Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Open Thread

This new poll showing Dems closing the enthusiasm gap can't possibly have any grounding in reality, and was probably sponsored by NPR, George Soros, and anonymous union cash from health care workers, plumbers, and janitors who won't disclose their identities because they don't want to be publicly associated with their secret pro-labor agenda.

By Greg Sargent  | October 23, 2010; 9:37 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: Sunday Open Thread

Comments

Canadians, I know for an absolute fact, were in on it too.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Bernie said last night: "And Obama had and continues to have a real problem in this regard. How can he, as a responsible President, accept and validate the framing that the nation has no other destiny than hate-filled and intractable division?"

What is the farthest you would go in counteracting this?

"I'll make the point again that this framing isn't merely a wonderful example of post-modern thought (no objectivity possible, or 'everything is political' as the frenchies held) but it is a necessary justification for the modern right's broad engagement in propaganda mechanisms. As Norquist said, in a moment of honesty, the non-conservative media thinks it ought to be fair while the rightwing media "is self-consciously conservative and self-consciously part of the team."

How is The Nation, The New Republic, Mother Jone or even The Plum Line any different a "propaganda mechanism"?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@troll

My education, what with tuition, books and lost income totaled something close to a tenth of a million (less about 20 g thanks to a very smart Canadian government program running at the time). I'd be happy to set to a project of getting you (or anyone else here) up to speed on the subject you wish to learn more about but it would be only fair if you paid me for the significant labor involved. For a very reasonable one thousand US, I'll set you up with substantial curricula including reading and essay projects (I'll critique and grade for you). Just let me know.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Why did we let the Conservatives convince America that "pro labor" is a bad word that we should be ashamed of? Pro labor is pro American worker and pro middle class. Labor like it or not is how we closed the economic gap and how the middle class in this nation came to be. You can see as labor declines so does jobs for American workers.

It's incredible to me how these conservative rhetoric machines have convinced people that the very influences that got me what I have are bad and shouldn't be there for the next man. How many of these people were public educated? Used grants and student loans? Yet they work to make us a 3rd world country by decreasing the literacy rate and making it so only people with money can go to college under the pretense of keeping us from becoming a 3rd world country...

I guess that's the logic you learn at Beck university...

Posted by: soapm | October 23, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Bernie,

I have no idea what you are talking about? Can you be more explicit?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Caught a bit of a debate last night between Wyden and Huffman (Oregon senate race). As is the ubiquitous case, when asked what specific cuts Huffman would make to bring about his budget goals, no answer was forthcoming..."Look, the real issue here is (fill in blank with anything but an answer)"

When pressed, he said, "Well, I'd cut a million for research on ants".

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"I have no idea what you are talking about?"

OK. It looks as if you might take rather more attention than an average student. Let's peg the course (Propaganda Basics) at 2000 rather than 1000. Check would be payable to Latham University. We'll do it online so you don't have to go out in the rain.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Bernie,  are you saying that to "understand"' your argument I would have to duplicate your education?  If that's the case, why even post comments like that?  I suspect no one here has exactly your educational background and is therefore not your "equal" in your understanding of "propaganda".  Since that is the case, isn't your commenting on a subject with which no one is your intellectual equal more a case of you demonstrating your superiority?  Why do you feel the need to do that?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Today's poem:

Past hallows eve, pray Coons remains
It's that or mice with human brains

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@troll - Last comment to you. There have been one or two conservatives I've bumped into on this blog who were not fully steeped in modern conservative ideology with its cliches and ideas so fixed as to be unavailable for reflection. It's not a matter of "equality". It's a matter of being able to change or alter fundamental notions that marks the ideologue. I have no confidence that you or nearly every other conservative making contributions here could manage this. Not a single one of you, I suspect, could arrive at a conclusion that there is no "liberal media" as you people define it regardless of the amount of evidence that I or anyone else might offer up. It is too fundamental to your worldview. Thus I'm not going to bother. You should understand that when I write about modern manifestations and techniques and evidences of 'propaganda', I'm not talking to you.

You'll find all of this arrogant, I'm sure, and I'm unbothered by that consequence.

So, we end off here.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Republicans keep waging a War on NPR. That will arouse more drowsy progressives, and get them to the polls.

I only wish we could find someway to get the Republicans to also declare War on Sesame Street.

Please please Senator DeMinted; start calling NPR and PBS The Axis Of Civility.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

leichtman,

"Interesting I have not read one condemnation of that radical and dangerous statment by a GOP Congressional candidate."

------

I wouldn't worry too much. You'll pick up the slack and then some.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Bernie said; "You should understand that when I write about modern manifestations and techniques and evidences of 'propaganda', I'm not talking to you."

Then to whom are you talking to?  If no one has your educational background, who here can comprehend you when you write about "propaganda"?  Wouldn't even agreement with you be a demonstration of ignorance because of a lack of your understanding?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

When does the new comment system take hold?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 23, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Newsweek poll has consistently had better numbers for Dems. Can't help but notice they are calling cellphones (about 1/3 of their respondents were reached on cells). I know pollsters who don't call cells have methods for weighting and compensating for this effect, but I wonder if the quality is better when actually calling cell phones.

Posted by: jbossch | October 23, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham wrote,
"There have been one or two conservatives
I've bumped into on this blog who were not fully steeped in modern conservative ideology with its cliches and ideas so fixed as to be unavailable for reflection. It's not a matter of "equality". It's a matter of being able to change or alter fundamental notions that marks the ideologue. I have no confidence that you or nearly every other conservative making contributions here could manage this."
------

This is what comes of spending too much time in echo chambers. Replace the three uses of the word "conservative(s)" in this screed with "liberal" and you have a spot-on description of Bernie and many of his cronies here. But he is so oblivious to the irony, that he doesn't even want to discuss the matter. LOL.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Wherever you got your education, Bernie, that's an astute framing of Obama's dilemma. And it speaks to the nature of the man and his sense of responsibility that he doesn't shrug it off in this time of brickbats on both sides and deep cynicism on one.

I would add that after the smoke of the election clears, we may want to look again at Obama's long distance, closing-sprint running style and see how it played this time. And we might also want to address the question of whether the constant criticism of this administration from parts of the left was good politics.

Posted by: AllButCertain | October 23, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

When does the new comment system take hold?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 23, 2010 11:03 AM
-----

I haven't noticed any difference, but Kevin seems to be missing in action. Since he's one of the young whippersnappers here, I'm assuming nothing's happened to him. Whenever the whiners get their way with blog format changes, the unintended consequence is nearly always that some of the most valuable voices cease to participate, whereas any of the "undesirables" who want to go to the bother can always find a way in.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

hope the Republicans keep waging a War on NPR. That will arouse more drowsy progressives, and get them to the polls.

I only wish we could find someway to get the Republicans to also declare War on Sesame Street.

Please please Senator DeMinted; start calling NPR and PBS The Axis Of Civility.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 10:54 AM
-----

That's a winner. Nothing gets the voters all fired up like attacking NPR.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

soapm - thanks for that cogent comment.

You'd think it might seep into a few neandertal brains that when Bill O'Reilly praises his working-class dad as a stand-up guy (or when Chris Matthews or the late Tim Russert did the same), that perhaps we should question their "conventional wisdom" that labor is less important than wealth and that those who perform it are overpaid.

After all, none of those guys would have ever made it to college if not for the fact that we used to have a middle class that you could belong to even if you didn't have a college degree (while these days it's a struggle even if you DO have one). Their dads were all paid well enough that they could support families with one income and afford to send their kids to college as well. These days, not so much. Why is that? And why do those same pundits who benefitted from having parents who were fairly compensated now insist that guys who have the same types of jobs today are lazy bums who are overpaid? If they truly honored their fathers' legacies, why are they so hostile to their fathers' modern counterparts?

I know for my part, my own father, whose dad died during the Great Depression with the consequence that he, his sister, and his mother spent several years living in a chicken coop, would never have made it into the middle class if not for the GI Bill which allowed him to go to college. And since I came of age at the time Reagan managed to convince many others (people of O'Reilly's, Matthews', and Russert's generation) who went to college in part on the government dime that being able to keep "their money" so as to have more money for the latest consumer gadget that the education of people in my generation was something they shouldn't be expected to contribute to, if my dad hadn't gone to college and saved money, I wouldn't have been able to go, either.

Maybe it's shame that makes them attack people like their parents. Maybe it's greed. But it doesn't really matter in terms of the big picture - what really matters is being able to recognize the hypocrisy. Which those on the right are utterly unable to do.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@Liam

I don't think, given the very small portion of funding NPR receives which DeMint et al might reduce, that there's any risk to the network. Particularly given its growth and widespread popularity (and loyalty of that audience).

But I think that misses the real function of these outcries. And that is the further angering of the conservative base against non-conservative media generally. This has been an on-going campaign for three decades and these folks perceive an opportunity here to simply stoke that anger further.

Also, as I noted on last night's thread, Greenwald has an absolutely brilliant piece on the Williams matter that brings up a quite separate - but deeply important - issue. I hope everyone reads it.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/10/22/muslims/index.html

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Joe Conason:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joe_conason/2010/10/21/kochtopus/index.html

"Nobody was supposed to talk about the meeting, as the brochure's “Confidentiality and Security” section emphasizes, so nobody was meant to know that Krauthammer, Ponnuru, Barone, Moore and Beck were flown out to Aspen, lodged in luxury accommodations, and presumably paid a handsome honorarium by Koch to entertain and enlighten the would-be saviors of the Republic. But now we know. So where are the guardians of media integrity, who made so much noise about the innocuous jawing of the liberals on Journolist?"
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 23, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sosuYG-VcnQ&feature=player_embedded

I think I have solved the mystery of where all those Tea Party candidates came from. The same lab that transferred human brains into mice, also swapped the mice brains into Tea Party Candidates.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn: How is The Nation, The New Republic, Mother Jone or even The Plum Line any different a "propaganda mechanism"?

The main difference is that faux news has a platform orders of magnitude larger than any advocacy group. Plus, as your quote states, "As Norquist said, in a moment of honesty, the non-conservative media thinks it ought to be fair while the rightwing media "is self-consciously conservative and self-consciously part of the team.""

So partly it is an issue of scale. Just like the 10 to 1 republican advantage in undisclosed funding raising and spending. Its the golden rule...he who has the gold makes the rules. Usually those rules overwhelmingly favor those with the most assets, whether they are individuals or corporations.

So the corporate controlled MSM companies like every other large multinational corporations have an inherent interest in keeping corporations firmly in charge of the media and political environment.

There is no need for conscious conspiracy. Self censorship is rampant...Note the lack of reporting on corporate tax payments, vs corporate income vs how many hundreds of billions being sheltered in off shore subsidiaries or funneled to corporate po boxes in the Caymans...In the age of budget deficits, this should be front page news every day. Look at IRS fraud, concentrated among the top 2% of all income earners. 100s of billions in uncollected taxes over the years because of the underfunding of the IRS investigative unit. In a just world, anyone with an income over 250K should have their tax returns receive extra scrutiny because they are the most likely to file the extended 1040 and load up on questionable deductions and commit major tax dodging. 80% of people pay the majority of their taxes through automatic payroll deductions for SS and medicare....Little opportunity for fraud there.

Note that Norquist doesn't refer to the progressive media because it is so small that itbarely registers...And what is the "non-conservative media?" See above at the unconscious corporate bias and self censorship that happens when corporations control all of the MSM.

Posted by: srw3 | October 23, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Hi ABC!

And thanks. When one side, regardless of who wins elections, takes on the ideological stance that rejects any political notions or policies not aligned with that exclusivist ideology (as Norquist put it) "bipartisanship is date rape" this makes governance nearly impossible. It's no small problem and I truly don't know how we'll get through the next ten years without something quite unhappy coming to pass. That may be overly negative, of course, and I hope it is.

Smooches.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

You'd think it might seep into a few neandertal brains that when Bill O'Reilly praises his working-class dad as a stand-up guy (or when Chris Matthews or the late Tim Russert did the same), that perhaps we should question their "conventional wisdom" that labor is less important than wealth and that those who perform it are overpaid.

. . .

Maybe it's shame that makes them attack people like their parents. Maybe it's greed. But it doesn't really matter in terms of the big picture - what really matters is being able to recognize the hypocrisy. Which those on the right are utterly unable to do.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 11:12 AM
-------

I haven't heard O'Reilly make the case that labor is unimportant or that those who perform it are overpaid. But you probably watch him a lot more than I do.

If you want the value of labor in the private sector to be driven by supply and demand, which was a staple of union rationale in the old days, forget about the outsourcing of unskilled labor---you'll never be able to stop it---and focus on throwing the book at companies who hire illegal immigrants and fire politicians who continually enable big business to import highly skilled workers from places like India because they supposedly can't find any American workers to do the jobs. The best move is to educate and develop a strong work force with skills valuable in today's economy and force companies to use it. If they want foreign workers, let them go ahead and move their companies to the foreign country.

Even on the low end of the labor scale---how can a lawn service move to Mexico and mow lawns in St. Paul? How can beans and berries in California get picked by workers in Mexico? They can't. Force the companies to stop hiring illegals or shut them down. Will this be inflationary? No doubt. But if you can't pay the freight then pick your own berries or mow your own lawn.

As for the G.I. Bill, et al., believe it or not, even a conservative cretin like me does not deny much of your argument. But there is a balancing act, as with labor and management, that must be maintained for effectiveness. Governmnent programs and spending have gotten out of hand and the Great Society produced generations of government dependents. The new unions, which are little more than wings of the Democratic party, haven't had to work very hard to get government wages and benefits above those in the private sector. But if the private sector falls too far behind, who's going to pay the taxes that provide wages to the government employees? Rich people just don't have that much money.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Srw3,

Bernie used National Review and The Weekly Standard as examples and I countered with The Nation, TNR, Mother Jones and even The Plum Line. I, nor he, never discussed FOX News. That being said, I'm guessing it Bernie would include it as being part of the "Grand Design."

I'm curious though, reading your comment gives the impression (at least to me) that we are now in the hands of a "plutocracy". If that's the case, what would be your outermost limit in extricating us from it?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"After all, none of those guys would have ever made it to college if not for the fact that we used to have a middle class that you could belong to even if you didn't have a college degree (while these days it's a struggle even if you DO have one). Their dads were all paid well enough that they could support families with one income and afford to send their kids to college as well."

___________________________________________

I would point out that while wages have more or less kept pace with inflation, college tuition has increased at a rate well above inflation.

One possible explanation has been the subsidization of student loans. The subsidy was supposed to go to the student, but colleges just raised prices, so the policy intent of making college accessible ended up making it more expensive. Unintended consequences again.

BTW, the highest paid person at Harvard for years was the guy who ran the endowment fund.

Posted by: sold2u | October 23, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

brigade: "If you want the value of labor in the private sector to be driven by supply and demand, which was a staple of union rationale in the old days, forget about the outsourcing of unskilled labor---you'll never be able to stop it---and focus on throwing the book at companies who hire illegal immigrants and fire politicians who continually enable big business to import highly skilled workers from places like India because they supposedly can't find any American workers to do the jobs. The best move is to educate and develop a strong work force with skills valuable in today's economy and force companies to use it. If they want foreign workers, let them go ahead and move their companies to the foreign country."

The horses are already out of the barn, as there have been hundreds of thousands of jobs requiring higher education that have been outsourced already. Engineering jobs, financial management jobs, accounting jobs, IT and software development jobs....the list goes on.

As far as "let me go ahead and move to a foreign country," maybe there should be some legislation that requires a company to have a majority of their workforce here in order to be considered a US corporation for tax purposes and other considerations.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | October 23, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

bernie wrote:

"I don't think, given the very small portion of funding NPR receives which DeMint et al might reduce, that there's any risk to the network. Particularly given its growth and widespread popularity (and loyalty of that audience)."

Aren't we long past the point that ANY funding should spent on NPR and/or PBS?

I still tune in from time and I can't imagine anything seen on PBS that wouldn't survive on a commercial network. This is a classic example that when the government begins to fund something, it will fund it forever, no matter that the need disapperars with changing times.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Brigade - well then, let's be honest.

Reagan's immigration reform didn't succeed because the Chamber of Commerce - they who are currently working so hard to buy the election - successfully lobbied to shield employers from responsibility or consequences for hiring illegal immigrants. With the entirely predictable result that soon, companies like Tyson and Smithfield were actively recruiting illegal immigrants in Mexico - even bussing them in - to take what had formerly been (in the case of meat-packing) jobs that paid living wages to American workers.

Did you know that Smithfield, the larger pork processor in the world, has an agreement with INS that they will give up the names of X number of illegal workers each week, in return for INS agreeing not to raid the plant and disrupt production? So Smithfield has the luxury of using the labor of illegals and then throwing them away with no consequence to its operations or shareholders.

This is what comes of corporate control of government, which those of you on the right have been defending here on this board.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"If they truly honored their fathers' legacies, why are they so hostile to their fathers' modern counterparts?"

Jenn,

Because the majority of the current cohort of union members are not the modern counterpart to our fathers or grandfathers.

AFSCME & SEIU (and I'm afraid a non-partisan case can be made for the NEA) build nothing.

Building nothing results in the capital formation of...well, nothing.

My Dad's uncle fashioned and assembled appliances and then gas turbines at GE for 40 years. He added value to a commodity and made a good living in return.

The last few comment threads have touched upon violence and division visited upon the nation by...actually I'm not sure where y'all think it will come from but I know you don't think it'll be Whoopi and Joy's crew.

The biggest potentially violent "intractable division" in the USA is the wrath that will result from trillions of pension$$$ that union rank&file members (the execs will do just fine thank you) are absolutely not going to get because it, uh, doesn't exist (thanx Governor "fill-in-blank here").

Look at France right now, you guys love Euro/Trends.

Posted by: tao9 | October 23, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Who was funding the anti-war movement???

It was just a plot to erode Bush's ratings - nothing more.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

srw:

"The main difference is that faux news has a platform..."

Both Bernie's original and McWing's response was referring to National Review, not FOX.

The question remains unanswered....how is NR different from The Nation, TNR, Mother Jones, or even The Plumline such that it is engaged in "propaganda" but the others are not? Transparently, Bernie does not have an answer, although he apparently likes to pretend that no one besides him is educated enough to grasp the difference, and so we are just expected to take his word for it. Bernie is the all knowing propaganda God and we are supposed to be his faithful flock, believing him for no other reason than that he has declared himself educated on the subject. Accept what he says as fact, and certainly do not dare to challenge his assertions, or be relegated to the status of rigid and unthinking idealogue.

I have to admit that I have long thought Bernie to be an intellectual fraud here on the board, but his responses today to McWing demonstrate the fact to a far greater extent than even I have imagined. I must run and will be out most of the afternoon, but will have more to say on this later.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Who was funding the anti-war movement???

It was just a plot to erode Bush's ratings - nothing more.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday, Denis McDonough was named Assistant National Security Advisor, replacing his boss Thomas Donilon who moved up to National Security Advisor replacing the departed General James Jones.

How does that matter? Well as it turns out neither Donilon or McDonough has ever been involved in the military, law enforcement, prosecution, intelligence, the foreign service, or even emergency management.

So what do they bring to the table?

Well, Donilon is a lawyer who used to work for Fannie Mae and has a relationship with Joe Biden.

McDonough went to the Hill after college and never left holding a series of aide and think tanks jobs until he hitched a ride with Obama.

Here is the description of Donilon from Woodward's book. This is a supposed summarization of conversations that Jones had with/about him:


"First, he had never gone to Afghanistan or Iraq, or really left the office for a serious field trip. As a result, he said, you have no direct understanding of these places. "You have no credibility with the military." You should go overseas. The White House, Situation Room, interagency byplay, as important as they are, are not everything.

Second, Jones continued, you frequently pop off with absolute declarations about places you've never been, leaders you've never met, or colleagues you work with. Gates had mentioned this to Jones, saying that Donilon's sound-offs and strong spur-of-the-moment opinions, especially about one general, had offended him so much at an Oval Office meeting that he nearly walked out."


I have posted before that I think the health care debacle was the greatest source of the troubles in the Obama administration. However the SECOND greatest source of trouble is choosing unqualified/unsuited people for positions.

Probably the most unanimously agreed bad choice was Robert Gibbs. Geithner was poor, not because he is inexperienced, but because he is a terrible communicator, unable to represent the administration to the public on any level. Then you have Clinton and Chu, who are famous, but who have no experience running anything, certainly not foreign relations, and the energy business respectively.

I could go and on, but it's nice weather outside!


Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

There is ONLY ONE WAY to jump start the economy now - and that is to get rid of Obama's health care plan.

It is too expensive anyway and the costs will cause it to be trashed at some point.


But to IMPOSE a massive government program on the economy - in a time of economic crisis - just places a DRAG ON HIRING.


yea, yea yea I know you all want to discuss silly little things that have nothing to do with jobs.


