“Remember when Reagan challenged Ford, neither got enough delegates to win outright, and then a brokered convention resulted in the insurgent Reagan taking on as his running mate the more establishment George H.W. Bush who had spent the past year ridiculing Reagan's voodoo economics? Well, it's deja vu all over again. Romney and Gingrich will be ridiculing each other for the next few months, neither one will win enough delegates to claim victory, except this time the establishment candidate (Romney) will win the brokered convention by taking on a right wing running mate. That's right. Get ready for Romney-Santorum 2012.”
“Your observation that the trend is more important than the absolute numbers is spot on. In addition, the President will benefit from the fact that Republicans are unwilling to speak the ugly truth about what happened during the George W. Bush Administration. Dick "deficits don't matter" Cheney and Donald "the Iraq war will be over in a few weeks" Rumsfeld, who did such a good job tag-teaming as chief of staff in the Nixon and Ford Administrations that we ended up with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression in the late 1970's, came back in the late 1990's and outdid themselves during the George W. Bush Administration destroying our economy and acting imprudently with our military. Let's face it. These two guys and their acolytes have absolutely nothing in common with the cautious, thoughtful exercise of power and economic pragmatism that is the hallmark of the Party of Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. The Cheney-Rumsfeld wing represent the wild and irresponsible side of the Party that gave us the two most disastrous Presidencies of the 20th Century -- Nixon and W. Bush. Republicans have no chance of success unless and until they face up to the apostasy of Cheney-Rumsfeld.
RacerX on Jan 9, 2012 at 06:45:02
“Reagan ruined America...go look at all the leading indicators from pre- and post- years - it becomes pretty obvious.”
Jan 30, 2012 at 09:02:49
“The big question for our generation is how to reform capitalism so that it provides benefits for those who are externalized from the wealth equation. Charity and multilateral aid are two possibilities, but are they enough?
“Our situation today is not much different than it was in 1979-80. A long, drawn-out war took its toll by creating budget deficits (Vietnam then, Iraq/Afghanistan today). Threats from Iran created uncertainty in oil markets (the Iranian hostage crisis then, Iranian conventional and nuclear threats today). An inexperienced Democrat had come in to rescue us from a failed Republican Presidency that wrecked the economy by departing from fundamental Republican economic principles (Nixon and his lieutenants Cheney and Rumsfeld who implemented price controls then, W. Bush and his lieutenants Cheney and Rumsfeld who said deficits don't matter today).
The big differences are: (a) back then the microprocessor was about to create a productivity and efficiency revolution that would rescue our economy, and (b) our biggest economic competitor (Japan) was also a close and friendly ally. Today (a) it is unclear where the next productivity advances or comparative economic advantages will come from, and (b) our biggest economic competitor (China) is not so friendly and is also a military competitor.
The winner in November will be the candidate who has a clear, pragmatic vision for addressing these challenges.”
jerryengelbach on Jan 16, 2012 at 18:31:34
“Productivity advances don't advance the economy when they cause layoffs.”
JongyDepp on Jan 16, 2012 at 16:18:22
“Obama has been banging on about Green Tech and high speed rail since day one. This is the next technology revolution, but Republicans aren't having any of it... firstly because they get a lot of sponsorship from big oil, but also importantly because they've spent the best part of a generation denying that there is any need for green technology. And they still do!”
“Excellent observation. It will be interesting to see how the President uses his quiet and often unnoticed successes in the campaign -- and whether he finally gets credit for all the difficult behind-the-scenes accomplishments.”
“The Philippines has a Gross Domestic Product of about $200 Billion per year. Not bad. That makes it the 43rd largest GDP in the world. The problem is that it also has approximately 100 million people -- up from less than 50 million people just 30 years ago. Half the population is under the age of 25 and will be multiplying themselves over the coming 25 years. Unless the Philippines adopts sensible family planning practices ASAP (something President Aquino wants but the very powerful Catholic Church opposes), tens of millions of Filipinos will be condemned to pervasive poverty, malnutrition, inadequate housing, and more of these types of catastrophes.”
gunthli on Dec 26, 2011 at 14:49:11
“I've been to the Phillipines once. Most of the towns there are very small - about 300-500 people. The live in corrugated metal homes that are about 15x15 with no electricity or sewage (the sewage runs through the town in a little creek in front of everyone's home and the little children play in it - sick). But in every town is a gloriously built Catholic church with all the trimmings. The church takes money from these people that have nothing and build a church with it. It's really abhorrent.”
SeanMMasters on Dec 26, 2011 at 13:53:24
“I'm interested in more on the Catholic Church opposing this. Do you have links to any backup?”
imtruthmonger on Dec 26, 2011 at 13:34:57
“Spot on. Thanks for joining the discussion John. Glad to become one of your first fans.”
chemistrydoc on Dec 26, 2011 at 13:12:28
“John - spot on analysis! The Philippines is one of those outposts for the Catholic Church where THE MOST oppressive policies of the church are the official policies - and where such policies are most detrimental to the development of the country. It's wrong to stereotype, but I've found the common folk there generally to be very friendly, engaging, family oriented and open/accepting of most things. It's when the church gets into the mix that everything gets all messed up. The church is DEFINITELY not a force for good in Phil. Period.”
“Truly free markets do not exist, anywhere. On this much I think we agree. We also agree that businesses attempt to erect barriers to entry so they can increase their profits at the expense of consumers. Beyond that, we have some disagreements on basic economics. Let's take your assertion that in a free market, "whatever you have to sell in that market, so does your competition. Which means price war. Which means your price gets driven down. Which means little or no profit for you." Not quite. Your "truly free market" assumes (a) that no one innovates, and (b) that producers ignore price signals and keep entering markets or increasing production when supply and demand are already at or near equilibrium. In fact, a truly free market promotes innovation because that is one of the only ways a producer can obtain an advantage, and producers either do not enter markets or decrease production when supply and demand are at or near equilibrium. The problem we have today is that markets are not truly free, so producers depend on political favors instead of innovation, because it is a lot easier to buy a Congressman's vote than to invent a groundbreaking new product. And we make stupid choices about supply and demand (e.g., extremely wasteful energy consumption) because the price signals do not include the true costs of energy (e.g., wars to protect oil fields, pollution, climate change).”
Bizmark on Dec 19, 2011 at 14:08:00
“Keystone stands as a prime example. There's little money to be made in the assumed purpose of the pipeline (the supply of energy), but there is profit in the construction costs of the pipeline and its facilities. Its easier to buy allies who will force the favorable votes than to try to prove the pipeline is a viable and worthwhile investment. Our model economy chugs along thanks to the freedom of its actors to manipulate the facts and dispense optimistic opinions that impress stupid people.”