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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1401. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4407896)
I noticed Shipman didn't label it a "good but not great" jobs report, as has been his habit. Perhaps he's finally seeing the Obama economic malaise for what it is.


I was actually out of town, so I didn't post on it. For the reference, I referred to the 200K job report the month previously as "good but not great." An 88K jobs report is roughly disastrous. It's not calamitous, but it really upsets me that Obama has allowed deficit reduction to pre-empt the recovery. We've seen the same pattern for the last three years. We have a good winter, Obama attempts to "pivot" to the deficit, it goes absolutely nowhere, and the jobs numbers go back in the toilet.

One piece of speculation I saw that I thought was potentially interesting was that the record number of defections from the labor force might have been driven in part by people near to retirement seeing improvement in their portfolios. That is potentially interesting, but ultimately, still disappointing in the grand scheme of things.

I am very disappointed in the deficit mania for the last few years and I consider it among Obama's biggest mistakes. Indulging in deficit scolds is always a bad idea.

Edit: PS I think she had dementia not Alzheimers. I'm not sure what the difference is really.
   1402. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4407898)
No. Those wars cost no money. The subprime crash and those poisoned CDOs, though, that was all Obama.

Obama says there's no debt problem. Do you disagree with him?

Also, in his "community organizer" days, Obama sued banks to force them to give loans to people with bad credit, so, yes, he gets some blame for the real estate meltdown.

I was just a high school student at the time, but my recollection is that they did. Of course, "they" were all poor and lived far away, so, you know, whatever.

Poor people aren't allowed to vote in Britain?

Who said I'm celebrating?

When did I say that you were? Several people in this thread certainly are.
   1403. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4407916)
No the Republican House and Republican Statehouses share some blame too.


Don't forget the Senate!
   1404. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4407922)
Obama says there's no debt problem. Do you disagree with him?
The problem is growth, not debt.

Also, in his "community organizer" days, Obama sued banks to force them to give loans to people with bad credit, so, yes, he gets some blame for the r.e. meltdown.
1) "Mostly false"
2) Community organizer in scare quotes. Also funny.

Poor people aren't allowed to vote in Britain?
Maybe they're all here, voting for Obama.

When did I say that you were? Several people in this thread certainly are.
Then perhaps you should address the celebration comments in replies to them instead of me. But that would be doing something other than steering the conversation back to attacking Obama. I understand that to be out of your comfort zone.
   1405. Greg K Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4407924)
I was just a high school student at the time, but my recollection is that they did. Of course, "they" were all poor and lived far away, so, you know, whatever.

Poor people aren't allowed to vote in Britain?

I think he just means Thatcher is an odd choice for a "why didn't people criticize while she was alive/active" comment. I was seven years old when Thatcher left office, and lived in a different country, and Thatcher was still pretty easily the most complained about politician for most of my life. [EDIT: at least until Rob Ford was elected mayor of Toronto]

Personally I'm not a fan of speaking ill of the recently dead...but then I probably lean towards decorum to a fault. But that line of argument seems particularly ill suited to Thatcher.

   1406. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:48 PM (#4407931)
The problem is growth, not debt.

Then why did you cite the cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars? Do you even know what argument you're trying to make?

1) "Mostly false"

It's not "mostly false" that at least half of the 186 plaintiffs in Obama's lawsuit ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.

2) Community organizer in scare quotes. Also funny.

The whole "community organizer" thing is funny.

Then perhaps you should address the celebration comments in replies to them instead of me. But that would be doing something other than steering the conversation back to attacking Obama. I understand that to be out of your comfort zone.

Oh, boo-hoo. I made a general comment in reply to one of your comments, which probably happens hundreds of times per day at this site.
   1407. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4407933)
I will be interested to discover whether those impugning PP, above, held their tongues on the days Hugo Chavez and Jerry Falwell (substitute your personal villain of choice as necessary) died.
   1408. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4407934)
Then why did you cite the cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars?
I didn't. Those wars were free, and didn't contribute to incurring any debt. That's lucky for us, since wars generally cost trillions when all is said and done. Also, stop bringing up President Bush.

It's not "mostly false" that at least half of the 186 plaintiffs in Obama's lawsuit ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.
It's only "mostly false" that "Obama sued banks to force them to give loans to people with bad credit."

Oh, boo-hoo. I made a general comment in reply to one of your comments, which probably happens hundreds of times per day at this site.
True. Mine was easiest to steer back towards Obama. I can't blame you for being who you are.
   1409. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4407935)
Billie Holiday, in one of her great songs, "Crazy He Calls Me":

Like the wind that shakes the bough
He moves me with a smile
The difficult I'll do right now
The impossible will take a little while


Henry Kissinger, drolly paying tribute to Lady Day back in 1975, courtesy of WikiLeaks' latest, in a quote that shouldn't pass unnoticed:

In an early teaser of the documents’ contents, WikiLeaks drew attention to a chilling comment made by Kissinger in 1975 during a conversation with the then-U.S. ambassador to Turkey and two Turkish and Cypriot diplomats. Kissinger quipped: “Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, ‘The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.’ [laughter] But since the Freedom of Information Act, I’m afraid to say things like that.”
   1410. Publius Publicola Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:58 PM (#4407936)
From Mefisto's link on the ANC:

Tambo, 54, who founded Artists Against Apartheid, said his father did meet foreign secretary Geoffrey Howe, who urged Thatcher to give him an audience, but she always refused. "She called us a terrorist organisation and compared us with the IRA. It's unbelievable!"

Well, at least she got that right. Thatcher made a career of being against the people who were against injustice.
   1411. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4407937)
Don't forget the Senate!


