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  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    California has a mountain debt and risks bankruptcy in the coming years, so it's good to see that its political leaders are addressing the most pressing concerns.
  • camp davidcamp david Posts: 692member
    Glad I lived long enough to see this White House Press Gallery racist bigot Helen Thomas called on her nasty anti-semitic words - long overdue =>



    Ari Fleischer Wants Helen Thomas Fired for Saying Jews Should Get ‘the Hell Out of Palestine’

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/06...ommented-24h-5



    Helen Thomas: Go to the Back of the Room



    Helen Thomas’ agency dumps her as client
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Cameron Warns Britons of ?Decades? of Austerity:



    Quote:

    Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that Britain?s financial situation was ?even worse than we thought? and that the country would have to make savage spending cuts to bring its swelling deficit under control.





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    Mr. Cameron said that at more than 11 percent, Britain?s budget deficit was the largest ever faced by the country in peacetime. But he warned that the structural deficit was more worrisome. Britain currently owes a total of more than $1.12 trillion , he said, and in five years will owe nearly double that if nothing is done now.



    The country already spends more on interest payments on its debt than it does running its schools, he said, adding that how to reduce the deficit and cut down on borrowing was ?the most urgent issue facing Britain today.?





    Quote:

    The prime minister laid the blame for the situation squarely on what he called ?reckless? spending by the Labour government, which was in power for 13 years before being defeated in last month?s election. He said that as the financial crisis was ?Labour?s legacy,? so, too, would be the spending cuts.



    ?Nothing illustrates better the total irresponsibility of the last government?s approach than the fact that they kept ratcheting up unaffordable government spending even when the economy was shrinking,? he said.



    Labour argued that spending would help boost the economy, Mr. Cameron said, ?conveniently forgetting that if you start with a large structural deficit, ramping up spending even further is likely to undermine confidence and investment, not encourage it.?



  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Self-identified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics.



    I don't find this at all surprising.



    Quote:

    Who is better informed about the policy choices facing the country?liberals, conservatives or libertarians? According to a Zogby International survey that I write about in the May issue of Econ Journal Watch, the answer is unequivocal: The left flunks Econ 101.





    Quote:

    In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.





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    The other questions were: 1) Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services (unenlightened answer: disagree). 2) Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago (unenlightened answer: disagree). 3) Rent control leads to housing shortages (unenlightened answer: disagree). 4) A company with the largest market share is a monopoly (unenlightened answer: agree). 5) Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited (unenlightened answer: agree). 6) Free trade leads to unemployment (unenlightened answer: agree). 7) Minimum wage laws raise unemployment (unenlightened answer: disagree).





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    How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.



    Americans in the first three categories do reasonably well. But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics.



    In other words, the left tends to want their wishes to be reality. The see what they believe rather than the other way around.





    Quote:

    The survey also asked about party affiliation. Those responding Democratic averaged 4.59 incorrect answers. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect.



  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Lol, so now disagreeing with theory equals "failing basic economics". Right.



    I understand supply-side theory, as do shitloads of Liberals. We just disagree with them greatly. They are theories, and looking back at the last 30 years, theories that can easily be interpreted to be wrong.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Lol, so now disagreeing with theory equals "failing basic economics". Right.



    I'll put it in terms you can understand: being wrong on some of these basic economic principles is like being a global warming "denier."





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    I understand supply-side theory, as do shitloads of Liberals. We just disagree with them greatly. They are theories, and looking back at the last 30 years, theories that can easily be interpreted to be wrong.



    These weren't about "supply side" economics (contrary you what you might think, the sum total of economic thought isn't summarized as "supply side economics".) These were questions centered around very basic...econ 101...principles, accepted almost universally by economists.







    But, hey, thanks for proving the point.
  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Here are my answers to the seven questions posted here...



    1) Disagree. There are many cases in which licensing can reduce costs. Even if there's just ONE case, the statement is false. To make a blanket statement like this is clearly showing bias in the question.



