“Today's Republicans do not advocate capitalism and markets. They advocate for their funders - crony capitalism and would be plutocrats. They leave the economy less and less efficient and more and more distorted with each passing year.
Cumulative US trade deficits 2001-2008/9 were over $6 trillion. For GW, "other people's money" was OPEC's and China's as well as future generations of Americans..
It should also be noted that the current Republican's idea of the future USA is a Banana Republic, an historic path to outright failure.”
“Also as it gets even clearer that the Republican idea is that people ideally die in net worth order.
Pre-ACA US medical expenses overall plus the financial sector come to 1/4 US GDP. That unsustainable allocation/expense was bought in Washington Pay-To-Play politics and is also retarding real recovery. The Republican remedy (Ryan's plan) sends even more money to insurance companies and saves by pulling the plug on Granny. It cuts US life expectancy, already the lowest in the developed West.”
“All US politicians dance for their supper in front of donors or they quickly disappear. That's how the USA does politics and always has. These days manpower cannot substitute for money either.
For the US Revolution and early country to succeed it was necessary to include the slave states and the Confederate culture area. Their societies and economies depended on a crony capitalist and Plutocratic foundation. So there is no Jefferson's Wall between politicians and money. After the inevitable Civil War the Pay-To-Play system was so entrenched that it was never fixed. It has undermined democracy and real, efficient capitalism and markets ever since. As the Supreme Court pointed out, an Amendment is required to fix this Founding Flaw.
Now the US economy is really threatened by the Pay-To-Play system and many on the Right openly and contemptuously despise democracy itself. A US Banana Republic could not sustain itself for long as the rest of the world develops. Today global corporations are buying their global interests and the interests of foreign governments in Washington through the Pay-To-Play system.
Look at the huge number of new US work visas the corporations quietly lobbied for and got without debate into the new immigration bills while the voters are distracted by "amnesty".”
“That's exactly tight. In the summer of 2001 Bush II got the tax reduction. In an August speech, in the White House Archives, he said that the purpose of the tax reduction was to limit the government's ability to spend. He, along with the Republican leadership, then spent as much as possible.
Two unfunded wars, the unfunded drug bill, the Ownership Society subprime program and follow ons, the bloated yet oddly incompetent government, and so on destroyed any budget. Bush II took a dive in China's economic warfare, the most important war of his administration. The transfer of wealth and tech to China was historic as happens in losing any war and not fully recoverable. Global companies now lobby in Washington in China's interests. US cumulative trade deficits 2001-2008/9 were over $6 trillion to OPEC and China. The Administration then sold Treasuries converting the trade deficits into cash flow to fund their budget deficits, and threw it on top of the national debt. The voters only saw low import prices, not the real price nor the near destruction of Main Street as collateral damage.
The Bush Administration and Republicans staged a Starve The Beast attack on Washington and the United States. We forget the connections between Grover Norquist and Bush II. Norquist even delivered the extreme Right to Bush II in the nominating convention. The Republican program is crony capitalism and Plutocracy, an historic path to outright failure. It's feels as though we are having a second Civil War.”
Eris23Skidoo on Nov 16, 2013 at 05:53:35
“Tuna Sashimi!! You have earned fan #36 for your well-thought out post.”
“The medical care system we have now has been self destructing, eating up an unsustainable part of the GDP. It spends twice per head on medical care than other Western developed countries with years longer life expectancies. Pre-ACA the expense has been inexorably increasing and came to just under 18% US GDP. It would be over 19% closing in on 20% if it were not for Medicare. Insurance, drug companies, and so on bought that allocation in Pay-To-Play Washington, not any sort of market. Pre-ACA medical care plus Finance take up 1/4 US GDP (!), again bought in Washington and slowly crushing the economy that has to pay for them.
ACA incorporates many Conservative features like the exchanges from the Heritage Foundation. If it doesn't work or is thwarted, Single Payer is inevitable. The Republican fix (Ryan's plan) is to send more billions to insurance companies and cut US life expectancy by years. They think people should ideally die in net worth order.
