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Sunday, September 02, 2012

OTP - September 2012 - Because it’s Labor Day after all

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM | 8483 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1001. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4228305)
But I think that serious conservative thinkers


I miss those guys. Back when they had influence and good initiatives like the welfare reform of the 90s happened. When ideas like the individual mandate was thought up to contest with single payer.

Maybe I am listening to the wrong folks, but I do hear about fair trade from the left wing and it does have some traction with both serious Liberal thinkers and some (too few) in the halls of power. I have honestly never heard the term or anything close to it from the Right in many years.
   1002. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4228306)
I brought that up pages and pages ago and all I got was crickets

The phase out of the EITC apply a very high marginal tax rates to the working class.
   1003. Ron J2 Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4228308)
#978 That's stunningly poor reading Snapper. It's ~20K of expenditure, not 20K of benefits. And this goes back to the point already made (and dismissed by you) It's extremely expensive to track whether the recipients "deserve" what they are getting.

Here's the section that discussed the 20K number

Indeed, federal welfare spending alone totals more than $14,848 for every poor man, woman, and child in this country. For a typical poor family of three, that amounts to more than $44,500.

Combined with state and local spending, government spends $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three. Given that the poverty line for that family is just $18,530, we should have theoretically wiped out poverty in America many times over (see Figure 1).


Welfare benefits are tiny. I recall a local reporter taking a challenge to live for a month on what he would theoretically get on welfare. Made for interesting reading.
   1004. BDC Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4228309)
They're not granting waivers left and right to eliminate the work requirements?

No, they're not.

The Romney charges of "gutting" welfare reform seem to center on some flexibility being offered to and by the states (as the linked fact-checking notes, flexibility that Romney, as a governor, lobbied for). In particular, some states have wanted to encourage people to train or go back to school so that they can be more employable in the long run, and they don't want those trainees to count as non-working welfare recipients during the process. The long-term goals and benchmarks haven't shifted at all.

Like many aspects of the Romney campaign and the greater Tea Party ideology, the "gutting welfare reform" claim tells people something they're prejudicially inclined to believe, but that the Obama administration hasn't shown the slightest inclination to do.
   1005. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4228311)
There's ZERO acknowledgement -- except in a few footnotes -- that it would be impossible to qualify for ALL of these programs. Some of them directly mutually exclusive, many of them are by proxy mutually exclusive.


Sure, but if the spending if the total spending is $60K for a family of three, you don't need to qualify for even half to get close to $30K in benefits.
   1006. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4228312)
BTW - the CATO report includes in its calculation to come up with its nonsensical "THIS IS WHAT THOSE LAZY BASTARDS ON WELFARE MAKE ANNUALLY!!!!!" number:

- Pell Grants
- Adjustable Rate Mortgages
- Adoption Incentive Programs
- Virtually every immigration cost under the sun (i.e., patrols of the Florida keys for Cubans)

Etc...

I mean, come on...
   1007. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4228314)
The phase out of the EITC apply a very high marginal tax rates to the working class.


And yet, the level in which it starts to phase out is well, well above the level at which welfare benefits are capped.
   1008. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4228315)
Sure, but if the spending if the total spending is $60K for a family of three, you don't need to qualify for even half to get close to $30K in benefits.


You're approaching Joe K or Ross CW levels of intentional obtuseness here.
   1009. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4228316)
Sure, but if the spending if the total spending is $60K for a family of three, you don't need to qualify for even half to get close to $30K in benefits.


Then show me a study that makes even a theoretical case for someone who would qualify for half - I won't even ask for a study that actually shows any statistically significant number of people do -- just give me a theoretical case study of someone making $30k in income & benefits, which programs they received that assistance from.... and then I will politely show the particulars of the program that make that impossible.
   1010. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4228317)
I have friends that have coasted on unemployment benefits for as long as they could before getting a new job. I think that's shitty.
   1011. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4228318)
Sure, but if the spending if the total spending is $60K for a family of three, you don't need to qualify for even half to get close to $30K in benefits.
So, if you pull numbers out of your bum, those numbers demonstrate that you were right all along? Ok.
   1012. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4228321)
Maybe I am listening to the wrong folks, but I do hear about fair trade from the left wing and it does have some traction with both serious Liberal thinkers and some (too few) in the halls of power. I have honestly never heard the term or anything close to it from the Right in many years.

Pat Buchanan talked about it for years, including on the stump in two presidential campaigns. It's quite certain he still does.
   1013. SteveF Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4228322)
The only government program involving adjustable rate mortgages should be educating people on the idea that if they need an ARM to buy a house, they probably can't afford a house.
   1014. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4228324)
Pat Buchanan talked about it for years, including on the stump in two presidential campaigns.


Yup he was the last one I could think of as well. That was a while ago though.
   1015. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4228325)

I mean, come on...


OK, here's another approach.

Some quick Googling says that a family of 4 can expect ~$500 in food stamps, and ~$900 in TANF. If you have zero income, Section 8 will cover 100% of market rent. Call that another $800.