    2) Agree if by "overall" you mean in average. Unfortunately, the wider the wealth gap, the less important "averages" become. So this too, is a biased and ambiguous question. Whoever wrote these questions is an idiot, that's what I'm learning from this "test".



    3) Disagree. There is always somewhere else to go. There is always opportunity for builders to build and make a profit. You don't HAVE to live in Manhattan if you work in Manhattan. And just because you're willing to pay more than some people are able to pay, doesn't mean you're ENTITLED to the desired location.



    4) Disagree. I'd love to see the stats JUST on this question.



    5) Disagree.



    6,7) Disagree. But unemployment numbers don't tell the whole story. Which is a fact that "conservatives" ignore. Market wage leads to feudal economics.



    So it looks like out of these seven at least, I got two "wrong". Even though I wasn't really "wrong", I was just in strong disagreement mainly due to the very poorly composed questions.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Here are my answers to the seven questions posted here...



    1) Disagree. There are many cases in which licensing can reduce costs. Even if there's just ONE case, the statement is false. To make a blanket statement like this is clearly showing bias in the question.



    Show us one. Then many (which is your claim).





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    3) Disagree. There is always somewhere else to go. There is always opportunity for builders to build and make a profit. You don't HAVE to live in Manhattan if you work in Manhattan. And just because you're willing to pay more than some people are able to pay, doesn't mean you're ENTITLED to the desired location.



    On this you are simply wrong. The shortage will occur in the area where the rent controls apply. Yes, you can build outside of that area, but then try to extend the rent controls and see what happens. Try rent controls across an entire country and see what happens. Further where people have to live or work* or what the can or are willing to pay are irrelevant to the question at issue. Your argument is basically a red herring. I do applaud you for at least giving this question a bit more thought even though you have come to an incorrect conclusion. I quite seriously doubt that anyone else who answered incorrectly really gave it that much though and that they just don't see the effects prices (and price controls) have the supply of a good or service.



    *That people do work in a given city or area and are unable to afford to live there is actually a very common argument from the left in favor of rent controls for that area.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    7) Disagree. But unemployment numbers don't tell the whole story. Which is a fact that "conservatives" ignore. Market wage leads to feudal economics.



    That raising wages about market prices by government command reduces employment among those below that pay/productivity level is nearly to the point of established economic fact. Further, your claim that "But unemployment numbers don't tell the whole story." is another red herring argument. But feel free to share with us what the rest of the story is so we all know.



    I would love to hear both your definition of "feudal economics" and how "market wage" will lead to it.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Even though I wasn't really "wrong".



    No, you pretty much are wrong on those. But congrats on the others. There's hope for you.



    I will agree that some of the questions could have been phrased better. An example would be #5. The only correct answer to that question would have to be "Don't know." That question is more as test of someone's reasoning ability. Another would be #3 could be more precisely worded to indicate the area in which the rent controls apply. But some common sense is expected here in assuming that the question means to refer to the area in which the price controls are applied, just as common sense is expected with regard to the minimum wage/unemployment question in understanding that the question means to ask what the effect of raising the minimum wage above market rates would be. But I doubt seriously that anyone answered incorrectly because they we privately thinking, "well if the statutory minimum wage is below market wages, then there would not likely be deleterious employment effects."



    The 8th question was: "Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable."



    Actually #3 and #7 are simply two specific cases of the effects of price controls. Price ceilings will create shortages while price floors (minimum wage) will create surpluses (unemployment). These are fairly well established by logic, evidence and historical record. In fact, price ceilings (usually in the form of so-called "price gouging laws) are a chiefs reason we often see shortages of critical goods and services in areas of natural disasters like hurricanes.)