The Senate is just an institutional disaster, doesn't matter whether it's R or D at this point.
   1412. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4407939)
I didn't. Those wars were free, and didn't contribute to incurring any debt. That's lucky for us, since wars generally cost trillions when all is said and done. Also, stop bringing up President Bush.

You didn't bring up the cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars?

It's only "mostly false" that "Obama sued banks to force them to give loans to people with bad credit."

And yet, 186 of Obama's plaintiffs somehow ended up with mortgages after the lawsuit. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

True. Mine was easiest to steer back towards Obama. I can't blame you for being who you are.

The topic was already Obama.
   1413. Publius Publicola Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4407941)
So Thatcher died of a brain disease too? Wow. Why is it all the fascists end up having neuronal problems?

Must be genetic.
   1414. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4407943)
You didn't bring up the cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars?
"The bad economy is due to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars?" I'll say it again, those wars were all free. Just for you, I'll posit that they didn't impact the economy at all... except when Obama's president.

And yet, 186 of Obama's plaintiffs somehow ended up with mortgages after the lawsuit. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.
Spoken like a man who's refused to read the Snopes link or, more likely, doesn't care what the link had to say.

The topic was already Obama.
You were the first to bring up Obama outside the context of the "should we label people evil" discussion. But I don't have to tell you that!
   1415. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4407946)
I will be interested to discover whether those impugning PP, above, held their tongues on the days Hugo Chavez and Jerry Falwell (substitute your personal villain of choice as necessary) died.


Did anyone see when Christopher Hitchens was on Hannity's show right after Falwell died?
There are clips of it (youtube?)


I pretty much agreed with everything Hitchens said about Falwell, but it was still kind of unnerving, because so bluntly speaking ill of the (very recent) demised is culturally unacceptable, but-

If you thought Hugo Chavez was a thug, why should you not say so after he kicks the bucket and other people are babbling about how wonderful he was?

If you though the Iron Lady was a nasty piece of work, why should you hold your tongue now?


   1416. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4407947)
"The bad economy is due to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars?" I'll say it again, those wars were all free. Just for you, I'll posit that they didn't impact the economy at all... except when Obama's president.

I mentioned the jobs report and the lousy Obama economy, and you came back with Afghanistan and Iraq. Apparently you were just throwing crap at the wall but don't want to say that.

Spoken like a man who's refused to read the Snopes link or, more likely, doesn't care what the link had to say.

Ha ha. Snopes now supersedes the actual court and bank records? That's funny.

You were the first to bring up Obama outside the context of the "should we label people evil" discussion. But I don't have to tell you that!

I brought up Obama within the context of a jobs report issued by and during the Obama administration.
   1417. Greg K Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4407949)
You were the first to bring up Obama outside the context of the "should we label people evil" discussion. But I don't have to tell you that!

Technically Gonfalon Bubble made a joke about Thatcher's death being a good excuse for some Obama bashing a couple pages ago that no one responded to. Unless Joe's #1394 was a meta-nod to the kind of pivot GB was referencing.
   1418. Publius Publicola Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:13 PM (#4407950)
Did anyone see when Christopher Hitchens was on Hannity's show right after Falwell died?


Yes, it was hilarious. I especially loved it when he slam dunked that little mealymouthed toady Ralph Reed at the end.
   1419. Greg K Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4407952)
If you thought Hugo Chavez was a thug, why should you not say so after he kicks the bucket and other people are babbling about how wonderful he was?

Or as King Joffrey said about Renly Baratheon yesterday, "Why does someone putting a sword through his chest suddenly make it not ok to call him a traitor?"

He's usually my go-to guy for moral quandaries.
   1420. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:15 PM (#4407954)
Glenn Greenwald makes a good point today:
But the key point is this: those who admire the deceased public figure (and their politics) aren't silent at all. They are aggressively exploiting the emotions generated by the person's death to create hagiography.
Thatcher's not someone I feel strongly about, and I don't feel the need to go out of my way to run her over — "De mortuis nil nisi bonum" and all that. However, a lot of people are painting heroic pictures of her, and I find those characterizations dishonest. Ultimately, I think GB had the best comment of any and everyone in any thread:
Today isn't a day for insults, it's a day for those who've spent years railing against Barack Obama's imperial Presidency and arrogant refusal to compromise to talk about how much they admire Margaret Thatcher.
   1421. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4407955)
Ha ha. Snopes now supersedes the actual court and bank records? That's funny.


No, but unlike you the Snopes person actually looked up the actual court records, and declaring the story to be "mostly" false rather than wholly false was surprisingly charitable on her part.

   1422. Publius Publicola Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4407956)
Unless Joe's #1394 was a meta-nod to the kind of pivot GB was referencing.


Kehoskie has a spectacularly simple world view that's very easy to understand. If the county has a problem, it's Obama's fault. If the country solves a problem, somebody besides Obama solved it.
   1423. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4407957)
If you thought Hugo Chavez was a thug, why should you not say so after he kicks the bucket and other people are babbling about how wonderful he was?

Hugo Chavez was in office at the time of his death. Margaret Thatcher had been out of office for decades, and might not have known her name on the day she died. It's an apples-and-oranges comparison.

***
No, but unlike you the Snopes person actually looked up the actual court records, and declaring the story to be "mostly" false rather than wholly false was surprisingly charitable on her part.

Nonsense. It's a matter of public record that 186 of Obama's plaintiffs got mortgages after the lawsuit, and that at least half of them ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.
   1424. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4407959)
I mentioned the jobs report and the lousy Obama economy
... in a conversation that had nothing to do with Obama and the U.S. economy. We all understand that's your thing. Don't run from your thing. It's your thing. You also didn't want anyone mentioning Bush at all, so I threw out Iraq and Afghanistan, except for the part where it's Obama's fault.