That's $2200 per month right there, so $26,400 p.a. Throw in Medicaid, which has to worth at least $10K (probably nearer $15K or $20K), and you're way over my estimate.
   1016. UCCF Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4228326)
The only government program involving adjustable rate mortgages should be educating people on the idea that if they need an ARM to buy a house, they probably can't afford a house.

ARMs are not always a bad way to go. It depends on what your plans are.
   1017. UCCF Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4228329)
OK, here's another approach.

Some quick Googling says that a family of 4 can expect ~$500 in food stamps, and ~$900 in TANF. If you have zero income, Section 8 will cover 100% of market rent. Call that another $800.

That's $2200 per month right there, so $26,400 p.a. Throw in Medicaid, which has to worth at least $10K (probably nearer $15K or $20K), and you're way over my estimate.


That's a family of 4, though. Wasn't the original estimate $20K per person? For a family of 4, then, you'd need to find $80K/year.
   1018. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4228332)
That's a family of 4, though. Wasn't the original estimate $20K per person? For a family of 4, then, you'd need to find $80K/year.


Yeah, but think about all the Pell Grants and adoption bonuses these monsters are getting!
   1019. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4228336)
.
   1020. Shredder Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4228337)
This should be the unrivaled top concern of the "liberals" on the board, yet they barely care. Strange.
Says a guy who's nominee wanted to let America's largest blue collar industry disappear. Funny. I never knew it was "liberals" who wanted to destroy unions.
ot to ascribe this to anyone posting here, but lots of liberals want a large dependent class.
This is despicable.
   1021. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4228338)
That's $2200 per month right there, so $26,400 p.a.


The poverty level in the US for a family of 4 is $23,050, so your hypothetical family is barely above poverty level. And this is cause for cries of horror? I am not sure about the medicaid figures and you just threw numebrs out there so I am ignoring it. We can loop back and include if we have to.

So, what do you think the right level for them is? Should they be without housing? Food? How much less should they be taking in?
   1022. SteveF Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4228339)
ARMs are not always a bad way to go. It depends on what your plans are.


The problem is that in many (most?) cases the person entering into the ARM doesn't have the financial knowledge required to make the correct determination. Otherwise, you are of course right. There's a reason ARMs exist, after all.
   1023. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4228340)
And liberals hate italics. Hate I say.
   1024. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4228341)
If you have zero income, Section 8 will cover 100% of market rent. Call that another $800.
Section 8 applications have a waiting list approaching two years. You don't just put some papers in the mail. There's a reason there are only 2M households receiving Section 8 vouchers - a tiny percentage of the number of people living in poverty. In New York City, there are 122,000 on the provisional waiting list. The notion that you just, boom, get section 8 is divorced from reality.

The combination of benefits from SNAP and TANF, in the average state, bring a family up to ~60% of the poverty line.
   1025. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4228342)
The only government program involving adjustable rate mortgages should be educating people on the idea that if they need an ARM to buy a house, they probably can't afford a house.


Take it up with CATO or Snapper -- the footnote doesn't even make it clear (the link does not work) that it's even a program that causes them to include this in their total welfare benefits...

It's almost as if CATO - a libertarian think tank that is philosophically opposed to all these programs to begin with, whether they're effective or not - decided to just throw together a bunch of kitchen sinks to prove their implicit mission statement, rather than the explicit supposed point of the study.

If they and everyone else in the world weren't all such honest brokers, I'd almost believe they expected people to just cite their paper to support a preconceived notion.... but I'm sure that neither they nor anyone else would do that.
   1026. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4228343)
test</i>testtest?
   1027. BDC Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4228344)
Well, BBTF was certainly starting to slant to the right.
   1028. booond Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4228345)
The problem is that in many (most?) cases the person entering into the ARM doesn't have the financial knowledge required to make the correct determination.


And they have a snake oil salesman telling them it's the only way they can afford the American Dream.
   1029. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4228350)
That's $2200 per month right there, so $26,400 p.a. Throw in Medicaid, which has to worth at least $10K (probably nearer $15K or $20K), and you're way over my estimate.

That's a family of 4, though. Wasn't the original estimate $20K per person? For a family of 4, then, you'd need to find $80K/year.


Good lord... MEDICARE, which has the most expensive pool of beneficiaries in the country doesn't even cost "probably nearer $15 or $20k" per beneficiary even if you pretend all the riders like residency funding, CAH/DSH subsidies, etc don't exist.
   1030. Ron J2 Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4228351)
Snapper, unless things have radically changed there's no way you can get close to $800 a month for rent.

I've only been able to find specific numbers for New York City in 1990 and the grants back then were $312 (shelter), $200 (food stamps), $375 (food, clothing, utilities and other expenses) -- all numbers for a mother with 3 children living in New York City.
   1031. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4228352)
And they have a snake oil salesman telling them it's the only way they can afford the American Dream.