    That something like a minimum wage (a price floor) would cause few people to be employed should not be surprising at all. We can easily deduce that this would happen by looking at our own individual behavior in the face of price increases. What do you do when the price of something you buy goes up? Say milk? bottled water? Movie tickets? Gasoline? Etc. What do you do? Most people will find ways to reduce their use of the now higher priced good. Business works the same way with labor. And, by the way, various kinds of employer mandates (like mandated benefits, vacation, maternity leave, or even payroll taxes) are all simply indirect ways to increase wages (the total cost of the employee).



    #1 and #8 are activities that essentially muck with supply or competition (reducing them). They (like the licensing requirements) may also have the direct effect of raising prices because licensing costs will be passed onto consumers.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Analysts, lawmakers mull 'double dip' scenario



    Quote:

    Congress considers more stimulus as economy shows signs of slowing



    And this week's entry into the terrible analogy contest goes to Ben Bernanke:



    Quote:

    While he declined to voice an opinion on additional stimulus measures being considered by Congress, he did say it was too early to begin taking the punch bowl away from the party.



    Party? Really? Is that what's happening right now?





    And what else did Einstein have to say?



    Quote:

    "Right now I don't think is the time ? this very moment is not the time ? to radically reduce our spending or raise our taxes because the economy is still in recovery mode and needs that support," he said in an appearance before the House Budget Committee.





    Quote:

    Another big boost came from massive government stimulus, including increased federal spending and monetary stimulus in the form of short-term interest rates that have been held near zero by the Fed.



    But as those forces recede there are signs the economy may be losing momentum. Some economists are now marking down forecasts that had called for relatively modest growth this year in the 3 percent range.



    So, again., we haven't really recovered...we've merely kicked the can further down the road.
  • hands sandonhands sandon Posts: 5,268member


    I'm just glad he's not Scottish.



    Rand Paul on mountaintop removal-



    "On the heels of a new NRDC report that over 293 mountains and 574,000 acres of hardwood forests in eastern Kentucky have been irreversibly destroyed by mountaintop removal strip mining, Rand Paul flippantly tells a TV interviewer in footage from last fall: "I don't think anyone's going to be missing a hill or two here and there."



    Wrong.



    "This research shows what a sacrificial lamb Kentucky has been for an industry that is not interested in any kind of restoration," says Kentuckians for the Commonwealth member and eastern Kentucky resident Mick McCoy. "Here in Martin County, more than 25 percent of the land has been leveled by coal companies yet we are among the poorest of counties not just in Kentucky, but the entire country."



    Worse yet, Paul erroneously claims that "a lot of the land is desirable once it gets flattened out...Some people like the flat land, and some of it apparently has become rather valuable when it's become flattened."



    Wrong again. As NRDC's Rob Perks points out:



    Of the 500 mountaintop removal sites we examined, we excluded 90 from our survey due to active, ongoing mining activity. That left 410 supposedly reclaimed mine sites, for which we found that:

    366 (89.3%) had no form of verifiable post-mining economic reclamation excluding forestry and pasture



    26 (6.3% of total) yield some form of verifiable post-mining economic development



    Only about 4% of mountains in Kentucky and West Virginia, where the vast majority of this mining is occurring, had any post-mining economic activity.



    "Mining companies don't love mountains but they love bragging about how they restore mine sites for the benefit of local communities," says NRDC's Rob Perks. "Our study exposes Big Coal's broken promises by proving that post-mining economic prosperity is a big, flat lie."

    ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-b..._b_589390.html
  • noahjnoahj Posts: 4,500member
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle7148555.ece



    Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites...



    Interesting news story. Hope it is not a sign of anything coming soon...
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post


    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle7148555.ece



    Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites...



    Interesting news story. Hope it is not a sign of anything coming soon...



    Yeah, so that's not good.
  • stevegmustevegmu Posts: 539member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post


    I'm just glad he's not Scottish.



    Rand Paul on mountaintop removal-



    "On the heels of a new NRDC report that over 293 mountains and 574,000 acres of hardwood forests in eastern Kentucky have been irreversibly destroyed by mountaintop removal strip mining, Rand Paul flippantly tells a TV interviewer in footage from last fall: "I don't think anyone's going to be missing a hill or two here and there."