“Paul Ryan's Medicare replacement plan routes billions to insurance companies through the voucher plan. His plan overall can only cost what we pay now, let alone save money, by chopping US life expectancy. The US already has the lowest life expectancy among the Western developed countries and doesn't have universal care. The US spends around 17 1/2% US GDP on medical care overall. Insurance companies take is a bit over 4% US GDP of that.
France is spending just barely under 12% GDP and has a 4 year longer life expectancy than the US. Canada spends a little less than France and gets a 2 1/2 year longer life expectancy than the US. Both have Universal Care. They have a mixed care delivery system as the US does, but Single Payer like Medicare. They are not socialized medicine like the British National Health or the US VA system. If the US spent the percent GDP on medical care that France does, we would live a little longer and save about $800 billion a year.
Republican "supply side" of "trickle down" schemes are just cover stories for the redistribution of wealth upwards. There is no indication that jobs are generated by other than demand. We see that consumers are deleveraging and demand is increasing. Further, net new jobs are generated by Main Street, not the multinationals and Wall Street. Libertarianism has degenerated from a millennial movement into a cover story for plutocracy.”
“In addition, the Republicans keep raising the alarm that politicians will bribe voters with benefits. So the voters will vote themselves unsustainable benefits from the US Treasury. In fact the real danger to the US is clear - that corporations and would-be plutocrats will buy unsustainable benefits for themselves from Congress.
That they already have is shown by the fact that medical care overall and the financial sector are costing us about 1/4 the entire US GDP which is unsustainable. Both medical care and finance are two areas where Washington's Pay-To-Play political financing system dominates the economics. Our economy is becoming more inefficient, misallocated, and corrupt due to corporations buying Congress, not Congress buying voters.”
William R James on Nov 28, 2012 at 13:35:52
“It's both. But the greatest threat is the politicians buying votes. That's the problem with the so-called "entitlements". Too many people think they are entitled to other people's money and the politicians give it to them. Never mind the current debt, the unfunded liabilities due to SS, government pensions, and various other scams exceeds $200 TRILLION! There's no way to pay that, and the next generation shouldn't be held responsible for the waste and debt of their parents and grand parents. It's going to collapse, and the longer it takes the worse it will be. Trying to keep up the payments by taking it from businesses only inflates the prices and lowers employment. It's insane. We are flat broke and deep in debt. It's time we started acting like it and slash spending to the bone. We are already vastly over taxed, government has too much revenue as it is. The problem is they waste it.”
“Sen Chambliss is surely aware that of all the states in the core Confederate culture area, only Georgia and Texas make a living - and Georgia because of metro Atlanta. The other states are welfare cases. Mississippi is the worst, but the Gulf states survive on transfer payments from other states through Washington. It has been 145 years now since the Civil War, but they are still enabled to be cultural and economic fossils by our money.
Grover Norquist's Starve The Beast plan (Google it) is to bury Washington in military expenses and interest payments - wars and debt. If the Republicans ever succeeded, their core South would starve. Or at least a third of their populations would show up on our doorsteps as refugees. The US now spends so much on the military that we are becoming less secure form being closer to broke. That's one Laffer Curve that we know actually works.
People like Chambliss may blink when they realize that their program might succeed and their states would pay the very highest price and know why. Chambliss can play "social issues", he can set black and white voters against one another, he can lie, he can do anything. But when his small town, least well informed constituents can't feed their kids any more they will figure it out without a single Democrat in sight..”
JeanetteN1966 on Nov 27, 2012 at 14:58:25
“Please understand, I'm NOT being critical... I'm just really confused by that comment.”
JeanetteN1966 on Nov 27, 2012 at 14:56:08
“You're comment it's extremely confusing: you talk about Repubs burying Washington with high military expense & then you criticize Chambliss in the third paragraph. So... what exactly is your point? Are you saying that Chambliss is wrong & you agree with Norquist's pledge for no more taxes? Are you agreeing w/ Chambliss that it's time to break the pledge?”
“2001-2009 The Administration then took a dive in China's economic warfare with the US. They liked trade deficits which were cumulatively over $6 trillion during that time. The largest part was to OPEC, the rest to China. The US borrowed the money back at interest to finance wars, a bloated government, and a redistribution of wealth upwards. The voters were lulled by a fake increased standard of living on the national bar tab. The economy was distorted by an import bubble. An historic amount of wealth and IP was transferred to China as though a war had been lost.