The stimulus FAILED - it was written incorrectly and the money was diverted to democratic pet projects. Few jobs were created. Yet, somehow the democrats do not say "We will do better" - NO, the democrats walk away, either mumbling it was Bush's fault - or they just say they can't do anything about it.


That is leadership?


I think not. Obama should be IMPEACHED FOR MAKING THE ECONOMIC CRISIS WORSE.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Even on the low end of the labor scale---how can a lawn service move to Mexico and mow lawns in St. Paul? How can beans and berries in California get picked by workers in Mexico? They can't. Force the companies to stop hiring illegals or shut them down. Will this be inflationary? No doubt. But if you can't pay the freight then pick your own berries or mow your own lawn.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

---

A very lucid argument on outsourcing. There are other goods for which it will never be cost effective to have made elsewhere. Cement for example. It's simple too heavy per unit of value. The decreased cost of transporting goods has driven a lot of production overseas.

There are many benefits. I happen to like getting out of season fruits and vegetables in the winter. Seasonal produce is wonderful. I just made a batch of apple sauce from apples we picked last weekend. I'm glad it's not the only thing we have available, though.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I am going to comment on all of the following:

1] You can see as labor declines so does jobs for American workers.

SoapM JennOfArc

2] I haven't noticed any difference, but Kevin seems to be missing in action.

Brigade

3] I don't think, given the very small portion of funding NPR receives which DeMint et al might reduce, that there's any risk to the network.

BL

4] "bipartisanship is date rape"

BL qoting Norquist

5] college tuition has increased at a rate well above inflation.

sold2u
===========================
1] There may be correlation without causation here. One could as readily say that as semi-skilled jobs decline, so does the power of organized labor. Example: After WW2, we were the only industrialized nation truly standing tall. We had carpet bombed Germany and Japan. Germany had destroyed most of Europe. A comparison of any of the competing American auto manufacturers' products [GM, Ford, Chrysler, Hudson, Packard, Nash, Willys, Kaiser, Studebaker, Crosley, Harvester] in 1948 to Japanese autos did not just favor America, Japan did not register. Our auto builders were flush with cash and innovation, and peacefully entered into the generous union contracts of '54-'55. The UAW was the model union and we exported the model to fight communism around the world.
The ratchet effect of those union contracts came back to haunt us in later years, as world competition rebuilt. Point being, that high demand for labor made great jobs made great unions, I think.

2] Hope Kevin comes back.

3] No risk to KUT Austin, but a huge risk to the many little rural outlets that do not have local donor bases but need those ag reports that no one else carries any more.

4] Norquist is not a good civics student. Bipartisanship is both over rated and under reported [Ds and Rs vote together more than half the time in Congress]. The question on the table should be willingness to compromise, not bipartisanship. Lindsey Graham and Russ Feingold are partisans who believe that compromise is a necessary option for good governance. That both would be endangered in this environment says more about the voters and their being poor civics students than anything else.
I am a labor lawyer on the management side and I have to compromise all the time. We look for the silver thread if we are to govern ourselves, and that means we listen to each other and criticize the individual options, not the character of the other negotiator.

5] True. State support of higher ed has been attenuated, per capita, by tight budgeting. I was able to nearly pay my way through law school in the 60s. Cannot be done, now. In a time when semi-skilled jobs are demeaned by the fact that demand for them is lower than the supply of laborers the cost of higher ed is a danger to the survival of a healthy middle class.
The short term answer is in the community college system - most bang for the buck. But that is not enough, in the long run.

Mark

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 23, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

54465446 AT 12:20 PM


Yes, you are correct Obama has to be COMPLETELY OUT OF HIS MIND to appoint former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyists to National Security positions.


How about if we have the people who are responsible for the SUB-PRIME MORTGAGE PROGRAMS run for GOVERNOR AND SENATOR OF NEW YORK ???

That would work ???


Well, Andrew Cuomo and Kristen Gillibrand were at the center of the SUB-PRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS.


OH, yea, the sub-prime thing was supposed to be Bush's fault but it keeps on showing up on the resumes of democrats.


HHHHMMMMM


It is completely inappropriate to appoint these people to National Security positions.


Well anyway - this is just another INCOMPETENT MOVE BY OBAMA


You don't imagine that Obama ever thought of taking the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyists and assigning them to finding a fix at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

OH, Obama is not trying to fix Fannie Mae and Feddie Mac.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Kevin is probably out trying to convince people that Obama's stimulus created jobs


There's a website that tracks all the jobs, right?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"The stimulus FAILED - it was written incorrectly and the money was diverted to democratic pet projects. Few jobs were created."

This is what can be defined as propaganda.
Tell a lie loudly enough and often enough and people especially the sheeple will begin to fall for it.

http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/10/08/its-official-more-private-sector-jobs-created-in-2010-than-during-entire-bush-years/

"It’s Official: More Private Sector Jobs Created In 2010 Than During Entire Bush Years"

You can find any number of links about this story...this one happens to provide some cool graphs as well. Of course not mentioned in this story is that "public sector" jobs have declined dramatically because of the falling tax revenue brought on by the Great Bush Recession of 08.

But then again "public sector" jobs do not count do they...because teachers, firemen, police, tax clerks, code inspectors, health inspectors etc don't really "produce" anything...they add no value to a society they are simply sponges and drags on our economy. So if Obama had produced more "public sector" jobs then he would have been lambasted as a socialist...ohhh wait..that's right the wingnuts here still call him a socialist anyway. Reforming PRIVATE health insurance instead of going with a socialized medicine...the V.A. for all...or a single payer system...Medicare for all...or even a freaking OPTION...is called a government takeover. It's really hard to debate with uneducated idiots who simply will not deal in REALITY!

So even though the stimulus saved thousands of "public sector" jobs here in Florida alone, helped us deal with our state deficit...it was a failure.

Even though this year under Obama has seen MORE PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS CREATED THAN THE ENTIRE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S 8 YEARS...
Let's see in wingnut logic...Bush =success
Obama = failure. Some of you people are really pieces of work...what logic...what brilliant deductive powers.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"AFSCME & SEIU (and I'm afraid a non-partisan case can be made for the NEA) build nothing. Building nothing results in the capital formation of...well, nothing."

So the people who collect your thrash, or process your drinking water, or process your waste water build nothing and so are unworthy of getting paid very much? And the people who maintain the buildings you use, keep hotels and public accommodations livable don't rate reasonable pay?

And Teachers build nothing and so have no reason to expect fair working conditions?

Don't blame Governor X, blame every Republican who runs on "Cutting Waste" with out ever mentioning that he doesn't have any idea what he is talking about, and when pushed to identify the waste says the equivalent of "Well, I guess we could cut a million for studying ants."

In Dayton, the poorer sections of town are usually more willing to raise taxes to keep government paid for than some of the wealthier, even though the income tax rates are not progressive, and property tax rates are city wide. The Republican leaning sections can be expected to oppose any tax increase, no matter how well justified the increase is. They keep bleating the same three things, "Just cut waste and everything will be all right." "I already pay too much taxes" and "It's not your money, it's my money"

Faced with a well identified $8 billion hole in the state budget, John Kasich complains that Ted Strickland di9dn't do enough to create jobs, while talking about reducing taxes, (and tax revenues) all over the place, especially in abolishing the State Income Tax, and thus robbing the state of 40% of its revenues. He doesn't have to recall how messes up the state's finances were when the Republicans let Gilligan and the democrats pass a tax reform act that brought in that Income tax so some really atrocious property taxes could be done away with.

The unthinking and un supportable Republican opposition to all things related to government revenue has totally warped the ability of government at all level to do what government is expected to do, from paving roads to policing those roads to policing the nation in general, and especially to defending the nation.

Their answers are always three: "Just cut waste and everything will be all right." "I already pay too much taxes" and "It's not your money, it's my money"

And the bleat these three answers like sheep.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 23, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

so rukidding7

If you say that the stimulus worked, that would not be propaganda ???


Obama set the whole thing up by creating "created or saved" as a criteria -

so blame Obama - for creating that standard.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

tao9 wrote: "My Dad's uncle fashioned and assembled appliances and then gas turbines at GE for 40 years. He added value to a commodity and made a good living in return."

Perhaps your "Dad's Uncle's" generation got their union wages and benefits so high that American corporations could no longer compete with foreign imports, ergo, the exporting of all our major manufacturing industries to areas where there is cheap labor and little or no union activities. So, that is why today's unions are left with the result: only service "industries" remain in our marketplace.

Which brings me to another point, sort of related: one thing I have noticed over time, is that most fellow Americans who took advantage of government programs to help them get ahead in life, for example, like farm supports or student loans, and once they make it into "the big time," human nature kicks in and most of these folks do not want to pay taxes and continue such programs to aid others who are in the position that they once were.

We are not our Brothers keeper anymore.

Posted by: dozas | October 23, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7

So, you are going to take Bush's "job creation" - and take a number which goes from the height of Clinton's internet bubble - TO the bottom of Clinton's sub-prime mortgage BUST. -


AND blame Bush for ALL of that???


Does that makes anything near SENSE ???


Meanwhile, Bush had to fight two wars - because Clinton didn't capture Bin Laden when Sudan offered him - and Clinton NEVER found a solution to Saddam for 8 years.


So, Bush was doing NOTHING BUT CLEANING UP CLINTON'S MESS.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The stimulus FAILED


Well, the democrats were diverting the money to democratic pet projects from the beginning - so how much did Obama really try?


I don't think Obama EVER TOOK THE ECONOMIC CRISIS SERIOUSLY.


Obama NEVER cared about the economy.

Obama was always rushing through the economic issues - so he could get to health care.


NOW HEALTH CARE IS AN EXPENSIVE DISASTER.


Obama PROMISED that health care costs would come down -

HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS ARE GOING UP UP UP


So - OBAMA LIED

Obama ALWAYS KNEW THAT HIS 2,000 PAGE BILL WOULD INCREASE HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

Good news & bad news:

1st the bad...OleOleOlson is definitely something, but he's not much of an economist nor a statistician, I'm not even sure he's been out of his house for a year or two. The newsjunkie article is gunk w/ a capital Unk.

Now Good...you're a Bearcat!!! So's one of my closest friends, a UC footballer from the late 60's.

Posted by: tao9 | October 23, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@Troll...I attempted an answer about "propaganda" on the last thread but I now realize it won't please you because it dealt with Faux News. I respect and acknowledge that you laid out specific publications and organizations aside from Faux...but IMHO those right and left organizations really don't count in mainstream America. Most Americans are too lazy to even read a newspaper, much less subscribe to NRO or Mother Jones. Faux is the leading propagandist of the day...and I respectfully submit the most successful medium for propaganda right or left. I agree with John Stewart's take...fox s8cks but they are the best at what they do...give the devil credit where credit is due.

You asked a question Troll...directed at SRW I think but if you can put up with my detested caps and exclamation points may I try to engage you intellectually, honestly, and snark free.

"I'm curious though, reading your comment gives the impression (at least to me) that we are now in the hands of a "plutocracy". If that's the case, what would be your outermost limit in extricating us from it?"

I don't know about "outermost limits" but here are a few ideas for you to tackle.

First and foremost is fairness in the tax code. Again 3 simple ideas to control the oligarchy, help the middle class (read MAJORITY of Americans) and build a better economy long term.
1.)Fix the brackets. Let's begin slowly and simply...let the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% expire. Takes care of about 700 billion in the deficit as well. And remember they still get a tax cut...just not as large on their MARGINAL income.
2.) Eliminate the cap on FICA. It's a tax. It's BS to act as if it is a financially actuarial setup for retirement. Why should all of my employees pay 7.65% of their income when Rick Scott who earns 10+ Million a year pay .00765% of his income?
3.) Make corporations pay their fair share. 2/3 of U.S. Corporations pay Zero tax. The corporate share of U.S. taxes used to be 25% of the overall tax burden leaving 75% to the rest of us...since Reagan and then BushII it's now down to 8% leaving 92% for the rest of us.
If you wish means test entitlements like S.S. and Medicare in return I'd ask for some dramatic cuts in defense spending.
Put it all together on something that R's and D's basically agree upon..a balanced budget. That's how I would BEGIN to dismantle the Oligarchy..at least to make it fairer for the Middle Class which has been getting squeezed mercilously since 1977 (the year it started shrinking not growing)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

dozas AT 12:52 PM

Yea, well how big should these government programs be???


The democrats aren't just talking about keeping the SAME LEVEL of government programs in place - they want to EXPAND those programs.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

rukidding, I want to answer but cannot until later. I will post some comments this afternoon in response.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

My Dad's uncle fashioned and assembled appliances and then gas turbines at GE for 40 years. He added value to a commodity and made a good living in return.

The last few comment threads have touched upon violence and division visited upon the nation by...actually I'm not sure where y'all think it will come from but I know you don't think it'll be Whoopi and Joy's crew.

The biggest potentially violent "intractable division" in the USA is the wrath that will result from trillions of pension$$$ that union rank&file members (the execs will do just fine thank you) are absolutely not going to get because it, uh, doesn't exist (thanx Governor "fill-in-blank here").


Tao,

You are blaming the victims again. Your Dad's Uncle built stuff here. Today he would have to go to some place like China to do so, and he would have to be willing to work for a starvation wage level, thanks to the outsourcing Robber Barons that you are so fond of.

As for the Pension funds being wiped out; You can lay a lot of that at the feet of The Wall St. Casino Banks Operators, who Bush had to TARP out.

The reason why you get to complain about Service Unions is because that is all the Republicans, and their Robber Baron Masters have left here in the USA.

They shipped out all the good paying manufacturing jobs to foreign lands.

Shame on you. Your fathers' Uncle would have consider you to be a traitor to his class.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

There is a FUNDAMENTAL TENSION OR EVEN A CONTRADICTION between Free Trade and the government programs the democrats want.


Clinton put in the Free Trade deals - but the democrats ALSO want to install massive government programs


Somewhere it just doesn't work - AT some point someone is going to realize that the HOURLY COST OF OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE is MORE than the hourly WAGE of workers in developing nations.


American workers can not pile EXPENSIVE health care programs onto their wages - and EXPECT TO BE COMPETITIVE.


Obama's health care plan is DRIVING JOBS OVERSEAS.


I'm just saying - ADJUSTMENTS HAVE TO BE MADE.


The Economic crisis is simply NOT THE TIME to pass a health care bill. And the only thing pushing it was Obama's EGO.


What about everyone who is out of work? Just so Obama can try to get a paragraph in some history book? The health care bill was the most BONEHEADED move in American History - UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL OF BONEHEADEDNESS.


Obama keeps racking up those "unprecedented" categories.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Dozas,

The WW2 generation retired by the early-eighties.

The escalation (to non-competitiveness) on union wages and, more importantly, benies can't be pinned much on them.

I am my brother's keeper.

There is no "We." "We" picks and chooses on, uh, non-spiritual criteria, and delivers comfort via lottery, sometimes via coercion.

Posted by: tao9 | October 23, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid I'm at the end of the line of beneficiaries of the expanding middle class in America. My dad got a union job in the late 1920's, held onto it for nearly 50 years, and made a good enough living for his family that we could buy a house, two cars and a few appliances. He did better than his folks, who were tenant farmers. I did better than my folks.

Now, we have the situation where the middle class is contracting. The worker today has to lower his standard of living to get it down to some third world country because his wages have to compete with theirs. The American worker can't expect to have healthcare or a pension because workers around the world don't have those benefits. We used to believe that third world benefits would come UP to ours. Now, our benefits and pay have to go DOWN to meet theirs.

I benefited from all sorts of government programs. I got grants to go to college, along with loans and scholarships and work-study. Now, federal/state grants to go to college are in jeopardy because we can't afford them. Skyrocketing college tuitions make it impossible for anyone but the wealthy to pay their own way. I foresee the day, in my lifetime, and perhaps even very soon, when the middle class won't even consider higher education as there will be no way to pay.

Then, we'll have come around full circle to the Depression era. The middle class will be no more. There will be the poor, lucky to have a job at third world wages, with no way out through education. And that's the end of the American dream.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@tao You shot the messenger but not the message. Again I selected that link because of the cool graph. But if you google you'll find dozens of links on the subject. Mark Shields ran with this story and got blasted by at least one conservative link I found.
However pretty much like you they didn't deny the statistics but simply went to U.E. numbers and poohed poohed the fact. I have yet to read anybody on any of those links who actually disputed the numbers. Again though I concede that they are PRIVATE sector jobs, and the public sector is shedding so many jobs that U.E. numbers may not improve significantly for years.

Of course we all have to take the good with the bad. As a fan of small government you probably applaud the downsizing of state and local governments. I get that and understand your position and in fact would agree that ALL organizations..private, public, and even charitable can all use a good haircut once in awhile. Never the less it is hurting U.E. numbers. Another phenomenon which I suspect you would join me in applauding is the fact that Americans are saving more, spending less, and using their credit cards less. Great for the long term...not so hot for the short term in a consumer driven economy.

However I grant you Tao that killing the messenger when the message is unpopular can be effective.

As far as the my Bearcats...last night was tough. My wife's Alma Mater and a local team I normally root for...the University of South Florida..upset my Bearcats at Nippert Stadium..a place where I spend many afternoons and evenings.

I probably missed your friend since I was there in the early 70's. In the 60's U.C. was mainly known for hoops..a couple of National Championships and before that the legendary Oscar Robertson...perhaps still my favorite all time player.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

oops apologies for horrid writing...
"all time favorite player" not "favorite all time player."

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@Troll...I get ya...I got to head out for some "honey do" errands myself...off to Home Depot and Lowes...I'll check back later for your thoughts.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone of you see the video of the brand new $1.8 billion, British Submarine running aground?

England needs three of those subs for what? They are no longer a superpower, and yet they continue to squander money on weapons that allow them to posture as if they still are.


All this coming at a time, when the Tories are passing a budget that will inflict massive pain and suffering on the poor and old, while allowing the Super Rich to feel no pain. Much like the Republicans promise to do here in America.

The Robber Barons will not stop until the masses are returned to the conditions which led up to the French Revolution.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"The question remains unanswered....how is NR different from The Nation, TNR, Mother Jones, or even The Plumline such that it is engaged in "propaganda" but the others are not?"

Well, I'd be interested in perusing through the archives of the NR and the Weekly Standard and see exactly how many articles, opinion pieces, etc. were written criticizing the Bush Administration. My guess is it would take me awhile to find anything. Do you think you could say the same about Mother Jones, the Nation, or the Plumline in regards to their treatment of the Obama Administration? or for that matter the Clinton Administration?

Let's face it - the right is far more disciplined when it comes to messaging. Coordinated or not, they're really good at developing a talking point and sticking to it.

I also think that the rightwing media is much more an extension of the Republican party than the left media is of the Democrats. I think it's this "cheerleading" aspect of the right-tilted media that causes people to toss the word "propaganda" around.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 23, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 at 1:05 writes

Put it all together on something that R's and D's basically agree upon..a balanced budget. That's how I would BEGIN to dismantle the Oligarchy..

__________________________________

First, that attitude makes you a SOCIALIST


Second, you want to BEGIN with that? wow - Obama and the far-left agenda is hidden, right ???

NEXT, you try to outline your SOCIALISM, which no one wants - and then you say PACKAGE IT IN SOME BIPARTISAN MEASURE


WHAT ? You mean you want the Republicans to VOTE FOR your socialist plan??


The far-left is COMPLETELY INSANE.


Perhaps Obama's 2008 platform really wasn't deceptions and lies - perhaps it was INSANITY.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

Gotta go coach the kidz @ 2:00 (it's a soft day here on the Mohawk) so briefly:

My Great-uncle didn't have a drop of class-consciousness in him (there wasn't a lot of room after all the Rheingold Lager).

GE was either the largest, or one of the largest receivers, of TARP and GreenDreamStim. They're rent-seekers extraordinaire and their CEO is an Obam pegboy...oh mores oh tempora.

I, meself, work for one of the last large, privately (p-r-i-v-a-t-e) owned US manufacturers, we're doing OK ($2Bil/year).

I know my Uncle Pete would be proud.

Posted by: tao9 | October 23, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Ignore Sybil. Do not feed that creature. It craves attention.

Leave it twisting slowly in the wind.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

RUKIDDDING 7


See, this is one thing the Republicans have been WARNING about all along -

A situation in which Obama's programs run up the deficits and debt so high - that drastic measures have to be put in place.


Obviously, the far-left has this FANTASY that the deficits and debt will be SO BAD that the country will have NO CHOICE but to turn to socialism, some crazy income re-distribution plan.


But its not going to work that way - the poor will only be poorer - the Middle Class will have to struggle.


The rich will be less rich, but they WON'T EVEN NOTICE.


