“The same or similar manufacturers are used to build nearly everything you own. Sure, hold Apple to high standards since they have the profits and resources to spend on internal investigations and such. But really, why is Apple the only company that is ever mentioned in these contexts? Are you sure that coffee mug you just bought wasn't manufactured by workers operating in slave-like conditions far worse than anything discussed here? It was made in China too, or perhaps someplace far worse.
Really, China itself needs to get its act together to make any non-token difference. The country has built a formidable labor and logistics powerhouse for manufacturing. It is also intensely corrupt, and cheating as a means of getting ahead is completely pervasive. If the country itself cared enough it could focus even more on logistics and other more advanced capabilities to allow it to dramatically improve the life of those who help it build stuff. The result could be even greater profit, though probable at the result in a decline in manufacturing jobs.
But in other ways, it is difficult to fault china too much. It has been intensely focused on job creation for many decades now, which has helped it move from essentially no middle class to a middle class that is now much larger than the population of the US. That still leaves vastly more rural and urban poor than we in the US could ever possibly imagine. All that makes the proper direction for China”
“cborgia writes: "Aren't you against medicare because of the existence of medicare fraud?"
Should I be against insurance because of insurance fraud? Or against bank accounts because of banning fraud?
As for the original point, this isn't going to end well for us. Research, public/private partnerships, and an attitude that we an take on big problems and win is one of the important ways we got where we are. That is all fading fast.”
cborgia on Aug 14, 2013 at 21:29:54
“Read the thread, tax. I'm engaging in reductio ad absurdum, but people seem to have lost the ability to recognize the absurd. We are truly a baroque society, and headed for a rococo end.”
“And household debt is often quite a bit more than that. Government debt is usually measured relative to GDP, in which case our federal debt is a heck of a lot better (as a percentage) than typical household debt.
I'm not sure the analogy really works. But it's funny how Fox News republicans presume that Americans have bills but not debt, and use that untrue point as an invalid comparison with the national debt.”
Fred Berfel on May 7, 2013 at 19:39:50
“We've never been this far in debt before. We are hitting new territory. I think we are gonna find out what it means....”
Feb 2, 2013 at 14:55:44
HuffPost Live 321
“"It was produced as a propganda film for Obama's re-election!"
The film doesn't exactly come across as a pro Obama film, or an anti-Obama film. It comes off as simply a sequence with him being in office when she happens to figure out where he is. The two presidents involved seem entirely incidental, at least in the film's narrative. The film seems excessively simplistic, though it pulls off a few sequences well.”
“You don't need to spend billions to get innovative new products. Actually, it usually gets in the way. You do need to be prepared to act on good ideas. And, you need the infrastructure to follow through on the. Microsoft spends vast amounts of money on bureaucracy and internal squabbling. Google seems like it is doing a random walk through innovation solution space. Pretty inefficient, and when they happen upon something good, they could really use some corporate discipline to provide customers with a consistent, sustained experience. Google does well with some of its core products, but not so well with its random innovative experiments.
Apple could definitely use some better technology in a variety of areas, particularly in its cloud businesses, but that requires skills that they haven't got quite right more than a high level of r&d spending.”
ProudToBeVeryLiberal on Jan 29, 2013 at 05:19:28
“"Microsoft spends vast amounts of money on bureaucracy and internal squabbling."
Did you read that on "cuIt of mac"? And what does that have to do with their R&D budget? Are you even aware that Microsoft conducts really cutting-edge research into such things as robotics, which AppIe never even tried with?”
“I've had arguments like this with Fox News watching libertarians before.
Fascists definitely were into heavily state oriented industry. An extreme form of public private partnerships. The ones in power have also been brutal dictators. In the case of Germany, they also had a penchant for attempting to exterminate arbitrarily chosen sub populations as well as desiring to take over the entire Eurasian continental mass through military force and severe oppression.
So, Volkswagen, Blitzkrieg, gas chambers. These three items aren't exactly the same.
Public private partnerships and government support are normal and necessary functions. It's all a matter of degree and what else you're doing.”
“That's one of the things I like about the Democratic party. It is in a constant fight over ideas, priorities, and methods. It can have passion on all sides of an issue and still remain a political party.”
“Corporate profits are reasonable, even good. If you ignore the issue of whether the corporate sector is creating jobs, it is doing fine, at least generally speaking. It just isn't creating jobs nearly as fast as you would normally expect this late in an economic recovery. But that seems more related to changes in how businesses operate rather than being related to issues in the recovery itself.