Even now the Republicans want to march into and bleed out in the Sandtrap instead of focusing on the more important East Asia. One reason is that they are backed by the US corporations that are influenced by China's government because they have moved most of their important parts there in the belief that the growth in scale and profits will be there. Our Congressional Pay-To-Play political financing system is now a conduit for foreign influence into the heart of our government. China is better at corruption than we are and Republicans think that Sun Tzu is a fancy dessert.
"When you play chess, be very careful when you are outclassed by your opponent." Just so.”
“You want us to think that US history started on Jan 20, 2001? The Republicans have indicated no change in course, have taken NO responsibility, and indicated not a single lesson learned from the Crash of '08. They apparently will just pick up where they left off and over the cliff we go. Next time there will be no money to bridge it over and we will get a Depression, and a long lasting one.”
“"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." - Josef Goebbels
By the way, in the 2000 Presidential campaigns the more malignant Republicans constantly accused Clinton of all sorts of crimes including treason, embezzlement, and murder. After the elections it was like turning off a switch. All the horrendous "crimes" were never heard of again.
This kind of thing is actually common Confederate/Republican politics - a present from Dixie.”
Jan 11, 2012 at 22:59:22
“The difficulty with some of the buildings in the slide was that this is an earthquake area and it makes no sense to ignore that. I believe the Mission Bay area is fill land also. Earthquake-resistant structures can doubtless be attractive, they need not be stunts that could be pulled off easily enough in non-earthquake areas. The city would be in error to approve that kind of thing.
In addition, one thing all of us in California had better be planning for is to be less backed up in disasters by Washington, especially if the government in Washington turns over this fall. Washington has been an insurer in effect for some time and one result has been development of hazardous sites from California to Florida. After the government of 2001-2009 and the 2008 crash US finances have changed for at least a couple of generations to come and perhaps permanently since the rest of the competitive world will not sit still.
All of us here in the SF Bay area had better pay a lot more attention to making our lives more earthquake resistant than we have been. Every new major quake has some surprises in store.”
MoistPup on Jan 12, 2012 at 12:29:11
“Mission Bay is actually built on nothing but Jell-o. Bill Cosby was the original developer.”
Dec 5, 2011 at 15:44:36
UK Universities & Education
“The rigid uniformity everywhere can be accounted for by the fact that China is an empire in the past easily fractured. Cantonese and Mandarin (Beijing speech) are not mutually intelligible. The writing system overlaps 90-some percent.
We call Portuguese and Spanish languages, not dialects, because each has a capitol and an army. Calling the languages of China dialects is a political statement and goal. Teaching history must be a goal from Beijing also, of course. The program may not be futile.
Note that the US includes a different culture area in the core Confederate states which remain distinct. Education was never run from Washington but was local or US state run. Children did not hear about the US Civil War, but the War of Northern Aggression. Today the dominant faction of the US Republican Party is effectively Confederate and their present program reflects that. That it's hopelessly dysfunctional in today's world is irrelevant. When President Kennedy was shot in Dallas there were reports that some school children in Dallas cheered at the announcement over a public address system.
So will the Beijing government's assimilation program work? Will the tail eventually wag the dog perhaps? China will likely remain a single country by assimilation and by conquest (Xinjiang Province, Tibet). But there is some chance that the USA may not and should not.”
“The Republican party of the last generation is not the party of our father's. After the Dixiecrats and Nixon's Southern Strategy they continued and became Confederates, not Conservatives. They became a dangerous throwback want to return to the Articles of Confederation, our Constitution's predecessor. We can't survive in the 21st century governed by a party from the 19th.
The corruption, misallocation, and inefficiency of our Banana Republic is driving us into the ground. Around 30% US GDP is being eaten by medical care overall, finance, and the still unsustainable trade deficits. No market gave us this, the bipartisan Washington Pay-To-Play system did. Our money driven politics is a Founding Flaw.
Today multinational corporations see their future growth and profits elsewhere, China especially. But they get to Pay-To-Play in Washington for those interests anyway. Main Street, the real US economy, twists in the wind for the national Republicans.