The far-left is nothing but a bunch of idiots who refused to recognize reality.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"I respect and acknowledge that you laid out specific publications and organizations aside from Faux...but IMHO those right and left organizations really don't count in mainstream America. Most Americans are too lazy to even read a newspaper, much less subscribe to NRO or Mother Jones."

I'm not sure I would characterize most Americans as "too lazy", but certainly it is true that both NRO and MJ have a relatively limited readership. That, however, is besides the point.

Bernie has asserted a very specific proposition, over and over and over again. He claims that the writers at NR are propagandists engaging in propaganda. This raises a very obvious and very fair question which McWing asked: If NR, an opinion magazine, is a propaganda organ of the right, then isn't MJ or TNR or The Nation or even The Plum Line, all opinion outlets similar to NR, equally propaganda organs of the left? If not, why not?

To date, there has not been even an attempt to provide an answer. If you want to have a go, I'm listening. But to be frank I suspect that even you would be reluctant to defend this claim of Bernie's.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Tao,

You are a fraud and a cop out. You are blaming the workers who had their manufacturing jobs taken away from them, by those you align yourself with. I have got news for you.

They will come after those who work for your company too. You are like some guy standing on the last iceberg, yelling: what global warming; I don't feel it?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7

So your attitude is, in order for the democrats to agree to a balanced budget, the Republicans have to agree to SOCIALISM?


Is that it?


EXCEPT one thing - the socialism you want will cause the budget to skyrocket. So your plan is to fool everyone that you in favor of fiscal restraint, and get your socialist ideas in place???


The far-left is confused. They really don't know what they are talking about or where they are going.


Yes, Obama seems to want to blow-up the economy. He somehow thinks that something better will emerge -

Obama is NOT bringing anyone UP with this idea, he is just DRAGGING EVERYONE DOWN.


Get it?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Everyone ignore Liam-still

He just wants to be hostile toward other people.

He won't talk about the topics at hand, because he knows he will lose the discussion.

I was about to say that it was only a matter of time before Liam started the PERSONAL ATTACKS - and before I could write it - Liam personally attacks Tao


This is not civil behavior.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Leave Sybil Twisting Slowly In The Wind.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Liam and Tao

We have to RE-EXAMINE the Free Trade deals and make some major changes.

The trade is SUPPOSED to balance over time - but it doesn't - so the trade deals should have some safeguards in there to compensate for that lack of balance.


There is NO REASON we should be borrowing money from CHINA - whoever is responsible for that is a COMPLETE IDIOT

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

All the trillions that have been spent on National Security, and they still can not secure their most essential internal records.

Aside from what the documents reveal; how the hell can the USA make it so easy for some leaker to get their hands on all those Iraq War records?

It makes one doubt that if any of our top secrets are kept anymore secure. Did any of you catch the ABC report on how the Nuclear Launch Codes that the President must have at all times, was lost for the past five months Bill Clinton was in office, and if he had to order a nuclear missile retaliation, he could not, because they had lost the code card?

Think about that for a moment. The code is on on a card, about the size of a credit card. Misplace something that small, which t is easy to do, and the US side of MAD, is crippled.

It made me wonder; do all the other Nuclear Nations, handle the Nuke launch security, in a similar manner. I am not sure that I feel very comfortable with having the launch authority in the hands of just one person, regardless of which country it is. Loose Nukes indeed. It sounds like we might all be playing Russian Roulette, because eventually some Leader will come to power in some country with Nukes, and become insane. It is just a matter of time.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Everyone ignore Liam's hostile attitude - at some point, his mother didn't teach him how to play nicely with the other children.


Somehow he never caught on.


Rukidding - Are you drinking again?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse


I thought they changed those codes regularly - so they can't be "lost" for long.

Besides, there are other ways to launch the missiles


Leave it to Bill Clinton though - for a guy who claimed he was so smart - OH, that sounds like Obama

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@tmwn:I'm curious though, reading your comment gives the impression (at least to me) that we are now in the hands of a "plutocracy". If that's the case, what would be your outermost limit in extricating us from it?

Of course we are in the hands of plutocracy or oligarchy or a combination of both. How many senators are NOT millionaires? How many house members are NOT worth the high 6 figures, especially including their spouses, families, etc. Note that until Obama, we had Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush as president. that is 20 years, 12 of which were controlled by the Bush family and 8 by the Clintons, one of which is now a high ranking member of the Obama administration.

The Koch bros are busy trying to buy a West VA senate seat the way the the Massey energy owner bought a supreme court judge that ruled in his favor after Massey put millions into attacking his (incumbent) opponent.

More voting by more people might make some difference. In general, the US is a country ruled by the rich and for the rich. Note that many of the same people that crashed the global economy are back making multimillions in bonuses while foreclosures are at an all time high. Who got the no interest loans so that they wouldn't go belly up?

Posted by: srw3 | October 23, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Liam wrote:

"It makes one doubt that if any of our top secrets are kept anymore secure. Did any of you catch the ABC report on how the Nuclear Launch Codes that the President must have at all times, was lost for the past five months Bill Clinton was in office, and if he had to order a nuclear missile retaliation, he could not, because they had lost the code card?"

You are far too smart a man to believe such nonsense.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

tao9 wrote: "I, meself, work for one of the last large, privately (p-r-i-v-a-t-e) owned US manufacturers, we're doing OK ($2Bil/year)."

Sounds a bit smug, to me. Yet, I sort of hear someone whistling in the dark.

Posted by: dozas | October 23, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"There is NO REASON we should be borrowing money from CHINA - whoever is responsible for that is a COMPLETE IDIOT"

We aren't borrowing money from China, hat in hand. They are buying Treasuries with the dollars we give them in trade. While not a good situation, it brings balance to the relationsip. Any actions that China could take to hurt our ecnoomy, ultimately hurts them.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

tao wrote:

"GE was either the largest, or one of the largest receivers, of TARP"

Not even in the ballpark of truth as is easily verifiable at many websites.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 2:37 PM


We aren't borrowing money from China ????


What is wrong with you???


Of Course we are - WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT ?????

What is wrong with you that you would write such a comment ?

So, you think that PAYING INTEREST TO CHINA is the best way to avoid a war???

The best way to avoid a war is to have nuclear weapons - and since the Truman-McArthur dispute, it has been pretty much settled that we are not going to war in China


So your point, is not a point.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Liam wrote:

"All this coming at a time, when the Tories are passing a budget that will inflict massive pain and suffering on the poor and old, while allowing the Super Rich to feel no pain. Much like the Republicans promise to do here in America."

The British will never think of themselves as the second class power that they have become. Also, the British economy needs austerity more than it needs employment because most of Britain's GDP and all of it's world influence come from banking, insurance, and business services. They produce vitrually nothing of importance for export and are net importers of energy.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Liam wrote:

"It makes one doubt that if any of our top secrets are kept anymore secure. Did any of you catch the ABC report on how the Nuclear Launch Codes that the President must have at all times, was lost for the past five months Bill Clinton was in office, and if he had to order a nuclear missile retaliation, he could not, because they had lost the code card?"

You are far too smart a man to believe such nonsense.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 2:34 PM |

.....................

So explain what you think is going on here? The Chairman of the join chiefs of staff, who served under Clinton is the one who wrote that is what happened.

It is now being reported by Media all over the globe.

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/president-bill-clinton-lost-nuclear-codes-office-book/story?id=11930878

"At one point during the Clinton administration," Shelton writes, "the codes were actually missing for months. [...] That's a big deal -- a gargantuan deal."

Similar Story Told By Air Force Man

Shelton claims the story has never been released before, but Ret. Air Force Lt. Col Robert Patterson told a very similar account in his own book, published seven years ago.

Patterson was one of the men who carried the football, and he says it was literally the morning after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke that he made a routine request of the president to present the card so that he could swap it out for an updated version.

"He thought he just placed them upstairs," Patterson recalled. "We called upstairs, we started a search around the White House for the codes, and he finally confessed that he in fact misplaced them. He couldn't recall when he had last seen them."

...............

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 2:41 PM


Address the issue at hand - GE Capital should NOT have gotten ANY Tarp funds


This is ridiculous - who cares about the rankings


Obama is STILL NOT doing anything about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - THAT IS THE REAL THREAT TO THE ECONOMY RIGHT NOW


The democrats appear to ignore everything with a number in it.


The ECONOMY - Where is Carville when the democrats NEED him to set them straight.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Also, the British economy needs austerity more than it needs employment because most of Britain's GDP and all of it's world influence come from banking, insurance, and business services.
----------------------------------------
Let me take this opportunity to learn something from you. Why does it follow that Britain does not need employment more than austerity because... I fail to understand how the Brit who is not in the finance svcs industries will survive without jobs and without government help.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"The British will never think of themselves as the second class power that they have become."

I don't know where you're getting that. There are two or three generations of Brits who have now reached adulthood without any pretense that they are citizens of a great world power. Being utterly bankrupted by war and nearly bombed to oblivion will do that to a country. Perhaps you're basing this conclusion on the tendency of the British peerage to assume themselves among the first rank, but certainly the citizens of the country do not by and large suffer from this delusion.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Clinton got new codes right away


What they probably mean is that particular card was missing - and it was found several months later.

It doesn't mean that the US could not launch the missiles.


You guys are just being silly.


We have missiles - they are launchable no matter what.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Upon more thought, perhaps the answer is quite awful. There is no need for the average Brit who does not work in financial services, other than some percentage of supporting services. In the big picture, is that what you are saying? Once the nation loses its export markets, it has too large a population?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

tao9 wrote: "I, meself, work for one of the last large, privately (p-r-i-v-a-t-e) owned US manufacturers, we're doing OK ($2Bil/year)."

Sounds a bit smug, to me. Yet, I sort of hear someone whistling in the dark.

Posted by: dozas | October 23, 2010 2:34 PM
=======================================

I'd like to hear an explanation from tao9 (or any of the other goopers on this board) of 1) what do health insurance companies manufacture, and 2) why the 'grassroots' teabag movement dedicates itself to protecting their profits.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Liam:

Just like we believe the FBI guy that wrote the President was smuggled out of the WH to to various liaisions under a blanket in the back of a station wagon.

Just like we believe that Bob Woodward held a deathbed interview with Bill Casey in the hospital.

You can believe whatever you choose, but I say to you that I am 100% percent certain this never happened and I will let it go at that. .

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The British will never think of themselves as the second class power that they have become. Also, the British economy needs austerity more than it needs employment because most of Britain's GDP and all of it's world influence come from banking, insurance, and business services. They produce vitrually nothing of importance for export and are net importers of energy.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 2:46 PM

...........

A path that we appear to be headed down, as well. We manufacture almost no consumer goods here, and because places like China do not pay workers a living wage, even if we still had a strong consumer goods manufacturing base, those foreign workers do not earn enough for them to be able to afford what we would seek to export.

China will not make the same mistake. When they have raised their wage standards, they will not give us access to their consumers. You can bet on it. We are commiting economic suicide by eliminating our domestic manufacturing jobs.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 3:00 PM

Silly, they always brought the girls in - to the basement.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Jenn wrote:

"I don't know where you're getting that. There are two or three generations of Brits who have now reached adulthood without any pretense that they are citizens of a great world power"

I certainly have no great insight into the mind of the average British worker, so perhaps a better way to put this is the British government will never allow itself to be seen as a second class power.

Thank you for pointing out that I overstepped my expertise.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Liam:

Just like we believe the FBI guy that wrote the President was smuggled out of the WH to to various liaisions under a blanket in the back of a station wagon.

Just like we believe that Bob Woodward held a deathbed interview with Bill Casey in the hospital.

You can believe whatever you choose, but I say to you that I am 100% percent certain this never happened and I will let it go at that. .

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 3:00 PM

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I wish you would stop framing it as something that I believe. I merely brought up what was being reported in the news. The report I saw, also said that they requested a comment from Bill Clinton about the claim that is now being made by his Joint Chiefs Chaiman, and they got no response.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"1) what do health insurance companies manufacture, and 2) why the 'grassroots' teabag movement dedicates itself to protecting their profits."

Oooo, oooo, let me answer!!

1) health insurance companies "manufacture" profits for shareholders, most if not all of whom are among the top 5% of wealth. Lord help us if these folks ever decide to "go Galt" and take away their "productivity" in manufacturing profits for themselves!
2)because it's made up of dismally stupid people who believe that their reward for protecting their oppressors is that they will someday themselves have the opportunity to oppress others.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Jenn,

I call it Joe The Plumber Syndrome. He rarely worked; did not have a pot to piss in, but he wanted to make sure that Fat Cats never had to share any of the wealth.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Liam:

For further clarification, I am not disputing that an individual card may have been lost by the president on some day x.

However that in no way affected our ability to launch missile strikes. It makes the President look stupid, which is the whole point of the story. Not even a Fox News viewer could believe that the missile defense of the US depends solely on a credit card in the President's pocket and that having misplaced the card, nothing could be done for 5 months. (well, maybe some Fox viewers would believe this! LOL)

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I still would like to no more about the subject. Their is a guy who travel around with the President, every where, carrying "The Nuclear Football". The President has to enter the codes to that device, in order to launch a nuclear counter attack. The codes or on that one special card. That is supposed to be the only way to launch an attack, in order to keep some rogue Military Group from doing so.

If it is all just a charade, then we are really playing Nuclear Russian Roulette.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

12barblues wrote:

"Upon more thought, perhaps the answer is quite awful. There is no need for the average Brit who does not work in financial services, other than some percentage of supporting services. In the big picture, is that what you are saying? Once the nation loses its export markets, it has too large a population?"

I am saying that their economy and by extension government revenue depends on what conrtibutes the most to their GDP. If they take actions to support employment, but drag down their GDP, what have they achieved? In a similar vein, if the most beknighted CEO in the world, pledges during a recession or financial crisis to maintain complete full employment regardless of financial conditions, he will probably have his company in bankruptcy and lose many more of his employees that way. The Japanese econonmy has been an abject lesson in this over the last 10-20 years.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

BTW, folks, last week Bill Maher did perhaps the most accurate and succinct summation of what animates the teabaggers I've yet seen or heard. And it's hilarious to boot! If you'd like to see it, I posted it on my blog, here: http://3weirdsisters.wordpress.com/

(Now cue the guy who only shows up here to complain whenever I post a comment or link.)

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Liam:

To believe that, you would have to believe that a successful attack on the President's motorcade would have been all that was necessary for the Soviet Union to complete our destruction.

As I'm sure you realize, myths grew up in the cold war that make for dramatic tales. You have to love Dr. Stangelove as the brilliant pinnacle of such thinking.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@numbers,

I understand your point, but how does that boil down at the street level? Is there any "good" reason to support the out-of-work Brit, since it does not behoove GDP to support him financially? Is there any reason to support some wool cloth operations (and jobs) somewhere in Scotland, since that cloth will never be attractive enough for export?

I'm not being a bit sarcastic here.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Is there any "good" reason to support the out-of-work Brit, since it does not behoove GDP to support him financially?
-----------------------------
Not behoove, but perhaps I should have said "since it does not improve GDP to support him financially?"

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

JennOfArk,

Thanks for the link. Funny and all too painfully true. Bret's unit must have been shedding crocodile tears!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

following up on Bill Maher's observations; and that is why they have formed A Dick Armey!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Is this what the democrats do at their meetings - talk about meaningless things?


AND then they go out and WRECK THE ECONOMY


Without really thinking their plans through?


Sort of sounds about right.


Obama has wrecked the economy, dragged it down - and he seems oddly UNAWARE of what he has done.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@numbers,

You wrote: The Japanese econonmy has been an abject lesson in this over the last 10-20 years.
----------------------------------
I'm not as familiar with the Japanese economy as I should be, so I don't know to what extent they have maintained full employment at the cost of other things. I do know that their economy has stagnated for at least that long.

If the ultimate fiscal prescription for a national economy that has lost its jobs is austerity, not job creation unless it can be exported, it just seems obvious to me that that nation has an overpopulation problem. Either people have jobs and support themselves, or the government helps them out, or they starve and die. Since we are ruling out the first two options, what is left but the third?

Isn't the Japanese birth rate below zero? I wonder if the Japanese, as a whole, know something.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Sean,

I never like to go down the conspiracy rabbit hole. That is the path to madness.

I am just curious about how secure the launch command really is.

Sharron Angle also only drinks branch water, to protect her precious bodily fluids. Well branch water, and frequent Scientology Massage treatments.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

JennOfArk:

Thanks for the Maher link. :)

Speaking of teabaggers, Glenn Beck evidently forgot to inform his followers that NPR is radio, not television. Seems NPR has been getting lots of calls from long-time "viewers" vowing never to "watch" again:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/23/business/media/23williams.html?_r=2&ref=business

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 23, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of teabaggers, Glenn Beck evidently forgot to inform his followers that NPR is radio, not television. Seems NPR has been getting lots of calls from long-time "viewers" vowing never to "watch" again:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/23/business/media/23williams.html?_r=2&ref=business

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 23, 2010 3:58 PM |

....................

I love it, but God help us all. No wonder we have such a large number of Birthers in our midst.

Right Wingers who have never contributed to NPR, are also promising to stop contributing to NPR.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, carolanne. I found this bit particularly illuminating:

"Ms. Schiller said she perceived a media “overreaction” to Mr. Williams’s firing, one that had even set off threats against her children. A camera crew from Fox News followed her from her home on Friday, she added."

The story notes that Fox has been pimping Williams' firing in heavy rotation, as if it's a requirement for them to continue to employ someone who routinely violated their standards.

How long does anyone think Rachel Maddow would last on Fox? But that's different, dontchaknow.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"Skyrocketing college tuitions make it impossible for anyone but the wealthy to pay their own way. I foresee the day, in my lifetime, and perhaps even very soon, when the middle class won't even consider higher education as there will be no way to pay."

The actual trends suggest your prognostication is not very likely. College attendance has increased steadily every year despite the skyrocketing cost of college. Indeed, the skyrocketing cost of college tuition is almost certainly a function of programs that make it easier for students to go on to college despite what it costs. It should come as no surprise that when the demand for something is divorced from the cost of it, the price of that thing will rise and rise and rise.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

More grist to pump up the enthusiasm gap: It is interesting to see how corporations are gradually taking over American institutions: not only have they captured a majority in the Supreme Court (e.g., Citizens United decision), but they have captured Executive Branch agencies (e.g., Interior's Minerals Management Service), and they have an all-out effort to get their "bought-and-paid for" Republican Congressmen and Senators elected. There are parallels, south of us: in Columbia, where the most popular corporations, the Drug Cartels, have infiltrated all levels of government and basically control the country. Additionally, in Mexico, we see the same Drug Cartel corporations gradually taking over all Mexican institutions. A corporation is a corporation is a corporation. Wake up America.

Posted by: dozas | October 23, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"How long does anyone think Rachel Maddow would last on Fox?"

A much more relevant question: Why has Nina Totenberg lasted so long on NPR, given the standards they claim for firing Williams?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The actual trends suggest your prognostication is not very likely.
---------------------------------
Do you think that trend will continue when college loans/grants/programs cease?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama appears to be UNAWARE of the economic impact of his health care plan


Has anyone added up the TOTAL INCREASES IN HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS THIS YEAR???


It is a $700 BILLION DRAG ON THE ECONOMY


AND that is just Round One for the Obama health care plan - more increases are on their way.


The democrats do not want to talk about the DISASTEROUS COSTS OF THEIR HEALTH CARE PLAN

The democrats are RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCREASES - IT IS THAT SIMPLE.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3 - give us examples of Nina Totenberg violating NPR's standards; otherwise you're just engaging in the typical conservative ploy of ducking answering a question by posting another question not even tangentially related to the discussion.

It's not as if NPR is obligated to keep anyone on the payroll, even absent violations of their standards. But at least in Juan Williams' case, they're able to offer several examples of exactly that.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The Canary In The Mine.

Two different Lawn and Yard Care companies in my area, have lost most of their customers. Both owners told me, that they are going to have let go all of their workers, and just try to service the few remaining customers without any help.

They said that a lot of their long term customers were well educated, and could afford to pay to have their yard work done. Many of them now have lost their jobs, or have had to accept large salary cuts, and are now doing their own yard work.

Isn't the Service Economy model just grand folks?!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't think there is much doubt that the GOP will stop government programs to help students attend college. The states are already drying up their programs, and the feds will be next. For the first few years, probably little will happen except that only the wealthy and foreigners will be attending school. Then, I would assume that the entire university/college system will go through a major shakeout as the less financially strong institutions go through major layoffs and shutdowns. That will last maybe a decade while the entire system shakes down to the the lower level of the students, consisting of the wealthy and foreign students.

In the meantime, a generation of less-than-wealthy youngsters will have to be happy with public high school. There will be a huge number of unemployed in this class since there will be NO way to improve one's lot.

