Uechi-Ryu.com

Discussion Area
It is currently Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:28 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 31 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:58 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:06 am
Posts: 1750
Location: USA
Why?


Quote:
What the Hell?
Today I found out that for yet another year, Republicans opposed and shot down a bill that would help those who developed health problems stemming from acting as first responders at Ground Zero after 9/11.

I support Republicans in a plethora of issues. I oppose even more of the Democrats' agenda. But it's been eight long years (and some 'Change'), and has anyone on the Republican side offered any serious measure that would help these people out? If you're not going to support a Democrat's measure because you 'don't want them to get credit for it,' then fine, do something worthy of credit yourselves. 2010 is coming to an end, and yet these people who threw their lives into turmoil cleaning up the rubble of the World Trade Center are still losing their lives because of it.

Republicans must love getting dragged over the coals for being cold, heartless prudes. Compassionate conservatism is a joke: throughout Bush's eight years, Republicans went on a spending spree like none other, but they apparently couldn't stomach funding this for 7-8 billion dollars. Two years of Obama, and all they've done is hold the line. Democrats can rightly smack them around for offering nothing more than a two-letter word: no. Not getting legislation through? Fine, but at least put some together and present it to the American people.

If Republicans want to remain a valid political party, they have to start making a difference in the lives of Americans. If government isn't the answer, then you have to lead the way in a different direction. Leaving the homeless, the abused, and the victimized out in the cold, swinging in the breeze just adds more people to the Democratic party. The Republican party is going to eat itself alive through attrition: all it has to do is keep showing itself as the party of the heartless, the cold, and the calculating. The RNC has earned this black eye, and they've got nothing to show for it.

I simply cannot believe what I have seen today. You can't justify it by saying that you're holding off for tax cuts, because this has been going on for years. Does it make me a Democrat? No, not by a long shot. It does make me glad as hell not to be a registered Republican. I will remember, and I will hold my representatives and senators to account.

Lest it be said that all Republicans deserve an equal tarring with this rather broad brush tonight, there is a bright spot. Governor Mike Huckabee said that every Republican should support this bill. I think he's right, and he's one of three people I'll be watching for 2012: Huckabee, Daniels, and Barbour (I can say this because none of these men have declared campaigns yet). I'd be interested in hearing what they have to say about this, and a great many other things.

Senate Vote


_________________
Life begins & ends cold, naked & covered in crap.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17097
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
This is a thought-provoking editorial.

On the one hand, I'm an independent who loves to see the traditional parties engaged in dynamic tension. As of late it should be clear we are not necessarily served when the two parties start working together and endorsing everything. Last I checked, they just saddled my kids with yet more debt.

On the tail end of a trillion dollar health care boondoggle, the Democrats gave in on all the tax cuts. That's not necessarily a bad idea, but that got combined with extended unemployment benefits. Either you're going to be fiscally responsible and believe in the self-healing power of a strong economy or you're going to be a big government fan and believe in the power of the federal government to care for us all. You cannot have both. Doing so only will destroy the economic engine which drives either scenario.

The First Responders legislation got lost in the Congressional give-away. It's sad, but it's not over. With time I believe this will be revisited. But at this point, SOMEBODY had to take some economic pain. The result doesn't look pretty. And the way Obama is going, there isn't going to be much of an economy left to care for those who have sacrificed for others.

There was a leadership vacuum after World War I in Germany, and a strong personality stepped up. Let's hope our window of opportunity and need has a better outcome. So far, not so good.

Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:16 am
Posts: 2758
Location: Boston
See also content in "Told you so" thread.

Anyway--Obama's the sole cause of the economy in freefall (after mentioning the joint republican take less and the democrat spend more congressional plan) when he inherited the great recession and implemented a bailout his predecessor had started? And this is setting us up to be taken over by a new Hitler?

What's in your coffee this morning??

_________________
--Ian


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17097
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
IJ wrote:

See also content in "Told you so" thread.

I'll get around to it in a bit. I'm in a holiday kind of mood right now.
IJ wrote:

Obama's the sole cause of the economy in freefall , yada yada yada...

And you're asking what's in my coffee?

How 'bout I put some Kahlua in yours and we respect each other's opinions?