Many kinds of small businesses are not doing well, but of you think about local miscellaneous or specialized goods stores, music and book stores, travel agencies, and other kinds of services, many of those are being destroyed more by the Internet than by the economy itself or tax policy. And local businesses that do still run well outsource a lot more of the services they use to larger firms or to "the cloud" resulting in fewer jobs than you would otherwise expect.
We have two factors, really, hitting in full force at the same time: a weak economy, and an Internet driven transformation about how literally everything works. This is on top of globalization and a slow motion transformation about how labor even works that has been going on for a long time.
All of the various issues together probably only leaves the US with a few tens of millions of actually good paying, economically productive jobs.”
“Early in the primaries the press focused on Obama and Clinton because she was a Clinton and he wasn't white. There was no media oxygen left for the boring white guys in the Democratic primary coverage.
In retrospect he was probably a better choice than most of the boring white guys anyway, though probably not as good as Hillary. McCain wasn't going to win no matter who ran against him.
I do wonder if the anti-Obama vitriol from the GOP would have applied as strongly to a white guy. History suggests they would have attacked Clinton viciously, though she might possibly have handled it more successfully.”
“Libertarians are generally stridently against the principles of social conservatives, even if they grudgingly accept that they have to ally with them to gain political power. Libertarians, whether or not you agree that what they want is plausible, feel that personal liberties should be paramount over everything else, except that you should be restricted in how far you can push against somebody else's personal liberties and property. Generally, that means being against restrictions on women's personal choices, against restrictions on relationships and sexuality, against any semblance of bringing religion into politics, and generally being against restrictions on personal use of recreational drugs as well.
I rather doubt that Ron Paul, as a strident libertarian, feels terribly differently, though he may be old enough to be out of the modern loops on accepting homosexuality.
Presidential politics demands that he "believe" differently and pretend to be things he is not. Perhaps he really is more of a social conservative than you would expect from his background, but it is difficult to believe that he really is as socially conservative as he now claims.”
“iOS will be easy for Apple to make less "stale". That will almost certainly happen in iOS 7.
What is currently in the process of severely hurting Apple's future is its services ecosystem. It has done well with iTunes and has done a good job of connecting all the devices in your house together. But it is not connecting together your experience in the larger world. That is going to Google. Maps, search, restaurants, shopping, traveling, email, document sharing. Google is in the process of owning essentially all of your attention that isn't owned by Facebook or Amazon.
Apple makes the best devices, probably makes the best OS (though that is a value judgement). I'm not sure how much longer that is going to matter.”
“Why don't we just agree to means test it a bit, starting in six to ten years, so we can move on to something that should be looked into?
Looking at how to actually curb medical spending, whether by the public or the private sector, would have a far greater effect on the economy than this. Ten year spending on health care (public and private) is only slightly less than ten years of all federal spending. That's a lot of money we can't put into whatever else we want to do.”
Duerksen on Apr 12, 2013 at 08:34:27
“Eliminate the cap. SS should be treated as a tax we pay to ensure the health and stability of our society - and it should be paid on every single dollar earned. No means testing is necessary, but payments should be tied to real costs of living.
The wealthy will NOT get back anywhere near what they pay in, and they should stop whining about that. SS is not an individual retirement account - its the cost of admission for living in a civilization.”
agpb on Apr 12, 2013 at 05:43:09
“>Why don't we just agree to means test it a bit
For the same reason if you wreck your car, insurance companies don't pay you less if you have money in the bank. Social Security is insurance (the "I" in FICA). You pay your premiums and you get benefits. Unless you die first; then you pay your whole working life for nothing.”
“So, we can't say that it is morally repugnant AND it doesn't work? After having the efficacy and efficiency, and acceptance under certain conditions, of torture burned into our brains by Hollywood, I don't see why both points can't be and shouldn't be argued.
Since we can't really have positive national conversations about hardly anything these days, a pure morality argument is going to go absolutely nowhere.”
“I long ago figured gay marriage acceptance would be a big nonevent in the history of civil rights. You can't tell from the outside if two people are actually married without checking with the government, it is essentially invisible to the people involved.
But, it still seems to have been a pretty divisive issue for longer than I would have expected. But, within ten years, this will be well past us. The Supreme Court could rule on it now, striking it down in California and everywhere else, cementing its status as out of touch with modern culture and the path of history, it could strike it down in just California, or it could allow it narrowly in California. Any of those will merely delay the inevitable. Allowing it everywhere now would would play big in some states (driving some more conservatives into congress in 2014), but would probably be greeted by a big yawn everywhere else.
Then, perhaps Ruth Bader Ginsberg is right and this needs to wait a few years or be handled through the legislative process. Or, once 30% of the states have it, the Supreme Court can yield then.”