After that, I don't know what the U.S. educational system will look like, other than there will few institutions and fewer students.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama is supposed to be so smart, but he has dug some hole for himself and the democrats


And they are supposed to be so smart, they haven't come up with an issue that will sway an ant.


It really is sad that Obama is such a disaster. I am concerned about the ECONOMY - the problem is OBAMA WILL NOT ADMIT HE IS WRONG

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3 - give us examples of Nina Totenberg violating NPR's standards; otherwise you're just engaging in the typical conservative ploy of ducking answering a question by posting another question not even tangentially related to the discussion.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

---

I can't resist that one Jenn. By the way, one of the best handles I've seen on the board.

I saw a letter from the president of NPR somewhere that stated that NPR correspondents and analysts aren't supposed to participate in forums

Both Nina (Washington Week in Review) and Mara Liasson (Fox News Sunday) do this on a regular basis. I think Juan took it another step by showing up regularly on the Factor, Hannity, etc. Juan knows that he can do better as a pundit in the mass media. Ultimately, I think this is a case of JW outgrowing his role on NPR. They would have done much better to downgrade his role and simply not renew his contract. As it is, both Juan and Fox benefit from the current situation. So, I don't know why any conservatives have their britches in a twist.

For those who are blasting NPR, care to answer how two of Fox's favored analysts come from there? Blasting NPR as inherently biased is as idiotic as blasting any news coming from a Murdoch-owned entity. I prefer to get my news from a broad range of sources.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 23, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Nina is consistent. She does not take one political stance on NPR, and take almost the opposite of it, when she appears on TV.

Juan Williams tried to have it both ways. The things he said on Fox, he never attempted to say on NPR.

After he got fired, he then said on Fox, that NPR should get off the government dole. While he was still getting paid for his NPR gig, he never complained about getting a slice of that "dole" for himself. Nina is authentic. Juan is two faced.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The economic crisis is REAL

Obama and the democrats didn't take the economy seriously


The took the stimulus money - and DIVERTED it to pet democratic programs - INSTEAD OF MAXIMIZING JOB CREATION.


The tax cuts that Obama put in DID NOTHING FOR JOB CREATION - (they were in the wrong tax bracket)

The car program, appliance program - all did little for the economy - and it stimulated other countries, like CHINA.


So Obama BORROWED MONEY TO GIVE INCENTIVES TO PEOPLE TO BUY CHINA GOODS, WHICH EXPANDED THE TRADE DEFICIT, WHICH OBAMA HAD TO BORROW MORE TO PAY FOR.


Sound about right?

Obama is a complete disaster. He was supposed to be smart. All I have seen is boneheaded moves which haven't helped


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Paul Lane


You seem completely unaware of the situation around you.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

How big should these government programs be???


The democrats aren't just talking about keeping the SAME LEVEL of government programs in place - they want to EXPAND those programs.

____________________________


The deceptions of the democrats seem to have no end.


They go on the campaign trail and lie that the Republicans are going to end Social Security


Then they use those votes to go EXPAND government programs - which THREATENS SOCIAL SECURITY


Geeesssssssssshhhhh


When will they ever learn ????

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"give us examples of Nina Totenberg violating NPR's standards"

OK. In July 1995, on Inside Washington, speaking of Jesse Helms, Totenberg said:

"I think he ought to be worried about the--about what's going on in the good Lord's mind, because if there's retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it."

http://reason.com/blog/2010/10/21/what-wont-get-you-fired-from-n

For more recent examples, see here:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/nina-totenberg-next_511512.html

"the typical conservative ploy of ducking answering a question by posting another question not even tangentially related to the discussion."

How bizarre, if you do indeed believe a discussion of how other NPR employees have been treated is "not even tengentially related" to Williams' firing.

In any event, I figured your original question was simply rhetorical in nature. If you are actually looking for an answer, I am happy to respond. The notion that Rachel Maddow might ever be hired by FOX requires a significant suspension of disbelief. However, making that leap and assuming she had been hired, I suspect she would last as long as she was bringing in viewers and hence ad revenue.

"It's not as if NPR is obligated to keep anyone on the payroll, even absent violations of their standards."

If they were not funded by tax dollars, I would agree with you.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

That was when Helms was on the wrong side of the AIDS Issue. Thanks to Bono, Jessie Helms finally came around to Nina's side. Nina was correct, and it had nothing to do with partisan politics. It was just about doing the right thing for the sick, as Jesus would have called for. Senator Helms did apologize for his earlier stance, and helped Bono and others get funding to help AIDS victims.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

How much does the government give NPR (or its subscriber stations)?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"How bizarre, if you do indeed believe a discussion of how other NPR employees have been treated is "not even tengentially related" to Williams' firing."

Scott, do you understand the meanings of words? If so, how did this escape you:

"...OTHERWISE you're just engaging in the typical conservative ploy of ducking answering a question by posting another question not even tangentially related to the discussion."

Do you know what "otherwise" means, Scott?

Ok, I'll agree, Totenberg has made some questionable remarks.

But as for the nonsense about NPR being "funded by tax dollars", as carolanne's excellent link makes clear, about 1 - 2% of NPR funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Cut off their "tax dollar" funding tomorrow, and they would have no problem with going on. And in fact I think it could be argued, legitimately, that Fox and other media outlets receive at least as much public largesse in the way of tax breaks, etc. - particularly broadcast outlets, which have access to "public" airwaves for which they pay nothing.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"Cut off their "tax dollar" funding tomorrow, and they would have no problem with going on."

Well then what possible argument can there be for giving them tax dollars? Cut them off. Do we agree?

"And in fact I think it could be argued, legitimately, that Fox and other media outlets receive at least as much public largesse in the way of tax breaks, etc."

Only if one fallaciously conflates giving someone money with not taking their money.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

If I had a list of policies that I would fight to keep federal support, support for NPR would not be at the top of that list.

Anyone else?

Hopefully, we can stop talking about a story that has no legs. Juan Williams? Nina Totenburg? I can't believe we're still talking about it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

How much does the government give NPR (or its subscriber stations)?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 5:15 PM

................

Someone posted the figures on Plumline in the past few days. As I recall, they said it came out to less than 2% of NPR's annual expenditures.


I will go along with ending the federal support for NPR provided the Conservatives will agree to do the same thing for all their pet subsidy programs. How about ending all farm subsidies for not growing anything, and for corn ethanol, which drives up the price of food.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

I forgot...since I don't want to be accused of not answering even your rhetorical questions...

"Scott, do you understand the meanings of words?"

A lot of them.

"If so, how did this escape you:"

It didn't. It just didn't make any sense, so I ignored it. My ability to provide actual quotes just goes to whether or not I can substantiate the claim. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the claim was "even tangentially related" to Williams' firing.

"Do you know what "otherwise" means, Scott?"

Yes.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@liam,

I would gladly give up support for NPR in exchange for GOP support for federal aid to students to attend university. I wish it were so simple.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Liam:

"How about ending all farm subsidies for not growing anything, and for corn ethanol, which drives up the price of food."

Done. (Although why you think these are "pet conservative" subsidies, I'm not sure.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"...in exchange for GOP support for federal aid to students to attend university."

And drive the cost of tuition even higher?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@liam,

I would gladly give up support for NPR in exchange for GOP support for federal aid to students to attend university. I wish it were so simple.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 5:35 PM

.......................

I have never noticed Progressives complaining about The McLaughlin Group; on PBS, which more often than not has four Conservatives pitted against One Progressive Woman. They also televised a weekly show(that failed) featuring only The Wall St. Journal editorial board. There was also the time that the gave Tucker Carlson his own PBS weekly show.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Scott:

"Well then what possible argument can there be for giving them tax dollars?"

Probably the cache of being perceieved as official and government sponsored, which makes it so special to liberals.

Jenn said:

"And in fact I think it could be argued, legitimately, that Fox and other media outlets receive at least as much public largesse in the way of tax breaks, etc. - particularly broadcast outlets, which have access to "public" airwaves for which they pay nothing."

What Scott said. Also, what "media outlets" or "broadcast outlets" have "access" for which they pay nothing? What do you mean that they "pay nothing," and how is this "public largesse"?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives have made an argument that it is government aid that has so inflated the costs of college education. Other than the charge itself, is there any evidence for this belief? I would be interested in reading any data that supports this charge.

For the purposes of my next comments, I will assume that the above charge is correct. This means that there is an artificial bubble in the pricing of education. One way to pierce the bubble is to remove the artificial stimulus (government aid), and the bubble will deflate.

Bubbles do not deflate in a particularly nice way--the housing bubble is just the latest example of how bubbles blow out suddenly. If the education bubble is suddenly deflated, surely colleges will fail and there will be wholesale layoffs. There will be a sudden adjustment of the supply of education to the suddenly dramatically reduced demand for education.

The difficulty is in the short term: the generation of high school students who won't attend college. This will be the damned generation, one who cannot have much hope of bettering itself through education. There will be a shortage of doctors, teachers, geologists, etc. for the next twenty years. Can we really afford to deflate the education bubble, without regard to the fallout?

Is it possible that there are other approaches to moderating the costs of college, other than the abrupt withdrawal of federal aid? Is it worth the investment to determine a more moderate approach.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey!

Thanks for all the great feedback, and positive comments, especially Thunder, boy, he sure can be relied on for a unique viewpoint and wise insights that one doesn't get to hear very often these days.

Didn't mean to sound smug, just giving the facts on the company where I work. They've been growing annually for sixty years and they're not going anywhere, and no "one(s) coming after them" except perhaps the Chinese, and especially not the Pantload Trumpka.

And 544.867-9305 I said TARP and GreenStim combined...that means added together...to make a total greater than the two separately.

GE Capital is a division of GE that is a bank that the feds (again due to the Obama pegboy CEO) let pretend is not a bank.

Posted by: tao9 | October 23, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

"And drive the cost of tuition even higher?"

Surely they would include a clause suspending the laws of supply and demand.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, if you stop educating all the lower class kids, then College will be much more affordable for the Children of the wealthy, AKA Legacy Admissions. There will be far less students, hence far less demand for professors, so they will have to work for less compensation.

When it is for poor students; it is called Affirmative Action, which Conservatives hate. Poor kids; pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps!

When it is for rich students; it is called Legacy Admissions; which Conservatives love. Rich kids; pull yourselves up by your Fathers' bootstraps!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Tao is still out there on the last Iceberg; yelling; What Global Warming? I am freezing.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@liam,

Liberals are often criticized that they don't really understand conservative programs. I am trying to really understand what would happen in this narrow case (removing the federal government) from college aid. The states are already pulling their aid, the GOP may take the House, so this is a real possibility.

We should be able to rationally discuss the outcome of withdrawing federal aid from education without sarcasm or snark. So far, I have not been able to engage anyone, except liberals, to discuss it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"OBAMA WILL NOT ADMIT HE IS WRONG"

Nor have you EVER since I've been psoting here!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

867 5309


Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssshhhhhhhhh

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

rukidding, my response.

""1.)Fix the brackets. Let's begin slowly and simply...let the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% expire. Takes care of about 700 billion in the deficit as well. And remember they still get a tax cut...just not as large on their MARGINAL income."

My answer to this is that I do not think we are out of the recession/depression and I don't think it's a good idea to raise taxes on anybody yet. I would be willing to permanently exclude small businesses from that bracket if your heart is set on raising the taxes on that bracket however. I think that will end up being the middle ground politically.

But further, and this gets to world views, I do not believe the $70O billion #. People modify behavior to avoid taxes, particularly the majority that are close to the $250k cutoff. That is going to have a large effect on the revenue derived from that particular increase. Again, differing worldviews will look at it differently.


"2.) Eliminate the cap on FICA. It's a tax. It's BS to act as if it is a financially actuarial setup for retirement. Why should all of my employees pay 7.65% of their income when Rick Scott who earns 10+ Million a year pay .00765% of his income?"

The reason it was initially set up that way was to convince us rubes that it's not really wealth transfer. You get out what you put in, yada yada yada, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help". I suspect that it will be removed (at least the employee portion to help fund SS.)

Bear in mind however that that money will be spent on other things with T-Bills left in it's place. New tax increases or new taxes will eventually be levied to fund those T-Bills. Rinse and repeat. There is no way around this. Money collected by the government will be spent by it. No lock box will ever be secure enough to prevent enterprising politicians from accessing it. I suspect that even you, an ALL CAPS and exclamation point!!!! aficionado, know this. Furthermore, I posit that that extra revenue poses a "moral hazard" and contributes to the inevitable corruption of government.

"3.) Make corporations pay their fair share. 2/3 of U.S. Corporations pay Zero tax. The corporate share of U.S. taxes used to be 25% of the overall tax burden leaving 75% to the rest of us...since Reagan and then BushII it's now down to 8% leaving 92% for the rest of us.
If you wish means test entitlements like S.S. and Medicare in return I'd ask for some dramatic cuts in defense spending."

You're not going to like this but I say eliminate corporate sales tax entirely. It's never may sense to me since all corporate income taxes get passed down to the consumer anyway. (cont on next)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@12BB

As far as evidence goes, I am not aware of any studies that have been conducted linking subsidies to tuition hikes. However, I would say that it is more or less consistent with economic theory. Certainly demand for higher education is inelastic, and colleges don't compete on price. This is somewhat an unusual case - typically producers get the subsidy; here, consumers do. But as a general rule, distortions in the market accrue to the producer in the case of inelastic demand. Which means that subsidies go to the consumer to make college more affordable, and colleges just pocket the subsidy themselves by raising tuition.

As far as a bubble goes, college education is a service, not an asset, and I don't see how college tuition suddenly collapses (although as the father of a 7-year old, nothing would make me happier). Colleges compete on the basis of rankings, which in theory means higher starting salaries for graduates, but even that isn't guaranteed.

The biggest puzzle for me is: Tuition has been increasing well in excess of inflation for decades. Salaries for college professors have not. So where does the money go?

Posted by: sold2u | October 23, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

You're not going to like this but I say eliminate corporate sales tax entirely.
----------------------------------
Did you really mean to write "sales" tax? If so, I assume you mean use tax. That is a state tax.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"People modify behavior to avoid taxes, particularly the majority that are close to the $250k cutoff."

No, they don't, unless the rate is so high that it makes it not worth the effort to make more.

I don't think anyone can credibly argue that a person who has the option of making an extra $50,000 will forego that opportunity just because a new tax law means he or she will pay an additional $1,500 of it in taxes; that instead of the $18,000 he would have paid under the previous rate he'll now pay $19,500, which will leave him with *only* an additional $30,500 in income.

People generally will take as much money as they can get their hands on. You can continue to insist that an additional $1,500 in taxation would stop most people from attempting to add $30,500 to their income for the year, but all rational people will continue to recognize that as fairytale BS irrationality and completely divorced from how people behave in the real world.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS


In a last ditch effort to save the Congressional majorities, Obama will announce tomorrow that he is resigning - and moving back to INDONESIA.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

@sold2u,

I'm assuming for argument's sake, that there is some correlation between government aid to students and college tuition.

I don't understand your distinction that college tuition will not collapse if the demand for it collapses. Why not? If government aid is eliminated, demand for education will drop abruptly, wouldn't it?

Granted, the highest rated universities, especially those well endowed, will soldier on for a while. But the rest? When classrooms are empty, layoffs will soon follow, sale of university assets, and all the rest, while the supply of education competes for the smaller demand.

What am I missing here?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

rukidding (cont)

There is a massive amount of money spent in figuring out ways to avoid corporate taxes as well as how to pay them and stay in, for lack of a better work, compliance. Also, companies spend and awful lot of money lobbying Congress to lower it or increase it on another company. I would also end all corporate welfare and subsidies, as well as the third rail, farm subsidies.

I believe that SS and Medicare should be means tested and I suspect SS will, so those that pay in all their life will get screwed. Oh well, they helped elect the idiots who set up this disaster in the first place. I'm also with you that defense spending should be cut. I'm guessing it will be cut by at least a third. I would drastically, if not completely eliminate the Army to keep the Navy (the most important military branch, though I'm a former Marine) Marines and Air Force fully funded for force projection and
to intervene in terrorist hotspots. That means complete withdrawl from Iraq and Afghanistan and accepting the inevitable genocide that will follow. Our remainig defense forces should be essentially used to keep shipping lanes for trade.

Let the ALL CAPS and !!!!!! fly!!!!!!111!!1!!!!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

@sold2u,

I wrote: I don't understand your distinction that college tuition will not collapse if the demand for it collapses.

What I should have said: I don't understand your distinction that cost of tuition, being a service not an asset, will not collapse...

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

12BB,

Withdrawing college aid would make it almost impossible for the vast majority of kids, from working class families, to attend any colleges except perhaps 2 year community colleges, and technical schools. That is how it used to be during the gilded age.

Despite all the claims coming from Conservative corners, that Liberals are Elitists; it is the Conservatives that keep trying to establish an America for only the privileged few.

Look at how much they are willing to add to the national debt, just to renew the Tax Cuts for the Wealthiest, while at the same time, trying to get rid of minimum wage laws, and Social Security.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut writes


defense spending should be cut. I'm guessing it will be cut by at least a third. I would drastically, if not completely eliminate the Army to keep the Navy (the most important military branch, though I'm a former Marine) Marines and Air Force fully funded for force projection and to intervene in terrorist hotspots. That means complete withdrawl from Iraq and Afghanistan and accepting the inevitable genocide that will follow.


_______________________________


Complete Insanity.


Sounds like you have been talking to Ron Paul - because you sound Libertarian.

Cut the government -


So you would "accept" genocide ??? And Obama wants to "absorb" another terrorist atttck ???


How about the democrats just STEP ASIDE RIGHT NOW. You aren't fit to govern.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@liam,

I understand that if government aid to students is withdrawn, there will be wholesale withdrawal from 4 year universities. I just want to follow one conservative program all the way through. I don't want to cut the conversation short.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Rainforest,

What? I'm so mortified. No wonder Jenny never answered.

Regards,

taotutone

Posted by: tao9 | October 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@12BB

Inelastic demand is a funny thing. If your gets into Harvard and you can afford the tuition, are you as a parent going to tell them to go to the in-state public school because the difference in the quality of the education is not large enough to warrant the difference in tuition?

If the subsidies disappear, I would expect the Harvards to have no issues filling their classrooms. State schools might actually get an increase in demand.

That was why I asked the question "if tuition increases 10% a year, and college professor salaries aren't increasing 10% a year, where is the money going?" Because I thing that (be it endowment, investments in real estate, etc) is what will take the hit.

Posted by: sold2u | October 23, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut - along with the rest of the democratic party, you have jumped the shark

Complete fiscal irresponsibility will lead to the liberals losing ALL the programs they want.


It makes NO SENSE to be fiscally irresponsible - but that is exactly what Obama and the democrats have done.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 23, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

@sold2u,

If tuitions do not fall when government aid is withdrawn, then doesn't that indicate the government aid is not inflating tuitions?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@sc3:"The main difference is that faux news has a platform..."

Both Bernie's original and McWing's response was referring to National Review, not FOX.

***note below
Sorry I didn't make this clearer. NR, Heritage, AEI, etc (groups that have at least a small tenuous connection with reality) and other media outlets originating from central rightwingnutistan (Think Breibart's big govt., swiftboatvetsfortruth, etc.) are both mined for material and featured as guest "experts" with alarming regularity on Fox and Foxnation.com. It is Fox's cultivation, promotion, and marketing of radio (and TV) rightwingnutistan that has no parallel. There is no corresponding entity on the progressive side. MSNBC is not a balance partly because it doesn't have the same size audience (msnbc is usually unavailable in basic cable or sat packages, consumers have to pay a premium for the privilege of watching). But mostly Fox and MSNBC are different because MSNBC is owned by a giant multinational corporation mostly interested in profits not advocacy, not say a consortium of labor unions, progressive non-profits, and foundations as dedicated to advancing an agenda for those at or near the median income (<70K/yr, <300k net worth) as Fox is pushing Republicans, big business, deregulation, the so called tea party (ie 90% hard core republican base), etc.

Ultimately, I am sure that Murdoch would like fox news/nation and associated brands to make money (or more money). But Fox News is like a loss leader for the plutocrats. The more Fox news pushes cutting taxes on the wealthy, plutocrats, and oligarchs by supporting NR, Heritage, etc. who send out "experts" espousing the virtues of raising the retirement age, cutting future SS benefits for people currently paying into the system, ending capital gains taxes altogether, etc. the more the dialog about taxation moves toward a position that benefits their finances directly. Its called balancing the budget on the backs of the working and middle class.

