Posts tagged with "economics"

Like the man said, “pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.” A little bit of greed makes the economic system hum. Too much greed will make the whole system seize up.

Link NYT: For Many Hard-Liners, Debt Default Is the Goal

> Far from seeing it as potentially catastrophic, many on the right consider a default on the federal debt inevitable and salutary as a step toward smaller government, and have been saying so for years, an economist writes.

The shortsightedness (and xenophobia) of these theories is astounding…

Link German government says Windows 8 too dangerous to use

Now the NSA is [allegedly] fucking with commerce on a global scale. So what will be the final straw that will force our esteemed branches of government to reel them in?

Link Dogged pursuit of austerity benefits…guess who?

wilwheaton:

As Radhika Balakrishnan, executive director for Rutgers’ Center for Women’s Global Leadership, pointed out on Thursday’s All In, the financial sector is doing better than ever under austerity.

“What we’re seeing is the financialization of the economy,” she said. “The economy is run by finance capital. It is not manufacturing, not working class unionized jobs that actually give people money to be able to buy things, but it’s finance capital. And profit is at an all-time high.”

This suggests another, even greater, factor driving austerity: Finance capital is not only insulated from the consequences, but stands to reap massive rewards. In Europe, for example, the ECB is using austerity to pressure the Greek government into removing labor market controls and break the country’s labor unions. They also demanded that the country institute a six-day work week. Such “reforms” open the door for international companies to provide low-wage, precarious jobs to the Greek people and extract substantial profits from their labor.

In the United States, austerity has resulted in mass public sector firings, to the detriment of public sector unions. The public sector is, of course, the last real citadel for organized labor in the United States, and by launching a prolonged assault on that citadel, the American right has successfully chipped away at what remains of the country’s organized left wing. In the place of public services and public employment, state and local governments have been forced to turn to private investment. No more so has this process been more extreme than in Michigan, where non-elected Emergency Managers have launched an orgy of privatization, sometimes going so far as to put entire school districts in private hands.

From the perspective of the financial industry and major private investors, austerity has in fact been a rousing success.

Emphasis mine.

I’ve long thought that the goal of the austerity movement isn’t balancing budgets or reducing deficits, but giving the wealthy and powerful an ongoing excuse to practice disaster capitalism. I think I may be right.

And at this point, I’m not sure that the government as we know it today is capable of fixing itself and correcting this terrible trajectory. We have a legislature that is distracting the public with bullshit social questions, while also tying up both the executive and judicial branches, neither of which should have any influence over the matter anyway. All the while we are stuck with a media obsessed with ratings and profits, and a public who simply is too apathetic and demotivated, or too concerned with the social issues to care about smart policy decisions.

Lessons from my home state of Indiana, along with Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, can breathe new life into the national Republican Party. The stories of the governors, mayors, state office holders and others who have cut taxes and balanced budgets are worth knowing and emulating in part because they have done what Washington has been incapable of doing.

Pete Seat, Republican revival: What the states can teach the national party (via msnbc)

Yeah, and all they had to do in Indiana was gut k-12 education, higher-ed, highway funding, bridge repair, emergency services…etc. You know, all the unimportant stuff. Oh, and loose half a billion dollars (that we know about). Sorry, misplace half a billion dollars (so far).

Here’s the thing: at the end of the day, I’d rather have higher taxes and something to show for it than a fundamentally broken state with a balanced fucking budget. And I don’t think I’m alone in that regard. By far.

Mar 5

Wealth Inequality in America (by politizane)

Holy Shit.

Mar 3

I think what Wu and his brethren believe is not that companies win by being “open”, but that they win by offering choices.

Who is Apple to decide which apps are in the App Store? That no phone will have a hardware keyboard or removable battery? That modern devices are better off without Flash Player and Java?

Where others offer choices, Apple makes decisions. What some of us appreciate is what so rankles the others — that those decisions have so often and consistently been right.

Gruber

Probably the most relevant 88 words in a 3600+ word piece.

Its the same post we’ve read a thousand times already: somebody who thinks their opinion has value claims to know what they need to do to successfully run a computer company, despite the fact that they do not run a computer company, successful or not. Instead, they rather enjoy manipulating stock prices through arbitrary puff pieces like the one Gruber destroys here that say nothing while claiming to say everything.

And again, I say: if there were another Steve Jobs hiding among the tech industry CEOs, we’d know. If there were another Tim Cook, we’d know.

Perhaps time will produce one. Perhaps if they ever, for the love of all that is holy, evict Ballmer from his position, one will emerge at Microsoft (but I doubt it). Until then, these wild claims from nameless people who don’t matter stating they hold the keys to the castle in terms of profitability and making the Right Choices (or not, depending on which side of that argument you fall) for a tech company are just those, wild claims from nameless people.

Link Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us

Taken as a whole, these powerful institutions and the bills they churn out dominate the nation’s economy and put demands on taxpayers to a degree unequaled anywhere else on earth. In the U.S., people spend almost 20% of the gross domestic product on health care, compared with about half that in most developed countries. Yet in every measurable way, the results our health care system produces are no better and often worse than the outcomes in those countries.

Feb 9

Link OK, joking aside, this is important. Republicans have invented a history in which it has been fiscal irresponsibility all along — and far too many centrists have bought into the premise.

wilwheaton:

The reality is that we had low debt and no fiscal problem before Reagan; then an unprecedented surge in peacetime, non-depression deficits under Reagan/Bush; then a major improvement under Clinton; then a squandering of the Clinton surplus via tax cuts and unfunded wars of choice under Bush. And yes, a surge in debt once the Great Recession hit, but that’s exactly when you should be running deficits.

The point about the fake history that expunges the Clinton years is that it turns the budget into a story in which nobody is at fault because everyone is at fault, and the problem is a generic issue of runaway spending. No, it isn’t; we would have come into this crisis with very little debt if the GOP hadn’t always insisted on tax cuts.

This is not complicated.

Agreed. Especially with the part about it not being complicated.

Dec 3

Link Paul Krugman: The Full McConnell

This is pathetic – and these people are definitely not serious.