Hey they entered into the contract willingly. In the future Libertarian utopia everything will be an agreed upon contract entered into willingly and all of our problems will disapear. Just look at Iceland 800 years ago. What could go wrong?
   1032. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4228353)
That italics problem was caused by the internal code of that NPR story on the phony Romney charge about Obama's "doing away with welfare reform." I just removed it completely, and anyway, in #1004 Bob made the same point that NPR was making. All snapper is doing is parroting a complete piece of Romney/Ryan BS that's been refuted by every fact-checker who's looked into it.
   1033. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4228355)
Says a guy who's nominee wanted to let America's largest blue collar industry disappear.

My nominee? Huh?

On the fundamental issue of our time -- decent jobs at decent wages and the hollowing out of America's industrial base -- liberals sold out to corporate shills who set out to get rid of those jobs. There's no getting around it.

If they don't care about working peoples' jobs and civil liberties, the Democratic party is basically useless.
   1034. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4228358)
That's $2200 per month right there, so $26,400 p.a. Throw in Medicaid, which has to worth at least $10K (probably nearer $15K or $20K), and you're way over my estimate.


Even if all that were 100% accurate (and apparently, it is not), that still doesn't create a disincentive to work. Someone making a $10/hr job will bring in $20,000/yr cash, plus another $5112 from EITC. Now, you may like to pretend that all those other benefits will disappear, but they won't. They will be reduced, but for someone with 4 kids earning $20,000, I doubt they are cut by as much as half. Now, I don't know about you, but getting out of the miserable little government housing apartment I'm living in for 40 hours per week, plus an extra $300-$400 in cash every week sounds like a pretty good incentive to work.
   1035. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4228362)
ARMs are not always a bad way to go. It depends on what your plans are.


no they are not.

The problem is that in many (most?) cases the person entering into the ARM doesn't have the financial knowledge required to make the correct determination.


agree.

Generally speaking an ARM is a good idea if the current interest rate is above the historical norm, it is a bad idea when the current rate (like now) is below the historical norm.

A $200,000 30 year mortgage at 4%, has monthly payments of $955
If that mortgage is an ARM, it could be up at 6% in a couple of years, and monthly payments would be $1199, 30 years is a long time, it's conceivable that rate may hit 10% and monthly payments are $1750.

The scary thing is- ARMs were not behind the recent foreclosure crisis- not even a factor- all the various indexes the banks use to set their mortgage rates are in the toilet- people with ARMS are paying low rates- hell any one who took out an ARM 2000-2008 are paying lower monthly payments now than before the crisis- guess what, if the economy recovers to something resembling normal, and rates go up 2-3%, we are going to see a secondary foreclosure spike, because monthly payments for those with ARMs are gonna go up automatically.

I've deposed quite a few home owners, the vast majority did/signed whatever their broker/lawyer/loan officer to them to, they have no idea why their mortgage bill goes up or down (and the ones that do have "ideas" are invariably wrong)
   1036. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4228363)
Now, I don't know about you, but getting out of the miserable little government housing apartment I'm living in for 40 hours per week, plus an extra $300-$400 in cash every week sounds like a pretty good incentive to work.

I don't know about other places, but in NYC they just moved a bunch of homeless people into a couple private apartment buildings around 95th and West End. Those are the furthest thing imaginable from "miserable little government housing apartments."
   1037. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4228365)
If they don't care about working peoples' jobs and civil liberties, the Democratic party is basically useless.


agree more or less, except I'd say mostly useless, they do have some slight utility in putting a brake on the wingnut agenda.
   1038. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4228368)
I don't know about other places, but in NYC they just moved a bunch of homeless people into a couple private apartment buildings around 95th and West End. Those are the furthest thing imaginable from "miserable little government housing apartments."


And if even 1% of people receiving housing assistance lived on the upper west side, you'd have a point.
   1039. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4228373)
I don't know about other places, but in NYC they just moved a bunch of homeless people into a couple private apartment buildings around 95th and West End. Those are the furthest thing imaginable from "miserable little government housing apartments."

And if even 1% of people receiving housing assistance lived on the upper west side, you'd have a point.
Quoth SBB, it is better that a million poor families go without shelter than that one poor family moves into the 8th floor corner apartment I've been angling for.
   1040. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4228381)
On the fundamental issue of our time -- decent jobs at decent wages and the hollowing out of America's industrial base -- liberals sold out to corporate shills who set out to get rid of those jobs. There's no getting around it.

1. Drink!

2. I'd find statements like this more credible if the writer could demonstrate he knows the difference between a "liberal" and a Democrat.

3. Specifics, please, on the corporate-shills thing?
   1041. zenbitz Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4228387)

I have friends that have coasted on unemployment benefits for as long as they could before getting a new job. I think that's shitty.


WTH you can't get unemployment if you have not worked IN THE PAST. And your benefits scale by your last 12 months (or whatever) of income. They paid in! It's insurance. Probably some get more net out than they pay in... I was on unemployment for 6 months when i got laid off in 2004. I made it last 12, because my job offers after the first 6 months fell through.