***caution, the word "rightwingnutistan" is used to describe the far right fringe that dominates the republican party right now. I apologize in advance if you are offended. Its called satire.***

Posted by: srw3 | October 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

12barblues wrote:

"I understand your point, but how does that boil down at the street level? Is there any "good" reason to support the out-of-work Brit, since it does not behoove GDP to support him financially? Is there any reason to support some wool cloth operations (and jobs) somewhere in Scotland, since that cloth will never be attractive enough for export"

You're a little too far into the British economy for me to discuss the micro level. I can give you a somewhat similar example from American industry though.

In 1981, when Jack Welch took over GE in thst recesssion, he was given the name Neutron Jack because he killed all the people and left the buildings standing. Over the course of several years through layoffs, attrition and sales of businesses he got rid of somewhere around 110,000 employees. The stock price was somewhere around a $1.50 a share adjusted for comparison to today. It trades now at about $16.50.

The company was in many ways a dinosaur that he took over. It was and is the only going concern today from the original stocks in the Dow Jones average. He led the changeover into a more successful business model that could work at the end of the 20th century and today.

Yet, a lot of individuals were hurt by his changes, and a lot were helped. The switchgear plant where my dad worked in Philly closed down for good and he retired. However, 30 years later, he still gets a pension check from GE and even a COLA which VERY few companies offer in their defined benefit pensions. He still has his GE stock which he bought through the years of working there at a discount, and the dividend of which pays his real estate taxes annually.

Other people who worked at comparable industrial giants, like US Steel and now GM, wound up SOL.

So was Welch a bast*rd for getting rid of all those people, OR did he SAVE the financial situation of those who continued to work there, AND those who relied on the pensions and stock for the rest of their lives?

I believe it's somewhat comparable to a general who wants to make sure every single soldier in his command comes home from the war. Yet, he can either succeed in his goal, or be a successful general because you can't do both.

Being of Irish ancestry, I detest the British. However their hardheartedness may be the only real solution for their economy. Time will tell.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@12BB if tuition continues to increase at past rates, I would agree with you. If the appreciation stops, then I would argue that the subsidies were in fact raising tuition.

Posted by: sold2u | October 23, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"Other than the charge itself, is there any evidence for this belief?"

Not really an answer, but an interesting article on the topic, with claims on both sides:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/02/college_costs.html

Apart from that, first of all it is not simply government aid that causes inflation, it is aid of all kinds, public and private. Lots of students don't actually pay the sticker price for college, as they get aid from the school itself. This just means that those who are paying the full price are subsidizing the others. If everyone had to pay exactly the same regardless of economic circumstances, tuition would undoubtedly be lower than the advertised price. (Not least because demand would also decrease.) Second, I don't think anyone argues that tuition increases are solely due to financial aid, but economics tells us that such aid will inevitably have an inflationary effect. It is pretty basic economics 101 that when you increase demand for something, the seller of that something can and will charge more for it. And the very goal of government educational assistance programs (or any assistance programs, for that matter) is to increase demand for a college education.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

12barblues wrote:

"If tuitions do not fall when government aid is withdrawn, then doesn't that indicate the government aid is not inflating tuitions?"

If the government could magically end both GSL's (which is no longer the correct name but which escapes me at the moment) AND the non-profit status of colleges and universities, my own personal estimate is that tuition at all non-elite institutions would fall 40-50% after a DRAMATIC round of layoffs and consolidations, within about 3-4 years.

The absolute best demonstration of the classic definition of inflation (too much money chasing too few goods) in our society today is college tuition.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

If the subsidies disappear, I would expect the Harvards to have no issues filling their classrooms. State schools might actually get an increase in demand.
-------------------------------------
I think the Ivies would be fine if subsidies disappeared, at least for a while.

Isn't the cost of state university somewhere around $20,000/yr. Where would a high school student & his family get this kind of money, with no grants or loans? The college board says that 75% of students get some kind of student aid today. Eliminate that, and those kids will drop out.

There is no way you can take 75% of the money out of a system, and have the system just chug along unchanged.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The "let's just lie all the time" strategy...

"While Sessions has argued that government spending couldn't possibly improve the economy, and that the stimulus was one big waste, Sessions also quietly urged the Obama administration to spend stimulus money in his district. Indeed, the Republican lawmaker said government spending in his area would create jobs -- while simultaneously telling the public that government spending is incapable of creating jobs."
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_10/026274.php

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@troll Thanks for your thoughtful response.
Perhaps I can keep the caps and ! to a minimum out of respect for your effort. :-)

Tax brackets...I'll let Jenn's earlier post address that. Although I'd have a question for both you and Jenn...the marginal rates are largely a joke anyway...Rick Scott...while admittedly a corporate fraud and all around despicable man is probably a great example of what the many of the wealthy truly pay. Since he is running for office he felt obliged to release his past three years of returns. He paid 15% on an income that average 10 million annually. 15%! Sorry but I think that does deserve an exclamation point. Why should you or I or Jenn or anybody even bother to argue over marginal rate adjustments of 35% to 39% when they don't even pay half that amount anyway?

Yes you can make the argument that corporate taxes are passed onto the consumer and that is partially true...sort of a built in VAT if you will. But when Corporations were paying 25% of our load their CEO's made more realistic salaries as did their Boards of Directors and other top employees. Simply consider...
The ratio of CEO pay to factory worker pay rose from 42:1 in 1960 to as high as 531:1 in 2000, at the height of the stock market bubble, when CEOs were cashing in big stock options. It was at 411:1 in 2005 and 344:1 in 2007. By way of comparison, the same ratio is about 25:1 in Europe.

But remember I was responding to a very general question about the "limits' of what I'd consider. You talk about the FICA tax as if it were abhorrent...which begs the question...do you feel our seniors should exist as they did back in depression days? Do you honor actual labor? Or do you think hedge fund guys contribute more to our society?

Simply put Troll...the U.S. has had a radical shift of wealth distribution. Do you wish to make me come up with the gazillion links like this one to document it?

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

http://www.faireconomy.org/issues/growing_divide?gclid=CJHJup6H6qQCFYXD7QodhkyIYw

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States

"The majority of social scientists believe that income inequality currently poses a problem for American society with Alan Greenspan stating it to be a "very disturbing trend."

It is a problem on at least two levels...moral..and pragmatic. Studies show that societies with weak middle classes do not function economically as well as those with a strong middle class...
using normal metrics like inflation..GDP etc.

And so let me pull the old trick of answering your question with a question.
Do you concede that there has been a..sorry....MEASURABLE..shift in income distribution...or like Q.B. do you simply wish to dismiss all of the evidence from experts of both left and right?

Do you find this a problem or are you comfortable with the rich getting richer and richer while the majority watch THEIR standard of living decline?


Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

There is no way you can take 75% of the money out of a system, and have the system just chug along unchanged.
------------------------------
My mistake. Seventy five percent of students get financial aid, but that doesn't necessarily equate into 75% of the dollars. Still, I'll bet aid dollars are a substantial portion of the tuition (hence, the argument that it is government aid that is inflating tuitions.)

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Ethan said: " but all rational people will continue to recognize that as fairytale BS irrationality and completely divorced from how people behave in the real world"

Ok. Can I get any alimony then?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

@Troll One last thought. You responded rationally and voila we have found points of agreement. I accept your means testing for entitlements and I think your ideas on defense are excellent. Hard for me to say since I am an Army vet and we always had trouble with Marines. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The absolute best demonstration of the classic definition of inflation (too much money chasing too few goods) in our society today is college tuition.
---------------------------------
For argument's sake, let's agree with your sentence.

Then, would you advocate just bursting that bubble? What societal costs would be incurred in bursting that bubble?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The middle class has been almost wiped out. They are not going to be able to earn enough to afford to send any of their kids to four year colleges.

The good paying blue collar manufacturing jobs are mostly gone, and will all be gone in the not too distant future. So where are the good paying jobs going to come from, for all the people who are not college material, but who need to earn wages that will allow them to pay for college for one or more of their children who will be college material?

I do not understand why Conservatives are so in love with the race to the bottom concept. It will tear the social fabric of America to shreds.

Take a good look at where America is at today. It no longer manufactures TVs, Refrigerators, Stoves, Clothing, and on and on. Hell; most of the Republicans pushed for to even let The US Auto Makers go out of business.

So where are the good paying non college degree jobs supposed to come from in the future? After all; college would still be wasted on a sizable percentage of the population. Not everyone is born with the brain power to earn a real degree.

So, once all the good paying hands on jobs are gone, where are those people supposed to get enough money to pay for all the imported goods, that previous generations use to make here in the USA?

The race to the lowest global wages bottom, is the dumbest thing that we could possibly do, and I am afraid that we have gone too far down that path, to stop and turn things around.

America, In The Coming Times, Looks Like A Vast Wasteland, Full Of Desperate Hostile Factions, to me.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

The Food-Poisoning Builds Character political theory...

"QUESTIONER: Given the salmonella outbreaks that we have seen every three weeks, with the chicken industry, with pesticides and what not that they put onto spinach in order to get the salmonella. We have rules and regulations. However there is no rule mandating that they be enforced. Is there some way when you’re in Congress that you’ll have a bill passed that says instead of having companies voluntarily change, mandate that they must change or give them the ability to shut ‘em down and that goes for mining companies or anyone who has hundreds of violations against ‘em.

KELLY: Here’s the thing with that point, that’s the first time I’ve ever had that question. Congratulations on being unique. First shot out of the box, no ma’am. I do not believe that what we’re lacking right now is a lack of regulations on business. [...] You could literally go spit on the grass and get arrested by the federal government if you wanted to right now. [...] More regulation, more federal control, giving Nancy Pelosi more power, is not the solution right now.

QUESTIONER: Who’s protecting us?

KELLY: That’s the thing, ma’am, it’s our job to protect ourselves. Because no one else is going to look out for your best interests except for you. [...]

QUESTIONER: Am I supposed to go to a chicken farmer and say I’d like you to close down because all of your birds are half dead?

KELLY: I’ve not heard a lot about that recently, obviously there’s a new thing that comes along every day. But I know this, every portion of our economy that is heavily regulated doesn’t have fewer disasters, it has more."
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/23/jesse-kelly-fda-salmonella/

Likewise assault, rape and theft one supposes.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, numbers and sold2u, for being good responders. If government aid was eliminated, Sold2u and I believe that there would be an abrupt implosion of the cost of education. Numbers says no.

The followon question I have now, is the societal implication of imploding that bubble. This would be a multiyear project, surely. Lower income students could not enter college until tuitions came down sufficiently so they could selfpay (no point in putting government aid back in). That would take a long time, maybe as long as 20 years.

There would be a dearth of teachers, doctors, scientists, etc. for a generation. That has a cost to the nation and to individuals. What do you think about that? Is it worth it?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

8675309:

"The absolute best demonstration of the classic definition of inflation (too much money chasing too few goods) in our society today is college tuition."

I agree.

12Bar:

"Then, would you advocate just bursting that bubble?"

No. I would advocate trying to deflate it slowly.

"What societal costs would be incurred in bursting that bubble?"

Probably a lot of hardship, as in any any bubble-burst.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, does your comment require yur speshul edumucashyun to respond to? "You'll find [my question] [ignant], I'm sure, and I'm unbothered by that consequence."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"Then, would you advocate just bursting that bubble?"

No. I would advocate trying to deflate it slowly.

Get real. Bubbles don't deflate slowly. Name one that has.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

numbers wrote: If the government could magically end both GSL's (which is no longer the correct name but which escapes me at the moment) AND the non-profit status of colleges and universities, my own personal estimate is that tuition at all non-elite institutions would fall 40-50% after a DRAMATIC round of layoffs and consolidations, within about 3-4 years.
--------------------------------
Sidebar: What is your reasoning about the non-profit status?

Otherwise, I'm in agreement this would be a distinct possibility.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

No, Troll, Ethan didn't say that - I did.

And if you want to tell me that you would forego an extra $30,500 in income because you had to pay an extra $1,500 in taxes, then I'll still stand by what I said and say that you're a fool and a moron.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I find this discussion on college tuition and aid very interesting and a bit ironic.

Ironic in the sense that the greatest Republican President (currently of course he would be viewed as a RINO) Abraham Lincoln so believed in the "American Dream" that he began the "Land Grant" University program that was the genesis of many of our great state universities today.

In other words "Honest" Abe believed that the privileged already has a large enough head start in life without adding on the advantage of higher education over their poorer brethren. Do conservatives still believe that?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

rukidding,

I salute your service. I believe you mentioned before you were/are a Screaming Eagle. Thanks!

Look, this is going to piss you off but I remain unconvinced that disparate wealth ditribution is bad. Are we, better off in almost any measure than in, say 1950 or heck, even 1975? I say yes. Had the dispirite income only gotten more exaggerated from 1950?

I believe in a thriving middle class but I do not necessarily think that the wealthy, increasing their wealth, decrease mine. The economy is not a zero sum game.

ScottC3,

Not to sound snarky but can you name a bubble successfully deflated versus "popped"? Bubbles have existed since at least what, the middle ages and the tulip bulb bubble? I just don't think it's possibe to deflate.

Maybe we should ask Canada's finest, Bernie for the definitive answer?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

bernie - obviously, if we want to avoid food poisoning, we should all train as microbiologists/pathologists and install expensive labs in our homes.

Those of us who are "parasites" and "non-producers" who can't afford expensive training and lab equipment deserve to become ill and die from food advertised as wholesome. Serves us right for being suckers and believing them, right?

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"oops apologies for horrid writing...
"all time favorite player" not "favorite all time player." Posted by: rukidding7"

Well, he is older and heavier, but you still don't want to go against him for money. He still plays and his shot is pretty good for an old guy.He's an all time player as well as the nest player of all time.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 23, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I am afraid that most of you are focusing too much on the prospects for the Intelligentsia.

Why is it so hard for most of you to take a hard look at the more dangerous looming problem of the rapidly expanding underclasses, for which college is never going to be attainable, and almost no good paying hands on jobs will be available.

That is the situation that will cause America to become more like Eastern Europe was, and will lead to massive factional violence, and feudalistic turf wars.

Where every great want becomes epidemic, chaos soon follows. Focus on the havenots, or they will make it impossible for the haves to abide.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Someone (ru?) linked earlier to Conason's piece on the attendance of Ponnuru, Barone, Krauthammer, Beck and other media figues attending the Koch "kill government to increase our bank accounts" jamboree. Here's more from TP..
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/23/koch-meeting-journalists/

But it's really the boys and girls on Journolist that we need to worry about re propaganda. Because of the big money bloggers have and because of the hundreds of high octane front groups they set up and stuff.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"Bubbles don't deflate slowly. Name one that has."

Well, we don't usually call them bubbles unless they burst, do we? I suspect if tuition rates slowly stopped skyrocketing and eventually came to seem more reasonable, no one would ever talk about the great tuition bubble.

But let us assume you are correct, and that I am not being "real". It seems to me, then, that our two choices are 1) burst the bubble now; or 2) continue to inflate it. If those are the choices you are offering me, I choose number 1. Because it will inevitably burst anyway, and the consequences then would be even worse than now.

Is that "real" enough for your taste?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Why is it so hard for most of you to take a hard look at the more dangerous looming problem of the rapidly expanding underclasses, for which college is never going to be attainable, and almost no good paying hands on jobs will be available.
-------------------------------
The ladder from the working class to the professional class is higher education. If we roll up the ladder so that it is not possible to climb out of the working class, there are more "have-nots".

Adding to that pressure, that millions of good blue collar jobs have been eliminated, never to return, and I can't imagine what will come of us as a nation.

Nevertheless, I think it is a worthwhile mind experiment to focus on the college aid issue. It is a narrow issue, fairly easily understood, and is a microcosm of many other arguments.

If it were possible to beat the inflation out of college tuitions, I would be all for it. However, we can't just "set off the rockets, and not care where they land". We must look at the implications of what we do, not to paralyze us, but to make better decisions.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"or like Q.B. do you simply wish to dismiss all of the evidence from experts of both left and right?"

It doesn't matter how much contrary or conflicting evidence anyone produces, you just go on blindly pretending that there isn't any, you haven't seen any, "na na na na, can't hear you . . ." Just like your obstinate reliance on the same internet talking points about the "religion of peace" without having even read a detailed factual refutation. You just dismiss all information inconsistent with your pet dogmas as illegitimate.

So I'm going to ignore the rest of your blather this time and just make the very simple observation that it is ridiculous to claim that the middle class's standard of living is declining or below where it was 30 years ago. Ridiculous. The middle class has more and better cars, more and better TVs, eats out, goes on vacations, goes to college, has computers, digital video cameras, smartphones, and a thousand other technologies and conveniences that didn't even exist 30 years ago.

You're old enough to know better, and I'm tired of trying to talk sense with fanatics who simply hate freedom and are obsessed with their resentment and envy. Thankfully, your party is going to lose much of its power in less than two weeks, because the country is rejecting your leftist radicalism. I hope you enjoyed your moment, because it's over.


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Yglesias writes:

"In a couple of tweets the morning, Joshua Foust said:

'I finally figured out what bothers me so much about Wikileaks, and it is precisely what bothers me about the DOD: a sense, on both sides… … Of hypocritical entitlement, combined with arrogance and a blithe disregard for consequences. Wikileaks is the Left’s Pentagon.'

Provocative! To which Andrew Exum replied:

'@joshuafoust You’re being to harsh on the Pentagon: DoD has both systems of accountability and civilian and congressional oversight.'

Congressional oversight! Of the Defense Department! We’re truly doomed."

What phuckingg planet is this?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

jennofark,

Sorry for the confusion on my part. It was your utter contempt for differing opinions that confused me.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The followon question I have now, is the societal implication of imploding that bubble. This would be a multiyear project, surely. Lower income students could not enter college until tuitions came down sufficiently so they could selfpay (no point in putting government aid back in). That would take a long time, maybe as long as 20 years.

There would be a dearth of teachers, doctors, scientists, etc. for a generation. That has a cost to the nation and to individuals. What do you think about that? Is it worth it?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

"Not to sound snarky but can you name a bubble successfully deflated versus "popped"?"

As I mentioned to 12Bar, bubbles are generally recognized by the fact of having burst, so to answer you directly, no. If the burst is somehow avoided, it isn't generally called, in retrospect, a bubble.

"Maybe we should ask Canada's finest, Bernie for the definitive answer?"

It is pretty clear that we both are either too dishonest or ideological or uneducated or, well, something, to hold his "interest" long enough to get him to answer anything. ;)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

@Troll Thanks and return thanks for your service as well. And thanks for having to really p*ss off STRF/Leaf or whatever he is calling himself this evening with your sensible proposals on defense.

"I believe in a thriving middle class but I do not necessarily think that the wealthy, increasing their wealth, decrease mine. The economy is not a zero sum game."

In a "theoretical" sense this is certainly true. In a "real world" sense...not really. I saw an economist the other night who was neither right nor left but simply pragmatic pointing out what has changed for the U.S. It has become far more of a "zero sum" game. The U.S. used to be blessed with plenty of natural resources to grow our economy. We're both to young to remember but there was a time when our oil came from Pennsylvania and Texas and California. Now it comes from elsewhere. The globalization of all nation's economy and the fungible nature of money means our pie has now been effected by considerable restraints. Yes we can still grow that pie...but not like the olden days like immediately following WWII when we were the only bakers left with a functioning oven and plenty of flour, lard and other essential resources.

Perhaps I cap and....because on a very personal level I HAVE seen my lifestyle change significantly. My wife has been a dentist for 35 years. I've only been married to her for about 13 of those years.
In the past decade we have stopped...annual ski trips out west...membership to a nice club here in St. Pete...half season tickets to the hockey games..and worst of all..this year I finally had to give up my golf membership. I hesitate to mention this not simply because it's personal...but it is insufferable whining when compared to my neighbors...1 out of 7 living in poverty...over 50% of my fellow Floridians now live in homes worth less than they owe on them...more than 1 out of ten of my neighbors cannot find a job...Comparisons of now to the 50's-60's don't really work...apples to oranges. We have two cars, my parents only had one...but my mom didn't work..we have really cool phones and TV's but our healthcare costs threaten to bankrupt us right before retirement after 40 years of hard work. My wife and I are working just as hard now as we did 30 years ago...but our standard of living has certainly diminished. I realize that is anecdotal and only one example, and perhaps you could point out Florida, Az. nd Nevada are getting hammered more than others, but I am seeing this in Michigan as well. Statistically the middle class is earning less and under more stress...Obamacare...a private insurance reform certainly didn't address my wife and my problems...not because it was a Gov't takeover but because it wasn't! If you have an open mind just know that right now the VA is doing better than the private system for about $5,000 per patient versus $6,500. Ohh no..socialized medicine works in the country?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

So which do you choose? Keep inflating or burst the bubble now?

Back later tonight.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope Kevin_Willis is on vacation and didn't get banned by accident. I think he said he lives in Tennessee, maybe Glen Reynolds can put out an APB.