Ha ha. Snopes now supersedes the actual court and bank records? That's funny.
So... you didn't read it, nor did you read the links to the case itself, nor to the Sun-Times and AP links regarding the story? I would expect nothing less.
   1425. Publius Publicola Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4407970)
Hugo Chavez was in office at the time of his death. Margaret Thatcher had been out of office for decades, and might not have known her name on the day she died.It's an apples-and-oranges comparison.


Why? There's no statute of limitation on political reputations. She did a lot of horrible things as Prime Minister. She has to own all of it. If she apologized for some of it, like trying to marginalize Mandela (Cameron had to say it for her, in 2006!), that would be one thing and would somewhat mitigating. But she never admitted she was wrong.
   1426. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:31 PM (#4407976)
Also, in his "community organizer" days, Obama sued banks to force them to give loans to people with bad credit, so, yes, he gets some blame for the r.e. meltdown.

2) Community organizer in scare quotes. Also funny.

The whole "community organizer" thing
is funny.

When it comes to the ground game, Obama certainly community organized the GOP's asses raw last year.
   1427. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4407981)
... in a conversation that had nothing to do with Obama and the U.S. economy.

A comment was made about Thatcher — "[t]he average citizen […] was worse off after her time in office than it was before" — that is highly likely to be true of Obama. Pointing that out was hardly off-topic.

We all understand that's your thing. Don't run from your thing. It's your thing.

Ha ha. "Your thing" is nipping at my heels. Sadly, after hundreds of attempts, you're still not very good at it.

You also didn't want anyone mentioning Bush at all, so I threw out Iraq and Afghanistan, except for the part where it's Obama's fault.

Uh, I mentioned Bush first, in a comment that all but invited others to mention Bush. The "Afghanistan and Iraq" business was just you throwing crap at the wall.

So... you didn't read it, nor did you read the links to the case itself, nor to the Sun-Times and AP links regarding the story? I would expect nothing less.

I've read all of it, actually. As I said above, it's a matter of public record that 186 of Obama's plaintiffs got mortgages after the lawsuit, and that at least half of them ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy. Only a bunch of Obama fanboys would go to such efforts to deny Obama's link to the lawsuit in question, or to deny Obama's support for such efforts in general. Hell, just last week, Obama renewed his call for banks to give more loans to borrowers with bad or weak credit.
   1428. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4407985)
A point was made about Thatcher that is highly likely to be true of Obama.
... in a conversation that had nothing to do with Obama and the U.S. economy, but you really wanted to go there. You certainly can, but don't get mad just because I pointed it out.

Ha ha. "Your thing" is nipping at my heels. Sadly, after hundreds of attempts, you're still not any good at it.
I'm way ahead of the curve! I was literally the very first poster to say that Joe Kehoskie had a greater need to get in the last word than anybody on the site. That was before you were active in the political OT threads. Give me some credit.

Uh, I mentioned Bush first,
"I'm sure that will be all Bush's fault, though." That's an honest comment right there.

As I said above, it's a matter of public record that 186 of Obama's plaintiffs got mortgages after the lawsuit, and that at least half of them ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.
So the facts of the matter don't concern you?
Plaintiffs alleged that the defendant-bank rejected loan applications of minority applicants while approving loan applications filed by white applicants with similar financial characteristics and credit histories. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief, actual damages, and punitive damages.
You can actually look these things up, you know.
   1429. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 08, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4407986)
Hugo Chavez was in office at the time of his death. Margaret Thatcher had been out of office for decades, and might not have known her name on the day she died.


Still waiting for someone to explain to me why any of this means you need to either a) change what you feel about a person now that they are dead or b) despite what you feel about this now dead person you should lie/sugarcoat what you feel, while everyone else is reviewing their life, because they are dead.

Horrible people are horrible, even on the day they die. Great people are still as great the day before and the day after. This is a political discussion board, it is not like we are those horrible Westboro people protesting at the funeral. We clearly need more pearls to clutch and some ice cream for people to eat. Joe K and snapper, what flavor do you need to sooth away all the horror being spewed out?
   1430. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4407998)
... in a conversation that had nothing to do with Obama and the U.S. economy, but you really wanted to go there.

Yes, God forbid we talk about the current economic situation in the U.S. rather than cheer the death of an old woman who had been out of office for decades.

It's obvious, from the last two or three months of "OT: Politics" threads that have had little to do with politics, that the liberals here want as little attention as possible paid to Obama's (dismal) job performance. Sorry to interrupt the high-fiving.

I'm way ahead of the curve! I was literally the very first poster to say that Joe Kehoskie had a greater need to get in the last word than anybody on the site. That was before you were active in the political OT threads. Give me some credit.

This is your idea of an achievement?

So the facts of the matter don't concern you?

I've cited the facts several times:

- Obama, as a lawyer, sued banks to get them to give more loans to people with poor credit;
- Obama, as president, wants banks to give more loans to people with poor credit.

It's not my fault you're not interested in those facts.
   1431. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:08 PM (#4408002)
It's obvious, from the last two or three months of "political" threads that have had little to do with politics, that the liberals here want as little attention as possible paid to Obama's (dismal) job performance. Sorry to interrupt the high-fiving.


What an awesome assertion. I, for one, would love a discussion of politics. Discussing the historical legacy of someone who just died is however a very appropriate political discussion. So is discussing Andrew Jackson, Ronald Reagan, FDR and so on. Why wouldn't it be?