My wife is a part-time teacher (20 hours/week during the school year) at City College SF - she gets unemployment every summer. Note that her department has _1_ full time lecturer, the dept. head. They won't give anyone more than 20 hours because they they have to pay benefits.
   1042. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4228388)
And if even 1% of people receiving housing assistance lived on the upper west side, you'd have a point.


It's not nearly 1%, but it's more than you'd think. There are a number of public housing complexes here on the upper west.

(I would call them "projects" as the New York Post and every sane person does, but Lassus would yell at me again.)
   1043. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4228394)
It's not nearly 1%, but it's more than you'd think. There are a number of public housing complexes here on the upper west.


To be fair, many of them are Mitchell-Lama.
   1044. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4228396)
Well then, what would be progress? Building casinos on the moon?
Huh? I didn't know there were Indians on the moon.

If you define things that way, then nothing's progress, ever. It's a worthless definition, applied here to kill discussion.
Discussion? It wasn't really meant for a discussion. There was a throwaway comment about how today's "conservatives" don't really want to "conserve" things, so I responded in kind with a throwaway comment about progressives.

That having been said, if you want discussion, the underlying truth I was getting at was that people who call themselves progressives seem most zealous about conserving older programs -- sure, expanding them a little, but basically what was implemented a century ago. Social Security, Medicare, welfare -- these were fundamentally established decades ago, and "progressivism" is about fighting any change to them (other than just spending more on them). (To be sure, welfare was drastically reformed in the 1990s, but that was in the face of temper tantrums by progressives.)
   1045. Lassus Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4228397)
Criminals are criminal because of "root causes" not because they're venal or evil.

This specifically ignores what I touted as something that Kehoskie also ignored, that I firmly do not believe this in regards to crime.
   1046. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4228398)
   1047. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4228404)
Criminals are criminal because of "root causes" not because they're venal or evil.

This specifically ignores what I touted as something that Kdehoskie also ignored, that I firmly do not believe this in regards to crime.

I think it's kind of both: not everybody who suffers the "root causes" is going to become a criminal, but nearly all "criminals" have suffered the root causes.

"Criminals" here in the more political sense: the most-common conviction in the US is vanilla DUI (no injury, minor bad driving at worst), but that's not usually what people are talking about when they talk about "criminals."
   1048. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4228405)
The map keeps getting narrower. And a victory for Romney keeps getting harder. There is still time, and we still need to wait a week or so to see where we are post conventions.
   1049. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4228408)
Wow, I never thought of it that way. Is that the first time a political entity has couched their position in a euphemistic way? Maybe the Republicans aren't really pro life, as many support the death penalty. Maybe they are really anti-abortion.
It's not just a euphemism, like calling tax-and-spend policies "investment"; it's actively hiding what their position is. It would be like a movement adopting "pro doing" when the movement is a pro-war movement -- it's not literally false; they do want to do something. But they're deliberately hiding what they want to do.

(Why would abortion need a "euphemism" if there's nothing wrong with abortion, btw?)
And when it comes down to it, pro abortion isn't as accurate as anti abortion. When a woman get's pregnant, the pro lifers say "Don't get an abortion" That's pretty clearly anti-abortion. On the other hand, a pro choicer doesn't say "get an abortion", they say "if you want to get an abortion, you can".
Or, perhaps, they actually do encourage it, on the grounds that pregnancy is "torture" (@859) or that a baby is "punishment" (Obama).
It's less clear that that position is pro abortion. If you want, you can characterize their position as "pro abortion to be legal under certain circumstances", but that's a lot to put on a bumper sticker.
You could go with "abortion rights," which is a little longer than "pro-choice" but a lot shorter than your proposal, and has the virtue of clarity.
   1050. Lassus Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4228410)
(I would call them "projects" as the New York Post and every sane person does, but Lassus would yell at me again.)

Huh?

Anyhow, I just saw a bumper sticker:

"I play Scrabble, and I VOTE."

It was one of those things that is supposed to be a joke, I think, yet somehow you know the person in the car is dead serious.
   1051. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4228413)
Collectivists? No, that is more in the Communist and Socialist wheelhouse. Liberals tend to believe in the interdependence of things and because of that interdependence there needs to be occasional collective action taken (ususally by the state), but I don't think the base drive is to collectivise.
"Occasional"? Remember Obama's "Julia"? The good life was about lurching from dependency on one government program to another.
   1052. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4228416)
But they're deliberately hiding what they want to do.


You are right, no one knows what the pro-choice group is really for.

Breaking news: companies, political parties, people arguing on the internet, and pretty much everyone choose the words they use and sometimes choose words less for the exact meaning and more for the impact or influence of those words.

Or do you think it is only Liberals that do this?
   1053. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4228422)
Remember Obama's "Julia"?


Umm, no. I have a terrible memory though. What scandal regarding Julia is there that I have forgotten?