Kevin... Don't go into the light!!!!!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

@all,

Scott has voted that he would pull government aid to students regardless of the impact. At least that is an honest vote.

Anyone else? This is something we should be able to debate and come to some reasonable solutions. Left and right. It's a real world problem and one that is easily understood.

Pull all government aid to students?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"So, once all the good paying hands on jobs are gone, where are those people supposed to get enough money to pay for all the imported goods, that previous generations use to make here in the USA?"

Absent some government action distorting the market, that would not happen, because it would become cheaper to manufacture here than wherever all those imported goods were coming from. That's how free markets work.

But there is nothing you can do to make people's labor worth more than it is worth. You can't create a free lunch. You would probably like to adopt strict protectionism; I suppose you could just ban international trade. But I don't think you would like the consequences.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"I wish you would stop framing it as something that I believe. I merely brought up what was being reported in the news. The report I saw, also said that they requested a comment from Bill Clinton about the claim that is now being made by his Joint Chiefs Chaiman, and they got no response. Posted by: Liam-still "

You need to be a bit more critical in your thinking.

Assume that in fact the codes WERE "On a card the size of a credit card." being crypto material, that card would be subject to some very rigid controls as to who possessed it. Almost impossible to lose, but, should it turn up missing at a transfer point, (most likely every eight hours at most) it would immediately be canceled and the codes changed. The codes in the field are transferred electronically via very secure means. They can be changed quite quickly.

Then again, remember that spiffily dressed officer with the brief case who goes every where the Pres goes? He still goes where ever the Pres goes, and HE is the man carrying the codes.

If someone on a National Network, or elsewhere in the media proposes this kind of nonsense, think about what you know and note that the claim that we could go for months missing national defense codes.

Didn't happen.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 23, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

A simple question for which I do not know the answer:

How does the number of college students compare to the number that there were in 1985?

Also; how many opening are there for students, compared to 1985?

In other words; has the number of enrollment slots kept pace with the demand, and if not, then why not?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Or, said conversely, there wouldn't be "all those imported goods" if people here couldn't afford them.

You need to learn some basic economics.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Ruk,

I want to respond but need to do more chores and will respond later. Interesting though, I sell stuff to dentists. Did you know that, with the exception of Plastic Surgeons, Dentists make more money than DDS's? Blew my mind when I first stepped into the dental market.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

@Troll Kevin is my favorite righty...his posts are not only thoughtful and controlled...he pricks my bubble every now and then to keep me from over inflating my hyperbolic bubble. LOL

Kevin would be one of the last people here to get banned because he is always a gentleman. And you are correct he is from Memphis. Let's just hope for the best and assume he's on vacation with the missus.

BTW On the subject of banning...that topic was never really broached here until Greg moved his blog to the WaPo. Many of us had been here long before the move and while we had our food fights just like now, there was only ONE poster who ever got banned. All the talk of banning started after the switch to WaPo and whatever happened at the Fix. We suddenly were hit with a large influx of new posters...most of them welcome from both left and right...a few of them really obnoxious. Then we started hearing talk of some of these posters being banned and some even bragged about getting banned as a badge of honor. On the whole...a very general term..."most" of the posters here try to engage thoughtfully. It's the main reason I only post here and nowhere else except for the the comment section of my local paper. In addition many of the posters here are generous with links and I have learned a lot here...and I also respect Greg's journalistic integrity. Yes he is obviously progressive which opens him to charges of bias in terms of "which" stories he selects and the amount of space he devotes to them...but he is very careful to stick to the facts and doesn't simply make cr*p up out of whole cloth as happens throughout the blogosphere and on cable news outlets.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

If someone on a National Network, or elsewhere in the media proposes this kind of nonsense, think about what you know and note that the claim that we could go for months missing national defense codes.

Didn't happen.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 23, 2010 7:42 PM

>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The media did not make the claim. The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, under Bill Clinton is the one now making the claim. Further more; he says that the guy carrying the Nuclear Football, does not also carry the codes to be fed into that device, so you need to read what I wrote, instead of just making up stuff. You are debating your own fiction.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

@liam,

Half an answer:

Enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 14 percent between 1987 and 1997. Between 1997 and 2007, enrollment increased at a faster rate (26 percent).

http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

@Troll When you return...you posted..
"Dentists make more money than DDS's?"

I assume you had a typo...of course as you are well aware DDS's are dentists and so I'm guessing you meant MD's. That's not exactly true. I think "some" dentists make more than some "internists" of "family docs" but that's where the comparison would end. My brother in law the cardiologist made 6-8X what my wife earns. Yes he is a specialist not a surgeon however, and he also works bad hours and so I don't begrudge him. In fact he is a bit of a hero to me because he quit a very profitable practice to join a couple of his buddies and go out on his own at great personal $$$ sacrifice because the first practice was guilty of procedure driven medicine...doing far too many Cardiac Caths when a simple far less expensive stress test would have sufficed.

While our practice hasn't grown we can't really gripe. At the depth of the crash 08-09 we were off only by 5%. We now have friends who have actually closed their offices a couple of days a week due to lack of business. My wife travels occasionally to U.F. to provide courses on Ethics to the students and recently heard of six 08 grads who were now out of work completely. Dentistry may be one of the most recession sensitive businesses around.
People stop coming in for normal maintainence...cleanings etc and wait until pain. Of course this is sad because when a dentist discovers a cavity early it can be a simple $150 procedure...by the time symptoms like pain arrive that cavity may require a root canal and crown..a combo that can quickly run to more than $1500.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"Shelton claims the story has never been released before, but Ret. Air Force Lt. Col Robert Patterson told a very similar account in his own book, published seven years ago. Patterson was one of the men who carried the football, and he says it was literally the morning after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke that he made a routine request of the president to present the card so that he could swap it out for an updated version. "He thought he just placed them upstairs," Patterson recalled. "We called upstairs, we started a search around the White House for the codes, and he finally confessed that he in fact misplaced them. He couldn't recall when he had last seen them." Posted by: Liam-still"

I don't buy it. We don't handle crypto material that way. Not even the president.

As to the stuff coming out on Wikileaks, what is coming out that I say were action and after action reports. These are classified confidential or SECRET, usually SECRET because they are sent in encrypted form. What I saw, missing addresses and DTGs, and in fact almost all their preambles, are quite useless. if that were all wikileaks had it would be only mildly annoying. Still, it appears they have classified material, WITH the preambles, and that is a different beast.

If all that they have is 90k such messages and all the public gets to see is the hacked up remnants, no body will care to read through the mess. Since they purport to show U.S. atrocities, and higher casualty counts than Bush was willing to report, they would have to be presented in toto, and then would be hard to analyze because they would need to be sorted by comm link and by sender and receiver.

This stuff is classified because the book says it is classified, (That way you don't accidently compromise really sensitive material) and would ordinarily be declassified in here somewhere. It will be useful to the historian who has access to it in its proper organization, and the time to put it all in time and context, and could probably be declassified now if we had sufficient declassification specialists to do so.

But since to evaluate the material compromised to analyze its potential for damage would be quite time consuming, and be beyond the abilities of anyone not associated with the operations which generated the messages, or someone with lots of background information to properly organize and collate the mess.

Working eight hours a day on this stuff, one man could just read it all in about 40 years. So it is worthless to the common citizen, who obviously hasn't the time to process it, but quite worthwhile for an organization with LOTS of analysts, and lots of computing power.

So we the people can't much use it, but our enemies just might be able to use it.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 23, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

rukidding - I had a (quite recent) dental experience I related over at my blog, and feel fortunate that it *only* cost me $950. The dentist said he'd never seen an abcess the size of the one I had (discovered by chance) on anyone who wasn't having any pain. But had it gone only a couple of days longer, I would have ended up in the hospital with sepsis. If you want to read the gory details, it's under the title "My New Refrigerator is in My Mouth."

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

@12Bar "Scott has voted that he would pull government aid to students regardless of the impact. At least that is an honest vote."

You will find that Scott will always express on honest vote. Unlike some here he doesn't get carried away..too much anyway :-)...in endless sophistry. IMHO the problem with Scott is he always argues very well from the "theoretical" standpoint. His arguments do not really hold up in the "real" world.
That is to say I don't believe many of us would wish to live in the type of uber harsh society Scott would create with his "theoretical" ideas...like ending all assistance for college tuition.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Soros has come up a lot over the years so I was curious and did a little research. Let’s put this in perspective as far as George Soros. Soros born “Schwartz György” in Hungary, worked for the N***S during WWll helping them round up Jews.
Source: Masquerade: dancing around death in Nazi-occupied Hungary By Tivadar Soros (His father’s book)
How does Soros feel about what he did as a teenager? Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes asked him that very question. Was it difficult? “Not at all,” Soros answered. “No feeling of guilt?” asked Kroft. “No,” said Soros. “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there. If I wasn’t doing it, somebody else would be taking it away anyhow. Whether I was there or not. So I had no sense of guilt.”
That moral hollowness has shaped Soros’ life. He’s a rabid critic of capitalism, but in 1992 when he saw a chance, he speculated against the British pound, causing it to crash, devastating retirement savings for millions of Britons. Soros pocketed $1.1 billion for himself. If he didn’t do it, someone else would, right?

In 2002, Soros was convicted of insider trading in France, and fined millions of dollars. He admitted buying the shares, but denied it was a crime.
He made $3.3 billion off the banking collapse; he called the world’s financial crisis “the culmination of my life’s work.”

Now that we have a fact based perspective of Soros, what do you think he intends to get in return for $1.8 million?

Posted by: tunes59 | October 23, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

@liam,

Half an answer:

Enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 14 percent between 1987 and 1997. Between 1997 and 2007, enrollment increased at a faster rate (26 percent).

http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 7:49 PM |

....................


Thanks very much. Now the answer to the second question might shed some light on why the tuition costs have risen so steeply. If the number of slots has not kept pace with the demand, that could account for the rapid rates rise. Perhaps more new Colleges need to be establish. If that turns out to be the case, it might be more cost effective for the government to build them, than to have to keep on providing more and more tuition aid, to more and more students.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

@Jenn Sorry your new fridge is in your mouth, but I'm glad you discovered it in time. Two summers ago our new (fill in the blank) ended up in my penis. I had to have a kidney stone removed and since I was staying an hour from the hospital the Urologist left a stent inside connected to a thread that I was to pull on and remove the long plastic tube 3 days after the procedure. Great doc with excellent sense of humor...as I contemplated pulling a thread connected to a long plastic tube through my privates I asked him..."Wow doc won't that hurt?" His reply..."Not me." True story.

One of the other reasons I feel guilty posting about any personal $$$ or business pain is because my wife and I both have our health. Hopefully all of us right and left can agree that you really have nothing if you don't have your health and so I am incredibly grateful. I may not have the money to snow ski anymore but at least I still have the knees and stamina at 62 LOL.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 23, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

We have The Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs of Staff saying that the essential codes card was lost, while in the position of the President. This top brass guy, describes how the code system works, and how the President is the only one who can have the code card in his possession at all times.

If the General is lying about that is how it works, that should be very easy to prove. It either works the way he described or not. All this nonsense about "I don't buy it" sheds no light on the subject.

Furthermore; the network reporting on the claim being made by this top brass guy, said that before going public with the story, they reached out to the Clinton people, seeking a comment on what the General claims happened, and they were not given any response.

That strikes me as rather odd, if what the General claims, never happened.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 23, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"The media did not make the claim. The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, under Bill Clinton is the one now making the claim. Further more; he says that the guy carrying the Nuclear Football, does not also carry the codes to be fed into that device, so you need to read what I wrote, instead of just making up stuff. You are debating your own fiction. Posted by: Liam-still"

This sounds like another "Uncounted Enemy" deal.

Crypto material is never casually turned over to a holder and not regularly, (like daily) accounted for. Since any code of the sensitivity of nuclear response codes would be changed very often, (again like daily) having them on a card good for half a year just doesn't ring true.

And I don't expect all that much honesty out of ex CJCS's.

Copnsider CBS's "The uncounted enemy."

Did you believe any of that stuff?

It wasn't true, but unless you know how the intelligence operations were organized in Viet Nam, you might buy it.

For Westmoreland to have somehow deceived LBJ and his security staff, Westmoreland would have had to have been able to controll all intelligence being passed to the president.

And the U.S. Intelligence community wasn't organized in such a way that Westmoreland could have done so. The Radio research community wasn't anywhere in his chain of command, either operationally or for reporting purposes. The official route for Signal Intelligence info to get to MACV was up through USASAPAC, laterally to USARPAC, and back down the line to MACV. In actuality the 509th RR GP briefed MACV directly as a courtesy, so Westmoreland knew when we sent it what we were reporting directly to LBJ.

So, IF Westmoreland WERE to try to hide the situation from the White House, the White House would have known they were getting lied to, and Westmoreland would have known that the White House knew.

Yet there were all those "Intelligence People" who were willing to swear that Westmoreland lied to LBJ about the likelihood of the TET offensive.

Actually, of course, knowing what was coming, and knowing that the US Army, and most main line ARVN were properly posted and appropriately ready, and having just spent four years trying to get the VC and NVA to stand up and fight the way they proposed to do, his best response was to wait for the attack as if it were a surprise. It wasn't, and the immediate U.S. response was devastating to the VC, which was destroyed as a fighting force. The NVA, who, let the VC do the major dieing got badly mauled and had to be rebuilt from the North.

But that didn't stop CBS from airing a program with no basis in the truth, and with enough analysts on staff who realized that it couldn't be true that it never should have been aired.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 23, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

That is to say I don't believe many of us would wish to live in the type of uber harsh society Scott would create with his "theoretical" ideas...like ending all assistance for college tuition.
------------------------------
What can I say? No one else--no one--other than Scott--was willing to say, "just pull college aid". I think there is a reason for that. A lot of ideas are great on the drawing board, but when the real world implications become clear, everyone starts backing off. We all want college costs to come down, but other than Scott, no one else wants to obtain that result by destabilizing the entire education system. In addition, at least one pretty knowledgeable poster, even doubted that pulling college aid would even drop tuition.

This is not meant as criticism of Scott. At least he's willing to withstand the implications of collapsing the system.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse


@liam,

You make an interesting point that some of the tuition cost increases may be an imbalance between supply and demand. It would be an interesting project to study that. Providing more slots would lower some costs (fixed costs), but put upward pressure on teaching salaries (for a while anyway).

If I get insight into the supply of slots, I'll post it on this blog.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Ruk,
“@Troll Thanks and return thanks for your service as well. And thanks for having to really p*ss off STRF/Leaf or whatever he is calling himself this evening with your sensible proposals on defense.”
It’s not out of “interventionism is bad” or ““beware the military industrial complex” but more out of a sense that we are in an existential economic crisis that is going to require a lot of sacrifice. I’m for keeping trade routes open and threatening any country or entity with massive bombing destruction should they attempt to harm us or our interests. If our allies care to have that umbrella protection than they can pay us for it or build there own. I think, in the end, that means more violence worldwide than less, as countries become aggressive towards their neighbors knowing that we will no longer intervene (think Iraq/Kuwait, China/Taiwan or NORKS / ROK). We will have to concentrate on protecting trade and that means Navy, Air Force and, say, 2 active division Marine Corps.
“In a "theoretical" sense this is certainly true. In a "real world" sense...not really. I saw an economist the other night who was neither right nor left but simply pragmatic pointing out what has changed for the U.S. It has become far more of a "zero sum" game. The U.S. used to be blessed with plenty of natural resources to grow our economy. We're both to young to remember but there was a time when our oil came from Pennsylvania and Texas and California. Now it comes from elsewhere. The globalization of all nation's economy and the fungible nature of money means our pie has now been effected by considerable restraints. Yes we can still grow that pie...but not like the olden days like immediately following WWII when we were the only bakers left with a functioning oven and plenty of flour, lard and other essential resources.”
See, we disagree here, particularly when it comes to resources. There is still, for example, a lot of oil to be gotten in and around the US; we just put it off limits. There drilling a major find in North Dakota as we speak (heck, bilgeman may be up there right now during this deepwater moratorium) and there is thought to be more oil in the Canadian Tar sands than is Saudi Arabia (I think. It’s at least a huge deposit). We’ve closed off ANWAR and virtually all of our coasts. Colorado has massive amounts of oil shale for example. And coal, my god the coal. There’s more coal here in the US than anywhere else in the world. I don’t think we could run out if we tried. And I haven’t even mentioned nuclear power. No, there are plenty of resources here, not just for energy but for raw materials for manufacturing as well. We have put those things off limits, some for environmental reasons (which is a whole other argument) and partly because other countries can assess it more cheaply and transport it than we can. I think we hamstring ourselves vis a vis a lot of resources.

(cont.)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

ruk cont:


“Perhaps I cap and....because on a very personal level I HAVE seen my lifestyle change significantly. My wife has been a dentist for 35 years. I've only been married to her for about 13 of those years….?”
Right now, and since, according to experts, 2007, were in a recession/depression. Everything is gloomy and bleak looking. We can and will argue probably endlessly on what will and won’t get us out of this faster. The reason I bring this up is because it (the economy) casts a pall on literally everything and everybody. I mentioned before that I think we’re in an existential economic crisis. That kind of thinking, on my part anyway, tends to make things stand out that I wouldn’t ordinarily notice, particularly other people’s suffering. And they are (we all are) suffering more now than, say, 2006. The point I’m making I guess, is that everything looks worse right now and I think that influences how we perceived what has occurred before. I have made less in the last 2 years than I did in 2007. I also am much more appreciative of having a job, and almost obsessively concerned with keeping my job than at any other point in my life. When unemployment increases, the value of most labor goes down. That means less pay, benefits, bonuses, etc.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely believe that student subsidies have helped drive up college costs. I did see an article recently denying this, on the ground that "the supply curve for higher ed is flat."

I haven't had time to study this, but it seems likely to me that it ignores a lot of factors and complexities, some of which I am aware because my first will be heading off next year. Just to mention several:

It seems undeniable that Ivies and other elite schools continue to raise costs becaues no matter how much they raise them applications continue to increase. The competition for admission is absolutely insane today. I would venture the crude proposition that these schools not only are selling a fixed "supply" but are in a near monopolist's position and just raise prices because they can. No matter how expensive they become, many of us still consider them worth it.

But many of these schools are in fact also increasing "supply" in ways beyond admission slots. They offer an ever-increasing smorgasboard of programs, study abroad, plush dorms with maid service, exotic orientation programs, advanced labs and facilities, etc. So there are ways in which individual "supply curves" might seem fixed but also appear quite sloped.

And further complicating that picture is the fact that the elite schools drastically price discriminate. In fact, they operate their own redistribution programs, wherein the "rich" pay through the nose and the poor pay little or nothing. This tends to further drive up the price paid by those who pay have to pay, and the nominal price "paid" by everyone.

But the overall "market" is much more complex, including less prestigious private schools, public universities, community colleges, and for-profits. It is hard to believe the aggregate supply curve for this market is flat. Otherwise, where is the growth coming from?

Many large state universities are much more selective now than they were 10 or 20 years ago. Many students who would have attended them at one time are now pushed "down" the market to smaller state schools or community colleges. And the state schools are also increasing the what they offer to attract top students, raising their costs and seeming adding to upward pressure on tuition and tax support.

In short, I just can't see the case for a "flat supply" curve and no upward pressure on tuition from the increased demand created by student subsidies.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

@qb,

For argument's sake, let's just say that government aid is increasing tuition. The question is what to do? Cut off government aid? What will happen to the schools in that case?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

12 bar,

I join the the "pull the financial aid" parade with Scott. I would except GI benefits. I'm with Scott on the "pricking the bubble."

That being said, I have an uncle who's a professor in Arizona and he felt, at some point, California was going to get the ball rolling in regards to college salaries. He thought, with the exception of some "high-tech" favorites, most professors (starting in CA) were going to get their pay drastically reduced. He thinks that virtually every other college in the US would almost immediatly follow suit. He'd ask me, where else is a Phd in Anglo Saxon literature going to go?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

There would be a dearth of teachers, doctors, scientists, etc. for a generation. That has a cost to the nation and to individuals. What do you think about that? Is it worth it?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 7:30 PM
-------

Today's thread has been great.
I'm a little late to the table, but I'll weigh in on the college tuition subject.

There's no shortcut to becoming a doctor or a scientist. Maybe to becoming a teacher, but it's not my wish to open that can of worms. But the country can only use so many doctors and scientists.

It's my belief that the whole idea that everyone should have a four or six year college degree is a flawed premise from the get go. It's conventional wisdom, but it probably shouldn't be.

Having worked in I.T. for many years now, it's been my experience that in many of the high tech fields, from computer programming to robotics to radiology, some of the best and smartest employees come from good two-year programs---junior colleges, trade schools, or whatever you want to call them. If a particular school develops a good reputation, meaning the companies who employ its graduates are satisfied, it will have no problem with placements. I'm not talking about some low rent diploma mill; I'm talking about institutions that provide good training.