EDIT: And is you have something new to talk about Obama that too counts - including discussing the recent dismal jobs forecast (which is why I didn't ding you for that - as predictable as your post was).
   1432. Morty Causa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4408015)
Kehoskie, you understand why some might see it to be logically difficult to ding Obama for something he doesn't or can't do that you don't want him to do anyway--and advocate any and all means and measures to keep him from doing it?
   1433. Morty Causa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:31 PM (#4408017)
Horrible people are horrible, even on the day they die. Great people are still as great the day before and the day after. This is a political discussion board, it is not like we are those horrible Westboro people protesting at the funeral. We clearly need more pearls to clutch and some ice cream for people to eat. Joe K and snapper, what flavor do you need to sooth away all the horror being spewed out?


"Come for the funerals. Stay for the pie."

What did she do that was so horrible--as opposed, say, to being an advocate for her position and interests and those of her constituents? How should the actual indictment against her read?

(BTW, Christopher Hitchens once divulged that when he was a young pretty boy, she once patted him on the ass. He didn't call for an apology. Imagine that!)
   1434. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:46 PM (#4408028)
Kehoskie, you understand why some might see it to be logically difficult to ding Obama for something he doesn't or can't do that you don't want him to do anyway--and advocate any and all means and measures to keep him from doing it?

After four-plus years in office, it's time for Obama to take ownership of the economy and propose solutions that have a chance of getting passed by a split Congress. It's borderline repugnant that taking care of illegal immigrants is seen as a higher and more urgent priority by the dolts in Washington than the 300 million Americans — especially the millions of jobless Americans — who are living in a stagnant economy.
   1435. Publius Publicola Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4408030)
When it comes to the ground game, Obama certainly community organized the GOP's asses raw last year.


In fact, the Republicans are operating under the delusion that they lost just because of this and the Latino vote and are trying to copycat Obama's success.
   1436. Morty Causa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:51 PM (#4408036)
That really doesn't address what I charged. Do you advocate giving him the means to "own" the economy or don't you?

Anyway, I thought it was the position of you lib-conservative-Republicans that the government had no role to play in the economy--and no effect?

   1437. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:57 PM (#4408039)
Morty, Obama is the president, not the king. Obama obviously can't take unilateral action when it comes to budgeting, taxation, etc., but where are all of the grand Obama proposals that might lead to economic growth? I sure haven't seen any. He can barely be bothered to propose a budget (and the last time he did, even the Dems unanimously voted against him).

Anyway, I thought it was the position of you lib-conservative-Republicans that the government had no role to play in the economy--and no effect?

Even if true, that doesn't mean "lib-conservative-Republicans" want the status quo to be frozen in perpetuity. With the government's reach having been extended into just about every aspect of American life, we're a long way from the "government [having] no role to play in the economy."
   1438. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 08, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4408049)
propose solutions that have a chance of getting passed by a split Congress


Can you describe an example of this particular breed of unicorn.
   1439. Morty Causa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4408068)
Morty, Obama is the president, not the king. Obama obviously can't take unilateral action when it comes to budgeting, taxation, etc., but where are all of the grand Obama proposals that might lead to economic growth? I sure haven't seen any. He can barely be bothered to propose a budget (and the last time he did, even the Dems unanimously voted against him).


Good. We have an admission [ringing of bell]. Obama is not king. So, maybe you should stop pretending the Bastille needs storming.

You're the one who keeps pretending, when it's to your advantage, that Obama could simply prestidigitate policy and recovery out of thin air. But, then, as here, when you're called on it you revert to a faux judiciousness--although in the sense of a hanging judge in a kangaroo court.

So, what could he do? Things are generally considered a lot better than they were at the end of 2008 and throughout 2009. Most everyone in mainstream economics thought that the economy could go into a free fall. What happened? Does he only have to do it your way? Are you really interested in general recovery across the board, or are you only interested in seeing Democrats and Liberals defeated? Even if it is at the cost of a general recovery. This has played out many times before in our history. We should be jaded to it. The president in power is never given a free hand, except when it is the back of the hand that comes with blame by the people who are against him for maybe doing something they would object to anyhow. To many of us, in partisan mode, never get out of high school. It's pep rallies forever. The funny thing is, the absurdity of it, is if Obama (or Clinton before him) were in your party, and nothing else would change, just him being “on your side”, you’d be making excuses for him and making alibis—and so would the Republicans/conservatives/libtards. It’s ridiculous. And, yet, so it goes.
   1440. Morty Causa Posted: April 08, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4408070)
Even if true, that doesn't mean "lib-conservative-Republicans" want the status quo to be frozen in perpetuity. With the government's reach having been extended into just about every aspect of American life, we're a long way from the "government [having] no role to play in the economy."


You think the federal government under Reagan/Bush/Bush receded from the national life? Really?
   1441. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:15 PM (#4408082)
- Obama, as a lawyer, sued banks to get them to give more loans to people with poor credit;
- Obama, as president, wants banks to give more loans to people with poor credit.

It's not my fault you're not interested in those facts.
The suits weren't to get banks to give loans to people with poor credit. You didn't read the suit. Not only that, those banks never did give out those loans; the suit was settled out of court. It's so awesome, though, that JoeK's able to link Obama to problems that he's not even remotely linked to. There's literally nothing that JoeK can't pin on Obama.
   1442. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4408085)
So Obama's plaintiffs had good or great credit, but at least half of the 186 borrowers soon ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.

You're proving, once again, that there's no claim too absurd for the liberals here to make with a straight face.

As for Morty's #1439, he talks like we either shouldn't have a Congress or, in the event of a split Congress, that they should just go home until the next election.
   1443. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:31 PM (#4408087)
So Obama's plaintiffs had good or great credit,
The suit was that banks were giving loans to whites with poor credit, but not to minorities with poor credit. If the banks weren't giving loans to ANYONE with bad credit, there would have been no suit, and of course the banks were claiming that all the loans given were solid.

Now, if you could show me that the white-guy loans the banks made performed significantly better, then you'd have something.