EDIT: I just looked it up. Are you really basing a discussion on the fundementals of Liberal thought on one web ad from a candidate? OK then.
   1054. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4228423)
Yes, the whole purpose is to provide for everyone. Even people who make bad decisions. The idea is that a higher floor provides people with the ability to recover from bad decisions. This is good for society, as it encourages dynamic risk taking and innovation.
Telling people that they should not ever face risks most certainly does not encourage risk taking or innovation. The sort of people who need the security blanket of a high floor are the sort who just eventually want a higher floor, not the sort who actually take risks and innovate.
   1055. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4228425)
No we want to provide access. Access to health insurance pools is meaningless. Access to healthcare is what matters to people. We want to provide access to healthcare, which in our current system means affordable access to health insurance, but the insurance is a means to an end and not an end itself.
No, you want to provide healthcare. Everyone already has "access" to health care.
   1056. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4228426)
"Life of Julia"

Apparently federally funded pre-school teaches "dependency", as does receiving equal pay for equal work, having birth control included among one's health insurance benefits, and taking out student and small business loans.
   1057. Lassus Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4228427)
Remember Obama's "Julia"?

Was it sung to the tune of "My Aim is True"?
   1058. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4228428)
The map keeps getting narrower. And a victory for Romney keeps getting harder.


I don't know. Michigan and Pennsylvania always seemed like the only way they broke for Romney was if Ohio, Wisconsin, and probably Virginia had already done so. They're the possible icing on a Romney "landslide", but George W. Bush never won either of them; the idea that Michigan would be the tie-breaker was never terribly likely.

A victory for Romney looks "hard" in the sense that he kind of has to win all of the tossups (vast oversimplification: Obama wins if he wins one of CO, VA, OH, or FL; Romney wins if he wins them all), but whatever way the race trends from here, it's likely to trend that way everywhere, so I'd guess the odds of all of the tossups breaking the same way is fairly high (>30%?, just to pull a number out of my ass).
   1059. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4228429)
Telling people that they should not ever face risks most certainly does not encourage risk taking or innovation.


A higher floor which minimizes the downsides of risk taking (like bankruptcy law BTW), does not equal "Telling people that they should not ever face risks".

And I have no idea what you are getting at with:

No, you want to provide healthcare. Everyone already has "access" to health care.


I want to provide access to healthcare, including preventative services and such. To the extent there is already access, the access, throgh emergency rooms and such, is very inefficient. I think they should take advantage of the healthcare, but if they don't they don't.
   1060. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4228430)
No, you want to provide healthcare. Everyone already has "access" to health care.

I want to provide access to healthcare, including preventative services and such. To the extent there is already access, the access, throgh emergency rooms and such, is very inefficient. I think they should take advantage of the healthcare, but if they don't they don't.
I think you're missing his point. David's being deliberately obtuse. He's saying that someone with late-stage renal disease and no insurance has "access" to health care in the sense that they can take a bus to a local dialysis center, but they don't have the money to pay for dialysis.
   1061. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4228431)
The sort of people who need the security blanket of a high floor are the sort who just eventually want a higher floor, not the sort who actually take risks and innovate.


An opinon with nothing backing it. In fact I have seen some studies very much to the contrary, but my Google Fu is failing me at the moment.

And even if true they are still people and should have a safety net, and their children still should have a chance to take risks and innovate. And meals, warmth and so on, help to give them the foundation they need to take risks and innovate in the future.
   1062. Steve Treder Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4228438)
David's being deliberately obtuse.

In other news, the sun rose in the east this morning.
   1063. Spahn Insane Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4228439)
If you don't want to have or father a baby (and I fully favor equal rights and responsibility for both parents, and the state enforcing paternal responsibility), you know damn well which activities to avoid.

Or which to engage in. To wit: get a vasectomy.
   1064. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4228443)
An opinon with nothing backing it.


Your new handle?
   1065. CrosbyBird Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4228444)
People on welfare should envy the lifestyle of a two parent family working three jobs to support themselves and their kids. This requires a combination of more support for the working class (you all know where I stand on free trade, etc.), and less support for those who won't work.

I think you're identifying the wrong thing as the problem. A two-parent family shouldn't have to work three jobs to support themselves and their kids. I agree that there are some perverse incentives, but it is not because the bottom is too high so much as the middle is too low.

We live in a resource-rich country, and we produce quite a few intelligent people. One parent working a normal full-time job should be enough to support the average family well beyond mere subsistence. Employed people that aren't making terrible financial decisions shouldn't be living paycheck to paycheck (and education shouldn't be a damning financial decision).
   1066. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4228445)
Or which to engage in. To wit: get a vasectomy.


My mom got pregnant after having her tubes tied.
   1067. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4228447)
Your new handle?


Someone has hijacked Ray's account, because I know he NEVER engages in any sort of personal attack. He said so.
   1068. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4228448)
I think you're missing his point. David's being deliberately obtuse. He's saying that someone with late-stage renal disease and no insurance has "access" to health care in the sense that they can take a bus to a local dialysis center, but they don't have the money to pay for dialysis.
I'm not being obtuse; I'm challenging the framing. The phrase "providing access" is nice and vague and touchy-feely and obscures what people really want to do. Just say that you want to provide people with health care. That's what you mean. Why try to abstract away from it?
   1069. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4228451)
Convention Nwws of a sort, MSNBC's convention coverage topped everyone else in ratings last night- it was the first time MSNBC has ever beaten both CNN and Fox while all 3 were covering the same event.

