Friday, July 31, 2015

The Robots are Coming

In this PBS News Hour piece they discuss how things will be going from bad to worse for low skill low academic capability citizens. And how this will continue to drive the wealth distribution gap even wider.  The people with investments and/or hard to replace skills will make more, and the people with minimal investments who work in "robot jobs" will make less.

We have already seen the strife caused by American consumers turning their backs on American workers and choosing to buy many of their products and Services from low cost countries.

The question of course will be what to do about this?  Are Americans going to be willing to pay more to support higher paid American Human labor, or will they seek out the highest value goods no matter the consequences to the low skilled workers?

CSM What Role
HBR What Happens to Society

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Obama Wants to Undo Sequester and Increase Spending

In the comments near the end of page 1, Sean and I are discussing Obama wanting to undo the sequester and start spending again. Sean stated that "He (Obama) offered a way to pay for the restored spending, so it would be deficit-neutral." Well that post became old and the comments slowed, so I thought we should continue it here.

Fox News End Sequester
Politico Spend and Tax
NT Post Deal Breaking Budget
Daily Kos Senate to Block Spending Bills

Based on these links, it looks like Sean is correct.  And it seems that Obama is proposing what any typical Democrat would...  Spend more and Tax more...

Personally I am looking for spend less tax more until we start decreasing the size of the national debt.  I mean if we can not do it "when times are good"...  When should we be doing it? Thoughts?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Fraud in Disabled Worker System

CNN Fraud in Disabled Worker System

Thoughts on this?

Dayton Says Keep Walking Nothing Bad Here

This is classic... I wonder if Dayton had taken "their word" if it was a bank, pipeline company, mining company, etc?  MinnPost PP MN Politics

“As far as I’m concerned there’s no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private nonprofit organization that has stated they don’t engage in those practices here in Minnesota,” Dayton said. BMTN Dayton

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Trump and Obama: Bringers of Hope

MinnPost Trump
"People who feel powerless and angry are looking for someone powerFUL and angry to be their champion. DT (I refuse to utter his full name, even in writing!) has power by virtue of his money. This group of voters is looking for someone to "kick butt and take names" on their behalf. DT fills the bill, at least for now.

It is anomalous that super-wealthy individuals somehow portray themselves as friends of the common man and get away with it. I think poorer voters identify with these people on an aspirational basis. Voting with the rich is the closest these citizens are ever going to get to belonging to the same clubs. Financial success is part of the American dream, and we are taught to admire it. On the other hand, distrust of elites based on education or intelligence runs deep in the American character.

I don't think DT will last, but his current surge is nevertheless disturbing. There are too many historical parallels where an increasingly disaffected and economically struggling population followed a demagogue down the road to dictatorship. We used to think that "it can't happen here" because of broadly shared prosperity and a strong, optimistic middle class. Sadly, that is no longer true." Ann


"Even though I do not support Trump and hope he disappears again soon, I have to wonder. Is this what you think encourages people to vote for the Democrats like Obama? They so desperately want to get ahead that they are willing to give up personal freedoms. You might be on to something.

"There are too many historical parallels where an increasingly disaffected and economically struggling population followed a demagogue down the road to dictatorship."

Remember these goodies: “Hope” and “Change We Can Believe In”" G2A
Thoughts?

CPC and the Tea Party

From MinnPost Congressional Progressive Caucus
"Good Point. I think the Congressional Progressive Caucus is to the Democrats what the Tea Party is to the Republicans. In simple terms... A group of relative extremists that drive partisanship, and try to stop collaboration and the function of government. Since people here vent often about the Tea Party, I wonder if they will feel the same way when the CPC stops middle ground decisions from being reached." G2A
Thoughts?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fetus Parts for Sale?

Thoughts regarding the article? CNN Dems push for investigation into group targeting Planned Parenthood 

I find this view amazing...