EDIT: And even then, you wouldn't have much. You do understand that it's not bad loans that caused the crisis, but the securitization of those loans by unscrupulous financial institutions who didn't care that they were creating poison pill investments for millions of people. The economy didn't break because some poor guys with bad credit failed to make good on loans, it broke because a bunch of finance guys managed to make it so that those loans could affect nearly everyone everywhere instead of just the guys with the bad loans.
   1444. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4408090)
Now, if you could show me that the white-guy loans the banks made performed significantly better, then you'd have something.

Even better, why don't you show us the list of banks that were giving out loans to white people whom they knew would default at a rate of 50-plus percent, which was the default rate of Obama's 186 plaintiffs. (I'm not holding my breath.)
   1445. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4408091)
The reason many, many, many British people hate Thatcher and are openly celebrating her death is due to her forcefulness as a politician.


It wasn't the forcefulness of her views and the forcefulness of her enactment of them, but rather the views themselves. Whatever the drawbacks of unions, those are more than compensated for by serving as a crucial counterbalance to corporate power. It's no coincidence that under Thatcher and Reagan unions declined badly while corporate power dramatically increased. The latter requires the former.

Thatcher was horrible news for working folks throughout Britain.

Pointed, specific criticism of the recently deceased seems fair. To me. On sites like this. But not to friends and relatives of the deceased.

   1446. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4408093)
Even better, why don't you show us the list of banks that were giving out loans to white people whom they knew would default at a rate of 50-plus percent, which was the default rate of Obama's 186 plaintiffs. (I'm not holding my breath.)
That's information neither of us will have access to. I'm merely pointing out that (1) you've misrepresented the suit Obama was involved in, and (2) making claims that far outstrip what was actually involved in the suit. Again, the Sun-Times article, the AP article, and the U of Michigan Law summary of the case all show that your claim is almost completely untrue. Really, the only part of your claim that IS true is that (1) there was a suit, and (2) Obama was involved.
   1447. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4408094)
Really, the only part of your claim that IS true is that (1) there was a suit, and (2) Obama was involved.

... and (3) that at least half of Obama's 186 plaintiffs ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.

Why do you keep ignoring that? It's a matter of public record.

(Also, it's easy to find mortgage-default data by race. There have been major studies on it.)
   1448. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:53 PM (#4408098)
... and (3) that at least half of Obama's 186 plaintiffs ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.
But again, is that significantly better or worse than the other equally bad poor-credit loans the bank gave out?
   1449. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4408101)
Are you seriously arguing that there were banks in the 1990s that were intentionally giving out loans to borrower classes that the banks knew would default at a rate of 50-plus percent?
   1450. SteveF Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4408102)
But again, is that significantly better or worse than the other equally bad poor-credit loans the bank gave out?


The practice involved is called redlining, for those that want to look into this.

Based on a cursory glance of academic literature, repayment patterns of minorities make up only a fraction of the explanation for harsher loan terms.

The other proposed explanations are discrimination and the impact that discrimination has on the supply of loans and the negotiating stances of the parties. If the bank knows minorities have a harder time getting loans, and minorities know minorities have a harder time getting loans, that's going to impact the negotiation. (That's not strictly discriminatory, but it's at least partly fruit from the tree.)
   1451. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:04 PM (#4408105)
About as seriously as you're claiming that the suit Obama was involved in in the mid-1990s helped crash the economy in 2008.
   1452. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4408110)
... and (3) that at least half of Obama's 186 plaintiffs ended up in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.


And in this one baseball game I went to half of all the batters on my team struck out, which means the manager of the opposing pitcher was a genius, or something. Why does it matter that this one time the President was involved in a legal case where eventually ...

It is irrelevant to the validity of the policies espoused by Obama.
   1453. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:14 PM (#4408114)
About as seriously as you're claiming that the suit Obama was involved in in the mid-1990s helped crash the economy in 2008.

Ah, right, I forgot that the actual borrowers (and the CRA) were blameless in the r.e. meltdown.

They were victims when they didn't get loans, and they were victims when they did get loans. Maybe capitalism really is a big conspiracy to screw the little guy.
   1454. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4408117)
Uh oh. Someone explain to JoeK about 2008.

They were victims when they didn't get loans, and they were victims when they did get loans.
When a guy doesn't make good on his loan, he loses his house. How was it that when a guy didn't make good on his loan, he managed to impact millions of people at one time? Magic loans?
   1455. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4408120)
Uh oh. Someone explain to JoeK about 2008.

No need. Obviously, a small number of racist white guys conspired to screw poor minorities.
   1456. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:24 PM (#4408123)
Not racists. Just a bunch of greedy guys who didn't care who they screwed. Again, someone explain the securitization of bad loans to Joe. Please.
   1457. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4408125)
Geezus, are people still flogging the whole "Jimmy Carter/The Clenis/Libruls in general made banks give money to lazy darkies and that's the real reason the economy crashed - lazy darkies" thing in 2013?
   1458. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4408129)
Not racists. Just a bunch of greedy guys who didn't care who they screwed. Again, someone explain the securitization of bad loans to Joe. Please.

Thanks, but I don't need any such explanation. I'm simply mocking your typically nonsensical claim that the people who took out loans they couldn't (or simply didn't) repay* were 0 percent responsible for the real estate meltdown.


(* Loans that likely wouldn't have been issued if Bush's attempts to rein in the subprime business hadn't been blocked by Dems.)
   1459. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4408142)
Any good countries to move to that let you buy citizenship?

Canada has (or had, can't find current info) a program that allowed for immigration by anybody (specific exceptions for war criminals etc.) willing to commit a certain amount (memory says $200K, but I'm far from certain) to a business startup.