Rep Paul Ryan's Medicare killer plan was adopted by Republicans but is in stealth mode. It would send huge sums to his insurance companies and can only save money by significantly chopping US life expectancy. The older tea Party and other Republicans working away for the cause are working hard to shorten their own lifespans. Yet other developed countries spend just a bit more than half the percent GDP the US does for universal care and buy longer life expectancy up to years for it (ref CIA World Factbook online).
“Well, his dying wife's replacement most recently was a direct report in his office paid for by the taxpayers. As his employee, and no teenager, she knew his marital status very well. So she will be as subject to campaign attack as he is. There are a few countries she could not go to on a state visit.
Gingrich made some red-meat speeches to shore up his Evangelical base in the southeast. Videos of those speeches would be a really major turnoff for the majority of voters. Further, that is entirely fair.
Gingrich's claims to scholarship and his truthfulness in general are low even for someone in politics. His payment of a high fine to avoid a hearing in Congress for that bogus school that siphoned taxpayer funds is too little known to the majority of voters.
The Republicans are no longer American Conservatives tracing their history back to Abraham Lincoln. The national Party is Confederate, Confused, or Libertarian. Their heritage, through Nixon's Southern Strategy and the Dixiecrats now goes back to Jefferson Davis. Gingrich is Confederate, clearly enough, which would leave us a formal Banana Republic. Mr Romney would leave us a corporate-oriented informal Banana Republic as we are now.
Neither would leave us a viable, independent 21st century political or economic order to look forward to.”
Nov 29, 2013 at 10:48:39
“Nothing in the story suggested a state of knowledge justifying such abortions. Nothing in the story suggests knowledge of what the gene may actually contribute either. Such a prevalence (25%) suggests some function.
Your remarks are why some people, the FDA included, are saying that consumers should not be allowed access to their own genetic information. A couple of generations from now most medical care will be individuated and based on one's individual genome. If we are not allowed to know anything about it our situation will be to be helpless and hopeless - children before medical care providers and companies. Our ignorance must not become established practice or law.”
Nov 29, 2013 at 10:32:00
“The article said MRI, not an X-Ray machine. They were not exposed to high levels of radiation. You need more than Political Correctness.”
fearlesseight on Nov 29, 2013 at 11:33:24
“EXCUSE ME BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF HI LEVELS OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS THAT ARE COMING FROM THE MRI'S CK INTO IT! DON'T BE SUCH AN AUTHORITY- YOU BULLY... & YOU NEED TO KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS AWARE OF WHAT YOU SAY~~~”
“President Obama has proven a far more effective and sophisticated CIC and diplomat than George Bush.
Remember, GWB's Sec'y of Defense, Rumsfeld, was fired because the US was losing the two Bush off the books wars in the Sand Trap. Robert Gates from the first President Bush's administration was brought out of retirement, cleaned out the Pentagon, and hugely improved the status of the US in the wars. There was no good reason for the second war and the resources it used eliminated the chances of a good outcome in the first. GWB was the worst American CIC in generations.
Bush as a diplomat? There is still the video of him sneaking up behind Dr. Merkel of Germany and grabbing the back of her neck, thinking it hilarious when she jumped. And remember "seeing into Putin's soul"? George Bush made a fool of himself and the United States whenever he crossed the border. It was Bush who deliberately took a dive in China's trade wars resulting in an historic transfer of wealth and technology as befitting the loss of a war. He sold OPEC and China Treasuries to finance his deficits under the voter's radar. The cumulative US trade deficit 2001-2008/9 was an unsustainable over $6 trillion.”
“No one had any interest in owning these islands or the South China Sea until it became thought that there was oil and gas there. But when the posing and flybys take place it becomes something else including 'face'. In the case of these islands, taking them over can be seen as a flanking movement on Taiwan also, useful should China finally attack it. They think longer term than we are used to.
Looking at a map it looks like a solution might be that Taiwan include the islands in question and around it and that Taiwan return Quemoy and Matsu right along China's coast to China. A regional treaty for the oil use could work.