Mysteryprincess on Dec 7, 2012 at 23:15:57
“Don't ask gay people to "take one for the team" so you can get the politicians in office that you favor. That's not fair. That's not right.”
“Charging for too much content on the web is currently impractical. Consider the logistics of establishing a payment relationship with the hundreds or perhaps thousands of web sites you may interact with as you switch from site to site searching for information or clicking on links sent by fiends.
The sentiment is correct, in many ways, but I don't think paying directly for more than a tiny percentage of web access will work that well.
An alternative that could develop is aggregators, you pay one company to have access to a wide plethora of sites. But, that fails for several reasons: site affiliation would be arbitrary, so to avoid problems accessing the net, you would have to pay to all the large aggregators; and, as with cable, aggregators would end up evolving a quantity rather than quality business model, so I'm petty sure the average quality of sites would go down, not up.
No, the best to hope for is probably about what we have now: a few services you pay for to get something you need or greatly desire (storing your photos more professionally, buying physical goods, immersive games), a lot of services selling you specific stuff and taking a cut, a very few information services that you pay for (maybe up to 5 newspapers, but not more), and everything else, which is free and ad supported. Ad support ends up being the simplest to setup form of micropayment. What you pay is in annoyance, which doesn't require the”
“Whether or not tax increases are a good idea, what tax increases are you talking about that were enacted under Obama? There are some scattered fees for things like national parks, but those came in before he took office.
We had eight years of tax reductions under Bush followed by four more years of the same reductions coupled with four years of reduced payroll taxes.
This article starts by getting its facts wrong.
Even under Bush, the deficit mostly crept up but not to ridiculous levels, even with two wars. The economic collapse is what drive it off a fiscal cliff. That one event flipped us from a deficit of around $500B (too high but not ridiculous) to $1.5T which is an absurd level of debt to be adding every year for four or five or six years in a row.”
"Also, didn't he minimize the enforcement policies like he did with illegal immigration?"
From news reports not from Fox News, illegal immigration enforcement and deportations under Obama have quite outstripped W, which has angered some Latino voters considerably. If you are referring to drug enforcement policies, the Feds under Obama have also been shutting down California's many marijuana dispensaries more aggressively than W as well.
There is a lot of anger floating around about both of those. The funny thing about these policies is that it pisses off some supports on the left, the right is oblivious to them, and the center is too confused. So I'm not sure which constituency he is successfully vying for here. Perhaps these are just policies within the DoJ or perhaps W leftovers scattered within Homeland Security.”
crispee44 on Aug 15, 2012 at 16:20:04
“I meant welfare enforcement being akin to the recent order of stopping deportations, and the new policy of selective arrests where ICE will respond.”
“As an atheist myself, I see all religions that I know anything of as having been quite obviously created by humans. There seems so much evidence in that direction that the amount of "faith" required to continue believing in them simply borders on the absurd. That's quite different from screaming that you must believe what I believe. There are activist atheists who more strongly argue that religion is actively bad for humanity and should be stamped out actively. They don't get very far.”
“legalclubs wrote: "The unemployment rate in January 2008, when Obama took office, is shown to be 5.0% and it is currently 8.2%."
Obama took office in January 2009 not 2008. The unemployment rate then was 7.8% but going up rapidly, hitting 9.7% in January 2010. It has since been trending down on a mostly consistent basis.
Job creation/destruction, which has been more sporadic, has been mostly positive most of the time, except that the public sector has bled a lot of jobs, which was a lot of the increase in unemployment between January 2009 and January 2010.”
“You can't wish away the republican party or the senate filibuster or the exploding deficit or the fact that it is the house, not the president that constitutionally originates the budget.
The grand bargain mostly seemed like a way to save the US from a congressionally created economic disaster, which is probably still in our future except we are ignoring it during the run-up to the election.
I wish Obama was a bit more liberal, though he certainly didn't run as a left wing liberal during the election or even during the primaries. I wish he could get his points through to the American people. I wish Fox News didn't exist. I wish the 70% of the American people couldn't be persuaded that they will have more freedom if only they can choose not to buy health insurance (what a rediculous point that is).
Something seriously disturbing happened to this country after Obama was elected. Perhaps he did something to bring that on. Perhaps he should have done something to prevent that from happening. But, since the elections of 2010, he has had to deal with who else the American people elected.
Somehow we have to look at ourselves. I mean collectively as a country. One man at the top of a seriously disturbed population can only do so much without the support of that population, and particularly without the media to serve as a buffer between facts and lunacy.
Obama '2012. The alternatives are simply too scary. Not a”
RobertHenryEller on Mar 29, 2012 at 15:26:51
“Barack Obama has tragically confused "being the adult in the room" with leadership.