"This is a new low, even for anti-abortion activists who will stop at nothing in their effort to undermine a woman's right to choose," Schakowsky said in a statement. "I believe the Center for Medical Progress may have broken the law in developing and executing this unbelievably elaborate and troubling scheme, and all Americans should have concerns about that."

The PP folks get caught in a sting talking about selling/donating fetus tissues and this person goes after the people who are making this apparently standard process visible to the public.  I suppose based on the Pro Life logic, they are not really selling parts of a human body since it is only a fetus.  Somewhat like a tumor that just happens to have a heart, brain, arms, legs, etc.

The TP article does point out that the mother did apparently need to sign of a donor card.

Thoughts?

TP No PP is not Selling
Fox News Second Video Released

Monday, July 20, 2015

Waste in Social Service Spending

At the end of MinnPost Obama Numbers comments. Jay, Jason, RB and myself got side tracked about government waste and being on the dole. Jay wanted to explain how "well to do" couples get more than they pay in a very specific situation, I noted that there is a small percentage of free loading citizens milking the welfare and medicaid systems (1% to 2% of citizens, less than 10 percent of those receiving benefits), and Jason wanted to change subjects to military waste.

"How would YOU prove waste in social spending? 
People say they need money. Bureaucrats who are paid to hand out benefits give them money. 
The Tax Payer pays to raise and send a girl to school. The single mother who is given the funds does a poor job of raising the daughter, the daughter fails academically and ends up a single mother at 17. And the cycle begins again... 
Is this waste or something else? Is more money going to break the cycle or encourage it? These are all important concepts worthy of discussion." G2A 

Merriam Webster defines waste as "loss of something valuable that occurs because too much of it is being used or because it is being used in a way that is not necessary or effective".

With this in mind, if the total Local, State, and Federal Social Services / Healthcare spend for the poor is nearly $1 Trillion / year... (~17% of Total Spend)  How would one determine how much is wasted each year? What is the "GOAL"? What is effective in reaching it? What is not? Thoughts?

US Spend Welfare
US Total Spend

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pro Con of Iran Nuclear Deal

"I don't think there is interest but if people still want to consider the merits of the Iran deal here is a good article" Laurie

Laurie, I think this our favorite kind of topic. One with no sure answer. We can discuss those time and again...

Is There a Viable Alternative to the Iran Deal?

Friday, July 17, 2015

MN Conservative Think Tank

Here was an interesting article/comments that I had not cross linked.  Who would have thought we have a conservative think tank in this Liberal state...  Thoughts?

MP MN Conservative Think Tank

Thursday, July 16, 2015

MN Buffer Strips

MP MN Buffer Strips

The comments here are pretty good and mixed.  Thoughts?

Criminal Justice in America

"If people are tired of discussing the Iran deal we could move on to Obama's next project, reform in the criminal justice system, which I think is quite likely to be another win for him." Laurie

President Obama Is Right: Americans of All Stripes Strongly Support Reducing the Country's Prison Population

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Presidential Candidates

Laurie, Always willing to please, where do you want to go with this? I am waiting about another 14 months before giving this much thought.  :-)

Presidential Candidates
NYT Who is Running
CNN 2016
FOX News 2016


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Looking Down On or Looking Out For

Here is a post to help folks consider another perspective.

I had a born again Christian friend who told me that he was very very worried for his children.  Though overall they were good kids, they apparently were not attending Church and were somewhat sinful in their ways.  And he was truly worried that they would not get into Heaven, and would end up tormented in Hell...

Imagine what goes through the head of Religious Right person when they are asked to participate in an activity that they truly believe will doom a fellow human to ever lasting torment in Hell?

The LGBT supporters keep thinking that the Religious Right is looking down on the "Sinners".  Where as in reality many of them are likely very very worried for the souls of their fellow citizens and humans.  It is one of those things us Christians think about, especially the more devout ones.

If you "knew" that someone's action was going to doom them to eternal damnation, would you be  excited to help them? Would you resist helping them?

Or... Would you help drive someone so they could buy meth?  What if a law forced you to?  Would you resist?

Just a thought...