Our Republicans are trying to strangle the Executive Branch and make a parallel foreign policy. They are fairly close to trying to overthrow the government here. In some ways they seem to be reviving the US Civil War, using the same US sectional divisions. Taking this across the border is a disaster. President Obama and his Pentagon have been far, far more capable than his predecessor in the CIC role. President Clinton was successful in the war in Bosnia, etc, also.
President Obama wants to 'pivot' to East Asia where the US has interests and the course of history is running. The Republicans want to put boots on the ground in the Sand Trap for another decade. The Republicans may have been bought in Washington by global US corporations with interests in China.”
“This student was grossly mislead in her choice of majors and her prospects in life, that's true.
The US middle class is under attack. The rest of the world is increasingly competitive and was less so even a generation ago. The ability, a Founding Flaw, of money in the US to buy government through the Pay-To-Play political system is pushing us into a Lords and Peasants economy with the center hollowed out and away from actual capitalism and markets too. The Web is disintermediating the middle class while requiring its money.
But there are too many students with too many degrees of no economic usefulness. Why most undergrad psych and journalism degrees ? What's the point to an undergrad journalism major, not minor, at all ? Most such students should be going to a two year school. JC's need more programs with industry internships. People have no business looking down their noses at such programs.
Worse, even in public universities we are rationing education by money instead of talent. Years ago schools like NYU or even CCNY were rigorous with useful majors . They were commuter schools. Their tuition was zero - the taxpayers supported them willingly. When their standards went away, so did the taxpayers. And schools learned in Vietnam War disorders that students on scholarships could be kept in line - independent ones could not be.
Brandeis probably has too much money. The teaching loads are likely too low, paychecks too large, and the surroundings too rich.”
SeanDonohue1981 on Nov 27, 2013 at 13:59:47
“Grossly misled by whom? Brandeis is (sort of) known for its Business and Law Schools....not German Language and Creative writing...those are the classes the type A personality students take for fun in the summer when not interning”
“Racism in the US is especially concentrated in the Confederate culture area which persists as a country within a country. There are also pockets of it where people are divided and life has become a zero sum game as it is now for many lower income Americans.
The states in the Confederate culture area are all net negative for taxes to Washington except for Texas with its own history. It's subsidies from the Blue States and Texas that put Hush Puppies on the table. It's the Confederate culture area that drags down US life expectancy so the US is lowest among Western developed countries.
Mississippi is the state in the worst shape. One county (Holmes) in 2010 had a male life expectancy between 66 and 67. The US has spent billions developing the world but Mississippi has fewer than 3 million people and remains culturally and economically primeval 148 years after the Civil War. States around it are similar.
LBJ's Civil Rights acts and the War on Poverty were the last attempt at Reconstruction of the South and its diaspora there is likely to be and it was aborted. Actual Reconstruction of the South means real cultural change and no one knows how to do that. Currently, Congress members from the Confederate culture area act as though they are fighting the Civil War over again.
Can the Confederacy be developed? Or can we do nothing but cut it loose?”
Nov 16, 2013 at 09:44:01
“It should be noted that corporate lobbyists have had a huge number over years of new work visas inserted into the immigration bills while everyone's attention is elsewhere on reform or "amnesty".. They range from hi tech to no tech.
These visas address just what job shortage? What the new work visas would accomplish is to gravely damage the futures of the young Dreamers and supply the corporations with a large number of indentured workers for many years. The corporations prefer indentured workers to citizens or Green Card holders who can change jobs as they wish.
The law makers talking soulfully about the Dream Act know exactly what is really happening. Whatever anyone tries to do in Washington, the Pay-To-Play system of politics is always the real winner. It's a Founding Flaw.”
“Why need we take for granted the total corruption of politics by money as the natural order of things? It would take an Amendment to fix it but we need to do at least as good a job most democracies these days. We are becoming just the world's biggest Banana Republic.
The Pay-To-Play political system is ruining the economy too as large parts of it become increasingly distorted. Pre-ACA medical care uses up just under 18% US GDP and it was growing. If it weren't for Medicare it would be over 19%. Add Finance and 1/4 US GDP has been used. We susidize Agribusiness including, I think, sugar. We subsidize so many htings in transportation that no one really knows the cost of anything.”