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:16 am
Posts: 2758
Location: Boston
Hey, if you're offering Kahluain trade, I'm happy to blame a single individual for systemic problems that predated him and frame the country as ripe for Nazi devastation :)

BTW, this Christmas, I am getting you someone to argue with! Merry Christmas!

_________________
--Ian


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 2141
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Bill Glasheen wrote:
On the tail end of a trillion dollar health care boondoggle, the Democrats gave in on all the tax cuts. That's not necessarily a bad idea, but that got combined with extended unemployment benefits. Either you're going to be fiscally responsible and believe in the self-healing power of a strong economy or you're going to be a big government fan and believe in the power of the federal government to care for us all. You cannot have both. Doing so only will destroy the economic engine which drives either scenario.

The tax cuts and unemployment-benefits extentions are not necessarily in opposition, and in fact are reasonably complimentary policies. The tax cuts are meant to stimulate a slow economy that is taking a long time to heal, while the unemployment benefits are meant to help the abnormally large percentage of unemployed make it through until the economy does pick up and the normal number of jobs become available again. Normal unemployment is around 4-5%, while we are currently close to 10%. That means the economy is currently operating at around 5% under normal labor-force capacity, which is not economically optimal. Not only are they not producing anything, but without assistance you would have 5% of the labor force not consuming anything and potentially experiencing foreclosures and bankrupcies, none of which would stimulate the economy and could potentially make it worse. Economists generally assume that for each additional dollar a person has (whether through tax cuts, benefit extensions, pay raises, or any other increase) up to $3 growth will be generated in the economy, so the bottom line is that while neither policy helps the debt both can help the economy, which is what is needed right now.

_________________
Glenn


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17097
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Glenn

You'd be entertained by listening to Krugman (uber liberal economist) and George Will (well-known fiscal conservative) bantering about the combined legislation on last Sunday's ABC This Week. Krugman was so beside himself that I thought he was going to cry. :lol: He's a taxaholic - so much so that the socialist Norwegians blessed him with a Prize. George Will was his measured but sharp-tongued, eloquent self, railing into Congress for saddling future generations with even more debt.

This whole extending benefits thing can't go on forever, Glenn. At some point people need to go hungry. A certain percentage of the population isn't going to do what's necessary without the fear of failure.

And recessions - even the bad ones - are very useful tools for creating needed changes in an economy. Sometimes all the work designed to make things better just delays the inevitable and makes everything all the more painful. For instance... IMNSHO Obama made a big mistake propping GM up. They could have gone through bankruptcy wthout my tax dollars, and shed the UAW along the way. Of course that wasn't going to happen, what with Obama returning political favors. Mark my word; GM will eventually go the way of American Motors and Chrysler.

Meanwhile... tiny Tesla Motors (maker of electric cars) just got a deal to make the electric guts of Toyota hybrid RAV4's. (Announced in the last 24 hours.) They bought up a northern California GM assembly plant at a fire-sale price, and are ready to rock and roll. They're selling their electric coup for over $100K apiece, and are about to start production on a 7-passenger sedan with 300 miles range for half that price. And Staples has ordered fully electric trucks from Smith Electric Vehicles of Kansas City, Mo., and will start receiving them in January.. The math made sense - both in fuel savings and low maintenance costs. Go figure...

And our government is supporting a failing business model that takes money away from these two start-ups? Sigh...

For what it's worth, I went about half a year without income, and didn't collect a dime of unemployment. And I sacrificed a lot to take the job I am most grateful to have. So I walk the talk. The difference between me and the next person (other than pride and a love of working) is that years of being a grad student (and living under a father who survived the great depression) taught me how to live beneath my means. That rainy day fund sure came in handy.

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:25 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 2141
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Bill Glasheen wrote:
You'd be entertained by listening to Krugman (flaming liberal economist) and George Will (well-known fiscal conservative) bantering about the combined legislation on last Sunday's ABC This Week. Krugman was so beside himself that I thought he was going to cry. :lol: He's a taxaholic - so much so that the socialist Norwegians blessed him with a Prize. George Will was his measured but sharp-tongued, eloquent self, railing into Congress for saddling future generations with even more debt.

