo (I fergot the name) Piedas Negras, was just getting ready to close up for the night. Right about then a group of military wives came in and asked if there was any food left. Only having leftover chips, cheese, onions, and peppers, the owner scrambled for something to feed the hungry ladies. The result? Chips with some cheese melted on top with onions and peppers. The owner of the restaurant? Ignacio Anaya. Nicknamed the diminutive and familiar version of Ignacio, Nacho. Hence a new culinary idea took form.

    /culinary anthrpologist

    EDIT: Thank U Teh Google!

    @asiangrrlMN: Meatloaf. Macaroni and cheese. Peanut butter on celery sticks. Can’t get much more American than these three things.

  142. 142

    @Valdivia: Night, Valdivia. Feel better. Maybe you need to vazzaz your vavajay?

    @Yutsano: See, now I’ve heard the same story about late night in a Chinese restaurant. The owner throws together all the leftovers and called it chop suey–meaning leftovers. Is it true? Who knows and who cares?

  143. 143
    Valdivia says:

    @Yutsano:

    loves that story. Thanks!

    @asiangrrlMN:
    night. thanks. go punch Santorum so hard he sees double.

    Good luck with the cooking Corner Stone.

  144. 144
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Well chap sui does mean leftovers in Cantonese. (Somewhat free translation, YMMV.) However the dish is not Chinese in origin. It comes from the expatriate restaurant kitchens of San Francisco.

  145. 145

    @Yutsano: Dat’s what I meant. That it was started in the US and basically thrown together in desperation. That it’s not Chinese at all. I think it’s funny that there’s a similar story for nachos.

  146. 146
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Actually from what I understand of the history of chop suey it was a dish designed for Americans to eat in order to expand their customer base. But they had to leave out a lot of the traditional Chinese elements to sell it. It worked though.

  147. 147
    The Raven says:

    @General Stuck: “the trend is positive to lower those [unemployment] numbers all around.”

    Prosperity, it seems, is just around the corner.

    Or maybe not.

    Delong: “At this pace it will take more than six more years for the employment-to-population ratio to get back to it’s level of 2007.”

    Reich: “Yes, 244,000 jobs were added in March — but that’s chicken feed. We’d need 300,000 a month, every month for the next five years, simply to get unemployment back under 6 percent.”

    Thoma: “the prospects of five or more years until we return to full employment is not an attractive outcome.”

    And this all assumes that nothing else–like budget cuts or more trouble with the financial system–acts to reduce employment in those years.

    You’re wrong. Give it up.

  148. 148
    daveNYC says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    So to sum Star Trek up, we have:
    1. Two massive world wide conflicts
    2. Alien first contact
    3. New technologies that…well, make a future utopian society possible. Magic.
    4. Note that I’ve said nothing about AI with regards to Star Trek.

    I fixed that for you.

  149. 149
    Steeplejack says:

    @Yutsano:

    Damn you! Earwormed by Bonnie Pink. I’m a sucker for a good beat and some boomy bass.

  150. 150
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: Not really because once the benefits stop, no one counts you. And repeating something I’ve said many places, many times: Not everyone got 99 weeks of benefits. If your state-wide UI number went down, the extended Federal benefits stopped. Mine stopped after I hit a year unemployed because of a two-tenths of a percent drop in the state-wide percentage.

    The VSP just want us to die and disappear.

  151. 151
    General Stuck says:

    @The Raven:

    Prosperity, it seems, is just around the corner.

    Stop putting words in my mouth, you fucking brain dead firebagger. I said nothing about “prosperity”. I said the trend was positive.

    You’re wrong. Give it up.

    Jane at the mothership is calling you. Give it up

  152. 152
    PurpleGirl says:

    @General Stuck: Two years after losing my job, I still don’t have one. Of course, who wants to hire a 59-year-old with experience.

    Are there jobs in your area? Can I move in with you? Do you have the money to pay for a move across county?

  153. 153
    General Stuck says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    I am truly sorry for your plight Purplegirl, and there is no doubt things are fucked up for a lot of people out of work. And whatever positive trends happening right now, are mostly for short term political effect to maybe help dems stay in office long enough to keep whatever meager gains going. The wingnuts in power will surely bring it all down.