And he has held leadership hostage to his personal code of how he should and must behave at all times, to the detriment of an agenda of change that has been desperately necessary.
His "compromises" have produced nothing but the predictable fruits of appeasement.
We did look at ourselves as a country. We elected this man. He said he knew we didn't do it for him. But then he promptly turned his back on us.
At least the GOP has made no secret about who they are, and what they really wanted.”
cdiew on Mar 29, 2012 at 12:42:21
Olderandwiser55 on Mar 29, 2012 at 12:25:11
“You are so fanned...I don't have time to reiterate what's wrong with what Ms. H wrote-and my respectful comments that disagree with her don't get through. There are countless reasons to vote Obama 2012 and Democrat at every level. I didn't always feel that way but......”
SENT1 on Mar 29, 2012 at 01:59:16
“President Obama noted:
"We can change things, not I can change things"
it is amazing that he got anything done...”
Fergie1 on Mar 29, 2012 at 01:52:32
“Fanned & Fav'd taxpayer314!”
Firinn on Mar 29, 2012 at 01:13:53
“Fanned & Faved”
dcrain on Mar 29, 2012 at 01:09:28
“i believe that the healthcare issue needs to be handled in a big way, but, the way The Pres has done it is a very very bad thing. ....... Just think that if you were absolutely forced to buy healthcare by the US Govt, that would open up a whole can of worms later on down the line. Just think that 15 years on down the road, we get a truly eccentric conservative in office, and he forces you to purchase a gps tracker...... your first thought would be " you cant force me to buy that" but then you might have an "AHA" moment, and remember that Pres obama set the constitutional precedent that the fed can force any american to purchase something on your own dime, that is the downfall of this healthcare law. not the fact that it would help us as a nation, but that it would open the wrong doors down the line.”
theprogressiveanalyst on Mar 29, 2012 at 00:16:01
“One thing he has failed miserably at is the p.r. needed to support his policies like health care and the stimulus. He has allowed the Republicans to frame the debate and capture the stage with their outrageous lies. This is one major reason the party was battered in the 2010 elections. Also, the timidity of his policies delayed recovery and thereby gave more fuel to his opponents. He certainly is no FDR. He has created a lot of his own problems. Whenever Democrats adopt Republican policies it is a failure because: 1. They won't get any credit from the Republicans for adopting their policies; 2. Those policies aren't very good or effective; and 3. They lose;support of their base. Republicans kow tow to their base, Democratic leaders scorn theirs.”
fanofariana on Mar 29, 2012 at 00:06:46
Democrat in the South on Mar 28, 2012 at 23:55:03
ARTIST50 on Mar 28, 2012 at 23:53:57
Frank Eller on Mar 28, 2012 at 23:42:37
“I don't agree with much of what you say but it is well presented, thoughtful, and cogent. Thanks”
GirlOutWest on Mar 28, 2012 at 23:39:36
“Fanned as well.”
joefargo on Mar 28, 2012 at 23:37:42
“Give him a little Johnson Juice. He seems to lack will and skill. Nice guy though.....”
oneeasyrider on Mar 28, 2012 at 23:24:17
“Yes, (campaign Obama 2007) for President 2012.
However, you should know, it's offensive reading Campaign Obama didn't run as a liberal. Progressives aren't mindless people interested in revisionist history. Do I need to start linking campaign speeches?
We get wall-to-wall GOP obstruction, but none of us voted for Bush-lite either. No kidding alternatives are scary.
Then again, what's the difference if in the end, GOP win; super-rich, MIC, and corporate interests are the only groups represented, while maintaining status quo or worse...become even more enriched/entrenched while everyone else pays the heavy economic price for their gluttony and avarice?”
“If the goal is to get Obama and the Democratic party to do more that is positive rather than fighting against more that is negative, we as a society need to stop obsessing about the republican party and its inanity and spend more time obsessing about what our country should be like irrespective of the republican party. For all his faults, Obama spent much of his first term at least trying to talk about positive messages and basic descriptions of how things really work, which were essentially ignored by everyone from the news media to The Daily Show, from the Internet to NPR and even the Huffington Post. It is even true down to our personal interactions with each other about politics, and our own analyses about how and whether Obama will win in 2012. It was so much more fun to obsess about the Tea Party (truly it was) or about whatever Rush said recently.
Obama rarely mentioned the Tea Party in his first two years and told liberals to read the Wall Street Journal, while correctly pointing out that the way out of the debt was GDP growth and that politics and society has to be able to focus on more than one thing at a time. None of that stuck. He has learned, however, and now focuses on dumb stuff with the rest of us.
I do think the Democratic party and Obama do have some sense of themselves, actually. But, in the end it is a”