George Will is not an economist, he's a columnist. It's interesting how you only seem to watch shows that have economists you don't agree with. Anyway, what I stated is basic economic principles used by economists, both conservative and liberal, and presented to me by a very conservative economist.

Quote:
This whole extending benefits thing can't go on forever

No, but it can go until there is recovery.

Quote:
At some point people need to go hungry.

Why? Why do hard-working people who had the rug pulled out from under them by forces beyond their control during a global crisis need to loss everything they spent their lives building? Who are we to make that call? What about those of retirement age who lost their career and saw their retirement accounts dissolve to nothing, and likely will never have the opportunity to regain either because of their age? Why should we relegate these people to being unproductive members of the economy and the economy weaker as a result?

Quote:
A certain percentage of the population isn't going to do what's necessary without the fear of failure.

There is a big difference between fear of failure and being forced to fail.

Quote:
For what it's worth... I went about half a year without income, and didn't collect a dime of unemployment.

As you may recall so did I in 2009, also without collecting any unemployment, makes us even there.

Quote:
And I sacrificed a lot to take the job I am most grateful to have. So I walk the talk.

For this semester that just ended I cobbled together 4 teaching assignments at two colleges while also being a full-time graduate student, and am working on lining up the same for next semester. And I'm guessing that at best I'm making about half what you are. We won't even go into what I have to go through for the summer months. My family and I are sacrificing a lot for however many years it takes me to complete the PhD, with a very real fear/chance of failure anywhere along the way, and no guarantee of a job when I'm done. In that respect I'm currently worse off than you.

So you do not have to tell me about walking the talk. But I still cannot see through the same black-and-white lens you do Bill.

Quote:
The difference between me and the next person (other than pride and a love of working)

Ah yes, the assumption that all unemployed have no pride and don't want to work. Nevermind that ~5% of the labor force was suddenly dumped into the unemployed status when the jobs many of them loved working ceased to exist or were sent overseas while hardly any new jobs have been created.

Quote:
is that years of being a grad student (and living under a father who survived the great depression) taught me how to live beneath my means. That rainy day fund sure came in handy.

Rainy day funds can eventually run out, as I have experienced first hand and described in a previous post. Or take the case of one of my former co-workers who was out for two months for back surgery. She was laid off the same day I was, three days after she had returned to work from the medical leave. Boom, her sizable rainy day fund was wiped out in an instant to help pay off her medical bills from the surgery. Meanwhile skills erode when not used and the longer you are out of your field the harder it is to get back in. I have been out of IT for almost two years now, my chances of getting hired back into that field now, even if the jobs were to come back to the U.S., would be very slim. That is a 10+ year career down the tubes with no hope of climbing back out. That is also what the other IT folks laid off from my previous company have been experiencing. So what would have been your next career if you had not found anything? How long would you have held out being a full-time career-job seeker before finally giving in and working 3-4 part-time jobs with no benefits and no time to seek career employment? Or would you have finally gone for unemployment benefits so that you could continue to devote full-time to seeking full-time employment to keep the career dreams alive?

_________________
Glenn


Last edited by Glenn on Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:30 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:06 am
Posts: 1750
Location: USA
Bill Glasheen wrote:
This is a thought-provoking editorial.

On the one hand, I'm an independent who loves to see the traditional parties engaged in dynamic tension. As of late it should be clear we are not necessarily served when the two parties start working together and endorsing everything. Last I checked, they just saddled my kids with yet more debt.


Bill, I agree so far. I'm not advocating carte blanche endorsements. I'm hoping the Republicans can fix START or shut it down. I'm also glad they killed the illegal immigrant boost (DREAM Act).

Quote:
On the tail end of a trillion dollar health care boondoggle, the Democrats gave in on all the tax cuts. That's not necessarily a bad idea, but that got combined with extended unemployment benefits. Either you're going to be fiscally responsible and believe in the self-healing power of a strong economy or you're going to be a big government fan and believe in the power of the federal government to care for us all. You cannot have both. Doing so only will destroy the economic engine which drives either scenario.


Bill, again agreed. The tax deal was a crap sandwich, with everyone ooing and ahhing over how little it stank to them personally, and yet the stench will linger for years, leaving someone else to hit the bleach.