    It took at least 30 years for the wingnuts to screw it all up, and it’s going to take more than a few years to unscrew it, though the jury is still out whether it CAN be unscrewed up without an economic collapse, and all of us are up shit creek without a paddle. :)

  154. 154
    rea says:

    We’re in a situation where every single person who got a passing grade in my Intro to Macroeconomics course back in ’73 knew what to do, and we can’t summon up the political will to do it. Deficit spend at the bottom of the business cycle, austerity at the top, not the other way around. It’s not just us–they’re even crazier in Europe. NeoHooverism, for crying out loud–the world has gone insane in my old age . . .

  155. 155
    bob h says:

    The WaPo is Very Serious Person central — much more so than the Times

    The Times being limited to having the ultimate arbiter of VSP status – David Brooks

  156. 156
    jinxtigr says:

    Mclaren’s interesting today. I like the idea of post-scarcity. I’m extremely ‘poor’ by USA standards, but my mode of existence is positively Star Trek Next Gen compared to even my grandparents, and my grandfather was a Chevrolet lesser vice president…

    The constraints to this post-scarcity thing are:

    -space

    -tribalism

    Space means you can’t manufacture more land until we’re terraforming planets or plugging people into the Matrix. Physical land property is a limited resource that’s largely already accounted for. As population grows, we get pressure on this resource

    Tribalism means even if everybody’s fed and housed, they want to belong to something and ‘the family of man’ is too big to count. We get tribes by location, tribes by belief system, tribes that define themselves by hostility to other tribes- this isn’t going to go away, and population increase simply means that whoever ‘you’ are, whatever tribe you’re in, you’re increasingly outnumbered and marginalized. EVERYBODY is. It’s the nature of the beast. A tribe can only be a certain size and as population grows, the pool from which you get ‘everybody else’ grows and stuff starts popping up that’s alarming to you.

    We have to solve tribalism by letting things localize and allowing for alarming outliers somehow, and we can’t solve space without getting off-planet or suffering species die-offs, which would be really traumatic no matter how it occurs.

    But thinking about it beats the piss out of moping over peak oil or the morass of our pathetic politics.

  157. 157
    The Raven says:

    @General Stuck: “I said nothing about “prosperity”. I said the trend was positive.”

    Mark Thoma headlined the employment / population ratio this morning. (Delong always has it up.) If there’s a trend there, it’s a very small one. He comments, “When this ratio begins regaining lost ground consistently, I’ll be more optimistic about the state of the labor market.”

    Why do you believe? The numbers do not support you. (Data gained by torturing the numbers is not reliable.)

  158. 158
    General Stuck says:

    @The Raven:

    Why do you believe?

    LOL, not you or your FDL pals. A second Obama term is going to drive you fire bagging fruit loops around the bend. I will be laughing at you all the way. Torture that number.

  159. 159
    slag says:

    I’d like it if our liberal elites could at least be liberal.

    I like this idea. But I don’t think many of them know how. Even in those rare times they come from the left, they end up sounding Republican because, instead of criticizing Democratic policy from a reality angle, they criticize Democratic policy-makers from a Real American angle. Not helping.

    The problem is that we’ve taken the ideas and impacts out of politics and made it a simple personality contest. Everywhere. Not just in the Village. At some point, the Miss America pageant will have more room for nuance and complexity than will our national elections.

  160. 160
    The Raven says:

    @General Stuck: “A second Obama term is going to drive you fire bagging fruit loops around the bend.”

    If it would make the employment and wage numbers better, I would not care; you can croak at my expense. It’s a fool who prefers to being right to being happy and healthy.

    But there is no reason to believe the employment and wage numbers will be better. Why do you believe it, or at least say you do?

    I can see two possible reasons:

    1. You trust Obama in the face of all facts that say otherwise. To this I say that the hominid impulse to trust kings and presidents is deeply undemocratic and untrustworthy.

    2. Spite. If this is your motivation, you are contributing to the deceptions which are keeping anyone from acting, just as the Post authors which Krugman slams are. Spiting me is a poor reason to feed this monster.