The credits from the reputable two-year schools will usually transfer to a four-year "traditional" college should the student wish to continue his or her education. Some four year institutions actually work in concert with the two-year colleges to make sure they're in concert on accreditation and transfer of credits.

If I'm hiring a programmer, I'm a lot more interested in his programming skills than whether he studied Chaucer and Donne.

Even in my early years, I recall the skepticism I felt when asking a college guidance counselor who just rolled up in a beat-up car and a cheap suit what line of study he would recommend. Many of our children get crap advice about how to plan for the future. I've hired several people who held degrees in music or biology or whatever from a four-year college and then had to go to a two-year college to pick up the job skills they needed to actually find employment. A good programmer/analyst from a respected junior college will be making three times what a high school teacher earns in just a few short years---unless we keep importing workers from India.

I recall a straight-A PHD from the University of Iowa some years ago who was so upset when he found out all of his work wasn't going to lead to employment that he shot up the place and killed a bunch of people.

Everyone doesn't need a four or six-year degree to become proficient in some high-demand profession. And some employers realize that. At our company you're given an apitude test. If you don't score high enough, I don't care if you graduated from Harvard, we won't hire you.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@12BB

Whether government aid is affecting tuition rates.

I would say this is a testable hypothesis. Over the years, with different administrations, the amount of student aid has varied. We should be able to answer the question whether the amount of government aid is affecting tuition increases once you correct for population growth, overall inflation, interest rates, etc.

Posted by: sold2u | October 23, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Pull all government aid to students?

Now there's today's spiffy idea. Holders of it don't want to go looking at international rankings.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

We are talking about pulling all federal aid from students attending college. We are anticipating that, under these conditions, there would be an immediate drop out of all but wealthy (and foreign) students from 4 year schools. Therefore there would be an immediate drop off of 4 year graduates. Since 75% of current college students get aid, this is a reasonable assumption.

The reason we're discussing this is to roll around the idea of how to get inflation out of college tuition.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I join the the "pull the financial aid" parade with Scott. I would except GI benefits. I'm with Scott on the "pricking the bubble."
------------------------------------
Ok, that's two to pull all college aid.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

12b,

I would definitely favor stopping subsidies. I would be for tapering them off somehow, but if the two choices were "keep doing what we are doing" or stopping it, I would stop it, at the federal level at least. At 40-50 years of failure, it seems to me that the race to "make college affordable" should be recognized as the fool's game it is, but instead it is an evergreen campaign slogan.

State university systems are a harder problem than federal programs, because they are rather firmly embedded in our culture. I'm not sure what I would do about them. Ideally, they ought to be privatized somehow.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

In my experience, the bulk of financial aid comes from the endowments of colleges and universities. Certainly where I went (Macalester College in St. Paul, MN). Federal programs were a minor issue for me (about $5K in student loans over the last two years).

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 23, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm also gonna say that Sanchez, the Giant's pitcher really is acting like a jerk. Come on dude, you beaned the guy. I think he's allowed to say "Nice pitch Ace" or something like that. Nut up man!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Whether government aid is affecting tuition rates.

I would say this is a testable hypothesis.
----------------------------------
@sold2u,

I'm just ready to say that government aid IS driving up tuition, just for argument's sake. I don't actually know whether it is so, but it's not illogical.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

@qb,

Just to get you up to date. The belief is that stopping government aid would collapse the system, dropping tuition 40-50% over a few years, with massive layoffs and bankruptcies and consolidations. Middle and lower class students would immediately have to drop out.

You are still for this approach?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,

I wouldn't disagree with much of what you said in some respects, although what to you follows from it?

A counterpoint is that many employers nevertheless require four-year degrees as a matter of course now. I have a friend in lower to mid-management for a manufacturer who is having to transfer to another state because, although he has a B.S., he doesn't have a Master's and so can't qualify for further advancement. The B.S. or B.A. is just like an entry ticket.

Do you think too many people are studying Donne and Chaucer? I still have a sort of romantic belief in liberal arts, I suppose, although it isn't for everyone.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

In my experience, the bulk of financial aid comes from the endowments of colleges and universities. Certainly where I went (Macalester College in St. Paul, MN). Federal programs were a minor issue for me (about $5K in student loans over the last two years).
-------------------------------
@bb,

75% of students get some form of government aid: grants, loans, work study. So, I'm assuming that government aid is necessary (from the student's pov) for those students to attend college.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

QB1, "State university systems are a harder problem than federal programs, because they are rather firmly embedded in our culture. I'm not sure what I would do about them. Ideally, they ought to be privatized somehow."

The beauty is that the problem is on the state level, not the federal level and will therefore be solved there. I won't have to pay to keep, say, Idaho's faculty's pay in line with Harvard, for a ridiculous example.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"In my experience, the bulk of financial aid comes from the endowments of colleges and universities."

This is actually an interesting point. I obviously have no problem with private charity and endowments. In fact, I received large, privately endowed merit scholarships at a school very similar to Macalester.

I suppose one could argue that they should have the same price distorting effect, but my sense is that they don't have the same effect as broadly available aid available to all students regardless of where they attend. Not sure though.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Here's the real issue about Rand Paul's religion - He's a disciple of Ayn Rand but Rand despised compassionate Christianity -- she would have thrown rocks at Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount. The press should demand Paul say which doctrine he disavows

http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/10/heres_the_real_issue_about_ran.php#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | October 23, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to bring up one other topic because it relates to the economy and the unemployment rate: amnesty for illegal immigrants. Maybe amnesty is too much of a code word, but you know what I mean.

I don't see this is as a strictly partisan issue since such Republicans as McCain, Graham, and even the evil G.W. Bush were on board. Maybe I'm as dumb as Liam and rukidding7 say I am, but I just can't see how this amnesty thing works for the good of the country. I would like for someone who's in favor of legalizing the illegals to make their case in a convincing way.

My take:

Politicians like Harry Reid, and even Obama, are using the issue to pander to Latinos for votes. But providing a new horde of Democratic voters is not high on my list of priorities. The people who are hiring illegal immigrants---you can assume they're all Republicans if it makes you feel better---are probably going to lose interest in these people as soon as they become subject to labor laws and able to unionize. Then they'll no longer be able to exploit them, so what are they going to do? I see yet ANOTHER influx of illegal immigrants. We actually tried this in the 1980s.

So then what happens to the millions of immigrants who have been made legal, most of them unskilled? They're thrown into the job market along with all of the other out-of-work workers fighting for low-skilled jobs. The unemployment rate goes up, not down. And they start needing assistance from government programs that are already bankrupt.

If we crack down on those hiring illegal immigrants, I believe the situation can be resolved without amnesty. As we have seen during the economic downturn, the influx slows when the jobs slow. Rocket science.
As Jenn or someone said earlier, we were SUPPOSED to do this in the 1980s. Whether or not it was the Chamber of Commerce that intervened, I don't really care. That was then, this is now. Do it already!

If the people coming here for jobs quit coming, then we can focus on drug runners and people coming to do us harm.

Since Republicans do not usually troll for votes in this particular fashion, I must assume that McCain, Bush, Graham, et al. were acting in good faith. What do they see that I can't see? Someone please educate me.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm just curious. How many posters went through college without aid. Who did not get loans, grants, scholarships or work study, or did not benefit from the school's endowment?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

12bb,

I wouldn't accept the premise of catastrophic systemic collapse. I would likely favor tapering off subsidies to dampen dislocations, but I can't see where mass bankruptcies, mass forced drop outs, etc., would be inevitable. Perhaps more people enroll at nearby state schools, tuition flatten out or even fall a bit. Perhaps the elite schools actually use some of their billions in endowments instead of adding to them. But I don't see catastrophic collapse.

On the other hand, Scott has a point: if collapse is inevitable, it is inevitable and only a question of when and how big. Glenn Reynolds has been linking posts on the education and law school bubble for some time now.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Universities currently have no incentive to run like a business, in fact they do the opposite. Teachers don't even come close to a 40 hour work week, and there is no way to increase productivity from them. You can't add a "second shift", excpet at commuter colleges to get more use out of the buildings.

Furthermore in the name of research, much of what would be considered "company time" in a business, goes to projects that promote the indivdual teacher but have nothing to do with actual teaching of students. The facilites are often lavish even at small colleges. We visited Rochester Institute of Technology this summer and I was shocked that this school, which has nothing in the way of an athletic program has a gym complex that that puts my for profit healtch club to shame by several miles.

Everything in college is about indulging the fiscal whims of the administration, not the bottom line.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

If tuitions don't drop dramatically when removing the inflationary fuel of government aid, doesn't that undermine the premise that it is government aid that is driving tuition?

How can you have the dramatic fall off of students and not have a huge impact on the system. Classrooms standing vacant? And no layoffs and bankruptcies?

The elite schools, I agree, would fare fine.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I have another simple question about the college cost issue. How many people here think it makes sense to pay the freight to attend an elite school today, with tuition and books approaching 50k and total costs 60+?

Suppose you earn enough to be able to pay for you child to go if you stretch and scrape and maybe downsize. Yes or no? Full freight to Yale, or almost free to State U? Nuts or a valid choice?

I'm curious what attitudes about this would tell about the questions at hand.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

12bar,

I went to the University of Arizona without aid, in the '80's. My dad and I alternated semesters in paying tuition, so I had "parental aid". I also worked full time and lived in a converted garage. I never bought a new text book, or clothes for that matter. I ate a lot of Top Ramen and Peanut Butter. It took me 51/2 years to do it though.

I also managed to have enough beer money though, weird;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

12bar blues wrote:

"I'm just curious. How many posters went through college without aid. Who did not get loans, grants, scholarships or work study, or did not benefit from the school's endowment?"

Me, all cash undergrad and post grad.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The facilites are often lavish even at small colleges.
--------------------------------
This would argue for consolidation, wouldn't it? If many institutions are "overbuilt", then the way to get costs out, is to have fewer institutions.

If I did not care about the outcome, I can definitely see how the elimination of government aid would burst the bubble of college costs (I do think it is a bubble).

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

qb wrote:

"I have another simple question about the college cost issue. How many people here think it makes sense to pay the freight to attend an elite school today, with tuition and books approaching 50k and total costs 60+?"

If you want your child to enter the elite of the nation, in government or business, you pay the extra money. If that's not important to you, go to state school.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

@numbers,

Can I ask you the obvious question? Did you attend one of the Ivys?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

QB1,

That's a great question. I went to a state school and got horrible grades but ended up, since, with some really lucrative (from my perspective) positions. I don't see where an Ivy League education would have benefitted me. I suppose if I wanted to work on Wall Street, the contacts at those schools might actually have a $ value, but for the overwhelming majority of college attendee's I honestly do not see any advantage.

And in regards to a Liberal Arts degree, I too have a soft spot. English Lit baby!! with a split minor in PoliSci and Philosophy. In the words of Steve Martin, I know just enough to screw me up for the rest of my life.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

12bb,

I went through a private liberal arts college as a married student in my mid-20s. My wife was through college. It was only possible with large endowed scholarships and some modest loans -- enough for us to share a little pain. I also worked. I was fortunate to find a good-paying job on the side with a very flexible and understanding employer.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

f you want your child to enter the elite of the nation, in government or business, you pay the extra money. If that's not important to you, go to state school.
----------------------------------------
You speak the truth.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I went through a private liberal arts college as a married student in my mid-20s. My wife was through college. It was only possible with large endowed scholarships and some modest loans
-----------------------------
As did I.

My point is that you and I went to school because we got enough loans, grants to do so. I consider that a success, don't you?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

@troll,

Good for you for paying your way. Could you do it today?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

I knew you were a quality guy! I had similar background except the major was in Poli Sci (theory concentration), minor in econ plus concentrations in phil, english, history, AND French (lot o' good that has done me!). I gorged as much as I could, and they almost had to kick me out.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, I'm uncomfortable with the premise that the press should demand from Paul what he believes, because I think religious tests are wrong. And I'm sick of people having to prove their religious bona fires, particularly Christian belief. That said, I'm all for the press educating voters on the contradiction in being a Rand disciple and a Christian. Even if it's the pressure to prove you're a Christian that's turned him into a hypocrite. Man up, as some would say.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 23, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1 wrote,
"A counterpoint is that many employers nevertheless require four-year degrees as a matter of course now. I have a friend in lower to mid-management for a manufacturer who is having to transfer to another state because, although he has a B.S., he doesn't have a Master's and so can't qualify for further advancement. The B.S. or B.A. is just like an entry ticket."
-----

I see this as part of the problem. A job should not be a reward for having graduated from college or advancement a reward for having received a Master's. If you're in the property-casualty insurance business and you work for a CPCU, fine and well, but that isn't really a degree, it's a certification and it relates specifically to a particular line of work.

I like liberal arts, too, but does someone really need to spend $50,000 in tuition to learn about the metaphysical poets if he wants to be a radiologist and make a good living? In my line of work, people have to be able to learn new things all the time, new software, hardware, new programming languages---education is an ongoing thing just to keep up. That is why we test for particular aptitudes when considering prospective employees. A math major may test better for programming aptitude than someone who has a degree in computer science. If I have to teach someone visual basic in three months, he has to have the aptitude to pick it up. Whether or not he can write a paper on T.S. Eliot is of no concern to me.

The way this all ties in with college tuition: young people are chasing fame and fortune by going WAY into debt to obtain a college education that, depending on the major, may not result in a good job when it's all done. Guidance counselors tell them to do something they enjoy and they'll be really good at it and really successful. Bullsh/t. I do what I enjoy after I get home from work. I work to make money.

The more people who seek specific high-tech training in two-year programs that specialize, the fewer people will need to attend four-year colleges and hopefully, the demand decline would result in a tuition decline. But, as you pointed out, employers have to be on board with this.
They have to be more interested in a job applicant's ability to perform than in whether he has a master's degree. I think those receiving their training in India to take our jobs realize this. Shakespeare never changes, but the job skills needed to succeed and remain viable in a constantly changing economy are in a state of flux.

Posted by: Brigade | October 23, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

With tuition rates outpacing inflation for decades, all the grants and loans in the world don't make colllege today as easy to pay for as it was in the 70s and 80s. Back then you could work your way thru. My middle class parents paid half. It was doable. Now in-state half is 10k and that's not nothing. For one kid. If you had a great savings plan, congrats.

Which reminds me that whenever I'd see Money magazine in the checkout, the cover would always have "retire at 50" articles, and it would always feature couples with Corp jobs w big 401k contribs and no kids. Yeah right.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 23, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The way this all ties in with college tuition: young people are chasing fame and fortune by going WAY into debt to obtain a college education that, depending on the major, may not result in a good job when it's all done.
-----------------------------------
If government aid were eliminated, there would be no access to loans to finance these educations. There would be a lot fewer four year degrees granted.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

With tuition rates outpacing inflation for decades, all the grants and loans in the world don't make colllege today as easy to pay for as it was in the 70s and 80s. Back then you could work your way thru. My middle class parents paid half. It was doable. Now in-state half is 10k and that's not nothing. For one kid. If you had a great savin plan, congrats.

Which reminds me that whenever I'd see Money magazine in the checkout, the cover and it would always feature couples with no kids. Yeah right.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 23, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

My .02: I completed undergrad with only $2500 in loans to repay. Dad underwrote the rest, aside from the freshman ACT scholarship that paid for the first year, and I supplemented by working part-time a couple of years and during summers. More than that was impossible as architecture is not a course of study that really *allows* one the time to work if the goal is to complete the 5 year program in 5 - 6 years. But I'll note: when I started college in 1981, tuition at the state university was ridiculously low - my first semester cost $335; my last semester cost $765. When I went back to grad school 5 years after completing my undergrad degree, I paid for all of it myself, by working 4 part-time jobs simultaneously - I literally spent 2 years doing nothing other than working, going to school, and sleeping, no time for anything else. The university had a loan program where I could borrow the amount needed to pay tuition and pay it back over the course of the semester. By that time, I think tuition had increased to about $1200 - still really cheap. I completed grad school with no debt.

But here's the thing: a four-year university is wasted on most students. It used to be that the purpose of university education was to create a more well-rounded - as well as educated - individual. That's not what it is now.
These days, it's a trade school. People do not come out of business school or engineering school or most other degree programs more well-rounded; they come out prepared for one particular profession. There is no reason on earth for anyone to go to a 4 year university for a degree in "business administration", and not to step on any toes, but the folks I knew pursuing that degree were pretty much in that field because they either couldn't do anything else or because they had no idea of anything they WANTED to do. For the most part, they left school pretty much just as unenlightened as they entered it.

The other thing that has been corrosive is that these days, the 4 year degree is used more to weed out people from professions who might well be more qualified than the ones who have the degrees than it is to really determine who's best for the job. Examples are the previously mentioned business administration degree and things like journalism degrees. Once upon a time, hardly anyone who did those jobs had college degrees, and in many cases, they did them better than today's supposedly more qualified graduates.

There are a lot of people who don't belong in college at all, but even more for whom a 4 year program is an utter waste of time and resources. As elitist as all of this may sound, I wasn't one of the ones for whom it was wasted - everyone may think they're an architect, but very few are competent. Look at all the crappy buildings out there and you know I'm right about that. The same cannot be said for quite a few degree programs - the ones that typically turn out the most graduates.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 23, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,

"Guidance counselors tell them to do something they enjoy and they'll be really good at it and really successful. Bullsh/t. I do what I enjoy after I get home from work. I work to make money."

I'm not a big believer in the wisdom of guidance counselors, but this is a question I've wrestled with for many years, and I'm more on the "guidance counselor" side of it, I think, at least within the range of what is possible.

Most people throughout history didn't have the luxury of doing something they enjoyed or for which they had a passion. Most of our parents certainly never did. But on the other hand most highly successful and happy people have found something to do for a living/with their lives that was their passion.

For what it's worth, the WSJ's recent survey of corporate recruiters produced a list of "best" universities that was dominated by large state schools, because the large companies looking for business and technical skills like their graduates best. That's what I have told people: if your goal is to work for GE, IBM, etc., you might want to go to State U. If you want to be a professor, go to a top professional school, or be a Wall Street VP in your 20s, you might make a different choice.

But I really do believe that people should follow their passion if they have a way to do so.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"Scott has voted that he would pull government aid to students regardless of the impact."

That's not entirely true. Given the only two choices that you insisted were available - burst the bubble or keep inflating it - that is what I voted for. I still maintain that it may be possible to slow it down without completely pulling the plug immediately, but you think such a claim is not "real".

So here's a question for you. Can you name a bubble that continued (continues?) to inflate in perpetuity? If not, and if, as you insist, it is impossible to slowly deflate a bubble, then aren't you voting to simply keep inflating, knowing that the eventual reckoning will be even worse than if we burst it now?

How do you justify taking this position?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

12bar,

I don't know, now that you ask. If I recall, instate tuition in Arizona in the '80's was like $2500 per semester. I worked full time at 3 different jobs plus I was in the Marine Corps Reserve which paid about $120/month and $700 for my two weeks in the summer. Also, I was a kitchen hand at a Sorority so I ate for free several days a week. My rent was $150 a month plus I had to pay utilities (no phone or cable).

I just looked up tuition at UofA and it;s over $5k/semester. I dont know if it's possible straight through. Might have to take time off to save up money while living cheaply? Or maybe a CC until upper division (which is something I regret not doing. It would have saved me and dad a bundle with no ill effect on my degree).

I'd say yes but I bet it would take me an extra year and I probably would not have beer money. (Assuming I go the CC option for the first couple of years).

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the double posting and the typos (bona fides, not fires). I was pecking on a handheld.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 23, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The question I posed was this: if we agree for argument's sake that government aid is fueling tuition costs, what would happen if all government aid was cut off. That includes loans, grants and work study.

I think, and I'm not alone, that the present college system would collapse in that most students would have to drop out (non Ivys). Most students cannot afford $20k-$30k for 4 year state universities without aid.

The schools (non Ivys) would be in great financial distress, would have layoffs and many would close or be merged. Tuition would drop while the remaining supply would be chasing after the remaining students.

This process would take a number of years to sort out, until tuition got low enough for people to self pay (like we did before the 1980's). A generation of students would not attend 4 year college. The number of 4 year graduates would dramatically drop.

But tuition would also drop.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"There is no reason on earth for anyone to go to a 4 year university for a degree in "business administration", and not to step on any toes, but the folks I knew pursuing that degree were pretty much in that field because they either couldn't do anything else or because they had no idea of anything they WANTED to do. For the most part, they left school pretty much just as unenlightened as they entered it."