In 2008 it was $800k.

Any riffraff can come up with 200k.

   1460. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4408151)
Short Kehoskie: Republicans are blameless. Move along.
   1461. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:41 AM (#4408159)
No, Bush definitely shares blame for pushing the "ownership society" thing, but he at least had the good sense to try to rein things in when the subprime loan practices were getting out of hand — an attempt that was immediately blocked by Dems.

You're blaming Bush for the end result of practices that Obama and Dems pushed for in the 1990s and 2000s, despite the fact that Bush tried to rein those practices in, and despite the fact that Obama, as president, is now calling for a return of those same practices.
   1462. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4408162)
Loans that likely wouldn't have been issued if Bush's attempts to rein in the subprime business hadn't been blocked by Dems.

You're conflating GSE activity with subprime. That's a bad idea, and even ignoring that issue with your point, the GSEs were losing market share to private label securitizers.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/conferences/gse/Van_Order.pdf

And, in case you go try another line, those PLS's were not subject to CRA.
   1463. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:57 AM (#4408163)
You're conflating GSE activity with subprime.

GSE activity started to look a lot like the subprimes as the housing bubble grew, just without using the "subprime" name.

That's a bad idea, and even ignoring that issue with your point, the GSEs were losing market share to private label securitizers.

Yes, but not because the GSEs were holding the line when it comes to creditworthiness. The GSEs were doing everything they could to buy the garbage paper being written by Wells, Countrywide, and the like.

And, in case you go try another line, those PLS's were not subject to CRA.

They didn't have to be. They faced the choice of writing the same types of loans as their competitors or being left behind during the boom. With the government waiting to bail people out, it's no surprise which option those companies pursued.
   1464. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:58 AM (#4408164)
Bush's party controlled both houses except for the 107th Senate--it was split 50/50--from the 105th through the 109th Congresses. That's 1995-2007. What was keeping them from straightening things out? Or impeding all those wild-eyed irresponsible Democrats?
   1465. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4408166)
The GOP didn't have 60 votes in the Senate.

New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
The New York Times; Sept. 11, 2003

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

[…]

"These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

''I don't see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,'' Mr. Watt said.

How'd that affordable housing work out, Barney?
   1466. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:19 AM (#4408168)
(* Loans that likely wouldn't have been issued if Bush's attempts to rein in the subprime business hadn't been blocked by Dems.)

Bush tried to reign in the subprime business so much that he accepted millions of dollars of contributions from and raised by Roland Arnall, the owner of Ameriquest, one of the biggest sub-prime mortgage companies in the country, and then appointed the guy to an ambassadorship while his company was under investigation for, among other things, inflating home appraisals, charging excessive origination fees, and misrepresenting loan terms (they ultimately settled for a $325 million fine).

Because Ameriquest was a private company (it was later acquired by Citi, which I'm sure caused a lot more problems for them than Obama's 186 plaintiffs) and Arnall died in early 2008, this never received the publicity or scrutiny it deserved.
   1467. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:27 AM (#4408169)
Right, as opposed to Obama, who didn't take money from Wall Street types and then prosecuted dozens of the culprits after he took office.

Oh, wait ...
   1468. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:49 AM (#4408171)

OK, so you acknowledge that Bush didn't try to reign in the sub-prime mortgage market. Glad we've gotten somewhere.
   1469. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2013 at 02:07 AM (#4408173)
There was no such acknowledgment in #1467.
   1470. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 09, 2013 at 02:53 AM (#4408180)
Thanks to all the well wishers! It feels great, and I have minimal revisions to make. The discussions here over the years have really helped me refine my ability to convey thoughts and information efficiently.

Now in just about a month, I'll be officially unemployed!
   1471. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2013 at 03:13 AM (#4408183)
Congrats, Dr. Vaux. Glad it went well for you. Best of luck in your job search.
   1472. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 09, 2013 at 04:37 AM (#4408189)
Dr. Vaux. Very nice. Congratulations!
   1473. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 09, 2013 at 07:53 AM (#4408216)
Congrats Dr. Vaux.
   1474. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 09, 2013 at 07:57 AM (#4408219)
OK, so you acknowledge that Bush didn't try to reign in the sub-prime mortgage market. Glad we've gotten somewhere.


Silly boy. Every post has in it a bit of antiDem/Obama. Saying something bad about Bush does not further that.

And Joe K, still waiting for an example of the sort of legislation that you think Obama should put forward (ignoring that Presidents are executive and not legislative). What possible legislation could he put forward that the R would agree to and still remain a D?

Answer there is none. Because the GOP has decided to stop everythign possible, use fillibuster more than it has ever been used before and generally gum up the works completely. But hey keep blaming Obama for that.
   1475. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 09, 2013 at 08:12 AM (#4408225)
BM--what % of unemployment do you attribute to R intransigence and efforts to cripple Obama's Presidency?

--------------

Joe--where was Obama when Kennedy was shot? That's what you should be asking. And why do some people call him "O"? Is he trying now to take credit for our orgasms?
   1476. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 09, 2013 at 08:22 AM (#4408228)
Speaking of finances, I have a friend who is retiring of necessity (health), has around 50k to do something with, and if she's prudent, will come up short to the tune of something like 4k a year, meaning it's around 12.5 years before she has to sell her house and do something like move into an apartment in a nearby town. (That's if a reverse mortgage is impossible. For some complicated reasons it may be impossible, but we're looking into it. She's also one of those folks who wants nothing more than to die in the house she grew up in, when it's time for that.) Her 'financial advisor' (a somewhat overbearing brother) is pushing her to get into mutual funds or stocks. Given that her overwhelming desire is to stay in her home as long as humanly possible, I think her best bet is to simply try to keep up with inflation and not take risks.