    Wrong.



    "This research shows what a sacrificial lamb Kentucky has been for an industry that is not interested in any kind of restoration," says Kentuckians for the Commonwealth member and eastern Kentucky resident Mick McCoy. "Here in Martin County, more than 25 percent of the land has been leveled by coal companies yet we are among the poorest of counties not just in Kentucky, but the entire country."



    Worse yet, Paul erroneously claims that "a lot of the land is desirable once it gets flattened out...Some people like the flat land, and some of it apparently has become rather valuable when it's become flattened."



    Wrong again. As NRDC's Rob Perks points out:



    Of the 500 mountaintop removal sites we examined, we excluded 90 from our survey due to active, ongoing mining activity. That left 410 supposedly reclaimed mine sites, for which we found that:

    366 (89.3%) had no form of verifiable post-mining economic reclamation excluding forestry and pasture



    26 (6.3% of total) yield some form of verifiable post-mining economic development



    Only about 4% of mountains in Kentucky and West Virginia, where the vast majority of this mining is occurring, had any post-mining economic activity.



    "Mining companies don't love mountains but they love bragging about how they restore mine sites for the benefit of local communities," says NRDC's Rob Perks. "Our study exposes Big Coal's broken promises by proving that post-mining economic prosperity is a big, flat lie."

    ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-b..._b_589390.html



    Do you prefer strip mining? Ever driven through Pennsylvania? A toppled mountain looks a whole lot better than the results of strip mining. It is a Democrat run state, so I guess they get a a pass?

    I take it you and all others against coal mining live on solar and wind energy, off the grid?
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    LIEBERMAN, COLLINS, CARPER UNVEIL MAJOR CYBERSECURITY BILL TO MODERNIZE, STRENGTHEN, AND COORDINATE CYBER DEFENSES:



    Quote:

    The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, S.3480, would create an Office of Cyber Policy in the White House with a director accountable to the public who would lead all federal cyberspace efforts and devise national cyberspace strategy. A National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications within the Department of Homeland Security, also led by a director accountable to the public, would enforce cybersecurity policies throughout the government and the private sector. The bill would also establish a public/private partnership to set national cyber security priorities and improve national cyber security defenses.





    Quote:

    ?The need for this legislation is obvious and urgent.?





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    We cannot afford to wait for a ?cyber 9/11? before our government finally realizes the importance of protecting our digital resources, limiting our vulnerabilities, and mitigating the consequences of penetrations of our networks.





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    Creation of a responsible framework, developed in coordination with the private sector, for the President to authorize emergency measures to protect the nation?s most critical infrastructure if a cyber vulnerability is being exploited or is about to be exploited. The President must notify Congress in advance before exercising these emergency powers. Any emergency measures imposed must be the least disruptive necessary to respond to the threat and will expire after 30 days unless the President extends them.





    I wonder what Joe Lieberbman's motivation is here. We know it isn't really to secure anything.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    More Hope and Change:



    Quote:

    Fighting homegrown terrorism by monitoring Internet communications is a civil liberties trade-off the U.S. government must make to beef up national security, the nation's homeland security chief said Friday.





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    "The First Amendment protects radical opinions, but we need the legal tools to do things like monitor the recruitment of terrorists via the Internet," Napolitano told a gathering of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.





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    Napolitano said it is wrong to believe that if security is embraced, liberty is sacrificed.



    She added, "We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable."





    Janet Napolitano and Ben Franklin, kindred spirits?



    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin



  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Joe Lieberman taking his lead from China.



    Where are all of the outraged liberals? If this was Bush doing this, they'd be going ape-shit over this.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    I wonder if we'll have The Left repeatedly using "Twitters" over the coming years as they've used "The Internets" in mocking reference to one of Bush's past blunders. Nah. Because that mistake doesn't represent Obama being out of touch.
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