MSNBC had 4.107 million viewers, CNN had 3.88 million and Fox News had 2.398 million (and Fox basically had no one in the 18-49 demo)

But Fox fans never fear, Fox pulled down nearly 7 million the first night of the RNC last week. Apparently the righties are simply not watching the News at all this week.
   1070. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4228452)
Speaking only for myself (and I personally identify as a member of the "base"): I think that the safety net has an inescapable moral component, and that poverty can and should be eliminated wherever possible. Thus, a strong safety net ought to include universal, single payer health care (or at least a public option buy-in for Medicare), significant support for retirees, children and the disabled, universal low-cost/free access to higher education, and generous unemployment benefits for those who find themselves between jobs. In an advanced economy, no person should die from hunger, treatable disease, or involuntary exposure to the elements. There simply isn't a good reason for it, and if there is, I'd like to hear it.
That one's easy. The "good reason" is that they haven't earned it, and don't have a claim on anybody else to be forced to give it to them.
   1071. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4228453)
One parent working a normal full-time job should be enough to support the average family well beyond mere subsistence.

It all depends on what the "should" in this sentence means.
   1072. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4228454)
An opinon with nothing backing it.

Your new handle?


well if he doesn't want it, I might
   1073. CrosbyBird Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4228455)
I have friends that have coasted on unemployment benefits for as long as they could before getting a new job. I think that's shitty.

Why? They paid into the system. Unemployment is a very different animal than welfare. Your benefits are determined by your previous income.

I tried to get off unemployment quickly because it wasn't emotionally healthy not to work, but I didn't feel guilty the same way I don't feel angry when the unemployment insurance payments come out of my paychecks.
   1074. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4228456)
That one's easy. The "good reason" is that they haven't earned it, and don't have a claim on anybody else to be forced to give it to them.


DMN channeling GF
   1075. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4228458)
Just say that you want to provide people with health care. That's what you mean. Why try to abstract away from it?


I said what I meant to say. Liberalism is about giving people access, choices, and opportunities. It is not about forced abortions, it is about access to a choice. It is not about forcing people to have checkups, it is giving access to them. it is not about forcing them to eat healthy, it is about giving them information and skills so they can make an informed choice.

And yes, I think the Big Gulp law in NYC is in fact not a liberal law and am against it. Food labeling though, I am all in favor of that, even though the poor innocent providers of food are forced to do the labeling.
   1076. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4228460)
A higher floor which minimizes the downsides of risk taking (like bankruptcy law BTW), does not equal "Telling people that they should not ever face risks".
If the downsides of risk taking are removed, then it isn't actually risk taking at all. Downsides are an inherent part of the concept of risk.
   1077. Morty Causa Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4228462)
   1078. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4228464)
The "good reason" is that they haven't earned it, and don't have a claim on anybody else to be forced to give it to them.


Their humanity earned it. And membership in the society forces every member to contribute. That is how societies function
   1079. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4228466)
I think you're identifying the wrong thing as the problem. A two-parent family shouldn't have to work three jobs to support themselves and their kids.


Why not? Why is this an anathema to people?

Find a job that pays better. Or if you can't find one, develop skills so you can find one. Or if you can't or don't want to do that, marry a person who can. Or if you don't want to do that, or if you marry a person who can't do it, don't have kids.

I mean, what the hell? People make choices and decisions and should live with those decisions, rather than being entitled to have other people subsidize them. You have no earning potential, then marry someone who has no earning potential, then have multiple kids that you can't support... what in the hell is this? And why should I be forced to pay for you when you end up in this situation? You don't want to work overtime (three jobs between the two of you), so I should be forced to work for you instead?
   1080. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4228469)
The identification as "progressive" implies a belief that improving the actually existing world does not primarily consist in returning us to the way things used to be. Rather, we should be working to make the future better, to create real-world progress, by changing the world into something new and better.
Right -- but progressive nowadays does in fact primarily consist in returning us to the way things used to be (in the case of unions, or taxes) or at least preserving the way they are now (the welfare state, the regulatory state, the environment, technology). Vouchers to replace government schools -- now that would be progressive. Privatizing social security -- ditto.

EDIT: To respond to another post along similar lines:
I hate to feed the trollish behavior, but additionally Progressives call themselves that because we believe in progress. We believe change can be a positive force and that change is inevitable. Since it is goign to happen change should be used, harnessed for the betterment of everyone.
In fact, the serious part of my comment is that Progressives do not seem to like change. (Harnesses, yes. Change, no.) The creative destruction of the market, for instance -- who is most likely to oppose development, or gentrification, or the like? Progressives. If a new technology is going to wipe out jobs, who is likely to oppose it? Progressives. Who is most likely to oppose, say, genetically modified foods? Progressives.
   1081. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4228471)
If the downsides of risk taking are removed, then it isn't actually risk taking at all. Downsides are an inherent part of the concept of risk.