The best case is that her health permits her to make that missing 4k a year through work she can do from home. If not though, I don't see her risking her principle in the market making much sense. The longer she can stay in her home, the more likely she is to have a good year, healthwise, and be able to make 5k or 10k, which adds to the time she can stay.

Retirement gets pretty interesting (and not in the good way) for a lot of folks in this part of the country. Could be worse, of course. A lot worse.
   1477. formerly dp Posted: April 09, 2013 at 08:46 AM (#4408235)
Congrats, Vaux! Must feel great to switch that handle.
   1478. GregD Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4408251)
Dr. Vaux, I presume? Congrats!
   1479. Publius Publicola Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4408258)
Thanks to all the well wishers! It feels great, and I have minimal revisions to make. The discussions here over the years have really helped me refine my ability to convey thoughts and information efficiently.


Congrats, Vaux. It takes a lot of hard work to get a doctorate.
   1480. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4408259)
As for Morty's #1439, he talks like we either shouldn't have a Congress or, in the event of a split Congress, that they should just go home until the next election.


What makes you say that?

What's the purpose of Congress?
   1481. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4408262)
The GOP didn't have 60 votes in the Senate.


And Obama does?

You're a real cutie pie, Kehoskie.
   1482. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4408264)
1465:

It's a lot easier for the Republicans to get what they want when they are in control of Congress, or a chamber, than Democrats. Why is that, Kehoskie?
   1483. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4408266)
It wasn't the forcefulness of her views and the forcefulness of her enactment of them, but rather the views themselves. Whatever the drawbacks of unions, those are more than compensated for by serving as a crucial counterbalance to corporate power. It's no coincidence that under Thatcher and Reagan unions declined badly while corporate power dramatically increased. The latter requires the former.

Thatcher was horrible news for working folks throughout Britain.


Are you saying they were better off when they couldn't get heat all winter b/c the coal miners were on strike, their streets were covered in garbage b/c the sanitation services were on strike, they couldn't travel b/c the railroads were on strike, etc, etc?

The British trade unions were out-and-out socialists, many led by actual Stalinists and Communists, who abused their leverage at the expense of the people of Britain. These ****heads went on strike in the middle of WW2. They were not the AFL-CIO, or even the mobbed-up Teamsters. These were bad people, and the world is better off with their influence crushed.

When Thatcher took over in 1979 the per capita GDP in the UK was ~69% of Germany's and ~68% of France. In 1989, it was 97% of Germany's and 85% of France. The "working folks" in Britain did just fine under Thatcher.
   1484. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4408277)
   1485. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4408280)
You're proving, once again, that there's no claim too absurd for the liberals here to make with a straight face.


You are proving once again that truth and reality do not matter to you.
   1486. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4408282)
BM--what % of unemployment do you attribute to R intransigence and efforts to cripple Obama's Presidency?


That is a very difficult question to answer. Obama seems driven to get a grand bargain, so separating out what is his versus the GOP versus the interaction between the two is really hard. I am also not in love with many of his economic policies, he is far too austerity centric for my taste.

Maybe 1/3 him, othre Dems and Obamas desire for a grand bargain, 1/3 GOP "No!" and 1/3 things out of the direct control of either (world affairs, leftover crap from Bush, changing economy, the Fed, and so on), but there is a high error bar on these estimates. I would suspect my Obama is too high because Presidents have much less control over the economy than the other factors.
   1487. Richard Posted: April 09, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4408283)
When Thatcher took over in 1979 the per capita GDP in the UK was ~69% of Germany's and ~68% of France. In 1989, it was 97% of Germany's and 85% of France. The "working folks" in Britain did just fine under Thatcher.

The miners, the steelworkers, and indeed just about anyone else who worked in manufacturing industry would disagree with you.

Their communities were left to rot. Nothing was done to regenerate them. They became poor, and remain poor. No training for anything else was offered. Thatcher had not forgotten 1973-4. She wanted to break the miners, and hang the consequences.

And you use socialist as a pejorative term. It wasn't such a thing in the UK at the time. Of course, one of Thatcher's "greatest" achievements is that thinking about the common good rather than yourself is politically unacceptable in the UK.
   1488. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4408285)
It's not my fault you're not interested in those facts.


It's not our fault that those are not facts.

   1489. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4408291)
The miners, the steelworkers, and indeed just about anyone else who worked in manufacturing industry would disagree with you.

Their communities were left to rot. Nothing was done to regenerate them. They became poor, and remain poor. No training for anything else was offered. Thatcher had not forgotten 1973-4. She wanted to break the miners, and hang the consequences.


They were using political power to protect a completely unsustainable position, and destroying the whole economy. Those industries were state-run and massively unprofitable.

What's the logic behind taxpayers subsidizing workers based on whether they belong to a militant union or not?

British manufacturing employment wasn't doomed by Thatcher, it was doomed by the same forces of globalization and free trade that have devastated US manufacturing employment. But, unlike the US, the UK doesn't have any choice but to be free trade. They're far too small an economy to make protectionism work, and are massively disadvantaged in manufacturing by lack of natural resources, and the small size of the domestic market.

The only way to sustain British manufacturing would be a trans-Atlantic trade zone (US, Canada, Mexico, EU) that established relatively high tariffs against goods and services from low wage countries. If you want to blame Thatcher for not advocating that, I'll join you.
   1490. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4408295)
And you use socialist as a pejorative term. It wasn't such a thing in the UK at the time. Of course, one of Thatcher's "greatest" achievements is that thinking about the common good rather than yourself is politically unacceptable in the UK.

They weren't "socialists" in the sense of the perjorative used against US Dems. They were real socialists, favoring state ownership of all major industry.