    Γνῶθι σεαυτόν!

  161. 161
    General Stuck says:

    @The Raven:

    There is one more option, You are full of shit. And so is Krugman and the other idiots you mention. You are just pissed, as is Krugman, that Krugman turned out to be wrong. So we get this pissing and moaning about it should be 300,000 thousand a month, instead of 244,000. Now isn’t that the real reason ? That and covering the arse of one of yer prog heroes?

    It is you who are making this absurd argument out of spite and mistrust for Obama. Not the other way around. You and your stupid Crow schtick.

    Don’t waste my time with the pitiful concern trolling.

  162. 162
    The Raven says:

    @General Stuck: “There is one more option, You are full of shit.”

    You still haven’t answered why you believe otherwise. Not listening to facts from birds who disagree with you is a fools stance. The St. Louis Fed? Is it full of shit, too? They’re the ones who provide the employment/population numbers. Mark Thoma? Brad Delong? Rob Reich? The numbers are what they are, and cannot honestly be gainsaid.

    It’s best to “side with the truth. It is much, much bigger than you are.” If you care about your own intellectual integrity, stand down.

  163. 163
    General Stuck says:

    @The Raven:

    Go away clown troll. You got nothin’. Except butthurt of being wrong. I believe otherwise, because the numbers don’t lie as you say. The jobs trend is positive, and predicted by most non butthurt prog economists to trend even more positive, in spite of high gas prices.

    244,000 is the well above the 100,000 to 150.000 number of new jobs to keep pace with population growth. And only a moron would think that is a bad report, for the past 3 months and not a positive trend.

    And no matter what anyone does at this point in time, it is going to take years to recover all the lost jobs. We don’t need wizard economists to tell us that. And Paul Krugman’s hissy fits over being proven wrong about the too small stimulus will not change that fact.

    You aren’t too bright, are you? Get back to me when you have something, you just don’t right now, other than sour grapes.

  164. 164
    General Stuck says:

    Hack FDL trolls, are hack trolls. yawn

  165. 165
    The Raven says:

    @General Stuck: So now we get down to it. You agree with the WaPo. Nothing can be done because we might have to admit we we wrong, and perhaps because you might have to admit that Obama is not perfect, and anyone who disagrees with you is a poopy-head.

    “Get back to me when you have something”

    The St. Louis Fed, Mark Thoma, Brad Delong, Rob Reich, Paul Krugman, are something. What do you have other than name-calling and belief in Obama?

    “And no matter what anyone does at this point in time, it is going to take years to recover all the lost jobs.”

    A stimulus would still work. The arguments are as valid as they were in 2008.

    “The jobs trend is positive”

    For values of positive that includes no further problems for the next six years, and the replacement of decently-paying jobs with good health care with poor-paying jobs with no health care (you don’t even mention that), and a huge regressive tax increase (otherwise known as a health-care mandate) kicking in four years out.

    As you value your intellectual integrity and reputation, stand down.

  166. 166
    General Stuck says:

    @The Raven:

    So now we get down to it. You agree with the WaPo. Nothing can be done because we might have to admit we we wrong, and perhaps because you might have to admit that Obama is not perfect, and anyone who disagrees with you is a poopy-head.

    No, I don’t agree with the Wapo, and was only commenting on Krugman’s and his acolytes slamming a good jobs report from a dem administration. I could read the same swill on any number of republican publications.

    My only point was the trend is positive. That is all I stated. And that trend is expected to continue, despite what Wapo says, or Krugman or any other number of Ivory Tower brainiacs who all are certain their ideas are the only ones that will work. And it is the height of chickenshit punditry for someone like Robert Reich to state that ‘244.000 new jobs is chickenfeed” as opposed to 300,000 . I mean WTF. And he is wrong that these were Macdonald’s type jobs. Just flat wrong.

    And my “intellectual integrity” is standing up straight, unlike PUMA vichy dems that might as well be messaging for the republicans. Now STFU, and crawl back to FDL for your troll cookie of the day.

  167. 167
    somethingblue says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You had me at “delenda.”

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