If I take my entire fortune, leave my job and start a business I am taking a risk, even if I know if I fail completely the safety net will support me and my two boys. Minimizing the downside of risk does not eliminate it. Providing the minimum necessaries (shelter, food, and so on) hardly reduces incentive to do well in most people. And like I said before I feel pity for the rest.
   1082. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4228473)
Vouchers to replace government schools -- now that would be progressive. Privatizing social security -- ditto.


No, it would be change. Not all change is progress. Privitizing Social Security is a really terrible idea. A revenue neutral carbon tax, that would be progress!
   1083. Morty Causa Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4228474)
This should be about equity and fairness under a system within a society. Concentrating on right and wrong in the moral sense all the time just ignores. It gets us nowhere. NO matter if everyone had the optimum in everything, inequality and injustice will eventuate--unless we through a process within system do something about it. That should be the focus, rather then this endless caterwauling about right and wrong and bad guys and good guys.

   1084. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4228476)
I'm not being obtuse; I'm challenging the framing. The phrase "providing access" is nice and vague and touchy-feely and obscures what people really want to do. Just say that you want to provide people with health care. That's what you mean. Why try to abstract away from it?


Actually, their desire is more fundamental: they want to provide some people with other peoples' money. Health care is just a vehicle for doing that; it's merely part of the compensation package that the have-nots suddenly are "entitled to."

As to why they want to shift wealth, well, that's another discussion.
   1085. Spahn Insane Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4228477)
Was it sung to the tune of "My Aim is True"?

nitpick: "My Aim is True" is the album title, and a line from the song "Allison," not the song title itself.
   1086. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4228481)
Find a job that pays better.

That doesn't work though, because government has conspired for decades to offshore many of the kinds of working class jobs that paid really well. Thus, there's no reason not to expect government to repay workers and would-be workers for that decision.

The question then reduces to how that should be done. Thoughtful people who understand the value of work qua work and the indispensibilty of work to private community and society -- basically me and Snapper -- advocate tariffs, protectionism, and other means well within our grasp and not terribly expensive to re-industrialize the nation. Most of the board's modern liberals prefer the dole, and at the extreme -- Sam and maybe one or two others I seem to remember -- dissent from the very notion that work is preferable to idleness. Your quibble is with the modern liberals, and you should be joining me and Snapper.
   1087. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4228483)
In fact, the serious part of my comment is that Progressives do not seem to like change. (Harnesses, yes. Change, no.) The creative destruction of the market, for instance -- who is most likely to oppose development, or gentrification, or the like? Progressives. If a new technology is going to wipe out jobs, who is likely to oppose it? Progressives. Who is most likely to oppose, say, genetically modified foods? Progressives.

This is an excellent point.
I think of myself as "progressive," but my big issues are civil liberties and Endless "War" - and in both of those areas what I want is a much more limited government. So I'm a.... social liberal, fiscal conservative*, AND police-power libertarian? Aiiiieeeeee!

* this is mainly as it relates to my own Big Issues. I don't vote or advocate based on Leading Economic Indicators or unemployment rates or housing or whatever because I don't know anything about that stuff, and I probably never will.
   1088. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4228489)

That doesn't work though, because government has conspired for decades to offshore many of the kinds of working class jobs that paid really well. Thus, there's no reason not to expect government to repay workers and would-be workers for that decision.


There are X jobs here. People should find one of them, or develop skills to get one. Or go into business for themselves.

And I disagree with you and Snapper on the sub-issue.
   1089. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4228491)
Help them. And "middle class values" are nice and all, but they don't put food on the table, buy little Juan the backpack he needs for school or a replacement for the shoes he has outgrown.
Yes, they do. I mean, no, if you go to the store with an empty wallet, you can't say to the cashier, "But I have middle class values" and be waved through the checkout line with your shopping cart. But that's like arguing that functioning airplane engines "are nice and all," but they don't keep you from drowning if your plane plummets into the ocean. True: but they keep your plane from plummeting into the ocean.

Pretty much everyone wants to succeed, to better themselves. The few that don't, that are happy as leeches, I feel sorry for them. They still deserve to have a safety net, but I have pity for them because they are missing out on many of the things, the struggles and achievments that make life great. They are still human though and they and their children deserve to be treated as human and deserve to be provided enough to get by.
No, everyone doesn't want to succeed. Many people are content to live their lives without putting forth any effort. It's not that they don't want more in some abstract sense -- but they don't want to do what it takes to get more. It's like losing weight -- nobody "wants" to be fat, but some people are willing to do the work to avoid it, and some of us aren't.
   1090. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4228495)
Exactly. You'd think a sane society would say "Oh ####, we need to bring back those mills". But instead we throw increasing streams corrupting welfare money at the issue, rather than trying to fix it.
See, this is what I meant above -- except that Snapper doesn't claim to be progressive, so he's not vulnerable to the charge I laid. A "sane society" would not "bring back" economically unviable businesses just because decades ago they were economically viable. It wouldn't "bring back those mills" any more than it would bring back blacksmiths and subsistence farming and horse-and-buggy makers.
   1091. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4228501)
There are X jobs here.