Real socialism is an absolute disaster for the common good. And the unions support of it was completely selfish; they knew they could use political clout to extract economic rents from the taxpayers. Unions never care about the common good. They care only about the good of 1) the union leaders, and 2) the members.
   1491. Richard Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4408296)
They were using political power to protect a completely unsustainable position, and destroying the whole economy. Those industries were state-run and massively unprofitable.

What's the logic behind taxpayers subsidizing workers based on whether they belong to a militant union or not?


You didn't read what I said. I pointed out that things were torn down, and no framework was put in place to come up with an alternative. People can be retrained. There can even be profit in it. But that was not an option that occurred to her. It was the dole queue or nothing.

And whilst I accept that privatisation of industry has benefits, some of the privatisations carried out by Thatcher and her successors were disastrous and remain disasters to this day, most notably in the transport sector.
   1492. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4408298)
You didn't read what I said. I pointed out that things were torn down, and no framework was put in place to come up with an alternative. People can be retrained. There can even be profit in it. But that was not an option that occurred to her. It was the dole queue or nothing.

They needed to move and find new jobs. There is no point in sustaining old mining towns once the mine is gone. There's a reason Detroit's population has halved. Those people moved to states with jobs.

It shouldn't be the national government's job to actively plan the economy of every town and hamlet. The national government's job is to look after the interests of the nation as a whole. Local and regional redevelopment is the preserve of local and regional gov't.

Individual economic interests are the preserve of the individual.

   1493. zonk Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4408299)

Real socialism is an absolute disaster for the common good. And the unions support of it was completely selfish; they knew they could use political clout to extract economic rents from the taxpayers. Unions never care about the common good. They care only about the good of 1) the union leaders, and 2) the members.


Someone has to...
   1494. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4408302)
Someone has to...

And I don't say that's a bad thing. I've never opposed private sector unions, as long as they obey the law.

The leaders often feather their own nests at the expense of the rank-and-file, which is a bad thing, but is just the endemic human corruption, present in all institutions.

The difficult issue is that the extra benefits union members obtain is often extracted from the non-union workforce. If unionized employers raise wages and benefits, they are likely to employ fewer workers (either substituting more capital investment, or just producing less). This burden falls on the "outs" (non-union workers) to the benefit of the "ins".

For every 1,000 union workers that make $40/hr instead of $30/hr, there are likely hundreds of non-union workers making $15/hr rather than $30/hr.

   1495. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4408303)
What's the logic behind taxpayers subsidizing workers based on whether they belong to a militant union or not?

That they deserve a decent wage.

Thatcher's legacy is decidedly mixed. The UK and US had economic issues in the late 70s, which the WSJ editorial types have always inflated into a moral, cultural, social, and strategic crisis, too. (They did it in today's lead editorial). It was no such thing and under any reasonable measurement the "morals" and culture (political and otherwise) of the late 70s was far superior to today's. Reagan's and Thatcher's economic prescriptions were right for 1980, but they unleashed greedy and self-interested habits of thought, particularly within business, that were highly corrosive and still with us today. The privileged do not live under the ethos of "personal responsiblity" supposedly at the heart of Thatcherism -- they've exempted themselves from it, consciously. They neither hold themselves to account or are held to account.
   1496. Richard Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4408305)
It shouldn't be the national government's job to actively plan the economy of every town and hamlet. The national government's job is to look after the interests of the nation as a whole. Local and regional redevelopment is the preserve of local and regional gov't

Shame that in 1986 the Conservatives took away much of local government's powers to do these things (including abolishing the Grater London Council), and capped their abilities to raise funds to do it. Why do that? Oh, none of the big cities or metropolitan authorities were Tory controlled. What a co-incidence!

Individual economic interests are the preserve of the individual.

As she said herself, there is no such thing as society.
   1497. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4408306)


The difficult issue is that the extra benefits union members obtain is often extracted from the non-union workforce.


There is simply no evidence of that, in fact the opposite. Wages of non-union workers increase in proportion to the degree that workers in their industry are unionized.
   1498. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4408307)
That they deserve a decent wage.

Only those in militant unions? The others can just go suck it?

Thatcher's legacy is decidedly mixed. The UK and US had economic issues in the late 70s, which the WSJ editorial types have always inflated into a moral, cultural, social, and strategic crisis, too. (They did it in today's lead editorial). It was no such thing and under any reasonable measurement the "morals" and culture (political and otherwise) of the late 70s was far superior to today's. Reagan's and Thatcher's economic prescriptions were right for 1980, but they unleashed greedy and self-interested habits of thought, particularly within business, that were highly corrosive and still with us today. The privileged do not live under the ethos of "personal responsiblity" supposedly at the heart of Thatcherism -- they've exempted themselves from it, consciously. They neither hold themselves to account or are held to account.

It was a necessary corrective to the sclerosis of the '70's.

Has it gone too far? Yes.

I don't see how you can blame Reagan and Thatcher for changes that came after them, and that have been heartily supported by all major parties.
   1499. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4408308)
There is simply no evidence of that, in fact the opposite. Wages of non-union workers increase in proportion to the degree that workers in their industry are unionized.

Wages increase, but employment goes down. The people who pay the price are often unemployed or marginally employed.

It's econ 101. If a company has to pay more for its labor, it will use less labor. This is true of every good in every situation; corporations, individuals, everywhere.

Prices go up, consumption goes down.
   1500. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4408310)
As she said herself, there is no such thing as society.

I disagree with her on that. But, the individual economic welfare of each member is not society's problem, except to the extent of providing charity for those who are temporarily or permanently unable to support themselves.

Everyone here should know I support radical steps to increase manufacturing employment, and blue collar wages. But, militant, socialist unions will not help that effort; they will doom it.
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