Quote:
The First Responders legislation got lost in the Congressional give-away. It's sad, but it's not over. With time I believe this will be revisited. But at this point, SOMEBODY had to take some economic pain. The result doesn't look pretty. And the way Obama is going, there isn't going to be much of an economy left to care for those who have sacrificed for others.


Bill, there are plenty of people available to take some 'economic pain.' And I'm not buying that it's Obama's fault. We had five years under Bush, at the minimum, where we could have done something to help these people. Two years under Obama. Not once have we seen Republicans put forth anything to help these folks out. On the flip side, where are the Democrats' priorities? Why haven't we seen this before the Senate was a lame duck and in its final hours? The Democrats are playing hardball, but the Republicans could have hit this one and at least gotten a base out of it.

Quote:
There was a leadership vacuum after World War I in Germany, and a strong personality stepped up. Let's hope our window of opportunity and need has a better outcome. So far, not so good.
Bill


Whoah... I hope that's not referring to any of the three I'm looking at. :lol:

_________________
Life begins & ends cold, naked & covered in crap.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17097
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Glenn wrote:

George Will is not an economist

I never said he was an economist, Glenn, did I?. So what are you trying to achieve here? You've parsed and mangled what I wrote to the point of saying what I didn't say while totally missing the big picture I communicated.

Re-read my post and take it as a whole. There really is a point within it. And if you're a fan of either party, there's plenty to take offense to AND plenty to hang your hat on.

Independents have no "party loyalty." It's very liberating.

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17097
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Jason Rees wrote:
Bill wrote:

There was a leadership vacuum after World War I in Germany, and a strong personality stepped up. Let's hope our window of opportunity and need has a better outcome. So far, not so good.
Bill

Whoah... I hope that's not referring to any of the three I'm looking at. :lol:

That line got Ian's attention too. :lol:

I never said Hitler. I never said Nazi. But I did make allusions to politicians stepping in to desperate situations and making false promises (e.g. a chicken in every pot, or "hope and change."). When desperate people listen to emotion-charged but patently vacuous speeches and hear what they want to hear, "we the people" can be vulnerable to silver-tongued incompetents - or worse.

And I stand by those words.

I have made a point of reading rather than listening to Obama speeches. Try it some time. You'd be surprised at what little is said. And when you read them first and then listen to him deliver, well...

I think the man truly missed his calling. ;)
Lincoln wrote:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:16 am
Posts: 2758
Location: Boston
More classic Bill. I wouldn't have it any other way. Provocative statements meant to evoke the Nazis followed by pulling back when the desired meaning is understood.

Then you tell us to reread your post as if we're children who didn't grasp your meaning. No intelligent / informed person could possibly disagree, right? Yeah, we read your post. I make an effort, over and over, to point out flaws in both parties, to criticize wingnuts from both sides, to point out where I agree with you (say, long term debt issues, rising healthcare costs, minimum wage laws, the importance of hunger in driving growth, the need to implement DADT gradually) but all we get back are these black and white points.

Anyway--back to the issues.

1) Sure, GM could have crashed without your tax dollars. So could all of those companies we bailed out on Wall Street. Now what would have happened to the overall situation if we HAD let the entire financial sector crash and an enormous company (and all of the companies upstream and downstream of it, like companies who supply parts) implode? Do you think that only the companies we saved would have eaten it?

At times during the peak of the crisis, the short term credit market that companies use to obtain funds from each other for basic operations ground to a halt. Like, lots and lots of companies. "The economy" is another way of putting it. Had more investment banks eaten it, had more companies collapsed and dumped many more thousands on the unemployment rolls, things could very easily have gotten much, much worse.

Things spread from there. For example, many more people lose their jobs, fewer people have health insurance, health insurance companies do not hire you, you do not have a job, for much longer than expected, your very laudable rainy day fund evaporates, you are forced into selling your home while the home market is in freefall... how again is this helpful?