Do you not read the unemployment figures?

People should find one of them, or develop skills to get one.

Because of the conscious offshoring of good jobs, there is a mismatch of skills and jobs in the country today. I'm not going to begrudge someone who wants to work an honest day just because he's "unskilled," whatever that means. The desire to work and earn your keep is itself a skill. Not everyone has it. Mobsters don't.

Because modern liberals love laws and regulations, there are plenty of jobs for people like us who went to law school (though even that source is getting to the point of being tapped out unless you do really well academically). They've failed honest working people who weren't born with our brains and I'm not willing to relegate those people to the dole and the meth pipe.
   1092. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4228503)
Telling people that they should not ever face risks most certainly does not encourage risk taking or innovation.


Donner Party Conservatism.

Because of the conscious offshoring of good jobs, there is a mismatch of skills and jobs in the country today.


There is not. If there were, jobs in the sectors where workers are lacking should be increasing sharply. There is no major sector of the economy where wages are increasing sharply.
   1093. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4228504)
Having "middle class values" (whatever the heck those are) does not get one a job when the mills have closed.
If you have middle class values, you're not sitting around doing nothing waiting for a dead industry to rise from the grave. There are 300,000,000 people in the U.S.; the vast majority of them are neither working in mills nor sitting around waiting for mills to open up near them so they can begin working in mills.
   1094. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4228510)
If you have middle class values, you're not sitting around doing nothing waiting for a dead industry to rise from the grave.

Major manufacturing industries aren't dead; they're just dead in the United States.
   1095. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4228519)
Major manufacturing industries aren't dead; they're just dead in the United States.

Exactly.
   1096. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4228521)
There are X jobs here.

Do you not read the unemployment figures?


I don't really, but I understand the unemployment rate in the US is between 8 and 9% these days. So that means that the employment rate is some 91-92%. Thus, the "X jobs" I mentioned. Unless you're arguing that the millions of people currently in these jobs are going to stay in them forever (not change jobs, not change careers, not move, not get promoted, not get fired, not retire, not die), then there are plenty of jobs available for people.

If you're complaining that particular types of jobs have disappeared (or been "offshored," or whatever), I don't see why we should care. If you are great at fixing fax machines but everyone is emailing pdf's these days instead of faxing things, become great at something else.

   1097. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4228523)
Exactly. Blue collar skills SHOULD have value. I used to be geologist. I spent some time at active mines. I could never work in a mine. Being able to survive working in a mine is an incredible feat of human endurance, and one that has enormous value. But we allow all our mines to get eviscerated by commodities from lowest-cost providers in countries with no environmental protections (and governments bribed to ignore violations of what protections are in place) and workers paid in nothing but a sack of ore (literally - this happens in parts of South America). Why do people think this is acceptable? Tariffs don't make us necessarily less "competitive", since our mines and mills could never be competitive - they simply sustain something which otherwise disappeared.
You're absolutely right. We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of [goods] that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers turn to him, and a branch of French industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation. Therefore, we need to ban the sun.
   1098. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4228528)
So that means that the employment rate is some 91-92%

That's exactly what it doesn't mean. The unemployment rate counts only people actively looking for work; people who have given up aren't counted. Most accounts have this "true unemployment" rate at something like 16% (though that might be off a bit, it's of that magnitude).

The work participation rate, which you were getting at, is somewhere roughly mid-60s (same caveat as above), way down from better times.

If you're complaining that particular types of jobs have disappeared (or been "offshored," or whatever), I don't see why we should care.

Because those jobs built independent citizens and strong communities -- as well as flush consumers.
   1099. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4228530)

If you're complaining that particular types of jobs have disappeared (or been "offshored," or whatever), I don't see why we should care. If you are great at fixing fax machines but everyone is emailing pdf's these days instead of faxing things, become great at something else.


You're absolutely right. We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of [goods] that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers turn to him, and a branch of French industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation.


I am absolutely, positively going to love the next decade...

I'm not anti-lawyer by any stretch of the imagination, but given the flooded market of recent JDs who are willing to work cheaper but can't find a firm, the realities of the global economy that have led to many legal functions able to be outsourced/offshored, and rapid advances in technology (which the legal world lags behind implementing) -- it's only a matter of time before attorneys join the millworkers, the miners, and the IT professionals wondering WTF happened and end up being told by.. who, I don't know -- that they need to either be willing to work for a lot less or find another profession to be great at.

My singular prayer is that BBTF, OTP threads, and our libertarian attorney friends stick around long enough for that to happen, because it will... probably sooner rather than later.
   1100. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4228531)
They're not granting waivers left and right to eliminate the work requirements?

No, they're not.
Yes, they are.
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