LOL you said something I agree with (something totally uncouth, too). Same with some "professional" programs like journalism. I just don't see much point to a four-year program. Study English and History. At least learn something. But I suppose it is probably a ticket to employment in journalism today. Credentialism rum rampant.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Sometime, Scott, we'll get into a discussion about the nature of bubbles. Right now, I'm really interested in everyone's view about dealing with college tuition. This is probably the only chance I'll ever have to pick everyone's brain.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

QB1 said: "For what it's worth, the WSJ's recent survey of corporate recruiters produced a list of "best" universities that was dominated by large state schools, because the large companies looking for business and technical skills like their graduates best. That's what I have told people: if your goal is to work for GE, IBM, etc., you might want to go to State U. If you want to be a professor, go to a top professional school, or be a Wall Street VP in your 20s, you might make a different choice."

I saw that article and was stunned. I work with a couple of (insufferable) Texas Aggies which ended up second on the list I think. Did that article change your thinking about where you would want your child to go to school?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"Sometime, Scott, we'll get into a discussion about the nature of bubbles."

Come on, you are copping out here. You cannot ask people to choose between 1 of 2 options but only present the dire consequences of selecting one of them. What happens if we do not burst the bubble "immediately"? Won't it continue to inflate, and won't it eventually burst anyway? And if it will, won't the consequences be even more dire then?

This, afterall, was precisely the reasoning I gave for selecting option 1. If you have different reasoning that leads you to see option 2 as preferable, lets hear it. It hardly seems fair to ask others to present a case, but refuse to do so yourself. Unless you really don't have an opinion, but that seems unlikely to me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

No, it didn't really. I picked that up while I was headed out on a business trip and read every word several times, studying it quite closely. I concluded that it makes sense for the GEs of the world to like hiring the bulk of their new hires from the Penn States and Texas AM's of the world -- good technical training, scrappy, resourceful kids with perhaps less of an entitlement mentality than grads of more "prestigious" schools. (Although I noticed that they still liked to hire econ majors from Harvard and finance people from Penn, for example.)

My son isn't inclined toward the corporate life (not a corporatist!) or "working for the man." He's got a lot of other ideas from grad school and the professoring racket to lawyer to film writer and director, but they all largely point toward liberal arts and beaucoup $$$ for his old man. I don't begrudge it, though, because I believe in liberal arts for kids like him, and I'm trying hard to do the opposite of how I was raised, which involved being told I would NOT ever be going to college. (Of course, I was not any college's prize catch then anyway, but that's another story.)

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

The question is how much we are willing to risk to stop government aid to students?

The GOP can put this into effect, can't they, if they take Congress. I think it pays to be prepared.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Troll - If you went to a state school, you benefited from government subsidies. The University of Arizona has outstanding programs in physical sciences. Don't know about the other programs, but it's a great school. Plus, Tucson rocks.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 23, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Some really good college football games today and tonight. Thank goodness for this wonderful system of higher ed. : }

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"The question is how much we are willing to risk to stop government aid to students? "

But the necessary corollary to that is: What are we risking if we do not stop it? You cannot consider the first without considering the second.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Scott, if we burst the bubble, we gain lower tuition. If we don't burst the bubble, I assume we will have higher tuition.

As I said, the outcome of bursting the bubble is desirable. The question is how much we're willing to risk to get it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

12bb,

"The GOP can put this into effect, can't they, if they take Congress. I think it pays to be prepared."

And Obama has promised more aid and subsidies. So he has promised to make the bubble worse. In fact, Dems promise more in every election.

So as Scott asks, what is your answer?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I have posted thi before but it seems appropriate tonight:

For the first time EVER:


-the last 4 presidents all attended Harvard or Yale

-all 9 of the Supreme Court Justices attended either Harvard or Yale

_the chaimanship of the Fed has been held by exclusively by Harvard for the last 31 years

If you control those three things, you don't need to worry about Congress

Additionally 18 out of the 25 richest Americans went to just 5 school, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford and Columbia. Three of the ones who didn't were daughters of the Waltons or Mars family who attended small colleges.

More than perhpas ever in the history of this nation, a very small pool of people are in tight control.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you what I'm not willing to risk, and that is denying 4 year degrees to a generation of moderate income Americans. That price is too high to pay. We haven't even explored the unanticipated cost to society of a dearth of teachers, scientists, doctors, professionals of all types. The answer to bring down tuition must come from a more engineering approach to reduction, not the blunt edge of abrupt withdrawal of all government aid.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade said: "Troll - If you went to a state school, you benefited from government subsidies."

I agree, mainly from the State, which is, I think anyway, how it should be. What surprised me later was finding out that even out of state tuition is subsidized somewhat. I guess to attract students from elsewhere and then have them stay. I know there is/was Federal money there, just not sure how much.

I more or less grew up in Tucson and agree with you. Though Jack Kerouac, in describing Tucson of the late '40's early '50's said, "All in all, very Californian".

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 23, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"The question is how much we're willing to risk to get it."

My point is simply that the bubble will burst anyway, at some point. So the real question is not how much one is willing to risk, but rather how much additional pain one is willing to take in the future in order to avoid immediate pain.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Scott, you pick your pain and I'll pick mine. I think the implications of bursting a bubble purposely should be studied, and longer term, more targeted, understood and engineered approaches should be considered. The consequences are just too large. IMO. I'm not a big believer in just blowing things up.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

"More than perhpas ever in the history of this nation, a very small pool of people are in tight control."

They are an ideologically heterogenous group. Are they homogenous in some way that should be troubling, other than that they attended elite universities?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 23, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

qb wrote:

"They are an ideologically heterogenous group. Are they homogenous in some way that should be troubling, other than that they attended elite universities?"

No they really aren't.

Think about it. On issues concerning money, was Obama's response, to the banks for instance, any different than Bush's would have been? Even in Iraq and Afghanistan, how much of a a difference?

They are all about keeping the eligibility for these positions in the hands of a small group. The chairmanship of the Fed is the second most powerful post in the nation after the presidency.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"engineered approaches should be considered."

I'm not sure what you mean by this. What is an "engineered" approach?

"I'm not a big believer in just blowing things up."

But you acknowledge that it will blow up anyway, right?

(BTW, let us stipulate that this entire discussion is based on a premise that is certainly false...ie that all tuition inflation is due solely to government financial aid.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

But you acknowledge that it will blow up anyway, right?

No, that's your premise. I don't know if it will or not. It hasn't happened yet.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone watch Dinesh D'Souza on C-SPAN2 today?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 23, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

@numbers,

Are you a grad of the Ivys?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

wouldn't be on this post if I was! I work for a living

Posted by: 54465446 | October 23, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

They are all about keeping the eligibility for these positions in the hands of a small group. The chairmanship of the Fed is the second most powerful post in the nation after the presidency.
-------------------------------------
Hence your comment that if you want to be a part of the elite government or business, you have to pay up to get into one of the elite universities. Otherwise, it doesn't matter and you can go to State U.

This was true even in my day, and that was a while back. Top notch opportunities, even in public accounting, required top notch degrees. I sneaked in because of affirmative action because my degree was State U. But those days are over now.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I paid for undergrad with a Navy ROTC scholarship and working part time. I borrowed the money for my MBA.

Posted by: sold2u | October 23, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"No, that's your premise."

No, it isn't. It is yours.

My very first response to you on this was that we should take steps to deflate the bubble slowly (perhaps your "engineered approach"?). You told me to "get real", insisting that no such thing was possible. Well, if no such thing is possible (your premise), and if a bubble cannot be inflated in perpetuity (a premise you explicitly declined to dispute), then a burst is inevitable. Again, this is based on your premises, not mine.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Scott, this is my last post to you. I'm not interested in debating semantics with you. This was a legitimate discussion of what the posters thought of cutting off government aid. I'm not going to fence with you.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

It struck me during this back and forth, and btw, thanks to everyone for sharing, that we all (or most of us) probably got some type of aid going to school. School has been too expensive for the average person for several decades, but lately it has gone into the stratosphere. The idea of borrowing a couple of hundred thousand is unbelievable to me. And that person wouldn't even be able to borrow the money without government underwriting the loan, right? Phew, something does have to be done to bring this curve down.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 23, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"I'm not interested in debating semantics with you."

Unbelievable.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 23, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

qb or McWing:

Could either of you please see my post of 11:36 and set me straight...was I somehow engaging in a semantic argument? It seems to me I was simply accepting and applying the very premises that 12Bar forced upon the discussion and drew a strictly logical conclusion based upon them. However, I trust either of you to be honest with me...tell me if you think I was not doing so.

Thanks.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

"(BTW, let us stipulate that this entire discussion is based on a premise that is certainly false...ie that all tuition inflation is due solely to government financial aid.)"

Thank-you, I was having some trouble following this discussion because of the nature of the terms under debate. Shouldn't we first agree on a premise in order to have something other than a fantasy discussion re solutions. Some of us could say the for profit nature of the student loan program which was recently altered could have had an adverse affect on the rise in tuition, or perhaps the rise in legacy payments for both public and private institution beneficiaries.

Anyway, I attended all State Universities and paid as I went except for the first year which my parents paid for. I had a couple of small merit scholarships but otherwise it was quite affordable as long as I worked as well.

We put five through college, the youngest still in grad school, so we made a lot of deals with the kids in order to get through it. Two of them lived at home and went four years through the UC system, two went to CC for two years then transferred and lived away for two years. The youngest was able to manage about 70% academic scholarships and able to attend a small private university all four years.

When it came to grad school, we committed a certain amount we could afford to help them with and after that they were on their own. The two artists ended up owing the most amount of money for grad school, although our daughter received quite a bit of talent driven endowments. The scientist had her second bachelors and grad school completely covered by private industry research grants and legacy scholarships. The MBA is a small business owner and master brewer doing what he loves. Actually, now that I think of it, they all followed their passion, whether it pays off for them financially is still debatable, but they're all happy with their choices and we're happy with our investments. Unfortunately, we've never been to France though. LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | October 24, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Unsubsidized attendance at four-year residential colleges never has been "affordable" for many people. It has always taken sacrifice, scraping and scratching, resourcefulness. The idea of government "making college affordable" is, however, just another example of self-defeating policy.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 24, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Scott wrote:

"(BTW, let us stipulate that this entire discussion is based on a premise that is certainly false...ie that all tuition inflation is due solely to government financial aid.)"

Solely might be overstating it a bit. There is also no incentive for college to cut costs. They are non-profits and they operate that way.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 24, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

4815162342:

"There is also no incentive for college to cut costs. They are non-profits and they operate that way."

There is also a large amount of private aid, including tuition reductions given by the schools themselves.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

This whole Juan Williams in-the-news the same week Ginni Thomas rekindles the whole Anita Hill thing and reminds everyone of her husband's deplorable behavoir towards female employees must be synchronicity: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/10/21/ST2010102102028.html

Read it and you'll see why.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 24, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

12bar,

I gotta go with Scott here.  His first proposal, if the premise is tuition bubble, that it should be deflated slowly.  You dismissed that (as did I) but then seem to imply, later, that an "engineered" approach is best and that a "pierced bubble" has unacceptable societal consequences.  You're engineered approach sounds a lot like Scotts slow deflation.  

After dismissing Scotts option you then adopt it, using a different name and essentially dismiss his original preference.  It seems you're engaging in semantics here.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 24, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

12Bar--Amazing. You managed to direct this to a topic that most of the posters on this whole long thread were civil about. I think Greg might have a lava lamp for you.

Posted by: AllButCertain | October 24, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Dorchester and Congress RULES !!!!

Everybody supports the Tea Party


Obama and Pelosi WISH they were in the Tea Party.


HA HA HA


The Tea Party Rules


It is AMORPHOUS - AND YOU CAN'T ATTACK IT - THE MEDIA IS FINALLY DONE IN !!!!


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse


Dorchester and Congress RULES !!!!


Everybody supports the Tea Party


Obama and Pelosi WISH they were in the Tea Party.


HA HA HA


The Tea Party Rules


It is AMORPHOUS - AND YOU CAN'T ATTACK IT - THE MEDIA IS FINALLY DONE IN !!!!


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

I realize that 12Bar is trying to debate something that will never, ever exist.


However, the truth is that Obama TOOK OVER the student loan market -

In the reconciliation to the health care bill - Obama had to find a way to make something revenue-neutral - so Obama added a take-over of EVERY STUDENT LOAN IN THE COUNTRY -


And Obama did something else which was socialist


Anyway, we all know 12Bar has NO IDEA WHAT SHE IS TALKING ABOUT

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:00 AM | Report abuse

The only problem with the discussion that 12Bar started - is reality.


Clearly, nothing discussed has anything to do with the real world.

Anyway, did you hear? There is an election in 10 days - The ENTIRE NATION IS GOING TO GIVE ITS OPINION ON OBAMA'S ECONOMIC POLICIES


You can ignore it


But the nation is going to VOTE !!!


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Dorchester and Congress RULES !!!!


Everybody supports the Tea Party


Obama and Pelosi WISH they were in the Tea Party.


HA HA HA


The Tea Party Rules


The Tea Party is AMORPHOUS - AND YOU CAN'T ATTACK IT -


THE MEDIA IS FINALLY DONE IN !!!!


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Dorchester and Congress Rules !!!

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Wikileaks has some curious points about Weapons of Mass Destruction:


Apparently Weapons of Mass Destruction WERE FOUND IN IRAQ - SO WHY DIDN'T KARL ROVE ADVERTISE IT ?

________________

Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents...

In August 2004, for instance, American forces surreptitiously purchased what they believed to be containers of liquid sulfur mustard, a toxic “blister agent” used as a chemical weapon since World War I. The troops tested the liquid, and “reported two positive results for blister.” The chemical was then “triple-sealed and transported to a secure site” outside their base...

Even late in the war, WMDs were still being unearthed. In the summer of 2008, according to one WikiLeaked report, American troops found at least 10 rounds that tested positive for chemical agents. “These rounds were most likely left over from the [Saddam]-era regime. Based on location, these rounds may be an AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] cache. However, the rounds were all total disrepair and did not appear to have been moved for a long time.”

_________________________________

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 24, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

It is fantastic time to refinance home mortgage. As Clark Howard says it is very tough to find these low rates for long time. Search online for "123 Mortgage Refinance" they found me THE lowest possible rate.

Posted by: annblyth24 | October 24, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse


Major brands always give out their popular brand samples (in a way it is similar to coupons) I use these guys to get mine http://bit.ly/aJWSXv enjoy your samples

Posted by: emmanueel24 | October 24, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

"Could either of you please see my post of 11:36 and set me straight...was I somehow engaging in a semantic argument?"

No, of course not. It's just one of those moments when 12bb seems to be discussing a topic rationally when a switch in her brain goes kerflooey, or her agenda all along was just to remark on how scary and radical a GOP takeover could be. Seems to be a consistent pattern.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 24, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

qb/Mcwing:

Thanks. I was rather bewildered.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

"No they really aren't.

Think about it. On issues concerning money, was Obama's response, to the banks for instance, any different than Bush's would have been? Even in Iraq and Afghanistan, how much of a a difference?"

This no more than the phenomenon of ideological distance: they all look close together if you look at them from an extreme perpective far outside the mainstream. Both Bushes disappointed me with how "moderate" they were, but Obama is by reasonable standards far to the left. No, the system's checks don't allow him to fully realize all the goals of his "transformation" of the country, but I can't imagine how or why having Ivy undergrad and grad degrees somehow makes him less left wing than if he'd gone to a state university. If anything, the opposite is probably true.

You make no argument that SCOTUS is not ideologically diverse or hasn't been. You couldn't make a credible one, nor could you credibly argue that the left isn't well represented there, again unless you have standards for being "left" that are far beyond the mainstream. I suppose then I could make good argument that Thomas is the only Justice who as approached being a genuine legal conservative in recent decades. And, again, if anything, graduates of HLS and YLS tend to be farther to the left than grads of other law schools, so your unhappiness with the trend is puzzling.

"The chairmanship of the Fed is the second most powerful post in the nation after the presidency."

That's a reasonable opinion, but your original claim that the chairmanship has been "held by Harvard" for the past 31 years is incorrect. Per wiki, assuming it is correct:

Paul Volcker = Princeton/Harvard
Alan Greenspan = NYU/NYU (with some study at Columbia)
Ben Bernanke = Harvard/MIT

Justifiably or not, Harvard and MIT are usually considered the leading graduate programs in economics. If there is a conformity to their views, if anything it is probably centered around standard Keynesian Democratic approaches. But Harvard hasn't been in control of the Fed for 31 years in any event.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 24, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

lms,

I don't understand this at all:

"Some of us could say the for profit nature of the student loan program which was recently altered could have had an adverse affect on the rise in tuition, or perhaps the rise in legacy payments for both public and private institution beneficiaries."

How would for-profit student loans have driven up tuition?

What do you mean by legacy payments?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 24, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Six of our first 10 Presidents went to the same two colleges as well. No big conspiracy theory (certainly nothing as obviously nefarious as Juan Williams getting fired from NPR on purpose). And I thought that the Dems were supposed to be the reality-based crowd?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 24, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Back then, it was Harvard and The College of William and Mary, instead of Yale (Rutherford B. Hayes did go to Harvard Law School as well). Do the Dems know that Harvard and Yale were both founded as RELIGIOUS school?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 24, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

qb

There's quite a bit of speculation out there that the student loan business is another banking crisis just waiting to collapse. It's similar to the housing bubble and the rise in tuition costs matches almost exactly the rise in housing costs prior to the bubble bursting. Again, the banks and the for profit schools create the demand for higher education along with the government mandates for opportunity and then sell the loans with no linkage to outcome or ability to repay. Their success is only linked to servicing fees, which sounds awfully familiar.

And by legacy payments I'm referring to the same problem public and private employers across the spectrum are having with their generous retirement benefits that have become unaffordable because of the rising cost of health care.

That's all I can muster today, I've had a touch of flu for a couple of days and am mostly just resting until it passes. Yesterday's discussion was interesting though and I just thought I'd throw my 2 cents into the ring.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 24, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

lms,

Hope you feel better. Lots of sickness seems to be around. I have to take off after this, too. It's hard for me to see the for profit angle adding to demand as opposed to government lending, though, especially since the point of taking lending away from the banks seems to have been to make it cheaper and more available, not the opposite.

I have no idea how pensions and health care costs impact higher ed in particular, although it seems unlikely to be a special problem for the many universities with affiliated hospital systems and med schools. It seems more likely to me that, to the extent costs are actually a driver, it is more the gold-plated experiences, facilities, etc., that are offered to undergrads at so many schools. Looking at many elite schools with my son, I've been impressed with what they offer as well as with what it all costs. These kids can go on outdoor adventures for orientation, have maids clean their dorm rooms, have endless support and hand-holding programs, and can choose to study or do field research in Vietnam or Australia for a year if they feel like it. Many schools boast that, if the kids can think of it, the school will pay for it.

Awesome . . . -ly cool and expensive.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 24, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Thanks qb

None of my kids ever got close to an elite school as under graduates, just out of our reach and I sure didn't want them or us to take on that kind of debt. Some people say Colorado School of Mines is the Harvard of Geology, and our youngest is there on a full ride, but her research commitment in time and effort is enormous so you could say she's certainly earning it.

There are definitely benefits in her field to be studying there and she's already had three very lucrative internship offers for next summer. It's actually a public school though so tuition costs are not that high, except her first year would have been prohibitive being out of state. All my other kids stayed within the state which saves money as well.

Also, my oldest daughter received her Master's from Cal Arts, a fairly prestigious fine arts college which has opened doors for her professionally. The only way she could have done it though was because of the grant and scholarship money she received.

Good luck to your son, it's both a fun and challenging time. Our neighbor's daughter only wanted the chance to go "away" to college, but I see her car parked in their driveway every weekend, LOL.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 24, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

All, a fresh Open Thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/sunday_open_thread_10.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 24, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

qb:

Thanks for the correction, quite frankly forgot about Greenspan LOL

clawrence:

Of course there were perhaps 4-6 colleges in the US (depending on definition) entirely so that has a less ominous edge to it.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 24, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

8675309:

"Of course there were perhaps 4-6 colleges in the US (depending on definition) entirely so that has a less ominous edge to it."

Back then the elite went to college. Now the elite go to Ivies. But it was, and remains, the elite who make up the "very small pool of people are in tight control." I'm not at all sure why it should be seen as more ominous today than it was then.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 24, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

There's a surprising amount of federal money heading to state schools. Research, for example, is almost entirely federally funded.

I'll admit that I have to hope for something to happen. My twins would be going to college in about 15 years. Tuition costs would pretty much eat my entire after tax income.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 24, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Justifiably or not, Harvard and MIT are usually considered the leading graduate programs in economics. If there is a conformity to their views, if anything it is probably centered around standard Keynesian Democratic approaches. But Harvard hasn't been in control of the Fed for 31 years in any event.

Posted by: quarterback1

____________________

You missed one: University of Chicago

Posted by: Bailers | October 24, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company