2) I know you don't like unemployment benefits. I understand your POV. I read your post. However, there are no easy answers in a crisis like this. For example, I of course understand that bleeding everyone with taxes is not the best plan at the moment. However, there are also consequences to slashing taxes. Here is one example, sort of a Reagan moment where tax cuts weren't paired with spending cuts and a county is now on the edge of a true fiscal crisis.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/nyreg ... anted=1&hp

Anyway, it has been my impression that it is a widely held view from economists that unemployment benefits are about the most appropriate stimulus one can dream up. Are you saying all these people are wrong? They're just dismissable as socialists? What? Meanwhile, we're giving the richest Americans a tax break extension. (I have to say, passing a temporary tax cut was brilliant; the planners evidently knew that Americans would never have the ovaries to let them expire, and so they're basically going to be permanent, it would appear. It's a little bit like how we plan for sustainable growth rate pay cuts to medicare providers, and EVERY SINGLE YEAR we pass stopgap legislation to defer the pain. Brilliant! We can't handle the truth!) Again, I don't necessarily have a strong opinion about the exact perfect tax rate, but when the deficit is soaring and studies have shown tax cuts largely just go into the bank when given to the richest, it seems that rather than making a new tax or doing nothing, letting a temporary tax cut expire wouldn't be crazily unreasonable. But hey, maybe we've got another solution somewhere around here.

3) We're never going to agree on some of these issues, but I would be curious to hear you outline your actual proposal. Right now, too much politics is saying the other people are wrong. Too little is about a meaningful alternative. I have stated here many a time that government efficiencies are NOT going to save us. They are far TOO LITTLE a contributor to our deficit. As such, I've stated my opinion that we need to go after the real stuff: entitlements. Here are my proposals:

a) Raise the retirement age. Nowish. Steadily. Remember that when 65 was chosen that was because it was the life expectancy. Pay for what you get boomers, by WORKING MORE. You want to retire earlier? Save some more damned money. The forever holiday of the golden years is a wonderful luxury we cannot currently pay for.

b) Ration healthcare. The wimps who passed Obamacare did fund some CER research, but they explicitly forbid thinking about cost effectiveness (well, had they done anything more they would have been even more destroyed by misled voters). In other words, cost is no object for American healthcare. The past-due bills reflect this. We must start defunding less cost effective healthcare immediately. At least I am pleased to see Avastin lost it's indication for breast cancer, but that was because IT DOESN'T WORK; it should never have been approved because it doesn't work well enough at low enough cost. What was another cost idea? Get people to palliative care (more humane, better, sometimes promotes longer life!) rather than the American way--expensive invasive uncomfortable disgusting prolonged end of life hospitalization. To this end, the bill was to pay doctors some time to talk about end of life issues (only for preferences, mind you, but would have helped costs). And THIS was shot at by a lie campaign that said it was death panels.

c) Seriously consider improving the numbers of young, skilled workers through immigration. Japan is a great example of an aging, less vital society; we are right on it's heels. The countries with growth that lifts everyone's boats have a better age distribution. Why don't we encourage immigration of good candidates with requirements such as the rule they must serve in the military, learn English, buy a house, have certain skills, and really open the doors? These are hungry and driven people, not the stagnant, slightly spoiled populations of the host country.

d) ask someone else about the best way to encourage innovation, start ups, small business, etc. Not my area of expertise but happy to cosponsor the bill!

_________________
--Ian


Last edited by IJ on Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 2141
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Understood, the age old avoidance strategy. I guess it is time to move on.

And in my opinion I'm more of an independent than you are, I'm against the existance of any and all political parties afterall. The founding fathers warned against them and framed the Constitution to try to prevent their formation, but I think they should have went a step further and outlawed political parties. Years ago I came across an online column that started out something to the effect of 'what if I told you there are powerful organizations that exist just to get as many of their people elected as possible so that they can control all aspects of government...'. The build-up was of course that there were secret organizations controlling the government, but the punch line was that they are the very open political parties. A more fitting description of poliical parties does not exist, in my opinion. Unfortunately I can no longer locate the column.

_________________
Glenn


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:20 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 2141
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
How do I get duplicate posts from time to time!

_________________
Glenn


Last edited by Glenn on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:28 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:06 am
Posts: 1750
Location: USA
Update: the Senate will revisit the 9/11 1rst Responders Bill, and at this time, it still has the votes. I'm praying Dems don't do something stupid like tying it to the DREAM Act.

_________________
Life begins & ends cold, naked & covered in crap.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 31 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group